As Bobby approaches his second birthday, I am starting to seek out holistic and nourishing environments for us to be in, and for me to create. Every Monday morning we make musical magic at Singing Mamas, and now I'm looking for more lovely things to do. Through my searching I came across the world of Waldorf Schools and the Steiner Philosophy. There are lots of videos to watch on Youtube and through my rabbit hole exploration I came across LifeWays North America which is an amazing resource for intentional parenting.
From my studies and reflections, I've pulled the things I've learnt to create a theme for February....Rhythm, Care and Patience.
Steiner taught about the importance of Rhythm in our lives. In the recent years I have become more aware of the seasonal rhythms, but he's opened my eyes to a wider way to view rhythm. Rhythm is what drives music, silence and noise, start and stop, quiet and loud, in and out. Steiner recommends bringing rhythm to each day and each week by being aware of the "in breaths" and the "out breaths" of the day. So many of us live our lives do do do and not enough time to be, and this is an invitation for us to do be do be do be.
What activities are you in breaths, where you actively concentrate and use your energy?
It could be housework, work, physical activity, tasks where you need to concentrate.
What is an out breath for you, a sigh of relief, what nourishes you?
A moment for tea, a walk in nature, time to be creative.
Start to look at your days and your week, is there rhythm in them? What can you adjust?
"The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both."
James. A. Mitchener
I read this lovely essay about cleaning and caring. I find cleaning very satisfying and therapeutic. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I don't want to do it, and can be very lazy. But truly I love putting on good music and doing a vigorous clean. I'm working out a way that I can build cleaning into my routine so my home stays lovely. In the essay by Linda Thomas, she talks about it as a spiritual act, to create a "void". Voids want to be filled. And the void that a clean home provides can make space for joy and fun. It's a bit like meditation, a calm and still mind can think good thoughts. A calm and clean home, can hold joy! In The Path of Druidry by Penny Billington, she invites you to connect with your home. Have you ever thought about the land it was built upon, who built it, who has lived there, how much love your house holds, the trees and plants that surround it? Next time you are lying in your bed, quietly reflect upon it. It's a sweet thing to do and makes caring for your house, like caring for someone you love. Your house keeps you warm and makes space for special memories.
“Wash the plate not because it is dirty nor because you are told to wash it, but because you love the person who will use it next.” St. Teresa of Calcutta.
This February let's care more for ourselves and our home :-)
It's still cold here, and we are still fighting off the last of these winter lurgies. I feel tired. For the past 10 months I have been slowly working on an album with two fellow mothers. Just before Christmas I got up the courage to apply for some support to make it from Help Musicians. They provide funding and music industry advice and mentoring to help you with your musical projects. I found out earlier this month that I didn't get the grant :-( Disappointment is part of life, it's what you do with it that matters... I started cleaning. And when I started cleaning I came upon some beautiful art I made during the Lockdown. I took all the art and carefully photographed it, and then put it together into a 44 page book! It's crammed with artwork, photos and essays. I'm going to get a limited number of copies printed.
Here's one of my favourite drawings from the book. I'm so glad that this work will get to see the light of day. Keep an eye out on your emails for when I open for book orders :-)
And don't worry I'm not giving up on the album. I'll just find another way to do it!
What will be your theme for February?
How can you take better care of yourself and your home?
Describe a day where you feel completely nourished and free?
What is a healthy activity you can do with difficult feelings?
I invite you to get out your journal or a pen and paper and write your answers to these questions