Thursday, January 12, 2017

On Staying Small in a World of Go Big - Notes on FMM in 2017

Being a work at home mom really is amazing and I am aware of how lucky I am to be able to stay home with Claire and follow my dreams of creating healing jewelry for amazing people....I know not everyone can do this and I am thankful that our lifestyle allows me this opportunity. However, this choice also comes with its flaws. It is HARD guys, truthfully it is. Towards the end of 2016 I hit my wall and was officially burnt out. My husband works so hard to support Claire and I - and sometimes I feel such guilt over it. So I pushed myself to be the perfect mom, the perfect wife, and the perfect small business owner. As demand for my products grew so too did the pressure I put on myself and my stress. It became ironic that the very healing items I was making to support others, was in turn, causing me stress and strife. Why? Because I put work first. I felt it was only logical to grow bigger, that the demand meant success, and that I needed to push myself harder to keep up with my growing clientele base. Thing is, no one woman can do that and still be an involved mother, loving wife, and have time for herself.

So what did I do? Well I stopped doing the things that made me happy so I would have more time for work, child, and husband. That was WRONG. Enter burn out, exhaustion, frustration, and sorrow. I realized that the answer for me as a small business owner is STAY SMALL - and that is ok. I am honoured that my creations are so loved and worn all around the world however I am choosing to say no more so I can say YES to what matters. I am going back to the roots of what it means to be a small business owner, an artisan, because to do otherwise means I would have to farm out my work to be mass produced...and that just is not the vision I have in mind for Full Moon Mothering. I want to be able to continue to offer you all artisanal quality creations, made in small batches, infused with my love - because doing so truly does bring me great joy! I love the beautiful photos you send me of your precious children adorned in my necklaces and I am honoured by the stories shared with me during the custom design process. Creating in this manner fills my cup and allows me to fill the cups of others so we can all lift each other up.

I stopped filling my own cup and instead was too busy trying to be the perfect small business owner. I put emails, jewelry design, and social media management before myself and my own health. I started to suffer from migraines, jaw pain, and became irritable and stressed. Yoga, one of my greatest loves, was put on the back burner because I felt I couldn't take an hour out of my day when I had so much work to do. So I stopped doing Yoga, and that is when I really hit my wall. Why am I writing so publicly about this? Because I get a LOT of emails from stay at home moms wanting to find a way to work from home. The number one piece of advice I can give is that it is HARD to be a WAHM (work at home mom) and a SAHM (stay at home mom) at the same time. We as a society forget that being a SAHM is a full time job in and of itself...we don't assign a high value to women's/mothers work and so we in turn as mothers don't assign a value to what we do. We feel guilt. We feel pressure. We feel the need to be perfect and do it all, because it looks so easy on Instagram after all! I am here to tell you that it is not easy, but it can be done. Set boundaries, practice self care, and don't stop doing the things that bring you true joy. What you do as a SAHM does have value, it has immense value. Know that.

I knew my work load had gotten too big when I stopped doing the things that I love, the things that bring me joy and are just for me. Mothering brings me joy, cooking brings me joy, running a loving home brings me joy, creating healing jewelry brings me joy...but all of these things are done for others. SO I sat down and wrote a list of all of the things that bring me joy, for me, myself, and I

Watching Documentaries
Hiking in the woods
solo coffee dates with myself

I looked at this list and realized that with the exception of gardening and reading I had let everything else fall away. I talked a lot about self care, but I wasn't taking very good care of MY self. So I have scaled back on my little shop, making it even more little, so I can focus on some big personal changes for me. I am strictly working on custom design services, and will not be doing any HUGE shop updates in the foreseeable future. Instead I am going back to small batch, love filled, artisanal creations...and I will no longer start answering work emails before I have even brushed my teeth or drank a hot cup of coffee. Since coming to this realization I have watched 4 documentaries, crocheted 2 hats (working on a 3rd), and have started a regular yoga practice once more. I can honestly say that I feel happier, lighter and ironically MORE productive when I sit down to work. I am more in touch with my intuition and healing side, and am able to bring that positive energy into the custom creations I make. In short scaling back and going small has brought BIG positive changes to Full Moon Mothering.

So whats my point? Write a list, just like I did. Write down as many things as you can think of that make you happy but you haven't done in a long time. Pick three of those things and aim to reintroduce them this month. Then see how you feel.

Its ok to put yourself first. Its ok to say no so that we can say YES to what matters more.

Don't feel guilty

You deserve it

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Goodbye 2016 - Some Positive Reflections on a Shitty Year

I have been very vocal about my dislike for 2016, perhaps a little too vocal....that is if you believe in the Law of Attraction. I didn't want to start off a brand new year with so much negativity in my mind, and felt that in order for it to be the GREAT year I am manifesting it to be, I had to find some positive points to 2016. It couldn't have all been that bad could it? That's when I realized something: 2015 was a tough year for me too. I was diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease and got into a major car accident. Two years of negativity is enough for me, I have worked DAMN hard on myself and it can't have all been for nothing. It didn't take me long to realize three powerful truths about 2016:

1) while 2015 may have been the year of diagnosis and intense pelvic pain - 2016 was the year of healing and discovery. I dedicated myself to regular physiotherapy and overhauled my diet, while working on reducing my stress levels. The result? Simply taking all gluten out of my diet has left me PAIN FREE for the past 6-8 months. That is huge guys! Eliminating gluten and reducing stress has lowered my bodies inflammatory response so much that I no longer live in daily pain. I am knocking on wood as I type this, but I am feeling confident that I have found a key to pain management for years to come. Also, as an added bonus, it no longer takes me over an hour to fall asleep! With gluten out of my body I fall asleep faster and rarely need the aid of any sleep aids. So yay to that!

2) in early 2016 it was discovered that my liver was stressed and causing me symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, and headaches (to name a few) for no known medical reason. I saw many Drs, some of whom told me it was all in my head even though lab results, symptoms, and regular note taking said otherwise. I learned to stand up for myself and demand better care, to be my own health advocate, and to take charge of what I put in and on my body. I still don't really know what is going on but this discovery has led me to eat better, drink less alcohol and more water, and eliminate toxins from my house, body and environment. I make more informed choices then ever before...and as someone who worked in the natural health care field for years I felt I was already fairly well informed. One can never stop learning it turns out.

3) in talking with my husband I realized that despite two very difficult and challenging years - and a lifelong battle with mental health issues - my moods had never been more stable. While I am sure they have happened, I would have to think very hard to try to recall any moments of anxiety. I still suffer from a tendency towards the blues, but its not full on depression anymore and I talk more about my emotions/feelings/thoughts and therefore get over my blue periods faster and come out of them a stronger woman then before.

So was 2016 a hard year? Yes. Not just for me but for my family as well. Its had many ups and downs but despite them all I have learned a lot and grown even more. So thank you for your painfully hard lessons 2016, you maybe could've been a little less bitchy about it...but I got the message and I am ready to charge into 2017 with a new set of life skills.

Peace, love, and pickles

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Time to bring back an old favourite....Thankful Thursdays. Back in my blogger days, before Full Moon Mothering came to be, I wrote a weekly post about all the things I am thankful for. The little things and the big things. I found that living with an attitude of gratitude made life easier, made my stress bearable, my moods happier. In short it just made everything better. Fast forward (its been 3 years since I wrote one) and I could use an attitude adjustment, stress affects everything - our health, our relationships, our work life, sleep, etc etc. I am stressed I won't lie. It is not easy being a work at home mom with a husband that travels as much mine does. I have been a cranky mom lately, not practicing much self care, and not the greatest friend either. So it time to get back to basics! Along with eating better and exercising more, its time to start being thankful for the little things. I find that being thankful for these things makes the big stressful things seem....well, not so big! So here is my first Thankful Thursday list in 3 years:

- my neighbour who brought me home made soup when Claire was sick
- Claire cracking jokes despite how sick she was
- Claire NOT being sick anymore! Phew! That was a crappy 2 weeks
- My dog Juno who has been my shadow and constant companion since Ryan left for Italy
- Seeing an old friend from elementary school, who now lives in Peru, for the first time in about 7 years!
- being gifted with lovely treats from Peru
- sleeping with Claire in my bed all week, she falls asleep holding my hand
- the fact that I didn't delete this blog and found the courage to resuscitate it!!!! I miss writing

So kittens, tell me...what are YOU thankful for?

Peace, love, and pickles

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

They Say Everything Happens for a Reason...

All my life I have felt tugged, pulled, or stuck in limbo between the philosophies of the east and the west. I am a city girl, I like shiny things, my purses are mostly brand name, and its not a night out without a few glasses of pino grigio. Im also a boho gal, love yoga, eat healthy, take my vitamins....and always want to do MORE. More yoga. More meditation. More mindful living. More holistic health care.

But I don't.

For the past 34 years I have lived as if I am on the other side of a glass door. I can see the life I really want, but I keep getting distracted by the bright shiny things and the booze, damn it! I get distracted and off course. I get lazy and stop going to yoga, stop taking my vitamins, stop reading books that feed my mind and my soul.

As I face my 35th birthday this June I also face a sudden and shocking new diagnosis: Interstitial Cystitis, otherwise known as painful bladder syndrome (but trust me its so much more then that). This has flipped my whole world upside down, and in a way...brought me closer to my path then I have ever been. Let me explain:

Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is defined as 
a chronic inflammatory condition of the submucosal and muscular layers (interstitial) of the bladder. It is often misdiagnosed as a UTI however there is no bacteria or infection involved. It can cause mild to intense pain depending on the individual in the bladder, urethra, and general pelvic area. Feelings of intense pressure, sharp stabbing pains, dull aches, and a constant urge to "go" are common. For some this can mean urinating upwards of 30 times a day (thankfully I am not one of them but don't you dare ask me to "hold it" unless you have a heating pad and a bottle of T3s handy). People with IC live in pain for most of their lives, with good days and bad. For me a good day is just a low pain day, I call it my "new normal". A bad day is what is called a "flare" and this can vary greatly from person to person but in a nut shell the bladder/pelvic pain can become so intense that it triggers nerve reactions in the back, hips, vulva, groin along with hot and cold chills, upset stomach, fatigue and depression. Flares are often caused by diet but can also be triggered by stress and hormones (among others). There is no cure for IC.

I am choosing to see this as a blessing instead of a curse (even though most days that is really freaking hard to do). I no longer feel tugged between two worlds because I cannot allow myself to steer off my true path again. Before it just meant Id be tired and cranky and achey. Now it means I will be in severe pain and my depression will spiral out of control because of it. Yoga is no longer a luxury it is a necessity. Meditation too. Clean pure water floods my body instead of wine everyday. I cant tell you how many times I tried to go booze free for 30 days, only to get stressed out and pour that glass anyway. I had ZERO will power. I'd skip yoga, eat like crap, and berate myself for it. Not anymore.

I have no choice. I have to practice what I preach. I have to follow my path. The same path that took me to India 14 years ago in search of answers. I so desperately looked for a teacher, someone to just fix me and make it all go away. I wanted an AH HA moment where it just all makes sense and my problems where solved. Sorry kiddo, life just doesn't work that way. Thing is the teacher was always with me, she was INSIDE me. She is me. I am my own teacher I just wasn't listening, my ego kept distracting me and taking me of course in search of those damn shiny things.

When the student is ready the teacher appears. Well I am ready, my body has no choice, it is talking to me and I have to listen. So the past few weeks have been a bit of a metamorphosis for me. I am learning how to re-love myself and how to stick to it. In many ways I am going back to that hippy globe trotter I was at 21, except I am more confident and passionate. I practice yoga like its my LIFE LINE now. It keeps me sane, it helps with my pain, and I cry at the end of every class because I am so very full of gratitude. I am learning about guided imagery, chronic pain coping techniques, meditation, and I am learning to live in the present because chronic pain really gives you no other option

Monday, November 18, 2013

How to Create a Routine Chart for Toddlers!

I recently attended a Positive Discipline Workshop as taught by Sarah Joseph of Prenatal to Parenting, and one of the simplest things I learned is that toddlers DO NOT have a sense of time. How can they? For them life is a series of moments, interactions, activities....not governed by the hands on clock. Around the time of this workshop Claire was in her first ballet class series, and one morning she just would not get ready. So I left her clothes beside her and told her when she was ready to get dressed, I was there to help her, but if she didn't get dressed soon we would not make it to ballet class. Not wanting to fight with her I went to go finish my coffee in peace and take a few deep breaths. Well it worked great in that we both calmed down without getting into a battle of wills, but of course we didn't make it to ballet on time. 

So with a clear day ahead of us we went to Michaels and I bought some poster board and a big book of stickers with the theme of "my day". When Claire was in bed that night I created our very first Routine here to read the rest of my guest post over on Prenatal to Parenting!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Importance of Self Care to the New Mother

Self care is important for everyone to practice, but it is especially important to the new mother. What is self care? Imagine that all your love, your sense of self, your pride, your joy, your happiness is in a cup. That cup is buried deep inside you and because we do not see it often, we forget it is there. Every time we selflessly help a friend out, stay late at work, do a favor even though we are exhausted we pour out a little bit of water from that cup. Suddenly it is empty, and we have no more love to give - to them or ourselves
(thanks to a Prenatal to Parenting workshop for the fabulous visual of self love!)

Self love is the revolutionary act of filling YOUR CUP first. Why is this so important for new mothers? Because as a new mom we want to, and indeed are taught to, give everything to our new child. We naturally want the best for them so we sacrifice sleep, warm meals, hot showers, phone calls, time alone.....everything! We pour everything into our new children, physically if we are breastfeeding too. Why could this become a problem? One day you will hit a wall my friend. You will slam into that wall so hard and have no idea how you got there or why, you will try to take care of your baby again and realize you have nothing left to give, for them or you. That my darlings is a recipe for disaster.

Some people are not comfortable with this idea of self care, they feel it is selfish, or they don't deserve it. That only means you need it more!We simply cannot be as present for our children or our spouse if we are not present with ourselves. One of the biggest lessons I learned from my experience of PPD was to practice more self care. Why is this particularly important for the NEW mother? Because self care is a skill, and we learn skills by doing and practicing. If you make this part of your lifestyle early on, you will thank yourself down the road when your toddler has found the permanent markers and colored on the wall with them (true story)

Use your body wisdom: are you sore, tired, tense, have tight muscles? Chances are you need some time to heal you!

This does not make you selfish.
This does not mean you do not care.
This does not mean you are a diva.
This does not mean you are a bad mother.

Practicing regular self care makes you an AWESOME mother! Both you and your child(ren) will thrive if YOU thrive. A happy mom = a happy baby!

Self care does not have to be a big production or a big cost. While a full day of pampering at the spa is nice, it's just not realistic for most of us. Small ways you can incorporate more self care into you day would be:

  • paint your nails
  • nap while baby naps
  • eat a nutritious meal...while its still warm
  • buy yourself a luxurious chocolate bar to savor once baby is asleep
  • drink your coffee/tea while it is HOT, chores can wait
  • read one article from that pile of magazines you have bought but never find time for
  • go for a walk in nature
  • turn off the TV and play some soothing music
  • read a book
  • grab a coffee with a fellow mommy and connect
  • call a friend
  • ask for a hug

How can YOU practice self care today? Leave a comment and tell me what you will do that is 100% purely for YOU MOMMA!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

What is Placenta Encapsulation?

Are your curious about placenta encapsulation, but not sure if it is for you? This page should answer any question you may have, and hopefully expose you to some new ideas too! The placenta is truly a marvelous thing, indeed it truly is a  miracle that the pregnant womans body grows an entirely new organ to support her and baby! The placenta is responsible for feeding, nourishing, and protecting baby while it is in utero, it is also a comforting womb-mate for baby who listens to the whoooshing sound of blood passing through it. Its no wonder so may new babies find white noise to be so soothing! The placenta also produces many hormones essential to a healthy pregnancy, mom, and baby. When a woman chooses to encapsulate her placenta she is reintroducing those hormones along with iron and many other essential nutrients back into her body. Some of the reported benefits of placenta encapsulation include (but are not limited to):

  • increase milk supply
  • fight fatigue
  • regulate moods/emotions
  • speed up recovery time
  • boost iron levels
  • shortened the time of post birth bleeding
  • restore balance to the body/mind

I am a fully trained, Canadian based, Placenta Encapsulation Specialist through Full Circle Placenta, located in the Fraser Valley and servicing Vancouver, Burnaby, New West, Surrey, Langley and other areas. I have obtained my Blood Born Pathogens certification with OSHA, and have taken the Canadian Food Safe training. Your placenta is a sacred vessel, and I will treat is as such from start to finish while practicing strict sanitization methods. After birth the womans body is very tired and taxed, it is cold and the energy is stagnant. It is for this reason that I prefer to use the Traditional Chinese Medicine method of preparation where the placenta is given a bath to cleanse off excess blood, lightly steamed to reintroduce warmth to the placenta, and then dehydrated before being ground into a powder and finally encapsulated. Consuming your placenta when it is prepared in this method helps to warm and tonify the mothers body, reintroducing yang energy and balancing her Chi (life force energy). I believe in a balance between the science and the spiritual, this method allows the mother to get the benefits of her placentas nutrients and also heals her on an energetic level as well. I do also offer the Raw Foods Method, please contact me for more information.

Basic service includes preparation and encapsulation of your placenta, pick up and delivery, a placenta art print, and a dream catcher cord keeps sake for $200. Additional services are listed below:

Deluxe TCM Service: in addition to the preparation and encapsulation of your placenta you will receive a personal phone consult with Dr. Chen of Bellevue Natural Health Clinic to determine what Chinese Herbs are best suited to you and your bodies needs. These herbs will be added to your placenta capsules to boost the healing properties of your placenta remedy for both your physical and emotional needs. (please allow additional time for your placenta pills to be completed in order for me to properly consult with Dr. Chen)

 Basic Placenta Tincture: ideal for use later in life, during menopause, or even when you run out of pills. Many mothers choose to save their placenta tincture for when their daughters first enter puberty to ease them through the transition Herbal Placenta Tincture: a herbal consult is done to choose what to add to your placenta tincture to enhance its healing capabilities 

Click here to inquire about my services today!