Slow Mother Blog
(Maybe too fast for a Sloth!)
‘Mum, you can’t be slow – it’s impossible for you!’
This is Pacha’s response to my singing the song words (‘cos, I’m going Slow…going with the flow…') while driving the car, running around between places, trying to calm myself down…Singing can be a kind of self hypnosis really, the more stressful the situation, the more I try to breath and let go – a little like riding a horse, or a surfboard, or a roller coaster - if you are too rigid you are more likely to get hurt…
I do rather agree with Pacha – I’ve never really been a slow person - definitely more like a hummingbird with a short attention span! But still, I do understand the intention and value of going slow and am so grateful for the slow teachers in my life. I am so grateful to have songs to remind me - and children who will always reflect their honest opinion!
We returned to Australia at the end of February so I could help organise the ‘Economics of Happiness’ conference in Byron Bay. It was also a wonderful chance to reconnect with family and friends, starting with a surfing birthday celebration for Pacha. It is so exciting to see the love for a nature, ocean life bubbling up in Pacha and her friends. When she spent a week with her best buddies in Evans Heads recently, they got up at 5 am every morning to go surfing before school! 12 year old girls surfing before school!! This gives me so much hope!
The Economics of Happiness conference was a great success. The 20 or so speakers (including fellow Sloth Keibo Oiwa) from a dozen countries were inspiring and inspired, along with the 400 plus audience members. It was an intense spiritual practice for me – taking care, supporting, backing up, responding to needs, averting disasters – all in the environment of some of the most evolved thinkers and ‘doers’ on the planet.
On top of the challenge of the conference, just a few days before the event my Mother took ill and was admitted into hospital with a blood infection…While trying to ‘be there’ for my Mum, Pacha and Yani needed to be looked after, just as I was trying to hold many threads together in Byron Bay…Somehow we made it through and Pacha was even able to come along to part of the conference and meet her surfing hero, Dave Rastovich. Wonderful friends took care of Yani and Pacha, Mum slowly recovered in the hospital (with a few speedy dashes from Byron Bay to visit her), I got by on just a few hours of sleep and stayed healthy somehow…
I learned so many things about myself and others – the delicate balance of being there to hold others and keep yourself together. Humans and their various responses under pressure.
I learnt that a hospital may be one of the worst places to ‘get well’ after a sickness. Yes, they are essential in an emergency – they help to avert death, but they don't really nurture life…To get well we need real, kind, human contact; we need sun and good fresh air, we need bright joyful reminders of life, we need nutritious food and abundant clean water. To get well we need love.
The first time I went to visit Mum I brought home grown flowers and took her to sit in the sun…she felt so cold from the air conditioning and they didn’t give her enough warm blankets; a small (600ml) bottle of water was provided to patients for the day…I don’t want to keep criticising because the emergency medical treatment may well have saved her life and that the vast majority of the world’s population don’t have the availability of this free service, but I kept thinking there must be a way to bring more healing into hospitals…
Now we have less than a week to go before we return to our travels, starting with 2 months in Japan. We are excited and nervous, torn again between leaving our ‘comforts’ to jumping into the unknown but very happy about meeting our beautiful friends and family in so many different countries. Pacha and Yani are getting ready, practicing some songs and dance routines, packing in their skateboards (surfboards are just a little too difficult this time) and making the most of their last days in Australia for a while!