So instead of writing a new book, I've added well over 100 pages to the original "Stirring the Senses". This is the new forward that I've written but true to my nature I've kept the old one in there as well. I enjoy seeing where I've been in the process of envisioning where I'm going and if you like what you read it will be available on Amazon by the beginning of next week!
Foreword ~ 2015
“The air is different today. The Wind sings with a new tone, sighing of changes coming. The harvest gathered, a flower, a nut, some mead, and bread. A candle and a prayer returning the fruits in thanksgiving to the grove and receiving it’s blessing again.”
Rhawk ~Alban Elfad
So much has happened since I wrote the first foreword for the first edition of this book last year. I am so grateful to those who bought Stirring the Senses, read it and wrote me to let me know that they loved it. This new edition was originally going to be titled “Home for the Holidays” until I realized that so much of my writing about life’s celebrations was already in the first book.
Rather than steal it back and republish it, I decided to add it into the original Stirring the Senses. What you’ve got in your hands now is over a 1oo plus pages stronger, and it’s filled with even more tips and tricks for creating a delicious sort of life, as well some of my favorite recipes for the holidays and other times.
Life has been a whirlwind of wonderful experiences this year; a much needed winter spent in San Diego walking the beach with my husband, Alex and Angie and my sister Ellen, Mud baths in Napa, incredible talks that I’ve gotten to create and give on cooking, entertaining and herbs, television appearances and time spent caring for the beautiful herb gardens lovingly tended by the herb ladies of The Western Reserve Herb Society.
There was some sadness as I lost my sweet Zoe girl at the ripe old cat age of 18, but such is the wheel of life and the reminder is that what we make of the simple things that happen to us is who we become. She wouldn’t want me to stay sad for very long, she’d want me to keep on making cat treats for Mooshka.
There is so much more to life than we realize and we are much vaster beings than we understand. The process of BECOMING is the best journey ever. Trust me on this and listen to your own hearts beat.
Listen, breathe and begin to create exactly what you want. Don’t wait! Even if you believe in multiple lifetimes or a afterlife, treat this life as the only one you’ve got!
My personal mission for my life is a simple one and if I’ve helped you fall madly in love with your life whether again or for the first time then I’ve succeeded. I truly just want to make everything around me beautiful as Elsie De Wolfe said before me, or as my mother used to say, “Make Everyday a day for Candles and Wine!”
What do I know now that I didn’t really know last year? Nothing is impossible. Listen closely to your own inner quakings. Don’t ignore them. Begin to act, envision and journey towards the life that you really want. The law of attraction is real, not just some New Age yellow brick road to an imaginary Oz. It’s time to live the life that you’ve always dreamed of and all you have to do is begin dreaming it and the beauty of dreaming is that you can begin wherever you are.
Almost 13 years ago I closed one chapter and looked around. I’d had enough. My son was beginning to become a teenager and I’d been running a business for decades. I didn’t know him and I wanted to be there for him. So I made a wish.
Be careful what you ask for…the very next year I closed down an almost century old family business. It was time. At the point that I began to explain on an almost weekly basis what a sauce spoon was needed for, I realized that the world was changing and you know what? It was ok!
I stayed at home and I began to write. It was a dream that I’d had since 8th grade, but had been told that I’d never been any good at it. I decided not to listen to those voices and instead I focused on cooking, raising my son, loving my husband, caring for my aging parents and WRITING! I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I sat down at my enormous HP laptop, a dinosaur that weighed at least 15 pounds and taught myself to blog.
That’s when Stirring the Senses was born.
Thirteen years can go by in the blink of an eye. I’ve been blessed and I want to inspire you to do the same. So whatever it is that you’re longing to create, choose it now. It doesn’t matter what IT is, because you don’t need anyone’s approval, only your own. It’s not a sin to not do something if your hearts not in it, even if everyone around you thinks you should. You’ll fail at it, or more to the point, you might succeed, but always below your level of true contentment and that's not what you were born for.
Go on and do what you want to do. We weren’t born to suffer, we weren’t born to just “Make it”. It takes time, practice and more than a little bit of being your own cheerleader. You can bring whatever you want to bring into your life in the blink of an eye just by living your life as if you have already achieved it.
Go on and begin to daydream again. Get your head back in the clouds where it was before a parent or teacher clipped your wings and told you that you needed to be "realistic". Become the artist that paints or better yet, wildly finger paints your life. Color outside of the lines and draw on the walls!
That’s when life gets fun. Things start to appear and you realize that at one point along the way you thought about making it happen. Like getting to go to New York City to present your book at Whole Foods and on the stage of the Lincoln Center with your husband and one of your BFF's cheering you on. Like the opportunity to rewrite this book or the opportunity to have a holiday cooking segment on a popular morning TV show. Like wishing for, suddenly and truly out of the blue getting and giving loving and needed closure to an very important friendship that ended badly. Like getting to go to Montreal after wishing to go to Montreal because your husband suddenly gets invited to go for business and you’ve got nothing to do for five days but ride the metro, eat in bistros, drink great wine and visit museums and markets. Like waking up one day and finding out that one of your blog posts has been read over 5000 times in one day.
i am nothing but grateful.
Life is magic if you allow magic to live and that starts within you. If more of us begin to define, explore and create our bliss not by others expectations of us but by our own, then the world can’t help but become a more authentic, peaceful and abundant place. There is more than enough bliss to go around. You just have to choose the courage to begin.
Please start now. You're needed here.
Autumnal Equinox 2015