How to create an Altar without becoming a wierdo.

Altar

My Mum tries her best to keep open minded with me.  It would never have been her first choice for her daughter to become a wondering yoga teacher, dragging her children around the world in a most unconventional way, but she has embraced it whole heartedly; proof if ever it were needed that a mothers love knows no bounds.  

So I know that when she takes me to one side with a look of concern on her face, I’ve probably crossed a boundary that the majority of middle class British people would struggle with. That was how it was the day she over heard me on the phone, discussing my altar.

There was real fear in her eyes when she told me how happy she was that I was so happy at the moment, “but please, darling, don’t go too weird.”

I know that almost all of my non-yoga friends with agree with her.  There is something about the creation of an altar that takes you over a line into full on wierdo territory.  If my altar didn’t bring me so much joy and support, I wouldn’t bother writing this.  But it does, and I think it has been fundamental in changing the quality of my sleep, my day and my head space.

I set up my altar at a time when I was feeling lost.  Isn’t it always at those times you get pushed into trying something you would scorn at any other moment?  I went to a Catholic Convent boarding school, so the word altar has all the residual baggage of fake piety and hypocrisy that the Convent experience had filled me with. But, I wanted to do something to demonstrate that I was taking hold of my life and making a commitment to being truthful, transparent and focused on who I was and what I wanted my life to be.

No more keeping everyone happy by watering myself down into an easy to accept version of myself.  

Like a cat peeing around the boarders of the garden, I flung out anything in my home that I felt wasn’t connected to the REAL ME and brought to light everything that made me feel stronger, braver, connected.

And I reclaimed my bedroom. Previously, my bedroom was everyones bedroom. I never quite got the hang of disciplining the children to sleep in their own beds, even from newborn.  Secretly, I like them sleeping with me.  So, at any point in time, you could find most of the family plus piles of clean washing, toys and books from the children’s bedroom, papers from work, piles of books I intended to read, my yoga mat, even half drunk cups of tea lying around in my bedroom.  It wasn’t pretty.

I was taking part in a Shiva Rea online course, and part of it included creating an altar.  Initially I thought I’d just skip that part.  However, on the Facebook group forum, people were sharing photos of their altars which were really beautiful.  They included any items that the creator found joy from – old photos, shells, flowers, art work, essential oils, textiles.  It got me inspired.

So, I tidied up my bedroom and created space on top of my chest of drawers.  I selected photos of the important women in my life and placed them there.  Then I added as essential oil burner with ylang ylang burning which induces a restful state of mind.  And then I bought a small rose quartz crystal and added it.

Over the coming days I started to see things that I added – some beautiful wild flowers in a little vase, a goddess card that I’d picked and resonated with me, a love note from a friend, and drawing from my daughter. I was hooked.

There are many things going on here, and all of them good.  Let me summarise why I think it all felt so good.

1. Creating something as a statement of who you are feels really really great.  Its not for anyone else’s benefit, so you have carte blanche to do as you wish.  This is fun, energising, creative and utterly feminine (in the essence of the word, rather than the high heeled lip stick wearing version).

2. Reclaiming your space makes you physically determine your boundary, which helps you mentally, emotionally and spiritually identify your boundaries and stick to them.  For example, the children still come into my bed, but only in the morning at the weekends, and I’m getting so much more sleep.

3. Relaxing in bed at night with the flickering of candle light through  crystals, beautiful bits & bobs and the scent of ylang ylang filling the room is extremely peaceful, decadent, self loving and supporting. What better way to go to sleep?

4. Waking up in the morning and seeing your intention in physical manifestation reminds you and supports you to take another day to realise your dream.

So I urge you to give it a try.  If you think you could improve on your bedtime ritual, or you need to reinforce where you want your life to be going, or you just want an avenue for creating a wonderful creative space, try making yourself an altar.  You don’t even need to tell anyone… but I bet you soon do.

For more accessible, easy tips on how to stay connected to your better Self, please take a moment to look at my website http://www.happysexymama.com.

I hope you’ll join me so that you can kick back, thrive in motherhood, and be your Happy Sexy Mama self.

Sonja Lockyer writes for http://www.happysexymama.com, and is commited to looking after the Mummies who are busy looking after the rest of us.

Join us on Facebook to stay supported, inspired and connected throughout motherhood. http://www.facebook.com/happysexymama

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How to cope when you loose it.

I promise you, most of us have been there. I certainly have.

There were a handful of awful hideous days when my temper snapped, and without me really even being a conscious part of it, I found myself ranting and raging and screaming with a gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair in a crazy-woman biblical kind of way.  My beautiful child was looking at me with total fear and confusion in her eyes. Then I came back into my body, and realised I had totally lost it. And I simply didn’t know what to do with myself.

Because the self loathing, the guilt, the shame and the horror are too much to bear.

Just writing that makes me feel sick. But I know I am not the only Mum out there to experience that moment. And I know that how I took the next step forward from that moment made all the difference in the world to my childs developement and understanding, and my own growth.

Here’s the thing – we are all made of light and dark, and whilst we like to live under the illusion of being good girls 24/7, the truth of course is much more shady than that. Sometimes we act a little more connected to our dark side. That dark side exists; pretending that it doesn’t exist really doesn’t benefit anyone.

So, when our hormones are raging, we’re exhausted, our lives are feeling entirely joyless engulfed by the cloak of baby blues, there is a full full moon and we just want to cry but don’t – we keep on ploughing on with a brave smile and true grit – it might on occassion happen that we get pushed past breaking point and a nasty, dark explosion takes place.

And afterwards, we need to calm down, apologise, and to explain.

Calming down.

Here is a quick & easy way to calm yourself down.

  • Make sure your child is in a safe place and then focus on your breath.
  • Breathe in for a count of 6 through your nose.
  • Breathe out for a count of 10 through your mouth with your lips pursed as if you were blowing through a straw.

Do that 6 times.

Apologise.

Now that you feel calmer, in my world the first step in apologising is a loving hug. Not a needy grasping out of control hug, just a strong, calm and confident loving hug that lets them know they are safe and you are back in control of the reins.

Explain.

We need to explain that we are human too, and we have our limits. And that we don’t always act perfectly but we always try our best. And that it makes us sad and sorry to get so cross, so shall we try again?

And then we need to tell our beautiful children how much we love them.

Then change the air, go and so something completely different, and leave the incident behind.

Learn the lesson.

And instead of revelling in the self hate and guilt of the incident that night, we need to learn the lesson. Perhaps we needed some more help, or some time out, or a friend to share our feelings with before we got to breaking point. So ask for help next time, go see a friend and take some rest (surely the reason Cbeebies exists?!), take care of your Self in which ever way you are able, so that you are more able to take care of your children.

Fill your cup.

We only loose it when our cup has run dry and we have nothing left to give, so its our responsibility to act before that moment and keep our cup full of whatever it is we need to stay happy, vibrant and connected to our better Selves.

That’s my humble opinion, anyway, and I hope it might help anyone else out there who recently lost it and was unsure how to handle it afterwards.  My children are 5 and 7 now, and they are honestly really happy, lovely children.  So it would seem they have survived despite my occasional loosing it.  In fact, I’d say it hurt me a million times more than it hurt them.

For more accessible, easy tips on how to stay connected to your better Self, please take a moment to look at my website http://www.happysexymama.com.

I hope you’ll join me so that you can kick back, thrive in motherhood, and be your Happy Sexy Mama self.

Sonja Lockyer writes for http://www.happysexymama.com, and is commited to looking after the Mummies who are busy looking after the rest of us.

Join us on Facebook to stay supported, inspired and connected throughout motherhood. http://www.facebook.com/happysexymama