guest post by Patricia Hope
I spent much of my children’s childhood stressed and irritable. Just like my own mother did with me. I would often open my mouth and find my mother yelling from it.
And I just hated myself for it.
This wasn’t how I wanted to parent!
There are many things I know now that I wished I had known then.
Of course, I did the best I could at the time with the knowledge and experience that I had, as we are all doing. At age 59 I’m still a work in progress. However I’ve come a long way and my children can attest that I’m a different person than the one I was when they were young.
Here are some of the strategies of self-care that I learned and put into practice along the way which contributed to overcoming that irritable momentum.
I found that whenever I had sugar in my diet – in anything, even in tiny amounts, I could not regulate my emotions. I would fly off the handle at small things, become moody and depressed and was irritable more than I was calm.So I learned to read all the labels so that I could stay totally sugar-free. I was amazed to learn that there is sugar in most packaged and processed food, even those that don’t taste sweet – like crackers, ketchup and bread. I’m talking about refined sugar here.I had no idea that sugar affected me so badly. When we change something we don’t always notice the difference right away, do we? However, when I had some sugar accidentally one day (which started off cravings again) I was shocked to discover the old patterns of moodiness, anger and irritability had resurfaced. This experience convinced me about the importance of keeping sugar from my diet. Later I learned that this is a very addictive substance. I actually quit several times over the years, after I got drawn back in. One study showed that sugar is more addictive than cocaine! SourceI also cut out artificial sweeteners, honey, and most high fructose fruits because they were having the same effect. It wasn’t easy but my children were my motivation. Over time, I lost my preference for sweet food and now I find that many sweetened foods taste just too sweet for my liking.
- EFT TappingI came across EFT when I was exploring how to release blocks to receiving abundance and found it was an amazing tool to heal emotional hurts that I received in childhood. These wounds would open when something a child said or did triggered a memory and I would react negatively towards the child.EFT is the synergy of the ancient Chinese wisdom of energy pathways in the body and modern psychology. By tapping on certain acupressure points while being in touch with a negative emotion or memory, the negative, knotted energy is unscrambled, leaving a peace and calm that’s really amazing.It’s not magic and can take time to get to the root of the emotion or memory in order to clear it but when it happens it’s well worth the effort. If you want to learn more about how to use EFT and other modalities to heal past hurts then click the signup link at the end of this post.
- A Moment for MeditationI love the feeling of relaxation that I get during meditation. However, it’s not something I’ve ever done a lot of. I just never felt that I had the time until I came across the One-Moment Meditation idea.Now this is doable and oh, it feels so good. And it’s all done in a minute or less!I found it by watching a short cute video where Martin Boroson explains how to do it and he took me through a one-minute meditation. And he’s now developed a useful phone app to make it super easy and enjoyable to do. I see the quirky icon on my phone and want to click it to meditate for a minute. Check it out here.
- A Spiritual PracticeI follow a devout spiritual practice every day and it has made a profound difference in my life.I used to feel rudderless and without a purpose and it often made me anxious and stressed. Having my spiritual belief and practice grounds me, gives me comfort and shows me a greater purpose than my own little world. Spirituality can simply be about connecting with your higher self – the one that is your conscience, the one that wants the best outcome for you and all those around you.It could be a belief and communication with a higher power. Or it could take the form of practising a particular religion that resonates with you.
- Essential OilsEssential oils have only recently come into my life but I have made massive strides in my personal development since I’ve been using the therapeutic grade oils.The two most common ways of using essential oils are to apply them to the skin and inhale the aroma. When we apply them to the skin the essential oil is absorbed through the skin into the cells and bloodstream. When we inhale the oil by smelling the aroma, the molecules travel to the olfactory nerve and then interact with the limbic (emotional) part of our brain. This happens almost immediately.I’ve been using an amazing book by Carolyn Mein called Releasing Emotional Patterns with Essential Oils. It has been a life changer for me. Her basic idea is that all negative emotions are fear-based. She says “Changing a pattern is like erasing a groove, the deeper it is embodied, the longer you need to erase.” In one section of her book, she lists negative emotions. She then lists the ‘other side’ of that emotion because she says we need to know where we’re heading. She then gives an affirmation that helps to release that emotion while applying a specific oil to a specific part of the body.So I made a long list of emotions that resonated with me and worked through them using the oils that she suggests. I adapted her suggested affirmations to make them work with the EFT protocol that I am familiar with and noticed that using these two modalities together created a change that seemed almost turbocharged! I did this exercise each night and would have a short healing cry before I went to sleep. I have to admit that I don’t feel the need to do these particular exercises any more although I do still use the oils a lot.
I’d love to share more with you about how to use essential oils, which ones I find most helpful, and other great ways to become a calmer person. Sign up to hear about new articles and webinars on my website.
Patricia Hope was a struggling single mum and however hard she tried, found herself yelling and spanking. Years of study and self-development have now enabled her to empower other parents with easy and effective strategies to calm a stressful moment and long term solutions for a peaceful family life. Both Patricia and her daughter Claire Battersby, a respectful nanny, blog at Empowering Childhood. You can also Sign Up HERE to learn when we have new webinars, articles and other information. And you can follow Empowering Childhood on Facebook too.