As Fabian will read this text: Honey, I’m sorry for hijacking your birthday cake post to write this. 27 will rock your world and present huge shifts, I’m sure of it and I know you’ll meet it with greatness. We will. I love you
A couple of weeks ago I could barely keep myself together. Or rather, I didn’t. The power inside of me went out.
I have debated with myself and Fabian weather or not to talk about this here but seeing as the things happening in our lives at the moment could possibly shed some light on an important topic that needs discussing, here I am sharing. Another thing before you go on reading, I get that this may stir up some emotions or opinions and as that’s great we’ll of course allow your love based (only!) comments beneath this post. Thank you for holding space and sharing light!
We all have plenty of identities in the outer world and that sure is immensely interesting and a huge growth factor but at the base of everything we are just us. You know, the grand, powerful, packed with resources, all potential in the universe, filled with love-us. This is what rings true to me and it is how I live but sometimes when we feel particularly kooky and really overwhelmed (me in this case) those outer identities grow louder and becomes more attention-craving then the soul-fueled core-us. Does that ring a bell?
Here’s the deal, being an A-type of person by nature and juggling everything from a company (even though what I do for Earthsprout at the moment is limited to a very minimum) to a broken dishwasher, seedlings, showering, remembering to drink enough water and being a first time mom with all that it includes, is crazy (is there a more potent word for crazy?). At this time in my life my No1 outer identity is being a mother and I am loving every bit of it and our little forest prince. Caspian is the most silly, wonderful, funny, dreamy baby boy ever. Plus he has the cutest ears. But (and here’s the thing) the longest he’s slept in one stretch since he came earthside is 4 hours (which has happened two times, otherwise it’s usually between 20 minutes – 2 hours at a time). Needless to say we’re kinda tired over here. Sleep deprivation really is no joke. My energy reservoirs have been long past the point of empty for quite a while now and still it took a complete break-down and some reasoned with to realize why I was acting and feeling all nutty. I needed to get some serious sleep. Seriously.
What happened was this: during the middle of Caspians monthly check-up with our amazing childrens nurse I let my strong survival- mode melt away. I had hit a limit. In the middle of all the tears I felt like a failure for breaking down since all other moms seemed to keep it all so perfectly together. The irony is that If you’d have met me 5 minutes earlier you’d never been able to see anything but the positive, loving mom holding a gorgeous child in her arms that I see in others. I know that I am strong in multiple ways (for which I am very grateful) however, this kind of emotional strength doesn’t do anyone one bit of good. What it does is it pushes an inevitable teary culmination further into the future, making it harder to cope with. Unintentionally I fooled myself and even Fabian for a long time. Not my mom though. So why do it? Why leave Elenore in a corner to wait for easier times and let the ‘just do it survival-me’ take charge? Honestly it was mostly due to a blurry picture that everyone else is handling ”it all” so effing great and I didn’t have enough back-up sleep in my body to even question the glossy, photoshopped front picture of mamahood that we meet everywhere. Also I’m so used to identifying myself with the very productive and effective ”outer identity” that I tend to keep around. Combining those two and adding them to our current life and situation = insanity.
Somewhere I knew that it was all going to be all right but still the most prominent emotion at that time was panic. I felt panicky about almost everything in our lives and my thoughts were a big, huge mess with a delicious touch of identity crisis. I couldn’t be reasoned with at all. How long we can live in this rental house? How, where, how long, when to travel this year? How to think around Caspians preschool/schooling? Shouldn’t we really start looking for land to buy? Or buy a run down house and renovate it? What do I want to focus on with Earthsprout? Couldn’t we just sell everything and move to Kauai/Ubud/San Fransisco? What are Fabians thoughts around his job? ..and so on. Having a child has in my mind put everything in our lives up for evaluation and I guess it’s not very uncommon. I don’t think I’m the only one who’s pushed to carefully consider my core desired feelings and what brings them around in a situation like this. Why? There simply isn’t room for anything unnecessary and it’s time to be crystal clear with ones intentions. A big sign says ”No space for fluff” during all moments of every day.
Anyway, it took 10 minutes for one wise doctor (who was a mother herself) to realize I needed a break. I am currently on sick-leave and Fabian is on parental-leave. After two weeks the panic has left and even though I’m very far from well rested and completely grounded, the core-me feels safe enough to be more present instead of the survival-me. Progress!
Of course our current situation has plenty of more nuances to it then I could write here without this post ending up the length of a novel. Basically the sleep deprived me felt like a great big failure for not having a seemingly untouched energy back-up, for not being totally fine with spending huge chunks of my days without Fabian (or ironically not having any me-time), for not feeling like exercising, for only craving dark chocolate and sourdough bread and having the urge to guzzle down liters of green tea, for being oceans away from feeling womanly sensual or sexy and for not accomplishing ”enough” in my company. Can anyone relate? When the drive to be more & more effective overrides remembering that all is well and when productive trumps being still and breathe in the flippin’ amazing love that we are – That’s when we really need to stop. Or you know, preferably weeks earlier as prevention rocks. Can we agree that a Super Woman-ish ideal is incredibly stupid? If we keep comparing our lives and accomplishments to those of others we’ll all be failures simply because not one life or soul is meant to look exactly like another. I am thankful for and celebrating being Elenore and I am thankful for my outer identities too, as a woman, a mother, a daughter, an entrepreneur, a wife and a silly tree hugger. What I’m not is a Superhuman and nor do I really desire to be one.. and yes, I keep needing to remind myself of that last bit.
Let us hold the emotions that surface in difficult times, let us look at them, give them love and attention and let them be teachers (bad-friggin’-ass teachers). Then after a while we can decide how to move in the direction of where we want to be/go/feel/do and what to release. Also, let’s all rest much more as it seems to be an outstanding breeding ground for faith, gratitude, sanity, impromptu kissing (hallelujah to all of those!) …and semi-raw Tropical Celebratory Cheesecakes. Take it from me.
The symbiotic life of a mother and a child, of me and Caspian is the hugest blessing and the biggest challenge. Loving him is a world of it’s own and since I desire to be the best I can for him, I need to take baby steps for a while. Resting while surrounded with Fabians amazing papa moves and Caspians happy squealing. That along with this cake, is my medicine.
One final question: When did we start thinking that only one or two people can raise a child and still feel superb? Why on earth did we stop raising babies in communities?
First Aid Kit
Greenylicious moves to go from exhausted towards ecstatic
We all have the need for our own unique set of medicine when we feel like we’ve hit a wall. Our bodies work in different ways, our diets doesn’t look the same and we prioritize in ways that could look crazy to others. It’s just not possible to make a direct comparison between ones way to feeling great to another. The only similarity is that we all (hopefully) strive to feel whole, lit-up, fierce, energized, loving and fulfilled. To unravel the knots and to BE love pick and mix from the first aid kit below and please share your own outstanding tips in the comments below!
Gratitude – Keeping a gratitude journal isn’t called a major game-changer for nothing. 10 things à day creates a big shift in perception so make this cake and celebrate all good things in your life. This will attract even more of the gratitude loaded wonders. And hey, today I only had the energy to scribble down two things on a post-it and stick it to the fridge and that’s great too!
Adrenal Health – A stress building lifestyle -which let’s face it a lot of us live with today- can easily lead to adrenal fatigue and compromise our well-being. The adrenals produce hormones that regulate metabolism, communicate with our brain, kidneys and reproductive system and when these little friends are stressed and out of balance you can imagine things will get quite kooky. Good hormonal and adrenal health is a part of a whole life including sleep, an anti-inflammatory & non-toxic diet, fun and balanced exercise and relaxation. Adaptogenic herbs and adrenal supplements are a good idea while you identify and work with the root-cause. Read this article on hormonal health that I did a while back if you feel like digging deeper.
Iron – I’ve always been quite low on iron so a focus on iron-rich foods, herbs and sometimes supplementation have been important to feel well for me. Knowing that I haven’t been thinking about getting my iron on enough since Caspian was born I am now onboard the iron-train again and feeling way better.
Good Food + Nutrition – A diet loaded with organic leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, algae, herbs, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and plenty of water is alkalizing, anti-inflammatory and healing. Remember not to rely on low quality sugary foods, gluten, dairy or meat to feel well. If you include things from those categories then choose organic, free-range, local, grass-fed, sourdough. You know the drill. Go as far as you can to make good decisions both for you and for this earth.
Water – A dehydrated body is an even more stressed-out body. Forgetting to drink enough water sure is easily done but it’s as easy to turn around. Start with a Golden Detox Drink upon rising and you’ve set the tone for the day. How much water to drink a day is different from person to person (I know, sigh..) but one guideline is that your pee should be clear and not smelly. If you’re breastfeeding like me, exercising a lot or living where the weather is hot you will need more. Get yourself a beautiful water bottle and keep it around at all times, filled to the top with clean, preferably filtered water with some berries/lemon/cucumber slices or whatever floats your boat. Get creative and water guzzling will be way more fun!
Vitamin C – When we’re stressed for various reasons our body uses much more vitamin C then when we’re feeling good and are in good health. Keeping a close eye on your Vitamin C intake is therefore a good idea as it’ll not only help your body to heal in the situation you are in, it will also prevent any minor hidden inflammations to grow stronger. Sun Salutation Smoothie, yes please!
Ask for help – ”I need help”, say it out loud and see what feelings it will stir up in you. Do it now, it’ll be interesting, I promise. Whatever situation you are in, just do it, ask for help! If it seems like there is no one to call or turn to, then turn to the universe, seriously. Just putting words on the feeling and getting it out there will lead to positive change. Difficult yes, but still positive. This is a big one for me and I desire to be so very much better at it. I know it takes a village to raise a child and I know we’ll be better parents and partners if we ask for help so we’re working on that.
Don’t let food / internet numb the way you feel – when I’m insanely overwhelmed or tired I’ll sometimes go to the kitchen thinking I need something to eat or I’ll pick up my phone and open some site/app/mail. Then I realize that I’m not hungry and there is really no reason whatsoever to check emails when I ought to be resting or just letting those feelings that feel like too much, come forth. Recognize yourself in this? A better solution is to get some sleep, do some journalling, walk in nature, take a dance break, 5 min meditation (or 60!) or maybe a quiet contemplating shower.
Spirit junkie vs Effectiveness junkie – Like I said before ”When the drive to be more effective overrides remembering that all is well and when the urge to be productive trumps wanting to be still and breathe in the flippin’ amazing love that we are – That’s when we really need to stop. Or you know, preferably weeks earlier as prevention rocks”. Word. Instead of burning the candle at both ends for a seemingly wonderful blast of light, turn to the real light (you!) by tapping into the soul-powered core-you. It’s time we re-learn because stressed-out isn’t either sexy or a part of success.
Forgive yourself – We all carry around a bunch of emotional shit (sorry but you know it’s true) and some of it can make forgiving yourself in various situations harder. When that occurs, identify the why and let it go. It doesn’t have to be yours anymore, it’s just something you’ve picked up along the ride. Yes, it can stir up a lot of guilt or fear (speaking from experience) but in the end you’ll feel so much lighter. I’m in the middle of letting go of a truckload of guilt and triggering situations come every day like ”keeping” Fabian from his job (a weird way of seeing this situation), asking for help, not being as sparkly and filled with energy as I usually am, not being able to do work-athons et.c. Instead of worrying too much about this I can choose to see it as a big sign saying ”you’re ready to drop this now”. I do believe that’s the truth even though it takes some tears and kind assurance. Less crappy baggage = more room for light! Thumbs up!
Walk barefoot – Our precious electric devices, all from vacuum cleaners to Iphones add significantly to our electromagnetic environment, depleting our body of electrons. The abundant supply of electrons coming from the Earth have an antioxidant effects that can protect our body from inflammation and its health consequences. Some of the recent studies around spending time in direct contact with the earth ”Earthing” shows improvement in blood viscosity, heart rate variability, inflammation, cortisol levels, sleep, autonomic nervous system, balance, and reduced effects of stress. Run free and run wild, Mother Earth takes care of us if we let her.
See the miracles – Seeing miracles all around makes for a fast climb up the vibrational ladder and hint, we want that to happen. Waking up to a beautiful spring rain, enjoying a lovely meal with yourself or someone else awesome, diving into the gorgeousness of a Romanesco, wiggling your toes and laughing or catching the smell of the ocean. Whatever it is, it’s a miracle, small or big. See it as one and you’ll have raised your vibration faster then you can say chocolate.
Sleep or rest – Need I say more? Claim your right to rest and to sleep regardless if it’s an actual 2 hour nap in your bed or if it’s a slow stroll in the park, a cuppa with yourself at your fave café, a moment of visualization on the couch or 15 minutes in a hammock. Seize the moment and make it a restful one.
Be honest – Start with being honest with yourself and the other aspects of honesty will follow. Saying no can come up a lot here and that’s ok. No’s are pretty miraculous and a ”no” do not need further explanation. Standing up for yourself will let your truth be based on what You actually feel, not altered with to work with someone else’s feelings or potentially hurt feelings. It all comes together here, if we are honest with ourselves- and I know first hand that it’s tough – we’ll be able to ask for help, rest, see miracles, forgive ourselves, be spirited, feel gratitude and eat and drink in ways that nourish and support us even further. And in the spirit of honesty that this post is all about, I love you.
Tropical Celebration Cheesecake
I wanted to keep this semi-raw, vegan and gluten-free cake as close to an ”original” cheesecake flavor wise as possible. The bottom layer of toasted unsweetened shredded coconut + dates works as a brilliant replacement to the ”real” deal (actually this one may be more of a real deal). The cheesecake filling is mainly made of coconut cream and cashews which makes it incredibly smooth and soft and most importantly, it doesn’t have that cashew taste many raw cheesecakes tend to have. Fabians comment to his birthday cake was ”Definitely one of the best things of being married to you”.
3 cups / 200 g shredded coconut
1 cup (heaping) / 145g dates, pitted
1/4 tsp good quality salt
1. Toast the shredded coconut until golden in a frying pan on medium heat. These easily get burned to stick around and stir constantly to make sure that doesn’t happen.
2. Add toasted coconut flakes, pitted dates and salt to a food processor and mix until a dough has formed. Press evenly into a 7″ spring-form pan (If you don’t have a spring-form pan use a pie plate lined with saran wrap). Refrigerate.
2 cups cashew, soaked for at least 5 hours
2 cans full-fat coconut milk (yields 2 cup coconut cream)
1 tsp pure ground vanilla powder
3 tbsp raw solid honey
a pinch good quality salt
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 cup pure water
1. Refrigerate coconut milk for at least 1 hour. Open the cans of coconut milk and scoop the top layer of solid white cream into a blender (save the coconut water on the bottom of the can for smoothies/soups).
2. Give the soaked cashews a rinse and add them + all other ingredients to the blender too. Blend until really smooth. This might take a while and require you pausing and scraping down the filling from the sides of the blender. So with it though. After some time the coconut cream melts and this makes blending much easier.
3. Pour vanilla filling over the bottom layer in your spring form. Freeze for 3-4 hours and eat straight away since it has the perfect cheesecake consistency now and is easy to slice. Either this or you refrigerate after freezing but for no more then 30 minutes otherwise the cake will loose shape a bit.
1/2 ripe mango
1. Prepare the tropical coulis while the cheesecake sits in the freezer and add it to the cheesecake just before serving.
2. Peel mango and divide in two, blend it until smooth by using an immersion blender and lastly add the seeds and flesh of three passionfruits for that extra crunch and flavor.
Notes: This cake stores really well in the freezer so simply store leftovers (leftovers?) in the freezer. Take out and refrigerate at least 2 hours prior to serving. The great thing about this cake is that you can make it days beforehand, freeze and simply put it in the fridge the night before the birthday/celebration without it loosing shape or melt at all meaning you can enjoy it non-frozen like any other ”real” cheesecake. Enjoy and celebrate, gorgeous!
It has taken me 1 week to let this text properly unfold and I hope with all my heart that you’ve found something in here to hold you when you feel overwhelmed. Something little or big that makes it easier to move from exhausted to ecstatic.
Now, togetherness rules so let’s support one another by adding your own glow-tips in the comments below, please.
Ok, I’m off resting and spending love-packed time with my darlings (who’s crawling around -yes, both of em’- all over the house at the moment). I intend to fill the crack that opened up within me with a whole lot of light.
I can’t wait to see your take on this cake! Please share them with us by adding the hashtag #earthsprout on Instagram!