Month: November 2010

Holiday Offering

Holiday Offering/ Black Friday Anecdote

The holidays are coming. I certainly don’t need more “stuff.” In fact, I don’t know anyone who needs more stuff. I request that if anyone wants to give me anything, I prefer it is sharing one of their gifts with me. I have many friends in my life with amazing gifts they have cultivated as a result of their life journey. Not only do I get a gift of their soul’s journey, they get an opportunity to experience themselves as they share it, and build the energy around their gifts to the world. It’s a win, win. Consider this exchange as a Christmas Holiday idea.

One of the most fun and rewarding days I have spent are days I gather the women and we have a day of nourishing ourselves with facials, food, foot rubs, etc. I create a spa day. In fact, I share a day of this nourishment I created when I was living on Maui in my book. You can read about it on my web site as one of the book excerpts. www.divinenourishment.net.  Hopefully, it will inspire you to create a day with your friends. It is one of my gifts. I love making herbal facials, moisturizers, cleansers, etc. I love creating the space for women to just hang, nourish, and share. I love creating self kindness days. I need self kindness days.

None of us need more stuff for the holidays. I don’t know anyone who couldn’t use more self kindness. So consider offering a day of self nourishment, shared with friends as a gift that will have a much more meaningful rippling effect than a “thing” bought at the store that will eventually end up in a landfill somewhere. Consider having a soul gift exchange. What do you want to offer the world? Offer it as a gift someone can purchase for their beloved. Offer it to a friend that has a soul gift of their own to give you in exchange. It takes gift exchange to another level that supports us to grow into ourselves.

For those of you who don’t live in the Asheville, NC area here is a holiday gift from me that will support you to spend some time just giving yourself some extra kindness. It is my favorite facial recipe. It is a wonderful facial that moistens your skin during the drying winter months.

Avocado, Carrot, Cream Mask

1 avocado

1 cooked carrot

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 egg

3 TBS honey

Place in a food processor and whip the ingredients into a nice smooth paste.

Spread this on you face and neck and hang out having a cup of tea. After about 15-20 minutes remove this with a warm washcloth and apply moisturizer.

For those of you who live in the Asheville area I am offering a “Day of Self Kindness” in my cozy warm mountain home on Saturday, January 8th from 10:00AM -5:00PM for food and facials. It is a day of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. We will prepare and share a warming winter soup together. We will make and partake in food grade facials, and a beautiful rose, calendula facial moisturizer. I will show you how to make these facial products, and you will take home a jar of this nourishing facial moisturizer. If you like it and want to continue making it on your own, it will save you a ton of money. Consider giving this gift to someone you know who could use a day like this. Ask for it as a gift if you need it yourself. It is only $95.00 for the day all inclusive. We will affirm more self kindness as a new year resolution, and put it into action.

You may contact me at mary@divinenourishment.net if you are interested in this as a gift for you or a loved one.

Spiced Winter Squash with Fennel

I have an abundance of butternut squash from my garden. That and fennel bulb is offered abundantly at the local tailgate markets. Combine these beautiful fall vegetables with pungent spices and you have a perfect fall dish. I found this great recipe to share with you. I tried it and it is delicious. Enjoy!

yield: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

1 1 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, halved crosswise, then cut lengthwise into 3/4-inch-wide wedges

1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cut lengthwise into 1-inch-wide wedge

1 large onion, root end left intact, then cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide wedges

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Preparation

Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 450°F. Combine squash, fennel, and onion on heavy large rimmed baking sheet. Add oil and toss to coat. Mix all spices in small bowl to blend. Sprinkle spice mixture over vegetables and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and generous amount of pepper. Roast until vegetables are tender and browned, turning once, about 45 minutes. Transfer to shallow dish and serve.

Embracing the Sacred Feminine in Her Entirety

I follow the rhythm and flow of the seasons. It has been a powerful way to acquaint myself with the Sacred Feminine in her vastness and multitude of manifestations. It supports me to see myself reflected through the eyes of nature as a mirror. Through this practice I allow myself to flow from one flavor of my vast being to another just as she flows from season to season with different energetic qualities. The less I identify with one aspect of her and allow her to come through in her many expressions the more alive my life becomes.

Recently I had a day that was an exquisite example of her flowing through me in her ability to embrace all of life. It was a major wake up call for me and one of those pivotal moments that resulted in a “yes” I can do this. I can be her. I am her!

I work as a private chef for high end clients periodically. One of my jobs took me to Maui, my former home as chef for clients from Moscow. Because it was home for years I still have close friends there. I stayed with a friend whose Mother was suffering from Alzheimer’s. I offered to help care for her while there around my job. After I arrived she went down hill and my days were split between shopping and cooking for clients who paid me to not only be professional but very creative with my food. They were on vacation celebrating life. My food as art was part of this celebration. One moment I was supporting my friend and her mother as she rapidly approached death’s door. The next I was creating meals that nourished my clients on many levels.

The doorway between the worlds swung open every day as I moved from one reality to the other. We stayed up most the night supporting this elegant woman to let go of her life with peace in her heart. The morning came when she let her life go. I was blessed to be with her in that moment. We bathed, anointed, and dressed her body. We honored her passing with a sacred ritual of the Goddess as gate keeper between the worlds.

I immediately left this sacred space to shop, go to my client’s vacation villa, prepare a meal that would dazzle them, and support their celebration of a day that made them thrilled to be alive. I never mentioned to my clients what my day was like before coming to work.

The Great Sacred Feminine offered me a day with her signature. She owns it all. The more I embrace life and death equally the more alive I feel, the more sacred my life becomes, the more I can embrace her in her entirety. It was a glorious sacred day!

Mary Lane

Dear Body

I did not honor the agility, unlimited energy and vibrancy of your youth until it was gone. I did not honor your beauty, sensuality and sexual aliveness of your maiden years until it was gone. I spent years in non appreciation of you, tried to fix you through artificial means, thinking it was your fault I didn’t love myself. Spent the following several years in self hatred for betraying you. Spent the next several years trying to rectify my past relationship with you through the food I have fed you, hoping in some small way this was enough. I feel your appreciation for this level of care as I approach the auspicious passage of my 60th birthday. You have overcome all my ignorance’s and continue to give me the ability to wake up every morning pain free with enough energy to do my hiking, gardening, dancing, living. However, am I truly honoring you enough?

You have selflessly walked with me through every step of my journey in this life, even though I have taken you for granted. Your resilience that has enabled me to come to this 60th year is no longer lost on me. I have traveled enough miles now to gain enough wisdom to know that the day will come when I have to say goodbye to you, my dearest friend that has stood by me no matter what. Without you I could not take this sacred journey, experience the many twists and turns, pleasures and pains that has allowed me to grow and evolve as a soul. Without you I could not experience myself as an expression of the Divine.

I honor my role as steward of your health knowing that every morsel of nourishment I offer you comes from our Beloved Divine Mother. You are made of her, you carry her wisdom, and you obviously carry her compassion. I will honor each breath you take knowing it has been given as a gift from spirit, so that I may know myself.

Instead of waiting until I have moved onto the next phase of my journey that does not include you I am choosing on this day, and every day to give you thanks and treat you as the Divine gift you are in every way. I will listen to your wisdom, honor your intelligence, offer you rest and care as you carry me to your last breath. And, I will celebrate you and never ever consider you “less than” because our time together is temporary. Instead I will cherish every moment we have together, “because,” our time together is temporary.

Your grateful best friend

Mary

Fall, Honoring, Birth, Death

Every fall the energy of “Honoring” comes to the forefront of my consciousness. It is one of the universal spiritual aspects this season highlights. I notice every little nuance in life that reflects someone or something being honored, and more often than not, what is not, or has not been honored, that we are at the affect of now. It flows through my existence like water seeping through the cracks and crevices seeking the deepest ground where it can pool.

It seems like no matter what I am healing, reclaiming, returning, realigning with, it boils down to “Honoring.” How much I honor myself, and everything else in existence.

Lately I have supported friends to have a sacred passage as they left their bodies. These experiences greatly highlighted the lack of honoring of the passage as sacred and deserving of being embraced. Whenever I take notice of something, Pandora opens her box and out flies all the connections to this observation. With this came the lack of honoring our elders.

Currently I am supporting a close friend to have a conscious, normal, natural birthing experience for her and her newborn baby. I am honored to be a part of her journey and will be supporting her through labor. We are attending classes together and being educated on what that can look like.  In the process I have had my eyes opened to the abomination of birth that overran our society for the last 100 years, or so.

I watched a very powerful movie, “The Business of Being Born.”  It stated when we took birthing out of the hands of midwives and put it into the hospitals, lead by surgeons, convincing women they didn’t know how to give birth, there was a big shift in the birthing process. Something women have been doing for millions of years all of a sudden could not be trusted in their hands. Go figure. The body was no longer honored for knowing how to do this, largely because it took too long, and didn’t fit the busy schedule of the hospital staff. How on Earth did we buy into that nonsense?

The recognition of the ultimate take away was unnerving, and brought up so much rage in me. A rage I had carried my entire life. I dug a little deeper with this and realized that the majority of us who were born during this period in history, which, by the way, is still going on, came into this world, NOT BEING HONORED as a sacred being in a sacred way that produced a bond of the deepest love between Mother and child. The Mothers were not honored, and the babies were not honored.

So, how on Earth are we suppose to walk through life honoring ourselves and the world around us? How are we suppose to honor our Mother? I realized to shift this perception of ourselves will take shifting the birthing process back to it’s natural state, supported by those who honor this passage as a sacred event that the Mother, her body, and baby together have the wisdom to accomplish.

Surgeons and hospitals are a wonderful backup if for some reason something goes wrong, which is always a possibility, so we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water. Bless them for doing what they are good at. But women have always, since the beginning of time surrounded women who are giving birth. This is a feminine trait that is hardwired. Maybe if we give this sacred passage along with the passage of leaving this world back to the feminine, over time we will have a society that is capable of honoring themselves, one another, and the world around them. (This includes men who are balanced and embrace this side of themselves.)

Then maybe birth and death can return to the ultimate orgasmic experience in life that it was designed to be, instead of infused with fear and confusion.

I am thrilled to also become aware that a large movement toward bringing both these passages back into the realm of the sacred is gaining momentum. Consider opening to this realm and breath as much life into it as possible, so we can all return to our birth right of being honored as a sacred being, brought into a sacred life, on a sacred Earth, that we and all sentient beings deserve. Imagine what that would do for the neighborhood!

I myself plan to give myself a rebirthing experience of honoring myself for my upcoming 60th birthday with the attitude, that it is never to late to have an orgasmic, sacred birth.