A Look at 2015, and Moso Bags

I just discovered these charcoal bamboo air purifying bags (http://www.mosonatural.com/) for our home. I think Moso makes the best of these, and if your home is bigger than a breadbox, I would buy the 500 gram size, not the 200. One in each room is a good goal, but at $20 apiece, that may not be possible all at once.

2015 was a great year. It’s close to over now, and it occurred to me that it would help me look back at it all and acknowledge the new and better things that the year brought. So I did. Then I thought, well, I’ll also blog it. So here we go with the fresh, funky, forward-looking personal discoveries and progressions of the year 2015.

1.    I discovered dry brushing, using Bernard Jensen body and face brushes. I’ve always done self-massage in the shower, but dry brushing before showering really gets the blood flowing at the skin’s surface. My skin, head to toe, has never been happier.

2.    Activated charcoal came into my life. I use it as a skin treatment when my complexion gets sluggish. Mix a bit with Bragg’s apple cider vinegar and some tea tree oil, spread it on your face, leave it for an hour, and rinse. I tried brushing my teeth with it, but BLECH. No.

3.    I started my journey with fermentation – specifically, homemade kombucha and kefir. I won’t drink even the best store-bough kefir anymore. I also started fermenting apples.

4.    I turned away from commercial nut and soy milks and embraced organic, raw, whole, local cow’s milk. And until I have the resources to make my own organic nut milks, I’m sticking with raw cow milk.

5.    I got even deeper into earthing. Then I started the dogs that I take care of and love with earthing. If you haven’t tried it, you need to.

6.    I started studying transcendental meditation. Sure, I could pay a lot of money to study it in a classroom, but that’s in no way necessary.

7.    I discovered castor bean oil. It’s the most amazing skin moisturizer/hair conditioner/dietary supplement.

8.    Our small apple and peach fruit orchard gave us our first organic, fresh fruits this summer. Yessss.

9.    I made a decision about a second career, with a launch date of 2016. I’m excited to start this new chapter. More to come!

10. I bought a cold steam essential oil diffuser, an earthing sheet, an earthing mat, and two extra-large millet hull pillows for our bedroom. Now we’re both sleeping so deeply that sometimes we don’t even hear the alarm clock in the morning!

11. I started formal Shin Buddhism studies at Wesleyan University’s College of East Asian Studies. The course finishes up in spring 2016, then I get my dharma name. Very excited about this.

12. I got back into lucid dreaming in a big way.

13. I dreamed about Daisy Sage Douglas a lot, and they were all positive dreams. It’s been helping with the grief.

14. I bought a Squatty Potty for the bathroom.

15. The Chaga mushroom found me.

16. We grew purple tomatillos in our veggie gardens for the very first time, and ate fresh, homemade salsa – the most delicious I’ve ever tasted – from August through October.

17. I made it to Kennbunkport, Maine, beaches for a week this summer with my husband. We also traveled to Newport, R.I., New Hampshire, and Vermont.

18. I sipped a yummy hot maple and met a very cool canine at Vermont’s Moon Dog Café.

19. Against my naturopath’s advice, I stopped paying attention to calories.

20. I read The Red Tent and it changed how I think about menstruation and the miracles of the life cycle.

21. I started using the Moon Cup during my period.

22. I stopped getting mammograms. I’ve had three in my life: they were all painful, terrifying, expensive, and exhausting. And useless and dangerous.

23. I found out that Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap (eucalyptus) is the best shampoo for my amazing golden doodle, Lily. She has clean, natural, healthy hair now.

24. We didn’t use any noxious, topical flea/tick treatments on the dogs – just pure essential oils on their fur - and we didn’t find a single flea or tick on either of them this summer.

25. I discovered author Rohinton Mistry.

26. We grew so many tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, greens, garlic, herbs, and Japanese eggplant in our food gardens this summer that we pretty much fed all our co-workers and most of our neighbors, as well as ourselves.

27. We bought a brand new, energy-efficient furnace for our home and reduced our dependence on fossil fuels. Not to mention cut our oil bill by about a hundred-million percent.

28. I’m still struggling with anemia, despite daily, potent ferrous sulfate supplements. But it’s not become worse, and that’s a good thing.

29. I had a tooth extracted, which caused an adverse drug reaction, which sent me to an emergency room, which led to an even deeper curiosity about alternative health practices and the corruption within ‘health care’ megacorporations, which propelled thoughts about a career change (see #9).

30. My husband’s health has been consistently good since his surgery in January. I think I’m more grateful for that than anything else.

31. I added amaranth to my diet.

32. My car turned 11 this year. It makes funny noises now, but still runs great. It’s gas efficient, paid for, and I don’t worry about new ‘dings’ and dents at all.

33. I learned to completely trust my thinking process. This means that if I believe something is right, wrong, smart, or dumb, safe, or dangerous, guess what – it is.

34. I eliminated a dangerously toxic person from my life. I’m not going to lie – it felt like a cruel choice. But it brought me overwhelming relief. It was the right call, and I did it gently and with compassion. Peace and love to this fellow voyager.

35. I now use an authentic kadai for cooking Indian food.

36. We saw the movie Crying Earth Rise Up, and it changed my life.

37. I discovered Arnold’s Way.

38. I become obsessed with Metatron’s Cube.

39. I discovered Sadh Guru.

40. I discovered the Amitabha library (amitabhalibrary.org).

41. I made my first Earth Dinner on Earth Day.

42. I met a work colleague who’s also into juice fasting. It’s great to have a partner.

43. I made my first scoby.

44. I got really deep into nomad yogurt making.

45. I re-ignited my love affair with pure essential oils.

46. The house is now filled with Himalayan salt lamps. Not only do they give off wonderful, comforting light, they help cleanse the air.

47. I gave away a lot of good clothes, shoes, and even handbags to people who needed them more than I. This lightened my journey, connected me to others, and made me a happier person.

48. My marriage taught me more about compassion and unconditional love than I thought I’d ever know. This is a priceless gift.

49. We saw the movies The Cove and Blackfish, and they changed my life.

50. I’ve convinced my husband to avoid the needless killing of insects that find their way into our home.

51. Gratitude has become an enormous theme in my life, irrelevant of circumstances. I wake up each day with a feeling of amazement. I’m alive. I know what love is. Today, I’ll learn something completely new.

52. I think I finally perfected masoor dal.

53. I found an outstanding Indian grocery just 20 minutes from our home. Everything you need for Indian cooking is there. They even have fresh lime and banana leaves.

54. I swapped out most of the cleaning products in our home for Mrs. Meyer’s brand. The only exception is the laundry soap. We use Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds.

55. I think I made more hummus in 2015 than in any year of my life.

56. I rekindled my love of well-crafted short stories.

57. I took all but one of the gemstones and crystals in our house and placed them into the food gardens. We had a bumper crop this year.

58. I’ve reached a new level of personal and spiritual growth. I listened for hours to the teachings of free thinkers like Sam Harris and Robert Anton Wilson.

59. I rediscovered 90s grunge bands. I found myself listening to a lot of Blind Melon, Nirvana, and Flowerhead.

60. We started building a Zen meditation garden on our property. When our hamster, Wheat Germ, died this year, my husband buried him among the calla lilies.

61. I ramped up my game and bought a Breville juicer.

62. I grieved when Ravi Shankar died. But his music lives on.

I could probably remember more if I tried, but this covers a lot of it. It’s been a fruitful and fun year. I’m looking forward to deepening Buddhist and other studies in 2016, and seeing where this new interest in medicinal mushrooms goes. After my husband and dogs, learning is my number one love. I’m so grateful for everything.

Peace on Earth

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