Give your children a voice

“Mom, I love you. I see that you are trying to help me out here, but take a look in the mirror. You do the same thing.” ~N, Age 9

So, I am faced with a choice. Get mad at her honesty or admit that she’s right. So I take a deep breath, swallow my pride and my programming that’s telling me how I should react and I say:

“You’re right! Why don’t we work on that together. We can keep each other accountable and see if we can both break that habit.”

Lacey Miller_Family_2014_Brooke-8422

Are your kids really being disrespectful, or just truthful and you don’t want to hear it?

Before I correct my kids, I have to ask myself if it’s only bothering me because it’s the truth. A lot of times I realize the only reason I want to correct them is because I don’t think kids should correct adults, but that’s the biggest crock of shit ever. It’s a lie I was sold by society and from watching too many John Wayne movies as a kid. Ha!

Kids are honest and they see things more clearly than adults. We desperately need their input, their insight, and their honesty. Giving the children a voice allows us a unique opportunity to see things that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Want to grow and become a better person??? Then give the kids in your life freedom to say what they actually see. Give them a safe space to speak their truth, and you will discover a lot about yourself and the world you have created. 

sassy 1

Definition of sassy: 1. Lively, bold, and full of spirit.

I will offer my kids correction and instruction when they are being disrespectful or are using their words to be hurtful or unkind. But pure, independent, outspoken, honest  sassiness is honored in this house.

Giving the children in this home a voice allows me to see who they really are. It’s a window to see what’s really going on in that little heart of theirs. It helps me see the areas where we can improve, places where they need a little instruction or help, areas where their heart may have hardened towards a person or a situation and is in need of softening.

I see it all the time, kids who are respectful and sweet when there are adults present and then as soon as they think no one is watching they are making fun of the other kids, lying and do spiteful things just for the sake of it. Why do you think that is? I think it’s because at some point they decided it wasn’t safe to show adults who they really were. Does that mean they became a better person? No. It just means they learned how to hide who they really are and only show the parts of themselves that they think people want to see.

Have you ever seen an interview with a parent after their kid commits some kind of horrible crime? Not always, but usually the story goes something like this:

“I never saw that side of them. I didn’t see this coming.”

It makes me wonder what kind of communication was happening in that home.

Authentic communication is hard and it requires treating our children as equals. It requires allowing them to be different than us, to have different opinions and to say the things they are really thinking, even if we don’t always agree. It requires allowing them to be who they really are without shaming them or judging who that person is.

I want to know who my kids really are. I want them to feel free to say whatever random and potentially inappropriate thing is on their mind. I want them to have a voice in this house, and I want to be brave enough to hear what that voice is saying. 

~Brooke Hampton 

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Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog.

Photo Credit: Lacey Miller Photography

 

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my kid is a brat

My kid is a brat and I don’t know what to do about it.

In an effort to show our love and to make ourselves appear happy and successful, we are creating a society full of spoiled brats. Children who are lazy, overstimulated, ungrateful and greedy.

spoiled bratHow I came to this conclusion

On the road again: When I was 10 my dad lost his business and as a result we lost our beautiful home in the Hamptons. In less than a year I went from living 10 minutes from the Ocean, attending one of the most amazing schools in the country, having two Austrian nannies catering to me, a swimming pool and anything and everything my little heart desired, to living in a 17 foot travel trailer with a whole lot of nothing.

childhoodMy sister and me 1991

We lived on the road for over 7 years. We went from having very little to having nothing to having very little and then back to having nothing over the course of that 7 years. I remember being hurt and angry for the first year or so, but over time I found that I was happier. My happiness was no longer wrapped up in whether I had the newest styles like my friends or what kind of extravagant birthday party I was going to have next. My happiness was being found in new and more meaningful things. I found joy in reading, meeting new people and discovering new places. I was entertained and amazed by all kinds of little things that I would never have noticed before.

me hamptonsWhatever Dad was doing to make money at the time, whether is was selling t-shirts on the side of the road, doing wild west reenactments (I always got to play Annie Oakley:), concession stands at fairs, construction, washing cars..etc I was his right hand girl. It wasn’t ideal, but I learned how to work when I didn’t feel like it, how to be dependable and how to deal with people.

peruPeru 1998

When I was 16 I raised enough money and moved to Peru for a year. I was not your average 16 year old and so my parents agreed to let me go. So while other girls were going on their first dates and learning how to do their makeup, I was hanging out in the mountains of Peru.

The age of the stepford wife: When my first child was born in 2004, something happened and suddenly I had this urge to have things. The love I felt for her was like nothing I had ever felt before. I wanted to give her all the material things I had lacked for the past 12 years of my life. I wanted to fill her life with the absolute best of everything. I didn’t want her to ever have to walk in to a food bank, wash cars in the freezing cold or take hand-me-down clothes that were 4 sizes too big. I wanted her to have anything and everything her little heart desired. I wanted her to take every class and go to every fun kids’ event within driving distance. I wanted her to take dance, gymnastics and any other thing she showed interest in. I was on a mission to make her childhood amazing. Billy and I both worked really hard and Niyah was given everything and then some. She was such a precious little baby and I just knew she was going to be better off having had all of these amazing things.

A day of reckoning: It was a Tuesday in the fall, I remember it so clearly. I was getting Niyah and Alayna ready for a fun day out in town. I had a host of things planned for them. I was trying to get the house ready to be cleaned while we were out. Niyah was 4 (almost 5) at the time and I asked her to pick up her clothes before the cleaning lady arrived. She looked right at me and said, “Why? That’s not my job, that’s ______ job”. It it hit me like a truck. I felt like my whole life came to a screeching halt.

A season of change: What had I done? I dropped what was in my hand and sat on the floor next to her. I didn’t get mad, I just said “I’m so sorry.” I was apologizing to her, to the universe and to myself for having let this happen. I had been ignoring all of the little things..fits when I would say no, not being grateful when she received a new gift, not valuing her things, never having enough, lying to get what she wanted. It was right there in front of me, but I didn’t want to see it. My kid was turning into a little brat and I was 100% responsible! For over a year I had been telling myself that this was normal behavior and that she would grow out of it because I just didn’t want to see the truth. I didn’t want to see that all of my hard work to make everything perfect, all of my love in the form of gifts, all of the running around to make sure she got to do every fun thing available was actually hurting her.

A new day: I knew how to change it, but I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Taking things away, putting her on a budget, simplifying, getting her more involved with chores, not giving in when she cried for things she wanted, learning to say no and stick with it, exposing her to poverty so that she could begin to appreciate all that she was blessed with. The other big challenge I faced was finding ways to entertain her without a thousand talking plastic toys and games to help me. None of those things were easy, but they were necessary and we loved her enough to do it.

Note: we did not do anything overly drastic. I wrote down the change we wanted to see in our household over the next 12 month period. All of our decision and actions from that moment forward were based on our ultimate goal. A goal to simplify the kids lives, leaving them more room for their imaginations to go to work and their hearts to grow with wonder for the natural world around them.

b22The other day our middle child said:

A: “Dad makes really good money, doesn’t he?”

Me: “Yes. Why?”

A: “If we have all that money then why didn’t we move into a bigger house and why do we shop at goodwill and stuff?”

Me: “Because we love you that much!”

At this point in our life, we have the means to give them almost anything their little minds could dream up, but just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

We have found other ways to show our love…we craft, paint, go on walks, read, meditate, work on our farm, garden, do puzzles, talk, play board games and cards (Texas hold ‘em ha ha), dance, drum, write stories and poetry….all things that cost nothing.

We love them enough to give them less.

Fewer material things and more of our time.

~Barefoot mama

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AWAKENING!! What the hell does that even mean?

Awaken!

What does it mean to have your soul awaken?

stepford wifeI’ll never forget the first time I heard someone talking about their personal awakening. I remember rolling my eyes as I pictured this person running naked in the forest, talking to the moon, and I thought to myself..

“there’s no way in hell that will ever be me”

z7 years later..ha!

My soul was asleep and desperately struggling to fit into a mold that was breaking me. I was up late one night (I hardly ever slept well back then because I had really bad night time anxiety) listening to someone on YouTube talk about their awakening because I was desperate for a change. I didn’t even know what that change was, but I knew I needed to find it. Even though I laughed out loud at the message and made fun of that person for a week, the message was haunting me.

z2“A kind of light spread out from her. And everything changed color. And the world opened out. And a day was good to awaken to. And there were no limits to anything. And the people of the world were good and handsome. And I was not afraid any more.”
― John Steinbeck

I feel FREE, ALIVE and full of RAW energy.

How did I get here?

Step 1:  Clear your vision

First, I stopped eating, watching and surrounding myself with people and things that were clouding my vision. By that, I mean – clouding my ability to hear and follow my inner compass. Clouding my ability to see and hear what my next step needed to be. Clouding my ability to believe that I absolutely deserved the best life ever.

I began to eliminate the toxic foods and relationships in my life.  I was listening to David Wolfe on YouTube late one night when I was feeling particularly sorry for myself, and he said something that really helped me not get overwhelmed. He said: “Just keep adding the good. One thing at a time and the bad will begin to eliminate itself.” Man, that’s the truth! I started small with just 3 things – clean spring water, juicing & brewing Chaga tea for the family. We did those things consistently as we continued to educate ourselves. There are so many amazing resources out there now. I started with YouTube because there was an abundance of great information available for free.

Some of my favorites online resources come from:
David Wolfe, Nadine Artemis, Nick Good, Bruce Lipton and Michael Mackintosh

books sssBooks worth reading:

“Walden” by Henry David Thoreau, The Anastasia Series by V. Megre (I recommend the original version which can be found on the ringing cedars of Russia website) and last but certainly not least “Amazing Grace” by David Wolfe and Nick Good

Your body and soul begin refusing the things that no longer serve you well.

Step 2: Get Grounded! Go outside! 

Someone gave our oldest daughter a Comfrey plant. I tried to explain that I didn’t know what Comfrey was and I knew nothing about caring for plants so it was certainly going to die an awful death at our house. He replied: “That plant is calling your name. She wants to go with you. Just listen to her, she’ll tell you what she needs.” Oh, and did she ever! Comfrey in all her glory has brought healing to our families in more ways than I can count. If you are interesting in learning more about building a relationship with your plants and discovering their healing properties, look up Doug Simons, Susan Weed and the one and only Juliette de Bairacli Levy (amazing woman).

I remember thinking he was completely off his rocker..ha ha! Sneaky and wonderful man that he was, he knew I would have to put that plant outside because it wouldn’t survive, and I guess he could tell enough about me from our short meeting to know that I wouldn’t let it die.

I went outside, put my hands in the dirt for the first time and I never looked back. The world comes alive for me out there. I feel connected to myself, to all of you and to source. Source for me is the creative energy from which I came. The energy that guides me and sustains me.

There is LIFE for us in the ground that we’ve been so separated from. There is nothing that can calm you quite like putting your bare feet on the early morning dew or watching a beautiful sunrise.

Step 3: Connect with your instincts! 

Erase it all and start from scratch!

Find a still, quiet place, close your eyes and ask yourself these questions:

If I had never been conditioned with how I should react to this life, if I had never seen someone love, parent, or communicate.. how would I do those things?  If I was the very first human on earth, raising the very first children and loving for the first time- what would that look like?

Find it! Find those answers somewhere deep within you, because they are there. Find them and then be brave enough to follow them as best as this world will allow. And when there are rules set it place that keep you from following that guide…help change them!

not real

Be brave enough to let your soul create the colors it was meant to create.

Coming out of your slumber, waking up, if you will, into a life that is right for your soul is going to be as unique and beautiful as the unique and beautiful soul that is awakening.

I love you and I wish you all the light, love and beauty this world has to offer.

Barefoot Mama

 “Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment.”
― John O’Donohue

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don’t marry your soul mate

I realize that this is probably not going to be my most popular post. I will probably end up having to turn off the comments, but it’s what I feel needs to be said, so here you go.

I’m not a big fan of marriage.

I think marriage takes really talented light workers, healers, prophets, creative beings, dreamers that are capable of creating real change and puts them inside this widely accepted marriage institution, where they will then spend most of their time, emotions, magic & valuable energy trying to be “good” citizens and live up to the impossible “perfect marriage/ perfect family” illusion that has been so successfully placed in our heads. Marriage also has the potential to produce a lethal feeling that we now have ownership of another soul because they said “I do”, gave us a ring and signed a contract saying they would not leave us (do you ever stop to look at how crazy it all is).

One of the greatest deceptions we can fall victim to is the lie that we should need someone else in our life in order to be complete. We are set up waiting for Mr. or Mrs. right to come along so that we can begin our life and be truly happy.

I’ve been with the same man for 15 years and we still really, really like each other. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that we each stand alone, beautiful, creating light, both working toward helping each other reach our individual goals. We are so incredibly different, but neither of us is fighting to change the other. We have grown to respect and appreciate each other as we are. We don’t need one another. We enjoy each other, but we don’t need each other…there’s a big difference. The most unromantic line in the world is “you complete me”- literally makes me want to scream when I hear it at weddings. I want to complete myself.

Spin solo until you are in perfect harmony with source and are able to create magic alone. Then you can, if you chose, attract someone who can spin along side you. The result is two beautiful souls who are spinning separately, but in perfect harmony…that’s where magic happens!

 family unit

What about children?

I don’t believe we were all meant to have children and the pressure created by our culture to have a family is RIDICULOUS!! That being said, once the decision to have children is made or made for you, then yes, it’s beneficial for their sake to find a mate willing to help you give them the best life possible. That doesn’t mean you both live in the same house, but you are committed to working together peacefully to make sure the children are given the support they need to grow into healthy, confident and emotionally stable members of society.

If you do get married, because that’s what you want…WONDERFUL!! Just make sure to keep your expectations realistic and be open and honest about how you’re feeling. It’s unhealthy for anyone to be in a long term relationship where they feel trapped and miserable. It’s also why we have so much trauma related to relationships in our life that didn’t last..mother/father, first love, etc.. because we had this fairy tale image of what love looks like and when it turned out different we were crushed.

Don’t marry your soul mate

Billy is a good friend (the best really), he’s the man that thinks I’m wonderful, amazing and incredibly gorgeous. He’s all in and ready to help and support me and this unit in anyway he can. He’s the most incredible father and teammate. We are perfect for each other in so many ways. We bring out the best in each other almost always. We don’t need or cling to each other and are able to stand alone even though we’d prefer to stand together. This relationship is easy and gets shit done. Billy is sweet, patient…downright wonderful and I love him, but he’s not my soul mate in some kind of mystical, ancient bond, finish your sentences kind of way. We are together in a perfectly unique union that has a purpose completely unique to itself.

barefoot five love 4

What is a soul mate? Is there such a thing? Each of us will answer these questions differently depending on your belief system. I personally believe soul mates are people we’ve been connected to since the beginning of time. People that weave in and out of this massive interconnected web that is a collection of our many lives. Souls matched perfectly with ours to help us grow. Our soul mate or mates aren’t always meant to be our lovers. I think this is really important for all of us to understand. As a culture we seem to struggle with understanding deep relationships that aren’t sexual or unions that aren’t romantic, but have a greater purpose. Any deep connection sensed between two people is meant to become romantic, right? No. There are all kinds of connections in this wild life. I believe soul mates exist and they will show up in each life when you need them. They come to push you, challenge you, mirror your shit, wake you up and push you forward. Honestly, you’re probably better off not marrying that person, because then you’ll get caught up in creating the ideal marriage (WHATEVER THE HELL THAT EVEN IS) and forget why your souls were put together from the beginning. You’ll all too easily forget that your job is to help each other evolve as quickly as possible not torture each other into this bizarre role we’ve created that a husband and wife ought to play. Because who knows what that looks like for each of us. Lord knows we’ve all experienced interesting versions of those characters.

It’s this idea that one person is supposed to meet all of our needs that sets us up for heartache and disappointment. Instead, why don’t we look first at what it is we would like our relationship with another human to create or accomplish. Then believe that the universe will send us a perfect match for that goal. If you just want to have great sex and travel around the world then you will call forth a completely different soul than if you want to raise a family. If you aren’t sure, just trust me on this one. Knowing exactly what we want is the first step to being able to create the most magical union ever.

Listen, I’m not an expert, and I certainly haven’t figured it all out. I do know one thing for certain though, and that is the reality that what we are doing is working. How many happy couples do you know? Okay. How many do you know that have been together longer than a few years and have kids?  Not just comfortable, but truly happy. It makes you wonder if we have it all wrong. We are all searching for that crazy, wild, intense love of our life to match up with and stay with that person at all costs till death do us part. Maybe, just maybe, we should be looking for something completely and totally different.

Let’s rewrite the norm.

Let’s hack parenting, love, partnerships, friendships, connections, soul mate unions, LIFE, and marriage as we know it and create what works, what feels right to our soul without being afraid of upsetting the norm. Because in case no one has told you, normal is WAY overrated.

Barefoot Mama

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Stay Grounded

Go barefoot

If life was perfect there would never be any need for shoes :) I LOVE being barefoot and so do our kiddos! We often arrive at places and realize that one or more of us have forgotten to bring shoes.ha ha! We are barefoot so much of the time that you forget that some places require that you have shoes on.

I feel free, my body feels stronger, I am healthier and I feel more connected to myself and the earth when I am barefoot.

Have you ever heard of earthing or grounding? Might be something worth looking into if you haven’t ever heard of it before.

Check out earthing.com for more info about earthing!

rw 6I have been struggling with what shoes to wear when shoes are required.

I like the grounded soft star soft sole mocs, but they get really slippery when wet. Also- for me there are situations where I am in need of a shoe that is a little bit dressier than the moccasins. Soft stars are wonderful for the babies!

I was recently introduced to Juil. I was a little nervous to spend the money and try them out because they didn’t look cozy and I refuse to wear uncomfortable shoes.

Well, my first pair arrived and I LOVE them!

They are cute, super cozy, and grounded!!!

juilBEST SHOES EVER!!

Touch the earth and let it touch you

~Barefoot Mama

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Spirit Tree

A beautiful goodbye

Mimi, we planted a willow for you, just like you asked. We cried and laughed as we told stories of how you loved us and the color you brought to life. Our hearts smiled as the children ran around your tree and we gave thanks for the legacy you leave behind. We sang your favorite songs and we danced just the way you would have wanted us to.

We all love you and we miss you terribly, but I think you know that. We pray that the next phase of your journey greets you will love and magic

mimi 1 - Copymimi 2 - Copymimi 5 - Copymimi 10 - Copymimi 12 - Copymimi 28Talking to Mimi’s spirit tree

mimi 27mimi 20 - Copymimi 23mimi 24mimi 26mimi 25mimi 15 - Copymimi 8 - Copymimi 11 - Copymimi 3 - Copymimi 6 - Copymimi 7 - Copymimi 16 - Copymimi 19 - Copymimi 40mimi 31mimi 30mimi 37mimi 38mimi 35mimi 36mimi 41mimi 45

My Mimi was a truly magnificent woman. A woman who showered life with magic and who passed on into the next life with the same beauty in which she lived her amazing life.

I am honored to have her blood flowing in my veins.

Barefoot mama

Healthy children will not fear life if their elders have integrity enough not to fear death.

Erik Erikson 

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we don’t want to kill the animals

A message from the Barefoot Superheros

Our kids decided amongst themselves that they wanted to make this video and they asked me to help them.

Such a beautiful message! ‪#‎proudmama

Things are changing around here. Our kids are becoming much more involved in our internet connections and community.
They have stuff to say and we want to empower them.

Giving these wild babies a voice!!

~Barefoot Five

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After the Rain

After the Rain

It’s been a while since I’ve posted photos of our farm.

Here’s a few photos of our little farm right after a recent summer thunderstorm.

after the rain ssBarefoot Five Farm

after the rain roosterKing Chaga letting Queen Reishi know the coast in clear

after the rain 106Burdock and his sweet mama

They were in such a playful mood after the storm had passed.

after the rain 107Nature is so magical!

after the rain 115 The after storm temp drop was such a relief to them

after the rain 129wet ground + bare feet= epic grounding

after the rain 135“Duke”

love this guy!

after the rainCrookshanks #magicalcat

after the rain 120must feel so good

“Jane Austen and her Mr. Darcy”

after the rain 140

“Reishi” Such a beauty she is!!

after the rain 143this little farm girl isn’t so little anymore :) #growingup

after the rain bridgetteBridgette Jones was loving her time outside in the mud.

after the rain 137“oh man, I don’t want to go back inside”

I love this little farm and all the creatures that live here with us. Some of my most magical memories in this life have happened on this 11 acres. #feelingblessed

~Barefoot Mama

Note: you can follow us on instagram for daily updates from this wild bunch :)

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Chaga Elixir Time

Making a Chaga, Raw Cacao elixir at home. I forgot to put oils in it, but you’ll get the idea and then you can make your elixir however you want. Oh, and I think I said to watch out for Clay in the almond milk and it’s actually chalk you’re looking out for..ha ha! If you don’t want to use almond milk the sun warrior protein and a little coconut butter creates that same milky consistency.
Enjoy!

Barefoot Mama

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somebody’s voice

Somebody’s Voice by Dawn Beyer This is Dawn’s new song “somebody’s voice” it was written for people around the world who are suffering and in need of someone to step up and be their voice. This song has a beautiful … Continue reading

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