I believe living more consciously includes becoming kinder to ourselves, each other, and our world. I’m so excited about my new radio show The Conscious Adventurer on Otago Access Radio, 105.4FM and 1573 AM, Tuesdays at noon. You can listen in from www.oar.org.nz or download the podcasts from Itunes. Each month has a theme and for each show, I’ll do a short talk with psychological tips, then guide you through a mediation or visualisation related to the theme, then interview someone connected with the theme.
On The Conscious Adventurer, In July, we’ll be looking at our relationship with Food and we’ll be bringing more awareness to our food choices. I’ll be interviewing Lucas Deschamps of Natureally – an organic cafe with loads of vegan fare, one of our favourite places to eat in Dunedin; Nicola Brown, a clinical psychologist and creator of NIBL, Tracey Loughran, a naturopath of Flourish and the Taste of Success Weight loss programme and Pip Wood of FoodShare.
That’s The Conscious Adventurer, Tuesdays at noon on Otago Access Radio, 105.4FM, 1573AM and podcast from www.oar.org.nz and Itunes.
My first guest, on Tuesday, 5th of July is Lucas Dechamps of Naturealley. Lucas is pretty passionate about organic food and food packaging, amongst other things.How many disposable coffee cups do you think we, in NZ, dispose of every year? Do you know that the vast majority of these are not biodegradable? What questions would you like to put to Lucas?
“Come! In!” insisted Bear, pulling on my dress. He was splashing in a puddle, and I had been watching him, feeling like there wasn’t enough space in my chest for my heart. Bear’s fascination with the puddles, his delight and absorption – how utterly magical. I was holding Ant in a carrier and this space with my two boys felt ethereal.
So, I got into the puddle with Bear who then started stirring the water with some long leaves. More magic.
While stirring the water, I saw lots and lots of cabbage tree leaves. I had been looking for these after a kind friend took pity on my dismal fire-lighting skills and gifted me a lot of dried cabbage tree leaves as kindling. They are the secret weapon. I started gathering leaves with great gusto. The trees were up on a small, but steep, bank and after Bear and I had climbed this, I realised that walking down might be a problem. If Bear was unsteady, there was a chance he might fall and hit his head.
More magic – I showed Bear how to sit down and scoot down the hill. “Agin!””Agin!””Mum!”.
It seems to me that foraging is about finding treasure in the ordinary and overlooked. Isn’t that what conscious adventuring is about?
“Conscious Adventuring – finding treasure in the ordinary and overlooked”
I was on the verge of emailing someone assertively and giving them a piece of my mind (not that I can spare any pieces, but, anyway). Something made me pause.
Rather unexpectedly, I met with the person in question and we had an unexpected conversation where I heard something of the pain they were experiencing. Gosh, am I glad I paused earlier in the day, not least because I was not adding to this person’s suffering, and, in fact, being able to help.
“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause”
Stricking that balance between pausing and action, between silence and speech, is tricky terrain in conscious living. In this instance (and more), that pause allowed a space for compassion.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what underlies the projects that I’m involved in and that I care about. I believe the underlying idea is Conscious Living. To me, this means, bringing attention to my thoughts and actions and knowing that I have a choice in what I do. I believe this to be broader than mindfulness – which is a state of mind at a particular moment that I can choose to engage in. To me, trying to live more consciously means, amongst other things, trying to reduce the impact I have on the environment, trying to live with more compassion, and trying to be conscious of where I direct my attention in terms of time and thoughts. What does Conscious Living mean to you? Is it something you identify with?
Image thanks to John Hain via Pixabay
“Whooshoo…whoo…” said Bear earnestly, his eyes wide, standing at the back door. I was changing Ant’s nappy. “What’s that, little one?” I asked. “Whoo shoo…come!” he insisted. With Ant in tow, I went to the garden, not suspecting a single thing. And there it was…
I didn’t have my camera with me, so I will just have to describe Exhibit A. One container that had housed microgreen seeds and soil. Now, it housed mainly water. Bear had very carefully watered it and the seeds had overflowed into the garden. There was little choice but to laugh and hope that perhaps this unusually warm weather might see some of the seeds grow.
Several weeks later, here there are:
Growing microgreens has been part of trying to grow more of what we (could) eat. Doing that has been part of more consciously and mindfully eating and being a more conscious and mindful consumer. I also feel that this is related to self-care and care for my boys – I’d been thinking quite a bit about self-care as I’ve been sick for some time.
I’ve been looking at various things Self-Care related and this blog post by Bruce Thao popped up in my newsfeed, titled “Self-Care is a Lie”. Bruce Thao makes some thought provoking points including that (1) we are not taught how to self care, (2) that we are praised and programmed to care for others above ourselves and (3) that after we have worked long hours at work and home, it is expected that we should care for ourselves. He says “we are set up to fail” and talks about the systems that are operating that are not helpful. He also talks about switching from thinking about our Sole Gain to our Soul’s Gain.
And this Gardening with a Toddler endeavour? Hopefully this is part of how Bear and Ant will learn to grow their own food and be aware of what they eat.
Any tips on gardening with a toddler? On growing your own? On self-care?
In a few hours, I’m heading into hospital and the water that’s been around you while you have been inside me will be released. As with Bear, I’m so sorry to take away the choice of when to come into this world, away from you. I know you’ll understand, intellectually, one day, why I had to make this choice. I just hope that you know, even now, that I am doing what I’m doing in order to protect you as best as I can.
I’ve had to make some choices over the past months that others may criticise. They may tell you things about me that are not true. I hope you will always know that I did (and will do) my best to protect you and that my choices were always made with the primary aim of keeping you safe. That you have been able to get into the perfect position for birth and been able to descend more than Chippie or Bear could, that the fluid index around you has decreased so much, and that risks that were present have been decreased, is a miracle and is a sign to me that I made some right decisions. Even today, there are hard decisions and there are reasons I need to create a bubble of protection around us. There is also a lot of love around both of us and I hope you feel this love from so many people now, and that you will always know it through your life. May love always find you and may you always give love freely.
As with your brother and sister, I have enjoyed every single moment of you being inside me. Thank you for choosing my body, scarred as it is, to live in and choosing me for your mummy. Every single day you have been inside has been a gift. I want to say that I’m not ready to have you leave my body, but I’m making peace with that. I know I can’t hold you, Bear, and Chippie in my arms forever, but you are forever in my heart. I hope you always feel my love, even when you are not with me, throughout your life.
Your loving mummy