Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Intentions for the New Moon

I woke up on today's new moon wondering what my intention for this lunar cycle would be.  For whatever reason I am not up to making a vision board, although they are quite fun.  My board from May is still very relevant and I am quite inspired by it, so there was nothing I felt like adding right now.  That very thought is what led to realizing what my intention could be...

There was nothing I felt like adding right now.  

Clutter and I go way back.  I have always struggled with the accumulation of STUFF.  I have a very difficult time getting rid of things and end up in a near constant state of chaos.

Over the past couple years I have really started to address this.  I have worked with professional organizers, lovely women, who held my hand and thankfully refrained from rolling their eyes while I hemmed and hawed about what I should keep and what could be donated or tossed.  But it never stuck.  Within a few months I would be right back to square one.

Back in February I participated in the lovely Hannah Marcotti's Making Space Cleanse.  Hannah's approach  led me to actually making real progress for the first time!  I took some baby steps that have lasted this long!  But still, it is a constant struggle in my life, and when I really let it get to me, it affects my husband and kids as well.

Hannah taught me about making space for the energy that I want in my life.  This goes far beyond STUFF...but includes how I take care of myself.  All of the clutter, all of the stuff that I was reluctant to part with, was causing me to stagnate creatively as well as with my health.

So...back to the Leo new intention is to only add what is necessary and to get rid of as much clutter as I make even more space.  Having the kids home from school this summer adds an extra challenge there, but I have seen how much they flourish when I am actually able to keep the house clutter-free.

Starting over on this new moon...getting rid of as much as I can and adding as little as possible...

Monday, July 16, 2012

A new project

Starting a new project is often very intimidating for me...but finishing is even more so! In the spirit of procrastination, I started knitting a simple lacy wrap to wear to my baby brother's 12 days. I was going to use a pattern I found on Ravelry, but in the interest of time and ease I have decided to freestyle it. I hope to have a finished product to post before July 28th!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Lady of the House

She was here when we moved in. She seems so much a part of the house, I have no intention of moving her. I love how she seems to be looking out onto the yard, I like to think of her as the protectress of my vegetable garden.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Shyness is nice...

"Ask" by the Smiths is on constant replay in my head this morning as I sent my shy boy off to his last day of nature camp.  His best buddy could not be there yesterday, so L was quite a bit apprehensive to go today, worrying that his friend might not come.  I can relate all too well to that feeling, that deep anxiety of "who will I talk to?" and "who will I sit with?".  As his mama I try to equip him with the tools he needs to work with these situations, and in doing so I often find myself building up my own toolbox.

I've learned to embrace my shyness as just another part of who I am. Even at 38 years old I still find my heart beating a bit too fast when it comes to "who will I talk to?" or "who will I sit with?" There is a lovely TED talk on the gift of introvertedness and plenty of amazing blogger folks out there who have recently written about their own shyness in support of one another.  It is really so reassuring to me to see people viewing shyness in a more positive light.

My shy boy is actually a total extrovert.  It just takes him awhile to get to that point of comfort with people.  He makes friends easily, but doing so often makes him so nervous and unsure of himself.  It is my job and my goal to help him to see that this is part of who he is, and that's OK.  This can be part of his gift.  I have seen him channel his own shyness into empathy for other children who may feel the same, and making some really great little friends.

I came across this blog post this morning and felt compelled to share.  When I pick up L from camp I am excited to hear how it went today.  I am grateful to have a child who teaches me so much.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Lovely Lavender Lemonade

My parents have the magic touch when it comes to growing lavender. Each summer their yard is filled with the gorgeous fragrance and elegant flowers. It is probably because of that that I have such a fondness for this herb.

When I was in college a friend introduced me to aromatherapy, and I was hooked. It soon seemed, however, that I always came back to my favorite, which is lavender.

Therapeutically lavender is so beneficial and it's uses are endless. Culinary-wise, it provides a distinguished yet subtle flavor. Yesterday I made a lovely pitcher of lavender mint lemonade, and I am sipping it now as I type.

I made a lavender simple syrup, which is just sugar and water (equal parts) in a pot until boiling, then remove from heat and add fresh lavender flowers. I just eyeballed the measurements with what I had on hand, so maybe 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water, and 1/3 cup lavender. Keep in mind I used fresh lavender, so the amount would be different if using dried. I let the lavender steep about 20 minutes in the syrup, then poured it into a pitcher. From there, I squeezed two lemons and added water to fill, and lots of ice. I then tore some mint leaves into small pieces and pressed them to the bottom of the pitcher with a wooden spoon, crushing them a bit to release their oils.

I thought this was the perfect summertime beverage. My kids on the other hand, not so much. They would have liked it sweeter. If I do make them a pitcher again, I will add honey. Honey makes everything better! Happy sipping!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sore throat weekend

Not that anyone ever enjoys having a sore throat...but I really, really hate it. As a kid I would get strep throat at least once a year, and had what seemed like one long continuous cold all through elementary school. Thankfully as an adult I am much healthier! Yet something about a sore throat brings back those miserable feelings of "when will this end?" and "what did I do wrong?".

Having birthed four children I feel a bit ridiculous lamenting a sore throat! All in all, it really is not that horrible...just uncomfortable. Lack of comfort...moving beyond comfort...

What is the best way to handle moving beyond one's own comfort zone (speaking in a larger sense here, not just about my throat)? What does that physical feeling of discomfort try to tell is in our bodies? In my case, I am guessing it is my body's signal that I need more rest and more water. I am guilty of pontificating on the benefits of adequate hydration but then falling short myself. I suppose it is another one of those lessons...

When I re-frame minor discomfort I can see it for the gift, or lesson, that it is. Now major discomfort, whether it is physical or emotional, is a bit more difficult (at least for me) to re-frame. What is my body telling me, and why? I try to tune in, and listen.

Monday, July 2, 2012

On the Eve of the Mead Moon

A few years ago I discovered a lovely book, "Full Moon Feast" by Jessica Prentice. Part cookbook, part Moon lore, part locavore's diary, this book captured my imagination and my appetite. I have always had a fascination with the moon, and longed to be more "in tune".

I somehow lost track of the book, but just re-discovered it today, just in time for tomorrow's Full Mead Moon ( aka Full Thunder Moon, and many other names depending on who you ask). A feast involving honey...goodness, anything involving just my thing! My first prep task was to cut back my mint, which I think I will combine with honey (my favorite, from Risk's Apiary/Swarm Naturals) for a simple syrup. I'm going to have to look at Prentice's recipes and see what else I can come up with.

I am taking an online course from Samantha Honey Pollock called "Intuitive Moon Wisdom", and really enjoying it! It feels good to be "in tune", once again!