Giving Birth Again

I've been pregnant with a new life since lockdown started and it has been a long labour...

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I've given birth again, not to another baby...

... birth to a different life.

The last time I wrote was at the end of July.  A different life. Since then I have been preparing myself and the boys/young men for the return to the classrooms in September.  One has a mask on all day, the other just has a mask on in corridors, in one place I was wearing a mask in corridors and in another I didn't see a mask, although that has since changed.  Chaos, confusion.  Living on the border of England and Wales is schizoidal.  Masks in shops but not in schools. Masks in schools but not in shops. No 6s. No 6s unless you are under 11.  I'm not bi-lingual but am having to be covidly bi-lingual.

Way back in June, during lockdown, I wrote how I felt like I was sniffing my way into something unknown which felt like the birth of a new phase of life.  This phase feels like it is about living more sustainably and back in June I didn't know what that meant, but I kept on sniffing and following my instincts.

rebirth

I am trusting more and more that seeds are often planted in dreaming which then come to life more solidly.  Almost exactly a year ago I wrote about meeting a woman I would like to be. I'm not quite riding bare back through my own lands, but I am feeling much more hair-tangled, wild, feral and free.

Living more sustainably

I'm not teaching as much as I wanted to be around for the boys, to navigate their different needs this year and the responses of their school/college's reponses to covid.  Which means I'm going to be skint. But then lockdown has knocked spending out of all of us.  None of us want to pick it up again.  So living is cheaper.

During lockdown I decided I needed to live more sustainably and locally so not teaching as much means I'm not driving as much and because I'm still coaching and working for the OU from home, I'm shopping locally too.

In June I couldn't see how to live a life which supported the well-being of the natural world as well as my family's health, but again I have sniffed my way to Triodos Bank (ethical and sustainable),  Octopus electricty (cheaper, 100% renewable, great customer service and Which Magazine winner and if you use that link you and I get £50 off our accounts) and I've looked at increasing our insulation (for which there are grants in England, and for some in Wales).  I'm trialling Smol clothes and dish washing tablets (delivered to your home in eco-packaging) and home made in Shropshire bird food.

I'm learning about sustainable building, re-wilding my garden, eradicating plastic pens, bottles and masks.  I'm supporting Trees for Life who plant trees in Scotland (trees are one of the best ways of sequestering carbon and increasing bio-diversity).  I haven't quite made it onto the permaculture course, but I will before the year is out and I'm in touch with the local council about planting trees and hydo power locally.

I'm continuing the lockdown patterns of walking more, being outside as much as possible and home cooking.  My son is learning to build his first eco-home and a stray kitten has taken command of the dogs.  I'm committing time to horses, learning to ride at our amazing local stables and hanging out with my witchy, horse friend; mucking out, lunging, and learning to tune into the horses and they way they respond to me.  Somehow the horses and the trees are guiding me into nature and what she needs.

I'm feeling freer and more in line with where this next part of my life is taking me.

How do you change your life?

  • Feel restless - feel the call to something different and the discomfort of not having it
  • Tune in - to nature, to yourself
  • Tune out - of what other people say, from social media, from the news
  • Withdraw a bit from the world (hence radio silence and lack of blogs)
  • Read loads (and listen to lots of podcasts) - to rewire what is possible, to find role models, people who have gone before.  Find experts, people you admire, people who are a few steps ahead and still moving forward
  • Look for what is possible - look in strange places, talk to people
  • Let go of what is no longer serving - mourn the loss of it
  • Walk in silence - in nature and see what thoughts pop up
  • Sniff and feel your way
  • Inch and leap...go at a pace which doesn't scare you back to where you are leaving
  • Plant seeds - research, explore, talk, listen
  • Rest, preferably in nature.
  • And repeat for the seeds to flower, or not.

Keep sniffing and talking and reading and researching and believing that things can change, you can change, you can make a difference and if all of us do, then change on a larger scale will happen too.

 www.julieleoni.com

Julie Leoni

Writer, Listener, Teacher, Dr

I am a stress and well-being coach who supports women to ask for what they want and look after their own needs so that they can hear their heart's call and live a more empowered and meaningful life. I draw on experience and training in bereavement, domestic abuse, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, Transactional Analysis and other therapeutic approaches to get you loving you. I have 2 sons who I love loads (and who sometimes drive me crazy). I'm a Barefoot Trained coach and I got a distinction for my post-grad cert in 2011. I have a PhD which led me to look at Emotional Intelligence in schools and I have a number of academic and professional qualifications in various types of therapy. I have practiced meditation since I went to India over 25 years ago and I'm currently training to be a yoga teacher. I have written a couple of books, I teach psychology and work with a large variety of coaching clients.

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