Posted in Spirituality

I Quit! (Doesn’t that feel good?!)

“Too many inspirations” has long been my excuse, as well as my pride, but a couple of months ago, I said, “I quit!” and I really, truly did quit quite a few things:
~ I quit my home and yard design business.
~ I quit singing.
~ I hardly planted anything in the garden.
~ And more I’ll spare you.

What I decided to do was two things:  1) Pay primary attention to healing – figuring out how to monitor my wandering, easily-distractable mind, meditate, pay attention to the communications of my alters and their healing status, stay focused on my “big questions,” track my progress, etc. – and 2) write about it.  That’s all I would do, besides the necessary mundane work.

I was due to get my first Social Security check, and Greg was willing to take up the slack while I practiced this discipline for some unknown length of time – Thank you, Greg!

So I’ve been monitoring, listening, focusing and tracking since early August – applying effective business skills to my head – and writing about it in my various blogs.  (Details here.)

And exciting things are happening!  I’m noticing phenomenal changes in my ability to track my own ideas more coherently, also feeling more calm, alert, and present – a powerful experience for me.

And just what I’d hoped for.

But there was a surprise too:  Singing, which I’d always felt was the least of my talents is the one thing that has come back to me.

After six weeks of leaving the house when Greg and other musicians would get together, he drew me back for a single song, and then “just a few,” and then one night he led the band in a whole series of my favorite songs, and I just couldn’t leave.  And here’s the surprise:  I liked my voice.  It had changed.

That, plus the fact that so many people challenged my decision and told me they wanted to keep hearing our harmonies gave me permission to accept singing back into my life.

As they say, “If you let it go and if it returns, it’s yours.”

So:  I accept.  Gratefully.  And I enjoy it so much more now that I’ve discovered my voice is new.

lying here video stillA few days ago (Oct 3), Greg and I were singing and I spontaneously suggested we go into the office and record one of our co-written originals, “Lying Here with You,” with the minimalist PhotoBooth software on the Mac.  Not fancy recording equipment by a long shot – but, wouldn’t you know, it was heart-felt, and got heart-warming responses on Greg’s website and Facebook page.

So I invite you to take a listen.  It’s sensuous and sweet.

Maybe we should all just quit things now and then.  And see what comes back. snapshotOne more thing I was hoping for, but not too hopefully:  teaching Greg to do more of his marketing!  But that came back to me too!  I spent all day Sunday – 15 hours! – happily updating it – and it wasn’t work – it was artwork, and very satisfying.  (Greg kept me fed, and responded to my every need while I worked.)  Here’s the new design.   

I pray all our activities are exactly what we should be doing, and if we have any doubts that we have the Courage to Quit – at least for a while, to see what returns.

Many happy returns!

Posted in 1 Garden, Spirituality

Dragonfly Birth Day

[This photo-essay was first posted on my (MK) Garden Healing Church site:]

My partner and I are supporting a friend in the process of dying.

I’ve been feeling myself drawn toward this sort of work for a decade, and now the time has arrived.    

I’m amazed at how calm I feel and comfortable with the process.  (Ten years ago, I was invited to attend the dying of another friend, and I had to decline.)

My partner and I spent a couple of hours each day the last few days and watched our friend decline to sunken cheeks, faint gestures, and occasional phrases turned to whispers of single words or phrases not understood.

We scheduled our volunteer time for late afternoon, and have spent our last few mornings cleaning out our shop which had become a nonfunctional store room.  (Perhaps his dying made us want to put our things in order, bring new life into our lives, get energy unstuck, and keep things functioning at home.)  

This morning shortly after we’d gotten back to work, Greg noticed something strange hanging on the wall of the house right next to where we were working and called me to come with the camera.  

Almost the first thing that came to my mind was Alien, as in the thing that sprung from Sigourney Weaver’s chest.

copyright Jean Ann Eisenhower 2014.  Taken August 13, 2014.
copyright Jean Ann Eisenhower 2014. (Click and zoom for detail.)

– though first I’d thought it was one insect eating another.  It took a few moments to realize, it was not death, but birth.  One being was not being consumed by another; one was emerging from its own former shell.  

Death and rebirth.  We thought of our friend, and how frightening death is to so many people – as frightening as this monster-looking creature.  But that was just a bad first impression.  This monster would become absolutely beautiful.

Greg noticed what he called “umbilical cords,” white threads that connected the new dragonfly to its shell – even after she removed her tail, righted herself, and let her wings emerge.  Now she looks like a faerie in pink and lime green lace and ruffles!  (Please click and zoom to see amazing detail!)  

Faery-like dragonfly emerged, copyright Jean Eisenhower 2014
Faery-like dragonfly emerged, copyright Jean Eisenhower 2014
cords down
copyright Jean Ann Eisenhower 2014

Eighteen minutes later, her ruffles are smoothed out, and her cords are disconnected.

I came in close for this “smile”:

Smile, copyright Jean Ann Eisenhower, 2014
Smile, copyright Jean Ann Eisenhower, 2014

Here she’s looking mostly like the dragonfly we know:

copyright Jean Ann Eisenhower 2014

And then she spreads her wings, an hour and a half after her birth:

Open Wings, copyright Jean Ann Eisenhower 2014
Open Wings, copyright Jean Ann Eisenhower 2014

I’ve always loved dragonflies, and once called on Dragonfly for a healing ceremony.  They are said to be guardians of the portals to the dream world, allowing in healing, or allowing the soul to pass to the next world.

Since we’d talked with our friend about death as a passing into the next world, a rebirth, we couldn’t help but think of this dragonfly birth as a herald of our friend’s passing.

In a moment, the old shell was left behind…

copyright Jean Ann Eisenhower 2014

and she began her life, anew, in the garden.

copyright Jean Ann Eisenhower 2014

Can you see her?  

in the tree cu
copyright Jean Ann Eisenhower 2014

This afternoon, our friend was far less responsive.  Faint smiles, apparent sleep, fewer gestures.  

When we told his wife about the dragonfly, she said it had always been an important totem for them.  

Our world is so powerfully magical!  (If we invite it in.)  It answers, “Yes!” in case we forget, that we have friends in spirit all around us.  (Yes, there is powerful grief in our world also, but the Magic is here still, just waiting for us to recognize it.)

The portal is opened.  Happy travels, Friend.  

Posted in 1 Garden, 2 Home, Spirituality

Energy Correction in a Fence Addition!

A good fence can turn a noisy, bright, busy, constantly changing place into a lovely sanctuary.

This is the view we shielded ourselves from, close neighbors and Market Street traffic:

5 stiles neigh view

It took 2 short mornings and 1 long day, and we spent only $240 for 27 feet (using mostly new materials, having spent most of our salvage materials on the chicken coop last summer).

(Harvesting wood in the forest would have been more ecological and saved money, and we seriously considered it, but this fence matches the existing fence, was much easier and quicker to build, and is more private than a rougher-material construction could ever be.  In this neighborhood, it seemed the right choice.)

First, we followed standard fence-building procedure, marking the fence post line with stakes and string.

(And, yes, we’re building our fence right up to and nearly touching our neighbors’ house.  Our houses were built before proper surveys, and our lot line had to be moved from under their house to the edge of their house.  Today, their electrical box and even their most recent stucco job hang over our property!)

1 posts wide

When all the posts were up and the concrete had cured a day or two, we put up the rails.

(The posts on either side of the corner are 4′ from the corner.  The post in between is 1′ in from the hypotenuse of the right triangle.)

In the two sections of the front corner, we attached these scrap 2×8 pieces on top of the rails.  It was a little tricky getting the curve drawn just right.  I held the center of an imagined quarter-circle while Greg cast an arc in chalk across the 2×8’s, again and again til everything lined up just right.

7 corner curve drawn

When the 2×8’s were removed, cut, and replaced, the pickets (alternating 4″ and 6″ wide) went on smoothly and quickly.

8 corner curve cut

A few hours of easy work later – we were done!

9 corner fin med

I have an affinity for the humble globe mallow, so we worked around this frail plant for three days!  I’m so glad we did.  It was in bloom, and they say that faeries especially detest the rudeness of making them move during flowering time.  And since I began to respect that possibility, my garden has been happier and I feel even more loved and supported by it.  So I took the job of digging that hole, right up to the edge of the plant, we were careful in our tasks near it, and it survived and now adds beauty!

Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy, I had to do something different with the gravel, so I sorted out the whitest ones and scattered them in a rough arc around the large stones, then finished the section of earth with the mix which blends nicely with the neighbors’ gray gravel.

(The pickets are not as bowed as they appear.  They’re bent because, inside the fence, as I explain next, I’m bracing the trees upright.)

12 corner rocks cu

Inside, we pruned the drought-hardy shrubs and two desert willows (one pink, one purple, the second an odd volunteer) and braced them to stand more upright, as they’d both been flagged hard by the winds.  With the surrounding fence, they’re beautiful corner trees!  (They were hardly noticeable before, as you can see in photo 2 above.)

13 willows

Here’s the finished design in context:  two matching curved corners, enclosing a driveway – which we think might become a new garden instead!  – in which case, we’ll add ten more feet of fence and a gate.  Not daunting at all!

10 fence fin med

Do you need a fence?

Don’t let mundane things delay you.  I wish I’d built both fences years ago.  They have made all the difference in our experience of this house!  The energy of the yard is indescribably sweeter!  It’s the like difference between how you feel in a parking lot or on a street versus how you feel in a park.  The energy change is powerful!

Posted in 1 Garden, Spirituality

Nature as our First and Best Healer

Hi All,

And hovering like an angel!
And hovering like an angel!

I’ve been taking a break from garden design since January.


That’s pretty incredible to my mind, having been a workaholic since my childhood, when I heard “Rise and Shine!” “Up and at ’em!” and “Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!” every school morning of my childhood – or at least that’s what it felt like.

So I guess I’m in yet another phase of recalibrating my life to a slower, more meditative, healthy pace.  That’s good.  Not apparently as productive, but probably more so than I realize.

I’ve felt powerfully moved to accept a calling I have felt for many years but have felt terribly ashamed to be such a poor practitioner of such a gift.

I have felt called to create a church – one that doesn’t hold “services,” because I believe worship (as Christ said) is to be done in private – but a church which offers doctrine that I believe many people believe but have been terrorized to keep quiet about (passed down from the Inquisition, slavery, or other genocide), that is, a church that affirms Nature as our Healer, and our gardens as our private healing sanctuaries.

I was loathe to begin a church (many horrific memories there), and I certainly didn’t want to put myself forward as a minister (though I am – story later), and I certainly don’t need another project.

But I felt the need keenly.  So I created the Garden Healing Church.

Doctrines include:

1) Our personal responsibility to keep ourselves healthy through good food, water, and medicine.

2) Gardens and public wild places are the very best places for healing.  (Christ and many other wise ones went to the garden or into nature to pray.)

3) Nature contains plants that heal us (and take away our pain, help us contemplate, and more) – presumed by many spiritual teachers, and specifically “given” by the God of Genesis.

4) Nature spirits have a wealth of information, bits of which we might be granted when we pray in Nature.

To my delight, I realized these doctrines and this church would support a few different political quests for religious-based healing rights and other related rights.

1) The right to use plants for healing as we believe best, including marijuana and other natural plants targeted by the FDA..

2) The right to not be forced to pay for allopathic healing.

3) The defense of wild lands, and the quiet there.

These spiritual beliefs and practices are all under serious political attack today.

While attorneys do their work on this issue, it makes sense for us as individuals to assert our beliefs and to get spiritual support for living a healthy, natural-healing life, with time and space for prayer in nature, and without compulsion to pay for healing methods that offend our spiritual senses.

The Garden Healing Church offers:  

1) a membership (free) through which you assert your spiritual rights to heal with nature’s gifts, and

2) occasional posts and opportunities to share conversation supporting each individual’s healing naturally.

You can read about and join (free) the Garden Healing Church here:

Oh yes, and the story about how I became a minister (years ago) is there too.

Peace, blessings, and healing to you ~