Monday, May 16, 2011

ZEN & New Computer Set-up

I am re-reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M Pirzig, while I wait for my new computer to arrive.  I am surprised by the byline, “An Inquiry Into Values.”  I don’t remember that. In fact, I don’t remember much about this book.  It is totally new to me. The paper back I recently purchased for $2.50 at the used book store looks exactly like the one I moved from house to house for the last twenty-five years or so. I am, at this point, not sure that I ever read the book even though I professed many times to having done so. It was first published in 1974, one year after I left Missouri and travelled to Colorado in my personal search for freedom.

This morning I am curled up on the couch with my little purple book as I wait for Bonnie to come and take away the frightful, strange, ‘too new’ yucky feelings I get when I look at my new computer. I read these words in Part II, Chapter 14, which speak to my anxiety – my fear of the unknown.

“Assembly of Japanese bicycle require great peace of mind.” ...

…"Peace of mind isn’t at all superficial, really,” I expound. “It’s the whole thing.  That which produces it is good maintenance; that which disturbs it is poor maintenance. What we call workability of the machine is just an objectification of this peace of mind. The ultimate test’s always your own serenity. If you don’t have this when you start and maintain it while you’re working you’re likely to build your personal problems right into the machine itself.” 

WOW!!!!  There it is.

Before Bonnie gets here I want to adjust/transform my fearfulness of computers into something more productive.
A willingness to allow this computer to be as great as it can be ~ allowing me to keep my real estate business going even as I move into my new career as an equine gestalt coach, writing and producing fliers as I go!!!!!
I intend that my quickening heartbeat is all about excitement for the future, not the dread from long time limiting beliefs of the past.
Together we ARE powerful. 
I sense a different way of being moving in. I make way for it.  

And I hope that when I finally get around to unpacking the boxes in my shed I will find my original copy of this marvelous book.  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It is timeless.

Thank you, Bonnie, for your time, patience, and your far reaching knowledge of the computer. 
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!!!!

PS.  She told me her name is Melanie. Yes, my computer told me this. Could be my imagination, but no matter, I will call her Melanie.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Computer Woes

Well, I am sitting at my local library where I have been checking emails all week.  Last Saturday my hard drive crashed. What a bummer. I still haven't found out if they are going to be able to get all the data off my dear old Jorge (i know, i know ... i do have a propensity for naming what some of you consider inanimate objects). But yes, it is Jorge with a "J". 

Minus a computer I have been out of business as a real estate appraiser ~ no work ~ no pay. Bummer. It is not as much fun having a week off when it is not your choice !?!?!  On the other hand, I have been reading and writing and working on my new business schedule for this summer ~ just in the nick of time.  I even vacuumed  behind my computer desk and straightened all of my computer accessory cables so that it will make installation easier.  The thought of which makes my blood run cold, but, with a little help from some friends we will get 'er done.

I have my fingers and toes crossed that my external hard drive was indeed functional enough for the tech support folks to pull off information and that all of my writings for the past seven years and all of my pictures ... have been saved to my new computer.

It will be a few more days before my new computer gets here and I figure him (or her) out.
I wish you all a great week. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Horse as Healer: Chakras & Empowerment

Chakra balancing.
I have seen Melisa’s horses do this over and over.  They start at the human’s toes and with their nose they go up one side of the body and down the other, slowly, methodically. Sometimes they walk around the human and scan the back side as well. Sometimes they will stand in front of the client and sway back and forth with their nose at the heart chakra. Well they don’t really sway their whole body, they just gently swing their head back and forth usually standing fairly close to the human.
One very large black and white Gypsy Vanner horse, will slowly back up to a person and press her root chakra onto the client. She will move around the person and press her butt on them from different angles. It looks kind of funny but she is trying to ground the person into the “now-ness” of the moment. She is very gentle and walks very slowly with her large magnificent feet.
 When they are finished the horse will back away or move away from the human and they often look over at Melisa as if to say, “I know it only took two minutes, but we’re done here. This one is cleared and balanced to the best of my ability.”
 It could be scary to the human if they didn’t trust both the facilitator and the horse, but that has not been my experience. The human always love it in the end as they walk out of the round pen glowing.

Once there was timid woman with a very, very sad story that she told very well. I am beginning to realize how boring stories really are when they are polished and embellished due to years and years practicing of the telling. (And I look at myself and how many tedious stories I have bored people with. Write them, get them out of me, and move on for goodness sakes!) Anyway the woman was going on and Melisa said “Okay I get the idea. Lets try an exercise. Are you willing to do that?”

The woman agreed and we brought in a large dark bay gelding, a very handsome creature to be sure. Melisa also sent someone for the mounting block and brought a couple of extra students.  We all knew that the woman had a little bit of horse experience and were not surprised when she agreed to ride this horse bareback. She looked like a tiny fairy up on the horses back and she immediately broke out in this huge grin. We led the horse around the circle with a side walker on either side to make sure that she was safe and had the woman speak of joy.
Melisa coached her with stem sentences like, “I feel joy when …”

And ended up by asking where in her body was she feeling this joy. “It is like my entire core is filled with golden light; my whole rib cage is expanding with joy.” She bent over the horse and wrapped her hands around his neck, still grinning and indeed, it was if a light were radiating from her. We walked in silence for a while and Melisa instructed her to feel all the joy, to let it soak into her body, and to know that she could come back to this memory in an instant, any time she wanted to. This was her touchstone for joy.
The woman walked out of the round pen and she truly did look different to all of us; softer, more relaxed and happier than we had ever known her.

And still, that is just the beginning……

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Healing Horses - Energy Clearing

Being in Melisa’s program this past fourteen months has been amazing. The things that I have seen horses do with human clients has been inspiring.  I want to expound on each of these further but I want to take a few moments and float back through the year and pick up some strong points.

Leaching. I took my horse to the October 2010 CORE,  our week-end intensive training sessions and she proved herself to be a true healer.
With one of the clients who had years of pent up anxiety and trauma, Lakota stood beside her and with her nose, slowly scanned the woman’s body, up and down from her toes to the top of her head.  Then Lakota stood there and opened her mouth and did these long deep yawns. In my own body I almost felt like gagging ~ it was almost painful to watch but then she is my best friend and I was feeling very protective of her. Melisa and the woman kept dialoging, she telling her story and Lakota kept yawing. She stopped one time, appeared to be listening to the story and then started yawning again over and over. Her head was down, her teeth exposed and she leaned into each yawn.

When the woman was done talking and Lakota was done yawing, Melisa asked the client how she was feeling now. “Well, I’m not really sure what just happened but I feel pounds lighter and much happier.”

“I am not surprised” Melisa said.

Melisa thanked Lakota and we put her back in her stall and debriefed the session. Melisa told us that the horse was pulling the toxic energy out of the woman’s body and releasing it with her deep yawning. She literally leached the negativity out of the woman. Of course we wanted to know what effect it had on the horse and she explained that the horse acts as a clearing vessel and it goes right through them and is released to the universe to be transmuted by the creator energy that surrounds the healing horse.

Horses do NOT hang onto useless energy,  they release it immediately,
they do not ruminate about what happened yesterday,
and they certainly do not worry about what is going to happen tomorrow.
They are totally in the present moment ~ always!  

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dandelion Festival

A few years after I graduated from herb school (1995), Dorje Root, a fellow herbalist, approached me with a wondrous idea. She suffered from “Environmental Dis-ease” and wanted to let her neighbors know that there were other things to do with dandelions than spraying them with toxic chemicals. She needed help and I was totally intrigued. Thus was born, the city of Boulder’s first Dandelion Festival. We planned a one day event filled with fun activities and classes on various subjects: cooking with weeds, the fascinating art of brewing dandelion wine, medicine making ~ which included teas, tinctures and lip balms ~ as well as the medicinal properties of our dearly beloved yellow friend.

It was a lot of work, to put it mildly, and the first spring we pulled it off in Dorje’s back yard. Her children made signs and posted them, and her oldest daughter collected a meager admission fee at the back yard gate. The children loved making lip balm and folks really enjoyed the cooking class. We presented a salad of wild weeds including purple mustard, mallow, wild spinach, as well as the yellow flowers and young leaves of our guest of honor.  Then we sautéed up a batch of onions and garlic, added dandelion greens, nettles, and the very young leaves of yellow dock and sprinkled this with vinegar and tamari. We finished off with a Dandelion-Rhubarb Crisp that remained a festival favorite for years to come.  Our small crowd ate everything we made, every last morsel.

We considered it a total success with over twenty-five neighbors and “people-who-don’t-know-us” stopping in to see what all the fuss was about. Well, almost a total success.  We learned that very first year that you do not bring out the dandelion wine early in the day; it should be one of the last classes offered. It involves wine tasting and is way too much fun for everyone involved!

The next two years we offered the festival again, the last week in April, in Dorje’s back yard. And for the two years after that we were hosted by Hedgerow Farm located east of Boulder. Every year we offered more classes, bringing in published authors for talks and book signings. Every year more people flocked to our festival; we had to find volunteers to park cars!!  It was exhilarating and exhausting. We were hoping that the Naropa Institute of Boulder, Colorado, and the owner’s of Hedgerow Farm, would take over the festival as part of their continuing education and community outreach program, but they did not take the bait. Alas, after 5 successful years, we were worn out. 

Below I offer you two “dandy” recipes that were published in the Daily Camera, Boulder’s local rag, on April 25, 2001. The article was printed in the FOOD section of the newspaper the week before our festival, along with a Schedule of Events.
These recipes are easy, quick, delicious, and dare I say it, good for you.

Sautéed Dandelion Greens

1 Tbl. Olive oil
1 Tbl. Tamari
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 Tbl. Apple cider vinegar
4 cups fresh spring dandelion greens, washed thoroughly and chopped
(blanching optional, see note)

Combine olive oil, tamari, and vinegar in a skillet and warm on medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the greens. If using fresh greens, sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. If using blanched greens, just warm through, about another minute.
Makes 2 to 3 servings.
NOTE: Dandelion greens get very bitter later in the season, even in late spring. To eliminate some of this bitterness, place the greens in a sauce pan and pour boiling water over them. Bring the water back to a boil. Strain, then repeat the process if necessary.

Dandy Tofu

½ pound of tofu, cut into cubes or sticks
Enough soy sauce or tamari to cover tofu
One cup of tightly packed wild greens (dandelion, mallow leaves, wild spinach, purple mustard, etc)
1 Tbl. Oil or butter
A few dashes of turmeric
Optional: chopped hardboiled eggs, mushrooms, garlic and/or onion, sesame seeds.

Place the sliced tofu in a shallow bowl. Pour soy sauce over it and leave it to marinate. Go outside and gather wild greens (also available at heath-food stoves and “better” grocery markets)
Add oil or butter to saucepan over medium heat. Begin browning the tofu, sprinkle with turmeric, while you wash and strain your greens. When the tofu is browned on one side, turn it and lay the greens on top.
Add any optional ingredients. Cover and let simmer on medium low heat for a few more minutes, till other side of tofu is browned. Gently stir and serve.
Makes 1 to 2 servings.
I Love this for breakfast!!

NOTE: for years now I have been substituting Braggs Amino Acids for soy sauce and tamari. It is a much healthier choice for a low salt diet.
Turmeric is wonderful for the digestive system and can be taken in capsule form for joint inflammation.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

TESTIMONIAL from May 1, 2011's Wild Food Workshop

Dear Annette,

What a wonderful day being with you and the circle of horse women!

Thank you so much for sharing Lakota with me. I will never forget her breathing and gentleness. I do believe she licked my hands to help heal them!!  She knew I needed some help there. I am so glad she let me hug her and pet her.

The sharing circle at the beginning was powerful. You are such a sensitive, loving, enthusiastic teacher. I always love field trips so visiting the variety of plants and picking and tasting them was pure fun. Now I just need to find some wild plants that haven’t been sprayed.

Thank you for offering this special class. Any time I can learn more about wild plants and animals, I feel blessed. May you find sweet success, you deserve it.

AT, Boulder, Colorado