Posted tagged ‘listen to your body’

5 Easy Ways to Tune into your Body

August 26, 2009

Hi all,

As I mentioned in previous posts, Tuning into your body is a great way to become aware of the present moment.  However many people do not know what it takes to really tune in.

In my last post, I identified the breath as a great way to connect with your body. Along with the breath I would like to offer you 5 Easy ways to tune in

The Breath – Taking 3 deep intentional breaths deep into your base of your lungs.

1) Notice sensations running through your hands and feet.  Feel the warmth, the tingling that may be present

2) Focus your attention to the back of your throat.  Do you feel warmth, tightness, openness, emotion that is just sitting there.

3) Focus your attention to your solar plexus – half way between the belly button and the rib cage.  Do you feel warmth, butterflies, openness, tightness

4) Focus your attention to your face – Do you feel tension in your jaw, do you squint your eyes, relax your tongue in your mouth.

5) Focus your attention to your neck and shoulders.  Release any tension you may feel, drop your shoulders, do shoulder rolls.  What sensations do you notice there?

Take another deep breath in to through your nose for the count of 5 and out through your mouth for the count of 5.

These 5 easy steps help you to tune into your body in a sequential manner. Take the opportunity throughout your day to check in with yourself.  What are you feeling in this moment?  Taking this time will help you become more aware of what is happening for your body!

Blog with you later



Are You Living the Life You Want

August 21, 2009

What does your ideal life look like?  If you were to carry on living your life like you are today, will you feel fulfilled and satisfied in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years?  What is getting in the way of you living the life you want?  What is your relationship like with yourself?  These are some of the questions that I ask my clients when they come in and see me. Many people feel dissatisfied with their life as they know it, yet feel powerless at changing it.

The exercise of looking at how you are currently living your life and how disconnected you are from what you want can be quite eye opening.  Many of my clients blame excessive demands from work, family, and other expectations as the reason why they are off track.  Others will cite their own habits and beliefs as the culprit.  Regardless of what the reasons are, many people are unhappy in their lives.

How are you doing with these questions?  Do you feel on track and excited about the direction your life is going or do you feel disconnected and out of touch with yourself and what you want?  Before you can change anything in your life, you need to develop awareness of what is not working for you.

Awareness begins with developing a healthier, closer relationship with you. This relationship can be nurtured through tuning into the four ways that your body speaks to you: your physical body, your mind, your emotions and your self.

Your physical body:  How does your physical body communicate with you?  With sensations such as hunger, thirst, pain, fatigue and others your body lets you know when it physically needs some attention.  Do you listen to your physical body when it needs something or do you put it off until you have more time to deal with the need?

Your mind:  Sometimes called the “ego”, your mind reminds you of rules, expectations and norms of behavior that “should” be followed. It is also referred to as mental intelligence, knowledge and reason.  The mind shows up in self-talk and is often quite critical in how it speaks to you.   “You should have done this, you could have done that,” etc.  Becoming aware of your inner critic is very helpful in developing a healthier relationship with yourself

Your emotions: Emotions are what make you human and often occur below the surface of your consciousness. Feelings of sadness, frustration, anger, joy, excitement and others can create sensations in your body that often go unnoticed.   When you become aware of and name the emotions that you are feeling, you can learn effective ways of dealing with them.  Often times, when we are under stress, our lives are ruled by our emotions and we become more reactionary rather than approaching the situation from a calm perspective

Your self: This is the voice of the inner you.  The “you” that may not be heard because your mind or emotions take over.

    The key to developing a healthier relationship with yourself is to become aware of all of these voices and noticing which one you give priority to. What are the messages you are getting from your physical body, your mind, your emotions and your self?  Do you give yourself permission to listen to and act on what is right for you?

    Remember, as you venture forth on your journey through life, be gentle on yourself.  It is only with awareness that you can change anything.  It is through reflecting on how you are living your life, telling yourself the truth and being with yourself in the present moment that allows you to discover another beautiful layer of you.

    Blog with you later.


    Tuning into your body!!

    August 13, 2009

    Our body is the most amazing vehicle we have to tune into the present moment.   Our body is with us at all times,  yet many of us do not spend any time in relationship with our bodies.

    How does our body speak to us?  We feel sensations of hunger, thirst, tiredness, etc. We feel emotions of anger, sadness, frustration and joy.  We have voices that speak to us telling us what we should and should not do and we have our inner voice that tries to be heard.

    When was the last time that you took time to tune into your body?  Do you know how to do this? In the next few posts I will give you some easy ways to start to tune into your body, moment by moment.

    For today:

    Take a deep intentional breath into the middle of your chest.

    Notice any sensations in your hands and feet.

    Notice the feeling in your face.

    Is there any tension in your jaw, are your teeth clenched?

    Relax your neck and shoulders – notice how they feel.

    Notice your back and abdomen – what are the sensations there?

    Take a moment to relax any areas in your body that you feel tension.

    Take another deep intentional breath into the middle of your chest.

    How do you feel after doing this?

    Take a few minutes every day to tune into your body.  Schedule it for when you get up, at lunch, before you leave work and before you go to bed.  When you develop the habit of tuning in, you start to develop a better relationship with your body and you will learn to know what it needs.

    Let me know if this works for you.  Blog with you later.


    Good morning Body!!!

    June 29, 2009

    How many days do you jump (or stumble) out of bed, thinking about what you have to get done in one/two or three hours from NOW?  You head into the shower and the list of things you need to do is running like a ticker tape through your head.  From there, you grab your coffee, read the paper, feed the dog, get the kids up and out the door and before you know it you are in the car, heading off to work and you are wondering how you got there.

    If you can relate to this scenario you are not alone. Thousands of people each and every day operate by remote control, going through the same routine morning after morning.  Do you ever stop and say – “Good morning” to your body. Think about it, our body gets us out of bed, processes all of the lists we need to complete in the day, digests our food, beats our heart, breathes air into our lungs, activates our muscles, maneuvers us throughout the day as well as thousands of other activities.  Yet somehow with all of this great work our body does for us, we neglect it, don’t listen to it and actually abuse it.  Is it any wonder our bodies are breaking down.

    Lately I have started to pay attention to the relationship I have with my body.  I have known for years that I do not feel great when I eat and drink certain things yet, I consume them anyway.  I know how much better I feel when I stretch in the morning, meditate, do some exercise, etc. yet, I find other things to do instead.

    What I have come to realize is that if our friends treated us like we treat our bodies, we would have ditched our friends long ago.  Think about it.  If your friend said, “I don’t care that you don’t like it when I do this, I am going to do it anyway” or “I don’t care that you feel better when I do this, I don’t have time to do that as other things are much more important”.  How would you feel?  Would you stick around? No wonder our bodies are protesting and breaking down.

    The purpose of this blog is not to make you feel guilty.  There is way too much of that in the world and guilt is just our minds way of making us feel bad.  So what can you do to start to build a better relationship with your body.

    Take a deep breath

    Notice the sensations that are running through your body

    Take another deep breath

    Feel your body in this moment in time

    Take another deep breath

    Say hi! to your body and say thank you!

    My hope is that when you read this you begin to develop awareness of your body and how amazing it is. There may be days when you are angry and frustrated at it because it is not there for you the way you need.  On other days, you may be scared that you have neglected it for too long and now are suffering the consequences and cannot undo the damage.  And on other days, you may wonder how come your body is still there for you, even though you have always taken it for granted.  Think of your body as your friend and ask yourself how you would treat a friend?  If you have been out of relationship with it, ask yourself, what can I do NOW to begin to rebuild my relationship with my body.

    Remember: The breath is the most underutilized tool we have to connect us with our body. Use it daily and use it often.  Let me know how you do.

    Blog with you later,


    The Intentional Breath

    May 19, 2009

    The breath is the most underutilized tool available to us “in the moment”. Research shows that when we breathe deeply into the very base of our lungs that we can calm down our nervous system which is responsible for many of our stress symptoms.

    The Intentional Breath brings in life affirming oxygen on inspiration and breathes out stress and tension on expiration.  Take a moment to notice your breathing NOW.


    Focus your attention to the middle of your chest

    place your hand over this area.

    Breathe in deeply through your nose for the count of 5

    Imagine your hand moving up and down with the breath.


    Blow the air out through your mouth for the count of 5

    Notice the sensations running through your body, any warmth or tingling

    Breathe normally in between the deep intentional breaths


    Place your hand over your solar plexus

    (halfway between the belly button and the rib cage)

    Breathe in through your nose to the count of 5

    (moving your hand up and down with the breath)


    Blow the breath out through your mouth for the count of 5

    Notice any sensations in your body, warmth, tingling, energy

    Breathe normally between the deep intentional breaths


    Once again the hand over the solar plexus

    Breathe in through your nose for the count of 5

    (moving the hand up with the breath)


    Blow out through your mouth for the count of 5

    consciously blow out any stress or tension you feel in your body

    Notice any sensations in your body, how do you feel

    Breathe normally

    Set up a practice schedule for yourself to do the breathing every morning, every lunch, at the end of the day and before bed. See how you feel and let me know how this works.  Take care all

    Blog with you later.


    Real life stress

    May 16, 2009

    My education into the world of stress came to me a few years ago when I was working at a very demanding job. When I took on the job I was gung-ho and set up a variety of systems to insure I did the job well.  I was  organized, articulate and efficient at what needed to get done and  I felt  capable and confident in what I was doing.  As time went on, I  achieved great strides and many kudos from my colleagues.

    The demands of the position grew and became overwhelming and unreasonable for me to achieve on my own. I kept pace for a long period of time and did not recognize that it was getting away on me. Some of the signs (in retrospect) that showed me I was not coping well were that I became less organized,more frustrated and overwhelmed by the workload. I had less patience with my colleagues, my clients and myself.  I lost my sense of humor and developed a multitude of aches and pains. I contracted a bad virus that left me with a bout of bronchitis that lasted several months. On top of all this, I had a family with their needs and expectations.  After two years in this pressure cooker position, I reached a breaking point and lost it. Never in a million years would I have seen this coming but what was happening was totally indicative of an excess amount of adrenaline and cortisol running through my veins.  I was totally stressed.

    Now some people when they reach this breaking point quit their jobs, others stay and quit their jobs and others go on stress leave. For me, I took stock of my situation and realized that I was not happy both with the job and with the direction my life was going. I did alot of soul searching and asked myself what I wanted in my life.  I realized then that I wanted to move on and start my coaching practice and I did additional education and training and became a specialist in stress and stress management.

    Is my life stress free? Do I have stress handled so that I am no longer impacted by its unhealthy grip? Nope! I am human and as such am challenged by the obstacles that come my way. I am much better at recognizing when I am disconnected from myself by getting into the moment so that I can gain some perspective and effectively manage my stress through the use of the “in the moment” tools that I teach. However, life happens and we must respond.   My goal is to react in a way that is in integrity with what I want and what I believe. Sometimes, easier said than done.

    In my next post, I will discuss some of the beginning signs of stress so you can become aware of how stress may be impacting your life and your perfomance.  Only through awareness can we bring about change in our lives.

    Have a great weekend.


    Take the Moment-Is Challenge

    May 3, 2009

    Many of us are WAY TOO BUSY to spend a lot of time on personal development but yet are desperate to find better ways to be more connected with ourselves, our children and our world.  So we at Clare Consulting Group have developed the Moment-Is Challenge.

    For the next 30 days we are asking you to set aside 5 minutes each day to be “in the moment“.

    1.  Set your alarm for a specific time that you will put aside 5 minutes for you (Some suggestions include a) when you are in the shower, b) when you first get into your office before you start your computer, c) when you are making dinner, d) eating lunch, e) getting the kids ready for bed f) lunch time or coffee break (if you take these).  This does not mean you have to stop everything you are doing, you just set the intention for a specific focus of being in the moment for the 5 minutes.

    2. When you are ready to dedicate this time for you, set your timer for 5 minutes. This insures that you are not concerned about going overtime and you can truly focus on the task at hand.

    3. Take 3 deep intentional breaths into the solar plexus (half way between the belly button and the rib cage). With your eyes closed

    Breathe in for the count of 5,


    Breathe out for the count of 5.

    When you do this, really focus your attention to the area around the solar plexus and try to envision the breath getting right to the solar plexus.

    This takes your attention away from any outside stressors and helps you calm down your body.

    4. Now allow your breath to flow easily in and out through your lungs while you continue being in the moment. Notice any sensations in your hands and feet.  Really focus on how your body feels in this moment.

    5. Pay close attention to the sounds around you.  It may be the shower water running, the kids playing (or arguing) in the background, your computer hum etc….

    6. Pay close attention to the things that you see around you. Breathe in the sights and the sounds.  Be with the sensations of the moment until the timer goes off.

    7. When the timer goes off, take a deep intentional breath in for the count of 5 and out for the count of 5. Smile and know you have just taken 5 minutes for you and did it within the busyness of your day.

    8.  How did you feel? Each time you make the commitment to take those 5 minutes, you are beginning to develop a habit of taking care of yourself  “in the moment”.

    Please let me know what you notice about this exercise.

    How you are doing with your 5 minute commitment? The key to remembering to do this is setting your alarm clock and scheduling into your day. If you are doing this when you get up in the morning and are having a shower, put a little note on your mirror to breathe.


    Be gentle on yourself if you do not remember

    When you realize you are not in the moment – you are

    Have fun with this.

    I look forward to hearing your comments.