Slowly and Simply

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Lately we have all been spending time slowing down. There is a feeling of fall in the air now. Mornings are chilly and the sun is setting sooner each night. It has become natural to sleep in a little later and get a later start to the day. There are many adjustments that have been made to our daily routine since the longer, hotter, summer days are ending and the rhythm of the sun is changing, but no one is complaining. The feeling in our home these days is one of complete and utter peace and tranquillity. Not always, of course when there are noisy, growing children around, but even amidst the chaos, I feel complete and total peace and satisfaction with my life.

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The girls finished up their first ever year of swimming lessons during the last week of July/first week of August. Autumn passed two levels in one week and was so proud of herself. Kesa was still a little scared of the water, but enjoyed her experience. Hopefully next year she will brave up a bit.

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The girls have all still been enjoying picking things from the garden.

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Sugar snap peas are a favorite.

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We picked a lot of beans last weekend and froze a whole bunch to have on hand when the potatoes are ready too. They are so delicious!

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Daddy is on holidays from work now too and so we have two weeks before us to relax and spend all together as a family.

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We spent some time at the park already and taking evening walks together.

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Serafina loves playing in the stones at the park.

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Luka, our cat even came too.

We’ve been savoring the last fresh summer berries from the store too and making big, fruit-filled bowls of oatmeal with ground flax seed in the mornings. I always love to see all that color in my bowl!

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The last few days Autumn and Kesa have been visiting and Grandma and Gaga’s house on the lake, so it has just been me and Craig and Serafina. The house is much more quiet with just the one. It is almost weird to be alone together too, after always having had kids around. They even took Serafina for the day, which was almost scary for me because it was the first time that I had been without her in two years. I hadn’t had that feeling in a long, long time now and had forgotten what it is like to be alone.

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Serafina is turning two years old today and my mind is baffled! She has been growing and changing so much these days and really starting to be a little girl now. A beautiful little girl, I might add.

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I’ve gotten a few comments from people about my blog seeming to be boastful or making them feel bad about their own life and that makes me feel really bad. It makes me feel like I shouldn’t share my life if it does that to other people because I know in my heart that my intent is the exact opposite. It makes me feel like withholding my light, even from myself. There are so many beautiful moments that I almost feel guilty for experiencing or enjoying. So many times I would like to sit, write and reflect, but I hold back out of fear. A fear that I think is experienced by many, because in this society it seems that just being happy and content is not OK. Happiness must follow some kind of condition or you must be perfect or accomplish some goal before you can enjoy your life. You must have more, be more or do more.

I have thought about this a lot these days, wondering if maybe some people reading my blog even think I just make up these words and take the images that I do for my blog only. I had to take a step back and truly ask myself if I am only being egotistical or self absorbed, but the truth is that life is beautiful and I just love to reflect on and share the many good and beautiful moments. My mind is more often geared toward the positive and the beautiful things and I love to capture them and reflect on them. I feel like why waste time writing about my fears, worries and problems in life? Yes, they exist and yes, life isn’t perfect around here, but there are perfect moments.

I feel like happiness and contentment really has everything to do with the choices that we make in life. I know that there are a lot of women who don’t get to stay home with their kids or people who are stuck in a job they would rather not have to have, but I also wonder how many choices we make for ourselves in life that we really don’t have to? So many people put extra stress and burdens on themselves and make choices to do things or think things that only steal their peace and happiness. Unconscious choices, yes, but conscious choices too. I wonder how much another person’s jealousy or bad feelings about their lives in comparison to another’s is really only a feeling of regret or dissatisfaction over their own choices in life. Why even bother with the comparison? Sure, there are things in life that we have to do that maybe we don’t want to be doing too, where we have no choice. But even then, we can still always choose our attitude toward the way things are at any moment. Easier said than done, I know, but still 100% possible.

I could go and get a job and put my kids in school or the care of others. My husband could have have done more for himself and committed himself to a career of some kind. We could’ve got a loan and bought a house instead of renting one. We could have new vehicles and car payments, instead of driving our 10 year old van or walking everywhere. We could waste time and money on buying things that we don’t need and want for more, instead of being satisfied with what we have, but we made  the choice to live a more simple life. It wasn’t even something we ever really talked about, we are just really both of that nature. Slowly over the years, we let go of all the things that were only weighing us down and that we realized were not bringing any lasting satisfaction. We gave up chasing all highs of life for the steady stream of peace that flows in simplicity. We made certain choices that have lead us to where we are today and the life that we now share together.

When you let go of having attachments or striving and realize that your thoughts and feelings are not you and that they do not have to control your life, nothing but peace can result. When you realize that you are more and that there is a whole entire life existing before you that you are not living when you are constantly keeping yourself distracted and running from whatever it is you fear (which is most likely stillness and simplicity), turning back to the old way and trying to follow the conditioning of society just feels so empty and unsatisfying in comparison.

This is the lesson that I have been going through these days. Letting go of the battle within myself that still feels guilty for enjoying my life and every moment. To be content to be still and feel the peace and beauty that is all around me and us all, even though many still do not see it. To let myself know that it is absolutely OK to love every bit of life and that gratitude is not a selfish thing. Another big one for me is to be happy even if other people around me are not or may judge me for it.

This blog is a big part of that lesson for me because that is why I created it in the first place. It is my space to find the real me and not be afraid of being her and loving my life, even though it isn’t perfect. I sometimes feel guilty for admitting to myself that I am happy. Happy that I have figured out all of these things at such a young age and that I don’t have to live my life a slave to society or to my mind. I lay in bed at night with such a feeling of gratitude for all that we have together. True, heartfelt gratitude. Even though there are moments of fear and anxiety over raising my kids or disharmony in our home at times, holding gratitude for what is at any moment can only ever bring a feeling of joy and contentment, no matter what is going on on the surface. Recognizing the impermanence of everything in life really helps too. Nothing ever stays the same, even the moments we wish would never end.

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I am human. I contradict myself. I worry. I have fear. I get upset. I question myself. I feel dissatisfaction and discontentment at times. I am ungrateful. My body is not magazine perfect. My kids stress me out. My house gets messy.  I overeat. I am lazy. And on and on I could go. I am not perfect and life is not perfect, but I like to think of myself and my life as perfectly imperfect. What is the point of neglecting and resisting our humanness and accepting the entirety of our being? We are all human and we are all loveable as we are, at any moment. Life is worth living no matter who you are or what you are going through. Why choose to compare yourself to others and live with discontent? When you stop to slow down, ask yourself those questions and reflect upon the possibility of letting go and accepting who you are, well… just see what happens.

Peace and tranquillity,

tiffany6