Welcome to Carolyn Cowan Online; Designer, photographer, teacher, mother, counsellor and bodypainter.
Archive for April, 2007
My new existence is still not feeling settled. It is funny how long it takes to accept change. For me, it seems that some things really take time, but I need to remember that this is an enormous leap from working from home to starting a retail empire. Patience, patience.
The thing I struggle with the most is how little time I get to myself and how easily I can feel like a bad mother. Funny, that whole world of bad motherhood. I am a great mother, but it needs time, quality time to be one. All the quality time that I give eats away at the time I could be doing the huge backlog of stuff that is packing itself up behind me. Ergo I feel stressed.
So I get stressed. I do. I don’t mean to. I want to be Beyond Stressed and into some divine and permanent Neutral Space. I got there this morning, for a moment and foound I did not want to move any part of my body, so I am not sure how totally useful it will be as a constant, but none the less, I really do not enjoy the feelings I have met today, what with the bank, Visa fraud department, my assistant binning all the photographs of the shop I had taken and minute amounts of time…..
What a horrid and mean weblog! But it has to go somewhere.
On another note, I found myself wondering what the numbers were of animals killed for eating on a daily basis in the UK.
I won’t go any further than that. I feel there is no need.
It seems that my irony may not have been noticed. My last log had a certain amount of it embedded within, and the comments show that I was being taken seriously. Ha! I must be careful.
Otherwise, the Raw Life is somewhat Diviine. I am surprised. Not only has my figure recaptured some of it’s former glory, but all manner of other issues have been laid to rest. Obviously only for as long as I can remain raw eating, but I am intrigued by the connection between addictive eating and cooked carbohydrates. I suppose looking at this in the great scheme of things would be a somewhat major step for science, supermarket and Starbucks, but for the first time in my life I am not craving food, sugar, bread, biscuits, the list is long. The change in how I feel is extraordinary. I suppose the thing now is to keep going and see what happens. It has been a few weeks now and only really a week of being 100% raw apart from the occaisional piece of 85% chocolate which has been interesting in it’s effect on me. I have ended up feeling really high and stressed and am not doing that any more.
Baptiste and I got up early this morning and made 9 trays of raw crackers and some gazpacho for lunch. This was followed by preparing the raw morning juice and the raw breakfast. It was all vibrant and fabulous. And thank God for expensive kitchen equipment!
I am, I am. I have a delightful pile of bills in front of me and I can endlessly think of other things to do.
I remember Louise (It must be exhausting to be so good) Hay saying that we must love our bills. Yeah! Right on! I am trying, very trying, and continually failing at loving my bills. Oh God! Does that mean I am failing on my path? Do I need help? Must I turn to yet another book to make myself find the answer that will change my life forever?
I am calmer now. I have to list all the bills outstanding. That should take a few minutes, then think about how to pay them…. another few minutes. Dive into fear and panic and low self esteem. Beat my chest, take a long deep breath and then start to write the cheques knowing that I will not post them till later next week.
Phew. All done until next month. Why is it not always so simple? I tried to expleain to Isadora this morning, that if she ate her breakfast and got dressed then I would not harrass her to do so. It is simple, just do those two things. Funny how we complicate ourselves from so young. I give her an hour in the morning to get fed, watered and dressed as a hippy chick and she will not participate as I want. That is what it is all about, the root of all anger and frustration; things not being how I want them. Bums.
It is not true, I don’t really feel guilty, but I am aware that I am not paying my usual address to the weblog.
My life is indescribly different and such fun. I am really enjoying the whole shop keeper thing. How long the honeymoon will last is a mystery known only to the ever humourous keeper of the Universe, but I am certainly making the most of the experience, aided greatly by my new raw existence. I am now almost completely eating raw food and I absolutely love it. It is not at all how I expected, I feel so hugely better than I have done for years and it is stimulating the imagination, altering my meditation and yoga practice and has calmed me down a lot. I will be continuing. It is interesting also, that I have not been publicising it to all and sundry, looking for feedback or approval, but just slowly accustomising myself to the experience of all raw food. That and learning to use the dehydrator. Big step into totally wild and uncharted territory.
Amusingly there are now 4 of us working at Devotion who are raw, so that makes us unbleached, fairtrade and raw! Fabulous.
We have now got 43 boxes of clothes that need to be prices, ticked, counted….. Wow. The newly met joys of my career choices.
I was interviewed on the radio last night by the most fabulous woman. It was interesting to be in the presence of someone who listens, holds the space, multi tasks, has humour, charm and compassion and laughs out loud. I really enjoyed the encounter.
From there I returned to a dinner party where there had been a man who I have known from a distance for many years but never really even had a real conversation with, who had taken one look at me and made a long stream of descisions about me and then based his whole manner and responses towards me on his assumptions. All of them appeared to be negative because his sole purpose was to put me down from his great height.
It is not personal. How can it be? He knows nothing about me, but it was such a transparent image of the filters that we all wear and view our lives through. He had measured me against previous life experiences, we all do, but he had not grown out of his and could not see me for who I am. Trithfully I was being open and interested in what he needed to say, but after three nasty quips from him I turned my gaze elsewhere.
Am I so less than perfect myself. As I wrote the sentence above, my eye was caught by two nuns walking past wearing the full regalia. I can feel the armouring taking place in a flash. There is a long list of assumptions that I make about them, knowing nothing at all about either one, but based entirely on experiences of 35 years ago. Interesting. The never ending peeling off of comfort zones.
I am watching myself. Truthfully, I do it more and more. Watching rather than bathing in the wreckage that my thoughts can create. I see myself drowning and can reach over and pull myself up.
One of the easiest things to slip into is “I am a bad mother.” A massive statement that can feed all manner of insecurities and future behaviours. I refuse to go there. I am not a bad mother. I am a good mother. I may lack the gene for certain types of play, but apart from that I score quite well on the list of options as a woman who has chosen the reproduction route. So I do not beat myself up too much for that. Shop keeping I am not sure I am winning prizes at, yet. Gosh it is a rollercoaster. One day up, the next, trawling the depths of despair with a large rake, looking for disaster and destruction.
So I watch myself and more and more, use the tools that I have been learning about during the past 10 years.
I saw a woman had the word BREATHE embossed on her wrist. Much amusement from the press, but Oh my, I can relate. The number of times, over the years, that I have wished a permanent reminder of that and several other words like NOW and Just for Today, and It is not personal. I applaude her courage to openly wish for more.
On a more futuristic note, a scary program on Radio 4 this morning where a farmer, ( I am sure he was more important that just a farmer, but I missed his intro) was pushing the need for GM crops to take us into food production for the next 20 years. The gentleman from the Soil Association was given a brief moment to comment, but it was not sufficient to dampen the time given to the argument that it was the only way forward. Interesting to hear how we are manipulated by the media. Do we really notice how much we are played with? I think not.
I do like the changes to my life. I notice that sometimes my negative mind kicks in and I want to be a victim of my choices; lack of sleep, lots of stress, too busy, missing the kids, but truthfully it is a pleasure. I am enjoying myself and it is going well.
I now want someone to invest in us having a shop in Belgravia. This is my newest want. How will I get it? Maybe I will just see if the Universe decides that I need it. patience was never my thing, but I am learning that there is a Divine order. I know it, I have been told so many times, but now I really can see it all the time.
So I will wait and see.
Easter holidays have been good. I have recently discovered Selfridges. Why not before? I suppose I have always avoided “places like that” but now, with so little free time, it is a joy to go shopping at 6pm in the west end in a beautiful store crammed with things I like. Also greatly helped by the fact the the “fifties retro thing” that Peter Jones has done, where IKEA meets expensive really does not do it for me Big Time. I have found a new store. For a while, when I was thinner it used to be Harvey Nichols. I remember my very charming Bank Manager calling me personally and asking me not to spend so much there. Sweet.
So Selfridges is my new best friend. And since they have men’s socks in wool and wild colours, my husband has adopted them too. Since Monsoon went cute Isadora cannot wear it so she likes it too as they have Catimini and Louis found trousers with Skulls on. The entire family is converted. Oh joy.
I feel as though I am not paying enough attention to my weblog, and I am sorry, but the hsop is starting to do well. Return visits and lots of publicity, all seem to be making it into a good idea well realised.
I am taking time to adjust to the changes. I have worked from home for so many years that it is rather odd now to be here every day, making a salad for lunch, eatiing whilst standing, not getting much time to myself and smiling at everyone.
I am not famous for my diplomatic skills, but I am getting better. Honestly I am. Everyone that comes in has something interesting to say, or to tell and I do love it. Especially how open one has to be to everyone.
I have “43 boxes only ” just landed at Tilbury, and it is quite wild, the idea of fitting it all in here! I have just been offered another shop nearby. I wonder if that is the way forward, just sending it all out there to be discovered by passers by. Sadly there is a little more attention to detail needed, but the idea is sweet.
Easter was great. Two whole days off. I fell asleep in the hammock in the garden and just let myself be still. It was a much needed rest. That and the Pagan custom of Egg Rolling, which we did in Sussex on Easter Monday. As I am somewhat peaked on my own fertility I forebore the experience, but sat in the grass in the valley field whilst everyone else threw their painted eggs down the hill. Very strange behaviour, but hey, the children loved it.
I am astounded how quickly my moods can change. After two emails, both from men (is that irrelevant? I am not sure yet,) my mood has plumbed the depths of fear and despair.
I am watching it, not really going there, but aware that I want to call out for mood elevation from somewhere. Call my husband or a friend and say; I feel scared, insecure, inadequate to life.
I do so hate being this easily swayed.
In the car this morning I was talking to a friend saying how Zen I was feeling about the whole thing of opening a shop and now, three hours later I am mad, crazy, insane, stupid and unthinking.
Where does it go? The sense of peace and stillness that can descend like a blanket of think snow, bringing stillness and acceptance. I had it for days, the sense of peace and calm. Now I am floundering in grubby slush and the freezing waters of fear.
I will breathe deeply and tread water.
I am still adjusting to the huge changes that have come with the shop. I like being a shop keeper. I feel as though one is not meant to say that, that there is something NQOC about it, but it is true. It is fun. Interesting, busy, lots of people, crazy staff issues, but there is something to the order and stillness of it that is soothing. It is quite wild because sometimes I go into the shop and stop and think “how did I get here?”
I keep meaning to buy the song. Not because I think it will make anything make any more sense, but because it really is how I feel at times. Rather amazed, standing there with my mouth slightly open, blinking in the bright light of it all.
Truthfully, I get a lot done. Lunch is minor, which is a major change, and I can sit and work upstairs, meaning that a lot happens and there is almost no backlog now. When I worked from home and had to fit some many different things into the day, life was stressful and too busy.
The minor lunch is a major change. Being away from the routine of home is meaning that I can totally change how I eat. I am working my way towards being totally raw for a while. It is an interesting experience. I had a totally raw few days recently and felt fabulous. I have now been trawling the internet for recipes and different things to eat. We are looking at buying a rehydrator. I am thrilled, as long as we do it during Indian mango season. I made a juice last night which used some new found skills, and included broccoli, cabbage and coconut. It was too good.
On a whim, yesterday, I emailed David Newman from his website. For those of you who have not discovered him, the chance has come. I asked if he would like to do a kirtan in our house. The answer was a delightful Yes! So July 1st we have David Newman coming to play. He will be followed by Snatam Kaur in September.
Roaring into the Bliss.