I’ve been friends with Maurie for the last couple of years, originating in the wonderful world of blogland and then eventually connecting both here in Portland and in her home base of Seattle. She’s a great inspiration of how to look at life with creativity, simplicity and abundant love in her heart. I always enjoy reading her many thoughts on Mindful Mixture, and can’t wait to see what she’s got up her sleeve next.
What or who inspires you most? Nature is my deepest source of inspiration. Then there are the people living their lives creatively and passionately. People who are fully authentic in who they are, no toning it down or turning it up but just being themselves fully. That is always inspiring.
What do you turn to when you need strength? Nature. I find my quickest way back to my center and my own source of inner strength when I just get outside, lean my back against a tree, walk in the surf, or just lay down in the grass and stare up into the sky, soaking it all in.
How can women best support and/or empower other women? Be authentic and real in everything we say and do. Choose to not take things personally. Stop comparing ourselves to one another. Celebrate one another and ourselves.
What do you love to grow? What would you like to try growing someday? Herbs! Medicinal, culinary and everything in between. Oh and potatoes. I LOVE growing potatoes. They are so easy and then you get to dig your hands into the soil and pull out delicious treasures! I would love to someday grow all the berries my heart could desire. Starting with a never-ending supply of strawberries!
What are your creative outlets? Is there anything you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t? Writing, all sorts of art styles and mediums, knitting, gardening, decorating, making up ridiculous spur of the moment silly songs and so much more!
In what environment(s) do you feel most in your element? Outside in nature. That could be the woods, the beach, the desert, the mountains or the garden, if I am outside I am in my element.
Who are your top three nonprofits you support and/or volunteer with and why?
National Geographic Society – This one has been inspiring me and educating me since I was a small child. The work they do is amazing!
WashingtonTrails Association – A huge one for us here in Washington, keeping trails open and usable and a whole lot more.
Elephant Asia – I love what this organization is doing. They work to save asian elephants and help local people find more viable and environmentally friendly ways of earning a living.
What recent “green” change have you made in your own life? What’s next? We’ve recently gone to shopping for groceries only once a week. It was originally to see if it would make a difference on our monthly grocery bill, but it’s proved to have a lot of other benefits as well, like less wasted food due to buying what we feel like having at that moment instead of what we already have in the house. And I get to test my creativity at the end of the week when we start running out of things!
Our next big thing is a pretty big thing, but we have to get there one little baby step at a time. We have committed to downsizing gradually both in stuff, space we live in and amount of debt we have to eventually have a tiny home on wheels that gives us both the stability of having our own place but also the mobility and means to travel, explore and follow our passions. It’s a BIG Tiny Idea!
Where in the world do you consider a sanctuary? Why? I feel like a broken record here, but it is what it is, my sanctuary is in nature. I’ve found many places over the years that each offer me its own medicine and I feel drawn to one place or another depending on what I’m needing at the time. One place close to my home is at the foot of a large Western Hemlock in a ravine park only a few blocks away. That place is utter peace.
What advice would you give to your younger self? Keep being you, unedited. Don’t start editing yourself or trying to change due to the responses, opinions or negative reactions of others, just keep being you! It’s really hard to get back to that place after you’ve moved away from it.
How can we as a society be more radical in supporting a healthy planet? Practice mindfulness in all that we do. Fall in love with the planet, starting with the place where you live. We protect what we love.
What sparked your interest in environmental issues? What’s the first “eco” thing you ever did? My first conscious eco thing was when I was a pre-teen in love with dolphins and learned about how they were being killed in the tuna fishery practices of that time. Tuna was a big staple in our house and I down right refused to eat it from that day forward. Eventually dolphin safe tuna came around and my mom brought some home in triumph. I showed my true colors even back then by insisting on doing research to find out if it really was dolphin safe before I would concede to eating it!
How do you live simply? I really try to be mindful in everything I do, always challenging myself to learn and shift as I learn. That isn’t always simple but it does lead me along the path of living a simpler lifestyle.
Could you leave us with a favorite quote of yours? “And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair” ~ Kahlil Gibran