Friday, December 8, 2017

Cyber vs IRL

Tell me about the Insta-story? It's basically snapchat on Instagram, right? It's not like Facebook live where you can catch up and watch later if you take a few weeks off from social media, right? If you miss the story within 24 hrs it's gone, right? You missed out on part of whoever you're following's life because you took a break from whatever reason (I usually take breaks because I need to clean my house and hug my kids.)

So... How do we have real life interactions with people when we have to keep checking their live feeds and stories to "know what's up with them?" How do we learn to be kind, tactful and truthful when we're constantly seeking the connections we crave on a tiny screen? How can we learn to trust our selves when we are constantly distracted by the pizazz of another's way to do life?


I'm all for having a cyber tribe. They're super helpful and lovely in times of isolation and distance, but I don't believe humans were meant to be isolated or to develop relationships with the world through a computer in their hand. I want an IRL (in real life) tribe who will get dirty in the woods, who will come over and bake or paint, whom my children will grow up knowing as safe people, role models and other trusted adults when mom's not available. I want backyard cookouts and singalongs. Those can't happen when we're all staring at our phones trying not to miss each other's lives. By doing that we are actually missing out on each other's lives! It's easy to type "I'll pray for you" but it takes work to bake a meal or clean the house of someone in need. It takes work to truly connect with other humans. And I get it, connecting can be messy. We have to apologize from time to time instead of pretending we didn't see the message that said we hurt someone's feelings. We have to roll up our sleeves and put our deeds behind our words for more than the 10 seconds it takes to snap a pic and post it. we get held accountable when we have IRL community, but its a beautiful thing to know those people also have your back should trouble find its way to your door.

I commit to working in my relationships IRL. Cultivating a tribe is just as much work, and therefore just as rewarding, as cultivating an herb garden. Each plant has a personality and a skill, each person in my life does too. How do we work together? Some of us grow well side by side daily, others are delicious when stirred together in healing teas or soups. Others need room to grow tall and spread out in order to gain the deep wisdom of a life lived in the clouds. I am thankful for our time together in stillness, embracing the cooling quiet moments in the shade, of the wisdom found in being still, together, and listening to loved ones in real life.

My Cyber tribe is all over the world, full of exotic spices and flair and I wouldn't trade them for anything! My IRL tribe suffers every time we move. They get pushed into Cyber tribe and i fear my Cyber tribe doesn't get to see the real me, the me that can only be seen by looking each other in the eyes, through all the many ways humans interact when in the same room: energetically, emotionally, telepathically, hormonally. I love the idea that when women are gathered together there is a natural release of oxytocin in the space. (I say "idea" because I haven't fully researched the claim and don't like to make scientific statements I can't backup. But still the idea is beautiful!) It so much harder to pretend that "thing" isn't bothering me when a trusted someone is looking me in the face. Its so much easier to hide behind a screen and pretend I got my shit together. You know what? I don't have my shit together. I don't think I ever have. I am constantly rearranging ideas and plans and modifying even up to GO time. It works to stay flexible sometimes, but to say I have my shit together would be a lie. And a trusted friend looking me in the face would be able to catch me in that lie much easier than in a text message or a well framed and edited Instagram post.

So I'm not gonna fake my life with you guys. I may not have my shit 100% together, I have piles of baggage to sort through and discard, I believe I will never stop growing, but I will keep coming back to myself (and hopefully this space) along the way and keep what is still working and throw out the rest. Unclutter your life, that's a hashtag movement, right? But my favorite is #unfaketheworld and that starts with un-faking me.

So cyber and IRL tribe, let's be real with each other. Social media, while helpful, can be distracting. Let's get there and see each other (especially this time of year when the darkness makes us feel even more alone than usual) and hold each up, practice active listening and truth-telling. Be together and feel your energy shift. There's magic when people get together in love (side note, love doesn't mean mushy, gooey, see-it-in-the-movies BS, it means mutual respect and adoration that genuinely cares for the other's well-being). Now text someone and make plans to walk in the park or get coffee or whatever you love to do that won't break your budget, just put down the phone and look them in the face!

Do it!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Wonder in the Daily Rituals of Life

For a while now I have been going through the motions, living the habits I had built around heart-felt, science-backed beliefs, practices and approaches that were creatively added to my life with a purpose, but not truly putting my heart into it any more. I was surviving my life in the best way I knew how and getting through each day. Doing my best to keep as much magic alive in the childhoods of my children but struggling to keep my own source of power filled and empowered. It has been an exhausting few years. When I first left this space, I was in a place where i didn't believe I had anything "worth" putting on the internet. Have you seen what's on the internet? Basically everything you can imagine: Good, Bad, Ugly, Beautiful and everything in between. I don't have to, nor do i want to, compete with everything thats out there. My truth is still valid, even if I think its not flashy enough. Enough for what? to be worthy? of clicks? that's not what I am after. I didn't create this space to make money. I don't find any joy in selling anything. I find joy in doing. Doing work, doing art, doing movement, the creative part of making something not the final goal. So, here I am saying it out loud on the internet: I like the act of writing. Of rewriting and editing. Of conversation. Of clarifying thoughts. This space was intended to be a more open-minded, open-hearted space than Facebook allows for to share the stories of my life while I lived far away from my family and dear friends. I have returned to my family (the ones I craved the most have crossed over since my moving back) and the dear friends I was away from, however, I have met many more wonderful souls who have scattered to the far corners of the globe and I will always miss their daily interactions and the conversations we had that rewired our brains, realinged our energy, rewrote our soul's truth into daily awareness. I have lifted my head up from the dredges of toddlerhood and noticed the souls I am living with need more from me. They need me to keep having these creative conversations with other likeminded souls so I am full of magical appreciation for this life and can help them remember why they are here. I don't know why they are here or what they came to do, I only know that I have been entrusted to guide them through this messy life and I have been a poor guide lately as I have been in a reactive state and not a responsive state. I am transitioning. I am remembering how to be gentle with myself and how to find the wonder in the daily rituals of life.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Why Hello!

Here I am, 2 and 1/2 years later! Lots of things have happened, in the world and in my personal life. The biggest I'd say is that we no longer live on a Texas Homestead (which was really just a city plot 2 blocks south of the highway that separated the town from the wilderness and farm plots). We returned to Oregon a year ago. That's right, we have been enjoying our first home as homeowners for a year now.  We bought a 100 year old house in a small town, walking distance to just about everything in the town. The house needed some immediate attention, and still needs lots of work, and so did my extended family. In the meantime, we homeschool the girls and love on the dog and the cat. We had added new chicks to our flock (half of which were enjoyed by Hawk) but then rehoused the girls with a friend before leaving Texas as moving the birds 2000 miles didn't seem worth the trouble. We have just started talking about adding some new feathered friends into the mix this next spring. Lots of construction plans in the near future.... Maybe I'll share some before and afters in the future. I have found dance again. The Mister is enjoying his new job (still flying planes) and the girls are as busy as ever dancing, riding horses, climbing on things, swimming, catching crawdads, etc.

To be honest, I paused working with this site because of the time commitment and my priorities had shifted to other things. In the back of my mind there was also a growing fear for my children's internet anonymity and safety. I am still hesitant to tell our stories in such an unguarded way as a blog, and so have focused on a heavily screened Instagram and Facebook account. But the storytelling! I miss the storytelling. I have never wanted to be a political writer or to write about things where I have to deal with internet trolls. So I paused. I wrote my stories in journals and to specific people on messenger and group texts. I have started escaping into the woods to dance and write poetry and reframe goddess myths in my own words. I have always enjoyed growing in private and, when i feel confident, inviting people to notice what I am doing now.

So, since I have come back here, I must have finished a breathing-in growth cycle (borrowing the idea from Waldorf educational theories) and am ready to breath out and interact with people in this way again. Or at least the interface of the blog-sphere. I have noticed I take less photos because I am sharing my life with the ones I missed so dearly while we were in Texas. Instead of needing to take photos to remember the stories so I can share them with lifelong Friends, Aunties and Grandparents, they are the ones involved in the memories. I am working to shift my habit and capture memories for the girls for later, when we want to look back and remember that silly afternoon at the museum/park/coffee shop with so-and-so and how different we all looked "back then."

I have some other deep thoughts and feeling just below the surface I want to share with all 12 of you who may find your way back to this blog. But I'm not quite ready to make those permanent additions to the inter webs just yet. Which always leads me to ask: Do my thoughts and feelings really need to be blasted all over the inter webs? Can sharing them face to face with a safe person or in my journal be enough? This space helped me through that rough part of transitioning to parenting two kids without much real life help, and now...what to make of this space? I have this place, how shall I use it??

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Change comes on the wings of small birds

There are many things I could share with you that I have been keeping to myself as of late. But last night, as I tried to sleep in a new tent with the full moon literally staring me in the face, I forgot about them all.  

At least for a few moments.

 This spring i have intensely felt the stress of the birds in my surroundings. Starting with the nesting wrens on my porch who mysteriously abandoned their full nest while we were out of town, to the mocking bird who tried in vain to save her egg from my cat, to the sandpiper who's nest was unfortunately located between the carpark and the swimming hole. I have fully felt the stress and worry of those momma birds and have brought it into my daily life as unhelpful, zingy energy which keeps my focus completely scattered and probably adds to the chaos of this season. 

But that stress-free blissful moment under the full moon is what life IS at its best. I cannot change nature. I cannot protect everyone. And try as I might to protect everyone from injustice, Mother Nature has been at this Spring thing with the birds a lot longer than I have. I'm fairly certain she's got it handled, though that won't stop me from spraying my cat with the hose when he's getting too close to a nestfull of eggs. Perhaps my newly refound peace of mind can flutter over to the parts of the country riddled with a similar stress, worry and need for protection.

Here's to a less stressful, but just as meaningful, loving summer. 
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Until next time.
Blessed be.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

a collection of things

You know it's bad when your 5-year old sighs and says: mom you've gotta get that song out of your head!

Aoife has pink-eye due to taking a handful of sand in the face. Less than a week before we begin April, the month of road-schooling.

In the grocery last week, Aoife spilled a container of berries, and had smoothie all over her face. I joked about her being a mess and needing a bath. A grocer overhead me and commented: "at least they are girls. With boys the mess never ends."
"I don't know." I replied. "Last week when the snow was melting and everything outside was nasty, these two got 3 baths in one day and generated 2 loads of laundry. So, I don't know of its a boy thing or just a kid thing." He went back to his lettuce with a pensive look.

I spent all last growing season with the song "like a snake in the grass" whispering in my ear each time I stepped through the garden fence. Today, I met the snake. A passive, pillbug-eating brown garden snake. And I am thankful for the help controlling the pests.

We have just enough training pants that if I skip doing laundry mid-week, Aoife has to wear regular panties or a diaper. After two weeks in trainers she is anti-diapers. However she detests wedgies. Her big girl panties are a tiny bit big and do not stay in place. She runs around screening "poopy poppy!" Whenever they have traveled to uncomfortable locations.

Three years ago i watched as a bee pollinated my store-bought tomato plant. it then clumsily flew to the fence and slowly died. i vowed to start growing all my garden plants from seeds. Two years ago, I found a jar of canned cherries in the back of my cupboard. We opened it and enjoyed a few by the pool. The jar got left on the banister overnight and by morning was overrun with bees. The bees drank all the syrup and reduced the quart of cherries to a mere handful. Last summer i saw lots of bees hovering about my marigolds and radish flowers all season long. This spring, my neighbor discovered bees swarming out of the trunk of her pecan tree. I am hopeful that both colonies will survive another year. 

Please don't spray your flowers. The bees, butterflies and some types of wasps (who trap and eat spiders, including the brown recluse) need them to be non-toxic.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Just checking in

Good morrow everyone! 

Spring break is upon us and you are overdo for a dalton family update!
Since our last meeting, we have been iced in, rained out, snowed on, iced again and now flooded as everything tried to thaw and dry out. And naturally, thunderstorms are on the horizon as we begin tornado season. Don't be surprised if you hear about dallas and Mosquitos in the news a lot this spring. It's gonna be a bad one.

That said, we planted our early spring crops just before the first freeze and everything survived! At least until the chickens jumped the fence, ate the kale and thinned out the lettuce. Everything else is going strong and I plan on getting the rest in the ground as soon as possible. Which is difficult for me as I have commitment issues with silly things like plants and stickers and scrap fabric. I mention this because we have started the process of buying a house. I loathe doing all the work of putting in an amazing, organic, square foot garden thoughtfully companion planted and rotated from last years planting just to leave it all for someone else who may not appreciate, or eat, any of the produce.

*Le sigh*

But with scrap fabric! I am bound and determined to turn this pile into a skirt, 3 dresses and a car seat cover! Hopefully I can get it all done before we find our new home.

Also, taking apart that bunk bed again is not on the top of My Fun Things To Do list. But at least the kids sleep in their room for a while now. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tis the season

Well, it's time. 
Garden planning and early planting is here. Perhaps this time of focused new growth will bring back a bit of author interest in this blog space. I've been off doing other things and just haven't been making time for you, Little Blog. I do apologize. As I get my fingers muddy and spend more time outside, dreams seem to materialize and so I hope to share them with you all again. Just as soon as they germinate and take root I will let you know! In the meantime, enjoy the beginnings of actualizing your own dreams. 
What do you want to grow this spring?