LUMINOUS YOUTH BLOG
It really struck me strongly when a few years back I heard Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee speak about how bringing ritual back into our culture will create a greater, stronger and more real connection with the spirit of our earth. For ourselves and our youth. A connection that will naturally inspire us to take better care of her and look at the true majesticness she shares with us…….. and this has inspired our seasonal sharings here in Mullumbimby at Mullumbimby Community Gardens every 6 weeks.
Erica and I love sharing these intention filled, powerful, fun and playful rituals with the youth (& their parents) of our community. We get inspired by taking wisdom from old traditions, incorporating some circus play, alongside plant spirit wisdom (and a healthy dose of magic!) and give parents and their youth an opportunity to share, connect and play together. Something that assists in building stronger connections and relationships for our families and our community.
We do so as we hope this empowers our youth to carry these understanding of what lies beyond this 3D reality into their daily life. And also carry the wisdom shared into their life forever more!
Empower our youth
We wish to empower them to hold strong the beautiful connection they have with nature – as children do -, allowing them to recognise, listen and respond to the earth’s callings….and their own inner callings too. Allowing them to be true to themselves and the fire inside their heart, looking beyond the limitations society or culture may weave into their world – allowing them to be exactly who their heart desires – and to encourage them to use the hidden and powerful magic of plants, intention, ritual and spirituality to assist them on their path.
Our youth truly are powerful little magicians and we love encouraging them to recognise this! Please join us community, we love sharing this stuff and we hope you enjoy experiencing it with us! Tickets available online.
Start your day with 12 minutes of mummas morning medicine. Centre, empower, connect and acknowledge the deep power we mumma’s hold. Expand your understanding of what it is to be a mumma. Shared with love for the mumma’s of the world.
Frederick Leboyer, author of ‘Birth Without Violence’ died recently at the beautiful age of 98. This post is entirely inspired by his wonderful gift to the world written in the 1970’s.
When Erica and I spoke about getting pregnant there were some very misperceived perceptions I had about birth. The movies I had seen throughout my childhood and 20’s made it out to be a terrifyingly painful, almost violent experience for the mother and the baby. Was this really what it had to be?
With Erica’s guidance I was handed Frederick Leboyer’s book ‘Birth Without Violence.’ It’s not a long book, actually it’s quite short but it was definitely one of, if not the most influential book I read about birth.
‘Birth Without Violence’ was the first book to express that babies are born complete human beings with the ability to experience a full range of emotions. First published in 1974, it revolutionized the way we perceive the process of birth, urging us to consider the birth from the infant’s point of view. So powerful to do so and continues to challenge the current industrialised birthing system that has become our societies norm.
“Why must a child emerge from the quiet darkness of the womb into a blaze of blinding light and loud voices? Why must an infant take its first breath in terror, hanging upside down as its vulnerable spine is jerked straight? Why must the infant be separated from its mother after spending nine months inside her nourishing body?” Wow, so many questions were raised. So many new concepts to consider for this soon to be father!
This book definitely put my views of birth into a new light. How did I want our baby to enter the world? What did I want her first experiences to be? They are very powerful questions and ones that we as parents have full control of (in most cases). I totally took a step back and put myself in my baby’s shoes and by-gosh did I want it to be very different from the movies I had seen and my initial understanding about birth.
For any father wishing to take a deeper look at birth options for their incoming child, I would highly recommend reading this book. It is definitely part of the reason why, i can 100% confirm that myself and Erica gave our little human a most warm, beautiful and non-confronting entry into this big wild and often misunderstood world.
You can purchase the book here:
Great, easy to digest and short interview with Robin Grille thanks to Uplift Connect. Click here and enjoy!
It’s pretty exciting that parenting is becoming a central theme in the sustainability world. Really, when you think about it, its the most secure way to ensure a more harmonious relationships for humanity and this beautiful earth. Here is just a taste of what is to come!
And the motherwort , the mother of mothers begins to hear the call inward.
As the autumn mornings begin to weave her soft magic across the land she begins to let herself begin to rest. She has nourished and given , standing strong and mighty.
It is time now to let go. To rest. To gather the knowledge that can only be gathered from the deep dark void.
Because she travels with the cycles she knows and trusts that she will return from her journey reborn with much to share.
She whispers to me to remember this. To know as a woman there is a time to shine. A time to die. A time to journey and a time to be reborn over and over and over again.
Don’t be fooled by societies obsession with youth and achievement she says. For the true raw magic, the time you will feel most alive is in the dying…… I bloody love motherwort!
So we went to see Xiuhtezcalt Martinez from Earth Guardians the other night. He is a 16yr old Aztec hip hop singer/ speaker on the cutting edge of youth activism.
I’m not like the worlds biggest hip hop fan as you can imagine. But poetry yes. So I’m watching him weave his magik as he does and I could feel this familiar feeling from a long forgotten part of myself.
I felt a bit emotional. So I closed my eyes and tuned into the energy of the room specifically the music and the youth dancing. And wow!!! Bam!!! That energy!!!
Can you remember it?!!!
That absolutely powerful all encompassing energy teenagers have when they gather. It is strong. Really STRONG!! An untapped energy source perhaps. And it was being led my Xiuhtezcalt who is about coming together to create a world the we CHOOSE. Not what we are GIven. But what we wish to create.
He reminded us that great things start small. To invest our time doing creative projects that lead us to the world we want. He is a powerhouse. A elder in a teenage body. It’s s beautiful thing.
Tuning in i remembered feeling that but being told I was childish. When we grow up life is hard. That I just didn’t understand yet. Well bullshit!!! I hope he spreads his message far and wide.
I hope teenagers ( and adults ) use this energy they are blessed with to create new worlds. To bravely stare down the old. Let’s support our #luminousyouth to express themselves fully and unabashedly !!! Your born with your gifts inside you like a seed.
If you haven’t allowed them to bloom. NOW IS THE TIME!!! And #nextgeneration tune in now!!!
Don’t get sucked in to the system. You are beautiful and powerful. Allow your gifts to blossom. #luminousyouth are backing you all the way!!!
I can’t remember another time in my life when I was slapped in the face. I didn’t really know it would happen now when I had my first child when we decided that co-sleeping would be part of our night-time adventures! For sure a warm welcome into fatherhood! But dammit, I loved it. It has become my favourite way to wake up. My almost 1 year old daughter slapping me in the face – who would have thought! Part of our conscious parenting experience that I am very grateful for!
Welcome to fatherhood and welcome to co-sleeping
The bed moves a little and then tap tap with her open palm on my cheek! I open my eyes and there she is. Wide eyed and big smiled beaming out of her heart. “It’s another day papa! Another beautiful day!”
What better way to start my day. The inherent joy of being alive being beamed straight at me from my daughter! Wooohooo!!
Co-sleeping was a new concept to me when I met Erica. I guess I had always assumed there was a babies room, with babies stuff and a cot. That’s what I had always seen so I thought that’s what was done. But thankfully that all changed. When I met Erica her children were still co-sleeping at the ages of 6 and 8.
When I became part of the family, the kids peacefully shuffled over to the other side of Erica. In a few years they had their own beds and then a few years on one decided she wanted her own room. Off she went and occupied her designated space by choice. The youngest decided that when our baby came along, he too would be better off in his own bed and own room. And so it was. Choices were made, orders were unnecessary.
Creating a new conscious parenting story for my life
Our baby has slept with us for 346 days today and I am so grateful for it. She has not had to cry it out abandoned in another room. She has not had to feel these intense feelings. I thought ‘crying it out’ was an experience that came with fatherhood. Thankfully this was only a story.
A massive smile and tapping and chattering straight after is often how I get woken up these days. I start my day with a ‘Wow, how friggin lucky I am” with the love being expressed warming my heart. The words are still mumbo jumbo and that itself is damn cute in itself!
If you have thought about co-sleeping as an option, you could look at the huge amount of benefits for the child as well. But this little post is all about my selfish joys of being woken up with the best welcome a father could ever have.
Want to know more?
“Families are like quilts. Lives pieced together, stitched with smiles and tears, coloured with memories and bound by love” ~ Maxine Meiklejohn
I saw my 11 yr old daughter looking at our tree with such pride in her eyes. I to, love our crazy, funny christmas tree. Its a metaphor for our family life. A perfect reflection of our imperfection. To someone else it may look chaotic. As though someone has gotten the bag of decorations and thrown it at the tree. (which in actual fact. is a palm frond and the decorations were carefully placed!) To others it may look unmatching and a conglomeration of different themes mashed together. There is Christmas stuff, religious suff, native american stuff, a pirate, decadent glass love hearts, faeries, recycled stuff, new stuff and just random unrelated stuff like a hand knitted Lama finger puppet. Every single one of them has a past, a story, a meaning.
So yes it truly is a perfect representation of our family. Of our unorganised, messy haired, unshoed, clothes stained in mud, loving, expressive, unpredicatable and super fun family. Of life. Of a home where children (and adults) are free to create their own life.
Sometimes our life does feel like this tree looks. Its can feel chaotic and unmatching and way too many things being crammed into one house. BUT it also feels alive! It feels as though its ever evolving into something completely different. There is learning going on left right and centre as well as debates, things being lost, cartwheels through the lounge room, paper planes above your head and giggles fill all of the corners. Its definitely NOT linear, or neat.
Some of the time I haven’t a clue what they are learning. I have to tap right in to deep wells of trust that all is unfolding perfectly. Some of the time it is as clear as day that they are learning things that blow my mind!!! Other times they are still. I’m learning to trust the breaks. That we all need to pause.
In this culture linear neatness is congratulated. But Im going with our Christmas tree, which in itself is hilarious because I don’t really even celebrate christmas. I much prefer summer solstice. Even so I am going to celebrate the art of allowing, the art of individuality, the art of finding peace in the chaos, the art of appreciating things as they are and not trying to change or manipulate them to our own preference and most of all I am going to celebrate the art of LOVE! In all its imperfection and unpredictability.
I think that is just what the world needs right now….more messy christmas trees!
Our founder, Erica will be on BayFM with Sally Cusack at 11am this Friday on the Pregnancy Birth and Beyond show; talking all things plants, birth and post birth care.
She will also be revealing some very exciting secrets about what Luminous Youth has been plotting away at for 2017!!!
Tune in and get up to date with the Byron Shire’s new-wave learning space launching the Luminous Village in 2017.
I wrote this blog long ago….
I’m not sure why i didn’t post it. Maybe the timing wasn’t quite right.
But I just read it and I felt like it was just what I needed to hear!!!
So these words and the emotion behind them are a gift from my heart to yours. May you see how intrinsically important and powerful our job as guardians of the next generation is!!!! May it be inspiration for all you parents and your respective journey’s!
Warmest and heartfelt blessings to you all – enjoy the blog here
People often ask me what it is like to have a baby at 42 years old, 9 years after my last, my eldest being 14 years old.
“I feel like its a luxury actually” I answer.
I get some strange looks as its not the response they expect.
I read this post below by my beautiful friend Vinny Skulldali Shanti and it sums up why I feel like that.
I KNOW that each and every moment is to be cherished even the crappy hard ones. I KNOW how fast they grow up and spread their wings. I look across the room and see the proof! I can fully appreciate every cuddle i get. I treasure carrying her all day and snuggling up at night. I KNOW that many “professionals” tell you that this will spoil them IT DOESNT!!!!! IT DOESNT!!!! Treasure these little babes because they are just passing through.
My heart felt every word of Vinnys. She is a beautiful mumma and all round amazing funny loving human…Thanks for the reminder Vinny!!!!
From Vinny Skulidali Shanti:
“Don’t ever fool yourself completely that your children are yours to keep. Hold them close whilst they are small and love them deeply always. Breathe them in and appreciate their impact upon your being…and be prepared that their physical proximity to you is temporary….and when at the airport, smile, joke and tell stories to distract you both from the imminent leaving. Only once they are safely thru the departures gate and airside, may you sob your big, salty tears from your mouth and nose, snotting strange, clear, teary snot onto the clinically shiny floor, giving zero fucks about your appearance and not even wondering where you’ve been storing this volumous face-water until now. Stay there with your audience of uncomfortable onlookers for as long as it takes to dry out enough to drive yourself home. Then go on with your world with your heart ripped out. That’s your job. Do it well.
” You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable” ~ Kahil Gilbran
A wise plantain plant woke me in the middle of the night once to remind me that we really are what we eat.
“Quite literally ” she told me “when you eat a lot of me you become part plantain and take on aspects of me”.
I knew it was her due to something that occurred earlier that day.
I liken this to everything I ate and began to eat more and more wild food or weeds or gifts from Mother Earth, whatever you want to call it.
Less “tame” food and more “wild” food affected my intuitive self in a big way. I found the land and animals communicating very clearly with me as my energy wasn’t so foreign. I was more “a part” of this ecosystem. Many answers and visions came to me during that time that are coming to fruition now.
This is how I choose to do “plant medicine”.
It’s slower for sure. It’s more subtle yes. It’s nourishing and some of these guys do taste funny. But the connection is deep and profound. Any age can be a part of this ceremonial way of living and eating. I’ve had a little time away from this way of life. Moving and re-establishing my life. But I’ve been connecting again with my wise weedy friends and the visions are flowing and my heart is filling. The wild me has returned!!!
The wise women tradition is the oldest tradition on earth. It defies race, age and social status. The wise women work is invisible and powerful beyond measure. It is that of the creator and destroyer and everything in between. It is simple and heart centred work.
While her work is invisible it was once revered in times of harmony with our earth. In times before the written HIStory we learned at school, her powerful work kept us abundant and intelligent (not to be mistaken for intellectual).
But through HIStory she was hidden and shamed. A legacy that continues in our currant times.
Let us dig deep and remember the ways of the wise ones. It still lives in our bones and our blood.
In the important invisible work we do with plants, lovingly guiding our children, weaving words into the earth, cooking spells of Heath into our family meals and all of the many other things we do that our modern culture has tricked us into thinking are of no value. How clever and cunning they were to fool us out of our magik.
May we remember and may we have the courage to once again weave the invisible work of the wise woman into our lives. We are powerful mamas!!’ Artist: Unknown
This book has come up so much in my world lately so I’ve taken it as a sign I need to go back (it’s been about 8 yrs since I read it) and revisit “Raising our Children Raising Ourselves” by Naomi Aldort.
Having a new babe and being a bit sleep deprived has taken me a little off my parenting coarse at times and my heart is already smiling reading chapter one.
“If we want the future of humanity to look different to how it looks now, we need to allow our children to create it out of who they are, and not out of who we want them to be. Parenting is a path of maturation and growth if we dare to learn more and teach less. When you have the courage to stop defending the way you are, or the way your parents raised you, you can open up to the possibility that you are much greater and more magnificent and capable than you thought you were.” ~ Naomi Aldort
Naomi you touch me and remind me how to be the person I want to be. There is a great Luminous Youth interview too if anyone want to get the vibe but the book really does hit the spot!
The importance of unstructured creative imaginative play in nature is massively undervalued in our culture. A culture that praises busyness, unemotional adult behaviour, technology and outward achievements.
Remember getting totally into the zone as a kid where a whole other world was your friend. Where anything goes and epic ideas flow.
As a mumma when I hear my children chatting or singing away to themselves and can see them totally in their own world I do everything I can to protect that bubble. For inside that bubble is wisdom beyond measure. It’s a direct doorway to the other realms. The same place some of the best inventions, music, art and creations of our time have come from. It’s the same place us adults search so hard to find in ourselves and when, and if, we do allow ourselves to drop in we promise ourselves we must visit there more often.
If I had a wish it would be that all children were allowed to play here often. Everyday in fact!! That we were never encouraged to abandoned ourselves for the outer world.
FOR THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE TRUE LEARNING SPRINGS FORTH!
It takes many dimensions to raise a child.
So mummas and papas don’t forget to slowdown and check in with your team. Your not alone on this journey. You have full support and backing from the unseen realms to bring all your child needs right into their sphere.
Trust the whispers. (as crazy as they sound!)
Trust your heart.
And most importantly trust your child.
Can you spy the very little cute hand helping mine make tahini treats??
Yes, baby wearing is hard work but it’s benefits are massive!!
Movement is the main stimulus needed to create new peaceful neural pathways. Babies feel content and included in the “tribe” and learning is happening from the minute they are conceived NOT when they start formal education.
Babies are absolutely present, taking in all the smells, textures, visions, sounds, conversations and more than we know. Being a part of our everyday life in the forest with this wise little human brings us so much joy.
This little lady loved helping her brother cook afternoon tea rather than put aside to play with toys made of plastic. Lots of laughs and mess!!
The ancient wisdom of our children will only be heard by those with the intelligence to listen. It’s a slow dance and requires a more presence than merely listening to words. Slowing down to create space and opening the heart wide to feel and sense the purity of their souls, the lifetimes of lessons and the fierce love they are here to teach us.
Our Creative Director, Paul Crebar was interviewed by Sally Cusack on Bay FM just recently talking about what he expects fatherhood to be like.
We rarely get to hear the father’s side of the story and Paul brings an open and honest perspective on the challenges he expects, the unknowns he questions and a bit about his vision of how he wishes to play his new role as a father.
To listen click here.
This is definitely one of our favourite TED talks by Principal Peter Hutton. If you want to see a child thrive this is definitely a step in the right direction.
This is the show Erica was invited to be a part of created by Lainie Liberti. “I learned heaps too!” Erica states. “But what would you expect sharing the panel with Robin Grille and Michelle E Barone.” Grab a cuppa and enjoy!
With every fibre of my being I feel like these kids are here to show us the way forward. To break the existing belief patterns on what it is to “learn”. Human consciousness IS evolving. It would be wise for us to listen to what these children have to say.
Jacob Barnett asks us to STOP LEARNING, START THINKING and then CREATE!!! He also asks us to think differently about Autism. In this article there is a story on him as well as a TED talk by Jacob himself. Both are excellent and although he seems a radical genius I believe the underlying message applies to us all!! CHANGE is coming through our YOUTH!!! Exciting!!
Go to article by clicking here
“Too often we teach that it is more important to be able to spell & label correctly than it is to actually have an experience with the thing itself. It doesnt matter how you spell “happiness” if you dont EXPERIENCE it!!” ~Simon Paul Harrison
And “seed” and “garden” and “Love” for that matter!!
Im super excited to be chatting with Alice Moffett tomorrow morning on her radio show celebrating Nature Play week and the importance of having Mother Nature as a direct teacher and playmate.
Listen to tomorrows interview at 9am on
Cant put into words how much I love Robin Grilles work!! (He’s happens to be a pretty dam beautiful human also!! )This is such an important point in our transition back into natural attachment parenting of the next generation so we can help this planet by creating luminous youth. If you haven’t seen his work please check it out. It is beyond inspiring.
Ive been wanting to blog for so long but have been enjoying a really outward phase of Luminous Youth……now that I’m creating life in my womb and feeling more inward writing feels like a nourishing way to create and share my experiences raising Luminous Youth!!! Sending love and warm blessings out to each and every one of you….let me know what you think!!!!
This is a subject particularly close to my heart. Children who do not fit into any of the existing systems. Discussing with with one of the worlds leading experts in this field whom happens to be the warmest, most open, hilarious and loving woman was such a pleasure. Thank you Mary Rodwell!
Play reflects life experiences.
When it is FREE and UNSTRUCTURED it can naturally be used as a way of processing life events that have been found challenging. A way of gaining back power. They are profoundly wiser than we realise. They know!!! They self heal!!
Thank you my amazing children for reminding me of this. I am humbled and inspired!!!
I really resonate with the work of Inelia Benz and particularly this article!! Growing up i found grammar extremely frustrating as it would take me out of my creative flow and made me self conscious of any mistakes I might make. I never feel the need to correct my children, or anyone for that matter, as when i am reading someone else’s words I am FEELING behind them for what their heart is trying to express to me. So dots and correct spelling mean very little when we come from that place. More freedom and creativity in our written expression I say!!!
For a great read click here.