Domestic Bliss and the Feminist

It’s late at night, my feet are bare on the cool terracotta kitchen tiles, as my husband and I chat happily about various things. Debussy fills the air, lending a gentle tone to the evening. Leek and potato soup simmers on the stovetop. I’ll freeze batches of it for my daughter’s school lunches later. I wash the evening’s dishes, and pop the vegetable and fruit scraps of the day outside to the compost heap. I take a moment to enjoy the birdsong and twilight breeze before heading back to the kitchen to join my husband. He is tending to some jobs, and the scene of domestic bliss is one that makes my heart sing. It might bore the pants off some people, but I don’t care. For me, moments like this are amongst my favourite.

 

CAPUCYO4YB

 

My daughters would laugh if they could have seen me in the late 1980s, what with my killer high-heel shoes (what was I thinking?) and padded jackets. Don’t even start me on the permed hair. Ouch! Feminism was my middle name. I was all about career plans, and the rights of women. Power to the girl, and all that. Hello, I read Cosmo and Cleo magazines. But even then, I think I had a hunch that feminism was about so much more than equal pay!

I learnt about feminism at my mother’s feet, even though she was a stay-at-home mum for all her parenting years rather than a career chick. She was strong, feisty, followed her heart, and wasn’t bound by anyone’s rules. From her, I learnt that women could do anything. From my father, I learnt that it was important to believe in yourself. Pretty good grounding for life, really.

 

4LB01GZ7EL

 

Maybe, though, feminism was about learning to find my voice, too. Perhaps it was standing on my own two feet and not being treated shabbily. I didn’t have the impact of Germaine Greer, but in my own small way I created change that to this day has gone on to help others. In my early twenties, I was sacked from my job as a phlebotomist (the person who takes your blood [and gentlemen, your semen!]) in my local hospital. Why? What had I done wrong? My crime was daring to put in a formal complaint against my boss for sexually harassing me. He thought it was his God-given right to grope me and make lewd comments from 9 to 5. The general manager was sympathetic, but in the end said his hands were tied. It was easier to hire a new lab assistant than to hire a new scientist. Can you feel your inner feminist rising? Mine sure as hell did! As it turns out, at the time, for some odd reason, Queensland hospitals seemed to be exempt from any laws against their staff being sexually harassed. That is no longer the case after my time with the Ombudsman. This was never about me getting revenge, but about speaking up for women and for the underdog. It was about saying ‘wait a minute, we’re important too!’

 

E7CPQ0CAF6

 

Several years later, when working as a media officer and author for the Royal New Zealand Society for the Protection of Animals, I became incensed by the many cruelties to animals in the name of ‘human food’. In particular, the fact that a battery hen spends her whole life in a space the size of a piece of A4 paper: denied her biological needs of sunshine, dust, and freedom of movement. My inner feminist began to boil. The way a culture treats animals is usually a fair indication of how it treats its women, too. My daughter Eliza thinks it’s pretty cool that I launched the Ban the Battery cage campaign. The highlight for me was when my boss, bless him, called me into his office because five ‘top’ men from the Egg Production Board were there. They wanted me to stop what I was doing. My campaign was hurting their lucrative industry. I was about 24 years old, standing in a room with men all aged 55 or older. It’s fair to say it was one of the more empowering moments of my life.

So, I stand here today, in my cosy cottage in rural Cumbria, a thousand years away from that young feisty girl, barefoot and content, but as much a feminist as ever.

 

goh6

 

Feminism has meant that marriage for me is easy. I’m with a man wouldn’t dream of thinking I was anything ‘less than’. My husband is my greatest supporter. He’s the first person who’ll encourage me to sit and write an article or book before I do the vacuuming. You’re more likely to find my husband washing the dishes than me, and I am just as happy to put the rubbish and recycling on the kerb. I mow the lawn (though, in fairness, he has to start the thing for me), and he repairs clothes with his little sewing kit. My daughters find this endlessly amusing.

There are some feminists who’d see the scenes of my domestic harmony the antithesis of their rally cry, and yet…this is exactly what it’s all about. Equality is about looking into the mirror of a relationship and knowing the scales are fairly balanced. Surely the heart of feminism is harmony, whether it’s at work or home?

I enjoy cooking, and it’s fair to say that most of the meals in this house are generated by me. If, though, I was with someone who demanded a meal on the table at 6pm each night… Never mind, scrub that thought, I’d never have ended up with someone like that!

 

20151009_102909

 

Feminism, to me, is freedom. It’s not a fight. It really shouldn’t even be a cause. It’s had to be, of course, because, like battery hens, women have been treated shoddily for a good chunk of history.

Not all men are like that, of course. In my life, I’m blessed to know men who are thoughtful, kind, considerate, generous and fair. I guess it’s indicative of the journey I’ve been on in life, but every time I meet a man like this, I do a silent cheer.

What have I learnt after decades as a feminist? Feminism isn’t about what’s out there. It’s not even about changing the world. Sorry! Feminism isn’t actually about men and women, or worse: men v. women. It’s about loving yourself. To be a feminist means valuing yourself enough that you won’t tolerate any situation that doesn’t match your ideals and values, whether that’s in the way an animal is treated, or an employee, or how our planet is raped and pillaged. A true feminist is a woman who values herself enough to make lifestyle choices which honour who she really is, and what she loves to do: whether that’s having a career, or being a stay-at-home mum (or in my case, both); or being a humanitarian or anything else that makes her heart sing.

 

friend

So, to the young women coming along who think feminism is a fight. Stop. Put your weapons down. Instead, slip your shoes off and go for a walk on the grass. Look up the stars. Feel the rain on your skin. Recognise your place in this Universe. Love yourself unconditionally. Don’t buy into the cultural hype about what womanhood means. Be kind to yourself, and be gentle. Define your own values. Live a heart-centred life. After all, isn’t that what the feminine energy is all about? Listen to your heart. It has the answers. Inspire yourself, and you’ll inspire others, whether you’re at the kitchen sink or landing a multi-million pound deal. Being a feminist means being free to write your own script!

 

5SBBBGM9KH

 

 

, ,

Dandelions and the Wild Woman

My mother was the first person to teach my daughters, Beth and Eliza, about eating dandelion leaves.

To my eyes, dandelions are beautiful: first, with their bright yellow flowers, and then with their fluffy ball-like seed tops which beg me to blow them off with a wish.

 

dandelion2

that beautiful happy face!

In the early years of mothering, I would take my daughters out for our daily walk around the block (about three miles around the farmers’ fields), and we’d sing a song called Dandelion, Yellow As Gold.

I would sing:
O dandelion, yellow as gold
What do you do all day?

And then Beth & Eliza would sing:
I just wait here in the tall green grass till the children come to play.

Me:
O dandelion, yellow as gold, what do you do all night?

Beth & Eliza:
I wait and wait till the cool dews fall and my hair grows long and white.

Me:
And what do you do when your hair is white, and the children come to play?

Beth and Eliza:
They take me up in their dimpled hands, and blow my hair away.

 

They never tired of our vocal trio, and indeed, the dandelion song was the soundtrack to their early childhood. (It is from a book called Sing Through the Day. The song was written by Noreen Bath).

Dandelions are cursed by those who cultivate manicured lawns, and by farmers. They’re sprayed, pulled and trodden on. Millions of people, worldwide, use Monsanto’s toxic Roundup to kill something they consider a weed.
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/09/monsanto-roundup-herbicide.aspx

Why do I love dandelions? Apart from their obvious beauty, there is something about their tenacity that makes me smile. That persistence in growing through asphalt, and finding the light, is deeply inspiring. What a life force! And here’s what really makes me laugh: no matter how often people rip those plants up, or knock ‘em down with toxic products, they come back year after year. Do you think they’re trying to tell us something?

Maligned and unappreciated by many, dandelions have so much to offer us.

Imagine if Wordsworth had written about dandelions rather than daffodils? Perhaps we wouldn’t be poisoning our gardens!

 

dandelions

 

 

My garden is a reflection of me. A bit wild.

 

 

dandelion3

Clearing the vegetable beds after Winter.

 

 

 

I see similarities between myself and a dandelion: I have been a source of food, medicine, nourishment, wisdom and strength. My hands-on mothering days are coming to an end, as my younger daughter leaves for university in three months and 26 days.

 

eliza

Eliza Serena Robinson

 

 

Reflecting on this, I am reminded that dandelions have been my teacher: they’ve shown me that I have put down roots, and even when the culture around me had completely different values, I continued to grow. I mothered from an intuitive place, and learnt from watching my children play and live free from formal education. Dandelions have also taught me the importance of being adaptable to changing circumstances.

Like my garden, my wild mothering heart is a place that’s overgrown, and the paths have to be navigated through thick, so-called weeds. It was always in my blood to mother from this fertile ground. Dandelions have shown me that I can be a woman and live with beauty in this world, even when the culture tries to trample me down. I stand tall, and continue to do my work both as a mother and in my career.

garden

Enjoying sunrise in my garden

 

Dandelions always have a home here in my garden, and are amongst the first flowers in Spring that bees can rely on as a source of food.

I rejoice at this time of the year to see fields, verges and, indeed, my lawn, bustling with these happy yellow faces. I don’t see dandelions as evil and pesky weeds. Quite the opposite. They’re welcome in my garden for their beauty alone. But did you know that their leaves are highly nutritious, their flowers are also edible, and their roots make a wonderful caffeine-free coffee?

Dandelion greens have found their way into my fresh juices, salads, and even steamed with other vegetables. Medicinally, they’re brilliant for treating gall-bladder and liver complaints. The bitter leaves are an excellent tonic. Ideal for treating skin issues, such as acne or eczema, dandelion is excellent for purifying the blood. The dandelion is rich in nutrients including protein, calcium, iron, Vitamins A & C.

Daffodils, gorgeous as they are Mr Wordsworth, have inedible bulbs and let’s face it, no one ever told the time using them. But dandelions, oh beautiful dandelions, can be used from root to flower.

NOTE: Do not pick dandelion greens from a roadside, near railway lines or telegraph poles (due to toxic car fumes and weedkiller).

 

garden2

oh how I love to rest amongst the daisies and dandelions

 

In my book, The Mystic Cookfire, you can find a recipe for dandelion fritters.  You can buy a signed copy here: https://www.veronikarobinson.com/author/non-fiction.shtml

 

My upcoming book, Love From My Kitchen, has more dandelion recipes: gluten-free bread; pesto, jam, coffee and a tart.

Now, sing along with me:
O dandelion, yellow as gold
What do you do all day?

 

Love, Veronika xx  #creatingabeautifullife

gardenbudda

 

 

 

A Time To Gather

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to hang out with likeminded people for a five days? We have a few places available on our family camp in August (18-22) in North Yorkshire.

 

Bluebells

This is a wonderful chance to step into Nature, and watch your children run through wildflower meadows. You might like to take part in one of our many workshops, or simply enjoy a walk in the woods on your own. Perhaps you dream of gathering around the campfire at night, and sipping tea under the stars. Maybe you feel drawn to gathering with others for a ceremony in the Ironage replica townhouse, or sampling some reflexology. You might be inclined to take part in a drumming workshop or engage in art therapy. The forest school activities are always a hit with young and old.

 

Labyrinth at The Mother magazine camp

Labyrinth at our previous camp

Lunches and dinners are being prepared on site by Rocket Catering.

 

Camp kitchen at The Mother magazine family camp 2013

Camp kitchen at our family camp 2013

All in all it will be a nourishing experience.

You can find more information here, as well as a booking form. Places can be secured with a 20% deposit.

https://www.veronikarobinson.com/creativity-camp/index.shtml

 

camping

,

N is for Nourish

When I’m asked what I mean by ‘creating a beautiful life’, the answer is simple: infuse each day with beautiful experiences. Let yourself be nourished at every level: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

 

raining

 

. Oh how I love sunshine! After seventeen years living in the north of England, my being still hankers for a good dose of strong Aussie sunshine. Regardless, I make sure I get sunlight where I can. We need the light for our happiness and our health. It’s not enough to have it streaming in through a window. Even on cool or cloudy days, do try and get yourself outside.

 

UJ22HZMTQN

. Flowers bring instant beauty into the environment. Whether they’re wildflowers you’ve gathered from the roadside, some blossom from your garden, or a bouquet made by your local florist, allow their scents and colours to adorn your home. This level of beauty speaks to us every time we pass by, even if we’re not consciously taking them in. If you’d rather not cut flowers, enjoy them in situ and take the time to really absorb their beauty.

 

12985465_1144899738894383_1030344529407279297_ngoh4

 

. Food isn’t just about sustenance; it’s designed to be pleasurable. Two of my favourite places to eat in my local town of Penrith (Greenwheat Florist and Café, and The Yard Kitchen) always leave me feeling sated.

At lunchtime today, I was eating some leftover chickpea and cranberry curry from last night’s dinner. Why does curry always taste even better the next day? I was aware that I was making food noises. Ever heard the term foodgasm? Yep, that’s me. If I enjoy a meal, I find it hard to suppress my experience of it. It’s not just the taste, though. Aroma, texture and memory play a huge part. Cinnamon always has me right back in my mother’s kitchen.

bl2

 

. Love is a basic human need. With it, we flourish. We’re nourished at our deepest level. Without it, we wither.

LOVE YOURSELF. This is the most important relationship you can ever have. With great self love, loneliness isn’t possible. With tender loving care of our self, our inner world becomes a rich and vibrant landscape that is a constant source of nourishment. We become self contained in the most beautiful way.

You can develop the art of love, tenderness and kindness by taking care of a pet or plant.

 

R0BZTCYBM6

 

. It is said that we become like the five people we hang out with the most. Take a look at the people with whom you spend a lot of time. What does that say about you? Are they loving, compassionate, kind, joyful, humorous, grateful, loving, focussed, passionate, mindful? Maybe they’re gossips, cruel, spiteful, self-centred, fearful, angry, inconsiderate. Consider why they are in your orbit.

. If you spend time on Facebook, how does your newsfeed make you feel? Are you nourished or irritated? Does it feed you in ways which are inspiring, or does it bring you down? Every thought we think shapes our future.

. Music is a unique language, which crosses all cultures. It has the ability to soothe, nourish, engender fear (think tribal drumbeats, and the countdown to the news), haunt the soul, and make us happy. Choose your music like you choose your friends: carefully. Allow music to be part of your daily life.

. Reading provides food for the mind. Find a writer whose work you enjoy, and allow yourself the pleasure of unwinding or being inspired by their books, blogs or articles.

 

Y4P32I1G1K

. I am not a gym babe. Not by any stretch. However, you can find me there most days of the week doing weight-resistance exercises and some cardio. I also love to swim and do aquafit. My favourite exercise of all is a solitary walk through woodland.

 

sebastianunrau

 

Exercise boosts our endorphins, and endorphins make us happy. Go for a walk. Take a run. Ride a bike. Go dancing. Move your butt. Exercise isn’t just for the body, it’s brain food too. It creates space from the rest of our life.

. Create space for quiet and stillness. To me, this is the heartbeat of a beautiful life. Whole worlds exist in these places.

 

bl21

. Beauty may come through flowers, food, friendships, and what we read. It may be a starry sky, or woodland walk. Beauty may be that dandelion pushing its way through concrete, or sunlight peaking around dreary clouds. Maybe it’s making love at sunrise on a lazy Sunday morning. Perhaps it’s the first smile of an infant, or a snowdrop coming into blossom. Beauty is all around us, if only we look. It is with us every step of the way. For many people, it’s easy to be blinded because we’re so busy racing to something less nourishing. Slow down.

 

bl1

. When we live with integrity (meaning what we say, and saying what we mean), everything in our life changes: relationships, jobs, income, home, health. In short, it’s about acting authentically even (and especially) when no one is looking.

. There is beauty in simplicity. How easy is it to fill our lives up with things, people and activities? When we strive to simplify our lives, everything takes on more meaning. The world does, indeed, look beautiful.

. For me, the most vital aspect to creating a beautiful life lies in the art of gratitude.

Saying thank you

throughout the day

is enlivening, humbling, and life changing.

 

There is no higher vibration. Some people spend their days looking over the fence and being envious of other people’s apparently perfect lives. Resist the temptation. The grass is always greener where we water it. Focus on what is important to you. Create love, beauty and joy by noticing those colourful wildflowers growing at your feet.

#creatingabeautifullife

a

Fight, Flight or Inner Calm?

It is said that the instinctive response to stress or danger is either fight or flight.

These may well have been the only choices for our distant ancestors, but why do we go to this place within ourselves for every little stress in our lives? Have we become so conditioned by our genetic patterns that we forget we actually have a choice in how we respond to the circumstances of life?

 

37O88WH3DD

You and I are not going to meet a sabre-toothed tiger on the way to work, and it is unlikely that most of us are going to be taken hostage or experience a famine in our lifetime. What do our first-world stresses actually look like?

 

photo-1433588616917-dcbcc63429f4

Maybe it’s a trip to the dentist?

Perhaps it’s opening a bill and fretting that you don’t have the money to pay it.

Or, here’s a common one: mother-in-law is coming to visit.

What about for children? Stress is there without fail every time their parents fight. And it’s bound to be ignited whenever there is a test or exam.

Maybe you’re experiencing menstrual stress due to nutritional deficiencies.

Your stress could be because you’ve just had an underlying health condition diagnosed.

Coming home to an untidy house is a stress, whether we’re conscious of it or not.

 

5SBBBGM9KH

What about the stress of caffeine, sugar or even your daily visit to the gym?

It is absolutely true that stress can trigger the instinctive fight or flight response. But has anyone told you lately that there’s another way? A mindful approach to stressful events?

The difference between our ancient ancestresses and us is that we have the benefit of awareness. We can choose our response.

As someone who has experienced adrenal fatigue twice, I have learnt slowly that I don’t have to respond to so-called stressful situations by zapping my adrenals till there’s nothing left of them. In almost all cases, our ability to deal with stress in a calm, Zen way is based on how healthy we are, not just mentally, of course, but physically. Any deficiencies in core minerals, such as magnesium, lead us to a precipice where it’s really hard to respond calmly, even to ‘little’ incidents.

 

photo-1445964047600-cdbdb873673d

Most people are terrified of going to the dentist. Me? I love going there. It means about half an hour being horizontal in the daytime, with my eyes closed, resting peacefully.

Here are my top tips for nourishing your adrenals so that they have everything you need to survive should you bump into a sabre-toothed anything.

Nurturing Your Adrenals

Keep an infusion of liquid magnesium. Spray it onto your skin at least twice a day. Not only will you sleep ever-so peacefully, but you’ll find your attitude to most things to be calm and measured. I purchase a brand called Better You magnesium flakes, then mix it with boiled water (just enough water for the flakes to dissolve). This is kept in glass jars with spray nozzles. If you’re going through a lot of stress, ensure you spray every day.

Menstrual migraines? Spray magnesium onto your skin (it’s 8 times more absorbent than tablets or food). Eat three Brazil nuts every day. This will give your thyroid much-needed selenium. Find a good quality kelp for iodine. Limit caffeine, processed foods, and sugar. Get plenty of sleep.

An apple a day not only keeps the doc away, it balances blood-sugar levels as it contains chromium.

Gossip is acidic. Be mindful of what you listen to.

Drink plenty of water. Keep a record, if you have to, to ensure you’re having a couple of litres each day.

Try a floatation tank as part of your regular routine.

Consider weight-resistant exercises to build up your strength and fitness, without the stress of cardio.

If you can’t meditate, devote at least find five minutes a day for some slow, deep breathing.

Be mindful of the company you keep. Some people thrive on being miserable. Don’t let this contaminate your energetic field. To be clear, there’s a huge difference between supporting someone who is going through a tough time, and being around the perpetual moaners of this world.

How often do you get out into Nature? Where possible, spend time barefoot, or lying on the ground. The Earth allows us to dispel radiation from our bodies.

Take time to do NOTHING. Just be. Feel the sunshine on your skin. Listen to the birds. Close your eyes and breathe in the fresh air. Your body needs this.

Listen to nourishing instrumental music.

The most important lesson I’ve learned when healing adrenal fatigue is to take time for having fun. It’s so underrated in this culture. I firmly believe our purpose on this Earth is to have pleasure. Making this a priority in your life will transform the old fight-flight demons. Laughing, joking, spending time with people who make you feel good, will all send loving vibes to your adrenal glands.

 

AF

At any given moment, we have a choice in how to respond. We can fight. We can fly away. Or, we can tap into our inner calm and recognise that our point of power is in this moment. We can choose to face our ‘stress’ and trust that we are safe, protected and have everything we need.

 

I-create-my-day

The truth is that there are many things in life we can’t control, such as the death of a loved one, but we can choose how to take each step. Slowly, mindfully, and with the certainty that as we lean into the situation, we will take what we need to learn from it, and move on. Stronger, wiser…and peaceful.

 

 

20160316_122706_resized

Creating the life you were born to live

For the next couple of days I’m offering a 2-for-1 deal on my astrology readings. £75.00 (worth £150)

Simply book a one-hour session on my website, and receive a second reading free (for yourself, friend, family member). I record calls by phone Skype, and can do readings wherever you are in the world as long as you have an internet/Skype connection.

 

saturn

https://www.veronikarobinson.com/astrologer/index.shtml

The readings need to be ordered by Monday night, UK time, but can be taken at a time to suit. Some people are choosing to have face-to-face readings with me at our family camp in August (in North Yorkshire). https://www.veronikarobinson.com/creativity-camp/index.shtml I can also do in-person sessions from my home in Cumbria (near Penrith).

 

dellarticle

Spring is a wonderful time for an astrology reading. It’s when Nature reminds us that there is hope after the long dark Winter.

I’m not a doom-and-gloom astrologer. My goal is to inspire you to live to your potential, and to follow your soul’s calling. There is nothing to be fearful of when you entrust me to interpret your chart.

 

zodiac2

Not sure if you think astrology is useful to you? Have a read of some testimonials on my website. Love, Veronika x

 

 

 

fullmoonoffer

zodiac

 

 

ASTROwithVeronika

, , , ,

Happily Ever What?

When my younger daughter was three, she asked me “What’s at the end of forever?” It’s the sort of question that makes you realise mothering is not going to be a piece of cake! Most of her questions were of that ilk.

KIKHW5NC6Y

 

My teenage years were spent with my nose inside Mills & Boon romance novels living vicariously through women courted by Mr Right. Sure beat biology classes, anyway. I have long believed in happily ever after. It’s not a myth. But, like “what’s at the end of forever?”, it may not be easy to answer.

My marriage to a good man certainly feels like ‘happily ever after’ but the reality is that at some point one or other of us will be saying farewell when our beloved leaves this Earth. The love, however, will continue throughout eternity. Of that, I’m certain.

Whatever it is that we’re seeking when we search out a soulmate isn’t just about how good a person is between the sheets or how good they will look in a wedding dress, but it is absolutely about how they feel in our heart. The best way to choose if someone is right for you is with your eyes closed. There’s nothing wrong with physical attraction and chemistry, but it’s the icing NOT the cake. True love that lasts through the years is about something deeper; something which transcends the physical.

MIXX8KP98P

When I write love stories they may well have a happily ever after, but what I’m really writing is ‘I’ll leave you happy for now’. That’s not to say that happiness can’t be ongoing, but the only thing we ever have is now. I wish for my characters a Happily Now. And I wish that for myself. I wish that for you.

 

novelspromo

How do we create happiness in our daily lives? Isn’t it just a by-product of some external activity or experience? Something that ebbs and flows like the tides?

For me, happiness isn’t necessarily walking about with a smile on my face (though that is lovely), but about an inner contentment. It’s about savouring the small pleasures of life, and ensuring I meet my sensorial needs each day. It is about awakening my senses and experiencing pleasure. These are never about the future, but the present moment. As I type, birds sing beautifully in the trees outside. Why would I wish that for ten or fifty years from now? HERE, today, right now, is where I am experiencing their joy. Birdsong becomes my joy.

 

photo-1430329429612-babb42f88673

Tulips on my windowsill make my heart sing. Now, not in the future.

I sip spring water from my glass. Now, not in twenty years.

Chatting with friends isn’t something I dream about years down the road. I engage and cherish the experience now.

I smile when I open an email from a grateful reader. Now, not in some distant future.

Confession: over the years I’ve spent a small fortune on psychics and fortune tellers. What’s interesting is that I have come to a solid and secure place in my life where I recognise that I CREATE my future by what I think and feel today. And this goes for all of us. No one’s future is set in stone. We are the masters of our own Fate.

No one puts the thoughts into our heads but us. We choose them. We can filter them. Weed them out. Plant new thoughts. As gardeners of the mind, we have the power to transform our lives one thought at a time. This isn’t about being the archetypal Pollyanna so much as holding a state of grace and gratitude.

If you’re searching for a happily ever after, start here. What are your prevailing thoughts? What way does the wind blow your feelings? What are you most grateful for? Being mindful of how and when and why you are grateful is the best fortune teller of all. The more your heart expands with joy and gratitude, the bigger and brighter your life.

Start where you are: the roof over your head. The food on your plate. The company you keep. A grateful heart is a happy heart.

 

photo-1447078806655-40579c2520d6

Veronika Robinson is the author of about seventeen books (she’s lost count!). Her most recent publication is I Create My Day: simple ways to create a beautiful and nourishing life. Signed copies from https://www.veronikarobinson.com/author/non-fiction.shtml

Discover the path of spiritual grace. I Create My Day is a sacred journey into the heart of attitudinal healing, and invites you to create the life of your dreams one day at a time. Regardless of how you currently experience the world, this book promises to show how you can create a magnificent life that is nourishing, beautiful and authentic. At the heart of a handcrafted life is a spirit of reverence, gratitude and grace. By including the simple ideas in this book as part of your every day, you will witness your life unfold in ways that are miraculous, meaningful and, always, from the heart. Creating your day is one of the greatest spiritual decisions you can make.

Or available from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Create-My-Day-Beautiful-Nourishing/dp/0993158625/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459266654&sr=8-1&keywords=I+Create+My+Day

You can also ask your local library or bookshop to stock copies.

 

I-create-my-day

Life Purpose

One of the biggest influences on my ability to find my life purpose, and walk my path with joy, has been understanding the astrological blueprint of the moment I was born.

leaves

Astrology can help you understand yourself, your relationships, your learning style (and your child’s), as well as help identify the best type of home, love, and work/career for you. It allows healing to take place when you can name and identify core wounds, too.

Astrology is beneficial for issues around health, intimacy, sexuality, finance, studying, marriage, spirituality, and more. ~ Veronika xx

 

lunaroffer

A new script for marriage

“All marriages have difficulties.” “All couples fight.” “The make-up sex is fantastic.” So, what’s your story about marriage? Was it something you learnt from your parents or did you choose a different way to love?

I don’t resonate with any of the quotes above. To me, it’s like saying “birth is painful and dangerous”. Maybe that’s your experience, but that doesn’t mean it is the same for every woman on the planet. And just as more and more women are discovering that birth can be joyous, pleasurable, painless and ecstatic, so too will people discover that by bringing conscious awareness to the path of marriage, and recognising both ‘self’ and ‘other’, their script doesn’t need to mimic other people’s less than pleasant (and often destructive) experiences.

21

What do you bring to marriage? What is your fundamental belief about being in a long-term commitment? Does it fill you with fear or delight? Does it speak of entrapment? Or freedom? Do you feel comfortable being vulnerable and honest?

While each of us is our own person, and has our own beliefs, when we are in a relationship, a third entity is created. That ‘sacred being’ needs feeding and nourishment in order to grow and thrive, and that living entity then, like an invisible feed-back loop, ensures the individuals become the best version of themselves. And isn’t that what we truly want for the other? If not, then why stay in that relationship?

 

meandpaulatlimetree

Someone said to me a while ago, “how can you stand spending time with your husband all the time?” (We both work from home.) The short and long answers: “I love it. I never tire of his company.”

For a marriage to blossom, it requires the individuals really know themselves. When we do that, then we fully own everything we bring to the relationship. When we don’t, pretty much everything is the other person’s fault. So marriage falls somewhere between an adversarial dead-end street or a vibrant freeway to heaven!

One of my daughters once commented that her father and I set the bar so high in terms of marriage. Truth is, I wouldn’t waste a day of my life in anything less than what we’ve created. If that’s the message my children see, then I’m delighted! Why spend your life consuming cheap and nasty ice cream when you can sup on the deluxe, gourmet, high-quality ice cream?

 

mandy1

Mandy and Graham Bingham, one of the most gorgeous couples I know.

The more conscious we become, the more we also come to understand that our marriage is a mirror of our own self-worth and self-love. If your relationship isn’t anywhere near what you’d like it to be, then you have to go back to you. That is where the real loving has to begin and end. Love, Value, Respect. Prioritise your self-care and self-love, and watch your relationship change. Invest in your emotional and creative well-being. Life’s too short for anything less.

Perhaps you could use the energies of this upcoming Full Moon to really get a sense of relationship. https://veronikarobinson.com//full-moon-in-libra-mirror-mirror-on-the-wall/

Veronika Robinson has been officiating ceremonies since 1995. She has a deep love of the sacred, and derives great joy from creating, writing and officiating ceremonies for people. She specialises in handfastings, but is equally at home conducting more formal weddings in five-star venues, as well as namings, home blessings, blessingways, vow renewals and funerals. Veronika officiates sacred and inspirational ceremonies throughout Cumbria, northern Lancashire and Southern Scotland, and is particularly fond of outdoor ceremonies. www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant

A vegetarian wedding

As a long-term vegetarian, and someone who truly enjoys creating good-tasting food, the idea of a vegetarian wedding really appeals to me.

 

veganfood3

 

My own wedding was: in lieu of presents, please bring a home-made vegetarian meal to share. It was fantastic, and really brought the guests together in their shared commitment to honour our wedding day in this way. For twenty years I’ve held this memory with deep gratitude and joy.

Unless you absolutely know that a wedding venue can meet your needs, brace yourself for disappointment or another choice of venue. If the venue you’ve chosen isn’t capable of providing you with a first-class vegetarian reception, ask to bring in your own caterers.

 

veganfood2

 

I recently attended a local wedding venue that was featuring a new room. As a marriage celebrant, I was most excited to see this space. Well, it sure did look beautiful! However, I paid £15 for the honour of trying their gourmet canapés. Well in advance I put in my request for gluten-free vegetarian. Imagine my disappointment (and, to be honest, some seething ‘wtf?’) when I was pointed to olives (which I could have bought at the supermarket) and nuts. Seriously? I can hand on heart say I felt duped.

Vegetarian meals at most weddings may fall under the following categories: improvised, salads, sides, buffets that feature a couple of plant-based options. Check that your venue is skilled at vegetarian-only menus and that they treat it with the respect and care it deserves rather than as a last-minute thought or attachment.

Buckland Hall is the only all-vegetarian wedding venue in Britain.

See their mouthwatering menu here: http://www.bucklandhall.co.uk/wedding_content.php?art_id=73

If that doesn’t inspire you to choose a vegetarian menu, nothing will.

veggiefood

 

Some venues can be downright rude and unfriendly when you say you want a wedding sans dead animals.

No matter if your choice for a vegetarian wedding is based on a desire for a low eco footprint, animal ethics, or a wish to keep things simple, this is YOUR wedding day, and you have the right to create it in the way that is comfortable for you. Don’t be scared to shop around and make other plans if you feel you’re not being heard.

Some brides feel pressured by guests into having meat options at their wedding. Your guests are there to honour your commitment to love another person. The wedding is a template of who you are, and your values. If you feel strongly about having a cruelty-free menu, then stand your ground. If a guest feels that they can’t go one meal without meat, then perhaps they could eat a burger before arriving at the wedding?

Contrary to the argument that meat eaters offer vegetarian meals (ha! barely) at their weddings, so it should be the same for veggies to offer a meat option, it isn’t as simple as that. Choosing to not be part of the loss of an animal’s life speaks to the heart of a person. It defines an aspect of who they are. Why would any guest expect someone with such heart-felt beliefs not to be true to themselves on what is considered by many to be the most important day of their lives?

If the chef in question needs inspiring, send him samples of vegetarian wedding meals such as those of Buckland Hall. Why not choose a wedding away from a hotel, and ask your guests to bring a home-made vegetarian meal? Or you could hire a vegetarian food van (such as a falafel truck), and keep it really casual.

Food is such an important element and ritual of ceremonies. It is natural that your food ethics would be reflected in your wedding day.

Planning a wedding is a good test for married life. Every step of the way is about compromise: season, style, venue, catered or not catered, colours, themes, guests, music, flowers and so on. Compromise, however, is about what feels good for the soul, and shouldn’t be about sacrifice. If you walk gently on this Earth by not eating animals, and want your wedding to be an example of that, then be true to your core values.

 

veganfood

 

Vegetarian food, when made with love, care and flair, is deeply nourishing, tasty and fulfilling. Don’t be fobbed off with anything less than the best.

My motto is: Your Day, Your Way.

Veronika Robinson has been officiating weddings since 1995. She trained at Unity Church in Auckland, New Zealand, and was authorised to conduct legal weddings under the New Thought Ministries umbrella. She has a deep love of the sacred, and derives great joy from creating, writing and officiating personalised ceremonies for people. She specialises in handfastings, but is equally at home conducting more formal weddings, as well as namings, blessingways, vow renewals and funerals. Veronika officiates inspirational ceremonies throughout Cumbria, northern Lancashire and Southern Scotland, and is particularly fond of outdoor ceremonies. www.veronikarobinson.com/celebrant