What it took

And this is what it took

For family bonds to be restored

For homes to be taken care of

For those odd jobs to be done

And this is what it took

For puzzles to be dusted off

For forts to be built

For more books to be read

And this is what it took

For families to bake together

For our bodies to be nourished

For health to be prioritised

And this is what it took

For children to learn of boredom

For friendships to strengthen

For the birds to be heard

And this is what it took

For driveways to be played on

For rainbows to be drawn

For neighbours to connect

And this is what it took

For time in nature to be appreciated

For music to be enjoyed

For creativity to come alive

And this is what it took

For communities to unite

For Mother Earth to regenerate

For new ways to be discovered

And this is what it took

For the world to truly slow down

And if this is what it took…

What are we taking away from all of this?

💛

By Simone Parker

@embarkedwithsimone

14.04.2020


Lost

So you’re feeling a little disconnected,

Like you’ve wandered a little too far from your truth.

Unsure of your journey ahead.

Unsure of your hopes, dreams & passions.

Unsure of your circle.

Do not worry, for you are not alone. There is always someone who has been here before.

And not just once, for this can be a destination for many, on multiple occasions.

I myself have been here.

What do you do when you arrive at this destination?

Do you panic as though you have lost all sense of direction & have forgotten your map?

Possibly leading you further and further from where you intend to be.

Do you resist and stay put out of stubbornness or fear, not moving anywhere?

Or do you accept that this is where you are meant to be in this moment, no matter how brief this stop?

Do you allow yourself to feel the uncertainty?

To feel the disconnection from self?

Can you pause at your destination and look around at your surroundings –

How do they feel?

What feels safe?

As you calm your mind and allow your thoughts to gather

You will remember that there is someone you can call to help you on your way.

Who is that person who you can call on for guidance?

If you allow yourself enough space to breathe deeply, to calm the mind and open the heart, you will remember that you can be that person too.

You will remember that this is all part of the journey

You may be at a crossroads, with a change of destination ahead

You may have taken a detour and need to reconnect to get back on your way

You may have new places to discover or new paths that are opening

You may have needed to lose your way to remember where you wanted to go

Or you may be exactly where you need to be without realising it.

Whatever the journey, accept it.

For acceptance is key to transformation.

Trust it. And trust in yourself.

For if you ask yourself, you will have the answers.


Mum Friends

Motherhood changes friendships.

Whilst there can be a lot of emphasis on finding our tribe & connections with our mum friends, the reality is that motherhood can both strengthen and create new friendships, and create distance and cause friendships to end.

Motherhood really tests our friendships.

It tests for strength, compromise, compassion, trust, support, patience, quality, honesty, understanding, objectivity, love, resilience, loyalty, equality, heart, soul, & more.

Motherhood creates barriers.

Barriers of sleep deprivation, rollercoaster hormones, isolation, overwhelm, judgement, expectations, time, presence, parenting styles and choices, comparison, exhaustion, loss of identity, etc… All of which can affect our friendships.

Motherhood creates opportunities.

The opportunity to connect with our friends on a deeper level when we trust & share openly,

to let go of some friendships,

to rekindle old friendships,

to create new friendships,

to bond over something entirely new,

to learn a new approach or a new way of looking at things,

to reassess priorities,

to make changes.

As mothers (and fathers), we are changed from the moment we are blessed with the title.

We are different.

So, how can we expect everything else to remain the same?

It is not unusual for our relationships to be affected.

How can they not be when we are not the same?

When we are navigating our way through all the changes & the ups & downs of parenthood,

rediscovering ourselves & trying to find our new ‘normal’ when the goal posts keep changing with each milestone or each precious addition to the family, not to mention other pressures of work, finances, health, etc.

We are not alone when a friendship is tested, or lost.

We are not alone when we feel like we don’t have a ‘tribe’.

We are not alone when we feel like we no longer fit in with our circle.

We are not alone when we find it difficult to make new friends.

Motherhood changes our friendships, but it also creates many opportunities.

We can decide what we need.

We can decide what our priorities are.

We can decide when it’s time to make changes.

We can decide how we are going to show up.

We can decide what we are worthy of.

And only we can make the changes that are right for us.

Here’s to our mum friends (including our wonderful friends without their own children)

To our friendships that have weathered the storms,

To our friendships that have taught us a lot,

To our new friendships just beginning,

To our friendships yet to be sparked 💛


With the flow

The irony behind this post is that every time I started to write it I was interrupted & it took multiple attempts to get in the flow of writing it 🙊

Rather than fight it, I laughed at the irony & how it was further highlighting that life isn’t always smooth sailing, that we can’t control what will come up for us, but we can control how we choose to react.

Rather than fighting the interruptions, I chose to accept that my post just didn’t need to be written in that moment (or 5 moments) & that it could wait. Just like that, I was choosing to go with the flow, rather than push when I didn’t need to push, which is something that we are challenged with so often.

When asked recently how I manage being a work at home Mum with the kids, & after really reflecting on what I do, I realised that I generally go with the flow. I try not to force or plan my work too much (besides my client appts & workshop schedule) so that I’m not getting frustrated or flustered when things aren’t going according to my work plan while I have the kids at home, and I am operating from a feeling of flow rather than force. If the kids all nap then I make a decision on how I will use the time I have, or if the twins are entertaining each other then I will choose some things to do while they are playing, etc. I do what works for me in the time that I have, and I absolutely love what I do & the opportunity that I have to work flexibly. I have learnt that things like painting while the kids nap does not always work for me as I want to continue when they wake, & end up feeling like I’m fighting to do my painting which is not how I want it to be, so I wait until the nights or when hubby is home.

Becoming a mother quickly showed me just how little control we have over things, & I am continually being reminded of this each day. Whether it’s kids choosing not to sleep when we want them to, or sleeping longer when we don’t want them to, or needing to use the bathroom just as we’re rushing out the door, or unfortunately falling ill etc, they’re teaching us that things don’t always go to plan. We can do our best to make plans and to get organised, but we can’t control the actions or reactions of others, especially our little ones, we can only control how we choose to act & react.

Over the years I’ve learnt how much better it feels to go with the flow (with my experiences of the opposite, that still occur) with many a pyjama day had at home to avoid forcing when I didn’t feel it called for it. I’ve learnt how good it feels to stop forcing things that aren’t in alignment such as work, relationships, expectations, etc, all while still being a work in progress. There are still times that I will find myself forcing rather than flowing, and times when I feel like I am swimming against the current, but rather than continuing to push & force, I find myself questioning & making adjustments when I can.

When was the last time you felt like you were going with the flow, rather than swimming up stream, or against the current?

When you were at ease and trusting, not pushing or forcing?

What is something that you feel is out of alignment and that you are fighting against?

What adjustments can you make? 💛


The Rock

You are the rock,
Solid and stable
You are the rock,
Strong and able
You are the rock,
Brave and bold
You are the rock,
Power you hold

But should you be left unprotected for long,
Is there not a chance, you will get weathered and worn?

How are you preserving yourself?
What protection mechanisms do you have in place?

If you’re like me, and you are the rock in your family, and your relationship, and your work, or one of these or any other area of your life, this is your reminder that you still need protection. You still need some sheltering or nurturing, for too much weathering of storms can lead to erosion.

How are you looking after yourself to prevent the wearing out or burning out that comes with being the rock in all aspect of your life for a long period of time?
Is that how you really want to show up?
Who can you or do you turn to for protection? For the occasional sheltering from the elements?

We can only be the rock for so long.
It is not failing to ask for help or support,
To need a break from being the rock all the time.
Taking time to nurture yourself, will only empower you to stand stronger and to weather the storms when those time arise.

How can you or do you create some space for yourself to have that much needed reprieve?

I’d love to know if this resonates with you 💛


Adding Value

Over the weekend hubby & I watched a couple of documentaries, & one of those was on the minimalist lifestyle. It offered great perspective & gave lots of food for thought, but one thing that really resonated with me was the idea that we bring all these ‘things’ into our life without questioning them, & whether they’re adding value to our lives or not.

What I loved about this idea, & this simplicity in questioning, is that it doesn’t just stop at material ‘things’, it can be applied to just about anything in our lives, from the food we eat, the relationships we keep, the thoughts we have, etc.

Over the past week, I’ve found myself questioning how I use my time on my phone on social media for example. I’m questioning, why I’m picking up my phone or pressing the home button to light up the screen?
What is it that I’m seeking from it?
What do I feel is lacking?
Is all my time on social media adding value to my life?
Where does the value lie?
I’m asking these questions, not because I see no value, as this is not the case, but rather to question the value vs the time spent so that I can be more purposeful with my time.

Today, these thoughts extended to my email accounts. I took a quick look through my emails & questioned what value they were adding to my life?
Do I need to receive multiple emails a week (sometimes a day) full of all these ‘things’ that I don’t need right now & wont be buying? When for me, I know that I will do my research when it comes time to buy something.
Are all these emails just adding to my list of things to do (cleaning out the inbox) & creating clutter in my online space?
Needless to say, I’ve now unsubscribed from over 20 mailing lists, & will continue this as different emails come through.

These are just a couple of examples where I’m choosing to question how things are adding value so that I am more in alignment with my purpose & where & how I want to be expending my energy.

What is something that you’ve never thought to question in your life?
Why you have it?
Why you use it?
Why you need it?
Why you give away your energy to it?

And what are some things that really add value to your life?