August 20, 2023
When we consider Life as the curriculum and Home as the model, we hold the space for LifeWays in action to be unique for everyone. While our principles uphold the integrity of our work and our similar practices spin threads of commonality, because each of our lives is different, our work with LifeWays will look different. How LifeWays came to each of us will also be different. Today, I share with you the beginning of my journey with LifeWays, and invite you readers, to share yours as well. What was the moment you discovered LifeWays? Submit your story to AcaciawithLifeWays@gmail.com for us to consider publishing in a future issue of the Living Arts Weekly.
In the Autumn after I turned 28 years old, I landed just where I had always dreamed as a stay-at-home mother of two. My husband and I had recently moved into our duplex after successfully selling our first house and living with my parents for the transition of his return to school for his master’s degree. I was spending a lot of time “single parenting” while he held a full time job and attended night classes, but for us it was a new and very promising chapter of our adult life.
It was supposed to be idyllic, but our joyous moments were clashing with lots of stressful moments, too. Being with my boys was fun and free, and spinning into a bit of chaos. I was swimming in housework and really grappling with how to parent my tenacious, “too smart for his own good” three-year-old. To make it more challenging, I was feeling…. Directionless. Lost. Unsettled. I didn’t actually feel like this was my dream life. I felt a very strong pull, not to be doing something entirely different, but to be doing something more. I spent hours of my own time dream journaling, visioning, meditating, creating art, researching, planning new endeavors that I could do while being at home with my children. All led me back to the same place, back to searching for this answer for myself, all the while also working on being the mom I really wanted to be.
I remember the night I first stumbled upon Waldorf education and LifeWays~ my computer sitting atop a bookshelf, where I kept it out of reach of the children, a pile of laundry on the dining room table that I was folding periodically, and my sons (finally) asleep in bed. I had been researching parenting methods to help me tame and channel the seemingly infinite energy of my three year old and suddenly discovered the Parenting Passageway, a blog that was started about the same time I began motherhood. Reading through Carrie Dentler’s posts on three year olds, discipline, rhythm, and home life, I kept hearing myself cry, “Yes, yes, yes! This is it!” As I continued to delve into her blog and all the resources she recommended, I hungrily learned all that I could, exploring and implementing Waldorf and LifeWays at home.
My life took many unexpected twists and turns over the next three years, from joining a group of parents in co-founding a nonprofit private school based upon Waldorf education to following a very fate-filled series of events to Norman, Oklahoma for my husband’s doctorate degree at OU. There, we became family-in-residence in the new location of the Rose Rock School, LifeWays Representative Center, and I became a lead kindergarten teacher. Through these years I grew to fully understand the root of my longing to not do something different, but to do something more: it was LifeWays. It was a longing to create a home life that was truly nourishing and healing for all of my family and for others.
Thirteen years later, here I am with a life full of LifeWays, and it started with a mysterious longing and a beautiful little, wisdom-filled blog.