Tabula Rasa

Today, holed up in a cabin in the foothills of the Wallowas, my oldest daughter introduced me to her favorite podcast–Stuff You Should Know. The episode focused on enlightenment and reminded me of the concept of tabula rasa, meaning blank slate. They spoke about humans essentially coming into the world with a blank slate. Experiences write on the slate, and along with a person’s nature, help to form that person. And as a parent I try to nurture the spirit of my children, essentially writing on their slate. And coupled with their nature, I see how the slate affects my kids in different ways. Perhaps, for example, they reject my ideas or perhaps my thoughts align with their ideas or personality. Comforting to ponder that to mother with spirit, I also need to accept the spirit of the child.

Lovely plant tucked into the base of a mossy volcanic rock in the Wallowas.


November Book group questions

For November, we continue to read the book by Gretchen Ruben, Happier at Home. For November we read the chapter, November: Parenthood Pay Attention. Join our group in person or contribute via the website! I look forward to hearing your answers to the following questions, mainly from Rubin’s reading group guide:

  1. Rubin writes,  “Just because something is fun for someone else doesn’t make it fun for me–and vice versa” and “I can choose what I do, but I can’t choose what I like to do.” Do you agree? Or do you think you can teach yourself to enjoy something that initially you don’t find fun? What do you find fun?
  2. Do you have shrines in your home? If you were going to make one, what would you include?
  3. (From a book group member) If you like, please share your parenting challenges.
  4. Rubin quotes a line from Saint Thérèse: “It isn’t enough to love; we must prove it.” Rubin shares her time and attention to prove her love. How about you?