Sunday, August 29, 2010

What the heck is it all about? (& a turnaround)

Really....why are we all here?  If we were all created by some higher intelligence / force / spirit...what on earth did they have in mind as the purpose of all of this?   Why is there war and greed and everything negative?  I do believe in a Greater Power, I just am at a total loss to understand..well,

There is a lot of talk of how we are heading for a Golden Age, where more people will be enlightened and the world will be more harmonious.  Well...why wasn't the world created like that to start with?! 

All of the suffering, and challenges...are they all here to offer us contrast?  To make us appreciate the goodness in our lives?  Is that really necessary?  If 'God' is so compassionate, WHY does s/he let so many bad things happen?

Where is the justice and the logic in loving caring people who cannot have a baby and the drug-addict mother who can't stop having babies?

I've heard all of the cases...We don't need to understand, we just have to accept and have faith and believe that there is a greater purpose to all of this...that Suffering is a normal part of the human experience.  I don't want to listen to another 'spiritual author' just trying to sell their own books and products which are usually just a rehash of other peoples insights anyway.  How many of them actually want to help others and how many just want to cash in on the questioning and suffering?

(several days later...)
.... I don't know the answers.  Maybe that's ok.  If I keep dwelling on that, I create a downward, dark spiral within myself.  That is not my true nature.  I feel the most in alignment when I am seeing the light, the positive in life.  I don't need a lot of contrast in my life...I've had enough to know that the dark side is not where I want to be.  Focusing on the big 'why' of life had me somewhat paralysed ... I felt that I could not move forward, and at the time, I did not want to.

I spent some time surrounded by nature.  Not expecting anything, just open to letting these recent thoughts mull around within me...I was a little surprised when I started to feel lighter...when a Knowing came to me that no matter what happens, I will still Be.  The judgement of 'good' or 'bad' was up to me.  I could focus on all of the chaos that seems to be swirling lately, gathering momentum in the lives of so many people that I know.  Or, I could focus on the place within where I feel like I'm working with the Universe - where I feel Joy just by being my true self.  Nothing grandiose, just simply and quietly stating my truth, seeing the absolute best in people, aiming to not judge but to live showing kindness and love and compassion to others and myself.

My focus is to inspire myself to live this lightness more fully.  To not be so concerned with the things I cannot change, and to not contribute to the things I do not like in the world.  Even in little ways like statements of judgement of people or situations.  That doesn't serve anyone.  Perhaps my ego gets a little comfort stroke from that, but it does not bring me alignment with my truth.  Along the way, if I inspire anyone else, well that is just a bonus.

With great joy and gratitude for all that is...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Simple Living challenge...

Have you seen this website: ?  Here is their experiment, their challenge if you will:

 What do our clothes say about us? Why do spend so much time on what we wear? What happens when we don’t?

Starting Monday, June 21st 2010, a group of people from California to Dubai are going to take part in a little experiment: each participant gets to choose six (and only six) items of clothing and pledge to wear only these six items of clothing for a month. They’ll share their experiences here at

There are exceptions that don’t count towards the six: undergarments, swim wear, work-out clothes, work uniforms, outer jackets (rain slicker, outdoor jacket), shoes and accessories. You can get multiples of the same item for laundry purposes, but different colors count as separate items. Or you can tell us to stuff it and make your own rules.

People have asked what the philosophy is behind the experiment and most assume it’s a statement about consumerism. In reality, we haven’t dictated a driving thought. Rather it’s about putting a challenge out there and seeing what people bring to it, do with it and talk about.

This challenge totally appeals to my love of simple living!  There is a new round starting soon online, but you obviously can do your own thing anytime.  I thought of the clothes in my closet, all keen to get in and choose 6 things....then I realised that I already do close to that.  I have two favourite pairs of jeans, and pair of black yoga pants, and three favourite long sleeved tshirts that I have been spending most days in for the past few months. 

So why do I have extra clothes?  I think it's the 'maybe' factor.  You know...maybe one day I'll want to wear that...maybe one day it will fit me again....maybe one day I'll want to try a new combination.  But I don't.  I do like the idea of consciously choosing to give away the clothes that don't fit and that I really don't totally love and just leaving 6 basic items.  I can see doing this times 3 - having a winter set, a spring / fall set, and a summer set.  ...I know what I'll be doing within the next few days.

I heard of another challenge where a couple decided to live with 100 items each...including the house, car, dishes, books etc. Hmm....

I think we do live fairly simply, but we definitely have acquired a bunch of stuff since getting off the road and back into a house...I think 2 years ago now.  I can't believe how time is flying by.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Feeling grateful...

There's nothing like passing an overturned car surrounded by emergency equipment on the motorway to give a renewed appreciation for my life.

I've been in a low place lately, and just as I started coming out of it, I passed the accident which was like the final shake I needed to get over myself.

So I thought I'd take this opportunity to think about some of the things I'm most grateful for.

I'm grateful for...

- three healthy, strong, loud, vibrant, amazing, children that everyday teach me more about unconditional love and patience and joy.

- my relationship to Cary who has been able to show me the high road during some recent challenges; who moved half way around the world to start a new life in a land where the business rules are very different to what he knew, just to fulfill my dream of moving back here near the beach.

- my body which may not be exactly how I would like it right now, but it is not in pain, and it has done some truly amazing things, including giving birth naturally three times.

- my extended family who loves me even though they don't always understand or agree with my choices.

- my friends who are quick to give a hug or a shoulder and just some good companionship that comes with sharing similar lifestyle choices.

- the magnificent ocean and the joy and fulfillment that it gives me almost every day as I walk along the shore and play in its water.

- the local birds and their songs that bring me pure delight.

-  the bushland and it's mysteries and familiarity and noises.

-  the food we have to eat, clothes to wear, a warm home, tools to make life easier and entertaining (computer, iphones, etc)

- music and movement.

- opportunities to grow and stretch myself, uncomfortable as they may be.

- experiences to try many different things and people and places in my life.

- and mostly, thanks to this very breath that keeps me going here.

...What are you grateful for right now?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Food and us

I don't know if you caught the link to this on my sidebar (under Favourite Blogs and The Fresh Network) recently:

I have quite a few friends that follow, and are rather passionate about, the Weston Price diet and the cookbook associated with that - 'Nourishing Traditions'.  I admit to owning that cookbook but frankly only use it for the information in it is that relating to the preparation and cooking of grains.  The high fat and meat content of the rest of the philosophy just does not resonate with me.

I think that's a big thing - if something resonates with you.  When you just 'know' that something is right for you.  Not just by the mental concepts and physical research, but the inner "yes" that speaks to you on a deeper, soul level of just knowing if something will work for you, or not.

I think different diets work for different people.  I do not like it when I'm told that "this is the right way...this is the best way for everyone to should only be doing this".  If something works for you, I'm honestly happy for you.  But don't try and tell me that I need to change what I'm doing.  I'm not going to tell you to give up meat, so don't tell me I need to eat it.

I've been vegetarian for 16 years, mostly vegan. 
I had a blood two weeks ago.  When going veg, many people are told to take vitamin B12 supplements.  I never have (apart from multi vitamins during pregnancy) and my test showed my B12 to be in the excellent range.  My iron and a couple of hormones were a bit low though.  The combination of the deficiencies though has been leaving me feeling lethargic and very low in motivation for much at all.  It's good to know because I'm not driving myself to work out every single day at the moment.  I'm taking time out to lie in the hammock in the sun and let my body rest. 

Summer and Cary also had blood tests.  It turns out that Summer has Insulin Resistance (pre-diabetes).  Part of our 'unschooling' has also been allowing the children to determine what food they would like to eat, and when, and how much. The thought behind that is that they will self-regulate and get all of the nutrients they actually need.  It works great with the boys.  It does not work with Summer.  I have often thought that there was 'something' going on with Summer, and at different times, after discussion with different health 'professionals', and with Summers agreement, we've tried gluten-free foods, and other slight changes in the foods that Summer ate.  After giving her the majority of the choice in what she ate, and watching her health deteriorate a little more as time passed, we have to make some big changes in what Summer eats and when.  We have to help her own this new way in order to help her health for the rest of her life.  Diabetes has a strong presence in Cary's side of the family.  Summer has obviously inherited that tendency.  Cary tests show that he also has Insulin Resistance, though not as extremely as Summer. 

...update, we went for more tests last week and my iron is now in the 'normal' range.  The only thing I did differently was to add 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses into my daily diet.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Community, TV, unschooling

How many homes have you been to where the furniture in the living room is arranged so that everyone has the best view of the television?

I remember a time when living rooms were arranged so that people could actually look at each other and talk together. (yes, I am that old.)

As I was growing up, we had pretty strict limits on watching the TV. We only had four channels, and there wasn't a whole lot on anyway. We never watched it after school - we always shined our shoes, did our homework and went outside to play in the bush or at the creek or riding our bikes. During school holidays, we sometimes watched the 'midday movie' if we were at home, our favourites were the musicals which we would then sing all afternoon, and even longer. I still remember the silly song (which became a family favourite) from "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" with Bing Crosby ..."I'm busy doing nothing working the whole day through...trying to find lots of things not to do...I'm busy going nowhere, isn't it such a crime...I'd like to be unhappy but.........I never do have the la la la....". On the weekends, we maybe watched a couple of shows or a movie, but TV wasn't really a big part of our lives.

As we got older, we watched a little more, but not much. We always preferred swimming or playing snooker or cards or games  or going for a bushwalk or to the get the idea.

Human beings were not designed to live alone. But so many have turned to the TV for a sense of community. We feel like we belong to the Hannah Montana tribe and the Survivor tribe and the True Blood tribe (etc) and, for brief periods, we get to live in another world, we get caught up in their dramas, we take on the way these people speak and act. The 'stars' of these shows are treated like little gods, paid enormous amounts of money and people spend hours dreaming about them, and try to dress like them and we lose our own individuality.

When one show ends, we skip over to another tribe. How many years of a persons life is used up just randomly skipping around, looking for something to satisfy, complaining that there is "nothing on", but not able to just turn it off and DO something that might satisfy that need for connection with self and other real live people?

I am talking about myself here too. I have not always had a community around me where my kids could feel a part of, people that they could spend hours playing and exploring and working with, and that I have used that big box as a babysitter. It does not feel 'right' to me. A lot of the 'kids' shows show behaviours that I know are not natural to my own children, but they imitate anyway. They disrupt the harmony in our home.

We live what a lot of people would call 'unschooling' in that we do not follow a strict curriculum.  I prefer to call it 'living', or if you need a label - natural learning, life learning, self-designed living.  A lot of unschoolers have no limits on media, food, and pretty much everything their children do.  And I understand why they do that and the incredible Trust that allows them to do that.  However, I don't think it works for everyone. 

We have one main TV and another small one that is only connected to the playstation.  We have two computers. And five people.  We aim to consider everyone's needs, so we can't all have unlimited time on the computer or with the TV. 

I like a couple of shows on TV, like "Glee" and "Doctor Who".  Also, shows about travel, nature and science.  I like hanging out and watching a movie or two, especially if it's raining outside.  I just don't like the TV on all day.  It disrupts MY harmony and I'm a valued member of this family as much as anyone else so I deserve to have my needs taken into account also.

When I met Cary, I was surprised at how much TV he watched.  It was rather foreign to the way I'd lived.  I chose to accept that about him.  It's kind of funny that  he doesn't really like watching it much at all now.  He appreciates spending time with the family connecting, playing, chatting, doing things together, and spending time pursuing other interests he has.

I understand that 'Radical Unschoolers' would state that they see the value in everything their child wants to do, even if that is watching TV every waking moment for days, weeks or months.  If that works for them, that's great.  I'm not trying to RU.  My priority is creating a home, a life, where we all have our needs considered, even if they do not get met right away.  Where the focus is on connection and harmony and Joy and living OUR lives, deeply and fully.

There's so much more to life than being 'programmed' by others...that is why they call them 'programs' isn't it? My goal is to leave the box turned off much more than it has been, to live more in our own reality show, one that is unedited and absolutely authentic.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Tribal Dancing...

The kids and I went to a Tribal Dance at the eco-village last weekend.  We were guided to express ourselves physically within our own comfort zones and ability.  It was a place of non-judgement, only acceptance and finding our own Truth.  Our energy was gradually getting higher and faster until we were all sweating and out of our minds (some more than others) and back to our senses.

We moved as individuals, then as a group...creating community, a tribe if only for a short time, but perhaps taking that feeling out into the wider community in which we live, remembering that we are all connected.  (Until we forget again).

After the dancing, we were guided into a place where we were encouraged to get in touch with our Truth as it was alive for us right then.  I had a hand resting on my solar plexus and felt my strength...I mean, really felt it.  I felt my courage and power.   I felt my guiding forces of Peace and Joy and Love.  I felt a deepened acceptance of myself in this phase of my life.  More gratitude for the different colours of gold and silver in my hair, a softening of the lines on my face.  I felt deeply in touch with my true self and very very content.