Category Archives: Self care

Ayurvedic bedtime drink

Today I would love to share one of my favouritest (is that a word?) drinks with you. It is the version I have adapted from Dr Johan Douillard’s website. If you would like to learn more about ayurveda from an ayurvedic physician, I recommend exploring his site for some great information.

Milk is really good for helping us go to sleep and this drink is a wonder when it comes to pacifying vata dosha.

In ayurveda, food is considered in terms of it’s qualities, instead of it’s calorie count or vitamin or mineral content. In ayurveda, the quality of milk is cold, sweet and heavy. When we heat it and add warming spices, we make it easier to digest. It is really good for vata and pitta types. Kapha types may like to spice it up with ginger or nutmeg and use soy or almond milk. Milk is really nourishing for the tissues.

You can use organic, unhomoginised cow’s milk, rice, almond, hemp, good quality soy or any other milk you like.

The addition of the ayurvedic herbs makes it more potent. Please check with your health care provider if you are not sure about using the herbs. Ayurvedic herbs are very powerful.

  • Shatavari is the wonder herb for all women. It translates as “strength of 100 husbands”. It contains unusually high amounts of plant derived oestrogen used to balance the female hormonal system and strengthen virility. It is good for PMS, menopause, help with lactation and to balance the menstrual cycle. Please check with your health care provider about it’s safety during pregnancy.
  • Ashwagandha has a calming effect on the mind and nerves. It translates as “strength of 10 horses.” It strengthens the  bones and muscles and is particularly beneficial for reducing anxiety as well as reversing sexual debility in men.

Here is my recipe:

Bring half a cup of milk and half a cup of water to a boil on the stove.

While the milk is coming to a boil, add:

  • One chopped date
  • One tablespoon of almond meal
  • One tablespoon of coconut meal
  • One teaspoon of ghee
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cardamom powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of shatavari powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ashwagandha powder

Once milk has come to a boil, remove from heat and blend. You can use a stick blender in the pot or pop into into a big blender.

Strain any sediment through a fine sieve and enjoy with one teaspoon of raw honey.

Drinking this for three months will build up your ojas (strength and immunity) and help you to have a beautiful sleep.

I hope you enjoy and don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works for you. John Douillard adds saffron, but my body doesn’t seem to like it, so I don’t add it. My body is craving cardamom, so I am quite liberal in my addition of it.

Ayurveda is all about connecting with your own body and it’s needs. Use this as a base and feel into what your body needs.

I would love to hear from you once you have tried it. Let me know if it makes a difference to your state of mind and if you feel better after drinking it.

I also make it for my children without the addition of the ayurvedic herbs and they love it too.

Blessings to you.

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Mastering self love

{Photo of me at my most recent yoga training. Photo sent to my family at the time :).}

Hi gorgeous! I hope that you are taking care of yourself. I know it can be challenging sometimes. Modern life demands so much of us, doesn’t it? It can really feel like we are being pulled in a hundred directions.

Often, when we make a decision to slow down and start doing more for ourselves, we end up causing ourselves more anxiety. Living in a way that is more attuned to the cycles of nature and in alignment with our true nature is not an over night achievement. Often, we are up against years and years of unhealthy habits. Years of putting ourselves last that may have built up as resentment, anger, tiredness, pain in the body and even depression.

If you are wanting to heal your life, my advice to you is to take is slow. Make one change at a time.

Ayurveda does not advise making lots of changes at once. Yoga is taught in stages. We don’t just walk into a yoga class and stand on our heads in the first lesson!

We learn about our bodies, start building a relationship with our breath and each time we step on to the mat, we peel away another layer. I like to think of it as an artichoke. There are many layers that need to be peeled away to reveal that delicious heart.

And how many of us do not want to cook artichokes because it is so damn hard to get to that heart?

We are so accustomed to living in an instant society that when we decide to make changes for ourselves, we are surprised when things don’t work out  immediately. We get discouraged when we take a perceived step backwards.

Today, I would like to encourage you to reflect on your life up until this time. Sometimes, when we look at how far we have come, we can relax into our journey.

Ask yourself: What do I know now that I did not know 10 years ago? How am I living more in alignment with my true nature than I have ever been? What am I really proud of?

Marvel at the progress you have made in your own self development. Perhaps you eat healthier than you have ever eaten. Perhaps you value your sleep now and you didn’t before. Perhaps you are more patient and kind with your children and your family.

Remember, we are not looking for perfection here. We are looking for perspective. We are always, always growing. Nothing is ever complete. Just embrace where you are in your journey right now.

Now, think of one thing, just one thing that you would like to focus on improving for a while.

Perhaps you would like to start going to a yoga class. Did you know that the cost of a yoga class is less than the cost of a movie? Yoga teachers have so much wisdom to impart. We don’t think twice about going to watch a movie, but we have to budget for our own self care in the form of a yoga class.

Really think about how much you value yourself. Don’t your children deserve to receive the best of you?

Perhaps you can make a commitment to be in bed by 10pm. Did you know that Pitta dosha is active between the hours of 10 and 2? If we are still awake after 10pm, we have entered the element of fire, which is why we have a renewed burst of energy at 10 o’clock. Lots of fun at 10, but not so fun in the morning when our family needs our attention.

I would love to know about your journey. Have you made positive changes in your life that deserve to be celebrated?

Mastering self love is a daily practice. There is no destination. There is only the journey.

What can you do today, that can bring you more peace and joy?

Blessings to you.

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In praise of the afternoon nap

Hi gorgeous!

How are you doing? If you are reading this and it also Autumn for you, I hope that you are managing to slow down. When I wrote about Ayurveda’s take on Autumn in this post, I mentioned how Vata time (the quality that is most prominent in this season) makes us a bit heady and spacey. This is because the qualities of air and space are prevalent, so we naturally amplify those qualities within ourselves.

One thing I haven’t mentioned is how different times of the day are also more prominent. These are rough guides and they can vary based on the time of year and your latitude, but, generally, Vata is most active between the hours of two and six. This is applicable in the afternoon and in the evening.

Do you ever wake at two in the morning? Ha, ha, that is Vata time! Meditation is recommended before six a.m. because Vata is the most “airy” time of the day, so we are very receptive.

But, this is a post about afternoon naps, I digress.

Basically, if you have Vata in your constitution, a Vata imbalance or it is Vata season (windy, cold, dry) outside, you need to take extra precautions at Vata time to stay balanced.

Vata needs warmth, grounding, sweetness and routine.

An afternoon nap (20 minutes or so) is a perfect way to ground Vata, since it slows down the movement that is inherent in Vata. If we don’t consciously slow down at this time of the day, we can get a bit frazzled and feel really worn out by the end of the day. Do this for a couple of years and you start waking at 2 a.m. (I know because I have done it!)

When I first started working on balancing my constitution (My Vata was out of balance), I would nap every day if I could. On the days that I couldn’t, I made a point of sitting and having a cup of tea.

Now that I feel much more grounded, I still have a nap if I feel like it.

Or else, I make myself a cup of chai with a cookie (remember I said Vata needs sweet – I have just given you permission to have some cake in the afternoon!). I also read or watch something inspiring, sit outside, or just lie in bed. I do this between two and three p.m. before I pick up my children from school. When they come home, we have some more afternoon tea, all together. (You can’t have too much afternoon tea, I say!)

My husband has a job in the city and does not have the luxury of lying down for an afternoon nap, so I have encouraged him to go for afternoon tea with his colleagues and to eat something sweet (fruit is really good to have at this time) between the hours of two and six. He says that it really makes a difference to his day and he also doesn’t come home ravenous.

I hope that is helpful to you. Give it a try and let me know if it makes a difference to your day.

Blessings to you.

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Welcome New Mama

Dear Mama.

Today is a special day. It is your birthday. The crossing over the threshold. A new role. A new life. A new initiation. You are Mother.

Please don’t miss the sacredness of this day.

Your baby has chosen you. Yes, you!

You, with the swollen breasts, sore body and heart that has just been broken open. It’s ok. You don’t know what to do. It feels so scary. It feels so beautiful. It feels so perfect. You are as close to Spirit as you can get right now. Inhale the smell of pure Love. In your arms.

Your baby has chosen you. Yes, you!

You, with the crooked nose and matty hair. You, with the thighs that are too big. You, with the blemishes on your skin.

Your baby doesn’t care. Your baby only sees your beauty. Your baby only sees the love that is bursting from your heart. Treasure the vulnerability you are feeling right now. Your greatest strength lies there.

Your baby has chosen you. Yes, you!

You, with the insecurities and bad moods. You, with the PMS. You, with the fear of failure. You, who gets things wrong. You, who shouts at people and eats ice cream in the middle of the night.

Your baby doesn’t care. Your baby only sees your beauty. Your baby only sees the love that is bursting from your heart. Treasure the vulnerability you are feeling right now. Your greatest strength lies there.

Your baby has chosen you. Yes, you!

You, with the strength of the Great Mother flowing through your veins. You, with all the Mothers before you living inside you. You, with the love of Mother Mary. You, with the compassion of Quan Yin. You, with the creativity of Saraswati. You, with the fierceness of Durga.

You. Beautiful Mother. Sacred, blessed Woman. The keeper of life.

I bow to you, new Mother. I believe in you. You are chosen to raise this child. Let Love guide you and you cannot fail.

Blessings to you on this new day.

The day a new Mother is born.

 

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Being a first-time mama is an amazing experience. The New Mama Welcome Pack blog hop is a celebration of this life changing event! Follow the links to discover more unmissable advice, stories and essential tips. And if you’re a new mama who wants to rock motherhood without guilt, overwhelm or losing yourself, check out the New Mama Welcome Pack here.

New Mama Welcome Pack / Lotte Lane / Dreaming Aloud / Zhendria / Birthing in Conscious Choice / Natalie Garay / Eli Trier / Knecht Ruprecht / Lise Meijer / Naomi Goodlet / A Lifestyle By Design / Story of Mum / Like a Bird / Holistic Mama / Birth Geek / Joyful Parenting / Stroller Packing / My Healthy Beginning / Mums and More / Kate Beddow – Growing Spirits / Ellen Nightingale / Stacie Whitney / Maternity Leavers / Photography for Busy Parents / Close Enough To Kiss / Atelier Susana Tavares / Offbeat Family / Katie m. Berggren ~ Painting Motherhood / Winship Wellness Blog / Liberate From Weight / Jessica Cary / Art + Craft / Raising Playful Tots / Peaceful Mothering / Play Activities / Lauren Nenna / Nurture You / The Adventure Mama / Be Wise Be Healthy / b.a.d.momGoodmom / Doula in Your Pocket / Making Mom Strong / Adrienn Csoknyay / Joyful Parents / Alison Hummel / Simple Solutions for Photos / Lynne Newman / Euphoric Birth / Mumpreneur Mentor / A Walk in the Clouds / Parenting on the Fence / MiaMily

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 Inspiring Peace Series. 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?

Today we meet the lovely Claire McAuliffe from Claire the Life Coach.

ClaireMcAuliffe

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

My mother was very distant with myself and my siblings so I always knew that I wanted a close relationship with all my kids. I’m still their parent but certainly not as strict as parents were in years gone by. I’ve learnt so much from my kids and also found that they are more open to sharing all sorts of things with me, some of which I’ve known nothing about! It’s been pretty hilarious at times!

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

Relax and don’t sweat the small stuff, trust your intuition! (I know it’s more than one but they are all important!) I worried too much about what other mothers’ thought instead of being practical and following my instincts.

  • How do you honour your femininity as a mother?

I always like to dress well wherever I am, not only because it makes me feel good but I see the pride in my children’s faces when they see me looking neatly dressed. I recently had my 9 year old son request that I wear an evening dress to the parent information night!! How do you explain that you would show up all the other mothers??!!!

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

It is very important that I exercise every morning, eat clean and sleep at least 8 hours a night. When this is right, all is well with the world. I really love the quiet time in the morning too, it sets me up for the day. It is very important that I exercise every morning, eat clean and sleep at least 8 hours a night. When this is right, all is well with the world. I really love the quiet time in the morning too, it sets me up for the day.

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

I’ve always been an early riser and find that an organised day makes for a less stressful day. I like to organise one day in advance so everyone knows exactly what they are doing.

  • How important is rhythm in your life?

Rhythm is very important in my life and also the children’s, when life runs smoothly, everyone is happier. Having been a single mother of 8 children for almost 8 years now, rhythm provided the children with stability.

  • Finish these sentences:
  • I am happiest when: I’m drinking my morning coffee in the sunshine! (The beautiful quiet makes for wonderful insights!)
  • Love is: the most beautiful emotion on earth and makes the world go round.
  • My greatest wish for my children is: for each of them to find their own unique gift that makes them happy and be a bright shining light to the world.
  • What does being a peaceful mother mean to you?

Now this was the most difficult question to answer. Being a ‘peaceful mother’ to 8 children is difficult as I’m sure you can imagine. There have been moments when it all gets on top of you. BUT, when you think about these creations you’ve brought into the world and look at their characters and personalities, it warms your heart. They are each unique in their own way and as much as some things frustrate me at the end of the day I’m their mum. Being peaceful to me means doing my best for my children and letting them become responsible adults and I can look back and say ‘ Yep, I did a pretty damn good job’!!

About Claire:

Claire describes herself as a loving mother who out of difficult times has come through the other side to explore her gifts. A new life coach who want to guide women through their own troubles to find inner peace and excitement in the world. You can connect with Claire on Claire – The Life Coach.

Wow, Claire. Thank you for such beautiful sharing. Your radiance really does shine through in your picture and your words. Your 8 (wow!) children are so lucky to have a mama like you. I totally agree with you about always being well presented. It makes such a difference to our mood and really demonstrates our own self love, doesn’t it?

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