Tag Archives: herbalism

Swimming Ashore to Catch my Breath

sunny fieldAugust is the true test for any gardener. Everything happens at once- the fruits ripen, the basil begins to flower, and the weeds loyally pop up everywhere. It is the time when the dehydrator is backed up with herbs, flowers, and fruit. It is a time when the kitchen smells of pickling spices and vinegar. It is a time when we compete with the fruit flies for our over ripe peaches on the counter begging to be put up for the winter.

tableThe past two weeks my plate has been full of preparation for farm to table dinners: Starseed’s Annual Fundraiser and NOFA’s Summer Conference. Starseed hosted its first farm to table benefit dinner outside under the tent. To start we served a garden salad topped with nasturtiums, pickled dilly beans, a bread and cheese platter, pesto, cabbage rolls stuffed with quinoa and gouda, and zucchini ribbons. For dessert we served raw vanilla ice cream and blueberry pies.

piepies!Thanks to Bread Euphoria, Monterey Chévre, and Sidehill Farm for the local products! I am grateful for all the cooks and harvesters, especially of those wild low bush blueberries. Both events were great successes because they brought people together to share farm fresh ingredients prepared with love.

cheese platter

Finally after weeks of running my engine on full throttle, the full moon in Aquarius pulled on my body to go outside and lay on the Earth. “Slow down!” she said. All of those food projects and social commitments can wait. Take a break, rest a while, and get grounded. Focus on the abundance surrounding you and replace it with any beliefs coming from lack or scarcity.

With every action I take throughout the day whether making salves and tinctures, or clipping people into the zip line at Zoar, I ask myself: “What is the driving force behind this action? Is it love or fear? Am I present or am I focusing on the future? How can I slow down and see the beauty in each moment?”

river flowI like to think of the river metaphor. Are we navigating the river skillfully by surrendering to the current or are we paddling upstream? I admit I’ve been resisting surrender and paddling upstream recently, hence no blog post for over a month. I remembered last night during the Full Moon to swim ashore and rest for a while until I am ready to plunge back in and go with the flow.

calendula

Calendula Flower for Salve

salves

Today the flow has taken me to the (flow)ers. It is a flower day on the Biodynamic Seed Calendar: http://www.steinerbooks.org/Books/BookDetail.aspx?productID=322504

bee!

Pollen-loaded Bumble Bee in Tulsi Holy Basil

I harvested calendula, which is wonderful for making healing salves for cuts, scrapes and dry skin. I also made an oil infusion of St. Johnswort flowers, which is anti-anxiety and anti-depression. Chamomile flowers are drying for a relaxing tea. Nasturtiums brighten up the salad bowl, and sunflowers are blooming with all their glory. The bees like flower days, too!

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Living Based on Love

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It is incredibly rewarding to practice empowerment through self-love. When I set up my life to go well by balancing my mind, body, and spirit, everything else goes smoothly. My stress levels go down, I smile more, my digestion is powerful, my neck and shoulders relax, and I rarely get headaches.

In addition to feeling healthy, strong, and at ease, I also have more energy to give to my community. I engage in meaningful conversations, I show up to work ready to serve, and I am motivated to keep in touch with old friends.

IMG_7313Trusting my inner wisdom has brought me to another major form of self-care: Herbalism. As many of you know, local food has been a focus of mine for the last few years. I have worked on several farms learned enough skills to eventually have my own farm in the future. Still unsure exactly what kind of farm that may be and also because Western Mass is becoming saturated with small farms, I took a break from that field.

I came to Kripalu to tap into a deep vein in hope of finding some direction for my future. I found instant community, sahdna (a personal practice), and love. It’s reassuring to know that as long as I trust myself and follow my heart, I will find exactly what I am searching for.

As I enter the last few months of my time at Kripalu, I struggle to stay present. Even though I constantly remind myself how much I have to be grateful for in this community, I can’t stop thinking about the future. After weeks of being hard on myself for what I thought was living too much in the future, a friend said, “Hannah, you’re just ready to move on and follow your path.” Giving myself permission to begin again feels hopeful and true. I am ready to fly the nest and build my own nest somewhere else.

IMG_7338_2Come early March, my sweetie and I will move closer to the Pioneer Valley. I will apprentice with an Herbalist, which will tie in beautifully with my Life Coach Certification. I am also collaborating with a group of people to start a small farm half way between Kripalu and Northampton.

My dreams are coming true. I am not going to give up and let fear or discouragement rule the show. The world needs me. The world needs all of us. Let go of what is getting in your way of living your dream and don’t look back. Stay grounded. Walk and lay on the Earth to feel the pulse of our planet. We must unite as one unit of Love during this Great Shift.

Let 12.21.12 be the transition from fear based living to Love.

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