Fierce Femina

IMG_2787 How to raise up our girls?

She might be small but she's fierce. May she be kind and surefooted. Please tell her, her body is a bridge between the Earth and the stars. Might she grow to honour her connection to the entire universe. When she looks at the moon, might she see her own special place in the heavens. Please make her choose proud over pretty, strong over salacious, clever over compliant.

We bring so much shame into the lives of young girls. So much sanitation in regard to their bodies. So much pressure to stay clean, be quiet, be good. "Hide your power, no one wants to see it." Apparently, at a certain age, it's ok to flaunt your sexuality but please make no mention of menstruation or that fire in your belly. Don't scare the boys away. Men like to be taken care of. Put others first. Fix your hair and smell nice.

Yet it surprises us when our girls fall victim to acts of violence or abuse?

Please God (poetic licence) let my daughter know what she's worth. Not to me but to herself and the entire universe. Let her squarely know that shame doesn't suit her loveliness. Let her know that all men (and women) should honour her and treat her well. Self respect is her unconditional birthright. As is safety, not to mention love.

Please don't think that for one second I'm suggesting that women allow themselves to fall victim to violence. I am not suggesting that they take responsibility for the abhorrent actions of others.

I'm merely trying to understand why we accept sullying the loveliness of young girls with the ugliness of indignity? What does it teach them? Is it possible that they might take that awkward shame inside themselves? That they might own it in a way that prevents them from seeing their perfection?

I don't understand why culturally, when girls reach puberty, we teach them that their bodies are just a little bit unfortunate. We are cursed with menstruation. We roll our eyes at their hormonal outbursts and how difficult they can be. For us. Without a second of remembrance for how it felt to be thirteen years old.

As women, we often contribute to the wounds of the feminine. Unaware and from a place of our own fear and hurt, we damage our daughters. We silence them, we ask them to keep our ridiculous secrets and play our silly games. We stand before them insecure, poking our thighs and staring disapprovingly in the mirror.

All she sees is her lovely mama.

Imagine if we honoured our girls. Imagine if we told them that they bled with the moon, belonged to the Earth and were filled with light? Imagine if we taught them that their sexuality was natural and guided by love. What if we listened to their feelings and asked about their dreams? What if we celebrated menarche with gifts and reverence? What if we delighted in our own ageing bodies and taught her to do the same?

Imagine what titanic creatures might emerge if we taught them to embrace their power.

While we're at it we could also tell them that Justin Bieber is a douche, high heels are torture, Kim Kardashian is 42% actual plastic and it takes a village to prepare for that ridiculous bathroom selfie. In fact, no selfie will ever actually, be a reflection of your true self.

Any man that has a bar fridge next to his couch is a bad idea. Don't date a man that hates his mother and that gorgeous fifteen year old that broke your heart will possibly turn into a portly 35 year old with an overinflated sense of importance. Oreos might be vegan but technically, so is a care tyre.

'Gorgeous'  is heaps of fun for about two weeks, then, you actually have to live with him. Bad shoes are totally unexceptable. As are bad boys. Or girls. No bloody cars with noisy motor-thingies or fluffy dice. Stoners end up stupid. The nice guy winds up being........drumroll.......a nice guy. Who would have guessed?

........I could go on.

The first time I saw you, you took my breath away. Just because you're you.

You are love.

M xx

Martyr to magician....mama needs a minute.

IMG_1784 My twelve year old son told me I was doing a good job yesterday. High praise indeed from one so poised to straddle the great conversational divide of his teen years. "You always put us first."

"What a load of rubbish!" says I, laughing as I kiss him on the cheek. "You wish."

I'm no martyr. I may be all about slow food goodness and taking good care of my flock, but I'm not chained to the sink or about to put any 'mums taxi' stickers on my car. I love my children, which is why I'm devoted to being the very best version of myself. I have become a magician of sorts. I can make time appear before my very eyes....

It's really very simple. Everyday, no matter how busy we are, I put the kettle on and conjure up 15 mins. Sometimes I do it twice a day. I will do what I have to do to make this happen. I've been known to silently handover an iPad or leave a plate of cookies outside. I use the TV, barbie dolls or books, every child has their price! Then, I walk away.

I shut the door.

I hide in the sunshine and put my bare feet on the grass.

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In yoga, we would call this observing brahmacharya, which broadly means to conserve oneself. To just take a little time and refill your cup. I need to remind myself, if you give it all away, you'll lose yourself in these gorgeous humans. So great is my love for them.

I am best when I've found a moment, to carry me through to my next moment. That way I can give to them with devotional grace, free from feeling like the sacrificial wellspring of constant giving. To repeat my favourite phrase, which has become my mantra of sorts...

"We must gather before we scatter."

Michelle xx

The beauty myth... Lunacy over loveliness.

IMG_1748 There's been a bit of a fuss in the media lately about telling young girls that they're beautiful.

The assumption seems to be that little ladies aren't smart enough to believe more than one thing at a time. Poor critters. If they are told they are beautiful, they don't have room in their tiny minds to believe they are strong and smart as well.

Umm? Forgive me, because as you know I hail from the fairer sexes camp, but did I miss something?

I have a daughter and everyday of her life I think I've told her she's beautiful. I can't help it. I find myself watching her tiny furrowed brow while she concentrates on a puzzle or the way she sticks her tongue out when she draws and I say it out loud. That she's gorgeous, that the world could turn on those lovely eyes, that she's perfectly Her.

I tell her other things too. I tell her she's clever when she gets her spelling right, I tell her she's kind when she helps her brother and I even tell her she's a monkey when she won't eat her lunch. I don't believe she thinks she is actually a monkey but perhaps I've been giving her too much credit?

Ok, I'm a little cross over this....Maybe if we told our young girls that they were beautiful and smart and kind they might grow up to have a high opinion of themselves. They might just value themselves enough to develop healthy self esteem and live huge lives. Nobody is suggesting we dress them up like little dolls and only value their loveliness. My girl is always disheveled with twigs in her hair and mud on her cheek. I'm not playing dress ups here people, I'm raising a titan.

 How about we all give ourselves a little more credit, mothers and their daughters. How about we subscribe to the idea that we are magnificent, complex, multifaceted creatures. That we don't need to have it all, but we can have what we want and that we are beautiful.

In my little opinion the word should be infinitely less exclusive and said to more women (and men) more often.

Michelle xx