Swan Mothers

Discovering Ourselves through Parenting

On Allowing 

Whether we allow it, or not
Life moves through us. 

Events happen. 

We are changed. 

When we cease resisting, we Allow,
and the flow of Life and Change THROUGH us,
is not impeded. 
It does not get stuck
in our muscles and bones. 
It moves. 

We shake and tremble. But we do not stop the flow, 
so it doesn’t stop us. 
This is why we cannot resist sleep.
Our KNOWINGNESS gets us out of the way for a while. 
And sleep is fine. 
So is conscious relaxation into life. 
So is conscious allowing. 
So is conscious accepting.
This is Loving What Is. 
This is Loving Our Selves. 
This is Love. 

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Making Your Own Lucky Day

Irish history is filled with difficult times that make the heart weep:  invasion, colonization, exploitation, starvation. Does this suggest that the Luck of Irish is bad luck?

Or, does the phrase “Luck of the Irish” have its origin in the days of the Wild West (in the United States) when many Irish people struck it rich during the Gold Rush or were prosperous in silver mining? Sadly, this metallically auspicious time has a shadow.  Many non-Irish Americans of those days didn’t think the Irish were capable of success through intelligence or hard work, so they attributed the accomplishments of the Irish to luck.

What do you think?  Are some people just lucky, while others are not?

Dictionary.com Says

luck [luhk]

noun

1.  the force that seems to operate for good or ill in a person’s life, as in shaping circumstances, events, or opportunities: With my luck I’ll probably get pneumonia.
 
2.  good fortune; advantage or success, considered as the result of chance: He had no luck finding work.
 

Creating Reality

Lucky me! I have children who are anything but normal. If they were normal, they would have been subject to living slightly improved replicas of my and my husband’s life.

Because my children are not mini-mes or mini-their-daddys, they get to live their own lives. And, their magnificent uniqueness has made me a better me.

Lucky Mothers of Unusual Kids

Rhonda K. Welling posted the following on my Facebook Page and gave me permission to share.  I read similar stories almost daily:  Mothers who, at first, feel unlucky because their children have autism, or ADHD, or a hearing disability, or extreme crankiness, become grateful for the children and lives they have.

Before my son, I lived a life I wasn’t proud of. I took a lot, and I mean a lot, of things for granted. When Anthony was diagnosed with autism, I honestly didn’t know anything about autism and was one of them people who thought I never had to worry about it cause I would never have to deal with it.

My son taught me to look at the world through the eyes of a child with autism. He taught me not to take the small things for granted, for example, rain, sand, grass, trees, clouds. Not to ever take for granted the words a child speaks to you. He actually stopped talking for 2 years. And 3 years after his diagnosis, he said “Anthony love mama this much” and he stretched out his little arms as far as they would go. Just them few words changed my life forever. I didn’t see autism at that point. I seen what a beautiful boy I was blessed with.

You have no idea how much it annoys me to hear someone tell their child to be quiet or even worse..shut up because what these people don’t think about is sometimes they do. I missed hearing his voice, hearing his laugh, seeing his smile.

He is 8 years old now and he has taught me to see beauty in the small things, including autism. It’s amazing to me that they say parents teach their kids, but I think in a true sense Anthony has taught me more then I could ever learn from some book. He has taught me unconditional love and acceptance of everyone and everything around me.

Becoming the Force

“You get what you get and you don’t get upset,” children learn to chant in kindergarten.

The truth is, we do get upset. We grieve. We rage. We yell at our children. We also heal, change, and evolve. We become the Force in our children’s lives, in our own lives, and in the world.

“The force is an energy field created by all living things, it surrounds us, it penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together.” Obi-Wan to Luke

I became the Force in my life by learning about and using homeopathic remediestapping on my meridian points, and embracing ideas that, at one time, would have been unimaginable for me. I evinced my role as the Conscious Creator of my life.

How are you unleashing the Force in Your Life?

I’d love to know.  Leave a comment or send me a note. Or stop by the Swan Mothers’ Group and start a conversation.  You are not alone.

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Beyond Labels: Lessons from Autism and Parenting

When I started blogging, I thought my topic would be autistic and neurodivergent children and their mothers.  The more I wrote, the more challenging it became to work the words autism and autistic into the text. Writing “autistic child” felt forced.  Why? I wondered.

I realized that I don’t relate to the term “autism mother” and everything I write applies to all of my children – not just to my autistic son. It is not because he is not special, but because they all are. We all are.

I could write about IEPs and the gluten free diet and innovative therapies for autistic children.  But there are already many blogs, newsletters, books and magazines on these topics.  They are being done well by other people.

I find myself sharing wisdom imbued in me by my children.  I write about what I’ve learned along the way that has made our lives healthier, easier and happier in the hope that you will benefit.

The word autism turned my world upside down and inside out.  I would not be who I am without it. I am also ready to move beyond the label. What do you think?  I’d really love to hear your thoughts on labels in the comment boxes below.

Beyond the Label:  Lessons from Autism

Only one of my children is diagnosable and sports a recognizable label:  autism. When I think about him, I do not think, “My autistic child.”  I think of him as Daniel. I think of my quirky daughter as Ellana and my intensely principled son as Jonathon. I see each as a uniquely magnificent individual.  All three are beyond labeling or categorizing.  There is no normal in my house.

What is normal?

Synonyms for normal include:

·         typical

·         average

·         unsurprising

·         ordinary

·         common

Would you like to eat a common chocolate, drink an unremarkable wine, drive an average car, or take an ordinary vacation? Might you prefer chocolate that is uncommonly delicious, a wine that is remarkably silky, a car that offers a surprisingly refined ride, and an extraordinary vacation?

Why then are typical, ordinary, normal children seen as ideal? We don’t hunger for mediocrity in other aspects of life, yet we yearn for uneventful meals, ordinary nights and unremarkable parent-teacher conferences.

We are burdened by the notion that children should be a certain way.  That life should be a certain way.

How They Should Be, How They Are

Most people, either consciously or unconsciously, expect their children will be like them.  Fathers place tiny, spongy footballs in the cribs of their infant sons in loving anticipation of lives of athletic stardom.  Mothers play classical music for babies and take toddlers to Kindermusik to develop well-rounded, cultured children.  Grandmothers study little faces to see who the which family members the babies look like.

All of this usually comes from a place of love for the child and delight at the prospect of another chance at life.
But then something happens.  The future athlete can’t learn to ride a bike or pay attention to directions.  He certainly can’t throw or catch the ball.  The upcoming Miss Charming throws spectacular tantrums and refuses to listen to music.
Teachers and doctors and specialists say its autism or some other dis-order and the parents’ world turns upside down.

What’s in a name?

. . . language is entirely symbolic.  Words aren’t real.  They’re simply scribbles, doodles and sounds to which we assign meanings stored in the brain as images, feelings, and sounds:  mental constructs only vaguely approximating the objects they represent.   We use words to manipulate the mental representations, rarely scrutinizing our constructs under the light of physical reality.

–From Mark Rostenko’s article The Unnamed in Obscurious Moo
At first, the label is a lifeline.  It explains why our children are the way they are.  The words give us something to research:  autism, PDD-NOS, ADHD, sensory integration disorder, reactive detachment disorder.  The words connect us to others like us and are a way to find information.

Eventually though, we realize that our child’s -ism or disorder is not exactly like that of other children.  His or her most triggering behaviors and traits AND most endearing ones are quite unique.

Some suggestions about his or her condition are right on.  Others don’t work at all.

None of us fits neatly into a box.
We are all alike.  We are also all different.

Play a Game

When looking at your child’s differences or noticing people who seem entirely unlike you, play a game.  Say,“Just like me, this person….”

Notice the ways we are all connected. Notice  the ways we are uniquely magnificent.

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Love, not fear: Expanding Awareness, Embracing Beauty

This headline appeared in my Facebook feed one day. Landon Bryce, an autistic adult, opened his post with these words: This does not mean that if you hate autism, you do not also love autistic people. But you hate part of them.

On my Blessed by (Autism) Uniquely Magnificent Children Facebook page, I asked parents to comment on the above statement. They replied:

I hate autism and how my son is disabled and with low intelligence. I love my son. (Jo)

I don’t like autism but I love my daughter for who she is. (Annette)

On the surface, it seems that it is possible to hate autism while loving autistic individuals. When we dig deeper, we begin to sense the truth of Landon’s assertion.

I Hate that You Hit Your Sister, But I Love that You’re Impulsive

If my child were not impulsive, she would control her urge to hit. If she did not hit, her gentle parents would not (ahem) lose control and scream as if possessedIf she could be a little more thoughtfulwe could have a more pleasant, more normal life. (Why yes, perceptive reader, impulsivity does reside in our house.)

Enter Wabi Sabi Love

Listening to a New Consciousness Review podcast with Arielle Ford, I heard about Wabi Sabi LoveArielle, self-described Fairy Godmother of Love, introduced the concept this way:

Wabi Sabi is an ancient Japanese aesthetic that honors all things, old, worn, weathered, imperfect, and impermanent.  So if you had a large vase with a crack in it, the Japanese would put it on a pedestal and shine a light on the crack.

Wikipedia says:

[Wabi-sabi] nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.[3]

700 years ago, understanding emptiness and imperfection was honored as tantamount to the first step to satori, or enlightenment. In today’s Japan, the meaning of wabi sabi is often condensed to ″wisdom in natural simplicity.″ In art books, it is typically defined as ″flawed beauty.″ [4]

Wabi Sabi for Everybody

Here’s the thing: 

We are all flawed, and we are all stunningly beautiful.  Everything is In Creation, a work in progress. All is perfect, even when it doesn’t seem that way.

Arielle encourages us to tell a new story about the characteristics or traits that we perceive as flaws. A non-implusive Ellana would mean no joyful, exuberant, and very loud outbursts of singing, no wild swinging, no boisterous play with her brothers. A non-impulsive Jonathon would mean no running leaps into my arms, no tumbling on the bed, no shooting sounds during play.

Non-impulsive, my children would be calmer and quieter, but they would not be themselves.  And I like them exactly the way they are.

For Valentine’s Day, Arielle Ford created the Wabi Sabi Amnesty Vow. Check it out and consider writing a Wabi Sabi promise to your children. Consider writing one for your partner. Or for yourself.

Here’s my adaptation of Arielle’s Amnesty Vow:

Love by Pastel Punk on Deviant Art

Dear (Child),

I love you. You have been bringing me joy from the moment you were born. I appreciate every day that we are together. Often, I’m not good at showing it.

As you know, (oh, how you know!), for the past (16) years I have been criticizing you for (being disorganized, loud, and unaware). I have recently learned about a concept called Wabi Sabi Love.  It’s all about learning to find beauty and perfection in people, situations, and things exactly the way they are.

I now make a  Wabi Sabi Vow to you. Starting now, I am telling a new story.  I will do my best to find the beauty and perfection in your unique way of being and doing things, especially those that have bothered me in the past.

Please forgive me for all of the times I yelled at and misunderstood you. Thank you for being you and for all that you do.

Love, Mama

P.S. I will need to practice this Wabi Sabi thing.  When I begin to slip up, I give you permission to put me back on track by saying “Where’s the Wabi Sabi Love?”

Adapted from Arielle Ford at www.wabisabilove.com

Written for 

flashblog-entry

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Valentine’s Day? Bah, Humbug!

It is February 13, and, yet again, I have not bought those silly, pre-printed Valentines. When my children were in elementary school, I did buy them. It was required.

I’d watch other children walk to school clutching red-heart-decorated shoe and boot boxes to collect the cards and treats. I  supervised reluctant card-signing.

Phony Baloney

Saint Valentine’s Day is a holiday observed on February 14 honoring one or more early Christian martyrs (none of whom are known for love or romance). It was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, and was deleted from the General Roman Calendar in 1969 by Pope Paul VI.

The roots of St. Valentine’s Day may lie in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, which was celebrated February 13 – 15. Priests of the festival whipped bystanders.  Being touched by the whip was supposed to increase fertility in women.

What exactly are we celebrating?

I understand that contemporary Valentine’s celebrations in school are not about Christian saints or Roman holidays.  I understand (sort-of) that they are supposed to be fun. But what are we teaching? How do children who are socially inept, bullied, or shy experience this holiday?

Same, Same!  Cards for Everybody!

Children are required to give a card to each child in their class, so that no one feels left out. But kids know who likes them and who doesn’t. They know whom they like. They know when they are giving cards because they have to, versus giving cards they want to.

Teaching children to be kind and considerate to all of their classmates is a valuable lesson.  Teaching them to treat everyone the same, is not.

All children do not all wish to be treated the same. When sad, one child might like a hug, another to talk it out, a third would prefer to be left alone. Some children show their excitement with high-fives and shouts, others flick their fingers or flap their hands.

And a Little Red Dye #40

Almost half of my children’s classrooms have been peanut free. One was latex free. Our homeschool group avoided eggs because one family had life-threatening allergies. But artificial colors and flavors have been allowed in all classrooms. (Except at the Waldorf school. But that’s a separate, otherwise awful story.)

The UK banned artificial food dyes in 2008 after a study suggested they are related to hyperactive behavior in children. The UK demands that manufacturers use natural colors and flavors and US companies use natural products in the UK — while continuing to use artificial dyes in the products sold in the US.  (Learn more from Deborah Merlin, author of Victory over ADHD.)

My daughter was severely affected by red food coloring as a child.  Now, she avoids fake-red foods saying, “It makes me crazy.”

Bah, Humbug!

hum·bug

[huhm-buhg] interjection, noun
1.  something intended to delude or deceive.
4.   something devoid of sense or meaning; nonsense
  • I wonder what would happen if, in lieu of pre-printed, generic cards, we asked each child to think of one thing they admire about each classmate.
  • I wonder if the children would be surprised to discover that there really is something good about every person in the room, even in those children they don’t like.
  • I wonder how it would feel to receive 20-some pieces of paper that showed us the wonderfulness our classmates found in us.

What would you have the schools do in place of the humbug that is Valentine’s Day?

Note: 

I am now homeschooling my only remaining elementary school-aged child and am thrilled to announce that I did not buy cards or candy for Valentine’s Day this year.

 

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My Kind of Presence

“Children need us to be present.” I’ve read it in a hundred books and articles. I’ve probably written it myself.

When my children urgently, intensely need me, I can be present. When they are hurt physically or emotionally, I am 100% there. When they hug me, I’m there. During choir concerts, band performances, and karate tests, I watch and feel my heart swell with joy.

But when it comes to helping with homework or playing a game, watching karate practice or swimming lessons, my attention wanes.  No matter how actively I try to give the activity my full attention, half of my brain disengages.

Noticing What Works for Me

When I am talking on the phone, I iron or fold laundry.  If I am listening to a lecture, I take notes or scribble something unrelated.  When I drive, I listen to books on tape. My best ideas often show up when I’m not thinking.

For a long time, I tried to make myself pay attention to just one thing: smell and taste the food when I’m eating; focus on clothing while I iron; listen when people talk.

I was certain that was the right way to do things.  Everyone said so.

But that kind of presence didn’t work for me.  I gobbled food to finish eating as quickly as possible.  I left baskets of clothes unfolded.  My attention wandered when people talked.

One day, I acknowledged what I had known for years: I listen better when I’m doing something else.

Allowing My Children to Determine What Works for Them

An  article in the Wall Street Journal by Amy Chua titled Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior stirred up an avalanche of responses.  The most egregious aspect of the article was that Chua’s daughters had to do what she demanded, when and how she required.

I do not believe in parenting by total non-interference.  Parents are parents because children need guidance. When parents teach and support in a gentle, loving manner, children may benefit from our accumulated wisdom.  We show them how to navigate life on Earth.

Children also benefit from figuring out how to do things their own way. We can help our children to notice things about themselves by telling them what we observe.

  • “I see that your eyes are starting to close.”
  • “Sometimes you get cranky when you’re hungry. Have you noticed any signs that you need to eat soon?”
  • “You seem so excited about drama!”
  • “Tying your shoes is frustrating. Would you like me to show you a different way to tie?”

Let’s encourage our children to discover what works for them.

Let them discover their own how. Allow them to trust their own experience and knowing.

We can learn from our children how to support them and how to honor our own needs.

Need helping shifting your ideas about how things should be?  Consider shifting your beliefs with Matrix Reimprinting.

Does your child do something his or her own way? Do you? Please share in the comments below.

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Mother-Love: The Oldest Magic

There is magic in the air.  My windows are painted with frost.  The snow sparkles and squeaks.  It is very, very cold. 

Walking into Target to buy gift cards for teachers, I noticed a mother carrying a toddler bundled in a pillow- coat.  I fondly recalled my days of carrying puffy-clad children, first a bundle of pink and later, layers of blue.  All of the effort and care required to take my children out in the freezing temperatures was made worthwhile at the sight of their rosy cheeks and amazed eyes.

This season of love and giving is a good time to notice:  Mother Love is everywhere: cookies, baking; gifts, accumulating; stories, read; children, gloved and wrapped.

The Oldest Magic

What is magic?

“Magic is a bridge . . . that allows you to walk from the visible world over into the invisible world, and to learn the lessons of both those worlds.”

“And how can I learn to cross that bridge?”

“By discovering your own way of crossing it.  Everyone has their own way.”

~ Paulo Coelho in Brida

Magic is a prominent theme in my life these days.  I read about it, notice it, blog about it.  I open myself to experiencing magic and it shows up for me – usually in subtle, unexpected ways.

Bridge of Potentiality

I love the idea of magic as a bridge between the visible and invisible worlds, between the obvious and the subtle.  Mothers of Uniquely Magnificent children cross this bridge to see beyond the face value of “behaviors” and “traits.”  Part of the magic is seeing something wonderful in our children where others see misbehavior and dysfunction.

What Others May See……….What We See [1]

  • Demanding………………… Holds High Standards
  • Unpredictable……………  Flexible, creative problem solver
  • Loud…………………………… Enthusiastic
  • Argumentative…………… Committed to goals/beliefs
  • Stubborn……………………  Willingness to persist
  • Wild……………………………  Energetic
  • Inflexible……………………. Traditional
  • Anxious………………………  Cautious
  • Picky…………………………… Selective
  • Whiny…………………………  Analytical
  • Distractable……………….. Perceptive, notices everything

The Most Ancient Magic

We can shift to seeing the positive in our children because of the deep love we feel for them.

An Example from the Harry Potter Books

Because Harry Potter’s mother used her own body to shield Harry from Volemort’s killing curse, Harry is imbued with life-long strength and protection.   Harry’s teacher and mentor, Albus Dumbledore, explains:  When your mother gave her life for you, she gave you the protection of her love. That kind of love is the most ancient magic. (Clickhere to read more about J. K. Rowling and Maternal Magic and here to read my thoughts on how the Harry Potter phenomenon relates to autistic kids.)

We will never have the opportunity for the kind of maternal magic the mothers in Harry Potter perform.  Most days, our love magic resembles the drudgery of house elves more than the glamor of brave and quick-witted witches.  Still, that leaves plenty of opportunities to sprinkle some love.

Mother Magic

Meal Magic

A woman making dinner is invisible.  To claim that she is engaged in healing her family and community and keeping her universe in balance is a lot to claim for dinner. (Susun S. Weed in Healing Wise.)

Have you ever wondered why, no matter how closely you follow the recipe, your grandmother’s apple pie does not taste the same when someone else makes it, or why there is such as thing as comfort food?  When food is prepared, the feelings of the cook are transmitted in a real way.  A meal thrown together in a hurry is usually eaten just as quickly.  Slow down and slice an apple with love and linger as your child eats, and you have a moment for connection.

Mundane Magic

Just as you can prepare meals with love, you can pour your love into any daily task.  Children feel our rushing and our patience, our confidence and our disgust.  We can infuse them with some of the oldest magic by bathing, reading, playing, working – and by letting them know that we trust them to do things on their own.

Protective Magic

Sometimes, we are called to use all of our powers and to protect our children.  When we stand up to bullies, teachers and friends to ensure that our children are seen and supported, we are using yet another Mother Magic.

Magic — not Martyrdom

Love is feeling and emotion and action.  Give what you have to give in your own way.  This is exactly what your children need.  Just as the wand chooses the wizard, your child chose you.  Your children do not need a perfect mother, they need you.

Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible. (source unknown)

Your love for your child will create a net of support for your child.  Even when he or she feels scared or angry or alone, your love will be there.  Like Lily’s love for Harry, your love will provide a protection that cannot be seen or measured, yet will be there your child life when he or she most needs it.


[1] These are from Mary Sheedy Kurcinka’s excellent book, Raising Your Spririted Child.

 

Enjoy the love and magic of the season!

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11/11 Gateway to Easier, Happier Mothering

11/11. The ones of today’s date seem to create gates.

  • Wouldn’t it be nice if we could step through a gateway to an easier, more joyful life with our children?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if today were the day to take this step?
Whether your are reading this on November 11 or on a day with no elevens in the number at all, consider that today can be the day. Read on for some ideas for stepping into easier, happier living.

Reaching for “A Little Better”

Are you content with life? How do you see your children today? How do you feel?

Esther and Jerry Hicks created an Emotional Guidance Scale  that helps us move from feeling bad to feeling better about whatever we are experiencing.

In looking at the chart, most of us yearn to be at the top, in the purple zone. Even the blue and green areas look good. We want to feel hopeful and happy and to appreciate our children and our lives.  However, if we are currently in the gray or burgundy zones of guilt or grief or despair, the leap to joy seems inconceivable.

Instead of aiming for giant leaps, it is usually easiest and most productive to move through one gateway at a time. Sometimes, we simply step through. At other times, we must knock and a door will open. Once in a while, we need a battering ram.

Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

One way to move up a level its to find something — anything — that feels good about the current situation.
  • In the midst of a tantrum, consider finding something good. “My child is safe. I am staying calm and looking for a good way to handle this moment.”
  • When you child struggles to communicate, consider, “We have wonderful speech therapists. Look how she tries to show  me what she wants!”
  • As your child insists on the thousandth meal of the same food, think, “It is so easy to feed him. I know what he wants.”

Celebrate Success, Celebrate Yourself and Your Child

Every step is one that brings you closer to the Joy Zone. Anger and rage may not, by conventional standards, seem like a good thing. But anger and rage let you know that your do not feel powerless. You are moving closer to hopefulness and joy.

Tools for the Journey

Please browse the blog archives for tips for really easy ways to support you as you step through each level.
Consider exploring:

Next time you see 11:11 on the clock, take a deep breath and think of one thing that feels good about that moment. Every good feeling that you focus on will bring you closer to more experiences that feel good.

 

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Words Matter: Moving from Casual Cruelty to Conscious Kindness

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 10.16.42 AMIn a whole wide world of color-related words to choose from, Sephora selected Celebutard as the name of a lipstick hue. I’m sad that we live in a world where people would want to buy something named “Celebutard,” or that marketing/sales thinks they would. We need to consider the effect of “clever” words before we send them into the world.

Before I had children, before I realized one of my children is autistic, I did not think about the misuse of words like retard or spaz. I did not think that saying, “I’m a little OCD,” to refer to my preference for order might be painful to someone listening. I didn’t think saying, “That’s retarded” when I meant, “That doesn’t make sense” was bad. I did not think about the power of words.

Becoming aware makes us kinder people.

I am a first-generation Ukrainian-American.  I grew up in an all-things-Ukrainian community.  We Ukrainians were perpetually deeply offended because most people, if they had heard of Ukraine at all, thought it was the same as Russia. (This has changed since November 2013.) I thought I was so smart because I knew where Ukraine was on a map and knew some Ukrainian history.  I knew not to say “The” Ukraine.

Then, in college, I started discovering what I did not know.  I had never heard of Cambodia and was uncertain of Pakistan and Indonesia’s locations in the world.  I did not know that people my age had, as small children, hidden in self-dug basements while bombs fell or terrorists searched for them.

Oops.  Not as smart as I had thought.

We know what we know.  And we don’t know much more.  None of us knows everything.

We are ourselves, with our own experiences, gifts, and challenges.

But we can learn — by listening to and reading stories of fellow humans.

I have found that it is impossible to hate someone once you know their story.

If you  think it’s okay to casually use the R-word or variations thereof as an insult, please read this post about a beautiful cognitively impaired girl.  Then, read more stories about people (you think are) not like you. Listen. Tell your story.

Another great post on what’s wrong with Celebutard.

Knowing and understanding are bliss.  Ignorance is not.

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Homeopathy for Children Who Can’t Even Look at Food without Gagging

Eating. Most parents don’t even think about it. They give their children whatever they’ve always eaten and the children eat. Other parents seek out organic foods, prepare meals from scratch, and avoid fast food. They worry about what their children eat, but their children do eat.

And then there are children who can’t eat anything lumpy, smelly, gritty, chewy, or colored. They subsist on chicken nuggets and French fries or all white and smooth foods.  No matter how we prepare or hide the fruit and vegetables, our children can’t even look at them without gagging. Putting foods of the “wrong” texture or color in their mouths is unthinkable.

Eating difficulties are among the most common concerns of mothers who contact me and participate in my groups. Parents are deeply concerned about nutritional deficits, growth, and digestion.

A Case of Gagging and Regurgitating Food

During my homeopathy internship, a thirteen year-old boy named “Cedric” was brought to our clinic by his mother.  He had been seen for years by various physicians, including numerous visits to a top-ten university’s medical department.

Cedric’s primary complaint was very severe gagging and regurgitation of food. He suffered from headaches and said that his mouth and tongue itched when eating fresh fruit and vegetables. These kinds of unusual symptoms are very useful to a homeopath.  When I looked them up in the reperatory (a book which list symptoms and the substances that have been found to cause and cure them), the remedy that appeared was alumina.

Homeopathic alumina was prescribed and when he returned a month later he reported that the gagging was greatly reduced.  He was feeling good and had experienced no incidents of regurgitating food.

Investigating Alumina

Thinking about Cedric, my own children, and the many others who find eating difficult, I began to wonder about alumina.  I discovered it has these uses:

  • filler for plastics
  • common ingredient in sunscreen
  • catalyst in the process of converting hydrogen sulfide waste gases into elemental sulfur in refineries
  • used to remove water from gas streams
  • in toothpaste
  • in dentistry, it is used as a polishing agent to remove stains
  • in hip replacements
  • in vaccines (see also Is Aluminum the New Thimerosal?)

Homeopathy 102

Homeopaths learn what conditions a homeopathic medicine will cure through the use of experiments called drug provings.  During a drug proving, healthy individuals take the remedy being tested.  They report all physical, mental and emotional symptoms that occur.

This in-depth reporting of a remedy’s action reveals the full scope of a substance’s healing capabilities.  The symptoms experienced by the provers are the very symptoms that the remedy will be used to heal.

Proving Alumina

When healthy individuals proved alumina, these signs and symptoms were noted.

  • Can swallow only small morsels
  • Sense of constriction from the esophagus down to the stomach every time he swallows a morsel of food
  • Violent, pressing pain, as if a portion of the esophagus were contracted or compressed in the middle of the chest
  • Spasmodic pain in middle of chest, on swallowing food and drink
  • Constipation (no desire for stool, even after a week or two)
  • Great difficulty evacuating, even soft stools
  • Craves indigestible things (chalk, pencils, earth, etc.)
  • Food aversions
    • Meat
    • Potatoes
    • Onions
  • Greatly affected by tobacco smoke
  • Rabid hunger OR aversion to food with no desire to eat
  • Itching tongue
  • Fear of knives, needles and sharp objects

Alumina is particularly indicated for delicate children, especially those who have been artificial baby foods.

Homeopathic Remedies for Eating Challenges

If you are wondering if homeopathic alumina is the remedy that will help your child swallow food, please keep in mind that homeopathic remedies are most effective when they are prescribed for individuals rather than single symptoms.

The homeopathic literature is filled with information on remedies for children who refuse to eat. Specific foods that are desired and refused appear in long lists. Effects on the mouth, tongue, stomach and disposition are noted.  Times of day when food is wanted or rejected are relevant. In short, everything matters when selecting a homeopathic remedy.

To read more tips about feeding children with eating challenges, please see When Your Child Won’t Eat.

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