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Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

If I had 6 hours to cut down a tree, I’d spend the first hour sharpening my ax.”
– Abraham Lincoln

We have made it to the weekend, Saturday morning. I have been working from 6 a.m. till 10 p.m. most days. When I do my planning the flow and momentum hold us up, even when we have an event, or disruption, we are still able to mostly maintain a rhythm.  Yesterday, I asked a friend over who paints and actually makes a little money at it in the Waldorf world. After chatting a bunch and getting stuff off our hearts and minds, we settled down to paint a seasonal scene. I paint slow and really do not feel a need to finish quickly, so I got as far as my first subject in the scene, which was a fox. He still needs one more layer to be finished, then I can move on to his surroundings. I have been working to build my painting skills for several years now, by painting with the boys on Monday’s. At first we began drawing in our nature journal, but two years ago we switched to watercolor painting. There were some little hints that I was missing a dimension in my painting, which I knew. After beginning I realized it had to do with my layering. I am not talking about wet on wet painting, which I definitely need more practice at doing. I am talking about painting gentle nature scenes. I don’t necessarily want a lot of hard lines either. I am glad I took Friday to refresh and evolve my skills, and I appreciate my friend coming over.

This weekend I have quite a few loose ends to tie up, so we can begin. I need to do a chalk drawing for our pre k theme. Squirrels and Nuts. I’ve created a Pinterest board for September, and will continue to do so for each month, saving chalk and watercolor themes to draw from. I need to finish writing down the exact things we will be doing next week and many weeks after, so it is out of my head and on paper. I do not physically write out many weeks at a time for my older kids, because a day may not go as planned, then we have to continue our work the next day. I find that once a week I sit down and write it out and that works best for us. Even though I do not write out a physical page of each week, till the week arrives, I do have a notebook on each child and what we must cover along with the resources. That is how I am able to maintain writing out the schedule on a weekly basis. Now, I take a majority of my time pouring over the materials, and digesting them. Aside from that, tons of administrative work must be done. Printing, laminating, organizing, cleaning out of the old and making space for the new. I had to dig out my fall flag banners, re organize the toy area, meditate on the children and make space to develop better habits, or new habits that will benefit us.

While I am So busy doing all my teacher preparation work, I decided to make a list for the boys to pull activities from that would be more on the quiet scale, well, sort of. Music practice with ukulele and violin. Reading. Audio books. Card and board games, of which I joined in, when it was tea/coffee time. And a little bit of hand work. We are going to be starting a kids Cooking Class next week as well, so I wanted the big boys to familiarize themselves with a new list posted, table chores and a night time check list. Once a day, during our break, I had them read the lists and digest it all. We have always had the boys help with chores that we try to call Home Blessings, so it is not a new concept. But, I always try to find a way for it to go smoother. Conscious Kitchen is a new keynote phrase around here, especially with my decision to go vegetarian for heart health reasons. Heart disease runs in my family and after a considerable amount of time listening to my body to ditch meat, I have finally acted. I have been meat free for a month. A couple time this week I did taste some of the meat I cooked for kids, but that is it.

Well, it’s time to be off and engage  my will in doing. Front loading my day works best for me. I promise to stop, stretch, breathe and draw myself into peace as much as possible. Tomorrow when I wake, I will be 39.

 

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It has been five full moons since we started 5th and 3rd grades. There is so much to recapture.

In fifth grade we began with stories from Africa, then Egypt. Little Eagle read the book Maia of Thebes, his largest book ever. Then, we covered the main gods and goddess’ in Greek Myths and the boys listened to some audio stories, which speak a lot about the demi gods and other characters. We have spent this whole time reviewing 4th grade math on a daily basis, with a few problems to keep our minds sharp. During what used to be Circle time when Little Eagle was younger, we now replace with math review, form drawing, music and daily reading. We are also pushing through with fractions.

My resources for 5th include Waldorf Essentials as our mainstay, D’Aulaires Greek Myths book, Key to Fractions and a cheap 4th grade math book, from which I pull daily review.  Monday’s we try to paint nature, and I usually allow the boys to choose their subject. Whatever inspires them. I am working on a Master List of resources, but it will take some time to organize. I hope to make separate posts covering the different aspects of the grades and subjects as well as time goes on.

Soon, we will start our block on Botany and the teachings will be more specific in the study of plant wisdom, but this has always been important to us. We have covered some, but not all of the Herb Fairy stories. Also, Little Eagle began ukulele in the spring, as he was gifted his own concert size uke and lessons at the local folk school. As part of movement for 5th grade, I set up a corner dedicated to yoga and provided a reader on meditation 101, which satisfies the Movement portion of 5th grade, as well as exploring the spiritual practice of the body. Last week, both big boys began and are alternating a yoga/hoop/dance/chant class. They will have wood shop most of the day, then end by going to the movement class.

We are on break at the moment, after Lammas, cleaning and organizing the house, and going to visit with family in from Germany. And now every mama I know has her calendar out planning away till the end of the year, if not beyond. We are also back at church, and getting the kids settled in to some great little circles. Little Bear is starting a circle time called Little Acorns, that my lovely friend Mrs. Elle will be leading. It is based on the Little Acorn Learning curriculum, and will be housed at our church. We are so excited all our friends 2-5 years old will be in the group. Little Bear also started the pre-k class at church on Sunday’s, which is Montessori based worship. They have a lovely rhythm with story that includes wood figures and felt, then an activity and feast. It is very similar to Circle Time in the Waldorf tradition.

When 5th grade starts back we still have so much to cover through the end of November. Hinduism and the creation story, Buddhism and the four noble truths and eight fold path. Then, we will cover Ancient Persia and Zarathustra, which is modern-day Iran. Within this scope of time we will also cover freehand geometry, which will be a jumping off point for using tools like the compass and protractor.

3rd grade feels easier compared to 5th, which makes sense. Most people looking outside of the Waldorf tradition believe that the curriculum is bogus, because one does not start the child with letters and numbers formally till age 7, in first grade. The curriculum and more importantly lifestyle does look different for each family, since we are all unique, but at the same time we are all working with the whole child. Movement-the body, the brain, and the emotions are all intertwined. They are forms of intelligence that grow at varying rates and all need attention and meditation on the parent/teachers part. The child may be stronger in the brain/mental aspect, so drawing the child into their body is a good way to balance out. During the first 7 years of life, the physical body is the focus. Ages 7-14 focus on the emotional life. 14-21 draw the child into their mental/thinking life. This curriculum is intensive. It’s a work of art. Inner work on my part is vital on a daily basis.

So, 3rd grade we have been using Jakob Streit’s book, And Then There Was Light for the Old Testament. A couple of years ago we used Pearl S. Buck’s, Story Bible. I really like it, but thought this year we could use the other resources I already owned. We are using Jewish Festivals, A Family Treasury, to cover Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Hanukkah this fall and winter, as well as book suggestions from the Jewish Library and Chabad dot org.

We are also looking more at multiplication and divide, plus multiple digit addition and subtraction with carrying and borrowing. I do use an inexpensive workbook to pull from our daily review for math. Circular calendars continue to be used to measure time and I just gifted Little Fox a new watch to work on measuring time. It is a basic black Timex watch with velcro strap. Little Fox is continuing with Suzuki violin. We switched to fiddle/Suzuki and a different teacher during the summer, but after giving it a shot, we found Little Fox flowed better with his original teacher. Little Fox is about to get his turn at Movement class this week. They are borrowing my hula hoop at the moment, which is too big, but I am going to allow them to make their own hoop soon with cool duct tape to wrap it.

We start back to school September 6th, after my 14 year wedding anniversary and 39th birthday. September is my favorite month, and fall is my favorite season. To end the month, we will have a Michaelmas celebration with our private co-op group at my house. We have decided on the Waldorf Essentials story of Super Sam and the dragon, with an obstacle course for the kids. We have asked everyone to make a loaf of bread, that will become a large dragons body, with roving as fire coming from the dragons mouth. I have a large stash of fabric and notions gifted to me, so I plan to share the bounty that day as well. Instead of buying more plastic drawers and cramming stuff in, it is easier to share with friends the abundance, and have nice easier to open drawers with everything organized.

My prayers are with you and your harvest as autumn approaches. The sun has given us Light, our bodies have stretched and grown, and the time for learning and introspection nears.

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In the bear’s cave of winter bubbles start to rise and pop in the dream space. The abyss is close by. The bear is sleepy, yet awake.  The mind has dials set to meditate and welcomes symbols and messages that will give directional guidance. That bear is me, and the symbol that came was the Makara Mudra, as I set intention on India, and the spiritual practice of the body.  As a teacher and a parent I have married the seasons, nature, Creator, my Self and the subjects in right-relationship. Our children came through me, so being a hollow bone during this time for them, as well as working on how I get in my own way is paramount.  It’s contradictory, and the struggle is real.

I try to remain open to the messages that become my teachings. Mudra’s are hand gestures that can influence the energy of the body. The Makara Mudra is a blessing, as it activates a resevoir of energy.  Winter is a time when we may activate that reservoir of energy to pull through a time of low energy, depression or overburdened tasks.  Makara is the name of a crocodile in Indian mythology. Crocodiles are known for their strength, which can be mobilized very quickly. Sometimes, many times I need access quickly to a reservoir of strength or energy as a mama.  Don’t you?!

January and February, as well as a few months into the school year are times when I have spread myself thin, or perhaps have not received the proper rest it takes to teach and parent and own a business.  When I looked into the Mudra that I intuitively chose I knew immediately Creator wished for me to know the gesture. I am learning so much, and in doing so I am planning out the year for the boys.  We are starting to embrace yoga more daily and I am researching some dancing, so we may bring our teachings to the body.  The whole child.

Here is a link if you would like to look further into the Makara Mudra.

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Our Little Bear bundled up and walked a big circuit today.  This is one of the first times he hasn’t had to be pulled, pushed or carried.  A new season of movement! A season of feeling his feet on the land and looking up at the sky, the trees, and the winged ones in new awareness.

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I solemnly swear to create, teach and heal.

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Soon we will hear the story of The Festival of Stones, by Reg Downs, and its winter stone magic.  If mama wants to sing around the house, while washing dishes, or folding laundry, here is a recording to go by.  Include drums if you have them!

It is winter, but here in Kentucky we have only had a light dusting of snow and mild temperatures so far.  My duty is to Remember my Self through the seasons. In winter, all the energy goes inward. Into the roots of the trees, into the stones and bones of the earth.  Stones are our libraries of the past.  Pick one up and see if it has a message or story for you.  If you listen, or keep it on your altar long enough, you might pick up some of it’s wisdom and healing intention.  Are you drawn to any particular stones right now?  Do you have a mantra for this winter season?

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“Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.” ~Buddha

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Children are brilliant.  I must preface with that, because as a teacher and parent I receive most of my inspiration from two sources.  Children and nature.  Aside from mySelf, those are two direct links with the divine.  Right now is the planning and dreaming phase of the cycle.  I get a little conversational with our children right now about what is to come. They need the preparation.  They need the warm up to understanding and learning.  It’s a gentle lifting of the veil one might say.

In 5th grade, we are going to learn some ancient cultures and forms of spirituality, which in my macro view expands tolerance, consciousness, compassion, and brings greater understanding of what has happened, mistakes by humanity and all. These bits of character seed into the next generation that will be coming into maturity to steward the planet. What Will they do? How Will they be? What will they eventually leave here for posterity?

The form on the window is the symbol for the sacral chakra.  It’s my inspiration at the moment. After conversating with my 10 year old earlier this week, he walked over to the window and blew his hot breath, drawing the symbol for the throat chakra.  In that moment, I was reminded of my delicate blessed position. My job is big, and it spans time and space.  I am in gratitude, and deep down I know I better get up everyday and work hard.  This planning, this dreaming, this assisstance to help Awaken these beautiful souls is an honor.  This, this is part of my process.  My art.  Life is art and ceremony, and in all seriousness and humor we must dance and weave.

So this morning I will do the sacred dance, in our home, inside of myself, and in my notebooks.  I need to Be more than I need to Know.  Now is when that Knowing churns within me, a turbine of hoped for grace rising into manifestation. My heart is a filter.  My voice is a filter. They are tools. Last and most importantly, my hands.  My hands are my tools for Loving, Teaching and Giving. What Will I do?

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Mousekin’s Golden House

In the woods there are many small trees, and many tall trees that reach to grow tall in the deep shade. There are low growing bushes with berries and seeds that pop and roll about the forest floor. Beneath them all are tiny paths that only mice can see. One moonlit night, Mousekin followed one of those paths to one of his homes in a hollow log. Right in the middle of that very small path, Mousekin saw something that Someone had thrown away when Halloween was over. He hid behind a log, perhaps it was dangerous! Mousekin had never see a jack o’ lantern in all his mouse days. He wriggled his nose furiously at the strange smell. He was so excited that he drummed his tiny paw on the hollow log. Mousekin was so excited about the pumpkin that he did not watch for danger with his bright shoe-button eyes. Nor did he turn his shoe button ears to the wind to listen for birds, for owls and hawks and other creatures who wait to catch a white foot mouse. Suddenly as Mousekin took a second turn around the smiling face, a hungry owl swooped toward him. But before the bird could even blink his eyes, Mousekin jumped straight into the jack o’ lanterns mouth. Once inside he looked about. He was in a beautiful golden room! Just the right size for a little mouse. From one of the top windows in his room, Mousekin could see the owl sulking in an evergreen tree. The first rays Of the morning sun shone in behind the owl. Night was over and it was time for Mousekin to go to sleep. Mousekin felt safe inside the Sturdy walls of his golden house. He did not even waken until evening when the katydids began to argue. “Katydid, Katydid!” After he stretched and Cleaned his white undercoat, he began to explore his new home, scurrying in one window and out another. Now Mousekin was alert to all the Sounds of the woods when evening came. He heard a rustle in the bayberry bush, and a soft step on the dry leaves. He knew it was… the cat. Just as the cat was about to spring, Mousekin dove into the pumpkin and began to houseclean. Out of all the windows he threw bits of candle and pumpkin seeds. The cat jumped! But not for Mousekin! He jumped straight up and then he ran as fast as he could to get away from the big, round face with the terrible teeth. The cat would never take that path through the woods again! The days grew shorter and the nights longer. Mousekin worked each night to fill his house with things to keep him warm and comfortable in his new home. He split grasses with his razor sharp teeth, and wove the long slender threads around and around. He made many trips through the woods to find soft things to line his nest. Little feathers dropped by a bird in flight, thistle down and milkweed that grew in the clearing. While Mousekin was busy gnawing and nibbling, and doing all the things that mice do, he still found time to watch the animals that passed by his golden house. One very chilly evening, a box turtle plodded by. He never looked up or down, but moved like a toy being pulled to a pond at the edge of the wood to some tangled tree root beneath the ground where he would sleep away the winter months. But when the Turtle reached the jack o’ lantern, he stopped in his tracks, and he streeeetched his neck to see if what he saw was true. Just then, Mousekin popped his head out of one of his windows. And then… The box turtle lost no time in turning around and heading once again for the tangled root beneath the ground near the pond at edge of the wood. Most of the birds had gone to warmer lands, only the feeble bird was left in the thistle. The wind blew hard now, and scooping up piles of hundreds of leaves and scattering them about like brightly winged birds. One day, the freebie called to Mousekin, “come south with me, come right away! Your house will never do. The wind will blow, the snow will snow, and chill you through and through!” The little mouse whistled a high and soft “goodbye!” He would not leave his golden house. A chipmunk hurried by, his mouth so full of nuts he Could hardly speak! “Come with me, beneath the ground, that house will never do. The wind will blow, the snow will snow and chill you through and through!” Mousekin scrambled up his golden house and slipped through a tiny opening at the top. He slid down the feathery stairway to the warm, soft lining below. Mousekin curled up, tucked his tiny feet behind him, wrapped his loooong tail around some milkweed down and pulled it closely around him, and fell fast asleep. Little by little, and bit by bit, something began to happen to the jack o’lantern. It began to close its eyes in the frosty air. It shut its mouth against the cold wind. The next day, the gray sky opened, and great white flakes fell upon the sleeping pumpkin. Inside, Mousekin was curled up into a tiny fur ball. He was safe, and warm, and fast asleep in his golden house.

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Song:
Mousekin the little mouse, lived in a golden house
Mousekin found a jack o’lantern by a tree.
He thought, “this could be a house for me.”
It kept him safe from an owl and a cat.
And he lived very happily after that.
Mousekin the little mouse, lived in a golden house
Winter was coming, the leaves were falling down
The turtle made a winter home under the ground
The bird told Mousekin his house would never do
And chipmunk said the wind would chill him through and through
Mousekin the little mouse, lived in a golden house
Mousekin crawled inside his golden house
Jack o’lantern closed his eyes and closed his mouth
Then winter came and the snow was deep.
And Mousekin was safe and sound asleep.
Mousekin the little mouse, lived a golden house.

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A friend of mine translated this story for me from the you tube video.  If you are going to watch the Mousekin story, then skip to minute 2:12.  All the children had a blast.  The party schedule was Play + Eat, Story + Painting a pumpkin, and Cake + Gratitude.  It was a big party for a little 2 year old, but most of the people who came were from our homeschool group, and then grandparents.  I didn’t give him a special party for his first birthday, or really a Blessingway, so I put extra energy into this sweet party.  All kids went home with a homemade paper bag, decorated with pumpkins and gourds, a tiny bottle of bubbles, a mouse finger puppet, a pumpkin made out of tissue paper and floral tape (filled with birdseed for a bird blessing), and their painted pumpkin (small gourds technically).  We had a lot of food set out and it all just made me So happy to serve and feel the Abundance of the fall season.  We have worked so hard over the past 3 years.  It felt important to have a Harvest party, centered around honoring Cedar.  We were extra grateful for gorgeous fall weather.  Pictured below are chalkboard drawings by Raysun Frost.

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Here’s a lovely picture at the end of the day.  My sweet boy taking a ride in his wagon, with a friend.

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I knew I would eventually write this post about the sacred masculine.  How could I not!?  I live with four males.  When my husband and I decided to have children neither one of us really cared what gender we had, just health.  After we had two boys I thought it would be nice to have a girl, but was okay with a boy.  After all we already had the set up and knew how to parent boys.  And so it happened our third boy came.

I meditate often on boys, my boys, yang.  I dream and wonder how it is that I came to be One Who Prepares them.  One Who Holds energy for them.  Growing up we had neighbors, three brothers.  I spent practically everyday I could with them.  In school and including college I mostly had male roommates.  It was just that way.  I had no idea, but I believe I was being prepared to care for a tribe of boys.  Mud slinging, rough housing, loud, energetic, gentle, sweet, caring, quiet boys.

We have been transitioning energetically out of a time known as Solar Masculine, into a time known as Solar Feminine and Lunar Masculine.  Our times are known as the New Earth. Energetically things are balancing out.  Women are finding their voice and standing in their power. Men are becoming more respected for how gentle they are finding power in holding energy.  What I mean is they are coming into a place of peace within themselves.  Preservation not destruction is in their sphere of thoughts.  Creating.

In America we are experiencing devastation to the land and our bodies because of monoculture farming and pesticides. But grass roots are evident and small farms are popping up.  Farmer’s Markets are very trendy and gaining popularity each year.  Men and women are finding themselves abandoning the american dream as we knew it for life in the country, or even urban living with gardens and chickens. Sustainability. We are the change we wish to see as it has been quoted by Ghandi. People who never touched dirt in their life are setting up small plots in their yards and planting seeds, watering and tending and finding a nice little harvest.  Folks are tired of being sick and dealing with outdated institutions that really just want to make money off of us.  Illness care makes money, healthcare does not.

Switching gears I want to talk about Sacred Union.  The inner marriage of duality. Duality is separation.  When those energies marry there is oneness.  Just as two people marry and become one, we have the inner energies uniting.  At the very core of the universe there is no separation, however it is my belief to better understand this concept we must come to earth and then make our way back to Oneness. It is a cycle. A circle.  We leave Oneness to come here, and then we immediately begin to return that that Oneness.  Along the way, during our journey we live within the duality, we struggle, there’s a pulling.  Spirituality is meant to be a Path to achieve balance and mastery.  To ascend.  To be multi-dimensional. To exist in many dimensions at once.  To better understand our nature and our planet, our universe.  Macro and micro.  Compassion.  Tolerance. Consciouness happens in waves and individuals come to earth to assist with these collective conscious awakenings.  Like seeds we are planted all over.  And like seeds, we take root.  It may rain, and we may struggle against the wind, but eventually something grows out of it.

Honor and reverence.  I believe these traits are growing out of our boys.  Honor for women and their personal power and what women can contribute.  I have had to spend a lot of time purifying within this life.  My heart and mind are new. When I married I had no idea what would happen.  I didn’t know how many children I wanted, so we started with one.  I didn’t know anything about homeschool, but we followed our hearts.  I had to fight doubt and learn to Trust. This may sound wierd to many, but it is completely natural to me, I have taken a lot of advice from Grandmother Nichole.  My future self.  The healer and teacher within travels across time and space, becoming multi-dimensional, and Sees what needs to be seen.  Creator comes to me symbolically.  Some people call it synchronicity. Shapeshifting, Creator visits us within the many forms of creation.  Through study, trust and the Unseen we learn wisdom.  We become Wisdom Keepers. Holding space and energy and even time for posterity.

Our tribe has manifested our particular heaven on earth.  It looks like a little cottage in the country.  It looks like our own business where creativity reigns.  A legacy.  Hard foundational work. We are giants and our children will stand on our shoulders.  It’s all grass roots.  There are many ways all of this can be done, and there are plenty of folks out there to help.  Some start with current institutions rebuking them.  Some, like us are starting at ground level and building new structures, new foundations.  I know my boys are builders.  Walkers of this path. I don’t fully know yet what they will do, but the seed is in their hearts. I hope the sacred container (home) in which they are living and learning is nourishing enough and free enough for them to unfold in the way Creator wishes it.  It all starts with family culture.  It took me some time to figure this out.  I love helping my community, so my time is best spent at home with our children and working from the inside out.  It’s how I Serve.

Maybe this made sense, maybe it’s confusing.  Either way I want you to know that it is my sincerest hope and prayer that what we are doing here in our home is reverent.  It is for the community.  My little life is doing something big. I meditate on that often…what am I doing, what am I contributing. Once I go to dust I will live on and on and on, and that makes me eternal.

My prayer here today and always is for all the little boys, all the teenagers, all the young men and all the adult men.  I pray you find peace in your heart.  I pray you are not misguided and distracted from Source.  I pray you unfold according to the seed that was planted in your heart.  I pray that if your home was not warm, that you find that warmth yourself or in new relationships.  I pray for your brokenness as I have prayed for mine.  I pray for our men to heal and stand in their power as reverent.  I pray men understand proper use of power. I pray for the healers and teachers. I pray you honor your women or the women in your lives. I pray for your inner marriage and integration. I pray for Mother Earth. I pray that I really don’t know anything and that God will just take care of it all.

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