A little overnight to Harper’s Lake up the Blackfoot River, Montana. Sweet family time together before Tim is off fighting fire for the summer.
Well, I have a slew of sweet pics for you, but none of them are uploading right now. Hmmm. Also, I’ve been reconfiguring all the photos from archives (turns out they were waaaayyyyy too big) so that we can transfer over to typepad. Been quite a project!
Anyways…just not quite as much fun for you without something to look at. So, you tell me…what joy are you seeing, right now, right where you are, either in your mind’s eye, or right in front of you.
It is a worthwhile practice, don’t you think? To practice seeing joy? Oh there is so much there. Don’t let your mind fool you into thinking you are hard-done-by. Feel your feelings, most certainly, and know that you are always, always a gazillion times more spacious, more beautiful, more light than anything you think, even anything you feel.
Try that on.
See joy. It’s always right here. It’s only right here.
Oh goodie. It worked!
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Oh sweet girl. Happy second birthday.
You are full of light, radiant.
Constantly amazing us.
Thank you for being.
Echo’s empathic parents planned the perfect birthday for her. Just a few close friends, in her own backyard, allowing her to be exactly who she wants to be. Comfortable, naked, simple delights.
Opening gifts when she wanted, at the pace she wanted.
Showing gratitude in her own way.
Fresh, homemade playdough.
With plenty of freedom to just play.
What a lovely day.
::is irritated by neighbours walking in backyard to check out patio being built
::is overwhelmed and annoyed by MESS everywhere i look
::is wanting to freeze kids where they are, stop them from moving for period of time to clean mess, eat alone, listen to silence
::is stuck in thinking mind, numb in body, disconnected from feelings, from self
::is not seeing magic anywhere, seeking change, relief from shifting outer circumstances
::hears the joy in these two beings playing, beauty in their perpetual motion
::feels warm sun streaming in window, morning sun filling life with light
::knows there is magic in every mundane, extraordinary moment
::writes this to connect with my true self, full and beautiful and open and divine and communing with every living being, always
::loves all of it, the mess, the fatigue, the chaos, the noise, the neighbour
::senses what is real…that we are all one, we are all The One
::giggles adoringly at small me and all of her fussing and fuming about nothing
::is loved for no reason at all, and so are you.
Waking up from sleep-walking through parenting, repeating old patterns and basically not being who you really are, well, it requires some conscious effort. Here is my current list…
I want to be calm and quiet when Elliott falls or something happens. Reacting doesn’t help. (This is a specific request of his, actually. Oh what a boy he is.)
I want to allow more and interpret, explain, understand less. This habit of “explaining” is for my sake and not all that helpful to them. Allow…watch it unfold.
I want to say “yes” even more, then DO IT immediately, instead of “just let me finish…..”. He is SOOOO patient, really.
And the list goes on…
What are you creating for yourself? Who are you becoming?
When we shed these old patterns of thought, we become our true, fresh, responsive selves. It just feels sooooo good.
this baby girl wearing flowers.
our raw milk being delivered by edible missoula friends
trusting there is no such thing as boredom
(choose any combination of ground almonds, ground flax seeds, sesame seeds, coconut, soaked dates, maple syrup, peanut butter-usually not raw, carrot meal-from juicing carrots, hemp seeds, water. mix to desired consistency and form into balls, roll in coconut or sesame seeds)
new raw food creations, like this wrap, inspired by Hannah at Natural Choices for Living
(Let me know if you want the ingredients and I will post them!)
moments like these…
I love believing in kindness towards children. When he grabs something from her, I don’t have to threaten, punish, shame, or ignore him. Instead I can open my heart, give her empathy, and then offer him love, knowing that is what he is asking for. I love that.
Life is supposed to be fun. You said, “I’ll go forth and choose. I’ll look at the data, and I’ll say, yes to this, and yes to this, and yes to this, and I’ll paint a picture of the things that I want, and I’ll vibrate about them, because that’s what I’m giving my attention to. And the Universe will respond to my vibration. And then I’ll stand in a new place where a whole new batch of yeses are available, and I’ll say yes to this, and yes to this, and yes to this.” You did not say, “I’ll go forth and struggle into joy”, because from your Nonphysical Perspective you know it is vibrationally not possible. You cannot struggle to joy. Struggle and joy are not on the same channel. You joy your way to joy. You laugh your way to success. It is through your joy that good things come.
jerry and esther hicks
around two months
around seven months
Elimination communication (EC) or Natural Infant Hygene, is just one more way to be sensitive, tuned in, and responsive to your baby. This will come as no surprise to you all, who are so very aware of how remarkable these wee ones are, but it turns out that babies are born with an awareness of their elimination patterns and needs. They are SO smart, aren’t they? Babies communicate when they need to pee and poop, we just need to learn how they are telling us and then offer them a potty. Diaper free is possible!
Our diaper-free adventure started at birth, though I didn’t know what I was doing. It just seemed wrong to me to put a diaper on this perfect little bottom, and I had heard something about EC, so I held a cloth below her until I finally got my hands on this book. Then I started using signals, and actually offering her a bowl to eliminate into, instead of just the cloth. Catching those first pees was ridiculously fun.
We have had stretches of times when I’ve caught almost every one in a day, and stretches of many misses. The difference is how into the moment and out of my head I am. Intuition is a remarkable thing. I often just “know” when she has to go. It has been fulfilling for me to find yet another way to listen to my heart.
Recently we went through about six weeks of being out of sync. Every time I offered to hold her over the sink or toilet, she would stiffen her legs and “refuse”, then pee wherever. I thought it was all over. The winter weather had meant lots of diapering and maybe that took away her attunement to her own elimination needs, I thought.
Then, we got a bigger potty, one she could crawl over to and sit on. That was what was going on. She, and we, are now back in the flow. This ten month old girl will signal to me that she has to pee, then we get to the potty together, and there she goes. It’s astounding. Sure we miss lots, but just knowing what she looks like when she needs to go, just having that degree of intimacy and connection is divine. It has nothing to do with “training”, it is all about listening.
She shows me what’s up, as usual.
I wish I had known for Elliott. What a gift to know now. How fun it would be for everyone to have the support and information to practice this with their babes.
There’s a tribe in Africa that counts the
birthday of a child from the day the child is a thought in its mother’s mind. On that day, a woman goes out and sits under
a tree and quietly listens and waits until she can hear the song of her child. When she has heard the song, she returns to her
village and teaches it to the man whom she has envisioned as the child’s father, so that they can sing the song when they
make love, inviting their child to join them.
The expectant mother then sings this song to the child in her womb and teaches it to the midwives, who sing it when
the child is born. And the villagers all learn the child’s song, so that whenever the child cries or hurts itself, they pick it
up, hold it in their arms, and sing the song. The song is also sung when the young man or woman goes through a rite of
passage, when he or she marries, and then, for a last time, when he or she is about to die.
What a beautiful way for human beings to listen to and to comfort other human beings. This is the spirit of conscious
parenting, to listen to the song of the child in front of you and to sing that child’s song to him or her. When a child is
crying, we need to ask why this child is singing the crying song, what pain or frustration this child is feeling.
this girl sings of…
*woodpeckers (during pregnancy I saw 7 in one tree and see them most every day when I walk with her.)
*devouring every morsel
*the joy of movement (she is officially walking, as of today!)
*power and strength
*boldly going after whatever her heart desires
*expressing her whole self for all the world to delight in
*nakey nake (clothes are no fun at all)
*fearless eye contact with anyone willing
*facing outward, won’t miss a thing
*always close, close, close…connecting fully, always.
oh sweet saschy-girl. we are so glad you are here.
What is your child’s song?
I’ve been missing meeting up with you here.
I was up until midnight on Friday night, trying to craft a blog about May Day and it just didn’t flow-boring pics, blah wording. So I deleted it all and went to bed.
My intention is to give something away every weekend, so that you have treats to look forward to. Stay tuned as I find that rhythm. Also, I am moving us over to typepad soon, so that we can enjoy more features. (You may have noticed the blog changed a couple of weeks ago, then changed back. That was me playing.) We will keep you posted before we make the move.
In the meantime::
Here is a book for a give away this week.
The Book of New Family Traditions. How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Everyday by Meg Cox
Simply comment on any post this week (we’ll close comments Friday night) and your name will go into the hat. Also, if you recommend this blog to a friend, and they mention your name, your name AND their name will be entered. So you can get lots of chances to win. A fun way to meet all of our needs…you get to play and I get to meet more of you.
In the meantime, welcome to May! Full moon is on May 9th.
We had some sweet papa time this weekend.
You can see that the Ergo still works for our almost four-year old. There is something so sweet about being close, especially as babies become children, exploring the world in their own way and returning back to mama as home-base less and less.
Maybe that is the shift that I’m struggling to adjust to. (Not to mention teething sleepless nights, poor girl.) In this state of discontent, these things have helped:
eat chocolate:: so much chocolate, in fact, that E. smelled a piece of chocolate the other day and said That smells like mama. (Didn’t you know that chocolate gives us the feeling that nursing gives babies as same hormone is released? Makes SO much sense to me. I’m making up for what was missing in infancy.)
see the good:: those chubby baby legs, spring happening in the garden, remarkable friends who inspire and understand, a sister learning nvc and passing that along, blossoming Feeleez work, and so so much more.
laugh:: comforting scared Elliott in bed, encouraging him to say OM to surround himself with love and keep the monsters away and he says you mean OM-grrrrrrr, OM-grrrrrr.
Then, I read this:
Soothing ourselves is not about making ourselves feel more comfortable. It is about supporting ourselves through every experience.
This means feeling our feelings, trying not to change them, avoiding making up stories about what’s happening, letting feelings come and go in waves, letting experiences have their way with you without resistence, drawing and journaling to give feelings more space in your awareness, being attentive to what is happening. Read more here. Hmmm. That’s a little different than what I’ve been doing.
Oh yes. So, so much to learn. But I’m still going to eat chocolate!
We will learn to parent peacefully, powerfully only when to we are willing to consciously grow ourselves up.
Growing up is emotional.
There are many ways to get there. We can start by taking time every morning to set our compass, so to speak.
Who do I want to be, today?
What really matters?
What do I want to look back on in ten or twenty years?
This can create just enough space to become less involved in the drama, the story, the chaos of a day.
At night, gaze back, feeling your way through the day. What felt right? Where did I lose my way? Try (and try and try) to not become analytical or intellectual about it (oh how the mind wants in on this!) and stay with the feelings, tune into the body.
What matters, I ask myself again?
What is here for me? Feel what’s really going on here.
There is no way around this. If we want to parent differently than we were parented, if we want to evolve, we must devote conscious effort to changing. More than reading a book, we are called to BE different. This won’t always feel good, there will be grieving, sadness, fury. Feel it all.
Our children are here to break ourselves open. Have you ever known a more compelling call?
Much to my surprise, a space opened up in the middle of the day.
Both babes fell asleep at the same time. Something in me knew. This. Is. It.
I ignored the laundry pile on the couch (which has been there for two days), the dishes in the sink, dinner waiting to be prepped, and rolled out the yoga mat.
What is this?, my body said. This is yoga, I replied. Enjoy.
This body and I moved through almost all of the standing postures of Ashtanga primary series, before Sascha woke up to nurse. Once familiar, these poses are new territory for post-birthing body. I also come to the mat with new interests. It’s now more than exercise. It’s about movement, feeling my feelings, remembering who I really am, beyond the little me.
I watched this beastly mind dart and storm about, furious and fragile and completely nutty. Arms sweeping up, heart diving forward, jump back, breathe. Breathe. And something important shifts. I step back and watch myself, a little less involved in the drama. Gratitude seeps back in.
It is really tempting-and easier than you would think-to avoid deeply experiencing (parenthood)
Life Learning magazine
As I spent much of the rest of the day with this 11 month old walking me around by the finger, I could see this temptation to avoid, to try to escape what is (surely, if I could just do this one more thing, then I could be, I try to fool myself). No. I want this. I want them. I want the deeply experienced version.
By the way, we will close comments tomorrow night (WED)and announce the winner for the Feeleez game. Simply comment on this post or yesterday’s for your chance to win.
Oh my. I have been engaged in more rich, rich connections through the non-violent communication parenting group that I joined a couple of years ago. It is a yahoo group, open to anyone, and I highly recommend it if you are interested in practicing NVC, receiving empathy, offering your support and asking your questions. It is a sweet, safe place for learning one of the most powerful tools for parenting (and living!) that I have come across.
Some beauty words that someone recently posted…
I think people participating in this loop are looking for a new and better way to help our children become mature kind, caring and unselfish grownups. It makes me feel better when I replace the modeling I received as a child with conscious presence and knowledge about what a child feels and needs.
She is referring to being with her grandson.
During the next few years I want to overlook, from a
punitive perspective, as much as possible any behaviors that might be considered uncaring, unkind or selfish because I believe he is not ready to be looking at his own behavior. I want to create an environment that is safe, reassuring and loving. I want to model the kindness, caring and selflessness I want to see in him when he is an adult. I want to show him empathy when he is uncaring, unkind or selfish. I want to imprint of his mind my face loving him in every instance.
I believe that caring, kindness and unselfishness are the results of modeled caring, kindness and unselfishness. Asking him to act in a way that is counter to his feelings is denying who he is at this stage of his development and asking him to “act” in a way that pleases me and makes me feel comfortable is abusive. It is my fear that this can lead to excessive narcissism in his adult life.
When I see my child in distressing situations I ask myself if I have created an environment that is appropriate for his developmental needs. Am I asking him to be who I want him to be instead of who he is? Am I doing to him what was done to me instead of applying NVC principles? What am I modeling?
Isn’t that lovely?
It was snowing here today. From popsicles in the hammock to down jackets getting wet. Yes. Allowing everything to be as it is. Every day gives us the chance to practice that.
One of the finest things in family life, in my opinon, is discovering a way for everyone, everyone to get their wish. Isn’t that what we are always looking for? Finding ways to meet everyone’s needs?
Here are some things that have delighted us around here, lately.
Raw fruit pie.
Elliott gets his beloved sweets and mama watches this boy gobble up brilliant nutrients. Really, is there anything more satisfying than watching your child eat something really, really healthy?
I posted recipe here
Hand-made (or at least modified) kids clothes. They get to wear fun, new clothes that refect their current loves (such as the goalie mask), and mama gets to be crafty and creative, making goodies for her babes. Pure delight.
(The shirt was made using wool felt and something similar to Wonder Under. The pants are cut off sweats with a new cuff sewn at bottom.)
Cloth wipes. Here is an example from Natalie’s house. Xi, who is 5 years old, well, she can’t stand having any drip or shred of moisture left after she pees (need for dryness, cleanliness, hygene-yep, amazing girl.) This little stack of cloth wipes that sits beside the toilet meets her need for being able to wipe multiple times, and meets Natalie’s need for conservation, by saving toilet paper.
Ah yes. Everyone gets their wish, and maybe more importantly, we truly value our children’s needs and wishes. That’s what we are striving for.
Here is one more, for you.
A Feeleez game that we would like to give away to you. (A touch of stomach bug left me MIA for the weekend giveaway, so here it is, a little late.)
Comment below, and be entered to win. If you are willing to share a story of everyone’s needs being met in your home, we’d love to hear it. You get chance to win, we get to hear your story! Any comment at all will get you in the draw, so if you are in a rush, just say ‘hi’.
Phew. Long post! Meets my needs for connection with other conscious, loving mamas and papas. Thank YOU.
Happy weekend, everyone.
Enlightenment is simply returning to our natural state of being
We have new coloring pages on our Feeleez site which you can download for free!
Help children learn feelings here!
The Little Daisy’s Big Nap pillow pattern by Amy Butler (buy pattern here, if you like) got finished, in teeny increments over several weeks. Here is Echo snuggling up with it.
Stinky-kat (also known as Stinkster) likes it, too.
Crafting can be so satisfying. Making beautiful things for your children, actually getting something finished! Using natural and healthy materials in your home. Being creative.
And it is most fun for me late at night, after I have given myself over to the adventures of the day. When I live my priorities, I feel better inside.
Priority #1: be with my kids. no really, BE with them.
Today, Natalie and I took all of the kids to California, at least that’s what she told them as they rode over here to spend the day by the pool.
Our Tuesdays together feel like the village, raising our children in community, many needs being met all at once…play, fun, nourishment, connection, movement, discovery, nature, belonging, understanding.
Even at the end of a long day in the sun, when the witching hour caught us off-guard (kitchen disaster, potatoes boiling over, wild play in the living room including large ball being thrown and tackle, tears, negotiating toys to stay and toys to go, distraught feelings about their departure), there was lightness and ease. Trusting that everything will always work out is a vibration worth practicing for our own sake, and as a model for our children.
The moment I let go of it, was the moment I got more than I could handle.
The moment I jumped off of it, was the moment that I touched down.
Oh, and we also shared our ‘easy’ recipes with each other and I thought you might have some too. You know, there ought to be a cookbook for full-time parents with recipes that have a little prep for 7-9 am, then a little assembly mid-afternoon, then NOTHING more to do during the late afternoon crazy-time, don’t you think?
Well, here is a hummus recipe that I LOVE. It’s from the Rebar cookbook which is one of my favorite restaurants in Victoria, BC
1/4 canola oil
1 inch piece ginger
1-19ou can of chickpeas
1 tsp salt
2 garlic clobes
1/4 cup cashews, roasted
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
Blend and savour!
Please share any recipes that you love in the comments below.
Amazing to me, we are doing this already.
Glued to this being, not yet toddler, hardly still baby, I got caught behind the reality of the moment, yet again. Surprised by my new role of hold-my-hand-today-and-follow-me-where-I-want-to-go-and-help-me-learn-to-stand-on-my-own-two-feet, I realized that I need MORE TOOLS. Unable to reach for tea or phone or anything, Natalie suggested a mama’s tool-belt. She is such a smart cookie, isn’t she?
So, I stayed up rather late last night making this.
It is SO fun and it works!
I used the vintage apron pattern from Bend-the-rules Sewing. Today, I walked around in jagged circles, holding my baby’s hand, with my mama tool-belt fully equipped with sunscreen, both phones, and camera. I’m considering adding a tea pocket tonite.
It got me thinking about how many tools there are for the attachment phase, with helpful baby carriers, and such, and how much fun it would be to have more tools and support for the differentiation phase, when our little ones begin their long dance of growing up, shifting without any predictability between closeness and separation.
For me, this is a challenge, as it asks me to be intensely devoted to following their flow, instead of imposing my own agenda. We each have our own preferences which have little to do with what our children may need on that day. When they wants to move away from me, I breathe deeply, squash the worries in my mind, smile, and trust in their strength and resilience, not wanting to flavour their exploration with my own sadness.
And then, when they want closeness, I trust that too, no matter how much nursing, holding, reassuring, cuddling is wanted. Their development does not and never will happen sequentially, so why be surprised with the two year old nurses fifteen times a night. It is exactly the way it is supposed to be, every time.
The seeker of our time does not enter into an Initiation Temple, but rather, seeks within what could be called ‘The Temple of Life’. Within this, as it manifests today, there are many paths of self development. Motherhood is one of these. Thus is motherhood a high exalted task, one connected with the deepest and most profound issues of life.
the incarnating child
I love this girl.
An hour together, just the two of us, in the middle of a sunny Sunday afternoon while the boys are out.
Listening to Ani together.
It’s a long, long road.
It’s a big, big world.
We are wise, wise women.
We are giggling girls.
As the boys left, it was tempting to consider getting stuff done, and thankfully I resisted. Sat together in the grass, held out my finger for walking in circles (she’s at that stage already), eating rocks and dirt (of course) watching the chickens, listening to birds, laughing.
You are my girl.
You chose me to be your mama.
How am I so blessed?
When you wave your arm to sign for plane and I do it back to you, and we giggle.
When you sit at the top of the slide, thrilled, scared, trusting me to be the one to keep you safe.
When you clench your fists, turn red, and growl in utter fury, wanting, wanting.
When you say your words…
aiya (isis dog)
huh (with a firm nod for yes, I think)
When you crawl onto my chest, tired from all your efforts of growing up, close your eyes to nurse, and I think, wow…I get to be your ‘home’.
I’ll tell you one thing, I’m going to make noise when I go down. For ten square blocks, there gonna know that I died. All the goddesses will come up to the ripped screen door and say, ‘what do you want, dear’, and I’ll say, ‘I want inside’.
Thank you for spending some of your sweet life with me.
What are you loving right now about your children?
looking UP at her.
shoveling barefoot in the dirt.
playing with worms.
at the end of the day.
What is it like to be the space in which thought happens? Notice what it feels like to be the space in which the body moves and breathes. It’s not so difficult to take a few moments to explore, instead of trying to attain, to explore for yourself on your own authority, what happens when you relinquish control and allow everything to be as it is.
I want to remember
you pushing her on the swing, twirling her around, and the sound of her laughing, the look of her dizzy eyes of joy.
I want to remember
watching you run across the field in the sunshine with that pure sweet smile.
I want to remember
you going to sleep with your hockey helmet on, protection from the monsters.
I want to remember
the smell of your skin.
I want to remember
how we can be so mad with each other, and that it never really matters. Nothing will ever touch the love I have for you.
I want to remember
you asking me and saschy to come and be with you, that you always invite her too.
I want to remember
you asking me if I made this dinner then telling me it tastes pretty good.
I want to remember
how I feel as I write this
because what I really want to remember
can never be put into words.
Eating raw, living raw.
Raw food is divine, yet not always easy, especially when you live in a cold climate like Montana and when you are also striving to eat local. So, pick and choose from the recipes below to suit your commitment to whatever makes your heart sing.
Our favorite smoothie:
Grind handful of almonds in blender
Add raw apple cider, frozen spinach and berries, yogurt, drizzle of maple syrup and/or banana
Add water, goat milk or other liquid to thin
Hemp seeds and ground flax are optional
(I love the secret greens first thing in the morning!)
Cashew whipped cream
Grind handful of cashews to a powder in blender
(you can presoak nuts for couple of hours)
Slowly drizzle in water or oil (depending on how thick you like it) about 1/4 cup
Add maple syrup to taste (or couple of soaked dates and date water)
2 cups flax seeds
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup cilantro or parsley
1 clove minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup nama shoyu or 1 teaspoon sea salt
Blend everything except flax seeds. Vary vegetables and herbs according to your preference. Add to bowl with flax seeds. Spread on dehydrator sheets for 4 hours. Cut into shapes then dry until crisp (about 5 hours)
Fake pie crust
2 cups raw almonds
2 cups dates
Soak separately, then blend or chop. Press into pie plate. Add thick layer of cashew cream then raw fruit of your choosing. Berries, bananas, peaches, or whatever. Delicious for breakfast!
There are a few of my favorites. I’m also experimenting with raw pizza, raw sprouted hummus and other treats. Raw food makes my body humm. So unprocessed and close to the Source of things, it just feels right. More recipes can be found here.
To live raw is to be open and undefended. To me, it means that I am moved by life, the beauty of it, the joy, sadness, elation, peace of any moment. That if I am willing to stop the mind chatter, to stop fighting and resisting, and to sink myself into THIS. RIGHT. HERE. then I am, well, so much more.
Every experience and every feeling can either open us to something new, or keep us limited to what is “safe”, “in control”. What if there is no safe?
We recognize our problems and dissatisfactions as wake-up calls pointing out our readiness to come into deeper relationship with some lost aspect of our beings.
What aspect of your being is lost? What would it take for you to find it?
I remember that I don’t know anything, because when my mind says…oh yeah, I already knew that, or …what is HIS problem, or…this simply HAS to change, then I am operating from my ego, my personality, and I’m closing myself off. Have you noticed that our children don’t do that? They linger at the raw edge of life, poking at every possibility, wanting more. When we say “shhshshs you’re fine” or “stop that” or “good job” or “you can do it”, we are actually shutting them down and teaching them to separate themselves from the Source of things.
The raw edge of life. That’s where I want to be. Will you join me there?
The number of kiddos here today.
Giffin and Avive were here to play as part of my hours of volunteer exchange for our local community food coop.
The number of languages I’d like to speak.
My mama friend speaks Hebrew to her children. She was telling me about her friend who speaks Italian to children, the papa speaks French, kids speak Hebrew to their friends and learn English in school.
It occurred to me, as I was sitting in dry bath with my two lovelies (we were re-filling it after Sascha poop overwhelmed us), listening to Elliott ask, is it stinky? is it gross?, that our papa speaks one language and I speak another. Their papa says ‘stinky’ and ‘gross’ while I say things like ‘that has a strong odor to my nose’ and ‘gross is simply an opinion’, striving for more of this. Our clients for parenting coaching often come to us with co-parenting struggles, feeling like they have such divergent approaches to parenting. Some of these differences are just fine, Italian and French. Others can be brought into alignment. The trick is knowing which are worthy of change and which are worthy of acceptance.
The number of felt food patterns I just purchased
Four is the number of times a day that I could use a reminder to suurrender, with ease, to the greater flow of things. I am so not in control of anything.
The ego cannot survive in an atmosphere of surrender.
approximate quote from Eckhart Tolle
I am reconsidering how the world works.
That is what Stephen A. Schwartz says after witnessing a Shoshone shaman named Rolling Thunder heal a teenage boy with a serious wound. He waved his arms above the boy and wolf appeared. This story, called The Mist Wolf, is told in Parabola
We talked about how the world works today.
Giving birth, raising children, that alone is enough to ask you to reconsider how the world works, don’t you think?
These photos about water by Masuro Emoto, can blow our little minds, too.
When opened to mysteries such as these, I realize, I don’t know anything. So, the question becomes, what do you want to think? What do you want to believe? Everything is worth reconsidering.
Who says that night is when you sleep?
Why not be there every single time your baby wakes up?
What if it is possible to heal anything with the touch of your hand?
Why not sit still?
Why not be MORE kind to a child when she does something violent?
What if our body understands more than our brain?
Why not drop every single one of your defenses?
Why not be vulnerable?
What if we can consciously create anything?
Why not heal a broken tooth?
What if a relationship is NOT about meeting your needs?
What if this child knows more than you do?
Why not feel bliss, every single day?
Seriously, what do we really know?
Digging in the earth. There is something so basic, so healthy and real about it. We have started preparing the earth for planting in the coming weeks. Even a few minutes in a day is a delight. Worms. Rocks. Life.
Still a little cool around here, and oh so sweet after all those winter months. Going outside first thing without jackets is almost strange, and really joyful.
Fresh human beings, alive and awake. Sweet mama friends. Crafty play Mondays. Our little corner of toys. Babies playing together.
This book of Fairy-Tale Tarot cards.
Today I picked The Yellow Brick Road.
This child reminds us that to attain our divinity we must become childlike-innocent, carefree, and joyful-and that child consciousness will lead humanity out of darkness and into light
The skin on my face is warm and tingly from a whole day outside in the spring sunshine. My feet are scrubbed clean after getting dirty and dry from wearing flip flops. My babies are sleeping soundly together, waiting for me to join them after a day of whole-hearted play with dear friends. The kitchen is actually clean after an easy Friday night meal and I get to choose between knitting…
or reading Wind Up Bird Chronicles
Honestly, could it be any better?
Oh, and something for YOU
This weekend is sponsored by none other than the Natural Parenting Center. I am offering a month of FREE PARENT COACHING with me, by email.
I felt so
empowered being heard by you and having you ask such deep questions for me.
working with you, having you share in my life has been beautiful.
Comment below and we will announce winner on Sunday evening. You can use this coaching for yourself or you can give it to someone you know.
Have a lovely weekend, everyone.
Oh yes. Today I declared a thought vacation as a way of stepping both of my feet deeper into this experience of my life. Being a wee sleepy from my 3:30am wide-awake-let’s-get-up boy meant that anything less would mean trouble. So, be here, be here, be here all day. And guess what? Delights that I might have otherwise missed…here, I’ll show you.
Of course, my efforts weren’t perfect, far from it. I
caught noticed myself thinking, oh, every three seconds or so, but somehow even this had more ease to it after my declaration than before. Yes. I’ll be taking this kind of vacation more often. I just don’t want to miss one second of what is actually happening right in front of my nose.
How do you want to see things?
A family’s only car gets totalled in an accident, no one hurt. They don’t have money for a new one. They happen to borrow a friend’s shiny new Prius for a day and observe it sitting in their driveway. Instead of feeling envious, Ahhhh. This is what’s coming our way. This is what it feels like to have a great car for our family.
A mama, fierce in her desire to be home with her baby, goes two years with no income, living on a credit card. Being impeccable about not spending a cent extra for ANYTHING, she accumulates a mere $6000 debt. Still, no fun little sprees, ever, and the potential for gnawing worry. Instead, This is the happiest I have ever been in my life.
Someone tells me that she doesn’t want to be my friend anymore. She is about to have a baby and her partner is a longtime friend, so I won’t be involved in any way. Instead of feeling rejected, I choose to see I am actually being SPARED.
What I am trying to say is…SEE with your HEART so that you can see what you really want to see. Look only in those places that nurture the deepest part of you. Think thoughts that feed your soul.
Sweet Saschy-girl was teething something fierce last night and today. Feverish, wanting to be held close, no appetite, nursing desperately to try to find comfort, and sensitive to even the dog tail brushing her cheek. Poor girl. We can’t even fathom that kind of pain, I don’t think.
So, no Tuesday date with Natalie and Echo. No knitting group. No phone calls. No clean up. One handed catch with Elliott while holding her close.
Once I adjusted, Oh, it’s like THIS today, our day became one long, tender embrace.
What a relief when we stop expending energy to change What Is.
Oh my, I can hardly believe it’s true. Barefeet? Sandbox? Outside all day? In and out without bundling and layers and boots? Juicy mango eating on the front steps at 6pm? Oh my. It really has been a long winter’s sleep.
When we truly love our children’s patterns and appreciate what a wonderful thing it is that they are the way they are, without the slightest wish for them to be different, we unify ourselves with them, and in the power of that unity both we and our children become more creative, more intelligent, more of everything we already are within.
I realize that quote may not exactly be spring-like but when I flipped through that book looking for the chapter on Expansion and Contraction, that quote jumped out. So there you go. In the meantime, let’s talk about your spring celebrations, and also be sure to visit our Feeleez blogbecause Natalie put up a new video for you.
With spring celebrations just around the corner, I’m curious about what you have up your sleeves? Homemade baskets? Spring fairies visiting with treats? Here are a few ideas for you:
And of course I love the ideas in this book
Whatever you do or don’t do, delight in it all. If you feel moved to share ideas, pictures, and the like, please do so!
Stop being who you think you are and start being who you are. Let yourself know what you know.
I’ve been listening lately, tuning into what I know and noticing. This kind of knowing hangs out somewhere mysterious, beyond facts and figures. Maybe it’s in our bones, or our cells. The frequency is definitely outside of the realm of brain knowing.
When I soften around the edges, and turn down the volume of my thinking mind, I hear something else. Like who is calling when the phone rings. Or what food my body actually needs. Even more profound is what I know when it comes to my children.
I know when she is about to wake up. I know when he needs me to stay closer. I know when it’s unsafe to drive with them. I know before they fall that they are about to fall. I know which direction to walk with them to come face to face with something extra fine.
You know that knowing I’m talking about? You do, I’m sure of it. If you want to get closer, to hear that wise whispering, imagine being a river. When you interact with your children from that place, trusting yourself, things become, well, you know.
Oh, and if you are the scientific type, here is some data for you:
-the heart is made of 60% of same type of cells as the brain (heart-mind connection? oh yes)
-energy fields flow out of the heart with measurable strength within 3 feet of body
-the infant awakens intelligence in the mother-intuition-information not available through the senses, powers she doesn’t know she has
Information from Joseph Chilton Pearce
Essential oil giveaway. Mmmm who couldn’t use some amazing Lemon Oil from Young Living, thank to our generous friend Erika Hickey who owns Walking Stick Toys and is also a distributor for Young Living.
Comment below and you will be entered to win. We will announce winner here, tomorrow (Sunday) night. Thanks everyone. We will be offering more giveaways soon, so keep checking back.
Also, if it pleases you, visit our Feeleez blog. We will be giving away treats there as well, and welcome your insights about teaching children empathy.
Lying in bed last night, nursing Sascha to sleep, and reflecting back through the day, I thought: This is IT.
A life is composed of just one moment after another, simply an accumulation of one moments. There is still a little part of me that is holding out for a different moment than this one. And yet, if I don’t think of this one as THE ONE, then I end up creating their childhoods out of moments that were well, kind of accidental.
So stop waiting, I tell myself.
Be kind now.
Let go of frustration.
Listen with more of yourself.
Play another round of whatever, with pleasure.
They only get one childhood.
And as we walked down the sidewalk towards the library, the parking ticket person (who was NOT giving us a ticket) said Wow. Look at this. A sweet, friendly dog and two adorable kids. Looks to me like you’ve got it made!
I couldn’t agree more.
Since we are talking about love stories, let’s talk about parenting love stories. I am narrowing my focus with vigilance. I want to see more and more ideal parenting in this world. Wouldn’t that be lovely? To go to the park and feel uplifted, inspired, energized by the quality of interactions you see between the adults and the children playing there? Yes. I want more of that.
This is what I see:
Children who are responded to with adoration.
I see you. Look at who you are. I am so in love with you.
Children who are never, ever left to cry for any reason. Every time they turn around to look for mama or papa, that person, the center of their universe is THERE, open and willing to be there.
Parents who are fulfilled and at peace with being parents. Who long for little because they know that being with their children is something they “get” to do, meaningful and rich just as it is.
Parents feeling connected, supported, energized, part of something vital, part of a community that honours who they are and what they do.
Children who are allowed to feel their feelings, express their wants, be who they are and who are provided with the information they need to understand how the world works.
Parents and children who get to be real, authentic, and who take full responsibility for all of it. Mad, sad, angry, frustrated, disappointed, tired, happy, ecstatic, peaceful, furious, whatever.
I’m feeling mad. I need support. Will you listen to me? Will you hold me?
Stories of home birth, family beds, nursing toddlers, full-time parenting, baby-wearing, unschooling and eating dirt are all NORMAL. (Daycare, strollers, cribs, bottles, hospital births happen, of course, but how different and unusual and rare to hear those stories.)
There is always a place to nurse, where children have seats, toilets, water fountains, play spaces that work for them, where instruments exist to help parents do everything one-handed, because of course they are carrying a child in the other arm.
Yes. It’s true. I do believe there is an ideal way to parent. It IS a love story and the time has come. I am grateful beyond words to be surrounded by such people, living these stories. And delighted to continually meet more of you who are discovering this is how you want to live.
Just remember that the story you tell is the basis of your life. So tell it the way you want it to be.
Yep. After yesterday’s post, with love on my mind, we went to the Good Food Store to get special dinner ingredients to celebrate our love for Papa. As we hung out in the cafe after shopping, I couldn’t take my eyes off an older couple sitting nearby. (I wish I had a picture of them for you.)
You both look so incredibly fit and healthy. What is your secret?
He says to her…Go on, tell her your secret
Turns out she has been a health nut for years, teaching yoga, eating well, lots of exercise. He told me she was 73 years old. I would have guessed late 50′s. We chatted some more, then they left. Awhile later (of course we were still there, many more crumbs worth inspecting) he came back, to tell me more.
And…she is the love of my life
His eyes were misty. Fifty four years they’ve been together. And his adoration was pure.
That is what I get for believing.
We always see what we believe.
top quote by Abraham-Hicks
It’s a funny thing, this love/co-parenting relationship. I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s where all of my uglies come out.
If I’m having a challenging moment, I blame my mate. If several challenging moments pile up, I consider fleeing. Ridiculous. Yet repetitive enough that I need a new way of looking at all this.
So, here it is.
“You cannot disappoint me.”
If I am looking at my children that way, why not also look at my partner this way. He is just being him, doing the things that I fell in love with in the first place, such as skiing. Often. I remind myself, there is nothing wrong with that. I want him to be happy and do what he loves.
“This is THE love affair of this life.”
So, if I choose to believe that, which I do, then ACT LIKE IT, dammit. Treat him with real consideration and care. Embrace all of who he is, especially the parts that drive me nuts (neon sign pointing at places where I need to grow up).
“This too shall pass.”
It will. One of us will die, something will happen, because everything in this world of form is temporary. One day we will not be together like this. It could be today, so let’s kiss good-bye when you leave in the morning. What if it is the last time?
We don’t have to wait until the kids go to bed to connect. We can connect in any moment we want, and that is so important for them to see. We don’t have to wait until the kids grow up so we can DO stuff together (like ski) to feel close. Let’s feel close now, even when our lives seem so different.
Feeling close requires opening my heart and letting go. It has nothing to do with changing you or wishing something was different. It is my choice, my work.
I choose you. Over and over.
Children have a lot to teach us about creating.
Give them the tools, the space, and freedom, and they will create because they live and breathe possibility
Children’s drawings can be roughly divided into three stages, similar to those found in their play and their painting. In the first phase, before age three, the child creates purely out of the movement that carries her. The process of creation arises in a dreamy way, out of the rhythms and movements coming from within her own body, so if you ask a very young child about her drawing, she will usually be unable to explain the content to you.
In the second phase, between ages of three and five, the child lets the arising picture take hold of her imagination. While she draws, she will tell you about the picture as it unfolds in front of her.
After the fifth year, the child often approaches coloring with a definite idea or picture in mind, “I am going to draw my dog, Blacy, chasing a rabbit.”
Under the age of three, children draw spirals and these tend to go from outward to inward, gradually forming a center which reflects the child’s growing realization of self. These spiral movements are thought to be echoes of the movements of the cosmos and of the flowing rhythms and the fluids within the young child’s own body. After four, children draw people not as we see a person, but as he experiences his own self and body. The inner life processes, not the external form, are the determining factors.
Pretty amazing, eh?
From You Are Your Child’s First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy
I have been thinking about creativity, as I get swept up in sewing, knitting, and otherwise making of things. I won’t let this crafty-ness take me away from the deeper creative force that moves through me: to nurture these emerging beings into becoming their own unique selves.
sunny play corners and sweet Larkin bird
beautiful loving mama-friends who come to craft and willingly read hockey stories instead
this child of mine (who is not mine at all)
this love that turns me inside out
I want to move my body outside, every day. Sometimes, from inside where I sit imagining all the layers and all the steps to get out the door, that seems daunting. And, always worth it. Especially when Papa comes along.
Into man’s inner world, the senses pour their cornucopia; the Spirit of the worlds retrieves Itself here in the mirror of the eye, the human eye that from Itself as source must ever and again renew its force.
Calendar of the Soul: The Year Participated
This hockey-obsessed boy now known as “Elliott Peter Laroche GOALIE” is in love.
Mom. I like the players so much because (sheepish grin), I love them
The primary object of his adoration is Jim Craig, goalie in the movie Miracle which we’ve now watched, oh, probably twenty times. No kidding.
The big speech before the big game, well, let me just recite it for you.
Great moments are born from great opportunities.
That’s what you have here tonite, boys.
That’s what you’ve earned here tonite.
If you played them ten times, they might win nine.
But not tonite.
Tonite, you skate with them.
Tonite, you stay with them and you shut them down, because you can.
Tonite, you are the greatest hockey team in the world.
And he goes on.
And those boys do it. They play like it is in fact the only game they will ever play.
What if we really lived like there is only one day.
My sister told me about Griefwalker today.
We need to think about death more.
If we lived as if we had only one day left what would be different?
Our quality of presence would be immense.
One day. Why not live like that? These sweet ones already do.
There are as many other galaxies in the universe as stars in our galaxy.
When I feel tension, resistance to something that is happening, like Elliott not wanting to go outside, or concern about my mom, or someone doesn’t want to be my friend, I remember that.
This whole little drama right here is very, very small.
There is as much space inside of us as outside of us, vast galaxies right here in this body. Breathe.
Create more space.
The pick up truck is FULL of stuff ready for the Good Will. We’ve been clearing out space around here. I am trusting that whatever we need will show up, and my job is to create space. I’m beginning to notice the space between the objects in the house.
The motivation is feng shui. The Wealth corner was a bunch of dusty jars of beans and dog food. Sheesh. So, get this. I moved the beans, scrubbed the shelf, took down the cluttered corkboard, put rocks and seashells and purple and vision board in that corner. Not five minutes later the accountant emailed: our tax return is double what we expected. Tim thinks I’m nuts, but whatever. It works whether he believes it or not.
The most essential of all to create more space between your thoughts.
We started our own crafty mama and kids Mondays here yesterday. Here is Joanna and Axel and her first hat. Four mamas and six children. A few stitches were knit, some tea made, and lots of other play. Gabe our knitting guru kept making the rounds helping us out. Sweet fun. Especially with the newly converted craft and play room.
Nurturing creativity. It has even more to do with how we interact with our children than anything else. Consider this exchange…
Mama, what’s that?
That? That’s called a roller skate.
Oh. For chickens?
Chickens? Are you asking if chickens like to roller skate?
Well. Hmmm. I’m not sure. I’ve seen people use roller skates. They slide a shoe inside those straps and then roll around on the wheels. What do you think?
You think chickens use them?
Oh. Well, of course that’s possible. Do you want to take the roller skate over near the chickens and see what happens?
They try it, taking the roller skate to the chickens. Turns out chickens don’t roller skate. At least not this time, and not while we were watching.
Be neutral. (Do you remember what it felt like to be laughed at?)
“Who knows where these ideas come from.”
“You are all Buddhas
There is nothing you need to achieve.
Just open your eyes.”
Saying no with loving kindness.
Elliott asks Natalie if she has any gum.
“Hmmm. Let me check.
Yes, we do. Would you like a piece?”
Yes, he would like a piece. And so he has one.
Echo asks for gum. Natalie doesn’t want her to have any. She is 22 months old. Elliott is going on four.
Sometimes we say NO
“Why?” asks Echo.
“Because gum is something that stays in your mouth. It’s just for chewing. Your body wants to swallow. Your body hasn’t learned about chewing gum and not swallowing and I want to help you keep your body healthy and safe.”
“Would you like to find something else that we can pretend is gum?”
Yes, it was this warm here today. Warm enough to shed shirt and shoes and run in the field.
This girl loves to swing. Humming to herself in the sunshine.
Just look at this exquisite baby chubby-ness. It melts me.
It is all just perfect.
Huge jar of tea spills all over. ‘ahh. I’ve been meaning to wash the floor’
Continuous waking in evening hours. ‘I see..I’m meant to go to bed early tonite.’
Wanting to eat everything I’m eating. ‘Oh yes. I get to change what I’m eating so that it’s healthier and just right for both of us.’
I want to see the opening, the possibility, in everything. It’s right there in front of me when I’m able to open my eyes and free myself from reacting.
Have a lovely weekend, wherever you are.
Listen, I’ve decided:
Life is too precious to ponder
the petty details any longer
and to put it bluntly
I will not participate.
I will not be coming to the party
I will not be returning the call.
I will not be anything to anyone.
I will stare at the gray sky till it is blue.
I will walk in the green fields and
smell the wildflowers.
I will imbibe this life the way
it was meant to be imbibed.
I will listen only to my body
and the black crows.
I will live by the true laws of the Land.
I will pick the wild blackberries and pet cats.
I will write poems I share
only with the wind.
I will raise a child
on the edge of nowhere.
I will nourish her on magic and honey.
I will teach her the languages of fairies.
We will play in
the forest at twilight.
We will hurl all hardship
downhill to the sea.
Oh yes…that poem brings me home. Magic and honey, on the edge of nowhere, the language of fairies. mmmm. Precious things.
I’m thinking about precious things.
After children are breathing steady in the family bed, snuggled up together for however long before I join them, there is this space. I actually love having such a small window of personal freedom. It’s brevity helps me get to the core of what matters to me, what nurtures me. There is always some cleaning and organizing and maybe a little fun planning for tomorrow to create ease. I might do a sewing project or write in a journal for creativity. Coaching with sweet clients is deeply satisfying..sacred, loving, discovery, connection. Writing to you on this blog is, of course, so much fun (otherwise I wouldn’t do it.) Watching a movie, talking to Tim, or knitting and listening to something rich. I try not to plan this time while lying down while they fall asleep, otherwise I lose touch with what I feel in the moment. Be present and when I get up, see what happens. What needs doing.
How do you spend this time? What do you love?
Recently I’ve been listening to Non-violent communication audio programs here and I just discovered this! which I’m going to check out. For fun, have you heard of hulu for free movies?
So much to enjoy.
I’ve been wallowing.
It’s never pretty. Starting with sore throat sickies and feeling low which leads to frustration and fatigue which leads to unhelpful thoughts, all of which revolve around the theme of this must change, not OK as it is. (Eg. husband needs to be different, house needs to be different, kids need to be different….)
Do you ever go there?
Thankfully, I am not successful at trying to get everybody else to change so I end up facing myself, once again.
Thankfully, I have Natalie who reminds me to LET GO.
Thankfully, wise wee ones on the move, having needs, unwilling to be put on hold CALL me back to what’s real: this right here.
Thankfully, I remember that I CHOOSE THIS.
Choice is quite something, isn’t it? We can be duped into thinking that we are victims to whatever is happening which we happen not to like.
But we are not victims.
We choose. Consciously and unconsciously, we choose.
During the first week of The Presence Process you repeat as often as possible to yourself “I choose to experience this moment”.
Of course, you can choose something else. But I’m guessing that what is happening right now is what is supposed to be happening. Your soul asked for it.