Friday, October 29

joy pockets

ripples


the girlchild asking for, and eating, noodle soup
a gift of rosehip + apple jelly
sinking into a novel
Kate's having a giveaway
i understand. touched me



share with me your joy pockets this week

playing along.... sarah,

Monday, October 25

perfect child

shadow work has evolved for me after becoming a mama. i'm now interested in how us parents are helping create a particular Shadow in our own children.

i recently wrote about a Shadow that wants perfection of ourselves - because we grew up believing that our parents' love was conditional.

'i'll love you when or if you do....'

understanding how i might be triggering a Shadow for my child not only helps me be a better mother, it also helps me heal my own Shadows. but because we can't, and don't seek to, be perfect parents, we will pass some Shadow stuff to our children. it's about parenting consciously and making more choices from love than from our fears.

a parent with the Arrogance Shadow will seek perfection from their child. they'll ask too much from them - considering the child's age, capabilities, or inherent childness.

my mother had this Shadow and I developed it too. if i had my girl 10 years ago i would have likely passed it on to her. as it is, i have worked with this Shadow and have done much healing.

i was the perfectly behaved child. when we visited friends i sat quietly, spoke when i was spoken to, if i played it was politely. my mother was concerned with keeping up appearances. if i was upset or fearful, it came second to how other people perceived us. her children had to appear well behaved above all else. as well as one day achieve status. first by doing well in school, and later by aiming for top careers, my mother's choice for me was doctor.

as a typical Libran child, i wanted to be loved and get on with others. as a sensitive child i could pick up on unspoken disapproval.

i carried this need to be perfect throughout my life. and so i gave up on so many dreams and ideas because, why write the book if my writing didn't measure up to other writers? instead of following my dream of going to Africa and helping children, i chose a degree in psychology.

when we demand perfection from our children, or that they don't disappoint us, we shut down their voice. we stamp upon their personality. and we deny their childness. we ask that a 2 yr-old sit quietly, that a 4 yr-old not play rough, that a 6 yr-old be popular.

i will not stir any more

i have a child that is boisterous, loves to say 'no', is often loud, and isn't particularly co-operative.

i love that.

is it tiring, annoying, or hair-pulling exasperating sometimes? sure!

but the reason i love that she's this way, is that it's a sign that she isn't afraid of me. she isn't afraid that 'bad' behaviour will change how i feel about her.
she has a perfect trust in the power of her 'no' - something i'm more than willing to support, in a girl especially.

i do encourage certain behaviours.... and she understands concepts like being quiet, but this is approached as a game rather than something she's forced to do.

if she fidgets or protests to do something we need to do, i accept that she's 2.5 yrs-old and acknowledge how she feels. she might still have to do what she doesn't like, but i don't chastise her for having emotions and opinions.

and when she does something that i find helpful or pleasing, she's not acted from a place of fear. she knows that i approve, but she doesn't seek approval - because she trusts that i'll love her regardless.

some children are naturally quiet. but i do wonder. are they naturally quiet or are they afraid to make their parents angry? which translates as, afraid to lose their love, even for a moment. and i'm not suggesting a child that is constantly tantruming or being aggressive is happy and secure.

a child that has an innate need to be liked will likely be a well-behaved child. she'll likely develop into an adult that forever seeks approval and represses her voice. whose choices won't come from the heart, but from what will best gain acceptance. a child fortunate enough to have parents who encourage a dream, will still find disapproval or lack of praise from others as deeply discouraging.

a child that has a strong need for freedom or expression will behave for a time and then rebel. she will spend her life in a tug-of-war between gaining achievements and status or following her heart. she'll take more risks than the first child, but will often end up going in circles.

both will live with an unconscious anxiety that they won't be loved for being themselves. for being or doing less than perfect.

my girl is not compliant or 'well-behaved'.

i'm thankful for that.


Friday, October 22

joy pockets

dynamic revelations
playing at the sunday creative


walking through woods
staying in a log cabin
watching children be free
a boho bookmark pressie through the mail
speaking freely
discovering i like earl grey tea
making my point-n-shoot perform
doing qigong in the mornings



share with me your joy pockets this week


Thursday, October 21

deep dark woods

we've been away for 4 days. the planned 2 days turned to 3, and then we took our time back on the 4th day. sorry, i've missed so many of your posts.

we went up north into the snowy mountains of Montenegro, about 2000m above sea level, although the snow has yet to arrive.

black lake

the oxygenated scent of pine and mountain-peak air makes for rejuvenation. the girlchild was brilliant for so many hours in the car - meaning she was content. dvd player my friends! she has car-sickness and is recently toilet learnt so i was concerned. but it all went smoothly.

the cabin was wonderfully tiny, so cosy. i was astounded that we got three children to nap and go to bed all at the same time!

she adored spending so much time with her favourite little people. we enjoyed a different scene, crisp air, time with friends, hikes around a lake, cooking with friends, walks through pines (while i recited The Gruffalo), spectacular scenic drives.....


bouncing intermission

my favourite memory from it all was seeing how much fun my girl had. they barely stopped the whole weekend from bouncing on the sofa, tickling and chasing each other, playing incomprehensible-to-adults games, making lots of noise, and generally getting on fantastically.

i've returned touched by majestic nature... 'nough said.


Wednesday, October 20

2 and a half

you're
funny
willful
determined
contrary
physical
affectionate
cautious
fastidious
smart
spirited
chatty
a force to be reckoned with


you have
the memory of an elephant
the sharpness of a fox
the will of a lion
the cheekiness of a monkey
the energy of all of them put together






you like to
get cosy with mama
drink milk
bounce
hug
chase
tickle
see tata in the mornings
be helpful
go for walks
find bugs
help bugs
read books
laugh


you'd rather not
get your hair washed
get your hair brushed
dress
wear socks
be told what to do
eat healthy solids
be helped too much


you can
go toilet
stay dry all night
put on your shoes
count to 20
recognise numbers
recognise numbers in abstract shapes
repeat words you've heard once
ask for just about anything you need
draw faces, suns, rain, rainbows & caterpillars
watch tv, bounce, and still hear what we're whispering
recognise shapes
recite favourite books
present a logical rebuttal
(me: it's too cold to go outside - you: put coat on)


you 
make me a better mama
make me a better person
are the light of our lives


Friday, October 15

joy pockets



finding a purpose for a friend's gift (image)
a day of sunshine
underfloor heating
working on someone's blog design
discovering free kindle for pc
making a new friend
baking bread
and contemplate life and bake bready things



share with me your joy pockets this week

playing along... Lisa,

Tuesday, October 12

just do it

i think there's a shoe company that has taken that slogan *chuckle* but it could be one of mine.

i have had emails and comments in the past asking me an important life question - how did you do it?

how did you leave behind a safe social structure, the comforts of urban living, family, friends, a secure job, modern conveniences, a language you know....... for something so drastically different?

i have tried to be inspirational, offer practical advice and tips, but i'm just not skilled in that approach. and more importantly, i had no fear. never have.

i just did it.

when in Australia, i left a promising academic route to backpack and hitchhike around the country. no predetermined destination, no time scale, no plans at all. sometimes i would jump on a train within 24hrs of deciding to move on, from a place i was enjoying.

i left Australia when i was 24 to meet up with my boyfriend in England and discover if the relationship would endure, or not.

at 37 i left England (with said-boyfriend-now-husband in tow, and a womb bean) to live in Eastern Europe. a country i had never visited. i just followed my intuition.

i trust my intuition that much. but, it's also more prosaic than that. i view life as an adventure. i don't view it as something to endure, or survive, or to make as safe as possible. i see it as a very small window of time to experience being human and whatever's on offer. i've always been bohemian.

i also see that society is a creation. we take it for granted - all the rules and expectations and lifestyles - but it's simply something that happened. our society is nothing like it was just 50 years ago. but we accept it like it's a reality carved in stone.

we believe that there's only a handful of choices.
which career? - rather than, career or not?
how many children and when? - rather than, children or not?
and on and on...

but i did have a challenge.

credit: me!
playing with simplicity


convincing my conservative husband that lifestyles were as varied as our imaginations. that the sky's the limit. that some people choose making art over having secure finances. that some choose no home but rather travel everywhere. that some choose odd jobs and freedom rather than set career paths. that some grow their own food, don't send their children to school, parent gently, live in yurts, travel extensively, exhange services instead of money, focus on the process of living rather than a goal, work scattered hours........

everyone has the ability to make their own rules. to construct their lifestyle. most of us just don't realise that. we're too busy paying bills or 'making something (respectable) of ourselves'.

our generation is lucky. we live during a time where choices outside the mainstream will be considered crazy by most, but where those choices are possible and where you can find kindred spirits. the world is a flexible and varied and smaller place than it was just 60 years ago. whatever you decide to do, you can hop online and find others are already doing it.

a word of caution though. alternative communities can be their own traps too. being alternative doesn't make them immune from the need to impose rules and choices. i see it all the time. someone choosing to remove themselves from the oppression of mainstream society, only to feel obligated and pressured to do things a certain way or be a certain person in the alternative community. you know - if you're going to be green, you need to perfectly green at everything.  if you're going to be crunchy, you need to be crunchy at everything.

only recently i commented on someone's blog who was feeling guilty about not using cloth diapers and wanting to go that route. part of my response was that it didn't have to be all or nothing. cloth diapers at night, or most days. nappies for outings.....  whatever works for you. that's authenticity.

we really impose a lot of restrictions in our 'free' alternative choices don't we?

i refuse to apologise for our choices. they're right for us, at this time. i unschool my girl, but if in a few years it'll work better for us that she attends school, then so be it. i know i would lose home/unschooling readers. so be it. i love the idea of being almost completely self-sufficient. but being an Intuitive Mentor, creating art, and travelling, are higher on the priorities list. i can't have chickens and a large veggie garden if i'm doing so much other stuff and going to regularly leave it all to globetrot.

so taking the plunge for a different life comes down to asking yourself what you really want from life. we live with the stream and hope we'll achieve happiness. topsy-turvy.

begin by asking yourself what makes you happy. 
and work towards creating the lifestyle that will make that possible.

if you want a big house filled with beautiful things and a nice car and expensive holidays and designer clothes, then you will likely have to work a traditional job (but not necessarily, plenty of entrepreneurs are living the high life). if your core needs are peaceful living, adventure, more time with your children, doing your passion, travel, rather than stuff, then you might be living a life that is bringing you everything but those things.

our income is about 1/4 of what it was in the UK. but we've traded luxuries for less stress and more time together. here, husband can spend many mornings playing with his daughter. in our old life he would have seen her for a few hours after work - when he was stressed and tired.

if like my hubby you have a deep need for community support, it can be found for the most way-out lifestyles. if like me you're a maverick and life adventurer, you just need to wake up from the socially-induced sleepwalk and remember - oh yeah, i can create my lifestyle.

our particular lifestyle is a mix of both our needs. security with freedom. many conveniences with green mountain living. a social network with a unique lifestyle. a fixed abode with travel. working towards meeting immediate needs with no fixed plans for the future.

so, i've tried writing the motivational posts, but it's not my talent. all i have is...

this is your life, right this moment, there really is only one choice... with fear or without it.....

just do it.

Monday, October 11

The Flea's Sneeze


The Flea's Sneeze, by Lynn Downey
Illustrated by Karla Firehammer
Picture Book
Suggested age: 18mth-3yrs

it's a very simple story of a flea in a barn who is about to sneeze. as the peacefully sleeping animals don't hear his cough and sniffle, not even the mouse he used for a house, an enormous sneeze explodes from him and everyone wakes to pandemonium.


the charm of this large picture book lies with the illustrations, which I love, as well as the repetition, which my girl loves. it didn't take her long to be shouting out the next animal on the list. so i think that this is a great book to read aloud with a pre-reader. also, as the animals change positions on different pages, we enjoy locating them. useful for using words such as 'on' and 'under'.

Not even the mouse
He used for a house;
Or the rat, or the cat,
Or the black-eyed bat;
Or the cow, or the owl,
Or the feathered fowl;
Or the dog, or the hog,
Or the old barn frog.
They all slept peacefully-
But not the flea.

my one criticism is the bizarre (not in a good way) choice of a few of the rhymes: when the animals are violently woken from the sneeze, the bat's eyes turn blue, and the frog was reminded of his old nephew. erm, okay. Downey just seemed to exhaust her ideas on 'oo' sounding rhymes. she really couldn't come up with anything else before it went off to the publisher? still, it's really minor, and it doesn't deter one bit from my girl's enjoyment of it.

that aside, this has to be my daughter's favourite book of 2009. not only did she request it, 'again, again!', she also picked it up herself to 'read' countless times, as well as falling in love with my rendition of it to fall asleep by - go figure. this story has her enjoying almost any achooo in any book.

after 6 months or so, the novelty wore off and she stopped requesting it. but it was worth it for that time, and nowadays she's still happy for me to read it to her on occassion.

highly recommended for great silly fun.


buy from amazon.com
buy from amazon.co.uk
buy from Fishpond.com.au

disclaimer: amazon throws me a few cents if you buy from my links above.

Thursday, October 7

joy pockets

joy may come loudly with bells on, more often, it comes quietly, in small pockets, scattered throughout the days, reminding us, no matter what, joy is always available.........
and worth spreading.

nostalgia
playing at the sunday creative



beautiful words with beautiful work
turning 40
unexpected amazon gift certificate
birthday wishes in numerous formats
tulips by email
a little tree pendant
a magical giveaway
getting back to shadow work
a recently potty learnt girl being dry through the night



share with me your joy pockets this week


Wednesday, October 6

confirmations

do you ever ask the universe/god for confirmation? confirming you're walking the right path and the path rightly?

i rarely ask for answers as i feel that this is part of my task here - to ask the right questions and look for those answers.

i almost never make requests or ask for manifestations. i believe in being open to possibilities.

but occassionally i ask for confirmation. mostly it comes instantly via my intuition, but sometimes, when a situation has been complex and multi-layered, i ask more specifically.

were my choices right for my journey?
were my actions aligned to Love?
have i done enough to make things right?
have i let go?
did i release ego and learn and grow?
have i sent out enough compassion?

and the universe always answers.

in little and big signs. though usually small gentle nudges. unless it's a terribly wrong turn i've taken, then the answer is nice and deafening.

so this time, the universe said yes...

i had made the right choices
my actions were aligned to Love
i had done enough
i released and learnt and grew
i sent out enough compassion (but there's no limit)

i had not let go enough.... but grew enough to learn more too. so the universe slowed me down and i accepted. and i let go fully. and i learnt even more.

so many wonderfully beautiful treasures have been strewn across my path in way of answers.

one of the many little signs was especially sweet and very tangible. the day after i asked for confirmation a blogger i barely knew sent me a gift. something i had previously admired. something that spoke to me and in my simple words, she knew. even the card... unknown to her, she just happened to choose a card with a tulip, my favourite flower. aaaand, it arrived on my birthday.



and just like that she sends me a two-fold gift. the thing itself (isn't that the sweetest tree?) and, unknowingly, an answer.

yes, keep doing what you're doing.
you are growing.
all is well, the rest is not your concern.


my favourite part? it ripples. when you walk the right path, your benefits ripple out to those that share your life. a friend feels lighter for a time, a partner gives more, another friend finds sudden clarity, a stranger lends a hand, you make a new friend, a friendship is renewed, your child seems joyous, everyone feels loved for a moment or two.

Tuesday, October 5

40

“A (wo)man is not old until regrets take the place of her dreams.”
unknown

so i'm 40 today.

it's an essence of course, as 40 isn't really drastically different to 39 or 41. but that essence has magic to it.

at 30 i entered into what i felt was the full essence of womanhood. youth was behind me and now maturity and depth were ahead.

40 has a different magic, it is more powerful, stronger, surer, yet more peaceful.

40 doesn't have the serenity of 50, but it has a calm born from a confidence in being uniquely oneself.

40 has an arsenal of experience, a goldmine of wisdom, and oceans of clarity.

40 is taken seriously.

40 doesn't compete, fight the unfightable, linger over grudges, or over-analyse hurts.

40 has survived a broken heart, betrayal, and many losses. and is stronger for them.

40 doesn't blame others for her pains. she takes responsibility for her emotions and choices.

40 makes herself a priority.

40 is at ease in her own skin, is proud of her laugh lines, makes the best of what she's got, and revels in imperfections.



40 chooses quality over quantity.

40 doesn't ask others to change. she accepts, or moves on.

40 has no time for regrets, diets, gossip, celebrity news, being a victim, gaining approval, trying to get drunk, fashion anxiety, softening her voice, ignoring her dreams, selfish men, petty women, or trying to please.

40 says no with gusto.

40 usually knows where she wants to go, she definitely knows where she no longer wants to be.

40 encourages community but no longer needs to be part of the 'it' crowd.

40 knows the secret of a simple soap and a good moisturiser.

40 embraces the strength and beauty of other women, supports their choices, and is unthreatened by differences.

40 says goodbye to the hurt little girl.

40 can spot joy from 10 feet and knows to snag it in seconds.

40 has a laugh that is free from self-consciousness and quietly infects those around her.

40 knows there is so much more to learn and experience, but that the basics are in place.

40 has backbone.

40 has arrived.

it takes work to get to, and continue at, this 40. mindful and conscious living. if 40 is still in the distance for you, i wish for you the tenacity to do the work. it's worth it.
it's what makes 40 faaaaaabulous darlink!


Friday, October 1

september in review

Your reader's may have missed out on some content this month, you have new or occassional readers, or you didn't post much. Consider a Month in Review post. I know I can't keep up with all the wonderful blogs out there. Just copy & paste the headings below and add your responses.

september was amazing. another roller coaster of emotions - fury, disappointment, shock, sadness, all leading to true clarity and true compassion. my Libran sense of justice shaken to the core. my walk towards compassion asking more and more of me. so much that others are left behind, not believing, not seeing. my strength taken to mean something else entirely.
using illness to discover a renewed relationship with my body.

A thought...
everything is occuring as it should be.
and
the power of true friendship, and love, overrides it all.

A sound...
muffled sounds through congested ears

A taste...
echinacea syrup

An image...

the boat ride she hasn't stopped mentioning

A scent...
cinnamon + ginger chai brewing on the stovetop

A word...
compassion

A touch...
the taptaptap of a little girl's hand on my back as she helps her mama get her cough out

A gift for me...
truly letting go

A post you may have missed...
strong women, with great comments.
the validity of emotional eating also with interesting comments

Did you do a review? Let me know. and a link back of course would be nice.

My World Edenwild
A Green Spell