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
It can feel daunting to make the switch to using natural skincare products. Some of the barriers I've come across include worries about cost (natural skincare doesn't have to be pricey, and you can even take a DIY approach and make your own products); feelings of brand loyalty (using the same product since you were a teenager, because the brand is familiar, even if that brand no longer aligns with your ethics or makes your skin happy); not wanting to waste existing products (don't! - just transition slowly by buying a natural version when your usual product runs out); or just not knowing where to start (choose a scent that'll make you smile when you open the lid every day). As with any habit shift, it always helps to have a few incentives to motivate you. Keep these 10 benefits in the back of your mind as you make the switch!
1 | You can feel good about where the products you’re using on your skin have come from. I would highly recommend knowing a bit about the company that produces your favourite skincare product. If you are informed about their ethos, you can have more confidence that the ingredients and products they produce are of a good quality.
2 | You can make products yourself, knowing EXACTLY what you’re putting on your skin. You may even find that you already have a load of the ingredients in your kitchen already. If you’d rather have a helping hand, we run regular workshops throughout east and central Scotland, where you can make two products to take home and incorporate straightaway into your skincare routine.
3 | Earth-friendly organic products are not only good for the skin; they are good for the environment. We use Organic ingredients where we can, but balance ourselves between finding the right ‘buy point’ for you as the customer and using the best products for your skin. If you would like recommendations on where to source completely Organic products, we’d be happy to point you in the right direction.
4 | Little or no irritation. Without any harmful chemicals, artificial colours, or other bi-products, natural skincare products are less likely to cause any skin irritation. As with any change you make, it takes a while for your skin to get used to and uptake the benefits of the products you’re using. You may find that there is an adjustment period while this happens.
5 | We’ve all heard that line ‘you are what you eat’. Well, it extends to your skin, too. Since our skin is the largest organ in our body, along with being the interface with the big wide world, it just makes sense to use something that will feed your skin.
6 | Switching to natural skincare means you will avoid absorbing some of the chemicals used in conventional cosmetic products which can produce really troublesome effects on the body over time. Like, for example, skin irritations, dermatitis, hormonal disruptions, respiratory stress, dizziness, headaches and weakening of the immune system. Now that’s pretty freaky. It just isn’t worth it.
7 | It becomes easier to make other changes. It’s not just creams and lotions we need to worry about. Stating the obvious here, but this applies to makeup too. If you want some recommendations on natural makeup suppliers, please get in touch.
8 | Be happy in the knowledge that the process is Cruelty Free. Natural skincare ingredients and products are not and should never be tested on animals. Ours certainly aren’t and never will be.
9 | You become a more conscious consumer. You can use up loads of that spare time you have (ha!), learning about all the different facets of what it is to be natural, organic, vegan, chemical free, or whatever other angle motivates your switch. A fast track on such topics can be found here.
10 | And with that extra stash of spare time you have, maybe you'd like to read this... even more reasons to make the switch!
If you have any questions about how natural skincare could work for you, give me a shout. Would love to hear your own reasons for making the switch to natural skincare in the Comments below, and any other benefits you've discovered...
Have a lovely week! Bronwyn x
1 | Drink water
It helps with: concentration, flushing toxins, skin complexion, boosts immunity, increases energy and releases fatigue…it's just a no brainer, drink water! A water filtration unit is something on my ‘desires’ list, but in absence of it I try to always drink cooled boiled water. I also start my day with 1-2 cups warm boiled water, followed by a cup of warm boiled water with either apple cider vinegar or lemon. This combo is great for assisting the release of toxins stored overnight, flushing the digestive system, rehydrating the body and cranking up the metabolism. Some health professional recommend having 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar with honey (I source locally produced honey from my local greengrocers) to assist in reducing inflammation, issues with digestion & joint pain. It’s also meant to assist with weight loss.
2 | laugh authentically
I recently recorded myself singing Stevie Wonder's Happy Birthday song for a friend in NZ. It was something I’ve never done before, and my goodness I really got into it (can’t help but think regular attendance at Nia and Groove have helped this, more on which later). I had props, actions, the full shebang – and Iaughed my head off knowing how much my friend would appreciate it. Her WhatsApp messages to me were outrageously hilarious! To this day she has the best laugh I’ve ever heard and I just had to do something to give what I thought would be the very best gift… turns out we both benefited from that one.
3 | Connect with nature
This cannot be underestimated. The research and results are unanimous – time outside in nature releases the feel good neurotransmitter serotonin, it just makes you feel better. And the big one on my radar just now is Vitamin D. I spent the first ¾ of my life living in Australasia, where the daylight hours and sunshine are in plentiful supply compared with here in the UK. The UK Government has stated that every person living in the UK is assumed to be deficient in this essential hormone – there are so many health related risks associated with being Vitamin D deficient, its just not worth not getting outside. It improves your sleep, your energy levels, mental health. For a quick read go here . As the mum of a 3 yr old, Project Wild Thing is a remarkable movement I have a huge interest in just now, its all about Rewilding Childhood…getting children back in touch with nature. Go to The Wild Network to find ideas on how to reconnect your family with nature. We’ll also be arranging a screening of the documentary here in Burntisland soon, stay tuned for what will undoubtedly be another great community event.
4 | find kindred spirits
Connect with like-minded, soul feeding people and things. Seek them out, and engage wholeheartedly with them when they happen to cross your path.
5 | Do something meaningful
Some of my faves are sharing food, delivering a home cooked meal, spending some uninterrupted quality authentic time with the small person/people in your life (a good guide for me has been the Hand in Hand Parenting book). A random act of kindness has a ripple effect that goes on and on and on.
6 | be genuine
Another fave of mine that has been gaining momentum over the years is to tell someone something really lovely that you might otherwise think isn’t worth saying, like in the Nia/Groove classes I go to telling the teachers something genuine about how absolutely wonderful their teachings and classes make me feel. Or maybe move out of your comfort zone and say something constructive which doesn’t always come easy. Even someone who is an expert in their field needs feedback to know they’re hitting the right spot or a call to navigate in even closer.
7 | Eat seasonal fresh fruit + veg
It's what nature has intended. Nature knows what our bodies need at different times of the year. A great way to help here is to get a regular fresh produce box delivered. I'm lucky to have two great veg box suppliers, Pillars of Hercules and Macauley's. Ask around or explore your neighbourhood to find the best way to make seasonal eating work for you. Maybe you could share a veg box with a friend or neighbour, bookmark some new recipes (plenty of nourishment here), or start your day with a simple one-minute smoothie.
8 | Touch
Take the time to do something nice for your skin, a self care massage of neck, forearms, feet – perfect with some beautiful natural skin food. I used to love using our Body Butter for this purpose, but our new Unwind Balm has taken the lead. The touch is great, the scent delivers that extra indulgence. If you can get someone else involved all the better!
9 | slow down
This is something I find particularly difficult to do, but wow –when I do it's so worth it. It's in those times I gain clarity of who I am and what matters. Doing things faster will not necessarily result in getting more things done. You’ll probably get frazzled, overwhelmed and more than likely lose sight of the things that really matter. Like noticing the change in the greenery outside with the birth of spring. Take a breath, hold off a beat and ask yourself if it can wait.
10 | take time out for yourself
Do something just for you that feeds your soul. It could be a bath, a cup of tea in your favourite seat/suntrap in the house, an early night, time on that knitting project, treating yourself to something you wouldn’t normally justify…like a meal planned, prepared and tidied up by someone else – I recently did this for myself on an Italian themed night at Cromwell Kitchen – can’t rate it highly enough.
So that's it, 10 simple steps that can quickly add up to a happier and healthier day and, over a couple of weeks, make life feel a bit less frantic and a lot more nourishing. I'd love to hear your feedback on how you add a wellbeing boost to your day. Thanks for reading! Have a lovely week, Bronwyn x