Thursday, August 30, 2007

Admiration


Today's daily soul retreat was really thought provoking for me. Here is an excerpt:
One of the most powerful tools for good I have found to exist throughout life is admiration. To admire something is to hold it in high regard and to appreciate it. I've found that when living beings are acknowledged with admiration and appreciation, all sorts of good things come forth.

It kind of goes along with something I wrote about a few days ago. I wrote about approaching every situation and interaction from a place of love and peace. That bringing peace to the relationship/situation can bring peace to those around you and set the whole encounter up to be more peaceful and loving. This goes along with that. It is a hard line to admire without being false. But it is true, I have seen it work with others and myself. Everyone likes to be held in high regard for what they bring to this life. Should we need outside admiration, maybe not, but I know for me it does feel good to get that pat on the back.

So maybe my new mantra should be to bring love, peace and admiration to every situation.

Soul Collage





We have been talking a little on the Imagination Tribe Yahoo list about Soul Collage and I have had a couple of questions about my cards so I thought I would post a few of my favorites. I have about 25 cards right now, still a work in progress, but I am enjoying the process.
These are all cards from my Community Suit.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Family Full Moon Circle




Another beautiful night, another wonderful, connected time with our family full moon circle. Kind of a combination of rituals from different spiritual paths, tweaked a bit to follow the boys and their attention span, we had a peaceful, relaxing time. I have found this site especially helpful. Full of shorter guided meditations, we incorporate one with each full and new moon circle. We are all enjoying that part. I have brought some Native American Indian heritage into our circle as well. I was never blessed to be in a family that embraced that part of our heritage, so I am working to create that now in my life and for my family. We are ever evolving, always flexible, and enjoying this family created path.

More ATCs

Yes, I have been working on more ATCs. Trying to get ready for the Live and Learn Conference coming up. I know I will not have time there to make ATCs so I am working to have some ready for trading. I think they came out nice. It is hard to try new things. Couple days ago I was doing more collage ATCs, cutting out pictures and words from magazines etc. So I wanted to try something different. So I started doing some different things with stamps. Here are a couple of my favorites from yesterday:

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Live and Learn Conference ATCs

I was so inspired and energized yesterday. I started going through magazines looking for pictures, words, sayings to use for Art Trading Cards for the Live and Learn Conference. These will go with others made by other people to be raffled off for the scholarship fund. The ironic part is that I found ALL the pictures, clipping, words and parts of words in a homeschool magazine. A friend gave me a stack of magazines for my soul collage project and the one with the best UNSCHOOLING gems was the homeschool mag. Do you think the editor had that in mind when s/he created the magazine. Oh well...... OK this is funny, the "un" in unschool came from a Bob Jones University ad. LOL
I just thought that boy looked so happy.

No explanation necessary!!











Monday, August 27, 2007

Love

Reading at the Soulful Living site this morning I found this: by Judith Orloff, M.D Love creates an irresistible charisma, a warm glow that makes us and others happy. You can send it in any situation, a nurturing that won’t drain us. How? Focus on your heart center, and envision something you love. A flock of seagulls. Your son’s smile. A blooming rose. Then, during a conversation, inwardly ask, “Let love flow through me.” Feel it rise from your chest; notice a sense of heat, serenity, a radiance. These vibes move outward. People soften around them, feel safe, want more.

There is a lot more to the article but I really enjoyed and took in this part. Sometimes it is easy for me to get caught up in the emotions of the day, feeling hurried, maybe grumpy sometimes. But I think this hits the spot with how I feel about the Law of Attraction and how "I" can influence interactions, relationships, connections. I really think I need to work on this one point more. Focusing on my feelings and bringing love to any situation from an internal perspective. Not just "being nice" but feeling love and emanating love can change things.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Family photo



What a charming family. LOL. I had to take a picture for a project I am working on so I thought I would upload it here. Probably one of the only pictures in existence of ME. My oldest Dallen, 13, is on the left, then my youngest, Phillip, 10, is next. Beautiful boys, happy and wonderful.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Inspiration

I subscribe to a couple of "daily" inspirational items that come to me via e mail each morning. Some of them I really enjoy. This one was from a couple of days ago:

I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. That is clear. Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, we all are seeking something better in life. So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness.
-- Dalai Lama

There is a criterion by which you can judge whether the thoughts you are thinking and the things you are doing are right for you. The criterion is: Have they brought you inner peace? If they have not, there is something wrong with them, so keep seeking! If what you do has brought you inner peace, stay with what you believe is right.
--Peace Pilgrim


I really enjoyed reading this. It kind of made me take a quick mental stock of what I was doing and where I was going. Sometimes it is easy to keep saying yes to things, people asking for help, working on homeschool support group stuff etc. I keep telling myself that I do it because I enjoy it and feel that it is important work to be doing. But is it that or do I just have a hard time saying 'no'. I can say no, have said no before. So reading this I held what I do up the light, so to speak. and yes what I do brings me joy and peace. I have an immense amount of joy in my life, so something must be right. So for now I will keep doing what I am doing but will try to evaluate frequently to see if these things in my life continue to bring me joy and peace.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Energy and ATCs



I have been feeling so energized lately. Even found some time to work on a few Art Trading Cards. This is a trade of Buddhism inspired cards, and I have been looking at the trade description for a while now, telling myself "I will find time for this trade". Well the time is now. Bits and pieces of stuff were strewn all over the dining room table, just the right atmosphere for me to create something. So ever evolving over the last few days and now my ATCs are done and ready to mail. This was an inspiring trade, Buddhism and ATCs just seem to go together. I could really get into that mode where all I was concentrating on were the cards. You can see all my Zen cards on my flickr site.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Warning - When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple
By Jenny Joseph


When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple
with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired
and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
and run my stick along the public railings
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
and pick the flowers in other people's gardens
and learn to spit.
I am sure you have read this poem before, so I only quoted part of it. I was looking through my bookcases today and ran across this book, it belonged to my mother. When she crossed over I hung onto this book because this was one of my mother's favorite poems. She was the one who introduced it to me. So I have kept the book all these years, not really reading it, just keeping it for comfort, knowing that it meant a great deal to her. Now when I pass by it and pick it up I feel closer to her knowing the many times she picked it up, held it, read it.
So I was reading this poem today. I wonder if she had known she was going to die so early would she have chosen to wear a little purple a little sooner? She was saving her 'wild' side for "old age". She knew many elderly people who were wearing purple, spitting, going out in the rain in slippers. I wonder did she envy them at all? Or would she have continued to conform to those societal norms even into her old age?
I wear purple, maybe not all the time, but some of the time. I do what I want. My boys will know what it is like to wear purple. They will not have those same boxes to fit into. They will not save their 'wild' side for old age. For you never know....old age might not come. It never came for my mother.
"Mom I sure hope you are happy now, surrounded by love and wearing purple."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Drumming

Oh wow! What a truly awesome day. I know that word is thrown around a lot and may be a bit cliche, but today was AWESOME! Jackson bought me a pow wow drum for Christmas. Yes a pow wow drum, and it is the most beautiful drum I have ever seen. Such care was taken to make this drum. Jackson told me he talked with the craftsman several times to get the drum just right for me. Such positive energy, and love went into this gift and I am truly blessed to have someone who loves me so much as to know what speaks to my heart. We have drummed several times, out on our deck, we have 12 acres so the "neighbors" can't see us drumming, but I am sure they can HEAR us. Wonder what they think, LOL.


Today I got out my drum and just sat it out in the middle of my room, moved my massage table out of the way, picked up a couple of pillows to sit on, so I would be high enough to play and just started drumming. I found "my" beat and just beat a rhythmic, steady beat. It beat to my very soul, vibrations through my body from my head to my feet. The boys were engrossed in something else, so I just stayed there for probably an hour meditating and drumming. When you get the right beat, the right vibration it just seems like it connects deep in your heart. It was so nice. Then Dallen dropped by my room and wanted to take a couple of pictures. So here they are. You can see me drumming (very rare to see me in a picture at all) and you can see my beautiful drum, my heartbeat. Phillip joined us and started drumming with me, then I pulled out my flute and started to play while the boys drummed the beat. And Dallen followed suit and started playing his flute to the drumming. It was so nice, so peaceful, so rhythmic, and connecting. Just an AWESOME day, with my AWESOME boys, and an AWESOME drum!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Peace Train by Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)

Have loved Cat Stevens before he was Yusuf Islam, this is an exceptional performance of Peace Train. I think you will all enjoy this one.

Creation


My boys have been so energized lately. They know that at the upcoming Live and Learn Conference there will be an area where they can sell things that they have made. So they are busy working on items to sell. Making chimes out of old silverware and shells we have collected at the beach, Phil is painting artwork, which I don't have a picture of on my compter. Dallen went outside today taking pictures. His idea is to take some great pictures and make them into note cards, complete with envelopes, and package them to sell. He took some great pictures. It is so wonderful to see them so excited about this, working so hard, being so creative. Of course we always love the Live and Learn Conference. Just such a nourishing experience. Really feeds the soul. So here are a few of Dallen's pictures to wet your appetite. :-)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Just Amazing


What amazing friends I have, what amazing people are out there. You know it is so easy to get down about homeschooling here in the "south". Sometimes it seems like if you are not of a certain religion you are swimming upstream, against the current.

But it is times like today that I am TOTALLY amazed. It started off with just an idea, for a totally inclusive homeschool conference here in NC. A state "run", it seems most of the time, by a very conservative Christian organization. OK am I crazy. It has been a few years now that I thought, yes, I am crazy to think it could ever be any different, that people would even want an inclusive homeschool conference, would come, would pay. But last year I mentioned my idea to a couple of dear friends, and they were totally onboard instantly. Not surprised as they are my friends and we have some similar underlying philosophical similarities.

So we made it happen, I called people I knew, people I didn't know. "Would you come talk to homeschoolers. No I can't pay you anything we are working on "borrowed" money, not knowing at all if anyone will come." And surprisingly, these wonderful people said yes, no hesitation. Donating their time to bring information to the people here in North Carolina. Information about homeschooling, with no preset filter. We wanted to provide accurate, unbiased information. And you know what. People came, people loved it, people were surprised that this was not a conference with an agenda, that it came about because of the drive of three homeschooling moms. People were, to use one attendees word here, "transformed". We had sessions going all day, we had speakers chatting with people in the halls, we just had so much sharing of information. It was wonderful to see. And I realize I HAVE AMAZING FRIENDS!!!!!

It was a wonderful, inspiring, spectacular event. With people who really care about bringing information to people, sharing their knowledge and passions. People with no agenda, no ulterior motives, just people who care. It is amazing when it happens, and we hope to make it happen on a yearly basis. Just three moms "on a mission".


OK now time to head off for some much needed rest before the Live and Learn Conference in THREE WEEKS!! Am I crazy. LOL.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Home

Home by Father Paul Keenan
Within each and every one of us, there lies a place called "Home." It may look and feel different at various points in our lives. There are times, perhaps long ones, in which Home seems to be conspicuously absent. (Did it move away and forget to tell us, or did we wander off from it?) It is there nonetheless and if we are not presently aware of living in it, we are necessarily engaged in the search for it. Home is that place where we feel the greatest inner warmth, where we can go to be ourselves, and it is where we must go if we are to fulfill our purpose in the world.
Home is an inner place, not an outer one. It is important for us to know that, and to know it for sure. Numerous people and influences in our lives will blithely assure us that Home is somewhere on the outside. People spend lifetimes, fortunes and much, much energy trying to find it or create it outside of themselves. But until Home is found on the inside, all our best efforts to build it on the outside eventually come to naught.

Contrary to appearances and to common belief, Home is not something that can be lost. Certainly, there are times in life when we feel rootless, Homeless, sitting among the ruins of shattered lives and broken dreams. In those times, everything in our experience tells us that all is lost, that we are lost. The truth goes otherwise. No matter how discombobulated our lives seem to be, there is still that inward place to which we may turn for solace.


I am not going to print the entire thing here, it is copyrighted. But well worth the read.

Monday, August 6, 2007

North Carolina Homeschooling


Oh I am getting so excited. A couple of friends and I had been thinking and talking for some time about the need in North Carolina for a REAL inclusive homeschooling conference that focuses on homeschooling as the core. Totally secular in nature, no agenda other than providing real, accurate, unbiased information. And it is really happening. We have been working on this for a year now and to see the product of all this work come to life is so exciting. We are having some really cool speakers and these last few days and upcoming days have been and will be hectic, but the conference WILL happen and it WILL be this coming Saturday. We are all thrilled to be bringing this to North Carolina. I know we are in the Bible belt, and it will be an uphill battle, but just listening on yahoo lists and in groups of people, there are homeschoolers out there who are NOT homeschooling for religious reasons, and people who are indeed homeschooling for religious reasons but are looking for a conference not based on religion, any religion. So while the struggle has been real, I think it can happen, I think it will happen, and this will be a tremendous change for North Carolina. It has been a long time comin' but IT IS HERE.


I have never homeschooled in any other state, so I don't know what the homeschooling atmosphere is anywhere else. I have been ridiculed for my unschooling methods and I am tired of the judgements, placed, not just on me but others like me, and others not like me but with some other characteristic "outside the majority". We deserve a voice. We will have a voice. OK I need to get down off my soapbox and back to work.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sleep

Wow! I never knew just how important sleep was to my body. Yes I have always known that my body needs sleep, I need that time to decompress, process, regenerate, rejuvenate, refresh. And I am a person who relies on my body cues for sleep, sleep when tired wake up when I want. No alarms for me. Even when I worked full time outside the home, before children, I knew that I was not a morning person and therefore worked evening and night shifts.

But I have been really busy lately working on volunteer things. Things that I feel are really important and so am willing to put in the hours, usually just a few hours a week. This past week has been different, meeting a deadline, trying my best to accommodate other people so that in the end we are all happy. I have been going to bed later than usual, thinking about what I need to accomplish the next day, waking up really early still thinking about those things I need to get done. It makes for a restless, short sleep, that is not refreshing at all. And for a few days there I felt like I was in this mental fog, like there was a thin curtain over my brain. I have never felt this way before, it was strange and scary. I know it was my body telling me that I need to rest, needed to shut down, and warning me that if I didn't shut down soon it would do so without my conscious agreement.

I walked around in that state of mind for three days. Then the work was done and I could get the much needed rest. I am not sure how other people deal with this or even know what I am talking about. My husband sleeps maybe 5 hours a night on average. Does he just not need sleep like I do? Does the body adapt to less sleep if it goes on for a length of time? Would my body adapt if I had continued to keep that schedule. I will admit one thing, I did feel like I was "making the most of my day" meaning I was up a long time, was I productive....maybe not. Well I will never know if my body would have adapted. I am back to my "normal" schedule, stay up late, get up late. And I think I am starting to recover. I am feeling a bit more rested. I did learn that it takes twice as long to feel rested again after you have functioned on less sleep for a couple of days, I think I am still recovering now. I have a new found sympathy for those with sleep disorders. It must be one of the most debilitating disorders.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Water Is Wide

The Lion King

I have a minute this morning to add another bit to my Lion King post. While we were in line to get in, there was a crowd of people, and all were pushing and trying to get into the building. Phil, our 10 year old, was separated from us by about 10 feet. Nothing major for me, I could still see him and was calling to him. But he could not hear me over the crowd, and he was just out of reach so I couldn't tap him or reach for him. So I let out a big mommy yell "PHIL I'M OVER HERE!!!" It was so funny because everyone stopped (well it seemed like everyone, probably more like everyone in my general vicinity), if you have ever been around me you know my voice can "carry" is that a nice way of putting it. All these people were looking at me, but I didn't care. Phil heard me and that was all I cared about, he had a look on his face that looked like he was about to panic in all these people, but hearing my voice he turned and saw me and immediately calmed down and knew it was OK. I secretly think some of the moms in the area were thinking "yeah...been there...done that" because I know this was not the first time I have yelled across a crowded room so my boys could hear me. LOL.

Phil was a little shaken, but we held each other for a minute, there in the crowd of people. Never too many people that I can't STOP for a second to hug my baby, then we proceeded. I asked Phil if he wanted to hold my hand until we got to our seats, and he was more than agreeable. He soon forgot the event ever happened. And it did not deter from the magical time we had at the performance.

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Lion King





TOTALLY AMAZING. We went last night with some friends to see the musical The Lion King, at Charlotte's Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Just incredible. The joy you could see in my boy's faces brought me to tears. The performance was just stunning. If you haven't already seen it and it comes close to you (or even not so close) you have to see it. The voices were inspirational, the make up was perfect for the characters, the costumes were like nothing I have ever seen before and the music....oh what can you say....just sings through your heart. The flutes and drumming....just bring chills on the back of my neck thinking about it. And after the performance meeting a few of the cast members. And talking with friends about how they did certain costume moves.

The giraffe costume, what can I say but "I want one." To be able to walk on stilts not only on your feet but on your hands as well, must be some kind of talent involved there.

Just a wonderful night, so glad we live close to a large city and can experience things like this. Was even more spectacular to be able to share this with family and friends and watch my boys as they experience it along side me for the first time.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Phil's Beetle

We were able to find this little tid bit of information about the beetle as it relates to Indian Wisdom;


Beetle Wisdom Includes:
Carries the Golden Strand that leads to the Center of the Universe
Past lives
Spiritual enlightenment
Death and Rebirth


Also found a nice picture of the beetle that visited us last night

Full Moon Family Circle

Well we decided to do our family full moon circle last night instead of the night before. It was just rainy and cloudy and you couldn't see the full moon, so we postponed it by unanimous decision to last night.

And what a night last night was, BEAUTIFUL. The moon was gorgeous and it was nice outside, not too hot. We have a regular circle gathering we do every month, gathering our items we need and making our circle. Then we also read a bit about the full moon, different every month, and do a little spiritual exercise that is different every month, and we end with a short relaxation and guided meditation and finally close our circle.

Last night was really nice, I needed that. I have been so busy this week that I have felt in a mental fog. So last night I was able to relax a bit, reconnect with the family, and rejuvenate....nice.... During the circle a beetle climbed up on Phil's pillow, he is 10. He wanted to move it away. I suggested that maybe the beetle was there for a reason, so Phil came and sat on my lap for the rest of the evening and sure enough that beetle changed his direction and crept along toward Phil. So we are certain Phil is supposed to gain something from this beetle, we watched it for a while and Phil wants to look it up today to see what kind of beetle it was. Very cool for all of us. Sometimes you never know what form your spirit guides will take.

So I am feeling much more energetic today. I suppose actually getting some sleep helped on that end. Relaxing enough to be able to sleep without playing my "to do" list over and over again in my head was easier after our circle.

Now I am off to see what that beetle was, with my son.