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Archive for mindfulness

Grounding energy in chaos

My 18 month old daughter Estrella woke up this morning at 3:30 am, and then refused to take a nap until well after her regular nap time that afternoon.

“What on earth could be happening?” My husband and I wondered. We then realized that on top of the normal-for-her-age teething pain, she could be feeling the effects of the looming full moon eclipse.

Some studies have supported the notion that the full moon wreaks havoc on our sleep schedules. Add an eclipse to the mix and no wonder little Estrella was all hyped up.

What to do?

We focused on grounding and calming our own energy to help support her ability to relax and get the nap she so desparately needed. Shortly after we used the following tools she fell into a deep sleep and napped for almost two and a half hours (twice her normal nap length).

Since the energy of the January 20th eclipse and full moon could affect you all week, I thought I’d share what we did so you can use these tools too.

Sing

I began singing a repetitive simple song. Some of you may recognize this popular healing verse that balances the four elements and especially connects to the earth element.

“Earth my body, water my blood, air my breath and fire my spirit”

Here is an absolutely gorgeous adaptation of this song on Youtube.

Visualize

Most of us are more focused upwardly, in our heads. I like to visualize that my body has a “root” or tail or that travels deep into the earth. I then imagine the energy from the heavens connects through me to this earthly root, and I am strongly centered in the middle, both grounded and spiritually connected. Children as young as 3 or 4 years old can be guided in this visualization, and when they are younger, simply do it yourself to benefit them.

Warm beverages and food


Warm chamomile tea with milk and honey, stabilizing and nourishing foods (with added healthy fat if your body can handle that) and limiting caffeine help me stay calm and centered amidst chaotic energy from any source.

“Get into your body” any way that works for you


Gentle yoga, dance, sitting meditation, a weighted blanket, a massage .. the possibilities are endless. What works for you? I gently massaged my daughter’s legs and feet to help her feel embodied. Sometimes a warm bath also does the trick. Gardening can also be an amazing way to feel grounded, especially when you do it barefoot!

The sky’s the limit

Use your intuition to find the best ways to help you and your family ground and center whenever life throws a curveball (or an eclipse) your way. Trust your inner guidance, and your growing awareness of what feels good, to inspire you!

New Year, New Rhythms

New Year, New Rhythms

Although I have mixed feelings about setting new year’s resolutions, I do find its a great time to establish new rhythms in my life. One thing I’ve learned about this is that I need to start where I’m at, rather than try to go from zero to one hundred overnight.

**What does it mean to start where you’re at?**

Here’s an example, and it’s a real one from my own life. Ultimately, I’d like to bring a meditation practice into my daily rhythm, because I know that for me, meditation keeps me healthy, mentally, physically and emotionally. I’d love to get back to a morning and evening hour-long sitting practice, because when I did that in the past, I experienced profound benefits including more energy, less pain, reduced anxiety and improved relationships. However, I know that if I set that as a goal it’s just too big of a leap and I would fail, which would therefore impact all my subsequent attempts and I would end up less likely than before to have a meditation practice in the future.

I’m a new mom, and there is no way I will get up tomorrow morning or any other day this year and suddenly have the time or energy to sit for an hour. Most people have life circumstances such as mine, or simply have deeply ingrained habits that will take time and gentle self compassion to change.

What works for me is this. Instead of making that huge leap all at once, I slow down and get comfortable with where I’m at right now, no judgement or self criticism. Then, I see where I can make one tiny step from where I’m at to where I want to be. This goes for any goal including all the common new year goals resolutions to lose weight, exercise, stop eating sugar, and so on and so forth.

I want a meditation practice, but I need to let go of the form it takes and integrate it into the life I have right now. To be specific, I can pick something I’m already doing, like nursing the baby, doing the dishes, or changing a diaper even, and practice mindful presence right then and there. With discipline and practice, this can become just as effective as sitting two hours a day, I believe, and over time result in a greater likelihood that my life’s rhythm will include a daily meditation practice.

What would you like to integrate into your daily rhythm? What are some small steps you can take towards those goals? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, particularly around ways to integrate body, mind and spirit in health and wellness.