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thewisemom

wise: (adj) informed, aware

self-care

Journaling health benefits

of Self Care happiness is

an Inside Job

Copyright Š2011 holistic moms network

Š The Wise Mom, Holistic Moms Network. Issue 4, March 2011.


thewisemom 4

From the Editor

6

News & Announcements

10 Balance/Self Care Tips 12 Health Benefits of Self Care 14 To Choose Self Care 16 Parenthood: The Path to Sainthood or Challenge to Sanity 20 Volunteer Profile 22 Happiness is an inside Job 24 Cell Salts Help Balance 26 Self-Care Journaling 28 Spiritual Awareness 30 How to Balance Life: A Midwife’s Perspective 32 Using Essential Oils to Promote Well-Being 34 Flower Essences 36 Balancing, Parting and 3D Dimensions 38 Therapy: The Un-Sexy Self-Care Practice 40 Member Profile 42 Self Care Snapshots

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Copyright Š2011 holistic moms network


thewisemom EDITOR

ADVERTISERS AND SPONSORS

Aimee Wood

For advertising rates and information about Sponsorship, please e-mail us at sponsorship@holisticmoms.org or call

DESIGN/LAYOUT

us at 877-HOL-MOMS.

Emma Catarino CIRCULATION HMN DIRECTOR

The Wise Mom is published four times per year and is

Nancy Massotto

distributed electronically to members of the Holistic Moms Network. For information about membership, please visit

The Wise Mom is a quarterly publication of the Holistic

us at www.holisticmoms.org.

Moms Network (HMN), a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization for parents interested in holistic health and

SUBMISSIONS

green living. The Wise Mom is the voice of the members

Interested in writing for The Wise Mom? We look for a

of the Holistic Moms Network as well as an informative

variety of submissions, from personal stories and

publication offering views, perspectives, and wisdom from

experiences from members to informative research articles

our parents, wellness practitioners, and experts in the

based upon our issue theme each quarter. Want to share

broad field of holistic living and parenting.

your photos with us? By submitting a photo to The Wise Mom, you agree that you have the right to distribute the

The information provided in The Wise Mom is not intended

image and maintain that all people depicted agree to have

to replace professional advice from a qualified healthcare

their image published.

professional and is not intended as medical advice. The articles and information presented in these pages

Email wisemom@holisticmoms.org for details on

is intended as a sharing of knowledge, information, and

submitting articles or photos for an upcoming issue.

experiences. We encourage all of our readers to become informed about the many healthcare and parenting

Š The Wise Mom, Holistic Moms Network. Issue 2, August 2010.

decisions they may face and to make the choice that works best for their unique family. The Wise Mom is a publication of the Holistic Moms Network and supports the mission and purpose of our non-profit organization.

Nancy Massotto Executive Director

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editorsnote Dear Members, What a wonderful time to be talking about self-care and balance! Whether you have been through a long cold winter or have been battling sicknesses with your families; this issue will get you thinking about one of the most important things, YOU! It sounds cliché, but if you don’t take care of you, who will? We have some great articles on why self-care and balance is so integral for the well being of our whole family to specific topics such as journaling, flower remedies, and cell salts. You will definitely learn a thing or two from this issue, I know I have. As always, I encourage you to write with comments and suggestions. If you would like to write for an upcoming issue, please send me an email at: wisemom@holisticmoms.org. The themes for 2011 are as follows: June (Green Eco-Friendly Living), September (What is Holistic Parenting?), December (Green Holidays: How to Simplify and Avoid Consumerism). So, can I urge you to sit back, relax, brew some tea, and take time for YOU? I know I will! With a newborn and homeschooling two older children, if I don’t carve out this time for me it seems everyone suffers! Warmly, Aimee K. Wood, Editor


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news&announcements Big Benefit, Big Savings! The Holistic Moms Network was thrilled to launch our new 2011 Online Member Savings Book at the start of this year, packed with great offers and discounts from our Sponsors. With more than $50 in potential savings – and more on the way! – this is a huge benefit for all HMN members. Save on great products and services from Motherlove, Yoreganics, the National Center for Homeopathy, and Pure Indian Foods; get coupons fro m Boiron, Organic Valley, and Sprout Baby Food; and read up with Brain, Child, Natural Life, and Organic Spa Magazines! New offers are being added all year round and others will change throughout the year, so join check in often and save again and again!

meet Yoreganics: New HMN Sponsor

Green your cleaning and more! HMN is excited to welcome new Sponsor, Yoreganics, into our community! Yoreganics is a reflection of the days of yore, long ago, when life was simple and cleaning was natural. Let’s revisit simple. Yore Organic Laundry … USDA Certified Organic Soap Nuts, Stain Remover, Brightens & Whitens. Also USDA certified organic lip balm, foaming body wash. HMN m embers can save $10 off an online order of $25 or more! Check out the Online Member Savings Book for more information! 6

meet Brain, Child: HMN Continuing Sponsor Looking for a thoughtful magazine about motherhood? Check out HMN Sponsor Brain, Child! Brain, Child is the award-winning magazine that reflects modern motherhood – the way it really is. It’s also a community for and by mothers who like to think about what raising kids does for the mind and the soul. Each issue is packed with fascinating essays, in-depth features, light-hearted parodies, thoughtful reviews, great fiction–plus superb art, photography, cartoons and much more. Winner, 2010 Utne Independent Press Award for Best Social & Cultural Coverage. HMN members can subscribe for more than 33% off the regular subscription price. Visit our Online Member Savings Book for details! Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network


Curious About Homeopathy? Join us for a special FREE webinar for HMN Members sponsored by the National Center for Homeopathy. “Top 5 Remedies for Family Wellness” with Ann E. Jerome, PhD, CCH, RSHom(NA), NCH Dean of Education, and Director of the Academy of Classical Homeopathy. She will discuss essential homeopathic remedies to have on hand and how to use them for a variety of conditions. Join us on Tuesday, March 29th, 1 pm Eastern Time. New Chapters Forming! Get connected to a local HMN community! Check out our new Chapters in Montgomery County, MD Blue Earth County, MN Twin Cities, MN Sullivan County, NY Richland County/Mid-OH Horry County, SC Madison, WI

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Copyright Š2011 holistic moms network


Copyright Š2011 holistic moms network

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self-care&balance: What Our aths of e r b 6 3 e h t e s eIu To find balanc apanese J t n ie c n a e h t , Jin Shin Jyutsu energies of e h t g in iz n o Ar t of harm ling all the a h x e n o g in s u the body. Foc positivity g n li a h in d n a ies stress & toxicit onders. w s k r o w t h g & li de, VA Chapter

Southsi –Allison Crews,

When I was a n ew mom I foun d it really diffic balance. Breast ult to create feeding, attach ment parenting food allergies a , dealing with nd more left m e with little en anything else. ergy to create With a second child with spec even more diffi ial needs, it wa cult. But I am s committed to fi a n d a ls o c la im nding peace in g ti m e fo r m y se lf to b e a b Connecting wit e tt e r p a re n t. h fellow mama s through my lo in my Book Clu cal Chapter an b help give me d personal time a feel more grou nd a chance to nded.

- Nancy Massott

o, Executive Direc

tor of HMN

e eping in” on th e sl “ s rn tu e k ays nd I ta 0am on Saturd 1 l My husband a ti n u ” in p e et to “sle s. I, often, y a d n u weekends. I g S n o m ome s in” until 10a t 7am in the h a and he “sleep p u n e ft o ’s p* but he few actually *slee nice to have a is It . rs o o d sI closed on - though a t office behind n u o c n a c I t time” tha then again, I t u b hours of “me it h g u es I sleep thro ep! said, sometim e catch up sle th d e d e e n ly b figure I proba ME Chapter , d n la rt o P , er gn -Julie Wa 10

Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network


Holistic Mamas Are Doing I tr y to space e ver ything out. I don’t put too many things on the calendar fo r one week and leave a cou ple of days wit h no plans at all to catch up on work and h ome tasks and things that com e up last minu te.

- Carol C., Roch

ester NY Chapte

r

ing else h t y r e v e n e h t workout y m o d I n e veryone h e n e h t d n a r I find that w m happie a I r. e h t o o e l t h at e m f s I le d t t n li a a is s s n o r ru ltiple Scle u M e v a h I . r else is happie well also. y a t s e m d e lp e exercise has h -Kim

ty, NJ chapter n u o C is rr o M z, Mazurkiewic

Seeking balance an new meaning w d recognizing the need for se lf-care has taken ith the birth of my baby two m on a to raising a new onths ago. In born, I am also addition homeschooling and eight year o my nine year o ld daughter. W ld son h ile a special place that feels relaxin nursing my daughter, I have cr eated g and comfortin rocking chair eq g. A comfortab uipped with m le agazines and o Also, I make su ther reading m re a cup of my at erial. favorite green te is the little thin a is brewed. F gs that matter. or me, it

- Aimee K. Wood

, Editor of The W

Copyright Š2011 holistic moms network

ise Mom 11


the health benefits of

selfcare

By Donna L. Hamilton, MD, MS, FAAP

Does this sound familiar: you make time to take care of everyone else but you “don’t have time” to do something nice for yourself? Occasionally you might manage to eat a balanced meal or workout. Guess what: self-care is as important to your health as nutrition and exercise. Since being healthy means functioning at your best in all areas of life, it’s important to do things to improve mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being in addition to physical wellness. One way to do this is to choose activities that help you manage stress and feel balanced. Practicing self-care accomplishes this and more. Consciously tending to your personal needs creates wholeness, the essence of health. Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network


Being healthy means more than flat abs and normal cho-

experts believe this occurs by causing the body to release

lesterol levels. It also includes healthy thoughts, uplifting

relaxation hormones.

emotions, and a supportive life philosophy. Nourishing social circumstances-like reliable friends, a loving family, economic

Positive coping strategies, also acts of self-care, help

stability, and meaningful activities-also play a key role in liv-

alleviate stress by creating a healthy perception about

ing an optimally healthy life.

potentially stressful situations. For example, reframing your perspective about an experience can help you view it as an

True self-care, by definition, fosters optimal health. Tending

opportunity rather than a threat. Another coping method,

to your personal needs promotes wholeness by giving your

journal writing, can transform feelings of overwhelm and

mind, body, and spirit what they need or yearn. That’s

confusion into peace and clarity.

self-care. Self-care also decreases stress when it’s used to create greater Acts of self-care can lead to improved health by 1) doing

personal balance. Choosing to do more of what nourishes

things that promote health or 2) avoiding things that harm

you and less of what depletes you creates a sense of balance,

health. For example, eliminating risky activities like

confidence, and competence. Doing this for yourself is

distracted driving or tobacco use can boost health and

practicing self-care.

longevity. Similarly, adding healthy activities like meditation or exercise can also improve health and well-being. Both

Self-care can fit into any schedule. Even if you don’t have

types of choices are self-care.

the time or financial resources to spend a month alone on a private island, you can still take a few moments to connect

Self-care also boosts wellness by helping to manage stress.

with who you really are. Close your eyes and take a deep,

Some experts estimate that stress precipitates up to 85% of

conscious breath once an hour. Put on your favorite music

health issues. That’s not surprising if you consider that many

and dance like no one is watching. Look in the mirror

types of stress exist.

and complement yourself. Honor yourself every day. You deserve it!

Most people talk about distress-the unfavorable or negative interpretation of a real or perceived event. Perhaps that’s

Be well,

because distress usually leads to periods of intense emotions

Dr. Donna

like anger or fear. Positive situations, however, can also create stress. This is called eustress. It occurs in situations that

Donna L. Hamilton, MD, MS, FAAP, is a former

inspire or motivate people into action. Falling in love or

board-certified pediatrician residing in Northeast-

starting a new business might fall into this category. Both

ern Pennsylvania. Currently, she is Chief Wellness

types of stress create demands that require your body to

Officer and co-owner of Manifest Excellence,

adapt.

LLC. Dr. Hamilton specializes in holistic wellness promotion and teaches a comprehensive ap-

Certain acts of self-care can help your body and mind adapt

proach to health and wellness by addressing mental, emotional,

to stressors in a healthy manner. For example, relaxation

social, spiritual and physical wellbeing. For more information visit

techniques like diaphragmatic breathing, yoga, or music

www.ManifestExcellence.com, or contact Dr. Hamilton at

therapy help calm the nervous system. Mind-Body medicine

AskME@ManifestExcellence.com or (570)234-0772.

Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network

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to choose selfcare By Dawn Noble, RN, BSN

A

fter the holidays, when the kids get back to school, when things slow down a bit…yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, you’ll get to taking care of yourself when it’s a

good time. It’s a good time now! When you’re in good shape, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically, you are not only more fully present to what you are doing but who you are doing it with. You are saying to others (your children perhaps?) that taking care of yourself is important and a priority. What is the message you’re currently sending? By leaving yourself for last, pushing yourself past your limits doing everything that seemingly, ‘needs to be done’ you’re sharing a message that is not only dangerous it’s unhealthy.

I recently kicked my husband, two children (and dog!) out of

of it, but to share more about who I am. In

the house from Saturday midday until the following day late

preparing for their departure, they helped get the pretty

afternoon. Why? Because I needed time in my house alone,

dishes out, put the candles out, make the living room cozy.

to be me, enjoy the home I’ve created, spend an evening

They asked about who was coming, what we would talk

with friends around the table with some fine china, a pretty

about, where my book was. They were excited for me and I

glass in my hand, re-energizing my spirit with conversation

shared with them my excitement. As they climbed into the

and inspiration from other women in my life. I call it book

car they were waving and singing and very happy.

club (whether books are read or not!). At first glance this bit of ‘self care’ might be interpreted as selfish, but let me share

Here’s what it did for them: they enjoyed a great afternoon

another perspective.

with dad at the driving range sharing a bit of his passion, they ate out at one of their favorite places (one where mommy

In my growth as a mom I have realized that not

only do I need more self care, I am compelled to do this to teach my girls not only the importance

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does not go!) and then to Grandma’s for a home baked treat, a fun movie and sleeping bags. When they arrived home the next day, they found a mom who was relaxed, revived, and

Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network


feeling refreshed in so many ways. The other benefit: they witnessed mommy taking care of herself before a crisis, without a diagnosis, just taking care of herself for sake of being more balanced, more available for her everyday. I can understand, and have used and heard, all the excuses for not taking care of ourselves, “I’m too busy”, “I have no one to take the kids”, “no time”, but I have also seen that when crisis hits, we seem to find the time. Why

wait

for the crisis? It’s not okay to wait until tomorrow to take care of ourselves. We all have inner guidance and have clues when something is not quite right. Listen and take action. The thing I know for sure is that when

I’m in good shape, I am more available to my community: my husband and children, extended family, friends, colleagues, and more. When you’re in better shape, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically you have more of the good you to give. The world needs you to be well…please take care.

Dawn is a nurse, professional organizer, speaker, author and entrepreneur. She is the founder of Balance and Beyond, a Professional Organizing business, and co-founder of Wellness Possibilities, an online directory of services and activities for living healthier, happier and easier. Dawn began her career as a RN, caring for individuals in their homes. She saw firsthand how environments impacted health, and in her role as a professional organizer, Dawn worked directly with clients to increase their professional productivity and personal satisfaction. She began to explore other healing options during her personal journey from infertility to natural conception and childbirth. She now has two beautiful daughters, daily reminders of how incorporating wellness services can transform your health and your life. Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network

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parenthood:

The path to sainthood or challenge to sanity By Bernardo A Merizalde, MD, DHt

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Copyright Š2011 holistic moms network


Parenthood can be the quickest way to

environmental, psychological and spiritual dimensions.

sainthood or to the asylum. There is no

These are not in order or importance, for each one of them

human endeavor filled with so many joys and

is unique and part of the whole structure. A true holistic approach must consider each and every dimension.

heartbreaks. Our children come into our lives naturally or with the help of adoption agencies. Regardless of the route, we are at the mercy of

Research shows that individuals actively involved with a religious faith tend to be healthier, physically and psychologically. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone should join a

fate, chance, or divine grace. Each person is

church, synagogue, temple, or mosque. Some people may

unique.

pursue secular activities that activate a sense of awe and

Some children are a bundle of joy, sleeping through the night from the first day and eating at regular times. Others may have a variable biological rhythm, eating and sleeping at random. Each type will require its own set of skills and nurturance. We see them grow through the various developmental phases, maximizing hopefully their innate potentials, requiring minimum support and developing healthy relationships as grown adults, perhaps creating a family of their own. Other times, they continue being dependent on us, late into adulthood, making us wonder if we should join co-dependent anonymous. Through the vicissitudes, regardless of how easy or difficult children are, parenthood requires the development of tremendous coping skills, patience being one of them, to prevent burn-out. Often, the stress of parenthood affects the spousal relationship to various degrees, and that may increase the complexity of the challenges. It is hard enough to manage the relationship between two. It becomes more challenging when it is four-, five-fold, or greater. In order to maximize our ability to cope with the challenges and demands of parenthood, it is important to understand ourselves, and know what strategies to implement to minimize stress, and increase our resilience. I approach this task based on a model that addresses the biological, socioCopyright Š2011 holistic moms network

transcendence, together with other similar-minded people to socialize and partake of meaningful activities. Meditation and prayer have been proven to be effective in decreasing of anxiety, depression, stress symptoms, hypertension, headaches, and a number of other psychosomatic conditions. Psychosomatic conditions are not imagined, but are real medical conditions where the mind and emotions play a role in the formation and persistence of the disease. Such is the case with asthma, peptic ulcer disease, or colitis, which has a physical and an emotional component. Learning relaxation techniques, mindfulness-based stress reduction programs, and/or self hypnosis are another, related, set of tools that can give you extra coping skills. You may need to find a local training program, a counselor or therapist, to learn the particular techniques suitable for you. The psychological dimension is the result of the interaction between our genetic makeup, our nature, our temperament, and the surrounding environment, our caretakers and others around us. Through this nature-nurture interaction we develop our own unique perspective about ourselves and the world we inhabit. Early experiences form the categories and schemas of concepts and beliefs, which evoke our emotions and guide our behavior, consciously or unconsciously. Throughout our life we assimilate, adapt and integrate our 17


experiences and develop coping mechanism, strengths and

of fungicides, pesticides, and other toxic compounds. Avoid

virtues, with which we juggle the task of managing our individual

the intake of soft drinks, particularly diet drinks. It is best to

needs and the needs of those around us, including our children.

drink green tea, which tends to have antioxidant properties

That negotiation becomes even more challenging when the

and help with detoxification.

primary caretaker is also the primary breadwinner as it happens in many homes.

Make sure the room in which you sleep has curtains or blinds which block light. It has been shown that even a small

Hopefully, we have been able to develop sufficient social

amount of light can decrease the depth and quality of sleep.

competencies to establish fulfilling and supportive relationships,

Keep your room organized. A chaotic room may subconsciously

not just with our spouses,

keep you under a state of tension

but with family members

with pressing and incomplete

and friends. People who

tasks. Decreased sleep will decrease

develop significant

your ability to cope and increase

relationships have greater

irritability and stress.

and healthier longevity. Parenting, when it includes

It is very important to spend

supportive relationships,

sufficient time outdoors to get

becomes not only easier,

sufficient exposure to the sun

but is also healthier for the

and produce the indispensable

children. By experiencing

vitamin D3. The best times to

relationships with other caring

be outside are before 10:30

adults, children are able to

a.m. and after 3 p.m. for about

develop a greater sense of

15 to 20 minutes per day.

belonging and acceptance,

Don’t wear sunscreen during

and we get the time to go to

those times as it will block your

the gym or get together with

ability to produce the vitamin.

significant others,

Vitamin D3 is extremely

including friends, for a

important for the deposit of

couple of hours, to have a chat and get a break.

calcium in your bones. It regulates your immune system to the point that it will help to prevent viral infections, and it

Environmental factors are important to take into consideration

helps to modulate the brain chemicals, helping to prevent

when we want to maximize our resilience. The kind of food

depression, particular seasonal affective disorder. The best

we eat will give us a greater feeling of well-being, energy and

way to determine your need is with a blood level test through

endurance. The wrong foods will exhaust us more quickly. A

your doctor’s office.

diet based primarily on vegetables, legumes and fruits, with

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whole grains and fish, will provide all of the needed nutrients.

Exercise is the next important activity to maintain health

It is preferable to eat organic produce, to reduce the intake

both physical and mental. It has been shown that physiCopyright Š2011 holistic moms network


cal activity helps to release tension and helps prevent and

Phosphoric acid for long-term exhaustion from stress, physical

treat depression. Exercise is essential for cardiovascular

and mental fatigue; Ignatia amara for grief and mortification;

and pulmonary health, as well as for the integrity of bones,

and, Nux vomica for irritability and impatience, particularly

muscles and the maintenance of balance. Twenty minutes

from the abuse of stimulants, food and drink. All of these can

of aerobic exercise, particularly interval training, three times

be found in most health food stores who carry homeopathic

a week appears to be the best way to acquire the benefits

medicines.

of exercise. Brisk walking has show to be enough to get the aerobic, cardiovascular, pulmonary and neurological benefits

Since some cough, cold and flu medicines for young children

of exercise. Strength training and lifting weights are necessary

are now in question by the FDA, homeopathic medicines can

to achieve the other benefits. Many people find it helpful to

take their place in the home medicine cabinet. It is especially

hire physical trainers, who often are certified, for the extra

important to have Oscillococcinum on hand during cold and

encouragement to get through the initial challenging times

flu season. Oscillo has been shown in four double-blind, pla-

until the habit of exercising is formed.

cebo-controlled clinical studies to help reduce the severity and duration of flu-like symptoms like feeling run down, body

In my practice I offer my patients a four-tiered approach

aches, chills and fever. It doesn’t suppress or mask symptoms

to treatment of medical conditions. I recommend diet and

or cause side effects such as drowsiness or sleeplessness.

dietary supplements, herbs, conventional medicines as well

This homeopathic medicine is safe for parents and children

homeopathic medicines. The choice of which to use depends

over age two.

on the condition and which will be the most effective and least toxic approach.

There are also a number of over-the-counter combination homeopathic medicines indicated to treat a number of other

Homeopathy is the least understood and more undervalued

self-limiting conditions, such as teething, cough, hay fever,

approach. It has been around for over 200 years and there

colic, PMS, etc., which are safe and non-toxic and could

is sufficient evidence to prove its efficacy. Thousands of

potentially be as effective as other over-the-counter

physicians have used it around the world to treat millions of

compounds.

patients for a variety of conditions. Ultimately, by being open to the integration of physical, I recommend my patients to have a homeopathic medicine

mental and spiritual dimensions into daily life, parents and

home kit, which usually comes with an indication guide

their children too, can truly reach a maximum of health and

for the medicines. Most of these medicines can be used as

well being.

you would other over-the-counter medicines. Of course, if an acute condition is not improving promptly or is getting progressively worse, you should consult your primary care

Bernardo A Merizalde, M.D, DHt

provider.

Assistant Clinical Professor, Thomas Jefferson

Some commonly used homeopathic medicines for parents

University Hospital

caring for family members are: Cocculus for exhaustion and

Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine

faintness from loss of sleep after taking care of loved ones;

Philadelphia, PA

Copyright Š2011 holistic moms network

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March 2011

volunteerprofile

Jen Oh help me in discovering the type of mother I wanted to be. When we moved to CA – HMN continued with me. I moved to CA about 2 months after the San Jose chapter opened and I fell right into another wonderful group. I still belong to both groups because of the love and support I have always received. What is your Chapter Affiliation? San Jose, CA Chapter of HMN AND Knoxville, TN Chapter What is your volunteer role with HMN? I am a co-leader of the San Jose, CA Chapter and a regular member of the Knoxville, TN chapter. Just recently I became the CA Regional Chapter Mentor. What have you been working on recently? In February, I officially became the CA Regional Chapter Mentor. Currently, I am organizing an HMN booth at the San Francisco Green Festival April 9th & 10th. We are very excited because HMN will also be providing the Comfort Station at the SF Green Festival in April. We were at the last Green Festival (Oct ’10) and we discovered that there weren’t even changing tables in the bathrooms, so I contacted the Green Festival and HMN will be providing the Comfort Station.

HMN has provided me with a safe haven – a nonjudgmental, supportive group that has never made me feel odd or crazy. It’s hard being a mom who questions what is considered the norm and who goes against the grain. I view HMN as a valuable parenting tool that every parent should know about. I can’t imagine how tough life would have been for me and my family if I hadn’t had the support, guidance, and knowledge I get out of HMN. To be able to help HMN grow and to let others be aware of the group is my way of continuing my growth as a mom. Tell us about yourself. How did you become interested in holistic living and HMN? What are your passions? I am a maker and a do-er. ;-) Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money and my parents always believed if we could make it, instead of buy it – it was better. So I grew up loving to make things, do things, and to tinker.

We are planning on providing changing tables, a nursing area, and a small quiet area for parents/children to rest. Over 5,000 people went to the last San Francisco Green Festival so we are really excited about the exposure! Why do you volunteer for HMN? I volunteer for HMN because HMN makes me a better mother. ;-) I went to my first meeting, when my son was born – almost 5 years ago. As the Knoxville Chapter was brand new, I felt like I grew as a mother as our chapter grew. It was wonderful having a supportive, awesome group of mamas to

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What do you do for balance and self-care? For my birthday, in January - my brother got me a certificate for a spa day - a massage, manicure and pedicure. I realized it had been so LONG since I actually took the time to do anything just for me. Since then, at least once a week- after I put the kids to bed...I give myself a manicure. After 2 years of not painting my nails for fear of the products, I’ve found some amazing - more eco friendly - nail polish that works great. The best part is my son loves it. He asks to see my pretty hands and oohs and ahhhs over the great colors.

Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network


is an

HAPPINESS

inside job By Jennifer Waldburger, LCSW

Arguably one of the best things about spending time with kids is being able to witness their joy. What we might consider to be the tiniest trifle – watching bubbles pop in the bathtub, going down the slide head first – is, to children, pure rapture. Their zeal for life is contagious. Who has spent time with kids and not felt more spontaneous, more playful, more engaged in whatever is happening right here, right now, in this moment? Seeing your child happy can bring happiness to you, too – and make your heart swell to bursting with love and appreciation. It can even carry you right back to the sense of joy and freedom you felt as a child, opening up doors to creativity and imagination that may have been closed or even locked before you had kids. But what’s important to monitor is the extent to which your child’s happiness, or unhappiness, may be a barometer of your own. If you find that your child’s triumphs and challenges – her emotional ups and downs – are the primary gauge of your own sense of well-being, you may be in for a bit of a rough ride.


As a family therapist and parent educator, one of the most

own happiness. Give yourself permission to feel joy and

common mantras I hear from parents is some version of, My

empathy along with her accomplishments and setbacks, but

child is acting out/not listening/letting others walk all over him/

don’t let them define you. Take the time to discover – or

hitting kids on the playground – and I want to fix it. Here’s

rediscover – what really fuels you. (Hint: it is probably not

another: When my child is unhappy, I feel guilty/my heart breaks/

making sure that the house is clean, the fridge is full, or the

it’s not fair/I hate to see her struggle – and I want to fix it.

bills are paid. It may be puttering in the garden, actually

In either case, the bottom-line translation is, I’m not happy

reading one of the fiction books on your nightstand, taking

about what my child is doing or feeling – but if I could

a yoga class, seeing a movie with a girlfriend – you know,

change this, I would.

a grownup activity (remember those)? Yes, it is OK to do something fun just for yourself, that does not include your

Now, most parents would agree that a challenging

child. No, you do not need to feel guilty, and he will not

developmental stage, particularly one that involves

resent you for it – in fact he (and your partner) will likely find

aggression, is no picnic. But there’s a difference between

a happier parent at the end of the day, which is win-win

taking steps to navigate unfamiliar territory, and feeling a

for all.

sense of urgency to fix things and make the behavior stop. When you feel a sense of urgency and anxiety about your child’s

Simply deciding to make your happiness an inside job – and

behavior or feelings, that’s a surefire sign that you have an

your first priority as a parent – will begin to dissolve any

emotional investment in what he does or doesn’t do. You are

liability you may have unconsciously given your child for

implicitly sending a message to your child that unless or until

your own emotional well-being. What’s more, you’ll find

he behaves or feels the way you want him to, you will not be

that when generated from within, your happiness – just like

happy. In other words, you are tethering your well-being to

your child’s – is contagious.

his. Jennifer Waldburger, LCSW, is co-founder

Think back to your own childhood and your parents’ interest

of Sleepy Planet, a company that offers

in your behavior and choices. Did they communicate that

collaborative consultation, education,

you knew best, or that they did? Did they give you

parenting groups, counseling, and prod-

permission to fail and make mistakes, or did they try to

ucts to parents of children birth to five

control you with lots or rules – or hover to make sure you

years. Addressing the big picture of family

didn’t get hurt at all? What did those actions do to your

life – including sleep, feeding, child

sense of self-esteem and confidence? Did you grow

development, sibling issues, marriage

up believing that you had the power to make your parents

and refining individual parenting philosophy and style – Sleepy

happy, or conversely, that you were responsible for their

Planet helps parents create a balanced, fulfilling family experience.

disappointment? How did that feel?

Jennifer, who is co-creator of the book and DVD The Sleepeasy Solution, also maintains a private practice as a psychotherapist. She

Now that you are the parent, you have an alternative: plug

and Sleepy Planet have been featured in a wide variety of media,

into a different source. Rather than riding the choppy waters

including Good Morning America, The Today Show, The New York

of your child’s ups and downs, which leaves most parents

Times, The Wall Street Journal, Parenting, and Parents. For more

feeling exhausted and depleted, take responsibility for your

information, please visit www.sleepyplanet. com.

Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network

23


cell salts FOR

Two-Minute-a-Day

mother revival

by Natalia Iwanyckyj

Preparing healthy meals, walking gently on the Earth and being lovingly involved, conscious mothers can literally drain our energy reserves. We watch our skin dry out, our legs and bellies swell, and our energy drain. The things we know we could do to remedy these conditions (meditating, exercising, taking time for

ourselves) just add to our guilt and the pressing to-do list. Fortunately, there is an easy way to restore balance in your body and mind that only requires two minutes per day: taking cell salts.

What are Cell Salts? Cell salts are a diluted and potentized preparation of the mineral salts that make up our bodies. In the 1800s, a homeopath named Dr. Schuessler observed that when the human cell is reduced to ashes, there are only 12 minerals left. Without a sufficient supply of these key 12 minerals, cells cannot perform their necessary functions. The effectiveness of cell salts has been proven for over two hundred years. 1,2

24

Copyright Š2011 holistic moms network


How to Take Cell Salts

When we crave certain foods, feel bloated, experience dry skin or cramps, when we feel depressed or anxious, our

Cell salts are sold on a lactose pellet base. They are

bodies are showing us that our mineral reserve needs to be

inexpensive and easy to take. If you use them regularly, you

replenished.

will feel calmer, happier and healthier quickly. To take cell salts, shake four tablets into the cap of the vial.

Cell Salts for Mothers

Tip the cap into your mouth without touching the mouth

An individual may be deficient in any of the cell salts. To see

and allow pellets to dissolve. Do not eat, drink or brush

a view chart listing emotional and physical symptoms of cell

teeth 15 minutes before or after taking cell salts.

salt deficiency, please see Restoring Balance with Cell Salts.

Taking cell salts is a great way to begin exploring the natural health sciences. Cell salts may be purchased from most

Here are some ways to use cell salts that will be useful to

health food stores, 800homeopathy.com and HMN sponsor

many mothers.

Boiron.

•If you are feeling sluggish and run down, take Calc Phos. It will make you feel good all over.

For 30 years, Natalia Iwanyckyj lived a pleasant, remarkably ordinary life. Then, with persistence, tantrums, oral

•Before exercising, take Kali Sulph and Ferrum Phos. Both carry oxygen through the body and restore health and vitality.

sensitivity, speech delay and autism, her

•At bedtime, take Ferrum Phos, Kali Sulph, Mag Phos and Nat Phos to relax and sleep well.

extraordinary homeopath and healer, Dr.

children initiated her into a whole new world. On her journey, Natalia studied Homeopathy and Bioenergetics with the

Kenneth S. Pittaway, and Matrix Reimprinting with innovative EFT Master, Karl Dawson. Today, her mission is to empower mothers by teaching them to use homeopathy and EFT to make their lives easier, healthier and happier and by sharing insights from her

•Everyone benefits from taking Ferrum Phos. It is useful when you are feeling down and discouraged and at the start of any illness.

healing journey on her blog and in transformative support circles for mothers of autistic and neurodivergent children. She is also writing a book titled Blessed by Uniquely Magnificent Children: Mothers on a Hero’s Journey.

•Kali Phos is the cell salt for frazzled nerves. Take as needed when feeling stressed out or anxious. •For beautiful hair, nails and complexion, take Silica. Calc Sulph is also useful for maintaining healthy skin if you are prone to break-outs. Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network

Boericke & Dewey: The Twelve Tissue Remedies of Shussler Comprising of The Theory, Therapeutic

1

Application, Materia Medica & a Complete Repertory of Tissue Remedies (Homeopathicallly and Bio-Chemically Considered). 6th Ed. B. Jain Publishers PVT. LTD. New Delhi, 2006. David R. Card: Facial Diagnosis of Cell Salt Deficiencies: A User’s Guide. Hohm Press.

2

Prescott, Arizona, 2005.

25


Pen and Paper:

Five Rules for Self-Care Journaling By Toni Turbeville Morton

Diaries, journals, sketchbooks… Whatever you call them or whatever you do with them, these paper gems can be a terrific tool for your life. My grandmother gave me my very first diary – a green cover with a photo of brown horses in the sunrise, yellow pages lined with brown ink and a lock that never really worked. Each entry dutifully begins, “Dear Diary.” My diary and I grew up together. As I grew into a teenager, it transitioned into a journal in black-and-white composition notebooks. As a college student, I used hard-backed books designed for journaling. Now, at 37, my journals are kept in Moleskin notebooks and are a mish-mash of my daily life – what I think, what I know, what I need to do, shopping lists, drawings, ideas, photos, fortune cookie fortunes and anything I need out of my head. But there are rules. 26

Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network


Rule One: School’s Out Forever

and ideas down on paper even if you have no idea what to

Many people are interested in journaling, but are afraid

write. I don’t know what to write. I don’t know what to write.

to begin. The fun and value in writing is lost in a sea of

Write about what you want to write about. I want to write

memories about language arts classes, spelling, grammar and

about__________. Write especially about what you don’t

the dreaded English compositions they had in school. Forget

want to write about. I don’t want to write about__________.

about it! Toss the spelling, grammar and English rules out of

What you don’t want to write about is often exactly what you

the window. There’s no such thing as a permanent record

should.

(other than your credit report), and no one is going to be grading your journal with a red pen. Write exactly how you

Rule Four: First Thoughts

want – misspell those words, dangle those participles and

Write exactly what pops into your head. Don’t correct, don’t

leave those sentences incomplete.

tidy up, don’t alter. Just write it down. Even if these first thoughts are a big mess, they are the most genuine thoughts

Rule Two: It’s Not You, It’s Me Journals are private space, which is a hot commodity for

and often the ones you need to get out.

parents. Unless you plan to hand them down to your

Rule Five: There Are No Rules

children or publish them, don’t think about who might read

This is a biggie, especially since this article is all about rules!

it one day. Write just for you, even -- and perhaps especially

Remember that your journal is your private space to be

-- if it’s raw, dark or ugly. Be true to your heart and mind

exactly what you want and need. Write sideways, doodle,

by writing what you need to write. If you’re worried about

tape pictures or quotes inside, whine about laundry, vent

someone reading them in the present, lock them up. If you’re

about your crazy children, explore your dreams. Be the wild,

worried about someone reading them in the future, destroy

passionate, beautiful, eccentric, odd, lovely human being you

them when they’re full or use rubber cement to seal around

are – nothing more, nothing less.

the edges of the pages with the book closed.

Toni Turbeville Morton is an

Rule Three: Keep Your Pen Moving

eccentric human, writer and artist

A bad thing happens when the pen pauses and hovers over

prince charming. A work-at-home

the paper. Your mind suddenly goes blank, drifts away to

and homesteading mom, life revolves

something else or the worst happens – you read what you’ve

around bodily fluids, food, ignoring

spending her days with a toddler, a cat, two fish, twelve chickens and

already wrote and the monsters of judging, editing and

laundry and blogging at www.TonisTreehouse.com

criticizing appear. To get past them you don’t have to give

about holistic living, parenting and cooking. She is

up your first-born child, just keep that pen moving. Write as though your life depends on it; get all of those thoughts

Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network

also a co-leader for the Holistic Moms Network of the South Carolina Midlands, and soon plans to offer online writing and journaling classes. 27


spiritual Practice By Cynthia Djengue

As a single mother of a toddler, I find it very difficult to stay

messages we need to hear, that no one else can tell us. Being

spiritually focused as I try to juggle a full time job, mother-

alone, or creating solitude, is so key to a spiritual life. It is a

hood and personal time. Often, there is not solitude, a key

common theme, especially in the Western cultures, to stay

ingredient for personal growth and spiritual practice. I have

busy and fill our days with as many activities as possible. Par-

had to get creative in my pursuit of getting closer to God.

ents will often take their children to as many places as they

Please keep in mind that when I refer to God it can mean

can in one day, to do as many social and academic activities

whatever higher power or process you practice to “take your-

in a week without knowing if this will really provide lasting

self out of yourself.” As mothers, we are quite used to giving

benefit to the child.

to others rather than ourselves. There are many reasons why it is important to recognize that our time on Earth is neces-

Shakti Gawain in her book, Creating True Prosperity, discusses

sary and was chosen. Carl Jung calls this time of realization,

this in Doing versus Being. She writes that “Doing is primar-

“the afternoon of our life,” a time in middle age when an

ily the realm of the personality, while being takes us into

individual integrates the conscious and unconscious parts of

the realm of the soul.” It would be interesting to see what

self. It can be a beautiful period.

would happen in a neighborhood if persons turned off their laptops, televisions, put down their clippers and hoses and

28

One spiritual practice towards “becoming unconscious” is to

started speaking to one another and seeing the sunset in their

be quiet, meditate or pray. In almost every religion or belief

backyards. Perhaps they would have a “moment” or several

system, it is apparent that prayer or meditation can bring us

of them. Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network


Recently I saw Michael Beckwith, an amazing speaker and

others. In the bible Deuteronomy 16:17 it says, “Every man

spiritual leader, who has been in the film, “The Secret” and

shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD

discusses the Law of Attraction. He has written several books

your God which He has given you.”

and has received awards and continues to inspire many all

Again, as a single mother, I have had to be very creative. I

over the world. On his website he sums up what I have out-

have had to attend events online, read a lot of books about

lined above, “...This means that we are not on the earth to be

religion and spirituality, and have attended “church” services.

mere problem solvers, to live life having just enough to get

I attend church in person most of the time as I feel the com-

by, mistaking this for non-materialism or spiritual living. Nor

munity is helpful and that giving of my time and attention to

does it mean that we drown ourselves in consumerism so

my spiritual self is important.

that we may remain anti-bored until we die. If our television screen is larger than our vision for our life, we must awaken

Cynthia Djengue is a mother over 40 with a

ourselves from the sleep of illusion.”

toddler girl. As a single parent, she juggles a

Our reasons, as mothers, as wives and as friends for giving,

full time job in healthcare with a B.A. and M.S.

organizing, scheduling, and juggling can often times take

in Social Work, is appointed to two Board of

away from the quietness of being human, which is absolutely

Director positions, and attends several events at

necessary to finding strength in spirit. Spiritual practice can

her church in Lakewood, CO. She has lived in the

occur in dreams, in prayers, in being a neighbor and giving.

Denver Metro area off and on for seven years and is originally from

Perhaps a huge spiritual lesson for me was to learn to give

the Midwest. She became a member of the Denver Metro Area

to myself more, and out of my strength I can then give to

Chapter of HMN three years ago.

Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network

29


how to balance life:

(

)I

A Midwife’s Persepctive By Erin Kaspar-Frett, CPM, LM, MSM, CD

It can be beautiful and yet ever-elusive. It is one thing that so many of us strive to reach throughout a life-time. We spend our lives looking for it and may reach it occasionally. I am here to tell you it is a process, not an end. If you’re

reading this, I’m guessing you struggle with it too. In our fast-paced world holding true to the values of family and love, can be challenging when we are expected to hold a job (or 3), raise our children and be the best partner we can, while being in good standing with our friends, extended family and community. But let me back up here a minute and tell you who I am. I am a midwife, a wife, a partner, a friend and a mother of 3. Personally, I work on balance daily. And, as a midwife, I work with my clients to do so as well. First, in order to achieve or strive for balance, one must prioritize. But no one else can give you advice on how best to prioritize for your family. You must first answer many questions. What is your family structure; one parent or three? One home or two (as in divorced families)? Do you school your children at home? How many children do you have? Do all parents workout of the 30

Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network


home? As you assess these and other questions, some of your priorities may come into view. Take a good look at the reality of your life in comparison to the desires of your heart. I’ve heard a story from several sources so I can’t give credit to any one place, but it is worth sharing. A wise person (college professor in one version I heard) was asked how to balance life. He brought out a large empty jar, then one the same size filled 3/4 with water, another one with sand and yet another one with large rocks. He spoke as he explained; if I put the sand in first, I’d never have room for the larger priorities in life (the large rocks). You must first place (and pick) your large priorities in life and put them into your life (as he put them into the empty jar), then fill in the lesser priorities (he poured in the sand). After that, you will still have some room for the trivial things in life (pouring in the water). Life is like this. Choose your larger priorities and fill them in first and go from there. You may still ask yourself (or be asking me) how to determine the larger ones from the smaller ones. Answer the questions above. Fully assess your life. Then take that assessment into prayer or meditation or whatever larger connection you have to humanity. Or, simply “sleep on it.” Ask for answers in your dreams, from others, from articles and then wait and listen. Make sure you pay attention; answers sometimes come in small voices and unexpected places. After you have an idea of what your priorities are, put them in your calendar; make room for them in your life. Let go of the rest. It is true that you can have it all, but you have to determine if “all” is what you want right “now.” Lastly, keep in mind that it is still a process. You may find balance this week and need to adjust next week, tomorrow, or right after reading this because the children need you NOW! The tidy house may have to wait another few minutes as you love what’s important right now. Erin Kaspar-Frett is a Licensed and Certified Professional Midwife living in Ellsworth, WI with her partner and three children. She covers a two-hour radius from her home, including Eau Claire and the Twin Cities. Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network

31


Bringing Balance to Life using

therapeutic essential oils

for emotional and physical

well being

By Barbara Lemke

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across thousands of miles and all the years we have lived. “ 32

~Helen Keller Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network


“Smells not only activate the release of stored emotions and

with pain relief, difficulty in sleeping, digestive issue, colds,

memories, they also rouse the production of hormones and

coughs, flu, and stress/anxiety.

neuro-chemicals that affect physiology and behavior. Research shows that the sense of smell, though very complex, is a

I have used oils effectively with my children and grandchildren

rapid acting and effective way to use essential oils.

for various health concerns. We make a nightly ritual of massaging essential oils along the neck and spine and on

As early as 1949, J. E. Amoore, a British scientist, theorized

the bottoms of the feet to help the little ones settle down at

an explanation of smell. He believed each odor was composed

night. The children are learning what essential oils can be

of an odorous molecule with a specific geometric shape that

helpful for. If they fall down and hurt themselves, they know

fit into a matching receptor neu-ron, lining the nasal cavity like

and ask for lavender to help relieve the “ouches”. If they are

a key. This connection was believed to trigger nerve impulses

sick with colds and coughs, they ask for grandma to come

going to the brain that stimulated certain physical or

and rub them in with the oils. The children respond quickly

psychological responses.” 1

to the oils and enjoy having them rubbed in.

Our sense of smell is the most basic of senses yet has a most

Lavender is known as “the universal” oil and can be used for

powerful effect on our emotions that can provide for relief of

most health concerns. It is good for relieving insect bites and

stress, anxiety, and fears. Research has been done on essential

sunburn as well as for gargling for a sore throat and alleviat-

oils such as lavender, peppermint, frankincense, sandalwood

ing a headache. Medical staff and hospitals are using this

and rosemary and show that the oils can affect brain waves

approach as it is proving to be very effective for helping with

and produce a calming effect or a stimulating effect. With

various health concerns.

the stress in today’s world, we can all benefit from using therapeutic essential oils to bring about a calming effect safely

Essential Oils can make a significant change in your well- being

and with no worry of side effects.

and the aroma can lift you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, a gift from nature.

Essential oils are concentrated, aromatic liquid substances Barbara Lemke graduated from Alverno

obtained from hairs, ducts and glands of plants, seeds, and

College in December ’73 with a Bachelor of

trees and are obtained by steam distillation or from abrasion

Science in Nursing. She is a member of the

of the rind of fruits. The quality of an essential oil is very

American Holistic Nurses Association and

important and you want to be sure you are using a therapeutic

Wisconsin Nurses Association. She is a Well-

essential oil, not a perfume grade. People can react adversely

ness Coach and offers natural and complementary therapies in her business, Health

to perfume or synthetic oil. A skin patch test can be done to

&Wellness Options at Avolen Wellness Cen-

determine if your skin is sensitive to an essential oil.

ter in Oconomowoc. She is certified in Clinical Aromatherapy and teaches at local community colleges for the Learning in Retirement program and Adult Education and Enrich-

One of the quickest ways to use a therapeutic essential oil is

ment with a focus on therapeutic essential oils. She enjoys sharing

to place a drop in the palm of the hand or on a hanky and

her knowledge and is available for presentations in the community.

breathe deeply. One can sense a feeling of calm in a matter of

She has been named one of the top three aroma-therapists in the

minutes. Diffusing essential oils into the air can bring about

Milwaukee magazine February 2011 issue. Her goal is to help you restore harmony and balance that will result in improved physical

a calming effect as well as scent the air with a pleasing aroma.

health, mental clarity and a sense of well-being.

Essential oils can be used with the entire family to help

Essential Oils 101 – How To Use Essential Oils, Young Living Magazine

1

Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network

33


The powers of the flowers:

when you take care of you -

everything else follows! By Amy Cohen

34

Copyright Š2011 holistic moms network


Have you noticed how the household

take out your box of It’s literally, what and “bring back your

runs on our mood? When we feel

Bring yourself back into balance! Are you stressed today?

happy.” Take a few drops of your essence and put it in water.

happy, our household feels great!

Take Elm. Are your children angry and acting out? Put a

When we are organized, the kids are

go to school. Is your child afraid to go to school, give them

few drops of Cherry Plum and Vine in their water before they

organized.... When we are stressed,

some Mimulus! Do you hate your career, feel trapped and

our household is stressed! The tone

to your leg, give him Chicory for a few days and see what

cannot change? Take Wild Oat. Is your toddler attached

of the MOM brings the tone of our

happens.

family life.

If you don’t know about the flower essences, learn about them! Make them a part of your household. When you

As moms, we have so much on our plate. We

change how you feel, you change the tone of the household. Live your life in your most perfect and desired way. Your

may work outside the home, and in addition,

whole household will move back into balance. It works

we run the household, tutor, chauffeur and

energetically, no toxins, no side effects! It’s literally what we

cook. We also nurture, we are caretakers, lovers, psychiatrists, all of this every single day.

have been searching for! Any person can use them. It is impossible to do any harm with flower essences – if you give or take the wrong one, it

Somewhere along the line for many of us, without noticing,

just won’t work, so they are a very safe and accessible.

we’ve lost our spirit. We go through the motions, but it all

So stop forgetting about you! Use your remedies to take

becomes lackluster. We are multi-taskers; we have so much

you where you want to be, back to your old self, get yourself

to do for everyone else. Taking care of us? Well, that has

centered, feel vibrant and everything else follows!

been moved to the back burner. Amy Cohen is a Flower Remedies Practitioner

It is so important for us moms to feel good, to take the time

living in New Jersey with her family and part

to nurse our spirit, nurse our soul. It’s important to “bring

of the Monmouth County Chapter. She works

back our happy!” Understand that I love my husband, I love

with families throughout the United States and

my kids, but I have learned that we are not doing the best for

internationally. She is also working with the

any of us by worrying about us later, worry about you now!

symptoms of children on the spectrum with

We are entitled to feel good; we need to be at the front of the

beautiful results.

line, because that is when we are at our best! Our best mom, our best lover, our best as a woman!

She can be reached at 800-474-1667 or Amycohen@strongestminds.com. Her website is

You can bring your emotions back into check, take a minute,

w w w.strongestimnds.com.

take a deep breath, give yourself a moment to feel good and watch what happens in your household. This is when you Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network

35


balancing , parting

and 3D Dimensions

By Carla Schiavone

Come right in. Yes you. You are most welcome here. Inside this hut you will find many women, just like you. All paths, all faiths, and some without. Please do not feel intimidation towards the women in ceremonial robes inside this gathering. They are here, called forth to volunteer time, energy, and work. They seek nothing in return. They have an ancient story just like you. Whatever style of alignment you seek, it is here. All that is required upon entering is an offering, something dear to your heart. Something that makes your heart and soul dance. It can be anything. Your voice, you’re weaving of baskets, your x-ray vision eyes, ears, or smell, your warrior suit of armor, your innate compassion for listening, your hair braiding fetish, or perhaps your painting. A uniqueness only you attain, bring it on inside. Won’t you place your tired achy feet into the foot bath of magically mixed sea salt, Epsom salt, and baking soda infused with oil. The components inside will raise your soul out of hiding. A humble fortress awaits to weave her gift as she loosens up the pressure points of your roots. With her simple tool; passed down from her Grandmother, the opposite side of a pencil yes; indeed an eraser, she spins her magic with guided energetic force. Deep slow

36

methodical clockwise circles surround the soles of your feet, and in between your toes. You begin to feel your physical body tingle in areas you hadn’t felt in quite a long time. You feel as though things are being drawn out. You then notice a woman close by who looks to be getting her scalp stimulated. Over to the far right you see a female in a brown cloaked robe who is chanting harmonious mantras creating an infinity loop around the hut, ringing a bell in one hand and holding a Dorje in the other. Over to the left you see a woman wearing a headdress of plumage, drumming in a trance state. You look over and see a table set up with hundreds of herbs and elixirs. You then see a woman inscribing symbols with paint on others bodies in a ritualistic fashion. You step outside only to discover another type of dimension of reality come to life. A lake front fire pit ceremony surrounded by women. Some dancing, some with their hands raised, some as strong as still. Some were facing crocodiles in the lake as if they were communing with one another. The snapping crocs appeared involved in some way. As if they were swallowing up excerpts of invisibleness. Waves of confusion spill through your consciousness, the left side of your brain takes over with uncertainty. You then hear a hiss sound; you look downward, and see a snake. Remaining still, hearts pounding you open your mouth to screech, your once fluid voice is nonexistent. Most of your life experience consisted of protection guards for Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network


the many snakes that slithered into your life; sensing the presence became a fascination. How was this snake able to successfully sneakily slither his way up your body and encircle himself around your neck without warning? Tingling like a feather tickles the crown of your thinker; you notice feelings of liquid lightness, as thoughts being dispatched cascade through your skull. “I have been prowling the corridors of your consciousness during this earth walk. I act as an animal spirit that embodies your alternate self, your personality center. When the Shadow is not integrated, it is the repository of fears, frustrations, temptations, impulsive/ compulsive reactions and anger infused with unresolved pain. Perhaps because modern society has denied the existence of the shadow self, or conversely has exerted an overabundance of effort in nurturing it, we learn to fear this extension of your inner self. When the pain of past traumas have been embraced, healed and resolved, then we may look upon our shadow in a new light, understanding he/she is merely a reflection cast from our own unresolved issues, lessons and pain. Acceptance coupled with non judgment, healing and integration transpires. Farewell, our partnership is complete for balance has occurred.” I am a Mother of 2 who interweaves personal life experiences in storytelling writing. I am a Monmouth County, NJ chapter member.

Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network

37


Therapy:

the Un-Sexy Self-Care Practice By Emily Horowitz

38

Copyright Š2011 holistic moms network


Therapy is not sexy. It’s not hip and exciting, like the belly-

healing power of nutrition and exercise, spiritual healing,

dancing course you signed up for last week, or the yoga class

auras, subtle energy, or mysteries that we cannot measure

you attend every Monday with the lithe instructor who easily

with quantitative tools.

pops up into inversions. I have seen many a Facebook post extolling the virtues of a relaxing massage, a serene spa, or a

Ultimately I encountered incredible therapists along my

wise acupuncturist. No one seems embarrassed to publicly

journey that helped me in times of turmoil. With a loving,

declare their commitment to body-work or a regular trip to

powerful presence, these counselors integrated mindfulness

the sauna as integral components of their self-care practices.

practices and other experiential forms of therapy that showed

Yet when it comes to “therapy” (or psychotherapy,

me how wide-ranging the discipline can be. They also taught

counseling, or any other name to describe this practice),

me that therapy is appropriate not only for when I am feeling

people are generally more private and discrete. It seems that

lousy, but also for when I am feeling ripe and ready for a

people view therapy as something we do when our lives are

piece of personal growth work. Being a client in therapy has

filled with turmoil, chaos, or discomfort; not something we

helped me embody the person I am meant to be in this life.

associate with “balance” or “self-care.” While I am a firm

I was fortunate to find a training program that combined my

believer in the benefit of a holistic self-care plan, one that

interest in holistic health and eastern spiritual practice with

integrates practices from various mind-body-spirit disciplines,

western psychology. This further enhanced my commitment

I am also clear that counseling is the bedrock of my physical,

to the discipline.

emotional and mental balance. Counseling is something that I turn to not just when I’m feeling lousy, but also when I’m

I feel blessed to have found a self-care practice and a

looking for support on my journey towards self-actualization.

profession that I am so deeply connected to, and I see the field constantly evolving. While I would certainly argue

In the interest of full disclosure, I have a strong bias at work.

we are a long way from viewing therapy as something that

I was raised as the child of two clinical social workers, and

we would happily tweet about, I do believe that the stigma

I myself am a licensed mental health counselor. However, I

around this work continues to wears off, day by day.

was not always a fan of the counseling profession. For many years I pondered numerous careers; including naturopathic

Emily is a licensed mental health counselor and

medicine and midwifery, before I ultimately found my

wellness coach dedicated to helping people find

calling. One might ask why it took me so long to return to

balance and grace through life’s transitions. She

the road from which I came, and my answer is straightforward:

is particularly passionate about working with

therapy seemed like a drag. I believed that therapy was for

families in the prenatal and postpartum period.

people who couldn’t cope in their lives with the resources

Emily lives in Rochester NY with her husband

that they were given. I thought it was a place where people

and her three-and-a-half year old daughter, who

aired their troubles to an impartial listener who said “sure,

has been one of Emily’s greatest teachers thus far, and the topic of

uh-huh, that sounds hard.” I saw how hard the discipline

more than one of her therapy sessions as a client. For more information,

could be on my parents, who gave much of their energy

on Emily, see http://www.fullcirclecounselingandwellness.com/

and time to help people in pain. Furthermore, I wasn’t sure how therapy fit into my overall beliefs about the connection between the body, mind and spirit. I wasn’t sure that there was room in the practice of therapy to also hold in mind the Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network

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March 2011

memberprofile

Yvonne Toussaint my baby being diaper free (elimination communication), and a huge fan of alternative medicine. What do you do for self-care/balance? More yoga would be nice, but right now I get regular massages for all my ailments, and I am an avid runner. Running centers and calms me, and is the only thing that will allow my mind to just “be”. It’s my way of meditating. With the first pregnancy, I was running Tell us about yourself (occupation, hobbies, children, passions, etc): I am a stay at home mom while still trying to pursue an acting and writing career on the side. I have been married to my amazing and perfect-in-every-way-forme husband for 3 years, we have one son who is 2 years old, and we are still happily breastfeeding while pregnant with Baby #2. My family is my life and my love. I absolutely love being an HMN chapter leader. This is definitely my passion, hobby, and job outside of being mommy and wife. I am also finishing the process of becoming a La Leche League leader. My others passions are learning about how I want to be a mother. Since becoming pregnant with my first, I have fervidly become an extended breastfeeding mother, a homeschooling mother, an incredible homebirthing mama, a

regularly 9-15 miles per week until I was seven months pregnant and unfortunately had to stop only because baby was bouncing up and down on my bladder. For this pregnancy, I plan on doing the same, only having to push a stroller, or pull a dog, or two dogs, and turning around occasionally to pick up a dropped shoe, or a dropped toy, or dog poo or.... I also just recently got into barefoot running, so I look completely ridiculous because I now fit the stereotype of being barefoot AND pregnant. What got you interested in holistic living? First, I wanted to help my husband’s ongoing battle to improve the health of his lungs due to a small complication when he was born. Prior to alternative medicine, he was using antibiotics several times a year. And then with my first pregnancy, I dove in deep wanting to learn everything I could about holistic living.

strong advocate of cosleeping, a full time supporter of

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Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network


What are your top three holistic passions?

enough sleep. In fact, it’s 4:30am right now as I write

Homebirth, Breastfeeding, Elimination Communication.

this. Sigh.

What holistic lifestyle or practice could you not live

How has HMN affected your life?

without and why?

I now have friends! Prior to HMN, I didn’t have any

Homebirth – because conventional hospitals scare the

friends who were mothers and also like-minded. I no

heck out of me. I’ve been treated badly too many times

longer feel strange for my parenting choices. Through

putting my faith and hope in western doctors, who have

HMN, for what it stands for and also by being a chapter

often times caused me more pain or have prolonged my

leader, I have gained more confidence in my mothering

injuries. I feel blessed that this is an option for me.

skills. I now no longer do something because it’s a common trend or because a “professional” tells me it’s

Elimination Communication – because cleaning a

best for my family. I do extensive research on my own

poopy diaper is just SO MUCH HARDER than practicing

and now have a group of parents who I feel comfortable

EC. It saves me time, water, energy, gas, diapers,

asking for their advice and support. Plus, my wonderful

laundry soap, buying wipes and diaper rash creams. In

HMN friends give me general all around cheering when

fact, two years later, I still have the very first tube of

I really need it! I also really appreciate that HMN has

diaper rash cream that I bought when Kien was a newborn.

exposed me to so many more things than I would have been without this organization in my life. It’s a really

My “green” cleaning products – because I can’t stand

powerful feeling to be so open-minded about so many

the smell of chemicals.

things. As a result, I am teaching my son about acceptance and not being afraid to step outside of his comfort

Buying/eating organic – because I watched Food Inc.,

zones.

and because my mother is a survivor of breast cancer, and because Mother Earth is so frickin’ incredible to us! I can’t even believe what we have done to our planet! What un-holistic lifestyle or practice do you still participate in (or refuse to give up)? It’s not that I “refuse” to give these things up and I’m working really hard at reducing my participation in them, but here goes: Microwave use, aluminum foil, not buying locally (I love my pears, bananas, blueberries: all things I can’t get in California!!!), really long, hot showers (but when I only have time to take one shower a week, then I think I can’t be accused of wasting water!). And my absolute worst un-holistic lifestyle is not getting

Copyright ©2011 holistic moms network

41


selfcare snapshot A pictorial of Holistic Mom’s and their self-care mehods.

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Copyright Š2011 holistic moms network


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Copyright Š2011 holistic moms network

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Copyright Š2011 holistic moms network

The Wise Mom, March 2011  

Welcome to The Wise Mom, the member publication of the Holistic Moms Network!

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