Never discount a chance meeting, it might get you on radio!

I know that we all have busy lives and so logically we will often not bother to chat to or make friends with people in a situation that doesn’t obviously make sense.  But if you are open to it, there are sometimes magical things that will come out of it.  For example, you might really get on well with a Mum when waiting at the school gates, but her child isn’t in the same class, or you find out that someone is moving, so it seems wasteful to spend time on them.  I’m going to tell you a story about how sometimes just following your heart can really work out.

Many years ago (must be about 10), in my very ‘new age’ stage, I attended an ‘animal communication’ course by Amelia Kincade.  I was a Reiki Master (a type of simple hands on healing), and really fancied concentrating on animals.  However, I quickly discovered that it was not my forte!  I think that the most exciting thing I managed to ‘hear’ was something about a blue bowl.  I met some lovely people and one of them mistakenly emailed me afterwards thinking I was a different Lisa.  So we kept in touch on and off over the years, and I think I wrote something for her when she set up a newspaper in London, even though we actually had no idea what we each looked like as it had initially been a case of mistaken identity.  In the meantime I’d gone on to study with my mentor Dr John Demartini, who helped me to combine my tree hugging side with the computer programmer scientific side.  At his first ever UK event in 2007 I heard there was a Francesca helping out with the promotion and so I wandered up and introduced myself to her, and from there a lovely friendship blossomed.

Francesca and I continued to ‘break the rules’.  So when she started up a networking event for key members of a new online community, she invited me, even though that meant bringing my toddler with me.  There we all were, seriously discussing missions and all sorts of other blah blah stuff, with curly headed boy joining in and wandering in between everybody’s legs.  He called Francesca ‘sparkly lady’ because she always wore sparkly clothes or a sparkly necklace, and fell in love with her brother-in-law who has the same rock star red curly shoulder length hair and showed him how to play his guitar.

I get 15 minutes some mornings to make phone calls enroute back from the school run as Little Dimples stays at home with the little irish granny I have adopted, so a couple of weeks ago I put a pile of names in my favourite’s list as a treat to call and Francesca was at the top of my list.  So, we’re catching up about everything we are doing, and she mentions that she has just started co-hosting an internet radio show on Wednesday’s which is all about ‘Creating our own reality’, and within minutes I was invited on.

So yesterday morning, a chance meeting on a very new agey course had me doing my very first ever radio interview.  I was pretty scared, but apparently I sound really calm.  Must have been Carl’s meditation that I was listening too as I was having problems with logging on that kept me calm!  I really recommend their show, as Carl and Francesca are not your typical new agers, and they have great ideas to share with a huge dose of sense of humour.

Here’s the URL if you fancy listening to my show:  BarefootBroadcaster.  I talked about all sorts of things, and they’ve asked me back, so I’m really chuffed.  They particularly wanted to focus on how we ‘create our own reality’, and we’re keen to hear how I’d gone from being told I was ‘barren’ at 19, to having 2 kids at 41.  So we chatted about that, and about not pushing to achieve your goals, but using a more intuitive or heart led approach.  Carl was also really interested in the fact that I do baby signing with the kids, which reminded me that I really must blog about that soon, as Little Dimples has just started the classes and is loving it.  We finished off on something that I am very passionate about, which is how as parents we can help our kids to know who they are from the start, rather than have to wait until they are 30, 40 or 50 to have a clue.

So, don’t get all freaky about keeping in touch with everyone you ever meet.  But remember that sometimes it’s worth it, because there are special people out there who don’t quite ‘fit with the plan’ or logic of life, but we feel drawn to them.  I’ve seen lots of mums in the mornings (me too sometimes), not even noticing that there are Mums in different classes.  In fact, they are so unaware, they walk through Curly Headed Boy’s line as the kids are walking into the class room.  It won’t do the kids any harm to keep looking out of the box and noticing other kids in the play ground, so there’s always space for us to do the same.

Right, off to write a post for next week, as it’s half term, so I wont get time then.

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Help, Am I Deluded?

I’ve met my fair share of coach/therapist/healer types who were extremely deluded about either their grandiose plans, their skills or their market actually wanting them. There have also been a fair amount if people with a great deal less training and experience than me, who were a load better at marketing and therefore a hell of a lot more financially successful. So the question is, am I deluded too, or is it just a matter of my marketing skills needing a polish?

The thing is, I’ve spent nearly 11yrs in this business in one form or another, and although I’ve enjoyed it, and it’s enriched my life with less stress, 2 miracle kids, a lasting relationship and a feeling of contentment, it hasn’t done so financially. I’ve got to ‘that time’, it’s ‘make or break’. I’ve decided to focus on mums as it is a subject close to my heart. I’ve got a fab new way of doing my coaching online, which makes it more accessible and affordable for mums. Lastly, I’ve signed up for a ‘bootcamp’ to help me launch my new product. But is it doomed to failure, because no one wants it or me?

Let’s back track a bit. When I became a mum, I realised that the training I had received was brilliant, and saved me many hours of angst. But it was also inappropriate for a mums time and resource limitations, so I created the mummy whisperer program. I saw all these mums talking/blogging about losing their identity, having problems with conflict or lack of communication in their families, and getting stressed out because they thought they/their kids/partners/life should be different. My thought process was that they ‘needed’ all these things I could do to help them be more contented with their lives and grow strong families. But, do mums really want it? That is, it might sound nice, and a few might sign up, but are there enough who REALLY want it? And would they want me? And would they pay enough to make them appreciate it and give me a fair level of earnings?

Apparently, I am meant to focus on a smaller niche than just mums, one where I have experience, credibility and contacts. The idea is if I focus on a niche, my message will be clearer and will get more mums signing up. So that has made me decide to focus on mums with kids starting nursery or school. Not new mums of babies, because my longer term plan is to provide them with a book, and not mums of teens because I don’t have teenagers yet. But if there is a market, the next question I’m facing is wether I need to cut it down even smaller to: working mums, work from home mums, or stay at home mums. Now I reckon that my program would help them all, especially as they all face guilt and work/life/rest/play balance in some way shape or form. But I can also see several potential problems, especially that working mums don’t have enough time left over to make their lives easier, and SAHM’s wouldn’t want to spend the money on themselves. By creating a program that can be worked through online, I was hoping that mums could fit it into their lives more easily, and by giving a payment option over 3 months with a 14 day free trial it would make it more affordable. But that might not be enough, or is that where marketing comes in?

There is an even bigger problem as well! What I’m offering is a way for a mum to be more sure of themselves and listen to their own natural instinct and knowledge of their family, instead of a one-size fits all parenting technique. But do mums want an answer tailored to their own family, which leaves them in the driving seat, or would they prefer to be told what to do according to a set of rules, even if it’s pretty much impossible to create? If there are mums who like the idea of what I offer, does that mean that they are already going that way and so don’t need my help?

In the past I have specialised in mental health issues, relationship problems and small business owners. Perhaps a mum facing the loss of her marriage, mental health or business would be more likely to ask for help. But if that is the case, then I’m going to have to take more time off work, because I don’t currently have the time to support these more extreme demands; I was planning on tackling them later.

What do you reckon? I’d really appreciate any feedback (be gentle please!; so I’m going to offer a copy of my book ‘getting the hang of gratitude’ to one of the people who leave a comment (I’ll use some random fair way of selecting!).

Is It OK to threaten your toddler with popping their balloons?

I dont know the full news story, but I saw the Wright Stuff talking about a Mum who couldn’t get her 3yr old out of the park, so threatened to pop her balloon.  Apparently the daughter immediately got off the swing.  But the Mum was also seriously told off by other parents who said that she will have permanently scared her child’s life by doing it!

What do you think?  Would you walk up to a parent in a park and tell them off for their techniques?  Has someone done that to you?  Is it going too far to threaten to pop a balloon?

My answer is as always going to be based on common sense, and practicality, which is it depends on the child and the situation.

If that balloon was the most important thing in that child’s life and they valued it incredibly highly, then yes, it was probably quite a cruel suggestion, a bit like if I threatened to put spiderman in the bin.  However, if it was a fleeting attraction, and the child was fully aware that there are more balloons, then it was a just a sensible application of consequences and boundaries to the child; a bit like me threatening that there would be no 10 minutes of ‘strictly come dancing’ before bed!

I totally think that with kids ‘what comes around goes around’.  So bully them and treat them with disrespect, and expect them to do so back to you very quickly.  So whatever method you decide to use to get them to do something, you are best off being respectful.  BUT!  That doesn’t mean you can’t be forceful, and have clear boundaries.

I have no idea how the Mum in the park did the balloon popping threat.  However, if she had attempted to get her ‘little darling’ out of the park with normal methods like, “We need to leave the park in 5 mins”, followed up by “Time to leave”, and then when she was resistant “If we don’t leave the park now we will be <fill in consequence etc late, unable to do something etc>”.  Then I can totally see why she would then have resorted to an offer of a stronger consequence.  Plus it worked ;o)

If she was at her whits end, shouting at her ‘little darling’ and aggressively threatened to pop the balloon, without much attempt to find alternative means, then yes, this might not be the most ‘ideal’ option.  But none of us know whether she was sleep deprived, handling huge stresses at home, or generally just at the end of her tether.  I don’t know any Mum who hasn’t been there!  So no, it might not have been ‘ideal’, but heh, it was all she could come up with at that time.  From the perspective of ‘permanently damaging’ her daughter, then there will be some ramifications if she continued to behave like that for a long number of months.  But I’m not one for agreeing with ‘permanent damage’.  If I can work with people who were abused physically/sexually as children and quickly help them to move on, with great empowered lives, that have no ‘ruin’ in their past, then there is no reason ever for a child to be ‘permanently damaged’.  Don’t fall for our general tendency to victimise people for life in the moment in the UK, it’s really not the best option for these so called ‘victims’.

I’m quite surprised at the behaviour of the parents who tackled this mum in the park.  It’s either come from a genuine concern, in which case, good on them, because loads of us are parallised by being politically correct.  However, I suspect it came from a self-righteousness, and lack of empathy, which is a terrible shame.  As parents, we have a difficult enough job as it is (whilst also being joyful), without turning on each other.  Do you know what I can promise you about those parents?  If they were that enraged by it, I can be 100% sure that it was because it reminded them of something that they have done somewhere in life, or know they could do, and the reflection of someone else doing it, made them feel terribly guilty and hence lash out at this Mum.

I’m kind of in the middle road between the people who think that you should only ever ‘negotiate’ with a child and those who think that you should always rule the roost.

I’m a proponent for finding out the values of the people who are important in your life (I teach how to do it on my workshop and have blogged about it before), and then talking in their ‘language’.  Which could be termed ‘negotiating’, expect for the fact that I also underline the importance of any option working for both parties, whereas for some people ‘negotiating’ suggests that the children have the main control in the situation.  Like I said before, this is the most respectful way to deal with your kids (and anyone else for that matter).  HOWEVER!  All kids need boundaries.  So sometimes it is talking in their values and best interests to teach them that there are consequences for our actions.  If there are no boundaries then we get a pile of spoilt, demanding kids, who will struggle with adapting to ‘real life’ as they grow up.  (Obviously the boundaries need to be relevant to the child’s age and maturity).  With no boundaries, at the very worst we get a pile of kids with no financial sense, all wanting to become famous, probably bullying people left right and centre.  It can even get to the point that they have very little appreciation for what they get in life, so they either end up treating everyone in their lives like dirt, and becoming physically or emotionally destructive.  I saw an example of this in the park this week.  A little boy systematically spat at, kicked, pushed & called my little boy names, and his Mum did little about it.  He wasn’t a ‘contented’ child!  When later one of her group pointed out to her the behaviour and she therefore tackled it, her child mixed with the other children much more happily.  He actually needed and wanted the guidance on boundaries.  (I have another blog enroute about bullying, so you’ll find out how come I didn’t step in soon!).

Anyway, I’m off to pick up my ‘little darling’ now from nursery, so gotta end there.  I’d love to know what do you think?

Feeling Disempowered?

Do You Sometimes Feel Disempowered?

It’s easy as a Mum to feel disempowered. Maybe you’re not quite as fit as you once were, or don’t go out socially as much, or don’t get as much ‘quality’ time with your other half. Perhaps you are worried that you are not bringing in as much money because you are a SAHM or working part-time, or you feel that your work has been affected. Are you unsure about what makes up ‘You’ and feel that your brain has become sluggish?

It’s important to remember that how we feel is just a reaction to a thought that went through our head, which then led our body to release chemicals to create a corresponding emotional feeling. Put simply, how you see yourself, will affect how you feel about yourself.

Step 1 – Kick the Habit!

If you would like to kick the habit, then firstly you need to stop feeling guilty for not feeling fab and work out what you are getting from it. Did you know that we get something out of feeling rubbish?! We do! Sometimes, it’s just nice to whinge. Sometimes it helps us fit in with other people who are also whinging. It gets us attention and care from people. It can just feel good to wallow a bit! Do you need some time out from being capable, which being a bit ‘down’ can give you? Are you always ‘nice’ to people and feeling drained or full of resentment or unappreciated? Sit down with a nice cuppa or glass of wine and have a think about what you are getting from it. Don’t waste time thinking that you aren’t, because I promise you that you wouldn’t be doing it, if you were’nt getting something!

Step 2 – Find Where you are Fab!

Now, have a look at yourself and find out where you are brilliant, skilled, and very good at what you do. Is it making sure the children are clothed & fed? (You get added brownie points for organic, home cooked!). Can you make a fabulous glittering picture? Are you patient when playing hide & seek? Do you do the cleaning, ironing, cooking, gardening and keeping the house together? Are you a great friend? Do you manage to live within a budget? What do other people say about you?

Check out my other blog ‘Pregnant & Feeling Disempowered’, written for pregnant women, but it will work for you too, to get ideas about different areas of life where you are wonderful:

Pregnant and Feeling Disempowered?

Mums often feel disempowered, especially when pregnant.  I’m amazed how quickly it has hit me again, being only a couple of month’s pregnant.

The key to empowerment/disempowerment, is to understand that it is all in the mind!  But how ever imaginary, it can have a drastic effect on your life.  I’m going to concentrate on being pregnant in particular for this post, however the same holds true for any situation, and I’ll write again about it in more depth.

I was shocked first time round by how disempowered I suddenly felt when I became pregnant.  Of course one of the problems can be that our hormones go a bit haywire, so any ‘normal’ worries are also accentuated.  Let’s look at the 7 areas of life and why it happens …

Spiritual – this is all about knowing where you are going and what your greater purpose is in life.  Now if you are worried at all about your options being limited, then you are bound to worry about this.

Mental – well, the brain just goes to jelly doesn’t it!  I’ve just got back from attempting to pick up pills at my homeopath, to find they were shut – I thought I heard open from 10am-1pm, infact they aren’t open until 1pm!

Financial – it is true that it is very likely that our financial health will be affected by becoming pregnant.  It is bound to affect our earning capability, at a minimum for 2 months, but for most of us it could be years.  Plus there is the expense of having a baby/toddler/child/teenager!

Vocational – the ideal appears to be able to work part-time.  But there are many Mums who find their type of job incompatible with becoming a Mum, so have to take a career break, or alternatively are not able to take time off, so they have to work full-time.  It’s true that many workplaces view Mums as unreliable, because we have to look after our kids when they are sick, and we can’t do the long hours we might have done before.

Social – this was the biggest shocker to me when I first became pregnant!  I found myself treated almost as if I didn’t exist, and often totally ignored.  In particular, there was the male nurse telling me that I wasn’t experiencing contractions, but braxton hicks – I was 3 cms dilated!!!

Physical – it’s the whale comparison that is the problem!  First we just feel fat, then there is the pregnant like on the TV shows stage, and then there is the ‘my god I didn’t know it was possible to get so huge’ stage!  There’s the additional exhaustion and so called morning sickness, and the fact that there is a baby in our tummies sucking everything good out of our food for themselves!  So it’s not difficult to see why we take it badly!

Family/Relationships – Our relationship may suffer a bit if we are worried about Sex.  But apart from that, here is the one good piece of news, as family becomes much more important, so we do tend to gain in our perceived power here.  Although, it is obviously more difficult for single Mums etc.

Put all that together, and we can feel quite rubbish about being pregnant!  If you let it get you down too much, then other people will pick up on it as well.  They feel it subconsciously, but it then affects the way that they treat us.  For example, if your boss doesn’t feel that you value yourself, they may then think that they shouldn’t either.  Plus if you feel unimportant, then people are more likely to ignore you.  In the worst cases, this is one of the reasons for father’s having affairs whilst their wife is pregnant, because their power structure has changed so dramatically.  I’m not blaming either the wife or husband for this, it kind of creeps up on the father without them expecting it, or understanding how come they are less attracted to their wives.  Meanwhile the fact that it is so taboo to be unfaithful to a pregnant woman, makes them ignore the potential for it, and get caught unawares.  So, don’t let yourself feel disempowered, because you don’t need to!

Here’s a beginning view of why you are a powerful, fantastic woman!

Spiritual – the great thing about kids, is that they give you certainty of what you will be doing.  Maybe it’s unclear as to how soon you will be back on track for something else.  But you can be sure that each morning, you will know what you have to do – mainly attempt to get dressed, feed the baby, sort out the rest of the family if there is more, change nappies, feed the baby, and then go back to bed.  You will have an incredibly clear purpose for a period of time.

Mental – whilst forgetting the simple things that we always remembered before, like petrol, keys, coats etc, our bodies are building a new brain.  That brain is learning to beat a heart, move fingers & toes and do all sorts of things.  Plus our brains are focussed on new things – scans, weeks, folic acid.

Financial – instead of thinking of money as an exact amount, think of it as the amount of value in your life.  If you can sit down and look sensibly at your budget & needs, then you can actually increase the amount of value in your life.  You wont need the same amount of money, because things change.  (Check out my free podcast on money and values on my website http://www.MummyWhisperer.com).  You can feel rich without money, or without the same amount of money.  Also, remember, even if you decide to be a stay at home mum, you are actually saving money.  I saw an article recently that put the price of a SAHM at £35k, and to be honest I think that is low!  Try listing what you are worth!

Vocational – think of the project management & multi-tasking skills that you have gained as a Mum!  Plus a company could view Mums as their most loyal and steady employees, because they do tend to be more grateful for the opportunity to work, especially part-time.  For many mums, it actually creates a new career, which is a scary, but exciting option.  Realistically, all sorts of things can go wrong in a Man’s career as well, so they may have to take a step back at some point.  Perhaps, it isn’t the drawback that we think it is.

Social – ok, so this might seem a bit cheeky, but you need to learn the power of the ‘pregnant card’.  This requires not holding back & going for full on pregnant tantrums – they won’t ignore a CRYING pregnant woman!  It got members of my family into action following the death of my Mum, and got me seen by a midwife when I knew I was in labour ;o)  It’ll get you a seat, which you need on a train/bus – it’s not a weakness, it’s a sensible thing to do, to take care of yourself & the family.  Remember, you are creating the new society, we have the power in the end!

Physical – there are women who love being pregnant, so it is totally possible!  The pregnant form was the earliest goddess symbol, and is inherent as a picture of growth and potential.  If you encounter people who find it unattractive, remember, it is not because of you, but something to do with their upbringing, because it is not ‘normal’ to dislike it (i.e. they have some ‘issues’!).  Check out the books that show you what you are growing each week.  Enjoying aqua-natal classes, or yoga for mums and learn about this new body (with great boobs!), that you have got.  It will connect you to something primeval that you didn’t have before, and not everyone is able to do it, so that makes you special.  Plus, your baby will think that you are beautiful.  Max is 3.5yrs old and tells me every morning that I’m beautiful, despite the muffin top & cellulite ;o)

Family/Relationships – they do take time to adjust and grow, but be patient and your family will blossom over the coming year.  This is a time for you to create your own family, and you are the heart of it.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a partner, or grand-parents.  People will arrive to fill those boots, and you will still create the family that works for you.

So now you have got some ideas, think about each area of life and look at what you have got, gained, and the value that you bring because you are pregnant.  Keep listing things until you realise that you are truly powerful in all areas.  Because you are. Rose Kennedy’s mission was to create a family of world leaders, and she did that with the kennedy boys.  You are about to create the future.  I may have learnt loads about personal development, but Max was my greatest teacher in my life, and if you go into it feeling empowered, rather than worrisome, you will be able to make the most of the opportunities your child is offering you.

Be you, the beautiful you xxxx

Your Kids Are All As Great As Each Other

So one of the biggest worries for some Mums is whether their child is doing Ok in comparison to other children around them.  Meanwhile, other Mums are full of the fact that they think that their child is better than everyone around them.

But neither of these is possible, and over a number of blogs I hope to show you that all your kids are AS GREAT, but NOT BETTER than each other.

First a story!  I was on holiday, and Max (3yrs) was wandering around the dance floor, chatting to the other kids and investigating the snake, spider (uuurgggh), lizard and skunk that the family entertainer had brought in.  A lovely Mum next to me turned round and said ‘Oh how lovely, your son is so confident.  I look at my little boy who always holds himself back, and worry that he really is a tortured soul’.  I looked at this caring, worried mother and said ‘But does your little boy sleep’?  ‘Oh yes, I’m really lucky, he has always slept through the night, from a very young little boy’.  My answer was ‘Well, Max hasn’t slept through the night in 3yrs, so now which one is the tortured little boy’?

All our kids will be mature, agile, clever, gorgeous etc somewhere.  Just not in the same places.  But if you add up all the places that they are ‘agile’ i.e. quick and secure in getting around, you will find that your child is as ‘agile’ as the next child.  Perhaps more in maths or reading, than on the climbing frame.  Or is your child really well behaved when out in social situations, in comparison to the other child who is considered really ‘mature for his age’, but hates a restaurant.  Maybe their child is a few cm’s taller, but your child gets seen where ever they go because of their sunny disposition?

It’s wise to see your child clearly, as a lovely creature who has both things that they are brilliant and terrible at.  If you worry too much, then you are not seeing both their wonderfulness and you are wasting time and energy.  If you are proudly thinking that you child is better at everything, than others, then you will find a big and rather nasty surprise oneday, when you realise you were ignoring and not helping one of their weaker areas.

A child (just like us adults), just wants to be loved as we are.  Not despite are ‘bad’ bits, but with them.  So love them as they are, and don’t worry about how they compare.  Because if you did a fair (and well investigated) comparison, you would see that they are all perfectly imperfect.

We are the same but different

One of the things that I feel would enormously transform our world today, is if as women, especially Mums, we stood together, allowing and embracing our differences, rather than pulling each other apart.  Becoming a Mum has been the one where I most felt the judgement from around me, and most astonishingly much of it came from the Mums.  Now, I know that whilst some were judging, others were appreciating, and that is the way of the world.  However, I see ahead a potential where Mums learn in their security with each other to hear the wisdom of their own hearts, thus creating a strong foundation for their families to grow from.  And here’s why ….

Whatever happens, we will always have different values.  Thats the point to life, because nature would see no need for us to all be the same.  It’s not wrong to be an attachment parent or a gina ford lover.  They are just a matter of choices.  The most important thing is that we as Mums pick options that work for us (and our families), rather than forcing ourselves to live the way that we ‘should’ do.  There are going to be as many benefits and downsides to all of our strategies, so there really isn’t any need for us to feel better than the next mum.

Plus, if you think that a Mum is disconnected and uncaring because she uses Gina Ford, and it really bothers you, then check out the other areas of your life.  You might not be a Gina Ford with your kids, but you are somewhere.  Perhaps you are a tough boss, who follows a strict schedule and has clear boundaries with your staff.  Or are you sometimes not present with your partner? 

If you think that your local friendly attachment parent, is just weird and freaky and will produce a clinging child, then where are you creating the same thing?  Do you have friends who are always texting or facebooking you?  Do you find that your clients need to be in touch with you all the time and won’t let go?

I have followed attachment parenting, but not because I planned to do so, just because that’s what worked.  I so planned on Max being in his cot and own room by 3 months, it’s just not the way we ended up.  If however, I was a single Mum, having to go back to a full time job, I would totally have relied on a much more scheduled routine.

So what would I love?  I would love to see Mums being true to themselves and what matters to them.  And other Mums backing them up.  Because we are a powerhouse that is needed in this world, and currently we aren’t doing ourselves any favours.  Yes, we don’t currently have much power in society.  However, if we change our own perception of ourselves and our value, then society will change the way that it sees us.

I’ve got loads more to say about this!!!  Keep in touch.