Mothers Milk

Nobody said breastfeeding would be easy… So far my baby and I have experienced the initial breaking in period of cracked nipples, early onset of mastitis, and we are currently navigating an overactive let down which means I drown my son in milk each time we feed! Queue choking, frustrated baby who chomps down on my breasts to slow the flow…

There are times when I feel like giving up, but I know this breastfeeding journey will get easier with time. It’s worth me persevering to provide the best nourishment for my child.

‘Breastfeeding is a Mother’s gift to herself, her baby and the earth’ – Pamela K. Wiggins.

In some ways, breastfeeding prepares us for Motherhood. It is to place another’s needs before our own.

I understand breastfeeding isn’t for everyone, and I have no judgement towards women who choose alternative ways to feed their baby. As a bottle fed baby myself, I respect every woman’s decision as a choice.

For me, that choice has been to nourish my child with what Mother Nature provided. Not simply ‘because it’s free’ (…anyone who says that clearly doesn’t know the time and effort that goes into breastfeeding!) I choose the breast because this is the food that was intended for my baby to help him grow and thrive.

What sacrifices/difficulties/adversities have you experienced on your baby feeding journey? Did you reach a point when it all began to get a little easier?

Love always,

(One curious breastfeeding Mumma)

xx

Mother Nature’s Dance

Dear Mother Nature,

For two days, we danced. You came to me in the early hours of Monday morning, and I leaned into your embrace.

‘I am here to dance

As we have for thousands of years

To a song I’ve never heard, but have danced a million times…’ – Storm Ellyatt

Slow and steady, I swayed to your rhythm, rising to the swell of each surge.

The dance was long and enduring, testing every ounce of our emotional and physical strength.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning you came thicker and faster, your pace more insistent and I could barely catch my breath before I was swept along – no longer in control, but completely surrendered and at the mercy of your power.

And then I heard you whisper in my ear: TRUST.

We danced, we moved, we fell breathless and exhausted, only to begin again this intoxicating euphoric sway of nature.

I stumbled, I rose, I fell again, and just when I thought I could dance no more, I roared my final roar… and then you gave us the gift of our baby boy 💙🌈

Welcome to the world Kole Roy.

Date: 1st Aug 2018

Time: 1:03am

Weight: 9 pounds 3 ounces

You are beautiful in every way. Words cannot express the depth of love we already have for you.

My deepest gratitude for my incredible birth companions, Daddy, Dasha, Michelle and Grandma Lorraine who came along for the dance and remained steady and consistent to each change in tempo.

And for the energetic support of my Divine friends and sisters, you gave me the courage and strength I needed to own my vision of a natural birth. We did it! It wasn’t quite the 3 hour birth I’d envisioned, but it was worth every last little ounce of energy!

We will be opening our arms and hearts to welcome visitors in two weeks time. We appreciate your love and patience in the meantime as we honour this sacred time to bond (and rest!) as a family and for bubs to gently adjust to his strange new world outside of the womb.

Love always,

Hayley, Daley and Kole Roy xxx

Soulful Sunday #60: The Other Side Of Fear

The other side of fear

Welcome to my fifty-sixth instalment of ‘Soulful Sundays’; a weekly share where I post a roundup of soulful reflections, each including recipes, songs, quotes, blogs I have read and/or any other inspirational discoveries to sooth the soul.

For me, Sunday’s have become a day of quiet contemplation and simple pleasures. A time to reflect on the week gone by and to consider my dreams and intentions for the week ahead.

My hope is to extend some love outward and to share some simple pleasures with anyone who cares to receive them.

Soul Reflections

Fear is debilitating. It can literally leave us paralysed with anxiety.

There is a famous quote (and book for that matter) by Susan Jeffers who reminds us:

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

My biggest work over the last few months has been to face my fears around labour, particularly around the ‘normal’ practice of hospitals whose medical interventions often result in unnecessary trauma for both Mum and baby. Don’t get me wrong, in a medical emergency these procedures can save lives; but in a normal, safe, healthy pregnancy and birth, such interventions often cause more harm than good.  Is it any wonder then, that we hear so many horror stories about birth?

Once my fears were acknowledged, I could then begin to dissolve them. I turned to natural birthing books and absorbed myself in the thousands of positive birth stories (yes – they exist!!!) each contained. The more I read, the more I began to meet women who had birthed naturally, and with less complications (if any) than those who had birthed at the hands of doctors and drugs.

We also decided on Hypno-birthing classes to prepare ourselves for a calm birth using breath work, relaxations, visualisations, strengthening affirmations and natures own pain relief; oxytocin – all of which helped to deepen our confidence and trust in a natural birth.

Whilst our preparations do not guarantee us a smooth, uninterrupted birth with little to no complication or medical intervention; what they do provide us with are the innate tools to birth in love and trust, rather than shrouded in fear.

Of course, there are always some residue fears of the unknown and lingering What if’s? But since the only way out of my birth is through, I must ‘feel the fear and do it anyway.’

The only way out is through.

– Robert Frost

And through we shall go, in love and trust.

Soul Strolls

With three weeks to go until we meet our baby, strolling has become somewhat of a waddle! The pelvic pressure is real haha And so, after finishing my last week of work last Friday, I decided to put my feet up and rest this pregnant body.

I booked in for a pregnancy massage at Endota Spa (which was the best massage I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot!) and soaked up the healing vibes. I plan to spend the next three weeks resting and nourishing myself and our baby, and enjoying our last few weeks as a ‘two.’

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‘Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.’ – Marcel Proust

Soul Recipes

This recipe is an oldy but a goody of mine. I love using my slow cooker, and this dish lends itself perfectly to one. It’s hearty, it’s comforting, it’s delicious and it’s even healthy My Hearty Lentil Curry gets a thumbs up every time. Let me know what you think!

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Yummy lentil curry!

Soul Music

On the other side of fear lies freedom and peace. So today I would love to share this delightfully peaceful track by Ashana titled Deep Peace. Put you feet up, take a deep breath in and receive the deep peace flowing to you. Now sigh and release. You are free. You are safe. You are secure and loved.

Soul Sisters

Today I would love to share this beautifully nourishing poem titled Bliss by Aroused. A timely reminder for us to connect with our intuition within and to trust.

Wrapping you all in a warm loving hug on this soulful Sunday.

Love always,

Hayley xx

Soulful Sunday #54: Blessings Of Love

 

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Welcome to my fifty-fourth instalment of ‘Soulful Sundays’; a weekly share where I post a roundup of soulful reflections, each including recipes, songs, quotes, blogs I have read and/or any other inspirational discoveries to sooth the soul.

For me, Sunday’s have become a day of quiet contemplation and simple pleasures. A time to reflect on the week gone by and to consider my dreams and intentions for the week ahead.

My hope is to extend some love outward and to share some simple pleasures with anyone who cares to receive them.

Soul Reflections

I’ve heard it time and time again, yet this past week I’ve really come to know this as true: There are really only ever two choices; love or fear.

Last week I came close to having a panic attack I was so overwhelmed with the unknown outcomes of following a natural birthing journey in a medical hospital setting. Fear encompassed every ounce of my being and I was deeply emerged in my shadow. Yet this week, I’ve worked to dissolve those fears, to seek the truth within. And sure enough, the Universe delivered the love and support required to pull me back into the light.

Harmony, peace, love and joy surround and indwell me. I am safe and secure.

– Louise Hay

I am my own pillar of safety and strength. I have a voice. And when I trust in myself and the Universe, my world reflects back to me the safety and security I desire.

Soul Strolls

Last week we took our soul strolling to the local parks to have some photos taken by a friend of ours. This was her first pregnancy shoot, and we think she did a great job! Here’s a couple of sneaky photos. We had lots of fun goofing around in nature with my baby bump in tow.

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Soul Food

I have been a little slack with creating and uploading my own recipes as I used to. But this week, I served a delicious Dhal to my guests which went down a treat. Since I haven’t written down what I used, I will share this delicious Dhal recipe which is not dissimilar to my own. I used pumpkin instead of sweet potato and added garam masala, chilli flakes and coriander to the mix. Enjoy!

spinach-sweet-potato-lentil-dhal

Soul Music

This week I would love to share this stunning track by Karen Drucker titled, There Is Only Love. Such a simple message, yet one which resonates so deeply and infuses my being with peace and love. Have a listen. I hope it brings you as much comfort as it does for me.


Soul Sisters

Yesterday I had my Mothers Blessing and truly felt the power of ‘Soul Sisters.’ So much love and energy in one room, how could I not feel loved and supported? I am a very lucky lady to have so many incredible and inspiring women in my life, each gifting me with their words of wisdom, and loving gifts of the heart.

Many of you may recognise our beautiful writer and fellow blogger Miriam from Out An About in these photos. Such a Divine soul who never fails to lift my energy to one of spirited grace and unity.

I have the energy of so many Divine women supporting me on my natural birthing journey. All fears aside, there really is ‘only love.’

And on that note, it’s Fathers Day in the UK and I’d like to acknowledge two of the most incredible men in my life; my angel Dad, and this gorgeous Daddy to be 💙💙

I’m proud to have walked beside both of you in this lifetime, you are strong men of honour, yet neither afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve.

I only hope that more women and children have the opportunity to know and experience a good man in their lives, whether paternal, teacher, lover or friend.

Here’s to all the men and Dad’s who rock our world 🙌🏻

Here’s wishing you a soulful Sunday permeated with love, trust, harmony and peace.

Love always,

Hayley xx  

 

Soulful Sunday #53: Be Your Vulnerable Self

secret sorrows

Welcome to my fifty-third instalment of ‘Soulful Sundays’; a weekly share where I post a roundup of soulful reflections, each including recipes, songs, quotes, blogs I have read and/or any other inspirational discoveries to sooth the soul.

For me, Sunday’s have become a day of quiet contemplation and simple pleasures. A time to reflect on the week gone by and to consider my dreams and intentions for the week ahead.

My hope is to extend some love outward and to share some simple pleasures with anyone who cares to receive them.

Soul Reflections

This week I’ve been sitting with my vulnerabilities and allowing myself to feel into what arises, trusting that it’s all there to teach me and to help me to grow.

How many of us automatically reply “I’m well thank you!” when asked how we are, when in actual fact – we are not ok? We feel we are burdensome or negative company if we actually share what’s really going on.

Today, I’d like you to consider what support may be available to you if you showed up in your authentic state and gave yourself permission to be vulnerable and open. Remember, in doing so you allow others to do the same.

Let us let go of the surface level interactions we’ve maintained as our shield of protection and be willing to dive deep.

Allow yourself to receive the support you need. You are worthy.

Soul Strolls

With 9 weeks of pregnancy left, I am still continuing my soul strolls around my neighbourhood. I’m finding it’s not long before I have to empty my bladder these days so I can’t stray too far from home. But even around the local area there is much beauty to be found.

Watsonia

‘If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.’ – Vincent Van Gogh


Soul Food

I am loving cashew cheese at the moment, but i’m not loving the price! Which is why I plan to have a go at making my own. I found this fermented cashew cheese recipe which I plan to try! If you haven’t tasted Cashew Cheese yet, I highly recommend it, especially on some toasted sourdough with a sprinkle of paprika! Yum! And the best news is, it’s super healthy for your gut – bonus 🙂

ketogenic-fermented-cashew-cheese

Soul Music

I’d love to share this beautiful song by India Arie titled I Am Light. A timely reminder that whatever we are going through, however we are feeling, at our very core we are love and light. Each day we get to reshape ourselves, to reinvent and recreate our experiences based on this recognition. I hope you tune in for a listen…


On this Soulful Sunday, I wish you a peaceful week ahead. Trust that you are safe and secure, even in your vulnerable self. Be open to receiving the support you need. And remember, your biggest Source of support lies within; connect with it, ask for what you need – and above all else, remember your own strength.

Soul Sisters

A fellow writer who I admire for always writing from the heart and saying it ‘how it is’, is Tanya from The Incurable Dreamer. She has the ability to make me laugh out loud whilst also bringing a heartfelt tear to my eye. One of my favourite posts Tanya has written is A Storm So Perfect , where she embodies her vulnerable self so well. Head on over for a valuable read!

Love Always,

Hayley xx

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Soulful Sunday #52: Slow Down

Nature Does Not Hurry

Welcome to my fifty-second instalment of ‘Soulful Sundays’; a weekly share where I post a roundup of soulful reflections, each including recipes, songs, quotes, blogs I have read and/or any other inspirational discoveries to sooth the soul.

For me, Sunday’s have become a day of quiet contemplation and simple pleasures. A time to reflect on the week gone by and to consider my hopes and dreams for the week ahead.

My hope is to extend some love outward and to share some simple pleasures with anyone who cares to receive them.

Soul Reflections

As I move deeper into my Third trimester, if there’s one thing pregnancy is really teaching me, it is to SLOW DOWN. As Lao Tzu so profoundly reminds us:

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

– Lao Tzu

It’s so easy to become caught in the lists of ‘To Do’s’ and ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’ when we live in a society governed by time. But when we let go of the need to ‘hurry’ – time expands. It is from this expansive space that our actions become inspired, rather than ruled by frantic doing.

As we move into a new week, I encourage you to slow down and tune in. Notice if your actions become more purposeful (and pleasurable) as a result.

Soul Strolls

Walking has been my favourite form of exercise during pregnancy, along with yoga. But having recently moved house to an unfamiliar area, my daily walk came to a screeching halt. For a whole month!

And boy did I feel it; physically AND emotionally.

You see, walking doesn’t just keep me fit and active, walking INVIGORATES me. It brings me new perspective and fresh insight, allowing me to step away from the daily grind to just appreciate, breathe and BE.
As I move closer and closer to my due date, it’s my hope to go slow and steady, just like nature. To trust that everything will fall into place, with little need for ‘hurry’.
Where in your life can you embrace the power of nature and SLOW DOWN, trusting that all will be accomplished at the right time?
Grasslands Reserve
Soul Food
Soul food for me this Sunday was a simple cook up with my man. Naughty, but nice. Life is about balance, and you can’t beat a good old fashioned breakfast of hashbrowns and scrambled eggs whilst listening to some country music! Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that bring us the most pleasure.
scrambled eggs!

Stapleton and scrambled eggs – yum!

Soul Music
Since Chris Stapleton’s velvety tones soothed our souls over breakfast this morning, it seems appropriate to share one of his many incredible tracks. One of our favourite songs reminds us that love is the most potent of riches, and it is with this song I wish you a millionaire of love.
Soul Connections
I’d love to share this simplistic yet profound poem titled Sip Your Coffee Nice and Slow  by Kamal at Boundless Blessings.
Head on over for a nice, heartwarming reminder to enjoy the slow.
Wishing you a slow, soulful Sunday filled with love and simple riches.
Love Always,
Hayley xx

Sacred Home

Pregnancy has certainly brought with it many physical and emotional challenges; some which have been easier to embrace than others! It’s been a constant journey of reconnecting with myself and the life-force within to fully appreciate and accept all the changes my body must undergo to create and birth this precious new life.

I can’t stress enough the importance of caring for our emotional and physical wellbeing during this delicate transition. This is something I’ve had to remind myself daily.

There have been days and weeks when my health has been at it’s optimal, and days when I’ve opted to skip my self-care practice and nourishment to reach for that comforting treat.

The key here is to monitor your self-talk and remember to be BE KIND. Be mindful of how you talk to yourself. Your body listens!!!! So no berating or self-judgment please ladies…

But just as your body listens, your body talks.

Are you listening to your body and what it needs? Rest, fresh air, movement, nourishment, gentle caresses and positive-self-talk?

There is no better time than the present to love and care for your body, your sacred home 🙏🏻 So what are you waiting for?

Love always,

Hayley xx