It takes a village, and ours is wonderful.

This past week was trying.  Not necessarily *bad*, just very different from the usual routine, which can be exhausting.  I had to take two days off work…one to take the kids to the doctor for physicals, the other for my younger boy’s oral surgery.  Taking the day off for their physicals wasn’t a big deal, really, except for the fact that I’m utterly swamped at work.  The stuff I’m doing at work isn’t bad…it’s fun, actually, and I’m pretty good at it…it’s just SO MUCH that needs to be done, and there’s not time to finish it all.  As long as I can keep chipping away at it, I’ll be fine, but I really could have used that day to get work done.

Thursday was oral surgery day.  That day was quite different than physical day because we had the stress of our four year old going under general anesthesia.  Oh, and the whole not eating from 10pm the night before until the surgery started at noon…which turned out to be 1:00…that broke my heart, and that’s probably the part that made me the most nervous.  But to my surprise, he was super good about it!  He mentioned on the car ride up there that we forgot to eat “breftist,” and one other time he mentioned that he was hungry, but that was it!  If he was in any discomfort from being hungry, he never, ever showed it.  He wasn’t even cranky.

We got to the hospital at 10 that morning for the surgery that was supposed to start at noon.  We checked in and went to the 9th floor where we walked into the shabbiest looking waiting room that contained about 10 kids and their parents.  We sat on the floor while our son played.  At least there were enough toys to distract him.  I’m not a fancy or snobby person, but this hospital was looking rough, which left me really unsettled.  We waited, and waited, and waited, until they finally called us in to take us for the final stage of preparation before the actual operating room.  By the time they took him to the OR, we were an hour and 15 minutes later than the time they gave us.  We had been waiting at the hospital for 3 hours and 15 minutes and he had gone without food and water for 15.5 hours.  The surgical team (dentist, nurse, and anesthesia) were all really nice.  After they took him to the OR, we were shown a waiting room that was so cramped that when we sat in chairs against one wall, there was barely a walkway between our knees and the knees of the people sitting across from us.  Surgery took about an hour, it went very well, and after the initial grogginess wore off, our son perked back up and was back to almost normal in no time.  He did fall asleep in the car, fairly unusual for him, but that was it…our same old Ollie was back.  We were advised to give him Motrin or Tylenol for pain but he never needed it.  We were so relieved to have gotten through it.  We struggled with the decision to go that route and were unsettled about it the whole time, but we’re beyond grateful that it went as well as it did.

I didn’t really plan on telling the story of Ollie’s oral surgery…The real reason I wanted to write was because I felt so good today, and I want to remember this feeling.  When things get bad, I forget how awesome it is to feel good, and maybe, somehow, by coming back to this story, it will help me get things back into perspective when I’m feeling down, because unfortunately, for the better part of each week…I’m pretty down.

Last night (Friday) was a special Pound class.  It had a glow in the dark theme, and it was a fundraiser for a scholarship that our gym is starting.  The cool thing about this class was that we were allowed to take kids ages six and up, so Gabe finally got to do Pound.  We had a great time and even won a raffle basket.  We stayed after the party and I talked to the owner of the gym while Gabe ran around with his friends.  As we walked in the door, Gabe signed contentedly and with a smile in his voice, said “mother-son bonding”.  We got home and Chris was in bed, but he was still awake, so we got to spend some time together before going to sleep.  Seems like we don’t have much time to talk without interruption, so we took advantage of that!  Saturday morning we got up and again I had some time with Chris before he headed to the gym.  Normally I’d go to Pound, but they didn’t have it this morning since they had it last night, so we had an hour to spend together.  He left for the 9:00 class and the boys and I puttered around the house.  A little bit after Chris got home, Gabe and I left for the Farmers’ Market to pick up the gift I ordered for my brother’s wedding next week.  Now, no trip to the Farmers’ Market is ever a quick trip, and true to that fact, Gabe and I were there for almost two hours.  As soon as we got there we started talking to friends.  Gabe went to the maple syrup vendor’s table and saw that the pancakes on the griddle were done, so he picked up the spatula and put the pancakes on the plate, then he sat at the table as if he were working there.  While he did that, I wrote out the check to the artisan who made the gift, and he offered to carry it to my car.  The maple syrup vendor invited Gabe to stay with him while I went to my car, which was a reminder to me that the vendors at the Farmers’ Market are more like family.   As I walked to my car with my artisan friend, we talked about the importance of supporting local businesses, how fortunate we are to live where we live and have what we have, and things like that.  He was super grateful for my business and seemed to appreciate my positive viewpoint about our community and taking care of the people who live in it.  After he put the gift in my car, we were walking back and we saw a vendor who was packing up his van, and his arm was in a sling, so we jumped in and helped him load his van.  I bought some eggs from a vendor who I don’t know super well, but who recognized me and asked where the boys were.  We went to another table where our wise medicine woman friend was starting to take down her table.  We chatted the whole time she was packing up her merchandise, and we helped carry it to her car, where we talked some more.  Gabe really wanted an origami book from the library, which was right across the street, so after weighing out the pros and cons, I decided to have him go into the library alone.  We know at least two people who work there, so I knew there was a good chance that he’d find one of them, and even if he didn’t, he knows his way around there pretty well.  I figured I’d only be another minute talking to our friend, but several minutes later I was still trying to get away.  Not that I wasn’t enjoying our conversation, mind you, I was just feeling a little guilty for sending Gabe into the library for that long alone.  Truthfully, it was no more than 10 minutes…probably quite a bit less, actually, but I wasn’t sure that it would be proper to leave an eight year old in the library for that long alone, and I was feeling a little nervous/guilty.  But after we finished talking, hugged, and parted ways, I went in the library to find Gabe perfectly fine, seeking out one more book that he wanted.  He had already found two, and I later found out that he asked the lady at the front desk, who is our neighbor, for help, and she suggested some books she thought he’d like.  I found the other one he wanted, then our neighbor/friend let him check out the books himself!

After we got home I realized how happy I felt.  I was so full of love from our community, both from last night and from this morning/early afternoon.  We’re so fortunate to live where we do, in a community so full of caring, trustworthy people.  It was a beautiful reminder that it takes a village to raise a child, and as far as villages go, we hit the jackpot.

I am posting this without proofreading.  It may or may not make sense, and if it doesn’t, I will correct it later.

It takes a village, and ours is wonderful.

Taking advantage of an opportunity to live authentically

I saw a Facebook post from a young person I know who said that instead of going back for the next year of college, they are taking advantage of an opportunity and doing some work in a completely different industry from their college major.  That means that technically, this person is a college dropout, which they never expected to say about themselves.  (A humbling reminder that ¨college dropout¨ doesn´t mean that the person did something wrong to prevent themselves from returning!)

I must say that I feel SO INSPIRED by this person´s decision.  I´m happy to see someone diving in and exploring something that intrigues them.  It is my (unpopular) opinion that we need to follow our hearts whenever possible, instead of always doing the ¨right thing,¨ like going back to college, or going to college in the first place, or choosing the sensible job.  It is not the right option for everyone!  Unfortunately, that makes some people think I´m an incompetent school counselor.  But I don´t care.  In fact, I feel sorry for those people.  They are living by rigid standards and projecting those standards on other people.  Those standards are not One Size Fits All.  People are so different.  We have different interests and values.  Different things drive us and inspire us.  Why do we not honor ourselves by trying to live more authentically?????

I´m a school counselor and a dreamer…two things that are mutually exclusive.  My job is rooted in the expectation that most kids go off to college.  The greater the percentage of kids who go off to college, the more successful the high school, it seems.  If a kid wants to go into a trade, they´re a failure.

As a dreamer, I respect that dreams are different for every person.  My dreams tend toward the holistic and helping professions, while others need to be outdoors or work with their hands.  Some people start down one path and change their minds, and that´s ok.  (In fact, I´m trying to come to terms with that in my own life.)

So rock on, young person who is exploring a different path.  May your story inspire others to also live more authentically.  Cheers!

Taking advantage of an opportunity to live authentically

Guns. Fighting.

I have to admit that I’m somewhere in the middle of the gun debate, which, as I think of it, seems very weird coming from someone who hates seeing *anything* hurt.  I’ve always hated hunting (even though I know that in some ways, it’s necessary), and I couldn’t imagine killing something on purpose.  But I know a lot of responsible gun owners, and I respect them.  (To be fair, though, I know some asshole, showoff gun owners, too.)

But here’s the thing: •I have friends who love guns.  •I have friends who hate guns.  •I have friends who are Republican.  •I have friends who are Democrat.  •I have friends who are athiest, Christan, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and more.  •I have friends who are gay and friends who are straight.  •I have friends who are transgender or who simply don’t look like a member of their actual gender (some of my female friends dress more masculine).

And one thing I’ve seen over the last few days is people spitting insults back and forth.  In particular, I’ve seen gun lovers claiming that “the Democrats” are going to want people’s guns taken away.  Why must one group paint another group with such a wide brush?  I personally take offense to this statement because I’m a Democrat who can see good points on both sides of the argument.  And I think that if we took a break from spitting insults at each other, we could respect the other side.  Maybe we won’t agree, but we can at least try to consider where the other side is coming from.  When we’re fighting, we’re hatefully dividing our citizens, when in reality, we all want pretty much the same things.  Freedom is pretty high up there – Some want freedom to carry guns that they believe will protect them from a dangerous situation while others want freedom from being shot, so they believe that we should get rid of the things out of which bullets fly.

But instead of insulting the other side, couldn’t we kindly state our case?  I’d listen if some would engage in a civil discussion with me.

There’s so much more to this, but my head is swimming with thoughts, and I’m tired.

Guns. Fighting.

I hope he passes first grade!

G goes to the school where I work.  Last year he was in a different school, closer to where we live.  When he was in Pre-K, his teacher (who had been teaching for long enough that she was close to retirement) said that she didn’t see minds like his much, but she predicted that he’d have a hard time in public school.  

The next year, as she predicted, he had a rough time.  He frequently brought home red letters (we called them howlers) saying that he’d gotten in trouble for something.  Usually it was for moving too much, not listening, and occasionally getting into altercations with other students.  (He has a VERY strong sense of justice, but he also wants to do what HE wants to do, even if it’s not what he’s *supposed to* be doing.)

But this year, even in a small, close-knit, privileged, Mayberry-like community, he’s not doing well.  He’s in trouble more often than not (mainly for doing what *he* wants to do and not what he’s told), and even his school work is mediocre at best.  This past week he got in trouble for flicking peas off a spoon.  Oh, wait, I’m sorry, “launching” peas off a spoon.  He made sure to correct me as I was reprimanding him.  It’s not that launching peas is bad, it’s just that launching them in the school cafeteria is most definitely NOT ok.  So I gave him some spoons at home and told him to go to town, launching whatever he wanted to launch outside.

But how do I get him to recognize that boundary?  He needs to know that it’s not a bad behavior…it’s actually *good* in so many ways (he’s learning physics, y’all!), but in school, it *is* a bad behavior.

I’ve had NUMEROUS people tell me that he’d be the perfect candidate for a Montessori or Waldorf school , or for home schooling, but I don’t see any of those as possibilities, as much as I’d like for them to be.  The first two aren’t feasible because we don’t live anywhere near such schools.  The last option has many flaws (like the fact that I work full-time), but mostly because he Does.Not.Listen to me.  He’s the most incredible, compassionate, insightful kid at times, but at other times he’s the most inconsiderate asshole you’ve ever seen.  We had an event at school on Friday and he made an absolute fool out of himself in front of a lot of people.  If he’d been genuinely curious and paying attention, it might have been endearing, but it was not endearing, his rudeness was mortifying .  And the problem is that I don’t have any idea how to fix this.  Can he learn appropriate behavior in social situations, or is this just the way he is?  Because I’m going to have a really hard time dealing with a self centered, entitled child.

I hope he passes first grade!

Oh no…I´m thinking again

I have kind of a wild train of thought going here, and I´ve been doing a lot of my thinking while sweeping and cleaning litter boxes, so let me see if I can remember any of the things I wanted to write down.

Today has been a day of crucifying other people in social media, and it makes me sad.  At the top of the list seemed to be the mother of the boy who got into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, which ultimately led to the decision to shoot and kill the gorilla to rescue the boy.  I´m not going to lie – I probably thought some of the same things for a fleeting moment, but I also realize that the same thing could happen to ANY of us.

You may scoff at this notion, but it´s true.  Every parent has had one of those ¨oh shit¨ moments, whether it´s that the child fell, or grabbed a hot bowl of soup from the counter, or got their hands on a sharp object.  But thankfully, most of the time the child is ok.  The hot bowl of soup thing happened with me just the other day.  I served up one bowl of soup and set it on the counter, and I was in the process of filling another bowl with soup for my other son.  My three-year-old walked in and said, ¨Is this mine?¨ as he reached for it.  Keep in mind, I have *another* bowl of hot soup in my hand, and there´s just no possible way to put down the ladle, put down the bowl of soup, and lunge across the kitchen to stop him.  I shouted, ¨Don´t touch it, it´s very hot!¨, but he was thinking ¨SOUP IN THE OWL BOWL!¨ and in one quick motion, he had picked up the bowl and sloshed some on himself.  Thankfully, he was fine.  I asked him why he was crying, and he said it was because I scared him when I yelled.  (Sure, I scared him, but it still didn´t do anything to protect him!)  Was I being neglectful?  NO, I WAS RIGHT THERE, WATCHING IT ALL HAPPEN, but sometimes, this is what kids do.  And sometimes, they do dumber things than that!  And sometimes, we can´t prevent these accidents.

This morning, a friend of mine tagged me in a video of a little boy who was crying because he was upset that people are ruining the environment and killing animals.  She tagged me because she said that it reminded her of how passionate my own six-year-old is about the environment.  I watched the video this afternoon, and it was adorably heartbreaking.  Then…I made the mistake of reading the comments.  People called him a pansy.  They bashed the mother for getting the kid worked up and scaring him and then sitting there recording it so she could get YouTube hits.  Again, from my experience, I can tell you that my own child will go off on rants like this.  He´s never sobbed  like that and I´ve never recorded him, but it´s not to say that I wouldn´t if he were talking about something important.  He´s passionate about protecting animals and the environment (pretty important things, I think), and if that´s what he´s thinking about, that´s probably what he´s going to be talking about.  A couple weeks ago, he (unprompted) started talking about the presidential primaries.  Not a topic I´d bring up with him, but let me tell you…he had some pretty strong opinions!

So when I started doing my chores, I grabbed my laptop to pull up a YouTube video to listen to while I cleaned.  I like listening to videos that teach me something about the things I love.  And I happen to love holistic medicine.  I love the holistic lifestyle in general.  I love spirituality.  (Which translates into videos about reflexology (which I´m hoping to learn and I´m saving my pennies to enroll in a class), or aromatherapy, or positive mindset, or EFT.)  I love all of the ¨woo-woo¨ stuff that many people think is weird.  I know it´s weird, too.  I grew up in a very ¨normal¨ family surrounded by people who went to college and worked and who did ¨the right thing¨ all of the time.  (And why wouldn´t they?  They had mortgages and families to support, and it was kind of necessary.)  I´m currently surrounded by a lot of educated people who work ¨normal¨ jobs and who live the American dream.  But there´s a part of me that is so drawn to the hippie side.  Some of those things I can do while peacefully existing in the ¨normal¨ world, like wearing weird deodorant and buying organic food, and the other part of me yearns to surrender completely–to study the hippie, woo-woo things that keep calling me.

Now I´m going to jump back to the other track, and then I´m going to bring the stories together.  I have a friend who is VERY against shaming other people.  She speaks out against mom shaming, slut shaming, and, well, all kinds of other shaming.  She is also very science minded.  She is not religious.  She thinks a lot of the holistic stuff is…dare I say…stupid.  And she is someone I respect greatly, because I believe she is a good person and she cares a lot about people and animals, so sometimes I think of her when I watch my holistic living videos.  I think she would probably think that I´m stupid for believing that stuff.

Today when I pulled up a video on Ayurveda, thoughts on all of these topics collided.  It hit me that there are a lot of very smart people who believe in holistic medicine and spirituality.  The video I watched today was a Ted talk by an Ayurvedic doctor.  I had acupuncture from a Naturopath.  These are *Doctors*!  These are people who are quite well-educated.  These people have dedicated many years to their education.  I´m sure there are some people who just phone it in and get lucky, earning a PhD or MD with minimal effort, but most have actually had to spend many hours (not to mention thousands of dollars) studying and researching.  These are not stupid people!

There is no single right way of doing something.  There are different approaches.  There are different beliefs.  I happen to believe in the less popular approaches.  It´s not because I *want* to.  I´ve tried to be normal.  I´ve tried to listen to reason and believe in the science, but I honestly don´t think that all science is good.  Some things are most certainly better because of science, but not everything…only when it´s convenient (much like religion, really).  People believe in science until we tell them that their gas guzzling SUV causes climate change, then science is stupid.

No matter how hard I try to shake it off, I can´t help but to believe in the simple, holistic approach.  The belief in the power of the mind, energy, love, prayer, simplicity, and the body´s ability to heal.  And that does not make me stupid.

 

Oh no…I´m thinking again

Creating *Meaningful* Character Education Lessons

After twelve years as a high school counselor, I´m now working at the elementary level (though I recently found out that due to a retirement, I´ll be returning to the high school next year).  I have no teaching background, but part of the job has been to teach Character Education lessons to students in grades Pre-K through 5.  I have a regular class schedule, and I also push into classrooms once a month to teach a lesson on the character trait of the month.

It´s been said that teachers never make up anything on their own, they steal everything.  While I agree that this is 100% true, I´ve found that a lot of what is online is not really worth stealing!  I can understand the point that a counselor or teacher is trying to make, but the lessons seem to have very little substance or meaning.  It´s hard to sell a lesson when I don´t buy it myself!

As a result, I spend hours and hours looking for ideas for the perfect lesson.  Once I get an idea, I can run with it and create something that I´m happy with, but I always feel like inspiration strikes at the eleventh hour and I´m scurrying to get everything polished and ready to present.

Now, mind you, I am NOT a perfectionist!  I´m kind of a slob, actually.  I tend to rush through things that I don´t want to do and sometimes I even cut corners, especially when it comes to housework.  But my lessons for school – – I want to make them good!

And now, after this break to write about creating lessons that are meaningful, I´m going to jump back into creating my next meaningful lesson!

Has anyone ever taught a lesson that had a great impact on a group?  Or have you ever sat in on a lesson that inspired you?  If so, I´d love to hear about it!

Creating *Meaningful* Character Education Lessons

The best laid plans

I’ve been on spring break for nearly two full weeks and I don’t think I’ve written once.  I had all kinds of plans to write every day, and I did write some thoughts in my notebook (an actual paper notebook!), but I didn’t log into my blog a single time.

Even my lack of writing gives me ideas for things to write about, so I guess it’s not a total waste.  I didn’t know what I was going to write about until I started writing this post, but as I lamented about not following through on a pretty small goal, it came to me.  I fear that it may be something I’ve written about before, if not here, then in another blog or journal, but even so, I think it’s important enough to write about again.

I love inspirational quotes, and many of them come to me when I need them most.  I also try to keep an open mind and an open heart because even if a quote isn’t fitting at the time, there’s a chance that it WILL be fitting at some point.  But there’s one quote that I really dislike.  It’s “If you want to, you’ll find a way.  If not, you’ll find an excuse.” Now, I like that it sends a “mind over matter” message because we can ALWAYS come up with excuses, but SOMEtimes, those excuses are legitimate.

I have a friend who is into working out, and one time she posted a picture of herself working out with her child hanging off of her.  Well, one time I tried working out with my kids in the room and I ended up kicking my two-year-old in the face.  Not badly, as I knew he was lingering around me and I was trying to be careful, but still, I KICKED MY KID!  Two days ago I decided to try to exercise at home again.  I figured my younger child was older and a little less likely to get in my way, but when I was laying down on my back doing crunches with my older child (trying to set a good example for the younger one), said younger one walked over to me and dropped his entire body right on my chest.  So… what’s my excuse?  Well, I can’t seem to get more than a couple minutes of exercise without someone getting hurt.  I know that this stage will pass, and I don’t want to be one of those people who is always waiting for conditions to be different in order to start doing something, but sometimes the best choice is to do what you can, even if it means just getting by.

The other reason I dislike the phrase is because of my original example.  When we were vacationing in Florida, I thought I’d get the family to bed and then write for maybe half an hour before going to sleep myself.  Well, we all got to bed late, but the little one… Part of me wondered if maybe he was dipping into a stash of Red Bull or something, because he was WIRED at bedtime every night, and that, of course, meant that I had to stay up with him.  We were all in the same room.  No quiet… No solitude… No writing.

I’ve decided that, yes, I may be making an excuse, but I choose to look at it as making a CHOICE.  I choose to not work out so that I don’t hurt anyone else, get hurt, or end up so frustrated that I end up quitting anyway.  (Yes, I choose to not work out in order to preserve some of my mental health.). I choose to try to calm my younger child instead of letting him stay awake, crying, and waking up not only the other people in the room, but also those staying next door, even if it means not getting to write.

Maybe it is making an excuse… Or maybe it’s just making the hard choice.

The best laid plans

Reiki. Skepticism.

I think I´m developing an addiction to writing.  Part of it is that I think it´s been cathartic.  I´ve actually had a pretty rough week–two sick kids, sick myself, husband out of town, two days off work, and then the remaining three days in the week simultaneously feeling like I need to stay home so my family can rest and pushing all of us out the door to get to school because I feel irresponsible for missing so much work.   I was on duty 100% of the time Sunday afternoon through Tuesday night, so by the time we were sort of feeling better, I needed an outlet, so I sat down and wrote.  I know that they say to just write if you want to write, but getting started is hard.  Now that I´ve started, I don´t want to stop!

The post that digressed into my story about what makes me so weird started out with my thoughts about Reiki.  I feel like I have one foot firmly planted in the real world, and the rest of me is up in the clouds.  I believe in all of the ¨woo woo¨ stuff I mentioned in a previous post, but there´s always a part of me that´s going, ¨Yeah, right.¨  I mean, I work in a world full of skeptics.  In that world, people are criticized for caring about organic food and not always wanting a shiny new thing, so I´m pretty thoroughly exposed to skepticism on a regular basis.

I was pondering Reiki one day.  I´m a certified practitioner, so obviously I believe in it, but as I´ve found with many things, I´m also very worried about what other people think.  In a case like this, though, it´s kind of important that at least some people believe in it, because if they don´t, no one will seek out my services.

What´s the main problem with Reiki?  Well, I think it´s that you can´t see it, and sometimes you can´t even feel it, you just have to trust that it´s working.  Some people have a really hard time with that concept, but I started thinking about things that we can´t see or feel, but that we trust are working.  This is a list of things I can think of right off the top of my head–it´s a short list, but some of them are pretty significant.  I will add to the list as more examples come to mind.

  1. Gravity
  2. God/prayer
  3. Cell phone signals
  4. Wi-Fi
  5. Cordless phone signals (if you´re young enough to remember cordless phones!)
  6. Radio (people still listen to radio, right?)
  7. Bluetooth

If we have faith that some/all of these things work, Reiki doesn´t seem like such a stretch after all!

Reiki. Skepticism.

My Twisted Path of Self-Discovery

**What started out as a post about Reiki has accidentally morphed into a post about what led me to Reiki and all of my other off-the-beaten-path interests, mere minutes after I promised I wouldn´t digress into back stories.  But as I wrote, I realized that the back story is kind of important, because that´s what led me to where I am today!  Also, my grammar sucks.  I´m writing conversationally, with the expectation that no one will really read this anyway.

Sometimes I´m surprised by the way my interests as a teenager have come around to meet me in my thirties with no real effort on my part.  They say that your vibe attracts your tribe, and maybe that´s what this is.  I can get all philosophical and spiritual about that – and I probably will in a later post – but I´m trying to tame my propensity for digression.  🙂  (See, I lied.  I´ll still get philosophical and spiritual about this particular topic, but I failed at not digressing, because the rest of this post is 100% digression.)

My interests and beliefs have always been on the ¨woo woo¨ side…it may have started when I decided to become a vegetarian in high school, even though I´m an embarrassingly picky eater with a love of sugar.  There were very few vegetarians in my community, and those who did exist were weird (according to the ¨normal¨ people).  I knew so little about vegetarianism, or about the ingredients that are in a lot of foods, but in my little sheltered teenage mind I thought I was doing the right thing.  And I guess I was, really.  But when you know better, you do better, right?  I didn´t have the resources to know that simply cutting out animal flesh was only part of it.  In spite of my ignorance, I think this was one of the first times I really took a stand for something that wasn´t the norm, and it felt *right*.  That was the beginning of my (beautifully) twisted path.

Over the last 20 or so years I picked up little bits of information about Reiki and psychics and aromatherapy and homeopathy and reflexology and spirituality, and all of that holistic and mysterious stuff makes my hippie heart sing.  But I followed the path that ¨normal¨ people follow – I went to college, then grad school, and became a counselor.  I got married and had two kids.  (Ok, the marriage and kids thing I definitely wouldn´t change.)  During that time I still loved all of the ¨witchcraft and potions,¨ but I didn´t know what to do with those interests because, really, how was I supposed to get a job and make a living studying *that* stuff, especially after spending thousands of dollars and over seven years to become a counselor?  It´s hard to justify embarking on a totally different and uncertain path when I´m gainfully employed in my area of education.

Over the last couple years I´ve discovered different opportunities to expand my knowledge in my interest areas without spending exorbitant amounts of money.  I did the first two Reiki certifications and can now officially practice, not that I have a whole lot of time to do it.  I also felt a compulsion to become ordained, and that dream came to fruition when I became a Priest in the Order of Melchizedek last year.  I have yet to actually use either of these certifications in an official capacity, but knowing that I can is extremely fulfilling to me.  Someday I´ll put all of that to use!

As for the other stuff that I want to do – the aromatherapy and reflexology, and OH! I also want to become a certified life coach so that I can, in a way, take my counseling practice outside of the school environment – those certifications cost significantly more money and will have to happen when I either become unexpectedly rich or find some scholarships, because, you know, mortgage.  And college loans.  (Irony.)

One final thought…writing.  As I mentioned in my first post, I feel like I need to write, even though I feel like I have no business doing so.  I have really low self-worth, so I can´t imagine what I might offer to another person with my writing.  As I was getting ready for bed tonight, I thought that maybe by writing about my extremely flawed existence and my journey toward living more authentically, I can empower someone else to do the same?  I don´t know…is it possible to help people realize their self-worth when I´m struggling to find my own?  Hopefully my writing will help me figure that out!

My Twisted Path of Self-Discovery

Saved articles to read…someday

I have a terrible habit of opening about 20 tabs on my computer, many are articles that I intend to read when I have time, and with two little boys, a full-time job, and a husband who travels for work, that time may be MONTHS away, and I´m sick of sorting through a bunch of tiny little tabs with dead pages because they´ve been sitting idle for so long.  So I´m posting them here.  I´ll delete them when I´m done reading them.

The Focus Wheel Process
http://www.thevortex.me/the-focus-wheel-process/

Law of Attraction
http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/index.php

Depression: Allergic reaction to inflammation?

New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation

Official EFT
http://www.emofree.com/eft-tutorial/tapping-basics/breathing.html

How do Essential Oils work?
http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/aromatherapy/how-do-essential-oils-work

I don´t know why, but I thought I could share some of the things I make on Store Envy.  The truth is that I´m too embarrassed to post anything, but here´s my store anyway, in case I someday work up the nerve.  (I want to use the money to take more of my witchcraft classes!)  🙂
http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/aromatherapy/how-do-essential-oils-work

Reiki Case Studies

Click to access Reiki-Case-Studies.pdf

How to publish a book:
http://www.learn.hayhouseu.com/writersworkshop-video3-numberonesecret

Saved articles to read…someday