Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Ain't no mama got time fo dat!

I haven't been around much lately because the nitty gritty business of just living has been getting in the way of the more gentile and pleasurable aspects of life such as blogging, crafting and documenting. Activities which I bitterly  miss.

To put in plainly I have been grafting, earning my crust, busting my gut...We had no money so I had to get a job or two.  And I have been learning a lot about myself and the world through this experience.  For one thing, I totally get why poor people take out loans; because having no money is depressing, it really sucks, so you cheer yourself up by buying and doing things you can't really afford, taking a holiday to France for example, buying lottery tickets, getting a takeaway every Friday night, thinking "blow it, let's try for another baby" (and by the way since when did having children become a privilege of the rich?) I have a new-found sympathy for those on low-income.

But in putting my nose to the grindstone I have realised how severely neglected my creative inner world has been, and it's been suffering (I've been suffering) big time.  I didn't really realise quite how much I needed it until this morning when I took a gander through an old sketchbook. I was immediately taken back to a time before I had children when I had the luxury motivation to be able to take time to really reflect on my inner creative world, search my soul, listen to my whispers, hear my hearts calling etc etc etc. I was at a real high point in my creative journey where I felt on the cusp of something big, things were coming together, symbols, art pieces, meaning.

Some of my old sketchbook pages.

And then BAM...Children, and suddenly you think that  nurturing your creative spirit isn't a priority any more, or useful, or important.

It's not like I sat down one day and though "oh well, you know what? I don't really need all that arting around, it was all just a bit of a lark really, now I have to get on with the serious business of raising children."  It happened slowly, over time, almost without me noticing; my ability to be able to sit down and really reflect, search, discover, create, has been chipped away at, though tiredness, lack of free time, distractions (curse you Facebook) I have neglected to make a priority of these essential explorations.  And equally as imperceptibly a whole part of my spirit, my personality in a sense, has been degrading and has left me with strange empty gap which I have rather unhelpfully filled with feelings of anger, resentment and frustration. I can't blame my children, it's not their fault and they fill up another part of my soul even more measurably than that lack of creativity empties another.  I also can't blame myself in any useful way because it was just something that happened, maybe it was something that had to happen, I don't know. But what I know now is that no one else is going to drag me out of this rut, there is no lottery win over the horizon, no long lost relative who is going to die and leave me their fortune, if I want things to change then I need to pick myself up off the floor and make it happen myself.

And I am starting, not with some great money making venture but with small gestures, notes, journal reflections.  I intend to simply pay attention again, like I used to, because not only an I not a whole person without nurturing my creative spirit, but I am a far less effective parent to boot. Hopefully I'll be seeing lots more of you all over the coming weeks and months, be with me, wish me well, I need this.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Gentle Parenting Retreat

Gentle parenting can sometimes be quite emotionally draining, it can take a lot out of you because you have to give a lot. Sometimes it is good to take some time out, not to get away from your children but to take some time and space to relax and refill your emotional cup. It's important we do this to be effective parents, we must meet our own emotional needs in order to meet those of our children.

It's for this reason I decided to organise a one day gentle parenting retreat near me for like minded mums to come together, share their experiences and relax.

The day will begin with arrival between 9 and 10 (I know what it's like trying to get anywhere early with children about), we will spend this time getting to know each other a bit and sharing a hot cup of tea or coffee.  
Our first session is a creative art session which will give us an opportunity to explore themes of motherhood, express our innate creativity and experiment with materials, no art experience necessary, we will of course stop half way through for refreshments.
We will break half way through the day for a delicious lunch.
In the afternoon we will learn about mindfulness and how it we can incorporate it into our parenting and we will end the day with a relaxing guided meditation so we can all float home in a peaceful and relaxed trance!

The day long session with two therapists and lunch costs £75.00.  I have 14 places available.  Any mothers who practice gentle parenting or attachment parenting are welcome to join us.  It doesn't matter if your children are toddlers or teenagers, the only restrictions on this even is that it is mothers only.  You don't even have to be local to attend this event.  

Please get in touch if you are interested, details are on the flyer.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Vegan Birthday BBQ on the beach

Last weekend we visited my family in the Gower in South Wales.  We had some beautiful weather for my sisters birthday on the beach.  She is vegan too so the BBQ was 100% vegan and delicious.  

I am lucky enough to have two sisters, my other sister made this fab birthday bunting which was hung on some rocks. 

She's single folks!

Some blankets spread out by the rocks set out our little area.

Me with my other sister.

What's a summer BBQ without Pimms?

Linda Mccartney Sausages, and burgers (made by mashing up some LM sausages with some chilli and other seasonings and re-forming them into burgers) and some veggie kebabs which are transformed on a BBQ with a lovely chargrilled flavour. 

We also cooked some sweetcorn over the coals, still in it's husk. Delicious. 

My sister also made some moreish red cabbage relish,

Me and my lovely mum,

Ending a beautiful day on the gorgeous shoes of Rhossili Beach.