Wednesday, November 30, 2016

11/12

A photo of my little man, once a month, on the last day of each month, in 2016

Reece, on our hike last weekend you were a wild nature boy, running free through the meadows. It was a joy to watch, and a dream come true for me. I love seeing you in nature, watching you connect with the world around you, and enjoying the space to run, wild and free. Nature connection has always been a big part of our lives. Our early days had you in the carrier, watching and connecting from the comfort of my back. Later you would toddle along the trails, stopping to watch ants, and bugs. Now you run ahead, comfortable on the trails and in the woods, you stop to climb trees, or to grab a stick, and sometimes you fall in step beside me and reach out for my hand. I am so happy, little man, that nature has called to your heart as it did mine. It's a special gift, to feel connected to nature, to know you can go to the woods and find connection with not only Mother Nature, but also with yourself. I hope you will always enjoy time in the woods, and that you will find the peace and solace she has offered me for so many years.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Advent Season

The first light of Advent is the light of stones
The light that shines in crystals in seashells and in bones
 
The second light of Advent is the light of plants
Green plants that reach up to the light and in the breezes dance
 
The third light of Advent is the light of beasts
That shines in all creatures in greatest and in least
 
The fourth light of Advent is the human light
The light of hope and of thought, to know and do what’s right

~ Rudolf Steiner ~




The Advent season began yesterday, and with it the journey of light and preparation. Our Advent spiral was placed on our dining room table yesterday, and last night at dinner the first candle was lit and Joseph and Mary began their journey.

This has become a family tradition, something that marks the season for us, and is a huge part of our yearly rhythm. As many of you know, rhythm and ritual are big parts of my life with my little man. These rituals guide us, bringing us closer to the earth, her seasons, and the festivals and celebrations that flow through the year. What made this year really special was the small reminders I received last week from my little man that this weekend was the beginning of Advent, and that I shouldn't forget to get the spiral out, and the Advent gnome. These rituals are part of who he is, he remembers them, they are in him, and my heart is warmed knowing that these rituals mean so much to him.

Of course with the beginning of Advent the Advent gnome made his appearance. Each week of Advent has a different focus, this first week is on stones, and so our Advent activities, delivered each morning by the Advent gnome, will focus on that. Yesterday we hiked and collected rocks, and today we will wet felt those rocks. Tomorrow we will make window stars, and Wednesday snowflakes. As we move through Advent opportunities for kindness activities come up. During animal week we will make bird feeders to feed our feathered friends, and leave salt licks in the woods for the deer. Human week provides us opportunities to buy food for the food bank, pack Christmas hampers, bake cookies for friends, and offer a gift through World Vision. Advent is a time of sharing our light, and letting it shine on others, and that is what we intend to do.

Yesterday also saw us create our rock spiral. This spiral, made with rocks during this first week of Advent, is just a little something extra to bring to life this season for my little man. Each day the Advent gnome also leaves a wooden star, and my little man replaces a stone with the star, letting the starlight lead us to Christmas day. It's an activity that allows him to witness the journey in a tangible way, and he loves it!

I honestly love this time of year, and this year with all the light I have been so blessed to receive, it feels extra special.

How are you celebrating Advent this year?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Receiving the Light


The Martinmas season is one of flaming our inner light, and sharing it with others. That inner light is always burning, at times it burns brightly, at other times it dims in the darkness. My inner light was dimming in some darkness, it was struggling to stay lit, fighting for the chance to shine, but that all changed late last week. Friday afternoon I walked out to the mailbox to find a love bomb. Have you ever been love bombed? Let me tell you it is amazing! In the package I found a beautiful note from a friend, with an inspirational quote and a small gift, a gemstone. It made me day, and if you guessed it flamed my inner light, you guessed right. My heart was full, full of love and warmth.

Little did I know, that first love bomb was just the beginning. Saturday I was love bombed again, this time in public, at my hair salon. Another beautiful note, inspirational quote and small gift from a friend. And yes, I cried, in public. What has followed in the days since are similar love bombs from my beautiful, loving, caring, and thoughtful tribe of women that I choose to surround myself with. Meaningful words of love and compassion, inspirational quotes, and small very meaningful gifts, all shared with me in an attempt to brighten my world at the moment. An attempt that has been fully successful.

I have never been on the receiving end of so much light giving, and I am overwhelmed, in a good way. As they shine their light on me, the strength of my light grows, and in that light I am finding my strength and courage to keep moving forward, to keep dreaming and manifesting and to shine my own inner light.

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To my beautiful tribe, you know who you are, thank you doesn't even begin to share with you my gratitude and love for the light you have been sharing with me. I am brought to tears just thinking about it. My deepest gratitude to all of you, I will never forget the beauty you have shared with me. It means the world to me. Love you all.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Link Love


A few things I am loving this week....

A great post on kindness in our homes

A fun project for the whole family with an added bonus...more kindness

This podcast....amazing!

A change in perspective is empowering

Many of you ask what curriculum I use here at home...this one, and we love it!

Currently reading this, and I highly recommend it

In the pile of books beside my bed you will find, this, and this, not quite sure which one I will read next

Currently reading this to my little man....such a great book, first time I have read it

This book is on my Christmas wish list

Everyone loves my lunar phase calendar, you can order one here

Wishing you all the most beautiful weekend. Enjoy!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday Morning Thoughts


I just watched as the most stunning moon dipped behind the tree line. Did you see it last night or this morning? Gorgeous, full, bright, it took my breath away. Nature never ceases to amaze me, and always leaves me with a feeling of hope and lightness. I am feeling light this morning. Maybe it is the yoga I finished a short while ago, maybe it is steps I took this weekend to bring more peace into my life, maybe it is the love and support of friends and family, maybe it is the excitement around new studies I am undertaking, maybe it is the energy shift this moon is suppose to bring. Whatever it is, I am feeling light, and happy. It's a good feeling.

My little man and I spent time in the woods out behind our home on Saturday. He took his remote control monster truck to ride the trail and the big hills, I took clippers and gently pruned evergreens, offering gratitude with each snip. The pile of evergreens turned into beautiful winter decorations that are now adorning the fence and my home. Lights were put up too, and all of sudden it feels like the holiday season around here. Inside we pulled out a few seasonal decorations, and added a little wintry touch, while Christmas music played in the background. I do love this time of year, not for the commercial gift giving side of things, but for the hope, love and light this season tends to bring.

There are always challenges in life, and I have had my fair share throughout the last year, but I have learned one thing....attitude is everything. Challenges have attempted to bring me down, to take away this precious time I have with my little man, and each day I say no, not today. I won't let the obstacles prevent me from living a life full of joy, and intention. Yes, some days that is harder than others, but every day I get up, I plant my feet firmly on the earth and start fresh. Each day is a new beginning, and I get to choose how I live it. I get to choose the story I write on the blank page each day. My story this last year is filled with things I never thought would be written in the pages of my life, but they are there, and honestly, those things have brought me to where I am right now, so maybe that journey served a purpose. I am a stronger, more resilient person than I was a year ago. I am, sadly, more aware of the ill intentions of others, which has definitely put me in a position of being much less trusting, but I have hope, in time, that trust will find a way back into my life, one day.

As my little man and I step forward into this special time of year, I am holding onto the hope, love and light surrounding this season. I am leaning into the joy and goodness that is shared among friends and family, and strangers too. I am stepping forward into my most favourite time of the year happy, strong and content.

My friends, I wish you the most wonderful start to your week.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Letting Our Light Shine

"The sunlight slow is dwindling
My little lamp needs kindling
It shines so bright in darkness night
Dear lantern guard me with your light."
 

Yesterday we celebrated Martinmas with a lantern walk in the woods with our friends. We took time during our homeschool days this week to make our lanterns, I shared the story of St. Martin, and we talked about our own inner light, and how we can shine it out into the world. To say I would love this festival would be an understatement, it is one of my favourite festivals and I look forward to it every year.

If you are not familiar with Martinmas, it is the story of St. Martin. St. Martin was a soldier in Rome in the 4th century. Legend says that one wintry night he met a poor beggar, half-naked and freezing. Martin removed the heavy military cloak from his shoulders and, drawing his sword, cut it in two, and gave half to the beggar. That night, Christ appeared to Martin in a dream, wrapped in the same piece of cloak Martin had given the beggar, and said: “Martin has covered me with this garment.” Martin became the patron saint of beggars, drunks and outcasts, dedicating his life to assisting the unfortunate and downcast. Martinmas celebrates his kindness, compassion and selflessness. Lanterns are a traditional part of the celebration as a reminder of the light that shines in each and every one of us, and that we must share and spread this light.

I love sharing this festival with children, reminding them they have an inner light, and that by shining and sharing their inner light, and being kind to others they can change the world, one kind act at a time. In honour of St. Martin my little man and I went shopping for hats and mitts to share with children in need. A small gift that we hope helps to keep them warm this winter.

Martinmas falls on November 11, also Remembrance Day here in Canada. Over the years it has become our family tradition to be present at our local cenotaph for the Remembrance Day ceremony honouring those who have fought, and those who continue to fight, for this life we are so blessed to lead. It was a chilly day, but the sun was shining, and standing there with my little man, celebrating the bravery of so many Canadians, warmed my heart. 

This week, for many, has been tough. There is a lot of uncertainty, and fear, but I know one thing for sure...we can never go wrong by sharing our inner light with others, offering love and kindness to all people, and remaining hopeful that goodness and love will prevail. Hang in there, my friends, and let your inner light shine, it will, without a doubt, light up the darkness and lead us forward to a better place. 

Friday, November 11, 2016