You gotta love yourself!

Last Friday and Saturday I attended the AusMumpreneur conference in Sydney for mums in business. I got a huge amount of information and inspiration from the conference, but I think the biggest thing that I took away from it was the reminder that I must look after me. I rediscovered my inner goddess and when I got home I nurtured the bejezus out of her. My poor neglected inner goddess. Far from being nurtured over the past couple of years, she’s been shifted off to the corner and doused in boy germs. I’m the only female in my family of 6. It happened without me even realising it.

Like many women do, I’ve been putting myself last.

I’ve been having big trouble deciding which session was my favourite, they all gave me something unique and valuable but there was one moment that really spoke to me. I watched Kim Morrison (author & owner of the Twenty8 Aromatherapy range) enact her body boost ritual. Kim has a cute little bowl in which she puts a lovely organic carrier oil, a few drops of her favourite essential blend & 4 squirts of magensium oil spray. She then proceeded to show us how she rubs this concoction all over her body while telling each body part how much she loves it. It went something along the lines of “Oh leggy leggy leg, you’re so strong, I love you”. “Oh lovely healthy tummy, I love you”. “Oh boobs… you’re so nice and perky, I love you”.  She swears she’s done this EVERY day for the last 20 years.

I realised that the most loving thing I do for my body is brush my teeth… I decided then and there that I need to show my body some real proper love.  I had to buy Kim’s book, Like Chocolate for Women. And when I got home, I had to show me some love.

And here’s what I did.

I waited until the munchikins were tucked up in bed then I ran a bath. I got a candle, I dumped a stack of ginger and chamomile tincture in the bath, I put some classical music on, I found a ginger beer in the back of the fridge (the only alcohol I could find), I got a cute little glass bowl and put some ground coffee, lemon juice and olive oil in it. I got some jojoba oil, an essential oil blend & my new Twenty8 magnesium oil spray ready next to another cute little bowl.

As I was looking for the fluffiest towel in the house, my 12 year old got out of bed and informed me he needed to go to the toilet. I asked him to turn the bath off for me and continued my search for a fluffy towel which I had to extend to the clothesline. By the time I’d given up trying to find a fluffy towel and settled for a manky towel, I went back to my bath to find Mr 12 still locked in the bathroom. Despair set in as I realised he was stinking up my sanctuary then delight replaced it when I realised I was about to have my first bath alone since before Lachie came along, over a year and a half ago. The candle would take care of boy stink.

I massaged my face with the coffee, lemon juice & olive oil concoction, I washed my hair, I soak and chilled. I skulled my ginger beer and wished I had another. I got out, body brushed with my manky towel  and did Kim’s body boost ritual. I felt great.

I got to have a bit of  a read of Like Chocolate for Women yesterday. It is as it claims to be- A celebration of womenhood and the ultimate self care handbook packed with hundreds of tips and ideas to help all women live the life they want, reminding them that self-care is not selfish – it’s essential! There’s a heavy lean on aromatherapy but a whole lot more to offer too. I got a signed copy for both myself AND for a blog reader.

Leave me a comment below telling me how you show yourself love. Do you have any rituals? When was the last time you nurtured your inner goddess?

I’ll choose the winner right before my next Sunday soak. Somewhere around 9pm on Sunday September 16.

Help a Heart

A few days ago I sent out an email to my mailing list informing them that I will soon be offering my services as a naturopath to support mothers through pregnancy, birth preparation and the post-natal months. I was busy celebrating my baby’s first birthday and feeling my heart swell with love and gratitude for my family when I received a response to this email from a lovely lady called Rosie telling me of a mum that needs some support. Upon further investigation and several back and forths with Rosie, I found myself compelled to help as best as I possibly could.

Rosie has been trying to help out a family during a very difficult time. She has made up a flyer and is distributing it on her own. Rosie has only just gotten her first computer and has no social media connections and is unaware of how powerful social media can be in lifting people up and supporting them through times such as these.

I want to show Jane, the mum that Rosie is helping that she is not alone.

I  have had 2 children in and out of hospital for every couple of months for nearly 2 years. Every time we ended up in hospital, I felt so lucky that I was only going to be there for a week at the most. I knew that my children would have surgery and come home and be OK. I had the support of a loving partner and a dear friend and still I found it a terrifying ordeal.  I know that many mothers know the pain and stress of having a child chronically ill and in hospital. I know that there are many people out there that can empathise with this situation and if they knew about it, would like to help.

Please read the flyer below that Rosie has put together. Read Jasmine’s story.

If you feel moved to do so, here are some things that you can do to Help a Heart and support a mum.

  1. Make a small donation-  Anything, no matter how small will be appreciated. I’m not going to bother with a paypal widget because I want all funds raised going straight to the mother that needs it rather than paypal getting a cut. You’ll find donation details on the flyer below.
  2. Help me spread the word. If you have a blog, please consider blogging about this as I have.  Tweet about this or post about it on facebook. For anyone more social media savvy than me- I welcome help, suggestions and advice on how to spread the word.
  3. Leave a comment of support below. I’ll compile them and send them in card to Jasmine’s mum while they are in hospital. There is huge power in just knowing that people care and if that’s all that comes out of me writing this post, then I’ll consider it time well spent.

Birthaversary Reflections

WARNING- This is a bit of a soppy self indulgent post. Today is my baby’s first birthday. It’s my party, I can sniff if I want to 😉 
You can read about Lachie’s birth here.

This time last year, I was doing my best to sleep with excited anticipation knowing full well that I’d wake up some time during the night in active labour. I didn’t know how beautifully gentle it would turn out to be. I expected it to be fast and furious like my third birth. I had the intention right from the beginning of this pregnancy that this was to be a healing experience for me and the very gentlest welcome possible for my baby. It was. It was perfect.  I really want women to know that drug free, intervention free, gentle births can happen in hospital as well as at home. They do and can happen, but that’s a whole other blog post for another day.

I tweeted throughout this birth. I had read a lot differing opinions about twitter births in the month leading up to Lachie’s birth day. Most of them were negative. The biggest concerns were that it should be a private experience and that both mum and dad should be focusing on the labour. As usual, I did away with other peoples shoulds and found that it was still a very private and intimate experience for my husband and I. We were alone for most of the labour and hubs was very definitely there for me when I needed him. Twitter was a nice distraction at times.

My experience of twitter birthing was wonderful. I would do it again in a heartbeat if I was to ever have another baby ( I won’t, but if I did…) I felt so much support, I could feel so many people from all over the world holding me in their thoughts. There’s power in that. Those tweets from people offering kind words, positive thoughts, gentle birthing vibes and even cheering me on were truly uplifting. Plus… it gave my husband something to do while he was feeling like there was nothing he could do.  I’ve loved having my husband with me while birthing each time and this time, it was so relaxed that we had some fun together. Lightened the situation a little. I think that laughter during childbirth is just as good a medicine as it is at other times in life. Not during contractions though. Husbands need to shut up during contractions.

I wish I could bottle the feelings I had following the birth of this little guy. That feeling of absolute bliss. That sense of achievement and super hero like empowerment I had. I remember looking in the mirror after birthing and thinking that I looked beautiful, I think I even told myself I looked beautiful. I’ve never, ever thought that about myself before. Ever. Clearly, I was completely off my face on oxytocin and happy birthing and bonding hormones.

I don’t know where the time’s gone. I’ve said that before and I know it’s such a cliche, but this year… seriously, that can’t have been once around the sun. I’m sure I’ve missed half a year somewhere.

This itty baby I had a year ago is now an amazing individual who toddles around the house, delightfully enjoying the company of whoever he can find. He’s so affectionate. He presses his face to my lips when he wants a kiss and has just learnt how to give baby kisses himself.  He hunts me down in the night like a little heat seeking missle and tucks himself under my arm to sleep. He’s so full of joy and determination and love. So much love. I really am blessed beyond belief to have this blossoming bonus baby.