Monday, January 1

About me/Our Story

I am passionate about being authentic, and inspiring and supporting others on similar journeys by simply sharing my experiences and thoughts as I go about this thing called life.

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.

Spirituality

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.


Our Story

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.

Fun.

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.
We had hoped for 3-5 acres, but the escalating prices mean we've ended up with only an acre. We had hoped for a very green build, but the lack of resources, knowledgeable locals, and a brand new baby meant it hasn't happened. We've tried to do what we can.

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.

Interests

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:

belly dancing
reading
art
tai chi
B&W films
slow hiking
baking
ecopsychology
curling up with a good book on rainy days
babywearing
being green
astrology
period dramas
crochet
green parenting
libraries
slow walks through art galleries
cooking
blog surfing
attachment parenting
gentle discipline
ecotherapy
nature connecting
numerology
media consciousness
creating/designing blogs
herbs

And for the totally insane: My, 100 things about me 100th post.

10 comments:

  1. Greetings! I just came across your blog and enjoyed reading your "story". My husband and I have been in a similar situation over the past 7 months; moving to a new state and then finding out I was pregnant with my first and trying to deal with a very different mentality and way of life. My trying experiences also led me to start blogging.I look forward to reading more of your posts as you chronicle your continuing natural journey. I am curious about the term "unschooler"?

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  2. Hi Mon! I'm so glad you shared your blog. I feel like I have a new friend now. I agree what you said above that life is about joys. Indeed, I believe the very purpose of life is to find happiness. I also agree intuition to be of utmost importance...how else could we weave through all the contradictions in life, the extreme information overload? I come to the best answers in my life by simply being still and quiet, and letting my mind wander.

    It is nice getting to know you, and I must add that I have always enjoyed reading your very thoughtful posts on the CC forum.

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  3. Awesome! I was looking in my flickr stats and saw you liked my winebox yarn organizer and was thrilled to start reading your blog! I look forward to keeping up with it!

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  4. i just noticed this about me section today. this is wonderful! i'm so happy for you that you've found such a wonderful place to call home and build your new life together. and that wildflower joined the journey just when you began it! how meaningful~

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  5. Looks like we have quie a few things in common....hope we can be friends even if we might never meet. Melissa

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  6. This is so amazing....we seem to have many things in common,not the least of which is the anti-militant bit...*grin*.

    So glad to have found you...

    ~brightest blessings~

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  7. thanks very much for share, you are amazing woman
    blessings
    bendiciones

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  8. Love your story. I too believe life experience is the greatest bleesing. It has helped me reflect on alot of things and made me grow into the strongest, gratefull and aware person. It's so wonderful to meet like minded people as yourself! Thanks for sharing!

    Luv & Lightxxx

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  9. Hello
    I recently discovered your blog and I just wanted to tell you that I really like to read your posts
    Your personal story touched me and if I'm not a mom (not yet...) I can relate in many ways
    I'm a 40 y.o french woman who left everything (country, family, work, friends, flat,...),2 years ago, to marry her american hubby and live and adopt his country
    Against all odds and what many people expected on both side and told us, 2 years after we are still together and most happy than ever
    I left a lot in France but I found a husband, a lover, a wonderful human being and especially my BEST FRIEND
    As I said I'm not a mom yet but we both plan to change that in the future (lol)
    Meanwhile I'm the "second mom" of a a great sweet bright 10 y.o boy, my hubby had from a previous relationship
    We have him every weekend and for the vacations and we also spend with him 2 evenings/week
    We are a loving, caring, open-minded,peaceful, curious of the world around,bi-racial, holistic. spiritual but freethinking family
    I like to read and learn from your experiences, then I thank you for that great blog of yours
    XXX
    Nathalie

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  10. so beautiful. very happy to have discovered your blog. thank you!

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