Wednesday, January 06, 2010

gratitude: all filled up

You'd think that since I write daily for OLM, that writing here wouldn't be difficult, wouldn't you? Especially because I'm a Mama that loves to get inside her own head for at least a little while every day.

This morning (pre babes waking) I am grateful for the thoughts and ideas and happiness that are filling me up!

We've had adventures away from home the last two days, and have a park date with friends planned for tomorrow, and have a date on Saturday with Grandma and African Drums...
So today is all about home and the things I've been pondering.

My head is filled with ideas of sugar cookies - heart-shaped cookies with pink frosting and redhots
and walking with the babies up to the neighborhood craft store for some plaster of paris and red ribbons and several sheets of felt (I have a few ideas brewing)....
I'm thinking of when I asked Maddie a couple of days ago how she would choose the three of us to spend time together... she said "Play downstairs!" so I'm thinking we'll get to play with lots of interesting things and clean up the playroom today....
I'm thinking that my house is pretty clean, and won't take much to get it in ship-shape...

My head and heart are tapping and stomping and ready and happy and so eager for this day...

for this day.
For this now.
For this ordinary life that we can live and appreciate and celebrate as if it's extraordinary.

...For this life that we shall live and love and celebrate as if it is extraordinary.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

in gratitude, day one: the good stuff

A year ago I did thirty days of gratitude. At that time I chose to do so because looking for things to be grateful for is a very effective way to first of all get your mind away from things that you don't want to pay more attention to (and that you'd just-as-soon left your consciousness/world altogether), and secondly intentionally watching for the Goodness is a lovely way to spend a bit of time each day.

It's that time again, I think.

Today, however, I don't choose the path because I find something wrong with my life... it's more like an extra bit of goodness to accompany my thoughts and ponderings and recognition of Beauty. Sort of like a surfeit of Goodliness, if you see what I mean.

I begin my thirty days...
Thirty days of recognizing abundance. Thirty days of acknowledging prosperity. Thirty days of capturing a fleeting moment in my hand or in my heart or with my camera or holding it fast to my spirit.

Today, it's this.
This speaks to me because it suits my mood and my feelings of my home.
Warmth, which I certainly value on a cold winter's night.
Pretty, bright little lights around my picture window. They're sparkly, like magic.
The down of my couch.
The quiet hum of my notebook.
The snuggly blanket next to me (that I'll surely be wrapping up in any minute, now).
It speaks of settling into, and warmth, and cookies, and quiet play and snuggles and long stories.
It represents, to me, my home, in this minute, and my life, in this minute, and my Self, in this minute...
and I can be very, very thankful for This, in this minute.
It is Enough.

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year's Revolution

Mmmmm, [she sighs in deliciousness, as she is very happy with this year's word] my third year for a one-word resolution.

In 2007, my word for 2008 was Intention.
A powerful word. A constant reminder to be conscious of all workings and thoughts. A steady awareness of what I was creating. A helpful and worthy course, certainly.

This last year my chosen (felt) word was Still.
Again, an intrinsic word... something that came from deep inside. Being in the Still meant coming from the stillness, the authentic center... not only coming from, but being aware of what Spirit seeks and being willing to go to and come from that place as often as possible.
Serving and Being and Doing the most valuable parts of my Self.

Interestingly, as I ponder my word today, I think about how similar and serious those two words are.

Last night we celebrated with friends. And it was a very, very fine celebration. At dark we packed up the children and soups and thermoses of hot chocolate (and beer and whiskey to keep the chill off the Mama's and Daddy's :) ) and sleds and hats and extra mittens and we headed to our -collective- neighborhood park for some nighttime snow play.
We had shouts and tossing snow and a lovely, bright, terrifically warm fire. What a fine time we had! A perfect way to do it, we all decided, I think.

My girlfriend Aubrey had mentioned that she wanted to burn some things that she wanted to rid herself of before she greeted 2010.
So I tossed in a notepad and a pen into the bag of mittens.

As we sat around the fire, and talked - as we often do - and Aubrey started shedding her Unwanteds, I considered the things I wanted to be free of. It didn't feel True to start listing things that I consider obvious or what I might even call trite (anger, debt, extra pounds, etc.) so I considered what I truly wanted to be free from.

Doubt. I want to be free from doubt. I know the rules. I have the tools and information to create for myself all of the things that I desire and require. Truly, I only need to practice more "thinking from the end", as I said last night to my friends, and letting in the Knowing.

So, following this most satisfactory observation, last night, I of course considered that my word should or could have something to do with this conviction or knowing.
Of course, when pondering things you long to Create in you life, 'tis always best to focus on something you're for, as to opposed, as natural laws show us that Creating is always about what your focus is - so you'd better make sure you're focused on the good stuff, if that's what you desire to create.

So. Trust?
I did consider it. The problem was that though Trust seemed pretty fitting (particular to an unschooling Mama) it also seemed a little trite.
I didn't consider it at the time, but now I also see it as following along with the other two serious ones from the last two years. Trust didn't quite do it for me. It would be challenging, and no doubt I would learn something along the way, but it wasn't where I want to go.

I considered Joy.
Joy was good, because it is something that is a big consideration and part of my life. Not foreign, certainly.
And while it didn't quite reach me at the proper level, it did get me thinking in the right direction.
Expansive, I thought.
Expansive is good.
Expansive is ... well, expansive.
Expansiveness is Big, and Joyful, and Me, and Soulful, and Beautiful.
Which leads me to...

Aah, Beauty.
Beauty is good.
Beauty is about appreciating my home.
Beauty is about finding joy in a basket of neatly folded laundry.
Beauty can be easily appreciated in clean carpets, sunshine streaming in, candlelight glow, a pretty picture, and a clean pillow.
Beauty is certainly contained in my life with my children. And looking for it in my everyday moments and interactions with them can only be a very expansive and Good thing. Watching them without judgment or fear, and stopping to appreciate their thoughts or processes - and looking for and appreciating the beauty - it seems very Big.
Bringing, finding, and being beauty in my other relationships can certainly only be a good thing. Concentrating on it with my interactions with my husband... thinking on it and coming from it when having dealings and conversations with loved ones - friends and family - that feels kind and authentic.... it feels beautiful... it feels Right.
Practicing beauty when living the mundane - standing in line at the grocery store. Waving at neighbors. Walking through the neighborhood with the children or our Annabelle. Rinsing dishes. Shining windows. When I ponder these very ordinary tasks, and think upon doing them with Beauty in my heart or intention, (instead of the usual hurry-up-and-get-this-doe-I've-a-million-0ther-things-to-do way I do things), it changes everything. It's almost like joy, but it seems even bigger. Deeper and more encompassing.
It seems liberating. Freeing. it seems like Growth.

Once I started contemplating this beautiful word, I knew it was the one I want and need.
I had a thought for a second that it doesn't obviously speak much about my relationship with the All, or Creating (as did Intention and Still), but I considered that I am not likely to forget God :), and I'm not terribly concerned that I shall forget to create consciously.
And then it occurred to me that it could be that when practicing Beauty, it could be that I find or discover a whole new thrilling possibility - that I have a beautiful relationship and place in the Universe. That would be pretty Big, too, wouldn't it?

And so there you have it.

In Beauty already exists as a category in my sidebar, and I'll not be moving or rearranging those posts, but will simply add to them.

I am so looking forward to this Beingness.
It is my intention to
and Be.
In beauty.