Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Business of Baby; a review

We live in a time when we have come to question everything. We are careful with what goes into our food, what sort of food we eat and how it was grown. We look for alternative ways to drink water, provide electric, heat to our homes and fuel our cars. We distrust corporations and the spying big brother when it comes to internet security and banking and we rarely believe what we hear from the news, newspapers or websites. On one hand we have become a suspicious society, which isn’t a very nice space to live in, but on the other hand, what has been launched from that is a society of independence, one where we, individually, inspire to educate ourselves, find out what our options are, what feels right, and what, in the long run is best for us and our family.

However, in the actual process of giving birth to our families, we can often feel powerless and left in the hands of others, whom instinctively we want to question. We can independently scan the internet, trying to weigh up the options and tap into what truly feels best to us, yet it always feels slightly ungrounded, like there’s a story lying beneath, that no one ever talks about.
That is why I was anxious to review Jennifer Margulis’ new book, The Business of Baby. I knew that finally, some of the mystery surrounding medical pregnancy and birth practices would be unearthed and I would have facts at my fingertips... for anyone who asked.

I have to say, this is a bit of an unusual book review for me to give. The business of Baby focuses on the physical elements of having a baby and the often harmful malpractices that have become routine. Over the last few years I have tried to keep a distance from stating too much of my opinions regarding the likes of hospital practices or parental preferences as I firmly believe that as parents, as people, we try our best, we do what we feel is best, what fits in with our perspective of the world. We might learn differently and change those beliefs along the road of life, we might feel best doing what our families have done for generations. However, the problem with that is whether we are actually doing what we do because we simply don’t know any other option. We may feel our choices are so slim that we opt for the “lesser evil”, rather than having the encouragement to follow our instincts, get connected and live our dream experience.

My work is also firmly based in the philosophy that we all create our realities and outcomes from a deeper, spiritual level. Things happen, not because we are victims to systems, but because we either need the contrast to find better feeling options, or we create those situations on a deeper level with others involved with them, in the case of birth and pregnancy for instance, our babies. Our children often choose the situations around their pregnancies and births before they even come, to provide them with a launching place to start life with.

However, as you can read in my “pre-review” blog posts, I know I had some shadows of doubt, some lack of information that haunted me through all my pregnancies that having them lifted would have made finding a spiritual connection so much easier. Because Jennifer’s book removes those shadows, I find that it is an incredibly useful tool for a spiritually based pregnancy.
There is so much in this book, so many questions answered, that to list them all here would be impossible. It might also mean people don’t read it themselves, and therefore miss out on the personal, candid and confident voice Jennifer relates her information with. An award winning journalist, whose work I first found in the Mothering Magazine, but who has also written for the NY times, Washington Post and Parenting, Jennifer pacts the book full of antidotes, personal and interviewed stories, hard facts and statistics to drive home the fact that there is a grey area in obstetrics and pediatrics. That no matter what, the bottom line is that doctors have to earn a living and in an age of court cases and the constant threat of being sued as well as the overbearing power of the pharmaceutical companies and how they ply their wares, many doctors find it easier to sacrifice the healthiest solution for their patient and take the most profitable instead (or at least cover their own backs as best as they can).

As Jennifer writes in her introduction; “This book will show you, time and time again corporate profits and private interests trump what is best for moms and babies. The science is consistently ignored and practices proven to be harmful are continued. Doctors- even though most have the best possible intentions- often unwittingly go along with a broken and sometimes dangerous system.”
From the problems of over examinations, which the doctors do to please the insurance companies, but usually lead to interventions, to the lack of nutritional education, to the additives in prenatal vitamins and other pharmaceuticals, the unknown effects of ultrasounds, how they are being widely overused, and the question of their use being a cause of the rise in autism, to the risks of C-sections but the incentives for doctors to use them, Jennifer spends the first half of the book looking at prenatal and birth care in great detail. We live in a world of numbers, and as one nurse points out, that’s what we’re seen as. It seems to me that at a time of one of the greatest miracles of life, one of the most natural things a human can experience, when a body can grow another person, and do everything within itself to support that new life, it seems an insane perspective to boil the experience down to a medical procedure, let alone a human being to a number on a chart.

The second half of the book is dedicated to the first year after birth, right from the possibility of the Hep. Vaccine within the first day and the risks of circumcision soon after (Jennifer witnessed and reported a circumcision while interviewing the performing doctor. It was one of the times that I squirmed in my chair with her vivid and honest detailed description.) A deeper look at the pharmaceutical companies and diaper companies such as Pampers and Huggies follows, as she looks at the manipulative ways they discourage parents from breastfeeding or early toilet training. The physical damage that Jennifer discovered caused by formula or extended diaper wearing was appalling, and the fact that children are now often not toilet trained by the time they reach kindergarten shows that the advertising campaigns of these companies are still incredibly successful.

The book is a captivating read, especially considering that I read neither investigative reports nor medical nonfiction on a regular base. Jennifer had me at the introduction. The only downside, in my opinion, is that it is about the American system of pregnancy and baby care, and as a Canadian the book had me questioning how much applied to my country’s situation. Ironically, the audio versions of the book have been produced by a Canadian publishing company and read by the talented, Canadian, actress Rebecca Jenkins. Jennifer is also being interviewed soon on a CBC talk show, which may shed some light on Canadian practices. It would have been impossible to cover all of North America, and Canadians, as well as anyone, can still benefit from the book for simply the reason that the lid has been blown off and the shadows cast away forever. Now, thanks to Jennifer, we know the right questions to ask, we can see things a little clearer and the overwhelming sense of mystery regarding the care we receive when pregnant and the questions we face after is well on its way of being solved.

The Business of Baby is available through Amazon and other book retailers. Also, please visit Jennifer's Facebook page for some great tidbits and articles.

Friday, April 12, 2013

My darling girl's traumatic entrance and my son's blissful one.

I got pregnant again when our first born was just 2 months. I know, I know... so many people came up when they saw me pregnant and smiled saying “breastfeeding isn’t effective birth control.” She was a surprise, she was spontaneous and when I look at her today I think “how could you ever be anything but, my delightful, energetic girl?”
Learning what I had from my first I refused more tests then before, but I still had a few bloodtests. On one appointment I was told I needed further tests to make sure I wasn’t getting gestational diabetes. The inner warning bells went off as I heard about the sugary mixture I would be asked to drink and the idea of challenging my body to get results seemed crazy. I reviewed what I had eaten before my appointment and realized that I’d been to starbucks and had a coffee cake and a iced mocha which had been my cravings and pleasure for awhile. I had also had grapefruit juice in the morning. To my doctor’s fury I skipped the test and told her to do the bloodwork again instead. I ate with caution before going to her office, and my tests came out normal. I then changed my diet for the rest of my pregnancy, cutting down on refined flours and eating lots of potatoes and natural foods instead.
A month before I was due I got horrible backpain. I thought it was from lifting my daughter up, but it got increasingly worse. My doctor came over, (did I mention she was also our next door neighbor) and said it was simply Braxton hicks, there was nothing to worry about, and she left to go to the beach with her family. An hour after she was gone, our second daughter was born on our bed.
It was probably one of the most incredible births as I wasn’t expecting it. My water broke the second she was going to be born, I felt my body push without my thinking about it. From being within she was suddenly without and she was breastfeeding right away.
But the sudden panic of it all had the ambulance being called and as I lay there in awe and wonder, 10 firefighters dashed into our bedroom. They come first, before any medics, did you know that? They didn’t know what to do and suddenly medics came in too. Our daughter was taken from my arms to be checked up on, I was given Picotin AGAIN for the afterbirth, even though I said I was breastfeeding. They thought all was fine and then suddenly decided our girl’s lungs sounds a little rough. So we were bundled up, I was stretchered down three flights of stairs and we were all in the ambulance.
So began a two week nightmare. Our daughter was pricked, poked and injected. When we said we didn’t want it done, we were told we were crazy, we were thought of as religious fanatics even though that had nothing to do with our motivations. One woman even argued that “St. Luke was a doctor!” as if that pronouncement would redirect my instincts and my daughter being objected to everything my heart told me she shouldn’t be would suddenly seem alright.
Because I was aware of the vitamin K shot I had eaten enormous amounts of kale and other leafy green vegetables when pregnant. Of course, when they whisked my angel off they gave her the vitamin K anyway, not listening to my logic. Because of the high amount of vitamin K in her little body, our daughter’s blood clotted incredibly quickly, so everytime the doctors wanted blood, they had to test numerous times. She looked like she was pin cushion. Not only that, but it caused her to get high jaundice so she was stuck under bili-lights and in the ICU for a week.
I jumped into action, even as my family thought I was over-reacting and I got lectures on how I “should just trust the doctors as they knew what they were doing.” I got a breast pump and started pumping all the time. My husband and I drove the doctors crazy as we performed energy healing under the lights calming her heart down and letting her know we were there. Finally a doctor cornered me saying the jaundice was taking too long and they were going to give her something to bring it down. Our objections, and suggestions of getting her to a window for some sun, we threatened with child services.
They agreed to not administering anything that day. They gave their word. But the next day, when looking at her frail body we saw a hole in her arm and no one would say what it was from. The mark was so large one doctor said it looked like it had been given from the inside. Our daughter still has a scar from the needle no one admitted to giving. No one said anything had been administered, no one admitted to giving the injection that they believed would take the jaundice down. Instead, everytime we protested or pushed it, the room would get strangely silent. We felt like our daughter had been kidnapped and we were forced to shut up and play the game to get her out of her cell as fast as possible.
Finally, she was home. She woke up every night with a hacking cough that made a chain smoker pale in comparison. They’d filled her lungs with something to make them burble. She still is susceptible to bronchitis or bad coughs if its damp out. And so we started to heal her. My diet became my focus and I breastfed with a daring glare at anyone who suggested otherwise. We started carrot juicing and she was getting teaspoons of it by 4 months to help with her lungs, and we fled the country, back to the UK, to escape the eyes of the system, which was feeling proud of another “success.”
Recalling our second daughter’s birth still makes my tummy turn. It still brings up anger, frustration and anxiety within me. But, I also know that the work I’ve been doing for the past two years in Spiritually Aware Parenting is because of that experience. Our second daughter has taught me that we do chose where and how we come when we are born. She still does things in a huge entrance. She’s full of life and vitality and probably drama. She demands for life to be clear and decisions to be made fast. As I think of her, under those lights, with shades on her eyes and her bottom in the air, I remember thinking she looked so matter of fact, so “alright life, if this is what you’re offering, I’m going to see the best of it.” Her spirit shone though and although I would do things oh, so differently now, if I could go back, I know that again, she came at a certain part of my journey and it set things in motion. We are such co-creators.
Five years later we got pregnant again. We knew the instant he was conceived and I also knew this time it would be different. I was determined to have a spiritually aware pregnancy and if you’ve read my first book, you know that’s where it started... with our little man. We connected together at around two months. We checked in with each other and no doctors. The idea of a doctor’s office frightened me. But having moved to a different province, there was no other choice. A small town, with one hospital, no midwives or birthing centres, it looked like a maternity ward was the only way to go. I got on the phone and called every naturopath in the book. I’d waited until I was six months. Finally, someone referred me to an OB at the hospital so I went to meet him. He was frantically busy with so many other expectant mothers. He was nice, but overworked and his only objection on my birth plan was the good ol’ Picotin which now I knew I didn’t want. “I don’t leave my patients in pain if I can fix it and end it fast.” He said.
We were given a tour of the ward and a list of pain relief options. When I said I’d had two girls without anything the nurse looked horrified. I was out of there.
Suddenly, home birth became the only option. I didn’t know other women did it all the time. I didn’t know what ramifications would be. The back up plan, as my husband said, was to run me down our long drive way in the wheelbarrow to get to the car to go to the hospital if things looked rough. With H1N1 in the hospital, I was only going there in an emergency.
I ran overdue by a few days according to my own calculations, but bang on target for the OB’s (darn). I was nervous, scared, anxious and yet when I tuned in to my body and baby, I knew all was well.
I did some yoga the night he was born and soon I woke up with my water breaking. Not fully trusting in everything I teeter tottered all night between tapping into the best birth experience, a holy sacred time, to wondering if I should holler for that wheel barrow. Out of the skylight window I gazed at the moon during contractions. I knew, no matter what, this is how it felt right to be.
My husband swears we’ll never do another unassisted and I think our daughters are turned off having babies from hearing me wail, but I look back at our son’s birth with a smile on my face. It seemed the closest to listening to my instincts and trusting in the wellbeing I’ve always known was there.
I might as well say here and now, and probably there and later, that although this book, Business of Baby is so enlightening and supportive of my instinctual beliefs, it is my truest beliefs that on this journey of life we all do our best and with the knowledge we’ve gained up to the point of each experience. Life is about growing and learning. It is so easy to fall into the trap of defending everything that happened before, but in truth it what has been only gets us to know and we can always grow and change our opinions. Like I say in my book, I feel the trick is to be educated, to research and hunt around for the best feeling options. If you read something and it feels good, do it, if it feels off, don’t take an author’s, or a doctor’s word for it.
Well, I was worried the review would be long winded! Let’s get on with it.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A history of my pregnancies as a Pre-review for The Business of Baby

I’m getting ready to write a review of Jennifer Margulis’ new book The Business of Baby, to be part of her book tour on April 18th. I thrilled to be part of her book blog tour and quite honestly even more thrilled to be able to review her incredible book. However, as I’ve been mulling over the review in my head for the last couple of weeks, I’ve felt like it’s one of those books that pulls out personal experience stories. You know, like when you are in a group of parents and everyone starts talking about their birth experiences and you have to hold your tongue until you find a space in the conversation so you can talk about yours? Well, it would never be my intention to start talking about me and my experiences when I actually want to be talking about this incredible book. I know I’ll keep mentioning how I wish I had had it ten years ago, but it seems unfair to start talking about why and for what in an actual review.
Therefore, this is the pre-review. This is my background story. This is my background to explain how in my next post I’ll be saying how Business of Baby is written proof of what my instincts were telling me all that time ago.
The Business of Baby is about pregnancy, birth and the first year. So, as my precursor to the review I simply want to relay to you my birth stories, which I haven’t often relayed in my work. But, like I said, while reviewing Jennifer’s book I don’t want to keep going on a tangent with a “like when I gave birth and the....” It could turn out to be a very long winded review indeed.
I got pregnant for the first time when I was 24. We were over the moon and although we hadn’t been a couple for very long that’s not to say it was by accident either. We’d sent out the invite and left it up to whoever wanted to snatch up first place. But, for financial reasons, we decided it was best we spent some time in the UK where we could pick up some work as musical therapists as my husband use to do there and we could become a little more secure. So, I did what I thought I “should” do, checked in with my GP, did my blood work, my urine tests, I was the ideal patient for the first couple of months before we left for the UK. However, what my GP didn’t know was that my husband had been studying natural health for years. Also, although I didn’t know it at the time, I was beginning to get a sense of trusting my instincts over a doctor’s. I really had no framework of knowledge to fall back on, only instincts, but still deep down I knew I didn’t want to be tested for everything and I wanted to trust in the process my body was going through. So, off we went to the UK, much to my doctor’s displeasure. Two things happened within the first couple of weeks. First, I developed severe nausea and began throwing up ALL THE TIME! And second, my doctor contacted my mom and told her that I was Rh negative so I would need to get the SHOT! I was in a panic. My husband was under the impression that he was o positive, but still we thought he should be tested, just to be sure. So I visited a midwife over in the UK, then a doctor. I had an ultrasound and found myself again in the system, but still no one was testing my husband. Finally, we met with someone who jotted it down when we suggested that the whole issue might be null and void if my husband was Rh negative too. Although he gave a look of disbelief, implying we were in denial, he booked my husband in for a blood test.
It is one of our favorite memories as a couple, the moment we got a phone call saying that my husband was indeed rh negative. It was like all our instincts were justified and we as a couple made sense again.
A few weeks later I read in a pamphlet I had kept in my purse but never read before, that morning sickness was the sign of a healthy pregnancy. None of the doctors or midwives had told me this when I had asked them. Rather, it was one of those things that made me have a guard up against the system.
Our daughter was born healthy and happy in the hospital. I had had a birth plan and it was respected. There were only two points when I was distracted from anything to do with giving birth and was overcome with distrust with the medical group looking after me. First, when they shouted “time to break the bed” and my husband and I looked at each other in confusion, not knowing that the bed did indeed break in order for delivery. Second, when the doctor came in with some sharp looking tools and I stopped to ask what he thought he was doing. They calmed me, they cajoled me, and they pandered me. They also broke my waters and administered Picotin for the afterbirth, reassuring me that it was what made sense and made it easier for me. I was not in my most lucid state so I said alright.
We had objected the vit K and the antibiotics for our daughter’s eyes, which they rolled their own eyes at but agreed. They insisted on the heel prick, which they did to our daughter in her cot. She’d been happy to lie in there before the shot, but didn’t leave my arms after.
It was my plan to breastfeed our daughter. But without much support, a mother buying me formula and bottles, a nurse coming and saying it wasn’t working, and a baby who was awake all night and I had no knowledge of co-sleeping only stories of “walking the floor” and references to trying to get a baby to sleep in their bed from the get go. I gave in and started giving her formula at 3 months. I regret it still, as my eldest is the only one who has intense earaches and sinus issues.
All this being said, my first daughter, my darling girl, survived and she taught me so much. It was because of her that I started to listen a little bit more to my instincts and I gained confidence in my own inner knowledge. In spite of everything, we had a blast throughout her babydom and still do 10 years later. I know that everything is perfect. She chose to come at the time she did. She knew I wouldn’t have any knowledge about certain things. She knew we would learn together. We still are as we face teen years and so many changes.
My other daughter teaches me so much as well. My darling girl, who’s beginning was so rocky and emotional I still have problems reiterating it... Look for it in another post coming soon!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

New adventures and an unsettled boy

It’s been a really long time since I’ve posted on this site. I’ve missed it. It’s been a crazy six months with us returning to Canada from Wales, UK, returning to our homestead, off grid farm house and trying to reclaim it from the damage we found upon our return. We did well. As a family, we did well. Our little man found the transition hard, still missing some of the things we had to leave behind, but still, we did well. By Christmas all was returned to its former glory, better in fact. We closed the year in a happy, warm home, in front of a lit candle blown out at midnight. We promised ourselves, as a family, that this year would be one of new adventures, new horizons, and happy living.
Two weeks later, we’d taken a leap of faith.
I’ve been really busy with my work on Spiritually Aware Parenting. I released a new book before Christmas, I’ve started an online advice column, I’ve written some articles and some guest blog posts and have been in touch with some fantastic people. I love my SAP work, it grounds me, it connects me, it makes me the parent I want to be, the person I want to be. It’s important to me. But as a family we decided to add something to the mix. So we rented a small shop space in our hometown and we’re currently getting it ready to be a healthy take away food/juice bar joint. My husband trained as a natural health practitioner years ago and ontop of that he’s an amazing cook, so we’re starting off small and we’re doing what we’ve talked about doing for years: As a family.
The girls are so excited. They will have their jobs divided up, they’ll have a couple of hours of schoolwork to do in the backspace, they will help serve and pack up, clean and sweep as well as take care of their brother, our little man.
Ah yes, the little man. I’ve been getting a little wary about him the past couple of weeks. He started crying when he didn’t get what he wanted, he’s demanding a lot from his sisters, he’s frustrated and upset, suddenly being at our new shop a lot rather than the farm he now loves. Snow came heavily this year and he feels restless, not liking the cold that bites his fingers and toes and then, there’s his family, his parents and sisters who are all hyped up about an idea he barely understands. Life has gotten messy, again, but often it has to in order to get to the new space.
Most people don’t talk about spirituality to their three year olds. I do. I know he has a lot to deal with, a lot of emotions that are confusing him. I know that often we’re running around, rushing him here and there and things just aren’t going the way he wants. I also know that no matter how young he is the Law of Attraction will still be in action. If he’s feeling off, he’ll get more to feel off about. I have to start building awareness and helping him feel better.
But first, I play. There is no better therapy for a stressed out momma than sitting and playing with our darlings. I sit on our bed and we make it a “blender car”, which he invented, it’s a car that makes food for his toys or we play in our shop’s basement with water or his tractor. Last night we walked down to our corner store while his sisters were at a friend’s, I talked to him, connected with him, answered his questions and even took his advice as we walked through the store. Suddenly, he was back, he was himself, eager, curious and happy. I had my clue, as connection and play always leads us to them. No more wandering aimlessly, wondering how to help him, thinking of storytimes or even pondering whether he would like a playgroup or something while life got hectic. In my connection with him, I was connected to myself again and him to himself. We were back to being the spiritual team that looked out for his wellbeing.
So, we talked. When he was feeling good, playing away, I mentioned how great it was to have a good game going. We talked about how great it was when everyone played together, listening together and helping each other, rather than one person trying to be the boss. As we played, we talked about treating people the way we want to be treated. As we laughed, I mentioned that sometimes life surprises us with new games (or brands of bubbles which is his new passion) and if he tries to force everyone to do his game then he’ll miss out on a new one.
By the end of the day he’d played well with each member of the family, but when we all got busy I reminded him that it’s best to play alone: If we can play alone then we will never be lonely or feel left out. So, happily, secure in his connection with all of us, he went to play alone and make his own discoveries. He called us in, as we scurried about looking at shop renovations and discussing details, we’d stop and see his new focus, and then off he was again. Connected, happy and adjusted to his new changes.
Or sure, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of Off moments along this new journey, for all of us, not just our little man. But no matter what, I’ll state it here and now, our darlings are first and foremost, if the scale is tipping to stress and disconnected, we’ll play, we’ll stop, we’ll breathe and we’ll laugh. I’m thrilled to say we’re doing it together. I love seeing our children discussing each detail and making suggestions. I love being on an adventure with them. If they trip, I’ll help pick them up, if things get rough, we’ll refocus, close the door and play together, and no matter what, I will listen, take their advice, answer their questions and value their opinions. Each of my darlings are an important instrument in making this family play a beautiful song. Occasionally, for the group to work I might need to conduct, but mostly, I’ll play along, enjoying the musical experience.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New book, Inspirations for the Spiritually Aware Parent

I'm so excited to announce the release of my next book, Inspirations for the Spiritually Aware Parent. Here's the blurb from the publisher.
“Spiritually aware parenting understands that within our parenting lies the key that can transform the world as we know it. The passages within this book give helpful insight and clear perceptions on why our children are the way they are and what we as parents can do to maintain a connection and strong emotional foundation in the child.” Hayley Fleming, the Sound Inside

Spiritually Aware Parenting views our children as the true spirits they really are, seeing them as their own individual selves beginning this journey of life. It also encourages parents to tap into their own spiritual core, parenting from a place of connection, wellbeing, and joy.
This is Christina Fletcher’s second book of inspirational passages for the busy parent. “Within these pages you will find moments of relief, reminders of how to go within, to trust your inner voice. There are passages to tap into our children as who they are at their core, perspective shifters to see them anew, there are pointers on understanding negative emotion in ourselves and in our children, and shout outs to remember to play and have fun.” Originally published for her ever growing Facebook page, which is now followed by thousands, they are written as a way to find peace in a rushing world.

Check it out by following the link on the side panel, or by visiting my website The book, along with my others, are also available on Amazon.

No kindle edition as of yet, that should be coming in the new year.
Be well, happy and thrive!

Friday, November 2, 2012

A colorful Halloween

Halloween has been and gone and now we’re left with the result: bags of chips, chocolates and lots of brightly coloured candy.

Oh, the joys of the season, what starts with October’s yellow and orange coating and ends in Christmas red and green striped candy canes. It’s lovely to see our children’s eyes light up in the wonder and excitement of it all, but here in North America, we often don’t know the challenges we pose for them in the process.
Over in Europe, food colourings, especially yellow tartrazine is mostly banned. After finding out that colourings trigger hyperactivity in children and ADHD behaviour symptoms, the government decided to pull most of them from the shelves. One of the joys our children have in the UK is being able to have sprinkles on cakes or a pack of Smarties without worrying about their effect on how they feel or act. But denying trick or treating while back home (no matter how strange of tradition it is when you really look at it) or throwing out their treats when they finish means denying our children a cultural experience, one that they will look back on fondly, and resent us if they skip out on.

We discovered our daughter’s sensitivity to tartrazine by trial and error. She’d be handed a sucker at a store and for the rest of the day be on an emotional roller coaster. If she was having fun, it was never connected fun, it was hysterical and fully charged, if something upset her it was traumatic, no matter how small of thing that triggered it. She talked faster and couldn’t focus and until we traced it, it was simply scary. Her in Canada, yellow food dye is used in cheddar cheese, processed dinners, and even butter sometimes, so it wasn’t simply a case of no candy it was suddenly checking everything.

So here I am talking about food colourings and Sensitivities and the question has to be asked: Why? Why here on a blog that talks about being spiritually aware? Why when I usually promote the mind being the builder and thoughts creating reality?
Because of Awareness. Because, when I don’t drink water I tend to feel cranky and sure, I can change my thoughts and refocus to the positive to feel better, but another short cut is to get a drink. Because children all over the world have eaten colourings today and are probably acting a little extreme, we often blame sugar but this is a different high, its emotional extremes and in being aware we can help them be aware and empower them to make smart choices. Choices like that, effect a lifetime.

When our daughters were little, and with our son now that he is taking part more, we talked a lot about colourings once we knew the effect. We’d tell them to choose a red candy if people offered them as the yellow and green effected how they felt and acted, and often would lead them to be so out of control they’d fall or hurt themselves. We told them why we bought white cheddar and not the yellow one which they liked better. We told them why no kool-aid and why when they went to an event that served coloured treats they felt different, less like themselves. We even let them have them sometimes, reminding them to watch themselves so they knew what it felt like. We, as a family started gauging when it worked, when it didn’t and why, and tracing what color had been eaten if they suddenly felt unbalanced, but didn’t know why.

This Halloween I went through our son’s bag after he’d been trick or treating and edited out the high yellow and orange content. I let him have a pink lolly pop and a few m &m’s which he could eat after a healthy lunch. Since Wednesday him and I’ve done a lot of talking about colours and how it makes a person feel fast inside, and why he has to eat more green veg to balance out. He’s three, but he likes to learn about stuff, and he needs to understand why we say no when we do. He’s handled it really well. But for the first time I gave our daughters free rein on their treasure trove of treats. I told them if they wanted the coloured stuff, to have it. I wouldn’t say yes until after lunch or too close to bed, but if they wanted it, they could have it. They knew the effect, they could choose. Halloween night had me in awe as they dumped most of their tartrazine filled treats, including cheesies and some bright yellow things. They said they didn’t want it and out they went. I was stunned and so very, very proud. I love to see my daughters making strong choices, not trying to please, but on their own accord.

The next day I was equally proud when after lunch they ate their chocolate and had a few sweets, but balanced it so not too many to throw them off. It was great.
Today, a few coloured candy were found at the bottom of the bag, and they proved too tempting. My daughters actually loved the feeling of the rush of food colourings as they said they were laughing for no reason, but soon a few things upset them and the roller coaster was in place. I felt it building up and things turned a little hairy. It wasn’t a big deal to ask if maybe reactions would be different if they hadn’t had colourings, and they admitted, probably. It was then followed by them saying they’d changed their minds, tomorrow, after lunch, chocolate would be on the menu.

I find it an interesting experience. For yes, it’s fun to lose control, but then there’s the downside and it’s offering a chance for our kids to witness both. In some ways it provides an interesting start to lessons in life. We as parents always have “talks” hovering over us, such as the big drugs and drinking one, and I find it an interesting premise to be able to ask if the rush is worth the downside. I leave it up to them to decide, but it’s made our children think and feel empowered to take it into their own hands. They know the feeling of something altering how they feel, and quite frankly, I’m pretty sure they don’t like it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Woohoo I'm so excited by what will come from this!
I've just started a new part of spiritually aware parenting and everyone is involved.
Now my consulatation business is being conducted through an online advice column (something I've always dreamed of doing). Check out it out here Read about other people's experiences, and write in yourself. Questions are kept anonymous, but it means that we can all share and grow and expand together, creating happy parenting solutions for all.
Let's get this party started!!!!
Be well, happy and thrive everyone!