The New Professionalism: Unapologetically Imperfect

My most ergonomic desk eva. #myofficetoday

Today is my day to breathe. Take space. Drop my shoulders.

The Organic Parenting e-course is complete, sent out, and officially off my To Do list. It was such a huge project, with so many components and dozens of contributors, making it my biggest project to date.

Over a year in the making. The last three months of which were flipping crazy.

I’ll admit. I have a bit of a perfectionist streak. Especially when it comes to the work I love to do, sharing my heart and soul. And the parenting topic is such a big, tender one that I spent a lot of time stressing about how it was coming together, how the audios turned out, the right formatting, the right voice, if it all made sense, and so on and so on.

This project alone was a full time job.

That’s without seeing clients, facilitating the Organic Tribe, holding events, and still exploring the country with my family.

As I inched closer to today’s date, I began to inch closer to my perfectionist saying all sorts of things:

“You must have all the audios completed before you go to Wide Sky Days.”
“You’ve got to send out at least 4 emails next week.”
“You need more blog posts! What happened to the 5 other posts you had planned?!”

According to my project and marketing plan, I was far from perfect.

And this would have really stressed me out in the past. I would’ve been a big old ball of nerves trying to do it all, be it all, have it all together.

But this time I adopted a very fitting motto as I worked…

“Unapologetically imperfect.”

“I’m going to unapologetically create a course I believe in, without fear that it must meet every last person’s needs…”

“I’m going to unapologetically say what’s on my heart without fear that I’ll sound crazy to people who don’t get it…”

“I’m going to unapologetically take breaks, or complete postpone pieces of the project that aren’t inspiring me in order to play with my friends and family or read or work on the part of the project that is calling my name…”

“I’m going to unapologetically get the last audios created and uploaded in their own timing…”

“I’m going to unapologetically screw up my marketing plan this time around…”

“I’m going to unapologetically be happy about it all too…”

No amount of stress can make time slow down so we can get more done and still have time to play. No amount of trying can make every last person happy, can make this everything to everyone, can possibly simplify such a big topic, or can get those last audios uploaded by my chosen deadline. No amount of stress is worth missing out on our family throughout any project either – something I did too much of at the start.

So I let it all go. And embraced something different.

Imperfect entrepreneurship. Without apology.

Of course, there’s a balance there…leaving people hanging isn’t cool. Creating less than your best isn’t cool. Not taking into account the needs of others while you meet your own needs doesn’t actually meet anyone’s needs at all.

But there is a difference between professional and perfectionism.

You can be the first without trying to be the second.

I let go of the idea that I’d have all the audios from all six modules edited and uploaded by the time the first module started. I let go of the idea that the contributors goodies would be organized and formatted before the third module.

I just let go and leaned into joy and trust.

If this “trust” thing is good enough for parenting, you’d better believe it’s damn good enough for our passions as entrepreneurs. 😉

Of course, letting go changes everything.

I did, in fact, have all the modules completed before Module One began today. And I got the Village Wisdom contributors PDF formatted and uploaded this afternoon.

I could’ve stressed over doing these things, and likely not done them.

Instead I just adopted the same philosophy I have toward life itself: Joy and Trust. And it all fell together without the stress, because I just let go and leaned into joy and trust.

What Have I (Re)Learned?

The same lesson life is teaching me again and again…

I don’t care if you’re talking about parenting, or your partners, or your work…you’ll never regret the sense of ease, wonder, and perfection that comes when you stop trying to be perfect, stop forcing it to happen or controlling how it does, and let the current carry you where it will.

Make and follow a plan. Just don’t marry the damn thing.

And stop apologizing – to yourself or anyone else – when you follow where your heart pulls you.

Ask yourself: Where do I need to let go and allow?

 

Anxiety, Overwhelm, Sorrow :: And All I Heard Was Love

It’s Sunday evening and my spirit feels spent but at peace.

It started Thursday, as we were driving the 5th wheel through the hills of Tennessee, reaching Knoxville during rush hour traffic, when the engine began to struggle for the power to pull 16,000 lbs up the steep incline.

We were on our way to surprise our family, who was gathering in Nashville to celebrate six generations, and my heart wanted to be there, not broke down in the parking lot of a Toys R Us.

It started there, but it didn’t stop there. Our weekend looked a little like this:

  • Stress: The feeling when you send the truck up the hill on not much more than prayers.
  • Anxiety: What creeps in when you almost don’t make.
  • Frustration: When it’s 6:20 but everything closes at 6pm and you realize you’ll be sleeping in the parking lot right in front of the No Overnight Parking sign.
  • Overwhelm: When the part you need is 24 hours away and you’re not certain it’s the right one anyway.
  • Disappointment: When you have to cancel clients and the Organic Tribe.

And then it shifted into something like this:

  • Sadness: When you see the stress on the face of your niece who is a new, young mama.
  • Heartbreak: When she cries in your arms from exhaustion and the loneliness that can come after having a little one.
  • Helplessness: When you see the unhappiness written on your brother’s face and peppered through his words from overwork and under-joy.
  • Hurt: When you recognize that the only way the people you love know how to connect is through sarcasm and criticism
  • Worry: When you see the lack of light in their eyes and the resistance to fun in their lives
  • Concern: When the people you love are struggling to love themselves or their lives
  • Powerless: It’s difficult to know the joy and love that are a part of your life are hardly a possiblity in the hearts of those you love.
And then the weekend hit me with this:
  • Sorrow: When I discovered that my paternal grandfather has passed away weeks before.
  • Frustration: That I heard it through the grapevine, instead of through my paternal family.

It sounds like a difficult, unhappy weekend.

Six months ago it might have been. 2 years ago it certainly would’ve knocked us off course. It wouldn’t flipped our switches to anxiety, fear, and frustration, leaving us feeling sabotaged and unhappy and reeling for days.

But it wasn’t any of that.

It was beautiful. It was full of joy and connection and wonder.

Because we had love.

Love we received when I sent out a text to friends and family and received support in the form of prayers, Reiki, and kindness.

Love we found ourselves surrounded by on the side of the highway, with family and offers of help just 2 hours in one direction and three in the other.

Love I gave myself when I was about to snap in frustration.

Love I found within myself to give to my husband as he struggled with overwhelm and frustration.

Love that became awe and appreciation when he turned misfortune into miracles and rebuilt the part we couldn’t order to get us into town.

Love and gratitude we gave each other in a dozen moments, in the parking lot, at dinner out, before we got back on the road.

Love we found in the form of peace as we reminded ourselves that we are safe, that we all is well, that we are exactly where we’re meant to be, even if we can’t see why.

Love that gave us the ability to access peace, lean into Trust, practice mindfulness and patience and radical acceptance.

Love that reminded us to choose fun, gratitude, and beauty at every opportunity.

It seems only right to hang our blessings up after being showered with travel blessings <3

Love that I called on and found within myself to shine light and joy into the hearts of my family.

Love that I found in holding my great-niece, dance her to sleep and watch her eyes as they tried to tell me the secret of the Universe.

She is an incredible woman this little one

Love that I saw all over my brother’s face as he held and kissed and lit up around his beautiful granddaughter.

My brother's a grandpa!

Love I felt between our hearts as I hugged longer and listened deeper and offered hope and support where I could.

Love that I continued to receive from my circles of friends in the form of texts and messages and emails and energy and prayers that I felt all weekend long.

Love that I dwelled in at the celebration of six living generations and the wonder and growth that this new little girl is bringing into our lives.

Six generations

Kisses

Nieces are just incredible

Granny's Fingers

Love at the sound of laughter from my nieces as we hula hooped, visited the zoo or went horseback riding.

Love I felt with the dozens of small heart connections Justin and I would continue to make with a touch, a hug, a look, a reminder of one another and our support for each other.

Love for my husband as I saw him inspiring fun and laughter, silliness and playfulness for his nieces and the whole family in the ways that only a juggling, kilt-wearing, bike-riding-inside-Target uncle can.

Love for my son as he held my hand as I cried for my grandfather, or told us how luck he was to have parents like us, or made the whole family laugh.

And love for myself. As I acknowledged my own growth. My own strength. My own ability to remove the barriers to love I’ve held within myself and the beauty and joy accessed when I do.

My ability to continue to shine my own real self, not the person my family has known me to be in the past. My ability to continue to make my own joyful noise to fill the quiet spaces. To inspire fun and connection. To reach out. Love deeper. But not deplete myself.

I can’t tell you exactly why Life is so tough at times.

I can’t explain why we were meant to break down, why my niece gets to struggle as a single mama, why my brother has gotten to experience so much hurt in his life, why any of us have.

Except maybe that it’s so we can discover that love can still be found in those moments.

That joy can still be accessed when stress is threatening.

That beauty and wonder are always present, not despite the heartache, but sometimes because of it.

That the Truth of what is can overcome the fear of what might be.

To discover that fear needn’t be “pushed through” but simply loved on.

That peace and Trust come from within, not from the circumstances in our life.

I can’t exactly show you how all the dots of my weekend are being connected in my spirit, how the contrasting emotions played themselves out moment by moment; I can’t tell you exactly what it all means and why.

I’ve barely had time to process it myself…except to say that when I close my eyes in stillness all I hear echoing is the power of love.

And that sounds about right, the purpose of all of these messy bits of our lives – to understand what is and what isn’t love, and how and where one can and can’t access it, and how this incredible force of Nature is like the air, waiting to be breathed in or carried away on.

Nerves, Lyrics and Powerful Wahoos

So, Thursday night was the first Tribe call. 🙂

It’s taken me this long to really wrap my head around it and put it into words.

And apparently, I’m still not there because all I can say was it was Uh!Maze!Ing!

Oh, I was nervous. Speaking to a group (even as lovely a group as you all are) had me quite literally vibrating.

So I did my thing…some EFT to get me centered, some love from my coach and peeps, and imagined myself AFTER the call, with the feeling of connection I always feel when I do my thing, the elation I knew I’d feel, the laughter and wahoos I knew I’d make…

And with that…well, then I just had to dance.

15 minutes before the call I cranked up some Peas and let my inner hip-hop out to play. Because really…what burns off the adrenaline, gets you laughing and into that feeling of love, and reminds you of how much fun LIFE is like hearing the lyrics “follow your intuition” and “don’t worry ’bout it; people will walk you through it” while you bounce around your RV?

Perfect, I tell ya.

And then I got on the phone, lost my breath a few times (I talk fast when I’m passionate and I *had* just finished dancing, if you remember?) , totally messed up the technical stuff and still, I shared from the depths of my soul.

And it was Uh!Maze!Ing!

I just can’t begin to describe the feeling of connection I experienced with all the women who shared, and even those who just listened.

So, I thought I’d let them do it for me…

Thank you so much for last night! I don’t know what I was expecting but it was so much more! I have pages of doodles and arrows and notes and my own thoughts scribbled beside. its so amazing to have other people who are experiencing what i am, to share, to hear other opinions. It was so much fun. my mind has been swirling with so many thoughts. Making time to “dig deep” this weekend! – Samantha

My mind is swirling too! It was absolutely awesome. – Susan

I’ve got tears on this call already. I’m only 20 minutes in! – Jennie (listening to the recording)

Wow! It was so jam packed full of goodness! I really need this in my life. I think we all do, because we can be so hard on ourselves. The nurturing factor was extremely good. That is a vibe you can’t mute!….The call was marvelous. I was aware of such a sense of love & affirmation w/everyone, as I’m sure you were. Love safe places! – Rachel

Thank u Tara! U r an amazing inspiration! – Tracy

Tara you are amazing for doing this! I got off call and took a nice long shower and thought about everything I heard. I can’t wait for the forum! – Rebecca

Great call tonight lady! I had A LOT more to say but didn’t want to bulldoze people who hadn’t talked yet so I can’t wait for the forum. Glad I listened to my intuition and jumped on the call. – Brianna

And here’s one mama’s powerful revelation after we connected and worked through some things together in the Tribe: Embracing the Disgusting

 

And then I did what I imagined myself doing…

After the call, I let loose my whoops and wahoos, I had my running jump into my husband’s arms, I gave my kiddo a giant hug and of course, I called my mama and my sister to share my elation.

Cuz I did it! What I wanted to do!

I took my message out of it’s box, danced off those silly fears and boundaries and leaned into what I know I’m here to do…my part of inspiring the world.

And it feels Uh!Maze!Ing! :D

And then!

We celebrated with family rocking it on Sleeping Bear Dunes, feeling pretty “wahoo” about making it to the top of that bad boy and just being silly together.

Because life – and rocking it – is good like that.

hiking down sleeping bear dunes

we make our own fun

Next amazing thing to put into the world: the Sisterhood forums and the next Tribe call!

Wahoooooo!

Have you pushed through any inner boundaries lately?

My Happy Place

My Happy Place

In Vegas my happy spot was a lawn chair in my yard. Our garden made it considerably cooler and I loved being around even that smallish patch of green. I loved to sit and envision what we planned to make of it. I saw a deeply mulched oasis of perennials and annuals to feed us and the beloved little birds that had found their way to our burgeoning space.

That feels so long ago, hardly even recognizable as my life.

I must admit I never feel so at peace as I do sitting in the passenger seat, my love beside me and my baby chillaxin in the back. Just sitting, reflecting, opening to new horizons. This is my happy place.

That was my Facebook status awhile ago. And the words don’t do justice to the love dripping off me at the time as I contrasted my former happy place to my current one.

There is one big difference in these two happy places: the first was full of daydreams and wishes, a quiet kind of vision of “what could be” masking a deeper feeling of dissatisfaction and off-ness.

But this current happy place of mine is full of Right Now, of gratitude over the blessings I already have. It’s not a hope of what could be but a feeling of real Joy over what already is.

I’m not silly enough to think that our current lifestyle will be available to us forever. But I’m soaking up what I can. And I pray – with all my soul – that this Joy will accompany us along whatever road we drive.

Where is your happy place?

Current Location: Southern Utah heading toward Zion National Park with the Parent family.

Overachievers, Vilifying Interests and Owning It

Running For His Badge

Zeb took a serious interest in the Jr Ranger Program offered through our National Parks while we were in Indiana. Our first park and his first badge has come from Lincoln National Park in Southern Indiana. According to his age, he was required to finish five pages of the program and a list of tasks that included hikes, visiting the living memorials of Lincoln’s Boy Hood Memorial and watching a short film.

We were excited to see him so eagerly embrace and accomplish something that not long ago would have caused him to panic, bringing up negative memories of school papers and the pressure to perform. He was gung-ho passionate and an unstoppable answer-figuring machine.

That’s likely why I was taken aback when the ranger called him an “overachiever” because of his finishing more pages than necessary for his age group.

The term “overachiever” has such a negative connotation to it. Despite knowing it was only a playful conversation on the ranger’s part and in no means meant offensively, it set my thoughts swirling anyway. Because let’s face it, overachiever is not much of a compliment. And here was my son, excitedly devouring something of interest to him and being labeled for it.

The True Definition of an Overachiever

According to Dictionary.com, the definition of “overachiever” is a simple one: to perform better than expected.

At first glance it doesn’t seem negative (I won’t even broach my feelings on the word “perform”). But its implications and the manner in which is it generally used certainly does:

  • First, the definition itself implies someone didn’t really expect much from you. This likely means they don’t see you possessing any number of positive qualities: intelligence, motivation, or persistence to see something through, to name a few. This is sometimes a general statement (i.e. many adults don’t really expect much of teens) or it could be related to subject matter (perhaps the material seemed above your capability level). Either way it doesn’t say much for you, if you are the person in question.
  • It can imply the subject matter may not have been interesting in the first place. We simply don’t expect much from a person who is doing something we ourselves think is boring or pointless. And when they do, we’re not going to believe it had to do with passion; we’re going to blame it on pretention. Which leads me to my next point….
  • It smacks of a personal attack. Let’s get real: When the term “overachiever” is used, it’s commonly a way to call a person a brownnoser, a kiss-up, a teacher’s pet or say they are a pretentious show-off or a know-it-all. We tend to put these types of people in the same category as tattle-tales, whiners or liars. Why? Because a passionate pursuit of anything feels really alarming, even threatening, especially when we lack our own passionate pursuit. Which is why….
  • It’s too easily used to vilify a person or their passions. Every person I’ve heard called an overachiever was simply a truly interested person. They loved the information they were acquiring and they ate up anything they could find on the matter. They went above and beyond what they were required to do because unlike others, they actually loved what they were doing. This is why overachievers are seen as threatening. Passion sets a pretty high bar and for someone uninterested, who the hell wants to rise to a challenge they dislike? Who wants to do more of something that bores them, or that they downright hate? And who wants to be reminded of the fact they are doing it in the first place?

Badge and Cert

Vilifying Interests

We, as a culture, tend to vilify interests. We tell bookworms to get their nose out of a book and jocks to pick one up. We tell nerds to get off the computer and dinosaurs to get with the times.

We label energetic kids as ADD but don’t allow them to focus on the video game that is holding their attention. We call interested kids overachievers then get upset when they aren’t achieving the goals we set for them.

We pull them away from their games, their friends, their activities, and their interests because we feel they’ve had enough, done too much or need to do something else.

We don’t allow them to specialize; we only allow for superficial dabbling. Not too much of anything, just a little bit of everything. A sampling, a smattering, but let’s not get greedy over any one thing.

The honest truth: We don’t like passion. It scares us. Plain and simple.

Passion is a threat to our carefully contrived societies that rely on the mindless droning on of things we loathe. We insist on insisting that life is meant to be hard. That we were meant to work, not play; dread, not enjoy.

And as adults we keep ourselves stuck there, feeling guilty when we have wild, hilarious fun doing what we love.

It’s a Suffer vs Laughter mentality and it’s a lie.

We know a passionate person will continue to seek passion. But we’ve been told passion leads to self-absorption, laziness, pride, selfishness, and that doing what you love means neglecting all else. And things like that lead to murder, rape, theft…a complete breakdown of our social fabric.

Do you get it? We’re told to disregard our passions, even dislike life, for the betterment of society.

We’re told to be miserable so that we can all be happy.

But passions don’t break us down; they fill us up. They fill us with joy and when our hearts are full our cup overflows with generosity.

We simply cannot give what we do not have. Without a true passion of our own, we can’t support the passion (or heartache) of others. We can’t give freely of ourselves when we have nothing worth giving. We can’t convince the depressed there is reason to live without first seeing it ourselves.

Without a fulfilling passion, we can’t create a social fabric free from the fear of torn edges. Without the passionate pursuit of life, we simply can’t justify its purpose.

First Jr Ranger Badge

Owning the Overachiever

Oh, yes I’ve been called an overachiever. I’ve even owned a little shirt with a gold star on the front that proudly proclaimed Overachiever across my chest. And I couldn’t be more pleased that my son is seen as an overachiever as well.

Why am I so happy over what I clearly just spelled out as being not only defined as but implying a negative?

Because I propose a radical new approach to the term overachiever.

I propose we own it. Take it back. Redefine it.

Overachiever: A person who loves something more than you do.

You can’t get much more simple than that. But it also can’t be more exact. There will always be someone who loves something more than we do. And in no way, shape or form does that mean we should vilify them or their passion.

  • Zeb overachieves on Jr. Ranger programs, Age of Mythology and fart noises made with his knee. He loves it more than some kids do.
  • I overachieve at photography, making people cry happy tears and drawing analogies between crazy experiences. I love it more than some of you do.
  • Justin overachieves at motorcycles, making things with his hands and rolling his boxers up into a thong. He loves it more than most of us do.

The world is made up of a diverse and vastly unique spectrum of people. We’re not meant to all be the same and there is room enough for us all to be different.

It’s time to embrace our pretentious, self-absorbed passions for overachieving in our own area of expertise. It’s time to one-up each other in our radical displays of showing-off.

And when we’re filled up, lit up, seeping with passion and aching from laughter, we’ll have no choice but to pour that overachieving love back into the world.

So tell me, are you an overachiever? And at what do you overachieve?

Vegged Out With The Janssens

Vegged Out

Friday was a grand, grand day. That’s because it marked the 11th hour completion of Benny’s straight veggie oil conversion! Our greened-out RV now runs on waste vegetable oil, available for free from neighborhood restaurants and we couldn’t be more ecstatic. 😀

Justin has been working with Matt Janssen on the conversion, learning tons and having a blast. It took much longer than any of us anticipated but it was well worth the wait. Not only should we be able to acquire the grease for free, but it feels good burning something that could otherwise go to waste, as well as something that creates less carbon than regular diesel. (I’ll save the knitty-gritty details of the conversion for Justin to blog as soon as he’s caught up on sleep and decompressed from the craziness a bit.)

It’s amazing how Joy can pour out of you – after hearing the news that the RV was running, and as I’m driving down the freeway with a giant grin on my face, I realized what this conversion symbolized for me.

Freedom! NOW it feels real!

And as soon as I realized This Is It I found myself with tears streaming down my face as I laughed and laughed and laughed. This is what Joy feels like; this is Freedom at it’s best! Who knew it would smell like Kung Pow Chicken?! 😀

Rockin Janssens

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with Sara and Matt and their girls throughout the month. They joined us for our unschooling park days, brought us dinner while we packed and even stayed around for our farewell party today. Sara even video toured the RV! Matt and Justin and Sara and I are so much alike in so many ways; it made for some amazing connections that we can only hope to develop more in the future. We had a blast and can’t wait to see them again on the road (if everything works according to plan, Sara and I may be planning something very cool, very soon).

There’s some other really, super cool news to go along with all this grease, but I’ll have to save that for Justin to share as well. 😉

Poem: To Be

Twirling in the kitchen

to love the mess
and kiss the rock that tripped me
and bless the burnt edges
of the toast for their discomfort

to smile
at the laughter
at the sun
at the wind that blows away
my patience

to be open
to opposition
contrast
differences
and allow it
to open my mind
and think and wonder
ponder, confuse, debate
and then accept it as it is

to breath
deeply
often
to look beneath
to love the layers
and what they hide

to dance
to spin and sway and float
and then be still
and listen
hear
understand
or not
and be okay with it

to create
with color or word or light
with pen or paper
or heart

to sing
and hum
and hear the music
in the trees
and the birds
and the traffic
and the tears

to play
like a child
like an adult
in my heart
my home
and the world around me

to let go
of anger
expectations
assumptions or impatience

to grow
in the soil or the sand
like the bloom
open
simple
wild and trailing

to give and love
and accept both in return
to pray with my lips
or my heart
my steps
or my lungs
every moment, my offering
every breath, my soul

to be sweet
like sticky honey
dripping from my pores

to offer
what others need
to be what wraps around them
the warmth that embraces
listens
silent
loving
to be the smile
that whispers comfort
that hears the truth
and sits in awe

© Tara Wagner 2009

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My Thoughts on Life at the Current Moment

Lately, I’ve been feeling…gosh, can I say “different” enough? Can I really rehash and do justice to the epiphanies that have enlightened our world this past year? I guess I feel the need to rehash for no other reason than to come to terms with it, understand or accept it and allow it to sink in and fully infiltrate not just my thoughts but also my actions, all by means of diction. (I like that word: diction.)

I guess what is really rocking my face off right now is the fact that I can no longer view the world in the same context; I can no longer meld with most of the world who still use such a context. I think not too long ago that realization would have left me frightened or feeling alone. In essence, I feel like – with exception to those other “enlightened” individuals – I’ve alienated myself to a certain extent. But the kicker is, it doesn’t bother me like it would have at another time in my life.

However, it hasn’t left me emotionless either. Although none translate into regret, I’m actually swimming in many different feelings right now. Sadness and a bit of pity for those who still live inside the box of societal expectations; cynicism for the possibility of reform.

Okay, a lot of cynicism lately. I blame that on the politics. Sorry.

I’m avoiding the urge to wrap myself in a bubble of camaraderie. I don’t want to find Truth and then hide it under the bed, only to be brought out when it feels “safe”. And I don’t want to hide under the bed with it.

I feel like I’ve walked down an unschooling path expecting to find “unschooling” and instead found this whole new world…universe!…full of diversity, color, vibrancy, ideas that inspire or challenge me. And now I’m tempted just to burn the map that would lead me back and stay put on this little piece of turf. I’ve been given this gift, this perspective on life that makes all else pale in comparison. But isn’t it true that the best gift is the one given? I almost feel as if it’s my responsibility, my honor, to pass on what I’ve found. And that’s hard to do while encased in a bubble.

Another “different” feeling I’ve been having lately has stemmed from some old ghosts resurfacing. These are my ghosts, things I’ve pushed away unwilling to confront them and too obstinate to admit I’m only doing more harm.

Alright! I’ll stop speaking in riddles and come clean. I haven’t spoken to my mother-in-law in nearly 5 years. I actually have two mothers-in-law but it’s my husbands biological mother that I’ve held this grudge for. Well, grudge isn’t the right word. I actually let go of the anger and pain years ago. But I chose to leave it at that under the guise of not inviting negativity back into my life.

But G-d’s been showing me that’s not real forgiveness.

That’s what unschooling has done for me. It’s made me accept the true nature of G-d into my life. No more anger, revenge, grudge, doubt or control – things that are not G-d; at least not the G-d I serve. Only acceptance and love. I feel like my old actions were even driving a wedge between my finding that spiritual peace again – like I couldn’t align myself with Love until now. (Well, that’s my goal. I’m still working towards it.) And despite all the things around me that I see need my work, G-d plopped this one right down in front of me.

My first accomplishment with this hefty task was the easy acceptance of it. Normally when I feel that nudge toward something I’m not ready for (or think I’m not ready for), I complain, whine, argue and pout before finally acquiescing. But I had been feeling this coming and I was able to just say “okay, it’s time”. I reminded Justin of her birthday next week and offered to have her over for dinner to celebrate. She’s never seen our home and what better way to truly open my heart than to open my home. (Yeah, he just kinda looked at me, astonished, wondering what had come over me before wholeheartedly agreeing. He hasn’t called her yet though – does he think I was victim to a temporary lapse in sanity and is waiting to make sure I’m not going to recant?)

So, there it is. I’m coming out from under the bed, brushing off the dust bunnies (cuz I don’t clean that often) and taking what I’ve learned out into my life with an attempt to apply it to the other areas of my existence. I’m unschooling/deschooling my life, my marriage, my familial relationships. I’m resisting the urge to surround myself only with concurring forces.

I guess you could say I’m testing my new wings. This is just another step in the journey. I knew unschooling Z would change my life but I never imagined it would so completely change my heart.

What a year!

Feeling a bit relaxed today, I found myself clicking through through my some of my old poems and stumbled across this one written last New Year’s. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy. 2007 has certainly unfolded itself in ways unimaginable but joyfully spectacular.
The last couple of months have been an odd blur. Not the usual face-paced movement of the sun that we all complain about as New Years rolls around. This feels different. Unexplainable. But then again I feel different. I am different. I’m no longer the overly-structured clean freak I once was. I have hobbies and aspirations that don’t hold a promise of making money. My house is even slightly unorganized (I think I just heard my mom gasp). I don’t care about arriving early for the event or making first impressions. And I find it fantastic that my child doesn’t follow orders!

Oh reading all that – especially the last one – just made me laugh. That’s another change. I laugh more. I also watch TV and spend less time in front of my computer (did you know I use to spend no less than 12 hours a day on the computer?!). And I have a new haircut that makes me look more like I feel – my client put it best when she said “It doesn’t make you look young; you are young. It makes you look…spunky.” Lookie here! I’m spunky!
I think 2007 is my favorite year. Only to be topped by 2008. I use to hate resolutions. They seemed arbitrary and unfulfilling if done simply because the calendar changes. But now I see it not as something I “should do”, but more of a way to move my life forward.
Last year I “gave up” soda. This year I’m focusing on gaining, not giving up. Knowledge (learning to play harmonica, sew, knit), experience (trying new things, going new places) and forgetting all the rules (but one). Yes, even the rules I’ve set for myself.
I have lived within my chosen parameters for so long, constantly reminding myself what I want to do and not do. Say/eat/do this, don’t say/eat/do that. I realized that I often worry so much about doing things “right” that I fail to do much at all. I try to be the perfect parent, instead of just being there and having fun. I try to eat the perfect food, instead of just listening to my body and :gasp: occasionally indulging in total trash (or pork). Almost every decision I’ve made recently has been earmarked with too much damn forethought.
So as odd as it sounds, I’m going to stop thinking so much. Oh, I’m sure I’ll still gonna live up to my “Organic Sister” name, and I’m sure I’ll still always be improving myself. But it just won’t be my primary focus. My primary focus is just to live and have fun and throw convention out the window and knock societal obligations on its butt. Like Miranda said, I’m going to widen my box a bit. I don’t want to live inside an unschooling label, a health nut label, a neurotic label. I just wanna live.
Oh and that “one rule” that I mentioned up there: Love. That’s it. That is the only parameter I’m holding myself within. If it’s not loving or I don’t love it, I’m not doing it. It feels like another step into “letting go”. Sheesh, what more is there to let go of?