Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mindful Monday

I thought I'd try my hand at this blogging thing and see how she flies. Many things have conspired to make maintaining this log of my life hard right now. Health issues, a continuing bit of Post-Adoption Depression (mild and nebulous, but there nonetheless), summertime, and being the mama to my four lovelies (and especially my two youngest that have been particularly, um...spirited lately), have come together to make an inertia soup of my life that I'm finding hard to swim in. Or swallow. Or something more clever than that.

Okay, that was an awful metaphor. But I feel too dull to think of something better. Plus, I just don't have the time. Yonas will be awake any moment from his nap.

Here are some of the things I've been exploring and pondering in earnest lately:

1. Minimalistic living- I have given away box after box of toys, clothing, and STUFF that we can and should live without. I want less things to pick up, clean, trip on, or otherwise deal with in some way, not more. I'm going to keep filling boxes, looking for what's necessary and loved, and getting rid of as much of the rest as my family will bear. The girls have been great supporters and have given up way more than I would have ever considered asking them to. The idea that space is a commodity resonates deeply with me. I want to fill my space with things I need and love.

2. Deep, slow living- I have always had a need for this. I need massive amounts of downtime and I think my kids do to. I want time to connect with myself and Erik and my children. I want the pace of my life to be as peaceful and full of space as possible. I want time to contemplate banana trees in the backyard in all their tall, bright green glory. I want to laugh and dance and bake with my children and drive as little as possible. I want to savor this short life.

3. Frugal living- I'm cheap and want to learn to be cheaper.

4. Homeschooling/Unschooling- Ava and Eden go to an amazing alternative school. I love the staff, I love the families. But sending four kids to a private school (even a very reasonable one) may not be possible. So, for the millionth time I have spent some time looking and learning about homeschooling and for the first time spent some time exploring what unschooling is all about. (It's not crazy or neglectful or lazy. Done well, it is respectful and meaningful and creates critical, engaged thinkers that trust themselves enough to listen to their hearts.)

5. My health- I have finally found answers about the mystery illness that has been plaguing me for most of my life. It is no longer a mystery, and I am thankful. It's an auto-immune disease called Psoriatic Spondylitis. I have been processing what it means to finally be validated after so many years of searching, but also what it means to know this disease will be part of my life's path. I have been actively searching for ways to control it as much as I can with diet, exercise, and supplements.

I'm not sure how all this fits together in a Mindful Monday post, except that these are things things that are taking up my mental space, my energy; the reason posts here have been so few are far between (that, and an infected, broken-down laptop, hence the no-pictures as of late). I feel a paradigm shift coming on. I look at my sometimes glorious, sometimes tedious life and think: It's all too fast,too precious; don't live on the surface, don't get carried away by its current, don't let it whisk you away so fast. Dive deep, and deeper still, get down, way down where the waters are still and quiet and there is silence. Go deeper still and let the surface above move over you while you sit on the bottom and smile in silence and awe.

That's what I'm striving for. An authentic, vivid life that brings me closer to the best version of myself. One where I can foster the same for my children. One that honors what Erik and I want for ourselves, for each other, for our marriage, and our children. A life of opening and unfolding truth, a life that honors the magic and love that have bound the six of us on this crazy ride together. A life of love and peace.

11 comments:

Rachel said...

Lovely. Beautifully put. Hang in there.

rebekah said...

as usual you are inspiring to me.

thanks.

Julie said...

Yes, as Beck said...inspiring.

faith said...

I,too, have been in these waters...mostly swimming, often treading, and sometimes letting go and allowing the waves to wash over me. Someone always throws in a life preserver that I reluctantly but thankfully grab on to. We need to learn how to float in the serenity of doing the best that we can.
P.S. As your kids grow, the toy clutter will fade and picking up for hours will no longer be a part of your routine. Then it turns into teenage clutter which will make you beg for toys again. Enjoy it while it lasts :)

Claudia said...

so much of this resonates with me... especially the bit about space being a commodity. Yes, yes, yes!!

Shannon- said...

I'm so with you on the minimalist thing. I thought I had purged enough stuff... but add one extra person in the house and it all still seems like too much. Keep going! Keep writing too! :-)

jessica said...

I so love your writing, Ashley. Thank you for sharing.

Janna said...

You speak to my heart with the slow, frugal living and the purging...endless purging.
Love what Faith said about learning how to float in the serenity of doing the best we can.

Kelsey said...

this post is such an example of why i love you so much. seriously ash, your kids would be so lucky to be homeschooled/unschooled with you.

i am now off to read about your autoimmune situation that i hope to one day be able to pronounce correctly. i can't imagine how nice it must be to FINALLY have the answer to what you have been dealing with for so long. hang in there.

Kelsey said...

this post is such an example of why i love you so much. seriously ash, your kids would be so lucky to be homeschooled/unschooled with you.

i am now off to read about your autoimmune situation that i hope to one day be able to pronounce correctly. i can't imagine how nice it must be to FINALLY have the answer to what you have been dealing with for so long. hang in there.

FaerieMama said...

Amen Sister. I'm with you on all of the above...TRYING anyway.

Just found your blog this morning and am loving it...