Tag Archive | self-development

Life’s not easy – but easy isn’t always best!

You can walk anywhere

You can walk anywhere – nothing fancy needed!

When my nose was buried in the grass I swear something went up it. I was doing a long sumptuous in-breath with a bit of yoga stretching.

Don’t think I’m some fanatical fitness freak or extreme yogic. I’m not – I’m not extreme anything really. I aim for balance. I just try to keep up with the little things that I know have helped me over the years, gentle stretching and moments to check in with the self being some of them.

It’s helped me deal with challenges and angst. It’s helped me deal with grief. It helps me bring myself down to earth (especially the nose in grass bit), and it’s helped me deal with the frustrations and anxieties of being a parent, a home educator and now a writer.

So I’ve learned that it’s worth pressing on with it, even if not the pressing face on floor bit which is not supposed to happen anyway. But at least I do it – occasionally. And keep on doing it – occasionally – but consistently occasionally, if you get my drift.

‘It’s all right for you, you’ve always done it’, people have said, always thinking things are harder for themselves than for anyone else. I also hear ‘it’s all right for you, you’re not overweight,’ as I indulge in a slice of cake. Or, ‘it’s all right for you, you’re fit,’ as we walk and talk and I’m not gasping for breath as much as they are. And most annoying; ‘it’s all right for you, you’re a calm person’.

Believe me, I’m not. Ask the family!

And it’s comments like these that really get up my nose. For it’s not all right for me. It’s bloody hard work to keep going with things that feel like too much bother sometimes. It’s as hard for me as for other people.

The only difference, maybe, is in attitude. Is in my belief that we build our own lives. And can take charge of some parts of it if not all. It’s up to us. No point in waiting for others to do something about things we want to be different.

And I practice that mentality. I act upon it.

We can all have some charge. We can all do some things to build lives towards keeping fit, keeping well (and weight’s included in that), and keeping sane.

And the only way to do that is to act. To start now. And keep at it – slog though it is sometimes. That’s what reaps the benefits, longer term. And life is long term remember!

To others I suppose, being fit enough to do some stretching and in my own garden must seem lucky. And luck does play a part. But the biggest part is building what you want for yourself.

If you want to be fit enough to walk without gasping; build your fitness – walk. That’s all I do; you don’t need anything fancy. If you want less weight; consume less food, fat and sugar – that’s what I have to do, very hard for someone with a sweet tooth. If you want to be calm and content to help you deal with these challenging times; build things into your life which create calm and content. And be persistent with them.

It’s SO worth it!

You only get one life. Does it not make sense to value and take charge of aspects of it that keep you feeling good? Especially as we have so much other stuff we cannot control doing the opposite!

It won’t always be easy – but easy is not always the best answer is it?

No reason not to start right now really! And what an inspiration you will be to those around you, most especially the children.

Un-learning? What’s that got to do with education?

Learning can happen any time, anywhere, any place

Learning can happen any time, anywhere, any place

Funny to have a title un-learning on a blog that’s generally about learning, self-development and home education.

But the reason is that’s exactly what you have to do in order to learn. You very often have to un-learn something else. Adjust something you thought was true. Update your information and ideas. Often your values and principles.

For example, I had to unlearn quite a lot of stuff I thought I knew in order to home educate. I had to unlearn the things I thought were true, like;

  • Learning only happens in school
  • Teaching and teachers are always necessary
  • Schools satisfactorily socialise children
  • Children need to be tested
  • Graded schemes, curriculum, daily structure, workbooks and lots of writing is essential
  • And if you’re not ‘doing’ education the children won’t learn anything

Instead I learnt that;

Learning can happen anywhere, at any time, any place. Teaching and teachers are not always necessary. The school climate does not reflect the social climate of our society and you cannot learn social skills from other youngsters who don’t have them. Testing does not help children become educated. Lots of academic exercises don’t guarantee learning outcomes. And the children can learn even when they’re not doing anything seemingly educational.

What you will learn as you home educate is that there are a multitude of approaches you can adopt to facilitate your children’s education and the more you see how they learn by being engaged and active and stimulated the more you will realise that there are lots of things you have to un-learn about education in order to progress.

Parenting is the same. As a parent I had a load of stuff fed to me about parenting. Some of it was true. Some of it definitely needed un-learning. And the most important thing I learned was to keep an open mind and remain flexible – which works far better than any hard and fast rules people tried to push on me.

And we think it’s just the kids doing the learning! We all learn all through our lives.

So perhaps the most significant thing both you and the children can learn is the idea that the more educated we become the more we realise there is to learn. And this is true whatever and forever!

Do you ever think about your values much?

004I’ve been writing some stuff about Values recently, although I suppose values are embedded here in everything I write really.

It’s just they’re not labelled as such or at the forefront of our thinking, so I’ve been giving them some focus.

They have been bandied about politics recently and the prime Minister has been going on about them – not that I listen to him often! And they’re also being implemented into the National Curriculum in schools.

So it’s started me questioning (doesn’t everything I hear you ask?).

The biggest question it’s thrown up is ‘what are they?’ What does it mean when we talk about values? What do we value? And what values do we actually uphold ourselves?

Big questions!

I’ve discovered as I’ve started writing about these things that they provoke even more, without many concrete answers.

But one conclusion I have come to during this valuable enquiry is that our values enhance our lives in innumerable ways we perhaps don’t realise – I didn’t.

And another thing I discovered is that you don’t have to be rich and famous to be worth anything, to make a huge contribution to the world, or to make your mark in your own small way.

Upholding your own special values can do that. And passing them onto your children.

I’m aiming to explore these ideas a lot more as I write, so I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, do chip into the conversation and tell me what you think. I love to read your comments and ideas.

Perhaps we’ll have better ideas than the Prime Minister who I suspect may be more focussed on votes than values.

But who am I to go devaluing him!