I wanted to provide a bit of background about my journey. I became a parent in the beginning of 1998. My oldest had some severe medical complications following her birth and everything I thought I knew about myself and my plans for being a parent changed.
Weeks later when we were finally able to bring her home from the hospital I began the process of connecting to and learning from this amazing life that had been entrusted to me. I was/am fortunate to be married to the most amazing man who not only rose to the occasion but carried me along with him! We naturally fell into attachment parenting.
As our children aged (we had our second daughter at the end of 1999) I saw many people stop “APing” when their kids reach toddlerhood. Following our children’s leads we continued to respect, listen and trust our children. Over the years I have seen ideas that had pieces that really appealed to me, AP, TCS, TCC, NVC, Unschooling, etc. but none of them covered all that I was learning from my amazing tiny teachers. They didn’t seem to incorporate what we wanted in our family. So Consensual Living has evolved out of my family, my experiences, influenced by people I respect. I was also fortunate to have several very close friends who joined me on this journey into uncharted territory. I am forever grateful to them.
Consensual living is a process, a philosophy, a mindset by which we seek to live in harmony with our families and community. It involves finding mutually agreed upon solutions, where the needs of both parties are not only considered but addressed. Everyone’s wants and needs are equally valid, regardless of age. Conflicting wants or needs are discussed and mutually agreeable solutions are created or negotiated which meet the underlying needs of all parties.
Consensual Living is broad and far reaching. It influences the way we interact with everyone, from our immediate families to our community and the world at large. It is about assigning positive intent and looking for solutions. This can apply in so many arenas. It can change interactions, even if they are historically adversarial.
The core of it and what I have come to learn is that connection is key. At every moment we are able to choose to connect or disconnect. That choice will ultimately set the stage for how our interactions will evolve.
I want to take a minute to talk about the river and why I chose it for the header of this site. I began kayaking in the Spring (2016), it has been life changing. On the river I am surrounded by trees (I love trees! I love seeing them, touching them, talking to them.), the water, the sky, the wildlife!! It is a place where I am instantly grounded and transported. Being on the river has helped me through the death of my father and some major life transitions. My time there helps me feel connected to everything. It also reminds me that my time on earth is but a blip! That helps me not take myself too seriously and to make the most of my limited time. Who do I want to be? How do I want to live? Those questions are easier to answer when put into the bigger picture. I know I want to spend my time being kind, pursuing my higher purpose, learning and loving as much as a can and trying to help as much as possible – be it people, animals or trees.