Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Fire and Midwinter Wishes

In celebration and remembrance of another year rolling by, my children and I lit the solstice fire tonight with friends. 

At bedtime tonight we gathered by the indoor fire and talked about what we would like to take with us into the new year when the sun rises on the Winter Solstice tomorrow. I love opportunities like these in life ~ here on the longest night we are given pause, a moment to stand on the threshold of the new and look back on what has been. 

It is at these moments that we can truly create our reality by paying attention to what seeds we are allowing to take root in the dark fertile soil of our interior. Its a chance to leave behind that which we do not wish to take with us and to choose better things for our journey; things that make us smile, lift our spirits, make our hearts swell with gladness and love. Of course the shadow side of life is there always and there is little point in pretending that it isn't, but as long as we can learn from, accept and be grateful for our experiences, whatever they may be, we are free to move on from them and to soar into the next phase.

For the Red Thread it has been a wonderful year, there have been trying moments of course, but for me the absolutely glorious ones are the ones that I am choosing to take into 2012 with me. 

We had the brilliance and excitement of Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth, a day that I will never forget; the supportive, comforting familiarity of our regular meetings; the joy of witnessing each others children grow and the warmth of the deepening bonds of community and love that we are forging here together. 

We have seen much loved members of our circle leave to continue their journeys elsewhere and their faces, energy and contribution to our lives I will never forget. In turn we have been blessed by new Mama's and their little ones joining our group, new babies to hold, stories to hear, new friends to make.

There have been blessingways, bumps and brand new babies to welcome, what joy! As always there is playing, learning, crying (not always just the children) & chatting ; sparkly play dough to play with and lots of tea to be drunk. 

We are sharing the journey of motherhood in all its colours, and supporting & witnessing each other as we expand and blossom into the women and Mothers that we aspire to be. 

Yes, it has been a good year for The Red Thread and I am proud of what we are creating here and excited to see what will grow next year from the seeds of this one…

Blessings of light and darkness to you this Solstice.

Love Keeley x

Saturday, 6 August 2011

In the Summer time...

For our last meeting in July, one of our Red Thread Mama's, Kate, came along to give us a talk on Herbs for Mothers and Children. It was a lovely meeting and Kate gave very generously of her time to answer questions and share her extensive knowledge with us all. Thank You Kate!

The Red Thread is taking a break over the Summer this year, for the first time since we started. We are returning in the Autumn, in September and I am so looking forward to seeing everyone again and hearing all about their Summers..

Wherever you are reading this blog, I hope these Summer weeks have been warm, nourishing & fun for you and your family. 

My family joined many others at The Mother magazine's annual family camp in North Yorkshire. It was a lovely break for us all, amid the beautiful surroundings and many lovely families, all coming together to share time; prepare & cook meals together; play, tie dye and knit; witness a handfasting; attend free workshops; dream & chat at the camp fire long into the night

Community Damper bread making
Once again, Veronika & Paul of The Mother magazine put heart and soul into providing and holding this space for us all. They should be proud of all they achieved this year with another lovely camp that was loved and enjoyed by so many families.

Veronika & paul at the camp fire for the launch of The Mystic Cookfire

We certainly came back happy & with a heart full of lovely memories to keep us warm & inspired.

Back home again, with Lammas just behind us, my thoughts turn toward Autumn. Even though we are still surrounded by the abundance of Summer, the seeds of next year can be seen in the crops, plants and flowers all around us, and harvest is on the way. The children have picked (and instantly eaten, naturally!) the first blackberries and our apples & plums are almost ready on the trees.

This is a time of year when I can really feel the wheel turning, light into dark, flower into seed, the glowing potential of pregnancy into the beauty & raw power of birth, Maiden into Mother; early into late Summer and then on into Autumn. Long and hopefully warm days still to come allow us all to spend more time outside, making the most of the late Summer, as the seasons dance on...


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

An Ecstatic Birth...

For the beautiful vibe, the wonderful tribe that gathered in the sunny museum garden and the inspirational talks, Nurtured family Nurtured Earth 2011 far exceeded my expectations. Dear friends old and new gathered, & people travelled from all over the country to be here & to support our vision. Father sun shone and Mother Earth was warmed.

Kids activities in the beautiful garden were started off with a session of childrens yoga with Relax Kids coach Katherine Bowdidge, and then a mad musical hour with the lovely Len tyler, who soon had the children marching round the garden whilst he led, playing the euphonium. Next up were Alfie & Paul with their ever popular ventriloquist show and then Lynne, telling her Mongolian story complete with exquisite hand made puppets, in the yurt. The afternoons activities were rounded of with Jo Davis from Etudeo getting the kids all painting banners with hands & feet (and knees, legs, tummies…you get the picture). There was also much playing and mooching done by kids of all ages, one particularly resourceful small person found the outside tap and so we had an impromptu splash pool for a while there too! There were also seeds to plant and take home and some wonderful Nature Weaving provided by Sally.

The talks were amazing, informative and inspirational ~ Anna Watson bravely started off first thing to an almost full lecture hall, engaging all with her talk on Vaccination, closely followed by Maggie Curry who spoke eloquently on Nurturing the Whole Child in Education. The afternoon saw the dynamic Patrick Houser's talk entitled, " Parents Architects of the Future" which is also the title of his upcoming book, and then Veronika Robinson shared with us the 10 threads of Nurturing, that we can all include in our lives for ourselves and our families. A booklet of Veronika's talk is now available from here for those of you who missed it or would like a very useful memento!

Elsewhere, the market room buzzed with information, books, slings, networking and our fabulous Raffle that we called at the end of the day. The Red Thread kitchen, very capably run by Karen and a team of volunteers, was busy all day selling drinks, home made cakes, popcorn and fresh fruit. Our table, organised by Tanya and (wo)manned by various volunteers (mostly breastfeeding ones ~ thats what you get for sitting down!) was a hive of activity, selling raffle tickets and some lovely hand made items donated by the ladies of The Red Thread. 

Out in the garden there was Tai Chi with Dean Dalrymple, a fabulous Herb Walk with Tim Carpenter and a full schedule of talks and workshops in the tipi provided by the therapists of The Indigo Touch. To round the day off, Drumheads arrived in style and provided a truly memorable and dynamic community drumming circle. 

Wow, I'm exhausted but also ecstatic all over again just writing about it!

As a whole experience for me personally, the journey of Doula'ing this event has been awe inspiring. Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth was a co-creation, hatched on the dream plane between my good friend Starr and I, and nourished & nurtured over many months, first by the loving support of Veronika Robinson, and then by all of the other fantastic people who came together and blended their energy to make it happen. Somewhere very early on in this process, our baby took on a life of its own and started to gather some wonderful momentum, drawing in magic as it grew, until the end result on Saturday felt somehow effortless; flowing beautifully as we had dreamed it would. An ecstatic birth for our dream.

On the other side of it all now, no longer brainstorming, list making or planning, I have been thinking these past few days about the gifts that Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth bought for me. As I sit here typing I can see out of the window, my son climbing the oak tree in the front garden as his sisters watch rapt, from the ground. It reminds me that everything I do is driven by my children, everything is for them and for their continued wholeness in mind, body and spirit. Consciousness raising, which is ultimately what Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth is, is for all of our children and the generations to come. 

I truly believe that we are all separately, vibrant drops in the still pool of the universe. Living an authentic life with our family creates rainbow ripples that resonate far and wide. You can't underestimate the value of what we can achieve by living our truth in our day to day lives, but when we come together our strength is palpable. Coming together amplifies this energy that we each cultivate in our own unique ways within the heart of our own families. It can really be felt flowing through our connections, with each other, as a community, as a tribe, when we celebrate what it is that makes us all unique. It was to harness and encourage this amazing force for change that Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth was created.

 A friend emailed me in the last few days and said 

"the day was ENJOYED thoroughly by everyone, young and old.  Families uninformed left informed and nurtured. The energy was vibrant, excited, safe, supportive, peaceful and conscious….Liked minded souls connecting and learning from each other. "

If we had written a mission statement for Nurtured Family, then I think this would have been it. So you see, looking back on our amazing day I can truly say that I feel it is Mission Accomplished!

Reflecting on the gifts of Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth, for me the greatest gift is surely the reminder, that every time we nurture our selves and our families with consciousness and open hearts, we are also nurturing the Earth, for our children and the generations yet to come.

Let us all surf the wave of fantastic energy from Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth 2011 and trust that it will carry us as far as we need and want to go… Same time next year anyone??!

Monday, 30 May 2011


As promised here is the list of fantastic prizes for Saturdays raffle.Thank you so much to everyone who has been so generous in contributing these wonderful prizes. 

"Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth" (pictured left) an original watercolour painting in a beech frame by Jaine Rose

Set of 4 cd's ~ Drum Songs from the Heathen Hills, Weathered Edge & Old Silverhead by Carolyn Hillyer and Dartmoor Roundhouse by Nigel Shaw from Seventh Wave Music

A  Mooncup from Feminine Wear

2 Gift Subscriptions to The Mother magazine

Life Without School & Stretch Marks, by Veronika Sophia Robinson ~ kindly donated by Jacqui Ferguson

The Drinks Are On Me, The Birthkeepers  by Veronika Sophia Robinson

**NEW** The Mystic Cookfire by Veronika Sophia Robinson

Set of cards from Sacred Celebrations

A Babasling baby Sling

"Abundant Health" book donated by the United Chiropractic Association.

The Method Home Detox Kit

Earth Friendly Baby Gift Set 

A wooden toy from Past and Present gift shop, Haslemere

Who They Really Are by Christina Fletcher 

Parent Mentoring session with Christina Fletcher

1 year subscription to Nexus magazine

2 x 1 year subscriptions to Juno magazine

1 x Large veg Box from Riverford Organic home delivery

1 x voucher for a medium Fruit & Veg Box from Abel & Cole

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Car Parks and getting here

For all of you who are travelling to Haslemere for Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth, here is a link to a map showing the way from Weyhill, right next to Haslemere where there is more parking than in the town centre. It is a 15-20 minute walk in to the museum from there.... also on the map is the train station, so you can see the short route in to town from there too :-)

There are 3 car parks in the main town which are a little closer ~ also on the map ~ but just wanted to give you a few options as it may well be busy.,-0.716686&spn=0.013397,0.038581&z=15&msid=213901394411498222339.0004a45d01b9d89041511

Safe a peaceful journeys everyone.

Looking forward to seeing you all next weekend x 

Thursday, 19 May 2011

To all of you who have registered for Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth, a huge Thank You!

I have sent out an email with a few important details to you all ~  here are some of the main points, just in case for some reason you haven't received it;

Please bring a picnic lunch and come hang out in the garden with us. We are running a small kitchen on site with drinks, fruit and home made light snacks & refreshments for sale but we are not selling lunches this year, so please come prepared. There is a supermarket just minutes from the museum though if you don't manage to grab your lunch before you leave!

We hope you will find plenty to amuse yourself with; there are many Children's Activities, a Healing Tipi, Tai Chi and a Herb Walk running alongside the main talks all day, culminating with a Community Drumming Circle (please bring along a djembe or percussion instrument if you wish) to end the day at 4 pm which we hope you will all enjoy. Please have a look through the schedule to make sure that you know whats happening & when.

Please buy a raffle ticket (or 10!) on the day ~ The raffle is looking amazing, with more donated gifts coming in all the time, I will update the blog soon with a complete up to date list. There will be many opportunities to purchase tickets for the raffle so please take them up. Particular highlights are a Beautiful Original Watercolour by the inspirational artist Jaine Rose & copies of Veronika Robinsons books, The Drinks are On Me, The Birthkeepers, Life Without School and  (hopefully!) her newest offering The Mystic Cookfire.

Please do have a great time! and sign our guest book, which will be on The Red Thread's table in the market room. Let us know what you have liked and what you would like different next time :- )

Here is a link to directions to the museum

Please be aware that there is no parking at the museum ~ there are a few car parks in town, but we recommend coming by train into Haslemere as there is a good service on the Waterloo/ Portsmouth line. It is just a 15 minute walk from the station to the museum or a very quick taxi ride, thus avoiding having to park in town.

We have a programme of activities running for your children to join in with if they wish.
It is really important for everyones happiness and safety, that children should be accompanied by an adult at all times. Our numbers do not allow for Creche facilities and so there must be a responsible adult with your children at all times whilst on the museum grounds.

So looking forward to spending time with you all in 2 weeks!

blessings x

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth

Well, so far it has been an eventful year around here, but it is about to get a lot more interesting and exciting, as we are now able to publish a working schedule of events at Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth. The day is now just 3 weeks away, and continues to draw in magic, surprises and amazing Raffle Prizes as it grows! I will blog shortly about all of the fantastic donations we have had for our raffle, for now though, I am very happy to bring you the schedule below. 

Thank you once again to everyone who is working so hard to bring this day into being; for us it is much like a community labour and birth (only with more emails...!) and I am so so grateful to all of you who are working so hard for us, mopping brows and getting ready to catch, and most importantly to ENJOY, Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth as it unfolds into being on June 4th. 

I can't wait to see you all on the day. Blessings x

Talks in The Haslemere Room
10.30 Doors Open
10.45 - 11.45 Discussing Vaccination and Natural ImmunityAnna Watson of Arnica Parents
12.00 - 13.00 “Nurturing The Whole Child In Education” Maggie Curry of Heartwood Small School project
13.30 - 14.30 “Parents, Architects of The Future” with Patrick Houser of Fathers To Be International. Which came first the parent or the child? When does parenting, and for that matter childhood, actually begin? What real choices do we have as parents regarding the future wellbeing of our children?
14.45 - 16.00 “The Nurtured Family” with Veronika Sophia Robinson, Editor of The Mother magazine. Veronika will share ten threads of nurturing to weave into family life. She'll offer ideas which are easy and practical, and can be implemented by any parent seeking to bring more consciousness to their daily life.
Childrenʼs Activities in the garden (children must be accompanied by an adult at all times)
10.30 Doors Open
11- 11.45 Relax Kids session in the yurt, with Katharine BowdidgeCome along for a fun adventure in your imagination~ includes some movement and games, stretching (gentle yoga poses) breathing, affirmations and visualisations, a calming story to help mind and body relax.
12- 13.00 Music for parents and children with Len of the Len Tyler Music School, meet under the shelter in the garden
13.15 - 13.45 Meet Alfie! with Paul Robinson ~ a ventriloquist show for kids of all ages in the yurt.
14.00 - 14.30 “A Mongolian Story” Story telling with Lynne Fornieles and Willow of Heartwood Small School Project, in the yurt.
14.30- 16.00 Kids Activities with Etudeo in the yurt.
Garden Schedule
All Day Tʼai Chi in the Bell Tent with Dean Dalrymple, running 40 minute sessions of Tʼai Chi through the day, suitable for all abilities.
13.30 - 14.30 Herb Walk: Come rain or shine the wild stuff will thrive. Whether you call them wild plants, herbs or weeds, they can probably help you improve your health. Learn the identity of some of Britainʼs wild flowers and trees and how they work with your body to heal various ailments. Led by Medical Herbalist Tim Carpenter. Meet at the foot of the steps to the annexe in the garden at 13.30 to join this fantastic walk.
16.00 - 17.00 Please join us for a Community Drumming Circle, led by Drumheads & the Guildford Drum Circle in the garden for a dynamic end to your day.
Healing Tipi
The therapists of The Indigo Touch will have a table in the market room and be running a healing area all day in the Tipi in the Garden, please check out the schedule and drop in.

10.30 - 11.15 Dee French ~ offering Nutritional Advice, please drop in
11.15 - 12.00 Emma McGuire ~ introduction to Homeopathy and First Aid Remedies
12.00 - 12.45 Tamara Kircher ~ Chinese Massage (Tui Na) for children
12.45 - 13.30 Jacky Milner Walker ~ Baby Massage Demonstration
13.30 - 14.15 Carina Petter ~ Talk on Cranial Osteopathy
15.00- 15.45 Alex Sams ~ Bach Flower Remedies

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Introducing ~ The Tai Chi Tent at Nurtured Family, Nurtured Earth

I am very excited to let you all know, that Dean Dalrymple is very generously coming along to run Tai Chi sessions throughout the day, in the museum garden.

Dean has been practising and teaching tai chi and chi gong for 18 years. His training has taken him to Malaysia and Thailand and he has taught in a variety of teaching environments including Adult Education and Tai Chi festivals. Although he has practised tai chi as a martial art along with Malay and Philipino systems, it is as a moving meditation that Dean finds tai chi has its greatest benefit. 

During Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth, Dean will be leading 40 minute sessions of gentle Chi Gong (slow mindful movements) and meditations. He'll be holding the sessions in 'The Bell Tent' which will be pitched in the museum's grounds- simply sign up for a time slot on the board outside the tent. 

The sessions are an invitation to you to simply let go of tensions rather than a challenge to 'learn' what is being shown.  

Sounds amazing, well, you'll know where to find me if I am suddenly missing ... x

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Warp and Weft

Over the time since I first started The Red Thread, I have been contacted by many women from all over the country who have set up similar groups for themselves where they live, as a response to reading about ours.

I am more pleased and moved than I could ever express that The Red Thread calls to so many of us because, for me, that is so much of what this work is about ~ encouraging and inspiring each other. As women, if we come together in loving support of one another, we can move mountains. There are few more important or courageous jobs than the one that we do ~ fearlessly raising and nurturing the next generation ~ and in order that we do it to the very best of our ability, it is essential that we create community and support systems for ourselves. 

It is too easy in todays society to inhabit a world of separation. We have almost all been brought up within this paradigm and it is essential that we learn to feel and see beyond it. To choose solitude is one thing and I do choose it often for many reasons, not least because I like my own company, but equally, I sometimes need to reach a little way beyond myself and feel a welcoming hand to steady me when I wobble; to hear a loving voice on the end of the phone; to be among other women who reflect the best of me right back at me; to be among friends. I have been blessed in this lifetime to know some truly remarkable women and to have some wonderful friends who shine like stars in the firmament, guiding and inspiring me every day. It is soothing to the soul to be among like minds, kindred spirits, and this is what the Red Thread is aiming to provide ~ a space for us all to come together in.

It is only with the ongoing love and support of my friends that I have been able to reach out and reawaken the spark of The Red Thread within so many others. Please get in touch and let me know about your Mothers/ Womens circle and lets share our stories and continue to weave the Red Thread for the good of us all.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Roll Up Roll Up....

Tickets are now available to Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth here

Entry is free but please consider donating to support us if you are able to, via the button on the right.
We are starting from a budget of zero and it is only due to the love and generosity of our inspiring speakers;
Veronika Robinson of The Mother magazine, Patrick Houser of Fathers to Be International, Anna Watson of Arnica Parents and Maggie Curry of The Heartwood small school project;

in donating their time and abundant energy for free, that Starr and I, along with the women and families of The Red Thread, can realise our dream and create this wonderful event. Every little bit donated will help to support us in this adventure!

Tickets are actually going at an almost alarming rate, so if you are planning on joining us then do please go along and register your interest soon.

So looking forward to connecting up with you all in June!

Keeley x

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Herb Walk at Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth

I'm really pleased to confirm that Medical Herbalist Tim Carpenter will be leading a Herb walk in and around the beautiful gardens of Haslemere Museum, at Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth this June 4th. 

We went on a herb walk with Tim last year with our local home ed group and it was wonderful ~  lively, interesting and informative, and led by a man with clear passion and commitment to his work. This is what Tim has to say about the walk ~

"Come rain or shine the wild stuff will thrive. Whether you call them wild plants, herbs or weeds, they can probably help you improve your health. Learn the identity of some of Britains wild flowers and trees and how they work with your body to heal various ailments."

and what I love about herbs and wild plants is that they are a shining example of how much the Earth nurtures us when we are willing to open our eyes, minds and hearts to her. 

Herbal medicine is a huge part of the magic of this Earth-Walk that inspires and moves me. I hope that you will find something to uplift and inspire you too, when you join us at Nurtured Family Nurtured Earth this June. 

Look forward to seeing you there!