A long overdue blog post with a bit more detail than just 'here is my new art video' or 'look at this cute picture of Dylbee' (not to say that those aren't totally delightful, right? ;)).
Ok, so what has been up with the Tam, waddup, whatdeuppah, whatsieupsies Tamarooraaa?
Well, life really, lots, big huge mountains of it.
The biggest learning when you have a baby is basically one in 'zen-mind'. (I've been trying to get that mind for a while now, and of course; the trying is in the way, so now, with a baby, you're no longer trying, you're just DOING zen-mind, because you have NO choice, ha ha, how's that 'careful what you ask for eh Tam' ;)).
Karen Maezen-Miller (author of Momma Zen) says it perfectly: "the things that you used to think were 'yours' are no longer yours". Take sleep for instance; before baby came, you may have had sleepless nights because you were stressed about work or something else nagging, but at least those sleepless nights were YOUR sleepless nights; ie: you were the one making yourself sleepless. With a baby, he or she is making you sleepless, it is out of your control, there is nothing you can do but 'go with it' (see: great practise in mindfulness and zen-mind).
While your life is blessed with this stunning beautiful thing called a new baby, it's also earthquaked upside down in ways that you -seriously- don't expect. So, without you sort of asking for it, you're all of a sudden learning learning learning learning learning. (A bit like when I went to Sri Lanka; so beautiful and so difficult at the same time!).
I was saying to my osteopath the other day; 'when you're pregnant and you imagine having your baby, you imagine it to "slide" gracefully into your life, perfectly fitting around everything else already there, you image this baby becoming 'part of your life' and sort of it moving with you, but instead; it doesn't become part of your life, instead; your life is no longer relevant and everything, really, everything revolves around this little creature's life". The osteopath, proud father of 3, simply smiled. :)
So, needless to say; a lot of our lives revolve around the little critter at the moment, look at him now ->
Dylan @ 13 months old
He is nearly 14 months old now and is a pretty sturdy walker, has a 7th tooth coming through, makes an hilarious noise when you ask him; 'Dylan was does the cow say' and still doesn't sleep great, but is getting better and better with that one overall.
He loves reading books, or rather; have us read them to him, is crazy strong (for some reason likes to pick up both my exercise weights 4 kilos each at once) and is the proud owner of 2 pairs of shoes!
He knows how to point at his ear, nose and feet and when you ask him where they are (he's a genius! ;)) and jiggles/ dances while sitting down when you sing to him which is so insanely cute! He adores his daddy, loves being chased and has the most amazing giggle that makes my heart soar when I hear it.
Here he is in the pool and in the New Forest with his dad:
I used to find it annoying when people who had babies would just 1. disappear on me, and 2. only talk about their babies, but I find myself in the same position now! I have very little time to see friends or write blogs between working, sleeping and being with Andy and Dylan, there just isn't much time left!!
And that I find difficult and sad. Part of me wishes there were 48 hours in a day so that I can spend 12 hours working, 12 hours with Dylan, 12 hours with Andy & Friends and 12 hours sleeping, but alas alas, it be not so.
So, I, we, are doing our best to manage work, Dylan, our together time, sleep, getting stuff done, meeting up with friends, writing on blogs, but really, when you have a baby, you have an extra full time job on your hands. I never quite realised this with other people with babies until now.
We have hired a childminder who comes 3 days a week for 7 hours, which is a huge help so we can do our work, but it also breaks my heart a little as I miss Dylan like crazy for those 7 hours, but it's gotta be done, gotta bring in the bacon as they say! :)
Work wise, well that is going well!! A lot of people are enjoying spending time on my ning site. And the courses and my art is selling well! I'm very proud of this and immensely enjoying all the connections I'm making with the artsy community online.
I am currently working hard on my free online course 'The Heart of Art'. It does really feel good to simply GIVE, I am so overwhelmed by everyone's responses to it, at this point over 500 people have already signed up! I can't wait to get started on that one and really contribute to people in this way. :) I have another course planned for October/ November as well called: "Magical Mythical Makings" and we'll be making a new mythical creature each week, very excited about that one too!
Psychologically I am up and down at times (the story of my life). Since Dylan has been born I feel even more attuned to other people's suffering and don't quite know how to 'shut that empathy door'. A friend of a friend of mine has just found out that she is terminally ill and is going to die soon and she has 2 young children. When I think of that, I experience it as if it's happening to me and can simply break down in tears and don't know how to 'let go' or help. It makes me feel utterly helpless and in despair to think what she must be going through. And this is just the suffering of 1 person. When I think of so many other horrible things that happen in the world, I can feel utterly depressed and overwhelmed with sadness and again; don't know how to not be so affected by it. I know Byron Katie says it's 'false suffering', not my suffering and I often am able to let go with doing some of her work, but I often slide back into "suffering on behalf others", it's so pointless though as it doesn't help these other people at all. Gotta remember that. I am also always very fearful that something like that can happen to me and that would be my worst nightmare; having 3 months to live and having to say goodbye to your loved ones. I much rather die an instant death in an accident or something.
Apologies for some gloomy stuff, but this is also what goes on for me and at times this is a daily struggle.
I now try to make time each day to do some art journaling after Dylan has gone to bed, just to realign myself, with myself, after a long day full of things and to just ground back and reconnect with and into myself and that has been really helpful as it's like a place I can return to, to give myself some nourishment, self-connection and empathy. Here are the pages I've done the last couple of weeks:
hope you like!
and here another picture of the two most amazing men in my life:
oh and me and dylbee!! :D
i deeply hope everyone is well, ok, sparkly and beautiful with blueberry muffins.
big hugs. x