Have a wonderful Lunar New Year 🧧

In honor of the holiday, I’m sharing a passage from the random Tao. https://randomtao.org/

Twelve
The five colors blind the eye.
The five tones deafen the ear.
The five flavors dull the taste.
Racing and hunting madden the mind,
Precious things lead us astray.

Therefore the wise are guided by what they feel and not by what they see,
Letting go of that and choosing this.

👁👂👅🤪 👀 to ❤️ 🙏🏽 🫁 🧘‍♀️🧘‍♂️

Lagom

noun:

the principle of living a balanced, moderately paced, low-fuss life: those who achieve lagom routinely take time to appreciate their surroundings, take several breaks during the workday, dress from a minimal and versatile wardrobe, and treat others with respect and kindness: “After spending two fabulous months with my in-laws at their home in Stockholm, I’ve decided I need to bring some lagom into my hectic American life.” (Dictionary.com)

Chamomile tea break credit: unsplash.com

Happy New Year of the Metal Ox 🐂

Celebration credit:Unsplash.com
Sandy Path
Mountains and Chaparral

Wishing everyone a Happy Lunar New Year 🧧 February 12th. It’s like a second start to the year, another new beginning. 😉 🎈

The pictures above are from one of my brief daytime walks.

The beginning of healing

It’s a healthy thing to accept where we are.

Today is the beginning of my healing, I say. Everything else that I did prior to today was a warm-up, or so it seems. Let the healing begin. Let this begin at a deeper level. Let me be genuine in my fearlessness to discover my healing in new ways. When I speak from a wound let it be pure and innocent as any welcomed embrace into the heart of forgiveness. I am equal to all others, I am free to be me as I am, as I am healing, and I am conscious and aware of my tender places inside and around me. I face the shadowed energies with renewed courage, renewed admission. I am in no hurry to rush past this point beyond where I find my language, in self kindness, to be aware. Let today be the beginning of a deeper way, a guided trust into the heart of all my hopes and abilities, and into the places that transcend my capacity. There is a greater spirit which is in my house, my heart. There is a god/goddess, Jesus, Buddha, a gift of presence. What would I do without my prayer? How would I call out for help? There is in me the ability to access the gift of guidance for all. There is in me the gift of awareness and a strength that even I do not know. I enter the beginning of my healing with deep gratitude. I am heard. I am loved. I am awake and trembling in the face of all its majesty, and it is okay. There is a peace and silence in my suffering. When I recognize that I can easily begin now.

red heart shaped hanging decor
image credit: https://unsplash.com/@antegudelj

I watched the inauguration today, and I am proud to participate in welcoming in this new administration. I have hope again. While I never really “lost” hope. I’ve been dangerously close to it so many times. Maybe I lost it for several hours, or for days at a time. When I think back to the previous 4 years, I know how broken I have felt and how damaged and shredded much of my energy had become. I see can it even better now. Having a good person in office, someone who knows suffering and also the overcoming of it, is admirable; and restores my faith to a degree that needed restoration. This is the beginning.

Trouvaille

I consider it a lucky find (trouvaille) whenever I come across an image that I would like to photograph! Since 2021 is going to be another “busy” year, I thought I’d try to keep the content flowing here at Fiestaestrellas and periodically post with new and interesting words in the title. Since so many of us here are logophiles.

So how is your 2o21 going so far?

This year, I focused on manifesting peacefulness, grace, and more organization and beauty in my life. I’ve also been trying to generate more “spaciousness.” This is a great exercise! Wishing you all a Happy New Year, 2021

May 2021 hold more trouvailles for you!

Astrology of Shifts

Image by Haley Rivera from Unsplash

We have a solar eclipse coming up here on December 14, a Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Aquarius shortly after that and then a Full Moon in Cancer on the 29th. There’s been a lot of astrology to talk about during all these crazy months but these newer developments feel more liberating than we’ve seen in a while.

The solar eclipse on the 14th is in the sign of Sagittarius. It’s a good opportunity to take stock of beliefs and how beliefs affect and color emotions to create mental filter through which we determine our realities. There’s a lot of social movements and many small groups that have communications around beliefs and translating those into visions for how to live in the world. However I’m more interested on the individual level and how the astrology can be used to help liberate us.

For one, this solar eclipse which translates into a Sun and Moon conjunction in the sign of Sagittarius at 23 degrees and 8 min, at at 11:16 a.m. ET/8:16 a.m. PT. is within a 3 degree orb conjunction with Mercury. The stories we tell ourselves are so important, and they are important at any time. However when we are on the cusp of a new adventure or journey, as at this eclipse, we are even more guided to the star ⭐️ we hitch our wagons to. That wagon is the energy or the wheels we give to our personal stories. When we seek liberation, we often try to overcome personal stories but then miss out on the richness of a life of non-attachment within those stories that decorate and frame our lives.

For me, this eclipse takes place in my 11th house of hopes and dreams and this week I’m finishing up a long term goal to complete my Masters program in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine and fulfill my last requirements. I’ve had a long journey 6+ years with this endeavor and I’ve really struggled a lot through many personal challenges. There’s also been many graces along the way; but overall, I wanted to quit many times. At this point, I’m looking forward to integrating and spending some time in a place where I can be on the other end of this milestone. I put in a tremendous amount of energy, work, and slayed so many personal demons, but I’ve got more effort and work ahead of me, no doubt. For now, I’m enjoying the energy of this solar eclipse to highlight for me how my life is in many ways “scheduled and on-time” regardless of how my ego sometimes prefers.

This Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in my 12th house will further light up areas where my self-undoing has short-changed me but best of all these openings will finally be in the same sign as my ascendant in Aquarius. I’m ready to be moving into my Aquarian energy again, into my 1st house eventually, which is a little while away, but will be an additional boost to how I experience myself interfacing and interacting with deepest hopes and dreams, as a whole and refreshed person on the new horizon of my new consciousness.

It’ll be interesting to see where we all land on the full Moon in Cancer on December 29, as this virus continues to challenge individuals, families and cultural and financial systems.

January 2020 began, after all, with a moon in Cancer, on January 10. Reflecting back on this time is full-circle, where will we be? Where will you be? Come January 28, 2021 the first full moon of the year will be in Leo. So let’s think on it. Let’s call in Sagittarian wisdom from experience that we have special access to during this eclipse and look at this Cancerian (stay at home) year, in bookends.

Let’s figure out how we translate into the New Year 2021, as the year that brings our strengths into the equation in a new way. We have in so many ways been vulnerable in 2020 (Cancer), some have fought against what might have been perceived as authoritarian and rules from governance, and now it’s time to think about the ways within we’ve grown as we continue to walk into a more Leonine head-still-held-up, in a “how we survived,” call to grace. It’s those sprouts 🌱 which will come up in the new year, 2021. We will be dusting off the ashes, so to speak.

I hope you all have a peaceful and healthy holiday transition this December as many have already begun celebrating Hanukkah and this month is rich in energy for hope and magic. May you be well, May you be happy.

Image from Tijana Tijana Drndarski Unsplashed

nano poblano finale & change challenge, astrology

This is my final blog post for the November Nano Poblano Challenge, and I’ve been blogging every day, all month! This was a challenge I didn’t think I’d take on with such a busy schedule, but alas, I did it! I’ll be linking all my blog posts here at the bottom. It’s also the day I’m going to be writing for Linda’s challenge, called, Litebeing Chronicles Change Challenge,” which is going through to the end of the year. If you are interested in adding your blog to the challenge, go ahead and clink on the link above. She asked us to write about “our insights, ideas, and evolution.”

What I’ve noticed is I have a very hard time following prompts, be they writing prompts or any kind. I’m learning that prompts are big for bloggers and creative people; but, I’ve just never been really good at them. When I attempt one, I find my mind goes blank. Some would call this writer’s block, but I never considered myself a writer. I do enjoy writing poetry, but I prefer to write it without rhyme more often than not. This style is called free verse, and it’s completely legitimate poetry. Well, maybe one day I’ll try my hand at ever newer things. I know would love to, in a way, when the time is right. Especially when it seems like it will be fun!

My evolution: Since the pandemic, being in graduate school full time (and finishing up this term) and also taking care of my now-toddler at home full-time, I found that I can still meditate, stretch, exercise, and basically work on things like alleviating my chronic pain. I have solid knowledge about what is helpful for me to keep myself afloat during these days where we wonder what’s next. I’ve become comfortable with where I am in life, exactly as it is. My ambitions are pretty relaxed right now. I’ve lost the pregnancy weight; I’ve kept myself afloat, mostly positive, and hopeful when I needed it the most. I have a very small support network, but I am grateful for the few people I have in my life.

I have less resistance to the present moment.

I find life incredibly exciting, delicious, and full of opportunity. I also love blogging with all of you! I wish I had something deep to say, but I really don’t. I’m immersed in the ordinariness of life right now, of time management, of trying to squeeze out creativity where I can. I’m still in the middle of the pandemic, in my world. It’s still happening. The most important thing I do these days is keep my mind on the present moment. That said, I’m pleased with how the month went with Nano Poblano.

Here’s an easy to use guide/summation of my posts for this month:

This month I decided to review my images from my time in Cambodia. You can see those images here. The intention for my posts this time was to be random. As it turns out there were a few themes, travel:

Cambodia 1, Cambodia 2 , Cambodia 3, Cambodia 4, Cambodia 5, Cambodia6

I also recorded a number of meditation tracks to help you with your meditation practice, or for you to give it a try.

Lovingkindness meditation, Compassion meditation for easing anxiety, Outdoors meditation, Self-kindness meditation, Qi Gong video

I also wrote more poetry than I have for a while, even while feeling uninspired for a while.

diegesis, hope is manifest, life of bamboo, roots, delicious sun

I shared a couple of recipes:

apricot yums, chocolate vitality chia pudding,

A microstory with some vintage music:

microstory

Animal love/medicine:

Hedgehogs! (more than necessary during election time), hummingbird, dragon,

Mixed

Pablo Neruda’s poem and commentary on the environment.

Californian Autumn

Bird of Paradise

Prose: Growing time

Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving2

Diana’s Muse challenge post

the green woman

*All throughout my posts are a lot of my photography. It’s not something I’m doing right now, but I have enjoyed sharing these images.

In the beginning of 2017, I published my first book of poetry. It’s available to purchase if you click on the link to your right of this text. I hope to publish another book someday. Although, I have no plans right now to do one.

“Never travel alone” Ka Malana Photography

I’ve also been listening to jazz a lot. I mean, a lot. Here’s an upbeat favorite of mine. I read that Lee Morgan did the trumpet on this one. Benny Golson does the tenor sax. That trumpet and sax really have “voice.” What I love about jazz is how the music it builds and flows. I love the personality of the instruments. Then the piano, Bobby Timmons, just makes me smile. How could I not smile when listening to this track? That’s just me. Art Blakey on the drums, and Jymie Merritt on the bass, and the deal is sealed.


We’ve got a full moon upon us, as an eclipse, this lunation joins the a wide 11 degree angle to the North Node in Gemini. Tis the season for communicatin’ while the Sun anchors in the sign of Sagittarius (tropical zodiac). While we are all in our local neighborhoods (Gemini) for the most part, due to the pandemic, the travel desire of the Sun is strong. So we can use a few “mental vacations” or some light-hearted fun! How about a card game with your housemates? No, I’m not talking about “online.” Take some time to unplug from your tech, even if it’s only 10 min you wouldn’t have otherwise, unless you set the intention.

An eclipse in the mutable signs lends for more changeability and reorientation. Maybe you’ve thought of moving your furniture into a different configuration, or maybe you want to give your sister or brother a call and see what changes they are up to, maybe their relationships are changing, breakups and back-together-agains and they’d like to chat in your ear? What new ways have you found to navigate in your living spaces during this pandemic? You might want to embrace those Sagittarian ambitions but have to look at what’s right in front of you (Gemini). What can you communicate that is ordinary (something you thought was matter of fact) but hasn’t been said? Maybe it will help others get through the day with a little more smoothness? How can that ready sense of adventure be translated into your next foray into the walls within your local community? The past couple of days I was out at the park and laced up my roller skates for the first time in 2 years. Getting around on skates is a good match for this full moon. Be safe, be well, and have fun navigating these times!

Steps before the muse

Stairs are in my dreams and in my reality.

“Go down and see what’s there.”

Me: “The steps, do you think they are even?”

“are any of us even?”

Me: “good point, I’ll try my luck on them.”

“What if you hop on every other one?”

Me: “what would be the point of that, I could fall?!”

“Isn’t it just fun to hop, sometimes, you know for no reason?”

Me: “Oh, good idea”

“BRB, I have to go attack a hawk with my murder. CAW. CAW.”

Me: “But, wait, you are my muse?

“CAW.”

Photo from Unsplash, Tyler Quiring

Diana Wallace Peach, from Myths of the Mirror, made an interesting challenge for bloggers and artists this month to write a dialogue with one or more of their muses. I’m not really a writer, so this was me trying my best. My muses don’t usually strike up a conversation. But this one did come along for the challenge, er, nudge me down the steps. I wonder what will happen when I take the muse’s advice and hop down those steps, just for fun. Diana’s site is here.

delicious sun

Ka Malana Photography
Ka Malana Photography

the sun is delicious with its orange yum glow

it dangles the edge of the horizon,

painting with wet colors

as it slips into the brown earth layers,

implants like a vibrant seed into the

cool, jazzy earth.

then with a wink, the earth slurps up

the sun’s last light.

Thanksgiving Practice

There are so many different ways that I meditate. As a reiki practitioner, I have a practice for giving myself reiki. I work with mantra, healing sounds, ringing bowls, guided meditation, vipassana meditation, walking meditation, laughter yoga, other yoga, and many other methods.

Considering I have so much to choose from, it keeps my practicing fresh and alive. I pick and choose what works for me. Often this means that I have diligence for a period of time using a particular method. In this area of my life, I don’t have a specific teacher, but many teachers. About 3 days ago I returned to my beloved horse stance that I first used in Kung Fu a decade or so ago from my Pai Lum Tao. This started to translate into me practice more Qi gong. My favorite go-to is “polishing the stone.” It’s also called “polishing the table,” but it’s the same. The previous practice I learned from another school. I’ve included the video below for your reference, but I hadn’t seen it before today. Same with the video above, which I think is a great introduction to moving like water. Today, on Thanksgiving, I created a movement that’s perfect for my needs and I named it “bamboo swaying in the wind.” I’ll be working with this new Qi Gong I taught myself for a little while, and so far it feels amazing!

There are so many ways to look at abundance and prosperity. In times of challenge and pain, grief from loss, and sadness it can be very difficult to see even the tiniest amount of hope. We must be humble and remember that circumstances are fleeting. They change, they are subject to the ebbs and flows and the vicissitudes of life. What I love about Qi Gong, is that it’s a gift you can give yourself, and you don’t need any supplies but your own breath and movement. It’s a way to cultivate Qi which is the what the entire universe is made up of——-talk about abundance!

Image by Qijin Xu from Unsplash

Blogiving for thanks, pie

Unsplash photo
Give Thanks from Unsplash
Image from Unsplash

In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.
~ Mary Oliver

I’m grateful for this blog and all the marvelous people I have met via blogging. I appreciate our connections, and I love reading your blogs. The reflection and time that I spend reading each story, poetry, fiction, listening to music, viewing art, photography, reading about joy and sorrows, it all adds so much to my life and makes me feel abundant. Doing Nano Poblano challenge this month helped me to realize how much I gain from just making a post, any post. Though, there are many times I think I’ll run out of material, or not make it to the chopping block to prepare a little wordpress dish. I offer you my gratitude to each of you for being who you are. Wherever you live, a day of gratitude is every day. Please enjoy your piece of virtual pie!

Photography from Unsplash

Roots

Ka Malana Photography

connected in the rudraksha forest

i meditated and traced back into my blood lines

the joys and sorrows of all who came before me

drawn full into my body.

navigating along a nano-sized boat along these channels

I explored my arteries, arterioles, and capillaries;

when I reached my heart, I leapt out of the boat

and dove deep into my left ventricle, swam for an hour.

now, I don’t exist as the meat and flesh of walking

human-normal.

life of bamboo

Ka Malana Photography
Ka Malana Photography
Ka Malana Photography

To withstand an earthquake,

arcing in the wind,

dancing mysterious music

percussive, clinking, bell-like, windy reed

to become so useful as wood, paper, or diaper

disposable fork or spoon, paper-towel.

Life as One of the four nobles, 1500 in species,

powerful, sheltering, in just 7 years,

assemble raft or scaffold any structure, move along

and usher water

grow, once cut re-grow,

improving your roots, absorbing nutrients,

even becoming a vase.

However hollow, always full of utility and movement,

so to become your life,

to become a proverb, and a philsophy

to live as mighty as a tree

When I was in China, students from the University of Beijing met with me and I was given a Chinese name. Unfortunately I do not remember the whole name, but one part of the name had the word, “bamboo.” I had forgotten about it until I found some photos to share that I took when I was at the Botanical Gardens a few years ago.

Self-Kindness meditation

Yay! Today is Pepper day! It’s the 22nd of each month. This month is especially peppery since we are doing the November Nano Poblano 2020 blogging challenge.

Enjoy the meditation I recorded for you above! Give yourself a hug: you deserve it.
Ka Malana Photography
Ka Malana Photography

This weekend at my NCGR meeting, I learned that a woman who was a very kind and loving friend, and astrologer, passed away. I hadn’t known. I looked back at the last text message she sent to me in January 2020 after meeting my daughter, and I felt very glad that I had the chance to meet her. I’m sad that I didn’t get to know her more, or work with her more. I had only been to her house a couple of times for her classes. She was an amazing mentor to so many. I missed out in a lot of ways. One year she told me that she added us (my family) to her special New Year wishes and ritual. I felt so touched. I saw her at over a dozen meetings these past few years before I had my baby, and before the pandemic.

Cambodia part 6: beautiful people

It’s not easy to get my photography converted from a shiny print into a photograph with glare; and even though I saved the negatives, there are projects that I never got around to, like making new prints or digital images from the negatives, or scanning in photos, etc etc.

However I enjoyed these compositions of people in their natural element, and really feel these images express the beauty in the spirit, and the community liveliness I witnessed.