A mom wrote in and asked what to do with a household that i s very calm and soothing, a household that is very conducive to rest but really needs a kick of energy! What to do?
I think one thing to think about is this issue of balance. There is an anthroposophic meditative exercise called The Preview where you essentially run through your day in your head before you really get up. So, I would encourage you to make this part of your meditative practice. When you run through your day in your head, where are the points of energy? Where is the music, the singing, the movement. the running around outside, the scrubbing of the floor, the work?
Many children need help in being quiet, but I also have run across quite a few who are only quiet and are very content to sit and look at book after book or draw for hours and hours on end and would prefer to be inside rather than outside expending energy. Sometimes this is necessary, for example, if you live in an area where the weather is truly frigid and you cannot get outside, but I would also encourage you to look at balance. Can you promote movement inside with very active circle times or singing games? Can you set up an obstacle course inside? Most of all, if your children are under 9, can you structure the environment so they have active things to do and put up the books and crayons and such that they come down only at certain times? Balance, balance, balance.
Getting everyone together several times a day to sing and play singing games is an excellent way to promote some energy! If you have forgotten all the singing games from your childhood, “Lavender’s Blue Dilly Dilly” by Mary Thienes Schunemann has 28 singing games in it: http://www.naturallyyoucansing.com/books/lavender.htm
Other mothers I know in this situation have had success in looking at themselves. Think about your own energy and where you are. Are you stuck? We want things to be calm at home, but I also think when we model to a child that during “down time” we are always sitting down knitting or reading as opposed to singing a song while we scrub something or grabbing a shovel and heading out to the garden, we send a message as to what kinds of activities are important. Our children are the great imitators! What kind of energy are you showing your children?
If your own personal energy is lower than you think it should be, please try this post to assist you: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/05/06/making-yourself-a-priority-in-the-parenting-equation/
I think energy is also seasonal though as well. In the Northern Hemisphere, this just seems to be the time to hunker down and enjoy the warmth of inside right now, with increased energy and vitality to come as the days warm. Bringing in the light with the Winter Festivals is an important shift of energy for our yearly rhythm.
Look toward the balance of your day and your activities,