GROW: Podcast Interview with Amy Anderson: Lactation Consultant, Chiropractor, Mom, Awesome Lady.

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This episode covers: The power and powerlessness of birth, middle school social stigmas, C-sections, band geeks, gut biomes, Kombucha…what don’t we talk about?!

Find Amy at Health Journey Chiropractic in Fitchburg or, for home visits: here.

If you want to jump to the birth story, head to 23:00.

 

 

 

AmyA.

 

Meet Amy 1:10

How to raise money for schools in non-annoying ways 2:50

The philosophical dilemma of goldfish crackers 5:00

Why don’t we all have hybrid minivans 6:30

How messy cars get with kids 9:35

Middle school hierarchies and misunderstandings 12:30

Amy is a jock brain 15:30

Band geeks are awesome 17:00

Why did girls in our generation feel bad about themselves? 18:00

The female brain and Kris gets distracted by orgasms 21:00

Being simultaneously your most vulnerable and your strongest 23:00

Birth story and letting go of control 24:00

Amy loves Nesalla Kombucha 27:00

When your birth plan changes by necessity in a direction you don’t like 27:00

Amy gets biblical 28:00

Births and miscarriages and life…Do we have control over our fates? 29:45

Is birth and death outside the order of the universe? Does birth give you lessons specific to you? 32:00

Can you turn a breech baby? 35:00

C-section is not a surgery, it’s a birth 37:00

Amy didn’t pump gas while pregnant 40:00

Break: Amy’s info & Postpartum Support International

Why Amy became a lactation consultant 43:00

The necessity having a woman in the room for breastfeeding help 45:00

Support before birth or after….which is more important if you had to choose? 48:00

Kris edits in “overstated” for “understated” because……can’t abide the wrong word 49:20

If your boob is a firehose? 52:45

It’s not a matter of opinion…postpartum facts for the health picture 56:00

Having your shit together is bullshit 1:00

Why are we skeptical of people who have clean houses? 1:02

It’s hard to let your older kids go 1:06

The importance of connections 1:09

Amy’s work 1:11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sweet Spot Meditation

For those of us that are wiggly and fidgety by nature, sitting still to meditate can be pretty challenging. Not wanting to do a walking meditation, but still wanting to let the body lead? Thankfully, there’s a meditation for that.

The focus in this kind of meditation is twofold: first visualizing a thread from the bottom of the tailbone up out the top of your head to the heavens. Next finding the postural sweet spot where you feel centered and light and letting your body follow the sweet spot. That’s it!

This one’s just 7 minutes.

A Mother’s Rights #15: You have the right to change your priorities.

Maybe before you became a mom, you were a fucking lion at work and hammered out 12 hour workdays, ate leftover Indian for dinner and got weekly massages. Maybe you spent most of your monthly budget on lingerie and had Outlander-style fantasy sex with your partner every day.

Then after holding a sweet heavenly baby in your arms for the first time, your world underwent a seismic shift. You stopped caring about the things that were happening at work. Instead you hid behind your desk skyping your baby and knitting booties. You abandoned beautiful lingerie for whatever bra worked best for pumping. You got sad being away from home and couldn’t eat Indian food anymore because it gave you heartburn. And every time you had sex, you peed a little because your pelvic floor was a like a stretched out old rubber band someone left in the sun.

Amidst all this change in your life, it may occur to you that your priorities have changed too. You may be looking around and saying: “Well, who the fuck am I now?”

 

prioriites

 

Goddess, yes, things are changing. Your life is changing. Your body is changing. Your priorities are changing. YOU are changing. It is tempting to hold so tightly to the way you used to be that you cannot see the gift of who you are becoming.

Who you are becoming is someone with different priorities. You have to be. There’s a person now or more than one person who requires you for bonding and play and learning and care and sustenance. We are important.

To move deeper into the majesty of ourselves, we need to let go of who we thought we were just a little bit and little bit more. Because motherhood changes us in every way and it is 100% ok to let motherhood change you. To allow your desires and preferences and needs to slowly or suddenly shape your life into a new thing.

Maybe you taper down to 8 hour days at work or maybe you use your savings to stay home for the first year. Maybe you start cooking casseroles for God’s sake and trade your massages for baby and mom yoga. Maybe you wear organic cotton over-the-head bras with thick nipple pads and spackle your nipples with balm while your lacy bras gather dust in the back of their drawers. Girl, it’s fine.

Accepting the ways your priorities change is so healthy and good and nourishing. Letting the love that bonds you to your child sweep over your life and transform it is a natural and necessary thing. It is not just transformative to your life but to the world. Because the world needs women who let the elemental forces of motherhood sweep through them, sweep through their relationships and priorities.

These elementals forces help shape the future into one where motherhood is important and profound and sacred. Just like that sweet baby is important and profound and sacred and just like you are important and profound and sacred.

You have the right to change your priorities and to trust that whatever you dive into in this precious moment in your life, the essence of you and your goddess beautiful self will remain perfectly, exquisitely you.

A Mother’s Rights #14: You have the right to parent your own way.

My kids and I had a talent show in the living room this morning. We each took turns either singing a song, pretending to play the piano, dancing, or play-acting martial arts. The house is messy. The dishes weren’t done. I have an acrylic paint stain on the carpet that is waiting for me to clean. But this is how I parent and I like it. I like being with my kids and spending time enjoying their company in the morning before getting to the chores. It helps me feel grateful. I want them to feel the bonds that they have to each other and to learn that spending time with each other is as important as any work to be done.

 

parentyourway

 

If you could see the inside of my van, you would be horrified. In college, we used to go a bar that served free peanuts you shelled yourself and then dropped the shells on the floor. My van looks like that floor, except instead of peanuts, it is the remnants of every kid-friendly food. I let my kids eat in the car, because it is sometimes the only place they are sitting still long enough to eat.

For other moms, this style of parenting might be excruciating: playing games or dancing while there was work to be done. A van filled with crumbs and wrappers.

But they’re not me.

There is value in different ways of parenting. But the real value for you and your kids is how YOU parent. Letting them see you. Letting your style flourish. Doing what works. There is joy in expressing yourself through parenting and, yes, parenting is an art form. Your style is unique to you.

You create something with your children through the design of your days with them. They learn how to bond and prioritize, how to balance play and exercise and work and thought. But they also learn by watching you navigate your day. And your way of doing things is great if it works for your family.

Likewise, it is good practice to check your horror at how other people parent. For me, seeing kids at a playground in pressed, spotless clothes while their mom shouts, “Oh, now look! You’ve gotten dirt on your shoes!” is a real test for me. Or toddlers with gigantic bows as big as their heads and lacy skirts who look like they want to tear everything off and run naked in the grass.  It helps to be curious, be accepting.

No family is the same.  And most likely, you are doing it just right.

A Mother’s Rights 13: You have the right to say no.

 

This is an oldie but a goodie and gets a lot of mileage in the mom world. In Paul Coelho’s words, “When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.” Basically, know yourself. Prioritize what’s important to you. Then live that.

Suuuuuper easy. Hahahahahaha.

you have the right to shower every day (3)

 

If you can indulge me for a bit, I’d like to walk with you down a little bit of a deeper interpretation of this. I brought water and trail mix: the kind with almonds and dark chocolate, not that bullshit peanuts and off-brand M&M’s kind.

We all get the surface meaning of this basic right. Say no to things that will wear you down, stress you out, or just aren’t important to you. Like, if you have a busy week, say no to making brownies for the bake sale. If your kid has the flu, say no to carpooling soccer for your neighbor. If you don’t want to drive across town after a long day, say no to book club tonight. Logistically, don’t fill your schedule up with things that will overload you. BUT, what if the importance of saying no goes deeper than that?

Understanding when and how to say no at a deeper level starts with understanding how to listen to ourselves so we know what’s important to us and what’s not.  What is your yes/no spectrum? How do you say yes to life, to new experiences, to nourishment, to bold ways of being you AND say no to hurtful people, careless treatment, and stretching beyond your healthy limits?

This kind of discernment starts with practicing a deep and passionate love for who you are so that there is room for yes to come forward.  Actively practice loving yourself. Identify things that make you feel good without question. As in: I lose 10 pounds of stress when I dance to Sean Mendes. I love walking in the arboretum. Putting mascara on makes me feel like a powerful influencer. My painting is my happy place.

Make some room for these big yes feelings. Remember yourself.

Equally important: make room for uncomfortable feelings you may not initially welcome. Things like: I can’t stand hearing my baby cry right now. I’m so angry my dad is passive-aggressive about my parenting style. I wish my partner would leave me alone right now. My eating is out of control and I’m scared.

These uncomfortable feelings need to be seen and heard too. Feelings are temporary, you are not. Getting to know your uncomfortable feelings and allowing them to be seen will help you know your real self, and love your whole self.

So far: discover what you feel and what you like. Discover what you’d rather not be feeling and things you dislike. I am making this sound so easy, but for those of us who molded ourselves based on who we thought we should be, it takes some serious dedication and practice. Thank God for yoga and friends.

Discovering your personal yes/no spectrum continues with making room for ‘no’ to come forward without pushing it to the side. You have preferences. It’s ok to hear what they are. Begin listening for your inner talk of:

I can’t say no to that or….

my partner will get mad
my friends won’t understand
my kids won’t like it
my colleagues will laugh at me
I might lose something
I might feel something I don’t want to feel
I might miss out
it could be a mistake
I won’t be pleasing others
I might hurt someone’s feelings

Hearing that inner talk and recognizing it as fear and old programming will make room for really, truly who you are to come forward. You might have a really strong “FUCK NO – I’M NOT DOING THAT” come forward. Or you may notice a gentle “I’d prefer not to, but I’m really ok with it.” What you choose to do with your preferences is then totally in your power.

This book: Getting Real is a stunning map of how to identify YOU amidst the chatter of your mind and feelings, and how to bring that you to the surface in a real way. It is so massively helpful in navigating self, life, thoughts, wanting things to be different, wanting people to be better, wanting yourself to be perfect, wanting anger to go away, needing to feel more connected. Just everything.

When you begin to know yourself and stop living your life based on expectations of who you should be or what you should do, saying no becomes a fun experiment.

What does no feel like in my body and mind? Tight shoulders? Stomach pains? Does a strong no feel different then a weak one? What does ‘yes’ feel like? Am I smiling? Excited? Relaxed? Do I feel sexy? Friendly?

Saying no is about you honoring you. The real you, the one in your big juicy heart. And won’t your kids be amazed to see this practice of self-discovery in action? They are so lucky to have a mom like you.

Violet Flame Meditation- 8 minutes

The violet flame is an energetic tool I use often in meditation. It’s a transformative energy embodying the qualities of grace, unconditional love, forgiveness, freedom, transmutation, and spiritual uplifting to the higher states of consciousness.

If you’ve ever heard or said, “I’m just going to offer it up” or “I’m releasing this problem to God,” the violet flame is a tangible representation of that concept and much more.

This 8 minute meditation is an introduction to using the violet flame. It should feel comforting, soothing, and uplifting. Like coming home to yourself. The meditation includes a bit of mindfulness, a visualization of the violet flame, and a blue flame of protection at the end. Some people like to start with the protection first before they begin a meditation. After you listen once, if you want to begin your next meditation with blue flame, that’s great. Do what works for you.

If you want to google “violet flame,” get ready for some top level far-out shit.  This post is one of the milder introductions to a more in-depth look at what it’s all about. I don’t really recommend clicking on first page google results if you are doing a search for the v.f. unless you are ready to dive deep into the idea of channeling, karma, and the work of the Ascended Masters.  If you’re good with all that, then have at it! You will not be disappointed.

Enjoy.