It has been so very long since I sat to write….
And my time is preciously limited!
Our little one sleeps,
Resting next door.
His sweet breath rises
His innocent face an ocean of potential.
Did I mention I am in Love?
I’ve known him for 10 months
And 8 1/2 months
Relatively, it is a short time.
Yet ours is one of the most intimate relationships
I have ever encountered.
Born naturally, at home,
He entered this world on our living room floor,
Not the birth pool as I had thought.
Through the gap between my legs,
Ross, my beloved, passed him to me.
In my eyes, I saw him glowing gold.
A vision which leaves me in awe to this day.
An aura I still see around him.
As I was taking him in,
He was taken away.
Struggling to gasp his first breath,
He was rushed to hospital.
I lay motionless on the floor,
Nothing left in me but the image of our son,
Something kept me from panic.
Perhaps it was exhaustion following a long birthing.
Perhaps it was the deep inner feelings of trust,
The whisperings and holding I somehow sensed around me,
That told me
He was going to be OK.
He is OK.
Five hours later,
Following my own journey in hospital,
I welcomed our son again,
Into my arms,
Into this world.
I stayed with him
In the special care unit of Torbay hospital,
Six more days.
I took him out of the incubator and held him close and,
When I could,
I slept with him next to me,
In the hospital bed….
I still sleep with him next to me in our bed.
We, our little family of three,
Ross, Óran and I.
We spend our nights together…
Sometimes restful, sometimes not so.
We know each other day and night and
I celebrate all the parts of our son
I get to know through being with him in this way.
We have no special ‘baby things.’
It’s just us,
A few wooden toys,
A HUGE bed,
The sling and
A whole lot of Love.
Parenting at our own pace.
Parenting with presence.
Parenting with support.
Parenting with a sustainable focus.
Parenting with integrity.
These are my commitments to our dear son.
These qualities also must be my commitments to myself,
Becoming a parent has exposed a whole new world
To my innocent eyes.
My movement, yoga, singing & creative practices
Feel, now, like such
As Óran grows,
Spaces open and I can find time to
Explore the inner realms of me,
To stretch out my aching muscles,
To feed my soul.
Movement can be play that Óran and I share…
I try to “practice contemplative movement” while
He giggles and crawls all over me,
Offering me wet, open mouthed kisses and
Planting his face into mine.
I wrap him up in me
Let him go when his curiosity catches him.
I find presence in the
awareness of a few simple breaths
When I am up in the wee small hours of
The morning, feeding him.
I breathe into compassion;
Towards myself when I am exhausted and when
I feel I have nothing left;
When Ross is tired after a day of working;
When Óran moans as the little stubs of his teeth
Peek through his achy gums.
I try to slow down when
I start to feel myself getting carried upon
A wave of the fast paced society I am a part of.
I do not want to model this to our son.
I have not witnessed it create health and well being…
I would like to be part of a different reality.
It starts with me.
It starts with our family.
How we parent is a political and social statement.
It is not one we are trying hard to make to prove something to the world.
It is one that feels right,
That feels aligned with
Our natural selves.
Parenting asks me to look more deeply into myself.
It helps me realise how important genuine communication is.
Between Ross and I.
Between ourselves and grandparents, extended family and friends.
It asks me to live more authentically,
Even closer to my Self than I was before.
And as a woman who has found ‘safety’ in my independence,
It is truly asking me to appreciate
That support on this journey is so important.
That reaching out and asking for help
Is a strength and
That, in raising a child, it
Take a village.
I hope, in the not too distant future, to explore and share more deeply the values I have mentioned. Parenting has highlighted them to me and asked me to embed them deeper into my own way of being. Challenges arise on this journey and myself and Ross do the best we are able to with the history and conditioning that we contain. If ever the mirror were being held up for us to see ourselves more intimately, it is now.
As I can feel the birthing of our baby draw closer, I have been contemplating how I can best serve myself, this little one and our family as I move through this transition and journey into mamahood.
I have decided to deactivate my Facebook account for now.
I have been feeling unsatisfied with the connections I have through social media for a while now and feeling a deep desire to create and foster more intimate connections. I would love to connect more with people in my local area as well as deepen the connections I have with my dear friends. I do not feel Facebook offers me a platform for this. I am often left feeling deflated, even alone.
I notice how I know so much about what is going on in someone’s life but I rarely ever actually connect with them – face to face, skin to skin, person to person, heart to heart. I feel sad about this. It’s not what I had imagined the forms of my relating to be.
I am also looking to reduce screen time as I do not want our child to create a connection with a screen. I know how addictive this can be for us as adults so, when I consider the impact of screen time on a child, I notice concern.
I realise so much that the intimacy, support and nourishment that I would like our child to receive is much of what I need to give to myself. I need to live by my own inner integrity and this, in and of itself, can offer (I hope) clear and loving modelling for our child, as well as giving them permission to fully be who they are.
I feel a bit afraid of the “connections” I may lose in stepping away from social media. I have spent most of my adult life living abroad and have created connections with people who live far from my home base. I love seeing how you all are and what you are up to. I hold so many of you in my heart and the usual feelings of grief and fear upon letting go come up.
However, I do also feel, that if we are to truly connect we will find other ways of doing so that are more gratifying, more nourishing, more authentic. I hear the voices in my head about losing touch with people, events and work if I step away… and, yet, it feels like the right thing to do, especially now.
I am not saying this will be forever, nor am I attempting to reduce the value of social media for anyone. This is simply what is true for me, right now.
When I begin facilitating again, I may choose to step back in. I may not. Like any relationship that doesn’t feel fulfilling and can’t be resolved through direct contact, I am needing to take space from my relationship with social media, either to reform it or to let it go.
So, how will I do this? Part of me feels awkward that breaking away from facebook feels a bit like the ending of a relationship. I cringe a bit at that!! It is a relationship, albeit a non-human one that involves humans!! And, in a way, the truth is some connections will dissolve away.
Well, I’d like to do this consciously, gradually.
My plan is to wait until after I have given birth. I hope to post a photograph and a fare well message before I go, with this blog as pre-notice of my departure. This gives anyone time to be in touch if you wish to. So, this gives us about a month more Facebook contact time, depending on when the baby is born. It may be a good idea to get in the habit of contacting me via email as oppose to Facebook.
Ways to stay in touch:
- Professional wise (if you have been coming to classes or want to keep up to date about any offerings I may be making or blog musings): Please subscribe to my mailing list and follow my blog (there is an option to do this on my website in the right hand column of the pages). I will continue to blog from time to time (don’t expect to hear from me for a wee while after our little one is born!!). This way you can stay updated about anything I may offer at a professional level.
- I will be offering one-to-one skype sessions after about 6 months – 1 year, depending on the needs of our baby so do stay tuned about those.
- I will offer workshops in Scotland when I come to visit, likely in about a year, perhaps next summer.
- Personal Connections (friends, family): I will be looking to reduce the amount of time I am on a screen, as well as my mobile phone. We have a landline! Please text or email me and I will share my number with you and would love to stay in touch! It may be great to skype sometimes too. Likely for the first part of our baby’s life, our land line is best! I would LOVE to stay connected so if you don’t have my details please contact me so our friendship can continue and deepen.
I thank you all so much for your support and understanding and I look forward to the ways our relationships evolve, whether professional or personal.
I am also looking forward to having a bit more space in my life, in my body and out of my head; time to spend connecting with the natural world and sharing this with our baby; quality time in the company of people; quiet times; and times to celebrate in community. Generally slowing down, rooting in and connecting out in more authentic ways.
SO many blessings to you all and thank you for being part of this journey! All well wishes to those of you who I may not meet again. You have all touched me in some way.
Where does my body call to be moved?
In all these places;
Neck, shoulders, hips, spine.
Erratic stomps and swings.
Moments of pause,
Jaw, neck, shoulders,
Reaching up and
Slow me down!
Speed me up!
It’s all here.
It’s all here.
I just rediscovered this song that I wrote a couple of years ago.
My friend, Will Softmore, and I improvised with it one day back in 2014 and here is what emerged.
I had forgotten I had even written it!! I felt both sad and touched when I heard it. It reminded me that I have not been singing as much as I usually do in the last year and a half. Something occurred in my life about that long ago that knocked me into a kind of a silence and creative shut down and I am still, slowly, emerging from it. I didn’t even really notice it happening at the time. It was only after time that my heart began to lament a forgotten voice that loves to sing from the core of my heart. It was as if I had forgotten how.
Being pregnant has been a blessing in this way. I have been reminded of the healing power of expressing my voice and of music. I have felt called to sing to the growing baby in my womb and this has awoken this love in me once more.
I still feel trepidatious when I come to sing now. It touches me so deeply that, when I do, there is nowhere to hide. My heart literally breaks open and I am born naked to the world, seen in all my vulnerability. It scares me. I avoid it, still.
And yet, when I do allow myself to sing, to touch into those places in myself, I am moved into a different kind of silence. Not the kind of silence where I am keeping a lid on a wild array of emotion, grief as well as joy, within myself. Rather, one in which I become so deeply touched by the sense of connection to all living things, seen and unseen, so connected to myself.
I am moved into wonder, awe and spaciousness. Even my grief can transform. First it is my own, then it becomes the grief of all things, then it can soften into a love which beholds space for all that is within me. The only thing I have to ‘do’ is turn towards it, allow it. There is great creative potential and beauty inside all emotion.
So, here I am. Remembering now. Remembering this resource that lives within me, beginning to feel the space again to go to this place that touches me so deeply. Honouring my near silence over the last while – a necessary protective wisdom that understands the art of timing. A renewed curiosity to explore this voice, this music once more.
I thought I would share it. It’s a live, improvised recording. It’s not meant to be perfect, just playful. Enjoy.
I met someone today who said to me he thought the ‘true yoga’ was
To be found in India.
As he spoke those words, something inside my body
Tightened and then softened into inquiry.
Hmmmmm, I thought,
I don’t know about that.
I have seen many a guru in India whom,
Despite their teaching being impressive,
Abuse their position of power and,
Therefore, they are not really living yoga….
I have witnessed as much ignorance as well as grace and wisdom
In many countries of the world,
In many cultures,
In many people…
Is this ‘true yoga’ confined to a feeling state –
One of peace, of bliss, of calm?
Is it confined to what is beautiful and good?
Or does it embrace all –
The life-death-life dance
We all dance?
Is it limited to a set of steps and stages along a
Fixed path to some distant goal
Or is it something so close we
Miss it by looking so far?
Could it be unlimited, ever emerging presence?
Can it be defined?
Does it even have to be called ‘Yoga’?
After some time, some movement, some
I can only ponder that the
‘True Yoga’ is nowhere and
Everywhere all at once.
It is within me,
In this very moment….
Wherever I am in the world.
And it is within you
In this very moment….
Wherever you are in the world.
It is within everything.
It is nowhere not….
And this is not a conclusion.
The inquiry is ongoing…
This is my ‘ethical income’ page that I thought I would post as a blog too.
I am interested in ways that we all, as sentient beings on this planet, can live in abundance and thrive in the time we spend here.
Everything in life points me back to starting where I am. Meeting others and the world where they and it are. At the moment, money is a rather deeply ingrained part of our societal functioning. In an ideal world, perhaps a future one, we would live with out it, in a deeper sense of community, inter-relatedness and respect for all things. However, at the moment, it is there.
I don’t feel it is money, as such, that causes the issues we face across the world today. Rather, perhaps those issues are a lot to do with our relationship to not just money, but life, ourselves, each other, nature…? It’s easy to blame money and external things, but I wonder if the issue is closer to home…?
Abuse of power, greed and social isolation play a big part in many of the problems we face today. Our education system can often be set up to set us apart from each other through competitive sports, linear thinking, focus towards achieving statistics, stressful examinations etc. We are primed to enter the ‘world of work’ and to often see our peers as our competition and technology as the only useful form of income. It’s not like this in every education system is like this but there are an awful lot of financial cuts on really important subjects like the arts, nature connection and subjects that enhance social awareness and communication skills. Many of these subjects have been moved to extra curricular activities that, while it’s great that they are still there, has made them less accessible to those who may not be able to afford them.
I imagine an educational system that promotes social connection and inclusiveness, creativity, environmental awareness, personal, relational and physical health and well being as well as fostering an attitude of community and togetherness that expands borders and focuses achievement towards an ideal of well being for all, everywhere.
And I envision similar ideals within a professional focus too. If we were reared with a more embodied understanding of our inter-relatedness, could we really make the decisions that we do in such disrespect of our world and those who live with in it? Those, whom perhaps we do not know or see in our immediate environment, but whose lives our choices affect? Those, who are animal, mineral, vegetable, who have equal rights to claim this planet as home as we do?
I breathe, and I remember to start where we are, to meet the world where it’s at. From there, steps forward are possible. I can become easily overwhelmed when I begin to think of the breadths of re-education, of re-membering, our species needs to travel through to evolve in a way that is constructive.
So, where am I? The change starts within so I see written and hear over and over again. So, where am I with all of this? I can’t make you change, I can’t make anyone change. It is exhausting trying to make the world change. It is overwhelming and I often burn out in the process. I can only be authentic to myself and allow the ripple effect to happen… in the way that it does.
That doesn’t mean sitting back in a despondent state though. Being authentic to myself involves a willingness to see myself as I am – the angels and daemons that lurk within the dark watery vicissitudes of my being. Turning inwards to see also means turning outwards to act!
To me, it means developing a deep acceptance of the forces of life and death that exist within every cell of my being in every moment. It means facing them. It means, slowly unraveling the tight threads of conditioning woven around core wounds and destructive habitual patterning… and reweaving healthy patterns that serve my personal development and our planet.
It means holding myself and others within a compassionate and open awareness and noticing when I don’t; with compassion and openness. It means learning to play, to include and allow joy into my life through connection, clear communication and healthy boundaries.
It means considering the consequences of my actions and my intentions behind them – we can’t always avoid harming others, sometimes it happens by mistake – in knowing my motivations I can see instances where I have acted with good intentions as well as spaces that are open for development. I learn to forgive the parts of myself that are less alert and to compassionately allow them into conscious awareness – to become conscious.
I cannot divorce how I earn my living from any of these things (in my opinion). When I inquire deeply into the nature of my own being and my inter-relatedness with all living things and then act out of integrity with that through how I choose to sell and consume my wares, then I am creating a split and a dissociation within myself. It’s not just living with integrity externally – it’s an inside job too. One that is multi faceted.
Finding a means of ethical income can feel like a double edged sword! How do I meet my basic needs plus some for thriving in life at the same time as it meeting my ethical values?!? It can feel really hard to find work that is ‘perfectly’ sustainable, and it can seem really unrealistic too when looking at what is on offer in this world of work.
Coming back to starting where we are, sometimes it may not always be possible to find that ‘perfect match.’ What is possible though, is to continue this process of Self inquiry within the work you are involved in if it doesn’t drain the very essence of your being.
It’s a skill and an art to somehow balance this with a open attitude towards colleagues who may not have the same intentions. It’s not about projecting our beliefs on to anyone – often that sends them running in the opposite direction and creates isolation, sometimes an unnecessary sense of righteousness, for ourselves.
And, in some way, perhaps it’s about understanding that abundance means living with enough to thrive but not necessarily with huge excess. We can strive so hard to be “successful” but what does that really mean? Is it a figure in a bank account? A fast, shiny car? A huge house? Or can it be knowing that I have enough to thrive, that I have all my basic needs met and, perhaps, a little extra to enjoy nourishing activities, healthy food and occasional, ethical trips away, quality time in nature, with friends, family and loved ones? Can it even be in giving something back – when I know my basic needs are met and I have some excess, can I use that excess in some way that benefits others / our planet?
There have been times in life when I have really been able to do this and times when I have had to focus inwards to build my resources again, but my intention is to feel a secure enough sense of foundation that I can share my gifts in some way with those who may not usually meet to and those who want to (not to force them on people!!). Sometimes this is the simplest act, such as holding a door open for someone, offering a smile, holding clear communication and healthy boundaries (yes, this does serve others – being inauthentic to ourselves is not in service of others).
I realise as I write that it has to do with so much more than ethical income. It’s more about how we choose to live, to educate, to consume and to relate. We are the world in the making – we are part of it – and how we choose to spend our time here is up to each of us… do we choose a life in which we sacrifice our quality of relationships and health of our planet, always trying to achieve more and more, that somehow seems never enough? Or do we re-member the small things, reclaim a sense of spaciousness, awe and wonder for our natural world and our own inner ability to create through our bodies, naturescapes, voices and in deep respect and nurturance of our world and each other?
And…. how do we start where we are, to meet ourselves compassionately and authentically so our development can be sustainable, realistic and reach to our roots?
I’ll leave those questions with you…. and continue to ponder them deeply myself.
It’s feeling deeply inside.
It’s in the allowing of my body to be…
As it is.
It’s in exploration and curiosity,
It’s the open attentiveness with which I
Trace the emerging movements.
It’s the sounds and the gestures
It’s the moments of
The fluid undulations in my spine.
It’s the way the breath begins
Each movement and
To it, the movement
It’s the willingness to feel
Each moment as it bubbles to the surface and
The underlying stillness at its core.
It is deeply feeling this life
Growing, moving, exploring
From the inside out.
It is the story of evolution that
Ripens within my womb.
The miracle of life from
Formless to form.
It is these moments in which we
It is these moments… and
There are only these moments.
This morning, after I finished my cup of nettle tea, all Bumpy and I wanted to do was DANCE!
I laid out my yoga mat and it lay there, untouched, as we DANCED!
Celebration needed to move its way freely through my body.
My body called to move me, not me move it.
How do you know when dancing is the best choice?
When it’s the one you make in that moment and you go with it and let it unfold you.
Come dance 🙂
Sharing a little snippet from this mornings practice.
A soft and fluid, whole body, movement sequence that centre’s around the heart.
Supportive, self touch is encouraged to enhance connections throughout the body.
Breathe and move at your own pace, with the rhythm of breath that feels good, light and easeful for you.
The same goes for your movement – allow it to be easeful – mind with matter as oppose to old school mind over matter.
How is it to feel your way through the movements rather than think about what they ‘should’ look like?
The invitation is to be mindful of the experience as a whole, throughout the entire body, to be open and receptive to what may reveal itself to you through this sequence, rather than try to impose meaning upon it.
Once you’ve got the hang of it you can switch off the video and make it entirely your own, in your own pace, rhythm, and movement style.