Monday, May 28, 2012

Creativity as Medicine

I have been having a bit of a love affair with painting watercolors and the art of taking pictures with my 
 iPhone. This week, making art has felt a lot like making medicine. It has also been incredibly healing to start painting again. 
One of my friends suggested this week that creativity is as important as prayer. I feel that when we are in the creative process we are in a state of meditation. 
I am also loving the art of making collages with pictures. This collage is a reflection of how I see the world around me. All of the pictures with the exception of the allium bud were taken with my iPhone camera. 

The peonies and allium are in bloom, the pansies are leaving us after the heat of today. The pink rose was a gift, the turtle was crossing the road on a morning walk, the angelica is in full bloom and the double fish appliqué is going on a hand made bag that I am gifting one of my dear friends. 

The collage was in part inspired by one of the books that I am reading, the title of the book is The Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram. He brilliantly explores man's relationship to nature with the most delicious gift of story telling. 

Wishing everyone a glittery week.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 23rd

Today my morning began by seeing the purple iris outside my door drip with the rain of last night, followed by a walk in Springs, where there are many beautiful plants and flowers in bloom. I treated patients and witnessed a cat birds' nest by my office softly hold an aqua blue egg. 
Gifts of gerber daisies and yellow roses came to me yesterday, and dinner tonight includes watery ancient lotus roots. 

These were my gifts today. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Moth Medicine and Transformation

This week I have been visited by the most incredible moths. One moth was with me for four days, three in-between two windows and one day on my office window screen. It was stunning. 
After I took this picture with my macro lens, I edited it by making an orange back ground so that you can see the texture and design of her wings. 

Today.... I followed this white moth around the garden and it stayed still long enough for me to take its picture. It was resting on the leaves of the Siberian Iris. 
Over the years  I have had a fascination with moths as they are symbols of transformation and magic. 
Several weeks ago I had a dream that I was on a healing journey to Lourdes, France,  and a Luna moth flew into the bus and expanded before my very eyes! The next morning I found a beautiful moth on my front door as I left my house. Since the moths are coming to me so frequently these days, (in dreams and in nature) I decided to dedicate this post to them and to the energy of transformation. 

I  have fond memories of being on the porch of my grandparents farmhouse in the summer watching June bugs light up the yard at night in their evening ballet, eating peach ice cream and observing large moths flutter towards, and rest by the light next to the screen door. As a child, I always found moths to be very mysterious, they always filled me with awe. 

  Moths are very much like butterflies but they are nocturnal and gravitate to the light. Moth medicine is characterized by change, transformation, and appreciation for the magic of the natural world. They teach us how to live with a new heightened sensitivity and how to move towards our own inner light.
 Each and every time the moths appear,  I know that I am about to undergo a significant shift or transformation in my life.

At the moment I am reading about the energy of transformation in the books of Peter Levine Phd. The two that I am currently reading, are Waking the Tiger and In An Unspoken Voice, How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness.  These books are so profound that I am encouraging everyone that I work with to explore this material. Dr. Levine has spent over 40 years studying the effects of trauma and stress on the body. He has studied the natural world to gain a deeper understanding and wisdom of how animals in the wild discharge stress and trauma. 
I have found these books to be deeply meaningful and inspiring both personally and professionally. I gained a new understanding of how undischarged trauma can build in our nervous systems and create other issues both emotionally and physically. 
My sense is that as we can clear trauma in our bodies on a somatic level, then we may open the door to undergo a process of transformation much like a moth does as she breaks free from her cocoon and flies towards the light. 

The bottom photo was taken with my iPhone. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tree Peonies

Since Peonies are my absolute favorite flower of all.....I am dedicating this post to their incredible beauty. Each year I wait patiently for the blossoming of my tree peonies. They are so magical and so elegant. They remind me of a benevolent queen, wearing a tiara of gems.

Last year I wrote a lot about their medicinal values and how they are used in Chinese medicine and in the world of plant magic. In this post I am going to write about my personal experiences with this flower. When I am around these flowers my heart melts open. I am filled with optimism again once the ants make their way to the buds. The peony bud is such a sacred image for me that I asked Tashi Mannox to design a seal (also known as a chop) for my botanical paintings. He is a brilliant and gifted calligrapher in the Tibetan style. I encourage everyone to watch the short video about him because it is meaningful for all of us who are trying to live a life of mastery. 
I love the image of the chop so much that I have incorporated it into my photography watermark.

Peony bud picture taken last week. This is the picture of the month on the home page. 

Peony in the sunshine. 

After a soft rain, I cut one of the peonies and brought it into the kitchen to be photographed. I was afraid that they would not be able to stand another rainy day without dissolving. 

In China, peonies are symbols of shyness and female beauty. 

Peony cutting in one of my grandmother's jars.

Peony centers below taken with my iPhone.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Today I made this collage with pictures from my Instagram page. All of the flowers are from my garden. I am particularly fond of the tree peonies, which are my absolute favorite. Below are my favorite pink gardening boots.

All pictures taken with my iPhone.

'Inside every one of us is a garden, and every practitioner has to go back to their garden and take care of it. Maybe in the past, you left it untended for a long time. You should know exactly what is going on in your garden, and try to put everything in order. Restore the beauty; restore the harmony in your garden. If it is well tended, many people will enjoy your garden. '

Thich Nhat Hanh

Friday, May 4, 2012

New Beginnings

This week has been meaningful for me because I have been introduced to the technology of Hasselblad. In the past year I have had a vision of showing my botanical pictures on a very large scale. I would love to share these pictures in public spaces where people can experience what it is like to see the inner structures, geometry and divine wisdom that resides within the plant world. The images will be of the medicinal plants and botanicals that I use in my herbal practice and in my botanical perfumes.
I have put my vision into action and I am learning how to take pictures with a new camera that will enable me to magnify and print images to wall size. 

This is a big leap for me on so many levels. I am sharing my very first picture, with my new camera, of the lilacs that are now in bloom. 
With time and a lot of practice my pictures will get better, 
in the interim, the peony tree buds are about to blossom, the allium buds are popping and the Indigo Bunting birds came back to share more magic. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dandelions (Herba Taraxaci Mongolici cum Radice)

Dandelion greens remind me of my grandmother. She ate them in Spring. It was not until I was much older and only the tiniest bit wiser that I understood the wisdom of the dandelion. 
In Chinese medicine, this plant is known as Pu Gong Ying. It is in the category of herbs that Clear Heat and Relieve Toxicity. It is bitter, sweet, and cold and enters the Liver and Stomach channels. 
When it is prescribed in traditional herbal formulas, it clears heat and fire toxins when Liver heat is present, reduces abscesses, and swelling and promotes lactation. 
According to Pam Montgomery, a Western herbalist, this plant tonifies and supports the liver, and is high in Potassium.
The name comes from the French translation 'dent de lion', this means 'tooth of the lion'. She also suggests that 'Dandelion is a survivor helping you to persevere against all odds'. 
The root of the plant has been traditionally collected between June and August. The leaves have different medicinal properties than the roots. 

These lovely flowers came from the back yard. 
The picture below was taken with my iPhone. 

For those of you who read my blog, I recently added some features to my home page. These are features that you would not see if you receive my entries by email. 
I added a Photo of the Month where at the beginning of each month I post a new picture and I also have a list of Sparkly People, who I believe do sparkly things...