Saturday, January 27, 2007


Saturday Cuppa: My cup is steaming with hot water and a simple slice of lemon. Cleansing, quenching, and strangely, very addictive. Try it!

Earlier this week, I awoke to the sound of people running through my garden. The sun hadn’t yet risen, but the speed and intent of the ‘intruders’ was clear.

Ok, I knew they weren’t intruders. My girls had awoken to discover the first snow of the season and weren’t wasting a second waiting for something as obvious as daylight or to awaken their parents. Their delight and joy led them to follow their hearts; they needed to be IN the experience of snow, rather than just observing it.

How often do we go through our own lives simply observing, rather than experiencing?

My ‘little’ Eliza is nine years old tomorrow. The memory of her arrival on Planet Earth is as clear as ever.

She took her first steps in Dubai airport, en route from Australia to the UK. The chorus of support from the air hostesses was such a joy and will remain with me always.

There’s nothing quite like having children for us adults to believe in the illusion of time! One minute they’re dependent, squirmy infants at your breast; in the next blink of an eye they’re plotting their university education. How does that happen?

Her older sister Bethany has spent the best part of this week snugged up on the sofa making Eliza’s birthday present. Literally DAYS have gone into a book which Bethany’s written and illustrated, Beatrix Potter style.

It is at times like these I’ve come to really value the benefits of home education. Bethany has been able to immerse herself fully until her project was completed. She set the curriculum, the structure; provided the discipline and gave it her all.

Looking at the curriculum at our local secondary school, they have less than 50 minutes a week dedicated to the only art lesson. And this from a school with a major reputation for supporting The Arts? I think I’ve missed something. Music, too, gets just 50 minutes a week.

Where, as adults, do we give our time to? Like the kids running in snow before they’ve dressed or eaten breakfast, our passions in life are those activities which make our heart sing. These are the balance points which turn our arms into wings, and help us fly through life.

I find it incredibly sad to come across adults on the conveyor belt of this thing called life who ‘believe’ they have no passions or interests; who believe they’re not here for a reason. Every last person walking this Earth is here for a reason.

Sometimes we’ve had our joy dampened as kids and we take that suppression into adulthood. But you know, it never leaves us and can be resurrected at any time. A very rough way of helping to find joy and balance is to draw a circle with hour sections of each day. Fill them in with your day to day activities and colour in those parts of the day which you enjoy, that nurture your heart, mind and soul, with bright sunshine yellow.

If your day isn’t filled with sunshine, don’t ask someone else to change it. Breathe it into your mind, then out into your life and watch the difference! Often, too often, we go through life robotically doing the things others expect of us. Others can be dependents, bosses, ghosts from the past…

It might be that you have to start with little chunks. Get up an hour earlier to make space even if, like me, you’d rather stay in a warm bed! The benefits are worth it and you just never know, it could be habit forming within a week.

Do you remember that song, Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone?
Make it personal. Bring sunshine into your life and that YOU will be bringing sunshine to all around you…

To all the big girls in my life having birthdays at the mo ~ Nikki Z., Victoria B., Lisa J., Shazzie H., Jacqueline E., Anna D-H…

be bright, be brilliant and HAVE FUN.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Saturday Cuppa: Barley Cup

Two examples of prejudice under my social microscope this week.
The Earth Mothers and The Indian…

The Indian

There can’t be a British newspaper (or probably an Indian one!) that won’t be publishing something about the reality TV programme Celebrity Big Brother today, and last night’s eviction of resident bully Jade Goody. I hope today’s blog might give a different perspective to the ritual crucifixion which is inevitable today…

For those who put their time to better use and have NO IDEA what I’m talking about, a bunch of so-called celebrities (most of them aren’t celebrities!) are put together into a smallish house (studio) for about a month, with no escape. They’ve got about 38 cameras (some are probably hidden, I don’t know) on them 24/7.

Imagine how hard it is being with those you love, day in day out, and the challenges that arise in the privacy of your own home.

In the BB house, these people are with strangers and some rather over inflated egos (like Leo Sayer’s), in a very manufactured situation. They have no contact with the outside world. Their choice is to get along and co-operate to make the experience more enjoyable, or to compete to be winner of the BB House (that is, the one not to be evicted by public vote), and for some that will mean doing whatever they can to ‘get noticed’.

During the past week, Jade Goody, a former Big Brother inmate (in the non celebrity version of Big Brother) from four years ago, was brought into the house along with her young 19 year old boyfriend and her astonishingly dysfunctional, one armed, lesbian mother (keep reading!). Jade was hated the first time she appeared in Big Brother…hated for her ignorance, and her looks. She’s not the brightest kid on the block; rather volatile and prides herself on honesty. Good for her, honesty is great. But there are ways of being honest though, that don’t involve cutting someone else’s head off.

I’ve been in relationships which have brought out the absolute worst in me, and more often than not it wasn’t because of anything the other person did, as such, but their passiveness. I know I probably wouldn’t show my best side if I was stuck in the BB house. But to deny that exists in me is pointless. All of us are capable of murderous thoughts, and equally, all of us are capable of great good. Most people never go to either extreme, but play around the middle somewhere. But at any given point we can CHOOSE our actions and reactions.

In the Big Brother House is Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty…a very attractive, intelligent and respected woman. She speaks eight languages! That she speaks our language better than Jade can probably give you an idea of the direction it went. Before Jade’s mother Jackiey was evicted, she kept calling Shilpa ‘Princess’…partly because she couldn’t say her name.

Shilpa (two syllables, how hard is that? Even my cat can say it!) It also was the start of them recognising they were from different lifestyles.

To cut a long story short, they clashed. Some will say it was ‘just’ bullying (as if bullying is acceptable?!), others say it was racism (I’ll spare you all the derogatory comments from Jade and her followers Jo and Danielle), and others still will say Jade is just a bit thick. Her aggressiveness, though, defies description.

I have three Indian friends and they’re all just lovely. But I don’t look at them and think ‘they’re Indian’. I see them as I do all my friends - as gorgeous woman who are funny, bright, smart, interesting, creative, caring, spiritually aware…

One of these friends is on holiday in the Maldives this week…completely oblivious to the outrage in the media towards one of her forbears’ country’s most well known actresses, she emailed to say how she was being treated like a princess! I laughed so much, as the Indian Bollywood actress in CBB was initially being called Princess.

I grew up in Australia where the Aboriginals were treated worse than UK farmers treat their dogs. In the town of Warwick, Queensland, which we lived near, my memory of Aboriginals is of them asleep in the gutter having spent their government allowance on alcohol. They had no way of integrating from living nomadic lifestyles in The Outback, to being with ‘white’ man and ‘his’ society. If they were given houses to live in, they’d chop up furniture to make a fire! It was US who’d got it wrong, not them. Instead of accepting them, we tried to make Aboriginals like us.

The Big Brother house offers us insights into ourselves and into the future. At some point, humanity, in order to survive, will have to ‘really’ work together, and not just talk about it. We will HAVE to share resources, food, transport, and transcend differences.

Life on this planet, as we know it, is going to change dramatically. And the odds are good that it is going to get a hell of a lot worse before we reach paradise.

Terrorism, as well as the devastation from the accelerating effects of global warming, is going to affect everyone’s lives. Money, class or status won’t make anyone immune. Most people nave NO idea at the impact the next 10 – 50 years are going to have on humanity.

We have to learn to get along. To dissolve our difference, develop trust, respect and care. Never mind the Big Brother house and thinking ‘we’re above such behaviour’. It represents a wake up call to everyone. It provides examples of our deepest shadow selves which need to come up and be healed.

What struck me, more than anything, is that NO ONE in that Big Brother house at any time stood up to Jade, Jo and Danielle in their bullying of Shilpa. Jermaine would kindly take Shilpa to another room and remind her that she was above that sort of behaviour, but no one actually said to Jade, ‘enough is enough’. I’m stunned by that. Equally disturbing is the beautiful Cleo’s two faced-ness, and Jo and Danielle not even thinking for themselves...just following the nastiness of the leader of their pack.

I’ve wanted to protect my children from bullying all their lives so they can grow up with a strong sense of self, rather than have it eroded by someone else’s damaged sense of who they are. It concerns me greatly that if adults aren’t prepared to say they don’t tolerate bullying, what chance do we have of the nation’s children being truly protected from schoolyard nasties? Why is bullying so easily dismissed?

I remember in my early 20s being in a nightclub dancing away when a bloke started hitting a woman. I begged my boyfriend to stop him but he looked at me like I was an idiot. No way was he getting involved. I was shocked. There are times in life where you must mind your own business, and there are times when, no matter the cost or consequences, you MUST step in.

Yesterday, we went over to South Shields in the North East to join my in-laws for the scattering of my mother in law’s ashes. Afterwards, Paul’s sister in law handed him a letter she’d found, which was written in January 1954. It was addressed to his mother from Paul’s first school teacher when he was five years old.

It reads, “Dear Mrs Robinson, A happy new year to you all and I hope you’ll all be happy in your new home, work and school. I was so sorry to not have a word with you at the end of term ~ I expect by now you are away. I wished to say how very much we enjoyed having Paul, and how sorry we are to lose him. Paul is a lovely boy. Always the same no matter if he was first out of a game or last. He is intelligent and full of initiative. His very first morning at school, he found a block on the floor. He picked it up, went to the shelf and found the right box and put it away. I saw this myself. Not a word before or after expecting praise. He was like that in all things. Paul was so happy in school. He took everything in his stride. He has a keen sense of humour. We hope that Paul will do well and be happy in his new school. The children too will be sorry he is not coming back. Miss Humphrey joins with me in kindest regards to you all. Sincerely, Edith Stagg.”

I include this letter because it bought a tear to my eye for two reasons. One reason being that Paul IS like that...still, all these years later. He does put things away in the right place (Virgo sun!) and his humour was what attracted me to him in the first place. He has a very even temperament...he’s the calm in my ‘life’s storm’!

I was saddened though, because for all these lovely things written above, Paul went on to spend a childhood in school being bullied. He moved elsewhere and was considered ‘different’. Different accent. And very ‘soft’ emotionally, as far as boys go.

If someone like Paul can be bullied so on-goingly, what chance do kiddies with other differences have? Why are our schools not teaching about embracing differences? And why are parents continuing to imprint their own prejudices on kids? Please don’t email and tell me it doesn’t happen, because it does. Everywhere. Maybe not in your family, or with your children. But it is widespread.

Back in the BB House, Jermaine Jackson, (former member of the Jackson Five, pat of singer Michael Jackson’s family)…prays five times a day. He’s the one person in the house who is truly keeping it all together (so far) and managing to rise above the incredible pettiness, nastiness and, some would say, racism.

Eventually Jade ended up becoming something of a celebrity, and a millionaire, from her first visit to the Big Brother house. The damage she has brought upon herself through her vitriolic and nasty comments could see her losing not only her fortune, but her celebrity crown. A charity she is involved in has dropped her like a hotcake; The Perfume Shop is no longer stocking her perfume (the highest selling perfume in the country)...and it will go on. But the public shame, humiliation and social outcasting will be the highest price she pays.

But what does it mean for all of us?

The last I heard there were something like 30 000 complaints to Ofcom about Jade’s behaviour (considered racist), and it being shown on TV. People wanted to direct their anger somewhere, if not at Jade, then at Endemol, the production company, or at Channel Four. But that is less than 1% of the viewers of that show. Less than 1 in 100 people feel bothered enough by it to get off their ar** and speak up about it. To me, that is almost more jaw dropping than Jade’s behaviour.

From a spiritual perspective, everything we see is an illusion, created out of our own mind/projections. To pretend that Britain is not a racist country is to deny what actually really goes on in the streets. We hear comments all the time which are derogatory about Pakistanis, Indians, etc.. I do agree that ethnic people are far more integrated here than, say, the Australian Aboriginals were when I was a child. But they’re not embraced. It’s too easy to point the finger at people like Jade and use them to act as a dumping ground for our unexpressed feelings.

When the Extraordinary Breastfeeding documentary was made, I viewed it the day before it went to air. There was one short scene where I was being agitated with Eliza. I was shocked that they were going to show that side of me and I felt embarrassed. In reality, all I was doing was creating a boundary and letting Eliza know that what she was doing was unacceptable. I wasn’t yelling, screeching, ripping her arms out of her sockets or anything like that…but it still felt uncomfortable.

For Jade to look back on the images of herself yelling repulsive, offensive and completely undignified shouts of hatred, and to know this footage has been played around the world, will have deep psychological consequences for her…more so than actually being in the BB house.

So what has Jade shown us about ourselves? OK, we might not be racist, we might not be bullies...but we ALL have aspects to ourselves we’d rather the world did not see. What is called for now is compassion and understanding and genuine self-reflection. How has your week been? If you’d been followed by cameras 24/7 this week, would you feel proud of your every waking moment? I doubt many of us would. We’d have moments we’d truly like to ‘edit’. I know I’ve behaved in ways this week which I’d rather the world not know about. There are things I would do differently if I’d been acting more consciously.

And we need to remember our own shadows when the media frenzy shows NO concern for Jade’s psychological well-being. They’ll forget she is human. And most will forget that her dysfunctional mother provided the role modelling that helped shape her as a human being. If we want to see the end of racism, bullying etc, we have to model a different way of being to our own children.

We’ve lived in this little village of Glassonby in Cumbria for eight years and we’re still considered ‘outsiders’. Still considered too different to be local. Prejudice is rife in the UK. Let’s not pretend otherwise. It serves no purpose to turn a blind eye. And sadly, even if we don't watch tv shows like this, the energy surrounding it this week is very much in the national consciousness...meaning it is bringing up issues for all of us to heal.

The earth mothers

Had my own bit of pre-judging going on this week. Last Sunday the Observer newspaper had a feature (mentioned in last week’s blog) on female tribes of Britain.

I’ve been so badly burnt by the media that I only agreed to it on the condition that I’d see the quotes before they went to press to ensure accuracy, and also that I could ‘ok’ the photo of me that was used. Nothing worse than knowing hundreds and thousands of crap photos of yourself have been printed ~ and even worse when another publication drags them up and reprints).

The editor of Observer Woman, Nicola Jeal, guaranteed me in writing that I could choose the photo. I was sent two photos. Well, despite this guarantee, and despite some beautiful photos being taken where everyone in the group looked fantastic, they used a really horrible photo and didn't keep their promise!! My friend Nikki, who also was horrified by the photo of herself, and I spent a very few miserable days feeling deliberately set up to make ‘earth mothers’ look like idiots. Nikki also fel,t despite all the things she’d said in the interview, the only comments used were those which were negative, when actually all she was doing was painting a broad picture of being a full-time mum parenting consciously.

The in-depth interviews we provided, on the basis that the whole thrust of the article was to debunk the myths of earth mothers, turned out to be about one paragraph from each woman of completely out of context quotes, or things which just didn’t make sense without the following sentences being included.

I specifically asked that I not be quoted as an extraordinary breastfeeder or even mention how long I’d breastfed for, as earth mothers aren’t just full term breastfeeders. No surprise that the enlarged caption below the photo said something like ‘I breastfed for seven years.’

Doesn’t anyone in mainstream media have integrity? Is it that hard to honour a promise? I’ve not heard back from the editor. She’s not had the decency to phone me and explain why she deliberately chose to make us look bad. Ok, Shazzie looked great, but everyone else in the photo was looking everywhere but the camera, most of us in a very unflattering light.

On the day of the photo shoot, we all saw for ourselves the really beautiful photos where everyone looked great. You’ve got to ask yourself why one of those was not chosen. What was the motive behind using a horrible photo? To illustrate a prejudice against stay at home mums perhaps? A picture paints a thousand words, and it’s hard to think of another explanation. Every other tribe was portrayed beautifully, especially the Yummy Mummies and Supermums.

My upset, though, went way beyond it being a really horrible photo of myself (and others). It was about betrayal, and I spent a few days mentally going through every incident where I’ve gone into a media situation honestly, openly and trustingly. But don’t forget, I’ve also worked as a journalist. But not once did I EVER manipulate someone for a story. And each time I interviewed someone I asked them if they wanted to see the piece before it went to print. My work was based on transparency. I would never choose a photo that didn’t show someone in their best light.

Not only did I feel betrayed, but I also feel I betrayed my friends. Daisy, the journalist, asked me to recommend some ‘earth mothers’ for the piece. I really feel *I* let them down because the final result isn’t what it said on the tin. We were all cheated. And so were the readers.

As someone who believes we create our own reality, I have to wonder why I created yet another situation where I was let down, and allowed a situation where I was trashed by the media.

I now feel I have no choice but to stop giving media interviews (unless it is live tv or radio where they can’t misrepresent you or edit your words). As I pointed out to the journalist to whom I gave the interview, I don’t ‘need’ to do this. I’m essentially a private person and have no need for fame or being ‘out there’. I do interviews in the hope that I might help to educate people into a more natural way of parenting, or offer information they won’t get from mainstream parenting sources.

Every person has a story to tell, even those people considered the most boring. A good journalist finds the story and acts as the story teller, conveying the message, sometimes in a way the person themselves may not be able to. A good journalist doesn’t ever lie, manipulate or betray. I’ve never felt so embarrassed to be part of a profession as I do today.

So what’s the lesson this week with The Earth Mothers and The Indian?

Here’s a story: There once was an Enlightened Master travelling through India. He came to a village and noticed there were no children playing. “Where are all the children?” the Master asked.

“Master, there is a huge serpent in the woods who comes at night and eats the children,” replied one of the villagers. “Please help us!” he begged.

The Master went into the woods and called the serpent out. The serpent slid out of his hiding place (because we’re all subject to an Enlightened Master).

“Serpent, it is wrong of you to eat the children of this village. You must NEVER eat the children again,” the Master ordered him. The serpent was ashamed and replied, “Yes, Master.”

The Enlightened Master continued his travels, and ten years later he came to the same village and saw children of all ages. But in one corner he noticed a group of children involved in some intense activity. The Master approached and in the centre of the circle, found the serpent.

He was wounded and nearly dead from torture. The Master chased the children away and said to the serpent “My friend, why have you let this happen to you?”

The serpent replied, “But Master, you said I was not to eat the children.”
The Master answered, “Oh foolish serpent, I told you not to bite. I didn’t tell you not to hiss!”

It’s important to be clear in our boundaries and not end up being victim or persecutor. Sometimes we need to hiss.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Beware of Super Nanny's NAUGHTY STEP ~ it's a trap!

Saturday Cuppa: Chamomile tea

The subject of discipline always comes up in books, magazines and conversations on parenting. Discipline goes way beyond ‘to hit or not to hit’, the naughty step (cringe), time out, detention and so on.

The best discipline does not come from external forces (aka parents and teachers), but from within. It is our own example of applying internal discipline which is the best guide for our children, and has life long benefits for them.

This is where, as naturally nurturing parents, we may have the edge over parents who do as ‘everyone else’ does, or follow the dreaded Super Nanny prescription.

Although I’ve published a couple of articles in The Mother magazine on the very radical libertarian approach to parenting, it is not something I, myself, practise.

I LOVE the idea of kids having complete freedom in every area of their life ~ it appeals to me enormously. No doubt it is the rebel within that it appeals to! Our whole universe is based on laws. So even if, as adults, we opt out of cultural, societal and taxation laws, we can’t escape the laws of the universe. As the physical face of God (or the Universe), parents exist to provide structure, boundaries, guidelines. In many ways, we act as the river bank to the river, allowing our children to flow forth with something to contain and channel their life force until they reach the mouth of the sea.

When we learn to work with, rather than against, any rules/laws/structures we set our self for the purposes of growth and improvement, we actually find freedom rather than restraint, and that is so liberating. It’s a mental mindset which is worth developing. Don’t fight the ‘walls’ around you and feel trapped by a square, use them to protect and nurture yourself.

My take on discipline has evolved over 11 years of parenting.

I encourage my children to develop inner discipline knowing that it is far greater than any structure I personally can give them.

As parents, when we feel the ‘need’ to discipline, we can take this as a cue to discipline ourselves, be it ‘holding our tongue’ or our hand/belt/wooden spoon (pick weapon of choice).

Inner discipline, the only true and ever lasting discipline, is like a tree.

When we give ourselves structures, boundaries and systems, we are, in essence, putting down roots. Although unseen to others, we make our soul-self strong, secure…

Reaching down into an unknown power within, our foundation provides nutrients for the trunk, branches and leaves. The ‘visible’ part of ourselves reaches out, forwards, upwards ~ yet always towards the Light. We grow, we provide shelter, sanctuary and beauty.

We can’t do this adequately without a strong root structure.

Sometimes we’ll find ourselves in life, through our early nurturing, or lack thereof, or life circumstances, where we’re not provided with the optimum medium for putting down roots. The ground may be sandy, or rocky, near a cliff’s edge; boggy, parched. We can’t control that, but we can control how we adapt; how we place our roots.

Discipline can be practised in all areas of our life, and indeed, ideally, would be, for excellent growth. All our bodies ~ physical, emotional, mental and spiritual ~ need nurturing through discipline. Constantly, regularly and with awareness. That’s the key. That is what helps our ‘whole’ tree grow. If we don’t grow with strength and maturity, what sort of shelter do we provide for our little saplings?

I’m not game enough to watch Channel Four’s Super Nanny. I know I’d cry my heart out at the humiliation, shame and guilt bucketed on those little kids whose only crime was to choose unconscious parents in an unconscious society!

It’s not the kids who need disciplining! They don’t need a Naughty Step. Super Nanny is typical of our society’s need for a quick fix…a sanitary band aid to cultural problems. Where will Super Nanny be in 20 years when these kids need to heal through issues of guilt and low self esteem because they were taught on national television that they WEREN’T GOOD ENOUGH?

How do your kids see YOU practise inner self discipline?

How do you eat? Do you gulp food and drinks down while on the run? Or do you sit, without the tv on, eating calmly, chewing each mouthful fully? Do you drink with your meals, or allow your body the dignity and intelligence of using its own digestive juices?

Is your daily aerobic and non aerobic exercise something you watch others do on tv? Or is it as much a mental and spiritual discipline, as it is physical?

How do you relax? (watching tv doesn’t count!) Play? Laugh?

Is meditation, hypnosis or prayer part of your spiritual nourishment?

Is work something you loathe or love?

Do you carry grudges only burning yourself rather than the one it is aimed at, or have you developed the discipline to ‘let go’ and move on?

In marriage, are you a nagger or a nourisher? If you nag constantly, hoping you’ll achieve something or change your partner, develop the inner discipline of biting your tongue and looking in the mirror before criticising the love of your life. Expect miracles!

Our kids press buttons. That’s their job. They didn’t come to us because we ‘wanted kids’. They came to us on a special mission to HEAL us. Sorry to take away the mystique, folks!

Discipline is not hitting the kids, but using our brains and will power to NOT raise our hand/swear/scream. Saying “I can’t help it” as an excuse to inflict physical or emotional/mental harm on a child, is exactly where we begin our own self discipline. It is about bringing awareness and NOT repeating our parents’ parenting. The buck stops with us.

Instead of thinking we have to ‘teach the kids a lesson’, we need to let them teach us one or two. And the lesson, more often than not, is one of NOT reacting with physical discipline ~ unless it is perhaps to offer a hug and say, “I understand.”

As my kids get older, I find myself deferring more and more to my Higher Self ~ rather than my ego ~ for help in resolving conflicts. Through disciplining my mind, body and soul through various practises, I realise I really don’t know best.

I count among my friends no less than three life coaches. It makes me laugh because I often wonder why someone would pay another human being to help them achieve goals when ALL the tools are within. With absolutely NO disrespect to my friends’ life work, I wonder if the huge uptake of life coaching services is a reflection on the way we’ve been disciplined as kids? We look outside of ourselves for feedback, kicks up the bum, pats on the back. We seem incapable of doing this for ourselves. I am miffed at this, oftentimes amused, but mostly stunned.

Just do it, has always been my motto. Maybe it’s a personality thing?

In my own life I practise self discipline by conscious eating and drinking (most of the time!); regular juice/water fasts; exercise (rebounding, walking, Pilates); meditation/relaxation/visualisation/hypnosis/forgiveness (when I feel ready!); learning piano, and latterly, counting to ten before I respond to something that pees me off.

There are many ways in which I encourage my girls to develop inner discipline. At this point they still need some guidance, but I know that in time it will truly come from within, rather than from me, as mother. Learning an instrument is a great way for children to experience how we can persevere through uncertainty, and oftentimes difficulty and frustration, to see joy and success.

I hope that my children, at whatever level, see my life as a simple example of how when we stretch through challenges we grow and also achieve a sense of satisfaction.

tomorrow's Observer Woman magazine feature

I mentioned a couple of months back about popping down to London with my girls for a photo shoot. Tomorrow, The Observer newspaper is running a feature in Observer Woman magazine called Female Tribes of Britain. My friends Nikki, Shazzie, and Melissa from the Green Parent magazine went along to represent the Earth Mother tribe…

I won’t pretend that I’m not disappointed, for it isn’t the in-depth interview we were promised, which would debunk the myths associated with our ‘tribe’. No, no, no! Of course not… I’m so bloody naive. Still! I expected MORE from The Observer. After all, it’s not the Daily Mail or The Mirror. Hmmm…

It is going to be more pictorial with a few completely out of context ‘quotes’ and some silly questions/answers! But there you go, that’s the world of the media ~ a sector of society dangerously low in integrity!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Saint and Sinner

Saturday Cuppa: Take your pick from the Juice Bar!

Passionfruit and orange juice
Carrot, ginger and celery
Apple and mint
Carrot and Apple

All freshly made. I’m juice fasting this week…I decided to take advantage of the mild British winter/Paul being home to make the meals ~ and start the new year off with a four day cleanse. Happy New Year!

We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential. ~ Ellen Goodman

This week my emotions have been touched by two lives who’ve walked the world stage in vastly different ways.

Last week in my blog I mentioned my lifelong desire to be a Fairy Godmother sprinkling angel dust over lives and how the ways in which I’d like to do so involve quite large amounts of money!!

Imagine my joy a few days later when reading what my heroine Oprah Winfrey is up to... I’ve admired her for more than half my lifetime. Not actually having seen her show now for about twenty years, my respect is about what she does off camera. She is a very giving, generous soul who blesses other people’s lives, staff, friends and strangers ~ and often anonymously. The cynical could say that she can afford to be generous. Yes, that’s true. But look around you at others who have millions and billions to their name. How many of them actually use their wealth to truly make a difference?

Tell me which talk show hosts in the UK are doing grand works of philanthropy? I’m not even talking about writing a blank cheque for charity. I mean actually getting hands dirty. Making decisions. I read the other day that British actress Emma Thompson had ‘quietly’ adopted a 16 year old Rwandan refugee a few years ago. Some people just get on and ‘do’ acts of kindness.

Oprah’s childhood was one of classic poverty. She has now set up a school in Africa for 11 and 12 year old girls whose families are living lives of poverty, yet despite such beginnings, the girls show the potential for achievement. When describing what she looked for in these girls, she talked about seeing a light within them which showed they’d always see hope, no matter what.

Oprah picked every item for the school including tiles and towels. She said that beauty was very important for helping people feel better about themselves. Her school will also pay for the girls’ university education.

Oprah was raped by an uncle as a teenager. She became pregnant. The baby died.

Last week she was asked about not having children of her own. She described the girls in her school as being the children she never had and now she understands why she didn’t have children of her own. I was moved to tears when I read how much she loved each and everyone of them (150 girls which she hand picked out of 5000 applications) and couldn’t imagine it was possible to love them any more had they been her own.

Oprah, you go girl!

Saddam Hussein was hanged this week. I felt so sick at the thought. Not for one nano-second do I condone the barbaric acts which he instigated whilst he walked upon our Earth.

The media replayed dramatic scenes of the violence and deaths he was responsible for, and yet nowhere did ANYONE bring up the information that might just help to heal humanity.

I don’t believe in original sin, but original blessing. We’re all soul-conceived by a Higher Force and therefore can not be anything but pure. So what led Saddam Hussein to becoming someone with an overwhelming desire to control and take life?

When he was four months old in utero, his father died. Saddam’s mother was struck with grief. Experiencing our mother’s trauma during gestation can affect us on all sorts of levels. For example, it can cause the milk teeth to come out black. One can only wonder at what on earth is happening for the foetus for something as damaging as this to happen to the teeth. So what about the things we don’t see? The things which occur beyond the physical body, in the mind and heart?

At the same time as his dad died, Saddam’s 12 year old brother was seriously ill in hospital and preparing for brain surgery. He died.

Is there anything in life that can come close to the pain of losing your child? I’ve not been there, but I don’t pretend for a second that anything could compete with such grief. Not one loss, but two for Saddam’s mother AND for Saddam. When we are in the womb we pick up EVERYTHING our mother is experiencing. There is no hiding, no escaping, no denying. Her feelings, her thoughts, her passions, her despair, her frustration, her hates, her is all ours.

Saddam’s mother was in emotional torment and threw herself under a bus to kill both herself and her baby. Clearly they both survived. She then tried to abort Saddam.

A Jewish family took them in and convinced her not to kill him. When Saddam was born, his mother gave him away to another family who raised him for the first three years of life. His mother remarried and Saddam then had a ‘home’ to come back to, except that his step-father was a bully who abused him throughout childhood.

As we grow up in life, we make choices. He could have made different choices. My point is though, who are any of us to judge him given his violent and unwanted arrival into life? How differently would we have reacted to ‘life’ given the same circumstances?

I’ve called this blog saint and sinner. Sin is an old archery term which means ‘to miss the mark’. That is, to miss the bull’s eye. Each and every one of us is capable of being a saint and a sinner. It’s easy to miss the mark…but it’s not impossible to keep our eyes focused on it and try our best to reach our goal of remembering Who We Really Are.

Some time, if you meditate, ask to be shown the vibrational field in which your parents conceived you…and move forward into your gestation and birth. Were you welcomed in love or indifference? Planned or tolerated?

One of the reasons I started The Mother magazine was because of my passion for conscious conception ~ to bring every baby into this world with nothing but unconditional love and welcome! To conceive, gestate and birth peacefully, non-violently and with love would truly change humanity. Nothing less will. Hanging people like Saddam Hussein doesn’t rid our world of poison. The elixir of life which will sustain, nourish and nurture every human being into their full potential is love. Nature or nurture? Regardless of the nature we come in with, nurture is fundamental. Never underestimate the impact of your parenting, and remember, it begins before conception.

happy new year everyone! ~ Veronika