Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Balance Rocks

I have this beautiful blue rock, with the word balance on it. I have it by my bed, to help remind me to remain calm and try to create balance everyday. I bought this rock. I have since decided that I like this rock so much, that I would like to paint some river rocks and give them out. I have been collecting rocks for a few weeks, looking for round, smooth, flat rocks. I sat down last week and painted 8 rocks. I tried to make simple designs, then covered them with a sealer.

For my birthday, I had the pleasure of hanging out with a few friends. I took all 8 rocks with me. We sat at a local wine bar and enjoyed a few tastes and good conversation. At the end I pulled out my rocks and placed them on the table. I told my friends to pick a rock that they like. The girls started touching them, feeling them in their hands, checking out the designs. They picked rocks based on how it felt in their hands. I felt good to be able to share such a simple tool that works for me.

The act of painting the rocks, sharing the rocks and touching the rock is all simple forms of meditation. It only takes a few minutes a day to change your life. So as you sit thinking you don't have time to meditate, grab a rock and place it somewhere that will remind you to focus on your breath, positive thoughts, the now. You can create balance. As you have more positive days, you find more purpose and fill your days with passion.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Positive Thinking

I have been aware of the mind body connection for about 9 years. I truly understand it and believe it. I know that if you focus on the symptoms, you will get that cold. I know that if you don't understand birth, that when you get a intense contraction you will automatically feel pain. I know that if you focus on the positive side of things, you will be happier. There is a way to focus differently, that can change how you see things. It takes a lot of practice, but is well worth it. The down side to this consciousness, is you will notice people who don't think this way and will want to help them change the way they see things. This may sound familiar, if you have read or seen The Secret. It is explains the law of attraction. If you think it, you will get it. It may not be immediate, but it will happen. If you are in a bad mood, this is what you will attract from other's. If you focus on the bad traffic, it will not get better.

I know as a mom, I set the tone for the day. If I am off, so is everyone else. So how do I handle that responsibility? I try to create balance, by getting up early and having a 1/2 hour minimum, to myself to focus on the good things. When my children wake up, I am ready to handle the challenges. If I lose it, so will they. If I stop and focus on the truths, the good things in a situation, than I can help shift focus. I have been teaching my kids this tool. The other day my son said, "you treat me like a slave because I have to do work." I responded with, "that is not a truth. The truth is, you have to do jobs before you go out and play." As they get upset, they will often point out the negative side and feel worse. So, I will help acknowledge that frustration and try to help them focus on the positive side. This method takes time and patience. It helps shift the way you look at your kids. You may begin to see the good qualities and state the positive, instead of focusing on what you'd liked changed.

So, where do you start? As frustration starts, try and see the positive. There is something small in every situation. If you have a hard time finding something, look for a beautiful item to focus on the details. For example as my mind wanders and I feel overwhelmed with the piles to clean up, I look for one spot that brings me joy. I will stare at that area and feel the calmness, then move forward with my task. As I focus on what I want and need, it becomes possible. Positive thinking can only bring good to your life.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Open House

As homeschoolers, we often do lessons and activities that nobody sees. I turn in a sample of each subject area to my educational advisor, once a month. As a former public school teacher, I enjoyed open house. It was an opportunity to shine and show off your best work. We have attended a few open houses and decided it would be nice to share our work with other's. If you are out there and are homeschooling I encourage you to do an open house. We made invitations and handed them out to neighbor friends and a few family members. We baked some snacks to share. We hung art work and put books and unit studies out. We also included trophies and team photos. I had a slide show on my lap top of photos from the year. Everything is a learning opportunity, so include it. The kids were excited to share their work and hang out with friends. I found a few mom's spending time looking at the big collage books I made. They said they like this better that public school open house, because you aren't as rushed. What a great way to end the school year and let your kids know how proud you are! We ended with a blast of a diet soda bottle and mentos out front! The kids screamed and laughed! What a blessing to be able to see that excitement in learning, daily!

Friday, June 11, 2010

He Changed His Mind, Again!

Well, after three weeks of trying to decide what job was the best choice, and turning one down and then asking for the opportunity back, he has made a final decision. I am happy that my husband has come a long way, from baseball being his number 1 love, to his family taking the spot! I was hoping he would coach to be closer to us, but this was not the job that would give us more quality time together. I also appreciate how we continued to talk and discuss the options, in a loving way. What an opportunity to grow as a couple and focus on what we want for our future. I finally heard my husband say that he is trying to create more balance in his life. I love it!

We have implemented many tools to keep us connected while he is gone. We will have to continue these and add other's as we embark on a job with more travel, but less stress for him. When he is happy we will be too. Some of the tools we use are:
**daddy pillows or hugs, with his t-shirts on their pillows. We also put a long sleeve shirt on his office chair so they can go in and get a hug from daddy.
**We take pictures daily of simple activities and email them to him immediately. He then calls throughout the day and has a few clues as what we are doing and what to ask about.
**We send simple text messages to let him know we miss him and thank him for all he does for us.
**We sometimes make a count down chain to rip off a loop daily. It gives the kids an idea of when he will come back.
**We have also tracked him on a map. What a great way to learn geography.
**The gratitude journals, we started a few months ago, are going well! We try to say something we appreciate or a conversation or activity we liked with dad. We can go back and read the positives when we are missing him.
He always seems so thrilled to know we are thinking of him and do appreciate him. It makes it all worthwhile for him. See the vision for yourself and other's and they will join you! We can be more conscious.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Out of Balance?

When I feel out of control or out of balance, I try to remember my balance workbook. There are different areas for each letter of balance. I know it is hard to step out of your frustration and regain balance, but with training it is possible. So here is an overview, off the top of my head. Some food for thought for those of you reading, who want more from everyday.

B-body, what are you doing to nourish your body, are you breathing slowly, deeply, with purpose? Are you stretching and thanking your body for all it does for you? Are you drinking water and filling your body and brain with nourishing foods?

A-area, do you have a space that you can go to regroup when the storm hits? Are you surrounding yourself with things you love or clutter? Is there sunshine in your home?

L-love, surround yourself with love, be loving, give what you want from others, find time to do loving things for yourself, maybe just sit in the sun for five min.

A-aroma, are there scents that remind you of a relaxing place or moment? Find an essential oil that you can diffuse, inhale, apply. I love Valor by Young Living Essential Oils, it helps me balance, when I am in my special area, refocusing. Amazing how deep inhaling and applying an oil can raise your frequencies! I'm alive!

N-now, are you focused on the past and all you can't get done? Stop and focus on the now, the present breath, the present task. Pay attention to the small details of beauty, nothing like looking at a rollypolly in the middle of the day. What a way to refocus!

C-center, do you have a routine or some affirmations to help you center? I take a set of six affirmations, to say on the inhale and exhale. I am completely stopping. I expect nothing. I am doing my work. I trust my resources. I embrace this moment. I return with strength.

E-embrace, take time to practice these steps, to implement them, to memorize them, to stop in the middle of the storm and try to ask yourself these questions. It takes practice to be conscious and to be loving and to remain positive.

I am not perfect at it, but I've only been practicing for about 2 years. This BALANCE concept is fairly new to me. I try to remember that is is all about balance in every aspect of my life. When I wake up I try to drink a cup of water, before my coffee. We eat we mostly whole foods, but will go to a b-day party at a cheesy pizza joint, if it means celebrating life! When my kids are challenging, I stop to center, remembering to trust my resources, and ask for help, to get a break. I still love them and will be a better mom after I have had some me time. So when you think, oh I can't have balance, start small, with one area. Amazing how simple steps can lead to big life changes!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Don't Assume You know my Views

I am a bit shocked at google ads! I decided to publish my blog with the intention to share tools with other's on homeschooling and balance in life. Along with this I thought I'd try the ad option to earn a few dollars. Well you don't get to pick the ads. I have just published my last post and see a political ad on my blog! I would rather not go there. I know many homeschooler are conservative Republicans and are keeping their kids home for many different reasons. I am educating my kids at home to present a well rounded view of our world. I want them to make informed decisions, as I think everyone should. Please look at the ads if they fit your philosophy, but do not assume I support the view of the ad. I actually don't care for the news or commercials!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What is Success?

I have these neighbors who are in their 80's. I can tell time by them, because they go to breakfast at 9 a.m. and coffee at 2 p.m. I love that they have routine. I am amazed how loving they seem at all times. They hold hands when they walk, sit together to watch the neighbors and don't talk badly about each other.When I think about my relationship, I hope to have what they display daily. I know that there are ups and downs in relationships and kids can change the dynamics quickly. So I have been trying to add more loving interactions since September. I don't have a Hallmark type of guy, so I have to appreciate his bouquets that he does present. He may not give a card on Valentines day, but he'll take the kids out to give me a break. He does everything for our family and really takes his job seriously. He wants to be the best dad ever. My neighbor told me today that he has never seen such a loving dad, who plays with them, holds them when they are sad, teaches them manners, ect. He knows it is hard because he travels so much, but he tries when he is around to make memories, the kids will never forget! We were recently presented with some different job opportunities. It was a few weeks of stress, trying to decide what is the best choice for my husband, our family and his career. Wow, how lucky we felt to have a few jobs to choose from. We almost felt guilty to be talking about whether or not to take more money or less? Then I realized, good things happen when you do good things. All is the way it is supposed to be and to make change is uncomfortable and takes courage. I feel like the American dream is a bit out of balance. People get caught up in making the most money possible to have more stuff. We have enjoyed a little extra for a few years, but now we have decided to have my husband follow his dream and heart. He will return to coaching, where he can actually make an impact on individuals lives. This decision has led me to reevaluate what success looks like. I believe finding a passion and making a living at it is success. Being happy with your life, no matter where you live, enjoying your family and spending time with them. As a homeschool mom, I am always trying to show what we are learning and how it is relevant to our world and future. Being successful should not be based on money or where you live or what you have. It is sad to see people losing jobs and homes, what they thought defined them. Enjoy your family, your home, make a special place to sit and relax in, bring love in your home and be the light for other's. Do what you love! Love what you do!

Things I find fascinating

  • Bagua Board/ Dream board
  • Balanced Birth Approach
  • Birthing From Within
  • E Is For Ethics
  • Homeschooling
  • The Bradley Method Of Natural Childbirth
  • The Family Virtues Guide
  • The Power of Wisdom
  • Waldorf
  • Young Living Essential Oils
  • Zen in Ten Seconds