SUP

SUP

Okay, so maybe we are being a bit facetious in an effort to make this bittersweet ending lean more toward the sweet side of the scales. After some contemplation and discussion, Mr. Wanderlust concluded that we are getting a blog divorce.

We have decided that it’s time for me to leave Dharma Wanderlust and venture off on my own.

Over the past year, we have continued to develop our own individual interests and although we work well together and fully support each other, Mr. Wanderlust’s projects are very different from mine. As such, I am moving to my new home and Mr. Wanderlust will continue to use this space as a hub for updates regarding his progress with projects specific to Dharma Wanderlust: woodworking, electronics, video game design, photography, and more. In turn, through Mindful Daydreamer, I will continue to publish this blog, writing about my personal creative exploration.

Mr. Wanderlust and I are grateful for your ongoing support and hope you will continue to follow updates from Dharma Wanderlust here and via social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Tsu). If you wish to continue to follow me on my quest of savouring the finer gifts of life, please subscribe to my new newsletter and feel free to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tsu.

With gratitude,

Mr. and Mrs. Wanderlust (remaining happily married)

Meeshu

We tenderly referred to Meeshu as our Little Vampire Cat because of her prominent pointed canine teeth.

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September 15, 2005 – November 7, 2015

This morning, we said goodbye our sweet kitty cat, Meeshu.

We used to joke that Meeshu was Mr. Wanderlust’s cat. When ten years ago we adopted our two kittens, two sisters from the same litter who didn’t look anything alike, they each chose one of us as a favourite. Meeshu instantly bonded with Mr. Wanderlust.

Our house feels a little more empty and quiet today without the usual presence of Meeshu lounging under the kitchen table. Goodbye, our darling. We miss you so much! Thank you for allowing us to love you and care for you for the past ten years.

 

I woke up this morning feeling inevitably tired and fuzzy-headed. Returning home last night after midnight following a jam-packed 30-hour business trip, I looked forward to climbing into my own bed, next to my partner. I knew we would be joined shortly, at some point in the night, by our youngest child. Perhaps, I thought, our eldest also might squeeze next to us. I was at home, next to my family. I knew I would need to finally, reluctantly crawl out of bed at some point in the morning. The cats will have already started meowing loudly in protest, as though questioning why I decided to sleep in instead of waking at my usual time for morning yoga and meditation while the rest of the house was still asleep. Not this morning. I might need to rely on coffee to nudge me along the jet lag-laden work day, but at that moment, I was exactly where I needed to be.

October has been a whirlwind month with too much activity. Through the busy pace, I have been making an effort to slow down, to move mindfully. My body and mind crave stillness. Over the next few weeks, we are creating space for stillness, clearing our schedule of unnecessary commitments. November feels like a perfectly Yin month.

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Here is a recap of the blog through the month of October:

 The Dharma Wanderlust Creative Method: Mr. Wanderlust explained in thorough detail his process of creating pieces for the Sea Turtle Collection.

The Capsule Wardrobe Experiment: Autumn 2015: Over the past month, I have been enjoying my fall capsule wardrobe.

Thanksgiving 2015: What a perfect weekend spent with my loved ones!

Flying, Part II: I befriended fear and we learned to work well together.

Simplifying and Trusting: “Slowing down requires letting go of effort.”

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Interesting articles I read recently:

The Four Stages of Desire: From Everything to One Thing. Why we should stop wanting everything and focus on what matters most.

It’s Hard to Be a Kid! Tips for Compassionate Parenting.

Recommended podcasts:

Kimberly Wilson – At Home with Madame Chic: I always look forward to Kimberly Wilson’s weekly podcasts, but when I opened my inbox on Monday to see that this week she interviewed Jennifer L. Scott, the author of At Home with Madame Chic and Lessons from Madame Chic, I was giddy with excitement. I enjoy Scott’s vlog and in this interview, she discusses tackling less-than-pleasant tasks with grace and poise. Scott’s new book, Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic came out earlier this week. I look forward to devouring it.

A fascinating interview with one of my favourite authors, Karen Maezen Miller: Karen Maezen Miller’s Momma Zen became a type of parenting manual for me in the early sleep-deprived and colicky months of motherhood. In this interview, as in the book, she delivers many poignant lessons about mindfulness in parenting. While listening to the podcast and knitting, I resisted the urge, several times, to jump up and grab my notebook and pen to jot down notes. Instead, I chose to listen and absorb naturally. One particularly simple but important message that has remained with me is this: Our children are their own individuals. We do not have the privilege to mold them to suit our needs. Instead, we are here to open our minds and hearts to learn to love unconditionally. Many parents do not love unconditionally because we cling to preconceived notions and expectations. If we allow ourselves to remain open to experience our children as they are, we can learn to accept them as they are and, in turn, learn to accept ourselves as we are. Brilliant!

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Remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and tsu for additional updates about what we are up to.

Several days ago, I celebrated my 33rd birthday on a beautiful beach with my family. In the recent years, I learned that this is my favourite way of celebrating. My birthday is the start of a new year for me, and I view it with great significance as I continue to write my story, adding on to the journey and learning more about myself.

The number 33 is one of my favourites, and here are three quirky ways in which the number holds personal significance for me:

  • My life path number is 33, signifying a deep connection to humanitarian causes, altruism, and leadership. I have never thought of myself as a great leader, but neither have I ever been a follower. As a Leo, natural leadership is also in my astrological chart, but I have always been more of a wallflower, quietly exploring my inner world and feeling deeply curious about the people around me.
  • I remember my mom very clearly at 33. I was 8 years old when she was 33, always a vision in beautiful feminine dresses perfectly tailored by my grandmother, with her hair piled elegantly in a perfect chignon. She never consciously tried to attract anyone’s attention, but she couldn’t help it. Once, when I introduced myself to a girl who lived in our neighbourhood and mentioned that I have a sister, she remarked, “Oh, I saw you and your sister walking together the other day. Your sister was pushing a baby in a stroller. Was she babysitting?”

“Um… No,” I replied. “The baby is my sister. The lady pushing the stroller is my mom.” I giggled as I watched my friend’s jaw drop in disbelief.

  • At 33, my father uprooted with us, his family, to a different country, leaving the rest of our family behind and embarking on a journey that has shaped our future in a remarkable way. Our world was turned upside down and I had to learn early on to navigate an extremely extroverted middle eastern society as a quiet introvert homebody. These days, I am a homebody who craves nomadic adventure, no longer terrified of speaking my mind and chatting with strangers.

Also, just because I’m a big Tolkien nerd, I am giddy at the thought that for hobbits, 33 is considered to be a ‘coming of age’ year.

I hope you will continue to follow along with me as I continue this journey and the lessons it offers. Sending gratitude to you, dear readers, for your loyal support!

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 Make a wish! Dandelions are FUN. I also enjoy using yellow dandelions to make head wreaths. It was one of my favourite summertime activities in childhood.

The warmer weather has been making me feel more flirty, pretty, playful, feminine, reminding me to rise toward the hot sun and sway with the cool breeze, to say YES to life.

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Over the past few weeks, I have noticed an interesting shift in my interests. I have been returning to my needlepoint crafts after a longer-than-intended hiatus.

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Gorgeous tulips in my parents-in-law’s tranquil garden. 

I have also been changing the way I approach exercise. In the winter, I became very focused on masculine HIIT-style workouts and wanted to challenge myself by turning up the intensity. These days, I put on my favourite music and allow my body to move, inviting the vibration to rise through the soles of my feet and up, moving through me.

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I am starting to return back to my favourites when it comes to exercise, focusing on dance (including hooping), yoga, and pilates. Although I love to walk, my current living and work situation does not present me with frequent opportunities to walk to different destinations, and I miss the days when I used to walk my older son to and from school. However, I have been making the time to go for leisurely walks with my family.

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Enjoying a quiet morning at the zoo before the crowds arrived.

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Walking in my favourite new — light and feminine — shoes.

The warmer days call for flowing skirts and sun dresses, soft pastels that mirror the cherry and lilac blossoms. I find that, over the past few years, I have been embracing these feminine colours, textures, and patterns more and more. It might have something to do with the fact that I am the only human woman in a household of males (we do have two female cats).

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Lilacs are my favourite flowers, and they stay in bloom for only a short time, which gives me one more reason to get outside and enjoy them. I never pluck them off the bush, as they just don’t have the same effect when displayed indoors in a vase. 

So, here’s to spending more time outdoors, to dancing, to making time to craft and create, to giving ourselves permission to lounge and relax, to making time for ourselves.

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Here are two links I love:

10 Ways to Ban Busy {and Still Get Stuff Done!} by Left Brain Buddha

I have been following the Left Brain Buddha blog for some time now and enjoy the real-life advice from a Mindful mother to other parents working to lead a more Mindful lifestyle. Another way of embracing the Divine Feminine is to cut out the tendency to be ‘busy and important.’ Instead, I have been working to simplify and make time for LIFE, to let go of rigid rules and expectations, to cut back on my ‘to do’ list, and create opportunities to do what brings me pleasure.

Getting Along Fine Without Me by Karen Maezen Miller

I have been following Karen Maezen Miller since first reading her book Momma Zen. This is a beautiful, poignant essay for every parent who has pondered the conflicting concept of attachment (or non-attachment). I enjoy the point of view of a perfectly imperfect parent, and the final line will stay with me for a long time: “No one ever notices when a flower has fulfilled its purpose in life, just as no one ever regrets a moment lost to love.”

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Last photo of flowers. I promise! I hope you have enjoyed this visual treat.

Wishing you a glorious, warm and breezy week ahead! And remember to enjoy life’s many treats!

Thank you for sharing this blog with a friend.

 

We invited you to send in your questions to us about anything related to our work. So, allow us to answer…

Question: “I saw that you are now making malas. They are stunning! When can I buy one?”

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We have been planning for a while now to start making malas, and we are thrilled to introduce them soon. We are currently working on full-length malas, as well as stacks. Each item will feature one of our unique pendants.

We will officially introduce the malas at the Toronto Yoga Conference and Show, to be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from March 28th to the 30th. We are very excited about joining the show this year and look forward to meeting you there!

Question: “Where do you get the great ideas for the shapes of the wood pendants?”

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Our yoga-and-meditation-inspired pieces are in the shape of a lotus blossom. We love the image of the lotus and its symbolism of purity and clear focus. Other collections were inspired by nature: water, landscapes, sand, canyons, and of course, the bees! Many of our designs are created from the natural shapes and grooves within the pieces of wood we choose to use. We enjoy working with natural ‘imperfections’ of the wood, inlaying the grooves with turquoise or crushed shell. Some pieces of wood we use already look intriguing, so we do not do much to change the original shape of the piece. For example:

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The above piece, Surrender to Dance, was simply sanded and polished. And it happens to be available on our site right now!

All these factors contribute to the unique nature of our work. We enjoy one-of-a-kind pieces, and even the ones we reproduce will always be unique in some way, as there are always going to be colour variations in the wood and inlay we use.

Question: “What is it like to be working together as a married couple?”

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Great question! 🙂 To avoid stepping on each other’s toes, we allow each other plenty of space to work separately and then meet to exchange ideas. Because our schedules do not always match, with Pawel working out of the house during the day and with me teaching yoga classes in the evenings, we email each other throughout the day to stay in the loop. While some couples spend their Saturday nights out at dinner-and-movie dates, we wait until the kids are in bed and then sit in the living room, stringing malas! Pawel and I have very different personalities, but we complement each other perfectly, which allows us to work well together.

Question: “What do you eat for breakfast?”

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Chocolate, of course! No, just kidding, though, we have experimented with chocolate making in the past. Hence the photo above. We love to make things with our hands, in case you were wondering. 🙂 Back to the question… Pawel is a cereal-and-milk guy who loves organic cereal by Nature’s Path. I usually have quinoa or steel-cut oats with dried fruit, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or sesame seeds, as well as coconut oil, lots of cinnamon, and hemp seeds or cacao nibs. As a Vata girl, I need my wholesome, heavier breakfast. In the summer, I enjoy smoothies for breakfast. We love our lattes and I alternate coffee with Earl Grey tea with steamed milk and honey.

That’s it for now. Thank you to everyone who sent in their questions! We hope you have enjoyed getting to know us better.

Love,

Katia (Dharma Wanderlust)

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So, you’ve looked at, and maybe even have worn our jewellery and think it’s awesome. Right? What you may not know is how unique each piece truly is, and how much love we put into designing and crafting each and every item. Curious? Allow us to take you on a tour of our home studio and explain the process we use to craft the jewellery!Image

The first detail you may observe is that Pawel is shockingly handsome we do, in fact, work out of the car garage that is attached to our house! Yes, that is what constitutes our studio space. Voila! Nothing fancy, but it serves our needs. Thankfully, we have a great space heater, which helps to keep us warm in the middle of the chilly Ontario winter.

Our design process is often what we refer to as ‘organic’ — a ubiquitous term that, nevertheless, effectively describes the unstructured creative process we use. This is particularly true of Katia, who loves natural, easily flowing forms. When we receive each delivery of the gorgeous, carefully sourced (read: sustainably grown) wood, we love to hold it in our hands and notice its natural properties. Based on the appearance of the wood, we decide what to do next and how the finished piece will look. At other times, we decide on a design in advance and either hand-draw it onto the wood or sketch it on the computer and print out the final design, to be transferred onto the wood. This latter process is favoured by Pawel, who is a natural engineer and careful planner. We then hand-cut the piece individually (which means each piece of Dharma Wanderlust jewellery is unique in many ways). The majority of the wooden jewellery and other wooden items on the market are laser-cut. Hand-cutting takes additional time and effort. When we inlay the piece or glue several pieces of wood together to create a design, the inlay/gluing process comes next.

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Next, we sand the piece using ever-finer grits of sandpaper.Image

Finally, we polish the piece several times, and apply natural wax for lasting shine.

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And the result is one that we hope you will continue to love!

So, as we hope you can see, we truly love what we do and infuse all our designs with love. Our intention is for you to enjoy wearing each unique piece we create for many, many years to come.

In our next blog post, we’ll tell you more about ourselves. So, if you have questions for us, feel free to send them our way! Simply leave a comment here, or connect with us via Facebook.com/dharmawanderlust

I was first introduced to the blog Spinach and Yoga approximately a year ago. Nadya Andreeva, wellness coach and the blogger of Spinach and Yoga, always provides her readers with interesting, relevant healthy lifestyle and nutrition tips. She also shares delicious recipes on a regular basis. Since I have become a big fan of her work, I wanted to offer Nadya the chance to collaborate with Dharma Wanderlust.

I put together a short list of questions for Nadya to answer, as a special introduction for you, our followers, to Nadya’s work. And here’s the video with Nadya’s responses.

Watch the video and then head over to Spinach and Yoga to enter your name in a giveaway contest for a chance to win a Dharma Wanderlust ‘Choose Love’ necklace: http://www.spinachandyoga.com/holiday-giveaways/

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Our most recent designs are inspired by SUMMER! And although it’s been an incredibly hot and humid season in Southwestern Ontario, where we reside, we have been getting out and saluting the sun (no pun intended… really!) every day.

The pendant in the photo above is called From the Ground Up. To read more about it, click here!

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Summer Sunshine necklace… Shop here

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Yes, we know what you’re thinking… A strawberry necklace! We love our summer berries and this piece is appropriately named Summer Fruit. Check it out here!

And one additional piece that we love is the Perfectly Balanced necklace:

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We hope we have inspired you once again. If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you!

Yours,

Katia and Pawel (Dharma Wanderlust)