"Once your consciousness has been raised, it cannot be lowered"

My parenting journey, our home educating family and some other stuff here and there....

Friday, 23 April 2010

Esme: thoughts on Religion

Esme has been really sweet the last week or so. Well, she's always sweet, but I do struggle with her sometimes and it's often too easy to dwell on the tricky times (and how hard I find them to handle).

We had a funny little conversation today in the car.

Esme:   Eloise believes in Jesus.

Me:      ummm, ok....

Esme:   Why?

Me:      She just does, it's what her Mummy and Daddy believe too. It's their religion, they're Christians. Christians are a group of people like the Seikhs and the Buddhists, they just believe different things. (We've visited a Gurdwara and the local Buddhist Centre quite recently)

Esme:   Are we Christians?

Me:      Well, not really.

Esme:   Oh. Well, can I believe in Jesus?

Me:      If you want to, it's up to you to decide what you believe. But you might like to learn a bit more about  other religions before you decide. There's no hurry really....

Esme:   What is your religion Mama?

Me:      Well, I don't really have one. I suppose I might be closest to a Buddhist.

Esme:   I think......I think I'm an Artist. Because I do lots of drawings and I like taking photographs. I take some really good ones, like the one of the water....

Me:      Y'know what Es, you definitely are an artist.....

Classic ;-)

Monday, 19 April 2010


I went to my first ashtanga yoga class in a long time just over a week ago. It was like meeting an old friend and finding they haven't changed a bit, like we'd never been apart.

I was shocked by the "muscle memory", at how the fabric of my body could remember the postures, dynamic movements and the sensations of breathing and relaxation. I concentrated intensely on just breathing for over an hour for the first time in several years. This practice is often referred to as a form of moving meditation: during the class something inside me shifted, and by the end of the relaxation I was weeping. It was profound but also quite amusing. I really couldn't stop crying (and shaking...) for quite some time! I half-sobbed half-laughed to the teacher "thanks... that was really fantastic.... honestly..." ;-) 

Yoga has seen me through some tough times in the past. It saved me from sinking deep into a pit of depression when I first started practising and for quite a few years I was pretty devoted to it. Bearing in mind that I don't have a great track record with commitment to anything, this was a BIG deal for me. My mat has travelled to the other side of the world with me on several occasions and is pretty well used....Yet since having the children I've not quite found the time to take a class or made space in my life to practice regularly at home. That first class was  like when you suddenly realise you are desperately thirsty, and taking a sip of water. It was quite painful to realise how deprived I have been without this nurturing and revitalising practice.

I'm not naturally supple and my aerobic fitness is also pretty poor right now so I was anxious about returning to this demanding physical activity. But actually I'm getting my strength and flexibility back quickly, and my mind got right back into turning itself off and enjoying a lack of mental chatter. I'm also pleasantly surprised how determined I now feel to make this part of my everyday life. I really need it.  It's funny how having so much less time to indulge in yoga is making me create chances to do it more, and with more focus. I strongly feel that my children need to see me take care of myself, and I really want them to have the expectation that their adult lives will include a certain amount of self-care, a regular habit or practice of something whether it's yoga, tai chi, running, music, chess, painting or tiddlywinks!....and an inner focus and connection with themselves. Spirituality.

I can see that I've been putting up a lot of mental blocks where yoga practice is concerned and I'm so glad I've started pulling the barriers down. No more excuses. Now, how long do they say it takes something to become a habit?!

This is David Swenson, an amazing, inspirational yogi. I'd say his habit is pretty well entrenched....


Tuesday, 13 April 2010


weight [weɪt]


1. a measure of the amount anything weighs

I'm not sure how I've done it but I'm as heavy as I was when I was just about to have M. I lost almost all the extra after he arrived, but somehow I've put it all back on again through mindless picking at food I don't really need, excessive consumption of delicious home-baked goodies and out of control portion sizes (of healthy wholefoods, but still...). 

I also do next to no exercise other than running about after the children all day every day. This sounds like so many of the slimming stories I've read over the years. At least I seem to have plateaued, for now.... ;(

I carry it well, but this is a mixed blessing really as it's tempting to think "aw stop beating yourself up, you don't look too bad". But I feel wobbly and unfit, and I have a wardrobe full of clothes I can't get into so I have to fathom a way of slimming down a bit without dieting. I can't stand dieting and it doesn't work so I just need to be mindful of what goes in and expend some more energy. Not sure where that energy is going to come from yet....

2. an oppressive force the weight of cares

I'm really feeling my responsibilities. I know everybody has it hard, and we all have to do what we have to do to keep going and stay happy and healthy with it. But isn't it hard? Esme went off with a friend for a few hours last Friday, and Joel came home early so I cooked dinner without minding two children at the same time. It was so relaxing and easy just to do it with focussed attention on the task at hand. I realised how much stress I have all day every day just by virtue of being in the company of two children all the time. I am also making silly mistakes and being very forgetful because I am constantly doing 50 million things at once. I love being with the kids so much but I am so, so tired and finding it really hard to get back to feeling groovy. I think this has a lot to do with my comfort eating.

3. importance - the quality of being important and worthy of note

All this matters a lot to me.

I think I know what I have to do, I just have to do it!