To me, being authentic means:
...listening to my intuition before and above any other influence.
...being the type of person that comes naturally to me.
...being the type of mother that is natural to me, and right for me, my child, and my family.
And so being authentic means that we look different from one another. It means that not only do we respect difference in choices, lifestyles, and parenting, but we find it intolerable that difference wouldn't exist!
I am passionate about mindfulness - doing things and making choices from a conscious place.
I'm especially passionate about supporting mindful parenting.
And that means that it doesn't matter whether you're an earthy, extended breastfeeding, homeschooling mama who bakes and knits, or a full-time work-for-pay mama who does martial arts. What matters is the desire and practical application of connecting to our children and supporting their authentic Selves.
I'm uncomfortable and wary of militant beliefs. Those that are this way, often forget that we’re individuals with individual circumstances. Although I support green living, natural parenting choices, and health via nutrition and natural substances, I also support freedom of choice. I know that we don’t all live on a farm, have all resources, time, or knowledge available, nor are we all inclined to extremes.
I feel that if we all did what we could, if we all at least did something, if we all lived connected and mindfully, the world, ourselves, and our children would be healthier and happier. To me, life is about joys, not militant extremes and definitely not perfectionsim.
I am not religious but I am spiritual, for want of a clearer word. To me, 'being spiritual' is very difficult to define, and may change from time to time.
I might suggest that it is about a wonderment and desire to connect to the fullness of what is life. To what we can see, but also to what we can feel and intuit. It is about finding a particularly profound depth of relationship to the natural world, including people and animals. It is about finding our authentic Self via this all-encompassing connection.
Two days before emmigrating from an urban concrete environment in the UK to a coastal slow-paced mountain/seaside town in Eastern Europe, I discovered that I was pregnant.
We had been trying to conceive for around 5 years. I experienced two heartbreaking and soul-strengthening miscarriages. Then we gave up, accepting that it wasn't meant to be. We continued our lives, which included working towards our dream of leaving the rat-race behind for something..... simpler.
We sold the house that we had fully renovated, tied up most loose ends (oops), and chose a country partly through a process of elimination (others had changed, were too expensive, no work.....) and partly from chance.
The husband (known here as, erm, Husband) visited a couple of times and took photos and video. I never visited. Everyone was baffled at how I could emigrate without ever having visited the place. How do you explain to others that you trust your intuition that much?
So, we packed up all our stuff that we hadn't sold or given away (we were determined to take only what we could fit in the hired van and no more). Husband took all our belongings across Europe - a trip of 5 days, sleeping in cars, infinite border crossings, a very agressive search from German custom officers, and a bribe to border guards to bring it all in into the final destination.
In the mean time I was tying up the house sale, doing the last house cleaning, moving our few things to a temporary accommodation and looking after our two crazy Jack Russells. One morning I woke up with one thought in my mind. I'm pregnant. I almost dismissed this as there was no reason to think it. As we were leaving in two days, I tested and sure enough.... Husband was struck dumb when I casually threw it in to conversation.
And two days later, we left all the familiarity, family, and friends that we knew, to a country I had never seen, one that Husband had barely seen, a language I didn't speak, no fixed abode, no job lined up, a handful of vague contacts, and a womb bean.
In our first year in Eastern Europe...
- Our two dogs turned on each other. We lived in different appartments while we separated them! Finally, we had to give up one of our precious little dogs, Monty, because of this.
- Then less than a year later, our other little boy, Mishko, became ill and we had a vet put him out of his misery - we still both shed tears for both of them.
- After much searching, arguments with arrogant estate agents and greedy locals, and understanding How Things are Done Here, Husband found us land to build on.
- The womb bean dropped at 27 weeks and we thought we were going to lose this baby too. I went on anti-contraction medication and total bedrest. I kept her in.
- Then, due to various complications, I had to have a c-section.
- I delivered her in a hospital where only one nurse spoke a spattering of English, and their attitudes were very Victorian. To say it was a tough time would be the understatement of the year.
- We have lived in three apartments, and dealt with regular shut-offs of water and electricity.
- We started building our house and by the end of 2008 we managed to get the rough build done, the first fix for plumbing and electrics, as well as most of the stone work.
- Our marriage has gone through... transformations.
- We have, very unexpectedly, made many friends. Who just happen to be all around our age and several have a child.
But the house is in a village that is more charming than you could wish for, with views from the church that are breathtaking. The neighbours are mostly great and helpful, and the surroundings are my dream - mountains and woodland.
I have many interests. I focus on the joys of life. The spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical expressions that are most enjoyed by living alongside nature rather than against her.
The boring resume stuff...
I’ve been a qualified reflexologist for over 10 years, and have a B.A in Psychology(majoring in child development), and a BSc. in Education. I have a certificate in teaching, as well as a certificate in early reading/writing. I have privately tutored children/teenagers for almost 20 years in English, English Literature, Biology and Spanish, as well as early reading skills. I have also had the privilege of nannying many babies and toddlers. I've worked on studies in eco-psychology for the last few years.However, to me, academic learning is a poor second to life learning. It’s the knowledge I’ve gained from personal experiences, time with children, travelling the globe, and intuitive connecting to the natural world around me, that is the true wisdom.
Now, with a baby, my philosophies have turned there. I plan to home educate, to be a conscious/mindful parent, and to apply my experiences to the raising of a human being.
Our change of life (a village house in crisp mountain air) is part of my dream life (the other is to continue travelling extensively). I will wildcraft and grow some organic herbs and plants. I might make organic herbal products. I have many other ideas and am allowing the natural unfolding of life to see which is viable. I like the idea of a nature school for children, or natural retreats for women or health weekends, or an animal sanctuary, or wise woman healing workshops, or, or, .....
I have also rediscovered my creative self. I paint, do mixed media and art journaling, pen & ink, doodles.... as corny as it sounds, it nurtures my soul. The idea of art therapy intrigues me, but over here it's not really viable... we'll see where life leads.
Holistic Mama is a cornucopia of all my interests that emanate from a place of health, happiness, love, and nature. As the name suggests, it centres a lot on parenting, but importantly, on being a whole parent - nurturing not just the body and mind, but also the spirit and soul of the child.
Okay, for those who enjoy details. Here are the things that bring a smile to my face, make me a better person, says something about me, etc. In no particular order:
curling up with a good book on rainy days
slow walks through art galleries
And for the totally insane: My, 100 things about me 100th post.
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