co-creative partnership

A Revolution of Love

A Revolution of Love

Have you ever really looked at a Flower, gazed in wonder at ki’s form or color or smell?  Or held a Seed in your hand while thinking of the eventual Plant that will come from this tiny Being?  

I do this often, which tends to result in tears of utter joy and amazement, as well as, an overwhelming sense of humility.  The humility helps to bring back into perspective my current issue, as I realize that whatever “huge mountain” I am dealing with is really minuscule and nothing in the face of the miracles of this world.  From this place, I can see that possibilities exist way beyond my imagination and that I am not alone.

From Foe to Friend

From Foe to Friend

What I do know is that assuming we know what is right and pulling the invaders without asking the Plants or the Land continues the domination paradigm.  This is why I feel that if we want to be good stewards and really stand in our role as part of Nature, it is imperative that we learn how to communicate with Nature.

Beings of Symbiosis

Beings of Symbiosis

I think the real question is “What is OUR reason for existence?”  Every aspect of Nature has a role, a purpose.  We have learned this the hard way, by removing unwanted Beings (like Wolves) and seeing how greatly this changed the wellbeing of an ecosystem.  Nature does not waste.  Since we are, whether we realize it or not, part of Nature, this means that we too are here for a reason. 

Living in Sanctuary

It has been nearly a year since I moved to what I now know as Heart Springs Sanctuary and slightly longer since I started working with the Nature Spirits of this place. For years I longed for a place to call Home, a place to work with the Elementals to create a Sanctuary. And here I am. Perhaps when you think about what it is like to co-create a Sanctuary with Nature, you have an image of a peaceful, beautiful unfolding: soft light, walking slowly through tall grasses, stopping to touch and smell and pray with the abundance of Plants. Or perhaps you have no idea what this looks like.

For me, I imagined the first scenario. And while I do touch, smell, and pray with the Plants, I have to admit, creating a Sanctuary is hard work and sometimes it isn’t work at all.

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Heart Springs Sanctuary is part of the United Plant Savers’ Botanical Sanctuary Network which means that we agree to restore and protect habitat for wildlife and especially focus on the endangered native species. Earlier this year, we started a campaign called “Planting Heart Springs Sanctuary” to plant about 70 Trees and Shrubs. This sounded like an easy job, on paper, in the winter. Then all the Plants arrived at the same time and needed to get into the ground- that’s 70 holes to dig, which of course, happened to be right when I was hosting the Organization of Nature Evolutionaries annual meeting. With help, I managed to get everyone in the ground, learning that everything goes smoother if I’m not doing the work when I’m tired. We have a few more Trees to gather to complete this first stage.

While it was a little overwhelming to plant everyone, this is actually an easy part of the job and to be honest, quite enjoyable. You see, I am also creating a Sanctuary for humans. Which means, a place where humans can come to connect with Nature and Nature Beings and discover the hidden aspects of themselves. This is a place where simply sitting by the Pond is healing (for both the human and the Pond). Creating this for humans is the part that requires the most amount of time and effort. Painting, unpacking, creating areas of sleep and rest and learning, hanging hooks, thinking of their needs - what is necessary to allow them to ease into their connection. And then of course is the logistics with the Land - where will they park, how will they move from place to place, creating areas of connection and repose.

This past year has been one of intense manual labor and quite often exhaustion. Though I know that this is simply the beginning, we are creating the foundation, and from here everything will blossom. If we set it up well, it will require much less effort to keep things going and growing. And soon (Friday), we will welcome this year’s HEARTransformation Apprentices! (There is 1 space remaining if you’d like to join us.)

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So what does it really look like to live in Sanctuary with Nature? It is deep listening - listening to what the Land needs, listening to what my Heart asks, listening to the smallest flower and the loudest bird, reading the signs that Nature provides. It is often ignoring my ego - which may mean cleaning out a dump area instead of creating a wetland garden around the pond (which in hindsight, the Nature Spirits were right, removing that trash cleared stagnation and raised the vibration of the Land) or asking for help when I’d much rather do it on my own (simply because I don’t want to ask) and even harder, accepting that help (and acknowledging how important it was to work together). It is often moving beyond my edges and perceived limitations. It is planting my favorite Berry bushes, knowing that I most likely will not eat any of them, for they are a gift to the Birds. It is sitting by the Pond drinking a cup of tea and allowing the water to bring forth my tears. It is singing to the Sun rising in the morning. It is getting down low to marvel at the dew drops on grass. It is leaving gifts for the Faeries. It is gathering Stones with the Gnomes. It is breathing and waiting when I want to do. It is marking off areas of no mowing and hanging signs for no spraying or harvesting. It is planting and rejoicing when you see the first sprouts returning. It is feeding the many feral cats and accepting their cardboard slums. And also laughing as they run and jump and hide in the boxes. It is often feeling overwhelmed and insignificant and being reminded that there’s no time limit, focus on one small step at a time. It is dreaming and visioning. It is gathering sticks. It is self-care and listening to my body. It is being covered in mud and falling asleep exhausted. It is being covered in paint and falling asleep exhausted. It is taking a nap in the Faerie Glen, receiving healing and messages. It is gathering trash and then more trash. It is hours on the computer - answering emails, writing, paying bills, creating classes, researching. It is gathering with friends and strangers. It is being astounded at the many gifts, surprises, and synchronicities. It is talking with Sister Protectress (Poison Ivy) and asking ki to stay out of the pathways (or intended pathways). It is letting go of the shoulds. It is radiating Love to every aspect of this Land and all who enter. It is magical.

And it is just the beginning!

Here’s the thing, you too can live in Sanctuary. My Sanctuary happens to be 4.5 acres with 3 ponds, a creek, and numerous ecosystems. However, any place and every place can be a Sanctuary. It is making a conscious choice to work/play with the other Beings of that place to be in service to the Highest Good of All. It is recognizing that as Humans, we are only 1 small part of Nature and learning to listen. When we create a space of reverence and Love where all Beings are honored, we create a healing space for ourselves.

This is the time of year when the veils between our world and the Faery world is thin. It is a great time to leave gifts for the Elementals, to dream, to vision, to play, and as tradition holds, to make Love in the fields blessing the harvest.

As the Spring time energy bursts forth in flowers and the Faeries dance with joy, may you too be fed and renewed, re-membering the connections with all. And above all else, may you know that you are Love(d).

Creating a Community of Love and Healing

I want to thank those who have already contributed to our Indiegogo campaign including those of you who have read it and looked at the pictures and sent your energy.  Thanks to you, after the first week, we are over 1/2 way towards our stated Indiegogo goal and a 1/4 of the way towards are total goal!! But this campaign is about much more than finances and goals.

I initiated this campaign for Planting Heart Springs Sanctuary at the request of the Nature Spirits to make this a community effort.  And yet again, I am humbled by their wisdom.  The energy on this Land has changed incredibly.  Even in the cold and snow, the Land is alive and vibrant and the Nature Spirits are excited.  We haven’t even brought the Plants and Trees here!!

I am touched by each donation.  Again, this isn’t about the financial component, it is about Love.  Each time someone sponsors a Tree or Shrub, I get to hear about someone they Love and that Love fills this Land.  I can feel the healing happening and this healing spirals out affecting all of us.

Asking for help is not an easy task for me, so I started this somewhat reluctant, thinking, “I can do this, I’ll figure out how to purchase these Trees and plant them on my own.”  And now, I see that while I may have been able to buy the Trees and plant them on my own, there is no way I could have accomplished this energetic shift without all of you.  And again, I want to stress that all of you includes those who have simply read this and sent a little wish or Love our way, for I know that there are many ways in which to share our money and money is only one form of energy.

If you are able to contribute or share this campaign with others, please do.  With every donation, the energy is compounded.  I wish I could share with you what I feel.  I am in awe of this process.  And I am truly overwhelmed with gratitude.

Once you donate, I will email you to ask who you would like the Trees or Shrubs named after (or you can feel free to email me).  Please know that while I originally suggested human Loved ones, you can name them after any Loved one that you would like to honor.  It has been sweet to hear of special relatives, pets, and in one case, a Tree.

I hold these stories in my Heart, while the Land already welcomes these Loves.  I am looking forward to greeting these special Beings and watching them grow!

Thank you!

May the Love and healing of this campaign encircle you!

Creating Sanctuary

"The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there."

~George Bernard Shaw

We are excited to announce that Heart Springs Sanctuary, Brigid’s Way’s home, has been accepted into the United Plant Savers’ Botanical Sanctuary Network!

The United Plant Savers (UpS) protects native medicinal plants of the United States and Canada and their native habitat while ensuring an abundant renewable supply of medicinal plants for generations to come. As part of their mission, UpS created a network of sanctuaries dedicated to restoring and preserving habitat for wildlife, both Plants and animals.

Herbalism and Plant medicine have an interesting history of both beauty and pain. Unfortunately, part of this history is the over harvesting of Plants. Now that interest in natural healing is growing and herbs become part of the latest health fad, it is even more critical that we are conscious of the well being of Plants and how they are harvested.

At Brigid’s Way we believe that our future is intricately tied with the future of the Plants. When we found our Home, we knew that we were creating a Sanctuary where Humans could work co-creatively with Nature and experience the Divine through the Plants and Nature Spirits. We wanted to create a place that honors the Plants and acts as a model for another possibility. That is the possibility where we all Beings can thrive.

We are very much in the beginning stages of creating this Sanctuary. We have great plans of converting the large lawn to gardens, wild areas, and walking paths. This Spring we are building a Labyrinth. We have a ridiculously long list of Plants that want to join us here (which we couldn’t be happier to have them). We want to create a Wetlands Sanctuary around our small pond, where there is again mostly grass. And we have some clean-up work to do. This is just what the Nature Spirits are asking us to do this first year! Who knows what plans lay ahead.

My point is that if the idea of a Botanical Sanctuary or a Sanctuary garden sounds appealing and yet, you think you have to create something pristine first, you don’t. The most important aspect of creating a Sanctuary is the intention. It is about saying that this area (which may be acres or may be a little porch with a couple growing pots) is Sacred. Beyond that, what constitutes a Sanctuary is up to you. It may be an area where you do not harvest. It may be a garden planted with a special purpose, such as a Butterfly garden. It may be an area where you simply sit and meditate with Nature.

For me, when I found this place or more when this place found me, I was determined that every aspect would be a Sanctuary. The intention is that every thing we do at Heart Springs Sanctuary is in alliance with the Nature Beings.

When I was introduced to Damanhur, my friend Esperide Ananas talked about the Three Mother Worlds: the Human World, the Plant/Tree World, and the Nature Spirits World. She said, “There was once one sound, one frequency, one World.” (That touches me so deep to think about one sound, one frequency.) However, the humans separated and caused the Three Mother Worlds to form. Part of Damanhur philosophy (at least based on my understanding) is that if humans are to survive on Earth, we need to reunite the 3 Worlds. [If you would like to learn more, join us for a free Teleseminar with Esperide on January 21st.]

Working co-creatively with the Nature Spirits to create Heart Springs Sanctuary is part of my efforts to help unite the Three Mother Worlds. Though I have to admit, I wasn’t conscious of this effort when I decided to make this a Sanctuary. I did it because it felt right, really it felt like the only option. I want to live in a Sanctuary. I want my clients and students to be received in a Sanctuary. I think we all could do with a little more sanctuary in our lives.

We launched our first ever crowdfunding campaign to support the planting of Trees and Shrubs at Heart Springs Sanctuary. This is the first step that the Nature Spirits have highlighted. These Trees and Shrubs are integral in creating a wetlands area, converting the large expanse of grass, creating a woodlands section where we will later plant native woodland Plants, and providing food and shelter for the Pollinators and other wildlife. The support from our community adds to the energy and vitality of this Land. As part of this project, we are offering people to name a Tree or Shrub for a Loved one or themselves. As we go about our gratitude walks and classes, we will greet these Plants by these names, strengthening the connection between humans and Plants. Please support this project by sponsoring a Tree/Shrub, sharing it with others, or helping us to plant. We are so excited to welcome these Plants and their human counterparts here!

Wherever you are, I hope that you are able to find sanctuary and can pause to feel your connection with the Plants and Spirit. Feeling the Love that they offer us, even when the world is cold.

“And don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.”

~ Rumi

Do You Remember

Do You Remember

Do you remember when the dew drop on a blade of grass set your Heart on fire

When you would dance in delight at the sight

When you would slurp it up uniting yourself with both rain and grass

Do you remember when every second every vision was a gift of pure joy was a chance of connection

Can we return to this in our world of asphalt and cement where we dwell on that which disconnects and ignore what unites, ignites

Can we return to the pure innocence and realize that the Garden of Eden didn’t disappear Eve may have eaten an apple but she shared it with the Ants

All we need to do is lie on that grass slurp up the dew allow our Hearts to burst with Gratitude and re-member

~ Jen Frey

A Love Affair with Plants

Earlier this year, I had the great pleasure and privilege of spending time with the Plants of Vieques (Puerto Rico) and Ecuador. I knew that I was going to make Essences, work with the Plant Spirits and most likely receive healing. This all occurred AND unexpectedly, my Love affair with Plants grew even deeper, I was on my “honeymoon” with Plants. I say unexpectedly because I already had a very deep Love affair. As the Plants (and my children) teach me, there is no end to Love, our Love can always grow.

I returned from these trips revitalized and awakened and excited to share the Plant Beings with others.

So who are these Plant Beings?

When we take time to stop and think about it, we understand that our lives depend on the Plants. It is they, through their process of photosynthesis, who give us oxygen to breathe. We eat their flesh (including in the form of meat) to nourish our bodies and give us energy. Some of us consume certain Plants we call Herbs to help us heal or keep us healthy. We know that Plants are great at cleaning our environment of pollutants.

Is there more? Do Plants have something else to offer us?

I say “YES!”

Plants have always evolved before animals/humans. Even now, they continue to be our evolutionary guides. They have much to teach us. Here is the great thing, because we are connected, when humans increase their consciousness, we raise the vibration of Earth, which in turn, allows Plants to evolve and fulfill more of their purpose, which in turn helps humans to increase their consciousness. Do you see the cycle? The importance of co-creative partnership becomes even clearer.

One of the great gifts of Plants is that they help us achieve Heart Coherence and move into Heart Intelligence, which means that they help calm our nervous system, allowing us to move into a receptive state where we focus on solutions and can see a broader picture. This has enormous impacts on our well being (on all levels). I frequently suggest that my clients spend more time in Nature, sitting with Plants or breathing with Trees. It is amazing how even 1 minute doing this can completely shift how we feel. This is a great tool for anxiety and stress. I now know to recognize that when I start to worry, am agitated, or feel like the sky is falling, I have not been spending enough time in Nature. Fortunately, listening to the Plants sing with the Music of the Plants device has a similar effect, which is especially beneficial in Winter.

When we look outside at the Plants, the predominate color is green. Green is the color of our Heart chakra. Is this a coincidence? Well, I don’t believe in coincidences. I think this is Nature’s way of telling us we are Love(d) and surrounding us with Love.

All of these benefits are available with very little effort from us. When we want to take up our role as part of Nature, to become the true creators we are, we need to move into reciprocity. With reciprocity we shift from blind consumers to active participants. A reciprocal relationship requires gratitude for and recognition of the incredible Beings that Plants are. Thus we move towards a deep intimacy and can work with Plant Spirits (and other Nature Beings). Our Love affair begins as we embark on this journey with the Plant Spirits.

What is Plant Spirit Healing?

I am asked this question frequently. I struggle to explain because Plant Spirit Healing is broad and full of so many possibilities it is difficult to put in a sentence. The easy description is that we work with the Plant Spirits to bring healing to a person or situation. However, there is no limit to how you work with the Plant Spirits. For instance, yes, I work with them every day in sessions with my clients. Sometimes we are working with Mugwort to remove or balance energies. Other times, I’m working with Plant Spirits to add more energy. Or we might work with Tulsi for Soul work.

And then there are the ways I work with Plant Spirits outside of my office. Years ago, I had to get a root canal. I do not use novocain with epinephrine, which worried the endodontist. I called on Mugwort and asked for help managing the pain. Instead of being a painful experience, it was blissful! Even the endodontist and nurse noticed the difference. We all left feeling happy and peaceful. While getting a massage, I will typically call on a Plant Spirit to help with a knot that won’t release or a particularly tender area. When I am feeling uncertain or wanting guidance, I call on the Plant Spirits to help me. I, of course, ask the Plant Spirits to guide my gardening, helping me to decide where to plant certain Plants. I also will work with Plant Spirits to help bring healing to an ailing Plant.

Recently, I was in a business meeting where someone was asking me to do something I knew was impossible. (I rarely, almost never, use the word impossible.) I knew that what she was asking would require a miracle. I kept saying to her, “There has to be another way.” To which, she would reply, “No.” Finally, I internally said, “Agrimony, Artemisia I need your help! Please change this situation NOW!” In less than 30 seconds, she looked at the papers that she was holding and said, “Oh, this will work!”

The Plant Spirits are the cornerstone of my life. They are my colleagues, my guides, my teachers and mostly, they are my BeLoveds. I cannot imagine my life without them. I would be truly lost. I was lost. Here’s the thing, this wisdom, healing, and guidance is available to anyone. We are meant to be in close relationship with Plants. As I said, our very lives depend on them.

If you would like to increase your relationship with Plants, spend time with them. Observe them, look closely at their flowers or how the water goes down the bark of a Tree. Experience them: smell, taste, touch them. Breathe with Plants, recognizing that your breath is a gift to the Plant and the Plant’s breath is a gift to you. Draw them. Sing to them. Daydream with Plants. Journey with them.

If you want to gain insight or guidance from the Plants, yes, it is helpful if you know how to communicate with them. However, this is a birthright, that we all knew how to do when we came into this Beautiful World. I tell my classes that my job is to clear away the limiting beliefs and trainings that told you you couldn’t talk to Plants. My point is, you may find it helpful to work with someone who can guide you in Plant communication; however, it is not a requirement, somewhere (possibly deep down), you already have this skill.

Of course, if you want to really deepen your relationship or learn specific ways to work with Plant Spirits for your own healing or healing others, then please join us for Brigid’s Way’s HEARTransformation Apprenticeship: Healing Through the Wisdom of Nature. Have your own Love affair with the Plants!

As I said earlier, Plants evolve as our consciousness increases. They want us to evolve, to embrace our full selves and they are here to help us along the way.

They have a short and important message for us today, “We Love you!”

And so, my Love affair continues.

Gardening as a Contract with Nature

I do not claim to be an excellent gardener. Never have. In fact, in the past, I was so unwilling to kill any Plant that I wouldn’t “weed” and my vegetable garden would soon consist of more weeds than vegetables. After losing my herb garden and restarting last year, I realized that I needed to make a change. So I did what I do and I asked the Plants for assistance. I talked about my realization of “de-planting” in the last newsletter, so I won’t go into detail here.

Since writing about it and as I prepare for garden days here, I have been trying to pay attention to how I work with the Plants.

First, I notice a huge difference in the Plants in my herb garden. I’ve been telling everyone that it is like they are on steroids. People nod and say yes this crazy weather, with the heat and abundance of rain, has been great for Plants. But that’s not it. If you look at the Plants in my herb garden and compare them to any other Plants, there is a difference. They are larger, stronger, and have many more blooms. You can (or at least I can) notice the difference in quality. I have a hypothesis which I’ll share later.

Why weed or de-plant? Well, as I said earlier, when I didn’t de-plant my gardens, the garden Plants struggled. I questioned myself, why are the Plants that I planted more important than the wild ones? They aren’t. However, when creating a garden, a human creates a contract with nature. The garden is under the human’s care. So it is my responsibility to provide the healthiest environment for the garden Plants. This is why I invite the wild Plants to grow in our field.

That being said, it is important to know (and this is contrary to what most gardeners will tell you) that the wild Plants are also important to the garden. These wild Plants do provide something. Perhaps they are using their tap roots to bring needed minerals. Perhaps they are providing protection (which is what Ragweed did for my garden last year). If you look at Nature, Plants do not like to grow alone with a lot of space between them (well, most Plants). And so our garden Plants, also need others nearby. Some gardeners do this with companion planting. I think this is helpful. I also think it is best if we can pay attention to the wild Plants (and the garden Plants) and see what is best for the garden.

This spring, Lamium purpureum or Purple Deadnettle came to my garden. I always admire this plant growing in the fields every spring. However, when I encountered ki growing (quite generously) in my herb garden, fear set in. I thought, I have to take care of this now or ki could take over my whole herb garden. (Most of the Plants were either still asleep or were just beginning to come out of the ground.) When I could step back, I realized that I like Lamium growing there, the purple and green were beautiful and Heart lifting. So I asked the garden and Lamium what I should do. The response was “Nothing,” I needed to let the Lamium continue to grow. So I did. As I sat with it and watched, the feeling that I got was that the Lamium was fixating energy into the garden similar to clover fixating nitrogen. She was raising the healing vibration of the garden. In time, her job was done and she told me to remove her, which I did. Now, my hypothesis, is that it is to Lamium purpureum that my garden (and I) owe the incredible growth, strength, and energy that is now present.

My point is that there is a time to de-plant and there is a time to let the Plants do their work. A good “gardener” accepts this and knows which time it is. To my knowledge, the only way to know when to do these is by paying attention to the Plants and letting them guide your work.

If you are interested in trying this, I encourage you to spend quiet time in your garden. Focus on sharing the space with all the Plants. Allow your breathing to unite with the Plants’ breathing. When you are ready, ask which Plant or Plants need to be removed. Open your eyes and see if any catch your attention. I try to focus on removing one or two Plants at a time. For instance, I am working with Ragweed right now. So I am removing all the Ragweed and only Ragweed . Then, next time I might work with Morning Glory and only remove Morning Glory. If one catches your attention, then go to that Plant (its okay if you don’t know what ki is, I encourage you to learn. Tell the Plant that this garden is for the Plants that you plant and invite. Thank her for her help in the garden and invite her to grow somewhere else (for me, we have a huge field where I invite them to grow). Ask her if there is anything that you need to do for her or the garden. Every time you pull a Plant, thank the Plant. If you can, eat or make medicine with the Plants you are “harvesting”. If not, then compost them and return them to the earth.

Be willing to allow the “weeds” to grow. Watch your garden and see how the energy shifts.

Message from the Plants: De-planting

I have always had a hard time with “weeding.” I love Plants. I never wanted to kill a Plant (well, except for Morning Glory). Many of the “weeds” are Plants that I use medicinally or Plants that I suspected could be used medicinally. So for years, my gardens were overrun. Last year, I was gifted with a blank slate for a new garden. I was given a choice, I could continue as I did before and not weed or I could pull the unwanted plants. I contemplated this for awhile, until the plants gave me my answer. They taught me a new way and have asked me to share it. Originally we called this planting, now to not be confusing we call it “de-planting”.

I have an agreement with the plants that the garden will be for Plants that I put there or invite. If another Plant invites herself, I then explain the parameters of the garden and ask her to move to another place (I do have a large field surrounding my garden, with plenty of places for wild Plants.) That is the simple explanation.

What I actually do is get to know the volunteer. I ask her what she wants or needs and try to provide that for her. What happens is that I learn the personality of the Plants that surround me. I’ve also learned some new ways of using them. Most of the Plants that appear in the garden are there to help, so they tell me what I need for the garden. After I listen to them and make our agreement, I then pull them out. They often do not come back. Occasionally, I have had some return but usually it is because I wasn’t holding my end of the bargain and they were reminding me.

Through this process, I healed my relationship with Morning Glory. I learned that she likes to be sung to and told how pretty she is (which she is!). Now when I see her in the field, I stop and admire her. She helps me to be light and joyful. I enjoy this much more than wanting to kill her!!

This morning as I was in the garden seeing which Plants have begun to emerge, I saw a group of new volunteers. Now instead of dreading “weeding”, I am looking forward to getting to know some new Plants.

I hope that you find this helpful. If you try this, please let me know about your experiences!