Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bekka's Pretty Smile

Yea! Bekka got her braces off this morning! She had to get up really, really early so Steve could take her in at 8am (Hey - I wasn't getting up at 7:30 - no way!), but it was worth the early morning for her.

Now we go run a couple of errands, then meet up with some other unschoolers for lunch, then off to our Free Learning group, back to the ortho office to pick up her retainer, then off to Irish dance. Whew! I hardly like to be this busy in a week, much less single day.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Transforming Anger

Wow! Scott Noelle was inside my head yesterday when he sent out today's Daily Groove. (Yeah, I know it's automatic, but STILL - the universe MUST be aligned!) The passage that specifically hit home for me is this:

Anger arises naturally whenever you perceive a loss of
personal freedom or power. It's there to energize you
on your way back to your natural state of empowerment.

Boy, am I perceiving a loss of personal freedom and power in this situation! I have someone who probably thinks I'm mad at her over an incredibly bizarre, contradictory set of emails, when in fact, I'm just really disappointed and saddened. And, okay, yes a little bit angry because of that loss of freedom and power thing. Part of me wants to use that energy to point out the breaks in logic of the situation (to prove that I'm right! LOL), but instead I've been using the energy that she has been sending my way to really make some positive stuff happen here in town.

Our inclusive homeschooling group has been dying a slow death for the last year, with many, but not all, of the unschoolers moving to a (mostly inactive) unschooling list. I don't know if it is possible, but with this energy I've been given, I'm hoping to revive the inclusive group so that all the unschoolers in town can gather if they wish, not just the illusion of all but the reality of all.

It feels good. It feels really good. And if you read Scott Noelle much, you know that feeling good means you are aligning with your heart's desire and all that jazz.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Letting Go

I had such a strange day yesterday. Very emotionally exhausting. So last night I wasn't really in the mood to read the book I'm trying to start. But as I was going to bed I noticed a completely neglected book on my shelf, one which I've never even cracked the cover. I bought it at a used bookstore five or six years ago (which means I've moved it three times!). It's called "Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much". When I bought it I was helping to start a PPP, leader of two Girl Scout Troops, active in my UU church, involved in the Scottish Country Dance group, and about ten other things. I was definitely doing too much. And of course, didn't have the time to use the book at that time!

Well, I've made lots of changes in my life and the title is really not all that applicable anymore, but it is the only meditation book I own and that part of it was really appealing last night.

So I turn to the page for the day and it is titled, "Letting Go". It starts with a quote from Anne Wilson Schaef. "When I am all hassled about something, I always stop and ask myself what difference it will make in the evolution of the human species in the next ten million years, and that question always helps me get back my perspective."

Because it was so appropriate for my day yesterday, I'm going to type out the entire offering:

"Little things mean a lot," especially when we focus all our attention on them, obsess and ruminate about them, and can't let them go. Sometimes, when we are in our disease, we just keep turning disturbing thoughts over and over in our minds, believing that we will surely figure out some solutions if we just think about them long enough and check every angle.
When we engage in this behavior, it is a sure sign that we are in the addictive process and thinking ourselves to death. I have always found that when I am in my addictive process, I have lost perspective. I suddenly become the center of the universe, and my problems are the only ones in the universe.
It always helps me to step back and realize that whatever problem I am having is probably not of universal proportions. This perspective helps me to see that I am powerless over my crazy thinking, and that it is making my life insane. At this point can get back in touch with my knowing that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity, and I can turn this problem over to this greater power.

The end quote (not credited) is: "One of the things we lose in the addictive disease process is perspective."

So, what does this mean to me in light of what yesterday was?

Last fall I had a problem with a new homeschooling mom and it totally shook me up, for over a week!!! Yikes! Looking back there are two things I can see that caused me to let myself spiral. One was that there was an element of truth in what she accused me of. No, I didn't yell at her daughter, nor did I purposefully disrespect her or her daughters, but I wasn't as kind to her daughter as I wish I had been. And second was that she didn't accept my heartfelt apology. That really left me hanging and spinning, and doubting myself.

This time it is a very different situation, and my conscience is completely clear. I actually feel light and clear.

So the meditation reminds me that I am not obsessing like I did in the fall and that I've come so far. Yea! That I am able to let go and live in the NOW, not in the past.

There are good, exciting things to come!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Trying to be My Best Self

Stuff happens, people do things that are baffling. I'm trying really hard to deal with everything that comes my way with honesty, tact, and compassion.

One tool that really helps is "The Four Agreements". This is an excellent book by don Miguel Ruiz.

Here are the Four Agreements:

BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

DON'T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST: Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

Isn't that inspiring??? Now, if I can only remember them all the time!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Great Article Supporting Delayed Math Instruction

This article, written many, many years ago is so great in explaining why one would want to delay formal math instruction in schools.

I think it's a great article to share with the more schooly adversaries of unschooling!

Of course, the saddest thing about the article, published as a series of three articles between Nov. '35 and Jan. '36, is that it hasn't seemed to make any difference! I know of no schools using this information in their curriculum.

My main reason for sharing this with the blogging world is to have a place for me to find the article again!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We say "Sorry" too much

Last week I read in article in New Connexion, a free alternative publication, called "The Sorry Epidemic". The article is the reason I picked up the paper and brought it home, because I think about this every once in a while.

I think the word sorry is horribly over-used. It has become an automatic thing you say when you don't want to take responsibility. It excuses times like when we aren't paying attention, when we are running late, when we think we should be responsible for something but really aren't (like our kids behavior).

Saying sorry SHOULD mean that you didn't intend to do something and you will be making amends. But what it usually means is that you'll be blowing off any responsibility for what just happened.

The author of the article I read, Carolyn Campbell, decided that enough was enough. She would fine herself $1 every time she said she was sorry. I don't think that tactic goes along with the Laws of Attraction very well, but what she did end up noticing was her "sorries had prevented [her] from really standing up for what [she] needed, what was important to [her]."

So, I'm going to try noticing when I want to say sorry and see if I can come up with a more useful, accurate thing to say. When we leave sorry for when we truly are very sorry, it will be so much more useful of a word!