How to peel back the layers of your #anxietyonion & get to the core of what you need

Having anxiety when you are a mum can be challenging because we often put everyone else first, meaning focus on our own wellbeing can be lacking.  However, I’d like you to see this blog as a message of hope because my recovery began when I became a mum.  Having Eden gave me all the reason in the world to recover and was the beginning of my becoming positively selfish (you can learn more about this in my podcast, here).

However, if I have learnt anything from my 10 year long relationship with anxiety, it’s that recovery is not straightforward.  It transcends our physical, mental and spiritual state.  I’ve learned to think of it like an onion and I’d like to help you unpeel its layers.

So if you are feeling anxious right now, or have been diagnosed with anxiety, or are navigating the complex recovery process, or are supporting somebody else to do so, this blog is for you.

I am not a doctor, I am not diagnosing you and I’m not even really making any recommendations, I am just sharing what happened and what worked for me in the hopes it helps you.

The external layer of your onion – your anxiety’s cause

A cause of anxiety is something that caused your anxiety disorder to be a part of you in the first place.

For some people there is no obvious cause, but for others there is a clear link to your situation and your anxiety starting.  For me it was a pressured work environment.  Don’t get me wrong, other things contributed in the lead up to it, which broke down my resilience, but the long-term, persistent stress was the tipping point for me and was the catalyst to my long-term anxiety issues. I have had friends and family members who have developed anxiety after living with cancer, and others who have developed anxiety after troubled relationships or loss.  My first step in recovering from my anxiety was to get away from its cause.  Obviously this is not possible for everyone, but if you can move away from the cause of your anxiety, I really recommend that you should, to open up the space to heal, which for me started in my physical state, rather than my mental state.

The next layer of my onion – my physical state

I am sharing this as a really important layer of everyone’s anxiety onion (should I hashtag that? #anxietyonion?) because it wasn’t until I had become physically more healthy that I realised that my physical health had played such a significant part in breaking down my mental resilience to cope with life. Of course, the persistent stress was also damaging my physical health, so it was a revolving cycle; a mess.  My recommendation is that if you are having anxious feelings right now, make an extra effort to do the following things:

  • Clean up your diet
  • Kick out the processed stuff and replace with clean, homemade food that is low in sugar and other rubbish like preservatives
  • Add in a probiotic to your day
  • And start taking a good multivitamin.  (I take these.)  B Vitamins, magnesium, vitamin d and other vitamins, minerals and even amino acids like Tryptophan can all have a positive impact on your anxious feelings.

The third layer of my onion – Counseling/Coaching

Counseling is one of the first things a doctor will offer somebody who is suffering with anxiety (alongside medication), and for some it works really well. For me I felt it was a load off to talk about the the things that were bothering me, but that was all it was, a load off.

Then in 2016 I was offered a sponsorship to train to become a life coach. As part of this I received a lot of coaching and it was transformational. Read more here.

And if coaching or counseling is something you haven’t tried yet, give it a go. Talk to me about the difference between the two and what might serve you best.

The fourth layer of my onion – are my daily actions nourishing or draining?

How we spend our time can massively impact our anxious feelings.  If we spend all of our time around noxious people, sit in front of a screen all day, never get outside, listen to bad news and lie awake all night fretting, we are going to feel low and drained, which is like swinging the door open for the anxious feelings to come in.

If we instead try to do things that lift us and make us feel good, it gives us the resilience to keep those anxious feelings out.  I didn’t know any of this in the early days of my recovery.  It was in my personal development that I learned about our personal energy and how everything we are is energy and about how we can either vibrate high or low.  And it’s the nourishing things that keep our vibration high, which keeps anxiety out (mostly).

I started to learn about Gratitude Walking and Earthing and the power of nature and sunlight. I started to look critically at the people I was spending most time with, the things I was reading and listening to and paying attention to what made me feel good so I could do more of it.

Kickboxing has always been something that has made me feel better. Exercise gets our heart beating and increases our good hormones, and helps us sleep (which is also important to how we feel.)

Prior to my life coaching I’d started kickboxing because someone had recommended exercise to ease how I was feeling and I literally tried the first class I saw a sign for on the way home from work! I was instantly hooked. I never intended it to be anything more than a hobby, but after Eden was born I ended up saying yes to a fight! Turned out to be transformative in how I looked at my anxiety disorder. For all this time I had been experiencing this irrational fight or flight feeling and then suddenly, there I was heading into real combat with a real reason to feel my cortisol burn. And yet, by focusing on the trust in my training and the end goal I was able to control the feeling and function. It wasn’t until my life coaching that I understood the power of this perspective and how to use it in my daily life to face the fears that didn’t exist outside of my mind.

The final part of my onion – the core

I refer to this as the core of my onion because it took a state of real self-awareness to understand it, and that self awareness mainly came from all the other work I did on myself, as I peeled away the other layers. However, the other reason it is a core issue, is that without getting a handle on this, however many times you think you have a handle on your anxiety it will always trip you up again. It’s the panic attack that takes you by surprise, the sudden fall from Zen to chaos and the middle of the night when you suddenly can’t sleep and it feels like the hands are closing round your throat. This sudden return to anxious even if you have had months of being OK is caused by triggers. This is different to the cause of your anxiety, you may long have moved on from that, but it is like your body remembers how it feels to be in certain situations and puts you in the state of fight or flight all over again. For me it was the multitasking that juggling motherhood with a business brought, the chaos that unfolds with small people and the pressure of success. It was crazy because I’d be under pressure on the Monday and feel nothing, then multitasking on the Tuesday and feel nothing, then do nothing on Wednesday and be hit with a panic attack! It wasn’t until I started wearing my Helo that I started to identify the triggers that were causing my heart rate to rise and my breathing to hasten way before I spiralled into a panic attack. To figure things out I started to journal what I was doing each day then I would reference that with my Helo data that gets stored in a Lifelog, so you can see exactly what every single one of your bioparameters is doing at every moment through the day; even down to your mood and energy levels. I saw very quickly that there was a clear pattern between trying to work from home when the kids were there and my spiral into an anxious state, so I was able to make simple changes to my day that had a big impact on how I felt! I also used my Helo to stay on track because if I slipped back into bad habits, my bioparameters reminded me to take a look again at what I was doing. I don’t think I could have progressed as quickly as I did without this sort of accountability!

HOPE

What if our experiences are exactly what we need?

I ask this question because my anxiety disorder changed my life, in a good way.  It got me to question certain things and make changes and ultimately get to a better place of health, mental calm, spiritual awareness and now I am helping others to do the same.  If we can alter our energy about the things that are happening to us we immediately change our vibration and this helps us to feel hope.  It helps us to find the motivation to move forward and helps us set the intention to make positive change.

Much Love x x

Has this blog been helpful to you?  I would love you to reach out in the comments.  And please contact me directly if you would like to discuss any of the information above.

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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

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

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

The Truth About #Beingmum

Today I want to drill down deep.  This is a blog I have wanted to write for a while, but just couldn’t find the right words.

You see, the truth about #beingmum, for me and maybe you too, is confronting.  It is everything that I expect of myself and cannot be: successful and mindful.

What do I mean by this?

Let’s start with “success”.  What I mean by this is the constant expectations we set and have for ourselves and what we achieve #beingmum and how in this way we often set the bar too high and end up feeling like we’re failing.

Here’s some examples:

  • There has to be a healthy dinner on the table every night
  • We have to think of a creative, educational, stimulating activity for our children to do every day
  • Our house has to be spotless
  • We are never going to yell or lose our temper
  • We are going to respond positively to our children’s every need

Because your mum.  Because that’s your job.  Because that is what is expected of you.  And ultimately it’s what you expect of yourself.

But is it always realistic?

I’m glad you asked.

My belief is no.  What I am finding as I coach different mums is this common factor of expecting way too much of ourselves in the time that is available to us, in the reality of the chaos that is #beingmum.

This inevitably leads to punishing feelings of guilt and failure and adds to the pressure we put on ourselves to do better.  It makes us stressed and feel overwhelmed.  It pushes our life out of balance, limits our happiness and can ultimately make us ill.

Now let’s talk about mindfulness.  The truth about #beingmum is that it is terribly hard to be mindful when you are a mum.  We are pulled in so many different directions that I reckon our brains actually rewire to always thinking about the next thing we have to get done, instead of enjoying being in the moment.

And the worrying thing is that a lack of mindfulness and constant pressure causes stress and mums are just as prone to stress related burnout as any other woman.  The 4 walls of our homes and the arms of our loving families do not protect us from the mental health issues that are now prolific in our society.  The difference is that mum can’t “fall” and so the burnout manifests in different ways – a functioning exterior that covers a depression, low self-esteem, disconnection from partner and friends, or just a daily living hell as you fail to cope and feel constant guilt and anxiety, but you maintain a smile for those around you.

Why am I writing about this?

Because I want to help you. I’ve been stressed, I’ve been anxious and I’ve definitely been overwhelmed more times than I’d like to admit, but through these experiences I found a way out to the other side…

I believe life is beautiful (2)

And here’s the thing: Everything that pulls our attention in many directions, many of the things that challenge us and the even some of the things that cause us stress are normal parts of daily life #beingmum.

So we need to find a way for the pressures of #beingmum to exist in non-harmful ways and work on being more mindful.

How can we do this?

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1. Notice More

When you have a moment, instead of thinking or scrolling your phone, notice what’s around you. Enjoy the soft fluffiness of the clouds, study the smile in your child’s eyes, see the colour in the trees around you. Take the Zen Mum Challenge to learn an easy, useful mindfulness activity that you can practice every day

2. Commit Less

Can you really do all the things you’ve said you’ll do in one day (without ending up exhausted?) A good test is to see if you’ll have at least one 2-hour block somewhere between 9 and 5 without doing something. If you haven’t, you’ve over-committed. (There’s method in my madness – check out one of my Time Management workshops if you don’t believe me).

3. Look Within

When we manifest our deepest intentions, we stop falling out of the moment because we’re not ruminating over the next decision/action. The result is a satisfying and fulfilling life that we want to be present in and self-insight that helps us get clarity of what our expectations of ourself should be and focus on how to achieve them.

4. Just Be

Say you did get that 2 hour block with nothing in it; the housework is done, the children’s cups are filled with touch, love and attention and you don’t need to check your emails because you’re on top of the work to do list, could you just be?

Try it. Turn the phone off, have no agenda and just go with the flow. Say yes to the children, sit and play/read/cuddle. Be fully present in whatever you do for that 2 hour block. Each time you feel obligated to do something else, put it out of your mind, breathe and smile. Be proud of being in the moment.

To support these actions, try my Roll Easy Rollerball System. As you know, I recommend essential oils to support the work we do in coaching.

These rollerballs are a natural way to support mindfulness, calm and peace.  Check out how they work here.

They are formulated with doTERRA’s certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils, so contain no fillers, preservatives or other synthetic chemicals that are often used in essential oils used for flavoring and perfume. They have a strong therapeutic response and are even tested to be free of heavy metals, herbicides and insecticides. So you can be confident that what you roll onto your skin is completely natural.

(To see my Roll Easy System on Facebook, click here.)

I am about to launch my signature coaching experience, Design Your Life, if you’d like more information, please give me your details here.

I know you are thinking of a heap of reasons now why you don’t need to design your life, but I want you to ask yourself the question, if this blog has resonated with you, how close are you going to get to burn out or real unhappiness before you start making changes in your life?

I’m one of the unfortunate who has fallen over the edge and boy have I paid the price in the long-term.  The damage that chronic stress does to your body runs deep. For example,  I’m now the not so proud owner of adrenal fatigue, which has challenged many areas of my health. Thank goodness for my essential oils that are supporting my recovery in a big way!

So, I’ll leave it here and hope to hear from you soon…

Much love X X

Essential Mum

5 Easy Ways to Take a Breath from Life this Weekend

We’ve all done it.  Overcommitted ourselves, said yes to everything, tried to please everyone and got to Friday feeling drained, grumpy, anxious and ready for the floor to open up and swallow us!

Here are 5 easy ways you can take a breath and enjoy your weekend with your family, greeting Monday feeling refreshed and energised!

1). Don’t be afraid to say “no”

Gift yourself this weekend for you.  Don’t feel afraid to say no to those who want to encroach upon it, even if they are family or friends!  Say something like, “I would love to (do so & so/help you), but let’s organise it for when I can devote my full attention to you, OK?” Then, when you feel rested and ready you can set a date moving forward.

2). Identify your needs, and fulfill them!

We all have basic needs that need to be fulfilled for us to be content. I am actually an introvert.  I require time by myself, on my own, otherwise I feel a little crazy.  I don’t get that much anymore now I have 2 children, so I end up feeling a little crazy a lot!

You might need to be surrounded by others.

You might be an introvert like me who has a close friend who needs to be constantly surrounded by others… you see where I am going with this right?

When our fundamental needs aren’t being met we start to feel frustrated, bitter and burnt out.

Take a moment this weekend and identify the top thing you need to feel happy, fulfilled and unstressed:

  1. More downtime
  2. More ‘friend time’
  3. More sleep
  4. Something else?

Now figure out how you can get it!

3). Disconnect after baby goes to bed

As a business owner, the minute my children go to bed I start working because I feel overwhelmed by what I have missed during the day.  This leads to late nights, an overactive brain and a grumpy mum the next day!

You might not have a business, but feel all those unfinished tasks from during the day (folding washing, a phone call, the dishes, food prep, etc) need to be done now you have time.  What if I told you that time could be taken for you to wind down (or connect with your partner) and there is a way to support tasks not going unfinished during the day?

Make sure you hit me up on that question because I will answer it for you!  For now, just take one night this weekend to switch off and focus on you and what you want to do.

 

4) Set aside time for breaks in your day

This is a big one, especially on a holiday weekend like this one when the kids want to do the Easter Egg Hunt, your partner wants time to do some DIY, you need to make sure the cupboards aren’t bare because the supermarkets are shut and the Mother-in-Law has to have family dinner this weekend.

Stop.

Breathe.

When can you set aside some time to go for a small walk or do your favorite stretches/yoga poses/exercises ALONE?

Fresh air, some meditation and some exercise are the most re-energising things I know.  The challenge is to commit to doing them, so start the good habit this weekend of taking some time out for you.

5) Identify what you love & who you love and do & be with only that

This is another big one.  In my Design Your Life Coaching Programme we look really hard at these things so you spend more quality time doing what you love and being with the people you love, rather than feeling obligated to do stuff you don’t like and waste quality time with people you don’t care that much for, but your kids love them, or you work with them etc.  I know it sounds a bit harsh, but our days (and lives) are so very short!  And we spread ourselves so thinly and feel obligated in so many different directions.

Spend some time this weekend thinking about your ideal life.  Who is in it, what are you doing?  I made a guided meditation as part of my Find Your Flame Series which is all about being the architect of your dreams and building your ideal life.  If you’d like to listen to it, email me nzessentialmum@gmail.com.  Click here to talk to me about the Design Your Life Programme.

If you feel like these steps might be a little hard for you to take right now, you might be interested in my Free e-book, Zen Mum Challenge, which gives you 14 easy daily steps to be more zen!

«« Click here to access »»

Much love X X

My Emotional Toolbox

The last couple of weeks have been really hard. Business has been a bit quiet after Christmas, so finances have been a little tight, my gorgeous husband has gone back to work after all of those fun family times at Christmas and my emotions have been up and down.

There has also been the additional stress of organising childcare for Eden, who is nearly 4 and totally ready for the transition, but I’m not. I also inquired about child care for Jade who is now one, so that I could increase my available times to coach and run the essential oil consultations and workshops, but ultimately I realised that is not why I set up Essential Mum!

When Eden was one, just like Jade is now, our financial stress was so much greater that I was forced to put Eden into childcare and reluctantly go back to work. Although I did love my job, I didn’t love it as much as I missed spending time with Eden and #beingmum (read my previous blog post ‘No More Moments Missed‘); I certainly didn’t go about my work with the passion and heart I do now! This time I realised I have the freedom to do things differently. And who wouldn’t want to with these two scrumptious faces?!

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However, this has required a change of mindset and a reworking of my old ways and habits.  As an anxiety sufferer my go to emotion was panic in situations where I feel overwhelmed or have to make big decisions. Instead of thinking rationally and calmly about the options open to me I would panic, get into a flap, and usually make a knee jerk decision that was not the right one!

It has taken some work on myself with the coaching and essential oils to rework those old habits and remain calm under pressure. I have a Mantra that I have started to share on Facebook:

“Remember to use your oils!”

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It is so easy when you start to feel better after using essential oils for anxious feelings and other negative emotions to forget to use them again when you have a slip. So, in the last couple of weeks I have remembered my essential oil rituals and started using them again and this has brought me back to the right emotional space to employ my new way of approaching decision making, with a clear mind and a focused goal.

So what I’m going to share with you now is exactly that emotional toolbox, so that you too can use essential oils to manage negative emotions when life challenges and to help stop you slipping back into old patterns.

Make the oils that are right for you part of your routine and habit, so they are an integral part of your life and happiness.  The five in my toolbox are just a small selection of the emotional aromatherapy available.  To fully understand the potential of using essential oils for your emotional balance, and to get started <<click here>>

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Much Love

Essential Mum x x

What it’s like to live anxiety free… and the things that helped to me get here <3

I’ve seen a lot of posts from friends and acquaintances recently about their personal struggles with anxiety.  I also have many people come by my market stall to ask which oils can help. Chances are you are one of them and you may or may not have read this far because I know when anxiety was an integral part of my life I would have felt terribly bitter reading a title like this one, from “one of those people” who finally kicked their anxiety for good; because at the time that felt impossible.

Looking back now to the way I felt day in day out, I’m not sure how I survived it. From the minute I opened my eyes in the morning I felt this nonsensical feeling of urgency and fear. I couldn’t lie in bed and ignore it, but getting up to face the world felt unbearable. My hands would shake and I would feel nauseous. I distanced myself from friends because I thought they’d think me crazy if I explained how I was feeling (and didn’t have the words anyway). Normal things (and when at my worst this included opening the curtains) would get me into a terrible state – a few too many people in the supermarket, the bus, a meeting. The commonality was people, but that didn’t explain why I’d wake up in the middle of the night anxious or begin to hyperventilate when walking alone. One day at my lowest point I almost ran my car off the motorway to escape from what I was feeling. My hands started to turn the wheel, but I came to my senses, took my foot off the accelerator and careered to a stop on the hard shoulder. I can’t remember exactly when my anxiety started, I do understand why it manifested, but boy I remember the day I realised it wasn’t there! It was only this year. I was sat breastfeeding Jade, tv was off, it was quiet. Usually in this instance I would turn the tele on to distract myself from the anxiety biting at my throat and basically be unable to just sit, but this day was different.

I was relaxed, fully relaxed, present and I felt in control. You see, the best way I can describe living with anxiety is like a cup almost filled to the top all the time. It only takes the tiniest of things to tip the cup over, whereas ‘normal’ people, those without anxiety can take a lot more before they tip.

So, what had changed?

  1.  The first step was to take myself off the medication I was on – beta blockers for the anxiety. I also chose to come off my contraception pills and take a much more natural approach to illness
  2.  I then made a life changing choice to move away from some of the triggers of the anxiety. I don’t believe this has to be as dramatic a move as I made, but disconnecting yourself from obvious triggers is worth it, in my experience
  3. Something that followed this step, although it wasn’t an intentional recovery step, was some gut healing. Simple things like probiotics. dōTERRA do a great one called PB Assist.
  4. When we moved to New Zealand it was much easier to access holistic resources and solutions and it was here that my real journey of healing began. My advice to you would be to reach out to a holistic doctor and talk to them about what’s going on. I learnt all sorts of things and techniques, like the importance of sunlight and fresh air, using a simple walk somewhere green and exercise as relaxation anchors, how to breathe into the depths of my belly instead of my chest that was causing me to hyperventilate, meditation and more
  5. In 2016 after I’d had Jade I undertook a dōTERRA Challenge called TERRAfit to lose my baby weight and it really changed the way I was eating, which I think also helped. I don’t think we place enough focus on how the fuel we put in our body helps and hinders our mental health. TERRAfit is all about eating clean, so no heavy metals, pesticides, sugar and other things that play havoc with our system.
  6. In 2016 I also branched out with the essential oils I was using to help with my anxious feelings. Lavender was always my go to, but with dōTERRA I discovered a blend called Balance. It contains Frankincense, Blue Tansy, Osmanthus, Blue Chamomile; all the grounding oils, which helped me to start the day in a place of calm and focus. I applied 2 drops to my feet every morning and reapplied to my wrists as I needed throughout the day. When I felt suddenly panicky I would apply Wild Orange, which I felt stopped that first domino of anxiety in its tracks, so the other dominoes didn’t spiral out of control. I also used another blend called Serenity to help me relax and sleep and Bergamot to help my emotional healing journey. Essential Oils became part of my daily routine and for a while I was glad to have dōTERRA’s loyalty rewards to help pay for so many oils!
  7. The turning point from managing my anxiety to taking control of it was life coaching. I guess a big part of my anxiety was wanting desperately to make changes in my life, but lacking the confidence and self-esteem to make them happen and so sitting there feeling anxious that they weren’t happening! The coaching helped me reframe my anxiety and its symptoms and change my perspective of stored memories. I also created more integrated beliefs, improved clarity and confidence and decluttered my physical space because, heck that clutter was adding to my anxiety!
  8. The final step has been supplements, as certain deficiencies can really worsen anxious feelings.
    • The B vitamins help with nervous system functioning, and being under a lot of stress can deplete your levels.
    • Magnesium is a nutrient that plays a part in more than 300 of the body’s biochemical reactions, and regulates the release of stress hormones.
    • Studies on both humans and mice have shown a strong connection between magnesium levels and depression and anxiety.
    • Tryptophan isn’t a vitamin or mineral, but rather an essential amino acid. It is the number 1 supplement purchased for stress and anxiety.
    • Tryptophan converts into a compound called 5-HTP, which then converts it to serotonin (the “feel good chemical”), which plays a huge role in regulating mood, appetite, and sleep.
    • Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because its main source is sunlight.
    • Research has shown that individuals with depression and anxiety disorders also commonly have low levels of Vitamin D.
    • Calcium. The nervous system needs calcium in order to operate properly, so mood issues and anxiety very often result from not getting enough calcium.

My journey with supplements began with the dōTERRA Microplex VM, which is a balanced blend of vitamins that includes antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E; an energy
complex of B vitamins; and natural vitamin D3. It also contains a bioavailable blend of essential minerals, which includes bio-available forms of the bone nutrients calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium, copper, manganese, and chromium. Finally there is a blend of essential trace minerals for cellular metabolism, communication, and regeneration and a great blend of polyphenols such as: grapeseed extract, quercetin, pomegranate fruit extract, resveratrol, and more for their great antioxidant power.

The tryptophan I took from natural sources and pea protein.

In the last 2 months I have added dōTERRA’s omega mix and cellular vitality mix, plus a blend called DDR Prime.

DDR Prime contains frankincense, wild orange, summer savory, niaouli, lemongrass, clove & thyme to help protect the cells in our body from oxidative stress.   When there is an imbalance in our body between the creation of free radicals and the neutralization of them via antioxidants, our cells become stressed and age.  DDR Prime supports the body’s process of the cell’s destruction or repair, rather than just having it hang around impaired causing other issues. I really do feel exponentially better with these last two supplements on board and I’m keen to get my bloods redone this week to see whether DDR Prime has improved my thyroid and adrenal function, which have suffered from years of ‘fight or flight’.

There’s a lot here, I know. If you’re struggling, please do reach out to me. I offer a free 30 minutes to see how Life Coaching can support you. To book, click here.

Or, to understand the potential of using essential oils for your emotional balance better, and to get started <<click here>>

Believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and if you want to talk to me, just shout.

Much love x x

 

New Zealand Inspired Diffuser Blends – Get Yours For Your Special Mum! #MothersDay

If you are looking for inspiration for Mother’s Day, look no further!  I have created the perfect gift for New Zealand Mums, to show how much we adore them!  And this gift is not only unique and special, it’s functional!

Like a trip away can reinvigorate the mind and body when you start to feel fatigued by life, these essential oil blends can recreate this benefit and trigger fond memories of the places, smells and experiences from around New Zealand that we love!

Used aromatically essential oils can:

  • Improve mood
  • Relieve stress and tension
  • Relax the body
  • Improve memory and focus
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Support the immune system
  • Clean and purify the air

So check these out!  Buy your essential oils at retail price here or check out at the end of the blog how you can open a wholesale account wiith me to enjoy a 25% discount

Lake Taupo

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Energizing to the mind, yet relaxing to the body

Will provide stabilization, grounding and security to your being, physically and emotionally!

For the mum that likes the fresh mountain air and a good view

Essential Oils you need

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Wellness Retreat

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Cleanse and purify; help reduce mental and physical fatigue; promote a positive mood; uplift the mind and body; reduce stress and tension; lessen anxious feelings and increase confidence!

For the mum that needs a pick me up

Essential Oils you need

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Omahu Valley

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Elevate your mood, reduce stress and leave your home smelling like a citrus wonderland!

Also, experience the health benefits of cinnamon, like a healthy metabolic function and immune system.

Essential Oils you need

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Aroha

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Show yourself some love with this popular proprietary blend from dōTERRA.

Essential Oils you need

Serenity  is perfect for stress, calming and relaxation!

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Tawharanui Beach

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Ever feel like you need to fly away to an exotic island? White sand, blue water, sea breeze?  Your happy place? A sweet cocktail?

These luxurious essential oils will take you away in your mind, while your body unwinds from within.  Ginger has been called the “oil of empowerment”; creating an inner fire and strength!  Come back from your happy place revitalised with this blend.

Essential Oils you need

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Manuka Honey

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Support a healthy immune function and cardiovascular health, purify the air, uplift the mind and body, and promote feelings of warmth and well-being with this sweet blend.

Essential Oils you need

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Nelson Break Away

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Imagine sitting on a balcony with the warm sun that Nelson is famous for on your face, with your favorite drink and the succulent smells of food cooking indoors.  This blend is warm, uplifting and will support emotional and spiritual balance. In fact, this delightful mix will demonstrates how Nature herself can help our body find balance as a whole.  Inspired by Greens Motel in Nelson.  Essential Oils you need
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To buy your Mother’s Day gift at a 25% discount you can join dōTERRA as a wholesale member for one year.  This will save you 25% on all their wonderful products, every time you buy!  Sign up is easy.  Click here and fill in your details.  You can select the Introductory Packet US$35 to buy your membership and build your own first order from the oils above, or you can purchase a custom dōTERRA kit and save on both the oils and the membership cost (it comes free with these handy starter sets!)

Subscribe to my newsletter if you want tips to understand how to blend your oils in the right quantities and receive offers, ideas, inspiration and notification of new blogs like this one!

Much love x x