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

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

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

My heart sings

I recently watched an amazing TED video of Steve Jobs. An incredible man.

I was really struck by what he says about using intuition, following your dreams and "joining up the dots". Essentially he was saying that if you trust your inner guidance and follow your heart, even if it seems like the "wrong" thing (to other people perhaps...) at the time, you will reap the rewards in the future. Only in the future will you be able to see that an action was entirely "right" and how that has contributed to your present. In Jobs' case, dropping out of college gave him the time and space to become fascinated with calligraphy, which subsequently influenced his whole approach to design and the typography that was used to develop the Mac, and every computer thereafter. He didn't know at the time how calligraphy would affect everything later on....but with hindsight he could join the dots, reinforcing his sense that he knew what he was doing all along.

I really need to work on the part of me that is full of regrets for not following my heart when I was younger. I think my inner guidance has always been pretty hot, but I've definitely failed when it comes to having the courage and strength to act by it. It would be interesting (for me) to try and think of some concrete examples of this, but I'm not going to bore you with this. Hehe.

It's difficult not to feel a sense of disappointment that I've wasted a lot of time over the years. I keep having these pangs of anger with myself that I am not accomplished in the ways I'd like to be because I didn't do what I really wanted to, and that (aside from Mothering) I haven't found my life's purpose. I was so afraid, bothered about what other people would think, the names I might be called, of "failure". It's so silly, what is failure anyway? I've failed more by not doing than I would have by doing. That's one thing that I see when I join my dots....

Since we moved I've been trying to slow right down and focus on my purpose. I have lots of interests and half developed hobbies, and in the past my energy has felt scattered, that's really bothered me. I've been consciously trying to find something that lights a real flame of passion and creativity in me, taking Wild Oat flower essence seems to be helping me to pin myself down a bit.

I've talked in the past about my love of swimming and yoga, and yet these things are more about finding  peace, space and vital sustenance than about the surges of passion, purpose and creativity I've been desiring.

I was very pragmatic: I wrote a massive list of all the things I wanted to do/learn and then worked out which were my priorities, what I could do without help and what I needed to join a class or group for. And then I started singing again, with a bunch of fantastic women who are very very funny, super creative and extremely talented. Joining a singing group is making me realise and appreciate my talents. It's really helping me to move past this sense of regret that I haven't been singing and playing music all along. I still really wish I was Laura Marling, but maybe there's still time.... and even if I'm not Laura Marling, at least I'll be living life with more depth, purpose and joy.

Friday, 19 August 2011

The facebook status updates I never posted.....

I've been wondering how on earth I will ever feel able to start blogging again after the passage of so much time. Moving has taken it's toll on our family in so many respects. Time to do anything much apart from eat, sleep and do what we need to do to keep going is more scarce than ever. Time for my own pursuits and creativity is proving one of the hardest things to claw back now the dust is settling.

In order that I can dive back in and start writing in the present tense, I feel the need for a brief catch up. To save everyone from my waffle I have been inspired to do this in the style of the facebook status update. I seem to have wasted many hours looking at facebook since I somewhat reluctantly reinstated my account, so it seems fitting to appropriate something that has stolen lots of my time for my own time and effort saving benefit!

So, here are the updates I could have posted from  March 2011 to now.

  • is officially in residence at her Mother's, with fella, kids, dog and cat. How did this happen?
  • owns a house in a total state of chaos and disorder. And wonders how we will live there in the next few weeks.
  • is totally knackered
  • is absolutely filthy
  • is bewildered
  • feels so sorry for her poor children, with their world turned upside down
  • wonders if this is ever going to get easier
  • needs HELP!!!!
  • wants to go home
  • is completely skint 
  • learnt a lot, albeit in a difficult and expensive way.
  • needs to value and trust herself more
  • wants her happy contented family back
  • really needs some space
  • forgives herself and others
  • is happy living in building site ;-)
  • How do I choose where to put my energy?
  • brimming with ideas, frustrated at lack of opportunities to create
  • Happy Birthday Joel
  • nervous and excited about weekend of Yoga with Matthew Sweeney
  • relaxed, peaceful and inspired
  • happy to see good friends
  • enjoying exploring countryside and art in Lancashire
  • I love Towneley Park. And my in-Laws.
  • Magnus can float! Weightless again. 
  • nothing like the feeling of being known and understood
  • inherited a futon, thanks Elizabeth
  • carnival rush rush rush christening......
  • Happy Birthday Esme
  • a party, fishes out of water and new connections. It's all good.
  • another party, in our building site. And a snatched visit to the Boo. 
  • Happy Birthday to me. We finally made it to Offshoots and I want to build a yurt now.
  • bankruptcy looming after trip to local health food store. At least he can pay his mortgage this month...
  • down behind the Backstreets down in Rawtenstall..... 
  • building a dry stone wall, of course. 
  • nervous anticipation, off to Mother Camp...no mobile phones, loads of hippy families....am I good enough?
  • What an amazing, inspiring, exciting time we had. Wish it wasn't over.  
  • saved by the good folk of Altham Mill and needle felting. Longing to sing
  • Poor Esme: less than 24 hours after the joy of finding Baby Annabel for £3 in the charity shop, the disappointment that she cannot really drink water
  • live and let live eh?
  • off to Suffolk again, looking forward to some family time and a week with Great Granny.
  • wants to live in Walberswick, very at home in Suffolk.
  • angry at the people rioting, shame you can't nick a brain and a conscience.....
  • David Cameron, what an idiot
  • now I remember why I don't watch the news. The HORROR.
  • sluggish and feeling chubby after being force fed pudding and drinking loads of booze every day for a week.
  • misses Joel a lot. 
  • needs a new kitchen
  • brimming with ideas, creativity and excitement
  • wants more family time
  • is grateful
  • is glad to see so much more of Liz Mutch these days.
  • beginning to play guitar, again
  • pleased to be back in the blogosphere
And there we are, up to date. ;-)

Saturday, 16 April 2011

It will be worth it

This is the mantra I'm clinging to at the moment.

We've been staying at my Mum's house for a month now, while we make our new house habitable. The idea was that we'd do it a bit at a time and live in it almost immediately- maybe just stay with Mum for a week or so to get it rewired. Anyway, the best laid plans and all that.....

Home Sweet Home...sort of
The wall of stone. 
Our living room
the landing
The bathroom was one of the worst rooms. 

Gypsy caravan style shower area. WHY?!

Master bedroom

Magnus' bedroom
Once we started ripping out all the crap it was hard to stop. And we decided that whilst we could live with bare walls, undecorated rooms, jobs that needed finishing, we could definitely NOT live with the amount of shite left behind. The poor house has suffered years and years of abuse and really needed liberating from the ten tons of crap we've taken out. Several enormous skips worth so far actually.... BUT we are now at a point where just about all the stuff to be taken out (bar the kitchen for now) is out. Whoooopeee!!!

As well as the demolition of the hideous feature fireplaces, several walls and quite a few bits of "fitted" furniture, we have completely rewired, rejigged the plumbing and installed a new boiler. We are now in the middle of putting in the new bathroom and reconfiguring the layout downstairs. We have 2 bedrooms more or less ready to decorate and I've been digging the garden, just because there isn't much else I can do while I'm watching the kids... and it'll soon be time to get the beans and peas in the ground  ;-)

I won't even start talking about the emotional upheaval. We're doing ok under the circumstances but we are all really ready to move into our new home pretty soon. We can't settle at the moment, we need to put down roots before our first little shoots can start reaching for the light here. 

I can't put into words how much I'm looking forward to the seeing this new view from our bedroom window in a week or two. 

You can see the progress we're making on our project in all it's glory via Joel's photo album

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Thoughts on yoga

My wonderful yoga teacher Kirstin recently asked me for my thoughts on my yoga practice as a testimonial to try and entice potential new students. I wrote instinctively and fairly quickly for her to edit as required- I know my tendency to waffle!.... I'm quite pleased with what came out, so I thought I'd share it. I haven't navel gazed here for a little while ;-)

My yoga practice keeps me sane: it's my best friend and my teacher, a very reliable source of inner strength and energy. It doesn't matter what's happening in my life when I get on my mat and start breathing, everything else just melts away. It's so nourishing and enriching to my body and my soul, I don't know how I lived without it now. 

Recently I've been feeling quite intoxicated by my practice. It's challenging in so many different ways and I constantly surprise myself with what I am doing. I love to surrender my expectations and test the boundaries of my physical and my mental stamina. My body is opening up, lighter and leaner than I thought possible. I find it much easier to stay calm and centred. I know that yoga has been the catalyst for some deep emotional healing for me, and I'm so grateful for the growth this practice has brought. 

It's still less than a year since I resumed my practice after a 6 year break, I practised fairly regularly for 5 years or so prior to that. I'm so glad I found ashtanga yoga again, the reunion has been so good for me. 

In the past I have sometimes lamented that I wish I'd never stopped practising. Recently I've been feeling fine about the break and just fabulous about the fact I've resumed. Right now is the first time I've managed to sustain regular (3-4 times + per week) practice, ever. It feels fantastic. Even if I had carried on practising for all the wilderness years when I was bumming about doing nothing much, I might not have had the insight I have now. It makes me realise how many lessons I've had over these "lost" years, even if the lessons weren't on my mat. 

I love this meditation about the golden path, which sort of sums up what I'm trying to say: if you're on your path then it all feels good and it's the right place for you to be at that time. Sometimes the right place for you to get what you need isn't where you think you might need to be.  

Speaking of the Golden Path, my brain finds it quite impossible not to think of this tune......

Friday, 11 February 2011

A moving experience (Part 1)

It's all happening!... We're set to move house at the end of the month. Our home is half packed up and in a slight state of disarray.  I'm a real home bird and love being snug and cosy, I'm trying to get used to the idea of home not being quite how I want it for a while.

I always wondered why  people talk about moving as being high up "the list" of stressful events, I've moved house at least 6 times in the last 15 years or so since I flew the nest and it's always been fine. I suppose you have to be settled to be uprooted, and perhaps I've never really been that settled before. This is the first time I've moved from a home we've owned, and the first time we've moved since having children. I'm beginning to realise why it's stressful now though, which is not to say I'm feeling stressed (well, not consciously at least).

It's not really the practical issues of packing, moving, unpacking that are taxing, though I'm not denying the effort required in this. It's the intensity of emotions that get thrown up that are harder to cope with. It would be easy to begin to be overwhelmed and not really know how to deal with that. Some examples:

Editing possessions and sorting the past. I'm finding going through Esme's artwork particularly harrowing: I can't believe the children are growing up so fast. The feelings of grief and mourning I've had have surprised me in some respects as I'm also so happy to see them growing up.

The sense of somehow, gently, disconnecting from where you are, without losing precious friends and appreciation of the place that has been home. And hoping, hoping, hoping that the new connections you wish to create will be created, and be fruitful, fulfilling, fun!

It's also challenging to family relationships, bringing up potential conflicts with many important issues: money, equality and justice, co-operation, support, respect. A minefield when your resources are already depleted by all of the above!

I can't get my head into the people who seem to change their homes motivated by "investment" or just because they fancy a change. I don't want to do this again too soon, even though (fingers and toes and everything else crossed) it's seeming fairly smooth for us right now...

I'm more than a little nervous about making a new life somewhere quite different, even though that place is "home" for me. Bonkers. I'm also quite confident this is the right thing for us to do. It feels momentous, but I also have a sense I'll look back in a few years and wonder what I was making a big deal about!

Our family is ready for the space it needs to grow and reach it's fullest potential.