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“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s
longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream,  for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human…”

- The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Last week, I was sitting with the ache of disappointing others and a dear friend read this poem to me.

It helped me realize that, when you dare to remove the mask of conformity and answer your heart’s call to create your own reality…disappointment, confusion, and judgement of others can be an unfortunate byproduct.

And as a recovering people-pleasing-perfectionist, this can burn a bit. To accept that not everyone will like, understand, or approve of your actions is a bitter but necessary pill to swallow. We are all precious human beings with our own tales of joy and woe. What I’ve come to realize is that I am responsible for what is real and true for me.

The journey from conformity to the realm of conscious self-approval and creative freedom certainly isn’t an easy one to travel. But to live life as a fully-expressed, love-filled, free human being? Well-worth a little ache and pain.

I love this video from Jason Silva where he riffs beautifully on this quote:

Those who were seen dancing were called insane by those who couldn’t hear the music. – Nietzsche

~

Rose Ice Facial Treatment

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Garbage Disposal Refresher Cubes

It can be oh so tempting to look at the world through our rose-tinted “ME ME ME” glasses and make some pretty serious assumptions about one another. I find this can be particularly tempting when tired, hungry, or in rush-hour traffic (or all 3, yeesh!). There’s a beautiful quote from Plato that says:

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

And it’s just so true. So often, we can get caught up in our personal universe of “why me?!” and “they suck!” mentality. But, when it comes right down to it…you just never know.

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Sage + Tarragon Cleaning Spray

On Sunday, I turned 29 years old.

Today, I sit on a deck overlooking the wide open mountain vistas of Colorado drinking handmade herbal tea with a close girlfriend…on a Tuesday. This week, we’ll hang in the hammock, meditate in the teepee, and bathe in the hot springs under the starlit sky all in between spurts of productivity as we both play the role of CEO in our businesses and our lives.

10 months ago this very moment, I was at my desk – bleary eyed – overlooking the city of San Francisco fielding emails, leading meetings, and giving performance reviews.

How did I get here? To a place where I am living a more mindful, playful, adventurous life?

4 words.

I dance with fear.

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Vanilla Coconut Coffee Body Exfoliating Cubes

I want to talk about your skin.

I came across a beautiful quote last week at my yoga studio - “The body is a sacred garment.” 

And I believe the skin is a silk robe.

You don’t treat a beautiful silk robe poorly.  You don’t get greasy food on it and crumple it up in the corner of your bedroom floor. No, you delicately hang your silk robe on the special hook in your closet, treat it with care and feel like a queen when it adorns your body.

If you really think about it, your skin is miraculous.

It’s the largest organ in our entire body and a living system – with hair, nails, glands, and ducts. It acts as a moisture regulator, preventing excessive entry and evaporation of water. It metabolizes and stores fat. It secretes sebum, to lubricate and manage oil balance. It processes salts, urea, water, and toxins though sweating.  In one square inch of skin, you have 65 hairs, 9.5 million cells, 100 oil glands, 19 yards of blood vessels, 650 sweat glands, and 1,300 nerve endings.

So today, I want to talk about treating your skin with the gift of exfoliation and moisture.

You can make these exfoliation cubes really easily with just 2 ingredients: used coffee grounds and coconut oil. Then you can add on with essential oils or powdered herbs (like I’m using today) to boost the impact. I love using the coffee grounds because they are great for reducing the appearance of cellulite and skin discoloration and it’s a beautiful way to repurpose after your morning cup of joe. Coconut oil is the wonder ingredient – providing moisture, reducing inflammation, and healing the skin. With this recipe, I added in powdered vanilla bean pods (that had dried out in a mason jar in my cupboard) – which gives a great aromatic experience. It smells a bit like brownies, yum!

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Lately, I’ve been feeling called back to working with plants and flowers once again.  After launching Alchemy & Wonder back in February, I needed to take a little break from my witchiness and began focusing on some internal work I needed to do with aligning my heart and deepening my intuition. Once in a while, I would think about making my own shampoo but it felt exhausting.

I think I needed time to rest – just like the plants do each winter.

Because now, with the summer sun, I’m feeling more inspired by and connected to the plants and flowers than ever before.

I recently found out that my spirit animal is the elephant, and my animal totem guide opens with this:

The key teachings of the elephant are of regality and ancient strength. It appears in your life to awaken your ancient lineage of alchemy, mysticism, and strength.

You know when you read something and everything just clicks? The growing connection I feel with the plants and flowers is tapping into this expansive well inside of me (and I suspect inside all women).  I fully understand that, by connecting to the plants, we can be the source of our own healing and can reconnect to each other – to return to the days when women were in community with each other and were healers. That resonates very deeply with my heart.

A Return to Alchemy

I’ve also been connecting with other apothecaries (the word actually refers to a person, and not a place), herbalists, and makers who are creating such incredible things with their hands.

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