Meet the Mama: Rachel Ellen
I stumbled across Rach's Instagram page, Temple of the Moon, a few years ago, when a friend of mine shared one of her posts. I remember scrolling through her feed and feeling instantly connected to her. As a fellow yoga teacher, mother, Cancerian, painter and empath, we definitely had a lot in common. Rach is also a midwife, a HypnoBirthing practitioner and a women's circle host. Along with being a mother to 3 young children, she certainly has a lot on her plate! I recently chatted with her to learn more about her many roles, and find out her views on health, motherhood and protecting Mama Earth. Read on to learn more about this beautiful Earth Mama.
Hi Rachel, thank you so much for joining me on my Earth Mama Blog. I can't wait for my readers to learn more about you. In a few potent words, tell me about yourself. Thank you so much for allowing me to into your space to share a bit about myself, I feel so deeply honoured! I’m Rach, I am just like you and every other woman journeying and flowing through the rivers of what it is to be a woman in this day and age. I have been feeling deeply inspired and called forward by the whispers of my heart and soul to hold space for my sisters, the women of the earth, to support, uplift, empower one another and to help one another remember and reconnect with their inner goddess. I love everything to do with nature and metaphysical.
I am a mumma to three beautiful babes, I am also an artist, midwife, HypnoBirthing practitioner, reiki practitioner, circle facilitator and yoga teacher. I feel such a strong connection to nature and the earth, and a deep love for the moon. I love travel and change (perhaps an on flow from growing up in a military family). My friends and family describe me as caring, thoughtful, nurturing, creative, probably spend a bit too much time daydreaming. I am an empath and pick up others energy quite intensely. In Human Design, I am a ‘’Manifestor". Since learning this I now understand myself to a much deeper level! It's easy to learn what yours is, you just add your birthday, place and time into myhumandesign.com ~ so interesting! I am a true Cancerian, I appear tough on the outside but so soft and sensitive on the inside. Thank you for sharing, I am a true Cancerian too! Tell me briefly about your gorgeous family (your partner and children).
I am a mumma to three beautiful children, Azalea (6) Bodhi (3.5) and Phoenix (11 months). I was so lucky to have beautiful births but the best experience was a waterbirth at home with my youngest, Phoenix. My husband Ryan and I have been together for about 13 years. We are quite humble and love the slow, simple life. We love our tribe time together, our best adventures have been whilst camping with our friends.
"[Motherhood is] the hardest but greatest journey I have ever been on."
You sound very similar to our family! What are your favourite parts of motherhood and why?
Gosh, where to start! I love the nurturing, watching them learn and grow. Something stirs so deep within my heart when I hold them and watch them, it’s so difficult to describe. It is a love like no other. The hardest but greatest journey I have ever been on. They are also my greatest teachers, they bring out the best in me and help me to work through my challenges gracefully and inspire me to be more present, be silly, laugh and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. They motivate me to keep growing and learning as well!
They truly are our greatest teachers. Which part/s of motherhood do you find the most challenging and how do you work around this?
The lack of sleep most definitely the biggest challenge, along with dealing with the sibling rivalry, making sure they all get one-on-one time to feel special, and protecting them from the world! Night shift was a great way to prepare for the sleep deprivation that comes with motherhood, I’ve found over the years the best ways I cope are to make sure to rest where I can, get some sunshine and fresh air, deep rejuvenating breaths, staying well hydrated and indulging in fresh organic food. I use aromatherapy blends such as a perfume roller, diffusing and in my warm cocoas (peppermint, orange or ginger are my favourite).
"I’ve learnt the power of nurturing yourself and making time for filling your cup is like no other."
I try not to entertain the thoughts of 'I am so tired’. I practice deep breathing and gratitude, gentle yoga and dancing, and let go of the non-essentials (housework will always be there!). You can not give from an empty cup and boy did I learn this the hard way with my older two. I’ve learnt the power of nurturing yourself and making time for filling your cup is like no other. The sibling rivalry, I’m still working on. Our motto to ‘radiate love like the sun’ doesn’t seem to be working too great (laughs). A little time apart for them and negotiating seems to be the most effective remedy and talking to them about it after as well as helping them identify and work through their emotions in a way that is safe, for example if they feel angry, to know that it is ok to feel that emotion and to get it out of their body through different ways like shaking it out of their hands and feet. I have been trying to make sure to make time to spend with them one-on-one when Phoenix naps, for example colouring with Azalea, building and knocking down blocks with Bodhi (gosh, boys and girls are so different!) Protecting them from the world is the hardest. To make sure they are eating nourishing healthy food (so hard at parties, but try for everything in moderation and focus on gut health such as probiotics, coconut kefir, kombucha, powdered bone broth sprinkled over meals etc). The great debate whether to immunize or not was incredibly difficult given the lack of and contracting/biased information available. Protecting them from other children being mean to them is something I am learning as I go, particularly at school when they are all learning about dynamics and differences and sharing etc. There has been lots of discreet wiping of my own tears while I cuddle and comfort them and listen to their experience and navigating through the emotions making sure they feel loved, safe and cared for and have tools they can use if it ever happens again (first time school mum here!). My babies are very sensitive like their mumma so it's been quite the journey!
You have many skills and talents ~ yoga, art, hypnobirthing, midwifery, women's circles and more. Tell me more about what you do, and why you have chosen to align yourself with these 'trades'.
I’ve always been creative ever since was I was little, I feel so alive and at home when I am creating and playing with colors. I have always felt like I wanted to do something to help the world be a better place. I began practicing yoga as a coping method when I was 16 after my dad took his own life and I felt so much comfort and strength from the practice I wanted to be able to gift others with the same yoga medicine (it took me 15 years to take the steps to become a qualified teacher!).
I applied for an Art teacher and Midwifery at Uni, and funnily enough I chose Midwifery without really knowing what it was, all I knew was that I loved caring for people and loved babies. Turns out there is a strong family history of Midwives in the family on my mums side so it runs in our blood! I feel passionate about supporting and empowering women based on my own journey and what I see out in the world. I deeply believe we are so powerful as women and have such a powerful gift of healing, creating and nurturing and that we aren’t really given the space or permission in society to shine our authentic selves confidently. I have always felt drawn to everything metaphysical, and yoga helped illuminate the spiritual path along with alternate methods of healing such as reiki and sound therapy. It’s like going down a magical rabbit hole!
I feel very connected to you through our mutual love of yoga, but also our style of parenting. Like me, you seem to be a very natural mama. Tell me more about this ~ how do you support your children's health and wellbeing naturally? And how have your natural parenting techniques evolved as your children have grown?
I feel the same! My favourite saying is ‘show yourself so your tribe can see you’, and I love that we have connected and that we really see, honour and understand one another. I do feel quite earthy and holistic in my parenting style because it just feels intuitively and instinctively right for me. I’m a true Cancerian and have always listened to my intuition, but it has taken me a few years to really begin to understand and trust the mothers intuition. I try to parent in a way that my children will see the world as magical, and feel confident in shining their own unique light upon the world.
I feel like the knowledge of the philosophies of yoga have really helped me with my parenting in the way of teaching those life skills of mindfulness and being kind to the earth, understanding energy and creating positive karma, honouring that we are all connected, working through emotions so they don’t store in the body and come out in distorted ways. Mindfulness is really important to me as I’ve learnt through my HypnoBirthing training how preconception, birth and up to the age of roughly 7 effects the conditioning of the mind and they bring all of those skills into adulthood. I am still learning as I go, there is certainly no such thing as a perfect parent.
I love reading books about natural parenting and learning from others like you who are like minded and understand and share the same values. It took me a while to find my tribe, and now that I have, I have noticed such a difference in my confidence in my own parenting style. We are all so unique and what works for one, might not work for another. Another favourite quote is ‘You do you’. I feel like I answered a little in the previous questions about gut health diet, reducing chemicals, using aromatherapy, making my own nappy wipes etc. Thriving Bubba by Kasey Wilson has been my bible for guidance with parenting holistically.
"I love using aromatherapy for little self love rituals like an oil massage after a shower, or a bath with the kids with Epsom and Himalayan salts."
That sounds amazing ~ I'll have to check it out. As a fellow mama, I know how important it is to have a self-care ritual, in order to be the best mum to our earth babes. What do you do to fill up your cup?
Mmm yes, filling our cups daily is so important, what a powerful tool for mums to learn to harness To be able to give the best of ourselves, we need to feel our best and the only person that can give us that, is ourselves. For me it is having simple daily rituals that can easily be infused in my days with the kids. I have learnt to really savour and enjoy the small simple things to fill my cup, such as being deeply present in my body, long slow conscious breathes, focused awareness through powerful questions such as ‘what do I choose to focus on today, is it helpful or unhelpful?’, pausing, observing my internal world and pivoting to maintain perspective and the peaceful positive path.
Daily gratitude, connecting with my body and really listening to what it needs. Using breath, sound and movement everyday to help shift stagnant energy mainly through dancing every morning with the kids and using that time to really fall out of my head and drop into my body (an amazing technique I learnt through Kerryn and Greg Barwick in their Embodied Queen Course).
Nourishing and cleansing my body through mind (thoughts/focused awareness), body (organic fresh food, supplements for a vegan plant based diet such as B12, iron, multivitamins, gut health like coconut kefir, kombucha, probiotics, thanks to the guidance of my beautiful friend and naturopath Kasey Wilson) and spirit, connecting to the energy of the universe, crystals, spirit guides etc.
I love using aromatherapy for little self love rituals like an oil massage after a shower, or a bath with the kids with Epsom and Himalayan salts. I also created a sacred space in our front room where I could practice some yoga every night (even if it is only 5-10 minutes some nights, it is so powerful!) and use my crystals and singing bowls to give myself an energetic sound bath to bring about balance. I love flicking through quote books, going outside for sunshine and fresh air with the kids.
But the main thing is recognising when I am feeling overwhelmed, or imbalanced and communicating that with my partner and asking my support network for help when I need. A great communication technique we use that we learnt from Kerryn and Greg Barwick is through a simple statement such as 'I'm feeling overwhelmed, I need a shower by myself with my music' and that will provide me with a little time to recharge and ground and regain perspective. I feel like asking for help is a huge part of self care as well as making time for yourself and time planning (with the motto 'a successful plan is a flexible plan'). Valuing and honouring yourself and your needs are just as important as the needs of your babes. I cannot wait to share my upcoming book on helping to empower mums!
I can't wait to learn more about your book! I feel that we are currently in a very interesting and pivotal time in history. The need to protect and sustain mama earth is becoming increasingly apparent. What practices do you and your family incorporate into your lives to take the pressure off of mama earth?
Yes, I feel you so deeply with this, our beautiful earth has been calling for our love and for us to truly see and honour her for so long, and I'm hoping that this whole CoVid situation has helped the world open their eyes to the way our beautiful earth can heal if we give her space to breathe. We try to be as gentle to her as possible through using essential oils, vinegar and bicarb for cleaning, having a food scraps bin for our compost, using reusable sheets in place of baking paper, reducing plastic where possible.
I feel that being educated on how to recycle and how the things we put in our waterways effect the sea is so powerful and amazing motivation to put the effort in to make the simple changes. I started my own little veggie garden a few months ago and we have been loving our fresh produce (it is very simple and beginner I might add). Hoping to get solar power soon as well. I also love circular fashion so we do often find beautiful treasures at the op shop and off buy/sell/swap pages. We donate where possible to keep toys and outgrown clothes circulating and if we buy brand new, we try to support clothing brands that are made consciously.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. Where can my readers find out more about you?
On my Instagam account @_templeofthe moon_. Keep shining your beautiful light!