One small step: A year of small actions with huge impact

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I’ve been thinking a lot about our planet and our future lately, and the changes we need to make in order to shift our trajectory as citizens of this lovely blue sphere. It’s something my kids and their friends are thinking a lot about too. But so often progress feels painfully slow.

I’ve been contemplating how daunting change can be, even for those of us with the best of intentions.

Our lives are busy enough without adding “saving the world” to our daily to-do list. And so we look away.

We feel overwhelmed with where to even begin, and so we don’t.

But climate change, pollution, microplastics, global extinction, and looming environmental disaster is everyone’s problem–and everyone’s job to fix. There’s no more time to look away.

And while our governments need to step up globally and act with urgency and without delay, I believe that this holds true for each of us as well.

We can’t just wait for them. We need to do something, too.

And so I decided to take one small step of my own.

Over the next year, I am committing to post a small, weekly challenge that you can take up to help reduce plastic usage, combat climate change, curb fossil fuel dependency, or otherwise have a positive global impact. Small, manageable, dare I say enjoyable shifts toward a more sustainable lifestyle.

These weekly challenges can be tackled on your own, with your kids or partner, or with your community. I’ll share quick and simple swap-outs, easy DIYs, back-to-basics recipes, and other ideas that you can make your own and share with the world, reducing waste and reducing your environmental footprint.

In short, changes that would make your great-grandmother proud.

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These aren’t huge life changes, either. They are small, simple, and accessible shifts that almost anyone can make. Yet they add up to a meaningful formula for change.

Each week, a new challenge. Each week a new way to lighten your footprints on Mother Earth. Once a week, a little something to empower you to keep going, to keep transforming, to keep doing something.

To keep making change.

Together these steps will transform the way you look at your habits, your impact, your children’s future, and the world.

Because change needs to start now, and it needs to start with each of us. And when we add one small step to another, week after week our impact is magnified.

Share these challenges with your friends and neighbors, gather with community to tackle them together, and now we’ve created something. Now small is magnified exponentially and we’re generating change on a bigger scale.

Because it matters. The earth is ready for us all to take action–one small step at a time. indeed, she needs us to.  Because there is no planet B.

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Will you join me?

Sign up through the link below to be added to the LüSa Organics Blog email list. (Click here if you don’t see the link, then sign up with the green form at the bottom of the page.) Then each week when I post a new update, I’ll send you a link to the content. Join in the conversation in the comments below, challenge me when what I ask of you feels discordant or if I’m making assumptions from my place of privilege, expect the best of yourself and one another. And let’s do better, together.

Are you in?

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Be here, now.

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When my children were small, perhaps two and six, I posted on a local email list that I was in search of second-hand wooden toys for my kids. A local man, maybe 20 years my senior, responded and invited me to stop by for some things he had set aside.

Standing in his driveway a few blocks from my home, he handed me a box containing a wooden catapult and a few other 15 or 20 year-old treasures. I thanked him, and he nodded, then looked me straight in the eyes and said, “If I can give you one piece of advice in life it’s this: play with your kids. Get down on the ground, push them in the swing, run around in the yard. Because one minute you’re down on the floor, roaring like a dinosaur, and the next minute they’re grown and gone. And it happens in an instant. So just be sure you enjoy them.”

I never forgot.

Ten years later, I attended a friend’s wedding. The groom was his youngest son. I pulled the father aside after the ceremony, my strangely tall, suddenly grown children off on adventures of their own, and said, “Years ago you gave me some wonderful advice.” I reminded him of what he said, so poignant on that day, and we both cried a little. I thanked him for sharing his wisdom with me that decade before. We shared a few more tears and a hug, then went off to celebrate with the bride and groom.

So, friends, if I were to offer you what Robert offered me, it would be this small piece of advice: never lose yourself in the day-to-day minutia or the false search for perfection. Take care of yourself, and take care of the things that keep you sane. But then make time to laugh, to play, to roar like a dinosaur.

Because before you know it, the world will have tilted on it’s axis once more, and there will be no small ones occupying your arms.

Be here. Right now. Sharing peals of laughter with these little ones who adore you; these humans who are so lucky as to have you by their side, while the stretch their wings and soar.

Are you mother enough?

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Sometimes you wonder.

After the hard days.

When you were not at your best.

You wonder, in secret, where no one will hear.

Am I mother enough?

Because you see them around you. Those other mothers. In your town and on your screen.

Gentle.

Peaceful.

Patient.

Kind.

They parent with grace and with joy.

Always.

In the flow, harmonious. Children smiling and holding hands, while your kids whine and fight.

And your baby cries.

Again.

And you question if you even know what you’re doing.

Because if you did, the children wouldn’t argue. And the baby wouldn’t cry.

Constantly.

So you must be doing it wrong.

Of course you’re doing it wrong.

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And so you wonder. And you doubt.

Am I wearing her enough? Am I breastfeeding enough? Should we co-sleep more?

But sometimes you’re all touched out.

Am I patient enough? Present enough? Nurturing enough?

But sometimes you just need a damn break from it all.

Am I good enough? Am I strong enough?

Am I enough?

And then, probably, you decide that you are not.

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Because sometimes you yell. You say words you regret. Because you didn’t babywear or breastfeed or co-sleep at all. Because sometimes dinner comes from the drive-thru, and they watch too much TV.

Because sometimes the thoughts in your head are dark and shameful.

Because every day ends with regret.

And all around you are those mamas who make you feel inadequate without even trying. Those mothers with stardust in their eyes. And when you look at them you measure yourself and you know what you suspected all along.

You are not enough.

Sometimes you curse this life you made and all the smallness that surrounds you.

But mostly you curse yourself for your shortcomings.

And then the baby cries.

Again.

Or your children set to arguing.

Again.

And you know you’re right.

Of course you’re right.

You’re not enough.

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Oh, but sister. Hear me when I say:

You are so much more than enough.

You are good enough.

You are loving enough.

You are mother enough.

 

You are brilliantly, beautifully – yes! – the mama your children came here to find.

No, you aren’t perfect. But none of us are.

No one has it all dialed in. We have all made mistakes. Even the “Dali Mamas” around you. This I know is true.

And every day you are learning and growing and evolving. You are becoming.

And you are their mama.

The one they came here for.

And for all of your flaws, they are sheltered by you.

They know love because your love is fierce.

And they learn to get up when they fall and try again by watching you.

And best of all, they know they don’t have to be perfect to be enough.

What a gift that is.

And also know this:

As that mama who seems to have it together, I have never been more humbled in my mothering than when I see you keep your head just above water as the rapids around you churn.

 

Yes, mama. I see you.

And I’m humbled.

Now it’s time to see yourself.

So are you enough?

Heck yes you are.

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More inspiration…

There is no label for what you do.

Stop comparing.

What I need.

Ten ways to rock your parenting, where ever you are.

What I did not know: reflections on motherhood.

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Originally published on my personal blog, Rachel Wolf Clean, in 2013

Triage

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Public service announcement: you can’t do it all. Ever. It simply isn’t possible.

(*Cue collective exhale.)

On the days I’m in my garden, I am most certainly not replying to emails. When I’m homeschooling I’m not running my business. When I am at my desk i am not in the woods.

So if you go superwoman and head to school for your master’s degree, you probably won’t find as much time for canning tomatoes. If you read that extra bedtime story, you may have neglected to balance your checkbook. And—god forbid—if you made some space for self-care, you run the risk of missing dinner with your kids, a lunch date with your sweetie, or that laundry that requests your undivided, unending attention. 

And I’m here to tell you that all of the these are a-ok. You decide if they feel worth it to you.

I’ve gotten a lot of emails through the years, marveling at how I “do it all”. Homesteading, homeschooling, small business, book! It’s like I’m a unicorn! Except that I’m not. Because you haven’t seen the state of my bedroom, nor the clutter in my barn, or know how long it’s been since I’ve balanced my checkbook (spoiler: decades may be involved).

No, life isn’t all glitter and rainbows over here, and anyone you perceive as “doing it all” isn’t. Because: humans.


It’s triage, baby. Everyday it’s triage, for all of us. And if you’re fortunate, the one who decides what rises to the top—what is worthy of your precious energy—is you.

So the upshot is, we all shine here and suck there. All of us do. We’re imperfect, often overwhelmed, and with laundry on the floor.

Because as humans, we can’t do it all. Not you, not me, not anyone. So don’t hold yourself to impossible standards, mama. You’re doing it right already, and you’re worthy of all the self love you can muster. Because you, my dear, are already a unicorn. 🦄

Welcoming puberty

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As my children move from childhood into young adulthood, I’m reminded of how these transitions felt so heavy when I was a teen. Puberty, menstruation, the slow unstoppable motion from childhood into adulthood.

And I wasn’t sure where to go for good, solid, no frills information.

I hear similar stories from my friends, many of whom felt their parents didn’t adequately prepare them for the day-to-day reality of puberty, except perhaps to buy them a box of pads.

We all wanted to know that puberty–in its plethora of physical and emotional changes–was normal. That we were normal.

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Today, as parents or other care-givers, we want to do more. We want to provide our kids with resources that will help them develop a positive, healthy relationship with their changing bodies.

With that in mind, I’m delighted to announce the LüSa Organics New Moon Collection, a welcome kit to the transition into puberty.

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The New Moon Collection is a healthy, relaxed introduction to hormones, puberty, and the normal changes our bodies go through when menstruation begins. This delightful gift can open the door to meaningful conversations, or simply serve as a quiet way to acknowledge this important transition toward adulthood.

The collection contains several products that help support a healthy, happy menstrual cycle, plus a down-to-earth guide to taking care of your body naturally–during your cycle and all month long. The included 26 page New Moon Booklet includes common sense health tips, tools to manage discomfort during your cycle, and a couple of easy to make DIY recipes.

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All menstruating teens are welcome here! With this in mind, inclusive language is used throughout. Discreetly (and sustainably) packaged; it makes a thoughtful gift.

Reserve one for your teen or preteen here.

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Did you feel adequately prepared for puberty? What message or information would you like to offer your own preteen or teen that you didn’t experience during your own youth?