It’s Summertime and the living is easy! (Or at least easier … depending on the kind of year you’re having.) Summer is unequivocally my favorite time of year. I have a fondness and respect for each of the Seasons, but Summer is when I truly feel most connected to Life, to Nature and to my Self.
In the spirit of celebrating this beautiful time of the year, I’m back with a Bliss List to share some of my current favorite things in the hopes that they will offer you some inspiration and support as well. May they serve you blissfully!
Things I’ve Been Reading:
Tales of a Female Nomad, by Rita Golden Gelman – Before Liz Gilbert ate, prayed and loved, Rita Golden Gelman left her marriage to head out on her own solo travel adventures. I read this book maybe a decade or so ago, and it felt like a good time to revisit it in the wake of the Covid pandemic. With my inability to travel internationally right now, it’s nice to be able to travel vicariously through the adventures in this book. I also like that it reinforces the fact that women are indelibly more powerful, capable, courageous and spirited than most are given credit for; and that this magick can be reclaimed at any age.
The Moon Book, by Sarah Faith Gottesdiener – This is a fairly newly released title, and I’ve only just received my copy. I am excited to dive into it. As many of you know I have been establishing a connection with the Moon and Her cycles for quite some time now, and I always love exploring how others cultivate their own connections with this magickal celestial luminary.
Prometheus Rising, by Robert Anton Wilson – I ordered this book much earlier this year, and I am only getting around to adding it to my reading rotation. (I have a tendency to have my nose in several books at a time so I can bounce from book to book depending on my mood.) This book is another nonfiction edition and focuses on the mechanics of the mind. More specifically, it presents a model for consciously working with the mind to decondition imprinted programming. I’m very interested in learning more, and really look forward to really sinking more fully into this classic tome.
My new tarot cards (The Tarot of Mystical Moments) – I shared a few glimpses of these cards on IG lately, but even those posts do not fully express how much I am LOVING this new deck. I had an instant connection with them the moment I first saw them. I also found reading them to be so easy from the get go. I’ve had other decks that have taken a little warming-up period to establish that kind of short-hand language, but with this deck, it happened immediately.
Things I’ve Been Watching:
Elementary – This show is a perennial favorite for me. I’ve watched the whole season multiple times and return to it often when I need something to inspire me. I’m a fan of the Sherlock Holmes character in any iteration, and Jonny Lee Miller’s portrayal is so far my favorite. Deductive science is fascinating for me, and I find the way both Holmes and Lucy Liu’s Watson explore and champion authentic unconventional life choices to be very expansive.
She Is The Ocean – I recently stumbled upon this documentary on Amazon Prime. It features a handful of women from varying ages, ethnicities and backgrounds, and the prominent role the ocean plays in each of their lives. It was informative, inspiring and included some really beautiful cinematography moments, as well.
Shine On with Reese – I’m finally getting around to watching this Netflix series curated and hosted by Reese Witherspoon. She features women who are not only excelling in their respective fields, but are expanding the expectations and shattering the limits that have been placed on women professionally and culturally. I like that the episodes are short enough that I don’t need to carve out a huge chunk of my day to take in this dose of inspiration. I also like that they focus on the accomplishments of the women in question, with a desire to motivate others to find their own magick and share it with the world in their own authentic ways.
Things I’ve Been Listening To:
The Saturn Return Podcast w/ Caggie Dunlop – This podcast was a random find from one of Spotify’s suggestions based on my listening history. I haven’t listened to every episode, but I’ve taken in quite a few so far. I’ve really enjoyed most of them. Not everything resonates for me, but that’s often the case, and isn’t a dealbreaker for me. I especially enjoyed her conversations with astrologer Noura Bourni, yogi and author Kirsty Gallagher, mindset coach Africa Brooke and human connection specialist Mark Groves.
The Human Design Podcast – Emma Dunwoody is a Human Design student and practitioner as well as a human behavior specialist. I often find her explanation of different aspects of the Human Design system to be accessible and practical. She also has a genuine love of her audience and a desire to be of service that I really admire.
Sade – Ah, Sade … is there anything as sensual and soothing as listening to this sultry songstress on a balmy Summer evening? I can’t think of anything …
Power Pop Spotify playlist – And when I’m feeling like a playlist with a little more energy, I’ve been turning to this one I found just the other day. It’s a fun retro lineup with a punk-pop vibe that really gets me off my arse and into action.
Things I’ve Been Eating:
Black forest nice dream – This is one of my all-time favorite meals ever, but it’s especially delish as the temperatures climb. It's a simple recipe of frozen bananas blended into an ice cream consistency in a high-speed blender. Add some fresh or frozen dark sweet cherries and organic raw cacao nibs and you've got yourself magick in a bowl!
Guacamole dip – I make guacamole on most days. I don’t really use a recipe, and it’s rarely exactly the same on any given day. However, there is a basic sort of base that includes ripe avocado, aminos, lime juice, water, nutritional yeast, mexican fiesta spice blend, habanero (or other spicy pepper) and tomato. To that I’ll add other fruits and/or vegetables depending on my mood and what I have on hand. I’ll often include something sweet like mango, pineapple or peach and then the savories such as celery, bell peppers, cucumber and such. I never use garlic or onion, as I try to avoid these in my diet. Often I use it as a dressing for my salads, but I’ll also eat it as a dip [with cucumber chips or celery sticks] or even as a spread for wraps, tacos or burritos when the urge strikes. It’s so delicious!
Peaches – Peaches are one of my favorite fruits, and they are just coming into season here in the South. Mmmm …
Other Things Bringing Me Bliss:
Moon Meets – When I returned to Asheville last year, I resurrected the monthly Moon Meets I’d started the last time I lived here. They began as intimate gatherings of friends in our homes, but in the wake of Covid, we’ve transitioned to virtual gatherings. They are such a powerful way to attune to the cycles of the Moon while also connecting with other cosmically-inclined folks. We set intentions, explore the cosmic landscape, support each other and meet in the ancient space of the sacred circle. They’ve been growing and evolving since those early meets, and I am so grateful for the experience of sharing this evolution with those traveling the path with me. I’ve currently opened the invitation to join these meets to the public. (Click HERE if you would like to learn more.)
Experiments In Bliss Lunar Log – This is a downloadable I recently created for my Moon Meets community. It’s a downloadable map, of sorts, to encourage a stronger connection with the cycles and phases of the Moon. There are prompts for deeper personal inquiry and guidance on how to harness the power of the different phases and astrological influences. (Get yours HERE.)
FRUIT! - Summer is the prime growing season for sweet delicious tropical and subtropical fruits, as well as many of the delicious savory fruits, like cucumbers and tomatoes. Fruits make up the bulk of my diet, so this definitely increases my attraction to this time of year. I am finally able to find a wider variety of fresh ripe fruit for my feasting. nomnomnom
Ocean Ramsey’s conservation and education work with sharks – I discovered the work of Ocean Ramsey while watching the documentary, She Is The Ocean (see above). Ocean is a marine biologist, conservationist, model and educator who works most famously with sharks. Being someone who has a debilitating phobia of sharks—I believe I died from a shark attack in a previous life—it has been very helpful and inspiring for me to witness her work with these beautiful creatures and to gain a better understanding of their behavior and psychology. I highly recommend checking out her work. She’s been featured in films and podcasts, has written books and produced documentaries, shared a TED talk, hosts a YouTube channel and more.
The sound of the ice cream truck in my neighborhood – Sunshine Sammies is a local ice cream shop in Asheville. They have an ice cream truck in addition to their brick and mortar location. It’s the cutest little truck decked out in summery colors that weaves its retro musical spell throughout my neighborhood on most days. It’s such a nostalgic experience for me, and brings a smile to my face every time I hear it.
Fireflies and cicadas at twilight - Twilight is such a magickal time of day. It's one of those sacred moments when the veils between the worlds become thinner and more permeable. Add to that a free light show of dancing fireflies and an orchestra of cicadas playing a sultry lullaby, and you have a perfect recipe for why I love Southern Summers so very much.
Being outside! – This really requires little explanation. I am a Child of Nature, and Summer is my vary favorite time of the year. It’s also the time of year with the most hours of daylight, so I can spend more time outside playing and exploring when I’m not working. Yahoo!
Happy Summer, blissmakers!