Recently in our final days of onsite training for Urban Zen at Wexner Heritage Village, the Rabbi Cary Kozberg joined us to deliver a most inspiring maybe even, life changing speech. He commented that Urban Zen offers people “Sabbath moments” in their daily busy, stressful lives. He spoke about the Sabbath as a time to “just be”. I then received a book recommendation from a dear friend and co-worker; ‘Sabbath Keeping’ by Lynne Baab. She too mentions “Sabbath moments” but encourages us to take an entire 24 hour period to really receive the benefits of the Sabbath. I did not grow up in a religious family. I sometimes attended church with friends’ families. My family and I currently do not attend church however, I do believe in God and would like to encourage my children to have a reverence for God and his creations. After listening to the Rabbi and reading ‘Sabbath Keeping’, I’m setting an intention to have a day where my family and I unplug, take a walk together and, enjoy a meal together. We may create certain rituals around this Sabbath day as well to remind us of our relationship to God and this world and, to remind us of the gifts that we receive.
How do you and your family celebrate and enjoy the Sabbath?
“Most of the things we need to be most fully alive never come in busyness. They grow in rest.”
― Mark Buchanan
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Tagged community, contemplative time, family, family time, healthy-living, intention, little inspiration, meditation, presence, present moment, quiet, relaxation, rest, Sabbath, self-care, stress, transformation, Urban Zen
Ahhhh! Doesn’t that feel better? This is a time of year when our ‘to do list’ gets longer and longer and we run around practically holding our breath. Sometimes in Urban Zen we advise a patient/client to notice their exhale. This can often slow their breath rate and relieve feelings of anxiety. When we exhale we release CO2 and other toxins and, create space for fresh oxygenated air which feeds our cells. As we exhale consciously, we can release thoughts that are not serving us in that moment creating spaciousness for the present. I invite you to take time to exhale. Maybe you pause several times a day and take 3 conscious breaths allowing your mind to focus on each exhale and feel your feet on the ground. I wish you and yours a healthy, happy Holiday Season!
“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
Last night on my way home from work I received a phone call from my husband that he and my children were at the emergency room. My daughter had fallen and hit her head. They wanted to be sure she did not suffer a major concussion. I felt my feet on the gas and floor of my car and said a prayer. Walking into the hospital, I kept my awareness in my feet feeling the firm ground beneath each step. When I met up with my family back in the room I told my daughter to feel her feet and I placed my hands on her feet. She closed her eyes and her breathing slowed as did mine. When the doctor examined her they thought everything was mild but wanted to do an x-ray of her neck because of her neck pain. This entire experience was all new to my daughter, luckily, she has never had to go to the hospital. Once in the lab room for x-rays, I saw her anxiety increase. I once again told her to press her feet into the chair and she calmed. I was amazed how calm we both were throughout the entire ordeal. To all of our relief, everything looked good and we were sent home. Today she is feeling better and we are all grateful for this new day! Life is so precious! These simple words have been the most powerful tool in my life that I learned from my Urban Zen Training. Whenever I’m feeling anxious or scattered, I feel my feet. Whether I’m standing or sitting, I bring my attention to my feet and I really notice the firm ground under my feet. From this planted place, my breath naturally slows and my mind quiets allowing me to think clearer and to be present. When I’m working with a patient or client that is experiencing anxiety, nausea and or exhaustion, “feel your feet” are often the first words out of my mouth. When we feel our feet, we drop into our body and can immediately feel a sense of connection to the earth and a feeling of calm presence. Allowing us the ability to proceed with conscious awareness.
Give this a try. I would love to hear in the comment section below how this affects your life.
“When you take your attention into the present moment, a certain alertness arises. You become more conscious of what’s around you, but also, strangely, a sense of presence that is both within and without. Eckhart Tolle
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Tagged anxiety, calming techniques, concussion, exhaustion, little inspiration, mental-health, mindful parenting, mindfulness, nausea, parenting, stress, Urban Zen, yoga and parenting
I had planned on another post but this post had to be shared. Lately unfortunately, I’ve heard many stories of tragedy. Parents losing children, unexpected loss of loved ones and those living with serious illnesses. My Urban Zen work takes me into hospitals and hospice where I am presented with the reality that with life, comes death. Yesterday I felt an overwhelm of emotion, an enormous sense of gratitude for the health and well-being of my children, my husband and my parents. I sent them love and a thank you to God for my family. I went home and hugged my family tight and offered my full presence. I can get wrapped up in the daily dramas of life so this day served as a reminder of what is truly important. I hope you and your family are well and if not, I hope you find the support that you need. I’m surrounding you all with love and hugs. Have you hugged your children today?
According to the American Heritage Dictionary compassion is the deep feeling of sharing the suffering of another, together with the inclination to give aid or support or to show mercy. I worked many years in a homeless shelter and would often take on my clients pain and want to fix things for them, this never worked nor was it helpful. I have learned a valuable life skill from my Urban Zen Training, the practice of being a compassionate listener, no need to fix or take away others pain, simply be, be present for the person, knowing that part of our human condition is suffering. This act of listening and not sharing your own story or trying to fix the problem is a gift to the person suffering and to yourself. I will not lie, this is very challenging and can be even more challenging with family members. It is so powerful to felt heard, after all isn’t that what we all want, is to be seen and heard as we are. Some of the tools that help me stay present and to keep from getting overwhelmed by the other’s suffering is to feel my feet or my sit bones planted on a chair, and to notice my breath. According to Joan Halifax in Being with Dying, we create a strong back and open heart, to avoid getting carried away. I invite you to try really listening to a friend without offering feedback or advice, simply listen with an open heart and observe.
Oh, it feels so good to be back here! It has been a whirlwind of amazing opportunities and activities. I am in the final stages of becoming an Urban Zen Integrative Therapist, (so excited about this and will post more about this soon), I’m also in the final stages of making a Yoga DVD for Multiple Sclerosis, as well as enjoying all the wonderful yoga classes I’m teaching. I feel so blessed. With all this activity underway and the continued life as a mother, I needed to be resourceful in finding ways to care for myself without which none of the aforementioned work could happen. I would arrive early for work and have a few minutes to read or walk through a nearby park, as the weather got nice, I would go to our Conservatory’s beautiful outdoor areas and eat my freshly made salad in a jar, nurturing my body and soul before heading off to nurture others with my Urban Zen tools. I realized I had “pockets of peace”, these were breaks in between work and clinicals in which I spent time alone and often outdoors. These “pockets of peace” really seemed to refresh me and help me stay grounded and present for the rest of my day. I encourage you, if you feel you are too busy to find time for yourself, to look for “pockets of peace”, time to be outdoors, take in a good book, meditate, breathe and just be.
“Only when one is connected to one’s own core is one connected to others, I am beginning to discover. And for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be refound through solitude.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh