"The flow of creativity feels like an avalanche of joy and wonder. Being open to that possibility creates connections with everything." - Feline Dreamers

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

She's Back!

No, I'm not talking about me, though it's true I haven't posted here for a while. I'm talking about my beloved and long-awaited Subaru! She has a brand-new (to her) engine and has been newly tuned up and washed and vacuumed and stickered.
So the reason I haven't posted here recently is that she has been happily driving us all around the state. We've been to soccer practice, lunch with friends, soccer games, soccer practice, a kirtan, soccer practice, a Not Back to School picnic, soccer practice, the Common Ground Fair AND the Cumberland Fair, soccer practice, various friends' houses, shopping, and oh, did I mention soccer practice? Fall is a busy time, and I'm so grateful we have our dear friend the Subaru to help us move ourselves around. Thanks!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Turning 40: A Retrospective

A year ago today, I turned 40. We celebrated with a huge party for the “1969 Club,” eight of us who all had our fortieth birthdays that year. It was an awesome bash, with nearly eighty people in attendance (and several dogs, too). I love birthdays. Today I’m having a quieter celebration, with family and chocolate cheesecake. I thought I’d write about how it went, this first year of my fourth decade.

Overall, it’s been really enjoyable. For a long time, each year has been better than the last. I’m a late bloomer who was an awkward teen and young adult (no high school nostalgia for me, yuck), and I really enjoy getting older and coming into my own. I’ve had some big challenges this year and much transformation. I’ve learned a lot about myself. Here are some details of what’s been going on.

1. The unveiling of Feline Dreamers. With the release of our new website last month, I’ve experienced positive uplifting feelings as I release my creativity into the world. BlackLion and I had been working on Feline Dreamers for a long time and coming up with lots of exciting ideas. Now we’ve put many of them into place and are on track to add even more Offerings and Wares to the site. The feedback we’re getting is overwhelmingly positive. We’re writing new material nearly every day. It feels terrific.

2. I climbed Mt. Katahdin. I’m not a serious hiker, but I do enjoy climbing mountains around Maine and other parts of New England. This summer, my daughter, sister-in-law, and I climbed the highest mountain in Maine. I’m proud of myself for accomplishing it and for feeling physically strong and fit when I did so.

3. I’m learning to follow my intuition. Someone wrote that our 40s is when women learn not to worry so much about other peoples’ opinions. That’s been a hard one for me throughout my adult life. I like to please people, to keep everyone happy, to soothe and play the diplomat and the hostess. I’ve learned that it’s truly not my job. I’m here to learn and grow and follow my own inclinations. Yes, harmony is positive – and it begins within.

4. My familiar died. Last October, my cat companion Mystick Quickpaw was hit by a car and killed. I miss him so much. We welcomed two sweet cat brothers into the family a few months earlier and they have been a comfort and a blessing. I still think of Mystick every day and wish he was with us physically.

5. I’ve refined my teaching skills. I was excited to student-teach the Elements of Magick class this spring. It went well. I’ve also been teaching and working with some of the homeschooled kids in my community. I’ve learned some interesting stuff over my lifetime and it’s fun to share it. And as always, I think the teacher learns as much as the students, if not more.

6. I’m learning to let go of old patterns and the need for control. The arena for this has been primarily finances. We faced some serious financial issues this year as a family. My reaction to these problems is the key to solving them. You can’t come up with creative solutions when you’re stuck in old ruts. I’ve learned to adjust my own attitude first and then take action from a more balanced and centered space.

7. I lost a dear friend. A close friend of many years, who I thought would be around for the long haul, is no longer in my life. I’m still not sure exactly why, although I think my focus on number three on this list plays a part. Some other friends I thought I was close to have pulled back this year, too, to a lesser extent. I’ve been more inward-focused, which probably has affected the attention I’ve given to my friendships (though the part of me that hasn’t fully learned about my third list item wonders if I’ve simply become annoying). That said, the next list item is about friendship in a positive context…

8. I’ve discovered, and helped create, new spiritual community. I’m part of an Elements Study Group, originally conceived of as a year-long project to explore the elements in depth. The group is rich in wisdom, laughter, and connection. It looks like it will continue beyond the original timeframe and I’m glad. I’ve also been involved in the Red Temple, a new Pagan women’s group, for the past year. It’s been a joy gathering each new moon to share our experiences. Lately I’ve joined in Pagan pub moots and fireside gatherings. Hmm, perhaps my friendships are simply evolving along with my spirituality.

9. I’ve revitalized my dream work. I’ve always dreamed vividly and I have kept a sporadic dream journal for years, recording dreams that are particularly significant. Over the past few months, after reading an excellent book on working with dreams, I’ve rededicated myself to capturing and studying my dreams. It’s proven to be a rich source of wisdom and advice for my daily life and spirituality.

10. I’ve enjoyed my home and family. Because my car was off the road until just recently, I stayed home more this year. I have such an amazing and wonderful family and we live in a cozy home in the lovely Maine countryside. The kids and I have settled into our unschooling life together. My extended family has helped me with love, support, and transportation, and I’m very thankful. I am truly blessed.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

I'm Unlearning

“At the level of the soul, we know everything we need to know. For some reason, we have to experience physical lifetimes to learn in a different way. This is the only place where we have physical bodies and emotions. Our task here is to become more Godlike, to recognize the divine and spiritual nature of our soul. To do that, we need to unlearn rather than learn. When we unlearn fear, violence, greed, ego, and power, then kindness, joy, love, and spiritual wisdom are all there.” – Brian Weiss

Friday, September 03, 2010

Life in Harmony with the Seasons

One of the many things I like about homeschooling is the ability to be flexible with the family’s schedule. Granted, there are events that happen at certain times, like sports practices and community classes. But in general, our unschooling lifestyle allows us to live in harmony with the seasons.

This week we had a late-summer heat wave here in southern Maine. While most kids were putting on their fall clothes and boarding the school bus, we spent three days at the lake (one as a family, and two at a friend’s camp with the Maine Wholeschoolers). Yep, three days of swimming, playing Frisbee, having cookouts, laughing with friends, pushing each other off the float, sharing games, sitting by the fire at night, playing ball, and reading. It was fun and relaxing. One of the other parents commented to me, as we watched 13 kids (ranging in age from 10 to 16) happily horsing around in the lake, screeching with laughter, “it’s a shame that homeschool kids have such problems with socialization.”

Although September has arrived, it was still summer: blazing sun, temperatures in the 90s, refreshing breezes that played along the water’s surface told us so quite clearly. Rather than spending the best part of the day in a hot stuffy classroom (two of our schooled friends complained about the lack of air conditioning in their respective schools), we were out there enjoying ourselves. We’re living by the natural cycles of the earth, not by pages on a calendar. Even so, there will be plenty of time for us to achieve our academic goals. The cold and rainy days of November will find us reading aloud as a family, figuring out math problems, and conducting group chemistry experiments. And guess what – we’ll be enjoying ourselves then, too.