On open letter to cauliflower. Ugly words, ugly fritters.

IMG_2712 Oh cauliflower why do you bore me so?

With your pasty, lumpy  motionless moonface. You don't sway your leaves in the vegepatch or even attract the caterpillars. Such is the sad miserable fate of your rotund little self.

Does anyone get passionate about your ho-hum beige-ness?

You need some serious jazzing up that only a little bengali spice and a frypan can do. I apologise for the blistering baptism of oil you are about to endure. Nevermind the food processor. Eeek.

I quite like you in a salad, raw and unsullied, but it's cool outside and I need some naughty in my life. Somehow I see that your bumpy, lumpy self still manages to show it's head even with all my chopping and changing.

I remember how my granny boiled you into submission served with corned beef and (I think) PVA glue. Urgh. You tasted like an old musty Tshirt that was left in the rain. I shan't be sayin' "Don't go changin."

You need some serious wrangling.

Unapologetically,

Michelle

Cauliflower bhaji

½ head cauliflower

½ cup caramelised onions

handful of spinach

handful parsley

1 clove garlic and a little knob of ginger (2cm) grated

1 tablespoon Panch Phoron (bengali spice mix) toasted

2 eggs

1 cup rye bread crumbs (you can use ordinary crumbs)

3 heaped T yogurt

salt and pepper

Grab a food processor and blitz your cauliflower into a chunky crumb.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Heat a frypan on medium heat with a little oil (I use rice bran)

Fry on both sides until toasty and crunchy. Serve with Spinach leaves, mango chutney and minted yogurt.

 

Beauty mark

IMG_1478 Ever considered what your idea of the perfect earthly existence might be?

Mine would be an endless yoga workshop. Just show up, throw your mat down and get happy people. Learn stuff, use your body and your mind. Be amongst good bendy folks that smile easily and laugh freely and eat their veggies. The best thing about yoga is well yoga but the next best thing is definitely yogis.

I cannot believe that there are still people in my life that have never tried yoga. What?? It's like saying you've never tried ice cream or french brie. Why not? I seriously do not comprehend a life lived without some experience of this practice. Um.....no? Really?

Native Americans might talk about something possessing the quality of Beauty. However, the word Beauty doesn't have the same shallow definition to them as it might to us. The word Beauty to them is richly layered, spiritual and surprising, majestic or moving. It doesn't refer to a comely lass or flash ride. It's applied to those things that wake us up to magic, mystery and awe.

We live in a Beautiful world. (Despite what the news might want us to believe, thats a whole other bale of hay.) But if you can do something. Do it often and all the better to do it with good folks. Maybe try and do it well, not perfectly, just with a full heart of trying. Your life will open to the promise of Beauty.

...and that experience will mark your entire life.

A Beauty mark.

 

 

 

 

The power of Positive

IMG_1876 Call me crazy but I still believe we can achieve a peaceful world.

I believe in grace and goodness and humanity. I believe we can heal with energy and intention. You might be fooled into thinking I'm a new ager but the truth is far more ordinary with a distinct lack of cheesecloth.

I'm a mum and a partner and dare I say house wife. I'm middle-class, middle-of-the-road, vanilla. The most 'out there' thing about me is that I believe in my ability to make a difference. I believe you can too. We make a difference in our words, our parenting and our purpose. We can spend our thoughts on the size of our backside or healing the pain of humanity.

Too big? Not really. Too simple? Says who?

See a news story that hurts your heart? Send the victims loving kindness and a prayer for their pain. Hear a sad story of a friend's friend? Spare a second to wish them well on their way and the sincere hope that their fortune might change.

Doesn't make a difference? .....or it might.

I'm not a religious person but I do believe in 'prayer'. I believe in a moment spent connecting with the divine. Om Shanti. We send a small energetic wave of peace into the universe. Better that than wishing for a small butt people! Teach your children that their thoughts are powerful tools for progress. Teach them to tidy their thoughts in the same way they tidy their rooms. Find grace in the privilege of parenthood.

I've started to use a mala in my meditation. I found a wonderfully ethical producer of beautiful 108 bead malas. Maha Mala believe in their unique contribution to this process of 'sending out' and it's reflected in their craft. Their work is made with care and a conscience, you can check out the range here. If anyone would prefer to purchase a mala in Australia (and therefore reduce the cost of postage) message me and I will pass on the details of an Australian distributer. It will be in your healing hands in a few days! :)

Join me in sending out a prayer for peace. Most days I perform 'Japa' . I start at the guru bead and pass each of the stones through my index finger and thumb while chanting a mantra for each bead. When I arrive at the lotus pendant I send a prayer for my family. By using a mala in your practice, you imbue the semiprecious stones with the energy of your intention.

In this way your mala becomes a energetic vessel, a holder of your highest vibration and a conduit for healing.

.....and no, as usual, I don't get paid to say nice things about this company. I just believe in sharing the love Folks. :)

 

A High tide lifts all the little boats...

DSCN0068 What do you leave behind when you walk out of a room?

When was the last time you considered what you stand for, what you're dishing up or handing out?

I've spent the last week totally immersed in all things Yoga philosophy. But regardless of your beliefs (or mine), it made me consider my impression on the people around me. Am I doing a good job as a parent? Friend? Human being? What's my own philosophy on life and do I have the courage to look at my failings?

I'm interested in hearing your top three rules for life. What would you like to teach your small ones? Leave me a comment and share your wisdom. After all the terrible sadness in the news today, let's find some positivity. I thought about it for a bit, and here's mine...

"A high tide lifts all the little boats." A beautiful, evocative sentiment and a good way to live. Be happy and see the best in everyone and everything. Why not, where possible? Laugh a lot, forgive and play nice.

"Eat real food". I love the saying that if your great gran didn't eat it, you shouldn't either. There is so much confusion over what to put in our mouths today! Paleo, raw, vegan, macrobiotic and don't even start me on the crap in our supermarkets. So much unnecessary angst! If it's organic or homegrown. Perfect. If you can't afford organic, eat as clean and as local as you can. There's no need for deprivation or diets. Real food, not too much. Simple.

"Keep a secret, share a smile, tell the truth". Gossip is the language of little. Be a good friend and keep your confidences close. Thumper's mum was all over this. If you can't say something nice, don't say nuttin' at all. Try not to lie. It's difficult, but speaking the truth is a superpower! Become a truth speaker and concern yourself with the important stuff.

What's your truth?

Michelle xx

 

A pause

The older I get the more grateful I become. I have more of those moments where you pause to notice all the good stuff this life throws up.

Just because.

Gratitude is a bit of a 21st century movement with social media making us aware of things like The Gratitude Project and Project 365. It's hip to give thanks for tumble down kids and green juices and funny goats and stuff. Things that make our hearts full and remind us that it's not all doom and gloom.

Hit 'Like".

It's wise to remember that the world doesn't turn because of what's on the six o'clock news.

To be aware that there is brilliance abounding through the fabric of our daily lives. People can be insanely kind and are often possessed by unnatural goodness. Children are in fact manifestations of perfection (even though they continue to leave their dirty soccer clothes on their floor.) Goats are ridiculously cute. There are in fact some ingredients that when paired together produce a pleasure that is palpable, a feeling of nostalgic ecstasy, even an audible hallelujah (or an amazing photograph on instagram).

All moments to be grateful for.

But can we dig a little deeper?

Can we find scope in our minds to be grateful for our experiences of heartache and loss? Those times that leave us feeling broken and bruised and that remove us from our Facebook loving fever. The things we wouldn't 'post'. Shameful, hurtful ugliness that scourges through our sunny days and darkens our sleepless nights.

The things that threaten our openness.

And tighten our hearts.

Can we be grateful for this?

I wouldn't 'post' my fears and sadness, nobody wants to see my catalogue of hurt and shame. I've had my share, but it's behind me and I'm better for it. All of it, not just the stuff I pick and choose. The older I get the more I see the lessons. The more I'm grateful for the learning hidden deep with the devastation. I wouldn't change any of the days gone past. Any change I need, I put ahead of me. The past just contains a record of hurts that shaped my heart.

....and the sweeter it is when the kids are laughing, my love calls and there's something good in the oven. Your friend has good news or someone sends you a photo of a baby hedgehog in a tiny hat. It rains and the world smells washed anew. Simple stuff that feels like magic.

Michelle xx