Nature As Medicine

Nature Heals!

elizabet eiler

(image, with thanks, from Elizabet Eiler)

Nature heals me better than anything else out there.

Give me some time to play in the dirt, dip in the creek, climb the hill, or ride an ocean wave and I’ll be okay.

Nature has always been my haven and my healing balm. I go to her when I’m weary and frayed by the woes of the world. I go to her to re-enchant my sense of wonder and refresh my sanity. I go to her to deepen my faith and rekindle my spirit.

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These days I find myself  following this good advice:bigcitybelle.blogspot.com

(image from: http://www.bigcitybelle.blogspot.com)

Not chasing the news or endlessly checking my emails, not allowing myself to be swept up into anyone else’s drama or being drawn into chronic despair, is freeing so much positive energy in my life! I find myself creating more, caring more, sleeping better, loving more deeply, and being profoundly grateful for all the tiny joys in my life.

wildwomansisterhood

I start my days in the garden, marveling at the bees and birds and budding flowers. I find every opportunity to be outside playing. I love our camping adventures and time spent by the campfire under the dazzling stars. I love quiet. And stillness. And breathing deep.

nature

I’m an old hippie girl…barefoot and sun-dappled…a wreath of wildflowers in my hair…who has become an earth elder…an aged and seasoned gray haired crone devoted to taking care of Mother Earth.

medicine woman

I join the ranks of my heroines…

rachel carson

Rachel Carson

tasha tudor

Tasha Tudor

georgia o'keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe

dian fossey

Dian Fossey

temple grandin

Temple Grandin

jane goodall

Jane Goodall

alice walker

Alice Walker

joy harjo

Joy Harjo

buffy saint-marie

Buffy Saint-Marie

and, most especially,

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Wangari Maathai

in caring about the planet and putting my energy out there to uplift and celebrate others who join me in this work.

There are so many important causes to throw our energy into…and I am so pleased that our Creative Cottage tribe is actively participating in a huge variety of good works and consciousness raising activities about health care, children’s rights, immigration, and gun control. 

wommin power

I care deeply about all of these issues as well but, as an elder tribeswoman, one of my most important passions is being a nature steward, an earth tender, a voice for Mother Earth. I take this pledge every day…

oath

My work is to help protect and preserve our precious planet, to be an informed citizen, to share my concerns about global warming and the poisoning of our water, food, & air.

monsanto

My work is to keep my heart healthy so I can continue to  be an earth warrior.

My work is finding common ground, discovering ways we can agree, energizing people to feel they can make a difference, and reminding people they have the right (and responsibility) to raise their voices and insist on common decencies.  

forumactif

(image from http://www.forumactif.com)

Please find ways you can help…join me (and our Cottage sisters) in the struggle to make a positive, constructive, honest, hard-working, focused difference in our world…cuz…

give a shit

In solidarity,

In the spirit of peace,

In the hope that you will join me,

each of us in our own small way,

turning the prayer wheel

for a better world.

With Love and Commitment,

Kaitlin

woman power

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Random Acts of Love (& Art)!

random

I’ve turned a corner, jumped a fence, run out of the dark alley that’s held me captive for a while as I’ve grappled with health issues and the terrible disappointment of our country’s politics.

But in this beautiful season of rebirth, renewal, and resurrection, I’ve re-emerged, out the other side, into the sunny balm of a new day and new passions.

It’s danged hard to keep me down! I’m determined to do some small good in the world and to keep my faith, my joy, and my heart alive & well. Despite all odds.

My philosophy has always been to…

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And I wanted to include our beautiful little tribe of Creative Cottage sisters in my new passion. Last week we launched an exciting new adventure together. We call ourselves Art Givers Anonymous and we’ve fashioned a creative coven of inspired women artists who make art to give away. Yes! To give away!

I have a long history of random acts of art in my life…my first recollection is a May Day 60 years ago–a little woven basket of painted popsicle sticks and a rag-tag bouquet of flowers left anonymously on the doorknob of an elderly shut-in. 

I’ve always loved paying forward little random acts of kindness. In college I became a Guerrilla Girl, making passionate political art and doing performance art in the streets. Decades later, I became the founder of Tucson’s chapter of Code Pink, the act up/act out group of women determined to be visible in their beliefs, and I staged a very successful Creativity Boot Camp for inspired activists at the Quaker Meeting House.

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And now, it’s come full circle. Our devoted gaggle of Creative Cottage women have joined me in scattering their art to the winds of hope as small acts of love.

It was a wee bit of a risk to venture it. I am, after all, in the business of providing creative technique and how-to classes for women to make artist books, embossed metals, and become empowered to be Girlz with Tools. To ask women to pay to make art to ultimately give away? Well. Crazy, huh?

But you responded with wild enthusiasm–the class filled in minutes of me posting it and now we have a committed group who will make this monthly practice an on-going part of their spiritual and artistic process. I‘m soooo thrilled!

This is what we made this month…

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Little mini-canvases to leave around Tucson with uplifting messages of love and hope.  Sarah left hers at Arizona Oncology for patients dealing with chemo.

random sarah

Anne left hers at the Prison Camp Trailhead.

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We have an email account:

artgivers@gmail.com

so that those who find our art can leave a comment.

We keep a log of what we make, where and when we leave it, and the feedback we receive.

It’s exciting!

Look around–are there little bits of this and that you might be able to repurpose somehow as an ephemeral piece of art released with love into the universe?

It’s a tiny thing.

A little gesture.

A mere moment of pure magic shared.

But it matters.

And it says, “Here, take this little gift, you’re worthy, you’re blessed, and somewhere, someone is sending you love.”

Frankly, that’s about all I can think to do right now in the midst of these revolutionary times.

I gotta do SOMETHING!

And if, in any way what-so-ever, I can spread JOY and generosity and act with the utmost civility and grace, then that is what I can do.

And you can too.

Every day in tiny ways…be kind, be willing to share joy, lift your life up to the light!

Love Love Love From Kaitlin and the Art Givers

May You Be Inspired!

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

By Kaitlin Meadows

GOLLY GEEZ!

magic 10

Life is certainly a fascinating journey!

Just about the time you think you have a handle on it, there’s another freak rain storm and you realize you’ve forgotten your umbrella!

I was pretty danged sure I was almost, not quite, kinda-sorta, practically WELL again, thank you very much!

And then, BAM! knocked off my feet in another of Mr. Toad’s mad tumbles.

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If this sort of stuff is “character building”–I’m officially now QUITE the character!

Flat on my back, feeling like the universe inexplicably double-crossed me again, I could have chosen to stay down this time. Just give it up. Let it all go.

But there’s a wild Irish warrior woman who lives inside my soul and she’s still, apparently, got a lotta livin’ to do.

She just WOULDN’T allow me to cash it in yet.

Seems she’s got BIG plans for me.

Love to share, friends to enjoy, art to make, LIFE to LIVE.

So, I got back up and I decided to

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Sure I was scared.

Sure, for a moment there, I was pissed.

Sure I thought

how can this rickety old heart

keep going with soooo many setbacks?

How can I keep bouncing back?

What if, this time, I just can’t?

Well, heck. I gotta.

Too many people have loved and cared and been there for me.

Too many people have told me I could.

Too many people want to keep on hangin’ out at the Creative Cottage with me.

Too many people have been praying for me. 

This is what I realized about myself:

magic 2

There’s still work to be done.

There’s still joy & love & good tidings to share.

So I’m NOT giving up.

I’m NOT quitting.

I’m NOT gonna let this get me down.

Neener-neener!

So, I have a battered old heart.

So, I’m old and crotchety.

So, my stamina is mostly gone and my focus is a little blurry.

So I ain’t no spring chick.

So WHAT?

I can still love and laugh and celebrate joy and make mischief and LIVE!

Because

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I just gotta “keep on keepin’ on”

one day at a time,

minute by minute,

with as much gratitude and wonder and courage as I can muster.

I gotta keep at the task of being fully human,

immeasurably flawed,

and not a little scared by the way the world is going.

All I can do is hold my corner of it up.

All I can do is to stand for love,

work for peace,

and lavish myself in gratitude for every danged breath I still have.

magic 1

So here I go, back in the swing, up in the air,

heart-pounding,

laughter-abounding,

ready for the next chapter!

Thanks for keeping me in your hearts,

for trusting that I wouldn’t give up,

and for being there,

on the other side of the dark & scary places,

with your own love & laughter & eagerness to LIVE!

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Let’s “keep on keepin’ on” TOGETHER!

Holding each other UP,

sharing each other’s tears,

celebrating each other’s victories,

and healing each other’s heart break.

I’m ready,

here is my hand,

let’s go!

With Love and Gratitude,

Kaitlin

Mistress of Merriment

© Copyright Kaitlin Meadows, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

By Kaitlin Meadows