Swan Mothers

Discovering Ourselves through Parenting

Tapping into Stress Relief

I am sometimes asked how I stay so calm with my children. The truth is, I’m not always calm, but I have come a long way. One of the tools that helped me get here is meridian tapping.

Since I learned about EFT (a type of meridian tapping) in 2010, it has gone mainstream, and with good reason. By tapping on a few specific points on your body,  you can dramatically reduce your stress level, often in just a few minutes.

Meridian Tapping is a technique that combines talking about a problem and tapping on meridian points to bring about different, more comfortable feelings about it.

 

A Bit More Information

Meridian Tapping Techniques are an emotional, needle-free version of acupuncture, Tapping on certain meridian points with the fingertips shifts energy and can help us to regain our equilibrium. Since emotional stress can contribute to discomfort, EFT often provides astonishing relief.

Click here to learn how to tap with my Super-Easy Tapping Guide.

Why do we need to deal with emotions?

E-motions are energy in motion.  Energy is the invisible foundation for health in the body.  The body is composed of energy pathways and energy centers that are in a dynamic interplay with the cells, organs, moods, and thoughts.

When we shift these energies using homeopathic remedies or meridian stimulation techniques, we influence our health, emotions, and state of mind.

Tap for Stress-Reduction

  • Think of something that troubles you.
    • Where do you feel it?
    • On a scale from 1 to 10, how intense is this feeling?
  • Now, focusing on this feeling, begin tapping on your karate chop point with your other hand.  Say, “Even though I have (this feeling), I am a really good person.”
  • How do you feel now?
    • How intense is that feeling on a scale of 1 to 10?
    • Did you think of anything while tapping?
      • If yes, you can tap on this new feeling or memory.

When to Use EFT

Whenever you feel

  • stressed,
  • frustrated,
  • sad,
  • angry.

What to Say While Tapping

Begin tapping on the Karate Chop point while saying the following set-up phrases.

  • Even though I am so frustrated, I want to love and accept myself anyway.
  • Even though I am so stressed, I want to accept and forgive myself.
  • Even though this is really crazy, I love myself and am willing to try this way to calm myself.
TH: I just want to have one ordinary normal day.
EB: Even a nice, normal hour.
OE: My whole body is tense.
UE: The stress is really getting to me.
UN: I eat too much (or not enough).
CH: I don’t have any time for myself.
CB: I have to manage every minute of every day.
UA: I feel so alone.
UN: I feel scared.
Thumb: Sad.
IF: Overwhelmed.
MF: Angry.
RF: Sad.
LF: Angry.
  • ET I have this difficult life, I am willing to consider the possibility that it can be easier.
  • ET I feel angry and frustrated, I am open to the idea that I can find peace in my days.
  • ET I feel like I can’t take it anymore, I am a good mother.
TH: My life is very challenging.
EB: I am handling it well.
OE: I make lots of mistakes.
UE: I also do a lot of things right.
UN: The stress of having this child is difficult sometimes.
CH: There are also times of great joy.
CB: Sometimes I want to go hide or run away.
UA: Sometimes I am grateful for the privilege of being with this amazing kid.
UN: I’m doing a good job.
Thumb: Nobody understands.
IF: I’m sad.
MF: Angry.
RF: Frustrated.
LF: I am doing my best.
  • ET I have a challenging life, I choose to embrace it with grace.
  • ET I get so stressed sometimes, I choose to find a way to find peace and relief.
  • ET I sometimes wish it was different for me, I choose to love the life and the child I have.
TH: I choose to be strong.
EB: I choose to forgive myself as often as necessary.
OE: I choose to forgive my spouse when he/she does not do enough.
UE: I choose to forgive my child(ren) for annoying me.
UN: I choose to be easy on myself.
CH: I choose to find time for myself every day.
CB: I choose to have joy in my life.
UA: I choose to have peace in my life.
UN: I am o.k.
Thumb: I choose to love myself.
IF: I choose to be easy on myself.
MF: I am o.k.
RF: I am o.k.
LF: I am o.k.

If, as you are tapping along with the script, you think of another issue or feeling, tap on it.  If you feel a sensation in your body, tap on it.

For example, if you begin to feel a tightness in your throat while tapping, go back to the Karate Chop Point and use a set-up phrase like, “Even though I have this intense tightness in my throat, I want to love myself anyway.”

As you tap through the points, use a simple reminder phrase such as, “This tightness in my throat.”  If the sensation changes again, change your words while continuing to tap through the points.  For example, “This choking feeling in my throat.”

The tapping scripts are provided to give you an idea of how to start and to get the feel of using EFT.  It is always more important to use your own words than mine. Trust yourself.  Notice what comes up.  Tap on it without judging yourself or the feeling.

When I first read about EFT, I was intrigued.  Yet when I tried it for myself, I was not impressed.  Nothing seemed to happen.  I hope that your experience is different.  I will not go into all of the reasons that it did not work for me.  However, since I am now an EFT practitioner and proponent and use EFT for myself constantly, I want you to know that what made a difference for me was having a session with an EFT practitioner.  About 45 minutes into my first session, I experienced a huge emotional release and understood the value of this technique.

If you would like to experience a guided EFT/meridian taping session, please contact me. Free tapping circles for mothers coming soon.

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Parenting Sloooooowwwwwlllly

I once read a blog post at Qoya is wise, wild and free.  (so are you).  Rochelle Schieck believes “…that through movement we remember.”  We remember our inner wisdom, express our wildness, and revel in our freedom.

I wanted some of what Rochelle was having.  I got up from my desk and followed her instructions to “walk across the room sloooooowwwwwlllly and enjoy yourself as you walk. . . This is an opportunity to say, “Hello, I love you” to your body.  Notice your inner dialogue…”

It was a nice little exercise.  But I’m practical and sensible, not wild and free.  Two minutes later, I was at my desk, back at work.

I Take My Qoya for a Walk

This morning, I was walking.  For exercise.  I moved quickly, purposefully.  As I was nearing the end of my return loop, it occurred to me to move sloooooowwwwwlllly.  I did.

I wondered, “When is the last time I walked the way I want to walk?” 

I’ve read about walking:  yoga walking, walking the T-Tapp way, other ways to walk I no longer recall. When I walk, I either walk without paying attention or the way some article or book or YouTube video suggests.  I don’t think:

  • How do I want to walk?
  • How do I want to move?
  • How do I want to feel?

I am generally so busy concentrating on my heart rate and stance and arm swinging that I do not enjoy myself, as I could.  My trying interferes with enjoying.

Waking Up to Parenting

It occurred to me that I used to parent this way: by the book. By some book.  Following the instructions of someone whom (I assumed) knew better than me.

I learned a lot from my reading.  I made many useful and necessary changes.  Now, I choose my own way to parent.  Usually.

I am confident with my own way of mothering.  I seldom consult books or ask for advice now.  I know how do to it, just as I know how to walk.

Still, like my walking, my parenting is too often unconscious.  I intend to stay conscious.  I plan to slow down and be present for my children. Then, schedules, activities and ideas of how things should be get in the way and I forget that I intended to slow down and pay attention.

Slow down. Pay attention. Let go of what I know, what I’ve read, what I assume. These steps to letting go seem to be my theme this week.  Do you see any trends in your parenting and in your life?

If you want to change ingrained patterns, the best way I know is with Matrix Reimprinting.  I will soon be offering free Group Tapping Sessions so that you may explore Matrix Reimprinting and the amazing changes it can bring to your life. If you’re interested in learning more, please leave a comment below.

New Week, New Opportunities

As we begin a new week, I will move sloooooowwwwwlllly.  I will check in and ask:

  • Is this the way I want to be moving?
  • Is this the way I want to be mothering?

I will pay attention as I walk, and as I interact with my children. I will let go of what I “know” to see what is presenting itself. I will practice listening and knowing.

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Full Responsibility Parenting

A Mother’s Lament by ~Yohnnilee Fan Art / Traditional Art / Drawings / Books & Novels©2010-2013 ~Yohnnilee

A few days ago, I wrote some lovely words about not interfering with my children, about letting them have their own experience, about trusting that they can manage their own lives. I clicked post, sending my insights into the world. I felt good about my enlightened parenting. For a minute. Then, life resumed its relentless march.

Ellana came down dressed to go out in tights and a shirt. Daniel got in Jonathon’s face and made silly faces, which caused Johnathon to groan and speak harshly to his brother. YouTube and i-Pad games took precedence over homework, for a long time.

And I . . . interfered.

I used what my daughter once called The Tone of Voice, the same tone of voice which I admonish my children not to use. I offered dozens of suggestions in rapid succession. I pushed and prodded, which, in my Not Interfering post, I implied would build a foundation for resentment. Way to go Swan Mother. Yay, me. <sarcasm>

Knowing What Kind of Mother I Want to Be, Not Being Her

Cover ImageI wrote a book about my journey to recognizing that my children are magnificent exactly as they are. I’ve been a mother for a long time (15 1/2 years). I’ve done lots of things wrong. I’ve read piles of books and blogs. I’ve learned from my mistakes. I have a clear picture of the supportive, gentle, and loving mother I want to be.

So . . .

  • Why do I offer observations and suggestions, when my goal is non-interference?
  • If I love them exactly the way they are, why am I frustrated?
  • Why is my best so flawed?

Total Acceptance

“I have come to drag you out of yourself, and take you in my heart.  

I have come to bring out the beauty you never knew you had and lift you like a prayer to the sky.”

originally, Rumi (now, my family, to me)

We do not live in a bubbles. The moods and actions of people around us affect us. Weather affects us. Moon cycles and solar flares affect us. Childhood experiences and what our spouse said this morning affect us. Humans are complex creatures.

There is no excuse for me to speak unkindly, but I apologize to my children, not here. I do not want my children to apologize to the world for being who and how they are, so I accept myself as I am — even when I don’t like myself or my behavior. I keep doing my work and remembering Carl Rogers’ curious paradox:  When I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.

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6 Tips for Surviving the Darkest Days

There are times in the parents’ journey when we do not see the light. We forget that there is light. We feel abandoned by everyone, utterly alone.

At times like these, it is appropriate to feel our pain, to swim in our despair. It is healthy to allow all of our feelings to flow through us. It is not necessary (and often, it is not possible) for us to cheer up and put on a happy face.

The thing to remember is that we want the sadness to keep moving. We want to allow our sadness to be. We do not want to drown in it.

Six Ways to Support Yourself During the Darkest Days

1. Honor your sadness.

Find a way to take some time for your sadness and yourself.

  • Light a candle.
  • Sit quietly.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Ask your sadness: Do you have a name? What do you want me to know?
  • Listen. (If it feels strange to do this, try it anyway. I have often been surprised by the insights that came when I asked myself such questions. If you hear and feel nothing, let that be okay.)

2. Support your body with nourishing foods.

Your body needs to be nourished with healthy foods to remain strong. Let this be easy.

  • Brew a cup of nourishing, relaxing tea such as oat straw or chamomile.
  • Mash an avocado with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lime.
  • Order a smoothie or a cup of soup.
  • As you eat or drink, feel every cell and every organ in your body being fed and sustained.

3. Accept help from Flower Essences.

In the early 20th century, Edward Bach discovered that each of our negative emotional states could be brought into balance with a flower essence. Bach Flower Essences may be purchased at most health food stores.

  • For general emotional support during difficult times, try the combination of four flower essences called Rescue Remedy. Put four drops of the essence in a glass of water and sip throughout the day.
  • Other flower essences may be indicated. If you feel drawn to healing with flower essences, I recommend contacting Amy Hendrickson for a consultation.

4. Tap, tap, tap your blues away.

At least 2000 years ago, the Chinese discovered that energy can be moved by stimulating specific points on the body. From this, they developed the practice of acupuncture. You can stimulate acupuncture points on your body, simply by tapping on them. If you do this while thinking about your sadness, the sadness will begin to shift (not necessarily disappear), as if by magic. The basics of tapping for stress relief.

5. Locate the sadness and breathe it away.

Instead of thinking about why you feel this sadness, ask yourself where you feel this sadness.

  • Breathe in deeply through your nose.
  • Feel your breath go to the place where you feel the sadness.
  • Breathe out through your mouth.
  • Repeat until the sadness moves to a new spot.
  • Then, feel your breath go to this new place.
  • Notice colors, images, sounds, and feelings associated with the sad spots. No need to do anything with them, simply notice.
  • Continue as long as it feels good.

6. Read these words of hope.

The following are the lyrics to a song called “Inscription of Hope.” It is based on a poem found on the wall of a basement where Jews were hiding from Hitler. Perhaps reading these words will feed your soul. You can listen to children singing The Inscription of Hope here.

Inscription of Hope

I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
and I believe in love
even when there’s no one there

and I believe in God
even when he is silent
I believe through any trial
there is always a way

but sometimes in this suffering
and hopeless despair
my heart cries for shelter
to know someone’s there

but a voice rises within me
saying “hold on, my child
I’ll give you strength, I’ll give you hope
just stay a little while”

I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
and I believe in love
even when there’s no one there

and I believe in God
even when he is silent
I believe through any trial
there is always a way

May there someday be sunshine
may there someday be happiness
may there someday be love
may there someday be peace

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Tapping Script for Choosing Joy

I just went through and did this using your script. What an amazing experience! I’ve looked into EFT for a few years now, but never really took the time to DO it. I was always so intimidated. You helped change that. Thank you.–Laura

My journey from shock and overwhelm (after hearing “We think she’s autistic.”) to acceptance and joy has been supported by energy-shifting tools such as homeopathy, meridian tapping, Matrix Reimprinting, and reading. This post is a how-to for one of my favorite techniques.

The “Choices Method” is an EFT technique developed by Patricia Carrington, Ph.D. It is one of my favorite meridian tapping techniques because I find the wording “I choose” so empowering.

Try out this tapping script.  Adjust the words so that they accurately reflect how you feel.  (See the Super-Easy Tapping Guide for a quick how-to.)

Begin by considering the statement “I have this difficult life.”  On a scale of 1 to 10, rate how true this statement is for you.

Tap on the Karate Chop Point while saying:

  • Even though I’ve been on this path of suffering for so many years, I choose to forgive myself.
  • Even though I’ve been giving up everything for so long, I choose to love myself.
  • Even though I have this difficult life, I choose to experience joy every day.

Now tap through the points. (If you need directions, see the Super-Easy Tapping Guide.)

TH: This path of suffering.
IE: I give everything for my children.
OE: I have a difficult life.
UE: This path of suffering.
UN: I give everything for my children.
CH: I have a difficult life.
K27: This path of suffering.
UA: I give everything for my children.
TF: I have a difficult life.
IF: This path of suffering.
MF: I give everything for my children.
RF: I have a difficult life.
LF: I have a difficult life.

Tap again on the Karate Chop point saying:

  • Even though I’ve been on this path of suffering for so many years, I choose to forgive myself.
  • Even though I’ve been giving up everything for so long, I choose to love myself.
  • Even though I have this difficult life, I choose to experience joy every day.
TH: This path of suffering.
IE: I choose to forgive myself.
OE: I’ve been giving up everything for so long.
UE: I choose to love myself.
UN: I have this difficult life.
CH: I choose to experience joy every day.
CB: This path of suffering.
UA: I choose to forgive myself.
TF: I’ve been giving up everything for so long.
IF: I choose to love myself.
MF: I have this difficult life.
RF: I choose to experience joy every day.
LF: I choose to experience joy every day.

Tap again on the Karate Chop point saying:

  • Even though I’ve been on this path of suffering for so many years, I choose to forgive myself.
  • Even though I’ve been giving up everything for so long, I choose to love myself.
  • Even though I have this difficult life, I choose to experience joy every day.
TH: I choose to forgive myself.
IE: I choose to love myself.
OE: I choose to experience joy every day.
UE: I choose to forgive myself.
UN: I choose to love myself.
CH: I choose to experience joy every day.
K27: I choose to forgive myself.
UA: I choose to love myself.
TF: I choose to experience joy every day.
IF: I choose to forgive myself.
MF: I choose to love myself.
RF: I choose to experience joy every day.
LF: I choose to experience joy every day.

Reconsider the statement “I have this difficult life.”  On a scale of 1 to 10, rate how true this statement is for you now?

Notice any changes in your feelings.  Note any feelings in your body.  Consider tapping on any memories or sensations that come up.  If you need support or direction for optimizing your tapping time, considering working with an energy psychology professional.

Prepare to be Amazed as Your Life Gets Easier with Each Session

Did you try the tapping?  Did you notice anything?  I’d love to hear about your experience in the comment section below.
If nothing happened, please see

The Difference Between Mundane and Miraculous EFT: One Session with a Pro can Change Your Life

and read how I went from EFT skeptic to convert.

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Why I Refuse to Worry About My Children’s Future

wor·ry [wur-ee, wuhr-ee]

–verb

to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret.

Worry is a useless emotion.

Why should I torment myself and suffer about what may or may not be? Why should I assume the worst possible outcome, when I can find comfort in a joyful scenario?

Bleak Future

I have taken a whiff of the statistics about independent living and employment prospects for autistic adults, but the statistics are meaningless to me. Only 1% of children have an autism diagnosis. We won that lottery, and we can win again. In fact, we win every day. I love my life and am grateful for exactly the children I have. Thanks to autistic self-advocates and allies, the world is changing. Allistic people are working with autistic people and people of various neurologies interact in many places. People are starting to understand that we are all interdependent. We are all valuable.

. . . trying to “fix” today’s world by repairing the system is somewhat of a waste of time. Simply, because the current institutions (politics, economy, education, and healthcare among others) and their mission are the cause of our pending extinction. . .  Our evolution is dependent upon the collapse of our current society with the opportunity of rebuilding a new world based on a sustainable foundation that is in harmony with the planet.

— Bruce Lipton in his August 2010 Newsletter

Anything is Possible

For the past 13 or so years, my children have been actively showing me that things are not what they appear. I wasn’t very quick in paying attention, but eventually, I could ignore them no longer. I began to actively change my beliefs. Even as I establish new ways of seeing and being, I am open to ongoing change.

Where There is Movement, There is Life

If you have ever seen a still pond or a little segment of a stream where the water does not move, you have noticed how life there begins to decay. Even decay is movement and change, and necessary at times. But, if I can choose (and I always choose my own adventure), I choose joyful, active movement.

I choose to be a rushing stream or a shimmering lake, not water covered with green and brown scum.

Autism as Evolution

The world is changing very quickly. Maybe, by the time my children are grown, they will not need language to communicate. Maybe, my own reliance on spoken and written words will hold me back in the next phase of evolution. Or maybe not. I don’t know. I am open to a brilliant future for my children and for myself. Even if I cannot imagine what it will be and how it will come about.

What If I’m Completely Wrong?

What if a good command of language remains necessary? What if flicking and stimming are not accepted or forever viewed as weird? What if Daniel grows up and cannot make life in the world work for him on his own? Then, I will figure out what we need to do.  I will cross that bridge if I come to it.

For now, I support him and guide him to prepare for life as we know it, knowing that great changes are afoot. Worrying and torment do not help him or me.

I will continue to build castles in the sky, and to put foundations under them.

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Doing It My Way: I’m No Mother Warrior

How do you label a child who, before kindergarten, has the vocabulary of a seventh grader but can’t cut with scissors? Where do you put her? How do you teach her? Public school “averaged” gifts and deficits and put Ellana a regular classroom, where she was alternately bored by the basic reading and writing instruction, and frustrated by cut and paste time. By first grade, we realized that even the schools that claimed to work with all of a child’s abilities – including Montessori and Waldorf schools – were doing more harm than good.

At this point, the Warrior Mother would have started scheduling meetings at the public school and engaging advocates and lawyers to ensure that her child gets what she needs. She would have created a gifted program for first graders in her school system, brought in a cut and paste advisor for her child. I was no mother warrior.yoga-2176668__340.jpg

“I won’t put my energy into fighting,” I told my husband.

We took our child out of school and I began homeschooling.A few years later, our second child “graduated” from the amazing autism program where he’d been thriving for three years. He no longer belonged in the specialized autism classroom. He spent his kindergarten year putting in a full day, half of it in a regular classroom (no aide) and half in a room for cognitively impaired kids. That was the best the school would offer, though he is not cognitively impaired. I knew that what worked in kindergarten would not work in first grade. There would be more verbal instructions and more demands for independent work. If I wanted an aide in the classroom for first grade, I’d have to fight for it. I had not developed any warrior skills in those years. I started homeschooling two children.

Our choices worked for me and for my children. Another family, another child might need a Mother Warrior. My children got a different kind of mother, one that works for them.Though I am not nor do I desire to be a Mother Warrior, I have great respect for Mother Warriors. They do what they need to do for their children. I do what I need to do for mine. There is a place for warriors — and a place for peacemakers.

Curbies on Autism

I learned the term “curbie” reading Kim Stagliano’s memoir All I Can Handle:  I’m No Mother Teresa. Kim is the mother of three girls with autism and “a curebie. That’s an autism parent who believes that, in our lifetime, we will be able to bring these kids to point where they blend in with their peers and can live full, independent lives – through a combination of medical treatment, therapy, schooling, and a rosary that stretches from Connecticut to California.” Stagliano adds, “Call it recovery. Call it cure. Call it remission. Call it pasta e fagioli. I don’t give a crap what it’s called… I just want Mia to be able to live a garden-variety, normal live without needing an adult to keep her safe… I want a cure for her, damn right. What kind of parent would I be if I didn’t?”  (p. 19)

The Neurodivergent Camp

I am not a curebie. I excelled at blending in and doing garden-variety my whole life.  When I heard the terms neuroatypical – and later, neurodivergent – I fell in love and embraced the concept with my mind, heart, and soul. The idea that it was okay for my children to be themselves was freeing and exhilarating. (Could this liberating idea mean it was okay for me to be myself too?)

I also strive to keep my children as healthy as possible. I have long-studied nutrition and the natural health sciences. I continue to learn. I continue to provide the best food and living environment that I know for my family. I believe that everything matters.

Many Flavors of Autism, Many Flavors of Mothers

carefree-2280933__340.jpgMy experience of autism is not the same as Kim’s. In one of my favorite passages, she says that autism is like Bertie’s Every Flavor Beans from the Harry Potter books. She points out that some autistics got raspberry cream or root beer flavor. “They can speak eloquently, write blogs, move out on their own…”  “Others with autism, like my three girls, got the ear wax/vomit/dog poop flavor. They need help 24/7 to navigate the world. When I talk about autism, I mean the version that my three girls have.” Obviously, that is simplified, but it makes the point that if you’ve met one autistic person, you’ve met one autistic person.

I hear and understand what Kim wants. Though we use different words, and I do not want my children to be indistinguishable from normal (whatever that is), Kim and I mostly want the same things for our children. We want our children to live comfortably in the world, to enjoy life. Kim wants that through recovering her children. I want it through transforming the world into a place where we all live in harmony.

Getting to this place of acceptance has been a journey. I wrote about it in my book, Swan Mothers: Discovering Our True Selves by Parenting Uniquely Magnificent Children.

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