Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Breathe Through Your Holiday Stress

During the holidays many people experience stressful situations as they go about all of their activities -- things like dealing with difficult family members, missing loved ones who are gone and trying to accomplish everything on the "to do" list -- just to name a few.

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / dolgachov
Today I would like to give you a tool for handling this stress holistically. It's a simple tool that you can take with you wherever you go -- it's called belly breathing, or abdominal breathing.

During times of emotional stress, people tend to unconsciously hold their breath. This is harmful, because it can lead to a host of problems including high blood pressure, muscle pain and stuck emotions.

The good news is that we can learn to breathe better and reduce the harmful effects on our body, mind and spirit.

Here is a simple technique from the AMSA:
  • Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. 
  • Take a slow deep breath in through your nose, then hold it for a count of 7. As you breathe in, the hand on your abdomen should rise higher than the one on your chest. 
  • Slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. As all the air is released, gently contract your abdominal muscles to completely evacuate the remaining air from the lungs. 
  • Repeat the cycle four more times for a total of 5 deep breath cycles.
Once you feel comfortable with this technique, you may want to incorporate words that can enhance the exercise. Examples would be to say to yourself the word, relaxation (on the inhale) and stress or anger (on the exhale). The idea is to bring in the feeling/emotion you want with the inhalation and release the feeling you don't want with the exhalation.

Do this exercise twice a day or whenever you find your mind dwelling on upsetting thoughts. You should notice it brings you to a more peaceful place. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Small Gesture = A Big Impact

According to research conducted by Shaunti Feldhahn, Author of The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages, 72 percent of men say a, "thank you," for something they did "deeply pleases" them.

This is an easy way for us to show our men our love.
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Andres
-- "Honey, thank you for playing with the kids after work tonight."
-- "Thank you for making coffee this morning."
-- "Thank you for working so hard for us today."
Why is this so important? Because your man's greatest desire is to do something well and have it be noticed and appreciated. If you help fulfill this deepest desire by expressing gratitude, you will be cultivating a healthy marriage, which is good for both of you!

Here's another thought to put it into perspective -- a woman's saying "Thank you" to her man is the emotional equivalent of his saying "I love you" to her. So, if you love hearing, "I love you" from your man, you might want to throw a few "thank you's" his way!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Taking Care of You is Not Selfish

During a recent coaching session with my coach she said something that was a great "light bulb" moment for me, "The act of taking care of one's self often appears selfish to others."

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / pablocalvog
How true. I believe this is part of why we don't always take good care of ourselves. We don't want others to think we are being selfish.

But taking care of your "self" is not selfish. It is loving. It is loving to you and to the very people who might think you are being selfish.

We have all heard before that we need to take care of ourselves first so we can better take care of those around us.

This is true and why the flight attendant always tells you to put your oxygen mask on first -- then your child. Take care of you so you can take care of others.

What happens when we are not taking good care of ourselves is that we get filled up with resentment that depletes our energy and often gets taken out on those around us.

So, what is it that you need to do for yourself right now? Take a relaxing bath? Go shopping? Get a manicure or pedicure? Have lunch with a friend? Sleep in late? Get a massage? Go on a trip? Go back to school?

Whatever it is -- go do it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

To Those Who Have Hurt You: Send Them Love

In life we all have experiences where we are hurt by others. Sometimes the hurt is so deep we no longer have "active" relationships with those people.

I put the word active in quotations, because you are still energetically connected to people from your past.

Sometimes it is hard to let go of those people. You may still feel love for them, or you may harbor feelings of anger, betrayal or sadness for the things that went on during your relationship. It is not healthy to hang onto these negative feelings. Soul-level healing is needed.

Today I'd like to teach you a technique to help heal your heart. It's a type of a meditation.

We will ask Archangel Michael to intercede for us. Archangel Michael is the protector of God's light and love. When you call on him, he will help you clear your energy field of old hurts and past experiences that are weighing you down.

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / photosoup
Michael always performs his duties with love and can help you consciously send love to those people and things in your past so that you may release them into the Light and move forward with your life.

The process would look something like this:

Find a comfortable, quiet space to relax.

Close your eyes, take three deep breaths to release anything negative in your body.

Bring yourself in the presence of God. Feel His peace surround you.

Now, call on Archangel Michael. See him in your mind's eye. Notice his magnificence and beauty. Say, "Archangel Michael, I am asking for your help with a gentle release of _______ (insert name).

Now, see your higher self (your God self) and the other person's higher self standing face to face in front of you. Don't say anything at first. Just look. Feel with your heart. Breathe. Be calm. Feel peace between you. There is only love here. It is safe. You may wish to see Archangel Michael standing with you both with his loving wings outstretched around you.

When you are ready, tell that person you love them. Mean it. Feel it. Feel the love going from your heart to theirs. Actually see the love transferring between you. Breathe. Feel calm. Spend as much time with this as you like, just sitting in this peace and love.

*Please note, this is not a time to get lost in the story about what happened or any negativity. You can vent your anger and frustration in your journal. Reserve this time for love and peace. If your mind wanders, simply center yourself again and bring your focus back to love.

Then say, "Thank you for being in my life and for the spiritual lessons you have taught me. I now release you with love." Breathe for a moment and savor this peaceful feeling. You can give a little thank you to Archangel Michael, too.

When you are ready, slowly come back into awareness, and know that you can bring this peace with you as you go about your day.

Do this process as often as you need to. It is a process. Not a light switch for sure -- but it will certainly bring you much peace and serenity.