Slow down Mummy, what’s the rush?

Slow down Mummy, whats the rush?

I think one of the greatest gifts of new motherhood to a woman is the opportunity to slow down.

As you and  your newborn settle into your life together,  it takes about one and a half hours to leave the house, so expressions such as ‘I’m just popping out’ loose all relevance.

Juggling life before baby was challenging but, wow, did I get a lot done!  Post baby, I could achieve NOTHING. Making an important phone call, posting a package, or running an errand became an overwhelming impossibility.    The new routine of sleep, eat, change brought the rhythm of life into slow motion, and I was forced into a whole new alternative time dimension.

This can feel horribly frustrating. When you’re used to work lists getting ticked off throughout the day, you can feel utterly powerless when you simply don’t get to tick ANYTHING off your work list.  All your best intentions are met with exploding nappies, teething tears, inexplicable grouchy days… it is like running through treacle.

However, in a world reduced to work lists and ticking off the achievements, there isn’t a whole lot of time to reflect, watch, and be present in the moment.

This, surely, is the greatest gift of early years motherhood.

When I was pregnant, I was so nervous about how difficult it was going to be, and of course I felt overwhelmed at times by the new responsibility of bringing this human being into our world.  But the greatest surprise to me was how much time I had on my hands now to just BE.  Breast feeding every 4 hours.  Walking through the park. Driving to get baby to sleep.  Rocking and soothing baby.  I saw the seasons change from Autumn to Winter.

I saw the leaves of the Oak outside my house change.  I watched the squirrels busily foraging for nuts.  When was the last time I had taken time to see these things?

In reality, I wasn’t sitting in a state of wonder and presence, I was actually feeling bored, frustrated, anxious that I should be doing something else. I even felt lonely – the rest of the world was out there getting stuff done whilst I sat here doing more of the same, surrounded by a Chinese laundry of little baby grows and socks.

I was killing time, getting cross that this mundane life was how it was for me from now on.

But with the benefit of hindsight (oh, the benefit of hindsight!) I can see that when my mind finally gave up the struggle and accepted this new state of play, I was able to revel in a newer, purer style of life that was primal, basic, empowering in its simplicity.  The crazy screeching fast pace of my pre-baby life peeled away to reveal a slow, earthy drum beat of motherhood.

Maybe I didn’t need all the racing around.  Maybe I was good with a walk in the park, some cooking, some cleaning and some breast feeding for today.

Without any previous training in mindfulness, my daughter and her schedule were bringing mindfulness into my life. This new slow and steady pace was making me present.  I was actually there.  Not making plans. Not writing emails. Not texting. Just there, with my baby.  Enforced meditation.

So, if you find yourself tearing your hair out because you’ve hardly left the house in days and you feel utterly incapable to getting anything done, why not change your mindset and learn from my experience.   Take the opportunity to dance to the drumbeat of motherhood – slow, present, connected and real.

Because one thing is for sure, the phase of new motherhood passes.  Life picks up its pace once more, and you will probably look back and remember with fondness when you had time to watch the world rush by you whilst you moved slowly through treacle.

If you’d like to read more tips on how to enjoy this parenting phase of life, please look at my website http://www.happysexymama.com. Namaste.

I hope you’ll join me so that you can kick back, thrive in motherhood, and be your Happy Sexy Mama self.

Sonja Lockyer writes for http://www.happysexymama.com, and is commited to looking after the Mummys who are busy looking after the rest of us.

Join us on facebook for more bits of support and love to your Mummy mission to stay happy and sexy.

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How to create an Altar without becoming a wierdo.

Altar

My Mum tries her best to keep open minded with me.  It would never have been her first choice for her daughter to become a wondering yoga teacher, dragging her children around the world in a most unconventional way, but she has embraced it whole heartedly; proof if ever it were needed that a mothers love knows no bounds.  

So I know that when she takes me to one side with a look of concern on her face, I’ve probably crossed a boundary that the majority of middle class British people would struggle with. That was how it was the day she over heard me on the phone, discussing my altar.

There was real fear in her eyes when she told me how happy she was that I was so happy at the moment, “but please, darling, don’t go too weird.”

I know that almost all of my non-yoga friends with agree with her.  There is something about the creation of an altar that takes you over a line into full on wierdo territory.  If my altar didn’t bring me so much joy and support, I wouldn’t bother writing this.  But it does, and I think it has been fundamental in changing the quality of my sleep, my day and my head space.

I set up my altar at a time when I was feeling lost.  Isn’t it always at those times you get pushed into trying something you would scorn at any other moment?  I went to a Catholic Convent boarding school, so the word altar has all the residual baggage of fake piety and hypocrisy that the Convent experience had filled me with. But, I wanted to do something to demonstrate that I was taking hold of my life and making a commitment to being truthful, transparent and focused on who I was and what I wanted my life to be.

No more keeping everyone happy by watering myself down into an easy to accept version of myself.  

Like a cat peeing around the boarders of the garden, I flung out anything in my home that I felt wasn’t connected to the REAL ME and brought to light everything that made me feel stronger, braver, connected.

And I reclaimed my bedroom. Previously, my bedroom was everyones bedroom. I never quite got the hang of disciplining the children to sleep in their own beds, even from newborn.  Secretly, I like them sleeping with me.  So, at any point in time, you could find most of the family plus piles of clean washing, toys and books from the children’s bedroom, papers from work, piles of books I intended to read, my yoga mat, even half drunk cups of tea lying around in my bedroom.  It wasn’t pretty.

I was taking part in a Shiva Rea online course, and part of it included creating an altar.  Initially I thought I’d just skip that part.  However, on the Facebook group forum, people were sharing photos of their altars which were really beautiful.  They included any items that the creator found joy from – old photos, shells, flowers, art work, essential oils, textiles.  It got me inspired.

So, I tidied up my bedroom and created space on top of my chest of drawers.  I selected photos of the important women in my life and placed them there.  Then I added as essential oil burner with ylang ylang burning which induces a restful state of mind.  And then I bought a small rose quartz crystal and added it.

Over the coming days I started to see things that I added – some beautiful wild flowers in a little vase, a goddess card that I’d picked and resonated with me, a love note from a friend, and drawing from my daughter. I was hooked.

There are many things going on here, and all of them good.  Let me summarise why I think it all felt so good.

1. Creating something as a statement of who you are feels really really great.  Its not for anyone else’s benefit, so you have carte blanche to do as you wish.  This is fun, energising, creative and utterly feminine (in the essence of the word, rather than the high heeled lip stick wearing version).

2. Reclaiming your space makes you physically determine your boundary, which helps you mentally, emotionally and spiritually identify your boundaries and stick to them.  For example, the children still come into my bed, but only in the morning at the weekends, and I’m getting so much more sleep.

3. Relaxing in bed at night with the flickering of candle light through  crystals, beautiful bits & bobs and the scent of ylang ylang filling the room is extremely peaceful, decadent, self loving and supporting. What better way to go to sleep?

4. Waking up in the morning and seeing your intention in physical manifestation reminds you and supports you to take another day to realise your dream.

So I urge you to give it a try.  If you think you could improve on your bedtime ritual, or you need to reinforce where you want your life to be going, or you just want an avenue for creating a wonderful creative space, try making yourself an altar.  You don’t even need to tell anyone… but I bet you soon do.

For more accessible, easy tips on how to stay connected to your better Self, please take a moment to look at my website http://www.happysexymama.com.

I hope you’ll join me so that you can kick back, thrive in motherhood, and be your Happy Sexy Mama self.

Sonja Lockyer writes for http://www.happysexymama.com, and is commited to looking after the Mummies who are busy looking after the rest of us.

Join us on Facebook to stay supported, inspired and connected throughout motherhood. http://www.facebook.com/happysexymama

How to cope when you loose it.

I promise you, most of us have been there. I certainly have.

There were a handful of awful hideous days when my temper snapped, and without me really even being a conscious part of it, I found myself ranting and raging and screaming with a gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair in a crazy-woman biblical kind of way.  My beautiful child was looking at me with total fear and confusion in her eyes. Then I came back into my body, and realised I had totally lost it. And I simply didn’t know what to do with myself.

Because the self loathing, the guilt, the shame and the horror are too much to bear.

Just writing that makes me feel sick. But I know I am not the only Mum out there to experience that moment. And I know that how I took the next step forward from that moment made all the difference in the world to my childs developement and understanding, and my own growth.

Here’s the thing – we are all made of light and dark, and whilst we like to live under the illusion of being good girls 24/7, the truth of course is much more shady than that. Sometimes we act a little more connected to our dark side. That dark side exists; pretending that it doesn’t exist really doesn’t benefit anyone.

So, when our hormones are raging, we’re exhausted, our lives are feeling entirely joyless engulfed by the cloak of baby blues, there is a full full moon and we just want to cry but don’t – we keep on ploughing on with a brave smile and true grit – it might on occassion happen that we get pushed past breaking point and a nasty, dark explosion takes place.

And afterwards, we need to calm down, apologise, and to explain.

Calming down.

Here is a quick & easy way to calm yourself down.

  • Make sure your child is in a safe place and then focus on your breath.
  • Breathe in for a count of 6 through your nose.
  • Breathe out for a count of 10 through your mouth with your lips pursed as if you were blowing through a straw.

Do that 6 times.

Apologise.

Now that you feel calmer, in my world the first step in apologising is a loving hug. Not a needy grasping out of control hug, just a strong, calm and confident loving hug that lets them know they are safe and you are back in control of the reins.

Explain.

We need to explain that we are human too, and we have our limits. And that we don’t always act perfectly but we always try our best. And that it makes us sad and sorry to get so cross, so shall we try again?

And then we need to tell our beautiful children how much we love them.

Then change the air, go and so something completely different, and leave the incident behind.

Learn the lesson.

And instead of revelling in the self hate and guilt of the incident that night, we need to learn the lesson. Perhaps we needed some more help, or some time out, or a friend to share our feelings with before we got to breaking point. So ask for help next time, go see a friend and take some rest (surely the reason Cbeebies exists?!), take care of your Self in which ever way you are able, so that you are more able to take care of your children.

Fill your cup.

We only loose it when our cup has run dry and we have nothing left to give, so its our responsibility to act before that moment and keep our cup full of whatever it is we need to stay happy, vibrant and connected to our better Selves.

That’s my humble opinion, anyway, and I hope it might help anyone else out there who recently lost it and was unsure how to handle it afterwards.  My children are 5 and 7 now, and they are honestly really happy, lovely children.  So it would seem they have survived despite my occasional loosing it.  In fact, I’d say it hurt me a million times more than it hurt them.

For more accessible, easy tips on how to stay connected to your better Self, please take a moment to look at my website http://www.happysexymama.com.

I hope you’ll join me so that you can kick back, thrive in motherhood, and be your Happy Sexy Mama self.

Sonja Lockyer writes for http://www.happysexymama.com, and is commited to looking after the Mummies who are busy looking after the rest of us.

Join us on Facebook to stay supported, inspired and connected throughout motherhood. http://www.facebook.com/happysexymama

 

 

Mindfullness Magic , words of wisdom from Alison Prideaux

As a mindfulness teacher I take my hat off to young mothers who manage to meditate. If anyone else in the class says they have no time to “sit” I refer them to the single working mothers who have put time into the spaces (that don’t exist ) for their own formal mindfulness practice.

I know it seems like an insult to ask a busy mother to take time out for herself but the benefits are so great that it is worth the effort as many students have testified;

” I have more time” ,
” I no longer shout at the kids”,
” when everyone is off school with gastro I ring the mindfulness bell and we all feel calmer”,
” I can cope when before it was pure overwhelm”.

These are some of the comments from mothers who have set aside meditation time over a period of 8 weeks and are now reaping the benefits.

It is no easy task to prize open a space to meditate every day but soon it becomes a habit and then the world starts to look more friendly.  Even the ex seems more agreeable!  With practice, women start to look forward to that breathing space and making the time becomes more and more natural.

It is an opportunity to recharge batteries and exist in one’s own eyes.

With the recorded meditations guiding us to lovingly observe our own breath and our thoughts we soon feel “seen” and accepted. It is an act of loving kindness and it feels good. No matter that we are the ones watching, accepting and loving ourselves ! It still feels validating and positive.

The simple act of connecting with the physical breathing sensations in our bodies rewires the brain and we come out of fight and flight anxiety into a place of coping and calm.

MRI scans show centres of compassion lighting up as one focuses on the breath and science now validates what the monks have been saying for 2,000 years; it’s good for us.

 

Science has a lot more to say about it; it’s good for preventing depressive relapse, boosting immunity, slowing the aging process, managing pain, sleeping well, treating anxiety and above all when someone pushes ahead of you at the checkout you may be so centred that you don’t even entertain the fantasy of taking out their ankles with your trolley!

 

Here are 2 books for parenting mindfully:

Everyday Blessings – The Inner Work Of Mindful Parenting Myla Kabat-Zinn and jon Kabat-ZinnSitting Still Like a Frog – Mindful Exercises for Kids (and their parents) – Eline Snell

Mindfullness brings benefit to mothers, and that filters down through the whole family – as far as I can see, a happy Mum makes for a happy family!  Another way of introducing mindfulness into the family are my personalised meditation recordings which children love; 

http://omindfulness.com/personalised-recordings/

 

Pregnancy is the ideal time to start building a mindfulness practice, in preparation for the birth and postnatal life.

 

 

These are incredibly powerful and of huge benefit to pregnant mothers too.  Pregnancy is the ideal time to start building a mindfulness practice, in preparation for the birth and postnatal life.  It is a natural period of self nurture, and there is no greater way to care for your wellbeing than to introduce a mindfulness practice.  Imagine how good the baby will feel as it feeds off your mental and emotional state!

One last word – in my experience,  pregnant ladies who have used their meditation in childbirth have found that they are more accepting of the whole process of birthing, and even believed that they experienced was less pain as a result.

And so, I can not sing the praise more highly of introducing mindfulness into your life, wether you are pregnant, postnatal or  just wanting to make the most out of every moment in your life.

 

Alison Prideaux teaches Mindfullness on the Cote D’Azur, France and has courses starting in September in Mouans Sartoux and Beausoleil.  She can be found on www.omindfulness.com and you can keep in touch via Facebook

 

Happy Sexy Mama is a website dedicated to supporting, inspiring and keeping Mums connected to their Higher Selves through the early years of motherhood.

 

Women’s Wisdom from homeopathic healer and wonderful woman, Julia Edgley

When I meet with Julia Edgley, homeopath, she has just returned from her native Ireland and is full of natural cheer and infectious positivity. But then, Julia always is. I’ve been lucky to know Julia since I moved to France 4 years ago, and I’ve been to see her for my own well being, as well as that of my children. Her guidance to me has been entirely holistic, touching on nutrition, lifestyle, the ingredients and their effects of household products and always homeopathy.

Homeopathy is Julia’s absolute passion. She is a waterfall of information, knowledge, experience and her passion to share with the world has led her to create her blog; http://juliahomeopath.wordpress.com/.  Over 2000 people connect to Julia over social media where she shares tips on natural make up, health, culture and a holistic lifestyle.

We sit on the lawn of the beautiful Mas Candille Hotel in Mougins, over looking the mountains and the olive groves of Grasse, and as the sun starts to set, we begin.

What is it that attracts you so intensely to homeopathy?

I think homeopathy is really empowering. Our well being comes with no instruction manual, its so much more than not having an illness. Its about living life to the full, with energy and vitality.

“Through the process of homeopathic consultations, the patient learns to listen to their body.”

They  start recognising the signs and symptoms that are guiding us to what we need to do to get them back to full health.   My patients and I tune in to their holistic health and slowly the patient learns to listen to their body. That’s what I love about homeopathy – its so empowering to take control of your own health.

Can homeopathy help a Mother stay strong and connected to her Self?

Yes!   Motherhood is an incredible healing opportunity.  A woman travels through the life stages of maiden / mother / chrone. Each is a powerful transition. With motherhood your inner child comes out screaming, it can be overwhelming and we make powerful projections onto our children. I think is important to know that there are therapies out there to help at every transition in life, and that you don’t have to walk this path on your own.

Being aware that other mothers go through the same path is reassuring and hearing stories of mums who have come out the other side after those charged first few months or years, is encouraging, so being part of a like minded community is an important support system. 

Have you ever dealt with a patient suffering from postnatal depression?

Absolutely.  There are so many faces of postpartum depression, which is why it can be easily missed.  Well meaning family members and even doctors can miss the signs, its a complex state, and people are still scared of the association with mental illness.  What I have seen through my patients is that there are 3 main faces of postpartum depression.

The first is best described as a blatant chemical imbalance, where the woman feels waves of despair, which pass. This is the classic idea of postpartum depression, where the mother can be cold, detached, weepy.  In an appointment, when describing symptoms, the mother can be completely in the moment, aware and sometimes has to convince the health practitioner that at home, they have symtoms of depression.

The second face can be the result of a trauma around the pregnancy or birth, and the symptoms can be similar to those of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome; recounting the incident many times, not being able to forget its tiny details and reliving the event in one’s mind.

The third can often be referred to as Postantal Anxiety Disorder.  The mother presents with feelings of extreme disappointment and frustration.   Often the mother finds she is extremely argumentative, because deep down she is angry towards a situation that is not her ideal.

I often see this situation in mums who, even before pregnancy, had extrememly high expectations of themselves. The birth or entire pregancy did not work out as they had planned or there was a difficulty breastfeeding.

The mum feels extreme guilt over the resulting outcome.  Her high expectations are not being met; expectations of herself, the child, her partner, life.. these are all learned behaviours which can be changed.

The problem with these high expectations is that when the are not met, the mother feels overwhelming guilt. The perfect example is breast feeding; most of my patients want to breast feed, and sometimes, when that is not possible, they feel guilt that they have failed and are not giving their child the best.

Sometimes this situation can be a result of previous learned behaviour or ideals. This behaviour pattern “worked” in your pre-baby days but becoming a new mum means this behaviour pattern doesnt “fit” into the new routine.  Mums can go through an identitiy issue, it can be hard to find your feet again.

How can homeopathy help?

Homeopathy turns everything on its head.  Treatment can help mums distance themselves from the symptoms, so they are not as overwhelming.  Over time, the frequency and intensity of symptoms can be reduced.

 

This has been described to me as if the clouds have cleared or a mother’s head has come above the water; the fog has lifted.  Mums can see thier situation clearer and without the emotional haze that can be distracting.  

 

During the appointment, we do an initial analysis after which I prescribe remedies to be taken for 2 weeks. The patient then comes back and we assess what the effect has been, what changes have taken place, and how she is feeling.  This process helps the patient to distance herself from her situation and look at it with a calmer, cooler energy.  All 3 postpartum characteristics need to have cortizol levels managed – cortizal is the stress hormone – but in homeopathy we try to look at the trigger and treat the whole picture, not just the symptom.

The symptom may be physical, but usually that us a manifestation from an emotional state.  All symptoms to a homeopath are important. We look at the physical, but equally important are the emotional and mental states.  Usually, the physical and emotional states are a reflection of one another.

If someone is interested in trying homeopathy, where would you recommend they start?

I would start with a home kit, which you can buy from Ainsworth, Helios or Nelson.  They do specific sets for birthing and mother&child.  The sets give you a selection of basic remedies and a little book to guide you.   Start here and then see a hoemoapth to help analyse the reaction.

Otherwise, go and see a local homeopath. The key is to find someone who gets you, each practitioner has their own way, so you need to find the relationship that works for you.  Speak to the nearest college to get a recommendation, or find a professional register.

What advice would you give someone pregnant and wanting to prepare for the journey ahead?

Pregnancy is like a magnifying glass, it manifests emotional blockages lying dormant which need to be addressed. That is why it is such an incredible opportunity for learning and growth.

During pregnancy is the perfect time to focus on your nutrition, sleep patterns, and letting go of a lot of stuff.  New Mums often suffer an identity crisis after birth, as the layers of their ego-life are stripped away. This is all good stuff, but it can be uncomfortable, so time spent preparing for that, reassessing what is important to you, is time well spent.

And advice to new Mums?

I would recommend every new Mum make an appointment with a Cranial Sacral Osteopath for their baby as soon as they are able – the effects are just incredible and can often stop much of the crying, cholic, reflux, breast feeding and sleep issues.

I would also say to them, don’t be in such a rush.  It takes at least 6 – 8 weeks to recover from the birth.  Take time to settle in to this new role and sleep.  Sleep is the most over looked healing system in the world, and just for a while, your sleep pattern will not fit in with the rest of society, so embrace that, and sleep, guilt free, whenever and wherever you can.

 

Which homeopathic remedies for stress and emotional support would you recommend to get started with?

There are a classic set of 4 remedies for after birth;

aconite – helps with feelings of panic and ultimately fear of death.
gelsemium – helps with anxiety and panic attacks
pulsitila – helps with hormone imbalances, when a Mum desperately needs support, does;t want to be left alone & feels weepy for o reason
sepia – helps with anger and hate towards life and the world.

So, in summary, where does homeopathy fit into being a Happy Sexy Mama?

Homeopathy can lead you through the layers of behavioural patterns. Every body can heal, and if it isn’t healing, then it could be because the body doesn’t have enough energy or that there is a insurmountable blockage. Homeopathy, like most holistic health systems, helps you to strengthen your energy and remove blockages, allowing you to survive, heal and then thrive.

Julia Edgely practices homeopathy in Mouans Sartoux, France.  Here are her links to social media where you can read more and keep in touch with her incredible stream of wisdom.

http://www.vie4vitality.com/index.htm
http://juliahomeopath.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/JuliaHomeopath
https://twitter.com/vie4vitality
http://instagram.com/juliahomeopath
http://www.pinterest.com/juliahomeopath/

Happy Sexy Mama is a website designed to support Mums through the early years of motherhood by keeping them inspired, supported and connected.  Sign up for blog posts and free simple yoga tips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 easy tips to turn children’s bedtime chaos into paradise.

There was a time, when the bedtime routine was utter chaos for me. I stuck religiously to the diner / bath / bed by 7pm system that all the books spoke about and still always ended up pulling my hair out as no one seemed to be listening to me and no one seemed interested in going to sleep. It stressed me out. Words can not express the frustration of an over tired, desperate Mum aching to get something of an evening to herself but finding herself slipping into a night of despair and anger instead. Yelling at my children to go to bed, stay in bed, go to sleep, stop making a fuss was NOT what I’d had in mind as my style of parenting, but it was my reality. Eventually, by focusing my attention, listening and following my instinct (easier said than done), thankfully things started to change. Paradise. I am now proud to say that bedtime is my favourite part of the day. And its the favourite part of my childrens day too. By making some simple changes there was a shift, and it transformed our family life. Here are my 5 easy tips which helped me to turn bedtime chaos into bedtime paradise. 1. I started using aromatherapy essential oils. I burn essential oils around the house, I use them in the bath, and I use an organic bedtime body butter on my children and I that contains neroli and ylang ylang. My sense of smell has come alive, and I use the power of natures most powerful sense to influence the atmosphere in the house. At night time I alternate between lavender (which doubles up as anti-mousquito in the summer), neroli, cedarwood, ylang ylang and rose absolute or a Neals Yard Remedy Organic mix called Night Night. 2. I read a really GOOD bedtime story. I’ve always read a bedtime story, but now I’m more picky about what I will read and take the opportunity to read some great childrens books. There are only so many times you can read the Octonauts without going insane! By enjoying what I’m reading, I am not in a rush to get through it and I can properly animate and get lost in the content of what I’m reading. The Secret Garden, The Faraway Tree, The BFG… there are so many great great stories we get lost in together. 3. Thank yous. I’m a big fan of keeping a Gratitude Diary, and this flooded into my bedtime ritual with the kids. After the story, we share a few things from the day that we’d like to say thank you for. My youngest often finds this hilarious as he thanks his poo poos and farts. Charming. My eldest astounds me with her deep and profound thank yous for the food we eat and the home we live in. And I get the chance to hear what the world has been like for them that day, and which moments have counted in their life. 4. Breathing meditation. My daughter used to get anxious about me leaving her in the bedroom (they share) and so in the unhappy years I used to stand at her bedside strocking her hand and getting increasingly up tight inside. This was not a good solution to the problem. Then, one day I took a seat in the bedroom, sat down and started a beautiful breathing meditation. With every inhale I breath in love and support from the Universe around me and within. With every exhale I send out love and support from my heart to my children and the Universe around me. I do this for 5, maybe 10, sometimes 20 minutes and when I’m finished, I feel amazing and if both kids aren’t asleep they are so chilled out and peaceful they are happy for me to leave the room. As I write this, there is a thunder storm raging outside and my daughter has been sitting quietly next to me with a blanket even though its 9pm. I’m happy for her to be with me, because I usually get the evenings to myself now to do what I need to do. The stress has gone, the desperation has lifted, and I can be more flexible and easy going. So that is what I’m going to make point number 5; stay flexible. 5. Stay flexible. Evenings don’t always go to script, and sometimes my children just wont go to bed as nicely as usual. And so I adapt. I give them 10 minutes with a book to look at pictures on their own in bed, and then I say its time to sleep, and switch out the light. Or I let them sleep in my bed and move then back into their once they’re asleep. Or I sit and chat calmly with them for 5 minutes and remember something wonderful we all did together, then get up and let them go to sleep. Whatever works for you is right, but I know for certain that the stress of a strict schedule made me tetchy and agro and not the kind of Mother I want to be. So, I hope that something from thee 5 easy tips will help you if you are struggling with bedtime. I am living proof that this time of day can transform from a living hell to a precious, treasured and wonder-full part of every day. Its exactly what you deserve, because you are a happy sexy mama and this journey is exactly where you’re supposed to be right now. If you’d like to read more tips on how to enjoy this parenting phase of life, please look at my website http://www.happysexymama.com. Namaste. I hope you’ll join me so that you can kick back, thrive in motherhood, and be your Happy Sexy Mama self. Sonja Lockyer writes for http://www.happysexymama.com, and is commited to looking after the Mummies who are busy looking after the rest of us. Join us on Facebook to stay supported, inspired and connected throughout motherhood. http://www.facebook.com/happysexymama

The simple art of Self Love.

all you need is love love love...

all you need is love love love…

Now, I KNOW the basic tenant of self help and conscious living is to love yourself.  In all the glorious wisdom of self help legends Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, Deepak et al, their message is clear and simple.  Love your self.   This is the starting point, the foundation.  Without loving yourself, you are a ship without a rudder and each of your best intentions will go awry creating havoc and chaos in your life.  

And I get it, I really do.  But the question i keep pondering is this… what if I just don’t really feel like I love myself?

Its pretty easy to look at my child or my partner and see their perfection in their imperfection.  Loving another is child’s play compared to loving myself.  How do I start to build my ‘Loving Myself’ muscle if, when I look in the mirror with the affirmation “I love you Sonja” my toes curl, I cringe, I want to vomit and I feel like a fraud?

This is a question I have been asked time and time again, so I’ve been thinking it through.  Here are my thoughts.

Start with the body, then move on to the mind.

Our physical bodies are a powerhouse of communication, working as a fundamental team member of the body/mind/spirit alliance that carries us through life.  Each of our 52trillion cells houses ancient wisdom, the ability to communicate what it needs within the body, and to store memory and emotion.  The miracle of our working body is enough to make you fall in love with your self when you really think about it, and the PRACTICE of taking care of your body is the first step to loving your self.

Because of the interconnectedness of our body/mind/spirit alliance, by starting to care for your physical body you cannot help but become more careful towards your mind and spirit.

4 easy steps to care for your body.

Loving yourself is a state of being, but we can access it in the much easier to reach state of doing.  Here is a to do list to get into caring for your physical body.

1. Care for what you put in and on your body.

  • Eat food that has grown in nature rather than through the aid of chemical fertilizers.  Eat organic where you can afford to, and stay away from processed, packaged, canned food.  A good rule of thumb is if it has a marketing campaign its probably not that great for you.
  • Use body creams and products that stay away from science and instead use the enormous wealth of ingredients nature provides. Dr Haushcka, Neals Yard Remedies and Weleda are a good place to start.
  • Drink to keep hydrated.  Don’t wait until you’re dying of thirst, keep a routine of drinking to hydrate, especially when breastfeeding. Find your treat – coconut water, lemon & ginger, lime water or a glorious glass of iced water with cucumber and fresh mint.

2. Get some sleep.

Put some energy into turning your bedroom int a calm and peaceful haven for you.

  • De-clutter, only keeping things in your bedroom that make you feel good.  Think about textures, lighting, imagery, music, photos, crystals, and set a glorious self indulgent loving yourself tone.
  • Remove all electrical devices especially those with the little red light on when on standby.
  • Burn some essential oils; lavender, yang yang and neroli are wonderfully relaxing.  Send the message to world out loud and clear – this is My place to SLEEP.
  • Make it so that you are looking forward to getting into bed, and try to do so at 10 or earlier if you need it.

3. Move & create.  

Everyone has something they love to do aside from being a grown up (working, parenting, planning…), but I think it is easy to forget what hobbies we enjoyed when we were young.  Which is sad, because as we get older we need to move and create more than ever before to keep alive and inspired.

  • Find a sport that you like.  I’m not talking about olympic level exercise (although feel free if that’s your thing). This can be anything from walking through the park for 30 minutes every day, to free diving at the weekends.  There is NO LIMIT to what you can do to keep your body moving, and there are infinite ways to have fun doing so.  Your body needs to move to stay working properly, but with the right attitude, doing your thing will be the highlight of the week, rather than another job on your list.  Take responsibility and find your thing.
  • Create.  As a woman, your Divine Feminine Energy is all about creation.  You’ve already done the ultimate by creating your life and the life of your child.  Now its time to create just for the fun of it.  Not for the resale value.  Not necessarily for anyone else’s eyes.  For you.  Need to bake a cake?  Set about it with your most creative flare, losing fear of getting it wrong.  Get your sewing machine out, or some knitting needles, or some paint & pencils, or an instrument you used to play.  Get a pen and note pad and write a poem.  Write anything.  Just create, and know that in doing so, you are loving you self.

4. Meditate.

If you REALLY went to start caring for yourself, take 5 – 20 minutes a day to meditate.  Find somewhere quiet, sit with your spine straight, breath deeply and choose a mantra to repeat inside your head.  I’m currently using ‘Peace starts with me’.   When your mind drifts off the mantra, smile, and repeat again, ‘Peace starts with me’.  Do that for anything from 5 minutes upwards.  It’s that simple.

It takes 21 days to create a practice, so set yourself the challenge.

Once you’ve practiced these simple things for 21 days, see if you can feel the difference.  When we are in the space of practicing a ritual of care for our physical bodies, the mind will naturally move to a more loving state towards your whole self – body, mind and spirit.  In this space, it becomes a lot easier to look at yourself in the mirror, and with a smile and genuine belief, say to yourself  “I love you”.

Sonja Lockyer is author of the website http://www.happysexymama.com and is driven by the desire to share tips on self care to new Mums.

 

 

 

Are you a Happy Sexy Mama?

If you think you might be a Happy, Sexy Mama, then you most definitely are.

There are no two ways about it. You don’t need to waste anymore of your time reading this blog, because your time would be better spent revelling in your fabulousness and sending your Happy Sexy Mama vibes to the world around you. Never hide your happy sexy mamaness under a bushell; when you show yours you give the rest of us permission to show ours… and so we thank you!

If you think you might not be a Happy Sexy Mama, then I am here to assure you that you most certainly are, but you may have forgotten it along the journey of motherhood somewhere. It happens. But believe me, all is not lost, we can reclaim out Happy Sexy Mamaness with a little bit of love and care towards ourselves, and I am here to share with you some easy steps to do just that.

Losing yourSelf.

How do I know how? That’s easy – I completely lost my Happy Sexy Mamaness towards the end of my second pregnancy. I can blame a whole myriad of reasons why, but if I’m feeling brave and truthful then I will tell you, it was because I entirely lost sight of my connection to my(self). That little light that burns inside you and lets you know that you are alive – not in a breathing, heart pumping kind of way, but in an ALIVE kind of way; feeling inspired, full of possibility, enthusiasm and excitement for lifes great adventure. When you feel that kind of ALIVE, that is when you are connected to your Self.

Anything less than that is a shame, and a wasted moment, and not the best that life can offer.

I don’t know for sure, but I suspect I had post natal depression (PND). It isn’t really important, as that is just a name anyway. All I can say is that I felt so blue, all the time, that my daughters first memory of me is me sitting on my bed crying, which is what I mainly did for 3 years, in between cooking, cleaning, nappies, baths, bedtimes, walks and trying to be the Mum I always I assumed I would be. My assumption never included hours of crying on my bed, existing in a fog of numb greyness quietly torturing myself with feelings of horror, self loathing and guilt. That is a fact that does not make me proud. So after 3 years of being alive but not feeling ALIVE, I started to drag myself out of my invisible pit of dispair, using the tools that I had at my disposal.

You can not give of an empty cup.

One of my favourite expressions is ‘you can not give of an empty cup’. That sums it up for me. I was an empty cup, and I needed to get my cup filled quickly so that I could make up for lost time and give to my children as well as the rest of my family and friends around me.

So, here is where being a yoga teacher and having a chronic addiction to amazons’ self help section comes in handy. When it comes to tools for dragging yourself out of an emotional pit, I had a pretty impressive selection at my disposal. And I have tried them all, and I continue to try.

This is my lifes work, and I am delighted to have created this website – http://www.happysexymama.com – to share the tools I have tried and help you stay connected and ALIVE throughout motherhood and beyond.

Here is my intention for you.

I shall be posting short yoga classes to keep you moving and shaking your chackra drenched booty.

I shall be writing this blog to share ideas and musings on tools & ideas I discover along the way.

I shall be offering vlogs with ideas for simple meditations and breathing techniques which are hugely effective ways of accessing your Happy Sexy Mamaness.

And through social media we shall be sharing our experiences and encouraging one another along with Gratitude posts and Happy Sexy Mama moments; good and bad.

Nurturing heroes.

My sincere wish is that this space will become a precious space of peace, support and inspiration for all Mamas out there doing their best to keep their cups filled. Because when it comes to shaping the future and creating the enlightened society we crave, there is no player more key than the Mamas. We lay the foundation. We nurture tomorrows heroes. We set the scene for their greatest performance. So it really matters that we do it well, with happiness, sexiness and a fierce connection to our better self.

I hope you’ll join me so that you can kick back, thrive in motherhood, and be your Happy Sexy Mama self.

Sonja Lockyer writes for http://www.happysexymama.com, and is commited to looking after the Mummies who are busy looking after the rest of us.

Join us on Facebook to stay supported, inspired and connected throughout motherhood. http://www.facebook.com/happysexymama