Monday, December 26, 2011

Implosion...

...the ghosts of Christmas' past, present and future all paid me a visit on the eve of Christmas Eve...all at the same time.    I was feeling good that I had finished shopping and there was only some more cookies to bake to give away to our neighbours.  I put on my apron and Santa hat and turned on the Christmas music on the CD player.  ...brewing...brewing...

Let me explain that baking cookies in a very small space is slightly challenging!  It is a constant shuffle of ingredients, bowls, measuring cups etc, and don't even think about trying to use the sinks as they are covered over to try and create more counter space. 

So I'm dealing with this shuffling and a low lying frustration creeps in...compounded by the Christmas music bringing up memories of 46 previous Christmas' that I've had - from as far back as I can remember all the way through...memories of my family, the incredible excitement, the following crash, the stress in the house, the music, my Dad singing (I won't hear that again), my Mum cooking, the rules and restrictions,  extended family gatherings, .... remembering so many moments by remembering how I was feeling then, often conflicting with how I thought I should be feeling.  Did other kids feel overwhelmed?  I felt like there was so much waiting before Christmas, then waiting for everyone to wake up that morning, then a short time of being free to gather with everyone for a relaxed time of sharing gifts before it was back to waiting to play because we had to get ready for church, then help with lunch then have a rest then go out visiting...waiting until we could stop doing stuff and just Be in that relaxed time again.  As I got older, the plan for the day changed and it did get more relaxed, but somehow there often seemed to be some drama.  I've probably spent almost as many Christmas days not in the presence of anyone from my childhood family, as what I have with them.  I've had a lot of different experiences - being with friends, camping, and the past 17 Christmas' have been with Cary, most of those in the USA.  Memories of his family and sharing special times with them came to mind... memories of our children's Christmas fun, getting rugged up, having a fire in the fireplace, driving around and looking at all of the Christmas lights (they are amazing in the USA!)....swirling...swirling memories of Christmas past....

My kids bickering was surrounding me, adding to my growing frustration of the lack of room.  The fn rainy weather that was keeping them inside was bugging me...could we please have a sunny Christmas sometime?  The lack of a decent area outside for them to play in.. I finally stopped trying to create a Christmas mood and turned off the Christmas music so that they could watch 'Toy Story'.  That was okay until they realised that the disc was scratched and they couldn't finish watching it and they went back to bickering.  Made me all warm and fuzzy thinking about the "joy" of Christmas...Not!  The Christmas music went back on ..."it's the hap, happiest time..of the year!"   I wasn't feeling it.  I questioned the current state of Christmas in my life and in myself and thought about how to do it differently in the future.

When I asked one of my kids to bring me the egg yolks to put in the gingerbread dough that I was mixing, and they brought over and tipped in the egg whites instead, I lost it.  I simply couldn't reach over myself and get the egg yolks as I had to go 10 feet away to use the power point to plug in the hand mixer and I thought how easy it would be to ask one of my kids to help me and stop bickering with the others for 10 seconds.

I told Cary that I'm not doing this again next year...I won't attempt to bake cookies in this small space, I will either just not do it, or I will go to a friends house who has a proper kitchen.  And I won't send Christmas cards because that art seems to be just about dead as most people just send an electronic bulk email often without a personal note.  And I don't want to be here next year, I want to be somewhere different.  Preferably somewhere that it is not raining.  (yes, I know...it's the sub tropics and it's the wet season so what did I expect?!)

I don't know why this one day of the year brings up so much 'stuff' for me.  I've alternated between wanting a big cosy house with all of the trimmings and extended family around me, to wanting to ignore it all and go play on a deserted island until it was all over.  I needed to process the ghosts of Christmas' past, present and future to see where I am in alignment with it all right now.

The real thing that my implosion brought to light was that I want Christmas to have more meaning, more depth.  I think I've pretty much been able to create the relaxed Christmas Day atmosphere that I had wanted as a child.  We don't make plans beyond getting up in the morning, and giving the children some gifts.  After that, they are free to play, we prepare nice food, hopefully go for a swim and / or a walk.  It's not a whole lot different from our other days.  Our children get gifts all through the year, or they buy themselves things they want.  Cary and I also get what we want when we want it and haven't exchanged Christmas gifts for many years.  I enjoy buying a few extra fun gifts for our children, and I enjoy seeing them have fun with them.   Enough rambling...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Feeling...

Cary pointed out that I haven't posted on here for a while.  Hmmm...I haven't had much to say, and I've been busy with life, celebrating two December birthdays in our family, Christmas prep and just Being.  I started this blog years ago with the intention of posting about our family life so that our extended family and friends could get a taste of our lives and stay connected.  But it became more of an online journal for me.  After many years of keeping my own written journals, it was a bit scary to put some of my deep thoughts in such a public place...but the more I did it, the easier it became, and the more confident I felt overall.  It seemed that by allowing my thoughts to become public, I was no longer afraid of my own judgement of them.  I was surprised when friends, family and strangers would contact me to support me or ...wow...even say that I had inspired them!   I worked though some limiting stuff about my own "worth".  I am so amazed at how widespread that challenge is.  So many people feel a lack of worth, and very few of them talk about it, holding it in, thinking that they are the only one.  Why do so many feel this, and why do they feel that they can't talk about it?

I have known people that I assumed were very confident and "had it all together".  I admired how they could express themselves verbally, and many other talents they have.   I later found out that they too, feel a lack of worth.  Look at so many celebrities that have ended their lives early - why would they do that if they did not think that they deserved  all that they had?  I have never been one for spoken verbosity, and I used to think that I was "less than" others who did have that talent.  In recent years I totally let go of that limiting belief ... I fully embrace my quiet nature!  (Though I can be loud and fiery too!)   Some people are "talkers", some are "thinkers"....Me?  I'm a "feeler".  I FEEL life...I FEEL love....I interpret living primarily through feeling.  There have been times when I have felt life a foreigner speaking a different language....English is my second language, Feeling is my first.  I have a deeply sensual appreciation for all of my senses - the warmth of the sun, playing in the water, walking barefoot on the sand, touch, listening to music, eating a mango, mmm kissing!  I am triggered though when the air is cool and the air is dry, I know that I am happier when I feel warm.

I feel other peoples energy and I don't always feel the need to use words to connect with them.  I like that - the comfortable silence between friends when you can connect energetically.  I really like who I am and how I am in the world.  I like that I feel life.  I like that I don't have to talk about every single thing....I actually find verbosity somewhat exhausting now.  Even though I find it hard to make small talk, I can speak rather passionately about the things that move me.  I prefer to talk about the depth of experiences rather than what I'm having for dinner.   That's why I don't post a lot on facebook either...I don't see the point in reporting on so many little moments of my life as some people do, when I can just be feeling, experiencing those moments deeply as they are happening. (I'm not judging those people, I appreciate that we are all different...it's just not for me is all.)   I'm not trying to promote myself or build a business...my purpose here is simply to Be in Joy.  I don't need anyone's validation, I don't need to analyse every step, I am just living free!

 I am aware of other work  I would like to do when my children are grown, but there is plenty of time for that.  I love the smorgasbord of work and life experiences that I have already had, and they lead me to a place of being very grateful and content.

I am happy with who I am and I don't feel any need to "fix" any thing about me!  I don't feel the pull to write as often as I used to.  I am grateful for the amazing friends I have and how we can talk about anything and everything.   We trust each other, we laugh, we cry, we swirl deeply into any subject, we support and don't judge.  They are such a beautiful, nourishing gift in my life!

I am grateful for my journey....I enjoy being here, now... I have Love, I have Joy, I have my biggest teachers - my husband and children...I love what our family has created and Who we all are.  I'm feeling very balanced overall.  A few little highs and lows along the path, but nothing like the dramatic me as a teen and 20-something!  What a ride it has been! 

I don't remember a particular point where I gave up feeling unworthy, it was just something I quietly let go of.  As I moved into an awareness that I just don't feel that anymore,  I realised that I actually haven't felt that unworthy feeliing for quite a while.  It is totally gone. 

So where does that feeling of "not worthy" stem from?  Is it ego?  Is it a product of this society?  The pressure to "do"...to get good grades, to obey rules we don't understand, to conform, to "behave", to follow the main stream and in the process, deny ourselves?  Isn't denial of ourselves the highest form of denial?   Why do people choose a path that they assume is just for the benefit of other people?

What if...everyone felt confident enough to follow a path of happiness?  To feel free enough to express themselves authentically?  To take responsibility for the state of their life?   To wake up and realise that all of this is possible...right now?!   To choose to live in love and joy.  To realise that material objects don't bring  happiness - that's something that only an inner choice can bring.  What a wonderful world! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The BEST seat in the house!

Or...more specifically...outside of the house...


Ahhh....I love the beach!  It is 531 casual, strolling steps from our place, through the campground and across the road to the sand.  I love this time of the year with lots of fresh tropical fruits to savour, the sunshine and warmth and of course, the magnificent ocean, perfect for swimming in.  Being in the ocean is the number one place where I feel the most free and joy-full!  Where I feel the most connected to Source and Oneness and myself.  Oh yeah... ***  bliss! ***


Monday, November 21, 2011

day camp gathering...

A recent gathering for our local Natural Learners group...so beautiful, we didn't want to leave and wished we had all taken our tents there.  The kids had so much fun playing together, moving as a pack, all getting along so well as they were all there with the intention of having fun, being in the moment, living in Joy! 



AJ with some wild raspberries..



mmmm.... 



I love the colour of this...

camper & cake...

Cary and the boys outside of our camper, about to go trick-or-treating on Halloween.  The boys were very casual with their costumes this year.  It's really not a big deal here in Australia, but they still managed to get a lot of treats.  Probably because AJ had made signs saying "Halloween in (x many) days...have you got your lollies?"  ...and put them up around the campground to prepare people.  It worked!




The other side of our caravan.  I'll get some inside photos sometime too.  We still have our Merc for running around, but it won't pull the big camper.  We have a truck coming for that.



Using the solar oven to bake a cake...




Excellent!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ratz!

Cary sent a bunch of stuff over in the big caravan when it came from the USA (oh, I have to get a photo of that on here).  One of the things was a new bike for Nicholas.  Nicholas had not ridden a two-wheeler by himself before.  We had a tag-along for him which is an attachment that went on the back of my bike, making it like a tandem bike, with the back end lower so that it was suitable for a child.  Nicholas loved to go for rides with that and it helped to teach him balance and road sense.  The day that the big caravan arrived, we were unpacking all of the things that had been inside of it.  Nicholas picked up his brand new bike, and just took off riding it as if he'd been riding on his own for a long time.  Wow!...I was so impressed!  He was so very confident, riding along with his little cape flying out the back. He loves to ride his bike anywhere and everywhere now! 




Our little dog, Gypsy, is very happy living with her new family on 6 acres of land about an hour away from where we are.  She has another 2 year old Jack Russell to play with all day, cows to chase, cow poop to roll in, and a family that adores her.  It was hard giving her up, but we know that she is in the kind of place that we had always imagined her in.  Just a little sad that we couldn't give that to her.

As AJ had wanted a pet rat for years, we got the boys a rat each, shortly before Gypsy left, to help with the transition.  They are such great pets!  The boys spend a lot of time playing with them, they even come to the beach with us!  The rats we have are both female and love to just hang out with the boys.  They are also very curious and like to help dig little holes into the cooler parts of the sand.




The caravan park that we are in at the moment is just a short block away from the same beach that we used to go to when we lived in a house nearby.  So beautiful!

Monday, November 14, 2011

More on relationships...

Since I last wrote about relationships, I've been exploring that topic more deeply.  I've been thinking of the idea of freedom within a relationship...not necessarily to be with other people romantically, but to be freely, deeply with myself...and to make no excuses for that.  To Love myself unconditionally, and to accept myself wholly. 
 
 
Think about it..  It takes awareness to maintain your connection to yourself.  It is easy to lose that during the busy-ness of daily life, in all of the other relationships we have - with our partners, our children, our coworkers, etc.  With the constant bombardment from the media as well, soon it can feel as though the life you are living is just on the surface.  It is so easy to forget to tune in to our true selves.  To say what you really mean, instead of what you think someone else wants to hear.
I'm talking about taking responsibility for YOU - for your feelings and your interpretation of experiences.  Not saying things like "my wife (husband) makes me feel unloved / unattractive / etc", because NO one can make you feel anything, only you can choose to feel those things.  Often those are things that you already feel about yourself that you are just projecting onto that other person in order to avoid taking responsibility for yourself.

So the first thing is to be aware - of the outside influences that distract your connection to yourself.  Of all of the little voices saying that you "should" do or say something.  Of all of the times when you do something out of conditioning rather than an actual need or desire.  Be aware and recognise when you are not really present with your feelings, with the moment.

Then take responsibility for your thoughts and actions.  Allow others to Be however they choose to be.  Stay strong in your inner connection, knowing that you are the only one who can make you feel good or not-good. 

Doing this, you can be with anyone, anywhere, and you can feel the freedom to just BE.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

a lesson for summer...

Summer dropped a camera today...it was my first digital camera, one that I had passed on to the kids when I bought a new one two years ago.  After being dropped, the camera would let us look at the photos that were stored on it, but it would no longer take photos.

Summer was extremely upset, hard on herself and wondering why bad things happen.  I told her that "stuff happens" and "it's only bad if you call it so". 

She was feeling what she was feeling and I was just holding the space for her to do that.  It seemed important to just Be with her.

When Cary heard the story, he quietly suggested to me that we then give her the brand new underwater camera that he had brought back from the USA that we were going to give her for her birthday next month.  (My love for him expanded in that moment!) So we did!  AJ got out his guitar and played "Happy Birthday" while we all sang to her.

She was so stunned!  Her state went from very negative to very positive.  That was wonderful!  It was also wonderful to remind her that she was worthy of good things, and we do trust her with gadgets.  (Things she hadn't believed a few minutes before that.)

The biggest lesson that she got was that sometimes when "bad" things happen, it's the Universe's way of opening up a space for something even better to come into our lives.  Don't be too quick to judge.  Hold the space and allow the process to unfold.  Amazing things can ...and do...happen!

Monday, November 07, 2011

highlights

I look around facebook every few days or so.  I see the things that my friends post and sometimes I think "wow...good for them...they are doing something amazing".  But then I thought about some of the highlights of my own 46 years...

* I grew up around the Sydney beaches; going to school across the road from the beach; I've wandered around Sydney city too many times to try and count, been to Luna Park, the Opera House, crossed "the" bridge, even helped on an archaelogical dig in one of the old buildings; caught the Manly Ferry so many times; swam for hours at the beautiful beaches and...it was a great place for my childhood.  I used to feel so safe and confident getting around the place...it was "my" town...for 14 years.

* I've lived in Canberra, and have seen all of the interesting sights there, but my favourites were the colours of the trees in the Fall, and the river to swim in during the summer.

* I've climbed Australia's highest mountain.

* I've swam at the Great Barrier Reef more times than I can remember.

* I lived on a tropical island!!

* I've had several of my own businesses, doing things I really loved at the time.

* I've lived in the USA..I sat on the steps of the Lincoln memorial, gazing out at the Mall; seen the cherry blossoms and many of the other sights of DC; lived on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay; lived just outside of Las Vegas, going to The Strip and Hoover Dam countless times.

* I've loved and lost and won and grown and stretched and had amazing, wonderful, beautiful people around me.

*  The biggest highlights would have to be my husband and my three amazing children...this is the path that I am most proud of!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Running water...

When our big caravan arrived, it took Cary a couple of days to find the fittings to connect the water to the inside.

I was so excited!  After a couple of months of camping, I was thrilled to have inside running water.  I did a little song and dance when I was filling up the sink to wash dishes...inside...because I could!

Then we found a leak and had to disconnect the water.  Cary tried to fix it, but it did not get done before he left.  I was so disappointed.  The kids and I had to go outside and fill up the filter jugs and bottles of water to use as flush water for the toilet.  This was inconvenient, especially when it was raining or cold.  My StepMom joked that I did have running water...I run out to get it and then I run back in again!

Cary got the part I needed from the USA and mailed it to me when he was there.  When I got the package, I was excited again, thinking that I would have inside running water.  But I couldn't get the part to fit.  I grunted and pushed and pulled and twisted and tried different things.  I swore and raised my voice and then I had a big release and realised that I was just fine without the running water.  I did not need it in order to be happy...the way we were doing things was working just fine.

Life was simpler once I accepted the water situation.  When I let go of it "having" to be a certain way, and just started to appreciate the way it was - I am so lucky to have water so close...and that I don't have to walk 3 miles with a pot of it on my head!  We are so lucky to have fit bodies to be able to move and lift and carry!

Cary got back yesterday.  He fixed the water, including the hot water.  It is nice to have it, but I am actually not attached to it.  It would not have bothered me if it wasn't fixed at all.   I just have to smile at how glad I am that I am in control of how I choose to feel...I do not need running water, or other "things" in order to be happy.  I can choose to be happy right now, now matter what is happening around me. 

I am so grateful that Cary is back safely, and that we can continue on this journey, together.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm actually not going crazy...

... I'm just transitioning to menopause. 

For several days I thought I must have been getting sick...I noticed several times that I felt quite warm and thought I was getting a fever.  I only realised a few days ago that these are actually hot flushes!  Doh!  Had to laugh at myself!

I am so relieved that I am not going crazy, I was seriously starting to doubt my sanity.  My moods seemed all over the place as I questioned every aspect of my life... underneath it all, a strong power was building.  I felt like I wanted to roar, then cry, then run a mile, then sleep for a week.

I had thought that this phase was mostly about physical changes, but there is so much more going on.  I'm actually excited for this.  I feel like I am going through a whole new level of growing up, into greater wisdom and acceptance.   I knew I would face "the change" sooner or later.  I just didn't expect the power surge I am feeling.  Woo hoo! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

grateful...

The caravan park that we are staying at does not allow pets.  It was the biggest sticking point about coming back to this area as it is very limited on pet-friendly parks.  We could have chosen a park that is in the middle of being remodelling and will not have any swimming pool or play areas for the kids and is also right next to the M1 motorway (um...no thankyou..especially as the prices were more than we were paying to rent a house), or a couple of other small, out-of-the-way parks.  Or this one, huge park, across the road from the beach, three swimming pools, very close to great libraries, shops, our storage unit and, of course, the beach (!), security gate, and it's actually very quiet.  Well, it was until Nicholas arrived!

We found a lady who created a business in dog-minding who lives close to us.  We were paying her to do so until she suggested we could trade her ... we clean her house every week in return for her looking after Gypsy.  In order to save money, I said yes, even though one of the reasons I was excited about being house-free again was to almost eliminate housework!  Ha!  However, it has been a good thing as it constantly reminds me of how much I don't want to be back in a house.  After Cary went back to the USA and I spent several weeks trying to adjust to a brand new (to us) caravan, trying to get an efficient system happening,  as well trying to process the events of recent months, and sort through our storage unit, I could have been tempted to say "enough" and take what seemed like an easier route (at the time), back into a house.  Cleaning Lynne's house cured me of that and I got back on track with my gratitude of this simple life!

I love that every single thing in my kitchen are things that I use regularly, no excess.  That all of the food in the cupboard is food that we will actually use, not something I bought on a whim because I "might" do something with it.  That all of my clothes are clothes that I actually like and wear. 

I love that this lifestyle inspires me to be more conscious of anything I purchase. I like that I am never tempted to buy more than I can actually use whether for its function or to add beauty to our home.

 
The children are still in the process of fine-tuning their efficiency with the areas that they have, which has caused them a little stress at times.  It's also allowing them to really get in touch with the things that are the most important to them at the time.  By putting excess things into storage for now, they are appreciating and using the things that they have here, and there is no feeling of overwhelm of "too much stuff". 
This life also encourages us all to be considerate of others by putting our things away when we are finished with them in order to prevent clutter, and to just keep life rolling more harmoniously.   Then we have more time to do fun things, like go to the beach, or ride our bikes, or sit in the sun and read a book, or draw or play music.  Or just Be.   Our van is big enough for a full size set of conga drums which we all enjoy playing, and AJ has been loving learning the guitar and reading novels.  Summer is drawing and reading more.  Nicholas spends hours playing with other kids in the park or with the toys he has here.  I'm reading the "Captain Underpants" books to him at the moment which he thinks are fantastic! 

We are grateful for the two mornings each week that we go to Lynne's place to see Gypsy.  Honestly though, I can feel us all detaching.  The possibility of rehoming Gypsy is in my mind.  I feel kind of bad about that as I had made the commitment to Gypsy and also to AJ, but I also need to consider the effect this current situation is having on the entire family.  Even though I try and see it as an act of service, I do feel a little resentful.  Gypsy is really happy being in a situation where she gets to play with other dogs regularly.  Perhaps the kindest thing for her would be to find another home with another dog or dogs, rather than the current uncertainty of when we would be able to be back together with her.

I don't know what we will decide.  I do know that I am grateful for this life, this moment, these lessons, the opportunity to see what is working and how much of any situation we will take before demanding a different option, to declare authenticity, to keep growing, as messy and tough and beautiful as it is.  I am grateful for this very breath that quietly assures me that I am meant to be here, now. 

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Relationships..

"Your relationship to all things, was created as the perfect tool in the work of the soul." - Neale Donald Walsch

I've been thinking a lot about this.

AJ is rather smitten with a girl and keeps asking me all kinds of questions.  As the girl is vegan, he is wondering if he should go vegan in order to be with her.  I told him that he should never compromise who he is in order to please someone else.  That's only cheating both of them and will probably lead to resentment on his part at some point down the track.

(Have I done that?  Have I compromised myself in relationships?  Have I said yes when I wanted to say no, have I gone places, or done things that I actually didn't want to do?  In pleasing another, did I not please myself?  I'm pretty sure I have at times.)

I've been struggling with Nicholas who is so very loud and busy.  I feel the need for quiet and calm around me as I try to process events of the past few months, but I just cannot get that with him around.    I realise that I need to demand that, for my own sanity.  Maybe part of the reason that I have a child like Nicholas is to help get me to the point of demanding time for myself.  I wanted to be a mother for such a long time, and I loved living that role 24/7 for several years, but now, I really need a break.  That was a secondary reason of why Summer and AJ went to the Steiner school when we moved to Australia - mama was burnt out.  I had been curious about those schools since Summer was a baby and I had thought it would be a good thing for the kids.  It was, for a while.  Now that Nicholas is getting older, I'm finding his behaviour exhausting so I need to take care of me so that I can better take care of my family.

Perhaps I've compromised myself for far too long by not taking time out away from my full time job of parenting.  Perhaps I've cheated myself, Cary and the kids by not doing that.  I know that sometimes I look at Cary and think "Oh God...it's you", but other times I think "thank God it's you".  Do all relationships go through this?  We've been together for almost 18 years!  That's a very long time.  People can change a lot in that time...how many people have been together for a long time that are still happy to be together?  Really.  That don't feel any resentment, that feel that they are still compatible?  They probably have time to pursue their own interests and they probably are not together 24/7.

When I met Cary, I was at a place in my life where I was not even interested in having a relationship with anyone.  I felt whole and strong and content with who I was and where I was going.  He was attracted to that strong woman.  That's who I need to find again, for both of our sakes. 

There has been so much drama and chaos in recent months, I'm shutting down.  My apologies for any unreturned emails for phone calls.   If my relationships are the perfect tool for me, then I need to be focusing on those, especially the one with myself.  Yep, I'm going to be a bit selfish.  I'm going to say "no", I'm going to take time to draw and read and do absolutely nothing.  Because if I don't, then my soul will not be filling its true potential for growth.  And I will be resentful. And that's no good for anyone.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

calming back to me

I have not been on the computer much at all lately...just been too too busy.  Life is calming down now and I feel myself coming back into balance.  I decided to just stop worrying about all of the things that "have to" get done, because, basically, the stress of it all was affecting my bliss.  Which in turn affected everyone else in the family.  Our choices to live this way, house free, were based on previous experience where we felt light and free.  This time around, it hasn't felt like that...yet.  I'm not going to go on about it though.  I'm changing my focus to do the things that I choose to do, to stop and smell the flowers, sit on the beach, play, and basically get back into living in the moment, even when I'm doing tasks that might not be 'fun'. 

I'm sure I've had this realisation before, but this time, I needed to go through a whole lot of processing in order to 'get it' again.  My life felt as though it was in chaos, but I reached a point where I could make a decision to just stop buying into that train of thought, and let it go. 

Something else that came up for me in the past weeks of challenges, has been an underlying questioning of who I Am, and what the heck am I doing with my life?  I am surrendering into those questions and looking for absolute Truth.  One thing that I now see as an absolute necessity is to make some time for myself.  I need to maintain my connection to me so that I can better connect to those around me.  I have gotten lost in so many of the stresses and dramas around me lately.  Some of that was good, as in dealing with my Dad's death, but some of it was definitely toxic.

This 'dealing with major stress' lesson has been repeated many times in my life.  I hope that the next time it comes around, I can remember the importance of maintaining my connection and balance and presence, so that I can deal with it all gracefully.

Monday, September 05, 2011

update and photos...

We are back in the area where we used to live.  I guess it's nice to see familiar things, but I feel no attachment to anything.  I think the biggest challenge we had when we were travelling was the lack of organisation.  We had to constantly rebuild our base area from the ground up - setting up tents, chairs, cooking area etc.  Which was fine for a little while, but long term, it got old and frustrating.  Constantly shifting boxes in order to find food and equipment in other boxes, was a bit much.  We almost gave up on the idea of living on the road, but, with everything that was happening, we realised that we just needed to stop and remember why we were doing this, and rethink it all.  We had wanted to stay in the house an extra month, but that didn't happen.  The caravan was supposed to come in a month ago, but that was delayed.  Which meant that our "little holiday in tents" was a bit longer than we had originally intended.  Also, there were five of us plus a dog so we're talking a bit of stuff, even though we all travelled light.

So we are back on the Gold Coast.  We picked up our small camper, a 2007 Jayco wind-up with a king bed on one end, a queen on the other, dining slide-out, and internal shower & toilet.  She is a sweet thing, and such luxury after being in tents!  We have a gazebo set up outside for some extra area with our long table, cooking bits and pieces, and some shelves for food etc.  It's nice to have some room to spread out a bit.  The drawback of this particular place is that we are not allowed to have pets so we can't have Gypsy with us.  We are having her boarded nearby so we can see her often though so that is the best compromise for now.  This park is across the road from the beach, and it has a couple of swimming pools.  Our storage unit is not too far away so we will be working on getting that minimized by selling or donating things.  We are enjoying catching up with good friends we have in this area.  Our bigger camper has arrived in Australia and is waiting to clear the authorities.  We are hoping that won't take too much longer.

Here are just a few photos of our recent adventures.

Barron Gorge, behind Cairns.  There is a hydro-electric power plant at the bottom of this which went to.  We weren't able to see the actual workings of the plant, but there was an info center with a video about it all which was pretty interesting for the engineer minds of the guys in the family.

We took a trip over the Daintree river and to cross the river, we had to get on a car ferry.  As we were waiting for the ferry, we got out of our car and wandered around like most of the other passengers.  Sure, there were the typical warnings of the crocodiles in the area (we actually saw crocs in the wild when we crossed another river).  But sleeping near the front of this little boat was a deadly brown snake.  It's coiled up near the rope and you can't really see it in this pic. 


I took a lot of photos that day.


The boys were happy to be on another adventure!


I love the different trees and shapes in the rainforest!


AJ and Cary at Cape Tribulation.


Another beautiful tree, or shell of a tree.


The green water of Mossman Gorge


The boys found an old plane museum in Malanda



And a war museum, which was closed, but they had fun playing on the tank out the front.


We went to the Cairns Tropical Zoo where my step-cousin is the head reptile keeper.  We got a special, behind-the-scenes show and got to know some of the critters a little better, like this boa constrictor...a really sweet guy!


 
I love coconuts!



Rope swings and creeks are all over the place (just beware of crocs!)



Mission beach is still recovering from the cyclone that went through it last summer.  We found several coconut palms that had been bent way over, which were fun to climb on.


We all fell in love with the peace and beauty of Mission Beach.
Ahhhhh....

Thursday, August 25, 2011

17 days

It's been 17 days since my Dad died suddenly.  I've been processing a lot of emotions in that time.  It's been quite a roller coaster ride actually.

Several hours after my Dad died, and before I knew, I was sleeping and I had a dream where I was aware of a strong energy around me.  The energy was light and playful and joyful and loving and very grateful to be free of the physical body.  I knew something had happened, and I woke up crying.  I actually thought that someone else had died and I had a strong feeling that I needed to call my Dad.  As it was the middle of the night, I lay awake for a while before finally going back to sleep.  When I woke up, I told Cary about the dream and, as it was only about 7am, we went for a long walk on the beach.  When we came back, the kids wanted some breakfast.  Shortly after, I was getting ready to call my Dad when my sister rang with the news.

I am very grateful for the gift of that dream.  I know that my Dad's spirit is free, really free.
Although my Dad was often busy with other commitments as we were growing up, there were still lots of memories.  A lot of them involved music and song...Family gatherings with a sing-a-long, music playing in the house, singing songs in the car, Christmas carols, watching musicals together, random moments of breaking into song.  My Dad was born on Bastille Day so every morning on his birthday, we sang the French national anthem:
"Allons enfants de la Patrie,

Le jour de gloire est arrivé !"

After the initial shock of the news, I am feeling quite peaceful now.  I know that it was my Dad visiting me in my dream, and I know he is in an amazing place.  It was so very good to be surrounded by family and friends recently.  At the private viewing, my brother and sister and I went in together to see Dad.  We cried, we sang, we told stories and jokes.  We spent a long time there, which was incredibly healing for all of us.  The following day we had a beautiful service and wake, and two days later Dad was laid to rest in Sydney.  A poem that was read for him starts off "Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free" (click for the full version).  I know it's true.


I love being so close to my family, and this area is lovely and familiar as I've been visiting here most of my life.  But it doesn't feel like "my" place, ya know?  Maybe with time it could be, and maybe another time it will be, but for now, I feel like we need to move on.  I feel some sadness in that.  Sometimes I would like to be the person who can put down roots and stay in one area for a long time.  I don't like being so far away from family.  This recent event has brought that home to me.  But I need to be true to my Free Spirit self.  I am grateful that I am close in heart to my family, and I hope that now that we are mobile and not confined to a house, that we can visit more often. 

My Dad's death has me thinking about many aspects of my own life and making sure I am living it as fully as possible.  Questioning if things still work for me, and if so, if they could be even better.  Thinking about what I really want, without compromising.  Thinking about who I really want to Be, and the things that are the most important to me.  This total shake-up has me feeling irritated, scattered and out of sync with the world, but I know it's just part of the process, and that in time, it will all come back together again, and flow on even more deeply and beautifully.

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Dad..

My Dad taught me:- to not be afraid of the sharks at the beach
- what to do when I saw a snake in the bush
- how to reconcile a bank statement
- the importance of treating co-workers kindly and equally.

My Dad loved to have a good time, he enjoyed living in the moment and found great joy in simple things.  Whenever we would ask him what he wanted for his birthday or Christmas, he would answer that all he wanted was a hug. 

The book "Johnathon Livingston Seagull" was a favourite of my Dads.  That story of the importance of being free to be yourself helped to shape his life and was a powerful influence on my own life.

My Dad's sudden death also has some lessons (gifts maybe?) for me:

- to live more fully...to take chances, pursue passions, follow dreams, enjoy each moment.

- to love more deeply...to be truly present when connecting with others; to give more affection, compliments and to tell others what they mean to me;  to be gentle and more forgiving towards myself and everyone else.

- to laugh more often...to not take life too seriously because it isn't permanent!  To play more and to always find the Joy.

Thanks Dad...for these and so much more.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My father..

My Dad, this blogs biggest fan, has died.

He had just celebrated his 72nd birthday.

We packed up our camping gear from the beautiful spot we had in Mission Beach and hotfooted it down the coast.  Cary did a massive job of driving the whole way..(thankyou!)

I'll write more at a later date.

...fly high songbird...

Monday, August 01, 2011

mobile home!


We decided to move to a different site within the campground.  The other site was nice as it was next to the turtles and the camp kitchen, but it was also under some heavy duty power lines which was bothering us.  So we've moved to the back of the park, which is much quieter.  As we were not moving very far, we didn't see the point in packing the tents all the way up.  We just took out the bags that were in them, unpegged them, and carried them down the road to the new site.  Of course we got quite a few comments like "now that's what I call a mobile home!" and everyone had a bit of a laugh.




Our new site is very quiet and we have a beautiful view of the creek.  There are a few steps down to the water which is a safe place to let Gypsy play off-leash.  It just feels better here.

We explored the little town of Kuranda a couple of days ago which was beautiful.  It is in the rainforest, 1000 feet above sea level behind Cairns.  They have funky little markets, Cary and I had a massage, we had a picnic in the park, strolled around the shops, went for a run through the rainforest, admired the Barron falls and just enjoyed being in the hinterland.  When we came back down the mountain, we had dinner next to the beach.  mmmm...I love the rainforest, and waterfalls, but the beach is really where I feel the best!  It was a beautiful, nature-full day....so nourishing on so many levels!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I am so grateful for...

...rain
...cool weather
...noise
...chaos
...challenges

... as they all give me a much greater appreciation for, and joy in...

...sunshine
...warmth
...quiet
...calm
...growth

Thank you life, for your highs and lows, for all of the experiences that allow me to shift and stretch and become more of Who I Really Am.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Life on the road...

We get a lot of different reactions when talking to people about what we are doing.  We don't offer the information, it is just the nature of camping life to chat and ask others about how and where they are travelling to.  People ask us "where do you live?".  We point to our tents and say "today, we live over there".  Some people are shocked, some are concerned, some are excited, some are baffled.  Most people have a home base, even if they are on the road for a year or so.
Sometimes we leave it at that, sometimes we go on to explain briefly what led us to be there, how we were travelling several years ago, for a year.  When we got to the Gold Coast, we liked it so we stayed there and it was cheaper to rent a house for what we thought would be a little while, which became almost 3 years.  When they sold the house, we decided to keep travelling.  Right now, we are just waiting for our new camper coming over from the USA.  We decided to do our waiting in an area that is warm so that's why we're here.

The people that are shocked think that it's an awfully long time to be living in tents with 3 children.  Really?  Compared to what?  Two months in two tents.  We are enjoying it.  Well, most of the time...I may be a free spirit, but I need a little bit of organisation in order to function smoothly.  I like knowing where things are and our system is pretty simple, but it can get messed up sometimes when things get put back in the wrong place.  There is so much to do around here, mostly fun stuff, but also a lot of practical stuff that sometimes I forget that I'm supposed to be relaxing as well.  Then it catches up to me and I wonder why I'm tired.  Mostly, it's fun and exciting and busy and we all feel healthier and happier and more connected.  I am not going to romanticize it though.  It can be bloody frustrating when it's dark and we have no power and I can't see where things are.  Although that can mean a really easy dinner and an early night.  We have been really lucky with good weather...up until last night when it rained most of the night.  Our tent held up well for a second-hand $20 tent with just some very minor leakage in the front.  The other tent had a bit more leakage, mainly due to wear on the outer fly allowing the rain to seep through.  That tent was free so it's pretty good for the price.  We will just put a tarp over the top of it from now on to prevent anymore wet walls in there.  So some minor frustration with that but overall, our cheapy tents have served us well.  I know that we will greatly appreciate moving in to a caravan after this experience though! 

Keeping up with meals and buying food is another consideration.  We do not have the storage space to do a full weeks shopping so we have to shop every couple of days.  We have a large cooler with us to keep food cool.  This means buying ice every day or two.  When the ice melts, the water can go through all of the food, often ruining it in the process.  We don't mind a little cool water in there to help keep the food cool, but it can't be too much and the food has to be packed just right in order to keep the water out of it.  That's another minor annoyance - when I think I'm going to snack on some hummus and then I find it's just a tub of water.  We have to keep food stored away so sometimes it's a bit of a shuffle to find everything I need to make a meal.  I bought an extra washing basket so that we can put everything we need for a meal in it, and take it to the camp kitchen without having to trek back to our site because I forgot the pepper or something.

Other than those things, I can't think of any other little challenges.  I actually like the walk to the laundry and bathroom and camp kitchen and chatting to a variety of people along the way.  I like moving and being active.  I love looking out of my tent into the rainforest and watching the little creek below.  I love sitting under the stars at night.  I love exploring new places and hiking and waterfalls and beautiful beaches.  I would rather explore a place of natural beauty than go to a place like "The Butterfly House" which claimed to have 4000 different kinds of butterflies.  I would rather marvel at the butterflies in their natural environment when I do see them.

Our kids are enjoying playing cards with new friends in the evenings rather than watching hours of tv.  They run and play and explore, choosing to climb one of the many beautiful trees over playing at a playground structure. 

I love being warm in the winter time, wearing singlet tops and shorts or a sarong and feeling the sun on my bare skin.  I love having the freedom to be here, to move when we have had enough of a place, to take from a place just what we want, not trying to do all of the "touristy" things, just seeing the places that speak to us, even if it means staying at the campground most of the day for a week.  I love meeting people from all over the world.  I love living close to the earth and the elements.  I love watching the shadow of a bug as it crawls over the outside of my tent as I'm typing this.  I love having this moment, this time, right here, right now.  So blessed!

Monday, July 25, 2011

photos

Airlie Beach

A chilly night in Airlie

                                           Cedar Creek falls, just trickling a little at the moment


We are travelling with our tents etc in the little trailer so that there is a lot more room for the kids in the car.  We have the third seat in the wagon so Summer gets that all to herself while the boys sit in the middle.  Cary has done a great job of driving the entire way here.  He is not at all impressed with the Australian roads, comparing the main highways to back country roads in the US.  Gotta say, he has a valid point.

                                                        Gypsy is a happy traveller!

                                         Turtles on the log in the creek next to our campsite.

Hanging out with new friends.  This little creek winds around the campground. 

AJ wanted to cook dinner - kangaroo sausages and a big salad.  The rest of the family likes the roo meat.  I'm still veg and won't touch it.

Camp kitchen, the kids waiting for the sausages

Monday, July 18, 2011

where to start?

I have no idea of what day or date it is.  And I love that!

We stopped a few times on our way up to Cairns, but mainly we just wanted to have warm nights so we didn't do too much sight-seeing along the way.  AJ had asked if we could stop at "every single museum in Australia".  (How many kids would ask that?!)  We stopped at a couple, but then kept pushing on.

We would like to do this trip again, when we are set up for full time traveling with the caravan and not just in tent-and-holiday mode.  We can take our time then and stop often.

So now we are in Cairns.  The long trip and the hours of seeing only sugar cane and scrub and a few cows and a rare little town were so worth it!  Oh my golly I love it here.  Our campsite is so beautiful - lush rainforest with a little creek running alongside where our tent is.  We are just steps away from turtles and fish.  I love watching the turtles...they crawl onto some of the branches that are hanging over the water and sun themselves for hours before plopping back into the water.  The creek runs over some rocks about 20 meters away and the babbling sound it makes is so soothing to fall asleep to!  A few minutes walk along the other way of the creek is a little beach area with rope swings.  The kids are making lots of new friends and having a great time.  We are having such a lovely time in the campground that we haven't seen much of Cairns yet.  We did go to Rusty's markets yesterday - great fruit and veg and other cooked foods for sale.   Then we went to the sea side lagoon to meet up with some friends from Brisbane who have been traveling for a couple of months.  I already felt quite at home here, but seeing familiar faces made it feel even more so! 

I will get some photos downloaded sometime.  We have not always had power to charge and download our devices, and that hasn't bothered us.  We will get around to it all whenever we do.  It is just so nice to be warm, and in nature and living so simply.  ..

...just got a couple of pics that I took on my phone.  Here is one of Shute Harbour in the Whitsundays, south of here...beautiful!

Friday, July 01, 2011

A new chapter...

We are officially house-free!  The final week at the house was extremely busy with packing, moving things into storage, and cleaning the house.  I would wake up around 3am, thinking of all of the things we still needed to do, then try to get a little more sleep, eventually give up, get up around 5am and get going.  How the heck does one 3 bedroom / 1 bathroom house take so much work to empty and clean?!  We have just about everything in a storage unit the size of a single car garage.  That includes all of our bikes, large fridge, mattresses, washer, dryer, kayak and loads of boxes.  The tents, sleeping bags and some of our clothes are with us, ready for our trip north.  


Thank you little house!  Thanks for keeping us dry and warm and for the memories we shared with you.  Thank you garden for your fragrant flowers and yummy fruits.

I kind of expected to feel a little sad about leaving the old house.  I really don't though.  I think I'd already detached myself.  Yesterday, as I was still cleaning and packing, I just felt excitement about the new chapter about to start.  Today when I woke up, I felt lightness and joy and relief.  We are spending a couple of days with our close friends, Lucy Briggs and Kevin Briggs.  So grateful to have this time to just stop and take a breath and tie up loose ends and get the car efficiently organised for our trip.  I feel so much gratitude right now.  I feel so mellow and peaceful.


(not a great photo, but there was a large circle with the same letters repeated several times.  Does it say 'nowhere'  or 'now here' or 'here now'? ) 

I like to see this as 'now here'.  And that's where I am.  No plan, no need to have to do or go anywhere.  I feel so much lightness now.  Our rough plan, for now, is just to head north, where the nights are warmer, for about 4 weeks, camping and living simply and deeply.

Monday, June 20, 2011

tick tock...

...ten days left!

We had a big garage sale over the weekend and sold a lot of bits 'n pieces though none of the bigger things.  We do have some people interested in different pieces, and are waiting to hear back from them.  If we hear nothing within the next few days, then we'll put them on consignment somewhere. 

Sometimes after a sale I experience a little tinge of sadness, grief maybe, for some particular things I have sold.  I actually don't feel that at all this time.  I parted with some things that I'd had since I was a teenager, and I am happy that they have gone to other people.  It just all felt right, and so good to release those things.

Today we are going to start moving things into our new storage unit.  I think once the boxes that are ready to go, are out of here, it won't look so chaotic in here and it will help me focus on what still needs to be packed or donated.

I sat outside in the beautiful winter sunshine yesterday and looked through a guide to the campgrounds for this state that we'll be travelling in, very very soon!  We are currently in the subtropics, which has beautiful days, but the nights are chilly.  We're not fond of the cold so we are heading north for the tropical, dry winter.  Super excited!!  So many places are pet friendly too! 

We are so ready for this!  Well, mentally...physically we have lots to do still so I should get going...!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

me n my gal..


I love having a daughter!  I love sharing the girly things in life with her.  She is usually the one making me a little more girly and I kinda like that.  She loves to try on clothes, look at jewelry and paint toe nails.  She adds a softness to the male energy in the house.  She helps out in so many ways around the house, from the practical things that need doing, to helping me stay balanced when I start to feel a little overwhelmed. 

She can be sweet and gentle, or loud and fiery.  She is very much her own person and does everything in her own way and her own time.  That may not look like a lot of other kids, but that is what makes her so unique.  She is aware that she is living her life, her way, on her timetable.  We are so grateful that we have the opportunity for her to live her life this way, unfolding in her own way.

Being my oldest child, she has also been on the receiving end of my entire parenting journey - the great moments, and the times I'm not proud of.  She has been my best teacher in patience, and trust and unconditional love.
She is very generous and she has been giving away a lot of her childhood toys in the past year.  Slowly moving into a new phase of her life.  Sometimes she cries because she does not want to grow up, other times she is excited thinking of the time left before she can drive. She is observant of others and will often play with the younger children at our different groups, to make sure they are included.

I am so honoured that she chose me as her mama.  I am so grateful for her love and depth.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

This moment...

I am making the most of living here, in this area and in this house.  Every sunny day lately, we have been going to the beach.  It's the thing I am going to miss the most about this place.  If we didn't have Gypsy, then we would just go back to the caravan park down the road next to the creek and across the road from the beach.  But we can't go there and this area is very limited on pet-friendly caravan parks.  Other areas are very welcoming and I know we will find other beachy places where Gypsy is welcome.  For now though, we will be a bit further away, maybe a 20 minute drive to the beach instead of a 10 minute stroll.
I'm enjoying the space inside on the rainy days, spreading out and baking breads and cookies and making soups.  Kicking back on the big couch watching movies on the big screen.  I remember rainy days in our old camper and how we would often go out for the day to the library or a museum or a mall to explore the gadget shops and watch the different kinds of people in the different areas.  At night time we'd watch movies or play games, feeling close and warm.  Both are good and the most important thing is to just be making the most of wherever we are by being present, letting our attention be there in that moment, enjoying what is.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

One more month...

Somehow, it's all coming together.  It always does.  The apparent chaos is taking a little more order and the process is unfolding in a natural way.  I don't do 'to-do' lists like I used to.  Most of the work required here is obvious, I don't need to write it down to remind me.  I no longer need that satisfaction of 'crossing things off the list'.  I do write down the things that I may not remember, so my to-do lists these days are very short, if at all.

I'm slowly emptying cupboards and I have boxes stacked in sections to either go to storage, go to the camper, or to be sold.  I'm really impressed with how much Nicholas has released.  He is very sure of his decisions and is looking forward to making "lots of money" selling off the things he has finished with.  The storage and camper piles are neatly inside of the house.  The sell stuff is randomly placed on the back patio.  When I have finished inside the house, I need to go through that and organise it and donate some of it.
Summer has also released a lot of things, mainly clothes.  She loves clothes and has been loving experimenting with different styles and themes, well, she's been doing that from the time she could dress herself!  She has decided that she wants all of her clothes to be "earthy", so out with the hot pink hair, and the bright blue poncho!  If the clothes aren't earthy or hippy, they were gone!  She has been slowly giving away some of her childhood toys over the last year.  When other children would come over, she often offered them things she thought they would like. 
I think our children have been to enough yard sales and op-shops to know that there is an abundance of toys and clothes in the world, and at really good prices too!  AJ has some really cool toys and gadgets and books.  He has always loved books about real things.  Even when he was one year old, he preferred looking at books of the internal workings of an airplane, and books with real photos of animal (not drawings).  He's not into reading novels, but he will read fact books all day.  He loves doing word puzzles with me (we're currently into an iPhone app called '7 Little Words').  He will listen to me reading a story, and he will read stories to Nicholas, but not usually for himself.  With the exception of the Usborne puzzle adventure stories, where you have lots of clues and have to figure out the puzzle within the story.  He also loves tech stuff and is longing to have his own computer. 
It's the first day of winter here...a cool, rainy day.  A good soup day!  In one month, we will be living in our camper, all of the 'stuff' in the house will be sorted and we will have closed the front door for the last time.  One more month.  The children are all very excited, as am I.  I feel very calm within at the moment.  I know there is a lot to do in the month ahead, including a birthday to celebrate for a very excited little man, and it's all going to be great...it already is!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Today I am especially grateful for...

friends...past and present.  Thank you for all of the friends that have touched my life thus far.  For those that I haven't been in touch with for some time - whether or not we shall meet again - thank you for the special role you played at the time.  I send you love and hope you are happy and healthy.  For those of you who are currently a player in my life, thank you for the joy and encouragement and inspiration you share.  I love you!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Simply Natural Life

Since 2003  I've had the domain name 'Simply Natural Life' (dot com).  I actually started a website for it years ago, but when I went to launch the site, the host no longer accepted that software (even though it was their own, and I was using that same software for another site that was already published, they weren't accepting new sites with it.)  I think that was around the time we were getting ready to move to Sedona, Arizona, but then that plan got ditched at the last minute.  Regrouping back in Vegas, and planning our move to Australia then took over everything.  Well, that and taking care of three children as well!

Over the years I've looked at the files that I had for the site and realised that I would probably do it differently now.  Every year when the name came up for renewal, I found I just wasn't ready to let it go, and I had a feeling that there was still something in there for me to do with it.  I thought about starting another blog, but in some ways, it's very similar to my Free Spirit Life.  I've already incorporated parts of a Simply Natural Life on this blog, especially when I wrote during our year on the road and the transition either side of that.  A part of living simply would be to have everything in one place on this blog.  I've even neglected my other project, Peace Ripple, but it is very forgiving.  I think I'll continue to run that alongside this, as a separate entity, whenever I am inspired to add to it.   I am working on a website for some parts of SNL, but I am drawn to blog about more aspects that I have been, so I am going to use this blog to do so.  Then I wondered if I should change the name of this blog to reflect that change?  Free & Natural Life?  Natural Free Life?  Simply Free Life?  Simply Free & Natural Life?  Simply Natural Free Spirit Life (now that's just too long)!  For now, I'm just incorporating the reference to SNL in the blog description up the top.

I think that there are three main concepts that I want to focus on - living simply, freedom, and the underlying Joy that is possible when living an authentic life.  As well as the usual family stuff and my ramblings.  Does using the 'free-spirit' give the impression of flowing dresses and fairy wings?  I am so not into dresses, but sure I'll show my wings from time to time.  Does the 'natural' imply that we forage for our own food, never go into supermarkets and don't use any plastic?  Well, sometimes, often and as little as possible are those answers.  Does using the 'free' imply that I'm referring to things that you don't need to pay money for rather than a state of mind?  Does 'free-spirit' already imply a certain level of simple living?  Does 'simply natural' imply a level of living free?  Maybe I'm really overthinking the whole thing, but I feel the need for a slight shift in focus and the name will reflect that.  Maybe I'm just procratinating when I really should be sorting and packing, but hey, I'm having fun playing with possibilities here!

Preparing to move out of the house is taking a lot of energy - physical as in time and the process of sorting through things, and also mental as I need to look at things and make decisions for 5 people as to the absolute best things to bring with us, and what to do with the rest of it.  However, whenever it starts to feel like a lot, I am able to remind myself that it will all be done soon, and that it will be great!  I can remember what it was like and the lightness and joy that I felt before, and that is  my main motivation.  I can also feel my creativity starting to spark again with other possibilities swirling.  On here, I want to write more about other parts of living simply that work for me in a practical way that anyone can use no matter how they live.

I'm feeling excited to get up in the morning!  oh, so much to do!  I'm trying to take time to just sit and BE with it all too and feel the deliciousness of it all unfolding!  mmmmmm so nice to be coming out of stagnation.