Saturday, January 19, 2013

Up in Smoke


"Everyone knows how to choose; few know how to let go. 





...But it's only by letting go of each experience that you make room for the next. The skill of letting go can be learned; once learned, you will enjoy living much more spontaneously."
~ Deepak Chopra, The Book of Secrets (p. 89)



There is no one time or right way to let go
Today, along with my decay bundle below, I also completed a burning ritual, offering with total forgiveness and dried sage, all that is now left behind. 

Time for a shower, a good meal, and all that is new and of love. 



Letting Go; A Ritual for Release & Acceptance

"One of the most important skills we can acquire in life is the ability to respond well to loss and disappointment. The first step in doing so is to give up the assumption that, when we suffer a loss, that something is 'wrong.' Nothing is wrong. Loss is a part of life. Sometimes there is a sadness, a silence, a despair, or a loneliness that just needs to be listened to." ~Katherine Woodward Thomas

This odd little pink package hanging from a tree in my backyard, is me letting go 

The past, (specifically with my former husband), Fear, Control, Judgement of self & others Worry for my son and the future....They are all bundled up-- along with old roses, wedding pictures, sand from the beach we lived on in California, & other mementos-- in the pink t-shirt that I was wearing on the night my former mate asked me out on our first date in October of 2008. They are hanging on a tree in my backyard in the middle of January to face their fate. It's winter; They don't stand a chance.

The "little deaths that compel us to grope through the dark nights of our souls are what most of us avoid the most. We'd rather just take a pill and be happy all the time than feel the searing pain of loss and of being lost. But there's a huge folly here. If we don't surrender and let things die away and dissolve into mystery and darkness, there's no space from which anything new can be reborn." ~ Sarah Avant Stover, The Way of the Happy Woman (p. 236)

The inspiration for this project comes via the nature of the season and my beautiful friend, Susan who told me of the decay bundle she was making in honor of the recent passing of her brother. In the spirit of the project (created by artist, Seth Apter), I collected a menagerie of things that needed to be let go of...





This is also a wonderful process for children, who are new and unpracticed in art of letting go. I certainly plan to remember this for the inevitable times to come when my son faces the harder tides of life...I can see both the necessity and beauty of a decay ball in times such as a loss of pet, the passing of a family member, transitioning to puberty...


For history on The Disintegration Collaboration (aka, the DisCo Project):  http://thealteredpage.blogspot.com/2010/04/rediscovery.html

Seth Apter's Blog:  http://thealteredpage.blogspot.com/

Ideas on starting your own Decay Bundle:  http://www.redbubble.com/groups/disintegration-collaboration-disco


A seperate practice, wonderful in the release specifically of relationships, via Gabby Berstein:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3ovlPZjBlw




Christmas Tree Tradition

Christmas Tree Farm 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Traditions for Self-Inspiration

Lately, with the season of course, I've been thinking a lot about tradition and how in many ways we have lost their importance in both our homes and in our communities. But, in returning to self, the origin of all--How often do we as mothers and women give ourselves the gift of rituals? Wouldn't we certainly be more present for those whom we love when we give to ourselves in ways that hold meaning...

It can be oh-so-hard, especially as a single parent, but in the time that my son is with is father, I'm am trying and searching to create nurturing rituals for myself. I am quite visual in my process, so when I came across this blog entry via a blogger who also liked Veronica Varlow's post, I was quite taken.

{via}

I love to see what I am cultivating. I love dream boards and books. And I love this idea of quite literally surrounding yourself by those who inspire you!

*and for some nerdy information on the significance of 7 calendar days

Monday, December 3, 2012

Choices in Daycare and Preschool


It can be difficult to make empowered decisions when we aren't aware of the expanse of our choices; And there are always always choices outside the ones served to us.

This very much goes for the art of parenting.

In researching early-childhood development and in watching videos such as in the post below or watching how my young son and his peers interact with one another and their environment at Waldorf school, I have found a refreshing and intense contrast to the typical daycare or preschool.

A Waldorf classroom (such as pictured below) is actually very similar from school to school, following specific parameters to both maximize learning and emotional comfort of children.




In contrast the typical American daycare or preschool is quite a scene!

Out of curiosity, I and my 20-month old son toured several local options that came highly recommended.
By the time, we eased ourselves out the door of one of them, based out of a local, church, I looked at him and asked "Sooo, What did you think?" We both shook our heads and said "No".
No need to get on that wait-list.

Here's what was noted:

-The front was door unlocked.
-As I entered several children were in the corridor, unaccompanied by an adult.
-The teachers looked like 20-somethings, unhappy and frazzled, probably taking the job simply because it was available (I prefer the grandmas, with extensive training, and an obvious love of children).
-Bright primary colors, and walls covered in chaos (which one might consider cute or normal).
-One child who was obviously very sick with a runny nose and a horse cough.
*And this is the biggie that concerned me the most; the children seemed to be running around to and fro, hardly engaged in one activity, looking somewhat frazzled.
                                       ---My overall impression--- overstimulating!!---

In contrast to the video below at an RIE-directed preschool and at my son's Waldorf class, the children are fairly quiet and focused on the task or toy at hand. And the primary difference I note is the expressions on their faces--they are safe, comfortable, at ease--which are great states to be in, in receptivity to learning. Why? Because their environment was created to sooth and not to overstimulate them.

There are many factors at hand (tv, diet, environmental toxins, vaccines, distressed homes), but I imagine to some degree this typical first introduction to a school setting has some degree of correlation with the increasing rise in ADHD.

Always remember my fellow parents, there are other ways...




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Check out These Calm Toddlers!



I'm really digging the engaged faces, educational self-play... and quiet!
It's a dream of mine to create a peaceful, organized, minimal, all-natural play-room like this for my guy and his friends. This very short video via the MMP School in Mount Pleasant, SC has also peaked my interest in Magda Gerber's method of child education, RIE or Resources for Infant Educarers.

This book looks like a good place to start...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Little Escape Artists

{via}

Today I put my 19-month old son down for his nap and went to sit down at the computer; And before I could open my browser,what to wondering eyes should appear, but my toddler causally pointing to his room mumbling something like "Mumma, I got out of my bed, no biggie. Pretty sweet, huh?" 

I said, "Show me how you did that!!" and we went to his room and show me he did. Skill mastered and imprinted.

Oy!

I thought I remembered some mesh-looking crib tent that was designed just for this to-be-expected milestone, but sigh, they are recalled (a good thing, with their track-record that I was unaware of). 

I'm not really sure what to do???
Here's what one mamma did. Time to get on the phone and figure this out...prontisimo! 

Mumma's in trouble! (;