I know a lot of people are sighing. Sick of Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey of self discovery. Sick of Julia Robert’s ever present smile. Sick of the book and the movie, which is oh so self-indulgent. The thing is though I didn’t think the book was self-indulgent I loved it. I savoured every word (okay I skipped a few of the descriptive passages, but I do that with all books) The book spoke to me. I would love to travel to three different countries, especially Italy and India (Indonesia doesn’t do it for me I must be honest) and write about it. So of course I love reading about it. And I love self questioning and self discovery. So combined what’s not to love?

A lot of people criticise Elizabeth Gilbert for leaving her first husband. After all there was nothing wrong with him. He loved her. I got it though. She felt stuck! And I applauded her for leaving. Very uncomfortable ground for a lot of people. How about the moral fibre of society, family values, loyalty and making it work? And I do think these are valid points. I don’t know if I would recommend any one taking drastic steps in order to truly live their life. But I do know that being true to yourself is a very difficult thing, and I don’t think there’s place for anyone to judge. And when we do judge I think it’s important to look within and ask ourselves, ‘Why does this trigger me? What am I maybe denying in myself? Why am I judging this/feeling this way?’ You never know what you may uncover.

If the book affected me I buried it. The movie however was another story. It was so in your face a journey about a woman who felt stuck in her life. Who molded herself to those around her for the sake of ‘love’. Who didn’t know who she was, and then journeyed to find that self. She fed her body, delighted it so that it felt alive in the beauty and deliciousness of Italy. She created a silence in herself so her voice could emerge in India. She then journeyed to Indonesia to combine her voice and body into a balance of love. A self-love that opened up to true love.

Sounds so simple doesn’t it.

I wish it were. We can’t all travel to Italy, India and Indonesia for a year. Especially if you’re a mum with small children. The children have to have left the house and which mother wants to wait until they’re forty before they find themselves and enjoy life?

So what’s a mum to do? We all have dreams, we all have hidden voices (okay maybe not all of us, but a lot of us). A lot of the time we’ve put ourselves last. Our desires go on the stove and poof up in smoke as we cook supper for our brood. I know I’ve done this for years.

I believe that in an ideal world this looking for self should happen in our teen years. But what if you were given too much freedom and too little guidance or not enough freedom and your journey was stifled and you never found yourself? Rather you followed Grimm’s fairy tales of finding your prince and living happily ever after. Naively forgetting to ask what is the after? Bills in the post and school lifts (no I will not shut up about those mornings I am officially traumatised!!!)
Do I sound too cynical, maybe…. there is a lot of good after all. Wonderful, romantic, candlelit evenings, fulfilling hours of creativity, holding hands on a sunset walk, dancing in a jazz bar cheek to cheek. Okay I’m mocking you now I know. We do get those magical moments but the rest is work my girl ‘WORK’. And not just the lift schemes, the work I’m talking about is bringing the dreams into the every day. Moving out of shut down, walking dead denial and waking up to our true feelings. Even if they hurt, even if it feels that if we go there we may not survive, that we may destroy our lives. Because truth be told we won’t. And if you’re really that scared maybe you need a good therapist to hold your hand. (I think everyone needs a good therapist really – we all have holes – who here had a perfect child hood? Therapy is for filling those holes, giving you those wings so you can fly into independence and the freedom of being a happy, responsible adult.)

By the time you’re married with kids. It’s not about you anymore it’s about your husband, your children, and the ‘you’ goes swimming in the deep, blue sea of the ‘other’. When the ‘you’ wakes up it can be a difficult swim back. It doesn’t have to be drastic it can be as small as that visit to the art gallery, or venturing into Newtown, applying for a dream job, or listening to different types of music. For me it’s all of the above, plus waking up earlier to do yoga and then wake up the sleeping Princes for the morning run. With my ‘self’ fed, those mornings are more doable even sometimes enjoyable. (I did institute a star chart – they work!)

We don’t all have to travel the world to find ourselves (as much as I’d personally love to). We don’t all have to leave our husbands, they can join us on our journey (Imago therapy is an excellent weekend to go on and reconnect with your husband on that real, soul, what you both need, awaken that first love, level.) We do however all need to be our authentic selves. What’s that? Well begin the journey and go and find out…

Tip – Write down what you dreamed of doing/or who you wanted to be as a little girl. See where that leads you, what it evokes.

And as I promised – Health Tips

I did go hear Talya Goldgraber and she is lovely and passionate and so lives what she teaches. From drinking raw milk (I know not for everyone) to making her own baby formula (I kid you not). She will be doing a cooking demonstration next week. Watch this space I’ll put the details up. (I so need to learn how to do those sidebar thingys)

Health Tip from Talya – Kids need fat and protein more than vegies. When they have enough fat and protein they are fuller and won’t crave sugar that much.

So what to feed the little birdy mouths? Lamb and beef fats are great for them. So make soups with marrow bones. Start breakfast with eggs (fried in butter) and buttered toast (healthy rye toast or health bread rather than government bread (more on that later). Avocado, salmon, smoked salmon are all full of healthy fats. Plus cook with coconut oil – instead of that awful hydrogenated oil – full of good fat to fry in. (I could do one whole blog on what she said about bad oils and suggested for healthy oils.)

I’ll add more with every blog. You can’t go to health crazy because hey that’s not healthy either! So bit by bit I’m going to add new healthy habits to my lifestyle and I’ll keep you updated blog by blog on what we can all do.