On Rainbow Looming, Sending out Love, and ‘Oh She Glows’

Every week I am going to speak to three subjects: books, ideas, people, products, or innovations that I believe are peace-building, heart-opening, community-celebrating, love-spreading vehicles. Complaining and criticizing are such easy traps to fall into, but I am convinced that ‘building up’ holds far more power and transformative energy.

So, my sweet friends, here goes….Our world is a beautiful village and peace does begin at home.

1) Rainbow Looming

Rainbow Looming has been BIG in our house as of late. Admittedly, this makes me happy. It just does. I love watching my kids engaged in a craft for hours. I love it because they are so hyper-focused on something that feels peaceful and almost meditative.

All the time we hear that kids today are crazy distracted, screen obsessed, and lack creativity, and yet, there my two sit on the living room carpet researching new designs online and experimenting with colour and design for hours.

I know they are not the only ones. My sister-in-law tells me stories of  tween hockey players looming away their bus trips and a few weeks ago the friendly cashier at Michaels told me that their new shipments of elastics always sell out in just a few days.

To be honest, I am a little jealous of the looming kids. I yearn to jump head-on into a project or craft, losing all sense of time, yet ….distractions and places to be inevitably pull at me before I have the time to sink my teeth into anything.

A dabbler in so many things I remain.

There is something so simple, calming, and inspiring in weaving away the hours with colored elastics.

2) Sending out Love

The other night we all watched the news together before supper, which we never do. Here’s how that little ‘family activity’ ended:

Olivia was in tears, worried that a major meteor might soon hit the earth and kill us all. I was completely shaken for the rest of the night by the image of the grieving families of the missing Malaysian aircraft passengers. George heard the word ‘war’  while the situation in Crimea was being discussed and went into his own tailspin of worry.

I decided then that, for us, watching the news is certainly not peace-building. We can inform ourselves of current events but refrain from having our senses and sense of peace inundated.

Here’s the thing. I am simply not going to be the one who is going to solve any of these problems, nor is Dan.

There are people and initiatives working to solve all sorts of crises as we speak but for the most part, these things are not even within our scope of influence or proper understanding.

Here’s what we can do though.

We can write letters and sign petitions supporting causes we believe in and offer support through donations of time and/or funds.

I can continue to blog about peace-building because writing is what I know how to do.

Dan can design beautiful spaces that lift spirits and he can always aspire to maintain integrity, along with his partners, in running their business, because that’s what he can contribute.

We can both extend kindnesses in all sorts of spontaneous and planned ways as we move through our day,

and we can ALL send out deeply loving collective thoughts or prayers to families and countries experiencing times of unimaginable loss and or uncertainty.

3) The ‘Oh She Glows’ Cookbook

I bought this cookbook by Angela Liddon because I couldn’t tear myself away from it. It is simply beautiful – both text and images.

It is a vegan cookbook. To be clear we are not vegan, rather just trying to eat less white flour, less sugar, less meat, less of all the things that you are supposed to eat less of.

I love and celebrate all food, especially food that is prepared with love and creativity, whatever that looks like (don’t get me wrong -butter is my friend),

but if it is healthy than all the better for all of us.

This book makes me want to eat at this elevated level of goodness every single day.

Last night after supper I made the apple crisp. Without exaggerating, Dan ate half the pan in one sitting.  For all you apple crisp lovers out there (and I know there are legions of you) this recipe is divine!  Best apple crisp ever.  And…. it includes ingredients like chia seeds, almonds, maple syrup, coconut oil…

Don’t even get me started on the ‘crispy almond butter chocolate chip cookies’, the ‘vanilla chia pudding’, or the ‘ultimate nutty granola clusters’. (I know – My cravings have been on the ‘sweet’ spectrum this week)

Oh, this book glows.






Rumi, teachers, and ‘An Invisible Thread’…..

   ‎Every week I am going to speak to three subjects: books, ideas, people, products, or innovations  that I  believe are peace-building, heart-opening, community-celebrating, love-spreading vehicles. Complaining and criticizing are easy traps to fall into, but I am convinced that ‘building up’ holds far more power and transformative energy.
So, my sweet friends, here goes…..Our world is a beautiful village and peace does begin at home. 
What I am LOVING this week……

1)      The poetry of Rumi

Years ago, when I began to come across the widespread work of this 13th century Persian poet and Sufi mystic I positively swooned. His words are such profound gifts of love to our world. Written so long ago, yet, his messages are every bit as relevant and accessible now as then.

During a time in my life when events felt particularly challenging, the following was my heart-opening favorite quote because despite my heartache I still knew these words to be true…

                       If God said,  ‘Rumi, pay homage to everything that has helped you enter my   arms,’   There would not be one experience of my life, not one thought, not one feeling, not any act, I would not  bow to.

I have recently  added Rumi quotes to my e-mail signature in my own attempts to spread the loveliness far and wide.

 2)     Teachers

I am such a profound believer in building up our teachers. I have discovered that when I both follow my intuition and work with my kids’ teachers and schools, little miracles happen. Both of my younger kids have specific learning needs (doesn’t every kid?) but I have consistently found their teachers to be fervently invested in every student’s success and happiness.

In turn, I try to find as many ways and times to celebrate the work that they do, as teaching can sometimes be a tireless and thankless job. There have been so many great teachers along the way, but today I salute this year’s fantastic, energetic and super-inspired crop….

Carlie Ramotowski, John Malcolm, Fay Coleby, Riley Laird, Kristi Legge – You are all SO very wonderful and deserve beautiful, bursting spring bouquets.

 3)     Book An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff & Alex Tresniowski  –

This was a book that I actually bought for my husband, but ended up reading myself after combing the house one night in a mad frenzy of ‘turning-the-house-apart-looking-for-something-new-to-read’. (Am I the only one who does this?)

It is an easy read (not why I bought it for you sweetheart!) but the story has stuck with me. It tells the true account of a busy sales executive who befriends a disadvantaged young panhandler. What ensues is a life-long and life-changing relationship for both.  One of the reasons this story resonated for me, I think,  it that it happened during a time when everything was not a social media experiment that would receive immediate Facebook accolades.

Laurie, the executive, befriended Maurice because she felt compelled to. Something drew her to the boy and she chose to act on this powerful urge to connect with him, even though she was warned by her friends to not interfere in his life unless she was sure she was committed for the long haul.

As the story of the relationship between Laurie and Maurice unfolds, so does Laurie’s personal history of alcoholism and abuse in her own family. Laurie recognizes, however, that she cannot possibly compare her family’s dysfunction to what Maurice is experiencing. Pain is pain, though, and it is fascinating to see how Maurice and Laurie are both able to transcend their own ‘stories’ and empower each other to be better and do better.

Never doubt that it is possible for one person to make all the difference in another person’s life.

 I especially loved Laurie’s account of her mother dying, as I was able to be with my own mother when she died and found it to be an intensely spiritual and even comforting experience, as Laurie did.