I was able to sleep in a bit today, since KDcat (who now likes to be called Bailey) doesn't have school. For those of you who've been part of the Pure Jeevan family for a long time, you'll see there was a big change in our lives touched on in that last sentence. Yep, KDcat/Bailey is no longer an unschooler. After being unschooled for an entire 15 years, KDcat/Bailey is now attending school!
There are a lot of unique charter school options for children here in Portland, Oregon. (Yes, I did say "here" and "Portland" in the same sentence! More about that, later.) Bailey has always been a creative, free-thinking individual and we discovered a charter school that is not only creative, but also doesn't suppress a child's freedom in any way. It's essentially a school for creative children who know what they want to learn and do, and who are self-directed and enthusiastic about learning with others who are similar.
Portland tends to be known as a place for alternative/progressive thinkers, and the charter school Bailey is attending seems to be the more radical/extreme end of the alternative pool of Portlanders. It seemed like a perfect fit, so Bailey wanted to check it out. It has lived up to all that Bailey has wanted, and more, so far! The highschool just returned from a 3-day camping trip that is followed by a 4-day weekend. Sounds great, doesn't it?
While Bailey and I are here in Portland, Jim is still back in Pittsburgh. We purchased a fixer-upper home at a great price in a hip Portland neighborhood, planning to fix it up once our Pittsburgh home sold and we were ready to fully move to Portland. Well, sometimes the Universe has different plans for us than what we've mapped out for ourselves. It's not always easy following what is presented to us, when we have set ideas of how things are supposed to proceed. It can be quite scary at times to just jump when we don't feel our wings are fully ready to spread open (I'm convinced we grow new wings with every big life change). If you're into following your intuition, however, you'll know that no matter how scary and uncertain it all can be, it's best to just go with things and see where they take you.
Our plan was to move some of our Pittsburgh furniture to the Portland home, hoping the empty home in Pennsylvania would be more inviting to those looking for a new home. So, we rented a moving truck to cross the country and booked one-way tickets to return. The drive across the country was absolutely fantastic. I noted that it's a true testament to our family life when we can be cooped up in a truck for four days and still be smiling and having a nice time together. We loved the gorgeous mountains of Utah and then when we hit Oregon we were nothing but "ooh" and "ahhh" for the rest of the drive to the house we bought. This has got to be one of the most beautiful, topologically diverse states! You have the ocean, the city, the forests, the desert areas. It's breathtakingly beautiful.
Anyway, when we were unpacking the truck in Portland, I received a call saying that Bailey had been accepted at the last minute into the charter school. She had been on a waiting list and we never thought she'd be attending the school this year, so it wasn't even on our minds to even visit the building or meet any of the staff there. It just seemed like things were falling into place...they called while we were in Portland, said someone would happen to be there on a Saturday (the only day we had to visit the school) to show us around and answer questions, and the school was even more ideal once we saw the building and talked with some of the teachers and staff. Bailey didn't hesitate to say she wanted to try attending the school, so we had to hurry to prepare for her first-ever first day of school which started that Monday!
Jim flew back home on Sunday, and we stayed behind. It all happened so fast we didn't have the chance to say goodbye to our friends and family. Now that we've been here a few weeks, however, I can see that it was the absolute best decision we could have made. Whenever I follow my instincts on things, life is so much more enjoyable. My instinct said to stay, to find a way to make it all work even though my mind was saying we weren't prepared for this sudden change in plans and that it wasn't possible. I'm not saying it was easy--living in a fixer-upper home without your loving partner (who also happens to be an amazing handyman) at your side, with your child doing something hugely new for the first time, being without your friends and having to rely on yourself to do things you aren't accustomed to doing (using power tools, is one example!) can be a bit shocking to the system.
We've all gone through a bit of a transition, learning and growing in different ways as individuals and as a family. Life can be such a beautiful journey if we don't focus in on the difficult hills we sometimes have to climb.
During this nine-day mono meal fast for Navratri, I'll be focusing on the aspects of three different Goddesses who are worshiped by Hindus during this special celebration. One doesn't have to be a Hindu, or part of any religion, to appreciate the meanings and inspiration that can be found in various customs/celebrations.
Navratri is special to me because it's a time to embrace the feminine aspects of ourselves. This isn't limited to only females, because we are truly all a beautiful balance of feminine and masculine energy--male and female, alike. However, since our society has historically placed emphasis on all that is masculine, and in essence deems feminine qualities many times as something to suppress, Navratri holds a very special place in my heart. We can all celebrate the various aspects of feminine energy, allowing us to feel less suppressed and more balanced.
Goddess Durga is often the focus of the first three days of Navratri. She represents creative feminine energy, and is fearless, compassionate, and fiercely strong and self-sufficient. It is this feminine energy, particularly the strength and self-sufficiency, that I am celebrating within myself. It is this energy that I am calling on within myself to help me through this transitional time of living without Jim, being responsible for creating a comfortable living space out of this fixer-upper Bailey and I find ourselves living in, and I am reminding myself to be compassionate not only toward others, but toward myself during this difficult time.
10:08 am: I haven't eaten or had anything to drink, yet. When I do, it will be bananas and water (whatever quantity feels right to me at the time). I'm probably not hungry, yet, because I ate later than usual last night. We went out with some new friends to check out the "First Thursday" art event here in Portland. When we returned home, I was feeling a bit hungry so I ate two raw food snack bars and drank some water.
10:26: Two brown-speckled bananas.
10:44: Last minute invite to hang out with a friend ... grabbing a bag of 6 bananas and a container of water.
3:33: Ate five of the six bananas between earlier and now. My tummy was growling at one point because I had gotten hungry, so I ate two bananas at that time (not sure exactly when it was). Then a while later I had another one and then two just now. I'm feeling like I'd like something salty and my mouth doesn't feel fresh, or something, with all the sweet banana. I think it's normal to crave salty when you're eating only sweet (and vice versa), since the body is always striving for balance. I'll continue with the bananas for the rest of the day, though. Oh, I also had a cup of herbal tea -- organic lavender with tulsi (holy basil).
4:13: I'm feeling a bit spacey/jittery from the sugar in the bananas, and sense a bit of a headache. I'm craving some cooked foods (which I'll talk more about tomorrow). My resolve to stick with the nine days isn't diminished... I'm simply observing what my body and mind are saying to me (read that again: "I'm simply overserving what my body and mind are saying to me" -- for we are so much more than our bodies and minds!). We are fascinating creatures, we humans, aren't we !
5:07: I'm feeling hungry again, so it's 3 more bananas. The headache is still very light, not something that is overly bothersome.
6:12: One more banana, very unsatisfied. Wanting cooked food in the worst way (more about this tomorrow). The bananas are too sweet and I'm wanting a heavy feeling in my tummy, but the bananas aren't giving it.
6:24: I'm not hungry anymore. However, I really, really desire some cooked, savory, salty, oily food right now. I have no idea what I'll be eating tomorrow, I'll see what my body desires for mono mealing once I wake in the morning. I won't be eating anymore this evening, but I may have a cup of tea if I'm feeling peckish at all before bed. So far, so good. I'm feeling a bit cold and jittery, but the headache seems to be gone. I have the same amount of energy as usual, and my digestion seems to be okay so far (a big surprise for me).
Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.
On October 9, 2010, wrote:
Wow! I'm so glad that Bailey (It's going to be so hard to not say Kat!) got into school!
Portland sounds awesome.
On October 10, 2010, wrote:
Oh Wendi, it is so nice to 'hear/read' your voice! Wow, that is a lot of bananas lady! I am so glad Bailey has found her place in school, what a universe that must open for all of you!
Fingers crossed for your Pittsburgh place to sell asap!
On October 10, 2010, wrote:
Oh, it IS awesome, Bethany! You'd love it here...so you'll definitely have to visit whenever you can, to check it out! It does sound like Chicago is going great for you, so far, though!!
I love you!
On October 10, 2010, wrote:
Thanks, Debbie! :-) It was about 11 bananas for the entire day, definitely not too many as far as calories. But, if someone is staying away from fruit it would definitely be too much. ;-)
Yes, Bailey is loving the school and it is, indeed, opening up a lot of opportunities for all of us. Life is so different when you're used to having your kid around 24/7 and then they're gone for a big chunk of every day.
Keep those fingers crossed! Soon, it just has to happen SOON! :-)
I love you!