Inspire on International Women's Day.

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Being an inspiration doesn't mean that you have to be at the forefront of change or that your accomplishments are recognized with awards.  You don't have to be in a high profile position to make a difference.  Being a fierce, confident woman is being an inspiration.  Here are 7 ways that women inspire me every single day...

1.  Being a Mother.  What better way to change the future, than to bring life into this world.  By nurturing life and being a teacher to your children, you are shaping the minds and attitudes of tomorrow

2.  Nursing in Public.  The simple act of nursing in public can change attitudes and expose people to nurturing and normal act of breastfeeding.  The more people see it as a normal activity, the more acceptable it comes within our society.  It also inspires other women to do that same, without shame.

3.  Telling your Success Story.   Don't be humble when you have found success, share it.  Your success can inspire and empower whether it's a great birth experience, a booming business or personal journey of healing and finding happiness.

4.  Support the Success of Others.  Promote sisterhood by supporting and celebrating the success of women.

5.  Follow your Dreams.  No matter what your dreams or goals are, following them will inspire others.

6.  Speak your Mind.  Inspire other's to be heard by making your voice heard!  This is especially true for me in the blogging world and the many female bloggers that inspire me to be heard.

7.  Love Yourself.  It's contagious!!

A Shout-Out to All Women on IWD

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Happy International Women's Day!!

Today is a day to celebrate the accomplishments of women and to be inspired to initiate change for the future.  As I look around today at my peers and those things they believe in and fight for I find myself full of gratitude, as I know they are paving the way for my own daughter to enjoy the benefits of their hard work, just as I enjoy the benefits of the hard work of my Sister's from the past.  I am inspired and optimistic, and proud to know that I am also making a difference for the future of women in my own little way.

Lots of love to all the amazing women out there.  You're always appreciated.
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Thought for Today

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"For a person who cherishes compassion an love, the practice of tolerance is essential and for that, an enemy is indispensable.    So, we should feel grateful for our enemies, for it is they who can best help us develop a tranquil mind"  
                                                Dalai Lama

Finding a way to appreciate and love every person I encounter has proven to be a challenge for my spiritual journey, but these words echo through my mind every time I encounter a situation where I am not letting love and compassion lead me in my interactions with others. 

Every person I meet is a teacher and I must choose to seek the lessons they teach.  I am slowly realizing that I must let these teachers flow in and out of my life, good or bad.  I am also learning that I cannot hold onto  people in my life if they no longer desire to be there, or, if the lessons they were there to teach me have been learned.  I must be grateful that they were there in the first place, and let them go without resentment or anger.


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Finding My Inner Voice

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River reflection day
River reflection day (Photo credit: tanakawho)
One thing I know about myself, through careful self reflection, is that my inner voice is not strong.  This was always a weakness until I acknowledged and accepted that it's part of who I am.  Now that I know, I am able to take a step back when I feel outside voices over powering my own.  This is a gift.  Taking a step back always gives me a chance to get some insight and perspective on my own journey and usually reveals something valuable that I may not have realized any other way.  Once my mind is clear of the noise, just mine is left behind and I am able to listen.

Knowing myself, or my heart, been one of the greatest challenges for me on my journey.  I guess I feel like I am so much a little bit of everything and, let's face it, looking at yourself can be scary!  Through daily meditation I have began to look at myself more closely and, for the first time, am really seeing myself.  By taking ideas and thoughts and virtues, and meditating on them, I am defining myself in ways I never imagined I could.  In listening to my mind, heart, soul, intuition and body I am becoming more aware of my true self. It feels great!

I am finding ways to hear my inner voice more clearly.  I am more able to decipher outside thoughts from my own and am more aligned with my inner self.  I am finding balance and clarity, and this is exactly where I wanted the Universe to take me.

This blog, in many ways, is a way to connect my outer self with my inner self; my outer voice with my inner voice.  It's a way for me to make my voice heard when I am silent and a way to connect with the voices of my fellow beings. I really encourage you all to share your voices with me, and with everyone because we are all connected and together we can grow.

 LINKS


Five Pathways to Listening To Your Inner Voice
Hearing Your Inner Voice
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Affirmation

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I am open and receptive to the good and abundance in the Universe


Gratitude=Great Attitude

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We've all heard the old adage "Count your blessings" but do we ever really consider what that means, or the wisdom behind it?  It's more than just a cliché to throw out there whenever disaster strikes somewhere else.  It's something that should be a part of our daily lives.  It's gratitude, folks, and it has the power to change your life.

Gratitude Journal
Keep a gratitude journal to remind
yourself just how lucky you are!

        Gratitude is the opposite of lacking.  Lacking is a negative feeling, and negative feelings spawn negative results.    When we focus on those things which we do not have, we are inviting negativity into our lives.  We need to reverse our way of thinking and learn to focus on what we do have.


        Gratitude is hard for some people.  In a world where material posessions rule and competition is feirce, it can be difficult not to measure our success or failure against how much we have.  This is distracting.    Sometimes just finding the time in our hectic lives to be thoughful can prove near impossible.  The best advise I can offer is to start simple.  Focus on the basics, like food and shelter, and build on it.  I am not just grateful for food to eat and sustain me; I am grateful also for healthy options and local farms and occasional sweets.  I am grateful for the culinary experts who create new, delicious recipes for me to try.  I am grateful to share my love of baking with my children and teach them a useful skill.  It's endless, and once you get started it flows qute readily.

A great way to collect your thoughts is to keep a gratitude journal.  Dedicate an entire notebook to your reflections of gratitude and try to write in it every day.  Some days you will have paragraphs, even pages, and some days there may only be one sentence.  Either way, it gives you something tangible to focus on and forces you to dedicate even just a few minutes to the positivity in your life.  Soon you will find yourself looking always to the positive, and in turn, attracting more positivity into your life.

     What are YOU grateful for today?
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Dreams and Miracles

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"Possibilities and miracles mean the same thing"  
Prentis Mulford

We all have dreams.  I dream of buying a farm and living off the land and animals on it.  I dream of my kids running barefoot amongst goats and collecting fresh eggs for breakfast.  I dream of putting on my rubber boots and heading out to milk my cow in the crisp morning air.   These dreams represent some of my most ambitous desires, yet I perceive them only as dreams instead of realistic goals. I am not the only one, either.  Why do we do that?  In essence, they are the same thing.  They represent something that we want to acheive.

The difference is that a dream is something we don't actively pursue.  Dreams come true when you stop considering them dreams and start considering them reality.

Prentis Mulford, whomever he or she is, had it spot on.  Possibilities and miracles, dreams and reality; it's all the same thing.  The only difference is how your perceive it and the way you perceive it defines how you approach it.   If you approach your dreams not as dreams but as possibilities, you are one step closer to making them come true.

Taking the risk, and failing, may be damaging to the ego but every experience gives us wisdom.  With that wisdom we are free to try again, over and over again if we must.  It can be easy to give up on the things we never thought could be.  It's much harder to turn on backs on something we have pursued with intent and hard work.

So turn your dreams into goals, your miracles into possibilities, and create your reality.

The Goddess Returns

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     It's been a year and a half (a least) since I last posted to this blog.  I stumbled upon it today and quickly realized how much I missed writing and sharing.  I had promised myself I would not give up on his blog, and though I took a short (long) hiatus I am back and ready to pour my love into this once again.

     A lot has happened.  I got a dog, had a baby, moved across the province, learned to knit, sent my kids to public school and began a real spiritual journey.  I hope to focus on this a little bit more in my writing.  I hope you all enjoy what I have to share and will be willing to share with me too.

    So.....WELCOME!


My Home Water Birth Story

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This is about a year and a half late!  But better late than never :D

It was about 10 PM on Sunday evening when I experienced the first trickle of fluid during what was probably the millionth contraction of the previous 3 weeks but because of the incredible pressure in my pelvis I assumed that it was more of an embarrassing incontinence type of accident. When the next contraction came 6 minutes later with another trickle and then another 5 minutes later with a bit of a gush, I decided that I *could* actually be in labour...finally.

By the time 11:30 or so rolled around I was adequately convinced that labour had, in fact, started and having woken Corey and my Mom up just a few minutes earlier I instructed them to start filling the pool! By this time contractions were about 4ish minutes apart and definitely increasing in length and intensity so I called my midwife, who told me she was already up at the hospital attending a birth and would have to find the backup midwife. I was pretty devastated that she wouldn’t be making it to my birth but that quickly turned back into excitement as the contractions brought me closer and closer to my goal.

Heather, my secondary backup midwife, called me shortly after midnight and asked me how I was doing. From what I told her she figured I was in early labour and offered to come by and check me anyways. I told her to come on by...as I knew this would be fast and furious. A half hour later she showed up and I was still pretty comfortable...she probably thought by my demeanour that she came all the way from Paris for no reason at all. When she got down to checking me though, she realised that it was go time. I was already 8 cm! I was ecstatic! 8 cm had been a walk in the park.

After I was checked I got into the pool which was nearly full and soooo warm and relaxing. (I know from my Facebook status this was about 1AM Monday morning.) I started feeling the contractions a lot more in my back at that point and contractions became harder to bear and finding a good position was impossible. After 3 or so of those contractions, I started feeling the twinges of pressure as baby moved deeper and before I knew it I was being told to push with the next contraction. I wasn’t ready! I felt that I hadn’t quite found my element yet and something was ‘off’. As the pressure mounted, I felt my body pushing but I fought to keep my legs closed...I wasn’t in the position I wanted to be in and my backside felt like it was literally going to explode. I pleaded for a towel on my backside at the very least but was just told to push. The midwife listened to the baby and I was told that baby was tired and I needed to push or else...(or else what wasn’t evident at that point but my Momma instinct took over at that point.) Just then, I felt the baby move back into my pelvis and my heart dropped. The babe had been presenting sunny side up and I had just lost all that work my body did getting him that far. With the next contraction, I completely let go. I reached my arms back and grabbed Corey’s shoulders, gripped his shirt and let my body do what it needed to do. With that one push, I not only pushed out the ENTIRE head but I ripped Corey’s shirt in half, Incredible Hulk style. The calm after that was amazing...I waited for the next contraction as my baby waited, eyes shut, under the water. with the next contraction he was out and in my arms. Since he was covered with a towel, I reached between his legs to find out the sex...”It’s a boy”!!!

I stayed in the pool for 10 minutes or so holding my new baby boy and then transfered to my bed, where the midwife began immediately fussing with the cord and placenta. My midwife and I had discussed my plans for the 3rd stages of labour but it was apparent that my backup (secondary backup, actually) missed that memo. I was told that if I didn’t deliver the placenta within 10 minutes she would be giving me a the shot to expel it! Ummmm...really?! I didn’t want to argue though since I was completely blissed out my mind so I had my Mom cut the cord and let her fuss about with the placenta as I nursed my precious boy.

Oh, H-Man and L-Cat had slept through the entire thing and with how quickly everything ended up going it wasn’t until I had delivered that I thought to tell my Mom to wake them up. They came in just after baby was born and once I transferred to the bed they joined me and met their brother. They both went back to bed pretty shortly after that but were in my room bright and early, excited at the arrival of their new brother...especially Hayden who was especially hoping for a brother.

Baby Oliver was born at 1:52AM July 12th weighing 9 pounds, 3 ounces with a length of 22 inches and a head circumference of 14 inches!! He has blue eyes and sprinkling of brown and blonde hair on his head.

The whole experience was incredible. I may not have handled myself the way I imagined I could have, but in the midst of a fast and furious labour I was able to let go of myself and really discover what I am actually capable of. I am amazed in myself and IN LOVE with the boy who gave me the experience of a lifetime.

Domesticated-ish

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I am so pleased with myself.

Yesterday I had plans to make my first attempt at homemade bread but that didn't end up happening.  Instead, the kids' and I make up a batch of pizza dough and tomato sauce and make homemade pizza for supper.  despite the 'hot' pepperoni that my other half bought for the 'za,  it was a huge hit.  The dough was delish and the sauce was surprisingly tasty.  (I didn't quite have a recipe for the sauce, so I was winging it) .

It felt good to eat a pizza that wasn't prepared from a freezer or a can....and boy was it gooooooood.

After a dessert of strawberries and bananas in cream,  I sent the kids off to bed and started on my next project....a zucchini loaf.  I've been wanting to try this recipe for a while, and after feeling so proud of my supper victory I decided it was the night to try it.  

Here is the result....




...and can I say it's freaking AMAZING?!  The best part;  My kids ate it without complaining.

Here is the recipe I used.

Ingredients

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking power
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts.

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
2.  Sift flour, salt, baking soda baking powder and cinnamon together in a bowl.
3.  Beat eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar together in a large bowl.  Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well.  Stir in zucchini and chopped nuts into the mixture until well combined.  
4.  Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 40 to 60 minutes or until center comes clean.  Cool for 20 minutes and remove from pan to completely cool.

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