"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." A.A. Milne

Friday, September 28, 2012

Life Changes

Recently, I have found my focus has shifted. I have been clearing away layers of social expectations, ideas not my own but others, and other pieces of flotsam no longer serving me. I want to peel back until I am looking at what is basic and necessary, what really matters in life. It is through this path I discovering meaning and purpose in my life. Pursuing this end has brought my passions to the surface. Although the process is hard, it is apparent it is making my life much easier.

One of the ways I have followed this direction is a daily yoga practice. I am not formal nor am I strict with myself. I have two little kids. I often stop to refill a juice or settle a dispute. My morning practice is often host to preschool visitors who practice with me a couple minutes here or there. One of my favorite “interruptions” is sitting in my final meditation with my 3 year old son quietly, peacefully curled in my lap.

But rather than proving to be a hindrance, these conditions have taught me a great deal about living and practicing yoga in the real world, on and off the mat. There is no perfect place nor a perfect time other than right here and right now. If you wait for all the stars to align then you are just not going to have a yoga practice and you will miss out. I am growing stronger physically. There are so many things I cannot believe I can do now. But the true growth in my practice is my mental strength, my sense of equanimity, and most important, my humor and refusal to take myself too seriously. It has turned into an AMAZING practice.

The next practice I am pursuing with great diligence is meditation. I have now meditated most days for several weeks now. This has proven to be just life changing. Again, I don’t have a great deal of time and just forget about perfect place. No, my meditation is normally done downstairs while my husband baths the kids at night upstairs. It is often loud and filled with laughter or tears, the kids not me so much. But again, it has taught me to seize THIS moment and just live it for all it is worth.

Since starting an earnestly sought meditation practice I have noticed my words and thoughts are softer, kinder. When I speak harshly or think unfairly, it is as if a great spotlight is shined upon the unkindness. Rather than beat myself up about these transgressions, I treat myself with love, grace, and compassion. I find the more I treat myself in such a loving manner, the more I treat others the same way. It has been just an astounding experience. I will not even begin to speculate what the future will bring with this but I find the idea just exhilarating.

I find myself more enamored with unschooling each day. The kids are just flourishing with this approach. They are so curious and their questions keep me busy enough. We wouldn't have time for a set curriculum. We “study” whatever they are curious about.  We follow rabbit trails of information and engage our imaginations. Most of the time, I just let them get on with the very important work of playing. It is more important than anything I could ever dream of teaching them.

My view of life and our home schooling paradigm has us spending more and more time outside. I do not regret this at all. In fact, I wish we lived closer to the forest so we could tromp through the underbrush daily. I find that after spending time outside we are all more centered and balanced. Our moods are better and there is an abundance of laughter and fewer episodes of tears. Nature has a way of connecting us with something deep inside ourselves, perhaps something primal. I don’t know what it is exactly but I know it is important and should be cultivated at every opportunity.

So that is what we have been up to lately. I hope to post here more often. I feel like I have rounded a corner and I find I have something I want to say again. I want to share our lives and experiences. I hope you enjoy them. We sure do.


  1. Yes, please post more often. All that you share is enjoyed :)

  2. Oh, thank you! I really like hearing that!

  3. I really like your blog, Karen! We miss you guys!


  4. Thank you Sara! Let's do something about that!