Cinnamon Almond Pulp Crackers

I actually found this recipe from a fantastic collection of green ideas called Ethical Blog.  This is a great recipe for the leftover almond pulp from making some of the other milk recipes on this blog with my handmade nutmilk kit.

almond pulp crackersIngredients

  • 1 cup loosely-packed almond pulp
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana
  • 6 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1/4 cup ground flax meal
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mash all ingredients together with a fork until combined. Form into a ball, then split ball in half and place one half on each parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. With your hands, spread the dough as evenly and as thinly as possible, about 1/8-inch thick. Use a butter knife to cut into 1×1-inch crackers.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes. Flip crackers over and bake for another 15 minutes. Flip again and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until deep golden brown.  They will still be slightly soft when removed from the oven.  Total bake time: 55-65 minutes.
  5. Crackers will get crunchy as they cool. Store in sealed container for 1-3 days.
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How to store produce (without using plastic!)

 

The following is borrowed from the Ecology Center here in Berkeley, who puts together the lusciously abundant Berkeley Farmers Markets three times a week. They’ve made a commitment to being plastic free (Heck ya!) and share the tips below in their brochure on how to take care of produce without plastic. For more at home tips for not using plastic, I highly recommend visiting Beth Terry’s My Plastic Free Life as an amazing resource for living a life free of toxins, pollutants, and high energy wasting plastics.

 

~HOW TO STORE VEGETABLES WITHOUT PLASTIC~

Artichokes‐ place in an airtight container sealed, with light moisture.

Asparagus‐ place them loosely in a glass or bowl upright with water at room temperature. (Will keep for a week outside the fridge)

Avocados‐ place in a paper bag at room temp. To speed up their ripening‐ place an apple in the bag with them.

Arugula‐ arugula, like lettuce, should not stay wet! Dunk in cold water and spin or lay flat to dry. Place dry arugula in an open container, wrapped with a dry towel to absorb any extra moisture.

Basil‐ is difficult to store well. Basil does not like the cold, or to be wet for that matter. The best method here is an airtight container/jar (and aren’t these lovely ;) loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside‐left out on a cool counter.

Beans, shelling‐ open container in the fridge, eat ASAP. Some recommend freezing them if not going to eat right away

Beets‐ cut the tops off to keep beets firm, (be sure to keep the greens!)by leaving any top on root vegetables draws moisture from the root, making them loose flavor and firmness. Beets should be washed and kept in and open container with a wet towel on top.

Beet greens‐ place in an airtight container with a little moisture.

Broccoli‐ place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge.

Broccoli Rabe‐ left in an open container in the crisper, but best used as soon as possible.

Brussels Sprouts‐ If bought on the stalk leave them on that stalk. Put the stalk in the fridge or leave it on a cold place. If they’re bought loose store them in an open container with a damp towel on top.

Cabbage‐ left out on a cool counter is fine up to a week, in the crisper otherwise. Peel off outer leaves if they start to wilt. Cabbage might begin to loose its moisture after a week , so, best used as soon as possible.

Carrots‐ cut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Place them in closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if they’re stored that long. Or do as Beth of My Plastic Free Life does, and store them upright in water in the fridge, changing the water frequently (see her photo).

Cauliflower‐ will last a while in a closed container in the fridge, but they say cauliflower has the best flavor the day it’s bought.

Celery‐ does best when simply places in a cup or bowl of shallow water on the counter. And hey- did you know that you can re-grow celery from the cut off bottom? I do it all the time- check it out here.

Celery root/Celeriac‐ wrap the root in a damp towel and place in the crisper.

Corn‐ leave unhusked in an open container if you must, but corn really is best eaten sooner then later for maximum flavor.

Cucumber‐ wrapped in a moist towel in the fridge. If you’re planning on eating them within a day or two after buying them they should be fine left out in a cool room.

Eggplant‐ does fine left out in a cool room. Don’t wash it, eggplant doesn’t like any extra moisture around its leaves. For longer storage‐ place loose, in the crisper.

Fava beans‐ place in an air tight container (oh, maybe these?)

Fennel‐ if used within a couple days after it’s bought fennel can be left out on the counter, upright in a cup or bowl of water (like celery). If wanting to keep longer than a few days place in the fridge in a closed container with a little water.

Garlic‐ store in a cool, dark, place.

Green garlic‐ an airtight container in the fridge or left out for a day or two is fine, best before dried out. Try them in one of these gorgeous jars ;)

Greens‐ remove any bands, twist ties, etc. most greens must be kept in an air‐tight container with a damp cloth‐ to keep them from drying out. Kale, collards, and chard even do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge.

Green beans‐ they like humidity, but not wetness. A damp cloth draped over an open or loosely closed container.

Green Tomatoes‐ store in a cool room away from the sun to keep them green and use quickly or they will begin to color.

Herbs- a closed container in the fridge to kept up to a week. Any longer might encourage mold.

Lettuce‐ keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge.

Leeks‐ leave in an open container in the crisper wrapped in a damp cloth or in a shallow cup of water on the counter (just so the very bottom of the stem has water). It keeps growing, even when you cut it from it’s root bottom!  I’ve been re-growing mine (see like the green onion method here).

Okra‐ doesn’t like humidity. So a dry towel in an airtight container. Doesn’t store that well, best eaten quickly after purchase

Onion‐ store in a cool, dark and dry, place‐ good air circulation is best, so don’t stack them. If you still have the tops attached, they are oftentimes hung in root cellars to ensure that they get plenty of air (see photo).

Parsnips‐ an open container in the crisper, or, like a carrot, wrapped in a damp cloth in the fridge.

Potatoes‐ (like garlic and onions) store in cool, dark and dry place, such as, a box in a dark corner of the pantry; a paper bag also works well.

Radicchio‐ place in the fridge in an open container with a damp cloth on top.

Radishes‐ remove the greens (store separately) so they don’t draw out excess moisture from the roots and place them in a open container in the fridge with a wet towel placed on top.

Rhubarb‐ wrap in a damp towel and place in an open container in the refrigerator.

Rutabagas‐ in an ideal situation a cool, dark, humid root cellar or a closed container in the crisper to keep their moisture in.

Snap peas‐ refrigerate in an open container

Spinach‐ store loose in an open container in the crisper, cool as soon as possible. Spinach loves to stay cold.

Spring onions‐ Remove any band or tie and place in the crisper.

Summer Squash‐ does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut.

Sweet peppers‐ Only wash them right before you plan on eating them as wetness decreases storage time. Store in a cool room to use in a couple a days, place in the crisper if longer storage needed.

Sweet Potatoes‐ Store in a cool, dark, well‐ventilated place. Never refrigerate‐‐sweet potatoes don’t like the cold.

Tomatoes‐ Never refrigerate. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness place in a paper bag with an apple.

Turnips‐ remove the greens (store separately) same as radishes and beets, store them in an open container with a moist cloth.

Winter squash‐ store in a cool, dark, well ventilated place. Many growers say winter squashes get sweeter if they’re stored for a week or so before eaten.

Zucchini‐ does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.

 

~HOW TO STORE FRUIT WITHOUT PLASTIC~

Apples‐ store on a cool counter or shelf for up to two weeks. For longer storage in a cardboard box in the fridge.

Citrus‐ store in a cool place, with good airflow, never in an air‐tight container.

Apricots‐ on a cool counter to room temperature or fridge if fully ripe

Cherries‐ store in an airtight container (try them in one of these pretty little things ;). Don’t wash cherries until ready to eat, any added moisture encourages mold.

Berries- Don’t forget, they’re fragile. When storing be careful not to stack too many high, a single layer if possible. A paper bag works well, only wash before you plan on eating them.

Dates‐ dryer dates (like Deglet Noor) are fine stored out on the counter in a bowl or the paper bag they were bought in. Moist dates (like Medjool) need a bit of refrigeration if they’re going to be stored over a week, either in cloth or a paper bag‐ as long as it’s porous to keeping the moisture away from the skin of the dates.

Figs‐ Don’t like humidity, so, no closed containers. A paper bag works to absorb excess moisture, but a plate works best in the fridge up to a week un‐stacked.

Melons‐ uncut in a cool dry place, out of the sun up to a couple weeks. Cut melons should be in the fridge, an open container is fine.

Nectarines‐ (similar to apricots) store in the fridge is okay if ripe, but best taken out a day or two before you plan on eating them so they soften to room temperature.

Peaches (and most stone fruit)‐ refrigerate only when fully ripe. More firm fruit will ripen on the counter.

Pears‐ will keep for a few weeks on a cool counter, but fine in a paper bag. To hasten the ripening put an apple in with them.

Persimmon Fuyu (shorter/pumpkin shaped)- store at room temperature.–Hachiya (longer/pointed end)- room temperature until completely mushy. The astringentness of them only subsides when they are completely ripe. To hasten the ripening process place in a paper bag with a few apples for a week, check now and then, but don’t stack‐they get very fragile when really ripe.

Pomegranates‐ keep up to a month stored on a cool counter.

Strawberries‐ Don’t like to be wet. Do best in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week. Check the bag for moisture every other day.

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Spiced Chocolate Hazelnut Milk (plus chocolate truffle recipe)

A recipe using my nutmilk kit (see it here)

  • 2 cup hazelnuts
  • 2-3 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of cacao nibs (raw) or 2 Tablespoons of cacao (raw) or cocoa (not raw) powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of agave
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cayenne

 

DSC_1371Directions:

  1. Soak hazelnuts in 4 cups of water for 8-12 hours (if you want it to be raw). The nuts will float, and that’s okay. Then drain and rinse before adding to the blender.  If you’d rather have more flavor and don’t care for the milk to be raw, then roast the hazelnuts lightly: preheat oven to 325ºF, spread hazelnuts on a pan in the middle rack of your oven and toast until fragrant and slightly darkened in color (12-15 minutes).
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree for about a minute on an average blender. Pour out contents through the nutmilk bag over a pitcher or bowl and squeeze.
  3. Good hot or cold. Keep refrigerated in an air tight bottle or jar for up to 3 days.
  4. I know that the milk is what you came for, but the pulp is equally valuable! Leftover pulp can be dehydrated on low heat in the oven and kept as hazelnut meal or used wet immediately in these spicy chocolate truffles:

 

Spicy Chocolate Truffles:

  • 1 cup (roughly) wet hazelnut pulp
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 8-10 medjool dates (pits removed) and soaked in lukewarm water for 15 minutes
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds

In a food processor, blend together the hazelnut pulp and cacao (or cocoa) powder.  Once well mixed, add the soaked dates, maple syrup, salt, and pepper until the consistency is such that you can pick up little tablespoon size pieces and roll them into balls. Let cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours before eating.

If you really want to go crazy (or if you’re me), melt some chocolate chips in a double broiler and then dip these babies in there to have a hard chocolate shell. Let stand in the fridge again for at least 30 minutes, then serve.

hazelnut truffle

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Versatility in an Uneasy World

Adrift by flossy-pIt’s been a while since I’ve last written. I’ve honestly been down a few rabbit holes answering just about any adventure that calls my name. To be honest, I was in a funk. Working from home is a sobering experience of freedom. I saw working for myself as being 50% self empowerment, 40% creative exploration, and 10% freedom.  But I quickly found that newfound freedom has it’s challenges, and it quickly shadowed everything else. I was surprised to find that being accountable to others was necessary for me to not feel like I was adrift in space.  In fact, I’ve found that structure is what keeps me from feeling overwhelmed with choice. This degree of freedom is not something that I am used to or comfortable with yet. A blank canvas can be intimidating, and so my solution was to set out some points on that canvas (so to speak) and play connect the dots and work from there.

This looked like me saying yes to a lot of different things and making commitments to a variety of part time work opportunities. I said yes to volunteering for Swap-o-rama-rama and got to participate in a fantastic event filled with DIY upcycling and full spectrum fashion. I said yes to doing graphic design and marketing work for Outer Aisle and their incredible community-centered farm to table restaurant. I said yes to assisting for Association Building Community and their burgeoning project to bring Peace Practices to local schools. Then I started to feel uneasy. What am I doing with my life? My mom echoed my inner questions and warned me about the need for stability, steady income and building into my future, about retirement.

When I started to get concerned about my Career (capital C), my life Purpose (capital P), and how everything I am doing in my life needs to count towards the big crescendo I get tightened up and worried. I have to remind myself of the unique world that we are living in, unlike any other that’s existed before.  A friend of mine said something that hit the nail straight on the head. Up until a generation ago, it was necessary and expected of every person to dedicate their lives to a field or industry. One would have the focused drive to excel at their singular career: plan for it through training and education for years of their lives, climb the ladder and showcase unique talents within the field to get ahead, and fight management for a decent wage that matched their earned value as a worker, then perhaps even training their offspring to take it over. But the world is changing and the cards are not stacked in your favor. Higher Education is becoming less accessible, and less valuable. The glass ceiling continues to stand and women still make 77 cents to every dollar men make (see here), and people of color earn 65 cents to the dollar White people earn (see here). The middle class is disappearing and inequality is higher than it’s ever been (see here). So people are raising themselves up in new and innovative ways by opting out of the system wherever possible. Fed up with corporations controlling governments, communities around the world are empowering themselves to make things for themselves, to grow things for themselves, to create an inner trade economy that refuses to participate in the corporatization of governance.

The general atmosphere is changing as industries pop up and then collapse in bursts. Breakthrough technology overnight becomes archaic and outdated. Ways of thinking transform rapidly as millions of people brainstorm solutions together through online forums and conferences. Not only this, but money has a different value.  Crowdsourcing moves ideas forward and popularity can fund a project easier than a bank loan. New forms of currency pull money out from singular control all-together.

I’m sharing all of this to show you what I’m coming to realize about the need for versatility. Being nimble in times of great change is vital. With this lifestyle of multiple part time gigs and self employment, I have the freedom to choose each and every aspect of my life in the moment, and not feel cornered into circumstances due to having a single source of income. Working for myself means that I get to create 100% from my integrity and not compromise on my beliefs.

And to be honest, it’s been really fucking hard. I think that the majority of us have been raised with the belief that we each are unique snowflakes that need to prove ourselves at every turn, that need to excel to the top of our ladders.  What’s hard to accept, but I’m waking up to seeing is:  yes, we are all snowflakes, but we each need to take personal accountability to how we are perpetuating the systems that are hurting the world through our unconscious ladder crawling to being queen snowflake.  We need to stay nimble and awake in times of great change. The more that we can have freedoms to choose our destiny (again and again) through these changes, the more we can affect the new world that we are living into and choose powerfully with every step we make and not get caught in the climb to a never satiated goal of “success”.

 

Handmade Tailors and Seamstresses with their take on versatility: 

View the whole Treasury here

Check out my other Treasuries here

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Sweet Vanilla Date Almond Milk

A recipe using my all in one nutmilk & sprouting kit (see it here)

  • 1 cup raw almonds (soaked overnight and then drained)
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, finely chopped
  • 6 dates, pitted and soaked overnight with about 1 1/2 cup of water

ImagePut the cup of soaked almonds (sans their soaking water), 4 cups of fresh filtered water, the vanilla bean bits, the softened up dates and their soaking water in a blender, and blend until frothy (about 4 minutes).  If necessary, you can work in batches to not overload your blender.  Once well blended, position your nut milk bag over a bowl and pour mixture into the bag, allowing the liquid to seep into the bowl. Make sure that the pitcher is empty, then close the bag via the drawstring and squeeze as much as you can of that full bag to push all of that milk out into the bowl.  Once the bag is satisfactorily dry like a moist sponge, pour the milk into a jar for up to 3 days well sealed.  The pulp leftover is almond meal, and a grand thing to keep in your freezer until you do your next baking project.  Perfect to be added into a cake or cookie mix, and even great to add into a pie crust mix.

 

If you try this recipe out, give me a comment here- I want to hear about it!

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Balsamic Strawberry Jam with Cracked Pepper

ImageThis jam haunts me the 2 months before strawberry season comes in. Every year I wish that I had made just 2 more jars of the stuff.

  • 2 cups strawberries (about 1 pint), trimmed and quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (or a little less if you like your jam tart)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (my favorite part, so I go maybe 3 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper (or more if you like it spicy! Freshly cracked makes a huge difference too.)

In a small heavy saucepan bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring, and skim surface. Simmer mixture, stirring and skimming foam occasionally, 15 minutes, or until thickened and translucent. Remove pan from heat and cool preserves completely. This stuff is super super hot, so do not be tempted to just dunk your face in.  Preserves keep, cover
ed and chilled for 1 month, but I recommend that you use those jars how they are meant to be used, and can those suckers for a year worth of the best jam on earth!

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To India with Christmas

Reuniting with my Indian host family 10 years later, and bringing my mom with me.

Ten years ago my parents gave me an incredible gift of participating in an exchange program to live with a family in India, and host another girl my same age from that family in our San Diegan home. Cheyenne and Sneha at Bhushi dam falls Her name was Sneha, and we were both 19.  She came and stayed with us for a month and a half in our home in San Diego from a major city in Maharastra, India famous for education. I then flew back with her and lived for a month and a half with her and her family there in Pune.  I have never known a more generous family.  Sneha, her sister Shweta, and their little brother Yash (who I think was about 9 at the time) treated me like a long lost sister, and their parents, who I called Ai & Baba (Marathi for mamma & papa) treated me like their daughter.  Baba took me on a week long train trip up through the country, visiting incredible sites, including Red Fort and the Taj Mahal, which he had not even yet seen.  They taught me not only how to eat roti and dal correctly, and how to get 6 people into a 3 seater rickshaw, but they taught me about patience, open heartedness, and trust.  Living in another country, even if it is only just a month, was a vital experience to getting out of my head and not taking myself too seriously.

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For Chistmas this year I went back to India to attend the youngest daughter, Shweta’s wedding and celebrate with the family.  But this time I made sure to bring my mom with me.  Yash is now a young man, and Sneha is married with a little 10 month old. Shweta’s wedding was to be on December 26th and so my mom and I flew together knowing that this would be the most unforgettable Christmas of our lives.  Leading up to this grandest of any event I’ve ever seen was a series of wedding events, each greater and grander than the next.  I laughed as every day the family would tell me that there was nothing special planned, only to find that 30+ community or family members came over nearly every night with good food, music, and chatter.  By the 24th when the “official” events began, my mom and I were already exhausted, and my mom had gone through a series of blows to her health, but were wide eyed and eager for the literal fireworks that the wedding was sure to end with.

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This was by far the most brilliant Christmas I had ever had, and I am so grateful to have gotten to experience it with my mom. It was a blessing to have someone to share the impossibility of some of the sites, to have someone to talk to when the rest of the room was a flurry of Marathi, and a familiar hand to squeeze when we feared for our lives in the backseat of a rickshaw in rush hour. I am forever grateful for this family who, with total trust, took me into their home and family as one of their own and ensured that I was loved, celebrated, protected, included, and respected. I could not have asked for a more generous family to stay with, and I am forever grateful for this incredible experience of being behind the scenes with the Sawases and my mom, and the gift of being able to see the changes in the family, city, and country after ten years.

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Introducing: my fired clay air plant necklaces!

Hi everybody!

Just letting you know that I have a whole new item up in the shop!

Check them out here

20131212-203838.jpg

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Products by Deconstruction Crafts (and a special discount just for you)

Hand etched designs and mason jar homesteading kits by Deconstruction Crafts Over the past year I’ve been creating my own line of products made sustainably and locally for replacing the disposable items in our lives.  Grab a hand etched mason jar, and a variety of mason jar lids, from adult sippy tops to chalkboard tops to sprouting screens.  My sprouting and nutmilk kit is especially popular, as are my etched mason mugs.  Take a look and support artisan small businesses!

Use the coupon code blogfriend2014 at checkout from my online store and get $2 off of your purchase of $10 or more through to March 2015.

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A need for speed

speedy lifestyleOver the past year I’ve been noticing the cultural addiction to speed around me, and my own personal relationship to speed and stress.

For as far back as I can remember, I have admired and longed to be the person that is so busy, so overbooked, that every minute is more valuable than gold.  Feeling productive was maintained through being able to complete more than one project at a time and juggling my attention in multiple directions. Feeling productive was about being efficient, able to calculate each minute of the day to forward commitments, no matter how tight and/or multiple these overlaps became. Breakfast needs to be mobile, cars need to have blue tooth, bathroom breaks are considered networking opportunities, and even over-the-phone meetings.  Trips to the water-cooler became simultaneous political strategies, and leaving work on time was only acceptable if there was something else awaiting your attention elsewhere.  Collapsing into bed was my sign that I was pushing myself to live a bigger fuller life, that I was contributing something that was necessary and needed me and only me to do it. Running about multitasking was my que that I was on the right track, and my time, and therefor I was valuable.

But I’m starting to see this line of thinking as being a lot like modern factory logic. The concern for product, for faster, cheaper, more efficient methods of producing lends itself to the conveyor belt system, and it doesn’t belong in my mind as a way for me to treat myself or my body. Being “productive” (as we know it today) is a Capitalist invention, and is sustained through us each seeking self worth. If time is money, and I work more efficiently, and I am completely necessary for the success of xyz… then I am valuable.  What if we could shake ourselves out of this perspective and know that we are inherently valueable, not because of how many meetings we can crank out, or how many products we can manufacture…

Lucy Conveyor BeltCombine the factory-esque understanding of value, and our own internal anxieties around self worth, and then bring in the American Way “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” attraction, and we have a nation filled with overworked, under valued, lone wolfs with crippling self esteem that don’t ask for help.  I count myself in those numbers. When I feel unproductive, I feel depressed. My output is directly connected somehow to my happiness.  When friends of mine leave their jobs and move to Hawaii, or travel the world, I wonder if they can be fulfilled, or if they are using their skills to contribute to the world. When I lost my job, I slid into a depression. Going from non-stop management to suddenly sitting at peace in my backyard was shocking, and I suddenly started to doubt my worth. As I’ve been realizing that the need for speed is a social construction, I’ve been actively breaking down as much as I can of my assumptions of time, value, and productivity.  I’ve been taking care of myself, and doing what I love.  Staying present with my projects has been a challenge to re-train myself in.  I sit at the pottery wheel, trying to stay focused just on that clay, speeding through my fingers, but I inevitably start to think about my to-do list and the clay collapses without my full attention and care.  I see the importance of relishing each moment, not forcing tasks into submission to fit like sardines into a schedule. I wonder, that if we work to reverse our need for speed, and cherish each moment, that we can stop searching for the end of the race, and be fulfilled now (not when the work is done– which it never is).

After now almost a year it is still hard to allow myself to feel worthy while staying present. I have been actively working to re-imagine what being “productive” feels like, and how I truly value my work, and my gifts to the world.

Over the past month I’ve been looking for a job in the Bay Area that serves my need to work outside my home, and help me dive back into my activist roots.  For the last three weeks I’ve been working with a powerful, passionate, and intelligent woman and her non-profit, serving local communities of color through environmental sustainability and health reform advocacy work. Every time I hear more about what they are doing and what they are committed to, I get goose bumps.

But as suspected, I am coming face to face with my old friend, speed.  We have all contributed to the expectation for speed at any cost.  We have enabled Capitalist structures to imbed themselves into our psyche so far that we are hurting ourselves to move faster. We treat ourselves and others like machines, and even work through the pain when we break down.  Yes, we are needed, and vital to whichever projects we are working on… but not stopping, and not asking for help is unworkable, and only threatens the very work we so dedicate ourselves to. If we fall out (get sick, step away…) and the work we do falls and dies, then we did not set ourselves up for success.  We set ourselves up for dependency.

Photography by Kim Olsen

Photography by Kim Olsen

This is the story of what I’ve been seeing with this organization that I am working for right now.  The leader is so passionate, and yet has created a one-woman show where everything that progresses in the work of the organization necessitates her involvement. She has not trained and empowered leadership outside of herself, or handed off tasks to others, but rather has worked herself into becoming the heart and soul of the organization, with it unable to move an inch if she were to leave. It’s a dependency that I know all too well, and know that it doesn’t end well.

We all need each other’s help, and we all need to remember that sometimes our egos can run the show and demand more from us than necessary, just because we need to feel worthy and valuable within a culture founded in corporate greed and high rates of production.

We are valuable, the work we do is valuable, and we just need to slow down to see it.

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