What Are Your Restorers?

What restores you? What brings you back to wholeness when you are utterly depleted?

A warm bath with rose petals
A steaming cup of chai tea
The therapy of watching the rain from your window
Reading beautiful poetry
Dappled light dancing on your face
The romance of stargazing from the porch on balmy evening

Your restorers are simple things, soothing things. They are things that rebuild your tired body and mend your soul. They are gentle healing touchstones that resuscitate your inner life. They say that ‘desperate times call for desperate measures’, which makes it easy to reach for the destructive things that could send you further down a spiral of negativity. But, do you know how to reach out for the things that restore your balance or refuel your inner juices instead?

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What do you turn to at the end of a long day?

A hug

A heartfelt conversation with a friend
A healing crystal

Dancing to your favourite song

A vase of flowers on your night stand
Beautiful soft cotton linen
Lavender under your pillow

The more I explore conversations with women around self-love, self-care and depletion (especially during times of extreme emotional turmoil), the more I see how we don’t create space for the sacred ceremony of restoration. Instead, we wait until we reach the messy edge of quiet desperation, a place that all too familiar. A sentiment constantly reinforced is that there are so many things that demand our energy. We are the givers, lending our hands and hearts to those who need us. We are the hard workers, pouring everything we have into the beauty we wish to create. We lose ourselves in the process. We forget to nurture ourselves back to fullness and so we run dry. But why should it take takes reaching breaking point to heed your soul’s call or for you to remember to breathe easy, be gentle, nurture and restore so that the chambers of your heart fill up with the energy, light and inspiration your need to keep going?

If there is one profound lesson that reaching back to life from the edge of burnout, of dealing with lost pregnancies and those taxing moments midst of my fertility journey has taught me, it’s that  – I need to be my own nurturer. Sometimes, it’s harder to choose what serves my well-being over what will cause more harm, because those bumps in the road can become excuses for all the wrong things (overindulging in sugar, not exercising, not meditating, relinquishing important commitments, etc). This understanding inspires me keep asking questions about how I allow moments for restoration daily in order to nurture my well-being and where I can integrate self-care rituals so that they become a natural part of my life that continues to raise my vibration or keep me both spiritually and emotionally grounded.

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I’ve found these two questions are powerful anchors that guide me back to myself and I encourage you to explore them for yourself too:

What is the most healing or nurturing thing I can do for myself right now? and What restores me?

Take stock of whatever your restorers are. Remember them, write them down and keep them close to your heart. Make room for them at the end of each day. They will serve you. They will heal you. They bring you back to life when you are on the brink of falling apart. And if you do fall apart, because sometimes you need to, they are the balm that will piece your fragmented soul back together.

 

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Candlelight Breakfasts: A Morning Ritual to Nurture Your Relationship

W A X I N G   M O O N

Water your heart’s seeds with hope.

Nurture what you love.

How else will the important things flourish?

 

Morning rituals are so sacred. They set the tone for the rest of the day, which is exactly why I cherish our candlelight breakfasts.

Each morning, we light candles at our little dining table and sit down to breakfast together, a touch of romance to something ordinary. The thing I hold dearest in my heart is that this simple morning ritual has become a foundation that fosters togetherness so that we move through the rest of the day feeling more connected to one another and grounded in love.

Dealing with fertility issues and overcoming the devastation of miscarriages aren’t the easiest experiences to get to grips with. It comes with a lot of stress and emotional turmoil that can put strain on your marriage. So, in the face of our reality, my husband and I have had to consciously explore pathways for connection and look at how to create a supportive environment in which our love and marriage can continue to thrive despite challenges. Our candlelight breakfast is just one of the things we’ve incorporated into our daily lives to serve those intentions. It’s created the space for us to slow down and check in with one another before the day’s demands take hold.

As part of our morning ritual – between the usual fruit, smoothies, oats, muesli and tea – we do a gratitude practice together, counting our blessings and sharing what we are grateful for. We set our intentions for the week/the day, discussing our core desires, goals and visions. Something I consider very significant is that we make a point of asking the question – How can I support you? We didn’t always know how to ask for support or express our needs, especially in the early days. Learning to do so has taught us to take better care of ourselves and of each other. Keeping the lines of communication open is key in any relationship and knowing how to support each other (whether soothing one another’s pain, sharing chores, offering inspiration or celebrating joys and successes) helps to cement your bond.

This morning ritual offers us the opportunity to be present, connect, communicate and nurture our relationship. It’s been a daily practise for 7 months now, one that I still look forward to every day. I take comfort seeing my husband leave for work in a happy and grounded space and in knowing that I feel that way too. The dynamics of our lives will change when we eventually do have our babies. We won’t always have the same calmness, or the luxury of time. But when that changes, I have no doubt that we will continue to foster new pathways for connection and find our way back to one another.

I recognise that there are no perfect lives. No perfect relationships or marriages. But there are happy ones. Challenges always arise. It’s a natural part of life. The real test, however, is in how we choose to navigate our way through them. And the effect of those choices determines whether two people walk the path together in a healthy and supportive relationship or not. I’m so grateful that my partner in crime is a gentle, wise, loving and understanding soul who has made even the toughest paths so easy to walk together.

Do you feel supported? How to you nurture your relationship?  

Closing Ceremony: Celebrating and Releasing the Year that has Been

How are you spending the last few days of 2014?

The last few days of the year are precious. I’ve learnt to spend them in an introspective space because it is a time to review what has been, to release the old and make room for the new.

As usual, Leonie Dawson’s Create Your Shining Life 2015 workbook is my companion at this time. It’s the perfect resource with which to review how 2014 has unfolded for you. The first section of the workbook includes a 2014 Closing Ceremony that I love because it’s a great way of taking stock of the blessings or achievements you have to celebrate, as well as what you need to release as the year comes to close.

In reviewing my own journey, there are a few experiences and lessons that stand out to me.

The spiritual lessons that I’m heeding: The lesson that I’ve been learning over and over again is to Surrender. Trust…and Flow. These three things have cropped up in all kinds of ways in the experiences and situations have have entered my life during the course of the year. Both my writing life and my conception journey have required my to relinquish my notions of control and to surrender, trust and flow instead. This wasn’t always easy to do, but each time I gave in to the reality of my situation and allowed Divine Spirit, Goddess and my wild essence to steer my forward, magic happened and new insights were uncovered.

The lowest low that I’m releasing: I’ve come to terms with my lowest low, which is having a miscarriage. It’s the most painful thing I’ve been through in a long while. It’s taken several months to reach a place of acceptance and to get back to the natural balance and joy of my inner essence. Anyone who’s battled with infertility knows that it isn’t easy. I’ve tried to keep my mind focused positivity on the fact that I actually got pregnant, which is a good sign that the health efforts and spiritual work I’ve been doing is working on some level. I just need to stick at it for a little longer and remember to keep getting out of my own way. I always go off track with my healthy eating and exercise routine in December, but today I am easing back onto the right path and I feel in my heart that my little miracles are coming my way pretty soon. So a ceremony of sorts is definitely in order to let it all go and to invite the possibility of fertility and childbearing in 2015.

Achievements I’m celebrating: Of course, my year has not passed without cause for celebration either.The thing that I’m most proud of is that this year I gave myself permission to focus more fully on my writing life. Doing so has opened so many incredible doors, all of which have reinforced that writing is a major part of what I’m meant to be doing with my life. After years of coming up with ideas and shelving files of half written stories and pieces, I’ve finally completed and published my book – Wild Essence. I’m blown away by the positive feedback I’ve been getting for the book too. I can’t explain how having this life long dream come into being has shaken my world. And I know there is so much more to come. That aside, I’ve done more freelance writing, guest posts and magazine articles this year too. One of the things that I wrote in my work book at the start of the year was to “get published in more anthologies”. Would you believe that this is exactly what happened? I’ve been included in two anthologies – one is Wild+Precious, which was compiled by Wild Sister Magazine, the other is called Spiritual Awakenings and will be launched soon.

How has 2014 treated you? And what are you celebrating and releasing as the year comes to a close? workbook