Sustainable Solutions for Healthy Homes

Empowering Transformations for Healthier Homes and Families through Strategic Inspired Healing


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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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Pretty Little Traumas

This winter has been so strange. I have lived in the Northeast my entire life, and I am not really sure what to do with a winter without snow. I have had years when we didn’t have a White Christmas, but this was the first year that I wore sandals and the kids played barefoot outside. My son finally had a backyard birthday party in December. But somehow it just doesn’t feel right. It makes me feel very unsettled. I’m not really sure how people live where they can’t plan their lives around the seasons.

It is February and we just got some snow, finally. It was just a few inches, but I was finally able to shovel the driveway. As I moved the small amount of snow around with a shovel, (because it’s not quite enough to bother with the snowblower, and not enough for a snow day), it reminded me of my work with healing trauma.

When you have a huge storm, you have to stop everything and deal with it. You aren’t expected to do anything else.  You aren’t expected to keep going with your routine. Friends and family and your community all chip in to help. You are given the time to clean up and repair and maybe hibernate while you focus on the tasks at hand.

When there is a small amount of snow, you need to just find an extra hour here and there to take care of it, but you are still expected to be places on time and continue with your day. It is fine if it is once in a while, you can store up your energy and you are not too far behind on your other tasks. But if this happened every day you would soon fall behind and run out of energy. It reminds me of when people live in constant stress.

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“More subtly, one might develop psychosomatic symptoms or stress-related symptoms because of unresolved emotional issues. These are not new discoveries; researchers have studied the mind/body interrelationship for several decades because of the importance of this link.”

“Often, physical pain functions to warn a person that there is still emotional work to be done, and it can also be a sign of unresolved trauma in the nervous system. Even if one has grieved and processed the emotional impact of a trauma, the nervous system might still unwittingly be in survival mode.”

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They may not even realize that they are suffering from trauma because they have become accustomed to it, like when it snows a little each day for a long season and you are used to it. And many people are afraid of change because they are not even sure what life would be like, or who they would be without their pain. I’m not sure who I would be if I lived in a place with no winter. Caroline Myss covers this phenomenon in Why We Don’t Heal, explaining all of the energetic patterns and why it can feel safer to stick with what we know.

I remember one year when we got slammed with one storm after another and we were so exhausted, but then we just had to keep going, just keep shoveling. Sometimes our lives are just like that. Tragedies seem to come in threes. But while all that is happening, the routine goes on. Whether there is a storm, or a birth, or a death, or a huge event in your family, you just grab the shovel, keep at it, and then go make sandwiches.

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So right now the world is beautifully covered with a glittery blanket and I am loving it.

But I am sure that after a while we will be ready for spring to return again.

And surviving winter just makes it even sweeter when the sun shines, the snow melts, and the flowers bloom again.

If you are ready to explore what change may look like for you if you healed your old wounds or traumas, or if you are interested in learning more about the effects of your past experiences on your physical health and wellness, contact me to schedule a free 15 minute consultation and we’ll talk about how I can best support you.

 


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Tuning in to the Muscle of your Soul with Therapeutic Yoga

cropped-sshhlogo.pngI’ve been doing yoga since college, and I’ve tried various techniques, mostly because of what classes were available and fit into my schedule. When the babies were small I took an evening class because I needed to get out of the house and see adults and I desperately needed some quiet relaxation. After my surgery I took a gentle yoga class and I was the only one there that wasn’t a senior citizen, but they could all move more easily than I could and I gently taught my muscles to move again.

Recently I’ve been using exercise videos, which are great because they allow me to stretch and greet the day without leaving my house, which works since I then have to get everyone up and out the door. But when they say on the video that I am invited to go deep within myself and let go of the distractions of the day, I kind of chuckle to myself because I know that it doesn’t always work out like that with a house full of kids.

 

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A few weeks ago, I was invited by a woman that I met at the integrative practitioners networking group to drop in for a class at her studio. I didn’t even realize that it was a “therapeutic” yoga practice, but I do love amazing moments of synchronicity, so I will take it as a sign that I was in the right place at the right time. As soon as we started, the teacher said that we were going to do a whole series for the psoas. My ears perked up immediately because there has been a lot of talk about the psoas in the doula community. Read more about the psoas and pregnancy HERE.

“The psoas is an important, yet often unknown, muscle that plays a vital role in physical health and mental wellbeing.”

psoas“The psoas is the only muscle in your body that connects your spine to your legs. That means if the psoas is tight, then it will have a direct effect on your hips, shoulders, spine, neck, legs and even down to your feet.”

“On the emotional level, the psoas is intimately tied into your sense of safety and well-being. When we are stressed, or experience any form of physical or emotional trauma from childhood or recently, your psoas will hold those emotions and feelings. Our body carries these experiences whether we are aware of it or not and if ignored for too long, they will show up as aches, pains, injuries or illness.” Read More HERE.

 

I have been supporting moms who have experienced birth trauma, and having also gone through this journey myself and knowing that there is always deeper healing that can be done, I was happy to have this time to give some love and attention to my own psoas muscles.

And we also had the opportunity to talk about more workshops that we can do to support new moms who are recovering physically, emotionally, and spiritually from the birth process and while adjusting to mothering a newborn. I have my Unpacking from the Journey class at the FLC for mom’s to heal their birth stories and I have a 6 month program for women who want to learn how to incorporate healing practices into their life, but I love the idea of a class in a yoga studio where we can also incorporate movement and even more body awareness into our practice.

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I’ve talked before about how there is no App that you can buy that will make you healthy. You need to tune in to your own body and listen to what it has to say (and some of us have to learn the hard way to start to listen when it is whispering to us gently that is needs attention, not screaming in pain). You also need to find ways to quiet your mind so that you can have the opportunity to learn to tap into your inner knowing.

In our modern world of running around and doing so much, it is important to carve out little bits of time for this throughout our day and learn to fit it in to our routine. I meditate while I do dishes and while I drive my minivan and while I prepare sandwiches. But, it is such a treat to really let myself go deeper and truly dive in and ask my body and my spirit what it needs.