Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Clearing

Every so often I feel the clutter in our house build up to screaming point... or suffocation.

When I have been preoccupied with big creative projects, I don't have the energy or headspace to do anything other than get meals in front of people, keep the mountain of dishes from toppling and burying us alive, and making sure that homework gets done most nights.

But the clutter builds and grows.

Our girl turned six yesterday. The kids have just switched rooms, which required a swap of belongings, and trying to configure a way for our eldest and youngest to share the biggeset bedroom in a way that works for them both.

I have written before about how I struggle with taking up space. And moving into space.

The first thing that needed to happen was to clear off my dressing table, which also acts as a minor altar space.

Ahhh, breathing space... what had seemed to impenetrable and overwhelming, was sorted and cleared in a matter of minutes... and then I moved on, patch by patch through my bedroom. I sorted my new bookshelf, which I hadn't even been able to reach, and re organised it shifting my books I live by to it, and bringing others up from downstairs which I previously felt vulnerable about visitors seeing... you know the Vagina Monologues sorta thing! And another little altar.

And then onto the kids room...

Seven bin bags of clothes and three large boxes of books for charity shop. Five bags of rubbish, three of recycling... 

Sun shining outside. A picnic lunch on the green. 

 I feel really proud of myself. And I can breathe.

I feel that I... and my kids... have spaces that reflect our needs and passions... we are at home here... and no longer camping or living out of boxes.

There is space to think... and be... and breathe... for the light to shine in.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Life-changing, paradigm-shifting books by women, for women.

The industry says there’s no money in publishing. They talk about the death of books.

A visit to the London Book Fair tells a very different story.

There is PLENTY of money there. With a couple of thousand stands. Each manned by 2-20 publishers, editors and agents. Suited and booted to the nines. Talking with calculators in hand. Hunched over desks making hushed deals. There is plenty of money changing hands… what they mean is there isn’t much money for authors. All the money is being spent on staff. And offices. And glossy brochures. And dinners. And printing pretty books. And erecting huge stands. And lots of over fed middle aged white men and ladies with very expensive hair. That is where the money is. Not in the pockets of those who created the work. Who were having to grovel to get a place at a table to talk to a powerful editor.

As an author I can’t tell you how wrong this felt. Intentionally intimidating and phony. Corporate yuck.

Then I headed to the self publishing area. Authors were crowded around, standing room only, straining to hear. The authors, many shipped in from the US, they spoke a different language – of telling stories, and community, and creativity, and entrepreneurship, and lots and lots about readers, about what readers want, and reaching readers, and maintaining financial and creative control… about building long term careers. They weren’t into cleverness, but into doing what they loved, and giving readers what they yearned for. And they were all millionaires. And in the audience were tens of authors like me, not millionaires, but making our livings from writing.

I knew I was in the right place.

It confirmed completely to me the way I want to go with my books. And the way I want to support others. In helping them to self-publish through education (e-courses and more... coming soon!) and publishing services.

And by creating a niche publishing imprint for voices that matter, that the women of our world are longing to hear. Life-changing, paradigm-shifting books by women, for women.

A publishing company which is co-creative. Collaborative. Which shares the work. And the money. Equally between author and production team. Which harnesses new technology. Which is small enough and clever enough to manoeuvre in changing times. Which is dedicated to the authors. And books. And readers. Not to saving face with the big boys in the industry or maintaining the status quo in any way. One which celebrates wisdom, not cleverness. Depth not superficiality. Which is focused on the future. Co-creating a bright new future, through seeding ideas and sharing voices.

Western women will change the world… so says the Dalai Lama… and who am I to argue? 

This is Womancraft Publishing. Our new venture.

It feels completely natural and right.

And we are really excited.

PS We're not officially supposed to have launched yet... we're still a few weeks off being up and running... but I am so breathlessly excited and USELESS at keeping secrets, especially with my inner circle, that I just HAVE to share it with you because it's on my mind, it's my everything at the mo - compiling the e-course, writing copy for the website, setting up our procedures.... (You can follow us on Facebook here!)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cherry Blossom Picnic

This weekend saw our annual much-anticipated family celebration of spring, adopted from our soul- heartland Kyoto, Japan: o-hanami, the cherry blossom picnic. We have really made it our own at this stage - we are now on our third one.

We require a sunny day with a soft spring breeze and the snowy blossoms in their fullest glory. A picnic rug. Fushi - as in fake sushi - as in marshmallow rice crispie buns rolled around jelly snakes to look like sushi.

And spring tea. This is my favourite ceremonial part. I gather all the fresh spring flowers and herbs to create an energising tissane. This year we had:

Dandelion for energy
Daisy for innocence
Lemon balm for calm
Red raspberry leaf for strong wombs, crucibles of creativity
Sweet cicily for natural sweetness
Violets, cherry blossom and primroses for beauty and love.

It looked beautiful... and tasted... odd!

And of course we sang the Sakura song.... making up the words for the middle bit that we can never remember!

And our family dressed in their own unique styles for the occasion!

Happy Spring to you!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Myth of Happy Families - Why it Just Can't Work... and How You're Doing Just Fine

How's your day?

Chances are you're tired. Or beating yourself up at getting cross with a child. Or have just had to break up a fight. Or are hiding on the internet just to get five minutes peace.

Or perhaps you are feeling very chuffed because for the last half an hour everything has gone perfectly. You are, for the moment anyway, living the dream. You ARE the perfect parent.

But then the baby will start screaming uncontrollably... the older kids will start will long for a moment's peace.... and, if you're anything like me, you'll feel like a failure, again.

As a mother your job is to be the creator and sustainer of love, peace and harmony. At all times. Anything less and you've failed. Especially if the outburst is coming from YOU at the end of your tether. (I may, perhaps, be speaking from experience here!)

The biggest myth about having kids, is that everyday is supposed to be saccharine happy, with everyone in perfect harmony. And that it is your moral responsibility.


The best thing you can do for your sanity, is stop believing this rubbish!  It's only taken me 8 1/2 years to realise this!  So if you're just starting out, go easy on yourself!

We were standing in the kitchen this morning, Mr Dreaming Aloud feeling despondent because our girls were being cranky with him, I was being cranky with him, the kids were bickering on the sofa… and had been since the moment they woke up.

A sudden realisation hit me: this is how it is 70% of the time.... Someone in the family is out of sorts about something. Yet we spend our whole time denying this, resisting it, getting angry about it: thinking it should all be roses and hearts, holding hands and walking into the sunshine. Because that's the way were told it should be.

All the movies show it.  All books show it. Permanently smiling children. Permanently smiling parents.

We know they're fiction - but some part of our souls holds it as incontrovertible truth, and holds us ransom to it.

Sure we can do it in the outside world.  We do with our friends, they do it with their friends. We're pretty good at playing happy families on best behaviour.

But the door closes. And here we are, together again, in private with the housework and homework, tired, hungry, overwhelmed, wanting space, frustrated, bored, sick…

Home is where we do real life. Home is where we get to be real people. Where we hide away our unshowable parts and get to be antisocial when we are sick, feeling alone, tired, when the weather's bad, when life's just kicked us hard between the teeth, when our hearts are breaking or depression pulls us down. This is where we get to be unvarnished, veruccas, stretch marks and all.

And a lot of the time it aint pretty. At least not in the way we are taught pretty SHOULD be... But it is real.

This is where we get to grow. Home is our growing edge. Our creative crucible of soul.

Our perfect vision of how parenting will be, should be, is a cardboard cut out.  It doesn't leave any room for human mess: surfaces covered in junk, unwashed dishes, peed on sheets, engorged breasts and milk stained tops, bickering over who got the least sleep, the sour milk in your coffee, baby waking up just as you manage to get into the shower…  after hours of waiting.

In a movie it's funny, we see the ridiculous side of it.  But in real life, it often feels rather depressing. We want to be living in technicolour, we just want the kisses without the tears; the cute paintings without all the mess; the well-fed baby without the puke; the sleeping angel, without the bed time nightmare that precedes it.

What we want is the life that we see in the perfect family portrait: well lit, clean faces and clothes, everyone smiling, hanging on the sitting room wall with pride. We define ourselves by this. This is who we REALLY are, we tell ourselves. The rest is just a mistake, an inconvenience, a failure. We conveniently edit it from our memories, write it off as "not really us".

But what if the crankiness, mayhem, madness, mess, mishaps and tears are an integral a part of the process that creates that magical moment which we capture and frame? They are us too. Life is the creative process, the endless churning and changing of a family in flux, individuals like atoms spinning here and there, only for a moment vibrating at the same frequency, then it takes just one to shift slightly and we have dissonance again.  Dissonance, not harmony, is the normal state of affairs... though our peace loving hippy selves wish otherwise.

Family living is the ultimate creativity.  There will be paints on the table, puke on your shoulder, poop on your fingers...  And possibly the bottom of your shoe!  Tears and tantrums are all part of the process.  From all of us!  This messiness behind the scenes, is like the artist at work, creating the most beautiful work of art: a human family.

Being a first-time mama is an amazing experience. The New Mama Welcome Pack blog hop is a celebration of this life changing event!

Follow the links to discover more unmissable advice, stories and essential tips. And if you’re a new mama who wants to rock motherhood without guilt, overwhelm or losing yourself, check out the New Mama Welcome Pack here.

New Mama Welcome Pack / Lotte Lane / Dreaming Aloud / Zhendria / Birthing in Conscious Choice / Natalie Garay / Eli Trier / Knecht Ruprecht / Lise Meijer / Naomi Goodlet / A Lifestyle By Design / Story of Mum / Like a Bird / Holistic Mama / Birth Geek / Joyful Parenting / Stroller Packing / My Healthy Beginning / Mums and More / Kate Beddow - Growing Spirits / Joyful Courage / Ellen Nightingale / Stacie Whitney / Maternity Leavers / Photography for Busy Parents / Close Enough To Kiss / Atelier Susana Tavares / Offbeat Family / Katie m. Berggren ~ Painting Motherhood / Winship Wellness Blog / Liberate From Weight / Jessica Cary / Art + Craft / Raising Playful Tots / Peaceful Mothering / Play Activities / Lauren Nenna / Nurture You / MummaBliss / The Adventure Mama / Be Wise Be Healthy / b.a.d.momGoodmom / Doula in Your Pocket / Making Mom Strong / Adrienn Csoknyay / Joyful Parents / Alison Hummel / Simple Solutions for Photos / Lynne Newman / Euphoric Birth / Mumpreneur Mentor / A Walk in the Clouds / Parenting on the Fence / MiaMily

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Creative Integration... what happens when you decide to stop hiding and claim your whole self.

Thanks for all the feedback on Facebook and by email about my mega freak out yesterday.

I walked in the door and announced to Mr DA that I'd just had a freak out.

"I know" he says " I read it on Facebook."

Ah, yes, Facebook is public! But always good to know one's husband follows one's ramblings.

"But I'm freaking out"

"Because that's never happened before!" I nearly whacked him one. But remembered I was a peace loving hippy and so laughed hard instead. The bugger has been through a few of my self-doubting creative tantrums in the last decade and a half.

They always seem new to me though! A sign that BIG SHIT is shifting.

It's been a powerful 24 hours of transformation and clarity. Of feedback. Of being witnessed. Of really claiming myself and my power. Leonie's right when she said that being an entrepreneur is the biggest  soul work you'll ever do (except being a mama).

I'll give you a whistlestop tour of the whirlwind of growth that is my life...

Yesterday morning started with a powerful meditation and set of life-shifting realisations before breakfast thanks to a rather wonderful e course I'm doing -kids' breakfasts and lunches, then off to work for a Skype chat with a new contact, a fabulous writer woman - you'll definitely be hearing more about her here... we laughed, cried and gave each other reality checks - even though we'd only just met. Writing the web copy for this (shhhh! it's top secret!) Dinner and kid time. Followed by a seriously powerful co-created ceremony at our second red tent - with some other women I've only just met. Sleep. Followed by an incredible working breakfast with Mr DA... and lots of powerful Facebook conversations in between.

I. FEEL. WHOLE. and witnessed in that wholeness.

And I'm doing what I love... with people who make my soul sing.

Ahhhhhh! What a life! I seriously cannot get over how lucky I am.

So... the long and the short of it is that Dreaming Aloud is here to stay. The consensus is that what I'm proposing is a perfect fit (and the megalithic boulder making it impossible was all in my head - sound familiar?!) And what is more, the creative women who read it are really excited to see me combine my two sides. Creativity and woman craft. Cos that's what makes me me... so I might as well stop running from it! I have had a life time of dividing myself into parcels which would be accepted in different places. My watchword now is integration. Authentic inhabiting of my full self...

So tell me... how do you parcel yourself up? Which bits do you separate off... especially in your work or creativity? Why do you do this? Have you considered integrating the disparate parts? How do you feel when you do?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A New Name?

As you can see I have just put up the new blog header to try it on... but something is stirring in me ... the powerful need to combine the content and approach of The Happy Womb with Dreaming Aloud... rather than having my split personality over two blogs  - so the focus will be on nurturing, supporting and empowering women's self expression and embodied creativity... This is where my uniqueness as a writer and teacher lie. And it's where the power is in my voice... and the insight I have to share.

The initial purpose of the redesign was to cut down to one blog... but that was going to be by dropping The Happy Womb and becoming a more mainstream creativity blog. But actually the women's work COMBINED with creativity is absolutely where my soul is.

Dreaming is not where it's at right now in my life I feel...

So I'm feeling that it might need an ENTIRELY NEW NAME... as originally Dreaming Aloud came from my time at Juno magazine, which is now in the past ( my time there, that is, the magazine is going from strength to strength). And I'm not sure it really expresses my new vision. (obviously I am VERY hesitant about rebranding... as you can imagine, having built up Dreaming Aloud over four years....

This is a very last minute turn around having spent weeks creating design and copy for the new Dreaming Aloud... and I have a designer starting work NOW!!!!

But I feel it's better to turn it around now, when I'm at these early stages than after having launched the new site.

Tell me does what I've told you resonate with Dreaming Aloud as you understand and know it, or do you think a new name is in order?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Let's Make a Date!

Well dreamers, it looks like a busy couple of months ahead... lots of chances for us to meet... and dream aloud together. You could get one of my books signed... Talk about a publishing project... blogging... woman craft... writing...

I've always found it so exciting meeting blog readers, and book readers in real life... and this next few weeks offers lots more opportunities for making real life connections...

Here's my action packed schedule!

April 1st, East Cork Red Tent - Ballymaloe
April 8th-9th, London Book Fair, Earl's Court
May 4th, Home Birth Conference, Dublin
May 7th, East Cork Red Tent, Ballymaloe
May 10th, Get Blogging with Lucy Pearce, Ballymaloe Cookery School
May 17th-18th, Ballymaloe LitFest (not speaking there this year, just schmoozing!)
May 16th-18th - Midleton Arts Festival - art in exhibition and book reading.
And just added...
July 11th-13th Dream Gathering... soaking it all up

Where will we meet?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Books for Mothers

“Motherhood can be one of the most intense experiences of a woman's life. While there are many books that offer the “dos and don'ts” of effective parenting, few offer guidance on navigating the tumultuous inner experience of being a mother, with all its joy, pain, change and uncertainty.”

Eden Steinberg, from Finding Your Inner Mama 

Like buses three wonderful books of motherhood have come along at once into my life...which I really want to share with you. So, being me I've gone the whole hog and am sharing ALL my favourite books on mothering to celebrate Mother's Day here in the UK and Ireland this Sunday.

Now I need to be clear here: I am NOT talking about parenting books, (usually written by smug nannies or doctors with willies... which tell you how to do it all -if you're perfect, have no feelings, aren't exhausted, are perfectly patient and have an angel child), and let's all feel guilty cos we're not doing perfectly enough - gah! How I hate those books...

No, I am talking about books of soul, written by mamas, for mamas. Books to nurture, support, inspire, to reflect back the myriad emotions of motherhood through the lens of words and images... and what I love most is that they are published BY women, FOR women - long live indie publishing, it's putting the soul back into books and giving authentic voice to women!

Musings on Mothering - edited Teika Bellamy, with a foreword by Naomi Stadlen, Mother's Milk Books 2013. 

I was invited to contribute to this book, a fundraising initiative for La Leche League. The words I contributed were some of the most powerful I have written on motherhood, and I was very honoured to hear that they were shared at the inaugural Story of Mum retreat last week.

This book is a celebration of motherhood, attachment parenting and breastfeeding. An impressive collection of writing, poetry and art on the theme of motherhood. The talent of the contributors was humbling, and much of the poetry and art truly breathtaking, each expressing in their own unique way the ineffable nature of motherhood. Sensitive, reflective and beautifully compiled - it brought me to tears many times.

An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice - edited by Suzi Banks Baum, Laundry Line Divine, 2013. 

In the introduction to this treasure chest of a book, Suzi opens with the image of a bus with 36 women already seated, each has an open seat beside them. You are invited to sit for a few minutes and enjoy the journey with each of your companions as they share some homemade cake along with their stories.

This is precisely the experience of reading this book. Like a fruit cake full of juicy currants, cherries and toothsome nuts, it is SO rich and deep and true.

I cried many times, tears of recognition and empathy. And many times I felt myself holding my breath, or my heart missing a beat as I listened to these sacred stories of the inner life of mothers so rarely told. It is a pocketful of mothers: wise real women, who speak of the tender, tragic and mundane moments – we hear of miscarriage and premature births, of babies lost and children grown, of domesticity, creativity and connection. Many of its contributors words will be carried always with me in my heart.

Birth, Breath and Death: Meditations on Motherhood, Chaplaincy and Life as a Doula - Amy Wright Glenn, Create Space

We are born, we die, and in between these irrevocable facts of human existence the breath weaves all moments together.

At the age of fourteen, Amy began to question her family’s strict faith and embarked on a life-long personal journey towards spiritual truth. Her quest has taken her around the world, to further studies and to both ends of life’s spectrum, in her dual callings as doula and chaplain to the dying and their families.

This little book is exquisitely written and is full of profound insight, reflection and compassion on the subjects of life, love, birth, mothering and death. Reading it is a meditation in its own right. It is a book of soul which leaves you richer.

What Mothers Do (Especially When it Looks Like Nothing), Naomi Stadlen

I read this book  religiously when each of my babies were infants on the breast, bathing in its loving wisdom. I hated it when Mr DA would come home and ask what I'd been up to - there I was exhausted, covered in vomit, shaking with hunger... I'd cast my mind back and "nothing" is all I could think of. I had no words for the invisible acts of mothering that I had been doing. This book helped to give me language... and value to what I did day after day in the early years. I have yet to read her second book, How Mothers Love, but have heard many good reports of it.

Moods of Motherhood - Lucy H Pearce, 2012.

Moods is a compilation of my best-loved posts on motherhood from Dreaming Aloud, my columns from JUNO magazine and many new pieces, never before published. It is a book full of my trademark searing honesty and raw emotions. It will make you laugh and cry - wherever on your mothering journey you may be.

Topics include: tenderness, pregnancy and birth, happy days, anger and fierceness, playfulness, love, patience, homemaking and much, much more... it is illustrated throughout with beautiful black and white photographs. I have put it together by topic so that you can dip in and out, wherever you are in your mothering journey. Pick it up for wisdom, reassurance, a laugh, some empathy. Take me to the park in your bag, keep me by your bed, or on your bookshelf... what a funny concept!

The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood. Lucy H Pearce, Soul Rocks Books, 2013 

My Amazon #1 bestselling book, featuring the words of over fifty creative mothers: visual artists, writers, film-makers, potters, performers and crafters.

Visioned as the guide and mentor that most creative women yearn for, but never find in their daily lives, The Rainbow Way explores the depths of the creative urge, from many perspectives. This positive, nurturing and practical book promises to empower you to unlock your creative potential within the constraints of your demanding life as a mother. It has been credited by women across the globe for kickstarting their creativity and making them feel seen and accepted as creative mothers.

Finding Your Inner Mama: Women Reflect on the Challenges and Rewards of Motherhood - Edited by Eden Steinberg. Trumpeter, 2007. 

“Motherhood is not what we imagined. It is more delightful, more heartbreaking...It is not the calm after the storm we have been led to expect. It is almost more than a person can bear. Almost."  -Ariel Gore, The Mother Trip

A soul-manual of mothering, sketching the landscape of the mother-soul and speaking truly of the vocation of motherhood, the dark and the light, the unspoken and unspeakable. It is written by women of courage, insight and vision who are putting into words a realm of experience which has traditionally been left without language.

Divided in to four sections: The Reality of Being a Mother; The Inner Work of Motherhood; Why is Being a Mother so Hard?; and Finding Balance, this collection of writing by psychologists, poets, novelists, spiritual teachers, and everyday mums explores the rich, transformative journey of motherhood. Amongst the contributors are some of the most talented American women writers of our generation: Louise Erdrich, Adrienne Rich and Ariel Gore.

And finally, hot off the press - the New Mama's Welcome Pack - which includes an e copy of my book Moods of Motherhood, as well as inspiration and resources from over 60 other mamas - this is the ultimate gift for new mamas to give wisdom, reassurance and practical help. The mama receives one short email a day, with words of love, and a resource.

Delivered over three months direct to their inbox, the New Mama's Welcome Pack is bursting with supportive and uplifting digital goodies, all designed to help a new mama make the most of this precious and exhausting time.

What are YOUR favourite mothering books?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dreaming Aloud... Together. Your ideas needed...

Hello lovelies

You know why I've been quiet?

Cos I've been scheming, and planning... and worrying and dreaming and doodling and journalling and fiddling.


Trying to dream aloud the new Dreaming Aloud by myself.

Who it's for, what it's about, how it works, how it will look...

When will I learn?

I'm trying to second guess what YOU will love, what YOU will want. So I can reveal it all fresh and new with a big TA-DA! in about 6 weeks.


If it's about YOU, then I need YOU onboard.

I know, I'm a little slow...

Note to self Lucy - YOU ARE NOT IN IT ALONE. You have support out there. A massive, wonderful, dynamic crew of creative geniuses... 

Do you remember when we dreamed aloud the title of The Rainbow Way? That was pure magic. So let's do it again. There'll be a thank you pack of my greetings cards going out to the winning idea, or the one that most helps me to get there.

So first of all I want to do a big reveal of the header, which is almost, almost there. It has been evolving a while now and hit completion at the weekend... my newly created font, my art behind it, my logo of the Dreaming Aloud stone spiral - in rainbow colours - and his computer magic...

But I don't currently have a tag line... and I think they are useful for new visitors to a site, so that they know what it's about and what to expect...

(WTF's a tag line, Lucy? It's the one sentence description of what a blog/ website is about, which goes under the main for example, Leonie has Amazing Biz, Amazing Life, Hands Free Mama has Letting Go... To Grasp What Really Matters...)

The new look website will of course have plenty of rainbow colours but lots of white space too. It will of course be home to the blog that you know and love, but will also have my shop with my books and art, there will be lots of creativity resources, e courses, the Facebook community and creative coaching... ( do let me know what else YOU would like on it, especially in the way of e courses...)

I am so excited about it - the design is nearly there, the web guy hired and he starts to build it on the 1st of April.

So back to tag lines... I spent all last weekend distracted by logos. Which was fine as the kids were with the grandparents for a sleep over. But I am single mama this weekend whilst Mr DA goes for a very well deserved skite to a big design conference. So I want to get tag lines sorted by tonight so I'm not distracted from kids all weekend with it going round and round my head. I'll share my current shortlist here - please do vote for the numbers you like. And also tell me the ones you can't stand. And please do add in any variations on the themes below - or something totally unique in the comments section below.

And remember, the winning entry gets a pack of 5 greetings cards.

My current shortlist:
1) Creative rainbow living
2) Living outside the lines
3) Where dreaming is allowed
4) Free thinking in creative colour
5) Life in full color
6) Where dreams take root
7) Vibrant, creative living
8) Inspired living for creative spirits
9) Your life, your way!
10) Courageous living for creative souls
11) Inspire, empower, transform...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Feeling Guilty Cos You're Not Doing Enough?

People ask me all the time - "what's next, Lucy?"

Knowing, me being me I'll have something up my sleeve.

"Have you started another book?"

Ummm, yes. I have 8, yes eight you read that right, currently downloading into my brain. Each with a separate folder on my computer, and random sheets of paper floating around my bedroom... and backpack... and journal pages, and quotes highlighted and book pages folded over (yes, me too, I HATE it when people do that, books are precious... but needs must, otherwise I'll never find them again! My kids always run off with my little stickies).

So eight books. Three e courses... or potentially four.

A website redesign.

And a number of top secret, mega exciting, dream come true projects which I will reveal all in due time.

This is not to mention finishing up my JUNO work (ah, breathing space!), doing the post-pub proof for The Rainbow Way, various book promotions, two blogs and my consulting work...

And three kids. One of whom rode a bike by herself yesterday. The other two are turning into bloggers in their own right!

And you know what... I'm feeling guilty cos I'm not doing enough.

Yes, you read that right too.

I'm feeling guilty cos I'm not doing enough.

Or at least that I'm not focusing on one thing. Perhaps that I haven't finished a book by breakfast time yesterday. I do some of one project, and give myself a hard time cos I should be working on something else. What a prize nutter.

And breathe.

So, if that little voice in your head is giving you a hard time, telling you you're not doing enough, or you need to do more, it's a cousin of mine, and it's speaking bollocks, so kindly tell it that from me.

You're doing a super job. Well done. Thank you for being here with your gifts and using them so fully. The world is a brighter place with you in it.

Or as I said rather eloquently in The Rainbow Way - "The products of creativity – the books, the paintings, the sculptures – are whispers from your soul or the communal soul: they are by-products of the journey. When we run dry it is because we have fallen for the mistaken belief that they are it, and that we are the source of our creations. We only have two jobs – to turn up with our skills, and to get out of the way and let the process guide us."

Now take five minutes, have a cup of tea and get that niggly little voice to have one too. You both must be exhausted!

So tell me, what's next for you... and to what degree are YOU giving yourself a monstrously hard time, whilst being an unrecognised (by you) rock star?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Essential Parenting Collection - FLASH SALE TODAY!

Just a quick post to share that there is a flash sale on the Essential Parenting Collection today. You may have spotted it on my side bar for a couple of weeks - and if you've been tempted then this is a great time to buy, as there's 10% off today.

This fabulous bundle offers a very wide array of eProducts, including eBooks, audiobooks, eCourses, workbooks, audio, coloring pages.... including Juno magazine and my book for girls - Reaching for the Moon.

There are dozens of valuable gentle parenting resources valued at over $750! Do head over to the site and see for yourself just how much is on offer.

Topics include natural health in pregnancy and birth, attachment parenting and positive discipline techniques. Great for parents with kids of all ages!

If money is an issue, or you're just wanting to focus on the area of parenting you're at right now, it has also been divided into 5 age specific mini bundles which are available for $18 each today.
  • Pregnancy and Birth
  • The Early Years
  • Child Development
  • Resources for Parents
  • Mindful Guidance

The  10% discount is for purchases TODAY ONLY - which means that the full collection is just $44.97 (offer is also valid for the mini bundles). Use code MONDAY10

Friday, March 7, 2014

Life in Technicolour

I remember many years ago I went to a counsellor.

I was sixteen and struggling with anxiety and the beginnings of bi polar.

She said to me something that I will never forget. For all the wrong reasons.

"Life is not black and white, Lucy," she said - "there are so many shades of grey in between."

Yes, I thought... and I am NOT a grey person, nor ever aspire to be one. In her mind grey was good - grey was reliable, normal, stable... to me grey was dull, boring, normal, lacking in life or authenticity.

No grey for me. I'd leave the rest of the world with their suits and office hours and grey lives.

I understood her point - but what she was pointing out was my bi polar perspective on life, as though I could, and more importantly, SHOULD rationalise it away.

But grey does not equal happy. Or fully alive. Or creative.

Life is not grey - she is every hue - she is all and nothing.

Every once in a while I would wrestle with her words again. Understanding her intention. Physically and emotionally disagreeing with grey.

Yesterday I was talking to some really special designer women from Dream Inspired Design. We were dreaming aloud together new visual stuff for Dreaming Aloud...

I was explaining my vision really clearly to them, and the layers of soul meaning behind it. When sharing how the new site (shhh! it's a secret, right ;)) would look (I am SO excited about it!!!!) I explained - I want lots of white space - clarity, a holding space to breathe, reflect and be held... and I want vibrancy - in the design and content. My current site has been bootstrapped. I have taken it as far as I can alone. So now I need the support and creativity of others to help me to more clearly express my vision. Clarity... and vibrancy. Space and technicolour, life and creativity.

They really got it - "you can't have one without the other," one said, "you need balance, to have the two in harmony. It sounds like you're wanting to have the site reflect where you are now."

Yes. This is what I am really embodying in my life. For years I thought I needed to control, apologise, calm down my technicolour - it was too weird and threatening for others - but trying to be grey that shut me down. So then I went for full on colour. Overcrowded, overwhelmed, too full. Which is unsustainable - so I'd crash and have my body impose the blank bits through illness and depression....

My new living mode... and blog design is full technicolour... held in calm space. And this is how I am living now - not damping down the colour - but allowing space for  it... and me to emerge... and to recharge. Yoga or meditation in the morning (previously things I have DONE many times, cos I SHOULD.) Breathing. Praying. Reflecting. Dreaming. Red tenting. Moving. Factoring in holidays, self care and connection as PART of my work, not instead of.

Technicolour and white spaces.

She is right, life is not black and white. And never will it be grey for me.

This is living in full colour.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Revolutionary Thoughts: Doing it Together

I am a lone wolf by nature. Who loves community.

In truth I find trust hard. And know I can rely on myself to get shit done. I prefer to motor on ahead than spend hours in meetings where no decisions are reached, or pandering to egos that want the power but not the work that comes with it.

For my 20s independence and self sufficiency was my intention in every area of my life. I wanted to live a self-sufficient life - growing and making all our own food, clothes, education... everything... but in a perfect intentional community. A strange combination.

I get a lot done, and done my way. But somewhere along the line realised my energy was not as infinite as my vision. I got burnt out a lot. And felt isolated.

Last night I was going through in my head the various work I've done. The things I started or helped make happen - arts festivals, play group, a school, a women's group, a magazine, a chocolate business, classes of all kinds...

Last night though I led, and did a lot of behind the scenes leg work for, our new red tent, it wasn't just me - we are all in it together - co creating... Just like I realised like a bolt between the eyes, as I wa freaking out about metaphorical tables and chairs with this big secret growth that's going on here in Dreaming Aloud world...  it's not just me... I am supported. There are lots of us, invested in it together. Collaboration. Shared responsibility. Shared visioning.. shared work.

And again this morning, whilst I have put in a lot of time and energy in to the continued unfurling of our red tent... I feel the co-creative energy there -  it's as though its unfolding by magic, as each woman weaves in her ideas and quilts and needs....

I cannot tell you how beautiful the space looked last night. The floor covered in red cloths and handmade quilts, soft pillows every where, a beautifully co created centre piece and twinkling nightlights. We each did our bit to create this magic, and set up and clear up were easy, stress free... a collaborative loving joy.

And I recognise that was there before... collaboration... but I didn't trust it to take my weight... for people to do what they said... part me, part them... but it usually ended in tears and burn out...

But now I'm really seeing and feeling, online and offline the beauty of collaboration in all areas of my work... now I have a wide circle of dreamers, conspirators and collaborators who are on the same page. We are standing in our authentic power. We value honest, clear communication. And it is pure magic. Weaving different people's energies together to co-create things much bigger than any of us can do alone. We hold each other, and each others visions, with clear agreements as to what we can do or give. And we are all blessed by the creations that unfold.

Here's to doing it together!

Tell me how are you with collaboration? Does it come naturally? Are you inclined to go it alone? Do you burn out? Have you got a strong circle of collaborators or are you still looking? 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Red Tent Rising - A Resource-Full Post

I am just getting the supplies ready for our very first red tent gathering... a box of womancraft books for the red tent library, a piece of embroidery for the centre piece, a welcome sign, some futons for resting and reading.... It will be the first I know of in the south of Ireland... I am very excited.

Held on the dark moon, a red tent is a women's circle which is open to all women in the community and offers a place to rest during menstruation, to connect with other women, share wisdom and be held in every stage of our female unfolding.

(Want to know more about what a red tent is? Watch my short video which I made for the red tent summit or grab a copy of my free red tent booklet - Password= love.)

I planted the seed of this red tent when I wrote Moon Time I had never been to a red tent, and there was little information out there about them. I was hungry for knowledge... so I reached out to some of the movement's leaders, gathered all the information I could lay my hands on, and shared it in the book. That's how I roll! Mine was the first print book to explore the phenomenon and support women in setting up their own. I have been told that it has inspired and supported the creation of red tents in the UK, Canada and Australia as well as an online one which I am a member of.

And now we will have our own real one, in our community.

My stomach is churning and I am being a little short with my family as my brain goes into tables and chairs mode. But the excitement is overriding it... the fact that this long held dream is being born, that so many women are curious about it, that this work, and a dedicated women's space is opening up for our community... I just think of the growth, love, support, magic, empowerment, connection and healing that will emerge from the very existence of this space and shivers run down my spine...

More women sitting in circle together than ever have before in our community. Learning to speak their truth openly and be heard. From learning to listen with an open heart and without judgement. In having a place to come and be held, to rest and recharge. A place where new ideas can take seed, new books found, new friendships formed. Where women can learn to understand and trust and even celebrate their bodies.

How it came about...

I set myself a challenge out loud - which meant I couldn't go back on it, by promising the proceeds of the e-versions of Moon Time would go towards establishing a local red tent! And since then I have researched and reflected and waited. I knew I couldn't do it on my own, I was waiting for conspirators... and when I met them I knew right away... I did not say anything to them at all about it -  I was in the midst of launching The Rainbow Way and I had only just met them... I just held the vision consistently affirming it, and gently released the women's group I had run for 5 1/2 years which had run its course. Numbers were dwindling and we couldn't find any more new participants...

And then two months later, the time was right for us all.  One of the women asked on Facebook if anyone knew of a women's group or red tent in the area... and the flame was lit. Within an hour we had a FB group. And the other woman jumped right in as an admin, unbidden. Within a week we had a date and venue. In a month we have gotten over 100 women to our group, organically. We only invited 35 between us... the rest were just drawn to us. 

We have had minor bumps in the road naturally, including our first venue cancelling only days before. But we have a new, better space now.

And our first meeting tonight and are expecting about 25 women.... many of whom I know personally, some I have only met online, one I taught blogging to, and others are completely new to me. For some it will be their first time doing women's work with me... others have done much before having been part of our long running women's group ... there is an excitement tinged with deep nervousness, as no one knows quite what to expect. What is a red tent any way, they wonder... will it be for me? Will I be expected to sit around talking about their periods, will I know anyone else?

I try to allay the nervousness with information - links to the red tent summit which I have just spoken at, my booklet on starting a red tent, with reassurance and love...  but this is new, uncharted territory... of course there is apprehension.

Some are travelling nearly an hour to join us... others are following by Facebook - we hope to inspire them to start their own in their own community.

Are you ready for a red tent in YOUR neighbourhood? Wouldn't it be wonderful to have one in your city, town, village, or community?
Imagine not having to wait any longer...
Imagine knowing exactly how to create a Red Tent, monthly, where you, and your women friends, can simply BE, rather than DO...

DeAnna L’am who created the Red Tent Summit has created an Online Class designed to inspire, motivate, support and equip you, to start your own Red Tent.

The Global Tele-Tent Class starts on March 12, but you can register today.

I believe that the vision of a red tent in every neighbourhood - is possible in our life time!
And I want to help you make it a reality in YOUR neighbourhood!
Please join me, and women from all over the world, to make it so!

If you are looking for more resources I would recommend:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lost in Living - Film on Creative Mothers... free to view this Women's Day

Creativity is so much more than just a “job”. It is a calling, an urge, a fight for freedom, a path to sanity. And it can be a very lonely, dispiriting business as a mother when you are driven by this compulsion, and those around you don’t understand it. Or think you should be doing something that pays better. Or is more reliable. Or that you should just give yourself fully to your children.

This is the life of the artist-mother. Pulled in two directions by two equal passions. Floundering to form her own identity.

This is what my best-selling book, The Rainbow Way: cultivating creativity in the midst of motherhood  focuses on – every aspect of this conundrum, and how to solve it in your own life.

In the book I reference a very special film, which also focuses on this topic.


Lost in Living is a documentary film by Mary Trunk, filmed over 8 years, which follows the lives of four creative mothers: an author, visual artist, painter and film maker, as they navigate and reflect on the challenges of making art as they mother. It is a very powerful film.

If you haven't had a chance to watch it yet... now's your opportunity... and for FREE!
Lost In Living will be available to stream for free on-line for 24 hours on March 8, 2014 to coincide with International Women's Day at this link (active for 24 hours from 8:00 am PST time.)

So watch it yourself... get a group of friends, your women's group or red tent and watch it together... Let it reassure you... start conversations... inspire you...

As film maker Mary Trunk says: "Women's stories need to be accessible and this will be a unique and exciting moment for everyone to take part in the conversation about balancing family, work and creative passion."

lost in living


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