10 April 2017

.t h i r t y t h r e e.

I love the number 3, it's sacred.

10 years ago when I was 23, I made one of my craziest decisions and joined the Peace Corps - leaving everything I'd known to live in South America for 27 months.

3's are a good number for me.

This year with my 33rd birthday on the FULL MOON. The full moon is a time to release intentions - begin again. It feels like a great time RELEASE and FOCUS. I am a triple fire sign (sun - aries, rising - aries and moon - leo) and I love newness, adventure, impulse and that will always be me but I want to follow thru more. I want to make a focal point to make decisions from. I felt lost and confused a few months ago and decided that the answer was in choosing a health education job in a new place, but coming here it wasn't what I thought. This is a part of expectations versus reality of change, but it's deeper than that. It's as if I made a decision based on old wants - I forgot to calibrate my internal focal point before making the decision and post-decision I now realize the discord. It's time to calibrate. It's time to dream B I G and know that I deserve it all that goodness that comes with that. It's time to embrace the truth the when I live B I G people around me/people I love/people in my community live B I G too.

Last year, a dear friend gave me a blank manifesto booklet for my birthday. I've kept it blank for an entire year not knowing what to write. This seems like the perfect time to write a manifesto, my first manifesto.



33 things to do in my 33rd year, a manifesto

1. Sew a quilt.
2. Teach a jewelry class.
3. Bake more bread.
4. Share bread.
5. Go to Scotland
6. Write poems.
7. Cook food for people.
8. Visit Boston and the Cape.
9. Swim in the ocean.
10. Meditate daily.
11. Sleep 8 hours a night.
12. Go to art galleries.
13. Create wellness resource for self + others.
14. Make time to cook.
15. Eat fresh food.
16. Explore Sawtooth Mountains.
17. Soak in many hot springs.
18. Take responsibility.
19. Write more  postcards.
20. Take long walks.
21. Spend time near water.
22. Dance everyday.
23. Practice vulnerability. 
24. Do yoga.
25. Pay attention to the moon.
26. Make jewelry. 
27. Experiment more with metal.
28. Trust my intuition.
29. Build community.
30. Sunbathe.
31. Ride my bike
32. Take a class.
33. Be kind to myself. 

03 April 2017

.silence.

I went to a book reading last night with Emily Ruschvich, a Idaho native and rural life enthusiast. She said she's always lived in small places and with that also loves rural literature. The moderator asked why she loved rural literature so much? She said "it shows the essence of us - rural life shows our humanness in our most quiet moments." I loved that. I fell in love with her passion and connection to the land here. I envy that connect to a place. She reminded me of the richness and depth of exploration that comes from the slow quiet of rural life.

I remember that silence.

It reminded me of those long hot afternoons living in that big house on the hill in Southern Malawi. The view from the front porch looking over the red valley below and the electric red/fuschia sunsets during burn season. The days with no work and no power. How they felt so long at first and then slowly over time turned into sweet delights. It was time and space to explore and create, a new fruit to experiment baking with or new supplies found on a trip into the city to make into jewelry.


One time, on a trip to the "big" city I found rope at the paper store and learned how to dye the cotton with found spices at indian stores and then wove it into a big necklace on one of those afternoons, just sitting on the front steps looking out at the guava trees and the clay lands while the boys (I lived with a family with two boys - Promise, 7 years old and Osborne, 5 years old they became my local guides, shadows, friends and food tasters.) played soccer with a ball made out of burnt plastic bags. Another afternoon I noticed the guava trees, so heavy and ripe with fruits and with a whole afternoon infront of us I decided we were going to make a guava crisp. I explained the mission to the boys, they had NO clue what a crisp was but with the brief mention of sugar (a rare treat) they were off leaping at the trees to help collect guavas. Within minutes Promise and Osborne were back with enough guavas for 10 crisps! As I gathered the ingredients and they worked on eating the leftover guavas. I went to the cookhouse to start the fire but  realized I forgot a towel to grab the pan and headed back to the house. As I rounded to the front of the house I had a strange feeling - something was different. I slowed down and looked around and before I knew it Promised and Osborne were sneaking up behind me whispering "Arish, baboooooon baboooooon" and there in the small grove of guave trees was at least 15 baboons in the trees scooping the fruit off the branches and into their mouths.  The world felt silent and full and magical for a moment - then Promise being 7 couldn't help himself and was worried they wouldn't leave any fruit so started running towards the trees and in a flash they were all gone - like it never happened.


It's been hard to sink into the silence of HERE. I ached for silence in Somerville but now that I am in a place of wide spaces and deep silence I am realizing how much in 3 years I acclimated to my home there.

08 March 2017

.happy international women's day.


I learned to make jewelry as a young teen at a bead shop in my hometown. The shop was owned by this vibrant woman who made gorgeous jewelry and traveled the world buying jewelry supplies and handmade goods! I always felt so much magic and freedom when I was in her shop which later absorbed into how I felt making jewelry! I went on to start my own jewelry business at 19, selling at the local farmer's market. I know without that experience as a young teen to have seen my own reflection in a vibrant, independent woman entrepreneur I couldn't of imagined starting my own business, that experience allowed me the freedom to believe it was possible for me. I'm celebrating all the amazing women in my life who have been role models and teachers for me to dream MORE and BIGGER! May we all have role models in which we can see our own reflection of possibilities and dreams!


HappyWomen's Day!

26 February 2017

.idaho.


"Kindness is like snow—It beautifies everything it covers." 
Kahlil Gibran

12 February 2017

.what now.


I am forever curious. It's something that I pride myself on - it's something that allows me to take brave jumps into the unknown over and over again. It's also something that keeps me painfully aware of this internal compass, that despite my best attempts to ignore or drag my heels into the ground it wakes me up in the middle of the night and doesn't let me go back to sleep. I can list off every single one of these instances - they are branded in my memory maybe as reminders that against my initial reactions things will work out - this is just the process. 

I remember 5 years ago I was living in a restored barn in a small town north of Seattle working as a Health Educator at a Community Health Clinic. I had just returned a little over a year from serving in the Peace Corps for two years in Ecuador and I started to feel that internal compass. My days were running into each other - my energy was sagging - the question, what now. I had been contemplating whether or not to go to midwifery school and had also applied to water sanitation program with Peace Corps Response in El Salvador. The midwifery school invited me to come do a 24hr shift at the birth center and 2 two weeks later Peace Corps called me to say that the water sanitation program didn't exist anymore but they thought I would be the perfect candidate for a new program in Malawi. Wait, what? Where? I didn't even know where Malawi was, I am a traveler but really I was a Latin American traveler. All my experiences of to that point had been to Latin America. That is where I travel - that is where I want to travel - I speak Spanish. The birth center was in El Paso, Texas just a mile from the border. I know Mexico. I love Mexico. I've been working with moms and babies forever - it's what I do. It seemed like the perfect fit - a longtime goal/dream. I went to the birth center for a 24hr shift. It was small and chaotic - it was Mexico. I loved it. A returned home and within a few weeks a receieve a letter of acceptance to the midwifery program and an offer from Peace Corps to go to Malawi for 9 months. I didn't know what to do. The midwifery program seems like the perfect fit but there was something about Malawi that I just couldn't say no to. I ran all the possible what ifs over and over in my head, made pro and con lists for both and then called my mom. She asked why I wouldn't go to Malawi and I said, "Because I'm scared" and she said, "then you already have your answer." That curiosity - that internal compass sometimes starts out looking/feeling like fear and when I walk thru it I find the most beautiful things. I went Malawi. It broke my heart and healed it. It made me feel rooted and alive in ways I'd never experienced before. 

Curiousity is knocking at my door, again. I've been living in Boston for the past almost 3 years. That is the longest time I have spent in any one place since I graduated college (10 years ago!). It has been such an adventure living on the east coast - it's a different world from the west coast in so many ways. I took risks - I learned a new speed of life - I became bolder from the city - I explored New England - I met new people. It was feeling comfortable but I started to feel that internal compass. I started to open doors to see what would come and out of nowhere an opporunity started to unfold from small town, Sun Valley, Idaho in the Sawtooth Mountains. A chance to work in reproductive rights. A chance to feel like I’m investing in what I believe during a time that demands us all to speak up. So I’m moving west again. I’m sad to leave that city I have grown to know and the little community I was apart of - it seems like with all things being questioned and challenged what we really need is community and love and support but I made the decision to live a life that demands risks - that expands and new places seem to be the way that my life unfolds. It seems we don’t always process our learning until we leave and I feel I am just starting to see all the love and support that Boston gave me, a tough love but a love nonetheless. A firmness that allowed me to grow taller. A pace that helped to begin to leave perfection aside for the opportunity to complete the task. I’m grateful for all the teachers I met in Boston. My heart feels sad in a lot of ways but also excited to see what unfolds in a small town in the mountains. 

10 January 2017

.reminder.


I received such a kind e-mail today from someone who was gifted one of my bracelets for Christmas. She told me the bracelet brought her so much joy and she wears it daily. Her compliment just reenergized me and I was so grateful to receive her words - but - I thought why do I wait (rely) on those outside compliments to remind myself of my value? I know the value (beauty) of my work. Each piece of my jewelry is a long intimate journey of processing something occurring in my life in that moment. I design - fabricate - finish - each unique and one-of-a-kind.

Why can't I grasp it's beauty until someone from the outside describes it? 

This moment was such a good reminder of how so often I forget myself - my story. This process of remembering who I am - who we are over and over again. I pledge to continue to jump inside myself this year!

How do you remember your unique story?

09 January 2017

. plum island.


I went to Plum Island on New Year's Eve - to walk thru wetlands, listen to the birds and to see the fierce waves - to feel the freedom of the ocean even in 19 degree weather. I walked the beach in silence thinking about intentions for 2017. I thought about how I want to find more time for moments like this one. 

I flew west, again a few days ago and here I am starting anew for 2017.  Wondering what is next for me...a Brazilian friend who has just arrived back in the states after 6 months away said to me, "I went home for some months - adentro - where there isn't much but it was so good to have to jump inside myself. " I loved that, jump inside myself! I don't know how my plans for 2017 will unfold but I hope above all I jump inside myself.