Going gently with your rage

Thanks to Pinterest

I remember clearly the first time, when I was a new mum, that I heard another new mum mention how she sometimes felt rage.  I was quite taken aback to hear her talk openly about the rage she sometimes felt while parenting.

Rage and parenting

Surely rage was something we should not be feeling after fulfilling our long and dearly held wish for a baby? And if we did sometimes feel this very real and visceral emotion, isn’t it something better kept to ourselves?

I can honestly say that I had not noticed feeling rage before I became a mum, nearly 10 years ago. I remember being quite shocked at this realisation.

I was the person, who waited 18 years before my dream of becoming a mum came true.  I then thought that everything would just fall into place, easily and peacefully.  Little did I know that my very idyllic and naïve view would come crashing down around my ears.

So there I was, a new mum, with an angel in my world but I often feeling overcome with intense feelings of heartbreaking loneliness (as a sole parent), despair, frustration and sometimes even rage.

Recently I listened to a most excellent interview with Ruth King on Sounds True’s, Self Acceptance Summit. With much wisdom, grace and personal experience, King spoke about the Six Disguises of Rage.

She described how rage is lodged into our bodies back when we are children.  It belongs to the Amygdala and Limbic part of the brain which is sometimes known as our primitive brain.  This is where survival emotions such as Fight, Flight and Shrink (most people know it as Freeze) are embedded into our psyche.

Fight

King spoke about how there is both a dominance and defiance disguise within Fight mode. Dominance exhibits as wanting to control our lives, so we are never controlled.  One harsh lesson of parenting is that despite our best intentions, life with a newborn is uncontrollable.  You can lovingly feed, change and nurture your baby but he or she still may howl for hours.

The defiance disguise of Fight mode displays as belligerent, outwardly angry behaviour.  You use anger to divert your need for love.  This is a true cry out for love.

Flight

In flight mode, the distraction disguise is when you fill every minute or your life with things to do.  King uses the example of needing one more black dress or one more scoop of ice cream.  Incidentally, this is where addiction occurs. Since becoming a mother I have had my own struggles with a sugar addiction but am thankfully now free of that.

The devotion disguise of Flight is the person who takes perfect care of others but doesn’t attend to their own needs.  These people are very much longing for what they are giving.

Shrink

The dependence disguise of Shrink mode is to deny your own personal power, and in the fear of losing someone, you then play it small.

The depression disguise of Shrink is to shut down to avoid feelings of overwhelm and to try and keep things tight and controlled.  I know that I have done this in my parenting journey.

According to King, these six disguises keep people under control because they are too afraid of the true expression of their rage.  However, “Rage holds the body in hostage,” explained King.  The deeper roots of rage are sadness, grief,

Moving mountains with your rage

and any other unfinished stuff waiting for us to love it into transformation.

King advises for us to get to know our “rage child.” She does this by dropping the story and going inside the body with our attention.

As a kinesiologist, this is what I call emotional embodiment.  King also says that we can ask ourselves, “What are the beliefs about the issue?  Am I feeling all alone?  Is this true? Do I need to rest or give myself some compassion?

Through my work, I am honoured to help women process and shift their emotions through embodiment. If you feel like you need some help with your less than positive emotions, please give me a call on 0416 733 834.

Much love,

Anna xxx

 

The Happy Butterfly Project

Feeling happy can often feel as elusive as a transitory butterfly.

I can honestly say that in my 10-year solo parenting journey, happiness has been like a butterfly who didn’t often decide to sit on my shoulder.  Instead of feeling joy, I was firmly planted in survival mode and at times overwhelmed by feelings of responsibility, stress and in the early days, social isolation.

Thankfully, now, I am in a really good space and wish to celebrate and build on this fact.  You may be wondering what has lead to this change.

Following the happy trail

Over the last six years especially, I have done a great deal of internal work. Before becoming a kinesiologist, I witnessed how much it improved my own life. This inspired me to help other women on their own personal journey. So I studied kinesiology and am now privileged to be a practitioner.

Also, my kids are now both in school.  This doesn’t mean I have much time to spare but I have uninterrupted time to both work on my business and study. A winning combination.

Springing into Spring

I’m also the kind of person, whom Spring performs its magic on. It really does put a spring in my step, a smile on my face and feelings of happiness in my heart.

 

According to Marci Shimoff, author of Happy For No Reason, “when you notice good things that happen to you, you activate your reticular activating system (RAS).” This a group of cells at the base of the brain stem responsible for turning on your memory system and allowing it to bring anything important to your attention.

This means that if you take note of when you are feeling happy, you are able to build on other happy events which helps you to experience even more of them.  As Shimoff writes, ” When you decide to look for the positive, your RAS makes sure that is what you see… Once you notice something positive, take a few moments to savour it.”

Come join the Happy Butterfly Project

I’m now on a personal mission to write down my own moments of joy. It’s only a line or two but I feel that it’s going to be really worthwhile. Who wants to join me?

If you feel like you might need a little help on the path to joy, please consider booking in for a kinesiology session with me.

Much love and joy to you, Anna. xxx

Reaching Out for Help

In this fast paced world, where there can be multiple things (or children) screaming for your attention at the one time, it’s crucial to reach out for help if and when you need it. 

Nearly two years ago, I was actually so miserable, disconnected and feeling alone, that I took steps to leave this earth. I fervently believed that death had to be easier than what I was experiencing here and that my children would somehow be okay without me. Madness? Yes, I see that now.

As a write this, I’m wondering if any of you will now be condemning me as a mother and declaring me not worthy of having children.

So what happened?  Did I change my mind?  Not really.  Let’s just say that the universe intervened and I realised that my place is here, alongside my beautiful kids.

You might also be asking if I actually love my children?  The answer is an unequivocal, “Yes”.  I love them with every fibre of my being and they know that.

So how could I contemplate leaving them?  I actually thought they might be better off with a new mum.  A mum who wasn’t tired much of the time, cranky and lost.

Thank goodness I am no longer in that same fragile state. Yeah, I still get tired and cranky but I no longer feel that life is just too hard to bear.

I’m actually nervous about posting this piece.  I’ve only told one friend and two practitioners about that ever so dark blip in my mothering journey but I feel I have an important message to share.

I get it that everyone has personal challenges and that life is really busy for them. But for someone to contemplate checking out there must have been outward signs.  Do I have good, close friends and family?  Absolutely. And did I talk to them about all of this? Not entirely.

Sure some people knew I was not in a happy space but I actually did not want to trouble my two closest friends, with the absolute seriousness of what was going on.  I figured that they had enough to worry about.

So what is my message?  I’m asking you, if you’ve read this far, to look around your own group of family and friends.  See if there’s anyone who might need some help, a break or an ear to bend. Don’t just dismiss them as someone who is down and not much fun to be around.

For goodness sake, reach out to them.  And I don’t mean by text. And please don’t ask a parent how they are feeling in front of their children (people are very good at putting on a brave face).

Go out for a coffee and talk face to face.  And if you feel inclined to help in some way, don’t just ask, “Is there anything I can do?”  If you see that they are not coping in some way and may need a break, INSIST on them accepting your helping.  Make it easy for them to say yes.

I’m actually blown away by the absolute kindness of a new school friend (another sole parent) who has offered to mind my kids for an upcoming weekend. My first reaction was that I couldn’t possibly do this but she was quite clear that I had no choice. “You WILL be having a weekend off.  And I WILL nag you until you choose a date.”  Bless her.

This will be my second weekend off without the kids, for fun and not study, in nearly 10 years. Hallelujah. I am feeling very, very lucky, supported, grateful and blessed.  And I’m looking forward to either returning the favour or paying it forward.

This seems a bit trite to tack on the end of this piece but if you are feeling that life is just too hard, please take the step to talk to someone about it.  I actually chose, the non-medication route but if that is what you need please go and talk to your doctor. There is no shame in saying that you need help.  It actually takes more courage to admit that you need it. You might also like to check out Beyond Blue at https://www.beyondblue.org.au.

For me, kinesiology helped enormously. If you called to work with me, please feel free to phone me for a confidential and extremely non-judgemental chat. I have stood where you are standing and I’m so happy to say I have not only survived but am now beginning to thrive.

 

How to listen to your divine feminine

Recently I found myself in an intensely masculine environment and my reaction was to dissociate and leave it. I wish I had known other ways of dealing with it. Instead of freaking out about the exterior world I always had the choice to go within.  To go deep and find that place within me that knows flow, peace and love.  This is how my divine feminine is and it’s so very curious that I chose to overlook her. It’s takes presence and faith to know that all that we seek really does lie within us.

Our divine feminine resides in our heart.  She is not loud and rowdy but she is strong, oh so strong and you really do need to tune in to her and listen. Be patient when seeking answers.  Time doesn’t matter so much here. The divine feminine knows courage, grace and nurturing. She stands opposed to fear and aggression.

As the mother of two little ones, I am often in my head and the masculine mode of doing.  Just getting the kids to school takes so much doing. But how would it look if we took a more feminine route?  If I as their mother, modeled that it’s really rather easy.  It’s an approach that would hopefully reduce much stress for all of us.  And this in itself, means it’s worth a go.

Wishing you all happy flow and peace. Anna xxx

Stop Doubting and Start Doing

I’ve been on quite an emotional roller coaster lately and it’s rattled me in many ways. Questions are raging: “What have I done? Who am I? Do I have what it takes to pursue my dreams?

Self doubt and fear (friends from way back) are inviting themselves back into my world.  But then I ask myself “What do you think you’ve been doing all these years and doing well?”

I’ve brought two wonderful children into the world and raised them on my own.  I’ve returned to study and achieved a Diploma in Kinesiology.  My open-minded GP has referred clients to me.  I moved myself and the kids interstate to follow my heart only to find that it’s not there that we belonged.

I’ve been knocked down many times but here I am, a little weary but still optimistic, still standing, still open to wondrous new possibilities.

It’s time for me to shine again.  Time for me to speak my truth a little louder.  In my heart I know that we are all magnificent beings but so many of us are too scared to realise and claim it.

It’s time for me to stop doubting and start doing.  And how about you? Just take one small, positive step and see what happens.  Go on, I dare you. xxx

Stopping the self abuse

I do believe one of my biggest life lessons is to stop being so bloody hard on myself.

To a vast extent I have achieved this, mainly with the help of a lot of soul-searching, personal development and kinesiology.

The funny thing is, that before I became a mother I actually thought I was doing okay and my self-esteem was in the healthy range.  But after becoming a mum, and setting myself impossibly high standards, my healthy self-esteem bottomed out as self loathing.  So how did such a major shift happen?

A lot has to do with expectations.  I expected that I would be the perfect mum after seeing myself as  both a good daughter and a good partner (please note that I didn’t say perfect).  I didn’t realise at the time, that this was pure craziness and impossible to achieve.  So instead of thriving as an indie (solo) mum, I just beat myself up every time I fell short of being perfect.  Silly, I know.

Did I hold other mothers to such high standards?  Of course not, so why did I make an exception for myself? I think it comes back to being both a perfectionist (and now, thank goodness, I’m a former perfectionist) and a Virgo desperately trying to hang on to control in the face of domestic chaos. As a new mum, all of a sudden I had this precious being to nurture and protect. Loving her was so easy but when my little darling did not get the recommended amount of sleep, I automatically assumed that I was doing something wrong.  A trying case of post natal anxiety did not help either. And could I make my daughter sleep more? Hell no, and hence my ensuing despair and self recrimination. Just writing this I can feel the former tension rising in my body.

Three years later and after the birth to my beautiful son, it was declared by one of the midwives that I had split abdominal muscles.  So in the weeks and months following his birth, I dutifully did the recommended exercises to try to rectify the issue.  Try as I would, the muscles did not get much closer.  Instead of celebrating this and the fact that I had a carried and delivered a healthy, bouncing boy without any drugs or intervention, I criticised my body for letting me down.  It was just another case of personal, and this time physical, failure and opportunity for me to be harsh to myself. Did it help?  Not in the slightest.  In the end, after about six months of religiously doing the exercises, the hospital staff just advised me to let them go.

Fast forward another five years and I have just recently had my unruly locks permanently straightened.  As I was sitting at the hairdressers and surveying the result I stopped myself from thinking, “Great new hair but shame about the face.” Instead I sent myself a loving thought.  Some self kindness at last.  Hooray.

 

Standing peacefully in your personal power

 

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While we were getting ready for school and kinder today, my beautiful five-year-old son had a meltdown over a perceived theft from his recent pinnata booty.  Rather than react with more emotion, I chose a more peaceful response.  I just put my hands over my solar plexus chakra and stood in my personal power with a loving heart.

The solar plexus chakra is our centre for peaceful, personal power and if we’re feeling threatened or attacked in any way it’s really helpful to put our hands over it (check out my chakra post if you would like more information).

After the tantrum finished, I asked my boy if he would like a hug and he just melted in my arms.  A very beautiful end to a morning challenge.