Green Grandmothers Find a Way to Connect the Children

"To reach real peace in the world, we will have to begin with the children."
Mahatma Gandhi

 It started during the pandemic.


Three of my grandkids were on lockdown in the South Pacific. 
My other three grans were "local" but with the pandemic we had limited visits at a distance and with masks.

Christmas was happening and I felt the sting of being separated from all my grans. I wanted us to all be connected and not forget each other so I had to come up with a plan.

So...I started Gran's Zoom Christmas party.

I had to consider the time difference. The Vanuatu family (in the South Pacitic) is 18 hours ahead of the US. 
There were other obstacles like ensuring I could hold the kid's attention the whole time.

Yesterday we had Gran's 3rd annual Zoom Xmas party.

The two Davis grans, Avery and Andy, came to my house and we celebrated the winter solstice together.

I had decided to also have our Zoom Christmas party on the same day. Why not? 

It...

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Winter Solstice - How to Love the Longest Night of the Year

As the winter solstice approaches here in the Northern Hemisphere, let us take time to be still and focus on our inner being on this longest night of 2022,

This is a time to reflect on all that has happened in this past year and gain clarity for what lies ahead of us. 

Imagine for a few minutes letting go of the busyness of the holidays and being in listening mode rather than doing mode.

Listen to Mother Earth and what she says. Listen to your heart and what it says.

The darkness can be a time of deep reflection and pause 

Nature shows us her own form of rest as leaves fall away from trees so they can conserve energy during this season with little light or warmth. 

Though it may seem like we're losing the light right now, winter brings an invitation not only to observe but also receive, allowing ourselves moments where no plans need be made nor expectations fulfilled. 

EVEN THOUGH the holidays are here, we must remember how important...

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How to go shopping in your own home this Christmas

Last night I was on a call with a circle of Green women. We're a group of mothers, grandmothers, and women from all parts of the country who care about the planet, the climate crisis, and everything that links to it.

Our conversations are powerful threads of information, inspiration, and concern for our shared experience of living on the planet during these challenging times.

On our call, we discussed the holidays and how to view them in a different way, rather than the constant rushing around and the overconsumption that we can easily fall into.

Our leader, Helene Van Manen, leads this group and has 3 monthly calls that are completely free. I hope this resonates with you and if it does, please join us. The link is here. It's powerful to be in a group like this and a golden opportunity for you to share your ideas and to be inspired.

I think you probably care a lot about the earth and the climate crisis. Maybe, if you’re like me, you sometimes don’t know...

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The holidays aren't about the big presents and fancy wrapping

live your best life Dec 02, 2022

 

There's something we all know but sometimes need to be reminded of. 

Christmas isn’t about the big presents and the fancy decorations. It also isn’t about cramming in as many activities and festivities during the month of December as you possibly can.

It isn’t about having the biggest Christmas party or the biggest tree. It's not about the presents. 

Instead, Christmas is about being with loved ones, exchanging meaningful gifts, having a meal together, and enjoying each other’s company. 

Slow Down 

Start by slowing down this holiday season. It’s hard to enjoy everything when your calendar is so full that you’re simply rushing from one event to the next. 

Instead of trying to fit it all in, do it all, and go all out on everything from decorating the house to hosting various Christmas parties, slow down. Take a breath and look around you.

Savor this time with your family. Snuggle up on the couch and watch...

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The key to less stress and living longer is not what you think

Recently I talked to my 8-year-old granddaughter, Ella, and told her that I had a dream that she would lead a retreat with me one day when she's older. 

I explained to her what a retreat was and she said, “I'd love to do that.”

And then I said, "what part would you lead?"

She said “I dunno.” 

And I said, “well, maybe you could remind women how to play.”

She looked at me in disbelief and said “what”? 

I told her that sometimes adults forget how to play. 

She looked at me as if I was from another planet. 

In her little mind, not knowing how to play was incomprehensible. 

 That day, I realized that I, too, had forgotten how to play.

It began raining that same afternoon. Both Ella and her sister Katie ran out fully dressed and they did what kids do…relished in playing in the rain, laughing, yelling, and having the time of their lives. 

Tapping into my younger self

For once, I...

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Why is self care so hard to remember?

Why do we forget that self-care is the most important thing we can do for ourselves, for our sanity, our well-being, and our health? 

If it’s so important, then why aren’t we all doing everything in our power to relax, chill out, and set aside time no matter what happens? 

Years ago when I was in the midst of parenting my teenage sons, I remember my coach asking me, what do you do for self-care? 

It took me a few seconds to blurt out, "uh, what do you mean exactly"? 

She patiently replied, "you know, how do you take care of yourself? What do you do just for yourself?" 

I was totally blank.

I could not identify one thing. Because I was so busy running a household, working in a mental health clinic as well as starting my own private practice, and trying my best to be a good mom and wife.

It was a lot. 

And in the process...I forgot about me. 

Starting my self-care journey

So I began my journey of focusing on myself after that time....

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When self care becomes an absolute necessity

Recently when I was in Hawaii, I talked to my friend, Emily Emmons, who is one of the most get-things-done kind of women I know.

She started a nonprofit called Hoʻōla Farms in 2015 to teach military veterans, first responders, their families, caregivers, and the community how to grow healthy food. With her guidance and drive, it's now grown into a farm, and a commercial kitchen, and also provides an array of training and hands-on experiences. 

She has done all of this in hopes of creating a more sustainable future and well-being for all. If you're looking for a worthwhile organization to support this would be it! You can read about this amazing organization here. 

No one is coming to save us

Emily has been scrappy with finding money to fund all of these programs as she started with nothing back in 2015.

She knows that climate change is affecting our food supply so she's finding a way to make a difference because she cares. She knows that the...

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Have your best self-care summer ever

Summer is the sweetest time for self-care. If we listen to ourselves, we intuitively know that summer is the best time to slow down. 

Take time to relax and recharge

The summer invites us all to do everything at a slower pace. It's ok to relax and be lazy sometimes. 

It's a time to get away…it’s vacation time.

And…it’s the summer solstice on June 21st...the longest day of the year. We have more light to be outside, play, and watch the setting sun while it's warm.  

When we take this time to take care of ourselves by letting our brains rest, our bodies relax, we create balance and we become more creative. When we slow everything down, then we can see what needs to be changed in our lives.

Summer self-care is easier to do than you think. 

Last summer I took a personal self-care retreat. It was transformative. 

Before leaving, I was exhausted and burned out from too much work. I knew I was out of balance in a big way. 

So I...

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What’s so hard about asking for what you want or need?

self-care self-love Jun 09, 2022

Imagine this scenario: you're overwhelmed, the to-do list is a mile high and you wish someone would come to you and say “how can I help”? 

But you don't really say anything. You just keep it to yourself, sometimes seething, sometimes saying it doesn’t really matter, or it’s easier and quicker to do it yourself. And you stuff your feelings. Or blow up and say things you don’t really mean. 

You might hear yourself say sarcastically, "it would be nice if the people around me (spouse, kids, coworkers) would just pitch in and help."

Can you relate?

Asking for help and support when you need it

Do you even know what kind of help you need? 

There are tons of people, especially women, who aren’t asking for what they want or need. 

Let’s see if you can relate. 

  • When was the last time you wanted something but you didn’t ask for it? 
  • How many times a day do you ask for help? 
  • Are you trying to do...
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Becoming a widow: My well-being journey during life changes

overcoming challenges Jun 02, 2022

A Guest post by Penny Wood

We must let go of the life we planned,

So as to accept the life that is waiting for us.

Joseph Conrad

When becoming a widow, one joins a club in which no one wants to be a member.  If you are young when widowed, not only do you grieve your husband but also the life you thought you were going to have.  In October this year, I will have been in the widow club for 25 years. 

The day it happened to me 

In October of 1997, I was happily living in Davis, CA.  I was 52.  My husband Doc was 51. Our daughter Sara was 22, having graduated that June from the University of Washington. Our son Gerrit was 19 and beginning his sophomore year at Willamette University where he played football.  

It was Parents Weekend at Willamette and there was a home football game.  We had forgotten to get plane tickets that weekend so we were driving instead.  Near Canyonville in Southern Oregon, an 88-year-old man entered I-5 from an...

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