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

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

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Releasing fears

What people really want, if it doesn't sound too soppy, is to live their love. Every day! Eat things because they love them, share food because they love to be with people. Just live out of love, love for beauty, love for truth, love for children and animals. It is our nature to live expansively and generously, not cautiously and calculatingly. The opposite of love is fear, not hate.
-Jean Liedloff, Author of the Continuum Concept

This quote has been attached to the bottom of my emails until fairly recently, when I changed it on a whim. I love it all, but particularly the final sentence: "The opposite of love is fear, not hate".

Something that's cropping up a lot for me at the moment is how fear can really keep you in a place you aren't entirely happy. Half the time we don't recognise it for what it is or we dress it up in rationalisations and justifications. It's truly a wolf in sheep's clothing. No wonder so many people are miserable when they don't even know they're living in fear instead of "living their love".

I went to a fabulous yoga workshop with Danny Paradise last weekend (the post about this is still sitting in my drafts folder....). He talked about Ashtanga yoga being a practice that promotes deep emotional healing, and how the roots of depression are related to unfulfilled dreams and not following what your heart really wants to do. It was meaningful to me because I know I've ignored my heart's desire in the past. It's so easy to make excuses to yourself when you're terrified of being out of your comfort zone. At the time I probably wouldn't have seen that my reluctance to take a risk was fear, though it seems clear with hindsight. I obviously wasn't ready to do what I wanted to then, or I'd have done it!

About a month ago I was taken by surprise by my first really open/easy full backbend. My body suddenly seemed to yield to an asana it has so far disliked participating in! The backbend released some really powerful emotions. For a week or so after my heart was so open, and I felt overwhelmed by love of life, and the sensation of letting go.... I only realised it was fears that were dissolving after the inital wave of change happened. Funny how I didn't know fear was there for ages, and then I didn't know it was leaving.

I managed a very brief handstand against the wall today, dispelling a long held belief that "I can't do it" and "my legs are too heavy". It was exhilarating, I was so giddy! I realised the weight I felt in my legs was partly fear: the immediate physical fear of falling over, but also the fear of failing and not being good enough.

All the other lifting and lightening sensations I've been having recently in yoga are starting to make sense. I'm letting go of my fears in favour of living my love.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Begin with the end in mind

I thought this was the first of Steven Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" but when I just checked it, the first is "Be proactive". I guess I must be being proactive already to be thinking about beginning with the end in mind!

Anyway, what I was going to say is that I am astounded how much easier it is to achieve something when you decide in advance what it is that you are going to do. Some recent examples of  a few "new and improved " thought processes:

Eating- I want to exorcise my food demons, stop comfort eating and have an easy relationship with food
Before- eat until I decided I was full (never) at mealtimes, picking between meals, bingeing uncontrollably at any type of buffet meal or snack
Now-   decide how much I am eating in advance and then stop! Review. Eat a bit more if I want to (I hardly ever do)

Yoga practice- I want to establish a regular daily yoga practice
Before- sporadic! 1hr class Saturday, maybe practice 1 hr Monday, nothing til next week, then do a class, 20 mins Wednesday, maybe the same on Thursday, sometimes no practice from one week to the next....
Now- any yoga is better than none, mat comes out when the kids go to bed and I aim to do a 45 min asana practice and take 10 min rest, daily. But I can be flexible about this, some days a little will be better than a lot.

Keeping my cool- I don't like raising my voice in anger
Before- bottle it in, grind my teeth, explode periodically
Now- self empathy, observations, feelings, needs, requests. Still explode periodically. This one is hard!

I've found a subtle change in the specifics of my vision have a big impact on what I do. If I'm fuzzy it doesn't work. "I'll practice yoga for an hour" is much harder to stick to than " I'll do 5 Sun salutation A, 5 B, A series of 6 specific standing postures and 3 seated postures finishing at Marichyasana C, and then close" works much better. For me it's no good trying to run 'til I'm tired, or eating 'til I'm full because I'm too likely to stop at the "wrong" point! It's heartening that I can't be the only one this happens to, otherwise it wouldn't be on Steven Covey's list to do something different ;)

Sunday, 24 October 2010


I've not written anything here for ages. I think I know why (apart from time being in short supply).

When I started writing less about EC, I hoped my blog would be filled with tales of our wonderful home learning activities, a diary of what we get up to together with a feast of photos and recipes and lots of other inspiring stuff: art, craft, sewing, poetry, music. Perhaps the odd bit of self discovery. But my musings have been very inner-self oriented lately, and I've been feeling slightly anxious that I might be hogging the limelight. 

Of course, our family is doing all the cool things I hoped to document. We're learning together, having fun and eating lots of nice food and all that, struggling along sometimes but mostly all is as I would wish. I've been finding that I just don't feel that inspired to write about our day after I've spent all day "doing" it.

The things I do feel the need to write about right now are much more personal. Since I got back on my yoga mat this year I'm really feeling like a very different person. And actually, writing about the changes in my inner world seems far more useful and important to me. I feel a bit vulnerable and naked to think that people might actually read what I write. But that's also a motivational aspect of having a blog, I probably wouldn't just write in a notebook in the same way I do here. I think the benefit of reflecting on my journey and the soul work of artistic creation through writing is worth the risk of publicly exposing myself. 

I'm going to stop feeling apologetic about documenting my navel gazing. I have to remind myself that you can choose not to read if I'm irritating, boring, self-absorbed.... Can you tell I'm still struggling with the pain of some past experiences here?! I am also going stop comparing myself and my blog to all the other talented bloggers and beautiful blogs out there.

I'm just going to carry on doing my best to be a better person and write about it from time to time. 

And perhaps if I let go of my attachment to creating a beautiful diary, I might share some recipes and a few choice pics here and there too ;)

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


A People Place 

If this is not a place where tears are understood,
Where do I go to cry?

If this is not a place where my spirits can take wing,
Where do I go to fly?

If this is not a place where my questions can be asked,
Where do I go to seek?

If this is not a place where my feelings can be heard,
Where do I go to speak?

If this is not a place where you'll accept me as I am,
Where can I go to be?

If this is not a place where I can try to learn and grow,
Where can I just be me?

- William J Crockett