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.

 

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.

From Wholeness: Ourselves

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Judgement makes what is calling us pull back. – Mark Nepo

Cultivating an inner stillness allows that small voice to speak. If you are quiet enough, you will hear it. Looking at and listening to what lies behind your heart and within your bones requires a candle-full of light and a cavern-full of courage. Trust yourself to find yourself. Strike the match. You know the way.

Contemplation

  • Being generous and surrounding yourself with kindness, describe your strengths.
  • Again, with a kind generosity, describe your biggest struggles.
  • Is there a difference between areas to strengthen or improve and that which just needs to be released?
  • What gives you energy? What depletes your energy? Is there an energetic balance to your days?
  • When are you fully present? What inhibits you from being fully present more often?

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

  • In light of the above questions, ask yourself: What needs to be seen? What needs to be said? What needs to be heard?
  • What is calling you?
  • Make a single promise to yourself. In this coming year, I promise . . .

Meditation

I invite you to pause, to feel your breath and to welcome whatever arises. Try 15 seconds. Try 60 seconds. Notice where the breath lands: does it stay in your head and neck? does it fill your chest? does it descend all the way to the belly? Observe its other qualities: fast or slow? deep or shallow? jagged or fluid? Let go of analysis and simply listen to what this unconscious and life-giving force has to tell you.

“Love before me; love behind me; love at my left; love at my right; love above me; love below me; love unto me; love in my surroundings; love to all; love to the universe.” – The Prayer of Light

Inspiration

  • Kelly Rae Roberts invites you to take what you need.
  • Jon Kabat-Zinn shows us how to open to our lives through the practice of mindfulness.
  • The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo offers short daily reflections and mediations.
  • The enneagram has guided my journey of self-discovery for almost 20 years.
  • Vivienne McMaster cultivates self-compassion through her gentle online self-portraiture classes.
  • The idea of personal geographies are calling to me right now – especially as imagined by Jill Berry.

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Click to see all posts in this series.

Click to see all posts in this series.

 

 

 

Seeing Ourselves from Wholeness

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The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott, “Love After Love”

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Click to see all posts in this series.

Click to see all posts in this series.

Journal / Journey With Me

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Before I even begin this post I will admit I am not a journal writer by any stretch of the imagination. I love to buy journals – especially ones with graph paper pages and blank covers to collage. But rarely – rarely – do I actually write in these blank, bound books. So for me to ask you to journal together feels slightly laughable and also a bit reckless, like chuckling while stepping off a cliff. However, as I’ve said before in this space, it is a year for being brave and doing new things – and laughter always helps everything.

I’ve had an ebook brewing for quite some time. I have a title, a logo and about 90% of the writing complete. My initial timeframe to have it completed was March. Then it was May. Now it’s June and it’s still not done. Instead of giving you something polished and perfect, I am offering something in process and in transition instead. This gesture can be seen as the growing edge of where I want to go and who I am becoming. It is a place that feels vulnerable, unknown and scary as hell. So imagine me taking a deep breath and inviting you to meet me there.

I have written from Wholeness in the spirit that we teach what we most need to learn. So although I may be hosting/guiding this journey, don’t think for a moment I have it figured out. I don’t. This will not be an ebook that promises easy answers, quick results or even anything definitive from me. It is basically a workbook that asks a series of questions around an overarching theme of vision: looking back, seeing the center, looking ahead. Only I can answer these questions for me. Only you can answer these questions for you. I believe this will be a journey of individuals held together in community. Setting such an intention, I am trusting a path will reveal itself to each and every one of us who ponder these questions in the quiet moments we are able to set aside for ourselves. I truly believe an open heart, a listening ear and an honest eye will be our best companions.

I have some short introductions/musings for each section, lots of questions and thoughts to think. I have also gathered some poetry, inspiring links and other surprises along the way. Beyond that, I don’t know what to expect. I am taking the first step and seeing where it leads. If you would like to join me in this summertime soul-searching, all you will need is a blank book or even some blank paper. Perhaps a special pen, a candle, a binder and maybe a stash of chocolate covered almonds. After we complete this series on the blog (probably sometime in August), Tom will turn the separate posts into a cohesive ebook where you can record all your scattered musings in one place. Considering the beautiful logo he did, I have high hopes. (Sleeping with a graphic designer does have its perks!!) So think about joining me. We’ll begin from Wholeness on Monday. I can’t wait.