Wednesday, January 2, 2013

a beautiful beginning…

Happy New Year!

It's raining as I write this, on the second day of the first month of a new year. Everything feels fresh and promising, while at the same time, there's a comfort to sitting here in my known space, my kids pottering around me, the cat licking herself, the chink of my husband's spoon against his cereal bowl…

It's a new year and a new beginning…and it's a comfortable, well-worn life, all at once. There's something truly beautiful about seeing the Old and the New sitting with each other, nodding across the way, eyes crinkling into smiles.

I haven't been here for a while, and it's been a busy, happy time. We have had so many adventures, exciting discoveries, disappointments, triumphs. In the meantime, life has sauntered and roared by…terrible and beautiful things have happened all around the world. I've watched, cried with grief and joy, laughed, and accepted.

A year ago, I was incredibly sick and impossibly sad. Today…my whole Self feels clear, aware, peaceful, mindful, joyful. At least, on most days. :)

Last year—the enormous and incredible 2012—was my year for getting better and staying better. Over the course of the year, my mantra became "BE BETTER."

I wrote it on a piece of paper early on, and stuck it to my wall
—where I have looked at it, thought it, lived it, every day since.

What does "Be Better" actually mean? Well, it has so many meanings. Wild and lovely layers of meaning.

It's not just about being, and staying healthy, although that is one huge, important aspect.

It's also about:

Doing good things. Doing mindful and caring things. Being compassionate and choosing kindness above all else. Choosing a path towards light and positivity, making choices that lift yourself and others up.

It also, for me, means being a vegan.
Being an animal advocate.
Being a pacifist.
Being a human rights defender.
Being an environmentalist.
Believing that the voiceless matter.

"Be Better," for my kids and husband, means all these things too. It also means that in our homeschooling path, we have chosen a type of learning that is sometimes labelled "natural learning," "child-led learning," and "unschooling." But for us, the way we homeschool is simply "Life." I used to worry about what homeschool label we fit under. Now, we just do. We read, we explore, and we create. We learn. Every day is different. Our homeschooling days feel organic, flowing, both simple and complicated, and they fit us perfectly.

So there you have it.

If you wanted to put us in a Box, a big BE BETTER box, this is what you'd find!

And I suppose all these things I've listed are what make us up, but we are so much more than these parts, too. And we are always discovering something new about ourselves, every day. So "Be Better" is also about being open. Discovering. Letting in the New and the Scary and the Unknown. It is about letting in the world and not being afraid to live.

I guess my "Be Better" can be summed up by these three words:

1. Respect (always. Never stop for a second),
2. Love (always. Never stop for a second), and
3. Learning.

Always. Never stop for a second!

It's that simple?

For me, it is.

And that means the title that's been waiting all this time to sit at the top of this space of mine
has finally arrived!

And I get a chance, on this brand new year, to reintroduce myself, make a new space,

and have a fresh beginning.

Where joy can bound out, along with my simple tales of the day, and pictures of cats, and snippets and beauty…
and I can share my BE BETTER with you…

with a smile this big
and hope this large
and love this kind
and peace flowing.

This is who I am. This is who we are.

It is so lovely to meet you!


  1. Oh, happy happy New Year to you, Helena! May this be a year of joyful experiences and amazing opportunities for you all. :)

    1. Thanks so much, Tracey! How lovely to see you here :) Happy and beautiful Beginnings to you too! :)

  2. Hi Helena! Beautiful post, as always. Happy New Year!

  3. I was just giddy when I saw that you had a new post. I have so missed stopping by and visiting. Facebook just isn't the same. I am so glad you are happy and strong my friend. I love your 3 things so perfect. Keilee and I put Sydney, Australia on our weather app last night. We weren't sure exactly where you lived. We like clicking on it and seeing how lovely and warm it is there when it is cold and dreary here. I hope 2013 is your best year yet! Looking so forward to seeing all the amazing things you will all do. Love and hugs!

  4. Ah, Helena, I have missed you so!

    So, so, so happy you stopped in for a visit!

    Come back soon, yes?

  5. Hi Helena, I have missed your inspirational words and honesty. I for one will definitely be returning (the promise of pictures of cats is always a winner for me!)
    A very Happy New Year to you and yours xx

  6. Happy New Year! I hope it brings you peace, love and joy. I hope to find your words here. They bring me such joy. Selfish...I know! However, you way of moving through your days does inspire me to find my own flow and to relax and enjoy the journey.

  7. Just beautiful Helena, you have come so far since I've met you, yet you always have been beautiful...Your site looks lovely, too btw!!

    Happy New Year my friend, and may this year bring you more joy and more peace!!

  8. Hi Helena! I was glad to see a post of yours show up in my feed :) Your blog is looking beautiful, and I am so very glad to hear that you are doing well! Happy New Year!!!

  9. Thank you, so much, to all of you, for stopping by and saying hello, and for all your wonderful wishes! It means so much to see you here. Really—thank you. I'm sending love and smiles and peace right back to you :)


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.