Thursday, November 10, 2011

Loss and Gain

Sometimes life can a be a bit of an old record player playing over and over again. In August I was beyond happy to find out I was pregnant. I had miscarried twice before and this time I was sure it would all be alright. I was hopeful and looking forward. I was traveling in the States, when I found out and it was good to be pregnant in the place I was from. When I came home to Thailand I told my family and everyone was over the moon. We had all been sad to lose the last baby and now we were given another chance.

Babies have a way of pushing you into action and I was feeling some sort of action needing to be taken. It has been 7 years since I have lived in America and the baby was making me desire the comforts of home. Being a stranger in a strange land is all well and good but sometimes you just want to be where you know. Plus it is difficult to make money here and things were getting tight. Maybe we should go to New York. I had missed it so for the last 7 years and it would be a great place for us and the kids. We could start to make some money and I could be back in the city I loved. I could feel the fear starting to trickle in my mind. NY is great but how would we find the money and we have no health insurance and where would the baby be born and how would we afford the birth in America. Would we go to Ireland to have the baby. I had 2 wonderful experiences there with the midwives and plus its free. But we have no home in Ireland. Where would we stay and how would we afford to live there while we wait for the baby to come. Would I go alone? The pressure was mounting and I was feeling overwhelmed. I needed to see the baby and make sure everything was OK. I went for a scan at 8 weeks and I could see my baby. My daughter and husband came with as well but for some reason they weren't allowed in. I was terrified to find another dead baby. They did the scan, and there was my baby with a strong heart beat. I cried with relief. When I showed Feargal the picture he cried as well. I was relieved but not fully. Something seemed to not feel right.

It was time to get back to my meditation and clear my mind so I  could relax and take care of myself and the baby. I started mediation and I began to regain my calm. I was now 12 weeks pregnant and  I woke up early in the morning with the feeling that everything would be ok. It was 430 and I couldn't get back to sleep so I got up and started doing the laundry and getting on with my day. I headed to the market and it was bustling. I bought some fresh vegetables and some fresh fruit and even ventured into the meat section with all the pieces of the animals in full view. The smell didn't seem to overwhelm me and I was happy to be able to buy this wonderful array of food for my family. I was feeling so blessed to have this wonderful life. I ran into the woman who works at my Chinese doctor's office and told her I would be calling her later that day to make an appointment to see the doctor. I wanted to have some support during this pregnancy.

Aiko had some friends over that day and we were making homemade pizza. The girls were coloring and Feargal was listening to the rugby highlights on the Internet. I went to the bathroom and there it was. Blood. I screamed and immediately Aiko came running and said "What's wrong Mommy? Is the baby dead?" I guess we all knew. We called the father of Aiko's friends who were over and asked him to come by and watch all the kids while we went to the hospital.

I had been there before, lying there on the bed while the woman doing the scan tries to look hopeful as she sees no sign of life in my uterus. "Is the baby ok?" I say. "I'll look again." she says. "I haven't found the heart yet." Maybe the baby is in a funny angle and can't be seen properly. Even when you know, you still want to believe its not true. "I'm sorry." She says. "You can try again."

I am wheeled out and asked to wait to speak to a doctor. While we are waiting an American woman sitting close by begins to talk to me. She is  4 weeks pregnant but has recently had a miscarriage. She has come to seek help in trying to avert another miscarriage. "This doctor is wonderful", she says "Maybe he can help you." but its too late. My baby is dead. She and her husband are missionaries and she asks why we are here. And then asks"So how did you two meet?" I am completely shocked and stunned. I don't know what to say. Just then She is called away to see the doctor and I turn to Feargal and say,"what a nut case." and with such compassion he says, "she is just so nervous about losing her baby. She didn't know what she was saying." Wow, he was right. I understand. Miscarrying is like some horrible little secret you must not talk about. Women are supposed to not tell anyone they are pregnant until they are sure the baby is ok and then if its not, then what? The response, that it's natures way, does not cut it. As we are about to leave the woman approaches us and asks if she can say a pray. I don't want to make her feel bad so I agree. She talks about Jesus and asks him to take care of this little baby that is in heaven now. It is somewhat comforting. I don't believe that souls die but in that moment I am glad for an acknowledgment of the pain and loss.

I return to pick up my children and carry on with their play date. I must try and keep myself busy and wait for the full miscarriage. It is a surreal day and I must go forward as if everything is ok. I miscarry the next day at home and we bury the baby at the base of the coconut tree in front of our house. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that we never really die, just our body. So what was it? What was this soul was trying to help me learn? As I bury this baby I realize that if this soul was kind enough to come to me then I must appreciate what I had wanted to learn from this experience and not to take for granted this other being's journey that had been made for me. I must see myself in truth and without judgment. I spent a long time thinking about it and after much thought, I came to see that the baby wanted to help me to learn that I was not just here to give life to others and take care of them but I must give life to myself and take care of myself. The baby was right that's what I had done most of my life. I had thought that if I wasn't taking care of others and taking care of myself I was a bad person. Now I understood that there was a balance and with that I realized it was time to get back to creating for myself not anyone else.

And so with that I begin the book I came here to write. I will pay attention to the child inside me who had been asking me to listen for so long and I will write her words and create a sense of birth of freedom. Which is why we came here in the first place.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Free Burma Free Yourself

Last week I went to an evening hosted by The Best Friend Library (  This is an organization to help bring awareness for education, social welfare and action for change in Burma (Myanmar). To be honest I live about 70 km from Burma and yet I know very little about it. There are many Burmese People here in Thailand who come for work or come for freedom or come because of the threat of being murdered by the military of Burma and I am in daily contact with Burmese people. My husband and I have even have a Burmese Karen friend that lives here now, but was moved to New Zealand by the UN 9 years ago because his life was in danger. He has not spoken to his family in 9 years because if he contacts them they will be in danger of being murdered or imprisoned. But still even with this friend I still did not look further into the situation. Nothing was waking me up to see what was happening next door.

So there I was at this night of movies about Burma. I had no idea what I would find but maybe that was for the best, maybe I wouldn't have been brave enough to go see these movies. The first one was called
"Road of resistance( and the other "Burma Underground"  by Natan Dotaanmar . Both these movies are documentaries about Burma from the inside.  After watching these movies I was inspired to make a change both in the lives of these people and the lives of myself and my family. I see the situation in Burma as a reflection of the fear that we all carry inside of us. The leaders of Burma act out of a place of fear. What fear?  You might ask. The leaders of Burma have everything they could want loads of money and lots of power and everything they desire, so we might think. But if they really had everything they wanted they would not need to hurt and control others. They would be content with what they had and live their merry life. But instead they are fearful and so they believe others will take from them and hurt them if they do not attack first. The build their military ever greater with more people and more weapons. They capture children as young as 10 years to fight their battles. These children are captured and forced into the army and never allowed to speak to their families, for the army knows that to keep them alone keeps them afraid and obedient. While they are in the army they are abused and filled with fear that if they do not obey orders they will be brutally murdered and the lives of their families will be in danger. These soldiers then are forced into brutally murdering others and so it goes on. Fear brings more fear. Most of the world's governments turns a blind eye to Burma because for whatever reasons it does not suit them to help Burma. I mean Burma is building Nuclear weapons, why not go in there? The world had no problem going into Iraq.

(This is me and my 2 girls raising awareness of Burma on the streets of Chiang Mai, Thailand)

But it is not helpful to blame world governments, because we are the world governments. I must look inside myself for the reflections of the outside. Because I know that what is outside me is inside me. There is an old saying that "If you want to know a man look at his friends." This is very true. If you want to know yourself look at those around you. What are the fears of your friends and family and neighbors. What makes you angry and why? If I am angry at my friends or family, really it is only anger for myself that I direct upon them so I can blame them for my unhappiness and somehow feel better about myself. So as I look to Burma I see myself. Today I find myself reflecting the fear inside me.  I can recognize and accept that I have not let go of the fear that was my childhood. I see my life full of choices made by fear.  I was raised in a house of fear. My mother was in a constant state of Fear. We grew up in a nice home, we had food on our table, we had clothes on our backs and we went to good schools. We went to camp. But inside my mother's head there was always fear and in this fear she acted out on us and so even though on the outside all was fine I felt that the world was an unsafe place. I was fearful of what she would do to me and I was fearful of telling others what was happening inside my house. I was afraid if I told others what was happening inside my house she would get angry and act out on me and leave me. There is even a very big part of me now that is afraid to write this and put it out for all to see. But watching these movies last night gave me the courage to face these fears and to recognize them so as to change them. If I am trapped in the fear of not speaking my truth because I will get hurt I will never be the person I came to this life to be. I am a grown women now it's time for me to see that instead of living through the fear of the child. It's time to stand up and make a difference, without the fear of what will happen. Rather to stand and make a difference with the knowing that light brings light.

 change the world and brought only more anger and hate and shame. Find the love in yourself and know that every person is that same piece of love.

Monday, June 13, 2011

How to Manifest

OK so you read the book the Secret or you heard about people talking about creating your own reality or something along these lines and you still feel that you can not manifest or that manifesting is just a joke. Well here is some help in manifesting the life you want.
Imagine you are out with some great friends at incredibly comfortable and fabulous restaurant that serves absolutely everything. Not only do they serve food, but they serve anything you can imagine and want. They have food, people, relationships, jobs, houses, money, opportunities, travel and so on.. The waitress who is waiting on you is so happy and to be there for you and bring you anything you request. She is kind and open and it is her wish to bring you anything you desire and she has the power to do so. If you want a yellow tractor with bells on handles, she can bring you that. If you want a trip to the Bahamas, she can do that. If you want a job filled with joy, she can bring you that. If you want money, she can bring you that. Nothing is too big or difficult for her.
So order up and sit back and enjoy yourself while your waiting. And know that all this is coming if it is what you desire. Its just like ordering food in a regular restaurant. You order and just know its coming and enjoy the thought of having it. But just as in a restaurant be very specific in your ordering. If you want a hamburger medium rare with only mayo and no bun you need to order it that way otherwise it might come with everything on it and cooked well done and then you would be upset with what you had. So be aware that she will only bring you what you ask for and she can hear every thought you have when you are ordering. If you are a woman and you ask her to bring you a relationship but you think men are all jerks. She will bring you a relationship with a man who is a jerk because that is really what you asked for. She doesn't know the words no or don't. If you want loads of money but you think rich people are jerks this is what she will really be hearing as you order. Order: People with money are jerks so keep me poor because, because poor people are nice
The key is to be specific when you order and then let her go and get it and know it is happening.
Just like in a real restaurant you wouldn't order your food and then keep saying 'I'm never going to get that'. People would say you were crazy if you did that.
Doing this you will notice your manifestations happen very quickly. If things are coming to you that are unwanted stop to think about what you have been telling the waitress you want. Remember she is always listening to your very request. So write down your order and let it come back to you in the knowingness that it is on its way. If it's taking a really long time be aware of any blocks you might have from receiving what it is you asked for. The strongest desire will always be brought to you.

So here are some examples of how to clearly order:

JOBS: I want a job working with people who are kind and fun, who respect one another, in a city that I love, with hours that suit me and making a great salary that is over and above what I need to pay the bills and something that I will always love and am excited about doing.

Relationship: I want a relationship with someone I have so much fun with that is kind and supportive and funny and loving and loves to travel and loves kids and music and art and food.

These are just examples. The more specific you can be the better. But just know that this person or situation is on its way and just have fun and be patient while you are waiting, knowing that the waitress will bring you these things or situations.

Enjoy and let me know how you get on.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Inner Peace

We are all on a journey. Some journeys may seem harder or easier than others but everything is relative to one's own senses. One person's experience is not greater or less then an other's. We are all searching for inner peace because this is why we have come here.

Inner peace seems to be a most mystical place that many seek but never find. There are yoga retreats, meditation retreats, new homes, new cars, new situations, new jobs, new lovers and so on. We think in those moments when we are somewhere away from ourselves, that all is good, all is at peace and all is one. But the moment we come back to ourselves we begin to feel again, and so our moment of inner peace that we thought we had, is now gone. We are alone with ourselves and that makes us uncomfortable. So we convince ourselves that there is no real place of inner peace, or we keep searching and hoping that we might find it or even that someone has the key to unlock it for us. Or maybe that it is all someone elses fault that we don't have it. But there in lies the answer. Inner peace is not outside us but within us. There are no magic retreats, or lotteries or some magic person or higher being that can take us there. It is within us. Not outside us.

It is that deep journey inward to the deepest darkest place that we find our peace, our own light. This journey is for the brave souls who are willing to look at themselves and see that battered, hated, shameful, ugly, stupid, and powerless child that is inside all of us and begin to see the Truth about that child, that really they are beautiful, and kind and loving and smart and courageous and talented, and funny and wise and powerful. This is when we find our inner peace. When we finally take the child that is inside us and start to listen. When we start to listen we can allow the child to speak the truth about how they feel and we can sit with them and cry with them. We will listen to every story that they have experienced and validate their feeling. We will tell them it is OK to feel and we will let them know they have been seen. We will not tell them they are brave by holding it all in. We will show them that they are brave by speaking their truth. We and let them know that we are now present and will be there to take care of them from now on. We we let them know that we will not allow them to be beaten, or abused by ourselves anymore. We will promise to cherish them as they should be, to be gentle and loving to them at all times and in every situation. And in this way we find our inner peace. We have the power to do this. Jump.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The fabic of our lives

Procrastination is a funny thing, its just fear holding on and dragging us back into a standstill. I mean really life keeps moving forward, it's us that stops the motion. It's those voices in your head, the ones that pull you down and drag you into the mud. Very small children don't have those voices. They are fearless and open, excited and exhilarated by life. I've never seen a child hold back.
So today I sat down at my computer to try and write my book, the story of my music career, and there was nothing, or rather I couldn't sit still. So with the nervous energy I decided I would go off to the market to look for some fabric for the couch. I just had to get out. I had to get away from the pain inside that was squashing my head. So off I went running, but you can never leave yourself, and there amongst the fabric shops were all the answers staring me in the face. There were so many beautiful fabrics each with its own beauty, like so many beautiful tales but which story would I tell and would my fabric be beautiful or the kind that ends up in the bargain bin begging someone to take it for nothing. And then in another shop I heard the answer. There behind the tailored clothes so perfect in their linen, so pristine and manicured, was the sound of a Thai soap opera. So there it was, me trying to be so pristine and perfect, trying to be casual but in control and all the time knowing that underneath the layers lay the real me, the soap opera of madness, ridiculousness and pain. If I was going to write this story I would have to show all my colors and weave my own fabric with all its beauty and all its pain. Because although a natural linen dress is lovely it can be quite boring really. It's color that makes the world beautiful. And so with that I begin...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Closing up shop

As I sit here and try to write about the end of my lovely little children's shop, I realize how difficult it is to do that. Last Tuesday evening at 6pm I had my last customer and a minute after that, my husband and I quickly packed up the shop and threw it into a van to be put away in storage. Within an hour what had taken me over 4 years to build was over. 4 years of my life gone in an instant. Every beautiful child that had come into my shop, every lovely parent that had come in, every kind conversation was all gone and now only a memory.
I had opened that shop out of a fear of taking care of my little baby. My daughter Aiko was 5 months old and I was so worried about how I would be able to take care of her. We had no money and the only thing I really could do was sing and at the time music wasn't paying the bills. So on a trip to NYC the answer came. I would open up a children's clothing shop. I wasn't sure how but all I knew was I would. We didn't own a house, have any money in the bank but I had credit and that's what I used. I found as many credit cards as I could and borrowed what ever they would give me. I had a couple friends who helped out and painted the retail space I had found and on November 1 2006 I opened milk+cookies. My intention was to build a safe place for me, my daughter and everyone who entered the place. Over the 4 years there were so many lovely honest conversation, so many beautiful children and so many beautiful memories. I found my way in those 4 years. I entered that shop a scared little child and exited a whole adult. I am thankful for the children and adults that came to my shop. I am grateful for teaching that I learned from them.
I'm a little scared now I have to say. The road is a little scary out here. It's like flying at night time. You're excited about the flying but you're not so sure where you are going. But I guess really this is the same place I was 5 years ago wondering how I would make my life happen, so maybe I can do it again. I'll just have to believe...