A new year, a fresh beginning. (But isn't every breath a fresh death, a new beginning? Each moment?) 
Here we go! 


A year of hope and heartbreak, boredom and adventure. A year of possibilities and perserverance, pain and pleasure. A year, indeed. My year: half a year of school, finishing school, then traveling in the USA again, experiencing the freeing yet dreaded “no schedule” that that completion offers, the ensuing questions, the fresh journey of refinding and redefining myself, and beginning to share in new ways, with new projects: Jiling Botanicals, travel-teaching-and-consulting, house-sitting-hopping, and more.

Cheers to endings, which were once beginnings. Cheers to beginnings, which are just endings transforming themselves into something that looks and feels new. Cheers to another step towards death, via a full life, such a full full life, one day after another.

I started “Project ME” (My Evolution) in 2005. This is the ninth year of the project’s evolution, and documents quite a journey, a journey of days. I started writing daily sentences mid July of this year. I strung together all of this year’s sentences underneath the 2014 Project ME collection. I share, in hopes that whatever glimmers of humanity you notice, you may relate as you choose, and feel less alone in this journey of life. Or, enjoy just experiencing a glimpse of another’s life, my life, via a day by day, step by step, constantly evolving, personal documentary.

May you fully digest your own events of the past year, and move into the new year with strength of will, clarity of purpose, and peace of heart. May every particle of your being sing to its highest potential in each moment, and may you be fully there to enjoy the symphony.

- Jiling  

Watching the river move the moss stuck against the stones, suddenly I notice myself removed from myself, then return again, even more present than before. I’m back at home, in the home where I grew up. The sun flows like a river down over the mountains and cacti, bringing a new day in with bird song. Packing and unpacking stuff perhaps takes up half my life’s activities. I hope that all my work is truly helpful. I’m back at my favorite place in the world: on a rock, in the middle of a stream, with dappling sun and shade, bird song, and a light breeze. Heath is multidimensional, as are people. Weight-sharing, connecting through the center, feeling the plumb-line, listening, giving and receiving... thus is contact improvisation, a relationship, all of Life. When I overeat, my belly protrudes from my body as if I’m pregnant, or wearing a basketball. I spend a lot of time packing and unpacking, preparing and planning, processing and digesting, reflecting. The wind blows cold awareness into my limbs. Stepping back, all the important little things suddenly look so trivial, compared with the countless stars and giant stones of this grandiose landscape. Walking up the moonlit path feels like walking towards the Temple of the Sky Gods. The pine arms reach across the brightening blue sky towards the neighboring mountains, with golden sunlight pouring down their steep gray scree fields. After eight years, today is a day where old dreams and goals finally come into fruition. Anger turns even the most magical, beautiful landscape a dull, ugly sheen. The rising sun illuminates all the stones that stand like sentinels, saluting the gracefully reaching pines, calling cows and birds, and wind that wraps itself into the deepest reaches of my very being. This morning’s sun reflects last night’s tears and blood. I’ve entered this new world with Opuntia wrightii gloccids in my mouth, hands, feet, and more. Fully moving into a place without fully knowing how long I will stay or what I will do feels familiarly like trusting the Universe, gambling with God, and surrendering to intuition, led by love. Life is filled with tiny details that coalesce together into a massive whole, that may or may not make sense, depending on the viewer’s perspective, and state of mind. With a straight yet flexible spine, my core is strong, and I stand up for myself and my beliefs. I feel exhausted most of the time. To know, to love, and to be completely present with are ideally simultaneous, but oftentimes separate. I don’t know where I’m going, but I know I’m going somewhere right. I want to create something beautiful, useful, and long lasting today, and everyday. Unfulfilled creative potential feels like a growing bomb getting ready to explode within me. I’m about ready to implode, right now. The mosquitoes here are almost worse than in New England. Part of me loves going nonstop, and part of me just feels unrepairably tired. I live my life as art. It’s been a really good morning. I love the feeling of infinite possibility, like I can walk forever, and the wilderness opens to receive me, with endless new discoveries around every bend and minutiae. The canyon stretched before us like a twisted snake of mysterious bends, a richly rolling river, diverse plants, and gently towering cliffs looming above, topped by growling thunder and darkening clouds bearing life-giving rains. I love when I can skillfully ride my dosha like the bad-ass spirited human that I am, behind and through the dosha. I will return in one month; I know, I promise, I will. Sleeping under the stars in my mosquito net castle, serenaded by passing cars, crickets, and mosquitoes, I cuddle tighter into my wool blanket on my oak leaf bed, feeling at peace, at home, and completely embraced by the world. I am in love with his eyes, smile, being, and questions. The hitchhiking gods beamed upon me, yesterday. I love, love, love mountains, canyons, rivers, deserts, and ecstatic exploration. I’m letting go of preconceived notions and this chattering mind, and settling in, opening up. I’m not always this charismatic, but I’m having fun. I’m sleeping here for the final night, as clouds move across the full moon, and I question all that I think I know, and believe in. In five days, I’ve added so many things to my inner toolkit: heart-field expansion, inner child and inner infant work, inner vision council, and scanning awareness. There’s something I love so much about canyons that words just can’t describe. Walking away, I feel the heat of what I’m leaving, the tangible-visible-innate magic, mystery, and majesty of these labyrinth-like canyons, these echoing red rock cliff faces, and these ancient stones that say so much, with nary a word at all. Feeling my skin against his again is so much more delightful than just thinking about it. I am finding my internal middle ground, that perfect settling place of understanding that external perfection can only be found through an internal acceptance (and even enjoyment) of all things and life circumstances as perfectly imperfect. The individual stories either weave themselves into an elegant basket that breathes, flexible and supportive, or they create an impenetrable wall of protection that dulls sensory input and acts as a cage to the owner, and all they encounter. The Moon gracefully walked across the Sky, between the path created by the opening between the trees, beneath which we slumbered and dreamed delicious dreams. Everything that I thought I knew feels fake and empty, like I have nothing solid to return to, and nothing to look forward to, or live for. Although I feel a complete and utter desolation of my Spirit right now, I also feel glad to be on this farm with the morning cacophony of horny hungry geese, ducks, and chickens, and in the company of all these fruit trees, veggies, herbs, and my dear old friend that feels like the most inspiring and hilarious younger brother I’ve ever had. I want to know how to help someone--- how to help myself--- in those moments when the human Spirit loses all resolve, motivation, and excitement for life. This sunrise glinting through all the dewdrops that appeared overnight gives me hope. We must go through the dark forest, not around it. My entire being is spinning with ideas, inspiration, and excitement. I want to remember this feeling of empassioned and bold aliveness, with hearing Wolf and so many other acclaimed herbalists telling us to be bad, not be afraid, and go out and create lasting positive change in the world and our communities. It feels so nice to be this comfortable, and to truly rest. I feel so tired, excited, stressed, inspired, overwhelmed, overworked, overstimulated, and just ridiculous right now. Herbalism is about establishing relationships with plants and the world around us, and facilitating that for our clients and community, too. The mountains told me to stop for a moment, so I did. While the winds stir up dust, clouds, and emotions, I sit under the shade of this large stone, watching the landscape do its dance of the day , and listening to its stories. I stayed awake all night to feel the wind toss my body across the stern granite ocean, to go prancing and howling across the desert mountains, hills, and plains with my coyote brethren, and to watch the stars dance across the sky, with lightning illuminating the neighboring mountains, breathing the deepest breaths of peace, delight, and truly Earthen blessings. I feel terrified yet delighted, ecstatic to scale these dangerous fourth class Arizona canyon walls that take me seemingly nowhere but up, dangerously up. During the in-between hours of dawn and twilight, there’s a certain timelessness and transience that permeates the landscape with a magic and beauty that is explosive yet subtle in all its vibrant potential. Is this the peace before the storm, or is it just peace? The first step of my journey of a thousand miles began today, by painting our/ my future/ upcoming clinic a deep/ bright earthen red. I possess an obsessive compulsion to complete what I’ve started, even though I still can’t fathom just how it will all work out. I am building a temple. I love working with mental illness. Living off-grid again might be an upcoming reality, which I embrace. Clouds feel protective right now, as I hide. I found a hawk feather, golden Cottonwood leaves, a dried river bed that flows into more, Osage Orange fruit, apple butter, a dead mouse, a massive black walnut tree, a field of Yerba Manza, a killed javelina, and how to renew life and hope from what feels like a deadened spirit: time. I woke up dreaming about labels. Today the Herb Temple, albeit incomplete, opens its doors to the public. Today’s our six month anniversary, between spring and autumn, and two hearts, two paths, two lives that converged and mutually decided to continue dancing together, to the clapping hands and delight of the Universe, herself. This morning, I promised this wild western winding muddy magnificent river of the Gila watershed, with its Heathen’s Baptismal hot springs, to unleash my tongue: as “good” (societally acceptable) me floats down the river, “bad” (societally overwhelming, alarmingly wild and untamed) me dances boisterously, naked and howling. Transition is a funnel: death to one life, purgatory, then rebirth into a new life. The fairy dusters have blossomed for the second time this year, late in the season, testament to the surprising amounts of rain, coupled with the encroaching cold via wintry nights, yet sunshiny days. The nights are now cold enough that Akimel, our coyote-chow puppy, sleeps on the bed with us, most notably wedging his little coppery golden body between my legs in the middle of the night. I just said, “yes” to something that I don’t wholly agree with, and find confusing yet alluring, but don’t feel like I have anything else fitting to say, “yes” to with my entire being, at the moment. My fears rise up like a flock of birds, lifting to cover the sky of my heart with their fluttering wings of questions, doubts, confusion, and the bones of despair, an underlying feeling of complete inadequacy. I’m glad to cry, rest, write, and take a day to myself to dream, be, emote, and dive into the waters of teary eyed emotional creativity with many pots of tea. We laughed, danced, cried, and had a really good time taking a chance and having a blast, to remember this moment for the rest of our lives. We walked across the starlit landscape hand in hand, surveying the Milky Way while discussing the mundane challenges and triumphs of our busy yet banal lives. I really don’t know anything at all, for there’s really nothing to know--- and that’s it. Gravity drew me, bike and all, down the gully and into the gravelly wash; pendulumatic motions and muscles drew me back out again, screaming and laughing with unfettered delight. I’m not sure what happened, but all has suddenly lost meaning once more, and I’m drowning in my own tears. That trip brought me to my knees. I have questions that revolve around culture, belonging, place, home, being, purpose, choice, meaning, and possibility. The satisfying feeling of going fast towards somewhere unknown yet known, with my Breath and Heartbeat echoing around the surrounding landscape, reminds me of personal promises made to this and other lands, and I recommit to running daily. Let this ending welcome a new beginning; let this new beginning be a solid reminder of the consistency of this cycle, and the humbleness it necessitates. I really want to run away, but really don’t know where I’d go, and how things could get better. Even if ignorance really is bliss, it’s already too late; I know too much to play dumb. Leaving is always an option; staying is more difficult, and questionable. Her fairy wings and pretty sparkles remind me that there’s no need to be so curmudgeonly all the time, if ever. May many more fun fantastic tea parties follow the one today, which was the first, under my care of the Herb Temple. My rapidly dying friend’s mysterious adventure into the unknown known fills me with sadness, but also an increased awareness and respect for the preciousness of this one transient life we have to live , with an increased inner resolve to not waste my time on anything unworthy of it, and live it it up. I quit my job, and am now embarking on a journey back to New Mexico and Texas, to collect seeds, explore relationships, renew my trust in how I dance with the Universe, and shake myself loose to allow the Wind to expose and revitalize my Heart again, and hear the echoes of our collective singing and screaming reflected back to me, across the canyon walls, as the miles blend together, and I fall asleep to the familiar, comforting, yet also deadening thud of rubber against pavement, the whoosh of the land rushing by--- and I pray. Sitting in the back of his steamed up truck with a misty fairytale landscape awaiting discovery outside, and our sleeping bags connected and the coppery coyote laying on my feet, anything can step out of the mist, declare me its child, and dash off with me into this wild wet wondrous world of unknowns; time to go for a jog, and key out some plants. Bitterly, I wonder if he forgot to introduce me, or if he just did not know how to introduce me? We’re camped next to a dried stream, with proud Mullein bearing second year tall golden flower arrangements still present, long dead candle-heads of flowers come and gone this season, and first year simple fuzzy basal rosette of leaves, all brightly arranged against the rocky soil under the Oaks with leaves already fallen, to the backdrop of more scraggly Oaks climbing a goldenly grassed hill, jacketed in its summer glory, ready for winter. Unable to sleep soundly due to colorful powerful dreams, I wake this morning to light incense and prayers for today, which lies between the Summer and Winter Solstice as the day in the year when the veil between the world is thinnest, transitioning between birth and death, heat and coldness, the known and unknown. After repeated self-affirmations of one’s own worthlessness and lack of belonging, these words sink into the strata of one’s deepest being, lodging themselves into the mythology of one’s life, and becomes true. Sky’s rapidly changing color from black into myriad rainbow colors, then soon into the bluest blue of simultaneous hope and the roof of all possibilities, unless you’re an astronaut; I’m just an herbalist, no astronaut, so the Sky really is the limit, but I’ll purposefully forget that, and ride on the wings of the nearest canyon wren, to the uplifting tunes of its soaring vocal melodies, to rise, weaving through, dipping under, and echoing around and far past all of these wild winding massive mountains, discovering their secrets, unveiling more, and walking, flying, and living through then back into the shattered infinite rainbows of a life of questions, lived courageously, joyfully, and gorgeously. Just when I thought a dream had fizzled out, there it stands again in the distance, waving at me with a wink and a smile, and wearing a super alluring costume of my favorite colors, laughing and dancing, pointing out the way, which has always been in front of me, but I’d just never really notice before, but had been walking it nonetheless, for it was a beautiful path to walk, and simply laid out ahead and below me, one step at a time. Water droplets showered down, veil-like, blown upon the wind, dancing elegantly with its elemental rawness of water rushing forward, lit by Sun, drawn down by gravity against the Earthen stones, tossed by windy air to dance as I too choose and wish to dance, as freely and elegantly, going with the flow while choosing my own route to follow. It was good to see your faces again, Mothers and Fathers, to feel your breath, hear your voices, and touch your hands. After eleven days away, tomorrow we return, but today I grieve the loss of travels and freedom, dread the return to what feels like purgatory or self-conceived Hell, and ponder the dreadful yet persistent, possibility laden question of where to go from here, what to do with my Life, and how to find joy, community, Home, belonging, hope, fulfillment, and make a meaningful livelihood, too. After waiting for almost an hour, the first gleams of sunlight have finally kissed the top branches of the Ponderosa Pine guarding our camp, with sunlight quickly sliding down the tree, and dancing through the pine needle strewn forest floor, jays arguing in the distance, the smell of fresh pines, and a stiff wintery wind calling me to step deeper into the unknowns of the forested wood, and bring my courage with. Everything has fallen apart, and is falling still; I have nothing solid to stand upon, and am sinking, falling, shattering, dying, getting crushed up and digested back into the primordial black mulchy unknown, and it’s painful, terrifying, heart-breaking, limb-wrenching, gut-tearing, tear-bombing, death-defying, because after all this, somehow I’m still alive, though feelingly only partially so, and partially wishing it weren’t so, but mostly not knowing at all, and knowing myself as utterly lost. Anything could always happen, but now, I’m preparing for all that could happen, to do it all at once, though I really just want to grow restfully and beautifully, and not too fast. With the sudden closing of our emotional connections, I wonder if it was ever truly there, to begin with. Once again, it’s packing time: things, emotions, all pieces of myself, all packed back into packages and bundles small and large, awaiting the next opportunity to open, blossom, and fall in love again, as we enter the winter of this year, the darkness of my Heart’s breaking, and the embittering pain of a million needles stuck into the rawest, most vulnerable places, the deepest chord of which is unrequited love. I am wholeheartedly grateful to the magical line that connects all things, that even though things are currently scary and uncertain in my life, I am still healthy, with options and welcomes, and ancestors that feed and watch me, especially as I sleep, through powerful story-telling and directive dreams that sometimes guide literally, other time symbolically, but always magically. My sadness has progressed, deep into the deepest, darkest part of my Being, to hide, weeping like a million Moons, with no Sun to illuminate their Beauty, or glistening tears, all drowned out by the sound of the rain bashing against stones, causing flash floods and landslides, washing the surface veneer of my external facade clean, with a hard flat smile that betrays nothing, but only to a trained eye, one that sees, all the dull heartbreaks of almost thirty years of existence, and much more beyond that, lie gleaming, polished and unpolished, yet blanketed behind eyes that are hard, yet beg to be softened by seeing, and being seen with honest acceptance. The heated waters slowly draw out, hour by hour, all the accumulated grief, stress, and worry lodged within my body, which I later toast out with the heat of the Sun and pureness of the blue Sky, walking forever into the Ocotillo covered hillside, into a landscape of prickly Acacias and hidden Chollas, a place where the abundance of surprises both painful and beautiful mirrors the wild gorgeous dangerous splendid nature of my own Spirit, untaming itself as quickly and painlessly as it can, quietly yet forcefully, with the shattering of a million false hopes to reveal, well, something. Walking the labyrinth during the pre-dawn thin-veiled hours of early morn, I watch the Sky changing colors, the shadows of the Stones contracting, as my own long shadow shortens, and I observe the tranquil inhale and forceful exhale of my Breath, measured to the steady rhythm of my walking feet, every step measured and calculated, one foot in front of the other, laying down my feet from toe to heel, outer to inner edge, noting the places where my feet contact the Earth, and that central rooting point through my sole, which extends itself all through my Body, a serpentine undulating powerful two-legged four-limbed twenty-fingered twenty-toed two-eye-eared one-nose-mouthed naked creature relatively skinny, quite healthy, somewhat gangly, and certainly awkward, lanking my way through this labyrinth, this symbolic microcosm of the great mandala macrocosm of Life, muttering prayers in my Mind, Breath, and Being, and watching them disappear with the dust of my footsteps, the frosted visible air of my Breath. The persistent pain in my right wrist, which spread to my right shoulder after the Taiwan surgery, has now migrated to my upper back. At the end of the day, I question if it was worth it, if it was well lived enough, fruitful enough, a life truly and fully lived, enough. Small spaces fit me just fine. I filled fifty one- ounce bottles with three different kinds of salve then labeled, prayed over, priced, and boxed them. Two feasts in one day is something to be grateful for, indeed. I reached the point where to go further was potentially dangerous untraveled territory, whereas to stop and stay safe was just the same old thing, and just decided to let go of everything, leap out far and brilliantly, and trust fervently, knowing that given the briefness of my time here on this planet (at least for now, that I know of), to hold anything back is a waste of life, while to dash my doubts to the side and leap means abandoning the known, and welcoming the witchy wild wonderful weird perhaps unacceptable certainly scary parts of myself that are truly whole in their off-kilterness. I was too busy to remember. A few pecans fall every few seconds from the tree across the road. I’m so glad, tired, and honored to connect, and see our mirror reflections once more. With everything familiar changed over and over, it’s easy to forget, and really not know. Just pray, keep asking questions, and listen to my heart. These grandmas and grandpas, with their wrinkled skin, twinkly eyes, endless stories, and bountiful life experience, expand my perspective dramatically. Although it feels pointless, I still push on. Two more hits to the heart have solidified my decision more than all the walking, thinking, and listening that I’ve been doing: onwards. It’s the same thing every time, isn’t it, my beloved, my heartbroken, my homeless, questing-questioning-wondering-wandering-wordly-lonely-embraced, my sweet? Feeling bitter and jaded doesn’t lend itself easily to faking being amiable, loving, charismatic, or friendly. What a strong fast wind this life brings. I, after almost 3.5 months, left. I’ll go where I want to go, do what I want to do, and then decide who I want to bring along with me. With a song, a prayer, a shout, and a shake, goodbye Arizona, I’m off again, and this time for good (for now). Driving through the winding mountains, alternating between cruising at third gear and gently braking, I listen to bluegrass blues, admiring the wholesome trees, sense of homecoming, darkening wide sky, and mountainous terrain all around, weeping tears of joy at returning, gratitude for providence, and the magic, mystery, and delicious challenges and triumphs of this one precious life, and ecstatic delight at the feel of the steering wheel obeying the slightest command of my touch, the whirring breath of the engine purring against the left shifter and the right start/ stop of my feet, hands and feet dancing between pedals, clutch, steering wheel, and music box, and eyes darting between road, landscape, sky, and all, immersed in the very amazing little process of just being alive, driving away from a place that I tried, found not right for me, finally chose to leave, and now breathe more deeply for having tried, failed, struggled, failed, broke my heart, rubbed it with salt and lime, and now offered it up to the great wilds and winds of destiny, fortune, chance, and personal choice to continue living my life as a prayer, a dedication to the great All of All Everything, moment by moment, with great laughs, huge cries, and a voice that will no longer be muffled by shyness, propriety, society, or any other dumbly dumbifying constraints, but I free with solid NO’s, emphatic YES’s, no iffyness, and as much certainty as I contain in each moment, with complete honesty, and a penetrating humanity to be courageously, rawly, fully, dangerously, wholly, fully, completely, wild woman- medicine way- Earth dedicatedly, ALIVE. What I could be pales in comparison to what I already am. It’s time to dive on in. It’s a true blessing to be on this Journey of autonomy, self, creation, nature connection, deep listening, praying, and wholing--- all dedicated to being whole, full, complete, and authentic, the greatest blessing that I can be, in turn. With no schedule, somehow my day is still packed, variating between deeply fulfilling and mildly distracted, with projects that I’m passionate about, mundane things that just must be done, and space that must-must-must be cultivated, nourished, and enjoyed. Living in a constant state of boxes and piles, I feel simultaneously a reluctance to spend my time moving into/ beautifying a place that I’ll just leave again relatively soon, while the messy nature acts on my subconscious, creating an ungrounded boxed/ piled up chaotic feeling, to rise up from the depths of my being, with discomfort. It feels like a big decision, but I know my heart’s answer already; I just need to accept that, and be prepared to work hard, remain focused, and be financially/ entrepreneurially/ lifestylely creative--- I know my path, I just must be brave and strong enough to walk it. I sang and prayed the whole way down thirty miles of steep windy somewhat icy mountain roads, after a week in my mountain retreat opening my heart, quieting my mind, and busying my hands, to mingle and connect with fellow medicine women again, as we enter the longest night of the year, the moon hiding her face, the ancestors coming out to play and whisper wisdom, the snow blanketing the Earth to sit and wait in silent receptivity, seeds gestating and rooting underground, blanketed by Earth and Sky, prayers and song. Though my eyes are as heavy as the mountains, my mind is as clear as the purest river, my heart lighter than the clouds, filled with life-giving rain to nourish an Earth as rich, magical, and beautiful as this body that I inhabit, and this possibility-filled life that I live, with attention to my dreams, commitment to my values, and perseverance to my goals. With the bright new dawn of a brand new day, the light returns again, after the longest night of the year, and I write letter after letter of outpouring love, gratitude, and mutual inspiration. There’s so much to consider: study in grad school or not (probably yes), in Taiwan or the USA (probably USA), which school (where do I want to be, where are the best teachers, and where can I learn the most/ best), and how to fund it all (I’m developing my herbal work to build my foundation, while looking out further to grad school, and how that ties in with my existing life, work, passions, and dreams)? Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas, seeing the busy joy of others, I sometimes wish I could really get into it, but instead just surround myself with my wood, stones, feathers, herbs, and bones, read, eat, dream, sleep, pray, and burrow deeper into my hibernation cave, woven of ancestral gifts and love, being remade by the threads of possibility, into a fresh creature of patience and perseverance and joyous celebration, delighted to be myself, however that may be, partnered with Place, Purpose, and Person first internally, then radiating outwards to meet the right match, with the strength of will, tenacity, and dedication to growth to find ways around stones ahead of my/ our path up the mountain, and the curiosity and radiant vitality to simply climb on. I went for a whole day without seeing anyone at all yesterday, and anticipate the same for today; re-becoming human involves stripping away all of my pre-established/ pre-conceived constructs around being human to reveal the true, raw, wild, naked, ugly, beautiful feeling, being, and knowing of full humanity, my animal angel all-there all-right real human me self. Snowy mornings like this get me all romantic, inspired, and dreamy--- so long as the snow melts again quickly, and I can feel the Sun once more. With peace came boredom, and now I must feed my internal fire with witty humor (deep connection on satisfying belly-laughing levels), and passionate dance (set aside some time, strip down the clothes, and pump up the music). This is the most I’ve ever slept in my life, and it feels wonderful (am waking at 8, instead of 6). Oh world, thank you for humbling me, for teaching me through lifting me up and crashing me down, for guiding my footsteps when I was lost; may I exceed all expectations, live up to my full potential, and live a life truly worth living, creating Beauty, and coaxing magic out of the mundane, in a fulfilling and wholing way. These dreams walk on their own; I am just the manager, the supporter of their power, the one who squats down and lifts them up to fly. The roots of this journey stabilize then propel us right into the next one.
(2014/ 07/ 17 -2014/ 12/ 31)


Coconut Cardamon Granola

Homemade granola is easy to make, and can be far more delicious and healthy than the store-bought variety. You can customize it to your needs, tastes, and desires... and the process of making it tends to make the kitchen and living abode smell amazing. I don't remember where I originally procured the below recipe, but it's one of my favorites. When I don't have one of the ingredients on-hand, or if I'm just feeling experimental (which is often the case), I just add or subtract ingredients at will, while keeping approximate proportions in balance. Have fun, and enjoy! 

Coconut Cardamon Granola 

1. Mix dry ingredients: 
- 2 C whole oats 
- 1 C coconut flakes 
- 1 C pumpkin seeds 
- 1/2 C almonds 
and spices: 
- 1.5 tsp cardamon powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon 

2. Mix wet ingredients separately: 
- 1/3 C honey (or your sweetener of choice--- adjust sweetness to taste) 
- 1/4 C melted coconut oil (or oil of choice- adjust fattiness to taste) 
- 2 T maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla 

3. Pour the wet group over the dry group, and mix. 
4. Bake at 275 F for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes 
5. Let cool. Store in an airtight container. Does not need refrigeration, but eat in a timely fashion. YUM! 


Oils, dried herbs, and incense added to my shop

I just added various Herbal Oils to my online shop, along with some dried herbs: Roses, White Sage, and an incense blend. Enjoy! 


Giraud Peak

​No words or photos can effectively convey the depth of this trip: the epicness of the landscape, the open rawness ​of my heart, the depths at which I was blasted open, again and again, and then wholed in ways that I couldn't even have dreamed imaginable. 

Giraud. When I walked away this time, crying tears of joy, hope, and gratitude, I promised to hold the image and feeling of this special mountain with me, as I continue climbing mountains for the rest of my life. 

I am grateful for life. I am grateful to struggle, dance, laugh, play, love, die, and live again, diving deep into the dark, to emerge even more brightly into the light. I am grateful to know what being fully alive feels like for me. 

My face sun-burnt and entire body sore, screaming with exhaustion and delight, I hop from stone to stone, my feet light, my body buoyant. As I leap up, I am in flight: a bird, borne of freedom, uplifted on the wind. As I land down, feet initially pointed to grab a good grip on the stone, then knees bending to gracefully drop myself, plumb line through the spine, weight sinking down through my feet, completely solid, deer-like, graceful, earthen, weighted. I laugh and cry into the stones and Earth, this Earth that holds my blood, knows my tears, and sing songs of gratitude, freedom, wholeness, and being. This song of being, this dance of simultaneous knowing and questioning, the cycles pulling faster and faster as the knowing lies within the questioning, my breath leaping and landing with my body across the stones, my thoughts taking flight with the descending clouds, my heart floats across the pure alpine lake, meandering down the streams, down and down to the Ocean, into the heart of the Earth, to evaporate back up to the Sky. I dropped down from this Sky, once upon a time, to land, gentle footed and singing, upon this Earth. 

I don't know where exactly, but I do know, "Up."
And once "up" has been achieved, then there is, "Down."

One foot after another, I leap... and pray. 

(Below are 31 of the 300 images that I made, on this magnificent August trip. The images are made on an iPhone, thus perhaps grainy. If you can, I'd go explore the Sierra Nevadas, in person. They are truly breath-taking, and beyond photography. I hope that my journey, though I left out the details (too personal), may inspire and inform a bit of your own life journeys, the mountains that you climb, as well. Solstice blessings, my friend.) 


Jiling Botanicals

I just started a small online store, to sell my hand-heart-Earth-made botanical products and functional art! 

I'll update on this blog whenever I add something new.