Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Come out and play

This blog started as an indirect result of my leaving my job to be at home with my baby boy. HORROR! What are you going to dooooo? Women would ask me with their noses a bit wrinkled up and eyebrows a bit raised. What are you going to do all day at home with the baby? You'll get bored, you'll see. Three years later the questions haven't changed much. What do you do all day? They still ask. This is what I do:

I cook. I go to the supermarket. I try to squeeze in some yoga. I embroider. I play. I play with cars and trains and trucks. Sometimes I am a dog, others an elephant. And I like it!

Extensive studies have shown that it is not in a child's best interest to start school early. In England they are considering adding a year to the school starting age. In Finland they don't start till they are 7, and they have an exemplary educational system with the highest results in Europe. They believe that a child's early years should not be marred with lessons. The greatest lesson is play play play.

My friend Natalie is a play expert. She is a certified playtherapist and dramatherapist and she works with parents and children, teaching them how to play. Its not easy to enter a child's world. We carry so many judgements with us, so much don't do this and don't do that. Playing is a skill that teaches children about life, and learning how to play effectively is vital for healthy mental development. If you are a parent, take a look at her website She was also recently featured in and the link is here

I for one can't wait to start!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Breathe the Pressure

A couple of weeks ago I reached what felt like the edge of my sanity. I was saved (I think). I went to a village high in the mountains away from the Athens in August heat that was steadily melting my brain. Other than the village (and anyone who baby-sat) I would like to thank three things for the resurrection of my mental facilities.

  • My embroidered yoga girl

  • 'The Man who fell in Love with the Moon' By Tom Spanbauer
  • Yoga

I haven't practiced Ashtanga Vinyasa for ages. I had said in a previous post that this was due to embroidery obsession but the truth is its mostly due to a knee injury that has me skipping postures and focusing mainly on breathing. But thats ok! Breath is the most important part of yoga practice anyway.

My Breath has prevented me from having horrible stupid arguments with people. 'Just go somewhere and breathe for a bit' I ordered myself as my mind spiralled out of control with egomaniac thingys. After sitting in lotus position for a minute or two I would open my eyes and- ping! Not even the slightest inkling of a desire to go for the jugular. Magic!

''Most folks are damned fools," Dellwood said, "and have no idea they're making themselves up. But you're different, Shed. You live with the knowledge and understanding that who you are is a story you've make up to keep the moon away,''*

Our stories keep us sane, its true. But I think we need to be careful not to get too caught up in them, keep our distance a bit. Taking some time to breathe consciously helps do that. I don't want to be preachy about yoga and I feel I'm on thin ice here so I will stop. And finish by saying that I made this breathing** girl to hang on my wall as a reminder of what to do when I start feeling a bit bonkers. She is my idol!

The hands are 2 year old ones trying to get in the picture, so you can see its small. All my works are little cause I don't have the stamina for anything too extensive.

*THE MAN WHO FELL IN LOVE WITH THE MOON 1991 Tom Spanbauer pg 218 The English student in me is still alive and wanting to reference.

**For those who may be wondering the writing says inhale exhale (ees-pno-ee_ek-pno-ee).