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spirit

Slo’ Mo

Usually, I write about how “chaotic” my life is. I seem to attract chaos, and when it gets too quiet, something happens to rattle our lives.
On SuperBowl Sunday, my husband and I embarked on a 4 hour drive to Yosemite. Even though I live in California, I have never been. Yosemite was on my bucket list (still is, you will see why), and so for Christmas my husband gave us a one romantic night stay at a beautiful resort in the heart of the park. Our first reservation was cancelled because a mammoth storm rolled in and they closed the park. We rebooked, and headed out early a few weeks later.

About an hour from our destination, on a remote road somewhere in the pastures of California with no phone signal, our car started acting up. We have had trouble with it over the last year, but kept getting it fixed. I was pissed, but we pushed on until we made it to a town and an auto store (because our oil warning light came on). We opened the hood, poured in oil, and it came right back out under the car.
To make a long story short, we were 20 miles from the hotel. We found a mobile mechanic, finally made it to the hotel, he patched up our car. We spent the day in the hotel lobby, venturing out on walks, etc. At 7pm on Monday, and $500 later, we got our car back and were on the freeway home, praying to the Universe all the way.
At home, our car got the death verdict.
Now it is sitting in our driveway with all its’ new and fancy parts, dead. I live in suburbia, I might as well be dead too without a car.
It is AMAZING how much rely on our car!
On the other hand, we are adjusting. I am beneftting the most, as I do not have to chauffeur anyone. Everyone has to become more self sufficient. Yesterday, I did not leave the house. I stayed home, took care of paperwork & animals, planted beans in the rain, cooked, trained with my dog. Today, I took my dog & my daughter for a walk in the rain, then I walked to the store in the rain, and now I am sitting here FINALLY writing a blog post after how many months???j
I was outside sitting on the patio doing absolultely nothing but watching the rain, when I realized that my Volvo breaking down once again gave me a freedom pass.
A pass to slow down and stay put, instead of driving someone somewhere. A pass to say “no” to at least three things that I never like to do, but feel obligated to do anyways (“sorry, I don’t have a car right now…..”). A pass to save money, because the only store that is really in walking distance is the .99 cent store, and the only thing I buy there is sponges & plastic gloves…how many of those does a girl need? I have finally started reading the mystery I have had for months, and can hardly put it down. I have been puttering around, collecting things to donate, filing paperwork, throwing things out that have been neglected way to long.
All in all, I am in a happy, slo’ mo state.
My favorite quote, adjusted with my own words:
Turn every shitty situation into a learning opportunity.
Much love,
Heike

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??

How the heat awoke my “Spirit”.

IMG_3817My family always makes fun of me when I say “The heat is taking my breathe away”. They say I am like a sensitive flower :). I think there could be worse things to be called.

But in all reality, the heat makes me stop. I can’t imagine how workers outside, or our firefighters, survive in this hell. After a week of 105 and up, it finally hit me yesterday.

My body went on strike. It scared me a little, as my heart rate went up, and I physically felt BAD. Bad enough that I cancelled all appointments, cranked up the A/C, and went to sleep. I could hear my heart beat in my ears. Unfortunately, sleep did not heal, and I woke up still feeling sick. To make a long story short, I ended up going to measure my blood pressure, and it is high. I went back to sleep, and after 6 hours of day sleep and lots of extremely weird dreams, I have come to a revelation.

I need to move somewhere cooler. The summers here are getting worse, and we are surrounded by concrete.

I think my body is giving me a warning. I have been neglecting it. I have been working nights on a project, and not sleeping in the day to replenish. Only 2-3 hours of sleep per day are just not enough.

In regards to #2, I have to learn to put “health & well-being” back on priority spot #1. I find myself, and many of my friends, just straggling from one thing to another, and not embracing the center, Spirit, first. That is detrimental.

Stress is a bitch. We may not realize it, but stress is killer, and we are exposed to it all the time. I had the weirdest, visual stress dream. Stress comes in many forms, and it can slowly eat away at you. A perfectly easy remedy: Nature. I just went outside to water my heat battered garden and mist the chickens, and just being out there barefoot made me feel better. Whatever your life situation is, take at least 15-30 minutes to take a walk, swim, or run in nature. Go by yourself, if possible. This way you can turn your thoughts to your spirit and replenish. I am making it a point to implement this again daily.

We are bombarded daily with “stuff”. Commitments, bills, schedules, internet, news, etc. I just spoke to my friend, whose parents live completely off grid. Sustaining themselves with nature, living off the land, no TV. She said they rose and went to sleep with the sun, and she did not know what day it was a few days in. Imagine that bliss! Even though this way of life may not be for everyone, it certainly is a vast contrast to what most of us living.

What does this all have to with the terrible heat? Who knows! At first I thought the heat was beating me down, but maybe it is just a catalyst.

Take a few moments and contemplate your quality of life. If there is only one thing you can change to replenish your spirit, DO IT!! (Before your heart beats into ears!).

Much love!
Heike

The BIG ONE has arrived, and my Spirit dances!

For the last 2 days, the local news has been announcing the BIGGEST STORM WE HAVE SEEN SINCE 2008.

Panic.

Today, I went to 3 stores to find batteries for our flashlights, and every one of them was sold out of D batteries and flashlights. Target sold out of water. My son and I filled sandbags for our back door. I secured out chicken coop.

We have lots of candles, firewood, food, & beer :).  Games are ready to be played in the candlelight.

One of my lawn decorations just hit the house.

It is 2 am, and the storm has arrived. I could feel the wind rising during the day, but now it is definitely here. My house is creaking & squeaking as the wind presses its way through the cracks and crevices of my old house.

It is swooshing.

My Spirit is dancing.

I know I should really be anxious, as the last BIG ONE ripped the shingles right of my roof.

Instead, I just made myself a nice warm cup of turmeric milk with honey, and I am enjoying the sounds of Mother Nature, strong & wild!

Unfortunately, my husband has to drive in this, sent him & the Volvo off with a blessing today. Stay safe out there, Californians!

Things that go bump in the night

Good Morning!

It is 5:26am, and I am sitting there with a glass of wine and an array of cheeses.

I have been up since 3:30 am, cleansing my home. I woke up with the strong need to clean my kitchen floor, and that expanded into the rest of the house. I am preparing for the new year, my mission is to have my house cleared, cleansed, & blessed before Dec. 31st, so we can slide into 2015 open & ready for abundance.

It all started a few months ago with the emerging of Money Witches :). Instead of the regular Kitchen

Witches, they carry money magic. I have a money/kitchen witch in the prosperity area of my home, my kitchen (which is so absolutely fitting!). At about the same time, I was able to acquire the book HexCraft, a book about Braucherei, an old form of folk magic, healing, & home blessing by Silver RavenWolf.

Other things began to fall into place. A new job, Etsy sales, lost gift cards showed up again…….

Clearing brings peace, and abundance. Maybe not immediate monetary abundance, but the kind that makes the spirit happy. I still believe happy people are the richest ones! My goal is to get to the point that no matter where I look in my 900sq/ft house, it makes me happy. Of course, there are 3 other people living here, 4 right now as my mother is visiting for 2 months. I am asking them to pitch in by giving me things they do not love/need anymore, helping me with big jobs, etc. It is important to incorporate everyone living under one roof and respecting their wishes. 

BTW, you do not have to follow status quo of where & when it is s good time to start, or do your cleansing/cleaering/cleansing. I am satisfied with my work, replenishing my body, then I will go back to sleep for a while. If you have the luxury of setting your schedule, go with what your body/Spirit/instinct tells you. Never mind conventional times, these kinds of things call for wildness :).

Don’t know where to start? You can check out Silver RavenWolf’s blog, and follow along with the 2014 release program (yes, you can jump in now!). One of my favorite books to start with  is Denise Linn’s Sacred Space  (this was my portal into Feng Shui!). You can follow with me via my Facebook page, but please sign up for my newsletter (you can do that in the margin to the left!) if you have not done so. Facebook is playing tricks, and I will begin to rely more on other ways to communicate as of January. Also, if you are a visual like me, you will certainly enjoy the 2015 Create Your Shining Year workbook, starting at only $9.95!!!, or $24.95 for the spiral bound version (which I have and will play with via Facebook & newsletter if you want to join me!)

Much love,
Heike

Chicken Poop for the Soul

The sun was out, the breeze was blowing, and I was shoveling chicken poop.

A glorious afternoon!

I realized, while scooping poop, that I was happy & content. You might be wrinkling your nose, wondering if I have lost my mind.

I see this hour that it takes me to rake out, clean, de-spider, fill up with straw/food/fresh water as a Zen moment. It gives my brain time to think about all kinds of things that are pushed to the back when I am on the computer, phone, or in conversation.

The physical side, though it does not entail much heavy lifting, gets my heart rate up and makes my muscles stretch.

My chickens are scratch, peck, pooping around me to keep m compnay :).

I have often marveled at the happiness of farmers I know, who work HARD and early, and yet are happy doing this every day. Their morning routine sounds like a marathon to a suburbanite like me. Yet, I understand now how the physical labor, the brain space, and the result (a clean coop to go in, both for myself and the chickens, who just LOVE to play in the clean hay!) can be highly rewarding & balancing.

Suburbanites: Instand of getting up in the morning, having coffee, getting dressed, then hopping on the computer, becoming a commuter, or going to some form of inside, man-made space for a big chunk of the day, you can be outside (You could just be taking a nice long walk!). What would that do for your soul?
In and out of cars, wading through wafts of email (which, I have to say, only 5% is relevant in my case), going shopping, errand running…..blech!

I’d rather scoop chicken poop.

OFF with her hair!!!

The home made haircut is always a sign of transition in my life. I know that when that urge comes and I grab the scissors, big changes are afoot.

This past Yule, I had my son cut off about 10 inches of my hair :). It was an act of change, making way for new things to come. I knew that I was supposed to LEAP, but did not know where I was supposed to land. We made a ponytail, blessed it, and chopped it off. It was freeing, but I grieved my hair for a little while. (I actually still have the ponytail…never know when I might need it!). I walked around with the chop a few days to see if I need to cut more. When I knew I was done for the time being, my mom graciously cut off the loose ends.

Over the last 6 months, my hair grew back. It grows fast, and it was almost as if weeds were taking over the flower field. I would look at my hair, and it was as if I had someone else’s hair on my head. I know this must sound strange. I have been struggling with some decisions, and I can feel I am on the verge of some major changes, my “life weeds” are keeping me from taking the necessary leaps.

Today, I felt as if my Spirit was being strangled by my hair.

OFF WITH IT.

As I listened to the ratchet sound of the blades cutting through my hair, I could feel my Spirit lifting. First 2ish inches, Then 2 more. Then I stopped measuring and just cut.

It is amazing how much of our “self” our hair holds. I picked up the big clumps of red, fluffy hair, and happily threw them in my compost pile.

I stopped here, but am staying open to receive further direction. I keep seeing visions of “Amelie”….but I may let a pro go there :).

The care & feeding of a Teenager Spirit

        

 My sweet teenager :).
 How often does the media implore us with horror visions of being a parent of a
teenager? Their moods, stupid antics, laziness, boredom, …..just general blah??
They suggest that we, as parents, just accept this fact as normal, and wait
until they are adults. 
Thankfully, I have been blessed with an inquisitive, verbal,
fabulous, moody, open-minded (yet opinionated),self reliant (most of the
time),  intelligent teenage girl. Oh, she
is not perfect, and the hormones and teenager cooties come through regularly,
but I feel that is a part of growing up, and needs to be dealt with just as any
other growing pain.
I have found that when I recognized to greet & nurture
my teenager’s spirit, it has made a huge difference.
There are times when my “baby” returns from events, trips,
or just spending a few hours in certain situations like this: Mean, irritated,
snarky, fatigued, sick with headaches, throat aches, stomach pains. She is
tired, and also emotionally depleted. Her little spirit is withered.
I could let her isolate herself with her iPod &
headphones, yell at her for being snarky, tell her to sleep more and text less,
etc.
Instead, I have found the correlation. “HOME”, our house
that is, is a rejuvenating sanctuary for her spirit. As chaotic as it is, it is
safe. I have learned that the magic of
food
helps banish that “mean teen”. I don’t mean fries, burgers, & ice
cream or other sweets. No, I see my teen craving nourishing food such as onion
soup with turmeric, nettle tea, fermented food such as sauerkraut & beet
kvaas does the trick. Within a short time, she regains her powers and is
herself again.
Society will look at small children that throw a tantrum,
and often say “They had too much sugar.” Or “No more food coloring for you!”
What if parents treated their teen throwing a “teen tantrum”
the same way they would treat a small child? I know the foods listed above are
not your average popular teen fare ( or that of kids, for that matter), and
many of them will wrinkle their nose at it. My tip? Tell them to try it, and if
it does not make them feel better, you will leave them alone with it NEXT TIME :).
Good luck!

Let’s take it outside and duke it out

I love my kids more than everything.

I homeschool them both.

We are together 24/7.

Have I mentioned I love them?

There are days when I would gladly put them in school, any school, just to give them the opportunity to live on someone elses schedule, and to get them out of each others’ hair. Yes, and to get them out of my bubble.

Have I mentioned our house is only about 850sq/ft?

We have an interesting dynamic. My kids are 5 years apart, girl & boy, and are CONSTANTLY at each other. But take them apart, and they immediately miss each other. They fight like cats & dogs, and the next moment they are huddled together under the blanket watching some horrendous show together, cackling like wild dogs.

I am mama, warden (yes, warden), fairy, teacher, tutor, coach, witch, cook, chauffeur, secretary, technician, nurse, and cuddler, all before noon.

There are days, like today. Discontentment, yelling, roaring.  I feel like taking my two sweet children, and the dog.  opening the door, pushing them out, and locking it behind them. They make me CRAZY!!

That’s when I know it is time to pack them all in the car, and drive somewhere by the river.

Nature is like magic. My teen has miraculously removed the permanently attached iPod from her hand. My son is no longer bouncing around like a tennis ball, cool as a button, enchanted by nature…rocks, flowers, holes, bugs, water……my dog is like a happy puppy (as long as none of stray too far :)…the herding instinct never goes away), splashing around in the river, running in and out until he hides his stick because he happily DONE. My son kicks off his shoes and and runs in the water, happy as can be, even though the water is still freezing cold.

Me? As soon as I step out of my car onto the river rock, I am ZEN. My gaze goes down and I automatically start searching for that perfect rock. My house and property are filled with river rock, I love them so :). I breathe deeply, and am glad I am no longer stuck in my little house with 3 other swirling spirits that need to get out and TWIRL. The rushing water mesmerizes me, and though I am not supposed to step in the water now due to a wound, my dog tricked me in. My first thought was “FEAR! Open wound!”. Then spirit kicked in and let me know it was ok, it was time to go back to the river.

We played, took pictures, sorted rocks, splashed, walked……LAUGHED.

Yes, we laughed.

Nature did it again. Magic spells :).

calm…..

These rocks say it all.

Funny ducks…they kept following me.

Happy Dog

Harlem Shake 🙂

Kisses for MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!