Thursday, February 26, 2009

Shifting from terrible to TERRIFIC!!!!

THE DAILY GROOVE ~ by Scott Noelle
www.enjoyparenting.com/dailygroove

:: Terrible Two's & Rebellious Teens... NOT! ::

(Continued from yesterday -- full text at
http://dailygroove.net/terrible-not )

Developmentally, toddlers and Teens have one thing
in common: they're on the verge of a quantum leap in
personal autonomy. They're on a mission to become
*themselves* -- to get in touch with their Inner Power
more than ever before.

Anytime they feel imposed upon or coerced, that
mission is blocked, and they instinctively protest.
In nature-based, pleasure-oriented, partnership
cultures, such protests are rarely triggered, so
terrible two's and teen rebellions rarely occur.

But in our anti-nature, control-oriented culture,
parents are expected (if not required *by law*) to
oppose or control children's natural developmental
impulses toward personal empowerment, which
guarantees the terribles!

The shift from terrible to terrific begins with your
commitment to creative partnership. Then, whenever
your child exhibits "terrible" behavior, you can
re-interpret it as evidence of his or her unfolding
autonomy, and ask yourself this:

"How can I use my creativity
to support my child's growth
in a way that works for ALL of us?"

http://dailygroove.net/terrible-not

=================================================
I especially like this "The shift from terrible to terrific begins with your
commitment to creative partnership. Then, whenever
your child exhibits "terrible" behavior, you can
re-interpret it as evidence of his or her unfolding
autonomy" as it remind me to love my child FOR WHERE SHE IS rather then where I WANT her to be.
Great stuff!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Where the Wild Things are- library :)

We went to a great library function with the theme of "Where the Wild Things Are."
It was a bit overwhelming for Kathrynn, as there were a decent number of kids, none of whom she knew. But she wound up having a GREAT time!!
IU theater students were running the program, and they really did a great job. :)
The read the book a few times, did some various dances, made masks, and acted out various parts.











They also did some really cute dances with call and respond parts that was so much fun to watch. K was excitedly awaiting her turn at the Wig-a-low dance:



video

I love our library!
:)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

beautiful!

chain mail at its best!

======================================

*Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play.

*Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.

*Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles.

*Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck and I will buy you one if he comes by.

*Just for this afternoon, I won't worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made where you are concerned.

*Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won't stand over you trying to fix them.

*Just for this afternoon, I will take us to McDonald's and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have both toys.

*Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born and how much I love you.

*Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.

*Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.

*Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favorite TV shows.

*Just for this evening when I run my finger through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that Source Energy has given me the greatest gift ever given.

*And when I kiss you good night I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer.. It is then, that I will thank Source Energy for you, and ask Source for nothing, except one more day.............

Friday, February 20, 2009

A portal into authenticity, integrity , and intimacy.....

From Micheal Brown's The Presence Portal.....

THE PRESENT MOMENT IS VALID - ENTERING IT CONSCIOUSLY IS A PORTAL INTO
AUTHENTICITY, INTEGRITY, AND INTIMACY.

Present moment awareness is "being fully present within each unfolding
moment just as it is - without interference - without binding it with
the resonance of fear, anger, and grief arising from our unintegrated
past". Only when we are present are we vulnerable to receiving, and
therefore able to contain, each unfolding encounter as a divinely
ordained opportunity to intimately explore the profound possibilities
of our humanity. Entering the moment fully requires a behavioral
transformation - a shift from unconscious reactivity into deliberate
responsibility. This transformation is only authentically accomplished
through integrating the underlying imprinted emotional signatures that
consistently distract us from being present.

http://www.thepresenceportal.com/index.htm
=========================
I don't have any pontificating to go with this today... I just love it.

:)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thanks Universe! Staying connected to Source.... :)

When you can look beneath their behavior that hurt you, Lisa, and you can see the frightened child - it becomes nearly impossible to be angry and carry a grudge.
And you so can.

ILY,
The Universe


Besides, Lisa, your happiness, abundance, health, and friendships are not dependent on how others behave.


Thoughts become things... choose the good ones! ®
© www.tut.com ®
=============================

I got this today from "my notes from the universe"- I always look forward to getting this each morning. Such great stuff! :)

Today was no exception, but it really struck home for me. I do pretty well with Kathyrnn- i seem to have easy access to that unconditional love button when it comes to her.

The rest of the world is another story.

I love how this reminds me not to take other peoples' "stuff" personally. I can choose to Always be connected to my Source, my Joy, my Space, my LOVE.......
It reminds me to not be "drawn in" by the words/actions of others' business, and stay connected to *My* business- of acting and breathing and Being Love, Joy, Truth. :)
It reminds me that if I Love my Self, and stay connected to Source at all times, then I *am* also loving the world around me, and everything in it..... As we are all connected by that Source. :)

Loving that freedom.....

Hypothetically, people worry about everyone being selfishly oriented. "If everyone did exactly what they want to do, what kind of world would this be?" And we say, a really, really good one. Because if everyone did what they wanted to do, everyone would feel free. And if you feel free, you feel empowered. And every negative emotion that exists—hear this—every negative emotion that exists is because there is some sense of loss of freedom somewhere in there.

Excerpted from the workshop in Syracuse, NY on Wednesday, September 29th, 2004

Our Love,
Jerry and Esther
==================================================================

One of the things i love most about our life is the amount of freedom we feel to be Who we Are, to Love what we Love, to Do what we want to Do...... and leave behind all those "have-tos" , "shoulds" and did i say "have tos?" You other shinny people know what *exactly* what I'm talking about!!!

K and I were reading a book today, and there was so much punitive language in it..... words such as "appropriate" and "consequences" used- not in a authentic way, but as a way of control. Of course in our lives there are times when x is appropriate, and y is not. But these things are discussed and processed together, and never are they decided arbitrarily. For example, I don't decide for her that a movie or a book is "inappropriate." I do know my daughter, and I know the kind of things she likes and doesn't like. But those are *her* choices, not a judgment I am imposing on her. And consequences? We don't have artificially imposed consequences here.... And although of course there are results from actions, they are not punitive results.... they are naturally occurring results/consequences.... (like, i left the ice cream out, and its melted. whoops. :X )

As I was reading that book, i was reminded how amazingly wonderful and Blessed we are to have a life that is so Expansive and Full of Freedom, so removed from constriction and control and squashing. So Limitless, in so many ways. :)

Hmmm Joy. How i love you! :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentines Day Joy!

I have a love-hate relationship with holidays, i admit it! I often *say* i don't like them..... but then i wind up getting caught in the *Joy* of the particular holiday and PHEW!!! I guess what I don't like is the idea of setting aside one day a year to celebrate this or that. It seems artificial for me- inauthentic. Even birthdays- i am constantly celebrating and being grateful for the birth of all those around me- not just on one particular day. You with me so far?!?! :P

So enter Valentines Day..... And while I don't necessarily find myself in line with the hallmark tradition of flowers and chocolates, I *Do* gobble up the opportunity to show my family how much i love them. :) And, i jump at the chance to share in the joys of my child, who is a lover of this holiday. :) The innocence and pure joy of this holiday astounds me sometimes. It is just about Love! Being with friends and family and connecting in with those base emotions. And no, not really unlike any other day of our lives, if truth be told. But still..... any day that focuses on love, can't be anything but joyful, right?!?!?! :)

Weeks ago Kathrynn decided that we should have a Valentine's Day party. Not just one party, but TWO! One party would be for her family, on the actual Valentine's day. The other party would be for her friends- she very specifically picked out the girls to invite (including their moms and siblings), and various details for the party. The count down had begun!!!!

Kathrynn spent all week making the various little cards she'd hand out, decorating the house, and finalizing details. :P




She decorated our globe/earth, as well as all our pets houses. :P


The girls had a wonderful party :)

A couple days later was Feb 14th, and we had our family party. :)




Wes surprised her with a Millenium Falcon, which was quite the hit (see the video game blog from the 13th).

Here she is with her eyes closed, waiting for the gift!!!!


Serious joy ensued after seeing what it was. :D


I love this picture--- She is listening to yet another story about Star Wars from Wes. She just loves hearing about every detail!!




video

It was another *great* day filled with lots of Joy. :)
And wow, that millennium falcon....... Good stuff!!!! She just *loves* it! (She spent two hours this morning in her room playing with her characters and her new ship. She's just in Bliss!)

Following our bliss!

Nobody else knows your reason for being. You do. Your bliss guides you to it. When you follow your bliss, when you follow your path to joy, your conversation is of joy, your feelings are of joy -- you're right on the path of that which you intended when you came forth into this physical body

Excerpted from the workshop in Houston, TX on Saturday, January 5th, 2002

Our Love,
Jerry and Esther

Friday, February 13, 2009

The joy of video games....

Thanks to the folks at RUN for their topic of the month which prompted me to write about video games....
http://familyrun.ning.com/forum/topics/march-blog-carnival

Computers are a big part of our life--- Wes has a video production business, and I work part time mostly from home via my computer, so Kathrynn has always been around computers. Wes and I both like to game also. Wes plays a variety of different games, moving through them fairly fast. I choose MMRPGs and tend to linger with them for LONG periods of time. When I was pregnant with Kathrynn, I was playing Dark Ages of Camelot, but had to ease out of it due to pretty intense morning sickness, and the need to sleep more. I tried a few times after she was born, playing while she nursed or slept in my lap..... but it was pretty difficult so I stopped. Then when Kathrynn was a year old, I got World of Warcraft as a gift. I found myself playing this during nap time, and in the evenings.... Good stuff!

Occassionally Kathrynn would "play" with me. By the time she was 4 she had characters of her own- I think she leveled 4 characters to level 5, when it starts to get a bit difficult. ;) My facination with the game suddenly stopped, before her real interest of the game got going.... but maybe one day she'll find herself playing Wow. :)

Kathrynn's first interactions with the computer, other then Wow, was on Sesamestreet.com. It was simpler back then, and she loved to move the mouse around the screen, making noises and finding hidden things. She loved playing the simple games there, first with my help and then all on her own. Her interests ebbed and flowed, although Sesamestreet.com has always been a favorite. She then discovered different games like Ollo through our public library. I can't remember their names now, but she had so much fun exploring those different games!
We still check out a lot of games from the library- Dora, Animal Safari, Little Bill, ect.

In the last year her interests have extended to our xbox and wii..... She loves to sit next to Wes as he plays the "not scary" parts of his games. She got her first game for Solstice- Animal Crossing. Her interest in this game has taken a standstill.......
Lego Star Wars is THE game she is now interested in (except for some random PC games on occassion). Her interest in Star Wars has been gradual over the years, but really skyrocketed after the holidays as she got some Star Wars action figures for xmas. Here is the funny thing- she's never seen the movies, and is not interested in watching the movies yet (although they are reading the books) due to her sensitive nature regarding things that are *too* much for her. Not being ready to watch the movies limited how she could explore the story line.... But then Wes had the idea of buying the game! The game has proved to be a safe way for her to learn everything there is to know about Star Wars, which is so exciting for us to watch!

She wants to play LSW A LOT!!! I should clarrify that *she* is actually not playing, but my husband is. :) I think that this has been a dream come true for him- his 6 yo daughter knows practically everything there is to know about Star Wars! He *loves* her new interest.... although I know that at times it is too much for him.... She is litterally waiting by the door at the end of the day sometimes, so they can start gaming! After they are done gaming, he tells more stories about Star Wars chacacters to her. And while he is not available, she and I sometimes play charades or play with her action figures. I think its pretty cute. I think my husband *still* thinks its great, although I also think it is starting to drive him a tiny bit mad. Serious kudos to him for hanging in there..... <3

Most of her male friends think her love of Star Wars is very cool. :D She has always loved super heroes, so really this is a natural extension for her, and makes her quite cool in the eyes of certain friends. LOL. Her female friends also find her passion contagious.... I look into her room at times during play dates and see how she incorporates her newest passion into various games the girls come up with.

I'm sure that some of my friends think our family is crazy, for lack of a better word. But I'm used to that. :) All I know is that the amount of Joy and Creativity that comes out of gaming is awesome to watch and be a part of. Another reason why I just *love* our life. :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Proponents of the joyful life......

We are not proponents of long life. We are proponents of joyful life, and when you find yourself in joy, the longevity usually follows. Although we do not count the success of a life by its length; we count it by its joy.

Excerpted from the workshop in West Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, March 6th, 2005

Our Love,
Jerry and Esther

PHEW the snow is melting! and some sushi ;)

I took these pix on the first beautiful day we had after weeks of snow and cold....
The girls were on their choice vehicles, and really enjoyed being outdoors, and together. :)












Sushi from the night before.....

The girls wouldn't let me take their pix- playing under another table, and under our table.... and in the next room.... and...... :P



Skye and Kathrynn are wonderfully shinny girls, who embrace life FULLY and with BIG emotion. It was fantastic that they had two great days of joy together!!!
Hanging out w/ Skye's mom isn't too bad either ;) <3

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Park Day!!!!!!

It was warm yesterday and so we hit the park!!!

Before getting there, Diego had some time to play star wars and super heroes.... Always super fun for them, and sweet for me to overhear. :)



Onto the park!










Kathrynn spent A LOT of time in the spinning bucket (not sure what its really called!





video

Paolo, Diego and Kathrynn did this for a long time.... They had so much fun! :)
video

Punished by Rewards.....

Since i'm borrowing Alfie Kohn's title to one of his most well known books "Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes" I will post a link to his awesome book! http://www.alfiekohn.org/books/pbr.htm
Great stuff!!!


I got to see how this works, first hand, in a simple setting. No, this is not a scientific study. It was a simple scenario, set up quiet innocently, and what I saw while watching the event unfold was quite telling......

Rewind back to the birthday party i mentioned in my post "Gratitude for Space, Self love, and Support for our Shinniness!"
My friend had a game set up for the kids to play- kind of like musical chairs but there were no chairs.... When the music stopped, the kids had to freeze, and whoever didn't freeze was "out." Whoever was left standing got a prize. The kids loved this game SO much they played it three times!!! And they didn't love it for the prize.... they loved it for the sheer joy of their dancing and joy! It was beautiful to watch!

Here is what I noticed, as the game went on..... The younger kids pretty much danced freely and with out a care in the world --- dancing to their hearts content.And this never changed. The older kids, however, started to change their behavior after the first round of this game.... they figured out that if they danced more stifled and still- like, then it would increase their chances for a "reward" or prize.
So there were the younger kids, going all willy nilly, crazy, care free, and creative as could be. And there were the older kids, dancing like robots, so that they could stop their dance on the drop of a dime, and hopefully win that prize! Take note that their prize was not a trip to the zoo, it was a sticker or something similar. :P

Realize that none of the kids wanted to get called out. All of the kids wanted to stay in! AND it seemed like all of the kids genuinely wanted to get that prize!!! (in this instance, the prize was two fold- getting to continue to dance, as well as a prize from the basket). And yet it was only the older kids behaviors that stopped.... Even when the adults started to call the older kids out for not "really" dancing in their robotic motions....

Here is my take on the situation.... The younger kids (99% of them who were in the school system) had spent less time in the System of rewards... They were still young enough (kindergarten) to be connected to their inner joy of Doing. Sure they were aware of rewards... but their Joy and having Fun was paramount. The older kids, however, had been in the System at least one more year then the others.... (so, first grade or higher), and as such they had learned how rewards work.... you perform like a dog, you get a treat! ;) It wasn't that the older kids were "smarter" on how you can change your behavior to get a "reward," in my opinion it was that the younger kids didn't care as much if they got that external reward or not, because they were more in tune with their internal reward system of Fun and Joy and Freedom to Be who they are.

It was pretty mind blowing away to see how those older kids behaviors Dramatically changed once they realized they could get a prize...
What happened is that THEIR CREATIVITY STOPPED.....
Ala, Alfie Kohn, this was their Punishment, for getting a reward.....

I am already in the Alfie Kohn camp... we don't "do" rewards in our house. Even so, i was blown away by how blatantly kids really are punished by reward systems.....

Pretty powerful stuff.....

Monday, February 9, 2009

Gratitude for Space, Self love, and Support for our Shinniness!


Life *is* Good......



We went to a birthday party the other day- it was for one of Kathrynn's dear friends. Although their family is very different from ours in many ways, their mother really supports Play. What i mean by that is that she puts a lot of importance the act of Play, and child led play at that. I LOVE this about her.

We were the only family who "homeschools." One father actually told me that he took his hat off to me because it must be a lot of hard work- and he said it in the way so as to convey that it must a weight on my shoulders. I explained to him that i LOVED homeschooling my child, and that i was SO grateful that I got to spend each day with her. He said something like, "well, wait until they are older......" I decided it was a good moment for me to stay connected to my inner joy, and remained silent as i blissed out inside about how wonderful i feel about my child being at home. And more importantly, I was left feeling so grateful in our Partnerhood..... that homeschooling would never be about me "making" Kathrynn learn something she was not interested in learning about. PHEW that feels just WONDERFUL!!!! :)

I saw my friend later in the party, and she explained to me that almost all of her daughter's girlfriends from school have *every* afternoon scheduled for lessons and homework and practice and what not..... That they did not even have enough "time" in their lives for PLAYDATES. OMG i think i might have gasped at how horrible that sounded *to me.* I told my friend how grateful I was for how wonderful it was that our girls had the freedom to play to their hearts content when our families got together.

With out judging "those" parents, I was left feeling so overwhelming grateful for the life that my family has. I am so grateful that there is a Space in my Being to be Open to our alternative way of living. I am grateful that I love my Self enough to listen to my inner Source, which tells me how important it is to Respect and Love and Nourish my Child so that she too can be connected to her Source. I am grateful for the support of my husband, who works hard so that I can stay at home with my beautiful child. And I am grateful for all the other amazing people out there who have talked over and over about how invaluable their children's SHINE is.

I am just constantly overwhelmed by how amazing our lives are. Not always easy. And yeah, some times an *immense* amount of hard work- but the internal kind; i *do* work very hard to internally clear out *my* garbage so as to live freely. I LOVE all that hard work. Because it is all Growth and Joy and Love and SHINE.

Every year that Kathrynn is on the planet is another year of immense growth and connection and partnership. This is our life. And I love it. :)

(((((I am including a link to an *amazing* article to address that "wait until they get older" comment.....
http://connections.organiclearning.org/Issue4/anne.html
Thanks to Anne, who walks her talk, and talks her walk, and embodies Shine. :) <3 ))))

Friday, February 6, 2009

Grandparent Joy!

I'm posting this a little late (whoops) but never late then never, right?!?!!?

K's last and final birthday party (PHEW) was with her grandparents, who visited for the weekend from Toledo.

We had a pretty relaxing weekend, spent playing, playing Lego Star Wars (her new fav. box game) and eating. :)


Grandma and Grandpa surprised Kathrynn by showing up a bit early. She could barely believe it when she answered the door!

Reading in bed with Grandma Carol, something both of them love so much during their visits together!
Kathrynn at her ice skating lesson!





Kathrynn and I did the cupcakes the day before. She was so ful of joy and excitement while decorating them!!!!!






Finally it was time for the party!

Always being creative, Kathrynn added some decorations to her birthday hat. :)



video



She got a lot of great gifts!!

Kathrynn really warms my heart. After she got done opening everyone's presents, she went and made them little thank you gifts. So sweet and wonderful. :)




Hanging out in her room with Grandma and Grandpa

Hanging out around the dining room table....

Wes did most of the cooking, as usual. He's such a great cook!!!!

Kathrynn, showing Grandma and Grandpa her Star Wars characters that she loves so much!

She gave a performance for Uncle, Grandma and Grandpa that she had been planning for days. She loves coming up with ideas for performances. :)
There is a little snippet below:



video

We had a nice visit with them but the time went by so fast!

Kathrynn had had a week full of anticipation for both her grandparents visit and her roller skating party which took place the day before, so my Shinning girl was FULL of Big Emotions. It was a bit difficult for mama and dada at times, but the grandparents took it all in stride and hung in there like true champs! And as usual, there were wonderful moments full of Shine and Joy. :)