A few days ago I went to A Million Cups, a local event sponsored by a national organization which supports business owners and entrepreneurs. The name refers to the million cups of coffee drunk by people all over the country as they gather on Wednesday morning to hear a presentation by a fellow local business person.
This week our own Mari Fox, who founded Shecology, a natural cleaning product line, was presenting. We’ve carried Shecology at Herbiary for a while, and honestly? I thought it was a cute alternative to traditional laundry detergent. What I learned in Mari’s talk was that this stuff is far from merely cute: it’s a powerful cleaner she’s put up against the nation’s top-selling laundry detergents… and it’s won every time. Not only that, but 3rd party tests have shown it kills salmonella, yeast, and black mold.
And we’ve had this inconspicuous little product sitting on our shelves for months!
Which made me realize: if we folks who are doing stuff don’t tell you folks who are interested what we’re up to, then you simply don’t know.
So, here’s June’s not-to-be-missed list from Maia Toll and Herbiary:
Small and Mighty: The Inconspicuous Cleaner Waiting for You at Herbiary
Shecology Laundry Pills and DIY Spray Cleaner: This stuff packs a punch so don’t let the innocuous packaging fool you (Mari’s aim is to cut waste and her packaging reflects that). I LOVE the DIY Spray Cleaner. I need to revisit the laundry pills. Turns out I was only using 2 laundry pills when I should have been using 4 so I’m going to be retrying ’cause I saw the test strips and, at 4 to a load, this 100% natural product kicks butt.
The Lunar Lab Podcast
Yup, I have a podcast… which I don’t mention to you much because it’s aimed at entrepreneurs and I didn’t think you’d be interested. But soooo many people have told me they love listening to my podcasting partner, Becca Piastrelli, and me square off about trying to balance our spirits and our spreadsheets without losing our minds. After one woman told me she feels like listening to The Lunar Lab has helped her be a better mom, I thought okay, Maia, quit being so compartmentalized. After all, I love Car Talk something fierce and I’ve never fixed a car in my life!
So give The Lunar Lab a listen and let me know what you think. This month’s episodes include:
EPISODE 19: Take Your Shame and Shove It
Fasten your seat belt, ‘cuz Becca and Maia are on a rant about the shaming that’s been happening in the name of “economic justice”.
EPISODE 20: Alchemize Your Envy
Feeling a little green around the gills? Join Becca and Maia as we talk about shifting envy into appreciation and deepening your understanding of what you personally need to be truly happy.
Sharables from 48 years doing this crazy thing called life here
And a post whose popularity kinda blew me away here
Shamanism and the Nature of the Universe
Sometimes when I’m coaching something comes out of my mouth which I’ve never languaged before. This week it was about shamanism, time, and the nature of the Universe:
When you do shamanic journeywork you’re accessing the collective unconscious, a “place” which is beyond time. So when you see or learn something there which seems to be about yourself, it may not be about yourself right now. If may be something long done or yet to come. It may be something pulled from the deep reaches of your DNA. It’s important to discern whether this bit of imagery and information you’ve accessed is something which can help you grow and heal right now, in the present tense.
Finally, longtime student and coaching client John Muraco just opened a holistic shop to complement his therapy practice in Doylestown, PA. John is one of the most insightful, intuitive people I’ve ever met. Wishing I could be in PA to see what he’s created, but since I can’t be, I hope you’ll snap some photos for me if you’re in the neighborhood!
When I need to slow down, calm down, and organize my thoughts, I pull out the cookbooks and measuring cups.
I love tasting my way through a recipe: oh, this is the taste of sugar and eggs. And then you add the creamed butter and it smooths over your tongue. Yuuuuummmmm….
(Truthfully? I will always choose licking spoons over eating the actual cookies.)
My first big baking challenge was 20 years ago when I suddenly had to figure out how to create breads and pastries with no wheat flour. And I’m currently in the midst of my second big baking challenge!
My husband announced last month that he wanted to try eating grain-free for a while.
Grain-free, you say?
And I got to work!
I’ve been keeping track of the yummiest of the recipes and I’ll be getting them up on the website for you.
But let’s start with the one I didn’t think I’d be able to pull off. Let’s start with grain-free chocolate chip cookies!
3/4 c. coconut flour
3/4 c. buckwheat flour *
3/4 c. almond meal
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. mineral or sea salt
3/4 c. date sugar
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. walnut oil **
1/2 c. olive oil
1 Tbsp. vanilla
bag of chocolate chips (I like the uber dark 85% chocolate ones)
nuts of choice (my husband chooses none, so that’s what I go with)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix coconut flour, buckwheat flour, almond meal, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum together and set aside.
Whisk together oils and eggs. When emulsified, add sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla.
Mix dry and wet ingredients together.
Use a teaspoon and your fingers to make little mounds on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes.
No kidding, these are amazingly good! I was shocked when I took my first bite.
I like them hot from the oven, Andrew likes them cool. Let me know how you like them in the comments below!
Oh and the stars:
* Buckwheat is not a grain. It’s a fruit! I know, weird, right? Also the flour doesn’t have the musty smell that whole groats seem to have. I don’t love whole groats but I find that the flour adds dimension to my baking.
** The walnut oil… I bought it for Thanksgiving and still have some left. And the flavors work perfectly for this. If you have walnut oil leftover from some fancy meal you made, go ahead and use it (it will go rancid if it sits around forever) but if you don’t, simply use all olive oil.
Okay, loves, I’m back to the kitchen to perfect a scone recipe!
Jess, our student coordinator, had just shared with me the details of her morning in the hospital. She had been made to feel, like so many pregnant women, that she wasn’t functioning efficiently (as if her body were a machine!) because her baby had not arrived with the precision that modern medicine demands.
I felt this rift in my bones, in my blood.
And then my brain got in on the action. Sirens began wailing in the deep recesses of my mind:
That shiver was intuition! Something’s wrong! Jess and the baby are not okay!
Panic began to set in as I looked for someone to corroborate my story, to reinforce my brain’s interpretation of what my body experienced. I reached for my iPhone and started typing.
As I read the text back to myself– quickly, mind you, because I needed to hit send and get the reply that would let me know that I was right and we should be very, very worried– I accidentally took a deep breath…
… And the breath created space. And in that space I realized just what I was doing.
Not only was I in a panic, I was trying to rope a friend into my worst-case-scenario thinking. And it hit me: this is thinking, not feeling (I call this Bully Brain and you can read more about it here).
So I breathed some more.
And turned inward, gently focusing on my core, on my womb.
What was that tremor?
What I suddenly knew, not in my brain but in my being, was that my body had been poked and prodded medically in ways that hurt. And those hurts resonated with the hurts Jess was going through.
Two bodies tuned to the same frequency.
Another deep breath, this time filled with sage smoke to clear the vibration from my mind and body…
…Some rose essential oil on my belly…
…And a love note sent to Jess.
My mind quieted. The feeling passed.
The hardest part of working with your intuition is untangling feeling from thought.
Here’s a hint:
If you are hearing words– language– that’s directing you toward an action, you are probably operating from your brain.
Your intuition speaks in images and sensations, it is more about knowing than thinking.
Pause. Breathe. Smudge. Tune back in.
Jess gave birth to a healthy baby girl. No pictures yet but I’m sure she’s beautiful, just like her mamma.
Want to post a few words of welcome into the world? What’s your best advice to a new member of our tribe? Share in the comments below!
Sometimes destiny steps in, taps you on the shoulder and everything changes.
That’s happened a few times in my life and maybe in yours, too.
This radio interview is about that… and a couple of other things as well.
Kelly Ruta is founder and CEO of FierceChick counseling and also hosts her own weekly radio show. She helps others find their way to a purpose-driven and empowered life. Plus she’s an awesome interviewer and has a cool Fierce Chick Guide that you can download on her website.
Kelly: Maia is a guide for women on an Earth-based, spiritual, and healing path. She has what she calls “muggle credentials”—which I love—including being on the faculty at West Chester University in botanical medicine and teaching as a guest lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania hospital.
But “medicine”, as Maia learned it during her apprenticeship in Ireland, was broader than simply the healing of the body. It included not only the gifts of the botanical kingdom but also the shadow-play of the soul and the practices that align us with earth and sky. This is the medicine that Maia brings to students in her Witch Camp and Make Your Own Medicine programs […]
A lot of what I talk about here on the show is about finding your purpose and being a leader in your own life, because if you don’t lead it, somebody else is going to. So, can you tell everybody how you ended up doing this and following your passion?
Maia: Absolutely. You know, Kelly, when we were talking about doing this interview, one of the things you and I were both kinda grooving on was this idea that the Universe sometimes taps you on the shoulder and points you in a different direction than the one you were cruising down, and at that point you always have an option, right? You can ignore that little tap or you can drop what you’re doing and grab your backpack and go. I’ve had a couple different moments where I got tapped…. And I might have missed a couple, too.
But the ones that I know about: the first one, that started me on the very beginnings of this journey, was about 20 years ago. And I got really sick. And I was lucky, actually, because I had a medical doctor at the time who was studying Chinese Medicine.
M: Yep. I was living in New York City, where there’s room for just a little more funkiness than in a lot of other parts of the world—and she [my doctor] was really flabbergasted [by my symptoms].
She finally said to me, “Look, I can tell you are sick, but Western medicine isn’t gonna to figure this out.”
K: Wow. That was brave of her.
M: It was really brave, right? I’d gotten to the point where I was so exhausted on a daily basis that I would get to my desk—I was a teacher at an elementary school—and I would sit down and cry. I had no idea how I was going to get through the day. I was so tired just from getting to work.
So I started doing the rounds.
The rounds of the homeopaths and herbalists and Chinese medicines practitioners.
I was advised to change my diet pretty severely and this was before gluten-free was a popular thing to do. I was down to veggies and grilled meats. And that’s it.
It was a really restricted diet… and within a week and a half I started to feel better.
K: Oh, my goodness, that’s huge.
M: It was huge.I felt like I got my life back. It was really a journey into thinking about self-care differently.
I grew up with a family therapist for a mom and a lawyer for dad- very conventional, mainstream; if you got sick, not only did you go to a doctor, but you went to the best doctor in the area. So, I really thought that all this other stuff was hogwash.
K: Right, right—which I think a lot of mainstream society thinks, because we’ve been—I guess brainwashed—to fear some of what you do. Which is a shame because it paralyzes people and it makes them believe that they can only, you know, really go the mainstream medical route. But it sounds like you really stood up and decided to go against that and even kinda go against your family norm.
M: I was sent to find other things by my doctor, so it’s like I had permission in this weird sort of way, and yet at the same time, even the dietary choices I was doing—everyone thought it was so strange!
Then it was a long, slow journey exploring food, exploring herbs. Arguing with myself a lot: “This is b.s.” — “but it works!” [laughter]
And, eventually, many, many years later—I think…about 8 years later, so, a long time to kind of assimilate this information—I got my second tap on the shoulder.
To listen to the whole interview, and hear about the second tap, just click on the audio above.
Your turn! How has the Universe tapped you on the shoulder?