Tarot Tuesday collective reading by Megan Alexander


Welcome to the Tarot Tuesday collective reading for the week of April 24 by Megan Alexander of Embodied Home 


  • What are we moving through? Two of Pentacles (reversed)
  • What is the undercurrent? Eight of Wands (reversed) 
  • What are we learning? Five of Cups 

Last week I wrote about an opportunity or circumstance coming back to us in an elevated form, ready for us to receive it from an elevated place within. Practically speaking, we're meant to be looking out for the work we have left to do to reach that elevated place to be illuminated.

What we're reminded this week is that even though we are cognizant of this arrival and our work to prepare to fully receive it, there is much to this turn in our spiral that we are not able to perceive. We're asked to trust, wait, watch, and listen for the proper action and timing of action to be communicated to us. This is not easy to do, especially in the scenario when we're tuned in and ready, seeing more of the big picture and our role in it. We may find ourselves frustrated and impatient, or reluctant to actually make the changes we know would serve us wholeheartedly, thinking perhaps simply being aware of them might be enough to communicate that we're ready to receive. 

While trusting, waiting, watching, and listening are paramount when it comes to the balance between what we bring to life and what life brings to us, the piece we might forget is the power of the quality of our communication to that which moves the spiral. Moving through this process of identifying the work ahead of us and carrying out that work with more aligned energy is what is waiting to be received from us.  

As we inquire around where and who we have been previously, mining for the beautiful jewels of experience to carry with us as we shed the shame, pain, etc, it's very easy to get lost in imagining how we might have held on to the arrival I've been referencing the first time it came around, and how different our lives might have been if we had managed. But I will reiterate what I said last week, that this arrival wasn't meant for us given where we were at that time. We're learning to recognize the truth of this and implement a change in the way we carry out what needs to be done: working on our thoughts / actions / behaviors not as chastisement, but as a gift only we can give ourselves.


Thanks for reading! Megan is available for individual readings in person at The River Guild and over distance. To check her availability and book an appointment please visit embodiedhome.as.me

(enter code HAPPY35MEGAN to receive 20% off any appointment booked before 6/1/2018!)

Embodied Home for April 10th, 2018

Welcome to the Tarot Tuesday collective reading for the week of April 10 by Megan Alexander of Embodied Home 


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What are we moving through? Two of Stones (reversed)

What is the undercurrent? Seven of Stones

What are we learning? Two of Cups (reversed)

The time is right to begin some practical, earthly work of processing an old trauma. It is the work of reassembling long lost pieces (events, thoughts, ideas, feelings) into a whole and complete picture that we can experience in a new way: as a map to a place beyond. 

This is likely to show up as some inopportune disquiet, it is even more likely to be something you thought you had already worked through. It's important to remember that this is not a sign that you did anything wrong/left anything unfinished in your previous processing, simply that there is another iteration ready for you to experience. 

This new iteration is related to the role we play in the lives of others. They may be family members, chosen family, colleagues, collaborators, clients, strangers, or intimate companions. In any case, the trauma we have the opportunity to process further will allow for greater transparency and vulnerability, which sparks connection on a level as of yet unseen. This connection is key in times to come, as it will become a valuable source of creation.


Thanks for reading! Megan is available for individual readings in person at The River Guild and over distance. To check her availability and book an appointment please visit embodiedhome.as.me

We visit with Peggy and offer some Tarot

Hey, family! First things first, we have a new episode of Kinda Sorta coming at you, now hosted on our brand-spankin' new YouTube channel. Subscribe to get updated on all the latest things we post there. We love sharing the wonderful people an modalities we host here at The Guild and we want you in on all the goods!

Next I need to apologize for being so late with the Embodied Home Tarot this week! Megan is amazingly talented and is available for private readings at the Guild!

Welcome to the Tarot Tuesday collective reading for the week of April 3 by Megan Alexander of Embodied Home 

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  • What are we moving through? Four of Wands (reversed)
  • What is the undercurrent? Two of Stones (reversed)
  • What are we learning? Father of Swords

Four of Wands and Two of Stones, both reversed, call on us to take a pause in spite of the impulse we feel to take off running with the deep, juicy instructions we've been receiving from Spirit fresh in our minds. It's possible that the circumstances for our work to flourish simply aren't in place yet, but more likely we need to take a closer look at what we ourselves must let go of.

There is a weight or heaviness, some obligation or structure we're feeling we must impose upon this work. This has much to do with societal conditioning around what "work" is meant to be. Here's the rub: soul work does not fit into any sort of container created by an outside entity. The way any individual's soul work weaves into their life is as unique as they are.

The call to action is to focus on the joyful and nourishing aspects of what you are feeling called to do and take the action that makes sense to you to embody them. If there is worry, doubt, or a slew of "shoulds" in your consideration, take the time to honor where those are coming from. Trust and be open to the ways your soul work will weave its way into your life as you let go of the "shoulds."

This action is in service to Father of Swords, who illuminates our lesson. We're being asked to chart our own course manner so that our message / work will be of the highest benefit for those who are meant to receive it: we can inspire others to find their own way by first doing so ourselves.


Thanks for reading! Megan is available for individual readings in person at The River Guild and over distance. To check her availability and book an appointment please visit embodiedhome.as.me

Embodied Home Tarot for the week of 3/27

Welcome to your Tarot Tuesday forecast for the week of 27 March, 2018 by Megan Alexander of Embodied Home (www.embodiedhome.com)

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  • Where are we? Six of Stones
  • What is underneath / informing where we are? Daughter of Swords
  • What are we learning? Mother of Swords (reversed)

We're being invited to further our exploration of clarity and communication for the benefit of all this week. 

We're moving through a period of realizing the richness and abundance that is generated by equal exchange, by giving and receiving fully. Six of Stones informed by Daughter of Swords suggests that we are ready to share our own unique experience with others, realizing that we can enhance our connections by simply (or not so simply) being open and available to one another. It may be that we are ready to open up to a wide audience, or perhaps to an intimate community. The scope of our reach is not as important as the quality of our communication, which is where Mother of Swords (reversed) comes into play.

Mother of Swords is in a position to ask us to look honestly at what we have been communicating, either subtly or overtly. She invites us to explore not only what we say, but why we say it. If our intent and our methodology are misaligned, we succeed only in communicating ineffectively, which results in not receiving what we needed, causing harm to others, or some combination of both. 

The call to action here is to take time to get very clear about what we really need, specifically what we need from the people we are feeling the call to open up to. Additionally, really take time to consider how they might best like to be asked to meet those needs. Mother of Swords reminds us here that the key to finding the way is knowing that this consideration before communication benefits everyone involved. After all, communicating our needs clearly meets a need for the other party as well: it removes the burden of guessing and interpretation entirely. We create a more fertile environment for new fruits to be born as we deepen and expand within relationships and community. 

Thanks for reading! Megan is available for personal readings live at The River Guild and online. To check her availability and to book an appointment, please visit embodiedhome.as.me

Embodied Home Tarot For Your Week

Welcome to your Tarot Tuesday forecast for the week of 20 March, 2018 by Megan Alexander of Embodied Home (www.embodiedhome.com)


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  • Where are we? Son of Cups (reversed)
  • What is underneath / informing where we are? Three of Stones
  • What are we learning? Nine of Cups (reversed)

This week what comes up is a block in the area of communication, not necessarily with other humans, but in our exchange with God / Spirit / Divine / The Universe et al. The block is related to the belief that we are separate from what we do for a living or any other seemingly mundane activities, as though these are unrelated to our nature as spiritual beings. It's a misconception that sacred action or devotion can only be expressed and embodied in the container of ritual. In fact, when we make the choice to consider any action we take as an offering, even something as uneventful as cleaning the toilet, we subtly communicate our gratitude for this life in a sustainable, lasting way. The feedback received in return for this continual expression of gratitude, at least for me, feels like deep satisfaction and contentment. It's an unconventional fortune that must be experienced to be fully understood, and it is of a higher value than any other currency.

It's also worth a detour, if you'll come along with me, to take into consideration the elements of these cards: earth + water + a touch of air. When earth and water come together, they make mud or clay which can be worked into a vessel / container. When we expose this vessel to air, it will begin to dry and harden enough for us to be able to carve intricate details into it, and with enough time it will be ready to enter the alchemical fire of a kiln. After this vessel passes through the fire, it will be forever changed, forged with new strength and capacities.

So, dear reader, I encourage you to consider yourself as both the vessel and the ceramicist. Take into consideration what you wish to communicate with the intricacies you carve. Take all the time you need to fully prepare yourself to pass through the fire, entering as dirt and water and coming out again as a vessel for divine truth.

Thanks for reading! Megan is available for personal readings live at The River Guild and online. To check her availability and to book an appointment, please visit www.embodiedhome.com/tarot

More Tarot from Embodied Home

Welcome to your Tarot Tuesday forecast for the week of 13 March, 2018 by Megan Alexander of Embodied Home (www.embodiedhome.com)


  • Where are we? The Emperor
  • What is underneath / informing where we are? Seven of Wands
  • What are we learning? Death

It seems we have more work to do with Seven of Wands as it comes through for the third week in a row. This week's iteration is as an undercurrent of The Emperor, also making a repeat appearance.
We find ourselves more capable than perhaps we once believed. We have the opportunity to experience clearer decision making as we allow what is precious and worthy of protection (our power, our soul's purpose, etc) to become our compass. It is evident that this new compass has replaced fear, doubt, old stories / habits, and shame when we find it easy (or at least easier) to take action without apology, as the impulse to apologize withers when we have firm roots to draw instruction from.

When we operate within this framework of clarity + well-informed / balanced action, we are better prepared to process the inevitable mess that comes with liberation. It looks different for each of us, but when we really settle into our balanced, benevolent power as The Emperor, the constructs around us that are lacking integrity will begin to fall away. These can be social norms, relationships, jobs, etc. Whatever may need to leave us to make space for our expansion rarely goes quietly, but when we are clear about staying true to our course, we know we have what we need to withstand any discomfort as we evolve.

Please visit www.embodiedhome.com/tarot to book a live, personal reading with Megan at The River Guild or online. 

Your weekly tarot from Embodied Home!

Welcome to your Tarot Tuesday forecast for the week of 6 March, 2018 by Megan Alexander of Embodied Home (www.embodiedhome.com)


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  • Where are we? Seven of Wands 
  • What is underneath / informing where we are? Daughter of Swords 
  • What are we learning? Eight of Stones

If you recall, Seven of Wands showed up for us last week, but today we have received it directly instead of reversed. This is not evidence of a backslide, dear reader, since it is informed by a most welcome Daughter of Swords. The feeling I get is that of having had an affirming experience, one that has set us up to freely accept the invitation of Seven of Wands: to examine what is true/real vs. what our creative (if not misinformed) minds might imagine is true/real in the absence of concrete proof.

When we examine our circumstances through this lens, it would serve us well to remember that what is true/real reveals itself in a multitude of ways, ranging from tangible to spiritual and any and all combinations thereof. Acknowledging this totality of experience allows us to walk on our current path holistically. It's the key to being able to discern what action would be wisest as we move at an intelligent pace, which of course is different for each of us at any given moment. 

In trusting and taking action in this manner, we are given the opportunity to be affirmed again, this time of something we may only be aware of intellectually at this time: that our own truth can not be given to us or defined by someone else. So, we are invited to get quiet and still enough to Know what is next, and to take the step, no matter how small it may seem. This step, even if imperceptible by others, taken with confidence and self assurance is deeply powerful. It's more powerful than any action motivated by a "should." As we continue on, each step building upon the last, we can be liberated from the adage that slow and steady wins the race, as when we embody our truth we remember that there is no race to win.

Please visit www.embodiedhome.com/tarot to book a live, personal reading with Megan at The River Guild or online, and enter the code SEEDS-TO-FLOWERS at checkout to receive 20% off. There are only 5 discounted slots available, and once the code has been used 5 times it will no longer be valid. If you feel moved to do so, book your appointment today!

Your Tuesday Tarot from Embodied Home

Welcome to your Tarot Tuesday forecast for the week of 27 February, 2018 as channeled and interpreted by Megan Alexander of Embodied Home (www.embodiedhome.com)

  • Where are we? Seven of Wands (reversed)
  • What is underneath / informing where we are? Mother of Stones (reversed)
  • What are we learning? The Emperor

After a long journey wandering the outer edges very far away from our core, this is a moment of spiraling back toward our center, where lies our ability to perceive our connection to the vast web of all life.

Walls, bars, and defenses erected against an unseen threat now reveal themselves to be nothing but a cage. That which we built to protect our strength and give space for it to flourish no longer does. We begin to feel how cramped these quarters have become, how they only serve now to stifle our growth. There is an opportunity to let the cage crumble, and experience what it feels like to stand tall and share space in the wider world.

What is available to us to embody beyond our defenses is available to all beings, therefore not something to be guarded. It is the space we require to feel ourselves fully, and the intricate connection between us that allows for free and open exchange.

Please visit www.embodiedhome.com/tarot to book a live, personal reading with Megan at The River Guild or online.


This week's tarot and a brand new show!

First things first, Megan Alexander (of Embodied Home) has a pull for us this week. Sorry for the 24 hour delay on this:


Welcome to your Tarot Tuesday forecast for the week of 20 February, 2018 as channeled and interpreted by Megan Alexander of Embodied Home (www.embodiedhome.com)

  • Where are we? Seven of Swords
  • What is underneath / informing where we are? Daughter of Cups
  • What are we learning? Seven of Cups (reversed)

This week will present the opportunity to do some deep internal work that has eluded us for some time now, mainly because we have been operating under the belief that something/someone outside of ourselves is what needs to be reworked.

The core of this internal work is E.M.P.O.W.E.R.M.E.N.T. Upon shifting our attention inward, we can discover the depth of our ability to be resourceful, authentic, resilient, and adaptable. When we apply these abilities practically to solve our own problems, they can feel like superpowers, an in a way they are, especially when they serve not only to enrich our own lives but to inspire those around us to follow suit.

The ripple effect of the work we begin to do this week is capable of fundamentally shifting the way human beings relate to one another, which is a beautiful concept if not potentially overwhelming. Avoid this exhaustion by focusing on your own behavior, thoughts, and actions. Make change as it applies practically to your own life and in your own time.

Please visit www.embodiedhome.com/tarot to book a live, personal reading with Megan at The River Guild or online.

In other news (drum roll please) ...

We have a show! A TV show! It's called Kinda Sorta Spiritual, hosted by our own Dr. Carlos Perez and Sarah Robinson. A huge thank you goes out to our producer, Joe Chateauneuf, without whom this wouldn't have happened. We'd also like to thank the staff at Concord TV, who has been flexible, supportive and exceedingly helpful during this process. We'll be doing episodes of our show every month, so stay tuned! We'll be posting them here for you to share! Let us know what you would like us to cover in future episodes. 

So many new and wonderful things...

Guilded, it's been a few months, but let us reassure you that it is because we have been growing beyond our wildest dreams! We have welcomed several new practitioners to the family and below is a blog post from one of them. Peggy Petahtegoose is a heart on legs- she brings so much loving energy to every space she inhabits. We are grateful to have her teaching Restorative Yoga every Sunday morning starting in January and Prenatal Yoga on Saturday mornings starting in February. You'll love her classes!

Another reminder that it is indeed the holiday season (as if you didn't know that) and we have wonderful gifts for the whole family! From our Concord Handmade merch' to our gift certificates, we have everyone on your list covered (from babies to grandparents!). Drop in when you can during regular hours, or try out some of our programming. We would love to see you. And now ... take it away, Peggy!


Hello Beloveds.
I am Peggy Petahtegoose, and I am very excited to be teaching at the River Guild! Who am I... Mother to 3 wonderful adult children, Grandmother for 2. This is the most important part of my life. What I do in my life is very fulfilling. I graduated from YOGA NH in 2012 as an RYT200. Since August of 2011 I have taught many varied classes of yoga in the Francestown, Bennington, Dublin, Antrim, New Boston, Goffstown. When I walk into my classroom, any and all troubles float away. I love teaching and sharing my passion for yoga. It truly was the beginning of life changing events and learning for me. I have found my style to be grounded in quiet and gentle yoga which varies class to class. Starting with gentle movements, mudras, occasionally chanting, restorative, chair. I sprinkle a little of all those things I love into my classes including mini yoga nidra for shavasana. Sharing all those elements with my students is my joy.
I have been teaching Prenatal yoga localy for 4 years now and am currently beginning my
training to actually become a Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher, a goal for many years.
Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga are one of those truly special gifts you can give to yourself and I
completely enjoy watching my prenatal mamas during this experience.
After I finished my RYT 200 training I went on to take multiple training programs: YOGAED,
Prenatal Yoga, Postnatal Yoga. Along with my Kripalu RPYT training next week, I will also be
taking a Yoga Nidra training in November. Many exciting things happening!.
What else have I got in my bag of tools? I am also an Ordained Interfaith Minister of the Tree of
Life Interfaith Temple in Amherst NH, on the Board of Directors and a Spiritual Mentor. Reiki
Usui Shiki Ryoho Master Teacher/Trainer.
A proud member of the Atikmeksheng Anishnawbek First Nation in Ontario Canada and a
member of the Land Management Committee. Currently I work per diem at Robin Hill Farm in Deering NH, as a Life Skills Facitator for TBI/ABI. One of my favorite jobs. They are like brothers to me.
Previous to all of this I was a child home care provider for 19 years and over 55 children!
Wow, so much to share. I love my wonderful life a gift every day from the Creator who guides
me on my earth journey.
You can find me on the Yoga Alliance website, or contact me at 603-369-8368 or my email
Peace Love Joy

Healing With Sound: One Tone At A Time

Hey hey, family! What a beautiful week we're having as Autumn continues to reveal herself to us. If you aren't familiar with the work that we do here at the Guild, I think this next blog post will be helpful in understanding what our definition of wellness means. Dr. Carlos Perez has been instrumental in helping guide our philosophy as well as our programming here and we're honored to offer you this blog post he provided.

 Dr. Perez sending out healing energies.

Dr. Perez sending out healing energies.

Healing With Sound: One Tone at a Time.

By Carlos A. Perez, DC, RMT
Owner of Back In Motion, PLLC.

The power of sound is everywhere you look, or listen (technically speaking). Whether it’s the sound of a child laughing, or the sound of a bird singing, there are sounds all around us that can immediately shift our internal and external world in one direction or another. Case and point, earlier today, I had the not-so-pleasant experience of setting off the fire alarms at my office space after lighting some Palo Santo incense resin to help create a calming scent around the space before seeing clients. Little did I know that I would be triggering the smoke detectors and setting off the alarms to all of the buildings that are part of the Smokestack Center which sent everyone who was in class or in session out of the building (sorry folks, my bad).

In any event, I was immediately noticing the effects of that high pitched and high amplitude sound had on my heart rate, my breathing patterns, my chaotic thought patterns, and more. Before I knew it, I was walking around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to control the situation and bring peace to an otherwise non-peaceful state. The moment the firefighters left after assessing the situation, I was drawn to go into my space and play my crystal singing bowl. It took less than 10 seconds before I felt a complete 180 degree shift and noticed my body and mind start to relax and feel centered. This was exactly what I needed before seeing my first client so I could start my day feeling grounded, centered, and balanced. Just like that, in a matter of just a few minutes, I was able to experience for myself the healing power of sound, one tone at a time.

Sound healing has been around for tens of thousands of years and in recent years it has been making a comeback and more practitioners are starting to find their sound and bring their form of sound healing into their practice. A few years ago, I started to explore sound therapy and see how I could infuse it into my Holistic Chiropractic practice. Little did I know that 4 years later I would be offering sound therapy healing sessions with my private clients as well as leading group sound meditations twice per month at The River Guild in Concord, NH. Sound healing is a fun and simple way to bring balance into your body and into your life. The first thing I say to everyone when they ask me how sound healing works, is that we are very much like instruments that can go in and out of tune depending on the many circumstances and experiences that shape our life. Within seconds to minutes of listening to certain tones, a person can feel an almost immediate sense of calmness, balance and grounding which then enables us to be more stabile and anchored in a sometimes unstable and turbulent world. In other words, we are all unique instruments that can sometimes go out of tune and we can all bring ourselves back into balance and be in tune with the use of sound healing.

Using tones in the form of singing bowls, drums, tuning forks, didgeridoos, or even chanting can bring a greater sense of wholeness to the individual which then allows them to take the steps needed to bring balance into their world. After all, the world outside of you is in part a reflection of the world within you and rather than going into our headspace, we can go into our hearts and create a heart-centered state of balance and coherence which gives us the freedom of navigating with out world with ease and grace.

Healing tones can be accessed from our phones, tablets, laptops, pc’s or even CD’s which you can find for a variety of conditions and needs like sleep imbalance, chronic pain, anxiety, PTSD, depression and more. The intelligence of our body can always configure the way sound travels through our body to correct the imbalances, whether they are physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. My advice to clients and to those that come to my sound healing meditations are to find your sound. Find the tones that speak to you and connect with them as often as you would like and notice what is different afterwards. For some, the effects are more noticeable with one from of tones like those created by didgeridoos. For others, it can be a series of Solfeggio tones. The beauty of sacred sounds is that there are an abundance of tones that will help you and they are waiting to be discovered. So go right ahead and see which tones can help bring balance into your body, mind and spirit.

However, if you would like to experience a first-hand experience with sound healing, you can come to any of my sound meditations or drop by for a one-on-one visit so you can create the healing you need for yourself, one tone at a time.

For more information, you can visit www.backinmotionpllc.com or visit the calendar of sound meditations at www.theriverguild.com. Let the sounds set you free!

When Mindfullness Isn't Enough

Hey, fam!! It's about time we got back on the blogging bandwagon. I've put out an all points bulletin to the amazing practitioners we have in our midst and I asked them to give me the run down on the super powers they make available to the community here at The River Guild. There is so much to love and so many ways to find true wellness. Today's installment comes from a new member of our group, April Adams. I'll let her explain everything:

 April Adams is the woman to turn to when you need to get to the root of the issue.

April Adams is the woman to turn to when you need to get to the root of the issue.

When Mindfulness Isn't Enough

By April Adams

At this point, most people have been introduced to the benefits of mindfulness. If you’ve tried it, you’ve likely seen some improvement when you stick with it.

The problem with mindfulness is that it takes massive persistence and force of will, and even then you don’t always see the changes or improvements you were hoping for until much later, if at all.

Don’t get me wrong. There are definite benefits to any mindfulness practice, but they can feel like an endless hamster wheel unless you address the subconscious mind.

The subconscious stores memories, connects events, outcomes and feelings, creates its very own version of the world and tries to keep us safe- emotionally and physically- based on it’s past knowledge of the world.

If we have experienced something, or were convinced of something at a very young age, the subconscious- which is as literal as a four year old- will believe those things above all else.

That means you’re fighting an uphill battle with positive intentions, affirmations, mantras, etc UNLESS you address the subconscious feelings and beliefs around whatever you are working on improving.

Let’s say you’ve decided to exercise and eat right. On a conscious level you understand why that is the best possible thing to do for your health. But if your subconscious believes something else- such as your weight protects you from something- then you will be forever at odds with yourself and you’ll have a belly full of chocolate cake before you know it. You’ll be yo-yoing through every diet you can find unless you convince your subconscious mind that it’s safe to be fit.

This isn’t just about diets- any fears, traumas, emotional wounds, worries, etc… have a major effect on how well and how quickly mindfulness can work.

There are various ways to deal with subconscious emotional wounds and programs: hypnosis, EFT, EMDR, and my tools which combine all of those methods and more to create fast permanent results, which you can then replicate for yourself again and again with anything that hold you back.

Once you have cleared something on a subconscious level, it will be far easier…or perhaps even unnecessary sometimes, to practice mindfulness. Imagine not having to talk yourself down from emotional responses any longer because you’ve healed them at their root.

Regardless of your goals or intentions, healing your subconscious perception of the world is the most effective and efficient way to get there.

About the author:

April Adams specializes in combining the power of the mind with the power of the spirit in order to create the best possible life. April is an Emotional Health Consultant, Author, PSTEC Advanced & Hypnosis Practitioner, Intuitive Life Coach, Meditation Trainer, and Marconic Level III Practitioner. She is the creator of The Essence Healing System and the author of the books “Essence: Ending Emptiness, Finding Fulfillment”,  “Less Logic More Wisdom: Surviving The Shift With Your Sanity Intact”. Her newest release is a workbook entitled “Crack The Longing Code.” 



Four Months In...

Here I sit, in the Guild, four months in.  I've got two iPads, three phones, a coffee, 2 checkbooks, and a full page to-do list surrounding me.  It's Friday, the day I dedicate to my newest baby - The River Guild.

For those of you who know me, this will not be shocking: I did not think this project through (not even a little bit) before signing a lease and forming an LLC.  Well, that's not true.  I imagined it—in my mind and heart.  I also had a good feeling about it (which was oh so comforting to my wife). It was so obvious to me that this was going to fill a void in our community.  How could it not succeed?

That is how I felt every day... with an emphasis on the word "day".

When 3 am rolled around, nightly, a switch inside me flipped.  Eyes wide open, heart quickening.  The thoughts.  Oh, the thoughts.  Every possible negative outcome would come to mind, all with a strong undercurrent of financial instability.  

I would fall back asleep within an hour or so. In the morning the dreamer in me, and the doer in me would take over. She would take on the day.

There were a number of events that happened in the renovations that, to me, were signs this project was meant to be. These events would solidify my resolve, elevate my mood, and define my purpose.  The most memorable signal happened after the hardest night I experienced. I had woken up with such doubt in myself, my vision and the Guild that I was unable to fall back asleep. I arrived at the birth center for a full day of prenatal appointments tired and sad.  

That day, mid-morning, I saw Patrick walking toward the birth center with purpose.  Patrick is a property manager at the Smokestack Center as well as a talented musician. "Hey, I heard you got a piano at the Guild!" I told him that yes, I got one free on Craigslist. I asked him if he wanted to check it out.

We walked over to The River Guild and he sat at the piano.  The room is large, and there is a dramatic echo. It is calmly and warmly lit.  I watched Pat play. He played well, and he played beautifully, for about 10 minutes.  As I listened, I could feel the constriction in my chest melt. My tears were close to the surface. I couldn't have imagined a more beautiful sign at a more desperate time. I realized that everything about the Guild is meant to be; that basing a business on health, community, and the recognition of each other's worth and talent cannot fail. Leading from the heart and taking action in my own truth is all that I can and should do. My tired mind and body wanted to collapse to the floor in relief.

4 months in.  I'm digging everything about The River Guild.  My favorite event, our monthly potluck, is next Friday.  The potluck is my favorite event because people show up, eat delicious food, and talk. Kids run around like a pack of wild dogs. Everyone is happy, and everyone is warmly welcomed. I look around at each potluck and feel the tears welling up - because it's what I have worked so hard for.  It is what we have worked so hard for.

See you there.

Kate Hartwell


Plant a Seed

When I was little I never understood why my Mom loved to garden. She spent a good bit of time perfecting her flower patches and watching them grow. We would always have gorgeous bouquets on the dining room table, thanks to her gardens. I never had any interest in passing time with plants, aside from proudly picking all of her tulips one year or beheading dandelions (much to my father’s dismay and his never ending battle with the weeds). My Mom must have planted the seed though, as now that I have my own kids, I get it. Boy, do I get it. I completely understand why she loves gardening so much. What a glorious escape!

All winter long, I plan my vegetable garden and think about new spots in the yard to plant flowers. At the first sign of spring, I become even more excited for the upcoming season. I carefully select vegetable seeds and get them started. I walk my yard daily, searching for the first sprouts and breathing in the crisp spring air. It clicked for me last year, this gardening thing. In that moment, with dirty hands and the sound of my boys playing alongside me, I became very thankful that my Mom shared her love of gardening with me. Though I didn’t appreciate it then, I do now.

The best part of it all is involving my boys. At almost two and four, they are sponges for knowledge. It is now my turn to plant the seed in them. To teach them the ways of the garden and instill in them a love of nature. So far, they love it too. I know there may come a time when they can’t be bothered to help in the garden, but for now it is a new adventure for them. They are just as excited to start the vegetable seeds and look at the dirt each day to see if anything is popping through. They too enjoy walking the yard and learning about the various plants coming up through the Earth.

As a mom, I feel it is so important to share my love of nature and teach my boys where food comes from. As our vegetable plants gift us throughout the summer months, my boys enjoy eating straight from the garden. I don’t care that the majority of our vegetables never make it to our dinner table! Seeing the joy on their faces when they find a new bean on the vine or a ripening tomato is what this is all about. What better way to build healthy habits! We also frequent local farms and pick every berry and fruit as it comes into season.

As a mom, I sometimes need a break from the crazy circus that is raising two amazing yet challenging little boys. This is where gardening comes in. To pull weeds releases frustrations. To cut flowers and put them on the kitchen table reminds me of my childhood and gives me something pretty to look at when one of my boys is having a moment. To spend time in the garden gives me a chance to soak up some sun and dream about having a mini farm someday.

I also feel it important to carry this love of gardening into what I do for work. As a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, I work with children who struggle with eating. I often encourage their families to plant a few vegetables and involve their kids in the process. When this isn’t an option, I suggest bringing the children to farms and picking whatever crop is ready at that time. As parents we need to show our children the process and give them the full sensory experience of food. I have seen many a choosey eater enjoy fruits and vegetables when experiencing them in nature.

I do hope my boys continue to enjoy the garden or at least have memories of our time spent pigging out on delicious veggies while chatting in the yard. I certainly cherish this time and am so thankful my Mom shared her knowledge. Apparently I was listening!

So plant that seed. Whether it is a vegetable garden, a flower garden, or a metaphor for some other garden, plant the seed. Instill in your children the same love you have for your values, hobbies, and passions. Get outside, breathe in the fresh air, and make some memories. Even if your children don’t pick up on these things now, they will someday.

-Barbara Cloutier