Friday, November 30, 2012

Would you do it again?

It seems like the girls and our full life is taking over all the time I have to get on here and write a post or two.  Every night we say our gratitude prayers.  Every morning we have our protein shakes made with homemade kefir.  And somehow, all the in between time gets filled up.  This last week we've been recovering from tummy upset with the girls.  Before that it was colds.  Somewhere in there we've done a little homeschooling, but not nearly as much as I think we should.

And so as we begin the last month of the semester, I'm asking daily, on a moment by moment basis, will we keep doing this?  Will we keep homeschooling?  Will we keep not using a more structured curriculum?  Will we stick with the playgroup where there are no girls Jetta's age?  And so on.

There are definitely limitations to our lifestyle, but when I think of all the reasons we chose to attempt homeschooling in the first place, they are still there, still filling up my heart with the need to keep them closer, keep them safe, and let them run a little wilder than they might otherwise.

So, yes, we'll still be homeschooling in January.  I can't say I feel like we're succeeding all that much with getting structured learning time into the day, but I also feel like we are at the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we are attempting to do and where we are attempting to go with this.  We've dangled our feet into the pool and not really even jumped in yet.

As the year end approaches, there are other things that I am revisiting, wondering if I'll make the choice to do that again.  Rather than have regrets, we can use those choices as lessons of having learned what we truly don't want, and truly do want.

What will you choose to do again, and what you choose to do differently?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Quick Tips for Shopping This Holiday Season

It's shopping time for most people who give holiday gifts.  For me that means supplies for the things I'm making and very little time at big box stores.  I prefer earthy, heartfelt and handmade for the Solstice gifts we exchange, though we do indulge in store-bought items that enable creativity, are natural, and/or speak to the soul of the recipient.  We keep things simple with a minimum of gifts, probably much more modestly than the average American family, and we leave some of the dreamier, more popular toys for birthday celebrations.

As consumers, we have an opportunity to shape how we experience the holidays just by choosing where we shop.  We will be shaping the holidays for all those who exist in our immediate economic area, as well as those in our wider economy. 

If you can, buy handmade, make it yourself, or even consider buying second hand.  The world does not need more plastic, toxic, electronic stuff.

Buy local and support local businesses, even if the products you buy are not handmade and are mass produced.

Buy less material goods for your children.  This is supposed to be a holiday about giving, not receiving, and if your children are the recipients of what you give, you aren't really teaching them to give, are you?

Try to find some place to donate your time, if not your money, to teach your children (and remind yourself) that there are others who need what you have to offer, that there are others who have far less that you do, and that compassion and giving are the true spirits of the season.

Happy shopping, and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Let's Heal, Let's Give

In her recent post, Rachél Payne over at Creativity Tribe talked about giving.  And I have so much to be grateful for, so much to make me stop and turn around and look  with swelling heart just what overwhelming abundance I have in my life, that I have realized just how much I have to give.

Let's start here:  the new moon.  New Beginnings.  New Healing.  For you, for your loved ones, for your friends.

As a Reiki Master/Teacher, this tool has sat largely unused for some time.  Four big moves in four years, mothering, deployments, massage school.  Tons to keep it on the shelf.  It's time to take this tool out and dust it off.

Each new moon, we'll start a new list.  If you want to be on it and receive distance healing from me, add your name, and a general location (Jessica, Texas).  If you know someone else who needs it, put their name and general location.  And if you want to join me in sending healing, please, please, please do.  You don't have to be reiki attuned, you don't have to be a healer, you don't have to be anything but present.  Just send pure love from your heart to the names on the list.

Here's how it works:

I post the New Moon Healing post at the beginning of a moon cycle.

You leave the names and places in the comment box.

Those names get written on real paper, with real love in my heart as I write it.

They go in a special box that a dear friend gave to me years and years ago.  It is my "Reiki Box," the box I put special notes of concern in and then add healing to it.

And then every day of the waxing moon, I will say a quick prayer for healing and love, and do reiki over the box.

Do I expect miracles to happen?  Will this result in profound healing?  Let's just let it be what it will be and not limit it.  Let's believe in the power of giving.  And you can give with me, or you can receive what I have to give.  I'll be honored either way.

Now it's your turn:  add your name, or another's, and pass it on.

What Do You Have to Give?

My good friend Rae, over at Creativity Tribe, is talking about giving.  She's talking about giving back, and remembering when that giving was returned.  I know that story all too well, and I've been on the receiving end a lot.  So many times in my life, it seems, have I been a place of needing, and someone has given.  And what a gift it would be to be the one who had enough this time to share in the giving, to honor that which has been given to me in the past, in those down-trodden times, and give forward!

I'm recalling all those times that I felt destitute.  I'm remembering all those times when someone bailed us out of what felt like the bottom of the barrel.  Yet, here we are, living, learning, loving.  It feels like we don't have enough on so many days of the week, but we have so much that I can choose to be home with my children.  We have enough.  We have more than enough.  We have enough to thrive and live beautifully within our means, while choosing to have more time, more love, more joy, and less things.  More magic, more wildness, more pausing in the moment.

It is a wonderful trend on Facebook this time of year, to list the many things you are thankful for each day of the month in November.  We say gratitude prayers every night, and what I am thankful for is very personal, so I skip sharing on FB.  But I'm thinking of another trend that could be started-- a trend of giving every day.  Giving for the sake of giving.  Giving to remind ourselves that we have something to give and that we truly are the lucky ones.

This is powerful.  This is real.  And I can't wait to get started.