Soul Parenting


Okay, I’m excited about life. I haven’t put anything on the blog for a while because I feel a bit OTT and evangelical these days, but the time has come. If you’re not up for reading a rant, scroll somewhere else, if you’re not sure, don’t worry I won’t push it down anyone’s throat, not in person, or on this blog again.

I went to a women’s retreat in early October, and it was just awesome… If you ask Daryl, the woman who ran it, I’m not sure what she would say, however from my perspective I would say the whole thing was designed down to the most minute detail to allow participants to listen to ‘self’.

We let go of technology, concerns about food or even taking dishes to the sink, external stimulus like books, phones etc were out… The idea; to tap in to your own wisdom and voice. And that was remarkable, it was even more remarkable than I have experienced before, whether on a silent ten day meditation or an eleven day Kakadu bush walk. I am not sure why other than it was ‘tthe right timing’ for me.. The emotional self reliance was stunning. Especially in this world that facilitates an instant response to thoughts shared on line or where external affirmation is so often sought and too often relied on.. In effect, throughout the retreat so little was really said to us, ideas were floated, information shared, but before you got a chance to ask a question we would be sent off into the bush and told to journal non stop, just write, about what you feel, what ever comes up… In this time I would answer my own questions and I learnt to trust my voice more… Sounds simple, but so refreshing. So sustainable, and self reliant and leaving me in a place of openness and willingness to share constructive power with other people.


Anyway, there was much more than this to the retreat. The point I want to make though is that I clarified and re got in touch with what I really, really want to do. And it all makes so much sense. It even fits in that we came away here to Crete, the struggle with a foreign language, the foray into Montessori teaching methodology that schools so much for the soul, the ages of the big kids in schooling etc and, of course the remarkable and so ‘in tune people’ we have met here. It makes sense that there have been hard times, and that the kids sometimes hate it, and that I have worried about the kids soul and self damage, wondered if this was indeed a selfish act dressed up as ‘educational’ for our kids. ‘Will they (or one of them at least) hold it against us forever?’ Has floated through my overactive mind so many times.


So what is my vision? For a world where kids believe in themselves, where kids who have had hard times and good times can learn from their experiences on a soul level, where teenagers know more fully who they are and what they are capable of… Where parents are not ‘bad’ or ‘good’, but we are parents in the real world. Sometimes creating, sometimes crushing. A world where kids can tap into self belief and self esteem with ease in our over stimulated public and private worlds, where they can identify unhelpful distractions and find space to really listen to self and not peer pressure, and where kids can see through media images and social media trying to influence our self image and purchasing power. I see a world where overtired, stressed, financially strapped parents thinking ‘I should be able to cope’, yet struggle in silence, can soul parent. I, as a parent can react to my children in a way that is not so great for my kids, and I can respond in a way that is so fabulous for them and me… I really want to work with kids where they are at, and families too around soul development, soul parenting. In the bush, trusting our voices, stepping into self power, growing hope and vision for the future. To some it might sound so airy fairy…. At times I think how privileged and indeed wanky to be able to consider such concepts when stomachs are starving, peoples are fighting, rape exists…

But as I parent everyday, I witness my destructive, and my soul nourishing reactions and responses to my children… And everyday I realise that my kids are the most precious thing to me. And what can ground me or my work more than to be consciously aware of nurturing, coaching, growing, challenging and even rejoicing in my children’s self awareness, self belief, self esteem, and soul development. It all connects for me (I think in my first blog I mentioned my hope to get to know my children better, their triggers, hopes, and unique styles- bring it on). I see a connection with kids who feel good about themselves and less bullying, I see kids who believe in themselves believing in others, and abusing less. I see kids who tap into their own wisdom and connection with the earth working for ecologically beneficial outcomes, I see kids that feel good about learning and creating, listening and growing becoming global citizens that work toward peace and feeding mouths. I see creative educational approaches that support those that find traditional schooling challenging…

My dream is to work in this realm with kids and families from financially stressed homes, where family violence has been experienced, as in my previous work. My coach on the retreat gently said to me; ‘it’s important start with those that ‘want’ to do it first’, it was the only bit of clear ‘advice’ she implied, she is right… I’ll find my way, one door at a time.

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All that said and done, my amazing family are fairly willing participants in this journey of trying out ideas and activities as I observe the responses of different age groups. They and I sometimes wonder where all the positivity goes at times as anyone of us plummets into self destructive oblivion, but as Bozo says ‘ it’s all about the recovery!’ I love that. It allows stuff ups, and encourages moving on… I u

sed to dwell on my grumpy outbursts. Not so much now, there is too much to do!

Please hold this as ‘my take on stuff’, I offer it as my pondering and I welcome your comments.

Kids are kids, are they not? They are incredibly insightful at the most unexpected times. Yasi asked me just before I went to my retreat, ‘Mummy, how well do you know yourself? ‘Cos I don’t think I know myself that well yet’.
Ah the wonders ahead of us all…. 🙂 image


Moochie’s day as a Class helper

Today I was the helper at my school – Nipio.


I sat on the helper chair and helped the teacher. They gave me a piece of paper of all the things that they said about me. Like a sheet with nice things about me – like Nikola said I’m a very good and special friend and Rafaela said I’ve got a good heart.





Maria said I’m very strong. Manos said I’m very beautiful, someone said I’m good at music and singing but I don’t remember who that was now. Myrto said I’m very smart. Andoni thinks I’m a very good fellow student and Ioanna said I’m very smiley. Silia said I was a very good helper.




I was a fun day because I didn’t know what it would feel like and it was very fun.

I said thank you for all the nice things they said and gave them all a kiss on the cheek and said ευχαριστώ πολύ (efharisto poli) which means than you very much.


I showed them some photos of me – like I told them about the countries I was and the people in my photos. Some of them were scared of the crocodile photo but I told them that it had its mouth taped up.






I also told them about things about me which I had on a paper.
My favourite colour is blue and green (prasino means green, ble means blue)
I like pirates.
My favourite food is pizza and chocolate (in Greek you say sokolata) and eggs.
I have 1 brother and 3 sisters.
I like batman and superman and Spider-Man and Ben 10.

Baba helped me write them in Greek and I wrote some of the words myself and my name – my name is Αιμιλιος.

Is that enough for you all because I’m getting tired and I want to play – bye bye

From Emilio


Naughty Aunty Desley


I only met Desley in 2010 though I feel like I’ve known her forever. She’s a fellow Bowen Instructor and was absent during my first Bowen Instructors’ meeting in Hobart but I had heard a lot about her from Gael and many others. When I met her at our next Instructors’ meeting in Sydney the following year it felt like we were great friends by morning tea. Whilst we were at the International Bowen conference in Italy last year she mentioned that she might visit us in Crete – and she worked toward it and made it a reality. Here are some snippets of the kids experience with ‘Naughty Aunty Desley’ as they fondly call her. (I’ll write a bit more at the end)
By Baba Miliking


Desley was awesome cause she gave us ice-cream when baba and mummy were away. She looked after us on her own for two days.

Desley walked us to school lots of times and we looked for dolphins near the port.

Desley made this awesome lunch with veggies and other bits but I don’t know what they’re called – it was yummy.

One day Desley took us out for pizza at our local pizza shop near our house – called ELA.


Desley took us to sport one day. She is a very good cuddler. I miss her and love her up to the university (Zoi means universe) and back to the bottom of the dirt.

By Zoi


Desley came to visit us for three weeks from Brisbane in Queensland. Apparently it took her 32 hours to get to us door to door. Such a long time.


We did lots of things and went to lots of places with her. Like we went to Santorini together. She even let mum and baba go away for two days while she looked after us. We were on our best behaviour. She took us out to a pizza place and we had Hawaiian pizza (but it’s called Brazilian in Greece) and a Margarita pizza. We also went to the beach and watched a movie together. She also bought us the movie Phar Lap, Rio, Red dog and Madagascar 3 all the way from Australia. But we are only allowed to watch English movies on weekends. This weekend we watched Phar Lap – it’s an amazing movie about a famous racehorse from Australia – I think he was the fastest horse in the world. He died at the age of 5 and he wouldn’t have normally died at that age so I reckon he was somehow poisoned even though his trainer was with him all the time and even slept with him. I loved the movie – it’s a great movie. It is highly recommended by me.


We played some games with Desley also down at the beach – like running games and stuff. Also while Desley was here I also did two runs – one 5km one and one 5.2 km run. I knew it was that much from a running app on my iPod so I was listening to music and running as well around the athletics/soccer oval. It has to do with some sort of computer work which I don’t even understand because it even estimates how fast I can run each mile.


My favourite thing that I did with Desley was in Santorini we went with her to the volcano and found out a lot of things about Santorini and how it was formed by the volcanic eruption.







Desley also gave me an awesome and pretty cool long sleeve sports top and a sports bag. I use it for soccer.
She also gave me something very useful which is a pocket first aid kit to put in my bag with band aids and other things to use and instructions about what to do – it even has a mask if someone needs to do CPR – I take it to most sports things that I do. The only person I know who has done CPR is My uncle Chich George who used CPR recently when he saved the life of one of his good friend’s dad who had a heartache. It happened at 6am and and my uncle heard noises and got his jeans on and ran downstairs to where the man was – he did CPR and the man was out for about 5 mins but George managed to save him and when the ambulance arrived there was a pulse. Also while my uncle George was doing the chest compressions he accidentally broke 2 ribs

Desley also did a Bowen to help with my soccer and to help me stand straighter like a proud boy – it was a very good Bowen too. PS – I’m usually looking down, with shoulders down but now I’m trying to stand straighter. Thanks so much Desley.
By Tobes



Desley bought me a microphone when she was in Athens – she saw it at a market and thought of me cause I like singing.

She also bought me a necklace and a bracelet and a hat – that I love. The hat looks like a priest’s hat in Greek church – the guy that you kiss his hand.

The bracelet is with beach crystals and shells. The crystals look like gold. It makes me want to rip them off and play pirate treasure but I wear the bracelet.

I loved going to the beach with Desley and we played in the sand. We made a giant hole and we made a hole bigger than my bed. We then decided what to do – Toby had a plan that we could make a house but I thought we could make a sandcastle TV. Then upstairs we were watching a movie and we went started to go to bed.


When Desley picked me up from school – we were at the port and we looked for dolphins – I saw one it was a baby and mummy one.

Thanks Desley for Coming – it was epic.

By Moochie


When Desley was here we went to Santorini with Millie Parkes as well. I liked Santorini- I liked the history of the volcanoes. Desley tried hard to find her special photo.

Desley was a great cook – when we had mashed potato she used the leftovers and put vegetables in them and made them into patties – they were delicious.


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When she left she gave us all presents and I got a bag to put my swimming stuff in and when I go to sleepovers. She also gave me lip glosses and nail polish and hair ties. She was very generous. She also said a little story about all of us before she gave us the presents.

When mum and baba went to South Crete for 2 days we all helped out and had a good time. It was fun. The first day we went to the beach and Emilio and Toby played so much with the water and sand.

We took her to our favourite cafe called Dodoni and it’s voted the best ice cream in all of Greece. It’s so yummy.

By Yasi.



Desley arrived on the 20th of October, a Sunday, and it was fun to have her around. After six days, on the 26th, we went to Santorini (you have already heard about this on other blogs).






Desley is a really cheeky girl, she lets us stay up late and gave us lots of treats and presents.


On Wednesday evening before bed, she gave us some presents, and I got a beautiful bag, a headband and some hair ties. The next day Desley walked us to school, I held her hand the whole way. Later baba and Desley went to Athens. Desley left Greece on Saturday the 9th of November, she stayed twenty days in Greece. She stayed two weeks and six days.

By Kiki



It was such a treat to share our little town here with Desley – she really fitted in so well in Agios Nikolaos and also with our family and our schedule. She also met many of our friends here and won many hearts. We all miss her lots.
When we arrived in Crete after about 5 months on the road travelling here, mostly overland, Sandy and I decided we would have some time away individually to recharge our batteries. Life has been pretty busy with school and activities and new Bowen work so I decided to save up my days for when Desley came. We had a few days with our amazing friend Antonis (fellow Cretan Bowen instructor we both met in Italy) and spent her last two days in Athens. Great fun though that will be a topic for another blog…….

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There are so many ways that we’ll remember Desley as she was so thoughtful in her gift buying for us – we only had one wine glass – now we have six – we’ll remember her when we have a drink. She bought us a big bathroom mat instead of those old towels we were using. She got us a potato masher so we’ll be singing her praises when we don’t have to make mashed potato with a spatula again and a three tiered metal fruit bowl which is gold as we had bags of fruit strewn around everywhere cause we have such little storage space. Last but not least a huge blanket for Sandy and my bed as the nights are getting chillier and a sheet isn’t quite enough anymore. All very thoughtful and practical presents that mean she’ll be here with us through our time in Crete.

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One of my most beautiful memories of Desley’s visit is our wonderful dinner the night before we went to Athens. We had just been to ‘gymnastiki’ (like little Athletics), we had a glorious dinner which included Desley’s favourite – eggplant chips and we exchanged gifts. She said some beautiful heartfelt words to each child and they said some back to Desley about what they enjoyed and wanted to thank her for as they gave her a little present each. They were so sincere and thoughtful. It was a very beautiful moment that I wish I had on video though will hold the beautiful memory in my heart.
By Christos



I barely knew Desley before she arrived for almost 3 weeks, I had met her only once. So having her in our home was a matter of trust and belief. And that’s what grew more and more as we chatted, played, cried, ate, drank and wandered this magnificent town and land together. She cared for our kids, she grew bonds with our friends, she took time out, she created meals, she spoilt us all with gifts and she made cups of tea and alcoholic beverages, we nurtured each other’s souls. She fit in incredibly, I think she’ll be back in Crete in her lifetime. Desley’s planned visit also inspired our Santorini sojourn which was truly beyond imagination…we found the perfect sunsets, nourished our bodies and souls in the perfect bar with a view, and soaked up the sun… Thanks for choosing to holiday with us.
By Mama Miliking