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Thursday, 22 January 2015

How to help your anxious child….and yourself

1. Look at your anxieties, is your child copying you?
Be honest (not guilty) with yourself. We often project our own fears and anxieties. Maybe you need to be kind enough to yourself to work on these patterns within yourself.

2. Is there too much pressure on your child to perform? 
So many school children are being tested on their performance, it is unnatural to be so overly tested and compared. Social media (including TV) also encourages this. Begin by allowing your child to be themselves, and loving what is (not just another brick in the wall). 

3. Are you asking your child to be the adult, rather than the child?
Often we are asking our children to be older than they are. Watch how many times you put the responsibility on to your child by asking them what they want, rather than being the adult and making decisions for them….even in the case of what shall we have for supper. This can be a heavy responsibility to be making the right choice, for the child. 

4. Find ways to support your child, through play, remedial stories, Homoeopathy, HK and other body work to ease their inner tensions (and our own).

5. Realise that anxiety is normal, and this is part of your child learning to cope with life, we have to learn to cope with worry, boredom, fear, anxiety, depression as well as joy, unconditional love,  friendships, excitement and happiness. 

Monday, 11 November 2013

Are we missing something in our lives?

 How much time do you spend at your computer/TV? How much time to you give to social networking or gaming? How often do you look at your mobile phone to check if you have received a message? Do you feel you ‘must’ have that new mobile phone? Are you addicted to the screens in your life?

Addiction means you cannot do without it, it means you want more, it means you cannot stop yourself, in fact, your will is gone.

More than this how do we help our children, teenagers and young adults negotiate this new, seductive temptress who has swept into our lives in the guise of technology?

TV is great it keeps the kids quiet, helps them learn and we can just tune in, turn off after a stressful day. TV has been shown to dumb down children, lessen their creative nature and make them accustom to violence in many different forms. Did you know that children’s programmes could have up to 20 violent incidences an hour? It is interesting that our children (and ourselves) are being programmed through programmes. Are we missing something in our lives?

Computers have been heralded as the ‘must have’ PA, a world wide web connector, communicate with anyone, anywhere, the study companion, an incredible learning tool but what of going to a library and searching for books, what of the completely soul enriching moment that a child (or an adult) watches as a seed grows, from being watered and nurtured. Verses the 2D, uninspiring, comic like, computer-generated seed ‘growing’. Are we missing something in our lives?

Social networking makes us feel important and heard. We can be the most funny and the most intelligent person we know. How enthralling is that? How can you not want more? For a child to navigate this when their will is still developing is difficult, hey, for adults if is extremely hard to begin to even look at this as an issue. Children are often exposed to age inappropriate images and information on social networks and incidences of bullying are on the increase. This can lead to great anxiety and confusion for the child. Are we missing something in our lives?

What happens to you when you play a computer game? Total absorption, nothing else matters…’just one more level, got to get a better score’…. Your fight or flight response is turned on, even though you do not move, well your eyes and fingers at most, your body begins to react to the stimulus of the game. Violent games…well it is no wonder children are restless and aggressive when they have turned of the screen. Are we missing something in our lives?

Can you leave your mobile phone behind? Can you even find the off button? You are never alone with your mobile phone and neither can you be bored, what with all the games and Internet access to boot. Not only should we think about the above information in relation to mobile phones but also the numerous studies regarding the potential health risks of using a mobile phone: some say there is no harm others that there is much harm. The balance here is there probably is some harm. Suddenly a mobile phone is not only a communication tool but also an accessory, you must have the ‘right’ one, of course. Are we missing something in our lives?

Well yes I think we are all missing something in our lives: be it deep connections, a feeling of being seen, heard, valued, being loved, listened to, understood, supported, relieved of boredom, loneliness, anxiety the list goes on and on. We as adults and parents have to find our own inner resources to cope with our own addictions, even begin see them as addictions: we need to find our own will. In that moment we can help our children and others with this not-yet-known-how-much-it-affects-us technological world. We have to start with ourselves and by going deeply into our own relationships with this world and why we have become addicts ourselves.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Boy to man......cutting the apron strings ceremony.

There is nothing like a good dose of family and friends (with you or in spirit).

Last week we met to be witness to my eldest son's ceremony: cutting the aprons strings. The women stood in a half circle and the men in another half circle and the circle was held together by my sons bestest male and female friends.

My son and I entered into the female half of the circle and these are some of the words I spoke:

The half circle of women includes grandmothers, aunties and any other significant women in my son's life. We represent the mothers house: the feminine, the early nurture and the wisdom to know when we, as mothers, must let our children go.
The half circle of men, again, includes the grandfathers, uncles and any other significant men in my son's life. They represent the fathers house: the masculine, protection, strength and initiation into the fathers house: manhood.
Between the two circles stand two important friends in my son's life, they bring the two halves together, and they hold between them the ribbons, these are symbolically the aprons strings, when he cuts these he will be handed over to the fathers house.

When I handed him the scissors I told him that the door to my house and heart are always open. He cut through and went to the fathers house, where the men gathered him up and carried him round to the back of the house whilst the women went into the house to prepare the feast and hold me in the ceremonial space.

I had asked the men to please give my son a gift of something that they would like to tell a boy going into manhood. This male space was sacred and private, I do not know what was said.

When we where ready my son came to the front door and knocked and I let him in and the feasting commenced.

Monday, 1 July 2013


Wake up, drink water, get the kids up, breakfast, make lunch boxes, school run, work, lunch, wash up, work, collect from school, homework, supper, wash up, bedtime, sleep. Wake up, drink water, get the kids up, breakfast, make lunch boxes, school run, work, lunch, wash up, work, collect from school, homework, supper, wash up, bedtime, sleep...........

Speaking with a friend yesterday about the above and the seemingly endlessness of chores and the mundane and I realised that I am (mostly) fine with the mundane. I have been doing it for so long that actually it is a meditation for me. Of course there are times I could do with out it, but I find the mundane grounding and soothing, it helps me stay in the present and enjoy every part of my life.

As Syd Banks says: you are only ever 1 new thought away from a completely different experience of being alive.

Or Zen: before enlightenment chop wood, draw water after enlightenment chop wood, draw water.

So enjoy your holidays and look forward to the mundane of life's routines.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Cutting the apron strings.

As a divorcee and (one time) single mother I have had to get used to letting go of my boys, it has not been easy: the toing and froing between houses, the shared holidays and the emotional upsets dropping them off or collecting them.

My boys are now 15 and 13 years respectfully, and I am seeing how I am having to let go of them in a whole different way, I have to let go of them as a woman and mother. I was their first love, they have to move away from that and I have to also. My eldest and I are in an understanding that our relationship is changing. He is turning into a man. He and I have to cut the apron strings.

I have decided to have a ceremony, to honour my son and being a mum. I am not big on being the center of attention (really) and I have been gifted a simple ceremony (thank you Leesa Daymond). I plan to do this in the near future. The ceremony will allow me to hand him over, if you like, to the men. I will always be here for him, my heart and door always open, but I must let him go, he is no longer my little boy, he is (very nearly) a man.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Soundbite: ARNICA

This is one of the first remedies people use and find effective in Homoeopathy.  It is used for bumps, bangs, shock and bruising. When someone says go away I am fine, after an accident, that is shock and Arnica could be the first remedy you use. Their skin could also be cold and clammy from the shock. I use Arnica for almost any accident, it helps reduce swelling and it gives pain relief and is great after operations.
Those egg shaped bruises on the forehead? Arnica.
Do not put onto open skin (Arnica cream, oil), as it is poisonous. Give Arnica internally is the skin is broken.
I also use it if for someone doing strenuous exercise i.e. a marathon, bike race etc. I give it before and afterwards; it will help reduce physical fatigue and shock to the body.   
I also recommend it in labour (200 potency) to be taken hourly during the labour.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Quality time

Years ago I noticed that I would be 'running' on the spot constantly. There was food to cook, the house to clean, the washing to be done, the kids need attention, I had to work, the dog needed walking, the bills had to be paid, the phone ringing, the shopping to be done, I wanted some time, the garden needed weeding....ahhhhh the list goes on and on....(and this was before Facebook ;)!  

I would sit with my kids, try,and play with them but not really enjoy it as my mind was on all the above. I realised that I was not really present with my children, my family, as I was thinking about the future and not focusing on the present. I gave them time, not quality time, not my undivided attention time.

Remember this?

The past is history
The future is a mystery
This moment is a gift....that's is why it is called the present. (Bill Keane)

I began to realise that the food got cooked, with love, the house was, sort of, clean, the washing got done, I worked, the dog had walks, the bills where paid, the phone rang (now we ignore it when we are eating together or doing something that is important not to disturb), the shopping happens, I get time and it is often in the garden! I could enjoy my family, at any given moment and I could look through my children's eyes at their view of the world and that is a gift. My youngest son, when he regales a story, his eyes get bigger and bigger, it is so warming to my heart to really listen and really look at him. That is quality time, that moment when you are present, in the moment, with your family and your loved ones and it is timeless.