Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Autumn reflections + seasonal reads

Oh Autumn! You've been intense. Refreshing so. 

You've taught me about bravery, vulnerability + authenticity. And that's seen me take a chance + embrace change. Ever so gently. Slowly. Slow enough to feel the letting go that change beckons, yet not be swept up + overwhelmed by it's current.

But mostly, this season has reminded me to carve out more time in nature to breathe and be. And in those breaths, I've been reminded why I create. Why I write. Why my heart needs it. Why writing is the key to my balance.

And so, this winter I will take time to delve within. In stillness and in heart. I will take moments of time afforded between mothering and make them mine. From here, I will write. And with my autumn-found courage, I will share. 


As the season changes to winter here I'll be turning to these reads:

The Way of The Happy Woman* by Sara Avant Stover {inspiration, yoga + gentleness for the season's rhythm}
Only Love Today* by Rachel Macy Stafford {seasonal reminders + inspiration as I parent with heart}
- And I'll be most likely playing with this Love Notes card deck* by Kris Carr + Lori Portka all year {bringing awareness to my body, self + situations with love}. 


How has this season been for you? Does your rhythm chang
e as the seasons do? Any recommended reads?
I'd love to know. Elisa xx

*affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase these recommendations, a tiny percentage of the price comes back to me.

Friday, 12 May 2017

About motherhood...

Today I spoke a reflection and celebration of motherhood, baring my heart and soul, allowing myself to be oh-so vulnerable in front of my children's school community. Trusting and hoping my words would resonate. They did, and for that I'm incredibly grateful. This post is the words I spoke. Elisa x

Motherhood is by far the best thing to happen to me. It’s also, by far, the most challenging.  
When I was asked to speak on motherhood here today, I started doing a stack of research. And by research I mean talking. So lots of talking. Talking about motherhood - what makes it amazing, what makes it tough. I’ve spoken to mums at school, friends and family, women here at weekend mass, a lot of random mums at the supermarket… I’ve chatted to whoever stops to comment on our spunky miss two and I get stopped often. And all that talking - sorry, research - has only backed up my observations and speculations after 7.5 years of on the job training as a mum. My conclusion is motherhood is amazing, breathtaking, heart-expanding, wondrous, joyous, funny and incredibly precious. It’s also challenging, exhausting, tough and an endless learning curve. In short, my research has found that motherhood is as beautiful as it is messy.

Motherhood is a beautiful mess.
A beautiful mess. I really do think this sums it up.
So much beauty, so much love, so many little moments that feel oh so big to your heart.
But the mess.  Yes, there’s the physical mess, but it’s mostly the emotional mess that stands out over time.
The fierce protectiveness that comes with wanting the best and only good to come the way of your child.
That deep immobilising guilt that comes with wondering if you’ve done enough, given enough, shared enough. The guilt that comes with striving for balance, and feeling like you’re falling short.
Then there’s fear and worry - of what you don’t know, and of what you do.

There’s always some sort of mess going on. But I’m putting it out there that underneath the mess, there’s beauty to be found. At the end of the messiest days, I think we can all sit back and find a little beauty, a little gratitude.

The beauty and the mess balance each other. And I think we need both to grow.
It’s the beauty that helps us see past the fear, to flip it.
As mothers, we can choose to love harder when fear and protectiveness present.
We can choose self-kindness - to see what we are doing well, to praise our efforts in motherhood - when guilt rears it’s ugly head.
And when worry, fear and uncertainty boil to the surface, we can calm them with faith. Faith in God. Faith in family. Faith in ourselves, our hearts. Faith in our kids, their hearts. And faith in the community here to which we all belong.

Motherhood is to love, and be loved.
I woke up the other day to find my miss seven asleep tucked under one arm, miss five tucked under the other and my baby {now two years old} asleep on my chest. It was bliss, but I was reminded in this moment that people often say to me, say to mothers, “You have your hands full”. I certainly did at this time; I certainly do. But what I don’t say back, and often want to is, “Yes, my hands are full, but you should see my heart.” Love, I think, is the best gift of motherhood. I had no idea I could love so much or be so loved until I became a mother.  

One thing I know for sure is Motherhood means learning.
And the learning never stops.
Because motherhood isn’t for mastering. It’s for growing, learning and evolving with our kids.
I know I’m kinder to myself, because I’m a mother.
Healthier, because I’m a mother.
Have felt more love than I knew existed in this world, because I’m a mother.
And I’m a better version of me, because I’m a mother.

And just as our sense of self and motherhood evolves as our children grow, I feel my relationship with my own mother has too.
And I suppose what I mean by that is that I fell in love with my mum all over again, got to know her at a new level, once I became a mother. I understood her better, the decisions she made, and how she would have felt making them. And perhaps, most of all, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Grateful to be blessed by a mother who loves unconditionally, epitomises kindness and gentleness and gives with her whole heart to everything she does.  

And about mothering... I wanted to share something important to me. I believe some of us are born to be mothers, but having children isn't the only way to mother. We can mother our sisters, our friends, our own mothers, someone else's children. Mothering isn't defined by gender or our ability to bear a child. It's something we can all do. For each other. It's nurture, it's kindness, it's love. I believe that sometimes all we really need is to be a mother to ourselves. But what I know is when you hold this space as a mother - for your children, for someone else's children, for your sister, your friend, for your partner ... when you mother, you are someone's whole world. 


Wishing the happiest day to all mums, to everyone who mothers and to those who support us in mothering. With love, Elisa x {In Australia, this Sunday marks our celebration of Mother's Day.}

***I have a new Instagram account! Find me at @ohhelloheart + I will be launching free breathe prints + meditation/mindfulness resources at the end of the month via here xx

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Deciding on less and more

I can easily write a lengthy list of what I want more of. For some reason, more seems to strike a chord... and it makes me focus on what I don't have. But when I bring less into the equation, the opposite presents. I find myself dwelling on what I don't need, what I can discard, what I truly need to be happy {and it turns out that's not many things at all}. 

In learning the art of balance and in a bid for clarity, I write my more or less list each year. It begins with a fair bit of thought, but eventually the words just roll onto the page, unfolding into a manifesto of sorts that resonates with my heart. Here it is.

Less screens, more books
Less sugar, more protein
Less procrastination, more meditation
Less talking, more listening
Less worry, more gratitude

Less criticism, more praise
Less fear, more love
Less rushing, more moments
Less doing, more just being


Will you give the less and more list a go? Do you do a similar exercise, and has it helped you? Love to know your thoughts. Leave me a message or link below or even shoot me an email if you create your own list. I'd love to have a read. Elisa xx 

~~~~~~~~ Love some free prints and affirmations to inspire your everyday? You can leave your email here! Can not wait to send this bundle of mindfulness prints + affirmations to you next month. Elisa xx ~~~~~~~~