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Newsletter of LifeWays North America
Spring, 2012
whose program is this?
Saying "Yes!" to Life


        Spring is a time of renewal, a time of new life.  We often feel our energy increase, growing with the buds and the shoots we see emerging from the plants.  As I write this, I can hear the baby pigeon cheeping on our 8th floor balcony in the heart of London. In this time when inspiration comes easily for many of us, let's give some thought to the question, "What Makes You Say YES! to Life?"  What do you do with the children that you LOVE, not because you think you should?  What do you do without children that gives you renewed energy and enthusiasm?  What are you grateful for?  What needs to be revived? 
We put out the call: what makes you say YES?  And I was surprised at the breadth of the response.  Some wrote about what makes them say YES in their lives with children, but others wrote about dance, about getting sick, about growing old.  Enjoy your reading, and pass this on to anyone else who you think might enjoy it.

Faith Collins, Editor
In This Issue
Letter from Cynthia
Saying YES! to Nudges
Creating a YES Environment
Saying YES to my Older Self
Saying YES! to Motherhood
Letting Children say YES!
Upcoming LifeWays Trainings
LifeWays Videos, CEUs
Upcoming LifeWays Workshops
Monthly Conference Call
Job Opportunity
Join LifeWays on Facebook
Healing Education
Home Away from Home
Boulder Waldorf Kindergarten
Note from Cynthia header 


cynthia and grandkids

Dear Friends,


I love this newsletter theme and am grateful to all who responded with articles.  Enjoy!  


There is another "YES!" we are hoping to hear in the next few weeks.   We are hoping you will help friends or colleagues (or yourself) who are wanting to take the LifeWays training to say "Yes".   Our wonderful tried and true sites in Maine, Wisconsin, Boulder and California Coast are all in enrollment processes right now for their 2012-13 trainings.  Maine and Boulder launch this summer, and Wisconsin and California Coast start in the autumn.  We are also hoping to launch San Diego and Hawaii this summer.  They are both gorgeous locations with wonderful faculties.  We have learned that some people eager to take the training are concerned about paying half tuition before they begin. If this is truly not possible, please let them know they can contact the home office at 405-579-0999 to talk about options. We do all we can to help sincere applicants enroll.  There is also a new group of students, administered by Margo Running of LifeWays Society in Vancouver, that started in March.


Please know that a working conversation has begun to form around the creation of our first LifeWays Conference, likely to be in spring or summer of 2013 and likely to be in California, but we will keep you posted!  If you know of a venue that could accommodate 150-200 people and not be too expensive, please let us know!

Cynthia by the lake with child

We continue to hear life transforming stories from students and graduates and want to offer that experience to even more individuals. They then bring their joy and innovation to the people for whom they care, and soon, before we know it, we have all made a difference in the culture around us.  And to that we can all say a big "YES!" 


Blessings on your work and play,


(Cynthia Aldinger is the Founder and Director of LifeWays North America)

Articles on Saying "Yes!" to Life:
Saying YES! to Nudges 
by Missy Whaley 
 Missy Whaley head shot
Missy Whaley is a  Certified Lifeways Instructor and owner of the home program Rainbowheart and Wings. She also has an M.F.A. Dance, and is a Licensed Massage Therapist.

This article is about listening to our intuition, even when it says something unexpected.

   Click here to read Missy's article.

 Creating a YES! Environment 

Simone's Infant Care
Simone's fabulous deck
By Simone Demarzi


Simone Demarzi is a LifeWays graduate and owner of Simone's Infant Care, for children ages birth to three.  


Chock-full of photos from her program, this article looks at how Simone creates an environment that is dynamic and exciting for children, where she can sit back and watch, without saying "no" all the time.  


Click here to read Simone's article.         

Saying Yes! to my Older Self  

 By Cynthia Aldinger



Cynthia is the Director of LifeWays North America, and oversees all of the LifeWays trainings.  She lives in Norman, Oklahoma. 


Cynthia reflects on her experience of aging, and saying YES! to that process. 


Click here to read Cynthia's article.

Wisconsin training
Mara with her youngest daughter
 Saying YES! to Motherhood
by Mara Spiropoulos 

As a mother of two toddlers and an infant, Mara Spiropoulos has learned how to say YES! to her sometimes-chaotic life as she returns from her LifeWays training.                               

     Click here to read Mara's article.
Letting Children say YES! 
Kahlil Apuzen-Ito's daughter
Kahlil's daughter 
by Kahlil Apuzen-Ito 


Kahlil Sucgang Apuzen-Ito is a longtime LifeWays graduate.  She currently lives in Hawaii and is actively working to bring LifeWays and Waldorf to her homeland of the Philippines.  

        When Kahlil got sick for a week with the flu, she was worried about taking care of her daughter.  Instead, she watched in amazement as her daughter stepped up and helped take care of her and their home.













MaineMaine LifeWays Training ~ Rockport, ME

Next training begins this summer, July 8, 2012 

Contact: Susan Silverio

Maine Training
Kitchen Chorus: Cleaning and Caring includes time for song!

There are several guest rooms available to our Maine LifeWays students, but last summer most of the students preferred to stay on cots provided in the school where they could prepare meals together and share evening conversations. Such strong collegial friendships developed among these students. Many of them are parents of young children; many also are operating their own home programs or early childhood centers.

  We begin a new cycle of training this summer, with two of last summer's students "bridging over" to finish their course. Since beginning LifeWays, one student has been given a position in a Waldorf school. The other is getting college credit for her LifeWays training through Ashland University. One of the graduates has moved with her growing family here to Maine. And I had the joy of attending their home birth! 


HawaiiHawaii LifeWays Training ~ NEW~ 

New training begins July 5, 2012

Contact:  Cyndee Fehring


Cynthia in Hawaii
Cynthia doing "research" for the training in Hawaii

We will be starting the first LifeWays Hawaii training this summer.   

Come and join us, experience and explore the magic and beauty of the Hawaiian islands.The course will take place over the year on three of the Hawaiian islands.

Along with the rich LifeWays training, students will learn about the Hawaiian culture through Oli (chant), Mele (song) and Hula (dance) while enjoying the local foods.

We will start the training on magnificent Maui on the slopes of Haleakala mountain then head to the culturally rich city of Honolulu and we will finish the training near the sea on a family farm on the Garden Island of Kauai.  





SanDiegoCalifornia San Diego LifeWays Training

New training starts July 15, 2012

Director:  Bianca Lara


Wisconsin Training"The training is nothing short of extraordinary! What a gift to children and their parents and caregivers that the wisdom of the nurturing and domestic arts is being revived. You are a master at blending deep knowledge of child development with the practical skills of parenting and nurturing, balancing it all with wisdom, sensitivity and humor! It's nothing short of genius that you have created the vision and the actual framework to put it all together into a year-long program. Wow!"                     

                      - Theresa Catlin, LifeWays Graduate  



~ San Francisco Bay Area

New training starts August 25, 2012

Director:  Marianne Alsop


Wisconsin Training

The California Coast training meets in the San Francisco Bay Area, one Saturday a month for eleven months (all day, 8am to 5:30pm), six half-day (9am to 3pm) Saturday sessions with a focus on music, handwork, movement, and professional development. In addition there are three long- weekend retreats for cooking, gardening, outdoor observation, circle games, wet felting, puppetry, storytelling and more. Independent learning includes reading, observation and writing between sessions. For those who wish to receive the LifeWays certification there are also monthly telephone conversations with a mentor, who is also available to visit you for two days near the end of your training.  


New training to begin August 21st, 2012
Director:  Suzanne Down
Boulder Training
A table-puppet made in the Boulder Training
Our training consists of 4 full and wonderful weeks through the year.  Click on the title for exact dates.


This beautiful, scenic Rocky Mountain town is a delightful location to hold the Lifeways training, deepening your understanding of the very young child and exploring ways to integrate the Lifeways approach in your homes or childcare programs.  Our curriculum is supported by outstanding local faculty who are leaders in their areas of expertise. You can follow our Lifeways Rocky Mountain Training on Facebook where we have current articles and information to support your life and work with the young child.  Contact Suzanne with any questions, or for further information.     



WIWisconsin LifeWays Training~ Milwaukee, WI

New training group starts October 7, 2012

Director:  Mary O'Connell


Wisconsin Training
The May Festival at the Wisconsin Training

The Wisconsin LifeWays training has a wonderful staff of teachers with deep, rich roots in anthroposophy, child development, handwork, eurythmy, kinderlyre and music training.  Come and see what the Wisconsin training has to offer!  









New training group to launch in June 2013
Austin Training
Doll-Making at the Austin Training
Director: Laura Olson


During our November session we focused on the the importance of nurturing and nourishing in our work as early childhood caregivers.  The weekend included a wonderful day of doll-making, some rejuvenating eurythmy classes, and a special experience with Trish McPhee, anthroposophical nurse, in learning about the special remedies, treatments, and care gestures that come from anthroposphical medicine.  We enjoyed foot baths, experienced several curative wraps, and witnessed the beauty of these healing efforts. The weekend emphasized how we tend to our well being while also supporting the health and well being of the children for whom we care.  We also gained skills and ideas for understanding illness as an important opportunity for growth and how we may allow illness to work in strengthening one's being for life's amazing journey. 


We will be offering some experiential workshops during 2012-2013 in anticipation of our launching our next full training year in June of 2013.  Details TBA soon on the LifeWays website. 

LifeWays Now Offering 5 Videos, plus CEUs

See LifeWays childcare providers in action by watching our 5 new videos on "LifeWays: Relationship-Based Care."


The 75-minute DVD is available for only $25 and covers six modules:

*  Family-Style Child CareSimone's Infant Care

*  Home Away from Home

*  Forest Kindergarten

*  Settling into Sleep and

*  Nurturing and Nourishing


If you need continuing education units for your licensing, these videos are also available as "mini-courses": accompanied by articles and questions that you answer, each unit is recognized for 3 contact hours by the state of Wisconsin and you may be able to submit them in your state, as well. The cost is only $25 per module, or $100 for all five (15 contact hours).


For more information and to order from our on-line store, click here.


These training modules are part of the LifeWays "Whole Child, Whole Teacher Series" developed by Mary O'Connell and filmed at the Milwaukee LifeWays Center.

If you have any questions, comments, ideas for future articles, or news items that you'd like to share, please don't hesitate to contact me!  Just press "reply" to this newsletter, or email me directly at 


 Faith Collins, Editor

 LifeWays North America
 403 Piney Oak Dr., Norman, OK 73072. 405.579.0999

LifeWays workshops


Finding Resiliency in a World of Overwhelm and Living the Living Arts

Buffalo, NY
April 26-29, 2012,  
The Development of Speech
Milwaukee, WI
May 7-9, 2012


The Development of Speech
Rockport, Maine
Oct 5-8, 2012
Nurturing and Nourishing: Care of the Child and Caregiver
Rockport, Maine
April 12-15, 2013


dolls by ashley d'ambrosi masters 

Congratulations to Laura Olson, our Austin Training Director, who gave birth to Abel McLeod Olson, on March 19th at 1:10 a.m.  He weighed 9 lbs 3 oz.


laura olson's new baby 


Do you have an online store or blog? List it on our Website!

LifeWays members can now have their blogs, toystores, or other online ventures listed in the new Resources section of our website as part of their membership benefits. Please send your information to

Faith Collins.


   Danielle Epifani, Margaret's Garden

Write for the LifeWays Blog!

We are also looking for LifeWays members who would like to be guest writers for the LifeWays blog.  We want the blog to be by LifeWays members, for LifeWays members, as well as to serve as inspiration to anyone who is interested in our work.

Please email Faith Collins at for more info.
Please FRIEND Us! 
Rainbow Bridge 

Will you be our friend?  You can support the work of LifeWays with children and families by becoming or renewing as a Friend of LifeWays for only $35/year.  Your support of LifeWays helps us support our students and our LifeWays Representative sites.


Become a Friend of LifeWays


Conference Calls for Members
mixed age suite

Tuesday, May 15
Tuesday, June 12
Wednesday, July 18
Tuesday, August 28
If you are a Representative or Trained-Affiliate Member, you are invited to participate in monthly conference calls with Cynthia and other colleagues 
These calls are a wonderful way to connect with other colleagues, ask questions, and get new ideas. Infor-mation about the calls will be emailed to you.  Join us!
Job Opportunity
Kimberton WS
Kimberton Waldorf School, the second oldest Waldorf School in North America, is reconfiguring its early childhood programs and is particularly interested in hiring new teachers who are both Waldorf early childhood teacher trained and are LifeWays trained.  For more information, click here.
Join Lifeways on Facebook! 
LifeWays Logo Web
Caregivers, teachers, parents and LifeWays students are sharing articles, asking questions, and chatting on the LifeWays facebook page.  Join the fun!
Featured Training:
Healing Education
Website: Assn for Healing Education

Our friends at the Association for a Healing Education (AHE) are starting a new cycle of the Educational Support Program starting this October.  Go to their website for more information or call 

Betty Jane Enno, 



Saying YES to Everything in Life 

"I am grateful for my mother's tenacious message to me to love all, looking inside the person. Some of my friends, therapist, etc. may not agree that I should love all those who imprinted my childhood, but I do feel love. I say "Yes" to forgiveness. I look at their beginning...understanding that those actions came out of a splintered, torn, damaged etheric sheath in their early years. I feel grateful for the friends, mentors, healers, prayers and dances that have sustained me while I integrated all the experiences so far in my life. These experiences, good and bad, have deepened my understanding of my life's work."  
Submitted by Missy Whaley


Featured Book
Home Away from Home book
Learn more about LifeWays childcare.  For early childhood professionals and parents.
$18.95 plus s/h
Order from our online store
Featured Video  

Click on the image below to go to the video by Shawn Achor on The Happy Secret to Better Work:  
TED logo

We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? Psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity. 


Shawn Achor is the CEO of Good Think Inc., where he researches and teaches about positive psychology.

Featured Article
photo from Tang article (internet)
"Einstein May Never Have Used Flashcards, but He Probably Built Forts"
This article from a Harvard journal is an outstanding follow-up to our issue on how LifeWays prepares children for life and creativity.  It is a great article to forward to parents.
Read the full article.
Support LifeWays:
Join or Renew Today!
You can support the work of LifeWays with children and families by joining or renewsing as a Friend of LifeWays ($35/year), or as a Self-Affiliated or Trained-Affiliate Member ($100/year) if you are working with children or parents.
Have your program listed on our new website as a Trained- or Self-Affiliated Member. Here's the list!
And Trained Affiliates can join Cynthia and other colleagues on a monthly conference call to discuss questions and share expertise. 
To Renew or Join Online, click here. Or call 405-579-0999.