New Leaf Mentoring … new thought. new health. new life.

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Several years ago I asked a friend to design a logo for me for a special project. The logo was fantastic, the project bombed. It started with Sacred Self; that’s all I really knew…the double S’s appeared to me in a DNA double helix design and was light filled. Paul, my magic making logo designer, […]

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Every year in the days around the autumnal equinox, in the mornings, around 10:12 precisely,  the trees around my house fill with hundreds of small little black birds very excited to tell me of their journey thus far. They jump about, twitter and call and talk and jabber for about 1/2 hour and move on. […]

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When I was 5 years old my parents moved us from Toronto to Markdale, ON, a rural community some 2 hours north of the city. They had discovered a relic of an abandoned and ‘haunted’ house on an overgrown 10 acres of land out in the country that filled their hearts and minds with starry-eyed […]

About 25 years ago my husband and I found ourselves having to start new lives. Our lives had taken a sharp turn for the worst in the late 80’s and we quite suddenly found ourselves broke with a new young family; one 16 year old boy and 3 babes under 2 to provide for. We were quite shell-shocked, disorientated and struggling our way through every day. Our losses and 3 difficult pregnancies had taken a hard toll. We had moved to an old Ontario farmstead to lick our wounds in peace and through a weird twist of events decided to give herb farming a go. We had both been raised on farms and were at this stage of our lives desperately longing to find a simple way to be in the world. We also needed a way to be productive and earn a living while we tried to rebuild and restructure our lives. At some primal level we also knew that we needed to get our feet into the dirt; literally get back to our roots. We were starting over.

Making a Living

IMG_0341Our choice was to focus on growing many varieties of heirloom vegetables, herbs and perennial flowers suitable for drying, selling the produce from the farm and at farmer’s markets and craft shows. These were high density crops that could survive and hopefully thrive with the meager assets we could provide. Our land and our lives had specific inherent challenges that we had to get around if we wanted to realize any kind of success. First and foremost was that we had no money nor slush fund to work from. Secondly, we had really crappy land to work with. Half of our gardens were on land that was seriously depleted from dozens of years of being a badly kept lawn, and the other half of the land was stolen from the adjacent corn and soy bean fields that had been repeatedly sprayed for years on end with chemical herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers. A serious challenge for an organic herb farm! We also had a minimal water supply – enough for the house only. The area was further challenged in that it had no shelter therefore it experienced full sun, wind and rain exposure leaving it prone to erosion and drought. There were very little native resources on site. Thankfully we were extremely resourceful, had great support from family and close friends and we had neighbours that were very willing to help the new crazy people on the block if only for the giggle value.

Growing, growing, growing!

We were already committed to working organically, utilizing raised beds, mulch, compost and manure fertlizer. As we researched various gardening methods and techniques to help us deal more effectively with the site issues we stumbled into and started experimenting with biodynamic gardening and permaculture techniques. As we grew and developed our ideas, we brought in more and more species and created more and more gardens and increased our biodiversity exponentially. Eventually we had created 19 20’x20’ plots for experimental/demonstration gardens plus a “Tea” herb garden, a 30’x40’market herb garden plus a 50’x50′ english/medicine wheel/labyrinth garden for wandering in, meditation and ceremony. We also renovated one driving shed into a drying storage barn and another into a flower workshop and gift shop. A lean-to verandah became a makeshift greenhouse, a lean-to shed was stripped of it’s inner and outer coverings and became another greenhouse/chicken coup and finally 3 4’x20’ cold frames were dug out of a south facing slope. We were holding guided gardening tours, various educational and crafting workshops, and selling exclusively from the farm year round.  These were some of the physical successes we had. Today I would do things almost the same way, tweak some ideas, and hopefully be able to invest in certain aspects of the farm better than I could in those days but all in all it was a great experience, my kids grew up grazing and it served us well for over 7 years. Because we were deeply immersed in the process we barely noticed the really spectacular achievement of those years. The really important value was that as we healed the land it healed us, we transformed, we came back to life!

As we came back to health and our family thrived, life took another turn, my husband was ‘called’ back to working with heavy equipment and I had been ‘called’ into energy work and by 1998 Reiki had taken over all my time. We left the farm and moved into new career directions, the gardening principles persisted however but this time in an entirely new dimension. Today I am once again walking my crooked path and have come full circle. With some wisdom gained through review and hindsight I have decided to get certified as a permaculture designer. All my previous career paths are coming together into one – I feel whole and full.

Why Permaculture Today

The reason I mention all this today is that almost 25 years ago my husband and I chose permaculture as a way to live and work in the world; not because of climate change, not because of the world water issues, not because of imminent oil or financial industry collapse but simply because we needed to get well. We needed to heal. We needed to get our feet in the soil and get in touch with our souls and re-connect with nature again. During those years on the farm we received hundreds of visitors as our guests. I became deeply aware of the pain and suffering people were experiencing in their daily lives. They were struggling with health and unhappiness issues. They came, drawn in by the herbs, and they sat in the gardens – sometimes for hours. I recognized the need for the garden as a healing energy in people’s lives. A deeply restorative place in which we can sit immersed in primordial order. In a natural well designed garden we are held and supported, nurtured and healed.

Permaculture offers us a permanent natural culture that is built on year after year on any scale in any situation. It naturally supports us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We are healed and revitalized energetically as well and it doesn’t depend on us becoming avid gardeners with glowing green thumbs. In “permacultural” living we work and live together with nature harmoniously, neither tries to override and dominate the other, we don’t become slave to each other and we naturally nurture each other with food, energy and peace. Nature and we relax – together. Our garden becomes a living sanctuary for all species of life. We listen to each other and enjoy a symbiotic natural relationship.

I’m mentioning this today because permaculture is one of those things that is just right and good for you to do for you today on whatever scale you choose. If any of this appeals to you I would be happy to discuss and help you design your permaculture home sanctuary.

I’ve been vacillating. I’ve been unfocused, doubting myself and my place in the world. I needed my butt kicked. And I got it!

The butt kick came through my ego as it so often can. A couple of days ago I made a FB post and I was kicked by 2 FB ‘friends’ where it hurts me most; in my intention, my reputation and my integrity. I felt angered, embarrassed, bullied and patronized. I sat with it for 2 days reflecting, practicing what I preach, finding my still point, re-balancing my heart to my head, and then, when my knee jerk reaction subsided, I asked myself the questions they had demanded of me. Was my information factual? researched? misleading? and heaven forbid dangerous? Those of you who know me and have worked with me know the answer to these questions already. I have been studying, researching, learning, feeling, healing and evolving my self and my practices steadily for over 3 decades. I am not easily led nor am I quick to jump to definitive conclusions. I take you, my friends, clients, students and family, and your life and health situations very, very seriously. I would never intentionally mislead you with frivolous ideas and misinformation. I also do not blindly accept what is considered fact because the Government and its paid henchmen tell me to. I quest. Endlessly. I quest for truth, answers and options. So what then…why did this hit me so hard? The answer shocked me…I was dangerously close to forgetting my purpose including my learning, my knowing and my commitment to serve earth and humanity to the best of my ability.


Becoming a Doorman…

My parents are German immigrants that came to this country independently at 17 and 21 years of age. They struggled and accomplished much in their lifetimes and survived things human beings should never have to witness never mind endure. They taught us self-discipline, self-respect and autonomy – be nobody’s monkey! Our family walked the road less traveled and I find myself still today happiest on that road. I don’t walk this road today because I like to be different or difficult. I walk it because everyday I witness people fighting for their lives, health and happiness mostly as a result of walking the road paved by our recognized authorities. They have all tried to do the best that they can do, follow the rules, stick to the plans that have been suggested and laid out through the systems in place only to find themselves struggling endlessly with pain, stress, illness, anxiety and disappointment.

By the time people come to see me they are desperately looking for new solutions to answer their overwhelming problems. They have generally tried everything else and have given every recognized system in our society a chance to help them to the very end of their life’s rope. I don’t get curious clients looking for something new to try out. I get diseased bodies, suicidal, frightened minds, broken hearts and spirits. And after time, time spent sharing stories and information, teaching, learning I see people heal, find purpose, and continue on stronger, healthier and happier. So many “miracles.” I don’t mean to suggest that I know “The Way” by any means, it’s not my job to tell you either. My job is to open new doors and hold space, I can only invite you on a journey – you’ve got to book the ticket and pick up your walking stick. I only make this promise… I don’t give up on anyone, anytime – except myself apparently.


Back to the building blocks…

I’m a healer and a teacher. Not in any conventional sense I suppose but not without skills and successes. My personal goal is to see the world, humanity, consciousness through lenses without filters of optimism or despair, just to simply see it, bear witness to the truth of it and see the potential life-spring rising out of every moment. When I see dead ends I know that I’ve encountered illusion, fear and ego, in those moments I steer myself through the very center of the blockage with softness, patience and acceptance until the true nature reveals itself again. The fractal nature of our universe and consciousness expresses in never-ending expanding and collapsing patterns. There is an underlying order, a sacred geometry that supports and allows a constant growth despite our own personal chaotic and dysfunctional habits and belief systems. It is in this order, that is evident in every molecular and atomic structure on our planet, that I have faith. It is there that I go to help others reorganize their personal relevant chaos into harmony and peace.

My practice informed by my experience as daughter, sister, wife, mother, business owner, gardener, herb farmer, student, teacher, builder, healer energy worker, dreamer, realist, intuitive and doorman help me “get” you and tells me that we are by nature perfect and healthy from the inside out. As humans we’ve been known to mess things up pretty badly at times. But there are things I know. I know for instance, that the human species, as a living organism, is tenacious and does not willingly nor easily give up life. I know that we will mutate rather than die. I know that we are creative expressions of a grand consciousness that always searches for new ways to express ourselves forward. I know that life is sacred.  And I know that as a fellow being floating around this universe with you, I am you. What is in me is in you is in all living things. We share space. Our hearts beat together. As passive activist and visionary I advocate for change that promotes our healthy and sustainable nature. I am committed to you, to me, to life, to earth, and I will continue to quest for our betterment. And I’m back on track!


A Pact for 2015!

So let’s make a pact you and I. In 2015 let’s you and I commit to being ourselves as fully as possible – no apologies. Let’s trust in our inner compassionate, kind nature and play that forward as much as possible. Let’s remember our goodness and not doubt our intentions because others may. And most of all let’s have faith in the amazing matrix of sacred energy that flows freely without corruption throughout every heart and soul on this planet endlessly calling us to abundant Love, health, joy and peace for ourselves and one another regardless how things appear in our mundane experience of the moment. Refresh your self and your memory. We are magnificent beings! I see that in you!

Have an incredibly awesome 2015! I leave you with these words…

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

William Hutchinson Murray “the Scottish Himalayan Expedition”

1913 – 1996


2014: A Year of Conundrum

Man meets Destiny!

7 the year of the Chariot, a time to get moving in the direction of your dreams – no excuses any longer! You will find this year will offer boundless support for whatever your heart/mind desires; the difficulty is that we mere humans tend to get all balled up trying to figure out what is going on between our hearts and our minds. We feel too much and we think too much. In our attempts to be conscientious human beings we feel our way through a wide bevy of emotion ranging from starry-eyed love to debilitating fear and think our way from logic to worry and everything in between. It can leave us in a place of unresolved conundrum, with time slipping through our fingers.

ImageThe energy of the number seven will bring you to your destiny, and while we fantasize and quietly, fervently hope that there exists some master plan and divine purpose that is personally chosen for us, we never seem to quite know how to trust that we’ve actually found it or even the path toward it. We struggle in this dualistic world to consider all mitigating factors weighing everything against our wavering feelings and long for a heaven sent message via anyone; guides, angels, friends or strangers who can say they know what we ourselves do not.

The problem is that you and only you can and in fact must determine your own path and purpose. Only you have the insight and wisdom that is needed to face all your weaknesses with all your strengths.

Light and Dark; Strong and Weak

The energy of 7 affirms our inner sense of victory, of alignment and validates that we have achieved a true awareness. And for a moment we feel crystal clear and positive that we are on the right track. In the next moment however we begin to wobble. There is a surreal quality to the energy this year where reality and fantasy seem to overlap and present us with doubts and confusion. You will face your demons this year – the ones that steal your success and power right out from under your nose.

7 is a number of creative power and wholeness. 7 encompasses the whole of our spectrum of living, 7 musical notes, 7 chakras in prismatic colour, 7 days of the week, etc. In the energy of 7 we are blessed with knowledge of the whole of a situation and are presumably thereby able to make informed decisions and take decisive action. However, with hard work comes avoidance, with vision comes blindness, and with survival comes challenge. Ultimately this will be a stressful year, rife with equally grounded arguments for opposing points of view.

To overcome this year of contradictions you will have to master your willpower, your self-control, be patient as never before and driven as though steering a chariot through the gates of hell toward your dreams.

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You’ve come to earth, to this universe to learn teachings that are only available here. Specifically, you have come to learn how to manage the power plays that are created in a dynamic of opposite energies. You sit here on our little emerald planet as either male or female and hold a particular perspective that […]