Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy birthday Maria Montessori

Born on 31 August 1870, Maria Montessori was way ahead of her time.
She was one of the first female doctors in Italy.
Apparently, her father did not want her to go to university.

This was a woman who believed in herself and was not afraid to go against what conventional society expected.
She ruffled a lot of feathers along the way, as you do when you believe in something that is close to your heart.

A humanitarian, she called her method, "Education for peace."

She spent her last years in India.
And developed a very special relationship with the people and the culture.

She has also had a profound effect on so many children, particularly some 3 to 6 year olds in Annie's class who said that she was a goddess when they discussed her birthday today!

Thank you for your contribution to our world, Ms Montessori, it is a better place because of it.

Blessings to you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Is a 9 year old capable of organising a fundraiser?

I don't write much about Montessori education.
Annie goes to a Montessori school and Xavier will be joining her there next year or the year after.
We are hoping to send them to a Montessori high school.

That is how much we believe in it.

We rent our home.
We don't go on expensive holidays.
All our money goes into school fees and organic food :).

Someone once said that if you want to see a person's priorities, look at where they spend their money.

Our priorities have always been education and health.

I am always learning new things and I believe that health is not just about the physical body, but also and probably more importantly, the spirit, because a healthy spirit will translate into a healthy body.

I have found that Annie's school gives her the opportunities to develop that healthy spirit and body.

So, I spend a lot of my time working on my own spirit, as I know that my children will benefit so much from me being healthy.

There will be a loving environment at home and it will be a model for them.
If I honour myself, I will show them how to honour me, as well as how to honour themselves.

So, I don't feel the need to write about how amazing Montessori education is all the time.
Because I am indeed, passionate about it.
And there are a lot of amazing blogs on the net dedicated to Montessori education.

There are other things that I have to write about too!

But, if you do want to know a bit more about Montessori and how amazing it is, my dear friend, Dionne, has recently started a lovely blog.
Her daughter goes to Annie's school and is just a little bit older, nine years old, in fact.

Dionne has written a gorgeous post about how her daughter planned, organised and hosted a fundraising event for the RSPCA.

Thinking back to when I was nine years old, there would have been no way that I would have been able to do something like that.

It's a gorgeous read.
Pop over, say hello and be amazed by what our little people are able to do, if they are just given the freedom and respect to do it.

Blessings to you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I fractured my toe

On Thursday night, I was doing some intense reflecting.
I was feeling really tired.
Really overwhelmed.

Stretched by the responsibilities of motherhood.

Wishing for some solitude.

But, also realising that my fatigue was due to not having enough support.
Feeling quite despondent that I don't live in a community where there are people all around me, grannies, grandpas, uncles, aunties, like minded hippies.

A community where we help and support each other through all the inevitable ups and downs of our lives.

Reflecting on how as humanity, we have evolved so much economically and technologically.

But we have DEvolved as our society doesn't place enough value on things like family, community, the earth and simple living.

We are living isolated lives.
Mothers, fathers, burnt out.
Children, disconnected from their extended families.

This does not only apply to our family, which has moved to another country.
I see it all around me, even people who live in the same country, choose to live in different states, or far away from each other in the same city.

I realised that I long for this connection.
So maybe I don't want solitude.

I realised that I want SUPPORTED solitude.
Solitude where I can sit in nature, paint, draw, sew, read, whatever, without worrying about all my responsibilities.
Solitude with the knowledge that the children are being looked after and the meal is being made.

And I drew the picture you see here.

Well, it seems the Universe heard my longing.

On Friday morning, five years since my mom had her stroke and passed away (you can read about it here), a chair fell on my foot and fractured it.

I have been doing a lot of sitting since then.
Painful sitting.
But, nonetheless, sitting.
In my garden.
In the sun.

Be careful what you wish for.

I have realised what a great marriage I have.
Sohail is seriously overwhelmed at work at the moment.
He is transitioning between roles, which brings with it inevitable extra work.

This has come at a very bad time for him.

But, he has simply said:

"You rest, I will cook, clean, shop, wash, look after the children, bake bread and in the evenings, I will catch up on my work."

Not a single complaint.
Just, love and support for his wife.
Who is in need of some sitting and receiving love and tea.

That is what strong relationships are about, carrying each other through the inevitable ups and downs of life. Not running away when it gets tough.
Having the knowledge that when we go into our deepest darkness, we come out much stronger and greater.
Shining bright with the light of support from our partner's support.

So many lessons here.

And so much gratitude.

And a very sore toe.

Blessings to you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Riding bikes

Sunday morning.

Trying out her new bicycle in the park.

A little brother following behind.
So in love with his big sister.

Mama bear, walking behind.
Enjoying the peace of doing nothing but walking through Mother Nature's playground.

Our musical ambiance provided by our feathered friends.
A heavenly shower to keep us hydrated.

Eternal gratitude for this place where we live.

A little girl, carried away by her new found freedom.

Taking off.
Getting lost.
Being found.


Fear about getting back on to her vehicle of freedom.

Some nudging by mama bear to get back on and be free.

Just make sure that you can still see mama.

A happy dance.

And new confidence gained.

Sibling love.

The simple things.
Are the only important things.

Blessings to you.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Imbolc 2011

Imbolc aka Candlemas is this week in the southern hemisphere.

Imbolc is the time that we can see the beginnings of Spring.
The days are getting longer.
It is still cold, but we can feel the shift of energy in the air.

We have been having an unusually warm and sunny week in Melbourne, for this time of year.
All the Spring blossoms have come out and the bulbs we planted at Winter Equinox are all sprouting.

We created a little celebration at home to mark this shift in energy.

We went outside and collected Spring flowers.
We brought in the daffodils we planted for Xavier's birthday, how perfect that they blossomed for us on Imbolc!

Annie placed a candle in every room in our home.

We wrapped up some herbs from the garden and made up a bowl of water, blessed with some rock salt and lavender essential oil.

To welcome in the light, we lit a blue candle.
Blue represents peace, wisdom, communication, truth, patience, health and calm.
We then used that candle to light all the other candles in our home.

We also dipped the bundle of herbs in the water and wiped all the door frames on the outside of the home, visualising the protection and peace spreading into our home.

We have left the water overnight to anchor the protection and are drying the herbs to burn with the blue candle.

We had a lovely dinner of soup and Sohail's home made ciabatta.
It was so good that we polished off a loaf and a half in about an hour!

We are spending this time thinking about what dreams and plans we are planning to nurture in this time of awakening and new life.

It is the time for Spring cleaning in all senses of the word; and also a time to clear away past disappointments.

It is a time to let go of old dreams and to step fully into the present.

A time to rebirth ourselves.

Looking around us in nature, we can see all of this being validated for us.

I am thinking that it is time to really take care of my spirit and my health if I want to be able to walk through all my dreams and desires.

I hope that you are enjoying this beautiful time of year.

And if you are in the northern hemisphere, it is time to start going inward again.

Blessings to you.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ayurvedic tips for digestive health

I thought I would share some Ayurvedic tips for digestive health from one of my favourite books, The Path of Practice, by Maya Tiwari.

"As a general rule:

  • The main meal should be eaten at lunchtime or as an early dinner (four to five P.M.). The quantity of food ingested should be no more than two anjali (two hands cupped together).
  • The other two meals should be small, about one anjali.
  • Fruits should be eaten alone, about one hour before or after a meal, because fruits tend to ferment in the digestive tract.
  • Fruits should not be eaten with milk or other dairy products, because the acidity in the fruit curdles the milk in the stomach.

  • Sweet and sour tastes are a disharmonious combination. One counteracts the other and irritates digestion, so that the digestive fire becomes sluggish.
  • Avoid complex food combinations, especially when dairy is involved, such as tacos or lasagna; also any combination of bread, cheese and fruits.
  • Drink 1/2 cup of warm water before each meal to activate agni, the digestive fire. Avoid drinking water or other fluids with the meal. The liquid douses the digestive fire and makes the process sluggish. Taking water or fluids directly after the meal has the same counterproductive effects and promotes lethargy and weight gain.
  • Chew the meal thoroughly and joyfully to aid proper assimilation of nutrients and digestion, so that the vital tissues are well nourished, the body's hunger is fed, and emotional cravings are satisfied.
  • Practice eating your meals in a spirit of harmony and gratitude to conserve the bodily juices for the massive task of digestion. When we attend to digestion, we attend to our health. Remember: All disease occurs as a result of poor digestion and assimilation in the body."
Some words of wisdom, as we prepare for the changes in seasons both in the northern and southern hemispheres.

Blessings to you.
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