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

How To Let Go Of Stress

The Design Your Life blog series has been about how, as Mums we are notoriously busy, often with few pauses or chances to catch our breath, and how this affects us.
Read on for a Guest post by Kirsty Salisbury, Wellness Coach about how we can let go of stress.  And why we should!
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It can often seem like a never ending mission to ensure that everyone else is going OK.  That the kids are still breathing, there’s food in the fridge, lunch boxes in bags, and that everyone has at least one matching pair of socks to wear…  Throw in trying to look presentable, have a job, while keeping the house semi hygienic, and that juggling act is almost certain to fall apart. Whether it does or not, I can guarantee that stress is never far away.
Perhaps you’ve felt like you’re on a constant roller coaster with stress, up and down, up and around.  It’s the ride you never realised you had tickets for, yet here you are – swooshing up and down, side to side and flying loop de loop.  Just when you think that things must be about to even out, that gut curdling dip and rush of cortisol hits again.  I can totally relate.  There was a time not so long ago when my doctor actually diagnosed me as being ‘addicted to stress’.  Yep, I had become so familiar with those roller coaster rides, that I had unknowingly started creating drama and stress just to feel the exhilaration of the roller coaster ride.  A little confusing to say the least.  On one hand I hated what it was doing to me, and on the other, I needed that rush to feel like I was doing what I should be, trying hard enough, and achieving enough.  I was pretty much living on caffeine and chocolate and I was a mess.  My gut was in tatters, my emotions all over the place, I barely slept, and I shocked myself each time I burst into tears with simply no explanation.  On one hand I was addicted to the drama, and on the other hand I just wanted to scream “Let me off!!!”
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Stress is a good thing, but ONLY in the right circumstances.  Like when we need superhuman powers to run from a wild beast chasing us, or to escape an attack or before an exam/presentation, or escaping a life threatening situation.  But ongoing or frequent high stress brings no value into our worlds.  In fact, it can have very serious effects to our health and wellbeing.  Ever heard the term ‘worry yourself sick’?  Well, there’s a reason this saying exists… because when we let stress take over, the rise in health risks can also take over.  Research suggests that stress increases the risk of heart disease by 40%, heart attack by 40%, and stroke by a whopping 60%!  Not to mention inflammation, ulcers, hair loss, sleep deprivation and depression.  It’s believed that in some areas that 3 out of 4 doctors visits are stress related – yes 75%!*
But what can we do about this?  Well… we can start to look out for ourselves for a start.  Begin taking time for ourselves, and doing something that serves no purpose for anyone else.  It’s amazing how this can help us to refocus, let go of the stress, and to see things in a positive light.  Things like getting out in the sunshine, going for a walk, joining up for a short course, coffee with the girls, or that dance class you’ve always wanted to try out.  Meditating, yoga, breathing and relaxation techniques can do absolute wonders too. Anything that is going to start to refresh our thought patterns.  Next, is to be aware of how we fill our time.  The people we hang out with, the TV shows we watch, what we look at on social media, and the amount of things we try to fit into our days. Spending just 15 minutes a day doing something truly relaxing can make all the difference to how we see the world.
My 7 year old daughter is learning about filling her cup at school at the moment.  It’s beautiful.  The teacher has literally helped them to decorate cups with their names on them, and they have all been stuck to the wall.  At any point, a child can write a nice word, or draw a picture, and pop it into one of the named cups.  They are also learning how their activities can fill or empty their cups, and how the people they spend time with do that too. She now knows what types of things give her energy and happiness.  Something us adults need to know too.  The other day, things had gotten her down, and I was met with a truly sobbing child at the school gate (yes, the kind of sobbing where snot goes everywhere).  Once in my arms all she had to say was  “my cup is empty” and in an instant I got it.   She felt empty, and needed some love, and best of all – we didn’t need to navigate the other 100+ questions to try before getting to the bottom of her emotions.
So why as Mums, are we not doing more for ourselves?  Allowing ourselves to get off that stress roller coaster and to do more to fill our own cups?  When our cup is full, we can offer a lot more to the world, and everything seems to have so much more perspective.  They don’t need to be big things.  But things that give us charge.  Now is the time to go and do these things.  A little time each week to make sure that our cups are getting filled as well.  It will feel great to switch out the cortisol for some endorphins.  Overall, if we can reduce our sources of stress, we can connect better with ourselves and experience more joy.  This makes us feel better, look better and actually be nicer people in this world.  My challenge to us all is this:
Do one thing each day, (no matter how small) to love our inner selves.  Even deep breathes are like little love notes to ourselves.
A recap of Kirsty’s ideas to let go of stress!
  • Get out in the sunshine, go for a walk
  • Join up for a short course
  • Have a coffee with the girls
  • Take that dance class you’ve always wanted to try out
  • Meditate, try yoga
  • Use breathing and relaxation techniques
  • Try anything that is going to start to refresh our thought patterns.
  • Be aware of how we fill our time – the people we hang out with, the TV shows we watch, what we look at on social media, and the amount of things we try to fit into our days.
  • Spend just 15 minutes a day doing something truly relaxing to make all the difference to how we see the world.

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Kirsty is a Wellness Coach and Speaker.  She inspires others to reach their full potential, no matter their circumstances or restrictions. Personal crisis is inevitable, but it’s how we deal with it that she believes matters most.  She is the host of her podcast ‘Let’s Talk Life Design’ (www.letstalklifedesign.com), and loves enabling others to share their incredible stories along with practical strategies to living a life filled with purpose.
Find her at:

Facebook: @kirstysalisburyofficial
instagram: @kirstysalis

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.

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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)

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

“Every time I start exercising I get a cold”

I see this so much, and experience it myself when I crank up my exercise intensity. It’s important to understand why this happens, so we can prevent it and enjoy our journey towards our #Fitmama goals!
Increasing exercise stresses our body and thus weakens our immune system. So, as we increase our exercise levels we need to increase the vitamins and minerals that are going to keep our immune system strong; like vitamin c and zinc.
The preferable way to do this is through your diet, but unfortunately nowadays our soils are very depleted of the vitamins and minerals we need and so we can end up deficient and needing to supplement them.
I am a very good example of this. I eat really well. Really clean with lots of fruit and colourful veg, but when I got a blood test I found I was lacking in a few things, especially zinc, so I started on the doTERRA long-life vitality supplements and have never looked back since!  If you want to read more about this supplement system, click here.  They are only available to doTERRA Wellness Advocates, but you can read about becoming one of those here.  If you choose to buy a multivitamin over the counter, just take a look at the label carefully to check whether it contains synthetic vitamins that won’t be helpful.
We also need to get enough rest to properly recuperate between exercise sessions.  Regular moderate exercise actually boosts the immune system. So it’s a fine balance, but maybe increasing frequency rather than intensity might help.
Gyms are also germ-laden and you’re exposed to a large variety of bacteria in spite of the gym’s good cleaning and hygiene efforts. I found this out when I got a staph infection in my thumb!  I make a Cleansing Spray now for any  mats & equipment I am using. It’s really easy! Just grab a 2–4 ounce spray bottle, 5 drops of doTERRA On Guard blend, Witch hazel (¼ of spray bottle) and some Filtered water.  Combine all the ingredients together in the glass bottle. Mix well, spray, and wipe!
Finally, don’t rule out the effects of stress that is external to your new exercise regime that could be making you more susceptible to getting ill!

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