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Archive for the ‘Green LIfestyle’ Category

Happy New Moon Monday all!  I met John in Northern New York where I worked and studied for my M.Ed. degree from St. Lawrence University, a beautiful country setting along the US-Canadian border.  Knowing and witnessing John evolve and grow over the years has been such an inspiration to me! I had the pleasure and privilege to teach Reiki to John and his mom Diane, as well as support John in becoming a Reiki Master Teacher.  He is a gifted healer and wise beyond his years, if you are in the SF Bay Area and require a transformative healing session, I highly recommend John, his hands are angelic, intuitive and compassionate beyond words.  A hearty thank you John for an inspired blog post!

 

I was recently asked: What inspires you?

I have to admit…it’s a somewhat difficult question… but not for the reasons one might think. It’s not that I have difficulty finding inspiration; in fact it’s much the opposite! There are SO MANY sources of inspiration for me I don’t even know where to begin! The world is filled with so much beauty, so much love, and so much joy, if we just open our eyes and hearts to see and feel it!

Personally, one of the biggest inspirations for me is when I see other people living their truths, and creating the lives they want to live! I’ve had, and have SO many amazing people in my life! My mother Diane was one of the biggest inspirations in my life! Although she passed on over a decade ago, her memory continues to inspire me. She was a loving, kind person, who would not speak down to anyone, but would speak out and stand against injustice, with such a HUGE heart, that she would always give to those in need, if she could, while keeping just enough for herself! As a result, I have never felt *poor* no matter how few material comforts I have.

mom DianeMy mom Diane on her wedding day.

I’ve been inspired by many others, including my friend Relani, who helped me to see myself as whole and beautiful as I am at a young age, helping me be comfortable with myself as a queer and gender fluid person. Through Relani I was introduced to Lórien!  Seeing all the beauty Lórien has put out into the world through her art, her organizations that give back to communities in need, and the healing work she does has propelled me down a path of not only self-healing, but the healing of others and the planet! From her I learned Reiki, and was introduced to MANY other amazing spiritual and inspirational people! Today I am working as a Massage Therapist helping people ground and heal their bodies with manual manipulation and Reiki, as well as teaching about plant-based nutrition, juice fasting/cleansing and detox, as well as working for human rights issues, and protections for animals and the planet!

reiki hands image

This brings me to something else that inspires me: Gratitude. Whenever I see people giving thanks for the things they have, especially those who have little, inspires me to feel grateful for all I have, and reminds me that I’m here for a purpose, which is to share my Light and Uniqueness with the world, and add to the collective healing of our planet and all its inhabitants! Having and expressing gratitude every day brings more abundance and beauty into my life, as the focus gets shifted from *not having* to being truly *rich*! Even though I don’t focus on material wealth, I’ve found the more I express gratitude, the more I receive the things I need and desire. The law of attraction is very powerful and can give us everything we need, if we are grateful, and open to receive!

reiki

There are so many other people in my life who inspire me on a daily basis: I could go on and on! I recently was introduced to an amazing spiritual man who has become my mentor, helping me with self-care (something we healers often forget about in our passion to help others). Because of his support I am now actualizing my dreams and moving forward at lightning speed after a few years of struggle, and am now creating new and amazing things! He continues to inspire me to challenge myself, and work through the difficult times with great joy in my heart, and with Love!

DanawithMissLoveDana and John

I’m inspired by my friend Dana Morrigan who has chosen to live her life authentically, and also hosts karaoke in the SF Bay Area, which is therapy for me. When I’m feeling stressed or down, there is little that can inspire me to great joy more than belting out one of my favorite tunes, while being surrounded by other folks who are also expressing their loving authentic selves in silly, serious, and playful ways!

karaokeJohn singing at Dana’s karaoke event

JezebelDelilahLove(Photo credits to  Nye Lyn Tho http://nyelyntho.com/ )

Although I have not formally met her in person, I feel incredibly inspired by my Facebook friend, Jezebel Delilah X (Vanessa Rochelle Lewis) who shares so much Love, insight, and truth, with such a degree of vulnerability and authenticity, she makes me want to do the same. I learn so much reading all of her insightful posts. She truly is a real life Magickal Mermaid Goddess, sending out waves of Love on a daily basis, showing me what true beauty really is!

 

NatureGorgeous Nature

I’m also greatly inspired by Nature having grown up in rural upstate New York. I love getting out and exploring the forest, going to healing hot springs, and immersing my body in the waters of Life; whether it be in a lake, river, or the beautiful ocean, for which as a Pisces, I am grateful to be living within sight of, from my bedroom window, just a short trip away! I always feel the most whole when I am surrounded by trees and plants away from the din of the city. It’s what balances and grounds me, helping to reset while living in a heavily populated city can be a bit chaotic at times, but still full of Love and amazing beings!  Going on a hike, alone or with friends is truly a walking meditation, as I connect deeply with all the wild plants and animals around me, and realize that I too am a part of nature, not separate, but one with!

healthynutrMy home fridge filled with all of my fave fresh, organic fruits and veggies

Seeing other people make positive changes in their lives also inspires me! I’ve had so many friends recently decide that it was time to no longer just sit and wait for things to happen, but actually get up and put the effort into making their goals and dreams come to fruition! Sometimes it’s something very small, for example, going to bed at a certain time to be well-rested, or practicing daily meditation, even if it’s just for five or ten minutes a day, or once a week with in a group setting. The point is, these people have started making changes, and working towards their goals, even if with baby steps. Seeing this, and the eventual fruition of some of these goals is extremely inspirational to me, which proves that I too, can achieve my goals, even if I need to start small and take things moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day and so on! There is so much Light and Beauty, and Abundance in the world for everybody! We just must take that baby step, and start healing ourselves, and manifesting our realities. I was touched and honored last week when Lórien asked me to be a part of this blog, having been inspired by something I had written. Even just doing this guest blog has inspired me to create my own blog on healing, healthy food, spirituality, joy, and creating the Lives we want, while being authentic and loving to ourselves!

With so many sources of Love, Creativity and Joy everywhere, how can I not be inspired?

John Bio pic 1

~ ~ ~ ~

John Graves has been practicing massage therapy, Reiki and energy work for more than ten years, having received his training at Sonoma College (formerly Western Institute of Science and Health) in San Francisco, under the tutelage of many wonderful teachers with varied backgrounds in many massage modalities, acupuncture, chiropractics, yoga, eastern thought, and natural healing!

John has received over 735 hours of training in advanced massage therapy, including Swedish massage, deep tissue, reflexology, energy work, pregnancy massage, pre- and post-event sports massage, and triggerpoint therapy. He is initiated and ordained into the Essene Way, studying Essene Mystical healing techniques and meditation and continues to study other styles of massage and healing work, including nutrition, herbal medicine, meditation and yoga, and looks forward to branching out into many different healing modalities.

***CAMTC Certified as an Advanced Massage Therapist in the State of California, ABMP Insured

Massage and Reiki With John: http://johngraves.massagetherapy.com

His blog can be found at: https://peacelovefoodbliss.wordpress.com/

 

Resources:

Connect With Dana Morrigan: https://danamorrigan.wordpress.com/

Swim With Jezebel Delilah X at: http://www.jezebeldelilahx.com

 

 

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What inspires you?  Sometimes life can feel flat, dull and dry. How do we change it up, keep inspired, happy and moving forward in the direction of our wildest dreams?  Maybe we lose sight of what our dreams are, what makes our heart sing or excites or moves us…  We are spiritual beings having a human experience and this can happen from time to time to anyone, especially if you are like me and tend to review, reflect and reinvent myself over and over again!

kalalau 2In one my fave places doing what I love… moving my body and Spirit near the sea…

We are creatures of change, of transformation and always evolving.  And, whilst moving along, my journey, purpose, joy and following my bliss can at times seem foreign and distant.  When I have found myself in those places or in a funk, which I have, one of the ways that I have navigated back to my joy out of sadness or fear is to look for what inspires me and sometimes this is jump-started by the simple act of taking a walk outdoors in nature…

gold sandBeauty is all around us, in nature, in the raw primal elements…

What inspires me is all around me, all of the time.  I find that it simply requires paying attention, being awake and being aware.  Sometimes, that’s easier said than done!  What I find works best is to keep it simple, be gentle, at ease and simply focus on what feels good.  What inspires me is the natural world on Earth, the cosmos, love, natural beauty, color, family, good friends, the ocean, kindness, puppies and all that is good in our world.  Truly there are infinite possibilities of inspiration ~ my motivation to stay inspired keeps me seeking and finding it.

sushi spreadtulips

 

Here are some of the people, places and things that inspire, give me life and provide light to be my best self and to do what I am here to do!

outdoor labyrinthme and babies

alisa and frog

 

pink sunsetspring water venice masks stained glass and sunlight
pigment colors

 

lilies meemie  fire 2-up gold sand kalalau 1   color leaf

dotted leaves

 

 

 

 

 

 

may17 event 7

paris and K and me

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Let’s face it, it’s easy to slip into the habit of taking the simple things in life for granted and at times, forget what is truly of value, especially when those things of value cost nothing.  We are so fortunate in so many ways, nature providing abundant nourishment, life force energy and the essential basics of fresh air to breathe, water to drink and the heartbeat of the mother herself keeping us all nurtured and cared for.

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear your comments here, reach out via my facebook page, or email me at artwork@lorieneck.com.

May your days be filled with a sense of wonder, love, creativity, adventure and play!

In love, gratitude and beauty…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

Art to Awaken Your Heart, Nourish Your Spirit

www.lorieneck.com

 

 

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In January 2013 I had the pleasure of entering Metamorphose Yoga Studio in Kilauea, Kauai, where I was warmly greeted by Carol and Astell.  That day I committed to a month of yoga for my health and well-being and after signing up, I heard these words: “Your body is already thanking you.”  My month-long daily practice with Carol and her dedicated, gifted team of healers/yoga instructors fulfilled that promise in so many ways.  Situated in paradise, her yoga studio offers a feeling of coming home—the sacred atmosphere and warmth starts with a friendly greeting from her dog Oscar.  I am so honored that Carol is sharing her wisdom and soul with us through her Top 10 list here.  Thank you Carol for all you do and are for us!

Carol and mommaAstell and Carol at Metamorphose Yoga, Kilauea, Kauai

1) The love and support of my community

I’ve been teaching yoga on the North Shore of Kauai for ten years. In this decade I’ve had the honor of sharing many life experiences with my students – birth, death, marriage, divorce, health and illness. Through it all, I’ve witnessed the power we gain through yoga. It helps us breathe, move, and face this journey we take part in individually and collectively. It is deeply touching and inspiring to be involved with so many amazing people on their path of growth. The connection we have created at the studio through the practice of yoga has carried me personally through challenging times. It has become my main source of inspiration. And I get to work with my mom, Astell every day!

2) Watching my students transform with yoga

Yoga is incredible. It can be so gentle and subtle, yet powerfully dynamic. I love experiencing how yoga serves people at all stages of life. We have had classes with babies, teens, adults, seniors, disabled students, dogs, chickens, and more all in one room. I never know what to expect. I’m always blown away by how beautifully we can all practice together. Most importantly, I love witnessing how yoga helps us develop self-acceptance and Santosha (contentment) for whatever is unfolding in our lives.

3) Creating a sanctuary for us all

My intention in opening the studio was to provide a space that feels safe & nurturing for our students and visitors. We offer many styles of yoga – Flow, Vinyasa, Therapeutic, Restorative, Gentle, Teen & Kids Yoga. No matter what level of practice you are at, you can enjoy a class with the company of others. It is so special having a place where we can all let down our guard, open our hearts, laugh, cry and feel whatever we are going through in life and our bodies. It’s magic.

4) The motivation to learn and grow

With teaching and running the studio all week long, it is so important for me to stay in my center. I can only teach what I practice and experience, so I am obligated to continually take refuge in my yoga, meditation & pranayama practices daily. Because my job is to be there for others, I know I must devote time each day to be present with myself and my life. It’s what makes everything flow better and easier. I also have to keep expanding in my knowledge of the body, on how yoga can be used as therapy for injury, and how this path of yoga can serve us during all stages of life. My students are my greatest teachers!

5) My freedom as a teacher

Here’s the contradiction: owning your own business means you are never really free. The phone is always on and the doors are open every day of the week. That can be hard. The benefits, though, are immense. I have the luxury to create my life schedule and to teach in alignment with what I truly believe. I don’t have to prove myself to anyone or meet unrealistic standards. I get to do what I love every day because I love doing it. That’s pretty amazing.

6) Retail therapy in the boutique

Oh how I love yoga pants! Leggings, capris, fancy patterns or plain black, cotton, lycra, bamboo or made from plastic water bottles. I adore them all, much to my tiny closet’s dismay.
Buying for the boutique has been a new learning adventure for me. I was never much of a shopper, but thanks to my very gifted and retail-savvy husband we always find fun, comfortable and beautiful things. Our inventory flows in and out – we have apparel, jewelry, books, home & body products, yoga supplies and much more. The added perk for me is I get to buy the things I like and want to share with my community.

7) Supporting companies and projects I believe in

Because we vote with how we spend our money each day, I do my best to support companies that are making an effort to respect and give back to our environment. Local, organic, recycled, natural products are my first pick. I try to support businesses that plant trees, donate to animal wildlife rescue, give clothing to women’s shelters, reuse plastic water bottles, and do their best to create a product that is good for the planet as well as good for ourselves. Each time we purchase something, we fund a bigger picture. I take this responsibility very seriously.
I also regularly fundraise for animal welfare and natural disaster relief. Some of our causes we have supported are:

8) Sharing the philosophy of yoga

Physical yoga is just one branch of the larger tree of Yoga. I think it is important to share and explore the other facets, The Eight Limbs of Yoga. This is an ancient system of knowledge on how to carry ourselves in life. Western yoga tends to only focus on the physical postures, whereas the roots of yoga teach that the body is just the gateway to the more subtle layers of self.
The other Eight Limbs are: Yamas, moral codes; Niyamas, personal conduct; Asana, physical posture; Pranayama, breath; Pratyahara, turning inward; Dharana, focus; Dhyana, meditation; Samadhi, union with consciousness.
All of these fold beautifully into the wholeness of our practice. What we experience and explore on the mat stays with us as we venture into our daily lives.

9) Meditation & Pranayama:

I was given the gift of meditation, Dhyana, from my mom when I was a child. I can honestly say it is the most valuable tool I have ever received. Just 10 to 15 minutes of sitting quietly at the beginning of my day transforms my entire world. Pranayama, breath control, is also incredibly powerful. It helps bring us back to our most vital function,  back to the present moment, as well as recharge the mind/body connection and brain function. Dhyana and Pranayama top my list of practices for health and well-being. They can be utilized during all phases of life.

10) The challenge of running my own business

Owning a yoga studio IS hard. Period. It requires a large space and often has little financial return, so from a business perspective making ends meet can be tough. There are also very colorful and diverse personalities involved in the field of yoga, so it takes strength and wisdom to make decisions that support the overall needs of our community. When you open your doors to the public, you never know what to expect!
Regardless of these challenges, at the end of the day I am always so grateful to be sharing my love of yoga with others. Owning this studio has made me stronger, more compassionate, grateful, and more fulfilled than I have ever been. I am so blessed to be surrounded and supported by such a beautiful community!
Carol Bio
 Carolyn Dumeyer

Carol comes from a background of yoga, meditation, massage and anatomy. Her lifelong exposure to the healing arts has inspired a teaching style that embraces honest acceptance for wherever we are in the present, while expanding into our unlimited potential. She has been teaching yoga & anatomy on Kauai since 2005, is a 300+ RYT and has studied Ashtanga, Anusara, Iyengar, Vinyasa and Yin Yoga with many acclaimed teachers around the globe. Prior to dedicating her life to yoga, she had a career in massage therapy with a focus on anatomy and injury rehabilitation. Her daily inspiration comes from the beauty of nature, a loving family and her animal friends.

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Kathryn and I met in a yoga class on our adjacent mats at Metamorphose Yoga in Kauai.  In that moment, I felt a total kinship with her upon our first Ommmmm that day.  When I learned that Kathryn was a fellow artist and designer, I was lucky enough to be able to visit her Art cottage studio and even pick up some of her By the Sea Company merch!  I love my butterfly dress and aloha pom-pom organic sarong, and of course, a few organic gauze market bags.  I was so inspired by Kathryn’s vision, our conversations about being artists and her highly creative, diverse collection of handmade goods and artworks.  I also was so happy to be able to participate in the Kilauea Art Walk with her!  Kathryn, you are a beacon of beauty, creation and light!  Shine on sister, and mahalo ke akua for sharing your art and gorgeous gratitude list with us!

hello paradise - 11. I am grateful beyond words for the natural beauty that surrounds me. I create in a tiny Art cottage perched in the jungle of Kauai, Hawaii. Tropical fruit trees, a vegetable and herb garden are at hand, plus the majestic rainbow eucalyptus trees standing tall in my yard. I am immersed in nature, with birds singing, roosters crowing and trade winds gently blowing. The shapes and colors inspire me daily.

eucalyptus trees - 1

2. I’m grateful for my conscious awareness, which directs me to create messages of positivity and enlightenment, with uplifting visual cues.

art is medicine - 13. The ability to invent and create freely, without limitation. I left corporate America 10 years ago and my healing journey began. I am successful at running my own business as an Artist because I don’t listen to negativity. Everyone will have an opinion about what you are doing; what others think does not affect me. I am strong yet flexible in my beliefs.

kantha on the rocks - 1By the Sea Company kantha on the rocks

4. Imagination is the BEST nation! My imagination and creative impulses are the driving force in all I do.

artwork assortment - 1

Current projects include:

Just a Thought, daily inspirations for living, set to release in 2016.
The Hawaii Coloring Book, release date, January 2016.
An illustrated book called The Heart Farmer, for all ages, because the world needs more love!
I dreamed of a game for therapists, woke up and created it . . . “the feeling better game.”
Participation in Art Tribe Kauai. (A group of us create beautiful weddings by the sea in the Hawaiian islands, including beautiful decor and amazing handmade flower leis and haiku).

sarongs and jewelery - 1Running my own fair trade company for organic home goods: www.bytheseacompany.com

beautiful - 15. My ability to help make the world a better place by spreading positive messages and teaching people art, especially those who think they are not creative. Everyone is creative! Some people have been told they are not good at art—it may take time and practice to find out what inspires you artistically.

Indigo dye6. Working with indigo and color. Indigo is one of the oldest-known dyes. It is pure magic to work with! The color starts as chartreuse and changes right before your eyes to navy . . . truly wonderful to work with such amazing techniques.

textile love - 17. I am so very grateful for all the support I receive from the community, their participation and encouragement for my sharing of creative projects.

love rocks - 18. Random acts of kindness. I have always been a giver;
giving is the gateway to abundance and it feels so good!

work space - 19. Winsor & Newton paints and Copic markers, Berol Prismacolor, organic dyes and really, really fine papers!!

hawaii - 110. Divine guidance. I am divinely guided in all I do. Source works through me. When I create art, source is with me, guiding my mind. I am grateful for my personal spiritual alignment which allows me access to the universe and brings forth global messages of positivity and higher knowledge.

5 second bunny - 1p.s., Everyone who comes to visit my Art cottage is asked to draw a 5-second bunny. This has been a tradition in my house for many years and always a great laugh!!

life on the edge - 1Living on the Edge

selfie - 1Kathryn Letson was born and raised in Minnesota, where she spent time in the city and the woods. She went to Parsons School of Design in NYC and graduated with a BFA in Fashion Design, going on to work at some of the most well-known Design houses in the world. After traveling the globe as a Corporate Trend Director, she become a mentor at Parsons, an illustration instructor and a global speaker in the Fashion industry as an expert in textiles.

Kathryn moved to Hawaii to make her dreams a reality. Now creating Art and textiles from her home office in Kauai, her life is focused on sharing knowledge, creating new concepts to better the world, and serving others through Art. What could be more powerful? Your imagination is the engine that runs your life, and Art is a direct pathway into your imagination. Kathryn lives life with love and gratitude.

www.bytheseacompany.com

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Liz and I met when we both were in residence at Noniland Hawaiian Agricultural Research Center and Bee Sanctuary over New Year’s 2013.  Her role was as a vegan and raw chef for guests, mine was artist-in-residence… the bottom line is that I reconnected with a soul sister in Kauai, one of my heart homes.  It was magical!  What I love about Liz is her quiet yet fierce dedication to the earth and her gourmet preparations of whole foods with such love and reverence—truly inspirational.  One of the best cosmic giggles that we shared was learning that, unbeknownst to us, we were both at the same writers conference in Los Angeles in 2009 just “by chance”!  I love the Universe! and I am so excited that she contributed her beautiful words and wisdom to my blog.  Loving you Liz!

Liz’s Top 10 List:

1. I am grateful to my breath for sustaining my life. For being a function of my presence and the flow to which I return again and again when I require grounding calmness and peace.

heart2. I am grateful to my heart for being the space I connect to with my breath to feel deeply and express my true self. My heart is the place from which I most purely emanate my light.
3. I am grateful to my body for being the vehicle for which I traverse this existence. I give much care and nurturing to my body to ensure that my daily experience is smooth, comfortable and vibrant.
4. I am grateful to movement for helping me process my energy. Be it yoga, dance, walking, swimming etc giving my physical body the gift of flow supports my health, interactions, emotions, strength and clarity. It is one of my primary outlets for releasing unwanted feelings.
 rainbowplate5. I am grateful to food for being a source of absolute love. I receive so much nourishment and energy from what I put into my body but also great joy in the act of preparing, sharing and consuming it.
 waterfall6. I am grateful to pachamama for being an epic provider of life, to life and for life. Her beauty, resilience and abundance is unparalleled.
 dustliz7. I am grateful to my partner Dustin, family, friends and community for allowing me the experience of love, nurturing, support, togetherness, joy, laughter, happiness and expression. I am grateful to have people in my life to act as mirrors helping to show me so clearly what I need to see in myself.
forestwoman8. I am grateful to my ancestors for being the protects of universal knowledge and wisdom. I pray that we as a species are able to remember the power and importance of these ancient peoples and collectively open ourselves to their sacred teachings.
 bamboo9. I am grateful to universal wisdom for being the force that surrounds all of existence. When I am feeling most clear, I feel the power of this force and the truth in its wisdom. I am in gratitude to universal wisdom for helping us all find our way home.
10. I am grateful to presence for the opportunity to live in the now. For the reminder that the past and future are creations of the mind and I have the opportunity in every moment, at every moment to create and experience the highest potential of and for my life.

lizblueFor over 10 years, Liz has been in pursuit of health and happiness.  She was born and raised in Baltimore, MD where clean food and abundant living was an important part of her upbringing.  These themes continue to be the guiding force in her life.

Known to ‘dance to the beat of her own drum,’ Liz has spent much of her life traveling the world, exploring cultures, communities, cuisine and spirituality in search of what feeds the body, mind and soul. She went to University in Sydney and Florence, worked in children’s book publishing in Los Angeles, taught English in Thailand, studied yoga, meditation and Ayurveda in India and Nepal and sacred plant medicine in Peru. She is a certified yoga instructor and has most recently spent time as a chef for communities in Costa Rica, Colorado and Kauai. Liz lives with her partner Dustin on Maui.

       www.lizselvawellness.com

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Paula Youmell is a holistic health nurse whom I met when I was living in Northern New York.  I had an opportunity to see Paula in action when she presented at the Holistic Health Fair that we organized in the town of Potsdam, she is an amazingly knowledgeable enthusiastic teacher of holistic health, whole foods and natural healing I must say!  Paula continues to inspire me with her blog Wise Women Red Tent blog posts which I read voraciously! Here’s Paula’s Top 10 list of what she is grateful for as a Wise Woman Nurse!  Thank you Paula!

Paula title image#1. I can create my schedule to include hang out time with my two boys: Jake 16 and Eli 13. That’s me, Mom, in the middle.  I can see a client, take off into the woods for a walk or swim with my kids and dog (maybe both), and get back to clients again later!

#2. I get to do what I have a fiery passion for: inspire others to change their lifestyle and heal through nature. I grew up watching my grandfather make his own herbal medicines. These images of my grandpa-witch doctor (as my sisters and I called him) stuck with me. Right out of nursing school I started looking for natural ways to heal all the ills I encountered in my hospital RN duties.

point 3#3. I work from my home saving gas and time from the stress of commuting to work. I can get up from my desk, do laps about the house (I have 2 sets of stairs which makes for interesting figure 8s and loops upstairs & down!), toss in a couple of yoga poses to stretch and expand, and get back into the work mode feeling refreshed!

 Paula 4#4. I can whip up awesome, whole food meals for my kids using locally sourced fruits & veggies, meats, eggs, dairy, etc. This is much easier as I am at home. The time spent commuting can be spent cooking. I set my own hours and can be finished with wearing my Wise Woman Nurse’s hat by 4 or 4:30 to have an amazing and nourishing meal on the table by 5:30. As a heal by nature & whole foods kind of gal… this is very important to me. Paula 5#5. I can work in my jammies! Yup, that’s correct: If I am working with phone clients or taking a day to work on my book projects (I have written two healing books so far!) I can stay in my jammies just as long as I want. It is always amusing for the UPS man to catch me in my jammies at 1 PM!  I can blast classic rock and jam in my jammies on my periodic romps through my home to loosen up and lighten up. Sitting all day is such a drag!  Yes, I am straight out of bed, pull my hair up, in this picture and the Garfield nighty… it is 31 years old!

#6. I’m my own grandma. Oops, wait, I meant boss. I am my own boss! This is an amazing gift to myself. I am totally in control of how my business is run and how the boss treats me.

Paula 7#7. I can schedule time or days off for yoga classes, longer walks in the woods, field trips with my kids & their school, exciting alone day trips, and my continuing education. Sure I make up that time later, doing evening & weekend work, but I am the ultimate scheduler of my time.

Paula 8#8: I meet, support, and create friendships with the most amazing people! This is deeply satisfying to draw positive energy and people into my life. Here I am with a group of local gals whipping up herbal medicines. This is what I mean about satisfying work and relationships!

Paula 9#9: Little by little the work I do, and so many others too, we are creating a paradigm shift on this planet. We are teaching others to re-connect with nature (because we are nature) and how to care better for ourselves, this planet we live on, and all the other beings we share this planet with. This, my friends, is HUGE!

Paula 10#10. I can live in rhythm with the cycles of nature: getting up when I wake up (which is usually 6 AM!) and tucking into bed when the sun says goodbye for the day and/or I am just plain beat. Not having an alarm clock setting off a stress response in my body, jarring me out of my sleep, is a perk of being my own boss (or was it my own grandma?).

For these reasons, and many more I could come up with, I am grateful I have listened to my inner wisdom and followed my path as a Wise Woman Nurse, here to support others on their paths to more vibrant health.

Namasté

Paula Youmell, RN, Wise Woman Nurse

Youmell PaulaPaula Youmell, RN is a Wise Woman Nurse,

Natural Health Educator, and Author in Potsdam, NY.

www.PaulaYoumellRN.com

 

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Glam squadThe artist in her element with Water IV ©LEAD

1. I can be in my DIY “glam squad” mode and still work on my paintings!

Sometimes I will have a split commitment, so I’ll take a paint break, shower, get those hot rollers on, then come back and continue with my painting flow!  Love that flexibility!

2. I get to choose my material/content to explore in my creative life.

One of my most favorite aspects of what I do is the fact that my art practice is a personal laboratory in self-examination and an ongoing research project in what I love, what I value.  My original art collections reflect my creative process and the road less traveled that I find myself on steeped in truth, beauty and adventure.  I love this quote by Lena Dunham, “As an artist, you get the opportunity to write the world — or create the world — that exists in your fantasies. It’s a really beautiful thing to do.”  And this quote by legendary Italian curator Massimiliano Gioni, “Artists are people who do things with images in order to understand the world. They have a fierce desire to know themselves.” Oh yeah baby!

3. I get to choose which art materials I am making my art with.

IMG_0832_2Palette colors make me smile. ©LEAD

I love that we have access to so many art materials and tools to play with!  Today, artists can choose from a HUGE selection of store-bought art supplies and oodles of re-purposed surfaces, media and materials to create with.  My new favorite art supply store when collecting some materials is Lyon Art Supply. It’s one of three stores in a fairly small chain with a rad selection of papers, and sometimes “hard to find” tools that I use.  Also, it’s close to my studio and the best thing about this place, they offer a great and rare 30%! discount for teachers and students!  Awesome!

4. I get to listen to music of my choice and sing out loud whilst I work!

I have a secret passion for singing!  This is something that just a few people know about ’til now!  I used to sing in my classroom and my teenage students were often shocked and caught off guard as they thought,  “who does that?” 🙂  I heard something interesting about people and singing.  There are three places where folks sing freely, do you know where they are?.  1. in the shower 2. in the car, and 3. drunk karaoke! Let’s change that!

When I am in my studio, I am usually plugged into one of my fave Pandora stations… 80s, Indigo Girls, Fleetwood Mac, Ani DiFranco, Donna De Lory (to name a few), and belt it while I am painting or simply in studio.  Perhaps I’ll include an audio clip in a forthcoming blog post….

5. I can make a mess and be outdoors! AND I get to play and it’s super fun!

IMG_5971My blue hands. ©LEAD

I love making a mess and luckily, I don’t mind cleaning up after! Great fun indeed!  The ability to play, to be a child, to lose all sense of self-consciousness and of “doing it right” or having the “correct answer” is one of the rewards of honoring the call to live as an artist in these contemporary times.

6. I can make my own schedule according to the rhythms and cycles of nature.

Sunrise, sundown, seasonal changes, daylight savings, planetary shifts and the cycles of the moon.  I love all of these changes that we get to experience affecting our daily lighting, moods, temps, and keeping the energies alive and fresh.  The ability to be in sync and in harmony with these ever-changing cycles is one of my favorite aspects in keeping my microcosmic creative process in tune with the macrocosmic flow.

7. I get to break the “rules.”

The art world and the world at large operate on many layers of unspoken and spelled out rules and regulations.  One of the best characteristics of being an artist is the fact that although there are these tangible parameters that exist like the art world “market,” art fairs, galleries, critics, etc, bottom line–there is no True North for artists.  To walk the path is to create your own.  This is what is meant by breaking the “rules,” even those we make for ourselves; to create, innovate, re-invent and be willing to fail and to keep going is part of this journey.   One of my favorite quotes on this topic is from Marina Abramović , “When you repeat, you really lose respect for yourself… For me, the studio is a trap to overproduce and repeat yourself. It is a habit that leads to art pollution. Nothing new happens. You don’t surprise yourself. Artists are here to risk, to find new territory. Risk, especially when you are a known artist, includes failing. It is an essential part of process. Failure is healthy for your ego.”

8. I get “free dress” every day, not just sometimes.

IMG_1160_2The artist in her “free dress” mode. ©LEAD

I love fashion and I love creative self-expression, even if this means wearing an old tank top with worn-in yoga pants and Havaiana flip-flops!  One of the best parts of my day in the studio is the freedom I have to wear whatever I please, especially if this means my most functional and comfortable clothes.  I have worked in many job settings from corporate to educational institutions and have certainly worn the heels, the stockings, the pencil skirts and dry-cleaned shirts.  I loved those days too, and believe me, I will do it when necessary, yet nothing beats comfort and the freedom to move and get dirty without constrictions or limits!  Love my painting clothes!

9. I can work from home with a short commute of two flights of stairs=smaller carbon footprint.

As an artist, I have mainly worked from a home studio, a designated work space ranging from a small room to an outdoor studio to a garage space.  The best part of this setup is the commute is ideal and I feel so much gratitude that I can be green through my choice to work from home.  One of my last teaching jobs included a brutal commute during rush hour, round-trip to the far side of downtown Los Angeles.  That was certainly the toughest part of my day, waking up at 5am and getting home well past 6pm reminded me of what I truly value in life ~ quality time with my loved ones and less time in a car on the roadways!  A friend once said to me, “The quality of your life is reflected in your commute.” Wow.  Check this out.

10. I get to express myself and share my gifts and talents with the world!

Water V artist 1The artist with Water V at a recent art exhibition in Southern California. ©LEAD

And, lastly, I feel immense satisfaction from getting to be an artist today.  With so many ways to share our creations and expressions through social media outlets, networking and the internet overall, it’s such an easy pleasure to create and know that I can share my artwork with the world without many obstacles or fuss.  Success is guaranteed when we share our unknown with our community and keep on creating from our essential truth.

I leave you with these inspiring words for the artist in us all from one of my favorite artists of all time.

“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant — there is no such thing, Making your unknown known is the important thing — and keeping the unknown always beyond you…” — Georgia O’Keeffe

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear your comments here, reach out via my facebook page, or email me at artwork@lorieneck.com.

May your days be filled with a sense of wonder, love, creativity, adventure and play!

In love, gratitude and beauty…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

Art to Awaken Your Heart, Nourish Your Spirit

www.lorieneck.com

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home-top-logoHello!  I am revising this original blog entry from 2014 today, November 9, 2018.  Lots going on in the slow fashion, journey to sustainable fashion and a more environmentally aware textile and fashion industry.  I found this this article was published on the Mercola website I firmly believe that it’s really time to look at what we wear, what’s the cost and what changes we are personallywilling to make to lessen the  many health and environmental costs that fast fashion contributes to.  Time for change.

“Fashion is a force to be reckoned with. It celebrates, provokes, and entertains. And, from April 24th 2014, it’s going to do even more. Because we’re turning fashion into a force for good. On 24th April last year, 1133 people were killed and over 2500 were injured when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Social and environmental catastrophes in our fashion supply chains continue.  Fashion Revolution Day says enough is enough.” I have been a fashion lover from a very young age.  I love fashion, textiles, color and style, always have always will.  I also am an Earth lover, a self-proclaimed nature freak and lifelong vegetarian.  Therefore, what I value, both the Earth and beauty through fashion converge in Eco fashion and sustainability in fashion, from what I wear to what I create as an artist/designer.  In one of my previous blog posts, My Manifesta ~ Part I, I muse about my desire to live more minimally, my quest to re-forest my lifestyle through examining what I already have and to commit to lowering my overall consumerism.  I took an inventory of what clothes I do have, where it was made, the manufacturer and the fabric.  I was not proud nor surprised to say the least.  In response,  I made some choices and I have maintained my commitment to cease buying clothes for the time being, and when I do, they will be sustainable fashion either created by me or by an eco fashion designer.  This feels really good. img-whomadeyourclothes Did you know that fashion uses more water than any industry other than agriculture. At least 8,000 chemicals are used to turn raw materials into textiles. Americans throw away 68 pounds of clothes on average each year, and we only buy 10 pounds of recycled clothes annually. Clothing that ends up in landfills takes a very long time to decompose — about 6 months for a cotton sock, one year for a wool cap, 40-50 years for a leather belt and 50-80 years for a rubber boot.  According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 11.8 million tons of cloth, textiles and shoes are discarded in the United States each year, ending up in landfills or being incinerated.  It’s a very serious issue. And so, I found that like anything in life having to do with change and transformation, awareness is the first step. After the awakening process, then actions can take place and conscious choices can be made.  For me, it’s been practical to learn about what I already have, continue to wear it guilt free, but also to stop giving my money or buying into what I no longer value.  How we spend our money/resources is a tremendous power we have.  It’s a start and the journey is a lifelong one. On Thursday, April 24, there is a global movement happening in honor of the one-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh with the collapse of the building, and the ever-growing death toll, many articles appeared urging consumers to support ethical fashion as a way to improve working conditions throughout the supply chain. And, on 24th of April each year, Fashion Revolution Day will bring everyone in the fashion value chain together and help to raise awareness of the true cost of fashion, show the world that change is possible, and celebrate all those involved in creating a more sustainable future.  What can we do?

Get involved


The first Fashion Revolution Day is based around the theme ‘Who Made Your Clothes?’

We have lost the connection with the clothes that we wear, so we thought it was important to make this first day about transparency and reconnecting the relationships in the fashion value chain. What is the connection to someone else through your clothes? The farmers do not know where their cotton goes; the producers no longer make entire garments, they are just line workers; and the end consumer rarely knows where their clothes were made.

8_FRD_actions_-01Be Curious

We need to become more curious about how our clothes are made and who made them. 

  • Look at the labels on your clothes. Where is it from? Who made it?

8_FRD_actions_-02Find out

Get in contact with brands and ask them ‘Who Made Your Clothes‘, to discover the real people throughout the supply chain. 

  • Send the brand a photo/video of your garment on Facebook/Twitter and ask Who Made Your Clothes? Let us know by tagging it with #InsideOut and @Fash_Rev
  • Use the Fashion Revolution Day Trump Card Game to find out how ethical your garments are. Then play the game with your friends!
  • Check out our Further Reading list for more information on ethical fashion
  • Play the Fashion Revolution Day Quiz to test your knowledge!

8_FRD_actions_-03Do Something

We want hundreds of thousands of people to take part! Together we can use the power of fashion to catalyse change and reconnect the broken links in the supply chain. In order to raise awareness within the fashion industry and beyond, we want to encourage them to continue to try and make things better. 

  • WATCH The True Cost A Documentary and share the movie with others, now streaming on Netflix.  Spread the word!
  • Stay up-to-date with local news and events through your country page and social media
  • Get in touch with your Country Coordinator about holding your own event for Fashion Revolution Day!
  • On Fashion Revolution Day 24 April, please Tweet: Today I’m wearing my (shirt/dress/T-shirt etc.) #InsideOut because I want to ask @(brand/retailer) Who Made Your Clothes?
  • Tell your friends, family and colleagues about Fashion Revolution Day and get them to wear something inside out
  • Change the way that we are consumers.  I personally have stopped voting with my $ through NOT shopping at many of the stores that are involved in the fast fashion trend.  And, like we talked about in the kitchen, I have warmed up to wearing pre-owned clothing- beyond vintage, but newer pieces that are from resale clothing stores- there are a few good ones in LA, where the clothes are fashionable, some basics, and in like-new conditions.  The buyers and the parameters for buying for resale are strict and the bar high.  This has been really fun.  I am excited to participate in the #30wears initiative, where I share that hashtag when in a photo with a piece or pieces of clothing have been worn over and over.
  • Take care of your clothing, fix it and resell or donate it if you are not using it anymore.  Be an active consumer, own your clothing- not just buy it.
  • Buy clothes that have a minimum impact on the environment.  If you can, buy organic cotton, buy less clothing and/or support companies who create textiles and clothing that are more sustainable.  Check out The Good Trade website for starters.
  • Read this article from The Ground Up Project to learn more!
  • Visit the new Sustainable fashion Museum in Amsterdam!  Just opened October 2018!  Read more about that here!

Wear it #insideout

Together we can use the power of fashion to catalyse change and reconnect the broken links in the supply chain. Wear your clothes inside-out to help start the beginning of an industry-wide transformation towards a more sustainable future. Show us your inside out clothes on Instagram by tagging it @Fash_Rev and #InsideOut

https://instagram.com/p/l9AQAJtwKg/

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear from you via this blog, my face book page, or email lorien@lorieneck.com.

In love, gratitude and beauty…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

www.LorienEck.com

 

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Water III NewWater III” – 2′ x 3′ – Mixed media on canvas ©LE Art & Design

“On  World Water Day, March 22, 2014, the International Council of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers will be leading a women’s WATER BLESSING CEREMONY from the sacred Montezuma Well.” #inthenameofthemother

In the Winter 2013, I began my deep personal journey with my element of water.  Water as a holistic experience, body, mind, spirit and specifically emotions.  I created and was offered a full-blown opportunity to dive into my own repressed and unexpressed emotions, most possibly grieving lifetimes of sorrow and loss.  No matter how long this soul had been containing this unexpressed water, the floodgates were unleashed and I let it flow… for months.  (Note: this is a very abbreviated version of a deep and broad experience for me.)

Lórien’s Water Inspiration

One full cycle of the seasonal year has progressed, my intimate, cathartic relationship with my water has grown and evolved me as an Soul and artist.  My journey with the waters took me through the winter, spring, summer, and through to the latest winter season.  In order to navigate these waters, my daily practices ranged from journaling, letting the tears flow, walking by the seaside, swimming in the oceans, appreciating the rivers and oceans and in creating my five paintings in my Water series.

Water IWater I 2.5′ x 4′ – Mixed media on canvas ©LE Art & Design (SOLD)

Today, March 22, 2014 is  World Water Day.  Although the day may be officially over, it does need be.  We can honor the water with the intentions as stated in the Prayer for the Healing of the Waters.  We m,ay continue to stand in a moment of thought and prayers for our sacred waters #INTHENAMEOFTHEMOTHER

Water IV“Water IV” – 4′ x 5′ – Mixed media on canvas (SOLD)

We can also honor our own water by drinking plenty of pure, spring water, taking lots of baths, swimming in clean oceans and rivers, feeling our feelings and honoring and accepting what ever we feel, without judgment, e-moting through artistic expression, and more.  Be creative, be loving and surrender to the healing element of water within and without.  Many blessings on swimming through your deep blue waters… xo

Water IIWater II 2.5′ x 4′ – Mixed media on canvas ©LE Art & Design

Water VWater V” – Diptych 3′ x 3′ and 3′ x 3′ – Mixed media on canvas

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear from you via this blog, my face book page, or email lorien@lorieneck.com.

In love, gratitude and beauty…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

www.LorienEck.com

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treeRooted Tree Branching Up ©LE Fine Art (photo) 2013

Happy February~ Happy V~Day!

Today I begin to slowly take on my personal “manifesta”.  It is in part inspired by the Mercury Retro Cycle, February 2014, as well as the turn of our annual cycle, and more I am sure!

And, while I am applying this astro cycle’s principles to my practice, (take any word and add the prefix RE) i.e. review, redo, remember, re, re, re…. this whole lifestyle re-vamp started to kick in consciously for me after the turn of the year, Jan. 2014 when I was camping in the jungle off the grid for 1 month…… 🙂  It wasn’t about quantity of time, but the quality~ time spent in reflection, and in forgiveness; a time of  healing the heart, the mind and the Spirit in nature.  It was a very cathartic transition time for me and now that I am back in my so-called “normal” existence (NOT!), I am in the sensitive integration leg of the journey.  This stage takes time, care, attention, love, patience, understanding… because the reality is that my life has changed, I have changed.

What exactly is my Manifesta?  It is one way that I am integrating and responding to my inner-world changes and how to interface with the outer world.  The overarching themes  are very “RE” oriented.  Reduce, reuse, recycle, reinvent… basically, less consumption and more creativity with what I already have.

Here’s #1 of my Manifesta:

1. Re-view aspects of lifestyle.
a. What I wear on my body.
-where it was made (country)
-what it is made from (textile)
-brand (that’s a whole other story!)

This is a big one for me.  Even to the point of my life’s passion/calling.  From an early early age, I have been obsessed with my clothing, with textiles and with putting outfits together!  I even won an award in high school for what else, “Clothing”.  Yes! So this topic runs deep!

So, one of my recent activities has been (without judgment) to examine at every piece of clothing I have and assess the following: textile, country of manufacture, and company of manufacture.  I am keeping a record and the stats are not that startling, yet conclusive to the fact that I am making HUGE changes.  1st choice that I have made is to cease buying any new clothing items. Period.  One could call this practice simplifying, yet it is and so much more.  It’s also what I like to call the “RE-forestation” of  a lifestyle that has lived in an urban region for some time.

My Manifesta envelopes all aspects of my life, from what I value, to how I spend my valuable time, my relationships, my living and “work” environment, and of course, my stuff.  We all have our stuff and even  after a home relocation in 2012, when I donated much of my stuff, there is still more!  The stuff I am referring to now, fits into the childhood, sentimental category.  And, at the end of the day, it is still stuff.  And, so the process of elimination goes on.  All is being put through this ‘RE’ process, the RE-zoning and RE-inventing myself in an ever-changing world stage.  One thing I have come to learn is that when the feeling of overwhelm settles in, that’s the sign to eliminate and to simplify, to let go as easily and gracefully as possible whatever is there and to create clean, fresh space.

My Manifesta is an ongoing process and contains many layers.  It is a slow, step-by-step, year-long project and focus that I know will yield results and allow me to manifest my dreams.

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear from you via this blog, my face book page, or email lorien@lorieneck.com.

In love, gratitude and beauty…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

Personally Experienced and Recommended Resources

Mystic Mamma

This is a great resource for astro wisdom, cosmic consciousness and mamma-ness.  This link is especially illuminating in terms of

Mercury retrograde, February 6-28, 2014

The Power Path

The monthly forecast from these amazing folks is an invaluable tool.

Slow Fashioned Blog

Fabulous resource for the curious, courageous and committed co-creative consumer!  I challenge you to take the Pledge!

One Dress Protest

One woman’s inspiration, in her words, “to figure myself out in the complex and oftentimes disconcerting world of clothes

and outward appearance.”  Excellent inspiration for me!

www.lorieneck.com

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