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New Beginnings with Ganesha

My son holding a little Ganesha

Ganesha, the friendly and loving elephant God, who is placed in front of many doors and entrances, the remover of obstacles, the gatekeeper. Ganesha, like other Hindu deities, invites us to connect with this energy within us, not to worship outside of us. The start of a new beginning like a new year is the perfect time to connect with Ganesha’s playful energy and attitude. Ganesha isn’t only seen as a remover of obstacles (inner and outer), but also as the one who places obstacles on your path for you to grow and learn.

2018 has been a year with many challenges and obstacles while remigrating to The Netherlands after 7 years of living in New Zealand. I arrived in New Zealand with two suitcases filled with clothes and shoes and 1 year work and holiday visa while being crazily in love with a special Dutch-Kiwi guy. After almost 7 years far away from my family, I came back with a family myself and a container filled with belongings. Last year we sold our home in New Zealand and bought a home in The Netherlands, we packed all our belongings and unpacked those 6 months later. On my birthday, the 17th of June we said goodbye to Whangarei, the birth place of both our sons and the next day we boarded an airplane only uncertainty ahead. Those long flights, first to Bali and then to The Netherlands, aren’t something we are keen to repeat in a hurry. My eldest son still tells us he doesn’t want to go on an airplane, because it is “too long”. I am still traumatised by the memory of having to change his poo nappy while screaming and kicking in a tiny airplane toilet when he finally did poo after a long time of holding it.

Fortunately, we experienced two summers in a row last year! And Holland had the most warm and beautiful summer in years, as if, with all those obstacles being faced and overcome, ‘something’ let us know we were supported. My husband found work easily (we also got married in 5 minutes on a Monday morning last year) and my family has been extremely supportive and helpful. We ended up living in a small cabin on a camping for 5 months. Let’s just say that I am glad this tiny house living experience with two active young boys, is over. Those boys + my crazy mind, sensitivity,  worries, thoughts and emotions have giving us many sleepless nights last year. Being sleep deprived and then still not being able to sleep is something I don’t wish upon anyone.

So 2019, I am so ready for you! The year of plenty of new beginnings: new country, new surroundings, new home, new yoga studio and community, new pre-school for my eldest, new social network to build up, new jobs. Even though I am very happy that we made the decision to move back to The Netherlands, I also have many sweet memories to New Zealand and all the friends and family living there we have to miss now. Hence the decision to (try) keep writing this blog in English, to stay in touch and connected. So please excuse spellings errors and mistakes and embrace my perfectly imperfect self. My intention for 2019 is to feel and experience JOY in every aspect of my life. Something I have missed a lot last year.

Ganesha with his beautiful round belly represents abundance as well as the ability to digest emotions, food, impressions and thoughts with ease. He also symbolizes strength and stability. Qualities I would like to call upon in this year of new beginnings. Ganesha, also known as Ganapati, is often seen with a friendly smile on his face, reminding me to love myself and others, especially when life throws you curveballs. When the going gets tough Ganesha might have placed obstacles on my path for those stubborn parts in me which can do with some more learning. You could see it as tough love.

Ganesha has big ears to remind me to listen carefully and his trunk is a reminder to be careful what you put in your body and mind, be discriminative. If I think of elephants, I also think of playfulness and strength and the courage to keep going in the direction of your heart and to embrace an attitude of playfulness in all you do. When you look at Ganesha what do you see and feel? Yoga is for all of us a unique experience and yet the same. “Same, same, but different”, they would say in many countries where you can find elephants in the wild. What I have realized (again) in the last year, is that yoga keeps me sane, joyful, happy and inspired. Therefore I am very grateful I have yet found another wonderful yoga studio to share my passion for this powerful practice. You can join met on Saturday mornings 10am at MK Studio in Waalwijk.

From my Ganesha-heart to yours,

Jacinta Lammers

 

Can you connect with your inner playful Ganesha?

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Inspiring books about pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood

After my last blog, I decide to write up another list of inspiring books. This time about Pregnancy, Childbirth and Motherhood. 🙂 I will also link to recommended reading on another website, which I thought to be awesome! Pregnancy, Childbirth and Motherhood can be amazing, very hard and challenging and wonderful all at the same time. I often say, being/becoming a mother is the most wonderful and the hardest ‘job’ I have ever done in my life. You only know and feel this through experience. I feel that in our society being ‘just’ a mother is underestimated and looked down upon. While in my eyes it is one of the most important and most hardest (unpaid) ‘jobs’ you can have. Suddenly you have a precious human being in your arms, you are a mum, with not much or none training or experience and you are left to take care of this little baby. The last 16 months of my life, have been as a mum and it is so beautiful and I love my little boy immensely and it is also Damn Hard Work and mentally exhausting. He is never been a good sleeper, so since he has been born I have never had quite enough sleep myself. I am not looking for compliments or sympathy, rather I encourage and invite other women and mums to share our struggles as well as our wonderful moments. So instead of the one sided picture often portrayed at social media, (new) mums and our society get the real deal. I hope this is helpful to you and of course Merry Christmas and a Fantastic New Year. My mum duties are calling, so I will leave you to it.

Pregnancy & Childbirth books:

Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin

Hypnobirthing by Marie F. Mongan  ( I also enjoyed reading similar work often titled ‘Gentle birthing’)

Yoga Mama, Yoga Baby: Ayurveda and Yoga for a Healthy Pregnancy and Birth Book by Margo Shapiro Bachman

Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful by Gurmukh (I actually haven’t read this book myself, but the description of it, sounds perfect. I would definitely try to read this book when I am expecting again. This book is from the recommended reading from another website as mentioned above, for more great recommendations: One Heart Yoga recommended reading

Mother’s Breath: A Definitive Guide to Yoga Breathing, Sound and Awareness Practices for Pregnancy, Birth, Post-Natal Recovery and Mothering by Uma Dinsmore-Tuli (This book is also still on my to read list, I have the feeling this is a wonderful and practical book)

Mum and Baby yoga books:

Baby Om, for Mothers and Babies by Laura Staton and Sarah Perron

Yoga Mom, Buddha Baby, The Yoga Workout for New Moms by Jyothi Larson

Yoga and Motherhood:

Spilt Milk Yoga, a guided self-inquiry to finding your own wisdom, joy and purpose through Motherhood by Cathryn Monro (The book I am currently reading at the moment, lots of inspiration and wisdom, as well as a reminder that Motherhood is a spiritual journey in itself).

Mothering from your center, Tapping Your Body’s Natural Energy for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting by Tami-Lynn Kent (This book is also on my to read list. I have read several of her books, which I thought were interesting, inspiring and enjoyable)

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