Thursday, September 22, 2016

Life in the Balance

The pendulum swings again. Yang becomes Yin. Day becomes night. Summer gets replaced by Fall. Today marks the Fall Equinox when light and dark get equal air time. The transition times require careful attention. The air thins, the shadows lengthen. My body readjusts after the extroverted Summer months. Life hangs in the balance. What next? After hard work, we must plan a retreat.

It is in these moments of recalibrating that we tend to fall, literally. Just as if I begin to lose my footing in a standing posture if I move too quickly into said pose, or if I avert my gaze towards something that is moving~the way my mind moves into the future, so can I throw myself off if I plan too far in advance. Presence is required. My attention on this moment. What is needed? Perhaps more energy, a stronger engagement of my thighs, or a shift in my gaze that brings my awareness an eight of an inch back behind my eyes. Balance is active.

What worked for me yesterday, may not work today. My routine was interrupted last week. Just when I thought I had the formula figured out for my self-care, I got thrown a curve ball: an injury. I had incurred a back injury just prior to my book tour, which magically disappeared for my entire Summer, yet as Mercury retrograded my old injury returned. When my body talks, I listen.

Flat on my back, and with no terra firma, I surrendered to the moment. My job is to find balance, and when I am injured, this is just a hint that I am not. What did I need to do? Ask for help. Accept my body as is. Inhabit my body in the present moment; not the way I want it to look or feel, but right now. Rest. Find ways to love myself without extreme action. Get touched in the right ways. Find enjoyment amidst it all.

I did it all. I used social media to reach out for rides to the doctor. I meditated from my bed. I asked my neighbor to bring me water. I had the TLC of my doctor who is hands on and hands down the best magician/healer and I even got myself to the concert that I had tickets for. I just got myself premium parking and brought a pillow.

There is a balance when it comes to self care. The body doesn't lie. It tells you daily what it needs. Each day we adjust to what the body requires. What felt good yesterday may not work today. Yesterday it was Summer and today, it is Fall. I hear the leaves rustling, my wind chimes singing. My allergies kick in, and I need a sweater on my walk. Moment to moment. This is balance.

In balance postures, we learn to live present moment. Energizing our stance. Stilling our gaze. Checking in. I used to wish I could just know how to fix it, get the job done, or do the right thing. But today, I love that life is constantly changing, forcing me to engage and dance with it like grace in motion. Life hangs in the balance. I dance.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Self-care Intensive

I found myself waking up this morning in a post-Summer stupor. I really allowed myself to relax, expand, and let go over the past couple of months. After unwinding from my book launch and tour I just wanted to play and have fun. I wasn't overly concerned about being pristine in my diet or super rigid in my exercise routine. A little bit goes a long way. I love indulgence as a spiritual practice, but when I go unconscious it can turn right around on me.

I found myself 7 lbs. up and a little lethargic, so I know that I need to play the reset game. Today I put myself through an intense regime of self care. Here's how it went:

  • More than 8 hours sleep. Since I wanted to make sure of this and to rise early, I turned off all electronic devices and put myself to bed like I was my own baby at 9 pm. That's right, folks. 

  • Upon waking, I moved to my meditation area and spent 20 minutes in silent contemplation. Inhale. Exhale. Continue. 

  • Journaling for 20 minutes clears my mind of needless thoughts. When I keep running a thought through my brain again and again, I remember that I may be detoxing an idea, much like when I crave sugar it means that the sugar is actually leaving my body in that moment. Writing helps to usher my automatic thoughts out. 

  • Dry brush my body followed by Epsom salt bath. Look it up. Dry brushing is good for circulation and the lymphatic system. The skin is one of the major ways the body detoxifies. You can get a dry brush glove at your local health food store when you are picking up your epsom salts. 20 minutes to soak, if you have time. 

  • The work out. I did a 100 minute work out. Barre/yoga and spinning. I got my stretch and tone plus cardio. Ready to go! 

  • Green juice at the co-op and stocked the fridge with healthy eats. Lots of organic produce, Kombucha for a treat beverage, water water water....Drink at least 2 liters a day. 

  • Next, some creativity and writing. Reading and exploring some new ideas was possible after all of this opening and emptying. I was starting to feel really stretched out and receptive after all of the attention I gave to my physical body. The endorphins help to elevate my mood and stimulate my mind. 

  • Being of service is a huge part of what heals me and helps me to feel good. I set aside some time to mentor a friend. We are reasoning things out and prioritizing. When I reach out to help another by sharing my experience, I benefit ten fold. 

  • The rest of the day will be tasks like post office, bills, reconciling my accounts and work on the computer, followed by a field trip to a part of my city I rarely visit. I am taking myself to a class that I haven't been to~stretching myself to try something new is another way to reset myself. 

Even one of these activities can be beneficial, however as I reboot my health regime, I have decided to have a self care intensive once a week through the end of September. Join me!