Pleasure

How much pleasure do you not allow yourself in a day? How much pleasure are you denying?

“I won’t…..

o   Have that tea bag, special coffee…

o   Wear that underwear, that dress, that top

o   Put on that perfume, that cream, that lipstick

o   Eat that ……”

And its only 10am in the morning, how much pleasure are you missing in a day? A year? A lifetime?

It fascinates me that for a culture of pleasure seeking, pain avoiding individuals, we still harbor guilty feelings about our own pleasure. It’s unnecessary, frivolous, a waste of precious time. We practice willpower, abstinence, the less we ‘give in’ to ourselves the ‘better’ we are. And when we do succumb; we have feelings of defeat, weakness and sometimes humiliation.

How can a poor girl (or guy) win?

We’ve come from a society that for thousands of years revolved around constraint and following rules, or be faced with dire consequences – particularly if you’re a woman. And on some level we still harbor this – punishment and reward systems designed to motivate us to tow the line, do the ‘right’ thing and contribute in a cooperative way to our society. Then add on your cultural or family dynamic backgrounds and you have a world of shut down, disconnect, right and wrong – with a truck load of guilt. No wonder we have trouble ‘finding ourselves’ and connecting to our ideal diet.

So in this punishment and rewards system, we actively avoid painful experiences, we crave pleasurable ones, yet it isn’t safe (or socially acceptable) to live life following your bliss. Hmmm. It’s a bit of a conundrum. It’s a yo-yo of scraping by on whatever pleasure you can hustle, whilst denying, berating and imploding with guilt (should’s and shouldn’ts) – where you hit rock bottom, irritation and anger and then the cravings begin again – which has you grabbing for a bit of pleasure, hustling for your self worth…and often in the wrong places.

When we are able to step outside of this generational programming and see our yearnings as a roadmap to our most fulfilled life, we can allow our pleasure to seduce us – allow ourselves to follow the dance of desire that always leads us to where we need to be, in perfect time. You see, the sweetness of life, the succulence of our life-juice and the vibe of our soul is contained in our access to pleasure. It isn’t frivolous, or a waste of time. It isn’t weak or selfish. It is absolutely essential to the unfolding of who you are. When we follow our pleasure, we find a life and diet designed by us, for us, to live a life we are seduced by.

 

The Pleasure Diet

What is the pleasure diet? It is my ideal of how everyone would choose to live. It is a diet where food has no power and there is no right, wrong, good or bad. It is a diet based on honouring our body and soul through the experience of pleasure. Its a diet tailored by our intuition, with a bit of extra wisdom and guidance.

The real truth is: you don’t need someone to dictate to you your ideal diet. Sometimes you need a little nudge or exposure to what else there is – an expanding of your repertoire, but ultimately when you are eating with consciousness, listening to your body drivers, needs and feelings and accessing the beliefs or cravings behind these, food becomes almost irrelevant.

I have seen time and time again with clients that whenever they are craving a food, to break a rule or are left wanting, there is always a message behind it. It just seems that for most of us, our intuition can talk to us most easily through memory and association with a food. Its an easy access route to fulfilling your deespest needs and desires – it’s a guaranteed pleasure hit and it’s a tried and tested path that never fails. Its just often short term.

So it makes sense that perhaps after years of ‘being good’ and ‘doing the right thing’ – often ignoring or waving away your gut feelings, it becomes more difficult to decipher the subtleties of your intuition; your soul, talking to you through your human body.

We’re not schooled in tuning in. We’re not taught to follow our gut, if it means offending someone. We’re not shown a path to listening to the messages our body has for us. So food becomes a punishment or a reward, our behavior becomes good or bad. We become worthy or unworthy. And we hustle.

But there is another way – a kinder, more pleasurable, more enticing and sensual way to live. But it begins with these questions:

“What was I really wanting (on a social/emotional level) right before I had that craving? Can I do something to meet these needs?”

“What does that food represent to me? What is the memory and feeling attached to that food? Can I do something to meet these feelings?”

“What do I want right now?”

These questions are absolute gold for reconnecting with your intuition, beginning the path to listening to your body and soul and discovering the life force you posses when food has no power over you, but is there purely for your pleasure.

Childhood Calling

Have you ever stopped and noticed how the things you loved in your childhood keep cropping up?

Yesterday I watched a movie I loved as a young teenager and haven’t seen since – Dangerous Beauty. It fascinates me how my life has come almost full circle, how the things I’m passionate about now had clues back in my childhood and beyond. This movie is about a young Venetian woman who is trained by her mother to be a Courtesan. I still love it. How wonderful to be schooled in the art of pleasure, to know more than “safe sex”, to understand the language of desire and seduction without showing a hint of flesh. There are two lines, said by the very seductive Jacquiline Bissett, that keep coming up in my mind:

“To give pleasure, you must know pleasure” and “Desire begins in the mind”.

The truth of these statements ring so true for me, that their roots seem deeper than am consciously aware. How different would my life have been, my self esteem, my foray with love, had I been taught these two meanings in my adolescence?

I am always saying to my clients – “What does your deepest self desire?” Because when we get clear on what truly moves us, what we deeply want (without shame or guilt or fear of impossibility) it becomes easier to call it to us. Desire of the flesh, the feelings in our body and in our loins, are in response to us surrendering to the desire we first conjured in our mind. How do we ignite passion and desire in another? By tapping into desire in their mind, their creative imagination – it is where everything manifested begins, from what we are aware of to what we are unconsciously attracting.

It also answers the question – “how do I become more seductive?”.   To know how to give pleasure, you must first experience it. To know how to seduce, you must first experience seduction. So my darling, what is seducing you? What does your deepest self desire?

Take a moment to think about it. What seduces you? What creates yearning and desire within you? What do you truly, madly, deeply want? Follow those lush feelings – allow them to blossom in your belly, fan their flame and see what happens….you may just find you inner seductress…..

“The things you are passionate about are never random, they are your calling”

The Fats

I’m going a little Nutrition on you, but with good reason, I promise. Fats are something I am passionate about! So I’d like to light up a little of that passion with you in the hopes it rocks your world and creates a freedom and a party within your body.

Lets lay the ground work.

We need fat. Fat is used by our bodies in every single cell. They are used in every structure, within every cell in your body. They are used for brain chemistry, immune building and gut regulation. They are absolutely essential to the formation of your sex hormones….yes, the ones that create libido, vitality and mojo within your physical self. All of your testosterone, oestorgen, progesterone and all other other ones in between need fats to be created. Fats regulate our digestion and blood sugar levels – in short, our access to fat and the vitamins and cholesterol it contains, has the ability to control how our body functions.

So if there aren’t enough fats, what happens to all the ‘things’ that require fat to ‘work’?

The truth is they do their best to manage, and they will for a short time. But then the crack will start to appear. The processes will begin to ‘malfunction’ and you’ll begin to feel the effects.

We don’t make fat-soluble vitamins or cholesterol – we depend entirely on access to them from our diet. With the advent of the low-fat or no-fat diet, we are now seeing generations of people with deficiency symptoms. So the polar swing with this realization is the paleo diet and the Weston A Price diet phenomenons. Diet’s based on the consumption of ‘good’ fats, high protein (especially animal) and zero tolerance for grains and processed foods – you see in this paradigm, it’s the sugar in carbohydrate and pure form that creates disease.

You will never ‘get fat’ eating a high fat and protein, low carb and grain diet, because the fats nourish so much within our body and are so connected to the pleasure we receive from food.

How it all began...

I’m a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist – I’m pro conscious eating, healthy living and sustainability. I’m pro making healthy, healing choices. But. I don’t believe food is IT. I know there’s more to being healthy and living a healthful, fulfilling, inspiring life than controlling my kilojoules, my fat, my low-fat, my sugar, my carcinogens, my good foods and my bad foods. In fact, I think all of this is the biggest misconception in the health industry today. Renegade?

I’m a Women’s Healing Leader, Counselor and Doula – I’m pro women being in their bodies, making conscious, empowered choices that serve them. I’m pro tears, emotion and healing, unpacking their past and their beliefs that no longer serve them. I’m pro loving this vessel called Woman and loving yourself sick. BUT. I don’t think the solution to an inspired and happy life is sitting in our wounds and scars or ‘moving on’. I don’t think the answer in in the vague concept of ‘self-love’ and ‘self-esteem’. I don’t think being bad-ass, powerful and putting your ‘big-girl-pants-on’ is the way to an ecstatic existence. I think we women have lost our way – somewhere between ‘the little woman’ and the empowered feminist. Rebellious?

I’m a mum of three, I’ve worked and I’ve stayed at home. I’ve lived my life as a stay at home mum fervently defending the value of putting into our kids, nourishing hearth, health and family – often at the expense of my needs. Because that’s what a good mum does right? She serves, she gives, she says yes, she nurtures, she meets needs, she heals wounds, she hears her children’s hurts and rebellions and unwaveringly holds space for their development – and she receives the crumbs of care that are left. I’ve come full circle to times of hating my role, resenting my kids and wondering why, when I have such firm beliefs in the value of my role, was I so unhappy?

I’ve worked and I’ve had a career that was all about my ego. I’m THIS label, so I rock. I’m THIS label, so I’m a modern woman managing success and family – see? I’m THIS label, so I’m worthy – right? I’m so stretched I’ve got nothing left. I’m not giving 100% anywhere, and wheels fall off everywhere. But, I manage the juggle and I’m fulfilled right? Career, family, home….then why am I resentful? Why am I so tired?

So you see – a misfit. That’s me. I’ve spent my whole life trying to fit in, resenting the process, learning some truths about myself and the community I serve and I’ve changed. I’ve adapted. I’ve absorbed and turned my wounds into my greatest gifts. I’ve filled my perceived voids. I’ve shifted my perspective and I’m SO grateful. And you know what I’ve learnt? You know what my biggest lesson is? The thing I want all women everywhere to know and act on?

Pleasure, sensuality, desire. More delicious than any other aspect of health….

Hand it Over

So I recently aired on Nourishing the Mother Podcasts, “The Spiritual Vagina” episode. To be honest, we’d been talking about it for some time and on a whim we dived in. Shortly after, I was plagued by awkwardness – what if its not good enough? What if I didn’t cover everything I wanted to? What if its ridiculed and I feel inadequate? What if….. This is a classic Ego-based thought process – one beautifully designed to keep you in your comfort zone. So I took a breath, handed my stress over to “whatever it is, its perfect” and forgot about it….until it aired and got enormous traffic…

Some of that traffic was in celebration, some in shock and cringe – a spectrum that felt very familiar. My dear friend and mentor Bridget Wood always says – “you know you’re on the right path when you have just as many ‘haters’ as ‘lovers’” and I utterly get this. Universally we are always craving balance and if we don’t choose and honor our challenges, we will be swept up in the ones we don’t choose. When you think about the most successful people in this world, the ones you admire and aspire to be – aren’t there always people raining on their parade? Some in disgust and repulsion, some in utter adoration?

So what does it mean to “hand it over” to “whatever it is, is perfect”?

What it really means is that I see only an inkling of the intertwined perfection of this universe, so who am I to decide the value of something, or indeed the timing of it? How do I know how far the ripple I began travels? How do I know how one sentence, one moment, can change the course of one persons life? I can’t, so I hand over my stress, for trust in the universe’s magnificent ‘plan’.

I have utter trust in: if I’m being authentic and “in flow” with what feels inspiring or seems to stand out before me, that this is an opportunity (a sign post) that I need to head THIS way – and then I cant go ‘wrong’. That doesn’t mean there won’t be challenge, because there will, but if I stay in my flow and authenticity then I am able to choose my challenges in areas that inspire me and in doing so lead an inspiring life.

It is almost shocking to me how much grasping this one aspect has altered my life and my anxiety. I now reallyget that to follow what inspires me is leading me on my souls path and in the process of my self-discovery, there is perfection in the crossing over and awakening within those around me.

So, dear Spiritual Vagina Podcast listeners, whether you hated it or loved it, whether you gelled with it or felt ribbed by it, it is actually irrelevant. Because the fact that it crossed your path, that I was there in that moment with Bridget, in whatever mood we were in, following whatever thoughts ‘occurred’ to us, the fact that you listened to it or came across those words at that time, in that moment, following whatever thoughts or ‘Facebook rabbit hole’ you were in – is the perfect part. It is the seed that has laid ground ready to flourish something within you – perhaps not now, perhaps not in the way you thought – but one day you’ll be driving your car, or walking to work and something will awaken within you and send you on a path you would otherwise have missed…and this is the whole point.

So hand it over ladies xx

Life is for the Living

 “Life if for the living” – thank you Lily Kershaw (if you haven’t heard her, you’ll die a thousand deaths when you do). What happens when we stop ‘living’? We stay stagnant, we don’t leap, we don’t grow, we don’t change and we do our absolute best to stay in the safety of our comfort zone.

The way forwards is always going to force you out of what you know, because if you stay the same, using the same tools, approaching situations the same way…how will you ever change and grow? But its so comfy here in the comfort zone isn’t’ it? You know it, you can anticipate it and you can plan it – but our souls are never satisfied being less than what we are capable of. So we begin to feel unrest, unease and an itching for “more”. But “the more”, the “what else” is scary and we don’t know the way – it is never clearly laid out before us and it is never absolutely planned.

The thirst to grow and chase the ‘dream’ is exactly what you should trust, because if you don’t choose your challenges, the Universe will place them where you are. So you can choose to stay in your comfort zone, because it’s the lesser of two evils – the less scary, but there will be equal challenges there…perhaps in other areas of your life. Or you can choose to take the plunge, choose the challenge, be active in chasing them even, for where there is challenge, there is growth and Universal support.

So follow you gut yearning for more, listen to the signposts of your desire, for it is the way of the feminine and the way of creation – creating a new you and your new reality. Sometimes the journey to the destination is the whole point – we need the challenges to grow and change and carve us into the type of person who befits the dream you’ve dreamt. The path of creation always involves the life-death-life cycle of the feminine, the Crone Archetype. “Death” is like a breakdown, before a breakthrough; the “Life” in the cycle. Sometimes we must shed our layers, allow those parts of us that no longer serve us to “die” so we can be “reborn” into the “new” us – this is the trajectory of soul growth – life-death-life cycles and its painful and its challenging and sometimes its downright shit, but I promise you my love this journey are and continue to expand and grow who we are.

The Deep Seductress

I’m sick…and so is my crew

 What do you do when your whole crew (family) are sick…and so are you…and you feel the opposite of seductive? Is a Seductress always seductive? And if she’s not, what is she?

Well, first off, being The Keeper of Wellbeing for your whole tribe is hard enough, but if you’re also down and out, its simply hell. What the heck is a seductress supposed to do?!

You see, the new paradigm of Seduction is not about what YOU ARE SEDUCING, but WHAT IS SEDUCING YOU. So in this frame, we are always seductive because our seduction is for ourselves; for our own pleasure and enjoyment. If this happens to flow outwards and someone (or many) pick up on this vibe and have their own combustible reaction to it, then enjoy their reaction to it – this is the marvelous, wonderful creation and inspiration process innate to all of us.

If you are not feeling sexy, you ARE still seductive, because it is innate within you – you were born with the ability and desire to be seduced and allow this seduction to flow outwards from a filled to the brim (or overflowing!) pleasure cup.

So, my darling, what is seducing YOU? Right now, in this moment, what do you crave? Yes, I know you have little ones pulling at you for attention, and food, and comfort…. and its exhausting. But what little piece of peace can you take right now and in every hour till this day is over? If you are able to put a little back in, I guarantee you’ll get through this day, this week, without hitting cabin fever pitch.

This is also the time I would ask you to lay down any judgments on screen time – this is exactly the moment when the marvels of screen time come to fruition and perhaps give you a much needed 20 minute (at least, fingers crossed!) break – YES! Screens are the Break-Time Fairy in disguise!

Even if you don’t feel like having a shower, want to put on trackies and lay on the couch all day – you are still a seductress, because you are honouring what is seducing you.

 If you want to skip breakfast, or eat pizza for lunch – you are still a seductress, because you are honouringwhat is seducing you.

 If you want to lay in the sun while the kids water-play on their own, or collect worms, or make snail homes – you are still a seductress, because you are honouring what is seducing you.

 A seductress is also boundaried and if it doesn’t serve her, she won’t allow herself to do it – knowing when she has full control over her boundaries she is totally safe to be who she is.  Do you have a To-Do List, that is overwhelming and you can’t even lift your head off the pillow? Is your house going to shit around you as your kids tear through it, room to room, but you don’t have the energy to move? Do you know you need to cook all manner of healthy amazingness, but all you can manage right now, without breaking down, is baked beans from a can, white bread from the pantry and milk from the fridge?

Ok. Breathe. You are safe to be you. When you trust your boundaries, you are safe to trust the full spectrum of your Seductress – this includes her light as much as her dark. Forget who is going to be offended, who you are ‘letting down’ – because the funny thing with these Universal Challenges, is when we finally put ourselves at the top of our priority list (yes, you get the face mask first for a reason!) and we get clear on what our boundaries are for self-care – there seem to be a number of other options and helping hands, than were previously ‘hidden’ from our sight, and those people who we thought we are letting down or offending find a way for this ‘challenge’ to serve them just as much. It does legitimately all work out in the end…the difference, the sliding door, is how ‘well’ you are at the other end….YOU are WORTHY of time out, of care and nurturing – of honouring your healing and boundaries.

So deep Seductress, how are you going to honour yourself in this challenging time?

Tears

 “You see the sky, you cry, you don’t know why….”

This lyrical sentence is from a song I was listening to today…and it got me thinking. Have you ever seen such an exquisite sun set; that it sent your heart aching, your soul soaring and your body overflowing with feeling? Has it been SO beautiful, this sight you’ve witnessed, that it brought tears to your eyes? Has it ever felt like the angels pressed play and you were briefly privy to such glory, that it was almost too much for your human body to contain?

It reminds me of the movie “City of Angels” when Nicholas Cage is speaking to Meg Ryans character about crying; “maybe emotion becomes so intense your body just can’t contain it. Your mind and your feelings become too powerful, and your body weeps”.

I keep saying over and over “Let beauty feed your soul” – but if we were really, truly able to grasp the magnitude of the beauty of every single ‘thing’, moment and experience we would self-combust – our human form unable to ‘handle’ the enormity of that love, devotion and perfection.

This is what I mean by “Beauty is Infinite”; it is endless, without conformity and with infinitely unique perfection, just like the universe. This is ‘womans’ beauty too. There is no less or more beauty in any one woman – because beauty is infinite. There is enough to ‘go around’ and there are SO many forms of female beauty. I would go so far as to say I find something (or many things) beautiful about every single woman I meet and I enjoy the feeling of witnessing beauty, for I know beauty is infinite and I have no less or more beauty than the woman I’m relishing looking at.

When I see a gorgeous woman, or am drawn towards a womans infinite expression of beauty, my mind can go one of three ways:

o   I can relish it and enjoy the sensation I receive from witnessing beauty – for it feeds my own.

o   I can step outside of the experience for a moment and ask myself what it is that I’m attracted to. Then – where am I, or am I not, owning that within myself and how do I express more of it within me – because you only see what you already have…you just might not have claimed it for yourself yet.

o   I can jump into comparison between that woman and myself; which will lead to self-criticism, self-punishing and judgment.

So which feels better for you? Which would have your body singing with desire?

Know that beauty is literally infinite – it has no end, no beginning, no edges and no limits. A woman set on fire with her passions, desires and pleasures is infinitely beautiful, seductively magnetic and shines so brightly you can’t help but stare and feel drawn towards her…beauty is food for the soul and we’ll want to reach out for it.

Beauty is everywhere waiting for you to seep it up, set your heart on fire and ignite your soul. Sometimes this love is so overwhelming our bodies weep with sweet release – but tears are our gateway to vulnerability, sensuality and our connection to our soul – so stay a while in this moment, within this beauty and just love this sight, this smell, this sensual experience, with the adoration it was designed for.

The Why

So today a friend reminded me why I’m here.   She was talking about her deep, dark depression that lead to a leap of faith on a health journey, that lead to her finding her way back to who she is and awakening a life she loves.

Don’t you remember when:

o   You’ve lost who you are.

o   You’re running on empty.

o   You don’t’ know where to go or the path to get back on track.

o   You don’t’ know what you’re looking for but you know things cant stay the way they are.

o   You just need skills for coping and getting back to a version of normal, so you can get through a day without needing a wine or screaming.

o   You don’t even realise how bad its gotten, you’re trapped in this unhappy place and you just accept it.

I’ve been here. She’d been there. I just know other mothers have been here too.

And this is what creates within me a feeling of my heart breaking and the impetus to want it to be different for other women. This is my why.

I totally GET the journey a woman goes through in becoming a new version of herself – and motherhood is a fast break version of this. We are forced to face ourselves, our inner child, our grown up self, our parenting, our vulnerability, our sacrifice and all our demons of belief’s that hold us back ….. along with the pure magnificence and joy of motherhood. It’s a Universal equilibrium, but shit sometimes those scales just seemed too far tipped one way!

Of course, the perfection in this is that you’re desperation, your heartbreak and your void on happiness creates an impetus and motivation within you to look for change, new tools and new way of being.

Each time I’ve shifted and had to change, it’s been tough – brutal even, but when I’m though the other side of the ‘learnings’, I’m able to come to gratitude for the heartache and challenge and see how it served me in creating who I am.

I want this for women. I want them to reconnect with who they are and where they are going in this life. I want them to find the peace and love in their challenges. I want them to see their magnificence and reconnect with that till I can see it pouring out of them like a luminescent light. This is what happens you know when women set their souls on fire and get back in love with who they are – the light up – and it is magnetic. You are drawn to that light, you witness it and you just want a little bit of it.

But when we turn our light down, when we’ve forgotten who we are, when we don’t recognise ourselves anymore, nor see our beauty – we dull our light. Our happiness dilutes and we run on less and less reserves.

There is a way back. Only its more than a way back. It’s a way forward, taking all your life lessons, learnings and challenges and mining the gold out of them to create within you a feeling of adoration and gratitude, a loving of your specific brand of beauty and magnificence and an ability to share your light with this world – we all need it.

If you need help connecting with who you are now, along with tools to get you back on track – come on over to Nourishing the Mother – Facebook and free weekly Podcast on iTunes and The Wellness Couch. We run twice yearly Women’s Retreats where we walk you through our toolkit for peeling back the layers to connect with your magnificence.

Homemade Fish 'n' Chips

This ones a family faviourite so I had to share!

Beer batter fish with home made chips is easier than you think…it’s a family faviourite because it tastes great, is fun to make and quick!

Ingredients:

Fish – any will do, but a light white fish best, we like Flathead tails are delish! Slice into fish-finger type sizes.

Batter – Self Raising Flour (Gluten free works fine too), beer (any), ice cubes

Potato’s – washed, sliced into wedges

Sunflower oil for frying

Method:

Heat oven 180 degrees.

lightly toss wedges in olive oil and salt (I love pink Himalayan!).  Place on tray and into oven for 45 mins to an hour, turning half way through – cook until lovely golden colour.

Heat oil in a large pan or wok, quite a lot – enough to have a “deep fry”.

Mix SR flour (roughly 2 cups for 1kg fish) with chilled beer until smooth and batter is a thick-pancake consistency (if too runny add more flour, if too thick add more beer).  The trick with a killer beer batter is ICE!  so chuck in a dozen ice cubes…they chill the batter and make it light and fluffy when it cooks.  As the ice cubes melt, your batter will get thinner on the fish, this is completely fine!

Dip fish pieces in batter to coat them and put them straight away into hot oil pan (I use a wok).  Cook until golden, turning as needed.

Drain on folded paper towel.

Serve with wedges, aoli or mayo.

The Jade Egg

So recently I attended a 3-day workshop on awakening your magnetism and lusciousness with Saida Desilets. It was 3 days of meeting the edges of my comfort zone and stretching beyond them….that’s tough work. So I have total empathy for those of you that are on a path of redefining your edges too.

The beauty in meeting our discomfort zone is we meet our beliefs and fears holding us back and have ‘direct contact’ with them – so we can really see, hear and feel what’s running us. When we find this sweet spot of vulnerability we can begin to peel back our layers and heal.

Then guess what? We emerge like a butterfly from a cocoon – a comfort zone cocoon – into something more magnificent, a more complete and compelled version of our true authentic selves. So the discomfort serves right? Not only does it allow us to tap into what is actually lurking behind our “not good enough”, but we realise we can go beyond it.

I always advocate diving into anything that has a feeling of discomfort or resistance about it – it is a red flag that we need healing and awareness there…and that it is part of our path of owning our genius. The trick is to go as fast as the slowest part of yourself – when you do this you continue to grow incrementally forward – when we thrust upon ourselves enormous uncomfortable change, we crash and burn, move into resentment and end up further back than when we started.

The terrific thing is too, that the more we allow ourselves opportunity to sit in and move through discomfort, the more comfortable we become with the feeling of discomfort and the less we run our lives in avoidance.

So. Back to my insights.

The whole workshop is steeped in ancient Taoist philosophy (Ancient Chinese Philosophy) around longevity, life force and feminine power, with Saidas twist – her enormous body of wisdom applied to the female reproductive system – from the pituitary in the brain, right through the body to the Yoni (Sanskrit word for Vagina).

It is a set of practices designed to awaken your life juice, your “succulence”, amplify your connection to self and your hidden magnetic power, improve muscle tone and symptoms within the female reproductive system. It is not until day 3 that we begin to introduce the Jade Egg – an egg of solid nephrite Jade.

Yes, it was new for me too – to be in a group of women ‘doing’ something that seems sexual. However, it was actually the opposite of that. The way Saida teaches her practices are all about the feminine – the quiet, internal spaces of personal power, connection to self and life force. She teaches that our divine sexual selves are radiant and luscious, but SO sacred it is for us first…for us to share with whoever is worthy enough to enter such a sacred and magnificent temple. The reverence she describes for women, their Yonis, wombs, ovaries and breasts is an experience I will never forget. I have never heard anyone love and honor women and their bodies in such a way that no matter your journey or the way you feel about your body – you literally feel the ancient sacredness of our sexual selves and of our connection to all the women who have come before us.

So, back to the class. We are all lying down, covered with a blanket, eyes closed and doing a set of breathing and muscle exercises for personal connection to this quiet space of internal ecstasy and awakening….and I found it. I honored my slowest, most vulnerable self, I stayed with the first exercise while others advanced on. But I tell you, I have never felt ecstasy like that before. It felt like the peak of the most exquisite orgasm you’ve ever had, but without that sense of ‘coming down’ or ‘losing it’ or out of control and it didn’t fade or pulse – it was a constant “singing”. As opposed to the noisy, external version of pleasure and orgasm, it was incredibly quiet and internal – I had access to it only on my outbreath and experienced its full weight in the stillness between exhale and inhale. So sweet was this ecstasy running in two ‘cords’ up and down the full length of my body and out my head and toes…I seriously hung on to that stillness, not wanting to take another breath, not wanting to leave this place. Like the dance of Yin and Yang, as soon as I inhaled I was taken out of it, but on the next exhale I had opportunity to really connect to it again, which depended on my ability to release and surrender…see what a quiet and powerful space the feminine is?

Her power is in our subtlety – her magnificence hides in our mystery.

The most powerful aspects of you as a woman are not in the loud, out-there versions of yourself. They are not in your ability to achieve and succeed – they are not measurable. Your absolute grounded power and masterful magnificence is in your subtle mystery…those aspects of yourself that are as yet undiscovered, so quiet they barely whisper to you. Her immovable power is in your ability to surrender control and release into what life-force-lusciousness she can pour into you when you lift the veil and enter her sacred quiet space.

The Mother Space - Breaking and Pushing Buttons

I’m broken. I’m breaking. I’m falling apart. I’m being forced to change and its painful.

Have you ever felt these things?

I know I have, several times, with each child. It is SO painful. And I always hate being there initially…it takes a bit of healing to come into gratitude for the breaking of you into your next evolution – the glow stick right?

Our kids push our buttons, but its bigger than that – they are our mirror for growth and change and our catalyst to directly accessing the pain/childhood memory or trauma we have stored – you can’t heal what you can’t feel, remember?

I’ll break this down:

They are each our perfect mirror, reflecting back to us whatever we have stuffed down or hidden away – they will each extract change, healing and growth from us in a different way, by displaying a behaviour or trait which drives us crazy! The “driving us crazy” part, is us having a huge ‘triggered’ response to this behaviour – we experience a massive increase or surge in emotion:

  • Your baby might hit the ‘sweet spot’ of anger/frustration/fear/anxiety with crying and emotion.
  • Your toddler might hit the ‘sweet spot’ of anger or rage when they exert their own will.
  • Your child might hit the ‘sweet spot’ of fear when they are asking for more freedom.
  • Your tween might hit the ‘sweet spot’ of your body image issues, when they are developing or eating continuously.
  • Your teenager might hit the ‘sweet spot’ of shame or guilt when they are discovering their own sexuality.

When our children display behaviours and traits that trigger us into having a big emotional, irrational reaction to, they are mirroring us in some way.   It won’t be a conscious memory, but it will be a little flash back to an unhealed aspect of yourself. This unhealed aspect will have its roots back in your childhood, it is a wounded aspect of yourself which has never been fully resolved, left unhealed, disowned or shamed. By burying it down, that story will be running us in some way, in our current adult life, with a belief or behaviour we revert back to.

The second part to this is the trigger; the rush of emotion that feels overwhelming and has you ‘leaving’ your body or mind and has you reverting back to your parents, on autopilot – even though you swore you never would.

This emotion is our key. It provides a virtual ‘replay’ of what took place in one ‘wounding’ moment in our lives – we get to seehear and feel what our parents did, how they felt and how we felt – it’s the perfect role play of parent and child, you get to feel and identify with both perpetrator and victim. You get direct body-felt access to what ‘went down’ when you were….2, 8, 12, 17…behaving like…….?

So the tricky part is what to do next. You know how this story ends when you dive right into that overwhelming triggered feeling, you’ve lived it as a child. The question is – “Do you want your kids to live it too?”.

I am totally aware of how difficult this is to draw ourselves out of our hurt inner child ‘moment’. That inner child of ours wants healing and he/she will rear up looking for the panacea of the wounding moment – they’ve already been the victim, it doesn’t’ feel good…they also learnt in that moment that to feel the opposite of the victim – strong, powerful, in control – they need to be the opposite of the victim – the perpetrator. Our inner child is begging to be set free through repeating the actions that were done to us, we desperately want to be our parents in this moment. Our inner child wants desperately to heal and feel better, not live in the victim, wounded state anymore.

So when I’m asking you to step away from these overwhelming feelings, I am fully aware it is one of the most difficult thing’s I am asking you to do. There is an edge of pleasure here. In a rational sense of course it make no sense, but we’re not in the realm of the rational – we’re in the subconscious world; we’retriggered and plugged in and unleashing our ‘beast’, whatever version that is for you, feels so tempting and delicious there is a strong part of you that just wants to let go, release into and feel freedom instead of constraint. Our inner child might feel appeased in that moment, but afterwards the crushing ramifications of this in our rational, conscious self can be catastrophic.

Daunting hey?

When we really begin to ‘get’ what the mirror is in our lives, it can feel overwhelming.   But here’s the thing – when we are conscious enough to recognise it, it is so immensely healing – we begin to function authentically, not running off of old stories.

Steps to consider when you have become aware of the mirror in your children:

Step 1

Do I need to walk away? Is it safer right now not to be near my children? How can I calm myself down and find my way back to balance?

I come from an attachment parenting background, so I get that isolation seems more damaging than offering connection in their darkest moments. However, if you are triggered and on the verge unleashing your beast, you need to remove yourself from the ‘trigger’ so you can shift out of your unconscious and back into your rational/conscious self – not run by emotion.

You will be far more ‘useful’ to your children if you leave and come back calm and present.

Step 2

Observe this scene with interest – like a historian – this is your history, this was you at some point – what are you displaying as a child? What are you feeling as a parent? What do you want to do to stop it? Was this what your parents did?

Observing a scene with interest and dissecting its individual aspects can not only be healing, but it takes you out of the raw emotion of it all. You have a very physical experience here of both child and parent – you can see what you did as a child, you can see how your parents ‘handled’ you. The real questions are –do you feel compassion for each? Does it shift the way you view your parents behavior when you can feel the way they were? Does it release some of the blame or shame you have held for years?

Step 3

Have compassion for yourself. When we treat ourselves with kindness we are allowing all aspects of ourselves to be present. When we feel shameful and want to disown our anger, our fear, our violence, we will always come up against ‘road blocks’ to force us to face it and own it as an aspect within ourselves – and until we do we will continue to be ‘triggered’ by the mirrors around us. The path to wholeness is never through disowning, it is through claiming the totality of who you are.

So talk to your fear, your rage, your violence – talk to your inner child. “Hello anger, I see you are here because you are feeling …… and you have learnt from years of wounding to be here to protect me, but its ok, I’ve got this, I’m safe to be vulnerable and connect with my heart”…or whatever version feels calming for you.

Show your children how to come back to balance – experience is the greatest teacher; say to them “mummy is feeling really triggered right now, I need to calm down”. Get yourself back in your body and connected to your heart – dance, run on the spot, yell and scream into a pillow, go for a walk (if you can), write, draw, cook, cry….until you no longer feel fun by the overwhelming emotion…now you are ready to come back to your child. Now your ‘stuff’ is not clouding this scene, it is safe for you to meet your child in their needs and hold their space through it.

Step 4 – Get really honest.

If you shame and bury a reaction you let go into, it is not healing anything. Get real with yourself about what’s really going on….and then share it with one really important person in your life. Be careful who you select, they need to be a true friend and confidant.

When we are snapping regularly and not able to control our fuse, usually it is a symptom of us being out of balance within our day-to-day life – not living as authentically as we would deeply like to. So what are you honouring or dishonouring? What do you need? Are you overwhelmed and need help or change, but haven’t yet asked for it? Does the way your life functions need to change? Do you need more rest or time out? Do you need to get less-busy? Slow life and its demands down? Add something in?….

I know for me that it is always a call for me to be more present to the child I am reacting to – they are calling me in, by getting my attention in a very intense way. If I get really honest with myself in these times, it is usually because I have avoided intensive connection or play time, or our lives are so busy I feel stressed about the logistics of getting everyone everywhere and there are no ‘pockets of connection’.

To be more present, for me, I need to feel more spaciousness within my body. When I feel spaciousness within my body I am physically and emotionally more open and available – I smile more, I enjoy the small moments, I enjoy my life and I am definitely more relaxed.

So, I get really honest with myself that ‘its’ not working, I get honest with my husband that ‘its’ not working and I just say out loud “Things have to change – I need to slow down, I need to let go of time pressures and my daily list and I need his help to do this”. Help refers to ringing him in a moment I’m feeling overwhelmed with what’s not getting done (like the house) and telling him how I’m feeling – knowing his response is to remind me about what’s important and what I can let go, no guilt, no pressure, he doesn’t care, etc…otherwise my perfectionist kicks in and I’m back to feeling constricted and stressed…no spaciousness there.

I then make specific pockets of time to connect with my child – ask your child “What do you think you need?” – they are very likely to have the answer.

With my older kids, it might be playing a sport with them – one on one basketball, cricket, racing round the block, sparring with boxing gloves and pads, wrestling, or just being close, available and around when they’re home from school, cooking food to eat together, laying around, doing their nails (yes, my son loves a nail file and buff!), playing a board game, hanging out in bed for cuddles, or specifically going out for an activity together. With my toddler its getting back into attachment play – make-believe play specifically around the things or themes they are scared of or emotional about, we can literally help them heal with laughter – we’ll be interviewing Marion Rose on this in the podcast soon…

Then the most miraculous thing happens – they become significantly less ‘painful’, their behavior shifts because there is no longer a need for it to be there and my ‘golden’ child comes back again…and, I begin loving motherhood again!

Step 5 – My healing

Your inner child

After the ‘event’ ask yourself – “when I was this, what happened?” Nothing? Something? Your reaction is the pain of your inner… 12 year old, not getting what she needed. Listen to her, connect with that pain and then talk to her “I know you didn’t get what you needed, I see your pain”….or whatever version feels soothing and comforting for you.

A note on slowness – you can’t heal whilst still running around as per usual – you need the quiet spots for contemplation, the freedom to process as your mind unravels and the spaciousness for your body to heal and let go. Let go of what you can – create time. When there is not the time pressure demanding we be somewhere, we find more moments to connect within and reset our body. Treat yourself as you would someone healing from surgery or a newborn – lots of rest, fluids, nourishing food. If you are processing an old programming or belief system, healing an old wound, you are likely to feel very tired. Listen to your body – rest, sleep and go slow.

Reframe and Gratitude

Revisit this ‘memory’ and see where in your life this played out, how it played out and how it served you. Until you come into grace for your parents and the choices they made and into gratitude for how holding onto that hurt, or ‘learnings’ out of the hurt, have served you, you can’t own it for yourself.

Did it make you more resilient? Did it create a drive within you to be self sufficient? Did it drive you to create connections with others around you? Did it create a story that lead on to you doing/studying/achieving something or choosing the partners you have chosen? etc

Keep listing the benefits of this memory, until you feel a wash of gratitude for the ‘sacrifice’ of this wounding, because of where it has lead you to who you are now – would you be without this?

Wind Up

We don’t grow through the happy remember? We enjoy it, we wish we could stay there…but we don’t leave this comfort zone, we don’t create change in our behaviour or lives unless we are forced to…unless there is an element of pain; which forces us to find the pleasure.

Our children have chosen us because we are the best possible parents for them – whatever they are here to learn, discover, create and share – you are an integral part of that – the parts you think you fuck up and the parts you think you nail, either way they are getting learnings and gifts from it. Until we stop judging ourselves, based on what we perceive to be right and wrong, we can’t really be present to the perfection that lies in our parenting journey. They are always together, always present in every moment – pleasure and pain, it is part of being human.

Healthy Spring Roll Recipe

Have a fridge of left over vegges you want to use up?  Need a recipe to ‘hide’ vegges in your kids food?  This one is a family favourite of ours and it is delicious and nutritious, not to mention a fun sharing meal.  Check out Insta or FB for the photo!

Ingredients:

Spring roll Wrappers (pre-made in freezer section with pastry)  For my family I use 2 x packets of 20 sheets, then we have left overs for lunch or the freezer!

300-500g mince – any you like, or a combination – ie. beef, pork etc

minced or grated vegetables – whatever you have left in the fridge! around 500g (I never measure it, I just chuck in whatever I need to use up)

Vermicelli rice noodles – 1 pack

spring onion

2cm pice of ginger, grated

2 cloves garlic, crushed

50g cream cheese (optional)

3Tbl Golden Syrup (optional)

3Tbl Oyster Sauce (optional)

1-2 eggs

Sunflower oil for frying

Olive oil for cooking

salt and pepper to season

Method:

Mince or grate all vegetables to whatever consistency you like (or your kids will eat/not notice!).

Heat oil in frypan,  fry spring onion, garlic and ginger for 1-2 minutes.  Add mince and cook till browned, breaking up any lumps.  Add minced vegetables and mix around, cooking for around 5 minutes.

While cooking, boil water in a kettle, place noodles in a heat proof bowl and cover with boiling water – let sit for around 2 minutes, drain.

Once your mince mixture is nicely cooked and tossed together, add seasonings – optional ones if you choose and salt and pepper.  **I know cream cheese sounds strange but it really is delicious!  So if you can tolerate dairy, give it a go.

Turn heat off.  Slice noodles (so there are no extra long bits, just makes it easier to mix).  Add noodles spoonfuls at a time into mince mix – this part is to your liking – only add as many noodles as you like the consistency of.  Mix thoroughly and allow to cool.

Wrapping the rolls.

Beat eggs in a cup/small bowl and grab your pastry brush.

Peel a spring roll wrapper off (they are stretchy and can stick together in the packet) and lay on your bench. brush one end with egg.  Lay a dessert spoon full of mince mixture (in a small line so it is taking up middle third of your wrapper) in the middle of the other end (end closest to you).  Fold both sides of  the wrapper inwards so they meet in the middle – your egg will help them stick and your mixture will be covered over now.

Brush the end with egg again (same end as before, the opposite end to the mince).  You are going to roll the mixture up towards the egg-end – the egg will seal it and keep it closed.  The trick with rolling is to get your mixture nice and tight in the first roll – so squeeze it gently with your fingers when rolling.  Place finished rolls on a clean tea towel or baking paper – while egg is drying it can stick to your bench.

Heat oil in wok or other deep pan – oil needs to be deep enough to cover half the depth of your spring rolls.  When oil bubbles when you add something to it, it is time to cook!  Place rolls in oil and cook, turning as needed, until golden brown.  Take out and drain on paper towel.

Serve with sweet chilli sauce, soy or tamari sauce or tomato sauce if your kids are into that! enjoy!

School Holidays - How to Keep the Pleasure

So it’s school holidays.  You’re maxed out on the care of others and your house is never quiet.  If you’re anything like me its a ramp up of cooking, cleaning and ‘dispute wrangling’…not an ideal recipe for any Goddess is it?

So how do I put the Goddess back into the school holidays?  Here’s my tips…

  1. Plan your food and snacks ahead of playdates – a playdate with ample food is a happy one, hungry kids = angry play.  I always do a shop a couple of days (or a week!) in advance.  I always check the night before whats on the menu and schedule for the next day – that way I can plan my day to be a Productivity Queen…and that makes me happy.
  2. Organise activities you love – they can be expensive (outings, events, workshops etc) or they can be a free – a park, beach, walk etc.  I also plan craft activities, so we can schedule in some down time – I usually couple this with a green smoothie for everyone involved (including myself) and instantly I feel able to drop into whats happening presently and relax.  This = enjoyment. Please note: I don’t plan craft I have to ‘monitor’ or help with – I set something up that I can enjoy on my own and kids can enjoy next to me on their own project.
  3. Schedule time out!  You are giving out extra, so you need to take in extra!  This can be time alone or a shower once hubby is home, or it can be when kids are out with friends or grandparents or it can be consciously choosing to sit, eat, drink and read whilst kids play or watch a movie.  Don’t make the fatal mistake of thinking you can keep running without filling up the tank.
  4. Plan catch ups with YOUR friends – its cool if they have kids you’re kids happen to adore, but make sure its filling your cup as well as theirs.
  5. If the house is closing in around you – GET OUT! Even just sitting outside in your backyard or driveway can lessen the feeling of captivity.  You just might find something fun to do…chalk drawing, ball games, digging, grass cutting with scissors, teddy bear picnic, water play, mud play, sun-bake….
  6. Laugh with your partner at the end of the day!  Celebrate making it through another hectic day and find the quirky, funny or downright silly things the kids did in the day.  Talking about it and retelling the story often feels wonderful, and what was irritating now seems so ridiculous its funny….laughter can be just as healing and releasing as tears.  Bring your partner into your world through story…they’ll only “get you” and make connection when you offer the path to follow.

I hope you find some love, light and gratitude in any of these tips and make it through your school holidays with your Goddess in tact. xx

I am and I'm not

I am not the practitioner, or the friend, who will have empathy to the point of sympathy. I will not let you wallow in your story.

I will love you in your darkest and most vulnerable moments. I will hold your hand and your heart – but Iwill also give you a slap of self awareness.

I will ask you to step up to owning what you have manifested. I will ask you to tear open old wounds, to clean them out. I will help you move INTO pain.

I won’t help you run from it.

I will ask you to step UP into full ownership of the woman, the goddess, the priestess that you are – her light and her dark. I will love your ferocity and darkness as much as I will love your peace and wisdom.

Be everything. Own all of who you can be. Step into the totality of your magnificence – the warrior and the queen stand side by side.

Choose realness over “niceness”. Choose completeness over fragments.

Show up, be real, be authentic, be true – own your challenge and pain and wounding as much as you own your joy, your calm and your healing.

Give me your grit. Show me your true self. Let me bow at the alter of your total fierce magnificence…even if it is painful for me to do so.

It’s what I expect of myself.

Its what I ask of my friends.

Its what I want for my clients.

I can be your best friend, your sister, your lover….but I will also be your mirror, your teacher and your fiercest ally. Give me your depth, show me your strength, bare your wounds and I will see your soul…and this is what I will give back to you.

Don’t ask me to be something I’m not, don’t only love me only when I’m “good” and I will offer you the same back.

It is in this depth of this vulnerability we will find love, courage and bonding that will be life altering.

LOVE AND LIGHT

The more you chase love, light and happiness, the more challenge struggle and pain you will attract – you are waking yourself up to your totality, wholeness and magnificence – not chasing a fantasy and downing yourself until all you will accept are the fragments left.

We can never be at peace when we are fragmented – so stop chasing it.

We can never be only one way, one half – we are whole.

You can’t choose only happiness. You can’t really KNOW happiness until you’ve felt the absence of it. You can’t love peace, until you know chaos.

Don’t you see?

There is no pleasure without pain.

There is no ease without struggle.

There is no peace without war.

Our emotions have a “sisterhood”. They are married to each other – to their perfect counterpart. The experience of one, brings the quest for the other. It is only by feeling one, that you can know the other.

Would you know love, had you not known the absence of it?

Would you recognise peace, if you had not known war?

Would you have gratitude for connection, had you not experienced disconnection?

Would you seek a lover, a friendship, a tribe, had you not known isolation?

Don’t you see how the sisterhood serves you? Don’t you see the perfection in the pain?

Whatever you are experiencing in your relationships you can choose to see as your moment for change, your catalyst for ownership and healing or you can avoid the pain and find a way around the discomfort and pain at the heart of the truth.

The trouble is, what we see in those around us, is our soul shining the light (through pain, which we take notice of) on what needs attention. No two people will ever see the same thing in any one person or situation – it is our perception, based on our own personal wounds and story that creates what we “see”.

So the truth of the matter is:

You can always find a way to avoid the pain and discomfort in your relationships and in your life, but they will keep coming up for you – you will keep hitting your head against that same dynamic – until you heal what its waking you up to, until you love the wound for what it brings you, until you love more of yourself.

You can only love a persons laziness, fatness, ugliness etc to the extent you can love your own laziness, fatness and ugliness….

You can run from a situation, but you can’t run from yourself – so you will keep experiencing it until you take the healing, the wisdom and the love that it is gifting you.

The Power of Food

So tonight I’m eating, or rather relishing, a dish my mum dropped off for me before she went on holidays – its date slice. It is my version of a last supper…

My dad had been dying of cancer for 3 years, he hadn’t eaten in what seemed like weeks, he was in palliative care – saying goodbye to an endless cue of visitors. It was on this day, the day before his death, I went into a baking frenzy – only 19 years old, I baked date slice and bran muffins – my dads faviourite snacks and brought them in to hospital, fairly certain he’d just smile at the gesture and likely no one would eat them.

When I arrived at the hospital he was hunched in a chair in his private ‘deck’, drenched in autumn sun. He looked up at me and smiled, I placed the dishes on the table between us and sat down next to him.

I honestly don’t remember what we spoke about, I wish I did. It probably wasn’t much, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye and he wasn’t ready for me to tell him to stay. So we sat and smiled at each other, in the autumn sun – the thought of his smile still makes me feel this internal warmth, and to my surprise he took first the date slice in his lap and demolished it, then he took the muffins and ate close to a dozen. I was delighted, though mystified about how such a skeleton of a person could fit that much in his tiny frame.

That is my last loving memory of my dad – the words I can’t remember, the smiles I’ll never forget, the sun that still warms my bones and the last supper I made him.

The next day when I went in, he couldn’t move and he couldn’t speak. I knew this was it. So I told him everything I wanted to and I ended with saying it was ok, I’d had a dream and what I was sure was the hand of God – whoever that was – put his hand over my head and told me to release and to tell him that. So I did. Through a wash of tears, of grief and of pain I told him it was ok to release and let go. He grunted like he was desperate to say or do something but was held captive by a body that could do neither.

I’ll never know what the truth of my soul meant to my dad. I don’t have parting words of wisdom or love. Nor do I have a rejection of that. I have silence and date slice and autumn sun. He had died by the time I arrived home.

So every time I eat date slice, or a bran muffin, and feel the winter sun on my face – I am transported to a state of overwhelming love and gratitude. And that is the power of food.