A Few of My Fave Listens (Therapy) Featuring Pebbles!

Something has shifted since I began walking with audio books. Something wonderful.

I am not walking and listening to fiction, – I have decided that I am using the time to educate myself / give myself necessary (cheaper!) therapy! I am thoroughly enjoying it. Later down the tracks I might change topics, learn Japanese or how to be a millionaire but at the moment am working on my self. How very novel. 

I walk at about 5.30pm each night just as the sun is setting over the vineyards, birds are singing and as I walk down old country roads filled with pebbles, I collect interesting ones to bring home for the kids. They love it. Sometimes they get a bonus ‘stolen flower’.

I wanted to write down what I have got out of these great walking sessions to consolidate my learnings, so thought I might aswell write it here, and maybe inspire someone else. So this is a selfish and caring post all rolled into one.

I’ve listened to 3 books so far – so if I do the maths I could work out how many hours I’ve walked eh?

The first two have been parenting orientated but I’ve had a few “issues” that have been coming up with my parenting – and I choose to try and get to the bottom of them. No-one is a perfect parent, no one will ever be one – but I want to be the best one I can be and these first two audio books have helped me with some, A-ha” moments. I’ve handled things all the better for having listened to them!

The third is one addressing my creative blocks and a desire to punch on through them and live the life I was born to live (I already am I know, but y’know take it up a notch)

1) Gifts of the Imperfect Parent – Brene Brown 

I have heard great things about Brene Brown so this was first on the list. I wasn’t blown away by it, I enjoyed it but if I were going to recommend a parenting one to listen to it would be…..

2. Parenting from the Inside Out 

This one is fascinating and delves deeply into psychology and memory and how the brain works, so if this doesn’t interest you, I’d go more in the Brene direction. Her accent is lovely.  I found this really fantastic AND helpful. It examines how our own childhoods impact how we parent. All of us. You know how sometimes you have a weird reaction / melt-down with your child, then afterwards think “WTF just happened?” THIS helps you to understand WTF just happened and HTF to try and get a grip on it. Knowledge is power – plus it has pratical stuff in there if you are prepared to do the work.

At some stages while walking with this and it was going rather deeply into autobiographical memory etc… my mind wandered to “Oh that pebble is a beauty” but for the most part – this book is important if you are having the WTF moments.

3. Reflections on the Artist’s Way

Well. I love Julia Cameron. I read the Artist’s Way ages ago and can’t seem to find my book. I am going to go back and find it and do the 12 week course, because she is just brilliant. This audio is a talk she gives to a live audience. She is so articulate and eloquent….. and so wise. I want to go on an Artist’s Date with her. This has really motivated me and got me thinking about my ‘creative blocks” and also the tragedy of living a life being too scared to go after your creative dreams. Recommend. I’m going to get the book and do the course.

I am not walking and listening to fiction, – I have decided that I am using the time to educate myself / give myself necessary (cheaper!) therapy! I am thoroughly enjoying it. Later down the tracks I might change topics, learn Japanese or how to be a millionaire but at the moment am working on my self. How very novel. 

I walk at about 5.30pm each night just as the sun is setting over the vineyards, birds are singing and as I walk down old country roads filled with pebbles, I collect interesting ones to bring home for the kids. They love it. Sometimes they get a bonus ‘stolen flower’.

I wanted to write down what I have got out of these great walking sessions to consolidate my learnings, so thought I might aswell write it here, and maybe inspire someone else. So this is a selfish and caring post all rolled into one.

I’ve listened to 3 books so far – so if I do the maths I could work out how many hours I’ve walked eh?

The first two have been parenting orientated but I’ve had a few “issues” that have been coming up with my parenting – and I choose to try and get to the bottom of them. No-one is a perfect parent, no one will ever be one – but I want to be the best one I can be and these first two audio books have helped me with some, A-ha” moments. I’ve handled things all the better for having listened to them!

The third is one addressing my creative blocks and a desire to punch on through them and live the life I was born to live (I already am I know, but y’know take it up a notch)

1) Gifts of the Imperfect Parent – Brene Brown 

I have heard great things about Brene Brown so this was first on the list. I wasn’t blown away by it, I enjoyed it but if I were going to recommend a parenting one to listen to it would be…..

2. Parenting from the Inside Out 

This one is fascinating and delves deeply into psychology and memory and how the brain works, so if this doesn’t interest you, I’d go more in the Brene direction. Her accent is lovely.  I found this really fantastic AND helpful. It examines how our own childhoods impact how we parent. All of us. You know how sometimes you have a weird reaction / melt-down with your child, then afterwards think “WTF just happened?” THIS helps you to understand WTF just happened and HTF to try and get a grip on it. Knowledge is power – plus it has pratical stuff in there if you are prepared to do the work.

At some stages while walking with this and it was going rather deeply into autobiographical memory etc… my mind wandered to “Oh that pebble is a beauty” but for the most part – this book is important if you are having the WTF moments.

3. Reflections on the Artist’s Way

Well. I love Julia Cameron. I read the Artist’s Way ages ago and can’t seem to find my book. I am going to go back and find it and do the 12 week course, because she is just brilliant. This audio is a talk she gives to a live audience. She is so articulate and eloquent….. and so wise. I want to go on an Artist’s Date with her. This has really motivated me and got me thinking about my ‘creative blocks” and also the tragedy of living a life being too scared to go after your creative dreams. Recommend. I’m going to get the book and do the course.

TED Radio Hour

Well I love this! TED adapted for radio with some quirky guy hosting. I really enjoyed this episode on happiness:

Simply Happy 

Heart Centred Living

I’ve been doing a (much needed) course I somehow stumbed upon — 21 day Self-Care course by the very lovely Judy Culgan. I have no idea how I stumbled upon it but I am almost halfway through and am really improving with a lot of my self-care. You can check out her website here

With this combination of taking time out for me, to look after me – nurture my mind, my interests – delve into the dark places and try and heal old issues – I feel really great. Even had a breakthrough recently and have consciously, after 35 years of it being an A-Hole, changed my inner-voice from enemy to BFF. Ha. I have always been terribly hard on myself, terribly. People have always told me this, but I’ve only just taken the reigns on this, and I sweet talk myself all the time now, sometimes even wink at myself in the mirror.

Have you read or listened to anything totally life changing lately? Taken part in an inspiring e-course?

 

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Something to Treasure

Big day today.

One of Monte’s mates was having a birthday party at the local Aquatic Centre, we had a pressie to buy and a pair of swimmers to buy for Tansy.

It was action packed in the mall. Shopping malls stress me out, but we got the job done.

Then, Cowboy knocked off work and he went to the gym as it was open day and he was to show off his crossfit prowess, Monte went along with him.

Tansy and I went to the park.

Oh why am I giving an itinerary. I think I’ve lost the art of writing a story. Anyway. We went to the birthday party. I was blown away at how far Monte has come with swimming in 2 weeks – jumping in the deepend and going under water as if he had always done it.

Tansy swimming with Dave “I want to do it all by myself” she says over and over.

After the pool Monte and I came home, Dave and Tansy went in other vehicle.

Monte went straight to the table and started drawing something, as he does. I started cleaning things, as I do.

“Mum” he said clutching his piece of paper “Come outside and sit on the step”

Usually, well a lot, I’d be all “No, no I’ve got to do XYZ” but something stopped this – and I said “OK sure”

He asked me to tie the dogs up. I did.

He then said “Stay sitting on the step”

He revealed his piece of paper had a map drawn on it, that I wasn’t allowed to look at.

He watched it carefully and walked all over the yard, a zig zag here, a side-step there, a shuffle past there. I took a breath and really appreciated just ‘watching’ him. Even reflected on how much I appreciated it as a kid when my parents took the time to “watch me”.  I wondered if he was burying something that I would have to find or something

After much more zigzagging and sidestepping and intense map-reading he then headed over to the step and I got the shock of my life when he cuddled me.

“You are my treasure” he said.

Yes, I cried happy tears. Totally taken aback at this most beautiful gesture.

He never ceases to amaze me. He ia busy boy, a cranky boy (I think only because he is learning so much at school and tired afterwards) an “i haven’t got time for cuddles or affection boy”, a boy’s boy (increasingly so – Dad this, Dad that)

But this little episode was one of those non-busy moments where a little bit of his beautiful soul was revealed.

Blown away.

When Cowboy got home, he did the same thing for him. There was no way I wasn’t going to blog this. A moment to treasure, indeed.

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I Felt It Through the Grapevines

Except this is not a pic of them because I couldn't find them haha

A walk through the grapevines.

It has become a healing kinda thang to do with my kids. Usually it is just a dawdle together for 10 minutes featuring “Can I go on your shoulders?” and “Look a butterfly!” but there is something about this little ritual that brings me back down, literally, to Earth with my kids.

This afternoon, Tansy, Raggedy Ann and I made our way though the vines.

It is picture perfect outside, blue sky, singing birds, butterflies (but only those boring white ones) and an abundance of feathers on the ground.

Most of the walk Tansy was up on my shoulders commentating. Good god, she can commentate. I guess I have myself to blame thank. I commentate and sing to her and now she does the same, from sun-up to sun-down. Cowboy and I have nicknamed her sing-song – her voice has a melody to it. She loves the outdoors, the feathers, the butterflies. Since having kids I really have fallen in love with these things again. A gift they have given to me is to be in the present and to find wonder in nature.

When I’m with them in the grapevines. I’m just as excited about a dragonfly or what the ants are carrying as they are.

I love that my innocence and wonder returns when I’m hanging with them.

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Much Ado About Nothing

*like this blogpost

 

I’m forcing myself to blog because when I blogged daily I let stuff out more and felt better. So purely indulgent. Not sure if there is anything worth reading to follow. Will see what these here fingers punch out. It does beg the question, why don’ tI just write something and not put it on the internet if that is my intention. Hmmmm good point. But this is a special area for my records so whatever.

“More! More!” I hear you chant

“She cuts through to the heart with her epic writing”

“Strategic but heartfelt prose”

“Her opening paragraph will leave you gasping for more”

Ok now that is out of the system I shall see what else would like to come out of the system. My fingers seem to know more about what I think then my head. When I write the brain sends clearer messages to my fingers than to my thoughts. Not sure that makes sense.

Fingers: “Yes, makes perfect sense – keep it coming”

So, did some audio-walking today which was my idea influenced by the genius that is Pip Lincolne. Is there no end to her fresh ideas I sometimes wonder!

I think it is the way forward. Walking + listening to a book = wonderful.

I go the library a lot, and I’m laced with ambition. Piles upon piles of books come home with me, and then return to where they came, unread. But now, oh now. I exercise (which is novel – my body has been dormant for hmmm ages) and now I read a book while exercising. Well, it is read to me! How good is it.

I am actually motivated to move-it, move-it – and when I’m listening to an interesting bit it makes me go the extra mile! Literally! Literally, Literally. Get it?

Literaturely! Extra Mile! Oh god, I need to write more, so much crap is flowing from the fingers. But I gotta let it out. No-one is forcing you to read this.

What else was I going to tell you / myself/ the blog.

Well I love my dear friend Rosa, if she is reading this please know I appreciate you and hope you are having fun.

This evening the kids let loose with a hose and mud. It is, indeed winter – they were saturated with water – but they were also having THE MOST FUN I’ve ever witnessed. Laughing, loving, bonding – IN THE MOMENT. I could not let mess, the common cold or A THING stop this. I have been thinking about mortality a lot lately. Things have become quite dark in the world and as you get older you just think about it more don’t you.

Life really needs to be more moments like that. I had to look away and cringe. But they had fun.

I’m not sure what else I am going to say but Parenting from the Inside Out has been a great read (um listen) for me. There are a few things as a Mum that I’m not too keen on (ie- my own reactions to some things — patience, things that set you off but you are unsure why type stuff) and this is really helping me pay attention to these things. Change can only come from awareness. I recommend it for a listen slash read.

Going to M’s school tmrw for bookweek – have a sausage sizzle with him – thank god they don’t have dress up things like most other schools. Tmrw is PJs. He can just go straight to school in the morning. Too easy. I’ll add 15 minutes to sleep in the a.m

 

Was this honestly the most dribbly rubbish you’ve ever read? I do hope so. Top of the evening to you.

in all sincerity – if you did read – pls take a moment to say hello — I’ve missed the friendships that blogging delivered my way. Love to hear from you and what you’ve been up to.

 

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Learning To Live With The Spider In The Jar

 

 

Tonight I just lay in bed with him. Normally we read a book, well mostly Cowboy takes him to bed and they read, and add things up and draw 3D shapes.

But tonight I got to do the honors. Instead of continuing Enid Blyton’s The Wishing Chair – he wanted to do some drawing. “You really like drawing don’t you?”

“Like it? I absolutely love it!” he said.

So I sat in bed with him and he showed me different pictures he had already drawn. Mostly monsters, and ghosts oh and a Monster Truck.

Then he had pages where he had written lots of words and ‘ticked’ them off. I remember doing this as a kid too. Playing school.

As he showed me through his book – I really placed myself into the moment.

“This is my boy, showing me who he is” I thought to myself.

I made a conscious decision to not intervene, talk over him – but just to listen.

I noticed how cute his nose was and a couple of freckles on his face. I had never noticed freckles there before.

He drew me a picture of a castle with a bat and a vampire on top.

He  told me it was Science Day at school today, he regretted looking into one of the glass jars because it had a spider in it, and he thought the spider would visit his dreams.

“Even if I try really hard not to think about it – it still won’t go away”

I thought this was a good opportunity to talk about the fact we all have a spider that won’t go away. Sometimes the more we try and make the spider goes away, the bigger and creepier it gets – the more it demands our attention.

I told him something I have only just learnt and wish someone taught me at 5.

“There is no point trying to make the spider go away – just acknowledge it. “Hey Spider” if he wants to hang around , let him hang around.”

I then encouraged him to take some mind-photos of all the happy places and things he knows.

“Where is your favorite place to be?”

He went through – home, Pop and Noon’s, Tumbarumba – I asked him to think of something that made him laugh and he said “When Tansy dances!”

He had fun taking photos of all these memories in his mind.   I told him to keep adding to that file everytime something good happens – to take a mind-pic and add it to the files. It won’t make the spider go away, but it will help you see that although there is a creepy spider it is way outnumbered by awesome stuff!

Yes, I took notes for myself as my inner Swami made a spontaneous appearance.

Most of the time as a parent I feel I’m doing it wrong (aren’t we all) I have no idea if what we talked about tonight stuck – but I really hope it did.

It was more than just a speech, the last week we have been talking about things we are grateful for at dinner. I think this is so important. Stockpiling the joy to keep the spider in the jar at bay.

I’m listening to an audiobook ‘Parenting from the Inside Out” — it has really made me realise how important it is for me to write about these experiences, reflect and make sense of interactions. So, that is why I blogged again today.

 

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