Fearlessness

If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.

Sir Ken Robinson

This statement really struck out to me when I was listening to Sir Ken Robinson talk. (He’s awesome, by the way. Check out his TED talks to learn more about education and creativity.)

As a child, I was terrified of going to the dentist. I would feel stomach pain, throw up and sometimes even pass out. As the years went on and I became an adult, my fear withered away. Afterwards for many years I thought I wasn’t afraid of anything. Snakes, bears, insects, dizzying heights; bring it on. I was skimming the surface, unconsciously making the judgement that fears ought to be external.

After some introspection I realized that for many years I was afraid of being selfish. Whether it was because of the way I grew up, the way my role models were or whether it came out of my own depths – I don’t know. But I do know that being afraid of being selfish (for me) leads to self-carelessness and burnout. Once I got a few slaps in the face from the Universe, I started experiencing the balance between selflessness and selfishness, experimenting with self-care practices and trusting my intuitions. It was hard.

Swami Rama says that all of our fears can be put into two categories: 1) either we are afraid of not achieving/getting something we really want, or 2) we are afraid of losing what we have.

I find myself once more in fear. This time, I’m befriending it. It’s not a big deal. I’m not letting it control my decisions or my feelings. It’s there, and I’m here. I can see it; I can see its tendrils reaching out to me, but my glowing inner light is unaffected. I am in Love. Such pure, profound Love that I am afraid of losing it and the person that enables me to generate such Love. I found something that I never thought existed. But, I am so in Love that if things do ever change, I will stand back and keep generating my Love into the world. That is how you conquer fear.

Milked oats

As a consumer of plant-based foods, creamy milk-like liquids become a challenge. Part of me argues that milky liquids are unecessary, while another part of me simply craves it. Having something other than water to put in smoothies or in herbal tea seems like a luxury… Damn! am I ever grateful for dairy alternatives.

Most commercial dairy alternatives are filled with additives, fillers, emulsifiers, etc. I find that making my own is the best way to go, even though the taste and texture is quite different. You just get used to it.

The question of the type of ‘milk’ that is being made/consumed is another important one. Milked almonds are gaining popularity, but almond production is putting incredible strain on the local californian ecology (if you’re interested in learning more about almond production, stay tuned – I’ll publish an article on it soon). In my opinion, consuming a locally produced plant-based ‘milk’ is more ethical. In my case, it’s either hazelnut, soy, or grains.

Oats are one of the most readily available grain in my region, plus – they make excellent non-dairy milk. They have a certain natural ‘creaminess’, which is perfect for this purpose. For this recipe, you’ll need a cheesecloth or a nut-milk-bag, and a highspeed blender. Here we go!

Milked Oats

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 date (optionnal)

Throw everything in the blender, on the highest speed for 1-2 minutes. Strain the liquified oats, keeping the pulp to make cookies, energy balls, raw brownies or any creative sweet you can think of! Experiment!

Enjoy xx

oh, Margaret Ledwith… keeping it real

‘The absence of a coherent political project, it is claimed, inhibits the development of a more radical paradigm in community work’, so said Cooke and Shaw in 1996 (1996, p.9). Since then, we have been through a long politics of partnership that has located everyone on the same side, a delusional tactic that has resulted in negating dialectical thought, colonising critical spaces and temporarily halting radical practice in a haze of managerialism, professionalism and the elevation of doing over thinking. Our focus has been blurred on the real issues at stake and left us as uncritical deliverers of policy, not really understanding why we are doing what we do anyway. We have lost our way (Pitchford and Henderson, 2008). At the same time, on a global level, escalating forces of neoliberal globalisation are steering us along a dangerous trajectory, with a free market principle based on a profit imperative systematically fragmenting people and planet. We are left with a world in crisis, a world of increasing social divisions and alarming environmental degradation. This is the radical challenge of our times, and my invitation is for you to join me in exploring just how straightforward it is to reclaim our radical agenda and to locate it in a more global political project for participatory democracy.

Ledwith, 2012, p. 13

we need to act, or else we die

I just emerged from the Living Soils Symposium, held by Regeneration Canada, and I am more fired up than ever. The conference has reaffirmed my choice to be a farmer instead of pursuing higher education, as I see my job as the most practical way I can take action to try to reverse the climate crisis we are now facing. I stumbled upon Greta Thunberg’s TED talk this morning, which fueled my passion and conviction.

“I care about climate justice and the living planet. Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money.”

I hope this gives you power, and that it sparks a reflection on what you can do to participate in the change that needs to happen.

Bee

the most wonderful carrot cake ever of all time

Sometimes when things like this cake happens I just want to throw my hands up in the air and open a restaurant. I mean, this cake is so delicious, I could make a career out of it. Maybe not on its own, but the point is: this cake will blow your brains out.

It’s simple, healthy, packed with carrots and spices. Aaaaaaand best of all, ground cherries. Mmmmmm. Ground cherries. Saved and frozen from last summer’s late harvest. Thank you past Bee! Thank you Field Good Farms!

You can still make this carrot cake without the ground cherries but it’ll probably need a little something more. Like a pineapple bottom-slime-layer (whatever you want to call it). Or even apple. Maybe blueberries? Or maybe even skip the fruit-slime and go all out with icing. Your choice!

This recipe is not mine (I added ground cherries and substituted some things). I stole it from Sophie Mackenzie, who is a phenomenal Canadian food blogger. I love love love everything Wholehearted Eats, which is her blog. You can click here for the original recipe, if you want.

INGREDIENTS

3-4 cups of ground cherries

2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup non-dairy milk
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrot
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup chopped pecans

  • Oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a square pan with parchment paper.
  • Throw half of the ground cherries (or any fruit!) in a saucepan and bring to a boil until reduced to half the amount. 
  • Meanwhile grate your carrots and chop your pecans. Check on the cherries – when they’re ready, take a potato masher and squish them into a purée. Add the rest of the ground cherries and bring to a boil. Let the purée reduce to half the amount again.
  • Mix all dry ingredients together thouroughfully.
  • Mix all wet ingredients (including orange zest) in a separate bowl. Add to the dry mix, but do not overstir. 
  • Fold in carrots and pecans. 
  • Pour your ground cherry or fruit mixture to the bottom of your prepared baking square and spread it evenly.
  • Pour the cake batter on top. Spread it evenly. 
  • Bake for 45 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

* I like to eat it in a bowl with some non-dairy milk, but it can be totally dressed up with some coconut whipped cream like Sophie does in her version of the recipe.

finding myself

I feel like a puzzle

I haven’t yet found the pieces

but the picture so far is beautiful

I get to iron out its creases

as time goes;

over and over it unfolds

and folds back into itself

as I find myself

collecting my pieces

never finishing the puzzle.

incomplete drawing, the tireless ‘self-portrait’ of the eye-flower… bringing to mind that ‘puzzle’.

meditation

Let go. Let go. Let go. Surrender. Your body is heavy as a rock. Sinking into Earth.

Breathe.

Breathe again. Hard.

Let it all out. Let it go. Surrender.

Open your heart. Let it heal. Breathe into its healing. Feel the expansion. The blossoming. The spread of wildflowers blazing.

Breathe in possibilities. Breathe out all that is holding you back. All your limitations.

Breathe. Hard. Love yourself. Feel the expansion in your chest. See the flowers.

See your throat. Breathe in. Know your truth, settle into your truth, let it out HARD.

Open your chest, your throat, yourSelf. Let it heal.

Focus on your third eye. Look within. Witness the beautiful, beautiful jungle inside. It is you. Unfolding with life. Slow. Peaceful. Loving-blossoming.

Feel the breeze against the side of your face. The tingling. Sensation, bringing you deeper, further. See with your mind’s eye. The jungle is there.

The breeze. Bringing you back to the healing. Deeper, further. Feel it piercing through you. Feel every single cell inside and through. Healing. Blooming.

See. See with the omniscient eye inside the layers, past the layers within. The peaceful jungle. Full of slow, timeless life.

Sometimes the breathing stops. You don’t know what or where or how or whatever. But you. Know. This.

Your whole body. Tingling. Exhilarating.

Soaring. Ecstasy.

Feel everything.

Breath underneath your wings.

Surrender, surrender, deeper, deeper.

Implode.

Timelessness.


And explode in a chaos of sensations. Rush to the surface. Wiggle. Try to feel something concrete – material.

Here we are. The floor is there. Your toes are there. Ahhhh, your breath is there.

Roll to one side. Everything is loose. Jelly.

Push weakly up. Are you up? Woah. The world is spinning, even with eyes closed. You want to go back – the jungle, the eye, the tingling, the soaring. It all flashes before you.

You sit. Open. Giving, receiving, existing. Being.

Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. You bow to the divinity. Inside, outside – it doesn’t matter. Being.

‘omniprésence’ by Bee