Aug 30, 2010

A Battle of the Seasons

According to the weather reports, Summer and Autumn are set to battle today.  Our mild temps are set to give way to another bout of warmer ones.  Summer has not fully released its hold on the North Country yet.  Autumn, however, will be making another appearance next weekend, I guess.

It is all right.  After all, I know that - as is the case with any season - it cannot last forever.  A fact, which I suddenly realized is true about the situations in our lives, as well.  But that is a musing for another time... *wink*

Things are going well on this end with regard to the transition of seasons, though.  I've already sewn the seeds for the red cabbage in the square foot garden...  Another experiment, as I've never grown it previously.  So, we shall see how that goes...

My tomatoes and sweet peppers had a less than stellar turn out this year.  They did yield some "fruit", but not much.  Will have to do more in the way of fertilizer next year, I'm thinking.  (My IMG says "duh!", but I remind her that it is all a learning experience, and it is better to do this now, than when my family is most dependent upon it, right?)

Another experiment that I took up this week was that of the homemade dishwasher detergent...

We already make our own laundry detergent.  (I'll share the recipe at another time for those who don't already know it *wink*)  So, I figured that it wouldn't be too difficult and very cost effective, given that we already have the makings for it on hand.

Now, admittedly, DH has tried it in the past, but I wasn't too impressed.  We have REALLY hard water here, so filmy residue was a problem.  So, we stopped using it.  I started using the Cascade gel packs recently, which worked REALLY well, but are SO costly.  There just HAD to be a homemade solution...

Using my powers of Google-Fu, I came across a recipe or two that I've been playing with and tweeking this week, and I think I have come up with the secret combination...

In the pre-wash cup, I place the following:

   - 1/2 TBSP Borax
   - 1/2 TBSP Washing Soda
   - 3 Vit C tablets - ground up  (Quite a few recipes call for citric acid or Lemon Kool-Aid packets, but after talking with DH, this was an adequate solution for us and something we already had on hand.)

I fill the main cup and the rinse agent reservoir with vinegar.  (I usually use white vinegar, but ran out of that the other day, and don't plan to resupply until payday.  So, I did use apple cider vinegar because I still had a couple of bottles on hand.  It did seem to work just as well, though.)

Maybe it'll work for you!  Just remember, though, that it might require a bit of tweaking on your part to get it to work for your particular machine and type of water.  Good luck to you!

Aug 29, 2010

A Respite Along the Path

As I have mentioned before, part of my journey toward simplicity is more on a mental/emotional/spiritual level.  It is requiring me to change the manner in which I think and approach life itself.  Some of this work is being done with the IMG Cleanse, BUT much of it was being done on my own prior to even hearing of the cleanse.  Some of the work I'm doing is being done by incorporating many of the concepts in the book Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and It's All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson, PhD and Your Sacred Self: Making the Decision To Be Free by Dr. Wayne Dyer.

Admittedly, I'm beginning to feel as though I've opened something akin to Pandora's Box in regard to all the inner work I am doing...  I'm almost reticent to mention it, but I have been finding myself doing quite a bit of running away the past few days.  Literally, running away.

This is not easy, this work that we do.  But, it does stand to reason, really.  Like a sedimentary rock, each year lived unawares, is like another layer of dirt and grim piled on.  So, it is no wonder, when we finally say, "enough is enough" and "I'm tired of feeling like this"...  Well, it is not easy to dig down through the accumulated muck and mud in search of that singular seed that, when it emerges as a seedling, is the True Self.  And just from the brief glimpses I catch of my own...  It is a reward in and of itself of a tough job done well.

In addition to this, I'm finding that once located and found, it's difficult to keep what could pass as a consistent handle upon it.  The day-to-day world is good at causing a type of temporary amnesia.  I am able to recall my Authentic Self, that I even have one, but throughout the course of a day with all the stress and outward influences I, more times than not, temporarily misplace her.

This is a place where the Universe (aka synchronicity) steps in and attempts to guide me along, I believe.  Because this is an idea that I've been pondering all day long.  How do I successfully connect with my Authentic Self on a higher level and remain in conscious contact while living a normal every day life as a mother, military spouse of a deployed soldier... HOW does one pull it off under "normal" circumstances??

So, it is quite interesting for me to note that an email arrived in my inbox with regard to an upcoming FREE teleseminar series called Beyond Awakening.  Nearly 30 speakers, all talking about (as I understand it) how to still grow spiritually while living the lives that many of us do today.  I'm still not certain when it starts, but, if you're interested, you might check it out...  Beyond Awakening: the Future of Spiritual Practice.

Like Dory (from Finding Nemo) said... just keep swimming, just keep swimming.  I'm just moving ever forward and flowing with the changes and the synchronicity coming my way.

Disclosure:  I have no associations with anyone affiliated with the Beyond Awakening teleseries.  However, I am participating in the Inner Mean Girl 40-day Cleanse as a Self-Love Ambassador. To thank me for my participation, I will receive a self-love gift from the founders of the Inner Mean Girl Reform School.

Aug 27, 2010

Week One - The IMG Cleanse Begins

A good deal is going on around here.  The change in the weather has brought with it a certain degree of busy-ness.  With all of the cleaning and weeding out, one might think that it was spring rather than early autumn.  Yet, the house is now being filled with all the yummy smells that herald autumn, though.  Yesterday, it was homemade soft pretzels and chocolate chip pies.

Yes, that was purposely pluralized.  BUT, in my defense, I did pass one of those pies on to our next door neighbors.  I'm a firm believer in sharing the "evil" that are baked goods. *wink*

As mentioned previously, though, autumn and winter are times when I tend to go within quite a bit.  This year will certainly be no exception.  Especially now that I've realized how big a part the inner work plays in my (and my family's) return to simplicity.

This week heralded the beginning of the 40 Day Inner Mean Girl (IMG) Cleanse, and as I mentioned before, my primary IMG is really something of a bully.  Verbal abuse is definitely her forte.

Not too long ago, I participated in an online creative workshop.  It was our goal to get in touch with our inner creative children.  I did do that, but in the process, I became more aware of the voice of my IMG.  I even gave her the opportunity to speak, and, let me tell you, it was none too pretty.

Since then, my inner creative child has gotten rather quiet.  She's there, of course, but not nearly as loud and vivacious as she had been during the workshop.  I suspect that it has something to do with my IMG, and that is partly why I'm taking part in the 40 Day Cleanse.

Admittedly, I wasn't able to take part in the Live Call or the Twitter Party for too long.  I became just a little overwhelmed.  But, I did listen to the recording last night and read the email yesterday.  Good stuff, I must say!  Gossip and toxic words...  Being impeccable with our word.

Now, admittedly, I've never really been one to start gossip, but I have - admittedly - been one to easily go along with it.  A colluder.  I have been guilty of that, yes.  But, as SARK said in her talk...  Awareness is important.  One of the BIGGEST first steps, I think.

So, it's for that reason that I've put this week's affirmation up on sticky notes around my house (my bathroom mirror, the downstairs bathroom mirror, and, even, on my laptop).
"Today I speak only from my heart.  I leave gossip and toxic words behind.  I truly speak from my heart."
In addition to gossip... what sticks out at me is "toxic words".

So, often - especially when I'm on autopilot, in a place of reaction - words, which can tear one down/apart slip out of my mouth.  My IMG likes to beat others up... not just me.  That is an area that I, personally, am working on as well.  Responding from the heart, rather than reacting with toxic words.

7 days to become aware of that which slips from my lips.  Love, not toxicity.

If you've found any of this to be of interest, and you haven't already joined us, there's still time!  Drop by and sign up today!  And I hope you'll tune in here next week for Week Two of the IMG, as well as an update on the progress I've made with this between now and then.

I am participating in the Inner Mean Girl 40-day Cleanse as a Self-Love Ambassador.
To thank me for my participation, I will receive a self-love gift from the founders of
 the Inner Mean Girl Reform School

Aug 23, 2010

The Seasons Begin To Turn

The seasons are beginning to change, here, in the North Country.  In the blink of an eye, we have gone from hot, humid days and nights to temperate (sometimes rainy) days and cooler nights.  Autumn has made an appearance, and I, for one, hope that it remains with us.

I love autumn.  It is my favorite time of the year.  It is when I see myself turning more toward the hearth fire.  It is when I begin cooking and baking more; when I find myself taking more pleasure in such acts.  In addition to this, I am consciously aware that it is "my time of the year".  Not only do I turn more to the light of the hearth, but within to the light of the heart, as well.  I begin to feel a more profound strength burn within me that I don't generally feel the rest of the year.  And while I don't know what it and the winter hold for me, I do have the feeling that whatever it is will aid me in becoming the strongest ME, yet.

May the hearth fires burn brightly without, as well as within, for you and yours!

Aug 22, 2010

The Inner Mean Girl Cleanse and My Journey

You know, I can't believe that I forgot to mention the Inner Mean Girl Cleanse in my last post!  It is, after all, part and parcel to this inner journey that I'm preparing to embark on and share here.

Beginning August 25th, I'm taking part in a 6 week (40 day) transformation of my Inner Mean Girl (known to some as the inner critic), and let me tell you... there is A LOT of work to be done with her because she REALLY isn't the nicest of girls at the moment.

If you're interested in joining me OR you would, also, like to become a Self Love Ambassador, there's still time!  I hope you'll join us because I really believe that the Self Love revolution that is being kick-started IS the first step toward world peace.  If we're all happy with ourselves... what's the point in going to war? ;-)  Dh and his comrades will be out of a job, of course, but hey!  It's a risk that I'm willing to take. lol

So... why DID I decide to join in the Inner Mean Girl Cleanse?  Well, as I mentioned before, I'm beginning a journey within...

Admittedly, I have recently found myself becoming really rather depressed.  So much so that I did go in to speak to my doc about getting on some meds.  We both agreed that it is a situational depression, given that it does tend to occur when Dh is deployed.  BUT, as I've begun to explore within, I've realized that it is so much more!

My Inner Mean Girl likes to whisper in my ear.  She likes to convince me that things aren't good enough around here and that I lack any real help; that my elder kids don't do anything, and that I have to do it ALL on my own.  How can ANYONE be happy when they have such a negative voice nattering in their ear??

And she doesn't stop there...  She likes to tell me that all the exercise that I'd been doing didn't do me a bit of good.  I'm still "FAT".

And my writing...  She likes to convince me that I have nothing to say that any one would be remotely interested in reading.  It didn't help at one point recently when the visits and comments to my blog seemingly dropped off and articles that I had written didn't seem to get placed.  It only seemed to reinforce what my Inner Mean Girl was saying, which added to the depression and my lack of desire to write anything.  She had helped me to lose sight of why I really do this, any of it!  For ME!  Because I ENJOY it!  And anyone getting anything out of it really is secondary to that...  I had forgotten that.

So, this journey that I have embarked on is not only an attempt to change her voice to a more positive one...  It is SO MUCH MORE than that for me.  My journey is to consciously get in touch with that part of me that spans the ages; that part is Divine and something of a superheroine.  The Inner Mean Girl Cleanse is part and parcel to that goal.

I hope you will continue to join me because it's sure to be an interesting journey!

I am participating in the Inner Mean Girl 40-day Cleanse as a Self-Love Ambassador.
To thank me for my participation, I will receive a self-love gift from the founders of
 the Inner Mean Girl Reform School

Aug 19, 2010

Back On Track

At some point most recently, I found myself derailed.  Unlike the Little Train That Could, I lost track of the fact that I "could", and with a decrease in momentum, I found myself losing footing and backing down the tracks.  Seemingly, I returned to where I had begun.

I allowed myself to become overwhelmed, I suppose.  It is not as though I've had a lot on my plate, after all. *said tongue in cheek*  Three kids and contending with a deployment.  That, with life's little ups and down, can bet quite a bit for one to deal with at times.

I'm back on the tracks, though, and, fueled by renewed awareness of my inner self, I'm ready to start making my way up this hill once more.

There is quite a bit on the horizon here.  "New" tools to assist me on this journey, which I plan to share with all of you...

Prior to my "meltdown", I was gifted with a wonderful book by Lisa Quinn.  Life's Too Short To Fold Fitted Sheets: Your Ultimate Guide to Domestic Liberation.  I started reading it, and found myself really quite entertained by the lighthearted manner in which she shares her own journey as a "recovering Martha Stewart junkie".  More than that, I found hope restored within me that - while not a perfectionist where my house is concerned (after all, as any parent of a preschooler knows, it's nearly next to impossible to be so) - I am not a horrible spouse and parent because I am not.  And while having been sidetracked by life and not yet to the meat of the text, I am hoping and looking forward to receiving pearls of wisdom on how to make it look as though I am a Martha Stewart clone, yet without expending the actual energy to do so.  I'll let you know, along the way, how it goes... *wink*

In addition to this...  I have, for quite a number of years, taken a distinct interest where spirituality is concerned.  Now, please do not equate this to "being religious".  I just feel that there is so much more to know and be beyond this world, as we consciously know it.  I know that I AM so much more than the labels that I, and others, attempt to affix to me.

As part of my search... my journey... I came across a book by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer yesterday entitled Your Sacred Self: Making the Decision To Be Free.  To my way of thinking, learning to be free of the stuff/garbage/debris that I have mentally accumulated throughout my life up to this point is part and parcel to this journey toward simplicity.

Now, I've only made it to chapter 2 since purchasing it yesterday, but I have high hopes for it as well, and it will be something that I will be sharing along the way, too.

While at the bookstore, I also came across a book with regard to simplicity.  It was something of a notebook with tabs and illustrated, step by step, ways to simplify your environment, as well as your life.  Unfortunately, I didn't get it and cannot remember the title, but I do hope to pick it up next payday.  Once I do, I'll share my experiences with it, as well.

It's all a journey, and a personal one at that.  None of us take the same path as any other, but it is in the sharing, I believe, that we receive insight in to the ways that are possible in arriving at the end and desire destination.  It is in that vein that these things will be shared...

Aug 17, 2010

Gaining Direction

I've been MIA from the blogosphere for quite a bit of time most recently.  It's been something of a spur of the moment hiatus, I suppose you could say.  I cannot say with any degree of certainty what brought it about.  Life?  Introspection?  I truly know not.

One thing I have been pondering the past month or so, though, is what Simplicity is to me...

Indeed, it is a return to many of the ways practiced by our ancestors.  Yet, what lies behind a desire to do so?

I suppose the reasons could be as varied as those who make the decision to embark upon such a journey.  For some, it may be out of necessity.  For others, it is borne out of a longing to shed the complexities of contemporary, modern day living.  After all, we as a species do tend to make that which ought to be really quite simple as complex and difficult as is humanly possible.  But, I digress...

I would have to say that I, personally, fall into the latter category.  Yet, it is even more than that for me...

A return to simplicity not only incorporates my desire to live more simply, but BE more simple.  Not only in deed, but in be-ing... in thought.

For me, this journey is not only about learning the old ways of doing things, but learning to think more simply.

Let's face it.  Over the centuries, we have piled an awful lot of mental garbage upon our plates.  Life is meant to be so much more simple than we have made it - in many ways.  So, when I say that I have embarked upon a journey to return to simplicity... I mean to do so in mind, body, and spirit.  At least to the very best of my abilities.

I hope you will continue to join me...

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