VidyEssence

Microcosm and Macrocosm of our lives

Posted by in Self-Care

fleurs orange

 

… or  how we live as individual ripples out to the world and vice-versa

“So, my humble advice to environmentalists would be to demonstrate and explain that altruism is the only concept that can reconcile the needs of the economy in the short term, quality of life in the midterm and the environment in the long term.”

-Matthieu Ricard, Buddhist monk, photographer and author

I know, I know… environmental wellness, you think it will be about what you can do for the environment, don’t you? As if you have not heard enough about GMO’s, climate change, pollution before… You are partially right, this is part of wellness, whether you think of it this way or not.  I strongly believe that one of the messages I need to carry out in this world is to be one with all that is and it manifests itself also by taking care of our environment. Tell me, who does not benefit from clean air, unpolluted rivers and organic food?

So to keep our Self-Care blog post tradition, here are the signs of environmental wellness often found when doing online research:

  • Being aware of the limits of the earth’s natural resources.
  • Conserving energy (i.e. shutting off unused lights).
  • Recycling paper, cans, and glass as much as possible.
  • Composting or vermicomposting food scraps.
  • Enjoying and appreciating time outside in natural settings
  • Not polluting the air, water or earth.
  • Creating first and foremost an inner environment in accordance with your values on all aspects of your health.

  • Creating home and work environments that are supportive and nurturing

I added one, and of course you get it by now, I will spend most of my virtual ink talking about those in bold. But first let me get one thing out of the way. It took me a while to realize what I will share with you in the next few lines so I hope you can spare yourself a few years and act on love.

Trying to inspire people from fear and or guilt perspective does not work. We can get  short term results or actions which oftentimes end up being done with the wrong motives in mind. Worst is that  there is nothing sustainable about this. “When you want people to engage in what you believe in, you will have better results when you inspire them. By focusing on the potential positive and affirming impacts our gestures have on ourselves, others and the environment, we are more likely to stay the course. This is what wellness is all about! Basing our decisions on the fear of what may happen is not a truthful solution, and makes us vibrate at a lower level. This fear is deeply rooted in our culture and there is a good reason for that: To immobilize us! I am here to inspire you to be empowered so you can ditch the fear and bring in the love! If we want to do a green act of kindness  we might as well do it for no other reason than because we love this blue planet.

Enjoying and appreciating time outside in natural settings

Do you have a favorite place in nature you always go back to? Or a sacred place that reminds you of your childhood? Nature makes us feel more connected, more free. I find a profound  calming effect to my nervous system when I am in nature.

In his book The Nature Principle, Richard Louv explores the healing properties  of the great outdoors. There is an entire section referring to mental and physical benefits observed from hanging out in nature, even research and studies proving its beneficial effect on us, which Louv has named Vitamin N. Oftentimes as we become adults we tend to think that we need to stop playing outdoors, like this is something only beneficial to children. How to solve this?

There are many ways and sometimes we do not need to look very far. In the last few weeks, I have put an extra item on our agenda for the entire family as we come back from school: Spend 15 minutes outside in nature. We also changed our farm animal feeding routines to that time as it eases our morning departure and gives us an extra reason not to skip going outside  later in the day. I may not follow this routine every day, but we have created a new awareness. In fact, most of the time, we all get caught up spending more than the mandatory time outside because we are having so much fun!

I personally think the disconnection from nature has lead to our personal dis-connection to our own nature as well. Both are interconnected and we have forgotten.

A few years ago in a blog, I described how it was easy to view the environment as something apart, separate, like this thing out there we needed to protect for future generations, or that place we went to  during weekend hikes. The environment is right where you are. It is a simple as that. I see multiple environments intermingling.

The first one is our temple. It is not only the body our spirit  lives in. The temple  encompasses the four sides of who we are: body, mind, heart and soul.  I won’t go into details here as we talked about these aspects of self-care in previous posts. You can refer to the hyperlinks above to remind yourself what we talked about.

Clover-EN

The second, I like to call hearth as it describes the (warm) environment we are living in. This is what makes the difference between a house and a home. It inevitably includes environmental health but this is not all. It is about creating a mindful home, a sanctuary, one where there is space and pace, where we can feel safe being who we are and where we can live in total harmony. Ideally to me this is a pure place where we strive to remove all toxicitythe ones we breathe, absorb or ingest and also the ones we may harbor in our inner environment through our thoughts, words and actions.This is reflected in the way we live and what our hearth looks like. There, we can have the most profound impact on others as we are modeling daily in this place we call hearth. If you are a parent you know what I mean.

The third is carried on by itself. It is called Oikos. This word is derived from the ancient Greek. It means home and is often associated with ecology. In Environmental Education, Oikos means our planet, our community. This is the biggest picture, the all encompassing ”environment”.

Creating first and foremost an inner environment in accordance with your values on all aspect of your health.

This refers big time to the temple environment I just described. I will go in depth in future posts as one paragraph really won’t cover it. However just think about this analogy. When you are driving your car and the empty tank light comes on, chances are you will soon take care of it. You know you will run out of fuel and this means big trouble. You won’t be able to go anywhere without tending to the message on the dashboard. We must do the same with our temple and all of its facets. I had neglected some parts of my life and now I pay the price with my health. I am slowly but surely returning to a state of balance. And because I have done some emotional neglect, physical neglect kicked in as a distraction. I did not look at the real deep issues. Dealing with all of this at once now makes it even harder to come back up on my feet. Don’t wait until you get a diagnosis you would rather not have. Tend to your inner light and do not neglect the ones flashing at you on the dashboard of happiness.

When we are making transformations (some we may qualify good, some bad, but hopefully we are making more positive ones) in our lives, it has tremendous ripples around us. It starts first in our family and circle of friends, then larger community, such as work or other organizations we are a part of.  In time, we may find that one single change ripples globally and creates a cultural movement.

So it matters a lot to work on our own terrain. When we have fertile soil, we are growing and creating positive changes not only for ourselves, but others too. One of the best ways to impact this world positively and make it a better environment to live in, is to listen to our calling and act on it. I will talk more about life purpose in future posts, but let’s say one thing and if this is the only idea you‘ll always remember from reading me, let this be the one:  

There is only you with this specific  purpose or mandate in the entire world. If you are not paying attention to your calling, if you are not jumping in it with all your heart, then there will be some people who needed you that won’t be served. Because everyone has something valuable to share and help others with.

What is most important to me is to inspire you to find your soul purpose and act on it in a way that not only does not harm the Earth and its inhabitants but rather in a manner that nurtures nature.

Creating home and work environments that are supportive and nurturing

As you tend to your own garden or temple, live according to your values and act upon creating the life you are meant to live by diving in on your life purpose, things will naturally shift for you and affect others around you as well. Habits will be changed, boundaries will be set, conversations will be created around the transformation occurring. Changing ourselves is by far the best way to inspire and lead others. This is where you will say no to sugar or fast food, yes to safer skin care, and using nature remedies as your ally to your overall health, and so much more! This is hopefully where you will also notice the clutter, toxic energy, bad relationships that are polluting your home and work environment. And do something about it. This will create waves of change in your surroundings whether this was your goal or not. People will look at you and will wonder: “Why have I not tried this before?” And this is how we create movements and cultural shifts.This is how we change the world, by changing our world.

So now, today make one slight beneficial change towards greater environmental health, even if this is just parking a little further away to walk and breathe some fresh air. Observe how you feel and if other people take on the challenge with you. Share your act of Self-Care with us here so we can all b encouraged to do more!

0

Thermography 6 months breast wellness check results and comp

Posted by in Self-Care

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 3.36.03 PM

The real deal! YEP I almost forgot about it this week. And last week I could not keep my mind off of it….

I had to take the time to digest it all before sharing. Now I am back on track with another level of commitment to put into place to get this thing- aka my health- under committed surveillance and more dedicated actions and habits. Like it should be. So no, no BIG bad news, but I thought things would have improved faster. Patience, a little voice said to me. And perseverance! The former I have some of the time, the later I have it always to the dismay of my family members at times!

I saw the pictures right after they were taken. Renee pulled the previous picture to make a comparison. (see image below). The results looked great as I saw way more blue and green and thought to myself: “Wow I am in a good direction here!” I forgot that there is more to the results than the color. It is more complex than it seems…

thermography1-2 comparison

 

When you get your picture done they are sent to a doctor to measure temperature discrepancy between the two breasts and probably more than I can explain. Cancer does not develop symmetrically. Hence, when there is a difference from one side to the other it is sending a sign that we should pay attention more. There is also the hormonal grade for estrogen activity.

So one week later I received an email with the doctor evaluation in attachment. Renee’s personal note is something really comforting, not like you would get from the hospital papers.
Here is what Renee’s personal message said to me:
“I hope you’re not discouraged! Sometimes we see what can be described as “stirring the soup” – in other words, when someone makes significant lifestyle changes, we see temperatures can fluctuate before they stabilize. You have improved many aspects of your emotional life, and that has a profound effect on your mind and body, whether it shows up in your breasts immediately or not!
Just keep up the good work!”

When I saw this part of the report I got discouraged….I was stable. STABLE?!  Estrogen activity and thermal result risk rating are the same. Some breasts area have lower temperature difference and some have higher temperature difference compared to the first results. On one area, I am now over the normal range, it sounded alarming to me, 1.42 degree C, the normal range being between 0.00-1.00 degree C.

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 3.22.13 PM

 

I thought I had done somewhat of a huge emotional change, I am still in the middle of it. And I  am stable?? I  knew the anger was not helping my inflammation level at this very moment.

Then I was so sad. I sobbed most of the next day. I know myself well enough to see that this was the necessary step I needed to grief the fact that I still have the same risk, even with the emotional and physical progress I made. I also know that once the grieving would be over, I would roll up my sleeve and evaluate what is the next step and act on it.I understand that when negative habits have been in your life for quite some times, even  for years,  you cannot necessarily expect a full blown reversed results it in a matter of months. I am grateful i still have some time to take action .Not Like I had receive a stage 4 diagnosis. Maybe I could have done more or better, but I strongly believe we do the best we can at all times, considering our circumstances.  I was not to fall into the guilt trap as this is not good for breast health either.

A plan? Of course keeping on what I have done well is a must. Even after this hard sobbing day I had a few good conversations with my husband and I could see some more things shifting. Then I am working out a plan and will put it in action over the next few weeks. I will share it with you as it unfold. I want my story to help as many people I can because as I said on my Facebook post, #Iamnotpartofthestatistics and I don’t want any more people being part of it either. It is not about fighting cancer, war is never the solution. It is about finding ourselves again, creating a better  overall health plan and stopping the madness or our lives to really create one that matter.

 

 

5

Why we should give more than a dime on our financial self-care

Posted by in Self-Care

20140625_145132

Peace of mind, Abundance.   This is what this view remind me of. Oftentimes money doesn’t quite make that effect on me. How about you?

Nowadays, it seems like time and money are the biggest subjects ever. Maybe because we feel we never have enough of any of these? Take note: I said feel. There is a huge difference between feeling and having. Perception plays a key role in how we feel and perception is based on so many things that when a person wants to take an honest look at their finances one can only glance at the financial tips we can find in magazines and online. Yes this information is great because we are not all experts at everything. When we moved from Canada, I was glad to find some information online about how credits scores worked as it was different here than in my country of origin. However, beyond the obvious financial plan as well as the more specific advice we can get from professionals there is one crucial area of our finances that we can be accountable for: our mental and emotional relationship to money.

Maybe you wonder why I added this aspect into a wellness wheel. Well, have you noticed how much living in poverty or beyond your means can negatively impact your health? Can you find any other aspect of the wellness wheel not affected when the financial health part is not under control? Chances are there are nutrition decisions made that are less desirable when there is not enough money to buy fresh produce or organic meat, let’s say. What about stress or lack of sleep, maybe even  arguments with a spouse or loved one? Working a second job to make ends meet  effects the occupational realm. It also has been proven if we look more on a global scale that poverty leads ultimately to violence. Convinced? Let’s get busy then!

The real deep work starts not as much as in how much we make but how much we keep. And how much we keep is partly related to our belief system. What we really avoid emotionally can be found when going beyond the ‘’skip Starbucks and put the coffee money aside for family vacation’’.  If a person is unable to manage his or her first out of school income of, let’s say $25,000.00 a year, chances are the issue will be the same even if this person’s income doubles, triples, or quadruples unless there is a shift.

It is said that people experiencing financial wellness may have these habits:

  • Managing their money and establishing a personal budget.
  • Not living beyond their means.
  • Learning to not let money be the driving force of their life.
  • Donating some of their money to a cause they believe in.
  • Making plans to payback their loans.
  • Not getting into credit card debt. Paying off the entire balance each month to avoid interest.
  • Thinking long term – emergency fund, savings account, retirement plan, etc.

This is not at all an exhaustive list but just a basic one and my aim here is not to play the financial advisor either.

If we are honest, we can all take a look at this brief list and see where we can make improvements. Without a deep hard look at how we relate to money we won’t be able to sustain any noble new habits. If there is an emotional tie to money management (and who does not have any?  I wonder…) this is what we need to address first. Here comes clarity again!

We all have habits that are detrimental to our financial health, even if we can pay our bills on time without any interest. Think about what people call shopping therapy. This is a false sense of indulgence . This is NOT self-care I can assure you! This society has been good to create the sense of us not being enough for a lot of reasons. If you add your personal story to it, which includes probably guilt or shame, this could be an interesting web to detangle, but not impossible.

The idea is to really mindfully observe our spending behavior, our earning behavior and in between see how we hold onto things for the wrong reasons. Somewhere in my life I had been guilty of all three! Hopefully not at the same time, but it would not be surprising either. Consumption has become an addiction and a coping mechanism to a lot of us. This is also a way to numb and avoid what hurts, pretty much like entertainment too. I was shocked to witness how many people were attending a hockey game knowing the ticket price. Some are regulars…We got free tickets and even though  this was a great evening for us all, I cannot see myself doing any type of entertainment at this price point regularly. It would skim the savings account for sure!

 

Get back in the driver’s seat!

The first step with anything we need to change or transform, is to name it. I always say to my clients: Name it to tame it! This is one huge step as when this is identified well we can direct our efforts in the right direction.

It is interesting to look back at our parents’ lives, our childhood and past years in general to identify where we have picked up some of these habits and what is the emotional correlation that was created.

Once a financial destructive habit has been named it is time to target to dissolve the emotional tie. Sadness, grief and forgiveness can all be part of this process depending on how impactful this event had or still has on our lives. Do not try to skip a step, as we all know this will not make us go any faster. Honor each and every step of the way for the learning lesson you are gaining. There are tools one can use to remove these emotional ties. Whatever type of mind body and emotional help I get, I always pair it up with my essential oils, used aromatically. It gives me real empowerment and I can attest definite progress  in between sessions; as some of you may know, essential oils have vibrations, which in turn, help us stay in a better state of wellness).

Earning money

If earning  money is easy for you, great! It is not for me yet. On the other hand, I have attracted a man that has no difficulty in earning a good income whatsoever. So I tend to believe that maybe there was a good reason for this, like the vocation to be a mother at home or I needed to support his vocation by having a more involved role when the kids were little and he was building his career. I have been in the workforce again for the last 3-4 years and I know that being away from the workplace for a long time has had an impact on my self-confidence.  

My childhood was by far the biggest contributor to this income issue thing. I wanted to end the cycle of poverty, and stop choosing fear as a foundation for my decisions. In some ways, I have been able to change the course of my family generational DNA when it comes to financial health. In other instances, wanting so much to change this part of my past has led me on the wrong path. I became obsessed with making a better income and I did a lot of things that were not my passion or calling thinking that once I had created an nice income I could go on and live my dream life. The Universe has  showed me that I need to build the dream and serve first and then the money will come. Not everyone has the same historical timeline and this is why there is not one person with the same story or associated emotional trauma or pain related to money.

I know I need to learn to value myself more in my work and ask for a fair amount of money for my services. This is part of my journey at this present moment. I strongly believe that we oftentimes have a sense of not being enough and this vibration tends to resonate and it changes how people perceive you and thus react to your offering. Authenticity and integrity have each played a big role in this as well.

MJ’s confessions on…

Spending money

Oh my! I can be good at spending money for the wrong reasons at times! I think it was even more the case when I became a mother. The insecurity I felt inside made me buy tons of unnecessary things. I wanted to give such a different childhood too, one of caring…and even though I did a lot of free caring, because we add the income to support it, the spending habits could have been a bit less. Same here when it comes to make belief that we are living our dream and acting on it. Like all the accessories and scrapbooking stickers to match each and every step my first child did! I still, to this day, have yet to finish her first year from birth (she is 13!). At some point I realized that I should forgive myself for what was a good intention and embrace each and every moment live, rather than be part of moments I could not even remember due to lack of genuine presence while taking pictures.

At least this childhood of mine and probably my personality as well, has made me act positively too! I would rather spend money on organic food than a flat screen TV. I do like a great working car but I can make do with the color I did not want (of all!) because we found a hybrid second hand small SUV so I can use it for my work. This is part of my value system. I am famous around the house to be amazing at creatively finding ways to save money. And if something needs to be done, I  will put it into action and not deter from it until I get what I had in mind. Thanks to  my parents who had it hard in their childhoods and to some of their good and bad habits based on their past, I was able to  learn the value and sacredness of each possession.

Managing money and what money can buy

This is also a deep dig into our emotional being when we realize we cannot let go of possessions of any size because of emotional ties or false beliefs. If you knew how many magazines have done both trips California-Canada and again Canada-California for this reason…. to finally end up in a recycling bin without having been read at all. Ridiculous!

At the time I had left everything behind to follow my soon to be husband, just a few months right after deciding to go back to school full time to finish my degree. I had to abandon my dream and even though I was excited by the idea of living here in California, part of me felt it was painful. I then took a few business class in a State University where they suggested I read a certain business magazine. So I took a subscription. We were anxiously waiting to get pregnant as well and it was not that easy. So  when I was in my late twenties, with no kids and no legal right to work, with a husband who usually did two weeks worth of work every five days, I needed to read some magazines to distract myself from my not so busy life! Talk about living vicariously!

This can be the same for items people gave us that have no sentimental value whatsoever, but we feel bad for discarding them in case our family members or friends would notice the item was missing when visiting. There are also those objects that have a sentimental value but are kept hidden in the back of a far away closet. We only see them when we make the big once a year declutter. All of this is stagnant energy. It keeps us distracted from what we can really enjoy from the money we worked so hard to earn.

Sometimes we keep even bigger items, like furniture or small appliances because we feel bad that we bought them and never used them. Same with those too-small sized clothes. In those circumstances we cannot face the fact that we may never use them again. Guilt comes in and we avoid dealing with the fact that we did not make a sound decision at the time. The worst thing is to keep those belongings even after we have discovered the truth as now they are also taking some space in our subconscious mind.

 

Declutter time

Please if you are using oils, get the diffuser out right away and use lemongrass and lemon and do a big huge session. I remember doing this last summer and feeling a deep  sadness inside of me. I was finally letting go of long held ideas of the things I could do without, including all of that accumulated stuff that I paid for and never used.  I broke up with the past and forgave myself and others. It was a bit painful but in the end it was so liberating!

Rule of thumb: Anything that created heaviness, no joy, or discord between you and someone else as you share ownership, anything that has a negative balance when you look at your checkbook should be revisited, discussed and hopefully discarded. Try it and let me know…This has powerful effects, beyond what you can imagine.

What is the hardest object you have a hard time parting with? Why? Share your comments below and do not forget to join us on our Self-Care Sunday on Facebook!

0

Just say yes!  or when taking care of ourselves include others

Posted by in Self-Care

_MG_7206-3

 

When my son went to bed  last night, he started crying. I could tell something was bothering him in the last 30 minutes because he kept looking at the clock while his sister was playing a song on the piano for us.

Now, to put you in context, you have to know that he is sensitive and caring and has a big, generous heart. He is also an introvert, so to recharge, he needs time alone. He needs time to transition so being rushed does not work well for him, at least not when he is not well grounded. The most important thing to him is connecting with family members, one on one or as a whole, but we need to be present to each other. This is his motto.

Back to the story, my nine year old boy realized that he gave too much of his time to big sis, happily helping her in a project for school, offering  to do her chore to lend a  hand and listen to her song. Now, he ended up not having enough time to recharge and it was time to go to bed. We talked about setting firm boundaries, about the oxygen mask theory, refilling our cup. Now he has a plan to make sure this won’t happen again (we all know it will, he probably knows too, but we want to do damage control). I’ll be there to remind him if he forgets. I bet he won’t.

In emotional self-care, setting boundaries is something to look for.  We need to honor ourselves first and sometimes this means saying no. Now, not that it is not important when we talk about social self-care or what some others call relationship care; it is still something to be mindful of.  

When it comes to looking at our relationship with others, we need to remember:

  • At times, we want to interact with others. Frequencies and needs may vary from one person to another but still, human connection is something we cannot deny. Who would not like to spend time with friends or family to celebrate their birthday, as an example?
  • We are interdependent so we need to interact with others; Nobody can attend to all of their needs on their own. When we are going through hard times or exhilarating joy, having someone to talk to or to spend time with makes all the difference in the world.

 

There are a lot of other ways to take care of our relationships, as you can attest when looking at  this exhaustive list to assess our social self-care. Some seem to be done  to help others but they benefit us as the same time, like connecting with friends and family especially those abroad. Others requires us to do what directly benefits us first and foremost. WARNING: Do not see these as selfish. If  you think you are when taking care of yourself, think about what would happen if you got cancer or have to deal with depression? Do you think that by neglecting your needs and ending up in a difficult situation you are better equipped to help and support others around you? Are you then able to fulfill your life’s mission? Take the time to read and see where you can improve. The ones I want to focus on today are in bold.

    • Developing assertiveness skills, not passive or aggressive ones.
    • Balancing social and personal time.
    • Developing the ability to be who you are in all situations.
    • Becoming engaged with other people in your community
    • Valuing diversity and treating others with respect.
    • Enlarging your social circleaka continually being able to maintain and develop friendships and social networks.
    • Creating boundaries within relationships, boundaries that encourage communication, trust and conflict management.
    • Remembering to have fun.
    • Scheduling regular dates with your partner or spouse.
    • Scheduling regular activities with your children.
    • Making time to see or stay in contact with friends.
    • Call, check on, or visit your relatives.
    • Allowing others to do things for you.
    • Asking for help when you need it.
    • Sharing a fear, hope, or secret with someone you trust.
    • Remembering who you are in any relationship.
    • Creating for yourself a community of support (network of family and friends.)

 

Creating for yourself a community of support and asking for help when you need it

As much as we need to learn to say no to others more often, we also need to say yes to others more, by asking for help and recognizing our intrinsic need to connect, to give and receive. For some reason, probably from with all the availability of services almost 24/7, the development of consumerism and actualization of our needs, it seems like there is a rise of individualism. In plain words: we became reluctant to ask others for help. So first we need to acknowledge our needs and second we need to ask for help when we need it. Sound simple? When was the last time you asked a neighbor for some eggs or sugar when in a middle of making a recipe?

Here is  a quick assignment to guide you through saying yes more often. It  part of a bigger picture called the emergency self-care plan:

1-Make a list of people you can contact if you need support or distraction. For example, your best friend, other friends, siblings, parents, grandparents, other relatives, community members, therapist, coach, or any member of your wellness team, etc.

2-Divide the list of people into categories by asking yourself the following questions:  

  • Who can I call if I am feeling depressed or anxious?  
  • Who can I call if I am lonely?  
  • Who will come over to be with me if I need company?  
  • Who will listen?  
  • Who will encourage me to get out of the house and do something fun?  
  • Who will remind me to follow my self-care plan?  

 

Share your plan

Once you have developed your plan and made your commitment, remember that friends, family, peers, and/or colleagues may be good additional resources for exchanging new self-care ideas/strategies and to provide support and encouragement.  Chances are by being open to communicate your plan you may be enabling them to feel ok to do the same and add you on their support team list.

Consider taking your commitment a step further by joining or starting a support or discussion group. Our Self Care event could be the springboard to exchange ideas toward caring for oneself.

 

The ability to be who you are in all situations and remembering to have fun

In order to sell more and make money Big Corps have created and encouraged consumerism. With this, the advent of media are doing a  good job at telling us we are not enough of or too much of and what to buy be happier, healthier, sexier. It is as we developed self consciousness to a degree where it looked ridiculous to be ourselves in public without (feeling) people frowning at us.

It seems though there is an ever growing movement to celebrate our uniqueness now. Thank goodness! It is tiring to deny who we are! Seriously, we need to be able to have fun and not worry about what people think. It is of great importance to allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Playing tough is not a sign of courage and strength, it is a sign of not allowing vulnerability and genuine feelings to emerge.

When we are able to be ourselves and not be too self-conscious about what people think we are exuding strength. Being vulnerable is the utmost sign of bravery. Now, I am not saying this is easy. I have times when I am totally frivolous to the extent that my teenage daughter wants to deny she share blood with me :-) (this will pass, I know). I have others where I just want to hide. This is part of being human. If I remember even just a tiny bit about the core message from Brenée Brown’s book The Gift of Imperfection, this is it: Do not let shame or guilt define what you do with your life or how you feel about yourself. Be authentic, be real!

There might be some need for emotional healing but this is feasible. One day at a time you can recreate the perception you have of yourself. There is a lot of work that can be done to heal our trauma and love ourselves more. Be patient and forgiving.

Do yourself a favor, this week: DO one thing that you want so badly but did not because your self-consciousness stopped you in the past. It does not need to be fancy, complicated or expensive. Do it first in your shower or living room if need be and get acquainted with it until you try to do it with family members and friends and in public. Chances are that when you do this, you will again help someone not there yet thinking this may not be such a bad idea after all!

0

The mind of a fool is not mindful

Posted by in Self-Care, Spritual

_MG_0150-2

And by fool I mean:  a person lacking in judgment or prudence. Now that this is out of the way, let’s start!

“The knowledge of the past stays with us. To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears, the clingings and disappointments of the past that bind our spirit.”

― Jack Kornfield

Ah…  Letting go. Would you agree that this is easier said than done? I know it is for me! Same for forgiving. Sometimes I can do it fast but if the sadness and hurt is still there, that is another deal.  Of course we have looked at our emotional self-care  and we could spend some more time doing this here but this is not the point. I think that sometimes we need  to just drop it. I like when clarity is brought into a conflict or situation. As we look back to see what went wrong and how it has impacted someone negatively, we can find ways to deal with similar situations in the future in a more positive and beneficial way.

However what happens sometimes is that by always going back to the past we tend to stay in our mess way too long, so long it starts to stink. Get the garbages out! This is where spiritual self care comes in, through mindfulness. As Jack Kornfield’s quote mentions, staying in the past binds our spirit. Not only does it bind it, it also blinds it to the point that, in the moment, our focus is either on the past, creating a sense of hopelessness which may turn into depression, or anxiety towards a similar future. Either way, we are not letting our spirit enjoy the present moment.

Mindfulness is by far the best tool I have found to make peace with whatever is obscuring my being. It brings me back to the present moment. In the here and now, there are no doubts or worries, no regrets or guilt. Neither the past nor the future are an option. We let the flow of life take its course, we let go of any expectations we have. Slowing down and introspection are key to create the time to be mindful.

 

2 ways to practice mindfulness

Of course meditation is probably the first thing that comes to mind when we think about mindfulness. It took me a long time to feel at ease with meditation. Now, even though my mind still wanders a lot when meditating, I am more at peace when dedicating time to my meditation practice. It grounds me like nothing else! Then it is easier to release negative emotions, detach and  forgive. I am also a more patient and understanding mom. That is making it for me! Without being an expert on meditation, I can tell you that merely focusing on your breathing and noticing thoughts without judgment as they come  is my way. I also have a mantra I recite as it helps to stop the mental chatter.

One other way to live mindfully is to incorporate mindfulness in our daily lives. How? By  being aware of our willingness to create consciousness in everything we do. There are so many habits we have that go unnoticed and over time we have routines that are helping us stay healthy, but do we really care for them anymore?

 

From habit to routine to ritual

This is where rituals come in. Habits are behaviors we have. They may not involve consciousness when done, like sleeping on the same side of the bed every night or always adding honey to our tea. Habits can be good, bad or neutral for us.

Routines are activities that we do repetitively or regularly like a daily chore. My husband routinely does the dishes after dinner. I routinely sweep the floor after breakfast, before I start my home office workday.

When we turn habits and routines into ritual, we add consciousness, intention and mindfulness to our gestures. There is  a ritual that I developed out of a routine, and now that I take time to think about it there are really deep reasons why I do it this way. Every Monday, before I can settle into my work in my office, I feel the need to sweep the floor of the entire house. I could see this as creating a distraction and avoidance, but no! If I don’t do it I feel unsettled. While sweeping, I also clean up and put away things we have used over the weekend. Being weekend homesteaders, we tend to have long days outside and need to do as much as we can before the sun comes down. So obviously other areas of the house are neglected and we get mud, sand and probably some tools in the house too. We may not have been that keen on noticing the kids’ toy left in the living room, or the pile of clean clothes that needs to be folded.

By sweeping the floor and putting things away where they belong, I can review my weekend in my mind. I can add things on my calendar as I remember our conversations. Once this is done, I have a blank slate to start off my week and be hyper productive!

Let’s use another example, this time one I need to work on. As I tend to go to bed late, I have the habit of falling asleep while working on my laptop, only to realize it later and drag myself off the couch and into my bed half awake.

A routine would be to decide to stop using all screen and media at 10 pm so I can get ready and naturally fall asleep and go to bed at a reasonable time. A ritual could look like mindfully adding face washing, flossing and mouth rinsing as a way to honor my physical self and tend to it so I feel fresh, clean and more relaxed as I go to bed. I could also add visualizing my days and consciously trigger positive joyful thoughts to fall asleep with. When done this way, there is attention on what we do and why we do it. Therefore the how we do it is taken care of.

Of course, there will always be times when we get off course. When we are late, we need to rush and rituals can go out the window pretty quickly. This is part of life! We notice without judgment and get back on track as soon as we realize what happened. To be successful at first rituals need to be planned. At some point you may realize this is so ingrained in your life you cannot forget about this. It becomes so beneficial that it is like eating or sleeping. This is literally food for the soul.Try this: Set the alarm clock earlier in the morning to have time to write morning pages, count your blessings,  walk your neighborhood or meditate.

Slowing down and creating intent and mindfulness is an easy way to add a spiritual twist to everything you do without feeling like you have to become a monk. Try it and please share what you have experienced. Were you more at peace?

0
fr_CA
en_US