Sunday, January 31, 2010

it's monday...

I'm sipping mint water and working on an exciting project that involves so many beautiful women that I know. It's exciting, to be organising something I'm really passionate about. Something that I know will inspire and perhaps change journeys and perspectives.

Our little local beach side town is quiet again because the tourists have gone home and the children are back at school. I'm really appreciating the space and the quiet...the fact that we don't have to scramble for a square metre of sand. Daniel is home, Ché has a new toot toot and I'm enjoyably busy.

And all is good.

It's February already, our last month of summer.

It's hot and sunny and while living in the present is ideal I am looking forward to the ochre and the golden autumn days ahead.

Tell me...who are you, and what are you up to?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

book love (& friends)

Daniel remembers when he was little and he would fall asleep with a book open across his face - because he loved the scent of the pages. I read to Ché when he was in the womb and at our recent trip to the ashram, while reading to him before breakfast, we were joined by a couple of swamis who sat, quite happily, listening to Emily and Daisy. "I can't remember the last time I heard a mother read a book to her child," one man said. It was one of those moments I'll cherish and it really spoke wonders of the beauty and the preciousness of storytelling, of stories.

Daniel is in Melbourne for the week, drinking good coffee and watching the Australian Open. Ché and I spent an hour in our local bookshop today to quell the melancholy of 'Dada gone'. Perhaps that's a little dramatic but we are so so missing him. I worked in bookshops for 7 years and it is a job I miss. I loved knowing the insider goss on publication dates, new writers to watch, which books were becoming surprise bestsellers. I even started talking to a customer in the store today because I missed that interaction with strangers who had a passion for words (so many of the strangers I met in bookshops later became friends). I'm reading this at the moment (loving it) and picked up this today...I can't wait to start. Ché chose:

which is one of those books that will stay with us for years because of it's beautiful reminder:

"Hive, bee, wings, hum
Husk, cob, corn, yum!
Tomato blossom, fruit so red
All the world's a garden bed."


slightly less memorable but cute all the same.

After the shops we headed to the park where I sat happily reading while Che went up and down, up and down the slide, occasionally pointing out: "Mum, look, a boy!" The said boy was a little alarmed at Ché's enthusiasm but to me it was gorgeous. He loves his little, sweet friends and wants to have a playmate around daily. Perhaps a permanent new friend may come along sometime soon.

Speaking of friends, yesterday I was so honored to meet and teach Anna, her belly and her husband, Chris. They traveled up from Sydney to do a 3-hour private birth preparation class with me and it was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. That little bub of theirs will be welcomed into such open arms and loving hearts. Blessings Rummey Bears for your homebirth....I can't wait to hear about baby bear's arrival.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

today in the mail....

images courtesy of toast

i received a beautiful surprise.
the nairobi shopper from toast that i had been subtly pining over for months.
fair trade made in kenya and one of those bags that will do me till i'm 80.
and every time i carry it i'll be reminded of the sweet man who spoils me with love, kisses and
gorgeous gorgeous handbags.
Thanks baby....i love it. and you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

young love

ché ché and liviya on the front step.
He's got his truck and she's got her doll.

I always wonder how long these friendships will last.
I suppose all that's important is today...
the fact that they shared banana bread and walked hand-in-hand away from the cafe.

Just so sweet.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

monday summer pics

ready to party

for ommi's birthday

we lit sandalwood incense to keep the mozzies at bay...and then we indulged in baked ricotta, special cheeses, roast lemon and garlic chicken, delicious salads and an extra special chocolate cake with surprise strawberries inside. at the end of the night we were tired, full and happy. the essence of birthdays..........

Sunday, January 10, 2010

monday summer pics

dressing up in dada's clothes (hippie headband looks good on both my boys).
growing up too fast.
halfway through summer already.
enjoying the daze and reminding myself when I complain of the heat...
that I'm much cooler than my pre-natal students.
This year I promised I wouldn't whinge or complain as much as I used to.
So far it's been a very positive experience.
And makes for a much happier family.
Happy summer to you.

pregnant and prepared

Today Mardi (my MIL) and I facilitated our first "pregnant and prepared" couples workshop at the studio. It was such an honour to teach and gently guide six beautiful pregnant couples as they learnt about yoga positions for pregnancy and labour as well as the sound, breath and language of birthing. We encouraged them to connect with each other, to trust their bodies and to trust each other.

They were all so in love. In love with the belly, the baby, the whole process of growing new life and birthing as a family. Look at all those gorgeous Godesses...and all those doting dads-to-be. It was so inspiring to be among a new generation of parents - parents that are all interested in preparing together and birthing consciously. Some of the Dads were even asking me about co-sleeping, baby-wearing and a baby moon. They were all so open to learning, so willing to support their pregnant partners. It was a very beautiful space to be in...quite sacred.

Mardi and I will be running couples workshops for conscious birthing throughout 2010.
The dates are as follows: March 14th, May 16th, July 25th, Sept 12th and Nov 7th. The March workshop is almost full so if you're interested please let me know. We welcome you and your partner or birth support person. No yoga experience is necessary. Come with a pregnant belly and an open heart.

We provide a complete information booklet, journal, yoga nidra CD and a vegetarian feast for lunch.

Om shanti!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

sweet success

I just spent some time in the garden. The sun is hot and the earth is abundant with worms and bugs - good bugs. A sign that our garden is thriving. I dug out a whole bowl of potatoes, picked stalks of kale, about 50 beans, thyme and lemongrass. It is so incredibly rewarding to watch your plants grow, pick their fruit and then cook for your family. A few weeks ago I was running late for an evening class and the fridge was looking slightly bare. I ducked out the back for a few minutes and came back inside with dinner in my hands. Enough greens to combine with tinned tomatoes, garlic and pasta...a perfectly nutricious and comforting meal for my boys. Ahhh, it feels good.
So good that this weekend I'm extending the vegie patch...making more room for more life.

I was so happy to unwrap Stephanie's Kitchen Garden Companion on Christmas day. What a beautiful book! It's covered in linen and details how to grow, when to pick and how to cook fruit and vegetables. I flick through it at every available opportunity and am so pleased that Stephanie is slowly but surely encouraging hundred of schools across Australia to grow their own food. It's so important for children to know where their food comes from, to spark an interest of healthy living from a young age. Last week Ché was playing in the garden, a bean in one hand, an apple cucumber in the other. He was eating both at the same time. Happiness.
I am so joyous about this new year. So content with my family, my home, my life. It most definately feels good to be alive.

I've been perusing a few blogs in the past few days and I'm loving:
Sweet Lyra (she's even more beautiful in real life and she smells divine. She makes me very clucky)
Rach, Jo, Tara and Rach - all beautifully pregnant. Congratulations gorgeous Mumas.
Melissa's home made ceramic decoration
Leigh has a wonderful giveaway. Go see.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

chanting in the new year

When you live in an ashram you live simply. You rise with the sun to practice yoga, you eat delicious vegetarian meals that are prepared with time and love (you can taste it) and you spend your time moving slowly, with awareness. There is so much beauty in simplicity - mist rising out of the valley at sunrise, an om symbol etched into the ground. At present there are about 50 residents, mostly swamis (those that dedicate their life to spiritual work) living at the ashram permanently.

On New Years Eve there was 300 of us and we gathered at 7pm to begin chanting in the new year. It was also a chance to celebrate the life and teachings of Swami Satyananda, the founder of the Satyananda lineage of yoga, the guru of the ashram. On the 5th of December 2009 he phoned his disciples at 11.30pm and told them it was time for him to leave this world and that he would do so at midnight. A few minutes after midnight he was found sitting in lotus, his mala beads in his hands, a big smile on his face, he had attained mahasamadhi.

From 7pm till midnight we practiced kirtan (devotional chanting to music) and the continuous chanting of hari rama hari rama, hari krishna, hari hari. The energy lifted as the hours passed and at one point most people were up and dancing. Ché slept peacefully throughout most of the night, lulled by beautiful voices and warmth.

We woke early New Years Day to practice a havan, for the new year and the full moon. The rest of our time was spent quite peacefully, enjoying the quiet, the stillness and the space that has been so lovingly tended to.

Daniel first visited the ashram when he was eight and so it was special that three generations of our family were there to celebrate. I spend time at the ashram to remind myself of what is important in my life and how I want my family to live. I have the opportunity to reconnect with my practice that, since motherhood, has taken a slightly different path. The ashram runs to the same rhythm each day and so it works so beautifully with everything we have learned at Steiner playgroup - how families move smoothly through their day when a rhythm is observed and followed.

What was most interesting about our time away was Ché. He was last at the ashram when he was in my womb and I told him that we were going on a little holiday - not once did I mention 'yoga' or 'chanting'. On the drive there he started chanting om in his seat. A few nights before we left we woke to him saying 'buddha' in his bedroom. Daniel went and got him and brought him into us. He was awake and sat in bed pointing outside the door and he said (and waved) "Hello Buddha". The next morning I asked him about it. He told me he saw buddha, that buddha was smiling and that he was turning in a circle. Take it with a grain of salt but I do believe that children are so much more open than we are. I'd rather him see Buddha than the Boogey Man, any night. hehe.