Wild Ones Issue 1

 
Wild Ones Mag 1

You know the saying...

...one door closes, another one opens

We've all heard it, yeah?  And cliche as it might be, gee it's true.  Or at least it certainly has been in my experience!

I've already mentioned about the burnout that hit me last year (here and here) and I'm not going to keep going on about it, but that really was a turning point for me.  It was the catalyst for me to steer myself back on course, reassess everything and metaphorically close some doors. 

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That's what was needed for me to gain a fresh perspective and it was honestly only a matter of days before I woke up one morning to a message.

It was from Jason Tyndall, Manager of Nature Play SA.  He'd read my piece in Taproot :: SHARE Issue 20 and was wondering if I'd be interested in meeting and talking further about some exciting plans they had on the horizon. 

BAMMM!!!!  Another door opened!  And it was one so aligned with who I am, how I choose to live and the way I strive to parent.  It's like the Universe was just waiting for me to figure it out!  I love that!  It's that undeniable confirmation that things are back on course and I totally get that this level of thinking is not everyone's deal but as I said in this post way, way, waaay back, 'make of that what you will, we all find our own courage through our unique belief systems' (and here's a random point to note... I wrote that post 11 days (!!!) after Tuck died!  Spins me out when I reread stuff from those early days and I am so glad I wrote them because it reminds me of how far I've come).  Anyhoo...

I was already familiar with Nature Play SA and the amazing work their small team manages to achieve, but reading statements like this...

...we work tirelessly to bring the magic, imagination, joy, curiosity and wonder back to the childhood of today. 

Well, really, it was a no-brainer for me to accept Jason's invitation.

That first meeting held so much more than shop talk.  There was Life talk!  Good quality, rich, meaningful, authentic, absolute alignment, Life Talk.  And that's just how it is meant to be.  Eight or so months later, those 'exciting plans' that were on the horizon are now unfolding and coming to fruition, while even more plans are being formulated for the future.  

It is very worth taking the time to read their full story, but in a nutshell, from starting up in 2014 with a tiny team of two, yet attracting a promising 100 people to their first event, that has now grown to a team of eight and now attracts over 7,000 participants to sell-out events across SA!  They are a not-for-profit organisation who, after the first three years of government funding, are now stepping out on their own as an NGO.  The current team continues to grow (positions available) and smash their goals through burning passion and unwavering dedication.  They are hands-down the greatest, most fun and most supportive crew I have ever had the pleasure to work with, and they truly live and breathe their vision...

...to make outdoor play in nature an everyday part of childhood

Which brings me to the details of those 'exciting plans', well those that have been unveiled at any rate.

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Last October saw the launch of the all new Nature Play SA Collective with the roll out of the Educators Membership.  Then in December last year, it was followed by the launch of the Families Membership.  Being a not-for-profit NGO, these memberships are now the main source of funding and with so many different packages to choose from there is a membership perfectly suited to every family or educator, from principals to relief teachers, homeschoolers, Uni students and families of all shapes and sizes. 

My involvement has been with the Families Membership which gives access to an online portal; a true treasure trove loaded with nature play ideas, downloads, videos, podcasts, activities and endless inspiration!  Up on the portal now is the first bundle of several tutorials, including one by yours truly offering steps for creating your own Story Stones.  Soon it will be joined by the next collection of tutorials, which will be released in time for Easter and includes my contribution for natural Egg Dyeing

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Then there's their brand new print mag; Wild Ones - a nature play magazine for everyday families, which is included with every tier of Family Membership and published biannually, based upon the seasons; Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter.

It's the most beautiful magazine.  And just to give you a sense of what you can expect... imagine a finely curated blend of meaningful stories, knowledgeable articles and engaging family friendly craft activities, plus nature based life-cycle pullouts with Jason's very own watercolour illustrations!  All nestled within paper stock and print quality that has been environmentally and consciously selected, and offers superior results with a beautifully smooth finish.  Jason is a professional photographer as well as a very talented artist and it is his images which richly grace the pages and front cover of Wild Ones.  The mag holds three sections; Knowledge and Storytelling, Rhythms and Change, Home and Family.

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This first issue offers thoughts on outdoor play, homegrown carrots (plus a great dip recipe), gardening alongside your child/ren, watercolour painting, lavender play dough... oh man, there's just so much good stuff inside!  And there's a piece from me all about the significance of 'Turning Five'.  It's a milestone birthday in our family and one which invites a meaningful gift.  If you've been visiting here for a while, you may remember the Explorer's Satchel I put together for Noah's fifth birthday..?  Well two and a half years later, I've now written close to 1000 words on why and how that gift came to be and you can find that story in the opening pages of this first issue.

Right now there is plenty of behind-the-scenes work going on to get Issue 2 ready for it's release next month, so stay tuned for all the goods on that when it happens.  And just in case you miss it when perusing their website... they have an online shop!!!  Fair warning though... your cart will be loaded in no time ;)

Happy week ahead friends and lots of love xo

Wild Ones Mag 5

1st February 2018

 
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Here we are!  Spring 2017 gave way to Summer and now, a fresh new year and already one month has passed.  Hello February 2018 and hello my long neglected but never forgotten friends!!!

This week sees us back in the swing of our school routine and me mapping out my current deadlines, while deep in reflection over the year that was and the year that is to come.  I know I'm not alone when I reveal that, for me, 2017 kinda sucked!  But a good kind of 'sucked' if there ever was such a thing. 

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Astrologist heralded it as a 'Number 1 year', with years moving in 9 year cycles.  I've not ever studied Astrology (or Astronomy) so I really don't know the ins and outs of it all, but I value the teachings and certainly believe that our cosmos holds a special influence over us.  I've never doubted the power of the Moon and Her magnetic charge over Earth, so of course it is only natural that I would be open to the powers of all things galactic.  

A 'Number 1 year' is about planting seeds and building foundations.  It's about letting go, transitioning and diving deeply into the discomfort and messiness of all that that holds, including embracing the unknown.  I haven't blogged all that much over the past 12 months mostly because my inner and outer world proved to be an absolute perfect reflection of what it meant to ride the wave of a '1 year'.  As the year opened, I had no clue of what lay ahead for me, I simply set my intention for the year around the theme of WORTH and went about my merry way.

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It wasn't really until we hit mid-Winter, six months in, and there was an energetic window between 2 Eclipses that brought me smack bang into the centre of what that '1 year' really meant for me, and as it turned out, it was perfectly connected to my word of intention.  Without going into all the nitty gritty I will simply share that I've now nicknamed it, my Trifecta of 2017!

Right during that time, mid-Winter, 2 Eclipses, July/August, was when three big things in my world met the junction of the Astrologic '1 year' and my personal intention for WORTH.  

  1. I hit burnout within my career which brought on the realisation that I'd veered onto another track that was not as authentic or honouring to who I truly am.  It took burnout and some deep unplugged time before I could clear my scramble, refocus and redirect myself to get back on track.
  2. We changed schools and are now head over heels in love with the Bush School and community of which we are are part.  It was a huge and terrifying decision but one that was completely intuitively directed and six months later, has had a profoundly positive effect upon all 3 of us!  And the final piece within that trifecta...
  3. A romance and the difficult (but right) decision for us to go our separate ways. 
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So, three major turning points all mushed into one and each carrying the theme of WORTH, plus those energies of a '1 year'!  

It was a year that pushed me in very unexpected ways.  A year that for the most part, was so deeply uncomfortable and held so much learning!  Yet also, was deeply empowering and I finally feel like my big-girl boots are now firmly upon my feet.

It was a year for which I am immensely grateful.  For without that discomfort and without that learning, I wouldn't be where I am now.  When Tuck died, I was forced into a metamorphosis and ironically, this online space use to be called The Conscious Caterpillar.   One of my earliest articles, published in the U.S. mag Mabel, was titled 'Metamorphosis' and my words offered insight to what this very process meant for me during those very early days.  I had no clue as to who I was.  I don't mean in the sense of my name and date of birth.  I mean my essence, my identity as a woman.  I knew I could no longer be the person I was when I was with him because he was no longer here to be with.  And I knew I could not return to the person I was seventeen years earlier before I had met him, because I was 21 years old then, not the 40 year old I turned on my first birthday after Tuck had died.  So the caterpillar had to start creating a cocoon for itself and three years later, I have now emerged from that cocoon and while I test out my new wings and am stepping into who I wish to be and feeling stronger, clearer and more empowered than I have in a long long time.  Perhaps even ever!  So 2017 felt like it was a year of emergence, one that is to shape the years to come. 

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Which brings me to here, 2018.  A 'Number 2 year'!  Growth, patience, balance and collaborations, that is the essence of a 'Number 2' year and I can't help but be curious as to how those things will play out for me over the months to come.  Certainly some seeds were sown throughout the year gone by and I am excited to nurture them as they grow, but more than anything, there is this clarity and sense of direction that has eluded me the past few years.

I think it's going to be a fun year!  No doubt there will be a few more lessons to learn and adventures to be had, but mixing those up with enthusiasm and love will surely make for a wild, wild ride.  From here I can tell you for certain that my year ahead holds some overseas travel, some interstate travel, a weekend filled with inspiration at the very first Soul Craft Festival - that's the brand new baby of Fel's, creator of The Craft Sessions - some new ink upon my skin - tweaking the final design this weekend - and some new super exciting work, part of which is my involvement with Nature Play SA.  I'll be sharing loads more about them, their new membership packages and brand new print mag, Wild Ones, in a post very very soon!  Promise it won't be another 4 months away!!!

Oh, and how's the timing of this blog post, eh?  Crazy that these words have spilled out of me right when we are in the wake of yet another cosmic event... the energies of this most recent super charged, super Moon - a full Moon Eclipse and a Blue Moon to boot - are profound!  If you are here in Australia, did you stay up to watch it last night?  Here where we are in the Adelaide Hills, it was cloudy right up until the moment of action and then the clouds broke apart to reveal the magic!

Happy Days lovely people, let's rock this '2 year'!!!! 

xo

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Winter 2017

 
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Erhumm, right then...  I think perhaps an apology is needed.  I am sorry for disappearing from this space without any notice at all.  I did put a little post up on Instagram, way back in July, explaining where I was at and my need to retreat but that explanation never quite made it here.

Three months it's been!!!  Pretty much the whole of Winter!  Shortly after my last post, I hit a wall.  It was a classic and very real case of burnout and none too pleasant.  I promptly decided to shut down and go into radical self-care mode.  I thought maybe it would only be for a week or two, but then I found myself embarking on several big changes all at once.  Life offered me a cross road, or a fork would be more accurate - right as those two massive eclipses came about... funny that eh?!  Things needed fixing, externally and internally and since I'm not one to delay matters, I swiftly went about purging some old to make way for the new.  Thing was, I wasn't entirely sure what those new things were going to look like and to be honest, I'm still only a tiny bit clearer.  One thing is certain though, as soon as I closed a few doors, new ones opened.  Fresh opportunities appeared and decisions had to be made.  To do so, I really had to filter out the noisy online world of social media in order to process all that was needed and integrate this next faze in my journey.  The changes are all very new and still unfolding, thus I am moving through very consciously and mindfully - or at least I am trying to, but let me tell you there is a good dose of anxiety going on!  I am needing to remind myself constantly of my own words... observe it without attaching to it.  Urgh, so much easier said than done!

Once I have found my feet a little more firmly, I can't wait to share more about this new direction of mine and although I am not wishing this year away just yet, I do feel that 2018 is set to be a good one.  I am so, so grateful to those of you who reached out with sweet words of kindness and support.  Thank you!!!  It filled my heart to have you check up on me xo

So here we are, the Spring Equinox was a small handful of days ago and Winter is behind us.  These pics are a snapshot of some of the many things we 3 have been up to... **

 

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We are a beach loving family, four seasons of the year!  Do not be fooled, while those two appear in shorts, this Mumma was layered up in her merinos!  Besides, who can resist playing 'Otter' and sliding down the sand mounds?

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The mini-orchard is slowly starting to take shape!  This years plantings include... 2 varieties of pear, 1 nectarine, 1 peach, 1 apricot, 1 Kaffir lime, 1 mandarin (making a total of 2), and 3 blueberries.  Although digging those holes practically killed me and happened to coincide with the nuclear implosion of our hot-water service (read: no hot shower at the end of a hard day digging! - it was not a good week!), despite those begrudged character building experiences, I am now thrilled that those trees have their roots in the earth!

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We foraged for olives!  Around here, olives are actually considered a pest, having been introduced with early European settlement.  But given there are so many trees growing wild nearby we decided to have our first attempt at harvesting a few.  There are now three jars down in the cellar which, according to Matt and Lentil of Grown & Gathered, should be ready by Christmas!

And then there was pinecone collecting.  We were a little late with it this year as normally this is a late Summer - early Autumn activity.  But, with the olive trees neighbouring the pine forest... well, better late than never :)  And, FYI, if you weren't already aware, pinecones make for the very best fire-starters!

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And now here we are...  Hello Spring! 

I do hope all is well in your corner of the world, friends!

Lots of love xo

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**I just realised that none of them show the crafting that went on.  Let me tell you, craft as we all know, has been a saviour!  There's been knitting, stitching, makeovers, novels read and even a Game of Thrones binge session - I was a little behind on my seasons!