852 Tantrums…and an ounce of gratitude

Dec 1, 2015

852 Tantrums | www.nalumana.com

There were 852 tantrums…or thereabouts.


There was me, floating on my stomach on the moonlit ocean, squealing through my snorkel as giant manta rays swam inches from my face.

There was an allergy attack that had me anxiety-ridden for days, praying we would avoid an ER visit on foreign territory.

But then, there was that drive to the rim of a volcanic crater to see molten lava aglow in the twilight.

There was that night, at 3a.m., pacing the balcony with a sweaty baby and listening to geckos scurry in the rafters, when we managed to lock ourselves out of our guesthouse room with our daughter inside.

And a solo sunset scuba dive after an afternoon of enthralling tide pool exploration with my girl.

There was so. much. coffee.


There was no quick morning meditation.  Or yoga.  Or running.  No hour here and there to write.  That whole idea to “just eat really clean” while we were traveling – because what better place to survive on tropical fruit and fresh fish? – ended faster than you can say Buffalo Ranch Wheat Thins.

There were squeals of delight as my daughter finally gained confidence splashing in the ocean shallows.  There were many, many visits to playgrounds.  There were sea turtles, seen up close.

There were some pretty serious conversations about why on earth we decided it was a good idea to bring our two tiny children on a dream vacation to Hawaii for a month.

Because, you see, it didn’t really feel like a dream vacation. 


There, I said it.  Gratitude be damned: it was still all the very hard work of parenthood, but hotter and stickier, and with the fear of the screams of an angry preschooler travelling all too well through thin hotel walls.

It was no different than at home, when I struggle to remember the sweet moments, thinking only of the day’s challenges and counting down the hours until bedtime.  Only I felt quadruply obligated to enjoy each second of this adventure because we’d be planning it for so long, because I wanted to experience Hawaii to the fullest of my capability, because we’d come so far.

So, call me ungrateful.  It’s a struggle to see the bright spots in the day-to-day of parenting, and harder still to force oneself to do so when it seems like the cards are stacked in your favour.  

Sometimes, as you ramp up into Tantrum #853, it helps just to write the good stuff down, so at least you can remember it later.

Your turn:


What helps ground you in the craziest moments of parenting your kids?
Do you ever have a hard time feeling grateful, even if the moment seems to call for it?
Have you ever locked your kid in a hotel room by accident (okay okay, maybe that’s just me…)

The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!