Monday, May 31, 2010

kale blooms

There have been two days of sunshine in the last fortnight. The rain is refusing to leave - the ground is soggy, the leaves all squelchy and the bright lush green of moss can be seen growing on most things - including the trunk of the tree outside our dining room window.

Daniel and I celebrated our four-year anniversary on the weekend and we ventured out to beautiful Pearl Beach to have dinner here. I'm not sure if I'm uncivilised by thinking/saying this but what ever happened to good old simple food - cooked well and with love (there was a glossary at the back of the menu - goodness gracious). I ordered a roast lamb with vegetables and when I'd finished it I was quite convinced I could cook better roast vegies than what I was given. I hate that. I hate that you go to dinner, spend a small fortune, get interrupted by waitresses (I counted 12 times!?) and end up completely unsatisfied. Needless to say it was nice to spend the evening with my love and the organic eggs on pumpkin bread toast the following night made up for the roast. Now that says it all.

We were given a gorgeous card from my mum (she bought it three years ago and was saving it for the perfect occasion) and kale blooms from Daniel's mum. Macro photography is made so much easier by a little tripod with bendy legs - I adore the detail in these flowers - the veins, jagged edges and gentle folds. I'm all for detail at the moment. Beauty in the little things.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

random grey goodness

The grey of winter has rolled in exacerbating the grey/blue light of our home. It's cold and a little gloomy although surprise post always seems to brighten the mood. Sweet aura joon gifted me one of her gorgeous peace bags and since it arrived late last week I have used it everyday. She's a special one that aura, thoughtful and beautiful and totally inspiring. Her bag creation is a gem too - the perfect size, handmade with love and decorated with this:

p e a c e
it does not mean to be in a place where
there is no trouble, noise or hard work.
it means to be in the midst of these things
& still feel
c a l m i n y o u r h e a r t

Sigh. She's clever with her camera too - see postcard in photo two.

I'm a bit of a bag lady and must admit I travel like Mary Poppins - without the lampshade. I carry so much stuff with me but somehow I always feel that it's necessary. Wallet, phone, diary, notepad, pen, nappies, nappy wipes, water bottles, snacks, tissues, Aesop handcream (where would I be without it?), paw paw cream, novel, magazine, camera. I always find it particularly interesting to know what people carry with them every day. What's in your bag?

Other news: I baked oat & raisin cookies today and wrapped them in baking paper, tied with a bow. My fridge is full of fresh goodness, including these three beautiful eggs from Mama and Popa's chooks. I'm reading Brenda Walker's Reading by Moonlight: How Books Saved a Life and it's so good that I have to put it down every so often to make sure I don't finish it too quickly. She is the most eloquent writer I have come across in a long long time.

Lastly I stumbled across the rather new the wool maker and I immediately fell in love with its beauty and simplicity. One to bookmark.

I hope your Monday was good. And if your Monday is just beginning, I hope it turns out colourful.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

as autumn ends

The last few days have been wet and cold and while there are still golden hues attached to the branches it will only take a few more wisps of wind for them to fall. I said to Daniel not long ago that I sometimes long to live in a place that has definite seasons - sun in summer, snow in winter. Fresh blooms in spring and an entire town of red/orange/yellow trees. That desire only came about after I had Che...I think it may have something to do with the story books we read...they all follow the seasons and perhaps in retrospect I longed for the magic of snow in my own childhood.

We live on a street lined with liquid ambers and the allure of autumn is something I look forward to each year. While watching Che run over leaves a few days ago, listening to the crunch of them underfoot, I was taken back to this very time last year, when he started to walk. How much difference a year makes. The words are flowing from his mouth in the most perfectly formed sentences and Daniel and I sit in awe at the little person before us. While I am delighted by his exuberance and quirk I can't help but feel a certain sadness that his is growing up. I'm sure this is shared by mothers the world over - that desire to just stop the getting so big, even for a day. It's been the first time since I weaned him (at 23 months) that I missed it. Missed that connection, missed that dependence, missed the chance to just be while he fed.

And yet after the challenge and disruption of the past month we have reached the calm and I am so grateful. Our lives have settled into a rhythm again and while he may keep growing - leaving the baby and moving into childhood - I'm thankful that I have the opportunity and the space to witness it. Every single day.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

raindrops keep falling

I'm fast learning that just because it's wet outside it doesn't mean we have to stay in. I read somewhere recently that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. And so I rugged him up (he looked a little fatter as a result) and he wore for the first time his superbly wonderful star raincoat (it's cotton lined so provides warmth too). He splashed and frolicked and I followed behind dodging the puddle spray. And then he said something to me that absolutely made my day.

"Mum," he said.
"...the sun has gone away."

I suppose it's just the beginning of his ponderings and wonderings.

By the way, I think stormy fishing villages are incredibly romantic. Annie Proulx' The Shipping News is a fabulous read and I feel like indulging myself in a fishing village novel right about now. Any suggestions?

And speaking of novels, a friend of mine has been writing a novel for eight years and a large Australian publisher has just bought it. I'm so excited for her...and inspired too.

P.S. The raincoat is by Penny Scallan. The girls version is gorgeous too (covered in apples)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

snip, chop, cut (+ giveaway)

Sir Lancelot is no more. The bird's nest of golden locks (dreadlocks most of the time) fell to the floor and in it's place is a pixie-do that requires little brushing (and even littler tantrums).

Every time I headed for the hairdresser he would have both hands on his head declaring: "NO haircut!" And so with me, it never happened. But yesterday, while I was teaching a birth workshop, Mama braved the two-year-old defiance and took him along to the local hairdressers and of course, he sat quietly, and watched each piece gracefully drop to the floor. Apparently the in-house DVD player showed regular cartoons so the little one was happy.

Yogaways' third "Pregnant and Prepared" workshop was a success with seven couples participating in an engaging discussion. The day involves a yoga class and positions for birthing as well as the language, sound and breath of birth. It's always quite light hearted (you have to keep it light when you're talking about the cervix, vagina and the primal roars of a birthing woman - otherwise the men would run screaming). It's a beautiful space to be in and to look into the faces of mums and dads-to-be with all their fear, excitement and hope is an honour. We invited a couple from one of our past workshops to bring their newbie along and discuss their birth day and it was such a blessing to hear the recount of their 'enjoyable and emotional' experience. The language we use prepares couples for the reality of birth - the birth that is hard work, challenging, confronting, primal, beautiful and empowering. All those wonderful things.

Every couple receive, along with other gifts, a Yoga Nidra CD specifically for pregnancy. A few months ago I went into a recording studio and recorded two half-hour sessions. Half-an-hour of yoga nidra is equivalent to 3-4hours of sleep (music to the ears of a tired pregnant woman). I'm going to start selling them online, after I work out the best way to do that. But to celebrate my first CD I'm offering a give-away. Leave a comment to go in the draw to win a copy (and if you're not pregnant, it could make a beautiful gift!). Entries close one week from today. Good Luck.

Pregnant and Prepared workshops run on the following Sundays: June 20th, July 25th, September 12th & 7th November. Bookings are essential. Read more about the day here

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

remedy, ambition and contradiction

We've been cooped up at home with a cold. All three of us are snuffly and coughing and generally miserable. Although it's very autumny and crisp the sun is still bright and welcoming and there have been some lovely warming moments spent on the balcony (all rugged up with a cup of tea in hand). Remedies have come in the form of lemon & honey tea, reading Vogue and the following delicious treats:

  • Macro organic crunchy peanut butter (without doubt the best)
  • freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • local mandarins
  • rice crackers/corn crackers/ryvitas with avocado, hummus and tomato
  • spelt sourdough pumpkin bread (common ground bakery)

The laptop has been open all day long, sitting on the table and I've been writing intermittently. It's a nice way to work actually. Typing in tune with spontaneous bursts of inspiration.

While reading the June issue of Vogue (gorgeous Samantha Harris graces the cover) I stumbled across an article by the fabulous Felicity Loughrey. "Relight My Fire" is about ambition and the loss of it as we age. Within the first paragraph Loughrey states that perhaps her ambition "...fell out with the placenta," (she's a mother of two). It sparked a plethora of thoughts, most in relation to my return to professional writing. It has interested me how many people have expressed their relief that I'm 'using my degree' or embarking on a 'professional journey' again. Because apparently teaching yoga isn't all that recognised in the big wide world of success. Sure it doesn't pay all the bills but it sure does make me a better person/partner/mother/writer.

After three-and-a-half years of living in the beautiful and very protected bubble of pregnancy and motherhood stepping back into the professional game has been daunting and nerve wracking. But it has also sparked my ambition in a way I never anticipated. I'm reading more articles, newspapers and magazines than I have in years. I'm inspired by the people I'm meeting and I've gained confidence in my ability to evoke emotion with words. But does this ambition allow me the time and energy to bake bread, grow a vegie garden and spend countless afternoons at the beach with Che? Theres no way I'll let it stop me being the mother I want to be...I've just got to find a way to make it all work together.

Contradiction is a good way of describing how I feel sometimes. Do you ever have that feeling? For instance, if someone was to ask me how I would describe myself as a mother I would say: "I'm an earth mother with a penchant for designer clothes." I love love love going into the city with some spending money and immersing myself in boutique shops - clothes, bags and T2. And yet there is no way I could live in a city (I've tried before and I found it utterly exhausting). Yoga has encouraged me to simplify and declutter but I'm still a long way off from living simply. I love the opportunity to spend a morning at a local cafe and yet sometimes I think it would be ideal to move far away into the country hillsides and live on a property.

Daniel and I have been watching past episodes of Grand Designs and the most inspiring building we've seen is the Woodman's Cottage in Sussex. It really made us think about how unnecessary all our stuff is and how one day, we would love to live simply and sustain-ably, in-tune with the environment. I just wish I could successfully stifle my deep yearning for new clothes. There-in lies the contradiction.

For now I'll sip my tea and write my dreams and perhaps one day soon, in this very space, you'll read of our leap of faith as we venture into the hillside (sounds romantic, doesn't it?) x

Sunday, May 2, 2010

the river, it flows by itself

Ever since Anna attended one of my birth workshops with her hubbie and full-belly in tow, we have enjoyed a constant conversation over email. Last week I sent her a quick reply and two of the four sentences went like this:

"I have had the most challenging morning with my determined toddler.
Will write a longer email soon."
Anna wrote me this morning and said she thought that because I never write about toddler craziness and antics she presumed they never happen in my house. And then she reminded me of this post I wrote. A post that I needed to read again.
While I reflect on the growth, joy and love in this space please don't ever think that it's all bliss and incense in my life. It's not and I don't ever expect it to be. The last few weeks have been particularly challenging because of the change recently mentioned. I've been a little nervous and stressed and I think it's infiltrated into our family life. At the same time Ché is gaining such wonderful independence and it was only today when I looked at the picture I took of him that it all made sense. Like I have been struggling with my role as muma, partner, yoga teacher, professional writer he is contemplating much bigger things. I'm sure, sub-consciously he is wondering whether he is a baby or a big boy. I can see it in this photo.
He is regularly explaining to me that he is a big boy and yet he's spending more time in our bed at night than he has in months. He wants to do everything himself and yet there are times when he wants nothing more than to be snuggled, cuddled and kissed.

It is human nature to always look forward; to plan, prepare, think about tomorrow. And yet the essence of yoga is to be in the present - right here, in the now. Yesterday in my pre-natal class there was one girl so close to birthing her baby and I could tell how challenged she was by time. "I'm counting down the days," she said. But she is only 38 weeks and perhaps, if her baby decides, she could be pregnant for another month. I reminded her of how precious it is to be one with her baby because once the cord is cut, the oness and wholeness is gone. I reminded her to find peace in her body, breath and baby. To find joy in the present. In today.

I have been getting quite stressed and upset by Ché's tantrums and determination and yet I think it's him just being overwhelmed by his world. I have noticed whenever we walk somewhere that I am thinking about the destination and he is consumed by the cracks in the pavement, the trail of ants in his wake, the pebbles under the tree. His world is the minutiae even though he calls himself a 'big boy'. I have to remember that.

I love this quote:

"Don't push the river, it flows by itself."
Thanks for all your well-wishes re. my new job. Result? It was exciting, inspiring and wonderful. I feel like I've fallen on my feet.