Last winter I spent the time living in Tulum, Mexico. I lived on the beach, in a tent snuggled in the mangroves next to the jungle. I would wake up somewhere between 5 and 5:30 in the morning to sit on the beach and watch the sunrise. Watching the sunrise, having your eyes filled with the first warm light of the day, seeing it spread its incredible live art across the sky made an incredible difference in how the day would unfold and my general sense of well being throughout it. I had come down to Mexico to have the space to develop my yoga teaching practice and to connect with life in general. I met an incredible community of people who also lived on the beach, moved through their lives with intention, which also included amazing experiences, music under the stars, Temazcals (sweat lodges) with medicine people, singing, dancing, healing ceremonies, cacao ceremonies, Mayan calendar time, community kitchens of sharing whole and healthy delicious food, and everyday honoring of the nature around us. A few hundred feet back from where I camped, there was a cenote, this is a small body of slightly salty water that are surface connections to subterranean water bodies, connecting the sea from the mangroves below and resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. The one behind us where we often swam in the peaceful waters of was also home to a crocodile. My friend(a photographer) Blaise Misiek,
his wife, Amie, and their adorable daughter, Aria had come down to Tulum to visit for a week, and true to the magic of Tulum were drawn to extent their stay and since Blaise had his underwater camera equipment we took the opportunity to play and what we left with was magic. I met lots of amazing people in Tulum, and a few who I know will be lifelong friends, Rachel Garrard,
a fantastic artist from New York via London, was one of them, and when we decided to do an underwater photo shoot of the zen nomad collection, we know she would be great. A celestial wanderer with a practice of yoga and meditation that threaded through her artistic talents, as well as being a seasonal local who could understand the magic of the cenotes, it would be a beautiful impromptu adventure.
lead by an untraceable knowing
like a dream we came to be
dream of open hearts
free in madre terra's healing waters
letting ourselves fall into her trusting arms
dancing below the waters with delight and mythical sparks of light in our eye
the time and space to simply be...
joyous, connected, loving, free
freedom is ours for the taking
we only have to let go
see where beauty really exists
find the edge of "reality"
and wander past,
become a seeker of your heart,
a seeker of true freedom,
in the supporting loving arms of our planet
we choose to leave the legacy of freedom, connection, love
to our future generations, our future selves,
for we are one
all elements intertwined
we can only exist if water exists, if air exists, if earth exists,
free, clean, living organisms,
that are our lifeline,
so we dream and move in joyous gratitude, we seek
solace in the arms of mother earth.
photography Blaise Misiek
model/yogi/artist Rachel Garrard
stylist/yogi/designer Sonja den Elzen
clothing Zen Nomad
bamboo jersey delphine dress mint
linen practice top, bamboo jersey ruched yoga shorts
linen delphine top, bamboo warrior yoga pant
bamboo orgin yoga dress, linen delphine dress
In June I was fortunate to enjoy a natural dye workshop for an abundant week at the Arrowmont Arts and Crafts School in the Smokies of Tennessee with an amazing teacher, Sasha Duerr.
We were introduced to a spectrum of delight through living colour, using foraged plants and kitchen compost matter to create beautiful, wonderful colours. Avocado seeds producing beautiful peaches, orange peel the sweetest, softest yellow, red rose petals creating a smoky black you can only dream of. We played with turmeric and madder, dyes of the ages, purple cabbage that could change from purple to turquoise, pomegranate rinds giving us incredible greens, Japanese maple, peanut shells, sweet gum and their awesome spiky balls, lichen......oh I love lichen and now even more so.
Each time a colour would present itself in the pot our eyes would fill with the delight, connection and joy of the abundance our natural world has to offer. With the excitement of foraging around the local forest to experiment with plants, trees, and other natural wonder, the connection to our beautiful earth growing deeper. Added to that the connection to our food and finding further purpose to food waste and understanding more and more, that it is all connected. Plants, nourish, heal and provide beauty of colour. Beautiful living colour, that is far more vibrant, even when subtle due to having different underlying tones, that cannot be achieved with manufactured colour. Living colour can combine with a far broader range of other living colours then manufactured colour in a far more exciting way for our senses.
Seasons become more fascinating, and my curiosity in healing plants given an added dimension, I am really looking forward to exploring colour and seasons with the Thieves collection.
My drive home from the Smokies was filled with an ever growing curiosity and love for weeds, plants, trees and exploring their food, medicinal and dying properties. I feel so grateful to have been introduced to this art and feel much gratitude to Sasha for sharing her knowledge in such a dynamic and delightful way.
Created with flickr slideshow.