I believe that someday it will be normal and natural to consider the earth and the environment in all the decisions we make, from food to homes to work to families. At this point we'll all know and feel how intrinsically connected we are to the environment and that we are only healthy when the environment is healthy. It's a symbiotic relationship that deserves deep respect, honouring, time, and energy. I sometimes wonder how much time we have. I feel like this future needs to be now.
Sitting in my home I began thinking about what I do to take care of the environment. I started at the door and worked my way around and noticed that I do more things than I realized so I thought I'd share some suggestions below. You don't need to do all these things right away to be a good human and a good environmentalist. Take one or two steps at a time. Have fun with it and be gentle with yourself. Certainly, us humans, as well as nature, will not improve by beating ourselves up.
So from my home to yours. :) Really, it's the earth that's our home, so let's take care of them as well as we take care of our family home.
- Spend time in nature! This will increase your gratitude and respect for the environment which will naturally lead to you wanting to take care of it. You'll create relationship and notice all the ways nature gives. It's incredible when you really realize! So much beauty and abundance! We are blessed by nature every day.
- Use non-recyclable bags as garbage bags. Vegetable bags, bread bags, chip bags, etc. Paper bags can hold dry garbage.
- Save jars for bulk items, drinks, storing food, bringing food to work, etc. Ever noticed how something that's been in plastic for a while begins to taste like it? That's the chemicals from the plastic leaching into your food.
- Stock up on local vegetables and fruit in the fall. Channel your inner squirrel. :) Store it, freeze it, preserve it, ferment it, savour it.
- Half empty glass of water that you're done with? Give the rest to your plants or a tree.
- Compost! Yessss!
- Before you put water down the drain in the kitchen, ask yourself - is there something I could use this for? Pasta cooking water in pasta sauce (great thickener), potato boiling water in gravy or soup (potassium boost!), water you cleaned veggies in can water the garden, etc etc etc.
- Reuse plastic - ziploc bags, resealable pouches nuts seeds and dried fruit come in, take out and to go containers that can be washed.
- Recycle and reuse where you can.
- Flush less. If it's yellow, let it mellow.
- Turn water off while brushing your teeth.
- Most hair types don't need to be washed everyday.
- There are now shampoo and conditioner bars! Less packaging less plastic.
- Choose natural cleaning products.
- Don't forget that water that comes from the tap and the showerhead, that's in the toilet and the bathtub, comes from nature. Be grateful for it.
- Choose eco-friendly menstrual products. Better for your health and the environment's. Or try period underwear!
- Choose environmentally friendly and animal friendly road salt.
- Choose natural soil, compost, and fertilizer.
- Grow your own food! Share the abundance! Enjoy.
- Plant flowers for the pollinators!
- Pollinators over winter in old plant stalks, leaves, etc. It's suggested to wait until the temperature is 15C for 7 consecutive days before cleaning up your garden so that the pollinators have time to reawaken and leave their winter homes. :)
- Bring clean reusable bags everywhere, not just the grocery store.
- Bring clean refillable jars and containers to fill up on bulk items. This can include cleaners and personal care products.
- Buy local! Yes, your veggies, fruit, meat, home decor, and anything else you can think of. Search out a local, or environmentally friendly, sustainable source first.
- Support your local stores, creators, artists, musicians, practitioners, writers, restaurants, bars, etc.
- Think about what you're buying. Where did it come from? How was it created? Who created it? How far does it have to travel to get to you? What packaging is it in?
- Choose natural products. If it harms the earth when disposed of, it likely harms you when you use it, ingest it, put it on your skin, lawn, pet, etc.
- There are so many cool sites and companies online to buy second hand, refurbished furniture and household items from. Google it. I recently bought a refurbished phone and I couldn't be happier with it.
- Choose food items that are plastic free or in glass containers instead of plastic. Then you get a jar with your purchase too!
- Purchase organic! Do it! It doesn't matter if it costs more. Your health, the planet, the animals, the plants, you're all worth it!
- Remember what you spend money on is a vote for what you want more of.
- Vote for political leaders that care about the environment. When they're elected, write them and remind them why you voted for them.
- Sign those environmental petitions you see on social media.
- Donate to environmental organizations like TreeSisters, the David Suzuki Foundation, Nature Conservation funds, etc.
- Walk, bike, carpool
- Reuse paper. Heading to the bin but only one side used? Use the other side to doodle, journal, make lists, write your daily gratitudes, etc. Then recycle.
- Take hand-me-downs! Clothes, appliances, dishes, dish cloths, furniture, etc. Be creative! Make it your own.
- Share - books, tools, clothes, shoes you've worn once and your friend will wear once, soil, seeds, food, love.
- Be grateful for our natural world and all they provide.
These might not all seem convenient, but several of them are and it's worth it taking the extra time and effort. Convenience, which is something I love - don't get me wrong, is part of the reason we've gotten ourselves here. Let's think long term. How will our present actions affect the future, our children, and our children's children? How can we combine the amazing technology and convenience we have now with the wisdom, conservation, and knowledge of the environment? It's necessary to think this way now.
Every day is Earth Day.
As it becomes more and more obvious that our natural world, the environment, and our earth are in desperate need of our help and love and respect I keep getting called back to womb wisdom.
Womb wisdom can be many things. One of the most significant pieces of it for me is how guiding womxn to connect with their wombs naturally inclines them to connect more deeply with nature. It's hard to describe how or why this happens but it so clearly happens that I am often in awe. We come from the womb and we come from the earth. We consume food and water from the earth everyday; we walk on the earth; we breathe in their air. These are integral parts of being human. These are integral parts of the earth.
I first noticed this a while ago, when I offered the online course Dancing Your Moon Cycle. But actually it goes back even further to a Reiki session with Jocelyn Clark (Reiki Cottage) when she suggested I read Wild Feminine by Tami Lynn Kent. She generously lent me that book which I didn't pay much attention to for probably another year. And then when I picked it up again everything I read resonated. All of it. How womb wisdom connects us to the wild, to nature. How it connects us to our ancestors. How deep long held patterns of conditioning, emotion, and stories can be held here. During this time I also realized I was doing some deep holding in my own womb. Physically, yes there was tension, but I knew that tension was associated with something bigger. And as I continue to explore this medicine and let go more and more of what's holding me back from being authentically who I am, and feeling connected deeply to nature and the earth, I return to parts of me that have been lost for a long time, and parts of the womxn in my family that were shut down for many, many reasons.
I sometimes think that things like womb wisdom become fads. Just like how Yoga, and ancient science and art, has become a fad. And that discourages me to be honest. I guess because these things start to be approached without the respect and reverence they deserve.
If I told you that you carry a sacred seed in you that allows the human race to continue, and to continue to evolve physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, would you believe me? If I told you that this place in your temple, your body, is the root of all your creativity and that it connects you to all the womxn who have come before you and all the womxn who have come after you, would you feel that remembering in your body? And if I told you that you are connected to a sacred cycle which is connected to the cycle of the moon, nature's seasons, and the rhythm and heartbeat of the earth, would you then feel a piece in you open up to reveal this sacred wisdom that's been passed down through centuries?
These are just some of the things about our wombs that deserve respect and reverence. And the earth deserves just as much respect and reverence, if not more.
It's no surprise or coincidence that nature has been neglected, trampled on, destroyed around the same time in history that womxn have been deemed the lesser sex, witches were burned, we've been paid less to do the same work as men, etc. etc. I don't want to go too much into the negative. But sometimes it's needed in order to open our eyes and hearts. If reading this makes you feel something, that is a good thing. Can you be with those feelings? What are they telling you?
Feelings and womxn and the earth is a whole other blog post that I'll share with you some day. And there's so much more about womb wisdom to share. For now know that you deserve all the love, respect, equality, abundance, joy, prosperity, opportunity, kindness in the world! And so does the earth. <3
If you're looking for suggestions on what to do to help take care of the earth check out my blog post "For the Earth..."
How are you?
With all that is going on did you notice that the Spring Equinox has arrived? Spring is here! Yayyy! <3
The other morning I walked in Odell Park and could hear the birds. That brought me so much joy! And brought me right back to my center, which I admit is a place I have been straying from recently. In the past I might have been hard on myself about that but not anymore. We are human. And this is a journey.
I want you to know that everything you're experiencing and feeling right now is okay. This is a lot. You are loved. Iyanla Vanzant says 'it's not personal, and it's not permanent' (paraphrased) and so I like to remind myself of that. :)
Some invitations and offerings:
Ask and remind yourself....
In this moment I can relax my belly and take a deep breath.
In this moment I am well.
My body wants me to inhabit it so it can be healthy and resilient.
The earth is beneath me. I am always held.
I am capable of feeling this.
I am supported.
How do my feet feel? Can I feel them at all?
What would ground me in this moment? Eg. deep breaths, singing, dancing, shaking, a warm blanket, a warm cup of tea in my hands, warm bath, sending love to wherever I feel tense in my body, etc.
Also, I invite you to stay connected. Call a friend. Write them a letter. Several businesses are offering online classes right now (Breathing Space, Jungle House Dance Company, Bend City Yoga, Kuuma Yoga, etc). Tune in and stay connected with the energy of local businesses, teachers, students, guides, groups, etc. We all need each other's support.
Okay, my friends. Be well.
Mostly be you.
You are a gift in this world, at this time.
Hello, my dear friends:
If you're a sensitive person like me you may have noticed some stress, anxiety, or tension this week. I think the first week back to work after the holidays can be challenging for some. Also the current global environmental and political climate is a bit hard to take in. I'm attending to my nervous system and my heart and would like to remind you that there are plenty of resources (Reconnect to Source) available to you so that you can do the same.
Move your body:
I just finished doing TRE - Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (video) and feel more in my body than I was prior to doing them. And this is why I suggest movement, to stay connected to our bodies and their wisdom, to let the energy move. When we do we center ourselves and make space for hope, a clearer perspective, and compassion. Support your beautiful local Yoga studios and attend a class. There is also a dance studio for adults in Fredericton now! You'll see me there Sunday nights for Ecstatic Dance.
I've created a 5 min. meditation video for you. It's available here.
If you follow me on IG you have access to my 4-part Video Series for Empaths and Sensitives. Check my profile, IGTV, and stories highlights for the Videos.
Loving Kindness Meditations are available on my Soundcloud.
Action is powerful and always available to you!
If you can, donate to the causes you care about. I love Treesisters who have a goal of planting 1 billion trees per year in deforested areas. I have more info about that below.* Donate to local and foreign animal shelters, to conservation and environmental organizations, to Australia (see pic).
There are events being offered by donation and several artists making donations when you purchase their products, all in support of Australia. Locally, Louise Farr has organized a Drumming Circle on January 15th form 7-9 at the Keswick Ridge Community Hall, 86 Route 616. Proceeds go to Australian Red Cross.
Consider your purchases. Can you buy less plastic? Where is your food coming from? Have you thought about consuming less meat, composting, bringing your re-usable bags to stores, shopping local? The new year is great time to get started on these new habits. There is so much we can do to take care of the environment!
Contact your local political representatives. Let them know what you will and will not be a part of it. Let them know what is important to you.
Rest when you need to rest. Take care of yourself, each other, and your part of the earth. Turn off the news. Attend to your heart. Connect with your loved ones and offer them your heart.
* Treesisters is the same wonderful organization who put together Sing for the Trees on International Women's Day last March. They are an amazing symbol of the connection between women and nature, and supporters of feminine-based leadership - all things that I believe in whole-heartedly.
I've joined them as a Grove Tender which means I will be creating a local Grove in support of their mission. It will include a monthly event which I will share here when ready. <3
Womb work is important because of the connection mentioned above - that of women and nature. Working with our wombs helps to re-establish this connection as it grounds us in our bodies; helps us to see how nature is so intricately woven into our existence; magnifies how sacred Mother Earth is, and therefore, how sacred we are; and amplifies how connected we are as we begin to notice the synchronization of the moon to our womb cycles whether we menstruate or not.
Juliane Nowe and I are teaming up to share some of this goodness in a Yoga and V-steaming class happening on Thursday January 30th from 7-8:30. Pre-registration is required so that you can safely experience a V-steam according to your needs.
We are creating a sacred and confidential space for you to be a part of and can't wait to share with you!
I'm sharing lots about the benefits of V-steaming on my social media these days. Contact me if you have any questions!
Sending love beams in all directions.
Happy Summer Solstice, friends!
How are you celebrating today?!
I started my celebration this morning with meditation. Then I headed to Odell and greeted everything with love and gratitude. I sent kisses to the bids singing, the tall trees dripping rain water on me, the streams alive and flowing, the sweetest little wildflowers, the sky overhead, and the beautiful earth under my feet. I ran with my arms open to the sky, giggling and exclaiming "Thank You"! :)
We have so much to be grateful for! I love how nature supports us throughout our journeys. Think about the food you're drinking today and where that came through. And how the food you're eating came to be. The fresh air in your lungs. How good you feel and how well you sleep after a day spent outdoors. This time of year offers so much abundance!
Other ways to celebrate Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, and mid-way point of on the calender:
- Sun Salutations
- Be in nature, hug a tree, stand barefoot in the grass or the ocean or a stream
- Have a bonfire representing the light and strength of the sun and how it helps everything, including you, to grow
- Greet all the seedlings and shoots and growing plants in your garden
- Gather friends and share in the abundance of local food; dance, sing, make music together; laugh
-Write out what you're grateful for
- Create little Summer Solstice notes or cards for your friends
- And lastly, sign up for any of my services and receive $10 off! My gift to you on this beautiful day where abundance is so alive and tangible. <3
My services include:
- Women's Empowerment Coaching online or in person (single session, 1 month or 3 month packages)
- Moon and Womb Wisdom online course
- Yoni Steaming Consultations (online or by phone) - An ancient practice that helps with all pms symptoms, cysts, fibroids, infections, infertitlity, and overall womb health. More info on this coming soon!
Blessings, dear friends.
May you receive abundance in your hearts, your soul, your relationships, your finances, your work and play, and all other areas of your life.
I’m really excited to invite you to a very special activity that I’m organising in Odell Park for International Women’s Day this year.
I’d love you to join me and Sing for the Trees at Odell Park on Friday March 8th from 5:30-6:30. I’m organising a beautiful, nourishing, community event with the support of global grassroots women-led reforestation movement, TreeSisters. We’re honouring our connection to Nature, each other and the trees by gathering the women and singing to, for and with the trees.
*Text in italics are my (Natalie's) words
**All other text has been written by TreeSisters, has been provided as a suggested invitation to this event, and are words that I wholeheartedly agree with <3
You don’t need to be able to sing. All you need is an open heart, your love for Nature and a willingness to do something a bit different and very nourishing with a group of wonderful, local women. Everyone is welcome, and I am really happy to support you to find a way to take part in what we are doing that feels enjoyable and fun for you.
We have gorgeous songs to sing and a location that is special to me because I grew up next door to Odell Park. It has been a place of support, beauty, connection, and strength for me for years.* And I’ve chosen to do this with TreeSisters because I adore trees, want to be a part of protecting the environment, and recognize the deep and significant connection between women and nature.*
We humans depend on trees for so many things ... Our oxygen, cleaning pollution from the air, drawing up water from deep in the Earth to nourish rivers and streams, seeding our rainfall, providing habitat for millions of creatures, protecting soil microbes from overheating, preventing erosion, minimising flood damage, creating beauty, and so much more. Our trees are critical to a healthy, thriving world and are one of the best buffers against climatic changes.
When women raise their voices, magic happens. When women rise, we can create incredible change in the world and inspire others to do the same. We influence our children, our extended families and our communities - the action we take really matters.
When we come together to nourish each other and the Earth, we are weaving deeper connection to Nature and our own natures. If you’d like to see how inspiring this can be, have a look at treesister Liz Terry on IWD 2018 and the powerful magic she wove with women in Stroud, UK here: https://youtu.be/McfhWdqtiGg.
I’d really love you to join me to show our appreciation and love for the trees on this very special day. There is no cost to join in, however if you would like to donate to TreeSisters and seed the planting of trees in the tropics, that would be wonderful. You can find out more about TreeSisters planting projects and/or donate here: https://www.treesisters.org/home/trees
In sisterhood for the trees,**
PS. All ages and genders are welcome!*
Have you ever seen the Yin and Yang symbol and wondered what it meant?
To me it symbolizes balance.
The two sides of the circle represent Yin (the darker side of the circle) and Yang (the lighter side of the circle).
In Yoga we can think of our practice in terms of Yin and Yang. Yin Yoga is a slow and passive practice; poses are done on the floor, held for longer periods of time (2-5 minutes) and we are working with the deep connective tissue of the body. Yang Yoga is a bit more active or dynamic; some poses are done on the floor and many are done standing, poses are held for 1-5 or more breaths, and we are often targeting more superficial tissue, muscle, etc.
You can think of the breath in terms of Yin and Yang too. When we are breathing slowly, deeply, steadily, into our bellies like we do in diaphragmatic breathing and Durga pranayama (three-part breath) that would be a more Yin form of breathing compared to when we our breath is shallow and we are breathing into our chest. Kapalabhati pranayama (fire breath) at a rapid tempo would be an extreme example of breathing in a Yang way. And from the breath we can look into our physiology. Slow, steady belly breathing induces the relaxation (Parasympathetic) response while shallow, rapid chest breathing kicks the the stress (Sympathetic) response into high gear.
Here's a bit of a summary plus some other ideas for Yin and Yang:
We need both Yin and Yang in our lives; both are important in their own ways. Check in and observe, notice, be a witness to the balance or lack of balance in your life. How much time do you spend at rest? How much time do you spend exerting yourself? Consider this in terms of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self.
And join me on Wednesdays from 12:05-12:55 at the Brookside Wellness Centre where I share a class that includes both Yin and Yang poses. Typically we begin with flowing, active, Yang movement and then we settle into more still, grounded Yin poses. We lift up the energy and move with breath and then we calm the energy and ground into breath. Come try the balance for yourself. This class is suitable for beginner to advanced Yogis.
PS. If you look deeper into the Yin and Yang symbol you will notice that there is some Yang in the Yin represented by the white circle in the darker half, and some Yin in the Yang represented by the dark circle in the lighter half of the symbol. Even when we are lying completely still in Savasana (a very Yin pose) the body is still moving because we are breathing. And even when we are in the most Yang pose (let's use handstand for example) there is still some part of us that is still, otherwise we would topple over. There is always the grey area. ;)
Natalie loves life, people, animals, plants, and trees. She believes in the flow of life and approaches each day with gratitude.