little admissions #1

*I come from generations of healers, and those with crystal clear intuitive vision.  I am so not my family's healer.  Luckily D's healing powers are effortless, genius, on spot & on time.  So the truth is...the kids never go to me for first aid.  Never, ever, ever.  Because I have an impatient bedside manner with neediness.  I am only able to take pictures of them when they are ill.  Because I am in love with them.    I tuck them in.  Run a gorgeous herbal bath.  But let's be honest.  They can't smell it.  I am merely nursing aesthetics.   Soulstorm's Laura Emily is going to show me how to create balms, baths, and bubble some brews.  And...I might not ever apply it to my beloveds.  It's like having a mom who's a really good cook.  I did, so never made a meal until I left home.  


Poppy and Molly love real life.  Poppy wants me to share the mess of my big cabin with you all: blaring hip-hop, spontaneous dinner parties with dirty dishes for flying dangerously out of the hammock.  Molly pronounced "Real Life!!" the very first time she walked in my door, and I think every time since.  

Hmmm.  I can't stand pretend confessions that just skim the surface, but, I'm really actually quite private & very aware that my own musings are never just my own, but those of my beloveds.  Actually, the scariest admissions are those of goodness, support, vitality.  

And...I think it's important to share the fuller picture.  There's a constant perception that there's a right way to do things and it's just not true.  In my intensives, I always keep the videos homemade, low-key and non-pro because it models ease, play and casual sharing for my ladies.   I tell them that all homework from me should be knocked out in ten minutes.  Yes, even the 100 Year Vision.  Their Sacred Current.  Their 20 Year Games. It's important to just play and not worry about it.  Once they let go of their fear of doing it wrong, they can actually start.  In ten minutes, the basic architecture is in place.  Then they can spend a week sussing it out and making them beautiful.  In my world, the way to do it right is to just be willing to do it wrong.  Everything comes out stronger from the learning.  And that's where the magic happens.

At every level that I work, folks are paralyzed ~ for years.  For decades.  Over the fear that they aren't on hit.  New mamas and experienced papas alike know that "restaurant-tension:" the kids might freak out, requiring them to parent publicly (gasp!!).  Moneyed folks are scared to blow the dough.   Newly minted Ivy-Leaguers are distraught over choices, so they just get the next degree, then the doctorate, then the double-intensive specialty.  Athletes, artists and actresses alike are terrified to show up less than the brightest, biggest, boldest version of themselves.  Community leaders and activists cave to their understanding of diplomatic etiquette.  No, I'm not referring to the inspired and talented.  I'm referring to the talented and afraid.  We all do it.  It's a cultural phenomena that truly keeps us safe.  It's fascinating! 

And that's why this is a once-and-forever unschooling blog.  For every question asked,  free-range learners think there's at least twelve answers.   Who knows if any of them work until we experiment a little?  So many, many answers are long-term discoveries I still am in the middle of. That's the real life part.  The messy, imperfect part.  The scarily blessed part. often as I remember to, I'll look around and see if i can't share some more little admissions...

real life. by thea coughlin

*I cook maybe a couple of times a week.  {D wanted to be the full-time parent last year, so he cooks.}  After years of cooking three organic meals a day for a vegetarian, a red-meat + greens diet, & sometimes gluten-free, sometimes casein-free, always sugar-free crew, (it literally is impossible to break that down in a sentence, let alone daily rhythm) I burnt out & possibly misplaced my cooking mind forever.   It was lost over gluten-free gnocci.  The sticky goo was not behaving correctly, sticking to my hands like peanut butter.  Not a soft, smooth dough that's powdery on the skin.  Instead of dropping fluffy oval clouds into the broth, I was flinging muck into it.  I turned around & flung it all against the wall, covered in family photos.  And took a really, really long walk.  That was three years ago.  It's never been the same around here.

*I've always had help caring for my home from my girlfriend Margarita & her older children, Yohanna & Miguel.  We clean together as families, with our little ones all about.  Sometimes we were pregnant, sometimes we had a newborn on the couch while we all shared a meal.  It was needed for the 9 1/2 years I was recovering, and it is certainly a luxury now.  As are the nannies and assistants who have traveled with us, who became real sisters and brothers to my brood.  I am not an elf without elves.  I can do so much because I have help.  I don't do it on my own & couldn't do it on my own.  Illness taught me that.  Some people can & I so admire that.  And I really mean it when I say I am a servant, a function, and a product of community.  This feels healthy and right to me.

*I leave my family for extended periods of time for work.  Next year I'm traveling at least 8 days each of all twelve months to teach, speak and style in my dream locations, at world-class spas and retreats.  Paris, Lyons, Barcelona, Glastonbury, Sedona, Seattle, New Hampshire, Outer Banks, Madrid, Big Sur are all booked, paid for, ready for me.  In 2014 you'll find me in Asia and the South Pacific.  I waited until each boy was nearly four before I left him.  And now I go.  My heart is wild, I relish my creative freedom, it takes massive partnership with D, my parents, other village members...sometimes I have to juggle this out in my head, and seemingly go backwards occasionally nursing my otherwise super-independent four year-old.  (I guess, for some folks that's it's own admission.  My people have always nursed their children.)  I follow my instincts for what my family needs and what I need.  They know the folks I serve & they feel like they're serving them, too.  I read my three boys every single love letter and make sure they handle every thank you gift that comes as their own.   It took me years to let myself believe it really is okay to travel the world with - or without - my family.  I believe my children need me to model personal philanthropy + creative bliss as guilt-free + shame-free.  So I'm not always here.  I am gone.  Gone like the wind.

But not now.  Right now I'm in front of my fireplace. It's 6:29 am.  My kitten, who is not supposed to be in the house, is running up and down the stairs.  Lake, my newly 7 year-old, is wrapped in a quilt with long curls spilling onto my lap.  And I am here.  Just me.  Free.

much love.  true love.  maya