Sunday, April 25, 2010

We Are Magic

 1920 Census Form

This past week started off on a sad note...I attended a phenomenal young boy's funeral.  That will certainly put things into perspective.  The thought that he fought cancer for most of his too-short life, and fought bravely, made me realize that now is for living. Not tomorrow or next week...NOW.

Creative Dreaming has asked that we begin to realize that we can create and live our dreams because we are magic.  It has also asked us to relax into them and see that we don't have to struggle and push to see things happen.  I think that when we push, we tend to miss the important things.

This reminds me of my favorite Rumi quote: " Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love." I've also been thinking about something my herbal teacher said during our last class: "You can't grasp at joy, you can only open to it."

I believe in both these quotes whole-heartedly.  When I don't push and just be who I am and do what I love...the doors are open and amazing things come in.  Sometimes they don't pan out but the thrill of them in general shows me what is possible.

So, how am I living life now? I'm Letting myself be drawn by the stronger pull of what I really love :)

I've been researching my family history and seeing just how uber French Canadian we are!  We go back on both sides (mostly to Quebec) hundreds of years. I've gotten back to the early 1700s and still haven't hit France! I'm loving this search! My dream would be to plan a trip to Quebec to trace my family and write about it. I'm also interested into looking into establishing dual citizenship if that's a possibility.

 Look at all those "Canadas"

I, of course, have also been thinking about what my next adventure to Scotland will be made up of.  There's so much I'd like to do out there!  I'd love to rent a self-catering cottage with friends and enjoy some Lion's Share cooking, blogging and togetherness.  I'd love to do an experience week (or more) at Findhorn. I'd love to walk the West Highland Way, I'd love to help re-plant trees in the Caledonian Forest,  I'd love to visit Iona again. I've also been turned on to the idea of studying Gaelic at the Sabhal Mor Ostaig on Skye. Where to begin!?

I've submitted a photo to a group show that my Women Artists Salon is doing on The Lower East Side.  I used it in my "Very Affirming" Blog.

And last, but not least...I have succeeded in paying off another credit card. Now onto the last (and biggest). My savings account keeps growing too (thanks tax refunds)!

Next up...some much needed Spring cleaning. I really need three day weekends so I can have one day to just lay around and nap and then the other two to cook, clean and blog.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Self Care in Difficult Times

 Dandelions Collected to Make Oil

Another Creative Dreaming assignment! To make a list of "Stuff to do When Things Suck."

I found myself thinking about all the things that bring me joy and realized that I have a hard time doing stuff when things suck...unless "stuff" means sitting on my couch wallowing and watching 80s Spy and Detective Shows on DVD.

I suppose that could be #1 :)  

So I think having an actual list to refer to, or just as a reminder of fun, is a great idea.

  • Watch something silly or uplifting.
  • Knit
  • Make a delicious cappuccino 
  • Enjoy a tea infusion
  • Work in the kitchen and sing along to my iPod
  • Organize dinner in or out with friends
Favorite After Work/Theatre Spot

  • Make some medicine
  • Cook 
  • Sing
  • Play my violin
  • Read something inspiring
  • Write
  • Hot baths
  • Reconnect with things I used to love to do
 I hadn't been to a Broadway show in a while...Loved it!

 My Addams Family Mug/Spoon

  • Creative projects of any kind
  • Talk with friends
  • Photograph beautiful things
  • Get outside and wander a bit in the park
 Forest Park

 I spread a blanket and read for a while

 Tree Lady

  • Practice Gratitude
  • Dance
  • Have a *good* Cry 
  • Listen to soul-soothing music

What's on your list?

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Sowing the Seeds of Abundance

    I'm catching up with some Creative Dreaming assignments after posting all my Dublin blogs.  This particular one deals with money and abundance.  We were asked to plant seeds to represent our finances and tend to them and watch them grow.

    I love this idea...not only because I'm doing an herbal apprenticeship and have a love for plants...but because it puts a creative spin on my money.  It's much more fulfilling than staying glued to my bank account online.  I do this too, but it feels draining whereas the plants gentle my heart.

    I look at experiences as seeds too.  For instance, every trip I've taken has planted seeds inside my soul that have blossomed into the woman I am and becoming.


    I bought this charming little craft kit with grass seeds and little monster to sew a few years back...this was the perfect opportunity to use it!

    I had also bought some Heather seeds at an indoor market in Inverness back in I couldn't resist planting them as well.

    I'm sure no one's surprised :)

    Can you see them!? They're tiny...but growing!

    Germinating new plants is so exciting (so is paying down my debt and saving).  I feel like a kid, running over to the pots every day to see how my "babies" are doing...and how my abundance is growing.


    Saturday, April 10, 2010

    Day Tour of Wicklow!

    You know when you let life point you in the direction you should go? Even with the simplest of always turns out to be exactly where you need to be. Lately, I've been trying to live my life this way.

    This particular example was our Day Tour of Wicklow. We just asked the front desk to recommend a tour and in 5 minutes we were signed up.

    Our tour guide, John, was like an old friend from the moment we approached him on O'Connell Street. Everything he said was something I needed to hear.

    The Fabulous John!

    Sara and I at a beautiful photo stop

    Every molecule in my body relaxes when out in the open, breathing fresh air.  Staring out at the vastness and thinking about everything...and nothing.

    The water used for making Guinness comes from the Wicklow Mountains. We were literally at the source!

    A little babbling brook of Guinness :)

    John and Sara :)

    A lake of Guinness (Lough Tay)

    My twisted love affair with photographing cemeteries continues.  This one, at Glendalough, had a beautiful wildness and energy to it. The trees were shimmering and the stones were glowing after the rain:

    I learned that Ireland was a Scotland stand-in for "Braveheart."  It's like I've been living a lie!  :)  This is where the wedding scene was filmed...Gorgeous:

    We stopped for lunch in Avoca, where Ballykissangel was filmed...


    I wonder if "Cheesy Chips" are like "Disco Fries"


    Irish Soda Bread...of course!

    I would have licked the bowl clean had I not been in public...

    Where Thomas Moore wrote "The Meeting of the Waters"

    Us and John

    Back in Dublin

    My best friend's Dad nick-named me "Leeson" when we were kids


    Thanks Again John!


    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    Thank Goodness for Guinness

    Me, after our free pint :)

    The day after our night out in Dublin we visited the Guinness Storehouse! The exhibit is really well designed...



    (Yeast rounds out the list of ingredients in Guinness)

    Sara got this lovely shot of the wall

    The remains of my free pint.  

    When we got up to The Gravity Bar, one of my new favorite songs was playing, "Coming up Easy" by Paolo Nutini. Bliss...

    View from The Gravity Bar

    On our way to the Storehouse, we passed the oldest pub in Dublin, The Brazen Head, est. 1198!  So on the way back we stopped in for some dinner and a pint.  Sara ingeniously used the photo she had taken to see if they served food (zooming in on her camera to read the signs out front) as we made our way from a quick rest in Phoenix Park. She should be a detective!

    I had Irish stew and we chatted with a hilarious Scottish man and his family at the next table.  We were talking and laughing with them so much the hostess combined our bills because she thought we were together!

    Good times.


    *Thank You to Sara for the use of a few photos (Hops, Brazen Head, "Poetry in a Pint," and ME!)