Community Herbalist, Aromatherapist, Spiritual Entrepreneur, Mother& Grandma. ~Celebrating Family, Earth and Spirit.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Flower Water

For most of us we have known of Flower Essences  with reputed qualities to subtly assist emotional energy.

Flower Essences are typically solar or lunar infused perfect flowers that are kept preserved in brandy and taken in 3-7 drops average a few times a day to assist an emotional challenge or block to be worked through and clear.

What I am sharing today can work in the same manner if one's intention was to do so.

I love this for the life energy and delicious essence it brings to my body. Lovely floral notes dance on the palate and create a wonderful experience in the simple act of drinking water.

To make a Flower Water, start with fresh water in a clean vessel. I use clean jars.

Go out into your yard, garden, forest, or a field and gather the flowers that speak to you.

ALWAYS BE CERTAIN WHAT YOU HARVEST IS NON TOXIC. Proper identification is essential-consult a field guide or research online.

Of course that had to be said.

Allow your flowers to free float on top of the water and steep. This can be done in the sun, moon, or in the fridge. After a few hours strain and drink.

With the Full Harvest Moon being a Supermoon,  tomorrow night may be a creative night to make Flower Water, or 3 or 4:)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Protecting Ourselves as Sensitives

It is ironic to me that some of the most powerful people I know in terms of healing, also have major battles on their hands with themselves.

I walk this road myself.

I am a cancer survivor, and through the course of treatment on top of having birthed 7 children, I have carried in my body some nerve damage and fibromyalgia.

I observe that when pressed upon by the outside world, I can often fall into a terrible flare up.

And I bring this forth, so that we can all be aware of this in our own lives.

I carry a personal loss much like being thrown in to a dark pit, with everything taken away, no support and had to pull out of that alone while experiencing betrayal and a type of religious control that will alter me forever. With a pain of a hole blown through my soul that each day requires me to continually move forward in each healing step of the path of process.

I think often of intuitives, sensitives, empaths and healing artisans have often have suffered great degrees of pain, which in turn offers compassion to humanity at large. We get it. We survived it. Our gifts often got us through. We often feel so deeply for people, that we can be crushed under by the demands

What I notice lately that is literally breaking my heart, is that there is a huge selfishness and demands on others that has really accelerated lately, along with people that do not follow up their word. I have been quietly observing the world around me and I have my own personal encounters as well as what I am seeing around me.

And sensitives feel this. And it can bring havoc to our bodies.

Our culture is so growing to a people that get what they want with immediate gratification. When things happen in life that alter that immediacy, it ripples dissatisfaction even in the air.

I can remember traveling a long journey through blizzard to get to a safe place for my son and I. I was accepted into an abuse shelter to begin my healing from what had just occurred. In that time, I was asked to make things for people, and when I responded that I was staying at a shelter and needed time for healing myself, the response what dissatisfaction.
I was asked also in that time to apprentice some in herbology. When I explained my current situation, the response was so negative. Lately, some issues have arisen due to my lack of response time on of all things Facebook.
I have had several people write wanting to know what they can take to cure an ailment without providing sufficient information for a response that will help.

Since I do not have internet at my cabin, it sometimes takes 2 days to respond. Surprisingly, people can assume many things untrue do to a sometimes 2 day wait on a response. Which creates more emotional tension when accusations fly... which can often cause a flare up.

So to those of us that deal with people, to do our best to help, here is what I have to say.

What is needed for your personal balance? Make that a priority.

This may take some time for quiet, alone, to determine what your needs are. And make them your own personal mission statement.

I will share an example I recently decided on to give you a hint at the type of things that you may want to consider.

I trade and sell to local friends. I also live 8 miles out of town. Often times there can be issues getting products to people do to my own personal schedule, which consists of a night job, and taking my child and picking him up from 2 jobs. I cannot always meet people in town on their schedule.

So what I decided to help myself, is that people will need to either come to my cabin to pick up their product, or arrange a time to come to town when I am there, and I can bring their order with me.
We can also meet together for tea and a visit on my day off.

I found it was so much harder on me to get a last minute request for me to drive in to meet someone, when I may have just arrived back home to get ready for work, to turn around to drive back for that, still make it to work on time, and have time to get ready for work.

And, despite my huge empathic heart, if someone wants something of me, and there is not an equal energy exchange of some type, then the relationship may not be healthy in my life.

This may mean, the work a person needs to do for their personal healing needs to be done for me to continue serving.
An extra fee may be charged for a specialty item. And at least kindness and appreciation reciprocated for the free advice that I have often given when asked about certain herbal things.
I shy away from that more and more because of the lack of appreciation, follow through, or paying the kindness forward.

The reason being, I have a life too. I am healing too. I have emotional wounds and I too need support and care.
Remember, all things need balance.  And that means you need balance as well. You are important and your gifts are to be valued.

How is your work schedule?
At one point in my life I was often at the computer selling things constantly, which was a blessing in keeping me home with my children and paying the bills.
However, being available selling my work or giving service almost immediately, kept me from the fun I also needed to keep my life in balance.

I remember when I owned my consignment store, in the beginning I was open 12-14 hours a day since I was remodeling and had to be there anyway. I would go home to run my other business and rarely slept, had the emotional and mental weight of both businesses, and my health eventually came crashing hard.

So what I learned from all that was that I need hours to establish my work time.

I have an hour each day to meet Dreamseeds client needs. I do this by breaking up what needs done in small increments. If a 200 bar order needs to be delivered in 3 weeks, I then assure, I wrap 10 bars of soap each day along with the other things I must do for this business, so I avoid the emotional pressure that would occur if I procrastinate. A little bit each day gets the job done with greater joy than trying to accomplish it all at once.

I also have been doing a new thing each week. I choose one of my days off as a holy day. I take time to rest as long as I need. To enjoy my garden. To watch the birds. To leave the house if I choose, or not. To unplug from social media and email for the entire day. I may go harvest huckleberries or herbs in the forest, since my spirit tends to connect and strengthen in those times. I do my best on that one day, not to rush around trying to get everything done. I spend time doing my weekly personal reading, my spiritual pursuits, and reading books. Taking a walk with my friend. I do what nurtures my soul that one day to strengthen me for the rest of my week. I am finding it really helps.

Do your best, and this is hard for sensitives, to shield yourself from taking on other peoples emotions.
It is common for people to be drawn to us, and easily pour out.
Be clear how much you can handle and also be sure that you do not become a dump station.

This is the realm of professional counselors which are trained  and paid for getting dumped on and how to set boundaries so they are not consumed by peoples problems.
We may need to guide people in that direction.
We may also need it ourselves.

I have a personal counselor. This is part of my weekly self care.
It is wonderful to share what I have gone through in the safety of an office, where legal boundaries will not allow my safety to be compromised. Where I am not shamed for what I have experienced and serious problem solving and accountability can evolve in the relationship.
BE Wary of where you put your trust.
Also, we all hope to have friends we can share all of ourselves with.
However, I must say, some of our friends may not have experienced some of the pain and horrors, others of us have endured. Oftentimes, it is best to leave our friendships for fun and our talk therapy for our therapists.
This maintains good balance in our relationships as some things are so heart wrenching to work through, our friends feel helpless to assist us. Part of the fun and joy in our lives is to strengthen the bonds of our beloved.

Fun.... Remember that we all have an inner child. All of us. Creativity and play time is essential for the human spirit.

Continue learning how to help yourself. Whether it be to assist the illness you battle, how to tune up your vehicle, or build upon your current skills.

GIVE BACK- We all have been touched by something in our lives, that create causes we would like to help.
When some of us are financially transitioning,  and cannot give money, we may have time to offer. We may be able to use our voice to speak up for the cause we support. We may also only have time for prayer.
When we are able to give to what appreciates our gifts, and meets our needs inside of growing a cause that we support, we feel good inside.
I recently gave 10 inches to Locks of Love. I did not have money to give, however I could still give of myself in some way.

Protect your gifts. One thing I have discovered is that some people will trample your gifts. Use them wisely.

I once had shared something that happened that was simply magical (a tumor had shrunk in a friend by distant healing) and this woman told me I was under the attack of the devil.
From that point on it was hell. :)

Treat yourself well ALWAYS.

 Be TRUE to yourself and your calling Always.

Maintain Boundaries to protect your life and do your best to maintain your boundaries consistently.
Your happiness, your health, and your time depends upon it. Namaste

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Creating Vision Boards, Manifestation Boards and Goal Setting

Vision boards have been very empowering for many people that make them for their lives.

Vision Boards are a creative and physical representation of  Dreams, Desires, Hopes and Delights too assist in Goal Setting and Action.

I began mine the last few weeks of my Career Class and it was a simple process of pouring through magazines and cutting out pictures that appealed to those things we would want in our lives.

This creative project I believe became popular when The Secret movie came out.

Not to get caught up in Name it Claim it or wallow in self doubt when things don't work out like a fairy tale.

YET,  unless we put out there what we want, our desires and dreams can get stifled inside.

Many times, we are not even sure what our dreams are, nor what goals we can achieve without something to look toward.

Creating a Vision Board allows us to get out of ourselves, some of the things we wish to achieve in this life.
A true expression of ourselves.

How to make a Board

Recycle cardboard, buy a piece of posterboard, or use construction paper as your medium.

Search the internet for things you have dreamed of such as a house, a pet, true love, instruments you would like to play, things you would love to do, or what you enjoy that you currently do, print the pictures, cut them out and glue to your medium. Pinterest is an awesome place for some great pictures of things you like.
In fact Pinterest could be one of your online vision boards...and I just came up with my next vision board, I will make one on Pinterest:).

Cut magazine pictures, words and statements and affix this to your medium.

Let your Vision Board speak of your soul, who you are.......

Your Dreams, not your partners, parents, spiritual guru's, boss, best get it

I also encourage my friends to have one wall in your home (bedrooms are great for this) where you can hang up things like your vision board to keep your goals in sight.

Here is the beginning of mine....Friends, a home, mountains, spiritual practice, continuing my healing education, love, my family, are some of the things so far I have found to speak my soul in magazines.
2 of my friends families were in a magazine and that was cool.

Be Who You Are-Represent your Deepest Dreams 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Working with Unrefined Beeswax and a craft idea for you

Unrefined beeswax sings the energy of those hardworking bees that create it.

My products contain unrefined beeswax for its strength and essence of those life giving bees.

YUM! I love this stuff. The aroma is remarkable.

When making products with unrefined beeswax, it must be cleaned first to get out the dirt and particles. You can see here the dirt that must be strained out.

First, get some containers to pour the strained beeswax into. I like to use tiny dixie cups, as the size of the strained and hardened wax is easy to work with in my recipes. Also, sometimes it is hard to get wax to come out of the container. Dixie cups can be peeled away if it will not pop out, which is awesome!

I use a fine cloth to strain my warmed wax through and attach with clothespins.
Cut your cloth so that it is large enough to go around your cup.

To warm the beeswax you will need a good stainless steel pot, crock pot, or double boiler.
I have found using an electric stove enables me to use a stainless steel pot, and I can gently heat my wax so that its energetic qualities and delightful aroma remain intact.

If using a gas stove, or a electric stove that may run hot, a double boiler is best.

And if one has a crock pot that can be used for crafting, the little ones for paraffin waxes work really well for melting wax for straining, yet it takes more time to melt I have found. I have not tried it in a large crock pot, so I cannot suggest the best method with a large one.

I melt my wax in my pot I keep for this purpose, and strain through fine cloth into the dixie cups.

Use care to cover any work surface as it is enevitable that wax will spill over or drip throughout the process. I had some cardboard that was left over from packaging that I used to line my work surface.

I wanted to show the difference. The first cup with a little set up wax was not strained. It is rather grainy looking and is a great way to tell if an unrefined wax has been strained or not. The one set up behind it is rather smooth looking, like you would see in a beeswax candle.

The rear and right photo is what it looks like after straining as it is setting up.

It takes a bit of time to get through cleaning your wax. The heat must be gentle, yet hot enough to melt the wax. Straining must be done quick enough to keep the wax melted without setting up during pouring. 

It hurts when the hot wax gets on your hands, so you may want to use gloves for protection through the process.

And if you are not sure what to do with all the cloth left behind in the process, you can allow them to sit in the left over beeswax in the pot and if you move quickly, pull each cloth out and affix to an old box, can or something you may wish to make a patchwork design with.

This is our recycling bucket.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Sacred Spaces

Each of us needs THAT place. Where we can relax, pray, meditate, eat, exercise....whatever it is that nourishes...we need that space.

I have a place in the Bridger Teton forest which is my sacred space, and super excited that next week I am going there to see how life has unfolded in that precious spot.

With the demands this year, I have not had time to go.

Typically, my home is my sacred spot. It is what I look forward to returning too each day. The ones I love, and the things I love are all there.
This morning, a religious group knocked on my door. NO. This is my sacred spot, and my spirituality is mine and I wont debate on my sacred spot.

I have a sacred space within my sacred place. That is that my cabin has an awesome porch. This year, I have been able to obtain some plants that needed a place to love them through the rest of their growth cycle, as well as a gift of motherwort, and a few herbs I purchased.

My porch continues to evolve in the last month of summer, and each day I love it more. I spray painted a bucket we use as a little table and added some washi tape. My boys lift out there and do push ups. I quietly deadhead my flowers and watch all the birds that come by, along with a bee here and there.

Where is your sacred space and what do you like to do there?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Making Herbal Oil

This month I am part of some creative group writing to assist all in keeping up with our blogs.

I wanted today to share how to make lip balm. However, I need to take pictures to best share.

So in my days off the next couple days I hope to get pics of this process, and in the meantime, the most important part of good herbal lip balm, salves, etc... is in the oil.

Some of my favorite oils for lip balm is calendula, cottonwood, marshmallow root, violet. For certain types of viral lip balms, lemon balm and st johns wort are favorites.

To make a good herbal oil, this is what I do.

Harvest herbs that are in the most perfect condition possible.

The best times to harvest are mid to late morning to ensure that all dew or water has evaporated off the plant.

If you are purchasing dried herbs, be sure to find a vendor that carries this years crop. This way, you get fresher dried herbs.

Directions: find a good strong jar and clean it and dry it well.
Choose the oil you feel is best for your herbal oil needs.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a favorite amongst herbalists. Cold Pressed and first pressed oils are the best choices for nutrition and purity.
Organic Grapeseed lends a beautiful green color.
Coconut oil is also great for those that use this oil often. If using Coconut Oil for your herbs, keep the temperature above 76 degrees as you macerate. Coconut oil will solidify at 76 degrees, and this will ensure your herbal qualities get into the oil.

If using dried herbs, Fill the jar 3/4 of the way or more and add your choice of oil to the top of the jar.

I like to fill my dried herb oils 3/4 of the way to get a chopstick into the oil once in awhile to stir the contents.

I feel gentle heating over time makes an awesome oil with dried herbs.
Place your jar in a sunny place for a few days, and keep in a warm spot if possible.

Use basil, chilies, rosemary and all manner of culinary herbs this way as food oils.

OR use a double boiler and heat at least 30 minutes to extract the herbs into the oil.

With fresh herbs, herbal oils can go bad with herbs that contain alot of water inside the plant. Chickweed is famous for this.
With fresh herbs that are constitutionally moist, cut and allow to sit a few hours to overnight, enough to wilt.

Add the herbs to the top of your jar leaving the headroom and fill with your choice of oil.

For all herbal oils, check occasionally to ensure all the herbs are covered by oil. Anything above the oil will attract mold.
You may need to add a bit of oil the next couple days.
Susun Weed would say the fairies get thirsty. I dont know where that oil goes, however sometimes you will find the level of oil is lower as the herb and oils settle together.
Leave to work its magic for 3-6 weeks.
Direct Sunlight constantly can break down the integrity of the oil, so if sunshine is your warming method, allow the sun to shine upon it an hour or 2, then move it out of the sunlight.

Sometimes I leave the sun to heat the oil the entire first day, then set my jar in a dark place for 3 weeks.
It depends what I am feeling with each batch as to how I extract the oil.
These are a few ways you can make your oils, and certainly you may find another way you like better and feel free to share.

For fresh plant I find 3 weeks is excellent. Some books and herbalists prefer 6 weeks.

Once it has macerated to your liking, strain.

This is the messy part and takes a few days to do it right.
Have a clean jar or container available to strain into.

I strain my oils with a fine woven cloth. My favorite is an old tea towel of my grandmothers. It got ripped and I began using it for oils and love it.
Cheesecloth is another great way to strain.

A mesh strainer also works well, however pieces of herb will go through the little holes.
We will strain again the next day so if you use a mesh strainer and some herb gets into your strained oil, if you use a cloth the second day, you should have an oil pretty free of herb particles.

Sometimes, they make it through, I dont know how, but I do sometimes find wee herb pieces, so don't be surprised if that happens. It happens.....and its ok.

Leave your strained oil to sit overnight.
The next day, strain again going very careful and slow as you get to the bottom.
Especially for fresh plant oils, a goopy mess of water and any dirt that got through the first straining will have settled into the bottom of your jar as it sat.
Once you get to this mess, discard it.

To keep your herbal oil fresh, you must keep water out of your preparation.

Be sure to label your oil with the plant, the oil you used, and the date you made it (or strained it if you don't remember).
I make new oil each year, and if stored in a cool and dark place your herbal oils should last a year and certainly longer.

If you smell any sour or barfy aroma in your oil, toss it.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Who am I?

Have you ever had to ask yourself this question?
Oh my gosh, I have been doing some deep inner work, having gone through an incredibly traumatic experience a couple years ago.

The Dreamseeds blog is much about edible and medicinal herbs, parenting, and spirituality. However, in doing this deep inner work, I have either not had much time to write on the blog.
Most of what I write about has been on the Dreamseeds Organics page on Facebook.

However, this week I was able to graduate the Career Program called Climb Wyoming.
This is my graduation picture

This frees up a day in each week and my hope is to get some plant writing done. Some great material I had learned at Climb I have been sharing on the Dreamseeds Organics page.

One thing I learned is that I had let go of all my DREAMS. My Dreams I crumbled to make my husbands dreams come to fruition.(when I was married).
Now, I realize our dreams are so important, and allow our dreams to be considered unimportant, is actually a way to internalize that I am not important.

So this week on the Facebook page we are going to talk about Vision Boards and anyone that wants to participate can share more over there.

Vision boards are awesome ways to visually represent what those internal desires are. This in turn can assist us in goalsetting. Even goalsetting our dreams. Without a destination, or something to strive toward that we know will nurture us, we often stroll through life just getting through each day. Join us there this coming week if you are interested in creating a vision board.

So this blog, and the writer. who am I?
I am a certified herbalist. One of my deepest passions is nature. I am in tune with plants in particular and learn a great deal from them, as well as nature.
My deepest passion are the 7 children I have. My kids are my greatest teachers. I know of no deeper love than what a mama feels for her children. I also have 6 grandkids.
This is my youngest and I last weekend when my oldest daughter and my grandson came through to see us.

When my children were small, I questioned much of the type of parenting I had been taught, and exposed to.
Having been in the Bible belt for many of my children's younger years, spanking immediately was the environment I was in and was taught.
When I was pregnant with my 6th child, I knew instinctively that there was a better way. As I began to research online the types of ideas that were coming to me, I stumbled onto an Attachment Parenting community called Amity Mama and for over a decade, I have been connected with the women and men there that have become some of my dearest friends.
It was with this group of supportive people that I grew in my feelings about teaching children what is in their best interest, instead of disciplining over everything.
I also began to educate myself on nutrition, herbology and natural care. I wanted to give my children the strongest foundation possible which spun my desire to study these things.
I completed the Heart of Herbs Master Herbalist program which took me three years. With the support of the community, I began to make products in demand for the natural care needs, and Dreamseeds was born.
I have been doing this work for over a decade.
I also went through agressive treatment for cervical cancer in that time.
Shocked so many of us that as I was in the healthiest time of my life, bam! And my community of mama's and papa's were my lifeline again through that experience.

Concerning my role as an herbalist, there are many paths to take along the herbal road. For now, I am a Community Herbalist.
I educate through writing and my focus is the local plants of my region, and what I have available to assist my families health through plants in the community, which at times, I share this with others.

My children range in age from 30 down to 10. 4 boys and 3 girls. Each one is talented, smart, and giving to to others the best they can. Some have gone through their own battles with themselves, some are still in battle, yet my faith continues for each one as I have always seen their potential.
My 13 year old son is in a band and is a self taught musician. My 22 year old son is loved at his job and eats more organic food than my entire family. Another funny thing. He hated our menus of healthy home meals and now the seed has been planted and he is the most consistant of the family in his food choices.
My 16 year old works 2 jobs. My sweet Olivia is the baby and has to go with the flow. My 24 year old daughter has 2 children. My oldest daughter has 4 kids and in the mix is a set of twins. My 28 year old has had to work through his own stuff and is growing well.
I am so blessed with these little people in my world.

With my time being stretched, I have had to back off on educating to focus on my personal healing.
However, I do hope as things continue to evolve positively for me, that I can write more in depth about plants to help you know how to work with them yourself.

I feel it is in the best interest of our families, ourselves and the planet at large to understand how to work with nature without disrupting it. As we see in our own bodies, balance is essential for life.

Some of you may remember a few years ago, my life took a major turn. Starting off with good intentions, I set off for Arkansas. I knew it was a mistake the minute I arrived, however I did my best to grow in that time. Without getting into details, I experienced the most intensely dark time of my life.  From that experience, I understand, participate, and advocate for survivors of abuse and domestic violence, spiritual abuse, post traumatic stress, depression, and oddly, psychological programming.
This has moved my work from basic herbology for common issues, to things which happen at a deeper level through emotion.
As I continue in my education, I interweave my knowledge together between the deep issues and what happens in the body recurrently from repression, oppression, and numbing out.
I have experienced a healing modality which resonated with me that I hope to learn if I can be accepted as a student, which is very exciting.
However, for me, the foundation of what I know is through herbology and the springboard from the plants has been a blessing.

For work, I make products for Dreamseeds store of plants most people need for their home first aid.
I also work with plants and essential oils to create natural perfumery with Intention.

I make quite a bit of soap this time of year for 4 local stores with people in them that I totally love and respect.
I also work for the county at our local Parks and Recreation department, a move through my Climb Wyoming program.
I spend most of my time working. I love what I do in both venues.
I live in a cabin community a few miles outside of town, which gives me easy access to many of the herbs I need this year. Just yesterday I got some awesome berries from the wild.

I have an awesome porch so I am growing potted plants there. This year has been a fabulous experience of container gardening. My porch is really lovely and nurtures my spirit in a huge way.

This time of year I have access to some plants that cannot be maintained any longer, the growing season for them closing and without deadheading and such, the plants are on their way out and left to die. 
So when they come my way, I get them and care for them and all the plants this year are thriving.

My creativity is a huge part of who and what I am.
This year I have begun to expand that. I spend my free time on my porch, either making Dreamseeds products, decorating pinecones, and this weekend I am painting clay pots and making a garden sign for my porch garden in honor of my youngest daughter Olivia, who is not with me this year.

I am finding that creativity is a big part of all of us. Some may be more than others, however something incredibly satisfying happens when we tap into our creativity.
I encourage you to join us on the Vision Board making this week, if you are not sure how to get started creating.

I have described by others as a leader, mentor, and empathic.
I received a quote this week at graduation which touched my heart.
This is what was given to me:

She builds other's up because she knows what it is like to be torn down.

That quote really hit me in the heart in a huge way. 

And I share that with you to encourage you. no matter where you are at, no matter what you are going through, YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Times may feel overwhelming, grief or confusion may come. Health issues may creep up. We are not in control of what others do and what things may come our way.

We do have control and the power to come through it with awareness, enlightenment and empowerment, although this is a process we must be patient with ourselves as we go through it.
And there is not a person that can tell us how to get through it, although having support is essential, we are all different with varying things to learn and change.
Be gentle on yourself.

And the wisdom and gifts we carry from overcoming great obstacles and walking through painful and difficult things, are often the very things people in our lives may need to strengthen them.
Keep on!