Friday, September 24

joy pockets

joy may come loudly with bells on, more often, it comes quietly, in small pockets, scattered throughout the days, reminding us, no matter what, joy is always available.........
and worth spreading.



an art benefactor (!)
that made it possible for me to buy this fab book
started a sweater/jumper for my girl
received flowers
the smell of banana + cinnamon bread baking, thrice
autumn sun
what are you? (hattip pixie mama)
celebrated 14 years together
removed a minimum of 180 favourites/bookmarks
became a do follow blog mostly for #8
a friend that makes me laugh
love that letterboxing occurs
generous neighbours
watching children be boisterously carefree


tell me of your pockets of joy this week.

Thursday, September 23

pushback

have you ever started a project, a path in life, made some amazing changes, experienced a significant emotional or spiritual shift, started to walk a different road,wanted to change the world, and....... felt pushback?

pushback, pushed back on your efforts.

you see, they tell you how when you walk the path of most authenticity, of what the universe asks of you, that you will be supported. things will click into place, you meet the right people, the cosmic channels align and things, just. work. out.

and this is true. i have experienced this over and over again.

but they rarely tell you about pushback, because it's a bit of a downer really.

along with all that good stuff falling into place, there is also the opposite.

knowing about it can help you understand what's going on. i know that even i have been taken unawares on many occassions.


recently, i moved into this enormous capacity for compassion, and i was shown a vision for empowering others, and well, i felt gooooood. it felt riiiiight. so when there was pushback, it was kinda confusing, you know?

you can work on your part in things, we all self-sabotage to some degree.
you can rant and rave - but i'm really a good person! or, but i'm walking my path!
you can shake your fists at the universe, at others, which is all fine. anger is a worthy emotion, otherwise we would take repeated slaps and injustices. there are martyrs and there are revolutionaries.

but pushback isn't there to befriend you. it isn't there to rationalise, be logical, reasonable, kind, understanding, or nice. it isn't there to hear you. you can throw love at it, kindness and empathy. you can throw patience at it, time, effort, work. no good.

it's there because you dared to do something audacious.

you decided and acted upon your Truth. you're walking your path. you were *shock horror*, courageous enough to DO something about and for the world. to put your money where your mouth is. and what you are doing will change the world, even in a small way.

you're creating art, you're writing your book, you start a business, you start a charity, you gather a circle, you head a campaign.
and these are not just hobbies, but gifts to others. energetically charged!
and guaranteed, someone will be jealous, you will be doubted, you'll be asked to be more than human, you'll be critised, you'll be laughed at, someone will be bitter, you'll lose a 'friend'. your reputation, your integrity, the real you, will all come into the firing line.

they'll want to hear love and kindness in only one melody. but there are mother theresa's and there are martin luther king's - you won't, and can't, suit everyone.

everyone who is that audacious experiences pushback. gandhi, princess diana, the guy down the road who started the soup kitchen. they all send out waves of love into the world, but they are also strong and know how to use bounderies. they're filled with kindness but aren't punching bags. they get angry, outraged even, and aren't afraid to step on toes. that kind of audacity, to live your truth and be fully human, makes ripples and scares others. and where there's fear there's hatred.

why does anyone carry on? why should you carry on?

because the support from the universe is greater, because the rewards are greater.

because anything less is a life half lived.


Tuesday, September 21

review: plantoys fruit and vegetable play set

you guys know me well enough to know i'm not a reviewer mommy. so please allow me the occassional one.

i was offered a wooden toy by hellobabydirect to test out and review (you ought to see the totally irrelevant stuff i get offered btw, sheesh!).
so i've had my eye on a wooden fruit and vegetable play set for ages. ever since we bought the girlchild a wooden play kitchen. she enjoys her kitchen. it sits beside my butcher's block and she plays with it spontaneously throughtout the day.

i thought that wooden veg would be wonderful, and i was right.

these are a delight to touch, lovely rounded edges. and are simple fun. they're made from chemical-free, recycled rubberwood. and coloured with non-toxic, water-based dyes. all very right on by me.

it comes with a 'knife', and the veg come in two parts joined by velcro. so the child can simulate chopping up veg. very cool.

i think a child would get years of use out of these.

i only wish the mushroom wasn't yellow with spots. she only knows white ones as far as eating is concerned.
also, the description states,
"can be 'chopped' to reveal a realistic fruit or vegetable pattern inside"
erm, nope, just the same wood grain. not a problem, just not accurate.

 chef refused to pose

i also received a plantoys catalogue. although this store only stocks a relatively small range. oh wow, i want everything! okay, well, a lot of it. perhaps something for xmas.

so i highly recommend the toy, and i recommend the store if you're in europe. they stock all sorts, including ethical and eco-friendly products.

i actually ordered bath products almost 2 years ago from them. there are so few places that are willing to deliver to Montenegro, or make it easy to do so. they did both, and the customer service was excellent

and this is the fireball herself after fiiiiinally getting to pick our first real tomato some weeks ago.




disclosure: the toys were given to me free, the store is not an affiliate so i get nothing from you purchasing from them.

Monday, September 20

reflection: courage

could i be more courageous?

i'm quite fearless, in general. i have put my reputation, my heart, my trust, my time, my energy, my loyalty, on the line. i've had abuse, distrust, non-acceptance, thrown at me time and time again. yet i never grow bitter. i continue to trust the universe, my intuition, my heart, my purpose. i believe being vulnerable makes me stronger. i don't fear looking at myself honestly. changing, growing. i have courage with this. a recent bad experience had me doing just this, looking within, facing the shadows, and thereby healing and growing.

courage is - feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

where in my life could i bring in more courage?

i fear not being thought good enough in certain areas, such as with my art.
the process of my creativity has seen me shed more and more of that fear. to make mistakes, to embrace mistakes, to share my mistakes! to put my art out there regardless of the reception. to embrace the process rather than the result.

but fear is not an easy foe to beat. nope.
i still fear selling my art, or more accurately, not selling it! to put it out there and to receive a ho-hum reception. i have yet for anyone to say, i like that so much i'll buy it.

senseless forward motion
mixed media

while i love the process and know that is where joy and peace resides, i would still like being some sort of artist out there.

i also fear running out of inspiration.

i also still fear the loss of time. although a million times less than just a few years ago, i must still work daily on reminding myself that ----- i have all the time in the world.

i could do with more courage with both of these.

i invite more courage into my life.

could you invite more courage?

Thursday, September 16

joy pockets

joy may come loudly with bells on, more often, it comes quietly, in small pockets, scattered throughout the days, reminding us, no matter what, joy is always available.........
and worth spreading.


entered Carin's arty/crafty giveaway
will make Sara's banana bread real soon
morning yoga
being courageous
loved being reminded of this poem by Maya Angelou, especially now
keeping my voice
discovering forgotten organic yarn
collecting walnuts with my girl
inspired by Stacy following what's right for her + family
friends who 'get' me
writing on a favourite subject
sweet surprise emails from readers
listening, to my inner voice, to others
being heard
a return to ravelry
finishing Swann's Way, Proust


tell me of your pockets of joy this week.

Wednesday, September 15

crochet!

oops, sorry for shouting, but isn't it exciting? you know AUTUMN, the coming winter... days of hibernation, of books and fireplaces (we have a wood stove), of more cuddling, of chai, of wrapping up and crunching through leaves, maybe snow.

and of cosy, meditative, crochet! (or knitting if that's your thrill)

i haven't crocheted since forever. okay, since last cold weather. but autumn has hit here and it's time to start thinking of useful or just plain yummy projects.

i guess my sweet girl could do with a cardigan or general warmth-giving-garment.
and my indulgence? well a hat of course. i'm going to try the newsboy crochet hat i practiced last year. in plain black.

i have a nice stash and hope to use it up.

what are your cold weather hobbies? have you made a start? to my southern friends, what did you create?

Tuesday, September 14

strong women

i wrote recently about women and relationships between them, and last month on friendships. i was pondering this morning about this again. obviously it's a focus right now with spiral sisters launched.

so i was thinking that besides our many issues, our shadows, that get in the way of good relationships, that strong women can struggle befriending other strong women.

by strong i mean, opinionated, confident, assertive, healthy self-worth, those with a fire in their belly. they endure, work hard, make do, pick others up. well, at least some of those things on most days.

"The most beautiful discovery true friends make
is that they can grow separately without growing apart."
Elizabeth Foley

i live in a community of very strong women, so i knew last year that this was going to be a theme for me. something i needed to examine and discover. in this community, there are many hugs and smiles and much socialising. however, in the background there is the same amount of bitching, undermining, mocking. because i'm terrible at faking it, the irony is that i'm the outsider.

sometimes i have doubted myself. why don't i just fake it a little? for the sake of social cohesion, to oil the social cogs as it were?

it's just not in my nature. i have to have honesty. i have befriended very difficult people in my life - suffering depression, highly sensitive, obnoxious, plain weirdos. but the running theme has been honesty, and the willingness to put in the work in a difficult relationship. i'm not one to walk away when the going gets tough. i'm in 'the tough get going' camp. i work at it.

"You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back."
Barbara De Angelis

what has recently been highlighted for me is how difficult it isfor strong women to bond. even women very different from those described above. women who have love and kindness in their hearts. of course, they still own shadows and issues, like we all do.

the unique difficulties between strong women are issues of arrogance, needing to be right, needing to have control, hearing only one's own opinion, pushing others towards your perspective, needing to feel superior, wanting to be the leader or teacher but not the led or taught.

the most difficult are relationships where one or both women are semi-strong - almost there but with deep and lingering wounds. where need for control is coupled with low self-worth. where needing to push one's opinion is coupled with fear of being hurt. and so on.

“Men kick friendship around like a football but it doesn't seem to break.
Women treat it like glass and it goes to pieces.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

and as a strong woman myself, i'm learning gentleness every day. but i've also realised that it's important to not lose my voice. my strength. that is not what the best of womanhood is about for me. it's gentleness in strength and strength in gentleness. we ought not to have to treat each other like we're glass ornaments. and those that are more fragile can learn to breathe in some of the fire rather than hide in the dark.

i have a fire in my belly, it's who i am. and i know it scares the sensitive and wounded. i stand strong in what i am and that scares those struggling with arrogance shadows.

No person is your friend who demands
your silence or denies your right to grow.
Alice Walker

i need to believe that strong women, heavily shadowed or not, can make it work. that we can dig through the issues and nurture our way out of the mud. isn't that one of woman's unique gifts - to keep on loving through the muck? and isn't that what sisterhood is partly about? solidarity amongst women, however different?

and i want to support every woman's unique voice. for so long we fought to be heard amongst the voices of men. as long as our hearts are gentle, we ought not to lose our strong voices when others scare off. us women doubt ourselves enough as it is.



ps, Carin's doing a yummy crafty/arty giveaway!

Monday, September 6

women

even the most uncomplicated of us is considered complex by men's standards. all those messy emotions scattering about, and illogical things like intuition and empathy. not to mention all that hormonal activity!

our uniquely feminine chemistry and soul is what makes us women beautifully complex creatures. we can get to the heart of the matter, feel for every child on earth, sense pain, flow with nature's rhythms, all in a way that is instinctual and natural.

this depth and complexity and wonderful messiness, has of course the potential to go awry.

for many years i gravitated towards boys as friends. although my closest friend was always female. i have a masculine energy - firey, intellectual, non-girly. amongst the soft heart and empathy and intuition. so some of my choices have been based on my character. but, some choices have been based on the wounds inflicted by women.

our deepest wound. the one most difficult and often impossible to heal completely, is the mother wound. unhealthy relationships with our mothers set the stage for future female relationships.

i'm not one to close off to people or experiences because of the past. but even i was affected by a handful of betrayals by women. of course, years later i saw how it was i who gravitated towards the most wounded ones.

i would reject the feminine in small ways. at university i would do badly at women studies or roll my eyes at female literature. words like sisterhood, or woman's group, would cause an inner discomfort. which of course in my self-protective arrogance i would justify my distaste, and dismiss those things as what other women needed.

a true friend
embracing our differences

but when i immersed myself in the matriarchal line of my heritage, i learnt the strength and wonder of what it is to be woman. motherhood triggered my last push towards the beauty of the Feminine. last year i read some female-centric books with online friends. something i would have recoiled or at least dismissed not so long before.

and here's what i have discovered.
that if we have deep, untended wounds, if we have unhealed female relationships, we cannot embrace the Feminine. we cannot embrace it fully in ourselves. and we cannot embrace all women as sisters.

instead, we judge harshly, we withold due credit, we mark off women as inferior, we base worth on simple choices (hitting hardest at our most vulnerable Feminine - mothering). we are jealous, suspicious, distrustful, defensive, and competitive. we are also harsh on ourselves with our feminine roles of wife and mother. and we struggle with female friendships.

we divide and divide. making lines in the sand between breastfeeders and non-breastfeeders, between schoolers and homeschoolers, between working mothers and sahms, between the super crafty and the intellectuals, between the slim and the overweight, between the pretty and not so pretty, between the grungy and the coiffed. on and on and on. wounds begetting wounds.

i have come to believe that we must heal ourselves, men included, before we can truly give. for many of us want to give, but we define that into tight safe places.

and i've come to believe something BIG.

that as women are natural healers and lifegivers, it's women healing themselves, that will eventually be the catalyst to heal the whole human condition.

Thursday, September 2

elements of self: fave body part

juliana is asking us to explore our relationships with our bodies.... this time it's, which is our favourite body part?

funny, but i find it easy (now) to love my body, easier than liking it. love comes from somewhere deep within, connected to source. love has no limiting definition of beauty.

that connection to spirit has me loving myself, including my body.

like, however, does have specific ideas of beauty. liking means actually thinking - hey this body part is beautiful, or at least, quite nice. that's a tough one.

i like my hair, my lips, my hands, my wrists, and they're my faves. also my feet, my ears, my eyebrows, my forearms, my ankles, my chin, my neck, my collarbone, my breasts, my shoulders, my elbows.


it's odd how we can feel dislike towards our bodies, but when we take it in small packages, it feels easier. the great thing about looking at it in parts, is realising that there is more of my body i like than not.

Wednesday, September 1

august in review

Your reader's may have missed out on some content this month, you have new or occassional readers, or you didn't post much. Consider a Month in Review post. I know I can't keep up with all the wonderful blogs out there. Just copy & paste the headings below and add your responses.

august was crazy. it was a roller coaster. emotional lows and then huge highs. extreme heat and electrical storms. house woes and spiritual leaps.

A thought...
i place value on time or on the moment. the choice is mine.

A sound...
lightning hitting the ground around our house.

A taste...
summer peaches and nectarines.

An image...

a village view

A scent...
over-ripe plums lining the sides of our country walk

A word...
growth

A touch...
a diaper-free bottom.

A gift for me...
started up yoga.... again...

A post you may have missed...
resistance through the signs
Tara from theorganicsister is selling her photography. go creative mama!

Did you do a review? Let me know. and a link back of course would be nice.

Lisa at My World Edenwild.
a green spell