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Independence a Trauma Response

Is Your Independence a Trauma Response?

Is Your Independence a Trauma Response?

 

Something I have witnessed over the years working with my clients is the “Strong Woman” essence.  A facade that sensitive women in particular wear and present to the world to cover up what they are truly feeling below the surface.

Independence a Trauma Response

Strong women are fiercely independent not needing anyone or anything to help them, they use statements like “I can do it myself”.  It is a bit of a joke in our family here as when my husband would ask if I needed help, I would always say “No I can do it myself”.

I would see needing help as a weakness, like there was something wrong with me that I couldn’t handle it myself.  If I showed weakness that would open me up to feeling vulnerable and then essentially heartbreak.

Thinking about children, asking for help is not something they struggle with, if you are anything like me I have said to my kids “if I hear mum one more time, I’m going to change my name”.  So clearly kids are very good at getting their needs met, so when does that change?

When do we go from getting all our needs met and being okay with it, to seeing independence as strength and receiving help and support as weakness?

Experiencing trauma can cause you to do whatever you need to, to feel safe and sometimes that includes shutting yourself off, building that wall and the only person you rely on is YOU.

Telling yourself that you prefer it this way, it’s just easier to do it yourself because then there is no risk of been let down, disappointed or hurt.

This can come from all those times in your life where you were let down, disappointed and hurt by people you trusted.  It may have been a parent saying they will pick you up and then forgot, a sibling saying they will always have your back and then don’t show up, a friend that takes more than they give.

All these experiences add up to you losing trust in people and learning that the only person you can trust is yourself and in steps independence and your strong woman essence.

Whilst your independence may feel like it is protecting you from the outside world it is wearing away at the trust you also have of yourself.

When someone lets you down and you realise you can’t trust them, what are you equating that says about you?  That maybe you can’t trust yourself to make choices about others and who you can allow into your inner circle.

Losing trust in yourself has a massive affect on every part of your being, internal and external world.  It makes it hard to make even the easiest of decisions like what to eat.

Trust in yourself is imperative to living the life you came here to live at this time, to learn the soul lessons and fulfill both your life and soul purpose.

To start to understand more about your independence and learn whether it is a trauma response, is to ask yourself “what does independence mean to me?” and “why am I so independent?”.

These journaling questions are going to help you to start to know whether there is some healing needed, so you can start to trust in yourself and in others and stop living the lonely life of independence.

“You are worthy of a life that is supported by both fellow earthly souls and of course the universe and your cosmic team”


If you are feeling ready to heal your trauma, I would love to support you as you heal and release those events, moments and words of your past.  Click here to book your session.

Nicole Ivens | Empath Counsellor

Ask Your Angels | Episode 4 | What is your Strength?

In this week’s episode of “Ask Your Angels” the theme is”What is my Strength?”

 

Strength is a topic that comes up a lot in my client sessions, many women find it hard to recognise their own strength and especially have a hard time owning what their strength is.

So in today’s episode we are going to look into that question “What is my Strength?”

Tune in to your Cosmic Team and Ask Your Angels WHAT is my strength?
Pick card 1, 2, 3 or 4.

Your Guidance Revealed

 

 

Card 1:

Trust The Niggle ~ This card is letting you know that your strength is your Intuition, those little body niggles that you get, guiding you to do something in a certain way or go down this path.  Your angels are guiding you that you can trust in your intuition, it will not lead you astray, I know in the beginning trusting in your intuition and yourself can be challenging.  Even for me who uses intuition for everything, right down to the food that I eat, I sometimes don’t listen and of course I say “I should of listened and trusted my intuition”.

Your Angels are asking me to say to you “Yes that was us”, so I am guessing you have asked that question “Was that you?”.

Card 2:

The Ever-Unfolding Rose ~ This card is showing you that your strength is in questioning and not blaming, you aren’t one to blame others for what is going on within and around you, you look for the deeper meaning.  And this my lovely is a huge strength, trust me not many people do this, to blame others sure is easier than take responsible yourself for what you are experiencing.

Having the mindset of this is happening for me not to me, is a great step in your spiritual awakening, your angels are dancing for joy.

Card 3:

Play ~ This card brings the message of your light heartedness as your strength, your ability to bring a smile to anyone, no matter what they are experiencing.  This is a huge strength and service to the collective as a whole, as they say laughter is the best medicine.  Throughout our journey with my girls medical issues, my husband has always had the ability to make them laugh and smile, no matter what they were about to go through.

Your angels are asking you to not underestimate this strength and the power it brings to any situation, shine your beautiful fun loving energy.

Card 4:

Mirror ~ This card brings you the message of Mirror and Reflection as your strength,  you are able to look at what is going on outside of you as a reflection of your inner world.  Now this strength is BIG, definitely not for the faint-hearted, its takes a lot to look at your external world and wonder what within you is causing this reflection.  Many people will just blame another or a situation for the way they are feeling, not you, your first thought is always “why is this triggering me?”, and that my lovely is STRENGTH.

Your angels want you to know as you observe your triggers and heal them, you are not only healing yourself but your whole genetic line.  You are saying “THIS STOPS WITH ME”, they want to thank and congratulate you.

 

You can also watch my Video to hear more about each card and the guidance I provided ~ click below

I would love to hear how the guidance resonates for you right now, either comment right here on the blog or on the video over on YouTube.

You can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel here….so you get notified each time I share new content.

Nicole Ivens
Soul Coaching

I offer 1-1 Online Soul Coaching to support you in Mind, Body & Spirit, Book your Complimentary Discovery Session Here.

Moving Past Your Comfort Zone

A comfort zone is just like a used baby blankie, its warm and familiar but also a little worse for wear.

You know where you are right now isn’t where you want to stay and the results you are seeing in your life is far from what you want, however stepping outside of your comfort zone riddles you with fear and panic.

One part of you really wants to move forward and build a better life for yourself and your family but another part is telling you – no, no lets just stay here, its safe here, we can’t get hurt here.  Sound familiar?

Whilst your comfort zone is warm and cozy and definitely safe and what you are used to, it isn’t going to bring you closer to your dream life.  Now when I talk about a dream life, its not the whole idea of a big boat, new house, new car, millions of dollars – although that would be nice.  I am talking about that feeling of peace and calm and true love of yourself and where you are in your life.

For me that feeling of true inner calm and peace is worth so much more than any amount of money or material item I could acquire.  But I knew to find that I had to wade through some mud to get there and of course that involved stepping way outside of my comfort zone.

When you think about stepping outside of your comfort zone, memes may come to mind, like climbing a big mountain, starting a new endeavour or going on a big adventure.  There is something so much bigger than any of those ideas and that is looking inside and starting to find your way through the mud just like a lotus flower.

The Lotus Flower is a sign of detachment, a true sign of letting go of what is no longer serving you.

A lotus flower grows through the mud and still blossoms with beautiful flowers, as it grows water beads off the petals, letting go of what it no longer needs.

I was talking to my 16 year old daughter the other day about the importance of letting go and not holding onto the old her.  Recently she has been weaning off one of her epilepsy medications and with that, she has started to feel different.

She is experiencing more energy, a clearer mind and has become very talkative.  Her first response was to want to feel like she did before as that is what she was used to, that was her comfort zone.

Even though to an outsider that wouldn’t make any sense, why wouldn’t she want more energy, a clearer mind and to feel happier.  Well like the baby blankie that is a little worse for wear, it is familiar even though its not necessarily in her best interests.

So as you can see our comfort zones are not always good for us, at one time or another maybe they were, but a time comes where it is time to let go, embrace the fear and move forward.

Are you ready to step outside of your comfort zone?

I offer in-person and online 30 minute sessions to support you to conquer your fear and leave the comfort of your familiarity.   You can book your session here……www.nicoleivens.com/services

Reflection – Who is looking back at you?

There are many mirrors around you, what are they showing you?

 

As I awoke this morning on the 4th Anniversary of my Daughter’s diagnosis with Epilepsy, I started to reflect on how different I am today compared to this day four years ago.  It got me thinking about the importance of Reflection, both on the things you have achieved but also more so on how you have changed.

At this time of year you can get so bogged down with all you need to get done, to-do list on top of to-do list on top of to-do list.  As they say, you can’t see the forest for the trees.

2018 has been the year of healing, a lot of introspection.  You may have noticed in many areas of your life it has felt like you were at a standstill, when in actual fact there was so much going on within you.

The thing about internal work is it isn’t all that noticeable on the outside, but little by little as you heal the layers on the inside, the outside will soon catch up and show you a different reflection.

Now is a great time to think back to December 2017, who were you back then?  How have you changed?  What is different now?

As I mentioned earlier, there are many mirrors around you.  This will help you to answer those questions, what are people around you reflecting back to you?  This happens in both positive and negative ways, the way in which others interact with you and also in ways that others may be triggering you.

These are all signs to you as to what is happening within you and helps you to see where you have grown and where you may still have some needed healing.

So as you go into Christmas Day with your family, you can leave behind the old you and embrace who you are now.  With this realisation the energy you share will be different and that will change how you interact with others and how they now interact with you.

This process is going to allow you to leave 2018 with the lessons you needed and leave behind that which is no longer serving you.  Giving you the best start to the New Year, ushering in a new energy to take you through 2019.

In 2019 I will be running a local Tapping Circle here on the Gold Coast and the topic for January will be Goal Setting and Manifestation.  You can book your spot here.

I would like to thank you for your support this year and wish You and Your Family a Very Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year.

 

Finding Your Soulmate

Searching for your soulmate can feel like a very noble thing to do and after all they are out there waiting for you, right?

Well yes and no, your soulmate is waiting for you on a soul level but they also know there are lessons you came here to learn as did they.  So for some people you may find your soulmate very quickly on this journey and for some of you it may feel like it is taking forever.

The lessons that you need to learn are preparing you to meet up once again with your soulmate, so what do these lessons look like?  Well for some of you it may be like a revolving door of relationships, enduring what seems like never ending hurt and pain.  Others may find jumping from job to job, state to state and country to country.

As you go through each of these experiences, you are learning, lessons along the way as they say.  With each experience your soul is getting closer and closer to being ready to meet up with its mate.

The key here is Patience and Signs…….Have faith in divine timing, knowing you will meet them at the very right time, both for you and them.  Also, pay attention to the signs, where are you being led?

Soulmate

Yes there are lessons to be learned, but part of that is also letting go, as human beings we are renowned at holding on for way too long.  Being open to the new and reducing your fear around change is going to help you to learn the lessons you need to learn and leave the rest behind.

Imagine holding on and pulling at a rope that isn’t for you, it’s not budging and all that holding on does is hurt you. Where as letting go and releasing the rope will provide you with ease and relief.

Do you believe that Soulmates are only Intimate Partners?

Yes, I did too at first until I felt a real connection with a friend, something that I had never felt before, or as my ego would let me believe (topic for another time).  It was a real deep sense of connection, I would know what she was thinking and feeling, without being anywhere near her.  We could go years without actual contact and still keep that strong connection, there is like an underlying current between us that always brings us back to each other in times of need.

Soulmate

I asked the question to my spiritual guides “can someone other than my husband, be my soulmate?”  The answer I got back, surprised me, it was a resounding YES and we don’t have only one soulmate.

So there you go, if you have been searching for your soulmate as an intimate partner, you may be looking in all the wrong places and they may already be in your life.  Is there someone in your life that could be your soulmate?

I work with women and teenagers locally on the Gold Coast and also online, supporting your emotional wellbeing.  Having someone to talk to can make all the difference in your day,  you can book your session here.

Tap Away Your Child’s Anxiety

Does your child or children suffer with symptoms of Anxiety?

As a sufferer of anxiety as a young child myself and raising two teenage girls who have also experienced symptoms of Anxiety, I know the pressure this puts on you as a parent and your family as a whole.  Childhood anxiety has two sides to the coin, one side is your stress as a parent in dealing with your child’s anxiety symptoms and behaviour and the other side is supporting your child to cope with the anxious symptoms and feelings.

Recently, I have come to realise that not all parents are able to recognise the signs of anxiety because that has not been their experience growing up or in their adult lived experience.  Luckily for me and my girls because of my exposure to anxiety, I can recognise it in a second and felt called to educate parents on what to look for in their child and of course tips on how to cope with it as well.

Anxiety can come in many forms and the important thing here is to understand the distinction between a child just acting out and one who is suffering from anxiety and their behaviour is completely out of their hands and not something they are doing on purpose.

What can anxiety look like?

Perfectionism – a child needing everything to be perfect and in order
Fear of trying new things – this could be a new activity or simply a new food
Worrying about events in the future
Not wanting you as their parent to leave them
Needing to know what is going to happen and when it is going to happen – who is picking me up from school today?
Fear of Failure – For example: Tests and exams at school
Overthinking is a big sign of anxiety – if you notice your child just can’t stop thinking and worrying and analysing – their big questions will be what if this happens? what if that happens?
Sleeping problems

Now not all anxiety is bad, it is completely natural for your child to feel anxious when they are starting something new, meeting new people etc.  When anxiety becomes a problem is when it starts to affect both your child’s life and is causing you stress as their parent.

Anxiety happens when a part of your child’s brain called the ‘Amygdala’ senses a threat of some kind and sends a signal that your child is in some kind of danger and they need to protect themselves.  This is where the flight, fight or freeze response comes in, they show up in the following ways:

Flight – running away and hiding in the room or not wanting to attend something
Fight – may show up like tantrums or unusual outbursts
Freeze – they may just stop and not be able to move or tell you what is wrong

So, how can you help your child if you have recognised they are suffering from anxiety symptoms?  Following I am going to teach a quick technique so you can both help your child and reduce your stress all at the same time.

  1. Tapping – EFT or Tapping is a stress reduction technique and works to quiet that part of the brain that is sending the signal of danger.  It is a very quick and effective technique that is self-applied using acupressure points on your upper body.

 

 

If you would like to learn more about this wonderful quick and effective technique, I am running a Stress Management Workshop for Parents and one of the modules is on Childhood Anxiety.  Click here to book your spot.

Nicole Ivens | Empath Counsellor

 

I Just Can't Meditate

Have You Ever Said “I Just Can’t Meditate”?

I Just Can’t Meditate

Have you said that to yourself or others?

Yes you!  Don’t worry I’ve got your back, so many of my clients have said this to me when I set them homework of meditating every day.  The look of fear on their face is priceless like I have asked them to give me their first born child.  Don’t worry I will never ask for your first born child, I have two teenagers and my hands are already full with as much teenage attitude as I can take.

You lay down, close your eyes and all of a sudden you are thinking about the washing  you haven’t done or the ironing piling up on the back of the couch and hang on a second did I leave the stove on, oh no it’s okay I haven’t cooked dinner yet.  Oh man I really should be cooking dinner, instead of lying here trying to meditate, oh geez I am so bad at this meditating thing, I can’t even stop thinking.   Sound familiar?

I just can't meditate

I get it and trust me I have been there so worried I was bad at meditating because I just can’t stop thinking and drive myself crazy trying to stop my thoughts and then I think about stopping my thoughts, a vicious cycle right?

It always reminds me of the saying “What You Resist Persists”, so resisting your thoughts or thinking actually causes you to think more.  Very unhelpful when you are trying to have a nice quiet moment to yourself, very rare I know.  So, what is the answer?

I have some great refreshing news for you, stopping your thoughts is very unrealistic, you have over 100,000 thoughts every day so no matter how hard you try you can’t stop them all.  Instead of trying to stop them I want you to become an observer of your thoughts, where is your focus right now?  What area of your life are your thoughts focusing in on?

That’s a big relief isn’t it, you get to just pay attention to what your thoughts are instead of trying to stop them.  I always get my clients to look at it like a courtroom, you are the judge and there is a prosecutor and a defense attorney.  You hear each side out and then  you get to decide (judge) what you keep and what you toss out and this allows you great information to what is going on in  your life and what affect your thoughts are having on your day-to-day life.

I just can't meditate

 

The other thing I like to share with my clients is meditation comes in all shapes and sizes, its not a one size fits all.  What works for someone else may not work for you, you need to do what feels right to you and something you can fit into your schedule.  I want you to think about just for a moment of an activity where you just completely lose yourself, time gets away from you and before you know it, the suns going down and the kids are yelling for dinner.

This is also a form of meditation because you are focusing on the task at hand, losing yourself in the moment and feeling a sense of joy and fulfillment.  It’s bringing you out of the external world into your internal world and giving you a break from all the stress and overwhelm that life bestows upon you sometimes.

Follow after me – “I can meditate in my own way and in my own time”

Would you like to feel supported with your meditation?  I work with clients 1-1 to support you in learning how to meditate and make it a part of your regular routine.  www.nicoleivens.com/services

 

Friendships

How To Help Nurture Your Child’s Friendships

How many times have you heard from your child “We are not friends anymore”?

I know for me I have heard that more times than I can count from my two girls and there has been times where I have just said “don’t worry I am sure you will be friends again tomorrow”, majority of the time this works out to be the case but sometimes it can be the start of something bigger.

I am going to start with asking you a question that might be a little difficult, “What happens within you when your child tells you about their friend problems?”  This is a tell tale sign of actually what needs to be dealt with first.  For example if you get a gut wrenching feeling or feel pain in your heart, this is your subconscious reminding you of a similar time when you were younger having trouble with your friends.

I know for me prior to working on my own issues from childhood with EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) I would be triggered every time one of my girls had problems with their friends at school.  If they cried, I would cry, if they were anxious, I would be anxious, but clearly that wasn’t any help to them and what they were experiencing.

Working on yourself first can have a profound affect on your child as well, also putting you in a better space to support them through what they are currently experiencing.  Seeing yourself as Switzerland, a place of neutrality is a great place to operate from when it comes to helping your child.  Neutrality gives you great insight and the space to be objective in any situation that presents itself, both in your own personal experience and experiences with your children that present themselves.

As parents it can be our first reaction to jump to conclusions that may be flawed due to the lack of information we are been provided with, obviously we want to believe everything our child is telling us and that their version of events is the complete truth.  A good thing to remember is each person has their version of events and the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

A process that I find works very well is to sit with your child and ask them to share with you exactly what happened, who said what and then help them to think about why their friend may have said different things and how they may have contributed to the situation.  I find helping your child to gain an understanding and awareness around another persons behaviour is a big step forward in them healing from the experience.

Another great way I find to help my girls is using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) or Tapping to process what they are feeling and release the experience from their energy field, unprocessed feelings and experiences can go on to cause other problems further on in your child’s life.   Check out Episode 1 of Empowering Kids TV to learn more about how you can use EFT with your child.

Supporting your child from home can make all the difference in the interactions they have with their friends and the confidence they portray in themselves and their social interaction skills.  As a Professional Family Counsellor I work with Families to help them to empower, educate and encourage each child to be their true authentic self, building each child’s confidence and social skills is just a small part of that.

If you are noticing your child is struggling with their social skills or friendship issues, reach out and I can support both you and your child to more fruitful friendships.

Childhood Anxiety

The Signs And Symptoms Of Childhood Anxiety

I had an interesting experience this past week, I was attending an awards ceremony for my youngest daughter, Grace aged 13.  As always the ceremony starts with the Principal Address, he usually talks about the achievements of the kids and how proud he is of all they have achieved for Term 1.

However, this time he started out with what he wanted to achieve and that was 93% attendance record, the school was currently sitting at 87%.  In my mind I was thinking for such a big school that is a pretty good record, it was then that he really grabbed my attention, he used a buzz word “Anxiety” and stated it as the main reason for kids not attending school.

My ears did prick up because I had my business brain on, thinking YES I can help support parents and kids with this.  Well I sure didn’t see or expect what was to come next, his solution to a child’s anxiety left me feeling very dismayed.  He made a suggestion to the kids that all they need to do is become more organised and arrive at school early, so then they are not rushing around and will be the first in class, feeling safe and ready for the day.

What do you think about this approach?  Would this work for your child?

Now there are definitely different levels and types of anxiety and I certainly understand what he was saying in regards to how the kids feel when they are running late and rushed to get to class on time.  But is that really in the child’s complete control, I know for my kids, and I will be honest if they are late it is usually my fault.

This experience really got me thinking and wondered how many people are there that really don’t understand anxiety and what role are they playing in our child’s life and how are they contributing to the wellbeing of each of our children.   Now I know for me I recognise anxiety instantly, 1. I have personal experience 2. I am a trained professional and this led me to today’s blog and wanting to share how you can recognise anxiety in your child.

As I mentioned earlier there are different types of Anxiety, for example some of the common types I see with my clients are: Separation Anxiety, Generalised Anxiety and Situational Anxiety.

  • Separation Anxiety is as the name describes and is more common in younger children, but can also be seen in older children as well just depending on what the child has experienced and is currently coping with.
  • Generalised Anxiety is used to describe anxiety that doesn’t pertain to one certain event, experience or time.  You may have described your child as “An anxious child”.
  • Situational Anxiety is used to describe anxiety that pertains to a certain event or experience, such as tests or exams.  I see this in both younger and older children, for example younger children surrounding doctor or dentist visits and older kids exams at school.

Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of anxiety, let’s look at some of the signs and symptoms to look for in your child.

  • Complaining of stomach pains and no other signs of illness
  • Sweaty palms
  • Withdrawn behaviour, not wanting to participate in activities they would of in the past
  • Talking about all the bad things that may happen (classic anxious behaviour)
  • Crying and hiding behind you (specific to younger children with separation anxiety)
  • Not wanting to go to school and no real reason that you can determine
  • Lashing out at their siblings for reasons that in the past may not have bothered them
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Grades at school lowering compared to previous reports

These are just a few of the signs and symptoms that your child may exhibit when they are feeling anxious.  Can you recognise any that you have seen in your child?

I know how distressing it can be dealing with anxiety in your children, I am a mum to two teenage girls who both suffer from anxiety.  Having the tools and strategies you need as a parent can really help to lower this feeling of dis-empowerment and distress and I find an individual approach is best.

If you are needing support and guidance to help with your anxious child, I offer in-house counselling in person and online.  Book your session here.

How To Connect With Your True Authentic Self

Connection is the energy between two people, how you connect with another person has a lot to do with the energy between you.  When your energy levels are different, the connection can be more difficult.  You know the saying “I felt like I have known them my whole life”, this comes from both people being on the same energy wave length and you feel an immediate connection.

Connection

Now that you are aware of what a connection is, how can you apply that to your true authentic self?  A connection been the energy between two people, well in this case it is a connection between the self you are aware of and your higher self.  You know that small quiet inner voice you hear and probably ignore most of the time, that is your higher self guiding you.

Starting to improve your connection with your higher self is going to help you to live your life as your true authentic self, instead of living from external expectations and how you think you should live your life.  From the time as a small child you have been instructed on what to do, how to do it and when to do it, so it is no wonder your connection has waned.

Aren’t you tired of living a life that doesn’t feel authentic to you?  Doing things to please others, only to be left feeling depleted instead of energised.  Operating in connection with your higher self will see you doing things in such a way that serves both you and others, remembering when you say yes to others you are in fact saying no to yourself.

In today’s world of social media it can be hard to shut out all the external noise and connect back in with your true authentic self.  Falling into the comparison trap is very common and I for one have been very guilty of comparing myself to others.  So how do you shut out all this noise and connect in with your higher self, let’s look at a few ways.

3 Ways To Connect With Your True Authentic Self

  1. Meditation – is a wonderful way to shut out the external noise and come back to your center.  Think about it as a time of getting to do nothing, instead of viewing it as just another thing you need to do.  I recommend using the app “insight timer”, it has some beautiful music with a timer.  Start out with just 5 minutes and build it up over time, I currently do 20 mins morning and night.
  2. Journaling – is a great way to hear your voice, without any restrictions, just write.  Let it flow and see what comes.  I shared in an earlier blog “The Art Of Letting Go” steps to journaling if you haven’t done it before.  This is something I recommend to all of my clients for both themselves and their children, depending on the age.  For younger kids getting them to draw how they are feeling works wonders.
  3. Breathing – deep breathing is such a quick, easy and effective way to connect in with your true authentic self.  Breathing calms both feelings in your body and thoughts in your mind, give yourself 3 minutes and you will be feeling refreshed and grounded.

Using the above strategies on a regular basis is going to see you feeling calmer, more relaxed and less likely to take on other peoples opinions or judgements as  your own.

If you are finding it hard to have a connection with your true authentic self, I can help you to work through past experiences that are keeping you from re-awakening your deep connection.

www.nicoleivens.com/workwithnicole