In the end -- and it will end -- your life will seem to have sped by like a fleeting dream. Much of your story will be the age-old but ever joyful human experience: romance, family, satisfying work, and happy completion. I wish you a great fountain of successes. You will also be provided with all the failures and tragedies necessary to deepen and widen your soul -- sufficient, I hope, to make you wise and forgiving of all human frailties. I pray that these necessary troubles will never long crush your optimism nor your love for this magical life.
The greatest danger before you is this: you live in an age when people would package and standardize your life for you -- steal it from you and sell it back to you at a price. That price is very high.
You have already been selected for this program. You have its credit cards and designer labels already expensively around you. In the months ahead, you will find yourselves working long hours, too exhausted for community life or even good friendships -- too compromised to take a stand against the abuses of the system you serve. A great treadmill has been devised for you, and its operators do not care much if it wears you out or kills you. A system is in place to steal your life from you, if you will let it. Don't let it.
Read, study, meditate and think for yourself. Let your most serious education now commence, if it has not already done so. Refine and hold your own values, and pay the high price necessary to live those values. Decide what is important to you, and hold your ground against all temptations and tortures. From the pink granite of your own values, build a fortress against the world's ethical compromises, or you will soon be among those dead of eye who stand next to you in elevators but who are not alive. Don't let them steal your life. This is the only warning you will receive.
This new book is wonderful. I love seeing new books embracing an anthroposophical viewpoint regarding family life and parenting. Having parented a now young adult...I can see it was those early beginning years of taking the time that mattered the most in her life. There was room to create an environment that felt creative and healing to all of us. It was important to have me home and present with a focus on what our families needs were. We had time for celebrations, learning, creativity, healing, social and spirit time. I was able to create a container that held the family and especially my child in a way that was nurturing and full. We were involved in a Waldorf School in RI when Emma was very young. We even helped the beginnings of a waldorf school in our area here in northeast CT. We made a decision not to move to a Waldorf school and instead stay in our home by the forest and put down roots in a community that we had grown comfortable with. It was a good choice. We travelled an unschooled life while holding an anthroposophical perspective as an undercurrent. Part of that lifestyle involved time...lots and lots of time. We created a home that was/is full. It is full of doing and interests and activity. I feel like someone needs to be home to create that container of allowing emergence. Our souls emerge over the slow time...not the hurried moments. It was the playing outside together, the walks in the woods, the many craftwork projects, the reading countless books, the cooking of meals, the explorations through our minds with talking, the silent moments and of course all the music and art that we could fit into a day...this is what made our home a Home. I am so grateful for the time we had as a family together. It's not over yet...the shape has changed. The Home is still so important. I know when I can be mindful and intuitive about what my family is needing at any particular time...with a meditation on what is actually most important...it is easier for us to muster courage and energy to BE in the world. I love that creating Home is celebrated in this book. Often the world is frantically searching for that next "fix"...if only folks would allow their Home to be a canvas for their life. Great gifts are waiting for us when we embrace what our Homes can be....soul nurturing places filled with creative beauty to feed all of our deepest needs and longings.
Excerpt from the book at shannonhoneybloom.com.
It’s not about trading up, maximizing profits, buying new stuff. It’s about slowing down, taking stock, and creating thoughtful, comfortable, intuitive spaces for our families. It’s about having a home that is a calming antidote to our fast-paced, stressed out lives.
“More than merely a dwelling, the definition of home extends beyond the meaning of a house and contains an additional poetic meaning. There’s the saying, ‘Home is where the heart is.’ Creating a home for our families can be both a challenge and a pleasure. Creating a home is a process of imbuing our space with soul and spirit, surrounding our family with love, care, comfort.” —Shannon Honeybloom
Shannon Honeybloom is a friend and confidant who offers gentle suggestions and wise insights for parents who wish to surround their family with the best possible home environment.
Also on the subject of Home...a favorite site of mine is rhythmofthehome.
Rose Petal Tincture...
Rose Petal Tinctures & Elixirs...
Kiva Rose had this wonderful post on her Medicine Womans Roots blog about Sweet Medicine: With the Wild Heart of the Rose.
Rose will be a gift to our hearts and spirit over the coming year. I love Rose Petal Elixir. This is the first time I've made this wonderful remedy for the heart. In the past whenever I have gotten a bottle of Rose Petal Elixir I use it so sparingly because i don't want it to run out. So, this year I decided to make some...enough for my family as well as Rose to share with others. When I am around Rose I feel an immediate heart opening...whether in her presence, in a flower essence or in the making of Rose Medicine. I have enough Rose left over to make either Herbal Rose Wine or Rose Petal Liquor.
Tinture making is in full swing. I have Red Clover tinture brewing. We have so many medicinal plants at our place that is simple to go out and gather medicine for tincture making. Red Clover is a great blood cleanser and overall tonic. I also have comfrey leaf and flower in olive oil brewing for 6 weeks. Comfrey oil is good for salve making as well as using directly on skin abrasions. I've made a Red Clover Flower Essence as well as Comfrey Flower Essence.
Echinacea purpurea about to bust out in bloom. I'll be making a flower essence out of this plant soon...
Creeping Rosemary begins in a nice big pot next to a garden.
Mints mingle to flavor summer sunteas and drink.
I have so much comfrey that some of it is destined for the compost pile.
I use only fresh flowers and leaves in my tinctures. These delicate plant part lose aroma and medicinal qualities when dried.
Tinctures can be made from dried herbs, but I find them inferior in in both effect (how well they work) and energetics (how many fairies are in it), not to mention taste (how many volatile substances remain) and somatics (how something makes you "feel").
What if the plants you need to make all the tinctures in your medicine chest don't grow where you live or you can't find them? Try one or more of these solutions.
Take a vacation to a place where the plant you need does grow. And make sure to go at the best time to gather it.
Find an herbal pen-pal who lives in the area where the plant you want to tincture grows. Have your pen-pal make a tincture of the fresh plant for you. You could make a tincture of something you have lots of to give to her, too.
Even if the plants do grow where you live, it may take a year or longer for you to find them, harvest them and make tinctures. While you are "in limbo," it's fine to buy tinctures to use in your herbal medicine chest.
When you finally find the plants you want, don't be afraid to make several quarts of tincture. Tinctures last for hundreds of years if protected from heat and light.
Wild Rose is the study herb of the month over at herbmentor. Rosa Rugosa Flower Essence called to be made at my place this past week.
Step by Step Instructions First, fill your jar all the way to the top with Rose petals, you don’t have to pack them in but push them down a bit to minimize the air space in the jar. Don’t forget to stop and smell the Roses! Take a deep breath of the healing scent and revel in the gorgeous colors and textures of the petals. Now, pour the honey in slowly, stirring as necessary, until the petals are well coated. Next, fill to the top with brandy, against stirring as necessary to remove air bubbles and fill the jar evenly. Now cover the jar with a tight fitting lid, and shake carefully to finish the mixing process. Let macerate in a cool, dark place for four to six weeks (or as long as you can stand to wait. When straining, reserve both liquid and the Rose petals. The petals will be infused with honey and brandy and make a tasty treat to top a cake or fruit salad, or just to be eaten plain and with great relish. Optional Additions
Step by Step Instructions
First, fill your jar all the way to the top with Rose petals, you don’t have to pack them in but push them down a bit to minimize the air space in the jar.
Don’t forget to stop and smell the Roses! Take a deep breath of the healing scent and revel in the gorgeous colors and textures of the petals.
Now, pour the honey in slowly, stirring as necessary, until the petals are well coated.
Next, fill to the top with brandy, against stirring as necessary to remove air bubbles and fill the jar evenly.
Now cover the jar with a tight fitting lid, and shake carefully to finish the mixing process.
Let macerate in a cool, dark place for four to six weeks (or as long as you can stand to wait.
When straining, reserve both liquid and the Rose petals.
The petals will be infused with honey and brandy and make a tasty treat to top a cake or fruit salad, or just to be eaten plain and with great relish.