This isn't a big challenge or a dare. It is just a small suggestion for you to hold in your heart and contemplate as you begin your day. Let it simmer and settle down inside of you like all spice in a cup of steaming cider.
YOU--don't worry about anyone else--could be the reason someone smiles today.
That is powerful. It takes a real connection and some power to have someone else relate to what you are saying and doing and actually crinkle up the corners of their mouth into a genuine smile.
It is simple. You just need to be yourself and around others who may appreciate you and your presence in their life. Of course, it could be a complete stranger, but that is OK, too.
The main goal is to help people LIGHTEN UP and appreciate the moment.
You can do this. I believe in you!
Happy Friday! My eldest and I have been studying "Paradigms from the Past" in our literature course for fourth grade and the story of Moses came up under the Choices and Consequences section. I love infusing these powerful lessons so early on in their educational life through story--it makes it a lot easier to understand and relate to current life. Here is a cartoon that I will be sharing with my son today to thread humor from the present into the lesson from the past. Hope you get a kick out of it, too. Blessings for this day and you! Namaste.
A good mother...this phrase in various forms plays through my head and heart all day long some days. I am a good mother, I just want to be a good mother, I am not my mother, I am a good mother. In order to heal some of the wounds I have around my mother and this role, I have had to do a lot of inner work. Recently, I came across this C.S. Lewis quote and it helped to clarify some things.
In the past, I have minimized my role (and my mother's) as a mother and homemaker. I have had a strong dislike for that word, "homemaker," because it didn't seem to have a lot of value in my house. My mom stayed home and had her own business and worked really hard, but steady joy and success seemed to elude her constantly and, as a result, there was a lot of conflict and instability in our home growing up. I realize now, that I developed a solution in my soul. In order to be successful and happy, I had to move as far away from that role as possible.
For years, I insisted I would never have children or leave the professional world. I loved working and gaining professional recognition, traveling and having limited attachments. Then, I began to realize it wasn't enough. My soul was calling me back to that place of home and hearth, because that is who I am. I wanted to have kids and nurture and teach them, and make sure they grew up knowing they were loved and appreciated for who they are. So, I had kids--three of them--and I love them so much. They are the greatest gift to me, and the best teachers for lessons I still need to learn.
One of the biggest lessons I am still diving into and earning my colors is to retrain my brain and cellular memory that staying at home and having my own business doesn't have to be hard or emotionally draining. I want to create my own image of what "homemaker" means to me, and I KNOW I want this new image to be filled with joy, gratitude and deep fulfillment.
I have begun to release the image that homemakers are women like Aunt Bee, June Cleaver and my Nana who used aprons, cooked pot roasts, & wore pearls and high heels on Sundays. Instead, I have developed this new understanding: Homemakers are all responsible adults who create a home or a place of love, stability and security in which children can grow up and into their best selves.
Using this new definition, I have begun my journey to reclaim my own image of me as a good mother. However, the deeper lesson and understanding for me, is that we must all develop an appreciation for the role of "homemaker," and the need for all adults to honor this responsibility of creating stability and security for children in the world.
It truly does take "a community to raise kids."
To be a "homemaker," we each (in our own unique ways) must inspire, challenge, provide for, accept, champion, discipline, redirect, and love, love, love children--and not just our own, but ALL children.
No matter if you are a mother or father, if you stay at home with children full-time or work part-time at three jobs and then see them at night or in the morning or act as a mentor to someone in your free time, what matters is what you do with children, how you treat them, and what you teach them to believe WHEN YOU ARE WITH THEM.
This is the ultimate career and it is everyone's responsibility--growing and nurturing your kids or other children in the community so that they grow up and can AND WANT to do the same for future generations. We all must nurture and embrace the "homemaker" in ourselves in order to create a "home" for humans on this planet.
Without this commitment and dedication to educating young people to appreciate and honor their lives and the lives of others, helping them to claim and use their talents and strengths for the highest good, and encouraging them to play, explore and have fun all while following rules, our society may be ill-fated to experience more and more violence, ignorance, racism, entitlement and poverty.
Together, though, we adults and young people can make an immense difference. We CAN change the course of our future lives and world. If you have kids, start at home: 1) Limit time on electronics (phones, Kindles, computers, etc...), 2) Set aside every day for time together--to eat a meal, to read a book, to talk and connect, 3) Do something special together once a week--volunteer, play in a park, attend a concert or play, build a fort, visit a family member, have friends over for a play date or dinner, etc...4) Make a tradition to do something for someone else in need during the holidays, quarterly or monthly (work at the food pantry, visit the elderly at a nursing home, weed in a community garden, collect donations for the Humane Society), 5) Write letters to family and friends--express your love and appreciation, send support, give thanks, check in and stay connected, 6) Be real and available--play, be silly, say you are sorry, cry and express emotions in a positive manner, hug, kiss, hold one another, take a nap, say "I love you," give feedback when something good happens.
If you don't have kids, you can still make an impact and be a "homemaker" for someone: 1) Become a big brother or sister (http://www.bbbswashco.org/individual_opp.html) 2) Coach a kid's team at the Y or a school or the Boys and Girls' Club, 3) Become an educational tutor or mentor 4) Start a reading club in your neighborhood, 5) Help a family in need or call a friend and volunteer to babysit so the parents can get some respite 6) Stay connected with your own family by calling, writing, forgiving and moving on.
There are SO many things we ALL can do everyday to be a "homemaker." Chances are, you probably have some healing of your own to do before you can fully embrace this word and its deeper meaning. I know I still have a LOT of work to do around crafting this role so I can more completely appreciate it. Ultimately, I think being a homemaker (or in my mind, a good mother) is really just living in right relationship with everything and everyone--giving and taking, loving and receiving, creating and releasing.
I hope you are the beneficiary of a homemaker or good mother, and if not, that maybe you can begin with yourself. Take care of you--reteach yourself the importance of your life. Look for a mentor, surround yourself with good friends, and practice healing, forgiving and deep self-care.
I know many people woke up this morning and wanted to know the outcome of the election and then comment on who won and who didn't and how our lives will be impacted by the politicians in office either negatively or positively, depending upon the person for whom you voted. However, I have to somewhat sheepishly admit, I completely forgot about the election until my dad started talking about the news. My mind was somewhere else.
I guess I am always more concerned with my corner of the world--our family and friends and community here in Barton. For me, yesterday was not about the election, but about the close of another chapter in my life. Yesterday, was the day Mariah died.
Many of you know, that my dad and his dog, Mariah, have lived with us since 2007. I like this a lot because I am enchanted by and dedicated to the notion of families living together on the same land--kind of like The Waltons. My family is part of my nucleic world of wonder, and I suppose, challenges. The perfect expression of yang and yin, and why balance is crucial, exists right in my living room.
Anyhow, Mariah, like my mother, had cancer. We found out this spring and have been "hospicing" her ever since. She is my dog's sister, and couldn't be more different.
Where my dog is happy and excited, patient and relaxed around everyone, Mariah was more of a serious working dog--a loyal and faithful companion and protector of house and truck. She wasn't always fond of the whole "family living together thing," and needed space and time alone with Dad, so he would take her out driving. She rode shotgun with him to work, the dump on Saturdays, the fire department, Door County, Trapping Conventions, the store, friends' farms and so many other places. They were been inseparable...until now.
That is where my mind and heart have been. In this place of loss and comfort...of holding and honoring. This journey with Mariah over the past months has brought up a lot of small wounds and scars from my mom's illness, and it has given our family time to reprocess and heal. Sometimes, that's what happens. Situations come around again in our lives so that we have another opportunity to do things differently. Mariah's illness gave us many moments to practice patience and compassion and her resilience helped us make time to better witness her life and our own.
Yesterday, my dad called the vet to take her in and have put to sleep. He took her out and let her walk around. She found a large pile of leaves and went and went and settled into their comforting pile warmth (one of her favorite places in the fall). She rested there for a while, looking around and appreciating the spectacular beauty in the air and the softness under her. She got up then and ambled slowly back to the truck where dad gently lifted her onto her bed in the front seat. He called the vet and said he didn't know if she was going to make it. They encouraged him to do what he needed and not rush.
Dad listened to his intuition and decided to do what he always did with Mariah. He just drove around, winding his way through favorite parks, back roads and stopping near the lake to pet and hold her. He continued on driving and talking to her, while she wagged her tail slowly up and down. Eventually, while they were driving through a wooded area with curves through lingering leaves and color, he turned his gaze back to the road and then back to her and she was gone. Her eyes closed, her tail still...her spirit forever sleeping in the front seat of his truck. He drove back to the house and buried her next to her father--another faithful lab and long-term family member.
This experience seems so much more important and meaningful to me than the election results. It has given all of us a chance to express love and devotion, to focus on the meaning and purpose of our lives and our relationships with one another, ultimately, that seems what life is REALLY about. How well did you love one another? How often did you really connect with someone about whom you care? Did you make time to express your feelings and appreciation and did your actions mirror the significance of the relationship?
I would like to encourage you to make time today to talk to YOUR people. Politics is relevant, but family is important. Depending upon what is happening in your life, talking about politics instead of your people, might be like focusing on cake, when you don't have food or water.
Of course, it is all dependent upon our own unique situations, but it seems to me, from what I see happening in the world and all around me, that our political environment might be less dramatic and petty, if we were ALL honing in on PEOPLE. How are you feeling, what are you experiencing, do you have love, and support, are you connected and honored at home and work? These are simple but rich and deep questions to ponder. I hope they have helped you to pause and reflect and maybe even redirect your attention to what really matters in YOUR LIFE.
The Soul Source is a Community Center for people to stretch, connect and grow into themselves and with others so they can find peace and personal power. We offer Yoga and Meditation Classes, Acupuncture, Massage and Reiki treatments, and workshops at sliding scale costs so it is affordable and accessible to those who are committed to themselves and living their highest and greatest life.
I guess you could say this is our one-minute line. It has taken a few years to become more clear, concise and confident in this statement, but it is worth it. Inside this message, are threaded and woven many beautiful memories and experiences with an eclectic blend of people. Some have been with us since we opened the door in 2010 and others have come and gone and not returned or come and gone and come back again. It all seems to work out perfectly.
The Soul Source is a place, but it is more than that. It is a community, a sanctuary, a home away from home, a nest, a womb, a springboard into the next layer of YOU. If you have not found your way to The Soul Source and attended a class or received some type of service, maybe the time just isn't right, or maybe you need a different space and practitioner. We will be more than happy to help you find that place, because we understand we can't be everything to everyone. We are out in the boonies, we aren't a gym, we do like to do LOTS of different things and change everything up, and we don't like to compete.
We want to support other studios and practitioners, because it is the right thing to do--for you, for them and for us. This is what creating and growing community is about. Reaching out to others and helping them grow--no matter where they do it. If people grow, there is expansion and compassion, and growth continues. When we compete, we pull in and defend...we become entrenched in our beliefs and the way we teach...and we build fences of separation instead of gardens of contemplation.
So, if you don't live around here, ask us about recommendations for other places. We will be happy to tell you about different studios, teachers and classes that we love so you can find something that works for YOU. We want you to be able to preventatively care for yourself without depleting your savings account.
That said, we hope you will share our information with others and let them be the judge of what works best for them. Beginning in 2015, we will be moving most of our group classes and services to a "community" model. This means we use a sliding scale for payment and people can pay within that range based upon what they can afford and what they feel the service was worth. Angela Guerra, Leann Jozefowski, Heather Jazwiecki and I will be offering more Community Acupuncture and Reiki sessions for people in the $35-15.00 range. You can call Angela at 262-685-7661 to schedule a time for either OR go on line to reserve a space. (https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=184861)
Community treatment is lovely--everyone sits and/or lies in the same room and rests in the energy of healing intention. There is no judgment, only support and restoration. We will still offer private sessions, but for many people, this model provides an affordable self-care practice that keeps them grounded, stable and connected to others who are doing the same thing. Let us know if you have questions or perhaps you have a group of friends who would like to regularly come and receive treatment together. We are here to help you develop and support your body, mind and spirit, but also your tribe/family/nucleus of people. This is when real healing happens--when you are with YOUR COMMUNITY.
Enjoy this day and all it presents to you. Thank you for being part of The Soul Source circle. We are honored by your presence and willingness to receive.
Remember to vote today. Not voting is choosing to not be involved in the government that creates laws which impact your freedoms, health, livelihood and happiness. We all have a voice and opinion and when we, the people, express these beliefs through grass roots efforts, voting and involving ourselves in the creation of our own communities, everything is better. A government for and by the people will not be able to force tyranny upon such said committed citizens.
Jen Martin is a Mom, Medium and Movement Person. She uses her intuitive abilities and training in yoga, prenatal yoga, meditation, and business to help others appreciate and help themselves. If you have kids, like hearing from loved ones in spirit or enjoy taking heart-centered yoga and meditation classes, check out Jen's blogs.