Conscious parenting: Lessons from a birth story

My experience giving birth to my son was beautiful. The process was a completely unmedicated water birth. Afterwards, he was diagnosed as having congenital pneumonia and rushed to the hospital intensive care unit for five days. I was distraught.  I had everything about conscious parenting carefully worked out, and I envisioned the most minute details of the flow of our lives together, all in advance. This had not been part of my plan!

The trauma of the separation was intense. I clung for many months to my initial desire for things to have been otherwise. I wanted my son to have had a different start in life. I wanted to turn back the clock and somehow make things better.

It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my daughter that I sought help from a birth trauma counsellor who helped me to process what had happened. As we peeled back the layers of emotion and stories, I had several profound realisations that have stayed with me on my conscious parenting journey ever since.

First, I realised that the ability to choose our children’s pathways is not automatically given to us. Thankfully! – for how could we even begin to know what experiences their souls really need in this life? Rather, our role as conscious parents is simply to support them through whatever ups and downs they may encounter – no matter how challenging – and love them unconditionally throughout.

Second, I learned how readily I assign labels and develop my own storylines. I initially categorized Kai’s experience as “bad” and so I resisted it. As we worked through it, I played with the idea that perhaps in fact it was “good” – something he needed to experience, that would somehow serve him in the longer term. Finally, I realised it was neither good nor bad. It simply was. This was perhaps the first time in my life I had truly seen “what is” without any judgement at all.

Third, I realised that all my fears about my daughter’s birth were simply “mind junk”, and as such, I didn’t need to listen to them at all! I had thought that the intensity of my fear was related to the intensity of the love I felt, but I realised the two have completely different qualities, and come from different sources. Our fears are hard to pin down, and they change as we chase them – we sometimes struggle to define them very clearly at all. They are only in the mind. In contrast, our love is rock solid, always enduring, never changing. It is truly in the heart and in our whole being. The mind doesn’t come into this process.

Conscious parenting is for me a learning journey. I still feel fears, I still find I want to influence and shape my children’s pathways and wish I could save them from difficult experiences. I still regularly label events as being either good or bad. When I can let go of these things, I find that I can be more present and more responsive to their needs in the “what is” of the moment. As I’ve discovered on this journey, that is really what they need.

Eco Retreats Forest Retreat is a beautiful haven for conscious parents to enjoy spending quality time in nature with their children, re-build connection, and make memories that last a lifetime.

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Eco Retreats
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Natalie Morris
Natalie Morris
2019-08-28T15:32:34+0000
Just had an amazing few days relaxing in the River Yurt. Beautiful stunning location, peace & tranquility a time to just chill out and watch our daughter play on the open meadow & river. The outdoor bath was perfect on a summer evening to lay back and watch the sky come alive with stars!! Would definitely recommendread more
Rachel Harper
Rachel Harper
2019-08-26T10:57:20+0000
We’ve just had the best 2 nights in the Ash Valley yurt! The outdoor bath was brilliant! Complete privacy, if you don’t include the sheep 🐑 my 11yo boys have loved chopping wood, starting fires, making dens and playing in the stream whilst my partner and I sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the peace 😌 I would 100% recommend this place, Margaret and her daughter were most welcoming. You have everything you need already there. Thank you for such a lovely experience xread more
Charlotte Edwards
Charlotte Edwards
2019-08-23T15:10:33+0000
Absolutely magical 😍 I so wish I'd booked for more than two nights! We stayed in the meadow yurt, complete privacy, surrounded by forest and mountains, and nothing to hear but for birds and waterfalls. There is so much on site to explore we didn't have time to see half of it! We spent an afternoon climbing up the hill behind the yurt and swimming in waterfalls before jumping in that beautiful wood fired bath 😍 and visited a few beautiful spots in Snowdonia. Can't wait to come back!read more
Chris Lowe
Chris Lowe
2019-08-22T19:48:00+0000
Peaceful, wonderful setting.
Shea Hollis
Shea Hollis
2019-08-18T16:05:41+0000
Honestly, this place is truly magical. Utter blissful escapism for all ages. Fireheated outdoor bath and your own private waterfall? Just perfect.
Vik Taylor
Vik Taylor
2018-10-24T19:49:57+0000
We enjoyed our 1st stay last week for 4 nights with our baby in a tipi and we loved every second of it. we had a warm welcome when we arrived, tipi already warmed up too. we were supplied with every thing we needed. we enjoyed the lush hot bath looking at the clear sky at night. the view every morning was beautifal. everything so peaceful and quiet. all we could hear was the sound of the running water, trees rustling in the wind and the shoothing sound of wildlife. It was perfect. thankyou to Angus and Margaret. you literally thought of everything. thankyou. Will be booking for next year. cant wait.read more
Stewart Hoyle
Stewart Hoyle
2018-08-24T20:01:19+0000
a get-away from technology
Karen Morley
Karen Morley
2018-07-24T20:27:58+0000
Had a brilliant time in the meadow yurt with our 2 children. It was so peaceful and relaxing, everything that we needed was supplied. It was lovely being able to sit outside by the fire toasting marshmallows and having bbqs. The bath was amazing being able to totally relax outside in the peace and quiet. Our boys loved it especially the bath and paddling in the river. We would recommend to go try it to every one.read more
Neil Stanton
Neil Stanton
2018-06-18T14:38:49+0000
Beautiful location and the facilities were excellent. Spent a very relaxing weekend in the Cwm Onnen Tipi enjoying the scenery. Very comfortable and loved the wood-fired bath. We'll be back next year (hopefully with slightly better weather).read more
Jason Stirzaker
Jason Stirzaker
2018-04-04T11:02:49+0000
After a last minute decision to go away for the night we came across Eco-Retreats and their amazing looking Tipis and Yurts, set in equally amazing surroundings. They were so accomadating for us as we could only stay one night, and had rang up on the same morning we were staying. We got such a warm, friendly welcome and they really do go out their way to be there to meet & greet you (you'll understand just how much when you go). What a truly beautiful site quite literally away from it all. We stayed in the Forest Tipi which was set within it's own patch of land up a short trail to really give it an extra isolated feel. The outdoor bath really is amazing and well worth the wait to warm up, even in early April temperatures and light rain so would be absolutely perfect on more warmer nights. The Tipi itself was equipped with all that you'd need and the Chimenea did a good job of keeping us warm, even with the surprise blanket of snow we got in the night. I'd highly recommend this place to anyone wanting a truly different experience and appreciates being close to nature and getting back to basics, while still retaining the comfort of a bed at night.read more
Eric Stannard
Eric Stannard
2017-08-21T20:43:59+0000
From booking to arrival they were very helpful. After a quick overview of how to operate the tipi and fires we were left to our own devises to enjoy the tranquility and setting of the waterfall tipi. The tipi has everything you need for your stay and we found it warm and dry despite the wet weather. The fire in the tipi takes the place of the TV and the dancing flames soon become mesmerising; the background sounds of the waterfall and rain on canvas are relaxing and the dancing flames of the tea lights in the lanterns complete your escape from the modern world. The rain stopped long enough for us to enjoy a warm bath in the open air in the woods and is well worth the effort of keeping the fire going. All in all a fantastic escape away from modern distractions.read more
Angela Lazenby
Angela Lazenby
2017-08-01T14:16:35+0000
Louise Gresty
Louise Gresty
2017-07-26T17:43:03+0000
Brilliant feeling of being miles from anywhere, in a lovely peaceful setting with amazing views, having your own fire either indoors in the stove or outside campfire and it was very comfortable too.read more
Dan Shephard
Dan Shephard
2017-07-23T21:05:33+0000
Christopher Charles
Christopher Charles
2017-05-25T07:10:31+0000
The most beautiful and remotest place I've ever found in wales � we go back year after year and it just gets better ����������������read more
Gracie Hindley
Gracie Hindley
2017-05-15T08:29:13+0000
My boyfriend and I stayed in the Meadow Yurt last weekend. The trip was everything we could have wanted, and more! Beautiful yurt filled with all the equipment you need for your stay. The wood fired bath was also a huge highlight for us. Would thoroughly recommend to anyone wanting a quiet, stress-free getaway!read more
Andrew Calogirou
Andrew Calogirou
2017-05-04T05:36:23+0000
Amazing location and the River Yurt is amazing. Been 2 years in a row now and want to go again already.
Megan Hunt
Megan Hunt
2017-05-02T22:11:54+0000
We loved it here and can not wait to return one day.
Rachel Smiler Berwick
Rachel Smiler Berwick
2017-04-27T14:02:26+0000
Cannot recommend this place enough. It was our 2nd year back this year with our 4 year old & it never fails to impress. We just love staying in the waterfall Tipi :) booking process is excellent & the stay is even better especially being able to have a bath in the forest ;) thankyou again and we will see you next year xxxxread more
Kerrie Henriques
Kerrie Henriques
2017-04-14T18:58:51+0000
Absolutely amazing, such a great experience. Super friendly staff. Thank you �
Will Sfakiotakis
Will Sfakiotakis
2017-04-14T18:53:22+0000
Highly recommended! (River Yurt) A beautiful place to be, hosted by genuine, welcoming, and helpful staff. We will be coming back! A truly grounding and humbling experience. Loved it ��read more
Robert Cox
Robert Cox
2016-10-13T19:11:56+0000
Laurie Rose Belle
Laurie Rose Belle
2016-09-23T19:04:15+0000
What a beautiful place to unwind and relax. My 18 month old son and I loved exploring the area, we splashed in puddles and paddled in the river. In the evenings I enjoyed a glass of wine next to the fire and the best thing of all was no phones. I just wish I'd braved the outdoor bath. I can't wait to visit again next year �read more
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Margaret Rose

Margaret Rose

Margaret is a mother, entrepreneur, traveller and writer. Her love affair with wild places began many years ago as she lived and worked in some of the most remote areas of Africa. She and her family lived off-grid for 7 years and experienced first-hand the joys and frustrations of “voluntary simplicity.” Today, she is passionately committed to creating beautiful spaces which allow people to slow down and reconnect. She is a firm believer in the power of the thousand tiny choices we all make every day to change the world.
Margaret Rose

Margaret Rose

Margaret is a mother, entrepreneur, traveller and writer. Her love affair with wild places began many years ago as she lived and worked in some of the most remote areas of Africa. She and her family lived off-grid for 7 years and experienced first-hand the joys and frustrations of “voluntary simplicity.” Today, she is passionately committed to creating beautiful spaces which allow people to slow down and reconnect. She is a firm believer in the power of the thousand tiny choices we all make every day to change the world.
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