Monday, March 6, 2017

Four Steps to Meal Planning

One of the wonderfully comforting aspects of Waldorf in the home is the rhythm and repetition of the activities of the days, weeks, seasons and year. There's a predictable flow to life.

The children know what to anticipate.

When children know what is coming, they feel secure. Children are able to relax and lean into the security and comfort of having a predictable flow to their lives. Going outside to play each morning after breakfast while mom hangs the clothes on the line, or climbing into bed at the end of the day to hear a story before lights go out, are two examples of a predictable sequence of events, also known as routine, that occur at the start of the day and the end of the day. 

These routines form a rhythm when they are done with a conscious awareness of how they flow energetically. The active play out of doors in the morning is just what a young child needs, and is deeply nourishing to the child, while the quieting down in the evening with a story before bed helps a child let go of the day.

This is one way Waldorf education or a Waldorf home life provides resilience to children in a rapidly changing and sometimes unsettling world - with the predictability of daily, weekly, seasonal, even yearly rhythms, that provide security to the children, in knowing that their world is reliable and consistent. They can depend on it and look forward to familiar events.

Children thrive on rhythm and repetition, on knowing what is to come and then doing it over and over again, whether it is singing a song, chanting a rhyme, repeating a refrain from a story,  acting out the same scenario again and again in play, or  hearing the same story over and over again. 

In the Waldorf kindergarten, this rhythm and repetition manifests in having the same predictable foods, the grains, on the same days of the week, week after week, over and over again. Young children thrive on a regular and predictable life. They need the repetition in their lives. It gives them a sense of security and well being.

Let's begin with the why. Why plan meals? 
Meal plans are a helpful way to anticipate what is coming in the week ahead. They help you plan meals ahead of time. Planning ahead gives you time to gather the ingredients you'll need and know what you're going to have for dinner each night of the week. There's no need to think about it

Of course you can always change your mind and your plan, and serve whatever you like any night of the week. It's yours! The purpose of the meal plan is to help you make your week more predictable, and make less work on a daily basis to put dinner on the table.

1. Begin with what you like to eat. Check in with the members of your family. Ask them each to name their favorite dinner. Ask each person to note for three or four favorite dishes that you prepare for dinner. Include your own preferences. Jot them down in a list.

2. Check your inventory. Look at what you have on hand: in the fridge, pantry and freezer. Look at the list of your family's favorite meals. What can you make with what you have? What do you want to make? Do you have the ingredients to make the meals on the list? What's easy to pick up without making a special trip? What's in season?

3. Take out your writing utensils and look at the week ahead. Are you all home for dinner every night? Do you have a regular night out? A pizza night or Chinese food night? Note them. Keep it simple. Sketch out a plan for the week. Don't get hung up on making it beautiful or permanent because your weeks will change, your tastes will change, what you feel like cooking will change and the seasonal foods will change. Just plan for this week. Baby steps. I use an envelope or piece of paper from the recycling bin, like this:
If you're serious about meal planning, you might like to keep a diary of your meal plans. That can come later. If you're new to meal planning, just start.

4. Note and shop for any ingredients you may need for all your meals for the week. Stick to one stop if that's possible. I note the ingredients I need to pick up in a different color, in this case red. It makes it easy to see when I go to the store. Because the meal plan is on the back of a used envelope, I don’t worry about preserving it, I just tuck it in my handbag or jacket pocket.

Now you're ready. Each morning, upon rising review your dinner plan in your mind. What needs prepping? At what time do you need to begin to have the meal on the table by a time that works for you and can be consistent?

Next step will be to consider a repetitive weekly thread to your meals, such as Friday Pizza night, Beans and Rice night, Curry night, Stir Fry night, whatever you like to prepare and eat night. But that's the next step. For this week work on a plan with what you have, what your family likes and what's easy to gather and use.

Best wishes to you if you're new to meal planning!

If you have a tried and true meal plan you'd like to share please leave it, along with any other comments below!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

On Festival Fatigue

One of the conversations I'm having with mamas this week that is coming up over and over again is what to do about celebration or "festival fatigue." 

Christmas came and went. Okay for some it goes on until February 2nd, while the activities have  for the most part come and gone. What is left for some is fatigue. I call it "festival fatigue." Trying to do it all.

My advice comes out of my own life experience when I tell you that less is more. Children need a mom who is present and cheerful far more than they need another event to celebrate, for daily life is truly the celebration.

That the sun rises and sets and shines each day is something to celebrate. The wonder of clouds floating by is something to celebrate. Snowflakes falling. Snow on the ground. A cup of warm tea on a cold day. A candle with dinner. Holding hands with family before dinner to sing a song of gratitude.

We are surrounded by beauty and have so much to celebrate each day, in the simplest way.

Some words I wrote nearly to the day on January 12, 2011:

"If you have time to do the laundry, prepare the meals, do the dishes, clean up after, sleep adequately and go outside everyday and still have time leftover, then take up the celebrations. Otherwise, just light a candle with meals and celebrate being together, being sane and having quiet moments."  more here

Mamas, we all strive and struggle and want to create conditions for our children to have the very best childhood. I want to remind you today, to remind yourself everyday, they do. They have you. And each day is a new day with something simple to celebrate. It's already there. Ease up on yourself. (I include myself here) It is not about the decorations or crafts. It is about what lives in your heart. 

Take your child in your arms or on your lap, have a good snuggle or rocking time. Just be present. Be there with yourself, and your child. Play a lap game or a finger play. Tell a story from your childhood, something simple that you remember.

This really is the foundation of rhythm. Of being present in the moment. Of simplifying the activities in the day so that we (me included) can just be here in the moment.


Monday, January 9, 2017

Learn to Tell Stories with Table Puppets ~a new eCourse!

Storytelling with Table Puppets

Join Anytime
4 Weeks 
“We must do everything in our power to help the children to develop fantasy.” ~ Rudolf Steiner


Imagine yourself deepening your relationship to storytelling...
Imagine yourself enveloped by a warm and supportive community...
Imagine yourself crafting your own table puppets...
Imagine yourself receiving guidance and support each step of the way...
Imagine yourself telling stories with confidence using puppets made with your own hands...

This is Storytelling with Table Puppets!

Connie Manson, of Starlite Puppets and I have teamed up to bring you Storytelling with Table Puppets, a guided online course, as part of the Celebrate the Rhythm of Life ~ living curriculum program.
For four weeks, we'll take you by the hand and guide you through sourcing simple materials to crafting the table puppets that you can use again and again, with gentle guidance,  step by step instructions, and daily conversations. We'll show you how to use things you already have around the house, and we'll support you to tell stories with table puppets, music and confidence. We'll help you discern which stories are best to tell at each age and stage. 
We invite you to join us for 4 weeks of Storytelling with Table Puppets, this is what we'll do:
:: We'll explore different types of puppets and how to use puppets with different ages and stages
:: We'll teach you how to craft a table puppet and create a character by showing you steps with hands on tutorials
:: We'll show you how to use table puppets to tell a story
:: We'll show you delightful ways of telling a story using simple props you have at home
:: We'll delve deeper into the use of language and music with table puppet storytelling
:: We'll explore considerations in choosing a story
:: We'll explore character archetypes 
:: We'll help you find stories that are well suited to table puppets
:: We'll have fun together!!
Storytelling with Table Puppets is open for registration. Work at your own pace through the lessons. Connie and I will be present in the class everyday, responding to questions, adding material and encouraging conversation and sharing of your work.
You may return anytime, contribute to the conversation and enjoy "forever access" to the site and class materials.
This course offers great content and support as well as the convenience of doing a workshop at home, on your time. No driving needed. No need for a place to stay overnight. No fees for meals. It comes right to you, at home.
When you go to a training, and trainings are quite lovely,  you have the experience over a few days or a week, the course ends and you go home.  
With this online course, you have the benefit of time to try things out,  come back to the course, check in, ask questions, and communicate with teachers and classmates - it's ongoing support for puppet storytelling.
Registration Fee is $149

No Registration Fee for Year Round Members of
Consider joining! You receive the songs, stories, movement games, activities, childcare tips and recipes for each month as well as the eCourses I offer, all for one fee, with monthly payment options.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Janus :: Looking Back and Looking Forward

It's January first today, New Year's Day.

Happy New Year!

Here we are at the turning point in the year, at the threshold or gateway to a new beginning, leaving the old year and moving into the new one.

We are standing on the threshold between the old year and the new year.

The month of January is named for the Roman god Janus, god of passageways, gates, doors and transitions, of beginnings and of endings.

Janus' head is looking both forward to the future and back into the past.

Rudolf Steiner speaks of New Year's Eve:

“On New Year’s Eve it is always fitting to remember how past and future are linked together in life and in the existence of the world, how past and future are linked in the whole life of the Cosmos of which man is a part, how past and future are linked in every fraction of that life with which our own individual existence is connected, is interwoven through all that we were able to do and to think during the past year, and through all that we are able to plan for the coming year…”

~ Rudolf Steiner The Cosmic New Year, lecture 4, 31st December, 1919

An Exercise for the Turning Point in the Year
This is a reflective exercise for you to do at this threshold time of the year. This is one that can be done by you alone, by you and a partner, or as a family exercise, with children who are  8 or so and older.

Create a mood for this exercise by dedicating 20 or 30 minutes, make a pot of tea or cups of hot cocoa, with whipped cream if you like it that way, take out a journal or pencil and paper. Light a candle. Take a few calming deep breaths. This is an opportunity to rejoice in different aspects of your year.

Reflect on the significant events of the past twelve months.

What comes up?
Sometimes it feels like a big blank, and it helps to go through the months in your mind.
I like to leave a spaciousness for reflections to emerge freely rather than condense things too much. 
Sometimes they do emerge, and sometimes a little prompting can be just the thing to get thoughts flowing.

Here are some questions to ask to get the juices flowing ~
  • What new skill did you learn?
  • What did you learn about people?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • When did you laugh the hardest? 
  • When did you cry the hardest?
  • What are you letting go of, saying goodbye to?
  • What was an unexpected joy?
  • What was an unexpected obstacle?
  • What did you learn about the obstacle? About obstacles in general?
  • What do you feel you should have been acknowledged for but weren’t?

Now look forward and share what each of you are looking forward to in the year ahead.

Looking back and looking forward, a reconciliation of the past with the future.

Looking Forward
  • What are you tackling? 
  • What qualities are you working on?
  • Choose one word that reflects a quality you want to cultivate in the coming year. 

If you'd like this Exercise for the Turning Point in the Year in PDF, click through here

If you'd love weekly inspirations and reflections for Tending the Hearth {He(art)}h = Hearth + Heart + Art within a warm and wise community, come on over and join Set a Pretty Table! here

Wishing you days filled with Love and Warmth in 2017!


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Set a Pretty Table

:: Clarity ~ Intention ~ Care ::

What is it?
Set a Pretty Table is 52 Weeks of Enthusiasm and Nourishment and Thoughtful Intention for Tending the Hearth you call Home

Within the very word Hearth, we find Heart and Art ~ (heart)h and he(art)h


Set A Pretty Table will inspire you through 52 weeks of tending the hearth, (heart)h, (he(art) with a simple, enthusiastic reflection, tip or suggestion for each week to support you to create an atmosphere in the home that reflects your values...

  • Each Sunday you'll receive an inspiration, suggestion, tip or reflection for the week.
  • We have a private meeting place to connect and share over the topic each week 

The messages encourage and inspire you to take simple steps to bring beauty and rhythm to your life in very simple ways. They will inspire you to look within, as well as to stretch yourself outward to try new things: to paint, draw, color, sing, model or become more aware of the natural rhythms surrounding you.

“The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.” 
~ Thomas Moore

Call it "Where the rubber meets the road," the way to put into practice what you hold dear. Simple. Slow. Satisfyingly. Finding beauty, truth and goodness in the art of the everyday.

Each week brings its own unique and distinct inspiration.

I invite you to join this community for the next 52 weeks.

I was inspired to create this community, by the notion that it is attention to the little things in life that count. That the little things matter the most. The Ordinary Arts.

That's why I am calling it Set a Pretty Table.

A table is a place where we come together to nourish ourselves.
To set a pretty table is to make an effort to bring rhythm, beauty and our love, manifest as attention, to the moment.

Each person's perspective of beauty is unique. It is limitless, full of possibility.

Beauty shows up in the small, simple touches, as well as the grandiose and passionate statements.

Beauty, and love, are everywhere.

This course is meant as an inspiration to bring it to the table.

Both literally and figuratively.

As individuals. As parents. As teachers. As caregivers. As grandparents. As hearth tenders. As heart tenders. As artists. As soulful beings. As human beings.

We focus on the ordinary arts.

When we approach our days with this in mind, we are creating mindfulness. It helps us to become more present in the moment.

If you've taken my eCourses before and found the reflections and questions for you helpful, and loved being part of a community, you'll love this course.

It's simple and slow paced yet packed full of depth and meaning.

It's a Simple, Slow and Savory approach to the whole year.

Join a community of hearth tenders and home makers to journey around the year together with 52 weeks of Set a Pretty Table.

Bring a Friend 
Because this is a brand new program, and a brand new year, and it can be fun to try new things with a friend, I am inviting new members to sign up with a friend, with a two for one enrollment opportunity. 

One person enrolls for $99 and sends me the name of the second person who is sharing the membership. This offer is on the table until January 15th.


:: Sign Up Here ::

Included with Membership for Year Round Members of Celebrate the Rhythm of Life 



Welcome my friends to the first ever Celebrate the Rhythm of Life through the Year in Caring for Children Newsletter! That is the official name of my blog and my program.

Each month I leave bits and pieces of myself and my work all over social media, then I see it show up hither and thither. I’ve decided to pull at least some of it together for you, in one place, at the start of each month.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Overwhelmed by the Holidays?

Simple, Slow and Soothing
For the month of December, I have been delighting in the community of my eCourse Simple, Slow and Savory, a course with a wonderful group of mamas, grandmamas, teachers and childcare providers, exploring ways of slowing down and pursuing the simple life through the holidays.

I received a few please help me! emails this morning, from mamas who are not in the eCourse, asking for suggestions of what to do for the child who is overstimulated and overwhelmed from too much of Christmas, too many lights and sounds or too much of the unfamiliar. Holiday overwhelm can make anyone cranky.

Here Goes
How to soothe the soul of a child who is suffering from too much stuff, being away from home, too little rhythm, an onslaught of lights and sounds?

1. Go simple. Simple, simple with my mantra - see below.

2. Stir in some warmth.

3. Protect from more stimulation.

The Mantra
My mantra for childhood is  Eat, Sleep, Play, Love ~ in the Fresh Air.

Lean into my mantra of Eat, Sleep, Play, Love ~ in the Fresh Air. It works for adults too.
Eat wholesome food. Eat whole food as much as possible. Nutrients matter. The sweets that seem to creep in at the holidays need the wholesome food for balance. Drink plenty of water. (You too!) Keep your mealtimes, keep your mealtime routines, keep it all as consistent as you are able. Eat at the same time each day. Sit down and eat at the table together. If you have particular foods for particular days of the week, such as beans and rice Monday, oats on Tuesday, pizza on Friday, stick with that.  If you light a candle, do that. If you say a blessing, do that. Be consistent. Hold up the child's world as familiar and consistent.

Keep your child's bedtime and bedtime routines. It's easy to slip out of them at the holidays, especially when traveling. In addition to the value of good sleep and enough sleep, the comfort of the familiar is soothing. Keep your bedtime rituals. If your bedtime routine is bath, jammies, bed, story, prayer, keep the sequence in order. Keep it as consistent as possible.

Be sure to carve out time for free, self initiated play. Clear out the stuff and keep the play area simple. Honor your child's need for quiet self initiated play, with no narrative, no interruptions.

This is for moments of connection through out the day. It's easy to be distracted over the holidays when our home rhythm goes out of whack, or when we travel and are away from home. Take special care to spend time with your child each day. It may be snuggling up in a quiet spot for a story after lunch, or going outside for a walk together, or just taking your child's hand for a squeeze. As Gordon Neufeld reminds us, connect with the eyes, the smiles and the nods of the head.

Remember to make the connection first, with the loving eyes, the warm smile and the nod that says, "I'm with you." Then use the gentle re-direction, "We do it like this," or "It's time for ____ come along." Let connection be the foundation.

~ in the fresh air
Nature soothes and heals. Spend some time out of doors everyday, filling the bird feeder, taking a walk in the woods, shoveling, checking on a neighbor, running in circles around the house, and looking up at the stars in the night sky.

Stir In
Stir in some warmth in the form of bubble baths, hot tea, hot cocoa, snuggle time, warm soup and fire: with a candle, out of doors, by the fireplace or wood stove, the element of fire is both warming and soothing.

For Next Year
Hindsight is everything. ;-) Consider creating a rhythm for the entire Christmas season, from Thanksgiving to Epiphany, that creates a spaciousness of time, and takes the expectation off the single day.

A Question for the Comments
What soothes your child (or you) when there's just too much going on?


Celebrate the Rhythm of Life through the Year :: Tending the Hearth

Harmonious Rhythms :: The Gentle Art of Parenting  :: Waldorf Homeschooling and Homemaking

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Feeling Bad You Didn't Celebrate Santa Lucia?

If you didn't celebrate Santa Lucia today by rousing your family with a crown of flaming candles on your head,  singing songs and carrying a tray of warm coffee and Lucy buns to each family member still in bed, no worries.

It's okay.

You're okay.

You are good enough.

Plenty good enough.

It is a beautiful festival, and for those who celebrate it, wonderful!

For those who do not, it's okay.

In Waldorf schools, the festival of Santa Lucia is typically a celebration that is carried by the Second Grade Class, the grade when Waldorf students spend a good part of the year studying saints and sinners. (Saints and Sinners is a phrase I picked up from Eugene Schwartz of Essential Waldorf. Isn't it a perfect description of what the child is wrestling with at this age?)

The Second Grade Class, sometimes with the help of the class parents with the baking and the clothing adjustments, prepares the goods, learns the songs, appoints a student to serve as Santa Lucia and wear the crown of flaming candles, (for the intrepid, the more cautious use battery lit candles) and then, in the morning, the class sings and serves its way around the school. It's beautiful.

It's a festival that lends itself well to groups.

The kindergarten is sometimes visited, but not always.

It's a festival that meets the particular developmental age of the child.

It's a festival that is celebrated in specific parts of the world.

If you didn't celebrate it, don't worry.

You are good enough.

Plenty good enough.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Just Getting Started with Advent?

                                                   photo by Mark Boisvert
There's No Time Like the Present
My dad likes to say, "There's no time like the present." My dad is 89 years old and just spent the weekend cutting firewood. He still works. He's an amazing guy, my dad and I am so grateful for his practical life wisdom, and so much more. I'm grateful to my mom too. She's 87 years old. I've noticed that people seem to go through phases about telling their age. We like to talk about the children's ages, then there is silence with the middle ages, and then all of a sudden wow, 87 and 89 years old, nearly nine decades. It's a badge of honor. My mom and Dad were born into the Depression and have lots of great stories to tell of their experiences of growing up in hard times.

It's Advent Time
If you're reading or hearing about Advent celebrations and saying to yourself, "I want something meaningful, but don't know how to start, maybe it's too late, I can't figure it out..." No worries. You can start now, because, as my dad likes to say, "There's no time like the present."

Begin with a Wreath
Make a wreath of evergreen boughs. Consider the Waldorf tradition of celebrating the light in each of the four kingdoms of nature over the four weeks of Advent. We're in the second week of Advent, it began on Sunday November 27th. 

If you can't make a wreath, have no trees around, consider purchasing a simple un-decorated wreath.

This week, the second week of Advent began yesterday with the celebration of the light of plants.

Take a few minutes this week to think about the role of plants in your life. Pomegranates, broccoli, berries, walnuts, pecans, clementines, cocoa for chocolate, garlic, onion, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, carrots, potatoes ~ it's all from the kingdom of plants, along with the evergreens! Send some prayers or vibes of thanks to the light in this nourishing food and to the people and forces that make it possible to eat such goodness from the play kingdom.

Make the Wreath
Look around outside where you live to find evergreen boughs. Consider fir, pine, juniper, cedar, arborvitae. Clip some boughs and fasten them onto a ring. If you don't have a ring, make one from coat hangers or heavy wire, whatever you have handy. Green floral wire hides itself well within the green boughs.

Add four candles. Use simple candleholders. They're inexpensive and usually found at thrift shops. Nestle them within the boughs. If you only have two candles, use them and add two later. I you have only one, use that one until you can add more.

You are going to light one candle for each week. Last week's candle celebrates the light in the mineral kingdom.

Decide when you will light the candles. What time of day will you light the candles? Who will light them? Keeping the same rhythm and ritual with this tradition is powerful over time.

I like to light the candles after dark. Some years we do it just before dinner, and some years we do it after dinner when the house is quiet. This can make a soothing before bed ritual.

Be sure to turn out the lights in the room before lighting the candles, so the glow comes from the wreath. If you light the candles before dinner, you might like to keep the candles burning during dinner.

In some families the youngest child lights the candle for the first week, the eldest child lights the candle for the second week, one parent lights the candle for the third week, the other parent lights the candle for the fourth week. When I was the solo parent with two young children, I lit all the candles every week, until my children got old enough to participate.

Begin with the first light of Advent
Light the candle.

The first light of Advent is the light of stones, 
Lights that live in seashells, in crystals and in bones.

Add some elements of the mineral kingdom to your wreath ~ seashells, crystals, gem stones, bones.
Light the second candle.

The second light of Advent is the light of plants,
Plants that reach up into the sun, and in the breezes dance.

During the second week of Advent add elements from the plant kingdom to your wreath ~ I tend to lean towards pinecones, berries, things I can find in the yard.

We have a tradition of singing a Christmas song for each week after we light the candles. Over time one build's up a little repertoire of songs that you sing together as a family. If children scatter first, that's even better, so they're last experience is of the candles lit. (as with the Advent spiral) 

Be sure to take care and gently snuff out the candles when you are done. This helps to maintain a mood of reverence for the celebration.

A few of my favorites for singing with the lighting of the candles on the Advent wreath include:

People Look East ~ music and words composed by Eleanor Farjeon, words here, you can see the four kingdoms in the lyrics. Her wonderful book Ten Saints is a treasure for teaching Second grade. 
Deck the Halls ~ since that's what we're doing,

A Wonderful Resource
My all time favorite resource for the holidays is Mary Thienes Schunemann's booklet, The Christmas Star that comes with a CD recording of her beautiful voice singing all the songs you could wish for at Advent and Christmas and Epiphany, along with tips for celebrating the season. She's a wonderful teacher and inspiration to all of us who seek to bring more song into our homes or classrooms. I feel like she is reaching out from the heavenly realm and continuing her teaching from the other side. More on Mary's life here.

A Gift for You
Last but not least, if you'd like more details on this tradition and support for keeping the holidays Simple, Slow and Savory, come on over and join my December eCourse I am offering for free, as a gift to you. It's here.  There's no time like the present!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Period of Watchful Waiting

Thanksgiving came and went.

My thoughts have been with the water protectors in Standing Rock, standing strong to protect their sacred ground, their ancestors' burial sites, the water for their children, their land, their treaty rights, the water for everyone, the very well being of the earth. Watching the Native American people stand clear and strong. Standing for all of us. A time for healing and change. Urging the people and the leaders of the United States to find our identity as a nation, to clarify what this country stands for, and who it is about and act.

It's an unsettling time, and yet a time ripe with hope and potential. A little bit like transition when a woman is giving birth.

The first light of Advent is the light of stones, lights that live in seashells, in crystals and in bones.

Advent is a season in itself, a season of anticipation. The very word "Advent" has in its roots "ad" meaning towards + "venir" to come. Coming towards. Advent is a season of "coming towards." Of anticipation. Of quiet waiting.

It reminds me of my midwifery work in which the first trimester of pregnancy is known as The Period of Adjustment, the second trimester as The Period of Radiant Health and the third trimester as The Period of Watchful Waiting. These come from Helen Varney of Varney's Midwifery.

Advent is like the third trimester, we are in The Period of Watchful Waiting. A time of quiet anticipation. Waiting for what is to come. As the world is waiting, and praying, for  what will come at Oceti Sakowin. Women and healing work at Otceti Sakowin here, scroll down.

Watchful Waiting.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

eCourse for December :: Register Now

The greatest gift we can give ourselves, our children and our families is to be present in the moment.

To express my gratitude for your presence in my life,  I offer you the gift of presence by opening to you my 31 day eCourse called Simple, Slow and Savory December.

My living curriculum program Celebrate the Rhythm of Life through the Year supports you to be present, to breathe fully in the moment, and to respond from a place of clarity and groundedness.

It's quite simple, maybe so simple that we take it for granted. Yet it needs regular care, company and cultivation. What is it? It's a healthy relationship - with our self, with the people in our lives and with the world.

A grounded mom is a present mom and a present mom is great gift to a child. Does this mean you'll have it all together and know exactly what to do in every situation? Not at all. Does it mean that everything will go well all the time? Not at all. We are imperfect by our nature as human beings. We wouldn't grow and develop if we were perfect.  ~ from this page

My goal  is to support you to be fully present in your life.

Join me for 31 days of:
 and the gift of Presence of each other. 

Give Yourself the Gift of Presence
My request for you,  is that you "share" the link to this page on social media and "like" my new page for my upcoming program for 2017, Set a Pretty Table over on Facebook, and very important - be willing to be present in the group, to show up and participate. 

This offer is good for registration until December 10th, after that it becomes $35



*More to come  soon on Set a Pretty Table. Here's a sneak peek ~ it's a year round online course inspired by this quote from Thomas Moore,  "The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."  Set a Pretty Table will guide you with simple baby steps through the year to create the home you've been envisioning- a home that is warm and cosy, homemade and hand spun, a Waldorf home, a cosy home, a home that speaks to you.

It's included with Celebrate the Rhythm of Life Year Year Round Membership and will be available to everyone else for a small annual fee.

52 Weeks of Inspiration, Reflection and Support, within Community

More on that coming soon...

Monday, November 7, 2016

For Our Times

Working with a Verse
~ a type of inner work

Inner work is a wonderfully helpful, sometimes challenging "bonus" that comes with parenting, teaching and homeschooling.  We get to know ourselves by noticing who we are in challenging situations: how we respond or react, how we show up or disappear, how we reach out or retract, how we feel energized or drained, how we care for ourself in daily life.

Sometimes the awareness comes out of a situation, other times it comes out of focused attention and presence.

Inner wok can be defined as the work that we do on ourselves, of getting to know the self, our self. There are many types of inner work.

Lynn Jericho speaks of inner work in this Interview we did together, over on The Wonder of Childhood, in which she said, "Put some of your energy into knowing yourself and do this with intentional rhythm – make it a priority to have a weekly walk for self-reflection or a long soaking bath when you recollect on the moments of the week that were sweet. Self-knowledge is the beginning of inner freedom and the basis of inner love."

Inner work is an integral part of Waldorf parenting, homeschooling and teaching, and can take many different forms.

One type of inner work that is done in the Waldorf realm is to work with a verse. 

How to Work with a Verse?
Choose a verse or short text to use. Each day, set aside a few minutes in the morning, in the same place to contemplate your verse for a few minutes. You may want to read the verse aloud initially, and then come to know the verse by heart. I like to write out or print the verse on a slip of paper I can keep in a drawer or tape inside the kitchen cabinet.

Rudolf Steiner gave us many verses to work with including The Calendar of the Soul, a series of verses, one for each week of the year.

There has been a mood of excitement, hope and frustration throughout the year of primary campaigns, speeches and debates for the election of the president of the United States. Now there is so  much tension, anxiety, fear and uncertainty with the upcoming election day tomorrow. 

I try to remind myself to trust, that we are made for these times, yet it is still challenging. This verse  from Rudolf Steiner is one I turn to, that you might find strength in as well. His words feel as timely as ever...
For the Michael Age

If you'd like to print this, it's here.

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