Inspiring peace – conversations with wise women

{The image above was drawn by my eight year old, Annie. It is a picture of me doing yoga, looking very peaceful and chic with my mani and pedi. Thank you Roxanne Gordon at Rogo Graphics Inc for the graphic design on Annie’s artwork. I love it.}

Hi gorgeous ones!

Welcome to the first of a little series I am creating. Showcasing mothers all over the world who live by the philosophy of creating peace in the world by parenting from the heart, in a way that adds love to the world. Sounds good?

I will start the series by sharing a bit about myself:

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  • What was the catalyst that inspired you into mothering the way that you do?

My own mother had a very big heart. She loved her children fiercely, seeing only the highest potential in us and always encouraging us to be the best versions of ourselves. Unfortunately, she was not very good at taking care of her own needs. After I ended up with post natal depression when my first-born was four months old, something in me clicked. I realised that I was pushing against my own needs and not really living to my highest potential. I realised that I was modelling my own mother’s behaviour by putting my needs last. I realised that if I did not do things in a different way, my own children would just do what I do and not what I say. The profound realisation that if I model self love, I will teach my own children to love themselves. I realised that my children deserve to see a mother who is happy and living to her full potential. I realised that for me to parent my children, I had to parent myself first. And the journey of learning to love myself first began.

  • If you could tell a new mother just one thing that would make her journey of parenting more joyful, what would it be?

Get help so that you can take the time to enjoy the little things. Indigenous cultures live in communities and mothers of young children are left to look after their babies while the rest of the community takes care of the day to day tasks like cooking, cleaning and looking after older children. I was so frazzled and such a perfectionist that when the neighbour’s mother came to help me learn how to breastfeed, I said “No thank you.” I was too embarrassed to get something wrong, that I would not let anyone help me. It was much better with my second child, where I let my husband do as much house work as he was able to, while I gazed into my baby’s eyes and allowed myself to enjoy the gift that comes with caring for a new life.

  • How do you honour your femininity as a mother?

I live my life around my menstrual cycle. We have a family calendar and the whole family knows when it is mama’s time to rest. I have learned that if I don’t honour my body’s natural need to slow down, turn inwards and reflect, that my whole family suffers. If I am not filled up, I have emotional outbursts and tears, which does not serve anyone at home. I am teaching my children that women go through cycles and that it is perfectly natural to stop and rest. I make a point of planning my social events around the active time of my cycle and keeping things really quiet at the reflective time of my cycle.

  • What are your non negotiables for your own self care?

A daily yoga and meditation practice. Sometimes it is two minutes, sometime it is two hours. The point is that I visit the sacred space within at least once a day. I light a candle every night and do my practice. This includes yoga postures, writing in my journal, reading something inspiring and meditating. Sometimes I do all of these, other times, I just connect with the flame. I always do a deep yogic relaxation (yoga nidra) in bed before going to sleep. I have been doing it every night for the last four years. I have a recording that I listen to, which my husband can repeat word for word! A twenty minute relaxation equates to three hours of sleep, a very good thing for all mothers!

  • What is one practical thing that you do on a daily basis to make your daily life run more smoothly?

I give my children chores. This depends on their ages and abilities. My son still needs a lot of encouragement and often I help him. I find that children need an adult to get in there and do things with them. Standing and yelling only increases the tension for the adults and the children. I find it much more productive when I get in there with them and show them my enthusiasm for taking care of our home. My daughter is now very self sufficient and she often does things out of her own without me having to ask. She is learning to take pride in her environment. I try and focus on the good things that they do and this inspires them to do more. I get them to take a step back and admire what they have done, always ending with: “Doesn’t it feel good to take care of your home?” Everyone in the world wants to feel that they matter and that what they do makes a difference. I think that involving children in the creation of a beautiful home is one of the most powerful ways for them to understand their worth.

  • How important is rhythm in your life?

Rhythm is crucial. The whole of nature is governed by rhythm. The sun rises and sets, seasons change. I find that I am much calmer when I attune to the rhythms of nature. I also find that my whole nervous system is more relaxed when it knows what is coming next. Rhythm is different to routine in that it allows for flexibility, whereas routine can be so rigid that it actually increases stress instead of relieving it. I find that my children are also much happier when we have a rhythm of eating times, sleeping times and even specific days for certain meals. Everyone looks forward to Moong Dhal Mondays in our home!

  • Finish these sentences:
  • I am happiest when: I have a cup of tea in one hand, my husband’s hand in the other hand and we are sitting in nature, listening to the sounds of birds, happy children and the satisfaction of a life lived in alignment with our dreams.
  • Love is: Seeing the highest qualities in the person in front of you, even when they are do not see it themselves. Love is unconditional. Love is the true form of the universe.
  • My greatest wish for my children is: That they live a life that inspires them to be the best versions of themselves every day. My greatest wish is that I always see that sparkle in their eyes.
  • What does being a peaceful mother mean to you?

Being a peaceful mother means being ok with not being perfect. It means being ok with getting things wrong. Apologising to your family. Letting go of the need for perfection and learning to love the beautiful mess that comes with being a woman and a mother.

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6 thoughts on “Inspiring peace – conversations with wise women

  1. Tracy Rowe

    Wow Olga,that was a beautiful post. I loved and have taken on board all you’ve said. You are so wise and I’m so grateful to have beautiful strong female role models in my life to share the yoga and life journey with. Thank you for sharing your insights and wisdom with the world. You are a gift to us all. Xoxo

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    Reply

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