Danielle Simone Brand is a mother of two, a die-hard idealist, and a breaker of conventions. She began her longtime career as a meditation and yoga teacher back when that was a strange thing to do. She holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MA from American University and has worked as a staff writer, an academic editor, and a researcher on issues of international conflict resolution. Having grown up in suburban Hawaii, Danielle had no practical rural skills, nor any reason to believe she could handle a true mountain winter. All she had was her yearning for a homemade life for her family — and the willingness to write about it.
It’s happened to me twice already. Some random person assumes I’m pregnant just because my tummy isn’t perfectly flat.
The first time, I was at a yoga training. I was unpacking my bags on…arrival day in my dorm room at a well-known yoga center, when a woman I had just met cupped her hand on my stomach and said, “Oh, sweetie, I didn’t know you were pregnant.” I recoiled physically. “I’m not,” I replied, more politely than I wanted to. Perhaps I should have just left it at… >> Read More
Just the other day, I read that the American Institute for Learning and Human Development, an organization whose mission is to provide teaching resources focused on neurodiversity and multiple…intelligences, advocates a 12-stage model of human development. In it, the ages between 9 and 11 are defined as “late childhood.” Afterward comes puberty, and a child is no longer a child in developmental terms — he or she is an adolescent. I gasped upon reading this — my oldest, my son, is 8 and… >> Read More
I’ve been waiting half the summer for this — Camp Savta is finally here. My mother-in-law, originally from Israel, lives an hour and a half north of us, so she can’t help us with regular…childcare. But back in April I asked her if, b’vakashah, she would keep my kids at her house for a week this summer. They adore spending time with their Savta, and she loves them to the moon and back. She showers them with sweets and screen time. She always says yes to popcorn at the… >> Read More
My mother loves her grandkids with gusto, and spends time and money on them accordingly. When she comes from Canada to visit us for a few weeks in California, she enlivens our house with her fun,…quirky presence. But when she’s here, I admit to feeling discomfort — OK, resentment — over her refusal to set aside her own agenda. I love my mom. And while she has many good qualities, like a willingness to make messes — and sometimes even clean them up — and her enthusiasm for helping my… >> Read More
Like many of you, I am a busy mom. And yet, my life allows me just the tiniest bit of space to nurture quiet within.
By that, I mean I meditate daily, and by "tiniest bit" I mean I do it for just…20 minutes a day — sometimes only 10 or 15 minutes. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish in such a short time. I meditate every morning at 6:30 a.m., while my husband makes breakfast and sorts out whatever kid arguments have arisen overnight (somehow my children manage to nurture grudges while asleep). After 20… >> Read More