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The joy of poo blur

The household toddler has had a visit from gastro this week. That meant being woken every two hours for two nights in a row by a fevering child, living in a blur of repetition of toilet checking, bottom wiping, hand washing, administering water and offering dry foods, and surrendering to dropping all plans. It has meant losing wages whilst still paying for unused daycare, and having the tv on way more than usual.


On the back of all this, yesterday I sat 2 adult naplan exams, complete with overcoming the stress of the power point not charging my lap top, my mouse stopping working, and the remote proctor not being able to access my camera, resulting in a 45 minute delay to my exam start time. Somehow managed to get a delicious evening meal on the table, and little one is on the mend today.


Yet the biggest challenge for me was helping her to put on the tiny gardening gloves that she was insisting on wearing for our walk this morning.
She also brought a cushion “in case I fall over”.
So of course one block into our walk, I’m carrying a pair of gloves rolled up, a cushion, a hand full of lillipillis, a few flowers, a bagged dog poo, and the lead of our 40kg old man. All in one hand to keep the other hand free to hold hands with little to cross the road.


A young woman jogging freely in the other direction with both hands free and ponytail swinging, smiled at us.
I thought, maybe she looks at us and wishes she could have this moment.

I am having this moment. This is what life has given me right now. What a joy.

Mindful Walking

“I know the Earth is my mother; a great living being.  I vow to protect the Earth, and the Earth protects me.”
This invitation by Thay to infuse our walking with loving mindfulness is perfect as the weeks of rain clear and we may be walking more than we have recently.  As we walk and remember our interbeing with all that we see, and notice the changes since our last walk, we can feel deep gratitude for the protection our great Mother Earth offers us, and strengthen our resolve to do what we can to preserve this precious planet.  
Thay also invites us to walk with full awareness of our love for the Earth:
 
“Each step can express your love for the Earth.  As you walk, you can say 
‘I love the Earth.  I am in love with the Earth.’”
“With both body and mind present as we take each step, when we are fully present, every step, placed gently, and mindfully on Mother Earth can bring us a lot of healing and happiness…
…We’re not stepping on something inanimate… in every speck of dust or grain of sand there are countless bodhisattvas… …we can be in contact through our feet with the Great Bodhisattva Mother Earth.  
     ‘With each step, I come home to the Earth.
With each step, I return to my source.
With each step, I take refuge in Mother Earth.’ “
This morning, I held 2 gazaneas, 3 buttercups, my child’s hat, her umbrella that she has become accustomed to bringing, the dog lead, and a small Koala.  I was so grateful that she had decided against also bringing her A2 sized laminated alphabet chart in the walk as she’d contemplated, as I did what I could to incorporate the essence of this beautiful practice into my daily life.  
 How do you enjoy the kissing our Mother Earth with imprints of reverence  and gratitude as you walk?
These quotations are from “Love Letter to The Earth” but I can’t check the date of publication as darling Miss Two is ‘reading’ it right now in this wonderful moment.

The illness and some cures

I’m sick of people referring to their kids as little terrors or monsters. Of expecting their 6 month old babies to self soothe. Of asking for advice on how to be able to get their kids used to less human connection.

I’m sick of seeing babies in prams with screens in front of them. I’m sick of hearing parents use power-over and fear tactics with their children. I’m sick of crappy gender stereotyping through clothes and toys.

I’m sick of parents asking on parenting groups about what “stuff” to buy for their kids.

I’m sick of the chilling impact on the early years of human life that capitalism and ecological terrorism is having. I’m sick of the pressure that keeping on top of basic living costs is putting on parents.

I want to see a world where parenting is regarded as THE most important job. Where the people doing it are supported financially and by community to do it to their best ability. Where everything we know about secure attachment, neuropsychology, and our deepest needs for love and belonging, informs the core motivation of how we raise our children.

I want to see extreme overhauls of our education systems so that teachers are upheld to support the biologically wired, natural and beautiful blossoming of innately intelligent, good, active humans.

I want to see a medical system that supports families to have great nutrition, sleep, and spiritual support before labels and prescriptions.

I want to see a world where we understand the value of unstructured time together. The value of parents having time to breathe, alone with themselves. The value of free play.

I want to live in a world where we know that we’re all in this together.

Not a big ask. And I know I’m not alone in this wish.

“Mum, would you like to smile?”

These are the first words I heard this morning.

Followed by “there you go Mama, so lovely”.

I say ‘this morning’ in reference to the time after birds had started.

All the talking in wake and sleep that happened between 2:00 am and the birds shall be known as night talking. Night talking is not to be encouraged, as cute as some of the stuff is (Mummy I draw a beautiful pitcha on your aaaaaaaaarm); and shall not be spoken of again.

But that morning invitation to smile. Oh!

Thay makes the same invitation in the morning prayer:

Waking up this morning I smile

Twenty four brand new hours are before me

I vow to live mindfully in each moment

And to look at all beings with eyes of compassion

The beautiful hand made poster of this recitation that I used to have stuck beside the bed was long ago removed by a curious baby. Some days I remember to start the day with a smile to this poem, many days I’m swept up with the earliest demands.

Today they synthesised and my smile was so big, my presence in the moment so true; my gratitude for the life I have so visceral. Whatever the day brings, it started with a smile, and a smile to the invitation to smile.

Being awake since 2:00 is going to be ok…

Little legs

“Mummy I get pants for meeeeee”.

Long little legs go running down the hall, with the pitter patter of new red leather shoes beating out the allegretto of a single-focused mission.

I gaze in wonder at the space before my eyes where she passed by with her announcement. Those little legs. Strong and certain, holding her to the earth; lifting her to the sky, where she was once a star.

A star, waiting for just the right time to take up the long-extended invitation to come and be loved by us.

And here she is, full of life, full of words. Full of erroneous requests at 4:00 am.

And as she is full, so does she fill me.

With a love so heart-expanding that I too, grow taller. With a joy so face-opening that my smile lines stretch further. With a giddying glow so all-encompassing that I’m sitting here in the kitchen, awe-struck.

That those little legs are the result of an orgasm.

Mind. Blown.

International Women’s Day

Grateful this

International Women’s Day

For my:

💜right to vote

💚reproductive freedom

💜access to education

💚freedom to marry who I choose, and to not marry at all

💜property rights

💚freedom to work

💜ability to gather with other women

💚daughters being raised in a time when they know their voices are powerful

💜independence

💚freedom to dress as I choose

💜feminist allies of all genders

💚fire in my belly

💜certainty that we will continue to be part of more and more positive change until systems operate from a basis of true equality for all people all over the world

💚ultimate mother, our planet Earth

💜great fortune at living in a time when so much hard work has already been done to make it possible for me to list all these things safely

💚privilege, and my awareness that I can use it to bust oppression

Attend your local IWD Rally! Gather in solidarity to celebrate and agitate!

Women are talking

Yes, girls are coming out of the woods

And women are talking

To each other

And women listen well

And women believe each other

And women strengthen each other, with utterances of “I see you”, whispered through tears, as soft, hard-worked hands hold each other in loving solidarity

Women are talking, telling our stories, sharing our truths, as the relief of being heard and held trickles streams pours out of us, taking form as words, laughter, snot, yawns, and swearing – lots of swearing

The words are not pretty, the stories are not pleasing, the strength is not something that comes out of a jar of protein powder or a superfood capsule.

It’s gritty

Gritty and real and hot – a strength earned

Earned by staying

By staying with ourselves in the darkness. By staying upright in the cyclonic winds of life and other people’s bullshit.

By staying true to the path of liberation laid out before us; without seeking slumber on the velvet lounge of “someone else will fix this”.

Staying tethered to Gaia’s ever loving support through the sinewy tap root that comes straight out the bottom of our pelvic bowl.

Staying anchored to the highest star above, feeding from the limitless stream of white light.

Staying in the process of our stories swirling through us, rebuilding our cells into new, stronger, wiser, same as before women.

We are not obedient. We are not subservient. We are not controllable.

And we make no apology.

We do not allow the shame of others to isolate us into silence. We do not protect those who have wronged us and our children. We do not complicitly uphold the structures of oppression.

Watch as they tumble down.

Watch as the dust rises.

Watch as the footprints of mothers, sisters, daughters, girlfriends, grandmothers, allies, and sons appear in their multitudes.

And listen. Listen as the whisper builds.

It’s the sound of power surging towards a better world for all. For our children yet to come, for our precious planet. For ourselves.

The Women are talking

-••••-

– after Tishani Doshi Read her here ❤️

De-ode to decaf

Oh Decaf.

Am I the one for whom you exist?

No caffeine from you will pass through my tits

For wakefulness you shan’t be blamed

Nay, nor thanked…

You’re a bit like chocolate incense- nostalgically reminiscent of the real deal, but not a spot hitter by any stretch

Breast is best breast is best

yes yes yes

yes yes

yes

yes

I absolutely get behind the list of benefits

But

I challenge anyone to forego BOTH sleep AND coffee, then tell me “breastmilk is free”.

It’s not.

Gimme a W

Because I need to call the Waaaahmbulance.

Ow! My arm.

What did I do last night? Bruised knees – part of dancing on a wooden stage. Slight pull in one calf – from when my tap shoes skidded on the shaving cream residue still on the floor from the previous performance. Crunkly eyelashes – from multiple coats of mascara… but I could not remember doing a one armed cartwheel/ I don’t even know what to call that trick, not in my repertoire… I could not remember a drunk person falling on me… I could not remember lifting anything particularly cumbersome or heavy.

What did I do last night?

Oh wait! What did I do yesterday lunchtime?

I’m a 40 year old cheerleader with a 12kg child.

A 12kg child who woke up precisely 4 minutes before our squad was due to appear at a festival, and was too much in need of mummy cuddles to be interested in any other potential care giver.

So there we were, at a community event, running a community workshop, with me as the one who was leading the big group warm up dance.

So I just did it. With my toddler on my hip, held there with my left arm.

4:11 of medium intensity cardio, Baby sitting on one pom-pom as I waved the other about with double enthusiasm for balance… I noticed the extra weight as we did 1,2,3 jump, and during the side traveling rock-stomp around in the circle; but mainly I was balancing my focus between teaching the basic moves and checking Baby’s welfare – was her head not bobbing around too much, was that security biscuit she needed to hold not choking her…

As you do.

Etc etc – it all went along – at some point she was happy to hop down and I noticed the great relief of no longer holding her in one arm.

Performance/workshop over, time to sit and feed snacks to Baby before heading home to get ready for cabaret tech run.

Blah blah blah, amazing night of women’s performance, happy juices flowing as I feel at peace with my need to share absurd dance comedy with unsuspecting audiences.

Home, sleep, sun comes up.

Ow! My arm.

Knowing that tiredness and pain are both things that can be a source of grumpiness, I pledge to go gently while my arm heals.

Times of exertion call for times of replenishment, and I’m ok with the ratio changing as I gather birthdays behind me.

Recovery time may be longer, but if I settle into that truth as a beautiful truth, leaning into rather than resisting it; then I can enjoy some slow days with less expectations on myself.

Let the floor stay unswept for today, have a storybook marathon in the teepee, model self-kindness and patience with the process of healing.

Because if I try and operate as though I’m not tired and hurting, yes, I can get the things done, but I get cranky and snappy. And that’s not the tone I want our family to have.

So I come back to myself.

What do I need right now to be the best mum I can be with what I have in this moment?

Caregiver state of mind is everything.

As my mum’s beautiful teacher Lama Yeshe said: “May I be gentle with myself. For only then can I be gentle with others.”

And gentle is what my kids need from me.

It is a secret strength that I am working on. Slowly, and with patience!

Ode to Lady Grey

Oh subtle maiden, so light and ephemeral… are you even real?

Who was your namesake, that you are such a simple pleasure, in your blue Twinings paper gown, with an arousal so light that you tempt me a second time?

Today’s early start and less than well child take their toll as the afternoon wears on.

I urgently scrape the wet side of the last piece of Turkish delight through the icing sugar, hanging out for a hit of false zest.

Water, some nuts, perhaps a meedjool date – I know what I ought to do. And I do these things earnestly, I do. And in addition I crave my fragrant mistress, who seems to promise that she’ll never tell.

Please don’t, my afternoon darling. Don’t tell those neural pathways of the night that we have trysted so late in the day. Our romance depends on your discretion.

For you serve me not well as a morning friend. Not even your husband The Earl will do as a prelude to that exotic dark beaned stud who visits just once a day.

No. Your place in my heart is discrete as it is discreet. My 3:00-5:00 pm liaison. And in that window, I adore and revere you.

But ’tis on days such as these that I may seek your pleasure double.

And if I dare, and I know you won’t dissuade me; how can I know that you will let my True Love, Sleep, wrap her most sincere arms around me when I seek my nightly rest?

How can I trust you not to jostle with her, taking me in rapidly changing directions through diary entries past and future, through refrigerator contents, choreography ancient and yet unknown, through band names, song lyrics, childhood wounds, current concerns… oh light touch you may have; but I know your secret depth.

As I know what you give me in this moment; as the stretch in front of me gapes wide, alluding to another walk, (this time with teapot, unicorn, and boots on the wrong feet), more trampoline bouncing, some kind of cobbled together evening meal and the epic bath book etc end of things… of course I need your sweet whisper of courage.

The bergamot on your breath urging me to recall my optimism at sunrise; your warmth in my mouth softening my every cell to continue my gracious surrender to every moment’s gifts.

Your soft lips brushing mine, with a lightness even more delicate than that of your notoriously gentle husband. Oh my treasured friend, you know I favour you above herbal remedies, or excess sugar, or the sensible option of a protein snack.

So please, as we repeat our most adult dalliance within minutes of the last sip, I beseech you, as the kettle steams in anticipation of our second kiss of the afternoon; betray me not, as I lay me down tonight.

Let me find slumber deep and sweet, and your place in the front of the drawer you shall keep.