What is success to you?
Alignment. In a non subjective way. I've really had to reframe mainstream beliefs around success because it's so dualistic and materially driven. Success for me is a journey of alignment with my life's path which is mainly about listening and surrendering to what's in the present moment. Rather than being driven by my conditioning to thinking I need to do what is right, feels good, purposeful and or grasping for that "extraordinary" life.
What is magic for you?
I'm laughing, because as a birth worker. I compare and relate everything to birth! Creation to me is magic, which I call God. Nature or Source. Again I've had to relearn what magic is for me, because a magician is often a trickster or someone who can hide the truth for aesthetics. For me true magic is alchemical and is powered by the forces of creation.
What is love for you?
Connection. When there is mutual exchange of energy and creation of more energy in the most positive way for all.
What is your beauty/ health practice?
Beauty practice to me is paying attention to myself, all the nitty gritty things; emotionally, spiritually and physically. Even if it's an afternoon of cleaning my ears, clipping my nails, exfoliating my whole body so it's fresh and clean and then sitting in the sun and paying attention to what's going on for me internally... I don't really think in terms of being beautiful anymore, I just do my best to be as physically healthy and spiritually diligent as possible without comparing it to anyone else (however always deeply inspired by others) and paying attention to what is relevant to serving me in the moment.
What that has come to look like is choosing quality nutrient mineral rich locally sourced as much as possible meat and produce, good fats, fermented foods, home grown greens, local spring water, loads of herbal teas and Chinese herbs, dry skin brushing, clay and salt baths, essential oils, self dental care, movement, yoga, dancing, running, ice skating and hockey, body work, chiropractic and acupuncture (I'm a cupping addict), crying, laughing, sex, snuggling with my family and filling up our love cups (which is unique for all of us), breath-work, cold water immersion, sitting down in the sunshine with a herbal tea and just brushing my scalp and hair with honey and coconut oil until I'm tingling all over. I've been washing my body with honey and oats since a little girl and love to use food for my hair and body, so the things I use are pretty minimal (or in the fridge) which is why I love feather eagle sky. It's one of the only products that isn't out of the pantry or garden that I use.
Oh haha.. and sleep. That is definitely something I am getting better at making a priority in my life and giving more value too. Learning to be a more proactive indulgent sleeper.
And on a more recent holistic health discovery. I've discovered the power of having an empathy partner.. For the last 6 months every week, me and a friend from an aware parenting circle I am in. Call each other, set the timer for 20-30 minutes each and then just use our time to say what ever it is we need to talk about. Usually all the stuff we don't want to bother the rest of the world with, we just let it all out. And the other empathetically listens and mirrors, without directing the conversation any other way. It is a practice that has changed my life and has given rise to so much self discovery and nurture. To be in a safe space to be heard is an invaluable experience I feel, everyone needs regularly. Not just when shit hits the fan, so to speak.
What makes your spirit glow?
All of the above!
And I love what I do for work. I love birth, women, children and families.. seeing them grow and step into their fullness. Working in body work and wellness I am honoured to facilitate peoples own awareness in coming to their own health and healing. Brazilian music and dance (especially samba) and yoga, has and always will be a part of my life and is woven into my being. I grew up in a rural veterinary setting and still horse ride as much as I am able too, I love being in nature and around animals (mountains or ocean, I'm not fussed I grew up with both). Basically anything to do with gardening, food prep, movement, water, animals, birth.. I am very practical and sensual (one of the senses) and glow when I am being a useful part of the natural world around me.
How do you stay centered in the middle of chaos?
Breathe. Move. Cry. Laugh.
(FYI I'll write this on a post-it note and put on my fridge because I'm still very much learning how to do this!)
That formula sounds easy but I totally get it can be the hardest thing to do properly when you are snagged by life and emotional baggage. I am blessed to have found very grounded teachers in both dance, yoga and even aware parenting who focus on body and breath awareness, mindful movement and meditation.
And jiggling. Seriously, if all else fails get your qi moving and jiggle your wobbly bits! All of them! Even better if you do it under a freezing cold shower. Guaranteed you’ll be in your body within seconds and if you aren’t crying you’ll be laughing or singing hahaha.
What causes and organizations are you passionate about?
I've been supporting the birthing kit foundation of Australia though my business for many years. It's amazing how a tiny kit of soap, plastic sheet, guaze, rope tie, scalpel blade and gloves can make such a huge impact on the lives of women and babies. Basic cleanliness and hygiene that we take for granted is life and death in many countries. The foundation is dedicated to safe birthing practices in developing countries and aiding community development and support for maternal and infant health.
On a personal everyday level though, I'm pretty passionate about supporting/sourcing any and all local business or small businesses and especially Australian made.
If you could say one thing to the world, what would you say?
Be a student. Seek out great teachers, most of which are already in our lives as relationships. Learn to meditate and breathe properly, learn to feel your full emotional scale and to know your own unique nature.
If everyone of us did this, and were free to do this from birth and explore ourselves. I personally think/feel all the other stuff wouldn't need to be said. Because we would be connected to our creator and those intrinsic details about caring for each other and the universe would manifest as a result of not being severed from source and our innate curious natures which are inherently useful and creative.
What is the greatest lesson as a mother you've learned?
That it is never about them (the children) it is always about me or the dynamic resonating between me and my husband... Getting my stuff out of the way (which ironically often isn't mine, it's my parents, ancestors or influences around me), growing myself up and about me becoming more conscious and aware so I can allow them to be free and fully connected to their being and their own sense of what the world is to them. Which is essentially, our birthright.
I'm constantly finding ways to come to their level and see through their eyes and experience and truly listen to them rather than projecting how I want them to be. (Challenging. I repeat, very challenging.) And I am still slowly learning this and integrating, sometimes I wonder why I thought I was ready for such an honour of parenting little beings. So in summary, a lot of this lesson is also about learning to really take care of myself on so any levels. Cliché as it sounds, which isn’t a cliché just a basic truth trying to have it’s way with us? – the more I take care of myself and tend to my own growth and connection to source. The more I can parent lovingly and be available to them in an authentic way.
What advice would you give a new mother?
I'm going to go out on a vulnerable limb here and be honest which may be interpreted as a bit full on, but this is what I have learned on my own motherhood journey and has become normalized for me.
Parenting is not a natural instinct, it is a journey of healing and is something we learn to do and evolve into. Particularly if you haven't had great role models in your life to learn from about raising children consciously, then it is not something that will just come to you once you have a child. We are all re enacting our own childhoods, living out our traumas and conditioning. I think some of the most misguided advice out there in both the birthing and parenting paradigms is to "follow your instincts".. Like giving birth, raising children and navigating our inner terrain is as easy as breathing. And even breathing might I add, we have to learn how to do effectively! Unfortunately our instincts are often just conditioned responses and it isn't enough for us to tap into our true potential and thrive, it is merely being in survival mode.
So be brave and reach out, make mistakes and don’t bother feeling guilty just do the inner work and keep bringing love and compassion. It is a journey of learning and unlearning and relearning over and over again. The main teachers being; our children! Be prepared to meet the darkest parts of yourself, meet all the judgements you’ve made about other parents and say hello to your own parents behaviours that you don't like, waiting below in your cellular level reactions. (Damn it!) But there lies the key to evolving and freedom and true connection - conscious love, with our family.
One that is not conditional, toxic or driven by our deeper fears and hurts.
I also don't think there is anything wrong with listening to our elders, trying things on to see if it fits for us and trying again if it doesn't. I feel such sadness now in watching new mothers completely ignore everyone around them including family members and just isolate themselves to their findings in books and the internet because people tell them to just do their own thing. That isn't a very integrated way of living. I understand we are trying to find different ways of doing things from old paradigms and sometimes we need to channel the warrior when certain people insist that we do it their way, but if we look to the roots and learn to truly listen to what others are offering. We can usually hear they are just contributing to us the way that was helpful to them. It doesn't mean we need to subscribe to it, however it is an opportunity to stay curious and be inquisitive and maybe even share our own gifts of what we are doing differently.
So be curious. In birthing your baby, stay curious about the pain and sensations... Be curious about how your baby might like to be born as opposed to how you want to birth. And once they are here, stay curious about who they are and what they want to communicate and how they want to communicate it. Because, if you are lucky enough. You will be blessed with children that do things very differently to you and will show you how to be truly present and remember how to live in the moment.