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Intention


I no longer pray—

now I drink dark chocolate

and let the moon sing to me.

I no longer pray—

I let my ancestors dance

through my hips

at the slightest provocation.

I no longer pray—

I go to the river

and howl my ancient pain

into the current.

I no longer pray—

I ache, I desire,

I say “yes” to my longing.

I no longer pray as I was taught

but as the stars crawl

onto my lap like soft animals at nighttime

and God tucks my hair behind my ears

with the gentle fingers of her wind

and a new intimacy is uncovered in everything,

perhaps it's that I’m finally learning

how to pray.

Chelan Harkin


A long-term intention might be as simple as “I vow to be kind.” It might be an intention to dedicate yourself to the healing or care of others, or to fearlessly express your creativity in the world. Once you have a sense of your long-term dedication, write it down. Then put it someplace where you keep special things. Now, as you go through the year, let it be your compass—your underlying direction—in spite of changing outer circumstances. Let it carry you.

~ Jack Kornfield







Notes on plant Allies or winter by ANA

This winter, and especially during this unprecedented time, I’ve been thinking about plant allies that can support mine and my family’s health and wellness

For those who live in the colder climates, this is the time of year we spend a lot of days indoors and don’t get to move our bodies as much. We tend to eat more comforting foods and we engage in too much screen time which has a negative impact on our nervous system.

There’s also seasonal depression, emotional struggles, and cold and flu, on top of a pandemic, to consider.

Here are some of the plant allies I like keeping close at hand during this season

Immune System Support:

Elderberry – I’m sure many of you know of this wonderfully nutrient-dense plant! Elderberry is a powerhouse for cold and flu prevention and treatment. The berries are very high in Vitamin A & C and studies have shown that it cuts flu recovery time in half when taken at the onset of symptoms.

Cold and Flu Support:

Echinacea – Considered one of the most important immune stimulants in western herbal medicine, echinacea is used to combat bacterial and viral infections.

This plant should not be used in folks with autoimmune disease as it overstimulates an already struggling immune response.

Yarrow Flowers – For the flu, yarrow is a great remedy used to break fevers and stimulate perspiration. Used as a tea in this case.

Propolis – This is not a plant but I wanted to include it in this list. It’s a substance that comes from bees and has been dubbed the “Russian penicillin” for its potent antibiotic properties. It’s been used successfully to combat strep infections and reduce recovery time.

Respiratory Infection Support:

Mullein has soft fuzzy big floret leaves that grow upward the second year with a long slender cone of small yellow flowers. It is a go-to for upper respiratory congestion as it is an expectorant and will help to break up and expel mucus. It can be consumed as tea.

The flowers are also useful for ear infections when infused into olive oil with garlic.

Some other herbs to consider for respiratory infections are: elecampane, linden, and wild cherry bark.

Emotional Wellness Support:

Lemon Balm – is one of my favorite plant allies to keep around. She is a safe and wonderful support to the nervous system. I use Lemon Balm in teas and tinctures

Oats –is best known as a nutritive grain but is a safe and nourishing tonic when taken medicinally. She’s super high in vitamins, especially B vitamins. Her mineral content is also high. She’s nourishing to the nervous system and should be drunk as a strong tea infusion (4-8 hour steep). She’s a mild anti-depressant and gently raise energy levels and support the body’s stress response.

St. Johns Wort – is a well know remedy for depression. This beautiful common “weed” has been extensively studied for its effects. It was studied alongside a common SSRI medication and has similar results without all of the side effects. Please note that this plant is contraindicated in folks currently taking SSRIs or benzodiazepines, among other medications. Please consult your health care provider if you have questions about this one

Rose petals are mildly sedative, and anti-depressant. I use this often when there is heartache and sadness. She’s uplifting while also calming.

These are just a few of my favorites. As you can see, I focused on emotional wellness most as this has been the most important in my experience. Utilizing these plant allies for ourselves and our families is empowering, sustainable and mostly SAFE, although, they are potent and should be used with respect and knowledge, as always.

These combined with healthy and nutritious food, exercise, connecting with nature (if it’s not too cold :) and lots of love and laughter will keep you strong and ready


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