Choosing to spend a slow morning at home, I am diffusing a blend of lavender and lemon with a whole lot of frankincense.  Gregory Alan Isakov, James Bay, Peter Bradley Adams and Benjamin Francis Leftwich accompany the early morning light with softly strummed guitar chords.  I’m nursing Finn in our pyjamas and while I do so I’m feeling deeply connected to my authentic self.  There is something about this combination of senses that has me feeling rooted in where I’m at in life.  The notes of frankincense have an ancient smell that takes my mind in some Eastern direction where only my genetic code – and my sister – has travelled.  I’m beginning to learn the untapped power of my sense of smell in channelling mood and emotion to infuse with my work.  Spiritual in nature, the smell of frankincense has me connecting with my own creativity as I look back to my early writings here, particularly this post.

As I’m writing this, Gregory Alan Isakov strums his “Stable Song” and Finn stands at the couch bobbing up and down in his rudimentary dance moves.  He’s irresistible.  He roams around the living room, exploring this and that and finding newness in very simple objects, none of which are baby toys.  Often it’s the dog who occupies his attention the most, which Tess tolerates fairly well.

Being a mother is tiring work, but lately I’ve felt as though there has been more to the story of my health.  Controlling the rise and fall of emotions is something I have long experienced difficulty with.  I struggle in coming down from an anxious state.  This is exasperated on those days when I get little sleep.  Seeking the help of a naturopathic doctor, a hormonal imbalance was blamed for my depleted state of being.  With this I came to learn that while motherhood is hard work, it doesn’t have to be quite this hard.

Our bodies can do all sorts of amazing things, with growing and birthing a baby number one on that list.  Even in a depleted state, a body has all the right tools within itself.  Incredibly it can do so despite nutrient deficiency, battling toxins from the polluted, chemical-filled world we surround ourselves with, and our disconnect from nature.

Since learning of my own hormonal imbalance, I can’t help but think of all of the ways that such an imbalance can occur in today’s world.  Our culture is one that hormonally alters young women through use of birth control pills for decades.  We spray harmful pesticides on the genetically modified food we feed to our children, and pump our livestock full of hormones and antibiotics to serve our enormous consumption.  We dump all of this into our water to a point beyond it’s ability to dilute.

Concern over the state of our world inspired, yet affected me greatly before Finn.  Now, a mother, I find my distress overwhelming.  Tackling such an enormous problem begins with simple choices and actions at home.  It begins with taking care of my body and of the home my family lives within.  We tackle this great work by asking questions of ourselves and others and raising awareness in the spirit of conservation of the natural world around us.

Years ago I was drawn into the philosophical writings of Paulo Choelho in reading The Alchemist, amongst his other writings.  The aroma of frankincense reminds me of his work.  From Paulo Choelho I learned that when you are on your path, the universe will conspire to help you.

Recently I sat dockside with a friend who is the kind of person who fills your soul, not with the sweet and sticky kind of unconditional love and support, but rather the critical eye and bare exposure of one who truly sees you.  The kind of friend who celebrates your differences rather than tries to make you one of the same.  In this way, despite not being persuaded with a path I’m walking, she tells me “you do you.”

You do you.

And that’s precisely what I’m doing these days.





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Photography by Aly Mullin