Sustainable Solutions for Healthy Homes

Empowering Transformations for Healthier Homes and Families through Strategic Inspired Healing


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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

 

If you are looking for some proactive tips and tricks for your family, your home, or your health, join me for a class or call me for a private consultation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Your Friends Tell you When Your Trauma is Showing

Just because everyone that you know has similar symptoms, does not mean that you are healthy. But it also does not mean that feeling like that is inevitable. Over time we become relatively unaware of our shared cultural trauma. And if we cannot see the forest for the trees (because we are too busy just keeping our heads above water with our daily challenges), then it is hard to know where to start with breaking patterns and finding healthier ways to live.

You can bring more awareness to this by beginning to notice how many times you say something like:

  • Everyone in my family has…
  • Everyone over 50 has…
  • All the women in my family get…. at this age.
  • I’m always sick at this time of year.
  • etc.

As we begin to notice how many symptoms we just accept as “normal” or inevitable, then we can begin to think about the bigger picture, and maybe think about making a different choice.

I always remember this one time when I went to see some acrobats, and my first thought was that there was something weird about them that they could move and bend their bodies like that. But then I shifted my thinking to the fact that maybe all humans are created with the potential, and if I had practiced and trained since I was little, then maybe I could move my body like that too. If I had come from a family of acrobats, then I would have had that belief in myself and in my own body. And then I saw some pictures of someone in their 90’s doing some amazing yoga poses, and I thought that maybe there was still time.

sport-1281608__180I had a yoga teacher once who would have us do a twist at the beginning of class and see what was the furthest point that we could see in the room, and then we’d do it again at the end of the hour and see how much more flexible we were already. Having that shift in perspective in a measurable dose really helped me to start seeing immediate results, even if I was still not quite an acrobat. And to be completely  honest, that yoga class was geared towards regaining mobility, and I was taking it with a room full of senior citizens because I was working my way to health and mobility after a few major abdominal surgeries. And being about 30 years younger than the others in the class, I appreciated having those role models to create a healthy vision for my future self.

Read more Scientific Studies about how our thoughts create our reality.

 

As a culture we are so used to this interesting paradox of a high daily dose of stress coupled with an easy, sedentary lifestyle that we don’t even second guess our own symptoms. As a society we have weight problems, cardiovascular problems, breathing difficulties, etc. that can all be attributed to our shared cultural stress and trauma. Sometimes I see kids at school that are suffering with multiple serious symptoms and their parents think that it is fine, or that there is nothing that they can do. I have learned to read my kids symptoms as messages about something that they need.

This stressful lifestyle of keeping busy, and the constant stream of bad news and drama makes us feel like it is normal to just list what is wrong, or label ourselves with our disorders, instead of listening to our bodies and making changes.

I have learned from trying to teach about health, that the hardest thing is to change a belief in someone who is set in their ways. I can almost visibly see someone batting away the information that I am telling them if it does not match their belief structure. For example, I heard someone who threw their back out talking about how they were going to pay the bills if they were out of work for two weeks. I mentioned that there is this amazing practitioner in town that does Myofascial Release and will have them feeling better in an hour, which it totally worth getting two weeks of your life back, even if it is not covered by insurance. But they just kept going with their story about how it is required to suffer for two weeks.

And before you think that I have it all figured out, I will share that I am still working on this myself. It is really hard to change your mindset because you are so used to your own habits and your own way of thinking. This is why I am thankful to have friends that are willing to tell me when my trauma is showing. I think of it like the friends who are honest enough to tell you that you have food in your teeth. They would rather tell me the hard truth than let me keep walking around with toilet paper on my shoe. They lovingly and patiently help me to see which habits I have that are no longer serving my highest good, and they help me to expand my thinking so that I can create an even better vision for my future.

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So, who do you have in your life that is helping you to notice your unhealthy behaviors or patterns? Sometimes we need to stop and realize that the person who is bothering us and making us really angry is just there to mirror our behaviors and thought patterns so that we notice them. It can be really painful, but in the end it helps us to break the pattern and shift to a healthier way of life.

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Contact Michelle for an Empowering Transformation Session if you are ready to start shifting your mindset, releasing your trauma, and breaking the patterns that are no longer serving you.

 

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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She Sells Healthy Home Consultations

cropped-sshhlogo.pngSometimes thinking about health and the environment can be overwhelming, so it is EMPOWERING to know that your home and how you live in it involve choices that you can control. But sometimes, you don’t know where to start or where to get the most bang for your buck. And when you are so busy just keeping up with your routine, it can be a real pain to have something that is not working right and needs to be replaced. Or when members of your family are not feeling well and nobody has an answer.  But before you make a big purchase or a significant change to your lifestyle, make sure that you consider all of your options.

The problem today is that we almost have too much information and too many choices. In the past, a salesperson’s job would be to have all of the relevant information about their product and be able to help you to make a decision about the product. Today’s consumers have access to so much information and can comparison shop and are not limited geographically to only the local stores. But a new role is needed to help the consumers to weed through all the information and uncover their real needs and find the best solution.

There is a great example in the book To Sell is Human by Daniel H. Pink in which he describes a sales situation in which someone comes in to buy a vacuum. A good salesperson will show them the best options that they have in their budget. But a great salesperson will find out more about their underlying needs. If you ask more questions, you may find out that what is driving them to search for a new vacuum is that they are finding that they are needing to vacuum more and more and their floors still do not seem clean. It could be that their vacuum is fine, and they just need to replace a belt or clean a filter.

But there may also be a number of other things that are leading to this situation, other than that their vacuum is losing power. It could be that they need to adjust the humidity in their house, or fix the seals on their doors or windows, or place show mats by the doors, or replace their carpet.

As a healthy homes consultant, I don’t need to make a commission on the sale of the vacuum (or the windows or carpet), so I have a more objective view of the bigger picture. I help my clients to identify the root cause of their problem, identify possible solutions and help them to make the best choice for their home and their family. Working with their budget and their timeline, I help them to decipher what needs to be done first and what can wait until later.

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In this example it is just about replacing a vacuum. But often we are faced with bigger decisions, or a larger investment. I am usually called in when either the financial investment is larger, or the cost to your family’s health is significant. I am often called when families are looking to renovate or deciding whether or not they need to move to another house. I am also called by families who want suggestions for how to make their home healthier because they are at an important time of transition of their lives.

 Sometimes it is a change to their family like planning for a new baby or an elderly parent is moving in. Other times it is due to a diagnosis like asthma or allergy, chemical sensitivity or various cancers. In those cases, their care provider may suggest that they remove any toxins from their home, especially airborne toxins. This includes any products that you bring into your home like cleaning supplies and home finishes (flooring, wall coverings) and furnishings (window treatments, furniture).

Whether you are looking for someone to: 

  • Help you decide whether it is time for a lifestyle change, a renovation, or moving to a new home
  • Help you take your vision and turn it into a plan and break it down into action steps
  • Help you identify ways in which you make your home more Healthy

michelle bamboo Contact me for a free 15 minute phone call to see if a Healthy Home Consultation is the right solution for you and your family.

 


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The Tricky Business of Managing Risk

I was teaching about this concept called “Escalation of Commitment” in my Management class at the community college, and it applies not only to managing your business or your home, but to managing your relationships and your health.

Escalation of Commitment is defined as “an increased commitment to a previous decision despite evidence that it may have been wrong”.  (Robbins and Coulter, Management p. 47)

There are so many ways that I have seen this play out in my personal and professional life. For example, when you have a client that you have helped for a year, and they haven’t paid you yet (because you only get paid when the project is finished or the deal is closed), but if you work a little harder, if you give a little more, if you invest a little more time, maybe you will finally get paid and then that year will have been worth all the effort. But it is so easy for that year to turn into two and then three. And it is so hard to admit that you will never see a return on that investment. So you need to learn to see those clients and those projects more clearly in the beginning, before your commitment has escalated. You need to learn to calculate the risks and rewards of each project. But personally, I love how many times in the business textbooks, after they explain all the models and equations that you can use to create your matrix and do your calculations, that it all comes down to learning to tune in to your intuition!

“Although managers try to quantify a decision when possible by using payoff and regret matrices, uncertainty often forces them to rely more on intuition, creativity, hunches and “gut feel”.” (Robbins and Coulter, Management p. 53)

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So, let’s assume that we have already invested a lot of time and energy into a project, or a client, or a relationship. Now we feel that we need to protect that investment. There are a few ways that we do this, the same as with any investments like our property and our retirement accounts. We buy insurance, we manage risk, we learn to look at it from all angles and see the big picture, and just in case those don’t work, we need to diversify. So in both your personal and professional relationships, it is healthy to have a large support network, and different types of relationships that serve different needs. I like to make sure that I have a healthy mix of mentors that I look up to and peers to network and collaborate with, to support and encourage me so that I can teach and mentor others.

But how do you learn to see the big picture and manage risk when it comes to protecting your largest investment? And no, I’m not talking about your property or your retirement account. I’m talking about your health.

  • How do you learn to see your health from all angles (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) and learn to diversify your investments of time and energy?
  • How do you learn to quit before you have given too much of yourself and admit that you will never get water out of that stone?
  • How do you learn to discern what you are doing just out of habit so that you can make the conscious choice to stop and turn around and look for another path?

The problem is that we have invested a lot of time and energy in our stories. We have generations of family values wrapped up in those stories that we have been told since we were babies. To unravel that takes time and attention. Often when someone comes to me because they are in pain, they want more attention for their pain, but they don’t really want to stop being sick or stop being in pain because they have invested so much of themselves into that story. That pain has been such a part of who they are, that if they removed it, they wouldn’t know who they were anymore. Many times, that pain is the basis of their relationships with friends and family. Being a victim, or being sick, has meant that the people in their life need to take care of them and need to pay attention to them. Changing that story changes their whole world. If they no longer need that help, their rescuer or protector may find themselves out of a job.

So, we continue to protect that investment that we have put into this lifetime, (or generations) of stories. I am often asked “how did you do that?” or “how did you get to this point?” and I want to give them honest answers so that they too can begin to heal and stop being in pain. As a teacher, I love to explain how things work and share my discoveries, but I’ve found that if I just give someone additional information or facts, they may not be able to hear me because they feel it threatening their perception of reality. They start to protect their investments, even if they are not aware that they are doing it. So, even though they know that their choices thus far, or their family’s way of doing things, or their belief systems, are causing them pain and heartache and misery, it is hard to walk away from that Escalation of Commitment to the story. This is why they say that it is hard to “teach an old dog new tricks”. Even when we don’t really feel old, we need to realize that we are carrying stories and beliefs from our ancestors as Red Flags in our DNA that are warning us to fear change.

In my management class when we do the chapters on Innovation and Managing Stress, I show clips from the movie “The Croods” which is about how the cavemen were afraid of leaving what they knew.They had created a society with rules and strictures that kept them safe. Trying new things and being innovative could get you killed. They told stories about how someone left home once, and they died. Someone tried a new food once, and they died. So all of those stories were passed down not only as legend, but in the DNA as warning signs. All these years later, we feel ourselves getting stressed out or fearful over things that probably won’t kill us in our current reality. We are more afraid of speaking in public than we are of crossing the street. We are terrified of sharks, but more people died last year from taking selfies than from shark attacks. And many of us do not live anywhere near the ocean, or where there are giant spiders and snakes, but we still feel the ancient influences as we jump into full battle mode whenever we see movement out of the corner of our eye. So we quickly react to these embedded fears, but then we forget to calculate risk when leaning over some balcony to take a selfie or texting while driving a car.

There are interesting laboratory studies about how a fear can be passed down for several generations. They say that we will not understand the rise in obesity, diabetes and psychiatric orders without looking at the influence of our grandparents’ environment. They also explain the science of how you can inherit a Memory. But if you are not interested in the science and you want to just start to feel better, that’s okay too.

  • So, what physical, emotional, or mental pain are you experiencing that is keeping you from living to your full potential or finding your joy?
  • What are you passionate about but you aren’t doing because there is some fear that is keeping you from taking the leap?
  • Is there an old story that is no longer serving your highest good?
  • Where are you wasting your time and energy?

If you want help in solving this puzzle, contact me to schedule a private session. My technique is strategic, and targeted to get you answers quickly and painlessly so that you can get on to more rewarding projects.

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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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Why all the fuss about Childhood Trauma?

cropped-sshhlogo.pngWhen we are stressed, we have an elaborate biochemical response that allows us to have the energy to Fight Back or Run Away. If we are met with challenges and stressful or painful situations, but we cannot fight back or run away, it is registered in the body as a Trauma. This is why Babies and Children that are not physically and emotionally capable of getting away to safety are more likely to experience trauma from stressful and painful events. The cost of this quick burst of energy is that it shuts down the immune system and the digestion. If the stressful situation is handled quickly, then everything can go back to normal. But unresolved stress can continue to impact the long-term health of these systems.

Infancy and Childhood is a very important time developmentally. Stress and Trauma during pregnancy, birth and infancy changes the way that the child’s brain and biochemistry pathways are set up, and can have implications for their long-term health. This is much different than a single incidence of a traumatic event (like a car accident) in an adult who has developed the resiliency to handle it.

Childhood trauma is more complex than we think. Sometimes there are traumas from the experiences of our grandparents that can still impact the health of our children.

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.

Common stressful events for babies can be from totally normal things like:

  • The pregnancy is just naturally stressful because we are facing daily physical, emotional and financial/life challenges.
  • The Birth can be stressful because of physical positions where the baby feels stuck, the mom is experiencing pain, fatigue or panic, and/or there are medical interventions that may cause changes in the biochemistry, pain, and may lead to separation of the mom and baby.
  • The Postpartum period is a huge transition for both mom and baby as well as families and partners and needs a period of adjustment. If the mom is recovering from a difficult birth and/or surgery this can be an even more challenging time.

The best thing that you can do to prepare for each of these challenges is to find a compassionate, available and responsive team of care providers for prenatal, birth and postpartum support.

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Some of the physical and behavioral signs to look for in your infant include:

  • Glossed over eyes/avoidance of eye contact
  • Trouble with feeding
  • Easily startled/difficulty being soothed
  • Jerky movements/arching of the back

 

Some of the physical and behavioral signs to look for in your children include:

  • Attention Disorders/Trouble with transitions/Hypervigilance
  • Anger/Self-abuse/Tantrums
  • Dissociating/Daydreaming/Checking-out
  • Nightmares and other sleep troubles/ disturbances
  • Bedwetting/Toilet training challenges
  • Asthma/Allergy/Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal complaints
  • Claustrophobia/Sensory/Touch Issues
  • Greater Susceptibility to Colds/Flu

 

If left unhealed, this may lead to long-term health effects in adulthood. Sometimes it seems like there is just random, undiagnosed illness and pain. In my own story, I kept getting nowhere with medications that would numb the pain, but never heal what was causing it. I was so thankful when I finally found techniques that got to the underlying cause and released that stored trauma so that my body could finally heal and then create new patterns of health.

Common outcomes of unresolved stress and trauma include: Autoimmune Diseases, Chronic Pain, Gastrointestinal complaints, Joint Pain, Increased blood pressure and cholesterol, fat around the waist, and Addictions/numbing/escaping.

The good news is that if you are reading this, then you now know that you can heal from the effects of trauma, and that if you pay attention, you can help your kids now so that they don’t have to continue to struggle. It is so much easier to heal when the trauma is more recent.

michelle twin momIf you are noticing some of the physical or behavioral signs in your child, contact me and we can work together to discover the root cause of the stress so that the trauma can be released and the body can heal.

 

I offer an Unpacking from the Journey class for Moms to process and release any trauma from the pregnancy, birth or postpartum period (no matter how long it has been since your pregnancy/birth), and I offer Postpartum Healing Home Visits for moms looking for support and healing in the weeks/months after the birth. I am also available for private healing sessions over the phone.

 

References: Scared Sick, Robin Karr-Morse http://www.amazon.com/Scared-Sick-Childhood-Trauma-Disease/dp/0465013546

https://motheringcoach.wordpress.com/my-articles/how-to-cope-with-infant-trauma/

 

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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Pain is not a Punishment.

When you learn to tune in and really listen to the messages that your body is giving you, it can be your most valuable tool.

If you are like me, you may be thinking that your body is not your friend. Maybe you’ve been sick or in pain for a long time. I understand. I used to tell everyone that “My body hates me”. I went to doctor after doctor and nobody could tell me what was causing my symptoms. So that was the only explanation.  But then I learned to understand what my body was telling me. I learned to listen when it was whispering to me, so that it did not need to scream in pain.

But I don’t want you to have to learn the hard way like I did. I want to save you time and energy and money. Your pain is not a punishment. It is a message. And I can help you to translate its meaning.

Contact me to ask how I can best support you.

Read about this Client’s Empowering Transformation

Pain is not a punishment

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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Strategic, Inspired Healing for Worried Moms

cropped-sshhlogo.pngAs 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. And then if you read anything on the internet you are sure to find so many possible things that it could be that you’ll lose even more sleep!

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This is why I love being able to support other moms with Strategic, Inspired Healing. This is what I call the technique that I use that combines my background and experience in the health sciences with the applied kinesiology and quantum energy healing techniques that I have learned while studying with an internationally known master healer. It is a way to get to the root cause of what may be causing your symptoms (or your kid’s symptoms) and work on changing that so that your health can start to improve.

Now don’t get discouraged, but usually, there is a combination of physical and emotional factors from your environment, family patterns, and biology. I can help you to sort through the noise and find what needs to shift today. We can identify easy and affordable things to try in your home to make your family healthier. And we can also identify community resources, techniques and providers that can also support you with your family’s health needs. Gaining some clarity and eliminating the worry will help you to feel more at ease while you tackle the fun everyday challenges of motherhood.

MichellePrzedwiecki

So, if you have been worrying about something that is going on with your kid’s health or behavior, contact me for a free 15 minute phone call to see if this technique is a good fit for you.

 

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.