Singing them over on their final Earthly journey

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photograph by Natalie Trusler instagram @storyofbeeing

For many years I have attended births, worked with pregnancy and fertility and all that comes with that work.. healing from traumatic births, complicated pregnancies, and infertility.
In the last two years I have found myself working in a realm that I have never wanted to, through fear and not knowing if I could handle it, and that is end of life and death.
And when I say work, it means what I offer, what is in my realm of practice as Shamanic Merwife, not what I get paid for. This work is a part of my soul purpose and that does not always translate to paid work. Though it is often these parts of the work that feel of most value to me and most important for me to keep doing. The exchange is spiritual.
This work sometimes comes in the form of shamanic sessions, and I have felt compelled to offer songs for the ceremonies and funerals of those that have passed.
I was just reflecting on why I feel to offer this. It’s a really hard thing to do, why do I put myself in that situation? But it kind of feels like it’s the only thing I can do.
There is little else I can do to help those left behind. To offer a song as their loved ones make their final journey in this life feels important.
The songs I sing are specific to the person, but the intention is always to send out a prayer that they are received by the great Mother and that they are held in love.
The song feels like a vehicle for their last Earthly journey.
I sang at my Grandfathers funeral a few weeks ago. In a Catholic church. It was big for me for many reasons, but my family asked and I wanted to do it for my Grandmother left behind as well as for him.
I sang Amazing Grace.
My eldest daughter who is seven said to me after… ‘Mummy, this is what I saw when you were singing in the church.. Pa was in the box and then it all became light, and he went up a bridge to the stars.. he wasn’t in that box anymore when they carried it away’
Thank you sweet girl, I trust your vision and hold it close to my heart as I sing them over.

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You have the birth you need to have….

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Of all the experiences of my life, giving birth was the most transformational.

I remember thinking during my first labour.. “Why didn’t anyone tell me”?

But thinking now what I wish someone would have told me.. I can’t really say.. There are no words to describe the enormity of the experience. I think what I really wished I had known was that labour and giving birth was a rite of passage, a spiritual experience, a shamanic experience, that I would never be the same again after going through this gate way.

Each time I gave birth I learned so much about myself, how much I could give, how much I could surrender, how big I could be, how I was a speck in the universe, and I was everything, what trust is, what this baby required of me and how best to be their Mother.

My teacher Jane Hardwick Collings says this.. “You have the birth you need to have, to teach you what you need to learn about yourself, to take you to the next place on your journey to wholeness”.

The first time I heard this I felt challenged.. my births were not straight forward, there were complications in all of them, why did we have to go through all of that..? But as the years have passed and I see what each birth and baby has taught and continues to teach me, I can see that their pregnancies, labours and births were exactly what has brought me to where I am now.  Not whole, but on the eternal journey to wholeness. My babies births have been the single most informing moments of my life that make me who I am now.

And, every pregnancy results in a birth.. abortions, miscarriages, still births, live birth… In  honouring all of these births and the teachings they bring we are honouring our whole journey.

Other women I have spoken to who have had complicated births, interventions, caesareans, unwell babies, still births, can find this statement challenging too.. it can make them angry.. especially when outcomes were not good. It can be very difficult to trust in a process that didn’t work out how you had dreamed or expected. Unimaginable that this is the way things were meant to be and that there would come a time that you would understand it all.. Maybe that time won’t come, and maybe this is too much to contemplate in the shock of a traumatic birth experience. I certainly couldn’t get my head around it for a few years.. I can still get in a tangle with it, what was my part? What was the other people’s parts..? There are so many stories in a birth, and especially in a birth that required transfer, intervention, surgery.. So what I come back to is my story, how I felt, what I learned about myself.

I’m not saying it’s the answer, or even right. It could be wrong, I’m not claiming to know..

It is for me, a worthwhile contemplation that I return to over and over when I need to remember who I am, why I am here and what have I learned that can help me now. Also in parenting the child, I remember their birth and what they needed from me.. it is usually always the answer to what they need from me now.

My first baby taught me that I could trust the process, I was strong and capable, and I needed to have control over my environment.. where I was and who was there. My first baby also taught me that when birthing in hospital Women need an experienced birth attendant.. so I then trained as a Doula. Thank you my first baby

My second baby taught me to share my fears and burdens and they would be eased, and to pay attention to my intuition and mother knowing. He showed me how strong we were together. He also taught me the importance of holding and maintaining the mamatoto (mother baby)  bond in NICU.. my first baby’s NICU experience helped us to be much better prepared for the more serious needs of my second baby and his time in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).. Thank you my second baby

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My third baby taught me about true connection with my unborn baby, how she could speak to me and help me prepare for Motherhood of 3.. she taught me I was right to trust birth and to return to homebirth after our first two experiences. She taught me you can be strong and still flexible. She taught me that she would come my way if I gave her my full attention and focus, and asked very nicely, and that together we were so powerful. She taught me deep peace. Thank you my third baby

My fourth baby taught me that I do things in two’s. She showed me the wisdom of the breech baby again.. and this time I listened. I opened my heart to her coming into this world in which ever way she chose, and while I listened she showed me how to mother four young children. She taught me to go with the flow, to take the path of least resistance, even if it felt like the longer way it was always easier and more joyful. Then she turned. And I was still learning the gift of trust with my 4th birth.. Our blessed three day labour was an epic adventure in trust.. Thank you my fourth baby

My fifth baby taught me that just because it happens doesn’t mean it’s meant to be, that the medical path is sometimes necessary, to call in your women when you need them and they will come. Thank you my fifth baby.

My sixth baby taught me again that I do things in two’s and to remember what happened the last (2nd) times.. I trusted the process, I let go. Thank you my 6th baby.

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The stories of my births feel like lifetimes in themselves.. how could they all fit into my life? I am still finding more in each story. I know I will keep drawing from these stories forever, for guidance, for a path, for reflection and to treasure the children that are here with me and the ones that couldn’t stay. I love them all, my teachers.

And why my children experienced these things in their births is for them to discover on their own journey’s to wholeness.

Blessed be

Talulah xxxxxx

Home for the Winter..

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I am finally unpacking my suitcase for real, properly, for the whole Winter..

This year has been a big whirlwind of wonderful gatherings where I have stretched myself physically and spiritually, more than I ever have before. I realise now that it has been to my limit.. I even went beyond my limit with the conference I attended last weekend.

The call home was so loud, but I had made a commitment so I kept it.. a little to my detriment health wise, but I know it did some magic too. I am home now, eating well, making broths, going to bed early and being here for my family, recovering and restoring.

Winter, Herstorically, is my least favourite time of year, there are many challenges for me in it.. being cold, dark, layers and layers of clothes, SAD (seasonal affective disorder), footy season (yes that is a downside for me.. raised by a footballer I spent most of the freezing country NSW winter weekends sitting on the sideline of a footy game, and then waiting for the celebrations to end very late every Saturday night, then having footy on the TV all day Sunday as my Dad recovered on the couch.. the sound of the crowds and whistles take me back to the strange world I was raised in and I don’t like it).

And how much things hurt when you bang them when they are cold.. like whacking your hand on some furniture hurts so much more when it’s icy! And that goes for the emotional hurts too.. they are triggered in the stillness of Winter and I am ricocheted into the depths I need to go to for the healing to happen. This, I know, is a positive, though it doesn’t feel like it at the time!

The reflective energy of this season is something I acknowledge as an important part of the cycle now. We need this inward time to restore and reflect, figure out what has worked for us and what hasn’t. Just as we need the bleeding time of our menstrual cycle, to let go of what no longer serves and to have the visions for the future. We need the Winter to do the inner work of our souls in preparation for our blossoming again in Spring.

In creating ways for me to embrace this season and time, I have some special things I save just for Winter so that I can not only endure it, but enjoy it, and be with what is.

The most appealing thing is rest! I don’t work very much in Winter. I will sometimes do a little workshop locally, but no big trips away unless it’s a family holiday (hopefully to a sunny island- I know that’s cheating). This keeps me excited for Winter to come.

I have knitting and crochet projects that I devote long hours to. Not only does this make it a very productive time in creating treasures for others, but it keeps me in a calm and receptive brain state that opens me to messages and dreamings in my sphere. I don’t follow patterns, I make it up as I go, so there’s not too much thinking involved. This is also a really healing thing for me to do to tend to those woundings that have come up.. being present with my feelings and just staying with it as I weave. I love to look back on what I’ve made and remember where I was when I made it, and how I felt at the time, and where I am now I have finished it, seeing the healing and evolution that has taken place.

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One of my Winter weavings and Willow… (and some Spring and Summer weaving too.. this was a big one)

I make soups a lot. Soup is one of my favourite things, this makes Winter yummy and I always have something nourishing to eat, which is something I forget to do when I’m working or busy.

Making spaces beautiful, so it is inviting to be at home in them.

One thing I realised last year in Winter was that I have no Winter clothes.. I lived in denial that it was coming, or that it would last very long and that it was even worth buying Winter things because I’d soon be happy in a summer dress again. So I suffered in layers and layers of thin inappropriate Summer clothing, shivering and complaining about the cold! So I decided to give this warm coat thing a try.. and thus found my most fun Winter survival mechanism.. shopping for beautiful warm cardigans and coats! I have several now, and I think I need some more!

I dream.. I dream up what’s next, I dream for others, I dream the healing dreams that tend my wounds and inform me of the path ahead.

I write all this now as a reminder, a prayer and an affirmation.. as my wound has been opened, my most sacred wound, that all is right, and it is a Blessing to be here now, knowing that I am doing the work of Winter for all my relations.

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Blessed Be

Love Talulah xx

 

 

 

 

Melbourne Medicine Drum making workshop 2014!

I am very excited to be traveling to Melbourne in 2014 to hold a Medicine Drum making workshop.. thank you Sarah from Embodiments Dance for the Invitation. There is a lot of interest in this workshop already so email or message me to book soon.. Good Christmas present for yourselves!

Happy Summer to you all

Blessings

Talulah xx

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Living with our Sacred Wound

Our sacred wound is a very significant event in our lives, something traumatic, painful or deep… the memory of which informs your instinctual reactions and behaviours from that point onward.

I learned about my sacred wound during my apprenticeship of the Four Seasons Journey.. and since that time I have been learning how to live with it in a healed way. To acknowledge it (my instinctual reaction to a situation), send it love, and speak from an unwounded place.

I have been feeling lately how deep this is, what a life long work it is, and, at the moment, how it doesn’t get easier.

It is always there, my first feeling in conflict or emotional exchanges, the place I go in deep healing work, the place that still needs to be healed.

And yet, it is much easier to navigate a situation with this knowledge than without. Or at least know why I am feeling the way I am, again.

You know that feeling? Why does this always happen to me? Why am I ‘that’ person in this scenario again?

I will share my sacred wound so that you may see how it carries through a life.

I was an unwanted pregnancy, of teen parents, I later learned that they were considering adopting me out. I was born, and separated from my mother over night. They didn’t give me up, they kept me and nurtured me to the best of their ability, gave me all the opportunities they could. And, part of me always knew I was unwanted.

There is an amazing book by Robyn Furnance, Being Born. In this book she goes over possible birth scenarios, caesarean, forceps, early, late etc. and unwanted, and talks about the ways these births affect the person, how they may react and be in this life.

It took me a long time to read this section, even though I use this book very often in my work. It felt like reading it was accepting the painful truth of being unwanted, that I would have written evidence that I really was unwanted because I felt exactly what was there.

And I did.

An unwanted child has a constant pull of being wanted and then feeling so uncomfortable in that place, does something or behaves in a way that makes them unwanted. This can be conscious or unconscious and has played out in my life in many ways. It does not have to be the actions of myself that create the ‘set up’, and is never usually the intention of the other party to make me feel unwanted, that is just my default reaction to any kind of rejection of myself or something I have done.

I was able to articulate it recently, which put it into perspective for me, why it hurts so deeply when the situation does not seem to be that big of a deal from the outside. The stream of experiences, emotions and feelings that have been deeply ingrained and replayed my whole life are-

love, birth, perfection, completely open, trusting, rejection, unwanted, wrong.

When I feel most open and trusting in a relationship, something occurs that hits straight to the heart of my wound and creates a reaction that may be disproportionate to the actual event. Leaving me wanting to flee the scene and start all over again somewhere else.

What I have taught myself to do is to stay with it, to talk it through and come to an understanding where we feel heard and acknowledged.

The tricky part is if the other party is not up for that kind of exchange straight away. I am yet to master the art of keeping my own stuff to myself to deal with. I think because my wounding is being unwanted, I want to make sure that everything is ok and I am still wanted as quickly as possible. I am still working on this! (probably forever)!

It is really amazing to think that every single person out there in this world is operating in the same way, reacting from their wound, and very few with consciousness to what is really going on.

And, I think we all know on a cellular, bodily level anyway. I had a knowing from a very young age that I was the product of a union that was not acceptable. What I didn’t know was how that caused me to behave in my everyday reactions from this wounded place.

I have also learned through my work, that no matter what the wound, how big or small, it is still a wound. Everybody has one, we can’t protect our children from having them (unfortunately). All we can do is have love and understanding for those we interact with, that they too are wounded and coming from that place.

My sacred wound is always open, always fresh, never a scar. So that I keep tending myself (that little baby) with love and acceptance.

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Each time I have held my new born babes with love and acceptance I have healed the red thread for all my relations..

Blessed Be

Talulah x

Canberra workshops.. two beautiful days

I made my second journey to Canberra this year to facilitate a Moon circle for Mothers and Maidens and also a Medicine Drum making workshop, both workshops outside Canberra on beautiful land.

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The Moon Circle was a group of seven school friends and their Mum’s. This made for a very beautiful and comfortable afternoon with lots of input from the girls. They once again showed the wisdom of the Maiden, and the delight with which they share it if given the space. I was thrilled when the Mum’s decided they will continue to gather as a group in circle to support the girls through this rite of passage, and nourish themselves as well!

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“Hello Talulah
Thank you for a beautiful, spiritual day.
We both enjoyed the experience, and have come away with a much closer bond.” – Karen

The Medicine Drum making workshop was at Freyja’s Rest, the wonderful Hollie B and Bolj’s land. We stayed the night in their magnificent yurt, prepared the hides and sat around the fire til late into the night.

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Seven women gathered to make their drums. We created sacred space, and shared the stories of our birth. Many women in this group didn’t know the full story of their birth, so we looked deeper into the other alters of Womanhood.. Menarche, giving birth and their experience of Menopause if they had been through it.

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This is such a powerful process, and as I lay awake the night before I went through each of my own experiences of my rites of passage.. it really is amazing. I was once again struck how my experience of being born was an imprint, a way of being, that I had little awareness of until I brought consciousness to it. It was just a very familiar feeling after all of my rites of passage, and creative expressions. And, it is amazing the difference you can make once you are aware of this story and share it with the intention of healing.

Hollie B’s land is wild, beautiful and quite big! I spent a large part of the day walking through it looking for the drum makers in their chosen places! Thank you Shamanic Midwife Anki for your support! I shared in the closing circle that it was like having seven women in labour at the same time, and their birthing rooms were really far apart!

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Every deer hide is different, as is each Woman making the drum, so each has a very different experience. Depending on your birth story, how you were born and the way you do creative process the emotions that arise during the day can range from ease, joy, love, loathing, frustration, anger and helplessness! It is all important, notice everything that arises. Is this a familiar feeling? Bring consciousness to it and breath deep. To breathe while making a drum is to be in prayer.

I had many insights throughout the day into the depth of this process and how vastly it varies for each Woman.

Thank you beautiful women!

“To all my women friends, i had the privilege of attending a Medicine Drum making workshop over the weekend which was facilitated by the very beautiful Talulah, and sharing the journey with the most amazing women. I highly recommend this life altering workshop to all who feel the calling. much love xx” – Fiona

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I will be doing a Medicine Drum making workshop in Sydney on the 7th of November, contact me on talulah@makingsacred.com to inquire or book.

And it looks as though I will be coming to Melbourne next year in the winter to hold a drum making workshop too. Details to come.

Love this work!

Blessings

Talulah x

Passage to Motherhood experience

I have returned home from a wonderful week at the Passage to Motherhood Conference at the Gold Coast…

I listened to many inspiring people, learnt so much and had a great time presenting my first conference paper.

The strongest message I left with and feel a responsibility to share, is that the use of Syntocinon in most births in hospital is having a dramatic effect on our babies and mothers.
With new research suggesting links with Syntocinon to autism and other prevalent diseases in our culture, to disrupting those precious first moments of life as mother and child by blocking the natural release of oxytocin.. The love hormone..
We are the test cases for this drug, that is given routinely to most mothers via augmentation of labour or managed 3rd stage.

Michel Odent writes about this in his new book.. Childbirth and the Future of Homo Sapiens. I encourage you to read it. You can purchase it from Capers Book Store online.

He is a wonderful speaker and I loved sitting in his talk about the Doula Phenomenon.. And was so happy to hear he is a big supporter of doula’s, and of knitting!
Suggesting the best midwife is a woman who has had children sitting quietly knitting behind the birthing woman.

I feel it will be a while before I can sit quietly knitting while the women I work for birth in hospital… It is more a role of protecting the birth space and the woman’s wishes and desires for her birth at the moment. I look forward to the day I can though!

Knitting was a major theme at the conference with Kristan Lee Read holding her Crafting Womb space. It is indeed a beautiful site to see 100 midwives knitting squares for blankets that will be given to women at the Addis Ababa Hamlin Fistula Hospital.
Love your work Kristan Lee Read, as did Michel!
Have a look at the beautiful photos on her Facebook page for The Crafting Womb.. So much love

I was so inspired by the presentations of Allison Barrett and Rachel Reed, wonderful women at the front line in defending women’s rites in childbirth.
So much gratitude and respect to you both.

Thank you to Jan and Sarah Cornfoot at Capers for hosting this amazing event.

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Passage to Motherhood Conference 2013

I am traveling up to the Gold Coast this week for the Passage to Motherhood Conference. So exciting to be going to hear wonderful speakers such as Michel Odent, Sarah Buckley, Rachel Reed, Jane Hardwicke Collings and Kristan Lee Read.

And, all ready to present my paper too!

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The home birth of my fourth baby….

On Thursday the 5th of August 2010, at nearly 42 weeks, I thought my baby 4th was never going to come out, I cried most of the day, tears of worry, tears of responsibility, tears of feeling pressured.

The next day Mum arrived and took a weight off my shoulders by doing the school run so I wouldn’t have to face the “haven’t you had that baby yet” bamboozlement, and playing with my 2 year old all day. That afternoon I felt my first contraction and thought “baby is coming”!

Now this was a labour of first time experiences is so many ways. Previously, I have had my first contraction, and then a few hours later I have my baby. A few hours later I had had about 10 contractions and a show (another first), I spoke to my midwife, and we thought “tonight’s the night”. The kids went off to bed with the thought that they might meet their baby soon. Contractions heated up around 10pm, then…..  they went away.

So we went to bed and I continued to contract quite strongly once an hour through the night.

I woke the next morning slightly annoyed I was still pregnant, but also happy that without doubt baby was coming very soon. My partner took the kids out and I nested, baked, swayed, and talked to my baby. Contracting about once or twice an hour all day. More tears in the evening as things died down again, I was tired, so went to bed hoping to get some sleep so I would have some energy when baby came. Again I contracted every hour through the night, the contractions were stronger and something about them was sharper. I woke with each one, they lasted about 90 seconds. Throughout all this, my beautiful baby felt totally fine and let me know it was doing well, just doing things in a very different way to how I do them!

Going into this labour I had wished for a little more lead up to giving birth, as with my third baby’s birth, it was all over start to finish in 2 hours. I was beginning to regret that wish on the third morning of prelabour! Again my husband took the kids out, then my parents picked them up for an all day adventure. I was feeling very supported in my journey, clearing the way, checking in and breathing a space for baby. The day went on the same as the two before, and I asked my amazing acupuncturist to come around and do a session. She travelled forty minutes to come and see me. What followed was a very loving, but very intense acupuncture session, she also treated my husband for a cold he had coming on! By the time she was leaving contractions were ten minutes apart and as the door shut behind her they came every 4-5 minutes. Soon after we felt to call our midwife and doula, although I didn’t feel I needed anything, we all thought it could be very fast once it happened with all the prelabour.Some time soon after, around 5:30pm, I wanted to get in the pool, aware that it could be too early, but the contractions felt sharp, like I wanted to jump out of my skin and I was finding it harder to relax.Before long I was in the pool, aaahhh! Things slowed for a little while but before long I was back into 5 minutely contractions. During all these contractions I was visualising a disc of light in my pelvis, of endlessly opening flower petals, like pinky white camellia petals. I had music and chanting playing the whole time, the house felt beautiful, calm, quiet, I was really with it between contractions and having a chat. The candle in the photo was given to me by my sister Shamanic Merwives it was in front of my pool, at one stage I was staring at it and the flame was huge. I could feel them all with me, holding me through this awesome time.

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My dear friend arrived then to help Mum with the kids.

At the end of each contraction I felt like throwing up now, they were so strong, I felt the baby flutter inside and asked my midwife to check, baby’s heart was slightly fast and so was mine, but I felt ok, so I knew the baby did too. Soon after I said, “wow, these breaks are so long, how long”? She said still 5 minutes. I decided to have a feel of what was going on inside, “Hmmm, that feels like my baby’s head with a cervix just about fully dilated”. Straight away I had about 4 or 5 contractions and changed positions to dilate that last little bit. It was full on, big, big opening up, I felt myself backing away and then just breathed into the feeling, it was a much bigger feeling than I have ever felt before in my previous three labours.

And then came that overwhelming feeling of the baby wanting to come out. To me this stage felt very long, the feeling of pushing was very different again, I usually love pushing, but this was stingy in whole new way, every push was a major exercise of the mind. (It was actually about 10 minutes)!!

I was leaning forward on my knees over the edge of the pool when the baby’s head started to come out, I knew it was going to hit the bottom so I kneeled back sitting up and out came my sweet baby’s head, looking at me! Ah, so that’s a posterior labour! Still in the caul, I saw the little eyes and pushed baby out into my hands and up to my chest. Amazing relief to have done it, amazing relief my baby was fine, my husband was next to me so proud so happy so much love radiating from his eyes. This was at 7:40pm.

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Baby’s cord was short, I had to crouch down to hold it. The cord was tightly between the legs, but I had a little feel, and felt sure i was holding my little mermaid. I waited until my husband asked and we had a look, a beautiful baby girl, cried loudly and clearly, every breath so easy and strong. The kids and Mum came in just as she was born, a beautiful celebration of smiles and wonder, our baby was finally here! She vigorously fed for about 15 minutes and we decided it was time for 3rd stage.

Biggest brother held her while I birthed the placenta, I had expected it to drop out as

I got out of the pool, mmm not this time! The placenta still hadn’t come after an hour, I felt fine, but the midwives were worried, so they gave me Syntocinon, another first. Still nothing, I was focusing on letting go, saying thank you, but nothing. Our backup midwife arrived just as our baby girl was born and is a placenta expert! She massaged and a huge clot came out, (I thought it was the placenta)! and then soon after the placenta, followed by another enormous clot. (so the cord wasn’t actually short, it was being held back by the clot). A bit of blood followed, I felt fine although there was a bit of worry that after such a long labour I might hemorrhage. I didn’t. I went to bed with my precious girl , brothers and sisters all tucked in their beds, Daddy and Granma so happy and proud, and I stared at her, fed her, smelled her and fell in love with her all night.

This pregnancy was such a gift, she was breech for part of the pregnancy, as was her big sister. Through this 4th baby being breech I came to know that more than anything I could birth my baby which ever way she wanted to come at home, and that I was capable of being a Mother of four!

When a baby is breech, one theory is, that they are bringing their head up to be near the mothers heart, to comfort, listen and be near. I definitely felt this with both my breech babes, especially the second. Whenever I was feeling overwhelmed in my Mothering, I would remember my babe up near my heart, she would remind me to breath and take the path of love. I am so grateful for her teachings.

My Midwives’ were so wonderful, and they believed in me too, so when I thought I was going to have a breech birth at home, although they could no longer support me at home they were happy for me to look for someone who would.

I knew who to call, two warrioress midwive’s offered to take me on at 38 weeks with a breech baby at home, if baby didn’t turn. This was so amazing and important for me to feel completely supported. The very next day it turned out that baby girl did a flip and wanted to come out head first, just back to front! I feel that knowing I could birth my baby naturally, supported by midwive’s, anyway she chose to come was just what we needed, to feel relaxed and safe, to let go, so she could turn.

What better way to learn that I was capable of mothering four young children than to have an awesome, empowering birth, where I learned (again)! to trust the process, trust my baby and trust birth. To know I was capable of a three day labour of a posterior baby in my home, surrounded by love, trust, wisdom and beauty. The perfect start to my Mothering of many path.

Blessed Be…

Medicine Drum Workshop

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We gathered on the last quarter moon, a time for seeing the lessons of the previous cycle, for completing projects, planting seeds for the next cycle and tying up loose ends… a wonderful time to make a Medicine Drum!
Eight beautiful women came together, we had tea and treats, we created sacred space and we shared the stories of our birth. We do this because our birth, our first creative act, is an imprint that we carry through our lives. It is how we ‘do’ creativity.

I shared the story of my birth….
My birth was a relatively easy labour, my Mother was alone through most of it, I was born and then separated from her over night… How this plays out in my life is, I find it easy to be creative, I enjoy the process, whether it be dancing, sewing, writing, cooking. I finish quickly, and find there is little self satisfaction, I look for outside recognition, assurance, or very quickly move onto the next thing, leaving my creation behind me.
In understanding this process I have learned to take the time to appreciate my own achievements and creative expressions. It’s always there, the desire to be recognised, but I know it now, it’s an old friend and I tenderly acknowledge her, and give her love.

After we shared our stories the women pulled their Deer hides from the pool and began to make their drums. It is a solitary process, just the woman, her materials and her instructions.
My wonderful assistant Leia and I are there if any questions arise or guidance is required. Like a Midwife at a homebirth, no interference, just being there and holding space for the process to unfold.

It was a beautiful day, the sun shone, the creatures and spirits of this land visited us, and although we were women walking our own paths, we were all together.
Eight drums were born! They are now four days old. We will wait until the new moon to play them, at sunset, where ever we are, drumming together with our deer drum Sisters, calling our intentions for the next cycle through our drums song.

Blessed Be

Talulah x


The Process of Making my Drum with Talulah today.

“The instructions are before you – everything you need to know is in those pages, go and make your drum” I hear my Sistar say …I chose my hide from Talulah’s bed bath, or it chose me. It looked so velvety and soft – like the inside of my womb.I set forth with my frame and hide, it was eerily quiet sitting on the green grass of Talulah’s split level back yard. A gorgeous warm, sunny day that threatened to dry out my sinew and moon soaked deer skin.I turned the hide over and turned it over again … inside out it was to be!But I stalled … where do I start? It seemed as if the chatter of nature had stopped talking, stillness had fallen and the world was holding its breath, waiting for the first thread. I was overwhelmed, such simple directions were confusing me – where was halfway in the sinew, I wondered.Confusion spread through my body and I faltered, my nerves crackled … how can I do this?Slowly I started threading the sinew into opposing holes and ever so slowly my confidence returned. I heard the leaves in the trees rustling again and smelt the strong pervasive muskiness of the animal. It felt slippery, stretchy and fragile. I was scared!My threading, twisting, pulling and tightening became assured and a rhythm developed until SNAP! The sinew broke – I was panicked, devastated – what could this mean?Breathe ……. Michelle……. Breathe“Tie the sinew together – a double knot” suggests Talulah.And again I found my rhythm. Threading, twisting, pulling and tightening.Time and time again the sinew snapped and I saw my life’s journey reflected in this animal who gave its life to me. Down, down, down I was drawn by the snap and pulled up again as I repaired the breaks.So much effort to slowly, carefully weave my life into this beautiful drum. I realised no matter what happened my drum would be perfect and it would work. It broke, it was repaired and I loved it.It is completely me: inside out, lovingly made, meticulously cared for and lots of work in the process. For the process made my drum and the process is what I am today.I heard the kookaburra sing and the buzz of the insects shimmered like heat rising off hot ground; and I smelt the animal. I am one of nature’s children.Thank You Talulah for a wonderful workshop.”

Michelle


A letter from Cecelia

Dear Wonderful and Magical Talulah,

Thank you so much for yesterday. I am so surprised at just how much I loved yesterday’s workshop. Correlating my birthstory and my process was joyous and and I feel a deeper acceptance of who I am.

I wanted to thank you so much for allowing me to be apart of yesterday’s workshop, mothering and caring for my hide. thank you for the effort you put into cutting my sinew. Using the sinew kept me aware and conscious that this was once a living creature, and I kept giving thanks to the animal during my making. It allowed for a respectful deep connection. Thank you so much. You are truly amazing.
My Mother Drum is the first of many to grace my home.

Much love Cecelia Xx