Archives for posts with tag: anxiety

It’s natural, one sees another person being on vacation, having their kids sitting and posing for a photo and BAM, another “one” sees this photo, while her kid is running around screaming and throwing anything she can get her hands on and BAM, jealousy, rage, bitterness, shame and then the biggest epidemic GUILT.

What to do? Of course turn Facebook off, but usually it doesn’t work that way, this is the moment to go deeper into jealousy, rage, bitterness, shame and then (sigh) guilt.

How can it stop? There is no point to this, we truly have no idea about this other persons real deal, maybe it is as it seems, or maybe not.  It’s an unhealthy addiction and like any other must be monitored or it can be really harmful.

What has been happening to the parents I work with, who are having this FB addiction comparison struggle? They are flipping out (unconsciously) on their kids. They are secretly holding grudges and anger that are leaking out on their kids. They are holding this “not doing enough” energy and their families are feeling it. It’s not good, and it’s affecting the parents self worth.

This has turned into a PSA: Limit the time and set an intention of what you are doing on Facebook. Your family needs you to be present to THEM.

I would love to hear your feedback on this, please comment below.

I invite you to read this with an open heart and an open mind. It’s clear and beautiful…

The Beautiful Truth.

 

For the longest time, 8 years, my kitchen faucets temperatures were reversed. I asked my Superintendent  to fix this, but it didn’t happen, and I understood it wasn’t a major priority. So I adjusted. I knew this was the deal in my kitchen, there were some water burns along the way, and when I approached my sink, I had to physically and mindfully stop and think, “Ok this is supposed to be cold but it’s hot” and then turn the water on. Eventually I completely adjusted. It didn’t affect how I approached any other sink anywhere else in my apartment or elsewhere, just in the kitchen.

Recently I had a leak and the super not only fixed the leak, but also corrected the hot and cold knobs. I am now newly adjusting to this updated version of hot and cold. It’s not easy and once again I must slow down, physically and mindfully and only then can I turn the water on. Several scalding hot experiences later, I must  use this sink at an even slower pace.

Why am I sharing this? I asked myself; “what can I learn from this sink ordeal?”  Along with slowing down to do a task. I realized how getting into a known routine feels safe and comfortable. I adjusted to WHAT DOESN’T WORK. One perspective is: I can find the correctness in any situation, the other perspective is: Why do I have to adjust to what doesn’t work?

08-kitchen-faucetsI think and work on and with families on radically relating to each other. How much of our relationships within our families DON’T WORK, but we adjust and work around it, ignoring the issue or challenge. How many feelings and priorities are burned along the way? Why as a society is it the norm to act as-if all is good, when it’s not?

I see and know the difficulties lie in the idea of being uncomfortable. I myself like to be comfortable. Getting the family to open up and change (getting my faucets fixed) will bring some awkwardness, some strange silences, but most of all it will bring up FEELINGS. Why are feelings avoided? We disagree, we have the same conversations over and over, nothing changes. It’s easier this way, it’s easier to adjust, but it’s not healthy and it doesn’t promote growth.

Here are some ways to integrate change or growth to radically relate to family…

  • Give compliments – offer them in a nice tone of voice, don’t expect anything in return
  • Offer help – even if it’s turned down, the offer matters
  • Do what you don’t want to do –  when a “chore” or activity pops up with family, and it’s exactly what you DON’T want to do, do it. Breathe and get through it
  • Let there be awkward silences – if a family member constantly has negative comments, let them have them, no response is warranted. Being defensiveness never feels good
  • Create limits and boundaries – Your actions will be more powerful, talking about limits and boundaries can be passive aggressive, or received as ultimatums. Not everyone is ready to make changes
  • Receive – Being able to receive anything in a heartfelt way – Be aware when family members are “giving” you something, if you can find a way to receive it without judgment, it can create a moment of peace and appretiation

I wish you all the power to DO YOUR BEST, with your family this holiday season!

Happy NEW YEAR!
Shane B. Kulman, MS SpEd

WALKING THE TALK: GETTING MY SON EVALUATED

A few months ago, when we finally thought things were getting better, he started vomiting excessively. We got him tested and it turns out he is not only allergic to milk; he is also allergic to soy and wheat. Great!

Regardless of all the allergies and all the other little health issues throughout, we’ve dealt with everything without worrying too much. For some reason we haven’t been fazed by any of it.  However, amidst all the issues, one stood out.

My baby boy was not speaking.

Julian is now 21 months old. He says a total of eight words.  By two years old or 24 months, children should say at least 25 words. I hear stories from my mommy friends about their children’s rich vocabulary:

“My son says ‘ninosour.’”

“Laila sings along to songs on the radio.”

“My daughter says ‘jet.’”

“Alberto said ‘I love you’ for the first time.”

I usually just stay quiet during this part of the conversation. Smiling and nodding. And although I’m happy for them, I can’t help but question myself.

I’ve been asking myself: Do I expect too much from Julian? Or am I not pushing him enough? Am I not speaking to him enough? Am I confusing him by speaking to him in English and Spanish? Maybe I shouldn’t have skipped reading time some of those nights.

I’ve been worrying about this for several months now, which is too long. The weird thing is that professionally, I know it’s too long. But personally, the truth is that I’ve been allowing doubt and passive parenting get the best of me. I’ve let myself question whether or not I’m overthinking the situation.

But yesterday all that changed. I officially embarked on a scary and somewhat unknown journey.

I began the process of getting my son evaluated.

I know it’s strange that it took me this long to start. When parents call our resources line or family members ask about evaluating their children, I never hesitate when telling them to just do it.

“It’s better to know than to wonder,” I say.

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And I can feel their resistance on the other end of the phone. Now I know what they feel like.

What kind of advocate would I be for my son if I continue to let self-doubt take over when it comes to my own child?

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. Questions are bombarding my thoughts and I am filled with anxiety.

But I am thankful that such knowledgeable people surround me here at RCSN. I know I wont embark on this journey alone, and I look forward to sharing my own process along the way.


– Hilda

On Your Beautiful Child Radio I have asked many guests “what does autism mean to you,” There were many answers. My answer is FREEDOM. Today the official Autism Awareness Day.  I realize how deeply this answer rings true.    Because of autism, I have a work schedule I create, I have traveled and connected with amazing families, I have purpose and passion in my life, I have permission to create and just be.

My first student (with autism)  was non-verbal and had many “stimming” repetitive behaviors and echolalia.  I began to see a young boy do whatever he needed and wanted to do to make himself happy. He was not offfected by the judgements  of others. He did not follow what was “appropriate.” He was also not impressed with my cool toys, my happy smile or my eagerness to work with him. He could not naturally be re-directed or manipulated to do what “typical” children were doing. He loved Thomas the train DVD boxes.  I’ve worked with many children and I observe their methods of communicating and expressing  themselves. This includes flapping their arms, spinning, continuous jumping, repeating songs, commercials, etc.  I joined them, I observed them, I’ve loved them. They showed me the importance of communication without words, and they showed me how to “be” without judgement. These children do not comment if my hair is not washed, if I have make up on, or if I’m wearing the same jeans twice in a row.  They do not pay attention unless they want to, and my verbal young friends on the spectrum do not speak unless its meaningful. They are distracted by the cool things in life, mostly sensory oriented. Why is it “normal” to ignore these things?  Typical children are taught to compare and compete with each other. They are put under pressure to take tests and be judged on the outcome.

Children on the autism spectrum are given space to grow at their own pace. There is no forcing them to do anything.  I have taken this to heart. I have learned to accept my processes, even if at some point I thought they were wrong or not good enough.  These children have healed me of judging myself, of comparing myself to other women, they have shown me the importance of silence. They have given me space to create. So many children on the autism spectrum have creative gifts, they are amazing artists, singers, and creatives. They have gifts, and they have made me shine the line on my own gifts.

 

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There are many therapies and schools of thought on “what works” to “teach” children on the autism spectrum. What works for one child does not work for all children. Why does the rest of the “typical” world believe it does. Do you like to be cared for exactly like someone else?  Do you work to try to be exactly like anyone else?  Watching women who try to be the same as celebrities is never-ending, and I see it as sad. It’s based on the feeling of not being perfect or enough, or likable.

I am so lucky to have so many individuals with autism in my life. I see them as healers, as the most real down to earth people I know. I know if everyone tuned in to their ways, the world would be a different place.  I am SO GRATEFUL for all the children in my life. I am grateful for all the Mothers who trust me with their children.

Take action this autism awareness month. We make it easy…Here is one way…

https://www.facebook.com/events/615089815246027/

Blessings,

Shane

People frequently ask me; Are you always happy? The subtext of the question sometimes has  annoyance or disbelief in it, “like jeez, your life is so grand?!”

Actually while I’m sure there is an intrinsic part of me that is naturally happy. The truth is, I have worked and continue to work on feeling my feelings all the time, (and they are not all happy.) It’s like anything you want in your life. It could be working out to get muscles, learning karate or knitting. Being happy (as happy as I am ) takes work.

What does work mean to you? Does it mean a job?  Work to me is: life’s work, working on my Self,  what I do to be real, grounded and present as much as I can.  My perspectives in life have now permanently changed, I have been trained, and now make choices  to keep seeing the light in all situations,  I am  responsible for having created this shift /change. My judgmental and negative thoughts absolutely come up, except now I know what to do with them, and overall they just mean less.

I know that every human being is powerful and has the ability to go deeper into their authentic happy selves. Everyone has happiness buried deep inside. Do you have the patience and energy to uncover your greatness? Time will tell, and so will your actions. The world is waiting, your children and family members are waiting. When your ready to open up and train in your own happiness, you need no ones approval, just begin your journey. Why not right now?

Namaste,

Shane B. Kulman

  • Why do you go on vacation? 
  • Why go to the spa?
  • Why do yoga?
  • Why go out and party?
  • Why excersize?
  • Why meditate?
  • Why pay for a massage?
  • Why go for drinks?
  • Why see friends?

The answer is: TO RELAX.

How much time, money and energy is spent on any of these activities listed above. Does it balance out? The time spent thinking and talking about relaxation versus the time and actions actually spent  doing it?

What if relaxation was easy? Would it be enjoyed so much? What if you could relax every day guaranteed? Would it be enough? If you didn’t have to save, and work and pray and complain about not having time to relax, would you want it anymore?  Your body would, and your mind wouldn’t. Research shows, as a society, we want what we can’t have and vice versa. If we don’t have to suffer to get something than we don’t want it? Isn’t that crazy?  When exactly do we learn that suffering will lead us to what we worked so hard for.

I am here to say NO. No to suffering, NO to working hard in order to achieve relaxation. If one has to work so hard, and so long in order to relax, how will it ever balance out? If  money has to be spent in order to achieve relaxation, there will never be enough money,   if we are always making relaxation happen with external activities, we’ll never be relaxed enough…

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How balanced is it when people count down 67 days until their vacation that lasts 7 days? It’s simple math. The answer is we MUST find ways to incorporate relaxation that comes from the inside every day. We cannot wait for others and perfect timing and specific situations to relax. It’s unfair to our bodies and minds.

If integrating relaxation could be a goal for everyone, there would be less high blood pressure, hypertension, physical pains, less traffic accidents, and less poor choices made.

There is a ton of research on how yoga and meditation are relaxing and beneficial. What if being quiet and still make you more anxious?  I use improv acting class to be loud and intense. What can you do to relax?

We can achieve full relaxation when our minds and bodies are connected.   If our body is physically resting, but our minds are thinking of what should be doing instead, we cannot achieve deep relaxation. This includes watching tv or hearing the radio. Any kind of input into our minds keeps our minds too busy to completely rest.

Happy relaxation… Taking that first action is the most important step.  Thinking about doing something and doing it are miles apart. It’s the physical action that counts.

So yes to vacations, massages, yoga and dance classes, yes to tennis, bowling hanging with friends etc. BUT also consider including relaxation that comes from the inside.

Here are some easy ways to find inner relax daily:

  1. exercise every day, get it done and over with in the morning, involve your children.
  2. write in a journal
  3. breathe into your belly and drink water
  4. self massage (neck, shoulders feet, scalp)
  5. take a bath
  6. turn off the TV and lay on your back in Shavasana
  7. give yourself a foot massage, or ask for family volunteers
  8. Pranayama * Conscious breathing

Happy Relaxation!

Shane B. Kulman, MS

“Care of the Caregiver… YOU!” ~Shane B. Kulman

I remember the first time I heard this. How clear and “right” it sounded.  As the phrase unfolded in my head, I realized that I was a caregiver, and that working in a classroom 5 days a week, 8-3:30 and then coming home to eat a slice of pizza and collapse was not going to work for me anymore. That was NOT caring about the caregiver, and I was caregiving for 25 students and a wacky assistant that year.  No more…

I’ve graduated and will occasionally take a several week or month vacation during the school year, is this extreme caregiving for myself?  I think, no.  Some say extreme, I bet some say spoiled…  I now understand the importance of bookends. When I set out to work, I am aware that before and after I must include time where I do something for myself.  It may be a simple cup of tea, or a massage/spa visit.

I believe everyone is a caregiver in some aspect. Parents, Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles, babysitters, teachers, therapists, Nurses, Doctors, dog owners… you get the idea.

The parents I work with that have children with special needs, are constantly caregiving. There have been very few who make the time to withdraw from caring about others and take care of their Self.  So many parents pick food from their children’s plates, or eat standing up, don’t get dressed or spend every last penny on their child. After a while the caregiving well, goes dry. Parents often feel drained, wasted of energy and limited in   options. When I suggest a yoga class, a writing class, or to join in to any group activity that does not revolve around parenting, they look at me like I’m a dreamer, like I’m out of touch with reality, and then I see the guilt forming, “WHAT!?!? spend time on myself?!!?!? When my child is so far behind?”  I even suggested to a Mom to go out to dinner with Dad with a dress on, and I would stay with the children, she laughed at me and said we talk and eat when the kids go to school. Hmmmm, is this the same as wearing a dress at a restaurant?  I think not.

Children learn from watching, this has been researched and proven.  If all the young girls are watching their Mothers caregive and serve constantly, how will they learn to be independent and self expansive?  Special needs children, including non-verbal children see and feel what is going on around them. I see the neediest children become ultra demanding when they are in need of something. What happens after their demand, that may result in a temper tantrum/meltdown?  A Parent is running to serve them. What is the valuable lesson here? Yup, the bigger the meltdown and demand, the faster a parent runs.

Children with or without special needs, even pets, learn how to rule through behavior and reactions. I believe there is always time to be made for caring for the caregiver. Even if its a bath, or journaling time. I would say shopping, but you know who gets shopped for… everyone else.

Dearest friends – No matter who you are caring for. You can serve them on a higher level, if you take time to serve yourself. Your health and those you love will love you for it.

Namaste and love yourself,

Shane

The Throat Chakra – The key to expressing your truth

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou

Throat singing by Bill

We are verbal beings. We currently live in a mass culture dominated by the word, and our current popular culture seems to thrive on gossip, actively encouraging its citizens to talk about other people. Our word is powerful, and the way in which we speak our words has great influence and real impact in our lives.

Who has not experienced the feeling of choking up, of being unable to speak? We struggle at times to ‘find the right words’. We may feel we say the ‘wrong’ thing, and experience harmful words flying from our mouths before we can stop them. At other times, we may force ourselves to stay quiet, to avoid trouble, when we truly have something we want to say.

All of these situations may indicate an imbalance in the throat chakra. This chakra is the home and source of truthful and meaningful communication. The Sanskrit name for the throat chakra Vissudha, means purification. When we team this concept of purification with the purpose of this chakra, we begin to understand that truthful communication which is clean and wise, impeccable and full of integrity is not only desirable – it is good for us. When we have a healthy throat chakra, we are mindful of what we say, and why we are saying it.

Another important function of the throat chakra is the act of listening. This includes listening to the outer world with our physical ears, as well as listening to our internal world. When we focus attention internally and listen to what our bodies are telling us, we begin to hear the truth of our own inner story. Thoughts and fears are trying to communicate. Body sensations carry meaning and a yearning to be heard. As we begin to hear our inner story, we experience a deeper resonance with our true self.

The throat chakra is also the gateway to our unique creative expression. Creativity, be it through dance, art, language or music, gives expression to our inner discoveries. We can develop our creative self through awakening the throat chakra.

As we open and heal the throat chakra, we actively begin to speak in a way that creates a more harmonious life. We open up to authentic self-expression and we become more attentive to our own truths, as well as the truths of others.

The throat chakra, more than any other, governs our relationship with vibrations and resonance. We can resonate with the vibrations of music, people, ideas, environments or even the universe. When we find this resonance, a sense of harmony and rhythm is experienced. When not in resonance, we sense a feeling of discord. We may feel that we do not fit in or belong.

Although the energy of the throat chakra is more subtle than the lower chakra energies, it’s still incredibly powerful. Just think of how a singer can break glass with her voice – the vibrations from this chakra can and do affect matter and therefore us. We all tune into vibes all the time. Working with the throat chakra increases our awareness of this energy and its impact.

There are a variety of techniques to aid purification including what the Buddhists call ‘wise speech’, periods of verbal silence and the practice of chanting. When the throat chakra becomes purified, we awaken to the more subtle communication abilities of telepathy.

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Evaluating your throat chakra:

Simply answer YES or NO to each of the statements below. The more YES answers you can honestly give yourself, the better you are balanced in the throat centre.

∆ I am a good listener.

∆ I do not gossip about others behind their backs.

∆ I have a good sense of rhythm.

∆ I have a strong clear voice.

∆ My creative life is important to me.

∆ I am able to express myself clearly and effectively.

∆ I pick up on ‘vibes’ easily.

Balancing your throat chakra:

Chakradance – The dance of Expression

Blending free-flowing movements with particular frequencies of sound, Chakradance is a dynamic dance journey through the 7 chakras. The movements of the throat chakra have been inspired by many ancient dances. So many cultures all over the planet interweave the voice and dance to increase the awareness of spirit. The Greek word horus refers to both dance and song, and is the origin of the word chorus. In Ancient Egypt, performers often danced while reciting poetry, while in Hawaii, chant and dance are blended to communicate the story. In Tibetan culture, mystical rituals performed by monks interweave chanting and sound (gyaling horns, cymbals and bells), with delicate movements of the body. In Chakradance, we weave sound and movement in a ‘mantra-dance’ to intensify our self- expression and creativity.

In our classes, we complete the dance of expression with the creation of a personal “mandala” artwork, which we find helps to integrate and contain the energy that has come up during the dance.

For more information on Chakradance classes and music specifically to dance the throat chakra go towww.chakradance.com/

Throat chakra crystals:
Turquoise, aquamarine, sodalite

These crystals may be placed on the location of the throat chakra (throat cavity) for clearing, revitalising and healing. You may even choose to carry one of these crystals with you throughout your day.

Throat chakra oils:
Eucalyptus, lavender, chamomile, frankincense

These oils can be used in massage treatments, burned in an oil burner or you may even add a few drops in to your bath.

Affirmations:

“I allow the truth to speak through me.”

“I am heard.”

“Creativity flows through me.”

“It is my essence to create.”

“When I listen I hear the truth.”

“I am able to speak to others clearly and eloquently.”

“It is good, right, and safe for me to express my true essence.”

“My truth is necessary.”

“I allow my essence to express itself in my life.”

Affirmations are a powerful way of communicating with your inner self. Use these positive messages (or find your own) as part of your healing process for your throat chakra.

5 Top Tips for balancing your throat chakra:

1. Have the intention of always being open and honest with your communication. Try to keep communication meaningful, not indulging in gossip, lies and pointless chit-chat.

2. Be mindful of the Buddhist precept of wise speech: “Is it true, is it kind, is it necessary, is it the right time?”

3. Acknowledge that ‘listening’ is as much a part of communication as talking, and practice active listening.

4. Be open to higher levels of communication (telepathy, clairaudience, channelling).

5. Explore ways of connecting with your innate authentic creativity eg. dance, painting, the way you dress, cooking etc.

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The Humming Breath:

Practice this simple breathing technique regularly to activate your throat chakra…

Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine. Begin by exhaling as much air as possible from your lungs before taking in a deep, slow breath through your nose, refilling your lungs. On your next exhalation, make a soft humming sound like a bee. When you run out of breath, take another deep inhalation, continuing the humming sound as you exhale. Begin with a few minutes practice, working up to 10-15 minutes at a time. When you have finished your humming breath practice, lie down and relax for a few minutes.

Everyday ways to balance your throat chakra:

Experiment with wearing the colour sky-blue or bring this colour more into your life. Open yourself to some new creative projects – it may be as simple as getting creative with your wardrobe or experimenting with an unexplored medium like sculpting! Spend a few minutes each day chanting the seed sound of the throat chakra which is “hum” or find a mantra that works for you. Be sensitive to your environment and the people around you and try and tune into the “vibes” – what resonates for you and what doesn’t? Listen to your own inner voice!

I’ll be talking about the third eye chakra, and how to balance it, next week.

Namaste,

Screen Shot 2013-02-06 at 2.35.12 PMNatalie Southgate – Founder of Chakradance.
Website – www.chakradance.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Chakradance

I have been writing a book for a couple of months now.  I have never called myself a writer, although I’ve also been writing this blog for some years now, and have published a couple of articles.  Why do some people comfortably state, “I am a writer?”  Is it because they majored in it in college?

Did someone in school tell you, “you can’t write?” or “you have difficulties writing?”  Where are those people now? How important are they now?

I value the use of  THE JOURNAL, I’ve even been called a “born again journaler.”   Journaling was introduced to me when I was young, my Aunt Myriam gave me a journal to write in when I was mad or angry. I used it alot. I stopped, only to really come to love it in the last couple of years.  When I began to write I realized how judgmental of myself I was.  It made me realize how much self-depricating I did.  I saw I “felt stupid” and judged my writing and thoughts so harshly, and this was never going to be shared with anyone, just myself.

Children have been using journals for quite some time in school now. It’s a place they keep their work, but are they given a chance to write their feelings? Ever?

ImageUsing a journal as a parent is powerful. I recently heard that if you are a parent, your heart is always some where outside your body.  WOW. I heard this while I was traveling in California and practicing being present.

Is it ever possible to be present as a parent when you always have your child’s well being and health on your mind?

After the big tragedies with shootings, and the “small” ones locally happening every day. How is a parent ever to feel fully present, unless their child is attached to them physically?

I have friends with teenagers, they often talk about how they are always worrying about what their children are doing until they are home safe in bed. Yikes. I would be endlessly journaling if I had teenage children.

If your choice is a journal, a blog/vlog or actually talking to yourself;) Its’ great!  It’s healthy and very insightful.

If you are a beginner, you could start your writing   “I love and accept you exactly as you are.”  Louise Hay suggests writing it 25 times! I follow her suggestion when I need to and it works! So start!, write your:

  • stories
  • your feelings
  • your imagination
  • the truth
  • your wishes
  • poetry & songs

I find it a great healing tool, clearing space in your head for more ideas, and to alleviate stress, anxiety and depression…

Happy writing! And I thank you with all my heart for reading,

Shane

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