This was actually a post I wrote 3 years ago.
And yet, I was reminded about it today when I was talking about the resistance parents have sometimes to putting the tools in place to just... feel better.
I do it myself sometimes. I see a program that would bring relief and probably create some amazing manifestations in my life, creating joy, laughter and flow through the process...
but then I put my attention on the grind and daily chores, putting off what feels like relief for the struggle.
But I have to ask... "how can I create relief, from struggle?" that makes no sense!
Yes, as humans we all have patterns that need to be re-paved. So, it's time...
Time to take your hand off of the hot stove.
When I was starting my positive parenting path, it coincided with my discovery of the teachings of Abraham Hicks… and the the concept of taking your hand off the hot stove really transformed my way of thinking.
When I first was introduced to the work of Abe and Esther, my husband and I ordered a CD of theirs (yeah… remember ordering CDs?). We listened to it so often that I can still hear some of it word for word in my head….
“We just want to encourage you to take your hand off the stove. But you say ‘ I can’t. My mother put her hand on the stove, her mother put her on the stove… it’s just what we do. The day I was born they told me to put my hand on the stove.” And we say, try it. And you sigh and say ‘it is sweet relief to take my hand off the stove. But who am I to take my hand off, when even my government and world has their hands on the stove?’ we say, put your hand back on the stove if you want to, but now you know that you have the choice.”
What’s the stove? Pressure. Struggle. Stress. The perception that life has to be hard, that success has to be achieved, that we have to push to get what we want.
That parenting has to be a painful journey with a lot of heartache… and our children will end up rebelling against us. That we have to control them, or cajole them to be the people we want them to be. (blech!) That we can't feel relief, or centre, or spiritual connection without long periods of time for healing and rehashing the past.
We can take our hands off that stove of struggle, of pain.
What I love about this image is the actual relief it sparks within me. I imagine having my hand in pain and then just lifting it off. I don’t need to pry it with all my might. I don’t need to push. I just need to remember that I have what it takes to just lift my hand out of the fire. I have what it takes to breathe deep and be. But I still forget. I still put it right back on there
What Abraham forgets to mention (mainly because they are a spiritual consciousness being channeled through Esther Hicks) is that as physical people, we also have neural pathways that pull us back into our old patterns.
Each morning, as if on cue, we will get out of bed and put our hands back on that stove, unless we put some tools in place to remind ourselves that each day can be different. We can make a different choice.
I often talk about how complaining literally becomes part of us and how gratitude (appreciation) breaks the pathways of negative perspective.
But it does take that choice of lifting our hands off of the high pressure world, in fact, making that choice each day, is really all it takes.
I remember when I was in theatre school, I would sit listening to what the teacher would tell us our project was or what was expected from us. I remember thinking “nah… I can’t even imagine myself doing that.” And then within a few weeks I’d be doing stage-fighting, or climbing 20ft scaffolding, or reciting some long piece of Shakespeare prose.
I soon learned that it was just about jumping in and not pushing against it, and taking the step by step path before me. I’d get there in the end.
Sometimes it just takes focusing on the “headlights”… because just like when you drive at night you can only see a few feet in front of you with the help of your headlights, and yet you always end up at your destination. This is so true in life…
Sometimes, the only step that’s clear is to take your hand off of the hot stove.
It's time. It's really, really time.
We have made things so complicated, but as a spiritual being having a physical experience you can STOP and CLAIM your inner, unique power simply by...
Claiming it. Ease the pressure just a bit, but lifting your hand... up!
When we can just find that relief, even if everything around us is busy.
Focus on headlights, focus on love, light and relief. You’ll get there in the end.
If a busy parent develops their sense of self love, spiritual connection and a deep awareness of their whole selves, they can freely create a conscious, fulfilling, life of flow and relief with their kids.
When a parent is stressed out and spread too thin, they are simply trying to get water from an empty well.
Whereas, when you connect to your spiritual resources and inner self, energy flows to you, fuels you, replenishes you and keeps you present and calm.
Children respond to a present, grounded parent...
whereas they can't when their mom and dad feel scattered and all over the place.
It's a strong belief within me, I can tell you that.
But have I ever told you why this is such a powerful belief?
Why do I feel this is the conscious parenting secret sauce?
Because I've been on both ends of the scale.
I often will talk about having 2 little girls under one. I'll talk about feeling scattered homeschooling as well as running a business.
But I don't think I've ever discussed what led me to truly trusting in the power of going within.
In 2010 we took our first worldschooling trip to the UK, but in so many ways it was one of escape.
- We'd been working on fixing up our house, a money pit, and my husband was facing burnout.
- Our dog had been killed by a neighbor.
- Our goat had died in giving birth... along with 2 of her kids.
- My family was gripped in heartbreak with some extended family issues.
- CPS had been called by neighbors concerned about our daughters not being in school. (before homeschooling became a thing in our province.)
I was spread so thin I would find myself shaking. I was running around after everyone's needs, and each time the phone rang I would feel myself tense up and start to panic.
Last year, just before New Years 2019, I offered a workshop on setting Intention for the New Year.
I was passionate about helping parents dive deep into their desires, tune into how they want to feel, and set that as a goal and anchor for their year.
And I still am.
Some of the desired feelings and intentions participants set were:
Focused. Joy. Presence Healed
Whole, Self Confidence
Throughout the experience I then encouraged participants to imagine how that feeling felt, and what that looked like in December.
From the position of January, that felt so light, easy and fun.... it was hopeful and intentional.
And here we are headed into September.
While some parents are dancing with their intended feelings, others have come to me saying they lost the plot. That they lost sight of where they wanted to go and got stuck in running the hamster wheel of where they are.
No harm done, I always say.
You can always line up.
You've just been getting a clearer idea of what you want, based on what you don't want.
You can always line up with intention. It's waiting for you.
There's just enough time to put some things in practice, release some resistance and open up to the person you want to be... before the holiday season.
With the last full moon and it's partial eclipse over I have had a lot of moms come to me and say...
“Christina, I released what's no longer serving me. I let it go. Why does it keep showing up?”
I hear you. One of the energies I released was stress regarding a tooth that keeps playing me up and I found myself calling a new dentist. (releasing comes in various forms, I was hoping it would just go away.)
When I sat to write this post I held the topic of Releasing and Healing to my heartspace and got back:
“Releasing takes releasing, not revisiting to see if you've let it go yet.”
And, like my tooth, sometimes the releasing takes the discomfort of having something showing up again and again so you can release it once and for all.
So often we look at what doesn't serve us... beliefs, situations, habits... and tell ourselves that they truly must go.
But what we forget is that in order to release them we have to create a new story where they don't exist at all.
Spirit releases them the moment we decide they must be released. Our spiritual greater part moves quickly to the relief and newness of living without it.
But then... our humanness gets in the way sometimes:
We think about what we released, we remind ourselves on how it was, we talk about it, we consider it, we revisit and revisit... we can even be “glad it's gone.”
But where attention goes, energy flows.
So by putting the spotlight on what was released, you draw it back to you.
Have you ever noticed that when you tell yourself you aren't going to do something, the opportunity to do it again shows up really quickly. (Like when you tell yourself you'll stop yelling or losing your temper, just before your children start to argue.) That's just how it works.
So, how do you truly release things? How do you create that shift?
So here's the thing. Last week I broke my own rule.
I didn't meditate. (and before you start to think I'm talking about 20 minute downtimes... let me say this is a 2 minute thing for this busy mom.)
I had 3 mornings in a row that I had something to do, and quite honestly after the first 2 times of jumping up and running out the door, I literally had already forgotten my own practice.
I'm not a morning person.
I take my mornings very consciously. Mornings start with eyes open and “How do I want to Feel Today...”
or maybe even more so...
“Good morning God.” (Yeah... I call Source/Spirit/Universe God within my own heart. It became my spirit vocabulary when I was really young... but I use all terms readily.)
After that... Cuddles with my husband.... love expressions. Get up. Take the dog for a walk.
Then I have breakfast with my darlings. Possibly check my phone for emails.
Day plan discussions.
Then, I go upstairs and before work I stop, drop, breathe and do my inner connection practice.
2-5 minutes later, I'm ready to go.
So, actually, it's not really meditation. It's more that sense of drop and remember.
Remember who I am. Remember the Spiritual flow that is flowing. Remember my breath.
So, what happened when I ran without dropping...
Oh it wasn't pretty.
I felt the stress building, but it was that run away train building that leads to heart pumping tension and headaches.
I even noticed I wasn't remembering anything the way I usually do. (Honestly, I climbed into bed and had to wonder if I'd said goodnight to our eldest. I hadn't and she was waiting for me to turn out her light. An honor to be had by a near 17 year old.)
My thoughts were scattered. My focus all over the place. It felt rushed and...
outside of me.
Yeah. Life was being lived outside of me. I felt more reactionary. More easily triggered.
Luckily I noticed before meeting with clients or with my membership program. Then I was able to call myself back to center.
What this really did was validate the importance of that inner connection practice.
People tell me all the time, “I don't have time to meditate” as they imagine deep meditations lasting 20-30 minutes.
Got it. They are nice to take part in, but if I try someone usually walks in half way through.
Busy parents, need quick reset buttons. If you have time to brush your teeth you can reset. (In fact, do it while brushing your teeth. The universe doesn't mind!)
Reset buttons to remember your truest self.
Remember the resources and spiritual flow cascading to support you.
And Connect to the Divine. So life flows better.
It's simply a habit. A new pattern to set. A new practice to establish.
In case you didn't know I'm offering a Free class on one of my favorite Inner Connection Practices on Sunday.
I'll be live at 2pm EST, but if you can't make it then there will a replay sent out to with a PDF and an image for you to put on your phone as a reminder.
If this sounds like something that you could use then please sign up for it here. I'll then send you the information on Friday.
Now, it may be you already have your inner connection set. That yoga serves you, or just that morning coffee pause... maybe you wait until kids are at school... or for that night time sink into your pillow.
Your authentic spiritual connection is what matters here.
What gets you heart centered? What gets you filled up?
I would love to hear your processes and what spiritual connection looks like to you.
I saw an amazing post from a friend of mine which showed a phone battery icon drained and reading;
“You wouldn't let this happen to your phone. Don't let it happen to you either. Self Care is a priority not a luxury.”
So many moms get a wave of guilt when they think of Self Care.
It's become that “item” on the To-Do list that just never gets done.
There can be such a strong emphasis on physical self care... not just caring for our bodies but the physical life we are living... such as get out of the house, go shopping for yourself... have a coffee alone... The Self care that triggers guilt and a feeling of failing is when we see self care as taking care of ourselves, as if we don't have enough to “take care of”.
I think it's time to start looking at true self care...
taking care of the REAL YOU, the inner workings that make up your view and perspective. Making sure that the thoughts we think, the focus of our hearts and minds are resonating with the person we really want to be. (It takes focus, not time.)
The quote in my Danielle Laporte planner this week was “We are Big Spirits with Human Shortcomings..”
And, honestly, in talks about self care, it just feels like we put so much attention and energy into smoothing out those shortcomings, rather than just giving more energy to being the Big Spirits we really are.
When we can practice showing up as our Big Selves... oh the rest just seems to smooth out on it's own.
Oh don't get me wrong. I know the stress and chaos surrounding being a mom very well.
Currently my house is a knex workshop, there's clatter and creation everywhere, and I'm writing this sentence a few times over.
But I think that the discussion of self care needs to be a far more subtler thing than hair cuts, manicures and girlfriend outings.
I just finished a live video on Spiritual bypassing, Shadow work and healing our pasts and I thought I'd just write you and share a few thoughts.
Over the past week or so I've had a lot of conversations about “healing” and working through “what's been”, releasing the shadows and past to be able to move forward.
This has led to how often “spiritual” focused people can fall into “spiritual bypassing” and covering up the pain and trauma to just move forward, rather than processing it and taking it with you.
I often surprise new clients when I tell them we won't be diving into their pasts right away to make room for their future.
Rather, I tell them, we'll practice on the NOW.
When I start with my clients or in any classes and workshops I run, my first go to is creating that beautiful present space, that deep connection between you and YOU, your spiritual centre, your truest self, your divinity.
We can be so focused on our day to day life in front of us, our energy gets scattered to the winds and we need to reclaim them... so you can feel whole. Reclaim them, and find centre.
This comes with the understanding that, energetically, where attention goes, energy flows, and until you have a solid foundation in knowing your inner connection NOW, being true to yourself NOW, seeing through your heart perspective NOW, then when you give your attention to the past...
woosh... you will bring that space, that perspective, that energy right here to the moment.
It's a bit like when you go to a high school reunion and you can't help feeling like the same when you were there... the same insecurities, the same hangups. The past will follow you, and repeat itself if we give it too much power.
BUT, the past has happened, it has shaped you, often hurt you, often empowered you and fueled you so let's give it some attention once you have your feet firmly in the present.
Over in the Breathing Space membership space we're working through the Chakra Class material, and we just covered the Solar Plexus.
This is your inner fire, your Spark of YOU, your unique imprint on life, right at your upper stomach. But what many people don't talk about is how it fuels you by “digesting” and “consuming” your experiences, your perspectives, opinions, preferences, observations and dislikes.
Imagine this like an inner furnace, which burns and is fueled by your life experience, and then, empowers you like a great phoenix rising. We often talk about “following your gut instinct.” Well, here she is.
This is the seat of your inner voice, which uses the energy formed from your heart chakra above and the Sacral Chakra, (your energy center for balance between spirit and physical, inspiration and action, creativity and pro-creation.) This is where your guidance lies.
So, go within and listen... in your here and now.
Give your attention to your inner self, fuel that inner fire, know the universe has your back and you are consuming, digesting and processing what's gone before.
And then, sometimes you will be called to go back and re-digest and process a little bit more.
You might need to acknowledge.
You might need to forgive (others or yourself)
You might need to release
You might need to consume and digest more
You might need to revisit yourself and surround yourself in love
But when you've done that, do yourself a favor and give yourself permission to ask yourself...
What does HEALED look like for you?
You won't see it back in the past, when you give your attention to what hurt you in the first place. That's like pealing a scab off a wound and asking it to heal over and over again.
Tiptoe back, revisit briefly, surround it with love, heal it with light...
I know. Bad things happen. Trauma is real and there are things that have to be worked through.
I've worked through a lot of difficult times, traumatic experiences as well.
But that doesn't mean you have to let it dim your light in your now.
Practice your footing here in this present moment Know where you are... know where YOU are and chart the course of where you are going, using what you know, what you've learnt, what you've consumed in that inner fire... be your own phoenix rising and redefine YOU.
Because that's what this journey of life is ALL ABOUT!
Use your energy to cast your attention forward, play with your dreams and hopes, visualize the best outcome... and when something gets in your way...
Find center and then revisit the past to see if there's anything you can heal and release to get you on your way again.
And if you need any help, reach out. Reach out to where you feel called to, where your gut tells you to.
Also, tune within, the solutions are often there, all along.
Living Inside Out. Allowing. Knowing. Intending. Connecting.
To live inside out means you tune in before reacting.
You shift focus before stress overtakes you.
You breathe deep and find inner resilience, before trying to push to make something right.
To live inside out means you trust your inner world over the outer.
You know that your higher self, Universe, God, Goddess, Spiritual connection has your back and it's really about letting it in, allowing the solutions to flow.
We can all shift back to living Outside In.
We can focus on a problem until we're blue in the face.
We can get out the pros and cons list, intellectually weighing up the Hows of it all... the What Ifs...
the What could go wrongs.
But, there's this innate relief that happens when you simply pull in the oars and... float.
A Space is created, a space for the universe to provide.
When we're banging our heads on a problem there's literally NO ROOM for a solution to flow in.
And yet, knowing that... knowing that we have to let solutions in, knowing that we have to “reprogram” our brain to let go of resistant thoughts and practice mindful Being...
can easily turn into knowing we need to live inside out, but looking in through a window.
The lens of intellectualizing Spiritual practice and mindfulness is a bit like putting our hearts and spirits under a microscope and asking... am I at peace yet?
Living inside out, says live the inner peace, let it flow over you, and you won't have to look to see if you are there.
We're a thoughtful bunch of people in this world. We think out everything.
I played a lot of imaginary games growing up. I had a set one that I always immersed myself in. I had a large family of dolls I did everything with.
My role; The mom, Of course.
I played it well. I did everything for my doll children. I clothed them, fed them, tended to their needs and sometimes they “got into trouble”, which for some reason was the more dramatic of events in any game day.
I fulfilled the role to the last. I slipped in and out of the game as naturally as waking up each morning.
What was once pretend is often referred to as role-playing now according to my daughters.
We all have roles to play, don't we? And we don't even need detailed costumes.
We are the employers, the employees, we're the wife, husband, doctor, lawyer, we're the bestie, the frenemy, the jock, the girlfriend. Perhaps we're even the social awkward, introvert or extrovert.
We're the woo, the witchy, the bitchy. We're conservative, liberal, or activist.
Roles show up everywhere in life.
Same as clubs... the mom club, the anti-vaxer club, the pro-lifer club... the entrepreneur club.
But, today I want to talk with you about how the role of a parent particularly is holding us in a place of management and of control, and actually keeping us from the present awareness we all would like to see nourishing between ourselves and our kids.
I then want to introduce you to the power of Relationship, which encourages us to dive deeper into who we are.
What do you want in your life, your parenting and for your kids? How does it feel?
And what contrast/challenge is stirring that desire within you?
I don't often talk about actual manifestation like this very often.
But since we've arrived in Spain, and without a doubt, truly manifested a beautiful house with a million dollar view of the Mediterranean sea, I want to talk to you about something super specific;
Yes. That's right. Did you know Spain has something called processional caterpillars which have little spikes they shoot out as defense and the spikes can kill a dog or cat and do some pretty serious damage to people as well?
Yeah... we didn't either.
But we manifested them all the same. How? What could we be visualizing or holding on to that would put us in the middle of a highly populated area of deadly insects?
Are you letting in the Universe support you or do you feel like it's down to you to do the work and connect?
This was the question I put towards the members within the new membership program last night when we had our first Meditation and Energy Offering Session...
and now I want to ask you.
Often, when we crave spiritual connection and when we set the intention for self development and self care within the busy schedule of being a parent we feel like we have to REACH for the spirit within us.
We push to focus on our breath.
We struggle to set the intention of what we want.
We squeeze out a drop of patience and calm, suppressing the tsunami of to-do lists and inner tantrums so we can find inner peace... and connect to our spirits.
What we forget, is that Spirit, Love, the Universe, God, Goddess, Source Energy, Great Divinity, Higher Self... what ever you want to name the nameless All that is,
is consistently flowing love and light our way.
You are love. Source Energy is Love. Like stars dancing through the milky way we are one with the universe.
The only separation is when we cut off from our true selves. Source Spirit, never leaves us.
So, when the kids are sick or having that tantrum,
when bills are piling up as well as snow,
when traffic is congested and maybe so are we,
when we want to complain and we do...
you might not be able to feel it, or see it, or touch it... but you are being sent love, light, healing, solutions, options...
I remember when my girls were 6 or 7,
They were 10 months apart, completely different temperaments and then they would disagree.
They used to fight. Oof. It would get bad.
The need to fix things fast would flood over me, but in that gush of panic, I would also feel like I was drowning.
What was the right thing to say that would build them both up? What wouldn't damage them? What would stop the fight without someone being “wrong”? What would create peace?
Why couldn't everyone just be filled with sunshine and rainbows All the Time!
Now, 10 years later... I just heard them go to their rooms to do their schoolwork for the day... and calling out “I Love you” to each other.
And I breathe.
During those frantic days, there was always a call from the back of my mind, to stop pushing, to stop worrying and to pull out the spiritual, mindful tools I'd known for years.
Sometimes, I just didn't trust my heart and I'd go down a rabbit hole of trying to “fix” things.
But then other times... I'd practice mindful awareness .and spiritual connection and it would all take a different shift. It would ease.
Just the right words would flow from my mouth... or no words at all.... I'd just sit and listen and hug and help.
I just I counted how many weeks it is until January 1.
The answer… 6 weeks.
Gulp. Why did I do that? LOL
So as it suddenly feels like there's a rush as we barrel towards holiday season and the end of 2018, I want to offer you an exercise that will help support your self development and conscious living even through the busy days.
Now is not the time to live solely on the surface. Quite the opposite. Now is the time to shift to a deeper state of being.
Which is why I want to talk with you about “Conscious Gratitude”.
I don’t usually use the word Gratitude… I usually resonate with Appreciation because it feels like it creates more of an emotional shift, but when I heard Danielle Laporte use the phrase Conscious Gratitude the other day, I knew she would be discussing a deep resonance and full powered focus on giving Thanks.
I can’t think of a better focus during the week leading up to the American Thanksgiving…
But also, it is truly one of the best tools to align ourselves to staying Off that self sacrificing self. When we appreciate truly and fully we create an inner connection.
It’s like we plug ourselves in to a universal socket and we allow energy to flow through us, fuel us and support us through whatever chaos is piling up in front of us.
And let’s face it. There’s a lot of chaos.
I have a bit of a Holiday, Seasonal vision… for all of us.
We practice being ourselves, in a heart connected space, no matter the circumstance.
In simple terms...
We walk a little slower. Drive with a little more observance to the scenery. We let people line up in front of us at the cash, so we can stop and focus on our breath a few moments more.
We play in the toy aisle with our kids.
We let them do the decorating and make a mess.
We stop the pushing.
We take small moments of deep breathes and silent appreciations.
We give ourselves permission to fill our buckets, fill our wells, savor the smallest of joys.
Currently, here in Nova Scotia, the leaves have fallen and the smallest of animals are running to prepare for a long sleep.
There’s a sense of enclosure as well as closure.
There’s a sense of Endings and appreciating of the endings before the new beginnings.
Its the natural flow of all that is.
We can all miss this moment, can’t we?
Last week I was talking with a woman in town and when she found out I was a Parent Coach (the title I give myself when I think Energy Healer and Spiritually Aware Parent Coach is going to create way too big of conversation at the moment) She looked at me in confusion.
"WHAT'S A PARENT COACH?" she asked.
When I told her...
I coach parents to find their center and calm within when they are with their children so they can deal with behaviour as something deeper and not use punishment as an option...
Her response was...
How do you parent without punishment?
The Universe is always responding to what we're focused on. So,when life feels frantic and chaotic, sadly things just keep building on that momentum.
The law of attraction can easily pick up on a space of franticness, or on lack of time. We can hold those stories up and the universe sees them, hears them and feels them and responds to it as...
More of this please.
So, when we hold up the sign of Stress. We get more stress. When we hold up the sign of scatteredness... Boom... life fragments even more.
Oof! (as my daughters like to say.)
But, that doesn't mean we're part of a vicious cycle of momentum, which is uncontrollably barreling down the hill of each day.
Rather, we simply need to find that inner pause button, Connect, and ease up on the story.... to allow one of relief to start to build new momentum.
Over at the Spiritually Aware Parenting Community, I've been offering these simple tools to feel connection with You again.
Because when you can connect to the deeper version of YOU, everything else seems to fall into place.
Well, she's been at high school for 3 days and already it's time to have that talk.
How to find the space and mindfulness practice to keep connected to Who You Really Are when you are in chaos.
(If you thought I meant a different talk I can assure you that all took place awhile back... but even in that discussion staying true to yourself and who you want to be has been the theme.)
My daughter loved her first few days at our local high school.
She manifested courses she likes, which are easy and fun.
She has meant some great friends already, she's surprised at her own confidence and ability to talk to groups. She feels like herself.
But then she's coming home, and collapsing into bed. Exhausted.
When 9/11 hit I was in Glastonbury, UK having been pulled to visit there on a spiritual quest.
Spirit had called me and I had answered.
No, really. I had been called.
I had found myself in the UK quite suddenly having said I was going out of the blue.
The plan was barely out of my mouth when the money showed up by chance.
So, for September 2001, I was backpacking, writing a novel and researching a spiritual documentary program for youth I was developing for Channel 5 in the UK, it was called "Spirit in My Suitcase."
I’d traveled down to Cornwall only to be spiritually "told" in the middle of the night, get to Glastonbury on the 7am bus.
When your only focus is connection and spiritually aware living... things like that happen.
I’d gotten in the habit of listening to that calling.
So onto the bus I jumped.
Well, the school’s been phoned, registration is next week and my eldest starts on the 4th.
And while I sit in my room with fingers crossed that she won’t like it, my girl is eagerly excited to start her first day in high school.
She won’t like it… right? Surely!
But still, she will try it.
We’ve homeschooled since day one and the reasons behind that have been varied.
Yes, I’ve wanted them to have individual educational experiences, with the space to follow their passions and interests.
Yes, I love the freedom. We’ve not done half enough traveling as we intended and world schooling is knocking at my heart begging to give it a try… but still the ability to know we can go when we want etc. That’s important to me.
But mostly, I love being together. I love sharing our worlds together.
I’ve loved homeschooling, despite the scattered and sometimes confusing time of it we’ve had over the years.
And although my eldest is off to try high school because she’s always been curious, we still have 2 here at home with us.
So, today I thought I’d share what resources we’ll be using this year. (Because people often ask!)
I want to discuss this big homeschooler question with you... and then I'm going to share some experiences as well as talk a bit about how my daughter's use of Oak Meadow has truly supported this approach of ours.
It's a big blogpost today, as we approach August and a lot of readers are considering or embarking on homeschooling next month.
As a homeschooler, I've been planning and discussing our social studies experiences in various homeschooling reports for years now.
My kids and I have used the umbrella term to cover everything from selling eggs at a stall at the end of our drive as a way to study business, to learning about geography and different countries, cultures and then back to our own.
There was also the year I created the Emotional Awareness and Law of Attraction Sections from the Spiritual Kids Course and used them for Social Studies.
This year though, my kids and I have been truly studying the true meaning of the term.
Yes. That's right.
See a few months ago our girls asked if they could go down to the city to attend a local mini comic con. They worked for ages on their costumes, hand sewing each small detail, and we drove them down to see what would be the result.
Well, they met up with a group of new friends, whom they have been in touch with ever since. From playdates in the park to video calls, they have dove into the deep end of friendships which even resulted in the group going to an alternative prom in June. They are so happy and are loving the new paradigm shift with LOTS OF NEW EXPERIENCES.
I have really been appreciating being here in the country these past few months as it's given our girls the opportunity to practice all of this in slow motion in a lot of ways.
They go into socializing experiences and then are able to retreat, observing how things have flowed and learning from each experience. They've been "caught up" a few times, but then faced it head on and developed the skills to get clarity, shift focuses and shine as themselves each time.
When people discuss homeschooling the point most often brought up is “what about socializing?”
well after the last few months, I'm actually fascinated by this question!
3 things I've learnt with my teens which I'm finding is really vital to keep at the forefront of focus with them when discussing friends and the world.
I was visiting Brene Brown's site today and I found this image that was available as a download for your desktop. I quickly downloaded it and personalized my home screen with it... and I had to share it with you as well.
Because this... this is a powerful statement.
This weekend was the start of JULY! How did that happen?
And while we here in Nova Scotia celebrated Canada Day, and all of my friends and neighbors in the states are looking forward to July 4th... the truth is we all know that summer has officially arrived.
And with that, we start making plans for beach days, holidays, playdays, sunbathing days, parkdates, picnics...
We get our long sheets of paper out and start with the lists... the agendas out to figure out how to fit it all in, around our businesses, our work and our children's routine so they have stability.
We feel the summer start to slip away and it's not even begun.
And that very feeling, is what I want to discuss with you today.
I read the other day a very poignant post that someone had written.
It said "We have approximately 18 summers to enjoy with our children. Make this one count."
But as my children grow older, I happen to know this hits too close to home.
So, today my quest, my Summer mission, is to offer you some tools and opportunities that will help you drop the To-Do list, Stop in your tracks... Rest your mind, Nurture your Spirit and Play... with your children and your own inner self.
Winnie the Pooh, on a hunt for huffalumps and woozles, walks around in a tree following tracks in the snow. The prints keep multiplying as he walks around, unable to catch up with the creature.
They multiply again when Piglet joins him.
Pooh and Piglet get quite worried when they start to see the large amount of tracks that must be made by “ferocious” animals chasing them. Until Christopher Robin sets the story straight.
The tracks were made by Pooh and Piglet themselves.
We can all be pursuing something that’s within us all along.
And we can all be scared of What’s Out there, so forget to recognize it in the first place,
In other words. In every step of the journey, you have arrived.
I was raised with the idea of a ladder. That life was about learning how to “be good” and that we often failed.
So, it’s crossed my mind that maybe people are wondering why I’ve talked so much about the journey my daughter and I have taken with the homeschool curriculum, Oak Meadow.
Why, right? When my work is focused on Spiritually Aware Parenting and really my blog should be reflecting mindfulness and spiritual alignment for parents and kids?
Well, you probably know that there’s nothing more exciting, or exhilarating than when you find something that helps support your child: especially when its something that deals with a challenge that has always been there.
Oak Meadow came at a time when I was noticing my younger daughter was struggling with not only her schoolwork, but her sense of herself, her confidence, how she learnt and how she absorbed information.
As I’ve told you in past blogs, Oak Meadow has given her the tools and awareness to delve into topics from a self aware perspective. She not only completes the projects and sets her own schedules and routines, which builds her sense of Who She is even more, but she’s also learning and reading about so many different elements of life that we never would have been able to explore before.
This winter Gia went into the Oak Meadow Grade 8. She wanted to mix things up, and since she was so eager to dive into the English Section, she chose to focus one topic at a time, rather than scattering them through the week.
I can’t blame her for wanting to work through the English.
This time, Oak Meadow exceeded even themselves.
The grade 7 English worked hand in hand with the World History section. But this time, English takes a front seat and becomes a core unit all by itself.
This is produced seamlessly through 4 elements. The course book, which breaks down all of your projects and lesson focuses, as well as how to use the rest of the supporting material.
The works of fiction, which exemplify the lesson.
From some sci-fi works such as A Wrinkle in Time, The Giver and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, to classics such as The Hobbit and Tom Sawyer, I truly felt I could relax knowing Gia was getting a strong foundation in some important pieces of literature.
The other elements were for writing itself, and she was instructed on how to use them within the course book. These included Writing for 100 days, which Gia LOVED. Although it is written for classwork, OM guided her around the work she could do independently and she enjoyed it’s structure and space it gave her to write in.
The last element shocked me as it was the Strunk and White book The Elements of Style. I remember my sisters using this book in university, so it was rather surprising to see my grade 8-er working her way through the notes on the design of writing. She really did well with it (and is enjoying explaining semi colons, colons and various grammar to her older sister.)
Last month I was happy to be able to attend a homeschooling conference in Halifax, where I represented Oak Meadow’s amazing work. I still can’t get over how effortless it is to discuss this work side by side with my work of Spiritually Aware Parenting… because watching how my daughter has grown as herself and with the knowledge she has attained… it makes me breathe a sigh of relief. It really is exactly what I was hoping for for her.
She’s now off to work through the Science.
That’s going to be a challenge for her, as she naturally gravitates towards the English and reading, especially when it’s full of imaginary worlds. I’m fascinated to see how OM creates a platform of curiosity as she dives into further into the Scientific studies. (They did a wonderful job in the grade 7, but there's definitely a deeper element being offered with this grade 8 curriculum.)
I popped into the facebook group, after having a rather restless night with my son.
Here’s what I posted:
“My son couldn't get to sleep tonight... he was tossing and turning,
What with the storm outside and a huge clap of thunder there was a lot of electric energy in the air and he's so sensitive... After a couple of hours of him trying and also trying to help him relax... I pulled out the energy work.
After some sweeps of his energy and grounding his feet, as well as surrounding him in light... he was asleep within 10 minutes.
I could tell it was what he needed the way his body gave a jolt as it relaxed...
I used to get really stressed when my kids couldn't sleep. I would feel the tension rise up within me which would of course make them stressed as well. It was awful.
But now, I see sleep as a spiritual aspect of life and I love having the opportunity to practice little spiritual tools with my kids to help them connect as they drift off for their nightly journeys.”
Why does this work? (I'll share how further in the post)
Throughout the day our children are thinking, moving, and living fully in their physical experience. When you do an energy clearing, you are clearing any blocks of resistance all that physical observing may have created.
The other night my family and I went to see the film A Wrinkle in Time, which was one of my favorite books growing up. There is nothing more satisfying than having a film reflect the energy found in a book. Although a few changes had been made, it did nothing to affect the general theme of the story:
That within us, all of us, we have the power of love;
which can overcome any darkness, challenge or obstacle.
In fact, with poignant detail, it amplified the message to empower our children in the current world we live in.
Young Meg, who is shown to have such low sense of self worth since her father’s disappearance, is called to be a light warrior along with her brother, Charles Wallace and friend, Calvin. Together they travel to a dark place, run by a Dark Energy Force IT, on a rescue mission to save her father. It’s weapon is that voice of self doubt, negative brain chatter, jealousy, anger, frustration and it can travel the universe. It leads to destruction.
And the only tool to defeat it is LOVE.
I read this book, and it’s sequels, growing up, and again quite recently, so I was so eager to share the film experience with my children.
My 8.5 year old, movie-sensitive, son had no idea what to expect, but enjoyed it. (He might have had his head in my arm for the climax at the end, but I think he appreciated the clear contrast between light and dark, hero and challenge... rather than the murky grey that is often offered in films these days.)
My daughters read the book for the first time about 6 years ago, but then my younger daughter had just finished the book again for her GRADE 8 Oak Meadow Curriculum. So it was fresh in her mind and, because of the curriculum, she was able to experience it from a fuller perspective probably than the rest of us.
I am so excited that Oak Meadow included this book in the grade 8. My happy student was asked to produce an essay/book report after she was done and was given a list of questions which guided her into a deeper perspective of the book’s symbolism.
This is so important, as it really is a relevant story for our lives.
The book’s author, Madeleine L’Engle has always been a hero of mine. She wrote about Spirituality, self empowerment and vulnerability as well as science through the craft of a novel and her non-fiction. I think she submitted A Wrinkle in Time about 40 times before it found a publishing home. She was passionate. She was a light warrior in New York, and in her lifetime.
Yes, the Newberry award winning book is a common inclusion in school curriculum, but I found Oak Meadow brought it to life in a beautiful way, diving deep into the question of why the power of love could defeat the dark force, when nothing else, including genius and high intelligence, could.
My daughter loves to focus on one topic at a time in Oak Meadow, and with the selection of books in this year English was her first choice to start off with.
So far she’s read The Giver, A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Lord of the Flies, all before A Wrinkle in Time… she’s moving through them in such a passionate, yet beautiful manner.
The curriculum also asks her to work through the book Writing for 100 Days, which as challenged her writing and her grammar in ways that empowered her and gave her concrete tools, all at the same time of providing her with stories based in self discovery and empowerment.
She’s so much more confident in her writing and in her processing of the written word and a sense of self. (Which I didn’t think was possible. If there was one thing I thought I’d homeschooled well in up to this point, it was English. But, Oak Meadow has truly inspired a more profound and detailed use of the written word in my girl.)
I found it also amazing that during the chapters of A Wrinkle in Time she was asked to do stream of subconscious writing. A process I often suggest to my own clients.
Why is all of this important and what am I expressing here?
We live in a time when there’s a lot of fear happening in our world,
it’s vital to give empowering tools to our children.
Watching films, or reading books, like A Wrinkle In Time remind them that within them are powerful tools, universal connections, and that so many “events and circumstances had to come together in just the right way for them to come here.” (to loosely quote Oprah Winfrey’s character in the film)
In other words, each child, each person is special, unique and here for a purpose. When we give purpose and tools for empowerment to our children, a sense of belonging, they can be like Meg and overcome their fear with love from within.
Reading, watching or hearing stories that spark this truth within our children is a huge step in creating a better world for them.
I am so thankful that curriculum like Oak Meadow, and film creators are beginning to recognize this fundamental step in a child’s (yikes… teen’s) development and education. With their crafted curriculum lessons they give students confidence, encouragement and tools to move forward with. It’s exhilarating.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.