Thursday, October 18, 2012

Shedding light

At Some point in my evolution, I outgrew my defenses, but my defenses are so built in by now, that I don't know how to shed them. I'm carrying around this defensive posture, and this chronic back pain, this emotional pain, vestiges from my past. I had a friend work on my back and neck last night, and he gently said, "you are holding on to a lot of stuff in your back, lady. Be careful, someone might be trying to help you." Which was followed by a conversation about my posture, shoulders rolled forward, head tucked, like I am expecting to get hit at any moment. He said chronic back and neck pain is almost always due to emotional trauma, holding on to stuff, which I knew already. And proceeded to point out that mine was expecting to get hit. Either by a person, or by the universe. And that the universe may not actually be wanting to keep hitting me. It is this same defense mechanism that keeps me from asking for help and support, even when I desperately need it. It is easier to do everything myself than to have expectations dashed, or be left in the cold when I most need to be brought into the warmth. And then my head exploded. And the tears came. Truth.

So I wonder, by continuing to hold and carry these outmoded defense mechanism, these expectations, am I actually carrying the cycle? Creating exactly what I don't want, subconsciously? A sort of self fulfilling prophecy. Is this why I have always sought out relationships that reinforce my fears, my beliefs of being unworthy? Relationships that are neglectful and stuff me back in my dark hole, and often, downright abusive? And how do I let this go? How do I release a defense mechanism, an emotional expectation that at many points in my life has served to protect me, but now is holding me back in my growth. I don't have the answers at this time, but I know that by naming that which is unnamed, by bringing these shadows from the darkness to the light, it helps to release their hold, and to transmute them.

So here it is. Dear Dominique, it is time to release the defense mechanisms that no longer serve you, the expectations of being hit by person or universal forces. You are safe. You will never be in that position again. And it is ok to let go and move on. It's time to step out of the darkness and into the light. I love you. The universe loves you. Everything is going to be ok.

Love, Nika

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Stepping out of the shadows.

What happens when the pieces don't fit here any more. When your skin feels too tight, your whole body aches for something different, and Everything. Everything that was or has been feels all wrong, somehow. I am standing on the precipice, gale force winds at my back, looking at the rushing waterfall before me, knowing I have no choice but to leap, let the current take me where it will. My body screams at me daily that the life I've been leading simply will not do. I still have a body wracking cough. I'm physically and emotionally exhausted. I'm dropping weight that i cannot afford to lose, and losing my strength and energy with it. My back aches, pretty much everywhere it can. I have laser sharp pain shooting down both legs, sciatica. No problem, I've worked through that before. And then pain in my solar plexus and sides, making it extremely difficult to pick anything up. Whoa dude. Ok. I get it.
So I'm setting boundaries. Maybe for the first time in years, maybe ever. No. I'm sorry. I can't do that. I just plain hurt too much. And yet. I still feel guilty. Still feel a responsibility to do all the things. I suppose in this way, my body is smarter than I am. It's taken that option straight off the table.
This is not a post to complain. This is a post about what happens when superwoman discovers that being super wears you down. That burning the candle at both ends leaves you nothing but ash, in the end. An admission: I am strong, but not unbreakable. I cannot do everything myself, it turns out. And I'm done. I am so fragile right now I feel like I could shatter into a million pieces if you touched me too hard. And maybe that's what I'm doing. Shattering. So I can become something new. Forged by the fire of transformation, stepping out of the shadows, glowing with the inner light that is my true self. Cracking open to let the light in.
I want comfort. I want my life to be easy. I want stability, a clean house, a sanctuary, love, clean relationships, tribe, laughter, warmth, hot baths, delicious food, music, my animals, happiness, abundance, unbridled joy, passion. I want to travel more. I want to utilize my creativity, to write more, to paint, to design. I have to be done with the hard core manual labor, or I will destroy my precious body.
I have lived my whole life with the unspoken, yet ingrained belief that life had to be hard, making money had to be hard, relationships had to be hard, for me to be worthy. That somehow i don't Deserve Love. I don't Deserve wealth. I don't Deserve happiness or ease. It's my story. But it's also my mothers story, and that of generations past. I'm going to set that story down here now. Bring it out of the shadows and set it free. I have been punishing my self, my whole life for some transgression, committed in this life, in a past life, both? And I'm done now. I forgive myself. The universe forgives me. It's no longer serving me, and it's certainly not serving the universe. So this is where I step aside. I get out of my own way. I stop stumbling over the same outdated stories, my own, those of my ancestors, and those others carry about me.
I am worthy of the things I want-and so much more. And I'm going to have them. *impish grin, spreads arms wide open to recieve, and leaps off precipice. Splash*

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Filling up.

Sometimes it serves us to know our limits. I have a tendency to do so much, to give so much of myself away, not stopping to refill, refuel, or care for myself the way I need to, until something has to give. Three weeks ago I got sick, and am still carrying the vestiges of that illness. And still I pushed myself. On Saturday, in exhaustion and stress, I snapped at my mother. In front of her entire family. And again, yesterday evening. A clear indication that I need to step back, and change something. I have been stressing on the upcoming move, and not knowing yet where I am going.
  Yesterday I woke up with a lump in the left side of my neck, causing a radiating headache, and sciatic nerve pain in my right hip and leg. Still. I pushed myself. Unloading a one ton feed sack from the back of the truck with a bucket. Which, by the way, is an excellent core work out. I could feel my abs and arms burning as I did it. At nine o clock last night I ate my first real meal for the day. Because Hannah brought me food, otherwise it might not have happened.

This morning I can't move my neck. And the pain in my hip is making it hard to move. I dropped Marisol off for school in my pajamas, which today, are oversized Barney purple scrub pants, and a Lobo Rugby 2004 league champions shirt. Which brought me flash backs of my mom dropping us off for school in her pajamas, her hair all curly and going all directions, just as mine was this morning.

So this morning I do laundry. This afternoon I escape to my dad's house- my Sanctuary. The place where I am Seen. And Loved, with no Judgement. My Heart/Soul sister Giselle will work on my hurts, I will be fed, and nourished, and nurtured, and relaxed. The calming temple-like atmosphere, always full of beautiful music will feed my soul, and the hottub will iron out the aches. I will fill my baskets, and will be better for it.

As women, nurturers, we so often forget to take the time to nurture and care for ourselves. But if we don't then we start to come apart at the seems. It isn't possible to help others if we are running on empty, or worse, on a deficit. So I stop. I take time to fill up. To be loved. So I can continue on.

What are you doing to nurture yourself today?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Finding peace.

Sometimes peace is taking an unplanned walk with a pack of dogs by your side. No camera, no phone, just your senses, and theirs. Eyes up, nose down, the flag of a tail behind you. Note the sounds  of the leaves, crunching beneath your feet. The piles of milky thistle seeds caught in the black berries, who are in the last throes of berry production. The flock of ravens owning the middle of the field, who require chasing. The lone egret, stalking gracefully in the green grass, also requires chasing. The holes in the black berry thicket which house interesting smells, and more interesting critters. Finding access and crashing through the woods following your nose. Tail wagging with joy. The hound dog always ranging, smelling, exploring, active, giving chase. The big shaggy sheepdog shepard mix preferring to walk by your side, touching you, your hand finding his large back for regular reassurance. The Yorkshire terrier, faithful shadow, nose snuffling every hole, trailing every footfall. And the old cairn terrier, loping a distance behind, tongue out, panting with exertion, but refusing to be left behind. Feel the spirit of the girl cairn terrier, so recently passed, running free and happy with the big dogs, sniffing out rodents, and stopping for wrasseling as needed, always joyful, her tail wagging ceaselessly, her ears up, tongue out, eyes squinting in laughter as she dances, always just out of reach.

See the patches of Judah, growing wild here, the very ground cover you had felt to plant around the house to out compete the burr clover that has infiltrated every part of your life. Reaching an empty pond, rushes and nutsedge indicating the presence of water here, and the dogs show you the quickest, easiest way through. Note the fox scat, full of berries, pine nuts, apple seeds. Pick up turkey feathers, and pennyroyal. Smell. Walk back through the creek. Duck under the barbed wire and realize that the cows come down here. The creek bed is churned up, and cow patties dot the landscape. Pick up pieces of obsidian, add to treasures in your pocket. Back up the hill. Climb into the deep holes in the earth. And just sit. Watching, feeling, breathing, hearing, grounding. The Shepard can't stand you to be in the hole without him. He and all the other animals circle the hole, looking at you, talking to you, sprinkling you with loose dirt and rocks. He finds a way down to you, and licks your face, ecstatic. Find a deeper hole. Sit there. The Shepard is losing it, whining, standing above you, he can't get in this one. Give up, climb halfway out, grab the shepard's collar and use him as an anchor to pull you off the slippery slope. Allow ecstatic kisses. Sit in the sunshine. Breathe. Peace.

Go in the house. Giggle at the snake on the stove, soaking in the warmth from the pilot light. And the enormous worried looking shaggy dog hiding in the tiny trailer bathroom from the evil yellow jackets outside.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

SoulStorm Session Love.

Hello loves. I know it's been a while... As you may or may not know, I moved to a new farm in May, and have been homesteading, with very limited internet access. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share with you this amazing opportunity. These are the women who have held my hand through all of the deep, sometimes difficult, and infinitely rewarding soul work I have been doing for the last year. You want to know the secret of how I manifest the magic in my life? How I create the life I dream of and pursue my heart's desires? This is it.
Circling up with Maya and Pixie has been life changing. Deep, alchemical, soul-supporting, paradigm shifting work, the work of light bearers. This is not your e-course, teacher/student set up. this is circling up with sisters who wade into the deep work with you, holding your hand, and supporting the goddess within to come out and play. I've built lifetime connections, friendships, a strong supporting network, and received confidence, empowerment, peace, and grace, through the work done with these SoulSisters. I would jump at the opportunity to work with, and be with these two, any time, any where. A force of nature to be reckoned with, and a breath of clean, purifying air. Are you feeling the need to explore your inner wild woman? To follow your intuition? To use your creative fire to make a living doing what you love? Unsure how to make this happen? Circle up to the fire, my loves... come in out of the cold, to community, to love, to following your spirit into the light.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

spring on the farm

(Misa, and her daughter Yarrow)

It's spring, for all that it has decided to act like winter, with the recent cold weather and heavy rains, here in Northern California. A time of new growth, new beginnings, new life. On the farm, this time of year is really busy, and also a vulnerable, fragile time for us. All of our dreams for the upcoming year are being sown now, literally... the greenhouse is full of seedlings pushing toward the light, representing our dreams, financial investment, charting the course of our work in the field for the upcoming year, and finally, the reward of harvest. We struggle with enough heat, but not so much that it dries out the plants, or fries their tender little shoots-enough water, not to excess, too much can cause damp off- a fungus that kills the seed, or makes the little sprout soft and weak, blackened and withered at the soil line. We dance with the weather, planting too early in a warm spell can either get you ahead, if the weather holds, or we can lose the seed in a cold spell, or a hard rain.

Three of my five Nigerian Dwarf goats are pregnant. Originally, I had calculated they would be due Mid to late April or later, based on the arrival of our buck, Mr. Goodbar in mid-November, time for him to get of each of them, and a gestation period of 145-153 days. Even so, I have been checking obsessively, seeing mucus plugs in Borage and Bella, and Bella's milk came in last week as well, all signs of somewhat imminent kidding.

I separated Borage out into a kidding stall, and she yelled for a day for her Yarrow, so I put Yarrow in with her, even though Yarrow didn't seem close to kidding, and they spent the day hopping over the fence into the next pen over, as the grass was definitely greener over there. A few days later, I decided I hadn't seen any further signs of kidding, so I let them back out. Then I put Bella in the kidding stall. I mean, her milk was in, she was bound to kid soon, right? I put the alpine nubian cross, Fancy Pants, in with Bella. She is the bottom of the pecking order for all the goats, even though she is taller than most of them, and she so bonded to Bella, she seemed lost without her. She does not, for the record, seem pregnant at all, and she needs to eat more, she is one skinny goat- which is what happens, if you walk away from food the moment someone else walks toward you. Being separated also gives Fancy Pants the chance to eat her fill.
The last few days I have found Bella and Fancy Pants crammed into the same crate together, melting my heart each time.

my sweet Bella
Bella, and my Broad Breasted Bronze Turkey Tom, sneaking in for a little sexy dance.
Bella with her back to us, and Fancy Pants peeking out of the crate on a gloomy day.

I am about to go on vacation, to Oregon to see some dear lady friends, and let our children meet and play for a week. First vacation I have had since before Marisol was born. Of course, I will now be spending my vacation in virtual farm mama mode, checking in on my babies via text and fb to see if they have kidded yet.

The Roosters are all running the barn yard like gangsters- cock fights where ever you turn, round a corner and you'll find four big roosters holding down a smaller roo, taking turns beating the crap out of him, in the opposite corner, you can hear the hens scream, as the roosters form a circle around her, hold her down, and take turns raping her. I'm going to be harvesting as many roosters as I have energy for this Saturday. I hate what they are doing to each other, but mostly, I hate what they are doing to my ladies. They are missing feathers on their backs and heads from having the roosters hang onto their head feathers while mounting them, and scraping their spurs across their backs. Roosters are rapacious bastards. I hope to never have as many as I did this year, or to kill them earlier next time, before it becomes such a criminal scene out there.

Meanwhile, the ducks are thrilled that the slough and pond are full of water. They are out there swimming, fishing, and resting on the island in the middle. They, of all the animals, love the rain, and I find them out there quacking happily, walking their waddle walk, searching for insects in the grass, and moving on to the next big puddle. I know when they have been let out in the morning, because I have a duck couple who have decided the tub of water outside my house, and the puddle right next to it, are their preferred hang out. Their happy quacking winds its way into my sleep, making me smile.
And my turkeys. How I love these fellas. They are wandering the barn yard with their feathers all poofed out in full display. They have a giant air sac in their chest, which helps with the puffed out chest look, and also with the noises they make in their display. They spread out their tail feathers in a fan like shape, snap their wing tips down on the ground, and shake their wings, and the rest of their feathers... all the while making a drumming noise in their chest. When they inhale to fill the air sac, they then exhale sharply making a spitting noise which is also part of their little gig. So they trek around shaking their tail feathers at each other, and anyone else that will pay attention, and they Drum and Spit. Occasionally they stand face to face and gobble at each other, necks crossing, for hours, (hilarity, I assure you). The other day, I had a friend come by with her mom, and one of the toms decided she was so lovely she warranted a special sexy seduction dance. He rested his head on her shoe, and then proceeded to stomp one foot while making the drumming spitting noise, shaking and shimmying all of his feathers, and rubbing on her in this lopsided drunken old man kind of dance, around and around her legs. It was hella sexy. I mean, I'm pretty sure she didn't find it as sexy, or as hilarious as I did, and her mom certainly didn't- she was trying to shield her from the amorous turkey advances. But I sat there laughing my ass off and trying to capture the event on video. (fail) The turkeys are, so far, my favorite poultry. They are easy to steer around the barn yard, their calls are easy to mimic, they are loving and friendly, and follow me around the farm as I do chores, and they are hours and hours of entertainment. I have liked them at every stage. Well, there was the teenage phase where one of the males launched himself at the back of my head trying to mate me. I could do without that, but still, it was pretty amusing. Plus, they look really cool, and they are delicious. I will be having more turkeys in the future, for sure. I think I want a breeding pair of lavender turkeys. (Yes, yes, I know, everything in my world has to be purple, it's a gorgeous color- I admit to being obsessed.) Ok my loves, I am beyond tired. Let me know what kind of farm stories are you interested in hearing about, hmmm? xoxox
Turkeys, strutting

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


One year ago, I was curled up on the couch in a ball of tears, and misery. Completely incapacitated by my unhappiness, by fear, by anxiety, and by the full blown panic attacks that I was experiencing at the thought of leaving my husband, to strike out on my own with our young daughter, but knowing, at my core, that leaving him was the only choice. In my gut, I knew that I would never be able to achieve my dreams and goals if I continued to try to carry him. That I needed to let him go, and set myself free to grow, to blossom, to farm.

I had the support of many friends, both physical, and virtual, Sarah, in particular, was my rock, my cheerleader, my voice of reason. She called and checked in with me every day to make sure I was handlng life, to offer support, to listen to my panicked tears, to offer feedback, and wisdom, acting as the gut-check I had drowned out.

Six months prior, fox began making her presence known in my life, and barn owl too. Both making prominent daily appearances, in ways that I couldn't ignore. I started paying attention to when they appeared, what was going on inside me, and what messages they might be trying to convey. Around this time, I met Pixie, through a friend's blog, and instantly fell in love, knew I had to have more of this woman, this presence, in my life. She, and her SouLodge group/class, has been instrumental in helping me release all of the unneccesary baggage I have been dragging around behind me for years, things that served me once, but no longer. In its stead, I reclaim my power, my intuition, my happiness, freedom.

Today, I live and work on a farm in Windsor, Takenoko Farms. I have the Nigerian Dwarf goats I have wanted as long as I can remember, along with ducks, chickens, turkeys, and there are pigs and geese on the property too! I still work at Tierra Vegetables, and love what I do, and I also "guest" work on other farms. I just finished a ten day stint at Felton Acres, a sustainable, pasture raised meat, egg, and goat dairy farm in Sebastopol. What an experience! I learn so much at every farm I work at, it is simply amazing. Working with animals makes me so incredibly happy, something I have known my entire life.

I am in better shape now, than I have ever been. I am doing what I love, and surround myself with people who love and support me, and what I do. I never imagined, a year ago, that I could possibly be as happy, as whole, as well rounded as I feel today. It has not been without it's struggles, indeed, the year has been challenging, to say the least- but rewarding beyond belief. The ultimate lesson from the universe, "leap, and the net will appear." Change can be so difficult, when you are up in it, when you resist. But, Oh! The beautiful things that can happen when we allow change to work it's magic in our lives. I am happy, and I am incredibly grateful for the life I have today, and to everyone in it, who make this life of mine so beautiful, thank you.

I am falling asleep in front of the computer again, so I am off!