Monday, September 20, 2010

The Cycle of Life

I sit here this gloomy morning, trying to embrace the quiet house. I am saddened by the passing of a dear friend for over 20 years. I was searching the Internet for the perfect quote to try and send my condolences to the family. There are no words I can say to make it better, especially with the loss in my heart.

We live in a society that hardly talks about the death process. We expect that when we are old we will die. We don't expect that a young 39 year old can die. We also hardly talk about birth, just the horror stories. I have had the honor of working with pregnant couples for 9 years. Over this time, I have observed some needs that humans have. During that time I have had a few grandparents pass or be near death. In those experiences I have seen some similarities with birth. There are three types of relaxation that the body goes through: physical, mental and emotional. With either situation, you want to help the person be comfortable physically. This is the easiest part and often the only issue covered in birth and death. It is easy to rub a sore muscle or give a pain killer. The next two types of relaxation are what I feel are missing in both cases. I prepare my couple for all three, but they really have to embrace them, because they will not have much support if in a hospital setting. If they have a home birth, a midwife is well aware of physical, mental and emotional relaxation and has the tools to help you. I assumed when you are going through the death process and have hospice in the home, that they would cover all three. I was saddened to see my friend getting the best physical care, but I felt something was missing. I had a wonderful conversation with him 3 weeks ago about life and death. I talked about how fortunate he was to be at home with his family to care for his physical needs. I asked him what he was thinking about mentally. I talked to him about places to go to mentally, like a ocean, river or mountain top. Then we talked about the emotional side, the feeling safe with the process and the people helping him. He seemed touched by the gesture of my concern for the whole experience. He kept grabbing my hand and saying I love you. I told him about how the memories were going to keep his spirit alive. I have so many pictures that are of fun times. As he no longer wanted visitors I also recognized the need to retreat, to go inward. Mom's who are birthing naturally need to go into a deep trance like state to focus on nothing but what is happening. If they have unresolved issues it will hold up the birth process. The mind is powerful and can keep the body alive. The other part that I thought was nice, was the dark and calm environment. As I was there to help the last week, I represented the calm, strength and courage. I just kept telling him what a great job he was doing and how he was handling this part of the journey. This process has brought some clarity to me and also helped me recognize a special calling I may have. In birth and death it should be peaceful, feel safe and beautiful. This can be done with some guidance, as in birth you may hire a doula, in death a special friend. I feel honored that he was a part of my life. Today I will embrace my family and feel the love we share.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Being Present

My new strategy this year in school is to be more conscious and present. As we start our day, I pay attention to important details like moods, amount of sleep, eating patterns, dad's travel schedule, etc. If any one of these areas are off, it can effect the flow of the day. The children will be focused on other things and not school work. This is a skill in itself, to adjust the day as we go. I have always thought the topics being taught need to be relevant to their life and what they are interested in. I have an overall theme for the month and we address the subjects across the theme. I ask the kids about field trip ideas and fit those in to the year plan.

So, the other day daddy had a 3 hour conference call. We had to try and be quiet the whole time. This fell on the only day we have to stay home and have uninterrupted learning opportunities. I wasn't sure how it would go, but we did great! We did a lot of Lego building, which is math and science. They also practiced presenting their projects, fielding questions as well. We decided to make a newsletter for all the activities we do on the street. Each child reported an article about their interests. Cade's story was about the Lego club and Josie's was about the baby club. We read about a girl immigrating from Europe and her experience on the boat. We saw that the wealthy got to have tea and play cards. So, we did the same! When daddy came out we were on the ship (table) drinking tea and playing cards (uno). What a fun way to incorporate history, social studies, geography, math, manners, etc. This book also reminded us of the gold rush days festival, we went to a few weeks ago. We made the best of our day and it didn't look at all like the traditional classroom lesson. That's the thing about homeschooling that is the greatest, you get to play and learn with your kids! You really know where they are at, what they understand and when to move on. I have learned it is ok not to finish something. Sometimes, I have had a culminating project idea in mind and they are not interested anymore. The experience is enough to build a learning record in their mind that they will refer to for years.

In order to be present, you have to be flexible, which isn't my strong point. I have always had big expectations and get disappointed when they don't happen. Take each moment as it happens and watch your children, see how they are enjoying the activity or not. Take what they are getting out of the experience and build on that. If they are collecting praying mantis's and having fun with friends, why not make green ice cream and call it praying mantis cream! There is no right or wrong, what you are doing is right!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Lesson on Sports Injuries

My son is a super soccer player! He plays hard and shows determination when facing an opponent. He had practice the other night and was doing a drill, where you run full force at the other player and try to kick the ball. He was so excited, jumping around, preparing mentally, then the coached yelled go!! He took off and the other kid kicked my son right in the knee. He fell right down and didn't pop back up like usual. I sat back, as the coaches encouraged him to get up and walk it off. He hobbled over to the side and fought back tears. The coaches and parents were giving suggestions for drugs to give him, including vicadin! He made it to the car. We decided to try our natural approach, of remaining calm, assessing the situation and following the RICE procedure. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate. Along with this technique, we began treatment with our first aide kit of Young Living Essential Oils. First started with the Ortho Ease massing oil, it warms and goes directly into the skin and blood stream. Then we applied Thieves, which was chosen because it has cloves, which is a anti inflammatory. I used Abundance for the ginger in it, also anti inflammatory. All these oils are pure, grown in organic soil and distilled at the highest quality. The oils raise the frequencies, bring life back to the area, rubbed on and the person. We are seeing good results, without the side effects of drugs!

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