Community Hopes

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A few years ago, I really, truly thought someone had traveled a long way to come visit me for my birthday. I knew for certain they were already traveling about half-way. I was so psyched out and excited even though I kept saying out loud, “no, I don’t know for sure that they are coming.” But, the person I was SO hoping to see was known for surprises, so it was hard not to get too excited. I asked Daryl if he knew anything about them coming and he said no – but I thought he was in on it.
I’d just had a miscarriage about a month and a half before my birthday and it was my emotionally hardest one of all 8 miscarriages. I had finally started coming through the depression when that weekend happened. When Sunday rolled around and I knew for sure that the person wasn’t coming, I could barely get out of bed, I was so heartbroken.
 
I have questioned my belonging in some areas over the last little while, and I kept telling myself that I was going to see something surprising and encouraging when I came home, but I found nothing of what I was anticipating. I know I could still be surprised, but my anticipation in it is now gone.
This time, I am not huddled on my bed, feeling discouraged and isolated though. I am finding promise that I need to seek what I am needing in different ways, to invest more deeply in the individuals I’ve always loved, and not hold expectations for certain things that I am really hoping for. Let hope thrive, but not expect. ❤

What are some lessons you are learning in your emotional life right now?

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Vocation Vision

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As time goes on, my knowledge base grows and shifts and I realize what things tend to consistently work for most people and what things are less common in aiding people, but are still useful.
This leads me to understand, “I need to add this to my clientele offerings; I need to find a reliable source past the few books I have that have aided me and my friends.”

Right now, my vision for Forever Young Movements is to encourage in others a healing, to bring us back to a place of childlike wonder for ourselves and the world around us. This requires that we work through trauma, in our mind, body, and spirit.

With Nutritious Movement training/certification, I’m encouraging others to take self-ownership of their bodies, to move more and as naturally as possible in a technology-laden environment. This – that we are autonomous be-ings connected with one another in community – is the foundation of my beliefs and was the needed first step (pun intended!).
With craniosacral therapy, I will be offering support through releasing both physical and emotional patterns we don’t even know need to be released.
And now, I’m understanding that aromatherapy training needs to come, as aroma connects us deeply to our whole selves, helping us to make new rhythms, inviting us to experience life in a new, connected and intentional way.

Forever Young Movements is the name I chose because I truly believe we need to seek out life as little children, wise, but unencumbered by the traumas and harms we will encounter in life, delighting in the people and world around us. And I would be blessed to walk these journeys with you and help serve you.

Lent Is An Opening, Not Simply Abstaining

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So, in times past I have “celebrated” Lent, intermittently over the years, but my focus had always been about merely giving something up. It felt… miserly. It never really had been presented to me (nor had it occurred to me) that it was not really just a time of self-deprivation, of simply giving something up, but is more a time of opening up and receiving MORE.

Last year, I found this beautiful post by a fellow Restorative Exercise Specialist-in-training, Katy. It was the first time I’d come to the idea of not giving up some physical thing, an item. My heart was woo’d in that short article, glimpsing in to something deeper than merely giving up some luxury item for 40 days.

Later, I came to a different article, that I can no longer seem to find, but it presented the notion that Lent is a reminder to us that in Christ’s fasting, we do not just see Him giving things up and sacrificing food, we also see Him taking on challenges and opening up to God’s will in a very different way than He does most of His ministry on earth.

Sometime between last year’s Lent and this years, Lent became about realizing sacrifice really isn’t a withholding. Sacrifice is an opening – an invitation for more than we can imagine without that sacrifice. This has transformed every sacrifice I’ve seen someone make, in my own mind. It is not, at the heart, a giving up, but a widening. Karen Ehman wrote about this to a smaller degree than the article I am thinking of, but I still love this heart: The Reverse Lent Challenge.

I have several different things I am doing this Lenten season. I hesitate to say them, if I “fail” at going 40 days, but that is actually something I am making a part of my Lenten giving up: criticism. Giving up criticism opens me up to unconditional love and acceptance – to receive grace (Releasing Emotional Patterns with Essential Oils and Feelings: Buried Alive, Never Die are both excellent resources for understanding this!. Which means I can be okay with sharing my stumbles and forgetting things over a 40 day period.

First, I am going to make a Lenten calendar, as a celebration of what giving up really means – beauty.

Right now, a huge time-suck for myself and my children is technology. Television for them and internet for me. Shifting away from “device” is not merely to abstain, but to open up to so much more in our lives. So, my biggest physical “giving up” is televison and internet. We’re putting holds on Netflix and Hulu, freezing our internet service, and in these things place, spending more time outdoors, making handicrafts for others, and enjoying time reading and cooking together. Being with others.

Daryl, hearing me hash all of this out, started thinking quietly to himself. The following day, he said, “I was thinking about what you said, about giving something up actually leading to opening to better things. I want to give up overtime for Lent.” {stomach punch} To myself: you mean the thing that helps us make it paycheck to paycheck? 8 hours a week for meeting our bill needs and lately  another 8 to pay for extra like internet, school books (not really extras, but yet it is) and my certification week coming up.
What an encouragement from my husband, though. Trusting God will provide while Daryl spends more time over the next 40 days with us and with our community.

Not only am I putting our tv away for Lent, I am pulling specific books in for our family, incorporating/encouraging a blend of fun activities, rich activities, and quieting activities.

My heart is open and ready, preparing for renewal.
Do you do something to celebrate Lent? How have you viewed the Lenten season over your life?

Fervency

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Weak-willed people are difficult for me to be around. Love them, yes. Have fun with them, sure. Talk about fluffy things, absolutely.
It’s hard to have any meaningful depth with them, any action taken by their side, or real fellowship that you can trust. I know there are people who have 500+ acquaintances and enjoy that, but not many type 4’s value surface level “fluffy” things.

(I know, in turn, there are people that don’t appreciate depth, my love of it, or my fervency for victim advocacy. I really don’t care if they call me names and say I’m hate-filled towards them to be bold in speaking out for victims they created.  They can label me as people did John the baptist, “crazy,” “wild,” “too much.” I’m not going to stop speaking out for victims, the same message of calling to love and repentance, that he cried out in the wilderness.)
 
I read Acts 15 this morning, following along from what I’ve been slowly chewing through for the last 2 months, and was struck by verse 2:
“When Paul and Barnabas had a big argument and debate with them, the brothers appointed Paul and Barnabas with some others from among them to go up to Jerusalem to the emissaries and elders about this issue.”
(Verse 1 describes what the issue was about and all throughout the NT, this issue is made abundantly clear, but a good summary is Galatians 5:12 – the disciples were far from thinking this was personal, individualized “business” that other people should “stay out of” and did not pretend it was a matter that could or should be enforced on another.)
 
Argumentation and debate is *not* wrong. There are times for it. When we discuss physically maiming, assaulting, and scarring someone… this is not “foolish, ignorant controversies” as 2 Tim. 2:23 calls us away from. Romans 14:1 says not to quarrel over opinions. Defending victims of slaughter, mutilation, abuse… to repeatedly, strongly state that they should not be assaulted – this is not opinion. It is also not in vain to fight against this.

Today, I resolve to be more active, the more people I see be complacent or step back. To continue to speak truth with boldness, fervency, and passion and without judgment.

Captivating Finds

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Here are some of the things that have caused me to contemplate, be encouraged, and change my ways in the last few weeks. There’s no real connection between them, aside from me appreciating them. They are worth the time to read!

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I really love this so much. It makes me think of a dance routine I would watch over and over, weeping, after I learned what Doctor Horrible had done.

~ I Just Don’t See It – seeing ourselves, our parenting in glory, rather than defeat

~ How a Lack of Touch is Destroying Men

Sleeping Tigers, Switched-Off Cliffs and Teaching Toddlers about Every Day Dangers – gentle parenting toolbox, no-hit method to teach kids to not run in the street, etc.

~ How to Walk Away From a Fight With Your Child – some great points to learn in any argument, except for the police suggestion.

~ When Your Politics Become Your Lord

~ Hell: A “Biblical” Staple the Bible Never Actually Mentions

~ Nice Girls Vs. Kind Women

~ Stay Listening – how to respect a child’s bodily autonomy when they don’t want to take medicine

~ What The Bible Really Says About Routine Infant Circumcision

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Words Are Powerful and They Mean Something, Part 2

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I’ve written about this a little bit before.

But my thoughts are expanding on it, and I thought I would share it here….

So, I have been thinking about this. Words matter. Like.. the term “unvaccinated” bothers me because it’s using what is not the biological normal and making that the standard and comparing the biologically normal thing to the science experiment, rather than the other way around (which is how it’s done in genuinely scientific circles, not in for-profit circles). So, I say intact immune system (“unvaccinated”) and non-intact immune system (vaccinated) to make clear the reality. I also don’t say “breast is best.” Breast is the biological norm – it doesn’t offer benefits, it offers the standard, the baseline, the normal, the average… Both in nutrient obtaining and in jaw development and other physical body needs. Anything else offers LESS than that… formulas do not offer the normal baseline, they offer health risks and harms. That’s not a judgement on people who use formula or vaccines – it’s just the reality of biology and genuine terminology that expresses our baselines.

6359396398048347211068716739_bvokexbcqaanlnnThere are “smaller” and bigger, noticeable ways that our friends of color are marginalized, targeted, treated less. I am starting to think that stating anyone is “privileged” (and I’ve been using this phrase!) is causing problems. Because how white people are generally treated and enabled is the BASELINE for how *all* humans should be treated. Anything less is detrimental to our society. It also shifts the focus incorrectly as though there’s a problem with the normal, good thing, rather than stating blatantly what is a f’d up about how people of color are treated. I think I want to begin expressing the reality of harm, rather than implying normal love is the wrong thing. What we get – less police brutality,  less suspicion from society just for being, decent housing in beautiful neighborhoods, etc… These aren’t supposed to be privileges. They are supposed to be the baseline – and that means when anyone targets another to have less than that, the good thing needn’t be expressed as the oddity… The harm should be. Our friends of color are marginalized, targeted, murdered, beaten, looked at suspiciously, rejected, and more, because we make racism a hospitable home in our culture. 😦
Dunno if that makes any sense. It’s just been churning around in my type 4 heart and mind for a few weeks.

Nutritious Movement Cert Week Is the Starting Line

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Nutritious Movement

I thought that before I go on too much farther with this update, I’d give you a really great look at what philosophy and understanding Nutritious Movement is about, what I am training through, and what I will be teaching through movement classes for whole body health. Just click the below link:

Nutritious Movement Welcome Video

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Moving my way through a NM Snack video with three of the kiddos.

Training

Since last April, when I went to Chicago for a training weekend, I have had little Zoe (who is now 7 months old!) with my second intentional free-birth, have been reading a lot of Katy Bowman’s books (as well as trauma healing books for working with others – and myself, more for my vocation) and making my way through her online classes, have hosted a few rounds of book discussions for Move Your DNA in various online forums, and have had several more sessions with local community members searching for help with various issues, resolved with our sessions after a few months!

Something that came very needed for me while I was pregnant with Zoe, was a quote, reinforced throughout all of Katy Bowman’s work, is that we all have seasons and rhythms. One quote in particular, from Move Your DNA is:

“My point is, everyone – even the hunteriest of the hunters – was a gatherer first. When hunter-gatherers are children, their job is to gather. All are successful in this way first. To go forward, we must go back to figure out which movement basics we have failed to practice and which tissue adaptations we still need.”

After having my first three babies, I felt compelled to get back into my pre-pregnancy ways as quick as possible. Despite nursing a new baby, having typically-erratic hormones, and needing a lot more rest with my baby, I tried to zip around at about 6 weeks postpartum.
This time, though, I have allowed myself to be a “gatherer” for a longer season. As Zoe has moved more on her own, so have I. I have taken my seasonal inspiration from her, as much as possible. So, while I still hang, I still move, I am moving just a little bit slower, a little less intensely. And I have found nourishment in this place. This too, has been training in the philosophies and principles and movements of the Nutritious Movement Institute. (More on this in a great podcast, Natural Movement and Variability.)

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Outside study session hammock-style, weird postpartum hair growth included.

Support

I am so incredibly overwhelmed with the support I have received for my Restorative Exercise Specialist training!  I have seen provision in incredible ways:

 

  • Prayer

 

I have had people pray over me, a beautiful expression of love for me and my family. There’s something powerful and lovely in these moments, my present and my future being taken to our Father’s feet and entrusted to Him. These times of prayer have led to mental clarity for what my heart has already been whispering to me ~ to minister to the sexually wounded.

 

  • Time

 

I have had the opportunity to hone my teaching skills – this is a huge blessing for me! Having people engage with me in conversation about bodily alignment is a wonderful discussion to have and a pleasant way to spend time with the community I love.

 

  • Finances

 

Every dollar needed last year came in, exactly when it was needed. I have seen that happen this year as well. Daryl’s bonus was larger than normal this quarter (it’s usually just enough to buy desperately needed supplements for 2 months and take the kids out to Chick-fil-A once), so we were able to pay for a beautiful and cheaper-than-expected location 15 minutes away from the Sequim, WA studio where I will be certifying, the first week in May. I still have financial needs coming up, but I have learned to trust God for this. Surprises abound!


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Practicing the Calf Stretch, to help unused parts of my leg get prepared for aligned walking, instead of a series of falling forward!

Donations

This is the biggest total financial need yet. Everything before this was smaller chunks, but this started out as $1650 for the certification and lodging. As I mentioned earlier, I was able to secure lodging for the week. Before that, I was able to pay the $250 deposit to hold my spot at the certification training, with $700 remaining, that needs to be fully paid by April 2.
It seems like the most affordable option to get from Sequim, WA (and back) will be a Greyhound bus. That will be around $300 for transportation needs. So, I am needing $1,000 to make it to certification week.

If you are contemplating financially supporting me to help make this dream a reality, I also want to give a glimpse of how much this can truly be a financial benefit to you, as well.

As I have offered before, for every $50 given towards my certification endeavors, I am offering an in-person or Skype alignment session with you (as well as a movement session DVD starring yours-truly), after I have gotten my certification. This may seem like a lot, but as I have been asking certified RES-CPTs what their rates are ($75-90/hour), this is truly a bargain for those of you who are able to financially support this dream!
Understanding and implementing healthy alignment can improve your mood, your breathing, your endocrine system, your mental clarity, your cardiovascular system…. the list goes on. Through simple shifts in body movement, you can offer yourself whole-body health and wellness. The $50 that can support me to certification, will also be supporting you!

I am not only offering very affordable alignment sessions upon my completion, but all of the classes I teach now, about fermentation, releasing emotions, and more, are being offered for love offerings (any donations for these classes will go directly towards my Certification Week fund).  If you are interested in these free beginner’s classes, please do let me know. If you cannot afford them, please contact me anyways!

Donations towards the rest of my certification week can be paid directly to the Nutritious Movement Institute (it’s the only way you can remain anonymous, if you would prefer that) through PayPal. You would need to make a clear note that it is for me (give them my email address, below, which is linked to my NM account!), for the May certification week. Send the donation to this PayPal address: info AT nutritiousmovement DOT com .  You can also send money via “friends and family” on paypal to my paypal account ( jj DOT foreveryoung AT gmail DOT com).

If you would like see where that current need is, I will update this specific post with pictures of my updated total in the top picture. 

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I am baby-wearing Zoe here, so it’s difficult to see that my ribs are dropped (protecting my internal organs) in one picture but not the other! NM has taught me to keep my shoulders engaged and strong (left) rather than extended and weakened, up by my ears (right). This effects so much more than shoulder strength. It effects your ribs, organs, pelvis… your whole body.

If you’ve donated:

I need experience teaching! If you have donated money, please do not let the alignment session(s) go to waste for yourself, or for me. Taking time with you will benefit you and hone my teaching skills, so please do expect an email or phone call when I have graduated, to set up a time for a Nutritious Movement session with your newly-certified Restorative Exercise Specialist!

These sessions can be done in person or via Skype – distance is not a hindrance to learning how to move your body more naturally.

Starting Line

The last part of this training, where I go forward to the starting line of my vocation, is my certification week. The week is May 3-7, with me leaving a few days early to enjoy some beach time and meet some of the other students ahead of time.

I call this the starting line because what I have been doing up until this point is training. This isn’t my end goal. It’s only during this time that I have needed deeper aid to get to the starting line, so that I can begin my business and can, in turn, help other people reach for their dreams. This begins my devotion to the path of encouraging people to heal inwardly and outwardly, from various kinds of traumas and how to help ourselves prevent further traumas with healthful living.


Thank you so much for your time, prayers, and support. It means more to me than these measly but abundant words can possibly express to you.
In Christ’s unfailing love,
River