Sunday 29 January 2012

The creative juices are flowing....

I woke up one morning with a thought: I need to make Dream Catchers! This is not the first time I had had this thought.  I can recall being at a holiday party a couple of years ago, eavesdropping on a conversation about these dreamy little catchers, and before I knew it I was asking the woman to teach me how to make one.  It never panned out, as I left for Ecuador a short time later.  However, when the thought popped in this time I was listening, and the next thing I knew I was off to the store to get supplies.  I like things to be as authentic as possible, so I collected some branches while dog walking, and some feathers close to a house nearby that had these really neat looking birds.  After some trials and tribulations, I created my first Dream Catcher.

I have felt a connection to Native traditions for some time now, and I especially resonate with Dream Catchers, given my regular vivid dream recall coupled with my interest in symbolism and the sacred.

According to Native Americans, dreams that humans have while they sleep, are sent by sacred spirits as messages.  Their Legend says that the center of the Dream Catcher has a hole, and the good dreams are permitted to reach the sleeper through this hole in the web.  As for the bad dreams, the web traps them and they disappear at dawn with the first light. For this reason, dream catchers are supposed to be placed in an East facing window, so that when the first sun of the day appears the bad dreams are washed away.

The Ojibwe Tribe were apparently the very first people to make Dream Catchers as a way to protect their infants against bad dreams that could possibly come throughout the night.  They kind of symbolize a spider web, and this weave seems logical given their task of protection. 

I hung my Dream Catcher on my bedroom door handle the first night, yes, this was before I was told they were supposed to hang in a window, regardless though, that night I had a powerful memorable dream.  My spirit was definitely sending me a message!

Saturday 28 January 2012

Hasta luego, rancho!

So this is my second to last day at my ranch house sit, and though I am ready to move on, I will miss the landscapes, Cooper, the sweet, protective, comical dog, and daily hugs from Mocha the lady horse.  The cat, too, was quite comical, though not at six o'clock in the morning when she was meowing outside my door waiting for her daily breakfast to be delivered to her bowl!  Lots of profound memories.  I experienced my first MAJOR snowfall here in BC, which disappeared in two days to my amazement.  I love the island!  I acquired major leg muscles from walking close to an hour a half a day every day.  I soaked up the sun, when it was shining, the rain, when it was pouring down, and the moon, on the nights when it was truly breathtaking.  My time spent in nature and with the animals here has really given me the opportunity to do some major spiritual healing, and for that I am grateful.
 All in all it was a fun and enriching learning experience, and now I head to a neighbouring town, called Nanoose, to be close to the beach and to care for another lovely little doggie.  :O)

Sunday 22 January 2012

Rise Up, Rise Up, and Show Your Power!

On this lovely rainy, windy, and damp winter Sunday, I decided to get to work on some projects:

1) making dream catchers, and

2) practicing guitar.

My guitar teacher asked me to find good practice songs; ones that contain only two chords, so began the search on-line to find the "easy" songs.  On my search I stumbled across a powerful and punchy song by John Lennon, "Working Class Hero".  Seriously people, the free thinkers in the 60's and 70's sure knew how to stand up for themselves.  It is a song like this, and many of the songs by Cat Stevens, a personal favourite, that were the driving force, or perhaps a reflection of the shift.  Yes, a time of change, and I feel we are once again at a crossroads.  Religion, politics, and the ways we have always done things are being questioned, scrutinized, and even rejected.  Take for example, Foster Gamble's recent movie, "Thrive".  The very foundation that societies have been built on are coming tumbling down like the Tower card in a deck of Tarot.  Okay that may be a little dramatic, though perhaps not when you start exploring various documentary films that are capturing the movement towards a new paradigm.  A new way of existing in the world, or rather co-existing, is beginning to form.  The shape is beautiful, I think. 

Now moving from the macrocosm to the microcosm, I am beginning to take a stand for what I believe in.  In the past year, I have been in an intense process of examining my thoughts and my beliefs, and reprogramming my mind to create more peace and harmony within; my wish is to feel free to be me.  So this little ditty by John Lennon spoke to that part of me that is beginning to take a stand for what I am passionate about: personal freedom!  Wow, all of these thoughts began out of me wanting to share the lyrics to "Working Class Hero".  Here they are....perhaps they resonate; perhaps they do not.

As soon as you're born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
A working class hero is something to be

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool
Till you're so ****ing crazy you can't follow their rules
A working class hero is something to be

When they've tortured and scared you for twenty-odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can't really function you're so full of fear
A working class hero is something to be

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you're so clever and classless and free
But you're still ****ing peasants as far as I can see
A working class hero is something to be

There's room at the top they're telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill

A working class hero is something to be
If you want to be a hero well just follow me

That is all for today.  Doggie is needing a walk now....Need to get suited up to brave the elements. 

One more thing, "Rise Up", by the Nylons, is also another powerful song if you need a little push to take action on something, though it's way too difficult a song to tackle on the guitar...for now. :o)

Thursday 19 January 2012

Horoscope Happenings

There is a great website I peruse from time to time:  It is of German decent, and it is by far the best astrology website I have come by.  As for the "daily" predictive horoscopes, I am a bit of a skeptic in all honesty.  However, after having had my natal astrological chart read by my most favorite Astrologer, Julia Beyer, I am a firm believer in "as above, so below"!  Yes,  those little beautiful twinkling stars that we see in the nights' sky are an accurate reflection of what is going on down here on Earth.  

Today was one of those days I decided to seek and receive guidance from the stars, and I am so glad I did!

Here is the blurb:

Great advances ***
Valid during many months: This influence will enable you to reach a deeper understanding of illness and health, as well as the process of division and becoming whole again. If your work involves helping others you will have new opportunities to get a sense of that which lies behind human suffering. It is important when dealing with incurable diseases to see them within a wider context, which can help us accept them and cope with greater dignity. Don't allow chances to slip by which could deepen your education on these issues. You could attend seminars or a course of further education, or might even have the opportunity to start a new course of study. That which applies to the physical also applies to the psychological, where long-standing pain can continue to influence us, causing us to feel insecure, fearful, inadequate, ashamed or vulnerable. The deeper purpose underlying such forms of suffering can only be understood on an individual level. This is a particularly good time to start a course or begin some kind of training concerned with such issues, or to undergo an appropriate form of therapy. It is important to understand that you will only be able to help yourself and others if you can admit that you also need help. Try not to fall into the trap of feeling superior if others confide in you - even if you are making great strides in your personal development. It is only by not losing sight of your own need for help that you will truly be able to help others to understand and accept themselves. 

So this write-up is particularly fitting given my desire to re-create the kind of work I do - thus far it has been bodywork and energy medicine.  I am wishing to expand and integrate the two somehow, to be living and working in my passion, and I am asking for guidance.  Plus, this blurb confirms my action around seeking help in working through some of my own blocks, making me more available to help others.  This is ultimately my goal.  A new course of study.....hmmm.... 

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Nourishing News

I had a lovely conversation with my good friend, Duane, today.  Our discussions are always juicy and life affirming in the best way possible.  Plus, he always shares his latest discoveries on health and wellness with me.  So grateful for our relationship.  Today he introduced me to Sally Fallon,  President of the Westin A. Price Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to restore nutrient-dense foods in people's diets.  It seems the machine age era has brought about heavily processed and radiated foods, and consumption of these foods have been linked to the upsurge of many illnesses and diseases in today's times.  Increasingly there is a movement back to the wise old traditions of eating simple nutrient rich foods, and, believe it or not, a simple beef bone soup stock is at the top of the list!

Here is a recipe Duane shared with me, from the book "Nourishing Traditions", by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, for bone soup stock:

1) Find a source of grass-fed beef, preferably farm direct, and ask about bones. You’re looking for large femur and knuckle bones. 

2) Save any ribs or bones from steaks that you eat in the freezer. Continue to add meat scraps until you have enough to make broth.
3) Same with veggies; start saving the “butts” of your celery, carrot shavings/tops, and random pieces of veggies that can become a “stock kit” in your freezer.
4) When cooking your broth, assemble all ingredients in a pot with water.  Add 1-2 TBS of vinegar and let it sit, unheated, for 30 minutes to an hour. The vinegar, being acidic, acts to draw the minerals out of the bones so that they are released into the broth.
5) Once you begin cooking, you will see “scum” form at the top of the broth. Gently skim this off. These are the impurities rising from the cooking process.
6)  Bring to a boil and skim. Add any veges you’d like (this is not necessary, just for taste). Decrease temperature and simmer for 4 hours to 24 hours. The longer you simmer the more minerals you’ll extract.
7) Keep the broth in the fridge or freezer and serve on its own with salt or use in soups and sauces.

 I haven't tried this recipe myself yet, though I intend to at some point soon.

If you make the attempt, I would love to know how you make out.

Happy soup stocking!


Sunday 15 January 2012

From Toronto to Ecuador to British Columbia - Ashley's Life Adventure

Yes it has been quite a while since my last post. I have had very limited access to the internet over the past months, as here is what I was up to:

I had been feeling called to Ecuador for several months, and was not sure why, though something in my soul knew I was going to be leaving Toronto, and that same soul said, "Ecuador".  So I journeyed there in January 2011 with a loose plan. I dabbled in a Spanish language study program, lived with an Ecuadorian family for a month, bathed on a beach, immersed myself in the culture, and did a two week study in biodynamic farming and Earth based spirituality. Yet only once I was there for six weeks did my higher purpose in coming to Ecuador become clear.

In a truly divine way I was invited to participate in what evolved into a three month intensive study of mind consciousness, the nature of personal reality, with a gifted hypnotherapist, educator and life coach. Not only had I been given the opportunity for personal healing, but I was also given powerful tools and concepts to work with in helping people create change within themselves and, in turn, others.

I firmly believe that understanding one´s mind and the fundamentals of how our reality is created are key aspects of creating happiness and peace within the self and everyone and everything around us.

In July, with my fresh new set of eyes, I headed straight to where my heart wanted to go:  Beautiful British Columbia!

Over the last while, I have been experimenting with my newly learned concepts in my own life, and what a ride it has been!

More to come on this.  For now, my focus is on my internal process.
Living, loving, and laughing....