The Artistry of Sustainability

IMG_2269

Cascina Rodiani, Drezzo, Italy

We are so thoroughly entangled in the web of the world that we are blind to the unfolding world there before us.”  ~ John O’Donohue

 As a child – whether I was cuddled in the branches of a tree, dipping my hands into the water surrounding entwined cattails to explore the ever surprising embodiment of a frog in pollywog stages, or lying in a meadow mesmerized as a hawk glides upon invisible air currents – I was at one.

Never separate.  Always connected.  I was nature and she was me.

For me, this relationship has never changed.

Yet now we see and feel the crises our planet is in because of humans forgetting this basic interconnected wholeness.

Underneath the global crises we all face we are being asked to focus on ways of living, thinking, stewarding and taking action woven with nature’s wisdom.

It takes an embodied artistry to travel these natural pathways back home to union with the natural world, and solid intentions to live and travel with our values.

Green technology partnered with the natural world is one way we can return to once again embodying this interconnection – lost or forgotten by so many a very long time ago.

The unfolding artistry of nature stuns with its deeply interconnected communion – perhaps the greatest masterpiece of all – a constant reminder of our aliveness…and our mortality.

Recognizing that we are not only the guest of nature – we are inseparable from nature!

In the lake district of Northern Italy, near Switzerland and above Lake Como, on a hilltop overlooking the little town of Drezzo, surrounded by Spina Verde Regional Park, one can find the artistry of sustainability at the Eco-B&B – Casina Rodiani (https://cascinarodiani.com/) who offer what they call Green Hospitality.

From the first moment of driving up the winding cobblestone road to the top of the hill where the 400 year old Cascina rests, peace and a touch of magic might possibly reach into your heart and immediately create spaciousness to simply be.

The abundance of the natural world embraces you as her guest.  You simply cannot ignore that connection immediately asked by some unseen forces to simply surrender your feeling of separation.

The statement “We are guests of nature” on the home page of their website speaks to the deeper vision and mission of the owners and managers of the Cascina – Samuel, Mimma and Ruth.  Partnering the best of green sustainable technology with nature, and warm attentive Italian hosting sprinkled with beauty everywhere.

From the very first moments, you are welcomed into the family of the Cascina, who always place well being as a priority.

Cascina Rodiani The attention to detail from breakfast served at a small table right outside your room on a sunny portico each morning; the tailored suggestions of how and where best to explore this stunning area and the means to get you there to include walking, electric bikes and/or electric cars; providing a picnic lunch for an outing; supplying a map of the multitude of trials for walking in the national park bordering the Cascina; surprises of  Italian homemade delights and a selection of organic wines; firing up the wood burning sauna;

….or simply allowing the privacy and space to drink in the gifts of sustainable artistry… enjoying deep sleep within the stone walls of a 400 year old building, each room furnished with recycled material and old furniture.

You may even experience a moment in time as I did, while lying by the natural lake. Trickle of water moving, wind rustling the giant bamboo, a cuckoo bird singing out, church bells chiming the hour from the valley below…..and the sound of your breath connected with it all.

Cascina Rodiani Sustainability

The artistry of sustainability at the Cascina includes thermal solar energy; a large biodynamic garden space and on going land stewardship; sustainable forestry; a green house where herbs & veggie starts dwell in the winter and lemon trees are protected;  water recycling using a phytodepuration system which is inclusive of 100% drinkable water efficiency; a natural lake; home grown olives and pressed olive oil; beekeeping and the resultant honey; composting and recycling; fresh eggs from the chickens…and always an awareness and devotion to living sustainably with natural resources.

Cascina Rodiani Lake & Sauna

Just a 10 minute walk down the hill (everything is either down or up!) is the small down of Drezzo. One of my favorite memories of this trip outside of the Cascina, resides at the restaurant – Rossodisera – with it’s attention to artistic presentation, outstanding risotto, sparkling Italian wine, and of course the creme brulee studded with fresh berries.

One of the servers in the restaurant spoke some English and my Italian was not fit for consumption (even though I had taken online Italian lessons since January!), so the feeling of being single and alone had me in it’s grip.

All of a sudden an entire table of two families including two little girls turned around all at once, raised their glasses to me and said Saluti! with smiles on everyone’s face –  turned  around to confer with each other –  then faced me again, raised their glasses and said “Cheers” which made my smile grow even larger…and my feeling of being alone vanish!

Drezo, Italy

When the waiter came to me with a small red box and presented it as if it was the most treasured of gifts I actually thought they were giving me something special for being such a wonderful patron and enjoying my dinner so much.

Well, it was the bill, but surrounded with small dark chocolates to take home and enjoy later.  And I did feel very special filled with the artistry of beautiful food and welcoming Italians.

Como Italy

Cascina Rodiani is only a 20 minute drive to Como resting beside beautiful Lake Como with stunning views of the Alps, lush gardens, open markets, cultural history and art, and travel up a hillside by tram to see the spectacular view from above.

Ferries will take you around the very large lake to whatever small town you would like to visit, perhaps to the spectacular Botanical Gardens at Villa Carlotta where I visited, or the “crowing jewel” of Lake Como – Bellagio – which I did not.

Lake Como italy Delights

For those that wish to actively explore this diverse area filled with culture and history there is also the artistry of the Slow Lake Como guides who, through their story telling, take you on mini-adventures experienced with all of your senses – where the “normal tourist” does not go!

Though enjoying the small excursions I did take while in this area, it was so incredibly restful to return to the Cascina and drop back into the peace and stillness there.

It was difficult leaving Cascina Rodiani at the end of my stay there, though I know I always have an Italian “family” to come back to – and a resting place to restore in after a day walking in the Spina Verde Park, exploring small towns, or witnessing an area so rich with history, culture…..and beauty.

Arreviderci to Cascina Rodiani – Samuel, Mimma (and Ruth) – Molto Grazie!

Arrivederci to Cascina Rodiani

When you make your reservations please let them know Gaye sends Molto Amore!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

36957665_10216959478557119_2689410213248761856_nGaye Abbott adores the adventure of travel and learning about the people, culture, language, history, landscape and artistry of an area through the road less traveled. She travels with her values, and most probably will be found out in nature, in the countryside, dancing, or in small towns and villages connecting with farmers, artisans, and anyone who tells unique stories, with a sense of humor….and are not afraid to transparently show up as they are!

OTHER BLOGS:

http://www.LifeAtWolfCreek.com

http://www.WildlyFreeWoman.com

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Life Breathing

img_2036

The power of words – their energy and their contextual roots – reaching deeply into human psyche.  Unraveling stories – coming alive to be lived now, yet straying into future and past.

How tightly we hold on to them, until they can only gasp for breath begging to be set free.  Attempting to create meaning and security when all of a sudden they fly away and become something else entirely – casting into the depths, un-prying fingers and minds from around them.

To creation of worlds and words and feelings and sensations we have never experienced before, like a virgin opening to voluptuous sensual connection and animate life.

Come now, let me tell you a story that has never been told, so free of the contraction and constraints of our daily lived grind of sameness.  Let us embark, set sail, like a first step without fear – diving deeply into the unknown beyond what we know

….. or think we know.

Listen to the passions spoken so clearly Sourced by your body, heart and soul, following into the peaks and valleys of life where everything is “enough” – including yourself.

Trust the knowing, then letting go of even that in a free fall where the landing place reveals itself only in the now and now and now.

Be still for this is your life breathing….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(This piece was written on 12/25/18 in celebration of the writing muses coming actively back into my life once again after 2 years away (most probably on some exotic coastal island enjoying themselves!).  Written on the Sonoma Coast of Northern California, it felt as if time stood still while the words flowed without any thought or struggle, blowing over the sand and sea on a gorgeous Christmas day…..Gaye Abbott, 1/6/19

THANKSGIVING ADDRESS

IMG_1886

Posted 9/2/18 on LifeAtWolfCreek.com,

We are showered every day with gifts, but they are not meant for us to keep.  Their life is in their movement, the inhale and exhale of our shared breath.  Our work and our joy is to pass along the gift and to trust that what we put into the Universe will always come back. “

~Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

In the Haudenosaunee native peoples Thanksgiving Address there rests a constant reminder that we already have everything we need.  It recognizes the abundance that constantly surrounds us rather than scarcity – and is a pledge of interdependence and of gratitude for all that is given to us in every single moment, day, year…..lifetime.

What if we started our day with a Thanksgiving Address not only recognizing, but pledging to and being deeply grateful for, the constancy and blessing of earth, water, wind, animals, moon, sun, plants, trees, berries, fish, medicine herbs, birds….all life.

The first two paragraphs of this particular Thanksgiving Address are as follows, spoken aloud every morning at a school for Native children:

“Today we have gathered and when we look upon the faces around us we see that the cycles of life continue.  We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living beings.  So now let us bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People.  Now our minds are one.”

 We are thankful to our Mother the Earth, for she gives us everything that we need for life.  She supports our feet as we walk about upon her.  It gives us joy that she still continues to care for us, just as she has from the beginning of time.  To our Mother we send thanksgiving, love and respect.  Now our minds are one. “

 …and it continues on.

Robin says “What would it be like to be raised on gratitude, to speak to the natural world as a member of the democracy of species, to raise a pledge of interdependence?  No declarations of political loyalty are required, just a response to a repeated question: Can we agree to be grateful for all that is given?”

Isn’t it time for this pledge of gratitude to be a constant refrain of humans at this pivotal and challenging time we live in?  How would it change the fabric of our days, the communities and countries we live in and the lives of the generations to follow us?

As I write this on my deck I drink in the animacy of the natural world embraced by the energy of all living beings. Lavender and healing plants communing with the brilliant pink, purple, red and orange of blossoms on their neighbors.  Touched by the gentle sound of bees and hummingbirds who land to nourish their aliveness only to gift it elsewhere.

At times the sound of footsteps below the deck which could be the mama deer and fawn I have spotted recently or the wild turkeys that waddle their way down to the creek as a community – or the sound of the many birds that gather in this neck of the woods and that I awaken to each morning at sunrise.

The tree beings who are communing through their intimate community network above and below the earth.  Each one with it’s individual characteristics.  Whispering so softly that I have to drop into a deeper state of being to catch their messages – sustaining and protecting each other and at the same time gifting us with rich oxygen.

The creek below that is certainly not shy in voicing passage through the beds of rock, silt, plant life and tiny microscopic beings that dance within the sunlight reflected off of the flowing surface.

How can we live in a mindset of scarcity and separation when nature informs us every single moment that it is a false premise to live by….and one at odds with the survival of all living beings.

How can we forget that we live in an animate universe that is filled with energy enough for everyone, is interconnected –  and with every act or word spoken from a place of separateness and not enoughness disconnects us from the very essence of all life breathing.

I invite you to create your own Thanksgiving Address to be spoken aloud before moving into each day, to share it with others and to live by it’s pledge every day of your life by your actions and words.

I know I will…..

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Copyright by Gaye Abbott, Natural Passages Consulting, 9/2/18

Life At Wolf Creek

cropped-14191957_10210398337852702_2669612161964589890_n

ABOUT THE NEW BLOG Life At Wolf Creek:

Life At Wolf Creek provides a space of sanctuary and peaceful reflection.  A stopping place to refresh and renew.  To remember what is vitally important in our lives and what is to be cherished in pure devotion.

This is where I thrive.  Where I feel most at home.  For this environment is the very soil of my being.  Each breath amidst the family of trees below me and the flow of Wolf Creek in front of me brings me home.  Home to all that I am.  Home to all that everything is.

We have forgotten our origins.  Our beginnings. Feeling the earth energy course up through our bodies we are reminded.

It is this essence that brings us health, well being and reminds us of the complex interconnection that sustains and connects all life.

http://LifeAtWolfCreek.com

Take a look and SIGN UP!

 

 

Clearing Trauma From Body & Emotions

 

Lotus_Pond

Recently there have been, and continue to be, many trauma’s in our country as well as the world.  They seem to be unfolding faster than we can keep up with them. This  also includes the devastation of our natural world through global warming and human interference, and our intense grief and fear associated with it.

Our culture in the United States does not advocate taking time for clearing trauma from the tissues of the body and the emotions.  Instead we are asked to “carry on” and act as if we are “past it” and “soldier” forward. War language at it’s worst!

Even the recent traumas that have directly affected me – my dear friends in Houston with the floods and devastation; the fires here in Northern California intimately affecting my son, my grandchildren and so many others that are dear to me; and a recent minor car accident I was involved in.

Life these days seem to contain more violence and trauma than we have ever experienced before even if we are not directly involved.  We are intimately interconnected with all living beings and it depends on our sensitivities how much we feel these traumas….but know that we do indeed feel them…all of us! (especially the empaths among us)

Yesterday a beloved friend and co-workers son fell on the playground and sustained a concussion.  She rushed him to the ER where a CAT scan was done and it was determined that he had a head injury.  His vision was impaired, thinking slowed and he had quite a headache.  This was traumatic for mother and son alike.  The medical world pronounced him OK and sent him along home with instructions for mom.

But what of the trauma within the tissues of the body and the emotions that are sometimes forced down because it is not OK to display them openly?  Parents are told to keep in control and not “scare” or “upset” their kids, and boys of a certain age are told to “shake it off” and go on – “be a man” – and not cry.

Even if the parent is saavy, as my friend, is open to supporting their child and themselves in releasing the trauma and does not buy into cultural norms….the culture still often keeps our kids (and our parents) captive by unspoken “rules” of behavior that are somehow ingrained in our psyche.  Especially if our children are budding pre-teens and male.

What if the prescription for healing quickly, and without keeping residual trauma encased in the cellular structure of the body for years afterwards, was to openly welcome the emotions and the physical releases that simply want to emerge after any kind of trauma – whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual?

Welcoming in immediate assistance in supportive timing from somatic and mind-body therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, energy medicine practitioners and the like will not only speed recovery, but will also make certain that the particular trauma is not carried on within the body/mind/emotions.

What can you do immediately after a trauma such as my friend just experienced if seeking support right away is not possible?

*Stay grounded but real by breathing down into your roots (soles of your feet into the earth) and allowing the body to release the trauma when it feels safe to do so.  Releases can manifest in ways such as shaking or jerking of the body; crying or loud sound; a need to express verbally; desire to be held or comforted.  Small children are great at this and such teachers for us!

*Give your child or loved one permission to release in whatever way feels right for them in the moment.  Stay grounded and open. This may include placing your hands on them with their permission. Simply a loving and supportive touch or gentle massage by someone they trust can signal the body/emotions to let go of the trauma.

*Let your child or loved one know that you also were affected by the trauma and were scared for their well being.  Give yourself permission to release too when there is a space and time for you to do so.

*Engage the support of friends who will be real and supportive listeners, as well as  healing practitioners of your choice.

*Learn ways to quickly release trauma from the body by holding certain points (as in Jin Shin Jyutsu, acupuncture points, tapping etc.) if this is something that would be helpful for you.  There are many excellent practitioners that can assist you and a richness of online resources.

Trauma is not meant to be experienced alone though often times we find ourselves there.  Trusting the wisdom of the body/emotions to release naturally and asking for support and assistance is vital for long term well being.

We are a global community…..

______________________________________________________________________________________________

NATURAL PASSAGES CONSULTING Inspiring New Possibilities, Living From the Heart of Life While Co-creating Well Being of Body, Being, Heart and Planet….One Breath At A Time.

Gaye Abbott, is a wild and free soul who just so happens to LOVE writing, playing with energy, ecstatic dance and free form movement, living and breathing in nature, her 3 sons and 3 grandchildren, communing with friends and global community, organic food and cooking, small and simple spaces to live within, a lack of material possessions….and laughter every single day!

As a wise elder of 69 years she feels decades younger….and acts it too! Devoted to being of service to the Earth and all living beings Gaye seeks the peace of mind and openness of heart that provides the foundation for effective action in the world and her community.

http://www.GayeAbbott.com

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:

www.LifeAtWolfCreek.com (NEW!)

www.WildlyFreeWoman.com

Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links can be found here: http://gayeabbott.com/books/

 

 

 

 

 

Deep Down Inside

16684399_10212064990797984_250335068589199769_n

Deep down inside I yearn for the beauty of a breath that takes me into kingdoms of unknowing where I dance free and unencumbered by the trappings of life that oft bind me, if I allow it.

Now with one single breath, and one step, I find a completely and utterly distinct fresh location that seems to be moving into different configurations of life now and now….and now.

I throw my arms up in the air and embrace the clouds entangling a soaring bird in my fingertips.  Oh, that you soar free my fine and sacred feathered friend.  For you are me and I you.

With an exhale wings expand and I find myself high above the verdant forest below with not a care in my heart or a pain in my mind.

Body rooted into the sky and thinking released to the ground below, my yearning lets go into the complete and utter joy of flight.

Gazing down, drawn by the salt of the air there is wave after wave of blue green water tipped with the white foam of mirth.

Suddenly wet with the saline that runs through my veins my flesh is held at the top of a wave.  The moment is taken within as a baby held by giant foamy arms.

This ride is one that drenches me with the utter deliciousness of water flight.  In one moment lusciously inviting in, and the next catapulting into the air.

In that moment of launch, into the unknowing moment, the sound I make startles me out of the complacency that runs life in moments.

Propels me into waking up as the breath fills my lungs and invades every cell of my body and beyond.

For what is this place but a surrender into God – the Source of all creation – ripe with nothing and filled with everything.

This moment of breath, this life that invites me over and over again to simply be present to the spacious unfolding of life – now…..

Gaye Abbott, February, 2017

__________________________________________________________________

NATURAL PASSAGES CONSULTING

Inspiring New Possibilities, Living From the Heart of Life While Co-creating Well Being of Body, Mind, Heart and Planet….One Breath At A Time

http://www.GayeAbbott.com

Gaye Abbott, RYT assists individuals to dissolve the layers that block well being and reveal, through a combination of the energy medicine of Jin Shin Jyutsu, yoga therapy and breath re-patterning, and as spiritual mentor/guide/coach, the larger purpose and co-creative expression that we are here for.

For those interested in receiving private sessions please contact Gaye at: JoyfulGaye@NaturalPassages.com.  Travel to your location in the U.S. or globally is available as is Skype mentoring/coaching.  Please inquire. 

Coaching and Editing for Transformative and Visionary Writers

I help you reveal new possibilities in your creative work

Language is fundamental to who we are as biological beings and is the primary vehicle for taking effective action in our lives. It inherently carries within it our identity in the world and the potential for connection and collaboration.

As an advanced practitioner of Jin Shin Jyutsu I am able to see and work with the connection between the body’s energy system and that of language. Conversations actually live in our bodies. Words hold energy that stimulate our biology in various ways.

Transformative writing opens spaces, triggers possibility and stimulates your reader to take effective action. This is Language as Energy Medicine

Inquire:  JoyfulGaye@NaturalPassages.com

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
www.WildlyFreeWoman.com

Breath-Book-coverW2(1)Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links

can be found here:

http://gayeabbott.com/books/

 

The Un-Doing of Breathing

We often feel that breathing is simply automatic with the ability to consciously “control it” for periods of time.  Like other processes in our body we take for granted and most often just forget about them.

Until we recognize that our body innately knows that we are one with the Universe. In that oneness there are still points….a pause for us to remember that what we thought was our individual process of breathing is caught up in the stars shining, the waves moving to shore, the tree gifting us with oxygen, and the sun shining upon our face.

Michael Grab, in the video above, finds those still points as he deeply connects with the living forces of the stone elements he holds in his hands and blesses with water.  May you be reminded that in every moment you are simply and elegantly an integral and sacred part of this Universe….

___________________________________________________________________

NATURAL PASSAGES CONSULTING

Inspiring New Possibilities, Living From the Heart of Life While Co-creating Well Being of Body, Mind, Heart and Planet….One Breath At A Time

http://www.GayeAbbott.com

Gaye Abbott, RYT assists individuals to dissolve the layers that block well being and reveal, through a combination of the energy medicine of Jin Shin Jyutsu, yoga therapy and breath re-patterning, and as spiritual mentor/guide/coach, the larger purpose and co-creative expression that we are here for.

For those interested in receiving private sessions please contact Gaye at: JoyfulGaye@NaturalPassages.com.  Travel to your location in the U.S. or globally is available as is Skype mentoring/coaching.  Please inquire. 

Coaching and Editing for Transformative and Visionary Writers

I help you reveal new possibilities in your creative work

Language is fundamental to who we are as biological beings and is the primary vehicle for taking effective action in our lives. It inherently carries within it our identity in the world and the potential for connection and collaboration.

As an advanced practitioner of Jin Shin Jyutsu I am able to see and work with the connection between the body’s energy system and that of language. Conversations actually live in our bodies. Words hold energy that stimulate our biology in various ways.

Transformative writing opens spaces, triggers possibility and stimulates your reader to take effective action. This is Language as Energy Medicine

Inquire:  JoyfulGaye@NaturalPassages.com

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
www.WildlyFreeWoman.com

Breath-Book-coverW2(1)Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview, Reviews and purchase links

can be found here:

http://gayeabbott.com/books/