…and just like that he was HERstory

It was 2004 when I had my first ‘real’ boyfriend. I was 15 year old in high school.

It was school night and I was just making my way out to his parents house for dinner. As I was walking towards my front door there sat a very lost man with his arms crossed, like he was the king of this castle.

In the living room I felt his eyes looking me up and down as I walked by, he barked: “slut!”, “you whore”, “tramp”.

I was teenager going through countless changes. My skinny little body had a slight delay in puberty, so the pressures of keeping up with my peers had already hit my confidence. Then the emotional rollercoaster took over when mother nature herself decided to give me the gift of being a woman. This was the time I was supposed to be starting my journey of becoming a beautiful, badass young lady but instead I became a target for a man who couldn’t cope with his own built up insecurities.

Teen years are by far the most sensitive times of our life. Not only did I have to manage my academics, juggling athletics, deal with peer pressure and dipping my toes into the infamous drink called alcohol – I also had to come to terms that my Mom and Dad weren’t ever going to be together again and this so-called ‘father’ figure grew jealous of my innocent teenage relationship.

Every night there he would be, sat in that brown sofa chair always under the influence. He would wait for me to say ‘alright I’m leaving’, so he could throw his knife cutting words at me all over again. Every night was the same: he would shot a whiskey or two, followed by me wanting to leave, then him calling me ruthless names. Repetitive nights ending in confrontation. This was my step father. He was near enough 30 years older than me, but when the fella had a drink he would look at me as if I was his high school crush.

Is this how men really act? Do all guys think I’m a slut? Am I a slut? What even is a slut? If a wear a skirt, am I considered a slut? I don’t want to be a slut…

I am a slut.

My mind was officially poisoned. I was 15 years old when I was robbed of my body confidence. I became confused about how I should feel naked because if I ever came close to calling myself beautiful the whispers of ‘slut’ or ‘whore’ were in the back of my head. I could never let my hair down and just enjoy how stunning I actually was. My goddess light had dimmed and I became another very insecure female.

I used to dream about being a model. I thought I would travel the world shooting in gorgeous places. I even took myself to agencies and stood in line for two hours on my own to be considered for “America’s Next Top Model”. Then I always seemed to choke. “I can’t do this, I don’t even like my body. Will they think I’m a slut?” I just gave up. 

I was emotionally abused. The fella was a supporter by day and became an emotional abuser by night. From showing me fatherly love to calling me harsh words. My mind started to believe him.

Not only did the insecurities of another person take over my mind and my dream, as I grew older it began to take over my personal life. I couldn’t relax in front of my partners. Yes, what you’re thinking is exactly it. I had a hard time getting intimate with my partners. I hated my naked self and I couldn’t get my head around how someone else could love it. Were they just using me. I was a slut remember — or this is what my own mind began telling me. 

As time passed by, I have watched this body grow two little humans. I have felt confident at times and felt low at times. However, observing my two girls walk around dressed in the most craziest outfits then to their bare minimum, it has taken me back to those days that I was robbed. How could ANYONE do or say horrible things to such beautiful beings. Although it was my step father who tore me down, it has been my two gorgeous girls who have supplied me with the match and gave me the opportunity to light my inner goddess again.

This time around I am now confident enough to share it with others.

Our bodies are beautiful. No one has the same freckle, same scar, same nose, or even the same smile as me. We are such beautiful and unique creatures it hurts my soul that I couldn’t see this before. I am now learning how much the mind controls our life. As I was an innocent weak fifteen year old, I wasn’t strong enough to learn not to listen to the fella on the sofa. He poisoned my mind with his own insecurities and I had made them my own. I am no longer letting anyone poison me. I am beautiful. Every single thing about me is absolutely stunning because no one else is like me. I am not a slut, I take accountability for my own actions. I want to love myself so I choose to love myself.

Every single human has some sort of insecurities. What I have learned throughout my journey is to turn an insecurity into a strength. I have chose to open up and share my story, if we learn how to dig up our demons and deal with them we make space for growth. This is my story and with this new business venture, CosmoBootyCrew, I am now offering a helping hand to inspire all types of women to come out and share your goddess energy with the world. Because when does the insecurities of one, stop poisoning the minds of others?

Just a little reminder that NO ONE is as beautiful as you. Join the Crew

Xx,

Alaina Michelle

Advertisements

She began to fight her demons

I am human.

I have flaws.

I have weaknesses.

I have insecurities.

I have self-doubt.

I used to be that girl who simply scribbled with a crayon and called it artwork; now I feel myself scrolling through every filter in the app to cover up my imperfections. I was the girl who believed she turned in the best assignments that she spent hours on but then always settled for a ‘C’ on her report cards. The one who knew she could get a massive scholarship if she focussed on being a that star soccer player but always was the joker during practice. I never believed I was good enough to go all the way. I always seem to start but never stay long enough to see the finish line. There was never a prize in it for me, I trained my mind to be compliant with just trying.

I was a lost soul. Experiences growing up had gotten the best of me and I was losing sight of who I was meant to be. The light inside me had always flickered with the idea of ‘helping’ people. So I set out to be a teacher. Went to Cal State San Marcos to become an elementary school teacher. Got my bachelors. Then I got caught up working in 24 Hour Fitness in the Kids Club to make a living for myself while studying. Money soon took over my not-so-clear-dream and I started to grow within the company. I became a Service Manager of my very own gym. With the same idea of my ultimate dream: helping people, just a different pathway.

I wasn’t happy. I knew I had a lot more to give. It wasn’t my place. I soon became a preschool teacher, which I loved, but at the time my personal life was a mess and the job didn’t pay the bills. So I took on a waitress spot at the best bar in Encinitas, San Diego. The atmosphere was amazing, the people were so hip and relaxed. My inner child was living two lives, one being the created fun side with my 2 year olds in class and the other being that social butterfly that I love to be, talking and learning from people from different backgrounds.

But I had more to give. So the universe handed me motherhood in two beautifully wrapped packages and said here give everything you have to them. So as I have been giving, giving and even more giving I began to understand why I always wanted to help. I have this power inside of me that I was born to use: it is called love. I know how someone should feel loved. I know how someone should be loved but most of all I know exactly how love to love. However, in this beautifully corrupt world my power has been tainted and I have been taught to love others rather than love myself.

This is where I have felt I always had more to give. There was always something missing. I was a lost soul because I was focussing on giving to my outside world rather than giving to my inside one.

So when the universe handed me motherhood, she also handed me a checklist of built up demons: negative ideas that have tarnished our thoughts throughout our journey from childhood to adulthood. I call them demons because they lure us away from being our authentic pure self.

On my journey I have learned that in order to give myself love I need peel off layers. Each layer has a demon attached to it. I have been in a long up and down rollercoaster of intense emotions the minute the universe handed me my two beautiful packages. I have been overjoyed with happiness but have been through a fair share of pain and as a child we have been taught to hide from it, to stop crying and to [wo]man up, but instead we need to open ourself up to accept it, then use it. That is the moment we start peeling off the layers. One demon at a time. Then we will find that under all those layers is a little child held in captivity. That is where my power will be free and in full effect.

That little child will have the ability to change the world.

I am human but I have a superpower.

I have flaws that are beautiful

I have weaknesses that give me self-worth

I have insecurities that have no choice but to give me strength

I have self-doubt that fuel my convictions

I sit here now knowing that might have more demons to face but am no longer scared because they will not be able to control me.

I am Alaina

Xoxo,

Squeal, sign, mumble

The Bennett Babes

She fell in love with herself… again

I have recently learned that life is a vicious circle.

We are born innocent. We are born caring for nobody else but ourself. We are born to show love to everyone but take care of our own needs first.

Imagine a baby, few months old, she will cry and cry and cry for milk, or for comfort, or for burpies. The parents have to stop everything they are doing to cater to the baby. The baby knows what she wants and she will kick and scream the house down until she gets it. The baby takes care of her needs.

Baby is walking now. Baby is making friends. Baby has a hard time ‘sharing’. This is mine. I am happy when I have this, you cannot have it. When we ‘have’ to share, a little bit of our happiness is taken away. It is only when we have not chosen to share out of our will, it is when we are told to share. And it is then, we are taught to make others happy before our self.

Baby turns into a child. When we are given toys and technology to take over our imagination. When we are left with nothing we are capable of anything. When we have everything we tend to not strive for more. Abundance has been replaced with materials, not by choice but by influence. When our love has become manufactured and the emotions are soon forgotten.

As we grow up into teenagers we get the worst critics at the most precious moments. We are told we aren’t good enough in school. When teenage girls are called ‘slut’ ‘whore’ and ‘ugly’ and teenage boys are called ‘weak’ ‘geek’ and ‘freak’ . When what the choices we start to make begins to become confusing. When we misinterpret what feels like right thing to do, to what looks right like the right thing to do. It’s when we convince ourself to be what everybody else wants us to be rather than just being me.

When most of us start questioning our life at such a young age because we get confused between who I want to be VS. everyone’s expectation of me. It’s when we move out of the painters chair of our life and start living the picture our peers have painted for us.

Going into our twenties. When we are pressured to figure out our career and what we want to do in life. You married? Have kids? A house? Have responsibilities?

You mean when I am still pressing the snooze button in the morning because of the three jobs and one dead beat boyfriend I was dealing with the day before. I had lost myself.

I was working to live. I went to college. Even took extra classes on the side to travel and teach. And here I was still stuck in the same city that I paid four years to go to university in.

I fell pregnant, got married and moved my life to England. I am a stay home mom. I have two amazing girls and am beyond grateful to spend these early years and precious moments with them. I love the way they have taught me to slow down. They have brought me back down to the simplest way of living. They have brought back the light inside me. The fire.

Now it’s my time to step up and show them how to be successful. And I don’t mean being a mom boss or an entrepreneur. Not a business woman or the next Beyoncé. I just want to show them that it’s okay to love yourself. Put yourself first. Fight for what you want. Don’t take no for an answer. Don’t be anyone else’s expectations. Just be you.

Nearly 30 years old and finally taking people’s opinions with a pinch of salt. Following my own intuition. Believing that no one else knows what’s best for me but me. I am falling in love with myself all over again and it feels so damn good.

Sign, Squeal, Mumble,

Xx

The Bennett Babes

Her fight to Shine

Our acupuncture journey started on November 22, 2016. At 5 minutes to 11 we pulled up to beautiful white house with a cherry blossom tree in the front and a white dog barking at us in the window. As I unbuckled Koa out of her carseat she flopped into my arms with weakness. Koa-Rae had just crossed her second year of life and she was anything but lively. She seemed helpless. Somedays, it was like she was physically in the room but wasn’t fully living. There was no engagement, no motivation, no light about her. At this point she looked the sickest she’s ever looked and I was running out of options.

It wasn’t antibiotics she needed, she wasn’t ill. It was that spark. That spark I knew she had deep inside her that was missing. She needed something else for help. She needed some kind of rekindling. My baby needed healing.

img_2940

It was then I got introduced to Heiwa Acunpuncture Clinic by a very close friend of mine. I had my own doubts with acupuncture just because I knew nothing about it. There would’ve been no way I would have ever thought about approaching anything holistic, if it wasn’t for a friend educating me about the benefits. So here I am trying to do the same for who ever is reading this.

It was a late night, Kyle was away for football and I was six months pregnant with Knixon. I had just put my Rae of Sunshine to sleep in her bed when I had decided to send a message to Heiwa Clinic on Facebook.

Her name was Lyndsey Hori-Johnson and I could quickly tell that she had a passion to help. We confirmed the first appointment and I could tell she was eager to meet Koa-Rae and start her treatments.

As Koa flopped into my arms, we walked towards the side of the house where we saw Lyndsey smiling towards us at the sliding glass door of her office. She sat us down and asked me what was going on. We discussed Koa:

– Medical history – her squint eye, her eczema, her hyper mobility
– Diet – eats everything and anything, loved yogurt, she didn’t drink any milk since breastmilk, and a bit of cow’s milk just only in her porridge, she loved her fruit especially bananas, pears and oranges. She loved her cream cheese, peanut butter, and hummus sandwiches and pasta. She did eat eggs and veggies here and there. She ate, and ate, and ate with no pause button. As her parents we thought she had an amazing appetite.
– Immunisations –  she had all her immunisations up to date
– Sleep patterns – woke up every night at 3am and stayed awake until about 5am. She had two naps throughout the day for about 1-1.30 hours each.

I also voiced my own motherly concerns of Koa-Rae:

  1. She was two and didn’t speak or make any type of sound at all, unless she was crying, and even her cry sounded weak.
  2. She only crawled, didn’t walk, or even care to climb up on the sides of the sofa.
  3. There was no type of interaction, eye contact or engagement with anyone else than me or her father.
  4. When she became ill, she became really ill and it took a long time to recover
  5. She seemed too weak to cry or get angry or scream

As Lyndsey sat there and listened to all my concerns she calmly said, “Right let’s move her qi and drain her phlegm.” If you could only imagine what my face looked like. Surely she was speaking a different language? I had no clue what she meant, but she just went right ahead and started to insert her needles into Koa.

img_6120

Acupuncture. What even is it? According to the Heiwa Clinic:

Chinese medicine principles have been developed and refined for over 3000 years. Chinese medicine calls vital energy Qi (said like chee). One of the key concepts in Chinese medicine is the theory of Qi. Qi is understood to be distributed throughout the body in a network of channels (meridians) akin to the network of blood vessels. These channels are linked to organs. Different channels and organs may be deficient or in excess in relation to how much Qi flows through them. These imbalances cause signs and symptoms. Each individual has his or her own set of imbalances, and these vary from day to day.

Acupuncture uses needles to manipulate the flow of energy or blood, to relieve pain or for therapeutic purposes. Fine needles are inserted into specific points to regulate the flow of Qi in channels around the body to improve physical health and general well-being. In recent years medical scientists have discovered myofascial pathways that follow the channels. The concept of Qi itself may overlap with developing knowledge of how cells in the body communicate. The body id treated as a whole in Chinese Medicine.

While modern science is just starting to discover a more expansive view of acupuncture, there has long been cultural recognition for the approach. Modern medicine focuses the attention on the symptom primarily in the physical body and treats the signs which are present. Chinese medicine focuses on the whole body and looks for the root cause of the symptom.

As Koa was squirming in my arms, she pricked the needles in for a few seconds and then took them out. Koa was crying, drooling, and her face was covered in green snot. First treatment done. See ya next week.

Lyndsey’s diagnostic of Koa:

  • Grey pale face
  • Puffy limbs
  • Eczema,
  • rough patches of skin
  • Vacant eyes
  • Thick Nasal discharge
  • Dribbling
  • Placid child
  • Thick ear wax
  • Lingering cough
  • Phlegm in stool, can be foul smelling (glistening stool)
  • Unable to walk

Koa’s treatments started weekly with the main focus of removing the excessive phlegm from her channels and body. (read Cause and Effect for more info on excessive phlegm). Lyndsey also spoke to us about altering her diet if we wanted to see quicker results. She insisted on keeping her away from dairy; one of the main causes of phlegm and inflammation of eczema. She then went ahead and also told us to try and stay away from those bananas, oranges, and possibly gluten if we can. With the reason, that these types of food can also assist the phlegm build up in her tiny little body. Keep in mind, these types of food aren’t at all bad for you, but in Koa-Rae’s case they were slowing down her immune system even more so, at the time of her being really ill.

IMG_1946

Making these types of changes when Koa was just getting settled with really good eating habits wasn’t easy. Koa-Rae ate and enjoyed most of these foods, but if I wanted my baby girl to get better it was my responsibility to make these changes. I mean what would be the worse that could happen? That she would miss these foods? That I would have to get creative with snacks and meals? There were so many other things she could eat. I was determined to do my part to help her healing process. So not only did I keep these foods out her diet, but I was motivated to keep them out of our diet as well. If we didn’t have these types of food in our cupboards we wouldn’t be tempted to give them to her out of a convenience. Therefore, not only we were already anti-animal in our fridge, but now we became a dairy free and gluten free house as well.

img_6119

We started our acupuncture journey at the end of November and it was now New Year’s Eve coming into 2017. It was the day we had always hoped for but never saw coming. It was a little bit passed her bedtime and I was only a month away from becoming a mother of two. It was the day Koa stood up in the corner part of our sofa and took her very first steps on her own. I was overjoyed that I did not even know how to even react. My baby had finally found her feet. I remember sitting there while she kept crawling to the corner sofa then pulling herself up and walking towards me, laughing the whole way. We did it! Koa-Rae, you and I did it together.

img_1891

After two years of asking for some kind of support and help from her paediatrician (NHS) and receiving so much as ‘your child has a duplicated chromosome and global delay she will walk on her own terms’ to only receiving five acupuncture treatments and a little bit of advice on a diet, Koa-Rae found strength in her legs. Some can call it a coincidence. Some can say she had hypermobilty. But as her mom I can say, Koa-Rae was slowly finding that light within her again and there was no stopping her now.

img_4880

Acupuncture was the start of our holistic ways. Lyndsey had helped us open the door to a whole new way of looking at life. I sit here now, nearly 2 years later thinking about what Koa would be like without our encounter with Lyndsey and without acupuncture. To this day I am still convinced it was vaccines that have hindered her (read Cause and Effect ). I compare it to a lottery, most are not effected by it, then there might be a handful of reprecussions, and then that one, that one who lives that unexplainable life changing event that only a few will understand.

IMG_2746

I knew there was something inside of Koa fighting to shine through. She is now the most healthiest looking Koa she has ever been, with her smile lighting up every room she walks into. As her mother, I thought it was my responsibility to help her be the best she can be. I brought her into this world, I want the best for her and I will do anything it takes. However, I was over here thinking that she was the one who needed a little guidance but at that time I was naive to the idea that it was Koa who was guiding me.

img_4327

Xx

Sign, Squeal, Mumble,

The Bennett Babes

She was Simply a Mother

  

We had recently visited my father and grandfather in the Philippines over summer. I had been once before when I was eighteen but I was that young, naive, little girl who kept her skinny little bum in a rattan rocking chair, that happened to be in the only room with air conditioning, while watching MTV music videos all day long. All I can recall from that visit was Rhianna had on while dancing in puddles of water under her “Umbrella ella ay ay ay”. However, this time around I am closer to my thirties and have two young children. My life went from watching music videos to watching children.

img_5778

As a mother, I find it natural to be drawn to other mothers and babies while observing the interaction between them. Walking around the malls and streets of the rural areas we saw many families. We saw parents, grandparents, we saw babies, we saw toddlers, and some teens. However, what we didn’t see much of, or even at all, was pushchairs, strollers or body wraps. Children were either being held or they were walking; and when I say ‘they were walking’, I mean they were walking close by their elders. Whether it was their father or mother, grandmother or older brother, the child was always near them. I cannot remember hearing any temper tantrums or screaming. I found myself looking around in awe and feeling at peace. A motherly peace.

How? How do they do that? No tantrums? No running off? No anxiety oozing from the mother? No sweaty pits from the stressed out father? My first thought was: Were the children scared of them? Did they discipline them another way that I was not able see?

I had to ask my Dad what the secret was? He simply responded, “They just tell the little ones to ‘come, stay here.’ Or, ‘don’t do that’,” but Dad, come on that seems a bit unrealistic. However, when we kept discussing the topic I realised that he was just trying to explain a way of simply parenting, or shall I say parenting at it’s simplest form.

Here, in our first world country, us parents get sucked into purchasing baby items that we become brainwashed into thinking, it will make this parenting thing a bit easier. From baby rockers rocking our babies to sleep, to prepackaged baby food puree in jars and then strapping our children onto leads so they can’t run off. Why do we feel the need to purchase items that take away from what us mothers are meant to be enjoying?

Our babies love to be cuddled, held, and rocked to sleep in our arms. This is okay. Why do we convince ourselves that this means we are spoiling our baby? Why do we feel the need to put them in a rocker for most of the time and have those precious moments be taken away from us? Is it because our laundry is so important that it needs to be washed, when we have enough clothes in our closet anyways? Or maybe we feel the need to tidy up the place, just to tear it apart again? I understand times can get hard and we are tired, the baby is crying and we think the best thing to do is put our baby down. For the both of us. However, in the first few months of birth all that baby needs is us. We are his comfort. We have all the baby’s needs in us. Why are we looking for more ‘convenient’ ways to be the ‘perfect’ mother when its right there in the mirror?

20171017_142052806842811Prepackaged foods. Don’t get me started. I cannot fathom the fact that we as parents think it is okay to be feeding our babies, who’s tiny little bodies are so new, these prepackaged puree. Not only have they been sitting on the store shelf for days but they are just disgusting. It’s just not right, but we do it anyways because it’s convenient. Is it because we feel like we don’t have the time to make purees ourself? Or to even try sitting with them and watching them explore solid food for themselves. Actually sit and play with them. 

Child leads or leashes some would call them. Can we get anymore demeaning? Who even invented these? Again, is it convenient to use these as well? So we don’t have to bother getting on our knees, down to the child’s level for eye contact in order to explain why they should stay close by? I witnessed the other day at the park, a little boy run behind his mother and nearly strangle himself on his backpack lead. Not to mention a father who picked up his little boy by the lead because he wasn’t listening. Why is it so hard to let our children knowenhanced-buzz-32458-1367729541-17 that we trust them? Is it really because we don’t trust ourself? “Hold my hand and lets walk together.” I know sometimes this is easier said than done, but things take time. Be persistent and these little things will make them respect us a whole lot quicker and make things so much easier in the long run. What are we in a rush to do that we think we have to attach a child to a lead?

“Trust children. Nothing could be more simple, or more difficult. Difficult because to trust children we must trust ourselves and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.” – John Holt

That’s enough of my critique rant, but Where has our society gone wrong? We are always looking for the best thing to do as a mother, but we are looking in all the wrong places. We are searching online, in the doctor’s office, or in the nearest baby store. However, the only place we need to look is: in ourself.

img_3864

Trust. Respect. Safety. Guidance. Happiness.

Trust ourself as a mother. Listen to our gut feeling. Trust that we know what to actually do. Because we do, trust me. Trust our baby. They know what they want and what makes them happy. Love and attention. We can never spoil them with too much love. There’s no such thing. Love is free. How we, as a society, have taken that for granted. Trust that our baby knows us better than we know ourselves. If she is crying for our attention, maybe it’s that time when we just need to slow down our ‘busy’ life to breath and enjoy the love our baby wants to give us and vice versa. At any age, as baby, toddler, child, or teen, listen to them. All they want is our attention and how we underestimate how far attention will get us. We as adults need to remember that, attention is what we desire for as well.

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family” – Mother Teresa

Respect motherhood. Remember that we were given such an opportunity to guide these little people into good people. Give them the best that we can. Respect their little bodies. Food feeds the soul. We all have different taste buds, different sized tummies and maybe sometimes we just aren’t hungry. The same goes for our babies. Respect our children enough to not just be on behaviour patrol but to take the time and be silly with them.

img_9830

Safety. The feeling of being safe. I am having trouble explaining this one because is there any such thing in our society anymore? When we are born we all have one thing in common, vulnerability.  When we feel safe, we tend to act with more confidence. We take more risks, ask more questions and then grow.

img_2540

Guidance. Where we sometimes need to hold back from saving them before they make a mistake. Simply letting them make that mistake and be there to cheer them on, or cuddle them if it all goes wrong. We are here to hold their hand, not to drag them along through our experiences or expectations. 

“The more risks you allow your child to take, the better they learn to look after themselves” – Ronald Dahl

Happiness. Once we can overcome the thought of being an adult, a behaviour patrol officer, or a supermom, we will all soon find happiness again. Not only as a family but as an individual. When children are happy they cannot hide it, they laugh from the core of their bellies. What a joy it would to be able to find that happiness in us again. We just need to stop rushing around figuring out what the best thing is for us and our child, when the best thing is just: to slow down.

img_1755

Now, I am not perfect. I cannot stress enough that I am continuing to grow each and every day. I can admit based on my experiences of motherhood so far, I have had my ups and downs and still riding the roller coaster. When I found out my little Koa-Rae was a superhuman I started taking this parent thing serious. With all her doctor’s appointments, was getting wrapped in what I needed to do rather than what felt right. In some twisted way, I think Koa had to push me into this extreme ‘strict’ parenting nonsense in order for me realise that all I needed to do, to smoothly sail, was just follow my own instincts. Knixon and Koa-Rae are here in my world to teach me how to be a child again. To not take life so seriously. To laugh when I am happy, cry when I’m in pain and scream when I am angry. They constantly remind me to simply just be, rather than trying to always achieve.

img_1646-1

Back to the Philippines, maybe it is a third world country and maybe some of the families don’t know how it is to have these ‘amazing’ baby gadgets. However, is convenience really adding value to our lives or is it taking away the pure bliss of just living?

Xx,

Sign, Squeal, Mumble,

The Bennett Babes

We absolutely loved our experience in the Philippines. Even though there are beautiful beaches and luxury hotels out there, we stayed with family for the core part of our visit and were lucky enough to be shown some of the rural areas of the country.

Just to warn you all, I tried to use a GoPro on our journey, however I thought I was being clever and didn’t test it out before using it. So some of the film is not what I expected it to be, but I feel like we still were able to captured moments in photos. So enjoy!

The amazing baby carrier I used for our traveling is from Integra Baby Carrier

We also stayed at two hotels due to how far the airport was from where my father and grandfather lived. The night we arrived we slept over at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila and the night before we departed we stayed at The Hyatt. They both were really nice and definitely can recommend if staying in Manila.

Her Silent Voice

If someone asked you to shave your head for no reason would you do it? What about for a dare? How about for a charity? Maybe For some extra money?

Why does there have to be a reason for it? We treat it like such a drastic change, or see it as part of an illness, or a cry for help. I get it, hair is a woman’s crown. The bigger the better, the shinier, the longer, the bouncier, the most colourful, that makes you the most beautiful. But does that reflect us on the inside?

IMG_6955

I loved my dreads. I had them for about a year now. I met the most amazing person that I will probably ever encounter, @dread_pixie , the goddess who actually installed my dreads. However, I came to a point in my life where I didn’t feel like I was getting my message across. It was not only a message I am trying to show to the world but also a message to myself. The dreads helped my journey of feeling comfortable being in my own skin, more natural and becoming less concerned about other’s perception. However, in a time where the most important people in my life were falling out with me, all in the same week, I was starting to feel like my voice wasn’t being heard. 

No one was listening to me, not even myself. I was receiving a lot of negative opinions, lies and lack of respect and it was time to take myself out of all situations and reflect. During this reflection, I began to feel some sort of need of stripping myself down. I felt ready to strip down my outer world and focus on my inner world. I wanted a fresh start and push myself to rely on my voice rather than being bothered with how I came across because of what I look like. I am allowing myself to be vulnerable and have no choice but to let my inner beauty shine through.

This is not a cry for help, this is not a cry for attention, this is simply an action of spontaneity, something we as adults find hard to do.

Have you ever felt like something was missing in your life? That feeling of emptiness?

This is the feeling not being our true self. When we rely on lies and false identity of oneself we not only tend to fill it up with things, behaviours, people etc., but on top of that we lose the ability to connect with others in a meaningful way. We might recognise this better as being ‘fake’. Now I am not talking about lip fillers, botox, or breast implantations, I am talking about love, safety, trust and respect.

I stripped my physical self down in order to let my inner self rise. I did this for myself. My true self.

img_2516

“If only our eyes saw souls instead of our bodies,

how very different our ideals of beauty would be”

I’ve also taken the leap and started vlogging, so check out my first little intro video and watch my hair transition. Subscribe here and enjoy watching us on our little journey!

Her Invisble Wings

As we walked into her Yoga class there were two boys sat on the right side of the room. Koa went straight to a mat on the left. Being there once before with her Dad, the room was already familiar and she felt comfortable sitting on the mat she sat on previously. I walked in and sat behind her on the mat she chose. As it got closer to 9.30am there was a total of five children in that Sunday class.There were two brothers around the ages of 6 and 7, two little girls, who seemed like best friends, ages 3 and 4, then there was Koa- Rae and I. The Kids Yoga sessions were meant for the children to be dropped off, while the parents enjoyed a cup of coffee and relaxed in the lobby or perhaps coffee shop nearby. As the five children got settled on their mats around the yoga instructor, the class had began.

Rosie, the instructor, made the yoga moves very pleasing to the children. Describing the yoga movements as summer activities, all children were engaging and having fun. Koa would observe at times and then try her luck with the movements. However, there was this one exercise that had me choked up.

The instructor had poured pom poms in the middle of the room. “Right, now its time to stretch out and utilise the muscles we wouldn’t normally use. Try and grab a pom pom with your toes and take it back to your mat.” As the other kids were hopping back and forth taking pom poms one by one to their mat using their toes to transfer them, Koa was there sat in the middle of the room with pom poms everywhere around her except for on her mat. She couldn’t figure how the other children were grabbing them. She sat there watching the kids hop wildly back and forth. She then tilted her head, grabbed a pom pom with her little fingers and squeezed it in between her toes. She looked up with the look of accomplishment. She had DID it.

It was that moment I felt my eyes tear up.

Being a mother, we always want the best for our children. But what exactly is the best? Is it the best in our own opinion? In our own experiences? Or is it the best for them as an individual? Is it a mixture of both? Or is it what we’ve been taught to believe is the best?

Nowadays we live in a culture that tells us how a child should develop, eat and behave. Not only do we already struggle to be the real true version of ourself, but now we feel like we need to base our parent decisions on principals decided by this culture. Give birth in a hospital, jab your baby with immunisations, enroll them in mainstream school, receive that graduate diploma, attend university, then finally live on their own while working in the career of their dreams. Sounds like the life right?

I recently had the pleasure of having a quiet lunch with a really good friend of mine. Leaving our four kids with our other halves. We were able to step away from being mothers and had a few hours to be ourselves. We found ourselves nonstop jabbering away about topics we wouldn’t normally discuss. We could actually have a conversation and we were actually able to listen to each other without having to share our attention with the littlins. Well I couldn’t tell you how we even came about the topic but for me it felt like a slowed down part of movie where food is being spat out, as the words ‘I mean I might be taking care of Koa for the rest of my life’ came out of my mouth. It was then when I started to feel tears fill up my eyes.

Now my little Rae of Sunshine is a special ray of light. For those who haven’t been following my blog: I call her my superhuman, however according to science she has an extra chromosome. (read more about her superhuman traits here). As any mother would, I wanted the best for her and hope for that day to watch her spreads her wings and fly. Where she becomes independent, makes her own life choices without having me by her side making sure those choices are the wiser ones. I want her to be able to live and be successful.

So there I was hysterically crying in the middle of the restaurant, and somehow feeling guilty for crying. I love my Little Rae of Sunshine, of course I would not mind taking care of her, but then why am I crying over the idea of taking care of her for the rest of my life? And who then would be the one to take care of her after I am gone?

If our child isn’t following this culture’s timeline of life occurring events of however small or big, we are tricked into believing we are doing something wrong?

When you hold your baby in your arms for the first time, there is no thought of the future, no worrying about bills, hanging up the laundry, sorting out dinner, or if you need to run to the shop. The only thought is the joy of now, that exact moment. That moment of unexplainable emotions where nothing in the world matters more than holding your baby in your arms. Why do not we hold on to that feeling? As time passes, we are bombarded with information that slowly takes over our natural instincts of being a parent. Is your baby gaining weight? Is your child hitting these milestones? Are you feeding your baby the right amount of food? Is he sleeping throughout the night? Every future mother and father subconsciously prays for the perfect baby, but when we are pounded with questions like these we slowly forget that our baby is already perfect. We just need to learn how to listen to them. Life is so simple. Why do we always feel like whatever we do, isn’t good enough?

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. -Lao Tzu

It was a few weeks later I have yet again felt that unexplainable emotion where nothing in the world matters than sitting there watching my baby with a pom pom stuck in between her toes. I am learning everyday that life is so simple. I am far beyond the perfect mother and my baby might not be following that infamous timeline our culture has developed, but one of Koa’s superhuman power is knowing how to be happy. I am slightly jealous of the fact that she is able to do whatever she wants whenever she wants and not give the slightest care in the world.

Who are we to force children to develop in a way they not necessarily want to? And when they don’t do as they are told, who are we to tell them what they are doing is wrong? Who are we? Who are they?

I am learning to strip myself away from this life of conformity and build my own culture. My own way of thinking based on my own values. I am always learning. I am never perfect, I am just open minded. Koa-Rae with a pom pom in between her toes or with a pom pom held in her fingers, she will always find a way and I will damn well do my best to always be there beside or behind her, but never in front of her.

And it isn’t when they take their first steps, or learn how to do their homework on their own, or move out of our house, or start paying their own bills, that they learn how to spread their wings. It is when they figure out how to make themselves happy without needing the assistance of anything or anybody. That is when we learn how to live and be free.

ede4cc2d-a0ad-4c1c-8dc7-a48cfc5e1886

Xx

Squeal, Sign, Mumble,

The Bennett Babes