Friday, December 31, 2010

A new year dawning...

Tomorrow is the start of a new year, but it is also just another day.  Something about putting up a new calender makes us want to recreate part of ourselves as well.  It gives hope that this new year will be bigger and brighter, a chance to reflect on our ups and downs of the past year, and to learn and grow from those things.  To set course for  new goals, or to work  harder on achieving existing goals.  But do you really need to work "harder"?   I have found that when I am able to maintain my balance, that my goals seem to happen effortlessly.  Have you noticed that in your life?  I'd love to hear from you.

I admit I'm not one for new years resolutions.  I set goals for myself when I feel inspired to do so, not because of the date.  Even if I was prone to new year goal setting, this coming year has so many possibilities that I am not going to try and limit them with specific goals.  I am aiming to stay in tune with my deepest self, to be aware of the subtle (and not-so-subtle) signals that guide me along my path.  When I think about where I may be this time next year (or even six months from now), I can honestly say "I don't know".

Getting to a point of being comfortable with the uncertainty has taken time, but adds an exciting element to life. It also helps me to live more fully in the present and milk the most from every moment.  This morning I was walking along the beach and was aware of the velvet softness of the sand, the glitter of the sun on the gently forming waves, the feel of liquid silk as the water caressed my feet.  Right now I hear the music of different birds an my soul is delighted.  I feel light and free. I find that, in the appreciation of the natural beauty around me, wherever I am, and the joy of my family, wherever we are and whatever we are doing, I continue to feel light and free, as long as I stay rooted in the moment.  I stay in balance.  It's not "hard work", it flows naturally.

So tomorrow will be another day, but filled with many wonderful moments, just as every day is.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Romantic ideas?

When I was 28 years old, I left Australia to spend some time with an American man I'd met when I was working on Hamilton Island in the tropics (who I later married).  I didn't then know that I would be leaving my home country for over 12 years.  I did have four trips back to Australia in that time, but they were only 30 days or less each time.  I don't think I ever gave myself time to let go of the people, places, attachments and history that I had in Australia.  Not that I think that is entirely necessary, but in order to fully embrace living in a foreign country, it would have been helpful if I could have lived more in the moment and less with a sense of longing for something else.  The whole time I lived in the USA, I felt as though a part of me was somewhere else.

Being back in Australia for four years now, I see things through different eyes.  Maybe I had only remembered things of my past from the perspective of that younger (less mature) version of me.  Most of those people have changed, places have grown, attachments don't feel the same and history feels like it was someone else's.  I have enjoyed visiting places I knew when I was younger, but it also feels good to keep moving.  I have enjoyed reconnecting with old friends, and it has been fun to talk about old times, but then it is really sweet to return to my family, to what we have built together, to what is happening for us, right now.  Those friends have their own lives now which is different to what we had once shared.  I appreciate the new friends we have made.   I have loved time spent with my extended family here, although it has been rare as everyone is so busy, and so spread out and petrol is so expensive to get anywhere.  My history here feels vague, and I also am aware of the history we have in the USA.  I finally feel as though I can let go of attachments and more fully embrace the present and the future, wherever I am.

The new year brings a list of possibilities for our family, which may involve travel and / or moving within Australia and / or overseas.  At this stage, we just don't know.  We do know that change is coming, and we are open to that and are exploring all of the different options.  I think I may have had a romantic view in my head of what it would be like to live back in Australia.  The reality is that it has been wonderful, and exciting, and challenging, and expensive and a huge learning experience.  I have grown in many ways, but feel it is time to move on, even if it means going somewhere I have been before.  The difference is that I feel different, and I feel more whole within myself and more peaceful and more able to enjoy the moment for what it actually is, instead of some romantic notion of something that was.  I have a deep appreciation for this moment and all of the people and places and experiences that have brought me here.  I Trust that things are unfolding as they should and I look forward to all of the adventures 2011 has to offer.

May your days be filled with love for your self, all of the people in your life, and every single moment.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Our star...

Our family has been enjoying going to our local New Thought center every week.  I've been running a kids club there.  We do some crafts, play games, read stories, and have fun.  We've done vision boards and gratitude trees and performed songs like Shawn Gallaways 'I Choose Love'.  Last Sunday we had a celebration of the season and I was asked to have the kids perform a Christmasy song.  We had one week to talk about what we would do and put our own twist on it.  We decided to do 'The 12 days of Christmas'.

Here is how we changed it to make it relevant to the nature of our area and the kids who helped to write it:

On the ___ day of Christmas, the Universe gave to us -
A star in the Southern sky
Two Peace doves
Three bananas
Four pretty flowers
Five golden beaches
Six happy friends
Seven colours of the rainbow
Eight wonders of the world
Nine songs for dancing
Ten butterflies
Eleven funny jokes
Twelve sunny days (well, maybe).  (We've had so much rain!)

We had little props and actions for each 'day', and each of the kids got involved to the level of their comfort.  On the 'Star in the Southern Sky', Nicholas held up a picture of a star that some of the kids had drawn and coloured...but he didn't just hold it up, he was very dramatic and expressive - so much so that the audience were cracking up and Nicholas pretty much stole the show.  He is such a natural performer!

I wish I had some video of this - so funny!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's official...

..we have a teenager in our home!

Summer had a wonderful 13th birthday!

Wow...13 just five years she will be an adult!?!?!  I am so grateful for her...what a wonderful teacher and friend she is...what a sweet and generous and loving girl!   I treasure every moment with my daughter!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Just another day...

These are the kind of things that polka dot our days with joy...

Cary won a raffle for this box of goodies:

A couple of circus players came to our homeschool park day for a relaxed lesson with hoops and pois and twirling sticks and different kinds of juggling.  Their slack line was a huge hit and in this pic, Nicholas is being helped along it by two of his friends:

We found this fun see-sawing thing that went around as well as up and down:

AJ learning how to crack a whip:

Bounty from the farmers market:

arty pineapple pic:

The green fruit is a sapote (chocolate pudding fruit) which actually taste nothing like chocolate, but the inside does look like chocolate pudding.  They are yummy!

Silk dying with friends:

Free tickets to the pro basketball game:

Nicholas lost his first tooth!

AJ's basketball presentation:

Summer's birthday party:

Boys and Gypsy at the beach.  They found a large hole that someone had dug and were laughing that Gypsy was in her own hot tub!  Gypsy quite likes the water!

Nicholas drew this spiral on the beach.  I love his little footprints around it:

The past few days...

I have got to get some recent photos on here!  Cary had a birthday, Summer had a birthday party (her actual bday is coming up fast), Nicholas lost his first tooth and it is so green here after a lot of rain.

After my last post, I had totally released the outcome of the camper.  I knew what I wanted but was not attached to having that happen.  And so, with that attitude, the camper situation actually settled...without futher drama.  It was almost an anti-climax after so much turmoil.  But it was sweet.  Now we can move on. 
We have the camper back in our driveway ...and it looks like we might sell it, not use it.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

more growth..

My dear Dad gently pointed out to me yesterday that I haven't blogged since 13 November.  Yeah...I've been a little anti-social lately.  My last post was concerned with some physical stuff.  Right after I'd posted that, a whole bunch of mental stuff came up and I admit to struggling with processing it all.  Some of you know that we've been dealing with a legal issue concerning a camper that we sold in August.  The people that bought it changed their minds, but instead of saying that, they started claiming all kinds of things were wrong with the camper (which we knew they absolutely were not), they got different Government agencies onto us (we were cleared of everything), and they generally have been making life, well, a little challenging.  The worst moment was when the man came to our house when Cary was overseas and was yelling at me and saying things that are not true.  The worst thing about that was that the children were present and were scared.  It took away some of the "safe place" that a home is meant to be and now we always make sure the front door is locked when we are home.  We had offered to fix the things that the people claimed were not right with the camper (which we did not have to do), but then they would change their story of what it actually was they had a problem with. The constant threats and dark negativity from those people have been exhausting.  I let the situation take over my life.

In recent weeks, the situation came to a head with an official mediation, which was a joke, followed by many phone calls and emails between us and their legal advisor (who just gave up after a while as they were so unreasonable, he told them he wouldn't help them anymore), and our solicitor.  We offered to buy the camper back as it's a great camper and we would like to use it to do some long-term camping next year.   We are still in the process of agreeing on terms of settlement.  If we can't do that, then we will be going to court early next year.  It has been upsetting to be on the defensive when we have done nothing wrong!

All along, we could see that these other people were in some kind of mental pain.  We sent them peace energetically and we really wanted them to be happy.  Using Law of Attraction, I felt and saw the outcome I desired.  Coming to my house and threatening me I can deal with, but scaring my children is crossing the line.  I have found it hard to think kindly towards these people after doing that, especially as we had offered to fix any problems (when we really didn't have to).  Maybe their pain has been so deep, that they just don't know another way of dealing with life? 

Cary and I have been bickering a lot due to the tension caused by this matter in our lives.  We had different ideas on some of the points raised and the underlying causes.  Before the mediation, we had the idea to go back on the road, and as we don't currently have a camper, we thought it would be win-win if we agreed to buy it back.  We set numerous dates to settle the matter but there was always a last minute change.  I felt as though I couldn't plan anything.  I no longer knew if we were even going to get the camper back and be able to go traveling, or if we were going to be going to court.  Then there was discussion about returning to the USA.  With two birthdays and Christmas in December, I couldn't even think about what kinds of things to get as gifts if we were going to be downsizing or moving or who knew what other option may pop up?!

I started spiralling down.  I was still trying to take care of my physical body, but it wasn't mind was in a spin.  I thought things like "what have I done to attract these people into my life?", but then countered that with "what can I learn from this...what lessons are here for me?".  The drama of it all was taking over and I was letting it steal my Joy.  I came to realise several things:

* Compared to what some other people are facing in their lives right at this moment (or have faced in their lives) - death of a loved one (I was using a lot of leverage of myself so I focused on people I knew that had lost a child); serious illness; chronic pain; financial ruin - this whole situation was a mere nuisance.  A little bump in the road.  So I greatly downgraded it's importance.

*  As a "sensitive" person, I had allowed the negativity from the other people to get to me.  I usually go through life expecting the best from people, so I stay open to receiving that.  However, in this case, I was also open to receiving the opposite of that, so I need to work on protecting myself energetically.  That could also help me in crowded situations which tend to totally overwhelm me when I haven't prepared myself.

*  These people, this situation, does not control me.  I had given away some of my control, my power, when I let my days be guided by all of the phone calls and emails and trying to fit in with making new settlement plans.  I reclaim my Power and take back control of my own life!

*  I am safe.

*  I am strong.

*  I am grateful for every person and thing in my life as everyone who is in my life is here for a reason.  Sometimes recognising that lessons don't always come in "nice" packages, has it's benefits as it gives us an opportunity to grow stronger in a new, maybe uncomfortable, way.  So, I am grateful for these people, for the chance to explore confrontation (definitely not my strength previously...I've usually been the Peacemaker).  I have grown stronger in that department and I'm sure that will filter into other areas of my life. 

*  I am grateful for the experience as it has opened our eyes to focusing on what is most important in our lives.  There were times when we were so immersed in dealing with this situation, that we were not very kind to each other.  We were in our own spaces in attempting to process this and find the solution that best fitted our own needs.  Mine was Peace, and I admire Cary for standing up for what he knows is right and for refusing to be bullied, but our methods  didn't always agree.  He maintained "the good guys don't hide".

*  I am also grateful for the opportunity to explore different options in the direction of our lives.  Staying here, traveling, moving.  Ultimately, the importance of flexibility is necessary for us.

*  I am grateful for the lesson in detachment.  Not just from things - I was excited when I thought we were getting the camper back..then we weren't ...then we were..then we weren't..argh!- , but from ideas too.  I had to release the way that I wanted this to play out as it was just not working out that way.  Doing so has allowed new ideas and possibilities to surface and swirl in our lives.  Who says we can't have a base here AND travel AND spend time in the USA?!

*  I am grateful for the lesson in TRUST.   I've always believed that "everything I needed would be provided", though I have usually only accepted that in positive situations, not ones that could be percieved as 'negative'.  However, I also know that God would not send me anything that I could not handle.  So I am grateful for remembering that I am not alone and that All Is Well.

...I don't know how the story with the camper will end, but I do know that my approach to it now is calm and peaceful and loving.  I have let go of fear and move forward with excitement in knowing that the Universe has provided a very interesting life for me!  I have my Joy again!