Sunday, March 22, 2015

Numen: The Nature of Plants

We watched the Numen documentary Friday  night--really engaging.  (It was a gift from the Sustainable Herbs Project.)  Lots of well-known herbalists participated, and there was lots of information about healing traditions and the power of plants.  Great stuff.

Healing Wise

Healing Wise (Susun Weed) was a beautiful read.  It looks at three different perspectives or systems of healing (Wise Woman, Heroic and Scientific) and really goes in depth about not just facts but the feel of each.  The majority of pages, however, are herbal allies.
You might expect to have a bit of an encyclopedia, but it's a totally different way of looking at them.  It's just a few with every angle explored.  They are herbs that grow fairy plentifully and are often considered weeds (chickweed, violet, stinging nettle, burdock, oatstraw, three seaweeds).  There are many food-type recipes included as well.  At the end of the book, there is a small guide for different herbal preparations.  This book is a keeper!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mark Gungor: Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage

I stumbled onto Mark Gungor's work/ministry for couples during some educational work that the amazing Ruby Payne presented at an ESOL conference I went to last week.  In her presentation, we were looking in depth at male brains vs. female brains to look at how the school system basically sets boys up for all kinds of maladies.  In any case, every teacher in the room was laughing to tears with this little clip of his that she showed:
In all honesty, just find Ruby Payne's work to find insights like these and tons of humor.  Her four hour session with us passed in minutes!   I was showing Eric this little blurb above about brains, and we both enjoyed it enough to check out his other parts of this seminar.  Wonderful stuff!  I'm not saying I agree with absolutely everything, but I agreed with most of it.  It's like Ruby Payne says with regard to the gender questions--there are patterns that don't have to become stereotypes.  Here below is the whole hunk of a seminar.
It's worth looking into his material.  I might read a book or so.  I did his little $15 flag page stuff, and it was right on! :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Art of Home Herbalism and props to some others!

Another class, I know.  But this one looks so stellar and spreads out through November so I can really flesh it out and try recipes.  It's called The Art of Home Herbalism, and it's from Thyme Herbal (Brittany Nickerson).  The teacher is connected to sources I recognize and respect like Western Herbalism, TCM and Ayurveda as well as teachers I recognize.  She's also very interested in food as medicine and utilizes Weston A. Price ideas.  All good stuff.  There's a real sense of connectedness to seasons/cycles in her work which is important to me.  (Just look at her medicine wheel graphic to see that.)  I'm excited to try her recipes and learn the info.

We have to read a couple of books in the process.  I already have/use Bottany in a Day (Thomas Elpel) and Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health (Rosemary Gladstar), but I had to horder David Hoffmann's Holistic Herbal.  Besides all the work on our own, monthly we'll do a webinar chat time to handle questions etc.

As an aside, I did purchase 7Song's Herbal First Aid course even though I won't have time to go through it now.  It's only available for a week, and they won't ever offer it again.  So I decided that having a rather adventurous second-born indicates a good herbal first aid course.  I've already learned a few things from the videos they published to entice us.  7Song is a very thorough teacher by all accounts.  (Plus, as an Herb Mentor member, I get a discount!)

I just can't say enough about John Gallagher's programs (and his family along with Rosalee de la Foret) Learning Herbs and Herb Mentor.  Every thing I have ever purchased, do or learn from them has been SUPER.  I started with an Herbal Remedy Kit waaaaaaay back in the day.   That was gold since I got to really get my feet wet and do things as I learned.  I got excited about ways to get the girls involved and got/play Wildcraft (board game) and the Herb Fairies books/program.  This fall, as I mentioned in the blog before, I did their "Herbal Cold Care" course and have made many remedies.

The Path of Practice: A Woman's Book of Ayurvedic Healing

I recently read Path of Practice by Maya Tiwari.  Her name/recommendation has come my way from different circles.  She is a teacher her in the US and an Indian/Hindu (?hard to classify) nun essentially.  She has a school called Wise Earth School not too far from us in the Smokies, and her books emphasize similar teachings regarding sadhanas--basically healthy practices to keep ourselves aligned with nature etc.
This book was a delight, truly.  She explores things from a spiritual context, but she includes lots of stories of people she has helped and other sources that are more scientific.  There are many ideas I'd like to explore further from different poses to recipes she recommends.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Courses of Late

One course I've been working with from HerbMentor is "Learning Your Plants."  I've completed the module that teaches base-line identifying techniques, and soon I'll start actually working with families of plants.  I'm doing Minds Eye Journaling that they teach (Jon Young and John Gallagher), and I'm using Thomas J. Elpel's Botany in a Day (along with the USDA's plant site and other internet resources).  (I might check out Newcomb's Wildflower Guide.)
 

Another course I start just this week is Power to Parent II: Helping a Child Grow Up.  So very excited by any and every class I take with Neufeld Institute.  (I did Power to Parent I: The Vital Connection this Fall.)  I won't be able to participate with our Adobe Connect classes directly since I'm at work during those times, but I'll still work in the Forum and view the "classes" after the fact.  All the facilitators and faculty are wonderfully supportive!  They answer questions in such detail and with such care.

I did a shorter "seminar," if you will, recently as I started this course called "Making Sense of Play."  Like so many of his courses and seminars, it's revolutionary stuff.  To help our children have freedom to really engage in play is the recipe for development.  It had good reminders about fulfilling attachment hunger (very similar to food needs).  I'll do one on "Resilience" later in the course too.

WomanCode

I just read WomanCode--quite a huge reference for all kinds of issues that plague women!  I found it super thoughtful especially as regards integrating Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine.  She has instructive insights into all the hormones at play, how blood sugar plays a roll, adrenal issues etc.  She also has specific dietary and exercise recommendations for all four phases of our cycles.  An herbalist friend of mine recommended it, and I'm very interested in eating appropriately for the hormones at play.  Some of it is at odds with what I'm learning from that Ayurveda teacher of Food as Medicine, but we use what we can use.

She also has herbal recommendations for various situations along with supplements.  In addition, she gives you ingredients to look for in our typical beauty products so we have a clearer idea of what to avoid (mainly xenoestrogens--Eric and I have been reading about the effects of all these plasticizing agents for a while).

I also decided to hold off on the cleanse until closer to Spring.  I was inspired by this book to focus on my basic blood sugar for a while.  (I do tend to get headaches along with some other symptoms of this sort of disarray.)

I just started Sabbath as Resistance.  (Our Sunday School class will be reading this as Lent starts.  I haven't been too good about attending said Sunday School class, but I usually still read along even though sleeping in on Sunday is my modus operandi.)  I do so love the idea of having more fuel for my "slow down!" fire.  One of the coolest things he has already done as I've read is to equate our materialistic/productivity-obsessed culture to Pharaoh and the gods "preceding" YHWH (Exodus).