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

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)

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

My High Needs Baby

I’ve had some dark days with Eden recently.  She has pushed me to the limits of my patience (and sanity).  This is hard to write because I love her to bits, but I feel like I have been challenged by her since the day she was born and this week as things have been really hard again I have thought, “when is this ever going to end?”

You might have already read Eden’s Story and her journey as a baby born with major gut issues.  It took us a while to realise what was going on with Eden and see a Specialist who knew what Eden was suffering.  A long time before this I read an article by Attachment Parenting guru Dr. William Sears, which really struck a chord.  It was about the “high need baby“.  Eden ticked every box!

Dr. Sears and his wife, Martha, coined the term “high need baby” when their fourth baby, Hayden, was born. While their first 3 children had been generally easy babies, Hayden was only happy when being held or fed. It was then that they realized that some babies are just truly high need.

While I totally agree, what I have also observed through my personal journey with Eden and through meeting other mums with babies/toddlers/young children that also tick the boxes of “high need” is that there’s definitely a connection to problems in the gut.

We know there is a dynamic interaction between the gut, the brain, and the immune system, starting from birth.  For example, immune cells reside within the gut and that was one of Eden’s big issues as a baby; her immune system was really compromised!

It feels like a bad dream now thinking about what we did go through with Eden.  In the grand scheme of things she is so much better, for which I am grateful!  I didn’t realise how bad it was with her (and how abnormal her constant cries and needs were) until I had my second girl Jade.  Case in point; no milestone, change, challenge, illness has ever got her like Eden got daily!  Eden’s physical and emotional being was so fragile, still is, and while her physical needs have reduced greatly thanks to the gut healing we have done, her emotional needs are still great.  Admittedly I forget this as we go about our daily life and so fall quite regularly into overwhelm when she overreacts or she gets overwhelmed.  Thankfully essential oils come to our rescue to restore our equilibrium. I would recommend them to anyone dealing with a high needs baby/toddler/child!

So what do we use?

There are 4 essential oils that I use regularly with Eden:

doTERRA’s Console, Serenity, Balance & Peace

To read about why I chose doTERRA, click here,

Read on for the benefits of each wonderful oil!

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1.  CONSOLE

One of the primary essential oils in the doTERRA Console Blend is Ylang Ylang, which is calming and balancing for the body and mind.  It also contains Frankincense Resin, Patchouli Leaf, Labdanum Leaf/Stalk, Amyris Bark, Sandalwood Wood, Rose Flower and Osmanthus Flower which are comforting and grounding.

I use Console in those moments when we’ve all ‘lost the plot’.  The tears are flowing, the tempers have boiled over, emotions are high… I put it in the diffuser or rub it within a carrier oil into our necks.  It is instantly comforting (and you guessed it, consoling!)

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2. SERENITY

The first thing to go out of the window for Eden when she is challenged emotionally is sleep.  Serenity is a beautifully calming blend of essential oils like Lavender and Roman Chamomile.  I diffuse Serenity aromatically in the bedroom to create a calming and peaceful environment before bed, use a Serenity soap or bath melt in the bath, or massage as a balm I make myself.

Serenity is also great in those “lacking calm”moments! Just one drop to the back of the neck is instantly calming, wherever we are and whatever we’re doing!  I also apply Serenity to my brow when I need perspective on my situation with Eden in order to be more gentle with myself or seek answers about how to move forward in whatever challenge we are facing.

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3.  BALANCE

Balance has been a key oil in the Emotional Toolbox that has got me through severe anxiety problems.  It is extremely grounding and so is great to use every day to the bottoms of the feet when the high needs bubs/toddler/child is going through change or challenging emotions.  It contains Frankincense like Console, but also contains Blue Tansy, which ignites feelings of self-control, focus, and balance, and Blue Chamomile, which is quite sedative.

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4.  PEACE

Peace fuses floral and mint essential oils.  It is known as a Reassuring Blend, to promote feelings of contentment, composure, and reassurance when anxious feelings overwhelm your emotions.  I find Peace really good when Eden is anxious.  This actually happens a lot, but presents in different guises. Eden is affected by loud noises, new environments, too much stimulation or situations she lacks control in.  She presents as overwhelmed or even afraid.  Peace composes her.  I have started using Peace for my younger girl, Jade too, whose big milestones (she’s 1) are leaving her anxious when she’s away from me.

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I guess the final part of this blog is honesty around having to remind myself what I like about Eden when she does push me to the limits of my sanity.  Because maybe that might help you too.  Because maybe you’re feeling quite alone right now and utterly horrible for finding your own high need bubs/toddler/child horrible.

A beautiful friend once explained to me that what often happens with kids who are higher needs is that they have an appearance of calm, but actually aren’t.  She shared a thermometer diagram with me to explain what she meant and this has always stayed with me!  Basically, our children sit higher up the thermometer and so constantly sit at a tipping point, and this is why it takes only “little things” to tip them over:

So, one of the things I have promised myself I will do more of is project myself into her mind when we are in a situation that is escalating or at risk of triggering a chain of unwanted events… I ask myself:

  • What would she want me to say and do in this situation?
  • What can I change about the situation I am considering to ensure it meets her needs as well as mine and/or involves her?

It isn’t easy parenting these “high needs”, but it is possible to adopt more empathetic and appropriate responses.  I am still learning!

And the things I love about Eden?

She is resilient, with a warm heart, an inquiring mind and the strength of an ox.  She is independent and unique and beautiful.  I use Forgive essential oil to help myself move on from the soul destroying guilt I feel each time I lose my composure and feel overcome by her more challenging traits instead of these beautiful traits I love.

If you’d like to explore those questions above, as they relate to your situation and whatever brought you to my blog, request a free discovery call here.

If you’re curious now about the positive changes essential oils could make to your life, get my free eBook here.

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Much Love x x

Why Can’t I Just be At Ease?

One of the things we are taught as Coaches is to interrogate an existing reality with view to changing it if it doesn’t make us happy.

One of the things I hate as a mum is the constant need to feel like I’m always doing something. It takes me out of the moment, it robs me of precious moments with my children and it tires me out. I check myself on it constantly and have to remind myself not to be that way. How does it serve me, therefore? Frankly, it means I get stuff done.

This simple statement is really revealing to me and helps me to understand why I am constantly on the go, if not physically, then mentally, even though that isn’t the mum I want to be. When I think back to my younger days spent ambling, hanging out, reading, imagining, playing I feel grief that I have lost the ability to just be at ease. This was the intention of my rollerball of the same name. Unlike the other blends in the range that have helped other mums so much, this particular blend of oils really helps me to turn off the mental chatter and just be still, physically and mentally. I use it when I feel my mind wandering during play.

This ability to be fully at ease is so important to me. I don’t want to regret down the line not having just been able to hang out and play with my children, or really seen them without distraction, or heard them, not just listened with my mind on other things. I don’t want my girls to fall into the same dangerous pattern and lose their beautifully innocent ability to just be in the moment.

This drive creates a more useful feeling – excitement – at how I get my presence back. Fully. I’ve already become so much more mindful by decluttering my physical and mental space and becoming more organized. I think the answer lies in why my existing reality serves me, but I have many questions left to ask.

What is your experience? Do you suffer in the same way? I think this would be a powerful subject for a group coaching session; would you be open to exploring this with me?

Drop your comments below because I would be interested in reading them. I think this could go somewhere, but that is a question I am yet to fully address… Who is the mum I want to become?

Much love X X

I am an Angry Dinosaur

This is me sometimes.  More times than I like to admit when I am stressed, tired or just over parenting for whatever reason.

I hate admitting this out loud!  This is probably the biggest cause of my mummy guilt.  I have yearned to break free from the hold anger takes in the moment.  One day it struck me that there is always an emotion underlying the response I have to whatever triggers an inappropriately loud or short, or just far out crazy response and when I identified that I started using my coaching skills to peel back the layers of the emotion and put strategies in place to respond/react differently.

And there, bazinger, came the feeling of being empowered!!!  And Mr Angry Dinosaur is taking a back seat to a calmer, kinder and more focused me.

I would like to share this feeling of empowerment and help you to be calmer, kinder and more focused with your children.

Let’s encourage our Angry Dinosaur to chillax back there in the “not of current service” to our lives box, deep in our brains!

I am going to be holding 4 group coaching sessions for mums each Wednesday from the 21st September, across 4 weeks. $20/person in a small, intimate, safe group at my new home in the Greenhill Health Centre, 253 Pakuranga Rd, Pakuranga, Auckland.

Please complete the form on my Workshops & Group Coaching Page to register for the next course.  If you would prefer a one-on-one session, these are also available.  Please call me on 022 1084 165.  Or email nzessentialmum@gmail.com.

Much Love x x