Layering It In – Year Three

Last summer, I collaged the little notebook above to record my intentions and goals for the boys and me. ‘Fly’ is not a word that usually resonates with me, but for some reason it jumped out and made me claim it. I’m so glad I did, as it resulted in giving us our most formal year ever, yet paradoxically, one in which I’ve felt the most creative freedom. Getting to this place was not easy, and this year has been one long lesson in letting go and struggling to fly. Recently, I came across this little gem of a sentence: “The basic prerequisite of flight is the feathered wing: light, strong and flexible . . . ” Yes! If I could summarize the core of my inner work this past year, it would be to cultivate lightness, strength and flexibility.

Unfortunately this process was neither pretty nor effortless nor linear. First and foremost, I had to acknowledge and release all that was weighing me down in regard to homeschooling with Waldorf inspired methods. Some of this was old personal stuff, some of it was advice and impressions I received when I first came to Waldorf, and some of it had absolutely nothing to do with me, but rather was the echo of other people’s voices inside my own head. Once I could look at all this stuff, I realized I had created an absolute (and unattainable!) ideal in my head of what homeschooling with Waldorf should look like. If I could make myself stay in this uncomfortable place a bit longer, I also realized such an ideal was paralyzing me and prohibiting me from engaging with what was actually unfolding right in front of me. To fall back on cliché, I was letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

I walked miles and miles around the hay fields of my house, replaying in my mind the countless ways this ideal was holding me back. I sat for hours and hours on my back porch, staring at the cows on the hillside, convincing myself things could look a lot different if I could just shift my thinking and simply delight in what is. Finally, finally, I noticed a change. My heart was lighter. My resolve was stronger. And my thoughts were much more flexible. There is no way I could have done this alone. Consulting with Jean Miller in February, seeing Rainbow Rosenbloom in March, being in session with my spiritual director every month and last, but definitely not least, talking to Andrea every day helped me to look at all this crap and get passed it. I also want to thank you (yes, you) for showing up and being witness to my efforts to expand the idea of what Waldorf homeschooling can look like. Your comments, your support and your friendship have made this a journey of true companionship. Thank you.

***

This post got a little unwieldy, so expect my thoughts on rhythm, curriculum, art, etc. tomorrow. Click the images below if you want to read what Year 1 and Year 2 looked liked.

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17 thoughts on “Layering It In – Year Three

  1. I can relate to much of what you said. Are you a melancholic? I find that my fear of not doing things perfectly, or even “right,” can keep me from doing anything at all. Thanks for including your support system — I sure could use a spiritual director, too. Looking forward to reading more about your amazing progress this year!

    • Hey Tracie,
      Good to hear from you! No, I’m Sanguine. But I’m a 4 on the Enneagram and an INFJ on Myers-Briggs if that means anything to you, lol!!

      And I never answered your email about spiritual direction, but if you check out Sandra’s link, you can learn more about it.

      It’s a process – this whole homeschooling with Waldorf gig – and I swear it has changed me just as much (if not more) than it has the kids.

      Hope you are well.
      Sheila

    • LOVE this too – have already read it three times. I love the definition of flight and how it provides both support and structure and personal freedom. I love your honesty about your journey. OK I am sending you an email with more… beware I have had a lot of French press this morning:)

  2. I am taking hold of the requirements of flight.

    I am so glad for you that you have come to your own place. And I will tell you that I’ve been making my way to my own place and you gave me the map — “Teach Out Of Your Joy.”

    • That’s a good one. And one that I want to do a collage of. I have the perfect background, but haven’t progressed any farther. Maybe this summer.

      Fly.

      Sheila

  3. I have learned so much from your journey about homeschooling and life. Thanks for allowing us to peek into your days. You make it seem do-able and desirable because of your honesty. Xoxo.

    • Isn’t that one of the best thing about blogs, “peeking into” other people’s days?
      Looking forward to our continuing friendship, especially with homeschooling.
      xo to you.
      Sheila

  4. Being witness to your efforts has been a genuine privilege Sheila! And it has strengthened my resolve to find my own way on my own terms. Teaching “out of your joy” is so freeing. It certainly takes the pressure off. Yes, there is some Waldorf dogma and there are core curriculum and state (PA, anyway) requirements, but I don’t need to be defined by any of it. The REAL core comes from my own ground and my own passion, while truly “seeing” my children and their needs/preferences, with the help of Divine inspiration from Heaven. And from angelic friends. That is more than enough. The grace of sufficiency. Your candor about your own journey has made all the difference in inspiring my first year of taking flight. (No wonder birds have been such a theme in my family this year!)

    Without dating myself, I think of Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull right about now.

    “He spoke of very simple things- that it is right for a gull to fly, that freedom is the very nature of his being, that whatever stands against that freedom must be set aside, be it ritual or superstition or limitation in any form.

    “Set aside,” came a voice from the multitude, “even if it be the Law of the Flock?”

    “The only true law is that which leads to freedom,” Jonathan said. “There is no other.”
    ― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

    Deepest gratitude to you, my friend in flight!
    xo

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