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May Review

June 1, 2009

I can’t believe it’s June (I know it’s very cliche of me to say so, but there you go.) Again, the idea and format for these reviews is from Mon at Holistic Mama, so go check out the others participating!

Summary

Hmmm….still not sure where I want to focus next, including here on this blog. Seems I’ve been saying that for awhile. So hope you like meandering, because apparently this is going to be a long phase….

Fun

– Finding a slot canyon on our latest Utah trip that the kids could actually get to (see very end of post for picture)

– Seeing the first baby tomatoes and bell peppers in our container garden, mentioned in March

– Creating mp3 files of some chakra meditations, and getting feedback on them

– Researching potential Earth Chakra locations

– Spending LOTS of time online and finding great blog posts to share (and commenting a lot too, which I probably can’t keep up this month, with the kid’s school year ending, so don’t feel slighted – as the saying goes “it’s not you, it’s me”!)

– Having my first guest blog post, by Paul Martin of Original Faith (any others interested in guest posting here? just email me at lerickson99[at]earthlink[dot]net)

Challenging

– Killer migraine from hunching over my laptop in my favorite chair, instead of sitting nicely at my desk. Don’t do this.

– Having to find a new preschool for the twins for next year, after finding out just about everything I like about their current school (including my favorite teacher) will be gone or changing next year. It was actually quite a big drama. Too much to post here, but you’d be amazed how emotional something like this can be.

– Almost having our first child emergency room visit. My eldest daughter stuck a pencil up her nose and part of the eraser broke off. In case you don’t know, things like this can be very serious, because sinuses are easily damaged. But after a little panic and a call to our pediatrician’s emergency line, we managed to get it out through the highly sophisticated medical procedure of having-her-blow-her-nose-while-holding-the-other-side-shut. This little incident got me thinking about some stuff though (more on that in a bit…)

– Posting Why Adam Lambert Didn’t Win American Idol (or, the problem with religion.) What I thought was a throwaway vent post became my most popular, most linked to, most commented on post EVER. **sigh** Which just goes to show, if it’s hits your after, blog about reality TV!!

Thoughtful

No really, that post wasn’t popular because it was about reality TV (or not entirely anyway), it’s because it hit a nerve regarding religion in the U.S., and how it has overtaken every social event and political discussion. It is very frustrating, and for a long time the debate has been secular vs. religious. But now many of us that are spiritual, or religious but in an unconventional sense, are feeling like maybe we should be in on the conversation more than we have been. And it’s hard to find the right forum and tone for doing so, because we don’t want to add to the vitriol or self-righteousness.

And just to be clear, I did not mean to imply that all evangelical or fundamentalist Christians are vitriolic or self-righteous. My husband’s and my own family together span just about every political and religious position in this country, and although there is frequently discomfort amongst us when discussing these issues, there is always love, never hate. I think most people are capable of disagreeing and still loving. It is the public dialogue – the radio shows, television shows, and blogs – on both sides of every issue that fuel the negativity and extreme reactions. And the question is, how to engage in the public dialogue on these issues without adding to that? How to practice blogging ahimsa (non-violence) in the Ghandian sense?

An Insight/Thought

I realized after we got the eraser out of my daughter’s nose that I really expect a lot from her for her age. She is very bright and mature, and since I had the twins 19 months after her, she went from baby to eldest very fast. Sometimes I forget she is only four. If you would have asked me before this whether she would stick a pencil up her nose, I would definitely have said ‘no, she knows better than that.’ But she didn’t. When I asked her why she did it, she said ‘I was just being silly.’ And she should, at four, have the space to be silly. So I am working on that, and on letting her be the baby sometimes if she needs it.

Website/blog Find

Has anyone read the book Raising Boys by Steve Biddulph? I had heard good things about it, so I had thought of getting it, until I read this post panning it for perpetuating gender stereotypes. The twins have got me thinking a lot about gender stereotyping, since it’s so clear how differently they are treated sometimes. Would be interested in any thoughts on this book, or other suggestions.

Words

I am stealing this quote from a comment by Evelyn Lim of Attraction Mind Map, on a post by Jan at Awake is Good on quotes, and I think it’s a nice reminder after my Earth Chakras post that ultimately we don’t have to travel far:

“People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.” — St Augustine

Favourite Tip/Idea from web

Has anyone participated in a Carrot Mob? I just read about this and it sounds intriguing. The idea is to incentivize businesses to make socially responsible decisions by rewarding them with more business, rather than punishing business that do the opposite through boycotts. For example, in the first one last year, the Carrot Mob group had several convenience stores compete on what % of sales in a single day they were willing to devote to greening their business. The store that won offered 24%. So Carrot Mob publicized the event, and on the chosen day, hundreds of people flooded the store and made purchases, and with 24% of sales that day, the store ended up making all the changes recommended by an energy auditor.

Slice of home

I’ve decided the shoe cubby in my home pretty much sums up the entire shift in my spiritual path since having kids. For twenty years my world revolved around meditation centers, dojos (karate studios), and yoga centers where everyone neatly placed their shoes in a cubby before entering. Discipline, routine, self-control. These days, this is how my own home’s shoe cubby looks on a typical day. Acceptance, surrender, finding joy in the chaos. It’s all good:-)

Yes, the shoes actually are supposed to be IN the cubbies...

Yes, the shoes actually are supposed to be IN the cubbies...

Slot Canyon - most are too hard to get to for the kids, but we found this lovely little one

Slot Canyon - most are too hard to get to for the kids, but we found this lovely little one

18 Comments leave one →
  1. June 1, 2009 11:19 am

    Acceptance, surrender, finding joy in the chaos – yes and YES! 🙂

    That Carrot Mob thing sounds really inventive.

    I had assumed Raising Boys was worthwhile, will take a look at that site.

    I keep meaning to mention, but I know you’re quite busy and stretched as it is, but, well, have you considered creating a personal/parenting blog? I just think 3 kids, including twins, and you being spiritual ecetera, well, you’ll have many questions and insights and journeys to share. Like letting a 4yr old be 4. 🙂

  2. June 1, 2009 12:55 pm

    Hi there Lisa – I really enjoyed reading this. The stuck eraser sounded scary, and I love that quote by St Augustine. And thankfully the religious right are not as predominant here in Australia as they are in the States. Love the canyon! Cheers – R

  3. June 1, 2009 2:44 pm

    Hi Lisa,
    Kids offer nonstop entertainments, right?
    That shoe cubby is a great scene. Reality has power.

  4. mommymystic permalink*
    June 1, 2009 5:22 pm

    Mon – I have thought about it – this blog is a little all over the place, as another blogging friend gently pointed out to me recently. And I would like to write more about the kids, and get feedback on some of the things I ponder. So I might think about it in the Fall. For the summer, my motto is slowing down – slowing us all down – so I don’t want to add anything. For now I will have to use the comments on your blog and a couple others for this!!

    Robin – yes, it’s really strange the religious divide that has developed here in the U.S. that is apparently not prevalent in other Western developed countries at all.

    Akemi – Yes, it’s honestly taken me awhile to accept the power of my reality, but I am getting there. My ‘prior life’ taught me a lot, but I have no doubt I’m where I’m meant to be, and where I can grow most, now…and there is no shortage of entertainment with these three!!

  5. June 1, 2009 7:10 pm

    I always love reading your end of month post, Lisa. What is does for me is bring me back to center, to appreciate the extraordinary in the ordinary, and take my life a little more lightly. As a mid-fifties mom, I find myself looking back in time a lot these days. My kids are 19, 25, and 27 and as the years pass by, I reminisce about our life together during those tempestuous toddler years, and the smiles come so easily. At the time, I thought I might pull my hair out (well, actually it kinda fell out from stress, LOL) but now it all feels wonderfully different. All I can say is, savor on! You are doing a darn good job, it seems. Make the magic last…

  6. Wendy Hawthorn permalink
    June 2, 2009 1:42 am

    For a great book on raising boys, I recommend Celia Lashlie’s book “He’ll be OK Growing Gorgeous Boys into Good Men” It is mostly about teenage boys but some things start early. My son would often not come to me when something was wrong and I got it out of him at around age 7 that it was because I “cared too much”. Celia Lashlie comments on this as well as having many other practical insights she has derived from working in the prison service and interviewing numerous teenage boys. There are lots of interesting anecdotes to illustrate her points.

    My all time favourite parenting book, and I ‘ve read a lot of them, is “Playful Parenting” by Lawrence Cohen. Being playful can really break the deadlocks that happen with strong-willed kids. One of the best pieces of advice I was given with my son, apart from “be consistent” was to find areas in his life where he could have choices, where he could have power.

    I had to laugh at the shoe cubby. Large crates or laundry baskets near the door for shoes are just about as ineffective!

    Meandering blogs are great and very human. That is why I have never blogged. One day I am focussed in one direction and the next it is something different. Perhaps meandering blogs are a natural progression from being a multi-tasking person.

  7. June 2, 2009 3:39 am

    Oh, I love the shoe-cubby! Ours, too. Ours too. 🙂

    I haven’t looked into Raising Boys… I haven’t heard of it. The one that I hear of more around here is Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys. But I haven’t read any books about boys. 🙂 I don’t think I’m ready yet.

    I did read a book about understanding kids’ violent play, and that was a helpful for me.

  8. June 2, 2009 3:46 am

    I loved visiting canyons in AZ and UT. I’m glad you are sharing the beauty of them with your children.

    I smiled when I read about your expectations of your four year old. Isn’t it funny how we have these expectations. Sometimes I expect my daughter to behave like an adult, and she reminds me who she really is.

    I loved your post on the Earth Chakras. I hope we preserve them as sacred spaces over time.

  9. June 2, 2009 3:52 am

    You are exposing your children to great beauty in Utah. My parents took my brother and I to Bryce and Zion canyons, and I loved them both.

    Your post on the earth chakras got me thinking. I can only hope the human race preserves each of them as long as we can.

    Your expectation of your four year daughter made me smile. It’s funny how I expect my 3.5 year old to behave like an adult sometimes. She reminds me who she is, and I am grateful for every lesson.

  10. June 2, 2009 4:32 am

    Fabulous month in review mommymystic! There’s so much going on here! And as someone who has had a bit of angst lately about where my blog is going, I really like what you do here, and think it hangs together beautifully. I vote for reading more of exactly what you do.

    I’ve read the Steve Biddulph book and another book of his, “Manhood”, (despite not having boys, one of my big interests is gender), as a few of my friends raved about them. I really didn’t like it much and I do think it perpetuates some of those gender stereotypes, despite the tone being quite seductively reasonable and reassuring. I think it lures us into some backward thinking. Just my two bits though.

    Also, I totally get the emotional stuff around your children’s schooling. As you probably have gathered, I’ve been going through a lot of this myself. All the best with it, it’s actually really hard.

    The Carrot Mob sounds excellent! Inspired idea.

    And I love that pic of your wee ones in that canyon. Wow! It looks so otherworldly. I s’pose it kind of is really.

  11. June 2, 2009 12:19 pm

    When I was single (and childless) I had a shoe rack… it looked very zen. Now I have a Hall of Shoes. If my husband and son can leave their shoes SOMEWHERE in or near that hall, I consider it a smashing success. Standards change, don’t they?

    I’m going to second the motion for you to write more about your view of life as a parent. I know you can’t do it all the time, because many of your readers don’t have kids. And it doesn’t really need to be about YOUR kids specifically… but just about the things kids can teach us, if we are mindful (as you are) and pay close attention. Everything we need to know we really DID learn in Kindergarten… but we forgot. Kids are kind enough to remind us.

    Of course, I love everything you write… but those kid stories are infused with extra love and heart, it seems. 🙂

  12. June 2, 2009 4:18 pm

    Hi Lisa, like the St. Augustine quote and thanks for the mention. Out straight here, health aide just left without notice, my sister and I are in for very rough weeks ahead.

    Meanwhile, I’ve taken my cue from your reality TV post and I have you taking a shower right on my blog.

    We’ll see what this does to drive traffic…

  13. mommymystic permalink*
    June 2, 2009 5:24 pm

    Paul – I burst out laughing at your comment (anyone interested in why will have to pop over to Paul’s blog and see why – just click his name above, or check my blogroll for Original Faith) Sorry to hear about your health aide though:-(

  14. mommymystic permalink*
    June 2, 2009 6:06 pm

    Jan – it’s always great to hear from moms that have already been through this stage, especially soulful ones like you. It gives me hope when I need it, and reminds me to cherish this, and every, time.

    Wendy – thank you so much for the book recommendations – the one on play sounds especially interesting. I was just reading an article on the different role Dads often play in their kids development, often through wrestling, tickling etc, and other more physical games than mom.

    Stacey – thanks for all your comments. I have heard of Raising Cain, maybe I will look into that. I don’t have any particular issue with my son that I am looking for insight on, but there just seems to be a lot of material out there on parenting girls vs. boys, and all of a sudden I started thinking maybe I needed to check it out. On the other hand, it might be mostly hype, which sometimes happens with parenting ‘movements’.

    Mermaid – yes, we project on to so much, and I think I especially do this with my eldest, for various reasons.

    Docwitch – thanks for your feedback on the Biddulph books. It has mostly great reviews on Amazon, but this other blog post I had read, by a writer I respect, said much the same thing you did here. As for the canyon, yes it is like another planet. Suppose you have much of that in Australia ‘power spots’ too, from what I gather.

    Lisis – yes, Zen-like shoe racks, I remember those days. That’s back when I wore something other than flip-flops or sneakers too! Thanks for the encouragement on more mommy posts, they are actually kind of hard for me to write, but we’ll see.

  15. June 3, 2009 9:17 pm

    Lisa, you really know how to fill your time with meaningful experiences. What witty hghlights you share! One thing that stands out here is children are wonderful teachers for adults. Regardless of where you go or what you do, they notice things and draw you attention to what somehow passes outside your radar. “Acceptance, surender, finding joy in chaos” are things self-controlled adults selectively forget. They may assume they have good reason, but they may also forget what it means to have fun. This revives an incredibly priceless lightness of being. Kudos!

  16. June 4, 2009 5:29 am

    I just love your monthly wrap ups! Such great info. I want to participate in a carrot mob! How fun is that? There is a group of bloggers that do that on Etsy. They pick a store and “flood” it with business. I always thought that was such a great thing to do.

  17. June 4, 2009 12:56 pm

    Hi Lisa,
    Guess what? You are the winner of the gift giveaway at my site. Oh, Joy! You are going to receive an entire bundle of inspirational gifts, including The Joy Book from Ingrid Goff-Maidoff. Congratulations!!! If you can e-me your address privately, I will send the info on to Ingrid. Oh, I am so glad it is you. You are going to love these…

  18. June 5, 2009 2:45 am

    Fabulous post. I am a Boulderite–was in Utah in March. Haven’t checked out a slot canyon yet–next spring!!

    Love your insights.

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