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Sunday Star Times QnA

By June 26, 2017Media

What are you plug­ging right now?

My new book “Spilt Milk Yoga – a guid­ed self-inquiry to find­ing your own wis­dom, joy, and pur­pose through moth­er­hood.” It’s the book I wish I’d had when I became a moth­er. The spilt milk is the chal­lenges we face as con­tem­po­rary moth­ers, the yoga isn’t pos­es, it’s yoga on the inside — how we react and deal with all that spilt milk, from the shock of birth and the shift in iden­ti­ty, to man­ag­ing our own behav­iour while we man­age our kid’s behav­iour, and nav­i­gat­ing the para­dox­i­cal social invis­i­bil­i­ty even though we’re doing the hard­est most demand­ing and impor­tant work of rais­ing the future. On a per­son­al human lev­el we can use the chal­lenges to become more the peo­ple we want to be, to thrive not just sur­vive moth­er­hood. At a social lev­el I’m plug­ging for recog­ni­tion of the worth of moth­ers every­where, as our biggest and most influ­en­tial investors in rais­ing the future. Moth­ers are at the heart of our social health and right now our social struc­ture large­ly ignores this. We do our­selves a major dis­ser­vice by over-look­ing the work of moth­ers and then won­der why we have an increase in social and health illnesses.


What’s your idea of per­fect happiness?

Con­nec­tion; feel­ing con­nect­ed to my sense of pur­pose, con­nect­ing my actions with my val­ues, con­nect­ing mean­ing­ful­ly with oth­ers, con­nect­ing to the beau­ty of the envi­ron­ment, con­nect­ing to my appre­ci­a­tion of the moment I’m in. Work­ing from that place, to cre­ate greater con­nec­tion for oth­ers, and gen­er­at­ing the expe­ri­ence of lov­ing and being loved. Isn’t that what we all real­ly want?


Which liv­ing per­son do you most admire?

The first three that spring to mind are singer/songwriter Nick Cave – because he cre­ates in direct address to nihilism and suf­fer­ing, the Bud­dhist nun Pema Chodron – because she so hon­est­ly reveals the flaws that catch us and com­mits to the path of soft­en­ing into the pain of being human, and my hus­band Chris­t­ian Pen­ny is up there too – because he is com­mit­ted to cre­at­ing good work, with good heart, hon­esty, and with best inten­tion, with who­ev­er is in front of him. It is a won­der­ful thing to admire one’s partner.


What’s your most embar­rass­ing moment?

Hon­est­ly? Send­ing back a run­ny egg to a Nepali woman whose house I was stay­ing in because I couldn’t stom­ach snot­ty eggs and want­ed it hard. What an obnox­ious thing to do! I was walk­ing the Anna­pur­na cir­cuit alone at 21yrs old and stay­ing with fam­i­lies along the way, it wasn’t the high­way it is now by all accounts. It embar­rass­es me still that I did that.


Ever stolen anything?

As an act of defi­ant sol­i­dar­i­ty to make up after a falling out, my friend Wan­da and I shoplift­ed from the dairy across from our inter­me­di­ate. I got a mint trum­pet and Wan­da got choco­late bis­cuits. We had to bike home 5km uphill, so about half-way we stopped and ate every­thing sit­ting on a stone wall. We’d had enough but we felt oblig­ed in our excit­ed state of com­plic­it rebel­lious­ness to eat the whole lot. We’re still friends, but now we pay for our after­noon tea.


What do you most dis­like about your appearance?

At 50 I’m hap­py to have a healthy, strong body that does what I need it to – but appear­ance… hmmm…I guess when my clothes don’t work I dis­like my wardrobe.


Which liv­ing per­son do you most despise and why?

Don­ald trump – no brainer.


What life les­son would you pass on to your children?

Know what ful­fils you and choose to be hap­py now. Suc­cess is not about mate­r­i­al wealth, it’s about the qual­i­ty of your con­nec­tions and a sense of ful­fil­ment. The focus on get­ting best grades, to get into best course, to get best job, to get best income, to get into best rest home doesn’t have any bear­ing on what val­ue you add or how loved and lov­ing you are.


What job would you do oth­er than your own and why?

Sur­geon — some­thing recon­struc­tive (not van­i­ty surgery) involv­ing bone, stitch­ing, detailed con­struc­tion, deep con­cen­tra­tion, and improv­ing people’s lives. Or research into appli­ca­tions of clin­i­cal, social and neu­ro-psy­chol­o­gy in soci­o­log­i­cal struc­tures (architecture/policy every­thing) because humans are end­less­ly fas­ci­nat­ing, and with a few sim­ple but sig­nif­i­cant shifts we could make life expo­nen­tial­ly bet­ter for everyone.


Ques­tion­naire with CATHRYN MONRO in the Sun­day Star Times (though peo­ple will insist on mis­spelling it with a ‘u’!) #smy #spilt­milkyo­ga #real­moth­ers

Post­ed by Spilt Milk Yoga on Sat­ur­day, 12 Novem­ber 2016


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