#realmothersdiversevoices : Geraldine Devine

I am thrilled to be sharing a new interview series with you each and every week: #realmothersdiversevoices. In this series my intention is to reveal the endless ways our family values can inform our Daily Rhythm. The mothers I have interviewed lead diverse lives but they each have a huge sense of clarity about what their Family Values are (even if they change over time) and consciously and creatively strive to create a Daily Rhythm in alignment with those values.

It is my hope that through these stories more Mothers feel inspired to explore what their own family values are, to question them and bring them to life in their everyday experience. I know that seeing the world through another Mother’s lens will develop more empathy, understanding and compassion between us.

Today I am honoured to welcome Geraldine Devine to Whole Family Rhythms community. Geraldine has a tribe to love, tucked away in their off the grid haven, with a mission to ‘be the change’ right now! You could call her a homeschooling, minimalist, homesteading, zero waster, but she’ll start squirming if you try to put her in that box! You can find her on @bee_eco_wraps & @devine_tribe on Instagram but you might have better luck finding her in the garden!

Who are you? Can you introduce yourself, your work and your family? 

Hello wonderful Mama’s. I too am a Mama, striving to be strong, brave and inspiring to my children! I love that I share the role of head of a tribe of five beautiful souls, with a man that makes my soul shine. Hand in hand & with hearts full of love and determination and passion for a green future, Matt & I chose a life off the grid. Hidden within our subtropical haven, surrounded by an enchanting and majestic forest, we revived a 1920’s tea house turned treehouse which rattles & shakes and is filled with soul warming, quirky character! Our humble paradise is self sustainable, solar power and tank water with no council services, instilling in us daily gratitude for the simple gifts of sunshine or rain! 

We run our bustling business of handmade Beeswax Wraps, Bee Eco, with the passion to offer a great alternative to plastic to wrap and store your food. Let’s enliven the conversations about the sustainable changes we can all make! A family run, home based business has allowed us to form an integrated approach to sustainability in our work and life. We are determined to live in and pass on a beautiful world to our children!

Matt & I cherish a hands on, down to earth lifestyle. We are determined to ‘raise’, with passion and fortitude, our children, our global awareness, our own food and our momentum toward a positive & conscious way of life. 

What is one of the greatest joys you experience as a Mother?

The innate joy and beauty is situated right in the present experience of my everyday! It is found in the wisdom gifted by the journey of Motherhood, of learning where to look for my souls happiness. In the moments where time subsides, slows and attention is garnered toward the purity of happiness found in the worlds created by these gorgeous young spirits. 

My joy is ignited by the sparks of freedom and love for our way of life reflecting in our children’s eyes. Joy is barefoot, under the mulberry tree, watching our 3 year old raise a lamb, or six year old while away the hours with the fairies, amongst the flowers.

What is one of the biggest challenges you face daily as a Mother? 

When the rhythm is lost and the juggle takes over! Motherhood demands such courage and strength! 

We are a colourful, raw and lively family and are all completely in touch with the entire gamut of human emotion! 

I find the resilience required of motherhood, farm life and a home based business immense! It takes persistent discipline and strength of character to be the stable foundation of a family. I have to dedicate on a daily basis toward my own personal development! 

The children live free of the distractions of technology, shopping centres and consumerism. A life without these potent quick fixing tools can become really stretching, but, for us, is where we live, learn and gain our wisdom and fullness. 

I feel the key for us is in resolutely knowing what our vision is……. then continually starting over when this goes off track, so many times throughout each day! 

The greatest remedy for any challenge I may face is global perspective, the antidote is gratitude. 

What does having “Rhythm in your Home” mean to you?

Having meaningful purpose! Every day seeking that ‘hum’, within each family member, that signifies the correct alignment of their soul purpose. 

Rhythm in our home gains its momentum directly from the presence and consciousness achieved in a simplified and handmade life. A state of mind that invokes and respects reverence for the cycles inherent in all things. The decreased gap between natural law and our own existence has lessened the resistance and made a life more congruent with ourselves, each other and cohesive to our surroundings. 

Matt and I wish for a natural rhythm to be deeply ingrained into our children, to carry throughout their lives. A breathing in, breathing out process accessible for them to fall back on in times of need. To be intrinsically tuned into, and respectful of, the cycles of nature. 

Can you give an example of some of your most cherished ‘Family Values’?

Breathe deeply, touch the earth, respect each other, seek beauty, believe in yourself. 

We cherish the time we make throughout the day to find the calm, beauty and space to honour each of our own unique spirits. 

Our family values the wisdom that connection to nature will teach most of the down to earth basics. Learning, discussing, stretching our understanding that our life on this planet, our connection to each other and the natural world, is symbiotic. That we must protect, respect and commune with Nature in gratitude for the way in which it sustains us. We emphasise the importance as a family to understand that we are part of an ecosystem, not just taking from it. We wish to uphold a state of mind of gratitude and respect, as caretakers of this amazing planet.

How do you hope to pass these values on to your children? Or in other words, how do you manifest these family values into your daily rhythm?

When we chose Farm life as the hub of our families existence and the flow of nature as the tone of the day, we gave our existence a manifesto, a daily rhythm much greater than ourselves in which we are swept up in and supported by. 

We aim to pass on our values as our children join with us in meaningful work. Tasks on the Farm, duties of the household, or dedicating time to our family business. Gardening, cooking, animal care bring familiar and comforting framework to our day. There’s always a fun project underway, exchange helpers to share stories from the world far and wide, cubbies to build, crisp peas to munch. 

We have also come to witness that often to manifest our values, we merely had to step out of the children’s way, instead concentrating on the mood and energy held by the environment surrounding them. With nature & creative pursuits at their fingertips they create their own magic. Nourished by wholesome foods and a predictable flow to their day, they blossom and bloom in their own unique ways, often self regulating and so creatively entertaining themselves! 

Can you outline a typical ‘Weekday Rhythm’ for you and your children. Specifically when/where/how do you and your little ones eat, sleep/rest, play inside/outside, work/learn and make time for selfcare? 

6 o’clock Awaken to the chorus of the Farm! Moo, baa, cock a doodle doo!! In Winter we might snuggle in, rekindle the fire and chat a little longer before duties call! Reading books, recalling dreams, aligning with each other and forming goals that bring unity to the day. 

7 o’clock Breakfast in the sunshine or around a campfire. A grounding place is chosen that best reflects Natures mood for the day. 

8 o’clock Everyone is finding a beat to their drum of the day. Caring for animals, cooking, reading, climbing, gardening, drawing, talking to the fairies! The wonder of this lifestyle is the rich imaginations and creative self direction of the children. Little beings imbued with a sense of their own rhythm. We watch over them as they generally tend to breath in and out, attend a task diligently, then fall into a wilder form of themselves as energy bubbles over. Sometimes they may need a lead toward the right remedial type of activity or task. 

9 o’clock This is a great time to head to the schoolhouse on the Farm. A space conducive to entering a place of learning, creativity and imaginative play. 

10.30am Baby Freyja has a sleep on me, signalling reading time for the other children. 

12.00pm Prepare and enjoy Lunch

1.00pm Siesta ~ a time of rest for all

1.30pm Music, cooking, play, reading, household duties, projects….

2.30pm We might head off to the beach or theatre, Irish dancing or watercolour painting class.

4.00pm Dinner preparation & farm jobs

5.00pm Dinner, generally around a fire. We bless our food and connect to each other, talking, singing, music and play. We share our lives with Farm helpers from many countries and love to hear stories and song. 

6 o’clock A magnesium and lavender bath together, followed by a light supper and a stack of books for bedtime reading. We end their day with a story, right now a tale of an ancient Scottish tale of dragons & moonstone swords followed by a lullaby. 

8.00 o’clock Matt & I either cheers a good job and hard days work in front of the fire….. or collapse in a heap, laugh or cry at the lunacy of trying to pull all of this off!! 

How important are higher belief systems, stories, literature, art, family history and creative expression to your family? How do you weave these into your family life? 

History, literature, art & creative expression form the cornerstones of our intrigue! This reflects throughout our family as they hear and join in with our discussions and pursuits and are surrounded by fodder for exploration! Stories & tales galore and from all manner of folk throughout the community are such a wonderful way to weave the magic! The children are already surpassing us in their ability to tell tale of histories and mysteries! 

When does your family rhythm get thrown off kilter? 

Eg. sickness, holidays, when you’re tired etc 

When we are stretched too far and wide! 

Do you consciously re-evaluate and change your family rhythm with the seasons and ages and stages of your kids?

We love the seasons and the magic and rolling changes they bring to our lives! As the natural world shifts and changes around us, we are happily swept along in the ebbs and flows. 

There is purpose and consciousness to the ways our rhythm changes throughout the seasons and amongst the growing children. I have had to learn that flexibility is a natural extension of a larger family. Our rhythm does often need to shift to suit the diverse needs, ages and stages. In exchange I find the shared load and natural vitality of a larger family lends well to supporting each other in keeping a meaningful momentum to the day. 

When you’re feeling stuck, tired, frustrated with your role as Mother, what do you need most to shift your energy and perception? 

A journey seaside! Ahhh, to dive under the ocean! On a tough day Matt disappears under water for a long time! He comes back revived!

We love medicinal herbs and find them a nurturing and nourishing way to shift! 

Chai, timeless gardening (rather than the daily water & chore sprint) and sunshine! 

We have learned to implement at least one, five minute session a day of lying flat on our back, on the earth and breathing deeply and meditively. It works wonders. 

If you could recommend one book to ALL Mothers out there what would it be? 

One book…. never! Read, read, read!! Always have a big stack of all you want and need to learn, a novel to get lost in & inspiring magazines just in case you get those moments in the sunshine or bath! 

But always make sure Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes is within reach! 

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