A Mother’s Love Is Like.. 


Yesterday was Mother’s Day. It was a lovely and wonderful day to just reflect on where I started as a mother and where I am now. I spoke to my mother yesterday wishing her a happy Mother’s Day and in our discussion I shared my latest blog post. It segwayed us into a perfect conversation of gratitude for each other.

When you consider what a mother’s love is, it is complex. It is gentle, understanding, nurturing, and allows us space to learn from our own mistakes and express ourselves. A Mother’s love allows time and encourages us to learn and to heal. But do not take for granted a mother’s love. A mother’s love can be fierce! Fierce not only in protection of her children but in being that reality check that we need.

All that that is and encompasses is how I would describe my energy work. It is typically a hands-on process that is ever so sweet and considerate of the individual allowing them the space and time to heal. Recognizing their own weaknesses and strengths and letting the weaknesses become strengths.

It is helping the body become stronger allowing the spirit to enjoy the vessel. It relaxes muscles. It works on the subconscious mind releasing the perceptions others may have imposed or perceptions that have been taken on that do not resonate with the individual any longer.

My energy work takes an individual out of the trauma state and into a state of allowance. It is in that simplicity that people shed their density and oftentimes lose weight! It helps create emotional stability, calming the central nervous system, the digestive system and encouraging all  body systems to work perfectly and harmoniously together! It helps put the individual in touch with their spiritual self and with God, allowing for better intuitive guidance and self reliance.

After a session the individual looks like they are almost weightless. They’ve relaxed not just their physical body but expanded their energetic body so that they feel lighter and yet bigger because they feel they no longer have to conceal themselves to fit in. They allow themselves to be enjoyed and received just as they are and in turn encourage others to do the same. It is amazing what a session can do, shifting someone’s reality because they show up differently and therefore those around them have no choice but to show up differently too!

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A Mother’s Message to Her Child: I Will Wait For You

As I was meditating today I was listening to Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait” and a thought occurred to me: parenting is very much a waiting process. It is like the unfolding of a flower. My son is a seed that was planted and has sprouted. I long to see the flower that he blossoms into. At that very moment it occurred to me that my son has been waiting for me to blossom! He has grown with me from shedding my selfish ways into taking ownership of being a parent and not just any parent, but one who advocates for him.

I don’t usually run in the mornings, I usually walk and meditate. Today was different; this morning was filled with mosquitoes outside and I didn’t want to have a miserable experience, I wanted to enjoy. As I was running I was thanking myself, my body, God for the capability to run. I used to run anywhere from 2 to 4 miles per day. It was my way of releasing the day.

When I first met my husband he ran seven to ten miles a day. As simple as this thought may sound, it was rather empowering:

When my husband and I ran together he slowed down because he was a faster runner and he could do the seven to ten miles. He was never resentful that I couldn’t keep his pace. He wanted to enjoy time with me so he ran at my pace. He never passed judgement thinking, “Wow, you’re too slow what’s wrong with you? Why can’t you keep up?” It was always about our time together enjoying each other wherever we were.

I realized, in today’s highly demanding society where everything is about getting it now, we are doing that exact thing to our children.

Special needs or not, we are demanding a lot of our children. We are demanding them to grow up sooner than they should. We are demanding that they have an understanding of our world instead of us understanding they are just adapting to their own and ours.

We need to take a step back and realize that our children are the seeds that we planted in the soil, our family. That we are the gardeners tending to them making sure that they get the proper fertilizer, learning. That the weather conditions don’t drown them out or wilt them, that they don’t lose themselves in society’s perspectives of who they are. That we prune them at the right time so that they become stronger for who they are meant to be not for who we want them to be.

We also need to recognize that we have a very symbiotic relationship with our children. That as we become better gardeners tending to our children, it is their beauty they reveal that brings us joy. As we revel and soak in their beauty, we share our tenderness and there is the reciprocation. It is a simple yet profound energy exchange.

Handwriting without Tears or Frustration

I went shopping yesterday and found a solution that I had been looking for and wasn’t sure I’d ever find it. I was in a big national retail store shopping through the $1 and $3 section and found this chalkboard stand for $3. To anyone else, it might not have come across as a solution for teaching handwriting. I thought I’d share with you in case you are in the same need as me.

I don’t know what your experience has been with your child and fine motor tasks, but mine has been challenging. Children with low muscle tone, as most with Down syndrome have, creates and bit of harder work accomplishing what we with regular muscle tone take for granted. My son is now 6 years old and entering first grade. Ever since I can remember, fine motor tasks that would have been considered fun, have lasted mere minutes or seconds, kneading dough, playing play doh, even coloring. My son enjoys being more physically active and that is where his strength is.

After last year’s IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) meeting where I was asking for additional support and having to change his end of year goals, I felt stuck between a rock and a hard place. Not only did I not get the additional occupational therapy support I was asking for, I felt that his goals were then reduced to lower expectations which made me very uncomfortable. Needless to say, that discomfort lit a fire inside me to make sure that no matter what, my son and I would somehow work on fine motor, especially handwriting over the summer.

The wonderful thing is that with today’s technology, there are apps for handwriting. Because we use the iPad as a reward system, we needed to look at a more tangible way for him to practice handwriting and limit his electronic usage.

We had been introduced to the Handwriting without Tears (1) methodology a couple years ago by an occupational therapist though the school system. I tried it with Jack last summer, but he wasn’t motivated to try it nor was I consistent. 

As I have written about before, sleep has been a major concern within our household. Because that was a major focus to get resolved this summer, whenever Jack would awaken early and refuse to go back to sleep, it gave me an indirect incentive to get him to either choose “ go back to sleep or practice handwriting, your choice.”

What I needed to do to make the chalkboard stand easier for him to use is to remove the backing to it that helped it be propped to stand. It was rather simple and only took a flat head screwdriver and hammer. Then the back was completely flat and with it turned upside down, he used the tray holder as a way to hold onto it while he wrote.


This morning after an uninterrupted night’s sleep but an early morning start, of 5:30 it was time to try it out. With hand over hand instruction, Jack was quickly able to follow the edges to make a capital L. After 10 attempts on the small chalkboard, I asked him to do it independently on his easel. It was the clearest L he had written!

1. http://www.hwtears.com/hwt

          

Sleeping with the Harmonic Energetic Balancing Program, an Adjunct to Biofeedback

Sleep. All of us need it. We die if we do not have it. It is necessary for repairing our body systems. It helps us stay emotionally balanced and without it it makes us irritable. 
For almost 3 years, my family has been sleep deprived because our son has continually awakened in the night. At first we attributed it to the fact that our son had 3 recurring ear infections which kept prompting him to awaken in the middle of the night. Then we thought that maybe it was school related as he had started in a pre-k program. Then we assumed that it was due to our neighbors coming home in the late hours of the night.

We tried everything: talking to the pediatrician and getting a sleep study to assess sleep apnea which is typical of children with Down syndrome. We tried all sorts of alternative medicine, from melatonin, color puncture, body talk, biofeedback, aura clearings, Sacred Geometries, even essential oils. Sometimes Jack would sleep through the night, but typically no more than two nights in a row. I had tried doing my own energy work on Jack; sometimes it would help, other times it wouldn’t.  

I recently visited Integrity Biofeedback to find out more about their H.E.B. (Harmonic Energetic Balancing) Program.

“The H.E.B. balances the disharmonious energies of the body due to stress, thus strengthening the immune system and protecting it against the onslaught of accumulated and daily stressors.” 1

After seeing it in person and then reading about it on their website, I wanted it! It resonated with everything I wanted for my family. So, three weeks ago I put myself, my husband and my son on it. Jack slept through the night the first night from 8p.m. until 6 a.m. We were delighted. But just as quickly, it stopped and so the following week I put our condominium on the H.E.B. He slept for almost a week uninterrupted. On the night he awoke he went back to sleep easily and on his own and that day I added his room onto the H.E.B. and sleep resumed. Now after 2 weeks, Jack has slept through the night all but 2 nights. 
What was most notable were the minute simplicities we benefited from.

Each time I changed the affirmation, I noticed Jack awoke happier. The first morning after I put him on the H.E.B. he greeted us with, “Good Morning!” And hugged both Doug and I with amazing loving hugs. When I changed the affirmation a few days later, he awoke and said, “Merry Christmas!” (Which happens to be one of his favorite holidays and ours too.) The last time I changed it he greeted Doug saying, “It’s a great day!” Not once did I share with Jack that I had put him on this system, but the effects were simply undeniable.

These were not the only noticeable changes. Jack seems calmer. Where there were things that previously would have frustrated him and caused him to moan and groan, like doing a certain app on the iPad, he calmly stopped that behavior and instead has walked out of his room and asked either of us for assistance. Reasoning with him has gotten easier again. First this, then that, whatever that is for him that he wants. 

The most noticeable change is in the last week. I have struggled getting Jack to allow me to help him with handwriting skills. It has been a major bone of contention and became something I avoided because it had become so difficult to get him to want to color, draw, play play dough or anything having to do with occupational therapy and developing those fine motor skills. Now, he can sit attend and will do it with little to no argumentation.Yesterday his occupational therapist made the same observation.
Just two days ago I noticed something else I hadn’t noticed before. We had to get Jack’s prescription lenses replaced. This typically would take a minimum of 15 minutes and would entail him wanting to leave the store or grabbing everything in sight. Yesterday, he entered calmly, sat down and for the entire time waited patiently. When he started getting a little restless, I reminded him that we were going to do a fun activity and to remember to “belly breathe.” That’s all it took and he sat and waited. 

For myself, I have noticed that my body is able to handle more when working out. I have started running again just a few times a week as I used to run 2-4 a day. I notice I need fewer chiropractic adjustments even after running, something that would have aggravated my body before. I handle certain stressors better.

For Doug, he is calmer and is less stressed.

Nothing is perfect. But our life has definitely improved in the last three weeks. Jack still has his moments, like any child, though they are less intense. Even better, we all find ourselves calmer and able to take a moment and adjust ourselves and our responses to each given situation.

1. Harmonic Energetic Balancing Program
2. Cynthia Sharpe

Building a Stronger Immune System

People with Down syndrome have compromised immune systems as a result of having the chromosomal structure that they do.(1) After Jack had open heart surgery at 5 months old, our pediatrician at the time recommended that we put Jack on a multivitamin with iron. After having experienced all that we had been through, having Jack survive and recover from open heart left us blinded and accepting all recommendations from physicians.

Being on the multivitamin with iron actually effected Jack and made him constipated. The addition of iron to his daily intake made it difficult for Jack to have easy bowel movements. Not only that, we noticed that he wasn’t any healthier to fight off viruses. We tried different multivitamin formulas with minerals, even though I was of the philosophy that, we should get our vitamins from our diet. Because of his immunodeficiency, I wanted to make sure that Jack was getting the best vitamin absorption. Traditionally, our bodies do not absorb vitamins that are in pill form as we would in powder or liquid form. (2) We absorb 90-98% of vitamins in liquid or powder form, compared to the 3-25% from pill form.

Not only did constipation result from vitamin supplementation, we soon noticed that Jack’s skin on his elbows and knees demonstrated eczema type symptoms and once we discontinued any vitamin supplementation, these symptoms dissipated.

Our insurance for Jack changed and therefore caused us to have to seek out a new pediatrician. In doing so, what we had taken for granted as being prudent recommendations, our new physician made us more aware, enlightened. For example, it had been recommended to us that we put Jack on Miralax, also known as polyethylene glycol, for his constipation at a year old. When we asked what the side effects were, we were told simply, “none.”

Our new pediatrician, although she also wrote us a prescription for the Miralax, soon said to us, “You need to get him off of that.” It wasn’t that she said it, but how she said it that made me wonder why she would have a different recommendation. So of course, I did a web search. What I found astounded me:

“In 2008, the FDA tested eight batches of Miralax because ‘many of the reported adverse events were classic symptoms of ethylene glycol ingestion.’ Ethylene glycol (EG) and diethylene glycol (DEG) are ingredients in antifreeze so, in other words, the government tested the laxative after receiving reports of children exhibiting symptoms of antifreeze poisoning following their use.” (3)

Appalled and wanting a more homeopathic solution, I again visited our chiropractor who happened to have a blend of Chinese herbs mixed in easy to take gel capsule form from Dr. Chi called OxiPower. It actually took a couple days, but it helped Jack go to the bathroom much easier.

Our solution became a mixture of essential oils, Chinese herbs, and energy work.

Quite simply, the mixture of these has kept us from visiting the doctor’s office frequently. In fact, Jack’s constipation issues resolved. His times of being sick, not only shortened in duration, but also got less exacerbated. He now recovers from being sick quite quickly.

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3074212/

2. http://www.livestrong.com/article/353383-are-liquid-vitamins-absorbed-any-better-than-pill-vitamins/

3. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/01/21/miralax-laxatives.aspx

4. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyethylene_glycol