We are up to our last Morning Ritual to Slow the Stress in Just 10 Minutes a Day! Woo Hoo! You made it!
This morning ritual may be a bit illusive or challenging, depending upon what emotions are stirring up for you throughout your day/night. I myself woke up this morning with a lot of sadness and maybe even some regret about things long past.
But that’s part of life, and how we flow and actually HEAL from past events/trauma/relationships…you name it! We humans are complex beings. Memories will often come up out of the blue, and take us for a ride. It is especially in these times that connecting and anchoring within yourself is important.
You are the Master of your own well being. You are also the only one who can bring balance to your emotions, and connect with the greater field of life. that is where the magic is. Because in making the conscious effort to listen to the whispers of the self, you give yourself the opportunity to live fully present to ALL of life.
This 9th Morning Ritual is simply to take a minute or two and connect deeply within yourself, and really feel appreciation and gratitude. Make a conscious connection with something you are grateful for; a roof over your head, food in your refrigerator ready to eat at any time; the grass under your feet, someone in your life who cares about you…
As usual, I have a short video to offer some ideas for how to slow down and connect with gratitude. Enjoy!
OK! We are up to Morning Ritual #8, deciding your six rocks for the day…What do I mean by that? Well you have to know the story told by Stephen R. Covey in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (1989). I have created a video for you today, to hear the story and apply it to your own business and life!
I read this book more than 20 years ago, and I never forgot the importance of this concept. Of course there are many ways that you can set up your day for success, but this simple visualization, and then CHOOSING will go a long way toward gettin stuff done! Here is the VIDEO!
I have always known about the autonomic nervous system as a regulator of the organ functioning in the body. What I didn’t know about, was how important the vagus nerve is in the reduction from the “Stress Response” that causes undo responses physically and emotionally, and that keeps us in the “flight-fright-freeze pattern”.
We need the fight or flight response in order to get our of danger quickly. However, in modern life, that older automatic response to danger gets overblown, and keeps us in a stress pattern that does damage to our equanimity. One could say that we in the Western world are always in a degree of stress response, because we don’t know how to turn off the sympathetic nervous system and go back to our “rest and digest” ability to cool out and stay calm! It’s like the light never turns off.
There are countless ramifications of the stress response; ongoing anxiety, tension, our breathing being disturbed (holding our breath), and irritability. These are all consequences of not being able to adequately regulate our stress levels.
But what if I could show you a 2 minute stress reducer that will calm the nervous system and regulate that response, bringing you back to equanimity and so being able to more freely go about your day with ease? Well, here it is! The Basic Exercise for the restoration of the Vagal Nerve back to the pathway it needs to move in…the Ventral Channel.
Morning Rituals #6: There is a medicine that only comes to you when you pause momentarily and connect with yourself in a compassionate and loving way. Do you affirm yourself on a daily basis? This is key to increasing your self confidence, bring in more courage, and embody your own truth.
So much of the time we hold on to old patterns of belief and behaviors that only serve those old beliefs. It is hard to shift out of them. Why? They were often placed within us in childhood. They have become normal to us. They are repeated over and over.
But, there is a way out, and it is the path of courage, self-confidence, and SOVEREIGNTY.
I claim myself to be The Sovereign Woman’s Coach, to draw on your courage and confidence to break through old patterns that have kept you from the life you want and the dreams you have. You can heal and transform. Affirmations are a quick start to holding the energy of WHAT IT IS THAT YOU ARE WANTING, so that you don’t keep falling backwards into how things always were.
“I Am Enough”. “I Am Powerful”. I Am Peaceful. Watch this video for more thorough explanations of how to do affirmations, and why there is great value in spending some time with this practice. Enjoy!
The third practice that I would like you to do in your Morning Rituals, is imagine that you are already eating delicious, nourishing food in your day. See it happening…visualize breakfast, lunch and dinner with lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meats (if you are a vegetarian or vegan, what other legumes will you supplement with?) you will choose to prepare, the pure water you will drink… feel your energy and mood be enhanced with that thought.
This is called “pre-paving”. You are intending for your food intake for the day to be good for you, what your body and mind need for clarity and peacefulness. Let your imagination take you on a little journey.
Here is a video where I attempt to broach this very large subject!!
Our second ritual to do in the morning is my favorite. After visualizing your perfect day for 1-3 minutes, go ahead and seat yourself in a comfortable position, with legs crossed or feet on the floor.
You will take the next 5 minutes following your breathing. Yes, how simple is that? You can make it as simple or as elaborate as you wish. If you have a regular meditation practice, this will be a cinch for you. If not, no worries, your only job is simply to notice the movement of the breath inside the body. Here is a short video to get you started…
If you haven’t seen the Infographic I made a few days ago, you can see it on the bottom of this newsletter once again. I promised to take a few minutes each day over the next nine days, and feature one of the practices I presented. There is great value in taking some self-care time each morning upon waking.
Why? Simply put, the day gets away from us! Suddenly you realize that you are living everyone else’s life but your own.
You are stressed, distracted, and sometimes even exhausted. URG!
Well, I highly recommend you try these nine practices, each lasting not more than a minute or two, and see what lights you up. See what makes you feel calmer and more peaceful, and gives you a really good start to your day. That way, maybe it won’t get away from you!
Here is practice #1 (this can be done when you first wake up too, before you even leave your bed!)
Here is a video “How To” for visualizing your perfect day…
Spring is the time to awaken! This has been an amazing year, would you agree? Who would have guessed that general outdoor communication would be with our eyes only! Masks do that. And have you noticed that it is harder to hear the attendant at the post office too? Either I am going deaf, or I never noticed how much hearing has to do with reading lips. I have renewed appreciation for the senses…our sight, our hearing, our smell, our touch.
We have been particularly alerted to smell this year, as the first symptom to notice whether we have contracted Covid. Smell is definitely a sense I take for granted, (although being a foodie, I know that smell is a huge factor for the enjoyment of food. Just think of a time when you had a cold and couldn’t smell anything!).
I put breath in the smell category too. Like when you smell bread baking, and take a deep wiff of the amazing and tantalizing aroma that fills the air, or the delight of apples and cinnamon simmering on the stove. Or going outside in the middle of winter, and feeling breath deep into the lungs, then taking in the smells all around.
One of the gifts I have received this year has been the ability to go out into the woods and walk. I particularly remember one Autumn day when the falling leaves on the maple trees were bright yellow/orange, creating a canopy of beauty through which to move. That gift of nature mended an otherwise dulled state of being, having been essentially trapped in the house for months with little respite. The sounds were poignant too. My feet walking on the grass, then stepping onto a branch, hearing the little snap of the twigs. Illuminated sound, taking in the totality of the day, myself breathing, walking, feeling air in the lungs, moving to the rhythm of my own walking.
These things have been greatly heightened for me in this year of Covid. My mother likes to remind me that “every cloud has a silver lining”, and I do appreciate her willingness to see the bright side of life. I have definitely felt more, sensed more, become more aware as the days and months have slowly turned. And isn’t this truly the gift that expanded awareness brings?
This is why we meditate, and why we “work on ourselves” in Alexander-speak. After more than 30 years of applying The Alexander Technique for my own well being, and in helping others discover change as well, I can truly say it has been a treasure to connect with the body-mind-being so continuously. Waking up our senses and waking up our expanded awareness is a moment by moment Odyssey that brings so much satisfaction.
Recently, I found interest in the activity of simply walking from my kitchen into the living room and back (yes, pacing has become the new normal!). But something happened in my sensory mechanism that doesn’t usually happen for me. I was breathing and walking, and allowing my legs to swing down into the knees from a slightly different place, deeper into the hip joints somehow. My breath was filling into my back, and arms were perfectly coordinated. It was a sensory experience, not habitual. I felt like something had shifted and my consciousness was fluid and free, as though I was almost outside of myself. Very psychedelic, yet at the same time totally beautiful, normal.
We talk about how habit is formed in the Alexander Technique. It happens over time, where the experience of use is modified and then creates neuro-pathways in the brain that tend to repeat based on recent, not long term experience. So what feels normal is not based on early movement experience, but instead on habitual, created patterns. The good news, however, is that the brain is flexible, and new neuro-pathways can be created and freer movement can be re-learned. This is the basis of the AT and why this study is so useful in the long term, for finding a better, more free and balanced coordination. As many AT teachers say, the Alexander Technique is a skill for life!
Have you wondered why sometimes your thinking, buzzing mind goes over and over the same material from the past? In not such a kind light? I mean, not in your favor?
This is what the psychologists call “negative self talk”. Some of us have it worse than others. I am one who has not, even into my sixth decade, busted that issue. As a matter of fact, my picky long term memory is so well marinated, that I can call up even the tiniest little memory of something that happened long ago, maybe even a momentary exchange, and I warp it around until I am the one who caused the problem. Insane! I know.
But what would it FEEL like in your soul-being, if you could let these memories be what they are…experiences from your past, that have the value of teaching you, guiding you mostly to what you really want, instead of some perceived failure, resentment, self-condemnation? What if you could ACTUALLY give yourself a dose of self-forgiveness instead?
I recommend it. Not that I do this myself! Because none of us are all-good or all bad. As you allow that forgiveness for yourself, something quite beautiful opens. A space between your past and your future, otherwise known as the “present moment”, or NOW. From here you can release and begin again. Anew. With an open heart.
Imagine all the sleepless nights, the waking up at 3 am and ruminating, that would end. Imagine actually letting the past be holy. Why do I say that? As you see people, ideas, memories as part of your evolutionary movement, you open your mind to compassion, first for yourself, and then as a whole-hearted person who is thereby freed of the torment of judgment and criticism.
Life gets a lot simpler. You don’t have to second-guess yourself. You don’t have to try so hard to be right, or good, or not bad. This is a powerful medicine. It means that you can greet your experiences with warmth, appreciation, and generosity. You don’t have to play small, or stifle your voice. You can be a beacon. You can shine light, and shine YOUR light!
I hope this helps. I will be speaking more about this subject in upcoming Blog posts. Meanwhile, send yourself some love. Really. You are amazing…