The last two weeks have been filled with emotional highs and lows for me, and last night I crashed from all this … our souls can carry much more than our bodies.But I relearned a few important core facts about life.We relearn these things throughout our lives if we take the time to live life fully and with great attention. These lessons I relearned are important lessons, important enough to share here. I am not going to share what happened these last few weeks, as the details are not universal as much as personal, and would likely be of little interest to you.But I do what to share with you the outcomes – what I have relearned. I hope they help you as they have helped me.
First, I relearned that life is bloody short.I do not care if you live to be 16 or 101, life is short and it goes by so damn fast.So very fast.Too fast, in fact. We get caught up in the details, you know, and that somehow speeds things up: getting stuff done, earning a living, taking the kids to various activities, making dinner, getting gas, and fulfilling various obligations that keep us too busy to breath sometimes. The small things piss us off and blur the magic and mystery of life.
What is worse, is the fact that we allow these things to take us away from LIVING.We forget to stop and say “I love you,” or “you have helped make me what I am, and I thank you,” or “I am glad to have the chance to hold your hand.”Honestly, when was the last time you told everyone you love that you loved them?When was the last time you held the hand of your friends and lovers and sat feeling their skin next to yours and realized … there is always magic in THIS!This is what life is about.
This leads to the second thing I relearned these last few weeks: I fall in love easily.I do and you know what, that is just fine.There is nothing wrong in this, even if the rest of the world tells me otherwise.I fall in love with men, with women, with moments, with creation, with music, with life.And I fall hard.I do.I also tell people I love them often and I was told this might be inappropriate – that my hugs, my confessions, my moments of intimacy of thought and soul and truth are somehow inappropriate – not good table manners. I felt stunted for a moment.
Oh my, no one wants to be inappropriate – well, not really.I do not want to offend or cause harm, confuse or whatever. But then I relearned this: bullshit!I call bullshit on this attitude.What a crock of shit this is.If it is truly not appropriate to reach out to those you love, then life is shit, and we have nothing. Honestly.
Now I admit that I might be strange in my culture. I do love deeply and I do love fast. Why not? Honestly, I love people for their amazing uniqueness, the good and the bad.I click more with some people than others, but if you “click” and the person impacts your life, well you better stand up, say think you, confuses your love and stand by them.So many people will fall away, by circumstance and death.We have a responsibility to those we love.
So when I say I love you, and I do say it freely and often, I really mean it.I do.Those who know me well, know this about me.I love without bounds in that sense.I love deeply because I know no other way to love and appreciate others.This is NOT a bad thing and I will not (at least for the moment) feel bad that I am this way. I get hurt a lot because of it, but would not change that either.It is a price for great living and living truthfully and deeply.The joy and the hurt, that is okay.
I also love on “my time,” which means I might fall in love after a moment, or after weeks, years, whatever.Love is a strange beast, but it does not diminish the love felt or realized. People always want to put a timeline on love.You should wait before you say you love. You should question wither the love you think you feel is real. But why?How artificial is that? And I am talking about all types of love as lovers take all forms: friends, sexual, mentors … all forms, all life.
I also love freely.My heart is not bound by strange customs and other laws, traditions and artificial rules we place on affection and love. You might call me a free spirit, and so I am.
So those are my two truths realized and relearned.If you say I love you, if I hug you, if I spend time with you or share secrets of the universe and intimacy and laughter, and sadness – I will do so fully and without an apology.Life is really very, very short and we have such little time to live out loud and with feeling.
Find that folks, because that is really where the “capital” lies.
Sustainability means reinvention to some degree.It means an ability to improvise in your life, adjust to changes, and allowing yourself and ability to be relevant in relation to times, markets, current events, and so on.
Life moves on, and so should we … Stagnation kills.
When looking at sustainability and reinvention, some questions you might consider are:
What are the different ways we can apply our skills to maximize our success in this changing world?
What are the different formal educational and re-educational efforts we need to make to promote sustainability in an ever-changing world?
How can we acquire informal education in order to stay relevant and sustain our life and living?
Work-life balances (not an easy thing to achieve in our world and culture).
I’ve been looking at each of these different questions in regard to reinvention, sustainability, and happy living.Indeed, many friends in my age group and in the generation ahead of me, has had to re-examine these things rather specifically. With the loss of savings and retirement because the 2007 crash of the market, many of us has found our 401(k)s going south for the winner and staying there (you would think the “south” was doing much better than it is – aka Joke).
There is also the problem of job markets for an older generation. Yes, you might find a position at McDonald’s, but is that going to help sustain you? As older workers are displaced by a younger generation, we have to find our way in the world where retirement is now a part of our mythology.
This is conversely true for younger and mid career workers who are waiting for older workers to retire. What do you do when the old Guard can’t retire, and you are left working numerous jobs in order to survive?
I personally am facing many of these issues, and I have many friends who are facing these issues as well. Many of us are actively seeking to reinvent ourselves, achieving hoped for relevancy in a trying market. There are several options to our reinventions: we can going to business for ourselves, we can gain new skills so that we can be hired full-time, and we can change our living conditions, making it more sustainable to fully live on a smaller income.
Regarding this conundrum and the questions I outlined above, here are a few thoughts I have on each question, and maybe some of this will be relevant to you as well.
What are the different ways we can apply our skills to maximize our success in our world?
If you lived life, you have many skills! It is time to look at your skills and determine how they might help sustain you and help you make a living. Your skills do not only come from jobs your have worked, but everyday life. Maybe you excel at organization, managing other, fundraising, cooking, cleaning, growing things, and so many other skills. These everyday life skills can transfer to a job of some type!
This is our world’s “cup of Kool-Aid” presently, at least here in the US. In the 1980s in the 1990s it was all about multitasking; today it’s about PR, and promoting yourself as a product … a thing to be bought and sold, negotiated over and transformed.
Maybe I have read too much Marxism in my life, but this smells a great deal of commodification and fetishization of self. I am not a product to be objectified. I am a human being with human being needs. To be objectified is a problem. We objectify so much in our culture, the last thing we need to do is objectify ourselves by selling our self as a product for a few measly bucks.
You are not a brand. You are a human being with skills that can be marketed. You’re marketing your skills, not yourself as an object to be bought, sold, and manipulated. Yes, networking is important, whom you know is important, and the relationships you create are important, and how you promote your skills … important, but you are not a thing. A great deal of our unhappiness in this world can be traced back to commodification and Fetishization of self. Just say no!
What are the different educational and re-educational efforts we need to make to promote sustainability in an ever-changing world?
First, we have the category of formal education outlets: Find a technical college, a program at a community college, or get a new degree at a four-year institution.
Drawbacks to Gaining a Formal Education:
The biggest drawback to getting an education from a higher learning institution is expense. The cost for a higher learning education has grown exponentially over the last few years. According to College Data, the price for one year of college education, for a moderate college in an in-state public setting, 2013 to 2014, averaged approximately $23,000. If you were looking at a private college, that price tag is more like $44,750.
If you already have a college degree, and you’re looking at reeducation, you may not be interested in paying close to $150,000 for a new degree. And of course, these figures reflect undergraduate and not graduate education. Graduate education is often one third more in intuition, and these numbers do not reflect the amount of money you will be paying out for books.
Cost of NOT having a formal higher education today:
If you do not already have a formal higher education, you just might want to get one! According to Pew Research, workers who do not have a college degree will earn up to $17,500 a year less than they’re educated counterparts working the same job.
Further, without a college degree, you may find jobs are not available to you. More and more often, even the most common labor jobs (including McDonalds cashiers) are requiring a college degree, limiting the market to those who are educated and have “drunk from the Kool-Aid.”
How can we informally acquire reeducation to stay relevant and sustain our life and living?
If you are self-motivated, you can get your own education without paying a dime. The problem is that this education will not necessarily be “formalized,” or have that “official stamp of approval.” It’s amazing how this world respects the buying and purchasing of education, but not the acquiring of solid knowledge through personal effort and practice. So, for those of you who just simply love to acquire knowledge, beware. You might be better off buying yourself a degree.
NOTE: I am NOT sanctioning this method. I am a college teacher and would never tell you to buy a degree, it is meant tongue-in-cheek, as sarcasm for a screwed up prioritized system.
Exploring continuing education courses in your backyard – where you work:
Many employers offer the ability to acquire continuing education. Many companies will actually pay part of the cost for going back to school and gaining new skills. There are workshops offered, conferences, and other such resources. Find out what resources are available to you, and use them. You would be amazed how often these resources are left to the wayside, unused and unexplored, along with our vacation hours! These resources are part of your “benefits” package. Don’t let them go to waste.
Seeking a mentor, acquiring a “folk” education, or taking on an apprenticeship:
Many people are taking their expertise and bringing it to the World Wide Web. There are many classes out there that will help you achieve your goals, and in this way you can find a mentor, a folk education, or an apprenticeship.
You’re never too young or old for a mentor. Mentors are people who happen to know the skills needed to succeed in a certain area in life, skills that you may wish to acquire. He or she can help you achieve your goals and dreams, and you can find a deep and satisfying life long friendship with your mentor. Sometimes mentors come into our lives and exit as quickly as they seem to have come on the scene. Other mentors stay with you for a very long time. Sometimes you switch roles with your mentors, and you become the leader for a short period of time. These are fulfilling partnerships. Seek them!
Indeed, today I sought out two friends, who have skills that I greatly admire, and ask them to be my mentors. The best way to learn is to reach out to those who know the skills that you wish to acquire.
Get a Folk Education:
I define a folk education as a type of mentorship that offers formal instruction, and you’re paying for the knowledge, but you’re not going to get a certificate that’s accepted widely. There are benefits and drawbacks to this approach. The benefit is that often this type of education is a little less expensive. The person offering the education is normally well known in his or her field, and s/he can give you the real life tools you need to succeed. The drawback is that many in your community will not likely formally recognize the certificate and/or the value of the instruction. Credentials being what they are in our world.
I am taking this route myself right now as I learn herbalism. I am going to Sage school, and I’m getting a wonderful education in herbalism and holistic health. But because I will not have any kind of “official” certificate or degree at the end of the program, my skills and how I can market those skills will be limited – simply because of the world we live in and how we value the acquisition of knowledge. But still, for myself, it has been a rewarding experience.
If you take this direction in your education, research your instructors! Anybody can be an “expert” on the Internet. You never know if you’ve come up with somebody who’s just very clever with how they sell themselves, or if you’re dealing with someone who really has the knowledge that is claimed. This approach means that you have to be proactive, do the research to find out if you’re putting your money in a good place.
Before the world of formal education, we had apprenticeships! Depending upon the culture you were born into, you may have been fostered out to a family, and taught a skill that would support you for life. In more modern times, people might’ve been apprenticed out to different businesses in order to acquire a life long working skill. Not too long ago, in the grand scheme of things, my father went through an apprenticeship to become an electrician. Indeed, the electrician union still provides apprenticeship opportunities.
Find yourself an apprenticeship. Of course, apprenticeships don’t normally pay, as you work for the person or the business, while you learn a trade. It is a trade-off, but a fair one in the end. If you can afford this trade off, I highly suggest it. Learning from an expert, and gaining hands-on, real life training is very important for many trades.
The final thing I want to talk about is work – life balance. We live in a world where we forgo our vacations, forgo raises, and work multiple jobs just to make a living or keep a job. What are we trying to sustain? Well, often we’re trying to sustain a way of life that is not sustainable: a large house, several cars, a social life that means going out all the time, expensive gadgets, brand-new clothes, and so on and so forth. Indeed, we are even told that we need these things in order to be happy. But is this t?
I have had both in life, the expensive dwelling, cable, Internet, expensive gadgets, brand-new clothes, and an active nightlife. I have also had the opposite, a small dwelling, entertainment out in nature that cost little to engage in, card games with friends, and reading a great book in the corner of my trailer. Although the trailer at the time gave me nothing but great pain, as it was a piece of crap, the lifestyle brought me great joy.
Ask yourself these important questions:
One, are you living a sustainable lifestyle?
Two, are you living the lifestyle you wish to live?
Three, do you find that you’re working every day, all the time, just to sustain what you have? Or rather, four, does it take little to sustain what you have and need to live on, and in the end, affords you the good life: Time to enjoy life and those around you, and pursue other interests outside of work?
Take a moment and really determine what it is you want out of life, and then determine what you need to do to get that dream. If you want the large house, multiple cars, and the occasional vacation to France, you may have to work a job that will afford you these pleasures, which means giving up everyday freedom. If on the other hand, you are satisfied with small spaces, and more experiences over things, it may be time to consider sizing down and moving forward.
Right now I am taking a great class on how to achieve Mortgage Freedom from folks who have been there and changed that! Create Pathway to Mortgage Freedom. You might wish to find similar mentors for the life vision you are seeking.
A long article this week, but I hope you find some of the advice offered helpful!
It has been about a week since we posted. We are still looking for active guest posters to help us crowd source this wonderful community. But I have been working on a project I wish to share: Coffee making, start to finish. Enjoy!
So I have an audition today, and I will have to take a long, hot trip on the bus to get there. It’s going to get up to 90+ degrees today on Oahu, and that means my hair is going to be a mess, unless I put it up … but that would not bode well for this audition. The character I am auditioning for would have beautiful, well groomed curled hair. The play takes place in 1971, in North Carolina, and she is the wife of a colonel.
To deal with the potential hair disaster, I looked around for hair gel, to help set the hair when I curl it – no luck. I am totally out! Even the little bottle that my husband sometimes keeps for his out of town meetings is gone. So, what’s a girl to do? I’ll tell you what, make some!
Luckily I had the ingredients on hand.
1/4 cup of warm water. Purified water is best.
1 – 2 tablespoon of vegetable glycerin (depending on the hold you are looking for).
Essential oils. I chose Rosemary, because it smells good and offers that “back home” feeling – something I want to encourage in my performance today.
Mix the glycerin with the water and add 1-2 drops of the essential oil. With the oils, remember that you can use different oils depending upon your hair type.
If you have dry hair, you might want to try: Lavender, rosemary or sandalwood.
For oily hair: lemon, lime, cedar wood, thyme or clary sage might be good options.
Use tea tree oil if you have dandruff.
The gel should be refrigerated after its made, and it will last one or two weeks. Now I made half a batch because I don’t know if I’m going to land the role, and I don’t use gel on a regular basis. Remember to make only what you need, that way there will be less waste down the road.
+I have not been paid to feature any of the above pictured products. However, I do use these products and I have been happy with them.
Today I this came across my Facebook page, and I found it touching. So much so that I wanted to share it. Cailleach, as the image of the old crone is more than a crone but she walks the circle of life each year, maiden to mother to crone. Which is why this is super appropriate for us here at Cailleach. This is Live Painting Show: A Woman’s Life. Originally published on Aug, 12, 2014. Drawing and painting by Stonehouse (석가), Video Editing by Yirigun (이리건), B.G.M by Silent partner – ‘Big screen.’ I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
NOTE: The following information is from my Materia Medicaentry on Ginger, and is meant to be informative only, not to be taken as medical advice. I am not a medical doctor; readers should verify all information, and consult with their doctor before using this or any other herb.
Grieve tells us that the plant was brought to the Americas by Francisco de Mendosa who transplanted it from the East Indies into Spain. Spanish-Americans cultivated it greatly, and records show that by “1547 they exported 22,053 cwt. into Europe” (Grieve).
Ginger is a herbaceous perennial plant, family of Zingiberaceae, and we eat the rhizome (underground stem) not the root.
The rhizome is most often brown with “fingers” coming from it. It looks like a large twisted root. One author (Plant Village) described the ginger rhizome as having a “corky outer layer and a pale-yellow center.” Meat of the rhizome is yellow in color and string in texture. Spicy in smell and taste.
The above ground portion of the ginger looks a bit like a reed with “linear leaves that are arranged alternately on the stem” (Plant Village). Ginger is a tropical plant and Plant Village further describes it as being: “The shoots originate from a multiple bases and wrap around one another. The leaves can reach 7 cm (2.75 in) in length and 1.9 cm (0.7 in) broad. Flowering heads are borne on shorter stems and the plant produces cone shaped, pale yellow flowers. The ginger plant can reach 0.6–1.2 m in height (2–4 FT) and is grown as an annual plant.”
Cultivation – Birgit Bradtke from Permaculture.com
You can grow ginger from a store bought rhizome. Let it start to seed first before planting the rhizome.
Ginger likes warm climates and lots of water, but not to soak in the water – good drainage is needed.
Ginger normally reshoots early in the spring. Some folks say to soak rhizomes in water overnight, and others say it is not needed. It doesn’t hurt, but do not leave it in water to sprout roots, it wants the soil – good soil that can hold enough moisture to keep the rhizome moist but not soaked – free draining and avoid water-logging.
Best planting time is the late winter/early spring (late dry season/early wet season – in tropics). Ginger Likes lots of light but not direct sun and protect from wind.
Never let soil get to dry, moist but not soaked.
Harvest: at least 8-10 months – Anytime after the leaves have died down.
Sanskrit srngaveram (srngam = horn and vera = body: the shape of the root). The old French term, gingibre (modern = gingembre) means spirit, spunk, temper. Ginger ale was recorded in 1822, ginger snap (yummm) 1855 (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=ginger).
Color Association – Red:
Herbs associated with this color connects us to the earth and our ancestors. it is considered energizing, and heating. helps circulation and strengthens blood. Breaks up stagnant conditions (Brighid’s Healing, Kindle Edition 256).
Taste identification Acrid or Spicy:
Spice warms the blood and brings it to the surface. Our skin becomes warm while internal organs cool. Stimulates metabolism, libido, circulatory system and breaks up stagnancy. Brings blood flow to digestive system: Spice acts as a catalyst for the other herbs in the remedy and aids absorption (McGarry, Gina, Kindle Edition, 253).
Warming and good for chest congestion.
Antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial protection (Kendrick).
Sustainability is a serious theme in my life. When it comes to living the life of a modern druid, it is important, I think, to rediscover sustainability as we have lost that skill. Maybe not everyone, but most of us walking the modern streets of our cities and towns, and even the country. We purchase food from far out places, eat fruits that are not in season, we are rich with such gifts. But as lovely as it is to have grapes in the Summer, Winter, Fall and Spring it is not sustainable. Consider the costs of transporting foods across country or nations, storage of the food before it can be sold in stores, and what we need to do to keep the food fresh can compromise the nutrients in the food. Further, by eating foods grown on farms from other states and countries, we are not helping to sustain our local economies. I am not suggesting that we should not support interstate and international trade, but I am suggesting it is helpful for our local economies and our health that we start to find more sustainable ways to feed ourselves.
With this in mind, I have been learning how to look to my own backyard to feed myself, both metaphorically and literally. Since moving to Hawai’i, I have been exposed to many different foods and I have found that many grow in my literal backyard. We are renting an apartment on an old hog farm in Waimanalo, Hi. The owner of the property maintains several fruit trees, an aquapodic system, many flowers, and she keeps bees. She has been kind enough to let us share in her bounty, if we help keep the land. So, we are learning a thing or two about living off the land in Hawai’i.
One of my most recent discoveries is the Malabar Chestnut!
The Malabar Chestnut (botanical name is Pachira aquatic, the family of Bombaceae) is native to Northern Brazil, and southern Mexico. But this tree is very comfortable in other tropical areas such as Hawai’i and Southern Florida, two of my favorite places! With a dark green bark and leaves, the tree produces lovely nuts inside a wooden green pod (some pods are brown, as there are several different varieties of this tree) that splits into four parts when ripe. I thought it was because of the pods that this tree is also called a money tree. But apparently it was for more pragmatic reasons. According to Green Deane in the article “Tropical Chestnuts: Pachira aquatic,” the tree earned this name relatively late in life, around 1986, when
“a Taiwanese truck driver put five small seedlings into one pot and weaved them together as they grew. He inadvertently invented the next hot ornamental plant and business took off in Taiwan, Japan and most of eastern Asia. The braided tree is viewed as associated with profit and is a common plant found in businesses, often with red ribbons or other ornaments attached. By 2005, export of the braided tree was a $7 million business in Taiwan” (Deane, Green).
Talk about a money tree!
But I was interested in the nut 🙂 The chestnuts are edible raw or roasted and they taste a bit like a mild peanut raw, and toasted a bit like a peanut crossed with a filbert (hazelnut), in my humble opinion. According to “Nutrition and You,” the only place I could find nutritional information for this nut, the article was mostly targeted to chestnuts in general, they are low in calories, but are also rich in minerals, and vitamins. You can also make flour out of the nut, but this I did not try.
I enjoyed the nut raw, but toasted they are divine. First, you must shell the nut which is not an easy task. To aid in the process, I soaked the nuts in water over night and let the shell split, making them easer to shell. I tossed the nuts in some olive oil and a bit of salt, and roasted them on low, 350, until brown and crunchy.
I tell you what, they were so good that I could not keep up with the demand! They made a lovely snack throughout the day when you start to get hungry pangs, or when you simply walked by them.