Book Club: In search of my Zen (mother) nature. Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali

Book Club: In search of my Zen (mother) nature. Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali

I know I am not the only mother who tussles with the notion that she is not as calm as she would like to be. Frustrations arise and sleep is hard to come by. So are a few minutes alone to shower let alone meditate on our mental state. Meditate?! When? When there is laundry to put away or when our children need to be fed or when when when. Meanwhile it feels like the world keeps spinning for everyone else, off they go to the gym or to the shops or for a poo. Lucky.

Envy. Worry. Anger. It’s a yuck feeling to have come over you. And it hurts if you have always felt you are a naturally positive and strong person. Suddenly you feel weak and quite low. A few months ago I bought a book called Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali. I don’t have a lot of time to read it in one sitting but I keep it nearby and when The Child is happy to we dip into it and have a ponder together. I read a little more when TC sleeps.

(by the way I am not sponsored and anyway I bought my copy off Booktopia for the Qantas FF points)

More than anything I am searching for a way to navigate evolving into a Mother whilst still maintaining everything else that I am and can be. At the same time I want to be PRESENT, and here for my child. I discover every night how important it is to be present with my child. We have a more loving, peaceful and happy evening if the day was spent in a calm manner than not. Duh. On days I look at a page or two I seem to be able to maintain a sense of insight over my feelings and practice some semblance of mindfulness.

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Chakra Can! Creating Opportunities to Realign

Chakra Can! Creating Opportunities to Realign

chakras crystals and legs

I felt the surge of jealousy the other day. It’s not a feeling I experience very often anymore but this time, oooooooh, I was so envious. I was jealous of a woman walking down the street hugging a yoga mat because she was off to a yoga class, I’m guessing. I managed to add a “Enjoy!” to the “Ahhhhh so lucky!” but there is no getting away from the fact I was jealous.

I haven’t been to a class since having my baby. I’ve done some home practice and teaching but I haven’t been to a class and felt that sensation of being surrounded with other people breathing, moving, sun saluting, chanting and so on in such a long time. The excitement of clutching your mat and padding over to the studio, flip flops slapping at the ground as you walked. Being tapped on the shoulder to be stronger in a posture. Being adjusted. I miss it a lot. Especially an adjustment. That would be so nice!

I’ve been teaching yoga for a few years but I still love going to class as a student. I think it’s really important.

I’m sure I am not the only parent who has missed something from before life changed for a long time. For the most part, I am fine with keeping up my yoga studies on my own but once in a while I feel off. Full moon, new moon, teething (the baby, not me), mercury retrograde, sleep schedule changes (everyone), jet-lag, any of the above could come into play and suddenly I find myself feeling out of sorts.

I think The Child sensed this because whenever we have been playing with our crystals I keep winding up with them being planted all over me hahaha.

Mama, check yo chakras.

Yoga, Pilates and meditation are what I always rely on to maintain myself and I loved attending a class when I needed an extra boost of encouragement so it’s tricky when I haven’t got the chance to go to a class. Most of the year we live overseas and there isn’t any kind of creche at the gym. Unless the gym has changed, I don’t know, I haven’t seen the inside of that place since having my baby hahaha.

BUT. This week I’m back in Sydney and my mum sweetly said she would take the baby whilst I ducked into class, tomorrow. I am SO EXCITED. And nervous. ???? Hahaha. Does it count as an opportunity I created? Well, I thought so hard about wanting to go experience being in a class that mum heard my brain. She’s a huge mind reader and the creator this time around. But I think the next opportunity will be created by my ASKING FOR HELP.  I know I am not the only parent who has to practice that move more. Not everyone is a mind reader like my mum. We need to speak up!

I hope you give yourself the opportunity to realign when you need to. xx

creating opportunities to realign crystals chakras

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A New Motto for Procrastinators and Perfectionists

A New Motto for Procrastinators and Perfectionists

That’s what I told myself as I put away baskets and baskets of folded laundry that had been piled up on and around our sofa. There was so much of it that when I facetimed my mum, my brother caught a glimpse of it and said he wanted to cry.

I hear you brother. Everytime I looked at that ever growing pile I was overwhelmed with where to start.

Well now I was overwhelmed and constantly reminded of my brother.

So I pulled it together after teaching today’s yoga class and started putting away pile after pile. I winced a little at how things were not quite colour coordinated and exactly as I wanted but today, they just needed to be away.

Now we have the rest of our weekend to relax on our sofa!

What have you been putting off? Is there any way you can get it done quickly?

 

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Aside

Post, Interrupted – mascara calls

I started to write a catchy-uppy post the night before. It will show up eventually but in the meantime I read an article about a woman who didn’t wash her mascara off and a surgeon had to REMOVE GLOBS OF MASCARA FROM HER EYEBALLS.Do you ever find that even after washing your face clean (supposedly? allegedly?), you’ll wake up in the morning and find more mascara shadow? I’ve been spending the limited time I have between baby bedtime and mummy bedtime scrubbing my eyelashes clean of all gunk. And then following up with skincare because I’m already standing up, might as well.

I really think I got ’em squeaky clean this time. I know micellar water is super popular for cleansing but have you ever tried olive oil? I get really good results with olive oil on gauze. And I never run out of it. After that I get a warm washcloth and dab. It’s SO relaxing.

What do you use for cleanser?

Prescription for Joy: Radiate Love and Light – 40 Day Practice

Prescription for Joy: Radiate Love and Light – 40 Day Practice

B and I started a 40 day practice this month. Usually we have our own activities we like to do in order to feel good: mine would be yoga, Pilates, watching old TV shows, and his would be basketball (REAL and XBOX). This month we decided that the New Moon would be the perfect time to start a shared daily practice for 40 days to boost our energy and spirit levels.

We are STILL doing our favourite activities, naturally!

Everyday we practice a set sequence of yoga postures, followed by mantra meditation and we drink a green drink that I labelled our ‘Elixir’. This last part is major because B has never been on board with drinking anything green although I feel like that’s being very picky since he is slightly colour blind anyway? For all he knows it could be pink? SUDDENLY he can tell it’s green. I mean.

Anyway.

The mantra we chant is personal to each of us but I’ll share mine with you below. We chant out loud and with confidence, 11 times and then we sit quietly and let things marinate.

Somedays we do our practice in the evening like last night when we came home from a wedding party. We showered, changed and stepped on our mats. Then we had our green drink. We slept like babies even with both of us recovering from the flu.

It feels wonderful!

To go along with our 40 day practice we also cut out coffee. I typically drink a lot of coffee, alarming amounts even, but I’ve never had any issue with stopping. I never even get headaches if I go without coffee but it’s that comfort factor that I like. I love comfort! So when I want a warm drink I’ll make myself a Coconut Maca drink. I’m having one righttttttt now. 

 
I’m very lucky I’ve never enjoyed soft drinks and I drink a lot of room temperature water. Even warm water in a mug can be comforting. I make a ritual out of heating the water up, choosing a favourite mug (B and I both like to hog the same mugs) and then enjoying the steam puff up. It’s all about the ritual and process! Aren’t humans funny?

We started out as a very small community of just two, but in just over a week a few of our friends have started to join in. One of my girlfriends asked for a shopping list so she could run out and grab all the ingredients for the ‘elixir’ the very next morning.

Which is great! The more the merrier, and slowly little by little we generate more good vibes. If you would like to join us (we’d love to have you!) feel free to come up with your own mantra, or use mine:

RADIATE

Be well and be radiant! xoxo

Gallery

Sunday Feels – The Healing Power of Taking Rest

Is there anything better than waking up to rain against the window pane at the end of a busy week? Not only a rainy day but a rest day for me. I still woke up hella early as usual but gosh, it felt like luxury to have all those hours. Today is a Moon Day and I am looking forward to taking rest from my usual morning yoga practice.

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The constantly changing weather seems to be wreaking havoc on my body and after croaking my way through teaching this week, I could feel my voice leaving me for a well-earned vacation. Somewhere warm, I imagine. There was an ad years ago that showed a couple discussing where they would go for a holiday. The woman decided she would go to Phuket or somewhere like that and then the man promptly said he would go to Bali. Kind of reminded of that right now. Plenty of warm water and an early night seem to have done me the world of good today. Rest is always the crucial thing for me. If I don’t get enough of it, my body reminds me soon enough and then it will MAKE me have to take rest. I made some goals for myself this year and my body seems to have come up with a goal of its own for me – to take more time to rest.

breakfast in bedWhat do you do when you get the day off?

I like to shower and get into my comfy home clothes, make a simple brekkie, perhaps apply a face mask, laze around reading books, think about a late lunch, more lazing, perhaps even take a nap?! Already I feel so much better than I have in days! It is so important to find time to rest. Later on I will do a little light stretching, some Pilates exercises. It’s still important to get the body moving! If it is to be a rest day like today, then I won’t do much in the way of chores, but I will wash any dishes and the towels. It feels better to know that the kitchen is clean and tidy. And later on I will be glad when we have fresh towels. Food will be the really simple kind. That seems to suit me best. Here’s what I ate so far:

Breakfast: Avocado on multi grain bread. I like to smear what is left in the shell on my face which as it dries seems to tighten my skin. Such an easy face mask, and afterwards when I finally remember to rinse it off my skin feels incredibly silky. I walked around with a green face for an hour before I remembered to go splash the avocado off. But not before I took the rubbish out and said hi to my neighbours. Nice.

Lunch: I’m avoiding anything oily or too salty so as not to upset my throat. And I am just crazy about turmeric in all my food so I steamed some rice with turmeric and garlic. After the rice was perfectly cooked, I lifted up the lid, threw in some green vegetables, cracked an egg, and tossed in some white mushrooms. I’m so chill right now I can’t recall what they are called exactly, possibly oyster mushrooms? Anyway, I close the lid so the steam doesn’t billow out and instead stays inside and perfectly cooks all those toppings. This is one of my favourite ways to make a meal and I’m glad my body seems to love this type of food too.

steam powered

A few years ago I was working as a lawyer for a construction company, and all of us, and I truly mean the entire legal department, went through a phase of being obsessed with the hot chips from the cafe downstairs. They were so delicious we couldn’t get enough! Of course we completely overdid it one afternoon and I went home with the most terrible headache. I was so thirsty and all I wanted was steamed broccoli. When I went back the next day I found out I wasn’t the only one with a hot chip hangover. Yikes!

Back to my lunch. So, after a few minutes of gentle steaming the white of the egg is glossy and opaque, that’s when I know it is perfect. You may like your egg a little more firm but I like the yolk to be slightly oozy. My grandma used to make me gooey eggs like this and she would tell me it was my mum’s favourite way to eat eggs, and she called it “suo suo dan“; “dan” being the word for egg and “suo suo” being the action you make when you try to slurp up the goo. I still describe my eggs like that to this day. As to flavour, I just dash a very small amount of light soy sauce and sesame oil over the top. You can add white pepper, chopped chillies, coriander, but I’m happy with this and so is my tummy. Can there be anything better than having a warm feeling in the belly when it’s raining outside?

What nice things will you make for yourself to eat this weekend? xx

 

Video

Yoga to Move into Stillness

So legend has it that when you can’t sleep at night it is because you are awake in someone else’s dream.

Please stop dreaming about me whoever you are.

Aaaaaaaahahahahaha allow me to cackle away merrily whilst you take the time to roll your eyes.

I’ve been struggling to sleep properly and it seems to be some sort of excess nervous energy from prepping to go home for the holidays. This time next week I will be back home and ohmigoshonlyafewmoresleepstogoooooooooooooosomanythingstodosolittletimetodoitin.

You know those jitters? 

Verrrrrry similar to the kind a kid gets the night before Christmas. Who could possibly sleep?! It’s just all too exciting. TOO being the keyword. Too much going on. Around us and inside our heads. Without an outlet to channel all the excitement into, those sensations spill over everywhere and amplify existing feelings. 

There is a lot happening during holiday season and all that change can be stressful on a body. 

Resisting the change causes friction which leaves me restless and kinda twitchy. Then as I lose sleep I become tired and cranky. The cycle continues on a loop. When I was younger I couldn’t figure out how to settle myself down and found myself buffeted along by the things that kept happening TO me no matter how hard I tried to avoid them or take full control. I felt so resentful and frustrated. Did I have a target on my back?

Now I kind of understand it is up to me to decide if I want to struggle and kick my way along or flow through change. But the way is always THROUGH the obstacles or the change. And whilst I can control some aspects there are many others that I can’t. Discerning what I can and can’t change, much like the serenity prayer, are key to giving me the space I need to regain a sense of calm.

Try reading the next two paragraphs out loud slowly and with intent:

I remember that I can control my breathing. I can inhale fully and exhale completely. I can move my body as I breath slowly and deeply. I can give complete attention to moving my body with my breath. 

And with that I feel my heart rate calm down, my stomach ceases to twist into knots, my eyebrows unfurrow and my mind quietens and I move into stillness. Then I can sleep soundly and deeply. I wake up feeling joyful and excited about my days. I will nourish my body with fuel so I have energy to go about my day. I will move my body because it feels good to be active. I look forward to anything that comes my way. I feel content with the present moment because it is perfect. 

I hope following along to this short video helps equip you with a sense of calm as you go about preparing yourself for this holiday season. Please practice safely and take good care of yourself. 

Processed with Rookie Cam

Namaste.