Let Love be Your Energy

As the year is winding down, it has put me in reflective mood.

I caught the end of Radio 2’s ‘Pause for Thought’ this morning, I missed most of it, however, the contributor was summing up and said the words, “Let Love be Your Energy” and it struck me, this is what moves me forward. I have found untold strength and energy from the love of my adopted children, battled negativity from every turn – with the thought – I don’t care what you think of me – when it comes to my business, I just want people to take care of themselves, and for my family, I just want you to understand and consider how you treat people.

It feels like my business is always evolving, I change what I offer and sometimes who I work with. However, the common thread through everything I do is ‘support’. Working one to one with counselling clients, offering business support to therapeutic business owners, providing therapy mini-sessions through the Choice Indulgence Evening and running DIY Pamper Evenings and Parties. I feel like I will always be someone who is motivated and enthused by change and project work (perhaps why running events appeals to me). I will, however, always offer support.

Sometimes I forget about my extensive experience and wonder why I am good at what I do and why I like change. I think a little resume of my career explains this a little!

– Working in pubs and cafes as a student
– University Research
– Factory work
– Debt recovery
– Recruitment
– Customer Services Management
– Teaching ICT, Business Studies and Sociology in 3 different secondary schools plus mentoring new teachers
– Counsellor
– Events management

As well as my voluntary work as a Girl Guides Leader, working as a counsellor for the blind and partially sighted, working on a rape crisis help line, and mentoring ‘looked after’ children.

I’ve done a lot and I have moved around. Being self-employed has been the thing I have stuck at for the longest, mainly because I am in charge of my own destiny. I don’t have to answer to anyone (except the tax man) and if I don’t like what I do, I can change it!

So, let love be your energy, and it be the thing that motivates you.

Juliet x

Tickets: Choice Indulgence Evening, 7 February, 7:00pm – 9:30pm, The KP , Pocklington
Choice Indulgence Evening, 14 March, 7:00pm – 9:30pm, Middlethorpe Hall & Spa, York

5 Useful Strategies when welcoming adopted children to your family

As I sit here in a 4th floor apartment looking out at the North Sea, it dawns on me the strategies and advice I found useful when settling my children into their new home with us.

We did receive lots of advice.

Much of the time we didn’t understand the significance of the advice – how it would be helpful and why. We blindly followed some of it and thought more carefully about others.

I think that much of the time when you meet new children you are about to adopt or look after in the longer term you are in turmoil, this huge occasion is happening to you, you are dealing with (in our case) two traumatised, nervous, anxious, excited little people. You are keen to ‘get it right’, want to make them feel ok, settled, at home and welcome. So taking in well meaning advice can be tricky.

I have tried to make this concise and easy to understand…

What we found useful?

Bed times – bed times are as much for the adults as the children, although bed times are tricky for children from a tricky background, consistently putting them to bed at a set time in a comforting, routine way is very helpful. You need a break, the child needs sleep. You may need to do it many, many times and be up and downstairs, but certainly for us it paid dividends eventually. Each time there is an incident, go upstairs calmly put them back to bed and return downstairs. Sometimes I needed to sit with them, sometimes sitting on the landing with my laptop but still routinely letting them know they were safe and that I wasn’t far away and just doggedly kept going with it. Eventually the message went in.

Playing Games – at times it was very hard to create a satisfactory relationship with my children, they were not born to me, they were not a blood relation and reaching a point where I thought we had a ‘bond’ and that we were a ‘proper’ family took years. One thing that really helped was doing Theraplay games, fair weather or foul, every evening pulling some games/activities from two books I have, was very helpful. I would go as far as saying those Theraplay games kept us together when it was very hard. (Theraplay – Helping Parents & Children build a better relationship – Jernberg & Booth, it is an expensive volume but £49 to save a family is cheap enough, and Self-esteem Games – Barbara Sher, we played tons of games from this book and I have many happy memories of these games, and hopefully the children do too.) It’s useful to have a couple of go-to books to grab.

Hand & Foot Massage – I didn’t know why we were told to do this, but I did it again, consistently, massage each others hands and feet with lovely cream (nice fruity Body Shop ones are good). It promotes physical closeness, it feels comforting, it smells lovely, got us sat together, making eye contact, giggling etc. Most importantly it promotes the production of oxytocin (produced when a baby is born, apparently, to help parent and child ‘bond’).

Nutrition – I’m afraid I don’t know too much about this, however, we were told, as the children were traumatised that their ‘gut flora’ would be unbalanced. I am starting to learn more about this but need to read more. So we gave them pro-biotics and pro-biotic drinks and I think it helped. There are lots of other reasons to give your child a nutritionally balanced diet to help their gut but you will have to read up more yourself!

Me-Time – I have consistently had full body massages and found them immensely comforting and useful, the power of touch and being ‘held’ is very valuable. Thanks to Joanne Bull, Chloe Hart and Catherine Hagan. I have also found other therapies very helpful, they got me away from the house for a break and gave that powerful one to one time to get a break and be myself.

I have plenty more ideas up my sleeve, however, this will do for now! The reason I do my Health & Wellness events and counselling is to offer this back to other people, create me-time and a break from life.

Best Wishes

Juliet xx

I am hosting a very special Self-Care Evening for Foster Carers and Adoptive Parents on 16 May 2018 near York.
Book here: Tickets and Information