working at walking our talk

Teasing out and transforming my own limiting internal dialogue seems to be a fairly constant "friend" on this trip of whole-life learning. 
Choosing to live most of my days with my children since Ruby was born and commiting to a family culture of trust and respect has meant often being confronted by my own limiting beliefs. 
There is nothing like trying your best at raising your family respectfully for having your own limiting views and behaviours reflected straight back at you. 
Staying present and working at designing one's own life leaves little room for distraction from this work it seems.
Thankfully cultivating a culture of trust and respect extends also to the relationship I have with myself. 

You see I was socialised very well. 
With a mum raising her five daughters single-handedly, I internalised very quickly to be  a "good girl." I tried my best to please my mum and not add to the already hefty workload.
This skill transferred to bringing me early success at school but being motivated by wanting to be seen as a "good girl" doesn't make for strong foundations. My inner compass was trained outward towards others and this has made for habits that have been ultimately limiting to my own goals and dreams.
Even now in 2012 not many girls get through their childhoods without at least a little of that "good girl" stuff smeared on them.
The girls and I have talked about this "good girl" phenomena and early on I asked them to help me notice if that particular piece of empty praise ever passed my lips. 
It did. They reminded me. We laughed.
It was usually when I was tired.

We include the children in on these conversations all the time. We try to keep a light heart about our limiting beliefs and behaviours. Laughter helps us see them for what they are - old patterns that pop in unexpectedly like old friends now and again and need to be moved on out.
We make it clear we are not interested in them getting comfortable and staying for a while.
Well that's most of them anyway - there are always those persistent ones.

Gunter and I are wrestling with our limiting beliefs around earning money once again. We are committed to supporting other currencies as much as possible - our local timebank, bartering and the gift economy - but making money is still the task that imposes a hefty structure on our life.
I know, welcome to the real world:-)
What we are working at is imagining a more diverse income stream, a stream which is not so location dependent and one that can use some of my strengths as well as Gunter's. Don't get me wrong, I love and value the job I do with the girls but we would all love Gunter to be home more.
This feels like a far off dream (neither of us work in IT for instance ;-) but I've had this seed within me for as long as I can remember, I just need to figure out how to germinate it (and if you want some inspiration, go to this post at outsideways.)
This also goes hand-in-hand with our wish to be mortgage-free because while we deeply appreciate a sense of home, let's face it, mortgages suck whatever way you look at them. And so we wrestle with figuring out how to have a sense of home without a mortgage or paying someone else's mortgage, aka renting.
Each day we support the girls to follow their interests and take the work they choose seriously.
In the long-term we want their childhood to equip them with skills so that they can earn a living from their gifts. 
It is an important part of why we do what we do.
This of course, challenges us, the parents to do the same every day; to find a way to walk our talk and we love that.

We are off to play for a week with friends. See you when we return.


  1. Hi, I've just discovered your blog and I've really enjoyed reading your entries. I really admire your parenting and your schooling thoughts. I am homeschooling our four young children and started out with a vision of a steiner based homeschool much like the classroom that my eldest spent his first year in. But it has been a journey for me discovering this homeschooling business and discovering our children, needless to say we are now more of an unschooling /life learning household but it is still something I am not too sure about and not really that confident with it all. love the concept but struggle with my 'what are they missing out on' thoughts. Would you be open to a few questions??

  2. Always open to question:-) You can email me if you would like a more private conversation or fire away in these comments. I am immersed in some unexpected family time right now so may not be immediate in my replies

    1. Pressed publish and then remembered the term I had been looking for -read "family bereavement" in place of "family time."

  3. Have you considered adding this blog to a website.You write very well and I enjoy reading your posts.maybe a website with added stuff like your own recipes etc or gardening feats. After awhile these can be made into ebooks and sold, among other things. I also follow the Confessions of a Pioneer woman and you are a similar type and she does all sorts of things. Just a thought.