Thursday, September 26, 2013

Celebrating the Feminine | My Best Summer Seasonal Bites

Wild Woman Adri

"A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform." -Diane Mariechild

Summer of LOVE 

What a year this is turning out to be! The Year of the Feminine Water Snake has been rockin' my world!  My inner Wild Woman Goddess/Lioness is breaking free + here to stay! I never imagined myself connecting with my feminine nature beyond skirts, makeup + aprons. That's just it, though:  I never imagined femininity to be a strength nor recognized it as a beautiful discovery of self that is both so powerful + special.   What I had thought was something concrete, something you put on or show off is now something I believe can't be touched or formed, but something I can feel with my mind, body + soul.  It comes from the food I eat, the people I engage with, my environment, what I do + how I see my life.
With the slithering water snake bringing sexuality and femininity to light, I've been able to shed my old skin and embrace the inner goddess within.

"Women are the greatest untapped natural resource in the world." -Mama Gena

Guides to Goddessdom

My quest to love myself + others began a couple of years ago + when I put that energy out there, the Universe answered the call slowly but surely.  As I patiently waited, many incredible books have found their way in my hands, to my eyes + through to my mind.  I transitioned away from the negative views of books like Why Men Love Bitches + into more positive, female empowering books.   The focus shifted from fixing yourself for the approval of others to loving yourself infinitely as you are.  My heart has grown so big thanks to these books!

"Mama Gena," author Regena Thomashauer, with her belief that all women are Sister Goddesses, Mama Gena helped plant the seed of my future femininity as I read School of Womanly Arts. Mama Gena introduced the idea that when you put your own pleasure first, the rest of the world will benefit.  Of course this makes sense, seeing that when you listen to what your body needs + you take care of that need, you are satisfied and happy.  A pleased woman in tune with her needs + feelings can be a pretty powerful energy.

I reunited with my inner creative through Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way.  By writing morning pages daily + having weekly artist dates I was able to feed my inner artist.  Anytime you express your creativity you are putting something beautiful and unique out into the world for yourself and others to enjoy.  You are giving a gift while setting your soul free.

Typical journal sesh.
Journaling my way through Succulent Wild Woman was an absolute treat for myself!  Author, Sark, is wild and free + you can't help but let go with her!  Her book is handwritten and includes her doodles + fun illustrations which resemble the way I structure my journals.  This book invites us to "live untamed, juicy and abundantly as women!"

I've recently picked up "The Wild Feminine" and "Women Who Run With Wolves" - both of which have already connected me to the natural world even further.  As my mind expands and I open up to a whole new view of life, I am able to see more and more of the beauty that surrounds us.  When you think it, you can see it.  When you can see it, you can achieve it!

foto_decadent: Bert Stern "Marilyn's Last Sitting"
"To all the girls that think you're fat because you're not a size zero, you're the beautiful one, it's society who's ugly." -Marilyn Monroe

Accepting Body Beautiful

Though I am still fixing my old views on what is beautiful when it comes to the human body, I know that I've come a very long way on the subject.  I continue to let go of past fears, societal expectations + norms.  I eat what makes me happy while keeping a healthy balance of diet + exercise.  I treat all ailments with food, herbal tinctures, herbal teas, water + rest.

I've returned to my au naturel hair color, wear very minimal makeup + gained ten pounds, but for the first time I truly believe I'm beautiful.  It's not easy to gain weight after a nearly two decade run with body dysmorphic disorder - viewing myself as much larger than I actually am.  The funny thing is, I've recently been told by many people that I look healthy and received so many compliments on my glowing skin.  I find my natural hair color is much more complimenting to my skin tone than any other color I've dyed it in the past (go figure!).

It feels good to be me; my actual self!  Hurting, stressing, starving + overworking myself to keep others happy has been replaced with embracing, nurturing, loving + treating my body + mind with kindness to keep myself happy.  I wear what I want, eat what I want, listen to what my body tells me + pay attention to how my heart feels.  I dance around strangers.  I decorate my body with friendship anklets + color.  I smile frequently.  I cry when I need to.  I let go + open up.  I'm not perfect, I'm still figuring it out, but I love myself + that is all I need!

Find the Beauty in Everything

While explaining grammatical gender in my high school spanish class, my teacher mentioned that everything beautiful is feminine (words ending in -a,-as).  Las floras (flowers), la canción (song), la verdad (truth), la pera (pear), la piel (skin), la mañana (the morning), la naturaleza (nature), la montaña (mountain).  Leave it to a romance language to bring awareness to the beauty we experience all around us.  A constant celebration of the feminine, each word is a reminder that beauty always exists.  I have found ways to dance daily with the feminine.  My reminders are the lovely fuchsia, violet, maroon, yellow + pink flowers; drying herbs, living plants, candles, lights + hearts adorning my home.  As my environment has come to life, softened + brightened, I have experienced a similar shift in energy within.  Life, truly, is beautiful.

Happy Birthday to me!  Spent my day with my lovelies at Sweeney Todd put on by the Idaho Shakespeare Festival!
"Women always try to tame themselves as they get older, but the ones who look best are often a bit wilder." -Miuccia Prada

My Lady Tribe

Sexy Poet. Farmer + Gardening Goddesses. Wild Writers. Techie/Mrs. Build-It/Fix-It. Hot for Librarian. Skincare Crafter + Herb Forager. Hair + Beauty Fabulousity Experts. Artists of all mediums. Cyclists. Runners. Music Geeks. Mothers. Grandmothers. Listeners + teachers. I must say, I have one incredibly amazing circle of lady friends + family.

I have SO much love for all of my gal pals who never cease to amaze me with their talent, inspire me with their work + hobbies, love me unconditionally, show me the ways to grow + then give me the space, time + patience to do so.  Each one of these ladies has a very special place in my life + means the world to me.

I have learned to accept + love.  I have learned to forgive + forget.  I have grown stronger + wiser.  I have become brave + confident.  I have become aware + enlightened.  For this, I am forever grateful for you being a part of my life.

Finding My Yoga

Just for shits + giggles, I've gone to different yoga classes here + there over the past couple of years.  I'd catch a class before mimosas with a girlfriend, trying out a free class, checking out a studio for fun.  After a few, more serious, in-home sessions earlier this year with my lady friend, Jen, I was really ready to practice yoga.  With a recommendation from my yogi friend Megan, I popped into the Yoga Tree of Boise, my neighborhood yoga studio.  Very intimate + close to my place, I could see myself practicing in this little zen retreat.

Jen + I chillin' in sukhasana, rockin' some real smiles!
Days turned into months + here I am now, a member of the Yoga Tree since February.  It's rare that I can go a week without coming in for some downward dogging, goin' through my chaturanga flow, hip + heart openers, + my favorite part, completely letting go in savasana.  It has become my "yoga church," my go-to for good energy + a place to connect with positive people. My instructors have become amazing influences to stay strong, yet remain real.  They have become friends + mentors.

Colbie is my go-to instructor sistah when I need to shake it out + dance my bum off.  I also have Colbie to thank for one of my most intense guided meditation bringing me to the happiest tears of joy.  A moment I will forever cherish! The love and welcoming that I have received by Jen... nothing beats walking into yoga and receiving the biggest hug from the biggest smile at "the Tree." Bonds made with other lovely members + instructors make the environment so warm + homey.  MUCH LOVE to Yoga Tree!

My favorite ladies of Yoga Tree, Jen + Colbie!  SO happy to practice with the guidance of these beautiful women!

"A fruit is not afraid of its own weight.  It grows into its skin fully. It is whole, each part of its body equally alive." -Gayle Brandeis

Dishin' up the Best of Local Summer Seasonal Eats + Treats

Squash +  Heirloom Tomato Pizza w/ Rollingstone Chevre's Nasturtium Chevre
on Local Organic Zeppole Village Loaf

Drying Basil 

Dilly Beans + Dill Pickle Canning

Baked Eggplant Parmesan w/ Heirloom Tomato Sauce made by yours truly with my CSA veggies grown by Earthly Delights Farm

Sick Roomie Soup-Off w/ Sickly Roomate, Megan Inspired Mushroom Miso Chicken Veggie Soba Noodle Soup

I was ALL OVER the Avocado Heirloom Tomato Caprese w/ Earthly Delights Basil

Backyard Grapes in Idaho (reminds me of over-the-fence Avocados in Orlando!)

A special Shakespeare Festival dessert Ginger Mascarpone Cheesecake (sweetness thanks to Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, lower glycemic index)


Fresh Juiced Organic Pink Lady Apples

Local Smoked Trout Salad w/ Capers + Earthly Delights Shallots over my garden-grown Kale + Collards

Collard Greens via my garden, it doesn't get any more local than that!
Grilled Spicy Kale Philly with Earthly Delights Tomatoes, garden-grown Peppers + Kale with Mozz on
local, Organic Le Cafe de Paris Country Bread

Garden-grown Veggies in a Coconut Red Thai Curry Sauce

Indian Red Lentil Wrap with Turmeric-Spiced Potatoes, Tomatoes, Peppers + Peas with Greek Pro-Yo + Cilantro

Purple Majesty Baked Potato with sauteed Collards, Kale + Arugula, seasoned with Rosemary 

As I'm typing this, I'm in a sweater jacket + multiple layers of socks. Fall is here + so far, it is very rainy!  I welcome the rain, to wash away the old, to begin anew.  Now is the time to organize + apply all that we've learned through the summer.
New beginnings + organization are certainly occurring in my life with a move to a perfect new place, setting it up + getting rid of old things I no longer need.  Also, saying goodbye to my roommate + one of the best friends I could have ever asked for as I transition to bachelorette life, living alone + all the perks that come with that!  I pick up my last CSA share today + start my Fall Cleanse soon.

Cheers to new beginnings!  May you all enjoy the beauty and opportunities that Fall has to offer!