Saturday, December 19, 2015
The autumn of 2015 was very busy and full of unexpected events for us. I have been finishing up the 90-day herbal treatment that was recommended after my live blood analysis in October. I have about 3 weeks left. It has been difficult to get through. The blood retest at 5 weeks into the treatment showed big improvements, which was encouraging. It has left me feeling overall tired and my body has been working overtime to cleanse and rebuild itself, cell by cell. I have been faced with forced resting a LOT, and not participating in many normal activities that I usually do without even thinking twice. So tired. It's been a big challenge to just REST and not DO, DO, DO.
The autumn all over the USA and Canada was unusually mild (as most of you may have noticed), which is pretty bizarre. It also meant a longer growing season and more fresh veggies at the farmers markets in Pennsylvania (and everywhere). We were so excited to find such beautiful, nourishing fall foods. We enjoyed meeting the farmers who grew the food and even went apple picking in the neighborhood at an abandoned orchard. There was such a bumper crop of apples that no one knew what to do with them all this year. Yum!
We ended up spending about 9 weeks with my dad in Pennsylvania. We reconnected with many of my friends and family members. It was a time for healing and cleansing on all levels. I learned a lot about my dad and his side of our family tree. I enjoyed the stories that answered some questions for me. My dad passed on many gemstones and crystals to us that he had inherited from his parents. They were rock hounds and my grandfather was a lapidary and jeweler. He passed away the month before I was born, so I never met him. However, with all of the stones and stories I have inherited, I am grateful to continue working with earth's treasures like my ancestors did. I just know it's a part of what I'm here to share!
We also shared our knowledge of crystals and stones with my nephew. He and uncle Tanner built an Angelic Gateway with crystals while we were in Pennsylvania. He was so excited about this idea. As they tucked each stone into little holes in the earth, he gave them a leaf blanket and pillow and said goodnight as he patted down the soil on top.
Shortly before the chaos and terrorism erupted in Europe and beyond, I received a very clear message during a meditation that I am to create headbands using copper and crystals to enhance the communication between humans and the higher realms. I wasted no time gathering materials and starting to create these unique beauties. You can see my work available on the etsy page (custom orders welcome!):
shop name: OpenAriseCreations
Or on Facebook at Open Arise Creations
Since I'm on the topic of crystals...we recently acquired two amazing quartz crystal singing bowls. We were in Montana on our last night in the USA and we discovered a gorgeous shop that sends its proceeds to a project in which the shop owner works on healing rescued elephants with singing bowl sound therapy. Here is their site:
We have been waiting for the right bowls to present themselves for quite some time- and they did. We are so excited to add the healing vibrations of these bowls to our cacao ceremonies and other events. We have really enjoyed getting to know them so far!
We have returned to Home Sweet Canada for the foreseeable future. After a journey of 30,000 kilometers of both calm and wild rides in 2015, we will be settling on lovely Vancouver Island...at least for a little while, anyway. 2016, we are excited for the wonderful experiences you will bring! In 2016, we commit to continuing to plant the seeds of LOVE around our world. It's what we do best.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
The last 6 weeks have been some of the most challenging weeks that I can recall since some major shifts in 2012. They have been filled with reunions with dear friends and family members, laughter and tears and countless frustrations. I have not had the needed enthusiasm to write this blog post. This is the longest I have ever gone between blogs. This morning, I sit on my childhood front porch in the low autumn sun and crisp air of rural Pennsylvania, amongst warmly colored leaves and skillfully carved pumpkins.
If given a thousand guesses, I would never have guessed that I would be sitting here today. When I was of age, at 21, I jumped at the opportunity to move across the continent to another country (Canada) to get away from my family. Far, far away. A childhood of trauma and abuse haunted me and I needed to escape to save and heal myself. Yet here I am, at ground zero, helping wholeheartedly the person who was once my greatest fear.
Let me step back in time a bit to paint a bigger picture.
I grew up with my parents and two siblings, me in the middle. My younger sister and my older half-brother. My parents married when he was 8. He and my dad always butted heads as long as I can remember. So did my dad and my little sister. I was always called "the perfect one" by my siblings. And I was. I did everything I could to be perfect to avoid the wrath. This came with many longer term side effects that I later learned about. As I have come to learn, many fathers (and mothers) are super stressed for lots of reasons and aren't sure how to deal with that. Anger, violence, yelling, name calling, threats are how it shows itself. As kids, we didn't have a choice but to do our best to survive through all of those tense and scary years. When I was about 7 years old, my parents were in a severe car accident and my dad walked away with a bandaid on his forehead, while my mom was hospitalized for a long time and underwent many surgeries to put her back together. She was never quite the same after that, but nevertheless, she did a great job at being our mom.
Fast forward 25 years and my parents finally separate now that all of us are out on our own. Shortly after, in the following years my mom is diagnosed with breast cancer. Three times...ending in a double mastectomy after about 8 years of chemo, radiation and surgeries. Ugh.
Fast forward to September of this year. Tanner and I visited my mama and her partner in North Carolina, like I try to every couple of years. I could see that my mom was feeling stuck and numb in her life. She had very few friends, hobbies or joys, but a supportive partner. I told her all about the healing center that we were clients of on Vancouver Island. She agreed to a conference call with the staff. After one call, I could see a marked shift in her body, energy and speech. It was amazing. She has proceeded to begin a long-distance healing guidance program to work through some old traumas, of which she has many (like many or most of us). This is the center, among several others, where I was able to take workshops to forgive and heal from the past wounds of my own family trauma. This has allowed me to return here to give back to my dad. Everyone needs to feel loved and supported.
In addition to this work, my mama chose to make some major efforts to eat healthier and she quit taking any more antidepressant medications. Just face those emotions I said! She went through a few ugly days of physical withdrawal symptoms, but on the other side she was a brand new person. Relearning who she is may be challenging. I spoke to her on the phone after her first guidance session and her words brought tears to my eyes. "I feel like I have woken up from a coma!" Wow. She continues to inspire me after all she has been through. Thanks Mama Linda.
After a couple of weeks at the warm Carolina coast, we drove north up the east coast to the autumn colors in rural Northeastern Pennsylvania. My dad still lives in the home we grew up in. It is way too big for one person with 6 bedrooms and 4 acres, garage space for 5 cars and an airplane hangar with a workshop. He simply can't keep up!!! He's approaching 70 soon and his health is far from what I would call thriving.
So when we arrived here he asked that we stay a while and help him to fix the place up outside and in so that it can be sold in the spring. We said we would take it one day at a time and see how far we get with cleaning up. We always knew he was a collector of stuff. I didn't realize how bad it had gotten from him living alone for the last decade. Many days in the first two weeks I wanted to simply run away. After a few short cries and pep talks from Tanner, I am able to keep persevering, knowing that soon or later us kids will be here sorting through the heaps. Laughter helps a lot too. He has expressed immense gratitude for us staying here to help him sort out his life, literally.
My dad took us for a drive to New York, just outside of the city where I was born. He still has another house up there which has a pretty awesome view of the city in the distance, although over the last 20 years the trees sure have grown tall and partially blocked the cityscape. We also went to the cemetery where many of my dad's ancestors are resting in peace. We visited the site where my grandparents are buried. It was bittersweet and we left a sacred tobacco offering, which we taught to my dad. I think he thought it was odd, but he went along with it anyway.
Tanner reached into his pocket and pulled out two small gemstones, one swirled pink and one smooth blue. They were part of a huge gemstone and crystal collection that my grandma had gifted to me when I was a little girl. I had them all proudly displayed around my bedroom for nearly 15 years as a child. In 2004, however, I fled to Canada and left them all behind except a few tiny pieces of gemstone jewelry. I thought that boxes of rocks were too heavy to cart across the continent.
We have reunited with many of the crystals and gems now and this time they are coming with us! Tanner said he didn't know why he put those two stones in his pocket that morning and we showed them to my dad. He said we should bury them just above the headstone plaque as a gift to grandma and grandpa. So we did. It felt really special to give back to them and to the earth after all of these years.
We have also been sorting through boxes of antique family photographs and labeling the dates and the people in them. My dad loves telling old stories about relatives so he's been thrilled to tell and retell Tanner about our family history. My great grandfather, John J. Allan, and his wife Phoebe were the leaders of the Salvation Army in North America in the early 1900's when they came over from England. They brought religion and assistance to people everywhere and traveled around the globe spreading the gospel and helping those who's souls were "in need of saving". Now, I don't necessarily agree with the whole missionary thing. But it was what it was and the Salvation Army is still helping millions of people every day. We have been donating boxes and bags full of my dad's unwanted stuff to the local SA thrift store. He has a box full of medals and paraphernalia from my great grandparents that my dad intends to donate to the Salvation Army museum in New York.
The hoarding and fear of scarcity problem has become increasingly apparent each day that we are here digging through mountains of clutter. My dad has a huge resistance to throwing anything away. One of his famous phrases is "you never know when you will need one of these!". I will refrain from too much detail or photos to maintain some privacy for him but all I can say is that my mental clarity and ability to think straight had been clouded over since being here. Material clutter=mental clutter. Simple. So as we continue to clear out one cupboard and one closet at a time, it's getting easier to breathe and think.
Something else that has transpired here is some interesting health concerns. My dad invited us both to come with him to an appointment with a woman who does live blood analysis. It was fascinating to see what was happening on a cellular level in his blood. I said that I would like to do it too so we went back a few days later and saw my blood.
It was much worse than I imagined it would be! In a nutshell, lots of parasites (Mexico and Guatemala?) and lots of bacteria that shouldn't be there from an invisible infection somewhere in my body (an old root canal?). She also told both my dad and I that we have all 5 blood markers for Lyme Disease. Now, I can't speak for the whole world here, but in the northeastern USA, this disease has been a huge controversial topic for about 30 years, maybe more. It was originally thought to only be transferred by tick bites, but now it is said that other insects can transfer it too. Some say it doesn't exist and others are living helplessly with an unexplainable debilitating disease. For myself, I feel pretty darn good. I have some health issues, like all of us. Do I think I have Lyme disease? No. Do I want a happier blood test next time? You betcha. So I am following the wellness protocol that Lynn suggested for me to try for 90 days. On week two so far. It's practically a full time job taking supplements and teas an tinctures and all of these little brown glass bottles look like my own little witchcraft shop. She told me that starting the parasite cleanse a few days prior to the full moon will make it most effective. Interesting...I plan to try this.
Now, to end this mini-novel on a happy note: this guy has been the highlight of our visit to this part of the world!
He's Ben. He's almost 9. He is our only nephew and we think he's pretty much the coolest kid ever. He has asked us if he can travel the world with us and live with us and loves spending his time with anyone who will take him "to a body of water" so he can "catch creatures to observe them". He is so in touch with animals and nature and is as deeply sensitive and empathic as I was at his age. We jive well. Uncle Tanner is his super buddy too. Three peas in a pod. Love. Love. Love.
Monday, August 24, 2015
We were in a grocery store. We were dumbfounded by all of the things called food that had hardly anything real in them! People are slowly beginning to make the connection between what goes into (and onto) their bodies and the state of their physical health and overall well being. Are you aware of what you're really consuming?
We were about to throw in the towel and leave when I spotted this packet of smoothie mix. The thing that made me laugh out loud was that it says to just add banana and blueberries. What??? Then what's in the packet? The ingredients were unpronounceable for the most part. Gross. At least it contains flax! The token real ingredient.
Read the labels. Read labels very closely. Natural flavors are NOT natural. And better yet...don't buy anything that has more than one ingredient. Whole, simple foods are what we thrive on! Enjoy this photo montage of chemical cocktails that your trusted family food store is selling to you... Those brands that many of us have come to love and trust. I ended up in a fit of bewildered laughter and many people were walking past us wondering what was so funny. It's funny ...and extremely disturbing.
This??? Who came up with this?
Everything about this is so bizarre. Bacon already cooked in a box. (The display was sitting next to the bananas in the produce section.)
Contains no milk? Huh? Lots of weird chemicals though. And protein!
This put me over the edge. Full mind-blown scenario. On this one they actually tell you what may happen if you keep eating these. Who names their food product that??? I was having a laugh-cry here. Oh boy.
Check out the new book "The Dorito Effect" by Mark Schatzker. It's full of fascinating and eye (and mouth) opening information about why packaged food and beverages (and chain restaurants!) are so addictive. We thought we knew all about this topic, but we learned a lot more from this book. It has taken our food shopping skills to the next level.
Ok. Here's one last image we captured that gives us hope!!!! Yay for avocados!!!! That town must have been having a guacamole fiesta!!! Yum.
Ps. There was also this: One grocery store we went to was offering a 10% grocery discount if you allowed their pharmacy to inject you with the flu vaccine. Sweet deal!... Or is it???
Monday, August 10, 2015
Tanner's family hosted a reunion last weekend (as they do every 2 years). This time it was at a campground in the foothills of the Rockies just outside of Calgary. We arrived in time to help set up and enjoy the sunny summer weather. My favorite thing about this reunion was that there was no cell phone service unless you hiked a few kilometers up a hill. This created a forced visiting scenario where people actually talked and laughed and got to know each other a little better (which is kind of the point of reunions!).
We took hikes, had a group yoga class one morning, and bathed in the trickle-of-a-river a couple of times. Tanner and I were asked one question over and over and over again during the 4 days that we camped with the extended family tribe: "What are you doing next and where and when are you going to settle down?". The first couple of times, I tried to formulate some sort of intelligent response and then when that still wasn't satisfactory for some folks, I decided to start responding with "I have no idea what's around the corner for us. Do any of us really know for sure? We don't know how much time we each have on earth, so we may as well live the life we dream of." That seemed to change the conversation back to politics or some other "normal" topic that was less unsettling for everyone.
We ate a lot more than we normally do that weekend, and we were grateful that the organizers were kind enough to offer vegan options at all meals. We still indulged in some things that we normally don't, but regardless we had a lot of fun with aunts, uncles, siblings cousins and little nieces and nephews. We look forward to the next reunion in 2017.
The day the reunion ended we began a week of mostly liquids to cleanse our digestive systems and bloodstreams of some of the excess stuff that we indulged in over that long weekend event. We have discovered how simple it is to consume liquids on the road. We enjoy lemon honey teas in the morning and many mornings we also have a dose of a warm cacao drink, which helps with the cleansing process. In the afternoons our favorite thing to have is coconut water. The stuff in containers isn't quite like what comes from a fresh coconut but some brands almost have it right. Yummy.
We then returned to the West Coast and arrived on Whidbey Island, Washington to retrieve our stash of cacao and have a visit at the home of Tanner's aunt and uncle. They also own a vegan and mostly gluten-free and organic cafe called THRIVE on Whidbey in the village of Freeland. We were able to continue with mostly liquids there and enjoyed some fresh greens smoothies and hearty soups while we were visiting for two days. Tanner's mom had also just arrived there for a visit, so we had a mini reunion there.
Just down the road from Thrive, there is a 72 acre park called the Earth Sanctuary. It has been created as a natural preserve with wetlands and forests and also as a space where one can meditate, walk a mandala or hold a sacred ceremony. We enjoyed it with Cori, Tanner's mom, one morning. We sang and drummed and played our singing bowl and enjoyed the birds and insects and nature's sounds and energy. I would love to return again, as we only had enough time to see part of this special place.
We ferried off of Whidbey back onto mainland Washington. A billboard caught our eye that had a picture of the iconic Uncle Sam and it read "Greece is broke. Are we next?" Interesting. A while later, along the Oregon Trail highway we passed a group of protestors holding signs that read "More War Means More Debt" and "Honk for PEACE". Of course, we honked and waved some peace fingers. They smiled and waved. It felt like a a scene from the late 60's. At least that's what I imagined.
We arrived near Bend, Oregon at the home of a Couchsurfing host, who I will call Kelly. We had stayed with Kelly about two months ago just for one night and got along great. So we retuned for a second visit. When we had arrived there the first time, she informed us that she is epileptic. She told us what to do if a seizure were to happen and we shrugged, smiled and said no problem. We were all happy to see each other again this week. She and her little doggy welcomed us into their humble home in the forest with open arms and happy paws. We did a lot of catching up. Kelly has been trying out medical marijuana in a CBD paste form to help ease the epilepsy and lessen the seizures. She believes it has helped and continues with the Rx medications from her doctors as well. She is 29 years old, an only child, and has really been struggling to find the balance between relying on her family for support and spreading her wings into adulthood.
The next morning Tanner and I were on day 6 of almost completely liquids. We had some lemon tea and a mug of cacao each. We piled into our car with Kelly and her pup and drove into the Cascade Mountains just to the west of Bend. We proceeded to complete a 10 mile (17kms) hike together. Tanner and I decided to attempt a barefoot trek. I made it through the first 8 miles and then put my shoes on so that I could pick up the pace and return to the car before the sun set. Tanner went the whole 10 mile loop barefoot (which the guide book led us to believe would only be a 7 mile loop). At the end, our feet and legs were dirty and hobbit-like, but we both made it out without a blister or cut or scrape. It's amazing what we can achieve when we have our minds in the right place. Kelly was so proud that she completed the 10 miles, which was by far the longest she has ever done. Back in the car, we enjoyed coconut water and some watermelon scooped out by spoon. The little dog slept all the way home. It was quite an adventure for all of us.
Throughout our visits with Kelly, she reiterated how well she felt in mind, body and spirit having us around her. We shared our knowledge of healthier food shopping with her. We told her about how to avoid additives and chemicals that she suspected may trigger some of the seizures. She basked in the sounds of our singing bowl, drumming, and songs. Tanner's mom just passed on a Love Tuner to us the morning that we drove to Kelly's place. It's a small whistle that sounds like a single note on a harmonica. It's tuned to a C note at 528Hz, which creates a sense of love and peace. ( www.lovetuner.com ) It is extremely soothing and the player receives the greatest benefit, as the vibrations carry throughout your head and body. We played it numerous times throughout the visit, several times in which Kelly felt the precursors for a seizure coming on. She was so happy and relieved when she felt like herself again! Before we departed, she told us how grateful she was that somehow our energy and intuition helped her to remain seizure-free. She later texted us and said she would like to have a Love Tuner of her own so that she can calm herself at all times. She knows that anxiety and stress increases the frequency of the seizures, so anything that is calming is helpful to her. She thanked us again and told us we were her spirit doctors. So beautiful!
We are seeking funding through Indiegogo to assist us in gifting items such as the Love Tuner, which has a price tag of about $60. We would like to continue to give freely without leaving ourselves penniless in the meantime. Please consider donating at the bottom of this blog post. Any amount will help to shift someone's life for the better.
As we drove away into the wildfire smoke in the badlands of eastern Oregon, we opened the sunroof and offered some Chiapas organic tobacco in gratitude for the experience and the people and the earth. We do this whenever we leave a place or take food from the earth. We often do it with our feet on the earth, but in a way, the tobacco is more spread out from the sunroof. We have learned this offering from several native friends throughout our travels. From what we have seen just this week, this American land can use some serious love and gratitude.
Here is the link to the One World Wellness Indiegogo campaign...
Thursday, August 06, 2015
Here's a little recap of the last two weeks. It's not really super creative or witty. But it IS what happened. Ready...Set...GO! :
We enjoyed an evening ferry ride and arrived in Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver. We headed to Tanner's aunt's home for a lovely visit. We also visited a cousin and his wife who are expecting a wee one soon. We then headed east and visited a couple of friends on their new organic farm in the interior farm land of Chase, British Columbia. What a stunning farm with a riverfront view! We enjoyed two river swims and picked our veggie supper from the pretty garden. They showed us the straw bale and cob house that is almost completed. So great to reconnect with awesome friends doing awesome things!
After that visit we met up with some more special friends in the mountains outside of Invermere, BC. They had their trailer parked and their two kids were bouncing on the trampoline. We pitched our tent and watched some amazing storms. We swam with the little ones and picked fruits and veggies at the community permaculture garden that they have helped to build over the last few summers. It's so wonderful watching kids be excited about growing and harvesting their own food.
We crossed through the Rockies into Alberta. We met a good friend for lunch and spent the night with our sister-in-law in Calgary.
The next day we drove north of the city for one hour to the town of Olds. I spent 5 sweet years there from 2008-2013 and it was so much fun to catch up with our friends and their families! We camped out in a small camper for a whole week on the property of some of our favorite friends there, who we sometimes refer to as our long lost aunt and uncle. When we arrived at their place, the Love Farm, some of my favorite musicians were packing up after a house concert the night before. They unpacked their accordion and bass and a couple of fiddles and serenaded us before they drove away to their next show. So special. Thanks OQO (and Ed!).
I spent many hours discussing the topic of Fair Trade products and standards with long lost Auntie Bev. She and I and a small group started up the Fair Trade Olds committee. We began in 2008 and guided the Town of Olds to become the first Fair Trade Town in Alberta. It was a wonderful time and we learned so much. Bev is still going strong and continuing to spread the word about the importance of knowing who and where your luxury products are coming from. Coffee or tea drinker? Do you use sugar or indulge in chocolate? These are a few of the many products shipped to us from less-developed countries. These countries are often lacking enough fair labor laws and regulations. You can expand your world consciousness by asking for Fair Trade versions of these items and more. Read more about Fair Trade here.
In the trunk of our Jetta we brought along a large Rubbermaid tote full of mittens and sweaters and wintery items to consign at a very special women's clothing boutique. It is called reFind clothing & decor and it was a co-creation with my former partner, back in 2010. My eyes welled up as I entered that beautiful shop and saw that the floor plan had changed to expand the space. There were other tweaks that made it more lovely than ever. I felt so proud of how she was evolving and growing up without me. Yippee!
One World Wellness hosted two cacao ceremonies in Olds. The first was a group of men and women. One friend brought along his singing bowls and a huge gong to add to the magic. It was pretty spectacular. During the ceremony an awesome thunderstorm watered the landscape. We ended the ceremony outside in the sunshine with singing and gonging. Beautiful.
The second ceremony was a women's circle at a local yoga center called Blissful Energy. And blissful it was. We were a circle of women of all ages. One woman traveled several hours to join us. We laughed, we cried and we collectively vibrated higher with the energy of the cacao medicine! We are looking forward to another ceremony there soon. Thank you special people!
I took a trip one evening with my sweet friend and she took me to meet a woman nearby who makes unique jewelry. I enjoyed chatting with them both and left with a few special handmade items with beautiful memories embedded. We then drove into the full moon rising and pink sun setting. We arrived at her friend's artistic retreat home. It was overflowing with gorgeous artwork. Mostly earthy, whimsical animal paintings. She also showed us her collections of other crafty things and insisted that we both take home a one-of-a-kind up-cycled bag. I chose one with rainbow ponies. Why not? I already know what it will get used for...someday soon. Stay tuned.
Roadside FREE sign. (Mirrored medicine cabinet included.) Note the forest in reflection. A little mixed multi-message from Mother Nature.
On my last day in Olds, I treated myself to my first haircut in a year. I went to visit my sweet friend/ talented hairstylist. We had a great visit and I was so happy that she could fit me in. My hair is happy too. I had been trimming it myself for a whole year and it was time for professional intervention. Thanks Amy!
My last stop that evening was a women's book circle that a dear friend organized. The topic of discussion was something like "what would say if you could go back and tell your 20-something self about how to live life better?". I really enjoyed the variety of answers that the group shared. Things like telling yourself to have more fun, travel more, don't be so self-conscious, don't worry about what others think of you or your choices, take chances, laugh more, don't try to be so perfect, pursue your passions and be original. Wow. I can relate to most of those reflecting back on my 20's! Luckily, I have reevaluated my life in the first few years of my 30's. My 33rd year will be coming to an end in a month and I feel better than ever about my life choices. I feel like I can scratch out most of that list up there. Wee! Feels so good to be free of a lot of that self-limiting stuff. Try it for yourself. Once we let go of all of those fears, we open new doors that will lead us to new great experiences and adventures! We discover our gifts and wisdom and make leaps and climb mountains. This will inspire changes in our world as a whole. Like a domino effect, but in reverse. Imagine that!
In the words of Nahko Bear: "Be of service. Be a sensible person. Use your words and don't be nervous. You can do this, you've got purpose. FIND YOUR MEDICINE AND USE IT!" - from the song "Manifesto". He is my current favorite musician. Check him out.
Ps. If you feel called to donate to our One World Wellness Indiegogo campaign, here it is.
If not, we would really like to know why our readers aren't interested in supporting the positive change that is so needed right now. $10? That's two lattes. $20? You can't event get a date at the movies for that. $50? That's a nice supper out. Every bit helps to get us to our next stop where we are leaving a trail of higher consciousness every step of the way.
Please click here either way and watch out little trailer. Thank you! Xo