Positive Birth Thoughts

Since yesterday I retired myself into maternity leave. My body needs calm and rest now, more than ever before.
I feel the birth is close, sometimes so close that I think it will happen the same day, knowing that these urges still are Braxton-Hicks-contractions and due-date ist still a few weeks away…

I think a lot about the birth and am once again very impressed about how different each pregnancy feels, how each baby change my sensations and inner feelings in his own unique way and how it all remains so unpredictable.

I remember the other four births and especially the beauty, strenght and peace during labour with our last two children, alhamdulillah – I think those were the most powerful and blessed moments in my life:

https://ittosjournal.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/an-almost-unassisted-childbirth/  

…and I plan and prepare everything for a smoothe homebirth inchaallah. 
This requires work on my inner beliefs and hidden fears.
I visualize positive, I read Sura Meryam (Qur’an 19), eat dates and pray, but I also organize the necessary material and space (especially to keep warm during labour and after birth), I prepare clothes, diapers, a hospital bag in case of emergencies, I inform our children about details of birth and look for people I feel comfortable with, to instruct them as care-providers for the kids and when I am in labour and childbed…
and I try to put all my tust in Allah, that He will give me the strength and the chance to experience once again one of those wonderful unassisted childbirths, full of magic, bliss and joy, inchaallah.

“If you have had a positive birth and you are feeling good about it, then you will often feel completely energised and brilliant in the days after you have had your baby. – Women need to hear this message too as well as getting information about what might be unpleasant or what might go wrong.”
Milli Hill

some inspiration and support:

Ina May Gaskin’s Book 

an this one from Sarah Haydock 

this book from Milli Hill 

and this from Anita Evensen

http://www.positivebirthmovement.org

http://www.lifetouchyou.com/practical-tips-for-a-fear-free-positive-labour-experience

 

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Autumn on the doorstep…

  1. Happy about the cooler days, finally a bit of much needed rain and the smell of autumn in the air.
  2. Entering the second half of my pregnancy and noticing much more movements of baby.
  3. Struggling with too small waistbands of trousers and sewing (and online-ordering) some maternity wear.
  4. Beginning to wash winter-clothes and feeling close to make fire in the chimney.
  5. Updated the book list.
  6. Participating in politics and important world-actualities by actively voting at Avaaz.org.
  7. A heavy LOT to do in our school with the beginning of the new school-year.
  8. Allowing (sometimes even forcing) myself in this busy crazyness to take some time for me: just reading, relaxing and enjoying the moment.
  9. Enjoying autumn’s fruits: blackberries, pomegranate, plums, walnuts and apples…
  10. Wishing all Muslims a happy new year 1439 after Hijrah!

  

Summer Reading

August – time of vacation, of nothingness, of days spent without timetables and social obligations…
time to read without real purpose, just to the pure pleasure of it.

Some old summer-classics, beautiful Muslim fiction and a new field guide:

Anne Morrow Lindbergh “Gift from the Sea”
Naima B. Robert “She wore red trainers”
Rosamunde Pilcher “The Shell seekers”
Katie Daisy “How to be a Wildflower”

Happy summer days to you!

 

Preparing for this year’s Ramadan

The better I plan my Ramadan-days, the better I feel, making most out of this special month….
it is so easy to get distracted and lost by our own laziness, television, spending time in the kitchen, thinking about what to cook for Iftar, cleaning around and not making anything that really matters…
but there are so many thing that really do matter, things I want to do and accomplish during this sacred month.

I know, that the self-control we have to practice in not eating from dawn until the evening can help us in many ways to control also other parts of our lifes. This self-control can help us to improve and train the different “muscles of good habits”… giving up bad things and training ourselves in blessed ones…
and the hours we save by not eating can help us much in accomplishing things we normally would not being able to do during normal days, interrupted by coffee-, lunch- and tea-breaks.

In planning, defining and  organising my Ramadan, I find great help in the “productive Muslim” book from Mohamed Faris. I try to put the focus now on what really matters and making best use of the waking hours every day, inchaallah.
How and what d you plan for your Ramadan this year?


this year’s Ramadan calendar:
a bunch of paper-sticks, like flowers in a vase,… everyday with a little reminder of worship, blessing, beauty and love…

 

 

 

From Organic Gardening to Permaculture

Spring: being outside, digging in the earth, weekend-gardening and actually learning a lot about how to change our already organic way of living into a real harmonious and reciprocal co-existence with nature and animals, way beyond sustainability.
We’re deep into permaculture, at home and in the school, with family, professionals from around the world and with the community: https://ecolevivante.wordpress.com/category/permaculture-vivante/

Happy spring to you and yours!

The three ethical principles of Permaculture are as follows:

  • Care of the earth
  • Care of people
  • Return of surplus to earth, animals and people

The Permaculture ethics compel us to take personal responsibility for our actions. We can either “choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution”, the choice is ours!

Twelve Permaculture design principles articulated by David Holmgren in his Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability:[17] 

  1. Observe and interact: By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
  2. Catch and store energy: By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need.
  3. Obtain a yield: Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.
  4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services: Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
  6. Produce no waste: By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
  7. Design from patterns to details: By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
  8. Integrate rather than segregate: By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
  9. Use small and slow solutions: Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.
  10. Use and value diversity: Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
  11. Use edges and value the marginal: The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
  12. Creatively use and respond to change: We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.

Literature: Sepp Holzer, Masanobu Fukuoka, Bill Mollison

Information online:

http://permaculturenews.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture

http://www.docspicepermaculture.com/

http://www.geofflawtononline.com/

and more detailed articles on change from organic gardening to Permaculture:  

http://www.permaculturevisions.com/difference-between-organic-gardening-and-permaculture/

and on Islam and Permaculture:

http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-agriculture/are-islam-and-permaculture-match-made-heaven.html

http://www.treehugger.com/culture/humans-are-trustees-of-allahs-creation-islam-the-environment.html

https://www.greenprophet.com/2012/01/interview-nadia-lawton-talks-about-permaculture-in-the-middle-east/

https://aworldofgreenmuslims.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/green-farming-and-islam-permaculture-in-jordan/

http://www.greenmuslims.org/a-brief-introduction-to-permaculture-sustaining-our-future-and-why-it-matters-to-muslims/

https://www.greenprophet.com/2013/05/ask-geoff-how-to-grow-a-forest-garden-free-permaculture-videos/

http://www.theecomuslim.com/2014/01/salah-hammad-urban-gardener.html

 

 

Anchoring Wellbeing

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

What have « Bob the Builder », Barack Obama and many celebrities from the sports-field in common?

They use(d) special gestures, words or phrases as a trigger to create positive feelings.

cup-out

NLP calls this repeated use of stimulants “anchoring”.
I am not really into NLP – these techniques can surely be discussed critically and have to be treated with caution and mindfulness in regard to our religion – but I can see a benefit in consciously using special things as a positive anchor:
“Yes, we can!”; Allahu Akbar; alhamdulillah; …,
smells like that of porridge with cinnamon, that remind us of home, security and the bliss of childhood memories;
fist-bumps to evoke a feeling of strength and to express victory or success;
or the sight of a cup of coffee that immediately creates a feeling of  pause and comfort…

Knowing these positive triggers can be very helpful in everyday life, to push the right buttons and to put ourselves in better states of (mental-)being.

For me it surely is the image of that cup of a warm beverage, that helps me calming down.

What triggers your optimism in an instant?

cup-look

interesting reads on the topic:

Shakti Gawain “Creative Visualization”

http://www.chopra.com/articles/from-chaos-to-calm-in-an-instant-how-to-create-a-positive-anchor