Sunday, August 31, 2008

30 days of gratitude - September's child

"September's child is a faithful friend,
like the shore that waits at the journey's end.
You are sure of yourself as you strive toward your goal.
You inspire us with your loyal soul."

I watch.
I discover.
I voice.
I vow.
I challenge.
I am blessed.
I quest.
I allow.

My little boy is a September child.

These words were taken from the wonderful January's Child - The Birthday Month Book

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Yoga on Sundays :: Simplicity = Happiness

On the eve of Spring a few things come to mind...sunshine, blooms, Spring cleaning. A chance to declutter, detox and simplify while basking in the warmth I have so missed this winter.

I see it as the perfect opportunity to demonstrate why simplicity brings with it happiness and contentment. I have always loved being surrounded by beautiful things and I am a self-confessed hoarder. But since beginning my yoga practice I have noticed a desire to clear space in our home. To rid my life of uneccessary clutter and come to know beauty in the simple, the natural, the pre-loved - an etching in the ground, a shadow on the wall, a vintage blanket.

Simple living is not a new concept. In the 60s and 70s, free-loving hippies were attracted to simplicity for reasons such as ecological sustainability. Those on the spiritual path have done and still do live with very few possessions. By doing so they rid their lives of unnecessary distraction so they can focus on their journey towards enlightenment. Today, ordinary people are becoming more conscious of what they eat, what they buy and how they travel.

As we become more educated and more aware of how our living is affecting our world we are voluntarily leading simpler lives. In the seminal yoga text Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, 10 principles are outlined that are crucial to one's progress on the yogic path. One of these is aparigraha, often translated to 'greedlessness'. Keeping only what you need and wanting only what you need - a life with no desire of or attachment to 'things'. Resisting the temptation of materialism and embracing simplicity. Yes it's a beautiful theory but for most of us it is rather challenging to accomplish. But, of course, it can be done on a small scale and as with every aspect of yoga simply being aware of your actions is a form of 'yoga practice'.

If you are going to declutter your home make the new, cleared space purposeful. Create a reading corner, a sewing corner, a meditation space. Be sure the clutter will not return. Be more conscious of what you buy...ask yourself whether you really need it. Revel in the wonderful world of thrifting and handmade. Simplicity can easily provoke creativity, thought and focus. And be honest, ask yourself what truly makes you happy? A brand-new piece of clothing or the vintage gem you found for $5 at the second-hand store. Simplicity doesn't mean you have to stop buying new clothes. Instead take on the French attitude - only buy a few items that you love, love, love.

Simplicity is about discovering what you truly value. When you are surrounded by things that you love and that you value, you will be in happy in your space.

For the past few days I have been thinking about this post and each day I have asked myself what makes me happy. The list goes like this:

  • a cheeky grin
  • a cuddle
  • home-cooked meals
  • a cup of tea
  • picking flowers with my boys

...and it just so happens that each time I have glanced at the vase holding those freshly-picked blooms I have felt happy. Content.

It's the simple things, isn't it?

And often it's the simple things that we are most thankful for. I am so looking forward to September. There's much to be thankful for in the next 30 days. And so each day i will post a bit of gratitude - in pictures, words, or both. 30 days of gratitude. In September.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

clothkits giveaway

Allison recently mentioned the 70s British invention of clothkits. The greatest sewing creation a beginner sewer could hope for. A step-by-step guide complete with fabric - and the pattern is already printed onto the fabric. All you have to do is cut and sew to your appropriate size. And voila, a new folksy dress...just in time for the Friday night disco.

It was only a few days after reading about clothkits for the first time that I came across some in an op-shop - in their original packaging with everything included. I found myself a great kimono in the most gorgeous cotton so I will attempt to make it...a nice summery dressing-gown I thought. And I do love this dress pattern, the fabric is great too. But as we move towards spring and as I try to declutter and detox I only have to take one look at my wardrobe (joyfully full of summer dresses - both vintage and new) and I realise that I don't need another dress. I want this dress but I don't need it. So, I'm going to give it away.

All you have to do is leave a comment and you'll be in the running. If you really want it, link to me on your blog and I'll place your name in the hat twice. I'll draw the lucky ducky winner in the evening on September 2.


I suppose a baby's life is a series of firsts and this was his first with dirt, glorious dirt. He played joyously, grabbing a big handful from the pot and throwing it wildly over his shoulder. And then of course he ate it. I cringed, he screwed up his face and then forgot about the taste and continued to dig dig dig.

I was thinking of worms and seeds and soil and then I looked at his little hands so enjoying the texture, the patterns it made on the pavers, the dirty fingernails. And I started to relax and let him play happily, all the while reminding myself that it was the beginning of his love for and with nature.

Eat dirt and boost your immune system...sweet child of mine.

Monday, August 25, 2008

breakfast shadows

Such a cold, crisp morning it was. But the sun was shining bright and the shadows were wonderful. Today there is definitely the smell of spring in the air. Warmth please! I'm oh so looking forward to spring delights.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

yoga on sundays :: karma yoga

I started this blog to make sure traveling friends and overseas family could watch Ché grow. And then I found that while I was out walking or wandering around Woolworths I was thinking of photos and words to share on here. Writing this blog helped to lift me out of the post-birth fog and encouraged me to string words together again - into sentences (yes, my brain was a little hazy). And now, thankfully, I am writing professionally again.

I'm also teaching a few yoga classes a week at the studio and if anything it is the pleasure of sharing yoga with others that inspires me the most. I know that many of you who read this are stay-at-home-mums and I understand that your chances of attending a regular yoga class are pretty low. I know this because the last yoga class I attended as a student was a long time ago, not sure how long but I'll say 'a fair while'.

So it is here in this lovely space that each Sunday evening I will share a bit of my yoga knowledge with you. So you can read it on a Monday and take it with you for the rest of the week. Many yogis believe that if one person in the family practices yoga, the whole family is practicing yoga.

I must also tell you that yoga is not just a series of touch-your-toes-and-impersonate-a-pretzel postures. Yoga is an holistic way of life, a way of 'thinking, living, being' you could say. Although there might be a few times where I describe the benefits of a posture I am going to try to share the bits of information that I have found most helpful...the information I have learned from yogis and yoginis who have dedicated their lives to yoga.

And so I'll begin here...

Karma yoga is a branch of yoga commonly referred to as 'yoga in action'. It is yoga that promotes mindfulness, action performed with a meditative awareness. It is practiced for a set amount of time each day and no matter what you're doing you try to stay in the present moment without being attached to the outcome - you work faster and more effectively when you are focussed on the present moment. When I stay at the ashram (where I am studying), karma yoga is an essential part of everyday. The ashram could not function without it - just as my or your household couldn't function without cooking, cleaning, washing etc. And so, with the concept of karma yoga in mind I attribute it to my role as stay-at-home-mum.

How? I spend a set amount of time each day doing housework. I try to just do it, not to think about the outcome and not to become attached to the idea of a spotless home - because I accept the fact that child = spots (lots). Once I have spent the 90minutes or so cleaning and tidying I am left with a whole day - to spend time with Ché, bake, take photos and write. And I get to do all those things without feeling guilty about 'the housework'. I know that this mum gets to be so wonderfully creative because she doesn't consider a spotless home important. I know that I'm a better mum because I have decided what is most important to our lives and it's definitely not sparkling skirting boards (apparently they exist).

I encourage you to think about the concept of karma yoga sometime this week. Even 'thinking' about it is considered a form of yoga practice. I will keep these posts separate so just look for the "yoga on sundays" pic in the sidebar (special thanks to leni and rose for technical support).

And if you are feeling generous...on October 22nd at sunrise I will be practicing 108 sun salutations as part of the Yoga Aid Challenge. My chosen charity is the Save the Children fund. If you would like to donate please go here and click "donate" next to 'Jodi Wilson'.

Enjoy your karma yoga...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

the whale and the egg

This morning, on the front of The Daily Telegraph was a picture of an Aboriginal whale caller trying to soothe the orphaned whale, Colin.

While reading all the updates today I felt relieved that I didn't have to explain this heartbreaking story to Che. Because I knew he would ask me questions like: "...but why didn't his mum want him?" and I wouldn't have answers because that was the same question I was asking myself. Colin's body will be taken to Taronga Zoo for an autopsy to determine why he was abandoned.

It got me thinking about nature, about the cruel and the kind. I know that if Colin hadn't have started suckling boats he would never have been found by humans. And somewhere deep in the ocean, nature would have taken its course. Sad but true.

If Che was old enough to ask and listen I would have spent the day explaining. Perhaps we would have pondered together. Drawn whale pictures, listened to whale song.

And I think I would have reminded him about the beauty of balance. While it was unfortunate for Colin and sad for us all to see, obviously nature didn't intend for him a long life. But look at what nature provided us with yesterday - healthy chickens that give us fresh eggs. I know a whale and an egg are worlds apart but to a child they are both natural and wonderful things. And I think that's the best explanation I could have come up with.


...his cheeks. I kiss them at least 100 times a day. Scrumptious.

Little hands trying to find the petals amongst the grass. The concentration required is immense.
(note:: baby yogi in preparation for janu sirasana A - head to knee pose)

Freshly baked cookies (oatmeal and raisin) with a glass of milk.

Today I obviously put too much love in the cookies and not enough in the pasta. Because this is the little one eating vegemite toast for dinner.

and this is the pasta:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


In some moments of some days, and sometimes for an entire day I can feel weary. Tired. The kind of tiredness that needs chocolate and coffee. Today is one of those days and unfortunately the caffeine hasn't worked. But I can be grateful for the tiredness today because it has helped put things in to perspective. I am gushing with gratitude for the people and the things that make my journey as a muma smooth, relaxed and happy. Today I realised that I couldn't do it without them (mostly the people, sometimes the 'things').

1. Mr Smith. He is here all the time, even when he's not at home. He brings me back to earth when I'm in the clouds (not just my head, sometimes all of me is off in the ether). He reminds me what is important and what is not. He's intelligent, handsome and creative. There are times when I am in awe of his parenting...he does it so well. He sings the best songs and can be just as silly as a four-year-old on red cordial...he has never lost his inner child. He inspires and encourages me - constantly.

2. Grandparents. Perhaps they are the best people in the world because while they are guiding me as a Mum they also have the intuition to take a step back and let me find my own way. And they are always always there. With time, cuddles, patience, love, overwhelming pride and...home-made food. It makes me gush with happiness when I see Che cuddle into Mama or Ommi in a simple display of trust - he feels safe with them and with Grandad.

3. Aunties: lovely girlfriend's of mine who dote on Che and make me laugh.

4. A slow cooker. I love knowing that when dinner time comes around, dinner will be ready and all I'll have to do is eat. And it will be yummy. Very yummy

5. Stand-up dustpan and broom. So easy to do a quick sweep under Che's chair. If I don't? I'll find him under the table eating the leftovers from lunch. Also makes a great toy.

6. This colourful (sometimes stripy) creature;

He was so content when he was growing in my belly, he birthed easily and calmly, and he makes every day easy because he takes the time to just sit back and watch the world go by. A lesson for all of us.

So many people have said to me: "...he's been here before". And the more I get to know him, the more I believe that this is true.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

dancing by the sea

Apparently I looked like Jemima from Play School in my dress. Che loved his vintage cord waistcoat and told me he'd like to wear it every second day until it fits him no more. I said that is fine because the best thing about it is that it's reversible. And on the other side is fabric covered in turtles. Perfect really.

In the background of this photo are just a couple of the many coal ships lining up to get into port. I've seen about 10 on the horizon at times. At night when they're lit up they look a bit magic.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

good omens

I think dolphins in the ocean and rainbows in the sky are possibly the best omens for a couple on their wedding day. Blessings to you both x

Friday, August 15, 2008

visiting family

In realising how quickly my little one is growing up I have become a bit concerned about time. This concern was emphasised today when my cousin arrived from New Zealand. He's 11 now and I clearly remember flying to Wellington to meet him when he was three months old. It felt like only a couple of years ago. And today he held my baby. Perhaps it was even scarier for his parents, because I was the two-year-old flower girl at their wedding. Tomorrow we travel north to attend a family wedding. And at the wedding there will be four generations of one family. So many reasons to celebrate.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

more sweet memories

Just over one year ago I looked like this;

...and what a miracle it is that a big belly = a new baby, so precious;

we danced by the water...

...and when he was three-months-old he wore mala beads around his neck and we blessed him with the ocean

and with earth from Grandad's garden;

and some days we lay in bed and just spent time being a little family. As we continue to do.

Sweet memories. Today Ché pulled himself up to standing and while leaning on a basket stepped one foot in front of the other. I think they call it walking.

Friday, August 8, 2008


One afternoon, in the fog of early motherhood, shortly after my babymoon, we went down to the water.

And Daniel caught this moment. A moment, that to me, best describes what it is like to be a Mum.

Oh those lips. My Baby Ché and me.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


A while back Che decided that he wanted to snooze in our bed, snug between us all through the night. He was unsettled in his cot and I was exhausted from getting up to him. So for a few months he has been sleeping in our bed and we have felt so privileged to have him there. It was so nice to go to bed and cuddle with our baby boy. But some things only last so long and last week I noticed that Che needed more room. He had a few unsettled nights, feeding frequently and generally not 'happy' when he woke in the morning.

I thought perhaps he had reached the stage where he wanted his own space to sleep. I thought it was going to be difficult to get him back into the routine of sleeping in his cot. But the last few nights after cuddles, a story and some milk he has drifted off to sleep in his cot and slept through the night. We play a lullaby rendition of The Eagles to help him relax. Daniel thinks it's a bit strange that Che falls to sleep listening to 'Tequila Sunrise' but I suppose it's just the result of having an 60s rocker as your Grandad.

I truly believe that each family has to find their own way, find their own balance. Months ago we could have kept him in his cot and ignored his obvious need to be close to us. We could have listened to the beliefs of so many people around us who seemed so horrified by the idea of co-sleeping. Instead we enjoyed night after night of peaceful sleep as a family. And we continue to enjoy a beautiful full sleep again. We all feel happy. We all feel balanced.

Me...I find so much comfort in finding my own way as a Mum. Che sleeping through the night feels like I have reached another phase of Mothering. Knowing this has made me realise that intuitive parenting is the best way for me. To listen to my little one and do what I believe is best for him. Balance can also be found in beautiful Japanese tea cups...even better if they're full of tea. Especially this.

Monday, August 4, 2008

pillow love

I found these gorgeous little pillows and I decided that I must have them...soft little reminders that simplicity is definitely beautiful. Shanna Murray transfers her lovely sketches onto fabric and sends them across the oceans to people's homes. And the gorgeous little card she accompanies with the package comes as a nice surprise. I especially love the dandelion's nice to wake up, roll over and read my on my pillow: anything is possible

Che loved the box too