Infinite Wellness Magazine ‘Take control of your health’
March – May 2012
The benefits of Yoga before, during and after pregnancy by Candice Hooper
Parenting – Why does it seem to have become so fraught? by Prue Blackmore
Conscious Parenting and your Wellbeing by Gabrielle Enright
How to communication with Infant Massage by Kellie Thomas
Win Your Copy of the book A Modern Woman’s Guide to a Natural Empowering Birth
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Parenting – why does it seem to have become so fraught? Parenting is a profoundly sacred task and one that is vitally important for our wellbeing personally and for our species as a whole. It is also one for which there is no particular training that is offered outside of an ad hoc intermittent basis and this says a great deal about how we do not look at the importance of raising children well, as an issue of cultural and societal importance. There is nothing particularly surprising about this considering we are still operating under laws that remain on the statutes that tend to lump ―lunatics, women and children‖ as all ‗equally incompetent‖. In a world still dominated by values that place having and achieving, over nurturing and community building, then the work of families which statistically still falls in the majority on women – remains undervalued and under resourced. It is also true that the family network has continued to falter from wide ranging, connected and hands on, extended groups through to the isolated nuclear family, to a situation now where the rise of people living alone is the fastest growing ‗family‘ unit in this country. So those that were there to lend a hand, to take the baby for a few hours so a new mum could get some sleep, to bring meals and pop them in the freezer, to being in the home with the new mum to help guide and support through that particularly difficult period of the first year of your first child – are predominately gone. They are all still working in jobs of their own, caring for elderly parents and all this in an increasingly time poor world that we have created. The skills that were known are not being handed on, children are now growing up without learning how to cook, do laundry, clean, budget etc
because their mothers are either doing it in the middle of the night before collapsing into bed for a few hours exhausted sleep or help is being brought in to do it and much more is done on the run. And these skills matter because what ever our children end up doing, they will still ideally have a roof over their head and food on the table and need be able to function within that context as well. And as for children – it is a subject that is rarely discussed between couples prior to having them. They may discuss the when‘s of it, or the hoped for gender spectrum involved but it is very rare that they sit down and discuss child rearing as a practice, how they intend to approach it, problems they had growing up with their parents and how to avoid the same mistakes. It is something that we tend to jump into haphazardly as in, it feels ‗right‘ about now, and find ourselves 9 months later with something so profound and joyous unfolding that our lives will never be the same again. Something so consuming and requiring so much time and attention and regularly crying for no apparent reason whatsoever, with that sound that is designed by nature to get your attention ―NOW‖ , while we are sleep deprived and shell shocked, that our lives will never be the same again. Research attests that a significant percent of the population of parents – if given the choice again – would have had children, the answer was no! How is it that we are expected to ―know‖ what to do with a squalling infant? Maternal feelings are profoundly deep in some people and not apparently present in others at all and while we could postulate over many reasons that contribute to this, it is a reality we live with And being a mother now is so fraught with rules of how to do it right, from what to eat or not eat [or drink!] during pregnancy, the style and kind of birth
By Prue Blackmore
we might want to have but fully aware another may be imposed on us, [the caesarean section rate in Australia is the highest in the OECD and a national disgrace as far as I am concerned], the whole breast feeding issue and getting that right, or not, and then the relentless media driven, madness of what it is to be a ‗good‘ parent – without much useful information about how to go about it, that doesn‘t induce bucket loads of guilt for being such a failure. Oh and at the same time we are expected to be ‗hot mummy‘s‘ – not so much by the equally confused, abandoned and long suffering fathers – but by trash magazines pushing the celebrity cult obsession with looking good and being right. All of this in a world that has in a single generation gone from being able to buy a home and create what a family needs on a single income to one where the only way you will ever have a home of your own and provide your family with what you think it needs, is to have both parents working - pretty well full time. And half of the second wage is paying for child care, where to be able to return to work to support the mortgage - the mother can be driven back from the time the child is barely a few months old. So young families, stressed to the max, having immense pressure to get on, working hard to provide, in a world where the old supports are no longer there, feeling isolated, trapped and alone in a world where just when you get your head around how the child is, as a being, it enters a new developmental stage and the rules change all over again and we are intuitively meant to when this happens, what it means and how to deal with it. And we don‘t so we feel inadequate, exhausted, not good enough and guilty.
This is not a useful way of approaching our most treasured resource – the next generation who will inherit the world from us. What we tend to do in the face of all this outlined – is we tend to do what was done to us. Without thought or analysis, unconsciously handing on child rearing as we know it, by example or practice. And even this is diminishing. Once upon a time female children, and whether you like it or not the first primacy of care of an infant is the mother – from your body does it emerge and feed to grow – used to get a kind of apprentice on the job being around younger siblings or caring for neighbourhood children to earn some cash. However neither of these things happen much now, with overworked mothers outsourcing many basic needs and anxious parents now heavily concerned about leaving their children with anyone, other than equally busy extended family. We don‘t learn the craft in the way we used to and we are beginning to see the results in endemic rates of child neglect and abuse, overwhelmed parents with record amounts of foster care being sought and a media drenched world of consumerism that is constantly pointing out their failings to them. It is time to change all this. To recognize that parenting is one of the most profound experiences of your life and one that your body holds a blueprint for as part of its involvement in a species that raises its young at heel, longer than any other mammal on the planet. To recognize that we have lost touch with what is instinctive and intuitive in parenting, in a barrage of ―how to‖ books and pop psychology. To understand that young people need help, not just in feeding, sleeping and bathing rituals that involve small people but in understanding their emotional needs and how to meet them. Not just to understand the developmental norms of childhood and what to expect from them but how to navigate through them in the best interests of the family as well as the child. How to recognize your ‗style‘ of parenting, how unconscious it is and how to bring it to your awareness,
so that you can change it for the better for your self, your partner and your child.
I am constantly entranced by what they offer.
Most manuals on parenting in the past were focused on the parent and their needs. Then they became almost exclusively focused on the child and their needs. Neither of these approaches is particularly useful for both are locked into how things ‗ought‘ to be, not allowing for the massive change that occurs from generation to generation.
So what we need to focus on in child rearing is the nature of the relationship with have with these little mites. How to be conscious in all our interactions with them, how to recognise when it is our ‗stuff‘ that is being triggered and how not to react to that - when communicating with them. How do we avoid handing on the same weird and downright crazy messages we got from our parents about all sorts of things.
And while some developmental norms are just that, normal, there is also the reality that each generation of children at the moment of conception, begins with all of the fathers blood line of knowledge, all of the mothers also and then brings it forward from that moment in to life. So in truth each generation is so much more adaptive than the one that went before it – giving truth to the cliché that our children can be our greatest teachers. And they would be if we were not spending a lot of our time putting them into the same little black box that we were put into when we were children, so that our parents [how had it done to them – ad nauseam back] could feel comfortable with us. It is our job as parents to teach our children to navigate the world. For we know more about what it is than they yet do. To do this in a way that they do not spend their lives trying to ‗fit in‘ to a somewhat shallow, sexualized, hyper media driven consumerism, but from a set of values of connection to each other and the planet, integrity, loyalty and courage, that we have had the where withal to teach them, while at the same time learning from them what we have forgotten. How to live in the moment, be truthful and spontaneous and living in our bodies rather than our minds, worrying about the future and looking at the past for ways of how to avoid it. I am sure any parent with young children today recognizes there is something interesting going on with the new kids coming in. They are different to all that has gone before and they are here much more as them selves and awake to who they are. As a grandmother to seven beautiful little bright lights
It is no co-incidence that the incidence of diagnosed cases of ADD/ADHD and the whole aspergers spectrum has increased up to 3,000 fold in some areas. No - it is not that our diagnostic tools have got better. It is because many of these new kids are not coping with world as we know it. They genuinely don‘t understand why we behave the way we do with them and so to cope they either rebel [the add/adhd issue] or shut out the only world they can – the external world, by withdrawing [the aspergers spectrum] and in both cases we tackle it in entirely the wrong way by trying to force them back into our world rather than learning to join them in theirs, with all the wealth of information held there in. And if that doesn‘t work we numb them into our world with medication. and spiritual needs of the child and the family. To prepare us all for a new kind of world emerging, in which community with each other and the world, sharing and love become the way we live.
Parenting â€“ why does it seem to have become so fraught?
Parents need to be taught how to be conscious in their interactions with their children which then facilitates a healing of what was done to them as children by doing if differently with their own and at the same time children need to be taught how to remember themselves, how to not take on other peoples baggage, how to recognize their emotions and work with them rather than be overwhelmed by them or deny them, which in truth is the reality at the heart of the vast majority of mental health issues in the world today. This approach then facilitates a circle of love that embraces parents and children in which all activities become an opportunity for learning and healing the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of the child and the family. To prepare us all for a new kind of world emerging, in which community with each other and the world, sharing and love become the way we live.
By Prue Blackmore, Thrive by design. Prospect, Ph 0419 819 089 http://www.thrivebydesign.com.au
By Prue Blackmore
Mumma Deva – Yoga through pregnancy and birth Pregnancy is a time of great transformation. A mother and a baby are born. As in any time of great change, emotions seem to flow like a rollercoaster filled with joy and excitement one moment, then seemingly plummeting into anxiety and fear the next. Physical changes occur quite rapidly, as the new mother‘s body transforms into a soft, rounded, lifegiving vessel that can be wrought with aches, pains, sickness and exhaustion. A pregnant mother can be bombarded with information from her doctor, friends, family, midwife, naturopath, yoga teacher — even the local checkout chick! It can all become quite overwhelming at times. Yoga can become a constant, supportive friend for both mother and baby during this miraculous time. At my studio The Joyful Buddhas, in Victor Harbour, we have a new pregnancy yoga program called MummaDeva. The program is designed to empower mothers and give them the support and guidance to follow their instinctual intuition during pregnancy, the birthing process and beyond.
It is designed to awaken a trust between a mother and her body. It reminds her that her body knows how to grow a healthy, happy baby. It helps her trust that her body knows how to give birth — as millions have done before her — and trust that she will be able to cope with the new demands of motherhood. Yoga allows mothers to deeply reconnect and bask in the beauty of this absolute miracle of creating new life Who Can Do pregnancy Yoga? It does not matter if you have practiced yoga for 10 years prior to being pregnant or if you taste yoga for the first time during this journey towards motherhood. Pregnancy yoga will support you mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually What Happens in a Class? Classes will vary depending on the yoga school. In MummaDeva we use a combination of asana (poses), pranayama (breathwork), yoga nidra (deep guided relaxation) meditation and chanting. .
by Candice Hooper
Asana practice increases strength, flexibility and agility, preparing the mother for the rigours of labor and supporting a quicker post-birth recovery. Gentle yoga asanas can relieve common physical ailments, including aching lower back, carpel tunnel, poor circulation and swelling in the ankles. Yoga Nidra and meditation promote deep feelings of relaxation and stress relief, which can also help to lower blood pressure. During these quiet restful practices the mother can escape the distractions of the busy world around her and connect with her beautiful unborn baby within. Chanting is included in many classes and helps a mother find their voice and become comfortable using sound, which can be highly beneficial during the birthing process. Through the guidance of an experienced pregnancy yoga teacher, mothers-to-be can experience the joys of pregnancy, the joys of the birthing process and the joys of motherhood with more ease, trust and love. Candice Hooper has been working in natural health for 10 years, and teaching yoga for six. She has always had a passion for fertility, pregnancy and women’s health. The introduction of the Pregnancy yoga programs ‘MummaDeva’ at her studio The Joyful Buddhas in Victor Harbor, is a first for the Fleurieu and she hopes to support many local women along their journey, pregnancy, birth and beyond. Contact Candice at The Joyful Buddhas – 85528229 or www.thejoyfulbuddhas.com
By Gabrielle Enright As I sit here in the autumn sun, my heart is stirring with emotion...I am listening to the passionate outpouring of musical creativity from my 21 year old son‘s bedroom, where he is singing at the top of his lungs to the soundtrack from Wicked the Musical...‘Dancing Through Life’... It makes my heart sing for joy to hear this young man express himself so freely and with such confidence...this is the reward I get for a mindful/conscious approach to parenting...encouraging him to BE WHO HE REALLY IS! Don‘t get me wrong, there have been some challenging times along this journey...it‘s been like stepping out into the unknown sometimes, because there is no guidebook for parenting is there! No books written on parenting actually match our situation exactly, and we are always left making the best decision we can at the time, hoping that it is the ‗right‘ decision for the long term, and sometimes we are left reacting within the pressure cooker of life in that moment... Take a breath...right now... We all do the best we can with what we know...and no one can do better... We can, however, become more mindful, and come from a place of greater knowing, and in knowing more, we can then do more, mindfully, next time... For me, conscious parenting is the privilege of being able to nurture a human spirit into the fullness of their being, to be able to assist them to find their way through life‘s learning‘s and beam their own nature into life... Unconscious parenting occurs in those moments when we are operating from a place of reaction rather than response, controlling rather than guiding, acting from fear rather than love... Conscious parenting reduces the stress in the home environment, because we are all able to come from a place of understanding, compassion, to be able to ‗make space for the other‘ as we approach our lives in a style that is our nature, our authentic self, instead of having to change ourselves to conform to being what we think others want us to be...
It is about trusting ourselves to know what is needed at any given time...it can be as simple as knowing that the kids need some time outside in nature, so that they can reconnect with themselves, and their nature, after spending long periods of time in front of a screen...and isn‘t that something we need as adults too?... thus we are educating them how to balance up their life and integrate healthy behaviours into their day... Taking the time to listen...to ‗tune into‘ our children and really seek understanding about what‘s behind what they are saying / doing...and to help them understand themselves and seek to understand others more thoroughly...this will stand them in good stead for their adult life... Again, I‘m not saying that we, as parents, let them run wildly with absolutely no boundaries...we are not raising children, we are raising adults, and as such, they need to be guided on social skills, and how to live in the ever changing world they will be moving into...what is done by us as parents will change as they do, and gradually assist them to become well-equipped, self-responsible citizens of our planet. So how do we move from a place of unconsciousness as a parent to consciousness? Through my own experience, and many years of working with parents and families, it appears to me that it is ‗simply‘ a case of being willing to heal any areas which may be stopping us from coming from a centred place. All relationships are for the purpose of learning and healing, and our children can be fabulous teachers! The key tool for me has been Rebirthing/Breathwork...it has freed me up from my unconscious, fear-based, habitual, reactionary habits, to be able to make choices about how I respond in a situation, and to come from a heart centred place in my role as a parent... Fear of getting it wrong, fear of being seen by others as not being good enough, and even fear of losing people near us can lead to us feeling like we need to control situations, control the outcome, covertly manipulating things so that things will work out the way we want them to work out, nothing left unpredictable...this behaviour doesn‘t allow people to become who they are, and rather encourages pretending, people-pleasing behaviours, that create co-dependence, and possibly addictive behaviours later in life, such as eating, shopping, perfectionism etc...
There have been many tools Wayne and I have used as parents which have shed light on our own nature, and that of our children: Astrology, Five Love Languages, Personality Profile tools, Rebirthing/Breathwork. There is insufficient space for me to go into these tools here, however I do know that the more work we do to become more authentic human beings as parents, the more able we are to allow the same for our children, so that they may bring the fullness of who they are to this world...and we know this is what the world needs at the moment...fully conscious adults which result from conscious upbringing – mindful parenting. Our reward will be joy, love, and peace within, knowing we have done our conscious best!! Gabrielle Enright is the author of Living the Light: Discovering Truth and Living In Spirit, and is available for seminars, retreats, workshops and session work through her business Living Inspiration. Her next retreat offering is on April 14/15 at Di‘s Place, Pt Willunga, see http://www.livinginspiration.com.au/upcomin g-courses-and-workshops/
By Gabrielle Enright
Books A modern Woman’s guide to A Natural Empowering Birth – By Katrina Zaslavsky For your chance to win this Inspiring book email us in 25 words or less who inspires you the most. email@example.com. Winner drawn June1st 2012 and notified via email. Good Luck!
Feeling anxious, alone or in the dark as a new mother to be? Where do you go to get your questions answered when you don‘t have any mothers as the ―wise woman‖ to turn to, the doctor is too busy to inform you of your options or discuss the pros and cons of various drugs and procedures on the menu, and you read virtually every magazine in the waiting room before he/ she can see you for five minutes at a time? Meanwhile, random strangers decide it is their maternal duty to share their birth horror stories when they spot the bump and the hospital antenatal classes leave you feeling even more fearful and anxious than you were before you walked in! Just when you thought you couldn‘t bear to hear another horror story, along comes a fresh new book that is the answer to your prayers. Brimming with positivity, A Modern Woman’s Guide to a Natural Empowering Birth offers inspiring birth stories, expert tips, practical tools and insights to reclaim your birth power and overcome your fears. Now you can connect with a positive community of women without leaving home. ―Reading it is very much like being surrounded by wise women teaching the lessons of birth we wish we all had received as young women”, says Jenne Alderks from the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services More than just a random collection of stories, the author Katrina Zaslavsky, takes you on a powerful journey of discovery and gives you the keys to transforming your birth experience.“I
now know exactly how I want my labour to be and am looking forward to experiencing every second of it. No fear, no worries,” says Shannon Dunn, expectant mother. Generously sprinkled with inspirational quotes and topped with a compelling Afterword by Dr Sarah Buckley, internationally renowned author of “Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering”, this is the ultimate mind body preparation guide every woman in bloom has been waiting for! Katrina Zaslavsky, Inspired Wellness 03 9578 2798. http://www.inspiringbirthstories.com.au http://www.facebook.com/InspiringBirthStories
Ohhh Baby Baby… For thousands of years man has used some types of rubbing/laying of hand to heal the sick. In the east massage has always been more valued for their healing application; western society has been researching and has now validated the therapeutic value that massage can have from newborns to elderly. For infants, it is only natural that touch is a part of human experience. Massaging a newborn infant by its parents is commonplace in many cultures The Eskimo‘s have demonstrated in their culture the use of swaddling in preservation of body heat to promote a calming effect on infants. Kangaroo care has been introduced in Columbia to provide maximal skin stimulation for premature infants. In this method infants are undressed and placed directly against the mother‘s breasts to promote feeding, temperature regulation and calming effects. Regular massages are given to everyone in the family by the mother in India, both for its soothing effects, and for its role in affectionate non-verbal communication. It also encourages early motor development. The physical benefits for baby include body awareness, improved circulation and lymph flow develops motor skills, joint flexibility and coordination. Psychological effects the baby learns trust, respect, security, compassion, sense of wellbeing and worth Benefits to parents learning Infant massage, relaxation, play time activity. Teach nurturing parenting skills. Psychologically it enhances bonding between baby and parent, increase confidence in handling baby, increase competency. Listening and understanding infants needs – cues
By Kellie Thomas, Enhanced Ability mb:0412 195 349
What’s On! Third Sunday of the month – The Singing Gallery Healers Market 11am-4pm. McLaren Vale First Saturday of the month – Willunga Town Hall Willunga Wellbeing Market – 9am-1pm. Willunga For more information on events happening around the fleurieu subscribe to our newsletter via our website for monthly events at http://infinitewellnessmagazine.wordpress.com
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Next edition due out on June 15th 2012 Thank you for supporting local businesses in the Fleurieu Peninsula