going against the most natural, polite grain…

don’t mean to brag or boast, but i just have to report back on a holy triumph!!

not totally, but it feels KIND of like it—we had such a great village women’s group last saturday and it was just really nice company, really beautiful food, hands on crafts/inspiration, quality sharing, all nice and neatly timed and organized— but, it was the moments of quiet — something new in this space—that really, really stood out to me…it’s so hard i think and unusual for women to get together and feel truly comfortable within moments of silence, not filling space, just kind of being there without a word (which usually makes my body feel tight and like something just must be terribly wrongish unless i’m in a yoga class…) in general, but especially when someone else is talking— to NOT respond and share your similar experience, feelings, thoughts, questions, comforts–NOT that any of this is bad—can just feel weird, but in this case— really, really good….

i just felt such extreme rejuvenation after this round– and it was because it was that perfect combined flow of input and output of energy– that’s just tricky to navigate in most  areas of life it seems.

specifically—in case you really want to know the deets– we sat in a circle, one person leading, loosely talked about what we COULD talk about if we wanted to–and, just were all totally quiet while this one person spoke and was really, really heard, totally uninterrupted, allowing them to go a little bit deeper than usual, if they wished, to get to the bottom of it within their own interpretation– and when it was your turn, you got to comment and relate if you wanted to about someone else, but, mostly we just shared our own experience.

and, of course we do and could ALL relate to each other and totally felt their story like it was our own, because on some level, it always seems to be the case in a room full of mamas….

it was just this really easy, unexhausting, lovely way to be with each other.

AND, then after our gorgeous lunch– we all found a spot alone to bask in the sun, journal, or sleep for a bit– nothing totally, totally profound but just good rejuicing that is defnitely not the most natural tendency- but, you know it was what we all really WANTED to do after all of the quiche, flatbread, chocolate croissant bread pudding, salad extravaganza (please embelish with fotos Kami)!

always, always love the group AND totally diggin this newness!


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ebbs and flows

oh, these darn ups and downs of life–i’m totally in the depths of it.

and, trying to reconcile these places i am, have been and want to go into one space that’s just always available, always good, always safe, knowing, confident, ‘enlightened’–ha, ha, that tricky word…. it’s so easy to do when i’m up–when the universe has clearly heard my calls and pleas– when it just drops IT smack dab directly into my lap in a very ‘i dream of genie’ style.

right now, it’s just not that way, or maybe it is in ways i’m clearly unaware of– it’s just so hard to step way back and gain perspective, and NOT look around and compare myself to everyone else’s successes, accomplishments, highty highs, ‘wins’. and, i really do not like being green and bitter–i just wish i could wake up meditate, go for a long walk, get to a peaceful place, then just sit, listen and follow my grounded lead. anyway, i figure that  it’s OK to talk about the rough spots–even when you’re still in it and the answer, relief, pot of gold has still yet not appeared.
because, i know– deep down— know it’s all going to be OK, the road is not blocked, it’s probably just a different path that i just don’t see yet. and, i’m also so hopeful and destiny–ish believing that i just know there’s a lesson here. it’s just really ughish and hard when i’m right here, at this point– not anywhere near IT.

Ahhhhh….i don’t have any grand conclusions– but, just would like to recognize that challenges are always a part of this blessed life- hard stuff will always come up, along with the IT wishes that are granted. I just want to remember, really remember that right now—when i’m challenged, i’m waking up so early to breathe, have space, write, journal–praying to the universe, something greater than me–my spiritual practice that i’m always too, too tired for and overwhelmed with to do’s in my other busier life– unable to sink down and clarify the meaning in it all– other than making enough money, growing a business, raising my babes, on the lookout for date nights, etc, etc…..i always seek this something more— not the IT— the forever connection that only comes from the space i’m so committed to right now in this moment. and, i did have the thought yesterday– that, maybe, maybe this is my way, or something beyond me– IF it did all have meaning, this could be part of me clearly receiving this connection i seek– that isn’t a zinger of exciting news, some exciting nugget of sompin, sompin– nothing that’s coming to me, or to look forward to, but this peaceful calm and peace that’s always here.
always, always here.

and, i also just have to throw in here–into this ramble i feel compelled to put forth for SOME reason—– that during these times- in life– the ups and especially the downs–besides this super solid relationship with myself, and the mysterious beyond, i seek and am in cahoots with at the moment, i’ve really, really noticed that it’s people like Amy– of course Kami, more recently Kara—women who are really OK with seriously digging up all of these parts of ourselves and allowing space for it— all of the pretty, glamorous, dreamy manifestations for sure AND really, come on now, all of our insecurities, fears, worries, falling aparted-ness that really just does come up, and really needs to just tenderly and responsibly come out, be said and heard– these are the peeps i know and love that i always want to remember to stay connected to, make time for in this space::: when i’m down, on my way up, or atop o’ the grandiose mountain!!

those who know and love me true and vise versa— seek THESE people out, form something, join something, always stay supported to them and connected to me, myself and I and the great beyond….


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What works?

At our last village meeting, we were talking about that moment in a long (or short!) day of parenting when you hit a wall.  And you know you are going to lose it (or you may already have lost it) if you continue on with whatever is going on… most especially awful when you are mentally/emotionally/physically spent and they are full of pep and the proverbial piss and vinegar… an explosive combo.  Anyway, we said someone oughta make a list… a really really great go-to list… of the most completely simple but easy and extremely entertaining little distractions or activities, that you can pull out of your sleeve when you just desperately need to change gears.  Or buy yourself some time to breathe before you go into a complete and total downward spiral.  The key word here is SIMPLE… as you all know, the time I am talking about is NOT the time to pull out some complicated crafty project that requires patience and concentration.  So I’ll provide a few that spring to mind… and I really REALLY hope you will reply with a comment about some ideas that work for you… gods know I could really REALLY use a few more tricks up my sleeve.

So here goes:

Playdough (and I have a winner recently when I gave them some birthday candles and cupcake papers… they played birthday party related games for about an hour)

Pecan cracking (we have this really awesome, kid friendly pecan cracker… the kids love it. )

Magnets.  Magnets, just plain magnets, are usually pretty fun.  I have a package of about 50 dime-sized, half-inch thick magnets.  It was like 6 dollars.  But they actually get a lot of play.  Today they were rediscovered, and the kids were playing a game where they were throwing them up at the metal gutter trying to get them to stick.  Sounds kind of goofy but there was a lot of laughing and excitement… which we desperately needed because the day had been fucking brutal. 

Baths.  My kids will almost always get in the bath and I can buy myself at least a few minutes of breathing time.  Sometimes they’ll chill in their for a good long while. 

The car.  My toddler at least is always utterly thrilled if I let her loose in the car.  She could play in there forever.  This is great for me if she’s being extra clingy and I feel like I can’t take it anymore. 

Secret stash.  I just realized I completely forgot to do this today when I really could have used it. But I have a big stack of Highlights magazines from a thrift store that I just stored up out of sight.  I’m planning on pulling them out sometime when I really need a distraction.  Your secret stash could consist of anything… obviously.

Audio books.  We listen to these a lot.  Hank the Cowdog is brilliant.  If I had a totally new one that I knew the kids would like, I could save it to pull out when I really need them to chill out.

OK, anyone out there got some ideas for me??  My list needs lengthening!


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Fine art

Look at this beautiful little piece of art that our dear friend Emily brought for me and Laurie at yesterday’s village meeting.  SO super sweet.  Community is where it’s at!!  Thank you Emily, we are SO lucky to know you!

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Village meetup

Such a very very enjoyable morning. 

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Communal living….

As I said, I don’t usually envision myself living on a commune but gee this place sure does look SUPER idyllic…

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How come Amy is so damn smart???

I just LOVE this.  I have been having a little trouble with my son Jack at school.  I’m not a big fan of your just average, straight-up, normal school.  If I had my druthers for sure for sure we would be going to some groovy alternative school or I’d be sharing a manny with Laurie who would take our boys kayaking and rock climbing all day.  But the answer to making all that happen has not revealed itself, not quite yet.  So we’re going with the flow at a public school and it’s been pretty much absolutely totally fine, and Jack really loves it.  And he’s been such an eager beaver that the teachers love him.  Until recently.  I started getting talking-to’s from the teacher about Jack’s behavior.  That he’s just generally being unruly, talking to his friends, not listening.  Of course this sends me right back to being a frightened little 6 year old in trouble with the teacher myself, which is not really a fabulously clear, compassionate, right-thinking place to come from when speaking out for the best interest of my child.  I had a session with Amy and of course as usual she just had the most amazing thoughts on the matter.  She sent me this letter NOT to send to the teacher, but for me and my husband to read before we’re going to have interactions with the teacher (I have a conference with her next Monday) so we can be totally crystal clear about our true intent and not so easily become cowed.   Feel free to use it yourself, and spread it around!! It’s a brave new world!

From a mom to her child’s teachers, principals etc

 I just want to let you know that I’m not sending my child to your school for the reasons you probably think I am.  I am sending him to school because [he wants to be there, his best friends go there, he thinks it’s fun, you do lots of cool projects, you have a nice gym to run around in, you have a great art program, a nice library, there are lots of kids to play with, your teachers are sweet, you have a big playground, you have microscopes, you go on fun field trips, I have to work, I’m tired of having kids around the house all day…etc]. 

I’m not sending him to school because I think he needs you to teach him things that he otherwise wouldn’t learn.  I am totally confident that my child will learn everything he ever needs or wants to learn, regardless of whether he goes to your school, or any school, ever.  I fully believe that he is naturally curious, capable, intelligent and pre-programmed to explore everything that he will ever need to explore, to retain everything that he ever needs to retain.  I need no proof of this (which is why his grades are meaningless to me) and I am not asking you to agree with me.  But it is how I feel, and what I believe, and there is nothing you can say that will convince me otherwise.

I am so sorry that your job description is, it seems to me, impossible to fulfill.  I am sorry you have to worry about things like curriculum and grades.  I don’t think those things matter a bit, and focusing on them seem to cause you and all your colleagues so much undue hassle and stress.

I’m also sorry you have to deal with so many disciplinary problems in your classroom, which seem to be a completely predictable and unfortunate result of caring so much about the curriculum and grades.  I wish there were some easy answer, but I know that if you stopped worrying about curriculum and grades (and the resulting discipline problems) you would promptly lose your job.  I think this is criminal, since I know you went into your profession because you have a special love and patience for children, and I wish that you could express it in a way that didn’t cause such hassle and stress.  But I understand that this is how it is.

So I have a lot of sympathy and compassion for the difficult position you find yourself in daily.  However I need to let you know that I am not going to do anything drastic to or about my child, in order to alleviate the stress of your position.  As I’ve said, I believe my child to be absolutely fine – learning and growing in the ways that are exactly right for him.  I will explain to him what you wish for and how you feel – and I encourage you to do the same.  He can make his decisions about his actions based on this, and I trust his decisions.  Likewise, I trust your decisions about what you need to do, to survive the difficulties that are inherent in being a teacher.  I encourage you to continue to work and communicate directly with my child about your feelings, desires, expectations and limits, so that he can learn about you and develop an authentic relationship directly with you.  I think his behavior and performance in your classroom will be the most beneficial to you if he feels that his relationship with you is healthy, enlivening and important.  This is one reason why I don’t want to get between the two of you, and why I hope you will continue to be clear and honest with him directly.

If there is anything I can do to help you, that does not involve triangulating, or controlling, manipulating or shaming my child, please let me know and I’ll do my best to support you.  I very much appreciate how much of yourself you give to my child and to this planet’s children, and I wish you nothing but the best.

Thank you,

The mom

Amy Childs

Happiness Consultant


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