Waking Up

A bear wakes up in spring and gets back to the business of living out loud and breathing fresh air and moving though the days with intention.   Maybe a person in spring can do the same and get back to the business of living and breathing and moving through the days with intention.   … Continue reading Waking Up

Tea

In the evening (or anytime, really) take a kettle and fill it with water. Put it on the stove, and let the heat invite the steam to sing. Pour the water over dried herbs, loose leaf, or in a bag. Let it sit, and sit with it, (maybe outside). After 5 minutes, or ten, have … Continue reading Tea

Screen Time, Take Two

I wrote the following post four years ago.  The issues outlined in it are still a struggle, but we can only change what we name, right?  Right.  So, here it is again, slightly modified to fit the present. 

I spend too much time looking at screens.

I have decided this before, but it screens have proved very persistent at creeping back into the limelight.  They have become a central part of my days, and I am realizing that my balance is off.  I have been crafting my definition of what “simple living” means to me for a long time now.   But even with a mindset that is pretty solidly committed to principals of simplicity or “enough but not too much”, it still seems like screens have been taking center stage.   I need to figure out how much screen time is enough, but not too much.

Generally, when I think about living simply, my list includes the following:

  1. I am spending time outside.
  2. I am remaining truly present with people when in their company.
  3. I am doing things slowly and with intention.
  4. I am being fully present in each moment
  5. I am practicing authenticity.  This means I am eating real food (that preferably doesn’t have a bar-code), I am being active because I enjoy the activity (Hiking.  Yoga. Planting things.)  or because it accomplishes a task (Weeding.  Picking rocks out of the field. Hauling wood.) and I am putting real energy into relationships (With the neighbors.  With dear friends who live states away.  With family members.)
  6. I feel alive.

Continue reading “Screen Time, Take Two”

Health, Healing and Patience

I’ve been sick for three months.  Sounds terrible, right?  It’s not been awesome, that’s for certain, though it’s not like I’ve been bed-ridden or in the hospital for weeks or anything.  I got a cough in September, just after my second book was published and launched, which developed into bronchitis, which in turn didn’t respond to antibiotics (since it usually doesn’t….being almost always viral..), and vaporizing eculyptus, drinking gallons of tea, trying to rest, and all the usual home “self-care” remedies just didn’t have much impact.  My family got tired of the incessant coughing, and for good reason – it’s hard to relax when your loved one is up half the night, especially when you live in a small house.  After too many days of cough syrup in an attempt to get the rest I needed to heal, I landed in the emergency room on Thanksgiving day – I woke up disoriented and with a pretty solid case of vertigo and nausea.  Turns out I was dehydrated, and after an IV of fluids, another clear chest Xray and a negative strep test, they sent me on my way, feeling less dizzy, but still coughing.  Continue reading “Health, Healing and Patience”

Lessons From a Singing 5 Year Old

“Hhhmmmm…..la la la la…….mmmm…..yeah, yeah yeah”

Silence.

30 seconds later:

“Ahhhhhhh, ah ah ah ah.  La la la la, la la la la la la.  Ah, ah ah ah ah ah ah.  The girl who has…everything.”

Silence.

15 seconds later.

“Joy to the world.   Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah..”

And so on.

This is the common soundtrack to our mornings.  My five year old almost always starts singing before she’s out of her bed after waking up in the morning.  She doesn’t discriminate with her choice of material – Disney songs, made up gibberish, hymns – anything is fair game and her repertoire is vast.  I don’t know that she even has a favorite song – singing is just something that brings her joy. Continue reading “Lessons From a Singing 5 Year Old”

Giving Energy and Paying Attention

There’s a difference between giving your energy to something and paying attention.  It can be hard to distinguish sometimes, since these days there are things screaming at us all the time to “look at me” and “pay attention to me” and so forth.  The media generally does whatever it needs to do to get people to take notice.  It is generally considered a good idea to keep up with what’s going on in the world, to be an informed citizen.  Etc.

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I’ve been struggling with an illness for the last 2-3 weeks – some days I wake up thinking, “oh yeah, today’s the day I’m not going to feel like coughing anymore” just to wake up, like I did this morning, at 3:30am with a cough that was just annoying enough to keep me from sleeping anymore.  I’m really tired, my five year old woke up crabby, and I let my energy go where it wasn’t helpful as I lamented not being able to go for the hike that I wanted to go on today.  The shadows were dark this morning, for myriad reasons.

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Continue reading “Giving Energy and Paying Attention”