Finding The Words

I have taken a bit of a break from blogging over the last few months. Quiet contemplation mixed with some fishing, kayak adventures, exploration of vanlife and “just being”. The Rocky mountains are in my backyard so I spent most of the late spring and early summer roaming through the forest while trekking up some rocky trails. It was blissful.

Van renos complete for now…
A place to chill in the van
Little Bonsai Pine at the end of Cameron Lake

I am a doer. Most people tend to use a lot of words that are never acted upon. I wouldn’t say I am much of a planner. I have been accused of not planning enough and some have said it’s a challenge to connect. I find that if I spend a large amount of time planning something it’s less likely to happen anytime soon.

So how do you find the words that motivate action?

Spontaneity has value and can take you on amazing adventures that are unexpected. If you aren’t careful though you can find yourself in the future wondering where all the time went. Words put to paper help track the time. Bring into focus where we have been and narrow the options of destinations yet to explore.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to help me to record my words, sort through things I am interested in and share with others ideas that we may have in common.

It’s autumn once again. This time of year the change of the seasons prompts me to reflect and take stock of how I am doing. My birthday falls in September. I only have a couple of years left of my 50s. It has been a good decade for me. I have learned many new meanings to words while finding my truths and have gained understanding of others narratives.

It’s been a challenge to detach old thinking and behavior and yet….

I own my words, thoughts or perspectives and accountability for the consequences.

I don’t own your words, thoughts or perspectives or am I accountable for the consequences that may follow you.

In these words I can trust to propel myself forward. In these words I can find a sense of self.


Three Is A Crowd?

A second book by Robin Wall Kimmerer titled “Braiding Sweetgrass” is keeping me intrigue. The first book “The Gathering Moss” I thoroughly enjoyed.

Photo by Viktoria Slowikowska on

A few pages into “Braiding Sweetgrass” Robin dedicates a chapter to what she calls the “Epiphany of Beans” and then moves onto a chapter called “The Three Sisters”. The chapter talks about compatible planting of, in this case, vegetables that are complementary to each other. Specifically she mentions corn, beans and squash. Nature has an amazing ability for reciprocity and finding balance with sustainable relationships. I believe there is plenty to learn on how, not only to maintain mutually beneficial relationships but ones in which everyone can thrive. The partnership here starts with the corn. They grow tall and thin with shallow root systems. The beanstalks wrap around the corn for support and take advantage of spreading upward. The corn seems to accept the hitchhikers and separates their leaves to make room for the bean vines. The Indigenous theory on the “Three Sisters” method of planting  states that when planted together these plants can feed the people, feed the land and feed our imaginations by telling us how we can live together in a sustainable way.

She goes on to talk about the theory that starts with the planting of the corn which shoots up vertically as fast as it can soaking up water and producing sugars. The bean comes next but takes a different root first by firmly planting itself with deep roots before it seeks to go upward. The squash comes later and is the last to germinate.The birth order is critical to the successful relationship of the trio. I recommend the read as it’s utterly fascinating to learn about this type of gardening techniques. The method is as old as time and yet not commonly practiced or known in the realm of gardeners.

Further she talks about the intimate relationship between the sisters and how they embrace and support each other for the greater good. Without the support of the corn, the bean would be unruly on the ground and at risk by predators. The squash provides shade and reduction of weeds while enjoying the corn provided spots of sunshine strategically placed for the squash. The corn roots are fine and fibrous and make a shallow network where they drink their fill of water. They provide a channel for the excess water to flow downward to the roots of the beans. The squash taps into the excess and there seems to be enough for them all to thrive better together than apart with this watering system in place.

Plants are amazing. Beans grow oxygen-free nodules to house bacterium that shares nitrogen with the plant. This nitrogen enters the soil and helps to fuel added growth to the corn and squash. It has been proven that these plants do better together than grown separately. I am sure there are more examples of these combination growth methods to explore. I have heard of these methods on occasion and even tried a few in the past with some success. What I was missing is the metaphorical aspect of finding ways to co-exist other humans while taking lessons from nature.

I find myself wondering about this phenomenon. I come from a family of six girls and one boy. There are three girls, a boy and then three more girls. I am second to the last in the grouping. We seemed to rotate our friendships as we grew. I would hang out with my sister who was two years older than me the most. If I was to label us as plants I wouldn’t say we fit neatly into the “Three Sisters”.  What I noticed is that as we get older the message from the sisters rings true when it comes to an enrichment of life through the connection with others. 

Reciprocity is the key to the gifts we have been given. Sisters are an amazing gift. Sometimes we are the corn, standing straight and tall and willing to go first to carve the channel out for the rest to follow. Sometimes we are the bean that establishes deep roots, transforms toxic environments into a safe spaces that enable respite while finding footing once again. Sometimes we are the squash that provides the vitamins and strength to continue when the corn and beans are depleted. Together we are greater than separate. It’s a beautiful thing, it’s a beautiful gift. It’s proof that three is not a crowd but instead an ecosystem of sustainment and growth.

Energy Source

I have been learning tons about how to manage an energy source. When my brother and I first started working on my van project, I didn’t know the difference between types of batteries, inverters or even register how a 12 volt system works versus a 120 volt system. We met with some challenges to keeping my electrical system efficient and functioning correctly. The DC/AC with solar and the vehicle alternator providing the source of energy wasn’t performing correctly together. If you are lost right now as to what I am saying, I feel you…lol. The gist, my source of energy needed to be connected in a way that directed the current to my outlets then returned back to the source to renew the power.

We tested each part and step to see where the system was failing. It got me thinking about my own internal source of energy. 

Where and how do I draw my power?

How do I know when I feel connected to energy that is capable of sustaining my essence of myself?

In the last class of the Kundalini system, our group explored how we know that we have Divine Light in our lives.

After a brief meditation, we had time to reflect and write some notes. A diagram came to mind. I know it was influenced by my work on the energy source of the van. 

I thought about the battery and compared the methods to gain a charge. Batteries are just heavy boxes unless you connect them to a power source. My being is a heavy block unless I also connect it to a power source.

What is my power source? Where do I get energy from? Is it sustainable?

There are many teachings about power sources, especially in yoga. Swami Radha, from Yasodhara Ashram, created the Divine Light Invocation. It’s a combination of movement, meditation/visualization and mantra. It can also be used as a battery source.

The mantra is simple:

I am created by divine light

I am sustained by divine light

I am protected by divine light

I am surrounded by divine light

I am every growing into divine light

I consider the mantra to be like the battery in my van. It’s ready to help me pull energy from the source. I only need to turn it on and make sure I am “connected”.

I find the best way to tap into the energy is to stand in Mountain Pose. Close my eyes and focus on the space between my eyebrows. This stance allows the energy to flow in. The current is initiated and I become a vessel that captures the light (energy). 

There are actions that go with each step of the process of transferring divine light (energy) from the source, through me and then the sharing of excess reserves with others.

It’s a very useful and effective way for me to capture, process and use positive energy.

I recall a similar practice I learned years ago that invoked “Loving Kindness”. The practice involved reciting a mantra freeing yourself from negativity and offering out loving kindness to everyone in return.

Like the van energy cycle, I have come to realize I too need to recharge often and share the light(energy) with others. We learn multiple different ways of gaining energy, both positive and negative. The good news is that the type of energy I am talking about is renewable and infinite.

It can be a source of bliss and gaining a higher state of being. Daily practice and invocation give me a super power I can share with others. I can be confident in the abundance of this energy source.

We were able to fix the circuit of energy exchange in the van. It ended up being a ground wire that needed to be connected back to the source to complete the cycle. My own cycle runs in parallel to the vans’ needs.  Daily practice of focusing on the light/energy and drawing it in is only one part of the system. Giving back to the source in sharing positive energy with others while staying aware and connected helps me to maintain my power source.


Winding My Way Home

It has been a couple of days now since I left the ashram. We stayed around the area and took in the local sites. I have been curious about Nelson BC for a few years. It wasn’t quite what I expected at first. The vibe is mixed some hippy zen flow with an edge of tight Covid restrictions. BC is just lifting the mandates so you can see how people are getting accustom to the new normal.

There was a sign on Baker Street that advertised a Himalayan Salt Cave with 12000 pounds of Pakistan imported salt. We were curious so went to check it out. Just our luck they were offering a restorative yoga class that night and we were able to sign up.

Inside the salt cave

The yoga instructor had combined her meditation and practice with an electronic violin musician. Together, they took us on a mystical journey through the forest. The instructor does Reiki and offered some healing which I was amazed at how much better I felt after. I have an old hip injury that aches all the time. She put her hands on my hips. I felt a burning sensation and an almost immediate release of the pain.

There is nothing like laying down in child pose on a yoga mat surrounded my Himalayan Salt. I recommend, if you get the chance, do it. The violin player had loops that incorporated sounds of walking through the forest. At the end he went though a series of vibrational tones on the gongs. I could have slept in the cave overnight. It was so relaxing and beautiful.

If you are ever in Nelson BC and want to do something a bit different, visit the salt cave for a massage or mediation.

Today we start the long drive home both in my heart, mind and physically.

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