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    Thoughts of September





    The winds will blow their own freshness into you,
    and the storms their energy,
    while cares will drop away from you
    like the leaves of Autumn.
    ~John Muir

     

    September brings a sigh of relief with its shortened days and cooler evenings. We sleep better, and breathe more deeply; the air scented with decomposing leaves and heavy rain. Our routines – school, work, being outside – fall back into place and life feels like it has more of a rhythm. This month is magical to me with its reminder of the birth of my daughter, now seven years past (Seven! I can hardly believe that as I type it) – Autumn smells like birth; as contrary as that may seem in this month of decaying greenery.

     

    Yet, even in the crispness and enchantment that Fall brings, I feel a heaviness. Perhaps it is that the start of this month includes a yearly reminder of a terrible tragedy. Maybe it is the vague suggestion of snow – far from now, but closer with each day – which promises to cover my slowly browning and sleeping garden. Possibly my body is adjusting to the new balance the passing of the equinox brings. The crickets still sing at dusk, but no new buds are pushed forward from my plants. Our compost bin is filling quickly; yet decaying slowly in the cooler weather. The sunlight, while still warm during the days, is less strong. Maybe it is the thought of winter – the very end of winter – where everything is frozen, each nose is drippy, each person is cooped up inside away from the cold, all the bright holidays have been exhausted, but the crocus aren’t ready to push up through the soil just yet – that brings the heaviness.

     

    Today, as September draws to a close, and leads into my own birth month, I’m choosing to let go the weightiness, and embrace the lightness of Autumn: Pumpkins. Mums. Leaves. Crisp air and sweaters (Sweaters!). Apples. Vibrant, deep, earthy, inspiring colors. Wooded walks without Summer’s underbrush to block our paths. Birthdays and holidays and harvests and rich food and firewood. 

    I hope your Summer was lovely and that your Autumn is even more divine.

    Posted: Sep 28 2011, 18:38 by kelly | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |
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    Why Not Peace?





    I talk a lot about peace here on my blog.    

    Peace. It means to me: calm, harmony, quiet , comfort.

    Inner peace – not feeling pulled in any one direction more than another; a sense of all-is-okayness; presence and serenity; zen.
    Outer peace – relationships copasetic; environment calm. 
    World peace – all beings as one, without oppression, suffering, abuse, killing. Interacting in harmony with each other and our earth.  

    Peace isn’t just a destination or a goal, it’s a method of travel and a system of delivery.


    (my daughter, giving the peace sign)

    And maybe it’s an ideal (and as such, out of reach?). I know it’s certainly not yet something I have reached or perfected. Many days I fall far short – my children fight, I feel unsettled, my house is a mess, my to-do list gets longer, my email bin at work is overflowing, my internal dialog is abuzz (and all of this revolves around my own tiny part of the universe – it hardly scratches the surface of world peace). But some moments, some days… I feel peaceful.  

    Those moments keep me striving towards peace every day. When I organize my life with peace in the forefront, I find stress is less present.  When I put forward peaceful interaction with my children as my purpose (as opposed to “good behavior” or “following my directions”), I find they respond in ways more like what I was hoping for in the first place.  If I start difficult conversations with an expectation of a peaceful resolution, the outcome tends to be one that feels more satisfying. If I start my day by setting an intention of being peaceful, I find I’m better able to cope with situations which present themselves as less-than-peaceful.

    We cannot help but become what we put most of our effort and energy and thought towards. So, why not peace?

    May you have a peaceful day, readers.

    Posted: Sep 13 2011, 15:14 by kelly | Comments (3) RSS comment feed |
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    Deep Peace





    On this September 11th, I wish deep peace to everyone on our earth.

    Libera singing one of my favorite sacred chorale songs (it's beautiful, take a moment to listen):



    Deep peace of the running wave to you
    Deep peace of the flowing air to you
    Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
    Deep peace of the shining stars to you
    Deep peace of the gentle night to you
    Moon and stars pour their healing light on you
    Deep peace of Christ the light of the world to you
    Deep peace of Christ to you

    ~Gaelic Blessing (John Rutter)

    Posted: Sep 11 2011, 20:34 by kelly | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |
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    6 Reasons to Think Twice Before Circumcising Your Baby Boy





    1 – It’s his body.

    Circumcision  is a permanent alteration of the male body – it’s an amputation of foreskin, and it lasts for the rest of his life. Since circumcision isn’t a medically necessary nor a beneficial procedure, this choice about what his penis should look like (and how it should function!) should be left up to him.

     

     

    2 – It’s not the norm anymore.

    Depending on which region of the United States you live, it may be more common to find a child who is intact, than one who is circumcised.  Recent statistics show the incidence of circumcision has declined from 56% in 2006 to 32.5% in 2009. The overall average rate of circumcision in the US, as reported in 2009, is 55%. In some states, like Nevada, circumcision rates are as low as 13%!

     

    3 – Pediatric Organizations do not recommend routine infant circumcision.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics' latest statement on circumcision reads: “data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision." The Canadian Pediatric Society states: “Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed.”  The Australian College of Pediatrics' position statement indicates: "Neonatal male circumcision has no medical indication. It is a traumatic procedure performed without anaesthesia to remove a normal and healthy prepuce"

     

    4 – Intact penises are easy to clean.

    Contrary to what you might have heard, the intact penis is super-simple to care for. Rule #1 – Only Clean What Is Seen. Just like you’d wash a baby’s elbow or finger, wash your baby’s penis along with the rest of his body (mild soap, rinse, done!). There's no need to retract, no special creams, no need to clean differently than any other body part. As your son gets older, and the foreskin naturally separates from the glans, you can talk about more thorough cleaning, but as a baby & child, there’s no extra effort required at all.

     

    5 – The penis is meant to have foreskin!

    The foreskin is a beneficial part of the penis; it isn’t unnecessary or extra or a problem! It protects the glans from harm and damage, provides increased sensitivity, guards against infection, and provides lubrication during intercourse.

     

    6 – Circumcision hurts.

    The pain of circumcision can potentially interfere with newborn bonding, breastfeeding, and sleep. Even with anesthesia given during the procedure, there’s still a period of healing to be endured by your new baby. A week with a raw, open wound that is getting urinated and defecated on, stuck to diapers, slathered with Vaseline, and can become infected, on the most sensitive part of a boy’s body is likely something you’d want to keep your child from experiencing in his first days of life – particularly when it’s not a necessity!  Baby's first days should be as peaceful and gentle as possible to ease his transition from inside your womb to outside.

     

     

    If you’re researching before making a decision about circumcising your son, thank you (and your son will thank you, too). Here are a few resources which may help you make this important decision:

     

     

    What Is Circumcision? http://codenamemama.com/2010/02/22/what-is-circumcision/

     

    Answers to Your Questions About Your Young Son’s Intact Penis: http://www.nocirc.org/publish/pamphlet4.html

     

    Whether or Not to Circumcise: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/pregnancy-childbirth/whether-or-not-circumcise

     

    Jewish Circumcision Resource Center: http://jewishcircumcision.org/

     

    Functions of the Foreskin: Purposes of the Prepuce: http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html

    Posted: Sep 07 2011, 18:58 by kelly | Comments (10) RSS comment feed |
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    Filed under: Babies | Peaceful Parenting