Just Breathe…

breathing

Breathing. It’s something we rarely think about, really.  What’s to think about, after all?  I mean, we breathe in, we breathe out.  That’s all there is to it, right?

But did you know there’s breathing, and then there’s breathing?  Breathing properly is breathing all the way down into the belly.  In our fast paced society, we have developed a nation of shallow breathers.  People who breathe mostly from the upper chest area.  And when we do that, oxygen is no getting down into the places where we most need it.

Here are some benefits of deep, belly breathing:

1. The respiratory system works better

2. The lymph system flows more easily, helping to get rid of toxins so that the body can heal itself.

3.  Helps the digestive system to work more efficiently

4.  Calms the nervous system – you might have already heard that a good solution for nerves is taking deep breaths.

5. Gives the immune system more energy to keep the body in high function.

6. Circulation system works more efficiently – increasing oxygen to the heart, allowing freshly oxygenated blood to circulate throughout the body, relieving congestion.

7. Helps you to be ‘in the moment’ and helps with mental clarity

These are only a few of the many, many health benefits of learning how to breathe properly.

Being to notice how you breathe.  When you are breathing properly, your tummy should rise on the in-breath, and fall on the out-breathe.  If you find when you are breathing that only your chest is rising, then begin to intentionally take deep, cleansing breaths more often.  The great thing about deep breathing is you can practice anyplace!  In the car, standing in line at the grocery store, sitting watching tv or reading a book.

Tip for today:  Sitting or standing right where you are, take a deep in-breathe.  Put a hand on your belly – you want to be able to feel your belly rising.  Breathe in as far as you can, then exhale slowly.  Now your belly is falling back to its normal position.  This is deep belly breathing.  And it’s got SO many health benefits, and is SO easy to do!  Begin today to benefit from this type of breathing.  Your body will thank you!

How To Be Kinder To Yourself (And Calm Your Inner Critic)

springtime

More and more in my daily life, I notice people are talking about kindness.  Be kind to others. Practice kindness. Get involved in random acts of kindness.  Be kind.  You don’t need a reason to be kind. And so on.

It’s wonderful to practice kindness!  But I wonder…..do you extend that kindness to yourself?  We can be so kind to others, and yet still treat ourselves as if we are worthless.  Why is that ok?

As children, we often create certain ‘beliefs’  from various situations and people in our lives.  For instance, I learned that if I didn’t do everything perfectly and be the perfect child, I would not be safe.  I don’t even think that was a lesson that was verbally spoken to me – it was a lesson that learned from watching the world around me, I think.  As children there are so many beliefs that we form to stay safe, to please someone, to gain attention…and when we can’t live up to those perfect ways of being, we develop this inner critic that constantly reminds us that we’re stupid, or not enough, or that we’ll never get it right….and on and on…

And so, while we seem to be perfectly able to show kindness outwards, it seems sometimes impossible to afford ourselves that same courtesy.  How can change this, so that we can learn to be kind and loving to ourselves in each and every circumstance?  Here are 3 ways to change your way of being with yourself:

1.  Accept yourself, just as you are, right in this moment.  Learning to be ok with who you are, recognizing that you are trying your best, and accepting yourself, right here, right now,  is going to go a long way in helping you practice kindness – toward yourself.  Giving yourself permission to Just BE can bring a huge sense of relief to our lives, and enable us to move toward more and more self kindness.

2.  Decide.  Wake up in the morning and decide that just for today, you will treat yourself with kindness.  Then, become aware of your  thoughts.  If it helps, keep a small notebook and write them down over the day.  Whenever you catch yourself thinking a troubling thought, stop yourself – and try to change that thought into a positive.  For example – I will never be enough becomes I AM enough just as I am.  Begin to catch and change each of these thoughts.

3.    Try to view your inner critic as a frightened child.  That frightened child has formed beliefs that might have served them when they were young, but are not serving you today.  Try to catch yourself  when you have unkind thoughts toward yourself.  Ask yourself, is this really true about me?  Or is this just a frightened child, trying to keep me safe?  If you can begin to view that frightened part of yourself as a child – ask yourself – would I speak to a child the way I speak to myself?

Start on the road to self-love by practicing these 3 small steps, with consistency.  Don’t worry if you ‘don’t do it right’ – the whole secret to travelling the road to self – love is loving and accepting yourself even when mistakes happen, or you’re not doing as good as you think you ‘should’.  Erasing ‘should, ought to, supposed to, have to’ and anything similar will be important on this journey

 

 

You Are Right Where You Are Meant To Be

your journey

 

 

I believe that everything happens for a reason.  Not everyone believes that, I am certain, but I do.  Perhaps it is because I choose to learn lessons from both the good times and the bad times in my life.  So I see the bad times not as being cursed or having bad luck, but as an opportunity to grow and learn something I might need to learn from that situation.

Do you believe you are, right now, in the exact place you are meant to be?  Whether it be a good time, or a bad time, can you accept that life if offering you a lesson to learn?  I think that how we view the different times in our lives makes a big difference in how we navigate the good – and the bad.

For a time after my divorce, I believed that my ex-husband felt cheated out of a number of years of his life – as if our marriage had been a big mistake to him and he lost that time.  I still don’t know if my perception is true, or just a fear I had….but I never once thought of those years as a ‘mistake’.  We had many happy years, but even in the unhappy ones, as painful as they were, I’ve never believed they were a waste of my time.  I believe we go through things in our lives, and while sometimes we do create our own pain, there is always a gift that we can take away from that difficult time…if we look for it.

Consider the possibility that one of our challenges in learning self care is accepting where we are ‘in the moment’.  Be present.  Be mindful.  Don’t always be looking behind, wishing for the past, or looking ahead, longing for the future.  Can we be here, in this present moment?  Can we accept ourselves just as we are, no matter where we find ourselves right now?  That is our challenge, and our strength.

 

How To Change Your Self Talk

repetative self talk

 

Whenever there has been something in my life that I was not happy with and wished to change, I have found the one thing that has helped me to make that change has been immersing myself in new thoughts.  That meant consistently, every day for a while, keeping that thing out in front of me.

 For instance, when I was trying to change  persistent, negative self talk, the first thing I would do is write out that negative thing, and on paper, challenge myself.  Is it really true?  Where did it come from? Do I really want to believe it?  Must I believe it? What could I change it to?  And I would create my own positive affirmation!  For instance,  my belief that “I don’t matter” became simply “I Matter!”, in capital letters and complete with exclamation marks!

 The next thing I would do  is place post it notes with my  more positive version where I would most likely see them on a consistent basis.    And I would seek out positive quotes that reminded me that yes, I DO matter!  And every time I caught myself telling myself I did not matter, I would put my hand up and say out loud – “STOP IT!  Yes, I DO matter!”

After a while of being consistent with these small things, my beliefs about my self worth began to change dramatically.  And I used this technique over and over because I was trying to create new neural pathways in my brain…which IS entirely possible!

So, if you have something you are trying to change, keep it out there in front of you.  Persistence (without guilt, shame, or beating yourself up!) really does work.  

Nourish Your Soul/Self This Week – Tell Us How And Win!

nourish

 

Join us  this week for our “5 days of Nourishing Self Care Challenge” on our Facebook page, and you could win “Cellular Wisdom” – a Gabriel Method CD of guided meditations and music to promote relaxation and calm stress hormones.

Here’s how:

“Like” our facebook page :   https://www.facebook.com/nourishingselfcare 

Set aside 1 hour each day for intentional self care.  Post each day on our facebook page and let us know what you did to nourish yourself!  That’s it! We begin tomorrow, and the winner will be announced on March 1st.

Happy Self Care-ing!

take one hour

 

 

But… What About Me?

best for me

What is the cost to you to say (and mean) these words?   How much guilt, or trepidation, or shame, or discomfort is associated with these words for you?

What IS best for you?  Do you know?  Oftentimes we are so far from our authentic selves that we don’t even know what we want – or what is best!

That was most certainly my experience!  I didn’t even have a thought to call my own!  I looked outside myself for every sort of validation.  I did not believe the answers were already inside me…

But, as I began to take the tiniest babysteps, I began to hear that voice within, and not just hear it, but I began to allow myself to believe it held the answers I needed.  That’s when change began to happen…

Here are a few ideas to help.  Make (and decide to keep) one small promise to yourself.  It has to be small – small is the only way to begin to uncover your true self.  That true self has been hiding from you, because you do not believe she exists or you have been giving your power away to others for years, so you really don’t believe you have any power to call your own!  So, in order to help her trust you again, you need to start small.

What’s one tiny promise you can make?  Perhaps..today I intend to write in my journal for 5 minutes.  Or, today I intend to stop for half an hour to do something I want to do.  Or, today I intend to take a 10 minute walk. Or, today I intend to get to bed on time.

Make that one tiny promise and keep it.  Tomorrow, make another (or the same one!)  The important part of this exercise is that you place enough value on yourself to keep One Tiny Promise to yourself each day.  Make it an intention.  This is how that true part of yourself will begin to believe you mean it – you want to find her.

And,  no beating up on yourself allowed!  If you don’t keep that promise today, make it again tomorrow. You WILL get there.  Babysteps are a very powerful catalyst for change.

Setting Intentions – “Today I Choose…”

intention

 

I’ve been reading, for years, and years, and years…just how important it is to live life intentionally.  And it has only been in the past few years that I’ve actually begun to do it. (Ok, slow learner, sometimes!)

But what an incredible difference it has made in my life!  I’ve gone from feeling like life just happens to I can make life happen – the way I want!  And while I don’t believe we can ultimately have control of everything in this life, I have begun to believe that I have far more say in how my life turns out than I ever believed.

It’s easy to say ‘I’ve gotta do that”, or “I need to spend more time” or “I’m going to treat myself better...sometime”.  And more often than not, sometime becomes never.  Unless we specifically set a time, or a place; unless we be intentional about making that ‘thing’ whatever it is, happen, most likely it never will.  And what ends up happening, when we break promises to ourselves, is we stop believing that we have any power over our lives at all.

So, what one intention will you set today that will make your life better – that will in some way honor you?  Set one, speak it out into the universe, and do it!  I dare ya!

Previous Older Entries