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     Awen Environments

                                                inspirational living arts

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Reawakening the Spirit: the Art of Authentic Living

Posted on February 17, 2017 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (2)
For a long time time I have been contemplating how I would integrate my lifelong skills with my many passions in life. I am now happy to announce the creation of my new site which is a culmination of my lifelong pursuits and the direction I wish for my work to take. 


While I love design and being creative, I love being out in nature as well and helping this planet to evolve into a higher state of being. My new site is a collection of offerings of products and services that I feel accurately reflect the body of knowledge and experience that I hold, as well as the direction I wish to take with my life and my business.


Reawakening the Spirit is about the shift in paradigm that is currently taking place on this planet. In order for new systems to be put into place, the old ones need to be dismantled. You cannot build the new on top of the old by continuing old patterns that do not work. You have to eliminate that which does not serve you before you can create anew. When you live more authentically, you feel the flow of the universe and harmony abounds. Everything becomes easier and the obstacles disappear. You become healthier, more vibrant and the energy you put out into the universe is magnetic to new opportunities. In order for this planet to evolve, we all need to step up and live more authentically by following our heart and intuition. We all need to remember who we are and why we came here.

It is my intention to assist you in fulfilling your authentic path via my offerings, my continued blogging and my photography. I will be teaching new workshops in the areas of dream interpretation, shamanic journeying and embracing your authentic self, as well as offering a variety of products such as space clearing tools to harmonize your space, vibrational essences and herbal teas and tinctures to help support your own personal transition.

When we stay in a place of gratitude and focus on beauty and balance, we envision a new future. Often this means reducing stress, taking more time for ourselves and living more slowly and authentically. When we live intentionally rather than being a victim, we create a new future for ourselves. 

My new site will give you a more intimate view of my work and how I am contributing to this planetary transformation that is currently taking place. Please come join me in Reawakening your Spirit.

Bountiful Blessings!


2017 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison

 

Searching the World of Dreams: a Story of Empowerment

Posted on December 1, 2016 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)
It has been many months since I have written due to a deep journey of spiritual and physical transformation I have been on healing my body and the remnants of ancestral trauma hidden within my DNA and also my psyche. This journey has lead me to study with various shamanic teachers, work further in my gardens and focus on my dreamwork, while seriously deepening my relationship with Nature. I thought that I had gotten as far as I could go until I lost my health due to the stress in my life, the toxins within in my environment and perhaps even the result of my trip to Peru. I thought that by eliminating some of this stress and detoxing via herbs, I would recover my health, but in fact my condition worsened until I was forced to dig even deeper.

When you are on a spiritual path, truthfully the learning never ends because we are all walking this Earth seeking to learn what we have forgotten. We have forgotten what we once knew, the wisdom of the natural world. It is only through our reconnection or reawakening to our true selves that we can walk our true path and embrace our destinies. As long as you suppress your deep, inner passions, are untrue to your heart and do not live in alignment with your inner guidance, you will not find true happiness or balance within your life. 

I had to find this out the hard way when my body no longer responded in the way it always had. I had always taken my health and my physical strength for granted, however suddenly chronic fatigue, pain and inflammation in my body brought on by the stress of not living my truth fully, was coming back to haunt me. My body begged me to wake up. The answer came through in my dreams, in my waking life and in my physical cells which were screaming loud and clear that I was not living fully in alignment with my highest truth. Despite the help of various alternative practitioners, I continued to make only minimal progress and would often rebound afterwards which left me extremely frustrated despite my belief in the methods I pursued.

By listening to my dreams, the constant signs within Nature and by facing my fears one by one, I was able to heal myself slowly, very slowly. It has been an arduous journey over the past 10 months filled with anxious moments, fear and moments of self doubt. During these moments of deep, inner searching, it was always Nature that did not fail me. This autumn I was finally able to restore much of my energy via my dreamwork and the introduction of wild mushrooms into my diet. The mushrooms actually found me and it was incredibly empowering to begin foraging and creating new meals to heal my body. I knew I was about to delve deeply into another level of understanding of the natural, miraculous world we live in where all that we need is there for us, if only we remember and use this ancient knowledge.

As a first generation American, I was born into a culture that associated darkness and fear with the realm of the mushrooms although this knowledge still remains in some areas such as Europe, Asia and Siberia. Today mushrooms are just something we may occasionally buy at the grocery store and most of these mushrooms do not have nearly the properties that wild, medicinal mushrooms have in nature. However, incredible breakthroughs are currently being made into the healing powers of mushrooms both for the human body and also in terms of bioremediation for our planet through the healing of soil, as well as providing many forms of resources in a sustainable manner. 

As much as I was fascinated by the fungi world for longer than I could remember, I had never found anyone that could teach me this ancient wisdom so they remained relatively unknown to me-- a deep mystery within my psyche. That was, until the mushrooms came to teach me themselves... This autumn the mushrooms caught my attention via my own property as well as a nearby park. They screamed loud and clear that I needed to access this ancient wisdom within me. 

Gradually with the help of books, an online forum and trusting my own inner guidance, I began to overcome my fears and heal my body. It seemed the more I went off the beaten trail in the wooded areas I searched, the more I would find another mushroom that gradually healed my nervous system and the inflammation within my body. It was a test of faith of the deepest proportions, but one that was richly rewarding as I accessed ancient memories of my ancestors who once knew the healing powers of the mushroom realm. I am certain that my Russian/Ukrainian grandparents knew this wisdom. 

(Note: Photo to the left is of Amanita Muscari var. Guessowii which is not edible but poisonous/ hallucinogenic though it is believed to have healing properties in certain shamanic traditions.)

And so I continue deepening my connection to this misunderstood realm that is available to all of us, as well as the deep healing available through the plant world and all of Nature. As a result of my experiences and tracking my dreams for more than 20 years, I have decided to teach a new workshop "Introduction to Dream Interpretation: Finding the Guidance Within" at Ceier Chiropractic and Holistic in Elma, NY beginning January 2017. Please see my 'Green Inspirations' page for further information.

Blessings of Abundance and Joy this Holiday Season!

2016 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.





What My Gardens Have Taught Me

Posted on June 23, 2016 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)
My gardens have evolved so much over time and taught me a great deal about life and myself. Gone is the need to control everything in a precise, neat manner. I have found that when I set my intention by planting my desires and allow Nature to unfold her deep wisdom and artistry, sometimes the most amazing landscapes can appear. At times you need to be patient when nothing seems to be happening or when things are not quite as organized or beautiful as you would like, but the results will always surpass your limited view of things.

Nature is always giving us direction and guiding us through subtle and sometimes blatant messages. It's up to us to interpret these messages and act accordingly. Very often I have used gardening methods that did not seem to make rational sense, but intuitively felt like the right thing to do. Navigating our life path can be the same way. It's up to us to follow our instincts and put together the pieces of the puzzle. Over time as a garden grows and develops through loving attention and care, our vision manifests into reality.

If I had chosen to control every aspect of my gardens and use traditional gardening methods such as eliminating all weeds, which essentially is anything I did not intend, I would have missed out on the true beauty and healing power that Nature is capable of. I would have missed all the unexpected flowers that suddenly appeared or the unexpected caterpillar, bird or butterfly that suddenly graced my gardens because of these so-called "weeds". I would have missed out on the moments of shear Divine inspiration that I received when viewing my gardens in a certain morning light or after a gentle, nurturing rain. I would have missed out on the unexpected flowers which would heal me simply through their fragrance or presence in the soil that I had never imagined.

Gardening with Nature is a process that evolves over time. It is a test of faith that leads us in the right direction if we allow it to. It is an intuitive process that guides us step by step, year by year to discover our boundaries by eliminating that which we don't want, trusting that Nature knows more than we do and following the guidance that you receive through what you see, feel and experience. Sometimes you have to just follow your heart, despite what others may think.

It requires spending time just being in your gardens without doing, sensing the energy of space and how it makes you feel. It requires opening up all your senses. It is a collaborative process that teaches you where you feel uncomfortable, what your body is telling you and what all the beings of Nature are telling you including the ones you may not feel comfortable with or understand. Insects are very finely tuned to our energetic vibrations and will let you know when they are disturbed by you and also when they are in harmony with you.

Sometimes you have to allow a process to unfold despite the discomfort you may feel. Sometimes you just have to allow a little bit of ugliness to unfold in the form of aphids congregating on your flowers, a wasp carrying off a caterpillar, a spider entangling her victim in her web or a flower to go through her dying process without needing to cut her off once her beauty is gone. A garden is never perfect. She has her moments of glorious beauty and vibrancy and she has her days when she may be wilting and seem weak or very little appears to be in bloom. But overall, if you trust in the process and allow this process to unfold, you know that over time everything will come together and each year your garden will be that much stronger, that much more vibrant and that much more grounded and healthy.

If you allow Nature to take her course and you allow your inherent creativity to unfold, you will receive unexpected visitors that you never imagined. There's something really powerful about allowing. There's a point where the Earth dances with the light of the Sun and the Moon and everything comes together and sparkles vibrantly telling you that everything is exactly as it should be and all is well. It's a knowing that comes from deep within your heart and soul that tells you everything is going to be alright despite whatever turmoil or dissonance may surround you. Its a deep faith in the process of life that carries you through the discomforting moments of doubt, feelings of fear or uncertainty that occasionally (or maybe too often) rear themselves once more in your life just when you'd thought they had gone.

I am truly confident that if more people took up gardening and grew their own flowers or vegetables and aligned themselves with the healing powers available to us within all living things, this world would be a different place. Take time to see the beauty that is all around us in so many sweet, tender moments.

Solstice Blessings!

2016 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.

What are Your Dreams Telling You?

Posted on March 21, 2016 at 2:47 PM Comments comments (0)
Dreaming is something we all do, but most people don't take the time to think about. It is like a window into our psyche and what's going on in our life but often we disregard this valuable source of information. Usually it is because we don't remember our dreams, but more often it is because we don't understand them. Once you learn to use your dreams as guidance, your life will never be the same.

It's a good idea to keep track of your dreams. I recently discovered journals I had forgotten about in which I had included some of my dreams going back to 20 years ago. It was interesting reading them now to interpret their meanings and see their relevance in my life. 

One dream symbolized a reoccurring issue I had and another anticipated the birth of my son and occurred one day short of his actual birthday. Many I was able to interpret now but others still remain obscure to me, perhaps yet to be revealed. Over time as you record your dreams and review them, you will start seeing reoccurring themes, revelations about the future, and guidance as to decisions to make in your waking life.

My dreams have often been symbolic of future events that came to pass. I just couldn't relate to them or didn't know how to interpret my dreams at the time or I didn't pay attention to their message. Later I would realize I should have. Over time I have learned what they were trying to teach me and to make better choices. Even nightmares can be symbolic of things that we need to overcome, if we learn how to work with them. Throughout history many famous artists, healers, inventors and scientists have been guided by their dreams often resolving problems in their own lives or coming up with new creations and inventions because of the insights they received via their dream world.

If you would like to learn more about how to work with your dreams and learn how to interpret the signs in your life, two of my favorite books by Robert Moss are Conscious Dreaming: a Spiritual Path for Everyday Life and The Three "Only" Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence and Imagination. 

Robert's methodology, insights and experiences have helped me to better understand the meanings of my own dreams and look for validation of them in my waking life. Seemingly random events can often become signposts to new opportunities or provide you with the guidance needed to choose a particular path or make decisions that are often difficult. We all need to learn how to access the guidance of our inner worlds and higher selves. Dreams can be a strong tool to help you do this.

Pleasant Dreams!

Copyright 2016 Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison

Cats as Guides and Allies in Transformation

Posted on February 5, 2016 at 4:47 PM Comments comments (0)
The cats in my life have taught me so much about myself. They have crossed my life in many ways both in the real world and in my dreams. They have appeared to teach me what I needed to learn to heal them, myself and others. They have also led me on a path of self revelation discovering the limits to my boundaries. When I didn't want to pay attention to them, they would insist on getting their way as most cats do. 

The first cat that had a profound impact on my life was my cat Dreamer who became ill and was given very little time to live. He ended up living many more years as I learned about herbs and homeopathy and how everything we need to heal our bodies and our lives is right here in the natural world that is all around us. We need only to become familiar with our plant and mineral allies and the wonderful healing gift of vibrational medicine. It's all in the energy of everything that is around us. 

Later my cats would teach me about the energy of my home space and the health and wellness of the land that I lived on. Inevitably they would break something, urinate in inappropriate places or find other ways to tell me where the problem areas were in terms of residual energies or geopathic stress lines that ran through the house. Cats are keenly sensitive and aware. More often than not, they will sleep in places that have unbalanced energies or wreak havoc in your life in order to get your attention. They also like to make a mess of clutter because it is stagnant energy and felines feel that. Feral ones will also congregate on land where there are unbalanced and toxic energies. They are always shifting and healing energies at various levels.

Cats don't have the same boundaries that humans do. When they need to, they will move outside them. They will also tell you when they are not happy (nor healthy) and need to go outside the boundaries that you have defined for them. Cats tell you when your own boundaries are being violated. Their purring and affection restores balance. All felines sense the energy of people and the energy of space and act accordingly. I'm confident this is why they have been revered by ancient cultures and often given mystical attributes.

The big cats will also appear in your dreams if they happen to be your power animal and are calling you. My cat guide appeared in a dream calling me to step into my power and look at my boundaries after I had been on a shamanic path for quite a long time. Through my journeying work he later helped me face a nightmare that was representative of a toxic situation I was dealing with. My power cat helped me to overcome my fears in real life and put an end to a verbally and mentally abusive situation by getting clear about my boundaries and facing my problem. The situation had been spilling over into all areas of my life and destroying my health. I realized in the end that my health and well being was paramount after all. My power animal helped me to change a life that had become unmanageable. Once again, a cat had healed my life and brought me to a new level of awareness. This time it was via the realm of spirit.

If you are interested in learning who your power animal is or are in need of guidance on personal, health or professional issues, I will now be offering shamanic journeying sessions to retrieve information for clients. Please visit my facebook page Reawakening the Spirit while I am in the process of building my new site, which will focus on the path to wholeness via embracing an authentic life.

Blessings of Authenticity!

Copyright 2016 Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.




The Colors of Peru: a Mystical Journey

Posted on October 17, 2015 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)
Door at Cathedral of Lima, PeruMy recent pilgrimage to Peru will always remain in my heart for the wide range of experiences I had and the way it touched my emotions in so many ways. I know that every country that I have traveled to has in some way retrieved a piece of my soul, some long lost memory of another lifetime. Peru was no exception. 

It was an arduous journey both physically and emotionally. It was also an overly ambitious trip with too many places planned in too short a time. I do not travel well due to motion sickness and sensitivity, so the altitude, winding mountain roads and extremes of climate also wreaked havoc on my body.

In looking back, however, I realize that my pilgrimage was perfect for me at this time and despite the physical challenges, it had a profound impact on my life though it took me weeks to integrate my experiences into my present life. Part of the journey was about going back into the past-- overcoming old patterns and fears, old ways of being and most likely other memories and lifetimes in this country that I needed to heal. 

Another part was about focusing my intention, embarking on the unknown and planning my future. It was about opening new doors to new opportunities to create a life of balance and focusing on that which is most important in my life right now. My trip to Peru was about embracing the beauty and joy of new experiences and living in the moment without knowing what tomorrow would bring. The vibrant and rich colors touched me in a deep way.

While I visited many well known sacred sites that most tourists frequent like Machu Picchu and Sascayhuaman to name a few, I was also drawn to the energy of the city architecture, marketplaces and street vendors, as well as little known destinations that mostly only the locals knew about such as the healing waters of La Banda and the sacred site of Orcona both near Nasca. 

In truth I found the Divine in everyday moments not only in the remote landscapes of Nature, but also in the cities of Lima, Cusco and Nasca as I connected to the richness of these places and their underlying energetic blueprints in time. Those special moments were found in a meal that I shared, an unexpected conversation I had, a massage that revitalized me, as well as tumbled cathedral ruins I visited and rummaged through feeling the sense of loss of faith and connection within the local community. 

The numerous private moments at sacred sites touched my heart. The breathtaking experiences of viewing such incredible natural landscapes as the energetic portal of Aramu Muro near lake Titicaca invigorated me and heightened my spiritual awareness combined with moments of reflection in the most unexpected of places. The local people, guides and animals often touched my heart for a wide variety of reasons.

In truth, my journey was very unlike what I had anticipated. My intention had been to find more answers to questions I had been asking myself for quite some time, however, I came back to the US with more questions and a profound sense of wondering what in fact was I supposed to be doing now in my life? How could I create more meaning? How could I live more in alignment with my life's purpose and this planet? These were all things I continued to reflect upon and still hadn't found the answers to in Peru despite my intense efforts on this journey.

It was my shamanic work that enabled me to answer many of these questions upon my return or at least move me in the direction of greater clarity in the following days and weeks. It gave me the discipline to continue when all I wanted to do was return to Peru to immerse myself further in the richness of these sacred landscapes and find the answers to many of life's puzzling questions. I knew that greater meaning in my life was somehow linked to my experiences in Peru, but I just didn't know how to integrate them completely yet. 

It would take me many weeks before I received answers and a greater clarity began to unfold. My shamanic work enabled me to find the inspiration to continue on my path despite not having all the answers and at times taking leaps of faith into the unknown. It would seem that facing some of my greatest fears would continue to be on my agenda, but my shamanic practices would provide me with the tools that I needed in order to work through them.

There is something quite interesting about the energy of Peru and it's rich culture and history. While in some ways the poverty and way of life can be shocking and provide you with a new found sense of gratitude for what you do have in your life and the things you often take for granted, the landscape somehow also draws you in and instills a greater love and appreciation of the mystery of the Divine and this planet. It fills you with the overriding energy of the culture and the richness of its sacred traditions and the tremendous attention to detail that can be found everywhere throughout Peru in the architecture, as well as the artesanship and colors. 

The colors and beauty of the local textiles, handcrafted items and works of art will never cease to astound you and touch your body and soul. The marketplace filled with such a variety of offerings and aromas will always stay etched in your mind and the experiences will touch your heart in countless ways. The magnificent architecture of cities like Cusco, Lima and Arequipa remind you of the splendor of the history and traditions of Spanish culture blended with the Peruvian's unique connection to this sacred land and the traditions of the Incan civilizations and their mysterious ways. There is an underlying energy to this land that can only be experienced, not written about. I know that I will be going back eventually to delve into this further, as my soul still needs answers.

Interestingly, the new book "Simply Color for Everyday Living"  was released shortly after my return from Peru. This book by Diantha Harris features collaborations from 25 writers including myself in a beautiful compilation of stories and photographs discussing the healing and energizing attributes of color in our everyday life. For me the publication of this book is a welcome tribute to my recent pilgrimage and my life's journey with the energy of color.

My chapter entitled "An Ally in Transformation: the Color Yellow" discuses the difficult moments of my mother's last months of life, as well as a spiritual journey to the island of Cozumel, Mexico with my son and how working with yellow was woven into these experiences. This book beautifully expresses many of the rich colors I experienced both in Mexico and while in Peru-- a timely coincidence? I think not-- more likely a Divine synchronicity...

Blessings of Color in your life!

Copyright 2015 Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.






Seeing Perfection in the Imperfection

Posted on January 14, 2015 at 6:23 PM Comments comments (0)
We live in a society that values perfection. It is an unattainable goal that humans have a tendency to strive for and yet it is our definition of perfection that induces stress and anxiety, not the perfection itself. If you look around you there is perfection in every nook and cranny, you merely have to reorient your focus.

I learned this lesson in a quite interesting way recently, but it had been a message that had been staring me in the face for quite some time. Growing up in a family of perfectionists, I was always striving for the unattainable. No accomplishment was ever good enough for long and I placed harsh requirements on myself for not only my physical body and outward appearances, but also my achievements. As time went on I realized that I was no longer my achievements nor my physical being, but a sum total of all my life experiences that had molded me into the person I had become. I think it was my son who taught me the most about myself-- the good and the not so good.

My son broke down all my barriers and made me realize what was important. I was no longer so concerned about my achievements and more about being a caretaker and inspiring my creativity, doing things that nurtured my passions and living life authentically. He also made me look at the not so nice aspects of myself and places that needed healing including criticism directed not only at myself, but at others. Repeatedly I was met with less than perfect circumstances within my life that inspired me to build inner strength, challenge my faith and focus on what was truly important in my life. It was a very humbling experience that made me stronger. The perfect no longer seemed to matter so much. The perfect living space, the perfect gardens, the perfect clothes and physical appearance seemed less and less attainable in my increasingly busy and challenging life. I began to observe and learn from Nature and strive for more balance.

It is going on a year since my mother passed away suddenly of cancer. She was a major perfectionist and so was my father. Though I would imagine they were most hard on themselves for all the challenges the universe had presented them throughout their lives. These high standards were passed on to their children and at times I have seen myself doing the same thing to my son. This past year I have been reviewing my life and trying to come to terms with my home and eliminating or upgrading things in my life that no longer serve me. It has been a continual process of clearing clutter and truly determining what direction I want my life to take. I have also been reviewing many patterns in my life that I no longer wish to continue or that have been replaced with healthier ones. My focus now is to streamline my life, do what I love as much as possible and eventually see more of the world again.

In the midst of all of the changes in my life, my most recent project has been my bedroom. It had become a catch all for a variety of furniture styles and possessions, as well as the location of my altar space where I would set my intentions, prayers for myself and others, as well as a way to relieve my stress from the day's activities. I realized my private space no longer reflected the life I wanted. It was filled with a lot of conflicting energy from the past including my fears, combined with my dreams and intentions for the future. 

So first came the color change. I chose a somewhat unusual mango color which brightened my room from the dark, womb-like earthy, terracotta color it had been previously. In retrospect, the terracotta had been the perfect color for me during a time of transition but not anymore. My new color brought lots of light during dreary winter days. It also made me feel good and that's what mattered in the overall scheme of things, not whether it was the latest trending color.

My previous bedroom set had been acquired second hand and although I was drawn to the style and solid mahogany wood and workmanship, it nevertheless carried the energy of its previous owners to some degree and had acquired damage over the years. It also held my own memories, some of which had been painful at times. We bring our thoughts to our bedroom at the end of the day and so these furnishings now held a past I no longer cared to remember. These bedroom furnishings were not something I had chosen new, but acquired out of necessity during a transition point in my life when I was wanting something new but not sure what that was. They no longer felt in alignment with my life now nor did they support the well being of my body anymore.

Realizing I needed a major change and a different outlook on life, my bedroom became a primary focus at the top of my priority list for change because it was about me and my needs. This bedroom was something I would devote to honoring myself and a new transition in my life from being someone's daughter and mother to a woman of independence, strength and wisdom. I would create a sanctuary for my soul in my bedroom and honor myself for once and the new boundaries I had formed within my life and the lessons I had learned. It was symbolic of a new beginning and perhaps one day it would also inspire a new relationship because my relationship to my self had changed.

So it was interesting when my new bed arrived and I immediately noticed that a piece of the wood in the headboard was 'different' from the rest-- somewhat lighter in color with a more significant graining pattern. There were also insect markings from the cherry tree it had once been. As I settled in with the bed and began living with it, I went through quite a little process of deciding whether I could live with this new piece of furniture. I reached a point where I contacted the furniture store and asked what could be done because I felt this was a design flaw and a poor choice of wood. The manufacturer agreed to replace the bed and arrangements were made, but then one day I really began looking at my new bed and seeing its true beauty with different eyes. I thought about how much I now enjoyed this new bed and how it had already become a new ally that supported me during my sleep bringing the beauty and strength of the cherry tree it once was, into my dream time. That's when I started to have second thoughts. 

Suddenly one day I realized what the message was in all of this when a friend mentioned that maybe the choice of wood for the bed was meant to be. I realized I had finally 'seen' the perfection in the imperfection before me. This bed and the wood it was made out of was actually perfect. One needed only to see it in a different light as it is with all things. Nature is perfect because it is as it should be. The insect markings would also become very symbolic for me, as I later came to realize. Those of you who know me or have read my stories, will remember that the insect kingdom once taught me a valuable lesson about relationships and my anger which I had been putting out into the world. This bed would be a reminder of what I didn't want in my life anymore.

I believe there is a perfection in all creation that goes behind our very comprehension as humans. Every snowflake has a different pattern. Every tree has different DNA and a different shape. We humans are part of Nature and all of creation-- each unique and perfect in our own way. The messages are all out there if you pay attention even to those objects that you bring into your life. I think I'm finally on the way to accepting myself exactly the way I am and... I just love my new bed and the lessons it has taught me.

Blessings of Clarity!

2015 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.









Remembering Charlotte: Message from an Orbweaver

Posted on November 1, 2014 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (6)
Photo by Nicholas TaAs time goes on I realize that so much of what we've been taught or have a tendency to fear is actually associated with balance and light. This story is about a marbled orbweaver spider that I found this summer in one of my gardens. I named her Charlotte after the spider in the book "Charlotte's Web" by American author E.B. White.  I had always enjoyed the book and later also the movie because it held a special message regarding seeing the world differently and how sometimes the seemingly impossible can be achieved (photo of an orbweaver spider by Nicholas Ta)

I observed Charlotte on a regular basis this past summer over several months weaving a new web every night. As I came to know this tiny creature better, I realized there were many things she had to teach me. Perhaps most would find it unusual that I would spend time writing about a garden spider, but I felt very strongly about sharing Charlotte's story particularly at Halloween time here in the US. Perhaps also some reading this would learn to appreciate and respect this highly persecuted and misunderstood insect which I believe is one of the most creative of God's tiny creatures alongside the honeybee, albeit in a very different way 

One day I woke up to find a myriad of beautiful dew covered webs all throughout my gardens. The effect was purely magical and I marveled at how many of these spiders were actually in my gardens. Someone who is afraid of spiders would definitely have been overwhelmed, but for me it was the opposite. I realized how far my gardens had come and how revitalized this little plot of land now was, something I had written about previously in a blog. The land had once mostly been just lawn and now this backyard was teaming with biodiversity with all sorts of beneficial insects, birds, flowers and wildlife. My new hive of honeybees were doing well and I had so many varieties of orbweaver spiders to keep a healthy balance in my ecosystem. This balance would in turn draw new forms of wildlife. Each day I would observe Charlotte and acknowledge her in some way as I took my walk through the gardens.

The time came when I saw that Charlotte could no longer weave her beautiful web and only a few strands at best. Her body was about the size of a dime, full and round and looking like it could burst. I knew it was nearing the time when she would lay her eggs and then die as in the book. It saddened me to think that this little garden friend I had come to know was leaving. She stayed a few more days until she weaved no longer and then one morning she was gone, having descended to the ground to go back into the earth from whence she came. I knew I would miss her.

As I thought about Charlotte and the progression of her life, I knew I had gained a new found respect for this particular type of spider called the marbled orbweaver. Unlike some other species of spiders, she only came out at night and each time she would weave a completely new web.  Inevitably it would become damaged throughout the day and sometimes completely destroyed either from the weather or from animals and insects. 

It amazed me that Charlotte would tirelessly weave her beautiful and complex creation anew each and every night one strand at a time. I thought about how hard it would be for humans to create a work of art or a garden from scratch only to have it eventually destroyed repeatedly. I had certainly felt that anguish and frustration with my own gardens after I had left certain homes in the past. Here was this tiny spider weaving a work of art every night. What a monumental task for a creature so small and with so short a lifespan. So much could be gained by humans if we had nearly as much resilience and wherewithal in striving toward our goals or completing creations despite whatever came our way.

One day a really tiny spider also taught me something after Charlotte left. It was another dew covered morning when I spotted a new web in one of my fir trees. This spider had built a spectacular web between some branches one night. The spider was nowhere to be seen, so I assumed it was another marbled orbweaver because they tend to hide during the day, but I was wrong. To my astonishment the following day I found a very tiny spider had built this huge new web. I thought perhaps she was a baby orbweaver. I called her Maya for illusion, but she quickly disappeared. Maya had created a web to rival that of any orbweaver much larger than her own size simply by using the same principals of weaving. Her small size and seeming limitations had not hindered her in the least.

It appears the last of the orbweavers have laid their eggs and died due to the colder temperatures but they have all left me with admiration and a new awareness and thoughts about the mysteries of the universe. What task lies before you that seems to be overwhelming? Do you ever think that your own actions cannot effect change because you are only one person? What are you weaving in your web of influence? What seems out of reach at this time? We are only limited by our beliefs. Perhaps we can take inspiration from the tiniest of beings that surround us and weave something new and more spectacular in this world.

Blessings of Creativity!

2014 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.


Journey into the Labyrinth

Posted on October 5, 2014 at 4:27 PM Comments comments (4)
The road I've been traveling lately seems to have a series of twists and turns that end up nowhere.  I find myself being drawn to a certain direction pursuing ideas and seeming opportunities that ultimately lead to a dead end or represent who I used to be and no longer feel right. It occurred to me the other day that this was so symbolic of being in a huge maze where you are journeying intent on finding the way out only to come to a wall that causes you to completely turn around and go back the way you came from or go in a completely different direction. In my own personal experiences, nothing seems to be coming together at the present moment and I have to wonder why.

What do you do when every intention you have and every action you take leads to a dead end? Do you give up your hopes and dreams to ever changing your situation or accomplishing your task at hand or do you look at what it is that you wish for and analyze why it isn't manifesting in the manner in which you would like? What I've learned over the years is that when something isn't coming together in a smooth manner and all of the pieces aren't falling into place, there's usually a reason. That reason is that it's not in your best interest or in the best interest of the universe's overall plan that is taking place and there's a lot going on right now on this planet both from a physical and spiritual perspective. It also may be that other things have to line up first for things to happen.  Recognizing this is sometimes easier to intellectualize but dealing with the frustration associated with coming to a dead end despite your best intentions can create a lot of anger or it can lead to losing your faith and feeling hopeless. I have felt all those emotions over the last few months, so sometimes I have to just sit back and wait and redirect my focus.

The thing to remember is that while a maze is designed to confuse, it is also like a labyrinth, a tool for meditation. Sometimes you are meant to walk the path because while you do so, you also become clearer with regard to your original plan and/or you gain more insights or clarity into the situation you are dealing with. What may seem to be wasted time, can actually be seen as experiences that only serve to strengthen your intentions by serving to show you what you do not want and help you to see that change will usually not come until you are ready for it. In my case, I had been looking for a new home because our current home has never really 'fit' our lifestyle or needs in the way I would like it. I can't seem to get organized as I would like, there's a lot of traffic and noise on our street and I have had a constant tendency to create clutter in our closets, in our bedrooms and other living spaces, as well as in our attic. Despite what I know about the energy of space, I just cannot seem to get organized or keep things neat the way I would like to. So I have been spending a great deal of time looking at other homes and properties in search of the right one.

What I realized in this seemingly endless search for the 'perfect home' is that I will not find what I am looking for until I have dealt with my current home and it's circumstances because I will just carry those patterns with me if I do not address them here. I cannot take my clutter with me and I cannot miraculously find I home where I will become organized until I address why I have clutter in the first place. Why is my closet a mess and what am I holding onto? Why do I having furnishings in my current home that do not work or need repairs or hardware or the right place? Why do I have things in my home that I do not love and find useful? Why do I have clothes that no longer fit me or make me feel good? Why can't I let go of them? These are all questions I have been asking myself.

When you realize that until you address the inner feelings associated with clutter and a disorganized house, you will not find what you are searching for because energetically or vibrationally you are not there yet. You have to be living it and streamlining your current circumstances in order to achieve what you think you want. So, if you keep hitting a wall or walking around in circles like that of a maze or labyrinth, there is a very good reason because you are not clearly aligned with where you are supposed to be.

For me, it took a great deal of househunting and looking at a wide range of homes that were disappointing to realize that what I have may not be perfect, but it sure has come a long way from when we moved here and slowly but surely has been becoming what I want it to be.  Why should I accept less than what I want and compromise with a new home where the previous owners have used less than acceptable materials to remodel their home? Why should I accept a lower standard of quality in my life by moving into someone else's poor choices or mistakes in order to gain a few advantages that I don't have? Rather, I realized, that I was done fixing the mistakes that others had created in their homes both energetically and physically. I was no longer going to accept less than what I wanted and this included in my home. Those remaining steps that I need to take including clearing my clutter and perhaps even building an addition may well be the answer to living in the house that is best suited to our needs right now. As time goes on, I will gain a clearer picture of exactly what steps I need to take next.

Sometimes you can seemingly spin your wheels looking for answers or thinking that you will find something better to suit your needs and sometimes, you need to change your circumstances and environment to create that which you need. The thing to remember is that a maze will eventually lead you to your final destination albeit in a round about way. Those experiences or feelings that you encounter on your path serve to better define your wants and create that which lies at the heart of your desires. You cannot arrive at your destination if you do not set forth and try something one step at a time. Sometimes the path seems endless, but always you arrive somewhere, and it will be exactly where you are meant to be at that particular point in time. Trust that all is well.

Blessings on your journey.



2014 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.








Gardening with Faith

Posted on August 3, 2014 at 11:59 AM Comments comments (0)
As my gardens continue to grow and evolve, my own faith and belief in my creativity and knowledge, as well as path in life, is challenged. This year has been a strange one with a very long, hard winter followed by an unusual spring and summer. One moment it seems normal and the next it's totally out of character with extreme high or low temperatures and weather patterns.

In my area, the flowers seem to be about a month behind their normal cycles. I have lost many plants and shrubs this year and some plants seem stunted or never bloomed at all. It's all very odd and it reflects my own inner feelings at times. Sometimes things seem clear to me and other times they are muddled. One moment I want to forge ahead with my plans and the next I feel I have to be cautious or I change my plans completely. And sometimes I have gone ahead with plans although the timing did not seem good or it did not seem rational or logical. That is when I trusted my heart and my instincts despite what appeared around me.

I lost both of my honeybee hives over the winter due to the extreme cold and I really missed them. The bees have been tremendously challenged too with some beekeepers around the US losing up to 75% of their hives this past winter. The bees are so vital and important to our own wellbeing that it is very disheartening and alarming to know this. Everyone and every thing is being challenged it seems.

There was such a difference in the energy of the land and gardens without the honey bees around. Now I have them back with a newly developing hive of different honeybees and I sense the difference they make in the gardens. These new bees are from another beekeeper and location. They are much calmer and easier to work with than those I had previously, reflecting an energy of peace and balance that is descending upon this land. I sense that their very nature is different  and to a degree reflects the care and respect of the beekeeper that they came from.

I had a feeling that the loss of my beehives was a sign of things to come but little did I know. I also lost my mother this past year to cancer and that was totally unexpected. It happened very suddenly and very quickly. There was no time to change the course of anything. That put a totally different perspective on my life and a need to anchor and heal within my gardens and look at those aspects of myself that I wanted to release or improve. My gardens have offered me solitude when everything seemed to be chaotic and swirling around me or leaving me. They have brought me beauty and color during moments of despair and anger. They have infused me with their healing gifts both visually and spiritually as their renewal and resiliency reflected my own need to move forward. It has been a long road and one in which I have constantly reflected on the meaning and purpose of my own life.

I see in my gardens how Nature's hand paints a new color or design when I allow it to be itself and take it's own course rather than constantly trying to control it's path or destiny. So many surprises occur when you allow things to just be and take their own course with only a guiding hand to maintain borders and boundaries, eliminating only that which does not seem in alignment with your vision or your sense of balance.

It's not always easy but sometimes you just have to have faith that you will come to see the results of your intentions which may just turn out far better than you had imagined. Faith seems to be the key as sometimes it is the only thing that keeps you going when all around you is chaos and uncertainty.

Blessings of Faith!


2014 Copyright Awen Environments/Clarissa Harison.