Toxicity.... it kills.

The human body by all accounts is a hard working, finely tuned machine.  For most of us we take its daily operation and function predominately for granted. We get up, we begin our day, we travel along through it and at the end of the day we settle down to once again begin the cycle of sleeping then getting up all over again.

For a good portion of humanity, we each take this fleshly vessel we have, called a human body, pretty much for granted. 

A good portion of us take the human body that is ours and how it works and functions for granted. 

A good number of us go about our day and we expect our body to do exactly what we desire it to do, in and at any given moment, and we have the lucky privilege to believe all is indeed well body-wise and therefore health-wise.

A good, fair percentage of human beings live, breathe and get to carry on and do whatever we each please each and every single day, with the aid of this hard working, finely tuned, seemingly healthy machine made directly available to each of us and which we call the human body.

Like any machine, over time wear and tear, as well as use and abuse, do begin to exhibit themselves and therefore manifest in and on the human body. 

We are however over time (be it short or long) going to be delivered, via Natural Law kicking in, all the consequences of how we have gone about choosing to look after the fleshly, mortal human vessel and machine that we each sleep, eat and walk around in.

Harm, injury and death are guaranteed to kick in at some point as part of living as a human being.

Harm, injury and death are most definitely part & parcel of being human, according to all the statistics that have ever existed. 

For all its wonder, the human body is however both a working machine and also an incredibly complex chemical structure. 

It is a chemical structure carefully balanced and carefully ordered, and like all chemical structures each molecular component needs to stay in good working and functioning position and order.

Whatever we each expose our human body has an effect on it. 

Whatever we each unknowingly expose our human body to also has an effect on it. 

As a mass of carefully knitted together chemicals, the human body when exposed to other outside chemicals (and lets face it, everything within the universe is made up of chemicals) is repeatedly always potentially exposed to harm and therefore harmful effects.

We each travel along on our individual life journey with our bodies always trying to dodge off the bullet of toxicity. 

We are all travelling through life for the most part completely unaware of what goes on at a molecular level to keep our human body functioning, working and therefore living.

Yet the human body, regardless of whether it is asleep or awake, is always battling against harm, injury and death at the hand of toxicity deep down at a chemical and molecular level. This is our human reality, regardless of whether we are truly aware of the absolute importance of all that is unseen at a molecular level within the human body or not. Within the time and space that is experienced within any given human lifetime, the battle around how toxic the human body is is in fact being fought, all the time, unceasingly. 

At a chemical level, at a deep, unseen molecular level, this battle over toxicity, over the ability for balance and equilibrium within the human body, is one that is constantly occurring. 

Whether we each as individual persons choose to directly acknowledge it or not, we are walking around as a finely tuned combination of chemicals, a finely tuned immensely complex molecular structure, trying to hold it together against other outside chemicals and minuscule molecular particles. 

This battle at a chemical level centres around this state of being in balance, this state of being in perfect equilibrium and therefore being in calm, perfect order. 

Toxicity, when it kicks in, causes imbalance and disorder to occur which in turn causes harm, injury and eventually destruction and therefore death to occur. 

Harm, injury and death are guaranteed to take effect at some point in time on us humans beings. Just when it kicks in for each of us, this ultimate outcome of dysfunction, disorder, destruction..... that is the ultimate, often yet unknown question.

Toxicity sets in place the degrading of the human body. It gradually and steadily aims to degrade chemical molecular structures. It degrades and it attacks the core molecular essence of being.

There are the classic signs of toxicity that we have all become very accustomed to seeing and experiencing and which we deem to be called ageing. 

If we pause for a moment and really consider how ageing comes about, the realisation does eventually kick in that ageing is in fact a literal manifestation of reaction to wear and tear, to harm and injury, and therefore toxicity is playing out its purpose. Ageing is most definitely experienced at the hand of where we are each at, specifically in relation to our body's toxicity levels.

Humankind as a whole has come to understand it is perfectly normal for all human beings to eventually succumb to harm, to injury, to death. We expect at some point our human bodies to manifest the ultimate sign of dysfunction, disorder, deconstruction occurring; we expect to see and experience death.

We not only have come to expect death, we have come to accept death, as part and parcel of human life. 

We have come to expect that the human body will eventually succumb to all it has been negatively subjected to, within any given human life time. We have come to expect a lifetime of toxicity to finally win the battle. Even if we do not actually directly name toxicity as being the reason for human death, but focus alternatively on it being named as liver damage, or heart failure, or some other tissue or organ malfunction instead, the reality is that it is toxicity that has in fact killed.

Drinking water that contains lead is known to cause harm, injury and death. 

Being exposed to fumes from cars and vehicles repeatedly over time is known to cause harm, injury and death. 

Eating food laced with chemicals that are by nature inorganic and artificially and synthetically manufactured is known to cause harm, injury and death. 

Both in the short and the long term, food and anything which contains toxins and is taken internally into the human body causes these very results.

Regardless of whether an individual knows or does not know the chemical makeup of what they are being exposed to, the ability for harm, for injury and for death are in no way lessened because toxicity has actually occurred. 

Ignorance does not invalidated the power of a toxin to do its work against the human body.

Ignorance does not invalidated the power of a toxic chemical to go about actively causing disorder, dysfunction and destruction. Toxicity does eventually harm, injure and kill.

Headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, weakness. a high temperature, diarrhoea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, feeling chilled and therefore wanting to shiver.... these are all deemed signs of the human body being in some measure out of equilibrium and out of balance. These have become commonly recorded negative manifestations of actual toxicity. 

Behavioural changes, skin irritations, they also over time manifest to show when some form of destructive toxicity is present. 

Toxicity leads always, when kept out of check, eventually to death. 

It is a great shame that we are not taught more transparently and more openly during our schooling years about toxicity, its causes and the actual warning signs of its presence. 

Why have we accepted the teaching given to us to simply keep masking a headache with pain relief? 

Why do we not seek to pause and consider the benefit instead of having a headache as a warning sign from the body that toxicity has and is in fact occurring, rather than choose to relief ourselves from the manifestation of pain it is causing? 

Why do we so often choose to not purposely and actively seek to detox and totally deal to and get rid of the underlying toxin behind the headache? 

Why have we so foolishly bought into believing it is okay to medicate and therefore mask the presence of a toxin so it stays present and secretly hidden, steadily and quietly continuing on its course of creating disfunction, disorder and destruction?

The human race has unfortunately unwittingly been dumbed down to not listen to what the human body is able to itself identify and state is occurring. 

The human race is bought into being told to get rid of manifestations, rather seek to solve toxicity at its root point and cause. 

We have been told to focus on manifestations and signs, and instead leave the root cause (the actual presence of toxicity) able to stay unwittingly present for that bit longer. 

We spend copious amounts of hard earned dollars on medications to relieve and mask manifestations and signs indicating toxicity is occurring, yet we foolishly avoid seeking to root out the actual causes once and for all. How sad that is.

We have gravely abandoned the intelligence of the actual human body to instead buy into an external lie that a sign of disorder and chemical imbalance being present is more important than the actual root cause of the disorder and imbalance that triggered a manifestation of pain or sickness in the first place. 

Toxicity harms, injure and kills and we humans reap the results of our individual lack of knowledge and therefore wisdom around toxicity and how it attacks the balance of the human body most unfortunately instead.

It is an incredibly great shame that so many people lack actual knowledge about how the human body is constantly up against a battle against toxicity. If they knew, it would literally save lives.

Although many of us know that the human body is made up of approximately 60 - 65% water, our understanding of how the human body needs to keep within a certain pH level in order to not be swayed by toxicity is just not for many people common knowledge! This is a great travesty.

We human beings become very much what we eat. We human beings become very much what we drink. We human beings become very much a mirror of what we are each exposed to 24 hours a day. We human beings are increasingly or decreasingly literally toxic, according to what we are allowing ourselves to be exposed to.

Retaining our right to informed consent, retaining our right to informed knowledge, aids us and keeps us safe and healthy and therefore literally less toxic at a chemical and molecular level. 

As we endeavour to navigate our way through our individual life time, all the while living within a fleshly human body, we each truly need to each be aware of what is toxic to the human body and what is also non-toxic and therefore a far better and safer option. 

Toxicity, when allowed to take hold is guaranteed to cause injury, it is guaranteed to cause harm, it is guaranteed to cause death. Yet too often, we dismiss what is known to cause toxicity and cling to a hope that somehow we will be lucky enough to dodge the very bullet being aimed at us.

It is truly up to each of us to choose to put the time, energy and effort in to gaining the necessary wisdom and knowledge to keep our finely tuned, vulnerable machine of a fleshly, human body in good, non-toxic pecking order.

Every human being has the right to choose to actively seek to be fully informed about what it is chemically we are additionally being exposed to in all spheres of life. 

Every human being surely also has the right to try to not be exposed to that which is harmful, injurious and therefore toxic to the human body.

Every human being should be freely able to ask questions and expect informative, truthful answers when wishing to know how truly and fully toxic something may or may not be. 

Surely, we should all be unanimously in agreement around each of these fundamental human rights?

Surely we should all be unanimously in agreement that both quality and quantity of life is a good thing to experience individually, and also collectively, as a species of living beings?

Toxicity.... it harms, it injures, it kills and that IS unquestionably a historically, scientifically and medically proven fact. 

It is up to each of us to do our part, for not only ourselves but others also. We need to keep toxicity best at bay, for the sake of all of humankind. May we each choose to actively seek to become wiser and more knowledgeable, for the sake of greater & better health and well-being, in the coming year.

The Value of Practising Radical Acceptance

For a number of weeks my household have had to daily live with hardship. We are working our way through as best we can living with a measure of daily hardship, all due most unfortunately, to a sewerage system failure on our rural property. 

It is over a year since this particular unfortunate drama first entered our lives, and the related story unfolding is proving to be quite complicated, as well as long. 

We have had to work our way through a diverse range of resulting consequences, as well as a diverse range of related thoughts and emotions. The literal practical impact this hardship has caused and played out each and every day, for some time, has been hard and plain challenging.

Hard times are just plain hard. Horribly hard. Hard times are a huge distraction from usual routines and activities. Hard and challenging circumstances are downright unpleasant, often disheartening and also sources of considerable frustration. 

Let's be honest: hard times are just horribly, revoltingly yuck and a poo of a mess to deal with (literally, in our case). There are a range of unpleasant emotions and consuming thoughts that also often kick in. 

Feeling and dealing with frustration is one resulting consequence that is a real doozie. Frustration really can become very consuming. 

To not have the control that you normally prefer and like. To not have in place any longer that which you want, need or require, as part of your normal healthy routine and daily life..... it is very hard to journey with and through the strength of emotion that can result. 

The particular responding emotion that manifests as a result, and which we name "Frustration," truly can be a real doozie on the energy and time sapping front. 

Anger is another emotion that can really suck your usual calm demeanour down and under, into a deep, dark rabbit hole. Anger can settle over you, in you, and become like a hard stone deep in the pit of your is not a fun emotion in any true measure at all.

Anger can become consuming. It can become time consuming, energy consuming. It can lead to some additional dysfunctional pathways being drawn up and set in place if unwise, rational care is not taken.

There are other emotions also, that can totally swamp and affect where one's mindset is at, when circumstances are hard and awfully challenging. 

It becomes a battle for one's mind when these often quite valid emotions become intensely overwhelming in response to circumstances not being what they should, could or would be at, if you had any true and real choice in the matter.

Radical Acceptance. The ability to accept reality. The ability to accept situations beyond your control. The ability to choose to not get overwhelmed and disempowered by a strong, overwhelming emotional response to your current awfully hard place reality. This is called and deemed to be practising radical acceptance.

Radical acceptance in no measure is about condoning what is occurring. It is not about lying back and pretending you're not experiencing emotions or actual hardship in your present reality. Radical acceptance instead is about guarding your thoughts, guarding your emotions, and therefore guarding and monitoring your responses.

Getting caught up in an emotional rollercoaster, because you cannot control what you cannot control, is not helpful or healthy. We've all at times been there, or been close to being there, as part of our human existence and experience. 

An unaudited emotional rollercoaster, if we let it responsively habitually kick in, will prove to be energy and time consuming, and yet it simply does not constructively change anything in reality that is occurring one little bit.

Radical acceptance is about tooling up. It is about digging into your inner toolbox. It is about accepting your current external reality for what it is and not getting caught up in an overly emotional reaction to it. 

Radical acceptance is about tooling up and refusing to jump on an emotional rollercoaster ride in response to that very hard, yucky reality we may not currently feel at all good about. 

Radical acceptance is about knowing what is within your circle of influence. It is about keeping your head, keeping your health, and being wise and kind to yourself on (and in) so many good, positive constructive levels.

Being unable to fix things. Being unable to change situations. Being unable to personally right what is unfair or wrong. It can all over a prolonged time create suffering that can unfortunately become significantly great suffering if we are not wise, rational and therefore careful.

We are not called to agree with what is or has happened by practising radical acceptance. That is not what radical acceptance entails at all.

Radical acceptance instead offers us and allows us to see reality for what it is. It keeps us functioning, within a circle of wisdom and good health, within that very challenging reality. 

We get to live within the hard, challenging reality afforded to us at the time and we get a better opportunity afforded to us, at the very same time, in order to function at our very level best while we walk the walk of the journey before us. 

We see reality for what it is, when we practise radical acceptance. 

We see with greater clarity and greater objectivity what we cannot change and what indeed we can change. 

Radical acceptance allows us to retain absolute control over our thoughts, our actions and our words, as we interact with the current reality we are in fact caught in.

Letting our thoughts run wild unfortunately only ever causes additional pain and more suffering. 

Letting our emotions run wild only ever causes more pain and more suffering. 

Radical acceptance is about retaining control over that which is within our circle of influence, whilst still remaining and being very present in the realness of the reality we are in fact in.

Radical acceptance is practical and active. 

Radical acceptance is a conscious choice to audit your emotions and reactions in the very moment at hand. 

Radical acceptance is about offering the best self care and kindness to yourself. 

You are your own very best advocate in trying and hard circumstances. Radical acceptance is about practising the ultimate form of self care as best you can in your present reality, even though there is hardship, injustice and unfairness still at hand.

Auditing your emotions helps keep things in check and healthy. It is in your very best interest to practise the art of keeping your emotions from running away from you. Radical acceptance keeps you emotionally in control, in a moment of time, when that around you may not at all be the way they should be. 

Radical acceptance involves you actively choosing to respond and react in the current reality with great thoughtfulness.

Let us be very clear once again, acceptance is not at all the same as agreement. 

When you choose to embrace radical acceptance, you are in no measure condoning the unfair, the unjust, or the hard, in the reality about you or contained in that which you are experiencing. 

Radical acceptance is about consciously choosing to practise calmness in the present time regardless of what else is in the present time. 

It is about choosing to keep yourself practising rational, logical choice making and calmness regardless. When it comes to your thoughts, words and actions, you are choosing to remain in absolute sound control of those very things. Repeatedly. Steadily. Always.

Breathe. Choose to breathe and focus on retaining calm control of your breathing.  Choose to monitor how well you are literally breathing, while being on the journey in your current hard and challenging experience.

Calm, deep, well paced breathing helps us keep our oxygen levels within good, healthy safe limits. It literally helps us when it comes to providing clarity of mind because we are providing the brain with the literal chemicals and elements it needs to function best. Good, calm sound breathing also affords us the ability to deal better with pain, be it literally physically present or present emotionally.

Guard your thoughts. Watch that they do not start to spiral and go down a dark rabbit hole. Our thoughts can take us on a journey that can prove to be very dark, very negative and not helpful to keeping us functioning well in and through the reality of our day. Guard your thoughts, to keep yourself reality based and able to carry out daily tasks with sound awareness and appropriate attention to their details.

Let go of what could have been. We can grieve what could have been and this can cause additional extra pain and suffering. We need to see reality as it stands. We need to accept reality, even though we may not agree with things being what they are. We simply cannot fight reality. It is what it is. We have to be real about what is real, and therefore be rational in all our reactions and responses.

Stay present in the present. Living in the past is unhealthy. Living in a state of wishful thinking is unhealthy. Judgment and blame also rob us of precious time and precious energy. Why waste any more of those very valuable things by being caught up spinning within a cycle of unhealthy judgment and blame?

Radical acceptance allows us to be in the present moment in a much healthier fashion. 

Radical acceptance enables us to be more rational, more objective. Radical acceptance allows us to pull things together, within our actual circle of influence, in order to work out how to best move forward.

Radical acceptance allows us to make and take up doing right actions.

Radical acceptance enables us to respond with wisdom. It is a tool available in our toolbox to help us tool up constructively and positively, in order to make the changes necessary to go forward. 

Radical acceptance is a choice to practise wise, healthy, helpful self care, all the while doing what needs to be, and can be done, within your own circle of influence. 

Radical acceptance is a tool to hold onto, whilst journeying (however slowly) towards the light at the end of the current tunnel of hardship being experienced. 

Radical acceptance is a tool to help gain the clarity to see that you do in fact have options. Rather than getting swept along by only continually seeing all consuming unfairness and injustice, your time and energy can and will remain instead focused on serving you truly best.

Radical acceptance takes and keeps the intensity of emotion in check. It keeps emotions and thoughts rationally in check and therefore helpful, rather than unhelpful. 

Radical acceptance keeps you goal focused. Radical acceptance keeps you balanced and in a position of wise, healthy equilibrium, rather than swinging on a pendulum.

Radical acceptance is not about denying emotions or circumstances. Instead, it about being very real about them. 

When we are able to be very real and also rational and slightly more objective, we hold the best key for going forward towards the very best of outcomes and solutions we require and desire. 

For those of us who are people of faith, practising radical acceptance is also in fact actually very biblical. To be real about one's challenging circumstances and their hardship, yet retain self control and practise the Fruit of the Spirit as best we can, is deemed the better spiritual pathway and most Christlike stance to take.

There is indeed, very sound, diverse and great benefits and value in practising radical acceptance in hard times that are just awfully plain hard. 

I personally highly recommend picking up and embracing the tool of radical acceptance, as best you can, and as soon as you can. 

Why you may ask? Because sometimes reality does indeed, both literally and figuratively, contain a rather large "poo of a mess" and you need to have wise and health giving "tools" present to help within your personal toolbox, whilst on the very challenging life journey at hand.

It is my sincere hope that this message will encourage someone who perhaps needed to be encouraged today, because their life journey contains a measure of challenging circumstances or hardship unfortunately currently. May the practical tips in this blogpost prove helpful. Happy homemaking, Everyone.

A Word Of Encouragement for those New to Home Education in Aotearoa New Zealand..... with PRACTICAL TIPS.

May the following be helpful and encouraging, if you are new to home education here in Aotearoa:

There are LOTS and lots of people who have been successfully home educating in Aotearoa New Zealand FOR DECADES!

As a result, there ARE multiple diverse, successful, wonderful fellow kiwi citizens and human beings that have all become successful in their fields of choice, right here in Aotearoa and internationally, as a result of being home educated in Aotearoa New Zealand.

So, take courage Mamas and Papas of Aotearoa who are considering home education... it will all fall into place and you and your child, your whanau. are about to start a fabulous learning journey together!

Those that are feeling a tad anxious, unsure and stressed can relax.... others HAVE written an exemption application before, AND SO CAN YOU 😊. 

Here are some practical tips which can be handy as part of the 'let's-start-writing-our-exemption-application-scenario 😊:

1. SPEND TIME getting to know your own child that bit more for a time.

FIND OUT what are their specific strengths and areas of interest are. 

FIND OUT what makes them tick. Observe, take notes, ask questions.

ENGAGE directly with your precious individual child..... AND watch for the light & sparkle that comes into their eyes when it comes to certain subjects/activities/areas of interest to them, in order to see firsthand what makes them keen, enthusiastic, passionately engaged learners.


Forget about 'teaching styles,' and instead get to know HOW your individual child best learns.

YOU need to learn how to 'speak' the 'language of learning' that best suits YOUR child, NOT what best suits you in the role of the teacher.

Try and move away from the fixed mindset of what you think schooling must look like, to what works FOR the very child in front of you.

The key to successful communication throughout the entirety of THEIR learning journey is to know HOW THEY LEARN and therefore HOW they take in information, how THEY take onboard skills and absorb knowledge best.

3. OBSERVE what times of day your child is most receptive to learning about new things/able to put in some quality time on the concentration and motivation front.

TIMING is often everything.

The 9am to 3pm window that is conventionally followed just may not be what works best for your lad or lassie.

QUALITY time is best when it comes to learning.

A horse is gentled best by spending time in the lunge AND THEN having TIME OUT, freely frolicking on the hillside pasture for a block of time... it is sure to be the same for that fabulous learner in your care. They each need TIME to have TIME-OUT to do the processing needed, as follow on, from the concentrated learning time.

4. CAST ASIDE your own experience of schooling.

Some of us adults need to get real about the need WE actually have to 'de-school.'

We need to take care that we are not consciously or unconsciously creating a false learning environment for the very child we are wanting to be journeying alongside.

5. VIEW THE EXEMPTION APPLICATION AS AN OUTLINE. It is an outline you are putting together on paper, for the next 12 months, to put in place a positive learning adventure... because learning IS a wonderful adventure,

If joy leaves the experience, your child will be wasting valuable time that could otherwise have been used far more productively, had joy and enthusiasm for learning been allowed to be present.

Keep a finger on the pulse of how much joy and enthusiasm is able to be kept present, in order to oil the wheels of learning.

6. CAST ASIDE FEAR and ANXIETY about keeping up with the Joneses and the alleged progress THEIR child is making.... just drop it, Mama and Papa.

It is all about YOUR CHILD, YOUR CHILD's interests, YOUR child's strengths, YOUR CHILD's present and future..... and you will be amazed at just how successful your child really is, when they are allowed to be the best them.

7. TAP INTO YOUR LOCAL HOMESCHOOL NETWORK.... there are many across on the whole of Aotearoa New Zealand. We are a diverse bunch of people, us kiwis, and within the communities of homeschooling folk there is a wonderful lot of diversity also.

8. TAKE COURAGE as you set out on this home education adventure. Those of us a little further along the track of already being on the home education path can encourage you. We can say that it is truly wonderful because our children are all doing exactly the right journey for them, by being home educated.

My hope, in sharing this post is that it proves to be encouraging, and also a source of practical help, for those who perhaps needed it at this time.


The Art Of Being Kind.... Just How Kind Are You Really?

The Art of being kind....just how kind are you really? It is interesting to take a personal audit occasionally, particularly in the current challenging times.

You are truly kind, you have truly mastered the art of being kind, when you are kind to the following:
1. You are truly kind, when you are kind to those that have a different opinion to you;
2. When you are kind to those that have a different daily life experience to you;
3. When you are kind to those that have the daily burden of a health condition that is different from your own;
4. When you are kind to those that have a lower socio economic status to you;
5. When you are kind to those that have a lifestyle different to your own;
6. When you are kind to those that look different to you;
7. When you are kind to those that use a language, or choice of words, different to your own;
8. When you are kind to those that have a diet different to your own;
9. When you are kind to those that have interests and areas of focus different to your own;
10. When you are kind to those that are not yet able to be referred to as friend.
Are you kind? Are you truly kind? It is a very interesting thing to examine oneself, isn't it and take a personal audit on the kindness front.

Being kind ....... it takes effort and conscious choice, until it becomes a personal readily engaged daily habit.

Being kind involves having a friendly and peace-filled nature and attitude.
Being kind involves being humane. Being kind involves being polite, pleasant and mild. Being kind involves being calm and aiming to do what is beneficial and harmless. Being kind involves gentle action and deed.

Each day we can personally choose to focus on offering ONE extra act of kindness towards making the world a better place. Let us each actively be kind. KIA KAHA.

The Beauty of Compost... thank you Wendyl Nissen and Martha Stewart!

Wendyl Nissen, creator of Thrive Magazine started her magazine containing delectable articles, such as one all about compost. How to make a compost bin and the glories of compost teeming with more worms than you could sensibly choose to count... that was the kind of stuff people gleefully would choose to read when picking up Thrive, as they pondered how best to thrive not only in the garden but also in life. 

A parcel arrived today from my mum up in Auckland and within it was another Thrive magazine for me to enjoy. Flicking through it briefly this morning, I admired once again the beautiful photographs and noted some of the articles I will really enjoy reading over a herbal tea. It was a blessing being sent this parcel of goodies from my beloved mum, and having something like Thrive included in it was just so lovely.

Wendyl is someone I am inspired by. I am inspired and I admire Wendyl not only for knowing what to deliver from the get go to launch her newly created magazine, but because she knows her stuff both in the garden and also when it comes to things like natural cleaning products you can easily make from scratch yourself, and that you can choose to keep readily on hand indoors under your kitchen sink. 

Wendyl is something of a guru on the home and garden front here in Aotearoa New Zealand. She inspires many of us fellow kiwi wives and mothers with her very healthy can-do attitude. I am one of those inspired by her, and the beauty of a good compost bin and its contents is not lost on me.

Wheelbarrows laiden with cowpats, chicken manure, seaweed, comfrey, lawn clippings, withered and dried out autumn leaves and sticks all appear to have contributed to the making and the launching of Thrive. How awesome is that! Not only did it help launch a magazine, I imagine she has had quite the most fantastic of food crops repeatedly and plentifully growing on her own piece of kiwi turf also, all due in part to a simple and humble compost bin steadily and quietly working away making over a variety of compostable materials. This inspires me. It makes me want to keep trying to quietly do my best in the garden and to work away steadily that bit more towards those dreams & visions I have also. 

Imagine just how colourful and tasty every one of her heirloom tomatoes and the highly likely glut of zuchinnis could possibly be, as a result of magnificent compost, all created through quiet, steady perseverance and patience. The classic kiwi barbeque at Wendyl's would be quite the neighbourhood soiree to attend, I'm sure!

As I ponder the possibilities of how best to prepare my own garden for the potential food crops it could provide in the coming growing season, my own compost pile looks nowhere as splendid as I imagine Wendyl's did and still does. Yet, I live with hope still flickering in my heart.

The wheelbarrow that I think would help me best,  has a screw or two loose yet again. With the repetitive rain that is currently about, my compost pile is also far from steaming with signs of sound health. Compared to Wendyl's, my compost pile surely doesn't and won't for some time cut the mustard at all, and yet it is what it is and it is all that I currently have. A gal with a pair of gumboots willing to go on her feet has to start somewhere, right? 

Sometimes it is easy to slip into feeling discouraged and disheartened, and the gift today of this sweet parcel from my mother with a delightful copy of Thrive really spoke to my heart and encouraged me on. The beauty of compost and the wise, positive words of Wendyl encouraged me on... thank you Mum and thank you Wendyl.

My latest read, or at least I should really say, the book I keep trying to pick up to read, is Martha Inc. The Incredible Story of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Like Wendyl, Martha seems to know a thing or two about compost, as well as how to perfectly go about pruning roses (mine gaze back at me through the window at this very moment, even now professing how unpruned and shamefully neglected they truly are). Martha clearly has the skill and know how to cater for a crowd, whilst also slipping out multiple how-to books like Entertaining (Wow! There are over 340,000 copies of that very book, tucked away on many a homemaker's bookshelf, according to the stats I have just read). 

Wendyl and Martha. Martha and Wendyl. These are two women that appear to have succeeded on so many levels, whilst a good many of us very ordinary homemakers just hope to once again drag ourselves out of bed to get the child to the school gate in a timely fashion each morning, and then work out how best to tackle the dishes still lurking on the kitchen bench alongside all the other projects demanding our attention.

I admire both Wendyl and Martha, I truly do, and I can only hope something of their knowledge, their  skill and their ability will gradually rub off also on me, as I read their various writings and watch a related Youtube video or two.

Wendyl knows a thing or two about compost and I greatly admire her. Martha knows a thing or two about compost, pruning roses, doing numerous handcrafts and putting on exquisite dinner parties and I greatly admire her. 

These two amazing, dynamic, successful women make you want to go out and make your own meagre compost a masterful artwork and the most productive of steaming successes. I want to look out via the dining room window and see the roses skillfully pruned. I even want to strike cuttings and gain success financially at some point in the future if I possibly can, because somehow by some amazing miracle all the cuttings would choose to successfully strike and go on and produce the most stunning of blooms.... wouldn't that be great?! 

I want to wear bright and happy aprons, produce the most delightful smelling afghan biscuits and have my children think I am the world's best mother, as I aim to greet them at some point in the near future with freshly squeezed fruit juice grown from our very own fruit trees. I would like Wendyl and Martha to both be quietly proud of me.

I want to do things as well as Wendyl and Martha and I don't think it is a bad thing at all to aim to have such standards as they project. I want the success and the productivity, throughout both the house and the garden, that they each seem to have and my often grubby hands testify to that fact that I am endeavouring to give it a go to try and make it happen as best I can.

 I want to drink myself healthy and eat myself healthy. I also want to be unapologetically me and those that are threatened by it can just back off and slink away. I want to push through the self doubt and the fear of failure and get on with getting on, and I truly want my compost to be the best jolly compost it could be! May God help me, and so too please may all that Wendyl and Martha have each put out into the universe that I have read to date help me also!

I want to see, feel and experience the same blissful, rewarding success these two awesome and awe inspiring women have had come their way............... and I am choosing today to see it start within the simple confines of the humblest of compost piles at my place, built from recycled and repurposed building materials found about the property.

Compost? You've got it sorted Wendyl! Compost, rose pruning AND putting a luncheon together for 240, you've got it in spades, Martha! God bless you both. The inspiration, the encouragement, the extra push & motivation you both gave this little kiwi mama today, it is highly appreciated. Now, I best go out strike on my gumboots and get busily working yet again on that compost!

Sole Parenting: Digging Deep

Sometimes things just don't go the way you hoped and planned. 

Sometimes you can give it all you've got, for a considerably great length of time, and still things just don't go the way you hoped and envisaged they would.

Sometimes you can give it all you've got and what was broken, what was dysfunctional, what was hurtful and most definitely wrong and unhealthy, will simply not righten itself.

Sometimes you can give it all you've got, and then you simply have to let go and let things be what they truly (and most honestly) were all along. 

Sometimes you just have to let the end come, so what is best, what is truly right and good, will have its place finally and most fully in your life.

Sometimes things just don't go the way you hoped and planned, and you yourself join the ranks of a good number of other ordinary, good people, all at various stages of dealing with loss, with grief, with heartache, with trauma and with crisis... all those components that come about after the dissolving and ending of a significant relationship. 

Sometimes things just don't go the way you hoped and planned, and you yourself join the ranks of others all also parenting alone, as committedly and sacrificially, as only a loving solo parent can.

Sometimes things just plain don't go the way you hoped, and you have to dig incredibly deep. 

You have to dig deep. Real deep. Deeper than you ever previously thought you could envisage having to dig. You have to deep down into your very soul and very core being and find the strength to do what you normally do, whilst also dealing with tremendous grief and heartache. 

Digging deep down to your deepest core essential roots and values, becomes what is key, absolute key, to helping keep you and yours totally centred and incredibly strong is best found there.

A good number of the intelligent, skilled, gifted, amazingly kind people who have sat across from me over the past several months have reminded me often, (without sometimes saying even one word), that no one, absolutely no one, goes into signing on to and committing to a relationship ever expecting it to come to that fork in the road that sees it being cast into a state of brokenness and eventual dissolution. 

We simply don't do that. None of us. We simply do not enter in, anticipating or seeking that. We don't. Never.

We simply don't go in risking getting stung & bitten by hurt. We don't. Never.

We don't go in looking for distress, for trauma, for crisis, for the eventual dissolving of a relationship. We just don't. We don't. We don't. Ever.

We go in instead with hope itself, clearly walking beside us and leading us. 

We go in with hope that what will result will be good, be really healthy, really safe, really lovely and predominately great. 

We go in, hoping beyond hope that it will all prove to be some measure of heaven on earth. We just don't go in seeking hell and hardship, grief and heartache, pain and hurt. We simply don't. We don't. Never.

Digging deep. 

You have to dig so, so deep when a relationship hits the crossroads and dissolves. 

When you find yourself on the other side in this new season, new chapter, and you also find yourself being a sole parent, you now have to dig deep, extra deep..... and then often dig deeper even yet again.

A story shared by a friend came again recently to the forefront of my mind. It was a personal story of there being a time in her life she just had to remind herself to keep solely focused on breathing calmly, steadily, for the next half an hour. 

Why? Why, you may ask? Because the devastation and the traumatic crisis she was going through, after her marriage had fallen apart, literally kept wanting to take her breath away.

Digging deep. Sometimes you just plain have to, because you need to keep yourself on a steady course of literally breathing.

I get it. I totally get it.

You have to dig deep and sometimes just focus also on keeping on with steady, calm breathing, because people are depending on you to dig deep and be a steady, firm rock of support for them. 

You are personally depending on you to dig deep also. You have to dig deep, suck it up, keep your big girl pants tightly belted firmly around your middle and just get on with getting on, because no one, absolutely no one else is going to step in and hold the reigns daily unless you yourself do so.

You have to dig deep on so many levels and in so many ways. You have to dig deep on the kindness front for starters. 

You have to dig deep on the kindness front, because some other folk around you are just not going to be kind. They are going to be thoughtless, they are going to be selfish, they are going to be blatantly blunt and straight up when you just may not feel up to be subjected to their directness,, their harshness, their unwillingness to act with kindness at that very moment in time. They are going to express their prejudices, unleash their presumptions, expose their judgments and you are going to have to weather the fallout about you with as much grace and kindness as you personally can possibly muster.

You are going to have to dip deep on the patience front, because the smallest insignificant comment can send a child off on an emotional rollercoaster and they may not have the actual words yet to explain the grief and the hurt they are deeply feeling. You are going to have to dig deep on the patience front because some folk are just obstructive, obnoxious, biased and you will be the direct target of their own dysfunction.

You are going to have to dig deep on the perseverance front, because a simple phone call to a utilities company to establish personal accounts could take literally hours, because some people just don't communicate well, and records get muddled and lost, and the simplest of things can literally become the most complicated of processes, simply because they can.

You are going to have to dig deep and aim to hold onto something of a sense of humour. One day, yes one day, (even if for now it seems likes it is literally going to be decades away), you will find some of the nonsense and 'poo' you are put through actually quite funny. Today it might not seem so funny, but digging deep, holding on to that which was dug up from the deep, will help you keep your wit in the long run.

Digging deep. There is an art and a skill to digging deep. When life has sent you a hard curve ball, when the 'poo' has finally, most definitely hit the fan and there is no disguising it, you have to dig deep like you have never dug deep before.

There will be clearly those that can identify with having similar experiences of digging deep, and they will gradually come out and cross your pathway. They will see something in you that triggers their own memory or memories of digging deep, and they will feel safe to tell you, in some measure, they too have been in that very same place of having to dig deep.

Digging deep. 

It is a trench and not a pit.

It is a place and practice that is perfectly fitting, most clearly and securely healthy, all the while being the most fitting of steps to take when you are experiencing heartache and grief. Those that dwell in the shallows will never know the depths like you do, nor will they ever obtain them; because digging deep is a masterful art and a most masterful accomplishment. 

Dig deep. Real deep. As deep as you need to go. Dig as deep as you need, because ultimately you have got this, and all is actually well......................and your breath will be most definitely, always most readily and reliably steady.

Sole Parenting: Facing Expectations

Expectations appear to be low. They appear to be very low. As I have stepped out, day by day, into this new season of being a sole parent, it has struck me how low expectations from some quarters truly are, when it comes to sole parents, particularly 'solo mums' and their dependents. 

Some folk clearly have long held deep beliefs and biases (regardless of how much they may try to claim they don't), around what a sole parent can and cannot achieve and can be expected to do. People clearly have long held deep beliefs and biases also around what a child of a sole parent can and cannot achieve and can be expected to do, and their narrow beliefs and biases are plainly sad.

Be it extended family members, be it friends and acquaintenances, be it businesses and companies you previously engaged with and who previously valued your custom and accepted you would pay your regular or annual bill payments.... they gradually all reveal what underlying attitudes they hold when it comes to a sole parent, particularly a solo mother, as well as her children.

I have seen something of both the best and worst of humanity in some respects these past months, as I am now mantled with this title of being a sole parenting mother, and my children are duly labelled in some quarters 'fatherless' and the children of a 'solo mum'.

There are those who kindly and gently come alongside and ask genuinely, "What do you need?" 

There are those that do simple, yet such helpful things, like the dropping off a sack of kindling at the front gate, just to make one experience of going out to collect firewood less of a hassle. (Those that did that: God bless you for your kind gesture, it meant a great deal).

There are those who spontaneously send a monetary gift card to help pay for a fortnight of groceries. (Wow! Truly wow! Thank you for your generosity! The timing couldn't have been more perfect, as I dealt with the unwarranted taking of funds by a business not keeping thorough tabs on what money they had already received from me!).

There are those that are kind, those that are caring, and those that are truly the salt of the earth; when you are still in the earliest of stages of picking up the shattered pieces of what was previously your typical home life. 

There are those who genuinely come alongside and confidentially pray. 

There are those who text and phone and offer the comfort of simply saying, "I am thinking of you, and I am here if you need me." There are those that say they are there for you and they really, really genuinely and sincerely mean it.

There are those however that claim to care, yet choose instead to stand back and simply gossip & engage in tattling behind your back, as well as those who choose to cut you off completely.

There are those also that expect you to fall apart and not hold it together. 

There are those that want to tell you to keep hoping and keep trusting for reconciliation and better days ahead, when what they are personally clinging to is an unrealistic and uninformed understanding of why a relationship has in fact dissolved.

There are those that offer you unwarranted advice, and those that offer you well grounded legal advice.

There are those that wait on the sidelines for you to fail at what you next put your hand to. They want you to fail, because they have a vested interest in having you experience failure; they simply want their own narrow, biased vision of who you are, to come to be, in both time & reality.

There are also those who have not acknowledged or talked to you for a considerable time, yet they stop you in the street and straight up ask you most directly," So, why did your husband leave?"

There are businesses that no longer appear to trust you to pay the very accounts you faithfully previously helped pay. It would appear, now being a sole parent allegedly changes who many of us fundamentally are, as previously-proven loyal bill payers, able savers and frugal human beings.

Expectations are low when it comes to sole parenting, particularly with regards to those labelled 'Solo Mum.' Those deemed to be now labelled with that often very emotionally charged label, are expected to fit within a narrow stereotype, it would repeatedly seem at present. 

Expectations are very low, presumptions and judgement whip around rather quickly, and I personally have had something of a guts load of it. It is somewhat laughable, yet it also makes me personally currently rather (and rightly so) frustrated and angry.

It has been something like clockwork that every 2 - 3 days there has been something unwittingly requiring attention, something that previously just ticked over without any hassle, without any previous question. 

The number of utility companies that I am still trying to deal with, to simply set in place paying the usual monthly payments, is becoming something of a quiet yet unpleasant personal joke. 

My expectations, yes, my expectations have gradually lowered also, in relation to a number of businesses and their business practices attitudes and biases towards me, now as I am a sole parent, a 'solo mum', because it does work both ways, you see.

There is a new norm becoming prevalent. 

It is the new norm, because the underlying expectations I have been subjected to now, as a newly appointed & labelled 'Solo Mum', are that I will allegedly fail, and I will fail allegedly horribly downwards, via a slipping slope, and an allegedly predictable spiral of dysfunction.

There are those I literally know of who are standing on the sidelines expecting to see their own biased presumptions and judgements be proven correct. They want me to join the ranks of other sole parents, 'solo mums' who have failed, who have stayed trapped in a downward spiral; because it would suit their fixed mindsets about what is a well rounded, healthy family, and therefore literally bring to fruition their prejudices.

Previously, simply because there was a man in the house, there was no question about whether I could run a home impeccably well, carry out a regular, daily well-rounded homeschool programme for our children, whilst managing the establishing of a small business enterprise on a small rural, lifestyle property, as well as contributing occasionally to church and community projects, etc. There was no question, and yet now perhaps there is? 

Nope. Not a chance. 

This rural based mama may be going it solo, but my path is able to approached still, with some good old common sense and sound, logical intelligence on my part. Life going forward will have my best gumboot foot being put forward, in order for it to be as well navigated overall as I could personally endeavour for it to be; even if there are still some variations, in time and output, along the journey occasionally.

Yes, it is a new season. Yes, there are things that have needed to be adjusted and needed to be reviewed, however, I am still very much the same conscientious, hard-working person I was previously, before the marriage I was part of came to a crossroad path. 

I am still a capable, able-bodied human being who can do their very best to solve day to day issues on a rural lifestyle property. I am capable of picking up and using a pole saw, moving a heavily stacked up wheelbarrow, and even changing a lightbulb or the like all without the necessary aid of a Prince Charming allegedly to come rescue poor, little old me. 

I am a person with skills, abilities and experience, quite capable of achieving my long time dreams and goals if not hindered by the undue, unwarranted interference of others and their biased judgments about what women, and particularly a 'solo mum' can do and achieve. The dreams and goals may just for a time take a little longer or even be put on hold a little, while my children and I grieve and re-group ourselves, but that is perfectly okay and also perfectly normal. 

A sole parent is not a second class citizen. A solo mum is not a headless chicken, who needs to be rescued. They are not clueless duds who cannot contribute well to society, or fail to run a successful rural enterprise. They are not deserving of pessimism, or being deemed a lost cause, stuck forever in a cycle of poverty, and a pit of dysfunctional financial management. 

Some of us 'solo mums' are as good as you are, (in some cases even better), at managing our finances, balancing our workloads (even our rural workloads), our new found domestic situations, and it is unwarranted and uninvited presumptions and assumptions that add additional pressure and hardship so unnecessarily. 

Facing expectations. Facing low expectations particularly, it is an unnecessary extra hardship. Those of us who are classed as sole parents need to not be subjected to as much negative bias as we are. Those that sit comfortably back in their armchairs and cast about further curses about the fate of a 'solo mum' and their children, need to take a good long, hard look in the mirror to face up to their contribution to where society is really at, when it comes to those prejudices they duly cast about others and their circumstances. 

Facing expectations. Facing up to low expectations? The presumptious and the judgmental need to raise their own personal meeting of bars, around vision-casting and future fortunes, a tad higher.