Wellness- on this day for peace 🍀

To my dear readers ,

It is the 21st of September – and today is the Spring Equinox for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere in Aotearoa -and today’s is also celebrated as the International Day of Peace.

So today I choose to write on the topic of anxiety- The experience of anxiety can be unsafe. The intention is to support adults and whanau/ parents of tamariki / children who experience anxiety from a very young age. It is about making a shift towards acceptance of this feeling called anxiety and allowing space for safety , peace and calm.

Dan Siegel – “When we begin to know ourselves in an open and self-supportive way, we take the first step t encourage our children to know themselves”

The topic of anxiety is close to my heart–as a child I vividly remember feeling anxious – I sensed a certain discomfort – it was about things going beyond my control or a funny feeling in my stomach along with a raised heartbeat. I felt it more at school than at home – and in the mahi /work that I do today -I come across similar stories where children/ tamariki feel unsure – helpless – scared –  these feelings manifest as avoidance or non-compliance or varying levels of desperation.

I was a bright student and also had a loving family. Despite all of this – I experienced this uncomfortable feeling –and what helped me through my pathway was my training in my chosen field , the books that I have read and the affirming messages that I got from myriads of warm caring and kind hearted humans.

Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love” Bruce D Perry

Truth: Anxiety is a universal human emotion – it is about feeling unsure -the feeling of anxiety stems from the brainstem the lowest part of our brain or the primitive brain. We experience anxiety when the stem of the brain

  • Recognises an element of the unknown or the unpredictable or
  • The memory of an event that has caused discomfort

Educating our children about feelings is an inherent part of emotional literacy. There maybe heaps of variables that impacts on anxiety- it can be genetics or environmental or even chemical imbalance or something else  ; however there is no one fit rule as to who experiences anxiety and who does not…

Things that help on the way…..  teach children from a young change that anxiety is a certain feeling.

What is important is – sit with them and talk to them using a kind voicewhen they are in the best of spiritsso when they are not feeling anxious.

  • Teach them young that it is okay to feel that way
  • Encourage children to name the feelings- giving the feeling a name – labelling it allows for some control.
  • Brainstorm ideas – what makes us feel safe. Brain helps us to think – feel and act- but the core purpose of the brain is relational – so we thrive when we feel valued -connected and safe.
  • Educate children about the brain – there are plenty of story books and picture books that talk about the brain (also refer to my writing on brain works too 😊
  • Tell them that the brain stem needs to feel safe and breathing helps us the brainstem to feel safe.
  • Talk to them that the brain has four layers – and each layer has its own function
  • Convey – when we feel sad or angry or scared the brain stem picks up signals and gives out clouds – angry clouds or sad clouds or fearful clouds. All of the clouds go up and sit on the thinking spot and does not allow us to think.
  • Discuss learning to breathe helps with sending the clouds away so we can think bright and right and also feel safe.
  • Affirm that the bottom part of the brain is the primitive braindoes all the feeling and the top part of the brain does all the thinking –The thinking brain flourishes and we can do wonders when our primitive brain feels safe and well
  • Chat about engaging in an activity that we enjoy – enriches & replenishes brain growth – it helps with feeling calm and centred. Repetitive work or play that is calming and settling – allows for brain health and brain growth – it can be music or drawing or any creative play
  • Discuss – belonging and feeling connected allows for safety
  • Enrich children with a list of comforting ideas – it can be
  • Holding on to something that feels comforting (a teddy or a familiar book/ object)
  • Encouraging them to use breathing
  • Counting to ten
  • Listening to a story or a song that makes them calm
  • Moving to a beat – learning a dance or engaging in exercise brings calm
  • Incorporating structure and routine
  • Giving plenty of positive feedback
  • Using gentle kind and affirming words
  • Inculcating love for nature
  • Allowing them to talk about their own strengths
  • Having Pets – especially dogs have a transformative effect on those experiencing any level of discomfort
  • Facilitating repetitive nurturing experiences that are calming and enriching
  • All of the aforesaid invites peace , calm – betterment and resilience.
  • What the child is able to do in collaboration today , he will be able to do independently tomorrow – Lev Vygotsky

With much aroha ,

Wellness -of memories & history

Kia Ora my dear readers ,

Hope you are keeping in good spirits – as we each live our pathways through the pandemic era. I am mindful that for those in the Northern Hemisphere , life is beginning to get back to where it once was ….I hear that from my cousins and some of my friends in far off places. For those of us in NZ , we are in “vigilance” mode against the virus…. and for some , this is manageable and for some others this is not easy. I send my aroha – my love  and heaps of kind thoughts for all those who are finding this present phase challenging.

Today my writing is about history – the impact of history on each of our wellness. What brought this …..well in a conversation with one of my cherished human connections; we went over the term history …. And here my intent is  about sharing  the perspectives that came from that dialogue …

Maoridom has the wisest adage on human connections –he tangata he tangata he tangata – the people, the people , the people

We all have a history – behind the numerous human connections that we make. That history involves the memories that we keep and make.It is that history, which influences the durability of the human connections. What we appreciate tends to stay on as cherished memories ;  memories that hurts or what gives us an unpleasant taste are those that we can thankfully let go but not without a struggle. Because memories are deep seated and it is not so easy to bid adieu to memories that cause pain.  One way of learning to let go of what hurts is to find

New things that interest us,

New human connections that bring warmth and

New lessons and experiences that create new learning and funfilled pathways.

The trick is to this repeatedly with

Intention in our thoughts, Joy in our hearts and Purpose in our actions

Science has found that when we do this repeatedly ,we   create a change in the way how our brain looks and works – this is how we make new memories that help us get past those that cause pain- and this is how ,we become courageous creators of  our individual history .

John Medina writes in his book Brain rules “ What you do and learn in life physically changes what your brain looks like – it literally rewires it”

  • Have a fun week making some new memories ……
  •  “Just one small thought in the morning can change your whole day”- Dalai Lama
  • Learning a fun song that you enjoy
  • Writing a note to yourself on your own strengths
  • Taking time in making a hot cup of tea – to watch the rain from a window….
  • It is raining here in Tāmaki Makaurau,Auckland – we here remain in Level 4 lockdown
  • The COVID pandemic era has been challenging – tough and almost relentless – it is also serving us lessons in patience  – kindness and love-  all of this will  forever be in the annals of time – in the making of this pandemic history.

Ma te wa on my next note

Finding the calm…

Let your capital be simplicity and contentment- Henry David Thoreau

Greetings to you all on the advent of Spring ……The intention for today`s writing is about finding ” our calm “when the complexities of the pandemic era take over…… hmmmm much of the world has either learnt or learning to live with all of this …the lockdowns , the isolation , and the growing rate of people being infected …. or the threat of picking up the virus…… that lingers on…….

” Cultivate the habit of being grateful, for every good thing that comes to you , and give thanks continually- Ralph Waldo Emerson

On a positive note, the pandemic has also helped us all to be more kind- to look out for one another and in my perception the best learning that it has offered us is about accepting the now – what is – and learning to live with the conditions that the pandemic has cast on us all.

NZ has been the place that I have chosen to live for the past 24 years and I am incredibly grateful and proud to call this beautiful country my home. I miss the travel and the connection with my family and friends in India and some other parts of the Northern Hemisphere that I so frequently enjoyed – I am grateful for technology that allows me to Skype as often as I wish with my family in India and my adult children here. I cherish the chats with my multi-cultural friends and whanau here in NZ and I am blessed to have the company of a cherished bubble – buddy and then my most loving endearing fur bubs, However despite being a professional and an agent of change working towards betterment in human wellness- I am humbled when I catch myself between sighs pondering when will this be over or I also find myself feeling just a little listless. I hear the same sense of unrest from my friends and family here and across the world ……I also hear the notes of uncertainty from the conversations that I have through the work that I do everyday…..

So I felt the need to write on this as it is essential to bring ourselves to think better , feel better and do better…Finding our calm amidst the uncertainties of the present era can happen when we teach ourselves to identify the little things -sights- the words – the sounds -that engage and delight us –

I certainly felt a shift – a sense of awe for true spirit of humanity and pride- -when I chanced upon Jacinda Arden our kind and able NZ Prime Minister`s words on Sir Michael Cullen an eminent New Zealander who recently passed away….. “fiercely intelligent , hugely funny and incredibly kind”– speaks volumes of his emotional wisdom and intellect. Children and adults should read and know more on people who have achieved greatness not just through their intellect but through their emotional and social wisdom ; the legacy of connectedness that they leave behind.

Write a note and make a list of things that make you smile or calms your senses….. it can be simple things as the sound of the kettle , smell of coffee, or the smell of lavender .

Learn a song – or find a new song a note that is relaxing

Make a mini plan for the day -example – tell yourself how you wish to spend the morning , what you would like to do during the afternoon and then for the rest of the day. Include little details – so this is also about making the day filled with intention and purpose ….

Plan what you wish to wear for the day ….. track pants works – clean and tidy yessss.. … but there is a wellness that takes over when we work on indulging in the simple joys and sheer fun of being well presented

Find a book or an article to read – I recommend reading about kind people- this is transformative in individual wellness….

Write a note to yourself on keeping calm…..

Have an intention for each day– it always works … Write it down and keep the note where you can see it …. for example. The intention for today is to feel kindness towards myself/ yourself – this can be done by saying out aloud what you do really well with a smile or getting a special treat or by showing patience and allocating time just to sit down and do nothing – if that is the need …..also with a smile or make a small donation to a charity that you support ( SPCA or HOSPICE or CITY MISSION or your CHURCH ) or to clean my closet or to engage in some big time baking or cleaning – and when the task is finished give kudos to your efforts on what little or much has been accomplished.

On that note I wish you calm in all that you do today and for the rest of the week of September….. pics to follow later 🙂