Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I’m heading off to Forest Row for a few days but wanted to share my new look website before I hopped on the train
The new design is courtesy of my lovely new web mistress, Karen Arnott. THANK YOU KAREN! It's great to have a feminine feel to it at last after six years.
If you need web design, logos, brochures, baby announcement cards, flyers, corporate stationary, wedding stationary…have a look at Karen’s website:
Have a great week ~ and keep cuddling the kids! The cuddle you forget, or don't get around to giving today because you're too busy, can't be caught up on tomorrow.
~ Veronika ~
When women honour the newborn period and fully embrace their Babymoon ~ avoiding copious visitors, trips to supermarkets and sitting on the computer reading blogs and forums. I love it when mothers and fathers simply choose to BE with their baby and savour those rare, precious weeks instead of trying to keep pace with life and everyone else.
I hold holy and sacred those who practise love and respect in the marital relationship ~ where each partner reveres the other, and relates in a functionally-evolved way, rather than ‘reacting’ to things. I love it when I see soul mates that truly ‘get’ what a loving relationship involves.
I have the deepest respect and understanding for people who ‘own’ their anger/jealousy/frustration/discomfort/awkwardness and take responsibility for the feelings that course through their veins ~ rather than forcefully trying to ‘dump’ or ‘project’ their PAIN or GUILT on another person who is merely showing them what exists within them already. NOBODY on this planet has the power to make us feel something. We choose it!
I love it when parents value the uniqueness of childhood and don’t place it on the back burner behind what they perceive to be more important things like a career, public opinion, mortgage, 3 overseas holidays a year, 2 TVs in the house and a new conservatory. I am all FOR honouring that childhood comes first.
I am in awe of women and men who embrace change, no matter how darn scary or challenging, and allow themselves to grow into new, better and happier beings.
I am humbled when people recognise humans are designed to live in a ‘natural’ field, rather than an artificial electromagnetic one ~ and take steps to change their life.
I love people who are actively taking responsibility for their part on the planet ~ not just by doing the rote-induced reduce, re-use, recycle…but going way beyond that by simply saying ‘no’ to consumerism in all its disguises. I love that people are recognising that ‘less is more’ and we simply don’t need all the things our culture insists are vital to modern living.
I am completely FOR the pioneers and bioneers who are putting their heads above the parapet ~ for better or worse ~ and leading humans to a new consciousness. It’s no easy road they travel and only another pioneer could truly recognise the personal and professional sacrifices involved in acting out and speaking out.
I LOVE the people behind the scenes who never receive an MBA or community award ~ yet they’re doing great works for our world. I love the little known charities which bring hope and pleasure to many.
I am in awe of new life and one of my greatest pleasures is growing vegetables and trees from seed.
For every ‘for’, there is an ‘against’. For every ‘against’, there is a ‘for’. It only ever requires that we have the wisdom within to recognise both sides.
That’s duality. That’s life, folks!
Monday, April 28, 2008
I had to laugh tonight when I heard a news report saying the researchers were seeking 150 women for an experiment: to eat chocolate each day for a year. Yep, I can see women racing up for that one.
The research is to find out if chocolate will reduce heart disease.
Five million adults in the UK suffer from cardiovascular disease. Studies show us that breastfeeding in infancy DRASTICALLY REDUCES the incidence of this in adulthood. As usual though, rather than promote something like that, our culture looks for a band aid.
But back to our ol’ friend chocolate. Many women I know seek comfort in chocolate. They pop the kids to bed at night and then look for their secret (or not so secret) stash and try to find the nurturing and nourishment they so desperately need. It’s symptomatic of the culture we live in ~ there’s no extended family or village to help us in our role of mothering and we’re left, not only holding the baby, supervising the other children and keeping house, but also running errands and meeting everyone else’s needs but our own. By the end of the day, most modern mothers are completely ‘spent’.
Personally, though I love the taste of a ‘good’ chocolate, my body isn’t keen on it. Chocolate keeps me awake all night ~ the caffeine in it affects me as strongly as coffee.
I thought that perhaps by moving to raw chocolate things might be different, but if anything, it was far worse. I had severe heart palpitations. It happened every time I had some. So, despite all the apparent health properties and claims about it being a superfood, chocolate is not a staple in my diet.
If you did hear the report about finding a link between chocolate and heart disease and think you might try eating it each day for a year, remember this ~ commercially produced chocolates contain sugar, fillers and an assortment of non-nutritive ingredients. There are, of course, ‘better’ brands on the market, like Booja Booja or Shazzie’s vegan raw chocolate, but for the most part, chocolate isn’t just chocolate.
In New Zealand there is a restaurant chain called Death by Chocolate. Clearly it’s meant to sound indulgent and fun, but perhaps there’s a certain amount of wisdom in it.
I can’t help but think that chocolate, like coffee, is perhaps meant for ceremonial purposes, or to ward off insects!, rather than to be taken as regularly as oxygen. Because, let's face it, chocolate on its own doesn't taste that fab without additives such as a sweetener, whether that be toxin-inducing white sugar, or virtuous agave syrup.
Friday, April 25, 2008
For me, the greatest tragedy lies in the fact that the commentators keep shouting out ‘jail, boot camp, the army’ with not one single person addressing the issue of how these teens became this way. The closest they get is saying the parents should be held accountable for their teen and learn to discipline them more!
I believe every human being is born ‘good’. Babies aren’t bad!
Next week I’m speaking in Brighton about Humanity’s evolutionary blueprint: BREASTFEEDING.
As humans, we are born expecting the breast at birth. We are born expecting to see our mother’s face constantly for at least nine months. We are born expecting to hear her heart beat constantly for at least nine months. This doesn’t happen if a babe is bottlefed and kept out of a mother’s constant body contact. When we don’t meet these very basic biological needs, the PAIN is with these kids for life. The symptoms are manifesting on our streets and in an overworked health care system.
In Britain, 200 000 kids are born each year who never even make it to their mother’s breast. They never receive colostrum (the first syrupy liquid from the breast at birth and for the first three or so days). Colostrum contains tryptophan which is vital for developing serotonin. The one thing all criminals, depressives and other perpetrators of violence have in common is a drastically reduced level of serotonin! Breastfeeding not only provides the ingredients our brains need for developing optimally, but it also provides us with mother love in a way that bottle feeding doesn’t. Studies show us over and over again that breastfed babies receive more love, pleasurable touch, eye contact and interaction than their bottlefed peers. No wonder we have mental health problems of epidemic proportions.
If we want a culture where we’re not scared of our kids (and, let’s be honest, teenagers ARE children) then we have to meet their biological expectations ~ quite simply, we have to stop abandoning our babies to bottles, dummies, car seats, cribs, day care centres, and bedrooms separate to their parent’s room. NONE OF THESE THINGS PROVIDE the physiological benefits of affectionate mother bonding.
Sending violent teenagers to bootcamp or the army reeks to me of ambulance at the bottom of the cliff mentality. As Jeannine Parvati Baker used to say: the wound reveals the cure.
What wound do these teens have? Let me tell you, the cure isn’t to be found in more violence and aggression.
Another headline this week sits on the fact that food has gone up an average of £15 per week per family of four. These prices are based on staples such as milk (aggh, leave it for the baby calf to drink), thick white bread (aggggh, denatured wheat and chemicals which turn to glue in the digestive tract).
I was in my local town tonight, here in Cumbria, and the petrol forecourts were heaving with panic buyers in preparation for the oil refinery strike in Scotland. Many pumps were empty.
I don’t understand this about humans. We KNOW that our way of life is going to change…we KNOW oil is on the way out...but what are people doing, in their own lives, to prepare for this time of transition?
Ever noticed that the day before a public holiday that people go shopping and buy a month’s worth of food? How can you possibly starve to death in a couple of days? You can’t!
I am staggered that people rely so heavily on things like milk and bread. When the time comes for people to truly be self-sufficient I can’t help but wonder what will happen to us as a species. In our culture, we have no sense of co-operation or partnership ~ on a mass level, that is. Obviously there are many individuals who are preparing for the times to come and who are willing to work with others.
We can’t continue this ‘head in the sand/the oil depletion won’t affect me’ thing for that much longer. When things start hotting up, one thing’s for sure, THIS GOVERNMENT will not be here to help you. The politicians will only look after themselves.
This week I’d like to recommend a book called The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins ~ it’s about going from oil dependency to local resilience. Read it and find out how to make YOUR town a transition town. Don’t leave things till it is too late. Panic and fear won’t serve anyone. Embrace change, take little steps now…and empower yourself and your family into a new, ethical and realistic lifestyle.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
US Court awards compensation for vaccine-related autism
In a secret ruling that has only just come to light, the US Court of Federal Claims has conceded that the mercury-based preservative thimerosal, which was in vaccines until 2002, caused autism in the case of one child.
The ruling is one of 4,900 cases currently being considered for compensation payments, and it is feared by health officials that it could open the floodgates for even more claims.
It also appears to support the controversial findings of Dr Andrew Wakefield, who, in 1998, suggested a link between the vaccine and autism. (veronika's note: but he's still being hauled over the coals here in the UK!)
US Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler's November ruling, was one of three test cases into the MMR-autism link that was being considered by a three-member panel. In his conclusion, Keisler said that "compensation is appropriate".
The case involved a child who, when she was 18 months old, received nine vaccinations in July 2000, two of which included thimerosal. Within days, the girl, who had previously been healthy, suddenly exhibited no response to verbal direction, loss of language skills, no eye contact, insomnia, incessant screaming, and arching. A diagnosis of autism was confirmed seven months later.
In its defense, the US government said the girl had a pre-existing mitochondrial disorder that was aggravated by the vaccine. The US court concluded that the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine can cause autism.
(Source: The Huffington Post, February 25, 2008).
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
The following questions were asked in relation to comments in my last posting.
Can I ask a very personal question then Veronika? One you do not have to answer. Do you hold that your miscarriages were down to emotional imbalance in yourself? How do you live with that? Excuse my boldness. I speak as one miscarrier to another.
I see the four miscarriages I’ve had over the years as symbolic of where I was at those times in my life. I also see them differently than I did when the first one happened. The short answer to your question is ‘yes’. Today’s blog is the long answer to your question.
At 19, I became pregnant to someone I was in a steady relationship with ~ though it was definitely not planned (consciously). [I don’t believe any pregnancy is unplanned, though they may happen unconsciously].
My boyfriend was in University and the news of my pregnancy was, to him, like a death sentence. He was a ‘good’ Lutheran lad from a well-to-do family and had great plans for his career as a medical laboratory technician. He ‘demanded’ I have an abortion. I told him where to go. I’d been on the pill, but like my mum who’d conceived twice while on the contraceptive pill, it wasn’t fool proof. Thankfully, I also learnt quite early on not to continue putting synthetic chemicals and hormones into my body.
I was absolutely petrified of being a single mum at 19 (and clearly, 21 years later I am so glad I didn’t become a mother then ~ not in terms of age, but in terms of knowledge). I’d been living with my older sister who became a single mum at 24. I’d witnessed her journey and I looked after her child each night so she could go out to work. It was not a path I wanted for my child. Despite the fear, I knew I wouldn’t have killed my child simply because the father was worried about tainting his reputation. In hindsight, I see that I did contribute to the death in some way.
My baby died at about 13 weeks ~ the time people usually wait before telling others as the chances of miscarriage are very high in this first trimester. My baby ‘shrivelled up’ and died…and stayed in my womb. I see this as very symbolic of the child registering the emotions that I was feeling ~ the fear of being a mum and yet not wanting to ‘get rid’ of the baby ~ and also the rejection by the father. So my body ‘held on’ until such time as the surgeons dragged it out of my body. When I came out anaesthetic, I was crying my eyes out in desperation for my baby. The surgeon told me to shut up and said “don’t be stupid, the baby was dead anyway. There have been times in my life, like that moment, where I’ve really despised men for their incredible insensitivity.
The relationship continued for a couple more years by which time alcohol featured in my life a lot more. How’s that for emotional imbalance and dysfunction?!
My next pregnancy, at 21, was a real shock to my system, not to mention another complete surprise. How did that happen again? The months went by and my tummy grew bigger and bigger. Again, my boyfriend wanted nothing to do with ‘a baby’. I ended the relationship and moved interstate back to my home town when I was about six months pregnant. I’d obviously stopped drinking when I knew I was pregnant but by then the damage had been done. When I see pregnancy studies which say it is safe to drink ‘x’ amount a day/week during pregnancy, I cringe. Personally, I wouldn’t touch a drop now.
I hadn’t told my parents I was pregnant and really wasn’t sure how I’d break the news.
At some point though, I figured something wasn’t right. I’d wake in the morning to my tummy pulsating. And then I had blood in my knickers, but it was strange blood ~ unlike when you have your period.
Anyway, it turned out that my baby had died and the pregnancy was what is called a hydatafoid mole…essentially the baby grows into a tumour resembling a bunch of grapes and it just keeps growing. The blood loss I experienced was a ‘grape’ or several grapes breaking.
Again, I see the way the ‘death’ of the baby (miscarriage) happened as being a manifestation of what was happening in my life…the not wanting to ‘let go’ of the baby, but also being very scared of being a mother and telling my family.
I suppose in some ways, at a cellular level, I carried the shame of single motherhood that my mother had worn when she become a mum at 16. She was new to Australia, and could hardly speak English. The man she became pregnant to (the love of her life) abandoned her with the gift of money for an abortion. What is it with men??????
I have absolutely NO issues with single mums (though I believe the ideal for a baby is two loving parents) and yet I’m sure back then I had taken on some of my mum’s stuff. Her first baby was back in 1959…a very different world! Her greatest fear for her daughters was that they’d have babies outside of marriage. When I left home at 16, my mum’s words of advice were: don’t bleach your hair, don’t wear make-up and don’t get pregnant. Darn mum, sorry. I did all three!
My next two miscarriages happened within my marriage and I find it interesting how the ‘body’ of the baby just came away naturally as if having a period. The grief I felt was huge, don’t get me wrong ~ I REALLY ached ~ but the way my body released the baby so easily is very telling of how different I was, as a person, by then ~ and also that I was in the safety of a very loving marriage.
Why did I miscarry then? I don’t know. Although thrilled at the pregnancies, I’m sure the usual fears of ‘how will I cope with another child?’ permeated every cell of my being. It could have been that I was still busy nourishing two other young children and at some level didn’t feel ready to add to the brood.
One thing I feel very strongly about when it comes to miscarriage is that pregnancy is a co-creation ~ and that the soul choosing to incarnate may have gotten everything needed for its journey/evolution by having the opportunity to be in that body/in your body for just a few weeks.
We look at life in quite a strange way…that anything less than three score year and ten is a life cut short. I see pregnancy ~ no matter if for a few days or weeks or full-term ~ as a complete honour. It is a privilege to provide a temporary earthly home for an incarnating soul.
My miscarriages have shown me that the job of a mother, as the host body, is to offer the most optimal environment ~ and that HAS to include being emotionally balanced. The relationship we have with our partner ~ whether he is in our life or not ~ is an important part of that emotional balance. But even if he is clueless to his partner's needs, it doesn't mean a woman can't or shouldn't take 100% responsibility for the important role she is playing.
I still feel someone’s death or a miscarriage deeply, and often painfully ~ I feel that at an emotional level. When a friend phones to tell me she’s miscarried, it hurts deeply. I don't hurt for the baby ~ the soul has made its choice ~ I hurt for my friend and the grief she's going through.
At the spiritual level, I understand that everything is as it should be. That there is no right and wrong.
I also trust that if the ‘conditions’ were right in the womb, there would be no miscarriage. So what makes the right condition in a womb? And why do some babies survive in utero against all odds? I think that’s where the answers have to lie beyond the physical (i.e.) metaphysical. I also know, that if a soul is meant to incarnate on this Earth, nothing will stop it getting here! But let’s make every baby’s journey Earthside the best it can possibly be. We don’t need more Hitlers, Husseins or Mugabes in this world. Have a look at what these men had in common…and you’ll understand my passion for conscious conception, peaceful pregnancy, gentle birth, full-term breastfeeding and conscious parenting.
I’m passionate about encouraging ‘peaceful’ pregnancies. One of the things I’ve found so discouraging in our culture is this push for women to work throughout pregnancy. Culturally, we should be supporting women to use this sacred time as a natural sabbatical ~ to dream, create, sleep, be in nature, meditate, listen to beautiful music. Sadly, the ‘need’ for money or belief we never have enough, pushes women to listen to outside forces rather than their inner wisdom. Entire pregnancies are consumed with women working till the last possible moment because of the fear of not enough money.
So, to the question: how do I live with myself knowing that I ‘created’ my miscarriages? Like everything else in life...you can either spend your days regretting or learn from the experience. My husband and I have chosen not to have more children, but one thing we both know for sure is that if one ‘snuck’ through the net, so to speak, that baby would be welcomed 100% ..there’d be no worrying about how I’d cope or where we’d fit another babe into our life or any other niggly questions. I wouldn’t waste a single second ‘freaking out’ that I was pregnant. We both would be completely accepting and joyous and celebrate every second of the journey together.
I hope that answers your question, Libby.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
If you know someone who has or has had breast cancer, what I’m about to say make shock you, or even make your angry ~ I don't give money to breast cancer charities.
It’s not that I don’t care, or that I don’t have compassion. It’s tragic that so many women are succumbing to this dis-ease. Let’s look at this word. DIS EASE.
Why are so many women uneasy with their breasts? Why are they creating dangerous growths in this part of their body? Cancer is a disease of the 'environment'. What environment has been created within a woman's body which allows this cancer to grow?
I don’t give money to research because I believe we already have the answers and if money is to be given, it should be given to the promotion of breastfeeding and self-care.
Breast cancer, whether we like it or not, is a massive wake up call to reclaim breastfeeding and to reinvent our FEMININE role as mothers. How much more obvious does it have to get? Our breasts are screaming out to us. We live in a time where mothering is so far removed from what Nature intended. Something as big and tragic as breast cancer is NEEDED precisely because the 'wound' reveals the cure.
Looking for lumps in our breasts each month is a way of drawing them into your reality. I realise what I’m saying is completely counter to mainstream beliefs. But I do believe that if you look for fish scales on a cat you’ll most surely find them.
Breast cancer is rampant. In fact, in the USA, it’s the major killer of women between the ages of 30 and 50. In the UK, 1000 women a year die from it.
Physically, there are many reasons for this, however, numerous studies have shown that the longer a woman breastfeeds for the less likely she is to develop breast, ovarian or uterine cancer.
With so many women opting to not breastfeed, it's not surprising that breast cancer rates are sky rocketing. Mess with nature's plan and we pay the price.
Any disharmony in the physical body is a symptom of discord on an emotional level. Our body is essentially the last place it manifests. Ironically, we then try and treat the physical body rather than healing the cause. I believe we must address the metaphysical reasons for breast cancer as well as the physical.
Our breasts are symbolic of nurturing.
Metaphysically, which means to look beyond the physical, problems with the left breast have been associated with a refusal to nourish and nurture one's self. These are the people pleasers, always putting everyone else's needs way ahead of their own. Some people do it willingly, others with a more martyred tone, making it quite clear that it's a burden but they have no choice. The irony is that these people, who are willing to do so much for others, tend to feel unloved. You’ll have heard people like this say “I’ve given up everything for so and so…”
At the right breast, problems manifest for those who have trouble giving life. They tend to express it through dictating the relationship, being over-bearing and over-protective. Their path is to learn to trust that relationships can be safe without control, that love is a two way thing ~ given and received.
Breast problems, such as cancer, can be treated chemically or naturally. The true healing though, must always come from the emotional body, otherwise the issues will manifest again, in a louder way, until the message is heard. The Celestial Amplifier will just keep getting louder. When we follow the middle path of balanced expression, we find our attention in the area of the heart, rather than the breasts. This is an integration of mindful awareness. We need to nurture our self as well as others.
Let’s find a wholesome, positive way to give attention to our breasts.
Firstly, let’s encourage a new language where breasts are honoured for being important, beautiful, vital and expressive aspect of our being. Let’s integrate holistic health care which sees massage and exercises, such as yoga or pilates to build up our pectoral muscles. Let’s stop seeing breasts as only being visible if used on pornographic magazines. Let’s remove the cultural embarrassment of breastfeeding.
Being mindful of seeing the heart area positively, will help us find balance and peace in relation to breast health.
It is interesting that pink is used for the ribbons in breast cancer awareness programmes as it is associated with nurturing. Breasts, too, are associated with nurturing. They are symbolic of mothering ~ this of course doesn’t just mean the way we relate to our children, but also to others in our family, community or the world at large. When we have problems with our breasts it is mirroring our insecurities in how we feel we can nurture or protect them. It’s interesting to note that our breasts call out to us when we don’t nurture ourselves adequately either.
Understanding that the breast is about nurturing and nourishment, we should look at issues of 'the mother'.
Metaphysicians have found that there is a direct correlation with the way you were mothered, and issues developed in the breasts.
It’s too easy to become workaholics or whatever in order forget childhood, and it is just as easy to whine about what we went through with our terrible parents, but the lesson for all of us is that we weren’t put on this earth to look out for everyone.
We must practice self care and self love first. If you’ve been on an aeroplane you’ll know that the air hostesses always tell mums that in the event of an emergency, they must put on their own oxygen mask first. It’s a brilliant analogy. I remember the first time I heard it, I thought “are you crazy? Do you REALLY think I’m gonna put a mask on myself first? NO WAY!” But, you know, those air hostesses are right. We have to give ourselves oxygen first…not just on a plane, but in life, as mothers. It doesn’t mean abandoning babe or going off for a girls’ night. It’s in the simple things…drinking when thirsty, going to the loo before your bladder bursts...sitting down for five minutes when you’re exhausted.I don’t think we should hesitate to help others if they ask for it, and we can willingly do so. We must do it with pleasure, joy and love, not resentment or obligation. It’s always ok to say NO. When we say to another, we’re saying YES to our self. It always helps to look at it from this positive angle.
We can always offer maternal love and nurturing to those we love…but that doesn’t mean we need to smother them.
If you wish to avoid breast cancer, do the obvious thing and breastfeed your child until s/he is ready to wean. Avoid processed foods, and eat fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and herbs as close to their natural state as possible. Drink plenty of pure water. Breathe fresh air. Leave a peaceful lifestyle. Meditate. Allow happiness and harmony to be your currency of choice. Find balance in your day to day choices.
Next time you consider donating to breast cancer research, take a moment to consider whether than money might be better spent on prevention through the promotion of breastfeeding.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
I mentioned previously that I’d be taking The Mother magazine and related projects out into the public more this year…and these past few weeks have been spent busily hatching such ideas.
Confirmed breastfeeding talks include:
Brighton Friends Meeting House
Thursday evening, May 1st 7.15pm. I’ll also be joined by Patrick Houser, author of the Fathers-to-be handbook.
(Book through www.artofchange.co.uk )
I’m speaking at the Natural parenting seminar in Cambridge on May 2nd at 2pm
The topic is: Breastfeeding ~ the heart and soul of parenting.
Birmingham ~ mid may (date to be confirmed) ( www.artofchange.co.uk )
Manchester ~ 22nd May 7pm Friends Meeting House (book through www.artofchange.co.uk)
Check the website for details of other talks around the UK.
I’m sitting on some other exciting TM news which I’ll blog about in the next week or two.
Have a fabulous week!