Love Is An Action

Today feels like a good day for a little deeper reflection. I don’t know about you, but it’s been quite a week! Take a moment and check in with yourself.

What does this breath feel like? How does your body maybe need a little extra support today? This is where we start from.

It is my hopes that within the window of  Canada Day yesterday, that perhaps there was a moment of reflection for you. Maybe not the celebration of days gone by, but perhaps some time to reflect on the trauma that the Indigenous people of this land have experienced and the pain that continues.  Holding so many in my heart these days, often it feels overwhelming, but then we take a deep breath and know just how important this safe holding is right now.

I know through my own personal commitment that supporting yourself to show up for yourself on a daily basis and doing what you know you need to support yourself in body, mind and spirit; provides stability, gives you strength, and can help build your own resilience and internal resources.

 If we can’t even take care of ourselves, how then can we support others?

I know that being called to be an active support for the injustices in our world asks this of us.  It takes strength, courage and determination to break patterns. My friend Anna Karuna Egan reminded me in an email this morning that living with wisdom and compassion is possible, her teacher taught her that Love is an Action, I think I needed this reminder today. Thank you Anna for inspiring me to share my own thoughts today.

We can act differently as we move forward, being led by love. Don’t underestimate YOUR actions, and the ripples that happen, often with the simplest and smallest of steps forward.  The more we attune to love, the more easefully it shows up in our lives as a constant, and the more we support not only ourselves, but others to heal..  

It’s important to have uncomfortable conversations and to listen to peoples stories. It’s also important to know in your heart of hearts, that you can make very different choices for yourself going forward.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

With so much love,

Amber 

If you’d like to practice together, I offer live online zoom classes, and as an additional support for you to practice on your own schedule, but together, I’ve created a video library and a monthly video subscription

Click here to find out more details about our Soul Wisdom Cards.

Summer Solstice Blessings

Happy Summer Solstice Blessings To YOU!!

A time we celebrate the light, our inner fire, the obstacles we’ve overcome, our community, our power, our gardens as they grow, (maybe some compassion towards the groundhogs that – yes – they live here to, deep breaths), and we commit to taking steps to nourish ourselves and one another!  

Summer Solstice is a time we also honour the tilting of the earth wrapping us in the longest day of sunlight of our calendar year.  We move through the cycles of seasons and witness our own rhythms as they ebb and flow. 

With every sunrise we’re actually offered a new beginning.

I feel like over the past year, we’ve been reminded in numerous ways, to not live with regrets, because wow, the unexpected can occur at any moment.  If you moved through our circle of balance last week, perhaps take that learning and actually make those shifts – or at least baby steps towards them. Regardless of all the confusion around us, you know you can find clarity within. Clarity of YOUR next steps in your life, but first we need to commit to our self care to have the space to hear that guidance. 

I invite you to light a candle today, and honour your connection to the light.  Get your hands and feet in the dirt, and honour your connection to the earth. Honour the goodness inside of you, and the impact you bring forth with your actions. 

Before I close today, I want to remind you of a powerful practice Sat Dharam Kaur shared with me last year at this time. Carve out a little window to consciously reflect and write out 27 visions for the life ahead of you.  Not with the intention of wanting to be somewhere you’re not, but rather as a way of celebrating all the seeds inside of you. Try to nourish them if you can, rather than pushing them deeper into the darkness.  The simpler the seeds the more profound they can actually be. Feel it in your breath and in your bones, see yourself in those moments of your life, remind yourself why life is worth living. 

Happy Solstice, from my heart to yours,

With love

Amber

xo

If you’d like to practice together, I offer weekly live online zoom classes, and as an additional support for you to practice on your own schedule, but together, I’ve created a video library and a monthly video subscription

Click here to find out more details about our Soul Wisdom Cards, including where to purchase your own deck.

Circle Of Balance

As a response to the past few weeks,  I find myself thinking alot about how and where I spend my time and focus my energy.

When I teach breast health and relaxation workshops, this is often something we move through together, or people take home to work with. An important support to revisit on a regular basis in considering your overall health and wellbeing.

What about YOU?  How do YOU spend your time?

As we begin to consider the ways we want to step forward in our lives, perhaps in a new way, it feels like a good time to move through this exercise.

Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them.  In fact I’d try to have nothing else.  Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day

– N. Stair, 85-year-old woman from Kentucky

Before you approach this practice I encourage you to take some time to move your body, in whatever way best supports you.  Turning to your yoga mat, putting on some music that makes your soul happy, going for a walk in the forest, or inviting another form of movement into your body.  Sometimes the safety of your practice gives you the opportunity to release and process wherever you are right now – you have to start where you are.

Once you’ve cleared a bit of space inside of yourself, grab a piece of paper and let’s do some self reflection.

I invite you to draw 2 big circles – one is for your reality now, and one is for your ideal.

Take a bit of time to silently reflect and explore the different roles you play in your life, and the ways you divide your time. Be honest here, remember this is just for you.

You might want to make a list of the things you engage in on a daily or weekly basis,  maybe including things such as;

Play  / Family / Work / Exercise / Relaxation / Time alone / Creativity / Spirituality / School + Study/ Time with friends / Sleep / Prayer / Travel / Chores / Rest / etc….

Now we’re going to divide our circle into a visual reflection of how we spend our time.

Focus on your first circle, drawing pie pieces representing the amount of time you engage in different activities throughout your day.  The size of each piece should be representative of how much time you spend in each activity.  You can either base it on a 24 hour period, or a weekly snapshot.

First I encourage you to write out your actual life experience, then take a few minutes and just sit with that circle of balance.

How do you feel?

Now, I invite you to fill in the second circle with your ideal – how could your pie look different to better support your ability to feel more rested, happier, and more whole.  What can you do to make your actual your ideal?  Set some goals of what you can change to make that happen.

How could you manifest more balance?

In what ways, if at all, are you taking time out for you?

How can you honour all “those roles” into an integrated whole?

Remember this is it, this is the only time you get to experience this life in this particular body, what do you need to do different to honour YOUR needs, YOUR life – this is not being selfish, this is being self respectful.  

I honestly believe we are all meant to be happy.

It’s a good idea to post your ideal circle somewhere to keep you on track with your priorities, this will help you to stay inspired and as a reminder to carve out windows for the things that feed your soul.  Maybe check in next month and see how things in your circle of balance have shifted – or not.

Remember your life is how you perceive it and how you experience it, and the way you spend your time is ultimately always up to you.

I wish you for so much health and happiness

I wish for you to be filled with loving kindness

I wish for you to be peaceful and at ease, I know it’s not always easy, but I wish this for you

And I wish for you to be happy, from deep inside.

With so much love

Amber

xo

Wishing you wellness in body, mind and spirit on your own unique journey, emerging in your own time and honouring the narrative of your life.

If you’d like to practice together, I offer weekly live online zoom classes, and as an additional support for you to practice on your own schedule, but together, I’ve created a video library and a monthly video subscription

The Butterfly And The Cocoon – A Retelling

This morning I find myself reflecting on a story that has been shared with me countless times.  I first read this gem as it was shared by Gurmukh in her book, The 8 Human Talents, and most recently it showed up in my inbox from H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, whose Ashram (Parmarth Niketan) I spent time at on the banks of the Ganges, over a decade ago when I traveled in India and Nepal.

This story reminds me of that journey and the cocoon I traveled through to a deeper place of personal understanding and growth.  It was definitely not a journey of complete ease and comfort  – but incredibly important.  It also reminds me of all the pivotal phases and cocoons of my life – including the one we are currently collectively moving through, in our present life experience.

It is an honour to pass this story on to you now for our wellness reflection this week, perhaps familiar to you, and like me, maybe arriving at a time when a retelling would be helpful.

Stories contain medicine, and it is the passing of stories from generation to generation, where so many gems that help us make sense of our own lives, are found.  I hope you will always share your stories, and listen to those that come to you – those born from your own life and those shared with you through time.

“There was once a man who noticed an intricately woven cocoon on a tree outside his home. He carefully watched the cocoon every day in order to catch the first glimpse of the precious butterfly he knew would one day emerge.  With excitement, the day had arrived, he saw a tiny hole in the cocoon which grew quickly as the hours passed. He sat watching the butterfly navigate its way out of the cocoon. Suddenly he noticed that it seemed the butterfly had stopped making progress. The hole did not get any larger and the butterfly seemed to be stuck. The cocoon was bouncing up and down on the branch as the butterfly tried to squeeze itself unsuccessfully, through the hole that it had created.

The man watched in dismay as it seemed the butterfly would not be able to emerge. Not knowing what to do, but feeling like he needed to step in, he took a small pair of scissors and carefully cut the cocoon, allowing the butterfly to emerge easily.

However, instead of soaring gracefully into the sky, the butterfly immediately dropped to the ground.

He noticed that the butterfly’s stomach was swollen and distended but its wings were small and shriveled, unable to fly. He assumed that after some time, the stomach would shrink and the wings would expand, and this precious being would fly in its fullest glory.

However, this was never to be.

The man didn’t know that it was the very act of forcing one’s body through the tiny hole in the cocoon which would push all the fluid from the stomach into the wings. Without that external pressure, the stomach would always be swollen and the wings would always be shriveled.”

In life we often avoid challenges, sometimes consciously – and sometimes unconsciously, looking for the easy way out.  We look for people who will ‘cut our cocoons,’ so that we maybe don’t have to work quite as hard and push our way through.

However, little do we realize that it is going through those times of difficulty which prepare us for what lays ahead.  As we overcome the obstacles that present themselves on our path and grow through their lessons, with our own internal resources, they enable us to fly and sometimes offer us opportunities to expand our wings to great unimaginable lengths.

I think perhaps this story also offers a gentle reminder that you need time for self-nurturance and to consider your own needs for care, this is how you build your resources, so you can squeeze through those small holes.  It’s important to acknowledge your vulnerabilities and accept the strength and support of your community, your heart tribe;  and from that supported place, we rise from the strength that lives deep inside of us.

I don’t think the man in this story realized how powerful and supportive his simple presence was, that was all that was needed.  I think often that’s all any of us truly need, safe space to process whatever it is we’ve been handed on our life’s journey.

My soul support is here holding you, honouring your deep internal strength –  trust in who you are at your core, I’m just offering you a gentle reminder.

Much love

Amber

xo

If you’d like to practice together, I offer weekly live online zoom classes, and as an additional support for you to practice on your own schedule, but together, I’ve created a video library and a monthly video subscription

Wishing you wellness in body, mind and spirit on your own unique journey, emerging in your own time.

Photo by EDD Sylvia Nenntwich on Pexels.com

 

Strength Arising In Archer – Wellness Reflection

So grateful to share this window of time with you.

This week we’ll be diving deeper into our yoga exploration and I offer you a gentle reminder to tend to YOUR self care (even just for 5 minutes of deep mindful breathing).

When I sat down for this reflection, it kept coming up to explore a posture we know as archer.  Archer is a fabulous practice for when we’re feeling lost, or untethered.  It connects us back to our roots, to our centre of strength, and our focused clear mind as we make decisions moving forward in our lives.  We practiced a supportive variation of this last week with our online Carebridge class, and it keeps coming up to dive a little deeper.

Through archer, you are invited to stand strong and grounded, standing up for what you believe in, while maintaining the  connection with your compassionate heart.

If you’re working with a journal I invite you to ponder a few reflective practices today, it’s also very powerful to reflect while moving through archer as a physical practice.

Are you able to stand steady at that moment when your bow is taut and the arrow (emotional message) is about to release – can you pause before that release – steady in yourself?

Are you able to cultivate presence and maintain one pointed focused attention (in your practice, for a specific task, when you’re listening to others)

When you’re being challenged do you falter, or do you breathe a little deeper into your own center of strength?

Can you maintain an open heart and allow compassion to be your guide when you’re being faced with adversity?  Strong and KIND

As you move through archer (in your body or as a visualization), tap into your centre, notice what’s arising for you.

Physically this is an amazing practice for so many aspects of your body!  It’s a wonderful practice to open your hip flexors, find balance on your feet, cultivate full body strength, and open through the chest while initiating your postural muscles between your shoulder blades.  Try to stay soft in your jaw, soft in your shoulders, and strong in your foundation.

If this is a new practice for you (or perhaps if you’d just like a little more support and guidance), I offer you a little video to help support you in your exploration.

This video was created for a 30 day yoga challenge I offered last fall, just to give you a little more insight on the creation story of this offering.  Stay with me, and we’ll move into the posture.

To view the practice support click here

Thank you for joining me, make sure to take some time to integrate, and know I’m holding you in my heart.

Sending you love today,

Amber

Xo

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

 

Finding Space – Wednesday Wellness Reflection

Sometimes in the sleepless nights seeds are planted.   These days sleep is definitely a rare commodity,  however I’m finding if I can stop tossing and turning and resisting the consistent wake ups, I notice ideas start to flow in, priorities become obvious and greater clarity around where there needs to be space in my own life is put on centre stage in the meandering of my thoughts.

It’s really easy to hold off on all the uncomfortable things and to keep spinning our wheels, during those windows of our lives we often hold the shields a little closer to our bodies.  There comes a point when it’s imperative to create some space between your body and the protection so you can breathe and truly discover who you even are and what you need – independent of everyone else’s ideas.  I love the image of a bed of moss surrounding my own body, moving with my breath – rather than preventing it,  and being permeable to a healthy flow of what is needed both within and without.

As I write this, the birds are just waking up and the early hours of dawn are approaching.  I feel sleepy, but alive and grateful for the magic of our natural world as I gaze out my window.  I am a part of it all, and I realize that a little bit more every day.  The treasures we find outside in our natural world are also found within, but again we need the space to discover, and remember, what those are.

I just finished reading the book Big Magic (Thank you Sarah and Nicki), by Elizabeth Gilbert.  There is a quote that really resonated with me, and I’ve posted it up in my office as a daily reminder.

“…because your life is short and rare and amazing and miraculous, and you want to do really interesting things and make really interesting things while you’re still here…….

It’s what we all want.

And you have treasures hidden within you – extraordinary treasures – and so do I, and so does everyone around us.  And bringing those treasures to light takes work and faith and focus and courage and hours of devotion, and the clock is ticking, and the world is spinning, and we simply do not have time anymore to think so small”

Ahhhh I get goosebumps when I read this.  And those treasures – they may be the simplest offerings; your nourishing and simple vegetable garden, your rose bush, or your incredible cookies that you bake, the way you listen, or the one poem that needed to be written in your lifetime, the care of your children (human and nonhuman), or perhaps the strumming of your guitar played quietly for your soul and your soul alone. The simple treasures are often the most miraculous, remember that.

Elizabeth’s words remind me to stay connected with the moss, making space for my personal practice, reminding me of the magic inside of me –  and you.  It reminds me to listen with all that I am when the birds sing, to breathe fully and completely with every cycle of breath, and to open my eyes with the wonder of a child as the daffodils emerge from their winter slumber – before they fade away.

As my mom fades away, I am reminded of my brief visit here on this earth – in this body, with these unique gifts, for this cycle of my life.  It’s my choice how I show up, and the space I let myself inhabit.

I ask you to find some space to breathe between the shields life hands you, maybe imagine them as a bed of moss wrapping you in love, and offering you protection in a way that doesn’t force you to stop breathing – but rather to start being. 

Taking time to honour the earth as we celebrate Earth Day tomorrow , giving gratitude for the trees who support us to breathe.  David Attenborough reminds us the Earth will continue long after we’re gone, so let’s recommit to our care and stewardship of our home  while we’re here, as we discover our magic during our time here.

Much love. always

Amber

If you’d like to practice with me I teach weekly live online zoom classes , and as an additional support for you to practice on your own schedule I’ve created a video library and a monthly video subscription

Don’t ever hesitate to reach out, my support is here holding you in my heart.

Photo by Jasmin Mori

30 Days Of Yoga – Wednesday Wellness Reflection

Sat Naam and Namaste, welcome to the beginning of a 30 day yoga challenge – Revisited

Today we embark on 30 days of yoga together.  A year ago I put together a 30 day yoga challenge which started April 1st, 2020, I thought it was important to repost that challenge,  today April 14th and running through the next 30 days.   I first posted this offering at the beginning of COVID, and now we find ourselves in yet another 4 week stay at home order, with so much uncertain.  I am hopeful this somehow helps you through this time.  I invite you to rejoin me for the full 30 days, as a commitment to your own self care – or pop in for a day here or there.

I love looking back at our old studio, and my families old home when we lived in town, precious memories of a chapter in my own life.  Also the first videos I ever made, yes, it’s important to laugh with ourselves, and to find the sweetness in just showing up because you know it’s important, regardless of what IT looks like.

The intention for these mini yoga videos is to help support you.  We find ourselves in the midst of a  confusing time (still a year later), and I think I can safely say, from day to day, our emotions are all over the place – this is normal and understandable given our current situation, please be gentle with yourself.  Globally, we are all affected and I think there are times we feel the collective levels of anxiety, fear, hurt, grief and sadness. We are living in a world, and a time, of so many unknowns where each of us have been affected in our day to day rhythms.

Embrace the moments where you do feel peace, where you experience the joy and miracle of life, the moments when you feel inspired at next steps in your own life, where you feel steady and filled with hope for what is on the other side.

Yoga may not be something you are leaning into right now, and if this period in the history of your life is calling for a break from your practice than you need to honour that.  You also need to honour whatever it is that is helping to hold you and bring you back to your center.

A year ago I decided to commit to 30 days of providing you with little 5 – 20 minute practices, my personal commitment is what’s kept me okay during this time.  The practices I offer you here area all accessible yoga, movement, focused postures, pranayama and meditations – each chosen to help to build your resilience, to help ground you, bring you back to your center, nurture your nervous system, and to support you to invite daily movement into your body, and to remind you you’re not alone.  This yoga challenge is my way of extending my support out to you in your homes during this time of social distancing and self isolation.

Please join me for the next 30 days (or every couple of days), I’m going to be practicing right alongside you, revisiting this support, made a year ago.

These videos were created April – 2020: (Please be kind, this were my FIRST ever yoga videos, all these videos were recorded at our old place in Almonte, in the forest and in the old studio space.  As I too dive into this 30 day commitment, I am in awe as my sons look so young – amazing so much change in a year and all the places those changes are reflected)

View Day One Here

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View Day Twenty Nine Here

View Day Thirty Here

There are many health and wellness guardians here in Almonte (and all over the globe for that matter), I am so grateful for the work everyone is doing to help support one another.  Taking this time to really accept all the changes and Keep moving forward.

As a result of all the changes this pandemic has brought, including our Heritage Court doors closing and our collective of teachers doing what they needed to personally to do move through this time, Surya Daya  has definitely seen some transitions.  I’m now offering an online yoga studio, video subscriptions, a hub for my upcoming breast health offerings, a supportive blog, personal one – on – one yoga therapy sessions, outdoor and nature based yoga,  work with hospice and Carebridge, I’ve recommitted to my massage practice, and working on a few projects – all around having my boys home.  Thank you for being on this journey with me, I am excited to see how we continue to evolve over time, and grow together as a community.

One day I dream of us finding a community space again, a healing safe hub, I keep that vision alive in my heart.

Yours in health and happiness, with so much love and gratitude,

Amber

If you’d like to practice with me I teach weekly live online zoom classes , and as an additional support for you to practice on your own schedule I’ve created a video library and a monthly video subscription

Don’t ever hesitate to reach out, my support is here holding you in my heart.

Our Guest House – Wednesday Wellness Reflection

“This being human is a guest house

Every morning a new arrival

A joy, a depression, a meanness, 

Some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all……

The dark thought, the shame, the malice, 

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes, 

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.”

              Rumi

Not always so easy to simply welcome whatever arises with an open non judgmental heart, this is part of the practice for sure.  One of the hardest and often the most potent in our healing.

We often feel it’s easier to hide parts of ourselves, all the complex intricacies of this being human with all of our emotions, but remember, at the core, we’re not so different from one another.

Honouring your life experiences, honouring your relationships, honouring what needs to be accepted in order to be able to let go – or to move into a new chapter, honouring the joyful happy moments as equally as the not so joyful moments.

Take a bit of time to simply sit with this piece, sending yourself an invitation to welcome in all aspects of yourself, allow this to be your reflection this week.

Can you accept and honour the whole, remember the puzzle isn’t complete if we only put the light pieces in.

There is no need to shift, hold your breath or bend for anyone.

It’s okay to feel exactly what you’re feeling. 

The more we can practice self-acceptance the easier it is to exhale, the deeper we can breathe and  grow into the person we’re here to be.  The more we can enjoy the life in front of us.

Take some time with your journal, have a conversation with someone who sees you, move your body, or go for a walk in nature. It’s important to give yourself time to process wherever you are, that’s when the acceptance happens.

I want to see YOU, the world needs the real you, often hiding underneath all the layers life has thrown on you.

With so much love,

Amber

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com

Spring Renewal – Wednesday Wellness Reflection

It’s hard to believe it was a year ago everything changed, I remember thinking about closing the studio for a week or two, trusting we’d be back in our little sacred space in no time.   A huge learning for me, and a process that continues.

Spring is a powerful time to honour the introspective winter months we’ve just moved through, as we begin to awaken like our natural world around us.   This is a time of renewal and a time to set clear intentions as we plant new seeds in the fertile ground, awakening.

Over the next 6 months we’ll be experiencing a slow increase in the abundance of sunlight, we’ll be witnessing new growth all around us,  and we’ll be feeling into an expansion in yang energy (a more outward and active energy).

Allow this to be a slow emergence if you can, I’m here to remind you there is no urgency, this is especially important this year as we have experienced and continue to navigate so much change on a micro and macro level.

Spring is a time we consider new beginnings, the birth of ideas, we cultivate hope, embrace joy, honour the space we need to thrive, and it’s also a good time to lay the groundwork for things you’d like to grow and create.

Sometimes, however,  spring is also filled with anxiety over percieved expectations, or an urgency to get moving.  Sometimes we can feel agitated inside, without understanding the why.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, turn to the practices you know nourish you – let them be your anchor, and be gentle with yourself – especially this year.

When we consider our spring cleaning; we need to spend time with our homes, our gardens and yards, our bodies, and it’s important to remember to also consider the clearing, cleansing and expression of your emotional truths.  This  is often the hardest part of our spring cleaning regime – but critical to your continued growth and expansion as a human.

As winters ice breaks up and the snow melts,  we are offered an invitation to honour the flow of the currents moving at their own pace.  Sitting with the waters of spring we can witness the nourishment of new growth, in ourselves and in the land, or perhaps reflecting on the growth and impact of this past year.

As we tend to and consider our responsibility in the care of the earth,  I wonder if in that process you can also surrender to earths fertile energy and allow it to also support you –  the planting of seeds within and around us, that may one day, with care and commitment,  come to fruition.

Hold those seeds in your heart and breathe fresh energy into them.

Wishing you a beautiful spring,

Much love

Amber

xo

If you’d like to practice with me I teach weekly online zoom classes , as well, as a response to COVID, I have created, and continue to create, a video library and a weekly video subscription.

Don’t ever hesitate to reach out, my support is here holding you in my heart.

 

Diving Deeper Into Reciprocity – Wednesday Wellness Reflection

By definition reciprocity is a process of exchange in order to gain a mutual benefit.   This action oriented energy plays an important role in the development and continuation of relationships, and it ensures that; people, other animals, the land, our environment, recieve help when they need it and that we too recieve help when we need it.

When I think about reciprocity on a personal level, I find motivation from an innate place of compassion and kindness, knowing that we’re all part of the whole.  When we take care of our neigbours and the land we call home we can also acknowledge that we are offering care to ourselves,  when our motivation rests in the betterment of the greater good, reciprocity naturally happens.

It’s easy to lose ourselves in the I, sometimes forgeting about our responsiblity to the we.

Have you ever considered gratitude as an offering of reciprocity?  Waking up and acknowledging what you’re grateful for in your life, you’re offering the energy of your heart as an exchange, a form of reciprocity, and the wheel continues to spin. The more we acknowledge and give our thanks, the more we also start to care and take action to make sure we continue to have forests we can walk  through, oxygen to breathe, soil that nourishes our vegetables, a community to call on when we too need help.

We are all interdependent and I think during this global pandemic we have been given the opportunity to become acutely aware of how interdependent we truly are.

I have a sweet little reflection to share with you, when I think about reciprocity. When we moved out to the country, I started feeding the deers that we share this forest with. Why some of you may ask, because I wanted to see the deers, I wanted my children to see the deers.  They never came, but I kept feeding them.  As I started to develop a relationship with my surroundings, I started to also develop a deeper sense of gratitude for the wonders of the forest, this land, and a relationship with the creatures I share this home with.

Slowly, without even knowing it was happening, things started to change on the inside for me.

One day in my meditation, I looked deeper, considering my intention behind offering food to these four legged creatures.  I realized I actually feed the deers because I am grateful they share their home with me.  I know they often have a short life, and I want it to be a good life, because all of life is sacred.  I want them to know they can seek refuge here, in their home.  I still feed the deer, and from time to time they offer me a glimpse and sometimes even peer into our window – as curious about us, as we are about them.  When I leave the food now, I give thanks without any expectations, it is my way of saying thank you to the land and all of the creatures for letting me rest here during my brief window of time upon this earth.  Reciprocity.

I will nourish the soil so the earth continues to thrive and in exchange that same soil, from the earth, will nourish the seeds I plant for my family to thrive.  Reciprocity.

Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book Braiding Sweetgrass goes with me everywhere I go at the moment.  Elizabeth Gilbert was spot on when she described this book as a love hymn for the earth. It is a lullaby of reciprocity for all the wonders around us.  I strongly recommend you get your hands on a copy and read it, and then read it again.

I commit to nurturing the land, to supporting all of life, to help it to thrive – I know in my heart, it’s my responsibility while I’m here.

The moral covenant of reciprocity calls us to honor our responsibilitys for all we have been given, for all that we have taken.   It’s our turn now, long overdue.  Let us hold a giveaway for Mother Earth, spread our blankets out for her and pile them high with gifts of our own making.  Imagine the books, the paintings, the poems, the clever machines, the compassionate acts, the transcendent ideas, the perfect tools.  The fierce defense of all that has been given.  Gifts of mind, hands, heart, voice, and vision all offered up on behalf of the earth.  Whatever our gift, we are called to give it and to dance for the renewal of the world. 

In return for the privilege of breath. 

– Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass)

Wishing you a beautiful day,

Much love

Amber

xo

If you’d like to practice with me I teach weekly online zoom classes , as well, as a response to COVID, I have been working on creating a video library and a weekly video subscription.

Don’t ever hesitate to reach out, my support is here holding you in my heart.