Season 3 EP#76 Tending the Land: What Farm Sitting Taught Me
*If you are in the season of receiving support to water the seeds you’ve been planting, then I invite you to apply to Bud to Blossom! Bud to Blossom is my 5 month mentorship program for radical healers, wellness coaches and consultants that are ready to get clear on their story medicine and grow their sacred offerings through speaking, workshops, retreats, and more. Book your free clarity call here.*
Hello future ancestors!
It’s been about three weeks since I’ve left the farm, where my last solo podcast episode about “integration” after my sabbatical was recorded - and I miss it so much.
So much to the point where I will literally wake up and smell FARM.
- Why is it that I started a business in the first place
- Getting a glimpse of what my life could be like as an elder
- The practice of equanimity in Buddhism
- What goats can teach about healthy boundaries, unconditional love, & how to be present
- What it meant to find sacredness in the mundane.
And if you hear sounds in the background, like cars passing by, it’s because I live next to the freeway. Welcome to city life, and I just imagine that they are ocean waves to get by at this point so apologies in advance.
But back to today's topic…
I’ve never thought I'd consider myself an animal person, and now when I see a cat, a dog, or goats I cannot help but get excited. Like, who have I become?
The chickens, I didn’t get to bond with as much though they did peck at me - which I was told is a sign of respect - but I’m especially grateful for the eggs they provided , considering there is an inflation with the price of eggs.
And while I went there to get focused on my business again, it was so hard to concentrate when every time I would grab my phone or reach for my laptop, I would have a paw land right on my arm - whether it belonged to one of the dogs or cats, or the goats would give me their starry eyes through the fence beckoning me to come out and play.
So, of course, I was not as attentive to my business as much as I intended to be - which meant shifting a lot of self-imposed deadlines like the launch of my next program - but I was definitely present with the land.
And it got me wondering, why is it that I started a business in the first place?
Because it definitely wasn’t to be behind a laptop all day, though I am so grateful that the internet has allowed me the privilege to reach people like you.
So much of what I talk about in Your Story Medicine is about envisioning the kind of elder and ancestor we’re becoming.
And how is it that we can embody that in the here and now?
I had a moment on the farm where I made avocado toast with a freshly cooked egg that I had just gathered from the barn.
I was sitting at the head of the table, so proud of the meal I made and patting myself on the back for lasting a week at that point alone formfitting.
And as I reflected on everything I had experienced the past several months, the heartbreak, the near death experiences of loved ones, the new friends and family I had cultivated, the dreams deferred and the new ones being birthed, my body began to tremble.
It was just a wave of emotion that moved from my toes to the crown of my head.
I couldn’t put a name to the feeling, but it felt like a mixture of both grief and gratitude.
And I was transported into being an elder, as if I was getting a glimpse into what my life could be like in the future.
I used to be afraid of growing old and being alone somewhere in a forest cabin surrounded by cats and dogs as my only companion -
And yet, here I was experiencing it at this moment.
And in spite of the stigma of being called a witch, it was utterly peaceful.
All the pressures of needing to find a husband or have children in order to be a complete woman went right out the door, and i wonder how many people miss out on this feeling because of society’s pressure to get married, get the job, get the house, make the money, and so forth - only to have total breakdowns from needing to hold it all together when it wasn’t in congruence to begin with.
Several days later, when Montez, the owner of the farm, returned from her travels, we were also reunited with Earl, another elder who flew in from New York, and who was also with us during the ayahuasca retreat this past new year.
As we sat around the fire, underneath the stars the night before I was to go back home, I listened to their stories of the multiple lives they had lived in one. They’re both in their second Saturn return, and if you’re unfamiliar with Saturn return - it’s when Saturn returns to the same place as it was when you were born - which is every 29.5 years. So that means they are about 60 years old.
And fun fact, Your Story Medicine was born during my Saturn return.
They shared with me the desecration of attachments and identities, relationship and career changes - and how they rose from the ashes each time. And they shared how none of the blessing and abundance in their life didn’t come without sacrifice or heart ache.
I could see the glow in their eyes, and how all of it was worth it to be in this very moment.
And I wished so badly to be an elder already, skipping the trials and tribulations to get there.
In spite of everything it is I’ve invested in for mentorship, life coaching, and personal growth - sitting at the feet of my elders to hear their wisdom was absolutely priceless.
And yet, I was reminded that going through this journey is inevitable if I am calling forth this vision of becoming a badass elder like them.
But at least when that time comes, I will have stories to share around the fire that will be passed down to the next generation of how I, too, rose above the ashes from fire and broke through the soil as a seed.
We often want the easy way out, to not feel pain or sadness, but those feelings are just as impermanent as happiness and joy. Emotions are just energy in motion, so these feelings will come in waves throughout our lifetime. It’s the experience of what it means to be human, but the practice is to not get caught up in the high and low tides by remembering that you are the ocean itself. And it’s true when our bodies are made up of over 60% water, just like the earth.
In Buddhism, this is the practice of equanimity.
To be equanimous is to be the calm in the eye of the storm, and to be grounded amidst chaos. Which is why I’m so grateful that my spiritual practice has taught me to sit with emotions like sadness and pain so that it doesn’t manifest itself as anger, shame, or guilt that can then get projected onto others.
Those emotions are protectors of the hurt that many of us avoid feeling, so we can also thank them as our teachers versus seeing them as inherently bad.
And when we have a challenging time allowing these sensations to move through our body, this is where we can give it directly to the earth as our healer and witness.
So if you’re not open to therapy, or if that modality hasn’t been working for you, at least try forest bathing - which is a real thing - and there’s even a whole book written about it. Though this is something that our ancestors naturally did before science caught up to prove its benefits.
We all went hiking through the woods behind the farm, where Montez introduced me to the magic of the fairy rings. The fairy rings are mostly associated with mushrooms that grow into a perfect circle, all connected underneath the soil through the mycelium, though they can also take the place of trees. In this forest, located in the beautiful landscape of Ohlone territory known today as Santa Cruz CA, there are smaller trees that sprout in a circle around the giant sequoia trees that loggers tried to chop down years ago, and while the stump remains, its offspring have appeared as a ring of protection around its elder.
And I dream of more intergenerational healing spaces, where all of our elders have a circle of support as we listen to their stories of resilience with our root system connected underground.
And while I do often envision what it would be like to have that kind of village, especially a family that extends beyond our direct blood line - I also understand the need to leave one’s community for growth.
Otherwise, we run the risk of being a growing plant in a small pot until we either wither away or the pot cracks from not being able to contain how much space we’re willing to take up..
When I was alone on the farm, I had a moment where one of the goats refused to enter the barn at dawn. Mind you, I was caring for nine of them and I almost thought that I had finally lost control. They’re going to rebel against me, one by one, I thought. And I’m never going to be invited back onto the farm again.
My immediate conditioning was to try and force this goat to go inside the barn, but every time I moved closer he distanced himself further.
And so instead, I imagined myself as that goat while asking myself what I needed the most in that moment.
“You know, I’ve spent the past several days cramped into the barn with my family and sometimes you just need a break from the herd.”
I stood by the barn door and observed him as he wandered around the yard, nibbled on some hay, and in about 10 minutes he came back to the barn door on his own accord while then allowing me to let him in.
And it made me think about the ways we are conditioned to try to dominate or control other beings, whether it be goats or humans, versus trusting their own sovereignty and timing.
And when we try to force something or someone to make it work our way, this actually creates the resistance versus building the trust that is needed beforehand.
So these sacred creatures were teaching me about healthy boundaries, unconditional love, & how to be present.
Did you know that goats bond by butting heads with each other? Sometimes, conflict can be healthy and can lead to stronger connections - but if conflict is a pattern, then that’s probably not a healthy relationship to be in.
Unless you’re a goat.
I was afraid that they would attack me at some point, but thankfully that never happened.
Growing up with a mixed spiritual practice of Buddhism & Christianity, I recall the devil with horns - and so I associated goats with evil.
And then there’s the story of Baphomet, the half-goat, half-human “demon” once celebrated by Pagans as a gender non-binary deity of fertility that’s here to restore order to chaos - until the patriarchy turned Baphomet into a symbol of black magic & Satanism.😈
Goats were once sacrificed to absolve one of sin.
When we want to blame others to avoid accountability, we call it scapegoating.
In Buddhism, there is a story of a goat that laughs & weeps at the many incarnations he was beheaded. In his 500th (& last) life, a priest released him after being told he will have the same fate should he move forward w/ this ritual.
Stories shape our reality. The demonization of goats will make us believe that there is evil in the world, when in truth there is only LOVE & FEAR.
Fear of the unknown leads to control, often through violent means (aka colonialism). So when goats also represent sensuality, pleasure, resistance, & free-will, of course there will be narratives spun to make us believe otherwise.
And I recently wrote on an Instagram post - if goats aren’t allowed into the gates of heaven, well then you’ll know where to find me. 🔥
I once was afraid of living a mundane and boring life.
But being on the farm with its daily rituals and routine taught me what it meant to find sacredness in the mundane.
It's where I found a lot of unexpected joy and purpose tending to the land, a surprise considering I was born and raised in the city my whole life.
Instead, it dawned on me that my biggest fear is not using the gifts I was given to leave this planet better than when I first arrived.
And so that requires that I show up, such as being on this podcast, even when it feels terrifying or when I think nobody cares what I have to say.
It requires that I share my offerings from the heart, even in spite of the fear of rejection - because this vision is bigger than me.
It requires that I treat my business as a devotion, with my own rituals to honor my body and the seasons of nature.
I was told that the antidote to fear is curiosity - so what if more of us just led our lives with wonder?
Curiosity did not kill the Cat. Instead, see it as the CURE.
If it wasn’t for my curiosity, I would have never taken any action toward self actualizing my visions into reality.
And it was this curiosity that led me to the kinds of friendships and community beyond my wildest dreams, which Your Story Medicine has honestly been the catalyst for.
Because when we lead our life with wonder, there is no failure. There’s only growth, and perhaps discovering parts of ourselves that have been dormant. Whether it be from our childhood or our ancestry.
How many of our ancestors, or even our parents, sacrificed their own dreams so that we could have the privilege of choice?
And yet, how many of us succumb to the belief that the way we honor our ancestors or our parents is by suffering when even that, too, is a choice?
So how will you choose to live your life? Will you repeat the patterns of martyrdom, or choose curiosity, love, and joy as a compass - even if it comes with heartache along the way?
And I always like to ask, what is the legacy you’re here to leave behind?
What will you share with the next generation of how you showed up in times of adversity?
What stories will they share about how you inspired them when your picture is placed on their altar?
We don’t have to wait until we become ancestors either.
This is why the work of liberation is embodying that state of being in the here and now.
Liberation is not a reward for suffering.
It’s about tending to our nervous system, noticing what our triggers are.
Having the awareness to regulate ourselves back into a state of harmonic resonance so that we can co-regulate the collective and elevate this planet toward the highest frequency of love.
This is what it means to be attuned, in tune, with the universe, while allowing our body to be the bridge between the earth and cosmos.
It’s about being that place of refuge for others that are seeking a sense of safety and belonging, while honoring your boundaries so that your energy is not scattered in multiple directions trying to save the world.
I envision myself as a sequoia tree in the making with strong roots, tending to a few seeds that form a fairy ring around me.
And that they too will grow to feed the forest.
I feel such a strong calling to bring people back to the land, to remember that we are children of mother earth and that our time on this planet is indeed short.
How many people transition from this life while still being paralyzed by fear from saying yes to that which is in their hearts’ desire to create?
And from most people I speak to, their longing is to leave a lasting legacy by cultivating more spaces where communities can thrive.
My podcast is just an invitation for others to get a glimpse into my world and to document my journey for my future self or the next generation.
Coaching others is where I pour into your tender dreams and hold that vision alongside you when you find yourself in a state of contraction.
And as I always say, contraction precedes expansion.
My workshops, programs, and retreats are the spaces to decrease isolation and to be an example to others of what they, too, can create.
And this is where I invite you to Bud to Blossom - which I’ve condensed to five months… because the first month was me immersed in goat sitting.
But also, imagine what it’s like to do something you’ve put off for years finally being followed through in our time together. Whether it be your own podcast, your dream retreat, workshops, or programs - all of this is just planting seeds to support others with their healing, and for them to feel that sense of safety and belonging beginning with your story medicine - and I'm talking about yours.
And I’ll also teach you how to do it sustainably because you do deserve to get compensated for your labor. In fact, this is how we practice divesting away from capitalism by creating our own alternative economies while trusting that there is enough abundance to go around for all of us - if only there were more of us open to receive it.
This is exactly why I talk about entrepreneurship as sacred activism.
If you already have an offering, this is an opportunity for you to simplify your systems so that you can focus more on service and storytelling.
Maybe it’s time for you to take a break from your own herd, especially if you’ve been feeling stagnant - and you’re ready to embody a new story for your life.
But most importantly, this is about inner child and ancestral healing because it’s going to reveal all the parts of you that are still asking to be seen, heard, and felt.
Bud to Blossom is for the radical healers & revolutionaries that have cloaked themselves behind titles & logic while being paralyzed by perfection.
This is for therapists, educators, community organizers, coaches and consultants that have been busy serving the world, yet still struggle to receive that support for themselves.
It’s for you if you’ve been relying on logic and information, hiding behind program after program, degree after certification, and are ready for integration and embodiment.
Perhaps you’re someone who has already reached the “$10k” months that your past mentors have supported you with, because I’ve been there, but you still have yet to feel that abundance in your bones.
Your brain is a beautiful resource, and so is your body.
The true medicine is already within you and your lived experience.
So if you’re in a place where you’re ready to embody the healer within you & step more into the role of storyteller through your sacred offerings as a way to honor and celebrate your ancestors, then apply to Bud to Blossom - and this is also going to include a retreat for us to gather in person in ceremony while sharing stories around the fire - and I'm going to support you with how to share your story from this beautiful place of embodiment and your being.
Now I don’t offer these retreats by themselves, yet, because I want us to be together for the long haul - at least, for this round.
Because in this season of my life, I’m more interested in the depths of relationships with people vs the number of followers on my Instagram account or clients on my roster.
One of my favorite parts of this retreat is the embodiment coaching, where I bring in a photographer to capture the image that will be placed on someone's altar when we become an ancestor.
To maintain the intimacy & integrity of our group, the coven is only going to be open to ten people, and even if we find that this isn’t the right mentorship for you, my intention is that you walk away with further clarity on your next steps if you get past the application process. I want that to be my gift to you for even sharing a glimpse of your story with me.
We’ll begin sometime in May or when the spots fill up -
And otherwise, explore what it would feel like to lead your life with curiosity and a sense of wonder.
It is from that place where you will find your community.
Go to mother nature as a resource when you don’t know who else to speak to.
She can handle it, because the love she has for you is so, so deep - as vast as the ocean.
And you can also go to the ocean, also known as Yemaya, Oshun, and by so many other names around the world because your tears are made of salt water. The ocean is also an ancestor. And so you can go there to refill your cup. Walk barefoot to feel the sand between your toes to remember that you, too, are made of earth.
Go to the places where you are loved and celebrated, and if such a place doesn’t exist - you can create it.
Thank you so much for tuning in to today’s episode and remember -
You are already your ancestors’ wildest dreams come true.
You are the one that you’ve been praying for.
And whenever you forgot, come back to breath -
For it is there where you will hear their whispers, while remembering that our bodies will one day return to stardust and soil. And it is here where you will find yourself again.
If you are in the season of receiving support to water the seeds you’ve been planting, then I invite you to apply to Bud to Blossom which will be the only way to work with me closely this year.