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Family Matters

Family Matters

Girls and Sexuality

girls and sexuality

Thankfully sex as a young woman for me was something that didn’t set the path for my sexual experiences to come; sexual empowerment came later. In those early days, it was more about groping about, fumbling along and hoping for the best. That was how it was in ‘my day’ but today thankfully things have moved on and changed for young women. They are becoming more sexually empowered and open with an understanding that as they learn to create their own boundaries they will keep themselves physically and emotionally protected.

That was how it was in ‘my day’ but today thankfully things have moved on and changed for young women. They are becoming more sexually empowered and open with an understanding that as they learn to create their own boundaries they will keep themselves physically and emotionally protected.

It isn’t unusual to discuss topics on vaginas, their clitoris, orgasms and the whole mystery of oral sex. With so much information online and sex education in schools, young girls are far more aware of the ‘whole sexual experience’ than ever before. But this can also be totally distorted by the readily available pornography, provocative photos on social media and askew views on ‘how one should perform’. Perhaps girls are now left more confused than ever!

So, in some ways ignorance really was bliss!

So, with today’s knowledge and children developing younger and younger let’s find the right balance in equipping our young daughters with the right information to have total respect for themselves – so when the timing is right for them they are actually able to enjoy their sexual experiences. Over the years I have gathered tips through my experience and work with young women defining this list –

  1. Let’s Communicate – Be open with your child and actually learn to talk openly with them; educating them at home (at the appropriate age of course) will ensure they develop a healthy respect for sex. Having open, natural discussions (we used to have these around the dinner table) will help your child to have a healthy respect for sex emotionally and physically. Their experiences will be more positive and they won’t develop so many ‘hang ups’. Talk about everything from teenage pregnancy, contraception, and sexually transmitted diseases to their body image will help them to alleviate any concerns they might be withholding.
  2. Making Logical & Well Thought out ‘Judgements’ – Teach your child to be able to problem solve and make decisions that are right for them – this, of course, is important in every area of their lives. This will allow them to follow their desires and be in control of their own sexuality without exploitation. Children from around the age of 6 years old start questioning everything in life as they develop their conscious mind. As they get older keep this alive by encouraging them to question and explore their sexual feelings. The more in touch they are with their own thoughts and desires the more they will analyse, assess and prepare themselves for their own sexual experience and their partner. I would encourage my girls to ask themselves, ‘What are my sexual feelings?’ And get them to think about them. The stronger the thoughts are around this, the better quality of life they will produce.
  3. Commend their Own Sexual Pleasure – What is often missing in sex education today is how a woman achieves her own sexual pleasure, orgasm, masturbation and arousal. We often talk about the dangers of sex and what can go wrong but what we really need to focus on is the joy sex can bring whilst being responsible. Girls are often told ‘not to masturbate’, ‘it’s dirty’ but this is how they learn about arousal and we should encourage this along with having sexual fantasies. Girls can then develop a healthy relationship with themselves; one of self-love, which you ultimately need first before you can go on to have a healthy sexual relationship with a partner.
  4. Pornography – A relatively new phenomenon is porn online and because of the way society has developed digitally now more than ever our children need educating at a young age what pornography really is. This really needs to be done before they come across any porn. This isn’t the sort of sex that they are looking for; this is the quick fix, unromantic type of sex that isn’t about relationships. Once young girls are aware of the differences between porn and what sex really is about they can make their own decisions later in life with what they want. Once a young girl has this understanding she will be in control of what she wants and desires and not what society portrays to her.
  5. How We Feel About Sex – In my work I focus on ‘people’s feelings’ as I believe this is what life is about – how we feel about something. Young children are very in touch with their emotions and we ‘lose’ this art of connecting with our inner selves as we grow older and life gets in the way. Sex can be seen as something we DO – to reproduce, to have babies and to relieve ourselves, and not something we FEEL. Encourage your daughter to explore what she feels is right for her sexually – does she want to chat beforehand, does she want to be touched, how does she like to be kissed… and so on. This is a great place to begin, as she will feel empowered and not submissive. Sex is to be enjoyed, it is an act of love, and we want to FEEL good about it. It isn’t something you just do.

Helping your daughter to understand and explore her own sexuality can be one of the greatest gifts you give to her – it could save her years of pain and hurt, putting her on a path to value her personal sexuality and be in control of her sexual destiny. Encouraging your daughter to seek bodily awareness and a curiosity will give her huge sexual empowerment.

As always I love to hear from you – don’t be alone!

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Family Matters

The Mother-Daughter Relationship & How It Shapes Your Entire Life

mother daughter

Happy Mother’s day to you if you are celebrating today! I know this can be an emotional day for some – with highs and lows – I’ve experienced extremes of both with this most powerful relationship.

Perhaps you are struggling right now to come to terms with a difficult relationship with your mother, maybe your mother hasn’t loved you in a way you wanted to be loved, could it be that you are simply wanting something you are never going to get. The following sentence can be a difficult one to swallow but it’s true – ‘You may NEVER have the relationship you want with your mother’. But what I can tell you is you can have complete peace of mind.

Healing is all about you and NOT your mother; it’s your story, your journey, it’s not about making amends with her, discussing how she should or could behave, building a relationship with her – it’s all about you and this is why it’s so powerful because very simply it will change your entire life.

Did you know that the mother-daughter relationship is one of the most intense relationships you will ever experience?

This relationship is so powerful that it affects the interaction with your partner, your children, your friends and yourself. This incredible bond, which was once based on love, can turn to anger, resentment and guilt ruining your whole life.

I am so pleased that you have joined me here as I really do want to share with you some of my painful journey and how I was able to heal such an incredibly toxic relationship with both my mother and my eldest daughter. The transformation has been that incredible I feel compelled to share my message.

Here Are My 11 Top Mother Daughter Relationship Healing Tips That You Can Start Today!!

ONE – STOP trying, stop trying to – make things work, make things better, please your mother, say the ‘right’ things, ‘do’ the ‘right’ things as it doesn’t work. You may have been trying this for years and feel even more disappointed. So no more TRYING.

TWO – Have NO EXPECTATION from your mother – when you call her do not expect her to respond in a certain way, do not expect her to be happy for you, sad for you, hug you, cheer you on or be interested in anything you have to say. When you stop the expectation you also protect yourself from being disappointed.

THREE – Understand that you DO NOT NEED anything from your mother – YOU ARE ENOUGH. You really do not need her affection, her praise, her validation, her approval or her love because you are enough. So STOP the NEED.

FOUR – All the above behaviours are exhausting so you should slowly start to feel a sense of relief and a small weight lift from your shoulders as the TRYING leaves you. With this renewed energy you can now start to work on yourself.

FIVE – The HEALING is all about YOU. For perhaps the first time in your life put yourself first, which means taking time for you, meeting your needs, meeting your own expectations, making you feel good. You’ve probably even forgotten how to do this after all of these years.

SIX – During the self-healing process, you will become aware that you are RESPONSIBLE totally for yourself, there is no blame involved here. You are totally responsible for every action you take. Subconsciously because of my mother’s behaviour towards me I blamed her for everything that went wrong in my life, even the financial decisions I had taken. Nothing was my fault. I FACED my situation and accepted I had got myself to this place in life totally by myself.

SEVEN – Looking after yourself – start a gratitude diary, writing with emotion each night all the things you are truly grateful for.  Write a list about yourself of all your amazing qualities to remind yourself that you really are a wonderful person. You have a choice as to believe what your mother ‘says’ about you – are those horrible things really ‘true’, do others think the same as your mother? In reality, NO none of it is true so write the TRUTH about you – all those fabulous qualities you have – Read this daily.

EIGHT – Do something daily for you, exercise, eat well, take time out for you, get to know who you are. You are learning about yourself, this journey isn’t about anyone else.  Seek help, ask a friend, a trusted family member, a mentor, a coach, a councillor…..someone you can confide in who has your best interests at heart.

NINE – As you see yourself as the person you are you will gain confidence so start writing out your own story. Really look at how you see life and how you want to see life. This can be very powerful.

TEN – Make a list of your clear boundaries, what is acceptable to you and what isn’t, by doing this you will begin to see clearly what it is you want and also you will start to gain control again of your emotions. You will not be manipulated anymore as you see your own self with more clarity.

ELEVEN – The healing process is one of acceptance of who you are, letting go of the lack of need for your mother’s love in any form, re-writing the perspective of your past and finally the forgiveness for both you and your mother.

I have outlined a few of the points that I went through myself and take the women I coach through which have had profound effects on my life as well as my clients so I encourage you to start TODAY!

Allow peace and love in your life, find clarity in your relationships, release your anger and resentment, feel that forgiveness by letting it all go by downloading and watching my ‘Mother-Daughter-Dance-Healing’ Video NOW.

Are You Living With The Pain, The Hurt & The Distrust from Your Toxic Mother-Daughter Relationship?

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Family Matters

Anxious Children and How You Can Help Them

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If you have children you may well know that feeling when your child says he has a tummy ache and wants to stay at home or doesn’t want to catch the bus and continually complains of a headache. As a mum, you’re not quite sure what’s going on but you instinctively know he’s not happy but you don’t know why?

Then the ‘odd tummy ache’ turns into a weekly occurrence with a totally forlorn face saying he’s just not going anymore. Now you are worried, this is getting to be a real nightmare. Do you know where I’m coming from? Too many parents go through this pain and suffering. So what do you do, force your child to get into the car saying, ‘You are going to school and that’s the end of it,’ or do you keep him from school yet again?

I can remember many years ago my youngest daughter, Sophie, didn’t want to go to school for the first few months when she was 5 years old and the teacher kept saying, ‘She’s just homesick’. We discovered a few weeks later that she just worried about anything and everything and it became a real issue. We tried something that really helped her – we took Sophie to the shop and let her choose a special teddy which became her ‘Worry teddy’ and at the end of the day she would say all of her worries to this special bear who would turn them all into solutions for her by the morning. This might work for you if you have younger children. She still has this little teddy today at 23 years old.

Here are some things you might like to try with your children if they are feeling anxious for whatever reason:

  • Try getting a ‘Worry Teddy’ like we did and let your child express their worries. If your children are older perhaps you could give them a journal to write down their worries but only allow them around 15 minutes to do this so the ‘worry’ isn’t prolonged.
  • Don’t keep telling your child that it’s ok and everything will work out. They can’t process that information even if they wanted to simply because when the anxiety starts the ‘Fight or Flight’ instinct kicks in. This means that the logical part of the brain freezes whilst the automated part takes over and they can no longer think rationally so to ask them to understand simple task won’t work. Instead, you can really help them by taking some deep breaths with them and say, ‘Follow me’ as you breathe in deeply. Breathing is one of the responses that they can control to take back of their ‘power’ and will also start to reverse this Fight or Flight response. After a few breaths, your child will calm done so you can talk about the ‘worry’ rationally.
  • Don’t ignore their anxieties; they are real to them. You can explain to your child when they feel the anxiety rising in their bodies; ask them where they feel it. It will be somewhere in their body – maybe their tummy, their throat or perhaps in the heart area. Ask them to give it a colour and a shape, maybe they say a red ball and then ask them to change it to something they like, such as a blue square. As they change the object they take in a deep breath and the anxiety feeling will start disappearing.
  • Teach your child to be aware of their thoughts – all they have to do is ‘watch’ their thoughts and when they find a negative or a ‘bad’ thought they can challenge this thought. Is it real or just how they feel? For example one little girl said last week, ‘No one likes me in this school’ but in reality what happened was she couldn’t find anyone to play with at lunch time. She’s learning that those feelings are not giving a true reading for what’s going on. So she’s happy to challenge her thoughts now she understands what is happening.
  • If you continually find your child worrying about the future mindfulness is a great tool to bring them back to the here and now. Breathing is by far the easiest and best tool we have for this. Ask you child to purely focus on their breathing when they feel the ‘anxiety’ feeling, this gives them back their control of their minds and also focuses them on the present moment.
  • Chunking down – this is something I did with my kids which they’ve all carried on doing through life, it has helped them to try things and not avoid them altogether. If your child wants to escape events such as school, social events or going on a plane that’s because the ‘Fight or Flight’ response has kicked in, tells them not to go keeping them ‘safe’ from the ‘threat’ of danger. You can ‘chunk’ this down by breaking it down into ‘bite-sized’ pieces. Perhaps if they don’t want to go to a party without, stay with them for the first half an hour, if they don’t want to go to a friends’ house, perhaps stay for the first hour and then leave. Slowly introduce them to the situation so they understand it is ‘safe’ to stay alone.

You are not alone if your child is suffering and you did not cause their anxiety. Most parents go through this at some stage or another in their child’s life and it’s how you handle the situation that could make all the difference. Anxiety can be very frustrating for a parent so remind yourself that it is a combination of things, past events, genes, traumatic episodes in their life, their environment so it isn’t about you.

 

Helping your child to overcome anxiety could be one the greatest gifts you give to them, show compassion and teach by example. You are your child’s world; love yourself, by loving yourself they will learn to do the same.

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Family Matters

Imagine Yourself Beautiful

woman

Reality bites!

You’re ready make your connection with your goddess self, but you’re still stuck in the world of reality.

“Reality” says you gotta looks like this, act like that, then go on a diet. All while keeping money flowing, house going and kids. Well, keeping them ahead of the game.

So basically, reality sucks.

Step one: Connect to your SENSUAL, SEXUAL Goddess self.
Create that connection to you on the level that connects reality – AKA “the mundane” – with the spiritual – AKA “the sacred”.

Once you’ve created connection on that level, the expansion into total goddess is right behind the curtain!

Now, you’re going to receive an invaluable tool to start building your relationship with that sexual sensual goddess that you are!

Are you ready?

Imagine yourself beautiful.

When the house gets quiet, shut off the tv, phone and computer and set the mood for romance.

Get yourself a mirror and romance yourself.

Light candles, diffuse ascential oils, play some soothing background music.

Take a couple of deep, deep breaths and calm your mind.

When you’re grounded and ready, begin to review every single aspect that you find beautiful on your body, and in your soul.

And say it to you, out loud.

There is no room for negative thinking here. No room for the “but”
word.

Take your time and appreciate your beauty, inside and out.

When you have finished, thank yourself for the infinite beauty that you are.

Write out the top 5 things that you find most beautiful in yourself and place it somewhere you will see it often.

You have opened the connection to loving yourself more deeply.

Accept this, take pride in your beauty. Own it.

You are a goddess, and she can’t wait for you to remember that!

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Family Matters

Advice for parenting in the social media era

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My 12 year old has been asking recently to get a social media account. I’m hesitant, mostly because I’ve seen her older sisters become addicted to it, but more because I know that I myself haven’t really got a handle on my own usage.

The earliest “recognised” social media started in 1997, but it wasn’t until Myspace and more importantly Facebook started in February 2004 that social media really took off. My daughter was born in 2004. She doesn’t know a world without Facebook and its offshoot Instagram (Oct 2010). Even when she was a couple of months old, the world discovered YouTube. All of my children were born post-social media. To them it’s normal, but to me and my contemporaries, we are still in our infancy in our own use of technology and particularly social media. It is still a new toy to us and we are still finding out our own boundaries and expectations and capabilities within it, let alone have values which reflect who we are as parents.

As a first generation social media parent, I have made mistakes, I have grown and I’m still figuring things out. I know that my ability to concentrate for long periods has changed over the past few years, I’m less likely to read a book when as an adolescent and young adult I was rarely without a book in my hand. I often get distracted very easily and forget things. Even just writing this article, I’ve touched my phone no less than 6 times. I would like to see some hard science in academic papers on the effects of social media use on the brain, please comment below if you have any links.

I’m not saying social media is bad, not at all. Like my children, I have made new friends and connected with old ones via social media, I often attend events advertised on Facebook and I use it as a tool in my writing and business. It’s an excellent tool to keep in touch with the people who mean the most. It is also a good place to connect to community, not quite the same as turning up in person, but still brings connection.

But if I had my time again, these are the things that I would do differently.

  1. Science is showing that the use of technology physically changes our brain function and so unless you’re keen for humanity to evolve into cyborgs, the later the better to introduce kids to technology and even longer for social media academicearth.org. There are also issues for children and adolescents who have a predisposition to depression or bullying behaviours (http://pediatrics.aapublications.org/content/127/4/800.short) If I did it again I would definitely wait until they were 14. Having said that, the peer pressure put on my kids to have social media is intense.
  2. Social media often creates two separate personas, their social media profile might not be who you expect or know to be sleeping in the bedroom down the hall. On the upside, it lets kids be themselves and to try out identities, which is a normal part of adolescence. As with all parenting, pick your battles.
  3. I would have purchased one of the many apps that you can use to monitor, limit and at times censor their phone use. However, I have two conflicting thoughts on this; firstly that you want to teach them to use it responsibly, but the other is the concerns around the risk of addiction, exposure to inappropriate content and an inability to hold a coherent conversation (this could be just normal adolescence though!). This one, I’m still mulling over.
  4. Reflect on your own use and time on social media. We are role models for our kids, so how we use it will be how they choose to use it. If we ignore them while we are scrolling, they are bound to do the same. Role model self-discipline and self-control. The last thing I want to do is to get on a plane in 10 years and have my pilot addicted to his social media account!
  5. Limit time on all social media to no more than one hour a day; a bit in the morning and some in the afternoon (but not before sleep because it disrupts sleep). Life is so full of opportunities to experience and living in a country like Australia, there really aren’t many excuses to not step outside and enjoy the sunshine, climb a tree, draw, paint, create, play.
  6. Encourage appropriate use that fits your values, such as no phones at dinner. Get clear on what your phone or device etiquette is. Get clear on what your social media etiquette is, such as dealing with trolls, or commenting on random posts or click-baiting.
  7. Use it as a tool to build connection with your pre-teen or teen, share interesting things that might expand their horizons or that you can share a laugh with together. While it is something that can be full of rubbish, there are lots of interesting things to share on social media that can help your relationship.
  8. Decide if you want to have access to their passwords and most definitely check their security settings. Monitor their posts and check friend lists to ensure they are all legitimate. I can’t count the number of requests that I’ve had that accompany “Hi, you’re sexy, wanna chat?” I would be mortified if my daughters had to tolerate that. If it does come up, use it as an opportunity to discuss things like consent, what makes a quality relationship, the appropriate way to approach someone that you like.

What I love about social media is the enormous amount of creativity that we can use to share, completely unashamedly, about who we are with the world. While I’m still contemplating permission (and excuses) to delay my daughter’s foray into the world of social media, I know that I can only delay for so long. It is older than she is and more than anything, I need to teach and model responsible use and maintain an open dialogue about what there is in the world while sheltering her the best way that I can.

In Love

Alyssa

©Alyssa Curtayne 2017

 

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Family Matters

‘I’m Only Trying to Help; I’m Not Your Mother’

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Have you heard this before? Has anyone mentioned this to you, perhaps your partner or husband? Regardless of how close you feel to your mother, this relationship will affect every relationship you have in your life – it is that crucial so it is something we cannot ignore. Maybe you treat her as your best friend, perhaps you keep her at arm’s length to protect your independence or are you in complete turmoil suffering a destructive relationship like I was for most of my life. 

My mother was very controlling; finding it difficult to let go of me, let me explore possibilities and take risks; so I felt totally suffocated. Later in life what started to happen was if anyone close to me tried to help me with something I would act irrationally and fly off the handle whilst Ian, my husband would say, ‘I’m not your mother, I’m only trying to help’.

These words were a light bulb moment for me; this has nothing to do with HIM and everything to do with my childhood feelings of feeling powerless. I was projecting my feelings onto him and this is just one tiny example of how many feelings from my relationship with my mother were still very much alive. 

Being aware of where your feelings and behaviours are coming from is a great step forward because you at least know what you are dealing with. It becomes especially prominent when you have children yourself and you act strongly in the opposite direction. If you had a very strict childhood and were highly criticised then you might become very relaxed with your own children. This too will also impact your child’s self-esteem so you need to be aware of this and find some middle ground. 

Just being aware of your behaviours you will perhaps start to see a link back to your mother-daughter relationship and understand that just maybe you aren’t being true to yourself and actually living a pattern that isn’t helping you. You are reacting the way you are today because of old entrenched paradigms that stemmed from your childhood. 

The great news is that you can change these and the relationship you have with your mother by embarking on your own personal journey of change. 

Having suffered from such a destructive relationship with my mother since I was around 15 years old and been told she didn’t love me and would never change, which greatly impacted on my eldest daughter as well, I embarked on a journey of ‘self-healing’. Without one conversation with either of them, I totally transformed these relationships into the deep, loving relationships I enjoy today. 

You too can do this and I share a few of the tips below that really helped me on my own personal journey.  

Start your healing journey TODAY.

 1. STOP TRYING to – make things work, make things better, please your mother, say the ‘right’ things, ‘do’ the ‘right’ things, as it doesn’t, work. You may have been trying this for years and feel even more disappointed. 

2. Have NO EXPECTATION from your mother – when you phone her do not expect her to respond in a certain way, do not expect her to be happy for you, hug you, cheer you on or be interested in anything you have to say. When you stop the expectation you also protect yourself from being disappointed. 

3. Understand that you DO NOT NEED anything from your mother – YOU ARE ENOUGH. You really do not need her affection, her praise, her validation, her approval or her love because you are enough. 

4. The HEALING is all about YOU. For perhaps the first time in your life put yourself first, which means taking time for you, meeting your needs, meeting your own expectations, making you feel good. You’ve probably even forgotten how to do this after all of these years. 

5. The healing process is one of acceptance of whom you are, letting go of the lack of need for your mother’s love in any form, re-writing the perspective of your past and finally the FORGIVENESS for both you and your mother. 

We all deserve a life of peace and fulfilment – we all have a choice in life, will you be the one to make that change? What are you waiting for? Miracles aren’t out there – you create them! I wish you all the best. 

I invite you to try my Mother-Daughter Quiz so you can see where you are in your relationship today – click here now – https://louisearmstrong.clickfunnels.com/md-quiz

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Family Matters

Do not let what’s Happened Over the Holidays Define your Future

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This time of year is supposed to be filled with joy and peace but it can be one of the most traumatic times of year we face. I have experienced many disastrous Christmas’s that have ended in tears year after year so I know how you feel if this isn’t a happy time for you. But these past few years have been transformed into loving, joyous times and all because I decided that I would take that step to change me.

Is this you, were the holidays a disaster, filled with sadness and guilt or did they just not work out the way you planned?

Sometimes we enter into the holiday spirit expecting others to behave in a certain way, we seek praise and love from family and friends which aren’t reciprocated, we are constantly disappointed in people’s same old behaviour; we expect change and nothing happens. All this adds up to be a very stressful experience and one we’d rather forget.

Rejection is not about your personal self-worth but all about the other person – they are rejecting you because you don’t fill their expectations – so please don’t take it personally – you are still that wonderful person!

Are you desperately trying to:

  • seek other’s approval,
  • strive to be accepted, 
  • win the family’s praise,
  • gain people’s acknowledgement, 
  • yearn for that warmth from your mother and father,
  • crave the love only to be disappointed in every effort you make
  • and it just never comes?

With all of this trying and needing are you left:

  • angry
  • resentful
  • desperate
  • exhausted
  • with such low self-esteem
  • feeling worthless
  • with utter guilt
  • which ends up affecting your self-esteem, leaving you empty and sad in what should have been a joyous occasion?

For years I was desperately seeking my family’s approval, their affection, their warmth and love. I tried everything possible only to be continually disappointed every time, diminishing my self-worth as I truly began to believe how useless I really was.

I was devastated to learn that every year no matter how hard I tried to please others and be accepted the worse I felt until I decided to do something completely different – I WOULD CHANGE MYSELF.

Unfortunately, I also noticed that my behaviour was being passed down to my children. I was really upset because this was the exact opposite of what I wanted; I so wanted family occasions to be ones of happiness not despair.

How could this be?

  • So history was repeating itself, each year got worse as the more I expected people to change, the less they did and the more intolerant I became of them as it really wasn’t ‘right’ that I should be treated like this.
  • I had to do something different – start accepting them and changing ME and that’s exactly what I did. It wasn’t easy as I wanted them to ‘pay’ somehow after years of treating me this way but the release was incredible.
  • The relationship with all of my family and in-laws became peaceful and joyous; as I understood I didn’t need anything from either of them so today I am continually being filled with warmth, love and affection. 
  • The beauty of my life now is I ‘see’ things so differently, I ‘see’ my family and in-laws as kind people who help in the community – what happened to all of the anger, the deep resentment, the guilt and the hatred towards them all? Because I saw life through ‘new eyes’ the negativity had dispersed allowing in the love & respect I had for myself and others.

Here are a few tips to start your new mindset TODAY.

  1. STOP TRYING to – make things work, make things better, please others, say the ‘right’ things, ‘do’ the ‘right’ things as it doesn’t work. You may have been trying this for years and feel even more disappointed. 
  2. Have NO EXPECTATION from anyone – when you phone them do not expect them to respond in a certain way, do not expect them to be happy for you, hug you, cheer you on or be interested in anything you have to say. When you stop the expectation you also protect yourself from being disappointed.
  3. Understand that you DO NOT NEED anything from anyone – YOU ARE ENOUGH. You really do not need their affection, their praise, their validation, their approval or their love because you are enough.
  4. The HEALING is all about YOU. For perhaps the first time in your life put yourself first, which means taking time for you, meeting your needs, meeting your own expectations, making you feel good. You’ve probably even forgotten how to do this after all of these years.
  5. The healing process is one of acceptance of whom you are, letting go of the lack of need for anyone’s love in any form, re-writing the perspective of your past and finally the FORGIVENESS for both you and your family.

We all deserve a life of peace and fulfilment – we all have a choice in life, will you be the one to make that change. Make this year a year with a difference – what’s stopping you? Please COMMENT on your experiences, I’d love to hear from you. Book a free Discovery session here to learn more about how you can change yourself – http://www.louise-armstrong.com/contact-2/

 

 

 

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Family Matters

5 Ways to Help You Live with Negative People

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A special reminder for all of us as the holidays draw nearer.

5 Ways to Help You Live with Negative People

We all want to be happy – that’s a fact. As a coach who specialises in relationships, I believe that true happiness really comes from making those connections and feeling close to others, whether it be family or friends. It is human nature to form relationships craving to love and to be loved but what happens when we find ourselves living amongst negativity?

To live in a negative environment with loved ones is one of the most difficult situations we have to face, as constant pessimism and anxiety can bring down the whole household. Does this sound familiar to you right now? Are you living with people who bring you down all the time, constantly eroding your positivity so you end up feeling either negative yourself or totally indifferent – not the person you want to be?

Let’s take a step back and look at the negative person with an aerial view as having a better understanding of why they perhaps behave in this way will help you to deal with this.

They may feel some of these emotions:
· The fear of being judged – you don’t comment on their new outfit is seen as an insult.
· Interpreting things in a backhanded way – ‘Your hair looks nice this morning’, might be taken as it didn’t look good yesterday.
· Always on the defence, as soon as a small thing goes wrong in the household they immediately say, ‘It wasn’t me,’ as if you are going to accuse them.
· See the cup as half empty – always looking for things to go wrong, worrying about the future.
· Controlling others – negative people like to control what others eat, wear and do.
· Not opening up to the real them – so they become ‘boring’ and superficial, nothing is ever discussed at a deeper level.
· Blame everything and everyone else for their unhappiness but expect others to love and respect them.

So now we have a small understanding of where these negative people are coming from the next step is to not take any of this to heart; it is not personal to you. To help you not feel drained by their negative emotions and activity here are 5 ways to cope on a day-to-day basis.

1. Don’t judge – when that person displays negative behaviour, speaks pessimistically and is continually gloomy if you display that back to them that’s what will boomerang back to you. Think along the lines of how positive you want them to be – see the good in them, there is always something for everyone. This takes practice but it works and sometimes over a period of time they might begin to adopt your behaviour.

2. Keep a positive space around you – you need to be aware that their negativity isn’t invading you and affecting your thoughts and emotions. If it starts to, just simply walk away, remove yourself from the situation if you can. Telling and showing people doesn’t work, you need to help them to FEEL more positive – think of some ways that would work for that person.

3. It’s much worse for them – it has been proven that a negative person feels much worse than the people they are inflicting the pain onto. This might help you to not judge and condone their behaviour but to empathise and show them how they can feel more positive.

4. Take charge – before they start on the negative slant for the day try reminding them of a time in the past they felt good or had a happy time. Perhaps try some gratitude with them, but it’s important that you make the first move.

5. Ask yourself this question – ‘Am I actually getting anything out of this myself?’ – Do you want to feel needed? Do you want things to stay as they are? Have a look at where you are coming from. This will help you to take control of your feelings and in turn, will change your energy, behaviour and words towards the person.
We can only change ourselves, we are powerless to change others but by making changes within us we are able to change our energies, behaviours and thoughts to others in the world. In this way, we will receive different responses and that’s all we really can do.

If you are struggling with living with negative people in your life I have several free resources to protect you from toxic relationships. You are also welcome to book a call with me to chat about your particular circumstances – my belief is no one needs to suffer alone – http://www.louise-armstrong.com/contact-2/

 
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Family Matters

Positive Effects of Bringing Home Puppy…

Alpine 11 weeks

AylaAlpineWe are three weeks into puppyhood. Alpine, or Little Al, is now 11 weeks old as I write this. And let me start out by saying, I have lasted an entire week more than my mother ever did with a dog. We had several dogs enter our house during my childhood, all of whom went back to wherever they came about two weeks in as my mother could not handle the crazy puppy stage – at least not with two toddlers at home.

Which brings me to say that if you would have asked me any earlier in my kid’s childhoods if I wanted a dog, the answer was Heck NO! I didn’t want to take care of another life (up until that point, “pet’s” have been a fancy mouse who has been adopted by a friend, a long gone sea frog I killed by accident, a hermit crab who suffered an untimely death and several praying mantids – my son’s favorite insect).

So, when my 9-year-old daughter announced she wanted to make organic dog treats and pass them out to our neighbor’s dog’s, at the same time my husband went to look at a litter of Vizsla puppies (in Alpine, hence his name) without telling me, we knew we were finally on the same puppy page.

I finally started to tell people we were getting a puppy and their responses were mostly the same – “don’t do it! Do you know what a big commitment that is? You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into!” And I’m thinking, um, yeah, maybe not, but did I utter those same words back to you when you told me you were expecting your third child?????  My response became, “I know – it is going to change our lives – good and bad, but let us experience it for ourselves.”

So here are just a few ways in which the puppy has changed our lives, for the better.

THE KIDS

  1.  I hate to admit that I let my kids eat wherever. In the living room watching tv, in the formal living room – as long as they ate and I could go back to whatever task I was doing while they ate- great. But now, I don’t want crumbs all over the place for the puppy to find and eat and so, food is confined to, yep, you guessed it, the kitchen and the kitchen ONLY!
  2. And yeah, my kids are 9 and 10 and I would still make them their chocolate milk because I’m their mom… But now, since I am busier with the puppy, I caught my son making his own grilled cheese the other day!
  3. They finally experience loving something other than themselves.
  4. A bit more sacrifice. I have had to miss going on several field trips because the puppy can’t last that many hours in the crate. My kids accept the trade-offs in order to have their own puppy.
  5. And lastly, they are finally picking up their stuff off the floor and putting things away! One too many flip-flops missing is all it takes!

WORK

  1. I was becoming complacent. I am still building my marketing consulting biz, and everything else took precedence because I had “time” to get things done, if not now, later. But later came, and I wasn’t getting things done. With the puppy, who demands a ton of attention, I am now consolidating my work and doing it when the puppy naps or when the kids are home to watch him and I have regained my capacity to be productive again. Yippee.

HEALTH

  1. We are all on our devices less
  2. and outside playing more. Enough said about the benefits there.

So, yes, it’s a lot of work – along with many other things that flourish when given attention.   And I can’t remember other than “real people’s” infancy when I have been this tired.  I am in the midst of cleaning up puddles of pee, figuring out how to get him to like riding in the travel crate in the car, dealing with razor sharp puppy teeth and perfecting my very own puppy-approved voice I use to praise my good boy.

But life is also becoming richer, funnier and sillier with our new fuzzy being.

Now Sit.  And Stay. Sign up to get more blog posts of my crazy thoughts on life (and also a media pitch template to download)!

Cheers,
Lisa

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Family Matters

Work out because you LOVE your body, not because you hate it!

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A reminder today you have a choice – it is ALWAYS your choice what you do with the information and the situation you have been given – ALWAYS, no one else’s. There is no one to blame, there is no past to blame – it is YOUR responsibility how you respond.

Many years ago I had a serious operation and afterwards, I really struggled to walk further than a few hundred meters. The surgeons all advised exercise from day one after I arrived home – did I feel like it? NO…. did I love my body?……. NO, did I want to go?…… NO, did my body hurt…..YES, did I struggle? ….YES…..was I in pain? YES…….it would have been far easier to stay at home resting on the couch but I realised no amount of doctors, friends, or family could MAKE me do anything – I had a choice. The choice was so simple – I either got up and walked or I didn’t.

BUT I made a slightly different choice – I did it for me, I did it because I said I love me (although I didn’t at first), I did it because I focused on the good bit of me (not the bits I hated), I did it because I had an amazing goal of running 10 km after 6 months. I made a choice and I made a plan and it was as simple as that.

Each day I would walk that bit further – yes, in pain, yes, it hurt…was it easy? NO! Was it worth it? absolutely – I ran 10 km after 3 months! But only by doing two things…..making the choice mine and no one else’s and focusing on the good in me and not the bad.

Life is simple ladies – we over complicate it, I can promise you that.

Today, make that choice to LOVE your body, focus on the bits you like and look after it, nurture it, care for it and you will learn to love more of it.

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