May 30, 2014

heart to heart: hailey bartholomew

Have you ever thought about how to silence the voice of motherhood who is filled with unrealistic expectations? How to turn that talk completely around? How to allow yourself to accept that you are none of the roles that you play but something so much deeper?

Today I Invite you to take the time to read this Heart to Heart I shared with Hailey Bartholomew - someone I like to refer to as a 'Beauty Explorer'.  Her warmth and beauty shine brightly through her words and imagery… her advice is wise and heartfelt, and most importantly, completely within the reach of everyone. ~ Tam

Hailey Bartholomew
mother, photographer, film-maker  |  You Can't Be Serious  |  365 Grateful@haileybe


Tamara Erbacher: I'm here! Is now good for you?

Hailey Bartholomew: yes indeedy

Tamara Erbacher: Yay!

Hailey Bartholomew: Yay!!!

Tamara Erbacher: I just want to say I’m so glad you are keen to share a little piece of yourself on Wholehearted, so Thank-you so much... from me and all of our readers:)

Hailey Bartholomew: oh thank YOU! I am totally honored you wanted to have me. Love this project and the stories I have read from others, so it really is special to be included. Though I do hope you edit my terrible spelling!

Ha! between auto-correct and my own terrible typos' we'll make for interesting reading;)!

yes and my grammar leaves lots of people reeling!!! haha

Well you've put it out there now… so everyone will know what to expect:) I have to say I love your over use of exclamation marks… hahaha!!!!!! 

Anyway…. about you... There are many of us that know you for Your Photography and Film business - You Can’t be Serious and also for your, life changing 365 Grateful Project, but I’m sure there are many who may not... could you share a little bit about just who Hailey B is?

Yes I totally overuse '!!!' hmmm who is Hailey B ? good question!

Sometimes its hard to stop and think about it… take your time:)

I am none of the things I do. I am none of the roles I play or the hats I happen to be wearing.

I Love that answer. It is so much deeper than all of those things right?

I am a searching, delight finding person who was born to create and reflect the beauty here… 

yes, we are so much deeper, all of us.

An explorer of beauty.


There was a time for you when beauty was hard to see though... can you share what the trigger was to, I suppose, 'turn the lift on'?

yes, and to be honest it is probably not my natural stance...

lift? 'light' ^note first typo by me!!

teehee lift! LOVE IT! I think discovering gratitude is what changed this for me... I almost feel like a broken record, but I can never stop being amazed at the power of gratitude.

Discovering and then practising gratitude? I want more broken records if the message is as positive as the one you send.

yes... it is now my go to response when I am in a rut. It is the way I choose to look at life and the way I want to absorb the things happening around me... even the tricky things I have learnt are totally full of things to be grateful for. It doesn't mean things aren't hard sometimes but it means I can turn the talk around in my head and see things another way... also enables me to learn lots too!

And as a mother, how important has that been for you? So may of us are filled with unrealistic expectations… practising gratefulness can really be such a powerful vehicle to relieving the pressure we put on ourselves I think. 

sorry thinking ....

It's okay:)

yes unrealistic expectations is probably why I am not naturally grateful!!! Ha! I am a bit of a romantic and dream up how I want things to go. They rarely go the way I want. With mothering never is this more evident! I want to be the most amazing mum for my kids

I couldn't agree more... What does that 'amazing' mum look like?

frankly.... I am an occasional amazing mum and a frequent impatient, high expectations and slightly stressy mum... so yes, choosing to be grateful for WHO I AM and what I can realistically give to my kids is actually the hardest type of gratitude I have practiced.

That really is not just the challenge of motherhood is it, but rather a challenge of being human… accepting who we are, in the moment, in the day to challenges of life AND practising gratitude… it's tough… practising requires a lot of commitment I would think?

you are right... it is not just a challenge for motherhood... it is for life! Well I think initially to begin with to change the way your brain works yes and then you see the benefits and it gets easy to choose that because the other way makes you feel miserable! 

Yes… it's taking that first step for some people, walking through the resistance that change can bring… and also, going back to what you started out by saying: "I am none of the roles I play or the hats I happen to be wearing." I'm curious, what do you remember of yourself as a little girl? 

Were you the explorer that you are today?

yes actually knowing that I am none of these roles... mum, wife, director... photographer... is very freeing and means that I have gotten to know myself better then if I had mistakenly believed I am these things i do.... and a sort of acceptance is there... it is good! 

As a child… hmmm... I was very driven to create and explore through creating. So I had a number of crazy craft projects going all the time and taught myself lots of things just by trying it out and asking people.

Love a crazy project… lots of mistakes and mess amongst it all… and no doubt lots of beauty:) It's interesting…. do you see a lot of that little girl in yourself today? The one who was unencumbered by, I guess all the responsibilities that come with adult life?

yes I do, but I was the eldest of 5 kids so I was pretty busy with helping in my childhood. In the creating and crazy projects way I am so much the same it is funny! Totally still doing silly ideas that pop into my head just the same way as I did as a kid. I think that part of me... the child who creates mess and strange ideas is still alive and well...

How wonderful. That makes me smile widely.

me too! I didn't realize how alive she was till you asked the question!!! last weekend I created with a friend of mine a giant doll head. (think size of car wheel) I am not entirely sure what I want it for but have wanted this for a couple years... will no doubt take photos of it soon but if I analyzed why I was doing this it would seem silly. But I don't listen much to that I have to create so I do. I can see my daughters have inherited this trait!! hahahha!

Gosh… I can't wait to see it…. play is play… I feel it is unnecessary to analyse why we play… can you imagine asking our children why they play???

exactly!!! but i see as adults, we often start that whole argument on if this is viable... will I get an income from it... will people like it.... blah blah...

It must make your heart burst that your girls aren't afraid to play…even as they grow older! You are so right… there are so many questions…. sometimes we need to play for the sake of play…. it's a necessity I think. You haven't had just an impact on your girls, you know this…how does it feel to know that through your ability to create and share you have had a profound impact on the lives of so many, and continues to do so… particularly with your amazing 365 Grateful Project?

I feel completely humbled, teary and extremely grateful to have been able to share my story and to have had such a response to it... to have been part of other peoples stories.... no greater honor I think!!! While feeling this I also feel like I was open at the right time to the great creative genius who runs by and asks us if we are open to a new idea... I just happened to pick it up and say yes so it, is an odd feeling of delight and separateness too. . Have you seen that TED talk from Elizabeth gilbert??? BEST EVER!

I am a TED talk junkie!! YES!

heheee! meee too!

Why did this one resonate with you so much?

oh because I feel that thing she talks about... that the ideas are not mine.... that ideas visit me and sometimes I run with them and sometimes I have to work to pull them back to me... as they start running off... and sometimes I haven't acted and I have seen the idea go onto someone else!! It is lovely to think of creativity this way! Not mine or yours... it lives and breathes all on it's own running about looking for people open to it!

"sometimes I haven't acted and I have seen the idea go onto someone else" That's big… its about listening to the inner voice…. blocking out all the noise.

yes yes!! haha here we are again... not analyzing the idea... but playing and going for it and doing it and loving it whatever the response because you were open to it and you did it.

YES YES YES!!! I know we are going to have finish up… quite honestly I'd love to keep you here all day:) So before you disappear off my screen… Is there one piece of wisdom you would love to share with everyone… your own or maybe a quote from someone else… a mantra of sorts that guides you?

hmmm sure... I have two that I like lots...   before I say them I have totally enjoyed our chat! thanks again for having me on your beautiful site!! Keep up your gorgeous work! Inspiring and heartfelt!!

Awww… Thank-you.

1. 'the little things aren't little' - I love this because it reminds me actually what is important... the noticing of all the little pieces that make up my day.

2. I am sorry, please forgive me, thankyou, I love you - this is based on a hawaiian prayer I heard about ages ago.


I say this often when I feel negative about someone or something that has happened and often when I feel negative about myself... I say it over and over and it has a power far bigger then I ever imagined. I LOVE THIS > healing mantra/prayer

You are so amazing. I cannot tell you how much your words are appreciated.

well thank you for giving space for my words... I am again (so annoying I keep saying) grateful but I am !!!

Totally not annoying! I am feeling so incredibly grateful too.

Thank you. x

All photos courtesy of Hailey Bartholomew

May 29, 2014

wholehearted wisdom: the invitation

Week after week, we've been on this beautiful journey together, watching as this space unfolds organically with each and every story and photograph shared. Today, we are all so excited to release to the world our newest addition: Wholehearted Wisdom. The intention for this new series is to create a moment of reflection for our readers, a possibility to uncover our own wisdom that can often be muffled by the physically and emotional busyness of motherhood. Some days the words may create a deep connection and others they may meet us with resistance, neither emotions are either good or bad - but rather, serve as an anchor point to explore and discover how we are really feeling in that moment - if we are willing to offer ourselves the space to do so. We hope that the words and image will provide that space; The possibility of learning provides the ultimate possibility for growth.

The Invitation
by: Oriah Mountain Dreamer
- - -

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. 
I want to know what you ache for, 
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. 

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. 
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, 
for your dream, 
for the adventure of being alive. 

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. 
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, 
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals 
or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, 
mine or your own, 
without moving to hide it or fade it, 
or fix it. 

I want to know if you can be with joy, 
mine or your own, 
if you can dance with wildness 
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes 
without cautioning us to be careful, 
to be realistic, 
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. 

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
 and not betray your own soul;
 if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. 

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, 
every day, 
and if you can source your own life from its presence. 

I want to know if you can live with failure, 
yours and mine, 
and still stand on the edge of the lake 
and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!” 

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live 
or how much money you have. 
I want to know if you can get up, 
after the night of grief and despair, 
weary and bruised to the bone, 
and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
 or how you came to be here. 
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me
 and not shrink back. 

It doesn’t interest me where or what
 or with whom you have studied. 
I want to know what sustains you, 
from the inside, when all else falls away. 

I want to know if you can be alone
 with yourself
 and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

May 28, 2014

#wholeheartedjournal collective: 13

As I reflect on my choices this week, I find how pulled I am to the seemingly gone-in-a-flash, every day moments: tiny toes that push to peek over the edge of the crib, the gentle animals we share our earth with, simple pieces of cardboard that become more loved than plastic toys, the embrace of family, and the fleeting beauty of pregnancy and birth. My hope is that by continuing to document our here and now, we will remember the sheer abundance of what we truly have - it sure is a lot, isn't it? Thank you again for sharing your moments, your abundance. May your week be filled to the brim in goodness. -- Kate

All images are user submitted using the #wholeheartedjournal tag on Instagram.
Just rescued this baby bunny from our carnivorous kitty. David's first real animal rescue and he's on cloud nine
She can't wait for him to wake up each day
I am so proud of her everyday
Because every ballerina needs a fort built of toilet paper rolls
Today, Odin decided it was time to find himself a roommate and move into his own place. At first I was quite sad, but after about a hundred through the window kisses, I feel a bit better. They grow up so fast!
Such a lovely day with my babes! You three are all that I need
Today has become a special day to put in my calendar! Riccardo said Mama loud & clear, my heart is filled with joy & bursting with happiness
This is a birds eye view of a typical prenatal appointment within our care. We are woman centered, family friendly, with a healthy dose of love and magic. In this scene we are checking babies position and waters...The senior midwife watches while the junior apprentice learns through experience. Off in the upper left hand corner, you see my son restfully sleeping, thanks to #sakurabloomsleepydust. I am hovering above enjoying the view!

May 26, 2014

week thirteen

Her soul is pure beauty and radiates out from deep inside her.
"Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing." - William Butler Yeats
These moments. When they are oblivious to others. When we sneak up behind them, just to see what they are up to. And then one says to the other... "I love you"
Oh, how she loves him.
"Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love." -- Rainer Maria Rilke
My girl reaches out to touch her cousins dangling hand. I love the way she loves.
She dances in the garden with my childhood teddy.

May 23, 2014

a journal entry: ethel firmalino

This beautiful journal entry was sent in to us by the lovely Ethel Firmalino -- mother of two beautiful girls living in the great white north of Calgary, Canada. Below you'll find a story of family; simple and heartfelt, this excerpt, in Ethel's words, "is just as much a love letter to [her] two little daughters". Thank you for this glimpse into a chapter of your life.

Most families have their dining table or their kitchen as a place to gather. Our family has our couch. It is where we gravitate and gather and where life tends to unfold. For now, it is the heart of our home.

Our couch has seen our oldest daughter grow from a sweet, tiny and somewhat serious baby into a smart, slightly silly, thoughtful, inquisitive, stubborn (at times) and fairly serious toddler. She loves to give random hugs, has a penchant for learning new words and an imagination that is legendary.

It is on our couch where our oldest would often snuggle next to me or sit on my lap and kiss my very pregnant belly, and probably not fully comprehending the meaning of all these changes in my body. Each of us waiting in our own way for our youngest to be born and join our family.

We welcomed our littlest at the crack of dawn on a hot summer day eight months ago. She made our family even more complete, even fuller. As with all babies, the cycle of breast feeding, growing, changing, soothing, rocking, singing (off key), snuggling, hugging, loving, kissing, smelling, cooing, making faces and laughing began all over again. All the joys of motherhood, parenthood, if you take away breast feeding and off key singing that is.

Raising and taking care of a baby and a toddler at the same time can be challenging and difficult - two little beings with different needs and wants. Having to endure a long and cold Canadian winter on top of it all has made these past few months twice as hard. Juggling physical, mental and emotional needs can be taxing, but is an interesting exercise in creativity. While we sit on the couch, one hand is feeding or holding the littlest and my other hand is either turning a book’s pages or is engaged in an elaborate role play with our oldest. Sometimes this works but, other times, not so much. Thankfully, my husband shares in the awesome responsibility of parenting when he is home.

Our couch has been a silent witness to our journey as parents and as a family, an ally of sort. Our couch got sat on and sat on and jumped on and stood on and crawled on and sat on. It got drawn on and coloured on and marked on. It got spilled on, puked on and peed on (purely by accident of course) once or twice.

We've eaten on our couch more than we've eaten at our table. We've shared both big and little moments on our couch, some ordinary and others not so ordinary.

It is here where we went to sit quietly and be still, to be alone and just be, only to be interrupted moments later.

Our couch is always near to hopefully catch us or at least soften our fall if we happen to trip or stumble.

When exhaustion takes over our bodies, it is here where we stretch our weary limbs, sometimes drifting off to sleep.

Perhaps dreaming of eating a sweet, juicy mango.

Or a sea of yellow flowers as far as the eyes can see

Or being lulled by the rhythmic sound of the waves crashing against the rocks.

When we wake, the rhythm of our everyday life will resume and our family's story will continue to unfold.

- - -

here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

- e. e. cummings

May 20, 2014

#wholeheartedjournal collective: 12

Scrolling though beautiful imagery always leave us wanting more of the story. Your story.

These images evoked curiosity and wonder within Belinda, along with heartfelt love and reminder that when we stop and catch ‘moments’ all the ‘should be doings’ dissolve and we just marvel in beauty. Our beauty. -- Belinda

All images were user submitted via the #wholeheartedjournal on Instagram.

May 19, 2014

week twelve

This week, you'll notice someone new joining us on our weekly collective - many of you may recognize this kind soul and possibly even have remembered her from her recent Heart to Heart interview. Please join us in warmly welcoming Belinda Kypriotis to the Wholehearted contributor team. We couldn't have asked for a more passionate, beautiful mother to continue to share her story with everyone here. As we said after we all found out ourselves, she was, quite simply, the missing piece to our hearts. How lucky are we? Please take a minute to read her heartfelt biography which has now been added to our contributor page. Thank you all for supporting the lovely women that make the Wholehearted Journal possible. 
This is what happens when mama has to say no.
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. -- Thomas A. Edison
She asked her Dad if they could go and visit Granddad Tim. They picked a handful of natives from the garden and left them at his resting place. Sad and happy all at once.
This week marks one year of being in this house. It wasn't just the calendar, but the big tree in our yard that reminded me. One year ago, as the leaves were similarly golden and nearly all gone, a much smaller girl climbed its branches. One year ago I hovered beneath her as she clumsily clung to the branches, now I stand back and watch as she confidently scrambles higher and higher. One year, it flies.
Our veggie patch has evolved into the 'truck-yard'.. one way of getting the soil turned I guess!
Relishing in the simple joys: "sopita" dribbling out of the sides of little mouths.
She looooooooooooves pink. Me? Not so much.