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My
Story

My Son

I’m so stupid’ he would say

I can’t do ANYHING right’ he would scream

Why do I have to be so scrawny?’ he would cry

Words from my 11-year-old mid-Covid. 

 

Over the course of lockdowns, restrictions & homeschooling, I slowly saw my son changing from an active, bright & beautiful boy to an anxious, self-conscious, self-critical, and demotivated one.

He started picking at the skin on his fingers until they were red raw, his nails were bitten down to the quick, he would constantly look for reassurance over small things, he would find it hard to make decisions and as for schoolwork - well, ‘what was the point?

 

Now, I’ll be honest with you, we never reached crisis point. But I firmly believe that that is because I caught the anxiety early and I knew what what to do.

 

And I also knew who I had to be as his mum, to prevent it from spiralling.

 

And how did I know that? Well, that’s a whole other story!

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Me

I'd had such big dreams when I was younger but by my late 30’s with a failed acting career and an unfulfilling job (that fitted around family), I found myself feeling lost, directionless & disconnected from myself.

Normally a pretty positive person (& to others no doubt still appearing that way) my inner confidence was at zero, I stopped voicing opinions for fear of being judged and deep down, I constantly felt like I was failing.

I responded in the only way I knew - by stuffing down the despair I was feeling, putting a brave face on it, and burying myself in mum-stuff, netflix and wine.

And did it work? Uh uh......

 

I reached such a level of dissatisfaction (& desperation) I contacted a clairvoyant whose words I will never forget.

 

She told me that 'it wasn’t that my life was shit, it was just my emotions dragging me down. If I could change my emotions, I could change my life'.

What the frig was I supposed to do with that?

But I set about to find out. A few weeks later, I came across an emotion-release technique that …yes, you guessed it….changed my life.

My Journey

After certifying as an emotion-release practitioner, I went on to learn about somatic practices, mindset tools, positive psychology principles & other self-developmental resources.

The whole process took me from being:

  • unable to express my emotions (my throat would close & I’d clam up)

  • terrified of any conflict (I would just leave the room, freeze or on a rare occasion go into a rant/rage)

  • a chronic people-pleaser (yes was my favourite word)

  • rubbish at setting boundaries (I barely even knew what a boundary was)

  • my own worst critic (carrying around a whole shed load of not good enough)

to

  • emotionally clear & connected 

  • able to clearly recognise & process my emotions 

  • able to handle others’ emotions 

  • able to communicate calmly & clearly 

  • fully trusting of my intuition, my decisions & myself

And all this from a personal desire to transform myself & a commitment to 'doing the work'.

 

But what I had not envisaged was how this would also transform me as a PARENT.

And then…. Covid, my son’s anxiety, the teenage years - which all could have been a potential recipe for disaster….

Except it wasn’t - because I was different.

Today

In the years that have followed, we have been raising a pretty 'typical' teenager!

One that likes to push the boundaries, who has experimented with things we'd rather he didn't, who has found certain aspects of school really tough, one who is glued to his phone, who wants to do his best but sometimes doubts he can and one who has no clear vision of what he wants to do in life - let alone how he is going to get there.

And also one who has a keen sense of self & can express how he feels, who is open, communicative & emotionally attuned, who has a clear set of boundaries, values & personal standards, and one who seems to be able to navigate the turbulence, uncertainty and rocky road of adolescence pretty well.

And NOT one with anxiety.

 

Despite all the challenges (& there have been a few!), it has never returned. 

I think this quote sums it up the best:

The attitude you have as a parent is what your kids will learn from.
They don’t remember what you try to teach them.
They remember what you are

JIM HENSON

And I am not saying this to laud my own parenting (good grief, I have made many a misstep along the way!)

I say this because I firmly believe that every single one of us has the power to shape our own and our teens' lives in ways we have never considered, in ways that we did not perhaps think was possible and for many people, ways which were not modelled to them by their own parents.

So many parents today cling to the parenting model of yesterday - and perhaps the one they grew up with - but the world that our teens experience today is very different from the one that we did.

 

And so we need to be different too. 

When we respond differently to life, life responds differently to us.

My Mission

Be
The
Change

I honestly believe that having kids is the one of the biggest personal development journeys that we can go on.

Our children highlight our flaws, they push our buttons, but they also invoke a level of love that we did not even know was possible.

And it is this love that inspires us to do the best we can for our children.

 

But to do that, we have to disrupt the old ways, the old patterns and the systems in society that are keeping us stuck. To break apart old ways of doing & being that are not serving us or our children.

So quite simply my mission is to inspire CHANGE 

When we make change possible for us, we make it possible for our children.

And it will be our children who make it possible for the world.

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