Sunday, May 31, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Today's Daily Om...
This is perfect timing since LIFE is good started today!
May 21, 2009
A Life of Learning
Life is the province of learning, and the wisdom we acquire throughout our lives is the reward of existence. As we traverse the winding roads that lead from birth to death, experience is our patient teacher. We exist, bound to human bodies as we are, to evolve, enrolled by the universe in earth school, an informal and individualized academy of living, being, and changing. Life’s lessons can take many forms and present us with many challenges. There are scores of mundane lessons that help us learn to navigate with grace, poise, and tolerance in this world. And there are those once-in-a-lifetime lessons that touch us so deeply that they change the course of our lives. The latter can be heartrending, and we may wander through life as unwilling students for a time. But the quality of our lives is based almost entirely on what we derive from our experiences.
Earth school provides us with an education of the heart and the soul, as well as the intellect. The scope of our instruction is dependent on our ability and readiness to accept the lesson laid out before us in the circumstances we face. When we find ourselves blindsided by life, we are free to choose to close our minds or to view the inbuilt lesson in a narrow-minded way. The notion that existence is a never-ending lesson can be dismaying at times. The courses we undertake in earth school can be painful as well as pleasurable, and as taxing as they are eventually rewarding. However, in every situation, relationship, or encounter, a range of lessons can be unearthed. When we choose to consciously take advantage of each of the lessons we are confronted with, we gradually discover that our previous ideas about love, compassion, resilience, grief, fear, trust, and generosity could have been half-formed.
Ultimately, when we acknowledge that growth is an integral part of life and that attending earth school is the responsibility of every individual, the concept of "life as lesson" no longer chafes. We can openly and joyfully look for the blessing buried in the difficulties we face without feeling that we are trapped in a roller-coaster ride of forced learning. Though we cannot always know when we are experiencing a life lesson, the wisdom we accrue will bless us with the keenest hindsight.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
This is truly an unschooling conference - there are no "experts" lecturing, and no "curriculum" or "educational" items being feverishly pitched. Families are the experts and fun is the name of the game - every activity is for the whole family, children are the feature of the event and everything is open to them. The speakers are either parents of unschooled children, or grown unschoolers themselves. There are also more intimate interactive circle chats on a wide range of topics, and loads of "Funshops" - like workshops, only so much more FUN - where you can discover new talents and skills, or share one of your own! The unschooling talent show is always a huge hit, as is the big family barefoot boogie dance! Folks of all ages can hock their handmade wares at the "Un"trepreneurial Fair. And Amy Steinberg, who performed a fabulously energetic concert last year will be back to do it again this year:
And because we cannot bear to part at the end of all this fun, we spend the Monday picnicing at a terrific nearby park.
Dads are a huge part of the event too, speaking, leading funshops, and having gatherings of their own that are sometimes referred to by the beverage-inspired moniker "SSUD"s (the Secret Society of Unschooling Dads).
It is a pretty cool feeling just to be surrounded by families of all ages who live unschooling every day, and totally get your life without you having to explain a thing! We literally take over the hotel, which is a sight in itself.
For a sneak peek at what the conference looks like, check out these videos from past years.
En route, Seattle and Portland both offer amazing museums, science centers, zoos, and children's museums. It is the perfect excuse for a road trip!
Check out the conference website for all the details on speakers, main presentations, circle chats, funshops, registration, hotel reservations, FAQs, etc. (http://www.lifeisgoodconference.com/).
There is also a Yahoo Group set up for questions, chatter, intros, ideas, etc. (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LifeisGoodconference/)
You are encouraged to pass this message along to any other lists/ people you think might find it of interest.