Making + Listening + Soulful September

a new project

in the process

lion

whale

a felt board for Ellie

MAKING: Inspired by a friend’s fireplace turned felt board, I realized it was high time I made a felt board for Ellie. We don’t have much space for an extra-large one at the moment, but I came across a piece of lightweight wood that fit perfectly in Ellie’s toy corner in the living room. I staple-gunned the felt to the wood and nailed it to the wall. Easy peasy. However, I have become obsessed with making little felt story people now. Any extra time has been devoted to coming up with new little felt guys. I started with “slippery fish” (an old preschool tune perfect for toddlers to follow along) and I’m working on the characters from Polar bear, Polar bear, since Ellie is very into these stories at the moment. It’s been a fun new project and I’m excited to start using the felt board for new ways to stimulate and entertain my busy 13 month old!

banjo music

LISTENING: Ellie and I took a walk to our local record store  this week, in search of some inspiration for Daddy’s new-found love for anything Banjo. We’ve been enjoying a lot of new (new to us) bluegrass these days and looking forward to hearing Daddy play more tunes as well.

As for Soulful September... this is the last week of my soulful september. I’ve learned a lot about balance and what I can and cannot fit into my days right now with a 13 month old at my heels. I do want to do more of these types of challenges. I think it keeps my soul healthy and even though at times I found it frustrating that I couldn’t get everything done in a day, it was helpful to have a goal in mind to keep me motivated.

Reading: Jeff passed this piece along by Steve Martin about his banjo playing journey which I found an interesting read.

Moving: Never got past the walking every day and doing my physical therapy exercises (almost) every day. But I’m calling it a success, because I did get outside moving.

Writing: I think starting Amanda’s writing course on the 30th is definitely a good move. I’ll be keeping my writing going even after Soulful September and learning and growing through this anticipated course.

Meditating: This is the one that has fallen by the way side more times than not. It’s just so very difficult to get any “quiet” time when you are caring for a toddler all day and night. I want to work on this and as Ellie get’s older, I’m hoping I can even get back to my yoga practice outside the house every once in a while to really focus on my meditation practices.

-joining Dawn for Making and Listening (and ending my own Soulful September).

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Soulful September 3:4

It’s really beginning to feel like fall all of a sudden around here. The beach fog rolls in, in the morning, it’s much cooler throughout the day than it’s been, it’s getting darker earlier and I’m just feeling that shift in season. Today I spent the day cleaning house, getting out some fallish items, putting away some of the bright, light summer colors and replacing them with richer, deeper tones. I dusted, I vacuumed, I lit candles throughout the house, all while wearing my first pair of socks for the season. This to me was soulful. I find preparing for the new season something peaceful and welcoming to the soul.

fall changes

 

wind blows fall in

 

fall runner

 

candle cleansed

 

darker colors fall brings

This past week I’ve been

reading : this that I got in the mail this week. Loved this piece on books. And joined an online book club where we will be discussing the first chapter of this parenting book tomorrow.

moving; practicing my physical therapy/Pilates exercises every day. Ellie thinks I’m being silly and enjoys crawling all over me while I do this.

writing: I’ve been wanting to try this for a while now and finally after reading this post, I signed up. I’m hoping it will enhance my soulful journey and help me develop and strengthen my creative writing. I’m freaking out about it just a little bit.

meditating: this has still been difficult for me to do every day, but this week I’ve been taking daily walks with Ellie and sometimes when (if) she falls asleep, I work on listening and concentrating on my breath as I walk and shut out the rest of the world. Not quite the meditation practice I had in mind when I started this thing, but hey, I’m a Mama and I guess you could call it my Mama Meditations.

I’ll leave you with a poem, for, tonight is the harvest moon!

RIDING ON THE HARVEST MOON by Annette Bromley 

 The days are growing shorter

and cold weather is coming soon

as autumn arrives in gala dress

riding on the harvest moon.

The harvest moon, pale amber orb

in the late September sky

smiles down on a bountiful earth

and bids summertime good-bye.

The oaks all wear carnelian crowns

in a forest gowned red and gold

where crickets chant by the moonlight

Fields and orchards yield plenty now,

days still warmed by a gentler sun;

Now is the time to gather in

for soon ice and snow will come

and sooner will be the days of sticks,

fields, once gold, soon turn to dun.

Wild flocks are singing their farewells.

We’ll soon hear the last song of the loon.

The geese will soon be flying south

across the harvest moon.

It is the season of the Harvest Moon,

that pale amber orb of light

smiling down on a bountiful earth

on these late September nights.

Now is the time to gather in.

The fields and forest are ripe

And abundant now for harvest;

The apples are red, the pumpkins gold

And the harvest moon is in the sky

And the nights are growing cold.

The days are growing shorter.

Winter’s night is coming soon.

Autumn has come in gala dress

riding on the harvest moon…

And she is chanting out her warning

upon the autumn breeze

as she twirls and dances for awhile

among the falling autumn leaves.

 

A Soulful September

soulful september

There have been posts and talk around the blogosphere about a September challenge. Throughout the summer, I’ve been feeling like I haven’t been giving this space enough of my attention. Part of that is because I have a teething, almost 13-month-old who needs her Mama’s attention and love and soothing milk the majority of the day and another part is that I’m feeling less than inspired these days and I’m thinking a challenge will give me that bloggy pick me up.

I really liked this post on filling your “soul hole” and then this morning came across this post and the “three for thirty” idea I really liked too. Also check out this TED talk and this one for added inspiration. I know we are already on day 4 of September so I have a few days to make up, but I think I’m going to give this 30 day challenge thing a go, both for the creative inspiration I hope to get from doing something every day and the routine of adding something soulfully healthy into my life. I will call my challenge Soulful September. I have been drawn lately to the principles and philosophies of Buddhism and I would really love to learn more ways to enjoy the world around me, spend more time reflecting and meditating, as well as reading as much as I can about the wisdom of Buddhist teachings. Every day of Soulful September I will read (something inspiring hopefully), move (either walking outside, yoga or swim), write (journal, gratitudes, blog) and meditate (this will be the toughest for me.  Finding the time and just reflecting quietly, has always been difficult for me). These four things seem like soulful additions to my every day life yet simple enough to hopefully keep up with every day for a month.

Read, Move, Write, Meditate -once a day for thirty days.

I will keep you up-to-date about my Soulful September happenings once a week here. And would love it if you would join me with this challenge or anything similar you are doing this month.

* calendars by Claudia Pearson and Nikki McClure  and Bee girl art from here. (All inspirational art for me)!