Friday, January 27, 2017

A rough start

As a life coach, I help women find the unconscious patterns in their life that are painful, and I partner with them to evolve and transform these issues.

So you would think I'm good at this stuff myself, wouldn't you?

There's nothing like a vacation with all its expectations to point out where improvement in one's personal development is needed.  Ahem.

We are in Maui, where we all have cycled through a bad flu topped off with a nasty stomach bug. Steve and I as well as our three kids all had it, feeling grumpy, tired, sick and bad, so they've bickered more than usual.

Combined with a few days of pretty severe winds and cloudy skies, our vacation got off on a rough start.

Last week, one day was the breaking point for me.  The Air B and B apartment we had rented had matresses made of rocks, so I didn't get much sleep.  Steve, who can sleep on top of a moving camel if he has to, snored peacefully while I tossed and turned all night.

The kids found a huge black spider in the bathroom.

We headed for a hike and got soaked in a violent downpour.  I took these pictures seconds before the rain hit.

Back at the apartment, I stepped on a cockroach.

When we headed to the beach 30 minutes away, we got a message from the Air B and B hosts telling us we have to check out because another guest was waiting to check in.  There had been a misunderstanding with the amount of nights we booked.

So we drove the whole way back just before getting to the beach, packed up frantically and tried to find another place to stay at, short notice, on Maui.

It wasn't a pretty moment.

I lost my temper with the kids, hated Steve and his infuriating equanimity in the face of all this adversity, and entertained many self-loathing thoughts about myself, other people, and the injustices of life.

I was seething, ready to throw a fit and lash out at my family.  Then I noticed how bad all this made my body feel.

Right there, I knew I had a choice: be a mean bitch, or turn my attention to the little six year old girl inside of me who needed my adult self to turn towards her, give her love and attention, and hold space for her.

So I did.  I allowed myself to feel all the feelings, explained to myself that no, I'm not a terrible mother and wife, I'm just stressed because of various reasons.

After getting perspective and space around my feelings, my anger dissipated.  I felt the sun on my face, felt grateful for a husband who is Buddha incarnate, and admired a rainbow.

I'm glad I have so much practice applying what I teach other women, because my old self would have created hell for myself and my family on this vacation.  Breaking old, ingrained patterns takes practice, commitment and support.  It's worth it, and not as hard as it may seem.

Things worked out for us after all.  We found another place to stay, discovered more beaches and rainbows, scored some treats for the kids, and were kind to each other.

If Momma ain't happy, nobody's happy.

As always, my kids are my greatest teachers.  They teach me to be patient.  They show me how to be in the present moment - unapologetically, without agenda.  They demonstrate unbridled joy, and if they ain't feelin' it, they remind me to do yoga.

Luke practiced some yoga at sunset the other night.  It was so fun to watch him, and then see Eva join him in a spontaneous dance.

Let me leave you with images of our excursion to Haleakala Crater, elevation 10,000 feet.  It's supposed to be absolutely spectacular, but it was so lost in the clouds, and we were feeling so badly that day, it wasn't that mind-blowing view-wise.

One closeup view was amazing: the silver sword only grows near the summit of this particular crater.

PS: If you want to get on the phone with me for a free discovery session to look at your painful patterns and to explore how I can help you, let me know!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Animal rescues (or not) in paradise

If you are wondering why I haven't published a blog post in 12 days, here's why:

Every single member of our family has been struck down with the flu.  Since this thing lasts two whole days, and since we politely took turns getting sick so Mom and Dad wouldn't be sick at the same time as the kids, the flu has held us captive for two weeks.

This was a huge concern, not only because the flu sucks, but also because we were supposed to go on our long-planned vacation to Maui.

Alas, we did get on the airplane, with one member of our family still somewhat feverish (sorry, dear fellow passengers).

But we made it.  We're here in paradise.

None of us is feeling 100 percent, and poor Steve - the last one to fall - was sick in bed for two days.  We are coughing our way through various beaches and Banyan tree groves, but we are mending, and we are having fun, in between fits.

I've seen whales every single day so far, spouting off in the distance, tails slapping, massive bodies breaching in an explosion of spray.

Sea turtles can often be spotted in the waves, especially when jumping fish are present, because they want to get away from the turtles instead of being their dinner.

For two days, Maui got hit by an extreme windstorm, and what do I do, of course, but walk on the beach with the wind knocking me sideways.  My airy Gemini nature loves windy weather.  As I gusted along the sand, I saw this fellow:

I've never seen a sea turtle up close in the sand before, and although I am known as an animal whisperer at home, I had absolutely no clue what to do about this turtle.  I knew not to touch it and to give it space, but it was missing its back flipper and a part of the shell, and I wondered if a shark had taken a bite out of it.

I made some phone calls right there at the beach, frantically scribbling phone numbers into the sand, and finally got connected with the turtle rescue people.

I think it's unusual for turtles to be on the beach by themselves in the middle of the day, but after I texted them pictures, they recognized this dude and assured me that's just what he does.

I'm glad he seems to be okay, because he did look half dead.

Despite the blustery weather, we find pockets of sun and waves and are loving our beach time.

And the plants!  The plants!!!  I can't name a single one of them - they are all exotic and marvelous to me, lush, show-offy, dramatic, beautiful.

Today we went for a walk where signs warned about falling coconuts.  Since it was windy, I felt nervous about walking along and being kicked in the noggin by a falling coconut.

It's humbling to be in a place where I know nothing.  That prehistoric thing that got swept up on the beach?  The stranded or maybe not-stranded turtle?  Will I get a horrible rash if I use the plant on the side of the path as emergency toilet paper?

Anyway... I hope you are not feeling too jealous about us being in Maui.  Or do I say ON Maui, since it's an island?

We've been working so, so hard, and we got five free airplane tickets, so we planned this trip and dangled it in front of our noses for months while we busted our butts.

So let me show you some pictures to let you live vicariously through us, and I hope you are not too cold and miserable at home.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Life changing

Let's talk about something I haven't talked about on this blog.  In this virtual space, I write mostly about our homesteading life, which is meant to educate and inspire you.  I love being of service in this way.

But there is another huge love in my life, my real soul's work, and that is helping people change their lives as their transformative life coach.  I especially love working with mothers.

There are so many women who are suffering, and you might be one of them, or know one of them.

You might be hurting inside, sick and tired of repeating the same old patterns over and over again.  You are hitting a personal glass ceiling you can't break through, and you don't know why.  

For some of us, it's about being completely stressed out and overextended, feeling like we can never catch up, never measure up to our ideals of being the perfect mother/wife/daughter/friend.  We believe we are stuck and have no choice.

Some of us believe we have to put ourselves last, put other people's needs above our own, constantly abandoning ourselves and resenting everyone else.

Many people don't even know what self-care looks like - the kind of radical love for our own self that will propel us into thriving in life.

For some, it's never finding a fulfilling love life.  Many people believe they can never find the right person, that love is not possible for them.  Or if they are in a relationship, they are not happy with the person.

You probably read this blog because you are drawn to our lifestyle, you connect with us on some level.  Many of you come here because you get inspired and like the positivity.

But can I tell you something?  Despite all the positivity on my blog, despite looking like living a dream life, I used to struggle with depression and burn-out.

Even after reading dozens of self-help books, going to counseling and psychotherapy for years, and "working" on myself diligently, I still felt that things weren't right, and I felt guilty about it because my life was pretty great.

I felt unfulfilled, stressed out, depressed, anxious, resentful and completely overextended a lot of the time.

I carried a lot of guilt about my mothering.  I had all these ideas in my head of how I wanted to mother and be present for my kids, but I often felt resentful, unfulfilled, and even (gasp!!!) bored when taking care of them.

When I found Claire Zammit's Feminine Power work, I immediately resonated with it.  I took her seven week course, which changed my life because it got me in touch with a younger self inside of me that had gotten neglected all my life.  This younger self believed she was not wanted, not good enough, not worthy.

Things shifted for me dramatically when I applied the tools I learned.

I then took the nine months mastery course, which went much deeper into this work.

After that, I took the leadership course.

And then I got certified as a Feminine Power coach and have been coaching women ever since.

My clients' feedback has been incredible.  Their lives change when they coach with me, in as little as two months.  I get teary reading their testimonials.

You can read some of the testimonials here.

This is incredibly powerful work, and having someone hold a safe container for them while they shift their identities is a huge honor.  

I offer a free intro session via phone, and if you feel called to going deeper and finding out more, please head on over to my website and sign up for a free session.  I would love to partner with you, to help you midwife your potentials into this world.

I have a limited amount of free intro sessions available, so if you want to explore with me, claim your free intro session now!

PS: Yes, this is me in a summer dress in the snow, in very, very, very cold weather with a big Northeaster blowing in.  Steve and I did a photo shoot to show you to shake things up a little!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

How to make your own liquid laundry detergent

If you are aiming for a more natural, self-sufficient life, want to save money, and be in charge of your own health, it's time to start making your own laundry detergent.

It's so easy! Easy, easy, easy!  And fast!

Most store-bought laundry detergent is full of weird ingredients, some of them known cancer causing agents, filled with harmful chemicals and unhealthy fragrances.  Even when you buy the "natural" stuff, it's loaded with many unrecognizable ingredients.

Here's the secret.  All you need to get clean, fresh, good-smelling laundry are a few ingredients:

1) Natural bar soap (such as Fels Naptha or Doctor Bronner's)

2) Borax (20 Mule Team Borax is available in most grocery stores in the laundry aisle)

3) Washing Soda - not to be confused with baking soda!!! (Most stores carry the Arm and Hammer brand)

4) Water

optional: essential oils like tea tree oil and lavender, or lemon if you like that smell

If I were really dorky, I would do the math and figure out how much cheaper this is than store-bought laundry detergent.  All I can tell you: it saves you a lot of money.

I have a family of five, including two very, very active teenage boys, and one tom-boy girl, and we have a homestead with lots of dirt, mud, grass stains, dust, sweat, birthing fluids, manure... you get the picture.  Plus, our kids are homeschooled, so they are outdoors almost all day.  

I do a lot of laundry.

A five gallon bucket like this lasts me two months, and it costs mere cents to make.  

In terms of cleaning power, this stuff works.  Our laundry gets clean and smells fresh.

How to make liquid laundry soap

I use little scraps and trimmings of my own home made goat milk soap, but you can easily get Dr. Bronners or Fels Naptha soap.

1. Grate one bar of soap (about 5 ounces) with a fine grater, or even do it in the food processor to chop the pieces nice and small.

2. Put these small soap pieces in a pan with 2 quarts hot water and stir constantly so the soap dissolves completely.

3. Put 4 gallons of hot water straight from the tap into a 5-gallon bucket.

4. Into this bucket with hot water, stir in 2 cups of borax and 2 cups of washing soda until it's all nicely dissolved.

5. Put the dissolved soap mixture from the pan into this bucket and stir well.  If you want to, you could now add a few drops of essential oils.  Lavender and tea tree oils are nice, because they also have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties and smell good.

6. Label this, cover the bucket and leave it sitting overnight.

7. Stir or shake it up every time you use it.  Use 1/2 cup or 1 cup per load.

That's it!  I told you it's fast and easy, didn't I?

Why don't you whip up a batch of this and let me know how it works for you?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year 2017!!!

I spent the day before New Year's draped over the toilet boil, throwing up.

I bet a lot of other people did the same thing on New Year's Day morning, but their retching came from over-enthusiastic alcohol consumption on a New Year's party.

Mine came from good old stomach flu.

Alas, I feel better today, January first, 2017. And it's starting out absolutely beautifully, eight inches of newly fallen snow, and sunshine. SUNSHINE!

Lured by the magical white landscape, I put on a hat and jacket and dragged my body outside.  I hadn't eaten anything in 24 hours, so I felt pretty weak, but who could resist an opportunity to take photos of this?

On my stroll outside I discovered that the kiwi trellis collapsed under the load of heavy snow.

I also noticed that the greenhouse plastic had given away in some places.

And the outside swing by the trampoline, where we like to sit in summer, sported a huge white blanket.  I hope it won't collapse, too.

I just wanted to drop by here, queasy stomach and all, to wish you a happy new year.  I hope it will be a good one for you.  I hope all of humanity will unite to make the world a better place, as cliche as this sounds. 

But you know, we have work to do.  Let's do it!

I think this year will be an exciting and productive one for Marblemount Homestead.  We scheduled all our courses and retreats for this year, so watch for an announcement.

We also have another exciting announcement in a couple of weeks, so watch for it as well.  It's totally aligned with my soul's work, and I'm so thrilled I'll get to tell you about it soon!

I will leave you with an image of Steve, the best Daddy ever, and Eva.  When I was sick, he spent hours reading to her, taking her for walks, and coloring with her.  Such patience, such love.  He's my man, and he's the best one.

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