Swan Mothers

Discovering Ourselves through Parenting

What do you believe about yourself and the world?

We all have core beliefs through which we define ourselves. These are largely established by living life and are in place by time we are seven years old. Once they are set, we seem to attract — sometimes as if by magic, sometimes as if cursed — life experiences that validate them.

Past Dictating Present and Future

Long ago, we integrated both empowering and limiting messages into our very being.

  • You’re the smart one.
  • You’re so lazy!
  • Nothing you do is ever good enough!
  • We always get by.
  • There is not enough.

Recognizing how these beliefs influence us, we can decide to be mindful when speaking to and interacting with our children, as they establish their own core beliefs. There is no need to approve of or permit every action. We can notice and love what is good in our children. We can be curious about behaviors that we do not understand.

Before we react to our children’s actions and words, we can decide to consider the possibility that there is a reason for the behavior we are seeing. We can strive to understand. Observing without judgement and with curiosity can be life changing.

I Recognize a Limiting Belief

Earlier this year, I noticed that I have not been meeting my goals for a long time. “I used to be so Type-A,” I lamented to a friend. “I finished everything! Even things I didn’t like.” As I trailed off, a light bulb went off over my head.

A-ha! That was it! Throughout my childhood, adolescence, and early adult life, I had accomplished almost everything I set out to do. The strongest and longest-lasting example is that I persevered (persiverated?) through a college curriculum that perplexed and terrified me. This resulted in a degree in a field that did not interest me. Which led to jobs I did not enjoy.

I finally learned my lesson: Working hard gives me what I don’t want anyway. So, I will not work hard.

Now what?

Once we recognize the repeating patterns in our in lives, we can change them. Processes such as Matrix Reimprinting with EFT offer simple and effective ways to change.  (I teach the Core Belief Reimprinting process during my seven week Swan Mothers Circle.)

When I recognized that I believed that hard work gave me what I don’t want, I worked with my Matrix Reimprinting practitioner to find old stories that supported this belief. I began working with the Core Belief Process. And I am learning to work joyfully and consistently at that which matters to me.

Curious what I’m working on? I’m writing a fiction trilogy called The Weaving Gold Chronicles. I’d love to know what you’re up to.

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Overcoming Mother Fears and Accessing Mother Power

If you had a preconceived notion of what your child would be like, how he or she would act, look and behave, what you are experiencing may not be want you wanted or expected. Letting go of our “dream child” can be difficult task. Even more difficult may be letting go of the “dream parent” we imagined we would be.

Our children will not be parented as we learned to parent (or not to parent) in our childhoods or by observing trends around us. We might find ourselves grieving the loss of the child that never materialized and mourning the parent that we wish to be, but cannot.

The Children We Wanted, the Child We Have

We know that there is no quick fix that will make our autistic or neurodivergent child into the dream child we envisioned (possibly without realizing that we had some picture in our minds) before they arrived.  There is no way to ease into the mode parenting we once imagined.

Our grief can blind us. It can prevent us from seeing the unique magnificence of the children we do have. It may keep us from experiencing the greatness of our own love and power.

Perfection

Either all children and parents are perfect – or none of us is. Perhaps in our trying and striving and doing our best, we are enough. Maybe our children are enough, without needing to do anything. Conversely, we might all fall short of the mark of perfection.

In either case, feeling miserable and acting inadequate serves none of us.

As we reflect on a day, we may sometimes feel that we’ve done well. On other days, we may be overwhelmed by our multitude of failures.

A Return to Love

Marianne Williamson recognized an important truth and penned it into what has been called a poem and a prayer. It is actually an excerpt from her book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles.”

I invite you to read this passage (below in blue) and to tap on the suggested points.

As you tap, pay attention to what is happening in your body. Notice any memories or feelings that come to the surface. Write them down in a notebook to be tapped on later.

Do Your Own Experiment

In their book, Matrix Reimprinting Using EFT: Rewrite Your Past, Transform Your Future, Karl Dawson and Sasha Allenby suggest that it takes 21 days for new neural connections to form in the brain.

Tap on the script that follows for 21 days and notice any changes.

Contact a professional Matrix Reimprinting practitioner if you need help.

Feel Your Mother Power Tapping Script

Tapping Point Graphic by Karl Dawson

Tapping Point Graphic by Karl Dawson, author of Matrix Reimprinting

Our Greatest Fear is not that we are inadequate. (TH)

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. (BE)

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. (SE)

We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?” (UE)

Actually, who are you not to be? (UN)

You are a child of God.  (CH)

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. (CB)

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. (UA)

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.  (Thumb)

It is not just in some of us, (Index Finger)

it is in every one, (Middle Finger)

And as we let our own light shine, (Ring Finger)

We unconsciously give other people Permission to do the same. (Little Finger)

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. (Karate Chop)

Options

When you have tapped on these words, try tapping from the perspective of “My greatest fear…” and “Her greatest fear.”

References

I read about tapping on these words in an article by eaglemoon raes.

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Matrix Magic: Rewriting Old Programs and Becoming the Mother You Want to Be

What don’t you like about yourself? What patterns do you see repeating in your life? How does this affect your parenting – and your happiness?

Broken Promises, Lies and Rejection

Shirley was devastated when her child, adopted at age 12, left for college and no longer wanted anything to do with the rest of the family. Soon after, Shirley was not accepted into a graduate degree program which she felt would have allowed her to develop her life’s passion. Even though she had a supportive family and a blossoming career, Shirley felt squashed by these rejections.

During an EFT session, Shirley realized that she has had a hole in her heart since childhood. Her workaholic father seemed to love his work more than he loved her.

Frustrated and Powerless

While those around her get what they want, Kendra gets more and more frustrated. When she worked in a preschool, the children did not listen to her. Now, her own children seem to ignore her when she speaks or asks for help. She feels unheard and invisible.

While tapping, Kendra recognized that from the time she was a little girl, she has felt as if no one heard her or noticed her needs.

Repeating Patterns

Many people feel scared, betrayed, lonely, and unlovable. For some of us, the source of these feelings is obvious:

  • Childhood abuse
  • Parents who put us down
  • Teachers who shamed us
  • A humiliating incident in our teens

For others, it appears that all was well in our growing-up years, yet we still encounter these feelings.

Whether we know where our feelings originate or the source is a mystery, most of us recognize that there are repeating patterns in our lives. Even if we do not recognize the patterns in our own actions and reactions, we inevitably see them in others.

Our perceptions about ourselves and of how life treats us are reflected in the way we speak and in the way we respond to our children’s behaviors.

Mothers of Autistic Kids

Mothers of autistic children experience more stressful events and have less time for themselves than the average mother. Their levels of maternal cortisol, a hormone released by the adrenal gland in response to stress, were found to be significantly lower than normal. This condition occurs under chronic stress, yielding profiles similar to those of combat soldiers and others who experience constant psychological stress.

When we are under stress, we are most likely to revert to old patterns of speaking and acting. Amazingly, we rely heavily on behaviors acquired before the age of seven.

Changing to Choose Our Behaviors

Using Matrix Reimprinting, you can rewrite old events and change the emotional hold they have on you.

I worked with Shirley and Kendra before I learned Matrix Reimiprinting. While we were able to soften the intensity of those early incidents, I did not have a means to give them tools for changing those painful scenes.

Now, when I work with clients with similar situations, I always use Matrix Reimprinting. For Shirley, we would step into an old scene, work with her younger self (ECHO) and allow her to speak with her father if she so chose. For Kendra, we would tap until a specific incident of feeling unheard emerged. We would then work with her ECHO to find a way to feel her power and strength. By working this way, we change habitual behavior patterns.

When we feel differently about ourselves, we experience the words and actions of our children differently and we respond in a new, healthy way.

Note

It has taken you a lifetime to acquire and cement your current behavior patterns.  Even with a brilliant technique like Matrix Reimprinting, you will not change them in one session.  You can expect the best results by committing to an on-going program of work with a Matrix Reimprinting practitioner and on your own.

References

For Mothers Of Children With Autism, The Caregiving Life Proves Stressful by Terry Devitt,http://insciences.org/article.php?article_id=7507

Transform Your Beliefs, Transform Your Life: EFT Tapping Using Matrix Reimprinting by Karl Dawson and Kate Marillat

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Magic for Muggles: Change the Way You See and Experience EVERYTHING

Sometimes, muggles get really lucky and stumble upon some magic.  Magic we can actually do.  Easily, consistently.

I had such an experience when I attended a Matrix Reimprinting seminar with Karl Dawson.  (The photo shows me, Karl and my friend Linda Friedman Jones at the seminar.)  Even though I have known about EFT for many years, even though I had finally figured out how to use if effectively, I had no idea about the amazingly transformative power of meridian  tapping.

What is Matrix Reimprinting?

Matrix Reimprinting is a new meridian tapping technique developed by EFT Master Karl Dawson.  Like EFT, Matrix Reimprinting often resolves long-standing emotional and physical issues.

By changing

  1. how you perceive old events

  2. how ingrained ideas shape your words and actions

Matrix Reimprinting can be used to create a life you love by creating better energy flow in your body

During a Matrix Reimprinting session, we tap on points that have been used in acupuncture for thousands of years.  Most of the points we use are at the ends of meridians.

Meridians are channels for energy flow just as blood vessels and arteries are channels for blood flow.  Emotional, chemical and physical trauma can disrupt the flow of energy in the meridians.  When the energy is obstructed, disease may result.

We can correct the flow of energy by stimulating the meridian points.  In EFT and Matrix Reimprinting, we do this by tapping on them.

How is Matrix Reimprinting different from EFT?

In conventional EFT, tapping on meridian end points is used to take the emotional intensity out of a past memory. When an issue is resolved with EFT, you are able to recall your most traumatic and stressful life memories without any emotional disruption or stress.  This is a useful healing strategy since most disease results from stress.

When an issue is resolved using Matrix Reimprinting, the memories associated with it are actually transformed.

During the Matrix session, the practitioner will guide you as you go into a past memory.

There, you may say and do what you wished you had said and done.  You will be shown how to bring in people or tools to support you in any way that you need.  You will recreate the recorded picture in your memory. This will transform your reflexive reactions in situations that were triggering an unwanted response.

But these things did happen!  No one can change that.

In Matrix work, we never deny that an event occurred.  We do not use distraction techniques. In fact, we recognize that the best way to transform a situation is to be fully present in it.  You will not relive the situation.  Matrix Reimprinting is a very gentle technique – easier to demonstrate than to explain.

Experience Matrix Magic

Matrix Reimprinting is an essential part of all of my group sessions.

Physically, mentally and emotionally healthy parents, family members and caregivers create a healthy life for autistic, ADHD, and other children with special needs.

Want to know much more about Matrix Reimprinting?  You can read all about it in Matrix Reimprinting Using EFT:  Rewrite Your Past, Transform Your Future by Karl Dawson and Sasha Allenby.

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Tools and Words for Reducing Anxiety in Children (Part 1: Changing Old Stories)

Many mothers have noted that their children are anxious.  They eat too much or too little, have trouble falling asleep or wake during the night,  cry easily and melt-down.

As parents, we want to help our children to feel better. We can teach them how to get to a calmer, more relaxed place on their own.

If you have observed that your child is very anxious, consider these questions:

1.       When did this anxiety start?

2.       What makes it better or worse?

3.       What words does my child at these times?

4.       How does she act when stressed or anxious?

If the Anxiety has an Obvious Cause or Starting Point, Use Matrix Reimprinting

Matrix Reimprinting (MR) is a method that engages imagination and problem-solving abilities in a way that changes perception of old events.  Changing perception changes our experience of everything.

Was your child embarrassed by some incident at school?  Was he in an accident?  Did she see something that scared her?

All of us are shaped by our experiences.  Believe it or not, we can change events so that our children are left with a positive (or neutral) experience of them.

How to Facilitate a Matrix Reimprinting Session for Your Child

1.      Ensure that you are calm and centered.

Take a few deep breaths. If you have strong feelings about the experience you wish to address with your child, do your own work before working with your child.

2.      Choose a peaceful, relaxed time to be with your child.

I like to tap with my children at bedtime. Reading a book or a foot massage may facilitate a transition to quiet time.

3.      Introduce what you are doing in a way that is appropriate for your child.

“I have learned a magical way to make you feel better.  Would you like to try it?”

If your child says no, respect his or her choice.  The goal is to empower our children – not to force them to do something against their wills. We can always try again at a later time if our children seem receptive or interested.

Choose one of these methods for tapping or present your child with these choices:

  • Tap gently on your child while he tells the story of what happened.  (Click on the Super-Easy Tapping Guide to learn the tapping points.)
  • Instead of tapping, touch and hold the tapping points gently while he talks.
  • Model for your child by tapping on yourself.  Encourage her to tap on herself if she is receptive.
  • Use a doll or stuffed bear to demonstrate the tapping.  Encourage your child to tap on the bear while she tells her story. You can ask, “How did bear feel when his friend pushed him?”  Let your child use her own words as she taps.

4.      Telling the Story

Begin tapping on your child and continue to tap throughout the process.

Encourage your child to close his eyes and see a picture of the incident that you suspect initiated his anxiety.  (There may be many contributing incidents. Use whichever story the child chooses to tell. You can work with other incidents at a later date.)

As he describes the scene, tell him to step into the picture and describe what he sees. What is going on with his younger self that we all the ECHO?  Is the ECHO scared? Angry? Confused?

He can then approach his ECHO, introduce himself, and offer to help him by tapping on him.

Using his imagination, your child will tap on the ECHO using simple phrases (see earlier posts) that reflect what the ECHO is feeling. For example: “Even though you’re very scared because you fell and are bleeding, you’re going to be o.k.” or “Even though it hurts, your body knows how to heal itself and you can call for help.”

In the Matrix, your child has magical powers and can bring in any resource his ECHO needs to feel better. His ECHO gets to choose. Perhaps a trusted relative, a doctor, a teacher, or an angel will come to reassure the ECHO that all is well. Sometimes, the ECHO wants an object to help him – a magic cape to protect him, a toy for comfort, a weapon to defend himself.

Encourage him to provide his ECHO with all he needs to feel better. Continue to tap on your child as he taps on or talks to his ECHO.

When the ECHO has no further requests and is satisfied that all is well, the ECHO may choose to do anything he wishes. Often, young ECHOs will want to go play.

At this point, ask your child to observe the new, happy scene.  Ask him to imagine this new picture coming in through the top of his head and filling up his body. Let him send this new picture out into the Universe.

Then, have him open his eyes. Stop tapping.

Encourage your child to notice if he  feels different. Remind him that he can always tap on himself or his ECHOs to feel better.

If you would like to experience a guided EFT/meridian taping session, please contact me.

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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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Doing My Own Work

As I walked beside the lake one morning, a bunch of deer flies swarmed around me head.  At first, I swatted them away with reasonably good humor.  When they would not leave, I found myself increasingly agitated.  “It’s just a sound,” I reasoned with myself.  “Why is it annoying you so much?”  Yet annoy me it did.  Each buzz in my ear, every dart toward my head, pushed me closer to the edge.

There have been times when the sounds of my children have had a similar affect on me.  Their normal, child behavior rapidly changed me from a reasonable, sane woman to a crazy, raving one.

At my worst, I yelled at a newborn to stop crying, slapped a toddler who whined persistently, and snapped at young children for playing loudly.  It is humbling to look back.

These days, my parenting is much gentler.  You might think that this is because the children are older and it’s just easier.  But that is only a small part of the reason.

Mostly, it is because I have done a lot of work on myself.  After years of trying to make my children the way I thought they should be, I realized that they are just fine the way they are.  Even I am fine the way I am.  I simply need to make a few changes.

This, says Carl Rogers, is the curious paradox:  When I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.

Doing Our Own Work

As parents, we take our children’s behavior and appearance — their very being — personally.  When our children won’t eat the food we prepared or wear the clothes we’ve laid out, when they scream and kick in public and encounter difficulties in school, we assume that we should fix the situation.  We assume that we should fix our children.

In fact, our children do not need to be fixed.  They need to be seen, heard, understood, and loved.

But how do we see, listen, and console when we want to scream and shout?  One step at a time and not in the moment of our deepest despair, we change ourselves.

Learn new words to say.   I recommend reading How to Talk So Your Children Will Listen and Listen So Your Children Will Talk, over and over if necessary.  I read it many times.  This book is easy to read and offers many scripts for speaking to our children.

Step into your child’s shoes.  Take a minute to see the situation from your child’s point of view.  While you see a child who is not cooperating, what is your child’s experience?  Is she hungry or tired?  Do the seams on the socks bother him to an extent you cannot imagine?  Has the “nice” teacher spoken to her harshly and now she is afraid?

Look for the positive.  Mary Sheedy Kurchinka, in her book Raising Your Spirited Child,makes many suggestions for seeing challenging traits as assets.  Is your child stubborn, or persistent?  Oversensitive, or perceptive?  Bossy, or knows exactly what he wants?

Reconsider your foundational beliefs about yourself.  We all have limiting core beliefs.  They come from our early experiences, mostly those before age seven.   These limiting beliefs drive our thoughts and behaviors.  Fortunately, they can be changed effectively and, sometimes, quickly and easily, with techniques such as Matrix Reimprinting and EFT and other energy medicine modalities.

Tap.  EFT is very easy to learn and very effective for reducing stress in the moment.  Use EFT to honor yourself and your journey.  Click here to see the tapping points and demonstration.  Then, try tapping these phrases:

  • Even though this has been really exhausting, I’m a good mother and I’m doing enough.
  • Even though I haven’t done everything perfectly, I can love myself anyway.

I continue to work with practitioners regularly. For me, the support and guidance of a professional is essential in making major shifts.  Any work that I do on myself translates to treating my children better, and that’s a very good thing.

 

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