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Conscious Evolution Healing from child abuse Health Parenting

Nurturing children

Some thoughts on parenting – combining insights from neuroscience, new biological sciences, conscious parenting, and psychology.

Children learn what they liveChildren need love and affection

Children need to feel loved and accepted in order for their brains to develop optimally. Even prior to the formation of your egg or sperm your thoughts about yourself, the world and your desire or not to have a child and your ability to care for that child or not, start shaping the personality of a possible child. Your thoughts affect what genes are selected and programmed on your egg or sperm. So even prior to conception you have the ability to affect the personality and intelligence of your child.

Children need your time and attention

Even in the womb children benefit from you connecting with them, talking to them, telling them they are loved, wanted, welcomed, that the world is a safe place, that you look forward to sharing your life with them. This prenatal attachment helps your baby’s brain to grow in optimal ways.

foot inside bellyBlood flow from the Mother crosses the placenta carrying all the Mother’s beliefs, emotions and stressors. The baby gets the lot. It is as nature intended it – shaping the baby to learn and survive in the world as the Mother sees it. If the Mother sees a loving world and experiences that (hence the role of the Father is also key here) then the foetus will grow optimally. If she sees a harsh, scary, dangerous world the foetus will develop differently. The blood flow will be diverted from brain development to muscle development so that the child will be able to survive, be a fighter in the world, able to fight or run away from danger. In this way 50% of IQ can be diminished if the foetus is carried in fear during pregnancy. (Bruce Lipton talks about this, see his material if you want to learn more).

If the Mother is very stressed then her body is full of cortisol and this is toxic to a developing baby’s brain. It actually eats away / dissolves the brain cells. (The same happens when a baby is left to cry – cortisol is secreted and can damage the brain). What you do during your pregnancy has a major impact on the development of your child-to-be’s IQ and physiology. Up to half of their personality is already formed before they are even born.

Children need loving births and to bond with you immediately

The birth process also affects the child and its experience of the world. Is it stressful, noisy, loud and invasive – like a hospital can be? Was the birth traumatic with the Mother and Father in fear? Were there any complications? Was the baby taken from the Mother and tested for various things – pricked in the foot for blood tests, immunised, a plastic scapula stuck down its throat to sample its stomach contents, weighed on a cold scale? All of these things affect the child’s perception of the world and whether it is safe, welcoming or not.

bonding with dadIf drugs were used during the labour these have also entered the baby across the placenta. This can leave a baby unaware, not fully present for the first few days. And this time is some of the most crucial time for bonding and attachment with the parents. The baby needs to be held, loved, nurtured, have lots of eye contact and skin to skin contact with both the Mother and the Father. Without it bonding does not occur and this sets the baby up with abandonment issues, feelings of being unloved, etc. These early moments are so, so important. Science is now confirming what those with open hearts have always known. Babies do feel, are sensitive to pain from the very start, from their time in the womb. All that you do impacts them. Your role as parent is so, so important shaping their health and personality and the role they will play in society.

It is now being fully recognised by politicians and community health personnel that if you raise babies in a more loving and nurturing way those children will grow up with a healthier sense of self esteem and connection with society. Poor care giving leads to more crime, ill health, poverty and other undesirable characteristics. That is why Governments, including Australia, are introducing policies to support parents and improve early care giving. We will continue to see more and more early care services for families as this recognition becomes widely accepted in society.

Parents need help to look after their babies optimally. Parenting is a hard job. It requires you to give and give and give. If you are stressed, resentful, depressed or even just unhappy with your life – your baby absorbs that and may believe it is their fault. Setting up beliefs of “I’m a problem”, “I’m not good enough”. Even if they don’t do that, they learn about life from you, so they will automatically expect their life to be the same.

Children learn from your every move

From 0-6 years of age their brains have not developed conscious functioning – the ability to question data. From 0-6 years they simply believe everything that they are told or what they see and sense about the world from watching you. If they see you sad or scared or stressed, they absorb it. If they hear you say that they are bad, unwanted, have spoilt things, are selfish, stupid, you wish they were never born, etc, they absorb it and believe it. This forms their core belief system that will then affect them for the rest of their life.

Parents, most anyway, do not set out to damage their children, but when they are stressed and exhausted such statements can slip out. Especially if that is what you were told when you were little. Your parents programmed your beliefs from 0-6 years of age as you do with your children. These patterns can repeat through the generations unless you make a conscious decision to heal and change those beliefs – then your actions can be different.

Conscious parenting is a great start, learning what you can about loving and nurturing methods to promote a baby and child’s self esteem, individuality and emotional intelligence. The knowledge is key. You will be able to apply it when you are calm, centred and feeling good. But when you are stressed you may be shocked to find that you revert back to not so ideal ways of talking to and treating your baby or child. You may hear your Mother’s of Father’s words coming out of your own mouth. Because when you are stressed you react more from the subconscious mind, on auto pilot. And this is the part of the brain that was programmed from 0-6 years old. It contains all the memories, feelings, beliefs form those times and plays them like tape recordings over and over. It does not judge or think it just plays over and over. Changing these tapes to more loving ones about yourself, your ability to be a good parent, about your child is crucial to good child rearing. It is this information which is now leading to greater support for families. With less stress it is easier to be more loving and kind to your child.

Parents need support

Whether it just be friends or family who can help around the house – getting drinks, meals, cleaning up, taking older kids out so that parents can bond with a new baby or family and friends helping to hold the baby when it cries so the Mother and Father can rest.

Crying is a natural biological process for releasing tension and stress. Sometimes your baby just needs to cry. There is nothing that they need other than to be held and loved while they cry. This can be challenging to a parent, especially a first time parent, who assumes that they are doing something wrong. Their belief tapes play “I’m not good enough”, “I’m a bad parent”, “My baby doesn’t like me” or “My baby/toddler is deliberately trying to upset or disobey me”. (Some people do have these beliefs, believing that babies and toddlers are deliberately trying to upset them, but this is not possible, their brains have not developed that much yet. They are not wilfully disobeying, they are just being babies/toddlers. They don’t need judgment or punishment, they need love and acceptance.)

A constantly crying baby can wear a parent down and it is important that another caregiver is present to take over and hold the baby when the parent can no longer do so in a loving way. This does not occur in a lot of families and what happens instead is that the baby senses your stress, anger, desperation = danger. You may have started to pat or bounce them a little harder. You may have shoved a dummy or food in their mouth. You may have put them down and walked away. All of these responses tell a baby it is not safe to express my emotions. They learn to bury the tension inside their bodies, setting up a lifelong pattern of emotional regression and inability to ask for what they need. Using food to comfort a child can set it up for obesity and eating disorders in the future.

Children need to express their emotions

This pattern is usually reinforced during toddler years and beyond if the child is not allowed to express it’s emotions to you. Often a child will be unhappy with something that you have done or something you won’t let them do. Few parents let their child express this. It leads the parents to feel hurt or guilt, and they can’t handle it so they stifle the child instead. “Don’t talk back”. “Respect your elders”. “Because I said so”. Are all ways parents use to stop a child expressing itself.

Ideally children from a young age are taught it is okay to express their emotions. This can be role modelled using I statements. “When you do ….. I feel and I’d prefer …….” This is healthy. Children can also draw, write about what they feel. They can be taught to punch a pillow or kick the bed when they are angry and get their emotion out. Teach them that is okay but hitting a person or animal is not.

tantrumTantrums are an overflow of emotion that they don’t know how to express. They literally lose control of their senses as their body is flooded with hormones and chemicals. It is very scary for a child to experience. What they need when this occurs is for you to stay present, talk calmly to them, and wait for the chemicals to pass, for their nervous system to regulate, so they regain their bodily control. Do not walk away, yell at them or shame them. Abandoning them during such a time teaches them they can’t rely on you or anyone to be there for them in their time of need. Remember from 0-6 years old they don’t have the ability to question data, it just gets absorbed. They can’t rationalise and say “Mummy’s just upset or tired, that’s why she walked away”. They see you walk away angry and assume it is their fault, that they are a bad person, not good enough, etc. If you do need to walk away say why. Say you are tired, stressed, need some time to yourself or to rest. Say this so the child knows it is not because they are bad.

Children need boundaries not discipline

It’s perfectly okay, desirable and healthy even, for you to assert your needs and desires with your toddler and older children. Let them know you have needs. For instance “I need you to go to sleep now, so Mummy can rest too”. “I need you to tidy your room as it is getting hard for me to walk around and that upsets me”. “I need some time with Daddy now so please go to sleep. I’ve enjoyed our day together, now it’s sleep time”. A child is more likely to go to sleep hearing this than if you try to tell them “You need to sleep so you will be refreshed in the morning or so you can concentrate at school tomorrow”. The child doesn’t care about these things, they are in the future, not now. Explaining your needs helps them learn that you are human, that you have needs too, that you won’t always be able to give to them. That is good. It helps them learn to be considerate of others and to be a caring member of society.

Letting your child walk all over you, treat you poorly, get away with all sorts of undesirable behaviour is damaging to them and to you. They need boundaries. They need to be taught about morals and care for self, others and the planet. These things can be done naturally and easily if you use such positive communication processes as I statements, as you role model healthy emotional intelligence and teach them the same. Make activities and chores fun, a chance to connect, then they will gladly tidy their room, help with the dishes, etc. Show your appreciation of their help. Your genuine praise warms the heart of your child and builds their self esteem. They will do more of what you want to get that warm, good feeling about themselves. If you have this connection and bond, you don’t need to coerce, manipulate or shame a child into doing the right thing. They will do it because they love you, you love them, you’ve made it fun, you’ve explained why it is important to do and they will get that yummy feeling. This is the reward that means the most to them.

If however you use star charts and rewards like chocolate, toys or special outings, the child may do the desired behaviour but they do it because they want the reward. Not because it is the right thing or considerate thing to do. They don’t learn the moral. They learn to focus on achieving, success, consuming / materialism. This is not healthy or desirable for them or society or the planet. There are already too many people wasting their lives working hard to get material possessions they don’t really need, which pollute the Earth. What is needed or more beneficial is people recognising that what really matters is family, friends, love, connection with self and others, doing what you want, being yourself, enjoying life and honouring the Earth. This is much more balanced, much healthier.

We can role model this for our children. Choose to spend more time with them and go without the fancy gadget. Your child will benefit immensely as will you. With strong connection discipline problems don’t occur and any minor issues can be resolved quickly and easily through talking about each person’s needs, feelings and desires. Get children to problem solve – identify different options and choose one. Get them to reflect on what happened, why and what could be done differently next time. This is a respectful and honouring way to resolve conflicts.

A_father_is_threatening_his_little_boy_with_a_fingerUsing traditional disciplining methods (hitting, spanking, yelling, shaming, punishing) just drives a wedge between you and your child. If they aren’t allowed to express their feelings they bury it inside. But be warned you will hear about it when they are teenagers! The brain starts to grow again in teenage years and all their unmet toddler needs surface. The hormones and hurts lead to a volatile combination fuelling teenage rebellion. They are now old enough to question your behaviour and to see where you have been less than ideal. They may not respect you or listen to you as you didn’t show them respect or listen to them when little. If you treat them lovingly and nurturingly when little teenage years can be a lot easier.

If a child is refusing to dress use natural consequences. Let them go outside without a jumper. When they get cold they’ll ask for it and they will have learnt why it is a good idea to wear one. Don’t fight and struggle. Find ways to make it easy, fun. Give a child a choice – “Today you can wear this or this outfit, which would you prefer?” Or let them choose out the wardrobe. Be prepared that they may not dress the way you like – a dress up outfit, mismatched clothing – but if they are happy, dressed and warm why should you care if it doesn’t match? That’s just societal conditioning about how we should do things. It does not mean you’re a bad parent if your child isn’t dressed traditionally. Let go of such thoughts.

Let your child play and their imaginations flourish. Don’t deaden life into routine and boring normality. Let their individuality shine through. This makes you a loving parent, one others could learn from. Do what your heart tells you is right, not what your head or mind says. If negative beliefs come up, look at them, heal them. There are a range of techniques that can be used to reprogram your subconscious mind with more positive and self supportive beliefs. Psych-K, the Lifeline Technique, even affirmations if done regularly, with feeling, looking into your own eyes in the mirror can do this. They can change the belief which leads to a rewiring of your brain. Science has now shown the truth of all this.

No parent can meet all their child’s needs all the time. Everyone falls short of the parenting ideal at times. Please do not beat yourself up about anything that may have happened in the past. You can’t change what has happened but you can commit to being a more conscious and nurturing parent now. Know that love heals and leads to reconnection.

For more information see:

Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPAH) www.birthpsychology.com

The Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children (ATLC) www.atlc.org

Natural Child www.naturalchild.org

Robin Grille’s 2005 book ‘Parenting for a peaceful world’ and 2008 book ‘Heart to heart parenting’

Bruce Lipton’s 2002 ‘Nature, nurture and the power of love: the biology of conscious parenting’ DVD. Bruce’s 2001 ‘The biology of perception’ DVD and 2005 book ‘Biology of beliefs’

Steve & Sharon Biddulph’s 2000 book ‘Love, laughter and parenting’

Thomas Gordon’s 1975 book ‘Parent Effectiveness Training’ – still one of the best!

Louise Hay’s 2007 ‘You can heal your life’ DVD, books and online courses

Rob Williams’ 2001 ‘The psychology of change’ DVD and 2004 book ‘Psych-K the missing piece peace in your life’.

Joe Dispensa’s, 2007, Evolve your brain: the science of changing your mind, DVD and book.

Categories
Conscious Evolution Healing from child abuse Health Sustainability

The evolution of consciousness

This is a great video focused on all the topics I love! Rob Williams who created it describes it as ‘The world is in crisis and transformation. Now, our civilization has the opportunity to evolve it’s thinking. We are beginning to realize that the old ways of competition and “survival of the fittest” are not sustainable, for individuals, businesses, or the planet. Nature may be our most qualified life coach, with millions of years of experience in creating sustainability. It’s time to look to Her wisdom for some answers. It’s time to do something different! The evolution occurs when we try smarter- not harder!’

The video explores what we can learn from ancient wisdom from indigenous cultures, from nature and from neuroscience. It shows how we can change and create a more sustainable world for us all. One of the things I love out of the video is its acknowledgment of the principles of nature including interconnectedness. Rob shares some of the many cultural greetings that acknowledge this interconnectedness including:

  • India – “Namaste” – the divinity within me recognises and honours the divinity within you
  • Mayan – “In’ Lakesh” – I am another you
  • Africa – “Eh-ti-zain” – How is your soul perceiving the world
  • Lakota / Native American – “Mitakuye Oaysin” – All are related
  • Polynesia – “Aloha” – I recognise the presence of divine breath in you
  • German – “Gruss Gott” – Greetings God

He shares findings from neuroscience, physics and biology to show that scientific minds also believe in these principles of nature. For instance, Erwin Schrodinger, Nobel Prize Winner in Physics 1933, is quoted as saying “The total number of minds in the Universe is one.” While Albert Einstein is quoted as saying “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security”

Rob explains how our subconscious beliefs affect what we think, feel and do. He shows how much of current society is based around beliefs of separateness, survival of the fittest, greed is good, etc and how these have led to the state of the world we see. He explains a scientifically proven process for changing subconscious beliefs called Psych-K and encourages people to change their subconscious beliefs to align with the principles of nature – such as cooperation, collaboration, harmony, balance, and interconnectedness. This would dramatically change the way that we operate in the world.

Psych-K is just one of many techniques now available that enable change of subconscious beliefs. I am trained in Psych-K and use it on myself on a pretty much daily basis to change any negative, self defeating or just unhelpful beliefs that I discover. It has been one of the most significant tools I’ve used in my healing journey.

Categories
Healing from child abuse Health

Ten rules to avoid rescuing an alcoholic

Unable to relax and enjoy life for fear of abuse
The children of alcoholics suffer ongoing pain from witnessing the chaotic behaviour of their parents. As adults it continues to affect their ability to relax and enjoy life, their ability to connect with others and trust. Many end up constantly on guard, locked in fight or flight, watching for danger, their nervous system still expecting the moment when the alcoholic snaps from being happy to emotionally abusive. It takes a long time and a lot of healing to shift this and be able to enjoy life fully.

Although there are many ways of ‘Rescuing’ an alcoholic, some ways are typical. Here are ten of them:

1. When three or more suggestions to an alcoholic have been rejected you are Rescuing. Instead, offer one or two, and wait to see whether they are acceptable. If they are not, stop making suggestions. Don’t play “Why don’t you… Yes, but…”

2. It’s O.K. to investigate possible therapists for an alcoholic, but never make an appointment for him or her. Any therapist who is willing to make an appointment with an alcoholic through a third person is probably a potential Rescuer and eventual Persecutor.

3. Do not remove liquor, pour liquor down the drain, or look for hidden stashes of liquor in an alcoholic’s house, unless you’re asked to do so by the alcoholic. Conversely, do not ever buy, serve, mix for, or offer alcohol to an alcoholic.

4. Do not engage in lengthy conversations about alcoholism or a person’s alcoholic problem while the person is drunk or drinking; that will be a waste of time and energy, and will be completely forgotten by him / her in most cases when he / she sobers up.

5. Never lend money to a drinking alcoholic. Do not allow a drunk alcoholic to come to your house, or, worse, drink in your house. Instead, in as loving and nurturing a way as possible, ask to see her again when she / he is sober.

6. Do not get involved in errands repair jobs, cleanups, long drives, pickups, or deliveries for an alcoholic who is not actively participating in fighting his / her alcoholism.

7. When you are relating to an alcoholic, do not commit the common error of seeing only the good and justifying the bad. “He’s so wonderful when he’s sober” is a common mistake people make with respect to alcoholics. The alcoholic is a whole person, and his / her personality includes both his / her good and bad parts. They cannot be separated from each other. Either take the whole person or none at all. If the balance comes out consistently in the red, it is foolish to look only on the credit side.

8. Do not remain silent on the subject of another’s alcoholism. Don’t hesitate to express yourself freely on the subject, what you don’t like, what you won’t stand for, what you think about it, what you want or how it makes you feel. But don’t do it with the expectation of being thanked or creating a change; it’s not likely to happen. Do it just to be on the record. Often your outspoken attitude will be taken seriously and appreciated, though it may not bring about any immediate changes. Just as often it will unleash a barrage of defensiveness and even anger, which you should staunchly absorb without weakening.

9. Be aware of not doing anything that you don’t want to do for the alcoholic. It is bad enough if you commit any of the above mistakes willingly. But when you add to them the complications of doing them when you would prefer not to, you are compounding your mistake and fostering an eventual Persecution.

10. Never believe that an alcoholic is hopeless. Keep your willingness to help ready, offer it often, and make it available whenever you detect a genuine interest and effort on the alcoholics part. When that happens, don’t overreact, but help cautiously and without Rescuing; doing only what you want to do, and no more than your share.

Remembering these guidelines about Rescuing will be helpful regardless of what else is done. You can’t fix the problem, the alcoholic has to do the work. By rescuing and reducing the painful impacts of the alcoholism you are allowing the alcoholic to continue to drink. Often it’s only when things hit ‘rock bottom’ that the alcoholic will decide it’s time to change. That is when you should be there for them to support them through the process.

(Adapted from: Steiner C, undated, Healing Alcoholism, http://www.emotional-literacy.com/hea3.htm)

Categories
Conscious Evolution

Heart Matters: Our goal is joyous living

Life is a surprising twist of events each leading you to where you need to be, for nothing happens by accident. What we perceive as misfortune is actually a gift helping us turn within and seek answers in the only true place they exist.

Outside sources can give us glimpses of truth, of messages of the workings of the Universe – for these do exist, but each person has the specific insights that they need. Their soul speaks their language and can give the appropriate medicine at the perfect time. Trust in your soul and higher self – for they are you. You can not escape them. You can not disconnect from them. You may not feel or sense them when you are emotionally distraught, but they are always there encouraging you on, encouraging you forward on your evolutionary journey – to open and be all that you can be, to let go of fear and open to love. Love of self, of others, of Planet, of God and the Universe – love of the glories and mysteries of life.

This is bliss, this is connection and this is JOY ABSOLUTE. This is your purpose on Earth to reach that state of fullness, to shine so brightly you inspire others to awaken just by being next to them. This is the goal to live so joyously that your joy is contagious. What a great way to be! Follow your heart beloveds, follow your heart and find your freedom. We love you, you are always loved and held in the embrace of the Divine, for we are all around you cheering you on.

This message is from the heart of the one called Jodi-Anne, a message from her higher self, her soul to humanity. There is nothing unique in her ability to write these messages, for any body can do this if they become still enough to hear our whispers, to feel our love and to shine their light. Blessed Be. Enjoy your day. Adieu.

Categories
Conscious Evolution Sustainability

Wisdom from Amma – poems about our relationship with nature

Amma
Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, or AMMA (“Mother”) as she is affectionately known, is world-renowned as an extraordinary humanitarian and spiritual leader who is transforming the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. From her headquarters in Amritapuri, Kerala, India, Amma has established numerous projects for the service of humanity, and travels the world annually spreading her boundless compassion and love in a most personal way ~ she has embraced (hugged) over 30 million people.

“Human beings are not different from Nature, we are part of Nature. Our very existence on earth depends upon Nature. In truth it is not we who protect Nature but Nature who protects us”. p26

“Without Nature no creature, no human being, nothing would exist. Thus it is our responsibility to lovingly care for every living being.” p27

“In modern times we have chopped down all the forests on earth and have planted jungles in our minds.” p28

“How easily Nature overcomes every obstacle. The tiny ant walks over the stone. The roots of the tree embrace the rocks in the soil. The river flows around every log and boulder in its way. Like Nature, we should adapt to life’s circumstances, overcoming them with patience and enthusiasm.” p31

The above are short poems from the 2009 book titled ‘Messages from Amma: in the language of the heart’, edited by Janine Canan and published by Jaico.

Categories
Healing from child abuse Self help techniques

Free manuals on healing from child abuse.

Early stages of the healing journey

There are a lot of resources available that can be accessed for free to assist individuals with their healing journey. Most focus on the early stages – where an individual may still be feeling controlled by their past, filled with buried emotions and desperate for relief. These can be a little ‘heavy’ as they share snippets of people’s journey – including expressing judgement, anger, blame, shame and grief. If this is the stage that you are at then you may find them extremely valuable as examples of the healing process and how to go about it.

A free manual on healing from child abuse.

Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA) provide a wide range of support services for Adult Survivors. www.ascasupport.org. This includes a regular newsletter and support groups. They have a free manual called ‘From Surivor to Thriver’ that you can download.

Link to download manualCatherine House have a manual for women on healing from childhood sexual abuse. It is called ‘Reclaiming myself after childhood sexual abuse’. It can be downloaded for free from: http://www.catherinehouse.org.au/Portals/0/pdf/research_projects/WomensResource_FINAL_Oct05.pdf

Its not my fault coverRespond SA is a part of Relationships Australia. They provide support for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. www.respondsa.org.au. They have a manual for men called ‘It is not your fault’. It can be downloaded free from: http://respondsa.org.au/resources/booklet.aspx

Can I trust my memory coverJoan Spear has written a booklet called ‘Can I trust my memory: a handbook for survivors with partial or no memories of childhood sexual abuse’. It is useful to read when you suspect you may have been sexually abused but you are not sure. It can be downloaded free from: http://ascasupport.org/_downloadsResources/canItrustMyMemory.pdf

Later stages of the healing journey

It has been my experience, and that of those I have interacted with, that as you continue to heal you no longer have these ‘heavy’ emotions. You release them from your body and find a place of great freedom and inner peace. You may even reach a stage where you see what you experienced as a gift – as a great teacher – that was part of your evolutionary journey. I am not aware of any free manuals that focus on this larger consciousness focus. However, it is these later stages that I will be sharing most about in this blog.

The Healing Journey Demystified: Achieving Sustainability One Heart at a Time.You can also read about my experience in my book called ‘The healing journey demystified: achieving sustainability one heart at a time’. It is not available for free though. Sorry!! It is available cheaply as a PDF or e-book. The printed book costs a bit more. You can view and purchase it from: http://www.lulu.com/shop/jodi-anne-m-smith/the-healing-journey-demystified-achieving-sustainability-one-heart-at-a-time/paperback/product-14703855.html

Categories
Conscious Evolution

What is conscious evolution?

Be the love you want to see in the world.
Be the love you want to see in the world.

Many of us are familiar with the concept of evolution at a species level. We are taught biology in school – we see the fossil record and know animals and plants have evolved over time. We see the previous species of human from caveman to now. Many of us don’t realise that evolutionary process continues. We are here on Earth for one reason – to evolve into God-self human beings – beings of love and light, living peacefully and harmoniously with each other and the planet. Using our intuition to guide us and a range of other telepathic and extrasensory abilities that we gain access to as we raise our vibration and our energetic sensibility. We are evolving just as our ancestors did. Just as the Earth does.

Our Universe is also in a state of constant change and evolution. It is growing, expanding, collapsing, growing, contracting – it is just like ocean waves rolling in and out of a shore. We too expand and contract. We have times of great love, openness, bliss and connection. Times when life is a joy, where we see the beauty all around us, have tears of gratitude and thank God for being alive. It matters not what you call God – the Universe, the Creator, All That IS. It matters not whether you believe in him/her, your higher self or not. You are part of the whole and it works whether you believe or not. It just is.

In this section of the website/blog we share stories of how the Universe works, of the evolutionary journey, of our peak experiences – our times of great light and expansion. These times are wonderful, they nurture our soul and feed us deeply. They unfortunately don’t last, just as night follows day, there will be times of darkness, times of feeling disconnected and lost, times of questioning yourself, God and the purpose of life – times of the dark night of the soul. These are the periods of deepest pain and growth in our life. These times of challenge force us to look within. They force us to slow down and pay attention. They narrow our focus to what is truly important.

We curse them, feeling it is unfair or simply unwanted. We didn’t want the illness, the accident, the loss of a loved one or a job, partner, home. We were quite happy going along in life till disaster struck. But these periods of change, sudden change, are actually an evolutionary gift, a stage of growth as you are now ready to move to the next level of love and light. Out of the dark cave we climb to find a magnificent view at the top of the cliff. Many leaps of faith are needed during these times and that too is their purpose – to help us loosen the stronghold of our minds and surrender to God / a higher power to help us, we enter our hearts and learn how to live from that space. As we emerge our heart and mind work together, no longer fighting each other. Our actions and emotions work in harmony and we live life in alignment with all of who we are.

The Earth also undergoes the evolutionary, alchemical process. She processes the stuck energy, the pollution and other detriments that result from us. Natural disasters are Mother Earth’s way of releasing this energy. They are her emotional release mechanism. Just as a toddler may throw a tantrum or cry torrents of tears, Mother Earth will have tornadoes, floods and volcanic eruptions. These balance the energy back up. After such releases there is more calm and peace within our beings. It is the same for the planet which mirrors us. As we heal our self, we shift the collective consciousness and we shift the energetic vibration of the planet.  We are truly interconnected and supported as we go through this evolutionary journey together.

Channeled by Jodi-Anne (25 May 2013).
See more answers to pertinent life questions on the Life Insights page of this website.
Categories
Healing from child abuse Self help techniques

Art Therapy – art as a tool for healing.

Art is a very powerful healer. It helps us to express buried emotions that we may not even be conscious of. It can help release stress and tension as the energy moves from within us out onto the paper. It is therapeutic with its colours, textures and processes. In this booklet I will share some of my drawings from throughout my healing journey. The medium will mostly be coloured oil crayon drawings and some painted ones. I have also had experience with the use of clay, pastel crayons and other art forms as my mentor/counsellor was an Art Therapist. I loved experiencing and learning about the role of art in healing. I am very grateful to my Counsellor for all she has shown me and how she has helped me and others to heal.

One does not need to have any artistic skill to use art as a healing tool. Indeed I did not think of myself as artistic at all. When I started focussing on my healing journey I was a very head-strong, analytical, rational minded person. When Lynn asked me to draw for the first time I thought she was mad. I almost walked out the door thinking how ridiculous, as if drawing could help! It wasn’t long before the floodgates of my subconscious mind opened and drawings were pouring out of me. That is literally how it felt. I wouldn’t consciously think about what to draw or how to draw it. I’d just feel drawn to pick up a crayon and next thing there was a drawing on the paper. It just flowed out.

I was fascinated how at times of strong emotion I would draw and cry or yell at the same time. In these situations the most powerful drawings emerged clearly showing the power of the situations on which I was releasing emotion. I didn’t know how to draw what I drew. If I consciously tried to do it again later I wouldn’t know how. My mind would get in the way. I love how the colours often represent the chakras and the emotions being felt, the profound symbolism that comes through depicting the experiences. Here I have chosen some of my pictures that show the healing of my childhood issues, my relationship with myself and with my parents. I encourage you to embrace art as a tool to assist you in your healing journey.

(Extract from: Smith J, 2011, The healing journey demystified achieving sustainability one heart at a time, Lulu.com)

Categories
Healing from child abuse

What is Child Abuse and How Common Is It?

It is difficult to determine the exact numbers of children who are abused each year. Most cases are not reported to the authorities and once grown most people still keep the abuse secret. Surveys that have been done suggest that child abuse is very common, with some reports suggesting that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 8 boys are abused (ASCA 2004). The fact is that most people suffer some kind of abuse – it is just the type and level that varies. There are many different types of abuse. Gil (1983) describes the following categories: physical; sexual; neglect; emotional neglect; cruel and unusual punishment; corporal punishment and mental suffering.

Physical abuse is when a child is hit, pushed, whipped, bitten, punched, slapped or burned resulting in injuries that are left on their body. Some of these injuries such as scratches, burns, bruises and welts are visible. Others are internal, such as broken bones, fractures or haemorrhaging.

Sexual abuse is when any person, adult or child, forces, tricks, threatens or coerces a child to have any kind of sexual contact with him or her. It may be looking, exposing, talking, telling stories, viewing pornographic pictures or videos, touching, kissing, or full penetration. All of these are abusive. It should be recognised that even if the child consents it is not true consent as the abuser often uses manipulation, guilt, pressure and threats to influence the child, and the child often does not have the power to say no or knowledge of what the consequences will be.

Neglect is when a parent does not feed a child or provide the basic necessities such as clothing, shelter and medical attention when needed. Leaving a child alone when the child is not yet ready to care for him / herself is neglectful since it leaves a child in a potentially dangerous situation.

Emotional neglect is when parent’s don’t take an interest in their child, and do not talk to or hold and hug the youngster, and are generally emotionally unavailable to the child. Alcoholic parents are often neglectful of their children’s needs. Although emotional neglect or abuse may not leave physical scars it has serious consequences for the child.

Cruel and unusual punishment is another form of abuse. These are punishments, which are extreme and inappropriate to a child’s age and ability to understand. For instance locking a child in a closet, making a child duck squat for hours or go without food for long periods of time.

Corporal punishment resulting in injuries is also abuse. Corporal punishment is physical discipline and it includes excessive spanking, kicking or whipping which results in injuries. Spanking can become child abuse when it is done in an out of control way, with enough force to leave injuries. Using instruments to hit, spanking with a closed fist, hitting very young children, and hitting in vulnerable areas (face, head, stomach, back, and genitals) is abuse. Many feel that any physical discipline is abusive.

Mental suffering occurs when a child is psychologically abused. If a parent calls a child names, constantly belittles the child, blocks every effort on the part of the child to accept him or herself, this can cause mental suffering to the child. Threat of abandonment can also make the child anxious and afraid, and is another form of mental suffering.

Compiled many years ago by Dr. Jodi-Anne M Smith, summarised from:

  • ASCA, 2004, Advocates for Survivors of Child Abuse website, www.asca.net.au
  • Gil E, 1983, Outgrowing the pain: a book for and about adults abused as children, Dell Pulishing, USA
Categories
Healing from child abuse

Impacts of Child Abuse

There are many impacts of abuse on children. If the child does not receive assistance to break free from these impacts they often carry over into adulthood. Bradley and Johnson-Marshall (1993) explain the following impacts:

Loss of childhood – abused children lose their sense of innocence, their sense that the world is a safe place. A sense of mistrust that persists develops with the abused child often expecting people to abuse them. They therefore do not let people close and often go inside themself, close down and withdraw. They begin to parent themself and protect themself as best they can. They may even try to parent their parents to gain a sense of safety. They cannot relax and enjoy their childhood. They may act inappropriately sexually or become withdrawn, confused and silent. They may become less intelligent than they were or more bookish if they find some safety and security in being alone.

Repetition of abuse – abused children have acutely low self esteem. They feel there must be something wrong with them because of what happened. This low self confidence makes meeting people and relationships difficult. It leads to difficulty in creating appropriate boundaries and recognizing their own needs. Abused children often accept more abuse as they grow, as they do not know any different and they may feel that it’s their fault some how. They can’t easily identify the kind of person or behaviour that is harmful to them; only that something doesn’t feel good. They become more likely to be bullied in school and abused in adult relationships. A sexually abused child is 4 times more likely to be sexually abused again than a non-abused child. Castine (1989) points out that 50% of the time daughters of alcoholic fathers marry alcoholics while Jorgensen and Jorgensen (1990) report that one out of every four children of alcoholics develop alcoholism themselves.

Blaming ourselves – children can’t bare to believe that those who are supposed to love them and care for them can be wrong, so they take responsibility for the abuse themself. Blaming themself gives them a sense of control. It’s easier to live with the guilt of themself having caused it than to accept that their caretakers could be so terrible. Abused children believe that they are bad. Some may try to hide their feelings of weakness by acting strong, while others will be cowardly and subservient. They live their lives afraid of being confronted at any time with their badness. This sense of badness may not be conscious; it may be suppressed however it affects all parts of a person’s life (this is what gets changed through therapy).

Emotional rigidity – the abused child carries their hurt and their damaged inner child with them as they grow. The emotional damage affects their development. They tend to become rigid, stuck in particular feelings, thinking or a particular way of looking at the world. They often can’t feel all emotions or express them and may be stuck in feelings such as happy or loving or angry or fear or complaining. Being stuck is a defense mechanism protecting them from feeling the other emotions that they see as threatening or that may result in re-experiencing an aspect of some earlier abuse. An adult who was abused as a child is often unable to be spontaneous. They do not see their rigidity, but are aware of a vague dissatisfaction with their life. They tend to see both people and situations as either positive or negative, good or bad, there is no middle ground. They may blame others unnecessarily and direct their bad feelings and suppressed anger at them.

Isolation – starts from a young age as abusive families often try to hide their dysfunction from others, siblings don’t talk about it and they compete for the attention of the parents. They may abuse each other as they try to cope with what has happened to them. They don’t bring friends home from school or venture out into the world for fear of someone discovering their secret. If an abused person feels they can’t deal with the emotions they’ve buried inside such as sadness, anger, and shame, they will often continue to isolate themselves as adults. They feel separate to others. They do not have a sense of a way out of their position and may over react to any situation which touches on a felt memory or when people seem like their abuser, or where the feeling is the same as when the abuse happened to them. They may act as if in danger and push people away even though they’re not in danger.

Control – Often abused children as adults feel a need for a strong sense of control. This is so that awkward, painful and difficult to handle emotions / feelings can be kept at bay. Giving up control means facing the pain, which they may feel is overwhelming and therefore must be denied. The need for control can show up in rigid demands that partners, children and others also hide their feelings and control their emotions carefully. It may show up in compulsive behaviour like obsessive cleanliness and tidiness, excessive fussiness, or a need to get things right at any cost whether at work or at home. This anxiousness or desperation can be sensed by others and often makes them feel uneasy around the abused person.

Dependence and insecurity – abused children and adults often have an external locus of evaluation. They judge themself on whether or not others love and accept them or on the size of their career success and assets. These people, who feel a need for someone else to nurture them, to tell them they’re okay, are often taken advantage of by others who see their desperate need and know they can do what ever they want to them and the abused person will put up with it, they won’t leave.

Ambivalence – abused children as adults are often ambivalent to what occurs to them. They learnt to be ambivalent while being abused. They didn’t want to dob in their parents as they wanted their love, feared their loss and the consequences of telling the truth. If the parent only abused them occasionally, they may have seen it as an occasional error to be put up with. They may have pretended that they liked the abuse or told themself that not making a fuss is better or that they might not be believed even if they did say something. Hence they learnt to accept it and just get on with life. They are ambivalent to the affect of this on the rest of their lives. They may never relax and feel safe with those they love. They may never allow themself to be emotionally supported for fear of the loved one becoming an abuser. They may believe that anything good can contain bad and vice versa. The result is apathy, not knowing what to choose or where to turn.

Identifying with the abuser – identifying with the abuser can make an abused child feel strong rather than a weak victim. They will therefore act strong using anger as their dominant emotion, blaming others for things. This is a defense against their underlying feeling of danger and the fear that they may be abused again. If they were sexually abused they may be sexual with other kids. This can be an angry gesture: it happened to me now you; it may be a confused way of trying to share the experience, trying to make sense of the pain and humiliation; or they may have felt the abuse was pleasurable and want to do it again; they may want their child friend to feel what they felt. Many kids who are abused are also cruel to or abuse siblings, kids, pets or wild animals. They may feel ashamed or guilty of this and beat themselves up. It’s really important to always remember it is not the child’s fault. They learnt what they lived, they know no different, be compassionate, do not abuse them further.

Abusing our bodies – abused children as adults often have a high level of self contempt and self loathing. They abuse their body by over or under eating; alcohol or drug abuse; physical abuse or ignoring their body’s needs. They may scar themself in an attempt to make themself less attractive to others or to punish themself.

Splitting and multiple personalities – if a child cannot cope with what happened to them they may go inside themselves, go somewhere else. People often report leaving their body and looking down upon the scene when being abused / watching from outside themselves. Everyone has sub-personalities, parts of themselves that are happy, sad, achievers, doers, relaxed, etc, but they are all a part of the one person – they make up me. Some people after extended abuse, however, can form almost whole or partial separate personalities. Their sense of ‘I’ is not always the same, the different personalities take control. They never know when they wake up who’s going to be there. This interrupts their memory as each personality has their own preference, skills and memories. The different personalities may or may not communicate and the person can feel horrible, trapped, unable to control them.

Continuing family abuse – when abused kids grow up they often repeat the pattern with their own children. They frequently fail to connect with their children emotionally and do not know how to behave appropriately so the cycle of abuse continues They may feel horrible about what is occurring, but do not know how to break free from it.

The impacts of abuse often go wider than just affecting the individual who was abused. There are also impacts on siblings who were not abused and on their partners, children and those they interact with in their adult life. The following information is offered for non-abused siblings. Recognise that it is normal for you to have felt glad not to be abused, but guilty that you weren’t and your brother or sister was or you may have been jealous of the attention they got and sought it out too – being afraid and eager at the same time. You may feel that you should have protected the abused sibling or at least protested. You may have tried to be perfect to avoid abuse and pointed out how much better you were than the other child as a way of trying to protect yourself. Remember you were a child. You coped the best you could. Don’t avoid the abused sibling now because of your guilt. They’ll probably value your friendship and you can both seek assistance in sorting through your issues and developing a closeness.

Partners of adults who were abused as kids may face all sorts of feelings. They may want to rescue their partner, trying to help them heal and protect them from hurt. This can be problematic as relationships always have some tense moments and both partners need to be able to express their feelings and get their needs met – don’t be silent about your needs as this will only cause problems down the track. The abused child as an adult may occasionally behave poorly trying to get the partner to treat them like their abuser did, provoking them. They are trying to feel familiar, comfortable as they are not used to always receiving love. They’re testing you to see if you really do love them and will accept them. If this pattern occurs talk about it, don’t abuse them.

Partners may feel a lot of confusion about what to do, how to handle it, they may get impatient or tired of their mate always being affected by the past and wish they would get over it. They may then feel guilty or ashamed of themselves for thinking this. Don’t bash yourself up over it. It’s normal for you to feel these things. Talk to your partner about your concerns or seek help or if your partner is open to it you can both seek help together. Accept your feelings of helplessness, your pain at seeing their hurt and your anger at their parents. It’s normal. It’s also normal for you to dislike interacting with his or her parents and not saying anything. However, if this is what your abused partner wants you need to respect their wishes. But look after yourself and vent your anger and frustration healthily when you leave from visiting their parents. You need to get out any negativity, sadness, anger, etc that you have inside about the situations. When you do this you’ll feel better, more in control and react less to what is occurring. You will be able to change the dynamics of how you interact with your partner.

Learn to own your feelings and behaviour and express yourself effectively with no blaming, no judgment, or criticisms. Learn to use I statements – when you do X, I feel Y and I’d prefer it if you could do Z. If you can do this, creating a safe space for them, with love and encouragement it creates the conditions required for your partner to consider facing their own issues. They have to be ready to change. If they’re not keep working on yourself so things don’t upset you so much and you can enjoy your life fully. This is the best thing you can do for both of you. When your partner does become ready to take action you’ll be able to show them what to do or point them to where they can get help. Remember that what we focus on expands so focus on the positive and create more of it! Be a role model for your partner. Don’t see them as sick, but as a healthy person yet to take action and break free of their symptoms.

Prepared many years ago by Dr. Jodi-Anne M Smith. Some content is summarised from:

  • Bradley R & Johnson Marshall C, 1993, A safe place to begin – working to recover from childhood sexual abuse, Thorsons, London.
  • Castine J, 1989, Recovery from rescuing, Health Communications Inc., Florida