Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Change takes time

I am learning this... the hard way. I get an idea, an inspiration, something that rocks me to my core. It can be absolutely true! But it's not going to just manifest overnight. Sorry for all you fans of the Secret out there. I don't just get to will myself to be in Costa Rica tomorrow, and wake up there.

I have been bemoaning how challenging it can be to wait for the changes I seek. This morning, while reading through my Enki philosophy guides, I stumbled upon more wisdom about growth and learning. Growth or learning is a process of moving from the known, to the unknown. When we move to the unknown, we must go at it slowly, moving from our stable home base, out into that unknown. If we jump, all at once, into something completely foreign, then we will shut down, and learn nothing. But, if we never leave the familiar and safe, then we never grow. We must learn to accept and embrace our fears and challenges. We must be prepared to learn from ALL experience, including the mistakes. And we must be patient and put in the work! We can't expect to learn to surf or garden or play the guitar in one week, and then give it up when we don't immediately succeed.

Right now, my son tells me almost every day... "I don't care," or "I don't believe you." He is talking about many things. Our move. Homeschooling. Traveling to Costa Rica. The low-fat raw lifestyle.

But I see a glimmer in his eyes that tells me he is hopefully watching. He is waiting to see if *I* really believe what I say I believe in. He is trusting me to be the leader, even when he claims not to believe in anything I say.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Hi my name is Marjorie, and I am an English teacher. [Hi Marjorie...]

Sometimes, I don't post, not because I don't have a lot to write about, but because I am afraid I cannot come up with a coherent and well-written post. You can take the composition teacher out of the classroom, but you can't take the red pen out of her head. Or something goofy like that.

So... here, in random order, with no attention to coherence, flow or style, and with no revision or polishing, are a bunch of things that are going on in my life.

1) We are getting ready to move in less than a month. This move is a huge step forward for our family. We will be giving up the house that is too expensive for us and a burden to maintain, and moving to something we can afford. We will be living where I have my garden, which will mean that our lives will be simpler, and that the whole family can be more involved together in producing our own food.

Of course, I have a lot of anxieties and frustrations about the preparations for moving. Part of it is the crazy trap of thinking all of our stuff must be pared down and organized perfectly before we go. I have been alternating between procrastinating, and worrying, and then Freecycling like crazy. Starting tomorrow, I think I'll cut out the procrastinating and worrying and cut straight to the Freecycling and donating and packing.

2) We have been making some huge changes in our financial lives. Maybe, just maybe, we're ready to start living consciously and creatively in this regard, instead of acting like victims.

3) We are taking a Nonviolent Communication parenting class. You may hear a lot more about that in future posts. Right now, we are all struggling to live together in peace and harmony. But I'm beginning to believe that maybe, just maybe, it won't be a struggle forever.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Ooey, gooey, oh so delicious!

We finally got our dates today. The Date People are awesome folks with an even more awesome product, but they aren't exactly "all business." You might have to call, wait, make a couple of calls, and wait some more. But trust me, it is soooo worth it.

We ordered three varieties that we have never tried before: Halawi, Barhi, and Amir Hajj. All three are phenomenal, and quite unique.

Considering the amount of calories in one date, they are extremely reasonable in price. And, of course, they are extremely kid-friendly. My son says they are his favorite food, and frequently talks about how he plans to move to California when he grows up so that he can catch fish and grow dates.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Human Design

I recently read Nurtured by Love, by Schin'ichi Suzuki, and was absolutely floored that a man who lived through a terrible war, at times forced to scavenge river bottoms for moss to eat, could have such a deep faith that human beings are essentially creative, beautiful and loving.

Among the lessons I gleaned from the book:

1) Humans are a product of their environment and training. Immerse your child in a world of love and beauty, and they will flourish.

2) Practice makes perfect. Forget the myth that you have to be born with some sort of special talent to do something. Simply practice the skill you wish to attain over and over and over (thousands or hundreds of thousands of times). He encourages us to look on such practice as play. Enjoy learning! In fact, he taught himself to play the violin at age 17 by listening to records and imitating them. Talk about dedication.

3) Don't grumble, scold, or manipulate children. Just model the behavior you want them to display.

4) If you find yourself procrastinating or resistant to achieving your own goals, it is probably because you were coerced as a child. (I felt a strong and deep understanding of this, based on my own experience.) Find away to talk to yourself with love, but be persistent and determined to achieve what you want.

5) Surround yourself and your children with people of culture, wisdom, and creativity who model the values you wish to emulate.

Reading about Suzuki's life, I wished with all my heart to believe that all humans, deep down, are born to be bringers of light and love and beauty. I wanted to immediately connect deeply with every person, to see their inner light (Namaste--I bow to the god within you), to "grok" them fully as Robert Heinlin would say.

But practically speaking, I think there is something missing in this picture. A recent conversation on the Path of Health about personal appearance led me to reflect on my own observations of human design. By design, I refer to the particular quirks that all members of a species share.

Humans are the animals that must try everything. We have put literally everything on the planet in our mouths. There are people who eat sheep intestines or raw whale blubber and call them a delicacy. Who figured out how to take a hard, tasteless grass kernel and turn it into bread. Seriously, who was the first person to dig a muddy carrot or a turnip and try a bite?

We have tried to live in every environment we encounter, no matter how inhospitable. Why would you want to live shivering in a frozen wasteland that is dark almost all day, for months out of the year? Whose idea was it to build huge cities in the middle of the desert?

If we can conceive it, we try to build it. We are inventors, improvisers. We rely on the magic of our imagination! Most of the time, we do things JUST BECAUSE WE CAN. It doesn't have to be a good idea. All ideas must become reality.

This is reflected in the way we approach our appearance. No other animal goes to such amazing lengths to alter their form. And yet, we do such incredible violence to ourselves in the process. Tattoos, piercing, pouring toxic chemicals on our hair, coating ourselves with colored minerals. Then there are more painful traditions such as foot-binding, neck lengthening and circumcision.

Why? Why are we so deeply dissatisfied with ourselves, as Nature (or Goddess or whoever) created us? We stamp our feet like little children. "NO! You can't make me. I MAKE MYSELF!" (Even if that means I make myself ugly, evil or sick.) But deep beneath this seems to be the little voice of dissatisfaction that both spurs us to greater heights and drags us into deeper despair... "You are not good enough," it whispers. This little voice may be the only human design flaw.

I choose not to listen. I celebrate my animal nature. I let hair grow in the color and places it wants to. I eat the food I was designed to eat. And very soon, I plan to move back to the tropical warmth where I belong.

I'll save my creativity for creating art and beauty. Maybe I'll teach myself to play the violin.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Inspirational Blog Award

I was sooooo thankful to receive this award from Connie, at Banana Island Getaway, since she is one of my biggest inspirations! However, I have now found out that virtually everyone who inspires me has already gotten the award from someone else. Well, shoot.

I want to say that I get my inspiration and support from all of YOU, but most especially the bloggers whose links I provide on the right.

I am not going to tag anyone else, but I do want to send out a huge thank-you to everyone who shares their raw journey with me through their blogs. And I want to thank all of the people who stop by and read my ramblings. Blessings to you all!