Monday, July 27, 2009

13 Daily Doses of Intention

I find that even though I believe in the idea of being present, of living not only life, but also each moment, with intention, I still get caught up in the "tasks" of daily life and end up going about my day distracted, in a rush, or at the very least, lost in thoughts or worries that have nothing to do with the present moment. Intention gets lost in the dust.

On a typical day, I jump up out of bed before the alarm has even gone off because my four year old is already heading down the stairs and ready for breakfast. Then the morning continues at a less than leisurely pace in order to keep to a school or work schedule. And it can be non-stop from then on for the rest of the day. I'll then find myself with my head on the pillow, ready to sleep at the end of the day, wanting to acknowledge all that I am grateful for that day...but find myself quickly drifting off to sleep before I get past "Thank you for today...".

So I decided to come up with a tool for myself, a tool to help me make Intention a greater part of my daily life. And, not a surprise to anyone that knows me, this tool happens to be a list. I LOVE lists. I am the list queen! I have many things I'd like to accomplish in my life and my many lists help me stay centered and grounded. And though they are lists that have daily tasks, the focus is more on big projects and long-term goals. They do not necessarily address the day to day routines.

So in going about creating my check list, I spent quite a bit of time allowing it to emerge organically, better reflecting who I am over time, rather than jumping into a plan that wasn't truly me. I also have committed it to memory, so that at any given point in the day, I can review it to myself and see how I'm doing that day.

My list gives me focus. It brings the idea of intention into a tangible form ~ not just an idea that sounds good. And just having this tool to reflect on, whether I've adhered to it or not, has made me stop and pause for a moment ~ which really, pausing is the intent! Granted, there are some days when I forget about it entirely, but they are becoming fewer and fewer in number.

Now, this list is for me, and if you like the idea and decide to create one for yourself, make sure it reflects you, not me. After all, you are the one that it’s for ~ make sure it fits your life! And why 13 you may ask? Well, 13 is a sacred number in a lot of cultures, and I strongly resonate with it. But you can use any number you'd like, start with just 1 item if that's all you want to take on at this point. Just be careful to not overwhelm yourself from the get go, you'll just end up tossing it aside in frustration!

There are definitely days when I only get to 5 or 8 items on my list, but I am just glad that I'm doing SOME of them. It's taking the first step that matters, not the destination, right?

So here goes ~ and these are NOT in any order of importance by the way, they are ALL important to me, but it was too hard to draw a circle with all the components in this blog format. If you're more of a visual person, that may be the better way to go than a list anyway!

13 Daily Doses of Intention
1. Give thanks for today and for this life.
2. Give thanks to the four elements (Air, Fire, Water, Earth), because it is with them that I create something new and change the universe for the better each day.
3. Identify one way I will change the universe (ie: myself) for the better.
4. Play with my son.
5. Connect with my husband.
6. Walk or dance (some physical activity each day)
7. Be outdoors.
8. Have alone time.
9. Be quiet, do nothing, breathe. (sometimes I get #7-9 all at the same time!)
10. Identify one thing I will create today. This can be dance, a meal, art, sewing...whatever taps into my creative talents and expresses who I am.
11. Create that something (see #9).
12. Give thanks to someone, acknowledge their gifts and presence in my life.
13. Learn something new.

Reviewing my list each morning (even if that means at 10:00 in the morning), and then again during the day, and finally at night, I am able to stop long enough to insert intention into my day. And the idea really, is to make it a habit. The more I do it, the more it becomes just a part of my day, rather than something I have to “remember” to do. And eventually, the list itself will become obsolete.

But then, that will mean that it’s simply time to create a new list of some kind!

Blessings on the journey!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Big Flea Market Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the flea market today!

Thanks to the vendors and all of your fabulous goodies: Ursula, Thalisha & Brandi of Nyx (and Richard too!), Sonya, Lesley, Patti, Kimberly(who we missed today) & Leslie for Sandy. The studio was transformed by all the beautiful items you brought to sell!

Thank you to the many local folks who came to say hi, support the vendors, learn more about belly dance, and are a part of this community! Nice to see so many familiar faces!

Thank you Thalisha and Brandi for the scrumptous blueberry coffee cake, YUM!

For those that couldn't make it, we missed you! Hope to see you at the next one!

Thank you to the local belly dance community! I am so honored to be part of it!

These are the 4 photos I took before my camera stopped working!

Many thanks and blessings, Tracy

PS: Jane! So wonderful to have finally met you ~ thank you for taking the time to stop by! For everyone reading, here's a link to Jane's most wonderful blog:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Belly Dancer's Flea Market!

A first ever Kundalini Belly Dancer's Flea Market!

Join our local dance community!
You can find all sorts of goodies, whether you dance or not!

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Going Local - A Community Garden Upcountry

Yesterday we helped start a new community garden in Pioneer.

About 10 folks turned out to turn a bare patch of earth into the beginnings of our own local food fest and community gathering spot. Thanks must go to Sean Kriletich of UC Cooperative Extension and the Amador County Recreation Agency for bringing the idea and the day about.

The garden is located at the Mollie Joyce Environmental Center. Earlier this year Fred Joyce, a fourth generation Amador resident in his 80's, generously donated the 80 acres to the Amador County Recreation Agency. He decided to give it to the recreation agency to honor his grandmother's wishes - to help children and youth.

Currently the house is being used for photography classes and has a room that's been converted into a dark room. The new garden, out back, though small to start out, has lots of room to grow and expand, depending on the interest of the community.

In just 3 hours so much was accomplished! Fence posts put in, a fence put up, two garden beds and some paths formed (using resources right at hand - old logs and large stones to border the beds), vegetables planted, irrigation put down, and pine needle mulch spread out on the paths and beds (also found right near the garden under the nearby towering pines).

Sean shared the many benefits of mulching with those gathered (for example: regulating the temperature of the soil, keeping moisture locked in, suppressing weed growth, and as it decomposes, instant compost). Our 4 year-old son even pitched in an helped haul the pine needles over to the garden spot. Sustainable gardening from the get go! Using resources at hand, rather than hauling in and paying for outside materials that come from miles away.

We look forward to nurturing this little plot of soil, getting to know our local neighbors, and sharing our passion for sustainable, local food sources with others.

Alas, we all forgot our cameras yesterday, so all the hard work being done isn't shown here! But I returned today to make sure we had some photos. At least you can see the lovely and humble results!

Share the news, and if you live upcountry, visit the garden! And stay tuned for the next work party.

Friday, July 3, 2009

I’m a Medicine Woman Too!

More sharing from the wonderful world of Anima !

I’m a Medicine Woman Too! - Signed Hardback Copies & Free Art Gift - Please Forward and Post

“Please buy our new book and share it with lots of people. It has lots of powerful things to teach, about herbs, and about believing in ourselves! And I would love to hear from you how you love it!” -Rhiannon Hardin, (soon to be 9!)


Finally available, personally signed hardback copies, with a FREE signed Medicine Woman art print ready for framing:

Herbal Wisdom & Personal Empowerment for Budding Healers & Daydream Believers

An illustrated story of self discovery and personal empowerment for all children and adults alike… and not only for budding healers but everyone heeding a calling, seeking a purpose or pursuing a vital dream

Written & Illustrated by
Jesse Wolf Hardin

“I believe I’m holding a new children’s classic, a book that will be treasured by children –and their parents – for years to come.”
-Rosemary Gladstar, Herbalist, author of The Family Herbal

The author’s delightful daughter Rhiannon was the inspiration and model for this tale of realization and growth, as she first resists believing she could ever be a Medicine Woman like the herbalists and healers she’s met, but then realizes the ways in which she is already the woman of power she hopes to be! Includes a “Name the Herb” medicinal plant identification game.

Notice: The first 250 people to order will receive a FREE hand signed and numbered (limited edition of 250) color print of a new “The Medicine Woman Tradition” drawing by the author and illustrator, as seen below, ready for you to frame and hang! Rhiannon was the model, along with Mama Kiva of course!

Personally Signed Copies

In the US: $15. Donation + $6.50 Priority Shipping

In Mexico & Canada: $15. Donation + $9.00 Shipping

International Orders: $15. Donation + $11.00 Shipping

3 Signed Copies: $40. Donation + $10. Priority Shipping

Click here for book excerpts or to place your order

And click here for information on Animá Medicine Woman Courses & Events

When ordering directly from us instead of somewhere like Amazon, you should know that only $7 of the cost goes to the publisher, Hops Press, whereas the other $8 is able to help support the continued restoration of the Animá Botanical Sanctuary and our Medicine Woman herbal and lifeways school!

Be sure to tell us the name of the person you would like it signed to, and a little about you or them!

Finally, you likely understand the degree to which we depend on people like you to spread the word about “I’m a Medicine Woman Too!” and its message of personal empowerment to others who might benefit and enjoy. If you know of any independent book stores or herb shops that might want to carry it, please take a minute to show them your copy and suggest they contact Hops Press directly for wholesale quantities. And when emailing your friends about it or posting on forums and blogs, kindly include our Medicine Woman Too website address: The site includes excerpts and more art samples as well as PayPal buttons for easy ordering of your signed copies.

We sure appreciate you interest and help, and Rhiannon as well as all of us would indeed LOVE to hear you impressions of this book and how it affects you, as well as any reactions or responses from its younger readers.


The Author & Illustrator

Jesse Wolf Hardin is the author of 7 books and over 500 published articles, a teacher of Animá nature-inspired practice and cofounder of the Animá Medicine Woman tradition. He and his partners offer empowering online courses, as well as counsel and healing consultations, retreats and Summer events at their botanical sanctuary in the enchanted wildlands of Southwest New Mexico. His work has been praised by luminaries from Gary Snyder, Paul Winter, Edward Abbey and Joanna Macy to Terry Tempest Williams.

“Wolf’s work helps us to see the world as whole – even holy.”
–Terry Tempest Williams

“My initial inspiration,” the author writes, “included not only my daughter Rhiannon, but all those kids who from an early age seem inclined towards self exploration, challenge and growth, sometimes longing for meaning and a special purpose as much as they desire fun and love. This includes the fortunate daughters of herbalists and healers, looking for affirmation, positive archetypes and strong women models to look up to…. as well as all the other little girls who seem called to tend and heal, or who feel drawn to the amazing ways of nature and intimate company of plants. It was halfway through putting this book together that I realized I was actually doing it for every child including little boys – and indeed every person regardless of their years on the planet – who might be able to benefit from it’s core theme: learning to believe in ourselves enough to dare to live our dreams.”


“I felt the voice of the Earth Mother herself speak from the pages of I’m A Medicine Woman Too!. The sense of presence and higher awareness will benefit younger and those with accumulated years as well. A fine offering to raise consciousness!”
-Margi Flint AHG HM, author of The Practicing Herbalist

“A book thoroughly enjoyed by both myself and my little boys, I’m a Medicine Woman, Too! entices us not to look to others for ourselves, but rather to go within and bring out what we are, and know in doing so that we give the world around us what it needs. That such an important insight is accompanied by such beautiful images makes this book even more of a treasure.
-Jim McDonald, astute Herbalist and teacher

“I’m a Medicine Woman, Too! is full of wisdom, beauty and encouragement not only for young girls, but for people of all ages. The author’s exquisite illustrations quickly draw the reader in and cleverly teach about healing plants. A high recommend for empowering all medicine women!”
-Lesley Tierra, author of Healing with the Herbs of Life

“This is just the kind of story I want my children hearing over and over – the kind of story that will help them grow into themselves with grace and beauty.”
-Kimberly Gallagher, M.Ed., CCH, &

“I’m a Medicine Woman, Too! is a wonderful book to connect children with herbal traditions. The story role-models an ethic of healing and caring for other people and honoring our elders. The delightful illustrations touch the reader at an emotional level, compelling us to become healers too.”
-Thomas J. Elpel, author of Botany in a Day and Shanleya’s Quest


I’m a Medicine Woman, Too!
by Jesse Wolf Hardin
© Hops Press 2009, 8.5×11” Hardcover, 48 pages
35 Full Color Illustrations ISBN 978-1-892784-31-5

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