soul remedies » the artful self-care blog

Masthead header

weaving days

IMG_1180some days my dreams grow big – with wings and legs to carry them.

a creative business with leah made from all the things we love; essential oils, botanicals, pottery, beautiful words, freeing ideas, natural materials. an airy white space (in a barn?) where we can make and sell our hand-crafted things and be surrounded by flowers, plants and books, perhaps even teaching classes. providing enough income (at least) to feed our families. one day perhaps, travel with a purpose of partnering with international artisans providing other women enough income (at least) to feed their families by bringing their things to market. even books to write, illustrate and publish. sounds dreamy doesn’t it!

but for today, the things of home and family are beloved enough. i’ve spent weeks with sick children to cuddle, rubbing backs and aching legs with essential oils, treating sore throats with raw honey. there are stacks of paperwork to order, places to be, food to make, and make, and make. some days are for this full life, the one all around me, in me and through me. i remember how family was once my biggest dream, the one i wanted most and before anything else, the one i knew i couldn’t leave undone and feel complete.

on my nightstand there are still books about botanical drawing, hand-carving, natural dyeing, and art. there are online classes half-finished and a schedule in disarray.  but i’ve succumbed to the rhythm weaving back and forth and in-between. some months grow, reach, strive… others retreat, hold, surrender. this is february for me.

if january is about what dreams may come, february is about what is. we love the one’s we’re with. we settle in and rest awhile – it is winter after all.

just around the corner, march will blow in with a beauty and truth all her own. hmm, i wonder what it will be?

facetweetpin

my workshop, made ready for the new year

For me, New Years is always a bit mournful. After the fireworks, the kiss, and the all night party, I wake every year to find myself right on the eve of the anniversary of a car accident, my fault, and fatal to one of the five students involved.

Though my heart was giddy with anticipation for the coming year, I found myself grieving last years disappointments…beekeeping tragedies, unexpected business dead-ends, and failed relationships. As an eternal optimist, I spend most my days in a delirium of great expectations. Even still, grief is an old friend.  I welcomed her for a day or two before whisking her out of my way, and regaining some of my regular buoyancy…so here I go. On to new and better things!

I’m ready for some new challenges. I’ve stocked my etsy shop with the previous years’ pottery, enrolled in a sculpture class at the Hawaii Potter’s Guild, and set up a new work space for aromatherapy jewelry design. Pottery and aromatherapy go so well together, with the oils soaking well into the clay. How earthy and refreshing will it be to wear them!

Essential oils have been a huge part in my healing, and in my learning to cope with anxiety and feelings of vulnerability. Aromatherapy brings me out of my head and sets me right back into the present.

Bumble & Flourish is about NOT taking ourselves so seriously that we’re afraid to try something new, but also (and mostly) about taking our desires seriously enough to throw yourself into whatever-it-is you live your life loving and longing for.

So this is the year Liv and I are challenging ourselves to “be the artists” we truly are, and develop a product line around these so-very-natural and deliciously helpful essential oils…sharing our adventures and mishaps here with you as we learn to work for (and with) ourselves.

Is there anything new you are letting yourself at this new year? We’d be so encouraged to hear!

 

facetweetpin

new years dreams

il_570xN.206587435

art by paola zakimi

written by olivia megargle

this year has seen the putting to rest of a ten-year-long dream. sad and good all at the same time. i spent much of 2015 feeling stuck in the in-between. there was an end in sight but until the undeniable magic of december, there was no new vision.

just a few short weeks ago, i declared to leah (and the universe) i’m ready to own my identity as an artist. a switch flipped with the spoken vow. it’s not like i announced it in a blog post (as i’m doing now) but i could already feel a spark within, where there wasn’t any before. and things began to happen. a co-worker saw me with a camera and took me seriously as a photographer. on instagram followers started multiplying, an international blogger (atomorfen) requested an interview – what?!

it was exciting and then slightly terrifying! i thought, what if i end up with thousands of followers?  will it be like my wedding day? with over a hundred gathered round to see us in all our splendor, i felt like a spectacle rather than a queen. but then i began to think, what was that quote about keeping ourselves small?

here it is…

“our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. it is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. we ask ourselves, ‘who am i to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ actually, who are you not to be? you are a child of god. your playing small does not serve the world. there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. we are all meant to shine, as children do. we were born to make manifest the glory of god that is within us. it’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. as we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”*

did you know? there is magnetism in the declaration of dreams.

is it a little premature to make this statement? no, because it doesn’t really matter if i succeed as an artist – whatever that means. what matters really, is becoming more of who i already am, by dreaming my wildest dreams and fearlessly pursuing them, followers or no.

*quote by  marianne williamson, a return to love: reflections on the principles of “a course in miracles”

 

 

 

 

 

facetweetpin

thank you! yes, i did the interview and she’ll let me know when she posts it!

Karen

Happy for you, and you ARE an artist! Did you do the interview?

oh christmas tree

il_570xN.880227788_oyjy

art by cori dantini

we had such a sweet and easy tradition the past few years, getting our christmas tree at the same local tree farm filled with full, hearty trees and a friendly farmer. this year however, the 3 oldest children along with their dad each voiced their wish to go into the woods on a tree hunting adventure like we used to. we hadn’t had an “adventure” quite like this in years because well, expectations never meet reality!

one year we got stuck precariously close to a snowy cliff with my husbands white knuckles proving it was as bad as it seemed. another year he took a business call which couldn’t be postponed leaving us in the truck for over an hour. then there was the year we had a potty training 2 year old and had to let her tinkle over the ditch on the side of the road while an officer gave us a warning not to speed up on our way past the town (ahem).

the truth is, while we think of ourselves an outdoorsy venturesome family we actually have the attention span to spend maybe 30 minutes to choose a tree! not the 1 1/2 hour drive up the mountain and around the logging trails until we find a few half hearted charlie brown trees.

this year we set out to choose 2, one for home and one for our restaurant. my husband, a little grumbly, pointed at the first possible tree and said what about this one? as soon as i began to shake my head he started muttering about how he was going to have to choose the 2nd tree another day or it was going to take too long! really? after the very first tree?

so after a little while of cheerily leading the search, i found two trees suitably sized. one large and one smaller, each with a fairly nice shape, if sparse, but just the way he likes them. every year since we were married we agreed to trade whose turn it was to choose a tree – i like full and hearty while he likes branches few and far between. it’s a running joke that every year is “my year” and he never gets his turn.

here we are a few weeks later, just before christmas and the sparse tree is looking nothing short of comical. like laugh out loud until your sides hurt funny. much of the (5) branches are drooping, weighted by nearly nothing because most ornaments were too heavy to be hung in the first place. one branch has turned up on the left, and the top of the tree is drooping to the right. the star is hanging crookedly. can you picture it? (instagram!)

when it was time to wrap presents, i just wasn’t “feeling it” with the state of our christmas decor. but by this time, i’m so sincerely amused! and i didn’t even have to speak a word. last night my husband looked me in the eye, and promised i get to choose the kind of tree i want from now on.

since most of the christmas magic really depends on me, i’ve always wanted to at least control the scenery. in the end it seems letting go of control and listening to my family all turned out for the better anyway. we’ve had a good laugh and now we have a good story to tell… and no more christmas negotiations to think of!

written by liv megargle

facetweetpin

thank you for commenting kelly! it’s probably not quite what you picture – that’s true! but you may end up with some great stories! however you chose to put up your tree i hope it was magical for your cutie pie family! i keep picturing your little ones running around outside in jammies the other night. i miss that a little bit!

Kelly

This story made me smile. I grew up with a fake tree and have longed for the tradition to hike up to cut down our own. Chris keeps telling me it’s not what I picture, which like you, I love a big bushy full tree. Now it’s confirmed ???? Merry Christmas friend! ????

Karen

Hilarious!!!

feeling our feelings

written by leah drinen

Taking time to feel our emotions is (in my opinion) the best thing we can do to ensure our own happiness. Being human is sometimes painful and often humiliating; but when we have built up a resistance to the more negative emotions, we are less likely to feel the most positive ones. Those of us holding back tears constantly, probably don’t laugh out loud as heartily as we used to.

But what to do with all that sadness, anger and grief?

First, let yourself feel it acutely.  As your feelings come, reassure yourself they will go just the same. Imagine you are in a new place, explore the topography. Let yourself (or make yourself) be there  for a while. What is this feeling like? How could you describe it to someone who’s never been? What colors are there? How does it taste?

Second, wait for it to ease. When some of my own intense formerly blocked feelings began to resurface during what I now recall as my “crisis years”, I kept a flower or two at least at my bedside. I’d just stare. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was my trick, or my means, of waiting for the feeling to pass. Feast your eyes on Nature while you slow down long enough to feel your way through it.

Another way I like to trick myself into being patient with my emotions, is with the use of essential oil. If you have not yet experienced them, I cannot begin to tell you. You just have to try them. Doubtless you’ve heard about them from some friend by now. Don’t try the grocery store variety (it’s not the real thing). Find a Young Living or Doterra dealer, or go to party. These oils have been prized throughout the ages for their physical and emotional healing properties; they are like gold and have a set market value! Breathe in the beauty. If my eyes were not always so hungry, (and my body) I think I would spend all my time smelling!

Third, take action. When you start to breathe regularly, are distracted by some pleasant thought, or motivated toward some positive action, it is time to work on getting the emotional energy out! Listen to your body. It will tell you what you need be it comfort, sleep (my fav), self-expression, hard work or exercise, reaching out for help, devising a plan, or simply getting on with your day.

Emotions are real…though sometimes inaccurate! Sometimes they need only to be felt. They may grip you unmercifully for a moment, but when they leave, room is made for the regular joys of everyday life.

Emoting is sort of like sneezing…or (ew) other less dignified bodily functions. Our feelings need to get used to passing through us, and we need to get used to letting them pass through us. When there is a blockage, depression is the sign. Be watchful of this indication, your body is telling you something.

Build a good rapport with your emotions. When you can trust them not to take over your life or make you do crazy things you may regret, you will be free to live passionately…and when they trust you, they will not have to torment you so much just to get you to pay attention…and you won’t find yourself depressed or anxious. Feelings may not be accurate, but they sure are intelligent.

post script: i do sell a few essential oil blend samples in the sweetest little jars in my pottery shop www.etsy.com/shop/RaineorShinePottery

 

 

facetweetpin

my children (and yours)– the ultimate humans

written by leah drinen

it seems as though my children were little angles, sent to me in those hard hard times after 2008, after it all came undone. (well, no. i guess it was just me who came undone!) but they were not just little cherubs in their chubby sweetness, hugs and kisses. at times they seemed mighty and profound beings.

now I know it was not their heavenliness that taught me, guided me, through those first hard years of healing. it was their humanity. my three year old’s wisdom was in fact unabashed humanity at it’s loudest. she said to me once soon after i realized i needed my relationship with my own mother to grow-up, “mommy, let go.” this amazed me…simple as it was. she also said, “i am my own person,” and she obviously was. how could i, at 30, still be too sheepish to stand on my own two legs?

when my daughter was only two, we were still living in hawaii, she walked herself in her little towel all the way from the beach to the van. when i commented on the fact to a friend standing near me, she said, “don’t watch me!”  three years later (when we’d managed to find our way back to hawaii) the five of us hiked up into a huge fallen tree. after she slipped and caught herself, she looked me straight in the eye and said, as she herself realized, “i’m not a little girl anymore.”

why was she so self aware? why was i not? i suppose life (or death) had had its way with me at too tender an age. but here i am, a grown woman- come fully into her power, and this tiny person showed me the way.

when my days were at their darkest my oldest, now fifteen, drew a picture with myriads of greens, and wrote, “i am living”. i burst into tears when i saw it because i had just learned through counseling, i had been living as though dead. not long after i wrote a letter to the schoolmate i struck with my vehicle that dreary january morning, releasing her into the arms of death and asking her to release me to life, with all its rights and pleasures.

not too many weeks ago my oldest recalled the mother’s day card he gave to me in 2008 just before the summer we moved back to washington. his first grade teacher laughed out loud when on the back of his three-foot construction paper rendition of me, she read, “go mom, go!”  i had to tell him how meaningful it was to me that 2008, scariest year of my life. when woke to find it taped to my dresser right next to my bed mother’s day morning, i laughed. but when i turned it over and read, i’m sure my eyes grew wide as saucers and i remember thinking, “he knows and he’s rooting for me. certainly, i should be rooting for myself.” then i thought, “you betcha! i am going and i am going to take this all the way.”  i gave myself permission to finish falling apart and do all the hard work that needed doing (for myself) and one day, if i could, put it all back together again. it was my hardest fight, and he was rooting for me.

they were the ultimate humans, these 2-8year olds that had taken over my life. now i see, there’s nothing i needed more…to learn to be human and love myself at least as much as i would love my own child. my unconditional love for them in their neediness taught me to tolerate myself, but it didn’t stop there! it put the pluck back in my soul, they gave me the gumption to stick up for myself, to be my own greatest advocate. to be true to myself, and this i think, i really must say…is where it’s at.

emerson said “we must be our own before we can be another’s.” and now i think, wow! how in my pursuit of self improvement and “godliness” did i end up not being myself for jesus? how can i be devoted to anyone or anything, when there is no fidelity to self?

 

 

 

facetweetpin
Karen Goetz

I forgot to say that I LOVE that artist! I love everything about this particular piece!

Karen Goetz

This is so touching, Leah, especially knowing all you have gone through. “Out of the mouths of babes” for sure! I am so glad you are giving yourself permission to LIVE and live life to the fullest. Love you, sweetie!

nature’s way, or mine?

written by liv megargle

on our shy two acres, i see nature’s work continuously around me. the wind blows the branches all over the yard, the leaves accumulate, the dogs dig holes, and the weeds win over along the fence line. instead of hauling away yard waste like most, we pile it up in the corner and down one side of our property. a few times a year we make a fire in the fire pit, and spend the day cleaning up fallen branches, putting away toys and finding trash laying around the yard, one of my favorite family days.

we mow and edge, and keep one english inspired garden while the rest pretty much goes wild.  i can’t make myself keep the yard more tidy than this; i feel nature’s pull struggling against our need for clean and manicured spaces. we want to feel as if we have some control over it all. left to herself, nature would take over in no time…and she does. we even clean up the forest floors these days, in an effort to prevent (control) forest fires, but aren’t we losing something when we take over?

do you know the beauty of what goes on in those leaf piles when left alone? healing takes place under those fallen trees. all manner of fungi and beneficial bacteria grow with myriads of applications. the honeybees visit to strengthen their digestive systems.  and then, our honeybees strengthen our entire eco-system…and when we take in her raw honey, our own digestive system and even our neurological systems are supported.

perhaps we don’t like to see decay because it reminds us of our own temporal-ness. but the earthy nutrient rich soil is a promise, not only to our children’s generations but also to next summer’s abundance. the world is being made new out of what is already here…if we could just let be a little longer, and look the other way while offering a little trust.

it’s the same way in our homes and bodies. we get so involved with our bleaching and anti-bacterializing. but nature, with all its intricasies of ph balancing, immune systems, and beneficial bacteria, has a miraculous way with things.

to be honest, humans have a way of messing things up…especially with our best intentions.

most recently, i’m learning this lesson with the teen in my house, and allowing nature (instinct) to lead her. i’ve often chosen to give my opinion…when it wasn’t asked for. as her momma, i want to save her from the struggle. i want to tell her all i know and let her have it. but this abuse of power is motivated by fear, not love; and bears down our relationship rather than elevating it (lifting it up). nature’s way with my daugther is far slower and more delicate than i imagined. if i am willing to wait, my daughters mind and heart open naturally while i listen carefully for her own voice of truth. together we revel in it for a time, and all i have to do is gently and  confidently agree.

while we have the power to dominate over nature for a time, wisdom is learning how to come alongside her and let her do the hard work for us, trusting she knows best.

 

 

 

facetweetpin
Mom

Beautifully written, daughter, and very wise.

fairytales & folklore

written by liv megargle

as a child, my step-mother would often add “wicked” to her title with a snicker. truthfully, i’ve often felt just like cinderella.

over the past few years, leah and i “fell down a rabbit hole” as we tend to do, into the underworld wisdom of fairytales & folklore! there are some amazing books; spinning straw into gold by joan gould and women who run with the wolves by clarissa pinkola estes. the authors go deep into the old tales, to help us make sense of our personal stories as we come of age; maiden to matron, matron to crone.

when leah and i had our first borns, i thought i was the lucky one being given a lovely baby girl while she had a son. little did i know our 2 year age difference would no longer matter when i had a teenage daughter. i can feel it this year, how i’m aging quicker, while she doesn’t because her daughter is only 9. she has a good six years before she has any chance of turning into a crone. it’s a trick of nature and i didn’t even know it had been played on me!

with my daughter fast approaching sweet 16, i’m beginning to feel more in step with snow white’s mother than sweet and innocent cinderella. i really hate to admit it! but when she blooms as a maiden…well, just as the queen and i both fear, it won’t be long before we are no longer “the fairest in the land.” leah said it about a year ago during a face time call between our families. “oh my! she is soon going to out beauty you!”

i was an early bloomer so it’s come so soon! i’ve already been a matron for 16 years and i’m only 36! hardly crone-worthy. still…a little preparation of body and soul can go along way to forestal the questions to the mirror.

of course, women age much more gracefully and live much longer than we used to! maybe it’s all in the wording, crone means simply “old woman.”  but who wants to be called that name either? what if we trade “wise” for old?

i’ve always been an “old soul” and admired the wise women. i’ve been chasing the intuitive gifts they have to share. why fight it? it’s a losing battle and we’re sure to go down like the evil old queen. but choose wisdom, and both snow white and the queen live – happily ever after?!!

 

facetweetpin

Really Lorry?! Do tell, I want to look forward to it more!

Lorry Andersen

Just wait for the grandchildren, Olivia, my darling. It’s life as you never imagined.

old things

old things have always held a sort of enchantment for me. maybe it’s growing up in a new neighborhood in the new world. until the age of twelve, i had a total of ten grandparents and great grands living in my very own washington town! even at 38, i still have five, and one is 101!

i had an individual awe for each of them. they had seen the famous days of old and all the changes i took for granted. i seemed to have known what was normal to me, an american child of the 80’s, was to be short lived.

in hawaii, we revere things with “mana,” which translates directly as “power.”  mana speaks of the life-force and experience of an object or a person, and the term quite explains all my romantic ideas of using an old rolling pin to make pie and hanging on every word from a grandparents’ mouths.

it was alice’s birthday yesterday. when she picked me up for yoga she said, “i’m 83 and 1 day today.” throughout the class and the kupuna birthday party we held for her after, she repeated the phrase again and again. and you know, her voice held so much gratitude and that humble sort of pride one acquires as they watch the seasons change and transform themselves right along with them. child to maiden, maiden to matron, matron to wise old soul.

i’ve been thinking of alice all day, and her thin little body more fit to yoga than mine. our teacher goes to her as we are all contorted in some sort of inversion and asks, “is it that you cannot hear the instructions?” alice replies. “Yes, but I cannot see you either!” and all with good humor.

there was a baby born next door, only 3 days old when alice announces she is 83 and 1 day old. somehow in my mind, the day counting is appropriate only for the two of them. but now with misty eyes i cannot wait to count the days i’ve been given…i struggle…i ask siri…and the answer humbles me. i am so new to this old world. it is filled with “mana” the trees and everything that we’ve well made from them, the mountains that still manage to change after all these years, the bees and their ancient genetics.

even in this midlife, 1 day counts, sunshine or no. only complacence runs them together. this 14,095th day of mine is a gift.

facetweetpin

o, thanks, becky! love hearing from a farmgirl:)

Wow, thank you for this very thoughtful post which made me stop and think this morning and be grateful for this day. Think I’ll go outside with my coffee and enjoy my backyard and everything in it.

making art happen

IMG_0937

this is the first year all 4 of our kiddos are in school full day, along with my husband working his first 9 to 5 job in all our years together. it’s lovely…still just my regular life – a house full of children and my man but finally with quieter days, moments of clean! time to make home ready for them to return to… and my oldest is 15 so i’ve waited a long time for this!

it’s also the year my mom invited me to join her in a free online art journal challenge, the *documented life project. she happens to have enough art supplies to open a small art store and blissfully, i am able to use what she already has! luxurious paints, inks, pens, papers, stencils, stamps, books…and her experience.

evenings around here are busy, filled to the brim and then some. weekends too. mondays are for work, errands and restocking the house with groceries. tuesdays are all housework and quiet, a time to process the pace of this life and take care of myself. moving into wednesday with a bit of order established and food in the house i can dig a little deeper into the list of undones…

finally, like a musical crescendo it’s thursday! art day! time to create, to play and for a little while and let go of all responsibilities! having time set aside for art may feel like a luxury, but i believe it’s a necessity! we usually spend about 3-4 hours working on each page or project. i’ve found it can be hard to return to the world after being settled into my artsy side for awhile!

i’m exploring what excites me right now as an artist – acrylic paints, line drawing, simple mixed media, sweet faded palettes! i’m learning color combinations i love and what my strengths and weaknesses are. so, who knows where it will take me, but i’m happily along for the journey. there is a lot of bumbling and some flourishing too!

and then tgif! if i can get my head outta the clouds from art day there is a little more time to prepare for another weekend just before the door bangs open (early release), the shoes, backpacks and jackets fly and the cutie pie people i’ve been missing fill up our home again.

*would you like to gift yourself with more time for creating? you could always join the project too! just pick up right where we are. purchase yourself an art journal and use what you have! it’s not about professional quality art, it’s about learning how to use the different mediums, being inspired, nurturing your creativity! all it took was a half-hearted invitation from my mom, take this as your invitation from me!

facetweetpin
Karen

I love doing art with you, and so enjoy our time together, even when we don’t say anything. it’s just nice arting together. And it’s fun to see how talented you are!