How can I be lonely when I have a baby with me 24/7?

 I didn’t feel like myself after I had my daughter for the first 8-9 months. It was a strange feeling because I was besotted with her and would often cry with pure love for her. Yet at the same time, I felt like my body wasn’t my own due to breastfeeding, I took a long time to heal after an episiotomy and I suffered from discomfort. I wasn’t sure who I was anymore because I had gone from being independent and able to do what I wanted, when I wanted, to now be depended on completely. It wasn’t just me, my hubby and the cats anymore. It felt so hard to divide my attention between everyone, human and feline! I was a super obsessive cat-mum and I couldn’t spend time with my boys like I used to do. I’d get a bit tactile defensive at times when they jumped up for a cuddle as I was constantly wanted and sometimes I just wanted a moment alone! I felt like this with my hubby too. I just felt so overwhelmed with it all at times. I eventually got through it but I hated feeling that way at the time. It really didn’t help add to my feelings of guilt of letting everyone down. 

We moved to a new town when my daughter was 3 months old and I initially felt isolated. I remember going along to local a baby group and wanting to cry because no one talked to me. It had taken all my courage to go. I had to force myself to get organised and even things like not being familiar with the building caused me great anxiety. It seemed like everyone else found it so easy to talk to others, how did they do that?? And why couldn’t I do it? I felt awkward and didn’t know what to say. I wondered how they all had it so together, yet I was so shy. I felt like an outsider. I was new to the town so I hadn’t met anyone at any prenatal classes. It was such a big deal to get us organised to go to a group and it confirmed my worst fears when I went. I decided not to go back. I felt lonely for sure. 

After you have a baby, you realise how hard it is to leave to the house! You go from just getting ready and leaving to suddenly getting yourself and a baby ready. Just as you’re about to leave, the baby’s sick or poops everywhere. Then you have a changing bag like Mary Poppin’s with a ridiculous amount of “essentials”. (FYI, my essentials reduced massively when I had baby number two!) And not to mention the car seat, the pram, the covers, and putting coats on and off as you get them in and out of their car seat. You get there and realise you haven’t remembered your nappies, or a change of clothes or the baby is sick all over you and you have no change of clothes. When you feel anxious about leaving the house, it becomes even more of an effort to push yourself to go out. Especially when you fear it will only lead to more anxiety once you leave.

On reflection now, that assumption that I was the one who didn’t have it together was all in my head. I know that there were other mums at that group who felt anxious. Maybe they felt just the same as me. Maybe they had pushed themselves to go again and again and had finally managed to speak to someone. Maybe they were just managing to hold their shit together outwardly but were cracking up on the inside. We can’t always control how others will behave towards us but we can control our reaction. That sounds simple enough but it isn’t easy in practice. Especially when we find it hard to be logical and rational with ourselves. Making assumptions heightens our anxiety. We don’t really know what others are thinking unless they directly and explicitly tell us or show us. This can be a really tough one.

Look at our social media accounts. How often do we see the perfect family photos and a snapshot of their perfect life? It doesn’t exist! Sometimes people use it to show their best side. To keep up the pretence of the perfect life. That’s a lot of pressure to keep up and it’s a lot of pressure on those who look at the photos. I’m quite happy to share the lows as well as the highs, we have our amazing happy moments, but we also have the crazy ones and the fails and I think sharing that side (if we choose to share at all) makes us more real. Social media has also become a place where judgements are thrown around at people. We all have our own way of thinking and when we see the strong voices of others, this can have a huge impact on how we feel too. For some, it’s all too easy to write things online which people wouldn’t say face-to-face. I’m often shocked at the level of negativity I see thrown towards parents. After all, shouldn’t we be supporting one another? This does nothing but add to the anxiety of an already anxious mind.

When it came to working on my anxiety of getting out and about, I realised I enjoyed structured classes much more. We started swimming lessons and music classes. I made some lovely friends which helped massively. It helped me deal with my anxiety much better to talk to other mums who were like-minded. I didn’t feel so alone and I didn’t worry so much about being judged. If I was having a rough day, I always felt better for going. I often found that because our kids were of similar ages, we were going through similar issues! I also eventually found another toddler group to go to and started to feel a wee bit more confident about speaking to the other parents, all be it still feeling like an outsider. Doing it the second time around with babe number two was somewhat easier and harder for different reasons. If I had thought one baby was a logistical nightmare, I had no idea how difficult it would be getting a 19-month-old and a newborn out and about! Sadly, swimming had to go as I didn’t have any regular childcare and I realised that everything was that bit harder. I was dividing my attention between two young children and juggling everything. It made going out that bit more challenging.

I loved my babies so much but I craved more adult interaction. The days were quite long and I would get excited when Jim got home. I’d spew out everything I’d done or thought about. I loved hearing about his connection to the outside world. The good and the bad! I’d left my job while I was pregnant so I lost that workplace connection myself. When I would meet up with my friends, we would be lucky if we managed to scrape out a few sentences about our lives in between crying, changing, feeding and entertaining the kids! It’s still pretty much like that now! Some friendships from pre-kids were easier to maintain than others. I really felt the loss of some friendships, yet I now understand that we all move on to different places in life. We may no longer see people as regularly, and for some, that friendship won’t ever be the same again. For others, it might be temporary and either way, I’m grateful for the friends, I had, the new ones I have met along the way and the ones I’m sure to meet in the future. 

 I did feel sadness for a long time for the life I no longer had, but I have moved forward now and I love my life. I feel that I have become much more comfortable with who I am. I’m discovering that more each day as I become more present in how I live. I have worked hard on my personal development as part of building my business. I now meditate regularly and it’s become a habit I love. I know that I’m a better parent when I look after myself as it means I can give myself much more freely to them. My kids are completely crazy and fantastic and I love my job. I no longer feel lonely. I’ve found a community of like-minded women in business, it’s an exciting thing to be a part of! It was important to me that I worked doing something I was passionate about and which also allowed me to do it around the kids. Being self-employed is one of the hardest things I’ve done but it’s definitely the best too! It’s not perfect and that all takes time. I still have my good days and bad days, but there are more good than bad now. I feel at ease with where it is all headed. That really helps me with my anxiety too.

I think that we need to give ourselves time to adapt when we become parents. Our biology changes. There are so many factors involved too. What was life like before we had children? What support do we have around us? How many other children do we have? What is our community like? What do we want life to be like?

We are often our harshest critics and finding ways to connect within is really necessary to help us to feel good. I have discovered the power of gratitude over the past year. I practice this every day. For some, it is powerful to write down. I don’t always write it but I always take time to think about it and say it out loud if I can too. I find it helps to bring me back to being present in those times where I resort back to old thinking patterns when I am feeling triggered. If I am not in the space for gratitude at that moment, I reflect on it once I am able to. Find what works best for you. What works for one person will not work for another. I also enjoy going for a walk in the woods as I like to reconnect with nature. I find it grounding. I find listening to music powerful as I have an emotional connection with it. I put on something I vibe with and it is guaranteed to make me feel good! As I mentioned, I try to find space to meditate. I either do a guided meditation, or I do my own. I love it.

Take some time to find out what works for you. Experiment and have fun with it! Perhaps you’ll try the ones I have mentioned. There are so many things you can do to connect within. Yoga, going to classes, reading, learning, running, sport and laughter. Bring into your life anything which gets you releasing those feel-good hormones.

If you are feeling anxious or lonely, remember that nothing is permanent. Each stage will pass. You will come out the other side. Be kind to yourself and remind yourself often of just how amazing a parent you are. You know your kids think so. If that all feels too hard for you, it’s ok not to be ok. It’s ok to reach out for support. To find someone who will listen and to get the sipport that you deserve. xx

World Mental Health Day 2018

It’s #worldmentalhealthday2018

1 in 5 of us will experience mental health issues at some point in our life, and of that, half of those effected will do so by the age of 14. These statistics show just how big an issue it has become.

Modern living is tough. We live highly stressful lives often with enormous expections from others but even more so from ourselves.

Right from our early years we’re expected to attain good grades, prepare for a career, go to uni, get a well-paid job, fit in, work hard, and often receive little reward for our time and effort. We work long hours which take us away from our loved ones, just so that we can scrape by with a life that doesn’t satisfy us completely. We feel guilty when we’re away from our family and stressed if our work doesn’t allow us to live the life we deserve to life.

Chronic stress leads to mental and physical health issues. It’s vital that we take care of ourselves to reduce the impact of stress on our bodies.

We gain our understanding of the world from our experiences and we are constantly bombarded by negative messages from where we work, from the news, social media and sometimes from the people we know. All of this increases the stress we experience every day.

Energy is all around us, we are energy and if our consistent thoughts are negative, we tend to attract negative energy into our lives.

It’s ok not to be ok. It’s ok to ask for help. To let go of the damage which has been controlling your life. To move forward. Release the stress. The positive impact of that benefits you, your family, your colleagues and may lead you to living out your dreams.

Today I’ll be heading outside for a walk to enjoy a bit nature, it always helps to ground me.

What are you going to do today to take care of yourself? Share in the comments!

Kirsty

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Life is a journey to be enjoyed!

The fear of the unknown… How many times in your life have you wanted to do something but have held back? Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea to hold back from that crazy death-defying stuntman ambition but what about those other times in life? Perhaps it was applying for that new job, asking someone out on a date, moving abroad. You might find it hard to join a social club or group, to try new foods, or to go on a night out.

Whatever it is for you, the fear of the unknown can trigger our fight-flight-freeze mode. Our subconscious creates resistance for us. That clever old brain wants to keep us safe whether we logically want it to or not! It wants to be in control and it’ll make sure you comply. So we can know we want to do and then the doubts and negativity creep in courtesy of the subconscious.

Am I good enough? Do I have the right skills? Will I be judged? It’s too risky… What if I fail… What if it all goes wrong… I’ll only have myself to blame… I’m stupid… I’m getting above myself… I don’t deserve to be happy…

All these negative thoughts will keep you where you are. They’ll stop you from becoming the person you truly should be. And they stop you from enjoying the journey of life.

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Think about life for a moment as being like a car travelling in the dark. The headlights light up a small section of the road ahead. You’re in control and even though you can’t see the full road ahead, you confidently and carefully drive along it. Your alert to anything that might cross your path so you drive with care. As you travel along the road, you notice that the road you wanted to take has been unexpectedly closed off. There’s a diversion and it’s going to add a bit of extra time to get you to your destination. You’re not familiar with this road so you start to feel uneasy. You don’t have a choice but to take the new route. You’re now even more aware of the road around you. Once you’ve been on the road for a few minutes, you settle into it and return to normal. Just as you feel relaxed, you see a sign ahead which shows that you can go one of two ways. You’re not sure which road to take and there isn’t anything to guide you so you go with your instinct and pick one. As you travel along this new road, you realise that you’re in a part of the country that you haven’t visited before and it’s actually beautiful. You make a mental note that you’ll come back here someday as you’re excited to find a new place to visit. Now you’re glad you came along this road as you’ve seen a place you wouldn’t otherwise have seen. As you’re leaving, you see a sign which tells you that you’re close to your destination. You think to yourself that you can either keep going to get there or you can stop at this other place. Maybe for some time or maybe for good. You get a feeling that whatever you decide to do will be the right decision based on what you know at this time so you decide to keep going and see what your destination is like. Your curiosity to get there is strong. You feel confident that you can come back to the other place any time and you’re excited to see if the place you started your journey to is what you expected it to be… time will tell!

Lifes journey takes us along many roads with unexpected diversions along the way. We might be nervous or fearful of them. Sometimes we’re in control of them, other times we’re not. Sometimes those experiences are incredibly difficult to navigate through. We’ll always be in control of at least some elements of each of life’s experiences. There will be many choices to make. Sometimes we’ll eventually get to where we wanted to go. Other times, we change direction as we decide somewhere else is more appealing. We might get to our destination and it turns out to not be what we expected. We might decide to get back on the road to go somewhere else. We might get there and it turns out to be everything we hoped for! And the diversions only made the journey more interesting or taught us lessons.

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Whatever is in front of us is unknown but if we choose to embrace the unknown as part of our journey, go with the flow, embrace any mistakes and feel grateful for everything we experience along the way then we can enjoy the whole experience. Life is a journey, its’ not just about the destination. Don’t forget to look all around you or you might miss out on the beauty of it. As Ferris Bueller said “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. ”

Stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t easy. You’ll suddenly find loads of reasons why you shouldn’t take action on what you desire. Wanting thoughts will always lead to more wanting. Living in lack will lead to a life of lack. Taking a step forward, even if it’s a small one is taking action. It shows that you’re willing to start pushing through the resistance and head towards living the life you dreamed of. Making it your reality. It might take time and you won’t always see results straight away but you can rest assured that as long as you keep moving, you’ll eventually get somewhere… even if it ends up being different to what you imagined.

Think of life abundantly as an exciting journey and you’ll attract more abundance along the way. We are surrounded by abundance. It’s yours to take if you choose to do so.

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Enjoy the trip!xx

Your Body, Your Baby…

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Your Body, Your Baby: an event created by a group of like-minded, small local businesses, passionate about informing parents-to-be about holistic approaches that empower them to achieve the positive pregnancy and birth experience that they want and deserve. Our collective ethos is to provide a powerful opportunity to support women in moving towards living the life they want to lead through exploring various alternative approaches.

Join Doula-La, Hand in Hand Therapies, Lime Thistle and Zensory Therapies on Sunday 7th October from 12-4pm at Zensory’s studio in Falkirk (167 High Street, FK1 1DU) to chat in an informal & relaxed environment about the various therapies and services available to you and the deep internal and external benefits they could have in your life.

Throughout the event, each business will showcase how they can help to guide and nurture you through your own unique journey.

12.45-1.05 – Doula-La on supporting women and their families during pregnancy and birth, by providing
women with information and care, tailored to their own circumstances, empowering them to achieve the type of birth they want and deserve.

1.30-1.50 Hand in Hand Therapies on Hypnotherapy and Hypnobirthing classes to promote positive change, as these therapies can help to release negative emotions, beliefs and fears, and enable you to live the life you want to lead.

2.15-2.35 Lime Thistle on relaxing and unwinding your body and mind, allowing you to rediscover that place of calm that you’d forgotten existed within you

3-3.35 Zensory Therapies on harnessing your own energy to raise your vibration through enabling you to tap into the tools that already exist inside of you, allowing you and your partner to have the most positive and empowering pregnancy and birth experience.

This event is not ticketed. You can come & go as you please or just join for certain sections or talks. A first come first serve approach will be used if it’s needed.

We are absolutely delighted to be bringing this event to you. The support and encouragement we receive from new and existing clients is quite simply, breathtaking. We can’t wait to meet you.

If you’ve any questions, here’s the link to our websites for contact information, or give us a shout on Facebook.

Sending you positive vibes, Your Body Your Baby Team ✨

https://doula-la.co.uk

https://handinhandhypnobirthing.co.uk

http://limethistle.co.uk

https://www.zensorytherapies.co.uk

What is the law of attraction?

What is the Law of attraction and how can I use it in my life?

It might be something new to you or you’re already familiar with it and implement it in your life but I wanted to give you my perspective on it to see how it can help you!

I first became aware of it in the 2000’s. I heard that Noel Edmund’s had got into this thing called cosmic ordering and he attributed it to Deal or No Deal’s success.

Basically, the idea was to get specific on what you want in life and to ask the cosmos/the universe/higher being for it. Over the years, I’ve gained a much better understanding of what it’s all about and it’s something I use myself.

It might sound a bit like wishing thinking at first glance and without taking any action on what you want, it is. BUT, it actually makes loads of sense so here’s an introduction to it which I’ve explained in my own way. As I’ve started writing this, I’m aware of just how big a subject it is so I’ll do the basics today and have ideas for future posts to go a bit deeper!

Energy

The Institute of Bioenergetics states that “Quantum physics is a branch of science that deals with discrete, indivisible units of energy called quanta as described by the Quantum Theories. Quantum physics involves the study of the realm of the very small, at the atomic and subatomic level, such as electrons, photons and quarks. Therefore, it’s operating at the below-cell level of the body.”

All living things, every single thing on the planet and all the space between and all throughout the universe, is energy. It never changes. It cannot expand or decrease. This is both positive and negative. You know that feeling when you walk into a room which feels oppressive? That’s the collective energy of all those people. you can’t see it but you can certainly feel it. That feeling when you go to a concert and everyone is excited and happy? That’s energy. We can’t see electricity but we know it’s there. We can’t see, feel, touch, hear or taste it but we see effects of it.

Vibration

Everything gives off a vibration. Think of it in terms of sound. We can hear certain frequencies of vibrations but there are also vibrations which are out of our hearing range. Again, just because our senses can’t detect them, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Have you ever noticed a cat look at something and you can’t see it? We all interpret the world in our own way through our own senses. Each person will interpret this differently and each species on the planet does the same. Cats are tuned into different vibrations from us humans. We need to tune into our own vibration. The language of the universe is vibrations. Our thoughts are vibrations. We need to speak to the universe in terms of vibrations. It’s how you attract what you do and don’t want. Have you noticed that when you have a bad day, things seem to go “wrong” really easily? As these vibrations can be positive or negative, the universe responds and we seem to attract bad luck or misfortune. The more we tell ourselves that we can’t do something, the more we create that as our reality. We can say what we want but if our unconscious thoughts don’t believe our wishes then it’s really hard to get what we want. Increasing your vibration and awareness will make what you ask for far more appealing as like attracts like! Look after yourself, in body, mind and spirit. Meditate, do yoga or anything which gets you into a state of relaxation, eat and drink healthily, move and sleep. Repeat positive affirmations. Sing, dance and Smile!

Manifesting

How do you manifest what you want in life? How does it work? It’s all about intention. There are different ways to do it but a great way to start is to get a notebook and start writing down everything you want. Get specific, really down to the fine details. Don’t be afraid to be bold in your ambition, why not! Once you’ve written down what you want, you need to have a think about how you would get it. This can be the stickler for people and they can get despondent when what they want doesn’t seem to manifest. But it’s taking some decisive action that will start to change your life. It might not happen overnight but as long as you start to take steps you’ll start to move forward. Focus in where you want to go instead of what you fear. Sometimes you’ll meet resistance. Here’s where your subconscious mind can hold you back. Us humans aren’t fans of the unknown. It’s pretty scary and we’ll often unconsciously sabotage ourselves to get back to that safe place. It’s familiar, we might hate it but we know it. We can have the fear of failure, and/or the fear of success. Our subconscious stores all of our experiences and memories. These all make up our belief system and the stories we tell ourselves. So often I hear people say what they would love to do in life and then immediately rattle off all the reasons why they can’t. They’re usually really legitimate reasons like finances, time, family commitments and not knowing how to take that first step. My advice is to write it all down and spend time focusing on what first step you could take. For example, if you want to retrain in another profession, you could sign up for a course which you could do around your current job. If that seems like to big a step, break it down. Start putting money aside to save for it, start reading into it. Just start somewhere. It might take a while but if you really want to do it, you need to start somewhere. Do this and continue to take steps and you’ll be amazed at how far you come! You might find it takes you in a different direction from what you first thought and that’s great if it does because it’s only by taking action that you can find this out. Believe in yourself and your ability and start tuning into what you want.

You want to become aware of your thoughts, you want to choose your thoughts carefully and you want to have fun with this, because you are the masterpiece of your own life.” – Joe Vit

Visualising

Visualisation is powerful. When we vividly imagine something, our brain doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined. Vivid visualisation envokes an emotional response. The emotional response releases hormones and we FEEL the emotion physically. This starts to up your vibration as your body and mind start to believe the same thing and this makes it much more likely that you’ll bring the imagined into your reality. It’s a technique used in hypnotherapy to get you focusing on the life you want to lead. Repetition is necessary so it’s good to get into a habit of doing this.

Gratitude

Gratitude is a big piece of the puzzle if we don’t feel grateful for what we have it’s really difficult to get what we want as well always be in a state of need. This isn’t always really easy, especially if our mental health is compromised in any way. We can’t feel fear or anger and happiness and gratitude at the same time so if its possible, try to implement gratitude into your daily life. It doesn’t have to be the big things, you can be grateful for anything. You can reframe many negative situations and find aspects which you can feel grateful for. Sometimes if we find that is just too difficult, we can think about acceptance instead of gratitude and that can be very powerful too.

People

Surround yourself with like-minded people who get your vision. We are most influenced by the 5 people we spend the most time with. The influence of others can really pull us back or catapult us forward. If that’s hard in your family, social and work circle, look into groups you can join. Either in person or online. I’m in a number of online groups and it’s amazing how you support each other and build each other up! I’m also very fortunate to be surrounded by amazing family and friends and we really support each other’s ideas and aspirations. It truly makes a difference.

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Once you start looking into this, you’ll find that so many inspiring people speak about it when they describe how they have achieved their goals in life. Oprah Winfrey, Napoleon Hill, Dr Wayne Dyer, Jim Carrey, Will Smith, Deepak Chopra are all names worth looking into for their ideas and stories. “The Secret” by Rhonda Bryne, The Abraham Hicks collection by Ester and Jerry Hicks are good starter books and there is a tone of info online about it. These ideas are as old as time. Humans were once more intuitive and looked to deep into nature for support in health and wellbeing. Western Culture and modern times have dampened that a little though it does seem that there is a resurgence for being more in tune with the natural order of the universe.

So that’s an overview of my thoughts on what it’s all about. I learn something new all the time and I find it a really interesting subject which has a lot of crossover with my life and my work. I hope it starts you on your journey or gives you another perspective on how we experience life.

K x