Tag Archives: magic

55 – The age of Freedom

I am 55 years old and I feel like my life just started.

When I was a child and a young girl I had such dreams but I was also extremely shy and insecure, so the dreams stayed just that – dreams, my fears were very effective. The few times I voiced my dreams, I was told to forget it. “That’s ridiculous”, they said, “You can never do that. What if you fail?” Does this sound familiar? Fear of failure became the name of the game. And I was scared.

I grew up and had children, 4 of them, and became a full time mother for the next 30 years. I used the time wisely by educating myself and getting to know ME. It forced me to face my fears, to acknowledge that I had taken the easy way out by listening to the negative voices in and around me INSTEAD of just going for that dream, even if I would fail.

One day the children were all adult and had left home, I had only myself to answer to and I realised that now, NOW is the time, this is my chance to dust off those dreams and make them come true!

The world around me says that I am too old, but this time I am not believing anybody but myself. I’m old enough to not care. The only voice I am listening to is MY inner voice. And she tells me it’s time to rock’n roll!

One of my most attractive dreams as a child was to be part of a circus. I wanted to ride ponies and do funky stuff.

Well, guess what? Now I am doing just that; I am part of a troupe that do pony-shows and fire-shows. I do mounted archery; shooting arrows from a galloping horse. If you can’t join a circus – create one!

I also want to do acrobatics in the air, I feel passionate about it. And though I am fit as a fiddle it is far from enough. Besides which, I have a fear of heights. Am I going to let this stop me? HELL NO! Aerial acrobatics? Sure it will take time, who cares? I have all the time in the world and I am on this exciting life journey.

The most important thing I did to this point was bringing up the children. Was I a good mother? I have no idea, but I was the best mother I could be and this goes for everything else I have ever done and will do. This releases me from those oh so painful regrets that I struggled with all the time, I was the master of regret.

So to all you people, young and old; life is an ongoing journey and you never really know where it will take you. Don’t let anybody dictate your rules. And don’t for a minute believe that age is an issue: On the contrary, the older you get, the more freedom and choices you have.

Here some pictures of what I did this magical 55th year of my life

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Lady Magpie

Pica Pica, Ms Magpie showing off

Pica Pica, Miss Magpie showing off

LADY MAGPIE

Lady Magpie was once Miss Magpie; she wore a dress too advanced for her young years, turning the heads of all around her. Though she never understood why, she seemed always to be in trouble with the advanced ladies of her tribe. They called her a harlot, an outsider and a tramp dressed up in fineries she did not deserve.
Miss Magpie had a heart of gold and she was badly hurt by these accusations made – though never to her face, so she could never defend herself – she just did not understand… In silence she carried the pain of exclusion from the group she so coveted to be a part of. She was a shy little soul and would seldom raise her voice to be heard.  When all the other magpies teased and laughed in unison, she was silent, she hardly knew the sound of her own voice.
What Miss Magpie failed to understand was the fact that she, both in looks and conversation, gave the impression of a worldly woman, albeit young, and society made no discrimination; if you talk the talk and do the walk, then you are it. Nobody bothered to look deeper at the lost little girl who happened to be gifted with both the beauty of youth and the plumes of her elders.

Miss Magpie, though having a heart of gold, was not slow to pick up on the advantages bestowed on her by others, even though she did not understand. She learned quickly to move effortlessly through the salons of low as well as high, being rewarded with the momentary love of many, the lasting love of none, all the while keeping her tender heart locked into a gilded cage of dreams, just waiting for the right moment to burst through in all its passion. She was patient. She bore tears, hurt, heartache, humiliation and pain with aloofness and cool. Her peers started fearing her, hating her and admiring her; who was this young girl who would not bend her neck or fall to her knees in tears? Why would she not be broken?

Pica Pica turning into Mrs Magpie

Pica Pica turning into Mrs Magpie

The years went by and Miss Magpie’s feathers started getting a bit frazzled at the edges. She found herself a nice Mr Magpie who made her a decent woman and took her far away where she was not known. Mr Magpie was a kind man but ignorant of the movings of the world. He dried her silent tears and stood patiently, though confused, at her side when he didn’t recognize her. They had children, little beautiful magpies, that they brought up in perfect harmony; she breaking her gilded cage that held her heart, and he, protecting them all.
The little magpies, not knowing the luck and joy they had encountered, thrived and grew to finally leave their home to search for their future and make their fortunes.

Mrs Magpie, having known the security of being an honorable individual suddenly felt lost, her close loving connection with Mr Magpie flowing away as the little ones left the nest, leaving her as confused as in her earlier years. But she had grown strong under the care and love of Mr Magpie and their little ones. She was no longer a fool.
She decided to leave, she had to leave. She had to know who she was – on her own. She had to know if she could fly. Gathering her feathers around her, she flew off into the future, her future, to see if it was even there. Not knowing if she would die trying, she had to try…She had to see if her wings would bear the weight of who she was. After much turmoil she found another land where she had to be silent because there was nobody to understand what she sang. In silence she turned into Lady Magpie, the exotic creature from another world, in silence she accepted the first tributes of her existence.

Lady Magpie, at last, singing her song

Lady Magpie, at last, singing her song

She could hardly believe it was true, after half a lifetime she suddenly mattered, still she stayed silent, hardly breathing. She went about her business and tended to her gardens and to whoever walked through her door, her heart soaring high above her in a new-found freedom. She was forgotten and she was remembered, but it didn’t matter, because none of it was real, and for the first time she became true to herself. One early morning she stepped into her garden, opened her soul and sang…Her song. She is Lady Magpie and she is true.

(It was hard to find credits for these beautiful pics, but I hope and wish that you amazing photographers out there realize the why and how I used your soulful pics of these beautiful birds <3)

ETHICAL essential oils

When I first started with aromatherapy and essential oils in the late 80’s, the largest obstacle in reaching people was the complete lack of awareness. “Aromatherapy, what’s that? Some kind of mumbo-jumbo?” Another obstacle was finding good quality essential oils since most oils went to the large market-place; perfumery, food-stuffs etc. Finding pure, unadulterated, organic or wild essential oils was not easy…Especially in Sweden which was nowhere-land when it came to aromatherapy. We were a small group of 4 or 5 people working with essential oils in Sweden at the time and we worked very hard on the quality issue. UK was way ahead at the time and that’s where we would find most of our essential oils; from people such as Robert Tisserand, Shirley Price and Jan Kusmirek, who had worked for years on creating a niche for quality oils and spending time traveling to growers and producers all over the world to make it happen.

At the time we talked about ethics; the ethics of aromatherapy, essential oils and vegetable oils. Ethics is also about sustainability; when you cut a tree you plant another one…Or two. Organic was not really on the agenda at the time, public knowledge about essential oils and aromatherapy was more or less non-extinct, and hard work was put in to create an awareness about ethical essential oils.

Fast-forward till today: Aromatherapy is a house-hold word, everybody knows about essential oils. By putting the word “aromatherapy” on a product, a promise is somehow made; this will do more for you, no matter if it is a washing-powder or a spa. It has become the great magic word; everybody wants aromatherapy. (And it’s always written, for some obscure reason, in italics 🙂 ) Aromatherapy has become a marketing word, as far from the real thing as is possible.

Now there are all kinds of statements around the quality of essential oils; organic, bio, natural, certified pure therapeutic grade and so on. Most of this is pure marketing and have no value what-so-ever when it comes to defining the quality of an essential oil, without thorough analysis you can sell most anything under any flag and get away with it, quality is hard to discern without years of experience.

MLM-companies now sell “certified pure therapeutic grade oils“, check this link for the truth, or rather untruth, about that statement. Anybody can say anything about essential oils without any training whatsoever, selling oils under false pretences. Aromatherapy is about therapy and takes training. Essential oils are powerful substances that should be used with care. They are also a gift from nature and should be treated with respect and care. You do not take from nature without giving something back, she is not a money-cow.

The moment therapeutic essential oils became money-makers, ruthlessness entered the field. The magic of these precious substances is reduced to dollars and cents and the respect for nature went out the window. Here is to give you an idea: One year France exported 3 tonnes of lemon-balm (melissa officinalis), a very expensive oil, to Morocco. Morocco in turn exported 9 tonnes of lemon-balm that year. Only problem is; Morocco had, at the time, no production of lemon-balm…Makes you think, doesn’t it, what is really in the little expensive bottles you buy. And don’t be fooled by fancy labeling with certifications on them – often they are just marketing, nothing else. Inform yourself, get some basic knowledge and use your common sense. Demand information, ask questions and make sure that you get what you pay for. If somebody comes to your door to sell you essential oils…beware.

Finally; I would like to exchange all the rubbish certifications with the word ethical. And I would like to see traceability and documentation to this fact.

Check out my earlier posts on aromatherapy and essential oils profiles to get an idea of what true aromatherapy is and how much plant-matter is needed to get even a small amount of essential oils.

THE LION HEART

This story is written by a friend of mine about his girlfriend.  It is beautiful and I want to share it with you

The Lion Heart

This a Story about a young girl.
It’s not the kind of Story like all the others,
Filled with magic and mystery.
But it’s about the magic of a young girl.
Till today she is a mystery, the only miracle I have ever seen.
She didn’t fight against Dragons or evil warlords, she is not living in the world of fairy tales and myths.
She lives right here in this world like all of us.
You can picture her fight like a battle against monsters and demons. The real life! The creation of a life, is always tough.
Fighting against inner demons or the monsters of the everyday life.
You will meet them everywhere on your way.
If you go to the train or bus station when you go out shopping or even in situations with your loved ones.
There are just two choices!
Fight them and get clear and strong or get beaten and complain about your misery.
She decided to go the hard way and fight against panic, being insecure, being lonely.
It is never easy to fight because that what you fight against is stronger then any horror creature!
In a way unbeatable!
Then it’s you!
You can win and get yourself together.
Or you lose and be a victim but still you can fight again till you win or give up.
She had reason to give up and millions of reasons to fight for. And she did and still does it.
People will say: “yeah come on it’s easy to do that”
But they just see the picture when it’s done not how hard it was to do it.
With every mistake she did, every time she failed, she went one step back but three steps forward.
Think about how impressive it is to see a young girl fighting like that, not giving up, fighting like a warlord.
To see all this pain, nobody would just choose to go this way by them self. The people are too afraid for that.
But when I look at her I don’t see pain, I see her intent, her courage and the eternal desire to live. To live a life made by independence, by own decisions, without fear to fail. Hungry for experience.
A girl like that can just have a heart like a lion…
Meek And fearless

Written by Christoph Hartkopf-Baumer

THE SIMPLER IT GETS – THE HARDER IT GETS

Years ago, when I first started making natural skin-care and health products, I would get all caught up in every newbie ingredient that came on the market. Over time my products got so complicated and the INCI-list so long; herbs, tinctures, essential oils, maceration, vitamins and what-have you. One day I realized that I had no idea what kind of reaction all those substances had with each-other, even less when mixed with many others. All natural substances are alive, they react with each-other; sometimes they create synergy and will do great things. Other times they enhance more negative aspects, doing harm.

So, 10 years later, I down-scaled – big time! I went back to my origins with very simple formulas; as stable as possible and needing the bare minimum. I started working on a deeper level with the natural compounds and found beautiful synergies; less is truly more. There came a time for another kind of studying, understanding the magic within nature, and how it can be used. Feeling the product instead of thinking it, making it do whatever it is you want it to do.

Making formulations and products is a very precise matter, never mind how much you “feel” the proportions are right, if they’re not you will end up with some worthless goo fit only for the bin, and the margins aren’t that large. I’ve binned plenty in my day. 🙂 So you have to be precise and use your head, scales and measures to make it happen. But the magic that truly makes it come alive is in the combination of compounds. This is the real science. And here you have to “feel”. Natural compounds change from year to year, depending on weather etc. Every time you get a new oil or plant it will be different from the last and in a way you have to “start over” every time.

It has taken me 20 years to simplify, to learn to understand these beautiful compounds I work with and how to use them. The stuff I do now looks so simple and easy – it’s not.

It’s like mixing colors; too many in the blend and it ends up brown-greyish. Same, same.

GIVING BIRTH WITH ESSENTIAL OILS

This is the (shortened) story of how I gave birth to my last child at home. It was a beautiful September day and I had worked during the day, giving aromatherapy treatments. In the afternoon my body told me “stop and go home”, so I did. I pottered around the house, cooked dinner for my family and did homework with the children. At 8pm the water broke and I put the 3 children to bed while a storm starting brewing outside. At 10pm my contractions were accelerating quickly, as was the storm – by now trying to take the roof of the house and flatten the forest around us. The electricity was gone so we lit a fire in the living-room and got water from the well (no water without electricity). We called the midwife who said she’d come at once. Considering that she had about 60 km to go in the very bad storm, I prepared myself for giving birth alone with my hubby. The children were sleeping soundly, so I did not have to concentrate on them.

I had a blend to use for massage during the contractions to help relax me; Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia), Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata) and Mandarine (Citrus reticulata). Hubby massaged my lower back during the contractions, and in between we danced. Dancing is a brilliant way of helping baby down the passage and it keeps mum moving and happy. The more you move your hips, the easier the baby comes.

At 11.30pm the midwife and her assistant came, dodging falling trees all along the way – midwives must be amongst the bravest people on earth! By now we had moved into birth-state in the living-room; candles, a fire and Neroli (Citrus aurantium ssp amara var. pumilla) in the diffuser. The ladies hugged me and moved into the kitchen to leave us alone until it was time for Baby to come. Right before midnight they came back into the room, just in time to sit by while Baby exited. (Apparently they could hear that it was time by the sounds I made) That’s all they did, they sat in the other end of the room while we had our baby. Not once did they touch Baby, they guided hubby through the clearing of passages and cutting of cord. Then they made us tea, changed the linen in our bed and sang a welcome song for Baby. Since the baby came at precisely midnight, we decided on the next day for her birthday. Finally, with Baby in my arms, I slept until it was time to get the other kids up for school.

Magic, pure magic.