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Posts Tagged ‘transparency’

The path of simplicity is truly what you make of it.  To me and my family it is a road of beauty.  It is a road that is not convenient always, but who says it should be?  Simplicity is the paring down of your life to purify the energy around you and find out what truly matters.  What does matter to you?  Most people say family.

I am piggy-backing on my last post about slow living, slow eating and slow educating.  To do these things you have to take a look at your family culture. Have you written down what is important to you?  Do you have goals? Expectations?  Boundaries?  How has society influenced you?  What are you really wanting to leave your children when it is all said and done.  Lots of money and “stuff,” or memories shared?  I am sure they would appreciate money, perhaps even skills that you have taught them, but most of all values, at least to us, values are important for posterity.

There have been several occasions where our children have lived in a very cluttered home.  There was a time when I was so overwhelmed with stuff that I thought I would go mad.  Eventually I cleared out anything and everything under their beds, on the shelves and streamlined their rooms. My living room and kitchen area is simple.  Not a lot of extra decor taking up space waiting for me to dust it off.  If I don’t use it, it doesn’t belong. I have been a practical person most of my life, so this was not terribly hard for me to figure out, although it was a side effect of having children.

We teach keeping the lights off when not in use.  We teach wearing appropriate clothes to keep warm and keeping the heat turned down to a reasonable temperature.  We like to air out the house on nice days and not overuse our cooling system.  We like to be proactive and eat well instead of getting sick, but it doesn’t seem like that mattered this year with all the sickness going around, it caught us too.  But we have learned from it and worked harder to investigate gut health, eating foods that are fermented and utilizing mother nature and her bounty of healing foods and herbs.

We own a small farmhouse with almost four acres.  The simplicity of play and living has far outweighed the desire to own more.  That is not to say we have not struggled and won’t ever struggle.  We own a business, Coydog Studios, and it has not been easy.  Thankfully, because of our life before we made the transition, it wasn’t as hard a transition as it could have been.  We did have family help at times and for that I am grateful.  I support my husbands creativity, and we are proud he has recently earned a place in the Kentucky Art’s Council Directory as Architectural Artist.  In reading his bio you will see how simplicity leads over into his work and creative life as well.  In our world Spirit and the Physical realm are not separate.  It’s simple, and interwoven throughout every moment.  Ryan speaks about “sacred space” in his work and I too think of our home as Sacred Space.  Sanctuary.  I have to work harder and longer if our sacred space is cluttered and dysfunctional.

As you know we home educate.  To fullfill my duty and sacred contract I have made with Creator I cannot have an environment that has not been simplified. There are times before and after having a baby that the house may seem fuller, but to everything there is a season and I always come back around to clearing and cleaning.  Simplifying is a constant.  Simplicity takes work.  Especially in this day and age when one can buy anything.  Where there are box stores on every corner and Amazon Prime can deliver you anything within two days.

To make it possible to shop at places like Whole Foods I had to do the work and preparation.  I had to go online, make lists, mark recipes, and read tips on how to shop.  I spoke with the folks working in the grocery isles.  They were more than willing to speak to a smiling, learning face.  I have learned in the isles where we shop, on the shelving, there are stickers for all the products.  On these stickers which read the prices are other numbers and information.  On the left hand side, top, there is a number that represents price per ounce or pound.  When you are shopping and trying to decide which product you get better bang for your dollar, read those numbers.  For example, I wanted to buy crackers for Cedar to munch on.  He is 15 months old. I had the choice of buying the baby brand cracker, or the crackers that were the generic Whole Foods brand.  I got more product for less if I bought the product not geared towards babies.  It’s all about the marketing, no matter where you go, and I realize this aspect.  Also, if you have the desire to buy something by the case, you get an automatic 10% off.  This is a rare need for us.

Also, we do not buy sodas, or loads of junk food.  Most of the food we eat is whole.  I do enjoy sweets upon occasion, but we have been sick this season more than any season in years, so we are eating less sugar that compromises the immune system.  If we do eat sweets I make them at home and alter the recipe with other substitutes that won’t hurt us, as much.  And as I said before I do not do a lot of purchasing in the middle section of the grocery, because I have learned to make many things.  In doing so, and in learning to cook good foods I have enabled us to shop at places like Whole Foods, where labeling is transparent. Where a family can shop and purchase non-GMO products.  And when possible we shop at Farmer’s Market, in season.

We have also learned to eat less meat.  You can still have a good meal without meat.  Your health is not determined on whether you don’t have meat on your plate, nor does every meal without meat have to be pasta.  Just take a look at my Pinterest food board and see many alternatives.

Below is another good link that I have also pinned on my food board with others sharing ways to shop at these other stores without compromising your budget, yet eating better.

http://foodformyfamily.com/menu-planning/whole-foods-menu-challenge-100-gift-card-giveaway

Fish was by far the most expensive it seemed.  Chicken and beef were doable if one prepared them in a good way and used the other parts to make things like bone broth, or leftovers for lunch the next day.  You can buy products like cous cous in the box or bulk.  If you buy cous cous in the box it is the same price as other grocery stores, and there is more variety.  Cous cous in bulk is even cheaper and there is less packaging waste for the landfill or to compost.

Something I have also noticed is the shopping carts are smaller at places like Whole Foods.  The isles are shorter, and there are less marketing ads flying around.  There is only one small isle of condiments, not a longggg isle, or two. Sometimes too many choices are just too many, and overwhelming.  We find the shopping experience at marketplaces like Whole Foods higher vibrating, and that is about worth the difference right there.  Trader Joe’s is definitely cheaper in some aspects and we have the choice to go next door and get some of the alternatives, however my friend’s husband works at Whole Foods and he says WF is competeing with some of TJ’s pricing. So, stay tuned and keep your eyes open. I still like to stop in Trader Joe’s as well though for certain things.

If you have patience or are blessed with even a bit of lawn or land you can grow a few plants to compensate the grocery bill.  I tend to grow medicinal and culinary foods most.  Community gardens are on the rise as well.  Another way we save, while having children is to breast feed 1 to 2 years and to use cloth diapers and cloth wipes.  I did make baby food for our second child, but we utilize the concept of baby led weaning now, so while we use some non-GMO brands like Beechnut, our little bear eats from our plate a lot.

Now, it may take some time to arrive at this destination.  There is more to it. Rhythm is tied to success I believe.  To keep us successful I shop the same day every week if we can help it.  We shop in the mornings, with three children who come to learn and be the next generation to make good choices.  It is also our payday, and I do errands for our business to make the short drive to a neighboring town worth it.

Feel free to comment with your own tips, or leave links to blogs or articles that may have helped you and your family budget better and still be able to purchase whole non-GMO foods.

Blessings!!

 

 

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This is a deeply personal story of healing.  A short story, as far as stories go.  The important parts are here.  A story of healing and humility.  A story of a heroine and a villain.  Sometimes they are one in the same.

The year of the (work) horse has been a year of challenges for my family and it has been filled with internal struggle that has neatly unfolded into chaos in our outer world.  As a spiritual person I seek the path of peace.  Comfort and heaven.  But I do not deny my shadow side.  The darkness otherwise known as the womb from whence we came. To many people I am seen as strong, too strong probably. Positive. Believing.  Perhaps people see through me.  Am I transparent?  I do Believe!  I am positive and authentic.  But internally I have had a different dialogue competing with God’s plan.

First know that I am a stay at home mother, called by Creator to home educate our children.  This path comes with a lot of inner work.  For some time now though I have been denying what Creator has been telling me all along. Creator TRUSTS me to raise our children in the way I have been Called forth.  However, with my egoic self-talk I have continually repeated over and over that I am a failure, and I have held high expectations over myself that anyone would have a hard time reaching.  I doubt.  I punish myself for every.  little.  thing.  I allow others to judge me or not understand my path and then I take that burden upon myself, when it is their perception or truth.  I sometimes have little self-worth or self-love.  Meet the villain.

Shame and guilt are old patterns of the patriarchal paradym.  I have worked really hard to purify my heart the past 10 years.  I have worked hard to find balance, happiness and self worth.  What I did not know is that this pattern runs deep.  Deeper than any well you have known.  It is the endless well of our soul, and it is Collective.  What I have realized is I do not need to be such a warrior, not when loving is more in line with what God wants for me.  And I do really need to start putting myself first more, no, not first, but definitely not last.

To share my struggle deeper you must know our family has started a business.  We began a little over a year ago when my husbands former employer closed its doors.  We had been headed towards this goal in our dreams and hearts for a decade and it was finally manifesting with right-timing.  In October, we moved from our original location to a new location much better suited for artists. Many positive small victories have happened.  In this time, and in the whole past year my husband has worked day and night to push, push, push our business to the next level.  In that time, we had another baby.  Our baby has brought so many smiles, healing and love to our home.  A peace admist everything else.  Meanwhile, I continued to home educate third and first grade and nurse our wee one.  I do not get a lot of help when it comes to babysitters, due to an attachment-like parenting lifestyle.  I do not go out with friends to have a girls night out or date night with hubby.  I do not have money at this time to buy a lot of things, but we always have a roof over our heads and food on the table, and we are building our dreams one day at a time.  And when time allows we do activities as a family, but we do know we could play more.  Creator has made sure to anchor me to our home, so I may learn what it truly means to hold space.  Our home is a place I can learn reciprocity and self-worth.  Value.  I knew something was going on internally and that I was headed on a special journey “home.”  I just couldn’t name it all.  So writing helps me to bring that which needs to be named out of my alchemial heart.

Not everything happens easily, and hard work is important.  We cannot run from our choices and responsibilities.  There is so much here, so many layers to this story.  One thing always gets me on my knees though.  Illness, dis-ease.  In the past month we have struggled with two types of flu strains, the rhino virus, ear infections, sinus infections, bronchitis and conjunctivitis.  We are a family that has not been to the doctor, except maybe once since 2010.  I pride myself on being healthy, eating well, drinking green and being generally happy.  In my darkest place during these times of imbalance Creator is trying to speak to me.  Creator wants my attention.  Instead of guilting myself because I “let” us get sick, I need to love myself more.  Love is the message.  It is a message to the Collective Conscious.  To me, to us all.  I am a good mother.  We are all doing the best we can given our circumstances, and it is time to let go of the past. It is time to let go of the guilt and the shame. The time is for forgiveness.  Self-love. I forgive myself. I forgive family, friends and mentors who were a part of learning experiences that hurt my heart.  I forgive.  I trust.  I trust Creator knows what is best for me.  I trust all experiences for me will not be comfortable.  I have learned that I depend on security.  I depend on my husband to take care of us.  I have come to depend on Creator to take care of me, but sometimes that actually looks like chaos.  It looks like chaos because that is what is needed to come undone.  Coming undone is what is needed sometimes to move things out of our way or to rearrange our lives for better things to come.  I have learned I don’t have to be as strong as people might believe I am.  I have learned that it is okay to let go and be in the middle of the river of God’s creation.  I don’t have to hold on so tight, or fight.

Transitioning into owning our own business has been uncomfortable.  I have been shaken to my core, so I can be better.  I have been shaken, so I can recognize my human-ness.  I have been shaken, so my heart can open a little more and so that I can stop the guilt and the shame of my inner voice that I am never enough.  I make mistakes. But that’s okay.  My kids still love me.  As a matter of fact, my oldest son repeatedly tells me over and over and forgives me over and over for making mistakes as a mother.  He is Creator’s proof!  Unconditional love is the teaching. Gentleness with self, kindness and patience are the teachings.

Creator is speaking to me about motherhood.  About human-ness. My job is important.  I do take it seriously in my heart, but in my head I fight the battle that can never be won, because it is not in alignment with Source, with Love.

No matter your path, whether it is home educating, public school, private school, a career, single or married, or parent to fur babies…you are a masterpiece.  You are Right Where You Need To Be, so just love.  Love yourself.  Love those around you.  Be thankful.  I am truly a grateful woman, but I lost myself a little bit these past two months, in order to find my core. What a journey it has been.  I do not ever want to deny my struggle. I do not ever want to deny my darkness.  I do not ever want to deny being vulnerable and allowing others to help me.  The time is done to overly protect myself from reciprocity.  The time is done to overly protect myself from receiving love, especially self love!

My job is important.  We each have a Mission.  A Calling.  When our energy is alignment with our Sacred Contract, we are working well with our personal power.  In the midst of my struggle this past month I read a quote about personal power, but I was having a hard time Knowing what it Really was I was suppose to Be doing.  I have been walking my path all along, except it was loaded with self-talk, fear and a warrior attitude that was not allowing me to stand in my full power.  I had energy leaks, and distractions coming in left and right to take me away from my true journey.  I have not been able to use my energy wisely in accordance with my Sacred Contract with Creator.  I felt dizzy. But I can See now, except I have conjunctivitis…ha ha Lord!  See, Creator is funny. Creator is a comedian and Very Contrary.  Creator wanted me to See.  Creator wanted my attention, so from the Spirit World came the teaching over into the Physical World.  Open your eyes beautiful Nichole.  You are Love. And when you are down, you need more love Nichole.  Not shame or guilt. Not fear mongering.  I am finally smiling for the first time in two months and that tiny bit, that tiny spark is healing to me as I walk the Advent walk to Christmas.  My personal rebirth.  I read somewhere to allow my heart to be the crib for the coming of Christ.  That is so comforting to me during this time.  To be able to receive Unity and Love.

I am a new person.  I am definitely not the same person as I was last month, or even yesterday.  I am imperfectly unique.  I am a good mother.  I am a good wife.  I am a good sister and daughter. But, I am also really good at making mistakes and listening too much to my ego at times, but that’s okay.  I am still good.  I am Love.  I have a lot of hard days that do not end up on social media.  But, the better days win out.  The days where I listen to my heart beat out the worst days.  I love what I do.  I love my path.  I love that Creator loves me enough to shake me up from head to toe to get my attention.  I am grateful.  I feel Still and not restless.  I don’t mind doing this work.  It is a hero(ine)’s work.  It’s what I came here to do during this time on earth  Our Ancestors foretold the healing women would do.  “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Is The Hand That Rules The World.”  I am a healer, to myself and to the Collective.  I am a teacher.  I love teaching, and anybody who doesn’t understand what I do and that Creator Called me to it isn’t suppose to understand.  Because it is my journey.  Finally, I can say I am grateful after waking up each day in November and these few days in December feeling miserable about life.  Every mistake I had ever made, every.  little.  thing.  including making a wrong turn driving, not having a perfect house, not having a “career” others could define me by that made money had been under personal scrutiny by myself.  Which is really silly.  It is impossible to continually live like that even though I was mostly a happy, believing, loving person.  I found also that I tended to believe and love others more than I could love myself.  I tended to forgive others before I could forgive myself.  It’s time to break through that wall.  The fighting is done and Love is here.  We are hero(ine)’s, the mother’s, the healer’s, the lover’s.

I know I am important.  I am love and I love others despite the journey, the circumstance or the teaching. If you are are guilting and shaming yourself for one reason or another, especially under a mask too afraid to be vulnerable, I…well I am not sure what to say other than perhaps my story can spark some healing in your life. You don’t have to be strong all the time.  Take off the mask and lay it down my dear. There is only love.  Open your hearts and find your sacred song.

 

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