H.G.K. Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries that offers healthy mind, body & spirit resources, as well as some fun and laughs from my own personal entries on life with (5) boys & turning this city gal into a country "mouse" wife.

Emotional Maintenance

Emotional Maintenance.

How to Re-Align and Balance your Emotions

March 15, 2018

"As you let go of the complications, emotional toxins, and everything else that isn't serving you, you will be free to experience the happiness that exists in Simplicity." Deepak Chopra

Throughout my own life there have been many times when I've been so caught up in the rat-race and busy pace of life that I forgot to stop even for just a minute and check in on myself. Every now and again I'd realize that I'd literally been so wrapped up in the "doing" of life, that I'd pushed the "being" part aside. The thing is, I never forgot to eat, to sleep or to go to work. Yet, I did neglect my need to take a few minutes just to breathe deeply and be still.  I know life can be like this for most of us at times.

It's true, our physical bodies made up of flesh and bone need regular exercise for stamina, food for nourishment, water for replenishing, and rest for rejuvenation. Much like flowers, grass and trees need the rain and the sunshine, humans need much the same. We are all living organisms and we must have certain regular doses of all of these things in order for survival.

However, if you believe like I do that the least of who and what we are is physical, and that the biggest "peace" of our inner beings come from pure, positive energy being placed inside our physical bodies, then it would stand to reason that we may want to consider feeding not only our body, but also our spirit.  Much like our vehicles need regular maintenance to operate  properly, so does our mind, body and spirit.

"Yoga is the Journey of the Self, to the Self, through the Self." 

---The Bhagavad Gita

Gentle Yoga poses can be very helpful in relieving stress and anxiety, such as the Child's pose and the Cat/Cow pose, Forward bending

poses such as Seated Forward Bends are soothing and can help support a restful sleep. Many Yoga poses help us to reset our energy for a new day, and Yoga is known to combat depression. There is scientific evidence that Yoga boosts neurotransmitters in the brain, and because there are two functional parts of the brain that serve a key role in stress,  a mental "workout" can relax the body thereby relaxing and relieving tension and anxiety. Not ready to try full on yoga? Start with simple stretches like bending at the waist and reaching for your toes every morning. Before you get up out of bed in the morning, do a nice long stretch of your legs wiggling your toes, then stretch your arms wiggling your fingers. It feels so good to your body and gets the blood flowing for your day.

"Breathe In Deeply to Bring Your Mind Home to Your Body."

---Thich Nhat Hanh

Breathing is something we do involuntarily every day in order to survive. But, intentional breathing -- using breathing techniques such as Pranayama (Breathing) exercises which is the formal practice of controlling the breath, our prana or vital life force. There are many different Pranayama exercises & poses, breathing techniques and sequences that can be combined with Yoga or done separately to recharge the mind, body and spirit. Try this, at every stop light or traffic jam you come to throughout your day, stop and breathe deeply in and out. Hold each breath for four seconds. Do this three or four times at each stop while relaxing your shoulders.

"Nature Cures --- Not the Physician."     HIPPOCRATES

Connecting with nature (getting outside) is another way to realign and "lube" your soul if you will. Yes, I am the crazy neighbor lady who is outside in her pink pajamas at sunrise talking to the birds and stroking the leaves on the trees. These are living, breathing creations that soothe my soul and awaken my spirit each day. Embracing nature is embracing all that is clean and pure within us. Even if you have but just a few minutes out of your busy day, it takes only a few seconds to find peace within Mother Nature which heals us and helps us to live life with meaning. Have indoor plants? You can talk to them too!

"To a Mind that is Still, the Whole Universe Surrenders."

Meditation  practice has been around for thousands of years as a way of releasing negative emotions, stress and to replenish, center and balance our spirit-self. The emotional, mental and physical benefits of just 15 minutes of meditation a day are astounding. In some studies meditation has shown great promise in helping to ease anxiety and to lower the severity and length of certain illnesses. Meditation may even reduce blood pressure & ease hypertension. Studies show that it has the ability to relieve menopausal symptoms in women including physical and emotional strain.

*Combine all four of these spiritually rejuvenating practices and you will have a powerful routine of Emotional Maintenance. Just as your car ride is rough when the tires are out of alignment, your Spiritual/Emotional health will wobble when not properly tended to and nurtured back into a place of peaceful balance.

Focus on Healing

Taking the First Step of Faith.

When Things Go Wrong.

Here's my truth --- For years I was in battle mode, chasing the autism in my child around with plans to catch it, put it into a choke hold and snuff it out of him. I was a mama on a mission against what I viewed as the enemy. I hated his Pediatrician for giving him so many catch-up vaccinations, compromising his once healthy immune system and making him sick. I despised the ER doctor for giving him antibiotics upon antibiotics [to make him well] which ravaged his gut leaving him open to pathogens causing leaky gut and worse, I.E. autism symptoms.  Our sons first speech therapist was on my (expletive) list as well after she told us in no uncertain terms, "Your child is never going to speak."  I was filled with anger, anxiety, hatred, rage and so much pain. Lest, I forget to mention the regret and guilt I carried on my shoulders for allowing this to happen to my beautiful, healthy born child. 

Then the day came when I was bent over so far backwards from all of these emotions I finally broke. I realized that there was nothing I could do to change what happened. There was no way I could go back in time, and not any chance of me being able to prove what I knew had gone so wrong. I stood there in all of my pain and realized that the only way for me and for us to go, was forward. Forward into healing and into forgiveness. There was no sense in dwelling on the why, the how or the when. It didn't matter anymore. We were, where we were. The rest was old news.

A Leap of Faith.

When we finally realize that we are where we are and begin to find ways to be happy with where that is, we will be able to more easily take the path of least resistance to healing not just others, but ourselves as well. As I have changed my focus from the "how" to the "now" of our sons situation, doors opened and I didn't hesitate to walk through each one. As I have let go of the anger, resentment and guilt, I have been able to clearly embrace each and every glimpse of what can and has healed my son. And while we have more healing ahead of us we trust that it is all worthwhile. After all, dwelling on the bad stuff, the hard times or the challenges ahead can only hinder our growth and our progress.

This has been a really long roller coaster ride with a lot of bumps, twists and sharp turns, but it has made me the person I am today, and I'm really loving what I see in my mirror these days. One thing I know for sure is that I am stronger than I ever knew I could be. Life doesn't always give you gentle nudges. Sometimes you're being thrown a fast ball and you forget to duck out of the way.  Sometimes that calm boat ride you climbed aboard ends up being on a raging river, and the best thing you can do is not paddle against the current. I’ve ridden that ride and knew it was time to stop struggling, to ask God, Source, the Universe for help, and to just let go of the oars so my boat could take me down stream where everything was that I’d been asking for, but not allowing.

Are you facing something that seems scary or impossible? Do you feel like life has dealt you a hand of cards that you just cannot play? I remember being there standing at the top of a really big mountain without a way down. But, there is always a way. Look closely and you will see that there is a staircase built into that big old mountain just waiting for you to take that first step to healing. Once you see that first step, another will appear, and another. Have faith. All is really well. (I promise.)

Trusting Our Instincts.

So, this morning I woke up with what I went to bed with --- A lot of "shizz" on my mind. I've allowed some drama into my life and needed to make some decisions about how to deal with it and what to do about it. I sat for a long time in the H.G.K. with my kombucha tea, watching one of the cute baby bunnies that have been nesting under our porch. He was looking for food in our yard. He'd bounce over to some grassy weeds, sniff them and move on. He didn't waste much time either. Soon he found some leaves that met with his satisfaction and began adorably nibbling on them. It was clear that he knew exactly what kind of plants he should eat. (Luckily it wasn't my garden plants).

A pair of loud, rattling gravel trucks rolled by on the country road and without hesitation the bunny took off for the safety of it's home under our porch. Once the noise was gone, out he came, sniffing the air and checking his surroundings before heading back to his feeding frenzy. The bunny had no problem trusting his instincts, so why did I? I told myself that it's different for humans. We have more at stake. Bills to pay, other people to worry about and the future to plan for. But, then again...the bunny has a pretty important thing on his mind too -- staying alive in a world full of predators. How would he manage to do that? By thinking about it and weighing his options? Of course that's a rhetorical question. His instincts are his best and only option. He may not make it through his full life, but he will never second guess his choices. It seems I do that a lot sometimes spending more time using my head talking myself in and out of things when I could resolve them so much quicker using my instincts instead.

We're told from a young age not to be so quick to act, to think things through, and to weigh our choices carefully. Good advice, except instincts are not thoughts. Let's call gut instinct our sixth sense why don't we? That's really what it is. It's not just our brain telling us the practical side of stuff. We don't really care about the pros or cons of a situation that requires us to use our own instincts to make a decision that sometimes has to made fairly quickly. But, how many times have we known that a situation wasn't good for us, yet for the sake of not being rude or looking silly we talked ourselves out of how we felt? Only to realize later down the road our feelings were right all along.

How do you distinguish Intuition from Thought?

You can start by practicing using your instincts. Think about something in your life (past or present) that made you feel really good. Remember the details of that situation and it will begin to stir those feelings again within you. Ask yourself how it makes you feel? Happy, warm, peaceful...are you smiling? Then do the opposite. Recall a time in your life when you were in a situation or with someone where you knew it was wrong for you. How did you feel inside your body? Anxiety, fear or maybe tense? Did you have a bad feeling about someone and even later down the road say to yourself, "I should have known better?" Well, you did know better, but you didn't follow your instincts from the beginning. You let yourself (your brain) talk you into or out of something you knew in your heart (your gut) wasn't going to serve you very well. I for one, have done this.

So, as I sat watching the little bunny nourish himself on my lawn I thought about how many times I'd ignored my own needs for the sake of being nice. Yep, I'd let the drama of others into my space and overtake my own intuition. I needed nourishment for my soul and I wasn't going to find it in the likes of second guessing what I knew instinctively to be true. At that moment I revisited the situation I'd allowed myself to be a party to and just let my feelings about it flow. I had my answer, and of course it had been there from the start when I felt the first pangs of stress and anxiety about the issue. Like when the bunny took cover from the loud noises of the trucks rolling by, I too decided to take cover and bow out of the drama that wasn't mine in the first place -- It felt really good.

“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” ~Benjamin Spock

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