Happy International Women’s Day to you and all our sisters around the world!
At this time each year I like to reflect on how I have changed and what I am doing now, as a woman. To me being a woman is a great privilege but it also has unique challenges.
I believe that my job as a white, western, highly educated woman is to help others – and I have devoted my life to that, but sometimes things do swing a little too far.
This is what I have learnt this past year as a woman:
- As much as I love it – I am not just a mum. I love to dream my own dreams and be crazy, silly and free – take retreats, dance, go inwards and not talk to anyone for hours, sometimes days at a time. I need this: to not just be a mum, in order to be, a great mum!
- I am only as strong as the hours I have each day. My workaholic nature and drive to save the world has left me high and dry this past year. Added to being in my forties I have hit a slowdown period which has resulted in wake up calls for me and my body – and how I spend the hours of each day. A four-day working week is all I’ve got!
- Meditation and Yoga are still the most important practices in my life. They provide a clarity and connection to all I truly am and give me a deep sense of empowerment I have not found anywhere else. I get to yin classes every week at Dharma Shala to stay sane, and I keep up my Vedic Meditation twice a day.
- Mental clarity and visioning with intention is critical to moving towards where I want to be. Life is hard – it has highs but also big lows – which I see as wake up calls for us to engage and interact with the world in a new way. Our beliefs need to be re-assessed continually. Self-reflection and support along with mediation is the greatest tool I know for seeing, owning and breaking through any old patterns that are blocking my joy of life. And joy is so important to experience every day!
- We need teachers and we need to honour them for all they give us. I have numerous teachers, guides and mentors that I go to regularly in order to help me move forward and understand my life and the Nature of the world. I thank god for them after every conversation and I bow to them with gratitude. This feeling of humility towards my teachers gives me a humility in life and an opportunity for deep gratitude. I believe it is key to learning and transformation also.
- Parenting is not just about love and play, it is also about boundaries and communication. This is still a work in progress for me, as my teenager starts to test the limits within himself and what is good for our household and the world. As Steven Biddulph says: If you don’t get it right the first time, between 2-5yrs old, you get another opportunity to set boundaries and build their EQ, just this time round it is with a lot more cash and car keys!
- I do not control anything. Making plans is hard when you run a new type of business and the reality is that things don’t always work out as we hope or project, and we have to roll with it. The best way to roll with it is to stay centred, calm and grounded and adapt as quickly as possible… and also don’t get so caught up in the surprise! My state of consciousness gives me the ability to understand and to adapt, and this is what Darwin said was the most important feature for survival. Check out the podcast by one of my teachers, and great Masters, discussing the myth of control, Thom Knoles here.
- Be bored more often. Being bored is actually super good for you. Just try it and I promise you will love it! Do the ironing and other repetitive tasks in the house and notice – it takes your brain into a naturally autobiographical state, which allows your mind to self-reflect and process all that is happening, and then it also naturally starts creating a plan and steps to go forward, without you even trying! Magic and evidence based. Thanks to Radio National I hear more and more about the benefits of relaxation response every day.
- Detoxing is absolutely essential for my body and mind. I love to get support from the team at Orchard Street – who always give me some new little remedy in my cacao elixir and their juices are so fantastic in between sipping my fennel and parsley tea.
- Always remember that there is somebody doing it so much tougher than you. Remember to find the beauty and connect with love and gratitude every single day. I love keeping my daily gratitude journal – every morning and night I focus on three things and allow myself to really feel them. It’s actually super hard to only choose 3 once you start writing.
What did you learn about yourself this past year?
Love and gratitude,
P.S. To all those women (and men) in Afghanistan, Syria and the 64 million refugees wandering our planet carrying their babies in their arms not knowing where to set up their life again, with nothing, you are in my prayers and thoughts as we here in the west get to celebrate the safety and beauty of our homes and families. Please check out the new Ai Wei Wei film, Human Flow and if you’re in Sydney join me at a screening in Randwick.
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Photo: Kath Mclean, Bright Photography