Day Three, Part Two: Twenty Days Toward Being A More Mindful Mother

 

How we as mothers hold our feelings steady impacts our family….Feelings can be like waves of emotion, but positive feelings can also have a quality of raying out  to envelop those around us…

 

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An action such as the meditative drawing of running forms before bed can help demonstrate joy and positivity, ever moving from us toward our families…

 

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Ever striving, always working on our own attitudes…

 

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Many Blessings this Holy Week,

Carrie

Day Three, Part One: Twenty Days Toward Being A More Mindful Mother

 

Originally, this post was about positivity.  I wanted to update this  with a bit about meeting ourselves, those around us, and especially our children with love and with delight, pleasure and humor, and yes, with a certain positivity.

 

Kim John Payne writes eloquently about the “soul fever” the children of today are experiencing.  HIs recent article published by The Huffington Post about “soul fever” is here:  http://www.runyt.com/2012/03/12/kim-john-payne-why-the-ritalin-debate-is-asking-the-wrong-question-healing-our-kids-soul-fever-with-simplicity/

 

I was thinking about us, as adults, and the concept of “soul fever.”  Continue reading

Part Two of Day Two: Twenty Days Toward Being A More Mindful Mother

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Forgiveness is part of the human journey; I meet so many people who are so upset that they might be wrong and that they might not be perfect.

 

Yet, making mistakes, asking forgiveness from others and forgiving ourselves is what shapes our souls.

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It changes us and leaves marks on us.

It exposes our flaws for what they are….

 

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And hopefully leads us to balance;  not perfection and not “doing it right.”

 

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Changing forms in clay is an exercise in the will, just as living life often is.  I have made a lot of mistakes in life.  This used to upset me, but the older I get the more I can see the mistakes for what they are, the help that they are, the learning I obtain from those mistakes.

 

I am grateful.

 

Many blessings in your modeling work,

Carrie

Day Two: Twenty Days Toward Being A More Mindful Mother

 

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(Photograph courtesy of Samantha Fogg of work+play positive dog training  at http://workplaydogs.com/)

I love this photograph because it reminds me that beautiful things are still happening in some of nature’s most quiet and dark seasons; just as sometimes we personally have to go through dark periods to come out into new growth. Part of the process of creating your family often leads to acknowledging things you would like to do differently; things you would like to be better, and opportunities for a positive and beautiful new beginning.

 

In the process of acknowledging what you would like to change or do differently, I hope you take the time to see all the things that you do right.  I also hope you forgive yourself for any unrealistic expectations that you were harboring about parenting and family life or homeschooling.  I hear from so many mother who seem to be disappointed in themselves.

 

I think forgiveness is a huge part of a mindful path in parenting and in homeschooling. I have written some posts on guilt and forgiveness in the past that  I would like to share with you here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2008/11/27/forgiving-ourselves/ and here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/05/22/waldorf-guilt/ and here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/02/14/is-it-too-late/.

 

Self-forgiveness is often a process where one has to accept and forgive themselves for being HUMAN and not perfect. It is part of life to be “not perfect”, to be authentic and real, flaws and all.  We keep striving, and most of all, we start doing and trying.  It is not enough to read it in a book, or to gather and collect information..you must jump in and start in order to capture your own will and affect real and meaningful change.

 

So I ask you tonight……

What are your wounds that require self-forgiveness?

How do you acknowledge disappointment, loss?

How can your inner work help you in the journey of self-forgiveness?

 

Parenting is not perfection, it is a journey. Your child is not a psychological extension of you. I hear parents worry all the time that their child will grow up and resent the choices they have made; that Waldorf homeschooling will not be “enough” and that the child will blame them when they are in college and realize not every single thing was covered for them in their homeschooling education, etc.

 

Huh.

 

I don’t know about you, but I attended one of the best public school systems in New York. I have gone on to college to earn two degrees, and there were many subjects and ideas that were not covered in my public school career. If I knew everything coming out of high school, why would I need or want to go on to college? And then there were some things I learned in high school that made so much more sense in college –precalculus and physics come to mind!

 

There is always going to be some website or person who espouses the horrors of some parenting decision you have made –whether that is extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, homeschooling, Waldorf homeschooling. We are all different people, and I think it is okay that people have different views. Our views also change over time. Part of being human means that we continue to develop until the day we pass from this earth.  We learn and we grow.  I find comfort in that, and I hope you do as well.  Sometimes knowing you are doing the very best you can Right Now In This Moment is plain powerful confidence!

 

We can still be confident even if we are not perfect. We still have more years of living than our children, we can still strive to be listeners, to be patient, to communicate without sarcasm or blame. We can exude a quiet confidence and strength in parenting even without perfection.

 

Forgive yourself, be easy with yourself, and most of all love yourself. I believe in a Creator, and in the Creator’s eyes, you are His Beloved!

 

Blessings and love,

Carrie

Day One, Part Two: Twenty Days Toward Being A More Mindful Mother

 

It takes time and space to develop; much like the time and space it takes to create a beautiful fluid painting.  The possibilities are endless; mindful consideration is called for.

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We look at all the elements that create family life and work in an effort to blend them together:

Roaring, racing red that gives us form:

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Shy, quiet blue that moves outward and permeates the home and family:

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Extroverted, excited yellow, spiraling ever outward bringing fun and joy, the polarities of different things bringing balance to the family:

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Until a beautiful, mindful family culture is created where individuals can unfold and grow…including the adults of the family.

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Take a few moments this week to bring some fluidity and creativity into your life, into this business of parenting and creating a family life.  I can’t wait to see what you all come up with.

Much love,
Carrie

Day One, Part One: Twenty Days Toward Being A More Mindful Mother

Creating a family life can be daunting:  such a huge responsibility, and this wavering between too many resources and not enough as we try to work with the things no one seems to talk about.  From all my work with parents, sometimes I can feel the emotions mothers experience  drawn in space almost like the four  temperaments.   Perhaps there is the dark side of isolation and sadness like the melancholic,  the fiery choleric need for order and doing (and maybe anger and frustration as things don’t line up to our plans and expectations), the deep phlegmatic ponderings in nature and spirituality, and the sanguine joy and fun of play and creating beauty.

However, all of these emotions also have a polarity.  Isolation and sadness can give way toward helping others and ennobling them through our own dark experiences; the need for order through domination can also become leadership and delegation and setting priorities, the ponderings can give way to action, the fun and joy of creating can give way to stillness to  just see and observe.

The pieces I see missing from mothers  is this scattered sense of too much information and too much time gathering information and not enough doing.  The practical piece, that willing and doing, just has to be there.  I don’t know about you, but I am tired at night from the sheer doing of it all.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into Day Number One: Inner Work.

Please have a notebook and a piece of paper and ponder the following: Continue reading

Putting It All Together: Day 20 of 20 Days Toward Being A More Mindful Mother

Wow, we are at 20 days!  I want to thank all of you who read this series and worked with some of these things in your own homes and families.  I am curious to hear feedback from you all as to what you observed, learned or felt.

A reader from the UK writes how she worked with this series of posts, and I thought it was a brilliant idea myself :):

“Here is what I have decided to do:
I have been printing out each day to use the following morning in my quiet time, when my brain is at its best (!) I got behind on this with my family being sick & ended up with my print outs here there & everywhere, so have decided to wait until you have finished the series, Carrie, then have the pages all spiral bound & work through it, day by day. I am going to include lots of blank sheets at the end of each day, for my own notes. I think this is something I could do every year or so. What a wonderful resource. Thank you Carrie”

Thanks for the idea, Lynn!

One way that I personally pull all of the different elements together that were mentioned in these posts is through my  daily inner work, prayer and meditation on each child.  I think of these areas and try to ascertain if each child is receiving what they need at this time, what they need so they can be uplifted, what areas are challenging for this child.

I know many of you who read this blog do not homeschool or use Waldorf education.  However, I do find for our family that the curriculum of Waldorf education really does dovetail with all of the developmental stages and expectations mentioned in this series and really assists me in helping my children.

Many blessings to you all!  I would love to hear your experiences and what was valuable to you.

Peace,

Carrie