I've raved on about NIA (Joyful Barefoot Movement) before. Back in August last year I had just finished the NIA White Belt Intensive Training and was on a NIA fuelled high! It is so hard to truly capture on the page how much NIA has helped me to direct my focus on creating a life that really fits me...but I did my best last year with this post www.bodylushious.com/blog/pure-bliss-through-nia. It is a discipline which, for me, is fundamental to my physical and mental wellbeing.
If, however, as I was writing that blog post last August, someone had told me that I would one day be a NIA teacher, I would have collapsed in a heap on the floor from nerves and overthinking.
Well, guess what?
In October 2018, a mere two months after I wrote that post, I embarked on my journey as a NIA Teacher and the only time I spend on the floor is during 'floorplay' (not to be confused with anything!) and the relaxation at the end. So take this as proof - it is possible. I broke through my barriers. Now I get to spend time every week sharing something completely joyous and I get to connect with an unbelievably amazing community.
An area I never really prepared myself fully for was the volumes of personal development I'd undergo. It initially seemed like an epic task - learning and remembering an entire routine, standing in front of a class, speaking in front of a class, and creating a space not only for myself, but for participants where we connect through the joy of movement in body, mind, emotion and spirit. Well, I'm pleased to report 'I'm doing it all'!
In December 2018 with one block of classes under my belt, I managed to dance my way to NZ and back. I met with existing NIA communities and danced my heart out sometimes as a student, sometimes as a teacher or a co-teacher alongside a local teacher. The power of this practice and the community literally means that so long as I'm dancing and connecting with the greater community, I get to experience joy in body, mind, emotion and spirit anywhere in the world! Sounds crazy - yes, but true.
I've hit the jackpot and get to co-teach alongside a complete beaut of a human through Freerwithnia (this beauty is Sarah!). Sarah and I compliment one another nicely, and it's a total dream to work together. Sarah's one of the most upbeat, energetic, positive and delightful people I've ever met; a glass overflowing type. Being able to work so closely together is quite simply glorious. We're able to support one another practically, emotionally and energetically - it just works and I'm so damn grateful for her.
If this post has piqued your interest and you want to dip your foot in and find out a little more, and you live in Edinburgh then Sarah and I are running a couple of Introduction to Nia Workshops over the summer. These are:
Saturday 8th June, 2-4pm at Beetroot Savage in Newington, Edinburgh. £15 per person.
Saturday 10th August, 2-4pm at Beetroot Savage in Newington, Edinburgh. £15 per person.
And if for your own personal growth or you are curious about becoming a Nia Teacher, then you can attend the White Belt Training from 12th-18th July 2019 this summer in Burntisland. More details here: www.islandmoves.co.uk/nia-white-belt-in-scotland-2019. The training is run by two phenomenal international trainers/
The trainers will also be offering public NIA classes from 12th -25th July 2019, I highly recommend getting along to a couple if you can. The timetable will be available through www.islandmoves.co.uk in late June/early July.
Finally, Sarah and I currently teach two classes per week in Edinburgh and one class in Cupar, Fife.
Come and join us!
Freerwithnia Class deets:
Edinburgh: Saturdays 11am-12pm at The Eric Liddell Centre. Thursdays 11.15am - 12.15pm at Beetroot Sauvage,
'Introduction to Nia Workshops' Saturday 8th June 2 - 4pm & Saturday 10th August June 2 - 4pm at Beetroot Sauvage
Cupar: Yvonne Gray Dance Studios, Wednesdays 10 - 11am
Freerwithnia contact deets:
email: email@example.com facebook: www.facebook.com/freerwithnia instagram: freerwithnia
Why thank you for stopping by here! How on earth has it taken me over 6 months to write another blog post? Seems criminal, being as I'm self employed and doing my damnedest to get my brand out there, while the business moguls of the world rave about the benefits of blogging! Truth is I'm just like the rest of you, trying to squeeze too much into what time I have and, well, i'll be honest - a lot of the time I flap around wondering where on earth to start. When you're a creative/self-employed/single parentdoing their best to 'juggle life' type like myself its sometimes difficult to focus. And so, I'll behave myself and get to the point of this post. Where did the past 6 months go?
And so to spur me into writing, I'm going to cover each of these topics in a little more detail over the coming weeks. But today I'll elaborate a little more on the long awaited trip home!
journeying back HOME to new zealand
The build-up was big! It had been 4 long years away from my homeland and family. My 4 year old son never knew my people and they except for the occasional WhatsApp msg never knew him, it was time! We spent 2 wonderful months soaking up amazing places, reconnecting with old faces (as in long term friends and family :)) and stepping into brand new spaces. [Have I actually missed my calling as a poet?]. Along the way we spent time in Hong Kong and Brisbane Australia, topping up on more places, faces and spaces. And in summary there's nothing quite like leaving the stresses of the day to day life behind, soaking up familiar sights, sharing food, booze (obviously drinking responsibly) and good times with absolute gems of humans. I was reminded of how completely stunning New Zealand's landscape is and embodied a brand new appreciation for the kiwi culture, I may be biased, but i'll just speak my truth here; folk from NZ are generally 'warm, down to earth, practical, have a 'can-do' attitude, sarcastic and unbelievably welcoming sorts'. They're just really nice people, and it may come as no surprise that I feel completely at home there! I can't help but feel a little egotistical by saying that, but that's my opinion and i'm allowed it. After living exclusively for the past 5 years in the UK, my return to the homeland made me realise how culturally different NZ is from the UK. I could talk for eons on this topic, but I won't. If you see me in passing and want to hear my musings then feel free to engage me, I love a random natter! Or perhaps you want to get a little deeper now, I did a quick google search on 'Traits of a New Zealander' - its a pretty good fit in my opinion.
My son got to properly appreciate the fact he's part of something much bigger. Keeping in touch with home on the other side of the world with all those hours difference, with a wee one makes building relationships difficult. It'll come as no surprise that being so far away from home is challenging, and so to be a part of those moments shared between my son, family and friends, i'll forever cherish the times we shared.
Doing a trip like that with my son and seeing his curiosity with all the new places and experiences was UNBELIEVABLE! He'd seen a world map before and in an abstract sense knew of other countries. But going to the airport, checking in, saying goodbye to suitcases, immigration, security, boarding a flight with a bunch of strangers and sitting on a seat which had its own screen - Fun times, all those aspects of travelling i'd clearly numbed to (or was that from too many hours with my butt on an aeroplane?), I'm so greatful for regaining some childlike curiosity over things I had been clearly taking for granted! Thankfully poppit was a happy wee traveller, as we rode 9 planes, multiple trains, 1 ferry, a kayak, a quad bike, a tractor, more swimming flotation devices and automobiles than i'll ever remember and the odd ride in a trailer! (aka, birth right of a part kiwi kid). The joys of travel during summer right! The jetlag was intense at the time with 5-6hr middle of the night wakeful bouts....but time is a healer and I've recovered from the those nights :). Yes poppit too!!
It was such a privilege to deepen relationships with friends and family too. 5yrs ago i'd had the most amazing pregnancy and labour, I enjoyed learning how to be a mum on the other side of the world despite the myriad of things many mums distress over like feeding my baby through a syringe for 3 weeks because his wee mouth was too small to 'latch-on' to laying in bed wide awake with a full bladder but not wanting to move for fear of waking the wee-one, living on the 3rd floor with no lift in a concrete jungle and desperately trying to build a supportive community around me. A few months in feelings of anxiety crept in and my relationship broke down, I accepted I couldn't return to NZ to live then used all that energy to move and build a brand new life in Burntisland, Fife. 2 years on, still in Burntisland I have the MOST wonderful friends around me, a natural skincare business, Freerwithnia (co-teaching Nia joyful movement with one of the most amazing humans i'll ever know) a happy boy almost ready to start school, feelings of wanting to let 'love in' and a warm settled feeling of my life here! Returning home with all that under my belt actually made me feel like the best version of the person i'd always been and i'd been given a chance to show up for myself and my son. And although it never always felt this way, I without a doubt believe it took all those challenges to get me to that person. So yeah, bringing all that into my old friendships made for some pretty amazing conversations (with the trusty support of food and responsibly drunken booze!).
I did come back with a load of inspiration for new natural skincare products though, so watch this space for news of NZ infused cold process soaps, and because Scotland is home for now i'm going to go crazy and blend that in too. NZ meets Scotland on the soap front....exciting times!
And so, we had a WONDERFUL time. Friends here in Scotland were concerned I wouldn't want to come back but I did come back and the truth is it feels like home here now and that's a good feeling.
Its difficult to choose best pics but as you'll see, the wee man in my life is well and truly the object of my affection in this line up! Thanks again for stopping by.
"Natural skincare maker, Wellbeing enthusiast, Dancer" ... my business cards describe all the passions that go into Bodylushious, but somehow they can never encapsulate the links between all these identities as they manifest in my daily life, not to mention what a small independent business looks like when you throw in "Mother, Kiwi, Friend" to the mix, too!
Occasionally, something tumbles into your life that joins together all the loose ends and leads you reinvigorated towards a new sense of purpose. That happened to me this summer, and that something was NIA. I've spoken about Nia before. For the uninitiated, it's "a body centred awareness guided by 52 principles integrating movement forms of dance, martial arts and mindfulness." I've been practising Nia for a year now, but this summer stepped it up a level. You know when you're in a moment of pure bliss but you're equally scared of that moment disappearing... that's the way I feel at the moment. At the end of a really amazing and transformative fortnight on the Nia White Belt Intensive Training and participating in utterly amazing Nia classes I’m on a complete HIGH. I feel like I’ve stepped into a space and place that is so unbelievably exciting that the lid of my life’s purpose has been lifted! Big right? Tell me about it; it’s a pretty buzzing time within my energy levels right now. And so to honour myself, that time in my life, the teachers, fellow students and the practice of NIA there are some things I’d like to share. Like all the best stories, it's one of following your intuition, challenging your own perceptions of your limitations, and of wonderful supportive people holding each other up.
My Journey Towards Nia
For the most part, I’ve always edged my way into finding a way to connect in a meaningful way with the people I weave into my web. And I don’t say this lightly, but I believe I’ve collected some of the worlds most outstanding humans along the journey. Souls I’m so privileged to call my friends. That takes time and energy – a lot, but my word, the payoffs are immeasurable. This mindset has been absolutely crucial over the past four years, as I've found myself in challenging personal circumstances and have striven to make the best of it. In my life it's often felt like I’ve run full speed to get everything and all the bits in between done just so that I can start the next race to get the next stream of things done. Striving to be liked and of service to anyone that crosses my path, to feel like I have a meaningful role in as many lives as possible. I barely concentrated in all those years at school because I was too busy doing thoughtful things trying to get people to like me. I spent most of my adult life living in several countries overseas soaking up as many adventures and life lessons as a girl could. Then after only 1 year of living back home in New Zealand after 15 years overseas, I came to the UK pregnant four years ago and for reasons outside of my control I wasn’t able to return to my home and haven't been able to travel home with my son to visit family in almost four years. It's been a hell of a ride! So life for me and my son in the foreseeable future is here in Scotland, and I'm determined to ensure that's it's filled with as much positivity and healthy vibes as I can muster for us. So when something utterly blissful crosses my path, I can't help but take notice...
Following My Intuition
This summer, I attended my first Nia class with Britta Vontagen, a visiting teacher from Boise, Idaho. The best I can come up with to describe what happened in that class was ‘complete and utter whole being bliss’. Something happened to me that I couldn’t put my finger on, but it felt great – I came home and messaged my soon to be partner in play Sarah, to share my enthusiasm with her. She mentioned the White Belt intensive training starting the following day and suggested I should consider joining. To say the mechanics of getting this to happen were a challenge is an understatement. And so together with the divinely caring and kind Karen Small of Island Moves, we worked through the challenges to get to the gold of my actually participating in what was going to be one of the most transformative weeks of my life. I felt the pull so strong that I knew I needed to try to make this happen, already sensing the positive ramifications it would have for myself and my son and the life we have. At least I could say I tried, right. Truth be known, I didn’t even know what I was getting myself into, it was five 11 hour days and two shorter days. With less than 24 hours to figure it all out – together with a dream team I managed it. Little was I to know that I was about to spend the following week learning from some of this lifetime's true masters. In fact, Britta said in her final class, ‘when the student is ready, the teacher appears’. Some may find that phrase to be corny – I was ALL OVER IT!
Breaking Through my Limitations: My Own Personal Nia Journey with the Teachers
Britta: I couldn’t get enough of the passion that Britta had for movement and she completely facilitated the birth of the dancer within, other worldly movement, mind freeing and connection to music, body and soul. And although she is an outstanding mover with complete precision and energy she delivered her teachings and classes in a way that as a student I felt completely safe with adding my own spin on the moves. Britta opened up something in me through her movement that left me with no choice but to cry, tears of pure and utter release for the stockpile of things I was holding onto in my body.
Letizia: I mentioned earlier that I never concentrated in school and largely I think this was down to being a person who had a different learning style, feeling bored and struggling to engage in the content (probably being too busy trying to be teacher’s pet) and having some sort of self-talk replay track going on in my brain that I was a scatterbrain and wouldn’t be able to retain any of the information anyway. WTF. Letizia had such a gentle yet passionate way in how she delivered her lessons that I had little choice but to soak up what she had to share in a way I’d never experienced before. She sparked a keen interest in anatomy in me which I’d never given attention to before, exciting, so exciting that I’ve gone on to enrol in a Diploma in Nutrition, as I felt confident that I actually do have the skills to concentrate in a class. Clearly something to do with being engaged in the content there and pairing with a good teacher.
So what exactly is Nia?
I want to end this blog with a little info about Nia, since most people I meet haven't heard about it. Nia provides workouts and education that teach body-literacy, that is listening to your body and making choices that promote holistic fitness, wellbeing and health, incorporating:
The White Belt Intensive training covered 13 principles within the context of the above five core areas of study, fused into place through movement. I’ve borrowed the list below from: https://focuspocusnow.com/13-principles-of-nia/
1. The Joy of Movement
2. Natural Time & The Movement Forms
5. Awareness & Dancing through Life
6. The Base: Feet, Ankles & Knees
7. The Three Planes of Movement & Intensity Levels
8. The Core of the Body: Pelvis, Chest & Head
9. Creative Arms & Hand Expressions
10. X-Ray Anatomy
11. Business & Marketing
12. Continuing Education
13. Dancing What You Sense
I couldn’t be more grateful that I did a very wise thing by listening to my intuition and moving to Burntisland where Jinti Wight-Boycott brought has created a space and brought NIA to the community, and to Scotland for that matter. A place where a Nia community has been formed and connects - it's truly like being part of a family. I’ve been completely indulged by Karen Small of Island Moves who has paved the way on my Nia journey and not only juggles life with 3 children but delivers her classes with so much loving energy that I thought I’d completely hit the jackpot that a teacher of her calibre and authenticity should exist 5 minutes’ walk from my home! I was very clear with myself that by moving to Burntisland, a fun dance class needed to be walking distance from home, regularly throughout the week and amongst a special group of humans – I’ve hit the jackpot, folks. And, to Debbie & Carlos Rosas for putting together the ultimate recipe that is NIA which I feel will continue to feed every part of my life from now on.
If you've not experienced Nia and this post has piqued your interest, find yourself a class and try it out! If it doesn't work out at first, persevere, it's worth it. I promise you on some level it'll have a profound impact on you in ways you could never imagine. For me, that means helping me be the best version of myself to bring to all those identities I spoke about at the beginning of this post, and that can only be a good thing!
There’s so much more that I could say, but I will save that for a cuppa tea or two with you someday.
Thanks for reading. Have a lovely weekend! Bronwyn xx
Summer has been a time of growth and adventure here at Bodylushious, in all senses of the words. This week, I launched two new workshops, "Revive" and "Illuminate", which I'm excited to say I will be running in-store at Anthropologie in Edinburgh in August. Looking forward to spending time in such a beautiful space in the midst of the festival, for a bit of workshop bliss. If you'd like to come along, check out the Anthropologie website to book your place.
Closer to home, I'm delighted to be working with new stockists in Fife, so you'll soon be able to buy Bodylushious products in the following places:
MY CHERRY PIE, 301 High Street, Kirkcaldy
A gorgeous, super-supportive jewellery shop that also celebrates and champions other handmade products from food to paper goods.
KANGUS COFFEE, Victoria Road, Kirkcaldy
If you haven't been to Kangus Coffee in Kirkcaldy, you're in for a treat with tasty food (mainly vegan), amazing coffee, sunshiney vibes and smiley service.
HYGGE HUT, Aberdour
A gem of a shop tucked down on the harbour front at Aberdour, the Hygge Hut is based on the Danish ritual of enjoying life's simple pleasures, and it's crammed full of beautiful things.
And last but not least, I'm gearing up for my first stint at Aberdour Festival tomorrow. There really is so much happening in this creative corner of the world. So happy to be a part of it, hope to see you there!
Have a lush week, Bronwyn x
Work, rest and play are so intertwined here at Bodylushious. There’s a lot of guilt as a mum, for the things you do or don’t do. It can feel unrelenting. That’s why so much of what Bodylushious is about focuses on wellbeing and finding ways to thrive, whether that means being more comfortable in your own skin, or nurturing friendships which, let’s be honest, can be difficult to find time for. Every now and again I try to think outside the box, find time to celebrate the little things that can fly by if you don’t stop to catch them.
This month, Poppit had a “Growing up/good behaviour” party. The week before, it occurred to me that in the year since we’d been living in Burntisland my wee man had achieved so much. As a parent and, well, as a human actually, there is so much focus on what next, and although the days can seem really long with children, so much of my attention as a parent is spent on cajoling Poppit into doing the next thing… be it getting dressed or undressed, out the door, in the door, in the car, out the car… you get the drift. And then the bigger stuff: “you need to go to nursery to play, learn to be a big boy and make new friends”, or “you’re not a baby anymore, you don’t need a nappy, how about the potty”, or “it would make me so happy if you were to share your toys, the way that mummy shares hers” … again, you get my drift. The stuff these wee people are learning, practising and mastering in what is actually a short space of time in relation to their years in the world is nothing short of OUTSTANDING when you think about it. And in our society the only day we celebrate them and only them is their birthday. (Well, yes, I know – every day is about them, right, and we get to the end of days feeling depleted and exhausted because they’ve drawn out every last bit of energy and patience we have). But stand aside for a moment and just look at how amazing it is all that they’re achieving. Somehow, even with a birthday, or even Christmas, Easter, school holidays, whatever event is happening that ends up feeling all about ‘them’, actually really isn’t. A party is about “what will we feed all the guests, what would I like you to wear and who would I like you to invite, and do we really need to invite the entire class, what gift will we send away with the guests, is Jo Bloggs going to be happy to come along, will it be too much for the grandparents, how do I tell people to chill out on buying gifts, there’s just so much to do for this party…” It’s madness. When you look at this from a child’s point of view, I’m sure all they want is a day spent in a way THEY decide for themselves. That realisation is where my proudest moment happened:
Let’s have a party for Poppit where he gets to make ALL the decisions, and we celebrate all he has achieved in getting to this point right now.
My word, you’ve never seen a child so excited. His wishlist was very simple:
o Party guests would be mummy, daddy and himself
o Light savers, one each for mummy, daddy and himself to do light savering’ (no I’ve not mis-spelled, that’s what he calls them).
o Christmas Decorations
o Bits and Pieces (food)
o Specials and not specials (junk food and non-junk food)
I won’t go into all the details as I’ll just get carried away, but the actual party was so sweet, and so simple. We ‘light savered’ each other for about half an hour indoors then after food ventured outdoors for a couple of hours. Cue more Light Savering and playing football, Poppit chose to make a camp fire (by collecting and piling up grass, sticks and leaves) and in the process attracted the interest of two young boys who really got into it, these new pals and Poppit playing so well together.
When I reflect back, I remember reading or hearing when Poppit was 2 that you should invite the number of guests to match the age the child is turning (and I really like that idea, despite not ever achieving it). Here we were as Poppit approaches 4, in the Meadows in Edinburgh, Poppit and 4 of us making a campfire and eating chocolate cake on his special day. Crazy how it all worked out – perfect you could say.
Thanks for reading. Hope you find time to celebrate something little this week! Bronwyn x
Bodylushious has been in operation since 2015, but really gained momentum only at the end of 2017. I draw so much of my inspiration from businesses both local and further afield: businesses who are doing something that really makes them tick, putting their energy and creativity into projects they are passionate about. When looking for like-minded folk to collaborate with, or sourcing potential stockists, it’s these qualities that I’m most drawn to. Without a “shop” of my own to speak of (though we’ll be launching our all-new-all-singing Etsy shop this summer, watch this space!), Bodylushious stockists really are vital to what I do, and I couldn’t be happier with where the products have landed. I’m delighted that Bodylushious products have found a home at the following places – if you’re unfamiliar with any of these businesses, have a gander online or in real life!
And it's not just stockists who inspire Bodylushious. Day in and day out, I endlessly draw courage and inspiration in developing myself and my own business from some of my favourite people who are living their dream and reaching out to help others shake things up a bit, both spiritually and literally getting your body moving!
Wow, seems to be a general theme here: women in business with a focus on well-being. Yeah, I’m happy with that! If I think of my life as a story, I’ve just come to the end of Chapter 1 of Bron & Burntisland… making a few edits before leaping into Chapter 2. That means focusing my energy on stepping Bodylushious up a level, with loads of positive updates, including a new online shop where you’ll be able to buy every product, and a big workshop on the calendar for August at a very special venue indeed. I’ll keep you posted!
Thanks for reading. Have a sunny, nourishing week! Bronwyn x
I’m feeling pretty good right now: Poppit’s at nursery, I’ve hiked up the Binn Hill, the washing is blowing dry on the clothes line, I’ve set the alarm for 30 minutes to bash out a new blog post (look up Pomodoro technique if you need help staying focused on something) and I just drank a cup of tea …. life is good.
With that in mind, and spring being the season of celebration, taking stock, and blowing away cobwebs, I wanted to write about something that sits at the centre of everything for me: community and connection. Fourteen months ago, I moved to Burntisland in Fife, just across the water from Edinburgh where I’d spent three years. Before moving over, I was super intentional regarding the type of life I wanted for my son and I, the type of business I wanted to start and grow, and the specifics of the people and connections I wanted in my life. I almost have to pinch myself because, when I reflect back, I can’t believe I’ve actually arrived at that place. I know, right!
For me and no doubt many of us, a day can seem long with twists and turns and when I get to the end of it I collapse into bed (usually late) frustrated that I haven’t done all the things I’d wanted to do. It can all seem a bit overwhelming and, dare I say, feel “pointless” at times. But something happened last month at the Bodylushious screening of ‘Project Wild Thing’. Scanning around at the people gathered there, I was touched by the warmth and connection from the truly amazing folk Poppit and I now have in our lives. They are in a sense our Burntisland family. On that night, I cast my mind back to a year ago and felt a sense of contentment that it was really happening. We were and are a part of something amazing, with a deeply nourishing sense of connection and, actually, it’s all happened in such a short time.
So, in celebration of spring and new beginnings, I want to share some of the big things that have happened, my 5 building blocks for a good life.
These building blocks are deeply personal to my own way of life, and yours may look completely different. But we probably all share some common ground. When we lie in bed and look back on a good day, we likely see some element of connection and community. Taking time to do the things you enjoy with the people who make you feel like your best self. And that’s the ethos of Bodylushious Natural Skincare in a nutshell. Making time for wellbeing every day, even if it's just for a few minutes; to really tune into the skin you're in and nourish yourself from head to toe. I'd love to hear your comments on what wellbeing looks like for you.
Happy Springtime! Thanks for reading, Bronwyn x
If you follow us on social media, you'll almost certainly know how much I value time spent outdoors as part of daily life for me and my son. You may also have seen that, on 11th April, Bodylushious is hosting a screening of the documentary 'Project Wild Thing' in the place where I live. So... What on earth is ‘Project Wild Thing' & Rewilding Childhood all about and why am I so passionate about the subject?
The dictionary has this to say:
restore (an area of land) to its natural uncultivated state (used especially with reference to the reintroduction of species of wild animal that have been driven out or exterminated).
In the context of childhood, this means, in a nutshell, allowing children to Roam Free & Play Wild.
A few months back on a random visit to my local cafe, I came across an article in 'Families' magazine on the phenomenon known as Rewilding Childhood. I got on with life knowing I would return to the topic. When time allowed I delved a little deeper and discovered The Wild Network, and the documentary 'Project Wild Thing', which explores how best to market the wonders of Nature to kids. Watching the film, I was astounded at how deeply it resonated with what I thought I was doing with my son in relation to really being and connecting with the outdoors. Around the same time, I was introduced to an inspirational human by the name of Mike Delaitre, all the way from Mauritius living right here in Burntisland. One of his many projects just now is on the impact of the Scottish winter on people from other countries. We shared some really amazing conversations and Mike filmed me for his documentary 'Winter: The Coldest Season'.
So, a powerful combination of happenings that triggered a shake-up in me that I knew would benefit both me and my son. A kind of shake up that would allow me to take myself and my son on a journey back to my own childhood of growing up as a child in New Zealand. I set the wheels in motion for a screening of the film in Burntisland (it's happening on 11th April) and set about incorporating rewilding into our lives in a more intentional way. Here's what Rewilding looks like for us, and 10 Ways we've overcome barriers to make it work:
1 | It's become a top priority
I’m organising each day around the time we’ll spend outside. E.g. Wanting to take Poppit seal spotting at the Burntisland Boating Club. That outing there and back lasted 3 hours, and we even saw a seal!
2 | Involving Poppit in the decision making process as much as possible
E.g. we share all day on Tuesday together, I asked him recently what he’d like to do on ‘special Tuesday’ along with making some outdoor suggestions. He chose the Forest (Binn) and the Beach.
3 | We go at his pace
On the journey or when we get there, we go at his pace. On this trip up the Binn, he trekked up precarious edges, making his own pathways and directing me on the best route to take.
4 | Where possible we try to remove time barriers
This is where the good stuff happens… On a visit to Pettycur Bay beach with ice lollies we sat and watched the two currently-resident humpback whales breaching no less than 10 times!
5 | Time inside is much easier…calmer….nicer
In general our meal, dressing and bed times have been sooo much better. Sleep is coming much easier too…. hello winner!
6 | Being prepared with snacks and keep-warm-gear
During winter I daren’t leave the house without a flask of hot chocolate, a bag of food and warm clothes. Poppit has his own agenda and brings sticks, shovels and rope. I’m fortunate enough to carry those too!
7 | Thinking outside the box/ the shed
When the snow hit a few weeks back, it was a test of our commitment to being out for a long time. However we managed to convert the shed in the front garden into a café for Poppit and his friends. I was even allowed in when there was space! It was such a winner. It meant we could spend the morning baking then come and go effortlessly between Poppit's Café and snowball fights.
8 | I’ve had to re-learn how to be a child again and authentically engage in play to model to Poppit to really ‘get into’ the outdoors
Best of all, once he’s hooked I can step away and he relaxes more comfortably into free play. E.g. I have a thing about pallets. I use them as shoe racks, bed bases, I want to convert all the household furniture basically….but that’s a whole new topic. Anyway, I retrieved one from the back garden and thought it would make it a good surface for Poppit to bang nails into and hang things from. He wasn’t up for that at all, so I propped it against the bins to get it out the way, next thing Poppit's using it as a ladder and climbing up onto bins and the shed…. kept the boy entertained for A G E S. Awesome.
9 | Allowing my son the freedom to do what he wants to do and trusting that he knows his limits
For Christmas the only present I bought him was a real tool kit, he’s always been around and used his daddy and grandad's tools so I figured, why not get him his own kit. It’s funny, he has ‘play tools’ and he uses those, and will only ever use his ‘real tools’ for ‘real jobs’. Kids are pretty good at knowing what they need when we as parents let them.
10 | It’s a great opportunity for us both to get a little more up close and personal with nature...
... and what’s not good about that!
So that's how our days have been looking lately. But what's Rewilding Childhood got to do with Natural Skincare and the work I do? Great question! Rewilding provides an awesome way to incorporate nature and natural living into the way I spend time with my son. He knows a Rosemary hedge and a Rose bush when he sees one because his mummy uses them in her soaps. In fact, he sees it as his job to direct my attention. It creates a conversation that we might otherwise not have. So in terms of running a business that complements the kind of person I am and the mum I believe myself to be, Bodylushious is a pretty good choice.
With that in mind, I am proud to announce the screening of 'Project Wild Thing' at Potter About, Burntisland High Street on Wednesday 11th April, 6 - 8.30pm + discussion afterwards. If you're local, come along (and bring your wild things!) If you're further afield and keen, why not plan a screening in your area? All the info can be found at The Wild Network website.
Hope to see you there! What are some of your favourite ways to overcome barriers and get outdoors? I'd love to hear your tips and suggestions in the comments below!
Have a wild and wonderful week! Bronwyn x
I recently underwent one of the most challenging episodes I hope I’ll ever have as a mum. Poppit (3.5) tested my boundaries big time, was being fussy and digging his heels in deeper and deeper, and the more difficult he became the more intense I became…..or was it the other way around? We both shouted, we both threw a soft toy across the room, and I knew only one of us was behaving their age. I knew that we both needed to step away from the situation, and called on a friend to play with Poppit for ten minutes while I went in search of fresh air and my breath! A similar situation played out a couple of nights later, leaving Poppit in tears and me feeling bereft and guilty. With a heavy heart and head I sat on the couch for 2 hours after he'd gone to bed, digging around for insight/ strength to be better. Better not just for Poppit, but for myself. It was at that point I knew some things needed to change and I needed to do things differently. To keep the things that work, dispose of those that didn’t and dig around for the additional tools I needed in my role as a single mum, stuck living on the other side of the world from my family, while trying to parent and live my life as consciously as possible. So here’s a hit list of some changes I made and practices I’ve ingrained.
1 | Spending more time outdoors
We’re averaging 1 - 4 hours each day! (Ha, pretty big average but never less and seldom more….it's been snowing remember). This has been largely motivated through conversations with a friend who is doing a project on the impact of weather and its effect on foreigners living in Scotland www.mikedelaitre.co.uk/winter , along with my new craze for rewilding both myself and childhood for Poppit. We’ll be hosting a screening of a documentary on this topic in April.
2 | Prioritize proper downtime…rest…sleep.
A time to stop all the freneticism that is life, lists and long overdue tasks. A time for the body, mind and soul to rest. Even for a little while, it really really helps to chill out and put all those lists into perspective. Last night I filled a bucket with warm water, popped some Epsom Salts in it and dunked my feet in for half an hour while I read. To begin with my mind was racing while I came down from the busyness I’d wound myself up in, but I could literally feel the build up of energy drain away, and my feet and lower legs felt amazing. And be really careful about your bedtime. A friend introduced me to Sleep Hygiene years ago, yes I know…weird name. Anyway I’m not always good at it but geez when I am, life is easier. Think of something you always manage to find time for like, I dunno, going to the toilet… well downtime is as important as that. MAKE TIME for it.
3 | Self-respect and modelling this to those around you.
For me this was so important at the time I was struggling. I took stock of what was and wasn’t serving me in life and immediately disposed of the things that were doing me no good. I quit a job I was working on. It was sooooo liberating when I realised I was only doing it because it was a job and I was trying not to let the business owner down. I got this sense of ‘Bronwyn, you’re worth it, don’t do what’s not worth it'….. deep. I had a difficult conversation that needed to be had, as there were circumstances within a close family relationship that were affecting my life. I don’t know that much there will change, but I felt better for being truthful. And lastly, making some changes to my relationship with Poppit, that’s covered next in ‘setting limits’.
4 | Setting Limits
I clued into the fact that I was afraid of upsetting Poppit and not knowing how best to cope with his emotional state if he was upset. I would do anything to avoid that – including letting him run the show at the expense of my mental state and his security in what is OK and what isn’t. I have been an avid follower of Hand in Hand Parenting principles, I knew from previous times that it was time to enforce some loving limits. I’ve managed to do that in a really loving and consistent way, and it's made a difference. He was going through this stage of throwing all his toys everywhere with more zest than playing with them. Once I got over the fact that this was annoying and was able to communicate to him in a respectful and honest way that he was creating more work for me, he actually took notice and started tidying up after himself. Being mindful of the decisions I would allow Poppit to make and setting very clear boundaries has transformed the way we spend our time together. He’s much more secure and confident and I’m, well…take a guess, (clue….something like really freaking happy and pleased with myself).
5 | Reach out and connect/confide in others.
For me, phoning a nearby friend to come and be present with Charlie, phoning friends here and overseas for a whinge, wining dining and more confiding with friends, and finally setting up a Listening Partnership (as recommended in Hand in Hand Parenting), psyched me up enough to feel better and clearer about what needed to change and tackling the situation.
6 | Reach out for support in the form of tools and resources.
Again, I can’t recommend Hand in Hand Parenting highly enough.
7 | Be organised to better manage times of heightened stress!
This is a winner and has dramatically improved things around here. We’re eating better and earlier and don’t have the same battle with getting out the door or ready for bed. We actually play together for an hour after dinner and before bed… that’s the stuff I had hoped for 3 years ago. With some organisation it turns out it's actually possible!
8 | Spirituality, whatever that means for you.
This is a new and big topic for me, as it’s something I’m giving more time, energy, head and heart space to. I’m curious and delving into understanding this side of things more, in an attempt at bringing more peace, calm and happiness about in my life. It’s a really BIG topic, but what I’m putting in is working.
9 | Do something meaningful each day
Be it a really nice meal, a snowball fight, a phone call to someone who you miss/ can laugh with/ be honest with, whatever equals meaningful to you.
10 | Be brave, be bold and courageous
Do something you have thought about doing but haven’t prioritised, or had the courage to start. It's worth it. For me, this is without a doubt going along to Nia and Groove dance and movement classes, they are delightful….fun…..energizing….they are just altogether AMAZING.
So on the matter of Self Respect, I accept I’m worth it, and you are too! If you don’t believe it then try some of the above to bring it into your life. I’d love to hear what tips you have for strengthening yours!
Have a week of making time to be brave, bold and courageous! Bronwyn x
This week has seen us Fife folk snowed in and hunkered down, with some serious shows of community and random acts of kindness going on. With schools closed and everyone trying to re-jig our days to accommodate all our responsibilities, it can feel almost impossible to steal a moment to yourself. Which brings me onto this blog post. Podcasts have been the soundtrack to many a late night and early morning spent making or packaging here at Bodylushious. Unlike TV, which demands your full attention, podcasts can be playing unobtrusively in the background while you give your focus to the task in hand. There are thousands of inspiring podcasts out there, all with the ability to uplift a day or inspire change or wanderlust or just make your brain tick a little faster. These are some of my favourites...
Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert
This podcast and book was an enormous inspiration in hurdling over the fears and getting Bodylushious out into the world. Start at Series 1. It's easy listening, often hilarious, and motivating | LISTEN
An all-round inspiring listen, with a focus on toxin-free living and family wellness. Katie's blog is a great resource if you're looking for the hows and whys of simplifying everyday family life | LISTEN
TED Talks Daily
No podcast list would be complete without TED Talks. With talks on every subject imaginable, they're informative, digestible and thought-provoking | LISTEN
Goddess Hour with Jennifer Cain
Jennifer Cain speaks to women about their own paths towards empowerment and self-healing. With just the right amount of, as Jennifer would say, "woo woo" mixed with inspiring stories and take-away advice | LISTEN
Untangle by The Meditation Studio
Combining the scientific and the anecdotal, to share stories about how daily practices of mindfulness can shift your mindset for the better | LISTEN
I hope you find something in the list to brighten up your day whether you're snowed in or not! What else are you listening to? I'd love to hear your recommendations. Leave your favourites in the comments below...
Have a nourishing week! Bronwyn x