Kristen posted one of her versions a while back, and Lauren just wrote about her most recent aspirations. Of course, now I'm lit up and ready to write my own! So here they are, my most current transformational disciplines!
- Daily super herbal elixirs with my favorite nutrient-rich superfoods, raw plant-based protein powder, and jing-building tonic herbs.
- Daily green veggies (preferably wild-harvested or home-grown), fermented food, plenty of protein rich seeds, seaweeds and algaes
- Minimal amounts of glycemic sweets (mostly use stevia & xylitol for now)
- More spring water, in the morning and throughout the day
I do all of this already, so this isn't a huge shift, just some intuitive tweaking in the direction of increasing my intake of tonic herbs, greens, wild foods and ferments... foods that definitely take me further into ecstatic realms!
For the past few months I have also been laying off the sweets almost entirely, for some deeper healing. After years of an extremely unbalanced high-sweet-fruit diet (many years ago), I lost interest in store-bought, mono-cropped sweet fruits, and switched to local raw honey as my main sweet food. I've been re-balancing even further lately, by only occasionally eating honey, and enjoying more foods that are rich in protein, healthy fats, and minerals.
I am also focused on building my blood right now, currently using a food-based iron/B-12 supplement (and a couple of powerful Chinese yin jing tonic herbs), inspired by a recent realization that I've had varying levels of anemia for the past 16 years. I have a whole plan for strengthening my blood to levels I have yet to EVER experience, and I'm very excited about the effects this will have (and already is having) on every part of my life!
I feel best when I enjoy some form of ecstatic movement (joyful exercise) daily. Variety works great for me. My favorites are:
- Ecstatic Dance. I love going to group ecstatic dances, and for a more consistent dancing fix, my absolute favorite exercise ever is being outside by myself at night, with headphones, dancing myself into another dimension to energetic and uplifting music. This is something I used to do every night for years, sometimes into the wee hours of the morning. I re-discovered this greatest-of-pleasures just a few days ago, and afterward felt so ridiculously amazing that I was floored I had forgotten it for so long! It is truly a Divine Worship practice for me.
- Long walks. Another thing I did every day for many, many years. It's my moving meditation, therapy, and creative inspiration. After my son was born, I did my best to maintain this practice somewhat regularly, by putting him into a carrier and walking with him on my back or front. My daily walks fell away at some point, and when I added them back in, I had some immediate serious upgrades in my daily mood and well-being.
- Strength building. Besides yoga, this has yet to be a consistent practice for me at any point in my life, so I still kind of feel like a newbie in this area. I've done enough sporadic experimentation to have developed some familiarity with various exercises and their effects, so I am slowly adding them in with more regularity and building my confidence. I desire to discover how being physically stronger than ever will affect me in all areas of my life. Will keep you updated! :)
Nature Connection & Earth Skills
For the past few years, I've had a major interest in changing my lifestyle and adapting my body and mind to feel really comfortable in nature. This has included developing skill and confidence in gardening, growing fruit and nut trees, foraging wild edible & useful plants, walking barefoot on a variety of terrains, building my nerve force by consciously increasing my tolerance to temperature extremes (like hot & cold weather and water), and fine-tuning my ability to observe and be aware of nature's subtle messages (which all wild animals are acutely aware of).
I have come a long way. My interest in these skills is mainly because I find nature to be far more inspiring and aesthetically pleasing than the man-made world, and I desire to reduce my dependency on all the intricately intertwined aspects of "the system" (consumerism, slave labor, government, currencies, climate-controlled boxes, modern entertainment, and the like). This has resulted in a slowly shifting self-identity... feeling I am "in the (man-made) world, but not of it", and able to feel myself as originating from and being home in nature (God's creation). This brings deep peace to my soul, and I long to go deeper.
So this continues to be an essential area of self-improvement for me.
- Connect daily with the seasonal wild edibles of whatever area I'm in, by eating them. Currently it's the young spring greens like chickweed, dock (the short time window when dock actually tastes good raw!), wild lettuce, dandelion, henbit, and plenty more. Also enjoying wild edibles I have previously harvested and preserved.. right now that includes sumac berries, dried horsetail, vitex & pine pollen tinctures, pecans, lotus nuts, and some tea herbs like fennel & bee balm. Continue learning more about edible and useful wild plants.
- Continue strengthening my nerve force by enjoying temperature extremes. In Mount Shasta, this meant taking daily walks in the snowy cold, doing occasional "snow plunges" (rolling in the snow in my swimsuit!), and dipping in cold rivers and lakes! During my current Texas visit, it will mainly involve being outside during the wild weather fluctuations of the winters here. In a very short time, it can often go through cold, rainy, warm, balmy, windy, and more. Good for adaptability practice!
- Plant gardens everywhere I go. The more I do it, the more nuances I learn, and the easier it gets. This morning I scrounged up some starter pots and dirt, and planted kale and radish seeds. We'll be here just long enough to enjoy eating them. Then we'll go somewhere else and plant another garden!
Thank you, Lauren, for inspiring me to share my current practices with my world! And thank you Debbie, Joanna & Kristen for being my amazing friends and enthusiastic transformation partners!
Anyone else up for some Ecstatic Transformation?! Share your current aspirations, and what you're doing about them, below, or post a link!