Today I am bringing you Meagan’s story about Whole Family Rhythms and a lovely giveaway for the Autumn Guide.
Whole Family Rhythms are a series of seasonal and monthly guides created and designed to help you maintain a steady rhythm in your home. The rhythms include unstructured, child-led play both outdoors and indoors; early childhood stories and fingerplays; weekly bushwalking themes; daily art, handwork or creative projects; holistic baking and cooking recipes for the whole family as well as weekly caregiver meditations and projects. Although Whole Family Rhythms focuses primarily on the ‘early years’ the daily activities are flexible and varied enough to inspire and work for families of all ages and sizes.
Creating Whole Family Rhythms has been an idea that’s been drifting in and out of my mind for a couple years now. When I started exploring Steiner/Waldorf education, nature-based learning and holistic, gentle parenting, I very quickly realised there were not a great deal of resources available for those who wanted to celebrate the seasons, festivals and holidays authentically in the Southern Hemisphere. I realise there is a place for Archetypes, for example, King Winter- all covered in white and snow, in our seasonal stories, crafts and rhymes but I also wanted my children to be aware of their unique environment and the more subtle seasonal changes we often see in the Southern Hemisphere. Or, for example, I wanted to find a way to celebrate Easter in combination with a sense of moving inwards, growing still and losing life as opposed to looking at it only as a season of rebirth, new life and all things Spring! Creating a nature-based, seasonally inspired strong and steady rhythm for my children was inevitable, so why not share my discoveries and resources along the way?
My number one inspiration is of course, my children. It is so, so hard for children nowadays to be completely immersed and protected by the magic and wonder of childhood. Modern and Western ways of life create schedules, endless to do lists and a constant sense of multitasking that often feels unavoidable. My hope is that by being very clear about our family values and then translating these into strong rhythms for my children, I am also creating a strong rhythm for myself – empowering me to slow down, be present, calm and authentic for them.
My creative process is perhaps, not very creative at all! I read a lot- books on parenting, books on crafting, lectures by Rudolf Steiner, magazine articles, blogs, on pinterest… Then when it comes to creating the Monthly and seasonal Guides I’ve already laid a foundation of knowledge and creative ideas in my head that I can draw from and re-interpret. As for inspirational people, I recently listened to a podcast featuring Lisabeth Sewell McCann (http://eringoodman.com/episode-twelve-lisabeth-sewell-mccann/) who is the co-creator of Sparkle Stories, and I must say, I draw a lot of inspiration from her and her husband, David, both in real life and the way their values and lessons come out in their gorgeous range of online stories.
The pleasure I derive out of this business is threefold. It challenges me to not just talk the talk but walk the walk- keeping our own family rhythm strong and steady and bringing the Guides into our daily lives authentically which has been extremely healthy and beneficial already! It is also unbelievably fulfilling to be able to stay at home with my children and to be present for them through their entire early childhoods while also making a small income at home- a real privilege I am so grateful for. Finally, I get the most wonderful emails! Even before the launch of my business, soulful women have reached out to me and told me how meaningful and inspirational my blog is to them and I am so floored and humbled by that. It’s a very strange (but lovely) experience receiving such kind and heartfelt words from someone you’ve never met, and a reminder that modern day technology is not all that bad, it creates a sense of community and belonging between people that are out there searching for just that.
The products that are available at the moment are either single Monthly Guides (March, April or May) or all three combined to make the Autumn Guide with over 70 pages of oral stories and finger play, bushwalking themes, seasonal crafts, painting, drawing and modelling as well as caregiver meditations, caregiver handwork projects and seasonal book recommendations. I am aiming to have everything together to be able to launch the Winter Guides by the beginning of May which will give families more time to reflect on and personalise the rhythms before the new season begins.
Whole Family Rhythms was written and created by Meagan Wilson in New South Wales, Australia and all Guides are therefore tailored towards the more subtle seasonal changes in the Southern Hemisphere- reflecting festivals, traditions and celebrations from the Southern Hemisphere’s perspective. However, If you live in the Northern Hemisphere you can still use the guides easily- just be aware that you will have to ‘translate’ differences, for example, Easter activities, crafts and recipes are found in the Autumn Package while all things pertaining to Christmas will be found in the Summer Package.
Meagan’s Social Media Links:
Today Meagan is giving away one Autumn Guide to one Natural Suburbia reader, it includes:
The Daily Rhythm- your family rhythm at a week’s glance
Three Monthly Guides-Twelve weekly guides consisting of a weekly story, bushwalking theme, recipe, seasonal craft and themes for watercolour painting, drawing and beeswax modelling.
An Ingredients and Supplies Master List
Seasonal Book Recommendations
Twelve Weekly Caregiver Meditations
Three Caregiver Handwork Projects
To enter this lovely giveaway:
Please leave a comment below, to earn extra entries, please share about this giveaway on your Facebook page, Twitter, page or on Pinterest and remember to let us know each time you share, here, by leaving an extra comment for each share:)
The winner will be chosen on Thursday the 14th of March and will be announced in this blog post.
Thank you so much Meagan for sharing your story with us and for this lovely giveaway.
How beautiful! I’d love use this guide in the autumn for my family. Thank you for the give-away!
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor on Natural Suburbia you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org