Wednesday, September 23, 2009

To Sleep, to dream?

For those of you who know me, I like to sport an English accent of sorts, actually I am a Brit, but am mistaken for an Ozzie quite often - must be my Californian drawl mix, which leads me to share some interesting habits that do seem to stick around for good or ill!! The all important nap, the tea break ( my fav) and the love for capturing breathing moments to maintain sanity!

Koi in Balboa pond at the botanical gardens

The Ritual of an Afternoon Nap by Diane Prusha and article text by Dr Susan Johnson and my two pennies worth of course!

Sitting down, putting your feet up, closing your eyes, and taking 3-5 deep deliberate breaths in and out, and picture a happy natural place, a babbling brook or a warm sandy beach, reading a book under a tree in the woods?

After lunch, the warm sun dappling the room with rays of gold, the wind softly playing with the curtains, humming a well liked song, while we wash our hands, the closing of the curtains, lying down on a soft bed, the light blanket floating down, lighting a candle, the telling of a gentle nature story, a back rub, fingers to the lips in a shhhh.... The blowing out of the candle. Stillness. Silence. An hour passes.
The quiet song returns, the curtains are gently opened, the folding of the blanket, a hug, a yawn.
A ritual has just been created.
A rhythmic breath.
A mood.

In this silence and space, a child’s morning “food” is digested. The food is basically anything and everything that is felt and taken in by all the senses during the busy work and play. As parents and teachers, it is our work and more importantly our inner work to give our children safe, secure, and quiet out breaths. Creating little rituals in our day will help us manage the out breaths more easily.

Taking the time to establish these special times may take a bit of effort but will be well worth it for you and your child. And, children love ritual! Creating silence strengthens a child’s patience and active attention, which is the foundation for all learning.

Accordingly, a child’s natural physiological rhythm is alert and active in the morning hours but tire out at about one, with a sharp decline until about three. At this time, there is another peak and then a second decline at bedtime around seven o’clock.

Sure, children love commotion, but they also hunger for quiet. We can create quiet for them with our own relaxed breathing in and out.

It is a challenge for us to commit to these rituals and be mindful of the patterns of the day, but your child will be rested and able to fall asleep more easily promise!! This all leads to a
healthier immune and sensory system, and a more content and happy child. The added bonus for you is the feeling and knowledge that you are protecting and nurturing your child’s growth and health. This holds them in a way that gives them freedom, so they may grow into the human beings they are meant to be.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And a cup of tea for me!

'Instant family' by the gnomeschoolers,
thanks to Fiona Duthie for showing me this pattern to share this Summer!!

Whether you are in a traditional type school or are homeschooling, the end of the whimsy of Summer hits hard while the weather is still baking hot ( well here any way!) Sweltering in high degree heat isn't fun unless you are sipping iced tea ( or Pimms) by a pool or the like. Mixed with breathing difficulties and itchy skin comes the sad realisation that much of our lovely Los Angeles mountain regions burned away to a crisp, some areas hadn't burned in over 100 years, that's mind blowing to think that it will be generations before those gorgeous trees are re-established. You can be sure that my family and I will be planting new trees when the first opportunity arises!

cubby tree
As an English transplant, I'm fairly wilting in the heat, fighting off weeds that take advantage of my delicate nature and surprise surprise - busy as a bee. Always fun to do creative projects with friends, ranging from helping dye silks for a pre-school co-op, wet felting a huge wall hanging or teaching some parents how to whip up a woolly puppet in a flash is all wonderful fodder for this Phoenix!

the mega-hanging before felting..oh my poo old back!!!
Mark your calenders, Oct 3rd and 4th the Taos Wool festival in New Mexico and I'd love to see you there, register to join my workshop to create a goddess art doll sculpture and wander the delights of this gorgeous little town!

Little Gandlaf has lost so many teeth recently, these poor fairy pillows are nearly redundant!
check the shop....

Been too busy? Have a cuppa and a biscuit on me!

These lovely paintings became perfect backgrounds for a cursive writing alphabet for4th graders!