Judgments, Opinions and Criticism … oh my!

Do you ever find yourself in that space of feeling so “done” with the judgements of others that you want to scream!

While what another thinks of you and your beliefs only has the value sqwackthat you give it, at times the never-ending “blah” that comes your way can grate on the nerves. Others can be so quick to look for even the slightest nuance in your words and actions that they can find offense with. They appear to make it a priority to make sure that not only you know you are wrong (inept, stupid, ignorant…), in their view, but look for support from others in establishing the who is right and who is wrong picture. It is a strange mentality, I have trouble understanding it and my usual thought when I experience this is “don’t you have enough going on that you have to find fault with others?”

It seems that we are surrounded by criticism and judgement everywhere we turn in society. A lot of perception comes through media, with the constant messages that we aren’t enough or if we just did this or that we would be “better”. It seems that we are drowning in messages that we are doing it wrong, that we’re not enough, that if we only did it this other person’s way then we would be acceptable. BUT, do we really want that “acceptance”? Is it important enough to us? How much of ourselves are we prepared to give up in order to fit into that others picture of “enough”?

Personally, I really don’t care that much what others perceive as my not being or doing enough. I was raised in a family where the concept of personal boundaries and space were unknown. Where the expectation to be a “good girl” was so ingrained that I was a bundle of nerves to fall into that space rather than be perceived otherwise.  Attending private school, where we all dressed the same and conformity was the expected norm. It’s taken some time but I’m so beyond the girl who lived in those limiting belief systems. As an adult I’ve been drawn into similar experiences of conformity, I think because it is an energy I know, but ever more quickly I move away from these situations. I am ok with living, teaching and working in the ways that work for myself, my clients and my students. I am not a big fan of “community” because often you find the dictators somewhere in there. The ones that feel you have to conform to their way of doing things or their definition of community, or you are not doing it right. No thank you, this is no longer the space I want to be a part of.

Both of my “jobs” put me in constant contact with people who are at different points in their lives. I think one of the best messages I’ve discovered in my work is “to not judge a person by the chapter of their life story that you just walked in on”. It fits so well. Until I get to know a client or a student I have no idea what experiences have impacted their lives so far and I may never know. I have no expectations about what others should share with me. What I do know is that each individual will deal with those experiences in different ways and none of those ways are wrong (as long as no one is being harmed). Each of us deals with life to the best of our abilities, knowledge and intuitions, we do the best that we can. The last thing required is to have someone outside of us squawking about the way we are dealing with it and how we are doing it wrong.

Yes, we are all entitled to our opinions…but is it ok to push our peaceopinions on others? To try to sway others to our way of thinking and openly criticizing those that don’t think the way we do? While I have a lot of views around holistic health, natural wellness, dance, politics, etc. they will remain with me and not be put out in the public forum. Why? Not because of apathy but because I’ve seen others verbally crucified for their viewpoint and I’m not open to putting myself in that position. It is unfortunate that the accusations and name calling are so prevalent and over ride creating healthy atmospheres for open discussion. Healthy environments that we could grow with and learn from, in the exchange of ideas and knowledge gleaned from a multitude of life experiences.

What is important to me as far as opinions? That I treat others well, with kindness and compassion, and do what I can to help. That both my clients and my students receive the best that I am capable of giving in my service to them and that I treat them with respect. That I don’t intentionally cause harm to any other beings, be they human or animal.  That at the end of the day I can look back on how I’ve conducted myself and learn from things I would like to change and acknowledge what I have done well. That I have treated myself with respect and care. Whose opinion is important in all of that? Just my own!

Positive 2014 !

Happy New YearLike most years, the past 12 months have certainly been ones of change, struggle and blessing for all, with many people saying that the world and it’s changes seem to be pushing us along at a breakneck speed….I certainly did find that to be true this year!

There were 2 big events in my life last year that pushed me to grow, change and love more! I met the beautiful woman whom my son has chosen to share his life with and fell in love with her quickly. The sparkle in her eyes, the warmth in her smile and the joy I see in my son’s face…  what more could a mum want?
The 2nd being the opening of my new clinic space in Abbotsford, which isn’t as big an event as were the changes it forced me to make from within.

I’ve found this past year that in allowing myself to go with the flow of events and opportunities that life presented me with, (which by no means is an easy task) and giving up the need to know all details in advance, that’s right….just trust …life and its many gifts have flowed more easily and effortlessly. That’s not to say that it isn’t a struggle to just let go and move with the flow, it really is, but I’m finding it easier and easier as I see results coming quickly and in much better ways than I even imagined. Sounds like something out of a self-help manual, I know…I’ve read so many of them and have finally, after many years, come to the experience of just allowing the flow of good and allowing myself to be surprised by results.

In that allowing I’ve also experienced drawing new and different people into my life. People who match more closely that new path that my life appears to be flowing along. It’s been fascinating to share with and learn from them and to have made some amazing new friends.

Things surfaced this past year that forced me to look at what was working in my life and equally, what was holding me back. What was I struggling to “make” work, what experiences were sucking away at my energy…and what I had to take the difficult steps to just let go of. I’m not sure. but I think that letting go of things/people/problems/events is harder than trusting the flow, to trust that if it is meant to be then it will stay or flow back into your life and if not…well, the white flag of surrender goes up.

This past week I’ve seen quite a few articles, pictures and conversations happening around New Years Resolutions and promises…I don’t tend to make them and after the year I’ve just had I think life brings you greater blessings when you resolve to be the wonderful person that you currently are and grow from there, when you trust that things will get better and then allow life to lead you down that path of wonder (even though it may not be the path you had chosen), when you trust, when you let go, when you open yourself to receive.

Wishing you a wonderful and healthy 2014 filled with energy, peace, joy, surprises, openings and blessings!

At a soon to be announced upcoming Open House, many will have the opportunity to see what wonderful holistically healthy life choices are going to be coming available at the Abbotsford clinic!

Muscles ~ the Emotional Scream

My muscles have been talking lately and loudly!

Scheme of muscles of neck, with the stylohyoid...

Sounds strange perhaps, but let me explain.

This past Fall I took extra special care of me and ensured that I experienced regular self-care. I booked massage appointments in advance and also took a weekly Yoga class.

Not for the first time, but with a new awareness, I experienced the emotional scream of my muscles. The massage therapist worked deeply on tightly held and restricted muscles. The Yoga classes were heart-centred experiences where the stretches were slower moving and deep….opening all the muscles that I use, not just day to day as a health practitioner, but also as a dance instructor.

During these sessions the emotions came out. Have you tried holding a deep stretch for 2 to 5 minutes? Have you noticed when you’ve held a deep stretch, that the muscles warm slowly and allow you to stretch a little more? As I would breathe into these stretches all sorts of emotions came to the surface, those that the muscles had been holding and storing. All of them! The anger, sadness, fear, joy, frustration, peace and laughter. The Yoga instructors calm reassuring reminders to breathe nudged me to breath through and release both the tension in the muscles and the emotions that surfaced.

I experienced the same with each massage. It felt great to have someone work deeply into my muscles and to enjoy sessions where I could 23completely relax and de-stress. My physical body works hard during the week, my emotional body probably harder. As I relaxed and the muscles began to warm and stretch beneath the therapists hands, once again emotions came bubbling up. As a therapist I realize that they are only coming up to the surface so that my body can finally release them…it’s a good thing. I’m blessed in finding a therapist that uses and is guided by her intuition, allowing my body the space to open and release both the physical and emotional tension that I’ve stored within.

These experiences resonated with what I feel beneath my hands every day, as I work with clients. As they talk and/or as they relax, their muscles begin to speak beneath my hands. The bands of stress and constriction begin to open slowly and let me in further…so that what may have started out as a physical therapy becomes a holistic one. The “whole” client is realizing benefits!

fbprofileFor my self, I leave each class or session feeling lighter, pounds lighter! My physical body feels wonderful but more importantly my emotional self is more peaceful!

Book your intuitive massage or reflexology session and experience your muscles emotional scream….it really is a good thing! handtohealth@gmail.com

Fabulous heart-centred Yoga classes with Kim Pechet begin again at Wisteria Acres in January. Click here for more info

 

Are you listening to your muscles? Really listening?

Spiral in…Spiral out ~ something new

Nature spirals … and that includes us

Have you noticed the whorls and circles in the trunk of a cut tree, how a cat will curl up and around itself to sleep within a tightly tucked ball, the spirals of sea shells, plant leaves, wave patterns in the sand left by the ocean’s waves…

But nature’s swirls also open and release. The tree sends branches out from its outer circles, the cat gets up and stretches and the sand patterns are impermanent.

The human body spirals….our dna spirals within, we have linings (fascia) around our cells, muscles, our organs, even our skin acts as a liDNA and twisty green thingsning that holds us together. Our mind spirals with emotions that wind us up or loosen and relax us.

As living beings we can run into problems when we don’t take the time to loosen and open those spirals but instead, allow life’s continual and stressful grinds to wind us tighter…ever tighter.

We can begin to feel like a tightly wound spring ready to “boing” in uncontrolled patterns as we knock against those things around us and then lie in the place we land, still coiled and tight.

How do you think it would feel to “unwind from the grind”?

Do you think it would feel wonderful to open up and balance, from top to bottom, while still staying firmly grounded in YOUR present?

Acknowledging and honouring the individual and the pace at which they need to unwind, this session begins with some deep Breathe work and slowly moves into the subtle unwinding through Craniosacral Therapy (some clients will also draw Reiki and if you would like that included it will be).
Grounding the session with hand or foot Reflexology gives a sense of wholeness and harmony…it completes the process.
Throughout the session you have the opportunity to completely relax in the peaceful surrounds, the table is heated
(if you wish), quite music is the subtle background, essential oils that encourage your unwinding, gently scent the air (you may also choose to not have scent)

Introductory Cost $135.00
(plus HST)

Touch that HEALS

A re-post from an earlier date….touch has an impact! I’m thrilled to accept another invitation to share this workshop later this week with 2 more groups of foster parents…the great news is that the last workshop is having a positive impact on the children in care!

Last week I was involved in a project that has the potential to change lives. I was honoured to accept an invitation to share a workshop with foster parents about foot and hand massage. These amazing individuals who care for children of all ages were there to learn about creating a positive touch environment for the many kids who haven’t experienced that. The project is based on the work done by Dr Bruce Perry in understanding what happens to the brain when children are exposed to extreme stress and how positive stimulants, such as touch, can help to ease their pain, heal their spirit, create changes in the brains patterns and help these children to become healthy adults. Throughout the workshop I was continually in awe of and inspired by the dedication of these people to help the children in their care. They truly are angels.

Touch HEALS us

on all levels of our being: our physical, emotional and spiritual selves. The human race has known this since ancient times, it is an innate knowledge held within our beings. Touch feels good, it soothes our soul, nurtures our spirit and improves our mental and physical well-being. We reach out to touch throughout our day…the softness of silk, pitted texture of an orange peel, furry coat of our pets, soothing warmth of a hot bath…

Our bodies speak to us in so many ways when we deny its need for touch. Crying out with pain, aggravating us with constant aches or hunching our backs in protection against stress … all point to the need for a healing touch.  Our intuitive spirit protects all aspects of our being in seeking a sense of wholeness and will send us the message for self-care first. If ignored, our emotions then become the messengers through waves of anger, frustration, sadness, etc. If we still refuse to listen our bodies will give us the strongest of messages through pain or illness.

In a world filled with gadgets, social media and email that keep us “in touch” by remote, we lose that physical communication needed to be healthy and whole. We chat on media sites rather than meet for coffee, send an email in lieu of a hug, text messages rather than pick up the phone and make a personal connection… Whether the soothing touch of parent to child, a hug from child to parent, a pat on the back from a friend, the sensual touch of a lover…we all need touch.

The unfortunate, current attitude of society towards touch, only distances us from ourselves further. As a race, humans are touch deprived. Studies have often demonstrated how essential it is for babies to be touched in order to thrive, but the need for touch doesn’t decrease with age. Through touch we communicate with others that we care about and are connected to them, creating positive emotions. Simply touching someone on the hand or arm has a physiological effect in lowering blood pressure and encouraging the body to release natural painkillers and neurotransmitters essential for positive mental function.

The healing effect of touch has been an integral part of medicine for thousands of years. Healing touch sessions such as Massage, Reflexology, Reiki and Craniosacral actually force all aspects of ourselves to be present and pay attention, and in that they empower our lives. In a world of logical and intellectual thinking we forget the importance of our intuition which acts as our body’s voice. Healing touch therapies put us back in touch.

The University of Miami’s Touch Institute has collected mounting evidence that shows the benefits of increasing the amount of physical contact with friends, lovers, family and massage therapists …here’s what they discovered…

More touch = Less stress: Researchers found that after a massage session the human body secretes lower levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, norepinephrine and dopamine, the chemicals that can make you feel anxious and can cause stress-related “dis-eases”. On the other hand there is an increase in the secretion of “feel good” hormones and natural chemicals.
Touch = Increased brain power: A study published by the International Journal of Neuroscience showed massaged subjects completed math problems in significantly shorter time and with fewer errors.
A Massage = Beefing up the Bottom Line: The same study showed massage recipients had a profound decrease in school and job anxiety and were able to be more focused and productive.
Touch = Immunity: Studies sponsored by the National Health Institute showed medical and nursing students who underwent massage therapy demonstrated an increased immune response.
Touch = Less pain: Yes, massage is helpful in relieving muscle spasms and cramps but touch can also lessen pain in areas the therapist can’t reach. Pain has shown to be lessened for PMS, labour pains, migraine headaches, colic, teething, growing pains, arthritis…

In what is fast becoming a “hands off” society I was encouraged by the participation of these foster parents. Perhaps in their efforts to provide a loving and nurturing touch for children and teens, an awareness of caring for the whole of our being will be ignited. That their taking the time to learn about positive touch will encourage others to take some time away from gadgets and the internet and reach out to each other in a positive way and in that increase the positive energy we all need for health and well-being.

I asked the foster parents to let me know how it goes with the children in their care. What changes they may see and how their touch affects them. I look forward to hearing from them.

For more information about the programs being developed by Bruce Perry visit www.childtrauma.org

How do you reach out and touch those you care about in your life?

Do you use natural health therapies as a way to improve your mind, body, soul connection?

What positive changes have you noticed?

H2H WonderWhyse Tips#2 ~ Why wait?

When is the optimal time to go for a massage or a Reiki session? and How often should you go?

Really common questions from clients…and also easy to answer…You go as soon as your body or mind has brought the idea to your awareness!

Rather than hoping that the emotional and physical pain will go away if you just ignore it, or waiting to see if it will get better on its own why not consider this line of thought; “hey, I don’t want this issue of pain or uneasiness, it doesn’t feel comfortable, it is restricting my day to day living…how can I ease my body and my mind?”

When you have injured or over-worked a muscle or a group of muscles, they need some help to relax and heal. Often, in pushing your muscles to get you back to what needs doing, you are causing further injury, and that is only going to restrict you further. That’s a pretty good reason not to wait to have it treated. If anything is restricting your day to day enjoyment of life, restricting activities that you like to do…it’s time to take care of it!

English: A hungry baby yelling and crying.After one of those just incredibly tough weeks at work, where you’ve had a rush of deadlines to meet, and you feel overwhelmed with that never-ending to do list, you can feel pretty hunched over with stress. The ears are a little closer to the shoulders, the mind won’t let you sleep as what needs doing swirls around and around in your head at night, the stress may be upsetting your stomach or at some points it can feel so overwhelming that you want to cry.I’m always curious, when clients talk about this, that they often say they were just waiting for things to calm down and get better before coming for their session. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to come in before you get to that overwhelmed breaking point and stop the stress in its tracks? If you’ve experienced a Reiki session then you know that it makes you slow down, breath deeply and upon ending, your mind comes back to the “to do” list from a completely new and refreshed perspective.

I always recommend taking care of things at the start of the problem rather than waiting. Too often emotional, mental and physical stress are ignored, put on the back burner and forgotten about until the body and mind are screaming at you so loudly that they just will not let you ignore them any further. If you take a moment to breathe and check in with your body…I’m sure it’s talking to you “clearly”!

Another questions often asked is “How often should I come for sessions?”

My goal as a natural health practitioner is to encourage and facilitate your body’s innate abilities to switch back on and keep you in a healthy state. My eventual goal is that you won’t need to come back and see me.
Sometimes that takes a few session (how long have you had the problem?) as most modalities go with the rhythm of the body and the mind and it’s healing process, which is not necessarily on our time schedule.
 After that maintenance is always a good idea. By maintenance I don’t mean allowing your body to go back to the previously injured and stressed out condition before coming back….I mean to book ahead a self-care maintenance schedule that works for you….and if you listen, your and your mind will tell you what that should be.

Are you listening?
Do you put your physical & emotional aches and pains on a waiting list?
Why?

Yay for PJ Day!

Yes, yesterday I retreated from the world for a PJ Day! I think the last one was sometime in March.

An example of an ankle sock

What is a PJ Day?

You probably indulge (at least I hope so) and call it something else. You know, those days when you do pretty much nothing at all. If you don’t have those days you probably need them more than you think. I often find if I’m feeling tired physically and emotionally a PJ day will revitalize and refresh me…if I don’t listen my body will often deliver me with a cold so I have to take a break. I would rather take the day without the virus.

For me PJ Day is a “planned” in advance day…

  • The phone is shut off before I go to bed the night before
  • Any outstanding emails are answered the night before and the computer goes off too
  • Meals are planned … so there is not much I need to do
  • The alarm clock is nowhere to be found

My PJ Day may include…

  • A whole day in my PJs reading a book (usually something mindless…the textbooks can wait)
  • Casual meals that are not rushed (you know, mindful eating…so very good for you)
  • Extended bubble baths with candles, music and my book
  • Curling up with the cat on the couch and watching a movie
  • A home spa day of pedicure, manicure and facial
  • Sleeping in!
  • A really quiet and slow yoga session
  • Naps!
  • A hot shower with scented soaps, lotions and fresh clean Pj’s!
  • ….add your ideas here…..

The results? I am refreshed and ready to take on the world the next day. My mind is calm and energized as is my body and I feel fabulous.

Taking the time to let the body and mind batteries recharge is essential to avoiding fatigue, burn out and overload….how do you recharge?