Tag Archive: life


What’s your mission?

The Greening Spirit

E Sept 10

Nature is very clear in how she assigns work to her beloved creatures. Beavers build dams, creating natural waterways in environments that sustain the life around its banks, wolves group themselves in dedicated family communities whose job is to cull weak and incapacitated herd animals insuring a healthy population that the land can sustain, squirrels busily bury acorns in late fall for future food but also to be the movers of oak trees further out into the environment insuring their continued survival.  What a glorious inter-connected web.

Bees have their assigned task as well, besides feeding and caring for the Queen and her baby bees. Daily they leave the nest commuting to work in beautiful fields of flowers, quite mobile and enjoying the change of scene full of color and fragrance within their workday, gathering golden nuggets of pollen to be transformed into the sweetness of honey. Yes, they work hard but they know what they are supposed…

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Why is a recipe from my foodie blog http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.worpdress.com here on the Greening Spirit site? Because delicious food lifts our spirits and gives us something to look forward to after our day’s work and travels “in the world”. Good food also brings loved ones to and around the table for “communion”… and communion means food for the soul as well as the body around the table’s altar. Here is the  “greening spirit” recipe from yesterday’s post on “sensuous soups and suppers”:

Well, yes it is true that so many of us grow weary and discouraged on FB these days given the chaos of our present political challenges. Taking time out from posting alarms and alerts, some of us eventually resort to alternating posts between our opinions and activism, with Comic Relief (funny cartoons or snarky wit), Beauty (flowers and scenery), Cutsies (kittens, puppies and babies) and  FOOD! (WHAT WE ARE HAVING FOR DINNER!).

Last night I fled to my kitchenette (only 6 inches away from my tiny apartment living room) to free my mind and heart from stress, and to dive wholeheartedly with my hungry tummy into pure comfort and creativity with an awesome Italian recipe inspired by Lidia Bastianich,  I say “inspired by” because she started the whole thing off in her recipe book, but I, Imdependent  and renegade Cooker myself, always have to tweak a recipe to make it mine, ALL MINE! So to be fair, let’s maybe say it was a winning “collaboration”,

When I posted the above picture on FB for good cheer, it must have provided some much needed comfort as more people jumped into my post with comments about this than about anything  elseI have posted all week. Several even sent me private messages asking (begging) for the recipe. Which of course I promised to do…what else are friends for? So wipe your chins dear salivators !…here we go… feel free to make it yours too with your own tweaks.

Ingredients:

1 box/pkg of gnocchi

1 10 oz pjg of frozen peas, defrosted)

5 thin stalks of asparagus, steamed and cut into thirds

4 or 5 small cocktail tomatoes, seeds squeezed out and quartered

1/2 heavy crème OR half n  half OR evaporated mil

1 cup of chicken broth

2 tablespoons of butter salted or non salted

6 oz of crumbled gorgonzola

a dash of garlic powder, a dash of Italian herb blend (I used Penzys Tuscan blend)

a little squeesze..drops really to taste…of lemon. Go very easy on this to taste

salt and pepper to taste

A BIG SOUP MUG and a BIG SPOON

**(Don’t forget a glass of rose (not red! not white!) wine to accompany. (Red is too strong, white is too “white”…I cook with complementary colors..there is enough white in this sauce)

*** Put on some nice music. Preferably by Josh Groban singing in Italian. Shut off the news on tv!

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Preparation:

Boil the gnocchi according to the instructions of the box (Lidia makes her OWN gnocchi from scratch. Not me…one of my ingenious creative tweaks). Drain and set aside

Saute the butter (you can add a little more if you want.) in a large frying pan with  higher sides. When melted, add the combined milk and broth and dash of herbal blend and bring to a boil, then lower heat and let it cook for about 8 minutes to thicken a bit..sort of..stirring often. DO NOT burn or rapid boil and bubble (trouble!).

Add the gorgonzola and stir to melt. Taste and season to your liking.,, salt and pepper, a tiny squeeze of lemon (be careful here) and a dash of garlic powder.

Add the peas, asparagus and cocktail tomatoes and stir.

FINALLY,  add the gnocchi to coat completely.

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IMPORTANT ! Take a picture and post it on FB so your friends can drool, leave lots of comments and then send them the link to this recipe on my blog!

Enjoy!

From Christine, the Greening Spirit a la “The Cook” on https://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

***Picture with my granddaughter Giana who is now 11 years old. ( I am the same age as I was then).

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The Mystic Life Through the Eyes of a Grandmother

 

128_128I am on a social networking site with a variety of “friends” who have a diverse swath of interests.  All are very interesting..and one can learn a lot and share a lot.

One  group of writers are very interested in the “Life of the Mystic”, sharing back and forth all kinds of writings and quotes by the Desert Fathers of ancient times, deep ponderings on the nature of God in the  Judeo-Christian traditions, and the finer points of theology and monastic life drawn from the Middle Ages.

While this is, in fact, part of my own original religious heritage and has much beauty and inspiration,  my life’s experiences as a woman have unfolded in such a way as to draw me ever closer to the Feminine Face and Feminine Experience of God and the Sacred, which has been much ignored if not at times denigrated in the major traditions.  The Path of the Mystic was somehow deemed to be somewhat rigorous,  often apart from daily life and to be officially accessed and supported through practices , prayers and readings drawn from sacred writings and texts.

This past weekend, much of my time was spent rocking my newborn grandson, a tiny newcomer alternating between asleep and awake, between  being “There” and “Here”, lying in deep peace and quietude upon my heart. His repose was awesome in those moments, full of Trust and just “Being”…nowhere to go, nothing to do,  just to Dream as he continued to slowly emerge into the World, even after birth.

For this weekend, all schedules of mine, tasks and responsibilities were set aside to assist my daughter and gently rock my grandchild into this new Life, and the repose and quietude within myself brought me closer to the Holy than any reading of scripture or poetry at this time. Watching my daughter breastfeeding, nourishing and comforting this newborn in her arms while she was very still and present was a prayer of wonder and celebration, the little one just BEING  in the arms, and on the Heart of the Mother, in the arms, and on the Heart of the Grandmother,  and all of us (including Dad, who also is loving and strong), in the Arms of the Divine.

The Path of the Mystic does require “Time Apart” in order to witness the small daily miracles that are ever present, and that fill us with a sense of awe and wonder. The Path of the Mystic can immerse  us in Beauty and move us to tears or prayers of gratitude and praise for the sacred surprises and Mysteries for which we often have no words.  We may trust, however, that it is in this  state of Presence and Soulfulness , blessed by Grace,  that ordinary experiences  are illumined and made extraordinary by stillness,  awareness and just being. (As an indigenous teacher once said “We are here to become human Be-ings, not merely human Do-ings).

We need not always enter the desert to find the Holy. And that is something  many Women have come to know since the lives of Mothers and Grandmothers often involve constant involvement in the lives of others. As the ones who physically give birth, and are often in charge of the care and feeding of others, giving out nourishment and support at all levels within the family system, the Time Apart to feed the Mystic within ourselves may be experienced in the brief  and simple moments of being in the garden, tending a wonderful pot of soup…or rocking a newborn.

And that IS a form of very personal Sacred Scripture on the path towards the Feminine Face of God.

DREAMING Your Life Alive!

For over 20 years I have been leading ,and participating in, retreats, workshops and circles of Dreamers…people who live authentically from the “Inside-Out”  by honoring, collecting, sharing, and working with their dreams.  Implementing the inate guidance and wisdom that comes up from the depths of the personal and collective Uncomscious through the mists of night, the Dreamers have been blessed with a freshness of Inspiration and personal practical and spiritual direction that has added magic, delight, humour,perspective ,wisdom, and instruction to their unfolding lives.

We do not live in a culture that makes a point of valuing  our dreams in this way. For the mainstream, the  question “what’s your dream?”  often evokes a response as to vacationing somewhere exotic, having a certain kind of car, more money, or in general having more of some kind of “stuff”. These are dreams that are fed from the “Outside-In”, often from advertising and programming of the media.

To Soul-Seekers and to  certain indigenous cultures,  that  same question has more to do with LISTENING to the images and promptings that emerge from the Dream as personal guidance to live a more balanced, uniquely authentic,healthy, creative  and generous life…in otherwords,  “DREAMING your Life ALIVE”.

In these times of economic and cultural challange and upheaval,  many people have found that the “outside ” Dream they have been pursuing has fallen apart or turned to dust in unprecedented cultural chaos. Often that “outside”  Dream  has been packaged and fed to us by advertising, and the images generated by a consumerist-driven mentality and society.

Perhaps, then, we might now re-assess which images we pay attention to for which direction we follow.Perhaps we can now turn inward to pay attention to the “Inner Dreams” that have always been there within us, and which are trying very ardently to speak to us in  this time of change, if only we will stop to listen and honor that deep and compassionate voice.

Perhaps, then a  most precious gift of the night is to DREAM our Lives ALIVE!!   (more on Dreams  in upcoming posts)

For personal help in working with your dreams in one-on-one Dream or Spiritual Direction appointments, please refer to INSIGHT GUIDANCE Services on this site. In person or by phone. Christine, the greeningspirit

***Sunday, July 12 3-5pm YOUR MAGIC  GARDEN: The Wild Weeds and Herbs (Session 2) will be held at the Greeningspirit’s place. The teachings for the day will be: Communicating with the Plant Spirits (an exercise…bring a folding chair and notebook), Imagination and Play in the Garden,  and Honoring the Path of SLOW “Good Medicine: The making of herbal teas and decoctions. Participants from Session 1 will hopefully share  their own Magic Garden experiences since the last meeting!  (Raindate: Monday  July 14   6:30-8:30 pm)***

Cost : $30 Pre-registration necessary. E-mail cphoenixrising@earthlink.net with the header “Your Magic Garden!” Leave a phone number please!

“GOOD MEDICINE” is Wellness Medicine!

Morning Tea! Nettles, Mugwor, Red Clover

Morning Tea! Nettles, Mugwort, Red Clover

In the ancient Chinese medical system using herbs and sometimes strange ingredients from nature, the job of the doctor was to keep the Emperor well and in good health, NOT to fix him after he got sick! In fact, it is said, perhaps anecedotedly, that if the Emperor became ill, the doctor lost his job, if not his head. If that were so in this culture, we might have more than a few doctors running around, shall we say,” mindless”  since there is an emphasis in our allopathic medical system on “Fixing” rather than preventing. However, to be totally fair, it must be said that a major  part of the responsibility for staying healthy is on each one of us to practice “Good Medicine” in our daily lives through proper diet (REAL food, and at regular peaceful intervals), exercise, a spiritual practice,  and knowledge and use of the natural “medicines and nourishments” from the plant allies around us.

One has to be careful in this culture with the word “medicine”  so let me be clear that what I primarilly mean by this word is what indigenous peoples mean by this word in it’s highest meaning. “Good Medicine” is that which keeps you Well and Healthy in the first place, and secondarilly that which nourishes and brings you back into balance when you have been stressed into illness. The herbal allies after all, have been the basis for medical pharmacopeias in all cultures across the centuries. According to the World Health Organization several years back, it was noted that 80%  of the world’s population still practices “Green Medicine” for the common maladies that are part of our lives as we flow back and forth between being balanced and unbalanced as part of the stresses and challenges and celebrations of human living.

At this time, I am one of many people, who due to the work and economic chaos we are in, have found myself for the first time without health insurance. It is therefore very necessary for me to practice “Good Medicine” to take care of myself in all the ways that will build me up to stay on my feet and engaged in life with vitality and vibrancy. For instance, recently after a bout of intestinal distress, my digestive system was very irritated and sensitive. Two days of an herbal tea of comfrey leaf, mugwort, skullcap, meadowsweet, and spearmint  soothed all discomfort and brought my system back into a normal state, without the use of over the counter medications which actually mask the symptoms but do not bring healing.

My own “Magic Garden”  full of the wild and cultivated herbal allies serve as both a nutritional and medicinal resource, as well as grounding me in my connection to both the spiritual, magical and natural world that has been gifted to us  by the Great Beneficense, God, the Great Spirit, Mother Earth. For me, both that spiritual and earthly connection is part of my personal Wellnes Program, keeping me grateful, full of imagination and wonder, and giving me hope always, knowing that I am participating in my own health care.  It is a form of self-empowerment that spills over to many areas of my Life and I am very grateful to be able to experience this personally and pass on that wisdom to others in my community.

***On Sunday, June 12, our little band of Greeningspirits will regroup here for Part 2 of Your Magic Garden: The Wild Plants and Herbs to empower themselves and their families. Studying together in this way delights us all as we make Community with the GreenSpirits in the garden, as well as the GreeningSpirits of our new friendships with each other…all part of “GOOD MEDICINE” for sure! (New friends are welcome). Veriditas! Christine

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