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We Need the Storm

“It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder.  We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.”

-Frederick Douglass

Need the Storm Douglas 5-8-19

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Goddess Dream Team

In Awakening Shakti, Sally Kempton discusses that Shakti is the expression of divine feminine power.  Shakti or this power has five faces which are consciousness, bliss, will, knowledge, and action.

  • Consciousness – the power of being in the present
  • Bliss – the power of experience natural happiness
  • Desire – the power of unstoppable will
  • Knowledge – the power of intuitive knowing and self-organization
  • Action – the power to do anything

6228522 - rubies on black surfaceDivine feminine power or Shakti is inherent in all of us (regardless of our gender identity).  It is like an uncut gem.  It is valuable in it’s own right.  When a gemstone is cut, the value is increased.  Facets of a gemstone let light in, reveal brilliance, clarity, strength, and beauty.  The facets illuminate this power.  Each of the faces of Shakti are like those facets of a gemstone.  They help to reveal the immense power, value, uniqueness, and beauty, that resides within us.

She is worth far more than rubies.  -Proverbs 31:10

Do you see these qualities of consciousness, bliss, desire, knowledge, and action in yourself?  Some of these aspects are readily available to us and easy to access, while others may need a little polish.  This can be because we have natural strengths or inclinations to one of these gifts.  Often our natural tendency is to lean into our strengths or obvious gifts, thereby neglecting other areas.  This just means we may need to put a little focus or work into other areas.

A great way to explore these faces of Shakti or aspects of the Goddess is to explore archetypes.  Archetypes personify characteristics and create an example, which allow us to see those characteristics in ourselves and others.  With an example, focus and maybe a little bit of work, we can reveal, develop and nurture these characteristics in ourselves.

Archetypes can be real or imagined figures.  What’s important is that you can connect and relate to them.  So, if you were to assemble a dream team of girl power or goddesses for inspiration, who would you choose?  Here are a few examples that resonate with me:

  • Consciousness – Sr. Helen Prejean, Dr. Jane Goodall, Mari Copeny
  • Bliss – Shiva Rea, Oprah Winfrey, Ina Garten,
  • Desire – Serena Williams, Bethany Hamilton, Helen Keller
  • Knowledge – Malala Yousafzai, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Katherine Johnson
  • Action – Mother Theresa, Shannon Watts, Coretta Scott King

Once your dream team is assembled you can use them for inspiration and exploration.  Welcome them as part of your intention for meditation, mindfulness or asana practice.  I hope that their example of the feminine divine, of Shakti, of power, help for your power to be revealed and shared.

God may be in the details, but the goddess is in the questions.

Once we begin to ask them, there’s no turning back.

-Gloria Steinem

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Goddess

“God may be in the details, but the goddess is in the questions. Once we begin to ask them, there’s no turning back.”

 -Gloria Steinam

Goddess Steinam 5-1-19

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Earth Delights

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”

-Khalil Gibran

Earth Delights Gibran 4-24-19

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Dance

“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.”

-Agnes de Mille

Dance de Mille 4-17-19.jpg

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Reduce Food Waste

fruit food waste blog picAs a family, we are regularly looking for ways to be kinder to the environment.  We’ve switched to reusable water bottles, pack lunches in reusable containers, and bring our reusable grocery bags to the store.  But, there’s always more we can do.

Recently, we’ve become very aware of the amount of food that we waste.  Food waste is a waste of money, resources and it has a negative impact to the environment.
Here’s a few things we’ve done to be more mindful about the food we purchase and prepare:

Make Smaller Portions: I’m from a family of 9, so small portions was never something I was familiar with.  I was trained at a very early age to make extra.  I’m very good at making enough dinner, treats, or snacks to feed a small army.  The problem is that my little army of 5 (most of the time 4 with one at college) doesn’t need that much.  First I started scaling back, now I’m pretty good at making just enough for our family dinners (I still have a bit of a problem if we have people over). The sweet spot is to make enough that everyone had plenty to eat, but there aren’t heaps of leftovers.  At the end of the week, much less food gets thrown out because there wasn’t an excess.

Leftover Night: Despite my best efforts, there are often times leftovers.  I’m happy to eat them for lunch, but it’s not my family’s favorite option.  As a team effort at least once a week we have leftovers for our meal.  A common phrase you’ll hear is, “I get a prize, I emptied a container!”

Save for a Rainy Day:  Instead of letting leftovers take their chances of being eaten for lunch or leftover night, I will often package them up right away, throw them in the freezer and use them at a later time.  If it’s not realistic that they will be finished in a day or two, they get to extend their time in the freezer. Fresh vegetables can be salvaged too.  Just blanche them in boiling water and freeze.  They can be used later in a stir-fry or blended into a sauce.

Repurpose Leftovers: We are omnivores at our house, so often times I do this with the meat portion of a meal.  Ground beef initially used for runzas can be set aside and used another time as a pizza topping, pulled pork can be used another time for burritos, and roasted potatoes can be used another time for stew.  Sometimes I’ll do this right away, portions of Monday’s meal will show up on Wednesday, other time’s I’ll pull a container from the freezer and use that.

Keep the Refrigerator Bare:  If the refrigerator is really full more things go to waste.  There’s only so much our family can eat in a week.  Also, if you can’t see what’s in there, if you can’t easily move things around to get to containers, items get pushed to the back and are forgotten.  Nobody likes to pull out a container of “what is this” or “when did we have burgers”.

Repurpose Overripe Fruits:  There’s apparently a banana cycle that I’m not in sync with.  Some weeks my family will mow down a bunch of bananas in record time.  Other weeks nobody touches them.  The good news is that they like banana bread (so do high school track athletes).  Easy-peasy.  You just pop them in the freezer (peels and all) when they get overripe and use them to bake with later.  I also do this with other fruits that are just past their prime. Apple a little mushy?  Dice it up and put it in oatmeal.  Too much cantaloupe?  Freeze it and use it in a smoothie.  Fruits are very forgiving if you just give them a chance.  Don’t let a little bruise or yucky spot spoil the whole piece.  You can probably still use it!

Our family has been focusing on reducing food waste for the last couple of months and I’ve noticed a difference.  We are wasting less food and our grocery bill has come down a bit.  There is still more that can be done, but every little bit, every little change makes a difference to our family and to the environment.  What can you do to reduce?

 

 

 

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Notice

“I am going to notice the lights of the earth, the sun and the moon and the stars, the lights of our candles as we march, the lights with which spring teases us, the light that is already present”

-Anne Lamott

Earth Lights Lamott 4-10-19

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