Earth Day is upon us, April 22nd is the official date. We have many reminders, events, that highlight ways we can do more to reduce, recycle, repurpose stuff. My recent podcast guests, students from the University of CT and others, changed the motto to REFUSE, reuse, recycle. They had suggestions to go along with this reframed motto:
- When shopping in a supermarket and veggies come wrapped, remove the wrapping and leave it there. Eventually, supermarkets will stop offering styrofoam packed items with plastic wrap.
- Reverse bag: forgot your bags in the car? I do this all the time. So? Have checkout baggers place items in your cart and you can bag it when you get back to your car.
- “If you plant it, they will come.” Buy a native plant from your plant nursery/garden center. Plant something different to increase your backyard diversity. Better yet try removing a portion of lawn and plant wildflowers or a butterfly garden/pollinator garden. Have you considered planting another tree? One oak can support so much wildlife and they need our help right now.
- Make kablooms for Easter gifts, table favors. Buy heirloom seeds, mix with clay and soil, form into balls. They can be tossed onto vacant lots, placed in pots, left in a side bed. Great gifts for the gardeners in your family, but cheap seeds will not yield good results. Buy from reputable sources.
- If you are drawn to native American culture, listen to the Algonquin water song: our water needs us today to stop pollution. Everything you plant, including trees help absorb water runoff and that means less water gets washed down our storm drains.
- Everything we do affects the next seven generations, every thought, word, and action. Weed your mind of negative thoughts, water and grow gratitude every day, feed your mind and heart with love and kindness.
This earth is an amazing place. We live here and so do countless other species. So many of my podcast guests remind me that she is intelligent and we are surrounded by genius. Many of our fellow species are hurting from the loss of habitat and pollution. Now is the time for practical action and profound inner change so we value her once again. If you haven’t done so, check out my podcasts where I interview a variety of folks with great suggestions for holistic living here on the planet we call home.
What one action can you do today, and make it a part of your daily habits that is sustainable? Share your ideas with us. We appreciate all your comments. Remember we make a difference with every choice we make. Enjoy. Judith
On the top of a hill in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Floyd, VA sits a sanctuary devoted to bringing and allowing bees to function and exist as their nature intended. Gardens grace the land with seven types of hives placed in a circle in the midst of plants that support their needs. Though mist and a gentle rain surrounded the day work continued and I was grateful to be of some help at the Spikenard Farm and Bee Sanctuary.
I had the wonderful opportunity to visit this farm and bee sanctuary recently. Lending a hand where needed I met Gunther and Vivien Hauk, author and the founders of the sanctuary. I also met Jane, Summer and Rick sanctuary staff members. Together we planted an annual garden bed working side by side sowing seeds such as flax, poppy, zinnia, and sunflowers to name a few. Together we lightly hoed to tamp the seeds into the turned earth. It is said that “many hands make light work”. It’s true. We had this area seeded and hoed in no time working cooperatively. Teaching, learning, helping got the job done in a pleasurable way. I couldn’t help but wonder what songs my Native American ancestors would sing while getting the job done!
The intentions of supporting and sharing the healing of the bees and supporting the land were part of my purpose in going. After weeding in the vegetable gardens we broke bread, shared stories. Then Gunther and I walked the property edges. He showed me future plans for expansion all in keeping with the concepts of biodynamic farming and beekeeping.
Before I left we checked on a recent swarm. Beautiful combs were formed on the hive slats. I was in awe of the gentleness and caring he and his
staff showed. Vital, intense, committed to giving to the whole is the dynamic of a hive. It was a pleasure and a privilege to visit this lovely and well cared for ground.
I have mentioned the plight of our honeybees in previous articles and discussed the concept of relationships in some measure. Biodynamic farming builds and enriches the soil. Biodynamic beekeeping cooperates with the natural order of the Hive, maintaining the integrity and health of these beautiful creatures. We can co-create with the resources beneath our feet and share these resources supporting the dynamic of respectful partnership.
I highly recommend 2 documentaries:
Queen of the Sun
Vanishing of the Bees
Also, Gunther and his wife are Waldorf School trained teachers. The Biodynamic way of farming comes from Rudolph Steiner as does this education model. For more information on Rudolph Steiner’s model for teaching and Biodynamic farming methods and philosophy visit the highlighted link.
Spikenard Farm relies on the support and donations of you and I. I ask all of you dear family and friends to consider donating to this worthwhile model.
“Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary
445 Floyd Highway North
Floyd, VA 24091
For donations in stock please email us firstname.lastname@example.org
All donations are fully tax deductible.
We thank you in advance for your investment in the future of the earth and our life with the bees.”
Gratitude surrounds us this month, doesn’t it? We in the USA have created a day of Thanksgiving and regardless of how the story is told we spend a day together where many of us hold hands and give thanks. I was fortunate to have been with family and friends this holiday. It felt warm and lovely to break bread with them. I hope you have used Thanksgiving to give thanks too. No matter what is in our lives on any given day, we are here and we are participants in life. For that I am grateful.
I decided to share with you my thoughts and feelings about three incredibly remarkable, mystical women that have truly inspired me along the way; some you may know and some you may not. Since I am an avid reader and love to teach, these women are successful authors and teachers. They have been the stars in my sky especially when clouds got in the way of clear viewing. I am excited to talk about them and hopefully inspire you to pick up something different and amazing for your winter reading and for your holiday gift list.
Jean Houston, at 81 years old and proud of her age, is a lover of life, genius, storyteller, philosopher, mentor, and world renown speaker and teacher. She has mentored me through her books to question the bigger picture. Her sense of humor reminds me to lighten up and think BIG. Her book, The Wizard of US, enchants us with the retelling of the Wizard of Oz from a symbolic point of view. In A Mythic Life, she recounts her “dreamland” upbringing in Hollywood and intersperses her worldview and philosophy. I admire that she has been called by many all over the world, heads of state, governments, including our own to bring her love, guidance, and possibilities of co-creating, finding solutions to the critical problems we face today. She brings style, grace, depth all with an eager heart. Thank you, Jean.
Caroline Myss: Wow. She is like the North Star, a guide for a soul traveler. She too has authored many books and teaches all over the world. For example, Sacred Contracts, makes the world of archetypes understandable. As you may know, the world of dreams has been a passion of mine for decades. I appreciate her in-depth understanding of how our archetypes guide us. For me this work is invaluable. More than her books I admire the teacher she is who reveals the person she is. I have gotten online webinars from her website and I am continually impressed at her depth and her clarity. There is no other word I can think of that describes her dissemination of complex philosophical understandings and her depth of the world’s history other than awesome! Her willingness to serve and be of service comes through and reminds me again and again that I/we came here to help create a great world, not mediocre, not one we settle for, but a GREAT world. We have that potential and possibility. It starts with you and me.
I continue to read most of her work. She has a blog, go to her site to sign up. I look forward to her blogs and her insights. I hope you will consider this amazing lady and explore her work. Thank you, Caroline.
Marianne Williamson, another woman facing self and working to create a new world, the new earth. She too has been on the inner journey. Years ago, I came across an article on the qualities of a true leader from The Institute of Noetic Sciences. This organization is dedicated to asking questions and then exploring answers in science, spirituality, and nature. What can we do to improve this earth, where we are born where we play, create, explore and discover our potential. A true leader, they said, is one who goes on the inner journey and honestly knows oneself. Marianne is one such woman. Her books explore relationships, forgiveness, and love that use her understanding from the Course in Miracles as her springboard. Today she is daring to state our political process doesn’t work. How can we change it? What do we want from and can give to our political process that enhances our commitment to serve each other and not the bottom line? Remarkable.
Marianne’s book The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles. helps us get clarity on the law of attraction looking at our deeper self. Thank you, Marianne, for reminding me that miracles are a part of life.
Three women living extraordinary lives because they have listened to the call of their souls, the Holy Spirit, the Divinity that dwells within them, that dwells in all of us. Their gifts have blessed my garden and I look forward to walking new paths. Their collective clarion call to us is to wake up to our authentic self, be grateful for the old story, let it go and pick up the mantle as co-creators. The new is unknown. Remember we have each other.
With gratitude and appreciation for these special ladies in my life, I thank you. Namaste. Judith
Description: History is told from the eyes of the recorder, often orally noted and passed down, and where and when possible, through documents and letters. What is the true history of Thanksgiving? What is the Native American record of this holiday connected to the colonial time period of the 1600’s? Rachel Sayet, Mohegan tribal member, adjunct lecturer for Native American Culture Classes and presentations, relates the stories told among New England Tribes. The oral tradition was valued, revered and served a great purpose during that time period. Thanksgiving, as told by the native peoples from NE America may surprise you. Enjoy a thought-provoking discussion, stories, and prayer told by Rachel Sayet.
About My Guest: Rachel is a Mohegan tribal member from Uncasville, Connecticut. She received her bachelor’s degree in restaurant management from Cornell University. While attending Cornell, Rachel worked in kitchens and took many culinary classes. Upon graduation, Rachel worked as a personal chef in upstate New York. She later went on to receive her master’s in anthropology at Harvard University. Rachel has been working for the Mohegan Cultural Department since 2013. Since then, she has also been researching Native American foods. She has presented her work throughout the country at conferences and classrooms, and has begun food sovereignty initiatives at the Mohegan Tribe; partnering with the health department on gardening events, cooking and storytelling workshops for Mohegan youth, and a native cooking show. Her most recent project is the Native Food Discussion Group, created in order to share knowledge about seasonal eating, harvesting, growing, and fishing practices.
Transcript: #38 Rachel Sayet #2
For more information and to read the complete prayer go to:
01_02_Thanksgiving_Address: found at:
My Native American elder friend, Grandmother Kitty, Nakota Sioux, who has passed, would often remind us to do everything with ‘an attitude of gratitude’. Being grateful for every aspect of our lives ‘in the moment’ shifts something deep within. Is it easy? Sometimes yes and sometimes not. We have to redirect that which bothers us for just a moment and when we do, our breath becomes our ally.
I woke up today realizing how the sun is traveling the morning sky differently from just one month ago. A kingfisher clicked across the backyard while other birds quietly sang their morning song. I usually begin my day with a warm glass of water with lemon juice. I felt grateful for the clean water I am able to easily drink. And that took one minute, maybe a few breaths of awareness.
Cultivating a mindful practice takes some diligent effort. Yet feeling grateful for something, our car, our job, our family, for being able to get up and walk where we choose and everything in between gives us an easy starting point. So here are 3 easy reminders:
- Choose to be grateful for this moment.
- Pick one area: grateful for the drink in hand, the food on your plate, your family. You get the picture.
- Focus on your breath, taking one inhalation breathing in gratitude for self and exhaling gratitude from your heart for others.
My podcast guest this week. Deb Sodergren, practitioner, teacher and author and owner of Up Vibrations, encourages her clients and all of us to breath deeply and
be grateful. So stop right now and take a deep breath with me. Savor this one moment and breath again with the mindfulness of feeling grateful.
One of my favorite teachers, Caroline Myss, reminds us that every thought, word, and deed carries our name into infinity….pretty amazing! Today I would like to end with gratitude. A reminder for me and a reminder for you….may the gratitude we feel for our precious life and all we share sail up to the moon and reach beyond the stars and bless all.
Remember, please comment and share. You are appreciated
Description: I came across Canticle Farm through Father Richard Rohr’s work at his Center for Action and Contemplation in New Mexico. Intrigued I contacted Canticle Farm and met Anne Symens-Bucher, an initiatory member. Canticle Farm is a community begun one step at a time in an urban neighborhood in East Oakland, CA experimenting at the intersection of faith-based, social justice-based and earth-based non-violent activism. They take a holistic approach to community in all its facets and complexity. Join us for a deep and inspiring discussion. All comments are appreciated. Please like and share. Thanks.
About My Guest: Anne Symens-Bucher is an initiatory member fo Canticle Farm, a community in East Oakland, CA experimenting at the intersection of faith-based, social justice-based, and earth-based non-violent activism.
Transcript:: #21 Ann Symens-Bucher