Friday, October 30, 2009

Samhain

(Image of a Soul Card: http://www.touchdrawing.com/3SoulCards/SC2/pages/84.htm)

At Samhain, the time of the Celtic new year, the veil between worlds is thin.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Recycled Woolens

Sometimes I fantasize about being a Stay At Home Working Mom making clothes for Oskar from recycled wool and cashmere and unicorn applique like Batik Bum.

Check out her birth stories too!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Indiana Jonesing It


In the spring of 2003, Dan and I headed to Siem Reap in Cambodia to check out Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is one of the most magical places in the world.

After staying in amazingly serviceable and cheap guest houses for weeks, I deeply desired a splurge, especially to cope with the dry, 100 degree plus days exploring the ruins. So we stayed at Angkor Village. Bliss! The best gifts for a pair of dusty travelers: a large, luxurious bathtub and delicious room service.

Oddly, Siem Reap also had a very charming french restaurant. Even more oddly, the vietnamese restaurant we found was awful.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Second Month of Pregnancy

In the second month, the mother's breath conducts the symphonic movement of embryonic qi in its minute currents, eddies, and whirlpools that ultimately grow into the baby's organs, flesh, bones, meridians.

Be aware of the breath.

In their beautiful book on mindful parenting, Everyday Blessings, Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn say this about the breath:

"Through ongoing practice, it is possible to develop an intimacy with the breath that extends your awareness into whatever else is happening in your world at that moment. Cultivating awareness in this way allows the deep potential in each moment to become available to you."

Would could have deeper potential than the child growing in your womb?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Spinning Babies


Another one of the things I did in my pregnancy that I think helped me have a wonderful birth was to use the information I found on Spinning Babies. In particular, I learned how to do inversions from the video above and practiced them daily in the last couple of weeks.

I just found this wonderful blog by Spinning Babies too!

Friday, October 23, 2009

In Pursuit of Pleasure...

As soon as I can, I am enrolling in Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts!

(Photo: Ecstasy of Saint Teresa)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Favorite Designer

I am nine months pregnant in this photo by Lisa Levart, wearing a silk dress by one of my favorite designers, MomoFalana. They use the most gorgeous silks! And, oh, the color!

Happily, some of their styles adapt beautifully to an expanding body. Their pieces are lovely, pregnant or not.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Now on HBO On Demand...


I Could Never Be Your Woman is now on HBO On Demand. Paul Rudd's dancing really tickles me. And Saoirse Ronan is totally rad in it.

The West Coast Trail

One of the most harrowing experiences of my life was hiking the West Coast Trail, a 47-mile long backpacking trail on Vancouver Island.

47 miles long... I think that is the horizontal distance... there was also a vertical distance to contend with: at one point, we had to climb up a kilometer or 52 stories of ladders up and down.

Ancient growth forest. Waterfalls. Bogs. Beaches at low tide (we had to consult tide tables!).

Crossing rivers and streams by hand-pulled cable car, fallen logs, and boat.

Ladders, lots of ladders.

One of the things you do to prepare for the trip is how to deal avoid being mauled by a cougar.

The hike takes seven days on average, and is a pack-in, pack-out affair. It took us nine days, and we ran out of food. Thankfully, we were able to beg some on the trail from first nation guides and other, more seasoned hikers.

At some point, most of our group wanted to be evacuated by helicopter from the trail.

Somehow, we survived. Seriously, it was like being on an episode of Survivor. At the time we hiked it, we had heard that there was usually one death every year. Surviving was not a given. I don't think any of us are the same. In fact, sometimes Dan and I still can't talk about it!

It is one of the most breathtaking, unspoiled places on planet earth.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Visualizing the Chakras

I thought this was so beautiful.

(Source: http://www.folknouveau.com/healing/chakra-meditation-spiral.gif)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Herbal Tonics for Pregnancy

Following the amazing birth of Oskar, Dan thought I should write down everything I did while pregnant and spread the word, in the hope that it would help other women have beautiful birth experiences.

One thing that Dan helped me do throughout my pregnancy was to take herbal infusions of stinging nettle and red raspberry leaf often.

Stinging nettles infusions are great any time, and I had taken them for an overall boost to my stamina and to improve my sleep on the advice of my friend and fellow acupuncturist Therese.

Red raspberry leaf is a uterine tonic. Labor, as my midwife Kristen put it, is the process the uterus undertakes to organize itself for birth.

Here is how he made them:

We purchased them at Jean's Greens.

NETTLE LF (Urtica dioica) c/s (o)
1-8 oz. . . . $1.29/oz
9-15 oz. . . . $1.14/oz
1 lb. . . . $16.70/lb

RED RASPBERRY LEAF (Rubus ideaus) c/s (o)
1-8 oz. . . . $1.14/oz
9-15 oz. . . . $0.99/oz
1 lb. . . . $14.30/lb

Other things you need:

One Quart Glass Jar (we use a wide mouth mason jar)
Boiling Water

Steep one cup of dried herbs in a one quart jar filled with boiling water.
Cover and steep for 4-10 hours.
Strain.

Drink daily.

Refrigerate to store, and warm up to enjoy.

Here is a lovely instructional video from the magical Susun Weed:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Candle Magic


The moon is renewed on Sunday, a good time for a little candle magic to bring things into your life as the moon waxes and gains strength.

Spend some time meditating on what you would like to manifest, and let your meditation guide and inspire you as you carve images, words, lines into a seven day candle. Set your intention, and light the candle. Let it burn down continuously, knowing that when the candle is consumed, you have finished casting your spell.

A seven day candle is a large candle housed in glass.

Please keep safety in mind when performing this ritual.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Creme de Rose

Creme de Rose by Simply Divine Botanicals. It's the most beautiful face product I have ever experienced. The first listed ingredients are: Unconditional Love and Gratitude.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dan and the Cuy in Cusco

video
A memorable meal in Cusco, Peru. Another of the most magical places on earth.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Magic Chicken Soup

Magic Chicken Soup.

As soon as you start to feel sick, get yourself to the grocery and purchase:

One Whole Free Range Chicken
One Large Onion
One Head Garlic
One Knob Ginger
One Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Handful Chopped Spring Onion

Rinse the Chicken
Peel the Onion, Garlic, and Ginger
Throw all in a pot and cover with Water
Simmer for Several Hours, until Chicken starts Falling Apart
Fish out Bones and Skin and Random Crunchy Parts
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Garnish with Fresh Chopped Spring Onion

Eat up.

(Gorgeous Photo from: http://37signals.com/svn/posts/220-chicken-portraits & From The Fairest Fowl: Portraits of Championship Chickens by photographer Tamara Staples)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Perfect Newborn Woolen Set

A beautiful starter kit and generously priced from Flowering Child.

I Love Woolens

I am obsessed with woolens for Oskar.

He sleeps on Dolly (a natural, Mimosa tree-tanned sheep skin), wears Aristocrats diaper covers, and bundles up in a wool and silk pilot cap and woolen underdungarees when it's cold.

The Steiner crew lauds wool (and silks, too) for its living quality, and my East Asian medicine loves it for its value in stimulating the wei qi that flows over surface of the body.

It's easy on the eyes and beautiful to the touch.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Goddess on Earth

My friend, photographer Lisa Levart has been working on an amazing project for the last seven years: Goddess on Earth.
Goddess on Earth celebrates each woman as the physical embodiment of the feminine divine. By using ancient goddess archetypes as a premise, the work shows women exploring the feminine spirit while reinforcing a way of viewing the world in all its sacred diversity...

These images of women embodying ancient myths and archetypes collectively convey the resonant and multifaceted manifestations of the feminine spirit and encourage viewers to explore their own multi-dimensional being. In this way, Goddess on Earth serves women immediately and along the journey of their lives: to appreciate the universal phases of women's lives, to expand their own abilities when drawing on their inner resources, and to recognize the vast and unique strengths inherent in all women.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sparkling Lemonade


One of my favorite things:

Sparkling Lemonade at Cafe Mogador on Saint Marks.

(photo from http://www.faqs.org/photo-dict/photofiles/list/399/768lemon.jpg)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Floating on the Amazon

Many years ago, I traveled to Brazil and stayed at the Amazon Lodge. I swam with pirhana, trekked in the jungle, called to monkeys in treetops, drifted by pink dolphins in the dark Amazonian waters. It was magical.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Treating Children

The Japanese have created a wonderfully effective, non-invasive way to treat children using tools that are so Japanese in their cute-ness.

The above Kakibari Gold Rake is shown in its actual size.

This and other shonishin tools are used to lightly and gently stimulate the surface of the body, enhancing a child's ability to ward off disease and calm the spirit.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Oskar's Ride: Daddy


When Oskar needs to get around, he usually hops a ride on Dan in his Ellaroo Rebozo. Here he is soaking in the rays on Glastonbury Tor.

Oskar's Ride: Wheels

At around three months, Oskar got his first set of wheels: Graco's SnugRide, a craigslist find for $60 including a stroller base and one of the least toxic on the market.

Still, Oskar prefers to roll chest to chest.

Oskar's Ride: Momma


Sometimes, when Oskar needs a lift and a snack, he hits the drive-thru window in his Maya Wrap Ring Sling. Here he is, lunching in a friend's lovely garden in Niva, Denmark.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Breath

With breathing proceed as follows:

The breath should be held and it will be gathered.

If it is gathered, it becomes magic.

If it becomes magic, it descends.

If it descends, it quiets down.

If it quiets down, it solidifies.

If it is solidified, then it germinates.

If it germinates, it grows.

If it grows, it is attracted upward.

If it is attracted upward, it reaches toward the heaven.

In heaven, it ascends upward still.

At the lower end, it descends still.

Those who follow this will live, those who act contrary will die.


Lao Tsu, translated by Helmut Wilhelm

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Favorite Restaurant: Souen

My favorite restaurant in New York is Souen.

Here, I can eat so happily according to all my ideal nutrition principles:
Eat warm, cooked, organic and wild foods (especially vegetables!).

I usually order the wild salmon with shogayaki/ginger sauce and steamed vegetables and hijiki.
The wakame soup is excellent!
The cucumber and wakame salad, too.
Mmm. Maze rice with salmon.
Dan loves the vegetable and seafood curry stew.

A mug of mu tea in the winter is heaven.

Souens are on Prince Street at Sixth Avenue and East 13th Street between Fifth Avenue and University Place.