I've known this cactus for a long time, almost as a caricature, a sort of desolate & uncomfortable reminder of when the thermo-meters hit 103', 105', oh yes, 110' here. Where once it was unbearably hot in the summer, now, with climate reality, the lawns are gone & we have a constant desert approaching. The heat is very literally tempering, forcing our best to focus, wilt, or bolt.

Maybe this is why, even as I've foraged the pears & paddles, I've never actually seen how the spines pierce a significant ombre, from burgundy, to rust, thru gold & cream. I'm suddenly covetous, wondering how to bedeck myself without hurting anything. The once drab-green boards are slate-grey-then-sage, to verde, lined with spires of...rosy turrets...lit candles...blushed clusters. Rows upon rows of tight tissue labias release as fierce, succulent flames filled with powders of goldenrod + berry. The pollinators, immune to the spines, zip & zoom & purr, tossing dust everywhere. The air looks almost hazy, & I can see the abundant harvests in trails behind them. Looking down, the trunks are wizened, storytellers, old hags in bark, linen & mushroom. They are all so much I have to drop my bag & get in there. 

Except. Of course. I can't.

Wild prickly pear.

She has prepared for my arrival. Despite the fact that she is filled with food & good, I can't possibly rush in, or take more than my share. With complete stillness, she demands respect, & intentional movement.

What do you demand of those who would consume your goodness? What are you standing for


She's focused her attention on preparation, so that her fruit can come into it's fullness. Her systems are in place, so that I am directed. I know where to go, because, that's the only place I can go.

Just as our own eyes are an expectation of light & color, and our lungs an expectation of air, the cactus spines are an expectation of visitors. Just as the eyes & lungs know what to do + how to absorb/react/engage, so too, do these needles.

What are you expecting in your business or movement? (You get to choose what to include) What systems can you prepare to absorb, respond & engage? 


These preparations are an act of love. They provide clarity, direction, & diversion from places OTHERS aren't ready to go.


For instance, standing here, now, I am not ready to harvest a salad of fresh nopales.  I would need to do the pre-requisite work of learning how, gathering my gloves, my knife, my ultra-thick canvas sack. If it weren't for the spines, the cactus might need to explain how it wants to be approached. How it wants to be touched. How it wants to be harvested, & consumed. It might need to bring in allies for  protection. Because it's already done the laser-clear preparations for me, I know all these already. It doesn't need any other protection. It doesn't need to spend all it's time in customer service or client care. It can just be still. 

It can move in it's seemingly never-gesture, collecting reservoirs of deep water, while the paddles thicken, the blossoms unfurl, then drop, & the fruit fills with juice. It can just be what it is, & the pollinators are drunk with delight, making honey & spreading the goodness far, & farther. 


once onboarding systems are in place, The Returns are prolific.


The pear is known to heal arthritis, reduce cholesterol, & prevent diabetes. The paddles are loaded with phytonutrients that combat cancer. She's filled with calcium, vitamins & amino acids. Wild prickly pear stabilizes blood sugar levels, scrubs the blood vessels, sweeps the colon, protects the liver, relieves hangovers AND hunger. With all this talk of stillness, nopales also brings velocity by speeding up metabolism. The Aztecs named her a food for royalty & warriors.  

To take this medicine in is to make a declaration. You can purchase paddles from Whole Foods, or Melissa's.  As you sip this juice, revisit the nature of your work as medicine, wonder at what it's an expectation for + the systems needed for optimization, velocity, ease & focused energy.

{This isn't about human expectations & attachment, but about designing your business or movement as a living entity that works. There's more on this, as it applies to online business, in the next email & your next copy of On Path.}


Licuado de Nopal (Cactus Smoothie)

1/2 Cup cactus paddle, pads cleaned & spines removed

1/2 cucumber

1 lime's juice

1 C water

1/2 C crushed ice



xx, Maya