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Insight Part II – musings on being an invisible angel December 29, 2008

Filed under: personal growth — Thinking Woman @ 2:30 am

Continued from previous posting on Insight Seminars.

During Insight Seminars, there are many volunteers who assist and keep the processes running smoothly. I was reminiscing with my husband today because I saw one situation from our assisting in a different light. Imagine feeling like an invisible guardian angel! That is what we felt, briefly.

The participants were doing a guided meditation with eyes closed and our job, as assistants, was to keep them from bumping into each other. So if one participant got too close to another, we would simply place our body between the two participants and take the blow.

I wonder, do angels do that for us? Are there things going on in an invisible realm that are just too painful and angels soften the blow? Perhaps it’s not always possible to take on the full force of it. So much of assisting continues to be personal growth. I must reflect more on what I learned both participating and assisting.

At the end of the seminar, it was always made clear that your seminar was about to begin: Your Life.

I so wish there was an opportunity to take part of an Insight seminar near me but when I look for them now, I can only find things going on in California. Not very convenient at the moment.

I totally forgot that they also ran children’s seminars. We had always hoped to have our future kids participate in Insight for Kids and now I could totally see how it would help my kids. I suppose if I were super motivated, I could get people organized and have one here.

But maybe I’m looking at this all wrong. Perhaps I can dig a little deeper, find those tools, dust them off, and use them on what’s going on for me now.

 

Sour Tangerines – Zest and Juice December 28, 2008

Filed under: organic gardening — Thinking Woman @ 11:46 pm

Zested a bucket full of tangerines. The zest is in the dehydrator. It took me over an hour. They are tricky to zest! Then peeled (that’s quick!) and juiced but oh, so sour! Used some in a smoothie that went straight into the compost bucket. Still at a loss what to do with these sour tangerines!

 

Healthy Anger December 24, 2008

Filed under: personal growth,social interaction — Thinking Woman @ 5:02 pm

Last night, it occurred to me that I was angry at my husband. No, not just angry, but really furious. On the edge, actually. Having trouble thinking clearly. Luckily for him, it was about 1am and he hadn’t come to bed yet so I had time to think. That was the trigger for me becoming aware of how angry I was. I have barely seen him as he has allowed himself to engage in a full-time affair with his computer. Even at meal time, he’s “too busy” to eat with us. Forget about anything being done around the house.

This has been his tendency over the years and I often push and get him back on track. Last night, it was one of those points where it was too much. I allowed my mind to really explore my alternatives and they didn’t look good at all. It’s not like I dislike him. It’s just that this isn’t what a marriage is nor what a dad is supposed to be doing in order for there to be a healthy family. If I leave the house to run errands, I can count on two things. The girls are safe  and they’re watching TV or a movie.

When he finally did come to bed, I told him what was bothering me. I didn’t yell or call names. I didn’t threaten either. I just explained in a few short words. He listened and concluded that he’d have to change his ways. And that was it.

My anger was not diffused so I got up a little while later and googled  about marriage. After only the first few hits, I felt empowered. I learned that yes, there are times to leave a marriage. But ending a marriage is something one should do after everything else has been tried. And one website suggested that when you were at your absolute end, could take no more, that would be the time to give it a full year of really trying. That sounds like some awesome advice!

No, I’m  not at that point. I’ve been close a few times but never there consistently and never willing to trade what I’ve got for putting my girls in school/daycare. Sure, I can see that it’s not great for kids to grow up with parents who don’t relate well, but it’s not better to toss them aside either. If it’s hard now, working long days and trying to get them places on time  would be exponentially more stressful.

I’ve been falling down on the job. I have allowed my anger to build up to a level that I wasn’t even aware of. I told my husband that I resented that every single thing around the house now fell to me because he figured out that if he just didn’t do anything, eventually I’d have to. I allowed this to happen. Tired of being a nag, I decided to try something new and do things with a smile. Only I didn’t manage the smile. It would be fine if I were the type that could manage to work very hard and do it with a smile. It’s unfortunate that both of us have the same areas that need work. But I still believe that marriage is work and so would the next one be so I might as well start here. (I’d love to get to a level where I could fully embrace marriage as joy and forget about believing it was work!)

I’ve got no idea what I need to do. Open the lines of communication would be a first step. I told him I was running around all day yesterday and feeling guilty over the dishes and uninspired to create meals because of the mess in the kitchen and that I quit. That I was not going to do those dishes after all.That the guilt was not mine alone. I am off to the hairdresser in a few minutes and he’s quitting work early so I fully expect a sparkling kitchen and a new outlook when I get home!

Perhaps, with that 1st step taken, we can figure out the next one and begin to do things to make our marriage and our life happy together.

 

Husband not bugging me about homeschooling! December 23, 2008

Filed under: unschooling — Thinking Woman @ 6:51 pm
Tags: ,

We unschool. We’ve always unschooled; I have been unschooling without realizing that’s what it was since my early 20s when I started to enjoy learning and began to actively pursue what interested me, becoming obsessed with some things and getting my fill, moving on, or keeping that passion for a long time.

I am not following a Waldorf philosophy, but when my older daughter was 2-3 1/2, we loved doing parent tot classes at a local Waldorf school and I did learn some things about it. One thing that really resonated with me is delaying reading on purpose.

As reading is one of those things that proves to the world that a child is learning, it was definitely bugging my husband that our 5, then 6, then 7 year old old could not read. For some reasons, adults like to put kids on the spot. Well, maybe they just do it to homeschooled kids to save the world or something. My gentle little soul came away from these quizzings shattered and in tears because she could not perform to their standard. I worked with her on suitable responses around the concept that she did not want to be quizzed. And I worked on her confidence that she’s eventually find reading a breeze. No, more; she’d clearly be an advanced reader.

It was important to me that she love reading, as I do. My husband doesn’t love reading. In fact, the first time he ever read a book purely for pleasure was when we were in our honeymoon phase. He’d never been around someone who read for fun. For a while, we frequented a local alternative/spiritual bookstore and he read quite a few books about some of his spiritual guides. But since becoming a dad, he’s given that up. Sadly, he gets most of his information from video and youtube nowadays. I have no patience to sit through a video; I’d much rather skim online but I guess this is one of those mars/venus things.

Perhaps since reading is not a joy for him, he was still of the mainstream philosophy about it; that a child should be reading by age 6. And yes, he definitely gets embarrassed when our kids can’t perform like trained monkeys in public. I’m the sensitive one but I don’t care about that.

Somewhere about a year ago, give or take, my daughter and I started to make progress. We had had some false starts with the stupid book we were using, Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Lessons. I say stupid because the authors of this book feel it’s important to include discipline (in the negative sense of the word) as an integral part of the teaching method. I don’t actually know much at all about teaching reading. But I do know a thing or two about discipline and the word means guidance, not bullying, demeaning, demoralizing, insulting, controlling. The books has specific artificial dialog that you are not to deviate from. Heck, it’s all those things I just mentioned towards the parents as well as the kids. I’m a rule follower so it took me a bit to find my own stride and use the basic method without all the nastiness. Other than the book being full of typos where it’s inconsistent with its own style, I also find it utterly foolish that each reading lesson concludes with a writing lesson. Again, I’m not a trained teacher, but my daughter had all sorts of issues learning to write and why on earth would you force a skill too early? The authors of the book think it’s suitable for 3 and 4 year olds and while I won’t deny that some children that age show proficiency for reading, the majority do not. And they do not seem to appreciate that bullying a child into struggling with a skill before it’s time will lead to a hatred of that skill. Some skills didn’t come to me until I was an adult and new ones come all the time. It’s a wonder I can manage to do anything with my body after the way I was meant to feel in school gym and yet I grew up to be an accomplished athlete as an adult.

We ignored the instructions and zipped through as many lessons each day as my daughter wanted. We did not make the lessons non-negotiable and at a certain time of day as the book suggested. I rarely brought it up but rather let my daughter ask for a lesson. If she wanted to do 5 lessons in a row and I was up for it, we did. Contrary to what the authors would have you believe, it is possible to learn to read on the child’s terms. We never finished that stupid book. Now I’m using the term stupid because of the irritating spelling methods. The book had some plan of using more phonetic spelling and then later, through some magic, the child would come to understand how English is actually spelled. Whatever. What’s happened for us is my daughter kept picking up books of different levels until one day, she was able to finish a book. Since that day, we’ve never done another lesson. She now reads a few books a week and is increasing in skills all the time.

Yes, I will use the foolish book to teach my younger daughter, but only because it’s already on my shelf.

Oh and my point when I started this post is that my husband has never once “helpfully” suggested sending my kids to school since he saw progress with reading. When he saw her sounding out words and making progress, he was cool and has been ever since. He used to say, if I had any issue at all or the kids acted “naughty”, just send them to school. I felt so unsupported when he said that; he’s my partner in parenting and it was awful to not have him fully on the same page about homeschooling. The irony is that the teensy issues we were having would be nothing compared to me and him trying to get our kids to bed early and up, dressed and out of the house on time. I seriously think that would be the end of us if we had that school deadline as the only motivation.

 

How Long Does Raw Milk Keep? December 22, 2008

Filed under: health,organic food — Thinking Woman @ 3:25 pm
Tags:

I’ve got some raw milk I just opened. It is perhaps 2 weeks old. It seems the same as always and I can’t notice any odor. But I just had to stop eating my cereal because of a funny flavor. Is it just that it’s a different brand? Does raw milk smell sour in the same way pasteurized milk does? And the cereal could be the issue; I’m choking down Ezekial with some xylitol on it and they didn’t have the raisin one so I have almond. Not at all yummy. Much like cardboard. But at least it’s got sprouted grains. So I wonder if I’ve just done my body good or I’ll be barfing later!

 

Law of Attraction – My Goals – A Work in Progress December 20, 2008

Filed under: personal growth,spirituality — Thinking Woman @ 6:08 pm
Tags: , ,

Change log:
December 21, 2008. Quantified some goals. Will move goals to present tense but not yet! Am not yet at “believe” because have more work to do on “feel” and images (see next point) will help with that.
December 20, 2008. Broke goals out into own post. Added a visual image next to a monetary goal. Intend to add more images throughout.

Goals (a work in progress):

  • to be very fit and healthy. For me, I would like to reach a new standard. Things I have achieved in the past include low body fat and great muscle definition. I would like to have under 20% body fat. In addition, I’d like strong flat abs for the first time ever! Solid core strength all around is the goal. This will lead to my whole body working better together as designed. My alignment will be perfect. <scan and insert image here of old photo>. If any illness caught, will resolve itself within 2-3 days.
  • my immediate family to be very fit and healthy. My husband has decided to start the Body for Life Challenge in January! How wonderful he’s decided on his own. Ahem. My girls need to be proficient at more skills: cartwheels, “walking bars” using hands while hanging – not sure what that’s called, more gymnastics skills such as flipping over a bar, running faster, better coordination and confidence in physical skills, ability to bike up any hill in town without stopping. If any illness caught, will resolve itself within 2-3 days.
  • all of us to be happier. Laugh 20 times a day. Smile 100 times a day. (Okay, I’m clueless what’s realistic or an appropriate goal here!) A feeling of lightness. The ability to savor the moment and doing so a few times a day.
  • all of us to spend at least 50% of our time out of doors. Great passtimes are reading, gardening & yard work, playing on play set, using pool (in season), walking, biking, playing at the park, visiting friends.
  • to have at least 50% of what we eat come from my garden.
  • my business revenue to consistently increase.
  • my paperwork issues to resolve within 2 months.
  • to remain caught up on paperwork.
  • to work around 2-4 hours per week.
  • to continue to have trusted, reliable employees who do the bulk of the work.
  • to continue to have employees who love working for me and feel blessed by the opportunity to work flexible hours from home.
  • a best friend for my older daughter who is worthy of her. A friend who is nice, relaxing, gentle, available, and close. Someone with similar values like kindness, openness, honest, peace, understanding.
  • to keep and improve the friendship with my new friend. To trust that she is true. To make the effort to reciprocate.
  • another close and trusted friend to appear in my life within a few months.
  • to take an extended (2-3 weeks minium) family vacation to Europe within 2 years. Or the UK. Or both.
  • inner calmness and patience.
  • to bring my sanctuary to reality; to find it, own it, and visit it for real at least once or twice a year.
  • confidence that I am doing an amazing job in all aspects of my life.
  • increased net worth (need to quantify!!!!)money-flowing
 

Chiropractic Occlumency December 19, 2008

Filed under: health — Thinking Woman @ 7:56 pm

Remember in Harry Potter when Dumbledore tells Harry he’s got to go see Snape for Occlumency lessons? I was never happy with Snape’s teaching method. I never felt Harry stood a chance to figure out what the heck he was supposed to do.

Well, it’s been a bit like that with my chiropractor. He did an assessment and found the issues and areas I need to work on. Not surprisingly, I need more core strength. So he wanted me to tighten a certain abdominal muscle. He touched it so I’d know where to tighten. But all I got was, “No, you’re not doing it right. Here. HERE!” It was rather humiliating! He did actually make some suggestions on how to get there but still, after a few weeks practice, my results were not yet consistent.

I guess he tortures all his clients this way. The muscle he is so one about is a lateral abdominal muscle. It’s to the right of the belly button and in line with the nipple. And I’ve only ever tightened my abs by sucking in. Nope. Wrong. He says it’s the laugh muscle. I can’t make myself laugh on cue but I can manage a little push and that has helped me isolate this funny maneuver he’s so concerned about.

He also wants me doing some other unusual maneuvers including some thing where I walk away from the wall but keep my head there and chin down. I have worked a lot on my posture in the last year ever since I had a nasty bout of bursitis that immobilized one arm and scared the crap out of me. It turns out that my chin has an invisible helium filled balloon attached to it. It must; if I drop concentration for just a second, up it floats. And that must be what’s bothering my neck. Well, that and sticking my  head out. So it’s head in, chin down. Again, Oh, head floating up. Down, chin in. Even when I sleep, I have to remind myself about alignment or I wake up with a stiff neck.

Another thing he’s on about is butt clenches. That’s probably for the best; my quads are so strong that they tend to take over when I try to do any leg exercises.

He also added a new one last time. The “Dead Bug”. I am not liking that name! I must remember to do these too. Too hard to describe but it’s core work.

I hope it all works and I can get everything working together properly as he envisions.