Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Being In Heaven"

...that was the name of the movie we watched with our friends after the open house on Saturday.  It was a nice story, similar to 'The Secret' in its message, adding in some extra information and tools.  It spoke about how so many of our behaviours stem from our subconscious and the beliefs that were formed there when we were children by the way we were raised and taught.  Beliefs we may have developed from parents or teachers that have shaped us, like "there's not enough money", "you're not good at drawing"..that kind of thing.  Listening to that, I was not thinking of those situations in my own life, but I started wondering what kinds of things my own children might start 'blaming' me for when they are older.  It was always my intention to raise them so they knew that they are loved and encouraged and free to explore the things that interest them.

I can see them when they are older, lamenting things like:  "My parents gave me choices", "I got too many hugs", "we moved around, lived in different countries and had too many experiences!".... sounds so funny.  I know that I can focus on the things that I feel I am doing right for my children, but I also know that there are times when I am not perfect (really?!), and maybe I get a little cranky (no!), and maybe I don't always listen very well.  Those things happen when I feel overwhelmed, tired and / or just out of balance.  Staying attentive to my children is best when I am attentive to myself first.  When I ensure that I don't say yes when I really want to say no, when I ask for help if I need it, when I say what I need, when my outer life is a reflection of my inner life with my needs for rest, food, company, play and nature and balanced, when my spirit is content, then I find it so natural to just BE.  To Be present and aware of other people's needs, to listen and understand, to be creative and playful. 

I made a commitment to myself to be more aware of my own balance, and to help the children maintain their balance as we move into this very uncertain period.  This family unit is my absolute priority.  I only have one chance to make their childhoods magnificent and I want them to be confident, empowered adults, with no lingering limiting beliefs.  This is what I have always wanted for them.  Sometimes when they were younger, it seemed as though their toddler and early childhood days would go on forever.  Looking back, it's gone so fast!   It's a little challenging with Summer as she can be extremely hard on herself but then she'll break through and say something profound, so I know she is "getting" this, it's just taking such a long time for her to "own" it.

I started thinking of things from my own childhood that may have held me back and, although I can see some patterns and behaviours in my past that were shaped from my childhood, I know that I let go of them a long time ago.  The movie spoke about tools to 'write over' those old patterns and programmes, but I don't think that's always ideal as they will still be there underneath.  I thought about what had helped me to deal with my past and realised that my process (without the help of any book or person...just my own evolvement) had similar steps:

1.  Awareness.  This gradually built up until it became strong enough to make me take notice and realise "I don't want this anymore".  Seeing and feeling how it was really affecting me mentally, spiritually, physically.

2.  Anger, blaming someone else for teaching me those things.

3.  Acceptance.  Realising that I had continued this of my own free will.

4.  Responsibility.  Choosing to either continue, or not.

5.  Compassion.  Wondering what made my role models do the things that they had done?  What had they gone through?  Maybe they were just doing the best they could with what they knew.

6.  Forgiveness.  Letting go of my attachment to that pattern, sending love to my teacher. Forgiving myself.

7.  Loving myself and remembering that I want more for myself than the way I was living.  Getting clearer about the kind of person I choose to be and the way I choose to live my life.  Writing a new story for myself.

This was never some kind of worksheet that I did, it was a natural progression once I had the initial awareness.  Sometimes it took years to let go of a behaviour / thought pattern and sometimes it was very quick.  I look back at my past with gratitude for making me who I am today, and no regrets.

Other points the movie made were:

- the importance of getting clear about what you really want.

- Affirming those things, repeating them to yourself, especially while you are relaxed / meditating.

- Taking time to experience peak-state activity where you can focus solely on that, particularly good are art, music and sports which allow a prolonged exposure into Being with your higher self.  Drawing, painting, playing an instrument, surfing, skiing, woodwork, gardening,.. that kind of thing - the things we are often passionate about but don't always allow ourselves time for as there is "too much else to do".  How much time do we absolutely waste on things we really are not passionate about, like TV and surfing the net? 

- Being present - really present, fully there with your senses all experiencing as many moments as often as possible.  When you are slicing vegetables, feel the knife in your hand, see the textures of the vegetables, the smells, listen to the sounds around you.

- Ask yourself often "Am I Aware?"...are you really experiencing this moment?  Are you in alignment with yourself, your thoughts and your actions?  Are you joyful?

-  When you give, don't expect anything in return.

This life can be so very complex.  And also so very wonderful.
Sometimes exhausting.  Mostly exhilarating!
And always oh so worth it!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ahhhh...freak out!

The house we are renting was just put on the market for sale.  As we didn't know what we were doing (whether or not we were moving within Australia or overseas), we chose to go on a weekly lease rather than sign up for another 6 or 12 months when our last lease expired.  When we heard about the house going up for sale, we took it as a sign that we actually do need to move and we'd better figure out what we really want to do.  I was detached and felt light and as though everything would fall into place exactly as it was meant to.  It always does. 

Yesterday (Saturday), I was awake early, went out to the farmer's market, chatted with a bunch of  people, and felt very content.  I was feeling full of gratitude for the wonderful friends we had spent Friday evening with, and the friends in our Natural Learner's group that we had spent Thursday with, and some other friends we have planned a family sleepover with, and my heart felt fuller as I thought about our wider circle of friends that we've made through homeschooling and the New Thought center.  I am so abundant!

I went home, made a big pot of pumpkin soup, tidied the house and thought about the first Open House that was planned for that afternoon.  "It's raining - probably nobody will come", "the market is down, it will probably take months to sell", and similar thoughts.  AJ was concerned about strangers coming through the house, maybe touching his things, but he was more concerned about Gypsy getting out and he opted to stay outside with her for the 30 minutes of the open house  He had asked Nicholas to stay in their room to keep an eye on their things. (Nicholas didn't though - he made friends with one of the children that came through and they ran around in the yard together.)  I was looking forward to the open house being done, and hanging out with friends to watch a movie and enjoy the soup.

I had a practical and detached view of being in this house and was thinking that we would be here for months.  I was not prepared for the emotions that came full steam to the forefront when 30 strangers came through my home.  When I heard the estate agent telling a prospective buyer that the owner wants the house sold by 5th April, I had a little panic.  As soon as everyone left, I broke out in tears.  Then I left the house and took Gypsy for a walk.  I thought about what was really going on inside of me:

- I'm not attached to the actual house, but I do love the life we have here. 

- I don't want to move now, but we're going to have to.  The house has been priced low enough that it should attract a quick sale. (maybe?)

- I don't know where we will go, Cary is leaving next month and may be gone for months.   If I can turn the slight panic of uncertainty into adventure, I'll move through it with excitement rather than dread.  It's a choice.

- I felt somewhat powerless when all of those people were in the house.  I didn't want them there, but as it's not my house, and we didn't sign a lease, it was a gamble we took. 

- I really don't like feeling powerless!

- The most important thing is that we as a family are together, and healthy, and joyful.

- I am still abundant and safe and I am grateful for this adventurous life!

- I need to stay balanced and present.

- I am grateful for the time that we have had here, the friends and family that have visited us in this house, for birthday and Christmas celebrations, for stories read and movies watched, for cookies baked and milestones reached, for birds and bugs and bats, for jasmine, mulberries and passionfruit, for lovely neighbours and a quiet street, for the daily life we have shared here, as a family.  This house will be a symbol of this period of our family life, not for the bricks and tiles, but for the experiences we have had.  Leaving here does not mean that those things stop.  It just means that we continue them somewhere else.  I will look back on photos of our time here, with a warm heart and a big smile, and much gratitude for this chapter.



Friday, March 11, 2011

My boys...

AJ started Tae Kwon Do last month and he loves it!  He's often practicing his punches and kicks wherever we are - at home, at the beach, at the shops...he doesn't care, he just wants to.  Even though he enjoyed doing basketball last year, this really seems to be his 'thing'.  For now at least.


he's on the left in this pic below, on his first day, but with pretty good form already! 

Nicholas has lost two teeth now, and loves visits from the tooth fairy!  Actually, the boy is pretty bold - he'll just outright ask people for money "can you give me a dollar?"  If they say no, he'll say "then how about thirty bucks?"...with a big grin on his face as though he just expects it. 

Nicholas has taught himself how to swim.  He was a comfortable swimmer in the shallow areas, as long as he could still touch the bottom, but last week he became confident in swimming in deep, dark water where he could not touch.  He was swimming around with some friends (I was very close) and having such a good time that he didn't realise that he was in so deep at first, but when he did he said "hey mum...I can swim now!"  Yes...yes you can do anything!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

unexpected turn

Just as I settled into accepting that we were not getting out of our house in April to go traveling, and felt comfortable with the idea of staying in the house for at least several months beyond that....shift happens!  I had plans for the extra things I was going to do in the house...looking forward to the cooler weather coming up and doing more baking and crafts.  We moved things around and the house was feeling really good and more settled.  Ha!  We found out late yesterday that the house we are renting is going on the market for sale.  As we are on a week-to-week lease now, that gives a lot of uncertainty.  When we first got the news, Cary and I laughed at how delightful the Universe can be!  Maybe we are actually meant to go traveling after all!  We both felt incredibly calm, knowing that things were unfolding exactly as they are meant to.  We felt the alignment and knew it would all be good. 

As I tried to sleep last night, I found myself awake at 2:30am thinking of all of the little tasks involved with getting out of the house.  I'm glad I didn't start working on the vege garden again as I had planned on doing.  I'm glad we have already downsized somewhat, and I had already partly packed some boxes to go into storage.  I'm really glad we decided to keep Gypsy...that little dog is definitely a part of the family.  Several months ago we had been thinking that it may be kinder to rehome her instead of trying to travel with her.  Our biggest concern was leaving her stuck inside the camper on days when we couldn't take her with us somewhere, or the lack of a backyard for her to run freely and having to have her tied up outside.  We are working on training her so that life will be easier for her and us.  We adore her....and think we gave her the right name to be a traveling doggy!

So many other details to consider...

Ahhh...Trusting...Breathing....trying to not let my head take over and steal the Joy of the unfolding adventure.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Feeling gooooood....

It's 9pm.  I've been up since 6am.  I have been going all day and I still feel as though I have energy!  I haven't felt like this for a long time.  I feel excited and creative and inspired and joyful as I move through this day.  I've rearranged the boys room, cooked three meals from scratch, including trying a new recipe for yamburgers (so yum!), played with the kids, gone grocery shopping, paid bills etc.   I know that the additional exercise I've been doing over the past month has helped greatly with my energy levels.  I feel stronger physically and mentally. 

I think I'm also still on a high from our great day out yesterday with our local Natural Learners group.  Seven families with a total of 21 kids, ranging in age from 1-15, playing beautifully together for 6 hours or more.  I love this tribe!  I love the wide range of topics in the conversations the parents have!  So inspiring!

I'm excited about the little project I'm working on, and I'm really excited to have energy to live so joyfully!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

new old projects

As I was working through the box of papers that I spoke about in my last post, I had the realisation that these things are very similar to the books I had.  I had been able to release a lot of my books by understanding that I didn't need to hold onto them...any lessons in them that I thought I "needed", would come to me when I was ready, perhaps in a totally different form.  I was totally prepared to recycle most of the papers.  Somehow these seemed a little more personal than books though, because they were things that had come through me, or to me at specific times in my life.  Still, I was okay with releasing most of it. 

I'm glad I took the time to sort through it.  I found some common themes through looking at it all, and felt inspired to work on some of my internet ideas.  Probably half of the papers went into the recycling bin, but the rest will jumpstart the projects that have been on a very slow simmer for quite a few years.  I was also thrilled to find some letters, cards and emails from some people who have been very special in my life over the years and it was so wonderful to read their words again.  I was also able to see how I have evolved ...quotes and affirmations that helped me to get to the next step on this journey.  I really have come a loooooong way!! 

I'm excited to get back to work on those old projects.  I have a fresh take on how they might look, but I also know that they will take on a life of their own and evolve in maybe a slightly different direction to what I have in mind right now.  Kind of like how my own life has turned out!