I love September: right on the verge of comfy-with-heat-but-missing-rain! It’s my “back to basics” time when I take a pause and reflect on what I want to accomplish next!
Oh the wonders of the connectivity era: they know no boundaries! A couple of months back, I asked in a Facebook group supporting Moms if there were any women who would voluntarily share their parenting experiences in my blog. I had nothing back then. No column. No blog either: Just my ideas and enthusiasm. I had to test the waters, though. Would anyone come forth? Would real Moms out there be interested?
The response I got was phenomenal, and beyond my wildest expectations. It totally made any initial reservations go away about launching the “How She Does It” column. Working moms (and Dads, as I would discover later) wanted to talk about it! One of those magnificent women is Alexia Vlahos-Kolokasides.
Alexia is a very unique case of a working Mother, because she has devoted her professional time to actually give back and support the Mom community. She is not yet another Life-Coaching professional. She is a Professional Life “Shake things up” Happiness Coach! Plus, lucky reader of this interview, Alexia is a giver; she comes bearing not just one, but two exclusive gifts to all of you who are reading this:
- A free Masterclass on how to do “Conscious Parenting” in the Modern Home: Follow this link here to register and receive a set of daily training sessions right to your inbox!
- A pro-bono coaching session: Click here (or at the banner found at the end of this article) to claim and schedule your free call!
Alexia has developed a unique capability of encompassing her multiple roles into forming her true self: an awakened crazy-in-love wife, a conscious mother, a rebel daughter, a crazy sister, a kick-ass friend…and a smooth collaborator.
It was pure fun how we seamlessly worked together on this piece using nothing but digital media. I actually felt the ripple effect of her charisma gather up to make a good story that united our perspectives. Because, as Tyrion Lannister once said (on the last episode of the last season of Game of Thrones):
What unites People? Armies? Gold? Flags? Stories. There is nothing more powerful than a good Story.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
As a Professional Life Coach, a Conscious Parenting Advocate, a wife and most importantly a mother of 2 young children (almost 3 and almost 7yrs old) I am deeply inspired by the dreams we all have for an amazing life. Life Coaching changed my life and continues to do so, and I have made it my passion to help others transform their lives, especially moms and their families!
Life in the seaside town of Paphos / Cyprus is beautiful and serene and blesses me with the space to work this magic in people’s lives on a global scale. Thanks to technology, moms from all over the world are able to find me and allow me to support them on their transformational journey, where I teach them the steps they need to take to create the changes they so deeply desire in any area of their lives. This is deep work that I absolutely am honored to be part of.
At the same time, my Conscious Parenting Workshops run 4 times a year and they are designed (based on the teachings of the famous Dr. Shefali Tsabary) to enhance a deeper, heart-based connection to your child where old patterns are revealed and replaced with new, resourceful, life-enhancing ones that create more peace, joy, and reflective parenting experiences.
Stemming from your personal experience, what is the toughest part of being a Mom, and how do you manage it?
For me, one of the hardest parts of being a mom was the first year of being a mommy. It was hard because I went into motherhood with a lot of expectations and agendas. I had a certain idea of what type of mother I would be, what type of baby I would have, how my social life would be, how the baby would fit in to that, how I would seamlessly start my new business with a new baby and full time job!
I also, like a lot of women, like to do things myself and when it came to my baby I was all in. Exclusively breastfeeding, expressing at crazy hours of the morning to create ‘stock’ and store breast milk for the future when I had to return to work, feeding baby only home cooked, steamed fresh produce when he started solids…You get the drill.
These all came from my subconscious desire to be a perfect mother. I managed over time to realize that asking for help was ok, and that things didn’t have to happen exactly when and how I wanted them to. We don’t realize how powerful our beliefs are in our lives and how the do create our reality!
I am a Life Coach and I still had a path of “struggle” that I needed to walk! I know now that we all go through similar journeys and we can overcome the “pain” when we see that there is a bigger picture and a deeper one that is creating it. Letting go of the need to control is a very important aspect of motherhood and brings many blessings in it’s place.
Who is (are) your go-to person(s) when you need support as a Mother? What type of support are you mostly in need of?
My go-to person is first and foremost my lucky husband! I call him lucky because he gets to see the roller coaster of a life coach mom in real time! No, seriously, he is my rock and my other voice. There is no other person I’d rather be with on this planet if I have free time for a coffee and a chat. Whenever I get stuck with plans or decisions or have several ideas in the air, he helps me map things out and choose the best plan of action. He supports me endlessly in my business and my dreams! giving me my space to work and grow…
So, I guess, on a practical level, he supports me by giving me my space and providing solutions to our family so I can run my workshops when they are booked out of town. Parenting is challenging, and many times we lift each other up from our dark places into the light of our love for each other to get through the tough spots. It is a co-existence and an ever expanding journey of self and each other.
My other go to person is my mom. She continues to be my back-up when things get tight, and I feel so blessed to have her in my corner even though we may not agree on many -if not most- of my parenting decisions and style.
What’s the No1 Skill (or Ability, or Knowledge) you have found handy in your role as a Mom?
Does TV count here? Just kidding! 😜
Here I definitely have to go with the tool I teach to all my private clients and in the Conscious Parenting Workshops I run…It is THE PAUSE.
This magical tool is truly something all parents need to keep in their back pocket. Here’s an example of when I’ve used it so you can see how it works:
It was bedtime and after a very long and tiring routine with my then 5yr old and 1yr old I was ready to pass out in my bed. So I had gotten the baby to sleep and needed to get the preschooler to sleep now. (Hubby was working late and I was alone). My preschooler (Cristiano) was already upset, because it had taken longer than usual to get the baby down and when I went to his room he was refusing to get into his bed for cuddles and a song. He then went to hide under his table and was just refusing and ignoring my pleas! I could feel my blood starting to boil! I could feel I was on a tight rope ready to fall to the abyss! It was one of those moments where I could easily lose myself and regret it later. So, as I stood by the door, I remembered THE PAUSE.
I stopped all thoughts. All judgments. All expectations I had of this little boy who just wanted his mommy. I took a deep breath in and out, and put my awareness on my breath… and as I did this I said a little prayer that goes something like ‘Dear God please give me strength to do right by my child in this moment” (this is optional and it just helps to connect me to a higher power).
So as I breathed and prayed all the anger, the frustration, the fear, the expectations… all of it fizzled away. And in it’s place I became calm and neutral and I responded to my child in the same way asking him if he would like a hug. He didn’t. He was still angry. But I knew the calm would reach him because it had filled me… It was just a matter of time. So I asked him again in a softer voice if he was sure he didn’t want a hug. And he crawled out of his hiding place and into my arms. We both cried and healed the moment right then and there.
THE PAUSE is a powerful tool I highly recommend to all!
What advice do you have for a new Mom?
I would tell her how hard being EVERYTHING to a tiny little person can be.
I would tell her how there will be times when she might just want to run away from it all.
I would tell her to round up her supporters and her friends and delegate tasks to them to do during the first weeks of the baby’s life so life at home is a little easier.
I would tell her that being a mom is going to be THE most revealing experience of her life in terms of how her child will bring up extreme emotional waves ranging from love, joy, bliss to anger, guilt, fear.
I would tell her that she is on a journey that has the potential to heal her past – if she is conscious enough and ready to take that responsibility instead of subconsciously dumping it all on her child.
I would tell her that raising a baby is as much about the mom’s spiritual growth as it is about the child’s.
I would tell her to follow her heart as deeply as she can.
I would tell her that her baby will show her EXACTLY where she needs to still grow as a human being, as a mom, as a spirit.
And, lastly, I would tell her that no matter what, know that you are loved in the deepest most intimate way by your creator and that ALL IS AS IT SHOULD BE. You have everything you need INSIDE.