Sound Medicine by Anime: Using Ancient Solfeggio Frequencies to Destress and Transform Your Daily Life

In recent and even not so recent years I've often found it difficult to relax. Most likely, the sole reason for this is simply that I lead a busy life, caring for our four children and my husband. It doesn't leave a lot of time for me to focus just on me and that means I often end up feeling stressed. It's not like I want or even need a lot of time to myself, but like most mothers, just a half hour here or there is all I desire!

I've often found that in those occasional half hours that I do manage to grab for myself that deep relaxation recordings help me cope with the daily stress in my life and I suppose I first started reaching for them when I was a student. Studying for what seemd to be never-ending exams in the hope of achieving my dream of becoming an English teacher, it was often difficult to wind down at the end of the day.

As the years have gone by, many things have changed. I achieved my dream but found that full-time motherhood became more important to me and that's why I made the almost overwhelmingly difficult choice to stay at home full-time. Not that I made that choice deliberately I might add. When I went on maternity leave just before my second daughter was born, I fully intended on returning to the workplace. However, it just never happened. I briefly thought about how childcare would work out and couldn't bring myself to leave the children with strangers. My parents and my husband's parents had been more than eager to look after their first grandchild but with a second it was more difficult for them and I didn't even ask as I knew it would be too much.

It wasn't an easy decision to stay at home as I had always loved my work and got a great feeling of excitement from helping young people to learn, but it had physically pained me when I had initially left my first baby behind with one set of grandparents whilst I left to educate other children. Somehow, the decision to become a fulltime mother was made for me without me even realising it - it was only as the weeks at home became years at home that at some point I actually thought to myself how did that happen?

These days, with four children who demand my almost every moment, I often look back on what could have been had I managed to secure a permanent job in teaching as soon as I'd qualified. I probably wouldn't have found it just so easy to walk away, and in fact probably wouldn't have done so, but since my early teaching positions were always temporary I just never went back after the birth of my second daughter.

Looking back into my own past always causes me mixed feelings. I know in my heart I've often made what were difficult but ultimately the best choices I could have made at the time, yet I still wonder incessantly about how I could be more productive in society. My husband tells me what I do is enormously important - as a full-time mother, I'm the one who takes the children on medical appointments, nurses them if they're ill and I do most of the school work, all the school runs and house-keeping. But my mind often refuses to quieten, questioning many of the decisions I have made and continue to make. 

Every day I look at working mothers and wonder how they manage and how I would have managed had that been the path I had ended up taking. I have many regrets but also many moments of clarity and when it all starts to become overwhelming help is never far away in the form of one of the many mp3 relaxation cds I have on my ipod. At the moment I'm enjoying some of my many Glenn Harrold recordings, in particular his solfeggio meditations series of which I have three. The recordings are based on an ancient sound system using certain frequencies which correspond to specific worries, stresses, hopes and dreams and I have found them remarkably effective and rather inspirational. Like many similar hypnotherapy/relaxation recordings, they start off helping you focus on breathing techniques which help you drift into a lovely deeply relaxed state before suggestions which help focus on problems or desires in your life. I usuallly fall into a deep sleep fairly quickly and usually awaken with a loud snore just as the recording ends!

What I really love about these recordings though is the background sounds and music, so much so that I actually bought myself a copy of just the background music which is composed and arranged by spiritual musician and healer Ali Calderwood, the man behind Anima.

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Three Top Tips to make New Mum Feel Good (Guest Post)

If you are a new Mum you may be experiencing a roller coaster of emotions as your hormones rebalance after the birth of your little bundle of joy. Some days might be plain sailing with the house immaculate, a contented baby, the washing done and tea on the table domestic-goddess-style whilst others could be car crashes of weeping and wailing – you and the baby – mess everywhere and takeaway pizza for dinner.

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Getting Your Kids to Enjoy Nature's Medicine

Are you like many Mom's who are totally frustrated with trying to convince the kids to take their eyes off the television and their fingers off the games controls and spend some time outdoors? If so, then perhaps these suggestions will help you in your battle against the cyber world so your kids will enjoy a healthier outdoor atmosphere.

How you will approach this task will depend on the age of the youngsters. This can be anywhere from when they first discover the television right up into their teens.

For the little ones make up an outdoor adventure focusing on something they are intrigued with. Perhaps your little guy likes insects and bugs, where your little girl is mesmerized with butterflies. The plan is, that you heard about this really neat new bug or butterfly that is around and you are going on a nature hunt.

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Help your Children Develop Self Esteem with Relax Kids CDs

Relax Kids Self-Esteem  After writing about Relax Kids last week, I decided to put one of their relaxation cds to the test. 

My eldest daughter Tara, aged 10, sometimes suffers from low self-esteem so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try to help her overcome this issue and have fun doing so in the process.

Since it's known that children with low self-esteem can often end up suffering from feelings of low self-worth, depression and even being bullied at school or by other children outside school, it's worth addressing the problem as early as possible in a child's development.

Tara, like many children her age, is something of a perfectionist and as a result, often gets herself into a state over small things such as not being able to get the details quite right in a sketch, or forgetting how to work out a maths question. At these times she can get so worked up that the tears flow and she races off to her room, leaving everyone behind wondering why on earth she is getting herself upset about something apparently trivial to the rest of us.

The Relax Kids Self Esteem CD arrived in the middle of last week and I was very keen to get started. Somewhat typically at the moment, Tara, on the other hand, wasn't! 

Regardless, I decided we'd get started in her room and having read through the wonderful booklet of exercises included with the cd, I believed that she'd love it once we got going. However, when her siblings also expressed an interest in joining in, Tara was not happy. Oh dear, she was not going to make this easy for any of us...

We started off by doing some stretching and breathing exercises as suggested in the booklet but then, having seated ourselves in a circle on the floor, Tara refused to join in, instead preferring to sit on her bed. I let it go thinking perhaps she just needed her own space. When the first track began the two younger children immediately did as required for the session, closing their eyes, taking deep breaths and using their imaginations.

Sadly, I had to stop the cd several times because Tara's behaviour got increasingly unbearable. By now she was lying on her bed, thumping her feet up and down and distracting the other two! Grrr.

Almost on the point of abandoning the session, I decided to give her a stern talking to, explaining the point of our session and how it would help her if she wanted to be helped. I explained it was a lovely way for us all to spend time with one another and would help her to deal with her feelings as she grows. Knowing she is ten years old and entering puberty, I am always aware that her behaviour is very much controlled by raging hormones at the moment so I have to take this into account when she is being problematic.

Thankfully, she agreed we could give it another try and that she'd stop distracting Sarah and Jack... 

Rather than playing the same track again, we moved onto track number two, Crystal Ball. Well, what a difference - all three children settled into the session quickly and thoroughly enjoyed imagining they were looking into a crystal ball and seeing themselves in various pleasant and playful situations. 

Each session only lasts around 5 minutes, after which time it's nice to discuss with the children what they got from the session.

I was astounded by just how much all three of my children enjoyed the track and we must have sat for an hour discussing their crystal ball exercise and talking about feelings. We had great fun, laughed a lot and everyone got on incredibly well together. Tara was particularly excited by the exercise and the time we spent chatting about the experience was simply wonderful. She got very animated and her mood was transformed from the first attempt!

Over the intervening days we've since listen to several more tracks and I have to admit to being astounded by just how well the cds are working for us. Several tracks are affirmation tracks and these have been particular beneficial for Tara as she now understands that by thinking positively about things she's having problems with, she will begin to believe in herself and her abilities. Rather that telling herself she can't do something, she now understands that she should tell herself that she can do whatever it is that she is fretting about and that eventually she will believe that she can.

Tara (and the others) have actually enjoyed the cd so much that I often hear them playing it for themselves - which is quite a result! Tara has even taken to switching it on at bedtime which has lead to her falling asleep much more quickly and waking up in a much better frame of mind next morning.

The cd has also had another unexpected result for me in that I've enjoyed working with it so much that I can now see endless opportunities for its use. 

As a teacher in the days before I had my own children, I know just how useful the Relax Kids range of cds would be in a classroom setting, particularly in English and Drama settings. They certainly promote creative thinking and I can only begin to imagine how a child's creative writing would be enhanced by listening to a track as part of a lesson. In Drama, the use of the cds would help inspire children to act out various situations and in art, I think both children and teachers would be intrigued by the resulting pictures children would draw.

Relax Kids cds could be employed virtually anywhere that children are: hospitals, youth clubs, arts centres... the list is endless.

For now, we're going to keep working with our self-esteem cd but there are many other cds also available in the range, including Anger Management, Anxiety and Worry, Concentration, Health and Happiness, Sleeping Problems and Stress Management. 

Relax Kids also offer a variety of books, motivational cards and teaching aids to complement the cds and these are suitable for younger as well as older children. Check out to read about and purchase their products.

Relax Kids - A Fun Way to Help Children Cope with Everyday Stress

We all experience stress in our every day lives to varying degrees. However, it's only as my children have grown older that I've begun looking at how stress manifests in them and how they deal with it.

With my eldest daughter, I find that most of the time she manages to cope fairly well by just shrieking at her siblings to just leave her alone; however, it's the times that she really screams at them and then races up the stairs in a foul temper that most concerns me. It's at these times that I become vividly aware of the fact that she doesn't really cope very well at all under extreme stress and it makes me wonder how she'll keep it together when she is older.

Of course, it's not just my 10 year old who experiences episodes of stress and anger; it happens with my younger children too and it appears to happen to the children of many of my friends.

As parents we need to be there for our children and it's important, I think, to teach them stress-coping and anger management strategies.

Stress is difficult enough to cope with when you're an adult but when stress turns to anger the results can be very destructive for everyone involved. 

In my case, when I find my daughter weeping on her bed after one of these anger outbursts my heart breaks. When questioned about what has made her so angry her response is usually that she doesn't know. Other times she tells me her brother or sister were just really annoying her and she needed them to be quiet - or she simply needed to get away from them. Much of it is probably hormonal as she approaches her teenage years, but since she's always been a fairly highly-strung (for want of a better phrase) child, I've realised it's time to work that little bit harder at helping her.

And I've just come across what appears to be an interesting and very promising programme: Relax Kids.

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Dawn Chorus: Birdsong - Free Sounds of the Morning

Download birdsong-sample.mp3 (19034.8K)

Most agree; there's no sound on earth quite so beautiful as that of the Dawn Chorus - pure birdsong, composed by Mother Nature, unique each and every day!

The Dawn Chorus is the perfect background noise for relaxation and to help keep you focused in the workplace, home, classroom and car.

Babies and children also benefit from birdsong, especially at bedtime when the soft twittering of the birds eases them into a gentle sleep.

What's more is that bird song is proven to make you feel closer to nature throughout the day; everytime you listen you'll feel your tension slip away and your feel-good levels rise!

Unfortunately, most of us rarely get to hear this most amazing of sounds every single morning - as we're either fast asleep in our beds or the sound is drowned out by the double glazed windows and thickly insulated walls of our homes!

However, all is not lost.

We've recorded the Dawn Chorus in an urban environment and you can listen to it free - right here, right now!

What are you waiting for?

Duration: 20 minutes of urban bird song recorded during the Dawn Chorus!

Download birdsong-sample.mp3 (19034.8K)

We'll soon be releasing a series of full length versions of the dawn chorus which will be available for sale on mp3.

If you'd like to be kept notified as to when these are available, just send an email entitled Bird Song to Sinead[at]


December Carnival of Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding and the Holidays - How to Take Care of Yourself

Breastfeeding at Christmas Welcome to the December Carnival of Breastfeeding. This month's theme is all about looking after yourself during the holiday season. As usual, posts from fellow bloggers will be added to the end of my post throughout the day as and when they arrive! 

Looking After Yourself During the Holidays: 7 Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers

Looking after yourself as a breastfeeding mother during the holiday season is no mean feat. What with all the house decorations, food preparations and gift-buying, it can be hard to find the time to sneeze, never mind anything else.

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The "How to" Carnival of Breastfeeding: How to Wean a Breastfed Toddler

 How to wean a breastfeeding toddler Welcome to the April Carnival of Breastfeeding. This month it's all about breastfeeding how to's so I had to have a good long think about what it was that I most wanted to learn how to do during the time I was a breastfeeding mother.

I decided I'd cover How to Wean a Breastfed Toddler as it was perhaps the one thing about breastfeeding that I dreaded and worried about having to do. Like many breastfeeding mums I worried about how I'd approach the whole situation. It wasn't something I wanted to be rushed into but rather something I wanted to do it at the right time for me and my children. Perhaps more importantly I was also keen to cause as little distress as possible for both myself and each of my children too. So here goes:

Tips for How to Wean a Breastfeeding Toddler

(adapted from an  article on my website,

Are you currently weaning a breastfeeding toddler?

For the few women who breastfeed their babies into toddlerhood it can be very difficult to make the decision about when to wean. Do you decide from the outset to breastfeed for a set number of months or years? Do you opt to let your child decide to self-wean? Or do you just run with it and see what happens?

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