So, at the conclusion of last week's post I had shared my motherhood journey as I sought to be perfect, or my notion of perfect. To me, at this time, my 'Earth Motherness' was tied up with my morals and ethics.
But it was too hard. I was failing. I was not meeting my own expectations. Oh and the feelings of being a moral failure were just horrendous.
So life progressed. I let go of many, many things, we ate junk again, we hired a cleaner, I took a full time job and found my values were very misaligned with my employer, my son spent more time in childcare, which made me feel like a complete failure in a way nothing else ever has.
And then in April this year we went to Japan. Nick, Eddie and I had just under 2 weeks there, and it was glorious. We spent all this beautiful time together, enjoying one another, eating every meal together, experiencing new things together. It was wonderful.
One day, late in the trip, we were sitting in the most beautiful cafe/shop in Kyoto called Kitone. They stock ceramics, some woodwork, some linen clothes, and then they have the most delightful cafe at the back where you can have coffee and a small selection of yummy things to eat. Not exactly the kind of place I had always dreamed of owning, but close to it!
Anyway, Eddie, Nick and I were there, Eddie was watching the i-pad, and Nick and I were basking in some quiet time together. The holiday, and that moment were both blissful. We looked at each other and basically simultaneously said 'what are we doing?'. And in that moment we decided to start Brown's, for real, we would create our long held dream.
Now, it might fail, and we might mess it up, and all of this might not work.
But this all really isn't the point.
I suppose for me the realisation was that trying to be 'ethical' in my life - with composting and home made cleaning products and use of plastic and and and - was not achievable for me until I really knew myself and treated myself, for want of a better word, ethically - kindly, like my values mattered and were worth living.
So, I am finding it much easier to be all those things that are defined as 'ethical' (reusing, reducing, recycling, composting, growing food, mending clothes, buying from brands that don't exploit workers etc) now that I am living my life according to my values.
In Brown's we only stock local and/or ethically made products, everything we have is gently made, and we believe in this and value it, and hope that we are offering people who value those things a place to shop. Our fit out is also essentially second hand, found and handmade objects, and my goodness they're all so beautiful!
Still though, I am imperfect, I try to collect any plastic packaging we receive and take it to the pink plastic recycling bins at the supermarket (or there is one at my son's childcare, which is great!), but sometimes I have a forgetful or lazy moment and I throw some plastic packaging in the regular bin. And recently I had to buy Eddie some undies and I didn't do my due diligence and just ordered them from a big retailer (next time I'll get Bhumi or Thunderpants!), but I was tired and needed them in a hurry and you know life really!
So that's where I'm at. I feel like I'm living a much more ethically aligned life than I ever have, and I think a big part of it is that I'm not unhappy and exhausted all the time, I'm living my values which makes it easier to articulate and make ethical choices. I'm flawed and busy, and there are many things that I will work on, work towards and look to change, but this is my ethical journey and my thinking is that it's probably quite universal?