tarot tuesday: October’s stop|start|continue|focus

Each month I do a spread concerning what I should stop doing in the coming month, get started on, and continue with. I also pull a focus card to direct my path.

September’s spread, which I pulled using the Linestrider’s tarot deck, was very much about dreams and how we manifest them; if you missed that post, you can catch up here.

October’s spread, which I pulled using the Sun and Moon tarot deck, is all about flow.

October’s spread, pulled with the Sun and Moon Tarot Deck

Continue reading “tarot tuesday: October’s stop|start|continue|focus”


sunday night musings about a shelf

It’s 10:34 p.m. on Sunday night as I start typing this.

If you know me at all, you know something must be wrong–I am generally in bed by 9:00 p.m. every night with the goal of sleep by 10 p.m., especially on Sundays.

But I just finished mopping (and crying on) my kitchen floor and took a shower, and now I am writing this blog instead of sleeping.

Because it was just one of those days.

Continue reading “sunday night musings about a shelf”

wanderlust wednesday: Dhanakosa

This new type of post, Wanderlust Wednesday, will be a once-a-month feature (I think) in which I tell you my latest destination or travel crush. First on the docket, Dhanakosa–a Buddhist retreat center in the Scottish Highlands.

dhanakosa-lakeI first heard about Dhanakosa on one of my favorite podcasts, The Lively Show, and by the end up the episode, I was almost certain that it would be my next international trip (and I hadn’t even looked it up yet).

The idea of a Buddhist retreat center has been calling to me for a bit I , and I loved the idea of Scotland (though going in the winter was not necessarily my plan), a place that I have heard many beautiful things about from dear friends who have traveled there.

However, once I had a chance to sit down and actually Google this Buddhist retreat center set in the Scottish Highlands, I knew it was for me:

On the 2017 schedule, there is a retreat based on meditation AND painting AND photography–The Art of Being and Seeing–as well as many other retreats that include meditation, yoga, and hiking.


And I could afford to go for a week. Continue reading “wanderlust wednesday: Dhanakosa”

hippy how-to: make a mala (part 2)

Okay, so, where I left off (if you missed the first part of this Hippy How-Two series, you can read it here): I—the near-anti-jewelry wearer and one of little patience—decided to make my own knotted mala (i.e., basically a Buddhist rosary). I found some articles that explained how to DIY, researched the meanings of different gemstones and wooden beads,* and drew up a plan.

Today’s post explains in more depth why I chose the stones and wood I did and the mala-making process.

When I first started to think about the intention behind this mala, two things really came to mind: tree roots and an open heart.

I wanted my mala to be made of stones and wood that symbolized grounding energy and strength and also stones that protect and energize the Heart Chakra.

So after much debate (and many sketches), I decided I wanted the following stones to make up my 108 mala beads:

  • Tiger Eye (Primary Beads): Tiger Eye beads make up the majority of my mala (30 beads on each side, 60 beads total). I chose Tiger Eye because not only is it believed to be a grounding stone that develops courage and confidence, but my some of the great men in my life (including my grandfather) have randomly given me Tiger Eye jewelry over the years. Bonus: Tiger Eye is also supposed to have great healing powers for the digestive system, and I can never seem to get along with mine.
  • Garnet (Secondary Beads): There are 14 garnet beads on each side of my mala (28 total). Garnet is my birthstone (for the month of January), and it is also known for its employment of creative energy—it grounds these forces within your body, channeling them to lovingly create in a physical space. Garnet is also known generally to be a fiery and sensual stone, and those aspects seemed to really resonate with me.
  • Green Aventurine (4 Beads on Each Side, 8 Total): Green Aventurine is known for the care it takes of the Heart Chakra, specifically as a protector. It’s supposed to help block the entry of those who would manipulate us and their way into this center of energy.
  • Red Jasper (2 Beads on Each Side, 4 Total): Red Jasper is similar to Green Aventurine in that it is a stone that empowers us to resist emotional domination by others
  • Rose Quartz (2 Beads on Each Side, 4 Total): Enveloped by its guardians—Green Aventurine and Red Jasper—Rose Quartz is said to open the Heart Chakra to love and to help us let go of those things, like resentment and anger, that are not serving toward that purpose.

Continue reading “hippy how-to: make a mala (part 2)”

hippy how-to: make a mala (part 1)

Jewelry is not my thing.

To be honest, I’m not very good at wearing it, and the idea of making it has never really crossed my mind. I had always imagined jewelry making as similar to coloring one of those overzealous adult coloring book pages: it requires meticulous attention to detail while dealing with a serious amount of structure and monotony. And let me tell you, adult coloring books do for me the exact opposite of what they are supposed to—they stress me the fuck out.

In fact, I would choose solitary confinement over perpetual balls of tangled necklace chains and the completing adult coloring books any day.

But I digress.

My wrist mala is beginning to wear a bit thin, and I imagine it will break any day (I fucking hope so*). So I began thinking about my next mala—what I wanted it to stand for and how I would wear it—especially after I started following the beautiful and talented Gillie Wrenn on IG (@zazabeads). I basically fell in love with her garnet mala. (It’s worth noting that I should have bought that one, because I will NEVER EVER attempt to make a garnet mala again—keep reading.)

But because I’m me, I decided it couldn’t be that hard (it is), and that I could likely research it online (you can) and make one just as pretty (up for debate).

Continue reading “hippy how-to: make a mala (part 1)”

on those who remind you to breathe

I’ve always been a fairly anxious person. Or rather, I used to be.

In truth, my parents should have probably been more careful about monitoring what I watched and read, though it wasn’t the typical subject matter that set me off.

Once, it was a 60 Minutes episode on melanoma that we watched together. My parents had no idea when they put me to bed that evening that I would spend the next few nights not sleeping and, instead, taking inventory of each of the nearly countless freckles on my body, trying to figure out which one of them was going to inevitably kill me. By the end of my endeavor, my parents had noticed my nearly always red and puffy eyes and how quiet I had become. When they sat me down and got me to tell them what was wrong (that I was dying of skin cancer), I remember them being terribly loving and reassuring when they told their nine-year old daughter that I most definitely did not have melanoma, though I swear I remember them trying not to laugh at me just a little.
When I was eleven, it was a Seventeen magazine article on alopecia. As soon as I read it, I became convinced that the hairs on my brush and the ones going down the drain in the shower were sure signs I was going to lose all of my hair. And at eleven, for me, it might as well have been cancer.

This time it was my grandmother, who a few days later was the one to crack my shell-shocked face. I remember her hugging me, promising me that everything I was experiencing was normal and that if it ever developed into something serious, she’d have the best doctors in the world looking at my charts. I’ve always known my grandmother was a special person in my life, but I think that moment really cemented it. She was so unbelievably kind. So empathetic. I swear, even if I had been sick, the hug she gave me that afternoon would have cured me.

Continue reading “on those who remind you to breathe”

my love list | 9.16.16

this week these are things I’m currently falling in love with or already committed to:


It seems like every fall, the same thing happens: my calendar fills up, to an overwhelming degree. And to be honest, it’s not as much with people as it is with activities.
Because DC has a pretty fantastic agenda of things to do on any given day and I am a person passionate about many things, I find myself planned with many next Sundays: scheduled to hop from a Boho Braids class to an Introduction to Watercolor course. I’m starting to do a lot of thinking about the idea of not doing all the things I want to do;

And because most of these things tend to cost money, this article challenging me to think about money as energy saved or spent really resonated;

I’m also totally on the essential oil train these days (which my sister says is good for my hypochondriac nature), and I loved these tips for using them in my home;

I’ve been looking into having a birth chart reading done, especially with Saturn about to make its return for me during my 28th year, and I thought this piece about how planets come and go was very interesting;

And this porch is basically everything I plan to do with mine next summer.