Sustainable Solutions for Healthy Homes

Empowering Transformations for Healthier Homes and Families through Strategic Inspired Healing


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Holding Space for Healing Journeys

cropped-sshhlogoThis has been an exciting month! Earlier in the month I attended the Partners in Perinatal Health conference and was able to meet so many professionals who care about the health of moms and babies and I got to share with them about my own journey towards healing through mothering and how I use that to inspire other women and let them know that if I can do it, they can too.

This past week has been busy with birthday launch parties and celebrations because the second book in the Magdalena’s Journey series was published this week.  After the story of awakening and discovering the need to heal inter-generational family trauma in The Birth of Magdalena, Book Two Magdalena Moments picks up the story and takes us through the steps towards that healing that happens when you are able to truly embrace your full self.

I love the idea that there is a true self, your full self that may be hiding underneath all of those old habits and unhealthy patterns that make you feel sick and stuck. Working through the exercises in this new book can help you to find where you are stuck and tune in to what messages your physical symptoms are giving you as hints to where you need to heal emotionally and energetically. When you follow those pains and find the underlying stories, you can heal it at the root cause and then the physical symptoms don’t need to keep manifesting in your body.

Pain is not a punishment

When I stopped being in pain every day, I was able to accomplish so much more and I was able to be the kind of mom that I thought my kids deserved. It is a lot more fun to join in the “adults vs. kids” game at the end of the soccer season than to just sit on the sidelines and take pictures. On the practical side, it is great to be able to run in and buy my own groceries and not have to plan ahead and have helpers. After being in pain for so long, it feels amazing to eat real food and to take deep breaths. Read more here.

Going through these steps also helped me to tune in to my own intuition and to learn to tune in better with my kids. In The Birth of Magdalena there was a lot about conscious conception and healthy pregnancy, attachment parenting and bonding with your babies.  In Magdalena Moments the story continues through those toddler and childhood phases and into the school years. At each stage it is good to reconnect with your kids, and stay tuned in to who they are and what they need at this stage. It is nice to not have to worry about my kids all of the time, because I know that I am tuned in and they will let me know what they need.

I am hoping that by practicing this myself and modeling it for my kids, they will be able to stay in touch with their own intuition and be able to listen to their bodies and know how to stay healthy emotionally, energetically, spiritually and physically. Many of us are doing this deep healing work for the generations that just tucked those wounds away to be dealt with later because they were in survival mode and had to just keep going. My hope is that it will be easier for my kids to move forward already having these tools in place, able to stand fully in their power, and using their natural gifts and talents.

I will be using the 7 stages of healing and the 7 aspects of the Mothering Mission in my new 7 week Healing Journeys group program for women who want to do this kind of healing for their families. If you are not a mother yet, but want to do this work for your future children, or to be more able to welcome children, or even to heal your mother-wound from past generations, you are welcome to join us.

reading-925589_1280We will be reading a chapter of Magdalena Moments each week and practicing the “Things to Try” and then checking in with each other over the phone.

This is what I call my Healing Journeys Program (formerly Healing 101) and is accessible for women who are just starting out on their healing journey. I find that there are so many options and so much information at our fingertips these days, that sometimes we get stuck not knowing where to start. This group program includes a lot of simple steps that you can take to get started that fit into your lifestyle and your family’s routine and that you can try in the comfort of your own home while you are washing dishes, running the laundry, making sandwiches, tucking the kids in to bed etc. (or even while driving a minivan, or sitting at a Little League game).washing dishes

If you are already doing some deep work, inner reflection, trauma clearing, body work, journaling, therapy etc. this program can also be a great way to go deeper, to check in on your progress, and to be a mentor to other women.

When we share our stories and lift each other up, we all heal.

Read more about these books on my Author website.

Stay up to date and find inspiration on the Magdalena’s Journey Facebook page.

Get your copies of the book here or ask your local library to purchase copies.

This program will be held over the phone on Mondays at 10am from June 11th-July 30th. We will have an Intro Call on June 11th to get everyone ready to start, and then we will move through 1 chapter each week for 7 weeks.

Register to Save your Spot here. 

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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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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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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Want to know more about What to Expect in Your Private Session?

 

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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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.

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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.