An interview: Pamela Samuelson

An interview: Pamela Samuelson

I realised I wanted to start interviewing people over a year ago. At first I thought 'I'll start a podcast!' and then realized I didn't have enough bandwidth to commit to it fully. But the idea of interviews stuck in my head. There are people out there who are doing amazing things: healing, creating, living amazing lives that are their own; following their curiosity and their passion no matter where it leads them. They follow something intangible inside themselves, and it shows in their work and how they interact with the world. These interviews don't contain 'productivity tips',  nor do they serve as a road map for how to get 'there' (where is 'there' anyway?). Instead, I wanted to talk about something inspiring-- show that there are people out there who listen to themselves, follow their hearts, and more importantly, follow the magic :). 

I met Pamela years ago, through a mutual friend. We sorta just decided that we'd be friends. Some frienships work like that-- fall into place like jigsaws coming together. Over the years, I've seen her work develop, become something bigger, more impactful, and so so necessary for the world right now. She works with bodies, empowerment, and sexual education. I wanted to introduce you all to her work, but also get a dig around inside her mind because her work is such a beautiful combination of soft, gentle kindness and fierce, determined passion. 

You can find Pamela at her website www.embodywork.la.

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An interview: Sophia Rose

An interview: Sophia Rose

I realised I wanted to start interviewing people over a year ago. At first I thought 'I'll start a podcast!' and then realized I didn't have enough bandwidth to commit to it fully. But the idea of interviews stuck in my head. There are people out there who are doing amazing things: healing, creating, living amazing lives that are their own; following their curiosity and their passion no matter where it leads them. They follow something intangible inside themselves, and it shows in their work and how they interact with the world. These interviews don't contain 'productivity tips',  nor do they serve as a road map for how to get 'there' (where is 'there' anyway?). Instead, I wanted to talk about something inspiring-- show that there are people out there who listen to themselves, follow their hearts, and more importantly, follow the magic :). Here's the first: Sophia Rose, a herbalist who I've met at various herb conferences over the years, and who, through her work, is connecting people to a deeper part of themselves, and living a life that is unapologetically her own. 

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On Authenticity

On Authenticity

Authentic: noun.

Of undisputed origin; genuine.

Origin: late Middle English: via Old French from late Latin authenticus, from Greek authentikos ‘principal, genuine.’

Buzz-words. Like ‘forage’ and ‘artisanal’, and all the other words that take over our collective consciousness with a meme-like speed, these words start out meaning something. Then, because of how quickly trends spread in our current electronic age, what starts as a well-meant thought spreads to the next person, and then the next, until it seems like everybody is using it, and then it no longer has the weight it used to. It hangs there like a dead word, an empty shell of a word, and the original meaning has beat a retreat for the hills. The word and its repetitive re-use loses its authenticity. In an ironic twist of fate, ‘authentic’ has started to become a buzz word itself: meme-fied and scattered around the internet with happy looking people flinging their arms out and quotes about how to ‘be authentic’, or to ‘find your authentic self’.

I thought nothing of it until a few months ago, when an article a friend wrote was plagiarised (almost word for word) on a herbal website. We had an in-depth discussion both about the plagiarism but also that ideas don’t really happen in a vacuum, and I got to thinking about what it is that differentiates between copied content and authentic content, when so many of us herbalists have such similar goals. And also, on a deeper level, what is it that makes a person, their work, and what they contribute to the world, authentic. In this essay, I’m attempting to take a closer look and explore what authenticity truly is, why this is important, and also how we can all work towards finding it in our own work.

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Water + Benediction

Surrender. Our bodies feel water and surrender to it in a way that is almost archetypal: that feeling of stepping into a body of water gets us all on a cellular level, as though the amoeba that are at our ancestral root are still somewhere in there wiggling with joy at returning to state of one-ness with everything. There’s something so immensely healing about water, and how we let go and allow the greater world around us in when we’re floating in it. But, this is not something that we often do willingly or naturally. 

Most of the time in our lives, we push for things. We are in a hurry to get places, or to finish our to-do lists, and so we push ourselves forwards as quickly as possible, often with a running dialogue of everything we need to get done. There’s pressure there, and its immense, and it usually comes directly from us. What happens when we do this is that we extend outside ourselves: it’s a push forwards, a drive, an expansion. 

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On Air: meet the sanguine

On Air: meet the sanguine

It’s an easy matter because the gravity of air is so small, but when the winds shift, they do so rapidly and without great thought or effort. It is this lightness that we love air for. Inhale deeply as a breeze carries upon it the smell of orange blossoms on a warm spring day. On that warm breeze comes good tidings, chattering of news, the rustling of grass, and it bolsters you with its good spirits. That breeze picks up, lifting your hair, and how can you not lift your arms up out to the sides and throw your head back with abandon. This is the universal pose of freedom, and it is the air that is in many ways the most free: while other elements have to fight gravity, inertia, lack of fuel, the air is unencumbered by the solidity that inhibits movement. The air can move as it pleases, when it pleases. Freedom.

The air brings good tidings, news from afar, storms, fog, dust clouds. Air is a ripple, a tinkle of laughter. The sound of the air is a great howl as it gusts down from the mountains kicking and uprooting everything in its path. And then it disperses, changes direction with the beat of a butterfly’s wing.

Capture it and it’ll go stale. Hold it in your hands and it will escape between your fingers. Air isn’t made to be held, but interacted with, played with, appreciated for its movement: tip your face to the sun and let it wash over you, breathe deep and let it dance through your body, watch the sunset and appreciate how it bends light to make burst into spectrum, but never try to hold it, for you cannot hold movement.

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