My website and blog will be changing soon. In the meantime, I’m taking a hiatus from the WordPress blog and trying out Tumblr for a while.
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I respond from my center
and my center is this:
I am at ease.
I am enough.
I am absolutely present.
Then I can breathe.
Life is very good and very, very full right now. Some things have had to give.
We’ve started having help with mowing … and even with the house-cleaning now and then.
My vegetable garden turned into a huge weed patch; I’d essentially given up on it until Eat Your Yard Out entered the picture.
Another thing that fell by the wayside was cooking at home.
Since taking possession of Peerless in May, we’d gotten into a habit of working to exhaustion, then eating out because I couldn’t imagine shopping and cooking at 8 or 9pm. It’s a catch-22 because I ate out because I was tired; but then all that restaurant food was killing my energy! One day I told my mom that if I’m going be this busy I need to start eating and exercising for energy. I started really listening to my body after each meal and heard a few things:
- It doesn’t take much gluten and sugar before I’m sluggish. Bread has gluten…so does beer.
- I feel better when I eat more raw foods.
- Let’s be honest, most dairy (besides yogurt) gives me gas.
Pretty simple stuff, no brainers actually! So after we returned from a trip to Minnesota a couple weeks ago, I stocked the fridge with lots fruits and veggies and decided to make time for cooking. Inspired by this Zen Habits post about the intersection of fit and fun, I’ve been cooking with more whole foods, a few more raw foods, and making it fun. Really fun! And totally tasty.
Some of our favorites (yes, Caleb loves these too!):
- Avocado and mustard seeds from my beautiful, new copy of Super Natural Every Day Food. You can download a free sampler that includes the recipe here.
- Steamed quinoa mixed with fresh basil and topped with grilled zucchini, onion, mushrooms and spicy tahini sauce. We eat this at least once a week and have served it to friends, too. Serve it alongside quartered figs drizzled with balsamic reduction. Let some of the balsamic mix with the tahini and veggies. Trust me on this.
- Small glasses of cold brew iced coffee with Silk coconut milk. Cold brew coffee has 67% less acid and I’ve read it doesn’t dehydrate the body as much. And it’s sooooooooo delicious.
- Veggie stir fry (with lots of greens) with cashews and coconut on top.
- Nikolas’ blueberry-banana smoothie with tahini, peanut butter and cold brew coffee (all the ingredients listed, so try it)
- Fresh fig and banana smoothie
- And this twist on oatmeal:
1/2 cup rolled oats
Small handful almonds
1-2 tsp coconut oil
Blend. Eat. You can also add some shredded unsweetened coconut, just for kicks.
It will be dry and crumbly. Don’t worry, just go with it because it’s delicious, especially alongside a cup of coffee. Eat it with a spoon like you would oatmeal. Rolled oats are not actually raw, but this is a whole, simple and cool way to enjoy oatmeal in the summer. We even blended up a couple batches for a two-night art de-installation trip to Lincoln last weekend. Ate it out of plastic cups in our hotel room and saved money on breakfast!
Energy levels increasing ….
The craziness of opening Peerless has finally started to die down. It’s becoming fun. There is more of a rhythm to it. We are starting to breathe a bit … well, almost.
I love working at Peerless. I love the high ceiling, the white walls, the huge windows, the view of the park and the people walking their dogs, even the boxiness of it and—I am almost ashamed to say—the grocery store florescent lighting. I know! Who would have thought? Something about all that light is so nice, though.
There is an airiness about the space; it gives you room to think big. The place is just over 1,500 square feet. All told, it’s about the same size as our house packed into one rectangular room.
My favorite thing is that we are becoming a place where people gather. We’ve eaten Indian food with friends while working on epic art projects. We have gotten to know Wanda while she painted her beauty in our space. Brit has started co-officing with us. Cale’s become a good friend and been working on projects with Caleb. Gerard popped by yesterday to paint because he didn’t want to work at home alone. Mandy borrowed our computer to finish an InDesign project the other day. Last night I hosted my women’s solopreneur group there. That’s not to mention all the drop ins—all the people we meet through just being there every day with regular hours. It’s like people who are interested in similar things and hopefully a similar way, are drawn to the energy of the space. I love that.
Last week Caleb had a work project in Minneapolis so we went up together to get out of town for a bit. On Friday, we drove 4 more hours north of the city, to Janna and Dwight’s cabin (um, I mean amazing house) up on the north shore of Lake Superior. Ying and Miao came, too. That weekend was pure heaven. We rock-hunted, hiked, relaxed with dear friends, laughed a ton and slept so well. It was a much-needed break. We were sad to leave after just two days.
Caleb and I walked into Peerless the first day after getting back, extremely tired and grumpy from the previous night’s travel (and an unfortunate 2:30 am tire blowout). But as soon as we sat down to work, we smiled, looked at each other and said, “It feels good to be back.”
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You are welcome to visit us at Peerless anytime. Check out wearepeerless.com for hours and more info.
Caleb, Bethany and I stayed up talking ’til 2am, just debriefing opening night, the show and the future of Peerless. Our feet ached, our bodies were sore from many days of hard work to prepare our space. It was the best kind of tired—satisfied and celebratory.
Maybe it was the effects of last night’s wine or maybe it was the wound-up excitement, but my eyes popped open at 7 this morning. I thought I’d be sleeping all day. I made some coffee to keep me and my thoughts company in the quiet house. The thing I keep going back to is that moth, the one who landed in the puddle outside Peerless yesterday afternoon.
It was a female Callosamia Promethea. Bethany picked up the water-logged beauty and carefully dried her off with tissue paper. While we worked on last minute set up, the moth sat on a paper towel, gently fanning her wings dry. She stayed with us through most of the reception, then flew away.
It was like an almost-friend showed up, one that was not so much cheering us on, but bearing witness to our momentous day and bringing a gentle blessing before she aired her wings and flew away.
I did some googling and found that while a butterfly forms in a delicate chrysalis, a moth forms in a cocoon with a hard casing to protect it from the elements. It speaks to themes of nurture, protection and self-care during times of development. Her visit reminded me that I want and need to take care of myself during this time. I will nurture my inner being and take what I need to be healthy.
A moth is drawn to lunar light. It symbolizes intuition and heightened awareness. I want to remember to follow my spiritual compass and to remain grounded in reflection and awareness of all the miracles around me. I will notice small signs of big things in the midst of these busy, new, hard-working times.
Resting in love and light,
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P.S. On a somewhat related side note: This week Caleb and I encountered a Sudanese man who has been walking around Omaha, tirelessly and somewhat desperately searching for a job. His name is Gabriel. We have had some serendipitous encounters with Gabriel—one directly following Emerging Terrain’s triumphal outcome with the zoning board of appeals.
Though we can’t offer Gabriel a full-time job, we were able to give him a few hours work helping us to clean and prepare Peerless for last night’s opening. He was such a great help, a hard worker and feels like a gentle soul. He speaks English and is looking for full time work in a factory, or janitorial or restaurant service. If you know of any leads, please send them my way and we will pass them on to him.
Caleb and I both have heavy hearts for immigrants and the vulnerability they must feel as they navigate a new life and bewildering culture. We appreciate any leads to jobs, assistance or training that you could offer.
1. Dana Velden, writer for TheKitchn. I read Dana’s meditations every Sunday morning. With my coffee—and sometimes in bed. I have started thinking of it as my own personal church time. Her writing slows me down, helps me to notice the small things, and makes me thankful. Dana inspires me to write with simplicity, from the heart.
2. Barbara-Rose Pierre Paul’s Pinterest boards. You know when you run across someone that you think is your kindred spirit even though you don’t know each other and in this case, the other person lives in France? When I found Barbara-Rose on Pinterest, I realized that I’d unknowingly been repinning her work for months. I wrote her a note and she wrote back:
Daphne: Hi! I was so excited to find your boards. I love your pins! To me, you are famous.
Barbara-Rose: Hello Daphne, you’re so kind I’m glad I don’t receive so much messages like yours because I would become conceited as a barber’s cat, but I must admit I liked it . Have a nice day … pin you soon.
Conceited as a barber’s cat…I love it! I want to meet her someday.
3. Jaqueline Bequette recently quit her job as an art teacher for OPS and went out on her own as an artist and art educator. Talk about courageous acts! She is a facilitator of The Artist’s Way workshops, similar to the group I just finished with Marcia, Mandy and Brit. A friend introduced us and we have corresponded a bit this week. Jaqueline was so affirming of our step toward opening Peerless. She wrote,
Opening must be invigorating and scary at the same time. And I just want to acknowledge how wonderful your journey is. You trust and go where flow is leading you.
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Where is the flow leading you today? What part of the process are you trusting right now?
My inspiration board has gotten a little bigger … and I have a feeling that both my artistic and business expressions (are they different?) are going to keep growing.
Here are six things that have fed me lately.
3. An intimate Women Solopreneur’s group. Tonight is our second meeting. It feels like breathing.
6. Peerless, an oh-so-mysterious project, which I will reveal here very quietly because I’m almost unable to believe it’s true. Caleb and I have the opportunity to move into a 1,300 sq ft retail space at Omaha’s Midtown Crossing to use as a gallery and working art studio. It has happened so fast; we are so excited, overwhelmed and thankful. I can’t wait to share more with you!
What is inspiring you these days?