Wild Clover News, And A Key To Greater Fulfillment

CS Sherin, Aug 30, 2018

Some news to report, and then the main thought for the end of summer….

The end of a huge project:

It is the end of Summer here in the Midwest of the US, and here I am to update you on all the news here at Wild Clover. I have been absent from my posts both here and at the Recipe For A Green Life blog. The reason? Last week saw the completion of the second edition of my book, Recipe For A Green Life: A Holistic Sustainable Living Handbook & Recipe Book, written by me, edited by Charish Badzinski (who also wrote an amazing Foreword), and published by Wild Clover Press. For those who don’t know about this, or are confused, here is the genesis of this huge project, summarized:

  • January 2016 — I wrote and released a draft publication called, A Green Lifestyle Recipe Book (paperback, 5.5×8.5, 135 pages, ISBN: 978-0-692-58700-3).
  • Shortly after that was published, I found an amazing editor to take that draft publication to the next level.
  • May of 2017 — Recipe For A Green Life was published (paperback, 7×10, first edition, 470 pages, ISBN: 978-0-692-79614-6).
  • After the paperback was published I pursued getting it into E-book format. There were a lot of challenges to that, (a year’s worth) which I won’t get into here, but that led to the next big step…
  • May of 2018 — Recipe For A Green Life: A Holistic Sustainable Living Handbook & Recipe Book, 2nd edition premiered in E-book format.
  • And finally, August of 2018 — the second edition of Recipe For A Green Life: A Holistic Sustainable Living Handbook & Recipe Book (7×10, 2nd edition, 488 pages, ISBN: 978-0-692-11083-6) was released in paperback with a new cover and all the updates!

That was the biggest, most demanding project I have ever worked on! 10,000s+ of hours went into it, over-time without pay, and many things I have passion to do went on the back burner for so long. Making note of these facts, I looked at the result–what I accomplished, and I feel it was worth it! It has been pure joy and relief to be done with the writing, research, editing, formatting, and publishing for this huge undertaking. Saying I am really pleased with the final outcome and what the book has become is an understatement. It isn’t perfect, but it is the best I could possibly do, and it is done! 🙂

A Key To Greater Fulfillment

It’s all in your mind, body, and present moment

Wm. Morris, 1860-66, PD. Google Art Project

Sometimes hearing someone state the obvious can be annoying. Other times, hearing someone state the obvious can be a revelation, which awakens us to a simple truth we somehow lost sight of. The details and harried pace of life too often push us into unnatural and unhealthy positions, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. We spend our days at a pace and itinerary that we may not really want or choose, despite our gifts for scheduling and pacing ourselves.

It is the old trick of life: we make plans, pursue our goals, work hard, do our best, and then life happens to us, again and again. And life doesn’t care in the least that we had plans, great plans. Life has other ideas, and they are often bigger and stronger than ours.

So much of life is what we didn’t plan, didn’t intend, don’t want, or didn’t know we wanted — and it shows up, trashing our idealized path forward. Maybe because of this, with the pressures of daily obligations and duty added in, we lose sight of simple truths, which can free us anew. Those simple truths grant us breathing room that ushers in more flexibility and adaptability, and healthier, well-rooted positions — as we keep moving towards worthy goals.

Stating the obvious as a revelation goes something like this:
The present moment and day is all we ever have. We don’t “have” the past or the future.

The past and future are both alive to some extent in our thoughts and being, but what we really truly have is each passing moment.

What is happening now? What isn’t happening now?

What isn’t happening now can be obvious, yet still lost on a frantic mind. In fact, when I was in therapy many years ago to treat the PTSD I was experiencing, it wasn’t the therapy that became my major breakthrough to relief and greater wellness. It was claiming over and over again the obvious fact that even though my brain kept flashing back to the trauma, that wasn’t what was happening now.

When my brain got caught on a loop of worry, stress, or anxiety, my mind was manufacturing more stress, and I wasn’t able to center myself or really deal with all the emotions — until I dedicated myself to returning to the present moment, using my breath to manage and release the built-up stress.
In meditation the idea is: to clear the mind, focus on reality without attachment, and stick to simple truths and facts, like breath. I am breathing. That is a fact. It happens without my effort. It brings me health and life. Breathing in certain ways, from deep in the belly, helps to relieve stress, stuck emotions, and physical tension. Breathing in peace and relaxation, and breathing out fear and worry, becomes a way to come back fully to be in the present. Getting all the mental and emotional obstacles out of the way, then we can actively build on a present, open, relaxed and adaptable mental state.

It is important to grown a particular awareness. That is of the part of our consciousness that observes our own self breathing. This is the same part of our consciousness that observes a candle flame, or our rampant thoughts scattering in and out of meditation time. It is a quiet, matter of fact, kind, yet neutral awareness.

The conscious observer within harbors zero judgement and worry. The quiet, peaceful observer within is the part of our being that is meditation, health, and the key to true wealth, which is inner peace and freedom to be.
The part of us that is able to observe and name things without affect is the inner peace, the voice of reason, the deeper self that recognizes that we possess nothing (except our own being), and have no real security (everything changes, there are always things out of our control), and that being aware and present is the greatest power and asset we have in this life. In meditation the inner observer names what it observes rather than fighting, resisting, or focusing on a thought. That is worry. That is fear. That is a random thought.

Probably most of the stress and problems, that we dwell on and sometimes create in our thoughts, are happening now.

The difficult part of life in the era we exist in, is that we know what is happening in our city, state, country, and world daily and weekly. When we carry that awareness with us, it can be too-heavy of a burden to process. We cannot fully process or answer to all the world’s conflicts and tragedies at once, in a day, week, month, or year.

The meditative practice of letting go and clearing the mind — in order to connect with a deeper consciousness within (that is synced with the present moment) — is the most healthy and dynamic action we can take, for our own health and for those around us. It can lead to solutions that we may never have opened to otherwise.

What is happening now, in this moment? Right now, when I am first writing this, I hear a migrating bird singing a really sweet little tune outside, and it is a cold dreary day in the Driftless region. My fingers are a bit cold. I hear my cat in the window looking at the bird. I hear the sound of my fingers on the keyboard. I feel my breath growing shallow as I focus on writing, and I remember to take a deep breath from my belly. As I do, I feel the tension leave my upper chest, that is still faintly present, from a cold virus that is mostly gone. That is all there is to be with, and deal with now.

Each now is different.

Each now depends on each of us.

If you have the power and mobility to do something for someone else, and you have the energy and many resources as well, then your present moment includes a longer reach than many in this world. Best to connect with that deeper self as much as possible to make the most of it! When we are relaxed and centered we can make better decisions and more efficient and meaningful actions.

Checking in and remaining present in the now tunes us in to reality, and realities, around and within us. It plugs us in to: inspiration and connections that we couldn’t have accessed when we were lost in endless mental loops of worry, fear, blame, anger, self-consciousness, past memories, future aims, etc.

For many of us, the present moment is breathing, being, and responding to what is in the space around us in the best ways possible, or taking a break to find space within, in order to respond or begin responding when we are really ready.

The Most Valuable Currency We Possess

Roses in Seattle WA. Photo by CS Sherin

Being fully present in the current moment means we are contributing our most precious and valuable currency in this life — our presence.

Our personal resources consist of: time, energy, and presence — primarily. We each have unique contributions to make, yet we all have those foundational currencies in common.

Personal resources are personal forms of currency. This includes health, values, and well-being.

What are we giving our personal currency, our presence, to? Self, loved ones, friends, clients, animal companions, nature, the phone, social media, or…something else? Or, are we really present very much at all? Are we distracted, lost in thought?

The best we can do is to refresh ourselves and our presence regularly, so that we are able to contribute to our lives and others’ in the best and most effective ways possible.

Reality of the present moment can often mean that all we have energy for is a meal and a nap.

We are animals too. We human animals have to find a balance of need, want, creating, and being

For those who depend on us, we have an added responsibility to really be present at important times. The gift of presence isn’t just our thoughts, feelings, or physical body. It is all of those, and none of those dominating.
Presence is without judgement, and is aware. Presence is without overt emotions — compassionate, without enmeshment. Presence is the physical body actually present, but also with complete relaxed attention. Being truly present can usher in amazing movement. No wisdom has to be uttered. Being truly present can be profoundly healing for self and others.

The heart and mind become grounded and saturated in a profound peace as this practice becomes habit. It doesn’t isolate us from reality, it allows us to be grounded and centered enough to deal with reality and difficult changes and feelings. The body is listened to, and can become a beacon of presence.

Putting a stop to unhelpful thoughts running amok happens through observing them without reactivity or judgement. Part of that a thought go after it is named. That takes practice and dedication. It is worth it.
For myself, and many other people, spending time in nature and/or with animals connects us immediately with the present moment and grants us access to sometimes hard to find emotions like: joy, gratitude, and unencumbered love — absent of control or ownership.

With practice, it becomes easier for the mind to automatically let go — particularly as we observe the patterns, beauty, and details of nature; or the earnest love and entertainment found in the company of animal companions.

Another easy access to meditation and present moment facilitator is through creativity, like: making soup, baking, washing the dishes, walking/hiking, weeding, and gardening. There is a certain meditative quality to these that assists the mind in letting go and being.

Before PTSD I was able to be present naturally as a child. Most children naturally have this, if they were allowed to. Presence and present moment awareness isn’t alien to us. It is simply that the cultures and systems we grew up in conditioned and programmed us otherwise.

In the deepest of ways, in these times that numb the mind, bear down on the spirit, and break the heart, this practice of being present to the simple truths (being, breathing, observing) and best free tools (breath work, meditation) is essential.

Well, that, and good humor. I always like to remember humor, and music, and movement too. Engaging the senses, movement, and activating humor can help to shake loose stagnant thoughts and feelings too.

Ongoing creativity leads to freedom and wellness. There are many pathways. That is one. Creativity and the present moment are synced, in my experience. We engage creativity when our minds are present and free. And often, we can free our minds through creative action…

For all our lives, the core truth is that: we only have ourselves, our being and body as a constant. Therefore, it is wise to be kind, present and true to self first. In doing this, life and personal goals flow more harmoniously, like creativity in the present moment.

Futurism

We look forward — to plan, to build, to dream, to meet, to move forward. Looking forward, as long as we are not obsessed, is natural and good, just like looking to the past is. In fact, understanding and remembering the past is essential to moving forward into the future with greater wisdom and health.

We don’t want to get stuck in the past, or be on a repeating loop of unfortunate patterns on into a bleak future.

We do need to make new and different choices. We need to take well-thought out and reasonable risks. We need to make sure that we don’t keep repeating what is comfortable and familiar, just because it is that.

At this time we are being called to remember, learn, be, move forward, act, and create something new. Each moment is an inner and outer now. Be brave enough to release what is getting your way to being true to who you are. But first, learn to clear your mind and connect to your deeper self and deeper knowing.

Beyond this, it is essential to observe and evaluate how you spend your most valuable currency — your presence, time, and energy. Make adjustments. Keep at it. Then, trust the flow of being and creating, and make the most of each now.

all my best,

Chandra
Wild Clover


Poetry Month: Daily Poetry~Week Four Summary

Daily Poetry For Poetry Month, Week Four Summary
By CS Sherin
April 28 2018

Lilac Buds, end of April 2018Photo by: CS Sherin

This concludes this fun series of daily poetry that I began in honor of poetry month. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. I love the discipline of the haiku. I have been writing poetry since I was 13 years old, but have rarely had a regular practice of parameters like the sonnet or the haiku. It is worth doing! In mid-life now, writing poetry is as joyful and mysterious a flow as ever–and even more satisfying. Poetry, at its best, is a voice of truth unspoken, inspiration, and the voice of the soul. Thank you for listening to mine.

April 23
One inch closer to
my goals. Meanwhile this world has
lost its mind alright.

April 24
Everything shifts with
weeding, letting go. Garden
of what is real now.

April 25
Dreams are riddles
decoded in patterns of
the following day.

April 26
What do you like so
much that you want to chase it?
And what chases you?

April 27
Perpetual waves
of ocean, sun rise daily—
our love, enduring.

April 28
That weight is gone like
heavy snows melted turning
into bright lit Spring.

April 29
The kids frolic as
we step into our deeper
selves of skylark too.

April 30
I know the dragon
that bites you. For she bit me
too…insomnia.

CS Sherin, WildClover.org 2018©

The Poetry Month Series by CS Sherin, links:
Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four (current page)

Poetry Month: Daily Poetry~Week Three Summary

Daily Poetry For Poetry Month, Week Three Summary
By CS Sherin
April 22, 2018; Earth Day

I have been writing daily poetry and sharing it on FB and Twitter to honor my inner muse, poetry month, and the voice of the soul–which is a salve of relief for the spirit. I have been disciplining myself by doing daily haiku, with the exception of a couple. Today, as this practice converged with Earth Day, I decided to try writing a sonnet. And that is what I did! –with love for poetry, creativity, goodness, and Earth.

April 14
There were ten eagles
soaring high above our house.
I slept well that night.

April 15
Letting go of old
pain and mistakes hurts yet it
ends and is healing.

April 16
Writing over old
programs deletes them. I use
song and word sunshine.

April 17
Migrating birds have come,
singing, eating worms. Melting
snow reveals deep mud.

April 18
THE MUD IS DEEP
under the snow
even though it will
snow more–
past mid-April
as it is.
Robins are still finding worms,
birds are still singing
lilting melodies above our heads,
visitors passing through still
arrive and stay awhile,
squirrels still gather to play
and scrounge for morsels.
The pelicans have come
to our great river
with their
compelling size, unmistakable
beaks with impossible folding
pouches that can hold
three gallons of water–
who soar in slow motion glory on
the highest of winds…
The sun will emerge
the snow will melt
it will flood the rivers
as the marshes begin to arise
teeming with life.
Life will course back
into the greening of the
trees, buds will break open
into the miraculous unexplainable
beauty that are flowers.
As we persevere and breathe in
and out without trying,
we will continue to bring
cause and effect upon ourselves
and this Earth.
We will continue to form our
own realities whether we
take responsibility for ourselves
or not. As for me,
where I am torn, I am set on mending.
Where I fell, there are scars–
evidence of the ability to heal.
Invisible hard work done
in inner winter
floods into Spring
and Spring does come
inside
and then out
one way
and then
another.

April 19
Maple blossoms have
emerged, along with the sun
and real warmth, waxing.

April 20
Uninvited joy—
what a welcome guest! It comes
with sunshine and warmth.

April 21
A.I. think we are
pretending to be human.
Are they mistaken?

April 22, Earth Day
Over twenty years ago, I walked the gravelled marsh trails alone.
Today the paved marsh trails were teeming with people and each phone.
People with big cameras waited to capture the beauty there.
Wood ducks, coots, great blue herons, geese, teals, egrets, and turtles fair.

Earth day for some means a business ploy.
Or to enjoy being out in Nature spotting birds so coy.
As we walked past countless active people, I saw beyond the brambles to down below,
so much garbage—styrofoam, plastic, and an entire garbage can in the water’s flow.

I looked with frustration as it was out of my reach.
All the toxins in our marsh, with chemicals that leach.
Noticing the joy of us all enjoying warm weather, and at the same time,
so many ignoring the signs of our negative impacts that just don’t rhyme.

Earth day is every day as long as we live and breathe.
I hope we each can awaken to a daily Earth day before we leave.

by CS Sherin, WildClover.org 2018© 

Poetry Month: Daily Poetry~Week One Summary

Poetry Month: Daily Poetry~Week One Summary, April 1st to April 6th
By CS Sherin
April 6, 2018

To celebrate poetry month I have been writing daily haiku! It is fun! Remember, poetry is the language of the soul. It is nourishment, a salve–it is necessary on regular days, it is essential on trying days.

Poetry became a part of my practice at age thirteen. It simply flowed from me. My mother was astonished. I accepted it without question. Because people are not always so open to poetry, I have most often kept it private. Now that I am middle-aged, I seek to share my poetic voice more. And, I do have a couple of books written, waiting to be published! I keep the poetry that comes from me sacred. I share it with love.

Words have power to unite, divide, heal, free, enlighten. Poetry takes that power into a naked truth that illuminates what is unspoken, and what we long to express and hear.

Happy poetry month!

April 1 2018
Is the joke that we
wait for a magic that is
already herein?

April 2
She embodies all
love I’ve known so far.
Bright daughter, magic.

April 3rd
Whenever we kiss,
the snow melts a bit.
Endless Spring love, Jeff.

April 4th
With all of the snow
we could build a snow person
who could melt this Spring.

April 5th
Rejection stings me.
Relentless persistence is
what the cat taught me.

April 6th
When nothing makes sense
the only thing that matters
is breath, movement, love.

Chandra S Sherin (CS Sherin), WildClover.org 2018©

Retrospective: Past Works, Part Eight

Past Works, Part 8: Illustration, 2007
Chandra S Sherin
March 22, 2018

I am particularly fond of this little cartoon I drew in 2007. It is about a beloved cat, no longer with us, who we called Boris. Boris was an extraordinary cat, and I remember him with great love. This cartoon was inspired by his passion, spirit, and dreams in his early years with us (after he had healed from earlier traumas before we adopted him). Narration and drawings are by me, CS Sherin. The cartoon’s title is:
“Boris’s Dream.”

Boris’s Dream by CS Sherin, 2007: Boris is dreaming….

Boris is dreaming of stalking a cute little bird with an alluring tail. It is an easy catch…

Boris is dreaming of eating the bird. He eats the bird whole and it goes down easily right into his stomach….

Boris is dreaming that the bird is alive in his stomach and has gifted him with a golden egg. Boris is proud….

Boris dreams that the egg hatches and something wonderful flies up from the egg in one effortless swoop….Boris is so pleased…..

Boris is dreaming: A kitten with wonderful wings has hatched from the egg! Boris couldn’t be happier! He has always wanted to fly like the birds. He always thought that maybe if he ate one, he would be able to fly too.

Boris wakes up suddenly from his dream of the bird, the egg, and the cat with wings. He is surprised! He sits with the joy of the dream and begins to purr.

In fond memory of the brave and valiant Boris William, the cat.
THE END 🙂

CS Sherin, WildClover.org 2018©