In the Flow of this Uncertain Life

Last weekend was a challenging one for my family. The week of unrelenting rain here in Colorado created overflow in the creeks, and we were faced with a situation that was frighteningly close to the floods of 2013 as the normally gentle waters behind our house surged and swelled into a serpentine river and began to bite off large chunks of our land. Once again, my husband stayed up most of the night for several nights and worked all day fortifying our land. And once again, the boys and I helped where we could but mostly stayed inside, where I tried to calm their anxiety while tending to my own.

Living this close to nature brings the precarious position of our planet forefront into our consciousness. In the midst of this scare, my mind that longs for certainty was already planning our escape: we’ll sell this house and move to … Click here to continue reading...

The Escape Hatch from Anxiety

Life is uncomfortable; there is no escaping that reality. From the time we emerge from the perfect, symbiotic state of the womb and enter the world, we’re confronted with the fact that the external environment doesn’t always meet our needs and our internal state fluctuates from equilibrium to disequilibrium, often a dozen times or more in the course of a single day. I remember when my son was a baby and he was suffering from digestion difficulties. I tried everything in my power to ease his pain – including limiting my diet to three foods – but nothing helped. I clearly recall looking at him one day in his tiny four month old body and thinking, “It’s uncomfortable being in a body and there’s nothing I can do to change that.” It was my first of many motherhood lessons about letting go and realizing that part of our lot as … Click here to continue reading...

Whatever You Water Will Grow

This summer I was determined to grow a beautiful, thriving garden. Last spring I packed away my excuses (not enough time, it’s impossible with a toddler underfoot) and proceeded, under the tutelage of my dear friend, Lisa, to begin my seedlings in greenhouses beneath homemade ligthboxes. My older son and I attended to them faithfully each day and delighted as each little green sprout poked its head above ground. We watered them, transplanted them, and loved them. (Everest insisted on eating lunch beside them to make sure they felt loved.) And when it was finally time to plant them outdoors, we did so with tender loving care. This would surely be the year that we picked peas and kale straight from our own backyard!

All proceeded well for several weeks. I found time to water and weed them each day and, sure enough, the peas began to flourish. My soul … Click here to continue reading...

Moving... with children

Last week, I blogged about the emotional aspects of the moving transition and how to contextualize what is triggered when we move. I mentioned that I would talk more about how to help children transition through a move using context and rituals in a way that is meaningful for them.

We’ve moved twice with our son, Everest. The first move occurred when at two years old when we relocated from Los Angeles to Denver. Given that moving is almost always emotionally challenging for adults and given that Everest is a highly sensitive child, I knew that we had to prepare him as best we could in every way possible. I wanted to impart to him the three-stage context of transitions in a way that would penetrate his little two year old self. I knew that I needed to allow him to grieve and let go of the current life so … Click here to continue reading...

Moving

Have you ever read the statistic that says that moving is the third most stressful event you can endure, following death and divorce? I’m always stunned by this statement. Let’s take a moment to digest this: Death, divorce, moving… Wow. Clearly, for it to rank so high on the list, the stress cannot possibly be solely due to the practical aspects; it doesn’t equate that packing up one house and moving to another location would trigger this level of emotional response. But in the worldview of Conscious Transitions, it makes perfect sense. Furthermore, the level of stress that moving typically instigates is equivalent to the level of healing that’s possible when we approach this transition consciously.

Like every transition, there’s a practical element and an emotional piece. Moving, like the wedding or preparing for a baby’s arrival, certainly comes with a host of items that need to get done. But … Click here to continue reading...