UPDATE! February, 2013

——->UPDATE! February  13, 2013 SNEAKING UP ON UTOPIA!

I spent all day today struggling through a relationship with an iBook that does not know how to cope with new technology! I am sitting at a fast food join, Occupyin the internets. I started with a visualization, and I could easily see our next shift landing us in a variety of environments. From that imagery I distilled the following email. I spent several energy hours invested in spamming Craigslist and IC.org (okay, not REALLY spamming… researching and responding thoughtfully and doing my footwork… It just looked and felt a lot like spamming!):

Cosmic Salutation!

We are a beautiful artistic activist and green family of gardeners and merry makers. We have been living experimentally and nomadically for the last ten years. We just arrived back to Eugene in October, and before that we were traveling the whole USA!

Our bushome is struggling and it feels like fighting against the force of entropy. We have put all of our money, energy, and focus into repairing the bus and providing for the children while the bus is on the mend.  With the newest collection of challenges, clarity about un-sustainability is setting in. It is essential that we “land” somewhere for an amount of time, in order to avoid degradation of quality of life for the kids.

Thanks to our life design and parenting style, we are all ready to easily transition into a new environment. It may be for a season or for several seasons. It is exciting to make a 3 month (at least) projection forward, and vision together about what we are co-creating and where our collective story is writing us next. …. But even just a few days in a row of play and peace would be so collecting. Our focus keeps being drawn to the meeting of daily human needs and we have so much more to contribute into this reality than just being an example of fearless alt culture. We are ready to again ground and give; there is so much potential energy built up! We have so much experience and skills, tools and gifts! We want to be clearing black berries, sprouting micro greens, building experimental structures, finger painting with clay and flower based paints that we wildcraft ourselves… ETC.


  • A place to park the bus street-side or tucked in, and use the house communitarian style. The bus must plug in for minimal electric use (heat)
  • Room/rooms for rent or work/energy trade (we will store bus at a warehouse). We are accustomed to sharing small space (bus. yurts. teepees, tents, hostels, etc) and co-exist well
  • Our own rental. Under $1200 a month not including utilities, and an easy move in experience. We cannot come up with large move-in fee amounts because of the way we have adjusted our lives (this is why traditional renting of a house seems hard right now, but maybe you will want to work something out with us?)


  • Space to park the bus and homestead permaculture around the bus
  • Co-share a home and create together with the land
  • Creative use of structures, where we enjoy living radically in your barn or off grid cabin, yurt, etc.

Intentional Community:

Fit us into a vision. We are flexible and capable, ready and experienced. It would be amazing to have a small space to use as a self-reflective space to hold our family culture, but some of our favorite experiences have included extreme communitarianism and close quarter living.
We have good references. We can pay $1200 in rent or contribute up to $1400 monthly as a family, offset by energy exchange or work trade (which ever is of more value). We do not have up front large amounts of money for a transition, as we live a life of intentional minimalism and right-sized-ness! ❤
We are two adults and three children. Do NOT let the number alarm you, we are nothing like you have context for in this culture. We know how to keep it real and be low impact and high vibrational!
THANK YOU for all consideration! Cosmic love!

Very 420 friendly, into locally sourced organic and wildcrafted foods, fermentations and kombuchas, yoga and energy work, continuum concept and radical parenting, art, OCF, and full spectrum unlocked namaste friendships ❤


UPDATE! January, 2013

—-> Update January 26th, 2013  Still Looking Forward 

Our bus has been in the shop for a few weeks. We just got her home tonight! It is like a happy birthday gift to Scottie Booms (1/26). I will make a post soon to tell the story of living urban-ly with the fam-fam without the bus!

A list is in the works, describing the values we have to offer to our cosmic family. So far, I have the sexy part done and nothing else. Eros Erotic Healing!

We either are creating a network of places to park at and plug in for heat at night or joining up with a community soon. I think. I could be wrong, we may end up camping or on the road towards far off adventure, but it sure seems like we are keeping it simple and collecting each other after being on the road for most of a YEAR!

I am not sure exactly what I am looking for, mostly because of how flexible we are by design. We do have the bus and can be bustribe exclusively. I am also vibing a fusion of bus and auxiliary space. I think that creative sharing someone’s big house if they wanted to live experimentally and poly… OR a cabin or yurt or teepee on property or a back yard… or a care taker type of arrangement with a vacant house…

We have our bus, and are ready to park at any place we are most helpful to,  and capable of doing energy exchange (including money when needed) to balance our footprint and if space is available for indoor use to us.

Most interested in adventures that position us in Oregon, Cali, or Mexico/South America. 

Being open to such a diversity of experiences has been by intention; our children are exposed and socially collected by such range of family energy. They are seeing a full spectrum of culture as “normal”, a broad range of family dynamics and life choices as possibilities, and are receiving the confidence and strength that comes from having a world of supportive characters and interested parties participating in their development. This will last and evolve throughout their full lifetime. – Stephanie ❤

Time Out!

What does a child really learn when they’re put in Time Out?

by The Way of the Peaceful Parent on Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 2:27pm ·

What does a child learn when they’re put in Time Out?  Time Out is a popular approach and many parenting experts still advocate it as a constructive approach. But more and more parents are realizing that it goes against their better instincts, they know that children tend to pick up and reflect back our image of them, so it makes sense that treating them like a “naughty boy/girl”, will make them feel like a naughty child and hence act accordingly. Parents know that children learn more through our modelling than our words, so when we force a child against their will to stay in one place for an alloted time while ignoring or isolating them, are we not teaching them through our actions that forcing others to do something against their will is justified if they’ve done something wrong? Is this not what bullying looks like?


A vicious circle of bad feelings leading to bad behaviours and on and on.  Contrary to what parents hope, because the child whose been put in time out feels judged and rejected by their parent (just ask your child), they’re usually feeling too many negative feelings about themselves or their parent or both, to be able to access the reasoning part of their brain to think clearly and constructively about what might have worked better.  Their thinking is much more likely to be fuelled by their hurt feelings and perhaps a desire for revenge, as it’s human nature to resist being controlled and especially strong willed children won’t be able to resist the challenge of trying to regain their power in other ways.


To cultivate a peaceful harmonious home, our actions need to be non-threatening.  In the same way that if your partner forced you to go to your room against your will, you’d consider that they’d announced war between you, for children it feels similar, but because they’re little and dependent on us, they’re also instinctively driven to stay connected to us, so their efforts at revenge often become sneaky.  The child is still, is always, a good child, doing their best to instinctively meet their needs for loving acceptance and guidance.


Children feel unsafe when isolated.  Children are biologically driven to stay in close proximity to others, so being isolated, especially while they feel emotional rejection, even for a couple of minutes can feel very scary and is just a lot for them to cope with.   It’s very hard for children  to actually self-regulate or self-soothe in stressful situations without their parent’s support.  It’s beyond what they’re developmentally ready for as they’re prefrontal cortext is still developing.  When children are expected to deal with their own feelings without an adult’s empathy and guidance, they’re being expected to do something that they just can’t yet do. Because the lack of this care is difficult for a child to deal with, especially if isolated as well as not helped, they’re more likely to dissociate (cut off and repress) from those feelings, which begins a numbing process which works against the healthy development of love, empathy and emotional and social intelligence.


Our unacceptance of their feelings eats away at their self esteem Children who are rejected, scorned or ignored when their behaviour is unacceptable receive the message that their feelings are unacceptable, that they are unacceptable. They tend to become the teenager who locks themselves away in their room for hours on end when they’re not feeling happy and breezy, they’ve learned that there isn’t a place for their hurt and angry feelings in the family.  Worse still they’ve internalized their parent’s unacceptance of their feelings and then as teens find it very difficult to maintain their self-esteem when they have bad feelings.  The children who felt disliked when they had big feelings when young have learned to dislike themselves when they have difficult feelings as tweens and teens and are often the kids who seek pain relief from one source or another during the teen years.  Those whose feelings have been listened to even when they’ve made mistakes or acted out are more likely to feel deserving of seeking a listening ear, seeking guidance, seeking support when things are tough.


Children’s behaviour is driven by their feelings, not their thinking.  Children who can trust that their whole range of feelings and behaviours will be met with love, care and guidance have much lower stress levels, hence their behaviour tends to be more in balance.  Most of the behaviour that parent’s find unacceptable is the result of the child feeling big difficult feelings that they haven’t yet learned how to manage.  They’re jealous so they hurt the baby.  They’re angry, so they throw and break something.  A child who hurts the baby or purposely throws something to break it is already showing the signs that they have a backlog of hurt feelings. Sending a child to their room gives them more of these bad feelings to deal with without helping them get any of the backlog of bad feelings out, so the source of the problem is in fact intensified.


What should I do when my child is acting out?  If they don’t get the bad feelings out, they will act them out.  Instead of being harsh with your child or ignoring them, what they need is empathy and connection.  They may also need teaching, guidance and good information, but they can better receive that when they’re no longer stressed or upset.  Giving an out of balance child empathy will not only bring them back to a calm place quicker, it’ll teach them that when they are angry they’re still a good person who is just feeling hurt and needing support, which greatly increases their self esteem, trust in their self and trust in their parent.  When children don’t feel judged for being angry, they’re more likely to cry and seek out a comforting hug rather than hit the baby.  Children develop strong emotional resilience if they are consistently cared for when upset.


Instead of shutting them out, bring them back in.  Instead of shutting your child out when their behaviour is off track, recognize that they’re emotionally out of balance and in need of being brought back in, probably in need of some quality time with you that reminds them that they’re loved, accepted, supported and cherished even when – especially when – they get angry and frustrated.  Connection can happen as we set a limit, which really demonstrates unconditional love.  Instead of repeating your requests/orders again and again, instead of threatening that if they don’t stop … you’ll …, instead of sending them to their room, centre yourself, walk over to your child, meet them on their own level, touch them in a way that demonstrates your care, then express your limit “ornaments need to stay on the shelf, will you put it back or will I do it for you?”.  When we order, threaten or yell children will be in a state of stress even if they don’t show it, that stress inhibits their ability to listen, comprehend and follow our guidance, but when they see that we’re connecting and guiding with care, children generally find it much easier to cooperate.  And when they do protest and show their disappointment, this can be a great opportunity for them to get some big feelings out as we listen and validate those feelings.


Children who live free of threat are more settled, happy and cooperative.  You’ll see the benefits of this approach reflected in the deepening of trust and co-operation between you. You’ll see it reflected in their ability to work things through with friends and siblings when tensions soar. You’ll see it reflected in their increased self-confldence, self-esteem, problem solving skills and development of compassion and empathy for their self and for others.


Written by Genevieve Simperingham, mother of two children, parent educator, parent coach, holistic counsellor, writer, energy healer and group facilitator.  Genevieve has been running courses and workshops and running a private practice with adults and families for nearly 20 years.  visit www.Peaceful-Parent.com


Understanding The Continuum Concept

According to Jean Liedloff, the continuum concept is the idea that in order to achieve optimal physical, mental and emotional development, human beings — especially babies — require the kind of experience to which our species adapted during the long process of our evolution. For an infant, these include such experiences as…

  • constant physical contact with his mother (or another familiar caregiver as needed) from birth;
  • sleeping in his parents’ bed, in constant physical contact, until he leaves of his own volition;
  • breastfeeding “on cue” — nursing in response to his own body’s signals;
  • being constantly carried in arms or otherwise in contact with someone, usually his mother, and allowed to observe (or nurse, or sleep) while the person carrying him goes about his or her business — until the infant begins creeping, then crawling on his own impulse, usually at six to eight months;
  • having caregivers immediately respond to his signals (squirming, crying, etc.), without judgment, displeasure, or invalidation of his needs, yet showing no undue concern nor making him the constant center of attention;
  • sensing (and fulfilling) his elders’ expectations that he is innately social and cooperative and has strong self-preservation instincts, and that he is welcome and worthy.

In contrast, a baby subjected to modern Western childbirth and child-care practices often experiences…

  • traumatic separation from his mother at birth due to medical intervention and placement in maternity wards, in physical isolation except for the sound of other crying newborns, with the majority of male babies further traumatized by medically unnecessary circumcision surgery;
  • at home, sleeping alone and isolated, often after “crying himself to sleep”;
  • scheduled feeding, with his natural nursing impulses often ignored or “pacified”;
  • being excluded and separated from normal adult activities, relegated for hours on end to a nursery, crib or playpen where he is inadequately stimulated by toys and other inanimate objects;
  • caregivers often ignoring, discouraging, belittling or even punishing him when he cries or otherwise signals his needs; or else responding with excessive concern and anxiety, making him the center of attention;
  • sensing (and conforming to) his caregivers’ expectations that he is incapable of self-preservation, is innately antisocial, and cannot learn correct behavior without strict controls, threats and a variety of manipulative “parenting techniques” that undermine his exquisitely evolved learning process.

Evolution has not prepared the human infant for this kind of experience. He cannot comprehend why his desperate cries for the fulfillment of his innate expectations go unanswered, and he develops a sense of wrongness and shame about himself and his desires. If, however, his continuum expectations are fulfilled — precisely at first, with more variation possible as he matures — he will exhibit a natural state of self-assuredness, well-being and joy. Infants whose continuum needs are fulfilled during the early, in-arms phase grow up to have greater self-esteem and become more independent than those whose cries go unanswered for fear of “spoiling” them or making them too dependent.

Here are some excerpts from the book which define the continuum concept:

…It is no secret that the “experts” have not discovered how to live satisfactorily, but the more they fail, the more they attempt to bring the problems under the sole influence of reason and disallow what reason cannot understand or control.

We are now fairly brought to heel by the intellect; our inherent sense of what is good for us has been undermined to the point where we are barely aware of its working and cannot tell an original impulse from a distorted one.

…[Determining what is good for us] has for many millions of years been managed by the infinitely more refined and knowledgeable areas of the mind called instinct. … [The] unconscious can make any number of observations, calculations, syntheses, and executions simultaneously and correctly.

What is meant here by “correct” is that which is appropriate to the ancient continuum of our species inasmuch as it is suited to the tendencies and expectations with which we have evolved. Expectation, in this sense, is founded as deeply in man as his very design. His lungs not only have, but can be said to be, an expectation of air, his eyes are an expectation of light… [etc.]

…The human continuum can also be defined as the sequence of experience which corresponds to the expectations and tendencies of the human species in an environment consistent with that in which those expectations and tendencies were formed. It includes appropriate behavior in, and treatment by, other people as part of that environment.

The continuum of an individual is whole, yet forms part of the continuum of his family, which in turn is part of his clan’s, community’s, and species’ continua, just as the continuum of the human species forms part of that of all life.

…Resistance to change, no way in conflict with the tendency to evolve, is an indispensable force in keeping any system stable.

What interrupted our own innate resistance to change a few thousand years ago we can only guess. The important thing is to understand the significance of evolution versus (unevolved) change. … [The latter] replaces what is complex and adapted with what is simpler and less adapted.

There is no essential difference between purely instinctive behavior, with its expectations and tendencies, and our equally instinctive expectation of a suitable culture, one in which we can develop our tendencies and fulfill our expectations, first, of precise treatment in infancy, and gradually of a (more flexible) kind of treatment and circumstance, and a range of requirements to which adaptation is ready, eager, and able to be made.

pp. 22-27, The Continuum Concept, Revised edition ©1977, 1985 by Jean Liedloff, published by Addison-Wesley, paperback, 20th printing.

If you haven’t read the book, start here…

Articles by Jean Liedloff

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What Is Unschooling?

Unschooled, according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, was first used in 1589 as an adjective meaning not schooled—untaught, untrained. It also has a second meaning of not artificial, natural—as in “an unschooled musician.” John Holt coined unschooling as a noun and a verb in 1977 in the first issues of GWS.

“All John Holt meant to do with the word unschooling was to find a more expressive and expansive term than deschooling or homeschooling, both of which gave the impression of abolishing or creating miniature copies of conventional schooling in the home. Holt created the word unschooling to indicate that children can learn in significant ways that don’t resemble school learning and that don’t have to just take place at home.

However, now unschooling is also known as interest-driven, child-led, natural, organic, eclectic, or self-directed learning. Lately, the term “unschooling” has come to be associated with the type of homeschooling that doesn’t use a fixed curriculum. When pressed, I define unschooling as allowing children as much freedom to learn in the world, as their parents can comfortably bear. The advantage of this method is that it doesn’t require you, the parent, to become someone else, i.e. a professional teacher pouring knowledge into child-vessels on a planned basis. Instead you live and learn together, pursuing questions and interests as they arise and using conventional schooling on an on-demand basis, if at all. This is the way we learn before going to school and the way we learn when we leave school and enter the world of work. So, for instance, a young child’s interest in hot rods can lead him to a study of how the engine works (science), how and when the car was built (history and business), who built and designed the car (biography), etc. Certainly these interests can lead to reading texts, taking courses, or doing projects, but the important difference is that these activities were chosen and engaged in freely by the learner. They were not dictated to the learner through curricular mandate to be done at a specific time and place, though parents with a more hands-on approach to unschooling certainly can influence and guide their children’s choices.

Unschooling, for lack of a better term (until people start to accept living as part and parcel of learning), is the natural way to learn. However, this does not mean unschoolers do not take traditional classes or use curricular materials when the student, or parents and children together, decide that this is how they want to do it. Learning to read or do quadratic equations are not “natural” processes, but unschoolers nonetheless learn them when it makes sense to them to do so, not because they have reached a certain age or are compelled to do so by arbitrary authority. Therefore it isn’t unusual to find unschoolers who are barely eight-years-old studying astronomy or who are ten-years-old and just learning to read.”

—Pat Farenga, Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling

Unschooling is not unparenting; freedom to learn is not license to do whatever you want. People find different ways and means to get comfortable with John Holt’s ideas about children and learning and no one style of unschooling or parenting defines unschooling, as the following selection of books demonstrates. — PF

Unschooling References and Information:

A Little Way of Homeschooling: Thirteen Families Discover Catholic Unschooling by Suzie Andres (2011) Buy now

Homeschooling With Gentleness: A Catholic Discovers Unschooling (2004) by Suzie Andres Buy now

Finding Joy: A Christian’s Journey to an Unschooled Life by Julie Polanco (2011) Buy now

Homeschooling Our Children, Unschooling Ourselves (2002) by Alison MacKee. Buy now

Christian Unschooling (2001) by Terri Brown with Elissa M Wahl. Buy now

The Unschooling Handbook by Mary Griffith (1998). Buy now

The Teenage Liberation Handbook (1998) by Grace Llewelyn. Buy now

Information Online from Alphie Kohn:

Magical Child

Magical Child

Interaction is a two-way exchange of energy, with an amplification of the energy of each of the two forces. Ordinary action is a one-way movement of energy toward or against something. When I chop down a tree, I expend my energy without a corresponding exchange of energy from the tree. Action usually brings about a reaction; the tree falls, and I have to get out of the way. Reaction is a one-way movement away from. No exchange and augmenting of energy takes place in either acting or reacting, and we always tire when energy flows out in this way. In true interaction, however, we never tire.

Through interaction, intelligence grows in its ability to interact. We are designed to grow and be strengthened by every event, no matter how mundane or awesome. The flow of nature and seasons, people, extreme contrasts, apparent catastrophes, pleasantries, all are experiences of interaction to be enjoyed and opportunities for learning, leading to greater ability to interact.

With what is human intelligence designed to interact? With anything and everything possible. If there is anything intelligence cannot interact with, that intelligence is to that extent crippled. A fully developed intelligence is one designed to exchange energies with anything existing, without ever being overwhelmed. A mature intelligence should be able to interact on three levels that correspond to and arise from the three stages of biological growth. These levels are: first, the ability to interact with the living earth according to the principles and natural laws of this earth; second, the ability to interact with the earth according to the principles of creative logic developed in the mind-brain system; and third, the ability to interact with the processes and products of the mind-brain system itself, which means the thoughts and creations of our own mind, the mind of others, and the whole thought system underlying our reality. Any definition of intelligence that does not encompass these three categories of interaction is incomplete. Any development of intelligence that does not move through these three modalities falls short of the biological plan for intelligence and betrays nature’s three billion year investment and trust.

We have seen how these three ways of interaction are also the three matrices that should form in the developmental years. As adults, we should have three safe places to stand on at any time: the earth, our relationships, our own power of thought. And, of course, we should have these safe spaces as sources of possibility from which to choose experience and as sources of energy with which to explore those possibilities.

How should this ability develop? Only by a full development of each of the matrices in the order arranged by the biological plan; developing a knowledge of the world itself, then a knowledge of the creative relationship possible with that world, and then a knowledge of creative relations and possibilities themselves. Development can take place only on the foundation given by the child’s actual body movements, making sensory contact with the world of things and processes. The growth of intelligence rests on a sensorimotor process, a coordination of the child’s muscular system with his/her sensory system and general brain processes.

Any bodily involvement by the early child brings about a patterning in his/her brain system concerning that movement and all the sensory information related to it. For instance, a parent can manipulate the limbs of a newborn infant, and even though they are not initiated by the infant, the bodily movements will in themselves bring about a corresponding pattern of activity in the brain concerning that ability. If repeated sufficiently, these arbitrarily induced puppetlike movements (such as achieving head balance, sitting up, grasping) will lead to that infant’s ability to initiate and complete these movements months ahead of an infant who is not so stimulated. The brain patterns for sensorimotor coordinates form automatically.

Intellectual growth is an increase in ability to interact, which means a coordinated flow of the mind-brain-body with the experience at hand. This increase can only take place by the infant-child’s interacting with new phenomena. That is, intelligence can only grow by moving from that which is known into that which is not yet known, from the predictable into the unpredictable. The institutionalised child, for instance, does not grow intellectually. Mental retardation is inevitable when the physical environment is unvaried, when new stimuli are almost nonexistent (staring at a gray ceiling or the walls of a crib day and night), and above all, when there is no bodily contact with a stable caretaker to furnish a known matrix. Moving into the unknown is possible only when there is a secure matrix to which the child can make an immediate return, and the younger the child, the more immediate and constant this return must be.

The early child thinks in action and acts his/her thinking. Intellectual growth is a biological process, taking place below awareness as nonconsciously as the growth of hair or teeth. Our conscious awareness is the end product of biological functions. The infant-child learns from every interaction, and all future learning is based on the character of these early, automatic body-brain patterns. This primary sensory organisation and response takes precedence over all future learning, even though it never becomes conscious in any ordinary sense. Rather, this base structure furnishes consciousness as well as the possibilities for future learning.

The only criterion we have for what the infant, child, young adult, or adult is learning or has learned, is interaction. Can the child or person interact, or is his/her life one long chain of reactions to, or acts of aggression against? When people express reaction-aggression, they are expressing not just a crippled intelligence, but what they have actually learned.
Growth of the infant-child’s ability to interact means increased rhythmic patterning in the brain and corresponding muscular responses. This growth can be slowed almost to a standstill by subjecting the growing child to demands inappropriate to his/her stage of development, that is, by trying to force the child to learn or deal with information or experience suitable to a later stage of development, or by keeping them locked into an earlier stage. Then the child learns that learning itself is difficult and frustrating or nonrewarding. Even when the child manages to comply with demands suitable to a later stage, premature involvement can cripple intelligence, although the damage may not show for years.

For instance, abstract knowledge, such as adult idea systems and opinions, is designed for the later years of development. Forcing the early child to deal prematurely with adult abstract thought can cripple the child’s ability to think abstractly later on. The first ten years or so are designed for acquiring a full-dimensional knowledge of the world as it is and learning how to interact with it physically and mentally. This growth of knowledge and ability should lead to the ability to survive physically in the world. With the security of a full knowledge of survival, the young person could then move freely into abstract thought. His/her intelligence could then attend the true maturation of the mind-brain. Not incidentally, the concrete knowledge from which survival grows is also the concrete structure of knowledge out of which abstract thought arises.

A shallow-dimensional world view, based only on the long-range senses of sight and sound, is often the kind of knowledge constructed by the child. Direct physical contact with the world, taste, touch, even smell, are often either discouraged or actually forbidden in the parent’s anxiety over the hazards of germs and imagined threats. Without a full-dimensional world view structured in the formative years, no earth matrix can form, no knowledge of physical survival can develop, and no basis for abstraction and creativity can arise. A permanent anxiety and obsessive-compulsive attachment to material objects will result. And anxiety always cripples intelligence; it blocks the development of muscular-mindedness, the ability to interact with the unknown and unpredictable. Anxiety is the source of the fall of the child somewhere around age nine. Its roots are deep, its branches prolific, its fruit abundant, and its effects devastating.

Copyright © Joseph Chilton Pearce, 1977

Article by Joseph Chilton Pearce

Joseph Chilton Pearce is the author of many books, including Crack In The Cosmic Egg, a national best seller read more

See all articles by Joseph Chilton Pearce