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Category: Insights + Inspiration


The Story of Soleil’s Birth Part 1

The Story of Soleil’s Birth Part 1

Posted May 25, 2015

The Story of Soleil’s Birth Part 1 Bringing Soleil into the world… It’s been 11 weeks since Soleil was born, to the day (as I write this), and it’s taken me this long to write and share with you our birth story. It’s partly taken me this long to process the birth and also to simply find the time to write this epic story. I want to share this story simply because I truly believe child birth (however it happens, including caesarean) is a miraculous, powerful experience… and within that experience holds the opportunity for deep transformation and growth. It tests you – even just thinking about it – to your limits. It is the birthing of my child, earth angel that she is, and then e birthing of me as a mother. We (baby and me) are both equally important in this birthing process… working together. I remember saying to my husband, two weeks before giving birth and just after experiencing quite an intense practice contraction, that I could see that labour was going to require ALL of me. What did I mean by ALL of me? My body – and all its strength My mind – and its ability to focus My heart – staying open and trusting My soul – remaining fearless and connected to purpose And, well, it did. I had to throw ALL of me into the birth, not to mention the days and weeks following… Soleil’s birthing truly brought me to my knees (literally!) and cracked me open (oh yeah, literally too!). So, let me start with a little background insight first on my child birth… The question I asked myself frequently in the early days of pregnancy was, ‘What kind of birth did I want?’ And I use the word ‘want’ loosely because there is no way to plan something so out of our control. What I hoped for, what I intended and what I preferred to happen was this: A natural, drug-free birth. A birth without unnecessary intervention A chance to bond with my baby post-birth for as long as possible A loving experience – surrounded by supportive people who understand me A birth that happened spontaneously A safe, healthy, quick experience A divine, empowering experience A birth peppered with humour and love. Add to that smaller desires, such as not managing the third stage of labour (cutting and clamping the umbilical cord too soon) or speeding up the release of the placenta. Well, the universe gave me some of what I wanted but threw in a few curve balls for good measure. Yes, they tested me, yes, they threw me off course, but they also provided the chance to completely surrender, to drop my agendas and expectations and to leave my ego at the door. One such test was being two weeks overdue. I was due on the 19th of February but bub arrived two weeks late on the 5th of March. I was (mostly) enjoying my pregnancy – as much as is possible when you are 17kgs heavier, filled with fluid, waddling and sleeping poorly. Despite that, I didn’t feel rushed to ‘get to the end’. It was a glorious summer of daily swims, outdoor yoga and lots of quality time with my husband. I meditated two or three times a day, my journal was my confidant and I ate delicious home cooked meals. I’m so glad I savoured that time because life with a baby definitely doesn’t allow for such indulgence (for now!). During those two weeks over due, my body and mind did a few somersaults, twists and turns. Everyday my body showed signs it was preparing for childbirth – I’ll spare you the graphic details but suffice to say it was ‘on’ – but it was turning on slowly. My little Soleil seemed reluctant to complete her journey to this earthly plane. She knew it was time, I did too, but there was some resistance from both of us. I knew she was coming but I could feel she wanted to come on her terms. In the near future I’ll share about Soleil’s first ‘cranio sacral’ therapy session where we discovered she felt the need to be ‘reborn’ and make peace with how she was birthed. ++ The conversation on ‘induction’ began with my midwives at exactly 40 weeks. That’s what happens when you hit your due date, not to mention when you are nearing 42 weeks gestation! I wouldn’t say I felt pressured, but when you are part of the modern hospital system you are often burdened with scary statistics and fear tactics. It’s hard to hold your ground… I wanted to go past 42 weeks but I faced a big fight to make that happen, which I didn’t have in me. I’m going to be completely honest here and say I had such resistance to being induced. I ‘knew’ too much about what can happen with an induction – often it leads to an epidural because the contractions are too intense (apparently much stronger that a spontaneous birth) and often that then leads to a caesarean because labour can dramatically slow down with pain relief. To add to that, at 27 I was my sister’s birth partner. She was induced and it was a horribly quick, intense, dramatic and very messy experience. So, I had a (huge) stigma attached to induction to say the least. The more the ‘induction’ word was thrown around, the more my resistance and internal fears boiled up. I spent hours daily journalling, meditating and reflecting on these feelings. 
Why did it matter so much to me? What was I really afraid of – the induction itself or the fact that it wasn’t a ‘spontaneous’ birth? How could I drop this story and embrace a new one? Is it possible for this to be beautiful? Is it possible for me to drop all judgment and therefore all anxiety? I also spent a lot of time conversing with bubby, mostly inviting her into […] Read more

AUDIO BLOG: How to find true love within yourself

AUDIO BLOG: How to find true love within yourself

Posted February 17, 2015

Today’s Audio Blog is all about L.O.V.E! How do we find true love within instead of without? Yes. Love. That all powerful, four-letter word. That elusive energy and experience that so many of us seek, grasp out for, hold tight too. Not to mention many of us are not sure if we know love, or understand how to get it, feel it or embody it. And to make ‘love’ even more challenging, often we focus on the LACK of love we have – be it with a lover, from our family or even within ourselves. We see love as something other people are lucky to have, or that we must earn if we deserve it. We see love as an energy and experience (especially the relationship kind) that randomly blesses us with its presence. How very wrong this perspective is, yet how deeply rooted is that belief system? The question I pose and muse on today’s audio blog is how to find true love within yourself and BE love? This question was inspired by a beautiful conversation I had with a client recently. I really wanted to explore this question because I want to motivate you to see love differently – to come to a deep KNOWING that the love you desire you already have access to! You do not need to wait for it to grace you with its presence. Let me repeat that, you DO NOT have to wait for love to find you. Here are some points I jam on in this 8 minute Audio Blog: Be mindful of the language you use around love and speaking in terms of ‘lacking love’ Become aware of what love feels like and looks like to you Invite in the feeling and energy of love in the way it most resonates with you Bring love in and allow it to be present, instead of waiting for it to come to you Wrapping your head around the truth; that you are love! Romancing yourself Love doesn’t need to be put on pause. It’s there for your taking – revel in it and experience it – rather than something you have to wait to experience. CLICK PLAY TO LISTEN https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/79968734/Be%20love.mp3 Or right click to download, load me up and listen to me on your walk or trip to work! ++ Your turn: Share with me – how have you found true love within yourself? Or tell me, does self-love and learning how to BE love still feel a long way off? love + light, Claire x Read more

Why I’ll be hibernating for 30 days

Why I’ll be hibernating for 30 days

Posted February 03, 2015

Why I’ll be hibernating for 30 days… So, it probably comes as no surprise that I’m about to pop anytime. At almost 38 weeks, this baby is ready for its birthday, so people keep telling me! I’m not so fixated on dates at the moment. I’m not yet feeling ‘over it’… or wishing away this pregnancy. I’ve had such an amazing experience over the last 9 months and I know that if I ever fall pregnant again I’ll never get to experience the spaciousness, freedom and lightness like I have, gratefully, this time round. In preparing for bub there’s been a lot to do – from getting everything this tiny human needs (so, so much) to sorting out my life and business and making sure that I am eating, moving, breathing and living consciously all the while. Honestly, I’ve been pretty casual about the whole preparation side of things, letting it all happen slowly and with ease. Which has been the overarching energy of this whole pregnancy… gentle, soft, fluid, effortless. And I’m planning on carrying that energy into those early weeks and months as baby and I bond and start this incredible journey together. After bub arrives there are no plans, really, except one major intention I am holding too… and that is the hibernation phase or ‘baby moon’ that I’ll be taking. What is a baby moon? Traditionally and also in my parent’s culture, women are advised to ‘hibernate’ for the first 30-40 days post birth. Birth is seen as an incredibly pivotal moment for a woman (and of course the entire family unit). It’s not just that she has birthed a new life into the world – as if that wasn’t big enough already – but her mind-body-soul is undergoing massive changes. Integrating new ways of thinking and being. Recalibrating. 40 weeks of pregnancy – the time of incubation – abruptly ends and a woman’s body has to move into a completely different mode of giving life. Her mind has to catch-up with that mode too. Her body will slowly revert back to the pre-pregnancy state, but at the same time it is now required to sleep less, produce milk, nurture and attend to a completely dependent child. On a more energetic and spiritual level there is a lot of gentle repair work that needs to happen. Emotions can be raw as the hormonal system rebalances. Spiritually well I am anticipating that the journey into motherhood can be a deep, internal shake-up. The hibernation phase is recommended to help a woman rest, restore and recover from such a dramatic change. It’s about rebuilding strength – in mind, body and soul – and creating the space and time to adjust and ease into this new chapter. It’s also a special time for the mother, father and baby to bond. The first three months of a newborn’s life is considered the 4th trimester – the baby is still undergoing massive development changes and the mum’s body is still undergoing massive renovations too! And in particular, the first 30 – 40 days are the most delicate and need to be handled with kid-gloves. It’s not the time for diving straight back into dynamic exercise regimes. It’s not the time for dieting (your baby is accustomed to the taste of food you ate during pregnancy – this is important if you are breastfeeding!) It’s not the time for an insane social calendar. It’s not the time for taking up new ventures or starting work/projects again. There is one task and one task only. Nurturing life – yours and your new baby. With all the wisdom and ancient understanding of the women who have birthed and mothered before me, I have decided to honour this hibernation phase. I’ve decided to commit as much as possible to a baby moon because it makes sense to me. What will my baby moon look like? Now, I’m not going to lock myself in the house for a month – but I’m certainly not making any plans to go far from home. This is a time of healing, bonding, sacred transformation and new beginnings. I feel so excited to be experiencing all of this and I feel quite passionate about honouring this journey. There will be a lot of this: Sleeping and more sleeping – as much as possible I will rest. Reading books, studying, writing (all the things I love to do) can wait. Eating nourishing foods – and letting my family and partner look after the cooking who are already cooking up stocks and stews for the freezer. Bonding with baby – lots of holding, touching, baby massage! Walks outside in the sunshine. Letting other people help – accepting whatever angels come my way and saying YES to their offers of support. There won’t be a lot of this: Cleaning and doing chores – again, traditionally women gathered around new mums and took over all this stuff letting the mama and bub do the precious work they need to do! Women were treated as precious and sacred vessels where their health and emotional wellbeing is a priority and the bub’s too! Round the clock visitors – as much as I’ll want to see people, I’ll be honouring this sacred time with my baby and husband by ensuring that visitors are spread out and don’t become too overwhelming. Working! An easy thing to do when your office is in your home and you coach via Skype. I’m going to take a step back from blogging + writing my newsletter for that month. Socialising – I’m not putting pressure on myself to be one of those mums that is already ‘out there’… for some this might work for them. But for me, someone that naturally enjoys alone time, I’m going to savour the chance to pull back and NOT be superwoman. It’s only a month and it’s an important month at that. ++ The human body is incredible. Everyday I marvel at the miracle of my […] Read more

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: How to host a blessingway

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: How to host a blessingway

Posted January 28, 2015

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: How to host a blessingway I’m not that into experiences like Kitchen Teas, Baby showers and the like. My husband and I didn’t throw an engagement party and I was a little unnerved by the whole Hen’s night (which ended up being an incredible experience). I am however, really into experiences that are sacred, respectful and honour the depth of meaning behind the celebration. Which is why I wanted to have a baby shower with a difference – with a blessing. A couple of years ago I helped host the blessing ceremony at a very good friends shower, and having been invited to another Blessingway I was certain that I wanted something similar for my own experience. What is the difference between a Baby Shower and a Blessingway? Firstly, both experiences are about celebration and a coming together of women. However, a Blessingway, which is born from the traditional Americian-Indian (Navajo) culture, is about honouring the mama-to-be and her transition into motherhood. It is also a way to honour the unborn baby as well. Without sounding wanky, it’s a more spiritually minded experience. A baby shower is a more Western celebration that is designed to ‘shower’ the mum and baby with gifts to prepare for the birth, which I believe became popular in the 40s and 50s. BOTH have their place and I can truly see the benefit in a baby shower – receiving gifts from friends for the baby is such a help. For me though, that wasn’t the priority. And I’m also not keen on the ‘games’ that are usually played at Baby Showers. No judgment, but I personally find them a little tedious. How to host a blessingway This is an incredibly personal experience so there are no rules or strict guidelines. What I can do is share what we did and perhaps that will help you come up with your own Blessingway experience. I was so blessed to have one of my oldest friends offer her (newly renovated!) home for our Blessingway. The space was divine, open and spacious. Another friend – my Reiki Healer and beloved soul sister – offered to host the blessing ceremonies. After researching Blessingway Ceremonies there were a few elements I knew I wanted to incorporate: 1. The sharing of food We asked each guest to bring a plate of healthy food. This not only made it easier for my host but it also meant that when we sat down to eat you could really feel the love. Each plate of food was literally buzzing with consciousness. I can’t begin to describe the joy in ‘breaking bread’ with my soul sisters, knowing that our food was high vibe, healthy and stupidly delicious! 2. Meditation + Blessing Opening the ceremony – we were all sat in a circle around a little altar – with a mini meditation and a blessing to me, the baby and each woman holding the space brought on the water works! I was crying within the first minute and I know many of my friends were too. It set the scene, it felt sacred and it simply soulful. 3. The Red String Blessing One long piece of red string was looped around the left wrist of each woman present. As this was done, each of my soul sisters (my mother and sister included) offered up a piece of wisdom and advice to me. And yes, tears were shed. My heart literally exploded out of my chest. My soul stretched out with delight. Words were shared such as “You already know everything you need to know” and “Savour eery single moment” and “I can’t wait to meet your soul baby”… ahh, it still gives me tingles when I think back to how held, loved and supported I felt 4. Prayer Flags I sourced online a kit to create our own prayer flags. I decided that I wanted my beautiful soulies to get creative with me and make a prayer flag each. These featured words of advice, drawings, and messages of love. They are all strung up and ready to be hung in the birthing room – whenever our baby decides to enter this world. I’e also had my nieces create a prayer flag as well. And I know that mid-labour as I look up at these messages I will either smile, laugh or cry… but either way, these prayers will bolster me, encourage me, keep me on track and lovingly call in this beautiful soul-baby. 5. Pampering + adornment Now, I won’t lie, this was my friend’s idea and one I was a little uncomfortable with at first (still have some work to do on ‘receiving’) but in the end, getting a shoulder rub and hand massage from my friends DELICIOUS! At 35 weeks pregnant any form of ‘care’ feels like being wrapped in the biggest embrace. I was also crowned with a stunning flower headpiece and my hand painted with henna. ++ Despite the heatwave, I had the most joyful, sacred and memorable experience. I’m so grateful to each woman that was there who held the space with their love and gave so much from their heart! Hosting a blessingway doesn’t have to be difficult or overly ‘spiritual’ or even fussy. Sacred can still be casual, relaxed and effortless. As mine was! And you might like to combine it with the most common ‘Baby Shower’ – throwing in a few baby-games or even doing a gift registry if that’s what you are after. Your turn: Have you had a blessingway before? Are you interested in doing this for yourself? love + light, Claire Read more

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Eating your own placenta

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Eating your own placenta

Posted January 20, 2015

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Part #7 – Eating Your Own Placenta Did that title grab your attention? Have you already heard of (and perhaps chosen to) consume your own placenta? Or is this so foreign and totally whack that you don’t even want to read on!? Well, surprisingly consuming your own placenta has become alot more palatable over the last few years. And yes, PUN intended. It is now becoming more popular and common to ‘eat’ your own placenta… and it’s now much easier to do. You’re probably not surprised to hear that this is something I hae chosen to do… but before you freak out I won’t be cooking up my placenta with some diced onion and garlic. I’ll be encapsulating it and taking it daily, post birth. Rather than me pretend to be the ‘placenta’ expert I’ve called on Erika Elliot from MotherBirth to do some explaining for you! Firstly let me introduce Erika. Erika Elliott began her professional life as a birthworker in 2005 when she founded MotherBirth.  The MotherBirth service provides loving support, contemporary knowledge, traditional wisdom and a decade of experience supporting Sydney’s birthing community. Erika is dedicated to supporting families as they find their way during pregnancy and birth. Erika is a mother, doula & childbirth educator offering calmbirthⓇ weekends and Birthing from WithinTM classes. Her qualifications also include prenatal massage therapy, birth photography, post natal doula support, birth story healing and placenta encapsulation. I was lucky enough to ask Erika a few questions on Placenta Consumption that I hope will really help you understand WHY this is such an important health practice and something that I can’t wait to try. Obviously I’m completely new to this too, so I will provide an update in the post-partum months of my experience, but I figure there is no harm (considering I grew the placenta in the first place!) Why do you recommend women ‘consume’ their placenta? What are some of the benefits (mental, emotional, physical?) Firstly, I would like to say that nothing benefits a new mother more than continued one on one support at home as she recovers from labour and birth and as she begins to integrate all that is required of her as a primary carer of new life.  Unfortunately, in our culture, most of the time this is not possible as family may not be close by or the art of caring for the mother as she cares for her baby is not in the familial tradition. When this continued one on one care is not possible, or even if it is, the placenta capsules are a way of powerfully boosting the new Mothers’ system as she turns her attention to the tasks at hand. “Baby blues” is a common occurrence –80% of mothers experience it in the first days and weeks after giving birth. Because it is so common, nothing is typically done about it until it may worsen into a diagnosis of postpartum depression, at which time anti-depressants may be prescribed. Antidepressants, like almost all drugs, are passed to the baby through breast milk, and mothers who don’t want to expose their babies to these medications are often faced with the decision to either stop breastfeeding or struggle with depression. Women suffer through the baby blues almost as a rite of passage to motherhood – but it doesn’t have to be this way. Placenta consumption has been reported for decades to help stop the baby blues and diminish postpartum fatigue. Some women have cooked the placenta in a stew, mixed it into a smoothie, or even taken it raw to tap  into its powerful effects. For many who feel squeamish about this or want to reap the benefits of  their placenta for more than just a day or two, there is another option; encapsulation. What is Placenta Encapsulation and what can it provide? Placenta encapsulation is the transformation of a nutrient dense organ into powerful, palatable food as medicine for post pregnancy and birth recovery. Powdered placenta has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for  centuries. In the early postpartum period, placenta capsules can provide: Faster milk production due to the high levels ofhormones including prolactin Shorter postpartum bleeding due to oxytocin and urokinase inhibiting factor and factor XIII Energy boosts thanks to the high iron content A sense of well being from the natural progesterone and cortisone content A possible reduction in or total elimination of post partum depression due to the many hormones at play but specifically the corticotropin-releasing hormone which drops significantly after the birth of the placenta Reduction of pain due to oxytocin which has an opioid like effect Historically, have human beings ever consumed their placenta? Is this a lost tradition or a relatively new one? We have no evidence of women consuming dehydrated, encapsulated placenta historically, but there is documentation of women consuming their placenta raw, immediately after birth, or cooking it and eating it as a meal.  I believe this form of encapsulating pure placenta is a relatively new one which is growing in popularity incredibly quickly.  I have been encapsulating for just over 4 years now, and this part of my business is one of the busiest! Have their been any tests/studies to prove the validity of this practice? There is no evidence based, scientific study out yet, although I have read that the results of one study are due out around May 2015.  As with all things, science and evidence based information can be helpful, but we are also at will to connect with our intuition and turn our attention to other mammals and what they do with their placentas.  For me, the evidence lies with the Mothers’ I work with. Do you find that most hospitals/birthing centres are willing to help with proper care/handling of the placenta? Yes, absolutely.  I also provide the couple with a sheet of information for themselves and their caregivers as to how the placenta needs to be handled immediately after birth so it is […] Read more

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: The books I’ve loved

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: The books I’ve loved

Posted January 14, 2015

Welcome to The Pregnancy Wellness Guide – Part 6 – Books and Education In the very early weeks of this pregnancy I didn’t really feel moved to read too much… in fact, that feeling has remained somewhat. But let me explain because I do have a few books to recommend. I didn’t feel called to dive into a lot of information written by experts on pregnancy, childbirth etc.  There was something within me that felt that, at that particular stage, too much information might actually get the better of me. It was almost like the only oracle and guide I needed was this baby and my body. And to this day I still see that as the foremost source of knowledge and information. Intuitively, every woman out there, knows what’s going on in their own body. When you tune in you are able to sense what’s right or not. Despite that, I love to read and I love learning… so I did get my hands on a few books that resonated with me. And since then, that pile has grown. Some are more spiritually minded, others are much more practical, but I’m using them as a resource, a back-up, a way ‘in’ when something feels cloudy or confusing. But if, at any point, anything I’m reading makes me feel anxious or stressed then I quickly put that book down and explore WHY. Am I resisting something truthful that this book is presenting, or is this book saturated in fear, that I don’t wish to buy into? The books I want to share with you today are not necessarily books that I’ve been told are ‘the best’… I know there are 1000000000 books out there that will tell you everything you need to know about pregnancy, motherhood, babies etc. But for me, I have gravitated towards books that give me a sense of confidence, trust, connection and most importantly knowledge that what is unfolding within me and the next stage of motherhood is one that I will figure out and I WILL get better at, day by day. I also should mention here that some of these books I’ve not yet finished, but I dip into – certain chapters satisfy certain queries. Other sections might be aligned to how I am feeling at that particular time. The one piece of advice that I personally think is important here is this: find the balance between getting educated and armed up with knowledge with learning and knowing too much. Sometimes a little ignorance is bliss, as long as you are instead firing up your own inner wisdom and intuition – use THAT as your main source of knowledge. Remember this. You literally have the wisdom of the ages – generations of woman who have birthed and raised children – threaded within your soul. You’ve got this. BOOKS I’VE READ + LOVED (Some of these have found me, been passed on or recommended by friends – trust that the books and resources you are meant to discover will show up!) v Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives – Deepak Chopra  Anything Deepak and I’m in… he creates a level of understanding on both the spiritual, physical, emotional and mental planes that I connect with and just ‘get’. It’s a perfect blend of advice and tips with spiritual and holistic perspective Parenting with Soul – Sally Collings This book isn’t hard to read and if you’ve been on this spiritual path for a while it’s simple an affirmation of how to take the way you lie into parenting. If you are relatively new on this journey then I think you’ll find this quite an easy yet eye opening book. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – Ina May Gaskin This woman, Ina May, is the most incredible Midwife, Pregnancy and Birthing advocate. You MUST read this book. (Yep, that’s an order). The stories of birth are positive, inspiring and damn-right encouraging. They frequently move me to tears. Not to mention that Ina’s insight and advice comes from HUNDREDS of birthing experiences. Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful – Gurmukh By far my favourite book so far. Pregnant or not, this is one incredible guide. It’s permanently by my bed and I dip into it for reassurance. It wraps me in a warm hug of truth – that if I can grow this baby I can birth it. And if I can lie a conscious, spiritual life, I can bring that into this pregnancy and beyond. Not to mention the Kundalini meditations threaded through eery chapter. Love! Also a HUGE must for you beautiful mamas out there. Birth Skills – Juju Sundin with Sarah Murdoch I found this book interesting as the perspective on birthing is a little different to the Calm Birth mentality, but yet still supportive and really important to understand. It focuses more on active, moment-based techniques to work through the stages of labour (pain, contractions, transitions etc). The natural way to a better pregnancy – Francesca Naish + Janette Roberts Informative. Jam-packed. Natural/Holistic Focused. It has a wealth of natural-based knowledge which I found useful, but sometimes overwhelming. However by dipping in and out I’ve been able to get guidance when and how I need it. Baby Love – Robin Barker Honestly, I haven’t yet tucked into this one much but it’s more of a bible of knowledge. Recommended to me from a few friends who have said this book really helped alot with the first three months of baby’s life. The Child Within the Lotus – Margaret Stephenson Meere Being slightly obsessed with Chakras and Energy systems I was super eager when a friend recommended this book as it works through developmental stages of your baby via the development of the Chakras, from base to crown. I really love knowing the connection between the different stages to how the energy system is activating. Baby on board – Dr Howard Chilton This book came to me by my guides. Someone mentioned his name on some random facebook post, and […] Read more

Golden Nuggets from Gabrielle Bernstein

Golden Nuggets from Gabrielle Bernstein

Posted January 12, 2015

I’m only now coming out of my little #sundaysurrender hibernation. After a powerful day at Gabrielle Bernstein’s Sydney event (thank you Earth Events!), I spent Sunday, gratefully in a cocoon with my husband… *Meditation. Kundalini Yoga. Journalling. Movies. Chai. Cuddles. Walks in the rain* I had to be in that space… the weather called it for me, but I was also still processing, absorbing and doing some personal shifting after the incredible one-day workshop with Gabby B. A day shared with hundreds of like-minded women and men talking all things spirit and soul. Gabby guided us through powerful meditations, peeled off layers of ego and cracked us open. Truly, after one particular meditation I think almost everyone was wiping mascara filled tears off their face. There is an absolute treasure trove of golden nuggets I wish I could share with you… but I think it would take you a whole week to read that post. Instead I’m going to share with you FOUR things that jumped out at me. These might not be my only hero take-aways, but they are the ones coming through right now… so I’m going to trust that it’s these nuggets you are meant to read. 1) Coming back, over and over and over. This is a message I have been living by and sharing with my own clients. So it felt so good to hear Gabby reaffirm this and share it. It’s not about being ‘spiritual’ or ‘conscious’ all the time… we all get caught up in scrawling, mindlessly through instagram, or judging yourself and others, or reacting with anger instead of pausing and processing. BUT it’s about how quickly, and with awareness you return back to your centre, your presence. To your truth. To what you KNOW. To who you really are (and want to be). I often say that over time, the gap between being aware, conscious and living in presence with the more ego-driven, unconscious states becomes smaller and smaller. And how is this done…? As we continue to chip away with our spiritual practices and higher states of thinking, feeling and being, we close that gap. We keep coming back, as Gabby puts it. 2) Be reverent. Do the work. Devote. How do you become more conscious? How do you feel more instead of think more? How do you change your world from the inside out? How do you live, breathe and be from love, instead of fear? How do you tap into your own inner wisdom and guidance? This is how… MEDITATE! Create sacred space. PRAY. Be reverent with your time and create daily rituals. DEVOTE. Tap into commitment. There is no quick fix. Firstly, there is nothing to fix. This is about tuning in to who you already are and what you already have. Secondly, nothing great happens easily and over night. You want to live consciously, from your heart, with love and be guided daily? Then do the work. Don’t be apathetic about it. Make it sacred. 3) Your power is so much bigger than you realise. This message came to me – well it felt like I downloaded it – during one of the meditations on Saturday. Gabby had been drilling the truth home; that our power is in our presence and as we meditated my own inner wisdom whispered to me that my personal power is SO much bigger than I could ever realise or measure. It came to remind me to stop playing, thinking, being, doing SMALL. Whether I’m a mother or a blogger or a sister or a wife or a coach… BIGNESS is who I am. It wasn’t long before I realised that message was for everyone in that room and beyond. As questions were asked and personal stories were shared, I found that almost everyone in that room needed to hear that message too. So today I pass it on to you. It wasn’t just meant for me, it is OUR COLLECTIVE TRUTH. YOUR power is so much bigger than you realise! What does that really mean? It means YOUR HIGHER SELF is infinite, HUGE, immeasurable, expansive…. and that the small you – your little ego based, limited self can never fully know this. So stop trying to KNOW it from your logical, left-brain. Your ego-mind doesn’t have the tools to KNOW this power. But the BIG YOU, the REAL YOU can feel it. Because it is IT! So feel into your power baby, go there… it’s an endless source of love, wisdom, knowledge, abundance, joy and divinity. 4) When things get good, work harder. This hit me over the head, quite comically. It was a light-hearted moment of realisation for me. Things are SO good right now. I feel physically amazing, mentally clear, emotionally balanced and energetically open. I don’t have anything major I’m processing – spiritually I’ve been ‘working’ on myself for years and today I am awash with a sense of lightness, freedom, balance and contentment. And you know what, I’ve been happy to be in that space  – surrendered to it. Being pregnant has called for alot of surrender into the HERE AND NOW because I know that many challenges, awakenings and shifts are still to come as motherhood is just around the corner. However, when Gabby said ‘when things get good, work harder’… I actually laughed out loud. I laughed in unity with her message, I laughed in understanding and acceptance… There is NO perfection. There is never a time when our work is ‘done’. And truthfully, this is what I love the MOST. The journey of self-exploration is my own personal drug of choice. Addicted to the work. So here I am, recommitting again to working harder on myself. To look at my own shadows with love, respect and gratitude and to do what I need to do to be the fullest version of my truest self and the best guide to this soul baby! ++ I hope these four little nuggets have come to you […] Read more

Write your own story in 2015

Write your own story in 2015

Posted January 06, 2015

The pen is in your hands… write your own story! So here we are. Facing off to another year. 2015… I’m looking at you. Staring down the barrel of another 12 months, yet this one feels oh-so-different. Filled with SO much uncertainty, newness, transformation… and yet despite the insecurity that comes with that, I can literally FEEL that this year is all about love. Deep. Heart opening. Soul changing. Maybe you feel the same? Maybe you don’t know exactly what’s coming but you can sense there is a shift – in your inner and outer world? And maybe that both inspires and excites you, yet leaves you feeling a little unstable on your feet? Yes, I feel that too. That is, until an email landed in my inbox with three simple sentences. A gift from the universe (and my Kinesiologist!) electronically sent to remind me that I am the creator of my life… that I am the only one that can mould, shape, nurture and nourish my life in a way that feels instinctively TRUE + RIGHT for me. “A new year is like a blank book. The pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself”… So the question that immediately arose for me upon reading these words was: Well, if I am the writer of my life what language do I wish to use to write this story? Do I want to choose the language of fear? The language of my ego – living in a world of comparison, competition, judgment, stress, resistance… Or, do I want to choose the language of love? The language of my soul – living in a world of truth, passion, purpose, alignment, presence, patience, compassion…. The story will be written, slowly… day by day, chunk by chunk. Sometimes the story will unfold chapters at a time as I tune in effortless to what I desire from this year. Other times the story will unfold moment to moment as I am revealed  what this year is meant to deliver to me. Today I’m choosing to consciously, deliberately and always with presence use the language of love to write my book of 2015. It will be a beautiful story… I don’t have the details yet, but there is a rough sketch, an outline… a loose plan. And I know that together, in partnership with my soul, we are going to write, create, and experience an incredible year! How do you choose to write the story of your 2015? Claire x Read more

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Movement + Bodylove

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Movement + Bodylove

Posted December 12, 2014

The Pregnancy Wellness Guide: Part 3 – Movement + Bodylove Honestly, before I was pregnant (and I’m talking years ago) I would’ve thought I’d be the girl who would stubbornly insist on exercising in the same way I always had, despite the changes in my body. Being a yogi – that is my main form of movement – I’ve tried every style of yoga under the sun. That is until I really honed my own personal ‘home’ practice. BTW: If you would like to do the same check out my recent post on Starting a yoga practice at-home. Today though, well and truly on the home-stretch to birthing this bub, I attribute the much more nourishing, soul-satisfying and body-loving movement practices I’ve been enjoying during this pregnancy to that home-practice. Why? Well it taught me how to be INTUITIVE. Being Intuitive is EVERYTHING when you are pregnant Have I mentioned yet how freaking mind-blowing the changes that unfold in your body are? Well if not, read that sentence again. They ARE! You have the hormone relaxin course through your body softening your pelvis, your joints and even the valve that keeps your food DOWN. Progesterone is slowing down digestion so baby can absorb more of the good stuff. It’s also causing membranes to swell (hello stuff nose) and helping you store extra weight to grow bub but for breast feeding down the track. There is more blood pumping, your heart rate is going faster, your breath is shorter (squashed lungs) and on it goes. Now I’m not telling you this to scare – most of it is manageable. But I am share this to really drill home how much more vulnerable your body is. It’s doing a BIG thing – building and growing a human being is a miracle. And because of this miracle your need to move and breathe in a way that always feels good and supportive. Let me say this loud and clear: This is not the time to be pursuing and reaching new exercise goals. There is no need to run further, lift more weights, push harder. Soften. Surrender. Nurture. You get me? Accept that your body will change (I’ve put on 10kgs!) Accept that things will look and feel different. Accept that it’s all part of this divine process. Despite everything I just said, pregnancy is not a license to blog out. Countless studies have proven that movement and exercise during pregnancy is vital for the long-term health of bub and for your strength and recovery. You would never enter a marathon without training, right? So the same goes for pregnancy, birth and motherhood. Now this is where your intuition comes into play. The key to striking the balance between Softness + Surrender with Inspired Action is to use your own body and mind as your navigational system – your guidance. How do you feel? What would support you best? What is your body craving You must embrace movement + exercise during your pregnancy in a way that feels supportive – that helps you maintain good health and that ultimately makes you feel really freaking good. If you are a runner, and it still feels good to run – then RUN. But do not take it up just because you are pregnant. Same goes for anything else. I would say Yoga + Swimming are probably the two things you can safely start if you never have before. And please note that everything you do requires modification. There is NO way that my yoga practice looks anything like it did before. It’s much more fluid and less dynamic. I don’t practice deeper backbends and inversions only come out every now and then. Arm balances just don’t feel right. There is so much I CAN do – physically my body still is able to lift into a crow pose or a backbend – but mostly I don’t do them because they intuitively feel ‘wrong’ in my body right now. They feel damaging, harsh… and luckily I am not so attached to the ‘poses’ that I can’t go a few months without them. For me my ‘movement routine’ has looked like this: 1 x Prenatal Yoga Class per week 1 – 2 x Barre Body Classes per week 3 x Personal yoga practices (at-home, at the park by the beach or using an online video) + Regular walking + swimming I’m going to break it down for you here: Prenatal Yoga I’ve been attended Prenatal Yoga with Lauren at The LifePod. But I’m sure you can find many options in your area too. Now, it’s not that the sequence in Lauren’s class isn’t something I could do on my own – as a yogi and teacher sequencing is something I’m comfortable with. But it’s the energy held within the space that is so vital. Being in a room full of women, going through the same thing (in their own personal way) and who are willing to open, connect and explore… well that is why I keep going back. Not to mention that Lauren facilitates the class with so much love and respect for each of our journey. The room is flooded with her understanding, compassion and appreciation for pregnancy. She invites us to dig deep yet to be soft, to grow, yet to be present and still… She cultivates inspiration, motivation, passion and release (emotionally and physically!) Prenatal Yoga is a beautiful way to enter yoga if you’ve not done so before. It also will carry you through the journey in the most loving way. I’ll be sad when Prenatal yoga is no longer part of my week!   Barre Body Barre Body is a Barre studio founded and directed by my bestie – Emma Seibold. The classes I attend are a hybrid of Yoga, Pilates and Barre work. And I love them! They provide me the dose of dynamic energy, strength work and power that I need to stay fit and strong. I, of course, can’t do […] Read more


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