Toxic flashback

The next morning and  my mood has swung 180 degrees the other direction. A dark cloud glooms over me as I answer my front door the following morning.

“Hi. I’m nowhere there yet,” I shake my head restlessly looking down at my doorstep as if expecting something interesting to materialize there. “Found out all my cousins are staying at my mom’s in summer to go out drinking. I messaged them to tell them my mom is too old to entertain them. I got a nasty message back. Feel like pooh. Everyone treats me like pooh. You know there’s a saying. If at first you don’t succeed, try again, and again, and again. Then stop trying and run because it’s never going to work.”

“Ok two comments,” Bakerman snaps at me. “One. Your mother is not too old. Stop putting your issues on her. It’s her choice if she wants to entertain your cousins. Two.  if at first you don’t succeed don’t try again. Find a better way until you find a way that works.”

“Hmmmm,” I shrug half-hearted.

“Yes indeed,” Bakerman insists sternly.

“I never get it right though, do I?” I look at him in pure desperation. “Very frustrating.”

My home is my safe haven. This is where I unwind, recharge and dream in the warm comfort and safety of my house. This allows me to better face the challenges life continuously throws my way. I am equally aware how my thoughts and stories influence the little people, and others, who share my space with me. Regardless of what I lived through in the past, it is important to make an effort to create the peace I desire in my own sacred space. In a way that supports everyone.

Communicating and listening with respect to my friends and loved ones, allows me to take out the garbage of my inner space and keep my place clean and enjoyable. Meditation and yoga help me to accomplish clear energy.

The bottom line is to remember to clean up our energies, our thoughts and our habits to bring home peace and love to benefit both ourselves and everyone around us.

Advertisements

The coins you’ll never forget #fystatements

I had a fantastic evening laughing and chatting with the Dormouse. The Wizard had slept almost all the way through our funny interlude. He only awoke at the end to tell me to pay off the Old-Woman-who-lived-in-a-Shoe. He told me to be sure to do this with disdain.

“Good morning,” I smile at my friend. “Buenos dias Doc Oz. Okay I’ll do that. How can I do it with disdain? Do I just think it?” I ask him puzzled. “What worries me most is what is next? I’m scared she will sue me to see Willem next. She has never shown any interest in the little fellow so you can’t tell me she’ll treat him right. My guess is she didn’t like something on my blog recently and needs to retaliate. Pester me for a reaction. Sad old woman.”

“How much do you owe her?” the Wizard wants to know.

“She says 2.769 Euros but I have noted down 2.500 Euros with all other payments I made,” I confess.

“If you can afford to pay her, do so in fifty cent pieces or ten cent pieces,” the Wizard says with a keen twinkle in his eyes. Mischief is brewing, I can sense it.

“In cash? Really?” I cry out in amazement. “Wim was going to transfer the money to me and I will transfer it this weekend. In cash is better? What about 5 Euro notes? Or 10 Euro notes?”

“Yes. One cent would be best but can be heavy to carry and off load,” the Wizard continues developing his devilish plan. “You tape her when you bring it in case she wants to reject your payment. She must count it in front of you and give you a signed receipt.”

“Seriously?” I can hardly keep my poise. Haven’t had so much fun in a long time. “Okay… So I record her. That’s what I don’t agree with.” I remember giving the White Queen quite a hard time for recording one of our last conversations.

“Well if you don’t want to be unconvinced do a telex transfer,” the Wizard rolls his eyes at me. “That way you have a paper trail. If you want to make it inconvenient for her do it in coins.”

“I openly film her?” I am in utter amazement at the genius behind this plan. “I will think about it. Love the idea.”

“What if she says take it back? I don’t want cash? What will you do?” the Wizard pushes me to think further. Consider the consequences.

“Yes what will I do?” I stop in stupor.

“Do you need a script?” the Wizard asks me annoyed.

“Yes,” I sigh as I fumble with my rings. “Unfortunately I do.”

“Really?” the Wizard’s eyes are popping and he is at a loss with my hopelessness.

“Really,” I insist. “What do I do if she doesn’t want the cash?”

“If she rejects cash you state she doesn’t want you to pay her back at all,” the Wizard smiles a full grin at me.

“Ok,” I confirm I see where he is getting at.

“If she does then she must take the cash coins,” the Wizard states with false modesty.

“Cash coins,” I repeat as my eyes light up and mischief dances through my mind.

“It’s either or,” the Wizard points out there is no in between.

“I still prefer the notes,” I play out the scenario in my mind. “Thanks. You’re brill as usual.”

“Do as you like,” the Wizard sighs.

“Absolute genius,” I confirm ignoring his changing mood.

“Notes means nothing,” the Wizard won’t let it go. He wants me to see the big picture.

“Do you think she will come after Willem?” I ask him anxiously. “Why do notes mean nothing?”

“No inconvenience to count or bank,” the Wizard tells me. “But coins out of the bank wrapping is a major pain in the butt. You just unwrap them and put them in a plastic bag. 2.500 in notes fits in your pocket. Coins is a big fuck you statement.”

“It is a big fuck you statement indeed,” I think rather pleased as that exactly matches the message I want to convey. “You are brilliant. How do you think up things like these?”

“I am sure you could too if you try,” the Wizard for some reason still believes I am no idiot.

“The old hag could think something like this,” I tell him. “Nothing quite as brilliant as this. But equally good. I am useless. I am really too nice and too good.”

“You need to decide what your aim is,” the Wizard winks at me. This means the real clue is coming. “Instead of being PC and emotional about her wanting to see and influence William.”

“PC?” I question him.

“Politically correct,” the Wizard replies. He has told me over and over the past couple of years that I need to ditch being politically correct. It doesn’t serve me.

“I want to keep her away from Willem,” I say resolutely.

“Why?” the Wizard wants to know.

“Because she is nasty?” my voice is nearing a sarcastic tone again.

“Winston and Lilly are still alive,” the Wizard throws back at me.

“Especially with little children,” I emphasize. “Winston and Lilly have a daddy.”

“Really. So what?” the Wizard retorts.

“The old hag is scared of David, and she wants to please men,” I go on explaining how different the Old-Woman-who-lives-in-a-Shoe reacts to men opposed to women. “She will hurt him to hurt me.”

“So Wim can play that roll,” the Wizard raises an eyebrow.

“She was nasty to me as a baby and as a little girl,” I tell him part of the story he already knows. “She would shake me and slap my face, hit me silly, also with sticks.”

“You still grew up just the same,” the Wizard says kindly.

“Yes and look at me,” I am using my sarcastic voice again. It annoys me.

“I think those days have past,” the Wizard gazes off into the distance for a moment.

“Oh ok. So not worry about her taking me to court?” I ask in utter disbelief. “If she wants the baby she can have him. Why do you think those days have passed?”

“You have to learn how to overcome the difficulties you face,” the Wizard coaches me. “Not run away from them.”

“Ok,” I take a deep breath. “So just give her the baby.”

“Wow the first thing you need is to suppress the bitch that lurks just under the surface,” the Wizard signals me not to jump the gun so fast. “No stop trying so hard to convince me you are brain dead. There are many solutions. I am talking about you not William or the Old-Woman-who-lives-in-a-Shoe. Most of your battles are because you don’t have a strategy, a clear picture of what is going on, how to deal with it for the good of all parties. You behave like a narcissist sometimes.”

“Oh shit. That’s bad,” I exclaim. I can’t believe I am turning into my worst nightmare myself. “But it’s true. I don’t know how to deal with things, or what’s going on, or how to win-win.”

“The Old-Woman-who-lives-in-a-Shoe is your mother,” the Wizard points out the obvious. “You know her and how she reacts. Pay her off so she has nothing left to talk about. Then just ignore her.”

“Ok,” I sigh again.

“You need to try other methods to see which one works best,” the Wizard lectures me. “The key is to stop being right and to look for ways that work for you that will bring you success. Once you find that just repeat it over and over.”

I smile as I find his words comforting and healing.

“She can Skype with the kids, see them some tea for an afternoon,” the Wizard continues to spell it all out. “Not more than 3 to 4 hours as she will loose interest after that.”

“She’s not interested in the kids. She never asks to see them,” I say with open disgust. “I always say yes when she asks. Last weekend when it was her court ordered Saturday she refused to see the kids because I had the flu. The only thing that interests her is pestering people.” I take a deep breath and decide to solve the issue at hand: “Should I give her the coins with or without the kids?”

“Without,” the Wizard replies without batting an eyelid.

“Ok,” I have heard him loud and clear. “So you think it’s going to be messy.”

“Yes,” the Wizard nods.

“Oh,” I sigh again. “I hate scenes with the old hag. She’s nasty.”

“My true advice is just transfer the money and let things work out,” the Wizard looks at me with a broad smile and he pats my forearm gently at the same time. His touch is warm and very soothing.

“Okay I will,” I smile relieved. “The idea was brilliant though. Just transfer then ignore.”

“If you want to fight then give her coins,” the Wizard points out that the alternative is still an option.

“Phew I really like that,” I smile as I feel light and warm, as if a heavy burden is being lifted off my shoulders.

“Yes just transfer and ignore or cut it down to a minimum,” the Wizard gives my arm another rub and a pat just to be sure I received all kind energy.

“No I’ve had enough,” I say as I jump to my feet and stand tall. “That’s her life. Her way of doing things. Pestering people and fighting. I just want peace. Little house on the prairie.” I stretch out my back and my arms taking on a few power poses I have learned in yoga class. “Okay I can do that. Thank you very much.”

“Ok,” the Wizard blows me a kiss as he floats loftily towards the door.

* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.

Life, I am doing it!

Dorothy and I have just finished an hour’s worth of pure bliss yoga at my favourite yoga studio, Pura Vida Yoga. As the night air is getting rather chilly, we decide not to stick around for post-yoga tea, but head off back to the car. More naughty smokes. Smile.

“Oh my, that was really good!” Dorothy is enthusiastic. “I can feel my thighs burning.”

“Yes wasn’t that delicious?” I join in. “A thorough workout using all your muscles, yet all with just soft flowing movements. No sweating over aerobics or hard workouts.”

“Agree, my body likes soft things too.” Dorothy confirms.

“Did you feel the abundance wave?” I ask her.

“I sure did. You were right. The energy is really strong in that place.” Dorothy muses. “I kept my goals in mind all throughout the workout.”

“Good girl. Mark my words, good things are going to happen.” I smile at Dorothy and she returns the gesture.

“Darling, you’re really looking good.” Dorothy remarks. “It’s the yoga. I can swear you’re glowing and you look just… oh I don’t know. You look different. More relaxed. Maybe even slightly younger.”

“Okay, I’ve got another secret.” I start admitting. “I’ve done something.”

“Oh another secret?” Dorothy looks at me with popping eyes. “Something else than the slinky drink coffee?”

“Yup, indeed.” I nod.

“Well come on, spill the beans!” Dorothy cries impatiently.

I pull the car over to the side of the road and turn myself towards her. “Look at me.” I tell her and I fix her gaze.

“I’m looking.” Dorothy says puzzled.

“What do you see?” I ask her.

“I see you. And you’re beautiful.” Dorothy answers sweetly. “Your hair is blonder than usual. You have a Marilyn Monroe element.”

“Oh thank you, dear.” I reply. “But don’t you notice anything else?”

“You look great.” Dorothy is looking at me more intently now. “You look very present, very aware. Oh you’re doing more courses or meditations with Deepak Chopra?”

“That too.” I concede. “But there’s more. You really don’t see it?”

“Oh come on, put me out of my misery.” Dorothy wails. “Just tell me! Whatever it is, I want to do it as well!”

“I’ve done it!” I blurt out. “I’ve had botox done at my dermatologist.”

“You haven’t!” Dorothy looks at me incredulously. “Oh my, it looks really good. It really works. Look at that! That deep line between your eyebrows, it’s gone! Those deep lines around your eyes, they’re gone!”

I just nod at her in agreement.

“I mean, you looked good before, darling.” Dorothy sounds amazed. “But this is truly wonderful. You do look a lot better. A lot younger. And it looks like you’re glowing it out too. Has impacted your self-confidence. Did you have the lip filler too?”

“No I didn’t. Not the lip filler. Not this time. Maybe next time when I go for another round of botox.” I tell her.

“Why didn’t you do the lip filler?” Dorothy wants to know.

“The price darling. It was too expensive.” I admit. “So I decided I would just start with the botox and see which effect this would have on me and all areas of my life.”

“How much did this set you back, if I may ask?” Dorothy inquires.

“It was really expensive.” I tell her quietly. “Three hundred euro. But well worth every penny. I mean, I’ve been bothered about those laughter lines ever since I was a teenager. And I always promised myself I would have something done about it when I turned forty. Well I’m forty-one now, and it’s time I start doing the things I’ve always wanted to.”

Dorothy looks at me in utter admiration.

“This is my life and I want to live it!” I tell her, more for myself than for her benefit.

“You’re so right darling.” Dorothy encourages me. “Do whatever makes you happy. And if you can do these things, if you have the financial capacity, then yes, absolutely go for it!”

“It was when I saw how good Peter looked with his botox and lip filler that I finally decided I would go for it.” I tell her. “Peter looks great. People estimate him at least ten years younger than he is. I want that too.”

“And you deserve it!” Dorothy continues. “You work hard. You deserve to look good and feel great.”

“What did your boyfriend say?” Dorothy asks me gently.

“Oh he is all for it!” I recount. “He said if that helps me feel better about myself, then yes, I should definitely go for it. Plus he said the results are absolutely amazing.”

“Well he’s so right!” Dorothy chirps.

“And I’ve done something else too…” I go on.

“There’s more?” Dorothy is wriggling in her seat. “What else have you been up to?”

“I’ll tell you in a minute. Let’s get home first and hop in the shower. Need to relax these sore muscles with some hot water.” I am stalling the conversation.

“Darling, will you tell me where you went for your botox? I might just go see your doctor too…” Dorothy trails off.

“Sure. He’s gay though, mind you.” I caution her.

“Peter is gay too. So what?” Dorothy remarks.

“He said I shouldn’t listen to the protests of other people. Remember, most of my other girlfriends were horrified when I told them I wanted botox.” I remind her. “My doctor just said they were jealous. Because I would be looking so much more sexier.”

“You’re hot babe!” Dorothy beams. “Now tell me what other naughty stuff you’ve been up to.”

“Shower first.” I tell her.

Giggles. Laughter. Hot shower. Good times.

 

What do you think? Maybe I shouldn’t tell people the secret to my new rejuvenated look. Or should I? Let me know in the comments below.

Yoga and the abundance wave

Dorothy happened to appear at my door just as I was about to serve dinner. I found it easy to share three plates of food into four. Happiness and chatter around the table.

“So what got your head spinning, Dorothy dear?” I inquire as I am seeing that my kids are seated properly.

“I need a new job.” Dorothy blurts out.

“Oh you do?” I ask her. “On top of your day job and your nail business?”

“Yes, I have expenses to cover, you know.” Dorothy tells me solemnly. “I still have some liabilities from my previous business.”

“Okay, I can totally understand that.” I look at her gravely. “How much extra would you need per month?”

“Oh I don’t know…” Dorothy baffles.

“Come on, this is a starting point.” I egg her on. “How much do you need extra to cover you over each month?”

“About six hundred euro.” Dorothy thinks out loud.

“Okay, well that’s feasible.” I nod at her, while I direct my kids to eat all their pumpkin too. Vegetables are important. “The problem you’ll have though in finding another job on top of your day job, is that your day job has flexible hours. Each week you have a different roster. I don’t know many employers who are going to want to accommodate for that.”

“I know, I know. What am I going to do?” Dorothy looks upset.

“You’re going to let it go for now, that’s what.” I say to her cheerily. “The babysitter will be here shortly. We’re going to go off to yoga class and you’re going to let the answers come to you.”

“Does that work for you?” Dorothy looks at me intrigued.

“It sure does. I love my yoga practise. There is a strong abundance wave there, you’ll see.” I tell her conspiratorially. “I always focus on my goals, my desires. Yoga helps me quieten my mind and find my inner focus.”

“For real?” Dorothy is looking at me intrigued, her eyes almost popping.

“Yes really, it works for me. I call it my abundance wave.” I confide in her. “When I’m practising my yoga, the ideas come to me of how I can reach my goals, which steps I need to take to bring me closer to my dreams.”

“Oh I hope it works for me too.” Dorothy is getting excited now about the yoga.

“Look, just go there with an open mind and a free heart.” I encourage her. “When you get there, surrender to the abundance wave. Look around you and tell yourself ‘yes, I want this too’.”

“What if nobody likes me?” Dorothy looks afraid again. “You know, what if the women are all snobby and give me haughty looks?”

“Ah, that happens to everyone you know.” I re-assure her again. “What I do then is to just flash them with a big smile. Show them my pearly whites.”

“Yes, kill them with kindness…” Dorothy murmurs.

“That’s right darling.” I go on. “I always say that you should never be caught unawares.”

“What do you mean?” Dorothy wants to know.

“Well when I was in secondary school, we read this story for French class.” I explain. “It was called ‘le châle de Madame Dudon’. I will always remember that story, because it illustrated clearly that Madame Dudon didn’t manage to negotiate her position because she felt inferior due to the shabby, brown winter scarf she was wearing.”

“Appearances are everything. You taught me that.” Dorothy has that stary look in her eyes.

“But this is more than appearances.” I confide in her. “It’s about how you feel about yourself. Your self-confidence, your self-esteem. Never let anyone put you down or make you feel like a lesser person. Hence the advice: before leaving your home, always check yourself. Are you dressed appropriately for your meeting? Do you have all the information you need? Have you checked the details of where you’re going and who will be there? That kind of stuff.”

“A bit like choosing the right heels each morning.” Dorothy ponders.

“Yes, I guess so.” I wink at her.

The doorbell rings to announce the arrival of the babysitter. I wave a joyful goodbye to my children and skip to the car. It’s such a wonderful feeling to have two hours of blissful, qualitative me-time. Just a few times every week. It makes me a better person and allows me to be the wonderful mother I aim to be every day.

“Shall we have a naughty smoke in the car?” Dorothy looks mischievous.

“Oh go on then, just the one won’t hurt.” I say as I roll down all the windows and accept the cigarette Dorothy hands to me. “This is pretty bad, smoking up just before going to yoga.”

“I’m going to need another packet.” Dorothy informs me. “Can you stop in the village at the night shop?”

I stop my car outside the night shop and wait for Dorothy to come back from her errand. She appears again after a few minutes looking slightly disgruntled.

“What’s up? Did the guy try to smooth talk you again?” I tease her.

“What a cheeky bastard!” Dorothy cries out. “Do you know what he said to me? ‘Are you pregnant?’ I mean, do I look pregnant?”

“Oh my goodness, no way! He never!” I blurt out, half laughing. “What did you say?”

“I did what you said, I just laughed at him and said ‘do I look pregnant?’ and then he was lost for words. Stupid bloke!” Dorothy’s mood is picking up again.

“Good girl!” I clap my hands.

We finally arrive outside our yoga class. The weather is beautiful, a wonderful summer evening. It will be yoga outside on the wooden garden terrace. I just love yoga outside in nature. Right in the middle of the green abundance all around. I love looking up at the trees whilst in savasana, and listening to the birds and the sound of the leaves bristling in the breeze. For me, yoga is about staying true to who you really are. It’s about moving your boundaries, nothing stopping me from manifesting whatever is good for me and those I love. I hope Dorothy uncovers her heart’s desire and hops on the abundance wave with me.

 

What do you think? Which activities allow you to release and turn inwards to find your answers? Let me know in the comments below.

How my mother reacted to my skin cancer

As the first sun rays of spring start inducing feelings of frivolity amongst my peers, it’s a time of extreme caution for me. I am a skin cancer survivor. I had a malignant melanoma and I fought the little bugger. For me, those first bursts of sunlight mean stocking up on sun cream, applying it religiously morning, midday and afternoon to my entire body. I’m blonde and no way am I going to get sun-napped.

I will always remember the day that I found out I had skin cancer. It was a beautiful day in spring and I was spending the week with my now ex-husband and our two littles at the seaside. Everything was going suboptimally perfect (remember, I am divorced for a reason) when my doctor called me on the phone with the bad news. Distraught, I reacted the way you shouldn’t react in these situations : I went and got drunk on mojitos all by myself in some cute little bar down by the beach. Yes I know, not proud.

So sitting there sipping my third mojito and already feeling quite light headed, I decided I needed some compassion.

 

“Why didn’t you call me?” Dorothy looks at me inquisitively.

“Because, darling…” I trail off. “I was quite distraught that day. Besides, I do believe I sent you a text message. Anyway, I called my mom.”

“You were looking for some compassion from your mom? Did you get it?” Dorothy knows all to well what the answer is to this question.

“No of course not. Are you surprised? She told me to call my Aunty in England.”

“Well as usual, she didn’t have a clue. Not much support to be expected from your mom. Nothing has changed much between then and now, has it?” Dorothy ponders.

“No in fact that’s right. Before I just pretended to be part of a close family and accepted that that meant to just shut up and be left to your own devices. Now I’ve made a stand and said I’m not interested in this deal. It stinks.”

“Yes, your mom burps way too much.” Dorothy adds. I ignore her. Where is that coming from?

“Funny thing was, next time I saw my mom, instead of her being concerned about my health or the possibility of losing her daughter, no… She pulled out my brother Billy-Bob and demanded I tell him to go see the doctor too. Just in case he had skin cancer. He’s blonde too you know.”

“She didn’t!” Dorothy cries incredulously.

“She did. I tells ya.” And I nod to her.

“Good riddance, darling. You don’t need that kind of crap when you’re dealing with life threatening stuff. Or otherwise.” Dorothy puts a comforting hand on my shoulder.

 

Now you all know me way too well to believe I would ever let any chapter of my life turn into a sob story. It didn’t. I didn’t let it. What I learned from this experience was to be self-reliant. It is great to have a support group around you. We all need to have cheerleaders at some parts along the journey. But at the end of the day, it’s all up to one person : how I manage to take care of me. The rest will follow.

I learned how to heal my body and reclaim my life

This didn’t happen over night. It took me a good five years to get my head around what works and what doesn’t. And the ingredients are really just plain common sense. It all boils down to one essential notion : taking self-care seriously.

  • Spirituality : I love to meditate. These moments are sacred in being at peace with myself and taking stock of everything that is happening in the busy chatter of my mind.
  • Nature : Going out for walks along the river, in the woods or down by the beach. Preferably with my kids. Inhaling the fresh air and letting go of stress.
  • Cooking : Stay away from processed foods. Buy fresh vegetables. Eat at least two pieces of fruit per day.
  • Children : Spend time with your children. Play with them.
  • Have fun : joy is utterly contagious and having fun must be taken very seriously.
  • Sport : I love yoga. Exercise is non-negotiable.
  • Sleep : Make sure you get your beauty sleep every night.

In fact, enjoying life to the fullest and taking care of yourself are paramount in a healthy lifestyle. Too often we forget we should be connecting with others, excelling at work and fulfilling your deepest desires. Take time to recharge your batteries. The simple things in life are all that you need.

So all in all, I am very grateful. Grateful that my mother did indeed rebuke me at that crucial moment in time, as it catapulted me into exploring new and creative ways to live my life better. I am so grateful and I love my mother very much, for she is the driving force behind my every action to be a healthy person. Life is wonderful.

 

What do you think ? What is zapping your energy, and which recipes for a healthy lifestyle work for you ? Let me know in the comments below.

Some selfish me-time

Darlings, I have so many confessions to make here. I’m selfish, especially when it comes to me-time. Every week I set aside a few hours just for me. I mainly use this much deserved time to go do yoga and meditation. And you know what, this keeps me sane.

I’ll admit there have been days when my kids have seen me running up the corridor in my house, screaming. Yes, you read that right. I have done that. Like any mom out there. It all got too much for me. There were kids crying. And kids demanding. And kids dropping things and making a mess. And then there was mama who was trying to cook a meal, empty the dishwasher ànd the washing machine, and send a few funny text messages, all at the same time. As I’ve said before : multi-tasking doesn’t work and super woman doesn’t exist.

That’s when I felt it. I felt an adult size tantrum coming on. It started somewhere in my belly and it blew up quickly all over my body and into my head. At that exact moment, you do have a choice. You do, dears. Please don’t start making poor excuses for yourself, or even worse, for the entire feminine race. No I won’t have it. Us women, we are in control of our emotions. Yes we are.

Just a little parenthesis here as Dorothy’s mom always claimed that women are such emotional beings and we cannot help but become hysteric at times. It’s part of our delicate condition as irrational beings. BS darlings. Honestly, big stinky BS. Dorothy’s mom is a lier. I can prove that too with hard facts : she burps too often. 

So where were we ? Ah yes, it’s the moment when you feel it is all too much. The moment you know something has to shift. And it normally does. This is the moment where you first carefully put the baby in his play pen so that he is safe. Then and only then can you give into a little rant, a bit of childish running around and screaming. Oh yes, it feels so good. And swing your arms around. Punch a pillow. Kick a ball. Stamp your feet in the grass. Yes, let it all out.

And afterwards ?

You come back into your core. I generally take some time to first tidy myself up. It helps me regain my self-image. I’ll also make a point of talking to my children. I’ll tell them something along the lines that it was all a bit too much for mama. That mama was trying to do too much and setting her expectations of herself far too high. I will also re-affirm each time how much mama loves her babies and that they are not to blame for mama blowing her whistle. These things happen, although they really shouldn’t. And if everybody helps a little, if everyone is just a little bit kinder and a little more thoughtful, then we can avoid these embarrassing moments of running down the corridor screaming.

Your support network

“What’s up, are you okay?” Dorothy has arrived at my door and puts a hand on my shoulder in a comforting manner.

“Oh yes, I’m fine now. I just had one of those moments where everything was overwhelming. You know what I mean.” And I look at her compassionately. “It’s really not okay though. I hate it when I shout when the kids are around.”

“I know, dear, I know.” Dorothy’s words are soothing. “Which is why I rushed over to see you.”

“What are you like, some kind of psychic?” I ask her inquisitively. It just occurred to me that I hadn’t asked her for help, but she just seemed to turn up kind of magically at the right moment.

“You sent me a text message which I didn’t quite understand.” Dorothy informs me with an avoiding look.

“I did ? What did I write ?” I ask her curiously.

“Oh I’m not going to repeat that in front of the kiddos, but I believe it was meant for your man. It’s really quite an intriguing message. Maybe you’ll tell me more about these jade eggs ?” Dorothy knows it’s not quite the moment to bring this up.

“We’re eating eggs tonight?” My eldest babe pipes up. Big ears, I tell you.

So you see peeps, this all goes to vie for several pearls of wisdom I have shared with you before :

  • Multi-tasking is for idiots. If you attempt it, you’ll end up doing nothing right. If you’re with your kids, you’re 100% with your kids. Not a little bit here and a little bit there.
  • When mama’s happy, then everyone thrives.

Therefore it is important to know your priorities. You can easily set aside just a couple of hours of quality me-time. I reserve two evenings per week for yoga sessions. And I aim to meditate at least twice a week. These simple practices allow me to replenish myself. To make sure I am continuously the best possible version of myself.

“Forget about those jade eggs, darling!” Dorothy is all bright eyed. “I think I know what you need…”

 

What do you think ? How much me-time to you allow yourself each week ? Let me know in the comments below.

The magical occasion when mom relaxes

Celebrate the magic

As a single mom of 3, I find my power by getting out in nature. Getting myself that nice dose of oxygen is so vital to feeling on top of my game. Add to that some undisrupted “earthing” and I’m truly a happy mommy. I need some quality me-time to recharge my batteries and nature offers me respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Children are precious and being a mom should be celebrated.

Our children are the next generation. The continuation of the species. They are therefore an important aspect valued by our society. So valuable we invest much of our time, money and efforts in raising good and healthy kids. Yet life is not only about the children. There is more to the ultimate meaning of life and your purpose in this existence.

Sacred men and women throughout history have understood the power of nature, using the wilderness (whether forest, beach, or desert) to cultivate an inner spirituality that in turn makes a meaningful impact on the lives of the people around you. It’s in the wilderness, stripped from distractions, that you face yourself and your circumstances in one of the rawest and most vulnerable ways you’ll ever experience. And it’s well worth it.

Moments to relax, harmonize and balance.

Pause for a minute (actually stop reading this article) and think about the last time you incorporated a practice solely for the sake of your spiritual life. You probably can’t remember, now can you ?

Funny isn’t it, how we women tend to undervalue our quality me-time, our reconnection with our inner core. Nurturing your spirituality is in stark contrast to the things our society seems to value. Nevertheless, I recommend you tend to your soul daily, even be it just for a few minutes here and there of mindful awareness of the self. Like power-napping, you can take out a few minutes during your busy day to catch up with yourself. You don’t have to wait for a magical occasion to take care of yourself. Instead I believe in everyday magic. To make many micro moments into a meaningful refills of energy.

Even for those who are career-driven or business-minded, taking a few minutes out behind your desk to power-meditate, is believed to infuse the surrounding area with positive energy.

It’s not always about the kids

Ladies (and gents), it is time you blocked out time in your schedule for yourself. This time won’t create itself; you will need to make it a priority. Unlike physical health, which often takes precedence with exercise and healthy eating, spiritual well-being is a little more elusive and can be put on the back-burner.

Soothing seasonal occupations :

  • Cooking a delicious meal using ayurvedic spices for a balanced, flavourful diet.
  • Relax, cool and harmonize body, mind and spirit with organic herbal teas.
  • Get out pottering around your garden. Plant seeds for the future.

By being a relaxed mom, you are helping preserve healthy habits for generations to come.

Breathe a sigh of relief and get ahead of your day.

Put your spiritual health at the top of your list and spend some time in nature this spring or summer. Retreats are a great way to fill your cup and come back to yourself, especially those where you get to spend time outside in nature.

Where will you go on your next adventure?

This August, I am heading to YogaLand for a 3 Day Signature Meditation and Yoga Retreat. If you’re looking to get away from it all — to slow down, reflect, re-energize, and create a foundation for cultivating purpose in your life — join me and my kiddos in Torhout (Belgium).

The benefits of engaging in this type of retreat are vast. From clarity to purpose, you will walk away feeling refreshed and with a renewed sense of who you are.

— Tremeloo, Belgium (May 2017)