are you ready for the new earth ?/stand up get ready to shine /being is the place to be /let it happen in you /feel the cool breeze /kiss the sun/ a tree in warm embrace/ know that you/ exist in everyone /every laugh/ every scream /every cry /every joy /and beyond it all/ pure bliss /pure bliss /pure bliss are you ready for the new earth/ stand up get ready shine /breathe it all in /just let go /it all happens in the now/ it’s happening now /it’s happening now…-New Earth, by SriMati
It's a revolution! JAI SEED Community is born!
Rich Roll and I have officially launched our grassroots homeschool community, JAI SEED. It's a homegrown movement calling families together around an immersive, experience-based educational paradigm focused on fostering conscious awareness in our children. We are searching for our tribe: twelve local families to create a new path in education. Rebels and warriors who are fed up with the outdated status quo want to step out of the box. If you don't live in the Malibu area, don't despair. Our intention for this community is to connect with families all over the world via an online platform that will extended our tribe’s reach globally.
Why JAI SEED?
"JAI" is an exclamation of victorious praise in the ancient language of Sanskrit and "SEED" is the potential of a perfected life form. All that is required is the nurturing and care of this seed so that it may sprout, grow and flourish into it's divine design.
I have the deep satisfaction of a proud and caring mother holding her newborn baby. My vision and conception of her, the years of creation and toil, the physical labor and maternal dreams of her future have all fruited her manifestation in this world. It's only the beginning, and we have her whole life ahead of us to nurture and serve her; to watch her grow, evolve and teach us a new way of being in community around education. I say “us” because she is not mine alone -- she belongs to a growing community that she will attract in the coming weeks, months and years.
Last week we gathered a group of 35 like-minded prospective parents and mentors at our home to present our vision. Rich shared his experience in becoming a homeschool parent, including his early resistance and immense fear about what would happen to his girls by opting out of a system that he knew so well. Having been educated at Stanford and Cornell Law School, it was challenging for him to imagine his girls taking a different path. But he was heartbroken at seeing his girls unhappy at school. And he remembered how his own spirit had been crushed repeatedly as he braved the standard bullying, the sentence for the cross-eyed clumsy boy with coke bottle glasses that was his form in younger years. He had to dig deep to find the courage to trust me.
My style is more in the category of what is called "unschooling" which is brilliantly defined by author and unschooling parent Ben Hewitt as “self-directed, adult-facilitated life learning in the context of our childrens’s own unique interests.” I chose to let our girls run wild into empty open space to find themselves, free from outside interference, comparisons and suggestions. Gratefully, Rich emerged from his uncertainty with immense relief and satisfaction in seeing his girls happy, connected, inspired and finding their passions. His own children 7 years later are living examples that a better way exists in the fields free from standardized education.
Rich introduced me in his loving way honoring my journey and my courage. He has a poetic way about phrasing things, as he demonstrates prolifically with his guests on his weekly podcast the RRP. And he didn't disappoint. He slayed me with his touching description of my role in stewarding this dream. I stood to share my wisdom and heart about homeschooling. And then it all hit me. The immense emotion of my journey came flooding into my inner vision. The seven years that I had held this vision for a new community celebrating children for their original design. The crazy woman I had been, blabbing on in the back of the room speaking of another way to nurture our children, the seeds of unlimited potential and the way showers of our future. My tests of faith and courage that had led me to the cliff's edge time and time again for seven long years. The years where I could feel the community's truth in my cells and yet there was no external evidence to support my vision. I often questioned my own sanity. Was I, in fact crazy? Delusional? Countless nights I sat up in the wee hours, sitting in the very room in which I stood today, my only community the stars twinkling in the night sky.
And yet, in the vast silent emptiness, their great presence was felt. These heavenly bodies held the space of possibility for me before anyone else could. They told me in unspoken communication what this community would become. That this was our destiny. And so I did the only thing I knew I could do at the time. I laid my body out spread eagle on the floor, gathered all the energy I could muster in my heart and poured it into the foundation -- the land and this dream.
But here I was standing in front of the crowd and I couldn’t even say one word. The cameras were on me but I was paralyzed by emotion. Tears streaming down my face, I merged with the energy running through my body and just allowed it to be. I had no choice; resistance would prove futile; it had enveloped me. I took a deep breath and started to try to speak through the tears. I was shaky at first, but soon I recovered and was able to share what I have known deep in my heart for so many years. It was surely an authentic, raw, and vulnerable moment that expanded into my ability to express my vision. And I was rewarded with grace and beauty by the emerging community sitting right in front of me, many of whom had witnessed my journey first-hand, watching my struggle and my deep commitment. They cried in joy with me. It was a sweet and beautiful birth.
A few families have come forward. We have five already and I am certain seven more will come in due time. Words can't describe the immense excitement and unlimited possibilities we all feel. The amazing pool of talent that is sitting within the parents and extended families is inspiring. The perfection and beauty of each child. And the unique characteristics of each one completely original in design. We are some of the first, beginning together without knowing the road or the destination. We are each taking a risk and trusting that we will rise to share something deeply meaningful for our children, ourselves and for our community. It's true that we are few, but we are mighty.
There is so much widespread fear in the world today about turning away from the standardized educational system. So much value has been placed on formal education that we have become hypnotized to ideas that are long obsolete and no longer serve the benefit of our children. We don’t really even know why we are still dropping them off to these institutions, but we are so afraid that our children will be left out of society and miss their opportunity that we refuse to ask ourselves this question and simply soldier on. As parents, how could we feel otherwise? We are all trying to do the best we can for our children, nobly serve our roles as their guardians and fulfill our job as their parents. Most of the decisions we make for our children stem from the very fact that we love them so much.
Education is most certainly important. But the process of education has become an institution more about serving something other than the best interests of our children. The institution does not take into account the individuality of the child. Blind to the unique gifts of each student, it has no interest in finding out what beauty exists in the heart of the individual child. In my experience, left to their own devices, it’s often my children who are educating me, and not the other way around. Sure, as a parent I strive to live as an example and I share what I think may best benefit my children. But overall, it's my unconditional love and celebration of them that is my biggest contribution. That is what makes all the difference. They are light years ahead of me in most other areas.
Honestly, as a young mother, I was right there with everyone else. My two older boys did very well in academic private school. I was a fashion designer in my late twenties, with my own women’s apparel company. Needless to say, I had a lot of stuff to do. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be championing a community around homeschool education. But the birth of my third child brought with her an entirely new playing field. It was extremely challenging to find the right school for her. In fact, such an institution simply did not exist. So I had to throw out my trusty bag of parenting tools, tricks and know-how and begin again. I had a child who was never the same in any given moment and discovered early on that I had to surf her like a wave. The more fresh I could be, the better the experience. It took an immense amount of energy to show up for her in this way. I like to say that after years of grind and chisel, she ground me into a fine gem. In the end, it has been my blessing. Ultimately she has taught me how to be a better, more compassionate and kinder human being.
I have been trying to find the most powerful way in which to present this homeschool opportunity to parents. As a result, I am currently writing a book about my spiritual journey into this awareness. It is very difficult to find an alternative solution to the standard educational model as parents today are stretched to their limits and there is no support anymore in our extended families or in our communities. But like it or not, if your child is not happy in the system or if they don’t fit in, they are going to force you to search for a better way. The children will eventually bring the families into this understanding and into community around education.
When I wrote the featured song this week, "New Earth", I called Rich and said, “Ah fuck, honey, I think I’m a folk singer!” Not that I have anything against “folk” as a genre. It’s just that if you had asked me -- the “Julie” personality that exists in this body -- just what kind of voice and musical style I would like to possess and create, it would have been more of a girly-version of Radiohead, Ed Droste from Grizzly Bear, or Jeff Buckley. I know. Me and every other singer songwriter on the planet. But I made a vow to the Universe not to edit or judge the expression that runs through me. So I just had to go with it, embracing the three part folky harmonies that were coming to me. Later, we started singing this song with the children in my earlier homeschool. It’s true that I don’t like certain types of folk. But then again, there’s Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, and Bob Dylan who are among the most amazing revolutionary agents of change. Through their music, they have indeed changed the world.
A woman of immense heart and courage, Joan Baez used to stand at the army bus stop playing her guitar and singing out in her pure clear voice, her words pleading with drafted young men to resist the war. She inevitably would get arrested. In a documentary about her life, "How Sweet The Sound", we see her unwavering resolve. After she spent a week in jail, she would finally make bail, go home, take a shower, eat a meal, and then go back out and do it all over again. It's incredible to imagine what level of courage she had within her soul -- the immense dedication to a cause about which she felt deeply. Likely she could not do otherwise.
I feel that we all need to express a little bit more of Joan in our daily lives and on our path to realization. We need to dig deep and have the courage to forge a better way. I'm asking for you to join me in this endeavor and until you're ready, I am lovingly holding the space for you just as the stars in the night sky did for me to catalyze a lasting change and to create conscious community around educating our children. It takes courage of heart and a determination to make the commitment over and over again. It’s a fluid process and fear will rise up and try to grip you. But we must not let it render us into resignation and instead courageously press onward -- again and again.
What I mean to say is that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for...
So what do you say? Are you with me????
Not quite yet? Well, it's all right.
In the courageous example of Joan Baez, I'll just sing you a song and save you a spot next to me around the campfire. Because like her, I can't do otherwise.
"New Earth" -- with it's “horse and buggy” tempo -- transports us to a grass-roots community dance; a blazing bonfire of transformation; folks twirling in vortex to the new realities of their true SELVES. It's an ageless universal anthem of community gathering closer and together supporting each other in both harmony and the incredible power of NOW.
It's my dream and I hope it will become yours too.
It is my joy to feature my father, Larry “Trapper” Mathis, who joined us on harmonica for this song. He turns 91 in a few weeks. Happy Birthday Dad!
Deep thanks to photographer and director, Stacie Isabella Turk for capturing this genius moment of "Trapper and Trapper" My Dad with my son who shares the same name.
Photo credit: Stacie Isabella Turk for ribbonhead “ Trapper and Trapper “
Please do contact me if you are interested in our JAI SEED Homeschool community. I would love to hear from you.
Also, for great plant based family recipes, meditation techniques, or to hear more of my music, visit the the SHOP!
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In love & service,