Learning Landscapes: Slow and Steady into a New Year

Year of Small and Slow

A new year, a new opportunity to reflect and renew our beliefs, values and intentions. Many people create resolutions each year and then we hit the ground running trying to create big and important changes in our lives. There are of course big milestones worthy of marking and celebrating (like last month when Hilltown Families quietly turned 10 years old!), but in many cases with the new year we “go big” and then we end up returning to our less-than-ideal habitual routines.

What is the story that our children take away when they see this and what are a few “small and slow” resolutions we may want to consider that can help us reframe what it means to learn, educate and be educated in regenerative and sustainable ways?  Read the rest of this entry »

Setting Intentions for a Mindful New Year

Pursuing Mindfulness in 2016

With the simultaneous and instantaneous beginning and end marking the shift between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day comes an almost equally sudden desire for change. Along with the start of a new year come all of our best intentions for our selves, our treatment of others, and our footprint in our community and our world. In order to accomplish all that we’d like to, or even all that we can, during the new year, it is perhaps more important to connect with ourselves before we attempt to change ourselves – exploring the shape and structure of our foundation before we build upon it.

With the importance of connecting with our inner self in mind, we set our intentions for the new year: to discover mindfulness. Following on the heels of 2014’s resolution to appreciate daily moments  and 2015’s goal of sharing acts of kindness, our 2016 resolution is to pursue mindfulness and connect with our true sense of our selves. While the resolutions of previous years drew us further outside of ourselves in our efforts to create positive change in the world around us, this year’s resolution draws us back in, encouraging us to focus on ourselves in order to support our continued pursuit of the ability to have a positive impact on our communities and our world.  Read the rest of this entry »

Off the Mat: 2015 Resolutions to Connect, Play & Practice

Resolve. Re Solve. To solve again.

Recently, a friend lent me CDs by poet David Whyte. I’ve been listening in the car as Whyte reads and reflects on poets from William Shakespeare to Mary Oliver. People who choose words so carefully make me look differently and think differently about how a word sounds and what those sounds mean.

This fall, my kiddo began bringing home Words of the Week from kindergarten. His teacher posts words like WITH and THE as passwords to enter the classroom, to help kids learn by looking. Participating in his early reading, I find myself taking apart words. Paying attention to how the words I use fit together for sounds. For meaning.

Like that blessed and cursed word: RESOLVE.

Resolve. Re Solve. To solve again.

Something you just solve once, just figure out like 2 + 2, doesn’t need to be re-solved. We re-solve those things that aren’t easily fixed. That we’ve tried a few different solutions for, yet haven’t yet found one that sticks.

So here, dear readers, in no particular order, are my daily re-solutions for 2015: Read the rest of this entry »

Lead the Way Magic Google 8-Ball!

The Good Life: A Year of Thoughtful Seasons by Sarah Mattison Buhl

Signs Point to Yes

When I look back on the dimming horizon of 2013, I marvel at the abundance of the year. We bought a house, we made new friends, we realigned our thinking, transitioning from moving trucks, packing tape and uncertainty, to a minivan, a tire swing, and this old place- -our new home. My family traveled thousands of miles to get here, the five of us taking a leap of faith toward Northampton, MA. It had the right ingredients: a progressive college town, good opportunities, good schools, and family near-ish. We considered other places, trying to piece together a new life after a year abroad, but like so many situations, we chose our path based on what we knew, and took small steps until this place, this opportunity, revealed itself as the best choice out of many good ones. It wasn’t luck. We did our research. We thought about the kind of life we wanted, and I Googled endless conversation threads on City-Data. I’ve come to think of Google as a sort of Magic 8-Ball for the 2000’s. Is Northampton the right place for us? Signs point to yes…

Read the rest of this entry »

New Year’s Resolution… To Enjoy Life!

New Year Memory Bank

This New Year, rather than making a resolution to change something, why not make a commitment to find deeper appreciation for wonderful moments and shared time with friends and family? Throughout the year, write little notes of appreciation and deposit them into a memory bank to open up next year on New Year’s Day.

Along with the first of the year comes the annual onslaught of New Year’s resolutions – pledges to ourselves to be more organized, read to our children more often, spend more time outside, and eat more healthy food. In theory, the resolutions are meant to help us change ourselves for the better and become more satisfied with our lives. However, resolutions can also be challenging, especially for families. Often, we set our sights on doing more, more, more – which is challenging and may not always be realistic.

Instead of requiring ourselves to change the way that we live every time the calendar changes, perhaps we can make a conscious effort to shift our focus and perspective instead. This year, don’t resolve to make changes – choose only one thing to have more of. As a family, challenge yourselves to enjoy more. Rather than resolving to take a family walk twice a week and becoming frustrated when you aren’t able to, resolve to enjoy and savor the family walks that you do get to take, no matter how often they are. Instead of putting lots of effort on creating changes, spend more time enjoying the things that you wish that you could do more often… Read the rest of this entry »

Hindsight Parenting: New Year’s Resolutions for Parents

Leaving Stressors Outside the Front Door for the New Year!

January; the month of promises to change, to improve, to start anew. We usually are gung-ho, walkin’ that treadmill, drinking those smoothies, foregoing those nasty cigarettes for…well…awhile. But let’s be honest, Hindsight tells us that we rarely CHANGE…I mean REALLY CHANGE. Pretty soon that treadmill is collecting laundry that hasn’t quite dried, those smoothies are impossible to drink because the blender is broken and what starts as just one cigarette while out with friends goes right back to a pack a day habit (Yes, my dear friend whom I love to pieces…I am talking about YOU and those blasted cigarettes. I want you to live a long life…so sue me!)… Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: