Saturday, November 25, 2006

The magic of manifestation

Saturday Cuppa: Cranberry and Raspberry tea

It’s been one of those lovely weeks that make life feel special.

My mum sent me my first piano examination book and it had a page of my handwriting (scales etc) in it. I don’t have any writing from so long ago and it was really odd, yet special, to see it. I’ve often told the girls I won the neatest handwriting competition in school ~ a far cry from today when all my writing is done via keyboard.

Paul pointed out how different my writing is now, both in size and style ~ graphologists would have a field day to see how my personality has changed.


On Wednesday the girls and I went to London and met up with three gorgeous women and their families for a photo shoot. I’ll write more about the article in January, just prior to publication. It’s for a national newspaper’s magazine and the group photo is to go with our interviews/passion for natural parenting.

Nikki came from Somerset with her five beautiful children ~ all home educated. She’s one of my closest friends and it’s rather unfortunate we live so far apart. But we’re scheming to change that sometime in this lifetime!

Shazzie, my awesome Web Mistress and MD of Detox your World, came with little Evie. Doncha love how toddlers won’t sit still for photos? Such a charming creature she managed to get away with running here, there and everywhere. Clearly she got that gene from her mum! ~ As a single mum, Shazzie manages to run an incredible raw and living foods business employing several people. Respect! It’s funny when you have so much email contact with someone to only see them once a year. Strange. Again, we live a long way apart. Not good.

The other mum was Melissa Corkhill, editor of The Green Parent a parenting publication recently voted as one of 40 initiatives which are changing the world. We’ve not met before, so it was such a treat to meet her, Jez, and their beautiful daughters.

I don’t recommend going to London from Cumbria and back, with two lively kids, and having a camera flash in your face a few hundred times, all in one day. Exhausting. Took me a day to recover! Still, it was so worth it to meet up with these gorgeous ladies.


For a few months now, Eliza (currently named Bonnie; last week she insisted on being Lissy May) has been begging me for another cat. Last year we replaced Grenzie’s (formerly Gretel) brother Elvis (after he went AWOL ~ boys! [eyebrows raised]) with Henry, the world’s greatest cat. He was so brilliant…so sociable. Just one amazing cat!

Last October we nipped down to Somerset for a few days to host the holistic parenting expo and when we returned he was nowhere to be seen. (What was I just saying about boys?) We searched the village high and low. Just about everyone had seen him. He’d supped at all the cottages, dining in style and charming everyone. Henry has never come back. Clearly having someone bring him food in our absence wasn’t enough, he wanted company too.

I told Eliza that we’d get a new cat soon and we’d probably get another from a cat refuge, like we did with Henry. Eliza had other plans. She wanted a Persian. My heart sank. I had a few Persians about 20 years ago (God that makes me feel old!) and as lovely as they are, they’re such hard work to maintain knot-free hair. Wasn’t one of my most successful cat-parenting times, I must say. Eliza swore black and blue that she’d groom such a cat.

“Yeah, right. Just like you feed Grenzie every day, right?”

“I promise Mum,” she said. I wasn’t convinced.

The girls don’t get much time on the computer as I am still not comfortable with them being so close to such radiation, but they do know how to access the internet if there is info they want. It’s quite cute really, if I peek in recent google searches. Bethany looks to see if she can find Daniel Radcliffe’s (aka Harry Potter) home address and Eliza’s searches are all about ‘100s of kitten photos’.

She thought she’d struck gold when she came across a site with Persians for sale. £300 a pop.

Here’s the thing. I’m always telling the kids to visualise their future, the life they want and so on. So on one hand I’m telling her that if she REALLY wants a Persian ( I drew the line at a Siamese...they yowl non-stop) then she needs to imagine it with all her heart.

And on the other hand I’m saying, “but honey I don’t have that sort of money for a cat.” Actually, I wouldn’t pay for cat full stop. I also kept baulking at the long hair issue. Talk about sending mixed messages to her. I did, however, tell her to trust that the perfect cat would come to her and it would all happen very easily.

And then early this week, as we were heading out the door, a lady in the village was leaving a message to ask if we were by any chance looking for another cat. Agggggggggggggh ~ race to the phone and pant “Yes Jane, we are. Can’t talk as I’m out the door, but we will have it and I’ll ring you back tonight.”

Before we met the cat, the owner emailed me a photo. Eliza said, "how is that you can love a cat so much even before you've met it?"

I told her I felt that way about her and Bethany before they were born.

Well, you wouldn’t’ believe it...but our new feline resident, William, aka Malsome Toffeefudge is a pedigree! A British short hair (ie, Persian origin but with manageable coat) and toooo cute! So placid, so gorgeous. He’s 7 months old but so FAT. Time for FAT CAMP! He’s been living in a townhouse down in the Lake District (probably never even seen a mouse!) and is about to discover grass, trees, other animals and is still coming to grips with the noisy, noisy kids!)

It turns out the house where he lived had an aging cat that just had no time for a baby cat and it’s been hell on earth there. William cost them a small fortune, and Eliza received him for not a bean. I am so impressed with her manifestation. Actually, I’ve seen the girls manage to do that with plenty of things but somehow, this seemed really impressive to me.

My turn now to create some magic stuff in my life. Move over girls. Watch this space!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Veronika decides to die

Saturday Cuppa: Valerian Tea…actually, it’s meant for bed time but I slept so soundly last night after my cuppa, that I’m tempted to have one this morning and curl up under the duvet for a while on this damp and drizzly English Saturday morning.

My mother, God love ‘er, sent me my birthday present a month or so early. She was reluctant because of the book’s title, but I’m so glad she did.

Veronika decides to die is a gripping novel which explores what sanity and madness really mean.

Veronika isn’t depressed, however she questions life and the repetitiveness of our individual journeys...the sameness, the apparent senselessness of it all. So, she decides to die by overdosing on sleeping tablets…she then wakes up in the town’s mental hospital. Her overdose has caused irreparable damage to her heart and she’ll die within the week. But what a week!

The book explores a few of the characters in that hospital and what led them there. Her arrival has the patients questioning their own journeys and they discover they do want to live full lives.

It’s a brilliant book, with a wonderful twist and, importantly for me, a happy ending! I soooooo need happy endings!

What Veronika discovered was that almost all of us live our lives as others expect, trapped in a permanent prison. How often do we do what we want; what makes our heart sing; our soul soar?

At what point in our lives do we truly take responsibility for our own path in life and say ‘Enough! This is MY journey’? When do we stop performing for parents, siblings, teachers, friends, neighbours, society and say ‘this is my dance’?

I do believe we each have a specific destiny and purpose and yes, life can seem mundane, repetitive and at times joyless, frustrating or an utter pain in the arse; tragic, painful, soul destroying ~ but we all have a choice in how we visit each moment and what gifts we will take with us when we pass through the valleys and hills. Every experience has a gift.

Two men looked out from prison bars
One saw mud
One saw stars

If the people around you insist on always looking at the mud it doesn’t mean you have to look there as well. You could make it your mission to say “hey, look up there. Can you see the wishing star? It’s yours!!! It’s waiting for you.”

With love and blessings, and an abundance of wishing stars ~ Veronika ~

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Special moments

The real person you are is revealed in the moments when you're certain no other person is watching. When no one is watching, you are driven by what you expect of yourself.

Ralph S. Marston, Jr.

Saturday Cuppa: Nettle Tea ~ have to say, I really love this stuff!

Peeking out the bathroom window last Sunday, I watched the girls help Paul move and stack firewood. Not deterred by the cold weather, they were a bundle of energy and happiness. Paul is very hands on with the girls, always has been, and even though I’m used to watching them interact, somehow I’m always moved to tears when I watch them silently from a distance. He has all the qualities a child needs in a dad. Someone who can provide love, warmth, understanding, care, empathy and fun. And yet he’s also able to provide boundaries.

Kids need dads.

Let me be clear before I’m inundated with emails from single or lesbian mums. I’m not anti alternative family structures regardless of whether they were created by choice or circumstance. I do believe, however, that all children benefit from a positive, ongoing male influence. I also acknowledge that not all biological fathers are suitable for day to day child rearing. If we look to the Universal Energy though, it is full of yin and yang, male and female, feminine and masculine. Why would family life be any different?

I often wonder how I’d fill a lack of fathering if our circumstances were different.

The relationship we have with our father impacts us so strongly right through into our adult years. We need to be clear though that the father-child relationship wears many faces. These include fathers absent through death, work, geography, alcohol or drugs, affairs. Even if they’re not with us, we still have a relationship, albeit an apparently silent one.

Some women try and make up for this by being mother and father. This is noble, but not really what we’re meant to do. Mothers and mothers. And frankly, most of us a stretched enough without trying to do even more!

When I watch Bethany and Eliza and Paul interacting, with me physically out of the picture, I am in awe that they’ve got such a dad. I wonder how different I might have been as a person with such an influence throughout my childhood. I don’t suppose the girls will ever really appreciate what they’ve had, and what they’ve got, however my wish is that they if, and when, they attract a life partner that person is able to bring them as much joy and love into their life as their father has brought to mine.

Another special moment for me this week happened yesterday when Paul and Eliza went out for the afternoon. Bethany was going through her Red Box (see an earlier blog on holistic menstruation) and asking all sorts of questions about periods. It’s so funny what you take for granted when you bleed each month and have been doing so for 23 years!

After a few hours she gave me a huge hug and said , “Thanks so much mum, no other mother would have said all those things!”

I laughed and said that actually lots of mums would. It did have me reflecting though on the majority of my school friends who weren’t told a thing about periods. On the day of their first bleed they thought they were dying! Although I understand they were different times, it seems so cruel to not share such information. I also realise how important it is that women keep sharing their menstruation, birth, breastfeeding and menopause stories so that our children know everything about how the body works.

I remember one of my brothers, as a young adult, thinking that all women bled on the 28th day of every month rather than every 28 days!

The next special thing in my week is happening this morning. My elder sister Heidi has returned to the UK after a year or so in Australia. She’s coming for the weekend with her husband and youngest child, Matteus. The girls are so excited about seeing their cousin again. So, I’ve got to get off the computer and get to tidying the house. Visitors are always a good incentive for removing cobwebs!!

Don't forget to acknowledge the special moments in your week...they're like stars in the sky! ~ Veronika ~

If you missed the Extraordinary Breastfeeding documentary back in February, it is being re-screened on Monday night (ie, November 13th, 11pm on Channel Four).