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Archive for the ‘Storytelling’ Category

I did not mean to post more today, as I have a day off.  Fridays are for transitioning.  The family merges for the weekend, and many times we travel.  So, there are things to be wrapped up here from school, laundry to be done, menus to plan, and suit cases to pack (sometimes).

BUT, today I have a day off, sort of.  The boys are at Grandma’s, and I am trying to decide where I start my day.  I already slept in (8:15 am!!)  It is very important to me that with all of my giving, I give to myself as well.  I will still clean toilets today and wash up the dishes from last night.  I will still feed the chickens, and do a little prep reading in learning our newer curriculum.  BUT, I will also quiet my mind and listen.  I WILL take an in-breath.  I will release and restore myself, so I can continue to give, in the never ending cycle of reciprocity with family and life.

Before I move along to those things, I found this blog post very interesting.  It is spiritual.  The post is about a mother reviewing her first year of homeschooling.  What did she like?  What would she change?  In reflecting she found two things most important. 

1.  Be myself!

2.  Live it to give it!

If you are interested in reading her thoughts further, click here.  More questions you might ask of yourself.  Are you being authentic with your life?  Are you taking in and out breaths?  Who do you admire?  Who do you want to be friends with?

I believe the title quote is related to Ghandi saying, “Be the change you wish to see.”  So, go a step farther.  What is it you wish to see?  What do you Vision?  Write it down.  Say it out loud.  Taste it in your mouth.  How does it taste, were it a reality.  If it doesn’t feel quite right, re-image it.  YOU HAVE THE POWER.  Stand in it.

I have chewed on these thoughts for some time now.  What I have experienced and seen the problem to be is…we are seeking outside of ourselves.  We are seeking others to tell us who and what we are.  It is true that when we look at others we see likes and dislikes of our Selves.  But, we are each unique in a way that makes us not the same, yet we are from the same Oneness.  I know, back to duality.  There is such a thing as separation, a part-ness, duality, because Creator didn’t know any other perfect way to teach us the Oneness, the feeling of Source.  God.   Separation is an illusion.  It can be a good teaching tool, if one could turn their heads and look in other directions.

So, noting such;  go within.  If you do not like what you hear or see, change it to what you wish it to be.  I have sought inner peace.  I feel it.  I do not hold it, because it cannot be captive.  It is as free in the flow as you or I.  We just can’t let go enough to experience the freeness of freedom.

And please, PLEASE, do not forget along the way, that no one is perfect.  We are meant to stray to either side of the center line.  How else would we know what Center is.  An experience is not a mistake, but learning.  Unless you repeat it many times, then, is it considered a mistake.  Magic is everywhere, risk opening up your heart enough to receive it.  Aho.

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Please check out Little Acrorn Learning.  Owner Eileen Straiton encourages you to sign up for her monthly e-newsletter, all the while receving a FREE 23 page guide to March.  I cannot begin to describe all the books, wonderful ideas, crafts, menus and inspiration all piled into one.  Good stuff here for Spring!

Free guide here.

Sign up for newsletter here.

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http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/nttidb/lessons/nh/plantnhw.html

Here we go nature enthusiasts!  The perfect activity to do this spring with your children, or for yourself.  How can you get in rhythm with the seasons of the year?  By watching nature; the animals and plants that inhabit where you live!  We have already begun our project of watching the Eastern Pine and Juniper (Red Cedar) in its winter phase!  Please see our Trees in Winter post .  I believe we are gonna pick the red-tailed hawk to follow through the year, as well.  It (boy or girl?) has a nest in our back yard.  We have gotten out the telescope to search into its nest.  But, it is going to take more time and patience on our part to discover more.  There are two trees with large nests very close together.  We are unsure who is in this other nest.  We love a great mystery though!  We also have some medicinal herbs we plan to keep a close eye on, in their transformation.

If you are an adult or kid that likes scientific investigation, and wouldn’t mind serving your Community, see the link, Citizen Scientist.  If your child would like to follow a story, and discover more about nature, click BudBurst Buddies!

Citizen Scientists

BudBurst Buddies

“Project BudBurst is a national phenology and climate change field campaign that uses scientifically approved protocols to collect data that is freely available for use by scientists and educators.”

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Spring Verse

In the heart of a seed,

Buried ever so deep

A dear little plant,

Lay fast asleep.

 

“Wake” said the sun

And come to the light.

“Wake” said the voices

Of raindrops so bright.

 

The little plant heard,

And pushed through the soil to see.

What wonders and beauty,

Of the world might there be.

(Source: Donna Simmons, Christopherus, Joyful Movement)

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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)

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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
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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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Hello!  I want to celebrate a bit and re-post, At The Edge of the Woods, Wisdom Keepers maiden voyage.  Even though the date says April, I had written, saved and then posted several all at once.  My first post was at this time of year.  A day just like today.  The sky is blue, and the temperatures are warming.  There are remnants of snow in some places, mud in others.  Spring is teasing us.  A day like this very day, my family and I went out into nature and found reverence.  We honored where we were on the Wheel of Life.  I have fond feelings as I look back, and see the pictures of us then.  And, as I think about how we have taken previous knowledge and Became.  It also puts me in a place of wonder, about where it is we are going.  As much as I like to know things, I have reverence for The Great Mystery!  And, I am very much enjoying my Now.  I am Woman Who Becomes.  That is my state of being.

Read and you will see.

Please stay tuned as the next post is forthcoming, and will be about the very topic of Reverence.  Aho!

https://wisdomkeeper.wordpress.com/2010/04/08/at-the-edge-of-the-woods/?preview=true&preview_id=13&preview_nonce=fb9902a01a

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