Monday, September 29, 2008

True Wealth in a Great Depression Economy

What is your greatest source of wealth in a Depression? A dependable day job? Gold coins stashed under your mattress? A 401K retirement plan?

If the stock market crashes and inflation rises at the speed of light, things we’ve been taught to depend on in recent years will turn out to have been nothing to depend on at all.

The real source of wealth for people in the Great Depression were their communities, family and friends.

My mother came from a very poor family. She tells stories about sleeping on an old ironing board on the floor when she was little, bundled in blankets, to make room for “relatives” just arriving from the old country. Later, when her father died, she slept with her mother in a single bed.

Her father, Samuel Koretzsky, was one of the first in their family to come to the United States and was instrumental in supporting his entire village to immigrate as well. Dozens of families depended on Samuel and his family when they first arrived in this country. And when my mother’s father died, all those people banded together to help her mother -- a courageous illiterate woman with five children -- open a small deli and dry goods store.

Everyone in the family worked in the store-- there was no money to hire help! And the local townspeople frequented it. When the oldest children found better paying jobs they gave every penny they had back to their mother to help the family as a whole. They pulled together. They made it work out. And immigrant families do this to this day.

We’ve lost track of community in our society as a whole. But the truth is that if everyone believed they were in this situation together -- and everyone, rich and poor, pooled their resources together and helped each other out -- there isn’t any true economic “crisis” to be concerned about. So what if the “me first” economy falls by the wayside? When making a killing in the real estate market is deemed much more important than requiring that every man, woman and child in this country has an affordable place to live and a dependable way to pay for it, it’s time to rethink the values our economy has been running on anyway.

When things go wrong you have to depend on family and friends -- not in a dependent way but in a mutually dependent arrangement. Everyone helps out as best they can and everyone has value, even the old, disabled, mentally incapacitated, and young ones our society tends to forget about.

In most families during the Great Depression elderly people stayed with the babies. Older children tended the garden and did the chores. Everyone pooled their resources. If a loved one needed a place to live, space was made for a mattress on the floor. Everyone had value and nobody was left behind.

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This article was recently reprinted on a website some of you might find interesting. It's called The Soul's Code and carries the slogan "Everyone's a Guru".

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mama Love Healer Mama

I recently started a thread in the Etsy forums about sharing the story of how we got started in our various handmade craft businesses. I always tell the same thing: about how I couldn't stop crying when I divorced and was guided to create a healing flower essence aromatherapy formula for myself that got me through it. I called that first formula "Mama Love for Troubled Times" because it made me feel like a child being held safe in my mother's arms. Now I call all my healing formulas "Mama Love."

But since that thread got started I've been thinking about how important the story of how we got to where we are in our lives can be.

For instance, when I was a kid I used to spend hours playing in the woods pretending to be a Native American medicine woman. I'd track rabbits, trying to see how quietly I could sneak up behind one. And I'd collect roots and leaves and berries to mash up for my healing potions. I'd even grind them in the hollow of a large rock that probably was used for some kind of grinding purpose by the local tribe who once lived in that location.

Later when I decided to follow a healing path myself I imagined myself playing the role of the local village healer woman. I'd have a small herb shop and make custom healing potions on the spot. I actually saw a modern version of that when I was in England. Neal's Yard Remedies in Salisbury is a bright clean modern shop with herbalists working behind the counter dressed in white coats like pharmacists in America often do now. It gave the profession an air of respectability you rarely see in our country.

But the truth is I really relished the small village healer woman version a bit more. There's some archetypal pattern I wanted to embody. A safe cozy, easy job, doing work I loved, helping others, and being supported by the people I healed. Of course, in the fantasy I lived in a small country town, my work was believed in and trusted, and my little healer store was the only one around.

I don't live that way now and I've been guided that holding on to that archetype is damaging. It doesn't apply to this century, perhaps it never did. My community seems to be on the internet and, instead of retreating into a small corner, my life requires me (us -- me and Paul) to come out and be proud.

We just got a small video camera -- nothing fancy, a Samsung camcorder -- and we plan to continue our earlier series of mutual interviews (see the video bar at the right of this page). Paul and I have wonderful discussions sitting on the front porch of our house. We cover all kinds of metaphysical topics and I always wish we had a tape recorder on. I'm also writing much more regularly and reposting earlier articles all over the internet. I'd like to make Mama Love a household name and that's going to take letting people know who we are, how we got started, and what we do.

Continuing a Thread...Politics of Mass Destruction

Psychic impressions don't always make sense when they're first received.

Two nights ago, just before drifting off to sleep, I saw a large image of Jimmy Carter, looking thoughtful and concerned.

I asked Paul "why on earth would I see that?" But he didn't know.

Tonight on the news I wouldn't be a bit surprised if we received an answer. The campaign for John McCain has been spreading a video on Youtube and other places that blames the current economic crisis on policies Jimmy Carter enacted to help low-income workers in the United States afford housing.

That policy didn't do as much good as hoped until 1995 when Bill Clinton supported Fannie Mae, correctly or incorrectly, by expanding its authority to grant low-interest rate loans. McCain and the entire Republican party opposed this, of course, as they always do when it comes to economic policies intended to benefit the minimim wage workers large companies depend on to do the work required to make their billion-dollar companies run. Now, in this video, they're attempting to dupe the American public into believing that greedy unscrupulous mortgage firms, who took advantage of the mortgages Fannie Mae was able to guarantee, are not culpable for their actions at all. Instead McCain's campaign would have us believe that because Barack Obama fought as a lawyer to guarantee Fannie Mae's ability to supply low-income people with those loans that, in fact, he and the Democratic party in general are to blame -- and perhaps criminally responsible -- for the choices those mortgage firms chose to make.

In the old days captains of industry actually sometimes provided housing for their workers to supplement the minimal wages they provided. Some of those old run-down housing districts have been eyesores on the East Coast for decades now but at least they provided people who couldn't otherwise afford it with an acceptable place to live when they were first built. And some of those districts have been bought up, renovated and gentrified into high end neighborhoods the average low-income worker could never conceive of living in today.

The McCain campaign states in their Obama campaign smear video that the Democratic party and, specifically, Obama himself, are the ones to blame for all that has happened. Forget about oil companies posting billions of dollars of record high profits as a result of inflated prices at the gas tank. And don't remember overnight dot-com millionaires who bought up all the housing in Silicon Valley, Santa Cruz, San Francisco and elsewhere across the nation and inadvertently drove housing prices through the roof.

The housing crisis that followed was a horrifying thing to see. Houses literally doubled in value in my neighborhood. Ugly 2-bedroom post World War II tract homes have been selling for $600,000 and up. And the average housing cost did not go down for long or by much when the dot.com boom turned into a dot.com bust.

Why didn't it? This is where I believe the truth is being obscured.

How would you try to keep housing prices as high as possible so you wouldn't suffer as a result of any boomtime real estate investments you were enticed to make? If you found out there was a government program that would guarantee loans to people at subprime interest rates, making it possible to convince people that they could actually "afford" one of your price-inflated houses afer all, would you try to abuse that program and take advantage of it for your own benefit?

I suppose it would depend on

1) your level of fear -- would you lose everything if you let prices drop?
2) your level of foolishness -- it won't hurt anything -- or
3) your level of greed

The photograph of Jimmy Carter at the beginning of this post was provided free of charge by The Carter Center, whose stated mission in the title of their homepage is "advancing human rights and alleviating suffering." If you want to see what kind of man this Nobel Prize winning peace-loving Democrat is that John McCain campaign is smearing I recommend taking a look at what he's really all about.

And speak up about this campaign! I keep being guided that writing about this and telling my piece is the most important thing I could be doing. We need to stop the greed and insanity once and for all.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Economics of Mass Destruction?

Or something to be really concerned about?

I believe the massive overhaul being contemplated by lawmakers in regards to out-of-control greed is something long overdue. But why does my psychic sixth sense keep insisting that it's the political shenanigans staged by the Bush administration that demand the utmost attention and concern?

Nothing he says rings true. His statement that failure to pass the largest federal bail-out of all time without checks and balances in the quickest time frame possible would lead to a "long and painful recession" sounds an awful lot like the "weapons of mass destruction" excuse he used to bribe Americans into letting their children be killed in Iraq while efforts to capture Osama Bin Ladin (never believed to be in Iraq) were left behind.

What's really going on?

Well, it is an election year. And the Republicans know they won the last election because Bush was a wartime president dedicated to "saving us" from terrorists. You know, those SAUDI terrorists, relatives of Papa Bush's closest friends? The ones that supposedly justified us invading two nations (Afghanistan and Iraq) where Saudi Arabian / American oil interests would like a nice oil pipeline built? You know, those terrorists. (In case any of us have forgotten, Osama Bin Laden and all the terrorists associated with 9-11 were/are Saudi Arabian, not Afghan, not Iraqi.)

Who are these people and what are they really up to? Making a lot of money on the backs of average citizens, ruining our economy for their own private gain, and getting away with it scott-free.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Breakdown on the Way to Enlightenment

Sometimes things have to breakdown before things get better.

Right now our country is in the middle of a political crisis. Do we tell the truth about the immense possibility of total financial collapse -- we had it coming! Or do we use it for immense political power-mongering?

I like to avoid coming out with intensely controversial political statements, especially in print. But this particular economic crisis comes on the heels of an economic crisis of a more suspicious kind: a lot of people made a lot of money in both the dot.com boom and in the subsequent housing crisis that followed. Skyrocketing housing prices have made wonderful places in the world like Santa Cruz very stressful places to live. But this is not just true here. It's the case in every reasonable sized community in the country. Nobody is talking about the enormous gains made by people in the banking and real estate market in recent years. We're only talking about how the excess of greed that was rampant then has practically bankrupted those same institutions now.

I'm not saying a financial overhaul isn't required -- it is! But the biggest changes that need to happen involve sound business choices made with the understanding that we're all in this country together. The wealthy should not be bailed out on the backs of the poor. Ideally, it's time that dynamic was turned around.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Giving the Blog a Facelift


Well, I tackled something I was afraid to try today. I found out how to change this blog over to a 3-column format. It required editing the code and I was very concerned that I would screw everything up. I'd far prefer to use the standard Blogger templates but they don't provide one that looks like this.

Kind of a theme in my life -- and a metaphor for what's happening for me and Paul right now. We both would far prefer to have a simple life, to be able to find a ready-made situation that's just right for us, be able to plug ourselves in, and just go to work like everyone else. We like being self-employed but it's tiring to always have to work hard at doing so much ourselves!

But we both like things in our lives to be the way we like them. We don't like settling for something that's not really appealing to us. So, for example, when I needed a special feeling of home in order to move into a less than desirable rental several years ago I came up with the idea of putting in a fake fireplace. I searched and searched over the internet to find such a thing. They make them -- people use them for enclosures for gas fireplaces to make them look more like the real thing. But many of them were ugly and the ones that weren't were incredibly expensive.

Finally I determined to make one for myself. Keep in mind that I am not a carpenter, had never even taken a high school woodshop class, and had NEVER attempted something like this in my life. But I have been a bit of a seamstress and I've made my own patterns before. I thought to myself that if I could only find the items I needed to make it look good, "how hard could this be?"

One day I took a short trip into the mountains to poke around in the thrift stores and antique shops. I was hoping to find an old mantlepiece I could restore. That didn't happen within a price range I could afford but I did find a wonderful Balinese wood-carved mirror with doors that opened that had been ruined by being painted white and no longer had a mirror inside. I thought that if I painted it black it would look like one of those decorative wrought iron fireplace grates that are used to keep burning embers from flying out and burning the house down and it does. I took it home and, after the same kind of hesitation and hemming and hawing I did around redesigning this blog, just bit the bullet and dove right in.

Here's a picture of the finished work. It's in the spiritual counseling office I share with Paul now and it adds the perfect touch of homey warmth we wanted for that space.

Paul and I are spending a lot of time surfing the net and shopping around for the perfect yet inexpensive video camera to replace one we just sold because it didn't record in the proper format to simply upload to our Mac. I hope we don't regret that we sold that one because we didn't succeed in finding a replacement we're satisfied with yet. We know what we need exists -- we even have our eye on a Canon DSLR / video combination that we would love to have. (21 megapixels!) But so far it feels out of our price range. It's so new it's not even planned to be on the market until November and we're hoping we can sell the cameras we have and do whatever else we can to raise the money by then. But we haven't accepted the project entirely yet. Like the blog, like the fireplace, like any number of other things we have both done, we want to avoid doing the hard work of making this happen. We keep wanting to find a far less expensive ready-made solution we could just buy off the shelf now. But I keep having a sneaky suspicion that it's not going to work out that way. The tiny video camera we bought for $150 is awful and is going back to Circuit City tomorrow. We might try something else, a Kodak Easyshare that's on sale for the same price, and I still kind of hope that works out. But I wouldn't be surprised if we gave that one away, too.

So here's my new blog. I'm not sure if I like it yet. Still working out the details. But I'm proud of myself for giving it a try and I like that I figured out how to add a colorful photograph over the header.

Any comments or suggestions?

The cat who inspired the painting at the top of the page is in my lap right now. She keeps touching the keyboard with her feet and typing her additions as I type.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Following Ourselves

Denise Lindquist from Boston, Massachusetts makes plush toys that she sells internationally over the internet from her shop at Etsy.com. Click here to see them all. This one she calls "Butt Ugly Buddy" and says it comes with a mouth full of love.

Funny stuff.

But there's another rabbit I want to put up today.

This is one I made myself years ago. I used to keep it in our spiritual counseling office and then it got forgotten about and shunted away. He's back in our office now because of its potential symbolic influence on us.

Rabbit never had any other name but Rabbit and he's dressed like myself or at least how I used to dress when I made him. I don't own clothes that look like that now.

When I did energy healing work long distance before I met Paul I used to use Rabbit as a surrogate, a stand-in to represent the person I was sending healing to, but we don't need to use any sort of prop like that now. Never really did but I didn't realize that at one time. And that's why he got put aside.

But funny thing about metaphorical rabbits. At the time I put Rabbit down as a healing tool I put my confidence in my own healing ability down as well. Instead I put Paul's healing ability above my own. I started to let Paul take the lead in all the energy healing work we do, started to stand off to a side to observe, relegated myself to a helper role in the work he was doing, and concentrated instead on doing the counseling.

Paul protested. Thought it was detrimental to my self-confidence. Worried that it was an unhealthy dynamic but there wasn't anything he could do to convince me. He was just so much more confident and at ease.

In recent weeks we've been asking for breakthroughs and an interesting thing happened in our last several sessions. Paul started to counsel more like I do (taking on roles for the client to relate to and other more advanced techniques) and I was given the lead in the energy healing. I've been doing a good job, too. We both have been!

It was a confidence-building experience. Paul maybe needed it less than I did but it was good for both of us to see.

I'm thinking much more confidence building is yet to come. Paul's talking about wanting to share himself through mass media, maybe doing a series of videos again. I'm trying to explore avenues for putting our writing out more in the public view. Neither one of us understands how any of this fits in with finding another place to live but being able to believe in ourselves, I think, is a very important part.

Feel Like "Following" My Blog?

Blogger has a brand new feature I'm trying out. It's called "following." I suspect it's most useful for people who have a Blogger account themselves because signing up for a blog's RSS feed takes care of it for everyone else.

You do know about RSS feeds, right? See the "Subscribe" buttons to the top right of my blog? If you click there, I hear, you'll get some kind of notification when I put something up. That way you don't have to check all the time and wind up disappointed when I go into a blogging slump and don't say anything for awhile.

But if you have a blog yourself (or maybe just a Google account, I'm not sure), "Following" is a helpful tool. The last few posts by someone you are following show up on your Blogger dashboard. You can read the first few sentences and headline and decide at a glance whether you want to check their blog out that day. You can also be seen as a "Fan" on that person's blog.

If you look a little further down the page on the right hand side of my blog....keep going down....it's just below the section marked "Video Bar" (click on one of our videos while you're there!)..... you'll see a section marked "Followers." I put this on my blog yesterday and so far have two Etsy crafters following me. If you click on the "Follow this Blog" link you can be listed as a Fan, too!

I'm following a blog written by an "Evolutionary Psychologist." Have you ever heard of such a thing? I hadn't but she writes about the most interesting stuff. For example, check out her latest post about hugging and chimpanzees.

It's kind of fun!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bunny Loves


Vol25 offered me this for the Rabbit (cheering up Sheryl) Project. I love it! Visit her shop by clicking here!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It Looked Like a Duck...

but it didn't quack.

The retreat center we were so excited about receiving an interview for sent us an email, presumably to tell us the "truth" about the job we were applying for, but it told us a truth about them instead.

When a retreat center with a long and illustrious history of doing work in the field of human potential and consciousness sends a letter explaining that the job they were offering -- for which they had a very long list of requirements -- requires potentially up to 128 hours a week of unpaid service in exchange for a mobile home that needs work in order to be brought up to "modest at best" (their words) living conditions, something is rotten in Denmark. Thank God, they were too embarrassed about what they were doing to allow us to drive 2 1/2 hours up to their retreat center for the interview and back. We were able to turn down the interview and diplomatically come as close as I get to reading them the riot act instead.

We knew the job required living on site and being on-call for taking care of the needs of the retreat center workshop leaders and guests on evenings and weekends. We knew it was an exchange for housing. What we never believed possible was that it would be such an unbalanced and unacceptable exchange.

We had had a warning in advance. Because we were nervous about the interview I called the Residential Manager of a retreat center I've been to many times near Santa Cruz. I needed to know what she felt were important things to watch out for and ask about in a job such as this. She was wonderful! Laid out in great detail what you need to do the job successfully, what boundaries need to be set and what very dangerous thing to watch out for: being told that you were responsible for emergency repairs, etc. and then finding out that the maintenance staff never does its job so you're doing their job in addition to your own. Because you happen to be there...and you clearly have nothing else to do...

"On-call" means you're not needed a lot of the time so it's easy to think a person in this position is doing nothing at all, at least from the absent and jealous daytime staff's point of view. "They're getting free rent, what are they complaining about?" Forgetting of course what a rental actually costs and how many hours of paid work that would normally entail. 30% - 50% (in Santa Cruz) of your salary. That's 12 to at most 20 hours a week.

This job had specific hours and responsibilities that would add up to several hours a week right there. (How many hours are not stated.) But on-call doesn't mean you're not working. On-call means being at the ready, available and prepared to jump into action whenever it is required. You can't leave the site unattended. You can't go to a job that actually pays anything, go out to eat or even see a movie without making a specific arrangement to do so. You shouldn't be expected to do that 128 hours a week without back-up relief and you certainly shouldn't be required to do the maintenance staff's deferred work in addition to the work you were told to do. ("Be proactive about fixing things" is what the email heads-up said. The job we applied for said "emergency repairs when needed.")

We heeded the warning. We turned it down. And we're still sitting here shaking our heads about how this amazing manifestation we thought we had created had gone so very seriously wrong.

More Bunny Love

This bunny was gifted to me by Jenn Maruska Design. She plans to use it to decorate the top of a handmade needlebook used to hold needles and other small but useful sewing supplies like safety pins and buttons. Pretty cute for travel or everyday use. You can see more of what she does by clicking the link to her shop here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bunnies in a Hot Tub

Marshmallow scented bunnies in a hot tub! To remind me to lighten up, relax and enjoy the ride? And expect the unexpected, perhaps?

This is a candle made by Sweet Innoscents. She makes a wild assortment of dessert-shaped candles. Pie, cheesecake, hot fudge sundaes. Very fun, creative silly stuff. You can visit her shop by clicking here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit



Weirdbuglady has no rabbits in her Etsy shop so she sent me this video of her pet rabbit instead. She does, however, have really cute soft sculpture bugs (!) and assorted other stuff. Check her shop out by clicking here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Keeping the Momentum Going

Paul and I have an interview at the retreat center we're interested in on Thursday this week. Wish us luck!

Today's trio of rabbit charms reside on a necklace designed by Thrifty Bunny from the San Francisco Bay area. If we get this retreat center position we'll be able to stay in the Bay area ourselves, north of San Francisco which is really quite pretty (Napa Valley, Marin, the North Coast, etc.) Visit Thrift Bunny's shop by clicking here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Getting Our Feet Ready for Walking


My email inbox is often an amusing source of guidance. For instance, Paul and I are quite concerned about the need to move even though Santa Cruz has not been the best place for our healing practice. Most of our clients either travel to see us or work with us by phone and we want to be in a situation where our work will be more accessible. Yesterday I got this message from a spiritually-oriented marketing firm using spiritual messages as a way to gain attention for the variety of products they hope to sell:

` Whoever comes is the right people.
` Whatever happens is the only thing that could have.
` When it starts, is the right time.
` When it's over, it's over.

If you are neither learning nor contributing, you have a responsibility, to yourself and to others, to use your two feet and move to some place more to your liking.

Well, alright then. If they say it, it must be true! :-)

Our primary concern is where to go and how to get there. We're waiting to hear about an opportunity to work at a retreat center devoted to transformational growth and consciousness. We'd be able to live on the site, greet guests and be available to help make events and workshops run well. And we'd have the time we need to continue our practice and do our own work. Hopefully we'll know whether we're in the running for that in a few days.

Today's rabbit was contributed by Cherrypips in Hull, East Yorkshire, UK. I used to have family living in Hull, MA. I chose this one just because I liked it but after I posted it here I read part of the description used to sell this bunny brooch named Celandine:

Celandine loves flowers, spring meadows are her very favourite place. She loves the smell of new fresh grass and watching butterflies as they sweep around from daisies to buttercups.

She is cute and cuddly and looking to relocate!

Well, that sounds like me!

Cherrypips sells wonderful felt brooches and accessories. Very cheerful, colorful stuff. Check it out by clicking here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Calling in Those Rabbits!

Nakisha Elsje VanderHoeven from Seattle, WA has a shop full of wonderful rabbits: rabbits flying, rabbits reading, rabbits in boats. This one looked the most like prosperity to me right now. Thank you, Nakisha! Visit her Etsy shop by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Do You Want Genetically Modified Foods in Your Kids' Lunchbox?

A new article released by the Organic Consumers Association raises some alarm bells on this subject today. In this article it is reported that science experiments done by elementary school and high school students (and repeated every year) have shown that mice fed genetically modified (GM) foods -- particularly those found in the junk foods most of us eat every day -- dramatically changed their behavior.

In one study, done in Appleton, Wisconsin, students fed three mice a diet of "junk food" (the article does not state what those foods were) and fed control mice a normal diet of nutritious whole foods. Within a short time the junk food -fed mice became violent. They destroyed a cardboard shelter in their cage, dramatically changed their sleep patterns, fought with each other, and eventually two of them killed the third mouse and ate it. The control mice exhibited none of these behaviors and remained happy and calm. I have problems with this study because it is not clear whether the GM content of the food had anything to do with this behavior or if the foods chosen were things a mouse would ordinarily choose to eat. Perhaps, the mice were starving?

But another study cited in the article is even more startling because its methodology seems more correct. Students in Holland chose to do a similar study but they focused on GM versions of food mice might reasonably expect to be eating (corn and soy) and compared the results to mice fed the same foods without genetically-modified content. The mice fed GM soy and corn stopped playing together, acted fearful and tried to climb the walls of their cage. One mouse was found dead by the end of the experiment. The author of the article didn't say so but I'm assuming the non GM-fed mice did not or the study would not have made it to the public eye. (I hate great articles on important topics that leave out important details!)

The reason I have chosen to report on this article is because in our practice we have come to believe that changes in our food supply have led to an increase in ADD (attention deficit disorder), autism and other rapidly emerging epidemics of the modern age. Other factors, too, like mercury-tainted vaccines, foods eaten by mothers when their babies were in the womb, and factors beyond the control of the average American to take hold of given our propensity to trust in authorities to protect us.

But when multinational corporations with budgets larger than most countries are involved in the game it makes sense to pull out the stops to make sure the games they are playing come to the public's attention. In Europe there is a significant and growingly successful movement to ban GM foods from schools. Until Monsanto and other companies like them are held to the same standards of safety we demand from anyone else, I'd suggest we do the same.

Long-term studies on the effect of eating a diet high in GM content have never been done from an epidemiological standpoint. It can't be done because that would require subjecting entire populations to experimental conditions not unlike what the children in Wisconsin did to those mice. Do you want that happening to your children? Do you want it happening to you?

Surprise! If you're eating a typical Amercian diet already laden with heavily processed foods -- the typical American junk food laden diet -- you are already participating in an uncontrolled experiment of major proportions. Most of us under the age of 50 have been participating our entire lives.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Symbolism of Rabbits


Doing a little research on the topic of rabbits brings up a pretty wide assortment of folk belief about their relative worth. Some cultures don't view rabbits in a positive light -- probably because of their fearfulness and timidity and, no doubt, the trickery they employ to destroy a garden in no time flat.

Most cultures do, however, revere rabbits in one way or another. They are symbols of fertility, abundance and prosperity, rebirth, promise and fulfillment. I just know that when a rabbit comes into my life I feel good. Even the idea that a rabbit has the ability to work with its natural timidity by using its intelligence and ingenuity to get what it wants is a positive value for me right now. It's no wonder that in the United States and parts of Europe the rabbit is still considered a powerful good luck charm.

This evening's rabbit was provided by Silly Kitty, an Etsy shop based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She makes all kinds of cute crocheted, felted, knit and origami things. Check her shop out here.

Rabbits Galore!

The rabbits are pouring in!


This rabbit is handpainted on wood from the shop of Once Upon a Room, seller of handpainted furniture and accessories for kids. Check out her shop on Esty.com here.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Mama Love is Featured on Another Blog!

The bunnies must be working! Mama Love was featured on the Etsy Organic blog. Click here to check it out.

Benny the Bunny

Robin Thompson sent me this photo of her baby bunny named Benny. Robin does photography. You can see more of her work at her shop, Robin Thompson Photography on Etsy.com. Thank you Robin!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Prosperity Rabbit?

Well, if a prosperity rabbit is one that makes you laugh, this one definitely fits! Thank you, Ugly Gerbil, for your contribution to our prosperity consciousness. Ugly Gerbil makes a wonderful assortment of crocheted monsters (for the little monsters in your life?). Check out her shop here.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Wishing for Rabbits


Rabbits are a symbol of prosperity for me. Paul and I could really use some rabbits right now so I asked the members of Etsy.com to help out. Mary Richmond from Cape Cod, MA sent me this one. You can see more of her sweet watercolors at Mary Richmond Design.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Mama Love Featured in a Sweet Looking Blog

Sweetirie is a jewelry maker on Etsy and she has a really nice blog where she does features on other Etsy artists. She interviewed me recently and put her blog feature with me up today. Check it out!

Spiritual Counseling Team for Your Retreat, Bookstore or Healing Center


Paul and I are putting out a vision, our vision. We're required to move from our home and home office very soon and have been seeking a new situation with a lot of the same good stuff but more and better, too.

We do firmly believe that when one door closes another one opens. Sometimes we squeal about it, sometimes not. As we have discussed numerous times, we'd like more face time with clients and potential clients. Anytime we bring it up, visions of a spiritual retreat center, with a gift shop, maybe a cafe come up. Or sometimes it's simply a spiritual bookstore with a private room for counseling and healing. Sometimes we envision a very similar space to what we have now: more residential in appearance, and maybe we do live in the back, or off to the side, but the front structure is definitely business: it's a storefront with proper signage and in a good location for doing business.

As many of you know we are engaged in multiple business interests. In addition to our joint healing and counseling practice, I am an artist, a non-fiction author, and sole owner /proprietor of Mama Love Products which is a line of healing body care products. I manufacture and sell the line myself to both wholesale and retail markets. I'm also primary web-designer and marketer for much of what we do.

Paul is an author of fiction / creative non-fiction, and an accomplished photographer. It's not hard at all for us to imagine a single venue stocked with our art and photography (cards and prints) our books, articles and stories, body products and other gift items, a treatment room and even a small photographic portrait studio. Of course, there'd be a website too. Oh, and surprise! I keep intuiting a bed and breakfast as playing a possible part in all this.

Many parts of this are already a part of our lives—it would be easy to transfer many of these skills and abilities to a creative collaboration —but we have not yet found the physical space, the partners and financial backing, at least not yet.

Our fantasy is that someone who reads our newsletter or one of our blogs knows someone who needs our help in their metaphysical bookshop / bed & breakfast / retreat center or the equivalent. And that they’d love to have a special spiritual counseling and healing team join their staff. Since housing is also one of our primary concerns various possibilities in regards to compensation might be worked out.

If anyone reading this fits this description or thinks they may know someone who could use our help, please pass this newsletter on to those people and get in touch with us. Send a note via email or call us (831) 325-4076.

Thank you.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sleep, Baby, Sleep -- Chamomile Flower Essence


This image from my Flower Essence Awareness Deck (still in the works) is what I created for Chamomile Flower Essence.

Chamomile tea is an age-old remedy for insomnia and restlessness, especially for children, and has also traditionally been used for colic and a wide range of other stomach upsets. In Flower Essence Therapy Chamomile is used the same way but works specifically on releasing emotional tension that tends to build throughout the course of a busy or stressful day.

I use Chamomile in both essential oil and flower essence form in my popular Mama Love for Restful Sleep Flower Essence Aromatherapy formula, available as a "perfume" and as a body, bath or massage oil for more extensive use.

Chamomile is a sunny plant. Used regularly it can help you remember that the sun is always out even when it's hidden behind the clouds. Relax and breathe, imagine resting in your own little patch of Chamomile, and release.

This image is available as a 6 x 9 print through my Etsy shop. It can also be found on greeting cards, mugs, T-shirts, totebags and a wide variety of other products through Cafepress .