Monday, January 19, 2015


I think everyday we are presented with moments to deepen our spiritual practice and to tune in with God. We think we need a flash yoga mat and pretty leggings. We think we will only find enlightenment by sitting upon a mountain and meditating for hours, for days or years. We seek spirituality outside of ourselves and we look for it in other peoples lives. 

It is no secret that motherhood is all consuming of time, energy and at times our sanity! But, what if motherhood was our yoga? What if we could use it as our spiritual practice? By nature mothers have a deep desire to feed their newborn baby at the breast. Giving her life sustaining nectar to a person that really does no know her. This is compassion and love. In fact, we show compassion and love on a daily basis without even realising it. Think about what you did today. You fed, bathed, cleaned, cuddled, kissed, played, worked, soothed and set about unconsciously enhancing the life of another. The basis of spiritual practice is serving others, showing compassion and connecting with something greater than ourselves. This is motherhood! 

If we look to our long arduous days of caring for our small humans with an awareness on nurturing and cultivating our spiritual practice through them, I believe, something magical might just happen. You see, I have begun doing this . A week ago I was strung out, completely drained from the sleep deprivation and complaining on a daily basis that I never get time for ME. But since I have changed my perspective and begun seeing every opportunity with my children to learn and practice my spirituality and faith, my days are no longer met with wondering how far away bed time is . They are fuller and there's a lightness to them. I am still tired but the anger and hopelessness has been stripped away. I still get frustrated at my toddler when she doesn't listen to me (ever!!!) but I'm learning to question my reactions and to practice more patience. I would still like time to myself but I am finding quiet moments amongst the chaos to drop down from my mind and into my body and to just breathe.

Now you may be reading this and thinking "A spiritual experience would be my baby taking more than a 40 minute nap and being able to pee alone!" Trust me I know how you feel! However, I have been miserable fighting what is my life. My life of early mornings, many times awoken at night, tantrums, mess and being knee deep in poo I don't want to be miserable, so I have decided to live fully in the present and allow the sweetness of this act to break my heart open and release all that toxic resentment and just embrace this journey. Children are little tyrants at the best of times but they also know how to be authentically themselves, live in the moment and exude a joy that us oldies can only hope to experience again one day. 

I feel they have a lot to teach us. Our children are the perfect beings to begin practicing mindfulness, compassion, gratitude, kindness and grasping the moments when joy floods your veins and thanking God for this incredible gift of connection and for being brought back home to what is true for all of us and that is our ability to LOVE.

Astrid xx

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Little snores from my children softly purr throughout the house. I stand in the warmth of candlelight. Its flickering flame both mesmerising and purifying. The kettle on the stove squeals its little I'm done! song. A herbal tea bag full of nourishment is dropped into the bottom of my favorite well used, well sipped cup. A cup whose china has felt my lips on cold mornings, on tiresome afternoons and lonely nights. I slowly pour the boiled water over the tea bag and watch as the magic of infusion changes the liquids color to a murky brown. I'm transported to a chai wallahs cart in India as the spicy smells of cardamon, cinnamon, star anise and pepper seep into my nose through the swirling steam. 

This is wellness.

In this moment I am not sick anymore. I am not fighting off thoughts of hopelessness. I am not consumed by how to be well again. I am immersed in a sweet meditation of present moment experience where a beautiful exchange is taking place. 

Eyes closed I inhale; warmth radiates into my hands which lovingly hold my cup of goodness.

Exhale; the warmth of my exhalation, my life force, creates little ripples across the surface of my tea, like a soft breeze would over a deep lagoon.

Inhale; I sip and savior the beautiful flavors and warmth.

Exhale; a satisfied sigh of gratitude and happiness.

There are many roads to wellness, many pathways in which we set foot on only to take a wrong turn and to come trudging back to search out where we got lost, often dragging behind us a suitcase of guilt, disappointment, self loathing and despair. Everyone says "go this way!" another says "No come this way!" But when do we say "I'm heading that way". Sometimes its not an overhaul of your pantry or a small fortune drop on a new fitness craze that can bring us back into balance. Sometimes it's as simple as being fully with and in the presence of yourself and something you love. Being pleasantly consumed by all reactions of your senses on a simple, quiet and nourishing act. 

Perhaps all it could take that day to feel well again is sipping on a warm cup of hot chai on a cold winters night. 

Astrid xx

Monday, January 12, 2015


Its after lunch and we are still in our PJs. We are laughing because Louie just did a
fart! #rawmotherhood

When I held my sweet babe for the first time, inhaling her smell of newness and kissing her still womb warmed skin, the last thing on my mind was posting this precious moment on Instagram - or Tweeting it - or showing it on Facebook. I feel lucky that back then I was ignorant to social medias popularity and its power. The memory of meeting my daughter is etched into a part of my brain that does not fade with the hours of life that pass on by. Before I became a regular participator on social media I did not care about how many likes a picture of my child's chubby cheeks got. I cared about how many times I had kissed them that day. A lot has changed in the three years since I had my baby surrounding social media. It has been both a blessing and a curse on how we interact and share our lives.

Yoga practice and yoga shoots are always hijacked by a mini yogi

In this present time, I feel a vibration of anxiety surrounding all of theses photos and posts of our families and our lives. It seems there is a silent race to be the top social media mummy. Who can make it look the shiniest ,the prettiest, the most peaceful? It broods with feelings of inadequacy and insecurity.

But motherhood isn't shiny or pretty or peaceful.

Its loud and dirty and the last time I looked at my house, not so pretty either! The other day I saw this gorgeous photo of a mum breastfeeding while naked. Her boobs were all smooth and perky and there wasn't a trace of a shadow under her dreamy vegan eyes. I got a little inspired and thought I'd try to recreate the same picture. While this other mama looked like Aphrodite feeding baby Jesus, I looked like a haggered old hippy with a child that was sucking on my ape looking  tatas (think tennis ball in a sock) like a furiously hungry lamb and to top it off, he was spread eagle, playing joyously with his willy. I felt so defeated. So ugly and at a loss as to what I had to offer my online mama group. I sure as hell did not fit in with these 'perfect goddesses'. It annoys me that I can have a bad day and feel bad about myself because of these pretend glimpses into another families life. I am the mother I am. The perfect mother for my children and I'm on a mission to stop this parasite in my mind that has been whispering otherwise. 

Forever pulling out all of our clothes and dressing up in Dads hats

Don't get me wrong, for the most part I actually adore feasting my eyes on these mothers photographs and being warmed by their heartfelt posts describing their love for their children. It is inspiring. Its just I feel their needs to be a little bit more real. I have thought long and hard about advice I can offer you, sweet mama, when you are having joy stolen from your motherhood experience because of the comparisons you make. I hope these help you (and me also!) to just own and enjoy the mother that you are. 

  • Do not look at your phone when you awake in the morning and for at least 2 hours afterwards. Do not start your day with a flood of images and posts that could bring you down before you've even had your morning wee.
  • Make a list of at least 10 things you truly love to do with your children. Is it being in nature and taking walks? Is it visiting a cool cafe and sharing yummy food and fluffies with them? Do you just love moulding  playdough worms in your fingers with them? This is your list and if it doesn't include elaborate crafting then that is OK! 
  • Now each day for the next week, pick one of these activities and do it. And while you do it, put your phone away and do not take any photos of it. Be fully engaged, in the present moment and know that this is just precious time for you and your babies. It does not need to be recorded. 
  • There are quite a few mums out there who actually get paid to blog, contribute their photos and keep a strong presence on social media. It is their job to make things look really good and perfect. Its their livelihood. Bearing this in mind, know that it's their job to present only their best and they work all sorts of crazy hours to do this. 
  • Your children chose YOU. If they wanted @yogimamaearthlovinggodess then they would have landed in her belly. But, your children have chosen you, because you are imperfectly perfect for them and their experience of this life.
  • Would you want your daughter or son comparing themselves to other people in cyber space? What would you tell them? Write your answer down and keep it near when you begin to doubt your worthiness.
  • Read inspiring books about women and mothers. Cultivate your own images from these books and seek out the ancient wisdom of the motherly sages who lived and nurtured before us. 
  • Try to meet up face to face with a fellow mama friend every week. Pour out your woes and happy moments to each other. Lend messages of comfort and empathy. Offer help and ask for help. Snuggle each others babies and learn new ways to do things. These bonds are so healing!
  • I will end with what I usually elude to and that is to spend time with just yourself. It can be hard to think when you are inundated with demands from your children and then add the pressure of scrolling through everyone's lives and you have one overstimulated and overloaded mind. Resist the urge to look at your phone right before bed. Instead use that time to meditate, practice mindful breathing, writing, talking and snuggling with your love or watching something funny and light hearted.

Get nude, escape, destroy, poop, repeat!

Now go fourth my strong amazing mothers! Be raw, be real, show your #rawmotherhood! You are ENOUGH and no photo or post is capable of showing the beaming ray of light that your children think you are, every single day.

Astrid xx

Monday, January 5, 2015


A little bottom shuffles quickly backwards to fit snugly into the crescent curve of my body. He likes the warmth and softness of my stomach and breasts.

The perfect place for a babe to rest.

He pushes his head up underneath my chin and I watch little tufts of snowy white hair rise and fall against my breath.

I stroke the smooth line from the center of his brow and down to the tip of his nose. His breath deepens and slows as he falls heavier into sleep from this magic touch.

I gently try to pull myself away but he stirs, so I stay.

I lay there in the dark and think of how equally blissful and frustrating it is to be doing nothing but inhaling the sweetness of my children.

Apart of me wants this moment to freeze in time and another cant help but think of all the things I need to do ; the dishes that need scrubbing, the floors that need sweeping, the world that needs changing...

But, what is life and the world if I can't stay just lay here curled up with my babies offering them the connection and comfort they crave during the night.

So, I decide to pull my darlings closer and kiss their creamy skin. I promise them that above all else I will gift them my time, whether its playing in the sunbeams or snuggling, 
one on top of the other, like a family of lion clubs beneath the silvery moon.

Astrid xx

Thursday, January 1, 2015


My fearless flyer. My teacher. My daughter

Time is a natural part of this human life. We live in the now and at every moment we leave behind a past and move into a future. Every second can be used as a time to reflect and to change. The new year brings a great opportunity to reminisce on the year that has passed (where did it go?) and how we would like to shape the year ahead. 

One year ago I stood under stark florescent lights in a long line of hungry, suppressed and struggling people. A man in front of me stood barefoot, smelling of urine, weed and oppression. The two guys behind me bantered about their latest stint in prison and the crack they had smoked that morning. I stood in my middle class white clothing holding my baby and asking myself what the fuck I was doing here. Why had I let my family get to this point of being so broke we had to collect emergency food parcels. Tears sprung to my eyes and then I felt something shake inside of me and break open like an earthquake splitting the earth apart. An enormous amount of courage and determination burst out of my brokenness. 

No more. 

This was the last time I ever allowed my family to get to this place. I prayed to God for change and a pathway out of this. Something shifted. A calm flowed over me and I knew what I had to do and what was ahead. 

The sun is streaming through my new little apartment, casting light into dark corners in the City of Angels today. Fresh produce is stacked up in our fridge and my family is happy, healthy and for the moment at peace. A year on and life is very different. It has been a long road, with a lot of hard work and sacrifices have been made. I think about standing in that line often, as it reminds me of where we have come from and what can be achieved with a shift in your mindset and some self education. Every single moment in life can be either met with "woe is me" or "teach me". Every emotion can be fought against or we can be kind to ourselves and take a quiet space to nurture those hurts and breathe compassion and love into them. However, some shitty, cruel and relentless suffering happens in this world. I would like to acknowledge those who have very little choice and have been born into war, unfathomable poverty and who are at the hands of broken, evil humans. I will never understand the pain and suffering that these people must endure. All we can do is look to those who are trying to carve out change by rising up against the warped ideas of power hungry individuals. It's the Nelson Mandelas, the Gandhis, the Malala Yousufzais, the foster parents, the environmentalists and all those wonderful souls who are working towards a better, more peaceful world.

These inspiring people got me thinking about what my word for 2015 would be. I have decided it would be COURAGE. To have the courage to take risks, to go against the norm and be fearless when it comes to going after my dreams. To have the courage to be honest with my family and ask for their help when it's needed. To be courageous and speak up more for myself and those who need a voice. Courage is deciding to step off that cliff of uncertainty and fall into an undiscovered ocean of challenges and opportunities. 

What is your word? What will you be threading into your year?

Wishing everyone, all six billion and something souls on this earth, on this damn beautiful mess of a planet, a happy, loved up, COURAGEOUS and blessed new year.

Love Astrid xx