Thank you

Thank you

Today I wanted to take a moment to say a huge THANK YOU to
every single one of you.  On Monday this
week I finally got the guts to share my little blog with family and friends on Facebook,
and I have been totally overwhelmed with the response I received.  Thank you all for taking time out of your
busy lives to read it.  And thank you for
your beautiful, thoughtful comments and encouragement. 
It is a scary thing to put yourself out there, especially
for me, doing something new like this, in such a public way.  But it has been a totally positive an
energising experience so far, and I am inspired to keep writing.  In fact, I also started writing the very
first words of my first novel this week, so thank you all.  To think that I am finally chasing this dream
that once seemed so out of reach, is really really cool.  
There is no happy face emoji with a smile big
enough to show you how I’m feeling this week, so you will have to make do with
a picture of this daffodil from my front garden instead.
Until next time

E xx
Connected ….to my parents

Connected ….to my parents

Grandparents day
It was Grandparents Day at my son’s school.  Grandparents and other special people were
invited to share the morning in the classroom and then children from each grade
put on a special performance for everyone. 
My son is in kindergarten and was so proud that his Poppy could come to
his school that day. 
Watching my son and my Dad working together at his teeny
tiny desk made me pause and reflect on how special this day really is.  This day and every day.  And to celebrate that we have been given this
day, a day where we cherish some very important people. 
You see, for the past two years, my Dad has bravely and
gracefully fought and kicked bowel cancer’s butt.  So we know how fragile the beautiful gift of
life can be.  It is so easy for many
people to take life for granted.  To
carry on with the everyday grind and not realise just how special each day
is. 
It’s funny how life brings you back to what is most
important – if you listen to the whispers in your heart and the universe.  Family has always been important to me.  I have such fond memories of wonderful
Christmases with extended family, of fun family parties with everyone jigsawed
into the tiny lounge room to sleep because there weren’t enough beds….. but
there was always enough love. 
I will never forget when I saw my parents become
Grandparents.  I was recovering from
anaesthetic so didn’t see my Mum’s first cuddle with my son, but I saw my
Dad’s.  Such tenderness.  And that beautiful awkwardness of holding a
tiny bundle of new life. 
Poppy’s first cuddle of his first Grandson
They are amazing parents so I had no doubt that they would
flourish in their roles as Grandma and Poppy. 
And they do.  Being grandparents
has bought them alive in a brand new way. 
Their hearts have grown even bigger to make space for enough love for
the new little souls who adore them in every way.  They are softer, calmer and happier in the
presence of their precious grandchildren. 
I have loved watching them develop relationships with each of my
children, seeing new love blossom and grow with each interaction. 

So much love 
One of my favourite photos from when my son was little.  Every time I see this photo I can hear them all laughing. 
As well as being great grandparents, becoming a grandparent
has added new dimensions to our relationships as parents and daughter.  I feel like we have always been close, but
now I GET it. I always knew I was loved, but know I have a deeper appreciation of
just how much.  That sense of knowing
that you would do anything, ANYTHING at all for your children.  The kind of love that makes your heart burst
open.  And now I know, really know, how
that love feels, because I too am a parent, I feel so much closer to my Mum and
Dad. Because they love me that way too. 
Some people might struggle with their parents when they turn
into grandparents.  I have seen others
who have interfering mothers and/or fathers who push their ideas and habits on
their children as new parents.  My
husband and I are so lucky.  We hit the
jackpot.  My parents happily dive in as
grandparents whenever they can.  They
help out often, without question.  They don’t
often unwanted advice, but are close by with guidance when we choose to seek
it.  They support us in our decisions on
how to parent our children, trying their best to follow our rules and
discipline techniques (although I have a sneaking suspicion a little more
spoiling goes on than is sanctioned!). 
I have never once felt judged by my parents in my parenting.
Only ever supported and loved.  Perhaps
they keep their judgment for when we are not around to hear, which is ok.  But I suspect that doesn’t happen.  I like to think that they are thinking we are
doing a good job.  And I’m sure, it is
because, we learnt how to be parents from the best ones ever. 
I love you Mum and Dad. 
Thank you for being the best parents and grandparents.  I look forward to one day giving my kids the
gift that you have given us – to be the best grandparents to their kids they
could ever imagine. 

Be gone “Cranky Rushed Mama”

Be gone “Cranky Rushed Mama”

In my hurried rush to get the kids out the door yesterday, I caught myself snapping and grumpily
saying “hurry up” and “quick, let’s go” for the thousandth time that
morning.  It wasn’t their fault that we
were late.  My son had got himself up
early, got dressed, made his bed, and had breakfast, all before I had even made
it out of bed. 
So why were we late again?
There are a number of excuses that I could write, but they
are just excuses.  The truth is we were
late because, once again, I failed to get organised.  Instead of thinking ahead for what we were
doing and getting the snack bag ready the night before, or preparing bottles
for the baby, or laying out our clothes, I chose to stare at the telly, zoning
out all the noise and retreating into my thoughts. 
I often wonder why I do this.  Our nightly routine is dinner, put the kids
to bed and then watch the TV before I head off to bed to fall asleep reading my
book.  I enjoy the quiet after the kids
are asleep, I can finally switch off for a while.  It sometimes feels like the greatest treat,
especially on days that have been a bit challenging or noisy with the
children.  But more and more lately I am
feeling like this is not the best way to get my daily dose of calm. 
It may be because at the moment, there isn’t much that my
husband and I agree on watching together, so often I sit wasting time on my phone
while we watch something that I wouldn’t have picked. 
There is so much more I’d rather be doing.  I have recently rediscovered my love of
reading.  It has been getting a bit
easier since Miss 1 is in more of a sleeping routine.  I’m not so exhausted (it’s all relative
though isn’t it – there are still some days where my body feels so heavy and
tired that it is a mammoth effort just to move!), so I can get a short reading
session in before my eyes close for the night. 
I should bring my book upstairs and read while my husband watches the
telly. 
Or I could be crocheting. 
I have recently been teaching myself and find the work satisfying.  It has super calming powers, and I love
really been enjoying seeing my creation grow (I’m currently making myself a
blanket with all my favourite colours).  
My
six year old son has put in a couple of requests for things (Star Wars toys, a
green cushion), and I love making things for him, so I should get started on
those. 
Or, I could spend ten minutes after our daughter goes to bed
thinking about what we will need for the next day and get a head start on
tomorrow.  We have a pretty regular
routine, so it’s not like there are often surprises.  For example, one night a week my parents look
after the children while I teach Pilates. 
Every week it is at the same time, and every week I run around like a
mad woman five minutes before we leave trying to gather the things we need.  I always forget something – nappies, a dummy
or formula.  But it doesn’t have to be
this way. 
I’m sure that with a small sprinkle of planning, and a pinch
less laziness, I could manage to bring more calm to my days.  The mean, snappy, rushed Mummy could be a
person I happily leave in the past.  We would
all benefit.  Our mornings would be
smoother, with less negativity and more opportunity to be present and enjoy the
precious time I have with my children. 
And I would probably not forget important things that we need for the
day. 
So, I am setting myself a challenge.  For the next seven days I am going to check
my diary each night for what is on the next day.  I will prepare what I can the night before.  I will go to bed a little earlier so I can
wake up fresh and bouncy in the morning and we will see if that makes a
difference to our days. 
Will you join me? 
What ideas do you have to make your days run more smoothly?  How do you make sure that you never forget
the important things when you head out the door with children in tow? 

Why “Creative Calm Connected”?

Why “Creative Calm Connected”?

If you don’t know me, or even if you do, I thought you might be wondering why I have called my blog Creative Calm Connected.  What follows is my attempt at explaining a bit about why I decided to start a blog, and why I settled on that name.

My story is not new…. A mother trying to find her purpose in life… frustrated with her career, lack of fulfillment at work. If I have to go to work I want it to be for something that makes me come alive, and justifies the time spent away from my two children.  So I have spent a bit of time this year considering what it is that I want to do.

All my life I have had dreams of being a writer.  I am an avid reader and always did well in subjects at school where writing was a focus.  I thoroughly enjoyed my studies at university, and did best when the assessment pieces were written.  My job since uni has been in the public service, where I have held a number of policy positions that require creative thought and the ability to research and write convincingly.  So in a way, I guess, I have always been writing.

But I want more than that.  I want to be a writer where I am allowed to write whatever I want to write about.  I want to put my random thoughts on paper, I want to make stories come alive, I want to be creative and not bound by bureaucratic rules and political agendas that prevent me from writing what is true or right.

So here we are.  My blog.  My little piece of the internet where I can write whatever I like.  But what am I going to write about?

While on maternity leave with my second child, I have been able to really get back into reading.  I have been reading lots of fiction, but have also decided this year to read more non-fiction too.  I have really enjoyed books about self-improvement, like Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin, What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey, and Happy Mama by Amy Taylor-Kabbaz.  One book
in particular, connected with me and sparked my inspiration to have a go at changing my life from the mundane to one where I can sparkle from the inside.  The book is called The Desire Map:  a guide to creating goals with soul by Danielle LaPorte.

In essence, LaPorte suggests that in order to live our best lives, to honour our souls and be the happiest we can be, we should connect with what she terms our core desired feelings. These will lead us to make better decisions about what we want to do with our life, fulfill us and connect us to the deeper parts of ourselves that often get overlooked when we are goal setting or planning for the future.  She suggests that “everything we do is driven by the desire to feel a certain way”.

This passage on page 39 of La Porte’s book explains a bit more and resonated with me:

Core desired feelings originate deep within us and make themselves known when we take the time to listen.  They do not change with circumstances…  They are “the soul cry”…it is good to remember that the soul always desires that which will reveal its true nature…. When we are able to recognise our core desired feelings as sparks of divinity that can begin the illumination of our life, there is a feeling of ahh… we are unveiling what is already there…there is a sense of having arrived home..

There are a number of exercises in the book that help you identify what your core desired feelings are.  Having contemplated, worked and reworked, I have settled on my core desired feelings being creative, calm and connected.  In my life I want to feel:

Creative – I love using my imagination, dreaming up big ideas, blue sky thinking.  I love to read, write, crochet, knit, loom.  I love using creativity to solve problems in my clients’ bodies at Pilates.

Calm– I feel I can be at my best when I am calm.  Particularly around my children, but in all situations in life, I am a much nicer person when I’m calm.  Shouty Angry Emma disappears and I have more patience, clarity of thought and a more positive outlook on things when I’m calm.  I want this to be at the essence of who I am every day.  Things that make me feel calm include snuggling up with my husband and/or kids, reading a good book, meditating, the mindfulness of Pilates, crocheting, being with really good friends, going to the beach, writing, holidays.  In my mind, being calm doesn’t mean that I can’t be excited about things.  Quite the opposite.  It means instead, calming the inner rage that sometimes gets in the way of me being truly present in the moment.  It means I am not fighting with the pressure/anger/frustration of the moment and am open to the possibilities that are in front of me.

Connected– I hate to be alone.  I get sad, lonely and deflated if I am not around people regularly.  I get my energy by connecting with others.  In my life I want to be connected to myself (who I really am at my core), to others (my family, friends, colleagues, clients, etc.), and to the universe (something that is bigger than us….I’m not quite sure what this is for me yet, but it might be spirituality??).

So there we have it.  In my life, I want to feel creative, calm and connected.  Having identified these core desired feelings I can make better choices about what I want to do by asking myself if the
option at hand will allow me to feel one of these feelings.  If not, it probably isn’t the right option for me right now.

This blog is my musings on life and will connect back each time to one or more of those three themes. It is my dream that by sharing my thoughts, we will create a place where like-minded people can journey together to discover who it is they want to be, and how to live their best life.

On the blog I will post about my thoughts, my life and whatever else comes to mind that may help me, and subsequently readers, live a more creative, calm, connected life.

I will post thoughts that inspire me, ideas I have tried, reviews of things that help me achieve a creative, calm and connected life.  I will share websites, insights and ideas as well as seek input from readers.

It is my hope that you enjoy your time here as much as I enjoy writing for you.

If you feel like it, maybe you could share what you think your core desired feelings would be.  How would you most like to feel in life?

Until next time,

E xx