A Few Things

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We have had an intentionally lazy summer. Ever since Vincent got back from sleep-away camp in June, we have done a whole bunch of nothing. That, however, is about to change. When I look at the calendar for the next six weeks, I can’t help thinking, “Whose life is this?!” This week, I leave for Taproot (happy dance! happy dance!) and Jude starts his first-ever day camp. When I return, Vincent will attend a week-long Boy Scout day camp at our local arboretum. The next Monday, August 11, we will begin school. We will have lessons for 3 weeks and then I leave for Wyoming. WYOMING! My eyes get big and my fingertips tingle at the thought of being on my own, in all that wide open space, for nine whole days. This trip – and all it represents - is proving less scary (well, slightly less scary, if I’m being completely honest) and more thrilling than I could have imagined when I made my reservations back in the fall. I don’t know what to expect, but hopefully there will be some new cowboy boots involved.

So what does all this mean for the blog? Well, Susannah has timed her August Break perfectly. I participated in this photo-fest last year and I’m looking forward to doing it again. Plus I hope a month of photos will stop Tom from vociferously complaining about the absence of Habit: Reflective Friday, which I have heard about every Friday for the past two months. I figure it’s the least I can do when he will be busy, busy, busy redesigning my blog. Wait until you see the new logo: oh. my. stars. He is amazing.

And if I can say one more thing: from Wholeness changed my life. Admittedly it first kicked my ass, LOL, but after that, it made me stand up and claim something deep inside myself that I have never before taken seriously. Your responses, your comments, your texts and emails and phone calls made every step a little less hesitant and a little more bold. It’s given me a new direction on an old map.

So that’s the plan anyway. In addition to all the photos (see list below), I will pop in a few times over the next six weeks with some words, maybe a guest post or two and definitely a big announcement on the redesign. Know that I wish you all more love and light than you could ever imagine. S

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Looking Ahead from Wholeness

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What you can plan / is too small / for you to live. – David Whyte

Having looked at all that came before, all that resides within and all that stands in front of you, you can gaze from wholeness on what lies ahead. Gifting yourself a bit of space and time, let the vision of next year begin to emerge. Let it begin gently. Let it begin with intention. Let it begin.

Contemplation

  • Review everything you have written about or thought about in this series: last year, yourself, your child.
  • Close your eyes and make a wish for your upcoming homeschool year.
  • Write down your wish and keep it somewhere safe.

Meditation

Embrace where you are, and envision where you want to be. Holding that space, invite a word or an image to guide you during the coming year. Be open to what arises and present to how it makes you feel. Whether a whisper or a shout, claim it. Your heart has spoken. Listen to what it has to say.

Inspiration

  • Mark Nepo on wonder.
  • When your thoughts consume you, read this.
  • A Morning Offering” by John O’Donohue.
  • Brené Brown is a visionary. Listening to her inspires change and courage in me.
  • The quotation under the photo above comes from this poem by David Whyte.

 

Looking Ahead from Wholeness

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Something is very gently,
invisibly, silently,
pulling at me – a thread
or net of threads
finer than cobweb and as
elastic. I haven’t tried
the strength of it. No barbed hook
pierced and tore me. Was it
not long ago this thread
began to draw me? Or
way back? Was I
born with its knot about my
neck, a bridle? Not fear
but a stirring
of wonder makes me
catch my breath when I feel
the tug of it when I thought
it had loosened itself and gone.

- Denise Levertov, “The Thread”

Seeing This Child From Wholeness

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“Nothing could have prepared / Your heart to open like this.” – John O’Donohue

Focusing on one child at a time, try to hold the epic vision from beloved infant to unknown adult. Gently nurture this picture of wholeness with a soft gaze, an open heart and all the love you have. If you listen for the whispers of angels and trust them to speak, they will guide you to a place of deep vision. Follow blindly; you will be led to light.

Contemplation

  • List this child’s gifts and strengths.
  • What comes effortlessly to this child?
  • What is this child’s weakness or area of biggest struggle?
  • What needs to be brought to balance?
  • Name one thing this child needs every single day.
  • How can this child thrive?

After sitting with these questions, journaling about the answers and then giving yourself some time and distance, move onto the following section.

  • Ask your heart for an insight into this child.
  • Name a single intention to be held during the upcoming homeschool year for this child in each of the following areas: Academic, Physical, Spiritual/Emotional
  • Make a promise to this child. I love you and promise to  . . .

Meditation

“Parents are invisible creators. Quietly, day after day, their care and kindness nurture and foster the unseen landscapes of their children’s minds. On the life journey of each individual the nature of the mind determines what is seen and valued. In The Symposium, Plato said so beautifully that one of the highest human privileges is to “be midwife to the birth of the soul in another.” This is the precious and eternal work that parents do; they do this unobtrusively and continuously.” – John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us

Find and frame a favorite photograph of this child, preferable one that is at least a few years old. Place it in the room in which you seem to have recurring difficulties (bedtime? bath time? math time?). When you are in one of those difficult moments, shift your gaze toward the photograph. Let your heart be flooded with unabashed love for this child. Remember how quickly time passes. Ask for the grace to see this moment as fleeting. Ask for whatever else you need. Try to hold the moment in the photograph and the moment currently unfolding together in your heart.

Inspiration

  • Brené Brown has a beautiful, printable Parenting Manifesto.
  • Soule Mama is one of my favorite parenting blogs – this recent post is one reason why.
  • Brian Andreas’ musings on parenting and children frequently bring me to tears.
  • The quotation under the photo above comes from this poem by John O’Donohue.

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Click to see all posts in this series.

Click to see all posts in this series.