Early Autumn Forest Bath

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October in the woods in SW Michigan, just minutes from my Three Oaks home…

Moving from the heated expansiveness of summer, a refreshing and introspective autumnal forest calls.  Come walk and linger, enjoy scents and colors, experiencing the restoration and inspiration of the trees, plants, and earth.  The shadows are long and the days shorter, heightening our pleasure of the moment.  Falling leaves reveal the skeleton of a tree.  Scent of decaying leaves is both dank and sweet, a curious embrace.

I imagine most of us woodsy fans are aware of the Forest Bath movement, Shinrin-yuko.  (I rambled about Forest Bathing previously in a wintry blog – Winter Forest Bath). In Japan, formal studies are conducted regarding the health benefits of spending time in nature.  A recent study explores the immune strengthening abilities of essential oils from trees and plant life.  ‘Scuse me while I dab on some Hinoki Oil…

Most beguiling is the personal creativity that awakes in a Forest Bath.  If we step into the woods with senses open we begin to feel very deeply.  We let the forest in –  into us, our psyche – and we experience profound pleasure and the rarified activity, play.

Yeah, it sounds “woo-woo.”  Well, it is “woo-woo.”  Let’s just lighten up go with it.

Here’s some sensory forest bath games to explore.

Scent

Find a scent and breathe it in.  Close your eyes.  How does it make you feel?  Where do you feel it in your body.  Open your eyes and follow the scent until you discover another. Repeat.

Pine, I feel in the head,  throat, and heart.   I walk through the woods tracking pine until I discover a fungal-mushroom scent.  This I feel much lower in my body, it is heavy and rich.  Something about the mushroom seems mischievous to me…  Colors seem brighter after the scent of mushroom.

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Vision

Let yourself gaze at something until your eyes go in and out of focus.  Explore trying not to focus on anything!  Find some lovely objects and make a design with them.

I feel connected to my inner child when I do this.

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Hear

Sit in silence.  Close your eyes.  What do you hear?  Repeat, this time with a smile.

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Touch

Here’s a favorite.  Find a tree.  Go ahead and rest your hand on it.  Feel.  Move your hand away, slowly, and see what you feel now.  Ok, umm. Just wow!  Next, silently introduce yourself to this tree.  “Well, hello there, Tree.  I’m Doreen.  It’s so nice to be in your company.”  See what happens…

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Have Fun!

Go ahead and revel and twirl!  Don’t be perfect!  Be wild and wonderful!  Be present!  Be you in the deep, deep woods of autumn!

An Invitation

If you are interested in exploring forest bathing, yoga, and mindfulness in a cozy group setting  you will want to know about this fantastic retreat offered by Inseus at their retreat center in Harbor Country, Michigan. “An Invitation to Be.”  October 11-14, 2018.  Experience meditation, yoga, massage, acupuncture, Soulcollage, and a Forest Bath experience (led by me!).  Hope you will join us!

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Why Imagination Is Your Superpower

(in defense of  faeries)

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Queen Mab

In the crisp, quiet snow, through the sleeping woods we quest.  The forest, at once muted and subtle, is laid bare with winter.  The naked skeletons of trees impose themselves through the softness of  white drifts.  The trees relieved of their autumnal frippery are akin to deep soul-urges exposed.

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We seek the Winter Faerie Queene, Queen Mab, my Fae companion and I.

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For the Winter Queen is queen of sleep and deep dreaming.  She delivers us to new imaginings.  Daring us to dream our dreams and intoxicate ourselves in crystalline brilliance no matter the chill on our fingers and nose.

So we hasten on.  After all, is this not what forest snow is for?  To lull and snap us to the feet of the magnificent Queen of the Winter Court.  To imagine and create.

Is it not the river of life?

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What?

What of her, this Queen Mab?

Shakespeare provides us this, “she comes in shape no bigger than an agate stone on the forefinger of an alderman.”

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But is she really so petite?  I’ll wager it’s an expression of endearment, like “Little John,”  the ironic name given Robin Hood’s 7-foot tall warrior.  Because Queen Mab, Queen of Winter, and of sleep and dreams, is massively powerful.

She is our SUPERPOWER.  She is your imagination.

Imagination

How often have we heard the following?

“It’s just your imagination.”

“That’s just fantasy.”

“You’re just daydreaming again!”

“Just.”  A single, insidious word making fantasy and imagination diminutive, rendering it powerless.  Thus (and here is the true belittling of Queen Mab) we set aside living creatively.   We set aside our power to create.

“Step in line!  Beware the siren’s voice inside of you! Shove away those dreams you hold dear.”

But the seeds sleeping in the depths of winter, preparing to bust out a move in the spring, are like your dreams and imaginings.  And the Imaginal Realm is where you nurture those seed dreams.

And EVERYTHING comes from a dream, a feeling, a thought, and then an action.

Why do you think “they” try to steer us from it?  (Yes, I’m a rebel.)

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So as the light returns with the winter solstice and your dreams start to stir and bud, get yourself over to the Imaginal Realm and curtsy long and deep to the Queen.  The intoxicating Queen Mab, your superpower – imagination.  For she is in YOU.  She is a part of YOU.  SHE IS YOU.

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Deep Knowledge

But why am I telling you this?  You know it all already.  Enjoy!

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Happy Winter Solstice, Dear Reader!

Getting Connected at the Acorn Theater in Harbor Country Michigan

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A little blog I wrote, published on the Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce website about the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, MI.  My home village…

By Doreen Stelton

To feel enveloped in a welcoming place with friendly folk. You know this feeling? You know it. We all share it. That desire to connect with others, to get social and commune.  Perhaps even sharing a deeper experience together, basking in the beauty and mysteries of life. For a lifetime, a day, …

Follow source/link below to read more..

Source: Getting Connected at the Acorn – Harbor Country

The Heart Journey Gnome – Maryland Faerie Festival – 2016

 

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Sprawled under the hydrangea bushes.  Late spring only, but the heat says otherwise, sayin’ summer already.  There is Lulu, reflecting momentarily on the turn of event.  The event?   Gettin’ with your gnomies…  At the Maryland Faerie Festival.

Thoughts and images flood…  Remembrances…  Treasures…

First, to commune with the faeries tenting is key…  For in the tent you hear the faerie wild rites surging and glittery faerie glam seeps through the zippy fabric into dreams.

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New Gnome

But who could sleep with all this ruckus?  And the music, sometimes eerie sometimes tribal, always magic.

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Delicate Gnome Village of Seaglass

It was at the drum circle that the Faerie Festival Queen announced that a gnome was missing.

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Let The Wild Rumpus Start!

Despite the late night, at dawn Lulu is up and  Unicorn-led.  Onwards through a sparkle chandelier lit crystal curtain to a village of wee fae homes inhabited by kindly faeries.  Going where???  In search of what???  The stolen Gnome???

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Sweet Stardust the Unicorn and his yellow fae, Rawbin.
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Pixie the Faerie Goat
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Chandelier of the Seelie Court
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Enter the Faire

The wee faerie houses themselves seemed to whisper,  “open the door, open your heart, open to mystery, magic, the fae arts.”

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New Gnomes For Sale
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Faerie Houses for Wee Folk by talented Rena Damskey

Yet the voices of these two rang most clear (in a singsongy pixie way.)

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“Seek ye the tree.”
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“To the tree with thee.”
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Darling Mother and Daughter Gnomes Holly and Shirley

Some fae folk clapped their hands and pointed with staffs.  “This way and that.”

But with all the delightful distractions, staying on course, of course, which course?, is there even a course? as tricksy as a faerie path.

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Dinosaur Rides? Yes, Please!
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Spark the Fairy
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Spark Creates Faerie Hair!
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Magical Sundries!
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Honey Cat Jewelry Ladies
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Tempting Faerie Jewels by Honey Cat!
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Yoga Yurts
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And Psychiatric Help?  Why Ever Not!

Other more mysterious messages came from ever more mysterious fae folk.

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Mischievous Tricksters…
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Greenmen…
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Creatures of the Unseelie (Dark) Court…

 

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And Shane with the Kind Eyes of Mythical Designs by Miscellaneous Oddiments.

There were gnomes everywhere.  Near trees…

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In trees…

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Wearing trees…

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And gnomes that claimed to just be “Thinking of trees…”

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But it was Wedji TuCheeks the Goblin who led to the purchase of a hat.

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Wedji TuCheeks the Goblin.

And the brilliant musicians that sold her the flute that truly set Lulu’s course

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David of the House of Musical Traditions
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Faerie on the Psalter

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Eyes closed, ya’ know, Lulu wears her hat and plays the flute.  Magical notes play.  The melody like rivulets streaming sing.  Stardust the Unicorn hears and heeds the calling thus whisks her to a flowery meadow.  Sliding off his back she encounters the tree.  Now so small she opens the wee tree door and slips in and down the very roots of the tree where her special gnomies wait for her in a crystal hall.  Vessels of sweet ambrosia and faerie cakes await (but she knows better than to eat any faerie food, ya’ know).  The fireplace crackles with delight.  The gnomes whisper strange words that both sooth and astound.  And Lulu just knows, ya’ know, just knows to sit and soak it all in…

The Maryland Faerie Festival is an annual weekend long event.  I highly recommend this Festival!  Here is a blog I wrote about the Festival last year when I was quite new to blogging – Maryland Faerie Festival 2015

Thank you so much, dear reader, for experiencing this blog.  Will you attend any festivals this year?

On Becoming

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Invisioning Roses……. Eau de Parfum

On Becoming

A Nose, A Fae, A Free Ranger

While carefully packing up all by bottles and perfumery supplies.  I thought, “Who does this and likes it?”  It occurred to me, it is perhaps not the norm to give up a home and just start scooting around hither and thither with an 8 year old dog and more perfume supplies in a car trunk than clothing.  Dreaming to be an faerie perfumer and to live in beauty and enchantment.

But it’s me.  That’s who likes it. Me myself and I.

There’s no knowing how this story will end.

Yet, I have managed to finish my course of study at the Natural Perfumery Institute 

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and I’m getting my beloved enchanted verdant faerie perfumes out there.  The verdant faerie Etsy store launches Monday and I’m exhibiting on Sunday, April 24th in Chicago at InVision.   Woohoo!

Click here for information on the event.

Meantime I contemplate.  I dream.  I invision.  I feel.

I feel how I feel when I perfume.  It connects me to self.  Rose today, right now, how about that?  Sandalwood and Fossilized Amber, tiny droplets escape air-born before the beaker captures.  They flitter inside me – yes like a faerie – how do I feel?  This perfume composition, Invisioning Roses, today it lingers on my wrist for 6 hours, transforming and enticing, langorous.  Yesterday it zipped keenly through me elven, quicksilver.  I feel how this feels.  It brings me now.

And, oh yes, I am on the road, here also finding beauty and kind supportive souls, uber kind friends.  This too brings me home to self.  Finding self on this nomadic perfumed faerie journey.

And sometimes there’s fear and panic.  Of course.  But my mermaid self dives into the pool of emotions, and here, also, I am.  I ground myself and I invision.

One day, maybe soon, I’ll settle down again.  Linger with some Brownies (the types of faeries who protect and help with home and hearth).  But for now I’m a free range faerie type.  And it’s mostly beautiful, and all me.

My wild faerie dream…

I hope you have a wild faerie dream too, dear Reader.  And that you find yourself Invisioning and outbeing that dream.

Here are some pics from my stay in Maryland!

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Faerie Mist
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Secret to the BEST  manhattan, shhh…
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Lunch in Annapolis
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Morning Walk
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Missy
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Smell Great – Name Unknown
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Breathless, Literally
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Lulu’s Free Range Faerie
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Ikebana
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Wondering if I should tincture this….
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Spring!
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Wall Flower  (Shrinking Violet, TeeHee)
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Touristy pic of the state capital, but there’s flowers!

Thank you for visiting here!  May you find beauty and Enchantment.

 

Bristol Faire of Real Imagination – Illinois and Wisconsin

Everything you can imagine is real.

-Pablo Picasso

I am simply sharing photos from an inspiring day trip to the Bristol Renaissance Faire near Kenosha, Wisconsin.  As you might guess it’s mostly a smorgasbord of faerie pics.  Also indulged is my obsession for windows, balconies, and the place where roof meets sky.  And oddities.

FAIRIES

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FAERIES PLAYING WITH CHILDREN…

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…AND FRIARS

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MAGICAL WINDOWS AND STUFF

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FAERIES ON BALCONY

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FUTURE HOME POSSIBILITIES FOR US

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LONG TIME FRIENDS

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Jean and Dave (couple of sinners!)
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Sturdy Beggar – Herb Metzler
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Sturdy Beggars – Herb Metzler (pre mud) and Rush Pearson (more sinners)
Jean Doyle
Jean Doyle
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Jean and I
Pure as the driven sn
Pure as the driven snow (so he claims)

THE CURIOUSLY WONDERFUL LADY ETTIE AND HER ODD TEA SHANTY

Honestly – I could not get over the wonder of this place.

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Earl Grey the Cat
Earl Grey the Cat

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ME

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I wore Jessica Hannah’s Skive perfume.  Leather, woodsy, sexy, and sweet dreamy.

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The faire is a provocative haven plunked down in the woods.  A wild imaginarium. A playscape.   It’s healthy to cultivate a bit of wildness in your life so you can be free to play and create.  I sincerely feel this heartbreak that more and more we are pressured (news, religion, government, society, and even education) to just be grateful for what we have, when we could have so much more.  We can dream so much more.

Yes, gratitude is a wonderful practice to cultivate.

But be sure to let a part of your garden (in your soul) grow wild so that the faeries (and you) can work magic there.  Grow a castle.  A wild imaginarium.

We are what we pretend to be, 
so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
-Kurt Vonnegut

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Portraits in Scent – Bergamot

Here’s where I smell some perfumy stuff and jam on whom they’d be if they were a whom or a what.

Bergamot

Uplifiting and charming, you tickle me.  Like a mischievously cute faerie with a penchant to please.  Upbeat and fun, that feel good friend always so easy to be around.  I feel you in my chest, my lifted-chin-smiling-sunshine gaze.

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Funny that your beautiful and sweet scent heralds from a small, inedible, unattractive type of lime.  Hmmm. yet somehow it makes sense that you are an Italian fruit – as in the Italian commedia dell’arte character, Arlequino.

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You smell like green and fresh.

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I confess I fell madly for you at 18…

in the (non-natural) perfume – Shalimar, by House of Guerlain.  You are often present and ever popular in many perfumes.  Yep, you are a sparkle note in the classic Eau de Cologne.

You are the dog that all the other dogs want to playfully chase.

You are sunshine with a touch of black pepper.

When you are a yoga pose, you are like my dear friend and yoga teacher, Tomoko Morganelli, in Dancer Pose.

Tomoko posed for me at 6:30 am! Look how she is laughing! Such a Bergamot type person.
Tomoko posed for me at 6:30 am! Look how she is laughing! Such a Bergamot type person.

And if you are a silks drop/trick you are like this drop performed by my silks teacher (and professional performer) Zoe Sheppard and my classmate Alicia Hauge.  (I got them right after an hour and a half of training, again, ridiculously early.  Both these amazing ladies are also super upbeat, playful, and fun.)  Click here to watch them casually pull off a one and a half.  Notice the lift at the beginning followed by the playful and exciting tumble.

It’s no wonder the lovely scent is a perfect compliment to the tea, Earl Grey.  Cuppa’ tea, love?   Twill lift your spirits and warm your heart…

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Here I am buzzed on Earl Grey, studying perfumery, old skool, from a book…

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Bergamot, just thanks for being you.