By being more intentional, we remind ourselves, our guides and the universe of what we want to embody.Choose one of these phrases that most resonates, or make up your own! Every time you take the elixir, close your eyes and set your intention:
I am free to play more!
Playing lightens my heart.
Play makes me more creative.
Play connects me with others.
To take it one step further, as you take your elixir + set your intention, visualize everyone else in this program, all around the world, reconnecting with their childlike playfulness, wonder + joy. By connecting with others in our group, we exponentially multiply the benefit + ripple effect!
What is my relationship to play?
What is ‘play’ to me and how can I do more of that everyday?
In what ways can I allow myself to indulge more in the things that bring me joy + curiosity?
When do I find myself complaining or disgruntled?
Prefer to have a printed sheet with questions, practices + a calendar to track your month?
Download the Moss Support Guide here.
Take a trip! Explore a new place.
Go for a walk in the woods. Pick up interesting leaves, pieces of wood, stones + examine them. (Or make a mandala!)
Explore an expressive dance practice or Social Presencing Theater.
Watch a comedy with friends and laugh your butt off.
Play a board game with friends.
Icelandic Moss ~ Discovery Story
I wanted to share the collection story of the Icelandic Moss because it’s such a unique story and such a different way of coming upon an elixir than anything else that we’ve ever made.
We were traveling through Iceland, and we were driving in this large, 4X4 vehicle, which is required when you go down the center of the country because it’s just – it can be really crazy – sometimes you have to ford the rivers! And on this particular day, we were driving in the middle of the country, and it’s very barren, it’s unbelievably barren. In most places you go in Iceland, even when you go in very remote places, you still always see sheep. And that’s one of the things that I love so much about Iceland – you get this taste of what Mother Earth feels like in her absolutely pristine state, without any human influence. We happened to be driving in an area that literally didn’t even have any animals. It was just rock, almost like driving on some other planet.
We stopped in this place ~ it’s literally in the middle of nowhere ~ that’s very geothermaly active, like most of Iceland. There were massive steam vents and boiling mud pots, and hot springs you could dip in, and this restaurant in the middle of nowhere, where you can get Icelandic skyr, which is a form of yogurt, and warm up before jumping back on the road. So we had just visited this incredible place and we were back on the road, driving down these gravel roads, bumping along avoiding potholes and massive puddles. It’s a really stunning landscape because you’re looking at the horizon, you can see these huge mountains and these massive ice glaciers, moving along the mountains. Stunningly beautiful; for something that is such a stark landscape, it’s so beautiful.
And it’s this area of the country that’s known, historically, as the place outlaws would go – anyone who was being chased or running from the law would come out to this place because it is literally very difficult to inhabit. People would live in the mountains, essentially. It’s also known as an area where there are lots of trolls; what that means, I’m not exactly sure! But the specific place that we found Icelandic Moss is known to be, is named after, a female troll. Which in some ways is kind of cool and magical!
So we were bumping along on this road and just enjoying the incredible beauty of it – seeing rainbows, the beautiful sky against the stark landscape, and we came upon this patch of fluorescent green moss! When you’ve been driving for hours and hours and hours on a gravel road and you’ve seen no kind of vegetation, it’s a total shock to see this patch of fluorescent green moss! And the glacier water was passing through in this little stream, passing through the moss. The water in Iceland is so pure, you can literally drink out of any waterfall or glacier melt spring that you see. This particular species of moss was so incredible, because it would hold the water in it’s little pockets, (and if you watch the video you can get a sense of what that looks like), but if you can imagine this super pure water being held in an embrace of the moss in these little pockets, and then the light of the sun essentially doing the work all day of making an essence of the moss in this water!
It was so effortless because as we came upon it, all we needed to do was collect this water! It was already infused and the whole process was already complete for us ~ all we needed to do was add the alcohol. Really magical, really effortless. We made incense and smoke offerings to the land and sat in meditation for a while, and then we actually drank the water. It was just the most euphoric experience, we really got a sense of the essence of moss, because it was just wonder and curiosity and discovery. The kind of euphoria that you feel when you’re a child and you’re finding something new. Seeing the moss was just like seeing a whole other world, there’s a whole universe in this fluorescent green vegetation, it just looks like a whole other little world.
If you haven’t seen the video, I highly recommend it because you just get a visual sense of what it looks like and what if felt like. The miraculousness of the moss being there out in the middle of nowhere after hours of nothing.
As you’re taking the moss elixir, pay attention to the things that pop up in your life that give you wonder, that give you a sense of discovery. That make you stop and look a little deeper and enjoy what’s around you.
The question of this week, just in general, is: What are those things that are, in this very moment, causing you a certain type of wonder or discovery or joy? What’s piquing your interest and your curiosity, right now?
Icelandic Moss ~ Joy of Impermanence
Since the quality of Icelandic Moss is joy, I wanted to talk a little bit about happiness, because I think oftentimes when we seek out happiness, it tends to circle around comfort or sensory pleasures. Although it’s good to be self-nourishing and care for yourself, I think sometimes when we focus too heavily on just only those things that bring us comfort and sensory pleasures, we may lose touch with what deeply, deeply essentially brings us true happiness, in exchange for more temporal or temporary happinesses.
I have been playing around with discovering is what really deeply, deeply, truly long-term wise brings me happiness versus a more temporal happiness, like, apple pie or chocolate. All things that are wonderful that we can have in our lives as well.
But really looking at the impermanence in our lives. Looking at impermanence in my own life. And really trying to encourage myself to have a more moment to moment awareness, or reminding myself constantly, of the impermanence of life. Meaning that, everything is changing. Nothing is staying the same. Life is quite fragile. We never know how long we’ll be here. We don’t know how long our friends and family will be here.
We have this illusion that we will live forever, and that all of our loved ones will live forever, and that things will go on as they are forever. In fact, they’re always, constantly changing every day. In a sense, it’s kind of similar actually in Tibetan Buddhism, there’s a practice where you reflect on death. That death is a real possibility, that death will occur and what does that mean. And the practice essentially helps us come to terms with the fact that it’s actually a real possibility because it’s inevitable for every single one of us. But it also helps us live more.
I think part of what being childlike, and discovering and having wonder and joy, and enjoying life, we can do that on such a deeper level when we know that it’s rare, and precious, and that things are constantly changing, and that windows of opportunity open and close. Certain doors in our lives open and close. Things are not staying the same. Just like discovering Icelandic Moss out in the middle of nowhere – it just, you know, we could be driving for hours and there’s nothing and then suddenly it appears and it’s gone.
That’s what a lot of the experiences in life are like.
Oftentimes, if we are distracted or thinking too much, or got our heads buried in our phones, or what have you, we may miss some of these really precious experiences or connections with others, or moments of laughter. Or moments of true joy and happiness and connection because we weren’t paying attention. And because we didn’t have an awareness of the fact that things are constantly changing. So it behooves us to be awake and aware, and paying attention, and tuned in.
What I’ve been toying with practicing lately is really just sort of constantly reminding myself during the day, that things don’t last forever. That I won’t be here forever. That my loved ones won’t be here forever. That friends come and go in life. Experiences come and go. I try to keep reminding myself of that and in that practice, I think it helps me become aware of what’s really important.
If you know that you are going to die, and you’re closest loved ones are going to die, and that your pets will pass, and that, you know, situations that you’re in right now, that are really wonderful, will change. It not only forces us to really, really appreciate the good moments of today that bring us happiness, but it also really cuts the crap out, right? It just like, distills down what are the most important and meaningful things for us.
If we are really realistic about our time being limited here and not in like a rushy, impatient, urgent way, but just simply aware of impermanence, what things would we cut out of our lives? What would we make more room for? What would we open up space for? How would we operate in daily life?
Would we invite in more spaciousness, that would naturally allow more childlike discovery and joy to arise, just naturally, without having to create anything or obtain anything to comfort ourselves, to seek happiness? Versus going out and looking for happiness? Creating enough space in our daily lives so that it arises naturally within us.
As you’re taking Icelandic Moss, and the question for this week, is something you can play around with, is this real deep awareness of the fact that things are constantly changing, that we won’t be here forever. That our loved ones won’t be here forever. If we take that seriously, the question for you is:
What are the things that you would do less of to make space for the more important things that bring you true joy?
Icelandic Moss ~ Curiosity as a Powerful Tool for Unraveling Knots
This week I’d love to talk about the role of curiosity as one of the most powerful softening agents, or unraveling agents, of emotional triggers or knots that we have lodged inside of us. So I’ll share a little personal experience that happened in the last few weeks and an epiphany that I had. An epiphany that led to a new practice that I’m engaging in that I wanna share with you.
So a couple weeks ago, one of my really dear friends who has this beautiful and amazing capacity to ferret out some really, extremely deep wound that I didn’t even know was there and sprinkle salt in it. It is amazing. If you have anyone in your life like this, you have to cherish them and hold them very dear and very close, ’cause they can show you things about yourself that you thought you didn’t know were there or that you thought were resolved or things from a long time ago from when you were a very tiny child or before that, that are some sort of deep triggers lodged inside you. So those are the people to hold close and really cherish.
A situation arose with this person that led me to write this letter, which is something that I so rarely do. If you know me, so much rolls off my back. Everything just … I’m so easy going. But this person has this amazing knack, so I wrote this letter, and the intention behind this letter was to be absolutely vulnerable, to strip down naked, to take a huge risk and put it all out there on the table and be like, “Here it is. Here’s the situation.” The intention was also not only to be vulnerable but to become closer to this person. Closer through vulnerability and being naked about what was happening on the inside and taking this big risk.
Well, I did wait a day after the letter was written and then sent it. And the end result of this letter being sent was that this person pretty much cut off all contact with me. So I waited a week. A week later, I read the letter, and it came off as completely different to me. It was like all the emotional energy had fizzled out, and I could actually read it as if I were the one receiving it. And I could imagine how it could come off as critical or blaming, actually. Which was pretty surprising to me, because in the moment, in the heat of the moment, it felt to me like I was being very vulnerable, putting all the cards out on the table, and doing something in an effort to communicate and become closer.
So from that experience, it’s like – lesson learned. You can express your heart out to yourself – don’t send it. Exercise serious patience, softness, non-attachment. Look at the letter a week later and adjust it and decide if it’s even worth sending.
But the more important epiphany that I had around this experience was that the role of curiosity can come into play here in a very powerful way to loosen up hardness, wounds, assumptions, ideas, interpretations. And where curiosity comes in is to challenge our assumptions and ask questions of ourselves and of any other person that’s involved in a triggering situation. Is it this way? Was it this way? Am I interpreting this correctly? Was this the intention behind this word, action, whatever?
Sometimes it’s not even as important that you get answers to the questions, or even that you pose the questions to other people. You might even keep them yourself, but it’s almost like if a door slams shut, it’s like sticking your foot in the door, putting a wedge in it, keeping it a little open enough to the fact that you could open it all the way up later. That’s to ask these questions. If something really gets you in a wounded place or triggers an emotional response in you, just start asking yourself questions. Try to wedge your foot in the door with curiosity. Is it really this? Did this person really mean that? Was that really their intention? Is what you believe really true? How do you know it’s true? Is what you’re feeling really true? Is what you’re feeling relevant? Does it have to do with something today? Is it something from before?
Ask yourself as many questions as you can, because in the asking of questions, you realize the fabric of possibility of jumping to conclusions and creating some story in your own head, and believing that story to be real. Because unless we introduce that curiosity, we can go full steam ahead believing that this story is real, not even realizing that we have a story in our heads.
So this is the practice of curiosity. Next time you feel even slightly triggered of something and thrown off center, thrown off your balance, in your mind, start asking questions. Of yourself, of the person that you’re in a tough dialogue with or a tough situation with. Test all of your assumptions, and every thought that you have, question it. The trick is, you don’t really need a an answer. You’re actually trying to get away from duality. You’re trying to get away from black and white. It’s really just like sticking your foot in the door and wedging it slightly open. And the energy of curiosity has a little lightness, lightheartedness, and fun to it, raising questions. You’re just asking questions. You don’t need to know the answer. Just test all your assumptions.
In the asking of questions, in the testing, you’ll see where you do have assumptions and where you are creating story or belief and interpretation of other people’s actions or words. We’re constantly interpreting, and so introducing curiosity shows us where we’re interpreting, and it lightens them up. It introduces other possibilities.
So the question for this week would be, or the practice of this week would be, to look at an area in your life that is challenging. Or a relationship that you have with someone that is slightly challenging, or that opens up some old wounding or throws you off balance in some way. It could be however subtle. It could be the big mama problem, whatever it is. Look at the challenging area, and question your assumptions. Introduce curiosity. Ask yourself questions. And if it’s a relationship with another person that’s challenging, work yourself into a habit of asking them questions. And then being really open and listening to the answers.
Curiosity is a very powerful tool.