Kristie Dahlia Home
Dahlia, smiling, while wearing a hard hat and mask and holding a pole saw.
We Are Beloved

Your Shadow and Your Shine

Jun 4, 2024

Beloved friends,

I strive to live and teach in the full unvarnished complexity of human being, and I know I do a good bit of rhapsodizing about the beauty of living in the forest, so for truthful balance, here's me after wielding our pole saw for the first time. James and I were lopping down branches behind the pole barn that houses our workshop & garage to prevent rats from using those branches to visit from the chicken barn next door. Triumphant and definitely anti-glamorous!

My courses, too, are full of both beauty and grit. There is space in this work for all that you are. You are welcome in the wholeness of your being, your shadow and your shine. I've designed this next course carefully to nestle kindly amongst the glorious chaos that is summer, and I'd love to share it with you.

"This work has helped to transform my whole being and the way I relate to the world." - a returning student

The summer Lovingkindness course begins June 8th! Details are here. There is so much flex in this one! You get to choose your level of participation in the Circles now, and new instruction will come in a spacious way – on 8 of the 12 weeks – to facilitate an easeful weave of this amongst your summer adventures. Yearning but feeling like it can't work? Drop me a line; I bet we can sort it out for you! I love to hear what folks need so that I can adapt to make this work truly accessible.

Here is a snippet of me writing on Lovingkindness in the spring course to help you consider, and another and oh, goodness, here's a video one.


A pot sitting on a table beside a sheepskin-covered stool. The pot is full of big and small leaves and a towel is lying around it on the table.
Dried bay leaves from a neighbor's yard and fresh thyme from the Co-op. Ahhhh.

To Breathe Easy
I recently had the not-COVID-but-still-horrid virus that's been making the rounds. Herbal steams brought me great relief and since I've heard folks reporting a strong early summer virus from Boston to Portland, it seemed kind to share this simple, old, holistic practice: boil water, pour into a heatsafe container, drape a towel over your head, and breathe for 10 or so minutes. Steam can burn! If it feels too hot, let some cool air in. Common culinary herbs have antibacterial properties and can help loosen phlegm and ease breathing; bay, thyme, and rosemary. Tisanes with thyme or rosemary, ginger, and honey soothe the throat, too.

We Are Made of Stories
Think Tank for Inclusion and Equity "are an intersectional group of working TV writers comprised of BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, Disabled, and Women writers, from emerging voices to showrunners... committed to fostering accurate and authentic storytelling in the entertainment industry" and they have fantastic resources for writers and storylovers: TTIE's #writeinclusion fact sheets may list overrepresented stories & harmful stereotypes, "things we'd like to see more of", facts, a glossary, and more. Intended to support the creation of better stories, they also make great discussion tools – thanks to Jenée Desmond-Harris in her Dear Prudence column for the suggestion that they be used to support conversations with children about racism and other axes of oppression.

diagram of the morning sky on June 4 with 6 planets and the moon

Cosmic Grounding
Have you heard about the Parade of Planets? SIX planets and the moon are currently gracing our morning skies! Mars and Saturn can be seen with the naked eye, Mercury and Jupiter will be low on the horizon for folks with binocular; Uranus and Neptune require a telescope. If you feel inclined to peek before dawn, the great folks at EarthSky have details! If you aren't inclined to peek, you might still wish to check this link out; spatial thinking isn't my forte, so I love to read about astronomy. The diagrams and conceptual explanations help me build a more robust mental model of the solar system we are cells in the body of. Considering the Parade of Planets is a wonderful chance to deepen your sense of the ecliptic plane. Setting an alarm to gaze into the darkness doesn't reward me with a star view very often here in the cloud-drenched Pacific Northwest, but I always feel good about trying.

Making Awe
Patrick Doherty weaves sticks. What an unremarkable sentence. His work, though, has the breathtaking quality of good earthwork, the naturalness of the materials and the creaturely intentionality of the thing resonate in a way that stops you in your tracks. I quite enjoyed this little 16 minute documentary about his work. It's a quiet film with a leisurely, soothing pace.

Reclaiming Your Attention will disable the javascript on any website you ask it to display, removing popups, banners and ads. This removes visual clutter that creates a low-level drag on our cognitive processing. I am smitten! Thanks to James.

The same article about Trump's conviction -- normally on the left, via on the right. Ahhhh.

Befriending Dark Emotions
I was tickled when a participant in the last Lovingkindness course shared this wise and slightly silly little video, noting that the approach it suggests to jealousy reminded her of the approach we'd taken together toward anger: to greet it with curiosity and compassion, seeking to understand what was asking for and why. The video is about handling jealousy in the context of nonmonogamous relationships, which is the question I am asked most often about ethical nonmonogamy, so I hope some folks will find it useful food for thought. Thanks to Amy.


Am I?

The fox cannot help being.
The tree cannot help being.
The stars cannot help being.
And neither can I.
Even in my sleep I am
Even in my sadness I am.
I swim in rivers of my existence.
I climb through mountains of my being.
I travel through this world.
And at the end of it all
I am.
Name shining through the gloom, I am.

- H. Collins