His first day!!

4 Weeks In: The Public School Update

When I was pregnant with Zeb I had several Wise Women approach me…you know the kind that just seem to have a spark of knowing something? Women from my mom’s church, my mom’s best friend on her death bed, strangers in the grocery store…they would tell me I was having a boy, they would say there was something this child was in this world to do, they would tell me that he was here to make a difference. And each time they would talk I’d have this image of a man, a leader, but without details of what that would mean or what he might be doing. Earlier this year Zeb excitedly came to me with, “Mom, I finally know what I want to do when I grow up.” Because you know, this was something that had been weighing heavily on him. When I asked what that is, he replied:…

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I Carry Her Heart With Me

Ten months ago I made a mad rush north to Nashville to visit my great-grandmother, after receiving the news that she may only have days or hours left. She was turning 99, and I was honored and heartbroken to hold her hand and tell her I love her. I was also overwhelmed and joyful that she didn’t pass away. In fact, she seemed to have the life breathed into her with all of her family surrounding her. Two weeks ago I went north to Nashville to teach oil classes and sneak in some time with my aunt and my Granny again. I walked into her room, tried my best to wake her, and finally admitted that after nearly 100 years of living, she’s allowed to sleep through visitors. So, I anointed her hands with rose oil, curled up next to her, and I whispered that I loved her. She raised…

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8 years unschooled, first day of high school

8 Years Unschooling to the First Day of Public High School

This is a really overdue blog post. The whole transition of unschooler-to-public-schooler actually started almost 2 years ago. So excuse me while I quite possibly make this the longest blog post I’ve ever written (or in case it takes you two years to read it). Because I’m sure many of you can understand, there’s a lot that goes into a story like this. Let me start by saying that although the principles and philosophies of unschooling are very much at the heart of our entire lifestyle, we dropped the unschooling label a long time ago. And for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I really started to disconnect with parts of the unschooling community and the lack of respect it ironically showed. It just stopped resonating as a term we needed to use, and even more so as a community we felt we belonged to. I think this is…

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Justin and Kim

Life is a Really Strange Beast. Death is Even Stranger.

My sweet man lost his mother last week, and in the worst way possible. 2000 miles away, he had to make the call to take her off life support. Because death doesn’t just slap you; when it gets the chance, it goes for the sucker punch. It’s strange to watch someone go through something you’ve gone through. I keep remembering the Grief Bubble I walked in after my dad passed, as if I was insulated from reality. The world was there and I could hear it, but as if through glass or water. I remember how odd it was that life kept going when I was certain part of the universe had just disappeared. I remember how unfathomable it was to my mind that he could suddenly not be “here”, as if space itself could just disappear. That’s what it’s like to lose someone who brought you into existence. Unfathomable….

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The Story of My Dream Car Almost Crushing My Dreams

I bought my dream car last week. The kind of car you give yourself permission to buy when you no longer tell yourself you have to be practical or realistic or whatever other stories I used to tell myself. I never counted on it being such a huge lesson in patience, determination, forgiveness, and self-love. That’s because I never counted on buying a manual. But as it turns out metallic blue, convertible Mini Coopers with my exact specifications AND with an automatic transmission are pretty rare. I know. I searched nationwide for what I wanted. We almost hopped planes to AZ, NJ, and southern FL to bring one home. But again and again the deets kept coming up bad – bad dealerships, bad CarFaxes, bad vibes man. So when one popped up in our neighborhood that was a manual, I figured we could at least go look at it and…

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The More I Know Myself, The Less I Care

The more I know myself, really and deeply know my Self, the less I’m finding I care… I don’t care what I look like. I don’t care that I make mistakes. I don’t care that my thoughts go off on wild, unhelpful tangents. I don’t care that I get afraid or triggered. I don’t care to spend so much time Digging Deep. (Gasp! I know!) The more I know myself, the less I find I care about others too… I don’t care what others think of me. I don’t care if they agree or disagree with me. I don’t have endless opinions or fears on the choices they make either. And I don’t care if I’m accepted or rejected. (Yes, despite my equally strong drive to not blindly follow the norm, this was very much a big thing for me.) I just don’t have the energy anymore, let alone the…

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The Fear of Public Speaking and What It Really Boiled Down To

I realized recently that I don’t get scared speaking anymore. Not when I’m interviewing someone big or important, nor when I’m teaching my essential oil workshops. I used to get out of my mind scared: butterflies, tightness, heart racing, the constant urge to pee my pants (no joke), and crazy thoughts of all kind of madness that could ensue, which usually involved images of people with pitchforks. But without all those emotions and thoughts getting in the way I’ve found I actually have a strength and passion for teaching, presenting, and speaking. (If you had asked me that five years ago I would swallowed my tongue just thinking about it.) I’ve spoken to some pretty amazing people in my life, people I admire or had a mild crush on – Steven Tyler (!!), Ricki Lake, Dr. Peter Gray – all with various amounts of nerves and confidence leading up to…

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When Your Good Life Makes Others Feel Guilty

I’ve been seeing a lot of those posts on Facebook, where a person apologizes for loving their life too loudly, and reassures everyone that it’s not actually perfect. They explain that they tend to focus on the good for their own benefit, but then they might rattle off all the things that suck to assure others that they are not trying to make anyone feel guilty. I’m torn on this. I understand the intention. I know none of us wants to portray something that isn’t realistic. And I know we want to be mindful of how our actions affect another human being. But is bringing our mindfulness practice, our personal growth, our spiritual awareness, or joy, or our embodiment of love down a level really helping anyone (ourselves included)? You all know I share the depths of my soul, my emotional tornados, and my process through it all quite freely….

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Miracles Happen When I Get Out of the Way

That’s been my reminder these past few weeks. (Getting out of the way.) I have a tendency when funk hits the fan to get in there. To stress. To get upset, in the very charming woe-is-me-Life-is-out-to-get-me kind of way. (Really, you should see me some time. You’d probably have a lot more compassion for your own bad days. I know, you’re all surprised. I may have some wisdom and mindfulness, but I also still have an ego to work with and she’s a tough nut to crack.) But the past few weeks have been totally breathtaking in those subtle ways we don’t usually realize even when we are paying attention. Let me start from the beginning…. First, Justin was in a car accident. Someone ran a red light and he plowed the poor guy over. Because I had been doing my own practice of mindfulness, meditation, and breathing, this totally…

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6 Months In and It’s Kinda Sorta Maybe Starting to Feel Like Home, I Think

Six months has flown by. Our lease is already half up. We barely feel moved in. We flew home to Las Vegas last month to visit family and hold some essential oils events. While we were there we rummaged through my mama’s attic, condensing the remaining artifacts of our previous life, trying to cut ties to what we no longer want to carry around with us but can’t stand to throw away. I found my Pinterest-before-Pinterest-existed files, Zeb’s baby clothes, love letters from middle school, books upon books, 47 photo albums from back in the day when we used to actually develop our photos, memorabilia that never found its own scrapbook, and random piles of utter shit that came with no explanation as to why we stored it in the first place. All in all we were able to pare it down to under a dozen boxes, shrink-wrap it to…

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