Leave it to Beavers

As a Nature-lover and Pantheist, I am adamant about the preservation of habitat, good stewardship and understanding and supporting ecosystems. Beavers are a keystone species in the health of an environment.

As an employee of Oregon State University and wife of an OSU Alumnus, I thought Beaver Nation should check out this delightful Nature documentary about our noble, eco-hero mascot. Beavers are vital to reversing the effects of global warming and conserving water and all the life it supports:

American_Beaver

Beaver Whisperer, Michel Leclair, has come up with an ingenious method of working with the Beavers to the benefit of all. Click the link: Leave it To Beavers, to watch the documentary!

Zoe Jakes and the House of Tarot

The first time I saw Zoe Jakes some seven years ago, I was beyond captivated. The first time I saw her dance live six years ago, I went straight out and signed up for a Tribal Fusion class the VERY next day. Then I got a chance to interview her for the cover of fuse: a tribal and tribal fusion belly dance magazine in 2011.

 

Now, in 2014, Zoe continues to be one of the most talented, creative and innovative artists out there, not just as a dancer, but as an artistic director, producer and member of the band Beats Antique, storyteller and sorceress. She weaves a spell over everyone in her path, drawing from the past and weaving it into the present and future. Zoe, you amaze me!

Respects!

On Pregnancy…

Little Alex

Being pregnant is so different from what I thought it would be. Aside from this little developing being, I’m amazed at how much I am growing and changing. The obvious way of course is physically, but even that is amazing in how much my body shifts and perfectly accommodates the little person in there and all my organs somehow move exactly where they need to be to keep doing their job. It’s a shocking feeling to realize that I am breathing, eating and even pumping blood for myself and another person. I’ve never been so physically present in my life or amazed at how truly marvelous and strong the human body is, at how it perfectly adapts and shifts to create balance, like a landscape or ecosystem,  and generates energy for two lives. In this way, my body is like the Earth and I participate in an inner dance with Nature.

Emotionally and mentally, I’m changing too and not just in wild shifts of hormonal imbalances, although that does happen every so often, but in a strange sense of “letting go” that all my years of meditation, yoga and spiritual studies never brought me even close to. Letting go of control and just allowing things to be. Pregnancy, I suppose in a way, is a fast track to learning how to release control, or at least it has been for me. It’s actually very liberating to finally release it, to accept the world and myself as it is….accepting this moment, this life, this place in space and time as exactly what it should be. Moving consciously into a sense of openness to all life.

Joseph Campbell talks about how you’re never truly alive until you can say “Yes,” to life as it is. I don’t know if I’ll be able to maintain this state of consciousness after pregnancy, but as of this moment, I feel like I understand that. Saying “yes” to this moment in time, no matter what it is, even if I feel great sadness…saying “yes” to that emotion, and accepting ALL of my emotions as part of myself. Enjoying the fleeting moments of amazement and joy and vulnerability and warmth and the love I feel for this little one who is part of myself. This little being who is part of my every movement and heartbeat. I and this little being are one right now. It’s the most intimate thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. Without even trying there is already a deep and very rich, meaningful communication between us. Without even trying, he is already held, nurtured, spoken to, embraced, loved and known by me, held by my most natural instincts and inner nature.

I say “yes” to this little soul. Yes, I want you to be here. Yes, you are welcome here. Yes, I look forward to meeting you soon. And to myself, I say “yes” I want to be alive. I say yes to my life now. I have never felt more awake or willing to accept this moment of reality and existence.

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to do this. I didn’t think I would be capable of the task or that I’d be too selfishly absorbed in my own melodrama to care about moving into adulthood and becoming a mother, but I was wrong. That was before I knew what I was truly capable of. That was before I ever realized just how much love I could have for another person, or that I’d be willing to lay down my life for someone else without fear. I’ve never felt more courage or excitement about anything. I once thought motherhood was “giving something up,” I never realized what you get in return is exponentially greater. I enjoyed my life before. I did. I went on adventures and traveled and got to explore to know myself and what I stand for and what I love and I did those things and I will continue to do those things. I’m also happy I have had 8 beautiful years with my spouse – for it to be “just us.” I feel truly blessed by God or the Universe or whatever you want to call the great mysterious force governing all life, that we had such great times together over the years. But I also remember feeling a longing, an absence, a “something is missing” emotion over the past three to four years. There’s a Björk song where she sings, “I miss you but I haven’t met you yet/ So special but it hasn’t happened yet/ You are gorgeous but I haven’t met you yet/ I remember but it hasn’t happened yet.” I know it’s totally corny to quote pop music, but that’s exactly how I felt.  The Universe believed in me even before I did. The lesson comes when the student is ready.

There is not one single thing I have ever done in my silly little life before this that has been as challenging, rewarding or affirming and spiritually astonishing as this. Not school, or awards or accolades. Not dance, not previous moments of revelation, and most certainly NOT A JOB. I think moving here was the prep before the test, a shedding of old identities so a new one could be born….for both of us. Not one single thing has ever felt this incredible. And he hasn’t even been born yet! I have only to trust now and release into my most natural state of being. My body knows just what to do, I have only to trust it.

An Interview with Sera Solstice

I have always really loved Sera Solstice.

Reading this Culture Grinder interview of hers just made me love her even more:

Sera Solstice: artist, professional dancer, innovator, business owner, mother.

Sera Solstice: artist, professional dancer, innovator, business owner, mother.

 

“When I was in college, everyone told me I would do nothing with an art degree. Everyone would say I couldn’t make money from dancing; that it can only be a hobby. But my career took off. I worked my ass off until there was an over-flowing wait-list for my classes. Then people said I couldn’t have an artistic career and kids. This one, I almost believed. Then I became pregnant in 2006. I have two kids now and I travel all over the world, bringing my family with me. I have to say that I love being in my thirties and the maturity that comes from getting a little older. I have a new perspective on what is important and what is superficial bullshit.”

Read the Full Interview – Culture Grinder: Interview with Sera Solstice

She was also featured as Culture Grinder of the Month, August 2012

Prenatal Yoga at Ecofusion Fitness, Corvallis

Demonstrating some asanas in my third trimester at Ecofusion Fitness in Corvallis, Oregon.

Life Goals. 2.0

These are the Top 5 things, I’d like to achieve over the next 10 to 20 years.

#5. Have a Garden (I grew up with food gardens and I’ve always wanted one. Nom, fresh tomatoes!)

#4.  Enhance my Yoga Teacher Training with more in-depth study.

#3. Visit India…

….or Brazil! Both have been places I’d like to visit in my life….or BOTH:

#2. Have my own Home. (I love to travel, but I’m also a nesting/den-like creature. I like to know home is waiting for me after I am done having adventures. Nothing spectacular, just a modest space of my own)

#1. Teach in/or Open a Dance/Yoga Space (Perhaps in my home)…and volunteer time to my community.

And I’d like to continue dancing, dancing, dancing = my Bliss <3

Beyond outward displays of achievement, my #1 Goal is to continue to develop and evolve into a spiritually conscious being, aware of my connection to all life, creation, and time and to embody compassion in my daily life….

What are yours?

Re-visiting India

I have been re-visiting the tales and cultures of India. Since I was a child, I have always been deeply moved by the music, the colors, the stories, philosophy and architecture of Bhārata…

The Bhagavad Gita

Mother Yasoda and Baby Krishna

Shakti Yoga

Shiva Nataraja