Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The disease called "Perfection"

This is the title to a blog post that I am hoping will go viral. The Disease of Perfection is something that is wipespread, in face I am a victim...or a willing infectee, but I would like to now be part of the cure. The first step, of course, is knowing you have it. Click this link and see if you have any of the symptoms: The Disease Called Perfection.

After you read it you can comment there or here and read my comment below in the comment section.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Walk it Out - Baby (another Baby Dance Video!!)

Well, they say walking is best to get baby going! °Ü°

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Labor of Love Birth Dance

Enjoy this beautiful mommy as she dances during labor just hours before delivering her baby! I particularly enjoyed her musical lullaby, 'Sweet Child O' Mine'.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits

Ack, that was really too corny but I was trying to think of something clever to call this list of fun and interesting links I wanted to share with you. Enjoy!

Cloth Diaper Blog is having a huge giveway with a $500 gift certificate to Diaper Junction!

Essential Herbal has super tutorial for an herbal syrup for cough and conjestion.

Check out this pictorial on Positions for Labor and Delivery.

Great post by Public Health Doula delinating the role and usefullness of a doula and how she does not interfere with the birthing mom's partner or other birth team members.

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And Now for a Man's Opinion on Nursing in Public

Neil over at Citizen of the Month has decided to join the forum and share his opinion regarding the whole Nursing in Public controversy that is so hot and heavy right now. You know, I kinda see what he means. ;-)

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Grandmother Moon

I am a moonchild and I have a love affair with the moon. I watch her constantly and observe her comings and goings. I meditate on her waxing and her waning and it makes me think of my own. I think of how she is the lesser light that rules the night and a reflection of the greater light that rules the day, regardless of whether you see her or not she is there. I love all the moon songs, moon books, pictures and jewelry. I've written her poems and celebrated her monthly rebirth. She is a metaphor for women and the beauty of femininity. According to the rabbis she is even a metaphor for the Jewish people, a reflection of Divine Light. She is my Grandmother carrying wisdom and Light from high above. And I love her.

Tonight my husband set up the telescope and knowing how much I love the moon he called me out to see. How lovely! I could not believe the craters and the light that was reflected off the surface. There she is and here we are, drifting in space, spinning and twirling, dancers in time guided by the One, and I was privileged to have the joy in that moment and see her.

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Yom Kippur Reflections

Photo Credit

Kippur has come and gone and I am left with a feeling of joy and deep gratitude. Much prayer and petitions for help from Above enabled me to exchange my fear of not even being able to get through the fast (Tisha B'Av kicked my butt with a blazing headache by evening you would not believe) to sincere thanks that I made it and even experienced Joy in the Journey. I did not get hungry and I did not suffer the ever feared caffeine headache. Prior to the fast I did have a bad attitude. No, that's not entirely accurate because I knew I wanted to fast. I had been working on myself and I wanted very much to be there for the Kol Nidre and Neilah services. My stress level though felt like it was through the roof and it left me ultimately feeling quite unprepared to come before the King. Also I was struggling with a few of the pre Kippur traditions and these feelings were irking me. (Truth is, if someone wants to wave a chicken (or even money) over their head, more power to them, just don't go around feeling all smug and superior when someone else doesn't do it or even agree with it.)


After all this tremendous soul searching and mind wrestling/metal gymnastics, I finally came to the simplicity of it all. Elokai, neshama sh'natta be, tehora (My G-d the soul you have placed in my is Pure.) I remembered that I am ultimately a neshama, a soul ,a pure soul, and I came before the King as a pure soul/child. That is how I explained it to my preschool children. Kippur is the day where we do not focus on caring for our bodies, we focus only on our souls. That helped me so much. I had no fear as I have had in past years. I did not fear an unfavorable judgement nor did I fear my prayers would not be heard. I had absolute trust in that moment in time that Avinu, Malkeinu, (Our Father, Our King) would hear every word and would judge me favorably. I felt absolute love and peace in my Father's favor. I did not feel an obligation to do anything except fast and be. I meditated on atonement, At-One-Ment, and kept the holiness of the day foremost in my mind. I kept my thoughts, attitude and the words of my mouth in that Holy place and was blessed with a honestly meaningful and beautiful day.

I am now looking forward to Sukkot, the Festival of the Ingathering. I have a lovely sukkah up just waiting for schach and to be decorated and will hopefully do that tomorrow as long as my mommy and baby that were due on Yom Kippur don't arrive before then...but then that's another story.

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Now that's an etrog!!!

Check out this ginormous etrog!! This baby weighs in at 7.5 kg (16.5 lbs) and is kosher. It now also hold the Guiness Book of World's record for the largest citron. Imagine waving this around with your lulav, the muscles you would have and perhaps the blessings that come with it!

From Kikar Shabbat

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Herbal Ally: Valerian

So yesterday was Yom Kippur, a 25 hour fast from food or drink of any kind. After I break a fast, I usually catch a buzz which makes it almost impossible to fall asleep and ensures me of a miserable next day. This time I decided to be a good herbalist and heal myself. I took some Valerian and had a great night's sleep and am feeling quite refreshed and content this morning. Valerian is a wonderful ally for those with extreme anxiety and insomnia. It is often referred to as 'Nature's Valium', although I think it should be the other way around and Valium (diazapam) should be referred to as the pharmaceutical Valerian. Although they sound alike and work in similar ways by binding to the same brain receptors, Valium is not derived from Valerian as many people think. Valerian is non addictive, does not interfere with the REM part of sleep, and you are not left with that groggy hangover feeling the next day.

Medicinally the roots are used. You would recognize Valerian simply from the pungent odor. It is kind of a stinky herb, although it does not bother me, some folks find it quite repugnant. (For all that odor though, it's effectiveness is worth it, in my opinion.) You can take it either in a tincture or capsule form. The plant itself has lovely smelling bell shaped flowers. I do not have any Valerian growing in my garden but I read that "Gregory Tilford, in his book From Earth to Herbalist, writes that Valerian is easy to grow and can be a great addition to the herbalist's garden. The roots are harvested when at least two years old and can be divided and planted again."

Botanical name: Valeriana officinalis.

May help: Anxiety, insomnia, menstrual cramps, tension headaches, sleep problems associated with chronic fatigue syndrome, muscle cramps, and muscle spasms.

Origin: Europe and Asia, although Valerian sitchensis is in the western mid elevations of North America

Cautions and possible side effects: Do not use with prescription medications such as diazepam (Valium) or amitriptyline (Elavil). Don't use Valerian if you experience heart palpitations or nervousness after taking it.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Look and Listen

The day before a holiday and/or shabbat is always hectic at school. Couple that with the fact school has just started and so there is a ton of other things I am trying to accomplish and you have the ingredients for Frustration Stew. Today I was in such a stew and the time came for my break when I soon realized that said break was not going to happen. Nonetheless, I ran home, about half a mile from work, to try and grab something to eat and find glue sticks (don't ask). In the short time it took to get home, my frustration was heavy on my head. I drove home, turned off the radio and got out of my car. Just then I heard a hawk's cry. I looked up to see if I was hearing things when there I saw her soaring over me. As I was admiring my friend Hawk, soaring so effortlessly in the sky, a monarch butterfly flew over my head and I smiled. Right here in Philly, the hawk still cries the butterfly still flies and at that moment all is right in the world and that is what matters. I thought of the message of my winged friends. I do not claim to be a shaman, but I do claim to be a believer in wonder. I try to find the message in all things, (scoff at me if you like, I care little if you find me ridiculous) and mostly I just feel like I was being noticed. It felt good. I happen to love Hawks and all raptors and monarchs remind me of my beloved mother, so it felt like a gift from the Holy One.

"Now, dear daughter relax. See how she flies so high above. You hear her voice from miles below; I too hear yours."

"I see you too kid. Hang in there."

Yep, that is what it felt like. It's good to look and listen. And whatever the message is, if you feel the touch of Love, of the Divine, I say bask in it. It's your gift to enjoy.

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