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 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 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 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 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 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.