Sunday, November 29, 2009

a little trip...

Life has been rolling along merrily for us lately. I love this time of the year with few clothes on and warm weather and tropical fruits and playing with friends and swimming in the ocean.

Cary is still in Vegas and the kids and I decided to take a little road trip to visit family. So often when I have taken trips, I wonder what it would be like to live in different areas I drive through. This time though, I was aware of deeply appreciating the beauty and the changing landscapes, but feeling no desire to move anywhere. I was enjoying being on the road, on an adventure. And I'm looking forward to going home again. We recently decided to extend our lease by another 6 months and I am very glad. I don't think we could find a better area to live in. At least for now. I don't want to stop taking trips, whether they are a few days or a few months or more. I think I've just found a nice balance within myself. And I've accepted our area as "home".

Our trip took several hours more than it should have due to some car trouble, but we ended up getting to my sisters house with the children and I happy and in one piece. The car however, had lost it's muffler and wasn't so happy. As we were part way over the Great Dividing Range, we lost one of the supports that holds the muffler up. I rigged it back up with a bungy cord. Knowing that would have a limited life span due to the heat, I was keen to get to my sisters house as soon as possible. But I could not resist a turnoff for "Thunderbolts cave". Captain Thunderbolt was a famous Australian bushranger and I just love that part of Australian history. We took the 3.4km round trip detour. It was a country area with just a few cows along the way so we could well imagine Captain Thunderbolt riding through there and we tried to imagine what he looked like and what he thought about and how he lived. I was fascinated by the cave, even though it was obviously not in the condition it was when C.T. hid there. There was a sign nearby saying that the cave had been deeper. Still, the fact that he had been there, was rather exciting to me.

A bit further down the road we lost the other muffler support so I used a belt to tie that end up. I noticed that the bungy was beginning to fray so I braided some hemp yarn and Summer finger knitted some cotton yarn and I used those little ropes to add to the support. Because we were delayed, we got to enjoy a magnificent sunset over pasture land. If we'd been further along, the sunset would have been hidden by trees. Such a beautiful gift! With 10kms to go to, thinking we would make it OK, I came to some recent roadworks, slowed down but hit a bump I just couldn't see in the dark. came the muffler except it did hang on where the belt was supporting it. I dragged it down the highway until I could find a safe place to stop. I pulled over and thought I should just let it cool off and then put it in the back of the car and go the rest of the way. The stars were coming out and they were so pretty! Another gift! We had stopped in front of a house set back a little way on a country property. After a while, the man of the house must have noticed me sitting there with the emergency flashers on and came out to ask if we were OK. I told him what had happened and he agreed that it would be OK to drive and helped me put the muffler in the car. My brother in law had already insisted on coming out to help me so I needed to wait for him. The country man offered us a drink. AJ said that we were out of water so he took one of our water bottles and filled that and brought us about 20 big oranges from his orchard...another gift!

If we had not taken the detour to the cave, we probably would have made it to my sisters house with the muffler still on, but we would not have had that adventure. Or all of those gifts! What happened to the car is a minor inconvenience. But it actually increased our joy of the day.

Monday, November 16, 2009

life learning here and now

I just read a great post titled 'Unschooling Thoughts' at Fall Down To Fly. The author, my friend Miranda, describes so eloquently the style of learning we also live by. Recommended reading for anyone wanting to know more about unschooling. Thanks Miranda!


I love it when the Universe confirms my direction with some kind of sign. In this case, it came after my recent ramblings on staying put in one place vs. moving around. I was at the library with the kids and a book caught my eye and drew me to is called 'Raising Global Nomads' by Robin Pascoe.

Just as I had concluded, her advice on page 5, when she was talking to some teens at an international school in the UK about what she was going to tell their parents: "Make sure your children know you love them; make them feel safe; protect them without overprotecting them, so they can learn to stand on their own two feet." and, "despite all the moving around, they, as loving parents, are your true home and bedrock of support."

I admit to flicking around the book, not feeling the need to read the entire thing. I found this other gem on pg 204:

Travel writer, essayist, and global soul Pico Iyer has written that "global citizenship does not mean giving up a sense of roots so much as extending our sense of what roots involve." It is my belief that parents ground their children with roots made of love and respect. The family's values, beliefs, and traditions are like the branches of a tree; the enriched childhood produces colourful foliage. Some leaves may appear later than others, but that's fine, too. It takes a lot of trees to create a forest, just as so many unique cultures make up our world.

I know this, and it is very kind of the Universe to show me that I really am on the right path.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Raw Drugs...and, how to get a Real Life...

I get regular emails called 'The Daily Raw Inspiration' from Jinjee at I really liked this one so I thought I'd pass it on...

Finally the scientific raw community is standing up and warning us about Raw Cacao! I absolutely love this talk that Dr. Brian Clement of The Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida gave about the dangers of Raw Cacao, and more particularly, how to get a real life instead of one that relies on stimulants!!!

Interviewer: I remember reading somewhere in one of your articles that you don't recommend raw cacao

Dr. Clement: That's for sure. Raw Cacao is a recreational food with a downside.

Interviewer: Everything else I've read says its good for you.

Dr. Clement: Of course, enthusiasts, people selling raw cacao are going to tell you it is good for you.

Interviewer: Can you please tell me why you do not think of it as good....

Dr. Clement: It is one of many "False Foods and Substances" (which is also the name of an article by Dr. Clement). There are many popular culture trends within the living food community. The pop culture trend of raw cacao is dangerous because chocolate, raw or not, is a stimulant and acts exactly like caffeine. Scientists at Florida Atlantic University told me that eating just 1 of the beans is like taking a gram of caffein.The reason we like these recreational foods is because we're really not ready to do what's right. We're not ready to eat what's going to build our bodies. We still want to have fun and we want to pacify our addictions. And nobody I know just eats raw chocolate. You put ungodly things that are high, high, high sugars like Agave syrup with it. Of course, the same people who tell you raw cacao is good are going to tell you Agave is low glycemic, is good for you. The real scientific community found that agave acts much the same way that corn syrup acts in your body. And so why you like it is because it is giving you a stimulant, its giving you a high, and its feeding your sugar monster. And just because someone who is not a scientist tells you that its good for you, you want to be pacified and go ahead and do it. My hope is that everyone gets to the point where food is no longer a recreational activity....That you get to the point where food is a fuel, and now you have fun in your life because you have a real life.....That food is no longer the ritual that gives us a high, gives us a kick, or pacifies a monster.....That we eat food and now we have life, we have fun, we have true recreation, we do sports, we're outside, we're with nature, we fall in love, we have good friendships, - that's what life's about. Its not food focused. Food focused is what I was at one point because I was trained by the culture that all of us live within and reside within that food was a social norm, that food was something you did to pacify your emotional state.... And so I became very good at it....I became 240 lbs. good at it! And the fact of the matter is until you develop a confidence in yourself, a security in yourself, and honor yourself, and understand yourself a little bit, and have the joy of life - you are going to use addictive substances like food. If food is not enough for you you'll go right on to booze, which is a drug, or even worse than that. And all of us seemlingly today want a stimulant to live, including raw chocolate and agave syrup, rather than becoming conscious enough so you don't need any of that and you're just enjoying that consciousness and just enjoying yourself because you see the goodness in life!

To hear Dr. Clement's talk and for loads more information about the dangers of raw cacao visit.... Joy!Jinjee

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's a beautiful day....

Such a magical, wonderful day! We started off with a cuddle, then some water, a little fruit and a walk to the beach. We passed several kids on their way to school and not one of them looked happy. And here we were, going to 'school' at the beach! Along the way, the kids stopped to look at bugs and climb trees and poles and we stopped for a while to watch a new cement driveway being laid and evened out. We have some of our most amazing conversations while walking or driving in the car. Today was no different and we discussed a variety of topics that is just too long to write here.

When we got to the beach, I was taking in the absolute beauty of the day and the water, when a couple of homeschooled kids we knew came running up to us. What a surprise to see some friends there with their Mum! We chatted for ages while the kids swam and built sandcastles and dug holes with connecting tunnels. Our friends are staying nearby while their new home is being built. What a truly lovely surprise.

Our friends had to go after a while and my kids and I went on the walk we'd planned, skipping through the waters edge and loving every single moment. The sun was getting hotter and we made our way home, smelling some of the beautiful flowers along the way.

I called Cary and had a nice long chat with him. I feel him with us, even though he is on the other side of the world. He is working so much though and I wish he would take some time off to go do something fun.

It's still only mid-morning, but so far, I feel like it has been a magical day because I feel so connected to my man and my children and my self and my part of the world and the whole ocean and the sky and love and spirit. I am so full of gratitude that I could almost burst into a zillion sparkling pieces right now...

Monday, November 09, 2009

another PS...

continuing my train of thought from the last post.... one of my main concerns has been my family. So many people say "children need stability and security". Maybe so. But do they really get that from living in one house for 18 years? Maybe if it's a nurturing home. And then so many of them move away to seek their own place in the world, often moving far away from their families.

I have wondered if I have somehow done a disservice to my children by moving them around. I mostly feel this when they talk about friends we've known along the way, and when they ask when can we get some pets. Apart from that, they are amazingly flexible and eager when we announce a new plan. I really don't think they've been harmed. Rather I think they've learned early the value in adapting; that change is a part of life; that whatever we need, we always manage to find; that you get from life what you think you will - if you plan on having fun, you will but if you think something is going to be hard work or painful, you're right about that too.

Lately I've been focused on thinking that we need to have a more definite plan. But as I've been striving to figure how and when and where and all that kind of thing, I've been mentally absent from my kids.

I came to the conclusion that, no matter where we are or what happens, our children will develop their own inner stability and security by knowing that they are loved and very worthy of an abundance of natures gifts. That they do not need material things to fulfill them, and that relationships with other people and themselves are more precious than gold. I remembered that raising these kids to be fully aware of Who They Are is my main goal - where we live and whatever else happens, is not as important as that. I Trust that that will continue to unfold the way it is meant to. I'm not going to over-think it anymore. Trying to force it will just create more long blog posts as I try to figure it out...especially if it's 1:30am in the USA and I can't call Cary to rattle on about this. And it will just take me away from where I really want to be...and where I am going right now... to connect with my kids.

PS.. and some reflecting

As a PS to my previous post, I want to add that the way I plan on making the rest of my life "magnificent", will not be by focusing on the 43.? years I supposedly have left, but by living as if today was my last day. I think that is a key to getting the most from life.

Some people experience a 'mid-life crisis' about this time, but perhaps that's just the people who have felt that they have not been able to live authentically so far, that the real them has been hidden by a mask their whole life. The mask of who they think they should be, not who they really are. And of feelings of being trapped by their current position in life and feeling that they have never really lived their dreams.

I have no need for a 'crisis'. I took off my masks a long time ago. I have achieved many of my goals.

I am finding myself reflecting more, perhaps I'm approaching an inner crossroad.

When I was young, I loved the house and the area where we were living. Surrounded by bush, near a creek and a lake and not far from the beach. I imagined that this house would always be my home base. That it would be the place I came home to visit after I had moved out, the place where my children would gather with their cousins, the place where the whole family would sing Christmas carols together while sitting on the verandah or swimming in the pool.

But when I was 13, my Dad was transferred to another area and we had to move. I went kicking and screaming and was a bit of a 'bad' girl for a year or so. But eventually, I started to calm down and regain that sense of security. I didn't find it in the house or in my family, but it came from inside of me. I realised that the move had shaken me off the merry-go-round / carousel that I had been on, and helped me discover the thrill of the roller coaster of life. And that no matter where I went, I'd still have ME.

I became a seeker of experiences of all kinds, I partied hard, I was a fitness fanatic, I scuba dived, went up in a hot air balloon, climbed to the top of Australia's highest mountain, I married, divorced, moved, changed jobs, changed cars, changed hair styles, explored, read, hiked, biked, travelled etc. How lucky am I to have lived on a tropical island?! How many people dream of that?! How lucky am I, that while living there, I reached an absolute realisation that I was Whole...that I didn't need any person or any thing to complete me...and then I met Cary, who enhances my life. He encourages and even fuels the pursuit of my dreams and does not see me as restless or crazy. He sees me as an adventurer on the sea of life, a pioneer in sometimes radical thinking in action, and the lover he has shared other lifetimes with.

So at this crossroad, a part of me is wondering if it is time to settle down- to plan on staying put in one place. I know I've spoken about wanting a little farm for a long time, but do I just idealise the opposite of what I have? (Not that I am doing a lot of travelling at the moment, but we are not sure of where we will be in another 6 months so that holds a similar feeling to travelling.) Isn't that a trick of the ego to keep one from staying connected to our true selves? There are things about having our own place that are very appealing - being able to have pets again, growing our own food - they are the main ones about the actual place. Opening the circle wider, we would also have a greater chance of being a part of the local community, helping and sharing and growing together. I wonder if having a place would give our children a sense of security. What if we didn't keep the place for whatever reason, - would they feel angry that their 'home' had been taken away from them? Or would their years of experience of not staying in one place have taught them that things are just temporary anyway? Would we all become so attached to the place and our 'things' that we forget how connected we can feel to the rest of the world when we don't have a lot of stuff? Can we maintain non-attachment so that our spirits remain free?

I'm concerned that if we do settle, I will feel trapped on the carousel. It's nice and pleasant and has little ups and downs and goes round and round in a predictable manner. Would I miss the thrill of the roller coaster? The loops and curves and ups and downs, but then right back up again, and when the ride is over, screeching in to stop, whooping and with a huge grin on my face saying "let's do it again!".

If we settled and went with the carousel option, we have the chance to build ...I almost said security, but I don't feel like anything is secure anymore. The world is on the brink of major change. I think we would build attachments to the land and the people and animals around us. But people can change. People we thought were friends can decide that they don't want that anymore. The land is vulnerable to bushfire and floods. Animals die. Nothing is permanent.

If we go with the roller coaster / travel option, we have to chance to experience the world. To not be held anywhere by commitments or 'stuff'. Our children get to see so much more, they get to experience different cultures and get a much broader view of life on earth. Does there have to be a goal when travelling? Surely the different experiences gives one a deeper sense of the world that may lead to an expanded sense of the self.

Pros and cons for both. It's time to close my eyes and listen to the song of my soul and see what is sung....

This post has been sitting for several days. I've been trying to feel the best way for us. Every option has an element of risk and a potential for great joy. We get more of whatever we focus on.

I know it's possible to make life whatever I want - thrilling, predictable, or's all in my mind.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

half way...

According to the Vitality Compass on the Blue Zones website, I will live 88.1 years. Which means that I am very slightly over the half-way point in my life. If I choose to believe that.

I am going to make them magnificent!