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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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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School’s Out for Summer

While the children are throwing their worksheets and crayons all around the classroom in celebration of the end of the school year, parents all around the country are pulling their hair out, stressing about what to do with their children all summer without going insane.

Try to put yourself in their shoes (or flip-flops) and think about how hard it is to make the transition from such a structured and organized schedule to having the whole day stretch before them with infinite possibilities. I feel like we spend the first few weeks adjusting to the new routine.

Even though it can seem like a challenge to keep them occupied so that they don’t start whining that they are bored, remember to appreciate the season and the quality time that you can spend together.

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Here are a few ways to keep your sanity while school’s out for summer.

Enjoy the Outdoors

For those of us who live in the colder states, I know we spent plenty of time stuck indoors watching TV and playing video games. So now that the sun is shining and we can step out the door without getting frostbite, go ahead and explore. Throw some snacks, extra clothes, towels, sunscreen and a first aid kit in the mini-van and go see what your local parks have to offer. Give the kids their own hydration packs that hold water and a snack and they’ll follow you anywhere.

Click on your State to find a new park to explore.

Whatever it is, make sure it is time that is spent together enjoying some activity.

Look for local day camps, free activities at the library, family-friendly community gatherings, festivals, parades etc.

In the Capital Region? Search here by County.

parade

Plan Some Backyard Fun

If you plan an evening event, you can keep them busy all day with getting ready, decorating, making food etc. One summer I asked the kids what they wanted to do, and one wanted to use hammer and nails, another wanted to paint, and the third wanted a castle themed birthday party. So we combined all three and it kept them busy for weeks!

How about planning an outdoor movie night or camping in the backyard?

These are great ways to have some fun as a family or with friends while skipping the worst part which is getting everyone packed and in the car.

I love the drive in, but once you have a car full of kids, it gets hard for everyone to see the screen and before the movie starts they’ve lost interest in sharing their small space with their siblings.

How about creating your own backyard Drive-In Movie theater? Have them make their own cardboard cars and plan their own event, and you can keep them busy all week long with craft projects before the big night.

Or Just Keep It Simple. Take walks or go for a hike, swim, catch frogs, dig in the dirt, climb trees, read in the hammock, make a sand castle. If you are feeling competitive, you can play some backyard games like badminton and Washers. If you have older kids you can have them build their own washer’s game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cvx7mR4Albw This one is fancy and uses PVC, but we just nailed some coffee cans into boxes that we made with leftover wood from other projects.

hiking with kids

Need a Break?  It’s okay to ask for help.

Talk to some other moms about a swap. She can host a fun day at her house while you have a day to yourself to do the shopping all by yourself or even just to sit and enjoy the sound of silence.

No need to feel guilty. The kids will have a blast playing with friends, and they will also enjoy having a happier mom.

Stay Healthy all Summer

It’s not necessary to hit the gym daily and drink green smoothies at the crack of dawn to be a super-parent, but exercising and eating healthy will at least give you a fighting chance to keep up with those kids. Try trading in fast food for a healthier option and go explore the local farmer’s market and ask your local farmer for recipe ideas.

My favorite summer recipes are those that don’t need to be cooked. I love to make cold salads that last a few days and you can grab them quickly. On the run? Just throw some in a wrap! Picky kids? Make a salad bar or buffet and everyone grabs what they like best. My kids will eat anything with dip. I make “crunchies” out of the stems of kale and cabbage and cut up some carrots and Kohlrabi and send them on their way. You can cut up a bunch at once and leave it in the fridge with some water so that is stays fresh. Give them a little hummus and it is a whole food that will give them the fuel they need for your next fun activity.

first day of school

Before you know it you will be Back to School shopping and wondering where the summer went.

Before you know it you will be Back to School shopping and wondering where the summer went.