Weekly Inspiration #31

My children went back to school and I went back to work this week, after six weeks of summer holidays. I have found that there is a certain predictability in my extended holiday experience. The first 21 days I am all I love holidays so much! I wish it would never end! My children are beautiful and clever, and I feel so rested and at peace. Ommmm! From the 22nd day I am all Holy crap! How am I going to be able to cope with another three weeks of this shit? The kids are squabbling endlessly, I’m tired, it’s so bloody hot, there are things that I should be doing but for some reason I can’t motivate myself to do them – and if I hear one more squeaky voiced kid’s cartoon my head will explode. Aaarrghhh!

It doesn’t matter that my work and the kid’s school is the same place – I love my job, even if my kids are there ;). The Bear came home in the afternoon and asked how I was feeling. “Sparky!” I said, smiling widely – and then moved on, industriously ticking my way through my to-do list. His laughter brought me back.”What?” I asked. “You!” he said. “Long holidays don’t really agree with you do they?” I paused for a moment, thinking. “No, you’re right, they don’t. Two weeks is good. Six weeks is de-motivating and sucks the will to live out of me.”

People, I need structure to function. I need reason and purpose to my days, otherwise they decelerate into formless puddles, much like my brain. This is partly the reason why the age of 0-3 is my mothering kryptonite and partly the reason why I love lists. And when I say reason and purpose, I do not mean inventing five meals a day for hungry children to eat, figuring out how to dry five loads of washing in the rain and mediating disputes over whose slice of cake is the biggest.

You know?

How do you cope with the summer holidays?

PS This is a wonderful article by Nancy Alder for Annapurna Living, on using breath both in our yoga practice and in mothering.

Best Short Read

Swallowing your words, paying rent in hell and keeping up appearances. Why we make (unhealthy) compromises by Danielle la Porte.

Like all of Ms la Porte’s articles, this one is short, snappy and to the point:

We compromise — we swallow our words, keep paying rent in hell, and maintaining appearances, because we’re afraid that we won’t get what we really want if we… really tell the fucking truth, choose joy over pain, and show up as ourselves. But if we don’t really tell the fucking truth, choose joy over pain, and show up as ourselves… we’ll never get what we really want.
click here to read the rest of the article.

Best Astrological Heads Up

So, we are midway through the first mercury retrograde for the year. Generally in these three week periods, we can expect technological, mechanical and travel snafus, and the advice is to back your computer up, and don’t make large purchases or sign important contracts. Normally though, I quite like mercury retrogrades – being born under one, I find them quite reassuring and a great time to tidy up loose ends, plan and do those jobs that I put off, like filing. It’s normally a productive time for me, and I love being productive (as you may have gathered).

However, this one has been hellish, almost malevolent in the daily tests, twists and changes that have been put before me. I am not sure if it’s because it has joined forces with the Aquarian new moon, that Uranian trickster, but so far in this mercury retrograde period, the dishwasher has died (and been replaced), I’ve had internet problems at omg moments, my computer died, the car broke down (and was fixed), the laminater at work died (while I was using it), plans have changed randomly and repeatedly – and every single thing I have had to do online has been troublesome and taken much longer than it needed to. Even the kitchen radio spat out its insides. It has been a little challenging.

That’s me just having a whinge though – mercury retrogrades are seriously good for learning flexibility, faith and patience – as well as crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s. We are being told to pay attention to the details, and to get rid of or fix things that aren’t working for us as well as they could be. We are being taught to let go of rigid planning and to be assured that all delays and plan changes are for the higher good. We are being told to rest in the knowledge that there are some aspects of timing that are mysterious, and that is as it should be.

At this beautiful time of the New Year, it is the time when most people pray that the New Year will be easier, better, more successful than the year which has passed. However, at this time when we pray and make our own resolutions, it is so important to remember that ultimately the purpose of our lives is not just to have things be as easy as possible, nor to be as successful and/or prosperous as possible. The point of our lives is to realize our own true divine nature, to awaken and unfold into the divinity of ourselves.  In many cases, that process requires both inner struggle as well as patience.  […]

So frequently, people come to me and say, “Oh, why has God given me so much strife? Why has He put so many obstacles in my path? Why is He punishing me? Please remove these obstacles from my path.” We must realize that challenges and hurdles are not punishments. Yes, the law of karma plays a large role in what we receive in this lifetime, but even things which may seem like “bad” karma, are actually opportunities for growth. Through pushing and struggling our wings become fuller and we become able to soar.

–  Swami Chidanand Saraswati

Best Recipe

Tamari AlmondsTamari-Almonds-TAAL5-3070-e1401994996672

My mother used to make these when i was a kid, but I haven’t been able to make them as well as she did. Before now. Mum would make them in a wok, which is tricky for me – the wok and I are not friends :). This recipe uses the oven instead, which is my friend – easy, quick, delicious and healthy too. The kids love them so much I had to hide them!

2 cups of whole almonds
50 mL of Tamari

Preheat oven to 150ºC (300ºF). Pour almonds into a large baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. Tip the hot almonds into a bowl and pour over the tamari, mix well and leave to sit for five minutes. Pour tamari coated almonds back into the baking tray and bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Check throughout – they are easy to overcook and everyone’s ovens are different. Cool and snack happily 🙂

Best Graphic

10734278_352364228279543_7642864008140387744_nThat’s all from me this week my darlings…have a beautiful week <3.

Don’t forget:

Twitter – follow me on Twitter to see all of my other best reads that don’t quite make it on this blog, but are still awesome – I love a chat too, so come visit 🙂.

Facebook – I have just set up a brand new Practical Mystic Facebook page, where I share inspirational and thought provoking ideas, quotes and art. I would love to see you there 🙂

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  1. My dear Mystic, what an enjoyable post. Reminds me of and brings back all my guilt at growing edgy after three days of starting a ten day vacation with my wife and four children, and then in private saying to my wife, “Let’s lose this place and go home,” and my wife saying, “Not so fast, buster, we’re staying,” and my insisting and she insisting until I gave up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lol Sara I cope exactly the same as you! Except I go into a mad panic baking and attempting to get the house ship shape before going back to school. This also doesn’t work very well. Then I reflect on all the time I had, feel crap, guilty because I achieved nothing other than keeping the kids cool and fed. Xx Heather.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Having and not having kids I think makes a world of difference to summer and otherwise holidays. They can add both fun and work for their adult entourage. But for kids it’s a necessary period of flux, despite the structural necessities of the back-end. Being sans kids we make our own plans and do our own stuff, though at the moment much of it fitting in things we don’t have time for during the rest of the working year. There are times it’s a relief to go back to work for respite!
    I feel like I’m in a Mercury Retrograde holding pattern, waiting for my phone to make up its mind if it has the will to keep going, and for details of my new work role to be sorted… resolving past loose ends. But I’m grateful the few short trips we’ve made sailed under Mercury Retrograde’s radar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, the kids need 6 weeks for sure! They are exhausted by the end of the year. Me though, I really don’t need that kind of break. I’ll have to come up with another plan I think.


  4. Sara, I loved reading about your take on the summer break– I totally relate. Last summer, however, I did things differently. The kids went to camp…all day! And it was actually the first time – EVER — that I had all day to do my stuff. (Their camp went longer than the school day.) It was glorious! Of course, my kids have already informed me they are not going back to the camp this year. So I need to figure something out so I’m don’t waste away in unproductivity. I much prefer the structure of the school year as well. Your post made me appreciate where we’re at 🙂 Though there is threat of another snow day tomorrow… This mercury retrograde is in my sign…I don’t know if it’s that, or I’m just coming to accept the nonsense of the transit –it’s been an amazing time for me to refocus and refine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer camp 🙂 yessss. Dammit, Australians don’t do it, I have no idea why. I am going to have to come up with something though.
      I was reading Elizabeth Peru’s take on Mercury retrograde the other day, and she said that the first half was great for research and planning and the second half is about action. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but it feels right for me. Certainly things have eased up into sanity again 🙂 have a good week Elysha xo


  5. Sara,

    Deep thankyous for the ‘Lightly’ words, and your weekly round up. In this past period of change, moving, newness; reading your reflections has been one of my ‘look to constants’ – particularly when the internet has been a go-er. ‘Lightly’ really struck me this morning, and will be my mantra – the mother of all guilt is in strong force, as the children negotiate the changes and challenges with whacky behaviour and tears. See nepaligilsons.wordpress.com if you are interested in more. I am loving reading about Australian Summer whilst here in the Nepalese Winter. Love and light and Himalaya magic to you. Regards, Kate.

    Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 20:39:49 +0000 To: yangoorainthevalley@hotmail.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kate, I went straight over and read your latest post about Inanya starting kindergarten – with everything so different, it’s so important to have a little something from home to keep you anchored. I am honoured that I can help you with that. I love that Aldous Huxley quote as well – the first time I read it, the hair stood up on the back of my neck. Love to you Kate and I’ll look forward to your next post.


  6. The mercury retrograde sounds like a perfect explanation for what’s been going on with me lately. Just a lot of ups and downs, shifts and changes. I’m not sure if it was productive but I emerged a bit more clearheaded today than I have been in recent weeks.
    Good luck with going back to work/school! I’m not much of a long holiday person myself. A month is typically good enough for me and then any longer and I start getting antsy. Hope you have a great rest of the week ahead! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the first half of mercury retrograde is usually the most troublesome – but hopefully we will have tied up our loose ends and be ready to go in the second half. Hopefully :). I hope you enjoy your week too Lillian xo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sara, Dhanyabaad (Thankyou) again. Say hi to your River for me. Indeed, an anchor of familiar is important in the midst of emotionfull days. Clean rivers are something I am missing right now. Off to enjoy a Gin and Tonic on the sunny roof top verandah – found the tonic, lime and gin at the local shop – yippee! Yoga, day 2, another important anchor, going well too. Cheers, Kate

    Liked by 1 person

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