Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking back… looking forward…

And so as the turn of the year approaches I look back over the year that was. In total amazement for the year that was. And give thanks.

First things first, I survived the end of the world. And if you are reading this, then you did too. Hurray for us! Mojitos all round, I say!

I nominated this my year of abundant rainbows. And it sure was. I made a sacred vow to myself out loud on this blog that this would be the year I let myself do my thing out loud - sing, dance, paint and generally be me, and mama I did. Mission accomplished!

2012 in brief...
Publishing contracts: 1
Books published: 2 
Books written: 4
Paintings done: Over 50
Journals filled: 4
Blogging courses taught: 3
Blog posts written: 173- over 4 blogs!
Most popular blog post of 2012 - Our Cupboards are Full but there's nothing to Eat - absolutely NO idea why this is so popular - it has had just shy of 3000 pageviews in 11 months!
My favourite blog post of 2012 on Dreaming Aloud - weirdly - Almost
My favourite blog post elsewhere - my December one on Tiny Buddha: Overcoming Anxiety: Moving from Fear to Presence
Nights away by myself: 2
Trips to the UK: 2. 

Not to mention a painting exhibition, and my first full year in business as a professional creative rainbow mama! 

It also brought us a near fatal accident. Lots of anxiety. Lots of illness for us all. But we're all still here, coughing and spluttering to greet a new year. And for that I am beyond grateful.

I have spent the past month taking stock of the year - creatively, to do with life goals, emotionally and for my business. I tried Susannah Conway's free 2013 life planner, which was good, but not nearly so good as Leonie's Life planner, which I got last year and adored using, and her brand new Business Planner which has transformed my intentions and plans for the year ahead (from "I'm not sure I can face another year in business, working all the hours and not making that much" to "whoopee, I am SO excited about next year... and I know how I can triple my income,whilst spending more time doing the bits of my work that I love". It is nothing short of transformational - and fun to do - it comes highly, highly recommended!

One of my resolutions for 2013, is to programme in retreat time. So this year I found myself driving the same road that I did a year ago. The same highway to the wilds of West Cork. The same exodus from family life. The same need for reflection and creative dreamtime.

But rather than the desperation that came with last year’s escape, instead I had this retreat booked in, a day and night, put in the calendar, made sacred with intention, the space held for me! I went to a women's full moon circle, with a dear friend, one that I wasn't leading and so got to retreat, be nourished, reflect and create. And it was perfect.

I am making sure to book them in throughout the year. Which is getting easier as the kiddies get older, and I am no longer breastfeeding. My next date booked is 6th January meeting the Wild Women of Cork for drumming, dance and henna. I can't wait!

And my word for this year. Very simple. But very challenging: Trust. It came to me as I was wondering if I should sign my publishing contract. So that's it. Trust.

and my big plans for the year? Well, you'll just have to wait and see!

What's your word for the year? What resources have you found helpful in reflecting on 2012, and visioning 2013? What are your hopes and dreams and plans for yourself? Do share them below! Speaking them aloud helps to clarify and materialise them!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Joy Pockets

Surviving the end of the world!

New orange tights.

Receiving a scholarship to the Cosmic Cowgirls University. I kid you not!

Looking forward to a special full moon women's circle.

A fridge full of Christmas sustenance, thanks to Mr DA.

Feeling like a nice mama again (willing the bug my son has to disappear without knocking the whole family out).

Looking forward to seeing soul sisters.

A morning of Christmas cooking with carols a-blaring!

Mr DA doing the kiddie night shift = sleep for mama!

Fresh cranberry, orange and white choc cookies, my festive treat!

Doing art and piano with Meli, having found my favourite childhood piano book.

Our wonderful doctor. What a beautiful soul he is.

Curling up in front of a movie in the afternoon with my kiddies.

Leonie's wonderful business planner.

3 sleeps till Christmas!!!!!!! Merry Christmas one and all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Painting again

I haven't done much painting recently - nothing's been calling me. When I can't paint, I can't paint. It just doesn't happen. But this morning I went to work with the idea for a new project, which by mid afternoon I have no energy for. But hey - here's what I was up to this morning!

This one has been emerging for a few months now. Every time I'm in the mood I add another little bit to it. It's tentatively called "Softly Held". It's much more vibrant in real life.
This one was painted quickly, wet on wet. I love the melting colours. It's called "Melting into Love."
These are four pictures I painted today for a new project on menstrual archetypes - I followed my own exercise in Moon Time and loved it!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Candlelight, fairylight, firelight

Welcome to the December 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Childhood Memories
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 talked about memories of growing up — their own or the ones they’re helping their children create. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
I know the place where the fairies sleep. Where bonfire sparks make the stars and witches walk.

I know the place where music lives and angels wait.

I know, because I saw them with my own eyes as a child. Colors shimmered, sounds too, and for hour upon hour the laws of nature were richer, deeper and mythical in their proportions. A world of fire and music and story, where the rules of magic reigned. These were not things that I tried to believe, but things I had seen, felt and known in my bones, that made me shiver up my spine, lit up from the inside by magic.

Christmas seemed to inhabit its own realm of magic - where everything was brighter, warmer, fuller, more delicious and abundant than your dreams. Where life glimmered and shimmered by candlelight, fairylight, firelight. When everyone I loved would be gathered in a room together, talking and laughing. Where grown ups had time to play games in the middle of the afternoon by the fire. A time when music was all around, and piles of presents in shiny paper whispered promise. When every street sparkled with a thousand coloured lights, and driving home in the darkness, living rooms glowed with warmth and love and festooned trees

And most magical of all,  the portal of wonder, Christmas Eve, when I hung up a stocking, went to bed full of happy butterflies and came downstairs in the cold and dark, to be greeted by a bulging, odd-shapen container of delight, where I would dip my hand in to its Tardis-like proportions, fishing out pencils and books, magic tricks and bubble bath, golden chocolate coins and glowing clementines.

These weren't times when I tried to believe. They were real visits to other worlds within the embrace of this one.

At this time of year especially I long to make magic real for my children. Or rather, to hold the space for magic to emerge for them. In truth I don't know what lights the magic in their souls, what, in their modern and maybe jaded eyes holds the spark of a miracle any more, which memories have already fused themselves to their cortexes, to live there till they are grandparents. I do not know, but I make it my job, as much as I can, to expose them to magic and miracles - freshly falling snow by moonlight, carols by candlelight, wishing eggs in the woods which the fairies take away, gingerbread houses, bonfires and sparklers in the dark, tooth fairies and Santa Claus.

I kept this magic into adulthood. It truly only fell away this last couple of years, with tiredness, illness, too much work, too much pressure to do it right, not enough money or time, striving, striving to get it right, keep everyone happy, remembering all the details. My soul was stricken, Christmas had lost its glow.

So this year, I am re-lighting the magic of midwinter - it is not about quantity, but about the feeling of abundance. Music singing us into feeling and tasting love on our tongues. And light - candle light, fairy light, fire light, the sparkle of magic and hope in the midwinter dark and cold. The feeling of togetherness, of joy.
Weaving magical memories, suspending the laws of mundanity and bringing magic to life.

Candlelight, fairylight, firelight... magic!

Did you see my recent festive post about the realities of family time making together?Those Infamous Words: Lets Make a Gingerbread House. It gave a lot of mamas a lot of laughs!

If you're new here, welcome - do stop by again. Why not follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Google Follower, Twitter, check out my new book: Moods of Motherhood, receive posts by email and join the mailing list for events, offers and occasional delight straight to your inbox - look left for all these options and to read my top posts or trawl the archives!

And do share how do you make space for magical memories to be created in your lives below! 

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:
(This list will be updated by afternoon December 11 with all the carnival links.)
  • Childhood Memories of Peace, Support, Joy, and Love — Amber at Heart Wanderings wants to make sure the majority of the memories that her children have as a part of their family are ones that are positive and help support the amazing people that they are now and will become as adults.
  • Hand Made Baby Books — Destany at They Are All of Me talks about why baby books are important to her for preserving memories of her childrens first years, and shows how she made one by hand for each child.
  • Can your childhood memories help you keep your cool?Here's To A Boring Year uses memories of being a child to keep her on the path to peaceful parenting.
  • Inter-Generational Memories {Carnival of Natural Parenting} — Meegs at A New Day talks about her own childhood memories, and what she hopes her daughter will remember in the future.
  • Snapshots — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings reflects on the ways our childhood memories appear to us, and hopes her own daughter's childhood will be one she remembers as being happy and fulfilled.
  • What makes the perfect parent? — In a guest post on Natural Parents Network, Mrs Green from Little Green Blog reflects on camp follow and camp no-follow...
  • In My Own Handwriting — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen talks about her journals and the hope that they will be able to keep her stories alive even if she isn't able to.
  • Candlelight, fairylight, firelight — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud re-discovers the ingredients for bringing magic to life, especially at Christmas.
  • Making Memories (or) How We Celebrate Christmas — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis talks about creating new memories at Christmas, and the joy their adventures bring to her whole family.
  • The Importance of Recording Feelings and Emotions and Not Just the Experience — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares why she puts pen to paper every day to record more than just her experiences as a mother and her daughter's experiences as a child. Jennifer looks at the importance of capturing feelings and emotions that accompany the experience.
  • Dredged up — Kenna at Million Tiny Things has been forced to recount childhood memories at bedtime, due to the failure of her middle-aged imagination. She resists, of course.
  • Crafting Memories — Handmade is what makes the holidays special for Christy at Eco Journey In the Burbs, and she wants to create the same connection with her daughters that she remembers with mother and grandmother.
  • My Childhood Memories; beacons of light in the darkness Stone Age Parent shares the impact of her childhood memories on her life as a parent today, listing some of her many rich childhood memories and how they now act as beacons of light helping her in the complex, often confusing world of child-rearing.
  • 10 Ways I Preserve Memories for My Children — From video interviews to time capsules, Dionna at Code Name: Mama wants to make sure her children have many different ways to cherish their childhood memories. Dionna's carnival post features ten of the ways she preserves memories; check out her Pinterest board for more ideas.
  • Memories of my mother — Luschka at Diary of a First Child remembers her mother and the fondest moments of her childhood, especially poignant as she sits by her mother's sickbed writing.
  • Creating Happy Childhood Memories through Family Traditions — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells why family traditions are so important to her and her family and shares how she’s worked to create traditions for her children.
  • Traditional Christmas Tree — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep remembers the great times spent with her family driving for the Christmas Tree and the lessons learned.
  • Wet Socks and Presents — Kat at MomeeeZen writes about her favorite Christmas childhood memory and why it's so special. And she hopes one day her kids will also have a feel-good memory of their own to look back on.
  • Stuff does not equal memories — Lauren at Hobo Mama learns that letting go does not mean failing to remember.
  • A Child's Loss- Will They Remember Dad? — Erica at ChildOrganics writes about their family's loss of their husband and father. She trys to find answers to the question: Will they remember their Dad?
  • Childhood Memories - Hers and Mine — Jorje of Momma Jorje wished for her daughter the same passions and experiences she loved as a child, but learns the hard way to accept whatever passions strike in her child.
  • Holiday Non-TraditionsErika Gebhardt enjoys her family's tradition of not having traditions for the holidays.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Those infamous words: let's make a gingerbread house

We are totally addicted to Masterchef in this house - a TV cooking show where the contestants are pushed to the limits of endurance, before having their dishes picked apart by the odd couple of Michel Roux Jr, and Fat-Boy-who-the-fuck-is-he-anyway-Greg-Wallace.

But I always say, that to really test them they should chuck in one kid having a tantrum, another trying to "help'", a pig sty kitchen, a third child destroying everything they do and then see how much they can cook!

So today I took that challenge upon myself. Yup. Nutter!

In reality when you utter those infamous words "let's build a gingerbread house" you start out with fantasies of creating something like this...
From on my Pinterest board Creating Christmas
If I were a cruel "perfect life" blogger I'd show you a cutesy finished picture, which you would promptly pin on Pinterest and go away hating me. But I'm not, so instead I shall regale you with the reality behind a "happy family time" making a real gingerbread house, in order to reassure you of my enduring lunacy, and why NOT making Christmas memories together is the sane loving thing to do!!

It all started with a 4 year old who came home from school and tantrumed long and hard. Hot on the heels of a 2 year old tantrum. The 4 year old ordered a chocolate bar, the fire put out, hit her sister, the sitting room to herself to watch TV, her shoes put back on (after having kicked over her sister's bowl of mushroom soup). He brother went and started banging his head on the door in anger and frustration, having spent the past hour lighting the fire. And also because it meant we couldn't make candles over the fire like I'd promised.

So I uttered those infamous words: let's make a gingerbread house. We've made one every year four the past four years. They are always a festive and semi fun way to destroy the house and achieve multiple arguments.

So we started. Me and the boy. It wasn't long before middle child smelt fun she was missing out on and abandoned CBeebies. Cue fight over whether or not she deserved to join in and forced apologies for having been a little so-and-so.

Carols on. CD 3 is lame ass. Change to CD 1. Much better.

Rolling out one part gingerbread with one part glitter from earlier "Christmas card making session". Can't find the rolling pin, so we use the cling film roll!

Guesstimate the house parts. Bake. Make caramel. Don't burn it. Assemble house - snapping off the bits that don't fit. It doesn't collapse like usual. Very chuffed. Haven't even burnt myself!!!

I start to get cocky and make a sugar work cage of spun sugar. Michel Roux Jr would be proud. Burn my finger on the last drop of caramel. Fuck it.

Girls come racing past for the second time. It is then that I realise that the youngest is chucking Hobnob biscuits out of the packet at her older sister whilst chasing her round the house. Her older sister was retaliating with a pot of blue glitter. I kid you not. And the cleaner was here only 24 hours ago.

Mama roars.

Boy makes icing. Littlest girl adds way to much water. We do a fine job of decorating it together. No one dies. Look at our handy work!

And look at the fucking mess!

Now I have to cook dinner!

For inspiration on Christmas crafting with friends and family, see my popular post from last year: Craft-Tea Christmas celebrations.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The end of the world is nigh - what are your plans?

Yup, that's right, the end of the world is a matter of days away.

Winter solstice - 21/12/12

What are your plans? Do you have your bunker prepared? Or are you going to be dancing naked on top of a Mayan pyramid in the depths of the jungle? (Like my sister - well, she's going to a hippy conventions in Mexico, so I presume that's what they'll be doing!) Will you be on the road to see family and friends for Christmas (like some of my friends). Will you be visiting a sacred site like Newgrange or Stonehenge (like my friend Tracy.) Or will you just be settling down in front of the telly with a glass of Pinot? (Like my dad!)

Me? I was very excited to be invited to hold the space for a fire labyrinth in West Cork at a solstice ceremony complete with drumming circle. It seems like a magical and meaningful way to celebrate with my whole family and a community of others. As you will see from my post next week for the Carnival of Natural Parenting, this aligns perfectly with my intentions right now. So we will probably not be naked, bearing in mind the climate here, but we will be mindful and present for the Shift.

For the WHAT? I hear you ask. The Shift. Check out what I wrote about it earlier this year when the movement launched.

Mayans or no Mayans - things are shifting everywhere on every level - few could deny it. I love the idea of celebrating it, and of giving our conscious positive energy towards it. Because so often these changes in climate, economy, health and culture can feel stressful and worrying, and we feel out of control, like we are being shifted against our will. This is a way of stepping into that power and committing to conscious co-creation. I am writing a lot about it at the moment, in a feature for JUNO for the Spring issue, and in my book, The Rainbow Way. Co-creation is where it's at people. Getting ourselves into that place can be a challenge as we want to control or we want to not be in control.Ceremony and ritual are a great way to practice this balance.

If you're looking for inspiration and events, the Birth 2012 movement are planning events around the word.  The most captivating, for me, is the 1 billion OMs (or AUMs - depending on your sacred spelling preference!) you can join in wherever you are, changing the frequency of the world by chanting this sacred sound -I just love the idea of this sound travelling around the world, time zone after time zone. They are asking people to take a pledge:

"I commit to only share
words and actions of love on
December 20, 21, and 22, 2012"

It sounds like a great commitment to make, at this time of goodwill to all men. Even if you think the rest of it is a bunch of hokum!

So whether you believe that the end of the world is nigh, a shift in consciousness is happening - either by chance or design, whether you're celebrating the darkness day and the turn towards the light, do please let us know what you're up to, and why! Lets inspire each other.

P.S. Have you signed up to the mailing list? You can do it right here to get a fortnightly round up of my favourite posts, links, special offers and events.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...