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  • Q. What do I do if my child throws a tantrum?

    A.

    It is normal for children to throw tantrums when they are around 2 or so. This is a natural and important part of their developmental phase. So it's not that tantrums are bad, in fact, the way in which we handle them that is important in teaching our child valuable emotional intelligence that can support them for the rest of their life. These skills can make their life easier going forward by helping them to form positive connections with others. 

    When your child has a tantrum, usually they are angry because they are not getting what they want. When they are having a full blown tantrum, crying, kicking and screaming, this is not the time to reason with them!! They are so full of anger and emotion they will not be able to hear you. You may have to let the tantrum run its course a bit, until the emotion passes through them. As long as they are safe you may even need to walk away and come back when they can even just take in what you are saying.

    Never make them feel like their emotion is wrong or that gives them the message that is OK not to feel. Children have the ability to feel very easily. They can be happy one minute, angry next, then sad and then happy again. This is the natural ebb and flow of feelings. It's when we suppress these feelings or act out on them in negative ways that problems occur. For example, when we are taught to suppress our feelings we push them further and further down inside until they will either make us sick with stomach problems or headaches for example. Alternatively, the feelings that people have been taught are wrong, can build and build inside them until the person explodes acting out on the feelings and often hurting others in the process.

    So when the tantrum has subsided even a little, this is the time to validate your child's feelings by saying: "I can see your angry/sad/mad (the emotion) that you can't have your toy/the apple/pull your sister's hair" (the situation). This validation of their emotions should help them to feel calm and understood. Then you can give a brief explanation why and tell them what they need to do, such as the need to share or that your sister has feelings and pulling her hair will hurt her.

    Effectively you are giving them some space until they calm down, name and validate the emotion, explain (very briefly why, a long explanation or lengthy reasoning will lose their attention) and say what they did. This is a confident, firm, kind and caring way and you will be the parent who they know is clearly in charge yet is supportive and kind. Knowing that you are in charge makes them feel safe and secure and that you are acting in their best interests.

    At around two years of age children start exploring and finding out in the world what is and isn’t acceptable. They learn this through what they are exposed to and often what is reflected back to them by adults. During this phase, a child’s language skills are developing rapidly, and it is important to teach them how to use their words to get what they want, rather than acting out on their feelings by sulking or having a tantrum. If this stage of development isn’t completed effectively, adults can still fall back on sulking or having tantrums, to get what they want!

    For children and adults who have not completed this stage of development, having a tantrum or sulking will be a coping mechanism to get what they want, no matter what their age. Expanding our awareness is about learning new and better ways in emotional mastery. If life is difficult, challenging or a struggle, this is a sign that we still have things to learn.

    This period of a child’s life is all about boundaries. For example to learn, kindly and gently, that it’s not acceptable to destroy others’ property or to hit other children on the head with their toys. It is essential that healthy boundaries of respect and kindness towards others are set at this age. These skills will allow them to relate to and connect to others for the rest of their life.

    Walls may block you in, but boundaries will set you free. ~ Guy Morgan

    Our children want and need us to guide them as they grow and discover the world. It is essential to respect a child’s sense of self and their internal guidance system. It is also essential for their well-being and happiness, that we are confident in stepping up, (within reason as we are only human too) and being there for them as wise and compassionate role models.

  • Q. I have suffered with depression & anxiety over a period of time on & off. It is a debillitating disease & hard to understand what sets it off. I would like to hear from other people who are going through it & how they cope from day to day.

    A.

    Depression and anxiety can be debilitating, taking us away from our natural sense of peace, happiness and enjoyment of daily life. These conditions are widely prevalent in our world today. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to The World Health Organisation (WHO). Globally 1 in 13 people suffers from anxiety (futurity.org). Depression and anxiety are the results of imbalances in our emotional and energetic body.

    Depression is when we keep our feelings trapped in our body, and they are unable to flow freely through our energetic system. If you notice small children, they are capable of feeling happy, then angry that someone stole their toy, then sad because they didn't get their way and back to happy again; all in the space of ten minutes. This is because they do not hold onto, repress or dwell on their emotions. If we hold onto our emotions, t can lead to mental unrest and if done over long periods it can even lead to disease (which means lack of ease in the body).

    Sometimes children are taught (or conditioned) not to feel, by adults, as they learn that certain feelings are unacceptable. Ideally, we learn that all our feelings are acceptable and how to express them in healthy ways, that are not damaging to others.

    As an adult, with depression, it is often helpful to learn to tap into our true or authentic feelings and let them flow freely through our body. When suffering from depression we can feel heavy and tired due to the effort, it takes to keep our feelings inside. This can likened to the effort it takes to hold a beach ball under water. When we learn to observe and validate our feelings without judgment they flow through our energetic system. Our feelings will then unable to control of us; we are instead in control of our feelings. We are the master of our feelings rather than a slave to them.

    When we learn to observe and validate our feelings, without judgment they flow through our energetic system. This results in us being in control of our feelings. We become the master of rather than a slave to them.

    It is essential, particularly at the beginning of your journey, if you find your feelings overwhelming (often due to a past experiences or traumas) that you get the support of a professional therapist to support you. A therapist is a specialist in emotions. They can help you normalize your feelings and support you in releasing them until you can do so yourself.

    Meditation is also a wonderful tool to learn how to let your feelings flow through your energetic system. The wiki article: How to Develop a Peaceful Mind can help with this process.

    Anxiety is when we repeatedly think over and over again (obsessing) worrying thoughts about the future. These are fear-based (FEAR = false expectation appearing real) thoughts about an event that has not yet occurred. Relieving anxiety is about learning to master our thoughts rather than having them master us. Again meditation can be a wonderful tool in teaching us to master our thoughts.

    With anxiety, we need to retrain our mind to be creative rather than fearful. A powerful way to do this is to send out to the universe our positive intentions about the life we would like to create, rather that one based on our often, unconscious fears. Then, let go and have faith and trust, that The Universe is going to respond often in ways we could not have imagined.

    Work out what your intentions are, out by writing a list of the way you would like your life to be. Look at the areas of health, relationships, career, finances and spirituality (or whatever categories are important to you). At the beginning of every day, AS soon as you wake up, when your mind is open and receptive, sit in a comfortable place to meditate. Spend the first 10 to 15 minutes calming your mind through focusing on your breath, a mantra or your preferred way. When your mind is calm, send out your intentions to the universe in the areas of health, relationships, career, finances and spirituality for example. Relax, let go, and your life unfold as you co-create with The Universe. See this as a loose plan to allow space for the magic of the Universe to work.

    Depression and anxiety are often triggered by reactions to external circumstances. See Understanding and Resolving Emotional Reactions to learn more about working through reactions. A reaction disproportionate to the event, can indicate unresolved issues from our past. For example when someone says some little thing and you explode. As a result, a reaction can be the trigger anxiety or depression. For example, our boyfriend leaves us. Instead of feeling normal emotions like anger, sadness and then processing the situation with our reasoning centers, we fall into a deep depression.

    In an emotionally healthy state we use our frontal brain to reassure us that we will be OK, we are great regardless of a relationship or that we will find another boyfriend at the right time. However, if our boyfriend leaving us triggers a deep depression or anxious thoughts, this may be because our father may have abandoned us when we were young, for example. We may not have not truly made peace with this deep hurt. When our boyfriend leaves us, the old unresolved emotions from our father leaving us, come to the surface for healing.

    Instead of thinking of the depression or anxiety as a disability, we can see it as a wonderful opportunity for growth to create more wonderful and harmonious ways of being. We can use depression and anxiety as the catalysts to understand and create peace in our inner and outer world.

  • Q. How do I stop feeling like a victim?

    A.

    A.The opposite to feeling like a victim is to feel in our power or empowered. When we are empowered we feel strong, confident and free to live the life we want, regardless of others.

    Well-meaning people may have contributed to our self-image in ways that cause us to feel less than the divine, magnificent beings, that we are. The important thing is the past is the past, and if external ideas do not enhance our life, they do not belong to us. From this moment forward, it is possible to build a flourishing sense of self-confidence, by becoming very still and find out what is going on in our internal world. If our beliefs are not supporting the best possible version of ourselves, they are not true.

    Acceptance is the first step to feeling empowered—naming and accepting ANY feelings as they are right now without judgement. This technique, helps us to diffuse any internal pressure or stress, so that we can make the best decisions for ourselves. This is because, when we accept our anger for example, with compassion and grace, it no longer controls us, and we no longer feel and act in angry ways.

    We may be harbouring feelings of anger, for example, that our father walked out on us when we were six. This feeling of anger has never been expressed or validated (know as repression). In our current life, that feeling may be directed at inappropriate people, such as our children or partner. This feeling is driving our behaviour and is disempowering, as we are isolating ourselves from others, by being an angry person.

    The good news is that we can always validate our feelings now (even if they are from years ago) and allow them to pass through our energetic system, preventing us from acting out in inappropriate ways.

    Observing our feelings and letting them flow, makes it possible to be the master of our emotions, rather than our emotions mastering us. This inner stability allows us to live in a genuinely empowered state.

    From this sense of calm and peace, it is important to learn to speak our truth, or what is right for us. Victims generally feel as though they do not have a voice. If we are in a situation that is harmful to us we may need to speak to those involved. If is is a violent or volatile situation, it may not be safe to speak to that person directly and you may need to get some professional support to find out the safest course of action for yourself. However never put up with an abusive relationship, take the appropriate, safe action to sort it out.

    Victims can fall into the trap (understandably) of fear driving them and then creating a life based on those fearful thoughts. To create the fully empowered life of your dreams, visualise while meditating and focussing on what you want in a loving way.

    Focussing on your passions and the things that you do well allow you to feel empowered as you feel the joy of doing work that you love.

    Feeling like a victim can seem overwhelming and feel like you are trapped. However, EVERY PROBLEM IN LIFE HAS A SOLUTION. It may feel like you are unsupported, however, answers are everywhere if you look for them. If you are really overwhelmed or have intense feelings, counsellors and psychotherapists are there to support you, in working through your challenges. If money is an issue, contact a helpline in your country or find a support group. If feelings are less intense a trusted friend can be a great sounding board, in allowing you to work out what you need to do, as you step forward in your journey to empowerment.

    Getting out of your head and into your heart is a very powerful way in discovering the best answers for you. Chinese medicine views the heart as "The Emperor" of the body. The HeartMath Institute has recorded the heart to be approximately 60 times greater electrically and up to 5,000 times stronger magnetically than the brain. It is your wise, all knowing place that knows what is right for you. When we are still, meditating or in nature it is easier for us to hear the messages from our heart, safely driving us back to our true, empowered selves.

    So there are many ways and paths for us to overcome feeling like a victim and stepping into your true empowered selves feeling better, stronger and wiser than ever before.

  • Q. What do I do if I’m addicted to technology?

    A.

    Knowing how to use technology is important for your well-being and in relation to maintaining positive social interactions. If you find you cannot control how much you are using technology and it is overtaking your life, set yourself limits regarding use of devices. Eg: not at all during social interactions and only twice at night.

    Don’t use your technology as a distraction, as this can become a mindless habit. Take time to appreciate your surroundings and go out of your way to create and enjoy new experiences. Divert your mind to all the other things in your life that you feel grateful for that don’t involve technology. There is a beautiful world surrounding us. Recollect the things that add value and beauty to your life and bring and appreciate them.

    Shut down your devices for periods of time to give yourself a break. Ensure that technology is not controlling you and that you are controlling it.

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