Staying with WHAT IS – Day 36

This is my last day of blogging 35 days in a row.

Of course I will keep this blog going but for the next 5-6 weeks not as regular as I am going on a trip.

It has been quite a journey and confronting at times to name what’s going on in the here and now but also very rewarding.

I am also a bit scared of leaving this regular practice behind as it held me in good stead and without it feels a bit like free falling.

I definitely have the intention of keeping up a regular practice but I know it will be challenging especially when I don’t have a room to myself for a while.

I want to thank all of you who are reading this and hope you stay tuned for how I am doing…

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Staying with WHAT IS – Day 35

“Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

How do you handle “sticky” conversation topics?

Like climate change or other controversial conversations?

Not that climate change is a sticky topic for me, I know that it exists.

But you may come across people who might not agree with that.

So what do you do?

Jennifer Louden, some might know her as the comfort queen has shared her experience on that very situation.

Click here for her post:

http://jenniferlouden.com/have-lunch-with-your-enemy-2/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LoudenMouth+%28Jennifer+Louden–Savor+%26+Serve%29

In short, her strategy was to not only offer a few references like Richard Muller’s recent “conversion” on climate change.

and Bill McKibben‘s Rolling Stone article on GLOBAL WARMING.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719?link=mostpopular1

but she also managed to stay calm because she was able to anticipate that that would not only serve her but the cause best.

Also check out Elizabeth Lesser on TED how to have a real dialogue with someone who doesn’t agree with you:

http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_lesser_take_the_other_to_lunch.html

What I am grateful for today:

  • My morning walk
  • My yoga class this morning
  • The fresh crisp morning air

Staying with WHAT IS – Day 34

Yesterday I saw an osteopath for some treatment on my sore neck and shoulder.

I felt very relaxed after the session.

What was surprising to me though was waking up in the middle of the night flooded with fear and drenched in sweat.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, unresolved emotions get stored in our bodies and may make themselves known through muscle tension, aches and pains, destructive behaviour etc.

On the other hand muscle tensions and aches and pains can also have a protective function. For example, preventing us from feeling the emotion underneath our system may not be ready to be with just yet.

So what happened to for me was that some of the painful emotions underneath my neck pain got released through the osteopathic treatment. They are challenging to be with but for sure part of the process of resolving it, so THANK YOU!

What I am grateful for today:

  • Finding some peace and quiet in the morning
  • Having my own space
  • Having so many amazing practitioners in my area

Staying with WHAT IS – Day 33

Sometimes it takes me a while to gauge where I am at.It might need an interaction with another person to bring it to the surface.

When I checked in with myself this morning I felt kind of flat, but there was something lurking I could not quite pinpoint. But then I had an argument where I felt I couldn’t make myself heard with my partner and could feel lots of anger seeping through. ANGER which has been there all along but needed a trigger to be released.

My neck and shoulder are still sore, so I wonder whether part of that soreness isn’t anger that has accumulated over some time. ANGER from all those situations where I felt I had to be the “GOOD GIRL”, suppressing my truth and going quiet instead.

But of course the body remembers everything and anger when unresolved isn’t any different, e.g. the correlation between the repression of anger and heart disease (Miller, Smith, Turner, Guijarro, & Hallet, 1996).

When anger occurs, adrenaline gets released into the bloodstream which results in shortness of breath, skin flushing, muscle tension, in the jaw, stomach, shoulders and hands, ready to take action. As we often struggle to find constructive outlets for that charge it stays in our body, resulting in an imbalance in our nervous system.

So what to do about it?

  • Noticing it and becoming aware of “triggers” is always the first step
  • Body centered treatments (Massages, EFT, TFT etc.) help to release blocked emotions
  • Yoga, meditation & mindfulness to balance the nervous system

References

Miller, T. Q., Smith, T. W., Turner, C. W., Guijarro, M. L., & Hallet, A. J. (1996). A meta-analytic review of research on hostility and physical health. Psychological Bulletin, 119, 322–348.

What I am grateful for today:

  • My morning walk
  • Catching up with a friend
  • An old favourite, my coconut chai

Staying with WHAT IS – Day 32

John O’Donohue’s Eternal Echoes

Can you relate to the feeling of picking up a book and feeling really “gotten” by it?

Where the words you are reading resonate with something deep inside you?

Last night I felt that way when I started reading John O’Donohue’s ETERNAL ECHOES.

The feeling of longing is our soul’s yearning to feel connected and be part of the GREAT BELONGING.

And eventhough this feeling of longing can sometimes be painful as it is never quite satisfied but it also helps grow, and propels us forward towards self-discovery, creativity and our AUTHENTIC TRUTH.

As for myself the feeling of BELONGING makes itself known when I am being seen, when I can relax and speak my TRUTH, when I feel engaged and connected to others.

THANK YOU!

References

http://www.johnodonohue.com/

What I am grateful for today:

  • Meditating in my room.
  • Spring is just around the corner and it’s finally getting warmer!
  • Great books like John O’Donohue’s ETERNAL ECHOES.

Staying with WHAT IS – Day 31

It has been almost a week now and my neck is still hurting – Grrgh

 ! I feel CHALLANGEND by this!

I am starting to get very impatient. I want it to be better.

NOW!

I have been with it, I sat with it, I have massaged balm into my neck, I have consciously relaxed and released it.

I just realised how familiar that is, in fact I have written a very similar post just 2 days ago.

I guess there’s some learning here.

Another way of attending is to focus on my throat chakra (Vissuddha):

  • Where haven’t I spoken MY TRUTH?
  • Expressed MYSELF authentically?

One of the hardest lessons for me:

– PATIENCE –

Sometimes things just take a while. It is a process that happens in its own time. Especially if this is a pattern that has been around for DECADES, of course it can’t be resolved in a few days.

And again it is also about attending to the INNER CHILD! Soothing it, comforting it, instead of rushing it, wanting it to hurry up and get on with it.

THANK YOU for listening!

What I am grateful for today:

  • Waking up to sunshine!
  • My morning walk!
  • Brunch with my girlfriends!

Staying with WHAT IS – Day 30

There is a lot of processing going on in my system, as well as resistance to release old patterns that no longer serve me.

That’s what the pain my neck and shoulders is all about.

Resisting to LET GO!

I also stayed with the irritability and short temperedness I have been experiencing over the past view days. And what I found that at the core are negative belief originating from childhood.

The negative beliefs are around feeling powerless and not being able to get my needs met.

And while this was quite true as a child my adult self is powerful and get her needs met.

But as long as this defense mechanism is not resolved this young part will get activated and then it is like I’m suddenly experiencing the world through the eyes of a child not through those of an adult.

So how to resolve negative beliefs?

I found that mindfulness helps a lot with being able to sit with the “emotional charge” of a pattern.

Once you can tolerate the level of anxiety that the pattern triggers you can ask yourself “how does that pattern and the emotions, and bodily sensations it is accompanied by affect my sense of SELF?”

Negative beliefs serve a purpose they were put in place to keep you safe in way that was appropriate at that time. “What needs were not met at that time?”

And then also exploring the positive ground “how would you be and feel if that pattern was resolved?”

What I am grateful for today:

  • For knowing what I know
  • My life experiences
  • Being able to name and write about what’s going on for me

Staying with WHAT IS – Day 29

Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My body is very much in pain!

My neck and shoulders are very tense, and my legs feel sore and wobbly.

I feel I am trying to do the best I can to take care of them even-though it’s frustrating that they don’t seem to budge.

I guess these symptoms are all manifestations of some sort of stress. Which makes sense as the body remembers everything that ever happened to us.

Stress I am not ready to resolve and release yet.

What I am grateful though is that these pains and aches don’t get in the way of my practice. My practice is giving me space from them as when I concentrate on my breath and the postures the sore areas in my body don’t seem to scream as loudly.

THANK YOU!

What I am grateful for today:

  • The sun-rays shining through my window
  • The fresh crisp morning air
  • The clean energy of my room

Staying with WHAT IS – Day 28

Had a bit of an unruly night!

Feeling quite nervous about the workshop today and kept obsessing about it.

Then tension from the left side of my neck has now moved to the middle of my neck as well as travelled down to the area in-between my shoulder blades.

Seems like my heart chakra (Anahata) is affected as well which was quite obvious in my meditation practice this morning. I couldn’t visualize pink light in my heart space in similarly no beam of golden light in my solar plexus (Manipura).

I felt unnerved and frustrated by this.

My inner critic raising its ugly head urging me to try harder. Which I did, but it wouldn’t work.

I turned to the Acu-Yoga book (Gach & Marco, 1988) and looked up exercises for the heart chakra. The heart chakra is about regulating emotions and connected to the cardiac plexus, the thymus gland, and the pericardium.

The following exercises benefit the heart chakra:

Flapping wings (Gach & Marco, 1988, p.69)

  1. Stand, stretch your arms back parallel to the ground, palms facing out till you feel a stretch between your shoulder-blades.
  2. Inhale, raise your chest up and out
  3. Exhale, keep your arms straight and parallel to the ground, bring them forward, your palms touching, your spine rounding.
  4. Continue to inhale as arms go backward again.

Cross my heart pose (Gach & Marco, 1988, p.70)

  1. Sit cross-legged, spine straight
  2. Place your right hand in your left arm pit and vice versa
  3. Close your eyes, tuning into your body and meditate on your heart

References

Gach, Michael Reed, with Carolyn Marco. Acu-Yoga: Self-Help Techniques to Relieve Tension. New York: Japan Publications, Inc., 1998.

What I am grateful for today:

  • My morning bike ride
  • Being healthy
  • My morning practice

Staying with WHAT IS – Day 27

Suffering from excruciating neck pain since yesterday morning.

Have tried to stretch it, massage it with tiger balm, did several relaxing and releasing exercises throughout the day but nothing worked.

So painful!

Neck pain can be caused by many different factors I guess now I am trying to find out the one true for me.

One of the possible reason can be that my throat chakra (Vishuddha) is blocked. If I don’t express myself appropriately the balance between myself and the outside world is disturbed.

The throat chakra further correlates with the arms, neck and mouth. So no wonder my left shoulder feels tense as well.

SAHAJA YOGA suggests to place our hand over the painful area during meditation and either reaffirm ‘Mother I am not guilty’ 16 times, or try to massage the area with oil.

According to Michael Reed Gach, Ph.D (who has successfully integrated yoga and acupressure to an effective self-healing system), names the neck as the first area where any sort of stress will manifest. That trails back to our ancient survival mechanism the “fight-or flight response” where the neck becomes tense to protect the head and the exposed blood vessels on the neck (Reed & Marco, 1988).

The neck is the link between mind and body.So if there are conflicting messages and demands between mind and body, tension in the neck is likely to arise.

That doesn’t come as a surprise as many meridians travel through the neck area. Therefore stiffness in the neck can also cause a sore throat or swollen glands. The following meridians and their associated emotions and organs can be found in the neck area:

  • Large Intestine Meridian / Lungs (grief)
  • Triple Warmer Meridian / Pericardium (joy)
  • Gall Bladder Meridian (anger)
  • Bladder Meridian / Kidneys (fear)

Yoga poses that help with neck pain:

http://blog.renew-pt.com/2010/11/23/yoga-for-neck-pain/

http://www.holistic-online.com/yoga/yoga_acu_yoga_pillar_of_heaven_pose.htm

References

Gach, Michael Reed, with Carolyn Marco. Acu-Yoga: Self-Help Techniques to Relieve Tension. New York: Japan Publications, Inc., 1998.

What I am grateful for today:

  • The sunshine
  • My morning practice
  • Being able to write my Blog