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.

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

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.

Outdoors in Cambodia: a meditation

In this blog post, I have a recorded a track for meditating outdoors. I’ve also included my photography from my visit to Cambodia in 2001. There’s two images of me from 19 years ago, taken by one of my teachers from University of Pennsylvania, Larry Silver.

Please take some time to sit outside and listen to this meditation, sitting or standing against a tree.
Ka Malana Photography

15/30

Family love and life

So grateful for another day on planet earth with my loved ones. I’m grateful for all the genuine connections I have in my life with people who are not physically close, too, but are so so close to my heart. My friendships that are enduring are so valued in my life. I’m grateful for my loving family. I’m also grateful for my blogging connections and this month’s challenge helps me to keep centered on what matters most while being able to weave in and out as I need to and am able!

14/30

As people weave in and out of our lives, its so important to remember our inner lives. This new moon I embarked on a new journey with my Medicine Woman studies. It’s an incredible New Moon in Scorpio sextile to the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction. I received an initiation today and conducted a special ceremony; my path has begun on a deeper level, in private. Many of us walk between the two worlds, and as we anchor ourselves in the unseen world, we enrich the world we do for the consciousness of the planet. Today we also celebrate along with this New Moon, in many regions of the world, such as Northern India, Diwali, the festival of lights. It’s the celebration of good over evil. May we realize the goodness in our hearts, and come together on this planet. That is my hope each and every day.

Growing time

The title for my blog post can be taken so many ways. Here’s the way I meant it: i want to grow Time like a healthy plant, like thyme, or an ivy, or a eucalyptus delugpta. I want to see it’s taproots pierce the soil with life lowering deep into the ground, anchoring the sprouts above ground. I want to grow time like I would grow a seed into a seedling and then eventually a tree. Time that makes me think of ship anchors and trapeze acrobats. Time that makes the joys of the earth and that of heaven consistent and bridge-able!

I rarely give myself time to draw. For this image, I gave myself the length of a song by Donovan, 4 min. This Donovan song came on during “The Queen’s Gambit,” a fantastic Netflix series about a female chess prodigy. Immediately the song clicked in with me when I heard it, like a drug I needed more of. I needed to listen to the whole thing, the fantasty of the lyrics and the bluesy moves of the notes. I still don’t know what the song means. Apparently Donovan wrote it as an apology to his friend.

I think it’s the harpsichord that gets me, or maybe it’s the sound of Donovon’s voice. Regardless, there’s so much untapped expression to be harnessed. I’m glad I found 4 min to do this. It’s really important for me to do *any* drawing for me, but it always gets placed at the end of my list. I wonder why. I know why. This drawing isn’t the important thing. If you look at it, it doesn’t contain very much, but it is the fact that I did Something.

Just the touch of one swirl across the page builds enough energy in me to fuel all my future dreams. Just one! So, it doesn’t take much, maybe it’s too easy to feel, to get consumed by it. Maybe it’s perfect and delicious, and exactly what I needed. Maybe the craving for more is the beginning of all things…. desire. Tis the season for abundance, magic and growing time!

I would never want to grow time without music! Music is like “coloring in” time. It gives the moments that pass, the ability to dance. It’s an opportunity to dance. Music is dancing. Time is free to groove or languish through music.

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Compassion meditation to ease anxiety

As a part of my personal practice, it brings me a lot of joy to be able to extend these meditation sessions to you as a gift. Meditation has long been a resource in my life, and it is so freely available to us all. The benefits that come from meditation are so life-enriching, that I want it to be accessible to all. Please give yourself this time today.

May you experience peace and wellbeing today and every day.

Today the Sun is in Scorpio and the Moon is in Virgo, nourish the health in your body and mind, and in your soul.

https://cheerpeppers.wordpress.com/2020-team/