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    Theresa Lode or, simply “T”, had her world turned upside down and inside out when her son was diagnosed with ADHD and a few other goodies. Her choice- follow the doctor's orders....or trust her heart and delve into the world of Free Range Education. She chose the latter...

    Curious? Want to know more? Read on ...
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A shift in this blog

Perhaps it’s because our youngest will be finishing up school shortly – I see my focus on this blog is shifting. Oh, I’m still passionate about  free range education and love to talk to anyone who’s interested in it.   It’s a topic I’ll still visit – just less frequently.

This season in my life is focusing on mindbody topics. Having dealt with chronic pain for many years, I have been in the process of walking out my healing using a mindbody approach. (This approach doesn’t focus on “structural” issues but rather internal stuff and personality traits.)  By the way – my many years in homeschool circles have shown me that many (the majority?) HS moms deal with chronic health issues like Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia.

But are these topics really disparate?  I’ve come to the conclusion: Not so much.  Both industrialized medicine or education depend upon a similar playbook, like: 

  • They’re both big bu$iness.
  • Both create passive dependents with a few people at the top making all the decisions for the majority. I’m the expert, do as I say. And don’t dare question my godhood.
  • The needs of the institution outweigh the individual. (Hello? Managed Care? And we all know how well one-size-fits-all education works for many kids.)
  • Both create consumers. (Take this pill, consume this arbitrary curriculum)
  • Perpetuate immaturity and victimhood. (There’s a diagnostic code for that! – It’s not my fault I’m an asshole. Just getting the right person in office will open a job up for me.)

Learning to live fully requires rejecting the status quo and reclaiming our freedom that was our birthright long before the Founding Fathers penned our Constitution.

Chasing your tale

Ever seen a neurotic dog chasing its tail? It’s both hilarious…and pathetic. I saw an episode one Cesar Milan that featured just this. Through his careful and patient intervention, he put an end to the dizzying frenzy.

We humans are a bit different in that we chase our tales. The stories we tell ourselves.

And if could pan out with a camera and see how much we tend to do this, we could begin to treat ourselves and each other with more kindness. Sort of like how Cesar helped Lassie settle down.

The tales we chase are stories we ruminate over and over. And over again. They serve no purpose other than to keep use preoccupied with useless, self-defeating behavior.

Pay attention to your internal narrative today. And if you’re chasing a tale – is it time for a new story?

Health risks linked to childhood trauma

As I learn more about MindBody Syndrome (MBS) or Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) I am continually amazed at the science behind what some consider junk science. Here’s an extremely simplified explanation of MBS/TMS – Our psyche affects our physical bodies. Eg, your chronic backache is likely rooted in heartache. (Check out Dr. John E. Sarno’s book Healing Back Pain for a primer on this fascinating topic.)

There was a study on Adverse Childhood Trauma and it’s correlation to health issues later in life. Here’s a TED talk on it:


Curious about what you’re score would be?  Here’s the test.

I scored 5. (Hello, fibromyalgia! And for the record, I only through out the fibro word as an identifying point. I understand fibro and most any other chronic pain issues as MBS/TMS.)

I hope the medical establishment begins to pay more attention to the on-going research. It is important for doctors to ask, “What was/is going on in your life when your symptoms started?”

Of course, the tricky part is the fact that many people don’t want to open those shadowy closet doors. It’s much easier to take a pill or become a victim. So I don’t blame a doc who IS cognizant of these things to hold his peace and reach for the Rx pad.

Getting your crap together

I still have a middle-schooler buried deep in my psyche. I know this because I find myself stifling a laugh when I see someone trip. And I get a small thrill when I startle a pedestrian in my stealthy Prius. And as much as I chastise my boys for their mirth over flatulence…there’s nothing quite as funny as someone ripping an ill-timed big one. (True story – just yesterday, I asked Jay his opinion on something. He opened his mouth to speak and Poof! No words were needed. Apologies to my long suffering husband who has far more class than I’ll ever have.)

So much for maturing.

I have some other things that have persisted since my juvenile days too and one of those things is this – the Myth of Getting My Crap Together.

The Myth of Getting Your Crap Together states that somehow and somewhere, in a far and distant land…you will have your Crap together. You will have all the answers. You will be GOING PLACES! The clouds will part and you will understand your perplexing issues. Maybe even have a house that’s always clean.  And you’ll never lose your car keys.

This myth keeps you from starting and in a perpetual state of feeling discombobulated and ashamed that everyone around you seems to have their crap together.

And you? Yeah, you. You loser! Get your crap together!

I’m learning I will never have my crap together. And any illusion that I have is just that: an illusion. It’s a lie. What I do have is a heart to live fully in the moment. My raw humanity that stubbles and and falls and farts. A desire to get up after I fall.

Or the need for a friend to help me up when I fall. Thankfully, those are all things that come naturally to us all.

What’s in your heart to do? Get after it. You don’t need to have your crap together.

That’s all for today. I’m going to go quietly roll off in my Prius now…

You wouldn’t wanna use this GPS

Jay and I were navigating around Phoenix yesterday with the help of our Garmin GPS.  I love how those have gotten better over the years.  Ours will even show a snap shot of what the upcoming exit will look like and tell you what lane you need to be in.

It’s not unlike how we Americans think.  We want to know what’s coming up and what lane to be in.  If we dare have the courage to ask why this is so, fear is sure to be found.

We are afraid to “make a mistake” or make a wrong turn.  We are afraid of getting off course – some mysterious and shameful admission that we lost our way.

So back to the GPS.  Having an idea of where one wants to go is important I think.  But if I had a GPS that bogged me down with directions that come after that 3rd turn up ahead right after the instruction to get into the middle lane 3 miles down the road, I’d throw the darn thing out.

Granted, I usually try to get a bird’s eye view of where I’m heading when I’m in a new city.  But to fret over what’s beyond what’s immediately in front of me is to 1. Lose the awareness of what’s in front of me now and 2. Work up a good anxiety attack.

But this is precisely how we are trained in our culture.  We expect kids to have their future mapped out, down to the very turns they’ll take through college.  Living in a city where 25% of the population are seniors, I’d like to poll them to find out how many of them are living the retirement life they had planned.  I suspect precious few.

How foolish.  I much prefer the compass vs. road map approach.  A compass allow for journeying over the road less traveled with discoveries just waiting to be explored.

Ditch the GPS and align yourself with your True North Star and move in that direction.  Enjoy the journey and don’t get bogged down in details. When the time is right, you’ll know when to turn and when to keep on going.  Stopping for a rest at times too.

Scary stuff I know.  But the sure path thing is an illusion fabricated by cultural workings designed to keep us discontent, fearful and insecure.  There is no sure thing.

Where will your journey take you today?  Enjoy the ride!

PS Part of our journey is back in the world of self-employment so I’m writing myself through this process myself.  It’s exciting to know the possibilities are endless (we can set our own hours and work from wherever we want!)  and…well, terrifying.

When freedom looks scary to a person, it’s probably a good indication that one has been imprisoned.



The gospel of self improvement

Jay and I did something we haven’t done in several years – we attended a church service.  Lovely, friendly people..but we were reminded of why we quit church several years ago.

For 1/2 hour, we listened to the preacher speak grace one moment and then “but you gotta do your part” the next.  He admonished us over making sure we do enough.  And to be sure to fellowship with godly people.  (Read: hang out only with people like yourself.)

I was exhausted just listening.  I considered the young man who sat in front of us.  One of the congregants later told he came from an abusive home and struggled with PTSD.

Great, I thought.  The gospel of self improvement is just what this young man needs.  Is that really good news?

On our way out the door, there was a old woman sitting in a wheel chair.  She looked at me and extended her hand.  I accepted it and she told me, weeping about a friend who recently died.  Or a relative.  Truth is she was hard to understand.  She wanted prayer that someone else wouldn’t die.

I leaned over and gave her a mama bear hug and told her I was sorry for her pain.  I can’t do the “don’t let them die” prayers.  We’re all gonna die.  Self improved or not.

This morning, I finished my work out before Jay so while waiting in the lobby, I picked up a woman’s magazine and glanced over the topics.  Cures for what ails me – dresses to hide my upper arms, solutions to thinning hair, lose 5 pounds in a week, ad nauseum.  Shame, shame, shame!

It’s not just in the church.  It’s in our culture and it’s very, very sick.  We are continually bombarded with messages of lack and shame.

It’s damage to relationships is especially pernicious as now we are all constantly comparing ourselves to one another.  Performance and ego replace just being.  The treadmill only continues to pick up the pace.  Connection doesn’t have a ghost of  a chance.

You…yes, YOU…are okay.  Just the way you are.  You are loved.  And sometimes like is sucky and incredibly painful.  But it’s okay.


Tagscreme can only do so much

Molly and I popped into the heath food store the other day.  I can’t resist freebies and the store had fluorescent fliers slapped up every where announcing the sampling circus. So we attended the festivities yesterday.

We nibbled here and there.  Discovered coconut milk caramel.  Nibbled on gluten free cookies (tasty but I hardly consider corn starch to be a healthful wheat substitution) and wondered how long I could politely wait before pouncing on the free chair massage.  The hippy dude was still setting up shop and I decided, to my deep sorrow, it just wan’t gonna happen as Molly was meeting a new friend for coffee.  We were heading toward the exit, balancing my little paper cup of breakfast blend with organic cream when I spotted a beautiful 20-something year old peddling facial stuff.

Oooooh!  I LOVE facial stuff.  Und – Was ist das?  It was from Germany! I love multi-lingual packing!  The perky gal offered Molly a sample assortment.  Then she looked at me and dug in her piles of goodies until she found it.  “Here, try this,” she said.  It was the anti-aging.

I asked about fragrance.  I only mess with fragrances when I feel like sneezing and today I didn’t feel like sneezing.

Her brow crinkled in conviction and dropped her voice a notch, “Gerta ONLY uses ingredients that she would put into her body!  It’s alllll natural!” I pondered developing a Doritos line of skin care products and advertise it as a youth preservation but realized that fragrance just wouldn’t work.

This morning, I eagerly slathered on the Tagscreme and murmured a guten tag to myself.  I can hardly wait for tonight’s application of the Nachtcreme.  I feel so cultured.  (Or should I say kultured?)

I find something mildly amusing with how we obsess over what we put into or onto our bodies…but our thought lives are full of toxic thoughts and attitudes.  And the more I learn more about the mindbody, the more I realize how the thought life will create reality…yes, even to the point of impacting your physical health.  I think a Nazarene mentioned something about how it’s the bleck coming out of the heart (and we know what he said about how a man thinks in his heart, eh?)  that messes up a person.

Turn off the TV, go watch a sunset, perform a random act of kindness…this stuff will do more for you than any face cream – edible or not. German or American. Now if face cream could cultivate gratitude, we’d really be onto something.  But gratitude is something only the heart can manufacture.  And it’s a lot easier on the budget too.

Glücklich Sonntag!  (Happy Sunday!)



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