How to Live a More Meaningful Life

Author: Meera, December 19, 2017

Since the dawn of civilization, humans have engaged in repeated, meaningful acts or rituals. Anthropologists who have observed and studied rituals across cultures point out that rituals vary greatly and are used for many reasons–from healing grief, reducing anxiety, invoking dreams, setting intentions, or enhancing confidence. See,



More than 150 rituals for sound mind, strong body, and meaningful connections to the people around you

More than 150 rituals for sound mind, strong body, and meaningful connections to the people around you


While social scientists have not fully addressed precisely how rituals work, research shows that they do work.  Whether it is the effort we put into the repetition of steps or the degree of commitment we have for doing the ritual, rituals add meaning to activities that we use to cope, feel confident, and mark milestones as well as passages in our lives.


From a personal standpoint, I’ve seen rituals of many cultures in my travels, and even participated in some. In Rituals for Life. my goal was to show how even the simplest act of awakening at dawn, for example, when yoked with a ritual (such as folding hands and facing the sun or spending a moment in mindfulness) can impart meaning and set the tone for a new day.


I used rituals that included declaration of intention, visualization, and other techniques to manifest my farmette and other elements of the ideal life I wanted–a life of living close to the earth, finding meaning in everyday activities, and writing books on topics I love.


In Rituals for Life, the complexity of the rituals in each chapter varies–some are quite simple; for example, practicing mindfulness as you drink a glass of warm water with lemon for your health. Alternatively, a ritual for embarking on a personal empowerment retreat has a few more steps. Instead of going through the motions of a daily routine without giving much thought to what you’re doing, adding a simple ritual can layer in meaning.


Whether you seek vibrant mind-body health, more gratitude, techniques for grounding, a sense of peace, financial security, or personal empowerment and  renewal, you’ll find chapters on these topics and others as well as sequences of rituals at the end of each chapter.


Rituals for Life is an easy-to-use, self-help book for anyone who desires a more meaningful and mindful way of living. This hardcover book is the perfect starting point for creating a fantastic new year or new life. To see more, click on the URL:


Surprise someone you love.  Tuck this little volume into the holiday stocking of a friend or loved one. Or, treat yourself.  Enjoy! –Happy Holidays to all, from Meera Lester








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Can You Say Duck?

Author: Meera, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year! What are you planning for your New Year’s Day dinner? Here on our Northern California farmette, we love a New Year’s meal of cracked crab, sourdough bread, and a crisp winter salad, but this year I think we’ll have duck instead.


Crab season in Northern California has been put on hold thanks to an unprecedented algae season. Our local Dungeness crab has become infected with domaic acid, a neurotoxin produced by the microscopic algae that can cause human illness and death. Testing continues until the crab is safe to eat.


In the meantime, crab is being imported to local stores and restaurants, but it is expensive. With other issues with salmon, sardines, shrimp, and tuna, a seafood shopper might turn to Safeway. The store now offers Fair Trade Certified seafood, in an effort to reduce the seafood/fishing industry’s human rights abuses. But if there’s crab, it’s not local.


There are many other options, but I wouldn’t mind a farm-raised (mind you, I don’t mean “factory-farm raised,” which I’m against), free-range duck for dinner. I was raised on a farm and my grandparents (who raised me for a period in my life) kept chickens, cows, pigs, and horses. Meat (like Boone County ham and, yes, pickled pigs feet) was part of our diet along with all the delicious vegetables and fruits my grandmother grew and in her various gardens and preserved in myriad ways.


Maybe the rest of our duck meal could include a winter salad with citrus, pears, goat cheese, and sugared pecans; roast potatoes, green beans, and a chocolate sheet cake. We’ve got sparkling cider and wine. That sounds pretty good, but it isn’t crab, which is really the meal with which we wanted to start 2016. So, I guess duck will have to do.



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