Chemicals, Kids and what we as parents butt-up against as we try to raise healthy children in a toxic world.
It’s been a few months since my last post – the longest writing drought since I started writing this blog nearly three years ago now. I’ve felt somewhat paralysed to write lately, not exactly knowing my path in life anymore, feeling unsure, sensitive. In numerology I’m in a year one of the nine-year cycle. A new beginning which holds the promise of new adventures and daring feats, and yet while the prospect of starting something new is certainly exciting, it is also a little daunting….and to be honest it had me a little stumped as to how I move forward. And when I do take steps it’s often feeling a little ungainly, like a newborn colt trying to stand up after birth.
This year I’ve said goodbye to my postdoctoral research (although my next book is still in the wings) and old ways of doing work. Jase and I have made the decision to take concrete steps towards financial independence and freedom of time. We’re getting responsible for generating our own ethical wealth and want to break the cycle of trading our time and money (for someone else). Our experience of working is one reminiscent of Robert Frost‘s quote ‘By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually become the boss and work 12 hour days’. Instead, we want to move even closer towards more everyday sustainable living, conscious health, deliberate wealth. And the path is not always so clear how we do that yet.
What is clear though is that to get something we’ve never had, we need to do something we’ve never done before. So I have started to do just that… and I try to remember that from little things, big things grow!
So this is how I have become unstuck (sometimes anyway)…
In January I started making my own sour dough bread. Our family mission is make and bake our own real bread from now on. To do this we have become the proud parents of a beautiful sourdough ‘starter’ culture that we feed and house and in return she provides us with a spectrum of bacteria that raises and ferments our dough and tastes sour and magnificent. Nothing better than a warm sourdough bread for in the morning with real butter…and lots of it! We get beautiful creamy yellow butter made from cultured cream from Northy St organic markets here in Brisbane. We have churned our own butter before, but it’s not particularly cost effective so far. So until we have our own cow, we will stick to with the butter that the butter man sells at the markets.
Later in the month I conquered the software program Prezi and made my own ‘Start your own ethical organic business in 2012’ presentation (with the help of some supportive friends). It took me a while to get my head around this program, but it was worth the brain strain to produce a presentation that is visually stimulating and compelling. I have been delivering this presentation across Brisbane and to international audiences via webinars. If you want to check it out, just let me know.
In February we started making our own kombucha. Kombucha is a passion of ours, as are fermented foods generally. Jase is now our very own brewmaster and making us our very own delectable fermented brews. Like our soughdough starter culture, we are now the house to many healthy kombucha ‘mothers’ who’s symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts breathe life into our sweetened tea. The microorganisms ferment the tea, converting the sugars into health giving organic acids such as glucuronic, lactic and acetic. So it’s nutritious, detoxifying and delicious all at the same time. We have equally passionate friends who are embarking on this endeavor commercially with us. Stay tuned as we go into large production later in the year…
And then there was the Earth Frequency Festival in the Sunshine Coast…
And at the Bodhi Festival in Newcastle we had a Miessence nutritional stall and I managed to sneak in a yoga practice and a healing with the Shanti Mission…
And in March was the Glocals Forum organized by Organic Farm Share that I spoke at. I felt particularly honoured to be on the panel and alongside some of the most incredible local community leaders. Glocal is a term which defines local leaders actualising transformative ideas that have the capacity to regenerate both society and the environment we currently live in. And it’s a privilege to be part of the organic farm share community.
This is a year that is certainly thrusting me, us, our family into new projects. I don’t know yet how to make these passions into a generous sustainable income for my family, or how they fit together, but I am clear that taking small steps in sustainable living is crucial to living a more connected, content life. And if you are like me, taking small steps do not come naturally. I usually have a clear path. So here are a few tips I’ve learned over the last few months to cultivate more trust and patience:
Trust my Intuition: Intuition is our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we’ve developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason. When I feel overwhelmed by uncertainty I often panic and make my decisions with my head rather than my heart. I don’t listen to that strong, initial gut response and I start polling people around me for an answer.
Feel More – Think Less: ‘Drop’ into yourself. Ask yourself what is the next step that makes you feel happy, that feels ‘right’.
Exercises in gratitude: In times when I feel uncertain as to my path I can often spiral into a self-conversation about scarcity and I wait wondering when things will all fall apart around me (or that I will fall apart). I am learning to sit with uncertainty and be appreciative for what I have in these precious moment. I’m not sure that it will ever be easy for me to do this, but I have learned to trust this practice.
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