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Now there is something powerful that I want to share with
you…….

I recently attended an online workshop for home based entrepreneurs about lifestyle design. I am really excited to share with you 2 beautiful analogies that Alex Baisley shared in his online day course “The Lifestyle Revolution- 1 day, redesign the next 3 months“ (you can learn more about Alex`s work  at www.BigDreamProgram.com).

I took away one particular insight that I really want to share with you, because it has the potential to be a game changer.

Do you ever wonder if something is wrong with you, because somehow, no matter how much success you achieve in life, you just never feel satisfied?  Do you ever feel that way?  Alex Baisley did and I know I sure have.

After a while of beating himself up about it, it dawned on Alex that maybe, just maybe it wasn`t that there was something wrong with him. But rather that the problem was for him and all dissatisfied people, ENVIRONMENTAL.

Alex went on to liken the satisfied and fully expressed human being as a plant just waiting to flower…… and if you are a nature or plant lover,
you are gonna LOVE this!

Imagine if you will that we take one particular type of plant and start it from seed in an environment and soil quality that is exactlty opposite to what is needed for that particular plant to thrive and flower. What do you think will happen? While the seed will likely still sprout and grow, chances are slim that it will become the vibrant healthy plant it was meant to, let alone flower and bloom into its full beauty!

Alex believes it is the same thing with human beings. Like plants, we all need our own unique environment in order to thrive and flower into our potential! No amount of positive thinking and intention can make us flower into our fullness without the right environment to support whatever that looks like for us.

Many of us cannot bloom in the context of the American Dream, the 9-5 grind, working for someone else or maybe even in the context of a nuclear family unit, as in a stay at home parent or in the lonely life of a housewife. Some of us are just are not cut from that cloth, so to speak. No matter what, we don’t thrive in that culture.

Sure we can put a smile on our face, whatever the circumstances, but until the environment that we live in fully supports us, how can we possibly bloom into our fullness?

And with yet another beautiful plant analogy, Alex took us on another inner journey that facilitated the opportunity to look within and discover just what kind of “flower“we are blooming into, so that we can see more clearly a vision of what kind of environment can best support us each as individuals.

While there is no way that we can force a flower to bloom faster, we CAN impact whether or not it will in fact flower, by nurturing the ideal environmental conditions for the plant to thrive! Nurturing our environment is the only power we have to affect the present and future simultaneously!

So how about you?  Does this illustration give you an entirely new perception of where to put your energy on the day to day level? What kind of plant are you?  Does the garden of your life contain the unique
elements that you need to flower?

I am deeply contemplating this and looking at my own environment. I am asking myself what do I need to cultivate more of?  And what do I need to take out to compost so that I can flower into the full expression of my own potential?

Before I ask you to share, it is only fair that I share first! Personally, I have a strong desire to travel, yet also a strong need for community….I am contemplating my own gypsy nature and wondering how I can gather a circle of gypsy families to co create a travelling community together…whether that means contributing to one another by hosting families or better yet traveling on the road together!…..I would like to spend anywhere from 4-6 months exploring, homeschooling, offering
my work online, on the road and over the phone.

One of the most profoundly fulfilling times of my life was at the age of 17 when I was a camp counsellor…that summer had all the elements that enabled me to bloom into my potential. Living close to nature, eating in community, singing, focused time spent connecting in with spirit, sharing, growing, taking on leadership, and holding the space for others to flower into their potential. While it may sound cliche, during that summer, I felt like I had come home to myself.

Today though, I need to start where I am, fully expressing and embodying all of it from where I currently stand. And so I am deeply contemplating how to make these qualities a part of my environment now, rather than leaving them on the shelf while I hustle and bustle to achieve them in the future … for later when I have more time, more money, less work to do…yadda, yadda….(do you find yourself using these excuses too?)

I think Alex`s analogies are rich, practical, life affirming and potent. Simple, yet deeply profound.

I`d LOVE to hear your thoughts and to discover what kind of flower you are! What type of environment do you feel called to cultivate so that you can flower into the fullness of your radiance or brilliance?  What steps do you need to take to cultivate this kind of environment in your day to day life?

And if you are a gypsy soul mama or papa too (or?), drop me a line and let’s talk travel! e-mail me: sherry@wholefoodsfamily.com

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One of the beautiful messages of Waldorf early childhood education is that instead of trying to “educate” our young ones (from birth to age 7), that what they in fact need from us is a good role model to learn from.

” A child at the imitative stage of development absorbs every aspect of his environment, which then becomes part of the innermost stirrings of his will, deep below the level of consciousness.”  Beyond the Rainbow Bridge- Nurturing our Children from Birth to Seven

I have to tell you that while I have been aspiring to many “waldorfian” ideals since the birth of my son 9 years ago, I have since had much trouble with slowing down to let my children do housework with me. I also found that my son wasn’t very interested anyway. At least that is what I thought were my obsticles…

I am starting to wonder though, beyond that we are conditioned to try to speed through domestic tasks as something to just get over and done with, that also we as mothers are not the ones that our son’s are supposed to be modeling themselves after. Sometimes, I also think that my expectations and timing were off in the way that I invited my children to share in the domestic tasks with me. 

But could it be as simple as finding that unique thing that we do that our child has a natural affinity for, and model and share in that task with our child. And beyond the masculine and feminine propensity to be attracted to masculine or feminine things, we are all such unique individuals that our interests fall in many places along the spectrum. 

I rarely recall my son naturally wanting to do any domestic tasks with me. Sometimes I’d ask and he might do it for a moment, but truly he never really became engaged in housework. But he could sit with my husband and “fix” things for long periods of time. Give the child a hammer and he’s happy!

So because I was never that successful in sharing in the domestic tasks with Isaiah, I figured that it was because I was essentially lacking in some  “way of being” that would facilitate ease in that area. I am starting to think though now, that resistance in our life is not a problem within us that needs to be changed, but rather it is  a sign that we need to transform our thinking and expand our view on the subject to include an essential missing piece to the puzzle without which, our mind feels conflicted. For example, “I want to  model such and such for my child, but I don’t really want to do or be that thing.” But the truth is “I want that “thing” modeled for my child, but I don’t want to be the one to do that modelling”. The first thought is a conflicted parent and the second thought is a clear and authentic parent. It is obvious which thought is open to a solution and which thought is a trap.

Now I am thinking I was resisting it because it was not natural for my son who is a very masculine soul. And I think that I was resisting it because it is not natural to have to be everything to one person. I was resisting it because deep in my heart I know that these expectations are futile. How am I to enjoy domestic tasks when I am alone and isolated and longing for a community of women to share in them with me? It is right for me to resist, for the resistance calls us to open to the question, “can it be another way?”

Because I had carried this inner picture of myself lacking, I sort of put this ideal of sharing my domestic tasks with my children on the shelf and never really bothered to invite my daughter into my domestic tasks, until two days ago. In a way, I had long since resigned my ideals around that.

My children were leaving to go for a three night camping sleepover with Grandma and Grandpa and I wanted to savour every last moment with them before they left. So after becoming bored with reading my 4 year old daughter stories and cuddling all after noon (my daughter requested that “we cuddle till Grandma gets here“ which was 2 hours away!), I suggested that we clean the kitchen together. She replies quite happily that she would like to. So I give her the job of unloading the cutlery basket of the dishwasher and she wowed me! Not only was she ingredibly adept at “getting” where everything went, but she understood how to reload the dishwasher too (many adults have trouble with that one!)….while she only wanted to vaccum for a minute, she was a pro in the kitchen!

It felt so great having spent that time with her and having seen a side of her natural abilities that I had never seen before. She seemed so distinctly an individual that day…..let me tell you, it feels so good, really good, to really “see“ your child. Not in the role of your child, but as a unique soul and an equal.

And you know, while Isaiah still prefers to do `manly` things with Dad around the house and won`t clean his room with out clear direction from me, he has no trouble making eggs and porridge from scratch, for the whole family. He`s into cooking and asks me questions about food and healing on a regular basis. So rather than focus on the fact that he`s not yet being tidy (something my conflicted mind thinks that I should be teaching him, but don`t…. mostly I clean his room!), I feel compelled to nurture the food/healing aspect of his soul, after all, he is inviting me too!

So after all, it seems that while I haven`t come close to being an idyllic “waldorfian“ mother, my children are naturally orienting themselves to imitate those aspects of my life that facilitate their own natural longings and drives.

I felt compelled to share this because I wonder if there might be other moms out there who feel inspired by Waldorf and it`s emphasis on imitation, but who are losing energy feeling that they are really not living up to that ideal. I invite you to notice where your child is keen to imitate you and allow other people to model for your child things that you are not such a good example of!

Maybe, just maybe, you don`t have to be  an example of “everything“ to your child.  I am starting to see that while my mothering hasn`t always looked the way that I would like it to, and while so many of my ideals have fallen to the floor and been kicked under the bed, as time goes on, the results speak for themself.

Mostly it is authenticity on our part and really seeing our children, that warms their hearts and nurtures their soul anyway. And that is the heart of Waldorf, at least in my mind!

The child is right. Find out the valid reason for her disturbing behavior so you can respond to her need
and eliminate the cause.                            – Naomi Aldort

Yesterday I posted my intention to be informed by what each moment called for today. Today was a great day for practice as I was thrown off by childcare I didn’t know that I’d be doing today and my husband left for a 10am meeting and didn’t get back until 3pm! This is the night before I leave for the WECAN Early Childhood Conference and we were to have friends and their new 6 week old baby over for dinner. Until about 2:30, I really felt like I had not fulfilled on my intention because I was resisting that the days plans had changed. I really wanted my husband support because doing childcare, putting on a spread for company and getting ready for a trip was way too much to take on without another adult helping. So I went into overwhelm and I contacted our friends and canceled 4 hours before their expected arrival! This was hard to do, especially at the last minute.

So I was lamenting about it all and was frustrated thinking that I had been resisting the day and completely not fulfilling on my intention to be present, when I suddenly realized that yes I did! The day called for canceling dinner plans and I did it! I put aside my concern that it was inappropriate to do so at the last minute and I followed my heart. After that the day went smoothly. I poured myself a glass of organic red wine, made dinner while daddy read to the kids and played with them. After dinner I made cookies with the children for Valentine’s Day and then put them to bed and laying with them, even napping for an hour after dinner. This was especially nourishing for them because they always want me sleep with them at this time! I got up, went out to get some groceries for the road trip and prepped Potato Patties (and Egg Salad for lunch) so that we that we could have a quick savoury breakfast together before I head off for my trip. All in all, the day went well despite that there were unexpected events.

So while it didn’t look like the day was heading in the best direction, in truth, it was a satisfying day and I am leaving for my trip feeling pretty good. A little nervous because I have never been away from my daughter who will be three in May, overnight before, but that is a great topic for another night’s blog!

Good Night!

Today felt like a productive yet flowing day. I never did get to setting any intentions, but somehow the day felt dynamic even in the absence of a set rhythm. What made the difference today, was just a getting present to what was needed and doing it with out being obsessive about it. Any other moms find that it is difficult to not resist the interruptions throughout the day? Sometimes I find that it is not the interruptions themselves that make it challenging for me, but rather my resistance to the interruptions. I often fall into the attitude of “do it right now, or not at all”. When I am resisting like that, I want to throw my hands up in the air and give up. My inner victim will cry out see, “they (meaning the kids) won’t let me do anything”! Since for at least today, that voice is quiet, I can really see the reality of it. On those days I am difficult and I am whiny!

Today, I am happy. I stayed up late again last night, but I accomplished so much and took the time out to do a guided progressive relaxation CD called Calm Healing by Robert Newman the creator of the Calm Birth New Method for Childbirth. I awoke invigorated, albeit my husband did let me sleep in till 9:00 am. I found myself able to be with the children, despite the fact that I had to run out to buy travel insurance and was enamored by setting up TWITTER on my website http://www.nurturingbynature.org

I managed to make a wholesome lunch, clean up the lunch dishes and give both the girls foot baths and massages. After three stories we had rest time. I tried to do vase breath meditation, but I gave into a short nap!

Around 4pm a friend and her daughter came over and I made Palak and Saffron rice over good conversation and felt fulfilled having had a day of going with the flow, yet I wasn’t in a frenzy despite not having clear intentions.

So I guess what I am trying to say is that even without rhythm, it is possible to go with the flow if we can get present to what is really needed in each moment without being distracted by our habits and compulsions to be busy.

While I didn’t intend to be awake today, I just was naturally more present today. Tomorrow, I will make it my practice. I’m not gonna think I should be doing this or doing that, but rather, I will ask each moment what it is calling for and then act from there.

Please join me if you feel so inspired and share your story with us!

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