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Many, many gratitudes to all who have followed my posts over the last year.  I have come full circle.  Like the potent Super – Moon, on Saturday night, there is completion.  I have prayed about it, and I am to end my journey here.  I am open to The Great Mystery and have total trust I am to be shown where the next step with self-expression will be.

If you want to contact me, my email will be healingoneself(at)gmail(dot)com for now.  All attachements or cords to this site will be severed after a small period of time.  I would like for the readers to have a few days to read my final post of Gratitude and Goodbye.

I plant the tiny seed of humility that if we are to meet again, it will be.

All is well.

Aho.

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Becoming a storyteller has found interest in my heart.  I have built a steady rhythm within my family~home.  Within this rhythm, space has been built for stories.  Stories can become part of daily ritual, as well as apart of any adventure.  Providing yourself with practice is the only way to learn.  Pick short stories to start.  Tell your kids the story on a Monday, and watercolor a scene from the story.  Re-tell the story the next day, or Wednesday (depending on the age) and bake bread.  You could even shape the bread to be something other than a loaf.  A letter of the week.  F is for Fish.  We read McElligots Pool, by Dr. Seuss, with fish for supporting characters.  The next time re-tell the story and do some modeling.  We have been using playdough for several years, and other doughs or modeling clay.  Recently we have gotten into beeswax modeling.  The wax melts and shapes in your hand, and the aroma is very uplifting.  Molding the beeswax strengthens the kids hands and prepares them for hand writing.  Kids need movement of the body to fuel learning.  I Witness this daily.  Doing these activites mentioned strengthen the memory experience, and the story goes along with it.  We will eventually add more structured (albeit loosely) theater play.  We have many props and fabrics for costuming.

Please take a look below at Marsha Johnson’s beautiful insight on becoming a storyteller, through rhythm.  Below is a picture of a beautiful Pendleton blanket that I have had my eye on;  maybe some day after much practice storytelling, I can receive this blanket.  Mrs. Marsha Johnson can be found below on Waldorfeducators yahoo group. 

Many younger parents today have difficulty with memory, this is most likely related to the arhythmic lifestyle of the past few decades, when it is the steady strong rhythm of life’s days, weeks, months, seasons, years, community, that build and strengthen our memory body (etheric or life body which is freed in the 7th year for use in memory and academic lessons…).

So you must begin to memorize and practice. Each day, for example, at a certain time, say 7 am, do some innocent activity, this does not need to be significant, just steady each day, say at 7 am, you will clap three times.

This can be at any time during the day.

If you forget, well, do it when you remember. And try again tomorrow.

Strengthen and grow your memory body in this way, for say, a period of 1 year perhaps. Yes, for 365 days, you can clap 3 times at 7 am or 12 noon or 6 pm or whenever you decide.

At the end of this period, we can speak again of this task and see how your memory is coming along. Also many other interesting things may happen along that tiny journey….

Now for the stories, you must read them first. For at least 3 nights in a row, just before sleeping. Take those stories and go into your sleep life with these tales, and by the 3 day, after the 3 nights, you will be able to tell that story. It will be there, living in you like that brilliant blue center of the warm candle flame…it is be inside you now, like an organ in your very center, that you can draw on and enjoy the process, too, as it passes out again into the world of spoken language, of sounds and tones, with hues and shades of colors and lives, that story will be in your very warm breath of life, as you tell your most precious children, these significant tales.

In this way, it becomes alive again! This is why some stories are like literal food, nourishing body and soul, past and future, healing illness and dysharmony, stories can carry deep magic and deep meaning, if told in this way.

Some stories are like cotton candy, hardly worth the effort to take into one self, they pass through with meaningless impact, and simply in a sense steal away time and space in our worlds…..

We must learn to recognize a good ‘story’ in the way we learn to know what good bread is….what is good soup….what is fresh water….clean air….clear thinking….balanced colors….. composition of self and other, awareness of what we are giving to the children and to ourselves at the same time.

This is the LEAST TRIVIAL work we will do. We plant the seeds of the future with our stories and their content will carry the children and humanity far into the future, streaming onwards in all direction, for those who listen nearby, invisiable, for those who snuggle warm selves into us, for those yet born, those who hover nearby, choosing the right time, the right place, the right family.

We use stories as medicine, friends, and this is why you need to make it one of your top priorities: memorize and learn the stories of the Waldorf Way, the critical pieces of knowledge, the golden keys that will unlock the Gate of Humankind and allow to flow forth, the River of Shalom.

Practice. Don’t look back, keep your face to the sun, and practice….begin with what you can do and be open to change. Sometimes stories take on a life of their own and that may be just what is needed. I have had times when I tell a story and the next day the children tell me new parts I did not say, and this story grew in them and took them into further details and I am glad.

I hope this helps. You can do it, I know you can.

Think in pictures and let go of your ‘intellect’. Tell the story from your heart self, not the head self.

Mrs M

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Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence.
Plato

The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him – that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.
Swami Vivekananda

(Source: http://www.brainyquote.com/words/re/reverence213051.html)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1rev·er·ence

noun
\ˈrev-rən(t)s, ˈre-və-; ˈre-vərn(t)s\

Definition of REVERENCE

1
: honor or respect felt or shown : deference; especially : profound adoring awed respect
2
: a gesture of respect (as a bow)
3
: the state of being revered
4
: one held in reverence —used as a title for a clergyman
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

I wanted to give everyone the word reverence in context and defined by experts, before I began to explore its very essence.  I have thought of the word reverence for many years.  Reverence, something sacred.  Reverence, something/someone held in respect.  As I move through my day I really try my best to have reverence for everything.  I feel intention is brought into my life more pronounced if i do so.  What I mean is, all of my belongings, my worldly things count as well.  I try to practice a sort of spiritual housekeeping, as some have coined a new movement occurring in the world today.  It is not so new, but it is re-newed.  Spiritual housekeeping is where one might look around their home and meditate on what is necessary to live.

Is your home crowded with too many good intentions?  Do you have 3 blenders, a drawer full of scrap booking materials, so much furniture you can’t flow as you move through your home?  If so, determine, or use discernment to weed out items you are not getting to, or can’t move around.  Think before you bring something into your home.  Think about starting a new project, when you know very well you have 4 other projects waiting at home for you to began or finish.  Are you considering charging a few new things, but still have yet to pay for the other few new things you bought last month?

Do you care for yourself in the same way?  This would be termed as inner work.  Do you take out the trash?  Do you release or let go of what no longer serves you?  Have you thought to clean out what is within, before you journey forward?

I labeled my email account healingoneself, not because I am sooo wounded that I must put the thought in my face, but because I wanted to be reminded.  Remembering all of the questions above is a mastery.  Mastery means something one works at always.  Not something you can ever Master per se.  Sure we are given these names Master/Teacher, but life is ever flowing.  We are ever unfolding.  We are human, right now in our experience, at least if you are reading this you are.  So, we will forever be given tasks or tests to evolve into a higher place.  A higher vibration of living.  I would call this place Joy.  It is a state of being that fluctuates.  If we move through life with grace and joy filling us, we can know freedom.  You cannot possess grace or joy, so do not try.  It Must flow through you.

Let me give you an example.  Pretend you are as you are, but that there is an open hollow-ness that flows from the top of your crown, to the bottom of your feet.  Imagine something joyful coming through that top opening, flowing through you and exiting out through your feet.  Allow yourself to feel it.  You are Being.  When we hold onto “stuff” within or without, we cause blockages.  Imagine happiness flowing through the top of your crown again, but then it is stopped by something in the middle of your Self, before it can move fluidly through and out.  Many of us hold our breaths and live just like that everyday of our lives.  This is how dis-ease is caused.  This is how we manifest illness.  This is how we long for joy, but cannot ever let it flow through us, because of the holding onto things.

I challenge you!  Go through your home!  Your Self-home as well.  What no longer serves you?  What can you cleanse or purify?  What can you recycle?  What can you reuse?  If you are holding onto something because you believe you revere it so much, or hold it sacred, then I advise you give it away.  I have done that twice this year with two things I thought I held sacred.  I held it so sacred that I was too attached.  I practiced what some call giveaway.  Now, I am ready for my re-birth again; it is spring.  I have new seeds in my heart sprouting forth to the universe.  I have given away expectations that I didn’t even realize I was holding on to.  I was so attached, so in awe;  holding so sacred these things, within and without that it was a true distraction to my living experience.  I cycled through year after year, blocking my truer potential, getting in my own way.  NOW!  I am free and clear to receive the newness of life.  Without restrictions.

I challenge you to hold reverence for nature.  I challenge you hold sacred our drinking water, and pray every time you Witness a rolling stream or a dry riverbed.  I challenge you to hold your family sacred, your friends and your Community.  I even challenge you to hold a tiny bit of reverence for the things you do decide to possess.  Take care of your stuff.  Don’t let your laptop have an early death because you set a glass of water on top of it.  It will end up in a landfill and pollute Mother Earth.  Think that far ahead.  Take care and maintenance the things you do have, so that you may live in simplicity.  Drive your car till it cannot drive anymore.  Or ride a bike.  I will almost bet you, as you are doing these things, you will begin to care more for your inner Self.  When you live in such a way we begin to see each other as Swami Vivekananda says,

“The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him – that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.”

I wish for you that freedom.  True freedom.  This is something we can pass on to our children that is truly rich.
Many joyful blessings!

Nichole

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When speaking about wild foods one must do more research on wild crafting.  I am speaking on the herbs available around us, urban and rural.  When you harvest a wild food, you must take into account depleting your resources.  I am not sure one could deplete dandelions.  Do leave some plants for the animals and be gentle and kind to the plant as you harvest.  Thank the little plants for being abundant and healing.  This just may insure a return of the plant next time around. 
Also listen and breathe deep in your time with the plants.  These plants may have a story to tell you.  If you have any ailments, try a simple meditation.  Meditate on what your body tells you.  Then, take a walk.  See where you are drawn.  Is it a patch of red clovers?  Is it a patch of Wild Carrot?  Is it a patch of Yarrow?  What do you think your ailment and that plant have in common.  It could be the need of red clover to purify your blood. 
Please feel free to listen to Susun Weed having a discussion with Linda Conroy about Wild Foods.  This MP3 discusses:
~Urban planning and green space around 23 mintues.
~Increasing animal poplulation while harvesting.
~Urban maple sugar processing.

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I promised a post on reverence, and this is not it!  Ha!  But, I thought some of you deserved an explanation on us women talking about our Moon times.  In one of my education yahoo groups, fertility was brought up and this loverly description explains it all.  You’ll never look at the moon, and a woman the same.  Thank you womankind!  Thank you Grandmother Moon!  See, if we look at nature, we are mirrors of its cycles.

 

She explained how a woman’s body goes through each of the our seasons of the year in one month, with each week of our cycle representing a season.  In our “spring” cycle, or fertile week,  we have our moist and wet terrain (cervicle fluid is more abundant and a bit sticky like egg white).   Body temperatures are warming up, just as the season brings wamer weather.  This is the season when we have such creative potential, and we can harness this to bring forth either babies or IDEAS.  I loved the way she explained that sense of a rush of power that we may feel hormonally, and of consciously thinking of how to be at our creative peak if we are not using it for a physical creation.

 

In our “summer” season, the week following our cycle, our body temperatures are higher (a woman can use waking body temperatures to help determine her reproductive health), and our cervix, which actually lowers and rises a bit within our body, is “higher” just as the sun gets so very high in the sky during summer.  It is also a “dryer” time both outside, and our bodies have less cervical secretion.  Emotionally, summer is our even phase.  Enjoy this week and the emotional stability it brings!

 

Now comes autumn, the stormy weather!  This is a time when we must support our stormy emotions, and fortify ourselves for the winter ahead.

 

Winter, the time of our cycle, leaves us with our coolest waking body temperatures and this shift calls us to remember to bring a sweater or extra layer as we will be more prone to feeling cold.  All of the snow/precipitation of winter is mirrored in our loss of fluid (menstruation).  It is a time of “hibernation”; to really take it easy and nurture ourselves.  Normally I don’t eat too much meat but I like to treat myself to an organic grassfed bit of steak during this time for the extra iron and grateful acknowledgement of the cycle of death and life.

 

I hope this explanation is as empowering to you as it was to me!  I felt like a micro-cosm of Mother Earth and truly understand myself and am able to support myself using this picture.  I recommend the book “The Garden of Fertility” for supporting information.

 

Becca

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Gung Hay Fat Choy everyone! (Wishing you happiness and fortune in your new year!)  I want to give you a link right off the bat.  Have your speakers and volume ready.  http://www.nancymusic.com/Gunghayplay.htm  
You will hear a song about Chinese New Year!   The song is perfectly calm and went right along with all the creative processes we were taking part in. 

When I first meditated on doing a block about Chinese New Year, my first instincts were to enter into the immediate Now.  I began cleaning my home.  I began sweeping out the old, and making room for the new.  We went through our clothes.  We went through our kitchen cabinets.  We went through our supplies, art and food.  Somehow I found myself living this process.  Then, I got to take a trip to San Antonio and really let go.  I thank Creator for arranging all this for me.

Upon returning we picked up our children.  They had spent the first couple days of February in a blizzard, up north, with Grandma.  My goal was to pick them up and ground in to our home.  Warmth, baking, soft music, aromatherapy, warm baths and beeswax candle dipping.  Transitioning from travel with children I have come to realized is an art form.  Especially if you are homeschooling.  And, even more so if you are presenting life to your children holistically.

The Story of the Chinese Zodiac (prints one page)

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/the_story_of_the_Chinese_zodiac.pdf

Here is a coloring page to go with the story.

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/chinese_zodiac_story_coloring_page.htm

Anything Chinese New Year here.  Look for the Rabbit though.

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/chinese_new_year_coloring.htm

I had fun watercoloring a silhouette of the rabbit, along with the sign for double happiness.  I did notice Wolfsion writing on our foggy kitchen storm door the chinese symbol for Happiness.  He was inspired by a stone sculpture we have.  And, we made a paper chain of red and purple.  Here is a picture of us dipping the beeswax candles together.  Dad captured the moment.

I don’t know if you can see what I can see, but there’s magic in this picture.  The magic of the candle making in the background.  The secret, the chemistry.  And in the front, River is just full of Light.  Filled with magic.

Ok, I can show you the candles now.  We are so proud of our discoveries.  I mean aren’t we bringing light to our lives?  The cool thing about all of this is being creative and happy with the mundane.  That aspect of the journey is very hard.  It is the only way to joy though, because it is a part.

Our faithful bookmobile lady also brought us the book Chinese New Year~Cultural Holidays, by Katie Marsico.  I most like the circular illustration of the moon phases.  We discussed the celebration beginning on the new moon, and ending on the full moon.  Wolfsion has already expressed the moon phases in his drawings and sketches.

To explain, I use a soft approach with this information.  The kids have been around the wheel a few times, but they are slowly waking up.  At this point, I work with their observation aspect in a soft way.  I don’t delve too too deep yet.  However, they come to me with very deep and simple findings.  Today we painted each others faces after nap time.  For Samantha she was the perfect bunny-girl.  A super hero.  And River was doing his bunny hop.  Which makes me happy and I note his movement development.  Joyful Movement is the name of a curriculum resource I have by Christophorus.  I have just began to peek inside and really integrate more movement to assist with developement.  Everytime there is new movement or strength, there is an immediate transferrence to their waking up…the brain.  It is amazing being a Witness in this human pathway.  Ok, so here’s some little bunnies.  They are far happier than they look, they are only in fear of smearing their paint.  Ayla Bear, our beautiful black dog licked Samantha’s paint right off!

The Year of the Rabbit is our destiny this Chinese New Year.  We have a nice nature table set up with white silk fabric draped over wood chunks forming a den for our rabbits.  Wolfsion has been long friends with one rabbit, who goes by Bunny Rabbit Dance.  Well this is Bunny Rabbit Dance’s family.  We take care of them by checking their stores, and even adding a stone sculpture with the Chinese writing of Happiness.  Thanks Magic Man!  The boys great uncle gave that to us at our wedding.  I would show you a picture of this landscape, but Bunny Rabbit Dance and his family are off making tracks.  It is the wrong time of day, they aren’t home.

If you don’t mind e-books though, here’s the link. 

http://www.starfall.com/n/level-c/chinese-fables/load.htm?f

We enjoy different kinds of presentations, because our world is filled with many mediums.  In traveling, I like to expose the children to low/moderate amounts of things.  We do not over-expose tv, computers, or phones, but it very much is in this world.  I do believe I am protecting the boys senses, but also slowly opening them up to things that exist.  I can’t imagine traveling to Seattle, or Germany and the boys not having been exposed previously to any of those three categories.  Storytelling, free-play, crafts, music, baking, nature and community, with the thread of Spirit ,weave together the majority of what we are made of.

Have you ever thought you wanted one thing, but when you got there, you realized that you already possessed the truer sense of what you were searching for to begin with!?  If you like wonder, magic, dragons and faraway places then you will like the book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.  I got it from a beautiful blog.  This lady is an awesome teacher and student of life.  There is much inspiratation here for the family in 2nd grade.  I realized after receiving this book from my AWESOME bookmobile lady, it would only be a preview for my eyes only.  The book is just not quite for Kindergartners.  I didn’t know that, but I am very glad I had the opportunity to read it myself.  Timing is everything.  I felt able to apply the story to my life in the Now.  I hope you get to read the story about Minli too.
http://ancienthearth2.blogspot.com/2011/02/chinese-new-year-year-of-rabbit.html

“D” is for Dragon.

 In our journey we also watched a video of the Lion and Dragon dance.  We give Microsoft a shout out, because Uncle Thomas works there in Seattle, and we found this video by accident.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzvmzfxx3pA&feature=related

One of the funnest things we did though was sit at a low table on pillows.  The menu was fish and rice, chopstick style.  We happened to pick the chopsticks up in San Antonio, so the boys were happily suprised…perfect timing.  We decorated our table with a bright red tablecloth in honor of the celebration.  Nian the dragon would not be stopping by for dinner, but the Ancestors would, so we left a Spirit Plate out.  Our centerpiece was a dipped beeswax taper, set in sand.  And, there you have it.  We took about 3-ish weeks to move through all of this process.  Thanks for stopping by~

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

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Stoking the Gratitude Fire

We started by giving Gratitude.  Remembering Gratitude first is a way to settle us into our natural states of being.  Happiness.

Drumming up the energy

When in ceremony it is also important to bring up the vibration to a higher place.  Drumming will make the ancestors happy.

Primitive art-making with fire and sticks

Wolfsion needed no prompting to began art-making.  Expression is apart of us.  How do you express yourself?  Do you see ways to express yourself, but hold back?  Or, do you jump at the chance for expression?

See the man? By Wolfsion

When we were each ready, we each placed our Gratitudes in the fire.  As our creative Gratitudes on paper burned, the smoke carried them to Creator.

Getting the indoor garden set up

The process of sending our gratitudes and the ritual of Stirring the Seeds is a process.  It took several days.  Above is our garden stand that will hold our plants, as we watch them grow.  I am dissapointed we have to use grow lights, because we do not like to waste electricity, BUT the only south facing window is the boys room.  Pots of dirt ain’t gonna happen there! 

Planting our intentions

After dinner last night I began writing what intentions we wanted to put forth to the Universe.  I wrote them on tiny pieces of paper, and rolled them up.  Next we were ready to put them in the bottom of our pots.  We then planted herb seeds over top of the intentions.  The point of this exercise is to have an inner and outer experience unfold before us.  As we tend the inner seeds that are stirring within us, we also tend the herb seeds.  We want to harvest these intentions, as we harvest the herbs.   We set goals for ourselves and the family.

All set up and ready for sprouting!

I will share a couple of those intentions with you, so you may have a better idea.  Wolfsion wants to make a blackberry pie this year.  I want to travel more.  I would also like to continue rhythm in my home, along with keeping an organized unschooling approach flowing.  River wants to sing more.  And Ryan wants to be creative, design and build more this year.  One last intention I am setting forth is to say and tell less, be and sing more.  That is one of the more important intentions for me. 

One last bonus to this exercise is that it is beginning science, but we won’t mention that to the kids, till a later date.  I just want them to observe the process.  We can make it academic in the future.

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