Well first of all there's this:
Yes I cut off my dreadlocks.
This was a decision that was a long time coming - I'd been thinking about it for a few weeks when I finally did it. It was time. I felt called by my spirituality to have dreadlocks and I felt called by the Universe to let them go. I had begun to use them to hide behind - my being was wrapped up in my appearance instead of who I am inside, my outside was no longer reflecting my inner journey. So, much to my family's dismay - it was time for them to go. I feel much lighter and more authentic - more me. I can focus on my inner journey instead of my outer appearance. It is kind of scary and to be honest, I miss them sometimes - I miss who they made me appear to be. But this is more honest and now I can really focus on my spiritual work. That is part of what's scary too, I can't hide anymore, not that I've been very good at hiding on this blog, but in other aspects of my life I do very well.
This all happened after I returned from an unschooling conference in New Jersey. It was the Life Without Instructions Conference and I came home feeling more committed to unschooling than ever before. I felt supported and less alone. The kids and I went without my beloved and we had a wonderful time in spite of missing him. I took time out for myself - I practiced good self care, while at the same time letting myself be honest and vulnerable. I gave the kids more freedom than they've ever had and I think it was really good - I think it built more trust in our relationships. I feel as though I grew as a human being and a mother. It was a very good experience all in all. I sometimes wish I could go back - even if it's just for a few hours - to get recharged. I admit this experience is one of the reasons I was able to be brave enough to lose my dreadlocks and put myself out there - no more hiding.
Real life waited for me here at home. Everyone got sick when we got home and we've all been battling colds, ear infections and the like since we got back. We're all on the mend now and the kids and I agree that it was worth it - we wouldn't have changed a thing.
I've faced some challenges since getting back. I've embraced the transitions in my life and I've committed to my spiritual journey through the 12 steps - I'm working daily with my sponsor - we've begun step four and I'm being challenged beyond my comfort zone, but I know I'm doing what's necessary for my recovery - one day at a time.
I've also faced some difficult times at our homeschool co-op and have discovered that I can not be what everyone wants me to be and that I can make mistakes and be talked about behind my back without it destroying me or my serenity. There are a lot of angry people in the world and I won't lie and say it doesn't hurt, because knowing that there are people who never took the time to really get to know me have decided to not like me or what I do hurts. I can't control how other people react to me or my decisions though, so I will do my best to keep working my program and be who I am to the best of my ability. My self confidence is shaken and I'm feeling really really vulnerable, but I will continue on to the best of my ability until I can't do it anymore. Then I will step back and take care of myself. I'm not there yet - I can still try to put myself out there - for now anyway. Co-op so far (we're only a few sessions in) is not as positive an experience as it was last year - I'm hoping that it will get better, but my expectations for the year were obviously too high - I need to just live in the moment to the best of my ability and take it all one day at a time.
So that's where I'm at. I have some big plans coming up next month. I'm doing some work on my core beliefs using a kit that some good friends developed and I'm writing a book for National Novel Writing Month. I've decided to write a memoir about my struggles with depression. I want to focus on the journey through my last depressive episode with my family, but I'm going to let my muse take me where she wants to go - the Universe will guide me in my writing and it will be whatever the world needs from my story.
Last but not least, I'm at 253 days of abstinence - that's 8.34 months without sugar and white flour. I'm still trying to find the food plan that helps me lose the weight, but my abstinence is strong and my serenity keeps me going. One day at a time.