Archive for April, 2009

yogi mama, sort of

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Much to my surprise, a space opened up in the middle of the day.

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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)

Nate Shildback
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.

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April 30, 2009 at 5:10 am Leave a comment

non-violent communication

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.

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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.

Here is the Center for NonViolent Communication home page. And,here is where to sign up for parenting email group.

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?

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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.

April 29, 2009 at 3:16 am 3 comments

when everyone gets their wish

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

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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.)
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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.
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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.
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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.

April 28, 2009 at 2:56 am 4 comments

happy weekend

Happy weekend, everyone.

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Enlightenment is simply returning to our natural state of being

adyashanti

April 25, 2009 at 4:42 am Leave a comment

your tribe

There are so many little happenings in a day, like when Elliott says

Mama, see my red toe? It’s going to fall off. I’m going to need to get a new one.

I’m sure you have them too and that you also want to remember them all. Then, when night comes and I sit down to write, I can hardly pull one out of the bunch, let alone write something coherent and perhaps even maybe meaningful? Then, to top it all off, I want to have some sweet photo to go along with the post! My. What a perfect challenge this is.

Well, here is a little something from today. I hope, as always, that you like it, and that it reminds you of how just right everything already is.

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After popsicles in the hammock, the rain and cold returned today (snow? Are you kidding me?). Luckily, Papa Tim a.k.a. weather-guy, gave us the heads up.

We ended up downtown meeting our little playgroup at a coffee shop. Watching these two boys together reminded me, this is our TRIBE.

There is such a strong sentiment out there about children needing to be socialized, and needing school to do the socializing (longer article here. I don’t buy it. Our children need friendships like this. They need family, and they need a tribe.

A tribe is simply a loving and consistent group of family and friends, from zero to 100+ years of age, who are willing to mentor, nurture, guide, and care deeply for each child and each other.

I am so grateful for our tribe, both near and far, including the community created by this blog. (We actually think of it as ‘the modern village for conscious parents”). I am grateful for you.

April 24, 2009 at 3:58 am Leave a comment

fun for you

We have new coloring pages on our Feeleez site which you can download for free!
Help children learn feelings here!

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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.

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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.

April 23, 2009 at 1:09 am Leave a comment

i love tuesdays

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.

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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.

alanis morisette

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
lime
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.

April 22, 2009 at 4:13 am 3 comments

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