Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dear Sweet William

Some people get company cars, bonuses or expense accounts as job benefits.  I once worked for a tobacco company and got 200 cigarettes a month as a perk of the job.

Now as an Antenatal Teacher and a Doula my job benefits are baby cuddles and occaisionally I am present when a new human being is born.

Last week I was at a birth that touched and changed me as much as I believe know it has the parents.

When I support a woman through birth in a way that is right for her I need to step aside from myself.   I have always said 'it's not about me'..................except last week it was..........

It was about me and my passion and purpose.  It was about me and my faith.

Part of my journey through the past 10 years has been the opportunity to discern what it is I am to do - what is my purpose.  It doesn't always make sense but it is very clear to me that my work with couples during pregnancy, birth and beyond is my purpose and therefore it has become my passion.  

I do not always enjoy it.  Sometimes it is hard and nasty, heartbreaking and messy.  But every time I pick up my basket I thank God that this is how I serve.   When I hear of a baby being born I thank God and over 350 babies later I still cry each and every time.

I am very uncomfortable talking about religion and faith - yet it has always been part of who I am.  I believe in God, I worship, I pray, I read the Bible and Quaker Faith and Practice.  If I am declaring a denomination then it is Quaker.  I was raised Catholic by an extraordinarily devout Grandmother, I have skirted CofE and for a while now I've found a home with Quakers.

Last week I was at a birth that touched and changed me.  

And after a lifetime of silence I am blogging about my faith and practice because it's important to me and because last week as a newborn Baby lay in the arms of newborn Parents I was asked two questions:

'Are you religious?'

'Would you be William's Godmother?'

So Dear Sweet William my testimony to you is that we will have fun and adventures, quiet time, laughter and tears.  But above all I will be there alongside you on your journey toward your passion and purpose with faith and belief.

Lots of Love
Your Fairy Godmother

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Work - the first

Earlier this year I took a huge step away from what's been my life for 25 years and became self employed.   It sounds so simple when I write that single sentence.   In reality it was the culmination of seven years of preparing and working six days a week plus an evening or two. 

It feels like such a simple decision now but the twelve months leading up to the change were challenging.   I wasn't sure who I would be without a job.  Of course I am exactly who I have always been and I have more time to be that person.

So what exactly do I do?  

Firstly I write.  

I had my first piece of writing published in the local newspaper when I was 14 years old and I wrote a lot until my mid twenties (coincidentally the time I became a mother).   Then I started to write again nine years ago with my sporadic blogging adventures.

Last year two things happened. Early in the year 'the wheels fell off' I wasn't coping with life.  I had too much to do, too little time to do it and I was unhappy. This led to the Pause - for twelve months I didn't do any workshops, courses or study days. I cut back on my work as an antenatal teacher and withdrew from volunteer commitments. This gave me time and space to connect with my passion and purpose, to recover and begin to consider what was next.

Secondly I tentatively started writing again and when I did I instantly felt better.   A fog would lift and I would relax, there was therapy in those words. I was encouraged by one friend and challenged by another who told me if I wrote it she would publish it (if it was any good and she liked it - or words to that effect). How could I refuse?

And so for the past year I've been writing for The Mother Magazine.

I write articles on pregnancy, labour, birth, parenting and am currently in the middle of a series of articles on Mothers Health - how to nurture ourselves whilst nurturing others.

And this month I have an article in Starflower Living Naturally Magazine where I've written an article on Soul Mates.

Starflower Living is an online magazine published each New Moon, it is for people who want to embrace earth-based conscious living.   Articles are all about natural living and lifestyle choices to support people making an effort to live a conscious, mindful life. Their ethos based on integrity, passion and right livelihood is a perfect match for me and I hope I get the opportunity to write more in the future.

But I do so much more than that.....................

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A year of silence.

In the 12 months since my last post things have changed quite a lot.

The biggest change was my desicion to become self employed.    It was a well thought out and supported process that started about this time last year, lead to a reflective Christmas and New Year and then I finally took the plunge in April.

It has not been at all like I imagined.

It's taken almost all of those seven months to begin to find a rhythm.   There was an inherent routine in having a job that for 25 years I took for granted.   It's as simple as getting up in the morning.   For 25 years my morning routine has been guided by what time I start work, how long my drive is, do I have nursery/school drop off etc.   Suddenly it's gone...................and I realise I'm not as much of a morning person as I thought I was.   These past couple of weeks I think I've found my morning routine.   Mr P's alarm goes off at 6.30am and at some point between then and 7.30am I get up make tea and breakfast and take it back to bed where I sit for an hour reading/listening/thinking. 

I also fell quickly into the trap of working 14 hour days.  Being at my desk at 8am and because I often work evenings I'd get home about 10pm.  I also regularly work weekends yet wasn't compensating with taking day off during the week.

I've a long way to go before I find an ease with my new lifestyle.  Today I'm baking cakes (an apple one and a lemon drizzle) doing some chores and then I'll sit knitting for a while before working this evening.

Oh and it's nice to be back - I've missed you.