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Ten Days

sleeping babes

It’s when they’re sleeping that I can reset and once again see them as the beautiful, pure beings they are. In the quiet hours, the chaos subsides, and clarity returns. I have realized that this perspective is so important to me – mom looking down on sleeping babes. Even when I’m tired and dragging myself out from between their resting, snuggled bodies. Time alone is meaningful. Time with my husband is priceless. And time to fully appreciate my kids in this way is a necessity I hadn’t realized existed.Moving is utter insanity. Every single time I have moved, I have vowed to never do it again. Moving from Asheville to Raleigh, and then from a rental to our blue house, with a tiny Julian was crazy. As it turns out, moving with two small children isn’t any easier! They can unpack boxes as fast as I can pack them, and the teetering towers of cardboard and rubbermaid are just asking to be knocked over.

We have ten days left. And I’m pretty sure I need every moment of those ten days to prepare myself, logistically and emotionally, for this move. My patience is running thin, and I’m downing caffeine in amounts I haven’t consumed since college. I wish I could split myself in two – one of me can move, and the other can be in charge of helping my kids meet their beautiful and ever-present needs. I’m at the point where I’m wondering what on earth I did all day before I started packing and preparing. Suddenly, my life as a non-moving mama seems to be hovering in the distant, and oh so easy, past.

I have definitely plummeted full force into the logisticalย portion of this move. I am knee-deep in packing tape and bubble wrap, and it’s not until the sun goes down and the fireflies begin to illuminate my yard, that I remember I’m actually leaving this place. This beautiful home in which my daughter was born and my son remembers above any other. This amazing little yard that contains my bountiful fig tree and the worn paths my dogs have made while protecting us from the sweet neighbors. We have made many memories here. And we are leaving some very dear friends. And those facts won’t remain buried forever.

So, today (and tomorrow, and the next day…) I will continue to pack. And although it feels natural to me to move on hyper-drive, driven by a fear that there won’t be enough time, my hope is that I will be able to slow down, remain present, and soak in these last moments in Raleigh with my little family.

Ten days.

 

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I’m BAAAAACK!!!

family shot

Hello World. And happy Mother’s Day.

I’ve decided that it’s time for me to start writing again. I have no idea how often I will actually post, what type of topics I’ll explore, or who might actually be interested in reading my thoughts. My life is about to take a sharp turn off the course it has been on though, and I’m feeling compelled to document it in some way.

Most likely, I will not edit.

I want to remember the ordinary moments. The beautiful messes. The days that feel so long, and the ones that fly by as if they’re already memories. I want to leave verbal snap shots of life with my beautiful little ones, so that one day they can know what mothering felt like from my perspective.

If you’re interested, stay tuned.

Books and changes

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Well, it’s only January 16th, and already I’m questioning my year’s topic. I may change it, several times, before I’m happy with it. I’ve already come to terms with that. Right now I’m playing with the themse “authenticity” and “peace and harmony”. All I really know is that I want to read a lot of books. Here is my list so far:

Nonviolent Communication, by Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD. (Reading now!)

Radical Honesty, by Brad Blanton

Several good books on Buddhism

Become Who You Are, by Alan Watts

Parenting from the Inside Out, but Daniel Siegel

The Developing Mind, by Daniel Siegel

Committed, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Parenting for a Peaceful World, by Robin Grille

A Daniel Quinn book

Dance/movement therapy-related books

These books AND

A few of these books

Year two

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Well, it’s New Year’s Eve. Somehow or another, I managed to let months slip by without posting and my (very few) regular readers have complained, so here I am! ๐Ÿ™‚

Last year at this time, I was about to embark upon my Happiness Project. Yes, I abandoned the project somewhere in October, but hey, ten months is pretty impressive, if I do say so myself. I suppose the question is, am I happier? Without hesitation, my answer is yes, and I do believe that my Happiness Project influenced this increase in well-being. If nothing else, I gave myself a project when I was in dire need of one.

So, how am I happier? I’m more grateful, for one. Lately, I constantly look around at my life and am touched by how incredibly blessed I am. I have a beautiful family, and a home I love dearly in a city that is growing on me. My health is sometimes not what it could be, but I am well aware that it could be a lot worse. This year, I learned to sew, I improved my health, I began flossing, I worked on my marriage, I grew as a parent, I explored rhythm (something I’m still doing), I simplified, I began practicing meditation and yoga, and I started a dance company (and presented choreography in NY!). Honestly, I’m in awe of all the amazing changes I’ve made and experiences I’ve had this year.

The next question is, how will I proceed from here?

After much internal debate, I decided to begin another Happiness Project. However, this year I will make it more my own. I’m really interested in religion, philosophy, and spirituality right now, so that will be a big part of it. I will read lots of books, and hopefully come back here to write more often. To make it simpler for myself, I will have fewer resolutions each month (between one and three), I will have clear monthly topics, and my entire year will have a theme – yup, you guessed it – Spirituality. My personal commandments remain the same, and I will not be judging my progress daily. This blog will be help me gauge where I am at any given point. I hope to be writing at least once a week.

A little update on the rest of my life, if you’re interested ๐Ÿ™‚ –

– I started a dance company! (as I mentioned above). It’s called Continuum Collective, and I have five dancers. We begin rehearsals as a full company on January 5th.

– In November, J and Husband and I traveled to NY for the American Dance Guild Festival, where my choreography was shown amidst some amazing new work from around the world! I felt so honored to be a part of that festival. The rest of the trip was a bit crazy, but it all worked out in the end too. ๐Ÿ™‚

– J is still growing and changing every day (of course). He amazes me every day. Recently, I am most amazed by his desire to nurture. Yesterday, he had a friend over to play, and I watched as he helped her take off her jacket, read to her, and made sure she had a toy to play with. It’s good to know that he may fit the role of big brother easily someday. ๐Ÿ˜‰

That’s really all I have right now. If you’re reading this, I appreciate you and hope you’ll come back to see what the new year brings me. I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2014!

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I did it! I’m back for the second day in a row!

Happy October, everyone. I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful fall weather and all that comes a long with it (if you’re in the Northern hemisphere, that is!). Fall, filled with soup, dropping leaves, sweaters, backyard fires, and pumpkins, is definitely my favorite season.

This year, I am beginning fall by focusing on community (September) and spirituality (October). I’ve been looking forward to this spiritual journey since I planned it in January, and although I have no idea how it will pan out (or whether I’ll stay on the band wagon), I am hoping for growth of some sort. Or at least shifting. I believe I know which direction I’m headed in, but I’m still finding the details hard to explain.

Spirituality is such a vague word, if you ask me. Merriam-Webster defines it as follows:

Spiritual – 1 : of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit

Vague, no?

Spirituality means something different to everyone. To some, it’s about religion. To others, it’s more about bits and pieces -individual relationships, or thoughts of the afterlife, or meditation, or ritual, or cleansing, or art. You name it. Anything can create a spiritual experience, right? As long as it moves your spirit and connects you with something deeper than yourself, whether that be art or the Universe or Buddha God. With this in mind, here are my resolutions for October:

1.) Begin each day with affirmations, gratitude, and resolutions

Someday, I’d also like to start the day with some yoga. For now, a simple goal to walk or exercise in some way will suffice. I’d like to think that this way, I preparing my mind and body for the day.

2.) Notice

Be present. Use all five senses. Take in the world.

3.) Practice meditation

Whether this be sitting and chanting silently, practicing yoga, taking a dance class, or painting.

4.) Seek spiritual guides

Go to a Unitarian service. Go to Schul. Read awesome books. Listen to amazing podcasts.

5.) Talk about spirituality

Start a conversation.

My book of the month is still up for discussion. I have a few I’m interested in, but I’d like other suggestions. Can anyone recommend something awesome?

Goodbye September

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Well, here I am again. A month after my last post, claiming for the tenth time that I will finally get back on track. ๐Ÿ˜› September (like all months, it seems), has been quite a whirlwind. J turned three!! Family and friends came to visit (awesome short-term community building), Husband began working from home, we turned a room upstairs into an amazing studio, we had a screened in porch built, and our dogs got into a bad fight (yikes, I know). Everyone is healing and readjusting to “normal” life right now, so once again, I haven’t been thinking much about resolutions or commandments.

That said, I’m ready to jump back in for October. I can’t promise I’ll keep up with everything (embrace imperfection?), but I’d like to try. I think I mentioned in my last post that I’m not sure I like the idea of judging myself on how well I’ve kept up with commandments, and I’ve decided that in fact, I think the concept goes against how I want to live. I still want to make sure I keep my resolutions in mind though, so here’s my new plan. I will read my resolutions every morning, along with saying affirmations, looking at my personal commandments, and expressing gratitude. If I can start my day this way every day, I think it will make a world of difference. Why end the day judging your progress, when you can begin the day with positive reminders instead? Next step? Yoga every morning!

And now back to judging my progress. HA!

My resolutions for September were:

1.) Start a playgroup

This is actually happening! It will be Friday mornings, starting next week. My awesome friend Tracy and I are going to be hosting it together, and you are all invited. ๐Ÿ™‚

2. Take a step toward a larger community goal

This hasn’t actually happened yet, but I’ve been brainstorming a lot, and I’m hoping to begin a movement class for parents and children sometime soon. I also want to reach out to a few people I know about some specific ideas I have. I will report back.

3. Keep in touch

I haven’t been the best at this, BUT I got to spend 3 whole days with one of my favorite people in the whole world, Nique :), who I hadn’t seen in TWO AND A HALF YEARS! That is WAY too long.

4. Meet new people

Yeah, I haven’t really done this. It’s not something I’m very good at, but it’s still in the back of my mind as one of my goals.

Next month is all about Spirituality, and I’m so excited to post resolutions related to all things spiritual TOMORROW. Hold me to it.

I am thankful that both my dogs are healing from their episode last week.

I am learning about my mood cycles and what it takes to get on the upswing.

J is so big, and I feel like there are a million things he says or does every day that I want to remember. He is so physically expressive, and it’s awesome to watch him try out different hand gestures while talking. ๐Ÿ™‚

September – community

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Well, it’s September, and this is month NINE of my happiness project. I’ve fallen off the bandwagon a bit lately, but this month is my community-focused month, and I’m attempting to jump back on.

I want to start taking steps toward building the community I desire, so to do that, I need to focus a bit instead of simply whining about my lack of clan. Here is my plan (in a series of 4 resolutions):

1.) Start a playgroup

Simple, right? I know lots of cool parents. Why not get them all in one place? There could even be food involved.

2.) Take a step toward a larger community goal

This could mean talking to someone about what it would actually take to start a community center (my ultimate dream), or joining a group of some kind. Maybe resolution #1 even counts as a step.

3.) Keep in touch

I want to make more of an effort to connect with family and friends as often as possible, without falling into my anxious why-is-it-me-who-always-contacts-them state. I’d like to trust that as long as someone is receptive to my contacting them, they want to hear from me.

4.) Meet new people.

As extroverted as I am, I tend not to like large groups and new situations that are outside my comfort zone. This month, I’d like to expand my bubble a bit and make some new friends.

During September, I’d also like to read a book on community building (which might inspire different resolutions) – Creating Community Anywhere, by Carolyn R. Shaffer and Kristin Anundsen. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf for years, just waiting to be read. Maybe now is finally the right time.

I am re-learning why hydration is so important to my sanity.

I am thankful for a quiet night at home tonight.

Lately, one of J’s favorite things to do is tell me what questions to ask him. “Mom, say, ‘Why does the truck have wheels, Julian?'”. He also asks the question, “why?” with such seriousness and frequency that sometimes I can’t even figure out what he’s asking about. The other day we were walking down the street and after a few minutes of silence, he asked, “why?” out of nowhere. I love his quest for knowledge and his desire to share it with me.

1. Take care of your body
2. Eat whole, balanced, nutritious foods
3. Support your family’s health
4. Clean, de-clutter, and increase usability
5. Ease your mind*
6. Move your body
7. Connect first, connect often
8. Be authentic*
9. Lead with confidence*
10. Find a bubble*
11. Apply SALVE*
12. Say yes*
13. Find space for ritual
14. Capture rhythm in nature*
15. Cultivate a daily rhythm
16. Focus on food, sleep, and home*
17. Find weekly, monthly, and yearly rhythms
18. Go with what works*
19. Show appreciations*
20. Touch more often*
21. Work on projects together
22. Go to bed together
23. Cut some slack*
24. Spend 25 minutes a day together
25. Learn to sew
26. Make it yourself
27. Maximize gardening potential
28. Become a master of oils
29. Simplify and sanctify
30. Think green
31. Go room by room
32. Make technology work for you
33. Organize your digital life
34. See the big picture*
35. Remember AEDH*
36. Create shrines
37. Watch dance
38. Take class
39. Reach out to other dancers*
40. Produce short phrases
41. Take a walk
42. Make time for training
43. Notice puppy love*
44. Expand your animal bonding horizons
45. Start a play group
46. Take a step toward a larger community goal*
47. Keep in touch
48. Meet new people

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