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Blog Listing

A collection of stories, insights, pain and laughter that details our lives, our experiences as women and mothers and the wisdom that comes out of that.

Filtering by Category: Motherhood

Our Journey of a Triplet Pregnancy - a guest blog by Megan Temby

Julie Tenner

An incredible story about one mums journey through a triplet pregnancy, after being given a 100% fatality rate, to birth 3 healthy babies. She shares her story with us here and in the podcast, provides all the relevant links to foundations and organisations that helped her and gives her advice for anyone who finds themselves in a multiple pregnancy.

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Embodiment and Play by guest blogger Sarah Chapman from Drama Rama

Julie Tenner

“…I spoke on the Podcast about the times in my life when I couldn’t laugh. When smiling was so hard that I didn’t think I’d ever get my mojo back again. I was so depressed that I didn’t think I could find a way out….When you can’t smile or laugh, I ask you to try and remember that sometimes things take time…and gradually the laughter, the deep belly laughter that can make you cry returns as well…

I challenge you to find that thing that makes you smile from your heart.

That one thing that you have loved for years. You may need to reconnect with your inner child or you may need to find something new so that you can smile and laugh and play….

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Our love narrative

Julie Tenner

“....Show me how you were loved, and I’ll show you how you make love”

This is possibly one of my most loved quotes from Esther, it is a question that floats in my mind and body daily.  I think of it when I consider my own internal landscape, how I respond to different people, how I show up in my relationship and what I’m teaching my children in my ‘being’.

My summary of how Esther explains it is this:

A little child sits on the lap of the parents.  If all goes well, at some point the child will want to get off the lap and crawl/walk away to play, discover and be exploratory, and every little child will turn around and look at the adult who is standing there.

How we respond or how we were responded to is crucial..."

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Sometimes I feel stupefied by motherhood

Julie Tenner

"...

18 months ago, when Bridget was pregnant with Sylive, I remember her saying how ‘off her game’ she felt and by contrast, how ‘on fire’ she thought I was. 

At the time I thought she was delusional, but now I find myself in this same position; feeling somehow ‘dulled down’ in new motherhood and by contrast ‘everyone else’ (including Bridget) seem to have their shit together, their ducks in a line, they’re ‘all cylinders firing’....What is that about?!..."

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Tears, Tantrums and 3 year olds – My Top 5 Tips!

Julie Tenner

"...We can help our children learn feelings, empathy and how to grow through these challenges.  We don’t need to fix it, change it, or have the answer – so breathe, relax your body, relax your mind – you don’t have the pressure of finding the solution, only of listening to how you are feeling, holding space for the same feeling within them and showing them the way back to balance THROUGH this emotion...."

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The Due Date ‘breaking’ – what to consider when you’re in-between worlds waiting for baby

Julie Tenner

"...Waiting for baby.  How many times have I heard this in my lifetime.  How many times have I been on the other end of the phone to women sobbing and lamenting the waiting.  How many times have I offered listening and love, yet words that echo “there is no due date, come back into your body, trust the process, baby knows when the time is right”.

SO many times have I been the practitioner on the receiving end of these transitional moments that those conversations overlap in my mind like white noise.  Yet this is the first time I find myself here as the client; the weepy, conflicted mother-to-be, battling between mind and body, and I am hit with how much I missed in these conversations..."

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My Labour Playlist

Julie Tenner

"...

As I count down to birth, I'm preparing what I need in my birth space.  Music is top of my list!  Music has the ability to connect us to what we are deeply feeling, to our heart and our body.  Music is a portal to higher consciousness and to memory.  

So why wouldn't you plan it out and use it to the best of its ability in YOUR birth??!

When designing a playlist for birth, the advice I give all my clients is this..."

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Why is my baby transverse?  Healing my generational story…

Julie Tenner

"...How different my relationship has been with my mum since this pregnancy, its easy to forget how ‘it always was’ previously.  I’ve grown up largely accepting that I didn’t ‘really’ have a mother, in the cultural or archetypal sense of the word.  I’ve carried decades of pain and was quick to bring up everything that was ‘wrong’ with her and our relationship.  I could list all the ‘unfairness’, all the ways she didn’t measure up and all the reasons I was going to parent in the exact opposite way....

...She withheld what I needed to learn on my own and she’s shown up in a softer way once I’ve learnt it..."

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100 ways to Nourish yourself as a Mother

Julie Tenner

"...This week we celebrate our 100th Podcast episode!  So in recognition of this journey, we have complied a list, with the help of our tribe, of 100 inspirational ideas for you to put back in to YOU.

Nourish yourself as a mother and the rest of your world with flourish..."

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Setting limits and boundaries with ourselves and our children

Julie Tenner

"...Our ability to hold spaciousness for our children, to anchor whatever comes up for them and our family dynamic, comes from our ability to maintain our boundaries.  The stronger our desire to maintain our boundaries, the stronger our sense of self-worth and the more readily our children roll with our needs. 

It seems like a paradox, but spaciousness and freedom spring from feeling safe and how crumbled or in-tact our boundaries are, dictates how safe we feel to open up to freedom and spaciousness..."

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Setting limits for our children

Julie Tenner

"...Children who constantly whine, ask for the same thing repetitively or test the same boundary are seeking clarity.  There is a level of uncertainty and with uncertainty comes anxiety, because the boundary is not clear; history would likely dictate that the limit has not been consistent. 

Sometimes its been a “yes” and sometimes its been a “no” and sometimes its just been plain unclear!

Perhaps you’re tired, perhaps you’ve worked all day and you’re feeling guilty about how much time you’ve spent with the kids, perhaps you can’t deal with the fall out of a “no”, perhaps you’ve wavered on the limit…there are any number of reasons we don’t commit to a limit and I’m not here to admonish you for any of this – Lord knows, I’ve done all of these from time to time..."

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"What's wrong with her?"

Julie Tenner

"...Our children’s behaviour is never separate from our own.  Even my raging 3 year old.  What part of me is raging and feeling unheard?  What part of me is fed up and wants some attention on my terms?  Where am I stuffing down my feelings instead of expressing them?  Where am I denying my anger?  Why did the judgement of a 14 year old girl I don’t know and likely will never see again, sting?..."

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Love-Bombing and Jail Break!

Julie Tenner

"...So blow off the establishment, sometimes it’s just worth it.  What my children learn from a day out of school like this is more than they could learn from a single day in school and we all leave our day behind feeling back in step with one another and back in flow with our joy..."

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Today I faced my inner teenager

Julie Tenner

So today I faced my inner teenager – one of the most covered, most vulnerable aspects of myself during this tumultuous time of growth.  Today I faced my “inner-unco” and I did it with a tribe…

In case you didn’t know, I’m a tall woman….wait, lets get this out of the way….

Yes I’m tall, yes I did already know that.
I’m 6 foot 1.
Yes, really.
No I don’t play basketball….

I could literally script this conversation I’ve had it that many times in my life – every place I go, every day, several times a day.  No joke. Nowadays I usually find the humour in it and answer with a knowing smile (unless you’re the retired men at the swimming pool who never tire of “hello shorty” and other horrendous tall-person jokes; who are clearly oblivious to dagger-looks and “ahh, it just never gets old boys does it?”…Every. Single. Morning).

This is just one anecdotal story to paint the picture for you.  Now we can chuckle.  Now I know who I am and am secure in my place as woman I can love it, but as a gangly teenager desperate to fit in and be liked this constant ‘battle’ was torture. 

When I grew I lost all connection to my extremities – I was gangly and uncoordinated and embarrassed by this enormous body I couldn’t control or ‘prove’ why it was ‘ok’.  My body was not a path to connection, I only knew my body as disconnected.

I didn’t have sporty parents, so although sport seemed like the place a tall girl would fit in, as an uncoordinated perfectionist it was hell and resulted in an implosion of self-hatred, shame and embarrassment.  I never stuck at anything and constantly avoided ‘opportunities’ for sport-related embarrassment and I buried this shameful part of myself, covered it over and moved on.

So.  No accidents I married an elite sportsman.  A basketballer.  Lol, the Divine has a sense of humour.

From hating on all sport I was slowly introduced to the love of it via the love of my life.  What does sport provide?  An outlet for feelings of frustration and inadequacy.  A tribe, a great tribe of peeps you love to giggle and hang out with who share common interests and are linked in a common goal.  Leadership.  Practice at resilience, communication and team work.  A channel for the masculine.   A place for our inner warrior to be called out.  So much.

Now that was a movement I wanted to be part of.  But my fear of rejection, isolation and humiliation was so great, my inner teenager never let me try ; I’ve stayed trapped in this self-made cage for 20 years.

Now, I’ve expanded in many, many ways.  I make a conscious effort to PUSH myself into and through my resistance - my “don’t want to”, my “can’t” and my shame zones. 

I consider it a necessary requirement to expansion. 

The only way is through and facing myself in the process.  Plus, the more you do it the more you gather evidence of the “worthiness” of this courageous and most difficult act; you find more joy, more peace and more connection on the other side of every challenge, every time.  So in my mind, I seek the challenge and throw myself into it, knowing avoidance keeps me avoiding, which keeps me caged and offers not only a glass ceiling, but walls too.

Through my children I’ve “graced” my way into sport. I began with simple playing (forced by virtue of having a first born son – the pain of doing it was less than the pain of avoiding it!) and I found a joy and delight in physicality beyond weight.  Who knew?!

Consequently, for my daughters it’s a no-brainer.  I want them to have access to the very thing I didn’t – a love of and connection to, their body through what it can do and how it can feel not what it looks like.  I coach my daughters basketball team; which is the only team within our club in A-grade, despite having a coach that has never played and is all about the social/emotional benefits of team sport.

So when the joke began with some mums at school around needing incontinence pads to play sport I joked.  When a mum rung me saying “It’s done – perfectly poised is in the comp, so you better be in!” I laughed so hard I nearly cried.  I use humour to cover hurt and here it was good and proper in my face.

Big girl pants I said to myself.  Deep breath.  You’ve got this babe.  I’ve got your back this time.  Plus, this time I had a tribe behind me.  A man who loves me deeply, a community of women I could wee my pants or make a fool of myself in front of and they’d still love me.  That’s pretty powerful.  Now I have a voice that’s not afraid to speak vulnerability.  I can say “I’m scared, I’m facing my inner teenager and I’m terrified” and they hold my heart and offer courage when I feel like I’m flailing. 

Today I faced myself, my inner critic, my inner teenager and shame, deep deep shame.  I faced up and showed up.  I faught tears as I stepped onto the court.  I smiled with compassion at my inner critic when I missed a pass.  I giggled at my inner perfectionist when I couldn’t keep up with the pace.  And I laughed with and for all of us.  A bunch of mums with kids round our ankles, sweating, laughing, possibly peeing, and all facing some part of ourselves to be there. 

That game was a great big, sweaty, hot and heavy mix of emotions from my wounded teenager, my guiding inner mother, my practiced warrior woman, my humble crone.  I’m so grateful for these parts of myself that have been exercised over the years, they serve me in my expansion daily.

The challenge is the way.  Showing up is one of the hardest things we are asked to do as women and mothers.  We are so accustomed to shame, to hiding , to shrinking.  But I want a life without limits, I have such a desperate need for my soul to be seen and part of this drive for expansion is knowing the pain of shrinking. 

So thank you to my inner teenager who I just want to hug and show her all the ways her body is magnificent.  I wish I could take her hand, much like the ghost of Christmas Past, and show her where these legs have taken her.  I would show her where this heart has led her.  I would show her who these lips and eyes have touched.  I would show her who these arms have held, who these breasts have fed, what this body has created.  I would tell her how magnificent her body is made to feel.  And lastly I would show her how this vessel is perfect to remind her to show up, be big and bold. 

I would tell her to feel the fear and do it anyway.  Do the very thing she most wants to resist- it’s the path to her greatest awakening, it’s a muscle that needs strengthening and it will serve her well into her life.

And.  Go play sport with a bunch of women who have your back.

As I bared my soul, he looked at his phone

Bridget Wood

 Photo source:  Oleg Yarov

Photo source: Oleg Yarov

By Bridget Wood

You could cut the air with a knife. Me; vulnerable, trying to summon the right words that would connect me to my love, to feel truly seen, heard, understood. Him; tired, unequipped to communicate on the level I so wanted him to. A master provider in every other way, my greatest love, and yet, so devoid of all the things I yearned for in that moment.

It's a familiar story. When I relayed it to my mum, she recounted an almost exactly the same scenario with my dad days before. A clue to the pattern, likely playing out for me since I was a child. My desire to connect on a soul level to my husband in that moment, brought up the same feelings i'd felt since I was a little girl trying to connect with my dad. Unheard, unvalidated, not enough.

In scrawled handwriting my journal tells the story: "I'm here a blubbering mess of tears as I confront a familiar, painful part of myself i've tried so hard to cover up, to mask, to not go near because it's so vulnerable, such a gaping, painful wound that I thought I could fill with outward achievements".

I was reminded again in that moment of the wisdom, 'The cure for the pain is in the pain'. And so I sat with it. I felt every heaving of my chest, asking what it was seeking to reveal to me. This emotion a feedback to tell me I have a lopsided perception to be equiliibrated; but first, my task was to feel, to express. Then I could get to work.

We so often think our task is to 'fix' the other person. And yes, the communication about my needs is part of moving forward, but this is only half the equation. First, the work begins with me.

The belief I had of him is that he 'wont' engage emotionally', so where do I not engage emotionally? I was humbled by all the times I could see I also withdrew from people and situations. But the big learning came when I could see all the benefits to me of him not engaging emotionally. How that created a drive in me to seek that for myself; to go inward, to know myself more deeply, to grow in my own consciousness and seek the tools and learning I needed to transcend my own emotional states. To do the inner work.

In that moment my heart opened, something shifted within me and I smiled in gratitude because he had given me what I really needed; not what I thought I needed, to grow. 

Now that I could find 'love' for this pattern, I could change it; it could change. This is the power of doing the inner work. 

The more we bring awareness to our feelings, emotions, values, and relationship dynamics, the more we can consciously create the life we love, while still moving with the flow of life and what it's revealing to us to help our growth.

My husband and I found a stronger depth of connection in the resulting conversations, and I learnt there's more I can do to be conscious of the best times/moments/ways in which to communicate with him. We're each building our own new toolkit, to help heal the wounded inner child within each of us. And that's love.


Bridget Wood is Co-Founder of Nourishing The Mother and a lover of life and connecting people to themselves through wisdom, introspection and quality questions. Bridget is also the Director and Events Manager of Suburban Sandcastles. With an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a desire to understand the bigger picture of human behaviour and how the world works, Bridget is on an inspired path to learn more deeply who we are beyond the limitations that we, and our society and culture, place upon us.