Sacred or Dread?

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* This post contains affiliated links*

This is not a conversation for fannying around, so I’ll cut to the chase. What’s your relationship with your period?  Do you dread it? Tolerate it? Accept it as part of your monthly routine? Celebrate it? Behold it as sacred? And why do you feel the way you do about it?

This is one of those topics that finally is becoming less and less taboo as more women embrace the art of honest conversation without shame or, more probably, embarrassment. If the thought of talking about your period or reading about other women’s menstrual cycles gives you the cringe, then this is the post for you – get comfy, grab some chocolate and settle in. I promise it’ll be bloody awesome (pun intended).

A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post about periods and simplifying our monthly visitor on my old blog site, which I have recently reread (and enjoyed, even if I do say so myself, so please, have a read and see what you think). I found that while I still agree with most of it, I have changed my perception around my own cycle. I actually look forward to my bleed time now rather than the irritated tolerance I used to regard it with.

That last sentence may seem a bit “out there” for many people, but yeh, I look forward to it because I understand it; my cycle, our cycles as women. We are not linear beings but cyclical, continuously revolving each and every month (the clue is in the name; monthly cycle). Think of it another way – if we were linear, we’d be flat lining. If you flatline, you’re dead. I’ll stick to cyclical thanks.fl

Since I had my first ever period, I have recorded it on either my calendar or in my diary;  always tracking when I was “due on” but never gave the other 21 days inbetween a second thought.  The cycle was 28 days, give or take, with a week each month to bleed and rage and weep and eat and legitimately be allowed to be thoroughly pissed off for no good reason. When I was working as a Senior Manager with 5 men (around 12 years ago), they actually knew when it was my time of the month and had it on the calendar in the Boss’s office – I shit you not. They tended to stay clear at that time as I was “crabbit“. Even now, I’m still uncertain as how how I feel about that…anyway, I digress… the point is, our cycle is not purely one of bleeding and not bleeding. There is so much more to it, and to us, than that.  And these days inbetween are just as important to how we function and live, as the days when it’s our “monthlies”.

We don’t just coast long for 3 weeks then BAM! bleeding for a few days and then back to “normal”. You may notice that you feel a little more tired, less tolerant, or freaking awesome and alive at different points in your cycle, yet be completely unaware that this is because of your cycle you are feeling like this.  Who knew this already? I know I certainly didn’t until a couple of months ago, when I began charting my cycle daily. It is an exercise I can heartily recommend, as it opened my eyes to the patterns in my own cycle.  This is the 3rd month that I have been consciously monitoring my ebbs and flows, moods, energy levels, primal need for chocolate and the release that only really good/creative swearing brings. I have seen where I am full of energy and motivation and actually achieving the tasks on my to-do list compared to when I get very little done but then there is an upswing in the need to chill.the.hell.out and hunker down.  Remember further up this post I mentioned that we are cyclical not linear? This is the reason why I was getting so frustrated with my bullet journal (which I no longer use) and why in some weeks, most of my tasks were being carried over into other weeks, not even just carried over onto the next day, I needed a whole other week to catch up!

We flow through a period of birth, life, growth and decay before returning to rebirth again. We have completely different energies at each of the stages, different needs and experiencing different emotions. What we feel or experience at the time of menstruation is the polar opposite to when we are ovulating, for instance.  Are you still with me? If you aren’t familiar with the work of Lisa Lister, I urge you to read her books Code Red and Love Your Lady Landscape – she gets right down to the nitty gritty on this stuff which is utterly captivating.

Affiliated link to Amazon


Affiliated link to Amazon


The research I have being doing into our female cycles all break it down into 4 stages, or seasons, just like turning of the year, only over a period of 28 days instead:

Winter  

Days 1-7 of your cycle, also known as the dark moon phase, menstruation. Its energy is the estrogen producing, feminine yin.  The archetype is the Crone.  This is recorded from the first day of your bleed, a time to be reflective, withdrawn (anti-social even), passive, to hibernate, focus on rest, self care, food (including chocolate), bubble baths and plenty tea. Not exactly cracking on with all that roller skating in skin tight trousers and partying the tampon adverts want us to be doin, that comes later.

Spring

Days 8-14, the waxing moon phase, pre-ovulation.  It’s still in the estrogen producing phase but the energy is masculine, yang. The archetype here is the Maiden.  This is when we come back up for air, after hibernating. This is all about new and fresh ideas, new beginnings, the rebirth, full of dynamism and enthusiasm. Beware however, although this is pre-ovulation,  if you are looking to get pregnant, days 10-16 are generally HOT!  (this is due to sperm being able to live in the fallopian tubes for up to seven days after sex, meaning its ready and waiting for that egg to be released at ovulation)

Summer

Days 15-21, the full moon phase, ovulation. Remaining masculine in yang energy, now producing progesterone. The archetype is the Mother. Remember the scene from Pretty Woman when Kit was encouraging Vivian as she approaches Edward’s car? “Work it, work it baby, own it”, YAS!  This is you right now! In your A Game! You are at your peak, your optimum, getting shit done! This is a very expressive and social time. Get those white jeans and roller blades on and get going.  While the phase lasts a week, it is worth noting that actual ovulation is a very short timescale (as in the once the egg is released it can only survuve 24 hours unless fertilised), which coincidentally matches that of the British summer time, blink and you miss it!

Autumn

Days 22-28, the waning moon phase, pre-menstrual. Feminine yin energy returning, still producing progesterone. The archetype is the wild wise woman. This is time to store reserves of energy, take stock of the previous month, winding down readying for winter. If you suffer, then this is PMS central with the cramps (try raspberry leaf tea. I drank it by the bucket load when I was still pregnant 12 days over my due date, but it is ace for period cramps too). Your emotions may be temperamental fragile, swinging back and forth and tears may be more readily available. And do you know what? It’s allowed. It’s yours to feel so give permission to yourself to feel all the feels, because they are yours. Own it.

*Disclaimer – I am not a dr and my finding have been based purely on my own personal experiences and upon the research I have conducted myself. Not everyone will have a 28 cycle. Cycles ranging from 24-35 days are equally normal.

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So how does all this fit in with modern living? It is not exactly practical to take time off from family/work for 3 days every 4 weeks to menstruate.  Have you read The Red Tent by Anita Diamant? The women, whose cycles are all in sync both with each others and with the phases of the moon, bug out together in the Red Tent for 3 days, no men, a sacred space for themselves and each other at the new moon, to bleed.  It is reported that in Native American tribes, women went to the moon lodge at their moon time and they were revered for the power.  This all sounds pretty amazing if you ask me, but anyways, today we don’t have time for a wee 3 days holiday. We have lives and careers and families that we need to get on with, not taking out that sacred time to rest, nourish and gather. We pretend we are linear and we rely on paracetamol.  I am no different in that respect; a busy mum with a full time schedule, but I have started making some changes, such as ensuring I don’t plan anything outwith the necessary in my winter week, up the number of bubble baths and thankfully have a Husband who knows when to bring home massive slabs of Galaxy chocolate bars without being asked. The dishes will not always be done, the clean laundry not put away and the general state of the house becomes just that: a state. BUT when that phase moves onto the next, everything is caught up with again and more. It’s all about balance and listening to your body. Slow down when you need rest and go for it when your energy spikes, and plan according to the flexibility you have.

I think if we are honest, menstruation is all hushed up and by some, still referred to as “women’s stuff”, because in the past, that is how we were taught about it.  I remember being in Primary 7 (so 11 years old) and having the talk with the nurse.  All the girls in our year were in the classroom and the boys were all sent out to play football for the duration. They had no idea what we were being told, truth be told, in hindsight neither did we; plain facts of body function followed by a selection of pads and tampons to look at and a pamphlet to read.  And there in lies the problem – excluding the boys, and relying solely on the facts about what happens then, rather than looking at the cycle as a whole and all it encompasses.  If they/we knew what we were dealing with, perhaps then it would be far less ignorance around the subject. In particular, a greater understanding from the male species with regards the mood swings and emotional peaks and troughs experienced by their mothers, sisters, friends, girlfriends or wives. Too many men , and to be fair, many women too, completely disrespect women with judgmental and ignorant comments such as “she’s emotional/hysterical/bitchy/insert any other [in]appropriate name” . It would be helpful for those holding such beliefs to understand that feelings are not wrong or inconvenient, they are a barometer of how you experiencing something at any given moment. To experience emotions is human, without them we would be as good as dead. Also, it’s worth noting that as our emotions are heightened around the time of our period, so too is our bullshit detector.

Climbing back down from my soapbox, I say let us connect to and understand our own cycles, celebrate the wonderment of them and what they mean to each of us (it’s taken me almost 25 years to get to this point).

We are women and we are bloody magnificent – yes we are!

Lx

Women

 wsrfem
What is is to be a woman?
Depends to whom you speak.
We are defined by many a stereo type.
So many labels, from ‘bitch’ to ‘weak’.
female
The Girly Girl
Loves glitter and pink,
Cocktails and shoes.
Doing lunch
But too vacuous for political views.
Cute, pretty and sweet,
Carefully waxed and shaved.
Immaculately turned out
Always well behaved.
Flowers, cupcakes and jewellery
What girly could want more?
Well maybe perfume, a manicure
And cash to spend on clothes galore.
To be blonde is to be dizzy;
What a crock of shit.
Judged purely on aesthetics
Ignorance and derision that won’t quit.
female
The Feminist
Strident in her man-hating endeavours,
Burning her bra and chucking her razors.
Masculine, barefaced and plain,
Docs, dungarees and blazers.
Politically astute.
Fighting for equality for man and woman.
But listening to some opinions
We’re still considered a 2nd class human.
female
The (Yummy) Mummy
With either a rich husband to support her
Or enjoying the benefits of the State,
The SAHM’s life with her brood,
Benign TV and lattes must be great.
No stress of a ‘real’ job or financial contribution,
Not really independent.
This is not the 1950’s.
A housewife’s life is hardly resplendent.
Ah, but the working mother;
She feels guilty about dropping the ball.
What she complaining about?
She’s got what women want; she’s got it all!
Mothers are constantly under scrutiny
Regardless of what they do.
We’re all pretty much winging it
So keep your critique, thank you.
female
The Slut
Enjoys good sex and a good time,
The decisions made are hers.
Presumed to be promiscuous
Once the name calling occurs.
Short skirt and heels,
Banter that’s flirty
Does not automatically mean
She’s “up for it” or “dirty”.
1 lover or 20
or even a hundred more.
The number is irrelevent; she’s not
A tramp, slag or whore.
female
Now, none of the descriptions
sound remotely appealing.
Women are so often portrayed in a negative light,
The names and language used are highly revealing.
How about judgement then:
Too fat, too thin, too young, too old,
Too sexy, too frigid, too drunk, too nice,
Too bossy, too coorse, too emotional, too cold?
Too opinionated, too high maintenance,
Too head strong.
Too masculine, too feminine,
Hair too short or too long.
female
What is it to be a woman?
Are we so easily defined?
Such limited scope for being yourself,
Time to leave the confines behind.
We are all individuals, free from the mold
Of stereo type and prescription
And of doing what we’re told.
female
Thankfully us Gals are strong and
To the Patriarchy, we will not kow-tow;
Misogyny does not fly.
Let’s celebrate being a woman. Now!
(Maya) Angelou, (Gloria) Steinem and (Betty) White
Inspirations women.
(Nicola) Sturgeon, (Hillary) Clinton and (Anna) Wintour
Glass ceiling? Smashed by these women.
(Caitlin) Moran, (Ellen) DeGeneres and (Tina) Fey
Articulate and hilarious women.
Beyonce, (Lena) Dunham and (Emma) Watson
21st century women.
female
Independent, confident and smart;
Labels I will take.
Positive adjectives please;
Is it really so hard? For fuck’s sake!
female
To be a woman is:
To be yourself in all your glory.
This is your life.
This is your story.
female
A poem of mine I wrote for International Women’s Day a couple of years ago.
Lx

Meditation – How do you practice?

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Meditation. Chanting “Ommm” whilst sitting legs crossed in lotus pose, thumbs and index fingers touching, eyes closed. That’s meditation, right? Remaining in that position for half an hour or multiple hours, with an empty mind seeking inner peace.

Well, no, that’s not how my practice goes. Not at all infact.  I use several different methods when meditating, depending upon the circumstances and where I am. For instance, if I need to calm down, take a time out or collect myself in a stressful situation, I focus on my breathing. This can be done anywhere at any time! No need for candles or incense to do this, the car or a public loo if needed are perfectly suitable. All I do is take a deep breath in through my nose, counting slowly as I do so. Hold the breath for the same amount of time plus 1 second, then slowly exhale the breath for the same length of time as inhale plus 2 seconds. It doesn’t matter (to me) if I exhale through my nose or my mouth. This slows my heart rate and allows for clearer, calmer thinking and a better mood for continuing with my day or situation.  This always works when I practice it, I just need to remember to practice it more…

Another method I use, if I need a more specific focus or advice, is a much more recognisable as a form of “meditation” as it does involve sitting down in a comfortable position (I have yet to try the lotus pose, I prefer a comfy chair if I am honest) and sometime I do burn candles or incense, but I absolutely need time and peace and quiet on my own, which is rare giving that I am a home-educating Mama. In this practice I have a place, a home, I go to in my mind and can seek assistance or guidance from my circle of inspirational advisors, which is essentially a group of women (real and fictitious) who chip in with their tuppence worth during these sessions.  Over the years my circle has changed with various members of my imaginary tribe being replaced, or their numbers increased as I have evolved. I started out with 6 women on my team which has grown to 12, with me being the 13th.  The only constant has been that my advisory squad has been made solely of women.

So who has a place in my circle?  In alphabetical order I have Brene Brown, Caitlin Moran,  Dharma Montgomery, Eilidh (my friend), Fearne Cotton, Glennie Kindred, Gloria Steinem, Lisa Lister, Maggie Chapman, Maya AngelouMinerva McGonagall and Sharon (my friend). A nice blend of mothers, wise women and crones. Previously I had shared this space with other friends as well as the Aunts, Jet and Francis, from Practical Magic, Anita Roddick, Anais Nin, Nicola Sturgeon, Hillary Clinton, Dolly Parton, Susan Sarandon, Geri Halliwell, Oprah Winfrey and Madonna amongst others.

The other place I find it very easy to meditate, believe it or not, is in the shower! The motion of washing my hair is a no brainer requiring zero effort, which leaves plenty mind space to gather and process my thoughts and gain clarity. I often have my best ideas and moments of inspiration as I lather and rinse!

For anyone who has never meditated before, it can seem a bit woo-hoo or a little daunting, with the unsure feeling of where to start or even knowing what the point of meditation is, if not for finding inner peace.  There are lots of books on how to meditate and why, plus Youtube has a variety of videos to watch or listen to as a guided meditative practice. I would recommend even just starting with the breathing exercise I use.  If you want to sit in lotus, or create a dedicated sacred space at home for your practice, do it. If you want to light candles or incense, do it. Or don’t. There are no rules here, and the practice is entirely yours. It is worth noting though, that it is nigh on impossible to completely clear your mind, it will wander off in all directions, especially if you have a busy life with work or kids (or both), but as soon as you notice it going off on its own tangent, bring it back by refocussing on that breath.  It takes practice.

I keep referring to meditation as a practice because practice is what it takes.  Practice to get comfortable with what you are doing, with what you want to achieve and practice to make it a regular part of your routine.  I have been “practicing” for the past 15 years but have yet to establish a proper and regular habit. It’s very much ad hoc and fitting it in when I either remember or feel the need.

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Back in 2002 I attended a 2-day motivational event called Mindstore, by a bloke called Jack Black, and it was brilliant. My employer at the time was really into personal development and self empowerment and transferring that energy into the work place (recruitment consultancy) so sent myself and 2 colleague to the Mindstore programme.  During the event, Jack guided the packed auditorium, which must have held about 500 delegates, through a meditation.  This was the first time I had ever meditated, infact, I didn’t realise at the time that that was what we were doing.  It felt like 10 minutes had passed, no more than that, but it had actually been 30 minutes.  As it happens I still use that guided journey today (incorporating my advisory soul circle) . The general story is similar but I have changed details here and there over the years. It is as effective now as it was then.

Meditation has also helped (A) with calming down, expressing his anger in healthier ways or even to relax into sleep.. I find that guiding him with focussing on his breathing or visualising colours has been the most beneficial and effective way to meet his needs. It’s short and simple for little minds with big imaginations.

When I was coming to the end of my maternity leave around 6.5 years ago I started a distance learning course on meditation. I complete all but the last 2 modules as returning to work full time and having a toddler proved enough for me to take on at the time.  I wish I had finished the course as it was really interesting and I picked up plenty tips and ideas for both my own personal practice and for guiding others. It is on my ‘to-do’ list to complete it one day, but I figure after 6 years I will probably have to do the whole course over again…

Since 2002, I have never participated in a group session, but a woman local to me runs guided women’s meditation workshops in 6 weekly blocks. At this stage in my own journey and with my own practice being so sporadic and inconsistent, I am contemplating signing up for a space – 6 weeks of dedicated practice, who knows where that could lead or open up?

Do you medidate? I would love to hear how other people practice and fit it into busy lives.

Namaste

Lx

#wildsisterrising

Wild Sister Rising

 

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Do you have a purpose?

As in a life purpose?

Do you have a calling?

Been called to fullfil your purpose or life’s work?

Or are you a bit like me?

Have no bloody clue about why you are here and what you are doing?

I know I definitely have not found my purpose as yet.  My varied and not very exciting “career” choices and jobs were certainly no calling, rather financial incentives to save for some short sighted goals.

Being a mother is not my life’s purpose either.  Mothering doesn’t come as naturally as one might expect, especially the gentle parenting ethos I aspire to.  It’s a tough gig. Yes, it is rewarding on so many levels and I am lucky to have an awesome kid (even on the days where I have to remind myself of that), but I am so much more and need so much more than the role of “Mum”.

The self development area has always piqued my interest but recently (as in over the past 18 months or so), I have been getting down with some real soul searching;  devouring books of interest on topics such as happiness, finding purpose or peace, embracing imperfection and creating the life desired as well as books on spirituality and women.  This has not been limited to books as I have made use of our Netflix subscription with their documentaries and my earbuds are constantly plugged in while I’m doing the dishes/household chores and listening to Youtube videos and podcasts with inspirational people.

What I am finding, the deeper down the rabbit hole I go, is that the more I read and hear, all the more I want to read and hear and discover.  I am increasingly drawn to and feeling called to the rise of the (divine) female energy and female archetypes, our cyclic nature and its attunement to the lunar cycles (always been fascinated by that though and how my cycles were in sync with friends’ too) and honouring that feminine power; the wise woman, the wild woman, the witch.

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With all the information I am downloading, either on paper or in my head, I want to shout out to every woman I know “do you know this stuff?” It’s amazing! I want to share my findings, (in a non-preachy, non-crazy-lady fashion) to reach out and  connect with gals who “get” this or would “get this” if they knew. Do you know what I mean?

I’m completely immersing myself in the ancient knowledge, absorbing it all. It feels right. A home coming of sorts.  Is my purpose to be found in amongst all this womanly wisdom and She power? I have no idea but am certainly enjoying the journey and excited to see where it takes me.

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Photo taken from Rebecca Campbell’s book, Rise Sister Rise

Lx

It’s February

It’s February
feb1
The Cailleach has passed over
But her legacy still lingers.
Winter’s ice, snow and raw temperatures
Nipping at your fingers.
The Maiden has returned
With the first shoots of Spring.
The ground is still frozen
But underneath, nature starts to sing.
The celebration of Imbolc;
A focus on rebirth and renewal.
The  fire festival honoured
With an amethyst jewel.
The nights are drawing out
Each day longer in the light.
Snowdrops and crocuses popping through
Are a truly welcome sight.
Hearts, roses, chocolate, St Valentine;
What modern February is about.
An expensive declaration of undying love
In a capitalist culture, have no doubt.
From Roman mythology, Mars’ mother,
Juno Februa, gave to this month, her name.
The goddess of fertility and  purification,
Patroness of passion; the love game.
Hibernation is ending,
Draw in that new breath, fresh and deep.
Feel the transition and see the possibilities
Be alive and awake, not asleep.
Rowan brought the month in
With old wisdom and protection.
Handing over now to Ash
To ascend into Spring, sealing  the connection.
Lissa 13.02.15
Another of my poems from a couple of years ago.
Lx

January 2017

If January kalends be summerly gay
Twill be winterly weather til the kalends of May.

jan
The view from the front door on New Year’s morning

With the old folklore in mind, it looks set to be a chilly spring then!

I must be getting old, as the month of January flew by and we are well into February already. How and when did that happen??? The increasing speed in which time passes is only recognised by older folk, isn’t it? Anyhoos, it may have been 6 weeks since Christmas (already!), but the 31 days that were January were well spent, unrushed and for the most part, fairly relaxed. A gentle month to combat the busy madness of the previous.

What did our month look like?

Living

The first month of 2017 saw us waiting patiently for the chicken pox due to both of my nephews taking the virus. Our patience was “rewarded” with the eventual outbreak of the pox, which I am glad (A) has taken; it’s a childhood right of passage, right? He also had a rather nasty sickness bug the week prior to the pox, which resulted in a call to NHS24 for advice but thankfully it was gone within 24 hours.

The rest of the month was predominantly focused on eating and reading it would seem. A magazine subscription to The Simple Things which is just lush, and reading books from Christmas and the library instead of reading my phone (I made the decision the delete Facebook and email from my smart phone – it has freed up so much time for reading books).

My slow cooker has been getting plenty of use too, lots of hearty grub and soups. I have been planning our meals out in advance and shopping accordingly, in an  effort to both eat well and save some much needed £££.

It has been really cold and damp outside, not exactly a surprise what with it being January and all, but I unfortunately have a very disappointed 6yo, who is completely unimpressed with the complete lack of snow.One flurry filled morning leaving a mere dusting of the white stuff does NOT count as snow. There was one day with epic fog though. Its the small things… such as bedtime Ovaltine – who knew it was so good?

And while the house still has to get tidied and kept in some sort of semblance of order, I have found that listening to Youtube videos, podcasts and Desert Island Discs makes the chores far more enjoyable.

Incorporating new daily tasks into my usual routine (who am I kidding) morning, to try and make life a little simpler and to ensure I have time for me too – such as making the date to go for a coffee with a friend, without our kids and actually have time for a good blether – has actually made a bigger difference that I had expected it to. I have found I am procrastinating far less and achieving far more. Very satisfactory.

Learning

There has been a whole heap of learning taking place over the past month, both for (A) and myself.

With our Home Ed Club we have been to the woods, the beach, soft play and found out more about North America. We have met up for play dates both indoors at a friend’s home and outside Pokemon Go-ing as well as swimming. We’ve been to the library twice, and the allotment, plus discovered the local museum had a 3rd floor FULL of local history through the ages which was utterly fantastic – how did I not know this was here? (A) has learned how to make bath bombs, been experimenting with science and started a project on the Ice Age and took part in the RSPB’s big Garden Bird Watch.

I have been getting to know my new tarot deck that Hubby and (A) gifted me at Christmas. Drawing a daily card, learning about the different cards and spreads and journaling my findings. Although I have followed the cycle of the moon for years, I am now learning and journaling about the movements of the planets and astrological signs as they move with the lunar cycle. It’s fascinating stuff. So too has been keeping a dream journal. It amazes me how closely linked my dreams and tarot cards are showing themselves to be. Part of the learning process here is the learning/training myself to be focussed on creating these new daily habits. What has helped with establishing these new rhythms and routines to the flow of my mornings has been relooking at planning. I tried the bullet journal method last year but it was short lived, I really wasn’t feeling it.  I stumbled upon The Planner Perfect Method, created by Jenny Penton and using a travellors notebook, and am now planning my time far better than was previously. It’s not perfect, or rather, I am not perfect and am tweaking it as I go along to make it a perfect fit for me and my lifestyle, but so far so good. I’m learning new habits and stuff that actually interests me.

 

Growing

To be perfectly frank, the main thing that has grown in the past 31 days, has been our collective household wasitlines! This is due to our hibernate mentality and the need for proper sustenance and that extra winter layer to keep us warm. That can only be achieved by baking. Honestly, it really works. We have been baking once or twice a week all month  and it has been divine. Sadly, my jeans don’t agree. But I simply refuse to diet. Especially in January.

(A) has grown in his kitchen confidence and created his own recipe for “Frozen Berry Bread” which went in to the oven looking like sludgy grey cement due to the blueberries, but came out absolutely delicious. His writing skills have also taken a leap. Previously he hated writing, but  this month he has written a thank you note to his Aunt for his Christmas present, written the title of his ice ge project and subsequent notes, created and wrote out the recipe for the bread and left me an “I love you” note. Drawing pictures of Pokemon characters and writing their names next to them became a daily occurance. Turns out that writing has to have a purpose for it to happen. Just like most other things in this learning journey, it clicks into place when he’s ready. We have been reading the Harry Potter books for some time now, almost coming to the end of the 4th book. He got a kindle at Christmas and has since downloaded all the Harry Potter stories to it. I found him reading the first one, by himself and enquired as to why he was reading the first one when we were on the 4th, “Because YOU read me the stories, I want to read them by myself now”. (My heart is singing, I have to say.)

My personal growth (apart from my burgeoning waistline) has been in continuing down the path of minimising clutter and crap: I am dedicating this year to reading all the unread and half read books on my bookshelves. I picked 2 books I had previously started and never finished, and if I got to the end of the month and still hadn’t read or found my self wanting to read it, then they/it had to go. Off went The Life Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F*ck. It found a home with a friend. I hope she enjoys it. I liked it but didn’t finish it and when I picked it up the few times over the month I couldn’t maintain any interest. So, cheerio. The other book I am still reading so it got to stay.

Not much growth on the allotment front. January was more a time of prepping and tidying. It’s  very quiet period on the plot, only ever saw 1 other person when we have been there. I fully expect this to change in the coming weeks.

So that was January. The Wheel of the Year turns as we welcome Imbolc and the coming of February. A change is afoot. I can feel it.

Ring out the old
Ring in the new
Ring out the false
Ring in the true.

Lx

It’s January

I’ve not written any poetry in such a long time, but am feeling a little inspired again.

This is one of mine from January 2015, originally published on my old blog.

january

It’s January
A time of endings and of beginnings;
Out with the old and in with the new.
A new year a new me.
It’s January
A time of diets and sobriety.
No fun. No Thanks.
I’ll pass.
It’s January
A time to reflect and to plan.
A calmness fringed with excitement
Of the unknown in the coming year.
It’s January
A time of Birch to start with,
Rowan to end with.
Following the ancient Celtic Ogham wisdom.
It’s January
A time of true winter;
December was just pretending.
The Cailleach enjoying her dance.
It’s January
A time of icy blasts
And plummeting temperatures.
Yet shocking and surprising it would seem!
It’s January
A time of bleak, harsh greys;
Beautiful pinky gold sunrises.
An unparalleled stillness.
It’s January
A time to hibernate;
Embrace comfort until Imbolc.
For then, it’s February.
Lissa, 21.01.15