I’m a coffee person.

It’s rainy today in Fairfield. Two days ago it was 93 degrees and now it’s a cool 60 as I sit in the cafe of The Beauty Shop in town.  We finally have a coffee shop that’s open past 5pm on weekdays and you can tell it was much needed just by looking around any day you come to visit. Between the constant awesome concerts and great coffee, it’s not hard to see why so many young fairfielders are often here. Including myself.

In case you didn’t notice from my Revelations cafe review, I like coffee shops. No, scratch that, I love coffee shops. I’ve traveled an hour and a half away to Iowa City simply to sit at Barnes and Noble with my regular Vanilla Latte(skim milk, whip cream, half the syrup, and an extra shot of expresso in case you were wondering). To most, that sounds rather crazy. But I love coffee. For me, it just feels like home. There’s something about a vanilla latte that wakes up my sleeping inspiration and gets me through a day that might otherwise feel a bit monotonous. I’m restless, problematically so but with a vanilla latte sitting next to my open computer and a new textedit document blank and waiting, I feel at peace. In fact, I’ve just finished sitting in one spot for a good hour and a half having written more in one sitting than I’ve managed to in over a month.

Maybe this is irrelevant to you, perhaps you’re reading this and going, “I’m really a tea person.” Maybe it’s not the same for tea people, I really wouldn’t know. Any given day of the week you’ll find me sitting in class drinking my mug of black coffee signaling my brain that the day has officially begun, function please.

It’s about this point in my writing of this blog post that I’ve begun to wonder how this is possibly relevant to MUM. Well, if you do happen to be a coffee person like myself, you can rest-assure that fantastic coffee is in grand supply here in Fairfield. Fear not, your coffee addiction will be well maintained.

Do you really need more relevance than that?

Only if you’re a tea person.

 

 

Much love <3

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What’s Your Perfect Day?

  It’s the kind of day where I find myself pulling on my own skin. It seems like I should be able to break free from the confines of my body and dance seemlessly with the breeze. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. I walk out into the perfect day: endless blue sky, radiant sun, high-60s, and a subtle breeze, but I still feel as if I am caged in. As if there is a thin plexi-glass wall keeping me from really being in the day, from really feeling the warm sun and cool breeze. I feel weighed down. I sit by my open window and let my mind wonder as I push against this cage. I close my eyes and imagine waves pulsing out around me, carrying one simple word, asking one very complex question: why?

I have no answer for you. No resolution to this blog post, just the empty ramblings that frame my day. I don’t know why I’ve felt the need to share such, perhaps someone just needs to read it. I send questions out into the universe all the time, and I find that when I let it go and stop searching for an answer, it falls right into my lap or flows through my fingers as I’m typing mindlessly on a my computer.

It’s very standard to add a picture to a blog post. It makes people want to read it, it gives your story a nice little backdrop, and my content optimizer gives me a higher score too. But instead of giving you what I want you to see and feel through some image I randomly find on the internet, I’d like you to take a moment and create your own. Stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, and imagine your perfect day.

Feel it.

Much Love.

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Mid-Year ‘Crisis’

I’ve heard of a mid-life crisis, but this just seemed melodramatic. I found myself half way through my first year of college questioning everything. Maybe it’s because that’s encouraged here or maybe it’s just because I’m flighty and indecisive, but regardless I started wondering ‘what am I doing’? What am I doing, and do I want to do it here? If I don’t want to do it here, why? And where would I do it instead? All of which spun my head in constant circles of ‘I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know’.

Now, I’m coming out of that. I still don’t know exactly what I’m doing but I know I have a lot more of a chance to find out here than anywhere else. And I think that’s what started the ‘crisis’ anyway. I found myself in a place where the intensity of your experience in focused inward rather than on exams and parties. I came here relishing in that and excited to dive into the depths of my ‘self’ concepts, but I don’t think I realized how much that would reveal.
I have been challenged in an entirely different way than I would have expected in college, even this one. I feel like the potential for self growth is exponential here and that growth has really crippled my comfort zone. I didn’t realize my entire world would shake and scream crisis, but it literally wanted(and sometimes still wants) to just get in the car and drive far, far away. Not from Fairfield, or class, or the people but from myself and what I can no longer deny. Just realizing what it was I’ve been so desperate to run from helped to subside the panic.

Deep breath.

There is a lot I’ve discovered in this first half-year of college, including a lot I didn’t know there even was to discover. Proof to myself that I need to stick around and figure out what I’m doing, among a million other life questions that swirl around in my head. I’m sure I’ll continue to question everything and panic when what I thought I knew changes but,

isn’t that what it’s all about?

Much love.

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Fairfield Review: Revelations Cafe

Simply put, I love Revelations Cafe. Numerous books line the walls as you walk into the heart of town. Couples, old friends, study groups, and more can all be found sitting among the eclectic tables and booths. I’ve always fancied the idea of going into a cafe where my favorite barista has my order memorized, but I thought that only happened in cute, indie films. Yet, somehow, here I have exactly that. It also helps that I’m here multiple times a week and that it’s become a weekly ‘catch-up’ spot for one my closest friends( Makayla!) and I.

If you want pizza in town, Revelations is also the place to be. Friday and Saturday nights this place is absolutely packed with lots of familiar faces, most of which order their amazing wood-fired pizza. See below :)

That’s right, try not to drool. Revelation’s is amazing. Whether you decide to come to school here or just visit, don’t forget to go to Revelations cafe.

Much love.

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Sculpture Artist Statement

For me, Block 5 was a lot of clay and looking at my own picture trying to turn that mound into my own face. Just the thought of that terrifies me, coupled with my strong held belief that I am not an artist, I was prepared for a challenge. Towards the end of the class we were to create an artist statement as a sort of review for the class, here’s mine:

We see mirrors and pictures, relfections and sketches everyday, but what does that visual snapshot of ‘you’ really mean? More importantly, how does that meaning change when you have to look at the mirrors and pictures objectively. I found myself truly exploring and redefining surface value.

Looking at my face for four hours a day and in multiple dimensions wasn’t the easiest thing for me to do. We see our reflection countless times in a day but never before have I had to look at each little detail, at the contour of my lip or the depth of my eye. At first it felt awkward, but as we continued it became a very reflective process. Maharishi said, “The artist, while creating, stands as a creator, and that status of the creator, howsoever small, takes the visions to a very big creator of the entire cosmic life.” I felt I could apply this statement very literally to the process of scultiping my face. It was almost like a little trip into the creation of who I am and how I got here. As you hold a picture in one hand and a mirror in the other, you very quickly have to set aside your judgements of yourself in order to observe unbiased detail. Or to “Be deeply, wildly truthful.” as Rodin put it. The funny thing, however, is the changes I observed outside of class. Somehow, looking at myself for four hours a day has given me a new appreciation of that reflection the other twenty hours. Through this process I gained a strange new acceptance of myself and delight in creation.

I realized, at some point which I’m unable to decide upon, that while the finite goal of the project was to create our face; there has been infinite inward reflections I’ve gone through while focusing on the outward reflection.

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What is Conscious Based Education…really?

Well, who are you? Why are you here? What do you love? What is your passion? How do you feel? How will you make a difference?

This is conscious based education.

In public school I can remember sitting for seven hours a day feeling like they were feeding me information only for me to throw it all up after the test. It didn’t matter to me, none of it affected my life or shaped me as a person. Conscious based education makes you a part of what you’re learning. It becomes something that changes how you view, feel or live in the world. I can tell you how each and every one of my classes has affected me:

Block 2, Permaculture Design: Suddenly my world had a layout and I left that class looking at the world in a completely different way. That building doesn’t have a roof, it has a natural water catchment system and I can figure how much water will run off of it, and I can direct that water into a storage bin to be used. I learned how to run my own property one day for and of the earth. I didn’t just learn about facts, I learned how to change my future.

Block 3, Song Writing: Well, for one, I learned how to play piano. Enough at least to be able to write my own songs now. That’s pretty huge in and of it self. It gave me a look into my own creativity and challenged my ability to create on a deadline. I struggled in this class but it was completely worth it in the end because I wrote my first ever full song and performed it at open mic. I was able to realize a passion that’d been brewing inside of me for years.

Block 4, Poetry for Transcendence: I LOVED this class. It is my favorite so far for sure. I spent a month reading, writing, and diving deep into the depths of poetry and emotion. I explored myself and how I felt about a multitude of topics, only to then form them into poems. I left with a portfolio of complete and edited works, a couple of which I was even able to read at our class’ poetry reading held at Cafe Paradiso.

You see, each class has meant something to me. It enlivens my soul and has me grasping for information. It matters to me, and it is related to me. Everything we learn is related and reflected back upon us. Conscious based education allows you to be conscious of your progress and growth here. I find myself at times undervaluing this truth, but I have grown and changed exponentially since being here. Every level of my experience here has molded my views and visions. I can’t promise I’ll graduate here, I tend to be restless like that, but I wouldn’t trade this year or this experience for anything. Dreams are simultaneously being fulfilled and created everyday.

So, who are you? Why are you here? What do you love? What is your passion? How do you feel? How will you make a difference?

Consciously.

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Running into Vulnerability’s Open Arms with Brene Brown

What is vulnerability?

Today I’m taking a bit of a detour from telling you about MUM to just talk about something I’m passionate about and that’s people. People and our connections.

“Connection is why we’re here, it gives meaning to our lives.”

I couldn’t agree more. That’s a quote from Brene Brown’s The Power of Vulnerability talk. It’s roughly 20 minutes long and more than worth watching:

Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

Brene Brown, also known as a Researcher Storyteller, spent a decade researching connection and has heard countless stories. She found that there are two groups of people: those who have a sense of worthiness and those who don’t. And the only thing separating them is the belief that they are worthy. She took an extensive look at those who believed they were worthy and discovered what is it that they all have in common:

  • Courage – to be imperfect
  • Compassion – to be kind to themselves first and then others
  • Connection – as a result of authenticity. They had a willingness to let go of who they thought they should be, in order to be who they were.
  • And they fully embraced vulnerability. So much so that they believed what made them vulnerable made them beautiful.

As it turns out, vunerability is the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging, and love.

I’ve felt this for years. Each song or poem I write takes a certain amount of vulnerability to be created. My heart must be opened and I have to be willing to share bits and pieces of who I most deeply am. It really is terrifying and it never seems to get any easier but to me, that’s such a beautiful complexity of life. Brene Brown expresses this and speaks from such a hilariously authentic place. I’ve watched this video multiple times and weeks later I am still sharing it with(and forcing) friends to watch it. Watch it and next time you’re afraid, remember how fundamental and necessary that fearful vulnerability is in life. For me, just having the knowledge that I’m strugglingly with it helps me to take a deep breath and do it anyway. There is so much beauty in this world, take on your vulnerability and create it.

much love.



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The Happiest New Year of All

Hope everyones New Year is surprising them with beauty!

We returned from our holiday break just a week ago and already it seems a month has gone by. You know how in high school you loved when break came and often didn’t want it to end? Well I was tired of being away by day 4. I kept thinking to myself, “We really don’t need this long of a break. I miss everyone too much!”

When I came here for visitors weekend in May 2010 I met a lovely lady named Sarah who is now absolutely one of the best friends I’ve ever had. So much so that from the day of fall regristration until the beginning of holiday break, we had not gone a single day without seeing one another. Normally she’s two doors down and we’ve taken all but one class together. Needless to say, when we realized we’d be apart for the first time, we had one of those silly girl freak-out moments that left our other friends at the table in dining hall looking at us like we’d lost our minds. But that’s the kind of deep, loving relationships I’ve formed here. I simply can’t say it enough, this place is all about the people. It’s not perfect here, there are things we’d all like to change, but when you walk around campus and see all these lovely people…that’s what it’s about. It’s not abnormal to see two people standing in the middle of dining hall hugging for an extended period of time. No one questions it, in fact, you often get in line, “me next!”

I feel I may have gotten off topic -

Where was I?

Oh yes, holiday break. Thank you for being over.

much love <3

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Where does the month go?

Hello November 18th!

For some reason, time in Fairfield seems to have a mind of its own. Some days will seem like months and some months will seem like mere days. I’m in Songwriting this block which has brought about both frustration and moments of pure inspiration. All of which blur together in my mind until I realize I’ve only five more days in this class! Even more stunning to me is the talent here. We had our November open mic last week and every month I’m going up to friends afterward requesting they make me a cd. Next month I’ll be performing; happy nerves and excitement fill me at the prospect of that.

I feel as if there is so much to write about but that the words just don’t suffice for the whirlwind and variety of experiences I’ve had here. It’s a completely different chapter in my life and I find that it still surprise me to remember, here I am, in college. Wow.

Pictures to come soon.

Much Love.

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Welcome to My New Blog :D

After some technical difficulties with the school blog it was decided we’d each have our own blog to write to you on, so here I am :)  I’m really excited to have a stable platform to post on again, many post to come very soon.

Quick little update,

Permaculture is officially over. Wow, that month went by so quickly. Last time I was writing about it, I was admittingly a little stressed out but it all seemsly came together and was a truly lovely class. My highlight was our Permaculture Dinner Party we had Wed. night. So much fun! A few of the students went to many farms around town and got tons of local fruits and vegetables then they made our entire meal from food all grown locally. It was a great expression of really applying what we’d been learning about the entire class. We set up the tables formally, complete with herb and flower center pieces then feasted on fresh soup, pizza and salad. It was a perfect way to say goodbye to the month.

This weekend is the Halloween ball! The amazing Jared Brown created an intro video for the evening and it’s phenomenal. Link below. Check it out!

Halloween Ball 2010

Monday I begin Artistry for Songwriting!!!!!! That receives many exclamation points. Very soon I’ll let you know how that’s going.

Happy Halloween.

Much Love.

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