Another beautiful interview, this time with the amazing Shevonne Hunt from Kinderling Radio in Sydney. She’s found her passion and when it comes to her interviews and podcasts, you know Shevonne’s found her Dharma, her path in life, as not only her eyes, but every cell of her body sparkles. Encounters like that make me happy. Thanks Shevonne and everyone else, enjoy the short and sweet 10 minute interview.
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good-bye so hard!
Winnie the Pooh
Last week I had a moment when I dropped our five&1/2-year-old off at a PlayBall camp organised by lovely friends of ours. That same bench in the park which was loaded with kids’ lunchboxes, balls and drink bottles, something like 8 years ago was where Pablo proposed to me. Had I known back then that little later I’d be standing here with three toddlers back in Sydney after a three-year sailing adventure…
Where has the time gone?
And tomorrow Noah will start big school and I’m feeling rather sad about it. Last minute doubts and reconsidering all the home-schooling pros and cons. Yes, a hard time letting go. When we’ll be back on a boat, no doubt we’ll embrace home/un/free-schooling in the smoothest manner suitable to each family member. But being land-locked for a few years – I’m keen to equally embrace all that schooling has to offer here in Bondi Beach.
Besides a few hick-ups, I have great memories of school myself and that is despite (or because) of changing school and country many times. Have the ‘hick-ups’ screwed me up? Probably a little, but not less than what the great memories, experiences and friendships have allowed me to become the person I am today.
Where I’m at right now?
Living in Sydney, it feels to me home-schooling my boy who’s 150% ready and keen to throw himself into our local community’s amazing, sustainable and creative school environment would be egoistic more than anything else. When we’ll be travelling again and the world and its oceans will be our home and classroom, it will be a different cup of tea – an extremely stimulating environment more prone to something less structured. And yet, a little bit of structure no matter where and how – although labelled as the ‘baddy’ or ‘creativity-killer’ in most home-school circles – I have found provides children with safety, and through that more smiles, less tantrums, a higher self-esteem and ultimately even more space to explore their creativity in different ways.
As a last word it seems to me that there is no one solution to fit all. Every child is so different. And like in Yoga and Ayurveda, the paramount to optimal well-being on all levels, and there within the optimal space to learn and grow, is taking the individual into account and finding the most suitable approach at the time.
Education is a social process. Education is growth. Education is not a preparation for life. Education is life.
Sunday morning writing time. FIRST readers in Malta can look forward to the September issue which will include an insight into my personal journal of crossing the Australian Outback. (Blog readers will find a copy on my Media page a few months down the track). Finishing the article, I tumble across a quote which stayed with me from a visit to one of the remote Aboriginal communities out there in the vast, red land . An obvious fact which unfortunately has become less obvious in the obscure and crazy materialistic world we live in:
We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love and then, we return home.
- How to make the most of our little time on Earth;
- Envisioning your passion, practising yoga and connecting with your dreams;
- Bringing more clarity to your path and life;
- Getting inspired by someone who’s stepped away from security in exchange for a life closer to her dreams than ever thought possible;
All of the above and more, you can experience at my upcoming Bali Retreat. Feeling inspired? Learn more and join the other amazing yogis from around the world who have already signed up to transform the power of your dreams into your reality.
To all sleep deprived mums and sleep deprived sailors out there,- it’s hard! It’s bl#$^% dangerous. It’s lonely. I totally forgot how tough it is. Brain turns into soup, life up side down, and nothing makes sense anymore when your body-mind doesn’t get a regular, consecutive x amount of sleeping hours over a 24 hrs period for an extended period of time. I’m surprised driver’s licenses don’t get suspended for such occasions…
Sailors have the advantage of knowing once the passage is over and the anchor is hooked, they can catch up on their sleep. Mums have the advantage of the hormones to help them through the days.
Both generally keep going – even if it’s just on a frail spider’s thread, cause of the love for their boat, cause of the love for their kids. And in my soupy brain I wonder, can anyone understand love who hasn’t sailed or mothered before? With all due respect, dads, it’s not the same for you. You can have a break, go out and get drunk with your mates – what we used to do together in the old days… – and pretend for a moment life was different. Mums generally don’t have that option. We just keep swimming (and sometimes diving) like the little Nemo in the Disney Movie. And maybe that’s what life boils down to after all when you are forced to cut it back to basics: A giant Disney Movie, with the uncertain and bad moments to give it a plot and a bit of tension – but always with a happy ending and some nice music every now and then.
I feel with all you other mums and ocean crossing sailors out there… one day, me too, I’ll be sailing away again, emerging from the dive, island hoping and seeing the sun once more. Until then, I try and focus on the music.
Once you chose hope, anything is possible!
Unexpected deeds of generosity are what touches people most and gives life colour, especially in moments when all colour seems to fade. Doing just one nice thing, social, environmental or other, has been in everybody’s mind through various Do Something initiatives lately. Stop the cycle of negative news!
Closer to home, during one of my post-partum days a surprise parcel brightened up my day. A lovely yogi and blog reader from the UK, Susan Sternkopf, had sent us two copies of her beautiful kids book Sail On. In fact, the short rhymes contain messages for everybody, regardless of age.
It’s been one of the boys’ favourite bed time stories and the never ending questions of, ‘Why Mummy, does the book always say ‘sail on’ after every rhyme?’, has kept the whole family wondering, and pondering, discussing – and may I go so far as to say, sometimes given us the courage to dream again when it seemed that our big dream had prematurely ended and we were lost in no-man’s land where no other adventure seemed to be tempting enough to compare with a life at sea, ‘en famille’.
Thanks Susan. You can contact her here if you would like your own copy. Let me share a couple of pictures and one of my favourite passages from the book these days:
Even getting lost can help you learn to find your way. So don’t be guided by your fears. Just inch along until the weather clears… Sail On… 
Sometimes there’ll be no wind at all. Sails will lag. You’ll think you’re stuck. Stay calm. Anothehr wind will change your luck… Sail On…
by Susan Sternkopf & Glenn Halak
Disclaimer: Susan never asked me to write this review, nor do I get any commissions on sales. It’s just a heart-felt ‘like’ which deserves a post and a thought and a smile;)
And now, what nice thing am I going to pass on today? Just making some lunch for a friend and took the neighbours’ bin in this morning. You?
We somehow haven’t ended up in India for now, but India has come to us in the shape of 52 cm of perfection.
While I still felt somehow lost in space when I closed Happy Dancer’s sailing chapter by finishing and posting last week’s video about our sailing summer in Greece and Turkey, since the blissful birth of our beautiful baby daughter last Saturday it all fell into place. It was and is so obvious that she had to be born here at home in Sydney with the best midwife, doula and friends’ support I could dream of. My Divine sisters and my gorgeous boys have been nourishing me and her to the moon and back and those little dark eyes have been drawing me into hours and hours of baby-bliss.
Most new mums seem to see mostly the tough side of these early motherhood days which undoubtedly exist. But what I do, mainly, is compare what we have, to what this birth, including pre- and post-partum period, would have looked like on a boat. While it would have made for cuter blog pictures and a more adventurous story for sure, the reality of it is that it would have been a whole deal more exhausting, less supported and much, much harder on all levels. There’s many things I wouldn’t have wanted to miss like my fabulous doula and amazing midwife who’s been with me since pregnancy #1; my lovely post-partum Doula who’s just wrapped me up in a beautiful birth-sealing ceremony returning some of the qi which one loses at birth; and all the friends who shared food, baby stuff and blessings.
When giving birth, a woman and a family need a nourishing, supportive community around them and that’s one of the very things which boat-life compromises on as you constantly move from one place to another. We’ve had to promise the boys to sail the Pacific the day all three kids can swim and snorkel like little champions while they keep asking for their Happy Dancer pretty much every day. But in the meantime, I’m still treasuring all those beautiful things which land-life has to offer – especially now, bathed in oxytocin, the love-hormone which makes the world go round.
We have a secret in our culture. It’s not that birth is painful, but that women are strong.