Last weekend I was blessed to attend my very first Wild and Free Homeschool Conference on board the beautiful and majestic Queen Mary in Long Beach. The timing wasn't perfect since I am planning a 3 week road trip and we leave next weekend ( Shh....so many surprises there! I will be posting photos as we go so be sure to follow this page on facebook)
My girlfriend and I decided to make an entire day of it and started off with lunch, lots of catching up and a little shopping. By the time I checked in , I was feeling pretty relaxed and ready to see how the weekend unfolded. Let me tell you it did not disappoint!
As I looked around the room and took in all the attendees- I wondered who these ladies were. There were so many younger mamas, baby wearing mamas, nature loving adventuring, homesteader mamas. 450 homeschooling mamas who came together to be inspired, rejuvenate, and relish in this slow intentional living that we are so proud of. And you know what, they were happy and excited and so ready to have some fun.
I have been to a lot of conferences in my coaching career and as a homeschooler but none of them started like this. First there were these giant balls tossed around- we were giggling like little kids. It felt so good to just let go and be free. I joked to my friend about how I needed to lighten up, raising these intense kiddos I can forget just how much they need me to give in to a childlike sense of wonder and just let go and be in the moment. What a way to remember this little nugget!
Next up was the band Branches from Portland Oregon. So much fun! I cannot recall any conference I have ever attended that opened with a hip funky band! All at once these amazing group of women felt united and one. It was a very special and awe-inspiring moment.
Later that evening there was an opening where the women who started Wild and Free shared this little piece she had written in her latest publication of Wild and Free. I have to share it with you here because it really spoke to me. I was practically in tears when I read this because it spoke to my heart.
(Be sure to check out the Wild and Free website link at the end. )
We are not just homeschoolers. We are a community like no other.
We are not the norm. We go against the grain, flowing crosscurrent to mainstream culture. We are weird, unsocialized. And We love it. We embrace it. We're proud of it, in fact. Because we know this way of learning doesn't give our children a disadvantage in the world, but a leg up.
The path we're on is the right one even though it is less travelled. We believe that when kids are free to be themselves and that makes them a little "weird" , they possess what most adults are still striving to achieve, individualism. Purpose. Passion.
And when mamas are wild enough to walk their own way, raising up kidss in the way they should go, something amazing happens in their young hearts and minds.
We embrace nature and esteem good books. We love learning and strive for slow, intentional living. Webelieve mud pies trump memorization. And hikes beat homework any day of the week. We choose connection over curriculum,. And we beleive learning can be beautiful when it happens naturally. We call this "living" life.
Yes, we are passionate. And maybe a little crazy. But we are in this together.
We are Wild and Free.
By Ainsley Arment
Founder Wild and Free
( From Collection 2 of the new Wild and Free Print Magazine)
The entire weekend just flowed from this. This. This is how I feel and as a mom of gifted kiddos sometimes I can forget to live a slow intentional life. I can get caught up in the intensity of our days or even more likely my own emotional highs and lows and forget what I am seeking. I can start comparing my life to others or feel pressure to sign up for classes and camps or activities that don't hold our vision sacred. Our days can become so full that there is no room for exploration, connection and rest.
Sometimes, I forget the life I am trying to create for myself and my family.
A few of you may have heard me say that I have decided that this is my year of the Hell Yes!! I wish to live fully and in the present moment. I wish to go after my dreams and leave behind the pieces that don't serve me. I want to let go of the doubts and the fears that keep me stuck. I want to show up and live life full out. My kids need this. My husband needs this. I need this.
I suppose that this is what A Spacious Life is all about.
Honestly, life doesn't have to be so hard. Yes, there will be challenging times and not everything is roses. But in the end , we get to decide how we show up for the party and I think that makes all the difference.