Sunday, 4 May 2014

Queen of the Tribe - this is how I love thee...

 I am the daughter of a bohemian gypsy.  
When I look into my mother's eyes I get lost in the love.  I see myself, I see her, I see the unspoken memory of our life together.  
And there is always the silent prayer for her health and happiness.

Now I am blessed as the mother of two gorgeous little souls and I often find myself lost in thought about the precious connection between mother and child.  Having recently almost lost my mother and my best friend recently losing hers, this Mother's Day is a sweet one, peppered with a touch of tears. 

I had the privilege of interviewing two of Australia's most popular gypsy bloggers, stylists and all round AMAZING women:  Helen of GypsylovinLight and Leana of Coconut, Lemon & Lime.  

Helen shares with us her journey of motherhood & self discovery, while Leana shares the heartfelt connectedness she shares with her mother from afar.

May their words inspire you and help you along your own journey.  

With love 

Kirsty x 

Helen of GypsylovinLight:    I'm a dreamer at heart, always creating and conjuring something new and exciting in my life. I'm a naturopath with a speciality in autism, a mother of two beautiful angels, married to a man that I love dearly and whole heartedly. And now, within what feels like the shortest and most amazing year of my life, I am also a personal style blogger. This new direction has enabled me to share my healing inspirations, my creativity for writing, photography and style, and my passion for love, life and fashion. 

I was really honoured to read your account of motherhood on your blog and must admit that it resonated with my motherhood experience. How has your journey of motherhood been so far?

It's been a bit of a roller coaster. So many moments of immense love and magic, followed by feeling completely overwhelmed and stressed beyond my ability to cope. I'm still learning how to ride the waves, and trust the flow of life. It's been the most challenging, most beautiful experience of my life. Nothing can top motherhood.

The bond between mother and child is immensely beautiful. How do you nurture this connection between you and your children in this crazy busy world?

In a word - presence. My children, and all children want us to be present. Present in ourselves and with them. My children always bring me back to my centre. They are my teachers, my reflection. To simply be present with them and open to their world is to connect. It brings so much joy and love to my heart. I often squat and make eye contact with them when they ask me questions. I try not to allow my busy world to stop me from being there. Because if it does they will certainly let me know! haha!

Are you the kind of mother you thought you’d be?

Not entirely. I thought I'd be a lot more self sacrificing and I'm definitely not so much anymore. I've evolved to nurture myself so that I may nurture them. I won't sacrifice my well being to give more than I am capable of. It's not the lesson I want to model to my children. They learn from us, and I would love nothing more than for my daughter to grow up caring for her needs when/if she becomes a mother. That to me is loving oneself and the greatest gift you can teach another.

Where do you find the inspiration to be a great mum?

My mum definitely. She is a beautiful woman. So childlike, funny and full of heart. I've also found a great deal of inspiration from the Waldorf community, where my children go to school. I attended a course there a few years ago, called the Heart of Parenting. It was a godsend and really helped me learn new tools to communicate with respect, compassion and presence with my children. 

How do you continue to honour your own needs, interests and passions while giving so much energy to motherhood?

I've worked very hard on the whole balance thing. Still working on it haha! It's a little easier now my children are in school full time. When they were younger, I realised that I had been neglecting my passions and needs so much. One day I reached out to my husband and said "I need help!". Not in the sense that he needed to provide more, as he was already working so hard, just to communicate to someone that something had to change. It was more about me needing to say it to myself. There was a moment of clarity where I realised I was worth feeling good. That my needs mattered. They had to matter to myself, before they could matter to anyone else. I changed in that moment, and so did everything around me. 

We looked outside for resources, people to help with cleaning, gardening and baby-sitting. We made these our priorities financially. I spent a lot of time at meditation retreats at first. This was just to basically play some catch up and rebuild my energy stores. The passion to create again came once I had fed my soul through taking adequate time to care for myself. I felt clearer, happier and a glimpse of myself was returning. I continue to nurture myself on a daily basis, with meditation, sound healing, pilates, beach time, playing my guitar, blogging, whatever I LOVE to do, that's what I do. I follow my heart. And one of the BEST things my husband and I started doing was to have a weekly date night. Actually it's mostly during the day on the weekend when we aren't exhausted. Nurturing our relationship is part of nurturing ourselves and it all helps us to be better parents. 

What’s your advice to the loads of mothers out there who follow your blog and share your love of all things beachy, boho and gypsy?

Take time to rediscover your passions. We are born to create and a woman's divine essence yearns for this. Be easy on yourself. Let go of the inner judgements. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. It's the quickest way to feel terrible about yourself and we don't want that. Choose peaceful, loving thoughts. Literally retrain your brain to focus on all the good stuff. There are often things in our life that we don't like, or wish were another way...the more we can unconditionally accept where we are at, and find gratitude for all that we have, the more peace and happiness we experience. We also set a vibrational frequency that becomes a point of attraction for creating all that we desire. Be easy, be loving, you are all doing the best you can. We all are. 

If you were to write a little love note to your children, what might you say?

Thank you my angels for choosing me as your mother. You teach me everyday how to be present in myself, how to love so deeply and completely. You light up my heart with those smiles and your unconditional love. I am more than blessed to share this life with you. No matter what you do, be, say, I will always love you, for exactly who you are. 

Leana of Coconut, Lemon & Lime: My dear mummy is Inger Lise Mullane. She was born and raised in Oslo, Norway and then moved to Australia where she met my dad and lived here ever since. We sadly lost her just over a year ago now but I still feel her around me all the time. I have just one older sister, still living at home whom also shares the wonderful personality of my mum with me. I started my blog in September 2012 after my Instagram took off earlier and it has been such a journey for me ever since. I couldn’t have been happier or more surprised to be where I am now. I am really so proud of simply just having my mum as my mummy.  She is the biggest inspiration to me and I will forever look up to her and admire how she overcome so many illness’s and setbacks. She was the best mum I could ever ask for and has made me the person I am today.  I will never forget her. She lives on within me. 

I just want to start by saying how much love and empathy I have for you,  having lost your mum at such a young age. I can only imagine the immense sadness that you must carry.  Is it something that ever get easier?

Yes, I think it is something no ever thinks they will have to go through at 20 years of age, we all just assume that our mums will always be there. It is now just over a year since she has passed and to be very honest it wasn’t an easy journey. If you asked me how I would cope with it a couple of months before my mum passed I would’ve told you that I couldn’t do it and that I wouldn’t be able to live without her, but somehow somewhere some strength from within me came about and I surprised many of my friends and myself and how a year later I am where I am. So yes it does get easier, but also everyone will cope in their own way and in their own time. I was lucky to have a lot of positive caring friends and family, a wonderful blog to distract me and allow me to be creative and also a university course that I was nearly done. Like every human being I have horrible days of endless crying but at some point we all have to accept that our loved ones want us to be happy and want us to live life. So that is what I am doing.

How would you describe the kind of bond you and your mum shared?  

My mum and I shared a very close bond. We were so similar in many ways and so that allowed us to have a special relationship. After my sister was born six years before me my mum was told she wouldn’t be able to have anymore kids and would be too much of a risk.  So when my mum was surprised with the pregnancy of me, she was so happy and glowing during the 9 months as I was her littler miracle. So in that I have always been known for my happiness and big smile, something my mum gave to me. We would have days where we would be in tears from laughing over the silliest of things and I could always count on my mum for anything. She would always look after me and share so much love.

Is there a special place or time where you feel closest to her?

Its funny as for some reason its seems to be the ocean and through nature that I feel closest to my mum.  Three months after my mum passed I was in Port Douglas for two weeks with family and being by the beach, ocean, fresh air and sunshine it was a great way to grieve and cope in my own way. Even though we don’t live that close to the beach - when I am near the ocean I somehow feel a sense of calm and as if my mum is there sitting next to me. This is where I also began my fascination with crystals, something that has now grown into a love but also another way to connect with my mum.

Do you think you have become a bit like your mum?  Was she a free spirited, gypsy loving lady like you?

Haha well I share a very similar personality to mum as I mentioned earlier so yes I am somewhat like her haha. In terms of style my mum loved jewellery too but maybe not as much but also adorned by special jewels. I guess we are similar in the way that if we love something we will wear it with no care what others think. She would sometimes wear red shoes with red jeans and a red top and be happier than ever. 

What are you most grateful to your mum for?

I am most grateful of simply the time I did get with her. Even though it was twenty years, it was twenty years that I got to be with her and make amazing memories with her. We have some wonderful memories and so many that I will cherish forever in my heart!!

For others who have also lost their mum, maybe recently, what words of comfort or advice can you offer them?

I have had a few people in the last year close to me who have also lost someone they love. I have always felt that being able to feel and find that loved one in other ways is a beautiful, magical and healing thing. Although they may not be here physically they are there in other ways.  They are the smiles on our faces, the warmth in our hands, the heartbeat inside of us, the butterflies that follow us and the sunflowers that grow in the garden.  They are the rainbows after the storm and the cool calming ocean breeze.  They are the colours in the sunset and they are wherever we need them to be.

If you were to write a little love note to your mama this mothers day, what might you say?

Simply that I love you and I miss you...

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