Tag Archives: healing

LOVE IN ALL IT`S SPLENDOR

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How do you see  love and being loved?

I have always been a person that was hungry for love, to give love and to be loved. Since I can remember the idea that I had of love was like a Hollywood movie, full of drama, romance and high emotions at all times.

With my experiences in my relationships, I think I attracted willingly my idea of love but was it ever so draining and tiring.  Living at a constant state of powerful emotions, I love you, I hate you, fighting and making up. The middle was never an option for me, I didn`t even realize that I did have this option available because my perception was not real, romantic novels and movies are not real life. As a true romantic I needed to change my perception and my definition of love.

 

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First came the notion of self-love

With experience comes knowledge and wisdom for all of us and we can choose to repeat old patterns and expect different results but we can also chose to change our patterns and truly receive different results in every area of or life. We can choose to be a victim or the take responsibility for what we have co-created.

My idea of love changed completely and the more I started to honor myself, to love myself, to understand my being, my essence. To nourish my values, my commitments and my dreams. The less I needed to find someone to complete me because I felt complete on my own. The less I searched for love outside of myself. It was all and always was present from within, self-love simply needed to be nourished by encouraging it in my daily practice. I made a clear decision to divorce emotionally and mentally my past relationships and to start practicing new ways of love. This extended in my life, in all of my relationships, family, friends and even work. It has even extended in how I treat my home my things, the productivity of my work and with love we plant seeds, with nourishment we allow things to grow, with care we obtain results.

 

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How I define love now

Love is acceptance, love is patience, love is respect, love is choosing your battles, love is space, love is peace, love is being responsible for you own happiness, love is sweet, forgiving and humble because none of us are perfect and we are all here to learn from our journey on this earth. Love is understanding.

Don`t love like a beggar, love like a king or a queen. What I mean by this is love with elegance, kindness, courage, intelligence, composure and deliberation so the person you are with knows where they stand. No one can guess what you are feeling or thinking so be open and communicate with ease and peace.

Love is taking responsibility for your own insecurities and working on theme so they do not consume your relationships. Love is not blame, it is not using someone’s vulnerabilities as ammo. Words are powerful and they cannot be taken back.

Never settle! You are deserving just like any living creature on this planet.

I send all of you love and hope you enjoyed this article. Please feel free to send me your opinion’s on this subject.

Mélika Emira Baccouch

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A Home That Sparks Joy- Marie Kondo

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Lesson #1: Tackle Categories, Not Rooms


I’d always tackled clutter by room—take on the office first, the bedroom next. Instead, Kondo’s first rule is to tidy by category—deal with every single one of your books at once, for example, otherwise they’ll continue to creep from room to room, and you’ll never rein in the clutter. She advises beginning with clothing, since it’s the least emotionally loaded of one’s things (books come next, old photographs are much later), so as soon as I found a free afternoon, that’s exactly what I did.

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Getting nostalgic over old letters or distracted by sweet toddlers might be a temporary high, but it won’t get you anywhere fast.

Lesson #2: Respect Your Belongings


With my eyes now open, I realized my closets had hit rock bottom. Everything had succumbed to a mixed-up messiness. Kondo asks that you consider your clothing’s feelings: Are they happy being squashed in a corner shelf or crowded onto hangers? Are your hardworking socks really thrilled to be balled up? It had sounded out there when I read it, but suddenly my clothes looked totally miserable.

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Kondo warns that you shouldn’t show your family the discard bags, since they’ll want to stop you from getting rid of so much. Case in point: Henry tried to nab an old hat

 

Lesson #3: Nostalgia Is Not Your Friend


As I started emptying the closets, I opened boxes filled with letters and old photographs. Serious mistake. Kondo knows what she’s talking about when she insists you put blinders on and focus only on the category of stuff at hand. Read one old letter, and suddenly you’re down a rabbit hole of nostalgia.

To be honest, I was probably procrastinating. In theory, I was sold on the idea of living exclusively with clothing that gives me joy, but I still had hang-ups: What will I be left with? Will I have anything to wear to work? Will I have to sacrifice beloved things, all for the sake of decluttering?

Then my 18-month-old son, Henry, wandered in, and there’s nothing he loves more than recluttering. The afternoon was basically lost. If you do this, don’t waste time like I did (and maybe book a babysitter for this project).

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While she doesn’t go for the classic storage pieces, Kondo loves a good shoebox (or any pretty box you have tucked away) for its all-purpose organizing power.

Lesson #4: Purging Feels SO Good


From then on, I followed Kondo’s advice to a T. I gathered every piece of my clothing and put it in one giant pile. While I normally tidy my clothes only when I’m on a long phone call—distracted from the task at hand—today I wasn’t even supposed to listen to music. Channeling Kondo, who says a prayer upon entering a client’s home, I lit a candle, said a little prayer, and started digging through the mountain of clothes.

Once I got to work, it was so much easier and more fun than I’d thought. This question of joy gives you permission to let go of off-color shirts bought on sale, dresses past their prime, skirts that always clung uncomfortably. I realized I had many things that seemed great in theory but weren’t actually my style—they’d be better on someone else’s body or in someone else’s life (examples: an überpreppy skirt or a corporate-looking jacket).

Six hours later, I’d filled 12 bags with non-joy-giving clothes. Instead of panic, I felt relief—12 times lighter. It also felt like good karma: The best stuff went to a consignment shop, and the decent stuff went to a charity thrift store, off to see a new, hopefully better life.

 

Lesson #5: Fold, Don’t Hang


Once you’ve sorted out the things to discard—and only then—you can decide where the remaining things should go. Rather than folded in a cubby or hanging in a closet, Kondo thinks a lot of our clothing would be better off (or as she’d say, happier) folded in a dresser.

I hadn’t been using a dresser at all before, but now, having begun with four overflowing closets, I was down to enough clothing to fill one closet and one dresser. Pulling from the tops, pants, and scarves now destined for the dresser, I started folding using Kondo’s special technique.

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Here’s the basic KonMari vertical fold, which can be applied to everything from T-shirts to stockings. First, make a long rectangle, and then fold from the bottom up into a little package.

Lesson #6: THE Fold!


Kondo’s vertical folding technique makes everything easy to spot and hard to mess up (you aren’t jostling a whole pile every time you take something out or put something back). Folded this way, clothing looks like fabric origami, ready to line your drawers in neat rows.

To keep these little folded packages standing at attention in the dresser, Kondo suggests using shoeboxes as drawer dividers. A smaller box is perfect for square scarves, a deep one can go on a bottom drawer for sweaters.

The dresser install, using a few shoeboxes. I even folded some of my husband’s striped shirts (on the left), just to inspire him to try this in his own drawers.

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Lesson #7: Fall in Love with Your Closet


This is why people become evangelical about the KonMari method. Once you’ve cleared away the clutter and put things away, your dresses and skirts—the fun stuff, let’s be honest—can see the light of day. There’s breathing room between pieces, so you no longer have to do that awkward arm wrestle with the racks. All of which means you get a hit of joy—even hope!—just opening your closet, whether you’re getting ready in the morning or planning a party ensemble.

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Kondo advises hanging clothes so that the line along the bottom slopes upward—it adds an optimistic zing.

Lesson #8: Rediscover Your Style


For years, I’ve worn the same rotation of easy-to-grab, reliable pieces without dipping into all the color in my closets. And there’s a lot of it—maybe because I grew up near the ocean, I have a weakness for turquoise and pink and love a color mash-up and summertime prints. I’d almost forgotten about these colors in the daily race to get out the door.

 

https://www.onekingslane.com/live-love-home/marie-kondo-book-declutter/

PERIOD CRAMPS ANYONE? HERE ARE SOME KEY POSES TO BALANCE YOUR UTERUS!

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If you have heavy, painful periods or your uterus has dropped into your vaginal canal as a result of weakened ligaments and pelvic muscles — a condition known as a prolapsed uterus — yoga poses may be able to help. According to Swami Satyananda Saraswati, in an article for “Yoga” magazine, asanas can also help correct a retroverted, or tipped, uterus. 

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BOAT POSE

Boat pose, also called navasana or naukasana, helps with balance during pregnancy. According to MyYogaOnline.com, it also strengthens your abs, hips and thighs. In this pose, you balance on your butt and lift your upper body and legs into the air so your body looks like the letter “V.” As you reach past your knees with your extended arms, your lower abs work to help you keep your balance. Over time, YogaWiz.com reports, boat pose can help a prolapsed uterus fall back into place.

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UPWARD ABDOMINAL LOCK

Upward abdominal lock, or Uddiyana Bandha, incorporates a specific breathing technique that combines with a standing posture to engage your lower abdominal organs. To do this pose, bend at the waist, bend your knees slightly and rest your hands on your knees. Inhale through your nose, exhale strongly through your nose and pull your abdominal muscles in tight to push the rest of the air out of your lungs. Expand your rib cage without inhaling, which pulls in the lower abs. Hold for 10 to 15 minutes before you exhale and return to breathing normally. Repeat three times.

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SHOULDERSTAND

Sarvangasana, or shoulderstand, usually takes place at the end of a yoga class. In this pose, you rest your upper body on a folded blanket with your head hanging off or directly on the mat if it doesn’t hurt your neck. By reaching behind your back with your elbows bent and the palms of your hands resting on your mid-back, you can lift your legs straight up in the air. Tucking in your lower abdominal muscles, pointing your toes and keeping your back straight help maintain the posture. According to Swami Satyananda Saraswati, this common inversion, usually held for at least three minutes in class, helps relieve the pain of a prolapsed uterus and return it gently to its correct position in the body.

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YOGA DURING MENSTRUATION

Certain yoga poses, particularly inversions, such as headstand, handstand and shoulderstand, are contraindicated during menstruation. Backbends and standing balancing poses may also be difficult when you have your period. Instead, focus on restorative poses, such as forward bends, seated twists and supported bridge. Replace wheel, or backbend, with supported bridge by placing an upright block beneath your sacrum. Yin Yoga classes, which focus on restorative poses for the lower body, can also be particularly comforting during menstruation.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/362293-effective-yoga-postures-for-uterus-strength/

THIS GIRL IS CRAZY AMAZING! Look into the X ray of an emptath’s mind, body and soul!

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I feel your pain: an empath’s guide to staying balanced

Do you often wonder which emotions are yours, and which belong to someone else? When people you care about are hurting, do you feel their pain so deeply that it’s hard to separate—even after they’re out of crisis mode? In relationships, do you donate so much of your own natural resources that you suffer from a chronic energy shortage? And with those you’re close to, is it hard to figure out what your own needs are—or even what you want for dinner? If the answer is yes, it’s highly likely that you’re an empath.

What does it mean to be an empath, and why is it fraught with these basic life challenges? Derived from the Greek “em” (in) and “pathos” (feeling), the term empathic means you’re able to “feel into” others’ feelings. But for empaths, this sensitivity is magnified to the nth degree. An empath is more tuned in, more empathic, and more sensitive to others than the average empathic person.

Being this tuned in, empathic, and sensitive is an asset, but it comes at great cost. Empaths are unusually vulnerable to emotional contagion, to “catching” others’ emotions in much the same way that you’d catch a cold or flu. But it doesn’t stop there: empaths get physically ill and suffer from anxiety, depression, chronic stress, professional burnout, and pain syndromes more often than their less empathic counterparts. And empaths often need lots of down time after social engagements, “recovery periods” at the end of a workday, or extended intervals of being alone. They can feel fundamentally different from others: As a conference-goer recently put it, “It’s like I’m an alien from another planet—no one understands me, and sometimes I don’t even get myself.” The empaths I work with often confess a deep-seated fear that this “alien thing” means something is wrong with them, that they’re somehow damaged.

As a clinical psychologist and yoga therapist, I’ve supervised psychotherapists, yoga teachers, and yoga practitioners for more than two decades—and a great many of them are empaths. I’ve helped them identify who they are and develop the skills to lead more balanced and healthy lives. And as a “recovering empath” myself, I’ve had to walk a parallel path. From this personal and professional immersion, I’ve found that it helps just to name the issue, to hammer a framework of understanding around it. And then, armed with tools from yoga, mindfulness, and psychology, we can work on balance. We can create a blueprint for physical well-being, emotional health, and more rewarding relationships.

Are you an empath? Here are five signs that you might be—and that your wonderful qualities, when left unchecked, can compromise your health.

THE EMPATH CHECKLIST:

1. You struggle with boundaries. It’s tough to know where you leave off and others begin, which experiences are yours and which come from others, when to open your channels for connection or to close them.

2. You’re often not in your body. For empaths, all that “feeling into” the experiences of others means that you dissociate: you leave your body or “shuttle” out of direct experience as a matter of course.

3. You’re vulnerable to emotional contagion. You absorb the emotions of others, from your boss and colleagues at work to your family and friends, and even the check-out guy at Whole Foods.

4. You’re prone to nervous system overdrive. It doesn’t take much—sometimes just a draining conversation or a party that’s loud and over-populated—to propel your nervous system into alarm mode.

5. You have trouble with intimacy. Your relationships are filled with intense bonding and equally intense separations. You can merge with others at the drop of a hat, but get so entangled that an “emotional exorcism” of someone you care about is often the only way to get your space.

Even when we’re aware of them, these patterns are hard to change. They’re wired into us deeply, at levels the conscious mind can’t reach. For that reason, to be a healthy empath requires daily practice. Here are the key issues and therapeutic practices that form the heart of the journey. The challenge is that much of the healing needs to happenthrough the body. And for empaths, the body can be a wasteland of sorts, a long-abandoned battleground.

Lest you think this is a “chick thing,” there are male empaths, too. It’s just that the process of natural selection draws empathic males underground more quickly than it does their female counterparts because sensitivity, empathy, and attunement to others are considered “feminine” traits. Male empaths can be ostracized for these qualities, and learn to bury them from sight. As a male empath in one of our therapeutics clinics recently said, “I take on other people’s experiences all the time. I have a huge amount of anxiety and depression, and it’s hard to know what’s mine and what’s someone else’s. But when I talk about it to my friends, they tell me to quit being ‘such a girl.’” Male empaths need the same kind of body-based support that female ones require.

RX FOR EMPATHS:

Empaths have an extraordinary capacity for union. They’re great in a crisis; people in need call forth their deepest abilities. They make gifted, intuitive healers. They see others deeply, well beyond the surface. And they have a magnetic quality that draws people to them. Yet flanking these positive aspects are several shadow sides. Here’s what you’ll want to focus on to help you live in a state of physical and emotional equilibrium.

1. Develop Boundaries. As an empath, you give too much space to others’ emotional lives. You solve their problems with ease and help them restore equilibrium, often at the expense of your own energy stores. But even when no one needs you, the habit of “trolling for crisis” means you’re always on alert, and makes it tough to return to the shores of your own awareness.

Empath Rx: Creating boundaries isn’t a matter of mental discipline, of “just say no.” When you’re an empath, limits need to be integrated into your physicality. The core body is your seat of power: What helps is a yoga practice that brings your focus into your deep, intrinsic core where you can develop “prana in the belly.” This four-pronged core body program includes awareness, strength, flexibility, and the capacity to release. Working with the core in this holistic way helps you ground back into your body and replenish your energy stores. Mindfulness tools can also help you monitor where—or on whom—you’re focused and notice when you’ve migrated into someone else’s direct experience.

2. Bring Awareness into Your Body. Imagine that you’ve left to visit a friend in another city and forgotten to lock your house. And that’s not all: You’ve left all the doors and windows wide open, so anyone can get in. This is what it’s like to be an empath. You can abandon your own home, your direct experience, in favor of someone else’s. The more you do this, the more difficult it is to return. What makes matters worse is that not inhabiting your body (and the moment) keeps the benefits of yoga and other mindfulness-based practices just beyond your reach.

Empath Rx: Offset this tendency toward dissociation with slow, mindful vinyasa yoga sequences that link movement with breath. Empaths can spend a whole yoga class or practice on auto-pilot: adding anchors for awareness will help bring you back to your body and to the present. Contemplative practices such as meditation and restorative yoga give you the time, space, and silence you need to get re-embodied again.

3. Balance Your Nervous System.

An empath’s environment is like “emotional satellite radio” with surround sound and hundreds of channels. Your nervous system surfs the dial constantly, flipping from station to station to listen to others’ emotional broadcasts: your boss’s complaints about work, your partner’s anxiety over a potential job loss, your best friend’s sadness about a breakup. These information-processing demands can catapult your nervous system into overdrive, which reinforces anxiety, depression, and chronic stress. On top of that, the incessant electronic requests of e-mail and social media can overload and exhaust you.

Empath RX:

Learn to notice the signs of nervous system overdrive, such as that inner sense of something always “humming” beneath the surface, an elevated heart rate, and increased emotional reactivity. Practice simple breathwork techniques like nasal breath (and if accessible, nasal breath with a longer exhale) to slow your heart and bring your nervous system back to baseline. Regular breaks from social media also help, as do practices that balance your nervous system and quiet your mind, like Restorative Yoga.

4. Learn to Regulate Intimacy.

For empaths, intimacy comes down to matters of space and reciprocity. You can feel like Dr. Doolittle’s Push-Me-Pull-You: Sometimes you crave intense emotional, physical, and spiritual bonding. At other times, you need so much space that having your own personal galaxy might feel too crowded. When you want to merge, you can threaten people who have a higher need for breathing room; when you need wide-open space, you can appear remote and withholding. And when it comes to reciprocity, you’re rarely comfortable on the receiving end. Your giving nature attracts narcissistic people who crave the mirroring and validation you offer. In the meantime, you’re able to create a fantasy in which the relationship lives up to its potential—and you inhabit that fantasy as though it were real. You learn to subsist on a diet of mere “emotional breadcrumbs,” and can suffer from malnourishment.

Empath Rx:

To build your ability to receive care from others, try bodywork or yoga therapy with someone you trust. You can also balance a personal yoga practice with group classes to strengthen your sense of community. If your job requires any degree of public exposure, or you work as a healer, you may need stretches of alone time to reestablish your equilibrium. Here again, mindfulness-based practices can help you notice feelings of being devoured and interrupt the cycle of merger and isolation before you reach the breaking point.

5. Develop emotional immunity.

Empaths pick up on other’s emotions and even their direct inner experience so rapidly that it’s hard to indentify what’s happened. As a result, a large part of your anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and immune issues can belong not to you, but to someone else. And just like your nervous system and physical body, your emotional body and immune system struggle with boundaries. They have difficulty discerning what’s you and what’s not. This leaves you vulnerable to emotional issues like anxiety, depression, and chronic stress, as well as auto-immune illnesses such as allergies, lupus, or fibromyalgia.

Empath Rx:

Practice interpersonal hygiene: using mindfulness, notice how you feel after spending time with others. You’ll soon learn which people are hazardous to your health, and you can limit your interactions with them. Also try lymph-stimulating asana sequences and Restorative Yoga to stimulate your capacity for constructive internal reflection.

THE EMPATH’S FILTER:

One of the more insidious consequences of Empath Syndrome is having a very thin, membranous emotional skin which reacts intensely to real or perceived invasion. This skin is allergic to a variety of foods, social settings, and other people—and on the inside, it mimics the auto-immune pattern of self-hatred. This exposes our nerve endings to all the shame, rage, and deep, existential grief inside us and in everyone around us. An offhand comment from a loved one, a request for help from someone when our resources are at a low ebb, or a harmless comment from that “weird guy” at the gym can get under our skin in microseconds. This sets off an alarm, and we immediately filter that person as either “dangerous” or “safe.” Long ago, that type of filtering was necessary for our survival but as we mature, it becomes less adaptive, even destructive. Because we doubt the strength of this filter (after all, it’s tough for us to set boundaries), we construct a narrative around the experience. Once we’ve developed a juicy story about the person who got under our skin, we repeat it. We pull for confirmation from others, as though having an army behind this filter will help it feel more like a fortress.

Having the armed forces behind us can feel comforting initially, but our actions only strengthen the sensitivity of the danger/safe filter. And since our narrative is rarely limited to one encounter, we practice it over time. Soon, it gains a brittle hardness. This outer shell protects us from injury (good), but also from intimacy with others and our deepest selves (not so good).

Often, the deepest (and hardest!) work happens long after the interaction is over, when our nervous system is back to balance and the temporary comfort our narrative gave us has dissipated. Our task is to go back to the filter, to our initial decision in the moment, and reevaluate. We can (this is so hard!) reconsider and re-examine the encounter from all angles, balancing the harsh light of hindsight with a healthy dose of self-compassion. We can even ask others for input—preferably those who don’t indulge our stories, and who want to see us grow.

Over time, we can acknowledge where our filters make errors or blind us. We can change their sensitivity settings to be more open. We can acknowledge where they make errors or may blind us. Then we’ve got something to grown on. The challenging part: Empaths have a really tough time changing this filter because it feels so necessary for safety. What’s more, adjusting the settings actually stretches our “emotional skin.” This expansion is uncomfortable: It can feel in some ways like a “little death” and it can jolt the nervous system into caffeinated overdrive. This is when the quieter aspects of yoga and mindfulness like Restorative Yoga can help promote constructive internal reflection, and help us assimilate the changes we’ve made to our filter. I’ve been in this place many times and experienced the struggle myself. And while our asana practice helps us be more embodied, this epic battle with our filter is carried out on the very plains of engagement where mindfulness and yoga try so hard to lead us.

IT’S LIKE A TATTOO:

Empaths often ask me, with great sincerity, “How do I get rid of this?” Their poignant request reflects the cost they pay, in time and effort, to achieve a measure of balance. But being an empath is like having a tattoo: the imprint is there for life, no matter what you may do to change it. These practices aren’t a time-limited, do-it-for-three-months-and-all-will-be-well kind of program. Rather, they’re a lifelong journey of self-discovery. But it needn’t be a life sentence. Having a daily empath-balancing practice improves our relationship with ourselves. It juices our creative process. It improves emotional regulation. It deepens our work life, and enhances our physical health.

Empaths need community, a tribe of our own to belong to, and a shared language through which we can first unload the burden of being built as we are. Yet once we’ve ingested this sense of belonging, our task is to resist the temptation to rest there forever, and cultivate instead both personal and shared practices that bolster our body, calm our mind, and help us ground into and explore ourselves. We do this first in shallow waters and then in time, the deep.

It may seem that transformation is about transcendence: that we somehow leave behind our flaws to achieve a measure of spiritual perfection. Yet true spiritual evolution and emotional health entail a reckoning with and even valuing of the unique set of challenges we’ve been given. Sometimes the holes in our evolution—the very things that we lack—plait a deep thread of awareness into the fabric of our self-study. We’ll spend the rest of our lives unraveling that thread, and weaving and reweaving it. And there’s a measure of honor that comes from having to work so hard at the skills that others seem to master so naturally.

And the reward for all this hard work of integration? There will come an extended moment in time when something or someone will activate your nervous system, stimulate your filter and the narrative that comes with it, and tie you in emotional knots. But this time, you’ll recognize it as it happens. You’ll be able to enter a dialogue. You’ll say to yourself something like, “Oh- here it is again—it’s happening! This person has bumped right up against my need to feel special,” or whatever it is they’ve activated. You’ll notice the signs of activation: elevated heart rate, difficulty breathing, intense emotional reactivity, and an immediate gravitational pull toward a difficult story. “They must not care about me at all,” you’ll start to think. Then suddenly, you’ll remember to feel where that activation is concentrated in your body: often, for empaths, it’s the upper core or solar plexus area. You’ll bring your hands to that area and breathe deeply into it for several minutes. And if it’s still highly engaged, you’ll opt to practice a little longer until you hit your “reset button.”

And all at once, you’ll feel the deep worth of daily empath practices. You’ll find a simultaneous sense of yielding and resilience. You’ll feel a beautiful solidity, as though you’ve colored in your outlines. You’ll discover a newfound sense of your own intrinsic value in the world. And this will be matched by the joy that comes bubbling up from the wellspring of your body.

Being an empath asks us to become fluent in the field of paradox, to metabolize opposing concepts and challenges. How can we engage in rich relationship with others and the world around us, for instance, while finding the silence and space to discover the self and world inside us? How do we find balance between matter and spirit, inner awareness and outer focus, or self and other? And how might we engage in the dynamic interchange between the concept of evolution—which hints at a future self—and the self we are right here, right now?

It may be later in life by the time we truly blossom, but the time, patience, and inner work are well worth the effort. When we learn to regulate our nervous system, create healthy boundaries in our body, and adjust the filter through which we evaluate direct experience, we become truly resilient. And instead of making ourselves small to fit the world around us, to find a tribe where we belong, we learn to blossom on our own. This blossoming draws others to us. And an empath in full flower is an extraordinary thing to witness: vulnerable yet resilient, intuitive yet grounded, and deeply creative, expressive, and magnetic—but with a fully functioning sense of where and how these qualities balance.

Dear Empaths, thank you for your deeply impassioned response to this article! Out of respect for the porousness of your fellow empaths, please balance your sharing of your story with discernment about how the quantity and nature of what you’re sharing. We reserve the right to edit posts, or to not post responses that might cause others to be overwhelmed when reading. However, we do read each and every post. We thank you for taking the time to comment. Please know that you have a Tribe of people to whom you belong. Not only that, there are ways (and this article mentions several) to balance your empath qualities and live a life of balance, boundaries, and meaning.

For specific tools, please reread the “Rx” sections above for ideas. You can also explore our book Yoga for Emotional Balance. And please stay tuned to the Online Courses link on this site; we’ll have a “Yoga for Empaths” course coming out later this year that’s a labor of love to all of you, our Empath Tribe. Peace and blessings,

http://boforbes.com/yoga-practice-lab/blog/feel-pain-empaths-guide-staying-balanced/

CUTTING THE LINK WITH NEGATIVE PEOPLE OR EXPERIENCES

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Cutting Cords
“Cutting cords doesn’t mean, “I don’t love you or care about you anymore.” Cord cutting doesn’t necessarily lead to break-ups or abandoned relationships. It simply means that you are releasing the dysfunctional parts of your relationships. Remember, fear is the opposite of love, and etheric cords (and all attachments) are created from fear”. Doreen Virtue

Positive and Negative Cords

Cords are a method of high speed communication and sharing energy. Healthy cords create a nurturing sharing of information and energy. Unhealthy cords can be a huge drain or a means of control. They are attached by mutual agreement, but there are lots of ways to persuade, trick, or con people into being corded. Often they were useful, but outlive their usefulness. The cord may have been very important when you were 2 years old, but now in adulthood it is no longer useful, but the cord is still there.

Cords can be a temporary telepathic and energetic link between two persons. Usually, a cord doesn’t last long and dissipate within a few days or even hours. Cords aren’t necessarily bad however if you find yourself constantly thinking of someone in particular, you may form a cord that will drain you and make you feel bad for no reason.
Energy cords show themselves as that surge that you get when you connect with someone. It depends hugely on the person, the circumstances, and on your openness to the feeling. You can easily suppress feeling it with your own mind. I think it still happens, but you can shut down your awareness of it.
Etheric cords can form between people, objects, and situations where there is a fearful attachment, afraid to let go, scared to be alone, afraid to be without. These are invisible energy links. We normally cord to other people and also allow them to cord to us throughout the course of our everyday lives. Many of these cords are short lived and dissolve quickly. There are some however, normally the intensive, volatile, or the longer term relationships, that create cords and with a build-up of numerous energies and emotions, such as need, desire, love, anger, jealousy, envy etc. These cords can create problems in the form of aches and pains, depression, rage, exhaustion, burn-out etc.
Most people aren’t even aware of these energy cords, the few that are aware can only vaguely describe their experiences… and the smallest handful of people who actually have high sensitivity are reluctant to speak about it. There are also a multitude of frauds, phonies, gurus and religious zealots who use cording to attach to their followers to make money.
It is normal for parents to form cords with their babies, this is both a necessity and a positive thing, as these cords help parents communicate with and understand their baby’s needs. Healthy cords dissolve naturally over a period of time, as the child grows.  Negative cords feed the energy and emotions of one person to another, both positive and negative, so you may be feeling particularly angry and not know why, you may also be feeling depressed for no apparent reason. Cords are normally formed on a subconscious level, through a person’s need for strength, manipulation, control.
If you have decided to move on from a relationship and you find it particularly difficult to “let-go” it may be that there are cords of attachment from the other person holding you back. A person going through a divorce may be feeding their anger, rage, stress, and jealousy to the other person and vice versa. Without realising it, parents feed these emotions to their children and partners, creating all sorts of problems for everyone.

If you have a cord attached to someone you love and that person is going through a major crisis, they may be draining energy from you. So you will feel drained without knowing why. In this case some healthy boundaries need to be created.

Is it safe to cut them? 
I’ve discovered that just randomly cutting cords causes more harm than good. Any healing process requires a conscious awareness and respect for the fact that it is a process. It is better to work with the cords, and learn how to adapt and understand them.  I believe we have choice about becoming attached by unhealthy cords if we are operating on an entirely conscious level.   The first step you may need to take is to take a break from being around a person, given the intensity of the energy that flows between you. Sometimes these cords reach across time and space, so we have to so we have to work with them on all levels.
When we give power away to other people because our relationship with self is dysfunctional, we actually allow cords of energy to tie us to those people. You can cut the cords, but unless you resolve the underlying reason why you corded in the first place, the cords will keep coming back.

The following methods of Cord removal I teach preclude removing any healthy cords and offer opportunity to heal the underlying issues.

Gentle loving ways of Releasing the Cords

• One method for removing the energy cords is to imagine yourself sitting in a beautiful natural setting. Imagine a circle around you.  The circle can be made of fine silken rope – literally a “cord”. Sit in it, feel yourself protected by it. Imagine a column of light coming from the heavens encircling you in high frequency pure light.
• Then imagine the people you want out of your life also sitting in a circle made of cord. The two circles are close to each other but not touching. Look at the other people from your circle and wave good bye! You are gently and peacefully allowing other people their space while affirming your own. Instead of cutting, you are transmuting the cords. Let their cords remain whole. Let yours remain whole. Just disentangle and detach.  Stoke the fires of love and compassion. Say good bye with love and move on!

As life is lived, the process of sorting and disentangling is obviously much more complex and subtle.  As you make the music of your life less dysfunctional, the people attracted to the dysfunctional part will fall off. Chords are better than cords.

Higher-Self work to Remove and Heal Cord Attachments 

Connection to High self…

First do a Mediation to align the client (or yourself if doing the work on yourself) with their High self.

Bring in Highself of the person with whom you have an unhealthy attachment.

Have the client (or yourself, if doing the work on yourself) imagine and call in the presence of the high self of the person with whom they feel they have unhealthy cords connected to. Remind them that this is the person high self without all their fears, doubts and control issues. Have them imagine the person as their whole, light filled loving self.  If they have difficulty just tell them to imagine it.

Speaking from the heart…

Once they feel the presence of the person, have them begin to tell the person how they feel about the past. Tell them to speak from their heart, telling the person about how they have hurt them and how they have suffered because of their relationship. They can do this silently if they are not comfortable speaking it out loud.  Encourage them to get everything off their chest.  And then once that is completed have them tell the person what it is that they need from them now.

Listening…

Now it is time for the high self of the other person to speak. Remind them that they are safe. This is the persons loving, true self, without fear or anger. Tell them that they are speaking from their heart now and telling them all the things they have needed to say. Ask them to listen now with an open heart and be willing to receive what they are being told. (It may be telepathic or come in as a feeling ) Encourage them to receive the information however it comes in.  Have them ask the person what they need now.

Remind them that is they asked for forgiveness that forgiveness is not condoning it is making the decision not to carry it any longer.

Are you willing?

Now ask your client (or yourself if doing the work on yourself) if they are willing and ready to help this person with what it is that they need.  It is okay if they are not willing to do anything for the other person. Ask them what they are willing to do for themselves.

Pruning the Garden.

Once this process feels complete I ask the client to call in a high spiritual being to assist them.

Tell them, “Look at the space between you and this person. There you will see attachments some will be healthy and light filled some will be unhealthy looking like the old dead branches on bushes and trees. Now ask your spirit guide to give you a tool to prune away all the dead and unhealthy looking connections. As you trim away these attachments your guide heals the places where they were cut away with healing light. You may help them select the prefect colour of light to do this work with. Continue cutting way the unhealthy attachments until only the healthy light filled connections remain. Your guide will take the old cords and offer them to Mother Earth to be transmuted into new life. If the person you are doing this work with wants to help you… allow them to be part of the process. Once the pruning is complete and all the old connecting points are sealed with light. You now are free to end this relationship or continue it on a basis that is healthy for both of you. Thank the high self of the person you are working with and say good bye allowing them to return to whatever they were doing. Thank your high self and your guide and come back into waking consciousness”

Removing a cord is a three step process:

1.unplugging the cord

2. disposing of the cord

3. cleansing and healing the anchor point / attachment point.

Cord Pulling/Cutting

Some practitioners advocate cutting or removing all cords. Some attachments simply should not be removed because they are as yet too deeply engaged with our energy systems. Additionally, cord cutting can result in shocking both your energy system and that of the person on the other end, creating a host of unwanted sensations, feelings, and emotions. Cord pulling, is safer, more effective, measurably gentler, and longer lasting. Cord pulling does not shock the system of either party, and allows the practitioner to more effectively heal and seal the connection points.

Although similar to cord cutting, cord pulling requires coming from a very compassionate perspective from both practitioner and client. It requires  practice, using tempered skill adequately, repeatedly and with continued success.

In cord work, there is more than the practitioner and the client involved – there are others at the opposite end of each cord and they too must be taken cared for.

Pulling cords doesn’t necessarily lead to break-ups or abandoned relationships, unless that is what you are seeking. Cord pulling will help you move forward with confidence and clarity since it releases the dysfunctional parts of your relationships. Fear is the opposite of love, and all attachments are created from fear.

If there are negative energy cords attached.  Ask how many, if the number is large, begin with the most prominent. Begin pulling the cords one at a time. Handle them lovingly and then connect them to the positive energy of crystalline Earth grid.  Repeat the process and continue pulling cords one by one and connect them immediately to the positive energy of crystalline Earth grid or dispose of them by placing them into a violet flame.

Next use high frequency spiritual light to heal the areas where the cords were attached and create a beautiful shield around each chakra to prevent further attachments.

Keeping yourself Clear with the Violet Flame

The Violet Flame works by raising vibrations. Vibration can be understood to be the speed at which electrons orbit around the nucleus of an atom. The empty space between the nucleus and the electrons is where negative energy can become stuck. When the atoms in our bodies or our auras become clogged with this negativity, the electrons move slower and slower…we have a lower vibration and are less connected to our true spiritual nature.

The Violet Flame transmutes negative energy by turning it into light which causes us to vibrate to a higher energy pattern, releasing more spiritual energy into our bodies. The Violet Flame is a tool of self-transformation. It has the unique ability to transform fear into courage, anxiety into peace and hatred into love. It re-establishes harmony and balance.

The Violet Flame is a Divine gift and tool for everyone, given to us by Ascended Master Saint Germaine. It is a sacred fire that exists on the Higher Dimensions.
The Violet Flame is Spiritual Alchemy in action, transmuting  denser feelings, actions, deeds, thoughts and karma. The Violet flame helps prepare us for our Ascension, which means becoming a Divine Human, also known as a Christed Being – This level of Consciousness obtainable by any person who strives to embody their spiritual self fully within their physical self. You may use the Violet Flame in perfect harmony with any belief system, religion or practice. There are absolutely no conditions attached to it.

You can memorize an invocation or use the words and feelings from your own heart.

There are unlimited ways to use the Violet Flame. This is the basic method Saint Germaine offers to use as a foundation for Violet Flame work. It is very simple with only four steps. Once you understand the principles behind this practice, you can adapt it and use it in unlimited ways.

Step 1. Bring the Violet Flame into your body. Ask your Higher Self, a Master, Guide or Angel to assist you or just ask the flame to “be made manifest”. Do your best to visualize it. It doesn’t matter if you can actually see it.

Step 2. Imagine the flame spinning around your body. Bring it inside your body and  through your heart chakra.  The flame fills your emotional, mental and spiritual bodies.

Step 3. Ask the Violet Flame to transmute everything you wish to be changed or eliminated from your life. You can say “transmute anything and everything standing in the way of my fully embodied God/Goddess self.”

Step 4. Use the flame to change negativity into Divine Light and fill your body.

INVOCATIONS

The Violet Flame Invocations below turn everything into the golden light of the Christ Consciousness.

The following are two simple invocations which will transmute negative thoughts, actions and emotions. You can individualize the Invocation using words from your heart. Say them with feeling and intention.

Saying the words out loud is best because the power and vibration of the spoken word has energy, which helps create the maximum results of the Violet Flame. If you are with people who might be uncomfortable with the spoken word, you can just say it quietly in your mind.

Center yourself. Take a few deep breaths to prepare. Then say these words:

I AM a being of Violet Fire
I AM the purity God desires
(repeat 3 times)

or

Beloved I AM presence bright
Round Me seal your tube of light
From Ascended masters flame
Called forth now in God’s own name
Let it keep my temple free
From all discord sent to me
I  AM calling forth violet fire
To transmute all desire
Keeping on in freedoms name
Till I AM one with violet flame
(repeat 3 times)

http://www.soulconnection.ca/cord-cutting.html

A FLAWLESS EXPLANATION ON THE MEANING OF LIFE

quotes-of-the-day-L-CsuOrz

can recall so often hearing questions around the meaning of life.

I have to remind myself that there was a time when I didn’t know.

In all areas of my spiritual evolution, there was a time that I was too far from the truth to see it. When the understanding comes, or returns, it’s so penetrating that you forget that you were once lost. This concept itself is a huge part of the meaning of life: remembering.

Life is suffering.

As has been so often pointed out by my teachers: you suffer over what you want and you suffer over what you don’t want. When we get what we want, we suffer when it changes—which is inevitable. When we don’t get what we want, we suffer due to our craving. When we get what we don’t want, we suffer due to our aversion to what is.

All of this suffering stems from our relationship to what is occurring in our lives. We create the suffering because we attach ourselves to externals that are guaranteed to change.

My previous article touched on the absurdity in our practice of creating our identities out of externals that are, by nature, impermanent. Nature has seasons: life and death. And everything on this plane of existence is subject to the laws of nature.

We choose to sign up for suffering when we cling to what must—by nature—change.

The meaning of life is in dancing with this suffering. We cannot avoid it, so we must learn to engage with it in a manner that evolves us as beings. Only in the human existence do we get the privilege to consciously work through these episodes of suffering.

And yes, it is a privilege.

Every bit of suffering that comes (or that we create) in our lives, is there for a reason. We are to work with it. And how well we work with it determines the meaning of this life.

There is no external puppet master determining what the meaning of our lives is; we are the creators. We design our own heaven or hell based on how well we dance with our suffering. If we teach ourselves to dance with suffering with the grace of love and compassion, we create heaven. If we choose instead to dance with the darkness of fear and anger, we create hell. These are not places we are sent to based on the accumulated behaviors of this lifetime, these are places we create within every second of every day.

The meaning and purpose of life is love.

We are to spend our human existence learning how to better love ourselves, and then to love others (as ourselves). While this may sound like a romantic notion, it is exponentially greater than romance could ever be. It is not a sappy, surface-level concept, it is truth. This realm of love is not tied to the humanization of the term, as God is not what our limited minds have conjured. They are one-in-the-same. You want to get to God? Learn to love. You want to learn to love? Be God.

We’ve been given the music of love to dance to, we only have to get quiet enough to hear it. We know all the steps, we simply have to look deep enough inside to remember them.

The meaning of life isn’t something we must find, we are already it.

We must experience the body for what it is-an accumulation of sensory perceptions and a mind that has created an ego-concept that it is separate. This body and mind are not who we are. We are love. And the meaning of life is to find our way back to love, to God, to ourselves

HUMAN BODY ENERGY CLOCK

human-body-energy-clock

The Chinese Body Clock is based on Chinese medicine and the body organ Qi(energy) cycle. It’s the idea that there is a cyclic flow of energy through the body that moves in two hour intervals through the various organ systems. See diagram above. Click on the diagram for a larger version.

So for each two hour window, there is an organ system operating a peak energy.

“When one organ is at its peak energy, the organ at the opposite side of the clock, 12 hours away, is at its lowest ebb. For example, between 1-3 a.m., the liver reaches its peak, doing its work to cleanse the blood, while the small intestine, the organ responsible for the absorption and assimilation of many key nutrients, is at its ebb. What does this tell us? Principally, that it must be taxing to the system to deal with late night meals and snacking. The body is not programmed to accommodate the modern habit of late-night screen-based stimulation and the eating habits that go with it. When we eat late at night, food is not well absorbed by the small intestine and the liver has little opportunity to do its job of housekeeping.

The idea, then, is to try when you can to plan daily activity around an organ system’s peak energy, while avoiding actions that can tax a system when its energy is at its lowest ebb. Think of lifestyle habits you might modify in order to better synchronize your system’s energy ebbs and flows:

Lungs: With the lungs at their peak energy in the early morning, you might want to schedule aerobic exercise at this time rather than later in the day. And, if you must speak through the long work day, presentations given earlier in the day benefit from greater lung energy. Laryngitis can set in late afternoon when lung energy is depleted .

Large Intestine: To get the day off to a good start, give yourself enough time early in the morning to honor the normal elimination function of the large intestine.

Stomach/Pancreas/Small Intestine: Try to eat heavier meals early in the day—at breakfast when the stomach is at its peak, and at lunch, to catch Qi’s expanding/warming energy as it crests at midday. Eating larger meals of the day early delivers nourishment to the small intestine when it is strongest, which aids absorption and assimilation.

Kidneys: The kidneys are aligned with the adrenals, the glands that produce cortisol to help us spring out of bed in the morning. Early morning, from 5 a.m.-7 a.m., is when kidney energy is weakest—a reason that people with depleted kidney energy often have trouble waking up to a new day.

Liver: The liver stores and cleanses the blood, a fact that becomes more interesting as we consider personal experience. Have you ever partied too much in the evening, and awakened in the wee hours of the morning feeling “off” and unable to fall back to sleep? Chances are good that you were tossing and turning between the hours of 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. when your alcohol over-loaded liver was struggling to do its work. The timing of the liver’s peak activity also speaks to consuming the last meal of the day as early as possible. The liver’s daily programming assumes an early dinner and bedtime. Before electricity and the light bulb, people ate supper and retired early, allowing time for the last meal of the day to digest so that the liver could be most effective in its peak hours of activity. The “work shift” of the liver, then, reinforces the concept of making the last meal of the day a light one that is consumed on the early side. The more time that passes after food is eaten before peak activity of the liver, the better the liver will be able to carry out its myriad of functions.”

http://yoganonymous.com/infographic-explore-your-human-body-energy-clock

POWER PLANTS

HOLY BASIL

holy-basil-2

Holy basil is a sacred herb within Ayurveda—the centuries-old medicinal practice from India—and has been called upon for thousands of years to help combat stress. Nowadays, we understand that it works by lowering cortisol levels in the body, says acupuncturist Jill Blakeway, director of the YinOva Center in New York City.

“Holy basil is often used in Ayurvedic medicine as an adaptogen—a class of herbs that help your body deal with stressors,” she continues. Which is what helps make “tulsi”—the Hindu name for holy basil—Ayurveda’s perfect antidote to the hectic pace of the modern world.

But holy basil’s benefits don’t stop at stress-busting. “I’ve also seen it pretty widely used to treat common ailments like an upset stomach or even a seasonal cold,” says celeb nutritionist and beauty-foods evangelist Kim Snyder. “It’s thought to work because the chemical compounds it’s comprised of can help decrease inflammation and pain.”

Holy basil has a more peppery, clove-like taste than its familiar Western counterpart, sweet basil, though the two are closely related. And like sweet basil, it can be used to flavor all types of savory dishes—just think more along the lines of spicy stir-frys and soups than Italian pasta sauces.

But the herb may be at the height of its stress-squashing abilities when it is enjoyed slowly, as part of a relaxing daily tea ritual. There are plenty of ready-made blends available online or in health food stores, or you can brew your own by steeping fresh or dried leaves. Then simply sip. Breathe. Repeat.

COCONUT

coconut2Coconut oil, often cold-pressed from the fruit, has been the indisputable breakout ingredient in the nutrition and beauty worlds for the last few years, winning fans who adore it for being a total wellness multi-tasker.

“People used to think coconut oil was unhealthy, because it contains saturated fats, but now we know that these saturated fats are different to those found in fatty meat,” saysacupuncturist Jill Blakeway, director of the YinOva Center in New York City. “Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are metabolized differently in the body and are a great source of energy.”

MCTs have even been shown to increase energy expenditure in the body, she says, which means coconut oil can aid in weight loss. Plus, the oil contains something called auric acid, which gives it antimicrobial properties, Blakeway says “making it a good plant to ward off infections”

From a culinary perspective, coconut oil makes an awesome alternative to olive oil because it can handle up to 450 degrees of heat, giving it a high smoke point (i.e., the point at which the good compounds in an oil begin to break down and potentially problematic ones can begin to form). Try it in stir-frys, or to pan sear lean proteins. It also comes in handy in everything from baked goods to bulletproof-style coffee.

And beauty aficionados are enamored with it. “Coconut oil is by far my favorite beauty product, and I use it wherever I can,” says celeb nutritionist and beauty-foods evangelist, Kim Snyder. “It’s super hydrating, so it’s great for use on dry, irritated skin.”

Who should use it? “Everyone, everywhere,” she raves. It’s also a hair conditioner, star makeup remover, lip balm, and body scrub (when mixed with sugar or salt). No wonder so many wellness gurus love to use and recommend coconut oil.

ROSE HIP

rosehip

Rose hip—the fruit of the wild rose bush—just sounds so much more romantic than your everyday produce, evoking images of lush, overgrown gardens at a Downton Abbey-esque estate. But it’s also a straight-up superfood, packed with more vitamin C than oranges.

“In the UK, during the Second World War [when citrus was scarce], people made rose hip syrup from the fresh hips to supplement their vitamin C levels and help keep them healthy,” says Tipper Lewis, lead herbalist at the famed British natural health emporium, Neal’s Yards Remedies.

Rose hips are also a known inflammation-buster, so much so that they’ve been used to help treat rheumatoid arthritis (a chronic inflammatory disorder), explains acupuncturist Jill Blakeway, director of the YinOva Center in New York. “Research has shown [rose hip] to be helpful at reducing the pain, inflammation, and swelling associated with the joints,” echoes Lewis.

“It’s thought to be a substance called ‘GOPO’—a galactolipid—that has the main effect, so if you’re buying rose hips [for inflammation], make sure they contain this substance.” Meaning buy it in whole or pure dried forms.

The fruit itself can taste a bit sour, so Lewis recommends trying it in tea, which is “tart and sweet at the same time.” Infuse fresh or dried hips in hot water, just like you would any tea, Lewis recommends. Or for a refreshing summertime tonic, soak rose hips in cold water overnight, then sip, letting the anti-inflammatory benefits (and yes, the Downton romance) wash right through you.

HEALING ANXIETY OR BROKEN HEART- Jenine Durland

rest-yoga-savasana

We are lying in savasana—corpse pose—legs splayed wide, arms flopped down, palms facing the sky, and I close my eyes.

My friend is beside me; my yoga teacher has come to crouch at my head.

“Do something for me,” Pete says, pausing with his hands on my shoulders, “do this for yourself,” and I nod, eyes still closed.

“Bring one hand to your heart and one to your belly,“ and I do, slipping my left hand onto my chest and resting the thumb of my right hand in the hollow of my belly button.

I take a deep breath and feel my stomach rise, willing my body to relax.

The thing about anxiety attacks, I’ve come to learn in the last couple days, is that you can’t reason through them. And they can leave you, out of nowhere, fainting out of mountain pose or crawling across your floor.

You tell yourself it’s all in your head, but then you put your head down on the pillow alone in your apartment, and feel this tingling sensation spread out across your skin and every siren in your body goes off, telling you that there is a problem, an actual physical problem requiring god-knows-what emergency-care.

And then you laugh and cry all at once, seeing the absurdity, scared shitless of trusting your body, even your breath.

And so, it took a lot to get me to come back to class. Even as I rolled out my mat, I feared passing out, had vivid images of blackouts in my head, but my friend, who is also a nurse, promised to practice beside me, and when I told my teacher what was going on before class, Pete gave me a rolled up yoga mat to place under my belly.

I spent most of the class in the corner lying on my stomach while everyone rose up and down in warrior poses around me, feeling the rolled up mat push into my body every time I exhaled a breath, comforted to be held in community.

Now in this final pose, the one where we practice for our ultimate surrender, Pete is holding my head.

“Whether healing anxiety or a broken heart,” he says quietly, running his thumb and forefinger from my third eye down to my temple, “the tools are the same.”

I open my eyes just long enough to catch his eyes, full of compassion, and there is that moment of feeling really, truly seen: All of me acknowledged, accepted, okay.

“We hold our anxiety between our stomach and our chest,” Pete says, “and I’ve often found that we have some shame wrapped up there, a sense of not being enough. Breathe into that.”

And then the tears come, warm and sort of glorious, like sweat running down my cheeks while Pete rubs the back of my neck, and laughs. It’s the kind of laugh that comes out when you’re holding a baby and they curl their tiny fingers around your pinky. It’s the moment I knew, because I had gotten myself here to this mat and this teacher and this community, that I would be alright.

It’s also the moment I truly understood the power of a healer. There is yoga, yes; there is meditation, yes; but there is something profound and deeply human in seeking wise counsel in the overlap there between, in matters of the heart and soul.

After almost a year of practicing with Pete, of accepting his invitations to shine light into our dark places, of feeling awe at his capacity for love that seems to grow exponentially with each hug he gives his students, I have come to recognize how important it is to find teachers we connect with—those special people genuinely invested in helping others heal, the ones who can hold that kind of sacred space.

As the great Sufi poet Hafiz once wrote, “That is what greatness does: kindly leaves a shelter for us to gather under, where more nourishment can be offered to all things.”

And so, in just over a month, I’ve accepted yet another invitation from my teacher, and will be heading out on a new journey, one that takes this place of love and light and suffering—the heart center—as a starting point, and charts the course of movement, breath, and awareness into a realm of unknowing.

Most people call this “Teacher Training,” but Pete calls it “Lighting the Path,” and I can think of no better words…except perhaps those, again, of Hafiz, who writes,

“Strange the way my shadow began to fall. I
was standing in a field helping the dawn

appear, and when its body, the sun, was fully
lifted into the sky

I was amazed to see my shadow in front of
me as I faced that luminous candle we all know.”

Hafiz poems

4 Health Benefits Of Aromatherapy!

Attractive girl takes a bath with milk and rose petals

The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy defines aromatherapy as “the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.”

aromatherapy-bottles

Aromatherapy uses essential oils which can be extracted from flowers, seeds, barks, herbs, and roots. While there is not much evidence to support its effectiveness in treating or preventing any illness, there are several clinical studies that have found it to be an effective complimentary therapy method.

And hey, who doesn’t love the smell of a good essential oil during a massage or bubble bath?

Benefits Of Incorporating Aromatherapy Into Your Life

1. Reduces stress

Aromatherapy sounds relaxing, right? Well, there’s science backing it up. Aromatherapy using lavender scents has been shown to reduce stress.

In one particular study, participants who were using aromatherapy felt less pain and had reduced stress levels during a stressful situation, compared to participants who were not using aromatherapy.

Other studies showed reduced stress levels in cancer patients who had undergone aromatherapy treatment.

2. Fights depression

Citrus and vibrant aromas have uplifting tendencies that tend to reduce the effects of depression. If you’re down in the dumps, get a massage with essential oils and see if that helps put a smile on your face.

3. Manages pain

One of the best benefits of aromatherapy is that it can relieve pain. Clary sage is a great natural scent used for the reduction of pain, and is most commonly known for its success for relieving menstrual pains.

4. Improves blood pressure

Aromatherapy has been shown to lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension. If you’ve got high blood pressure, aromatherapy may allow you to relax enough to get your blood pressure levels closer to a healthy range.

Massage oil bottles at spa with stress relief written on it

How to Use Aromatherapy

There are three ways the essential oils of aromatherapy are most commonly distributed:

1. During your massage

Due to their high concentration levels, essential oils are diluted with natural carrier oils, which are generally composed of olive, almond, soya, and grape-seed. These carrier oils are necessary to spreading the essential oils and avoid any negative skin reaction. The aromatherapy is then rubbed all the body and allowed to soak into the skin.

2. By breathing in

There are a few different methods that are commonly used for the inhalation of essential oils. One method is to apply a few drops of the desired oil onto a handkerchief, hold it under your nose and breathe deeply.

Another method is to heat a bowl of water, add a few drops of essential oil and inhale the steam. The last method is using an essential oil burner to allow the oils to fill the entire room.

3. By soaking in the bath

Adding a few drops to a bubble bath is a relaxing and effective method of use for aromatherapy. The heat of the water creates vapors that can be inhaled, while the oils are soaking into the skin. Sit back, relax, and let the vapours sink in.

woman-using-aromatherapy

The Takeaway

Although it’s often used to relax, there are also health benefits of aromatherapy. From stress relief, to pain management, to improvements in blood pressure or depression, aromatherapy could be just what the doctor ordered.

So if you’re feeling down or just want to boost your mood, get a massage, breathe in, or take a bath using some essential oils and feel your worries drift away.