Living Arts Weekly: Cocooning

January 13, 2019

“The cliches of a culture sometimes tell the deepest truths.” – Faith Popcorn, the trend forecaster who coined the term “cocooning” in 1981

This time of year right after the winter holidays, while darkness is still upon us in the Northern Hemisphere, my tendency is to hunker down.  Judging from all the articles circulating recently about the Danish practice of hygge, I’m guessing I’m not alone in that.  I wonder if the need for solitude and comfort are heightened by the current political and social climate. Sometimes it all just feels like too much. It feels safer and easier to stay home with your loved ones, make a cup of hot tea, eat up those stale Christmas cookies that are still hanging around, and don that pair of sweatpants you wouldn’t dare be caught wearing in public.  The cozy cocoon of home is so appealing.

This cocooning can be self-nurturing, especially when it allows time for reflection and sacred silence (which isn’t really the case if your smart phone accompanies you in your cocoon, just sayin’.)  But I’ve also experienced that too tight of a cocoon can be isolating, which of course is a different thing than solitude.  It’s our genuine connection with others that helps us thrive in these modern times – real heart-to-heart and face-to-face connection. The pupa cocoons only for awhile, until its transformation is complete, and then it emerges triumphant as a beautiful moth and is ready to fly.

This month’s lesson in our new online course Living Arts Through the Seasons is about reflection. Reflection is the greatest benefit of cocooning, of course. Once we’ve spent some time in contemplation, hopefully we find ourselves ready to get back out there and play, share and enjoy, and pay attention to those things that bring us joy and a bit more energy. Making ourselves available to one another helps us to experience what is good in the world.

Blessings on your cocooning,

Mary O’Connell, your Living Arts Weekly blog editor

Nurturing Care

In the article below, LifeWays training graduate Adrienne Nagy explores some questions that many mothers ask: “As mothers, we hold so much and in such an intense way. When children come through us, there is a different meaning to life. Suddenly, everything has significance and substance. Everything becomes spiritual. But, what holds the mother? How do we know where we are in reference to our children? Where are we? Where is our spouse or partner? Where are our parents? How do we stay connected? Where does the energy come for all of this and how can it be kept going?”

(Click below to read the whole article)…….

Nourishing and Nurturing: The Care of the Caregiver – A Mother’s Journey By Adrienne E. Nagy

Creative Exploration

Shingebiss, A Chippewa Indian Story

I recently polled a group of early childhood teachers and caregivers in our LifeWays Facebook group to ask what story they are telling at this time of year. Lots of good ones were mentioned, and several replied, “Shingebiss.”  I had never heard this story before, and I am so glad I have been introduced to it now!

Practical Activity

The Best Vegan Hot Cocoa

Staying away from dairy milk? You can still enjoy a delicious, creamy cup of hot chocolate with this recipe from LifeWays graduate Korrin Rogers of Om Mama. Click here for the recipe.

Social Awareness

Have you been longing to take the LifeWays Early Childhood Certification Training? Now is the time. Really. Whether you long to create the home life your family deserves or you want to be the best early childhood teacher you can be, the LifeWays Training is the perfect next step.  Training classes begin this year in New England (April), Sacramento (June), and the San Francisco Bay area (August).

Why wait? LifeWays works with all sincere applicants to create a payment plan that works for your budget. Won’t you join us?