Recently I connected with an incredible woman, Dr. Rachel Gow. She asked me to share my story; and I would also love to share ways for you to support someone with ADHD by taking a mindful, holistic approach.
Rebecca Nicholls, Energy Master and Fullness Coach
I wish I could type as fast as I can talk. I wish the world could keep up with my brain. If only you could see the world through my eyes you wouldn’t want to change me, because life is so magical and beautiful and charming and it’s all mine for the taking.
I have lived with ADHD my whole life – highly sensitive, highly active, with great attention to detail, and often struggling with social communication so it was suspected I was on the autistic spectrum as well.
For years I was labelled the naughty kid. Back when I was at school there wasn’t much knowledge or awareness around ADHD. I would like to think that in twenty years things might have changed, but sadly it just isn’t the case.
I can’t speak for every other human living with ADHD, I can only share my thoughts and experiences of living with the condition. These days more children than ever before have ADHD, and what I have established over two years of learning Reiki is that there is a connection to our Root Chakra and Crown Chakra when we are talking about ADHD, ASD and other disorders that affect our autoimmune and nervous systems.
For a long time I hid myself from myself – there was part of me I couldn’t see. It’s what Carl Jung refers to as the shadow. Or you can call it the Ego. It will play a dominant role in your life if you allow it. It serves us well but we cannot be led by it. For many years I was unaware of my own shadow, and that didn’t serve me well. I was blinded to myself for so long and my life only began to make sense when I saw my own potential.
I wish I could have known back then what I know now, but our greatest teacher is our own experience and suffering. Some of my own suffering I had no control over. Some was due to my home environment – my mother had her own issues, and a dark cloud covered my life for a long time. I struggled at school, not because I wasn’t capable, but because I wasn’t told I was capable. I didn’t enjoy being in school, I was bored. It wasn’t stimulating enough. I switched off easily, unless it was something that really excited me, like drama, art, English, or sports.
My mother didn’t receive any help for me. In fact at 60 she struggles with making sense of this world, and I suspect she has ASD combined with ADHD too!
The Problem with Schools
As I got older I learnt more about life than I ever learnt at school. Which leads me to think, are schools discouraging individual creativity, suppressing it with their own rules and ideology? Are we encouraged wholeheartedly from a young age to freely pursue life in line with our dreams and individuality? I believe in passion, and if we can seek that every day, we never have to experience moments of boredom. Life is an adventure.
Around the age of 7 or 8 the brain is fully developed. The Sacral Chakra is activated at this time. This governs empathy, awareness, independence, creativity and sexuality. From a young age we really do know who we are and what we are here to do, but often we are pulled in very different directions and told what we should be doing. This is soul destroying and can lead to so much disharmony in the body.
We are all different, so rather than trying to “fix” a problem we should just accept that we are the way we are, and find ways for our needs be supported. Discovering who I am and what I stand for has taken 20 years of frustration and confusion, living in a world that is pulling you in every direction.
One thing I would say to anyone with ADHD is this: there is nothing wrong with you! My ADHD is a gift some days, because when I focus and really want to get something done, I have vision, passion, creativity and huge amounts of tenacity.
This is something I see in my child too. Tristan is an intelligent, very able child who struggles with focus but is capable of doing great work. He enjoys being creative and responds to positivity. Unfortunately, school systems that incorporate a red card system don’t work for Tristan. If you put an adult into that environment, constantly pointing out their failures, it would crush them. We need to encourage positivity to get the best results.
Tristan shows great interest in music, which is great for the soul. Music, art and creativity are the focus of what I want for Tristan’s education, where he can express his true self. Currently not being in education doesn’t concern me as much as Tristan being in the wrong environment.
Supporting Someone with ADHD
- Support really is the key word. Yes, our world may seem strange to you, and you may not entirely understand it, but support is essential for us to stay in our creative space and necessary for us to thrive. Our minds are constantly racing with new and exciting ideas and things to do!
- Encourage a nutritious, balanced diet. A higher fat, lower sugar diet is recommended (Ketogenic works wonders). Gingko is great for the brain, as is a good quality Omega-3.
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine.
- Make sure there are at least 30 mins of physical activity every day (no ifs buts or maybes – this is essential for those living with ADD or ADHD).
- Focus on our strengths and qualities. We’re not interested in conforming to “normal” or to conventional expectations – we want life to be exciting, fun, creative and adventurous!
- Encourage self-awareness. We can often be so engrossed in ourselves and our personal projects (with total tunnel vision sometimes), that we block out the outside world. Please note, this is our gift! However, we need to stay connected, so if compassion and empathy seem to be lacking, draw us back in by appreciating and acknowledging our presence and by expressing how valuable we are to our relationships. Show us we are loved! Quite honestly, we don’t mind being on our own, but we do serve the world better by coming together.
- Encourage self-care. This often gets overlooked, as there’s so much else to do in life. But self-care is necessary for mind, body, and soul connection. I regularly prepare a bath for Tristan with essential oils. I use Frankincense, Myrrh, Vetiver and Cedarwood, grounding oils to keep us rooted in the Earth. We are higher vibration beings with high energy, but we need to stay grounded to focus on completion and to move forward in life.
- Don’t overload or overwhelm with information. Try different approaches to learning. Short videos or demonstrations are good, as we can easily lose focus if made to watch something long and not particularly engaging. We respond well to firm but nurturing teachers, but not to bossy, manipulative behaviour. How you teach is how you will get results, so trying different approaches and having patience and empathy for us will get us on the right track. You need to highlight our strengths and possibilities, and this is where having someone who is SEN trained in education will help. For me, this is why I coach and why I have a coach.
- Help us if we lack confidence. This isn’t something I suffer with now, but in my childhood and up until I discovered Reiki, I was shy, anxious and unsure of myself around certain people, especially new people. Now I can go into any room and command it, I am a keynote speaker at many networking events for women and on stage at my own events. Confidence and courage are found in our Solar Plexus Chakra, and this is where we take action on our creativity, we know what we are here to do in this life and we do it with pride. A way to encourage an ADHD adult/child to be more confident is to get them involved in a project and make them feel important, responsible and valued. Low self-esteem can be common, and using this approach in a classroom or other setting gives a person authority and helps them recognise their own power.
- Encourage us to express ourselves. Tristan and I love to sing and dance – that’s one way we are constantly expressing ourselves! To live our truth is to have full expression of the soul. Anything else is smoke and mirrors, a fantasy, a mere illusion, and we are being sucked into other people’s realities constantly. Being self-assured and not being too fussed about outside opinions helps us stay focused on what we are here to do on this beautiful big blue planet.
- Let us be, stop giving us labels, medications, rules, shoulds and coulds! Start seeing the magic that lies within us and we will stop fighting the world for our freedom. We don’t want to be anything other than what we truly are. Love us and we will love you right back. I AM what I AM. Tristan is what he is. No human being should be told what to be.
I hope I have given you a view on our world, and if this resonates with you feel free to share in the comments.
Rebecca Nicholls is an Energy Master and Fullness Coach. With 20 years in the health and beauty industry, three years ago Rebecca decided to change her career and focus more on holistic health. Already an aromatherapist, she uses Reiki, Essential Oils, Affirmations and physical activities to help bring people back into alignment. She works with individuals and families to restore harmony and balance into the family environment and promote self care and self love so that purposeful living can be achieved.