Category Archives: Rites of Passage

She was done ….


I read this and was blown away by it … this …. just this ….
She was done being something she was not. She realized the purpose of life was to be truly, happily who she was born to be…and if she paused long enough to remember, she recognized herself.



Author: Adrienne Pieroth

She was done not fully being herself.

She realized she was the only self she could be—and not being unapologetically true to herself was a disservice to her soul and the world.

She was done listening to the noise of the world. She realized the quiet voice of her own soul was the most beautiful sound.

She was done questioning her motives, her intentions, the call of her soul. She realized questions seek answers, and maybe she already knew the answers.

She was done striving, forcing, pushing through and staying on the hard path. She realized toughing things out might be a sign to pick another path.

She was done with friends that admonished her to be more light and breezy. She realized they didn’t understand she swam in the deep waters of life, she felt at home in their dark depths and died if she lived on the surface.

She was done with the distractions, the denials, the small addictions that pulled her away from the true desires of her soul. She realized that strength of character came from focus and commitment.

She was done not following the desires that yelled out in her soul every day. She realized if she did nothing about them, they died a quiet death that took a piece of her soul with them.

She was done with dinner parties and cocktail hours where conversations skimmed the surface of life. She realized the beverages created distortion and a temporary happiness that wasn’t real and disappeared in the light of the day.

She was done trying to please everyone. She realized it could never be done.

She was done questioning herself. She realized her heart knew the truth and she needed to follow it.

She was done analyzing all the options, weighing the pros and cons and trying to figure everything out before leaping. She realized that taking a leap implied not fully seeing where she landed.

She was done battling with herself, trying to change who she knew herself to be. She realized the world made it hard enough to fully be herself, so why add to the challenge.

She was done worrying, as if worry was the price she had to pay to make it all turn out okay. She realized worry didn’t need to be part of the process.

She was done apologizing and playing small to make others feel comfortable and fit in. She realized fitting in was overrated and shining her light made others brave enough to do the same.

She was done with the should’s, ought to’s and have to’s of the world. She realized the only must’s in her life came from things that beat so strong in her soul, she couldn’t not do them.

She was done with remorse and could have’s. She realized hindsight never applies because circumstances always look different in the rearview mirror and you experience life looking through the front window.

She was done with friendships based on shared history and past experiences. She realized if friends couldn’t grow together, or were no longer following the same path, it was okay to let them go.

She was done trying to fit in—be part of the popular crowd. She realized the price she had to pay to be included was too high and betrayed her soul.

She was done not trusting. She realized she had placed her trust in people that were untrustworthy—so she would start with the person she could trust the most—herself.

She was done being tired. She realized it came from spending her time doing things that didn’t bring her joy or feed her soul.

She was done trying to figure it all out, know the answers, plan everything and see all the possibilities before she began. She realized life was unfolding and that the detours and unexpected moments were some of the best parts.

She was done needing to be understood by anyone but herself. She realized she was the only person she would spend her whole with and understanding herself was more important than being understood by others.

She was done looking for love. She realized loving and accepting herself was the best kind of love and the seed from which all other love started.

She was done fighting, trying to change or not her accepting her body. She realized the body she came into the world with was the only one she had—there were no exchanges or returns—so love and acceptance was the only way.

She was done being tuned in, connected and up-to-date all the time. She realized the news and noise of the world was always there—a cacophony that never slowed or fell quiet and that listening to the silence of her soul was a better station to tune into.

She was done beating herself up and being so hard on herself as if either of these things led to changes or made her feel better. She realized kindness and compassion towards herself and others accomplished more.

She was done comparing and looking at other people’s lives as a mirror for her own. She realized holding her own mirror cast her in the best, most beautiful light.

She was done being quiet, unemotional and holding her tongue. She realized her voice and her emotions could be traced back to her deepest desires and longings. if she only followed their thread.

She was done having to be right. She realized everyone’s truth was relative and personal to themselves, so the only right that was required was the one that felt true for her.

She was done not feeling at home in the world. She realized she might never feel at home in the world, but that feeling at home in her soul was enough.

She was done being drained by others—by people who didn’t want to take the time for their own process and saw shortcuts though hers. She realized she could share her experience, but everyone needed to do the work themselves.

She was done thinking she had so much to learn. She realized she already knew so much, if she only listened.

She was done trying to change others or make them see things. She realized she could only lead by example and whether they saw or followed was up to them.

She was done with the inner critic. She realized its voice was not her own.

She was done racing and being discontent with where she was. She realized the present moment held all it needed to get her to the next moment. It wasn’t out there—it was right here.

She was done seeing hurt as something to be avoided, foreseen or somehow her fault. She realized hurt shaped her as much as joy and she needed both to learn and grow.

She was done judging. She realized judging assumed the presence of right and wrong—and that there was a difference between using information to inform and making someone else wrong.

She was done jumping to conclusions. She realized she only needed to ask.

She was done with regrets. She realized if she had known better she would have done better.

She was done being angry. She realized anger was just a flashlight that showed her what she was most scared of and once it illuminated what she needed to see, she no longer needed to hold on to it.

She was done being sad. She realized sorrow arose when she betrayed her own soul and made choices that weren’t true to herself.

She was done playing small. She realized if others couldn’t handle her light, it was because they were afraid of their own.

She was done with the facades and the pretending. She realized masks were suffocating and claustrophobic.

She was done with others’ criticism and complaints. She realized they told her nothing about herself—only informed her of their perspective.

She was done yelling above the noise of the world. She realized living out loud could be done quietly.

She was done needing permission, validation or the authority. She realized she was her her own authority.

She was done being something she was not. She realized the purpose of life was to be truly, happily who she was born to be…and if she paused long enough to remember, she recognized herself.

The unknown … owning your own business …

The unknown … the known … the routine of regular classes … the rapidly changing day / week.  Looking at your booking sheet and thinking ohh that mama will be finishing soon to have her baby … will so and so be continuing class … so being proactive to market the spaces you have and clients letting you know what their plans are.  All very up in the air … a little like juggling a new baby, the laundry, sleep, being sociable, having a relationship, keeping on top of the housework and ohh yes EATING!   In my world I certainly don’t sleep when the baby sleeps … my business is 24/7 … literally if I am on call.

I have had lots of people say to me just go do the 9-5 thing … I did for many years work in education … and loved so many aspects of it.  I liked the structure to the day, the fact that I could prepare for x, y & z.  Interestingly in my work I do NOT discuss routines … I talk about establishing a pattern with your baby … I don’t use the word routine as life with a baby changes so rapidly and there is no point in trying to make a baby conform.  They will do it their own way until they are ready to change for themselves.  Those babies that choose to sleep through the night or those that decide they can’t sleep without you … go with what they need and listen to your instincts … they are usually spot on.  You after all are the expert with your baby you live with them 24/7.  Of course there are going to be fabulous and not so fabulous days … not bad days, although the number of mamas who tell me they have had a bad day … I turn it around and say ….

Me:  “ohh it can’t have all been bad, there must have been some good bits?  Did you make your baby smile/giggle, did they do x, y or z?” …
Mama:  “Well yes they did a or b …”
Me:  “See there’s some great positives.  The day was mixed …”

So life running your own business …. I live my life in a state of flux … never knowing quite who and when, where the next pennies will come from and believing in Divine intervention and clients paying me.  Staying in the now and not worrying about what might happen …
What I do know is that in the last 18 months I have had to be honest with myself and decide where my business was going and how I wanted it to develop.

Having your own business is a little like having a baby …. that never grows up?  It stays in that constant flux situation a little like being in a time warp.  Of course there is maturity within the business … you become more business savvy, you constantly review your classes, content, add new bits and tweak others, you change your booking conditions, you decide to add this element to your portfolio or to stop offering this or that long term project finally comes to fruition and it’s like your baby starts to walk taking tentative steps and testing the ground.
You support other new businesses or those that have been doing their thing for a long time without any formal booking process etc.  I’m always amazed that colleagues trust me enough to come and ask my opinion … wow … when did I graduate into that role?

I love having my own business and yes it has been quite a journey … thinking back I started off doing the things I did as hobbies … flowers led to weddings, our own initially and then lots of other lovely weddings followed for a few years.  Then I helped my husband out with his client group doing follow up “motivational” calls to support them in their nutritional journeys and ending up taking that business on, training others and being an active member of the community.  I eventually had to put my hand on my heart and say that this is the direction I wanted to move in … pregnancy, babies, women and families.

Choosing to own my business alongside a full time job was hard … and sometimes the business took a back seat and that was very challenging.  Having commercial premises when the economy was hitting rock bottom was a real eye opener.  However, I chose to do fewer days for the permanent job and focus on nurturing my baby.  This helped and I was able to establish a professional reputation for the classes and support I offered expectant families.  I started to parent my business with mindfulness and integrity.  It’s was never about money (and yes I was constantly reminded by accountant, family, husband … YOU ARE NOT A CHARITY … VALUE YOURSELF!)  my business was about supporting mamas in a time that is exceptionally pressurised and stressful. Not easy to put a price on that type of support.  However every mother, father (yes I have had a few call me to chat) and bubba matters.  Providing a safe space for each of them to be heard and listened too!
Don’t get me wrong I am not a charity and there have been times when I haven’t been paid, I have just covered costs but like every business there comes a point where it has to grow up and realise that it has to be paid for, that it’s not a hobby that the permanent job pays to keep going.
My biggest obstacle is when clients miss a class and want to be credited.  I have clear booking conditions and if you were a member of a gym and missed going to class or training you aren’t going to ask the gym for a refund of that months membership.

When the permanent job no longer exists heck you realise that the business must pay you for your time.  That your clients need to respect the fact that you spend time preparing classes, that you tweak them when they come with x, y or z into class and that you are drawing on a huge resource of experience and knowledge that has taken time to acquire, doing courses and submitting case studies, continuous professional development in order to be able to give them what they need.  It’s not something that can be learnt on a weekend course … it’s taken nurturing, patience and dedication … exactly like the time we spend with our children … it’s my other child!  Like my children I have patiently nurtured it, listened when it has spoken … and it does on a regular basis …

I have received some amazing support from mamas with areas of expertise that have pointed me in the right direction and I am very grateful for their expertise.  It has facilitated the growth of my business.

I read so many articles on positive parenting and one that I read recently made me sit and think about the Emotionally Intelligent Child,  it talked about “provide (ing) your child (with) ample opportunity to:

  • authentically feel a range of feelings
  • have a chance to reflect on their feelings and decisions
  • problem solve as they grow and learn
  • observe others experiencing a range of emotions and feelings
  • interact in different social situations
  • experience negative feelings without being offered a quick fix (no bribes to make crying stop for example)

It made me sit and think about these points and I loved the suggested ways parents could help their children to understand and manage their feelings & emotions.  It made me think about how I parent Ripple Effect Yoga (my other baby) and who I discuss things with … my husband is usually the first port of call – the father figure … he listens to me go on and on about this option for the business, what do I do in this scenario …  a couple of favourite Aunties (just to say one is dainty and the other is like leather) all of them listen and then break it apart and I realised that they facilitate and let me share …. to talk and to listen, to respect myself, others and my business.

The above article discusses these aspects and has some great points:
“Talk & listen: Discuss feelings and emotions as they arise, not to lecture but to give your child  important information about connecting how they feel to how they are reacting and also what they are observing in others. Using Time In instead of Time Out can help this process as well.

Research on emotional intelligence shows  that there is a really  healthy link between having emotions, feeling emotions, and cognitively identifying emotions.  For example, If a child can say they are mad (name their feelings), they are less likely to spiral into a tantrum.  Dr. Dan Siegel summarizes this ability as “name it to tame it”.

Respect & Don’t minimize: Everyone’s feelings and reactions are different and valid. Avoid telling your child how they should feel.

For example, if your child complains they are scared, reflect that back to them “You feel scared” or “You are scared right now?”  While well meaning,  it is not helpful to tell a child “this isn’t scary, don’t be afraid.”

If we tell children how to feel and that differs from what they are actually feeling they will begin to feel confused about their own feelings.”

I don’t think I am ever going to regret stepping into the world of having my own business.  Yes, I like lots of others, dislike accounts and tax returns but they are a necessary evil … the pleasure of seeing a mama bond with her baby, for her to experience a first in class and for us to all share in the joy of little A rolling over or little C smiling for the first time or laughing.
For a mama who needs to step inwards and be at one with herself … to take that step to trust me to cuddle her precious bundle of joy until they fall asleep in my arms.  This is a true blessing and one of the reasons why I love what I do, why I am passionate about parenting, mamas, babies and being a family.  So even though every day brings a little something different … I am loving it.  Thank you for coming along to classes, courses and days where you are able to focus on you personally.  You are all truly gorgeous and nurturing your beautiful bundles of joy.  Cx

Rites of Passage

According to Wikipedia it is:
ritual event that marks a person’s transition from one status to another. The concept of rites of passage as a general theory of socialization was first formally articulated by Arnold van Gennep in his book The Rites of Passage to denote rituals marking the transitional phase between childhood and full inclusion into a tribe or social group.[1]
The concept of the rite of passage is also used to explore and describe various other milestones in an individual’s life, for any marked transitional stage, when one’s social status is altered. Gennep’s work exercised a deep impact on anthropological thought.[2] Milestones include transitions from puberty, year 7 to high school, coming of agemarriage and deathInitiation ceremonies such as baptismakikaconfirmation and Bar or Bat Mitzvah are considered important rites of passage for people of their respective religions. Rites of passage show anthropologists what social hierarchies, values and beliefs are important in specific cultures.

So this morning has been quite an emotional one as my daughter attended her first funeral of a teacher she adored in Primary school. She inspired Imogene to enjoy art and her zest for life was wonderful … you will be missed and today was a beautiful celebration of your life as a woman, mother, wife, friend and teacher. Thank you for being a part of my daughter’s life … be at peace wherever you are looking down on us from …

It’s interesting how we change our perception of what our children can cope with.  When my grandmother passed away a few years ago I doula’d her in her final days as my parents were away on holiday, we had persuaded them that they should go and not to worry … that all would be fine.  Mum had organised everything before she left so it was a case of making a few phone calls.  Easier said than done when it comes down to it.

This morning made me sit and think about the last few days of my grandmothers life and how the focus was to support & nurture her.  I remember begging the lovely doctor to make sure that she wouldn’t be in any pain.  He was lovely and gentle and the male nurse who administered her pain relief was fabulous.  As they administered the medication my grandmother sighed as if to say “thank you”.

I was petrified of death and had never really got to grips with it and hated the thought of not being here to experience life and see all the wonderful things happening in the world.  Spending time and being with my grandmother really helped me to understand that departing this world is like arriving it takes time and the body has to be ready.  It’s not going to happen on anyone elses timescale and they certainly aren’t going to be rushed.

I read to her and made sure she was comfortable, kept her mouth moist and just chatted away – no I didn’t feel silly.  There were natural silences that I didn’t feel I had to fill with idle chatter – similar to a birthing woman who is in her zone.

I have colleagues who doula birth and death and they have said to me how similar the experiences are.  I found this blog particularly helpful in understanding what I as a grand-daughter should have understood before I stepped into the doulaing role for my grandmother.

This resonated with me so much.  I needed/wanted to understand how to:
transform the way dying is experienced in our society.  As a natural passage, it, too, deserves to be experienced as a spiritual journey …. observations have led  …. to believe that the journey has three distinct, equally important parts–the mental, the emotional and the physical.

The mental journey requires understanding how the dying process occurs.  …. the analogy of contracting inward, as if one were going back into the womb, where can find that final stillness within.  The physical preparation brings on fatigue and weakness, less desire to eat, more to sleep–getting ready for the final sleep.  As the soul starts taking over the body, the physical body shuts down. How does one know? Often there are vivid dreams, change in the use of language, and people emerge from the past.

“Helping a dying person on their emotional journey,” says Piela, “is different. Healing their ‘heart scars’ often requires talking through their lives. People want to know that their lives have had value, that they have left a legacy. This journey takes time, patience and a caring listener.”

Again, our modern lives have all too often given over this process to machines and strangers. Doulas for dying is not a strange concept after all. Suzanne Piela is a woman who has given her life to helping people make this most personal and singular journey a sacred one, one with meaning. ”Dying is the last frontier of human consciousness. It is our last opportunity for healing and renewal.”

Interestingly, I didn’t experience these stages with my grandmother as she was sleeping – getting ready for the final sleep.  She was in a nursing home and the lady who looked after us all came and told me to go home as I had been sat all day and needed to be with my husband and children.  Knowing my grandmother she would wait until the coast was clear and no-one was with her to do the final journey.  I had to go home and explain to the children that great-nanny was very poorly and why it was best that they didn’t go to see her and the guinea pig (it’s Matti’s lasting image of her and where she lived).  As we had cuddles the phone rang and I just knew that I couldn’t answer it … I knew she had decided that it was her time.  Mark answered and like robots on auto-pilot we just did what we needed to do.

I suppose the reason why I wrote this today was because in our ultimate wisdom our family made a decision for our children which I have always thought back and asked myself … “did they get the closure they needed and were entitled to, in order to move on?”  There weekly highlight was going to see great-nanny and the guinea pig at Argyle House.  They loved her to pieces as did we all and we never allowed them to have closure about someone so important in their lives.  I felt guilty for months about this until we decided that we would make the trip for them to say their own “Goodbye”.

A year later we went to her final resting place in South Wales and we celebrated her life with our children.  Laying flowers on her grave and then sharing a pot of tea and welsh cakes in a small tea room in Blaenavon where she had lived the majority of her life.  We felt this was a gentle way to say their own “Goodbyes”.

Today, Imogene had her initiation into the world of death … I asked her what she thought would happen and what she would see and bless her she didn’t really know.  It was a beautiful funeral and very gentle so I am glad that her rite of passage wasn’t traumatic.  It was good for her to see her teachers celebrate Mrs S’s life and for her to see that it’s an important part of our life journey … I saw a mature young lady take a step into adulthood and I was very proud of her but sad that she had to experience this.

As always I wanted to review some of the articles that have been written and this one by Tim Lott really helped.  I love the end reference to Six Feet Under:
A grieving relative asks the funeral director, the question to which all of us want an answer, and he somehow answers truthfully, hopefully, without being brutal.

“Why,” she asks, imploringly, “does there has to be death?”

“Because,” he replies, “it makes life important.”

To Mrs S – thank you for being a part of my daughters life and to my grandmother thank you for always being there … it would have been your birthday in 2 days time (19th September) so Happy Birthday … I know you are watching over us as from above as I keep finding your messages … thank you for the feathers … Cx