the power of reflection

I often get told that I am a very calm person. So often of late, that I thought, perhaps I should write about it. Firstly though I just want one thing clear, I am not always calm. I have totally lost my cool with the boys, I have bad days, I have bad nights and I feel permanently sleep deprived and often wonder if I will ever be able to “sleep-in” without interruption ever again.

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You know those people who you see… they might be friends, acquaintances or strangers, and they look physically impressive? And we take one look at them and think wow I wish I looked like that and we go for a jog once for 2 kilometers and are then perplexed that we haven’t achieved a result? Well that’s because those people ACTUALLY WORK REALLY HARD. I am NOT one of these people but I do think that overtime I have become brain-fit for lack of a better term, and there is always room for improvement.

I don’t believe I learnt the profession of being a Psychologist just from four years of study at University. I have learnt it from studying people, every single day. I am fascinated by human interaction. I am very interested in how people behave, speak and use body language to convey messages. I am also incredibly interested by what people don’t do. I listen and observe. I take all of this information and I reflect. I reflect on my own behaviour, my beliefs, my actions and I adjust, acknowledge, maintain or improve.  Which leads me to my main point. The power of reflection. I use positive affirmations a lot in my practice because I believe that if you don’t have positive beliefs that outweigh the negatives then you need a reminder and a tool. But it’s not just about reading them and hoping “yay I feel great”. It’s deeper than that. It’s about reflecting on their meaning, pausing and applying it to a past belief, current belief or how you want your future to unfold. That’s a bit philosophical and you are probably wondering how that all makes me calm. Well it doesn’t. It’s not just one thing. I suppose I am trying to say that it takes practice, just like it does for people who have achieved physical well-being. And, it’s a way of being that I have come to establish over time. Also, I will never claim to know everything and regularly seek advice from people wiser and more knowledgeable than myself. I am always, always open-minded to new and different ways of doing things even if there is not a lot of evidence to support it. It means that I am not closed. I see possibilities, I give things and people chances and above all I keep learning because it’s learning and reflecting on experiences, that helps us grow. I do all of this to improve my mental well-being and so I suppose, it is how I remain generally, calm.

 

You know you are a mother of boys when

  1. Your house has become a race track for cars or a sprint track for running. Or both.
  2. You know every superhero name AND their villains
  3. Your child’s first word was OUT as in “I want to go outside because the pure thought of being couped up inside is bringing me to tears” – Master Two at 13 Months.
  4. Even sitting requires moving
  5. Sport – really no further explanation required here
  6. Balls – as above
  7. Household items have become bats – spoons, chopsticks, spatulas, rulers etc
  8. Parks and playgrounds are your very dear friends
  9. Having a civilised meal in a restaurant is virtually impossible
  10. “Please don’t jump on……….” and “Please don’t jump off…….” are common phrases in your day
  11. You have started carrying a packet of bandaids in your bag.
  12. It is impossible to leave the house without taking food.
  13. Three words sum up their day Eat, run, sleep – Repeat.

a trip to the craft store “mecca” – with children

beautiful fabric sourced from a stunning perth based store "Calico and Ivy". To be used for my next projects - cloth dolls and softies.

beautiful fabric sourced from a stunning Perth based store “Calico and Ivy”. To be used for my next projects – cloth dolls and softies.

So I was a little bit excited when a friend of mine asked if she could place a custom order for a doll to be made as a gift for a friend expecting a baby girl. Well, excited is putting it lightly, I was ecstatic. Up until now I have been using fabric that I have collected over the years including stunning Laura Ashley cottons, sourced vintage fabrics and those bits and bobs that have been handed down to me either by my mother or from my nanna. But, a paid project…well I couldn’t resist buying something tremendous and new from the most amazing craft store, Calico and Ivy. For crafters/knitters/sewers and the like it is literally paradise and a place of beauty. When I was there one of two staff members struck up conversation. She said that people have spent hours in their store, literally hours. I wish I had hours to swish around the store dreaming of all the things I could make, perusing the beautiful inspirational books at leisure, looking at all the trinkets, conversing with the staff about my next project. But I had minutes, because I took children. I took boys to a place of peace and tranquility and wrecked it. I just wanted my little piece of heaven.

When I parked out the front of the store, Master two was snoring peacefully in the car. Perfect. He even transferred to the pram. Hoorah! Only one child to have to worry about. Enter Master one at the top of his lungs “Mum LOOK! He’s awaaaaaake”!. I laugh now writing this. I was not laughing when it happened. We enter the store and are welcomed by the staff. Thankfully I had a goal. We conversed. “It’s Ok I have children too, I understand” said the staff member. And she did. We chatted some more but internally I was frantically trying to “take in the paradise experience” in enough time before Master two potentially screamed the place down from not getting enough sleep or master one from breaking something VERY expensive. WTF was I thinking?! I don’t think we had made the 5 min mark and I went looking for “the toy box”, praying they had one so that he could sit down and play with the toys. They did have one, but there was a ball in the box ………….and my paradise session ended. Game over. You know when they find a toy and they look at you with that “if you try to take this off me I am literally going to make a scene of epic proportions” look? The one where they have the potential to run around screaming like a crazed animal? Yup, we had THAT moment. So I allowed the ball. For those who know my son well, for a three and half year old, his ball skills are very, very good. So, every opportunity he gets, he likes to practice. Thankfully the instructions of “no kicking” and “no throwing” were adhered too. He impressed the staff with his bouncing and catching skills. How old is he? My son can’t do that and he is seven. Ok, awesome that you are bedazzled by the ball skills, but I am quietly praying I can source my fabric at a store that I get to visit once in a blue moon without actually buying the contents of the store, because we have broken everything in it. When the ball was bounced down the stairs with a “thud, thud, thud…and boing!! in an unknown direction with a “look! LOOK MUUUUUUUM! Look what I am DOOOINGGG”. I magic mother inspector gadget extender armed the ball to safety, caught one handed of course whilst holding crying baby, promptly paid for my fabric and handed the ball to the shop attendant. And she calmly said “Oh, is that our ball?”.

thanks Frankie

Welcome dear friends to the first post of my new venture, Colours of Motherhood. A couple of little pieces of information to get us started. I have ideas. Lots of them. I am pretty sure my husband could have a small savings account by now from all the times I have said to him “So I have an idea”. I have house reno ideas, craft ideas, business ideas, story ideas, cost saving, environment helping and recycling ideas. The list goes on. Some of my ideas become something but most get written down in a notebook to read during my rare moments of reflection and contemplation as my little Masters 1 and 2 sleep long enough for me to reheat my cold cup of decaffeinated coffee and fantasise about said ideas.

Colours of Motherhood was of course one of these ideas. I thought it would be a sensational title for a book and although I have written a few words down, there is probably enough for half a chapter. Awesome job. Not really going to get half a chapter published any time soon so thought it could work as a great title for my jump into the virtual world. So that’s the title. Let me tell you the picture has already been my first stumbling block. I trawled through an excessive amount of photos from past overseas holidays hoping to find the perfect landscape, sunset, garden or water shot that would do a supreme job at helping you the reader to feel serene, contemplative etc etc. I love taking photos and there were many to choose from but none matched the title. And then it dawned on me. Colours of Motherhood is pretty much the complete opposite of serene. I am a stay at home mother of two adorable boys and my waking hours are spent feeding, cleaning, tidying (yes, they are different), washing, drying, cooking, and being an amateur at all things art and craft, ball sports, healthcare and general house and garden maintenance. In fact just the other day I embarked on some trimming in the garden whilst kicking a soccer ball to my three yr old. Yes that did happen and yes, it was difficult. But, I wanted to garden and my son wanted to play ball. These are the things one does when you have different daily priorities to a three yr old. Anyway back to the picture, I needed something that depicted my average day. Really, there was nothing more fitting than one of my sons paintings. It was perfect. Colourful, messy, spontaneous and in the moment. I am not the careful photographer travelling the world pre-engaged DINK (double income no kids, love that term), I am a mother in a house filled with boys. Things have changed.

And then lastly, the title of my first post. About two years ago I was sitting in my friends toilet and like all good toilet rooms it had reading material. Now I know some of you might cringe at the reading on the toilet idea but lets face it, for those of you who have children you understand one very important thing, time to yourself is so precious that you will take any time you can get to yourself, even if its on the toilet. I picked up a Frankie magazine and my life changed. For those of you already acquainted with Frankie your heads will be nodding and you will be mm mmm-ing in quiet approval. Frankie is an amazing magazine filled with all the things that I love and have very little time to do any of – art, photography, travel, craft, home and things about life. It is incredibly well written and showcases all things and all people who are, in their own way, crafty. I am entering my third year of subscription and it is one of those “looking forward to getting a letter in the mail when you were 7” moments, when it arrives. I wait till the boys are asleep and I escape to a world where other peoples’ ideas have actually come to fruition and of course, I get inspired. So, thanks Frankie for being my inspiration and for reminding me that there are fantastic, creative little bodies out there just going about their business and making things just that little bit more interesting.

So, what can you expect from Colours of Motherhood? Little snippets of my ideas I guess. You might see crafty things, little stories or poems about my experiences in life and with my children, quotes that I like to help us get through the day, maybe a recipe. General musings about life and the universe.

I hope you enjoy reading.

PS – apologies in advance for any grammar no nos or anything like that. It is a christmas miracle that this was written in one sitting (during nap time). I had just enough time to skim proof read to ensure it sounded ok.

Have a great weekend.

E