Dreaming on 2015 (and a new offering)

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Are you thinking about 2015? Me, too. This is the time of year where I reflect on the closing year and the one to come. What lessons did I learn? What do I want to learn? What do I want to practice?

Part of my reflecting on the coming year is a medicine card reading. Twelve cards – one for each month – that give me something to think about. What energy might the new year bring? How will I be able to use that energy or learn from it?

Medicine cards are my choice for this type of reading because the animals help me feel connected to the earth and the energies they represent help me look at things in a new light.

I note my cards and their meanings in my planning journal (I use Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead workbook and I highly recommend it. It’s free, so go print yours!). I think about what kind of flow might happen if I took advantage of these energies throughout the year.

Then at the beginning of each month I study the message of that month’s card. I think about how it applies in my own life, how I might use the message to better myself or a situation I’m in. It’s a beautiful way to bring myself back to mindfulness and to think about things from a different perspective.

This is a practice I have enjoyed for years as a way to welcome the new year and the fresh start it represents.

For the first time ever, I am offering personal year-ahead medicine card readings. Twelve cards pulled just for you to use however you wish in dreaming about 2015.

When you purchase a reading, within 2 days (or possibly 3 if it spans a weekend) I will send you an email with a photograph of your personal cards and an explanation of each month’s card. You may wish to print the email and tuck it in your own planning journal or fill them in on the oracle pages of your planning workbook if you are using something like Susannah Conway’s workbook.

Sound interesting? Buy your 2015 medicine card reading here. You may also want to give one as a gift. Just a thought.

Happy dreaming!

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Winner of the Inner Alchemy Giveaway

MindyTsonas-IACair buttonWe have a winner!

In her interview last week, Mindy Tsonas graciously offered a spot in her upcoming Inner Alchemy circle beginning in January.

I enjoyed Mindy’s Inner Alchemy: Earth Coven this fall and will be joining again for the Air Coven (thank you, Mindy!).

So… who will be joining me?

Well, here’s how I decided. There were two comments: Paola commented first and Alina second. So I assigned Paola to odd numbers and Alina to even and rolled a die. Number three came up.

Congratulations, Paola! I can’t wait to have you by my side in the Air Coven. Watch for an email from me.

For full details on Inner Alchemy: Air Coven and to register, head over here to say YES to the adventure.

 

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Interview: Mindy Tsonas

How about another interview? I am so enjoying these. I love to see how everyone answers the same five questions in different ways.

Today’s guest is Mindy Tsonas- a Wish Alchemist, Life Artist, and Feminist Girl Guide on the path of wild discovery and deep integration.

I recently “met” (online, as it were) Mindy through her Inner Alchemy: Earth Coven course where we made our own beautiful decks. You know, I love my oracle decks! Incidentally, Mindy is giving away a spot in January’s Inner Alchemy: Air Coven to one Live Wonderstruck reader. Keep reading for details on how to enter!

Mindy’s spirit came through as calm and gentle. I couldn’t wait to introduce her here to all of you. Please welcome Mindy.

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

I am always wonderstruck by the magic of kindred community. It never ceases to amaze me how one connection can lead to something new and exciting, and by reaching out and putting yourself out there, real friendships and collaborations can be born! It’s truly the foundation of my creative life, and I couldn’t me more grateful for such wonderful energy, especially in my Inner Alchemy Circles where we are creating so much magic together!

What part of your day are you grateful for? 

I am most grateful for my mornings. I am a creature who thrives on routine and alone time. Once my kids are of to school and stillness descends on my usually noisy and chaotic house, I feel myself hit my stride and the creative juices start to flow. It’s my best time to write and do my work, and it is also the time I love to dream and pour all my energy into making them happen.

What part of your day is tough? How do you move through it? 

The hardest part of my day is in the waning hours from about 5 til about 7pm. My kids are tired and hungry, there is homework and laundry and dishes to be done, sometimes overflow of work – it’s the usual stuff of life. I try to make it more manageable by putting on music or letting my youngest help me cook dinner and making it fun. We get outside whenever possible, and walk to the beach to break up the energy, as we all find being in nature to be really grounding and calming.

What do you wish your were more conscious of? 

I practice being present to my life as much as possible. It’s never perfect and always a challenge to really be in the moment with whatever is in front of you, but I am working on this kind of daily consciousness and attention to the small things. I find the more I can move through my world this way, the more ease there is in my day to day, but there are always bumps along the way.

How do you stay focused on what is truly important to you?

I usually am very focused on work related things that are my passion and calling. It is harder for me to keep that passion in harmony with family and friends and other commitments. Since I love what I do and work for myself, it can be a challenge for me to stay focused on the totality of my life. It’s not a bad problem to have, to love what you do, and I do not believe in the idea of balance as I think it’s an ideal that can set us up for failure, but I do try to stay focused on the big picture by creating clear boundaries around work and making plenty of time for other joyful pursuits. I love teaching my kids to follow their dreams, as we live it together one day at a time!

MindyTsonas-IACair button Giveaway!

Mindy has generously offered a free spot in her upcoming Inner Alchemy online course to one lucky reader. To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post by midnight Eastern time on Sunday, December 7th.

In the New Year, on the first Full Moon, we will gather in our creative coven to honor AIR!

This season brings a new story… Animal Spirits and Archetypes

We are embracing wide open energy of emerging intuition

Our online gathering, January 4-17, 2015, will be centered around making your own one-of-a-kind Air Alchemy Deck. You’ll be guided with stirring prompts and easy how-to’s to create and infuse each of your cards with insight and deep personal meaning.  A keepsake and record of all of your soulwork will be collected and compiled in your beautiful, downloadable Inner Alchemy workbook, new this year! You will also learn unique ways to use these cards as a powerful tool in your creative life and work.

You will be accompanied by a gorgeous group of guides:
 

Heather A.Mattern * Jessica Borgan * Lisa Field Elliot * Julie Gibbons * Lisa Lister * Renee Magnusson * C. Delia Mulrooney * Amanda Oaks * Leah Piken Kolidas * Rachael Rice * Andrea Scher * Mindy Tsonas*

For full details and to register, head over here to say YES to the adventure.

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Sherri jumping in here again to say I joined Mindy for the fall Inner Alchemy course and it was amazing. You don’t need to consider yourself an artist, nor do you need to have experience reading cards. I cannot stress this enough- no experience necessary! Mindy and her fellow guides will walk you through everything and the participants are so encouraging and welcoming. So leave a comment on this post to enter the giveaway or follow the link Mindy provided to sign up. I will be there, too!

About Mindy:

Mindy Tsonas is a Wish Alchemist, Life Artist, and Feminist Girl Guide on the path of wild discovery and deep integration. Unabashed creativity, authentic sexuality, and daring personal alchemy are her touchstones. By sharing her own story, work and adventures, she carves out sacred space to honor the hard conversations that lead to better understanding and kinder self knowledge. She is a provocateur and heart-centered healer who is passionate about learning to trust the truth of our own desires. Find out more at www.mindytsonas.org

 

Update December 8, 2014: The giveaway is now closed. Here is the winner announcement.

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Interview: Suzie the Foodie

Thanksgiving is upon us as I’m sure you are well aware. (If you live in the United States, that is. For my friends around the world, keep reading anyway. This isn’t just about that.)

I feel like I’m digressing already. Let’s get back on track. The point is we have gratitude and food on our minds, so this interview is perfectly timed. I’m kind of excited about it. (Okay, really excited about it.)

Today’s guest is Suzie Ridler, also known as Suzie the Foodie. She’s kind of awesome. And there’s a recipe at the end in case you’re looking for a yummy dessert for tomorrow’s feast. (Told you… awesome.)

Meet Suzie.

SuzieRidler4What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

I have been wonderstruck by my recently weird obsession with all things foodie retro. Dishes, cookbooks, kitchen artwork complete with mushrooms and lots of orange. It shocks me because in the 70s all those things drove me crazy! Now I see the innocence and charm of the time period and it makes me feel at home. I am also obsessed with adding colour to my kitchen which used to be just glass, wood and stainless steel. I am realizing that as a foodie, individuality is important to me. Not just when it comes to the food but with the presentation. It is not quite there on my blog yet but I am getting there.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

I am so grateful for the afternoon after my blogging and daily walk when I get to have fun in my kitchen. It is usually the best time for taking photographs and I never know what I am going to do. Hence lots of “kitchen adventures” (AKA realizing you do not have an ingredient halfway through the process) brew up in the afternoons but that is part of my story with food.

What part of your day is tough? How do you move through it?

When 4 pm hits, my energy absolutely crashes. I have fibromyalgia and that is when I usually hit the couch until dinner time. Lately I have been trying to avoid the couch at that time of day and make sure I am anywhere where I can not lie down and see how I feel. If I really need the rest, I will rest. But if I feel OK, maybe I can shoot a kitchen video.

What do you wish your were more conscious of?

In some ways I really wish I was more conscious of a focus when it comes to food. I honestly have no idea what I am going to do in my kitchen each day until I am in there and then I just follow the energy. As a result, my food writing and photography are completely random but sometimes I wonder if it would be smarter to target a particular foodie project. When I do though, I get hopelessly depressed. I seem to thrive on freedom so no focus yet and it has been over five years of food blogging!

How do you stay focused on what is truly important to you?

SuzieRidler2I love learning and sharing but I think what is truly important to me is to share my story and truth. If a recipe was hard and frustrating, I tell the story. I want to entertain, inspire and include others in what is going on in my kitchen and life. It is not always positive but it is always true. There is no energy in lies and just writing a recipe bores the hell out of me.

It’s me, Sherri, jumping in here. Check this out. It’s our first interview that came with a recipe: White Chocolate Pumpkin Snickerdoodles. You know, in case you’re still working on your menu for tomorrow. (Or if you thought you were finished until you saw that.) Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

SuzieRidler1About Suzie Ridler:

Suzie Ridler is known as Suzie the Foodie and has been having foodie adventures in her kitchen for over five years. She is a writer, photographer, product reviewer and rebel.

Follow Suzie here:
www.suziethefoodie.com
YouTube: suziethefoodie
Facebook: @suziethefoodie
Twitter: @suzieridler
Pinterest: @suziethefoodie

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Post-deadline Afterglow

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Hello, world. I’ve missed you. Okay, so it’s only been two weeks since my last post, but it feels a lot longer.

I had three editing projects all due within a week of each other, so as the deadlines approached I ducked further into my cave, shutting off the world, ignoring phone calls, missing friends. It was a time of buckling down and doing what needed to be done, even if it meant my three-year-old watched a lot of TV while I worked.

Yesterday was the last of the three deadlines and it was glorious. I spent the morning doing back-to-back loads of laundry, cleaning my kitchen, paying bills, completing preschool paperwork. Okay, I realize that may not sound glorious, but it was. I find that when I’ve been in my cave of work, the everyday minutiae of housework is gratifying.

Midday I settled in with a blanket on a sunny couch for a 15-minute nap. Usually that short amount of time wouldn’t be enough for me to fall asleep so it would be frustrating, but yesterday in the post-deadline afterglow I must have gone right out.

In the afternoon I soaked up the warm 70-degree weather (a welcome change from the bitter low 30s we had last week) while my son played in his sandbox.

The mail brought the new Bella Grace magazine and an artsy deck of oracle cards. I’m pretty certain the universe was trying to help me celebrate.

Last night my husband and I went grocery shopping to get our final needs for Thanksgiving (another box checked off), then we worked together on a new soup recipe (which was delicious). We cuddled on the couch and watched a few episodes of Warehouse 13 and after putting my son to bed, I took a bubble bath and read on my new Kindle.

By nighttime, the cold that has been mildly afflicting me for the last two weeks turned into a full-on sore throat and this morning, I definitely feel it coming on with a vengeance. But even that doesn’t bother me too much because at least it remained small while I had to work and gave me a day of catch-up and rest before hitting harder.

The point is this: everyday life is sweet. In the afterglow of deadlines that is extra apparent. And I’m thankful that the universe gave me just the day I needed to reconnect with the sweetness.

Today I’ll settle in with warm drinks, leftover soup, and the exhale of accomplishment.

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Flecks #30

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As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I’m learning and celebrating.

Things I learned this week:

  • WordPress hates me, I think. After 20 minutes working on a post, it produced an error and lost my work. Grrrr. Lesson: Type the post elsewhere first, then paste it into WordPress.
  • How to clean my washing machine. (I’m not sure how it gets so gross to begin with, but for now it looks almost new.)
  • The motor vehicle building is quick to get through on a rainy day.
  • I can write more than I think I can.

Things I’m celebrating this week:

  • My husband is back safely from his business trip.
  • Starting a new online course called Write Your Freakin’ Heart (+ guts) Out.
  • Writing. I’ve done a fair amount of it this week.
  • So much progress on an editing job.
  • Exploring a neighboring town which I drive through all the time, but never really visit. (The above photograph of chairs is from there.)

Things that are resonating with me:

AnnapurnaLivingI’ve spent a lot of time this week on Annapurna Living, a site launched Monday by Carrie-Ann Moss. (Remember Trinity from Matrix? Yes, that Carrie-Ann Moss.) Her goal with the site is to nourish, uplift, and inspire the fierce, feminine soul.

Yes.

A bunch of amazing women are contributing, including Alisha Sommer who graced us with an interview earlier this year. Incidentally, one of my goals is to be a contributor.

The Wild Surrender of Motherhood by Carrie-Ann Moss in which she says, “As children, we do not remember so much what we had or did not have, but we will remember the spirit of our mother, we will remember the feeling of her happiness, the feeling of her ability to love us and to be joyful.” This is a good reminder for me on how to live right.

The Secret Life of Vulnerability by Hillary Rain wherein she says, “To be vulnerable is to allow for the possibility of suffering. But it’s also to allow for the possibility of living. We can’t have one without the other.”

Your turn:

What did you learn this week? What are you celebrating? Leave a comment and I’ll share a “Woohoo!”

 

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Interview: Stefanie Modri

Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives. Which is exactly why I love this interview series.

This week, I’d like to introduce you to Stefanie Modri. Stefanie is an obstetrics nurse and founder of The American Garden Tool Co. which, as the name implies, sells all American-made garden tools.

She has taught me a lot about organic gardening and is brilliantly helping Jeff and I dream up plans for our new farm. (Incidentally, our husbands went to high school and college together, so I have them to thank for meeting this fascinating woman. Thanks, guys!)

Meet Stefanie.

StefanieModriWhat have you been wonderstruck by recently?

I asked my husband to help me answer this and he said, “Honey, you are constantly wonderstruck!” He’s right. I am. I guess I’ll choose the most recent wonderstruck event–the process of moving a house down the street, around the corner, wherever, but without it all falling apart. Just the concept of up and moving a whole house has intrigued me for years. 

Recently, we were in Cape May, New Jersey. The Angel by the Sea bed and breakfast, I learned, used to be one big house further away from the beach. At one point, the home was moved to be closer to the beach. However, it was so large that it had to be cut into two halves to successfully move it. What looks like two homes joined by a walkway is actually one big home, split and settled further apart than it originally was. I am fascinated that a house doesn’t shift and become an utter wreck by the time it lands in its new destination.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

Since I work night shift, I am thankful when I am able to sleep in my own bed at night. Often times, I want to tell others to be thankful for sleeping in their bed at night, every night. However, it wouldn’t really mean anything to them if they never have to work at night away from their home. I am also thankful to have a husband readily available every morning to help get our children to school on time and safely.

What part of your day is tough? How do you move through it?

I think the only part that is tough is the after school homework and getting dinner ready time. I have come to deal with it better by 1) trying to have a part of the dinner prepared before they come home from school, 2) shutting off technology and not making phone calls or doing business work during the after school time, and 3) sitting next to the kids when they do their work, rather than just hovering over and visiting them while they work. The kids and I can stay on task better this way and we each have less distractions. Plus, I can watch them do their work, which helps to catch mistakes they may make and can help them to improve their learning.

What do you wish your were more conscious of?

The faces I make. I know I make faces. I don’t have a poker face. I would also like to be more conscious of the odd things I say. I am just being me but I may not always realize how my words are being interpreted.

How do you stay focused on what is truly important to you?

Lists, lists and more lists. I balance being a wife, mother of two, commuting nurse, business owner, writer, community member and several other roles by making blocked lists of the different segments of my life. I take a piece of paper, fold it into eight sections and title each section. The lists of goals/what needs to get done for each section help me to stay focused and not get overwhelmed. Otherwise, the list looks like it is 50 items long! I also take long baths and naps, early and often. I don’t indulge in expensive gifts for myself but I do like to vacation. Ultimately, I try to think about what I will be happy about when I die. I am happy to spend time with my whole family and I try to do things that I completely enjoy, even if I am not perfect at doing them.

StefanieModri3cropAbout Stefanie Modri:

I have been an obstetrics nurse for over 16 years, have lived in Hawaii, love to travel to Europe and enjoy running my company, The American Garden Tool Co. I have completed two sprint triathlons: the first one, I came in second to last; the second one, third to last. I had a blast doing each of them, and met my goal to just finish and have fun–even if I only started training a few weeks beforehand.

I am married and have two kids. And I knew I was going to marry him the moment I saw him 17 years ago. 

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Collecting Soul Samples

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As you may already know from last week’s post, my husband and I recently collected soil samples at our new farm.

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A few times during the afternoon, I typed on my phone about it. Every time I did so, the oh-so-helpful spellcheck changed it to “soul sample.”

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And while having to fix it repeatedly was frustrating, I was struck by the sentiment. Because when I am at the farm, I feel my soul cup filling.

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I feel connection and peace. I am truly collecting soul samples.

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How lucky we are to have found this space.

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How much luckier we will be to call it home.

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Flecks #29

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As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I’m learning and celebrating.

Things I learned this week:

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Things I’m celebrating this week:

  • Halloween! I experienced my first trunk-or-treat. My friend Laura and I went in on a trunk together. Her husband lent his drawing skills for this Great Pumpkin theme.

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Happy Halloween!

Your turn:

What did you learn this week? What are you celebrating? Leave a comment and I’ll share a “Woohoo!”

 

 

 

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