Tuesday, March 31, 2009

on the eve

tomorrow i turn 25. i'm definitely not 21 anymore. in saying that i do like the number twenty-five. i like the way it sounds, i like the way it looks.

most importantly i like the way it feels.

i'm approaching 25 with a spring in my step and a strawberry in my hand. I feel more comfortable and more content in my skin that i have ever felt before.

on this birthday i will celebrate with my boys. the one i fell in love with shortly after the above photo was taken. and the precious little munchkin we made together. there will be a special breakfast with friends and dinner with family. and a saturday night date with d. there will be chocolate too. perhaps some fresh blooms and a ribbon or two.

i will miss a few girls though. those crazy girls who have been there on the last six birthdays. the ones who always dress-up and have fun. who make me laugh. a few are busy in Sydney and the others are under the cherry blossoms in Japan. Yes girls, have a sake for me.

i love birthdays.


bhakti is a sanskrit word meaning devotion or love

In the growing, birthing and raising of our children we are challenged and we surrender.

We devote ourselves to these little beings that came from within us.

In this devotion we find meaning. And from meaning we find power.

The deep, everlasting power of a mother. Revealing her instinctual desires and her own truth.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

where do the days go?

I disappeared for a while, I know. The last week or so has been hectic. Ché's Ommi went to Bali to assist Shiva Rea in a teaching workshop and I got to look after the studio. Yes I was jealous about missing out on Bali but it was the perfect opportunity for me to expand my own teaching journey. Ten classes later and I'm feeling exhausted but equally as inspired.

It feels good and it feels right - to share yoga with others. While I've happily come to that conclusion in the past week I felt that comforting buzz of inspiration and excitement when I opened the SMH this morning. The Sydney Writer's Festival program has been announced and I'm itching to get down to the wharves to hear all of those wonderful writers speak their words. I have fond memories of sitting on Pier 2 and soaking up the winter sun before yet another amazing lecture. I went every year when I was at Uni. I adore the smell of fresh coffee combined with just-printed-paperbacks. Every year I returned home with a bag of new novels - even though I worked in a bookshop at the time. The sweetest nostalgia. I'm longing for a day at the festival - I hope it eventuates.

I've always been one of those people that likes to have something to look forward to. Something to work towards. Yoga and motherhood have been the greatest teachers - allowing me to stay in the present, in the now. While I can dream of mingling with writers and word-folk in May it's hard not to be wrapped up in my day-to-day life. Because I'm so happy at the moment. Ché is 18-months this week and his quirky little character is shining through. In the last few days he's learnt the subtle art of eskimo kissing and after rubbing noses he pulls me towards him and pats me on the back. It makes my day - everytime.

Our autumn is proving to be a special one. Cool nights and the sunniest days where basking in the warmth seems like the most important thing on the agenda. The light and the air are beautiful. I'm enjoying the colours too. And I've added something new to my visualisations when I'm teaching - 'autumn leaves falling from the tree'. Go on, think about it. It makes you feel good, doesn't it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

my days have been sweet

...with peek-a-boo, fruit bowl antics and the bliss of autumn sunshine. That last pic is my shadow and my dad's new shed. He made it out of recycled materials. My favourite part is the little medicine bottle on the windowsill.

Monday, March 16, 2009

i've been thinking

and so has he.

But while he's probably daydreaming about why his belly-button exists I've been thinking about all the comments on my birth post.

Thank you so much beautiful mothers. For sharing your birth experiences in this space. I expected more criticism but I was so utterly overwhelmed by the passion in your voices. How wonderful it is that you all want to share.

The language of birth is so powerful. I'll note here that becka a doula from Vancouver, Canada suggests we refer to cesareans as cesarean births. Using the phrase c-section makes it entirely medical and we should acknowledge that it is still a birth expereince for the mother and her child.

While the language of birthing remains fearful in many circles it is inspiring to know that there are women all over the world willing to share their sacred stories. However, I do believe that one of the major obstacles in changing this society of fear is silence.

I remember when Ché was only a few weeks old and I was in a room of new mothers at a local child health clinic. I was the only one who had a positive birth experience. And I didn't share my story because I didn't want to offend anyone. Because I didn't want the mothers who had a cesarean birth to feel like they had failed. And I didn't want the mothers who had agonising and fear-driven vaginal births to look at me like I was loopy. I was silenced because I didn't want to come across as the hippy-yoga-mum who loved her birth. Who felt like she could stand on the tallest mountain and confess her pride to everyone below.

Yes I roared throughout my labour. I opened my lungs, my mouth, my heart, my pelvis and my vagina and I didn't do it quietly. But it took me months after Ché's arrival to feel it was ok to share my story with women who didn't have the same experience. When I started teaching again I really felt that I was in the perfect position to change perceptions of birth. And that was when I really opened up and shared every moment of my journey.

It wasn't long after that I connected with pregnant women on an entirely different level. Where I could gently guide them through their pregnancy and encourage them to wrap their arms tight around labour - to embrace that wonderful rhythm and push their baby out into this world. And it was then that I received phone calls and emails describing 'the best expereinces of their lives'. A few of my students refused cesareans they were so determined. One student was crying to me on the phone because after 2 hours of pushing she was wheeled down to theatre to prep her for an emergency cesear. Despite the 13 people in the room and the constant advice of 'don't push' from the medical team she held tight to her midwifes hand and pushed her beautiful 9.5pound baby into this world. Through tears she told me that she was just so proud of herself. Later she told be that the obstetrician had never seen anything like it before - the sheer determination and power of a woman in control of her birth experience.

When I heard her story I cried too.

I will never again be silenced about my birth experience. Nor will I be ashamed about my opinion and beliefs.

When I took Ché to his last check-up at the child health clinic - the same place that I sat in silence 17 months ago, the early childhood nurse said to me: "I have to tell you Jodi. I have never in all my career seen so many happy mothers and so many calm and settled babies." At that point I wasn't really sure what she was referring to.

"...they all went to your yoga classes in their pregnancy. You're doing a great job."

I blushed. But it was then that I knew that all those positive stories were slowly but surely sinking in. Women were beginning to share, listen and experience for themselves. Just as it should be.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

it's all about the bike

Oh radio flyer. Love the primary colours and the fact that I can steer the bike while he rides. Without fail when we ride across a pedestrian crossing Ché will ring the bell. He's down with all the other bikies too - and the skateboarders. Even if they're 14. Skateboards scare me so I'm staying well clear of them for now.

We've had some pretty exciting op-shop trips lately too. Wooden puzzles, new shoes and these automobiles, handcrafted by a local wood turning group. Aren't they gorgeous. I picked up a big wooden lorry too. Daniel and I are planning to paint it and fill it with little wooden people. We'll tie a big bow on it and give it to Ché for his second birthday. I'm thinking a yellow lorry might make his heart go all a flutter. Mine sure skipped a beat when I saw a whole tub full of wooden trucks and cars. For all you local girls head to the Vinnies opposite Fountain Plaza at Erina. I left you some x

Saturday, March 7, 2009

slightly chaotic

my life has been these past few weeks. Chaotic in a mind-frazzling way. Because I've felt a bit of weight on my shoulders from the deadline and my ears have been getting tired at the sounds of constant screaming and sobbing due to this. Combine the deadline and clingy bub together and there I have a pretty good explanation as to why journalism and mothering don't always mix.

Thank-you so much for all your comments re. my professional writing work. So sweet of you to care and offer advice. And it's so nice to know that there are a few more journalists/mothers/bloggers out there too.

Did I come to a conclusion? Well, no. Last week I was in the midst of writing for a big project that had a looming deadline and I couldn't pull out. So I let the washing and the dishes and the bed making and the whole house go while I typed frantically in the few spare hours when Ché slept. Amongst the stress and the tension I managed to complete the task and get positive feedback from my editor. I remembered how good it feels to complete a piece of writing and to 'hand it in'. It's also rewarding to see my name in print - but this job I've been offered means I'll be writing as a ghost most of the time (ie. writing under another name or writing for a company).

Sometimes it's hard to send your art into the world and not have your name on the tag.

It's also amazed me in the past few weeks how deeply connected I feel to Ché at the moment. Perhaps because he has reached another level of understanding where he talks and points and listens...I have trouble being away from him. He's such a joy to be around and I don't want to miss out on anything. And I know that this writing job will require my full attention. And I'm not sure I can give it that right now.

I'm still juggling the pros and cons in my head while listening to everything that Daniel has to say too. He always says the right thing - even if, at the time, I don't want to hear it. He's my realist, my perfectionist. He's a do-er and I'm a dreamer and together we're pretty good. I'm so thankful that he goes off to work each day so that I can be a stay-at-home-mum. I really am. I'm even more thankful when he walks in the door each afternoon and the three of us are together again.

And then I forget about the chaos and settle in to the comfiness of our family and I remember what a good number 3 really is. It's better than any sentence I've ever written - that's for sure.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

hello autumn

how nice that you arrived so promptly.
we woke this morning to crisp air and blue sky.
and we knew, yes we knew that the seasons they were a changing.
that we'd soon have socks on our feet and soup on the stove.
the leaves will change, the clocks will change
and our world will be coloured in amber and ochre and rust.
good colours we think.
we like watching leaves fall from autumn trees.