I Never Grew Out of………Asking WHY??!!

The parents reading this will remember those lovely “why” years when their children would ask “why” about everything!! The innocent, pure, inquisitive, curious mind of a child that is learning about all that surrounds them, how it works, and what is expected of them in the crazy chaotic mix. Every now and then I would have a lot of fun by responding to them with my own “why” question; asking them why they thought it was the way it was. The expression I would receive with this surprise asking was priceless. Their little faces would light up and become quite animated as they realized that I did not know everything and thought they were smart too… The answers I would get were fabulous and often way better than the boring response I would have shared. Recently I found myself pondering why do people stop asking WHY, why do they accept, not question, or seek to understand – what has taken this natural curiosity out of them???

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."  ~Walt Disney
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
~Walt Disney

Those of you who know me, bosses that have employed me, students who sat in my classroom, and people that have met me in passing, you have all experienced that I forgot to grow out of asking WHY!! I am a curious mind, always exploring and wanting to understand the deeper why…. I fondly remember in my classroom when I would ask my students “why” they would sometimes grow frustrated with my inability to accept that just because others say it is so, that makes it right  – WHY??? Digging deeper always opened up a whole new world of questioning. One glorious path we explored through questioning was “Who defined perfection?” This topic came up around a research project that some of the students were working on about “image” and the pressure as a teenager to look, behave, and be a certain way. Sadly this is a topic that impacted every young person I had in my classroom, and the world around them. My big WHY to these students was “Why do we accept the “perfection” society has told us is beautiful/handsome?” The amazing domino effect of this inquiry led to some powerful experiences, as the link below shares.

“I am beautiful movement”

"I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

To this very second, and the next, and the next, my curious mind wants to know WHY!! Some of the BIG WHYS I explore are:

  • Why do we accept and perpetuate some of the behaviors we know are unhealthy for ourselves and the planet we live on? (pollution, finite resource abuse, starvation, obesity, stress, anger/hatred, and….)
  • Why do we keep doing the same thing day in and day out if we are not happy with it? If we do the same thing, are we magically going to see different results? (I hate my job…., I want to get healthy, but…., I don’t like where we live…., and…)
  • Why do we believe that we cannot have an impact? (So often the end answer to a why inquiry would lead me to the response of, “I can’t change it, it is too big!” or “No one will really notice if I role model something different, so why try!” or “I can’t impact that kind of change!” …you get the gist.)
  • Why do we not seek to manifest change if we are unhappy with our lives? Why do we accept that we can’t change it? (This one really saddens me, for I meet more people unhappy with their lives, than those that are happy and contentwhy? And why would you not try to change it?)
"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."  ~Albert Einstein
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
~Albert Einstein
  • Why do we not treat others as we would like to be treated? (This one is basic to me. One day at school I took a poll of my 108 junior high students to hopefully point out our similarities no matter our walk of life – I asked, “How many of you want to be accepted? How many of you want to be loved? How many of you want to have friends? How many of you want to be treated with kindness? How many of you want to live happily? etc… I think you can guess the responses. Despite our genetic differences, our gender, lifestyles, etc…we all crave and desire the same things at our core. So, why do we not give each other the easiest gift possible, kindness, acceptance, love, and compassion???)
  • Why do we carry around anger? Especially about something from long ago? Does it suddenly change? (This one I always find interesting for I personally am not that fond of staying in the energy of anger. It can however be the energy necessary for GREAT change; examples would be Gandhi and the laws in India, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, you get the point. Thus, at times I do welcome its pure force to push me to manifest change and then I get to move into the new positive space created.)
  • Why do so many people live vicarious lives through the various forms of media; YouTube, TV, video games, reality shows…? (I observe the expanding detachment in our world, no longer do we sincerely interact with one another without the distraction of some form of media – do we not wonder what the long term implications of this will be? The other side of that is, why are we not creating our own precious lives versus living through watching others?)
"What interests me in life is curiosity, challenges, the good fight with its victories and defeats." ~Paulo Coelho
“What interests me in life is curiosity, challenges, the good fight with its victories and defeats.”
~Paulo Coelho
  • Why do we accept systems that we are not satisfied with? (Health, education, financial, cooperate, …. these systems will not change unless we take action to be a part of manifesting what will work NOW. I find it fascinating that we accept that all is constantly changing, but we are unwilling to change the systems to meet the new now – why?)
"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." ~Albert Einstein
“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” ~Albert Einstein
  •   Why when people are suffering all around the globe do we allow so much spending on our Presidential Campaigns? (Personally I can’t wait for the day that a person runs for president by walking across this great land to visit face to face with the people they meet along the way, living in an RV or sharing in the homes of “strangers” who become friends. This courageous person will experience the base truth of the people who populate the United States of America, and the land they live upon, not just what gurgles to the top the national statistics, media attention, etc… I might not be alive when this happens, but I hope I am.)
  • Why are we not willing to listen to the youth of today? They are inheriting what we pass down and they have some GREAT ideas! Why do we not listen to our elderly? They have a long life full of wisdom! Why do we not listen to ourselves? For often the answer we are seeking resides within us!
"To me, having the courage to tell your own story goes hand in hand with having the curiosity and humility to listen to others' stories." ~Sarah Kay
“To me, having the courage to tell your own story goes hand in hand with having the curiosity and humility to listen to others’ stories.” ~Sarah Kay

Oh my!! I could go on and on and on! As I sit here writing this I smile at the pure joy I feel when I explore the why, yes it does spiral and swirl sometimes circling back on itself. I am however immensely grateful for the people who continued to ask why, people like Einstein, Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Rosa Parks, Gandhi, and…, for their curiosity brought forth great change. I suppose I am naive or “Mary Poppins” like, in that I still believe ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE – however not without action with pure belief that we can!  We are here but a brief time and the world is our stage, thus I invite you to ask WHY! And WHY!!

"Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will." ~James Stephens
“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” ~James Stephens
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In Humble Awe and Gratitude….

It is time to catch you up on another amazing gift that completely humbled and awed the kids and I. For those of you following this blog you know that we have been living with friends since April 1st, 2015 in their one bathroom, three bedroom, 1300 sq ft home. I am still awed by this family’s generosity and graciousness! How many people do you know that will literally open up their whole home to you and your two children to stay for how ever long you need – WOW!! We were also blown away by three other friends who offered for us to come and live with them. Even as I write this I can feel the immense gratitude swirl around my being, with tears of magnanimous awe building up to float down my face with love.

Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action. ~Mother Teresa
Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action. ~Mother Teresa

As each day has come and gone the kids and I have maintained a quiet faith that the answers will come with regard to the next steps of our journey. The co-housing is delightfully working out for us all. We have established our patterns and cooperative bathroom use, giggling at times as we maneuver around each other. As a parent I question daily if what I am doing is fair to my kids, if it is asking too much of them, if it is compromising all of us including our host family! I breathe deeply, reaching into my heart to search for the truth within – seeking to answer if I should change our course, or continue to trust with a surrendered open soul that we are on the right path.

Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr

The answers to these questions come in the changes I see and feel in my children. I observe the miraculous awakening of my children’s spirits. In choosing together to take the drastic right turn out of the rut of life’s monotony we ignited a spark within each of us, an awareness that we are in this together, that we each impact the other, and together anything is possible.

Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You'll find what you need to furnish it - memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey. Tad Williams
Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it – memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.
Tad Williams

My son has begun to really stretch out of his quiet introverted comfort zone to blog about his dreams for the Midtown Eden project (shared in previous post https://midtowneden.wordpress.com/), he is exploring with more intensity his goal to construct a tiny house for himself and to help build the one for my daughter and I. His interactions with others has become more confident, I experience him stepping into life with the believe that one can manifest and co-create a life journey. While my son has always been compassionate, kind, and grateful – I am blown away by how much I see these traits expanding as we continue to step.

The home should be the treasure chest of living. Le Corbusier
The home should be the treasure chest of living.
~Le Corbusier

In my daughter a light has come on that I had not seen in years!  A sparkle shimmers in her eyes that speaks of a hope that one can manifest their own dreams. She too began her own blog, which filled my heart (https://laughablelassie.wordpress.com/) – for I have been watching both of my children living vicariously through watching other people’s blogs, YouTube clips, video games etc.., to see them create and take action filled me with pride, joy, and immense gratitude. I continue to swell with such speechless love as I watch her grab the kite strings to her future. No longer does she see herself limited because she is just a teen, or that we do not have money, or that we are not living in our own home, or…. She like my son is grabbing hold of life in each moment with an absolute faith that it will become if she steps forward in truth, openness, and gratitude.

The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one's appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship. Amelia Earhart
The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one’s appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship. ~Amelia Earhart.

On the wings of this growth and becoming we were humbly knocked over with the intensity of the next gift we received!! I got a Facebook message from a dear friend of mine asking me to contact her, for she had the answer to the next step in our journey. Intrigued I wrote back. She said, “Give me a call.” We proceeded to play phone tag for the next week or so and then finally our voices crossed the airwaves together. “I was wondering if you and the kids would be interested in house sitting for the next year to two years for us?” she asked. OMG, really!!!  My whole being spun with what she was sharing and asking, seriously, really, somebody please pinch me to make sure this is not a dream!!! “Yes, yes, yes…we would be so honored, thrilled and grateful to live in your home!!” I responded almost breathless in gratitude. My son sat next to me in the car as we spoke on the phone, by now he began to put together what was happening, and a large smile began to spread across his face. Hanging up the phone I found myself in profound stillness, so overwhelmed by this immense gift and opportunity. I looked at my son and burst out in a happy jig and song – each of us smiling from ear to ear with joy and excitement. Again I found myself swept off my feet by the grace of things falling into place and becoming!!

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body. ~Benjamin Franklin
A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.
~Benjamin Franklin

We get to move into our new home sometime in July or August. Excitement, joy and absolute amazement illuminate this precious gift. Each day the three of us breathes deeply in our gratitude for what is and for what continues to unfold for us. We find ourselves truly humbled by the graciousness of our ever expanding community. I can honestly say each day holds magnanimous gifts and experiences. Not a day goes by that I am not humbled in awe and gratitude!

Priceless Presence….

Most of us are on a quest to expand ourselves in a myriad of ways. For some this is the pursuit of goals to acquire certain objects, achieve professional dreams, see or do specific things, and… For me much to my family’s chagrin my expansion has always revolved around the becoming of my human spirit, living and breathing that which I am and expressing to all that our interactions cause a ripple effect.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.  ~Buddha
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. ~Buddha

Today’s post steps away from the sharing of “what is happening” to reflect on how I walk this path. After many years of practice I have gradually let go of the taught way of “going after life”, the goal sheet, the steps to get there, the tally sheet of accomplishments and the list goes on. We all know that there are a plethora of books, videos, workshops, etc.., out there to teach you how to become that amazing leader possessing all you could ever dream of – on another book shelf in a different section there are books that take a peak into something I find priceless – BEING PRESENT in all our moments. This way of living graces the natural blossoming of our lives.

Always say 'yes' to the present moment... Surrender to what is. Say 'yes' to life - and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you. Eckhart Tolle
Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment… Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life – and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you.  ~Eckhart Tolle

I was reflecting on this the other day as I harvested herbs at the farm. Absorbing the smells of sage, tarragon, and thyme I listened to the song of the nearby quail and killdeer. On my skin I welcomed the sweet caress of a subtle breeze and the warmth of the sun as the day awakened. Taking in a deep breath, I sunk into the pure bliss of the moment, everything stood still in the complete expansion of this space. Then a little chuckle arose within me, for an answer to a reoccurring agitating question swirled up to greet me. I had been searching and exploring why I did not “fit in” or why people found my way of living life “frustrating” – Ta-Da the answer leaped forth – I live my life being present, in complete surrender, open to the possibilities that might show up, accepting of the curve balls that life throws at me, peaceful, content, and joyful in what is, what can be, and what was…. I live in complete awareness and understanding that all I can impact and experience is this present moment and the next, and the next.

The present moment, if you think about it, is the only time there is. No matter what time it is, it is always now. Marianne Williamson
The present moment, if you think about it, is the only time there is. No matter what time it is, it is always now. ~Marianne Williamson

Life’s curve balls had begun to teach me the true magic of living this way. Day by day I got better at being in all my moments, knowing that I could not change what was, but how I lived in the NOW impacted that awesome next moment. The gifts of living this way are immeasurable! Every soul can feel if you are truly present or not. Test it out if you do not believe me. Just know that this will require you to shut off your mind chatter, completely set aside your technological devices, look into their eyes, turn on your ears, and open your heart as you breathe quietly in and out. Do this with a child and all will calm down, with a stranger you will feel a connection that will surprise you, with someone you love dearly you will feel the space between you become a divine bubble of interwoven flow.

Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment. ~Deepak Chopra
Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment.
~Deepak Chopra

I find that most people are only half way present, the other half is thinking about what they “should” be doing, what they plan to do, where they are going, how they can accomplish a specific goal, or they are still replaying something that happened earlier which upset them, or…the list really does go on and on. Have you had those lunch dates where the person or people you are with are constantly checking their phone, maybe even texting someone as they pretend to be engaged in your conversation? What about the family meal around the television? Gotta love the restaurants that have twenty televisions, no distraction there, right? When I went back to university to finally finish my forever degree I was shocked by how many students would sit in class emailing or internet searching on their computers while they also responded to text messages on their phones. First and foremost I was blown away by this disrespectful behavior, second I could not understand how you learn when your attention is so divided and third I wondered how it must feel to be so many places at once – never really completely present in any one of them.

We should not fret for what is past, nor should we be anxious about the future; men of discernment deal only with the present moment. ~Chanakya
We should not fret for what is past, nor should we be anxious about the future; men of discernment deal only with the present moment. ~Chanakya

Do not misunderstand me, for I am certainly guilty of being distracted at times, or carrying forth an unsettling conversation/event- however I energetically pay attention to where my thoughts are; noticing if I am consciously embracing the gifts of this time and place. To be completely present one must learn how to listen, I mean truly listen with all of your being. There is a magic that unfolds when you are in the NOW with all of you, it is as though time stands still and each NOW has a vibrancy of its own. You will notice the twinkle in the eyes of the person you are with, you will feel the breeze that before you did not notice, you will hear with clarity what another is truly trying to express, and you will feel the rest of the world and its busy-ness fall away. True grace!

Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is life itself, it is an insane way to live. Eckhart Tolle
Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is life itself, it is an insane way to live. ~Eckhart Tolle

I am a person with BIG dreams that I daily step towards – however I cannot imagine missing all the miracles that each moment allows me to experience along the way! I truly encourage you to try it out – it will take practice for our busy, crazy, chaotic world likes to keep you distracted. As you embrace this way of living you will be blown away by the deepening of your relationships and the intensity of joy available in all your moments!! Until the next post I wish you very full PRESENT moments!

Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going. ~Tennessee Williams
Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going. ~Tennessee Williams

As a side note – please know that all the pictures posted come from our personal gallery!!

Creating a Vanity Set-up

Love your blog my daughter!!

laughablelassie

image

    A little while ago at my dad’s house I set up a vanity table. I did this so it would be easier to access my makeup, hair accessories, etc. I also just enjoy the whole vintage look of it. A couple of my other DIYs are displayed on this desk. Also, I am a huge nail polish collector, and this is where I paint my nails here. At my mom’s house I have a professional nail art desk, with both sides open, but that’s a whole other story☺.

     As you can see, I also like to tape cool cards, or pics of me and my friends on the mirror, but I make sure not to cover where I check myself out.☺ It’s always great to have a lamp right there on the end of your vanity desk to make sure you can see what you’re doing. I like…

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