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!)
We talk about self-care often. We remind our friends and our loved ones to actively care for themselves all the time. But we still don’t do it for ourselves. Why? We’ve got a million reasons why not, don’t we?
This has gotten me into trouble today. You see, I’ve had issues with my back since I was 20 years old. That’s a long time since I’m 54 today. I should have a regular routine by now to help me to support myself. I should have some really good habits in place. Alas, I don’t. I don’t give myself permission to care for myself. Conveniently, I forget to do my regular exercises that would keep my back strong and fit. These are simple and only take a few minutes a few times a day to do, but I still don’t do them regularly.
That’s my issue, what’s yours?! What are your excuses? How simple would it really be to do what you need to for yourself?
Self-care means different things to different people. None of them are simple if you’re the one that needs them. For me, drinking enough and more than enough water each day is simple. For so many, that’s the hardest thing they do all day. Too many of my clients aren’t enjoying themselves enough. Is this you too? For instance when they come to me for energy work or a reading and are on or at my table, their Spirit Guides will make sure that I tell them that they need to laugh more, or be with their friends more often, or get out of the house!
Are you celebrating life? Your life is worthy of a grand celebration!! Don’t sell yourself short here. I know, it may sound selfish but it really isn’t! Get out there and have more fun.
Me? I need to make a commitment to myself. I know this because as I get older, my body likes to remind me of the commitment that I haven’t made more often. Please, if nothing else, listen to your body. Your body will always show signs of what is going on internally, mentally, and spiritually.
Again, it’s easy to say these “I will” statements but until we really learn to love ourselves, all the parts, our self-care suffers. Self-love and self-care really do go hand in hand. One feeds the other.
Now, get a massage, go for a hike, enjoy the beach, meditate, hang out with your friends, eat a marvelous meal, garden, and celebrate your life! You’re Worth It!
I Wish You Light
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
Last night we had the privilege of holding an Empath Support Group at Uplifting Connections in Bridgewater at the generous invitation of the owners, Kellie and Jon Hailey. 14 empaths gathered to share concerns and questions as well as stories of challenges and triumphs. Questions were sometimes answered from our experiences but often channeled directly from Spirit. We are fully supported in our quest to live comfortable and meaningful lives!! Those in attendance ranged in age from recent graduates to retirees and were all relieved to see recognition and understanding on the other faces in the group as they spoke of experiences many in their lives had deemed somehow wrong or unacceptable.
Each time we hold one of these groups there is a common theme or thread that runs through the evening. Last night’s theme was personal emotional safety and coping with the extra feelings of those around you. Several important tools were shared including staying grounded and practicing good self-care. Among the specific coping mechanisms that were shared, many talked about spending time outside, being in or near water, using deep breathing, prayer and crystals. One of the more unique practices was to write the unwanted emotions down and then to shred the paper while deliberately releasing the emotions as it shredded. I have a feeling there will be some busy shredders in the upcoming weeks! A full list of all of these tried and true suggestions was created and it may be found here.
One final thought that is important enough to repeat here- we are all connected- how that shows up in our lives differs but we should always try to react to another with compassion and from a place of love. Whether you know who those “extra” emotions belong to or not, sending out love and light is a powerful and empowering tool that will help keep you safe, aid those you are sensing and help you release those emotions that don’t belong to you.
With Love and Light,
Andrea, Kristi and Amy
from the Center for Holistic Healing and Art, Mansfield MA
You know what an affirmation is. Even if you think you don’t, you know instinctively that it is something that will bolster your confidence, solidify your resolve and encourage you to take the next step no matter how daunting. It is a word or short phrase that you say to yourself to do just that: help you move forward. We know this from a very young age. Here’s a perfect example: once our 7 year old neighbor was dropped off by the school bus and no one was home to meet him as planned. He came to our door and from inside we could hear him repeating to himself “Be brave, just be brave” until finally he knocked on our door and asked to wait with us and to call his family. Now I’m fairly certain no one coached him to execute that plan, he just knew that he needed adult support in this situation and to get that he needed to overcome his shyness and knock on our door. Giving himself a dose of a confidence-boosting affirmation was just the ticket. He was only out there a few minutes before he knocked.
Affirmations are a way to use our conscious mind to alter the deep-seated beliefs and behaviors that are initiated in our subconscious. This can be a part of your daily self-care and a gentle way to show yourself love. The ones that work the best are those that target the real issue that is slowing us down on our journey. I believe it is more effective to focus on just a few (one to three max) than to recite a whole laundry list of things you think you need to change about yourself. I don’t have any scientific proof that this is true, it just seems logical to me that you will see greater results focusing your attention on a couple of things than by dividing your attention between many. It is critical to choose affirmations that are stated in the present and in the positive voice i.e. “I am smart” not “ I am not stupid” or “I will be smart”.
Do something with me, try these phrases on for size by saying them out loud: I am enough; I am strong; I am worthy; I am accomplished; I am beautiful; I am lovable; I am powerful; I trust my instincts; I embrace change; I welcome challenges; I am capable; I love myself; I am successful. Do any stick in your throat or feel untrue to you? The one or ones that are the most difficult for you to say with truth and conviction may be where you want to begin your daily affirmation ritual. Say it out loud, to yourself at least a few times per day. This a perfect case of “fake it ‘till you make it”. It is just like Julie Andrews taught us as Anna in “The King and I” to “whistle a happy tune” when you are afraid until you are “no longer afraid”. Affirmations aren’t going to change how you feel immediately but rather over time- you say it and think it with your conscious being until your subconscious lines up with that. Thinking it over and over raises your vibration and you begin making decisions and taking actions as if it were true until your words, actions and feelings about that affirmation all line up!
Here at the Center for Holistic Healing and Art in Mansfield MA, we love success stories! Please share how you used an affirmation and saw positive results.
With Love and Light,