Radical Self Care – I’m learning, exploring…and you?

Iworkpict always seems that I have to get that universal kick in the butt before the concept of self-care crosses my awareness. In complete opposition to what I encourage with my clients. Yes, guilty of doing, more than being.

A recent round with a cold/flu virus knocked me back…again…seems this year I’ve caught everything that is going around. I probably should have received the message the 2nd time around with a cold but it took this last knock for me to sit down and reassess. My body had been talking pretty loudly before the virus…knowing I needed to do more yoga and meditation, take more time for soaks in the tub and “do nothing”time. But as many of us do, I kept putting it off until I “had the time”. Well the universe made sure of that.

This time I paid attention. I took time to review just how busy I had been through the last months and in that business had neglected my being. We all get caught in the hamster wheel of “busyness” but I was more than a little surprised to see just how many hours I was logging in with work tasks each week. No wonder I was achy and sore given that both my jobs, holistic therapist and dance instructor, are so physically demanding. I let that number of hours echo around in my brain for a few days realizing I was the only one who could make the changes needed for a more balanced life.Holisticentrepreneur

What I find tough in that is how much I love the work that I do and how difficult I find it to say no when a client has injured themselves and is in pain, or a student is working with a choreography and has hit a wall. I realize that I’m not very different to a lot of others in the varied personal service industries, if you’ve been at it for any time at all it is likely because you have a passion for what you do. But again, I’m brought back to I tell others; if you get sick or disabled and can’t work what is going to happen in the different aspects of your world?

So what changes have I made? With both businesses I’ve reduced the number of hours that I am making myself available. Saying no is difficult so I’ve decided during the off hours I will stay away from the computer email messages and turn the phone off. A little self preservation that will go a long ways and I KNOW that in the long run, I will have more to give to both others and myself. It is the first in a few steps that I need to implement but it is a start!

(for my adjusted hours at Hand To Health please click here)

What steps are you taking, right now, to look after you?

Self Care & Stretch…do you?

Hand To Health AbbotsfordI probably ask about your self care time at pretty much every holistic session. While your sessions with me count as self care it really is a practice that needs to be followed daily.
Making it a habit isn’t really that difficult….here are some easy tips to bring self care into your daily regime AND they take 15 minutes or less!

  1. Snuggle with your pet, child, a warm blanket
  2. Go for a walk outside
  3. Close your eyes, for just a few minutes, and take some slow deep breaths
  4. Turn on some favourite music and…dance to it, sit down and just listen, fill a bathtub with water and bubbles and slip in, cook a favourite meal, bake, sing along, etc.
  5. Meet with a positive and supportive friend for coffee
  6. Eat your breakfast in bed
  7. Sleep in
  8. Stretch or do some yoga
  9. Light a candle, incense or place your favourite essential oil in a burner, pull out a good book and enjoy
  10. Take a nap
  11. Give yourself a hug
  12. Book a holistic health session for yourself – massage, reiki, reflexology…
  13. Make your favourite snack and watch a movie
  14. Give yourself a home spa session
  15. Book some time to spend on your favourite hobby
  16. Colour, journal, draw or paint
  17. Eat a meal, mindfully
  18. Hug a tree or ground/earth yourself11

…just a few things to get you started! What ideas do you have for self care?

And next blog…the other thing I nag clients about “Do you stretch?”

Healing Anxiety Holistically (Part 2)

Anxiety and Taking Care of YOU in the Moment

Our mind/body/spirit connection is never more obvious than when we’re in a state of anxiety. Fear driven thoughts may bring forward a biochemical response in your body (fast pulse, dry mouth, nausea, shallow breathing, dizziness), and your mind views these symptoms as evidence that something is definitely wrong.

Developing grounding and mindful movement “tricks” can help to reduce anxiety, more quickly bringing you to a physical and emotional sense of calmness. Practising some of these, while not in a state of anxiety, may help you to more quickly remember these tips when you feel anxiety coming on.

  • Affirmations
    Developing some positive messages
    to repeat when anxiety is Hand to Health Abbotsfordlooming can help us to feel more in control, which at times can bring an anxiety or panic attack to an end. My favourite one that I keep in my list is “I’ve done this before and I can do this again”, others may include: “I am safe with myself”, “I breathe in calm and breathe out fear”, …
  • Mindful Breathing
    Bringing your focus to your inhalation and exhalation can help to move your attention from fearful thoughts to being in the present moment. Taking deep breaths notice the first place in your body you feel the air entering and the last space you feel the breath as it leaves the body. Sometimes counting these breaths can further help.
  • Grounding Music
    Having a CD handy with music that brings awareness can be really helpful. My personal choice is music with a heavy bass or steady medium to slow drum beat. Music has a great impact upon the mind and can bring us out of our head and into our bodies. If you are inspired to move to the music as well, feel the beat through your feet and let it flow through you.
  • Ask yourself Questions
    Challenge your fearful thoughts. Is the fear and anxiety your feeling about something happening now or are you projecting fearful thoughts about something that may or may not happen in the future? Is the story that you are telling yourself true? If it is something happening now can you talk with someone or ask them to help you?

    Next: How Holistic therapy sessions can help you with anxiety

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!

Keeping it cool in the hot weather!

Is the heat making you feel Hot, Irritable and Grumpy? Sun can be drying to our bodies; it can be scorching to our tempers as well!My session room is peaceful and cool.  I invite you to a quiet oasis to relax, breathe and melt onto the table. A mini-vacation for just a little while.

Choose scents of cooling mint or uplifting eucalyptus as an addition (scent optional) as you place yourself in my hands for a soothing session


 

8886495While the weather is hot and dry here are some Cooling Hints for in between your sessions ….*Drink LOTS of extra water to keep your body, mind and spirit hydrated!
* Try to preplan your day and get your energy intensive obligations completed during the cooler times of the day (early morning, later evening)
* Embrace the concept of the afternoon nap. Rest and restore your being during the hottest parts of the day. It is tradition in other, hotter climate countries for a reason.
*Place a pan of cold water and ice cubes in front of your electric fan. It will blow the cool mist out and about your space.
* Or take a cool shower and stand in front of the fan rather than drying with a towel
*Place your feet in a pan of cool water and place a cold, wet cloth on the top of your head
*Practice a cooling breath. Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth but create a tunnel with your tongue and lips and you’ll find your breath out is much cooler!

What is RIGHT with Me? ~ a Playshop

For the number of years that I’ve been a holistic health practitioner (20) and an adult dance teacher (12) I’ve heard women say some really disparaging things about themselves. Self critical, negative comments that they likely wouldn’t even think of saying to someone else.
bodyimageComments that may have been made by others who have judged them, or that they have taken upon themselves and repeated often enough that they believe them to be true, or a message that has been put out by the media and accepted by society as truth….this playshop is going to dare you to challenge all of that!

While we may have moments where we focus on the positive aspects about ourselves and our lives it is all too easy to become mired in the “what’s wrong with me” thoughts, embrace them and live our lives from their negative viewpoint.What if you had some techniques to use when this happens that immediately move you into a positive focus more often, and that space becomes where you live from? How do you think that would impact upon your life?

During this playshop, in fun and creative ways, we’ll dare to 

  • move our focus to embrace the present and all those things that are RIGHT with us,
  • play with easy techniques to keep our focus on all that is RIGHT with us (including tapping, affirmations, colouring, meditation…)
  • cover physical, mental/emotional and spiritual ways to shift, and in that way ensure that the different ways in which we learn and absorb information, are covered

Group size is limited and your paid registration will hold your space in the workshop.

Registration includes: playbook pages, meditation CD or download, organic refreshments and snacks.

Regularly $75 register by the earlybird date for $49
Sunday February 22nd
noon to 4:00
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