aromatherapy, mental health, parenting, wellness

The Good, the Bad, and the Brave

I have not blogged in a long, long time. I understand this to be a no-no in the world of blogging; but life does not follow such constructs.

The Brave: One of my daughters has been undergoing treatment for severe mental health issues. Hers is not my story to tell. I will say, as the mom, this has been an exhausting and scary experience. I often got asked if I was “taking care of myself”. The honest answer was no, which brings us to…

The Bad: While I knew I would be in a better position to support my daughter and family if I was at my strongest; frankly, it was all I could do to keep up with managing her treatment and staying afloat… Fortunately I seem to be exiting that basic survival stage and moving back to…

The Good: My several month hiatus was not completely devoid of self-care. My beautiful mama gifted me a Raindrop Technique massage for my birthday. In November, I finally got over to The Tree of Life in Plymouth and blissed out to this wonderful experience.

If you are unfamiliar with Raindrop Technique, it is a gentle massage using a layering process of nine different Young Living therapeutic essential oils. The application begins on the reflex points of the feet, and then is applied to the spine. It is designed to bring balance to the body’s energy centers using a combination of reflexology, aromatherapy, and massage techniques. If you ever have the opportunity, I highly recommend it.

At the end of my session I received an iTOVi scan. A small, handheld scanner, the iTOVi uses galvanic skin response to measure changes in the electrical conductivity of the skin. It generates a signal that represents the vitamin, supplement, or essential oil you are scanning for. Then your body responds by changes in resistance measurement of the skin. The iTOVi ranks the products by how much change occurs and a report is generated to show you which products bring your galvanic skin response to its most optimal. I find it to be a magical device that my mom and I then went on to co-purchase. I’ve used it on friends, family, babies, even animals!

Happy (belated) New Year


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mental health, parenting, wellness

All the Feelings

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I haven’t posted in a while. I had a draft started about turning fifty, which happened earlier this month. But since then one of my daughters has gone to the hospital, and it just doesn’t seem important or relevant anymore. The gist of it was “I don’t feel fifty” and “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be getting older”.

Instead, my days are spent glued to my phone, in case my daughter or someone from the hospital calls. Researching the internet for resources and answers of how to best support my child. Mental illness is a horrible thing. I wish it did not exist. It very much does. The adolescent programs we have been using are bursting at the seams. Anxiety. Depression. Eating disorders. Addictions. Self harm. Trauma. The list goes on.

It is hard to be a teen, period. Coupled with these illnesses it is down-right scary. I know parenting teens is difficult. Parenting a teen with a mental illness is terrifying. I so want to do the right thing. In all honesty, I want to take it away, fix it. But I can’t do that, and according to my favorite author, Glennon Doyle, trying to fix other people’s pain is like stealing their happiness; both are sacred. All I can do is hold space for my daughter and her beautiful, strong spirit.

That and try to take care of myself, so I’m not a train-wreck next to her. I have been doing an abysmal job of this, which is another reason I haven’t written. Didn’t seem appropriate to get on my “nurturing self and others” blog and talk about how I don’t have the energy/desire to even get out of bed, let alone do one of the many self-care practices I know would help.

I did meditate once yesterday. I also scheduled a therapy appointment for myself. I have amazing supportive family and friends, whom I’m eternally grateful for. So yeah. That’s where things stand. Not a glowing, rosy picture, but one filled with infinite love and a sliver of hope for brighter days ahead.

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Learning, parenting, wellness

Motherhood

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Mother’s Day and my youngest daughter, Lara, turning thirTEEN this month have me reflecting on my parenting journey.

I am lucky enough to have an extraordinary woman as my own mother. Like all of us, her mothering story has not been without turbulence (some created by her, some by me and my sister). I think what smooths out all the bumps in the road is I always knew she loved me.

Like her, I am fiercely devoted to my daughters. They honor, humble, teach, delight, and (I won’t lie) horrify me daily. During a study of world religions in elementary school, my oldest daughter, Sage, came home and said, “I know what religion you are, Mom.” (Though a spiritual person, we do not attend church, so I was curious to hear her thoughts on the matter.) “You believe in love and mothering,” she decreed. I was grateful she knew that truth.

If you know me in person, you know I am a very involved parent. I fear the girls’ teachers groan inwardly when they see me approaching. I know the girls groan when I ask my tenth question of the day! And recently my sweet Lara, gently suggested I stop being quite so hovering in my parenting. I asked her what I was to do with all my extra love and energy. “Love yourself,” she wisely advised.

Was she the first person to ever tell me this? Of course not. Is it super powerful to have your child, whom you’ve been pouring your love and attention on tell you this? It was for me.

I am thoroughly enjoying the taking-care-of-myself phase I am entering. After decades of nurturing others, I must say, I am quite the accomplished nurturer. And after decades of ignoring my own wants/needs it feels quenching to have those depleted parts of me tended to.

Reminding myself there is value in pointing out my inevitable mistakes and the steps I am taking to remedy them; I apologized to the girls for setting such a poor example of self-care. I urged them not to follow in my footsteps, but to maintain their own well-being even when there are important people in their lives that they want to show care to.

Like me and my lovely mother before me, my kind-hearted girls are not going to be the mythical “perfect mother”. They might not even chose to be mothers. However, I think that if love flows through their intentions in their relationships with others, I will have imparted the philosophy of love that is so important to me.

Happy Mother’s Day and LOVE

to all the mamas and care-givers

past, present, and future!

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