Yesterday I was in session with a dear client.
We were working with her limiting beliefs, her story of scarcity. A story that is deeply rooted in her grief, sadness and loss.
As we were tapping together (doing EFT) to clear this painful story, I came to a very poignant realization.
The journey of grief is in fact the Bhakti path- if used as a resource for awakening and opening.
Grief is inherently connected to your pain and suffering. It connects you deeply to your losses, to release and letting go. Moksha (liberation) is in fact a process of release, letting go and endings.
(You can see what your relationship is with Moksha and loss, simply by looking at the 12th house in your jyotish chart. It's also the house of death and the ancestors because of its connection to transformation.)
Release and letting go are natural parts of life. Nature's intelligence shares this process of release and transformation with us consistently. Particularly through the ever-changing seasons.
Yet loss is one of the most challenging things you will ever face in your lifetime. Small losses or big, life changing losses, the process of letting go is not easy. Grief is a natural response to the pain of letting go, of releasing some attachment.
When you choose to use your grief process for self awakening, for liberation, the journey becomes very different. Grief can become a spiritual resource- one that awakens you from deep slumber. The pain you experience during your loss will show you the places within where you have not been fully conscious.
The gift of your pain is the awakening to your unconscious patterns, behaviors and choices. It is the ultimate wake up call.
Most people will never use their grief as a spiritual resource. As a tool of self awakening. A way to awaken from their deepest slumbers.
Using the grief journey as a path of self realization is a poignant practice. One that I am very passionate about. I've experienced (and continue to experience) the power of leaning in closer to my grief- my inner pain, darkness, shadow and suffering.
Please join me for a heart-centered class to help you deepen your inner wisdom and relationship with Spirit.
This process of leaning in closer- to your self and your pain- is actually a practice of devotion. Devotion to the self.
Your consistent presence, the act of showing up for yourself in your pain, takes bravery, courage and willingness.
Something profound begins to shift within your being with this simple, consistent act of arriving. Arriving back to the self- over and over again.
This is the practice of Bhakti, heart centered devotion. Devotion of the self.
Heart-centered devotion requires that you show up in these ways:
- Be consistent.
This is a practice which requires you return again and again. Arrive with presence. Your attention to the self is your mantra.
- Non judgment.
As you notice what is arriving, just honor what is. You are simply bringing your attention to the movement within your emotional body landscape, without labels or trying to change it.
Your ability to arrive again and again with presence for your emotional body landscape, is an act of devotion.
Remember that your emotional body is a powerful resource. This is also the place of your Divine Feminine wisdom.
How to Deepen Your Devotion
As you practice showing up for your emotional body, honor it. Be a witness, then lean in closer.
What is your emotional body telling you? What is the underlying need? The gift of your emotional body is that it will always share with you a need that is either being met, or not being met. Listen closely.
When you can arrive for yourself again and again with non-judgment, with openness and honoring, you can also awaken more loving kindness for yourself.
It is likely you have never been mirrored this container of loving kindness during big waves of emotion.
Think back to your childhood. How did your parents "manage" your temper tantrums? Your powerful emotional outbursts? This is likely the same way you are still "managing" your emotions as an adult. Through avoidance, resistance, fear, challenge or resentment.
The first step to re-patterning this old conditioning is committing to arriving. Showing up is 50% of the process.
Don't just commit to showing up though.
How to Master the Process of Self Devotion:
Can you show up for yourself without judging your emotions?
Can you separate the emotional body messages from the mental body stories?
Can you harvest the need underneath the emotional body message?
Can you show up for yourself with more loving kindness, honoring yourself with non judgment- no matter what is arriving?
Can you honor yourself for arriving, trusting that this simple act of showing up is in fact a path of devotion, a process of deepening self love?
Self love requires that you show up for yourself- your whole self.
The act of self love is devotional by nature. It is a process of accepting, surrendering, honoring and bringing compassion to your whole being. This is the practice of Bhakti.
Heart-centered devotion requires that you honor and allow all parts of yourself. That all parts of your being make up your wholeness. This includes your pain, sorrow, darkness and illusion. Your grief.
Your ability to honor your grief- as a way to open your heart and awaken your inner wisdom- is the most profound act of devotion you can give yourself.
Please join me this weekend for a Bhakti centered practice. I'll be sharing potent resources to support your spiritual and emotional body awakening.
This is the last chance to register! Doors are closing!
This Week's Intention: Allow the divine feminine to move you, shape you and re-create you. Open, respond, awaken and surrender. Where is your rigidity keeping you resistant to receiving? Where are you saying no- to more nourishment and abundance from life?
Moon is waxing as the Navaratri celebrations continue. The Vedic New Year continues to unfold with the wisdom of the Divine Mothers, guiding the opening of this new cycle ahead. This week, Lakshmi and goddess Saraswati offer nourishment through health and wisdom, abundance and creative power. Attend to the divine feminine wisdom within and allow yourself to deepen receptivity.
Monday, April 11th
Moon in 5th tithi
Today is the fifth day of Navaratri and the second of three dedicated to Maha Lakshmi. Themes of nourishment, health, vitality and wellness intensify. Recite Lakshmi mantras and listen to Chandi Path recitations for extra support. Let nourishment be a theme for you in the coming days. How can you allow in more nourishment and support for yourself on the four levels of your being- mental, emotional, physical and spiritual? During the three days of Lakshmi, bring sweets and flowers to your altar, cook nourishing foods for your Self, decorate and adorn your Self. This is a time to focus on self care diligently.
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Boundaries are an important part of the Self Care dialogue and deserve a lot of attention and intention. Having safe and healthy boundaries in our relationships is essential for balance and well being. They are also an important part of getting our needs met and even receiving the support we need.
The topic of boundaries is vast. How we navigate boundaries, how aware we are of them and how we use them, are all topics that need to be sifted and sorted constantly- especially if we are sensitive individuals. It is important that we continue to question the role of boundaries (or lack thereof) in our lives since they impact almost every part of life.
It's also important to realize that there is no "one-size fits all" approach when it comes to maintaining clarity with our personal space. Boundaries shift and change- and they should- with time, experience and personal transformation. We are in constant flux and our boundaries will need to flex along with the changes we make personally and inter-personally.
That said, there are a few key elements to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining healthy boundaries. Most importantly, building a practice of self tracking is crucial for strengthening your inner dialogue and being clear on your needs. The three level check-in is your first step.
Here are three clues that you need to adjust your boundaries:
1) You have a strong emotional reaction. Emotions remind us that we need to listen to ourselves and our needs in a more intimate way. Anger is a key reminder that a boundary has been crossed and one of your needs has not been met.
2) You feel drained of energy and fatigued after a connection, an event or experience. Ask yourself what needs to shift and how can you get extra support in the future.
3) Your body is physically over-stimulated or over-aroused. Less is more. Find a way to get a smaller dose next time or maybe skip it all together.
Boundary work is a practice like so many other awareness building resources. We must constantly navigate, adjust and make changes when necessary.
Use this simple technique to build boundary awareness, inside and out:
1) Using a 50/50 awareness. Bring presence to your internal focus by closing your eyes. Then bring presence to your external focus by opening your eyes. Practice being fully present with each and identify "this is my internal focus" when eyes are closed and "this is my external focus" with your eyes open. Keep going back and forth between the two, inner and outer as you identify where your focus is.
2) Transitioning focus. Continue to bring presence to your inner and outer focus by opening and closing the eyes, but start to notice the transition between the inner and outer awareness. As you slowly open your eyes, bring your awareness to this slow, intentional transition towards external focus. Then, as you close your eyes slowly, note your transition towards internal focus. Let your gaze soften and note how long you are able to stay connected with your inner awareness before you totally merge with your external focus. How long can you stay connected to your external awareness before you totally merge with your internal focus? Notice your dance between these two and what happens as you slide in and out.
The transition to inner and outer awareness is a constant dance that we are working with- whether consciously or unconsciously. We are constantly transitioning between an inner focus and outer focus. Make it a practice to note the shift in your awareness, but see if you can maintain some awareness within your self as you move in and out, internal to external. Keeping a fifty percent awareness on your self- even when you are externally focused- is the purpose of this exercise. This soft internal awareness, even when we are externally focused, builds more and more self tracking skills, no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in.
Remember, greater self tracking skills means that you will be able to identify your needs more clearly. Knowing what you need means you can make choices that support your needs!
Did you catch my *free* class Ultimate Self Care for Sensitive Types? You can still listen to it until April 8th. I've also just re-launched my Be Your Gift class series for those seeking deeper support for their sensitivity. If you're ready to turn your sensitivity into your greatest gift, read this.
Need some extra guidance and clarity? Schedule a session with me.
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Four Simple Steps Back to Neutral When Overwhelm Strikes
Have you ever noticed that overwhelm can arrive suddenly after a seemingly insignificant experience (say, coffee spills in the car)? In a moment, life feels completely chaotic and out of control!
Sometimes more stressful experiences are happening in your life, but it may not take much to push you over your edge. Small or large, you know you have hit overwhelm when emotions are released and they feel uncontrollable. This "flooding" of emotion may come with anger, tears or even deep sadness. Maybe you yell, sob or even feel stunned and frozen.
It's important to realize that those of us who are sensitive have special traits that require awareness. In fact sensitivity can be used as a self development resource if we use it wisely.
One of the unique attributes of being sensitive is that we get overstimulated and over-aroused more easily than our non-sensitive family members, friends and co-workers. This over-arousal puts our nervous system into "high alert" swiftly, resulting in a series of responses. Over-arousal and over-stimulation may be felt on any of the four levels of our being- mental, emotional, physical or spiritual. It's important to remember that the response systems in the body are a normal function. We need them to alert us to our needs, but balance is vital.
Overwhelm actually builds upon past experiences. It may seem as though it hits suddenly, but in fact our sudden response is not an isolated experience at all. Overwhelming experiences layer upon each other until suddenly we are at our maximum capacity! Taking these many layers into consideration is very important for unraveling our personal mythology, our many "stories". Layers of over-stimulation in the nervous system can trigger a sudden response in a sensitive person very quickly. Becoming conscious of our stories and their layers is an important part of transformation and change, healing and growth. I personally love using EFT (the Emotional Freedom Technique) for this purpose. I also find it highly effective for calming chaos and overwhelm since it effectively in reduces fight, flight and freeze responses in the body.
As a sensitive person you must arm your self with a large tool kit and multiple resources. Having a personal practice that helps you self-track is one of those essential tools. This resource is especially important because our ability to become over-aroused and over-stimulated easily means that chaos and overwhelm can also occur more easily for us as well. If we can track ourselves and note the physical, mental and emotional responses happening within us, we will have a better chance of getting the right resources for ourselves. The three level check-in is a very basic tracking resource in order to build inner awareness.
Helping ourselves come back into balance, or a neutral place, is an important part of caring four ourselves properly, and is in fact an essential for health and well being. Balance requires a certain resiliency, an ability to bounce back from any extreme. There are many ways to help your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies build resiliency and balance, but often when we are in a state of chaos or overwhelm, our tools and resources get lost or forgotten. Remember, when chaos and overwhelm set in, we will need extra reminders, support and assistance with the process of coming back to neutral.
The physical body is our primary home, therefor resourcing from the body directly is very important for creating a stronger relationship with it and with its needs. Using the wisdom of the physical body is the fastest way to get back to a place of neutral when overwhelm hits us. Tracking sensations builds awareness, resiliency, and provides ample resources.
Here are four simple steps to help you come back to a neutral place within. Use these steps as a daily practice for building more inner awareness, for self tracking, and for cultivating more resiliency even before chaos and overwhelm strike. Listen to my podcast below for a guided practice.
1) Ground. The breath is a powerful way to come back to the present moment. All your power resides in the present- not in the past and not in the future, but in the now. Become aware of your breath and its quality. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, notice your connection to the ground beneath you. Notice the sensation of your body connecting to the surface underneath you whether it be your feet connecting to the floor or your sitz bones and spine connected to your chair. Keep returning to breath awareness and the connection your physical body has with the surface under you- even when the story of overwhelm is strong. It will keep pulling you out of the ability to sense your physical body's connection to the ground, but keep coming back to breath and grounding points anyway.
2) Tracking. Self tracking is an essential resource for building inner awareness (interoception) but when overwhelm and chaos hit, we can easily lose our ability to track what is happening in the body. (This is where having a coach or therapist can be helpful in order to help you strengthen your self tracking abilities). In fact, self tracking is a skill that can be strengthened with practice.
I invite you to notice where the chaos and overwhelm lands in the body. Where do you feel this sensation of overwhelm in the physical body? Is there a certain body part or point of tension where you notice this landing within you? Notice how it feels. What are the sensations? Is it tense, tight or hard? Does it have a color or a shape? Maybe a sound? Be curious and open to what arrives.
3) Resource. Resources bring us stability, support and connection. We need these for balance in our lives. Resources can arrive within us and outside of ourselves, but in order for lasting resiliency, building a strong ability to resource from within is imperative.
Find a place in the body that feels opposite or most unlike the challenging sensation in your physical body. Notice it and be curious about it. Does it have a sense of softness, lightness, ease or gentleness? What sensations are you aware of? Do any feelings, images, shapes or colors arrive? Maybe a sound? What does it tell you? Get curious.
4) Shift. Shifting our focus can be a very helpful way of finding our way back to neutral. This doesn't mean we are by-passing or avoiding our chaos experience, but in fact using it to inform our choices, actions and responses. Shifting focus, or de-centering, can come from a variety of options.
Allow yourself to make a shift. Whether it be a change in your environment, your activities, or even who you are with. Maybe you take a break and go to the bathroom, walk outside, make a cup of tea. Do something that shifts your attention somehow. You may need to return to steps one, two and three.
Notice if your body part resource has a sound. Let this sound emerge and let it express itself. Use this sound as a means of shifting your focus. How can this sound become a resource for you when overwhelm and chaos return?
My favorite resources for shifting focus (or de-centering) are the arts. This body part resource you discovered can be taken into a drawing or even a movement exploration. It could inform a song or a movement gesture. Creativity is an important part of our transformation and release process. I highly encourage you to use the creative arts as a way to build inner awareness and growth in conjunction with self tracking. I specifically use the Expressive Arts in my work for this reason. Read why I use art as a healing resource.
Did you catch my *free* class Ultimate Self Care for Sensitive Types? You can still listen to it until April 4th. I've also just re-launched my Be Your Gift class series for those seeking deeper support for their sensitivity. Sign up to hear the replay.
Need some extra guidance and clarity? Schedule a session with me.
Plan your week in tune with nature. Never miss a planetary update. Sign up for my weekly newsletter.
Four steps to get you back to neutral when chaos and overwhelm strike.
A simple guided practice to help you self track and find an inner resource.
How Well Are You Taking Care of Your Whole Being?
Are you attending to and nourishing your four bodies (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) in a balanced way? Or are you attending to one of your bodies more than the others?
Take the Quiz! Use the numbers below to indicate how often are you doing each of the following activities. If you engage in an activity not listed that you feel contributes to you self-care, list it, and rate it with a number.
5 – Almost Always
4 – Frequently
3 – Sometimes
2 – Rarely
1 - Never
____Getting exercise weekly
____Eating regular, balanced meals
____Drinking water throughout the day
____Limiting alcohol intake
____Avoiding smoking and drugs
____Getting a massage or another relaxing spa service
____Doing yoga, tai chi, or other relaxing exercise
____Attending check-ups and medical appointments
____Taking the day off when you are sick
____Sleeping 8 hours per night
____Doing something relaxing, like taking a bath or watching a funny movie
____Making time for friends who matter and make you feel connected and happy
____Giving yourself permission to not be perfect – be patient with yourself!
____Accepting your feelings, including sadness, anger, frustration, or shame.
____Going shopping, to the salon, or doing other things that help you feel good confident about your presentation, inside and out
____Taking weekends away or vacations
____Seeking support from a friend when you are struggling
____Telling others what you truly feel and need, without apologies
____Spending time outdoors
____Doing something fun, silly, or thrilling!
____Reading for pleasure
____Taking a class
____Trying out a new activity
____Doing work or tasks you find mentally challenging.
____Taking the time to read, listen, or watch intellectually stimulating programs or have discussions on topics you enjoy.
____Spending time in nature
____Attending religious services
____Reflecting and making meaning of your experiences
____Practicing being in a state of curiosity
____Going on an adventure – no matter how big or small.
____Savoring and reflecting upon positive experiences – the feeling of eating a peach, the contours of your partner’s face, the smell of rain, etc.
Journaling, singing, music making, writing poetry, drawing, taking pictures, cooking and making up new dishes, creating or re-creating something new in any way, decorating your space, jewelry creation and personal adornments, etc. Use this section to list any areas not listed on the assessment that fulfill a creative outlet you use.
Use these numbers to help yourself make adjustments to your lifestyle and routine. Remember that Self Care is an ongoing process, it is in fact a practice- just like meditation, yoga or eating well. We make daily choices that either support or negate our sense of nourishment and well being. This quiz can act as a reminder to help you get your needs met and to seek resources that will support you along the way!
Did you catch my *free* class Ultimate Self Care for Sensitive Types?
You can still listen to it until April 4th. I've also just re-launched my Be Your Gift class series for those seeking deeper support for their sensitivity. Sign up to hear the replay.