Strategic Inspired Healing

Empowering Transformations for Healthier Homes and Families


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Something Stinks: Getting to the Root Cause

cropped-sshhlogoThinking about how so many of us get stuck looking at the surface, and forget to go deeper and heal the underlying issues, made me think of a classic Healthy Homes  question.

When something stinks: You need to get to the root cause.

The best way to keep a healthy home is to eliminate the problem at the source. It is very similar to how you keep your body healthy.

When you are renovating and investing a lot of time and money, that is a great time to do your research and make a safer and healthier choice for your family.

Let me show you how to have a healthier home and family, for less money.

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Recently, someone asked what to do about their old wall-to-wall carpeting that was making them sick from pet dander and dust mites since they could not afford to refinish the floors underneath. They were putting off removing the carpets since they had gotten a higher than expected price per/square foot estimate for professionals refinishing the wood floors and it didn’t fit into their budget.

So they were looking at these two options.

  1. Wait and spend another winter inside with the carpeting that exacerbated their allergies and asthma.
  2. Replace the old carpeting with inexpensive new carpeting. Give the carpets a really thorough shampoo with dust mite cleaners.

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But each of those options comes with its own risks that may actually outweigh the rewards and end up costing them even more money or causing even more health problems in the long-run.

I propose some alternative solutions that fit in their current budget and will get them feeling better fast.

  1. Remove the old carpeting now and see what you are really dealing with underneath. Give the floors a thorough cleaning. (I know someone who only had plywood subfloors underneath, but living with that for a season was better than breathing the toxins from the old disintegrating carpet and the years of allergens that had accumulated underneath.)
  2. Purchase higher quality area rugs. Removing the installation cost adds the money back into your budget and provides the opportunity to purchase rugs made with healthier fibers that won’t just repeat the problem. Check out carpets/rugs made from natural fibers. Wool carpets actually clean your air, while insulating from the cold. This also makes it easier to replace in the future. But if you buy better quality, it should last longer.
  3. If you need to surface treat the carpet, try these healthy ways to clean your carpet without dangerous chemicals. Even with regular cleaning though, every time that I have ripped out carpeting, I’ve found layers of debris underneath that were inaccessible by vacuum or shampoo.

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One day I got into my minivan and it smelled like something was rotting in there. I know most people would just reach for an air freshener to get rid of the smell. But again, that comes with so many health implications from adding those chemicals to your air, and it doesn’t eliminate the problem. So, the first thing that I had to do was look in every nook and cranny of the van to see where they had left food. It actually ended up being a bottle of juice tucked into the pocket on the back of my seat and it was so far gone that it was almost ready to explode. So I am glad that I don’t use a lot of chemicals in my home and my nose is still sensitive enough to smell it starting to go bad, because I can imagine how hard that would be to clean if it had exploded all over the upholstery!

So when you smell something rotten or moldy in your house, you need to eliminate the source of the problem. Just get rid of whatever is rotting or clean the mold. But then, you need to find out why it is there.

If it is your kids leaving snacks in strange places, then that is one thing. But if you have mold in your house, make sure that you find where there is unwanted moisture, and find ways to fix it at the root of the problem.

Don’t know where to start? Call me for a Healthy Home Consultation and I’ll start by helping you to find the source. Then, I’ll help with weighing your options, testing for what is the best solution for you, and preparing an action plan that fits in your budget.

For a small consultation fee, I can show you how to save thousands in long-term costs.

Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to just spray something to cover it up. Remove the problem, whether it is your old carpet or something gross.

Bad smells are just like our physical symptoms. Symptoms are simply messages from our body that something needs attention.

If you or your kids have physical symptoms that don’t seem to go away (or keep repeating seasonally) and you want to find the root cause and specifically target your strategy on how to start feeling better in less time, and for less money, call me to set up a free 15 minute consultation and to schedule your Healthy Home Consultation or Private Healing Session.

And make sure to check my latest promotions and ask about package pricing.

michelle2About Michelle

 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website or provided through our programs and/or services is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice from your physician, midwife, or other health care or mental health professional.

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Quick and Easy Tools for Tough Days

cropped-sshhlogoWhether it is a tough day at school, or a tough day for your family, or the nation, sometimes when we are having a hard time it is even harder to remember our tools. So here are a few that I am remembering today…

If you are grieving and having trouble focusing and being present, try some of these quick and easy techniques to ground yourself during tough times. labrynth

  • Connect to the ground: go for a walk on the earth, barefoot if possible. Maybe walk a labyrinth to calm and center yourself. This is fun to do with kids.

If you are really busy just try to get a few minutes of fresh air and sunshine,  you can always stop and look up at the clouds for a bit or visit a favorite tree.

  • Remember the Essentials: If you have them, use oils that are grounding like patchouli and vetiver. I just remember to grab ones that smell Earthy. You can also use lavender and frankincense which are good for grieving. I also like to remember that you can use citrus to calm down and lower your blood pressure. You can always just peel an orange… the oils kind of spray in your face while you peel it. Then you can eat the orange too. Even better, eat it while taking a bubble bath with some lavender. I also made myself a cup of Tension Tamer tea.

 

  • Don’t forget to Eat: I like to eat grounding foods, again, choose things that taste earthy like mushrooms or comfort foods. Extra protein can help get your energy up. (I am making some mushrooms and cream sauce over noodles for dinner.) Macaroni and Cheese or chicken soup for the soul or whatever makes you feel better is always a good choice on hard days.Make your kids’ favorite. Or let someone else cook. Or have breakfast for dinner. Just don’t forget to eat.

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  • Make something beautiful: Create something. Just scribble or color or make something with playdoh with your kids. Get out the sidewalk chalk and make your world a little more colorful.  Makes cards and send them to your friends. Do something that makes you smile.

 

  • Put your own mask on first: As moms we need to remember to “put our own oxygen mask on first” and do our self care so that we are calm and grounded and then able to care for others. When you are rested and feeling more focused, then you can get back to taking care of everyone else.

 

  • Prayer and Intention: While doing all of the rest of the things on this list or whatever ideas work for you, remember to do them with intention. Put your love and prayers into every action. Prayer is powerful. Your thoughts are powerful. If we all send more love out into the world then we will be better able to take care of each other on these tough days. Don’t add to the negativity, but instead focus on where you can take positive actions and where you can do more good in the world.

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If you need help finding ways to get started, contact me to schedule your private healing session of Health Family Consultation.

 

 

 

 


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Handy Tools for Back to School Stress

first day of schoolcropped-sshhlogo.pngWith Back to School season we will have plenty of ways to practice our Stress Management Tools. There are big stresses like taking tests or giving presentations and everyday stress like catching the school bus or running to get to class before the bell. The trick is to let the body calm back down after it is done with the running or performing or heightened state of alertness that we need in the moment.

We often think of trauma as something huge and catastrophic and stress as something we deal with on a regular day. The real difference though, is that a trauma can be any stressful situation that goes unresolved. So learning how to manage stress is an important tool that we can learn for ourselves and then practice with our kids.

Our bodies are amazing and we can do some pretty cool things when we call on that stress-response (like that mom who pulled the car off of her baby), but when we stay in that elevated state of stress-response for too long, then it becomes traumatic.

Sometimes too much happens at once and then we need to seek help to resolve the trauma and release it. It is best on those kind of days to seek help early and often.

But today we’ll talk more about some quick and easy things to try at home.

I recently completed my Certified Family Trauma Professional training program and it was a great way to add to my toolbox of techniques that I can use with my clients and their families (and my kids). One of the main messages in the training was to honor the ways in which families have already learned to cope with stress and trauma and then help them develop strategies to try new tools that they might like even better.

 

What are Triggers?

Everyone gets triggered by something. I feel like this word is getting a little bit too much use by the kids these days and we can lose sight of how important it can be when someone has a traumatic memory triggered.

A “trigger” just refers to something totally normal that is happening in the present that takes on a much larger meaning and can make you have a really strong reaction.

  • Do spiders make your skin crawl?
  • Are you afraid of heights?
  • Do you hate being called on in class?
  • Are you afraid of getting hit with the baseball so you avoid gym class?

Sometimes we remember what happened and we know why we are triggered. One night, we spun our car across the highway in a really bad rain storm and now when it is raining really hard I get a little more nervous driving. If the car hydroplanes I can go into a full panic. I might be in a bad mood all night if I don’t stop and bring myself back into the present. Sometimes we are triggered by something and we don’t have a memory to help us to make sense of why it bothers us so much.

Sometimes the stories are so many generations old and the trigger was storied in our DNA and we have no memory of why it bothers us so much.

In those moments though, we need ways to calm down and bring ourselves back into the present.

Try these Three Steps to get started:

First, start keeping a list of the things that bother you:

What are some things that trigger you? Maybe you get sweaty palms or start to feel nervous when you are late for an appointment or when you have to fill out paperwork. Many people get this way if they feel singled-out or have to speak in front of a group. Keep a journal and write down what types of things bother you.

Second, start making an inventory of things that help:

What works for you when you need to calm down?

Do you like walking it off? Do you take a few deep breaths and count to ten.

If you start to keep an inventory of ones that you like you can practice it with small stressful moments and then be really good at it when the bigger stressful moments hit you.

And, as moms, the more we practice, the more we can model it for our kids so they learn to calm themselves down when stressful things happen in their life.

Third, practice some new techniques and model them for your kids:

Try this handy tool:

Try this Story Hand technique when you are stressed about going somewhere new or facing something that seems too big to try.

You touch each of your five fingers one at a time and name something about the thing you are doing. If the big concert is stressing out your kid, try practicing:

  1. Hold their pinky and talk about how they love to sing.
  2. Hold their ring finger and remind them that their whole class is doing it together.
  3. Hold their middle finger and tell them to look at their teacher who will be smiling because they are so proud.
  4. Hold their pointer finger and teach them to sing “Watermelon” in case they forget the words.
  5. Hold their thumb and tell them you love them and you are always proud of them and that you will get ice cream after!
  6. Use this moment to hold their hand and connect. You can fold all the fingers in to the palm and squeeze.

Improvise as needed and depending on the kid’s personality and age. They can hold their own hand and make up their own reminders. They can wrap all the fingers of one hand around the finger that they are on and hold. When they are done with the fingers, press the thumb of one hand into the palm of the other and hold for a few seconds.  

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Grounding Techniques to Stay Present:

You can use this technique to help them ground if they are anxious and you need to bring them back to the present moment. Teach them this tool when they are young and they can easily use it in school.

  • Look around and practice saying 5 things that you notice right now. Count on your 5 fingers.
  • Tell me something that you see, hear, feel, smell and taste.
  • If there is time name 5 things that you see, 4 that you hear, 3 that you feel, 2 that you smell and 1 that you taste.
  • Another variation is to tell me a color that you see, a shape that you see etc. This works well on car trips as well.

You can use these techniques when they are a little bit nervous about something new and then they learn how to calm down when they are really anxious about something big.

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Some added benefits of these simple hand techniques:

  • Massaging the hands is a technique for reducing stress. Start to pay attention and you will probably notice that you do your own forms of self-massage of your hands and fingers. Watch your kids, they probably try this intuitively. Some kids also rub their ears to calm down. Trust your kids and learn what works for them. Then you can remind them of those tools in those really stressful moments.

 

  • There are pressure points in the hands that reduce stress. They can reduce feelings of nausea and headaches. You can research more for specifics, and ask a practitioner for more support and to treat specific symptoms. But it is fun to explore how you already use this inner wisdom to start to feel better in your stressful moments.

(Now you know why people wear those funny bracelets when they go on boats! Pressing on that acupressure point on the wrist is known to calm nausea.)

Stretching the hands and wrists also helps prevent carpal tunnel if they’ve spent too long writing their homework assignments.

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Have fun trying some new techniques and enjoy the return to routines. We will be back to concert and graduation season before we know it.

Contact me if you want help with deciding which tools might be best for you and your family.

Mention BACKTOSCHOOL and ask about my promotional rate for private consultations.


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Support for the New Year, New Beginnings, New Babies, New YOU.

New Year

Joelle Image

SSHHlogoAre you fresh off of your New Year’s Resolutions and looking for support that will help you to reach your goals? 

Are you ready for a new start, frustrated by feeling stuck, sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, but at the same time overwhelmed by the amount of advice and articles and information out there?

Then the Healing 101 class is the perfect place to start your healing journey. Learn about some things that you can try and practice simple techniques that you can add into your own routine and apply from the comfort of your own home. 

New Beginnings

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Last year I wrote about how I have been able to see so many changes in myself, so many pieces of myself that I didn’t even know were there. And I realize that this is why we are so scared to ask for healing. We are scared of what we will find if we begin to peel back that layer. Who would we be without our symptoms? If we change our habits and behaviors, even though it is to become healthier and happier, we wonder who we will become. If we change ourselves, how will all of our relationships shift as a result? What if we don’t like the person underneath? It can be hard to make those changes, and we can find ourselves resisting for so many reasons even though we may really want to feel better.

Read the full Post Here

If you want support on your healing journey, book a free 15 minute consultation to talk about the best way to get started.

Ready to take a step towards your new beginning? Book a private session.

New Babies

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As a mom to four energetic young kids, I know that mothering is beyond a full time job, and even when we try our best, we often feel like it is not enough. Especially if we are worrying about our baby’s health. In this time when everyone is so quickly and easily connected, we often don’t feel deeply connected and supported in the moment.  When there is so much information at our fingertips, we find ourselves sorting through too many facts and never enough answers.

When you are first home with a new baby you need to relearn how to do every little thing, like how to pick things up with your feet because your hands are full, and you have to pack like you are going on a week-long trip when you go to sit down to nurse because you might never be able to get out of that chair again.

And all too soon they get older, and the daily challenges seem to get physically easier, but more emotionally complicated. But one thing that never changes is when your kid has some weird symptom, you start to worry. I know when I was a new mom I had so many questions, but I didn’t want to bother anybody if it was nothing. But how do you know if it is nothing? So you worry.

Read the Full Post Here

Stress can be a very powerful motivator to get things done, and can help us to accomplish amazing physical feats, but if we are experiencing stress and do not feel like we are in control, or have feelings of helplessness or of not feeling heard or protected, then it can become trauma.

Trauma can make us feel unsafe in our environment or in our bodies. Our body manifests physical symptoms to let us know that there is trauma that still needs to be released. Many aspects of birth (going into the unknown, the physical challenges, the medical environment especially in emergencies) are inherently more likely to put you at risk for stress and trauma.

Birth is a spiritual as well as a physical opening and this can trigger old emotional wounds and old memories can surface. Birth and parenting a newborn can also reveal inter-generational family patterns that need to be healed. If you are experiencing nightmares, flashbacks or intrusive thoughts please reach out for help.

Talking about infant and childhood trauma is not to make us parents feel even more guilt, but to raise awareness of why our kids may be struggling with physical or behavioral/emotional challenges, so that we can help them to start to feel better. Infant and Childhood Trauma is more common than is acknowledged. And most often it is due to things that are outside of our control as parents, and are often just a fact of our culture and our environment. But there are things that we can do to reduce their exposure and minimize the effects. If we pay attention to the cues that our babies are giving us, then we can help them to heal quickly. Read the Full Post Here

Trauma can be released from the body so that you have a chance to regain your emotional and physical health and create a better bond with your baby.

Home Visits work well in the weeks/months after giving birth, but I’m also available to help you to heal from previous births or clear any childhood traumas if you are currently expecting and would like to prepare for the upcoming birth. This can be through a home visit or an Empowering Transformation Session over the phone.

New YOU

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I am often asked how I get so much done every day. And although I do like multi-tasking, the trick is to do it with joy and not get burned out in the process. I balance a lot of things, but I still have plenty of time to sing with my kids, smell the roses and even to read books and watch movies!

I am also living proof that you can heal from chronic diseases, auto-immune diseases, and all of those pains that you thought you would just have to live with. For twenty years I was in pain every day, and now I am not. This dramatic change to my life is what has given me the energy to get so many things done. 

And I want to share the secret to how I did all of this with you in my new program.

I had to learn the hard way that the key is not in reading another book or finding another doctor, but in learning to see health in an entirely different way and then actually implementing the changes into my everyday life. There were a lot of barriers in my own way of thinking about the world that were keeping me from really trying these techniques.

So for me, the process took the courage to heal and to change on more levels than I ever expected. But I just couldn’t be my full self when I was in pain every day, so I needed to make some big changes in my life.

I was only able to do that for myself by working with an amazing group of women that offered me support, encouragement, and accountability.

So I have developed a new program that covers the important things that I want to share with you, but in a format that will hold you and support you while you grow into these changes.

In this Inspired Healing at Home class you will learn to take care of yourself and prevent burn out while finding your true purpose and living to your full potential.

More About Me: 

michelle twin momI have studied the Science of Health and Happiness for over twenty years (I have extensive training in the Biomedical Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Immunology, Environmental Health, Epidemiology etc.) and I have recently completed a three year mastery program with an internationally known spiritual teacher and healer. I have experience as a doula, an accredited La Leche League Leader and a mother of four (including twins), and I bring this Wisdom, Guidance, and Support, to my Healing work.

I incorporate into this the works of spiritual teachings from a variety of sources (both ancient and modern) and share with you how I have learned to incorporate this into the demands of a full and busy life with work and family.  (Read More)

When you learn to balance it all, all that busy-ness becomes a blessing instead of a burden.

science and spirituality

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website or provided through our programs and/or services is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice from your physician, midwife,  or other health care or mental health professional.


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The Behind the Scenes Work that Creates our Good Luck

SSHHlogoLet’s get this straight. I am not LUCKY to have good kids, or healthy kids, or smart kids. When I am told that I am lucky what I hear is that whoever just said that does not see or does not value all the work that it takes on my end to create these great kids. By calling it LUCK they are avoiding thinking about all of the behind the scenes choices and actions and teachings that went into creating those kids who are now, in this moment able to do something impressive like eat with a fork or say “please and thank you”. I think when we say something like “lucky” it is a way of letting ourselves off the hook. Because accountability can be heavy and exhausting.

So this word LUCK has been on my mind and it is one of my big pet peeves. I put a lot of time and effort into parenting and I make really hard choices at times when I am exhausted and out of patience and I would rather sit down at the end of a long day, or (dare I even suggest) go to sleep. But at those times when I have the least interest and certainly not the energy, I rally and I embrace the teachable moment. I help my kid to process their day and I teach them how to reflect and learn from it and if it is too big for a little kid to handle on their own I teach them how to pray about it.

Now, back to that eating with a fork moment. I was at a dinner and someone was really impressed that my kid could sit at a table and eat real food, and even use a fork! Aren’t I lucky???? Seriously? As a new mom I thought I’d teach my kids how to eat with a fork. I’d show them how, they would master it at 1 year old, and we’d move on to the next thing. Well, it turns out that it is never that easy. Even after they have mastered the physical skill, maybe they decide they don’t want to bother. Maybe they decide it’s easier to just use their hands. Maybe they decide it’s more fun to use their toes. The list goes on. And here I sit, at the dinner table years later with little reminders and tips and what all moms have mastered which is “THE LOOK”. But none of that constant attention to detail is something that I would call “luck”. But it does work in that when we are out and they are conscious of being on their best behavior, the learning is in there somewhere and they can pull it out for special occasions. And when I hear from the host of the party or the teacher at school that my kid is the one who remembered to thank them for all that they did, I get to be proud. Not lucky, but proud. That is my reward.child-eating-fork

So, in the news this week we are inundated with stories about a good kid that went bad. I can hear the ripples of fear go through the mom community. I read an article that said that this kid was good for 20 years, and then just screwed up for 20 minutes. Like it was bad luck. As if they should not be held accountable for their actions. The parents are defending them based on the fact that they look good on paper and have good grades and are good at sports. But the real question is not how they look on paper. It is about how they act when they think that nobody can see. So how do we teach our kids to be accountable, to be responsible, and to understand that their actions have consequences? The answer is that we do it every day, in a million little ways, over and over and over. We do not get breaks. We do not get days off. We do not get credit. But those of us who are doing the hard work of parenting do not need to let the news make us fearful that all of a sudden our kid will turn out to be a criminal.

I was trying to think of one example that would help us this week when the news is especially painful on this subject. So I was thinking of when my kid was little and knocked another kid over accidentally because they were so excited to get to the playground. Their first toddler response was based on fear of getting in trouble, so they said “I didn’t do it”. So, even though I really needed to go sit on the bench and nurse the baby, I stopped and worked through the whole thing with my toddler. We reviewed how they did in fact do it, but it’s okay to say “I’m sorry, it was an accident”. They do not have to be full of guilt and shame, because it was an accident. But they do need to be aware that even though it was not done on purpose, there are still consequences. They can stop what they are doing and go and offer to help the other kid get back up. They can stop and see if they are okay. They do not have to run away in fear. So in those little moments they learn to be aware and responsive and compassionate. They may also learn that it takes more time to stop and help, so next time they may run to the playground more carefully and not knock anyone over to get where they are going.

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I am hopeful that all of those little teachable moments add up over 20 years so that my kids will remember what is important in each moment, so that they never hurt someone on purpose and have to face the consequences of 20 minutes of criminal behavior. Because that is not accidental, and it is not luck. It is the product of years of modeling and teaching, whether it is from the parents or from the attitudes and values that are passed on in so many ways by what is considered acceptable in our culture. I am sickened to read news stories where, due to so many centuries of abuse and trauma in our culture, we even have to debate whether if it is okay to hurt someone and then walk away. And if one of my kids is ever caught screwing up, I hope that in that moment I will have the courage to help them to face the consequences and do what they can to make it right and not try to get them out of it.

When faced with these news stories, we often question what we can do to avoid that with our own kids. We often act out of fear that our kid will be the one victimized and we teach our kids how to stay safe, how to be careful, how to stand up to bullies. But we need to be teaching both sides. How do we teach our kids to have integrity and character and value each and every life so that they are accountable for their actions whether or not they think someone is looking? Some days it seems like an uphill battle when our culture is teaching them to look for the quick fix, the magic pill, the easy answer, the short cut. They are used to being entertained and coddled and appeased. So the answer is not an easy one, and it is not that you just have good luck or bad luck. The answer is that we parent them and teach them all the time, even when we are tired and out of patience and don’t know what the right answer is.

I would also like to take this time to remind us all that it takes a village. So if you are the other mom on the playground or you are the parent of the bully at school, please indulge us while we take some time out of our busy schedules to teach the kids how to slow down and make the right choice in each and every moment. And to end on a good note, I would like to thank all of the people in my village who do amazing work every day. I would like to thank the schools that have included Character Education. I would like to thank the coaches and the mentors who teach them to have fun and try their best and be proud of their successes, but never at the cost of bad-sportsmanship. And I want to officially give big gold stars and special awards to the parents who are trying their best each and every day.

michelle2If anything in this post upset you or you want to talk more about it, please contact me privately and I would love to follow up with you.

 


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Crying in the Kitchen Again

cropped-sshhlogo.pngAfter filling each Thermos with homemade pasta and veggies that I remembered to cook last night so that it would be ready for Hot Lunch Wednesday, I had this horrifying thought that they will want to be fed, AGAIN, Today! And then I had the same mental battle of thinking of something that I can feed them while running in between spring sports events and still get to church for the healing service tonight. So I started looking for something to throw in the crockpot. I had these stew onions staring at me from the pantry and so I started to peel.

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As I sat there crying, I was quickly reminded of why they sell onions all peeled and ready in the freezer section. I had bought them because my grandmother used to make these stewed onions that were so good and these were ‘buy a bag, get a bag free’. So here I was, stuck peeling them and wondering how long it could possibly take!  I could have just peeled one giant onion and chopped it up. But then I reminded myself that peeling veggies is a great opportunity for some mindfulness meditation. So I tried to focus on the task at hand and send some love to my family through this home cooked meal.

If you are like me and have trouble shutting off your thoughts, then this process can be more of a reflection than a meditation, but you still need to be present and not rushed when using knives and hot pans. As I peeled back the top layer of the onion, I was thinking of the way in which we peel back the layers as we heal. I was remembering all the healing that I have done since becoming a mom and wanting to break some of these intergenerational family patterns for my kids. And I was thinking about the healing service tonight. I was thinking about how that huge piece of healing that I received last Fall peeled back a layer so that I could then see what was underneath and all the healing that I’ve done since then.

I was remembering how some people came to the service, but then did not ask to be healed. Some people even went up to receive healing, but then shook it off because they did not feel worthy to receive it. I remember how hard it was for me to ask for the healing and to let it work through me. There were so many people who were more sick, in more pain, or more deserving. It was kind of scary to go up in front of everyone and let them see my vulnerability. I even had to force myself to stay still and let it happen even though it took longer than I thought and I was self-conscious.

Since last Fall I have been able to see so many changes in myself, so many pieces of myself that I didn’t even know were there. And I realize that this is why we are so scared to ask for healing. We are scared of what we will find if we peel back that layer. Who would we be without our symptoms? If we change our habits and behaviors, even though it is to become healthier and happier, we wonder who we will become. If we change ourselves, how will all of our relationships shift as a result? What if we don’t like the person underneath? It can be hard to make those changes, and we can find ourselves resisting for so many reasons even though we may really want to feel better. This is why I am so thankful to have people in my life who love and support me. Friends and mentors and teachers who want the best for me, even if it means that I will no longer need them in the same way.

And that brings me back to parenting. We want what is best for our kids. We pack them healthy lunches that will help them to grow big and strong. We teach them how to navigate the world. And we teach them how to do the hard stuff and keep going, even though there is always another layer and another challenge. And we do all of this knowing that it will eventually mean that they don’t need us in the same way anymore. But I will always find new ways to be there for them, and I will always be their mother. See, now you are crying too and you’re not even peeling onions!

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If you want support on your healing journey, book a free 15 minute consultation to talk about the best way to get started.

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Lessons from my Dirt Therapy Session

I just went outside for some of what I like to call “dirt therapy”. I get to put my hands in some dirt, connect to my Earth, appreciate my flowers, listen to the birds sing, feel the warmth of the sun, and get out all the frustrations from every other annoyance that I have endured this week by beating the crap out of something with a hoe.

I was just wrestling with a rose bush, and Poison was right, every rose does have its thorn. I remember seeing the tiny little rose bush starting to come up in the garden and thinking that roses are beautiful and it would be nice to have some there. But then I turned around for a moment and it had grown across the garden and up the tree. I needed to clip out huge sections with quite a bit of effort and pain. It kind of reminded me of parenting, and home ownership, and healing. So, the perfect reflection for a Sustainable Solutions for Healthy Homes blog.

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In parenting, we need to constantly be thinking ten steps ahead, but also thinking of all the possible paths and implications of each of those, so more like a complicated multi-tasking matrix or flow chart or concept map that is constantly running in the background of every little decision. But, most of us learned the hard way that if you think an issue is cute like a baby rose bush, when you come back to it, you find that it has grown unmanageable. I recently noticed this about the bedtime schedule, which on one busy day with late activities, I let them stay up 15 minutes past bedtime, which then grew to half an hour. Then one day when I was really exhausted and had finally sat down for a moment, I didn’t feel like getting up to do the toothbrush battle, and it became a full hour later which has now somehow become their new bedtime and if I even suggest the previously routine bedtime I am clearly the meanest mom ever.

In home-ownership, any real estate agent or home inspector will tell you that water is the biggest enemy of any building. If you don’t notice a leak or water damage or mold when it is small and manageable it will grow and become a huge problem. There are many routine maintenance projects that you can do that are quick and affordable and easy. But if you get busy, with something like parenting, you can get behind without even noticing. And then one day when you find that you have slept for more than 4 hours and you look at your house with clearer eyes, you realize that the small project has now become a big, scary, expensive project.

In our physical health and healing, we need to listen to what our body is trying to tell us when the symptoms are small and whispering at us. If we wait, then the symptoms get bigger and louder until we pay attention. They are kind of like toddlers saying “mommy, mommy, mommy” in that way. They start off quiet and cute and grow into screaming monsters. They call for attention in little ways, like “hey, it hurts when I bend like that”…but you ignore it and keep going, because there is too much to do. Then you find that you are putting some muscle cream on it, maybe taking a pain killer, and then all of a sudden it screams “no more” and you are stuck in bed for two weeks.

So I try to learn from my mistakes, and this year I went out and tackled the little baby weeds when they are cute and little and easy to pull out of the garden beds. I got the whole garden done quickly, and I did it early enough in the season that it is not oppressively hot yet. I am going to catch up on my home improvement and maintenance projects. I am going to come up with a really awesome new bedtime routine. I am going to listen to my body and hydrate and rest as needed.  I have high hopes that I will keep being smart and proactive.

Okay, full disclosure, I am feeling really great about all this because I have a few extra hours this week because a class that I teach at the community college ended for the semester. I am sure that this amazing feeling will last at least until the kids are out of school for the summer. Then all bets are off. Oh wait, did you say concerts and field days and end-of-year picnics? Oh, no. Never mind.

MichellePrzedwiecki

 

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