Swan Mothers

Discovering Our True Selves by Parenting Uniquely Magnificent Children

Homeopathy for Loss and Grieving

The shock, pain and sadness of loss may be experienced after any separation. For children, this may be a move to a new area, the end of a friendship, or the loss of a pet or a loved one. For a parent, the ultimate loss is the loss of a child. There are other losses that are significant: divorce, loss of independence, and loss of dreams.

Those who want to be parents but face infertility, grieve. When a child is diagnosed with a developmental dis-order such as autism or PDD-NOS, parents feel the pain of a loss for the child that could have been. It takes time to adjust expectations and embrace the life we have, rather than the life we envisioned.

Autism rights activist Jim Sinclair wrote: Parents often report that learning their child is autistic was the most traumatic thing that ever happened to them.

Some non-autistic people see autism as a great tragedy, and some parents experience continuing disappointment and grief at all stages of the child’s and family’s life cycle.

This grief does not stem from the child’s autism in itself. It is grief over the loss of the normal child the parents had hoped and expected to have. Parents’ attitudes and expectations, and the discrepancies between what parents expect of children at a particular age and their own child’s actual development, may cause more stress and anguish than the practical complexities of life with an autistic person.

Some amount of grief is natural as parents adjust to the fact that an event and a relationship they’ve been looking forward to isn’t going to materialize. But grief over a fantasized normal child needs to be separated from the parents’ perceptions of the child they do have. (I encourage you to read the whole article Don’t Mourn for Us by Jim Sinclair, from which the above is exerted.)

Advice for Bereavement

As with all the information that I provide, please take that which serves you and let the rest go.

  • Acknowledge the loss.
  • Whether the loss seems big or small, honor the feelings you are experiencing.
  • Do not feel guilty that you are grieving the fantasized normal child or your dream that your child would be playing golf or piano or talking by now.
  • All feelings are valid.
  • Be prepared for waves of emotion.

  • All of your feelings will not come at once.
  • Be gentle with yourself.
  • Feel whatever you are feeling without trying to put on a happy face – or trying to do anything.
  • Allow yourself to have your own experience.

  • Everyone processes loss differently.
  • Do not judge yourself by the experiences or time-lines of others, even if they experienced a similar loss.
  • Accept that you will learn to live with this loss and that you may never “get over it.”

  • Some losses are too big to “get over.”
  • You can laugh and go out and enjoy a meal or a movie.
  • You can enjoy life even while grieving.
  • You can be sad for “too long.”
  • You do not need to justify or explain your process.
  • Seek and accept support that is right for you.

  • Support Yourself with Cell Salts

  • The cell salts calc phos and kali phos offer gentle support for grieving mothers, fathers, and children.

Homeopathy for Loss

In the chart below, I list a few of the remedies commonly indicated for loss and grief.

Taking a homeopathic remedy will not numb your feelings or make you forget the loss. The remedy will support you and assist you in processing your emotions.

 

Remedy

Indications

Ignatia

  •  Grief with shock after the loss of a child, parent, friend or pet.
  •  Fighting the tears and swallowing your feelings.
  •  Feel a lump in the throat.
  •  Crazy laughter alternating with pitiful tears.
  • First remedy to consider for recent losses.

Gelsemium

  •  Paralysed with grief, possibly after the death of a child.
  •  Hard to cry.
  •  Sluggish. Complete lack of energy.
  •  Mind goes blank.

Nat Mur

Pulsatilla

  •  Grief-struck and weepy.
  •  Cries easily, especially when talking about what happened.

Staphysagria

  •  Resentment after loss.
  •  Angry. Blaming.

I recently came across another remedy for deep grief.  “Cygnus cygnus is a powerful remedy for deep seated grief that pervades the psyche with a deep sorrow that cannot be overcome.”  Read more here.

Where to Buy and How to Take Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathic remedies may be purchased at most health food stores or through websites such as 1-800homeopathy.  Select the 30c potency.

To take the remedy, open the remedy vial and shake 3-4 pellets into the cap. Tip the pellets into the mouth without touching the cap to the mouth. Allow the pellets to dissolve in the mouth.

Take the remedy every evening at bedtime, at least 15 minutes after eating, drinking, and brushing teeth. Continue for one week. Evaluate how you feel. If you feel better, stop taking the remedy. If symptoms resume later, take the remedy for another week.

If you do not feel different, select a different remedy or consult a homeopath who can help you choose the correct remedy for you.

In matters of health and healing, be fanatical about self-responsibility. Cell Salts and homeopathic remedies enable you to participate actively in your own healing.  At the same time, you should continue to see your doctor and therapist for examinations, advice, and treatment.    Nothing on this site is intended as a substitute for medical advice.

References for this post:

Miranda Castro:  Homeopathic Guide to Stress:  Safe and Effective Natural Ways to Alleviate Physical and Emotional Stress.

Didier Grandgeorge, MD:  The Spirit of Homeopathic Medicines:  Essential Insights to 300 Remedies.

 

Remedy

Indications

Ignatia

  • Grief with shock after the loss of a child, parent, friend or pet.  (Very useful for recent losses.)
  • Fighting the tears and swallowing your feelings.
  • Feel a lump in the throat.
  • Crazy laughter alternating with pitiful tears.
  • Paralysed with grief, possibly after the death of a child.
  • Hard to cry.
  • Sluggish.  Complete lack of energy.
  • Mind goes blank.
  • Old grief.  Or, a new grief that awakens the unexpressed sadness from old losses.
  • See Nat Mur:  A Remedy for Almost Everybody
  • Grief-struck and weepy.
  • Cries easily, especially when talking about what happened.
  • Resentment after loss.
  • Angry.  Blaming.

Gelsemium

Nat Mur

Pulsatilla

Staphysagria

Remedy

Indications

Ignatia

  •  Grief with shock after the loss of a child, parent, friend or pet. (Very useful for recent losses.)
  •  Fighting the tears and swallowing your feelings.
  •  Feel a lump in the throat.
  •  Crazy laughter alternating with pitiful tears.
  •  Paralysed with grief, possibly after the death of a child.
  •  Hard to cry.
  •  Sluggish. Complete lack of energy.
  •  Mind goes blank.
  •  Old grief. Or, a new grief that awakens the unexpressed sadness from old losses.
  •  See Nat Mur: A Remedy for Almost Everybody
  •  Grief-struck and weepy.
  •  Cries easily, especially when talking about what happened.
  •  Resentment after loss.
  •  Angry. Blamin

Gelsemium

Nat Mur

Pulsatilla

Staphysagria

Remedy

Indications

Ignatia

  • Grief with shock after the loss of a child, parent, friend or pet.  (Very useful for recent losses.)
  • Fighting the tears and swallowing your feelings.
  • Feel a lump in the throat.
  • Crazy laughter alternating with pitiful tears.
  • Paralysed with grief, possibly after the death of a child.
  • Hard to cry.
  • Sluggish.  Complete lack of energy.
  • Mind goes blank.
  • Old grief.  Or, a new grief that awakens the unexpressed sadness from old losses.
  • See Nat Mur:  A Remedy for Almost Everybody
  • Grief-struck and weepy.
  • Cries easily, especially when talking about what happened.
  • Resentment after loss.
  • Angry.  Blaming.

Gelsemium

Nat Mur

Pulsatilla

Staphysagria

 

 

 

 

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Goodbye Tantrums, Goodbye Asthma: Two Cases of Nat Mur

Because there was significant interest in my recent post, Nat Mur:  A Remedy for (Almost) Everybody, I am sharing the healing stories of two clients for whom I prescribed Nat Mur. I hope that in reading these case studies, you will perceive how homeopathy facilitates healing transformation.

Important:  When prescribing remedies, homeopaths look for remedy that matches the individual’s picture at that time. Most homeopathic remedies have hundreds of applications. When prescribed constitutionally, remedies build health and strengthen the vital force. The individual’s vital force initiates and accelerates healing.

A remedy prescribed for migraines in one person and might well be prescribed for constipation in another and eczema in yet someone else.

Kinder, Gentler Tantrums

Lena’s mother came to see me because her five year old daughter exhibited tremendous anger over small things. She was impulsive to the point of being a danger to herself.  She was having a major tantrum or two every day, yelling, kicking, and hitting those around her. She ignored her caregivers, acting as if she did not hear them.

Lena was having trouble falling asleep and woke screaming in the middle of the night two or three times per week – sometimes more than once per night. As you may imagine, this was exhausting and emotionally draining for her mother.

She was also prone to croup, having had it at least five times in the past three winters. She craved candy, milk, and, interestingly for a small child, coffee.

After speaking to Lena’s mother, I compared the totality of her individual symptoms to the known remedies in the materia medica to find a remedy which best covered all of Lena’s expressed symptoms. I selected Nat Mur. (Please note that this is a short, illustrative article. I have not included all symptoms and characteristics discussed.)

I directed the mother to give her daughter one dose of the remedy at bedtime. Lena was also taking cell salts that I had already prescribed during an earlier consultation.

When I followed up a month after the initial consultation, Lena’s mother reported:

“She’s sleeping through the night and the tantrums no longer include aggressively hitting her little sister. She still whines and pushes, but it’s definitely not as combative as it was before. The tantrums seem to be shorter and less intense. They occur when she is hungry or tired.

All in all, it’s been a good few weeks. She’s definitely sleeping better — goes down when I put her to bed and sleeps through the night.”

The mother then said, “One of the major issues she has that I completely forgot to tell you about is eczema. Will the remedy help with that?”

Yes, I replied.  Nat mur is a great remedy for eczema in children.

Bye-Bye Asthma

Matthew’s mother was concerned because her son was allergic many common allergens and had asthma. She disliked giving him asthma medications, but the episodes could be frightening for both of them. She wanted to see if homeopathy might help.

After taking his case, I selected Nat Mur. As in Lena’s case, we gave him one dose of the remedy. A year later, I received this note from Matthew’s mother:

“Have a good update for you. Matthew has had no need for asthma medicine! He had no asthma attacks from last summer until this week when he had a mild one. Was wondering if I should give him another dose of the remedy you chose for him then. 11 months of relief is nothing to sneeze at (ok,its a pun…)”

We did give Matthew another dose of Nat Mur. He is doing well, again.

Treat the patient, not the disease.

This is the most important doctrine of homeopathy. No two human beings are exactly alike and so the medicines used for their treatment need not be alike – even if they have the same disease. Homeopathic medicines are prescribed based on the totality of symptoms of that individual.  The name of the disease is not particularly important to the homeopath.

If you are interested in individualized treatment just for you or your child, you can find a homeopath at the National Center for Homeopathy website.

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Homeopathy for Easier Dentist Visits

Many children — and adults — dread visiting the dentist. For autistic and ultra-sensitive children, such a trip may be distressing on many levels: 1.       Anticipation of pain or the unknown. 2.       Smells of antiseptics, pastes, and polishes assault the nose. 3.       Bright lights are directed onto faces. 4.       Strange sensations and sounds of drilling. Homeopathic remedies can alleviate fears and support dental health and related physical and emotional symptoms.

Top Two Remedies for Fear of Going to the Dentist

Argentum Nitricum:

A child who needs Argentums Nitricum will be very anxious about visiting the dentist. This child probably dreads other ordeals: exams in school or performing on the athletic field or on stage. Their anxiety makes them fidgety.  They make walk around quickly in an attempt to calm themselves. They feel better with someone around to support them.

Gelsemium:  Paralyzed with Fear

Children who need Gelsemium prefer to be left alone in a quiet place. Unlike the active fear of Argentum Nitricum, Gelsemium children seize up mentally and physically before dreaded events. They become dull, apathetic, weak and weary.

When and How to Give These Remedies

If your child begins to feel anxious about visiting the dentist, give one dose of the remedy that best matches his or her symptoms. He or she should feel calmer within 15 minutes. If you do not observe any change in anxiety level, give another dose of the remedy. If still no changes, try the other remedy.

Minimizing or eliminating pain associated with dental procedures and complications from dental work.

Immediately after Dental Procedures

After Surgery

It is useful to take a dose of Arnica 30 and Calendula 30 immediately after dental surgery.  If your child is is bleeding, also give Phosphorus 30.

After a Filling

If your child feels sore and bruised after a filling, give her Arnica 30. The pain may feel like pulling in the teeth while eating, be worse from chewing, and feel worse when touched. If arnica does not help and your child experiences tearing nerve pain that is worse at night and when he  moves, give Hypericum 30.

Cell salts to keep teeth healthy.

If you child’s teeth have caries or other signs of decay or deterioration, it is important to improve her diet.  This may be very challenging for some children who may have multiple food sensitivities or allergies or who strenuously refuse to eat a varied diet. For some ideas on expanding diet, see When Your Child Won’t Eat. The cell salts calc phos, calc fluor, mag phos, and silica will significantly improve tooth health. Give your child three tablets of each applicable cell salt three to five times per day. To treat enamel deficiencies, give Calc Fluor and Calc Phos. Mag Phos helps to harden enamel. Silica aids in the assimilation of nutrients. In matters of health and healing, be fanatical about self-responsibility. Cell Salts and homeopathic remedies enable you to participate actively in your own healing. At the same time, you should continue to see your doctor for examinations, advice and treatment. Nothing on this site is intended as a substitute for medical advice.

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Nat Mur: A Remedy for (Almost) Everybody

A few weeks ago, I visited with my colleague and former classmate, Jeff Sorna. As we enjoyed the type of homeopathy talk that only true remedy enthusiasts can appreciate, Jeff said, “Who, today, doesn’t need some Nat Mur once in a while?”

Synchronicity, ever at play in our lives, subsequently led two clients to express an interest in learning more about this remedy. Because it has so many uses, I thought more of you might be interested.

Why Most People Occasionally Need Nat Mur

The homeopathic remedy Natrum Muriaticum (Nat-m or Nat Mur) is prepared from sodium chloride or common table salt. After water, salt is the most widely distributed substance in a nature, so it is not surprising to discover that many people need it as a homeopathic remedy.

Nat mur is the remedy for ailments from suppressed grief, disappointments, and haunting memories.  Most of us have more than a few of these types of old hurts.  When they manifest as some of the symptoms in the lists below, nat mur may be the remedy needed.

People who need nat mur may have some of these characteristics:

  • Gloomy and depressed
  • Desires to be alone
  • Irritable, private, resentful, sensitive (including to noises)
  • Headaches
  • Cold sores
  • Catch colds easily
  • Discharges like egg white
  • General dryness
  • Eczema
  • Dry mouth, extreme thirst
  • The lower lip sometimes has a crack in the middle
  • Constipation

Children who need nat mur may have the characteristics listed above.  Here are a few more signs and symptoms of children who may need nat nur:

  • Catherine R. Coulter writes:  “Natrum Muriaticum is not the easiest child to have around.”
  • Serious and sensitive
  • Find life difficult
  • Dislike excess physical contact
  • Hate being teased
  • Prone to unexpected rages
  • Best left alone  when upset
  • Often slow learning to talk
  • Sometimes slow learning to walk

Nat Mur as a Cell Salt

No individual will have all of the symptoms or characteristics of a homeopathic remedy.   Because homeopathic remedies are prescribed for individuals, not for diseases, three people prescribed the same remedy will likely have come to see their homeopath for three very different complaints.

If you or your child have many of the symptoms listed above, you may wish to consider taking Nat Mur as a cell salt. Take three pellets, three times per day for a month or two. Watch for changes in your symptoms. Note if you feel better in general or notice:

  • Better sleep
  • Calmer
  • Improved elimination

For on-going or serious issues, schedule an appointment with a homeopath who will ensure that the remedy prescribed is the correct remedy for you.

References for this post:

Miranda Castro.  Homeopathic Guide to Stress.

Catherine R. Coulter.  Homeopathic Sketches of Children’s Types.

Lionel Rolfe & Nigey Lennon.  Nature’s 12 Magic Healers:  Using Homeopathic Cell Salts to Protect or Restore Health.

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One Day, Two Homeopathy Stories

Soon after I prepared my Homeopathy for Summer post, I was provided with two opportunities to follow my own advice.

Bumped Heads, Swollen Tongue

One beautiful summer day, I got to spend time with two friends and their families. As our visit was coming to an end, two little girls bumped heads. One girl cried for a minute, but quickly recovered from the unpleasant surprise. The other girl bit her tongue during the incident.We could see that her tongue was bleedingas she let out a few screams before settling into the comfort of her mother’s lap.

Because the tongue was already turning purple and swelling, I administered (with her mother’s permission) a high potency of arnica (1M). She was distressed and did not want us to put the remedy in her mouth. After a few minutes, she let her mother pour the pellets into her hand and nibbled them.

I share this method of administration especially for those who have heard that you can never touch homeopathic remedies because this will inactivate them. While it is standard practice to put the pellets into the cap and to tip them into the mouth, it is important to be gentle and loving in administering care. We do not want to traumatize a child (or adult) further by forcing them to put pellets in their mouth in a way that is not comfortable for them.

After about ten minutes in her mother’s embrace, the tongue appeared to be back to its original size. The girl got up and resumed playing. The teeth marks were still evident. We put a few pellets of calendula 30c in her water bottle to assist with the wound healing.

Another important component of this healing: From the first shriek until she returned to playing, the little girl was lovingly supported by her mother as she processed the pain and shock of the incident and released it.

Chair Squashes Toe

Later, my friends left for home and I went for a walk. It was a beautiful evening. I saw six hot-air balloons sailing over the lake. My children were running around happily. The temperature was cool and pleasant.

When I returned, my daughter calmly announced, Mama, I think my toe might be broken. Camp was scheduled to begin in three days.

I soon learned that her brother, who likes to rock on his chair, had landed the chair on her foot. Fortunately, she was wearing shoes and knows how to use basic homeopathic first aid remedies. She had already taken arnica and hypericum from my first aid kit. She had left her shoe on to protect the toe.

When she removed her shoe, it was very obvious which toe was injured. The fourth toe was pink and swollen to almost double the size of its neighbors. I gave her another dose of hypericum 200c. Ten minutes later, she said her toe felt better, but she’s a good sport and the swelling looked the about same to me, so I gave her a dose of arnica 10M. Twenty minutes later, the toe had returned to its normal size. I asked her to gently bend and flex her toes. She was able to do this without pain.

Just Add Verbal First Aid

When I wrote this post, I had not yet read the magnificent book Verbal First Aid.  Please read: When our children get hurt, the words we say can initiate healing or exacerbate the trauma.

Do you need your own homeopathic remedy kit? You can purchase one from 800homeopathy or Washington Homeopathic. If those kits are too bit, consider putting together your own. Here’s what’s in mine.

Homeopathic remedies are very effective and often produce amazing results. However, they do not replace professional medical care. In matters of health and healing, be fanatical about self-responsibility. Seek medical attention immediately for all serious or potentially serious injuries.

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Super-Easy Homeopathy for Summer

Using homeopathic remedies, I help my children heal from most common injuries quickly and effectively. (I shared my Super-Easy Homeopathic First Aid tips in an earlier post.)

In the summer, my children go away to camp. They go without me, and my homeopathic training. Because I want my children’s bodies to be supported, as they are at home, I pack homeopathic first aid kids along with sleeping bags, insect repellent, and water bottles.

Here are some situations that are commonly encountered at camp that often resolve with homeopathic remedies:

Common Injuries

  1. bumps and bruises

  2. burns

  3. cuts

  4. stings and bites

Injuries from Hiking or Athletic Activity

  1. dehydration

  2. muscle strains and sprains

  3. blisters and aching feet

  4. exhaustion

Digestive Challenges

  1. food poisoning

  2. constipation

  3. diarrhea

Emotional Issues

Homesickness and various fears and anxiety may also be alleviated with homeopathic treatment. However, these are beyond the scope of this article. Consult a homeopath.

Prompt, appropriate treatment allows children to resume activities and enjoy the camp experience.

*Homeopathic remedies are very effective and often result in quick healing. However, remedies do not replace professional medical care. In matters of health and healing, be fanatical about self-responsibility. If injuries do not respond to the remedy very quickly and/or seem serious, seek medical attention immediately by dialing 911, going to an emergency room, or contacting your physician.

Remedies for Summer First Aid

Indication Remedy
  • Bites and Stings, including bees, wasps, jellyfish, and others with red, hot swelling
Apis
  • Bleeding, including nosebleeds
Phosphorus
  • Blisters on the feet
Nat mur
  • Bumps and Bruises
Arnica
  • Burns
Cantharis
  • Constipation
Nux vomica (Many other remedies may be indicated.  Consult a homeopathy text or a practitioner if needed.)
  • Cramps & Spasms
Mag phos
  • Cuts and Scrapes
Arnica, also apply calendula ointment
  • Dehydration
Chinchona
  • Diarrhea
Arsenicum Alb (Many other remedies may be indicated.  Consult a homeopathy text or a practitioner if needed.)
  • Exhaustion, collapse
Carbo veg, Arsenicum Alb
  • Eye Injury
Aconite, Euprhasia
  • First signs of illness or flu
Aconite (for this purpose, a 200c potency is needed)
  • Head Injuries
Arnica (Head injuries are a very serious condition. Seek medical help immediately. If your child suffers a blow to the head, even if he or she feels fine immediately afterward, stay alert for signs of discomfort and consider being evaluated by a physician if they feel anything out of the ordinary. Even a mild headache that comes on after experiencing blunt force to the head should be evaluated by a physician.)
  • Heat Exhaustion
Belladonna, Glonine
  • Hiccups
Mag phos
  • Injuries to fingers, toes and nerve-ending-rich areas
Hypericum
  • Poison Ivy and other painful, itchy conditions
Rhus tox
  • Puncture Wounds
Ledum, followed by hypericum
  • Shock
Aconite
  • Slivers
Silicea
  • Sore and Bruised
Arnica
  • Sprains and strains
Arnica (One dose every 30 minutes for three doses.)  Follow with Ruta grav
  • Stiff muscles and joints from over-exertion
Rhus tox
  • Sunburn
Belladonna (face very red), Rhus tox (sunburn is painful and itchy)
  • Sunstroke
Belladonna (if face is red and hot); Carbo Veg (face is pale and blue)(This is a very serious condition.  Give remedies on the way to the emergency room.)
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea from Food Poisoning
Arsenicum Alb

Homeopathy purists may object to this type of simplified list. They will remind us that homeopathy is about individualization and matching all of an individual’s symptoms to a whole remedy picture. They are correct. But it is possible to use homeopathic remedies in most first aid situations effectively with only basic knowledge because the acute remedy picture is usually clear.

It is my hope that if you try some of these remedies and see their elegant work, you will be inspired to seek further information about homeopathy. You may become interested in trying homeopathy for conditions that require careful, professional treatment. It is much easier to be inspired to want to try homeopathy if you have seen its healing power.

Homeopathic remedies act as catalysts to help the body heal itself.

Remedies may be purchased at most health food stores or through websites such as 800homeopathy or at most health food stores.

In all first aid situations, use common-sense and traditional first aid strategies in conjunction with homeopathic remedies. Remember too, that your loving presence is a powerful healing force. If your child is crying or shaking, allow them to release the energy this way. Support your children with loving, supportive words. “That must really hurt.” “The worst is over.” Teach children how to use words to begin healing themselves by reading Owie Cadabra.

When using homeopathic remedies for first aid, improvement of symptoms should be evident within 10 minutes. If you do not see results, repeat the remedy. If the remedy helps for a while then the pain or condition returns, give another dose of the remedy. If there is no relief after three doses, try a different remedy if it is indicated. If the injury is serious or not responding to remedies, seek medical attention.

Prevention and Health Building Tips for the Weeks Before Camp

Prevention is always the best cure. Teach your children the importance of good hygiene and drinking lots of water in the summer. Assist their bodies in reaching optimal health before camp by providing healthy foods and taking the Cell Salt combination Bioplasma, three times per day, for a week or two before camp starts.

If your child will be in an area with a lot of poison ivy, consider giving them one dose of Rhus tox, the homeopathic remedy most often indicated for poison ivy, once per day for three days before camp. I have used this technique when my children were running around in poison ivy.  None exhibited the characteristic rash.

How to Make Self-Care Work

You know your child best. If your child is able to follow instructions and the camp permits it, prepare a kit with some or all of the above remedies. Teach your child how to use them. Instruct them not to share the remedies.

If you child cannot self-administer remedies or the camp does not allow them to do so, consider sending a kit to be kept by the nurse with instructions to call you if a situation requiring attention arises.

Have a wonderful summer!

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The Importance of Play

Natalia Erehnah:

“Society needs all kinds of people. It needs the kids who play house and school and tea party. And it needs the kids who take apart their toys or categorize their toys or couldn’t care less about conventional toys. It needs the kids who enjoy staring at clouds and the kids who would rather figure out the iPad by themselves than ask a parent and the kids who are content to spend their recess period digging in the dirt with a stick.”

Originally posted on Musings of an Aspie:

This morning as I was lying on the floor wrestling with my dog for her tennis ball–complete with fake growling on my part and some real growling on her part–I realized how important play is in my life.

Still. At the age of 45.

Since childhood, I’ve enjoyed playing board games and card games, solving puzzles and competing at (some) sports. Basically if there’s a game and I can potentially win at it, or at least enjoy trying, I’m there. But I’m also a huge fan of spontaneous, unstructured, completely pointless play.

Play in its purest form.

Play that arises in the moment and leads to unexpected, unbridled fun.

Which is probably why the assertion that autistic children don’t play “right” is so offensive to me. Why have autism researchers and therapists and clinicians forgotten the meaning of play? Worse, why are autistic kids so often described as not understanding…

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Expanding Awareness (Thank you, autism)

autismpositivity2013button2The next stage of human evolution will be marked by awareness that we are all interdependent cells within the super-organism called humanity.
Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D. and Steve Bhaerman in Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future (And a Way to Get There from Here)

I find immeasurable value in Awareness, the state of being able to perceive, feel, and be conscious of people, ideas, and patternsSince I first heard the word autism (December 2000), my Awareness expanded exponentially. My worldview widened, and continues to grow. I evolved, and continue to evolve.

 Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Before autism (and my children) expanded my Awareness, I was very certain of what I should do, how people should act, and how the world should be. Because my children didn’t match my image of how children were supposed to be, because I loved them, and because I wanted to be the mother they needed, I softened. I realized the value of being like bamboo, flexible and bending with changing conditions. I recognized the importance of acknowledging when I was wrong. I learned to be different from the mother I’d been expecting to be. Without the gift of autism, I would be shallower, more narrow-minded, and more rigid.

The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.
Albert Einstein

The diversity that we observe in individuals today demonstrates that there is no one optimal way to be. We can expand our Awareness by interacting, working, and playing with one another. We can learn to communicate with words and beyond words, recognizing that the task learning to communicate across styles does not fall to any group, but is a task for all.

It is not survival of the fittest, but cooperation, interaction, and mutual dependence among life forms that allows for the global expression of life.
Lynn Margulis in Symbiosis in Cell Evolution

The spectrum of people on the planet today is an invitation to see the essence of one another. It is an invitation to look with new eyes and listen with new ears, and to perceive with our hearts or our senses. It is an invitation to expand our perceptions and evolve. It is an opportunity to embrace uniqueness and individuality while recognizing our oneness.

Autism rocked by world in the most amazing way possible. Read more in my post Work in Progress and in the book that tells my story, and those of other changed mothers, Swan Mothers: Discovering Our True Selves by Parenting Uniquely Magnificent Children.

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What’s Your Story and How Can You Evolve?

The Kabbalah describes angels as bundles of light, meaning intelligence and consciousness. Kabbalists believe that above every blade of grass is an angel crying “Grow! Grow!”  I believe that above the entire human race is one super-angel, crying “Evolve! Evolve!”

Steven Pressfield in The War of Art

In captivity, a baby elephant is tied to a post with a rope. No matter how he pulls, he cannot get free. When the elephant matures, putting a rope around his leg will keep him in place. Even though he could easily free himself, he does not. He has long-since resigned himself to the all-powerfulness of the rope.

This limiting belief about his own strength was programmed in his youth. It keeps the adult elephant tethered and docile.

People too are programmed early in life. We get so accustomed to living our stories that soon we don’t realize that we are now all grown up and can break that rope and live free.

What story are you telling ? What is the story teaching your child? Do you see autism as a curse? Can you see it as a gift?

Two Natures of Human Existance

Throughout history, people have noted two natures of human existence:

1.    Static

2.    Dynamic

1. History Repeats Itself

Static stories are based on predictable, repeating patterns in nature.  The static nature of our existence is symbolized by the circle or the ouroboros and illustrated in the changing seasons and the path of the Earth around the sun.

This is the pattern we see in our families.

“He’s just like my father,  jumping all over the place.  He just can’t sit still.”

“My family has a history of depression…”  or lying, or abandoning people, or being left-handed.

2. LifeSpiral2Evolution

Dynamic stories demonstrate progress based on evolution and learning. Human behavior changes dramatically when people encounter new information and experiences.

The dynamic nature of our existence is symbolized by arrow or a zooming rocket.

Predictable Cycles and Dramatic Leaps Occur Simultaneously

People who live close to the land survive by living in harmony with nature. Progress is not required.

Those in the modern world are preoccupied with progress.

“Unfortunately, the glamour of technology has eclipsed humanity’s connection with Nature, and the pursuit of technological advancement has contributed to disharmony, imbalance, and global crisis.” (Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman in Spontaneous Evolutionp. 46.)

Lipton and Bhaerman say that uniting the principles of harmony and balance with the principles of technological evolution leads to a self-sustaining and thriving civilization symbolized by a universe-friendly spiral of evolution.

The spiral is also the symbol of the Wise Woman tradition.

A spiral always returns to itself, but never repeats. “Spirals remind us that live is movement, that each moment is unique, and that form is the essence of transformation.” (Susun Weed in Healing Wise, p. 11.)

Jump Off the Hamster Wheel and Evolve

Two hundred species a day die to support human existence. This matters because we are not separate from non-human life on Earth. We are part of it.

Since the time of the Fertile Crescent, we have been shifting away from balance and harmony. Our way of life is not sustainable.

Our children are experiencing life on Earth differently from us to show us that humanity’s way of life must change if we are to survive.

(To read much more about this, please see the work of Daniel Quinn.)

When you find yourself on a vicious cycle, for goodness sakes, stop peddling!
~ Swami Beyondananda (Spontaneous Evolution, p. 85)

What we must have – and nothing less – is a whole world full of people with changed minds.
~ Daniel Quinn (If They Give You Lined Paper Write Sideways, p. 180)

Just as the people of the Middle Ages could not have predicted the Renaissance, we cannot envision what the change that sustains the world will ultimately look like. We do know that we must return to living harmony with all creation.

The founding slogan of the United States is “out of many, one.” Let us watch our children. Let’s learn from them — and evolve.

You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
~ Khalil Gibran (The Prophet, On Children)

Everything will change when your desire to move on exceeds your desire to hold on.
~ Alan Cohen

References

Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future (and a Way to Get There from Here)
If They Give You Lined Paper, Write Sideways.
Healing Wise (Wise Woman Herbal Series)

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Give Me a Child Until He’s Seven

Give me the child for seven years and I will give you the man is a quote attributed to the Jesuits who believed that a person’s belief system evolves within a child’s infancy and that a Jesuit upbringing would make the adult a confirmed Jesuit. Modern science validates this belief. Between gestation and six years of age, what we hear, see, and experience lays the foundation of our core beliefs about ourselves and the world.

If we are lucky, these beliefs form a basis for feeling confident, connected, and loved. Unfortunately, less supportive beliefs also develop. The very coping mechanisms that keep a child safe may cause significant challenges for the adult the child becomes.

  • If a baby cries and cries and no one responds, she may conclude: I’m not loveable.
  • A child who is ignored might decide:  I’m not important or worth hearing.
  • Spilling his milk or being the last in class to learn to read may lead a boy to think: I’m stupid. I can’t do anything right.

In my previous post, I wrote about the new biology that shows that genes do not control biology, but rather are used by biology. In this post, we will explore the next question.

What is controlling our genes and our experience of life?

The science of epigentics (beyond genetics) reveals that epigenetic mechanisms can edit the readout of a gene to create 30,000 variations of proteins from the same gene blueprint.[1]

Gene activation is influenced by both our inner and outer environments. Our inner environment includes our emotions, biochemistry, mental processes, and sense of the spiritual. Our outer environment includes the food we eat, the toxins we are exposed to, and our social rituals.[2] Most of these are in our control.

If we can think, believe and eat our way to health and happiness, why are so many people sick and miserable?

It turns out that “Think positive!” is easier said than done thanks to the power of the subconscious mind. While the conscious mind can express free will, the subconscious mind primarily expresses habitual stimulus response. [3]

The subconscious mind interprets and responds to 40,000,000 impulses per second.

This is why you can walk and chew gum at the same time, talk while driving, and brush your teeth while half-asleep.

The conscious mind processes about 40 nerve impulses per second.

Yes, 40. How can it keep up with the subconscious mind? It can’t.

The subconscious is in control 95 percent of the time.

Essential information for parenting today’s Uniquely Magnificent Children.

Between birth and two years old, babies are mostly in a state of delta brainwave activity. From two to six, they are predominantly in the theta state.

Delta and theta are the brainwave states that hypnotherapists induce in clients to make them more suggestible.

With our children in the state of easy influence, everything we say and do is of utmost importance. Children cannot comprehend that a parent is dissatisfied with an action (perhaps a slammed door) rather than being dissatisfied with them as a human being.

They will develop coping mechanisms to keep themselves safe. (If I am very quiet, no one will notice me and I won’t get hit.) Some will be based on false premises. These perceptions will become the fundamental subconscious programs that shape the character of the individual’s life. (I can’t speak up! No one ever hears me.)

Everything we say and do matters.

It is important to realize that our own core beliefs were imprinted by age six. That is why despite our best efforts, we find ourselves re-acting. We say words we swore we’d never say and behave in opposition to our intentions.

Fortunately, what has been programmed can be reprogrammed.

“Becoming conscious of our subconscious beliefs and programming is the gateway to spontaneous evolution.”[4]

Processes like Matrix Reimprinting are our way out of old programs that have been playing and replaying themselves in our life patterns, in our words, and in our experiences. Matrix Reimprinting allows us to rewrite our past experiences to transform our future.

I mess up every day.

This information can be empowering – or a basis for firming up a belief that you are inadequate as a parent and human being. Choose to let it be empowering. Remember to breath to center yourself. Speak kindly and gently to your children. Be present for them.

When you revert to old patterns or lose control, forgive yourself and move on. I do not know anyone who always says and does the right things. Certainly not I.

“Life is about making mistakes,” said the Teacher.  “Cells went on reproducing themselves in exactly the same way for millions of years until one of them made a mistake, and introduced change into the endless cycle of repetition.

“It was a mistake that set the world in motion,” said the Teacher.  “Never be afraid of making a mistake.”

Paulo Coelho in “Brida”


[1] Spontaneous Evolution:  Our Positive Future (and a Way to Get There from Here) by Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D. and Steve Bhaerman (p. 29)

[2] Matrix Reimprinting Using EFT:  Rewrite Your Past, Transform Your Future by Karl Dawson and Sasha Allenby (pp. 26 – 27)

[3] Spontaneous Evolution (pp. 30 – 34)

[4] Spontaneous Evolution (p. 36)

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