On the Number 4 & the Idea of Budding

Yesterday, I appeared on a local lifestyle tv show, Show Me Saint Louis, to share a vision casting exercise for your emotional well being. It was a little bit round about how the segment came to life, and – on my drive downtown to the station – I found myself reflecting perhaps there is just one person who needs the message I had to give. Just one.

Earlier this week, I got an email from Chloe, the manager of Apple Tree Magic’s self-publishing project, with some pictures of Words that Rhyme & Lullabies on the shelf in their store. Part of the contract I am in with Village Book’s Independent Publishing Program involves consignment and I have been really looking forward to this baby step in the overall coming together of my personal canon. Additionally this week, the distributors finally got the image updated and my initial creative offering to the world is now officially on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for purchase & reviews.

One person who needs the message. One bookstore with the book. No reviews yet, but it is there.

Driving home from the station, it dawned upon me that Apple Tree Magic: the current iteration of my creative, emotional and spiritual life presented to the world – had just peeked into the world and showed a leaf. My friend Milta remarked, “it is like Apple Tree Magic is starting to bud – it’s not the full fruit yet, but the seed that has been planted has taken root and is branching out.”

In the spiritual science of numerology (stick with me here), the energetic understanding or model of the numbers actually follows the pattern of nature as seen in the growth of a fruit tree. 1: seed, 2: root, 3: branch, 4: bud, 5: flower / fruit, 6: the miracle of interaction with flower & fruit (think: honeycombs and you eating an apple), 7: the growth / progress of said miracle of interacting with flower & fruit, 8: the flow that comes (still studying this one), 9: the culmination – the seeds in the fruit that can be planted, 10: 1+0 back to 1 and the cycle of nature repeats.

Apple Tree Magic started as the name of my personal effort to self-publish all of my creative content. I wanted to be an Apple Tree when I was young and now I realized poems and stories were my apples. Yet, then the devotional book wasn’t a book – it was a message, an ongoing living breathing message that is coming out in waves, workshops and television segments. And the message is the foundation of my yoga offerings. AppleTreeMagic.com evolved into the home of Yoga Underground, my original LLC and is showing very early signs of also being experiences and events as my network grows and I meet with creatives in the Webster Arts and Saint Louis community.

Milta’s comment of budding feels so absolutely true. The full fruit and function, the ongoing flow of the exchange & miracle, that is not in full flight. Yet, the simple root that came from the seed of “emotional & spiritual resourcefulness” has a sleek, slender branch that has Village Books (Fairhaven, WA), Urban Breath Yoga (Maplewood, MO), Joy of Yoga (Rock Hill, MO), Show Me Saint Louis (Saint Louis, MO), and Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Ingramspark… It’s a young branch but, doesn’t it seem quite mighty??

And the Webster Arts Community and Novel Neighbor branch – I can see it as new! I know my next projects, I am SO excited about what is coming and – well – I suppose I am quite fascinated by how when you are starting something, and rooting down, it’s dark and seems uneventful. That’s certainly how the last two years of creating and soft launching two written works has felt.

But now that I have a branch with a few buds and an emerging second branch, it’s not that I am not still rooting as the roots continue to expand and grow as I continue to branch out and bud… hopefully bearing fruit. What I am marveling at, however, is how rooting isn’t the only thing I am doing anymore. It’s happening but now as a silent underlying function of the magic. It’s happening in the prayer & meditation and the intentional alignment to values (use emotions as resources) and priorities (gratitude to something bigger than you first, always).

It’s a seek out the sun, dance in the rain kind of thing. So maybe – to spin this back to you – what are you conscious of in your waking life and how is it feeding your roots? And, here’s where the whole point of sharing about the number pattern comes in. 4 (budding) is symbolic of a square (4 corners) and presents this idea of how, in the discernment process, you typically have Choice A and Choice B and each of those typically have one main pro and one main con. (4 all together) And the idea with 4 is that you can’t be wrong when choosing in alignment with your values. 4 is full trust that choosing in alignment with the values, even if you stumble, will teach you what you need to know.

And the choice represents what kind of tree you are, the leaf denotes the lineage, (just like how you can identify plant species from their leaves and early markings). The choice, like the leaves & markings, presents you into the world not as the full fruit and opportunity for exchange BUT as the living breathing representation of the values & priorities. From there, you see, you and the elements meet and nurture your growth.

I get a lot out of considering different parts of my life in this particular model of thinking. Maybe that was enjoyable for you, as well.

Ok! Thanks for letting me share on the buds this week. Thank you, as always for your support. If you don’t mind doing the whole liking my Facebook thing, I would love it.

PS: I am considering the stepmom dialogue is going to end up in a group under Apple Tree Magic. If you’re on FB (ahem, UK friends), find me!

Here’s Apple Tree Magic’s on air debut!

On Being Creative

When I close my eyes and consider my life, the forty years I have been alive, I can feel and recognize the deepest parts of me that have always been there.

Writing poetry as a kid in a notebook with “DO NOT READ” on the front cover, hoping one of my siblings or parents would be like, “ohhhhh… what is this top secret notebook?” and peer into my world, consider my genius and applaud my poetic prowess on beaches, summer and band concerts. This tendency is self-publishing work now, directly asking people to read. Trusting the work.

My whole growing up, I have always been ok speaking in front of people, willing to volunteer yet perhaps a little too eccentric for teachers and operetta leaders to trust with main roles: a little too energetic for them to trust I would listen.

Plus, I have always been a visionary – leaders putting me in leadership roles inherently came with a prerequisite of a willingness to be open to ideas, perhaps even challenged by innovation.

Not that I’m obstinate. If I feel remotely responsible for people’s experiences, I think about the future. I want the coolest way. Raised by a resourceful person, cool futuristic thinking builds on what is as old as time, is influenced by wisdom, it’s rooted in love.

Love.

This weekend, I am teaching a workshop on the heart’s connection to divinity which I have studied to be primarily recognizable via sensations of love, peace and joy. The workshop intends to ground these three sensations into the body, into the home, into a present acceptance that allows a person to live, move, breathe with relative ease. Or at least remember ease is a thing when things are hard, thus (hopefully) – making it easier.

Part of preparing for this workshop means coming to terms with what disrupts my own sense of rootedness when it comes to the deepest parts of me that have always been there. I think it is important to know what you have always liked about yourself. What you think you’re good at. I have met people before with wildly low self esteem yet they make amazing loaves of bread, craft intricate crocheted items, read super fast and apply loads of intellectual content. I always wonder if they know these things to be clues, keys, into esteem. Into who they are. Into roots.

What if the practice of rooting and trusting who you are wasn’t about identifying what to establish and growing roots but about closing your eyes and visualizing your full root system: deep, healthy, thriving? What if a practice of allowing ourselves our full self gave us the foundation from which to operate? Operetta cuts and sitting in the back of the class and all?

One of the things I hope for my teaching – special workshops, regular yoga classes, writings, spiritual direction – is the same thing I hope for myself in my own life: that the whole self is allowed. That I assume access to all of my might, all of the time.

I’m reading this year’s story, A Christmas Tree Story, to an intimate group of friends this evening. Mailing all the orders out, teaching tomorrow and leading workshop Saturday and reading again Sunday. After these things are said and done, next week will be all about 2023 Yoga Planning and wrapping gifts, making cookies, slowing down. It will take the next ten days to feel all the aspects of myself, is my point – but I will be my whole self within each fraction of life. Does that make sense?

In this process, I realize I am now the Operetta Director, the Sixth Grade teacher, the Executive. It is only up to me to decide whether or not I make the cut, whether I am good enough – a good enough listener, able to focus my energy. By saying I am, I am allowing the whole self.

People in your life, I think, are there to teach you the voices you need most.

Positive validation received from people teaches how to validate, critical thought received from people teaches you how to identify the opposite, positive thought – the next step – the action.

My hope for you is that you trust who you have always been and spend your days enjoying yourself. Enjoy your gifts, talents and abilities.

Seeing even tendencies like to tidy up as a gift, allows us to appreciate the moments we use them: in our own kitchen on a cozy weekday morning or in a hospital waiting room in the middle of a sleepless night.

In a way, this makes everything then more enjoyable bc it is an honor of our divine design, our connection to source energy.

And it makes risk taking feel courageous and it makes times we are wrong feel right.

What Blog?

Rumor on the street is that blogging is making a comeback.

I suppose it makes sense. For most of us bloggers, (Frozen Spaghetti started in 2011), we started a long time ago in a way that appeased an early ambition for a side hustle. As Instagram grew and gave the impression of a blogger interface with a shorter, less expectant time frame, I know for me, at least – I came to LOOOOOVE how easy IG made it to get to the point.

I had a major pause in posting here on WordPress.

Where a picture of a Horse Ear on Frozen Spaghetti made me sit for multiple nights – even coming back to the post years later – trying to capture my draw to the horse ear, Instagram gave me permission to simply post a picture of the ear with whatever I felt in that very moment. “Do you hear what I hear?” and people who wanted to would get the point.

No uploading, arranging, bolding and emphasizing needed. Maybe a heart emoji… but even that came later.

As aforementioned ambition for a side hustle grew into actual side hustle grew into hey-yo this is my profession, a lot of those early blog loving content creators had to trade their storytelling in “to the man”. I think the cup of tea & foggy morning approach to writing on WordPress became the long lost best friend to those for whom the visual arts, sound entertainment and quick byte culture proved itself capable of being quite time-consuming, frustrating and – well, expensive as they require a whole new assembly line for a product that needs to sell the actual product.

As a blogger who doesn’t even ask you to “chip in a dollar” to “buy me a cup of coffee” to “show your appreciation for the work”, I will tell you an artful blog (who eats the $99 for you to read my nonsense ad free) is the still IG picture post in a world full of “Grandma’s Best Thanksgiving Stuffing Ever this FALL FAVORITE BEST did I say BEST already it’s Thanksgiving and this is my FAVORITE BEST STUFFING EVER, I LOVE Grandma! Best. Stuffing. #Thanksgiving” .

Was that obnoxious? Good. I thought so.

As a person who loves a good reel, my most popular reels in terms of views and shares have been off content I have taken on the fly, mixed in a minute and shared with pretty must little to no thought other than whatever comes from the core of the operation: my inspo.

The ones I tried to do? Ugh. Gross. Made me stop doing it.

Why do I bring this up? Well, primarily because one of my closest friends is passionate about this – so, she naturally inspires me to, at minimum, reflect.

Keyword: Inspires.

So here is my reflection. Reels, Blogs, Posts, Sound, Pin.

How about we all agree marketing is best when inspired?

(Or Is that too Emily in Paris of me?)

It takes talent to write an artful blog. It takes strategy to write a successful one.

But both take inspiration.

Heart. Patience. And People.

My blog was for me. But now it’s also, in a way, for you.

179 people get an email in their inbox when I hit the blue “Publish” button, and – you know what? That’s kinda cool.

And, real quick, going back to what I said about not having a donate button. For me? I don’t want YOUR money.

I want a publishing house and a Netflix deal and maybe a ride at Disney.

And then I want those people to go get all the money for me. hahaha :)

I don’t need you to buy me a cup of coffee (though I will let you take me out to lunch) when I need my writing to buy me a house. <SO TRUE>

“What you can offer now?”, you ask?

What matters to me?

A: Your listening ear. Your attendance.

Sharing a post or writing a review or inviting somebody to a class.

I for sure get SO much encouragement chatting with your relaxed self after an experience stretching, listening, sharing or singing along.

You can start with a comment on this here blog post. I got TWO the other day and THANK YOU Alyssa & Anonymous. Made my freaking day.

Every single part of my evolution thus far in my life has been off of my distinct belief that you cannot be wrong unless you’re trying to be right, that what comes natural to you should be what you spend your time doing and – lastly – above all costs, take care of your heart & treat with respect your power to form an opinion and…

well…

That if I ask for a fish, I won’t get a serpent.

Live your life according to your values, know who you are, and stay true to what you truly want.

The rest will unfold exactly as it should, which will partly be unforeseen & surprising.

Live inspired. Reel or Blog. Church or Studio. Hike or Kayak. Whatever. Just live your life.

And maybe, while you’re at it, enjoy Grandma’s Favorite Stuffing and make the Best Thanksgiving Ever come to life.