Finding Peace in One Simple Movement

ImageThis has been a hard week for me. I have felt very raw due to the recent world events and some of my own personal struggles (when it rains it pours, right?). I’m sure many of you feel the same, well,  it is now time for peace.

Here is a simple Eurythmy movement that I practice over and over when I need to feel at peace. ‘Hallelujah’ in movement. I do this 2 – 3 times and then follow with a 5 minute meditation where I gently breath ‘peace’ with every outbreath. Eventually, the peace comes back and washes over you. I hope this helps if you need a good reset of your emotions.

Preserving the Spiritual World for Our Children. (Part One)

429152_4683414595668_1713125482_nWhen our little ones come into the world they see the spiritual world as clear, or perhaps more clear, than they see this world. We live in a culture that all too often denies the possibility of a living, tangible spiritual world; it is my belief that we are all suffering from this. It’s a trend to tell children the ‘truth’ about the world and shut down their dreaminess; we think we are being helpful when we explain nature and spirituality to them…as if we would know a thing. We have lost this sense in our life, we are too educated and do not ponder anymore about what is possible beyond what we know. Often people who believe in God and the Afterlife are seen as delusional; those who let faith guide their lives are seen as naive.

I cannot possibly understand what living in a spiritual-rich world be, as I have long lost this. I can imagine though, about the wonders that my son sees. At night when we pray, he is so responsive and listens to my words to God; I imagine that he can feel the increasing warmth around us and see beautiful changes in the air as we work with the spiritual world. When we dig in the garden he points at the dirt and excitedly exclaims, “WOW!” over and over and I wonder if he sees the spiritual beings working with us as we tend to the earth. On walks he will stop and wave at the little buds of leaves blossoming on the branches or droplets of water on new grass and I wonder what delights he finds in them that would merit a wave. Sometimes he will stop what he is doing and just lay down and gaze at the ceiling, softly singing and babbling; I imagine that he is talking to Angels or God and think of how wonderful that must be. Of course these are all speculations based on my own limited adult imaginations; I bet he sees something far, far more magical.

I have lost this sense long, long ago; possibly in my adolescent years. I remember being dreamy and being severely scolded for this by my teachers. I have now spent the better part of ten years trying to grasp onto what’s left and bring back a semblance of what I had as a young child. Now I am also finding myself in the task of preserving this for my son. He now lives fully in this world but everyday takes one step further from it. When he leaves his early childhood behind, this will change and he will naturally WANT to enter the real world more fully, but I can do my best to keep the outside world from taking this from him before he is ready. The longer I can preserve his spiritual foundation, the better it will serve him in his adult life.

I am not suggesting that it is the job of teachers and parents to educate their children on religion and to offer prayer in schools because these are HUGE debates right now. I am also not suggesting that you ‘make believe’  that you see fairies, the easter bunny or santa; THAT is a lie because you don’t see them and it will be false to them. I am thinking of how we need to let children dream into this world while they still can; dream into nature, dream into the spiritual and dream into the imagination; places we can no longer see with our limited adult eyes. In school there would be little children that would play with ‘fairies’ or imaginary friends and older children would tell them that they are lying or that those things aren’t ‘real,’ no doubt heard from parents or teachers. My simple response would be that it was real for them even though we can’t see it and we must respect this. Some people have lost the sight for the magical and the spiritual and in a world full of pain and heartache, don’t you think we ought to protect these gifts that our children bring to us? We often think that we need to teach our children what is real and not real, true and false, right and wrong; but perhaps if we listen and watch, we will see that they know far more than us.

This is part one or a two-part post. In the next post I will go more into how to preserve this spiritual world.

The Joy of Work in Early Childhood

I am so excited to be writing this post! My child has officially entered this stage and I couldn’t be happier! We spend so much time together because my son will come up to me just to imitate my actions. “Do you want to help mommy,” I will ask and then hand him his own copy of what ever I am doing. He will sit and work with me until he eventually wanders off into something else.

Work is his play and play is his work! What I mean by that statement is that when children work with you, this is play for them as well as great quality time with mom or dad. When they play this is the work that will develop their growing motor skills and mental capacities. I highly recommend reading Freya Jaffke’s book, Work and Play in Early Childhood for more wonderful information and tools on this concept. Freja Jaffke was born in 1937. She worked at Reutlingen kindergarten in Germany for many years and now lectures throughout the world in teacher training colleges. She provides tried and tested advice on this important stage of development.

On this great Parenting Passageway Post on chores, Carrie writes “I remark here that rhythm in the practical work of the home and working TOGETHER in joy is what lays the foundation of wholly independent work… IMITATION is also another way to help children learn about chores when they are young.” Here, she lists a great number of chores that can be done with your children, including (for your toddler) “wipe tables and counters with damp sponge, wash vegetables or tear lettuce, help provide water and food for pets, help clean up after play and meals, water plants outside, pick up toys and books, throw things out for you, help clean up spills and messes…” and many more on the post!

Your little ones LOVE to help you and love the time with you in this way because all they want is to learn to do what we do as adults. So here is the amazing thing: you CAN get your housework done with small children in the house! Don’t wait until they go to nap because then they miss all of the fun! Do your work around them and they will come to you to help. Include them. “Do you want to help mommy wipe the counter? Here’s a rag for you!” “Do you want to help mommy fold laundry? Sit on my lap and we will do it together!”

I am so enjoying this part of my sons development and everyday I think of all of the fun housework we can do together. For those of you that do not love housework, you may think I’m nuts. But if you try housework with your little one, you may find that there is a level of enjoyment that you never thought possible.

What are your thoughts on housework with your child? What are your plans for implementing chores with your young family members?