Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Heartache in Bali

Oh the joys of the modern “patchwork” family!!
Yes I am a member of a group of people who have come together via marriage and who call themselves a family.
In our group, we have his kids, my kids and our child and over the last ten years, we have all, at some time or another, struggled with this mis-matching of characters and personalities.
Now here we are in Bali with three kids over 18 and our little one who is just 15 months and it is such a challenge!
My girls have never really accepted my hubby and this has caused me such heartache over the years. I have always tried to do the balancing act between them, like a referee in a boxing match, which is just so very tiring, not to mention stressful.
Now that they are older I was hoping that this holiday in Bali would pull us together as a family and allow for old wounds and misunderstandings to be healed.
But, now that we only have a few days left, I can see that this is probably never going to happen and the only thing that this holiday has achieved is tearing open those old wounds and to create new ones.
There have been times during this trip where I have been so very close to taking off in the middle of the night with my little one and escaping to a place where no-one would ever find me…
A place where I wouldn’t have to chose one person over the other…
A place where I could be who I am without being accused of leaving this one out or not loving that one enough or loving the other too much.
How many tears have I shed over the years?
I can tell you that I have cried more than one river…
I am tired of it all.
I am tired of my girls trying to make me feel guilty for the choices I have made and for marrying the man I love.
I am tired of my hubby feeling so very uncomfortable all the time that he ends up walking around like a time bomb waiting to go off.
I am tired of the explosions.
I am tired of the glares that are aimed at me from across the room, the cutting words, the threats and the accusations.
I am tired of walking on egg shells, of holding my breath, of crying when no-one is looking.
Now my girls are going back to their father, back to their life, back to university, to their friends and their ways and I am off to Germany with my hubby and our little one.
I will cry more rivers when I say goodbye….
I will probably cry oceans from now until the day I die because I am a member of a modern “patchwork” family and because the man I love so much is never going to be accepted by the daughters I adore.

Restricting the little one

Whilst Bali is stunningly beautiful, with its mountains, rice paddies, palm trees and majestic views, it is proving to be very tough for my little one of 15 months.
In our other life where we had a huge home, she was free to roam as she saw fit from room to room, from person to person… all the while being safe and at ease and without restriction… like a real continuum child, she was happy, placid and relaxed in her environment and within her self.
Here in Bali where the pathways are cracked and uneven (upon which she fell and smacked her head so hard that she immediately had an egg on her head the size of a small melon and the colour of deep purple) and that have huge uncovered man-holes, where there are motor bikes and cars whizzing around seemingly without road rules and with unfenced swimming pools (something so foreign to Australians) in every place we stay….
For the first time in her life, my little one is finding her-self very restricted and worse than that, it is her mama that is doing the restricting.
She is so very independent and so very insistent to walk on her own, which is wonderful when we are somewhere that is safe but here it is proving to be somewhat of a nightmare!
She is having to hold our hands which she generally loves but only when it is her choice.
She is having to be carried at times when she just doesn’t want to be.
She is being steered away from danger and I mean REAL danger a lot of the time and as a result, she is just not happy!
She is screaming and throwing tantrums like never before and she is biting my nipples during feeding with such ferocity and intent that I am actually frightened to feed her.
It was only this morning that I put two and two together and realised that the she is biting me because she is angry with me for restricting her movements so much.
She is frustrated so deeply and so am I.
It is so easy to follow the continuum way when your child is in a known, safe and familiar environment.
I can see all too clearly what happens to the child that is restricted….so much frustration and despair.
I only have a few days left here so I am not too worried about Bali but I am on my way to a new life in Berlin…a major city.
How will I allow the freedom there?
Where will my little one find the spaces and gaps she needs for exploration of her inner self?

Being in Bali

Just a little note to let my followers know that I have not dropped off the face of the planet, I am merely sunning myself in Bali with very limited internet access.
I will soon be in my new home in Germany and will delight you ( I hope) with my adventure stories.
I am missing my blogging and my blogging sisters so much!
I have so many posts going around in my head....
Wishing you all a safe and fabulously happy festive season.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

which Goddess shall I be today?

So in under a week I leave my home turf once again, to embark on a new chapter in my life.
We are going from rural Queensland to mid city Berlin...talk about going from one extreme to the other!!!

There are so many things I am really looking forward to like....
experiencing a cold christmas, hopefully with some snow
Going for walks in a snake free forest
Wearing gloves, scarves and beanies
Watching mother nature as she moves from season to season (we only have two seasons here, wet and dry!)
Living in a place that has more than 3000 people
Having everything I need and more, right at my finger tips

But the thing I am looking forward to most, is being the foreigner.

I think this is what I really love about traveling....

I like the fact that everything is new to me and that I am new to everything and everyone.

I can create and re-create myself to be whoever and whatever I choose.
It is a bit like going to a fancy dress party and choosing a costume and a mask to wear.

I think we all wear different masks according to who we are with and what we are doing...I am not saying we pretend to be something we are not...it is more that we express different aspects of what we are in different situations.

I am many things rolled into one, maybe it is because my sun is in Gemini, maybe it is because I am a woman who loves to roam and I have collected and added many different things into my being...what ever the reason I am many different women rolled into one.

Sometimes I am Hestia, bringing beauty and safety into my home for myself and my family.
Sometimes I am Athena, cramming in 45 minutes of academic study whilst my little one sleeps.
Sometimes I am Aphrodite....need I say more????
Sometimes I am Artemis, fiercly protective of women and womanhood.
And sometimes Demeter, with protecting arms around my daughters.

Unfortunately it seems that I have yet to find the environment or space in which I feel I can allow all the different aspects of my self to emerge. What seems to happen is that when I am in a certain place for some time, habits tend to form...friendships are made and expectations are built. In other words, people get to know me as being reserved for example, and they tend to expect me to always be that way, so my extroverted whacky side gets pushed down underneath and temporarily fades away.

So I move through my days playing out this or that role....
Slowly over time, irritation starts to build and initially I am not sure why.
The Freddy Mercury song "I want to break free" starts playing over and over in my head...
I start feeling trapped, bound up, suppressed almost.
I start looking through travel books, old photos of journeys past...
Eventually I arm myself with Artemis' bow and head for the wilderness.

People may say that I am running from this or that but I don't see it that way.
I like to explore my planet and each time I go on a journey I discover another side of myself...another missing piece to the puzzle of who I am.

Living in Berlin will force me to dig deep and retrieve many of the old pieces of me that have been stored away for many years and it will also force me to add new pieces to my ever growing collection.
I will have to wear different clothes (otherwise I will freeze to death)
I will have to do different things with my little one (from 2 acres to 90 square meters... hmmm)
I will have to speak a different language, eat different food, hear different sounds.....

I can be who ever I choose to be....

I am hoping that being in a huge city, rather than a small country town will provide me with the space which will allow the continuous metamorphosis...the continual becoming of my self.
This is my desire, this is my pledge to my self.

I will keep you posted!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Random thoughts

Here I am sitting on my couch...My little one is having a very late arvo nap (4pm) and my thoughts have turned towards all the yesterdays that have passed.
Do you remember those days when we seemed to be soooo much younger, more free and more alive???
Was it that way or am I just creating a past of fun and passion that didn't actually exist?
I don't know... I was just strolling along the street with my little one and started feeling really nostalgic...or maybe I just realised how terribly stuck and controlled I feel.
I just don't feel like I have any fun anymore....I almost feel dead inside, moving through each day just managing the basics, isn't that sad??

My little one is my brightness, my light and joy....she makes me smile and giggle and she keeps my heart open, but she reminds me that there are gaps and spaces in my life.
She reminds me that I am not bringing creativity into my day to day living.
She reminds me that I am not pushing myself in any direction... that I don't even work up a sweat when we go for a walk.

I am feeling like I want to hear my feet pound down on the road and feel the wind rush into my face as I run as far and fast as I can everyday.
I am feeling like I want to splash red and purple and orange on my walls and draw rainbows and the curves of women's bodies.
I want to dance until I am totally out of breath.
Laugh until my belly aches.
Eat delicious food around the table for hours.
Walk under the full moon light.
Watch the sun set.
Cry over a good movie.
Make beautiful toys using luscious coloured wool and other sensuous fabrics.
Plant herbs and other edibles for me and my family to enjoy.
Tune into nature.

How do I get to do these things???
Where do I begin???
Why have I stopped living life???
What am I afraid of??

Sunday, November 15, 2009

On the move again

So the count down begins...I now have officially two weeks to pack my life into boxes and to say my good byes.

Yes, we are on the move again. This is not such a huge thing as we both like to roam this planet and are now pretty good at the whole moving thing, but this is the first time we will be doing it with the little one so I am experiencing a whole bunch of new feelings and sensations this time round..... I just can't name them because I have moved into my NUMB zone!!

This is the space I fall into when it all gets too much!
I switch off, feel nothing and don't do much....With such a short time left until we leave and with still so much to do, I am there, I am NUMB.

There is a lot happening in my world right now and there are choices to be made but when I am in this numb space, decision making is pretty difficult to say the least.

The biggest choice we have to make is where we are going to live...

Too many choices maybe???
Normally my hubby and I are both pretty in tune and when things present themselves to us, we generally go with what feels right but this time, we are both not feeling much!
We have our tickets out of OZ and we are holidaying for the first few weeks, but then.....

Maybe we are supposed to experience this floating space...this stillness.
Maybe we are supposed to develop more trust.
Maybe we are supposed to stop trying to control, to figure out and to know.

Whatever the lesson is, the boxes are still sitting empty in the spare room...
The clothes still need to be sorted, winter clothes need to be bought, cleaning needs to be done...

Two weeks to go!!!!

I will keep you posted :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful anyway Thursdays

Thankful Anyway Thursday

So it is Thursday again....

My little one is suffering so badly with her teeth.
She is cutting her back molars and having a very tough time of it.
She has gone from being a very placid and chilled out bub, to a very irritable, almost angry, whiny and sleepless child!

I get no more than an hour or so sleep at a time during the night.

She is constantly on the boob, and when I try and roll my aching body over she goes mad until I roll back and offer the boob again.

When I finally feel like she is settled, and I can roll onto my back and drift into sleep, my hubby starts snoring (every time) and keeps me awake.

BUT I am thankful anyway because this is a very real opportunity to develop my compassion and patience.

I am thankful anyway because I am seemingly strong enough to cope with very little sleep.

I am thankful anyway because during those long dark hours when I am awake, I can appreciate the stillness and the silence of the night, which I just love.

And I am thankful that my hubby is home for a change, even though he snores!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fighting the beast within

I remember as a child, sitting on the couch inside the house on a beautiful sunny day....I remember being so happy, drawing with so many colours and feeling totally content in my little dream world. Then my mum comes in takes away my precious drawings and demands that I go outside to play...."a sunny day is not to be wasted doing silly drawings" she said!

Somehow this little scene pops into my mind whenever I make a move to do something "creative".

I always seem to have other more important things to do and funnily enough I have surrounded myself with loved one's that also do not value the "crafty" side of life (or is that just my warped perception??).

There is a really deep hole in my being and I know that it is the perfect space for my creative light to shine and fill but to be totally honest, I just do not know where to begin.

I have spent so many years convincing myself that I am totally incapable of doing anything creative with my hands, that to now convince myself otherwise is very challenging.... daunting actually.
I have created this super strong inner critic, this anti-creativity monster and I am not sure if I have the energy to defeat this beast within.

I look at other blogs which are filled with fabulously beautiful creations and I experience envy, sadness and hopelessness....
I do keep these blogs close at hand with the idea of using the helpful hints offered, but even as I am pressing the "add link" button, I can hear the hideous laugh of the beast within and smell his disgusting breath as he whispers....."you will never manage anything like that".

So, I know I need to slay this beast.... obviously no white knight is going to ride along on his stallion and do it for me.
The question is how?????

Any suggestions?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Having a good belly laugh

I am guessing that some if not all of you have read or at least heard of Clarrisa Pinkola Estes' book titled "women who run with the wolves"....The piece in there where she is talking about that really hearty, deep belly laugh that women do when they are together, has stayed in my mind ever since I read it many years ago.

Do you know that kind of laugh???

The one that bubbles to the surface when you and a friend or friends are just really relaxed, when you have let go of many of the masks we use in our day to day lives and when you are feeling very comfortable and safe with who you are with?

Can you remember the deep and glorious sounds that come with the belly laugh? The ones that come from way down in the belly? The ones where you often find yourself holding onto your belly, as if you are laughing right along with it?

Do you know the feeling of tears streaming down the face....the face aching like it is about to fall off and most of all this really pleasant sensation running through your veins right along with every drop of your blood?

Do you love the feeling of connectedness, of a knowing...a sameness, a feeling of pure joy...a truly delicious and satisfying experience every time?

The belly laugh....I need it in my life every now and then....do you?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Success :)

At the moment, my life is almost entirely centered around my little one who is 14 months old and I am not complaining one bit!
Amazingly enough though, I am also doing a PhD (doctorate) in philosophy which I have been stop-starting for over a year now, due to pregnancy, birth, miscarriage, life...etc.
Part of the PhD process now involves this crossing of milestones, basically this means that at three points during your research, you basically have to prove that what your doing is worthy of the university's support and that you are bringing something new into the academic world.
Anyway, out of the blue a few weeks ago my supervisor rings me up to suggest that I do my confirmation (first milestone) before I go "roaming" again and also out of the blue, I agree!

So here I am, hubby working away, older daughter studying for her exams at uni, me running around like a headless chook just managing the basics (food, house, sleep-sometimes) and now I have foolishly committed to present a document to a panel of philosophers in under three weeks....yeah right!

The day looms closer, the writing gets done-just.

Hubby comes home...routine goes out the window, time escapes, D Day arrives!

So I take the long drive down to the city...it is stinking hot and I am nervous and unprepared.
I leave my family on the grass and head on up....feeling like a child about to see the principle...I need the loo badly!

Ok, I am sitting there (on the loo) and I start to do some Anapana (breathing meditation)...slowly I start to relax.
I move myself out side the room and sit myself down in the big old fashioned arm chairs that I guess are meant to make you fell at home??!!!!

Shaking...sweating....needing the loo again and feeling like vomiting....

Everything I have worked for could all be thrown away in the next 30 mins if I don't get this right......

Suddenly, I had this huge realisation....
Hang on, I am 41 years old.
I have given birth to three children, traveled the world and experienced so many things....what am I worried about???
So what if they don't like my work,
So what if I don't continue on with this....
when push comes to shove, what does it all matter any way????

By this stage, I saunter into the room totally at ease.

It was then, that I realised that my paper, which talks about things like "patriarchy" and "female subordination" , was about to be presented to a room full of MEN!!
I couldn't believe it, the only two women in the room besides myself were my supervisors.
For about thirty seconds I felt like running out of the room as fast as my little legs could carry me, but then I thought
Yes, this is my point exactly....where are the women????
This gave me such rush of determination that I read my paper, I answered all their philosophical questions and I walked out of there with my head held high and a big fat CONGRATULATIONS from all of them to boot!!!

Not bad...Not bad at all!!!

What happened in October

A Thought
I can do this....my PhD confirmation.

A Sound
The first rain of the wet season....Ahhh so soothing!

A Taste
His lips after a long time apart

An Image
Myself in bathers for the first time in over a year!!!

Another Thought
Yes, I am getting older

A Scent
The smell of the first rain on the forest that is my garden

A word
Home....where is it for me?

A Touch
Little fingers stroking my new straight hair!

A Gift for Me
Taking a long shower.....ALONE!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thankful anyway Thursdays

Thankful Anyway Thursday

Since the loss of my last baby a few weeks ago, my once curly long hair has become this limp, bent out of shape mess that is falling out faster than I can blink! (Hence the transformation in my profile shot)
When I wash what is left... I am sure there is more left on the floor than on my head.

I don't know what it is about hair... I know that it is such an external thing and I know it is soooo superficial to worry about what my hair looks like BUT I do!

For years I have meditated for long hours in silence... coming to deep understandings about attachments and the suffering related to them.
I have been able to "let go" of this, that and the other in my life so as to reduce my attachments and the suffering that goes with them.
And yet, when I see my hair clogging up the drain and when I look in the mirror and see and what I see.....I cry!

No amount of contemplation or rationalisation can help.....
I am losing my hair and it sucks!

But I am THANKFUL ANYWAYS because my daughter is a hairdresser and a life saver and she quickly cut my hair into a bob (so it looks thicker than what it is).

I am THANKFUL ANYWAYS that someone invented straightening irons so that my "bent" hair now can look decent.

I am THANKFUL ANYWAYS because I know it will grow back again eventually

and I am THANKFUL ANYWAYS for vegan chocolate cake because it takes the pain away even if it is only for a few delicious moments :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Being a "cool" parent

Well it seems that after years of being on the outside I might just be finally able to consider myself as one of the "cool" gang.
By "cool", I mean being a mum who parents in a conscious way.

I started with a very peaceful and serene water birth at home.
I breast-feed on demand.
I sleep with my baby.
I carry her in an ergo.
I do baby-led-weaning.

But I have a confession to make....this "cool" mum still slips up at times.
By 'slips up' I mean I say or do things that are no longer considered "good" parenting and apparently are a guarantee that my child will end up in therapy by the time she is 30.

I will give you an example;
My little pixie might be playing with building blocks and after what must seem like a life time for her, she finally manages to actually stack one on top of the other. When this happens she must feel so good with herself because her whole face lights up and she looks at me with such joy, that before I know what I have said (so in other words in an unconscious act) the words "well done darling" have flooded out of my mouth and are washing her in PRAISE.

My little pixie certainly doesn't mind but I instantly feel this twinge of "OOPS" and then I might re-phrase and say something like "good building darling". This is when I am on my own I might add...Just imagine the strength of the sensations rushing through my veins when I am in the company of other mums, particularly those that are more established in "proper parenting".

What is this all about?
Where is the line between being a conscious parent and a naturally loving parent?
What causes more harm to our children...parents that feel guilty for not getting it perfect, or being praised by parents who love you...and I don't mean all the time either.
Is this just something else that we can feel guilty about? That we can worry about?

This certainly needs more thought and attention....so lets consider this part 1.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Three in Bed

Sleep...Or should I say lack of it, has inspired the coming together of this post...
19 years ago just before my first daughter was born, some wonderful, insightful, albeit random stranger, thrust a copy of a little book in my hand and declared that it was a must for every parent to read.
I remember waddling home as fast as my then odd shaped body would allow, plonking my self on the couch and reading it from cover to cover in a matter of hours.
This little book was called "Three in Bed" by Deborah Jackson and it totally changed my life!

The next day, my carefully constructed baby nursery was pulled apart with such force that from the outside I must have appeared like a woman possessed! The cot was gone, never to be seen again, along with all the other standard baby gear...
I had made my decision....the baby was to sleep with me.

19 years later...baby number three has arrived (now 14 months) and there is still three in my bed.

We have a king size bed, which theoretically should provide enough room for the three of us....well I did say theoretically!!
For some bizarre reason unknown to human kind, my daughter prefers to sleep across the bed rather than down the bed. This usually means that my hubby and I are clinging to the sides of the bed, whilst my little one blissfully sleeps on with her head wedged up as close to (her) boobie as she can get it and with her feet stuck firmly up her papa's nose!

It is rather like a comedy act at times and we often find ourselves in fits of laughter in the middle of the night.
There are as well moments of despair, when tiredness or should I say exhaustion kicks in...Irritability raises its ugly head and all I want to do is bury mine (my head that is), under my pillow and sleep for a month!

But then, its morning...(just)...and she wakes, she cuddles up to me so close, with so much warmth and love...she opens her eyes and looks at me...lifts herself up and kisses me good-morning.
She smiles her heart melting smile and any trace of irritability fades away.

Those morning moments...aahh I love them!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thankful anyway Thursdays

My hubby has been working away for a while now and I have only seen him on a few occasions in the last few months.
We are a very close couple...
going everywhere together,
enjoying each other's company,
meditating side by side,
laughing at the same jokes,
enjoying the same movies, music and moments....

When he is not with me it feels as though a part of me is missing
I feel empty somehow
I can fill the gaps and spaces of my day and night with all sorts of shapes, colors and sounds
But there is still that empty feeling

Life is soooo tough for me when he is not here

There is MORE physical space when he is not here
but there is less space in my mind somehow

The days are longer without him...So are the nights
Moments to myself are harder to come by (although my eldest daughter is wonderful at giving me time)
It feels like I am forever cooking
It feels like I am on auto pilot
Meditation moments are less and less

I miss him

BUT I am thankful anyway because, I know he is coming back and SOON.
I am thankful to have found him in the first place all those years ago
I am thankful that I have the strength and skill to do what I do
I am thankful that I have patience
I am thankful for Sophie being here
I am thankful that I have found the world of blogging and all my blogging sisters

Saturday, October 17, 2009

meditating mamas

For ten years before my last pixie was born, I was meditating two hours a day; one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening. I joined many silent retreats, some for 10 days, some for 20 days and some for 30 days. I spent many weeks doing volunteer cooking and serving on retreats, even when pregnant I spent many hours in meditation centres...sitting, serving and loving it.

Since my little one was born, my meditation practice has had to change.

I never get time to go to the meditation centre we live close to these days and I very rarely get to sit for an hour, especially since my hubby has been working away for the last few months. Initially I was feeling guilty for not meditating until I decided to start working with the gaps and spaces in between the business of my day.

I started to meditate laying down next to my little one as she slept in the afternoon or evening and I started sending metta (loving kindness) during some of her daily feeds.I started feeling balanced and content once again, happy to have found a way to maintain my spiritual practice whilst living the life of a continuum mama. This was amazing for me to achieve but more amazing was the gift given to me by my little one and that was the gift of being in the moment...a truly spiritual quality.

My pixie demands that I am in the moment with her and if I slip into planning something for later or dwelling on something in the past whilst we are drawing or playing something, she quickly and skillfully drags me back into the present....what a gift!

I have spoke to many women about how they work to maintain their spiritual practice when they become mamas and many of them agree that it is a challenge for women to maintain their spiritual life when they become mothers but that it is not impossible...

If you have any thoughts of this I would love to hear them

Friday, October 16, 2009

Teaching our kids about community

So as I am laying in bed last night, feeding my little pixie yet again, my mind starts to re-think this idea of creating communities on-line. I realised that I go onto my laptop to meet with my community when my little one is asleep. I dip in and out of various blogs that I have come to love, I smile, I sigh, I furrow my brow, I lean back and sip a tea, I write a little and often I send metta (compassionate love). So yes, I am communing with some of you out there in a very similar way to how I would do it in my own lounge room....BUT my little one does not witness this exchange...she does not see mama engaging with you. And what if when she is older (and allows me to go on line) she does see me engaging with you in this way....what message am I sending her about friendships and connections and computer screens???
I am somewhat of a recluse, yeah sure I see others from time to time but not so often and not on a deep level. My little one might see me once a week engage with someone other than my older daughter or my hubby but is that enough to teach her about community?
I believe it is so important to learn the art of engaging with others in a compassionate and aware way. To be there for others as a shoulder to cry on or as a friend to have a good belly laugh with. To share meals, ideas and most of all stories.

We are living in a very small town where there is a real shortage of mamas and their cubs.
We are leaving here soon...within a couple of months.
We are heading for Berlin.
I am going to be surrounded by people
By community?

I hope so!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I feel so frustrated...tonight I have spent a good couple of hours working on this blog and trying to connect up with a couple of other blogs that I love and still, after all this time and effort....nothing!
I feel so useless at times when it comes to anything technological, so old and outdated!
There are so many other things I could have been doing tonight...like working on my PhD for example!
Just shows me how desperate I am to connect and how important this community of like minded mums and bloggers are to me.

I am a recluse who needs people, needs women, needs a community...why is it so difficult to find, create and be?

Thankful anyway Thursdays

I have been away from home for the past week and that in itself has had its challenges.
Coming home, I bought with me the flu and my beautiful bub is coughing too for the first time.
The heat here in beautiful Queensland is over the top whilst I have this fever.
The wet season ants are here even though the water isn't.
The fridge is empty...so is the purse
The energy level is soooo low
And my hubby is still working away

But I am thankful anyway as I sit on the floor and watch my eldest daughter of 19 playing so beautifully with my 13 month old.

I am thankful anyway as I lay on the bed and nurse my bub to sleep

AND I am VERY thankful as I pour myself a hot cup of tea, open a bar of Lindt chilli chocolate and sit on the couch

Thankyou universe for the small luxuries in life.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

traveling with continuum kids

Travelling with continuum kids
I am a woman who loves to roam the planet … smelling the different smells, tasting the different tastes and feeling all that is new and different to feel. I am also a mama who wants her children to experience freedom and who also wants them to develop self-confidence, kindness and generosity. So how does the traveller continue to travel when she is also a mama like me?
Yesterday I took a flight with my little sweetheart; leaving home at 9am and arriving at my destination 12 hours later. This 12 hours included long and restricting car rides, extended periods of time stuck in small and very unexciting airports and hours on small planes with mostly men (great for breast feeding!) and a very, very tired child.
Watching my 13 month old daughter as she navigated all the physical restrictions put upon her, (like limited spaces and seat belts) I developed an even deeper respect for her… her ability to be totally in the moment and to find freedom even in the most confined spaces just astounded me.
As for me, the woman who loves to roam… well she just wanted to go home!
This mama read the continuum concept for the first time over 19 years ago and with each child thereafter I have consciously parented with the continuum concept as my guide and friend. It has been and continues to be a beautiful and practical way for me to parent but yesterday as I watched my little sweetheart wriggling her way out of her seatbelt with a very loud voice and finding amusement by crawling into the tiny space under my seat and grabbing the gentleman’s feet behind me (much to his disgust and I must admit mine), I started to question just how the parenting methods from the depths of the Amazon can ever really be adapted to a life of roaming when the majority of people you come across when travelling by plane are not happy with a loud albeit happy child who likes to roam the isle, say hello as she passes and share the meal that you have been waiting for since you first found yourself in this squashed and super unnatural environment.
So many questions and a lot of confusion came to mind as I struggled with the obvious judgement I felt coming from the other passengers due to my apparently “whacky” parenting and the animosity that I faced in that very confined public space as I continued to allow my little one to deal with the restrictions and confinement she found herself in, in the most comfortable way she could.
Ok so I admit a lot of the issues are my own especially when it comes to being judged by others (I wonder where I got those issues from!) and I am happy to say I am working on that…but how to protect the little ones from developing those very issues themselves when sooner or later that glare or ugly stare from the ‘other’ turns away from me and turns toward my little one…How do we raise our kids along the lines of the continuum concept in a society where kids are still meant to be seen and not heard and where freedom and self confidence are not appreciated?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

sharing in cyber space

So I enter the world of blogging and I soon realize it is the same as moving into a new city or town. I feel slightly awkward and uncomfortable as I start my search for those women who I will share my stories with and who hopefully will share theirs with me. It takes me right back to those awful days in school when I was forced to eat lunch alone whilst the "cool" girls in their tight skirts with splits up the back sneer at me across the courtyard.
I wonder to myself if what I write will be good enough, interesting enough for the "cool" bloggers out there and when I notice there are next to no comments on my posts I start to convince myself that I am still that young outcast, who sits alone, an outcast, a nobody!
Then, after spending some moments in that weird and somewhat confronting time warp I remember that I am 41 not 14 and I convince myself that I no longer need to be one of the "cool" gang! But still, I am wanting to connect and share...
I read other blogs and feel so inspired; I can see how this world of blogging can really provide the community I have been searching for...
I see it as a beginning for me and the possibilities just blow me away!

How was September?

September for me was quite a month...I lost a baby and cried a river. I developed the strength of a mountain and remembered I could write. I found the academic in me and I opened my heart to life.
I found the world of blogging...I found women to share stories with.

Thanks to Holistic mama for this!

A thought
I remembered why I married him

A sound
my angel laughing as she dances and sings along

A taste
that first cuppa in the morning at 6am

An image
My angle sleeping

A scent
the smell of blood...as I lose my baby

A word
happy birthday to my one year old and my 19 year old

A touch
meeting him again after three weeks apart

A gift for me
moments of meditation

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mothers who leave - part one

I met a beautiful woman recently. She crossed my path for only a few brief moments but in those moments I realised I had met a kindred spirit. …

We all have things that we do, consciously or not that may cause pain to another or to ourselves … things that mark us. Sometimes we are marked deeply like a line carved in rock with a nail and a hammer, a mark that may take years to change and at other times the mark we make is lighter like a line drawn in the sand; there one moment, gone the next.

Those lighter marks may make us feel uncomfortable for a few moments or even a few hours, but they disappear soon enough and they are quickly and quietly forgotten. However, those lines carved in rock do something to us on a deeper level. They lay in waiting like sleeping volcanoes in the depths of the mind, ready to erupt at any given moment. Sometimes they are carved so deep that even on our death bed as we are taking our final breath, those deep carvings rush to the surface like burning lava and we die drowning in guilt, sadness and pain.

In our daily lives, if left unattended, slowly but surely those deep marks gradually take little pieces of our “self” away. Robbing us of our freedom, our laughter and our creativity. The process is like a disease creeping through our life force slowly killing off fragments of our deepest self as it goes.

I for one know that I have these very deep marks … many of us do, but over the years I have been working hard to ensure that I do not consciously add to these marks, making them deeper. This is a challenge when the pain in your heart is so intense that you think it will burst and when every time you open your eyes to a new day guilt floods into your depths along with every drop of sunlight.

There are few things I think that really make a woman feel like this day in and day out; I would say when a woman loses her child she would feel this way, or when a woman cannot protect her child from harm she would feel this way and believe it or not the woman who turns away and leaves her child behind no matter how valid the reason, well she also feels this way ... how do I know?

Because I am her and that beautiful woman I met recently, well she is “her” too and for a few brief moments when our paths crossed and we quickly and quietly shared our story I was reminded that I am not alone, that I am not a “bad” mother and that I have a story to tell.

I will tell it … I just need more time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The beginning of my journey

Some time ago I found myself sitting in a classroom as a mature aged student with a whole bunch of other women ready for a new beginning. It was a women's studies unit for my degree in anthropology and it was nothing like I had ever imagined!
We were a motley crew from here there and everywhere...we were all so different; from different places with different histories and with so many different stories to tell. It was in this small classroom with these women that were unknown to me, that I developed my passion for difference and my love for women's stories.
During those precious 13 weeks I began to understand the need for creating a safe space...a space where we could be the narrators of our stories and where we were listened to with honesty and without judgement. Over the years I have remembered stories and the women they belong to, I have collected them like the precious gems they are and stored them away in the safest of places. As women of the globe our stories are so very precious and so extremely worth sharing...
Yes we are all different and I treasure that but there is a sameness in us too; we all come from mothers, many of us are mothers ourselves...we all bleed, we all cry and we all laugh that deep belly laugh when we are with other women and when we can remove our masks and return to ourselves.
My journey is about continually returning "home", it is not always an easy one but it is those bumps in the road and the women (and sometimes men) I meet on the way and things we share and those we don't that make my return worthwhile and my story so unique.