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Dolce far Niente – or – the art of doing NOTHING. Replay.

img_4049I am sure I have used this title in the past. But you know how the saying goes: Do something for at least 10,000 hours and you will be an expert.

Only a few thousand hours in, I have mastered the art of doing nothing. Me: mother of two, wife of one, keeper of chickens & a dog, community leader, 4-H parent, chauffeur, family referee, business women crafter, housecleaner, cook……

All you need is a like-minded friend and place to go. Off grid is preferred, but not necessary.

I am writing you while sitting on the porch, overlooking the majestic Lake Tahoe. This is the third time my friend, and partner in crime, Marie (you will recognize her as the other half of TwoWitchesinSuburbia) and I have rented a car and made our way up here.

We pack clothes, paint stuff, witch stuff, books, computers, practical shoes…..

I pick her up, and our first stop is to buy food. We both love to eat, so our basket is filled with bread, cheese, prosciutto, fruit, COFFEE, wine, snacks, etc.  Some would call it indulgent, we call it getting back to our European roots.

The ride up the mountain is leisurely, with lots of stops for coffee, random historic site adventuring, etc.

When we arrive, we unpack the food, open a bottle of wine, and exhale.

That last sentence about describes our weekend: Dolce far Niente.

We have figured out why we are such good friends for 16 years. We can both just be. We do not need to be entertained, we do not talk all the time, we do not need to “do” things. We talk short walks to make space for more food, plus the high elevation just about takes our breathe away when we just venture to the beach. We decided “going hiking” was overrated the first time we came here.

We can sit up here, stare at the lake, and be completely content. As long as there is food, and wine.

Our everyday lives are CRAZY. We are both artist’s and life entrepreneurs. We live in suburbia, and between us, we have 5 children, 2 husbands, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and lots of chickens. The families revolve around us all the time, and we manage just about every aspect of them. We both sell art, we both manage businesses. When we are here, we are just Heike & Marie, basta.

With that said, my message to you today is short & sweet:

Take some time away for yourself and just enjoy LIFE. Sit quietly and realize all the things that are good in your world. Breathe.

img_1223 img_1217 img_1211 20160924_095423 20160923_170502 20160923_164047 img_20160923_173715 img_20160924_102519 img_20160924_160528

Last five images courtesy of Marie Delange-Carlson :).

You can follow our every day adventures at Goddess in the Groove and Marie Delage-Carlson

 

 

Even good Shit can get overwhelming

It is 3am, and I am contemplating the purpose of life.

I was asleep, but was awakened by my frantic dog, barking at the door and intermittently coming to get me to tell me something is wrong. A houseparty up the the street from me must have exploded, there are hundreds of loud, slightly stupid sounding kids on my street. God, I hope my kids never sound or act like that. I can hear the police approaching, the crowd outside is getting antsy.

Anyways, I digress. 25 minutes later the street was back to its’ normal, quiet, sleepy suburbian boring self. My dog is now sleeping soundly under my bed, and I am fully awake.

After several rounds of guided meditations, a sleepy tea, an audiobook that did not grab me, some exercise….I decided to go the library and play book roulette. “A Love Story” popped up, I put it on my iPad, and was pleasantly surprised. An collection of short stories!

The first story is about Mavis, who locks herself in a bathroom for a week to think.

I have not finished the story, but am in love with Mavis. And I am jealous that I only have one bathroom. The thought of locking myself into a bathroom for a week, with food that I love (not nourishing, that I love), books, magazines, something to write, and maybe my wi-fi, is fantastic. I would also buy myself a one cup coffee machine for this adventure.

Lately, I have been restless and sleepless, and all around annoyed. I am not sure what is triggering this insolence, but I can feel little tentacles of bitchiness coming out. In one way, it is helping, as I am ruthlessly purging things that don’t make me happy, and that is a big feat right now. On the other hand, I took a pause in reading with Mavis to ask myself “What is wrong?”.

7733821_origI have a great family. I am not kidding, my husband, though truly nerve wracking, is a good and hardworking man. And obviously gifted with a inhumane amount of patience, as we will be married 20 years next week. I am not easy. My kids are both fantastic, spoiled, but fantastic. I have a house in suburbia, lots of stuff in it to keep my creative spirit busy, a dog, chickens, a back yard, wi-fi…..I don’t have a 9-5, so my crazy sleep/ no sleep schedule is doable. I really don’t know how I would function in the real world, I would have to take drugs.

Back to Mavis living in her bathroom. I am drawn to her because we are both yearning for the simple life. I am almost feel as if my life, and the stuff in it, are taking my breathe away. I am tempted to pimp out my van and go live in it. But then where would everyone else sleep?? How would the kids get to school and function? Who would cook heavy, meat based dinners for my hardworking husband, and where would all this damn laundry go??

Sitting here in the quiet, yet chaotic dining room sipping my warm milk with turmeric, I think I have hit the nail on the head.

Too much shit. Even good shit can get overwhelming.

Too many little responsibilities and needs of others suck away energy from the true purpose of what I am here for. Don’t get me wrong, being the mother of these gorgeous humans, and the wife/friend to my husband, the daughter to my mama, and the friend to my few, but true friends is fulfilling. Yet, I also want to find the energy to work with young women, find my witchy circle of women for ritual and growth, go camping by myself in the redwoods, publish my ebook, make KitchenWitches for fun and give them away (I had this dream that I traveled around and delivered custom KitchenWitches to women in different situations, and just made their day. I was like Ellen, only with Witches. It was fabulous, and now is on my “to do” list), things that make my spirit grow and bring in money to support it all comfortably. On that note, I also want another shepherd puppy.

It is time make things clear and simple again, and I need to do it before I am 79 and locked in a bathroom.

How are you finding your life’s purpose, Beautiful??

Hot Stuff had my back while I finally got my DREAM TATTOO

I finally got my tattoo.

This journey began when I was about 18. I really wanted a tattoo. At that time, tattoos were still a sign that you were either a biker chick, a hooker, a jailbird, and only if you looked very exotic could it MAYBE be a tribal thing. It was a tabu, and my family would have been aghast.

Even tScreen Shot 2016-08-11 at 11.19.22 PMhough, I wanted to get the Hot Stuff the Red Devil from Caspar the Friendly Ghost tattooed on my stomach. Don’t ask.

Alas, the taboo and the fact that the only place to get one was the redlight district, it did not happen. It’s a good thing, he would have been sliced in half two years later when I had my car accident.

Fast forward about a lifetime. In the last 10 years or so, tattoos have become such a mainstream thing, you see them everywhere. Every day I would awe or cringe away from someone’s body art. I would make drawings, get ideas….but never found the person to do it.

I view a tattoo as a sacred, intimate  thing. You are literally letting a person etch a permanent picture into your skin. I am amazed at how lackadaisical people can be, deciding in the moment to get a tattoo. Friends getting matching flowers (what if you don’t like the flower, or break up with the friend?), names of lovers, drunk group tattoos from a poster in the tattoo parlor, you get the picture.

I literally sat on this for YEARS!! Yes, YEARS. And I consider myself a pretty spontaneous person.

One day I walked into a tattoo parlor with my 18 year old daughter, because she wanted to get a nose ring (also a tabu in my time, but she would have passed, as she exotically gorgeous. My nose does not need any more attention, so it was not an issue) . In the sea of classic tattoo posters on the wall, and head to toe tatted people, for the first time I did not feel threatened. I was in a beautiful restored Victorian, buzzing with tattoo machines and happy people murmering.

While I was waiting, I began a conversation with Grimace, a tattoo artist. Me: White, suburban, middle aged witch who FINALLY wants to get her first tattoo. I felt like a 45 year old virgin.

When I told him what I wanted, he just let me finish, then said: “That is a lot of things for one area.”

Yes, well I have been collecting things to add to MY tattoo for about 30 years, Sir.

He convinced me to pick what was most important. I already moved my spot from my back (yes, that is where my life karma plays out, but then I can’t see it) to my shoulder. I made an appointment, and sent him about 1000 pictures of tattoos I collected over the years. Trees, wolves, moons, flowers, more flowers, herbs, witches, etc.

The day was finally here, and I almost chickened out. What if I don’t like it? What if it hurts? What if I don’t like it??????

I went. My picture as not done. I almost ran, but he showed me the wolf. It was perfect, I knew everything around it would just be too.

I sat and breathed, felt the pain, and almost cried happy tears because this was what I wanted for so long. I felt like the wolf, my guardian from the day I almost killed myself with my car on the Autobahn, was being brought out so I can have him by my side all the time. I thought about the morning I woke up a few years ago during tumultuous time, with a paw print red on my neck ( I took pictures of it before it vanished). The pain become almost rhythmic, and though present, I would call it meditative.

My daughter came with me as my anchor. Her face showed awe. I could not wait to see it.

Finally, after a few hours, it was finished.

Meet my wolf. We are one.

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Wuups

dramaExcuse me while I rip my hair out over here!

I decided it was a great idea to move my blog to WordPress to give you, my wonderful readers, a better experience.

I managed to get the words over here, now please bear with me while I hunt down my images, an delete double posts.

Much love,

Heike

A new ADULT in the house!

Today my “baby” turns 18.

She is “officially” an adult :). What does that mean? Not sure, but it does mean she can now VOTE instead of just collecting the “I VOTED” stickers! In my family, becoming an adult does not give you much transitioning klout, we “kids” are all in our 40’s & 50’s, and all still listen to our parents!

Even though she will always be my baby, today is the day we will celebrate her new title: ADULT. She is in Europe right now, traveling with her Oma (haha!! she already appreciates me so much more. You thought I was strict??), so this day is bitter sweet. It is the first time she is not with us on her birthday, and it is a bit weird.

So I will reflect and celebrate her from afar.

I made a pretty cool human. I remember vividly when they plopped her on my belly, and she stared RIGHT into my eyes. Talk about an instinct awakening in my soul. At that moment I knew I would protect this little creature with my life. That was about the only thing I knew about parenthood, and the rest of her childhood went on with trial & error.

Instead of nursery rhymes I read her the Greek Myths :). One day she looked at me and said: “I am Athena”.  From then on, she was Justina Athena, and to this day I think the right Goddess chose her.

one of my favorite pictures, take

She has always been head strong & confident. She was raised by, and around very strong women, and that shows in everythng she does. When she wants something, she makes it happened. She is the poster child of the Law of Attraction. Taking her out of school in 4th grade & homeschooling was the perfect path, and it opened up so many opportunities for her. 

I admit, I made some questionable parenting choices at times, but look what happened! She has turned out to be an exceptional human, and I could not be more proud. She is hilarious & intelligent, loves to talk, and adventurous.

 Plus, she doesn’t take any shit.

What else could a Mama want??

Food Is my Friend

Recently, I was out to have a beer and some pub food with a friend. When our gorgeous food came (fries loaded with meat, jalapeno’s, & CHEESE!!!), I arranged my plate and snapped a picture.

“Are you food blogging now?” asks my friend.

Nope.

Looking at my Instagram, you would think I do nothing but eat and drink beer & wine all the time :). I could have a worse reputation.

I am by no means a food blogger, nor do I want to be. They do some hard work, that involves lots of
prep & editing.

I just love food. I love to eat. I think “pretty” food is marvelous, and I think we have lost the art of eating. Everyone is so busy watching everything they eat, there is no more joy in enjoying food.

A short while ago, I decided I would no longer villianize food. I was getting into the flow of : watching for wheat, does it have soy?, are there preservatives, IS IT FROM CHINA????,  is it local, bla bla bla. The foods I ate as an alternative tasted blah. I was eating plainly to subside my hunger, not enjoying the food. And I was not feeling good. Food was making me feel blah.

I am going to throw in here that I was tested for a gluten intolerance, and according to that test, wheat should be my friend. To my best knowledge, I do not have any serious food allergies or issues.

I have decided to eat the foods my body craves. If it wants bread, I will either bake it myself from the best ancient grain or wheat flour I can find, or buy really expensive sourdough bread (which, btw, has fluctuating consequences for me). Same goes for pasta. If I want nothing but meat all day, I will eat nothing but meat. I find that I LOVE eating something bold & spicy, then something sweet, then bold & spicy……you get the picture. I have gone away from “food pyramid” eating to “instinct eating”.  I no longer follow any diet. I get ideas from paleo bloggers, because that matches closest to how I eat.  I love raw milk, CHEESE!!!, eggs, and SUGAR :).

I have learned to avoid foods that my body does not like. Just stay open, your body tells you when something is not working, even if it is “healthy”, or if you have eaten it all your life.  For example, my body does not love chicken right now. I have a freezer full of chickens we raised and harvested ourselves, yet my body does not want it. It does want beef, and pork only in form of bacon, prosciutto, & dry salami. And lots of fish, much of it coming out of little cans. I eat tuna, herring, and sardines, lots of them. Right now I am not loving kales & greens, but that could change as it gets colder. Salads are daily.

Since I have stopped looking at food as my enemy, my body feels better. My spirit is dancing, because it LOVES to eat!

To get back to my Instagram pictures. I don’t prepare special meals, what you see is what I eat :). I think that is why my food pictures get the most likes (apart from the many pictures of my chickens or my dog!), they are authentic. I think people can feel the joy that food is bringing me, and they like seeing happy food.

So my friends, go talk to your food! Listen to your body, eat freely, live healthy!

xoxo,
Heike
P.S. If you want to follow my food, and the rest of my daily adventure, log into Instagram :).

Fly little baby, FLY!!! And make your Mama cry!

Today I saw my “baby” off for a 3 month trip to Europe.

I just about died. I put my treasure, my little cohort, on a plane to go across the planet by herself. We have spent the last (almost) 18 years together almost every day. I homeschooled!!

Now I am watching her plane, 33K feet in the air, and am excited about all the things she will get to see! She will get to taste my favorite foods, see all the places I would tell her about, throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain………

Yet, with all this excitement, I am not sure I am ready to let my baby venture away yet. The realization that she will turn 18 in a few weeks is unreal. Time has passed so quickly!

What I do know is that I have raised an excellent human! She is confident, smart, open-minded and good hearted. She is hilarious, but can be a serious support if needed.

I can’t wait to see her millions of Instagram pictures & blog posts! You can follow her travel adventures  on Instagram under “abentpieceofwire”.

P.S. Born and raised in the USA. She made sure she would be home for Thanksgiving :).

Releasing 2014 – Shit happens

In a few days, 2014 will be over. Not sure how it got here so fast, but alas, it is here.

2014 was going to be MY YEAR. The year everything got better, I realized all my dreams, lost weight, grew all the food for my family, canned all our excess, rode a unicorn, learned to fly….etc.

I had high hopes & fantastic resolutions.

I am sitting here with my 2015 Life & Biz workbook, celebrating & releasing 2014, and realize that I

did not make shit happen. Not only that, lots of shit happened.

Why am I telling you this instead of giving you an uplifting, goddess-like inspiration for the new year? Because I am honest, and I love you :)…Because life comes with unexpected shit, and how you deal with it is what makes all the difference.

So first, be real. Gosh, if you can, order this workbook (you can get it starting at $9.99…give yourself that gift) because it really gets down to the nitty gritty, or just start with a fresh piece of paper and do the express version. Write down, color, fingerpaint all the CHALLENGES from 2014 first. Now, do the same for all the SHIT THAT HAPPENED (no, not the same thing). Have a biz, think about what happened there, what needs to change, why didn’t you make money? Be honest, this is not group therapy, no one but you is going to see this.

I have been siting here since 3am, and doing this exercise made me realize:
1. I have been lazy. Honestly, had I done half of what I said I would do in 2014, I would be further along. Maybe not all lazy, but definitely gave other things priority. Thought to ponder: Why are MY things not priority?
2. As much as I love my business/art, time to decide whether it still serves ME as a business.
3. WHY have I not started on the workshops/goals I wrote down last year?
4. Time management is crucial
5. It is ok not to fill out all the blank spaces someone else created (there is a metaphor there)
6. Clutter and un-organized living suck…literally. Both suck the energy out of your soul & house. Plus, I am spending more time looking for crucial things like receipts and other things I need than I am on working my biz….Now there is another metaphor.

So, I am writing down all my rants & challenges for 2014, and kissing them good-bye. Not without scrutiny though, since you should make every challenge a learning opportunity, and only make a mistake once.

Once your art piece is done, love it, hate it….if you want, send it in the fire with love. Remember, YOU are the creator of your destiny!

Much love to you!
Heike

You are snarky, over-authoritative, and too influential.

“You are snarky, over-authorative, and too influential.”

As a woman, would you take this as a compliment, or a reprimand?

How about as a 16 year old girl?

How about if you are that 16 year old’s mama?

🙂

My daughter, who many of you know about through my blog since she was born, or recently, as she represented both on Huffington Post, the Today Show, etc., was given a “behavior notice” recently.  I was a bit stumped. When she told me why, I was proud. Take away the snarkiness.  Teenager eye-rolling needs to stay out of the picture, and like I told her, learning to keep your poker face no matter what your inner emotions are right then is a talent that we learn as we age.

I have literally spent the last 16 years raising this girl to be confident, have an opinion, be able to speak, be aware, and become a young woman who is authentic. That takes some energy in today’s society here in the U.S. There are campaigns and groups out there that are trying to do what I did at home. I have surrounded her with strong women who love her and celebrate her, both in the family and my circle of friends.  Hell yes she is influential! I would rather her influence other young girls than the media. Does influential make her bossy? Maybe? If she were a boy, would she get a behavior notice too?

Ah….and the AUTHORITATIVE.  Do you have to be authoritative to be a leader and make a change? Yes.

au·thor·i·ta·tive

adjective ə-ˈthär-ə-ˌtā-tiv, ȯ-, -ˈthȯr-


: having or showing impressive knowledge about a subject

: having the confident quality of someone who is respected or obeyed by other people

That kind of sums up my daughter.  She speaks about it in front of CEO’s, community leaders, donors, television, schoolchildren, etc, about the things she loves and is passionate about.  Because she lives it and has “impressive knowledge about the subject”.
Shouldn’t all our girls be authoritative? Isn’t that what we are striving for?

Instead, I am finding that adults are often intimidated by confident youth. Both girls & boys. More than once, I suspect that is because of personal issues, maybe issues from that adult’s youth? I wonder if they had been raised in a more confident manner, being praised for their own individuality instead of trying to conform to the norm, would they embrace the confidence of today’s youth?

I believe that young girls, and boys, definitely need good role models in our society. At this point, they are being raised by Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  Their role models are celebrities, that don’t always make the greatest choices, or their “popular” peers. Should we not celebrate youth that come from all walks of life and settings, and have accomplished great things in their young lives? Who are well spoken, well mannered, and shown responsibility and drive?

There is certainly more to this story, but from what I see, I have raised my child to have an opinion, and to respect others. 

I feel very strongly about this. I am proud of my daughter, and by the way, everyone in our “family” who has heard about this is applauding her (minus the snarkiness, again). This leads right up to the subject of women being called “bitchy” when they are really confident, assertive, the boss? There is of course a fine line between being a leader and a steamroller, but that is a different subject.

What are your thoughts?

Virgin, Mama, Witch, & Bitch

Dear Beautifuls!
This is an excerpt from the book that I published a few years ago, “Goddess in the Groove ~ Musings from the Goddess Within”. The words hold true today, as they did yesterday. “Bitch” & “Witch” energy is coming up strong lately, so I find it is timely to send this out to you, and the Universe.

I am sharing this with a reminder that no portions of this may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without my permission.  I do want you to share, Beautifuls. Please do! Please just share from here so my words stay true :).

Much love,
Heike

Virgin, Mama, Witch & Bitch

  When a girl baby is born, she is already born into a world of “must be”. Women’s roles start at this early stage. Girls are supposed to wear pretty dresses and do “girlie” things. Goddess forbid the little girl child is not “cute”, since little girls are supposed to look like little dolls. How many times do you hear “I wish I had a little girl! I could dress her up and do her hair, they are so fun!”? Little girls that play with boy things, or are dirty, rough, and wear pants all the time, are considered “tomboys” from toddlerhood on, they are just not “real” little girls….

  Puberty comes, and we are confronted with the term “virgin”, but not in the sense of generations past, when being a virgin was a status symbol of high honor. Society has teenage girls believing it is a disgrace to be a virgin. Their peers and their society pressure girls into sex early, thinking it is the thing to do, and the one who actually “does it” is the one who ends up a teenage mama. To the lucky girls, the “virgin” is the stage of beauty and growth. Girls grow breasts, have their first menstruation, and slowly become women. In many societies and cultures, this stage is still honored with beautiful celebrations and rites of passage. We women need to give our girls the knowledge and self-esteem that helps them develop. We have to teach them that THEY have the right to decide over their bodies and their destiny, giving them choices. The “virgin” is a stage of purity and beauty, not just a metaphoric term whether you have had sex or not.

  For most women, the next stage is “Mama”. They get married and become a wife, and the new mama to their husband, or they perform the miracle of birthing a new human child. Some women choose to skip this stage all together; though I believe we all have the “Mama” instilled in us, and play this role for someone or something in our lives. No matter how well we try to prepare, we cannot study up on this role, but grow into it. Intuition and experience turn us into masters, nurturers with the goal of protecting our kingdom. We portray this role with fierceness, and mamas are often compared to tigresses protecting their cub. The variations “Mamas” are as diverse as women themselves: some women stand by their man till death does them part, some women refer to their career or business accomplishment as ‘their baby” and others protect and live for their children.

  The “Witch” is not as the word in the dictionary, but the spiritual side of a woman. Witches, before their discrimination and elimination, were women of great intelligence and honor. Their rank in society was high and powerful. They were healers, and women whose intuition and knowledge let them perform great deeds. They were not always Beauties, but their aura of power and self-confidence made them beautiful, no matter what the outer shell portrayed. When today’s woman reaches this stage, she is ready for change and self-fulfillment. She is ready to find her inner self and true meaning in life. She turns to meditation, psychics, aromatherapy, yoga, or other forms of “natural healing” to comfort her inner spirit. In this stage, a woman stops dieting, dying, and otherwise torturing herself to fit into society’s beauty ideal, she turns her back and starts to find her beauty inside. She becomes more confident, starts making changes, and the “Bitch” comes out.

  The “Bitch” is in us from toddler stage, we just don’t know it. When we discover her in us for the first time, we suppress her due to “etiquette”. But boy, when we need her, is she ever helpful! She is our “other self” that comes out when we fell threatened, cheated, or confronted. When we are in a bad place because something in our life is just not right, our first step to changing it is to become “bitchy”. Some women get stuck on this step for a very long time, but sooner or later they realize it and move forward. Others jump right on up! In corporate America, strong and powerful women are often referred to as “bitches” by their male counterparts or employees of both sexes, because that attitude is what keeps them above ground and in charge. People are intimidated, and of course annoyed, by bitchy women, but if you look at it as a stage of wonderful stage you will see your sisters in a much rosier light!

   Look at yourself, what stage are you in now? And the next time someone calls you a “Bitch”, you can just smile and say “Why, THANK YOU!” The circle is becoming complete.