Archive for Mental Well-Being

The Sweet Spot of Surrender

Controlling by Letting Go

I am sure that I am not alone in feeling at times that ‘my life has taken on a life of its own’ – that is, realizing that how my time and energy is spent these days is not at all by complete choice on my part.  Circumstances beyond my control- most recently related to aging and dying parents- have added an array of bitter sweet emotions, responsibilities, and yes, STRESS.  It is that ‘outside-in’ stress created by circumstances beyond our control that can sometimes hit like a wrecking ball.   However, I realize that I am the one responsible for compounding that stress, by my own struggle and resentment about this point in life -although temporary- where I am not able to fully dedicate time and energy to the creative and expressive endeavors and service that I want and that I most enjoy.That struggle and resentment creates even more stress- ‘inside-out’ stress -that only I can control…by letting go.  And so, it is only in the sweet spot of surrender that I find solace. 

Surrender: Abandonment, cessation, and letting go of  fight or struggle.Are there circumstances where surrender can create more freedom for you?

  • When there are events or circumstances in your life where you find you are hanging on to the way you think things ‘should’ be, practice letting go of expectations and realize that this time is only temporary-as are all things- and that this time too, is part of your soul’s journey.
  • Navigate through unwelcome or unfamiliar territory with an open mind and heart. Allow yourself to fully feel, experience, and move through the array of emotions- anger, grief, surprise, sadness, confusion, resentment- without judgement- and be willing to accept, adapt, and let go.
  • Inject moments of activities and endeavors that feed your ‘want to’ desires and bring you joy, pleasure and inner satisfaction.
  • Consciously surround yourself with individuals who accept, understand, and support you for who you are and where you are in life’s circumstances.
  • Find meaning in the mundane. Examine and discover how you may be of service to others in ways that you never imagined, yet that service is important and meaningful.
  • Always do your best.  You may find that an uninvited set of responsibilities are not necessarily in alignment with your interests, gifts and talents.  Simply do the best you can, which may be a ‘different level of best’ every moment of every day.
  • Love and appreciate yourself…everyday.

Chakra Sense for Self-Care

Chakra Sense

Chakras and Self-Care

The Assault of Excess – Reset Your Senses

The Assault of Excess - Reset Your Senses

Crank up Your Creativity

 

Expansive Moves: Creating Space in the Body

Perform each movement until you feel a gentle sensation of stretch. Stay focused on the sensation and your breath.  Never move into pain.  Listen to your body and appreciate the feelings of expansion and balance.

Modified “Down Dog”: Stand behind chair with feet hip distance apart and hands on back of chair. Walk back until arms are straight. Keeping legs straight, lower the chest and reach back with the tail bone until the body forms an inverted “L” position. Hold this position for 4-5 complete breaths. Slowly return to standing position by walking forward and moving body upright. ModDownDogp125

Sitting Spine Stretch: Sit on edge of chair with feet positioned slightly wider than hips. Place hands on thighs. Sit tall as if a string was pulling the crown of the head toward the ceiling. INHALE, look up and arch the back, opening the front of the body. EXHALE, lower the head, drawing the belly button in and round the spine into a “C” shape opening the back of the body. Repeat 4-5 times.
(Breath pattern may be safely reversed on this exercise for different sensation)

Exhale, look at your belly button while rounding shoulders and spine.

Exhale, look at your belly button while rounding shoulders and spine.

Inhale, look up, squeeze shoulder blades together and arch back

Inhale, look up, squeeze shoulder blades together and arch back

 

Seated Twist: Sit on edge of chair with spine straight. Cross left leg over the right. Place right hand on the outside of the left thigh and left hand behind on the seat of the chair. Pull up through the crown of the head and turn the head and shoulders to the left to look over the left shoulder. Hold this position for 3-4 complete breaths. Repeat on the other side.SeatedTwistp127

Arm and Chest Stretch: Sit on edge of chair, spine straight. Interlace the fingers. Straighten and reach arms forward while turning the palms away. HOLD for 2-3 breaths. Keeping fingers interlaced reach the arms overhead with palms facing the ceiling. Drop the shoulders away from the ears. HOLD for 2-3 complete breaths.

ArmChestStrp128

ArmChestStr2p128

Solar Plexus Chakra: Strengthen Your Core Muscles

The Solar Plexus Chakra is located mid-belly and back and can be energized and balanced through strength and flexibility of the core muscles.
The Solar Plexus Chakra is located mid-belly and back and can be energized and balanced through strength and flexibility of the core muscles.

Strengthening your core muscles is a great way to let your body lead you into feeling stronger and more confident as you discover and share your unique gifts and talents with the world.  Additionally, your posture will improve, and you will feel better!

Here are a few simple exercises to bring strength and energy to your solar plexus and core muscle groups.  Go for sensation, not pain.  For most of these, engage your core by drawing your belly button toward your spine.

And remember to BREATHE!

Inhale, look up, squeeze shoulder blades together and arch back

Inhale, look up, squeeze shoulder blades together and arch back

Exhale, look at your belly button while rounding shoulders and spine.

Exhale, look at your belly button while rounding shoulders and spine.

 

Sit with buttocks on edge of chair, bend forward knee 90 degrees, straighten back leg while supporting on ball of the foot. Elongate spine and reach arms next to ears. Hold for 2-3 breaths.

Sit with buttocks on edge of chair, bend forward knee 90 degrees, straighten back leg while supporting on ball of the foot. Elongate spine and reach arms next to ears. Hold for 2-3 breaths.

Start on hands and knees. Lift and reach with right leg and left arm. Hold for 2-3 breaths and repeat with left leg and right arm.

Start on hands and knees. Lift and reach with right leg and left arm while keeping spine straight and belly button pulled toward spine. Hold for 2-3 breaths and repeat with left leg and right arm.

Lift both feet, keeping knees bent, belly button to base of spine and back straight. Hold for 2-3 breaths.

Lift both feet, keeping knees bent, belly button to base of spine and back straight. Hold for 2-3 breaths.

Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slowly lean back with back straight and belly button drawn in. Reach to outside of thighs with hands and hold for 2-3 breaths.

Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slowly lean back with back straight and belly button drawn in. Reach to outside of thighs with hands and hold for 2-3 breaths.

Heart Share: Flourishing in the Face of Cancer

Food as Fuel – Breath for Balance

There are many ways to increase and manage your energy level.  Two of the basic everyday tools are

 Food and Breath.

The quality of what you take in pays huge dividends in the quality of your mental and physical energy and the energy you can effective share with the world.

Remember to consciously breathe deeply throughout the day. This helps keep your body and mind oxygenated and energized.  Pay attention to times when you may be holding your breath while focusing or concentrating.  If you catch yourself doing this, pause, and take a couple of deep breaths.

Balance your intake of complex carbohydrates and protein.  We need both types of food for a clear mind and an energized body.  During cold weather we often reach for the comfort foods high in simple carbohydrates and fats.  Choose instead complex carbohydrates and combine with lean protein for the best fuel for mind and body.

Carbohydrates stimulate the release of seratonin which produces feelings of calm and peace.  Choose complex carbohydrates of whole fruits, vegetables, beans, brown rice, and whole grains.

Proteins stimulate production of the neurotransmitter dopamine which helps with mental focus and concentration.  High protein foods also help you feel full. Protein is the only nutrient that can build, maintain, and repair our cells. Choose from fish, poultry, lean meat, eggs, low fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, peas, beans, lentils, nuts quinoa, seeds, soy milk, and tofu.

Remember, the better the energy that goes in, the better the energy that goes out.  You feel better and your everyday experience is better!

Watch the video below if you want to learn the healthy way to breathe.