I woke this morning to the Kookaburras cackling and an overwhelming sense of responsibility. The responsibility for my children's education. The responsibility for 18 acres of land. The responsibility of our household cleanliness. The responsibility for our many feathered animals. The responsibility for my own sanity! As I lay there in my comfy warm bed, I had this urge to just throw the duvet over my head, snuggle down and hide away from these overwhelming feelings of responsibility. Then I looked out the window at the magical vista before me and all I felt was BLESSED! Grateful for my magnificent life and all its blessings. My beautiful boys woke with smiles and cuddles as we lay in bed and shared our dreams from our night of slumber. We looked to our Tallow wood tree and spotted Kookaburras, and Noisy Miners and listened to the Whip birds and King Parrots waking as the sun rose over the valley. In that moment of clarity and presence, all sense of responsibility and expectation dissolved away and gratefulness and love is all I felt. The present moment is all that matters. xx
Well here we are in london, taking my two young children on their first big overseas adventure.
We have been on lots of minor journeys to NZ and heaps of long haul car experiences, however this is different, it's a journey to the other side of the world!
I was seriously organised. The boys and I took a bush flower remedy for travel before, during and after we landed. I made sure the boys were digestively strong through a course of natural probiotics (Inliven by Miessence). We had lots of rest and ate our usual healthy wholefood diet leading up to our big plane journey. There was no stress on the days proceeding our take off. This was a stretch for me considering I was doing this on my own, as my husband had opted out of the trip and was working away.
The boys actually exceeded my expectations completely while on the plane. Sleeping and watching movies with meals in between. No bickering, moaning or complaining at all. Finn got a slight ear ache which I fixed instantly with a homeopathic remedy, Aconite.
So here we are, ready for Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Tower Bridge, etc. Except for one problem, both my children are feeling a little home sick, missing their doggies and their dad.
Sunny has been acting out his feelings by saying NO alot and jumping around acting silly while we talk to Dad on skype. Whereas Finn has been feeling sad and a little despondant, with occasional bursts of excitement, especially at the Natural History Museum.
I guess my reason for writing this blog is to share the fact that I was so concerned about the long haul flight over here and how the boys would handle that, that I didn't give a thought to how they would handle being so far from home especially when also feeling a little jet-lagged.
So how have I handled this?
By having down days in between the big sight-seeing adventurous days. Lots of time for connection and talking about our experiences. Heaps of love, cuddles and listening to feelings. Rescue remedy and homeopathics for the moments of desperate need. Understanding the sadness about Dad not being with us, but still skyping heaps so the boys can share their experiences.
Fully accepting all the challenges that go along with our overseas holiday and allowing the boys to experience it each in their own way.
I feel grateful that my children are so easy to travel with and make going on these overseas adventures worthwhile.
I will just keep soaking up each moment and rising to any challenges that come my way.
My son Finn has always been a bit of a naturalist. I guess this is maybe because his Dad and I are too. I was the child with the sick and orphaned lambs next to my bed or the bunny rabbit, rescued from the claws of our cat 'Willy', desperately trying to nurse them back to health.
Anyway, it was because of Finn's desire to become a wildife carer and my love of wildlife, that I took on the challenge. And really the only challenge I have faced so far in my short time as a wildlife carer is coming to terms with the human impact on our local native fauna.
The greatest gift I feel this role has given me is the connection to our vulnerable and injured wildlife.
Just two days ago, I rescued a beautiful Barn Owl from barbed wire on a farm. This amazing creature spent the whole time staring at me and I felt such a connection, that I cried when he had to be euthanised.
My gorgeous boys are learning so many valuable life lessons while assisting me in caring for our precious native animals. Life cycles, conservation, the value of charities, the strength of spirit and resilence of injured creatures, compassion, gentleness, tolerance of people who do not share our care and love of animals and above all else kindness.
At the moment we have 'Mr P' the baby Mountain Brushtail Possum. Finn will just sit in his room and watch him climb and swing from his tail. The gentleness and love my children show around the vulnerable wildlife we care for makes it all worthwhile.
As of course does releasing animals back into their natural habitat.
When we as a family decided to embark on this natural learning journey, we were always open to the idea that if either of our children wanted to go to school we would go with it and support them no matter what.
Well today my gorgeous Sunny-Tao started preschool, because he wanted to. He has friends that go to this wonderful small community preschool and he expressed an interest in attending. I completely supported his decision and even though I missed him immensely, I knew in my heart he was going to love it.
And he did LOVE it! The baby chickens, the building, the painting, the playing, the singing, the connecting, the laughing, the digging, the fun .......
The beauty of this particular preschool is that they extend on the children's interests, so it's similar to a natural learning approach to education.
Even though my eldest son Finn was sad at saying goodbye to Sunny-T this morning, I know he LOVED the special day we had together at the art gallery and just quietly connecting over books and maps (Finn's new interest).
I trust that Sunny intuitively knows that this is the right path for him, even though it is different to what I wanted.
Trusting children is a huge part of the natural learning process and I see Sunny making this choice for himself as part of this process. And if just down the path, he decides it's not for him, then thats fine too.
We are all feeling refreshed and renewed after a few days immersed in the arms of Mother Nature.
No TV, phone reception, computers; just the endless silence of an isolated valley and the beauty of nature at our doorstep.
Walking at dawn, exploring sandstone caves, bird watching, lighting outdoor fires, star gazing, searching for wildlife, drinking hot chocolates by the fire, story telling over dinner.......
I have been gifted with a book called 'Earthing' by a generous friend of mine, which discusses how the earth beneath our feet is an amazing source of natural healing energy.
Anyone who has walked on the beach with bare feet, will know the revitalising energy you received directly from our electrical planet. The sole of the foot has an abundance of nerve endings, with lots of connections running up and through the body. So we need to think of the soles of our feet as the prime contact point gathering in the free electrons and natural energies from the Earth. (Earthing, Page 100)
As Finn and I lay on the earth and gazed at the infinite stars in our clear southern skies, the energy from our earth was magically healing our bodies. Our bodies were suffused with negative-charged free electrons abundantly present on the surface of the earth. (Earthing, Page 10)
Everyday we need to connect ourselves to the ultimate source of healing; Mother Nature. FREE natural healing energy!
Our thoughts create our life. Louise L Hay has been teaching this message for over 25 years. Doesn't life just happen and we just have to deal with it the best way we can? Or do our beliefs and thought patterns bring forth positive or negative experiences from the universe?
Regardless of what you believe, positive affirmations can influence your life in a beneficial way.
Affirmations are the thoughts and words we use in our daily lives. They can be positive or negative. For example "I never do anything right" is obviously negative. Change this to a positive statement, "I am learning and always doing the best I can".
Words that we think or say or believe to be true will impact your life in a postive or negative way.
I believe this to be a VERY important message to be teaching our children right from the start. We can obviously teach this from example through our own actions and use of positive affirmations.
Also through using positive statements in our children's everyday life, so your words become their beliefs. For example when they have hurt themselves while hugging and showing affection, letting them know that their body is strong and healthy, and it will heal very quickly. So they will naturally affirm this message to themselves that they are strong and healthy and this becomes a life long belief. However if you are constantly telling them how sick they are and always giving them medicines for this and that, then they could start affirming to themselves that they are always sick and in need of medicines to help them feel better. I know which message I would rather my children to hold onto and believe as true!
I remember while pregnant affirming loving messages to my growing babies, about their health, how much they were loved and how excited we were to meet them etc. All of these postive messages become our children's beliefs.
I also love to lay with my children as they go to sleep. As they are just drifting off into a peaceful slumber I softly affirm loving messages to them, like "I love being your Mum" and "Thanks for all your help today" or "I love snuggling you" or "You are so amazing" etc ...
Louise L. Hay advocates teaching children to do 'mirror work', which is saying a positive affirmation in front of the mirror. She states "A mirror is a very powerful tool, because it connects you to the words you are saying".
Affirming lots of positive statements - "I can...." "I am...." "I do...." "I have...."
Teaching children that they have control over their thoughts, that it is their choice how they think and the words they use.
Even the smallest beginning will make a difference to your child's life. One simple affirmation, such as "I am loved " or "I am amazing" can change the way your child thinks about themselves.
How amazing for children to learn the power of their thoughts when they are so young. So they can use this wonderful awareness to create a more joyous and happier life.
I hear from so many parents how difficult it is shopping with children. Most often it is not the full day at a shopping mall, but the simple weekly supermarket expedition.
I see the evidence of this practically every visit I make to our local grocery store; with stressed parents, crying children, parents berating children for their so-called demanding behaviour etc. Sound familiar?
I have some simple tips that will hopefully bring a little peace and enjoyment back into your shopping experience.
1. Make sure your young children are well hydrated and are NOT hungry. Hunger and thirst can often be the cause of children feeling upset and less than willing to co operate. I always have water for my children, no matter where we go. It may also be wise to carry some nuts or fruit, so they are not likely to reach for something less healthy.
2. Make shopping fun! Little ones can ride in the trolley while older children can help find the grocery items you need. Allow each child to choose at least one item each that they would like. In our trolley it might be some honey macadamia nuts, or a bag of potato chips. If children feel like they are being respected they will be less likely cause a fuss and ask for all different kinds of junk food. Because we eat a mainly whole food diet this is not an issue for us.
3. We need to remember that children are naturally curious. This is how they learn about the world around them. So if they want to pick up and explore an item, allow them to and talk about what it is, so even if the item is not going to be purchased, we can share in our child's interest in it.
4. Use a sling or baby carrier for infants and make sure they have had boob before going shopping, so their little tummies are full. For the older baby, maybe a little toy or food will help them cope with the less attention from Mum or Dad. Being carried will provide more emotional security than a pram or trolley. Grocery stores can be really over stimulating for babies and young children, so they need to be kept close.
5. Shopping with toddlers seems to be challenging for a lot of parents. What if children are involved in the shopping decisions? Asking questions like which yoghurt do you want or shall we get your special juice this week? All children like to be included and to feel useful and respected. Again make sure children are well hydrated and fed. A small toy and a snack would also be very helpful.
6. Avoid the crowds. You know the scenario, late home nothing for dinner, rush the children in the car to the supermarket. Everyone cranky and hungry with crowds of people doing much the same as you. If you can avoid this, DO! If not, allow your children to choose a healthy snack to eat and do your shopping as quick as possible!
7. The all alluring snacks at the check out counter. Again bringing a snack from home will help alleviate hunger and cravings for less than healthy lollies and chocolate bars. But if your child does request something that you are not willing to purchase, they still need to know that you empathise with them on how enticing it looks. I say things like "I know you would love to eat that bag of lollies, they look really colourful, but I'm not willing to buy it today. Look you have got this muffin here that we bought from home'.
8. Sometimes we just need to say 'no'. I will often let my children check out the toy section of the supermarket or department store, with no intention of purchasing anything. Sometimes one of the boys will express an interest in buying something. I will always ackowledge their interest and say something like 'maybe that would be something you might like for your birthday' and if they are persist, I would say 'I can see you really love it, I 'm just not willing to buy it today, sorry love.' It is really about the way we convey the message. It needs to be done with kindness, love and understanding.
Sometimes none of the above will work and everyone is just too tired and have plain had enough of shopping! When we respect this fact, we realise that the shopping can wait, but our children cannot. Our children constantly need our emotional support and when they have it, they are more likely to handle stressful situations such as long shopping trips. Remember children behave as well as they are treated.
Astrology is an ancient science that uses the relationship of the orbits of the planets in our solar system as a tool to understanding the unique growth of an individual, understanding daily experiences and the evolution of humanity.
The modern astrologer draws on over four thousand years of accumulated learning when interpreting the position of the Earth and other planets at any given moment in time. (Anthony Finocchiaro)
So, just as your child's genes determine the colour of their eyes, hair or skin, so their astrological birth chart shows personality characteristics, potential and the timing of their stages of development.
Too often, parents experience feelings of guilt and failure when there is a problem understanding their children's needs. Astrology is an amazing way to help parents fill in the gaps.
I have found horoscope astrology invaluable in understanding my own unique rhythms and that of my children.
A child's horoscope can reveal many things that will give you an insight into understanding your child's behaviour and rhythms. For example, why do some babies need lots of physical contact while others don't enjoy being held tightly? Why are some children easy going and have no problems making friends, while others prefer time in their own company? Your child's horoscope answers these questions and more.
It is much easier to be a better, more informed parent and to know how to protect and nurture your child when you understand whats best for them.
It would be naive to think that we are in total control of everything that occurs in our lives. Plants, oceans and animals are affected by the gravitational fields of the planets, so how could we be excluded from this? Biodynamic farming is based on the rhythms and motions of the planets and this is all centred around astrology.
Astrology has the ability to unite us with our own natural rhythms as well as the rhythms of our planet.
For more information regarding astrological charts and horoscopes www.astro.com
We love being in nature. The beach, the creek, the rainforest, the park or even just our backyard. These are everyday experiences for our family, just enjoying the simplicity of being outside in our natural environment.
So how is that the majority of my children's generation are spending most of their time indoors, watching TV or playing video games or being ferried around to a variety of extra curricular activities that are structured and indoors?
It's interesting that we live in a world where children know more about the earth, but less about nature in their own backyard. This information made available through documentaries and the internet has sometimes taken the place of direct nature experiences. Some children may know all there is to know about groups of animals and what they eat etc, yet will probably not know what the name of the bird was they just heard fly overhead. I hear so many young children talk of tigers, elephants, lions or giraffes, which show that their information about these animals has come from TV or the computer.
We love learning about our native fauna, water dragons, snakes, birds, frogs, local sea creatures, flying foxes etc. We always get so excited if any new birds come to our backyard...we had galahs come and eat some seed that we left for them this week. I feel so grateful that my children LOVE these experiences as much as I do!
I know that I feel energised and refreshed everytime I step out into the great outdoors. I feel so grateful that we as a family always find the time for spontaneous nature adventures. The boys go off climbing trees or rocks with no restrictions, just complete trust in their ability to keep themselves safe and to know their own limits. I often over hear parents say to their children, "get down from there you will fall!" and sometimes they are only on something less than a metre high!
What is happening to these children that are being deprived of time in nature and restricted to only doing 'safe' activities?
Richard Louv's book 'Last Child in the Woods, Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder' links this separation from the natural world to many problems facing children today, including diminished use of the senses, attention problems, and increased emotional and physical diseases including childhood obesity and depression. He goes on to stress that play in nature is not leisure time, but crucial for our children's development as a balanced diet or a good night's sleep.
I watch how my children thrive in nature....catching tadpoles, building sand castles, surfing, bush walking, bird watching, playing in mud, walking our dogs to the park on dusk to watch the flying foxes flap over head, all of these seemingly fun activites are learning opportunities and valuable ones at that.
How do we expect our children to care and respect our earth, if they are not being shown her magic and wonder on a daily basis? We need to show them how beautiful and precious our planet is, so our children will want to do anything they can to help perserve our natural environment.
So all we need to really do is to get outside, enjoy nature and show our children that we are enthusiastic about protecting and preserving our environment. Once again let's all lead from example and show our children that being in nature benefits everyone.