Mum, mummy, mother, mama moomin. 

I’ve decided to write this blog because I admire my mum, and want to tell you about her, and why mums are incredible creatures. 

I’ve had a very privileged and educated life, and a lot of credit goes to my mum for that. Not in the sense that she ever sat down with me, and did algebra or spelling tests. It was more telling me places she’s visisted in the world, and the history of that place. Always having fresh and healthy food in the house (much to my disgust as the teenage years came in). I never had any pressure to be an “academic”, it was always about my brothers and I just being happy. She still says to me now “you went to the university of life darling”. We were lucky enough to have our own fruit and veg growing in the garden. Religion was never forced upon us, even though mum does have a Christian background. Above all of these, she introduced me to yoga.

I like to think my mum as a super hero really, she doesn’t walk around in spandex. Although she does rock out to Hendrix with a ladle regularly. When I was 8 she was on her own for a long time. She worked full time and kept the most loving and free spirited house hold. Mum powered through my teenage years,  along with accepting me every time I walked through the door with another piercing. She even drove me for my first tattoo! What a woman. 
Travelling through different countries, I could always tell who the mums were, they had a warmth to them. Do you get given these super powers once you have your first child? My mum’s food always tastes better than mine, when she makes me a brew it’s the best brew. Her hugs are actually magical. When I’m poorly, mum can make me a hot honey, and lemon drink, that seems to cure me (it doesn’t work when I do it). Finally, she supports and believes in anything I want to do. 

So whether it’s going to a yoga class, spa, pub or restaurant, spend time with your mum, she is a truly wonderful human being. If you can’t, spend time with your children, they may not always show it, but to us, you are our role model and an inspiration. 

Big shout out to all the glorious mums out there. I respect and admire all your hard work. 

All my love Grace xxx

Ps I love you too dad, your bed time stories were the best. 

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Home.

Our gruelling journey home consisted of a taxi ride, 3 flights and a 13 hour wait in Delhi airport. All combined with emotions running increasingly higher, as we waited to be reunited with family, friends and England. With my emotions through the roof, catching a glimpse of my dad patiently waiting for us at Manchester airport triggered tears that flowed all day. Saying goodbye (for all of a couple of day’s) to James felt bizzare. After going through 6 months of amazing adventures together, it was as if I could only relate to him, like my back up was gone. 

It’s my second day here now and I’m still feeling in a complete daze, naturally! I am however, staying in a most excellent 5 star accommodation – all credit to my incredible mum. As I sit with my family listening to “normal” conversations, it gives me an alien like comforting feeling. I can’t relate to any of it but I enjoy it. Everything looks different but the same. Almost as if I’m recognising everything around me but I’m seeing it differently.Drinking water from the tap has never tasted so good and don’t even get me started on my mum’s cooking.

I haven’t practiced yoga for 3 days now. My mind isn’t here so it would be utterly pointless, plus I’m still suffering a little from my old friend, Delhi belly. I have a brand new beauty of a mat waiting for me though, courtesy of eco mats. My old one actually melted while I was away! Seona, the woman who I was emailing about it has been a real saviour. Not only did she without question send me a new mat out, it also came with a very comforting and personal note.

So I’ve been doing a lot of this since I’ve been back – Shavasana or corpse pose.

It feels nice on my sore tummy and busy brain. My busy brain which I can’t seem to slow down at the moment. Earlier i called the doctor, explaining about my tummy and travelling, I was asked for no money or insurance and have an appointment this afternoon. They’ll ask me questions, probably take bloods and in a few days I’ll be bending myself into funny shapes again. A few years ago I wouldn’t have thought anything of it, now I can’t stop thinking about it. 

So here’s my short “save the world hippie rant”. Do you ever stop and think how lucky you were to just be born here? I never used to. To have people that can make you better in a few days. To have teachers that educate you, even when sometimes you didn’t want it. To have a bed that you don’t share with 10 other people, to be a woman and have equal rights. And it’s all just … luck, chance, a blessing, whatever you want to call it. So easily could I have been born in India or Syria! So as my mind swirls around processing everything, I finally realise that once you have stretched your mind by travelling, you can never go back. The fact that I have very little money, my mind instantly tell me ” you have mountains more than that kid in Burma”.  The realisation that I’m not returning to a full time stable job, my mind takes over ” you’re not begging in the middle of a motorway in India”. Perspective Grace, but I’ve seen it all now and it’s there in my mind and I’m lucky. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not recommending at the end of your practice you lay in Shavasana, and think about poverty in third world countries. It’s more along the lines of just laying and feeling content with what you have.

Love a very delirious and jet lagged Grace. Xxx 

Stretch your mind – travel.

I come from a family full of teacher’s, seriously everyone around me teaches or did teach. All that said, I didn’t particularly enjoy school. You could say I’m not very intelligent. Maths makes no sense at all to me, spelling and grammar feels like such a challenge and the idea even now of sitting and listening to someone for over 30 minutes makes me anxious. But then I found travel, which I now believe to be the richest form of education.

We’re back in India right now, in Delhi. This place both educates and tests your patience. We visited an inspiring temple yesterday called the “lotus temple”, which invites all religions to come together in silence to pray or meditate. There are no pictures or symbols in the temple and they ask all people to stay quiet (even new born babies). The point of the lotus temple is to represent humanity in its purest form, yet you would be amazed by the amount of people who just couldn’t sit still and silent for even 10 seconds. Coming from the west we often think that we need to stop and take time out more than the east, that they’re somehow more in tune with life and find meditation easier, but the truth is we’re all just the same.

Sure there has been some blatant differences between cultures as we’ve travelled through countries. Everywhere we go a product called “snail white” is sold, to whiten women’s skin, all the time I’m laying, sprouting like broccoli, for the “sun kissed” look. Spitting and just generally using the street as a toilet is a clear difference. Women’s rights has such a long way to go, chivalry is non existent along with women baring skin being seen as distasteful. However, with recent events happening in the world at the moment (brexit, ahem!), this is not a topic I’m going to spend time on. Instead I’m going to list some things I’ve learnt throughout this adventure, that I feel ties us together as one race, the Human race. I’ll apologise in advance for offending anyone, these are purely my own views.

Grumpy teenager’s are global.

Language is truly incredible.

Women are amazing at gossiping.

Everybody is learning, nobody has it all figured out.

Even the poorest people seem to own mobile phones.

Ignorance is bliss, but severely dangerous.

Candy crush!!!!

Unconditional love for our children.

Epilating never gets less painful.

Education is key in our world, but you can’t force it.

Flying is convenient, but nowhere near as much fun as Indian trains.

James is the greatest biker ever, accompanied with having the most patience a human can have.

Religion could potentially and singlehandedly destroy the human race.
Family and friends are more important than I can express.

Music can make me laugh, cry, meditate, think I’m Beyonce or Dave Grohl.

The world is so small, but holds so much to explore.

Your opinions and views are based on your own life experience – don’t exclude others, even if you don’t agree.

Money isn’t the most important thing, but it sure makes the world go round.

Finally, have one focus in life. Be content.

If you’re just starting out in meditation don’t force yourself to sit awkwardly. It’s hard enough to just sit without being uncomfortable. However if you’re aiming to meditate in Lotus pose or Ardha Padmasana watch your knees! Try just sitting cross legged with books stacked beneath both of your knees, removing them one at a time the looser you get. Then start bringing one leg in to Lotus, until you can bring both legs into the pose. Focus on bringing the knees down to the ground, resting the hands wherever is comfy. Hold for a few seconds or a few minutes. As long as your breathing is steady, and you’re not focusing on any pain in your body, this posture has no time limit.

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Stretch your mind – meditate.

Grace x