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
Ok, so I really don’t need research to tell me how good I feel when I crank up my music. My body tells me that! Although I do like knowing that there really is plenty of research that agrees with me. Check out this piece from Healthline. How Music Affects Our Moods
There are even lots of stories of how dementia and Alzheimer’s patients feel when you put music on from their younger years. I especially love this son who takes his dad out and sings classic songs with him. There is just so much LOVE here. Check out the father & son team here.
Imagine this with me: You’re not feeling great. Maybe you’re experiencing symptoms of allergies or maybe you’re worried about something. You’re sulking, your posture isn’t good, you’re generally cranky. What do you do about it?
Me? I generally give in to it for a couple hours. Then I get pissy because I’m not the cranky type. Pissy is a good thing for me because it makes me do things. It puts me into action. I go straight for music. If I’m home I head for my kitchen stereo. If I’m really lucky, I’m alone. If you’re anything like me, you put music on that makes your body move. Once I get that first sway of my hips in I hit the volume button and turn it way up. I dance and I sing, loudly! It doesn’t matter if I can sing or not, I’m singing LOUDLY! I’m dancing like Elaine Benes and I don’t care! My mood has changed and I’m happy again!
Music means so much to me that when I decided that I’d permanently mark my body with a tattoo I put a G clef on my hip. This way I always have music with me.
The moral of my story is simple. Stay happy, raise your vibration, turn the volume up!
Once upon a time…
Don’t all fairy tales start this way? Well, my dears, it turns out that this is no fairy tail! I’ve heard about this for quite some time. The first time I actually experienced it I brushed it off thinking that it really couldn’t make the difference that she was talking about. So I left it where I found it, in a stranger’s back yard. It just didn’t land with me, and I’m guessing that’s true for quite a few of the others that were there that day as well.
Then about a month ago, at our Empath Empowerment group, there was a woman there who shared with us what she had been given in a dream and the changes that it made for her and those that she had shared it with. Naturally we were all listening and very interested. This again was Structured Water. But alas, again I didn’t really grasp it, so I left all of that information there in the room, not taking it with me.
Now, I’m not always this tough to get through to but if you know me, you know that I’m a skeptic. I’ve always been a skeptic and I suppose I will always be a skeptic. Honestly, even when it came to my own gifts I had to be hit over the head with it over and over before I admitted that there was something to all that was happening to me.
Stay with me now, this is where it gets good. She came back! This weekend she came to our Great Spirit talk! We LOVE HER! Her name is Donna and she has beautiful energy. She’s one of those people that we talk about all the time, she has energy that matches and complements someone else’s energy when you meet and talk with her. She’s what we like to call our people. She spoke a tiny bit about the water before we began to channel, just a bit. Then as soon as Kristi, Amy and I went into the energy to begin to bring Great Spirit through they told me, “We want to speak of the water.” So I patiently waited until that energy had the chance to power through and speak of the water. Long story short: IT’S ALL REAL and it’s very important! That was it for this skeptic! I’m IN!
You see, as our water moves from its source, it moves through rocks and it bubbles and swirls though the rivers and springs. It’s pure. However, to get to us it must go through man-made filtering systems and pipes that are still and dark, and in that process it loses the ability to carry all the light and earth energy with it. (That all makes a lot of sense, right?) It actually loses energy. Now, if you’re a wine drinker no doubt you’re aware of wine aerators, they’re a quick way to get the air moving though your wine allowing it to breathe. Well, don’t you want that and more for the water that you drink? The filter system that she told us about is similar to a wine aerator, only more earthy and real simple to create at home with things you already have. I liked that. She got my attention. Earthy + Simple =yes please.
Here’s how to do it: Marbles plus a funnel and straw! Yup, the simplest way to create this filter is to put marbles into a funnel, you may need a screen or straw at the bottom so that the bottom marble doesn’t stop the flow, and then just pour your tap water over that. Be sure all parts are clean- white vinegar is a great way to get and keep all of the components clean. Donna puts some shungite into the filter for added earth energy. BRILLIANT! If you look at the picture here, you’ll see that I put a combination of marbles with some odd shaped glass beads and some Jet for my earth energy, I also put a piece of Red Jasper (more earth energy) at the bottom so that the marbles wouldn’t close off the funnel. As I’ve been writing, my 12 year old came over and asked what I was doing with the mason jar and funnel filled with rocks. I told her all about it and had her taste it. Mind you, she’s my child and also a skeptic. Even SHE tasted a difference =Proud Mamma
Do it because it tastes better. Then you’ll see the other differences happening for you. Me? I literally have a renewed energy in my body. It’s odd, I know, and it’s not even like me to admit to something like this, but I really do feel a difference! I flow better. Try it, you’ll like it.
With Great Gratitude for Donna and all of you,
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
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?”. 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!”
I remember the first time someone said to me, “Look at you, sitting there Holding Space for all these beautiful people!” I was all at once flattered and totally confused. I had heard this term a few times before and had wondered what it meant. I wanted to know what Holding Space really was. Most of all, at this moment, I wanted to know what I was doing but was totally unaware of.
Yay Me! I was Holding Space!??? But really, what was I doing?
I had looked into this before. I had asked people and I had googled it but nothing that I heard or read had fully answered my question, in fact it became more and more vague with each search. So I went on a kind of quest. In my mind and memory I went back to that very moment that I heard those words, “Look at you, sitting there holding space…” I put myself back in that place and thought about what was happening, who was doing the talking, what she was talking about, what other’s were learning, and especially my own role. How was I feeling and what exactly was I doing.
I learned more studying my own behavior than I could on line. Note to self: always check in with yourself to ask questions first. Mind you, this was not easy. It took complete honesty. I had to begin with my own state of confusion. I had to drop all aspects of ego too, ie: I was flattered by her words. So I dug into who I know myself to be and what my genuine self is and was reflecting at that moment.
I realized first that as the facilitator for this particular event I was most concerned with what everyone else was receiving and experiencing that night. This proved to be the biggest part of learning how to Hold Space. It’s not about me, oh no… not even a little bit! It’s all about the person or people or even the situation that you are holding space for!
Equally as important is dismissing all judgement. Judgement muddies the waters real fast. If you’re holding space, that space must be completely clear of self. When you judge, you are inputting your own self. Whether it is to quietly say to yourself: “this is how I would do it,” or “this scares me,” or “I’ve never heard of this, I’m interested in it too” or the many other parts of yourself that you could insert here. NO, absolutely no part of yourself can be put into space that you hold for another person’s processing.
Is it starting to come together for you now?
Remember that you, as an observer, only know so much about any situation. Hell, those that are experiencing it only know their own part. So holding space is all about you wanting the best possible outcome for all involved, no matter what that outcome turns out to be. This is why it’s so important to remove yourself, your ego and your emotions, from what you’re about to do: Hold Space for them.
In your minds eye, see the people and the situation itself as equal energies. Wrap each one in equal amounts of love. Just love. Stand back and wait. Patience is also a factor in Holding Space. You cannot rush the outcome that is meant for the Highest & Best. These things take time. Sometimes it’s just the span of one conversation, sometimes it may take a few years. You must be patient.
*Take yourself out of it.
*Wrap each party up in love.
*Be completely out of the picture.
*Release your ego.
You’re holding space now.
We had a wonderful gathering at the Center for Holistic Healing and Art in Mansfield, MA last weekend for Empath Support Group- which we decided should really be called Empath Empowerment since it’s really what we aim to do- help all the sensitive souls embrace the power that comes with being empathic.
The big topic for the evening was vulnerability and how allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is really what is necessary to create the deepest, most meaningful connections. We agreed that feeling connected is what we are all yearning for- connection to ourselves, to each other and to the Divine. However when we talked about vulnerability we began to hear and feel fear and anxiety enter the conversation. The biggest concern was : does being vulnerable mean allowing and even inviting mistreatment? Does it require tolerance of mistreatment as an unfortunate byproduct of connection and vulnerability?
What we are talking about when we encourage you to be vulnerable is having the courage to show your true self. To stop hiding or trying to be what you think others want you to be. To be authentic and unapologetic for who you are at your core. When you stand fully in your vulnerability, you are the most grounded and powerful you can be- because you are owning who you really are. Being true to yourself is no more license to be mean to others than it is permission to allow others to treat you poorly. It does not mean to remove your boundaries or to tolerate having your voice ignored or dismissed. You have an inherent right to be fully seen, truly heard and to know that you matter entirely. Let your heart shine. Let your true self out to play- you will find others who are doing the same and the connections you make when you are each being fully yourselves will be incredible!
With much love and light for who you really are,
Kristi, Amy and Andrea
PS: If this sounds like a group you’d like to be a part of, the next gathering will be on Aug. 11, 2016 at Uplifting Connections.
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,