Breast feeding. Natural, healthy and apparently offensive!?

What’s the downside of your TV show rating so high? Sunrise host, David Koch, found it out last week … people hear what you say.

In response to a news story of a mother being asked to be more discreet while breastfeeding her child in public, Koch said ‘fair enough’

“I totally agree with breastfeeding in public but I think you have to be a bit classy about it.” David Koch

Other hosts on the popular Australian breakfast show were suitably shocked at his support, so too was the mother in question.

If, Liana Webster wasn’t angry enough when asked by lifeguards at her local swimming pool to “be more discreet while breastfeeding her child”, public support of the lifeguard’s actions have pushed her over the edge.

Worse still for Sunrise and Koch, Liana isn’t alone. The ‘twitter-verse’ lit up…and it was good to see that it wasn’t all women.

Jonathan Brown @JB_AU:Let’s face it men. If our anatomy required us to breast feed this discussion wouldn’t even be happening #breastfeeding

I can only guess Sunrise’s PR department didn’t have time to brief Koch, because he too, took to twitter to back up his comments.

david koch @kochie_online: But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect breast feeding in public is done discreetly. I think that’s just a common courtesy to others

Mothers and breastfeeding advocates joined a Facebook group, ”Sunrise Nurse-In”, to promote both public breastfeeding and a protest of sorts; a live mass feeding on the show. How’s that for public!

This posting, the nurse-in or any further debate isn’t about David Koch or anyone else foolish enough to ask a breastfeeding mother to cover up, it’s about the issue, women and parenting. If a mother feels comfortable feeding in public, let her be. Being a new Mum is hard enough without judgement!

It’s about far more than breast feeding. The outrage caused by such a small comment shows how much our society has sexualised women. With the number of people supporting the call for women to cover up growing as fast, if not faster than those opposing the call, I think it’s fair to say community considers women a sexual objects.

@Goodgoogs, said it best…

Zoey Martin @goodgoogs: If you see something indiscreet in a woman breastfeeding you are looking too hard.

I repeat, this isn’t a hate campaign against David Koch, but some advice for men who want to knock breast feeding mothers … sleep three hours a night for four months and put your nipples in a vice 6 times a day before you open your mouth.

SENSE

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You are what you eat … with

On this blog, I wrote previously on perspective and how powerful it can be. I hope this three part series help create positive change in your life, or at least, find the perspective required see what change is needed.

Today I will attempt to re write the phrase, you are what you eat. While I agree, if you eat healthy you’ll be healthy, I think also think you can become healthy using, what you eat with.

Want to know more? Read on … then head to the kitchen.

We all know the term “fork in the road”, but what if the road your travelling doesn’t offer choices? Despite your current head space … you actually have two choices, regardless of the road you travel.

First choice, remove your blinkers! Despite what your mind is telling you, we all have an alternative, we simply fail to see it.

So, your blinkers are now off, or maybe they were never on in the first place and you still can’t see an alternate route? Drop all you’re doing and head to the kitchen.

Open the top draw, it’s most likely full of cutlery. Grab a fork and stick it firmly in the road your life has taken you on. Seeing a fork isn’t always easy, but you can place a fork in ANY road.FORK

Don’t rest yet, creating the fork is the easy part. You’ve got a decision to make.

Left or right, high or low … I can’t tell you what decision to make, but I can provide further support along the way.

The advice may not be ground breaking, but it will be straight forward. It’ll be able to be applied to anyone’s life.

No specific life stage is required but if you experience best with the physical, you may want to once again reach into  your cutlery draw.

This time ignore the forks, multiple forks in one road is just going to make things confusing; grab a knife.

It’s amusing what humans do with spare time. Eat, paint, sleep, watch TV, talk, run, fight … in large, they waste it. I’m not immune from this condition, I once spent an afternoon counting loose change, only to put it back in the same jar I kept in. On another, I decorated the back shed with coasters (which I’d collected in another time wasting exercise).

KNIFE

I’d suggest, next time you have a free moment, like the one we’ve just made with our fork … you cut your life into pieces.

Let it all hang out, don’t hold back. Honesty is often hardest when you’re talking to yourself. As the years pass we all lie to ourselves. These lies are then compounded as we continue to live them out. Cut it all to pieces, separate the truth amongst the lies. It’s the truth that’ll help you choose your direction.

So you’ve discovered a fork in your life’s journey, and taken a knife to your life, finding truth amongst the lies … what now?

Take care here, when you cut away the lies, you are often left with confronting truths. Enlist a close friend or counsellor when times are tough.

Truth is as heavy as it valuable; you’ll never be able to pick it up alone. Grab your spoon and call your mate, because this spoon will be heavy.SPOON

Scoop up the truth that remains and leave the painful lies behind you.  If your friend cannot help, or on of the lies you were living was, that you had friends, call Lifeline (13 14 11), there are trained counsellors on the phones 24 hours day, ready to help.

Enjoy your new journey, live with confidence in your new found truth, and remember, you can always find help … whenever you need it.

You are now, what you eat … with!

This will hopefully help alter your life journey, or if not, see it in different light. If I haven’t helped you make a positive change, I hope to help you get to a place where you can make a change in the future.

SENSE

What I learnt from ‘No phone Sunday’

It’s Monday morning, that can only mean one thing … I survived No phone Sunday

Not only did I survive it, I am living today with a deeper understanding of my life. Talk about winning!?

For those who have read my last post, and I’m guessing you are not, considering it’s a 1 in 2.3 million chance, I applied a 24 hour phone ban on myself last week. I made this decision for two reasons; to heighten my level of appreciation for the blessings that surround me and to put a stop to the habitual use of my phone.

I woke on Sunday morning, like I do every other. “Dadda, I wanna go”, my two-year old know’s I will come, when she calls my name. I leave both, my wife sleeping and my phone switched off.

Within ten minutes, I experience my first urge. It’s nothing serious, just a simple thought, “has anyone bid on my online auction?.

I ignore this thought as nothing but on reflection it’s a sign that I check my phone way too much! I was in a place of bliss, laying beside my daughter’s bed, her hand in mine, and I wanted to check on online auction.

It’s time’s like this, I need a slap to slap myself in the face. Wake up kid!

No phone Sunday was a success, but this wasn’t the only learning. In the same 24 hours, I learnt:

  • My phone is not a necessity
  • I am blessed beyond my words
  • I have more free time than I appreciate
  • When I’m not concerned by taking photos of beauty, I see more beauty
  • I have a habit that needs breaking
  • I don’t need to know who reads this
  • It’s what’s offline that really matters

What started out as a phone is now a computer, diary and unfortunately a time vacuum. I mean, am I crazy to call it a phone if no one calls me?  

So again, in 6 days time it’ll be No phone Sunday, increasingly, my favourite day.

Senselessbanner

No phone Sundays

We are all guilty of this at times ... oblivious to our world

We are all guilty of this at times … oblivious to our world


I’d been thinking about it already, but taking this photo confirmed it … I need a break from my phone. 

My plan isn’t severe, I’ll take baby steps at first. I’ve decided to ditch the phone for Sunday.

I’ve always maintained that I would never prioritise checking my phone, and by checking I mean; monitoring sports results, looking at social media, reading the news, sharing images, checking view counts on this blog or other equally important tasks, over my family. But, if I were honest … it’s already happened.

Think of the smiles of missed while checking emails, most of which are junk and the beautiful sights I would have seen if I wasn’t busy sharing the one I saw earlier on instagram.

My phone is stealing from me and it’s time I took it back.

A promise could be made to ‘look at my phone less’, but I know that will not work. I’d slowly slide back to where I am, a place that kind of hurts. Instead I will turn it off Saturday night and leave it till Monday, that way guaranteed , I’m free all of Sunday.

Free to communicate, with my voice, and hand expressions if I like. Free to spend time, just time, with whoever that I like. 

I will attempt to look at my phone less day one through to six,  but the seventh no matter what, is strictly a no phone day.

It’s only one day, I hear you ask, as you read this post from your phone.

I realise this it’s only small, but I hope that it will work. The roll on effect will be good for me and my family.

My phone has become a habit, I check it like folk smoke. Sometimes I feel I need it, other times I make  myself choke. One day a week will be the start of my recovery. Soon I will be breathing fresh, with my beautiful family!

If any of this has struck a chord with you, maybe you should consider the same. Put down your phone, choose to be free and enjoy your own Sunday.

***DISCLAIMER: I REALISE YOU HAVE MOST LIKELY COME TO READ THIS AFTER SEEING A LINK ON YOUR PHONE. I AM NOT JUDGING OTHERS, SIMPLY JOURNEYING ON MY OWN***

SENSE

Perspective provided in passing

It was October 3rd, 2012 when I last wrote “Ryan’s last days“. I shared about Ryan Woods’ life, and his determination to experience joy in what were his dying days.498369957_1c19cd40e4

Through his blog, Musings from the ground up, Ryan shared of his life and his determination to turn his final days into a positive movement. I used to frequently visit this blog, selfishly taking “hits of inspiration” to fuel my days.

As much as I enjoyed his blog, this is the Internet, a world of distraction. My visits became sporadic and then, non exsistent.

Prompted but my own desire to appreciate my own life more fully, I revisited his blog. His last post was October 24, I didn’t make anything of the date, someone in his situation could be excused for being sporadic.

I read on. The post, “Tears and Seizures “, the point … maintain perspective.

Here I am, a father of a two year old girl and a six week old boy struggling with going back to work, and Ryan is writing about unpredictable and almost constant seizures  For two days I’ve been on the verge of tears walking to the office thinking of my wife, alone with my precious children  and Ryan is crying uncontrollably sitting next to his children feeling as if he’s already dead.

” Sometimes when I cry, when I really cry and cry hard, I’m honestly just in search of confirmation that I’m not simply wasting time here dinking around waiting to die.”

A little perspective goes a long way.

“The thing is, I think you never feel more human than when you are dying”, Ryan knew h

is days were few but maintained perspective.

Ryan died November 14, 2012.

I didn’t know Ryan Woods, yet reading of his death brought a tear to my eye. His life, well at least the last few months were filled with more positive thoughts and actions than I feel I’ve had in my lifetime.

A father and husband to whom, all men can look up to. Ryan literally, stared death in the face, yet didn’t take a backward step. He not only loved his wife and children to the day he died, he showed it and cherished each and every moment he had with them.

Remember what’s important in your life, be aware of your emotions and above all … maintain perspective.

SENSE

Post holiday blues

I’ve sent three emails and read a report … that’s about all I can manage at work today.

With Christmas, came holidays and along with many others, I took them gladly. A little over two weeks with my family, my wife, daughter and newborn son.

Now back at work, the memories of sunny days in the park and long sunshine fuelled walks, seem distant at best. Sitting in an artificially bright office I feel as if I am pushing those memories further and further away with ever strike of the keyboard.

The post holidays blues have struck, and I’ve only been back at work for thirty minutes.

If you’re in Australia, there’s a good chance you’re in the same boat as me. Back at work, struggling to focus and … reading a blog posting instead of working.

Blank stare

Personally I’d rather stare blankly at the screen for the next seven hours but due to responsibility and honesty, that isn’t an option. Instead, I offer you three questions …

  1. Do you enjoy your time at work? 
  1. Does your time there have a positive effect?
  1. What do you desire from your role?

Do you enjoy your time at work?

I’m not suggesting every minute is a pure moment of joy but asking if it’s possible to find joy … at all? Can you share a joke with a workmate, find pleasure in success or maybe you enjoy the rhythmic beat of the keys as you type?

What ever it is, we all need to enjoy at least, part of our day.

Does your time there have a positive effect?

We all have a sphere of influence, at work, due to formalities and structure, these spheres are often greater. Are you having a positive effect within this sphere?

Whether you’re boosting morale or increasing success, what counts in the positiveness.  

What do you desire from your role?

Create a list, what are you looking for in a role. This will give you both, a list to work from and, something to do today … that isn’t your job!

If you aren’t receiving the items on your list or you answered “no” to either of my first two questions I suggest you think about a resignation.

There is no point in spending forty hours (plus) each week, in a role you don’t enjoy, where you have no positive effect … in job that doesn’t satisfy. Work can be enjoyable but I find, it’s only when you’re making a difference in this world.

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.” Helen Keller

SENSE

Box up your joy, it’s not required for another eleven months

Have you ever wondered why they call it “boxing day”?

As a kid, I thought it had something to do with the sport of boxing. Surprisingly enough, looking back, I was never shocked by the lack of bouts held on 26 December each year.

Traditionally, it is the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their superiors or employers, known as a “Christmas box”.

I’m not one for keeping traditions just for the sake of it. So, this year (or last as it may well be) I decided to define boxing day based on my own view of the world.

As the calendar ticks into the month of December good will is flowing freely through all media.

News networks are running stories of unsung heroes in the community and sick children being given a magical Christmas wish. Decorations have been hung on street corners, shopping centres and every home that you visit. If anti commercialism is your thing, the joy knocks at your door too. Your favourite blogs are filled with messages about helping the needy, the true meaning of Christmas and debates whether Jesus exists, let alone if he was born.

A week out from Christmas, and it intensifies again. You can’t escape it. Movies, carols nights, fireworks, the works. Your friends status updates and tweets are all about Santa, the season or the newborn king.

Christmas owns December. And rightly so … but come the 26th, all of this is boxed away, for today, is boxing day.

boxing

Pack up your joyful thoughts and your good will towards the poor. Wrap up happiness and stick it in  box, it will not be required for another eleven months.

The media moves from joy to sorrow, from Christmas to the fiscal cliff. It seems our emotions move with it.

For a week we’ll all laze around, hibernating after our gluttonous feasts, then comes new years. Drinking and resolutions not to drink, partners for the night.

This year, instead of pledging health, exercise or a new job … pledge to rekindle your Christmas passion and hold on to it for the next 365 days. Christmas isn’t a date, it’s an emotion, a joyous state of mind.

SENSE

Failure and success, it’s a matter of focus.

A Toy Story DVD, a toddler bike seat, aioli and a loaf of sourdough. Simple right? 

What started with a seemingly simple shopping list nearly ended in tears. Ok, so it wasn’t just your average shopping trip. For starters shopping with a two year old is never as easy than shopping alone, but the tears weren’t hers.

With the boxing day sales still in full swing, we spent five minutes circling for a space then another five minutes making our way from that space to the shops, ten minutes taking two year old sized paces from one end of the centre to the other only to told the major DVD stockists had no Toy Story DVD’s in stock.

Toy Story is my daughters favourite movie, she’s only seen it once, yet she’s obsessed. She speaks of Woody and Buzz like lifelong friends and both are amongst the most requested images to be drawn on the blackboard.

Fail.

Ten minutes back to the other end of the centre, this time carrying, my now leg weary two year old daughter. With no DVD, we were in search of the toddler seat. A toddler seat, I had been talking to my daughter about for weeks. Admittedly, I was more excited about going riding together than she was but you can still imagine her reaction when told, “their’s no seats  here”.

Being a large chain department store, I was sure this store was not going to fail me, they had a DVD section.

We searched for what felt like hours through mounds and mounds of DVD’s. In reality it was about fifteen minutes and a couple of display boxes but lets not ruin the story. Regardless, our search bared no fruit.

No toddler seat or Toy Story DVD.

Fail.

My patience was wearing thin, yet surprisingly, my daughters was in good spirits. Playfully throwing her hands in the air, “no toy, no chair … ha ha ha”.

Aioli and sourdough,  … you will not defeat me.

We climbed the stairs to the supermarket. My tired child in my arms, beads of sweat now forming on my forehead (I swear the major retailers are cutting back on costs and switching the A/C off), but confident of achieving the least of my objectives for the day.

Aioli, check. Unfortunatley, with it came a request.

“Me carry basket Daddy”

“Sure, no worries sweetie” I replied. A natural answer of a Dad who’s both, feeling as if he’s failing his daughter and who thinks he’ll simply take one handle of the basket.

She had other ideas. “No help me … Daddy”

So, we continued. Snails passed us, we moved so slow. The basket cam up past her waist, she was dragging it more than carrying it, yet her reply remained the same to each attempt. “No help me!”

Headed down aisle seven to the bakery, we passed the rice crackers. A smile appeared on my face, she loves rice crackers. This will make the trip a success, I thought as I let her choose the flavour.

“I want bickies”. This is all I heard as she painstakingly dragged the basket at sub-snail pace to the bakery.

We arrived at the bakery section five minutes, that felt like forty, later.

“Sorry, no sourdough, no vienna, no pana di casa…”

Fail.

Entirely frustrated and what may has well been, entirely empty handed, we made our way to the car. With a short stop for tears on level three after a dropped cracker and another because of spilt water, we made it.

I could have broken down and sobbed, hunched over the steering wheel, but … a car was honking it’s horn. Obviously in a hurry for my spot. And how can I blame them, it’s only a five minute walk up and down stairs!

The exit to the carpark is a rather ordinary ramp, no big deal to most, but to my daughter, amazing.

“Weeeeee…” she shouted, he smile lighting up the revision mirror.

On the verge of tears, context couldn’t have come soon enough.

Success.

I was focussed on what I wanted to achieve. Yes, two of my three objectives were focussed on the happiness of my child but they were still that, objectives.

We spend to much time trying to control our lives, I fear we forget to enjoy them. Relish the time you spend riding up and down the escalators, cherish the amazing reflections you see in post Christmas baubles still hanging in the shops and never ever, ever, fail to admire the smile of a child.

“Did you have fun sweetie” I asked looking back in the mirror.

“Yes Daddy” she replied, adding claps for extra effect.

While I was focussed on my failure, she was content being with Dad. I think we can all learn something from the kids in our life.

SENSE

Mayan I’m crazy too

The world may end in just over nine hours.

You’ve obviously decided to read on regardless. I must say, I’m surprised. I’d call my writing entertaining at times and possibly even enlightening but never would I suggest my writing to be the last thing on earth I read!

Each key stroke should be urgent, they could very well be amongst my last actions of this earth. But alas, my fingers move effortlessly across the keyboard … without a worry in the world.

Thousands of people are flocking to ancient Mayan sites around the globe, paying tribute to their God’s in anticipation of the end of the world.

I repeat, the end of the world may only now, be hours away.

Again, you’ve chosen to read on. And again I’m surprised, maybe you’re just as crazy as I am!

Not only are those flocking to Mayan sites worshipping their God’s, for some reason, they are expecting contact from aliens.

There’s even been rumours of a spaceship coming to pick up those chosen to survive the apocalypse! Get this though, you’d assume the aliens would be interested in the smartest  strongest or most healthy humans … no, it’s a first in best dressed scenario, crazy right!?

Do people really think some sort of alien life form will appear from the clouds taking on board the people they met forming a group to re populate a new world post apocalypse?

mayan169-408x264They line the shoreline in Byron Bay, hands wide and lifted up … ready to welcome visitors from out of space. This scene will be repeated all round the globe in the coming hours and, as the time of predicted apocalypse draws near, their passion will increase.

If you’re anything like me, your first thought would have been … what a bunch of crazy’s!

Surely, any sane person would reject the teachings of the Mayans and be looking past the 21st of December, by 4 days anyway. It is then they’ll celebrate the birth of their King.

Born of a virgin mother and lived a perfect servant life, only to be killed by those he was meant to lead. This king didn’t fight his death, but welcomed it as a price to save a broken world.

Their king, (aka Jesus) rose from the dead and ascended to heaven to be with his father who sent his spirit to live in us all. One day he will return and once again, bring judgement to this world. Until then, billions of people (including myself) follow his teachings to the best of their ability… the passion of those people, just like the Mayan worshippers is building to a crescendo.

worship_service

Come December 25, churches will be filled with believers joined by folk looking for a hit of Jesus joy or a stamp on their get out of jail free card!

Who’s the crazy one now!?

That’s the thing about faith. It’s belief in what you cannot see. It’s crazy and beyond all explanation … yet amazingly life altering. It’s a force more powerful than any other and one, I am not willing to let go of.

I believe a man was born of a virgin mother and died to save this world. I know it’s crazy that he rose from the dead … but he is the man, who’s life I seek to model.

Meanwhile, the twitterverse, known for it’s craziness is filled with #endoftheworldconfessions including “I let the dogs out” and I “pooped my pants in high school”.

SENSE

We all deserve Love, even Lanza

Before you read this, you must understand. I do not support the recent actions of Adam Lanza at all. I am purely writing based on the events as they’ve been reported to me and they are influenced by my beliefs and outlook on life.

Waking on Saturday morning, I skimmed the headlines.

Massacre in school. Shamefully, I didn’t even flinch when I read the words.

A headline written maybe just to grab my attention or sadly as predictable, yet another American shooting.

The information regarding the tragic events in Newport Connecticut continues to flood in, as authorities carry out their investigations. So to does background information on Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old apparently behind the trigger and his family.

The world has a pure hunger for this information, we demand to know. As humans, we feel we must know why!?

At times like this we cannot expect sense.

Yet we continue waste our time seeking it. Even though we’d be far better spending our time supporting those directly effected.

543339-connecticut-school-shootingThe ink, not yet dried on those first headlines but veiled as “finding sense” we’ve begun to blame. A mother slain portrayed as a gun lover, a socially disconnected son pictured as “strange” but, even as far as President Obama is concerned is fuel for gun control.

Adam Lanza was obviously one troubled soul. Wether, by character or illness, one could never say he was thinking straight. As someone who doesn’t suffer from a mental illness, I am thankful his mind is now at rest but terribly saddened, that his troubles pulled so many others down with him.

The number of hate pages on Facebook dedicated to Adam, only 24 hours after the shooting was evidence enough of our faulty human nature. We immediately want to hate instead of grieve the loss and support those effected.

The fallen human is the real cause here. Evil and it’s existence. We all deserve love, even Adam Lanza. He too, a victim of evil.

Love is the only way to defeat this evil.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that” Martin Luther King Jnr, a man before his time. His words, forever remembered.

Apart from “Lanza’s evilness”, America’s long-standing right to arms has been blamed at large, less than an hour before this very shooting Michael Moore tweeted to remind all. “There have been 31 shootings since Columbine”, the school at the centre of his 2002, documentary “Bowling for Columbine”.

I personally, do not see any reason for a person to have a gun in the home aside from animal control on a farm or rural property. Reasons of defence and safety should not require a home be armed. Yet still, ask an American, and you’re questioning their right to freedom.

“Are we prepared to say that such violence visited upon our children year after year is simply the price of our freedom?” Thankfully, even President Obama is starting to publicly question that freedom.

As long as darkness exists, gun control policy is just a limitation, not the required light.

I am praying for the families of the children and teachers that have passed. So too, each and every member of Newport’s small community. I urge you to do the same. And don’t forget the Lanza’s.

Pray that they may all find the love and support they need to survive this situation. 

SENSE