Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Moon phase update

It's ages since I've posted on my blog and I have been prompted to because I want to get back to writing about lunar phases again as I find the moon so influential in how I feel and what I am capable of.
The New Moon in Capricorn on 15th January was really intense for a lot of us. It is the second darkest moon of the year (the first being on 5th Dec 2010). We are in a period of darkness anyway, in the depths of winter, a time for reflection and planning. A new moon at this time, really brings us face to face with our shadow side and our deepest needs and desires. For some of us this has manifested as sadness and a feeling not unlike despair. If we can learn to sit with these feelings we can reach a place of acceptance and this is the catalyst to change and growth.
Each new moon signifies rebirth, new starts and the beginning of another cycle. The qualities that capricorn brings to this moon phases are determination, ambition and discipline. This is an even better time than usual to start planning a new project or a change of direction in your life.
How did the new moon affect you? Post your observations here and I'll be back with more lunar info soon.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Buy Nothing Month challenge

Hello and sorry for being absent so long!
Back with some news of our annual Buy Nothing Month challenge which started on Sunday. Today is our fourth day of non-consumerism and all is sweet. We haven't had to resist any temptation yet, but the kids have found the rationing of food a little tough. I have spent hours over the last week with my nose buried in recipe books and it always comes as a surprise that we don't have the key ingredient and obviously can't actually buy it either. Oh well, perhaps most of these exotic culinary treats will have to wait til December.
Am being quite resourceful in the sense that I have made tzaiki with courgette and smoothies with nut mylk - both of which were rejected for being 'weird'!
Enjoying rereading some of my favourite books about Simplicity, like John Lane's beautiful poetic Timeless Simplicity, the brilliant guide to creating an authentic life by Dan Price, Radical Simplicity, the inspirational voice of the Nyerges in Extreme Simplicity and of course, Tom Hogkinson's How to be Free.
Spent Sunday searching for a book about the spiritual benefits of clearing your space but couldn't find it so decided to just get on with it and cleared out a cupboard that had been looming large for months. Yay!
As a friend said yesterday, it's amazing what space is created in our lives by letting something go. For me observing a month where we buy nothing brings so much space and clarity - it's almost addictive! Will share more soon.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Unschooling Conference

We are off to the unschooling conference this weekend in London. Really looking forward to all the talks, workshops and activities on offer. As well as the chance to meet other home educators and get inspired. It takes place on Saturday 25th July at The Music Room, just off Oxford Street.

There’ll be lectures from Dayna Martin, radical unschooler, author of Radical Unschooling: A Revolution has Begun, la leche league leader, natural birth educator … (I can’t wait to meet this incredible woman!), Matthew Speno, educational consultant and unschooling dad, Wendy Lewis, home educated illustrator of the brilliant practical guides to HE – Unqualified Education and One to One and many other speakers.

The crystal reiki workshop for adults and children will really appeal to my eldest daughter, whilst yoga for families is where my youngest will make a beeline for. All of us are looking forward to creating art with Emma Neuberg. If you would like to attend, I believe that there are still tickets available. Visit The London Unschooling Conference for more information.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

May is probably my favourite month - I love the celebration of Beltane, which marks the start and the lush greenery and hedgerow flowers that appear during the late spring. There a real feeling of opening during this month and of receptiveness and joy. And we did indeed have a marvellous month of May filled with flowers, family and festivals. 
Our Natural Gardening Special edition of The Green Parent came out in mid-May, carrying articles on how to create a wildlife garden, parenting and permaculture, lotus birth and our favourite family festivals. When it was published we took the opportunity for a quick break in the Lake District to cheer on my courageous and exceedingly fit brother-in-law as he made short work of the Brathay Marathon round Lake Windermere. We spent a week exploring the area around Coniston and discovered some beautiful stone circles, a really inspirational garden at Brantwood, home of John Ruskin and some great wholefood caf├ęs
Once home we set to work on the next edition which is published next month and also managed to squeeze in a weekend at Sunrise Celebration, which comes top of my list of favourite festivals. It was a truly blissed out and loved up affair taking place on an organic farm in Somerset and powered ostensibly by renewables. Added extras such as the Earth Heart Cafe, which served energised chai from a huge conch shell, fairy permaculture gardens and a large hot tub made it even more magical. We're looking forward to Sunrise Off-Grid in August, if we can manage to get our Education issue of the magazine produced in time.
Other exciting happenings this spring have included a series of breathing workshops run by my lovely and very talented yoga instructor, Julie Stannard, a foraging walk along the South Downs to discover the healing properties of our native flora and fauna and some joyous time spent with friends. We have had a really social time recently, meeting up with friends every day. The girls especially have really enjoyed this and our home education journey seems to be quite focused on emotional and social intelligence right now. That feels really good for us all. Will post more later - right now I have stories to read...

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

quick catch up

Well it's been ages since I last posted so I thought I'd do a quick round up of what's been going on here at The Green Parent. We certainly felt the powerful effects of the Equinox and had a good old clear out and were able to let go of some items and systems that we'd been holding onto for a long time! Then, I did an Energy Awareness training course back in April, inspired by Natalie Fee, who writes the Spiritual Parenting column in the magazine. This course coupled with a series of yogic breathing workshops have helped me release a whole lot more so am feeling really good right now.
Carry on camping
We treated ourselves to a beautiful bell tent for festivals this year and are so thrilled with it. We camped out amongst the bluebells for a week, cooking on a fire and sleeping on the earth. Absolute bliss. It was tough resuming 'real' life and the box-like confines of a house after tented living. Planning a solitary moon lodge in the tent this week and am so excited!
The magazine
We've just finished our Natural Gardening special edition which will be out next week. It's packed with stuff - inside there's articles on how to create a wildlife garden, unassisted birth and a huge festival ticket giveaway. In stores or available here from 14th May.

Monday, 23 March 2009

ostara blessings

Just wanted to post a quick note on Ostara or the spring equinox, which took place on Friday. We spent it with friends around a bonfire after an egg hunt amongst the wood anemones. Am just reading The Idle Parent (which is hilarious, subversive and quite brilliant) so it was timely to watch all these home educated children running free, climbing trees and enjoying self-directed play with other kids of all ages. And hasn't the weather been gorgeous and uplifting? I have had the chance to get really stuck into my garden and that has been blissful. Also brewed up my first batch of nettle tonic of the season and it's taste is spring encapsulated. Anyway, back to Ostara... Cultural connections Ostara is a time of balance, as the equinox is the point at which the day and the night are of equal length. After this night the days become longer than the nights which is a special cause for celebration in some cultures (such as Iran, Azerbaijan and Turkey), and actually marks the beginning of their New Year. For the Anglo-Saxons, the equinox also heralded the beginning of the New Year. The celebration honoured their Goddess of Spring, Eostre, and this is believed to be the forerunner of the Christian celebration of Easter. The themes of these celebrations throughout the world are very similar, all of which focus upon new beginnings, fertility, and new life. Embrace fertility Ostara is a wonderful celebration, the second of the fertility festivals (Imbolc being the first). Falling at such a beautiful time of year, there is much to celebrate! The days gradually lengthen and the beauty of spring is all around. The air is fresh and sweet smelling, and there is a sense of ‘lightness’. Our heavy winter clothes are shrugged off, and most are feeling a renewed sense of hope and happiness as the sun prepares to smile down upon us for a little longer every day. Personal celebration It's a good time to reflect upon the balance of your life. Springtime heralds change and transformation, and the opportunity to hold a mirror to yourself and ask, ‘what do I see?’ This is not a physical question, rather one of honesty. It is a time of clarity and new beginnings, a fresh outlook. All that we resist will reappear continually until we confront and accept what we fear to change. We can manifest new intentions just as easily as flowers spring up from the earth. Ostara blows in on a fresh easterly wind, (usually accompanied by cleansing showers as we have seen today!), as its element is that of Air. Accept change Allow the winds of change to move you. This may be gently, blowing away the cobwebs of winter, freshening the space between your relationships, and cleansing your communication with others. If you have stagnated, hibernated or stayed stubbornly in one place allow the sweet easterly breeze to flow around you and through you. Savour and delight in the fresh fragrant smells it brings: spring blossoms, warming earth, awakening fresh greens. Permit yourself the youthful perception and clarity of spring; it’s flexibility and strength. Once you embrace this, you yourself will bend gracefully under the fiercest of winds like a strong, young sapling. Living life lightly and affecting positive change is all about acceptance – of others, yourself and your situation. Spring is a special time to invite new challenges, or face old problems, with a renewed sense of purpose. This evocative pentagram image is created by Jennastasia

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Last night on raw

Well, tonight is officially the end of our raw week - we shared a cheeky dinner of mango and raw chocolate brownie. No-one complained! I am thinking about doing a Master Cleanse starting next week to help shift some of my own stuff in preparation for the spring as the raw week was very much about everyone else and I didn't really get a chance to go deep into the detoxing process. I fancy putting together a programme of journalling and massage, inner truth seeking and yoga to lead up to the spring equinox. We are organising a big Ostara egg hunt though so will have to curb all those chocolate cravings! I'll let you know how I get on.