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!

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?

TUMMY RUBS

What dogs absolutely love is good for humans too!

The “fire in the belly”…

it can be a spiritual understanding, a mental “knot in the gut”, or the physical burning of indigestion. What ever the experience, it is affecting your body’s core. The area beneath our ribcage and above our hips is filled with the soft organs of digestion, a bundle of physical and emotional nerves and the soft unprotected grounds of our psyche…so often overlooked and forgotten, unless it’s grumbling from lack of attention.

As a belly dance teacher who encourages students to dance from that energetic belly fire, it saddens me when I hear the way women will talk about their bellies. Exposing the belly is always optional in classes; many feel pretty vulnerable about showing off their mid-drift. I’ve heard this beautifully rounded body part described as too fat, too thin, too ugly, too lumpy, too many scars… covered up rather than embraced for the powerful, beautiful, life-filled space that it is. I’ve also watched, as confidence builds, belly scars decorated with temporary tattoos, henna, bindis and other forms of art, stomachs draped with scarves, veils, fringe and coins…and then that pivotal moment when a student will come into class, shyly undrape, to show an outfit that exposes her belly for all to see. THAT takes confidence, courage and inner strength!

Our mid-drifts hold all of the organs of digestion

those organs that play a pivotal role in our physical and emotional absorption and elimination. If we’re bound up tight physically or emotionally our belly will talk with us loudly through tummy aches, gas, indigestion, constipation and cramping. There can be no question about it, when our belly is stressed, we hear about it. But when we take a few moments and breathe deeply into the belly, exhaling fully, we can release the tension and the ache within, when we give our belly a physical rub or a positive emotional thought it helps it to unwind from its cramped space.

Abdominal or Belly Massage is very often skipped over during a massage session despite how important it is. Studies show that in using specific massage techniques abdominal massage can help to reduce gastric upsets and pain, relieve constipation, promote good digestion, ease colic, break down scar tissue from surgery, help the uterus to unwind from menstrual cramping and soothe the nerves. Perhaps it can also, through positive touch, open one up to embracing their mid-section?

Imagine rubbing your belly first, for comfort and ease, before taking medications…
Or perhaps, experiencing good digestion and regular bowel movements…
Or soothing the grip of menstrual cramps and anxiety…

There are many essential oils, that when properly diluted with oil or lotion can enhance your Abdominal Massage. Dill, Basil, Chamomile and Fennel assist the digestion process, Clary Sage and Geranium for menstrual cramps, Peppermint and Chamomile for upset stomach related to headaches, Marjoram, Tangerine and Fennel help to release emotional stress held in the belly.

Watch for April’s Health Session Special…all about the Belly!

When was the last time that you gave your tummy a positive pat?
Do you hold stress in your belly? Is it upset at the same time that you have a headache? What positive things do you do to feed the “fire in your belly”?

DID YOU KNOW that laughter is the BEST medicine for digestion? A good belly laugh jogs and massages your internal organs.

 

 

 

Touch that HEALS

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?