Wellness is physical and mental.

All things cycle, and we all go through natural emotional lows.  Sometimes, though, these lows can make it hard to even function, let alone be proactive about feeling better.  At times like these, we just need to take care of the basics.
The Icarus Project, a radical mental health network, published a wonderful poster by Sophie Crumb - "Taking Care of the Basics".  I reference this gem often, especially when my mental/emotional wellness is starting to tip off balance.  It's a great reminder of basics that are too easy to forget.

 
 
Today, night and day are in perfect balance. 

Here in the Rocky Mountain foothills, the ground is bursting with bright yellow forsythia, spiky poppy leaves, bold dandelions, shy succulents, hardy arugula and kale, downy mullein, and small tender shoots that I do not recognize.  Spring is finally here!

The spring equinox is a time for flowers, for celebration of fertility and renewal: the Earth's and our own.  Eat and paint eggs (Easter traditions stemmed from the pagan Ostara, the spring celebration), decorate with fresh flowers, take a walk outside & welcome the new life. 

 
 
Call me over-analytical, but I'm pretty conflicted over St. Patty's Day.  I can't bring myself to just shoot Irish Carbombs and call it an excuse to party... there's so much more to St. Patrick's Day's history than that.
My St. Patty's Day conflict:
I find it hard to celebrate a day based on systematic oppression of an Earth-based religion.

St. Patrick drove the 'snakes' out from Ireland... no, not real snakes.  Pagans.  Druids.  Earth worshippers.  Well, as you may know, I'm a tree hugging dirt worshipper and I identify with them.
But I'm Irish!  So incredibly Irish!  And I'm proud of the long line of Irish women for whom I'm named.

My fond memories of St. Patrick's day:  corned beef, soda bread, Whiskey, and my Catholic grandmother's pinches if we wore orange (Protestant colors, you know).

 
 
It's time you knew:  I'm a tree hugging dirt worshipper.

To me, Nature is divinity, and I'm in love with the Earth.  But I don't spend as much time in nature as I'd like.  Sometimes, I go on technology overdose, and I start to feel really spaced out and irritable, or just plain depressed.  Too much time indoors can really make a person nuts.

Nature Deficit Disorder isn't just for kids - adults need nature too.  It's in our blood.  Nature-based religions honor this through connection to the elements.  No, not the periodic table!  Many paths recognize the natural elements as Air, Fire, Water, and Earth

When we're tweaked out on silicon, electric lighting, and too much caffeine, we can reconnect with Nature and the elements to find balance.  Get ready for some 'woo-hoo' theory that actually works!
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"The Designers Elements" - Larkin Jean Van Horn

 
 
I love projects... maybe you noticed?  My recycling bin is littered with to-do lists on backs of receipts, motivating me to:
  • write my best friend a letter
  • purge my extra belongings
  • make chocolate almond milk
  • organize food storage
  • sew a soft guitar case
  • and so on...
But lately I haven't had that usual fire under my ass to do! go! more!

I can think of a few reasons for my lack of motivation:  Morgan, my partner, just moved out of the state... I'm in a transition period in work and relationships... and the Sun moved into Pisces.

 
 
Dear Earth,

Happy Valentine's Day. 
I want you to know how much you mean to me, and how blessed I am that you are in my life. 

Without you, I could not breathe.  You fill me with inspiration - with every breath, I am renewed. 
Without you, I would starve.  You nourish me with your endless generosity and abundant love.
Without you, I would stumble and fall.  You support me, and allow me to go wherever my feet and heart may wander.

Your beauty stirs my heart again and again - I've never seen anything so beautiful as you, and you show it in a million ways. 
Your presence awes and humbles me. 
You are my home and love and mother and guide.

I cannot express how grateful I am for your love.  Thank you.  Thank you a million times, it will still not be enough. 

Love.  Love, forever,
Me 


 
 
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_Happy Martin Luther  King Jr. Day, everybody.

And by 'Happy' I mean let's take a minute (or more) to honor what the man did, and what we can do in turn.

We all know the history lesson, mentally at least - but I invite you to tune in to video footage of one of his many speeches.  Listen to the raw passion in his voice, the sheer power of his convictions and his hope... and let that resonate within the deeper parts of you.

In one address, King famously said, "the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice." 

We live in a time of great injustice, in many ways.  Just look at the environmental state we're in:  We live in a time where money is valued over the health of our shorelines.  We live in a time where speed and convenience is valued over air that is safe to breathe.  We live in a time where our very home, our planet, is continually damaged by our cultural habits.

But look at where we've come from, look at what other injustices we have emerged from.   A mere 50 years ago - not even a lifetime - we had massive institutionalized segregation and racial mistreatment.  Through the passionate, hopeful efforts of civil rights activists, we as a culture bent the arc of justice towards equality, compassion, and inclusiveness.   

And we can do it again.  We are doing it.  But we need more hands and hearts to push.  The 'moral arc' does not bend on its own, but only through our actions.

Today, please, take action.

Take action in whatever way rings true to your heart, small or large, quiet or loud - it all matters.  The world needs help in many arenas, and they're all interconnected - progress in any area helps to heal our world as a whole.

If you need inspiration, you can look to King's speeches, the 'Solutions' section of my manifesto, or any source of compassionate, proactive inspiration you can think of, whether social, economic, environmental, or spiritual.

So go.  Bend the arc of justice with your hands, heart, and mind.  Help to make the change today.

 

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