Releasing What No Longer Serves

I love fall in New England! I love the colors, the crisp air, the intense blue skies, and the crunch of leaves on the ground. Ever since I began meditating and working on self-discovery, I have been hearing about the need to release things that no longer serve me. With its falling leaves, autumn now serves as a reminder for me to let go. The trees set a perfect example as they drop their leaves and in fact need to release them in order to enter dormancy to safely survive the winter. The fact that this happens annually also reminds me that letting things go is essential to moving forward and that it is not the “one and done” kind of exercise. It is ongoing and recurring as different aspects of issues that no longer have use in my present life pop up. I used to think once I had identified things I wanted to release and then focused on letting them go, I wouldn’t have to worry about them anymore and they would no longer effect my life.

Oh boy, how wrong I was! Take my eating habits (please!) Many years ago I figured out that some of my poor eating patterns are from my childhood. I had an “ah ha” moment and then set out to leave those behaviors behind. Now just recently I’ve realized that I’ve been letting my 5 year old self make food choices for adult me. Not such a great plan! Now I’m working on taking over adult control since 5 year old me likes carbs far too much!  Each time I understand a new facet of how my past is influencing my present, I deal with it. Old stuff seems to have buried into my psyche in many spots and each one seems to surface under different circumstances. I admit, I get frustrated when something I thought I had gotten rid of entirely turns out to still be influencing how I function. Still, it’s always been worth it to wrestle with it again and release this new aspect of it into the earth. Just like it does with leaves, the earth takes old, unwanted energy and transforms it into something beautiful- like flowers! This season be like the trees and let that old, unwanted stuff go (again, if necessary!)

Changing Relationships

Benjamin Franklin once said: “In this world nothing can be
said to be certain, except for death and taxes.”

He should have added change.

Everything changes- especially relationships. There are so many kinds of different relationships. As a matter of fact everything in life is a relationship. We have relationships with people, places, jobs, money, pets and so much more. All of these things are in a constant state of change.

Last week, and now this week too, the majority of my clients have been going through changes within relationships. The majority of us are very uncomfortable with change. Even those of us who welcome change have limits to how much change they can tolerate. Make no bones about it though, change is inevitable!

So, what do you do when change is barreling down on you? Take a minute and be honest about your answer here, this isn’t a test. Feel into it and recognize where your boundaries to change lie. How far can you go into change before you’re uncomfortable? Let’s talk about pushing our boundaries out further.

You’ve done the first step, just reading that previous paragraph got you to check into those feelings. Next? Let’s get you to feel safe. Remember that the simplest part of change is the ability to change your mind.  If something isn’t working out for me, I have the right to change my mind. So do YOU! By taking control via changing your mind, you take back your power. This will help you feel safe.  What’s important here is to stay open to the process. Never turn your back or hide your head in the sand. That may feel safe, but you can’t hide from change, so you’ll just diminish your ability to cope with it by not facing it. Claim your power by looking directly at what’s happening so you can evaluate all of your options.

Stay in your body! Don’t give in to fight or flight. Neither of these responses will serve you. Let me walk you through how to stay in your body. Do this with me for a bit:
Place your right hand on your heart. Place your left hand on your lower abdomen. Take a deep breath, inhaling into your heart (right hand), and exhale slowly into your lower abdomen (left hand). Repeat . This will take about 20 seconds. Twenty seconds can change everything. I know you have 20 seconds, we all have 20 seconds to invest in our own well being!

I ask you to remember this: You are energy. Your relationships are energy. Everything is energy and all energy is malleable. The energy of the relationship is what’s important here. When you acknowledge this fact and stay present, you are able to make conscious choices and breathe into the change instead of hide from it.

Many of you will disagree with me here but, change is good for us. It gets us to look at things differently and opens our minds to possibility. It gets us free from the mud that our feet are stuck in.  Embrace change and free your mind.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Overwhelm and Anxiety

Feeling overwhelmed and anxious has been a recurring concern that we have noticed here at Center for Holistic Healing and Art, Mansfield MA over this past month. The holidays that happen at the end of the calendar year often mean time with- or without- family and friends which can result in anxiousness. The cause of the stress may be different, but the internal reaction can be quite similar: feeling the need to retreat, isolate or create barriers to more outside influence. This is a common problem no matter what age you are, for empaths and non-empaths alike.

For some people, at some times, this works fine- other times it doesn’t work as well. For those of you wishing for a different approach, we’d like to offer this alternative to closing yourself off and pulling away from the world and the physical body you inhabit.

Try this meditation: Focus your attention on one body part at a time and really feel the surfaces that are touching you- clothing, seat, floor. Notice the temperature of the air on your exposed skin, sense the darkness or light with your eyes closed. Now expand your awareness to your energy that is outside the confines of your body- your aura. Feel how large it is and what it passes through or comes to rest against. Now enjoy feeling yourself taking up all of this space, both physically and energetically. Stamp your feet and revel in your own solidity. Take a few deep, slow breaths with your hands on your hips and your feet spread wide as you become accustomed to this expanded way of being.

You are not hiding or retreating, you are taking up ALL of your real estate and you are entitled to it. From this place of confidence and self-awareness you can let love and compassion for others flow effortlessly out of you and towards everyone around you, without judgement or restriction. Practicing self-love and self-care in this way makes you more capable of helping others. It also makes you less likely to feel overwhelmed and more in control of your own emotions. This is not intended to dismiss or minimize the issues of anyone dealing with panic attacks, depression or severe anxiety disorder. It is instead aimed at those who are looking for a new tool to deal with situational anxiety. It is also a terrific way of realizing your power to effect change in the world by sending out love. This is an active endeavor that can decrease your sense of helplessness with all that is going on around the globe.

Here is a fantastic talk on standing in your power by Amy Cuddy

In love and Light,

Kristi, Amy and Andrea

photo of bunny Center for Holistic Healing and Art

No More Hiding

This week I have heard a phrase repeated several times in my meditations and quiet moments: “no more hiding”. It popped into my head as the caption to a photo I took of a bunny in my yard “Are you hiding in plain sight?”.photo of bunny Center for Holistic Healing and Art It came as I was commenting publicly about Monday night’s presidential debate, which is out of character for me. It showed up again in a group meditation last night where all of us heard it loudly and clearly:  “The time to be passive is far behind. Take charge.”

Today I saw a short video of Gary Vaynerchuk saying that he thinks there is a silent majority of people who are happy and keeping it to themselves, but the tiny percent of unhappy, angry folks are loud and make it seem as if they are the majority. His video is called Positivity on Offense!! I think these two things are telling me- and you- the same thing. The time to speak up is now, to stop being afraid of angering the already angry, to meet hate with love and kindness. Many atrocities have happened in our history because well-meaning people kept silent, stood by and did nothing. I don’t want to be part of that silent majority who stood by and didn’t counter the swell of hate, misinformation and anger. I want to speak up and be heard as hopeful, loving and happy.

Are you part of the happy majority? I’m not suggesting that every moment in every one of your days is perfect sunshine and roses, but overall are you content with where you are in life and looking forward to the future? I am not only looking forward to the future but I’m excited about it! I know that I will get out of life exactly what I put into it and I am putting “experience more joy” at the top of my “to-do” list.  Let’s change the presumption that unhappiness is the norm. Let’s be the voices of love and use positive energy to change the tide to bring healing instead of division. Say it with me: ” I am HAPPY!”