First, there is absolutely zero reason for me to have included the picture of the minis (valentino and secretariat) for any reason other than that they are incredibly cute bordering on ridiculous and that hanging out with them makes me feel a cozy mix of thrill and peace, which is not unlike the list that follows.
I also am feeling somewhat ridiculous in even wanting to post a list as it appears to me that the internet is overwrought with them in the first place and as a general rule I tend to shy away from trends ands fads and quite frankly anything that tells me how to do/feel/be something in 10 easy steps! This, I truly hope, is no such list, but instead a collection of the things that have my attention right now. And rather than share them each individually on facebook, I am gathering them together here.
1. A long time friend of mine, recently turned me on to this radical podcast. I love podcasts. And I also really love anything where folks are speaking from their truth and experience and are interested in doing the hard and meaningful work of longtime committed romantic partnership. This is a treasure trove of information and support.
2. When I was first considering forgoing the compulsory education model with my kids, what I was most attracted to were the outdoor schooling programs. I longed for my kids to be outside letting the seasons and the surroundings be the educators. We have found just that in the Wild Harvest group that Maple and Eider spend most Fridays exploring with out at a local county park. Here is something that I shared about their experience in early February:
I just got home from dropping my kids off at Indian Lake County Park for the day. This and every Friday they are spending the day with a small group of children outside. They are doing things like tracking and bird identification. They are building fires with a bow drill and having council meetings and singing songs. They are learning to carve, they are sipping hot cider, they are playing games. They are wild and free. When I was first longing to homeschool Maple and Eider it was in large part because I wanted something like this for them. I wanted them to be outside. I wanted them to explore their innate curiosity of their physical surroundings. I wanted to nurture both their youth and their humanity.
Before I left them today, we circled up and sang a song about being out in the cold and in the snow. Their teacher/guide/mentor/adult said that when he sings that song he feels as if his heart rises up to meet the cold and he is able. It is 16 degrees today. They are well. They are children of the North Country.
So, that is something I am psyched about right now. And for the foreseeable future.
3. Also speaking to this big and abiding love of learning is this awesome herbal immersion program that Maple and I have been stalking for the last few weeks. Well ok, mostly me. But I know for sure that it would be an incredible homeschool opportunity for the lot of us and if I have learned anything so far as a homeschool mama it is that my kids are thirsty for information and are far more able than I often give them credit for. I have long felt a deep connection to the plant world and not a single growing season passes by that I do not profoundly miss the garden that we tended in Viroqua, when we had space to spread out on. I do really think that we could cultivate this little urban lot into something grand and giving.
4. This hat. I am on a learning bender with the knitting and it seems like every pattern that I am drawn to these days is done in brioche so might as well jump right in, eh? Plus, I have an actual addiction to this yarn. It is ridiculous. The colorways are over the top.
5. Time hasn't faded my love for these granola bars. I made them this week for the first time in well over a year and they disappeared in under 24 hours. So good. Not to mention that I love everything Molly writes.
6. Adolescence. This is something else that is very much up around the Newlin household. And let me be the first to say that so far it is absolutely everything that it is cracked up to be- as well as a whole bunch of surprise. For instance, I could have never predicted the heavy dose of perspective, grounding and humility that it would afford me. In short, the hormonal mood swings of my daughter are affording me the opportunity to get clear on what is mine and endeavor to ground my emotions and put my (not smalll!) hormonal/psychic mood swings into perspective. Good grief. Talk about a big opportunity to really practice not blowing things out of proportion. And because I want to keep the channel of safety and communication open and clear with her during this very important and fragile time when things could go south at the smallest infraction- I am attempting to stay as much of a step ahead as I can. (Of course, I cannot really. I know that. But I am going to do my best to stay in my awareness here. Of her experience. Of my experience. Of the flow between us). So, we have been having some of the major talks without making it anything like a major deal. Just real, honest, matter of fact talks peppered with hefty doses humor and vulnerability. I also bought her a couple of these awesome bras. This company was started by a young woman watching her younger sister go through the turmoil and objectification of "training bras." (which btw is such a gross term) They support a girl in being in relationship with her changing body and in allowing her becoming to be on her own terms as much as possible. So cool.
7. And then there is all of the teaching stuff coming up that I am super jazzed about. Next Saturday, April 16th, I am teaching a 2 hour workshop at The Studio all about how to make lotus pose more accessible. The work is going to be deep, and mindful and lots of fun. More information about that can be found here.
Next month, on May 7th -which just so happens to be a new moon AND the day before Mother's Day- I am teaching a 2 hour class at The Studio all about how to practice during your menses. I am super pumped about that and you should be too. I am going to introduce a practice that I have used to great effect for years and I really cannot wait to share it. More information about that here.
In addition to these 2 events, I have added a whole bunch of Asana Junkies Practices on Sundays throughout the summer. Plus, I am putting together a couple of weekend practice intensives for the summer and I will have some information up about that soon.
Life is full. And beautiful. I am feeling so utterly inspired and full of gratitude these days. Big thanks to all.