Tuesday, January 31, 2012


My nights are cut in pieces
The fabric of sleep shattered
By wails and wriggles
A hallucinatory no-time
Between wake and sleep
Suspended in longing for darkness and dreams
For silence and space.
Here I lie.
Crammed between two bodies that need me.
That call me their mother.
What am I?
I cannot feel myself.
I hold my aching body as still as I can
To ensure a little longer before another woken child
Another dose of medicine, glass of water, mopped brow, held body.
Here I lie, my brain writing masterpieces in the darkness
Words which evaporate with the dawn
The day is here once more, but sleep has eluded me once again.
I yearn for it like a lover.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Joy Pockets

My gratitudes for the week...

Clear communication
An end to endless editing!
Raspberry Ripple ice cream - the name, the colour, the taste
Crispy coated risotto balls oozing with mozzarella
Spring springing
Only one canine tooth left to emerge and a second birthday in sight - surely an end to wakeful nights
A heron flying over the bog
Lighter evenings

Joining with Melissa over at Vibrant Wanderings

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Reclaiming the "I"

The biggest message I got from my teachers at secondary school and University was - "don't say "I", we are not interested in what you think."

And so I learned to argue under the guide of detached, intellectual objectivity. This is the way of the scientific and academic worlds, this the way of the philosopher...

I realise in hindsight, that this was the submission of my anima, my female self, under the dictation of the animus, the outer patriarch. To be a successful woman in the world of the mind, I must think like a man, talk like a man, write like a man... but I'd never be as good as a man. Because I'm not one.

My essays were clever, got high marks and lots of praise. But they were cold. And dry. And clever... in the wrong way.

Starting to write from the soul happened for me in a flash of divine inspiration. Literally. The words started coming at me and I sat and scribed them. For about six hours solid. Then the next day - in a cafe, trains, even the toilet -the words just kept coming. Unplanned, there they were.

That is how all my best writing has been since - a deluge from the Universe - and all I have to do is transcribe it. And then hone and edit, and edit...

Compiling my new book and doing final, final, final edits on the paper back version of Moon Time, I see how how my writing has changed over the past few years. I see the beginnings of my published writing still in the academic mold, full of the mind and not of the heart - though in everything I wrote my soul shone through, in the themes, the writers I referenced, but not the style. The voice was not mine, though the message was.

Finding my voice has taken five years.

Mr Dreaming Aloud says - for the record - if you spend five years writing then it is to be hoped that one would improve!!!

It was JUNO that changed me as a writer. More specifically, our previous head editor Patricia, who demanded that all writers write in the first person. At first I felt it was a bit amateurish. This is what I had been counselled against my whole life. It lacks authority. Or so my teachers said.

But as time has gone on, and blogging has entered my life, and women's group - all areas where speaking from the "I" is our practice,  my "I" has grown and strengthened. Now I am totally with Patricia, that in speaking from "I", I own what I know, I speak with authority, no that of an expert, but my own authentic knowing. I cannot write anything else. To do so is to interpret, to guess, to surmise, to invent.

I notice that speaking from the "I", from the personal, tends to be our feminine contribution to this world. To say: "this much I know, with my bones, my soul, my very life essence", is the gift of the most moving women in our world.

It might at first seem that speaking from "I" is being self-obsessed, or narcissistic. Perhaps it is. But more so, I see that in finding my "I", I help others to find their "I" - where it is different, where it is the same, to own their experience, to find their expression, is some of the most important, revelatory, healing work I can do. For myself and for the world. In telling my story, I empower myself to rewrite it in my own voice, rather than be a character in someone else's drama. In seeing the process in others, I find myself.

What has your experience been of owning your "I" voice - in writing, in life?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Mother's Prayer

Just going through the archives and saw this - love it, so wanted to share it again!

All mothers 
Who art down the road, in the house next door, all around the world,
Hallowed be thy names,
Thy time will come, thy work will be done.
You give this day the daily bread - endless sandwiches (with crusts off, and cut the right way), wraps and pittas, with hummous or ham, jam or peanut butter, with butter or without, that will be left half-eaten.
Forgive us our shouting and lack of patience,
As we forgive those grubby fingered little sods who drew on the walls with our lipstick, sat on their sister, spat out their dinner and said mean things to their brother, and decided he'd prefer another mama.
And lead us not into temptation - three slices of cake is enough for a mama, and the grass is not always greener despite what you might think.
But deliver us from repeating cycles of abuse, hurt and destruction upon our precious charges,
For theirs is the future,
The power and the glory are not apparent right now,
Forever, and ever, and ever they seem to take to go to sleep, and it all seems a blur,
But one day we will see the results of this daily drudge and give thanks for our part in this miracle.
Ah men, don't know how good they've got it…or what they're missing out on!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Here it is....

At last.

After weeks of editing and seeking copyright permissions. It's here. The e-version of my new baby. My very first book.

 Moon Time: A guide to celebrating your menstrual cycle

For sale exclusively from

15% discount for the next two weeks 

Usual price £6.99  (15% discount brings it to approximately $8.50/ €7.00)

ü  10% of proceeds go to The Red Tent Movie, 90% go to establishing East Cork’s first Red Tent.

ü  Consists of 118 A4 pages- bursting with inspiring and beautiful colour images – including my own photography, original artwork, examples of red tents and a simple moon dial.

ü  Read it on the go on your laptop or i-pad, or print it off at home.

ü  Ready to print PDF format.

ü  Cheaper cover price than the paperback, no postage to pay,  environmentally friendly.

ü  Instant delivery on payment, no need to wait for postage.

ü  Click through the internet links and resources directly.

The first 100 customers get a 25% discount voucher for the paperback version, so you can upgrade to hard copy for yourself, or give a copy to a friend. 
(This will be sent to you by email when the print version comes out in late February.)

OK, great sales pitch… but what’s the book about Lucy?

Well, this is the first of the Woman-craft TM collection of books, which will share the art of being a woman that your mother never taught you.

Chapters include:

  • l  Our Cycles: Archetypal Insight
  • l  PMT busters
  • l  The seasons of Womanhood
  • l  Menarche: First Periods
  • l  Nutritional and Herbal Healing
  • l  Putting the Moon back into Menstruation
  • l  Finding our Voices
  • l  Honouring Our Moon Time
  • l  Red Tents and Moon Lodges

This beautifully written, highly practical guide shares:

  • l  creative tools to help you celebrate your cycle
  • l  rituals for self-care
  • l  nutritional and herbal suggestions
  • l  spiritual/ wise woman insight

It will empower you to experience:

  • l  deeper harmony with yourself and your cycle
  • l  natural ways of dealing with PMT
  • l  a greater connection to the moon’s cycles
  • l  ways to celebrate your daughter's impending womanhood
  • l  the creation of your own red tent or moon lodge
  • l  healthy, happy menstruation

Want to have a sneaky peek? The introduction and an integrated menstrual chart are available to view here.

Here’s what other women (heroines of mine!) are saying about it:

Monumental… so important for women… Your book joins the momentum of changing the paradigms and shifting what will come.”
ALisa Starkweather, founder of Red Tent Temple Movement


A beautiful and inspiring book full of practical information and ideas.”
Miranda Gray, Red Moon


“Moon Time is a beautifully written resource for deepening your connection with your cycle. This book could change your life!”
Rachael Hertogs, editor of Thirteen Moons and author Menarche: A Journey to Womanhood


She is one of the special whisperers, who helps us to remember our own power and sacredness as played out in our cycles. Through her writing she initiates a dialogue with her readers. Her writing empowers her readers to have a voice to respond. This is a remarkable gift to us.”
Tracy Evans, PhD researcher on women's rites of passage, University of Aberystwyth

"'Moon Time' is a revelation! How could I be forty years old and know so little about a cycle that defines me? Reading this book felt like having a wise and loving older friend cherish me whilst guiding me through my most intimate world. This newfound insight gives me the emotional vocabulary to, in turn, cherish both myself and my three future-cycling daughters. What a beautiful gift to us all!" 
Meadhbh O'Leary

Thank you ALL for your support and enthusiasm for this project. I hope it brings you joy, balance, self acceptance, community and nurturance into your life.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Four Children

I always thought I would have four children.

Or rather I knew it.

According to my step mother, as a little girl I spoke about it a lot.

My husband and I spoke about it.

When pregnant with my second I had a dream of four sandcastles on the beach - they were my four children.

After having my fourth, and my husband's swift vasectomy I felt bereft, distraught, like a piece of the puzzle was missing, forever, there was a rip in the fabric of how my life was intended to be.

And yet I know I could not care for another child.

When my last child was about six months old I had another dream of four children. And this time my soul sister's only child was my fourth. That felt right. About two days later, unprompted our three year old refered to him as "our brother". Interesting.

And then, as you know, I have been wrestling with my need to mother and my need to write.

And it suddenly came to me. I have always referred to my books as my "other children". Only half jokingly. It is sad but true. My books, whilst all replaceable, hold a map to my soul and growth as a person on every level. And in the past few days it has become clear to me that my "mission" as a writer is to write the books I have always wanted to read, but never found. My writing is my fourth child. Just like we can sense our children years before they come to us, so I can with my writing. It takes the love and space and time and patience, and courage of a child in my life. It takes my energy and vision. It has my complete devotion and heart - and sometimes it disappoints me. I am never as good a writer as I want to be. Just like being a mother.

When my book arrived through the post this week, it truly felt like being a new mama again. The sheer elation, the sense of achievement. The sense of vision, destiny and reality coinciding in one barely believable moment which we have dreamed of all our lives, yet did not dare to believe could come true.

I am a newborn mama. I cradle my baby gently, carry her with me everywhere I go. She is precious. Perfect in my eyes. And I am beaming with delight, showing it off to everyone: look what I made!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Our cupboards are full...but there's nothing to eat!

Welcome to the January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Experiments in Natural Family Living
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have reported on weeklong trials to make their lives a little greener. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

Our cupboards are full... but there's nothing to eat!

How often have you experienced this feeling? Your house might be full of food, but you just can't think what to make for dinner. It's as though everything we have put in our storecupboards and freezers suddenly becomes invisible.

I am a notorious stock piler - I have previously on this blog shared that I have a shop in my cupboard. I hate to run out of anything. I like to be able to cook anything from sushi and ramen to an Italian bean feast to a key lime pie at the drop of a hat. When I see it written there it seems a little ridiculous. I also have minor anxieties about "what ifs": what if we have friends over and there's nothing to rustle up a quick lunch? What if we're all sick and can't face going out to get food? What if we are flooded in or there is an oil crisis and suddenly we can't get to the shops for a week, or two? I believe strongly in family resilience... but has it gone too far? Am I officially a hoarder?

You see, what I have noticed this year is that we are throwing away food: because I've bought too much, because the kids don't like it, because the bulk-bought stuff had too short a shelf life. And if I'm being really honest, because I cook a whole lot less than I used to and aspire to - partly due to major child fussiness and partly my exhaustion.

So when this challenge came up, the "do no food shopping for a week and live off what you already have" idea was just what the doctor ordered. It was a good final hurrah to the Year of Enough of 2011, and a welcoming of 2012 Year of Abundance. And the biggest part of abundance is recognising the wealth you already have, and using and being grateful for it, rather than harking after more and more.

It was Christmas week, the time of plenty, I had done a large shop a week before, so this was hardly going to be a challenge... I thought! Just a simplification of my life. And so it has been a time of conscious consumption, of using what we already have. And I wanted to report that I haven't bought anything since... but that would not be true.

You see, I've bought milk, and bread, lots of bread...

I fully intended to make the bread myself. Because I always intend to. I can make a mean brown soda loaf. And we have a bread maker - how unchallenging is that. And yet, even this week, when I have committed to not buying anything, even though I love homemade bread so much more, even though it is so much healthier and cheaper for us, even though it has a timer setting so it can bake overnight and we can wake up to freshly baked bread -  I HAVE NOT BAKED A SINGLE LOAF. (OK, since submitting this piece I saw the error of my ways and baked 3 delicious brown soda loaves!)

And you know why - because to me, baking bread is one of my aspirations - which also feels like the straw that would break this camel's back.

Bread is what my children eat most of during the day. I am SO tired of most of what I make for them being rejected that if I don't have the reliable staple of crap white bought bread that I KNOW they will eat, and I have hungry, cranky children roaming the plains... the results don't bear thinking about!

And also I realise it breaks my sacred (and rather slovenly rule) of not entering the kitchen, where I spend a lot of each day, after dinner, to set up the blasted machine, it feels like an extra tie to housewifeliness.

So there we have it. We have eaten lots of tins of beans and tomatoes, we have made a dent in the frozen meat. Have turned festering veggies into delicious soup. Spent almost no money... But not a green leafy vegetable has passed our lips, nor a loaf been baked - and the tragic thing is our store cupboard and freezer look almost untouched.

I think we shall carry on for another couple of weeks - I might even get over the whole bread thang and just BAKE!  We can manage it fine, after a few kid staples are bought. And some brocolli. I miss my brocolli.
Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

Monday, January 9, 2012

2012 - The Year of Abundant Rainbows!

I have this sense that 2012 is going to be the year of abundance. The Year of Abundant Rainbows is the phrase that came to me!

Which is ironic because on paper, our earnings are set to be at least a third lower than last year...

Yes, the year of abundant rainbows indeed!

Which means...

Rainbow colours... check out my Pinterest board

And painting again, for the first time in more than a decade. I signed up for the Bloom True e-course with Flora Bowley - and my juices are flowing already after so long of being dammed - LOVE her work (see below), love her blog, love the look of the e-course. Am now deliberating, fantasising about what paint colours to purchase. Feels good to be back in the painting groove.

Flora Blowley Painting 

Abundant rainbow streams of income... diverse little trickles of goodness in multiple forms, from multiple sources, enriching our life.

Diverse creative outlets and practices. Creative work being birthed out into the world.

The gold at the end of the rainbow even!

After the purging and pruning back and darkness of The Year of Enough - there will be energy aplenty to allow the colours to shine through. Where 2010 and 2011 were building up, then breaking down what we had. And cleansing and crashing down old established patterns and relationships to find a clearer, new way of being in the world more grounded in our own truths and a sloughing away of old allegiances which no longer serve us.

Get your hippy stuff on and embrace with me The Year of Abundant Rainbows! And full moon tonight.

In the gift world you do things, but nothing you do is " work" in the sense that we've come to think of it, because your security and your identity dont come fro. What you accumulate as a result of your identity. Instead, you give your efforts freely, accruing no obvious security or bolstering to your separate ego-self. As you give in this manner. Your wants and needs are mysteriously met in delightful and magical ways by the universe." Awesome Your Life.

 Oh yeah!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Joy Pockets

This week's little gratitudes

The first snowdrops of the year in our garden
Treating the children to lovely days out - special treats and fun galore!
New words by the day from "baby" Ash
Mr Dreaming Aloud doing all those technical things I can't on the Happy Womb
Dinosaur kisses from our three-year-old
Great feedback on the blog from you, dear readers - thank you ALL for your comments
Signing up to a course run by a hero of mine, which should help me on my journey this year
Knowing that all sorts of wonderful books are in the post - the Great Book Race is on - which will be first to arrive?
Curry night at home

Thursday, January 5, 2012

To all those who say "it doesn't get any easier"

To all those who say "it doesn't get any easier, just different."

I say bollocks. And so does Mr Dreaming Aloud. As do many of our friends.

We say - you forget just how hard little children were.

Or perhaps you truly were lucky enough to have little angels. Or perhaps you just had one. Or perhaps you had lots and lots of child care. Or probably you really were the perfect parent. You never slumped on the sofa halfway through a day wondering how you were going to make it through the rest of it.

But perhaps I'm being a littler harsh, perhaps your teenagers breastfed through the night, waking you 8-10-12 times a night, every night,  for 6 years.

Perhaps they lay on the ground in the middle of a shopping mall or car park and kicked and screamed and would not move.

You're right, all ten year olds I know give you stretchmarks all over your body and play havock with your hormones as you gestate, deliver and feed them. All eight year olds are so attached that you lose your body and freedom to their every whim for about two and a half years.

Sure teenage vegetarian phases rival three children under seven each of whom will not eat what the other does, want it cut up in a certain way, and are incapable of feeding themselves so you are morally obliged to provide food otherwise social services will call - even though you know they will not eat it.

If you had a baby or two who slept then bully for you. But we didn't. We don't. And nothing and no one can begin to understand the levels of sleep deprivation under which I and so many other parents live for YEARS.

So the next time you tell parents of very young children that it doesn't get any easier even when they're grown up, just stop.  Please, please look into that parent's bleary eyes, make them a cup of tea, and tell them they're doing a wonderful job and that it will get easier... Even if you're lying through your teeth!

Monday, January 2, 2012

A wild woman riding the waves

It occurs to me as I get buffeted by the storm winds of life, that all this is really research for my writing. I have learned not to panic, not to freak out, not to go running for help when it all gets a little choppy.

My books are grounded in my soul, my being, my experience, my knowing. And whilst I research deeply around the edges to bring the experiences of other women, and other writers, scientists and ancient wisdom in too, they are grounded in my own journey.

I notice that when I am creating, when I am gestating a new work, the storm winds rise. I get to live out what I am writing about. My life becomes the crucible of alchemical research.

Life: You're writing about the crazy woman/ retreat/ moon cycles/ being a creative mama? Well don't just do it from your head, HERE, THIS is the crazy woman! This is creative mama! Don't preach, don't be blase, don't rationalise or smooth her complexities. Live it and then write it from the trenches. There is your wisdom, that is your job. Mine the experience, bring back the gold, the insight, the jewel of madness, that is your gift.

And so, dearest reader, be it on this blog, or in my books which are emerging and unfolding, this is my sacred promise to you - there is no nicey-nicey, no expert, just a wild woman riding the waves, and taking notes as she goes, to help you to ride your own.

I think it might be easier to work in a shop, or be a bus conductor.

But instead, this is my calling, this is my soul work that brings me riches on every level.

And I love it with all my heart.


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