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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.

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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!

 

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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My Emotional Toolbox

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

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

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

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

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

“Remember to use your oils!”

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

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

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

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Much Love

Essential Mum x x

How to use my Rollerball System to Roll Easy through this Life of Mum!

Life as a mum isn’t easy all the time.  It can be challenging, emotionally and physically draining, it can be isolating and it can screw with your sense of self in a BIG WAY! Motherhood is an evolving journey in so many ways, but especially in identity, which can be confusing and confronting for us.  And don’t even get me started on mummy guilt…

That is how I came up with my Rollerball System.  Mums would come to me for blends for this and for that:

  • “I need something to pick me up in the afternoon; I am drinking way too much coffee!”
  • “I need something to lift my mood”
  • “Do you have anything for mindfulness?”
  • “I need something to calm me down in the moment – when the kids are driving me crazy”
  • “I need something for my anxious feelings”
  • “The kids keep getting sick, do you have anything to keep me well, so that I can look after them?  I don’t have the time or the luxury of a sick day!”

Through these requests and experimentation with many blends and blends I have used myself (for anxiety, relaxation and mine and my daughter’s immune system), I have developed tried and tested blends that work to:

  • Calm Me DOWN
  • Pick Me UP
  • Keep Me WELL
  • Make me Worry-LESS
  • And be At EASE

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How the System Works

You can use each rollerball individually or you can use them together as a system.  For example:

  • Use At Ease daily to encourage presence and gratitude.
    • I roll At Ease to my root chakra when I rise in the morning, take 3 deep breaths or do a small meditation/positive affirmation.  This helps me to stay present in the moment and relaxed throughout the day, and grateful.
  • Use Calm Me Down in the moment of anger or if you feel your temper or tension rising.  It makes tension literally melt away.
    • Roll to the back of your neck if you feel a tension headache coming on or have tight muscles.  Roll it behind your ears 30 minutes before bedtime to relax and unwind and welcome sleep.
  • Use Calm Me Down and Worry Less together in the moment anxiety hits.  Anxiety is like a domino.  If you don’t catch that first one falling the anxiety spirals out of your control.  This mix can help you stop that domino in its tracks.
    • Roll both to the wrists and take 3 deep breaths.  Repeat a positive affirmation 3 times. Or, roll to the center of your chest at the heart level in a clockwise direction. The heart chakra is the wellspring of love, warmth, compassion, and joy.  It encourages self-love, altruism, generosity, kindness, and respect.
  • Use Worry Less on its own on those days where worries weigh down our mind and spirit.
    • Roll easy up to three times a day on wrists, back of knees, feet, neck or root chakra.
  • Use Pick Me Up to lift mood or energy.  It is a great alternative to that 3pm coffee!  It contains multiple citrus oils to lift your energy and spirit, whilst keeping you grounded and focused with the frankincense and other balancing oils.
  • Use Keep Me WELL during those times when your immune system needs a boost because you need to be well, mum, to keep your tribe well! We forget to look after ourselves sometimes, so this is one is an easy, quick way to do that with immune boosting, bacteria busting, spirit lifting essential oils.

Using these rollerballs as a system works really well for a number of reasons:

  • Calming a troubled mind makes us more present in our children’s play and needs
  • The ability to calm down when emotions or tensions run high is beneficial to mum and child too
  • Better sleep leads to more energy
  • Actively practising gratitude and mindfulness can reduce stress
  • Boosting the immune system is important to maintaining wellness. When mum gets sick there is no recovering in bed for days.  We have to keep going, so it is better to invest in avoiding illness in the first place!

As a system the rollerballs are aimed at reducing ill-health and the negative emotions that are a consequence of high stress, lack of sleep, tension and worry, and increasing positive mood from the inside out.  Recent studies show self-induced changes in mood can increase the production of serotonin, which is your feel good hormone.  By increasing calm and a sense of peacefulness and control, this also boosts the mindfulness that we are encouraging with the At EASE blend!

BUY NOW

 Buy your Rollerballs now.  Purchase individually from $22 each or as a system for $124.50

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Design Your Life

My 5 Roll Easy rollerballs are also a key tool in my Design Your Life Ultimate Experience. This is an 8 week coaching programme to shift out of overwhelm into purpose.

Are you tired of living on autopilot?

Are you stressed?  Maybe not feeling like you’re not giving your all to any one thing, including your children?

Do you feel guilty or frustrated that you’re not achieving your own expectations?

Are you inspired by the possibility life could be better?

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click here

And be sure to click here and read my Guest Blog Series from other mums who took the journey from surviving to thriving!

Why the Design Your Life Experience WORKS

A couple of years ago I hit a tipping point.  My life was completely out of balance and I was unhappy.  Something needed to change.

Using the process I will take you through as part of this experience I “decluttered” my physical, spiritual and mental space.  I scheduled my time, so that I could fit the many things that were pulling me in many directions in.  Then I identified the things that were quality time spent that served me and my family and got rid of the rest; i.e. I designed my life, rather than letting life rule me!  I identified my purpose and freed myself from the limiting beliefs and other things that were holding me back from fulfilling it.  And through all of this emerged more awareness of who I am underneath the veil of Eden and Jade’s mum, so that my life is not just about #beingmum. In fact, I discovered that I am literally 50 shades of mum, but that is OK!  I also acknowledged that I have less than attractive traits that make me feel like a terrible mum sometimes, like my Angry Dinosaur, but through the process I will take you through I understand how they serve me, how they don’t and I put strategies in place to use them to my advantage.

If you are ready to fall in love with the life you have designed for yourself, which brings you true happiness and lives out your purpose and dreams, talk to me now to get started.

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