My Dread Journey: Two Months

I can’t believe it’s already been two months! Time flies, it seems. Two months ago Joeke from SoraOrigins came over to make a start on my untameable (with a brush) hair, to turn them into dreads. At first we were planning only to do the lower half of my hair and I would leave the rest of my hair loose… But that same night we decided otherwise, hahaha, because my loose hair wouldn’t stop tangling and I really didn’t want to damage my new dreads with a brush. So, that same night I asked Joeke if she could do the rest of my hair as well. We had a good laugh about it, because well, we hadn’t really expected anything else after her first visit. The second appointment took quite a while, however… because the Netherlands went into lockdown, but thankfully the wait wasn’t too long.

This was my hair before dreads

In two days the rest of my unruly, long hair was turned from a complete chaos into an organized one with dreads! I was so happy! In total I now have 77 dreads and still have two loose strands of hair at the front. I’m not sure if I’ll keep those loose. It looks great, but it still tangles so much and it makes me mad sometimes. So, who knows… But for now I have 77 beautiful dreads.

During day 1 of getting dreads 🙂

I really love how my baby dreads evolve into young dreads and how they are changing. Not a single one is like the other, some are thicker, some are thinner, but I love them all equally. This hairstyle is so me and I really don’t want anything else anymore. In the past I used to have synthetic dreads a couple of times, they looked great and I would even consider wearing some along my own dreads now, when I go to a festival, for instance, but a full head of synthetic dreads just isn’t entirely my style. Another downside of synthetic dreads is that it’s not wise to keep them longer than three months at the most, to prevent your own hair from felting. Removing synthetic dreads at that point can be very hard and painful. Luckily you don’t have to do that with real dreads, of course, because they’re permanent. You could always comb them out, but in all honesty, I hope I’ll never have to do that myself! I also didn’t like the added weight of synthetic dreads, because it was really heavy. I had about 120 of them and they really added a lot of weight in addition to my own hair. So, now, after so long I finally got real dreads and OMG I love them! The whole process is so enjoyable, because that’s what it is!

The first two months I’ve palm rolled my dreads on a daily basis. You do this to make sure your dreads keep their round form and don’t become flat. I’m not going to keep doing this on a daily basis, because it’s good to let them form on their own, but I’ll still keep palm rolling about twice a week. I use tightening products from Raw Roots and Dollylocks (Patchouli Fields) for this and order them at DreadShop. OMG these products smell so incredibly good, I can really recommend them to anyone with dreads. There are many different fragrances to choose from and I can’t wait to use them all, like Nag Champa… Another thing about them is that they’re made using all natural ingredients, so they’re not harmful for our planet, and as you know, this is very important to me! I’d also like to try their shampoo bars for real dreads, they seem so great!

Here are some of the products I use! 🙂

I wash my scalp weekly (relax, I take a shower more often than that, but I wear a special shower cap to prevent my dreads from getting wet. This shower cap is awesome and allows you to take a shower normally, because otherwise you’d have to position yourself pretty oddly to prevent your hair from getting wet and you really don’t want to risk a back injury! I wash my scalp with a shampoobar from Flyway Hair from Lush, I let the shampoo wash away along my dreads, so that they get clean too. This is a bit faster than when I really wash my dreads, because that is a bit more time consuming and something I usually do on Sunday mornings when we don’t have any appointments. Of course, when I wash my dreads I turn the shower off when I’m soaping my dreads, because otherwise I’d waste a ton of water and I don’t want to be wasteful. I rinse out my dreads to make sure no soap remains in them and pat dry them. After that I keep a towel on them for about 15-20 minutes and the rest of the day I’ll have to entertain myself inside, as long as it’s still winter at least. It takes until well into the evening before my hair is finally dry. Luckily, I was already used to that taking ages before I had dreads, hahaha.

When I told people that I was going to get real dreads this was met with some resistance from a couple of people, because they said I’d ruin my beautiful hair (spoiler alert; it doesn’t!) and they thought dreads were the most horrible thing ever. Not that those negative nancies stopped me from doing it anyway. This is what I want and it’s my hair, not theirs. To be honest, I’ve never felt more me than I have now that I have real dreads. They make me feel complete. I have quite a past and was barely allowed to be myself and taking dreads has really blasted myself forwards, finally being able to do what I want and like. That freedom is a true blessing.

One of the most shocked questions people ask me about dreads is: “But can you wash them?!” Ehh, of course you can, it’s still hair and just with any other person, you can wash them. Another question is: “Aren’t dreads really dirty?” Nope. They’re not, depending on the person who has them, of course. Of course, there are some people who don’t take care of them at all, but most dreadheads are very clean and have dreads that smell amazing. I’m afraid there will always be prejudices and stereotypes, as long as people don’t want to utilize their brains. Aww well, I don’t care and don’t bother with those folks. Trust me, the day you choose for yourself and you don’t allow others to tell you how to look, it is such a liberating experience.

I’m really looking forward to seeing my dreads develop and evolve further and I’ll keep you all updated, also about which dread products I use and recommend and much, much more!

Here’s a picture of my dreads from today, after two months with dreads. I am so incredibly happy with them! #dreads4life

Would you like to maintain your dreads and take good care of them? Real dreads, or synthetic dreads, it doesn’t matter. Just head over to DreadShop for all of your dreadhead products and if you want, you can use my code for a 10% discount. ^_^ Just fill in the discount code: greendreamdreads when you check-out at the shop and enjoy your wonderful products! 😀

Love,

Bren Medusa

Review: Fairphone 4

Hello everyone and welcome to my review of the Fairphone 4. I’ve had this phone for a couple of weeks now and thought this was a perfect time to share my thoughts on it, now that I’ve had some time to experience daily use over the course of a few weeks.

Sustainable. Long-lasting. Fair.

This is the tagline that Fairphone uses to describe the Fairphone 4 in a few words. As you know, Bren and I value a sustainable lifestyle and we try to live a low-waste, environment friendly life. Is the Fairphone 4 a match made in heaven? The Fairphone 4 is made using as much recycled materials as possible. As they describe it on their website:

We go one step further to conserve the precious materials used in manufacturing electronic products. When you buy a Fairphone 4, we responsibly recycle or give one old phone a second life.

This means 100% compensation for the material we put into the market. This is first in the smartphone industry and it’s exactly the kind of dedication you won’t find anywhere else!

Unboxing the Fairphone 4

First off, I really like the box design. It’s simple, but looks great.

Fairphone 4 1

Then, when you remove the cover, this is what you see next:

Fairphone 4 2

There’s no fancy carton, just simple old skool with the text “Change is in your hands” on it. I thought it was pretty nifty, because it can be interpreted in a couple of ways. Holding the new phone in your hands, one that was manufactured the way it is, is change itself. But I thought it was also a good reminder that change is in all of our hands. Not only our choice of phone, but our entire lifestyle, we are the change if we want to make it happen. And well, here at the Green Dream Blog, we most certainly want to be the change! 🙂

Fairphone 4 3

After removing the lid there’s some more info before you finally remove that last flap that shows us the actual phone. As you can see the Fairphone 4 has a modular design. I was so happy that I was finally able to remove the backlid of my phone again. Something that was really missing from new phones from brands such as Samsung and Apple. Also a horrible change, because you can no longer replace the batteries or any other part of the device yourself. With the Fairphone 4 you can do all of that once again, as it should be. All the other brands should be ashamed of themselves for enabling the throwaway society in such a horrible, horrible way.

Fairphone 4 4

And here it finally is, the phone itself and some more nifty information about the phone! 🙂 And as you can see, here is the tagline once again on the phone cover itself.

Fairphone 4 6

And finally the phone itself with the quick start guide. I had to remove the back cover to install the sim card, which I was a bit scared to do, because the cover doesn’t come off quite easy and I was anxious whether or not I would put too much pressure on the plastic, forcing it to break. But thankfully, the cover is quite sturdy, of course, you rarely remove the cover, so that helps too.

The phone has a nice, big screen of 15.24 cm, or 6.3 inches in diameter, which is just perfect for me. Although I don’t play games on my phone anymore (I quit that last year and it saves a lot of time), I do use my phone for taking pictures and to post content on Instagram, check WordPress for both of the blogs I write content for, and for mail and chat. So I do have some demands on what I look for in a phone, but I don’t need a high-end phone that will cost me 1200 euros, because let’s be honest, that is a lot of money for a phone. I’m really glad that the price for the Fairphone 4 is € 649,- for the 256 Gb version, which I bought.

Android, but slightly different

Using the Fairphone 4 is a bit different from what I was used to with my old Galaxy Note 8, but the overall functionality of Android is the same. What I do like about the Fairphone 4’s version is that there are some exclusive apps on it, among which is a Fairphone app which you can use to challenge yourself in reducing your carbon footprint. It includes challenges you can do and can ask you at an interval of your choosing to take a survey to check your current footprint based on a short questionnaire.

What I also really like about this phone is the Digital Wellbeing and parental controls part of the setting. At 23:00 every day my phone goes into Bedtime mode, which means the phone will go into a Do Not Disturb mode and the screen goes to greyscale. It’s really weird, but I’ve found that this drastically reduces my interest in my phone, causing me to not engage in checking Instragram, or Reddit.

The Camera

One thing I noticed when I was looking up reviews for the Fairphone 4 was that a lot of them were mentioning that the camera wasn’t that great. I use my phone to take a lot of pictures, so naturally I was a bit bummed out to find out that so many people weren’t very happy about the camera. But another thing that was also mentioned was that this was mostly down to the pre-installed software for the camera not doing any touch-ups on the pictures you take. Personally, I love that the camera takes the picture as is, because this gives you all the freedom to adjust the picture with filters and whatnot. But so far, I’m really not unhappy about the camera and it does what it should do. The only thing I miss a little is various settings such as “food” and “live focus”, but I’m sure there are apps that can do this if I really need it.

Fp4-dual-camera

No cables, charger or headphones

Another thing to mention is that the Fairphone 4 doesn’t come with any accessories at all. It’s just the phone and nothing else. This is done because at Fairphone they believe you already have the charger you need and everything else. They’re not wrong, because we do have plenty of USB-C cables and I already had a pair of earbuds too, so I really didn’t need any of those things at all. Less waste!

Overall

If by now you don’t know that I’m really really really really enthusiastic about the Fairphone 4, you haven’t been reading this review and just scrolled down to see how I would rate it. Well, I won’t exactly give the phone a rating in numbers or anything. All I can say is that if you really care about the environment and making a change for the better for our planet, then choosing the Fairphone 4 is one step in the right direction. You can also send your old phones to Fairphone and they’ll salvage any part they can to reuse in a new phone. I think we owe it to ourselves to be more mindful of all the waste we produce and really try to use our phones longer than just the 2-years the contract lasts before choosing a new toy we don’t really need. I intend to use this phone as long as possible and since I’m not a high-end user, I think it’ll last me at least five years, hopefully longer. Not only does this help reduce the carbon emissions, it also saves a lot of money. So it’s a win-win-win. Win for the planet, win for Fairphone and a win for me. 🙂

Have a nice day!

Jeffrey

Monday Musings, Week 6, 2022

Hello there lovely people! It’s the second week in February and this morning, when I left the gym from my morning routine, the sun was shining and that was the first sign to me that spring is on its way! Such a lovely feeling when you don’t return home in the dark. Things are quite busy at my office job currently, which is a really good thing too. It’s as if a lot of companies are finally getting the confidence to get back on track. You can really tell everyone is “done” with COVID-19 as well and if things keep up like they do with the current Omicron variant, hopefully it won’t be long before the virus loses its pandemic status. I think I’ll set a reminder for myself in a year time to read this blog again and see how everything panned out. 😉

Monday Musings #6

Busy making the Green Dream work

As you all know, Bren and I have been working hard to get the Green Dream blog started, but last week I also spent some time trying to see if we can start the merging process of the shop being added to the website. It’s going to take a little while, but hopefully at the end of the week we’ll finally be able to put Bren’s items for sale on our very own webshop on the blog. Besides all of that Bren’s busy behind the curtains with all kinds of great stuff that she’ll be able to tell more about soon 🙂 Her post on Imbolc was our biggest success to date and we’ve seen our followers on Instagram grow rapidly, which is really awesome to see. All in all, we’re really happy with how things are going and this year is off to a great start.

Writing and drawing, the process begins

Last week I told you that I was going to re-read what I had written for my upcoming Kevar novel and this week I’m going to start writing a brand new chapter for this story. I’ve not really settled on the style yet, but I am confident that this will come to me naturally as I’ve had enough time by now to think about where I want the story to be headed and how I’m going to focus on the first character of the five. Yesterday I also spent some time to finally draw a little bit again and although I would really love to develop myself in this regard to the point where I can make my own (concept) art, I thought I’d just share where I am now with you. It’s definitely not my best work, but you have to start from a certain point and this is mine. I really hope that one day I’ll be able to truly portray on paper what I have in my mind, because it is so infinitely cooler than what I’m currently capable of drawing. But this is a process that takes time and I’ve found several good tutorials that I’m going to try and develop my skills in that regard as well.

Kevar Drawing

I really hope that I can take all of you along for the journey of improving both my drawing and writing skills and how I go about writing this scifi novel, because it does take a lot of imagination and we all draw inspiration from things in our direct surroundings. This process is a lot of fun, but can also be a bit scary, especially if you don’t have any idea of what you’re writing is any fun to read for anyone else. So, I’ll go about a few things in upcoming writing blogs, stuff like how I like to plot, how I develop characters, come up with names for them and how I always let someone else read my material to see if it resonates well, or not.

Other upcoming blogs

A couple of weeks ago I finally received my new phone, a Fairphone 4. Bren told me all about these phones and how they’re made of recycled materials and that this phone is the phone if you want to buy something that is more sustainable, while at the same time on par with the quality you’re used to. I plan to post my review and unboxing later this week. I’m also nearly done with The Power of Now and a review for this book will be posted on my own blog too. You can read Bren’s review on our blog The Book Dragon’s Nook.

I hope you’re all going to have a good week!

Happy Monday!

Jeffrey

Review: Earthshot – How To Save Our Planet

Genre: Non-Fiction / Climate Change & Sustainability
Uitgever: L.S.
ISBN: 978-90-245-9760-4
Edition: Hardcover
Page Count: 335
Release Date: September 2021

Cover text:

As Prince William, founder of The Earthshot Prize, said, “The Earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet, or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate, and problem-solve. People can achieve great things. The next ten years present us with one of our greatest tests – a decade of action to repair the Earth.”

Earthshot - Cover

Earthshot – How To Save Our Planet is not an easy book, and that’s a very good thing in this case. It’s a very confronting book about all of our current day problems regarding our home world. Pollution, climate change, deforestation, plastic, carbon emissions, mass extinction, you name it and this book covers it. But despite showing us what all of these problems are, this book also gives us hope that we can make a change for the better. With the added caveat that we need to hurry if we want to prevent irreversible damage to our planet.

Earthshot is divided into three parts. The first part is all about this crucial decennium. The years ’20 should be spent on preventing more damage to our planet, lowering or even nullifying damaging effects and changing our way of living to become more sustainable. Five crises have been identified that we need to work on:

  • Reduction of nature
  • Life in our oceans
  • Air pollution
  • Climate change
  • Waste management

The book also states that although things look grim, we shouldn’t become pessimistic. There are plenty of examples of people, or even whole countries doing a great job to bring about change for the better, by reforestation, designating no-fishing zones and coming up with all kinds of clever ways to recycle things. Careful optimism is what will ultimately set change in motion and that’s exactly what we should all have when it comes to saving our planet.

The second part of the book handles all five aforementioned crises and what can be done to reverse the damage we’ve done. It gives us examples of how we can go about doing all of this, but also tries to create a complete, but slightly distilled view of our problems. This felt a bit like how Bill Gates handles his book ‘How To Avoid A Climate Disaster’, which I read last year. But where I felt that the latter sometimes had maybe too much of a “birds-eye-view” of the problems, Earthshot shows us what some people are already doing to bring back nature, or reduce carbon emissions. What becomes clear is that it’s impossible for each person to do something about all of this individually and we’ll have to rely on everyone to help in any given area that needs our attention.

Earthshot - 1

The third and last part of the book tells us how we should try to handle each of these problems, but also gives the reader tips on how to do something themselves. That’s also what Bren and I have started this blog for, to help share ideas for a better, healthier and sustainable lifestyle. The book not only tells us what we can do individually, but also as a collective. The thing is that never before we have known just how bad all of our problems are, but this is also a time where we have all of the means to make a change for the better. This book was inspiring to read and it has shown me even more that we should all be doing our part for our planet. There is no planet B (definitely not within reach for us with our current technology) and we should do everything we can to save our beautiful world. If not for ourselves, definitely for future generations.

Earthshot is one of those books that’s characteristic for its time. We have lived in a very unsustainable way for a long time, even when it was already clear that carbon emissions were harmful to our planet, that plastic waste is very bad and we have just let everything linger on. The urgent message of the book is clear: “We only get one chance to do it right and we shouldn’t wait any longer to make changes for the better of our planet.” Bren and I are doing our part, having changed and continuing to change our lifestyle to be more sustainable, but it’s important that not just individuals make a change, large corporations need to show us that they care too and governments will need to enforce laws that punish anything that damages our beautiful planet and ecosystems even more. This is the way.

Cover: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Storytelling: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Originality: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Content: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Font: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Paper Smell: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Happy Reading!

Jeffrey

The Modern Stoic Approach #1: What Others Think of You

Hello everyone! As some of you may know, I fancy myself somewhat of a modern day stoic. Stoicism has been around for ages and it is a take on life that makes life a whole lot less miserable. One of the main principles of stoicism is that you don’t care about anything that’s going on outside of your head, especially if you don’t have any influence on it. This applies to a multitude of things and although I agree with this old axiom, I think there’s a multitude of instances where we should care about stuff outside our control, as long as we have enough influence to make a difference. Today I want to share a bit about handling what others think of you, and how not caring about this will give you more peace of mind. You can’t control what others think of you The only thing we have control of is what’s going on in our own mind. We are responsible for our own thoughts and behaviour towards others. This means that others are in control of their mind and their thoughts as well and you have zero influence on that. Sure, you can do all kinds of things to make someone like you and have good thoughts about you, but in the end, their view of you will always be different from what you think, or want them to be. In other words, it is impossible to control what others think of you, although being nice goes a long way to influence their thoughts about you. What Others Think of You What’s more important is the people who have a negative view of you, for whatever reason and somehow, their view of you affects you. You want them to like you, but for some reason you can’t. And these are the people that probably most bother you. Why can’t Karen from HR like me? What did I ever do to her? Well, maybe it wasn’t anything in particular. Sometimes people just don’t like you, for whatever reason. Or maybe it’s because you stole her lunch from the office fridge that was clearly labeled Karen’s lunch, don’t touch!:P Or they might just hate all people, like a good misanthrope, or maybe they just don’t like the looks you’re giving them. You have zero control on this and realizing this can be a good first step towards acceptance of this fact. Not everyone will like you, even though it is almost ingrained in our nature that we want everyone to like us. Stop getting onto the thoughttrain to “People don’t like me”-ville An important part of meditation is not giving attention to your thoughts. Recognizing that you’re thinking, observing this fact and then letting go of the thought. I find that practicing this makes it even more easy to let go of thoughts like “Why doesn’t person X like me?”. It also helps that I no longer feel a a need to have fictional conversations with people who clearly don’t like me for whatever reason, or trying to figure out why exactly this is. All these kinds of thoughts are fruitless and even if you think you’ve gone of all the different options in certain conversations they’ll always be different in real life. I know, because I used to be a heavy overthinker. Stop Overthinking I know it’s not easy to stop our thoughts from taking us for a ride. But recognizing that we are thinking makes it a lot easier to let go of them. Especially if you’re thinking in what-ifs and if-only type of thoughts. Does that mean that we should stop caring entirely about what people think of us? Well, no, of course not. I still think it’s important that Bren and my best friends and family think well of me, but the only way you can achieve that is by not being a total douche and just being a nice person in general. And you can only achieve that by being genuine and doing things for others without expecting anything in return. Unless it’s a business transaction where you agreed upon service X for payment Y, you should never expect anything in return. The simple fact that you’re doing something for someone you love or like should never be with the intention of being rewarded for it, or to keep it close to the subject of this blog, you shouldn’t expect someone to like you more if you keep doing them favours. That’s a perfect way to end up becoming a doormat and you really don’t want to become one. Letting go of the urge to be liked When I was in my twenties I used to go to a lot of parties and I had dozens of “friends”. Even at that age I was already making a clear distinction between my best friends and people who I considered friends, but I knew would never reach that same level of deep connection as my best friends. Time can only be spent once and you have to carefully choose how to spend it and on whom. At least, that’s how I think about this. But back then, I wanted to please everyone and so I would rarely miss any party, for fear of missing out (I’ll write more about “FOMO” in a future article), but mostly because I didn’t want to let other people down. Skip forward to 2021, where I had my burn-out and finally could admit that I was doing it wrong all this time by cramming my schedule full of appointments just to please my friends. I knew that this approach was exhausting and I was finally able to admit that it is okay to so “No”. In this modern day and age it is very easy to get busy really fast. But honestly, people will understand if you are honest and say “No” to coming to their party. If they don’t, that is their problem, not yours. You can always say that you’re really tired and need some time for yourself and that you’d love to see them at some later time. Very often this is even better, because you can just meet 1-on-1, giving you both the time to catch up. This is something that you can’t really do at parties, because there are a lot of people around and the one throwing the party is often occupied all night long talking to everyone, and keeping the party going. Do You Like Me The best kind of people are those who understand that you’re a human being and that you can’t always be there all the time, because you also need time for yourself. And if they get angry, or frustrated, don’t question yourself, but them. It always says more about them than it does about you, remember that. If you have a legitimate reason for not wanting to go, and that includes a need for rest, then just be honest. They might not like what they hear, but at least they’ll know you are an honest and genuine person and that’s better than sacrificing your own (mental) health just to please them. Sometimes you have to put yourself in first place, so everyone can enjoy your company for a long time to come. What truly matters is what you think about yourself So, hopefully I’ve given you some food for thought. In the end, what matters if whether you think well of yourself. If you’re a decent human being, you can always look into the mirror knowing you’ve been true to yourself and that you don’t care too much about what others think of you. I know I said you shouldn’t care about what others think, but there are a few exceptions, like your spouse, friends, family and children. The ones you are willing to invest time, effort and love into. But with just the right amount of not caring about what everyone else thinks about you, you should save yourself a lot of energy and most importantly time. Thinking in what-ifs and if-only thought patterns is a big waste of time. Surely it can be nice to fantasize sometimes, but I’m referring to the overly negative ones whenever something went wrong and you wish you’d done things differently, or you wish the outcome of a certain event had gone different from your expectations. Always keep your expectations low, and you’ll rarely be disappointed. There are just too many factors outside of your control, most of the time, anyway. But there is always one thing you have complete control over and that’s your own thoughts and if there’s one thing that really helps me it’s not caring about the wrong things and giving just enough fucks about the things that are important to me. I’m happy I’ve reached this point in my life pretty early on, because I know a lot of people my age (I’m 40) and over are still struggling to find ways to deal with stuff like this and I always find it hard to offer any solid advice, but I hope I manged to do that in this blog! Did you find this read helpful, or do you have any tips of your own? Please let me know in the comments below! 🙂 Happy Life! ~Jeffrey

💚💚💚 Blessed Imbolc 💚💚💚

💚💚💚Blessed Imbolc💚💚💚

Imbolc (Oimelc, St. Brigid’s day) is the festival that marks the end of winter and brings us the hope of warmth and light, we’re getting closer to spring time. Normally around this time of the year the ground is covered with snow and it’s so cold and freezing, everything happens underground, but if you look closely enough you might see a little Snowdrop peekaboo above the cold ground. As if it were saying: “Keep hope, it won’t be long now till the cold is over.” And that’s what Imbolc stands for, with this festival we celebrate the hidden forces of nature and ourselves. Of course, we’re still living in the cold and darker season but it’s time to get ready for the period of growth. The first lambs will be born and we start to reflect on our plans for this year. What will we achieve and what do we need.

Imbolc_1

Imbolc also stands for cleansing, purification. We’re putting away the midwinter decorations that we might still have around and clean our houses and ourselves, getting ourselves ready for this new growth. Clean your house with some Florida water added to your mopping water and clean the floors with it. You can also add it to your bucket of cleaning water and clean everything while thinking about cleansing out all negativity and feel how it surrounds you with new and clear energy. Take a walk outside through nature and focus and fantasize on what you will achieve. Which seeds you will plant and how they will turn out. What is it that you really want to achieve. But stay silent, look around you and observe, when you’re home you can write it all down in your magical diary. Try to take walks as much as possible even when the weather is not that likable. With those daily walks (even it’s only for a short while) you are showing yourself that you’re ready to leave the winter season behind and starting your new path. You will get so much energy from it!💚

Imbolc_7
Of course there are many more rituals for celebrating Imbolc. Letting go of what we don’t need anymore and leaving it behind. Visualise what will sprout from the seeds that you’ve planted.

This is my altar for Imbolc (see picture below). You can decorate it as you like, of course. This year I chose to make it look like this. Also this is the first Imbolc for this antique secretaire that I bought at a thrift-store when we moved into our new house, and yes, i knew it when I saw this secretaire that this would be my main altar.

Imbolc_2

I crocheted little snowflakes and spread them around, cause it’s still winter and for me snowflakes are a sign that belongs to this year-festival.  Also there is a cute and oh so pretty little spirit doll that is especially made for this festival, created by the talented The Needle Witch (on fb) she’s surrounded by sea salt and herbs that stands for protection and make it look like shes dancing in the snow. I won this cutey in a give-away along with some items for a spell, and that spell is what you can see on this picture.

Imbolc_6

Before I started my ritual I purified myself, our house and my altar. I lighted up some candles as you can see, with my intentions and plans for the upcoming year in mind. The things I really want to accomplish, like that my shop will become a succes and that I can make my living off of it. That’s such a big wish of me and it’s something I wanted for such a long, long time and I finally took the step. With Yule I made decisions about how I want my life to become and what I need to let go of and do for that. And now with Imbolc I see it even more clearer, the decisions that I made are the right ones, I feel that trough my whole body and soul and I just have to stay focused and have faith and trust in myself that I can accomplish that.

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You can also see on top of my altar that there are several plants, I love plants like many people know already, but I keep plant seedlings on my altar to see them grow. For Imbolc I just thought that this is pretty cool and it fits great with this festival, cause you can also see those little baby plants grow and getting stronger, just as your plans and intentions for this year will grow and become what you want them to be. Just thought about that, and wanted to share that too with you. I’m a plantmom, can you tell? 😀

Later today I will do another Imbolc ritual and make a Brigit Cross, also Jeffrey will be joining the ritual tonight. He’s new in the art of witchcraft and doesn’t calls himself a witch (yet), but he really enjoys how pure rituals are and how its all about being thankful for what we have and what we receive, how green traditional witchcraft is about old traditions and nature. It’s such a blessing if you ask me, if your partner is totally okay with you as the person that you are 😀

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In this case his life is like one of a fairy tale, every time he comes home, that witch is on the couch (or somewhere else in our house, cooking, or whatever) hahaha.

Okay, time to close my screen and hop on to the kitchen and make some Imbolc nommies, a cake! (Will post a picture of that later on our Instagram page)

I wish you all a happy and Blessed Imbolc💚

Love,
Bren💚

Monday Musings, Week 5, 2022

Hello there lovely people! It’s yet another Monday and January is on its way out for 2022. That means the most depressing month is finally over and we can start looking forward to Spring. Tomorrow is also the Imbolc, the Pagan festival for the coming Spring. Bren and I will be celebrating and probably give it some attention on our blog, or at least our social media 😉

Monday Musings (5)

Yesterday I posted a recap of my goals for 2022 on my blog, and did a quick check-up to see if I was still on track. I’m really glad with how January went and am looking forward to what February will bring. Granted, I don’t really like January and February, but at least Spring will be a little bit closer and especially when there’s not really much winter weather and it’s basically just Autumn 6 months in a row, it gets a bit boring. Hopefully we might see some wintry days in February, I’d really love to see some snow and take a forest stroll.

Doing some thinking and re-reading for my upcoming scifi novel

This week I’m going to focus exclusively on reading through the material of my new novel. I wrote about two chapters spread across two years or so, so it is time for a visit and see if I still think it’s good, or maybe time to bin it all and restart all over again. My gut feeling says I’ll probably need to rewrite a little bit, but from what I remember I really like the start of the story. It basically just throws the reader right into the story and that’s how I like most of them to be.

The most important decision I’ll have to make, however, is the structure of the overall story. Since there’s going to be five medium sized novels, I’ll need to find a way to tell the main story, but there should also be a focus on every main character’s past before joining the unlikely band of heroes.

Upcoming blogs

I’ve also written a draft for a new mindfulness blog, which I’m going to post somewhere in the upcoming week. It is the first in a series on having a stoic mindset and I’m hoping to do many more of them. I’m also very excited to see reactions to it! I’ve also got a couple of reviews coming up for books I’m reading and I’m thinking about doing another videogame related blog on my own blog. They don’t get as much traffic as I had hoped, but I don’t care. I’m writing them for my own pleasure and that’s way more important than view counts and likes 😉

Happy Monday!

~Jeffrey

Review: De Weg van de Heks — Lunadea

This review first appeared on The Book Dragon’s Nook and was translated to English for The Green Dream.

Genre: Non-Fiction / Spirituality
Uitgever: AnkHermes
ISBN: 9789020216547  | E-book: 9789020216547
Edition: Paperback
Page Count: 175
Release Date: April 2020

“Have you always had the idea that you’re different than others?
Do you feel a deep connection with nature?
Are you interested in spirituality?
There’s a big chance that you’re a witch!”

De weg van de heks - kaft

‘De weg van de Heks’ (Way of the Witch in English) is a book that I just had to have. Witchcraft and I go hand in hand and make me the person I am today. I first listened to the audiobook version of this book on Story Tell, but after finishing it, I just had to have the book in physical form as well. So, I ordered the book through Lunadea’s website and received a signed copy! Being a witch I love reading about witchcraft. Of course, you just can’t have enough books as a human being, but as a witch you just can’t have enough books about this subject, it is impossible, I tell you! Of course, the best books are the ones that also teach you a thing or two you did not already know and this book did just that!

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Spirituality has always been a big part of my life. From when I was a small kid I was able to see entities and could sense all kinds of things, my connection with nature has always been deep, yet I was really doubting myself and my spirituality. I was afraid to say that I felt that I am a witch and bad relationships and certain family members certainly did not approve of it at all. They didn’t let me be me, disapproved of my practices and made fun of it. I’m glad I’ve gotten rid of those people in my life now, because they were seriously bad for my self esteem. I was also bullied quite extremely at school, for being different, despite the other kids knowing nothing about my spirituality and witchcraft. After becoming terribly ill and fighting for my life in 2018 I decided that enough was enough. I promised that I would survive, somehow, and that I would do everything within my power to become the person who I really am. The real me. I still don’t know how I managed to survive the hospital, but after I did, a new path was revealed to me and one of the books that really helped me to walk that path is this book. It gave me all the tools that I had lost along the way, took my insecurities away and gave me back that piece of me that I had been missing for so long. I can finally admit that I’m a witch, I can finally say I’m me. One of the most precious things in life, to have the freedom to be whoever or whatever you want to be!

In this book Lunadea tells about through her personal experiences what witchcraft is, how she experienced this through the years and how she approaches it. How to apply it in every day life, how magically thinking works and how to bring it into practice. She introduces you to all of the festivals and the Wheel of the Year. She also gives information on certain rituals, the different phases of our moon, herbs and many other subjects. There’s even a history section in the book about witchcraft, as you might know, witchcraft has quite a few black pages in history. Lunadea takes you by the hand on the path to becoming a witch yourself. Her writing style is smooth, spontaneous and accesible. That’s why it didn’t take me long to finish this book. It is definitely a good starting point if you want to read about the subject of witchcraft. The book also contains practices and tips you can try to see how it makes you feel and whether or not witchcraft might be something for you. This causes the book to not only be theoratical, but also practical! Once you finish reading, the book is a perfect reference, if you just want to know a specific thing quickly. 🙂

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“Witchcraft is living from within your own, natural, spirited core”

In most books about witchcraft you’ll often find rules, trust me, I can know, because I have quite a few books on the subject. “You have to do this”, “You cannot do that”, “This is the only way”, etc. Sometimes this caused me to think if I were reading a bible, or other very strict scripture. I don’t think there’s something wrong with the bible, by the way. Everyone is entitled to his or her own beliefs and lifestyle. It just happens not be mine, haha. If something causes my neck hairs to stand on end it’s strict rules. Witchcraft, to me, is all about freedom and living life as you want, as long as you don’t hurt others in the process. Living with nature and the season’s changes and the different moon cycles. Whenever any book brought up any rules, I would often quit reading, or stopped taking it seriously. All these forced things that were brought up in those books didn’t feel right and trustworthy and if there’s something witchcraft is all about it’s trust in nature and oneself. Modern witchcraft, like Wicca is not for me, personally. I’m a traditional green witch and stand firmly on the ground with both my feet. The important thing is that you should feel good about what you’re doing and how you’re living, without being forced to live a certain way, because that should never be the case.

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And that’s something Lunadea illustrates amazingly well in this book. There is no “you must”, she doesn’t tell you what to do, but rather gives advice and tips and leaves it up to you to apply these in your life, if you wish to do so. She explains witchcraft in a straightforward manner, using her experience of over twenty years of being a witch. Her motto: “Do no harm, but take no shit.” If witchcraft is going to have just one rule, that should be it, if you ask me. Lunadea gave me the feeling of “coming home” while reading her book. Everything fell in place and I felt the witch in me finally awaken again. I was finally able to flourish and that feeling felt so familiar and trusted. For the first time in ages I didn’t feel like I was alone anymore. I wasn’t held back anymore and I recognized so much from Lunadea’s story in my own life. I know it’s not common for people to admit that they’re a witch, and there are many factors that come into play here, but all my life I’ve known I’m different from most others. I love calm and quiet, walks through nature, that’s how I truly relax and find piece of mind. I’m not a very outgoing type, but rather a homebody and spirituality has been a passion of mine from when I was a young girl. Of course, this is still the case and all I needed was this Wake up call’ to allow myself to be myself again, a traditional, green witch. #proudofmyself I’m so grateful for Lunadea for writing this book, I would just love to give her a big hug for creating this lovely book. 🙂

“During the year the temperature changes, because the Sun is at a different distance from the Earth. This influences the weather, which influences nature and so, everything is connected.”

Are you interested in witchcraft, and would you like to know more about it, or are you looking for a reference book? Or maybe you’re still searching for your own identity and want to know if you’re actually a witch? Then stop looking and buy this book. Put on the kettle for a nice cup of tea, light some candles and snuggle up on the couch with this book! Maybe witchcraft is the right path for you? Whatever reason you have for buying this book, I wish you a lot of reading pleasure! I am looking forward to reading Lunadea’s next book!

This book can be ordered through Lunadea’s personal website, as well as anywhere online, of course! Check this link to order it: https://www.lunadea.nl/

Cover: 🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2
Vertelling: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Originaliteit: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Verhaal: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Lettertype: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Papiergeur: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Overall: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Happy Reading!
Liefs,Bren

Monday Musings, Week 4, 2022

Hello there lovely people! We’re nearing the end of January and I hope you’re all still on track with whatever goals you set for yourself. For me personally things have gone pretty well, I’ve been working on the new blog and relaxed for the most part of last weekend. Seeing as we didn’t have any appointments it was very nice that we didn’t have to do anything, so we spent our Saturday evening watching a movie “Don’t Look Up” with Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep. Sadly the cast of superstars wasn’t enough to save this movie. It wasn’t terrible, but it most definitely wasn’t great either. I also finished reading Earthshot, which will get a review later this week, as wel as Samus Returns (on my own blog).

Monday Musings (4)

Monthly review

At the end of this week, I’m going to have a look at my year goals and see how well I’ve done in the first month of this year. I know not every goal has had its share of attention, but overall I feel pretty good about what I’ve been working on this month. I think one of the main things is that I look at my To-Do lists a bit different than I used to. I try to get as much done as possible, of course, but when I don’t, or can’t for whatever reason I no longer feel bad about it and just see it as an opportunity to pick things up in the next week, month, or whatever time period.

More on mindful practices

Besides reviewing how my month went, I also have a couple ideas for new blogs about mindfulness. I’ve started reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and I’m also listening to an audiobook Get a F*cking Grip by Matthew Kimberley, which says it’s the last selfhelp book you’ll ever need. Let’s see if that’s true. 😉 Anyway, these books have sparked some motivation and inspiration in me to write something about the subject of mindfulness and how being present can really help you to focus on what’s truly important.

I hope you’ll all tune in on my blog later this week. For now I wish you all a great week!

Happy Monday!

~Jeffrey

Monday Musings, Week 3, 2022

Hello there lovely people! It’s the third Monday of January and that means it’s Blue Monday today. Have you given up on your new year’s resolutions yet? I most certainly haven’t, well, that is to say, I never had any in the first place, although I have my ten annual goals, of course. I just don’t really see them as any new year’s resolutions and I think that’s the right mindset. If you really want to change your life and improve your health by dropping bad habits, which is what most resolutions involve, then you can change them starting today. All you have to do is make it a priority, sounds easy enough, right? 😉

Monday Musings (3)

No more “full” lockdown

Last Friday we heard that some of the current lockdown measures were going to be dropped, starting last Saturday. That means a lot of non-essential shops could finally open their doors again, after a month of being closed. I’m also very pleased that the gyms are open again. After a flying start in November of last year I was pretty bummed out that the gyms were closed as well. I’m glad I can go again, as I was really feeling the benefits of exercising and I’m going to step it up a little bit this week, by hitting the gym four times, up from three. By March I want to hit the gym every weekday and alternate between cardio/weight training, so that I won’t strain myself.

The Green Dream is coming together nicely

Bren and I are working on bringing together her current Etsy shop and this blog. This means that her shop will get a name change from Bren’s Crafty World to The Green Dream Shop. We believe that bringing everything together will just make it much easier to run things, because we use the same name for the blog and shop. Both the shop and blog will have separate Instagram pages, just like I still run my own writer’s/blogger’s page there, but the blog and shop will have the same web address, which should make it a lot easier to find either, or both. 😉

Blogging, blogging, blogging

This week is going to be another fun week for blogging, I think. This week I’ll finish my read of Earthshot meaning a review is due soon. I’ve also started growing my own mushrooms, which I think is pretty awesome! Besides all that I’ve also got some other ideas for other blogs and I’m working on details for my upcoming scifi novels about the Kevar. All in all, busy times, but fun busy 😉 I hope you’re all going to have a great week!

Happy Monday!

~Jeffrey