Sunday, November 30, 2014

Connecting To Winter In The City

Winter and I have a complicated relationship.

Love Hate, if you will. 

Short days and brutal weather often leave me in general malaise, lethargy, aches, travel complications and the insanity of cabin fever.  While at the same time, I'm still enchanted by falling snow, icicles and the strange surge of creativity that comes with battening the hatches of the homestead.


In terms of admiration for the season, winter in the city comes with unique challenges. I often think that if we city dwellers experienced winter in a great northern wood with the aurora borealis winking above us we'd harbor more romantic thoughts about it. Or perhaps if it didn't last for six months...

Part of the trouble might be feeling disconnected. Summer makes it so simple for us to visit the water, to camp, and put our hands in the dirt. Winter can feel like a distant lonely planet.

But what could winter in the city be like?

What if we shifted from coping to connecting?  Possibly even celebrating?


We can see winter with the eyes of an artist.

The pallet winter offers us is subtle and spellbinding. Snow is never simply white-- it takes on periwinkle, violet, golden, pinkish and deep cerulean shadows. Buildings and light posts are suddenly more complex as we become aware of their structure and nuances when dusted with snow.

Perhaps you will be inspired to paint what you see or catalog colors in swatches...

Winter sunsets are spectacular: hot shifting swaths of light stand out beautifully against bare trees. Photograph them if you feel called. Absorb their colors. Maybe applaud them.

Nothing is ever really dead. Set out about your city with the intent to notice wildlife and their tracks: crows, sparrows, chickadees, squirrels, racoons, deer, foxes, owls, hawks, chipmunks and cats.

 Last winter I had a startling encounter I will never forget.

Invite creatures into your yard with simple bird feeders. Who doesn't pleasantly recall smearing peanut putter on pine cones in grade school?

While Summer hikes are exhilarating, Winter walks can be just as adventurous and rejuvenating. The sounds and snow draped shapes transform forests and parks, transporting us from survival to surreal inspiration.

Taste the snow. Do it. You want to.

Gather up branches and dried stems from alleys, fields, parking lots or along your building. Make a bouquet and admire their stoic, simple, sculptural beauty. Give them a second life!

Winter also gives us the gift of hibernation-- of moving inward. Our consciousness is in a different place. It's the perfect time to start a dream journal to record all of those bizarre insights.

Camp fires take on a different flavor in the winter. (If you are an apartment dweller, you don't need to create an enormous funeral pyre-- a toasty little fire in a foil lined baby webber grill does the trick.)

Invite friends. Drink all the coco. Wear all the blankets.

The stars are still there. Visit the winter sky: explore constellations and the movement of the moon. Is it time to procure a telescope, Copernicus?

Winter moons are pure magic.  

Lunar halos are created when light is refracted and dispersed through ice crystals at a 22 degree angle.These lunar halos are even more fantastic when light travels through the suspended ice and reflects off of a body of water to create long illuminated spokes.

We can witness this phenomena even through the light pollution of the city. 


 It doesn't have to be a dead planet. She is still creating: giving us colors and secrets...

Even in the City.

How will you connect to this winter?

Wishing you winter adventures,

Friday, November 28, 2014

EXPAND: Updates and Announcements

Last December I chose a word for the year:

E X P A N D.

I wasn't entirely sure what that meant, but I knew it sounded good. And a little dangerous.

That word has been dancing on my brain and pulling me in at least six directions at once and I wanted to share some of the  e x p a n s i o n  with you!

I had been secretly dreaming of a meditation group for years--How wonderful. How fun that would be. EXPAND said to quit the airy fairy wishes just f*ckin do it. And so Rainbow Lounge came in to the world...

The Rainbow Lounge Meditation Workshop is a guided meditation group that meets once a month in a cozy environment to enjoy the melty goodness of relaxation through imaginative and accessible visualizations. This has been and AMAZING experience and I can not wait for this month's session.

If unwinding with a group of gorgeous humans sounds good to you, you can learn more and register here. 

The Master Plan is to make meditations and reading materials available through the blog so you can participate in the class at your own pace and build your Self Care arsenal. Stay tuned, Moon Babies!

EXPAND also told me that it's time to connect with all of you and set up a Cream City Dreamsicle Mailing List. Once a month, I will be sending out a special Love Letter to you, Dear Readers.

In addition to your Love Letter, subscribers also receive free goodies, discounts on classes and exclusive, extra juicy content.

Speaking of freebies, EXPAND is big on Presents.

 EXPAND encouraged me to offer free Oracle Messages as a gift to you beautiful  humans for your continuous support.

Why Oracle Cards? Because it's FUN.

This is not a randomly generated canned robot  message. Submit your question and I will draw real cards with my real hands to pen a real message from my real heart to a very real you. 

What will you ask? Get yours here.

 Ask as MANY questions as your heart desires between now and December 31st.

 EXPAND has also been whispering, "Write a book."

Or rather,  Finish said book.  Expect strange romances, sacred dumpster diving and shameless voyeurism.

But more on that another day...

Where is expansion happening your cosmos?

Forever Yours,

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Holiday Blues: We Don't Need to Beat It

With Thanksgiving swiftly approaching, I wanted to address the saddish emptyish soggy elephant in the room: The Holiday Blues. 

To be crystal clear, I'm not referring to Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a medical condition that affects many.

I am referring to that low sneaky heartache that can grab us this time of year. It sucks the fun from "The Most Wonderful Time" of the psycho-spiritual-seasonal wheel.

Even as a person who utterly enjoys the mania of the holidays, I began noticing that little shadow  today--

 as I'm sure many of you have as well.

Where does it come from?

It doesn't help that winter in this part of the world is hard physically and emotionally. That's just science. No bones about it, love bugs.

Maybe the Blues stems from a soft disappointment about where the year took us. Or left us. Where did it go? Is anything different?

This season seems  to deplete our power to bullshit ourselves.

It can be profound, distressing and eye opening. 

We may feel hyper aware of people we miss. Suddenly more sensitive to our grief than usual.

 Maybe while being pelted with obnoxious commercials, elevator carols and unrealistic expectations we become acutely self conscious about stuff we think we lack: money, perfect relationships, idealized mythical nuclear families.

You know-- Bells tinkling as snow softly drifts down in front of a kitchen window. Enter two white laughing yuppies in cable knit sweaters surprising one another with tanks donning bows the size of kiddie pools.

All is calm. All is bright. 

Perhaps the Blues is brought on by the subtle anxiety of having to repeatedly explain yourself at work functions and family gatherings. Nothing makes you feel as weird as being grilled by a relative (that you're not even quite sure how you are related) about the state of your uterus, or lack of marriage or about "getting a real job".

It can be brutal, bunnies.

So what can we do?

I don't think we need to "beat" the Holiday Blues. There are THOUSANDS of lists asserting ways to Buck The Fuck Up and Fa La La La La.  

And that's great. I mean it. Do things that make you feel better.

But remember: It is 100% Perfectly Acceptable to feel how you feel.

We have permission to feel it.

Honor it by recognizing it.

We can also give ourselves credit for being multifaceted. Humans have the incredible paradoxical ability to hold two conflicting beliefs and not explode. 

Pain and gratitude can snuggle up together.
We can experience grief and love simultaneously.
Uncertainty and optimism can coexist.

Cool, right? 

It is possible to honor more than one feeling. More than one way of being. 

Let's be contradictions.  


While we're at it, let's amp up our Self Care. 

Not sure what Self Care means? Here's a quick way to find out:

Ask yourself,  What would someone who loves themselves do?

The answer might be to eat some green stuff, to decline an invitation to a party you'd rather not go to, to work on a project you've been ignoring, gifting yourself some alone time, or going to bed early because you really need the rest.

OR conversely it just might be getting gussied up and getting yourself to a party, being around people, having that extra shot of espresso or staying up late for that movie marathon...

Whatever jives with you. Ask yourself that question as many times a day as you need.

You know what your Self Care answers are. 

Be gentle with yourself.

As we dive deeper into winter, the trappings of the holidays, and the potential flow of the Blues--

I hope you'll remember the kaleidoscopic creature you are: remembering the parts that hurt are worth just as much as the sparkly colored bits.

All of them are necessary. 

Be a paradox. Be absurd. Take care of you. 

Much Love for the Season Ahead,

Friday, November 14, 2014

How To Be a Unicorn

When you are impossible you get to make up your own rules.

You are dazzlingly beautiful. This may freak out casual mortals. Forgive them.

Unicorns make wishes come true-- our own wishes and if you're feeling generous, the wishes of others.

You are graceful and ferocious. (Whew. Anyone else hot under the collar?)

Sometimes being rare and wonderful means people will want to ride on our backs, ask us to do tricks and perform miracles. You are a fucking Unicorn. Not a pony. 

Use your weird white magic to see into the hearts of others and trust what you see.

Giving your horn away--your deeply sacred hood ornament of YOUness-- means certain death.  Unicorn 101: Don't give your power away.

Unicorns can heal others without depleting their own vitality, but only if the Unicorn deems the recipient worthy or their source energy. Unicorns don't come cheap.  Keep your heart open, but never cut it out for free.

Lots of people won't believe you exist. Fuck em.  The ones that DO know you exist understand how precious and strange you are.

Ruthlessly sniff out poison and never trust a naked virgin you find in the woods.

Sometimes it will feel like you are the only one or worse, the last one. You aren't.

Unicorns don't fare well in captivity. We refuse to be trapped. We are Wild.

Unicorns Always Win.

 From One Mythical Beast to Another, XO

Friday, November 7, 2014

November & The Swift Kick In The Ass

Dearest November,

You gloriously underpriced and underrated month. Easily swept aside as ugly or underwhelming. 

For those of us that Love your subtle magic you are potent. Let me count the ways...

The time in between times is always special: The winding of fall, the approach of winter but still not quite either. You are the lull between stashing plastic pumpkins and novelty vomit of Halloween and preparing for the madness of the winter holidays. It's simple for a moment.

A gentle, neutral time of the year.

This is the ideal time to nest and love up our dens and rabbit holes. No worries yet about who is or isn't coming to dinner, or panicking about the company party, or preparing yourself for your traditional bout of Holiday Blues...

Just quiet. Quiet, unglamorous, unbiased and nutritious comforts.

Which are usually pure unadulterated addicting magic in themselves.

It is the perfect time to be cool and composed and unromantically get rid of shit we don't need--mental and physical clutter. Maybe it's the wind, but sweet November makes it easier to be ruthless about our happiness.

You offer us a rejuvenating sense of detachment. And Holy Cats, could we use it.

November's gifts also appear as the uncanny ability to view the past year as a strange little film when you least expect it: all the things, all the people, all the places, all the miles, all the hours, all the conversations.

Then you begin writing the wandering script for next years Living art film. This nonchalant poker-faced month is the perfect time to think about our intentions, not in the sticky and somehow always oddly sad anarchy of a New Year's party.

And then Cherished November holds yet another brisk and enchanting offering: 

A Swift Kick in The Ass.

"Holy shit, it's NOVEMBER?! Where the fuck did the year go?!"

November has a beatnik coolness that asks us, So what do you really want to do? And despite it's devastatingly sexy aloofness, it tells us: There's still Time.

That last bit of the year? Make it count. Make it dessert. Fucking juice it and wear it as perfume. 

Thank you my fair and mellow November for your lingering sunsets, copacetic breathing room and plain impending weirdness.

Your mundane magic is what we need.

Your Admirer and Devotee,