Tag Archives: love

This village is real.

Women can be rude, sarcastic, manipulative, cruel and ill intentioned. Actually, people can be all of these things, beyond imagining. Our world is full of horror stories.

But, where there is dark, there is light. Light always overpowers dark and this is one example of how this happens. 

I have a girlfriend group that I seemingly stumbled into. These three women all have different histories,  professional skillsets, mothering styles, ages, upbringings. Somehow we all fit like a group of pieces from different puzzels that magically come together. Our individual patterns match. We fit.

It’s a remarkable, lucky thing to be able to recognise the village. The village may be scattered but come together for a single reason. Our children. Every one of us has multiple challenges ongoing at any time. Some more immenent and urgent than the others.

Light prevails where love prevails. But what is love in a friendship circle? To me, love in our friendship circle is where we can all care for each other, express ourselves, our concerns, even when as a collective we are helping sort major, urgent issues (in hospital for how long with no childcare). 

It isn’t tidy. It’s messy. Even when we are laughing at the everyday (how is running naked through the house with a toilet paper tail supposed to be funny gawd), groaning at the ridiculous (those aren’t “balloons…”), snorting at the humorous  (refused dinner but drank half a bottle of tomato ketchup instead). 

The village is a collective. This collective is grounded in respect and love. 

Even if this is a fleeting village, one that isn’t so close throughout my entire life, I know it’s value.  These women are immensely amazing. Their good deeds, even if seen as minor are immense in their magnitude because kindness spreads kindness. 

One of these earthlings says one thing, that she is hard,  tough and unreachable; but her actions override her words. She is kind and generous and makes people matter. She builds them up. When you see her she lights up like she’s truly happy to see and be with you. Like a light. Her smile is just magic. You have to see it to understand how beautiful it is. 

This other woman. What do i say? She is so laid back in conversation. So easy to talk to that speaking with her feels like you’ve been blessed with a cool breeze on a hot summer’s day. Some people could walk past her in the street and not realise the gift to our world they have not rejoiced. She is just a joy, anytime.

This third lady. She is beautiful, powerful, she inspires other women to be better. She loves and gives so much, but doesn’t save any for herself. She doesn’t see her value, doesn’t understand just how much SHE MATTERS. Every time I see her, she somehow in a blink can spread warmth in my heartspace. She is a sweet woman who swears like a sailor and makes me laugh.

So to my village, I adore this time we have. I treasure you all. You are the example of what is good in our world.  Each of you in your own way will have a legacy of good in your own way. Collectively you are a beautiful power that can change the world, at least in our own lunchboxes xx.

You know who you are xx

Advertisements

Too small to make a difference

Do you ever feel that there is so much work to do in this world that you can’t make a difference? What about you just be yourself? You know, the generous, kind, peaceful you. Investing a small amount of your precious time in something you believe in could make all the difference. I love this graphic from Conservation International so much I just had to share!

20150127-232232-84152996.jpg

With a broken heart, I say goodbye

IMG_1023

Something heartbreaking has been happening in my country. Well not in Australia, but to Australians abroad.

It is something that as one person, I have spoken up about for years to my elected representatives. I have written letters, called their offices, spoken about on social media, signed petitions, modified my consumer behaviour, walked in rallies. The heartbreak continues.

What does one person do when they feel powerless to change injustice that their eyes can see and their heart can feel? I could walk away, close my eyes, deafen my ears, shut down that part of my heart that remembers this ache. I could convince myself to forget. I tried. Time to move on.

Or, I could stand. I could continue to feel the heaviness that hurts my moral sense, I could maintain my awareness and I could bare it for the greater good, for those less powerful than I.

I. What can I do? I will love.

Loving those less powerful gives us strength. Love in itself is the answer. Love is the origin of my heartache and the source of my power. When love withers, then comes apathy and indifference.

So tomorrow morning (or during tonight) when my child asks for me, I will go and give love. When I get up in the morning, I will spare some of my precious time for something I believe in.

With a broken heart, I will say goodbye to my dispair and stand for those less powerful. I will love them, even though they don’t know me. I will continue to speak for those that have no voice except my own.

I will act to Ban Live Export: http://www.banliveexport.com/

Do you have something you are passionate about? I believe that you can make a difference to this world.

Have a beautiful week.

xx

A hard heart makes for a hard life

Squishy heart image

My babies are both crying. One is having a meltdown and one is crying in sympathy and hunger.

It seems trivial to me that coming inside from the deck could cause such a stir but here we are living the disappointment and emotion of it. My natural instinct would be to tell my toddler to calm down and just do as I ask while I go pick up my infant for a calming cuddle.

What I actually do is crouch down and offer my arms to my toddler. My embrace is refused. Okay then. I stay down and empathise, “Yes I know it’s hard to come inside with me when you want to be on the deck. It makes you upset hey”. I look into her eyes and see a little child having a big problem. “I love you bubba”. All attempts at nose wiping would be futile at this point so I stay still and wait. She runs around the kitchen. I wait, while offering words of reassurance. I go back onto the deck and retrieve three toys and deliver them. No? Alright then. After a fair bit of hoo ha, there is an opportunity for connection. I pick up my toddler and give a cuddle. There is a fair bit of wriggling involved, then my darling comes good. The little face is wiped. I put some music on, cuddle and breastfeed my infant. The storm is over and we are back on track. Phew.

If I had gone with my first reaction, I could have ended up rousing on an upset toddler who has to calm down by herself while she watches her mother rock and nurse her sibling. She would receive no understanding for her big feelings or problems. They would essentially be dismissed, even though they are big issues in her world. She would then be taken to play school where she has a big day, most likely without any sleep. She would come home tired, needing connection at a time when infants are renowned for needing a fair amount of mummy time and physical affection. You can picture the rest. Sure, my infant would have had her immediate needs met, but there are two babies in my house.

A soft heart creates a safety net for the people around me, especially the little ones. Being a gentle place to fall, having a ready embrace and offering tenderness is my key to a happy life. Oh, it’s not all beach balls and sunshine all the time at our place, but practice makes perfect. The more moments where we choose a soft heart builds a better way of being. A hard heart makes for a hard life, for everyone.

So this is my commitment to myself. Offer myself a soft heart. Then everyone else  in this crazy web of life with me will feel the love and be better off for it.

Passion Pop for the Soul

Lately my life has needed some sweet bubble and fizz. I needed to refuel my spirit and return to my optimistic, energised self.

I was lucky to have a night out with my beloved. We went and saw Sir David Attenborough speak about his life.

How amazing. He got me thinking about many, many things. In particular, when looking back through the decades of one’s life we remember big events and also little moments of connection  that tie us to the world we live in.

Sir David spoke about a few minutes he spent lying on the forest floor with a mother and her two baby gorillas in Africa. They were all a jumble of tangled furry, limbs in the sunshine. Although this experience occurred decades earlier, he still expressed a boyish look of wonder when discussing it.

When I look at my life so far, I also have those moments to enjoy in my heart. Want to hear about a few?

I was squatting over an open latrine in the middle of some extremely remote Cambodian jungle early one morning when I look up to see two macaques sitting a couple of metres away watching me. Well, things were well umm, underway shall I say so I said good morning. They considered me and each other a while and chittered back before swinging around and calling out across the jungle from the tree above me. They returned often in the early mornings during my stay in that patch of jungle and it was glorious. We were all interested, connected and without fear (and I quickly got used to having some of these interactions with my tail in the breeze). Amazingly lucky.

The days my children were born and placed on my chest for the first time.

When I fell in love with their father.

When I walk through a burnt temperate forest the first spring after a fire. I make friends again with my favourite ground orchid species and wildflowers.

The first time I stood on a red sand hill in Hattah Kulkyne National Park in the Mallee and had uninterrupted 360 degree views of only wilderness and heard only the breeze and birdsong.

Yesterday, walking along the beach holding my beautiful daughter’s hand.

When you look back at your life, what moments will return you to wonder? What will make your heart sing?

How do we make time in a busy world for these fibres that weave our golden nests of joy? For these nests are our comfort in challenging times. They build our resilience during hardship.

How do we get our passion pop for the soul? Easy. Start with the simple enjoyment of the little stuff, plan for some big stuff and we will find ourselves fulfilled, connected and rejoicing in our luck to have stumbled upon this life.

In the closing part of Sir David’s discussions, what did he say? He quoted Louis Armstrong.

“I see trees of green…….. red roses too

I see em bloom….. for me and for you
And I think to myself…. what a wonderful world. I see skies of blue….. clouds of white
Bright blessed days….dark sacred nights
And I think to myself …..what a wonderful world.

The colors of a rainbow…..so pretty ..in the sky
Are also on the faces…..of people ..going by
I see friends shaking hands…..sayin.. how do you do
They’re really sayin……i love you.

I hear babies cry…… I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more…..than I’ll never know
And I think to myself …..what a wonderful world”

Have a beautiful week. xx

Like what you’re reading? You could sign up to receive these posts as emails. Fly on over and like the Whistling Kite Collective on the book with the face.

Turning parenting blunders into personal successes

Parenting blunders need not be obstacles, they can be opportunities for personal growth
Parenting blunders need not be obstacles, they can be opportunities for personal growth

As Captain Obvious would say, I am an imperfect person. There have times when I haven’t kept my cool and got shrill. It all came from fear. I find that I act out most when something is lacking (usually sleep) or I have overloaded myself (a tendency).

My children are little and deserve a peaceful mother. Raising my voice makes everyone feel crappy. Feeling remorseful about losing my cool is useless if I can’t back myself with more than just good intentions. This is personal work. It isn’t easy to share this with you, but maybe you can relate to my experience?

This is how I have turned parenting blunders into a plan for personal growth. My steps to becoming a better, more worry-free, peaceful human being are listed. It’s been working wonders.

  1. Let go. Will this matter in a year? Most of the time, my answer is no.
  2. Be honest with myself about why something is bothering me. What is the actual cause of my worry?
  3. Do something silly with my babies every day and have a giggle.
  4. Take care of myself better.
  5. Prioritize for a peaceful night. This means having dinner prepared so there’s no rush and bath my children early. If they are tired there is no need to race the clock if I am organized.
  6. Feel good so I’m nice to come home to. For me, this could just be a walk in the garden for 10 minutes with the children to brighten up before bath time.
  7. Have a cause. It’s amazing how little everyday worries seem to matter when I have an ear to the outside world. Personally, I care about animal welfare so am abreast of issues related to live animal export and factory farming.

    Having a cause is good for the soul.
    Having a cause is good for the soul.
  8. Do something I love most days. I love to play with my babies, cook, bushwalk and sew. Throughout the week, I usually do all of this. Here’s my quick sew for today. Pants for my little girl. I even put my Whistling Kite Collective label on the inside for her. I have a feeling these will be Christened her “bird pants” and there may be a special song involved when she wears them!

    Making a gift for someone special is fun
    Making a gift for someone special is fun and makes them feel important
  9. Don’t try to be an overachiever. Something has to give and it’s usually my sanity.
  10. Remember that I am exactly what my children need. By just being me, loving and respecting them as the individuals they are, they will thrive.
  11. Reward myself.

Like this post? You can receive these via email by signing up.

Lady Gaia, Please Grant Me…

Tired much?
Tired much?

The Context

When was the last time you were by yourself? Six out of the last eight weeks, at least one person in our home has been sick. Severity of each illness has ranged from the mildly irritating to requiring intervention at the emergency room. Life has not been dull and there has been very little rest.

My people have been very needy. So much so that I do not remember the last time I was alone. Therefore, this is my request to Mother Earth, just for the next little while.

The Request

Lady Gaia, please grant me, the

Energy- to keep putting one foot in front of the other

Humour- to see the funny side of accessorising my outfits with other peoples’ snot every day

Empathy- to put myself in someone else’s place, time and time again

Mindfulness- to enjoy little moments

Creativity- to provide a free range feeling on an inside budget (the public does not need exposure to this much snot or bodily product)

Recall- to remember why I am here

Clarity- to check myself, before I wreck myself

Imagination- to take myself to my favourite place in my head if things get a bit too much (stay tuned for this coming post in the Journey of Wellness series as this place is beautiful and amazing)

Insight- to know I always cope better when I put my earthly needs (like sleep, food and alone time) aside and focus on the requirements of my small people

Wisdom- to know this all shall pass

Integrity- to always live with respect and love

Purpose- a beautiful life.

The commitment

Lady Gaia, should you choose to grant me any of the above wishes, my family would be extremely grateful and I promise to always recycle and live more sustainably 🙂

All you need is love, really?

Is love all we need?
Is love all we need?

Can you relate to this? I have been up for what feels like days. I am covered in milky vomit, there is a persistent smell of poo and I simply cannot find the source (maybe it’s up my nose), the house is in disarray, dinner is half cooked, both little people are asking for me to fulfil their needs, I haven’t showered today. There are dust bunnies against the walls that I will soon have to name if they don’t meet the vacuum.

Then my toddler starts “acting out”. I know it’s to get my undivided attention. I know she has big feelings and needs connection. My infant needs some mummy love. I feel upset, overwrought and frustrated. All I feel like doing is opening the nearest door and running up the street like a screaming banshee.

I went to a parenting seminar that basically instructed me to use a naughty spot, followed by a time out if my child didn’t comply with my requests. This didn’t work for me. What works for me is love, just love. I know it sounds unbelievably simplistic. When I want to run, or cry, or get angry, I am teaching myself to take a deep breath and give love. My goal in the moment is to get through it with empathy and love. My goal for each day is to go to bed with a happy heart.

You know what? I can see the difference my unconditional love makes to my children. They open up, relax, share more of themselves with me, tell me things, “act out” less, want to make me happy and sleep better.  When a moment gets a bit too tense the following is working for us at the moment:

  1. We breathe like Puff the Magic Dragon. Big breathe in through the nose and a slow exhale out through the mouth. In the early days we practiced this when we were all happy and relaxed. I have noticed that my toddler is now doing this herself without my prompting. It works for me too and we all feel better.
  2. I get down to their height and tell my children I love them.
  3. I offer some physical affection. I say “Can I please cuddle you?” Note the language of me giving love, not requesting it…
  4. I take it easy on myself and prioritise for a better moment. I have been known to call their father at this time and say “What would you like for dinner, thai or fish and chips?”

Not all my parenting challenges can be solved with a cuddle and a chat, but genuine interest and love gets me most of the way there. The only way I can give unconditional love to my children is to give it to myself. Being a parent is challenging. Some days I approach it with zen-like mastery, others I have to remind myself to breathe. Yes, I am flawed, but I try to remind myself that my family deserves the best of me. I must love myself (more on how I am trying to achieve this in the Journey of Wellness series- stay tuned). So really, I think maybe yes, all you need is love…