What have you traded your passion in for?
Ah right, I know...
Once upon a time we had a passion. And it is really the very few who don't drop that as soon as adult life takes hold. Not because we don't care, but because our culture actively requests us to make money our passion. Not because we really care about money, but because money becomes essential to our survival when everything costs something.
So passion gets shelved for the weekend, for retirement, for that time when we have some time... Invariably, for most people, it is forgotten about. To the point that when asked to recall our passion, we actually don't know what it is...
Think back to your childhood and what you loved doing and/or the thing you really deeply cared about. There you go, that's it. Remember it now...
Of course, passion is hard work. We have to create time, space and the will to pursue it. And, the gifts it gives us are often invisible. We don't know what to do with, or how to justify such invisible blessings.
When we indulge passion, it may do nothing but make us feel better. And feeling better does not pay the bills...
I know this too well. I picked up my passion for spirituality and writing ten years ago. And whilst I have enjoyed some successes, they are not the same success that a material based world would have me aiming for.
And yet... I keep on going. Because life is too short not to. Maybe I will never find acclaim, or money or fame for my passion. But my passion is not invisible. It helps me. It exhausts me sometimes yes. And probably once a month :) I feel like quitting. But once you pick up a passion it is hard to put down. It is like nutrition for the soul. The good it does, is undeniable.
The problem lies not in the passion, but in what society expects of it, and us. We are expected to make our passion turn a profit, otherwise it is worthless.
Is your passion worthless? And who are you allowing to define worth for you?
Share your thoughts on your passion in the comments below? Are you following yours? Are you risking a few hours a week for it? And if not, why the heck not? Let's talk...
Read More Cosmic Mother...
Something you might not know about me. I adore curry. I would have it for every meal I think... Nice and hot too. Or creamy... Or chocked full of Coriander. I have no favourite. But the flavours, oh my, I've enjoyed my fair share. I used to live adjacent to the 'Golden Mile' in Leicester, which houses the UK's finest Indian and Pakistani restaurants, cafes and groceries, many of which are naturally vegan or veggie. I miss those days. Oh my I do!
I remember my first experience of a spiced dish. There was a wonderful Pakistani family living two doors down from my Dad. We played with the kids all day long, in and out on each other's houses and all up and down the street with my pal Samina. Back in the freerange 1980's. One time The mum signalled for me to try some of their food, she was an epic, beautiful, strong woman, who didn't yet speak English. I was nervous as it looked so different from The usual British fare. I took one bite and my life changed forever. I remember her looking so amused and pleased and feeding me plate after plate and me just sucking the stuff up.
After posting all this on Instagram, and then being shy of the right ingredients, I created my own Mushroom curry. The specifications of which had to be 1) delicious 2) vegan 3) good for the heart. It was really quite something! So please do copy my random and wholly invented curry recipe and let me know how it goes!
PS I don't do measurements, I just chuck stuff in, so please be warned this is haphazard, creative cooking at it's very best.
Alice's Haphazard Mushroom Curry...
Rapeseed oil or Coconut oil - a good couple of big glugs or spoonfuls and start warming.
Finely chopped onions - the more the merrier!
2 packs of button mushrooms
(any other veg or meat you see fit)
Turmeric - a lot - it fights cancer cells don't you know!
Garlic 5/6 cloves or a big squeeze from a squeeze tube
Ginger big squeeze from a squeeze tube
Garam Masala - couple of dessertspoons
Chilli powder / flakes / chopped chillies - as much as you can handle.
Cook all above together,stirring often, till onions and mushrooms are softer and spices all mixed.
Can of chopped tomatoes
Peanut butter - nutty if you like it - big spoonful.
Almond butter - big spoonful.
(You could also add coconut cream at this stage, which I didn't, but would supplement the nut butter if you are allergic, or just go mad and put it in as well as. YOLO)
Sugar (I know random) but helps address any bitterness if you put in too much turmeric! Couple of teaspoons.
Spinach - wilt a whole bunch in to it... Kale would do great too! But add Kale in sooner.
Fresh coriander - love the stuff, put lots in, stir it up and serve!
If you make and love this recipe, let me know in the comments below! I have never posted one before. And my cooking is often as crazy as this, but 90% of the time I'm very happy with it! I have a tonne of recipe books, but rarely use them. Mainly just for inspiration, and then I cobble together what they teach me, with what I have access to!
Comment below or share if you love curry!
I've used the term 'Free Range Spirituality' several times now here in this blog, and on me beloved instagram. I like it. It helps put a label on something that is essentially indefinable. My faith.
So for those who are wondering, here is a loose definition of Free Fange Spirituality, so that you can see if it fits, if you happen to be a free ranger too... Also, I invite you to add your own interpretations in the comments below, for that is the nature of Free Range, it is something free and fluid and as unique as the individual!
Free range spirituality is based on, whatever the hell you want it to be. After centuries of spirituality being very dogmatically defined to us, it gives you permission to believe whatever the heck feels right, in any way you wish and without any kind of abiding rules. It pulls on your personal experiences, with life, with spirit, with a rainbow of feelings and inner knowings. It is undeniably a part of everything, and creatively interpreted dependent on your situation, mood, life challenges...
Free range spirituality, asks nothing of you. It just is, pervasive and part of everything. It is there in your happy, it is there in your sad. It is a connection to something that feels, on a cellular level, to be all. And yet, is indescribable.
It visits your dreams maybe, shows up in signs, glimmers across a lake to you as the sun is setting and you just feel 'something'. It was that kiss, that moment, those words, an understanding, a symbol. It goes far beyond the constrictions of words.
You might borrow a little from other faiths, but only in the sense that they borrow from each other. Nature, her synchronicities, spirals and patterns are a big influence on my spirituality. But I am not a Shaman, nor am I a Witch. I'm a person spiritually connected, motivated and magically empowered by the world in which I currently find myself. I believe in a life after this, but I am not a Spiritualist or a Christian. I simply know on a heartfelt level, and because of my personal evidence (much detailed in my books) that this life is not all. There is more, so much more, cosmically more.
As far as tools of the Free Range Spirit go, most of mine are bits of mother earth. The ammonite fossil on my altar, the small number of crystals I find scattered throughout my handbags, my garden. It being in the outside, the sunshine, the moon, wishing on a star.Then there are my tarot, and meditation and energy healing I was taught in sixty minutes as a child by my wiccan father. They fit nicely, for they are what I know. Feel free to apply what you know, be that art, creativity, something your grandmother shared with you, your parenting, your cookery, the way you care for others or animals and your mad tantric skills in the bedroom. Apply what fits, make it your sacred.
At the heart of Free Range Spirituality sit whatever concepts you find yourself challenged and enmeshed in. Your life lessons and those that capture your heart being the gospel necessary to follow, to feature, to commit oneself to...
And whilst Free Range Spirituality puts you at the heart of spirit, it equally ripples out to the causes and difficulties of this world. For as you experience connection with all things, so your heart beats hard for others and their troubles. This is not done in a vacuum. Your spirituality inevitably becomes a place from which you can support, speak and stand for others.
As for magic, you believe in it. As for science, you believe in that too probably, especially the fascinating cutting edge stuff that makes some kind of exciting sense of your spirit. You find power in this life, and sense in the senseless. You have faith and hope and allow those things to decorate life in ways that make you your very own priestess and guru.
That is my take on what Free Range Spirituality is. The possibility of anything, the connection to everything, the freedom to craft it precisely as it arises to you, for the grit of your very imperfect life.
How does this Free Range approach suit you? Does it make sense to your heart? Please share your thoughts and feelings on your Free Range Spirit below, and let us know any other definitions that you feel are fitting!
Inspired? Please share this Post with your like minded friends...
A little scribble I painted of my family, hangs on the kitchen wall and makes me smile. I find that when I create I either do it alongside my kids or I do it about them. I especially love doing art with the children because we really enjoy that time together and it shows them that there is no end to creation. That you do it because you want to and you love it.
Art is something many of us do in school, on a schedule... And then it's forgotten and people feel that they aren't qualified to pick up a paintbrush or camera or charcoal unless they have a certificate. So I instill in my kids the freedom to art as they wish! Below are some of the things I do to encourage, love and have confidence in all things creative!
I don't set specifics. I give them the tools and let them decide what they are creating. If they need guidance or suggestion, I give it, but I am sure to let them know that whatever they produce is perfect.
In terms of providing tools, this need not be exhaustive or expensive. A stick and some mud goes a long way. A stone on the pavement is a great chalk substitute. Water and a brush on a wall makes a never ending canvas. Stones, wildflowers, leaves and sand all make free and easy tools of great design! Flour, water and salt mixed together make a cheap and easy clay. Cornflower and water is amazing whilst crossing the river form art to science.
I praise my girls for their originality, the colours they use, the stuff that goes outside the lines...
I tolerate a lot of mess in the makings of their crafty craziness. My husband struggles with the aspect, but as long as it's kept relatively in one place, and they aren't tagging the walls, it's no harm done!
Turn on some music and let them make shapes on the living room dance floor. From here they can find a love of movement, expression and performance. Dance is a powerful healer, and whilst a dance class is fabulous, the freedom to move in the way they want is so important. Get on the floor yourself and go wild.
Speaking of which, mix things up.When they aren't listening to your instructions to get dressed, put their shoes on, eat their dinner, take things sidewards. Dance, sing and boogie the instruction to them.Be willing to be ridiculous, to get their attention and to show them that creativity can be just about a purposeful shift in the mood - hey and they might well join in and get the job done.
I show kids art / creative projects and discuss it with them. We stumble through the art gallery and have chats about what we see - this is often quite quick, not a rigorous exercise. I find that going at their speed is perfect and prevents boredom! I recently stumbled upon a display of Picasso's pottery with my eldest. We laughed and giggled because some of it was pretty dire. I told her she could do better (because honestly she could). And that art was not about perfection or beauty, but about doing, making and experimenting. I let her know that if one of the world's most famous artist could turn his hand to something that people admire years later, even though some of it was pretty basic, then she, I or anyone could!
I do art with them. Not as a helping hand, but I create things of my own. I also paint pictures for them and hang them in their rooms. I make them 'get well cards' and scribble pretty notes in their lunch boxes. I make art, I share art, I example art.
I put our art on the walls, fridge, shelves etc. I make it matter.
We make cards for family and friends always. Even when we use a store bought card, my eldest will draw pictures in it to personalise it for the birthday girl or boy!
We have become art. This is usually done in the garden, with nontoxic paint and a hose to hand. Though my eldest has gone free range on this on occasion. Once after a long car journey, we got her out of the seat to discover she had tattooed nearly her entire body with her felt tip pens! We'd had no idea and had thought she was colouring on her paper. Some might feel frustrated about this, but we admired her work, advised her that maybe using face paints would be better for her skin, took some photos and got her in the bath!
Creativity of course is not just the stuff of paint and pens. We get creative with how we do all kinds of things. Reading a book in ridiculous voices, or stating the opposite to what it says on the page, making up new rules for games, cutting up old socks and making them into dresses for dolls, encouraging them in role play and suggesting new scenarios when they fight over who does what!
Use imagination and example it. Be pirates as you walk to the shop, find fairy citadels under big old trees, make the mundane an every day adventure. Ignite their minds by creating myth and legend in your every day!
Look for art and creation as you go about your day. Sometimes I just ask my girls to notice something man made and beautiful. When you open your eyes to this it is amazing what you see; the gargoyles on a church, the swirling design on a wrought iron gate that you pass a hundred times a week, the art on a pub sign, the carefully crafted coving on the houses, the flower design on the old lampposts. We are literally surrounded by art! Make spotting amazing art & design a game. (the same goes for nature, notice the patterns, colours, textures).
Share with me your everyday ideas to bring art into your life in the comments below...
Read More from Cosmic Mother...
Welcome to my cosmic life...how I found my spirit and created an empowered, CREATIVE and nature loving family lifestyle (and how you can too...)
I am Alice Grist, and I am one Cosmic Mother! I am so glad you are here, and I hope that my life is an inspiration to yours. Sometimes in life we find ourselves in a place we didn't expect, but one that we built ourselves from a deep, holy, heart felt place. For a long time my mind has been focusing on my 'external' achievements - my books, my art, my tarot cards... But the things that matter most to me, are those wonderful, happy achievements I have crafted in my home; my kids, my parenting, our play, nature, magic, family wellbeing and my approach to free range, wild spirituality. So this blog is my new focus, and it feels so right, and so good. This is me, on a page, the truth of a chaotic, occasionally difficult, but always spirited life... Read on to find out how I shifted towards sharing the magical (and chaotic) details of my everyday life with you...
Here is the full disclosure... In January this year (2018) my husband had a heart attack. Thank goodness he survived following three stents being fitted in an emergency procedure. Not what you hope for when you have just had your 39th Birthday! This lead to him becoming depressed, and a severe bout of addiction. In turn he went off to rehab for a month, and I was left solo parenting my two daughters. In all of this I found joy. I'm a horrible optimist (not sorry). Though like anyone, I've had my challenges and darker moods during this time. It has pulled on all my very early spiritual learning, my love of nature and my need to create, to plough through the darkness, to show up powerfully for my kids and to deal with all the everyday grit that still happens nonetheless...
So from all this madness, I have come to realise that happiness lies in what you already have, and what you have created. And I'm pretty damned pleased with the life I have crafted. Whilst it is far from perfect, it is what I need. And I know it can be an inspiration for you. This blog will be a record and motivation point for those looking for a more creative, spirited and nature focused lifestyle. I will share all my parenting tips (I have so many I didn't even realise). I intend to talk frankly about our difficulties, because sobriety is a difficult (often secret) path, and one that no-one should walk alone. As a spiritual author and explorer, I will make sure our magic, spells and child friendly spiritual thinkings are displayed for you to interpret for yourselves. I will also come over all 'lifestyle' on you, sharing the healthy, wellbeing products, brands, books and adventures that decorate our daily lives... We will be arty and crafty, we will try really hard to be vegan, we will speak truth and spit poetry. I will make films too. I'll be funny, because as an author that's how I keep it real, by finding the hilarity in disaster, the comedy in spirit...
So this is me, and this is my life. I hope you will follow me, and please do share everything that you like. I am excited about this new blogging platform, and I want to know about you, what you do, and can we collaborate? Let me know - don't be shy!
You will find the highlights of this blog on Facebook and on Instagram. See links below. Sign up to my newsletter below to get updates when I blog (which I intend to be several times a week). Let me know what you want more of from me, be it art, spirit, nature, family lifestyle tips... I want to make this a resource that matters to you, and helps you move forward with your dramas!