Kristie Dahlia Home
Me smiling at you with the forest and the dawn behind me.
We Are Beloved

Lovingkindness Registration is Open

Feb 2, 2024

Beloved friends, 

Happy Imbolc to you! Ah, the midpoint between Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox. The Earth is stirring! As I type this I am shivery with cold from standing outside to make this photograph so that I might bring you a smile and the blue blue dawn of this day in the forest – but I was outside without a coat, and in my slippers. The trees are budding, and so is my heart as I come to you today with a gift in hand, my next Course: Lovingkindness - Meditation and Living. Registration is open now! The course will run from the end of February until Beltane, May 1. I've taken some leaps in the structure and ohhhhh this has been working so sweetly in the current Chrysalis Extension course: the teaching is presented in a weekly one-hour Saturday morning Gathering via Zoom. Each session is recorded in video and audio formats so that you can either join live or later at your leisure. There are still weekly Circles in writing, but each person shares monthly: this means there is always the chance to dive in and read and learn and connect, but more time for you to reflect. And you also get a monthly hour with me 1:1 to use as you wish! We're finding this to have more intimacy, immediacy, and simplicity. Ahhhhhhhh. 

Some other changes are afoot below to coincide with this turning of the season, and I think this week's resources are especially juicy! Read on, and as always, I'd love to hear from you.


Lovingkindness: Meditation and Living
If you skipped the top to dive in here, more above! Details here.

Saturday Yoga Time Change
The Soft Animal will be moving a little earlier as the days grow lighter: starting tomorrow, February 3, we will meet from 9:15-10:45am Pacific. The weekly Gathering for Lovingkindness will come before that from 8-9. 

New Reading Circle Book
The Reading Circle will resume on February 20 with Robin Wall Kimmerer's Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants. A bestseller when it came out in 2013, the seeds it planted are sending up fresh growth now — this book is really having a moment. Are you seeing it mentioned all over, too? I look forward to rooting it deeper into my heart by reading it again with you now. That's what we do in the Reading Circle: we read the book, aloud, together. You don't have to read outside the Circle, and you can just show up and listen. Being read to calls upon tender moments: being a child, tucked up in bed. Reading aloud and then discussing right afterward builds a deeper relationship with the text.

Robin Wall Kimmerer is a botanist, professor, and member of the Potowatomi Nation. Her book reaches into our relationships with one another and with the life of the Earth. She asks a question that I have never heard anyone else ask, and thinking about typing it just now made every hair on my body stand on end: What would it look like for us to move from a settler culture to an indigenous culture? What does it take to become indigenous to a place?

Books purchased through the links I provide will pay a small commission to me. Thank you for your support. Braiding Sweetgrass is widely-loved and so should also be easy to find in libraries and used!


The Wheel of the Year is Turning
I am aiming, these days, to tie my offerings to the cosmic and earthly sense of time; my hope is that in doing this I offer you a sense of grounding and connection. I have worked hard, for instance, to open registration for Lovingkindess here at Imbolc, which lasts from sunset last night to sunset today, and that offering will flow through Beltane at the first of May. The Celtic and Pagan Wheel of the Year honors nature's cycle at the quarter-holidays of the solstices and equinoxes and the cross-quarter holidays that mark the midpoints between those; together, these create a set of 8 sacred days, falling every 6 weeks. Perhaps you'd like to read a bit about Imbolc! 

The Forest Is With You will play you recordings of forests from all over the world, allowing you to fill any environment with the sounds of wild nature. I have it playing now as I write to you and when I turned it on, my whole body became both softer and more vibrant. Our bodies hear this as home, home, home. Thanks to SwissMiss

Self-Soothing at Your Fingertips
Have you heard of tapping? More formally called EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, tapping is a simple, effective technique used to calm, soothe, and ground the nervous system. I was introduced to it by a therapist colleague when I taught at California Pacific Medical Center. It has solid support in the medical mainstream; here's Kaiser Permanente's instructional page on tapping, and here is a recent research study on efficacy by Purdue. As you might guess, there's an app for that, too: The Tapping SolutionThanks to Leah

Song for All
In my current course a question arose about music that can be enjoyed by families, both adults and elementary-aged children. This sounded fun to crowd source, so I asked about it on my Facebook page. The resulting thread is currently at 144 comments -- though nearly half are me, as I thanked every person who contributed. When I ask for resources on FB, I like to gather them up and add them to the body of the original post for ease of access for everyone interested, and I promised to do that here. There was so much information that it required a spreadsheet this time! I hope you find pleasure here. So much to explore! The spreadsheet is a simpler way to see the data, but the thread itself provides delicious context. Thanks to Jessie for inspiring, and to all who contributed

On Wholeness
I have been sitting deeply and for a long while in questioning with the chants I was originally given in the yogic lineages -- or perhaps I should say, with their English translations. "Peace and joy, love and light" have come over the ripening of my years to feel insufficient. Some of my most valuable experiences have come from walking the path of grief or holding hands with my fear. So much of my work lies in loving people in their gloriously imperfect complexity and wholeness. It is a vital tenet that living in wholeness is the way to a best life: to learn to grieve helps us cherish life and to support our loves ones in their illness, sorrows, struggles, and dying. We must be willing to see and understand the parts of ourselves we find difficult, the ways that we cause ourselves pain, in order to know what causes them and so find less painful ways to meet the needs being expressed in those actions. I have come, in short, to value wholeness over shallow, perfectionist ideas of peace which define peace as happiness and contentment. True peace allows us to surf the waves, laugh when we fall off the board, and also be okay with falling off the board and cussing our way through the sharp rocks we've landed on. True peace lies in wholeness, and encompasses highs and lows. This passage resonated with that so deeply, and speaks in relation to parenting and living; it is from Hugh Mackay's, The Good Life: What Makes a Life Worth LivingThanks to A Cup of Jo