Spring is in Full Swing – My Face is Streaming! 😱

You feel me? It’s beautiful sunshine outside, blossom flourishing everywhere, garden is brimming with green and you just want to get out and enjoy the change in season!

However… Your eyes are puffy and itchy, your nose is streaming and you want to rip your own face off 😬

For many a spring and then also into summer too I endured epic seasonal allergy symptoms. Before I started my natural journey I used to use antihistamines, but because of the severity and duration of my symptoms I would be on them for months on end!

I am pretty sure this extended use of prescription drugs was one of the many things that destroyed my gut health and added to my toxic load. And I’m also pretty sure my general state of health and bad diet were making my seasonal allergy symptoms worse! As you’ll know if you follow my blog, I’ve cleaned up my diet a lot and cut most of what was adding to my toxic load out. I do still suffer with symptoms though as we head into the spring/summer season, but I have found some really good natural remedies that help.

Read on as I share them!

1. Neti Pot & Saline

This is a really simple and effective idea. Pollen, dust, other particles hold onto the insides of our nose and the saline washes them away! It takes a while to get used to the sensation, but it is relatively effective!

2. Probiotics

Lactobacillus GG and L. gasseri are believed to be two of the best probiotics for allergies, along with L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis! Look for these in the ingredients of the probiotic you choose. I use the doTERRA PB Assist. Click here for more details.

3. Local honey

When a person eats local honey, they are thought to be ingesting local pollen. Over time, a person may become less sensitive to this pollen. As a result, they may experience fewer seasonal allergy symptoms.

I’ve got to say, I’m not sure if my love of local honey has helped my allergies or not. I just love local honey!

4. DNA Testing

Now this is a key one. And pretty advanced thinking too. One of the many things our genes show is whether we are prone to inflammation! If we are we can eat in a way that prevents inflammation, which should also help curb our allergy sysymptoms. The DNA test I took provides a detailed summary of how to eat and how to exercise and as our DNA never changes, it is information I can refer to for years to come when making decisions about my health. The test I used also sequences with life-sensing technology to keep the DNA information relevant to the present day because genes are predetermined and particular gene variants can affect the body in real-time. Learn more here

5. Allergy Testing

You know you are sneezing and it’s spring, but is that the full picture?

Many foods or drinks that we consume, especially on a daily basis, can affect our health and wellbeing and are linked to many unwanted effects including fatigue, headaches, skin problems, breathing problems as well as affecting our immune, nervous and digestive systems.

 

Www.allergytest.co.nz are the most helpful, most straightforward and most convenient allergy test service I have found. You can test from the comfort of your own home and choose the level of testing you have according to your budget. You an really get a full picture of the foods and environmental substances that are affecting you. Click here to learn more!

6. Essential Oils

There are 3 essential oils I have used to ease the symptoms of seasonal allergies: peppermint, lemon and lavender.

Lavender is so soothing and has natural antihistamine properties. Peppermint is known to reduce inflammation and clear respiratory passages. And lemon is also a natural antihistamine and naturally cleansing and gives you that lift when the drag of seasonal symptoms brings you down!

Using these 3 oils together is a great idea because they work better synergistically, but I have to be honest in that they have only been able to take the edge off for me when using them topically and aromatically. I raised this with another doTERRA Wellness Advocate and she suggested trying Triease, which is a capsule to take them internally. She suggested that the dose is more targeted and the body’s response to the oils quicker. I know there is some controversy over ingesting essential oils, so read more about that if you are concerned, here.

Learn more about Triease here.

If you want to purchase any of the doTERRA products, visit my web store here! And read why I chose to be an Advocate for this phenominal wellness company here!

Next we’ll tackle Mosquitoes! 😯

Much Love,

Essential Mum x x

 

 

 

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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

Why I can’t wait to have another baby

You live and you learn, right?

Both my pregnancies have given me big insights into my health. What we went through with Eden taught me that my gut health was screwed. There was no other real reason her gut would have been in such a state, apart from the fact I had heavy antibiotic use and a history of symptoms that pointed to compromised gut health. I’ve talked in a previous blog about how I used to get recurrent, debilitating UTIs and found after having Eden and healing my gut that they cleared.

After having Jade I felt tired and flat all the time. I’d had periods of feeling like this all the way back to my time at school. My compromised gut health was definitely something to do with it, but I was tired of feeling tired. I paid for a special hair test to have my micronutrients checked and there was a big clue as to why I was feeling so tired in the results! I was depleted in many ways and the naturopath talked me through why this would be making a big impact on my health. (There’s an image at the end of this blog from Dr. Jockers website that is a good summary of our micronutrients’ role in health [it’s big!])

There would have been many reasons why I had gotten depleted. Chronic stress depletes key nutrients and leads to micronutrient deficiencies; I had suffered my fair share of that! Bad git health means nutrients aren’t absorbed and our soils are also depleted of nutrients. Add onto that I had been breastfeeding for 2 years, which would have had an impact as well.

I decided to give doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality range of supplements a try, mainly because I could get them at a 55% discount with my wholesale account and I’d tried many supplements previously that quite clearly hadn’t worked, according to my results! (Read about what’s in doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality here and why need them). I also started their probiotics and I started using Pure Oxygen, as it can help with the absorption of vitamins and minerals and can boost our cells’ function as well. The results have been transformational for me. I feel better and more energized than I have ever been. They even supported my recovery from anxiety as well!

And now I have my new best friend, my Helo 😍, which tracks my blood pressure and my mood and will soon track my blood sugar as well. I feel like I have the trifecta of health ammunition to finally give me a pregnancy that doesn’t make me want to curl up and die! You see I have had crippling hyperemesis gravidarum in both my previous pregnancies. It was horrible and it definitely prevented me from just enjoying my growing baby inside. Moreover, when I think forward in my life I see our big family. Siblings hanging out together, friendships and diverse personalities, challenges, but also enough love to sink a battleship, or maybe in our case to keep us afloat. So I would love to finally have an uncomplicated pregnancy and enjoy the journey to meeting our last sprog, and I believe I may finally be in the perfect state of health to do it.

I believe adding Helo into my pregnancy will be a gamechanger. I’ve already written about how I see the upcoming blood sugar trend monitoring as a great way to both identify, but more importantly prevent gestational diabetes.  I also believe the peace of mind Helo provides is second to none. Blood pressure, heart rate, sleep, breath rate, mood and energy are all tracked by Helo and you can set your midwife up to remotely monitor your data, and be alerted if any of your bioparametres go out of their ranges of normal! Low blood pressure was another thing that was a drag on my previous pregnancies. I also read that balancing blood sugar can prevent morning sickness and the great thing about knowing our mood, energy levels and sleep is that you can change anything in an instant and change them. Knowledge is power and pregnancy is scary. It feels sometimes like there is all this crazy stuff going on in your body that you have no control over. Helo gives you insight and the power to control your health.

So there you have it. I am broody as £#!& for our third child (that was the sound of my husband’s heels as he legged it down the street 😉)…

I think I knew straight after Jade was born that I wasn’t “done”, but it has taken me some time to decide whether another baby is right for us. What about you? Did you know you were done after your last baby? How many children do you have? What has been your experience with pregnancies? Have you been well or have you suffered like I did? Have you had the same experience across all pregnancies or did you have one that surprised you in some way? Do you think I’m into anything with the health-morning sickness link? Would love to read your comments!

Much love as always x x

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What’s in a tantrum?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much Love x x

Full Circle Wellness

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

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

What does this mean for Essential Mum?

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

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

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

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

1. We are too hard on ourselves as mums

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

Much Love in motherhood and now, beyond x x x

Happy Mum Happy Child

Happy mum happy child, that’s such a powerful statement.  I was curious, as I explore the idea that at the centre of designing a life you love, which brings you happiness every day, is yourself (read more about designing your life here.)  Specifically a version of yourself where you spend time filling your cup.

My  third guest blogger is Maria, a mum of two, creator of website / Facebook page Happy Mum Happy Child, which is dedicated to helping parents feel less alone in this parenting journey.   Having started in 2014, HMHC is now the top parenting blog in New Zealand.

I know firsthand that within the most beautiful picture perfect surroundings of family can lie our greatest struggles.  I know that we bring these tiny, helpless bodies into the world and from us they expect nothing, but love, but from ourselves we expect everything and we give everything, until often there is nothing left in our cup.  I wanted to hear directly from Maria how she maintains self care as a priority to stay happy and what happy mum happy child means to her

maria foy

– What has been your greatest challenge as a mum?

I find a lot of things challenging about being a Mum, but the biggest challenge for me was coming to terms with the fact that my life would never be the same as it was before I had children. I’m more used to it now, and I wouldn’t change it for the world – but it was a very difficult for me when my daughter was first born – I think it triggered my post natal depression somewhat.

– What has been your greatest learning as a mum?

That I am in fact capable of so much more than I could have ever imagined – the love I have for my children, the patience I have, the ability to clean up so much poo – honestly so much I have learned about myself

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

It’s more of a priority now than it was when I first became a Mum.

– How do you keep it a priority?

I think it’s important to have at least one moment a week where you have no children around you (if at all possible). Whether the other half takes the kids to do the grocery shopping, or they go to the grandparents for the morning. Just a moment alone can do wonders for the soul.

– What happens when that priority slips

Thankfully for me my husband is an amazing friend and supporter – if I am struggling then I communicate with him and he helps out where he can.

– What stresses you out?

My children. Lol – honestly though, just the challenges of being a parent stresses me out. Kids fighting, being demanding, etc it all gets overwhelming.

– How do you avoid overwhelm?

I try and be honest with myself and my family if I’m feeling overwhelmed. I’m also not afraid to put the TV on and say to myself “hey I just can’t do it in this moment, so the TV is going to help me out”

– What brought you to inspiring mums as your work?

When I started talking about my journey with postnatal depression, so many wonderful mum’s confided in me with their own struggles and told me it was so nice to hear someone talking about it. I don’t necessarily think I’m inspiring anyone, but just working together with everyone so that we all know we’re not alone.

– How do your personal challenges and how you overcome them influence your work?

90% of my work is off-the-cuff – so it really is dictated by how I feel each day. If I’m having a bad day, then I’ll share it with my followers. Not only to possibly make others feel like they’re less alone, but also for me to feel like I’m not alone. Even for me I can get stuck thinking I’m the only one going through something.

– What blogs do you read and who do you look up to in your industry?
I don’t get a lot of time to read other blogs, but do focus on a couple. Here in New Zealand, my wonderful friend Lisa runs No Filter Mum and it’s a wonderful page for me. She is open and honest about her own journey as a Mother, and she’s become a wonderful friend to me outside of the internet.

Internationally I love Tova Leigh – she predominantly does videos, but also has a blog and I love her and what she talks about.

– What does Happy Mum Happy Child mean to you?

Happy Mum Happy Child ultimately means if Mum is happy, then the child is happy. So it’s important to focus on yourself as a parent.

If you’d like to read more from Maria, visit her Facebook page

Or, Instagram

Of find her on Snapchat: happymumnz

Visit her website here

 

Motherhood, Muddles and Mindfulness

As I get close to launching my ultimate 8 week experience, Design Your Life, I drilled down into what it takes to design a life you love, which brings you happiness every day.  At the centre of it I found myself.  Specifically a version of myself where I spend time filling my cup.  So I decided to use my next few blog posts to explore this by inviting other enlightened mums.  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 second guest blogger, Debbie.  She is a Spiritual Alchemist with over 20yrs experience in the mindbody field.  I spoke to Debbie because I have experienced 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.

In this blog Debbie shares her experience and a 1 minute meditation you can do anywhere at any time.

debbie

Mindfulness is a term bandied about frequently these days. But what is it?

It is consciously putting full focus and attention on what you are doing or engaging in.   Being present in the moment.

With its roots in meditative practices, Buddhist teachings see mindfulness as a path to enlightenment as one discovers that our mind is the cause of all our suffering. One then works to master the mind through being present and the noticing of the Monkey Mind or the mind‘s need and desire to be attached – to outcomes, behaviours, beliefs, thoughts, perceptions, and stories.

There are many studies that confirm the positive impact of mindfulness on our well-being and our worrisome minds. Sounds like a panacea for today’s world and the holy grail of calm huh?

It certainly is, but how does that fit for a mum who is struggling to juggle motherhood, business, finance, relationships, while still making sure the washing’s done and dry, dinner’s nutritious, cooked and eaten, the kids are happy, well and confident, and the house is not sinking under a foot of dust and grime?

How does it fit, when we feel like we have nothing left to give? And don’t know where to turn?

Less stress and topping up the tank

Taking a minute or two can more ‘space’ to breathe and be more of the mum you want to be – an empowered mum with more love to share. It helps our mind settle. Read – Less stress hormones = Happier mum → Happier children → Happier family → Happier community → Happier world!

We all know of the truth of making sure we top up our tank first as mothers, but it can be incredibly hard to do so. Our instinctive, unconscious actions are to attend to children/family first.

But remember the adage of the oxygen mask in a plane crash? We are no help to our children (or anyone else), if we have no oxygen and die. Implementing mindfulness practices are one way to support ourselves – giving our souls oxygen if you like, so we can support those we love in the chaos, muddle and joy of motherhood.

To help meet the challenge of everyday pressure combined with the overlay of motherhood try my micro-meditation here. This meditation is one way to top up your tank and your soul. It is easy to implement, short – under a minute, and with the exception of driving a vehicle, can be done pretty much anywhere, anytime!

Expand time, create space; take a moment

By putting our full attention on what is directly in front of us, we potentially create more space and time. I know it doesn’t make sense, but bear with me.

Think back to a time where instead of finishing a task and then giving your children attention, you did it the other way around. I remember trying to complete some university papers when my son was one or two, and saying hang on, hang on as he vied for my attention. The times I stopped what I was doing and sat with him (and Thomas the tank engine!) for 10 – 15mins then gave me a full half an hour (magic!) to get my words in place for submission. You may have had a similar experience of giving your children full attention for ten or fifteen minutes which then freed up half an hour for you to get those accounts done or phone calls made.

As a mother taking a moment whenever you can, to be present, creates an opportunity to come back to centre. And sometimes we need to take it whenever and wherever we can. I remember taking an extra moment or two in the toilet to sit and centre as sometimes this was the only time I had any space when my kids were younger!

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What might mindfulness look like for an Empowered Mum?

  • Planning time to be fully present when the kids come home from school or kindy so their well is filled with your compassion and attention (even 5 – 10 minutes each child will work wonders)
  • I have found one of the keys to mindfulness is to surrender. Surrendering the shoulds, musts and need to’s
  • Exploring your ability to expand time by intentionally focusing on and enjoying the task at hand – yes even the dishes, cleaning the shower!
  • Try my one minute micro meditation to bring yourself back into centre regularly throughout the day

Further resources you might find useful:

Jon Kabat-Zinn and Eckhart Tolle are well-known proponents of the power of now and being present and are the authors of many books.

Sarah Napthali has written several books on Buddhism and motherhood which may also be of help.

Mindfulness is a growing movement and there are many mindfulness/meditative groups worldwide. Check out the web for something close to you.

See more of Debbie at her Facebook page!

 

Why You Should Do Something to Fill Your Cup

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

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

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

amy

 

What does filling your cup mean to you?

Self care.

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

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

Care to elaborate?

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

self care blog 1Can you share an example?

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

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

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

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

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

self care blog 2

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)

5 Ways with an Essential Oil TWIST to Ignite Joy in your Life Right Now

I have to admit that today I am feeling really low. I hate admitting that! I’m a Life Coach, your Life Transformation Coach for Health & Happiness, how can I possibly allow myself to get down?!

It happens, life happens! The important thing is how we respond because the longer we stay down the harder it is to come back up!

As a mum, I don’t have a great deal time to do the things I used to do to lift my mood – the long walks in nature, a massage, a relaxing bath, a little gift to myself or a night out with friends! So the following are instant ways to spark joy AND they are kid hanging off your ankles friendly.

What do I mean by joy? That warm feeling, that sudden need to smile, that assurance that all is well in the world, even the giddy feeling of being totally carefree for a few moments.

Firstly, just quickly, what specifically makes you feel good? Focus on it. How does it make you feel? That’s your joy! Now let’s ignite that feeling when you need it!

  • OPTION 1:  MAKE ICE CREAM! You’re a mum, so I am guessing you have frozen bananas in the freezer for smoothies and the like? What if you could whip these babies up into chocolate orange happiness in under a minute? Ice cream cheers you up, right? This is classic comfort food without as much sugar and with the magical uplifting powers of wild orange essential oil. Just combine a few drops of Wild Orange essential oil (get yours here) with a handful of dark chocolate chips and your frozen bananas (preferably small chunks) and whizz away in the blender for about 45 seconds. Serve immediately. Feel the joy (and the kids will love you too 🙂 )
  • OPTION 2: BE MINDFUL. I know I must sound like a broken record in these blogs, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to just be. If you struggle with this, grab my At EASE rollerball and try again (get yours here). It helps me no end when I struggle to stay focused in a task – including contemplating the fluff in my navel! (Or not contemplating it, as that would be thinking and mindfulness is a mind without thought 😉)
  • OPTION 3: DANCE LIKE NO ONE IS WATCHING even if you’re surrounded by kids, the dog and your curtain twitching neighbour! Grab a sniff of Cheer (you can check this amazing blend out here), put on your favourite song and dance. If baby needs your arms, wrap her, if your toddler wants to play, dance with her. Dance like no one is watching until the smile comes and your worries float away
  • OPTION 4: WALK. It doesn’t matter where. Put a drop of Balance on each wrist (see why here), breathe in the grounding aromas, feel the tightness in your chest melt away and the furrows in your brows relax then hit the pavement. Again, this is one you can do with the kids. The important thing is just get out the house and breathe in the fresh air!
  • OPTION 5: THROW OUT THE TO DO LIST.  The washing will wait, you can last another day without the food shopping and the world won’t end if you don’t make it to Mainly Music. (OK, that’s a lie, your 4 year old’s world will end.) Sometimes we can get so busy it becomes overwhelming and our moods falls flat because life seems insurmountable! When this happens, stop. Grab Serenity essential oil, make the kids some playdough (and lace it with Serenity essential oil 😉 ) and just laze about.

You’re welcome 🙂

Much Love X X

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