Be You, Be Real, Be Brave, BELIEVE! An inspiring interview with Debra Rock Evans

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Join me as I interview Debra Rock Evans of the World Awake Movement about her own personal journey of discovering herself and what she truly wanted out of life, which went against the career path she started years earlier. She talks openly about her fears and her challenges, and about her experience as a mum, and how she finally got on track doing what she truly believed in, connected to something bigger than herself.

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Life after laundry detergent and fabric softener

Nobody can deny how utterly scrumptious a laundry smells when you walk past and your favourite fragrance wafts up your nose. I actually connect laundry smells to different memories – of friends I had in the past, of university rooms, of loved ones who I have held close. It came as a shock to read that the laundry is one of the most carcinogenic places in a house!

In 2008, scientists reported on the toxic chemicals in laundry detergents and other laundry products and it wasn’t good news. A single fragrance can contain multiple toxic chemicals that have been linked to asthma, dermatitis and even cancer.

Researchers from the University of Washington studied top-selling laundry and air-freshening products and found that they emitted dozens of different chemicals. All of them gave off at least one identified as toxic or hazardous under federal laws in America. What’s worse is that because of current labelling laws, none of these chemicals were listed on the label.

Among the products tested were a dryer sheet, a fabric softener, and a laundry detergent, as well as spray and plug-in air fresheners. Results showed nearly 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from the six products, and none were on the label. “Five of the six products emitted one or more carcinogenic ‘hazardous air pollutants,’ which are considered by the Environmental Protection Agency to have no safe exposure level,” said study author Anne Steinemann.

A later 2011 study by the same researchers found that air vented from machines using top-selling scented liquid laundry detergent and scented dryer sheets contained hazardous chemicals, including two classified as carcinogens.

For the study, researchers ran a load of laundry once with no products, once with a leading brand of scented liquid laundry detergent, and once with both the detergent and a dryer sheet. They captured the exhaust from the dryer vent with a canister.

An analysis of the captured air showed more than 25 VOCs, including seven hazardous air pollutants. The two carcinogens were acetaldehyde and benzene.

“These products can affect not only personal health,” said Steinemann, “but also public and environmental health. The chemicals can go into the air, down the drain and into water bodies.”

You can Google for more information on the toxic chemicals in laundry products. Look for Fragrance (this is where multiple chemicals are used to make the desired smell), surfactants, stabilizers, bleach, 1,4-dioxane, brighteners, phosphates & EDTA. It’s scary stuff. Check to see if these are included in the laundry products you use too.

Thankfully, there are alternatives!

  • You can make your own laundry detergent. Wellness Mama has a great recipe, and you can find others online as well. You can add your favourite doTERRA essential oil for Fragrance
  • You can buy doTERRA’s On Guard laundry detergent, which I absolutely love! Read about it here.
  • Then you can skip the fabric softener completely and use woollen dryer balls or, if you’re going to dry outside, half-cup of vinegar added in the rinse cycle will produce the same results without the toxic chemicals.
  • Please do dump the dryer sheets! They a toxic shitstorm, if you’ll excuse my French! Dryer alls will also reduce static cling. I love my dryer balls, hence the title of this blog! (I literally did curse when I realised my favourite scents were so harmful and BALLS literally were my solution!)  Again, I got mine from doTERRA and I add geranium essential oil every few times I use my dryer. Geranium is such a beautiful scent for laundry.  It’s sweet, but not sickly, and it’s really calming.  Great for your bed sheets!  You can make your own using ( see DIYnatural) or if you don’t use a dryer you can even make a spray with 1 cup white vinegar to 3 cups of water and 30 drops of essential oils to spray on the washing when it is on the line ready to dry in the sun.

If you’d like to go chemical free in your laundry TODAY, and would like to have a look at the doTERRA products available and different essential oils you can use for scent, click here to be redirected to my webstore. Any questions, give me a shout!

Much Love x x x

Sources:

University of Washington, “Toxic Chemicals Found in Common Scented Laundry Products, Air Fresheners,” Science Daily, July 24, 2008, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080723134438.htm.

Anne C. Steinemann, Lisa G. Gallagher, Amy L. Davis, Ian C. MacGregor, “Chemical emissions from residential dryer vents during use of fragranced laundry products,” Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, 2011; http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11869-011-0156-1.

Mindful [fill the blank]

I am sat here, well, sick as a dog actually. I’m aching for a nap, or at the very least just to kick back and do absolutely nothing, but my mind is being pulled towards the work I have to do, the fact I should be doing anything more soul nourishing than this with my two year old and now I’m typing this blog on my phone.

On Saturday I took part in the Auckland Mama Markets up in Milford and had a wonderful conversation with Trish Martin Baby Coach.

She was looking at the Biozen and we were discussing the risks of EMF to children and babies and she mentioned how she had never seen as much technology as we use today, often inches away from a babies head. She also mentioned how she often sees mothers breastfeeding with their focus on the phone and this really resonated with me because that is exactly what I used to do too.

I decided to dig into this phenomenon because it is truly unhealthy. Why can’t we breastfeed and focus on breastfeeding alone? Or be present playing with our children? Or be present in anything? Why do we feel compelled to check social media or chat to a friend when our beautiful creations are lay in our arms. Why is the washing more important than play? Aren’t our children the most beautiful things we have ever seen? Don’t we want to treasure each moment like it were our last? Why is what is happening on Facebook grabbing our attention?

If I dig into my own experience it was the feeling that something needs to be done that pulled me out of most moments. And the feeling was that it needed to be done now because my to do list was never ending. I had way too much on my plate. I recognize right now that my plate is overloaded again. We are moving house, my business is booming and clearly my immune system and mind has taken a hit. What are you feeling as your attention moves from baby to your phone (or whatever)? Identify that feeling because its roots have control over your mindfulness and you can take the control back. I like to think of it like becoming the boss of your own thoughts and I’d like to teach you how to do it in simple steps because doing it myself has changed my life.

To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind.

Buddha

Of course, I still have my bad days like today, and it’s important on those days that I look at what has changed. My lack of mindfulness is my mind’s way of telling me to take stock. So the first thing I can do is listen and respond. If I keep ignoring the signals my body is giving me I will end up in a worse place (I have done that too.)

So if we go back to the example of the mother breastfeeding and on her phone, what is the need being filled here? It could be something as simple as boredom, or it could be something deeper like a need for connection. I can help you discover those needs if you get stuck. My need was for order in my life. I thought constantly “doing” would bring that when in fact I needed to declutter my life.

The next thing to identify is what is keeping your mind from being at peace? What emotions are at play? In my experience it was stress and anxiety caused by the lack of order in my life. For you it might be sadness, or worry. Start to observe your emotions in the moment that your mindfulness slips, just as you are observing your body’s signals to take stock. From here you can begin to retrain your mind and rewire your brain.

 “We are what we repeatedly do.”

We are also what we repeatedly think. Over long periods, our patterns of thinking become etched into the billions of neurons in our brains, connecting them together in unique, entrenched patterns. When certain brain pathways – connections between different components or ideas – are frequently repeated, the neurons begin to “fire” or transmit information together in a rapid, interconnected sequence. Once the first thought starts, the whole sequence gets activated.

We can change that sequence. We can literally take control of what we think.  We can replace negative beliefs with positive affirmations, we can change our environment so we are surrounded with positivity to support positive thoughts and we can give up habits that negatively influence us, like excessive amounts on Facebook at all. Over time, we can begin to change the wiring of our brain so our prefrontal cortex (the executive center, responsible for setting goals, planning and executing them), is more able to influence and shut off our rapidly firing, fear-based amygdala (emotion control center). And, this is exactly what brain imaging studies on effects of mindfulness therapy have shown.

Loving ourselves deeply and nurturing our needs is a big part of the puzzle.

My schedule was out of control because I was knee deep in the emotional suffocation of not paying myself enough attention – period.

It took me a long time to understand self love, my limiting beliefs holding me back from it and what it actually means in terms of tangible actions I can take every day, but when I figured everything out I found this unbounded space in my head that allowed me to be present in a way I had never experienced before.

I also rediscovered my true authentic self, became physically healthier and emotionally stronger and found my purpose outside of #beingmum.

If self love is something you need a little help with I run a programme over 16 days, which costs just nz$16 and it will help you take a big step forward from where you are now. That’s just a $1/day and it’s all done online through email or Facebook messenger, whichever you prefer. To get started, click below:

 

16 Days of Self Love

NZ$16.00

If you’re having trouble being mindful you might also enjoy this blog by Spiritual Alchemist, Debbie, with a 1 minute meditation you can do anywhere at any time.

Much love x x

Gestational Diabetes – Understanding Blood Sugar in Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Eden, I was handed the diagnosis of “borderline gestational diabetes” after I did the ‘sugar test’ and was told to watch my diet.

When I was pregnant with my second daughter, Jade, right from the very outset I was told to “watch my diet”.  My midwife helpfully talked about the Glyceamic Index and proteins and reducing processed foods because these are bad to our general health and thus bad for our pregnancies.  This nutritional counselling gave me a whole different outlook on my pregnancy.  Much in contrast to the stereotype of sit back and eat all the foods that you like because your body craves it, and give up exercise because you can, my body became my temple and when it came round to the gestational diabetes test, firstly I was told I had the choice whether I wanted to take it or or not, and secondly reassured that should I get the diagnosis, it didn’t really matter because I should be eating the kind of foods that were low on the Glyceamic Index anyway because high GI foods lead to higher levels of glucose in the blood and these can be passed onto baby.

Recently I came across a wristband that is soon going to be reading sugar trends in our blood.  It already reads blood pressure, which has been incredibly helpful to me because I’ve always had quite low blood pressure and suffer for it.  I realised this would be a very useful tool in pregnancy, both for blood pressure and blood sugar and could even rule out the sugar test completely, because right from the get go of your pregnancy you would be able to see how the foods you are eating are affecting your sugar level trends.

I checked in with my beautiful Midwife, Glenis Paulette, to guest blog on Gestational Diabetes from her perspective and the nutrition that can prevent it, so you can make your own minds up as to the best way for you to manage your levels of glucose in the blood.  Ultimately, the levels of glucose in your blood are what is passed on to baby.

Read on for Glenis’ Guest Blog to understand more, it was very eye opening to me.  You can read her bio and see her contact details at the bottom of the page.  She is also a great Homeopath and Acupuncturist, who has been of great support to me and my girls up to this day!

If you’re interested in learning more about the wristband to read sugar trends in the blood (non-invasively I might add!), please contact me.  You might also be interested to read my Homebirth Story with Jade and Glenis and/or learn more about Essential Mum!  If you have any questions for me or Glenis, do not hesitate to drop them in the comments below.

Much Love x x

Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis in Pregnancy

The test for Gestational Diabetes (GD) in pregnancy is often considered routine and offered to women without counselling, explanation or consent. Many women are not even aware that they can refuse it. The diagnosis of GD is made by evaluating the level of a blood result taken from the woman after she has fasted for 8 hours and then given a sugary drink. Her blood is tested one and two hours after she has been given the drink to see how well she has been able to metabolise the sugar. If the woman fails the test she is then labelled with GD and her pregnancy is treated as high risk. The levels above which the woman is considered diabetic are arbitrarily defined by different health bodies and there is little consensus throughout the world what this level should be.

Studies show that the tests are unreliable and often give significantly different readings when repeated a week apart. Women who already have a good diet with minimal sugar in it also probably have difficulty metabolising such a sugar hit when it vastly exceeds what they are used to consuming. Also the same sugar load is given to all women irrespective of her weight, meaning it is much more of a load for a 60kg woman than one who is 85+kg.

There is also little evidence to show that this classification and the resulting treatment actually prevent the supposed risks of harm or mortality to the baby. Babies of GD mothers are at risk of being larger and at slightly increased risk for shoulder dystocia, a condition where a baby’s shoulders become stuck at birth preventing their body from being born. These babies can also suffer from low blood sugar levels after birth and be more at risk of being overweight and suffering from diabetes later in life. However, if they are medically managed by a hospital diabetes team they are more likely to be induced and subjected to the resulting cascade of interventions, more often resulting in a caesarean section. The resultant stress on the mother of having a ‘high risk’ classification also impacts negatively both on her and the baby. Obesity and excessive weight gain in pregnancy are more likely to lead to adverse effects for the mother and baby than a diagnosis of GD, although the two can go hand-in-hand.

GD is in fact a mild condition, without symptoms, that develops in the last few months of pregnancy. It is not the development of a serious disease. The level of glucose in the blood may remain higher for longer in pregnant women so that the developing fetus has an adequate and stable supply of nutrients to optimize their growth and well-being.

Managing this increased demand by the fetus can be optimised by giving the same practical advice to women diagnosed with GD as to all pregnant women.

Nutritional counselling should focus on the quality of carbohydrates they consume rather than the quantity. The most useful way to rank carbohydrates is according to their glycaemic index (GI). Pregnant women would do well to avoid or reduce those foods high on the GI as their metabolism leads to higher levels of glucose in the blood. These foods include simple sugars and honey, soft drinks, many processed breakfast cereals, white rice and white bread. Chemical sweeteners are also not good for the body. Many processed foods include excessive sugar, low quality carbohydrates and oils. A healthy diet is one containing fresh whole foods and complex carbohydrates because they are digested more slowly by the body and provide a steady source of energy and also more fibre. Examples include wholemeal breads and pasta, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and breakfast cereals based on oats, barley, nuts and seeds. Adequate oils and protein are also important.

Regular exercise is also advised as this helps the body burn up glucose and increases the effectiveness of insulin.

The best thing to prevent low blood sugars in the newborn is to ensure that they are breastfed early and regularly.

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What’s in a tantrum?

Before you read this, I want you to know that I am not a psychologist, I am just a mum and a life coach with a deep curiosity into the human mind and emotions.  I believe that if we can understand ourselves better and our children better life is going to be easier all round.

Last night in my newsletter and I talked about how Sir Isaac Newton says that energy is neither lost nor destroyed, it is merely transferred from one to another.

Everything we are is energy.  We are vibrational beings interacting in a vibrational universe. Everything we feel is energy. Anxiety, insecurity, fear, sadness.  These are all bad energy, but what I didn’t say in my newsletter last night is that just because it is bad energy we don’t need to feel it, just like we experience the good!  Only by truly allowing ourselves to feel the bad energy can those vibrations, your e-motions surface and release.

Have you ever watched a toddler laugh away at something carefree, only to stub their toe a minute later and drown in tears, but once they’ve cried them they are back to laughing again? If you let this flow of emotions run its natural course.  If we allow them to feel the emotion as they go through it, allowing each one to surface and release, they come out the other side OK.  It’s so easy to rush in and try and fix whatever has made them cry or, like I do without compassionate sometimes because it’s the tenth time the tears have come, try to dismiss the emotion to make it go away.  Children will be taught quickly enough by us adults and society to unlearn their natural response to an emotion and replace it by the expectation to “get over it” and move on.  Even if we don’t mean to teach them this the screens, the pressure to hurry from one thing to the next, the pressure from school and friends, will teach them to be less mindful.  And in this loss of mindfulness is the time their bodies need to be in their emotions and work them out.

When a child takes a razor blade to their veins and cuts they are forcing themselves to feel something.  As the blood leaves the vein the feeling releases. They are not releasing the problem, but to them the relief of releasing something is enough.Could it be as simple as a general lack of mindfulness in our society is leading our children to this?  I don’t know, but as a teenager who took a pair of scissors to her arm way back when and knowing what I know now about myself that kind of makes sense.

As a mum I have already talked about how we expect way too much of ourselves in the time that is available to us, so this inevitably leads to punishing feelings of guilt and failure and makes us stressed and feel overwhelmed.

And then it’s terribly hard to be mindful when you are a mum. In my Design Your Life blog series I talk about how we are constantly rushing and multitasking, which means that we are not allowing ourselves to be present in any moment because we are constantly rushing on to the next. What do you think this does to the bad energy that accumulates from the guilt, the failure, the stress and overwhelm?  Where do you think it goes?  How do you think it gets released? Well, it doesn’t.

It manifests.  If you ever feel overcome by guilt and anxiety for what seems like no reason, that is a good sign of accumulating negative energy.  One of the things I noticed in my journey with anxiety was that it would be at its worst first thing in the morning.  Really before I had even opened my eyes!  I could never figure out what that was about.  I realise now in retrospect that there was nothing else to busy my mind at that time, so the negative energy got its chance to start surfacing.  And when it surfaces we feel it all over again, but when we have felt it, we can release it.  Instead of feel because it was painful I got up and quickly busied myself again.

Another common time for people to experience this overwhelming onset of guilt and anxiety about what they can’t quite put their finger on is at night; having difficulty sleeping.  I have previously recommended highly sedative essential oils to people and they just haven’t worked because the problem is in the mind.  Essential oils to calm the mind and the anxiety then help, but the cure is in releasing the negative energy for good.

In a child stagnant bad energy might manifest as them being especially cranky and irritable.  Whether we like to believe it or not our children experience stresses.  As we begin to understand our children’s personality profiles we can better understand exactly what stresses them out.  For example, Eden needs a lot of structure and routine and likes the detail of things, so my being completely the opposite can naturally stress her out.  She’s also dealt with a lot in her short years – her bad health and my anxiety and depression.  I am learning to give her better expectation of the day in front of her, more routine and have more patience in order to help her feel less stressed now, but maybe I need to work on helping her release the stagnant bad energy of the past.

When we are under stress our emotions react differently.  Eden has always had very high emotions.  It doesn’t take much for her to “tip”.  However, hubby and I have noticed that her emotions have got much, much worse over the last few months and this morning it suddenly dawned on me that she is probably holding onto a lot of negative energy.  Maybe she has even entered into a constant “fight or flight”.  There seems to be no balance in her emotions at all.  She is snapping at the slightest things, her fuse with her sister is short, she’s irritated far too easily and Craig and I have been struggling to know how to respond.  I have realised that we have undoubtedly been handling the situation all wrong.  Instead of disciplining the “bad behaviour” (time out, “don’t hit your sister”, taking away the toys as they fight, we should be supporting her to release the trapped energy.  Maybe through expression, creativity, music and movement; all the thing she likes. I found some really great ideas on pinterest that I am going to try.

And you know, similar applies to us as adults.  We can help ourselves to feel our emotions and move through them quickly.  And we can help our children to do the same; let them be in their emotions and then do something to help them surface and release.

Did you ever see a dog physically shake after a shock?  They shiver and shake for a while.  This is them physically shifting their negative energy out.  We can learn a lot from this.  Next time you notice a negative emotion, do just that, notice it, feel it, experience it. Do the same with our children, allow them to experience the emotion.  Then do something to help the emotion surface and release.  Move, grab a pen and write about what’s going on, talk to a friend, get straight out in the fresh air and walk, jump on the trampoline with the kids, maybe even physically shake or make yourself laugh so hard that emotion is going to bounce right out!  Just don’t let it sit and sink.

Much Love x x

Full Circle Wellness

I’ve come full circle. I feel like a flower that is blossoming with Spring. I feel like the motherhood I have experienced thus far has been a journey that is now evolving into something else entirely, at whole new level of life, of financial freedom and opportunity.

The challenges with Eden’s health, my battles with my own demons and my decision to believe that my dreams are not beyond me have all lead to the place I stand now; welcoming a new opportunity to impact others in their wellness; to come full circle like I have.

What does this mean for Essential Mum?

I am going to be making some changes to this site. It will still be your place to go for coaching and essential oils. I am committed to getting back to blogging more frequently now I have freed some time up in my life. In the interim I am going to be putting some time into building a new website and coaching mums to Design Your Life; my ultimate 8 week experience to transform your life into one that brings you happiness every day.

Design Your Life isn’t for everyone, because not everyone has reached a comfortable place with the idea that it’s OK to put ourselves first as mums and live a life that brings us happiness every day.  Getting to that point is itself a journey and one I can help you with! (Join my free opt-in at the pop up here).

There seems to be this deep stereotype that I hadn’t noticed until recently around  #beingmum that makes it OK to get to the end of every day feeling like a complete failure, as long as you can grab a wine or lose yourself in the bottom of a pack of Maltesers. It’s OK because everyone else is going through it too right? Tomorrow is another day, another chance to do what you’ve always done and feel frustrated that nothing changes. I know I sound harsh writing this,  but 713 comments under the post of a popular mum blogger led me to this conclusion. The post had 12k likes!

What she said was fundamentally right.  I had a lot of respect for her observations:

1. We are too hard on ourselves as mums

2. The years are short and we will miss these challenges once they are passed

3. There is always a wine or a box of chocolates at the end of the day to set the day right.

What broke my heart was how this post was received.  Like an invitation to believe this is the only way it can be.  The repeated stories in the comments of deep struggle and belief that a box of chocolates really is the only answer broke my heart. One lady in particular deeply impacted me; she basically said she feels like a failure every day, that every day she feels like she could have done better, so I offered her a chance to look at Design Your Life, but she didn’t.

 

 

I get it.  You know that I was in that place of  struggle.  I shared that recently in my article in the Natural Parent Magazine, Why No One Should Survive Parenthood (read it here).

However, I also know that just a simple shift in expectations and a bit of time management can make a massive shift in how we cope with #beingmum, and that this is just the start of what is possible! I understand that it is only a select few who are able to see passed the crowd to a life that is easier and more enjoyable. To let go of the belief it’s OK to just survive parenthood and believe it’s OK to want to thrive because the years are short and we should make the most of them instead of struggle through. We deserve to feel fulfilled in our roles as mothers, we deserve to feel we are doing a good job, not just #beingmum, but as strong, empowered, independent women with our goals and dreams ahead of us.

So I will continue to work on with those of you who come to me open and inspired to change.  And I will begin my new chapter of Full Circle Wellness where I will share even more ways to feel wellness across your whole life!  Mind, body, wealth and more…drop me a line if you are interested in details or watch this space for my launch!

Much Love in motherhood and now, beyond x x x

Why You Should Do Something to Fill Your Cup

Let’s drill down into what it takes to design a life you love, which brings you happiness every day.  At the centre of it is yourself.  Specifically a version of yourself where you spend time filling your cup.

I decided to explore this by inviting other enlightened mums to guest post.  Those who have been the stressed mum, the overwhelmed mum, the unhappy mum, but have come out of the other side.  I wanted to hear from them how they got there and what the benefits have been.

Meet my first guest blogger, Amy.  She is Founder of Powerhoop NZ and has even created a group from her own journey of filling her cup! My HAPPY 100 is a place where she inspires and motivates more people to do more stuff for themselves.

amy

 

What does filling your cup mean to you?

Self care.

How much of a priority is your own self-care in your life?

It is something I am truly passionate about and of course it is a work in progress for me.

Care to elaborate?

There have been times when I see my own life passing me by and I am not grasping it enough and making the most of it.   I was using being busy in my business and being a mother of three as a reason not to do a lot of things I would love to do. It left me feeling depleted. I was attending to the needs of everyone else before me.

self care blog 1Can you share an example?

I had been wanting to do things like take my kids away individually on a little holiday to create some memories together.  This meant so much to me, but each year would pass and I just wasn’t making it happen.  So, I decided enough was enough, I wrote a list of things I wanted to bring into my life this year. Not a TO DO list, more of a THINGS I WANT TO BRING INTO MY LIFE list. Because I wrote my list down, and shared it publicly, I felt really accountable for it. It is now half way through the year and I have already ticked off over 50% of my list. And there are 100 things on there!   I can honestly say this has been my best year yet and taking my kids away was definitely one of the highlights for me.   As a result of doing more things for me, I feel less stressed, way happier, and much more balanced in my life. My cup is so much fuller and I finally feel I am living MY best life. I am doing things for ME!!

Wow! So are you the only one who benefits from this?

Well of course I do benefit, but my kids also benefit from having a happier mum, my husband benefits from having a more balanced mum, my customers definitely get the best of me and my friends must see the difference too.

So, what’s your advice to mums out there who aren’t putting themselves first?

First I’d say, I get it.  It is all too easy to wake up in the morning and rush out of bed only to find yourself  zapping around at 100 miles an hour, getting everything organized for the day ahead. It is like a hurricane of packing school lunches, looking for lost socks, feeding the animals, walking the dog, messaging a colleague about something or another, catching up with world on social media, checking e mails, feeding the kids / family, pouring that first coffee down our necks and so on. And that just about covers the first hour of the day!  The rest of the day can look equally as hectic if we allow it, just rush, rush and more rushing.

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We rush to get to work, rush through the traffic, super busy at work, rush to get home to feed kids / family, outside activities to attend,  and get everyone all organised for the next day.  Coffee is the fuel that gets us through.  Or maybe that is wine?

It seems like we never quite  “get it all done”.  We never quite get to tick off our entire lists. We might tick a few off, but we have added more and more.    The end may feel like it is in sight, but it’s not, it’s just a mirage.

So, my advice is to turn around your thinking.  Accept, it will never end. That’s the truth. There will ALWAYS be something left to do.  And if we allow it, LIFE like this can take over and we can end up like FRAZZLED MARTYRS with no time really allocated to just US.

What do you think is the main obstruction to mum’s putting themselves first and taking care of themselves?

Time. We are far too busy looking after the needs of all of those around us to even consider taking time out for ourselves, there are far too many things to get done first. We often don’t value ourselves enough to invest the time to do more things that will bring us that joy.  Everyone else comes first.

Has there been a time that you didn’t fill your cup?

Yes.  Only a couple of years ago, I ended up in hospital.  I had let stress get to me again and I felt done in.  I had a lot going on at the time, emotionally, and I just put NO time into my own self care really.  Yes I was exercising and eating well, which helped me so much, but I was having no down time.  So yes, we can end up like a frazzled martyr if we fail to care for ourselves properly.  I also think if we spend too much time making everyone else happy to our own detriment, then we end up resentful too.  And of course that means those around us, get the brunt of that build up of resentment too!  We end up lacking in energy, feeling wiped out, possibly a little depressed, and turning to narcotics to get us through!  It did used to be like that for me.

So, how can the mums reading this start to fill their cups?

Do anything from exercise, to meditating, to going for a walk, to a massage, to spending time with a friend, or learning a new hobby. Truly something that brings YOU joy when you do it.

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Being a parent is when you need to be the best version of yourself,  which means it should be the best time to take more care of yourself. Because if you take care of YOUR needs then you are in a much better position to help others! It’s that simple. You will have more energy, more lust for life and be happier.  If your cup is full, then, you can help everyone else.

Finally, this life is for living now, we are NOT guaranteed any time here, so I reckon we make the most of our time. And the more we can do for ourselves, the happier we are. And the more EVERYONE benefits from it.

To read more about Amy’s Happy List, visit her website.

To read more about how you can Design Your Life, click here!  (I am taking enrollments for 2018!)

Design Your Life! (3)

Awakening

Awakening out of a period of depression is like the dawning of spring.  Things look different, lighter.  You notice things that you’d stopped noticing – a bird fluttering in the sky, the shape of the clouds, how young and innocent your children sound as they play.

Depression is such a common condition and comes in so many guises.  You can be depressed and not even know it until your head lifts and your heart registers that it has been absent from life.

One thing I have realised doing the work I do is that depression is extremely common for mums; either post natal depression or just a general sinking beneath obligation, expectations, that hopeless feeling of lacking strategies to cope and an endless distancing from you and the things that set you on fire.

It is extremely important to place focus on ourselves as mums and our own self care, but in reality this is often our last priority.  It is for this reason I began the Happiness Habit.  I invited other open and inspired mums to join me in reaching a more peaceful state of being in 30 days.  The first group is about halfway through and I have to say I am feeling an incredible difference.  I use a life-sensing wearable and even that is recognising the difference!  My mood indicator has moved from consistently low to calm for the first time since I started wearing it.

As I shared in my last blog I have been experiencing a deep transition of releasing painful memories and uncomfortable feelings in order to get a place where I am ready to receive the true beauty of life and all that it has to offer.  In the second half of the Happiness Habit, we start to receive.

What I have realised through doing the Happiness Habit is that maintaining this sense of peace and calm this requires embodying that message that I preach to others – you can’t pour from an empty cup.  We have to invest in ourselves daily to be happy, healthy and positive.  When we are not OK it affects every part of our lives, especially #beingmum.  We have a responsibility to make sure we are the happiest and healthiest we can be to be the best mums we can be to our children.

Look out for my next blog from a very special lady, Amy McAuley who will share why she believes it is not selfish to fill up your own cup and explains how everyone else benefits from the FILLED up YOU.

I will leave you with this…

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Don’t slip into the darkness

Much love x x

Get The Happiness Habit

In my Emotional Balance e-book I tell you “this is where you start to release and receive.”

I tell you this from first hand experience. There are a lot of weeds tied up in my emotional soil. Small ones and big ones.  The final step in healing from them is releasing them.

While memories fade, our body doesn’t forget.

I’ll give you an example of what I mean by this…

I was made to feel incredibly ashamed, small and embarrassed at a family occasion once when I began to discuss my ideas around finding childcare so that I could go back to work part time. At the time I was feeling incredibly guilty and sad about having to go back to work at all. It was only for financial reasons. The response I got was like a stab in the stomach. My guts physically twisted and I thought I was going to be sick. My body burned with embarrassment and shame and I had to take myself off to the toilet to recompose.

Now, when I think about asking for help from anyone regarding the girls I start to feel these same physical sensations. That tiny ripple in time has left a significant physiological imprint in my body. The similar sensations I start to feel now as I begin to consider asking for help are my body remembering. And the thing is, needing help with my girls is inevitable, so these sensations aren’t helpful. I am a working mum with one very high needs child and her sister and the consequence of not asking for help is leaving me exhausted.

So how does one release the painful memories stored in their body?

I am addressing this in a blog because I am doing some really deep work on me at the moment. I have realised that a combination of the constant multitasking of motherhood and battle to keep bad memories in their box, with the lid shut tight where they can’t hurt me, has made me forget how to really live in the moment. In this way I have been working on meditation and consciously immersing myself fully in the moment I am in. This has included creating space to enter each moment in a peaceful, relaxed state of mind and honoring myself the space afterwards to appreciate what I have immersed myself in, even if only briefly before I move on to the next thing.

My goal is to be in a more peaceful state of being in 30 days time. I believe my self confidence is being blocked by this lack of peace and only by releasing the unhappiness of the past can I receive the happiness of my future. There are many intentions for my life that are living on Someday Island at the moment!

Last year I designed a life I truly believed would bring me happiness every day, but my emotional issues are preventing me from living it to its potential. It is time for change.

They say it takes 30 days to develop a new habit. Are you ready to develop the Happiness Habit with me?

I have done some extensive research and come up with my own plan to make that change and become the peaceful, confident person I want to be.

My essential oils have been an integral part of getting me to this point, which is what I teach you in the e-book, Emotional Balance. If you haven’t read it already I really recommend it to make a workable plan to lead a more balanced life, emotionally. We identify your triggers for emotional imbalance and the feelings that aren’t productive in your life and make a plan to manage them. Getting into a place where emotions do not obstruct you from being the person you want to be is just one part of designing a life that brings you happiness and fulfillment every day.

My own plan with the essential oils has brought me to the point I have reached now: ready and feeling able to release the emotional burden I have carried for too long. In essence, they have reconnected me to my heart.

“Essential oils raise the vibration of the physical body (Stewart, 2003.) As the body lives in higher vibrations, lower energies (such as supposed emotions) become unbearable. They want to release. Stagnant anger, sadness, grief, judgement and low self-worth cannot exist in the environment of balance and peace which essential oils help to create. Emotional healing occurs as old feelings surface and release (Morton, 1992). Sometimes this experience is confused with regression. People may perceive they are going backwards, or that the essential oils aren’t working. We are so used to symptomatic healing that we have been conditioned to view healing as the immediate cessation of all physical and emotional pain. In reality, the oils are working.” Daniel McDonald, Emotional Healing with Essential Oils.

Are you ready to develop the Happiness Habit with me? If any of what I have written resonates with you, The Happiness Habit might be of interest to you to support you on a journey to a place where your emotions remain calm and balanced.

You will get:

  • Mindfulness ideas
  • Self care ideas
  • Motivating Quotes
  • And more!

Giving yourself the permission to feel is a first step…

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The other day I cried. Like I cried buckets. I cried at Coffee Group, then I cried at the gym after sparring, then I cried all the way home. I couldn’t really explain it at the time, but the next day I felt better; lighter.

I realised that unknowingly this healing process had begun and the feelings and emotions that are part of it are uncomfortable. #beingmum to Eden has been uncomfortable and I realised that it is because of the incredibly traumatic experience we had in that first year with her, when she was at her worst. She would cry inconsolably and often physically push me away.

When you are mum it is your job to have all the answers, or you feel it is. It is certainly your job to soothe your crying baby. I would try and hold her in my arms and love her pain away. She would just bring up her knees and arch her back, pushing me away. I felt hopeless. I felt like a crap mother because I couldn’t soothe her. I felt empty of solutions to help her and exhausted by her constant cries.

Now, I have noticed that I get the same physical sensations when I run out of ideas to “reach” her. I go into this default feeling of hopeless rather than empowered. I have got on top of the physical symptoms of Eden’s condition with the oils now, just about, but we are still learning our way through the emotional stuff and in a similar way to when she was a baby when she is emotionally uncomfortable she pushes me away and my emotional response is inappropriate and rooted in the past. And it’s uncomfortable.

It is time to release. I am ready to release and receive the the joys and fulfilment of ALL of the life I designed for myself a year ago.

Are you ready to develop the Happiness Habit with me?  Click here and select “Join The Happiness Habit” from the dropdown box.  It’s completely free and I will see you there!

Much love,

Clare