Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Do I Know How to Feel Joy?

Photo by Mike at absolutelydelightful.com

I had a satisfying morning today cleaning. I have been spending so much time in the garden and out of my house, that sometimes it's nice to just reconnect with my living space. I did dishes by hand, something I normally don't take the time to do. The girls did some gorgeous paintings, while my son worked with his dad to do some house (or should I say garage) painting.

My husband and I have been working on our vision for homeschooling our children. This has been a great experience, although uncomfortable at times, for us to work on our communication. We have been getting some wonderful help from Elchanan and Seena through the Path of Health's mentor program.

One thing that arose in our session with Elchanan and Seena tonight was that although our vision is detailed, it lacks feeling behind it. In other words, all of the "pieces" might be there, but where is the enthusiasm and joy in our approach? How can the children be excited about doing something that we are not excited about? I realized that I am almost never joyful about any part of parenting, because I am always feeling either anxious about being a good parent, or I am distracted. As a matter of fact, I am rarely joyful about much in life. Hmmmm. Stay tuned.

Today's Food
11 a.m. 1 quart strawberries with tops blended with one stalk of fennel
2 p.m. 1 1/2 medium cantaloupe

About 1/2 hour after finishing the cantaloupe, I had a bad stomachache. It was like nausea, but lower in the belly. The worst of it lasted about half an hour, but I had a dull ache for a few more hours. I didn't feel hungry for dinner. I took a small taste of the date sauce I prepared for the kids banana ice cream in the evening meal, but it didn't even tempt me, so I did not eat anything more. At about 10:30, I felt hungry, but I think I'll just head to bed. Eating late interrupts my sleep.

Approx. 560 calories, C-P-F 85-8-7


tam said...

Hi Greenmama. I'm a mother of three and we've homeschooled our kids for about nine years. A website that has encouraged me tremendously is Shine with Unschooling (sorry I don't know how to link). The discussions are centered around living lovingly and joyfully with our children. The type of homeschooling that's embraced on this site is unschooling. I don't know if you and your husband have considered it.

I don't think there's a lot of encouragement culturally to really be present with our children and to thoroughly enjoy each other's company. That's why this site has been so helpful to me--encouragement to go against the tide and truly connect with our kids.

I appreciate your honest way of expressing yourself.


Greenmama said...

Hi Tam,

Thanks so much for sharing this resource. I am REALLY wanting to unschool. My husband is a little more reticent.

I would love to hear more about your experience. Are there any groups or forums that you belong to related to unschooling?

Thanks again!


Connie said...

You do know how to feel joy, you may have just forgotten what it is for a moment. Sometimes, especially when our children are small, we overlook all of the joy we experience every day just having them in our lives. It is probably not the big bang feelings, but all the little moments of contentment that you will remember years from now.

Joy is all around us just waiting to be discovered. Your blog with its cute pictures and clever commentary brings me joy when I read it each morning.

Gather all your happy moments and throw them in with the rest of us to Fire the Grid next week. Then, together, we will share the magic of life on this planet and multiply the joy we have accumulated.

Thank you for the joy you have given me.


tam said...

Greenmama, Shinewithunschooling is the forum I check out almost daily. I also belong to a new forum for Idaho unschoolers. A site that I like a lot that goes deeply into unschooling and peaceful parenting is Joyfully Rejoycing (the joy theme again!). This site could be a possible help to your husband, too, if he's feeling a little skeptical.

It's been indescribably freeing for our family to live together without a school framework. My kids are 15, 13 and 11. Some of their big interests right now are piano, photography, reading, gaming, soccer, Scrabble. We get together with two other families once a week. It's very relaxed, no agenda. The kids really enjoy this time with their friends.

I think one of the most fun parts of unschooling for me has been to watch their interests and learning unfold organically, rather than being pushed and shaped from the outside. I'm continually amazed, watching them follow their own rhythms. Right now my oldest daughter is reading the third Sisterhood of the Traveling pants, my son is watching Monk, and my youngest daughter is drawing.

I just realized my post has really veered from raw foods! Hope this helps a little.


Greenmama said...


Thanks so much for all of your encouragement. You are right. There are many moments of joy in my life if I just slow down and enjoy them as they happen. :)

I'm so glad you enjoy my blog.



I think my blog is about much more than raw foods. :)

Thanks for all the resources. I can't tell you how much I appreciate them. You may see me around your forums soon.