Recently, I have been taking time to consider and realign with my self identification. This is in part an activity I am doing for myself as I continue to re-member my inherent worth in this world. This is also an effort to continue building and growing my business. So, who am I? Simply, put I am Nina, but that does not really answer the question. It is the name that was assigned to this body and one that I rather like too.
I have decided to change my “title” and I can do whatever I like because it is my business. My titles, yep more than one, include Maven of Sustainability, Fiber Engineer, Herb Dealer and Star Gazer. Maven of Sustainability is my overarching title - the other elements fit within that umbrella. As I continue to introduce myself I figure it might fun to explain and present each title to you.
Maven of Sustainability is a play on the M.S. behind my name. In reality M.S. stands for Master of Science, but in the practice of my life, Maven of Sustainability fits better. A maven is one who is experienced or knowledgeable. Sustainability is the effort one makes to live within their means with regards to resource use. Sustainability continues to be my primary driver in life. For me, sustainability is about minding the gap with regards to energy and resources. What is the gap? The gap is the space that disconnects you from the cyclical nature of life.
Fiber Engineer is an extension of my abilities as a sewist and fiber artist. In recent years, I have constructed some things that have blown even my own mind, like a panier bag out of burlap coffee sacks.
As a part of my life, I sew many things that I need and use. For example, stopped buying paper towels and paper napkins several years ago. I made cloth napkins and unpaper towels for my home. I did this to reduce the money I was spending at the store. An added benefit is that my household does not produce as much paper waste. We do still buy and use paper napkins once or twice a year. In this way, I have utilized my skills as a sewist to reduce my resource and energy gap by not purchasing and using paper products in my kitchen.
Herb Dealer is a silly title that in no way encompasses my work with plants. It was actually a fun little joke. J and I were working in the garden one day. While I was plucking away through the calendula patch, I piped up, “wouldn’t it be cool if I sold my excess calendula?” He replied with a “sure” or a shrug. Then I chuckled, “I could be an herb dealer!” Which caused us both to break out in laughter. Well, the universe heard the joy in that and met me halfway. I packed up some herbs for my next event and they sold well. Since then, I have been selling and sharing my excess dried herbs. In 2011, I began more intensive work with plants as I truly began my journey to heal and re-member my fractured Self. Now, I find myself in a place where if I am not working with plants, I feel disconnected and out of place. Gratefully, I have been able to get in some rare January garden work and the plans for the 2023 Yarden growing season are in play. My role learning and growing with plants gives me a chance to close the gap between me, my food and my medicine.
Which leads us to the reminder to look up, Star Gazer. In 2020, I took the opportunity to deepen my understanding of astrology with a year long course on Ancient Astrology. This course deepened my understanding of all the energetic work I had done and got me much more in touch with …. well everything. In fact, after I finished the course I took time off from thinking about astrology. I am glad to report that I am beginning to incorporate the movement of the stars back into my daily life. I appreciate these long winter nights to reconnect with the lights in the dark - even if it is cloudy. Through paying attention to planetary movements and lunar alignments, I am able to consider the astrological weather at play in my life. For example, as I write the first draft of this lengthy introduction, Mercury is in retrograde. I decided to take this time to disemble, clean and maintain all of my sewing machines. In the past, I have found difficulty sewing and creating with machinery during this period of time. I can tell you with great joy that this observation has been very satisfying. My machines and I will be whipping up more magic soon.
The only role I have not discussed in all of this is that of teacher and guide. Teaching has been such a strong part of my life that at times I forget it is part of me. I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others and helping them to discover the world. That being said, I am so grateful and eager to share my life and my knowledge with you. I hope it shines a light on your path. Be well.