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Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle has been used for hundreds of years to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. Nettle is a superb nourishing food and has beneficial actions on many parts of the body including the urinary tract, liver, digestive tract, reproductive system, and respiratory system. Known as an overall nourisher and strengthener, stinging nettle leaf is full of vitamins and minerals most notably magnesium, calcium, iron, and protein.

Harvesting stinging nettle at Burns Valley Herbals and Retreat was such a learning experience.  I used gloves to hold the nettles while I cut them, however I still got stung.

I learned when brushed by the nettle, its best to leave the area alone so it will sting less. If you touch the area a lot, it rubs the sting into your skin more and lasts longer! I got a few welts and a rash from where the nettle touched me above the gloves! It went completely away within 12 hours. 

Nettle’s sting, however, reminds us to value our gifts just as we must honor and protect our work if we are to remain healthy. With her sting, she asks us to recognize and honor the worth of what she gives; if you’re willing to brave the sting to gain her treasure, you’re more likely to value what you have taken.

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This year has been so abundant.

So much packed into one year.

The beginning of 2019 started off with learning more about the local connections with environmental organizations on my area, experiencing my first Maryland Association of Outdoor and Environmental Education conference, and recertifying my school as a Maryland Green school! We also were awarded two grants for environmental education projects! I also took the green club on a field trip to Sandy Point state park for a green school celebration! One of the best field trips ever.


In March I attended the National Art Education Association convention in Boston. I visited and fell in love with two new museums, the Isabella Gardner Museum and MFA. I learned the importance of networking and sharing who I am with others and found my place with the Caucus on the Spiritual in Art Education.


The spring was busy with my student teacher from Towson, who accepted a job this year! We also had our schools annual Arts in Action event!


Summer came and my intuitive henna took off. Sharing my gifts with many, some even had their designs become a permanent part of their lives.


I painted “en plein air,” at Cromwell Valley park with BCPS teachers.  It was such an awesome experience, and I am so looking forward to it again this coming summer.

I also attended an AVID one day intensive training, where I learned a lot about different ways to teach students, that I have been using this year! I am excited to say that I was asked to attend the week long training this summer 2020.

Working for St. Paul’s summer camp this year was a new experience… all camps combined, in a new location. It was a wonderful summer with amazing coworkers and campers! Visiting Irvine Nature Center and the Senator Theater were some of my highlights!

Then August came… with a bang. Breaking my wrist 2 weeks before school started for the new year. This was by far one of the most testing time for me. Testing my faith and trust that I have the power within to heal and come back stronger than before. Testing my sense of self…. am I my right hand? As an artist I began asking myself, does my identity come from my hands? Can I create even if my hands don’ work the same as they always have? This was a powerful time for a deep dive within.

I healed faster than the doctors have seen from a 30 year old. The whole process from break to out of cast took 6 weeks, and the doctor was so surprised at the amount of healing that occurred. My mobility was about 90% back to normal! I attribute my healing to my mindset, words and movement. I constantly used healing words over broken words. I visualized my wrist healing and strengthening. I stretched and stretched, and slowly got back into yoga, and stretched and stretched.

My 12th year of teaching began and I became an adjunct professor at Notre Dame of Maryland University, teaching Methods in Secondary Art Education. This was a huge milestone for me and my own self awareness. I love sharing my passion for teaching and art, especially with other passionate teachers. It was such a blessing to teach this course.

The workload for 2019 was intense, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. So much growth. Like a seedling, breaking through the concrete. Learning when to rest and when to reach. Realizing the activeness of balance. Balance in work, life, love, relationships, creating and resting. The balance of self care and self growth.

2019 was an abundant, and it was beautiful to watch the balance unfold.

Thank you to everyone who shared in this past year with me. I am forever grateful for you. <3  Excited and open to receiving all that this new year has in store.

Migwetch and Gizagiin

Raine Dawn

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The definition of abundance is a very large quantity of something, the state or condition of having a copious quantity of something; plentifulness.  It comes from the Latin word abundant-  meaning overflowing.

The ace of cups would be a wonderful representation of this word… overflowing.

There has been so much abundance in my life, sometimes its hard to keep up with it all and give each thing the energy I wish to give, or feel things deserve. I am learning to let go of the expectation of giving everything a certain energy, however I am also learning that I am tapped into the life and creation energy of abundance.

Energy is always flowing, and I am open to receiving and open to giving. This is the key to abundance, as its overflowing. For something to be overflowing, it must have a source that the flow is coming from… like spirit flowing into an open cup.

When we ask for abundance are we saying we do not have an overflowing of energy? Could it be that we are blocking our cup from receiving the ever flowing abundance from the universe? I challenge you to question any feelings of lack, and see if there is a place in your life where you might be blocking the abundance from your cup.



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Love the Light and the Dark

Its been a while since I’ve dedicated time to write and share… I have thought about it a lot, I just seemed to have writers block for the best few months. Creative block would be more like it…. at least that’s how it feels. It feels as though how I walk my path doesn’t always meet my expectations of how I think I should be walking my path. .

I realize that resting and not creating like I think I should doesn’t necessarily mean that I have a block that needs to be removed. I think the idea of “writers block” being something negative really limits us.

It’s all about allowing our shadows and lows to be what they are… to not try to get rid of them, but to see them… and love them. Allowing them to be what they are and learning new things about ourselves from them. When we try to get rid of our negative feelings and thoughts we are missing a huge opportunity to grow. What we really want is to be able to be content in our being at any moment… that doesn’t mean we do not experience the lows, on the contrary it means experiencing all that life has … its ups and downs while being able to be still and remain centered through it all. To know that no matter what comes, we are exactly as we are supposed to be and the universe is supporting us.

So these past few months I have been learning to love my shadows, to work with my lows, and to be easy on myself during these times. To not expect so much from myself all the time, and to be present in the times I feel like I “should” be doing something else.

Life is cyclic… things come and go… its all about how we choose to perceive these things that determine how we grow.

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path. For today, I choose to walk my path with patience and compassion for myself wherever I am and how ever I am feeling.

How will you walk your path?



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…Characters are not fake…

We all play roles…every day.

The earth is one giant theatre, and each person is a character of a theatrical performance we are all in, called Life.

Everyone in every moment is playing some role.
Whether its sister, daughter, mother, girlfriend, boyfriend, lawyer, doctor, teacher, student, neighbor…
and on and on, it is a role, a persona/perspective/filter that we put on.
We act differently in every situation
Different situations would be like the different scenes of a play!
The choices we make in those situations would be determined by
the characters interaction with and connection to the situation.
Many things are accounted for, such as emotional, mental and physical states
The whole profile of the character must be know in order to play the part to the fullest…

So what do we do now that we know this?
Good question!

But an even better one would be….
Who is writing my Roles!?
Who is determining what my characters say and do?
Am I the creator of this Play?

AM I the creator of this play? Can I take charge and make the decisions I need to make to be the best at this part as I possibly can? Or better yet…AM I taking charge? AM I deciding the roles I want to play and how I want to play them?

There is only one answer…

Create roles and thoughts and ideas
Create paintings and drawings and doodles
Create stories and music
Create inspiration and wonder

Create life.

If you are creating what your heart desires…in flow with your true vibrations,
then you are in flow with the universe and you will be the I AM of your CREATION.

~Raine Dawn

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Use the energy…
First breathe,
then focus your intent on something that is your will
using an image,
then focus all the energy you feel around you …
Into that image.
Visually see the energy moving,
flowing into the image.
You are not this or that.
You are this and that.
Think of it as a fractal…
Going in and out at the same time.
You are all of the energy you’re feeling already…
It’s just not being focused…
you are capable of managing how it feels….
It just needs to be focused.
Our human bodies are just machines…
The most beautifully created machines ever made….
but the chaos of pure energy can be too much for them
if it is not focused properly.
Whether we are letting someone else focus it (I.e. Media, programming)
or we are taking control of focusing the energy
into our own intent and will.

We are not separate…we are all the same… a protective shield is unnecessary when you realize you are everything… You do not need to protect yourself from yourself…. You simply need to be one with the energy you are feeling and then focus it into an image in your minds eye that represents and is charged with your will.