Discipline

I have long decided to invite more discipline into my life. Correction: I have long decided to invite more discipline into my working life. Being a mother, that means those five to six hours in the morning and early afternoon while Svarun is in kindergarten. Being a mompreneur (a mother who is an entrepreneur), that has meant: all day every day.

It’s utopian to think that I’m going to be able to do all that I want/ should/ must/ desire in a mere few hours, especially because … well, I’m a woman. I don’t do things linear; I do a little bit of this here, and a little bit of that there, and then return to this, and then continue that bit over there. Just as I’m typing this, the granola is in the oven and washed clothes can’t wait to hang out in the balcony in this hot, orange, autumn sun. But being a woman, I also posses a lot of creativity that just wants to see the light of the day. However, being a woman alone does not make me highly chaotic; what makes me such is thinking that discipline would bore me to tears.

I’m willing to shift this now.

I’m willing to see things differently.

If we take a look at the word discipline, it shares the root with the word disciple. I’m not going to go into some religious lagacy, but just consider the meaning of the word disciple or bhakta, which is how the same person is called in Hare Krishna tradition. A disciple is someone who has surrendered his will to the coach.

For me, the coach is myself … or rather the part of myself I have yet not named, but it’s a she. She is the divine feminine that is waking up inside of me. She is my primal nature; she is Nature itself. Her gift is to find wisdom within her cycles; her gift is to descend and ascend, and give to the world all the love and beauty and softness she has gathered along the way. And what she needs in order to do all of that is … inspiration.

My idea of discipline? Surrendering to the inner guidance and feed it well with a lot of inspiration.

Again, my idea of discipline? Every day I take time for things that inspire me; I take time form y yoga and meditation, I take time form my barefoot walk, I take time to spend in Nature, and as of today … I take time for my kitchen playtime. That means I take time for the new app I’ve created, called Igralnica Kuhalnica in Slovene (but coming in English as well) and for sheer plain experimenting in the kitchen. When I’m throwing things together I fill like a kid again, wide eyed, barely managing to wait what’s going to … become.

That way, I’m becoming anew every second of every day. And that, my friends, is a gift.

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Renewal

This moon’s cycle is all about Renewal. Renewal of Trust.

Yesterday I spiralled down to the place where I felt hopeless. Is everything I used to believe a lie? Is this the kind of world where I want to raise my son? I went to bed with my mouth full of bitter ash and I had a hard time sleeping with all these pictures running through my mind. I didn’t want to feel what I felt but I knew I had to feel it. Once a month I allow myself to take the pains of the world as my own; I drown myself in the scars and sink deep … only to rise again stronger and lighter then before.

Today I rose again. I was blessed with time and space for me, as my boys were away. I was working on an inspiring project that I’m preparing for all of you, guys. Reminding myself of what I stand for, what I believe in, and what I praise and preach towards instilled in me a new sense of Trust. Trust into the World that I doubted yesterday. Trust into My World. This meant: no, I didn’t feel like cooking. I felt the way I feel every menstruation, and it is to spiral down, cuddle up and dig, dig. No, I didn’t feel like cooking, but instilled with the new sense of Trust into the world that wants to caress us … I knew we would be fed.

So I finished work, and went for a ten minute barefoot walk on my meadow before picking my boys. I followed the sun’s invitation and cuddled up with golden grass beneath the top of the hill, where the Bora couldn’t get me, and soaked in the last autumn rays … when my mother called. She seemed excited to invite us all for dinner because she was blessed with beginner’s luck to find three big mushrooms on a walk through the woods.

Mushroom pasta for dinner? Thank you, heavens, for guarding my descent to renew my Belief into the world.

I knew we would be fed. And I knew, even in the darkest hour, when I had trouble sleeping, that everything would be okay. Everything is always okay, if there’s Trust in the okay. It’s the same kind of Trust that the story will come; even if it is 8 p.m., when I slowly unplug myself from the World.

If I Trust that there is a story to come, the story will come.

If I Trust that everything will be okay, everything is always okay. The question is … are we okay with the okay, or are we aiming at something else?

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A Ten Second Ritual

I remember mentioning up here already that I have acquired a new habit of doing my morning sādhanā outside in the meadows of our Karst prairie. It’s the best decision I’ve taken in a while because it grounds me like nothing else, connects me to everything else and our beloved, loyal Bora blows all the negativity away. There were times when deer and rabbits were jumping not far away from me, and the top of the cliff with the view of the valley underneath, wrapped up by the immenseness of the Adriatic Sea is sure to reinforce the feeling of freedom within.

I started doing my Peace work outside when Svarun was away on holiday with my parents, but noticing how much better I felt if I started the day out in nature, I decided to keep the habit even when Svarun was back. So the weekends, when he doesn’t go to preschool, mean we’re out and about soon upon waking up, taking the breakfast that was prepared the night before, alongside.

But today was one of the days that we went out really late. My dearest spiritual running buddy came over first thing in the morning for the last chat, hug and a cultural culinary experience (as she put it) while visiting her homeland, so we didn’t manage to get outdoorsy until  almost noon (good thing the Bora was so strong today, so we didn’t feel the heat as much). I did my yoga, whereby Svarun used my Downward-Facing Dog as a bridge to go under, but I didn’t get to meditate; not because Svarun likes to use my silence as a profoundly valuable background for his powerful Bella Ciao* chanting, but because it was time for him to go to bed.

When we were leaving, it was very late, so Svarun’s stopping me every few steps didn’t help my keeping up the pace. First he needed to go pee and then he would order me to close my eyes and look away a few times. Although I knew he was doing that to bring me surprise gifts from the nature, I had been feeling a bit stressed out. I mean, I didn’t get to meditate in a few days’ time and all I wanted was some Peace of Mind. But when he told me to close my eyes and look away, a split second happened. Suddenly, I knew that I had a choice! I could either go on fussing around and wondering what time it was or I could take these ten seconds of time to my benefit. Right there and then, I was offered ten seconds of Peace for me. Peace is what I had longed for but my mind was telling me it was aiming at half an hour, as opposed to ten seconds. I chose to shush the mind.

As Svarun walked away, I closed my eyes and noticed my breathing. Immediately I felt Peace. And I felt teased by the sun that was warming up my face that was softening from the crankiness. And I felt my bare feet on the ground and the weight of the bag, the yoga mat and my flip-flops I was carrying. I checked in, and I felt me. I felt happy I accepted the invitation for this ten-second Peace ritual, and even happier when I realized I was given such invitations all the time. Every hour of every day, we are invited to take moments of Peace, just to plug in more often. Do we accept the invitations? Do we even notice them?

When we know that ritual is not something that requires a specific amount of time, but even seconds … we can make no more excuses.

Svarun returned smiling and shouting: “Surpriiiiiiiiiiise!!!”

He was holding a few flowers in his chubby little hand, and a juniper berry in the other. I felt royal and regal, not just because my soul flourished at the sight of the flowers that were picked for me, but because I had taken the moment for my little Ritual, which made life nothing short of Sacred.

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What a Day

I. Can’t. Write.

 

My feelings are feeling me.

How do I know? I’m out of control.

My thoughts are thinking me.

How do I know? I want control.

 

I knew it couldn’t have been long

until I burst into the song

of who’s right and who’s wrong.

 

Do I let myself cherish the good

or do I keep coming up with new things that could trigger a flood?

The flood of feelings that I always felt

and always knew I would.

 

Do I still play according to “no pain, no game”?

Well, that’s a shame.

Haven’t I learned anything this year?

But wait, there’s a feeling here …

If I put my hands over my womb,

I hear it whispered softly

… that my peace resides there where my pain hides.

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Things to Say

Do you know the feeling that what you are doing makes no sense? Do you ever think that nobody wants to listen to what you’re saying or look at what you’re painting or marvel at how you’re dancing? I used to feel that way a lot.

Today I was talking on the phone with someone, whom I respect greatly; actually, I will go so far as to call her my teacher. She knows my visions and my path, and she told me that what I have to say matters greatly to the world. She also told me that there are numerous ears that need to listen to my words, while I had a hard time believing that. I always thought I was going to have things to say only once my soul wears a fifty-something grayish grandma outfit. But I turned thirty in March and it seems that all my soul wants to do is express itself and inspire others to do the same. However, all that my mind wants to do is prevent it from doing so, scowling: “Who are you to talk about anything? You are not yet perfect.”

Wait a minute. What does that even mean? I may not know a lot of things, but what I do know is that in this moment, I am exactly what I need to be. I dig the journey, not the destination. Perfect seems like a destination to me, and a pretty boring one at that, for it doesn’t offer any chance to grow. Do I really want to be perfect before I start writing full time? Do I really want to wait until my English is perfect, until my limiting expectations are being met, until I have enough time – if there is such a thing? Or do I take off my masks and be completely honest with you? I am warning you, it might not always be pretty, although girls are taught to always be pretty. But I promise you, it will be real.

I choose real. I choose raw. I choose genuine. I choose to speak up because I know I have things to say. Just as everybody else. I have things to say as a result of this other thing that I have, which is called life. It has been blessing me with experiences that cause my personal growth, just as yours has. But because I know that we must first see the reflection of the thing to be able to ever see the thing we’re looking for, I am here to be your mirror. I have had many mirrors along the way and now it’s time to keep up the good work. I have things to say because I know my journey is not just mine. My journey is the journey of everybody, because we are all rising up to the highest versions of ourselves. I have things to say right now and I will no longer wait for my words to mature and ripen beyond recognition.

In this moment, I thank my perfectly imperfect thoughts about myself for being here. Thank you for the contrast, from which I realize that I am perfectly perfect in all that I am right now.

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Magnesium Menstrual Smoothie

Yesterday was quite a day. I was expecting my period. It usually comes the moment I wake up in the morning, but yesterday was different in that regard. I did my yoga, meditation, started photo shooting this very smoothie, finished, started writing, had a meeting, went on writing and managed to visit my son’s kindergarten teacher. I rescheduled the meeting from today to yesterday, because I knew that if the red moon didn’t come yesterday, it would come today. And on the first day of my period, I want to be able to do whatever the heck I want.

 

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I knew I was going to get my period, because I experienced the famous drop in body temperature, according to Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) that I’ve been practising quite consistently now (well done, me). Do you know it? FAM helps you determine your fertile days by monitoring three bodily factors daily: your body temperature, vaginal secretion, and the position and softness of your cervix. Basically, FAM is natural birth control, but really it’s much more than that. It’s a way of getting closer to your body and your cycles. Something I wish I had known before, at least prior to popping the birth control pills a decade ago, and feeling oh-so-grown-up as I did it. Of course, every other girl was doing it, and when I got my first white and orange box (that would afterward challenge gigantic emotional turmoil), I finally felt like part of the clan; I somehow felt initiated into womanhood, if you will.

Funny, isn’t it? Funny and absurd, that I felt grown-up as I was numbing and deceiving my body, when in fact true wisdom comes from knowing and cherishing your body.

But how could I know? Nobody told me. In fact, how could anyone know if women of the last few centuries had to forget about the power of their cycles, if they were to survive, and not be burnt at the stake?

I’m not going into much detail about the inquisition today because frankly, I’m still not quite over it; I get goose bumps and tears flood down my cheeks uncontrollably every time I even think about it. But I will tell you this: every month this very thing reminds me of the great power us women possess. Shakti!

Why the frequency, you might ask yourself? Oh, just because of my Holy Menstrual Trinity. Whenever I have my moon cycles, all I want are three things. The first one is chocolatey-something for breakfast. The second one is endless scriptures, books, talks and interviews on the topic of feminine power and spirituality. The third one is me-time to do whatever the heck I will. If I thick all of the above boxes, I’m a happy woman.

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I asked my mother to babysit Svarun yesterday, so I could reschedule and see his teacher. What she told me was: “My goodness, why are you telling everyone about your period as it were an illness, for God’s sake!” And I thought to myself: “Is it wrong to schedule my days around my cycles? It’s not that I’m crying for attention or want everyone to pat me on the back. I’m not being “poor me”. I just … want to be true to my body. That is, after thirty years of neglect.” But then I remembered. I was eleven when I got my first period. My mother looked at me pitifully and said: “You poor thing, you.” Poor thing?  For becoming a woman? Now this makes me want to choke, you see. This has to do with Christianity, that’s been deeply rooted in Slovenian belief systems of what our social roles should look like. Women here are expected to take care of everyone except themselves; to give it all and ask for nothing in return. Their happiness is granted by seeing others with full bellies. While I do feel happy when I see Svarun happy, that’s not the only thing that makes me happy! That is to say, although I do feel happy when I give, accepting makes me happy, too. And for a lot of us women, the latter is something that’s not being practised enough.

Did you know that the greatest feminine virtue is that of acceptance? Can you accept … the air into your lungs, the money into your wallet, the painful memories into your story, your man into the whole of your being? Can you accept that you’re different every week, as part of being a woman? Can you accept that on the first day of menstruation, you don’t want to see or hear anyone/ don’t feel like cooking/ working/ being all patient and giving? Can you accept that your family still wants you to play small? Can you accept … all that you are?

If you’re still struggling with any of the above, I’m pretty sure you can accept this smoothie recipe without much thought.

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Mind your Magnesium

 It is said that magnesium deficiency is the commonest of all deficiencies, but virtually nobody talks about it, because it’s a new thing. And blood tests don’t show it because only 1% of magnesium is stored in your blood, while the rest lies in your bones. The catch is that magnesium dietary sources don’t grant it anymore, because the majority of it is lost in the refinement process. Magnesium content in vegetables has declined for up to 80% since 1950’s because of industrial farming, and grain refining processes remove up to 95% of total magnesium. What can you do about it? Your best bet is to grow your own vegetable garden, if you can; dark leafy greens are one of the easiest crops to grow and they are loaded with magnesium. If you don’t have access to a piece of land, at least boycott industrial farming by purchasing organic crops only. Since pesticides destroy organisms that provide nutrients to plants and fertilizers diminish the absorption of minerals, organic fruit and vegetables are way more likely to contain more magnesium.

I noticed a huge shift from very painful to slightly uncomfortable periods once I started minding my magnesium intake around menstruation. As you may know, magnesium is vital in nerve function, blood sugar control, and neurotransmitter release. It also relaxes the muscles and thus prevents cramps, which is good to know if you have painful menstruations. My speculation is that if I were mindful about my magnesium intake all through the month, the moon cycle discomfort would totally be gone. I’m about to try this, just for the experiment’s sake. I don’t expect my back pain, the heaviness in the legs, and general tiredness a week ahead will subside, and frankly – I don’t mind. Why? Because what I want the most is to know my body. I want to it so profoundly, so that I am able to aid my discomforts in ways of finding the right yoga poses, the right mindset, or enough rest. Know what I mean?

A few days ahead of menstruation I thus up my magnesium intake. I consume a lot of dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, cashews, cacao nibs, and use magnesium oil (that I highly recommend). I might experience a craving for chocolate, and it’s not a coincidence, since one square of organic dark chocolate contains approximately 95mg of magnesium, which is 24% of RDA. Other foods that include high values of magnesium are: bananas, avocados, almonds, figs, black beans, goat cheese, dates, yogurt, etc. But two months ago upon seeing this list of magnesium-rich foods, I took as many as I could and blend them into a delicious, chocolatey breakfast smoothie that I’m sharing today. It’s the best thing you can do for you, and the prescribed quantities will amount to two big bowls for you to enjoy.

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Magnesium Menstrual Smoothie

1 banana
½ avocado
fistful of dark leafy greens (I use the chard from my own garden, yay, 
but you can use spinach, kale or other)
fistful of soaked (or soaked + dehydrated) almonds, around 35g
fistful of Medjool or soaked regular dates, around 80g
3 tbsp of organic (possibly fair-trade) cacao, around 45g
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of pepper
a squeeze of lemon juice (very important!)

Pit the dates, peel the banana, pit the avocado. Use only ripe fruit. 
Put everything into blender. Blend. Enjoy and accept the luxury of it. 
You know you can.

 

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I wish you all big love and acceptance,

Tamara