Even though we officially celebrate the new year in January, September always seems like the beginning of the new season.
Its arrival heralds the transition from carefree summer to the harbinger of autumn, a time of responsibilities, deadlines and for some, school. The best way to make this change easily is to add a new routine, an empowering gift you can give yourself. It is all wrapped up, waiting to be opened.
Yes, I mean it. If you look in the mirror, you will see who to give it to – and your gift will be extraordinary.
In this year of 2016 we find ourselves moving at a phenomenal pace. Pressures abound be they personal or professional. Your familial relationships between you and your partner, between you and your children and between you and your parents are rewarding – and also challenging. Often you are even sandwiched between taking care of the older and the younger generations. Then patterns develop professionally. Any work you do outside the house is included. It can even be volunteering for a favorite cause or center. You are still functioning in a group and there can be tensions. Finding the life balance between the two can be a full-time job.
Then as the scope is enlarged, there are the ever-growing expectations generated by our technology. We are always on 24/7 – in constant contact and demand. We now have at our fingertips all the media we could wish for. The social media has expanded the family circle. At the same time, we can be distracted by the streams of films, tv shows, and other entertainment that our new iphones have. The time we used to use to reflect and introspect can now be filled with endless cat videos. At the same time, we are privy to any violent action anywhere in the world. A feeling of being out of control and helpless often accompanies news stories, along with shock and sadness as these acts seem to be multiplying. We are losing our sense of self in this constant barrage.
Finally, and very clearly, there is even weather induced stress due to climate change and the wild fluctuations of Mother Nature which we are all experiencing. I have been talking about this for a long time, having been at the first Earth Day in 1970. It is urgent for us to stop the ecocide that is happening. Species are disappearing and the weather patterns are causing population upheavals. Each of us can take steps to recycle and keep our personal environments as green as possible. This way, the environment of planet Earth can even rejuvenate if we are vigilant. Here is a wonderful example of inter-species communication with Maddye and a new friend! Do hope you can try this some day. It’s magic and shows how strongly we humans are connected to dolphins and others.
Now for Your Empowering Gift
How to be your best? How to be the true you in the midst of all these factors and pressures? How to juggle all the demands of work, preparing school lunches, organizing the new schedules of the family?
The answer is giving yourself the gift of self-care!
Eating well and exercising are crucial. The nutrition found in green leafy vegetables, free range protein, organic fruit and whole grains is a basis for your health. When you exercise, you release endorphins, those “feel good” hormones and counteract the stress hormone of cortisol. Every body can benefit from that.
Be mindful. Limiting the continual stream of media and negative news is obvious.
And there is another level, another depth, which can truly work for you. This could be called extreme self-care but it really is deep self care, a deep dive into nurturing yourself. It is necessary for each of us to do daily so we may function at our best and be our best.
By creating a sacred time and space for yourself, you are able to rest into your center of peace. Allow me to share with you a short meditation so you can experience this now.
First we shall relax the body by using the breath and then concentrate the mind.
Please sit erect with your feet flat on the floor. Have your tongue resting comfortably in your mouth. Exhale your distractions through your nostrils. Inhale light down into your core extending these muscles. As you exhale, pull your abs towards your spine and intentionally release other tensions.
Now focus on your deep inhalation, having plenty of “space and wideness” in your body. Drop your shoulders as you sink into your hips. Use the color green, the color of health, the green at the end of summer.
Let green permeate throughout your whole body, from the top of your head to your feet, bringing balance and strength.
Now as you continue this Breakthrough Breathing, gently turn your attention to your thoughts. Choose a word that inspires you, ie: peace, truth, grace… As you exhale, begin to watch your many thoughts. Allow them to just drift by with no attachment. As you inhale, concentrate in your mind’s eye on your one chosen word. Allow your breath to help you in this.
Again: Exhale and release the focus. Inhale and use the green light to go further with the concentration on your inner prayer. Allow it to illuminate your word.
Give yourself time to do this mini meditation and get familiar with these techniques. You will then be able to glide easily into September and the new season.
Ideally do them at the same time and same place each day. They will serve you well.
When you practice this, you will be giving yourself the precious gift of self care. It is life’s authentic present, the now in which you can be rejuvenated and be your best.