Isn’t this just peaceful? I love this time of the year so completely. The leaves continue to fall and the weather is just cool enough for sweatshirts, but warm enough to be outside crunching and jumping in the piles.
And you know what I’m trying to practice as we gear up for winter?  How to keep this peaceful, playful feeling inside me, even within the walls of our home.  
Yesterday we stayed home all day.  It’s something I’m calling “Maintenance Mondays.” Because my husband and I share a car, he takes the car on Mondays and I stay home. with the kids. all. day. long.  Otherwise, I have this deep urge to want to escape into the world of drive-thru lattes and other distractions so I don’t have to face the stuff like…organizing, scrubbing, folding, wiping, budgeting – you know, the “maintenance” stuff that keeps things running a bit more smoothly – yet I usually want to avoid.
Sometimes I just love staying home – especially in the winter.  Fires, cookies, snow and pajama days – oh the thought of it makes me smile.  Yet, I am gearing up for the first winter with TWO little boys who get into EVERYTHING.  And being home all day trapped in the mess, that is the nature of play, can really get to me if I’m not careful.
Yesterday I did feel some irritation.  I did get frustrated at times.  I was kind of moody and let the mess get to me.  And towards the end of the day I got a little restless.  But I did it.  I resisted the urge to make plans and go out and do something and stayed home instead.  I let the feelings of overwhelm come and go.  And after getting the boys to bed I landed on the couch with Hand Wash Cold and read this:
In all this mess, I found the ingredients for the next stage in the spiritual journey: the opportunity to move beyond myself and into compassionate care of everything and everyone that appeared before me morning, noon, and night.  I found myself in the very heart of life, an ordinary life, the best spot to give and receive pure love.
So as evidence by these photos, my house truly was a mess yesterday, as it is every day I stay home with the kids.  It gets cleaned up at the end of most days.  Sometimes it makes me crazy and sometimes it doesn’t.  And I guess this is the practice – to find the stillness among the chaos, to find the peace within the mess.
I may trip and stumble and get tangled up along the way – that is the nature of the journey, isn’t it? And as I do, I continue to learn how to embrace and receive the joy and love that comes from daily, ordinary…life.
And now I sign-off to hit a yoga class with my husband, where I’ll be thanking another wonderful teacher near and dear to my heart.
Your Personal Reflection:  What joys in your ordinary life are you thankful for today?
And…make sure to enter for your chance to win a spot in some pretty awesome e-courses on my last post.