“We believe that it takes a strong back and a soft front to face the world.” Roshi Joan Halifax
Are you being called to serve? Do you have a passion to help your loved ones who may be living with terminal illness? Do you want to work with persons undergoing cancer treatment and be able to offer them comfort? You may have heard me mention Urban Zen here. Urban Zen is the calm in the chaos. Urban Zen Integrative Therapy is a very powerful yet simple way to help people that are dealing with pain, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, constipation and exhaustion. Let’s face it, all of us at one point or another have suffered from one of these issues. Urban Zen is being offered in hospitals, outpatient centers, rehab and hospice centers, universities, schools as well as, corporations and in other countries. Urban Zen Integrative Therapy is meant to serve as a compliment to modern medicine and it really works. For example, I have worked with patients suffering from nausea and pain at a level 8 on a scale of 1-10 and after 15 minutes of using the Urban Zen modalities, these levels dropped to a 4. The modalities used in Urban Zen are, gentle movements, Reiki, Essential oils, Body scan meditation, Breath awareness and simple breath practices and, Restorative yoga poses. I feel so blessed to have gone through this training and to be doing this work! UZ has changed my life in so many profound ways! I can nurture myself, my family and friends when they are not well. I have developed the ability to be present and, let’s face it, being present for others, to really listen and see someone, is a missing piece in our health care system and in our world. I’m so excited to share this with you as there will be an Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Training this year offered in Columbus, Ohio through Yoga on High. Here is the link to there site and more information about the training. There is an informational conference call on June 3.
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Tagged breath awareness, community, compassion, Essential oils, gentle yoga, health, health care, healthy-living, little inspiration, meditation, mindfulness, presence, reiki, restorative yoga, Roshi Joan Halifax, self-care, Urban Zen
If you’ve ever flown before, you’ve heard this statement, “In the event of an emergency and the oxygen masks drop down, please put your mask on first before assisting children or others.” This serves as a reminder that we need to care for ourselves before we can care for others. As women, it is part of our nature to be the care-givers of the people in our lives, while also caring for our homes and maintaining a career outside of the home. We, at least many of us, tend to place our needs and desires last on the list. I invite you to make a change and “put on your oxygen mask first”! I often find that, when I take some time for myself, I have all that much more energy and love to give to my family. So, make a date with yourself! Below are some suggestions if you’re at a loss for where to begin. Enjoy! Please share in the comment section your self care ideas.
*Sit outside and read a good book
*Enjoy a cup of tea and some quiet time
*Take a relaxing bath
*Practice yoga alone or take a class with some friends
*Practice some restorative yoga
*Take a walk and be with nature
*Share a meal with friends
*Get a massage
“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
― Eleanor Brownn
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Tagged beautiful nature, contemplative time, exhaustion, gentle yoga, healthy-living, little inspiration, mental-health, mindful parenting, parenting, relaxation, restorative yoga, self-care, stress, yoga
It is popular in our culture to say how busy you are. As a parent, we can feel pressured to be on every committee and sign our children up for several sports, piano lessons, art lessons and, encourage them to achieve top grades. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know there are many well intentioned people and parents out there and we are all doing the best we can. Employers are expecting more work out of fewer people and, with technology, we can stay connected 24/7. Just writing this, makes me feel a bit anxious and exhausted. I thrive with a full schedule of teaching yoga but realize I need some down time to be by myself and with my family and friends. I’m encouraging you and myself to find balance. Consider your schedule and your children’s schedule if, you have children, and, see what, if anything, can be removed. What are the things that you dread doing or what activities do you have to beg your children to participate in. These are the items to extract first. Then notice how you feel. Make note in this process of what it is you really want to do and make time for that. Simplifying our schedule offers us more time to do the things we love and spend time with our family and friends. I highly recommend Laura Thompson Brady’s Class again this week as she helps you with this process as well.
I also recommend the book Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne for the parents out there. Have a lovely week. I hope you have some time to enjoy the Spring weather!
“In the tapestry of childhood, what stands out is not the splashy, blow-out trips to Disneyland but the common threads that run throughout and repeat: the family dinners, nature walks, reading together at bedtime, Saturday morning pancakes.”
― Kim John Payne
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Tagged family time, healthy-living, little inspiration, mental-health, mindful parenting, mindfulness, overscheduled, parenting, self-care, Simplicity Parenting, simplify, stress, yoga and parenting
Clutter can leave us feeling bogged down energetically as well as mentally. When I have clutter, I have trouble focusing and getting things done. I feel a sense of underlying low level anxiety and stress. I, like many of you, do not have entire days off when I can clean and de-clutter so I’m left with where to start?! Recently I completed Laura Thompson Brady’s e-course “Hectic to Harmonious”. http://www.thenourishedhome.com/ This course was amazing and really helped me to set small achievable goals. One part of the e-course was simplifying your home. She suggested to pick one small corner or one small area and envision what you want it to look like and feel like and de-clutter or reorganize that one small area. WOW! This had a huge impact on me and my family’s energy level and mental health. I started with bookshelves as I love books. I reorganized and gave away books that were no longer age appropriate or ones that were no longer of interest to me. The energy I obtained from this small task encouraged me to continue this process when I had even just 15 spare minutes. My son’s art table was my most recent project. This table is in our kitchen and is one of the first things I see when I walk into my home from the laundry room. It is a “catch-all” for my son. If he doesn’t want to take the time to put it away, he puts it on the art table. I found some great ideas on Pinterest for organizing pencils and crayons and placed a large piece of white paper on the table. It looks wonderful and it feels so great to walk into my kitchen now. I invite you to pick one small corner of your home and de-clutter. I would love to hear how this affects your life!
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Tagged anxiety, change, healthy-living, Hectic to Harmonious, ideas for art supply storage, little inspiration, mental-health, parenting, self-care, spring cleaning, stress
Happy Spring! Well, maybe it’s finally starting to feel a bit more Spring-like. Spring time often brings a sense of renewal and growth. A time to release what is not serving you. A time to plant and grow the things that will serve you. With the change in temperatures, we often start craving fresher, lighter foods as well as venturing outdoors more to play and work. I’ve decided to blog about Spring Cleaning for the month of April. Spring Cleaning our bodies, our homes, our schedules and our minds. I hope you will join me on this Spring Cleaning Journey to discover what new seeds you can plant in your life and how you will blossom.
Week 1: Spring Cleaning my diet. Our liver works hard all winter to clear toxins as we eat heavier creamier foods and more sweets during the holidays. Spring is a time when we can thank our liver for the job it has done and eat foods that support detoxifying the liver. Foods like dandelion greens, arugula, lemon juice and beets. One of my favorite salads this time of year is made with arugula, beets, (peeled and diced small), with a dressing of lemon juice and olive oil, sprinkled with a bit of oregano. If you would like, you can add a few crumbles of goat cheese and enjoy!
The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.
– Thomas A Edison
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Tagged beets, change, easy recipes, food as medicine, healthy food, healthy-living, salad, self-care, spring cleaning, spring cleanse, Thomas Edison
I teach yoga to persons with disabilities where the person often has a weaker side which sometimes cannot move without assistance. In class I often encourage them to do the pose or movement on the stronger/ dominant side first to really feel in their body how the movement feels. I then encourage them to close their eyes and visualize the second side doing the same movement. They will often find an increase in strength and flexibility on the weaker side. There have been studies done on the powerful effects of visualization even for athletes. Check out this link.
One morning right before I awoke, I had a dream I was in Crane (Bakasana) Pose. In my dream, I could feel my abdominal muscles engaging and all the muscles working that needed to work. During my morning practice, I told my husband my dream and that I was going to see if I could do the pose, which I could not do before. Wow, I got into the pose with ease. I shared my experience with my students and encourage them to keep visualizing!
What is something you want for your life? Try some visualization. I would love to hear how it works for you!
“To bring anything into your life, imagine that it’s already there.” Richard Bach
I hope you’ve enjoyed this 4 week Meditation/Mindfulness Journey with me. I hope you have found more ways to be present for your life and those around you. Maybe you’ve found that sitting everyday is a challenge but have found mindfulness in your day to day activities. As a result, you are living with less stress and the increased ability to be more responsive versus reactive with the difficulties that arise in the ups and downs of life. I invite you to continue your Meditation/Mindfulness Journey and, would love to hear in the comment section how it is affecting your life and those around you.
Today or this week, I invite you to do a moving meditation. This can be a yoga practice if you do yoga or, a walking meditation. If walking is a challenge but you are able to walk with the assistance of a cane, I invite you to try walking backwards next to a wall using the wall for support. PLEASE only do this if your doctor says it is okay and if you have support and a friend or loved one near. Walking backwards is helpful for alignment of the pelvis over the legs and, may help you to feel more balanced.
As a side note, my son came downstairs this morning and noted that he heard birds singing, I do believe spring is coming.
“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.”
― Jon Kabat-Zinn
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Tagged beautiful nature, contemplative time, health, healthy-living, Jon Kabat-Zinn, little inspiration, meditation, mindfulness, moving meditation, MS yoga, self-care, transformation, walking meditation, yoga