Just a Reflection

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Life can tend to blend together a bit with days blending into weeks and weeks blending into months. We face daily challenges as individuals, just as our partners face challenges of their own. When the day turns on me and the hits keep coming, I tend to notice my partner's faults more and they become glaring to me. It’s definitely noticeable, and dare I say a tad annoying at times. The day before the look of love and admiration has now slowly turned to judgement.

In the shower the next morning, lost in deep thought about ‘his’ issue. I slowly began to realize this issue is my own. I see it playing out in my own life. This challenge actually belongs to me.

He is just a reflection of me.

Wow, what a tough pill to swallow. Judging him when it’s been my issue this entire time. Or maybe we are both struggling with something and through each other find our truth.

Either way, I feel closer to him than ever before, more in love and more grateful for our partnership, our commitment and so open to seeing how fallible I am. How much more I have yet to grow and learn and change. How grateful I am to see my reflection, to start this process of surrendering, letting go, for me and for him.

Continuing to always grow together again when things seem like we may be growing apart. Simply a new perspective maybe, but it keeps me falling in love with my husband over and over again. 

Life is good.

The Spiritual Side Of Health

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For as long as I’ve been reading and healing a variety of health issues for individuals, one thing remains true, the state of health is dynamic and ever changing. However, there are typically 6 components that I often see that make up a person’s overall balance of health & wellness.

These components are: structural, physical, bio-chemical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  The first three are all things that can be treated by different types of doctors, herbalists, nutritionists, etc. The last three components to health are more spiritual in nature.

When you fall, get cut and your hand bleeds, it may in fact need stitches, but, did you ever think about the reason why it happened in the first place? A clumsy slip of the heel, perhaps, a message from your spirit, certainly possible.

I often encounter life transitions and changes occurring in my clients through injuries and illness. For example, it’s time for you to move out of the city, you know it, but something is holding you back. Signs continue to come, now you really know it, yet you remain. Suddenly, walking home from work a biker runs into you causing a concussion, or you fall in the street needing stiches. When your inner voice is there and you don’t respond, your intuition is calling and you ignore it, something happens to make you listen. A move you have to make, that book you have to start, the family you need to create, the self-love you need to develop, the pause you have to take in your life to find enjoyment, the list goes on.  

Listen to your injuries, listen to your illness, your disease, your weakness. They hold a story that can unlock emotional and mental blocks, anguish, invalidation, pain and suffering. We are all dynamic beings and in order to manage health we need to honor the entirety of us.

Calling All Females

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As we go through different phases and milestones in our lives, the relationships with our lady friends change along with us. Some of these changes are for the best, some of them bittersweet and some don’t go down with the eloquence they probably deserve. Why are female relationships such a mystery? You would think by 41 years old I would completely understand the nature of these powerful yet mysterious relationships. Once you become a mom, these relationships can get taken to an even more uncomfortable place. You find a new girlfriend that’s amazing, you bond with her in every way, but your husbands don’t get along, or your children don’t like playing with each other. You still have strong relationships from high school or college but your besties don’t live close or they are so busy with their own families to connect on the regular. You’re subjected to hanging twice a year and its usually centered around some family event like a birthday party.

I just want to say it sucks. I wish it could be easier. I’ve been lucky to bond with some pretty amazing, lifelong girlfriends, but I wish it could be more, I wish I could have even more girlfriends, laughing around me, there for me to call when life isn’t going my way, giving me helpful advice when my child doesn’t adjust to school or when she has croup for the first time. Things only really women know and understand.

To all my girlfriends, I miss you. Thank you for helping me expand my business and supporting me through all the changes I've made to myself and my life.

To all the women I have yet to meet. Go easy on me. I have a genuine need to connect with you and would love to get to know you, be there for you, in a way only a woman can be. I want to experience your joys and be there for you when you question yourself or in need of a friend. I want more girlfriends that add value to my life and vice versa. Ones that are open to deep discussions and wine by the fire minus our mates. Because isn’t that really what life is about?

Battling my Perfectionism with Movement

I’ve been thinking about these two words all week. I just hit a new growth period in my life and fighting with my perfectionism is an understatement. This isn’t any old fight, this is an all-out battle. While I know I’m still not coming to the absolute end of this very long battle, I do know that my perfectionism is painfully obvious to me now every day. So why can’t I finally let this go? What am I holding on to? Is it possible to still hold my life together if I’m not doing it under some strange guise of being perfect? I don’t know. I’m not pretending to know.

I do know this - movement helps.

“We see in order to move; we move in order to see.” 
― William Gibson

Movement has been my go-to.

I can’t find the perfect outfit, I find one good enough and go.

I can’t write the perfect article, I post it anyway and begin a new piece.

I can’t find the perfect words for my husband, I just kiss him and walk away.

I start to dwell on something I said or did to someone that may have been the wrong thing to say or do, I forgive myself and I breath and I move on.

Movement has been the key to get me unstuck from this pattern of perfectionism. It doesn’t mean I don’t care. It just means that sometimes you’re willing to settle for a B in place of being nice to yourself. Not always, but sometimes. What I didn’t expect from all this movement is this jolt of creativity it’s provided me. It’s made me a bit less critical, a bit more flexible. More movement, more permission, more space to be me. The true me. It feels good. Some would even say I now have better flow!

Breastfeeding Uncovered

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Dear Lady Friends,

I’m going to give it to you straight. After 9 months of caring for a baby, and going through hours of delivering your baby, you will get the magical prize of having to breastfeed.
 Yes, breastfeed. Oh didn’t they tell you about it? I’m sure they mentioned it to you at some point. I mean you know about it generally speaking.

Well, my question is…

Why the hell doesn’t anyone tell you how damn hard breastfeeding is? And for the love of god, why doesn’t anyone prepare you?
We have Lamaze classes, so where the hell are my breastfeeding warnings, my breastfeeding best practices, and my breastfeeding videos!?

So ladies — here is your official warning. Don’t say I didn’t tell it to you straight. It sucks, literally. And not only does it suck, it hurts, its mentally and physically draining and it will be one of the very hardest things you’ll ever do in your life.
You think doing your residency was hard? Think again. You think running a marathon is hard? Think again bitches. The stamina needed for the first few weeks of breastfeeding is REAL.

It will rock Your World. If someone says it was easy. Immediately dismiss them. Either this is a lie or they are some type of superhuman.

The good news is that if you can make it past the first month, you are pretty much home free. I’m not saying you won’t experience possible complications, a clogged duct here and there, sore nipples, wet spots on your shirt at work, having to leave a meeting because your baby relies on you for food and if you lost your milk stash to a power outage, you my friend are especially screwed. But, mostly you are in a good groove and you’ll be able to overcome these continuous challenges!

If you plan on breastfeeding from the beginning, a few words of wisdom from this mama:
Have the hospital perform skin on skin for you at birth, which is the act of setting the baby right on your chest after delivery, forgoing the bath. The smell from the delivery will awaken an instinct, and your baby is more likely to search for your nipple and begin the breastfeeding process.

Don’t give up!
Hire a post-Douala to come to your house as soon as you get back from the hospital and help you breastfeed.

Don’t give up!
Don’t use a pump until week 3

If you’re still not getting it, hire that Douala to come back another day and help you. Have her give you recommendations and best practices on pumping.

Don’t give up!
Express milk right into a bottle (glass bottles are best mamas) and give it immediately to the baby for the first time. Do this three more times if you want the baby to take a bottle easily.

Go dairy free if your baby is experiencing any gas, re-flux or colic. Of course tell your doctor and collaborate on a solution.
Watch the wonder you created while you breastfeed your baby. Her eyes, his face, this moment…
If you’re a traveling mom, do your research. I lost my milk on a 3 day trip across the country.

I’ve also pumped on an airplane right in my seat, in a shower of an airport lounge, and in a closet at work 5 days a week. We need to make this easier on women, people!

If you can’t keep up with the feeds, my advice is to cut out the late morning, afternoon, and late evening feeds (one by one) and just concentrate on the night and morning feeds. Build your milk with these two feeds and it will allow you to breastfeed for longer period without losing your milk altogether.

You’ll know when it’s time to stop.
Wean slowly. It will make an impact on the health of your breasts as well as the baby.
There are so many wonderful benefits to breastfeeding if you can do it. The longer you go, the more benefits the two of you get to experience!

If you have to go through the formula route, I suggest making your own or finding an European brand formula. America formulas are nasty. Check it out for yourself!

Good speed to you!

It's More Than Just Deja Vu....

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Yesterday I was in the car driving almost all day. I had this nagging feeling that I would be stopped by a cop. Nagging me during my morning drive on the turnpike to my meeting, and nagging me again on my drive home. Trying to tune into my inner voice, I attempted to figure out when exactly when this incident would occur. Just be aware — be on guard, it will happen was what the voice I heard said back. 5 miles from home, my shoulders were relaxed, I loosened up, turned the music louder… I thought I was in the clear and actually laughed off my instinct as paranoia. Not paying attention, coming off an exit, I rode the shoulder a bit before merging into the lane; I looked up and saw a cop.

He pulled me over.

How many times do you hear that nagging voice telling you don’t go out tonight and you go, and the night is horrible? Only to tell yourself later, what a waste of time, I knew it — I knew it! Or your inner voice telling you; I’d really prefer to do something else, and you listen to it, on a whim, and you suddenly feel free. Why can’t we access this all the time? Well, the good news is — we can.

Intuition is our 6th sense and it’s our birthright. I used to shrug it off as paranoia, but now I understand it’s actually very normal, necessary, and totally life changing. The more you listen, the better you get at deciphering your true voice. It’s kind of like exercising a muscle. It’s also something you need to experience to believe, so start with small stuff and see how it transforms your life over time.

However, once you experience it in a major way — you’re hooked. And the next question becomes, why didn’t someone write a manual for this? Why wasn’t this something I was taught when I was young so I could have mastered this by now? It drives you toward building the courage to listen to yourself, finding your own truth and solidifying your individuality. All those important things that would have been nice to learn early in life.

My biggest question is why don’t we embrace this as a significant tool in our tool box as mothers? We are all capable of being a little bit psychic and tapping into our intuition; when we become mothers, this only gets stronger. When your baby is in your belly for 10 months, you talk to he/she, play it music, tell stories and laugh together. So why stop when your little one is earthside?

A few things to do on a regular basis to strengthen your intuition with your child as well as your connection:
 Before going to bed, think about your child, envision them being happy and protected
 When at work, stop for a few mins while you are alone and think about your child, say a big hello and send love their way
 Spend uninterrupted time with your child, even for 10 mins. Listen to them, ask them questions, scan their emotions, verbal questions and watch their body language. You are looking for a sign to prove that all is right and well with them. If something comes up that seems off, ask them about it.

Send them protection and love through your hugs and kisses.

Have a family routine you do with them every day, 2 mins of deep breathing, looking in the mirror doing mantras, exercising, something special and something to build their self-esteem.

Happy parenting!

My Guilt Free New Year's Resolution

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I get it. You have a baby now and it’s daunting. You are responsible for everything with this tiny human. Your husband is in it with you. It’s true, there was that time when she threw up on herself in bed and he slept right through it. Yes, overall he does an amazing job. But you’re really the one. The default parent. You have that deep connection forged by generations of being human, old as hell instincts and motherhood that is thrust upon you. You must listen to its call!

Yes, as mothers we do have deep instincts. But do we have to automatically attach guilt and worry to our plight? Isn’t it bad enough we get all the tough jobs. Carrying, feeding and giving birth to the baby. Do we really need to add worrying to the list as well? Since the day I found out I was pregnant, I’ve gone from living in a bubble (a beautiful one I might add) to wrought with constant responsibility and worry. Does that sound like fun to you? It’s not! I doubt my husband and my daughter find it fun either. They tell me not to worry all the time. Why don’t I listen?

So when January 2016 rolled around I decided to make my New Year’s resolution about committing to release this added guilt and worry. Let’s just say it didn’t go very well at first. It actually didn’t go well for a long time. I’m the first to admit, this resolution was really, really HARD. Losing 10 pounds would have been easier.

In the end, my biggest realization was understanding that kids vibe of you. When I worry, she worries. When I feel guilt it affects her too. I’m anxious, she’s anxious. I’m no fun, she can’t feel good either. https://sg.theasianparent.com/your-emotions-affect-your-babys-mood/. Kids are just a mirror of you at a basic level. I finally got this concept and it catapulted me in the right direction toward fulfilling my New Year’s resolution.

If you haven’t made your resolution yet for 2017, try this one on for size. Just to help out, I’ve shared my recovery steps with you below. Good luck and God Speed!

#1 Make sure you’re ready! Are you ready to release the guilt? I’m talking about generations upon generations of guilt here. As sick as it is, guilt and worry can be somewhat comforting. So you need to be ready, you need to want it so bad you can taste it. If not, it simply won’t work.

#2 Awareness. Start noticing that your child is a reflection of you. If you fear, so will they. If you worry, so will they. If you feel guilty, you are validating this emotion for them. Take the time to notice your behavior toward them and their reaction. This will take time but eventually you’ll see the truth right in front of you. It becomes pointless to hold on to these emotions when they are not only hurting you but also your child.

#3 Look at the big picture! Do you love your kid? Do you treat your kid with respect? That’s pretty much enough to make them into a stellar human being. Everything else is just gravy.

#4 Positive thinking. Keep reminding yourself that 99% of the time it’s usually alright. Every time your kid gets sick or they hurt themselves, it usually turns out alright. Try not to worry unless there is something to really worry about.

#5 Adopt the fender bender theory. I heard this theory from a friend but it applies so nicely here. You hope your child’s first accident is a fender bender so they can feel the power of the car and understand the gravity of a real accident; hopefully this will cause them to avoid a major accident at all costs. This applies to falling and making mistakes.

#6 Release. This meditation exercise works for me now like magic. While you are feeling extreme guilt, worry or anxiety; sit down. Breath in and out a few times and scan your body (try to locate) where these dark emotions are sitting. Imagine draining the black energy of these emotions out and filling up the empty space with love and faith.

Overall I’ve noticed, the less I stress about my daughter, the healthier and happier she is. It all seems so simple now.

Happy resolution making!