Poise, Paws, Pause: Blogging Again!

March 18, 2014

poisepawspausecc

In the last while a few moments have been full of WIN:

  • making my own soap

testsoapbatch

  • starting blogging again 🙂
  •  going out with some activist friends for some good eats and drinks
  • a kitten named Marble (My Son)

marbleatadoptioncenter

In an attempt to combine the last few things (except the cat) I turned a word vomit post into a more refined blog post for momsrising.org, which I am nervous about.  It’s personal and about education, where I use my personal experiences with my daughter to criticize our addiction to standards.  Please let us not also standardize preschool. I’m not sure if I should include the ADHD/ Sensory Processing issues I think run in my family. Enough of that.

I need to get back on the meditation wagon. Ten minutes seems like forever, yet I used to be able to do 30.

chaotic note

chaotic note

3 Keys to Being Happy, No Matter What Happens

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FTY: Dont Know Mind and Questioning

June 21, 2012

Today’s Friday Thank You goes out to Teachers and Parents.

Two things my family is working on is asking each other more questions and embracing.. don’t know mind or beginners mind.  By embracing don’t know mind we shed our perceptions and biases of what we think should be. It is very similar to letting go of expectations–as the 12 step programs say.

Using questioning with the 4-6 year old age group has been difficult for me to embrace. I have noticed a remarkable improvement in kiddo’s behavior since I embraced it. I’m used to giving choices and being open to children’s suggestions with the elementary school age group and not preschool. I’ve had to let go of the idea that I’m The Adult and my kiddo should just do what I say. It also brings up uncomfortable feelings about cultural differences. I must say my thoughts have fluctuated between thinking– Yes, ma’am and Yes, Sir seem a little rigid—but at the same time it makes sense to me. I particularly like asking a question and if the answer is no telling kiddo, “The answer is Yes ma’am”.<—this is me embracing the paradox of it all>

Also, not every family gives children choices. So, what happens when I give a student choices and it overwhelms them. This is a particularly sticky question I’ve been asked as a ‘White Teacher‘. And, I haven’t found an answer I am completely comfortable with yet. I think I would look to veteran teachers around me to help me with children uncomfortable with making choices.

Through some reflection my husband and I noticed that we weren’t even asking each other questions regularly. I also realized that I wasn’t asking him questions because I thought I already knew what his answer would be.<Silly, silly thoughts.>

Some of my other thoughts on questions are that I need to question myself more. So far I compiled these 5 questions <I can’t remember where I found them>

5 mindful expressions/ questions< I’m sure they are similar to ones in 5 Questions that help us wake up.
1. I don’t know.
2. I was wrong.
3. I made a mistake.
4. It happens.
5. How can I help?

chaotic notes

As I’ve been trying to keep the house and other things cleaner recently, I find this as an area where I cannot control my tone of voice. It’s hard not to get exasperated when kiddo brings in a large bucket with the bottom coated in mud. Now as I write this I see that she is only following my example of having a little glass jar with moss growing in it to show her what an ecosystem is. It’s very similar to these jars but I reused an old spaghetti sauce jar. I realize the reason I gave up trying to have a neat house is that it causes me great aggravation to have to continually pick up things, instead I’m really trying to see the clutter as a reminder that people I love live here and I do appreciate their presence.

My Moss Jar Experiment


Poise, Paws, and Pause

June 19, 2012

Following Scattermom’s How to Laugh at Yourself series beginning, I thought I would write a post just like that. Next, I thought of the mess that was my last ‘laugh at yourself’ moment; it was also a ‘if I don’t laugh, I will cry’ moment. <punctuation is hard> Luckily, it was followed by a rather cleansing laugh at yourself moment…which was me wishing my dad Happy Birthday on Father’s Day! Oh, it was memorable. Later he called to make plans for our trip and I got to wish him Happy Birthday again! Plans, are hard to make for the technologically and memory challenged.

My laugh at myself moments are becoming overwhelmingly glaring. And, I have been skipping some meditation times. I keep telling myself it is because of the summer schedule, but I’m becoming so aware of how not here I am most of the time. And even when I am here, It is difficult to position myself in a way to respond most appropriately to a situation—–Pause.

My new series will be called Poise, Paws, and Pause. This is a title I came up with while taking my class in Principles and Practices of Mindful Leadership at The Center for Mindful Inquiry. <I think I may sign up for their new class Compassionate Action in Education.>

As a result of this class I installed a Mindfulness Bell on my Android and have it set to go off once an hour. I have noticed that a few times while I was surfing I was very annoyed and turned the bell off. <hyperfocus?!?! Oh, the ADHD paradox> Now, I’ve successfully talked myself into taking a moment to breathe no matter what I am doing.

chaotic notes

Martin Seligman on Positive Psychology


Buckets

December 1, 2011

Our family enjoyed A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids. (picture above) It was a useful reminder to the whole family that we must build each other up or “fill buckets” because that is part of the changes we’d like see in our society.  I made up a bedtime story that mentioned buckets and I explained the Occupy Movement in terms she would understand. I mentioned this to one protester and she suggested that I write it. I added it to my list.

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Daisy Deadhead suggested that I do a piece like hers on ‘the voices in my head or my spiritual side’, so I did. She called hers Deity Meeting Part 1. Here it is, entirely unedited.

Spiritual Chaos

Setting:

Main Characters:
Mary- Mother of Jesus
Gaia
Mary Magdalene (MM)
Thomas (Doubting)
Wisdom(spirit of Jesus, shethelor)
Buddah
Rose Winslow

Minor Character(s):

Grizzy The Ferret
Ripple Blanket/Rug

Buddah: Please everyone get a cushion from the corner and gather in a circle around the rug. (the crowd settles in) Let us open this meeting with ten full breaths of meditation.

Thomas: But Buddah we are missing Gaia.

Buddah: Shall we meditate until she arrives and then take our ten breaths.

Rose: That would be a good idea.

Buddah: Everyone get comfortable.

MM: Gaia is always late.

Blessed Mother: She is a busy Goddess, please have some patience.

Thomas: We could be meditating for a half hour.

Blessed Mother: Thomas, she said Grizzy had a cold so she would be running a bit behind.

Thomas: I wish she would leave those horrid creatures behind.

Buddah: Looks at Thomas gently and shushes him quietly.
Thomas reluctantly closes his eyes with a sigh.

Fifteen minutes pass and Gaia enters.

Buddah’s eyes open and he welcomes her to the meeting and invites her for one minute of meditation.

The group hears a small jingling bell.

Thomas: (Mumbling) ……you didn’t bring one of those stinky ferrets again did you?

Rose and the blessed mother shift in their seats. After a minute Buddah thanks everyone for their meditation. Gaia opens the meeting. Grizzy jumps in her lap with a jingle.

Gaia: Today we are meeting to discuss demands. It has been brought to our attention that these are not working. We must go about things in a more gentle fashion.

MM: That must be why she is reading Verbal Judo. So far the plan is working. I say we keep up the good work.

Thomas: I disagree, I think we need to take a hard line with demands and put them in writing before this meeting is over.

Grizzy The Ferret: (Runs right over to Thomas and jumps on his foot, nosing it)  Put a sock in it Thomas or I’ll bite your ankle!

Blessed Mother: Grizzy that’s not appropriate. One more outburst like that and you are banned from eating rasins for eternity.

Grizzy The Ferret whimpers and jingle noises are heard all the way to Gaia’s lap.

Rose: We are a leaderful and nonviolent movement. We have to give J time to reread and outline Verbal Judo in order for it to be more effective. Thomas, look at this as an exercise in patience.

Thomas gets up and paces the room while mumbling and making hand gestures.

Rose: Blessed Mother, will you give us an update on the controversial Holiday Plans?

Blessed Mother: So far the kiddo’s birthday was good. It was low key and she complained a little about the lack of a large crowd but a good time was had. For a bonus there was a kitty cake. And going to the cousins house for a sleepover and Thanksgiving Dinner was an appropriate addition for the birthday. Kiddo has requested a big Christmas tree.

Thomas interrupts: This is where we need to take a hard line. We should and will have a Christmas tree.

Gaia: Everyone knows how I feel about cutting down a tree and sticking it indoors to die a slow death. I’d like to see if we could get a larger live tree we could plant somewhere after the holidays.

Wisdom: It is MY supposed birthday, as well as Winter Solstice. I think I should be able to decide. This matter needs to be tabled until the next meeting. Can we agree on that much?

“Yes” is heard all around the circle.

Wisdom: Blessed Mother please continue with your update.

Blessed Mother: The loft bed may be delayed until after Christmas due to the 6 to 8 weeks of shipping time. What about the addition of the slide?

Thomas: We can’t do anything until we get the bed but the slide looks like it might be a go. There’s a definite fun factor with an indoor slide. Kiddo should be excited. She will forget about the Holiday nonsense if she gets a slide. Temperature check on the indoor slide.

All fingers in the circle are wiggling in up position.

Thomas: Great! Meeting adjourned….

Buddah: Wait a minute. Let us pause and each find something to be grateful for.

MM: Please don’t make us share it this time. Remember what happened last time?

Gaia: We can do an optional share. Except for Grizzy the Ferret. He needs to share something he is grateful for.

Grizzy The Ferret: I’m thankful that for all eternity I have the freedom to talk and go wherever I wish. I don’t need no stinking cage!

Gaia: Wonderful Grizzy! I’m thankful that J got so excited about Toilet Paper being 40% post consumer recyclable paper! And for the years J did not cut a tree down for the holidays.

Buddah: Anyone else? Rose?

Rose: I’m thankful that J is studying to go back to school and/ or work.

Buddah: May we all discover and appreciate the opportunities we have!


Comic Book Geekery

August 23, 2011

The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can touch the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginning-less time, darkness thrives in the void, but always leads to purifying light.

 

There have been vacations and alone time and earth shaking changes but I seemed to be weathering the storms just fine.

 

Kiddo and I have fiercely latched on to Avatar: The Last Airbender originally on Nick. We are now watching it obsessively when we get a chance. I am totally crashing a friends tv/ house so I can watch the new series starting this fall. See video below.

A Heroine!!! Yay!

Karate class has been better for me than I ever could have imagined!

 


FTY: Quantum Activist

April 8, 2011

I wish Netflix had the option of closed captions. Listening through an accent can be difficult for me. I will have to watch this movie again.

Film Synopsis

Be prepared to take a discontinuous leap.There is a revolution going on in science. A genuine paradigm shift. While mainstream science remains materialist, a substantial number of scientists are supporting and developing a paradigm based on the primacy of consciousness.

Dr. Amit Goswami, Ph.D, a pioneer of this revolutionary new perspective within science shares with us his vision of the unlimited potential of consciousness as the ground of all being, and how this revelation can actually help us to live better.

The Quantum Activist tells the story of a man who challenges us to rethink our very notions of existence and reality, with a force and scope not felt since Einstein.

 


Undefined

March 22, 2011

I had to give up my women and the civil rights movement book back to the library 😦 And same as Daisy I don’t know what to write about either. Or I mean I can’t choose just one thing to really give some substance to. So I won’t right now.

Continually, I surprise myself in how much I really like math. Even algebra. I like pencil and paper math, writing the terms out, seeing the sweat pour off of my hand since the weather has warmed. Even the scent of the pencil wood and hearing it scrape across paper is neat.

Well, ya know, I don’t have cable because I am a feminazi socialist-communist sympathizer.

And that would also explain my other hobbies, such as reading articles and listening to old audio programs with historians as major guests…

Women and Work

Choice or Struggle? Overcoming the Cult of Motherhood and the Cult of the Successful Worker by Sara Curran (curran@princeton.edu)

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June 8, 2000: Segment 1: Dialogue

Working Class Feminisim: The Other Women’s Movement

The years between suffrage an the 1970s were not blank pages in the history of feminism. Women in the labor movement advanced the cause of women’s rights on the shop floor and in the union hall—increasing their achievements after World War II. Dorothy Sue Cobble, Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, discusses the origins and success of working-class feminism with Dialogue’s George Liston Seay. (The links that follow are to the same audio) [27minutes long]

My Notes from the audio program are as follows:

Feminisim defined too narrowly according to white-middle class women’s needs

rewriting feminisims definition- recognition of women as a set suffer inequities and a commitment to end those inequities regardless of the strategy pursued.

1960’s feminists constricts definition of feminisim- gender neutrality, equality and sameness, value wage work over house work. Disregards working class women derived power status and pleasure as mothers/ home making.

completing the picture of history to gain “rescuing voices from condescention of posterity” ignored and unfairly maligned because they did not agree with activists in 60’s and 70’s. Allow more women to identify with feminisim.

impression there is a class schisim within womens movement, they are not speaking for/ to me (working class women). cant fully recongize self within the family. lives and values worth less than middle class women. middle class womens liberation achieved on backs of their maids. rate for the job middle class women paid for job performance. fought for upping the minimum wage, household employees werent included in minimum wage until 1972. Revalue and upgrade womens work, see aspects of womens work as skilled.

33% of workers in 1950’s were organized. aflcio has working womens department. class issues are womens issues. labor issues are womens issues.

promise of a broader definition of womens movement for globalization. economic inequality will have to be at women’s movements core. Use economic power for social reform.

Link 1 audio only

Link 2 audio only

chaotic note

If I could turn my monkey mind into an ally….oh the possibilities!! Off to meditate 🙂

If you can serve, than you can poison.

I also wonder about the converse. Perhaps if we can poison, then we can also serve.

I mean this more in terms of the ways that I might poison my own life. The ways that I might relate to, and feed, my own internal sufferings. Day to day, in subtle ways. Clinging to high expectations. Beating myself up over mistakes. Fearing and worrying about the future. Indulging in fantasies and daydreams, even when they make me feel kind of sticky and queasy afterward. In general, surrendering my happiness to the mercy of my own thoughts.

Goenkaji says: there is nothing more harmful than our own untamed mind. And there is nothing more helpful, more beneficial, than our own trained mind, tamed mind. This observation comes up again and again in dhamma teachings — the idea of “turning the (monkey-) mind into an ally.”


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