Just Write. Whatever You Do…Just Write. The Liebster Award.

Over the past few months, I’ve been told, time and time again, that I really need to get serious about my writing. No matter what I talk about, I apparently have a way with words, and have a lot of thoughts, so I gotta start sharing them with the world. Funny how things like this happen, and when you start to really make something a priority, the goodness just starts to rush into your life.

I want to thank one of my follower’s for awarding me with the Liebster Award – I guess it is an award for an up and coming blogger. I really appreciate it! Here’s a link to her blog: http://atspoonoflove.wordpress.com

So, part of this award is to answer 11 questions…here goes!

1 ) Favorite vacation spot of all time: Thus far, in my life, Sun Valley ID is my favorite vacation spot. Perhaps it is because I’ve been going there since I was 6 months old…but between the mountains, rivers, family, and food…I love it! 

2 )  Favorite book and why: That is a hard one…but I’m going to have to go with The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita because well, it changed my life just over 5 years ago. If it wasn’t for that book, I probably wouldn’t still be here today…and when I mean here, I mean alive…because well, it opened my eyes and my heart to feel things that I pushed back, so deep, and never thought I would feel again.
3 )Food tradition you love ? I love toasting to the first sip of your drink at dinner. Over the years, I’ve developed a few MUSTs when it comes to toasting, inspired by friends and travels. You must not toast with water. You must toast on your first sip. You must look each other in the eye when you sip. You both (or more) must sip…not toast and put the glass down. If you break these rules, it is bad luck. Haha. That’s my tradition.
4 ) If you could go to dinner with any 5 famous people (dead or alive) – who? I have to choose 5?? Holy moly…okay, Albert Einstein, Ivan Pavlov, Michael Pollen, Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela. We could probably make sustainable living happen and bring peace to the world.
5 ) Favorite cuisine ? Asian fusion. I can’t wait to travel to Southeast Asia! One day!
6 ) House is on fire – family made it out – what is the one thing you grab? My computer. It has loads of documents, from photos over the past 5 years, to 30 page papers, to poetry…I couldn’t let that go. Especially if my family is already safe. 
7 ) Favorite type of chocolate ? Fair-trade, organic, dark chocolate with sea salt and almonds. Or ANY from Confections with Convictions. 
8 ) Favorite beverage ? Water. Iced Masala Chai. Whiskey w/ water and a slice of lemon. 
9 ) Movie you most relate to? Really? I’m supposed to choose one…wow…okay. An indie flick I just watched, TiMER. Because I want to meet my soul mate but it just isn’t my time. 
10 )If you can trade places with a famous person for 24 hours , whom would you pick? Barack Obama. I’d just some shit done in that office. And then I could try to understand why each president fails to live up to their campaign promises. 
11 ) A TV show you love to watch: The Newsroom. images
Thank you, again, for the award. I really appreciate it! Happy blogging, living, eating, and breathing.

Inspiration. Invitation. Dig it.

The Invitation by Oriah:
It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you 
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone 
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

 

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming,
from the book The Invitation
published by HarperONE, San Francisco,
1999 All rights reserved

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Freedom, Farming, & Food.

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Between the ages of 5 and 10, I lived in Virginia. I learned a lot about the Revolutionary War time period and it has always fascinated me. Our founding father’s gave up a lot to give us the freedom that we, so dearly, love today. I remember sitting in history class, in 3rd grade, and hearing the quote, “give me liberty or give me death”, followed by a story about Patrick Henry and how, following this statement given at the Virginia Convention in 1775, was stoned to death. Since that day this quote has been my favorite…and when I was 17, I got it tattooed on me. See above photo for a slightly blurry look – across my shoulder blades. I get a lot of compliments on this tattoo, mostly from people who don’t seem like the “tattooed” type…which leads me into a discussion of freedoms.

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What would you say if I told you that this dessert was partially illegal? And when I mean illegal, I mean…regulatory officers breaking into your home/farm and taking away your supply of milk, your animals, and your livelihood. Lately, there has been a LOT of buzz about our freedoms being taken away, about the government becoming more and more authoritarian…etc. But, I want to ask a question to the audience…how many of you think you should have the right to collect your own rain water? How about drink raw milk? How about fishing for food? Shouldn’t these natural foraging techniques be a freedom, ingrained in our nature? But no…these things are ILLEGAL in most states (unless you have purchased a license, or a cow/goat)…and even then, especially with raw milk, you risk your livelihood to eat the way humans were intended to eat.480196_10200303763977700_1202123370_nThis past Sunday, my mother, sister, her boyfriend, and I went to a farm called the Eater’s Guild (where my mom and sister work, and my family has a CSA share). A beautiful spot to enjoy a Summer Solistice – Pieluck – Square dance. Surrounding yourself with likeminded people kind of lightens the burden of living a lifestyle that is “alternative” in our American society. Our SAD lifestyles has pushed farmers, artisans, pioneers, hunters/gatherers, and the like, to the sidelines…as we continue to build a monoculture of sugar, processed foods, and genetically modified foods.

I ask that we be patriots in our country and promote eating like our ancestors. Appreciate the beauty of the food you eat. Understand where you came from (10,000 years ago, life was worshipped and sacred, in all creatures across the world) and where your food comes from. Be an aware consumer. Support what you believe in. If you are what you eat, do you really want to be cheap, fast, and greasy? I don’t…neither should you.

On another note, I’m in the process of reading a great book: “Eating on the Wild Side” by Jo Robinson (just released in early June!) highlighting a diet that is full of phytonutrients, based upon what our ancestors ate, and avoiding our genetic modifications to make fruits and vegetables less nutritious and more “tasty”. I highly recommend! I will be doing a book report on this, once I finish…with some key points and a cooking/shopping guide to go along – so be on the look out for that.

 

Thursday; a colorful one!

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I woke up this morning, at 6:30, feeling refreshed and excited to start a new day! My Wednesday was rough and I was happy that a good evening out and some heavy sleep rejuvenated me!

I was also inspired to be bright today! I put on my brand new colorful leggings and said, “lets do it!!!”, stretched out on my mat, ate some oatmeal and made a smoothie and lunch, and headed to the office!

I was greeted warmly upon arrival, with many compliments! The ladies loved my colorful “pants” and I felt great rockin’ them and making people smile with my brightness, who doesn’t?!?

This delicious bowl of fruit was my “afternoon tea”… As I claim to eat like a hobbit! But seriously, go buy some local and freshly picked strawberries! I picked some up last night and they literally smell like a fruit roll up, but are 1000 times better for you!

Enjoy the bounty of Mother Earth! Enjoy your day! Love yourself & others, always.