Educating Young Students From The Inside Out

Educating Preschool students from the "Inside Out"

Friday, November 15, 2013

Spiritual quote for the week

I came across this spiritual quote during the week, and I felt inspired to share with one of my photos.

" When one realizes God, he no longer feels that others are different from himself.
Paramhansa Yogananda

Take this into your meditation for the weekend.

Have a good weekend all. 

Blessings and Gratitude,

Peace gave us the seasons

Pictures taken by: Patricia de Anguera 
The fall leaves for most of us are now just a passing memory for this season.
 Each fall brings such a beauty as every tree, branch, and bush displays its own 
unique luminosity.
Every morning on my drive to work, I watched the world change right before me. 
 Around every corner was yet, another tree, of brilliant radiance.

This fall had so many magical moments with my classroom too. The children really opened up to the world of fall and all its beauty. I received comments from my parents about their daily outings with the children and how we were all experiencing this season of beauty together. 

   The thought kept murmuring in my mind;"Surely,the light today in this tree has to be more beautiful than the one I saw yesterday? "

Fall has to be my favorite season of the year?"

The colors are so beautiful. This fall has filled my heart with such deep love, gratitude and with a humble heart I can surrender more easily to that greater power of spirit all around us. 

Or then again, is it winter with the sparkling snow or maybe springtime with the delicate cherry blossoms falling like a delicate floral snow showers. Is this my favorite season?
As I chuckle I can recall so vividly this past summer photo a day project, with large warm beds of lavender aroma that filled my soul to the core?" I just cant make up my mind which season I like the best. . 
I have had the thought that all this beauty is from an astral memory. You may begin to ask, what is an astral memory? "The astral universe, made of various subtle vibrations of light and color, is hundreds of times larger than the material cosmos."
What type of a memory can linger so long in our hearts? What type of memory 
opens up all our senses by looking at these astral colors of leaves? This is beginning to feel like a heavenly memory that can touch us so deeply and we can experience it at any moment during our day.

Several days after meditation, I pondered all these thoughts while having a  
daily shower of beauty opening up every part of my being. 

I am not sure I will ever really know from my rational mind. But I can reveal in sharing 
this deep inner love with my students and all whom I come in contact with. It comes from 
a deeper sense of knowing something that is beyond myself. The deepest longing 
of the soul is to feel that spirit everywhere. 

In my classroom this month,  I have been teaching one of the original 
One of the little boys in our class was outside under the large maple trees. 
He gently, looked up to the sky, the meadow, and began to chant:"I get it now,"as if 
light-bulb, went off in his mind. 
"God is everywhere. Everywhere you look." How profound this statement
for a four year old. How long did it take all of us to realize this?
I know for me, it took a very long time. 

I leave you with that thought of inspiration and I hope that 
your experience of Divine Mothers presence this fall was as angelic as
ours was in the Pacific Northwest. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Guest Post :Join us in welcoming Kalamali Liguori from Ashram Girl in the City

Today is a guest post by Kalamali Liguori from: 

"Ashram Girl in the City" 

I find all of her blogs, entry's and videos inspiring for all of us to use in our daily lives. 
If you are a mother, teacher, student, auntie, father, or grandmother I hope you can join us as we spread the light together. Please welcome her this week to: Inside Out!

Ashram Girl in the City is an inspirational blog to help bring spiritual teachings into daily life. It has articles on health and healing, yoga and meditation, videos, photos, a resources list, spiritual quotes, and more to help you on your journey.

Here is one of her latest entree blogs and videos below.

Why You Should Dedicate Today to Divine Mother

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Santa Cruz, California
Yesterday I started the day by asking Divine Mother to be with me and give me a day just for her. I asked her to show me the perfect Divine Mother Day, dedicating the entire day just to Her. I have lived inSanta Cruz, California all my life, and never before have I seen so many examples of her beauty and grace. I saw seven miracles yesterday in total. And I hope that by sharing them with you, you too will be inspired to have your own Divine Mother Day.
The day began with a beautiful morning walk as the sun rose along the beach in Capitola. During the entire walk I asked for Divine Mother to be with me that day, and to open my heart to feel her joy and love. I walked all the way down the beach to my favorite place where I usually like to do my yoga exercises and practice morning meditation in the healing rays of the sunrise. The place where I usually go is a bit hidden, and not many people choose to climb down the hillside where I go, so close to the breaking waves. This morning I had it all to myself, and the sun happened to be shining on the water with a line of sunshine heading directly toward me. I felt the warmth and let it soak in all over , awakening my body cells and helping me to start my day right.
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Humpback Whale
After I finished meditating I gazed out across the ocean. To my surprise my gaze led me straight to the spouting of a humpback whale (Miracle #1). Yes. A whale! And not just this one whale, in fact, that day there were a pod of about 20 humpback whales in the ocean just in front of me. They were off in the distance, but not far enough away that I could not see their spouts jetting out of the water and their flippers dancing in the wind just as if to wave “hello!”
In all my life growing up in Santa Cruz, I have never come close to anything like that moment.
After I was finished being amazed, I walked home to be with my divine mother on Earth– my mom, and she suggested that we head off to visit the Monarch Butterflies of Natural Bridges State Park.
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Monarch Butterflies
The monarch butterflies migrate every year just around this time (October) to nest in the warm sunny Santa Cruz. The butterflies are like flowers with wings, fluttering about busily yet with such a stillness and calm strength about them unlike anything else. They just cover the area so that everywhere you look (Miracle #2)– you see a beautiful orange flashing across the gentle blue skies. Sometimes they flutter solo, sometimes in pairs, and other times they gather together in big bunches on the eucalyptus trees.
My mom and I just sat together looking up and watching silently as they fluttered overhead.
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Red Shouldered Hawk
Then I heard the screeching of a hawk in the nearby trees. I immediately began scanning the trees for this hawk, hoping to see a red tailed hawk. Red tailed hawks have always been a special sign in nature to me, as they have signified important moments and big changes in my life.
I kept my eyes on the spot where I heard the call, and finally saw the beautiful moment where the hawk spread its wings, calling to its friend across the grove. I had never before seen this kind of hawk. I learned later from a park ranger that it was a red shouldered hawk (Miracle #3). These hawks are like the monarch butterflies in that each year, they travel afar and then return to the same place to nest.
After a delicious and healthy lunch I went home to join my dad for a paddle boat outing we had planned the day before. We knew it was going to be another bright, sunny day– and wanted to spend it out on the water.
When we arrived we heard that the harbor was just finishing a giant anchovie clean up. Every so often, there is an influx of the anchovie population, in which too many anchovies enter into the confined space of the harbor, use up all the oxygen, and eventually begin to die out. Though the harbor crew and clean up volunteers had already left, there were still hundreds of seagulls swarming the entire harbor, feeding upon thousands of anchovies. I had never been able to see them up so close, practically right on top of our boat, and I could see them literally begin to take off for flight by running on top of the water (Miracle #4). 
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Sea Lion
As we continued paddling further out into the harbor, we saw Miracle #5: a pack of sea lions rolling and playing together in a group of nearly 12! My dad and I had never seen them doing this, let alone right in front of us! They apparently will band together to frighten the groups of anchovies together so that they may then feed upon them. Right after this, I saw Miracle #6– a huge swarm of anchovies that flew up onto the surface of the water, practically flying, with beautiful silver rays of light playing in the sun.
Then to our left a pair of sea otters floated right next to us (Miracle #7), tummies up, playful cute faces looking toward us curiously. They hung around us showing us their moves– beautiful spins, twists and turns with the water, deep dives, and big smiles!
And these were just a few of the sea mammals that joined us in the harbor that day (adorable harbor seals, majestic pelicans, and more)!
There may have been many more miracles happening that day, but so small and sweet that I hardly even thought to count them. That is the way that Divine Mother is. She is there with us, giving us even the smallest things–hardly noticeable as we rush about our days. But she does this because she wants us each to know that she is always with us, just waiting patiently for us to see her and let her in. So that we begin to feel her presence everywhere. All she wants is for us to feel her love and to share that love with all.
So why don’t you try it for yourself? Ask her for a Divine Mother Day, dedicated just to her nature and the miracles of her beauty and grace.

Lets end with one of her videos:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tree and leaves in the autumn

Leaves in the autumn came tumbling down,
Scarlet and yellow, russet and brown,
Leaves in the garden were swept in a heap
To jump up and down in,
with our two tiny feet.

Red leaves and yellow leaves,
Orange leaves and brown.
Leaves are everywhere,
Happily dancing down. 

I believe every school classroom all over the northern hemisphere is celebrating the seasonal changes now as we celebrate autumn. Our classroom at the Living Wisdom School of Seattle, is no exception. Our focus this month have been the beauty of trees. I like to build on the spiritual experiences for young children through the study of our earth's natural rhythms. 

What do the trees teach us?
  Just to name a few qualities that I focus on: inner power, strength, calmness, beauty. and stability. Tree medicine comes through many experiences in the classroom.  We can share a powerful story from nature, a song, interwoven bark textures, and though a multitude of visual art creations.    
I love the fall and all the many ways it can open the heart in nature.
 As we all know the projects are endless. 

Our class plays daily in our natural playground filled with Cedar, Douglas Fir, Maple, Alder and Hemlock trees. Is is a joyous sight to behold.  The children and I love to bath in this carefree childlike setting, filled with make believe bears, gnomes and fairies. The children are transported to a magical wonderland of their make believe worlds and story telling. 

We end each morning with a gathering together at the base of our trees. Here, we do an exercise called: "Reciprocal Breathing". We offer thanks to our trees at the conclusion of our morning in the playground. 

It is the highlight for many of us. 

May this fall be full of many blessings to your family and loved ones. May we all share in the inner  peace the leaves, and trees bring to us in this autumn season.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Free Book Giveaway; Two years later.

My very first blog in August of 2011
To August of 2013.

I began my blogging journey in August 2011. I was one of the very first Education for Life teachers to take the leap of faith after researching how to write a blog for about a year. Actually it was just getting up the nerve to write. Who would read it? What would I call it? Are others even interested in a different point of view when educating the whole child through the Education for Life principles? Would anyone be willing to listen to my inner dialog or chatter about alternative lifestyles? 

 One hundred and fifteen entries later, and well as they say, the rest has been history. Our small group of teachers are now expanding all around the globe. Many of our teachers are expanding on their own blogs.( These are at the side panel on this blog) 
We had our second Education for Life Conference this summer at our Living Wisdom College campus. It has been so wonderful connecting with educators in India, Australia,  England, New York, Oklahoma, Canada, Italy, well there are too many to remember exactly. It has been an exciting time. 

This past month in the history of my blog, I had over 1600 readers. It is mind blogging. Where do you all come from?
This was a record for one month. 

So I would like to thank you for sharing this journey with me. 

I will be having a free drawing  for one of two selected books :
I am attaching the links for you to read a review about each book. 

After one week, I will have a drawing for this book. The only catch is that you have to add your name at the comments below and how I can contact you. This will be so helpful. Please let me know why you would love to receive one of these books? 

Thank you again for reading and returning to my blog. I am humbly grateful and glad that I could share. 

Joy to you,

Friday, September 27, 2013

"All the World is My Friend"

Working together

Every September I begin our year with the unit: "All the world is my friend." This is a song written by: Nayaswami Kriyananda.  This has such a broad way of introducing new friendships, cooperation and harmony in our daily activities. 
The words to the song:
All the world is my friend
When I learn how to share my love.
When I stretch out my hand and smile,
Then I live from above. 
Here is the link to the music. 

The children begin to sing this from the first day of class. I offer books, puppet plays, yoga practices, games and art activities to bring in the theme for the month. 
This year I did a few new activities in case you read my October entry from 2012. 

Felting world balls
Integration of whole body drawing with our feet. When we draw with our feet, and switch to the hands it all seems easy. We draw with play dough, sand, in the air and on each others backs. This is so exciting to be silly with our new friends. 

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you. 
Sewing patterns with our friends

Harvesting sunflowers together from our school garden. 
Harvesting apples together at our Equinox celebration
Prayers together

Celebrations and parades

 This was our globe the children painted together.
One of the girls in my afternoon Prekindergarten class was coloring with our block beeswax crayons. She said to me: "These need to be cleaned." So I had told her about an idea that I heard and never thought I would have the opportunity to actually try it since I knew it might be time consuming. But we pulled out basic vegetable oil, and a small bowl.  We began to rub and rub. All the markings came off on our paper towels. It made hand made paper. It was so lovely and reminded me of all the felting projects that I love to do. I couldn't throw the paper away.

 So tore it up in small pieces and glued it as land continents on our globe.
This added another level of fun. We cut out many photos of animals that lived around the globe and glued them to our world.
The children also put a large floor puzzle together using the same principals of maps and habitats.

The mural had so many beautiful stages.

Here is the list from what a mural can accomplish in a classroom setting.

Celebration of harmony, cooperation, and joy in class. Dynamic tracing hands, right and left hands, cutting, pasting, geography, animal habitats, willingness to help others, gross and fine motor skills, sewing, sensory integration, grip control, recycling, singing , watercolor techniques, blotting, crayon resist, sponge painting, and blending.
One of the students as she helped me commented: " Wow, I had no idea, we did all that!
It is beautiful."

What a lovely way to honor our friendships and live in harmony with the world all around us.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

"Try it you'll like it!" New rhythms for the fall season.

Where has this month of September
actually gone?

The beginning of a new school year is filled with many projects to accomplish and new families to greet. The children need to melt their energies as one and just begin to settle into new classroom  

Last year about this same time I wrote about the change in our seasons, and rhythms with our families. If you didn't get to read it here is that entry. 

I was writing about my new habit of driving in my car to our school. 
Well this year, I am creating newer habits and have switched my impatient look at the annoying stoplights. 
Silly for me, I have always had some great moments while sitting at a stoplights.  
I have for many years prayed at a stop light for others and blessed them while I am waiting for the lights to turn green. Another more expansive thought is by trying to visualize and imagine, all the many stop lights in the world at different intersections. We are all connected at this exact moment in time, all throughout the world. You can realize the unity of people, cultures, cars and all kinds of emotions happening everywhere. Simple as it seems. Give it a try. It can brighten you day. 
I can get carried away with it and often brings me deep inner laughter and joy. 

But then as the light turns green, I am off to my next thought and moving along my way.

 So now this fall, I am changing my morning habits to embrace new rhythms.  In new ways I am changing small things as I begin each day.  I leave earlier each morning, pack my lunch the night before, prepare my veggies for my juicing the night before ,and my morning yoga/meditations are fully recharged and inspiring.  I find myself arriving totally recharged and refreshed. My day just flows beautifully.
 I think the children feel it too. It is glorious. 

 This brings me back to rhythm. What types of new rhythms are we all creating each day? Each moment?
How long does it actually take to create a new rhythm or habit? I am sure the experts have many opinions about this, but in actuality does that really matter?

I have found new habits and rhythms create enthusiasm and honestly that is how I love to start every day. 
With joyful, calm enthusiasm. This also sustains me as my inner reward to keep going everyday. 

One of the new ways of sharing on my blog for the next few months will be more photos of our activities and less writing. 

Another commitments of change this fall, is that I am retaking my Ananda Yoga Teacher Training again after 12 years. This is a thrilling time.   

There is a old saying that goes: "Try it you'll like it." 
Try some new rhythms of change. Let me know what is happening in your lives, and how your family is turning into the greater rhythm of life all around us. 

Joy to you.