Saturday, February 28, 2015
I am in the process of combining several of my FB groups under the umbrella group, Mama Scout Laboratory of Creative Living. This group will be a space of encouragement, provocations and prompts, resources, sharing, and monthly wellness challenges. It is free and the people there are nothing short of amazing.
This months challenge is a spring tidy. Each week day I will send out a mini challenge (10 - 30 minutes to complete) to declutter and clean your house. We will keep it fun as we share before & after photos and post the weirdest things we find in the couch cushions/glove box/purse...
Join the group here.
Posted by Amy at Saturday, February 28, 2015
Thursday, February 26, 2015
I witnessed something amazing this last week. Something that I never asked for or knowingly encouraged. A generosity from the Mama Scout tribe that blew me away and made me realize that I completely underestimated the power WE have (I thought I knew, but I had no idea).
As registrations for Dream Lab were heating up, a few women offered to host giveaways and pay for other women to join the lab. I was so moved by the support and giving of these women. But, apparently I was not the only one.
As the week progressed, I started getting emails and messages from other women who wanted to pay for dream sisters who were not able to afford the lab this year. One after another they came in. They asked specifically to sponsor women who they had come to know online over the last few years. They gifted women who had shared their brave dreams, their BIG leaps of faith and kind support to others. And they all wanted to remain anonymous.
So, I spent time contacting unsuspecting women saying something like, "guess what? you were gifted a spot in Dream Lab by an anonymous woman. Someone who knows the lab will be better because YOU and your voice are in it."
Each recipient was shocked and asked me to pass on to their patron messages of gratefulness and promises to pay it forward. And for many of them, this gift came at just the right time. They might have been struggling with something heavy or feeling world weary.
An act of kindness turns around negativity, yes. But it also enlivens the spirit and encourages the recipient to offer the world something generous. It is exponential and contagious and good. Seeing how this generosity spread like a fire through our group makes me ever determined to figure out how to start sparks of goodness and harness that energy. And to fully stand in the power and support others who seek to do the same.
Stephanie Perkinson and Leah Kent help participants explore the energy of their space, spruce up with simple makes, and create a home that is a reflection of their values and passions.
It is the perfect companion class to Dream Lab. They work well together and would not compete or overwhelm each other.
To enter this giveaway just leave a comment below telling me what you are dreaming about right now. Make sure that I am able to contact you, which I will do Sunday morning! Good luck!
Posted by Amy at Thursday, February 26, 2015
Monday, February 9, 2015
I have not done a Monday Mission in a while and it seems about time I rectify that. This week, head over to the thrift shop (or your own attic if you are like me), choose a serene or saccharine painting and add something to it.
This was a little gift for my son's birthday. I added a bigfoot, a burning house and a fleeing figure. You can figure it out - or can you? While my painting is not as skilled as I would like, I think you get the gist. And it was fun and made us laugh.
Saturday, February 7, 2015
One of the reasons I love being in a book club its that I am encouraged to read outside my preferences. While not the memoir or nonfiction that I tend to read, this book had me nodding, underlining and exclaiming to those around me, "you can't believe this! this book was written like 60 years ago! it could have been written now!"
A dystopian warning where people are scared of books and talking and thinking, residents spend their free time watching wall sized TVs with programs that they can never quite remember (even though the actors are called their "family"). Constant bombardment of noises, shocks, and fear keep people "happily" isolated in their cocoons of comfort.
Protagonist, Guy Montag, a fire fighter charged with burning books and the homes that try to hide them, meets a girl who pulls back the curtain and makes him question what is really happening around him.
This book is the tale of his unravelling.
Highly recommended and a great book to discuss with a group. I can not wait to share this one with my kids when they are teens.
Posted by Amy at Saturday, February 07, 2015
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Dream Lab is gearing up for its 3rd incarnation and I am excited to share with you!
The lab has been lengthened to 3 weeks and the content is ALL new. That is right. I have rewritten the lab to reflect what I have learned in the last few years about integrating your dreams into your "real" life. We are going to dig into the past a bit, share real life tools, methods, and resources for getting stuff done, investigate various types of dreams, learn how to "own" your work and embrace failure and so much more.
You know the power of mama scout groups and the serendipitous creative energy they create. Maybe you have already made some real progress on your dreams and can share your story as you move into your next chapter.
I have another idea that I wanted to share with you.
I am beginning to see this work, these labs, as really important. Not just to the individual woman who gains some self reflection and improvement - but to culture in general. I can hardly read the news each day without feeling like I have been punched in the gut. There is so much pain, violence, mental illness, random tragedy, and fear. I feel like strong feminist voices need to ring out in our communities and the public sphere. Each strong, vocal, and nurturing woman can spread a more peaceful vision to those she encounters. Maybe this is bordering on feel-good utopianism - but why not? We each have something to contribute and at this point in my life (as a busy homeschooling parent) these labs are what I got.
So, can you help me spread this vision to other women who you think would be interested in caravanning with us?
I want to offer a referral program. If you refer 3 people to the lab (they can just put your name in the notes when they sign up) I will enroll you in the Summer Journal Jam. SJJ started last year and was 3 months (close to 90 prompts!) of creative prompts to start and sustain a family journaling practice. It is worth $99!
Use social media or direct messages to share your story of how you benefited in the lab and expand our tribe of kick ass women. Right now we are tiny - but mighty!
And as always, please email me with any questions or concerns.
You can sign up here.
Posted by Amy at Sunday, February 01, 2015
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Our last book club selection was a Civil War era tale that wove together history, adventure, laugh out loud humor and the horrors of war. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg is a quick read, packed with the unbelievable shenanigans the protagonists find himself in as he searches for his illegally conscripted brother - from helping a Quaker abolitionist, working in a medicine show, flying an untethered silk surveillance balloon to actually participating on the battle field. The battle scenes are not sugar coated and reveal the brutality and cruelty of warfare, but there is a tidy, happy ending. We recommend this book, especially if you are studying the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's end this year.
Posted by Amy at Saturday, January 24, 2015
Saturday, January 3, 2015
There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them. Whenever I'm sad I'm going to die, or so nervous I can't sleep, or in love with somebody I won't be seeing for a week, I slump down just so far and then I say, "I'll go take a hot bath"
I meditate in the bath. The water needs to be very hot, so hot that you can barely stand putting your foot in it. Then you lower yourself, inch by inch, till the water's up to your neck.
I remember the ceiling over every bathtub I've stretched out in. I remember the texture of the ceilings and the cracks and the colors and the damp spots and the light fixtures. I remember the tubs, too: the antique griffen-legged tubs, and the modern coffin-shaped tubs, and the fancy pink marble tubs overlooking indoor lily ponds, and I remember the shapers and sizes of the water taps and the different sorts of soap holders.
I never feel so much myself as when I am in a hot bath.
...I guess I feel about a hot bath the way those religious people feel about holy water.
I recently revisited The Bell Jar 20 years after I first read it when it was mentioned in my reader's tribe. Not only does it retain its power, but it was even more poignant the second time with the benefit of age and experience.
To read Esther Greenwood's story of one year in her life - from her highs of success, to her mental breakdown and the barbaric treatments available in the mid 20th century to her final rebirth - is to read (ash experience) the story of what it means to be an educated woman in America. Her story is recognizable in the women I know and talk to today.
The tragedy of Plath's life as experienced in this semi-autobiographical novel is right at the surface and as tangible and electric as it was 45 years ago. I was moved and highly recommend a rereading if it has been while for you too.
Posted by Amy at Saturday, January 03, 2015