This is my first letter of 2023 (notice I’ve dropped the word “news”, because my life feels very far from newsworthy)
During the past cold and rainy December I spent lots of time cosied up inside. Christmas is a time that can get very busy, but we kept it very quiet. My Dad kindly helped out lots with little Bobby so I had time to wrap presents, read, sew and nap.
BEING MUM - Being Bobby’s Mum is my main job, everything else is a side project. My Singing Mamas group in Tonbridge continues to be a source of nourishment for me and all the women who attend. It’s the highlight of my week! I’ve also found other lovely groups to take Bobby to where I have made some new friends. I’m amazed at the generosity of Christian churches, many of whom host Stay and Play sessions in the morning. It really feels like Christ’s work! Making tired mums a cup of tea and giving them a space to sit down for a moment, whilst their toddler discovers a new and safe space.
MEDITATION - I met baby Bobbys dad at a Buddhist centre in 2019, when a friend found out she eagerly asked me “Do you meditate?” And I scoffed back “I don’t have time now!” But it’s not really the truth, it’s an excuse. If I don’t make time to meditate then I lose time in being crazy. So a few weeks ago I re-committed to meditation. I found a new practice of a short 15 minute breathing meditation twice per day, in the morning and in the evening, which I learnt from the book The Presence Process.
ALBUM 3 -I am holding tenderly an album that has been slowly worked on since Spring last year. I intend to continue working on it this year. But it will be slow, because I will be working on it little and often. I can't say when it will be ready. It was written at home and in the garden with two fellow mothers, and I really love it. Thank you Emily and Miriam for all your devoted work so far. I'm lucky to work with you!
MY BIOLOGY - I have discovered some new information which has helped me understand my mind/body/spirit a bit better. I have been researching the work of Deb Dana about Polyvagal Theory. I wrote a little bit about it HERE. I also have been learning from Anna Lembke about Dopamine. I’ve realised that ultimately my biology runs the show and I need to care for that. There are lots of new tools I’m learning to understand my nervous system and my brain, which I believe will lead to a more balanced and stable temperament.
ADDICTED - In Anna Lembke’s work she talk a lot about the addictive nature of Social Media. We all know about this! I have slowly over the years recognised and let go of various addictions; alcohol, food, shopping, marijuana and more. I recently came across a YouTube video about giving up Social Media where he talked about the idea that you should “outsource your willpower”, ie if you are addicted to alcohol, don’t have it in the house. Because it adds extra friction between the thought and the action. How many times per day do you get your phone out and scroll and look at nothing? Sometimes I find myself with Facebook open with no apparent series of thoughts that lead me there. So I think the best way of outsourcing a Social Media addiction is to delete the apps off your phone. I’m trying it…again. Interestingly after just a week I feel a little clearer and last night I started practicing my guitar (for the first time since Bobby was born! So I think it might be working)
Whilst the cold and dark continues I spend my quiet moments hand-sewing, reading and journaling. I’m currently working on a pair of trousers and top, made with beautiful fabric hand dyed with indigo from Slovakia (where my partner is from). Yesterday the sun shone for a bit so we went out to the garden nearby. It reminded me how important connecting to nature is for our well-being. My little Bobby has an amazing eye for detail and we looked at pond snails in the pond in the Japanese Garden and he spotted a teeny tiny fly.
Current reading list:
Martha Beck - The Way of Integrity
Deb Dana - Anchored
Michael Brown - The Presence Process
Robin Wall Kimmerer - Braiding Sweetgrass
Wishing you a wonderful 2023
May this year be just what you need
Laura and the Bobbys
PS. I’m obsessed with Julia Donaldson. If you haven’t seen “Room on the Broom” on Amazon Prime I recommend a watch
PPS. I'm also obsessed with singer Amelia Meath (from Sylvan Esso and Mountain Man) and I just today discovered ANOTHER band she is in...The A's. Their Tiny Desk concert is inspiring.