Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Red Tent

There is a certain book, by author Anita Diamant, called The Red Tent. In it, she creates for us the image of a place where women gather during their monthly cycles. Women in a family, women of ancient times, all gathering to rest and tell stories and commune together as women. She weaves a dream place for us that we hunger for at our core...or at least the women I know who have read this book do and I share this hunger.
In an age where distance and busy schedules keep us apart from family and friends, this concept of a Red Tent, somewhere we can go, that we KNOW we will be going to reconnect with friends, seems vitally important to me and my well being.
This concept is so vital, it has given life to a spiritual movement called the Red Tent Temple movement. Red Tents are springing up all over the world. Women meeting at the New Moon to talk and rest and cry and love and share joys and sorrows, and ....just be women, connected.
Red tents can be elaborate and filled with many many women or quite simple...I have shared red tent space while pregnant with a equally pregnant friend, on the couch, under a red blanket. We got together every Monday evening while our husbands sang on a Native American Drum and we just complained about our aches and glowed about the babies inside us moving. It was our time, in our Red Tent Space.

The important part of Red Tent is just connecting with other women.

So why am I blogging about this today? Well, I have once again started feeling disconnected from women in my life. Sure I see friends at work and on Facebook, but that is not the same, not at all. So a month ago, the same friend that shared Red Blanket Space with me told me about a spa nearby and invited me to join her, her husband, and a few others to celebrate her birthday. At the spa, we sat in various poultice rooms (a salt room, a clay room, a jeweled room, an ice room, a charcoal room) together, we sat in hot bathes together, we sat in moist saunas together. We talked about our children and homeschooling and Waldorf school and public school. We talked about the winter and how more snow was coming. We RECONNECTED! We shared a meal together, we napped was a wonderful RED TENT type of day.

This month, my husband and I and a friend decided to spend a day together at the spa....and this time I treated myself to a full body scrub and massage while was HEAVENLY! Then surprise, my friend who told me about the spa in the first place showed up with her husband and a mutual female friend. We talked and laughed and was a RED TENT type of day, just being, without the hustle and bustle of daily time tables to keep, no one to do for, just BEING.

So I think I have found my Red Tent. I think I will suggest that we women friends get together at the new moon at the spa, to just sit and talk, share a meal, and just BE. The walls may not be red, but for us, it will be a sacred gathering just the same. A gathering of women, a gathering of sisters. Welcome to the Red Tent.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Balance of it All

Everything is about balance in be healthy you should eat a balanced diet. To be a good member of society,  you must balance taking care of yourself first and not becoming self obsessed. To be a good parent you must balance taking care of the kids and taking care of yourself....even homeschooling is a fine balance, for me. It is the struggle between doing too much outside stuff and staying home and taking care of business, and of course, having down time.

Right now, all the spring Parks and Recs catalogs and library class catalogs and co op catalogs are coming out and I have to be careful not to over schedule my kids with all the "fun" stuff I find. And yet, I need to also make sure I don't let my introvert daughter hole up in her room just creating art and not taking part in the world.
So I gave them the catalogs and insist they choose one thing from one of the catalogs, and at least 3 classes for their co op.

When I wasn't working, we used to go a lot. We went on fieldtrips, we went to the museums, we went to the zoos, to playdates, etc. Now that I am working, and we cannot run all the time, my children are NOT deprived. In fact, they are happier than ever. They have more time to create, more time to just play. This lesson was an amazing one for me and one that I had been TRYING to do for a while, to stop all the running. But when you see all the really great things out there, you want to expose your kids to them.
On the other hand, if I am not careful, we could just hibernate our lives away and just stay home all the time, which is my nature really.
So I have started making sure we go on a fieldtrip a month and that the children have playdates every 2 or 3 weeks at the least and no more than 2 playdates a week so we make sure we get all our schoolwork in. Again, it is all in the balance of things. And when we go on fieldtrips, I make sure it is something special, not just running here or there. If the kids have no interest in something, they won't get much out of it. My oldest are 10 and 12 so they  know what they like and don't like. Giving them input, assures that they will co operate and enjoy themselves.

This month we are going to tour a nut and snack factory. The children will get to make their own cotton candy. And in two months from now we are going to go to a Glassblowers. And in between trips, we will laugh and play games, and snuggle and watch movies, and read great books, and do schoolwork, and more.
And the house will get cleaned eventually and we will eat healthy and in the summer grow our own veggies and get out and walk and hike and swim, and sleep out under the stars, and ....and try and stay balanced.

Which really is just a resting point while we are running from one extreme to the other LOL, but we can keep trying, right?