I forgot to introduce myself! Ha......

I forgot to introduce myself!!

Ha! 

Perhaps I should have done this blog about 5 posts back, you know, kind of near the start, where introductions are generally made.

Whoopsi.

Not one to worry about conventional ways of doing things, this is really just me showing up authentically...... you know, a little out of kilter with the rest of the world.....

So! A snip-bit bite sized intro about me: (lets ignore all the obvious things and get to the other less talked about parts first)....

I'm in a constant state of observation and curiosity.

Mainly because theres so much I don't understand about the world around me.

Like why the use of the word vagina is villanised. Its just another body part, isn't it?

Why sex talks are taboo. Its a free, fast way ticket to euphoria, right? (read: WTF is wrong with the world that we've silenced the one thing we should be openly raving about?!) 

Also, why is expressing feelings that fall outside of the range of 'acceptable' so taboo. Like, happiness is an ok state to be in. But feeling sad or pensive or morose? Apparently that's not cool? (Its not ideal, but its not bad either, ya feel me?)

Why does showing up as your authentic self make others uncomfortable. Isn't that the ultimate journey for us as humans? To be able to express the highest version of ourselves?

So yah know, stuff like the above kinds of questions tend to keep me in a constant state of curiosity. (and maybe frustration?? ha. And I do mean constant).

I like words.

Specifically, stringing them together so they flow like a catchy tune playing on the radio. Except instead of hearing it your reading it on paper. Hopefully with the same effect of having moved your spirit in some subtle way.

I like the smell of trees after the rain.

I like my knees to be massaged. (read: pleasure spot 101) And ears. And feet. And head. And hands. And chest. And the backs of my thighs. Actually, I think I'm in a constant state of desperately needing one of those.....

I am fairly articulate by nature. And discerning.

I’m an intuitive who is only just discovering the silent but ever present language of my spleen. Its where my knowing resides.

I get baffled easily.

Mainly by things like when humans are unnecessarily unkind. Or greedy. Or why my kids like to wrap their entire hand with the toilet paper roll just to wipe their bum. Or how it is I logically know I shouldn’t spend money I don’t have on café food yet I still do it. Every damn week. Like why do that?? None of this makes sense. 

I value crossing paths with Souls who actively pursue being authentic and congruent. Mainly cos they are traits I’d like others to label me with should our paths meet. (Does that make me conceited and a narcissist? Or mindful and aware?? Hmmm).

Talking about Souls, the following kind kindred spirits really speak to my own: 

Souls who harness solitude like energy from a solar panel. Same same.

Souls who feel alive simply being in the presence of another.

Souls who understand love has a language all of its own.

As does energy.

Souls who may not understand, but are willing to accept, our minute role in this cosmic galaxy on an earthly plane of existance.

Souls who eat values like kindness, curiosity, bravery and connection for morning tea, alongside a mug of organic coffee (which they brought their own washed out glass peanut butter jar to have the barista make it in) and they always ask for a serving of whipped cream on the side. Always.

Souls who think mindfulness might be the new best friend of giving zero-fucks. 

Souls who drink from the cup of gratitude by the hour and never complain about having to pee. 

Souls who froth at the thought of engaging in enlightening conversations around topics like cultural identity, parenting misconceptions, consumerism, conscious language, energy, inner knowing, and limiting beliefs. And organic cotton sheets. We can never forget the value of organic cotton sheets.

Souls who are here for the reclaiming, reforming, reinterpretation of the Female role in todays society; in our institutions, in our schools, in our homes, in our mirrors, in our minds.

Souls who are curious about Native cultures and more than that, want to honour all aspects of seeing the values, beliefs and processes of said cultures moved from the peripheral margins of society into main stream consciousness. Or at the very least, respected by them.

Souls who aren't afraid to stop and question the values we as individuals choose to embrace in the small minute details of our very mundane every day lives. 

Souls who make choices based on integrity and transparency.

Souls who give no weight or little thought to being popular, but rather, seek to create a fan club based on a one member cap: themselves.

Souls who are willing to have these kinds of conversations while being equally at ease with admitting they don't know what the F they are doing with their lives, with their careers, with their relationships. The more you know, the more you realise the less you know. Ya know?

Souls who don't place their worth or value on being the 'nice' girl. Who enjoy cussing as a form of expression rather than giving in to conformity.

Souls who do crass and class in the space of one breath. 

*

These Souls are realist dreamers and doers I can relate to.

*

And that I think is where I will leave this. A page full of randomly chosen words that sum up a small tiny fraction of the bigger parts of me.

 

Smiling Maama...................... xo

 

Recognising that a Reckoning may infact be your Awakening

Sometimes when it feels like there is a reckoning in our lives – there really truly is. 

And its purposeful. Its meant for you. And you alone.

 Its also beautiful. And perfect.  A gift from the Divine that only you can unravel the bows of, rip off the wrapping to, and peer inside to see what little treasures await you.

If your going through this at the moment, stop what your doing, get down on your knees and give up a prayer of gratitude. Immediately. (Amen, amen, amen). And I'm not saying that to be patronising or conceited. But because its divinely true. 

I know it with every fibre of my being. With every cell in my body.

What you are going through ~ You are growing through.

When I feel like things aren't going how I want them too, when I hear how invested others are in sitting on the sidelines of my life waiting for my demise, despite my having no interactions with them at all, ever, when I read comments targeted at me and mine, when I ask for the thousandth time why the F it is I am doing all of this of on my own, when I ask out loud 'why are humans this F'ing horrible??' I find myself taking a moment to question what the lesson is. Like really, what is the point of having these negative thoughts/experiences?.

And there in lies the answer. 

Somewhere in those flames, the ones that burn you from the inside out, the ones that bring you to your knees in grief and sorrow rather than gratitude and humbleness, is the very tools you need to be the best version of yourself.

It’s kind of like the Divines way of saying ‘lets burn away all that’s not meant for you and see what remains. But first, lets test your mettle and really see what your made of. Lets see whats at the core your being. Let me help reveal you'.

Except if your at the reckoning stage, unfortunately, it means you don’t really get a say in any of the decision making at this point.

She kind of just takes matters into her own hands and goes ahead and does what she needs to anyway (probably exasperated at our having missed all the signs along the way to course correct for ourselves. Ha. And hopefully it’s not too dramatic a burn - Thankyou in advance sweet loving adorable Baby Jesus).

It’s kind of like the Divines way of saying ‘there is more to you than this, dig deeper, go further, reach higher'. And more importantly 'Remember me’.

You know? Ya feel me?

There is, however, a must in all of this. A condition of sorts that is purely a choice you choose to make in that very moment when it feels like your darkest hour, when the burden of the mundane feels like a load too heavy to stumble any further with, when the enormity of your grief threatens to consume the very light from your being.

You must remember through the trialling aspects of your lifes journey this one fundamental truth; You simply can not fight darkness with darkness. Only light can drive it away. (thanks for the quote MLK) So how does one be light?

You become the light.

Intangible unseen attributes become your daily armour.

Patience.

Compassion.

Forgiveness.

Gratitude.

Fortitude.

Resilience.

Humour.

Perspective.

Grace.

Faith.

Trust.  

Love in its purest form.

You inhale each of those virtues into the deepest parts of your anatomy hourly.

By the second if you have to.

And you call on them for You. Not for him or her or them (insert partner, parents, siblings, kids).

You ask for Grace to come into your heart. For compassion to reveal itself in your words. For resilience to dance itself across your hearts stage. For the truth to set you free.

You feel me? You pray for You.

And like they say, when your cup is full, than everyone else can drink from the over flow.

And this is where you check in with yourself - what is it you want to be flowing over into the lives of those around you? The ones you claim to love so dearly? Bitterness? Hate? Resentment? Or all of the things listed above. 

You get to choose.

That’s the glory of God at work in your life.

She's not saying your wrong either way. All is as it should be. She’s simply saying ‘in those darkest moments, in those very moments when you know in yourself you can go one way or another, you can lean into fear and help tie up its dancingg shoes, or you can give it a tresspass notice and order it to leave - remember me – I’m here. I got you'.

'Hold my hand and lets unravel this, rebuild this, glorify this temple that is You, together’.

And if your wandering when is an appropriate time to call forward these things into your life…

You call on them when fear starts its little tip toe prance into your morning thoughts.

When worry settles in your abdomen and doesn’t want to leave. (And you best be giving that squatter a trespass notice. You tell it your not welcome here. Leave this instant. Good riddance!).

When resentment starts skipping around your shoulders massaging your muscles like ‘don’t this feel goooood?’ Don't be fooled. Don't give in to a moments satisfaction disguising itself behind the veil of self righteousness and entitlement. Release your ego. Let your pride take a seat. You know better. And don’t settle for good. Kick that monkey off your back and wait for what you deserve.

Think Regal. Think Blessed. Think Heavenly.

You might think of it as scary times ahead because the unknown always feels like it should be. And that’s a normal thought to have. But remember too that there is another path.

A path that is light, that is loving, that is true to you.

Its the path that leads home to You...the truest version of You.

Let go and let God. She's burning away all that's not meant for you.

So embrace the burn. Laugh at the ego when it wants to pat your back and say 'poor you'. You are not poor. You are empowered with the decision to choose....either you choose the path that leads to prolonging and delaying your current heartache and suffering or you choose the path that leads to personal growth and remembering.

Kei a koe te tikanga - Only you know whats best for you.

 

Smiling Maama.........................xo

Freedom Dancing

I’ve been to three gigs this year which considering we’re only at the end of January, I’m doing a pretty good job at letting my hair down and living a little. Just a little. At the end of every working week. No biggy. Casual as. Standard even.

But do you know what?  To me its freaking monumental.

A milestone of significant proportions to be able to simultaneously let go of ish not meant for me while also building myself up enough to a point where dancing and dressing up and being wildly happily drunk are OKAY things to do. Free of mind chatter or self judgement or guilt.

Just free. Fullstop. 

It’s something I’m unapologetically and whole heartedly proud of.  I’ll tell you why.

As a solo mum to three (my sassy empathetic loving little humans), as a woman, as a 33 year old, as someone who’s always attracted a lot of unwarranted attention from both women and men (consciously or not) and for someone who spent the last two years inching my way back from a 10 year relationship ending - there has been a lot of narrative that went into a night out. Or dressing up. Or drinking.

There was so much to consider.

It meant letting go of thoughts or memories or attachments to people and places.

It meant donning another mask to say 'hey its all good' when in fact it was more like 'hey, I need help to breathe' .

It meant being seen when I wanted to hide.

It meant showing up when I wanted to remain in the shadows.

It meant stepping out and smiling when I had only moments before spent hours huddled between the sheets crying.

It meant facing judgement.

In the past it didn’t matter to those around me whether I was silent or extra, the fact that I was present was enough to trigger an onslaught of emotions they would inevitably feel comfortable projecting my way.

Emotions that would show up during the night like me being excluded from conversations.

Or welcomed only to participate in hostile ones, usually targeted at me, and my life choices.

Or there would be belittling comments.

Or gossip directed my way during the event and the days that followed.

I didn’t think any of that was worth one night out.

And it wasn’t.

Something had to change if I ever wanted to feel comfortable socialising again.

So I did. I changed.

Not like in a shampoo commercial where it happens over night.

But gradually. With intent. 

I shifted my focus from those around me and started being accountable for how I was showing up in the moment.

Nevermind what others were thinking, what did I think about me? What did I think about what I was wearing? How I was behaving? The things I was saying? Was I contaminating or contributing to interactions through the night? Ultimately… I found once I got to a space where I was okay with me, where I was okay with my life choices, everything was ok.

Others opinions didn’t matter. They held no weight to my sense of self.

As long as I viewed myself with love and grace it made no difference to me whether others who crossed my path held the same view or not.   

There were other aspects ofcourse to feeling restricted and confined when invited to drink or go out. I didn’t want to drink and then start thinking of my ex.

I didn’t want to drink and start acting erratically as a result of trying to escape from myself.

I didn’t want to drink and be concerned how others were perceiving me.

I didn’t want to drink and give the pretense I was fine knowing full well the next day would only mean heightened emotions and a magnified sense of morbidness towards my life in general.

So to avoid all of that I decided simply not to drink. Maybe the odd wine here or there. But never to the point where I didn’t still feel in full control of my body, my words, my actions.

I also had to ask myself a few questions: What did me showing up and being seen actually mean to me? Did the opinion of others really hold that much weight? Who were these ‘others’ I gave so much power to? Did I really represent so much negativity in their lives - really? Was I responsible for the things they were projecting simply because of how I looked? I had to ask my self these things because they were a reality for me. And still are. But how I deal with them has changed. I have changed.

Also. Dress Code Ladies. Whats acceptable for a 33 year old solo mum to wear these days?? I’ll tell you what.

What ever the F you want. Seriously.

And age is just a number here. If you feel good – wear it. And own it. Truly express yourself.

One of my challenges this summer was to wear little cut off shorts that covered approximately 20% of my ass cheeks. It was a double dare to myself which I tentatively but quietly was all to happy to accept.

It was more as a challenge to my perception of self really.

I left my marriage feeling insecure about a whole range of things to do with my physical body– my cellulite riddled butt being my biggest self loathing.

These shorts were going to be my queit F U to that way of thinking and being.

I'm more than the dimples on my ass Yo. I'm more than my insecurities. Imma freaaaaakn own these shorts.

Like Yo! Do I even have any on? And does it even matter?? At the end of the day, does what I'm wearing make me less valued? Less worthy? Less lovable? No people. The short and long answer is a resounding and very firm No.  

I figured if you can see the ripples in my thighs, good. I think its sexy AF and anyone who thinks otherwise can go...... back to the gym or on a diet....just elsewhere. Away from me. Cos I aint buying into it. 

And guess what? Wearing them shorts didn’t change a damn thing. Apart from the fact I felt freaking ace. I freedom danced my way through the night and ended up having one of thee best nights ever. And then I hit repeat on my next night out. Aaaaand the next one.

The weird thing was that since I accepted my self fully and loved hard into all the things I had seen as embarrassing flaws (cellulite, wobbly thighs, stretch marks, things I see as endlessly boring immaterial things now),

it's now one of the very things the Ex ( I really need a cool name to reference him as, as I will be mentioning him here and there - significant role that he played in my life and all that jazz) whose opinion I had spent years measuring my sense of self worth against - is actually quite vocal now about how this derriere, the very one I felt so low about being around him with when I thought he wanted to have more taught toned dimple free options on offer down at his local gym, is actually the very one that he claims is his all time favourite. Really. That's a direct quote.

This may be a clever ploy of his. But I'm not fussy and I cant be assed with games. I'll take it. 

Let me rephrase that.

I'm going to Lap. That. Ish Uuuuuuuuuuup.

You know it.... (insert the iconic Black Panther movements symbol of the raised clenched fist. And you've officially joined me on the level). 

But this part of the post isn't about the Ex or his opinion. Its about how I feel about me now.

How good, great, enthused, excited, ecstatic, I feel right now about me as a person.

I feel like this whole focusing on my ass thing was actually really pathetic. Like how much time did I waste as a 20 something year old focusing on something soooo lame???

Like helllooo,  what else do you bring to the table Yo??

Your going to over look ALL them other traits you have (and we all have plenty) just to focus on that one thing you've got in your head isn't measuring up?? To what exactly?

What is it you are measuring yourself against?

And if its somebody else. Just stop. Its not worth it.

We each bring things to the table that are unique to us.

Our only job is to fully own them. FULLY. Yes?

Granted, this small victory of loving on my ass, literally, isn't exactly the kind of thing I'm going to add to my CV or write home and tell the olds about, but on a feel good levelling up on a soul deep kind of level, its up there.

I know y'all ladies are feeling me and know exactly what I'm talking about.

And why did I share that exactly? Cos it's another point of reference for me.

I don't care what the Ex thinks despite how much weight his opinion once held. Or anyone else.

I don't give any one else that kind of say over my body, choices or decisions.

And I sure don't care whether cellulite is attractive or not.

Or if wobbly thighs are deemed ugly or sexy.

I don't care because I don't measure my worth based one or two miniscule aspects of my over all being.

We are all so much more than any of those things.

This new found ability to recognise the expansiveness of my own being.... it all contributes to the joy I feel when the opportunity arises for me to forget for a night the responsibilities that come with adulting, let my hair down, and just have fuuuun.

Getting giddy. Getting jiggy. Getting straight wild. In a wholesome way.

It comes from a place of empowerment not a place of destructiveness. 

Its all harmless reckless fun and its liberating AF.

 

Naturally, I've saved the best for last.

Mum Guilt.

Its never ending right? It was my constant companion until I did the work to let that story go.

I never second guess myself as a Mum now. Ever.

I consciously say to myself 'Gosh my kids are lucky to have me'. And I mean it. Cos I sure know the blessing it is to have them and hear them call me Mama.  I look at my kids and I think never has a truer statement been said. 

And I feel perfectly valid in saying that because I know how it feels to not have each other.

A year and a bit ago I made what seemed like the only loving choice to make at the time and I asked for my younger two to go and live with their paternal Nana for two school terms. Something I will forever be so unexplainably grateful to her for doing for them. For us as a family.

Meanwhile my eldest child at the tender age of 12 had to mother me back from the darkest parts of pure raw grief.

Which let me tell you right now... its dark and its lonely and it aint pretty.

But she did it. All on her lonesome. She pulled me back when no one else was around to see the extent or depth of my sorrow and despair.

Lets just call her my earthly Anahera (angel) from here on in.....its an understatement on epic proportions but it will suffice for now.

It was a really hard time in our families life and I'm forever grateful for my mother in law being Mummy when I couldn't.

When they did come home though I recognised our fractured family dynamics needed strengthening.  My kids needed me more than they ever had before.

Nothing felt stable or safe. I was the one constant that was left and boy oh boy was I equally in need of them.

We did what we needed to in order to get through.

That meant me reducing my hours right down at work and homeschooling them.

That meant sleeping together in one room.

That meant lots of walks and adventures amongst nature.

And now a year on we’re in a new season of our lives where the kids are back at school, we’re comfortable with our families evolved dynamics and the kids know that theres safety and stability in the constant never ending fluidity of love their Dad and I have for them.

So there’s really no point in me wasting time feeling bad about anything is there.

Theres no point in me staying home from a night out with the girls just to prove that sacrificing one night out of 7 days of the week makes me a better Mum.

Cos it doesn’t.

The every day decisions us Mums make for our families 7 days a week, 24/7, that’s what matters most.  Its time we started embracing that and living by it. 

I have another gig I might be going to this weekend. 

Its always a decision I make on the day, depending on how I feel and how my kids are doing. Obviously gig going isn’t at the detriment of my kids well being.

But nor is it at the cost of my own.

I no longer weigh up my decision based on what others will think or say.

Cos surprise - haters gonna hate. Without fail. And if you don't give them dirt to throw they'll make up a nice pile of lies to throw around for you.

So you do you boo. Go out anyway. Dress up anyway. Have those wines anyway. 

I for one freaking love surrendering to the beat of the bass knowing that music truly is medicine for the soul.

I love that through connection with other happy like minded gig goers is that sweet feeling of mass communion. Like God is looking down on us, smiling, content that even for just several hours, we are all so infectiously happy.

I love how empowered I feel embracing my body, letting it move how it wants to, expressing itself the only way it knows how, which on a good day, is actually quite spastic. Im not entirely sure how I have friends who want to be seen in public with me. But they do. And I love them for it.

And for all these things I've let go of, and for all the freedom I now find in turning up at a moments notice to a live band or a festival, you can be sure I'll be attending a whole lot more of them. 

This isn't a form escapism - its the purest form of surrender. 

God is good. All the time.

 

Smiling Maama..............xo

17 January - Tis a New Moon

Its a rainy and windy night in the North. From the safety and comfort of a wooden chair I've parked myself in to at my dining room table it all looks just a tad bit wild out there. Just how I like it. I live for nights like these. The swish of the trees branches outside my kitchen window. The whip of the wind through my hair when I stand inside the door way. The bend of the tree tops. The silence, devoid of birdsong, from an otherwise varied array of native bird life. It all feels so......sacred. ancient. connected.  Which to any modern day good witch such as myself is exactly when all the windows and doors get flung wide open in our home. I cant think of anything more grounding, more connecting, more enthralling, than feeling that tempestuous wind whirl right through every corner of our home. Its like a cleansing of sorts. A cold wind bath saturating the entire household. All at once. Vigorously. With out remorse or apology. But none of us get cold. None of us get sick. We just carry on as usual. Cooking dinner. Playing cards. Having showers. Running around naked like we don't have clothes in our closets. You know, normal things that we'd normally do. 

I made a drum using deer hide with my own two hands roughly 6 months ago. I try and play it once a month in a grounding ritual I do with the babes. I usually aim for the night of the new moon for no other reason than it feels right. They shower and plait their hair and I rub balms into itchy bites and dry skin and achy bodies before they all clamber on to my bed to find a comfy spot amongst the pillows and blankets. I also cut their finger and toe nails so their overall grooming is taken care of and they can feel renewed and refreshed for the days ahead. Tonight was the first night I noticed Master 8 do something that made me stop momentarily and ponder something.  Its the line of thought that our bodies cells remember things passed down to us from our ancestors. We aren't there for the actual experiences themselves, but we remember the feeling, or we just know certain things, about certain things. Things that cant be quantified by science or research or logic but are felt on an intangible deep faith kind of spiritual level. What he did was something he's always done right from he was just a tot. He collected every single nail I clipped from off of him and put them neatly in to a little pile on the drawers beside him. When I was done he gathered up the pile and threw them over the flames of my burning candle. If theres a fire going he'll usually throw them into there but he made do with what he had. When I asked why he did that he said its not good to leave our nails around. The significance of it is something my Maori readers will understand. In Maori tikanga your hair and nails are sacred. To be either buried or burnt but never thrown away. Growing up, hair from my brush would go straight into the fire. In his own way it felt like tonight my son was present in those teachings. Though it was ofcourse impossible. He seemed to have remembered the lesson anyway. Kooky or coincidence....? 

Next, I turned the lights off so only the glow of the Glade candle next to my bed warmed their faces. I lit the sage smudge stick and let it linger around the room before I cradled it back into the paua shell that catches all its ashes. I picked up the brass singing bowl and the wooden dong and I tap it 3 times, its sound pristine as always, its effect immediate, as always. Regardless of how chatty the kids might have been moments prior, or how fidgety my son can be, as soon as that first note rings out, calm descends. Serenity follows. Its hard to describe the sound these little bowls can make. But it feels ancient. Knowing. Enlightened and restful. Reflective of what the weather outside and within our home is doing. Playing it tonight felt not too dissimilar to matching a red wine perfectly with a home made pasta dish. Heaven to the senses.  Theres a sweetness to the high notes that makes one instantly at peace. If you haven't already, I recommend you find someone to play you one, preferably while you take the role of my kids and kick back and chill. Did I mention they are deeply effective healing tools? Well, they are.

Following that, and we're maybe only five minutes deep here folks,  I play my drum. Purely for the sake of playing it. Purely for the sake of awakening our collective spirits to the potential of what our imaginations have to offer.  I want their minds to wander, to create, to dream. I want them to experience bringing awareness to the myriad of paths their minds can take them down, the way their bodies respond to different sounds, different environments. I play for a minute. Maybe two. Before I crack the with finality the last thud of stick against leather. And than, I talk.

This is the part where I guide them through a gentle grounding ceremony. This was lovingly and graciously shared with me from a Shaman teacher based at Kawai Purapura, Albany, Auckland. (Again, Google is your friend y'all). She wrote a book that helped connect me with my inner child and heal trauma held in the deepest parts of my bodies being. In truth, I think she's an angel quietly gliding around the face of the earth, going where she needs to, using the wand of her drums stick to heal through the gift of sound and Shamanic journeying. There is ofcourse a whole lot more to it than that, but in a teeny tiny nut shell, that is the essence of my experience with her. The book 'Talk to Me' by Alyse Young has a grounding exercise near the front which I use to guide the kids. Most weeks I'll personally practice this every morning. And any moment inbetween when I feel like I need it. And when I don't......my whole world shifts dramatically quite literally. And not for the better. This one exercise is what I call the gateway ritual...start with this and then branch into others. Its the baseline of all spiritual endeavours. Which is why I start our monthly New Moon ritual with it. 

Its at this point too that I literally start to melt. Really melt. From the inside out. All the soft unseen parts of me become softer, lighter, warmer. Everything congeals into one big warm blob of mass that feels like one big heart throb / heart glow. Because its at this point that my heart expands so fully into every cell of my being that I kneel right next to them beside the bed, close my eyes, and just listen. What I'm waiting to hear is the kids breathing drop into unison. From shallow and inaudible to deep and relaxed and mindful. I can have a million things on my mind at the time but as soon as that moment arrives, nothing else matters. Its just endless moments of listening and appreciating. Endless moments of sending up prayer after prayer after prayer of deep gratitude for a sense of belonging and inescapable connectedness. 

An added beauty of the exercise is there are affirmations I get the kids to repeat in their own mind after Ive said them aloud. Like 'this is my body - my home. I am safe and I am loved. I acknowledge I may have fear of my feelings - but they are just feelings. Its ok for me to feel my feelings'. Stuff like that. Stuff I get too busy to reiterate during the day to day grind of eat, move, sleep, repeat.

And then I pray over them. So hard. With so much intentional love and grace.  I pray for the usual things; guidance, clarity, faith. I pray for strength and discernment that they may know when to speak up, when to remain queit, when to stay and when to walk away. I pray that in their moments of solitude they feel loves full and all encompassing embrace. I ask for help with my role as their earth guide and theirs as mine. I ask that we each learn the art of fortitude, resilience, and belonging. Separate from anything external I ask we never forget we belong first and foremost to ourselves.  I tell myself I'm doing all this for them, which in a lot of ways I am, but its always me that needs it most. Its me that gets up from kneeling at my bedside feeling utterly whole and complete.

I say Amen and I mean it. So it is. So it is. I say Amen and I feel like my life has a purpose. Like God is good. #All the time (heeyyyyyy fellow Greenleaf fans). Like my chest doesn't feel so hollow anymore, like it did hours earlier, when I'd spent another day avoiding communion with God, a.k.a myself.  It doesn't matter what winds are howling around our house, what rain is pelting down our windows, what cold air is coming through those doors, when we are through for the night with this New Moon ritual, we are all contented. Safe. And loved.

Just as God intended.

 

Smiling Maama............................xo

 

 

10 January

First lesson for blogging: save your work as you go. Needless to say I just wrote the best blog piece of my life, whacked a few incorrect keys on the keyboard along the way, and lost the.whole.damn.thing. I'm more sad for you lot than anything. I just denied you a little slice of literary brilliance. What an amateur. 

Moving right along. (read: don't bring this up with me in conversation. For at least a year. I mean it when I say it was F'ing brilliant. I was one proud Maama. So essentially I'm now mourning over the loss of my blog baby. Please be considerate as I navigate my way through this hard time. Thanks cherubs. cupcakes. sweet cheeks. sweet peas. pumpkins. too far? I'm a rebel...what more can I say...).

Anyway.... I've progressed from what I wrote about earlier. So now the new, hour older me, has newer stuff to share. Which I guess its all new to you guys anyway. So hei aha. What ever. Old school styles, with two hands in your face in the form of a W. #thoseones. #thereitis.

I actually don't even know where to start with this whole blogging thing. It felt like I had so much to say when it was all just a ramble of thoughts in my head......but now.....well, now I'm just tired. And  exhausted. And not because its my third full day back at work and its 5.55pm on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. Nope. I'm just over all tired of figuring shit out on my own. Like yeah yeah - violins, tissues, que cera, cera -  but really. I'm not even having a moment. I actually just would love nothing more than to go home tonight  and talk to another adult. Share space with another adult. Snuggle into another adult. Preferably the same adult I've been talking to and sharing space with. And preferably someone from the opposite sex. Specifically a man. And by man I don't mean a body with a penis. I mean a body with a penis who has developed physically and emotionally from being a boy and no longer needs the comfort of his mummys hyperthetical boob to get him through life. Mummys boys are fine, ofcourse. I am raising one after all. But.....ugh. I don't know. Lets save pulling that image apart for another day. For now...lets go back to the thought of having an adult to adult with when I get home. Sigh. That would be just bliss......

Anyway. I could start my blogging career off by going over this mornings events? Specifically about how I felt my boundaries were being pushed just a little when I arrived home from the gym at 8am to find my ex's car already in the drive way when only the night before we had agreed to 9am. I conceed, its a little thing, really. But when its compounded with all the other little things.... it all adds up and suddenly, those little things don't feel so little anymore. Although for someone who  has struggled with setting clear boundaries in every facet of my life, my whole existance, it feels like every time I feel my buttons are being pushed now, regardless of how seemingly insignificant it may seem, its actually an opportunity which I'm being invited from Source to sit back into, observe, and consider how ok I am, or not, with a situation, and why. I imagine that's what a journey to spiritual enlightenment must be about. The constant revisiting of things with a new perspective. Yah know?

Like the incident that followed. Maybe I should have said no and been clearer about not only the need for communication between my ex and I, now that we're you know, ex's, but also the need for physical boundaries too. My ex went on a date last night (go him) and dropped the kids off earlier than he usually would on a Tuesday night so he could go on said date, yet still he rocks into the kitchen this morning and asks if we can dance to our song. Our song? I asked. Yeah, he said. Its our song. News to me I thought. But what did I do? I smiled and danced with him. For old times sake. Old habits die hard and all that jazz. But I did ponder after the fact what the heck he was up to holding my hips like that. Or twirling me round from front to back so I snuggled into the curve of his chest like that. Or nuzzling into my neck the way he did. Or staring into my eyes like that. Granted, I did laugh my way through the whole thing. Your smiling a lot he said. I'm happy I said. And I meant it. Clearly some more work around boundaries are needed there, 'cos I shouldn't of been leaving my house this morning thinking about that dance or entertaining the thought  that this whole seperation thing, almost two years after the fact, is all so tiring and insidiously tedious. 

Or I could talk about the million things I did while I ate my breakfast. It doesn't sound like too hot a topic, but I garauntee theres some pearls of wisdom to be shared in there. I'm not even mentioning the before or after breakfast part. But during, people, during. Just like every other mum does morning, daily, nightly. But do we ever take a moment to honour those relentless little moments of  grind in our parenting day? nope. We just suck it up like the best of them. Like we're expected to.

Or I could talk about my experience with WINZ seeing as I had my monthly appointment with them today. Theres definitely a post in the wings about WINZ, my experience with them over the years, and why I still struggle with removing them completely as my financial crutch. Not to mention the shame so many parents have in admitting they return there time and time again just to make ends meet. Theres a post coming, promise.

Or I could talk about the dynamics between mothers and daughters, seeing as mine stopped in today and as always, set my little inner child voice off in a flurry of mindless chatter.  The why and how of it all. Equally as rivoting as the breakfast post, another promise, and I'm only two posts deep. Wow.

Or I could talk about the way hesitation feeds into procrastination which feeds into numbness which feeds into self sabotage which feeds into depression. A cycle I caught myself peddling through this afternoon before I took a moment to check in, question myself as to how I was currently feeling and how I wanted  to feel, before physically shoving myself out the door and into the car,  driving off with tunnel vision like a horse chomping at the bit, just to get myself to a more sterile, less familiar and triggering environment. A.k.a my serenely peaceful and air conditioned office. Which is located inside a Church. God is good. All the time (your welcome Greenleaf fans) #Netflix #&Chill

Or I could just concede that whilst theres time for structure and planning, concise thoughts and a fluid sense of sharing... today isn't one of them. And that's ok. Do you know why? Cos its real. And that's what I want more of. Real. Realness.  'Cos these messy parts that we don't want anyone to know we go through, these 'draft' copies that we edit before we post them, they have their time and place in our journey. They are just as necessary as the days that flow and add glow to our lifes journey. The cringy, cluttered, muddled parts are equally as worthy of our adoration and applause as are the glaringly obvious times where toothy smiles and that sense of fulfilment and contented clarity come more naturally. 

Every feeling and thought you have, matters.

Full stop. Please honour them.

They are apart of you.

And every part of you matters. 

I don't have a strong message to finish my writing off with tonight. Which is really sticking to the theme of tonights writing in general.........

which is to say - there isn't one.

 

Smiling Maama............x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Te Tau Hou ~ Ra Tuatahi 2018

Day One ~ 2018

My first blog, my first post, my first time sharing my view of the world around me on a platform entirely dedicated to being seen, being vulnerable, and connecting with like hearted beings. All on the first calendar day of 2018.

Sigh.

A day of firsts. A day of looking ahead and not back. A day of hope. A day of cementing new beginnings. New patterns. New daily habits and rituals.

But before I go too far forward, I just want to honour and reflect briefly on the last 365 days of 2017...... Willingly or not (because there were times when I gladly would have taken a final bow and let the curtains fall one last time - read: reality and not morbidness).... here I am folks. Here. I. Am.  At a place that feels like I've been striving towards my entire life. A place of radical self love, acceptance and surrender. Swoon. Its a lovely place to revel in.

Thanks 2017.  Yours was the year............ 

I learnt how to be strong enough within my own self to heal my own heart.  from rejection, shame, guilt and worry. All low vibration feels that belonged on a page. Not behind my rib cage. 

I learnt my heart is an expansive space with room for resilience, compassion, forgiveness, and kindness to be cultivated, seeded and watered, ready to blossom and bloom daily.

I learnt the unseen value of watering my own garden, giving a tangible fragrance that permeated every facet of my being; a look, a smile, a touch.....  lingering in the presence of those around me, long after my physical being had left their side. Commonly known as the essence of being a Woman.

I learnt I could embody the fullness of all that is divine; love, grace, belonging, connection.....despite the seeming heaviness of my own hearts acheing.

I learnt I could cuss out a blessing and bless up a cussing.

I learnt the meaning of letting go and letting God.

I learnt the art of self awareness.

I learnt the difference between perception and reality.

I learnt the joy of honouring the fall of my tears, whether they fell unheeded or as an intentional and much needed form of release. Their flow was my growth. A waterfall of loss, heartache, and longing which cascaded into puddles on my pillow nightly. daily. routinely. I didn't love the process but I do love the groove of healing they formed in the deepest recesses of my now whole and holy heart.  

I honoured my journey of radical self love, radical self healing, radical grief and growth and took away the need to measure it against time. I loved as I needed to. Healed as I needed to. Grieved as I needed to. Despite how ugly most days looked and felt. (And by most I'm giving a conservative estimate of say mmmm 99.9%. Really). Despite how battle fatigued my heart and spirit was feeling. Despite what ever I thought was going wrong in my life. I found that if I just gave myself permission to acknowledge and honour my pain and not distract myself from feeling in to every damn thorny corner of it , there was infact renewed strength and clarity in the process. A process which led me to remembering the truth of my souls existance, the purpose of my waking, the gift in my breathing. All the things I had at some point wished away and prayed to end.

I leant in to friendships that nourished my spirit, that held space for me as a woman and mum, that celebrated my domestic life while simultaneously acknowledging my need for healing, what ever that may have looked like at the time, the need for understanding, patience, compassion.

I walked away from people that felt the need to compete with me. On any level. If you weren't about celebrating each other, I wasn't about to fake tolerating each other. 

I took people by their actions and not their word. As a result, more than a few mates/acquatntainces/connections fell by the way side. Rather than this being a source of suffering, it was actually a huge relief. It meant I had space for authentic friendships and connections to be nourished and revelled in.

But most importantly, and I smile when I write this, I found my way home. Back to me. Back to the self that knows only kindness, compassion, generosity and Aio. Peace.  There were ofcourse loving hands to help hold mine when times were unbearably tough, but I'm most proud that essentially, I found me. I held my own hand and loved my own way back to loving me.  

Through the darkness - I felt illuminated.

There were other more tangible highs ofcourse. My girly girls trip to Sydney at the start of the year. Having my two (not really babies anymore) move home after living with their Nana for 6 months after I thought myself too sad, too broken, to parent them again. There was the time spent unschooling my babes during 2017. Renewing my work contracts. Landing a new job alongside my current one ready to kick off in 2018. Travelling to Bali. Writing in Bali. Joining a local Poetry Posse. Watching our cat Evie mother her 4 kittens. 

Theres so much there to write about. Hence this space I guess. But for now, I just wanted to do something that's spent years in the 'fear of being seen' basket.

And gahd damn if I'm doing it. 

Hell to the yes. My first post is up. My blog is official.

Thank you 2017. Over and over again. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

You delivered me to 2018 6kgs lighter (not intentional), in need of replacement boob implants, a bit of a closet gym bunny,  with a strong sense of who I am, and more importantly, who I'm not.

 

When I was 6 and wanted nothing more than to grow up and be a presenter for Te Karere. I used to stand in front of the mirror and sign off with the following:

Ko Nga-Atawhainga tenei mo Te Karere,

Hei konei, hei kona, noho ora mai.

 

 .............Smiling Maama xo