Coastweek 2016: Help Clean Up the Maine Coast and Keep the Sea Trash-Free

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Headed to the beach on this sunshine daydream weekend? Do your part to keep Earth beautiful, and pack a trash bag in your beach bag! The Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup begins Saturday, September 17, and local volunteers are fanning out all across Maine’s 3,375 miles of coastline to pick up over 20,000 pounds of trash.

That’s right—20,000 pounds of trash. Worldwide, 800,000 volunteers collected 18 million pounds of trash during the 2015 Coastal Cleanup! And that’s just the trash we can see from the surface. Human waste and litter makes its way into ocean waters through deliberate dumping, windblown waste, runoff into storm drains, shipping container spillage and much more. And once it makes it way to the sea, it spreads everywhere. Scientists have discovered trash bags in deep sea coral reefs and documented Antarctic fur seals tangled in plastics.

The results are terrible for our oceans—and for our ecosystem:

  • From plastic trash bags to abandoned fishing nets, marine animals are constantly caught and killed by floating trash. Dolphins, sea turtles, fish and seabirds suffocate or starve entangled in litter.
  • Sea creatures often confuse plastic wastes with food, with catastrophic results. Fish confuse microbeads in our soaps with microplanktons, choking them or blocking their digestive systems. (In fact, in many parts of our oceans, plastic particles outnumber plankton!) Sea turtles choke on plastic bags that float like seaweeds. Sea birds fill their bellies with cigarette butts, wrappers and plastic until they always feel full … and slowly starve.
  • Larger pieces of debris create navigational hazards that endanger dolphins, seals, fish—and boats.
  • Chemicals leaching from waste (or deliberately dumped) contaminate the water and close beaches.

Maine’s Coastal Cleanup is focused on tidewrack—the trash the floats on the surface or is washed onto our beaches by the tide. It’s only the tip of the trash iceberg, but cleaning it up makes our beaches safer for humans and wildlife (not to mention more pleasant).

At Mexicali Blues, we’re right on the Damariscotta River—a stunning tidal waterway that empties into the Atlantic. We spend our summers boating, swimming and sunning ourselves on Maine’s bays and beaches. Maine’s oceans are a place of reflection and renewal, a natural resource rich in wildlife and wonder, and a big part of our tourist economy. Our ocean is so rich—and so fragile—that President Obama just designated the first national Marine Monument in the Atlantic of the coast of New England.

So we want every member of the Mexicali Tribe who is beach-bound to take a trash bag and take part in the Coastal Cleanup. You can put together your own Coastal Cleanup Kit, or you can check out the list of Maine coastal communities looking for Coastal Cleanup volunteers. (Community cleanup groups start this weekend and run through October, and will supply volunteers at area beaches with kits and designated disposal areas.)

When you’re done, let the Ocean Conservancy know how many cigarette butts, plastic bags, cups, wrappers, bottles and cans you’ve collected. They’re building an international database of ocean trash to keep an eye on its impact and dumping trends. Together, we can turn the tide on ocean trash!

SEPTEMBER 16th, 2016 ASTROLOGY & ENERGY: Full Moon & Lunar Eclipse in Pisces

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Happy Full Harvest Moon in Pisces AND Lunar Eclipse! This full moon brings us the opportunity to reconcile two seemingly contradictory energies (coming from Virgo and Pisces) to create harmonious unity. Pisces is fantastical, imaginative, the mystic dreamer pondering the magical mysteries of the universe and wholly unconcerned with logic. Virgo, on the other hand, is an expert analyzer and organizer, focused on getting the details just right in order to most efficiently serve the purest ideal of the greater good. So where is the bridge between these two? That is for you to discover in your own life and in your own way, and you will be helped by Chiron—the wounded healer—who is traveling closely with the Full Moon and drawing out old wounds to reveal their teachings. Every mess in your past was a message waiting to be revealed, and tonight’s lunar eclipse could help to illuminate what that message is, as long as you consciously release, forgive, and go with the flow wherever it takes you. Be aware of the reflexive desire to avoid what hurts, and surrender. Put your trust in the universe that whatever comes is toward your highest good! You are coming into realignment that can only be reached by clearing some of what has come before.
 
This can be a pretty emotional time, and we will want to remember that everyone around us is also going through something potentially deep and murky as well. We may all tend to take things far too seriously, so anywhere that you can identify and be amused by the lighter things in life, do what you can to spread laughter and share the love!

Mexicali Loves Music: Iron Lion Zion Reggae Grooves

Ease into the beginning of your week on a daydream drift of dandelion fluff with the mellow reggae groove of this Iron Lion Zion #MusicMonday playlist!

(Mad props to Mexicali warehouse manager Jess for having terrific taste in music and putting this playlist together!)

Labor Day Love: Celebrating the Mexicali Blues Crew

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“You treat other people right, other people probably treat you cool.” —Grateful Dead

Labor Day weekend is much more than an extra day off. It’s a celebration of the amazing contributions people can make when they are treated well during their dayson. And while many of us are enjoying an extended weekend, many members of the Mexicali Blues team are totally on right now: fulfilling orders, stocking shelves and helping a crush of customers find the perfect tie dye tee, yoga pants or dorm room tapestry.

Our staff really steps up on big shopping days like today. And they love it!  Running a successful retail business is hard work (and it requires working on a few holidays and weekends). But at Mexicali Blues, it’s also rewarding—and fun.

“We are happily committed to providing a positive, productive and fulfilling work experience for our employees here in Maine, as well as those we employ abroad,” explains co-founder Pete Erskine. “When I say I want to work with people who are smiling, I mean it.”

“In Maine, we provide health insurance, paid time off and a generous company discount,” he continues. “And unlike lots of companies, we really encourage our team to travel. Just this summer, members of the Mexicali Blues team went on extended trips to Guatemala and New Zealand!”

“And when we are stocking our stores abroad, we always support local artisans and businesses which are either Fair Trade certified or who provide fair wages, good working environments and never use child labor,” Kim Erskine, co-founder, adds.

Mexicali Blues is also committed to promoting internally and to providing growth opportunities for employees. “Why should your job be less than you are?Jerry Garcia once asked. “If your contribution can be greater, then what we’ll do is invent a reason for it to be greater.” In an industry known for high turnover rates, we give people a reason to stay—and to shine. Some of our employees have been with us over 13 years!

We know that the warm, welcoming atmosphere in our stores is created by the talented and dedicated people who work there. We are blown away, every single day, by the passion this team brings to creating magical store environments and fantastic shopping experiences. We’re inspired by their commitment to supporting worthy causes in their communities. This is a family-owned business, and it feels like a family.

“Our business is successful because of all the hard work, fun and teamwork of our great staff,” adds Kim Erskine. “We truly appreciate it.”

If you are looking for a job that makes you smile—and that encourages you to succeed—talk to a manager or employee at any Mexicali Blues location. We’re a really happy place to work, and we’re hiring!

SEPTEMBER 1ST, 2016 ASTROLOGY & ENERGY: New Moon & Solar Eclipse in Virgo

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“Eclipse” by Cedar Lee, which you can find prints of here

Today is a New Moon and Solar Eclipse in Virgo! This eclipse is visible mostly in Africa and Asia, but its energy can be felt across the globe. Eclipses have the power to speed up advancement in our lives, amplifying the unconscious and revealing what has been hidden. The Dark Moon encourages us to let go of something and honor what is ending, and also step forth on a new journey aligned with our highest intentions. Mercury’s retrograde which just began (going from August 30 – September 22) is also in it’s ruler Virgo, giving extra power to any efforts we embark on in witnessing and releasing old thought patterns. Mercury retrograde is a wonderful time for reviewing, re-evaluating, redecorating, and other endeavors that involve taking stock and working with what already is or has been. Perhaps it is time to set something totally free from your life. Perhaps it is time to keep the thing but change how you deal with it, or let go of a certain assumption about it. However it plays out for you, there is something that needs to be sorted out, and Virgo’s energy can help you do so!

The energetic climate right now can feel chaotic, but focusing on doing your inner work will pave the way to clarity surprisingly swiftly! Don’t avoid or be apathetic to what is painful; these points are where the greatest teachings and opportunities for growth lie. Be wary of the impulse to do things from a reactionary place of impulsivity now, and keep your focus on founding any new beginnings with maturity, integrity, and honesty. If a crisis comes up, trust that it WILL resolve itself in the following days or weeks. This eclipse is a transition point and a passageway to a new paradigm, so be mindful of where you’re headed. It’s likely we will need to be flexible, as life often proves to have its own agenda, but intention and integrity will keep you on a positive path. As Bilbo Baggins said, “You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Keep compassion, curiosity, and kindness as your constant companions, and good things will meet you as you go.

 

Mexicali Loves Music: Dig Our Groovy Tuesday Playlist!

Rock your Tuesday with some seriously groovy tunes!

 

Mexicali Killer Tie Dyes: A Party for the Eyes

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Meet Mike, the amazingly skilled creator of our killer tie dyes! These unique dyes are more intricately patterned and boldly colorful than any others we’ve ever seen (and we’ve been digging tie dye for a good long while!), so we were stoked when he recently came to replenish our stock of these terrific tees!

One happy customer said, “I’ve had Mikes shirts for 28 years haven’t faded. Best dye art on earth!” That’s a compliment on his craft that can’t be beat!  

Get yours here: http://ow.ly/U2bU303CVfm

Mexicali Loves Music: Reflecting on our Summer of Concerts

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We’ve had a full and fabulous summer of marvelous adventures and magical music! Thanks to an awesome collaboration with Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion and the Maine State Pier, we were able to share our passionate love of live music by giving away over 200 free concert tickets! There’s not much better to do on a hazy summer night than rock out at an outdoor concert on the breeze-swept waterfront,and we are SO grateful for these two terrific venues and the amazing artists they host! Slightly Stoopid, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gov’t Mule, Hall & Oates. . . we were there rocking out with you at these shows and more, digging the melodies and the positive vibes of the concert community that forms at each show to embark on a sonic trip together.

Dark Star Orchestra rocked the Pier a couple of weeks ago with their fun and funky cover of an incendiary 1976 Grateful Dead show, and all those kind and joyous vibes we’ve been swimming in at each concert were gloriously and visibly abundant. Love was ALL around: for the music, for the people, for the magic of it all. . . and we’re so thrilled to have been a part of it!

We’d love to hear your summer concert memories, too! What live music have you experienced and loved most in the past few months?

“And the fields are full of dancing,
Full of singing and romancing–
The music never stopped!”

AUGUST 18th, 2016 ASTROLOGY & ENERGY: Full Moon in Aquarius

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Today is a Full Moon in Aquarius! This full moon is on the edge of a partial eclipse (unfortunately not visible to us Earthlings), beginning an eclipse cycle that is ushering us swiftly into a transformative new phase of life (the next and strongest eclipse will be September 1st, followed by another on September 16th).

Aquarius helps us to see the bigger picture and, in doing so, to—perhaps suddenly—recognize the importance of releasing the old and cumbersome to make way for something new. If you feel in need of guidance, let your intuition lead you today, and pay attention to synchronicities that pop up. Don’t get swept up in trying to figure things out; try to trust that the answers are there for you if you will allow them to be.

Uranus, ruler of Aquarius, has big influence on this moon and offers us the opportunity to break free of old shackles and rewrite the narratives of our lives. Uranus reminds us that *anything* is possible, as long as we seek to let go of that which ties us down. This is SO often easier said than done, but we’ve got luminous lunar and planetary support on our side right now! The challenge you’re invited to focus on today is to practice not allowing anything energetic that comes at you stick. Release what comes in every moment by allowing it to pass through you, perhaps envisioning yourself as a mountain and it as a drifting cloud. This could be a feeling, a rumination, a remark from someone else (and the subsequent feeling), anything that you might typically feel affected by and perhaps buy into. If you can play with allowing these things to pass as you experience them today, you may find that it becomes rapidly easier to let go of some long-labored-under and old stories!

A full moon is always a good time to celebrate the things in your life that you have achieved or are grateful for, rather than focusing on the things that you lack. Try to imagine for today that the life you really want is easier to manifest than you thought. It is time to dream a bigger dream that includes more of what you want! Being flexible in your attachment to thoughts and things, and trusting in the universe and yourself, will help to get you there.

(pic is a piece of an amazing painting called “Atlantis” by Marijke Koger, creative rainbow-beaming mind behind the 1960’s design collective The Fool)

Mexicali Magic: Awesomely Affordable Boho Dorm Decor

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Heading back to school is a fresh start, and an empty dorm room is a blank canvas awaiting your creativity. At this moment, all things are possible!  So start your school year off right by setting up your new dwelling as a chill bohemian haven you’ll love coming home to, filled with cool colors and inspiring imagery, exotic textures and the groovy glow of paper lanterns.

A mandala tapestry or tree of life wall hanging looks awesome hung up or as a unique bedspread.

Classic Mexican falsa blankets are perfect for a bit of extra warmth on the bed, or take it outside for an impromptu picnic!

Celebrate the music that moves you with retro rock concert posters featuring bands like Phish, Janis Joplin, and the Grateful Dead.

Save your sleepy feet from cold linoleum in the morning with a recycled rag rug by your bed.  Each handmade 3′ x 6′ rug is completely unique, and will bring eclectic color and world-traveler vibes to your space.

Mexicali has everything you need to accent your room in the grooviest ways, from Traditional Tibetan prayer flags to boho chic curtains crafted from recycled silk. There are a myriad magical Mexicali ways to express your inimitable personal style in your dorm decor, creating an invigorating environment that supports study, fun, and exploring who you are and who you want to be.

Once you’ve got your room rocking an exhilarating new look, you’re sure to want to grab your reversible block print tote–the ultimate book bag–before you head out the door to whatever the day holds!  It’s going to be an amazing adventure of a new schoolyear!