Posted tagged ‘taking care of yourself’

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

Gerrianne

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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.

    Gerrianne

    Summertime

    July 31, 2009

    Summer is here and in full swing.  The urge to sit back, relax and do nothing is strong.  Yet I have many things that I need to DO.

    I have to admit, I have never liked working in the summer.  It probably stems from when my kids were home and I found the summer was a time to connect with them, relax and enjoy the summertime pace.  Once school started back in September there was a lot of craziness in trying to balance their school, my work, extracurricular activities, driving them everywhere all the while trying to stay fit, healthy, relaxed and NICE.  Even now that my children are grown and out of the house, the relaxed pace of summer is nice.  There is more sunshine, longer days, and fitness and staying healthy are easier to achieve because it just is.  I love to golf, swim, hike, hang out by the pool, go to the lake etc. The TV is never on in our house and life is all about being and staying healthy.

    I was reflecting last week that too much of my life revolves around “DOING”.  I feel a constant nagging at me to do this, do that, run here, run there – staying on the constant never ending treadmill we call life.  My life this summer has been a conflict between the doing and the being.  I notice that my moments of brilliance have come from “BEING” in my life. I know I have many things to do, however my writing, my joy and my inspiration have come from hanging out with friends,  family and mostly myself.  My greatest connection to myself has come when I allow myself to “BE”.  When I give myself permission to trust that I will get the impulse to take INSPIRED ACTION when the time is right, I no longer need to stress about “getting things done”.

    What is INSPIRED ACTION? For me it means that I do only that which I feel inspired to do.  When I set the intention that I want to achieve a certain goal by a certain time and then “let it go”, it is amazing how the steps unfold easily and effortlessly.  When I force myself to take action, alot of this action comes from a “should” mind set and getting the job done takes much longer and in my mind is not nearly as good.

    For example, I started writing this blog several times because I knew I wanted to get one written this week as I am going on holidays next week.  Lately I have not wanted to be in front of a computer writing blogs, I want to be outside enjoying the beautiful summer weather.  However, tonight, my husband and I went out for a lovely dinner with friends, had some great conversation, enjoyed some good food and some good wine and really connected with them on their journey through life.  When I got home, I felt the impulse to write this blog about my challenges with always “doing” what is expected of me instead of “BEING” in my moments and in my life NOW.  As I reflect on the challenges of developing the content for my new website, meeting deadlines (self-imposed) and being in integrity with what I believe I realize that once again, I AM DEVELOPING DEEPER AWARENESS of how I want to be in my life.  Only through this awareness can I change and grow.

    So off I go now to enjoy some well deserved time off with my husband and youngest daughter. I feel so blessed to have them in my life and look forward to being with them for the next week.  While we are away, I am giving myself full permission to not think about work, content development, clients, workshops, writing my book or anything related to my work. However, what I know is that I love what I do and I am constantly being inspired by my day to day moments – so you may find me with a pen and paper scrolling notes while catching a few rays of sunshine at the lake.   This will truly be “inspired action”.
    Take care all, enjoy next week and I will blog with you the week of August 11th.

    Happy Summer

    Gerrianne

    Conscious Eating

    July 9, 2009

    I woke up this morning and realized I have been in a bit of a fog.  I have been working hard getting content developed for my new website being launched in August, writing newsletters, recording podcasts etc.  I have been getting an amazing amount done but yet somehow I have been feeling a little disconnected.

    One of the sure ways I know that I am disconnected with me is when I  eat unconsciously

    I have had several meals lately in front of the computer or standing at the kitchen counter.  There have been times in the past week where I have eaten my entire meal without realizing it and I have not tasted a thing. Last night, I made a bowl of popcorn and added lots of butter and proceeded to eat the whole thing in record time while watching TV.  I could not believe it when I noticed it was all done. I went to bed not feeling great.  When I woke up this morning I really woke up i.e. became conscious of my disconnection to myself.

    What do I really want – I want to have a great relationship with my body and make a conscious decision when I eat to be in relationship with the food I am eating, be conscious of the act of eating and know that I am eating foods that are the best for me

    In this moment: What can I do right now – Breathe and be gentle on myself.  I want to acknowledge what I have been doing well – I have been eating gluten free for the past three weeks without difficulty, I am drinking more water, I stopped eating those potatoes the other night (that does not happen often), and I have cut back on caffeine. There have been many other positive things as well.

    In this moment: What do I notice?  – I notice that when I recognize my eating is not what I would like it to be, I start to beat myself up and notice all that I don’t do.  However, when I start to list what I do well, I acknowledge myself,  and feel more connected with my humanness.  Many of my eating habits are just that, habits that I am changing over time.  What I do know is that I am much more conscious of what I am eating and when I am eating than I have ever been before

    For years, my relationship with food was very unhealthy.  I would always be on the lookout for pastries, breads, desserts etc. and I realized I would go to food to stuff my feelings and avoid being real.  I would either be in overload with food or would deny myself what I wanted.  I was obsessed with my weight and focused on what I should not eat vs what I wanted to eat. When I look back on the way I used to be with food and how I am now (most of the time), I see how far I have come in my quest to eat more consciously.  As I shed my old habits, and shift my beliefs about my relationship with food, I am amazed how much better I feel.

    The biggest part of conscious eating is relationship with yourself. Spend time in appreciation of your body and all it does for you. Nurture it and be kind. After all, it has taken you this far and you need it to be there for the duration.

    Take care all and I will blog with you later.

    Gerrianne

    Permission to be Negative – Expanded

    July 7, 2009

    I have had a few people email me about my posts “Giving Yourself Permission to be Negative” and “Shining Light on the Shadow”. They raised the question about when is enough enough so that the “Law of Attraction” does not become attracted to the negative energy  you are releasing.  To make it clear – giving yourself permission to be negative is a way of releasing the energy that gets built up in your system when you do not express it. It is like trying to keep a cork on a bottle of carbonated soda you have just shaken.  Allowing the pressure to escape will result in a calm presence in the bottle afterwards.  If however, you do not release the pressure, it can take a long time for the pressure to release.

    What are your beliefs about being negative? You may think that if you say something negative that you will attract negativity in your life.  Yet, how much negativity do we carry around that is unexpressed because we fear saying it out loud.  Where does this unspent negative energy go?  When do we give ourselves the opportunity to rid our bodies of this negative energy?  I do not profess to know the answers to these questions for you.  Only you can decide what is right for you. My goal is to help you develop some awareness of where the negativity goes.

    Remember – There are safe and appropriate ways to release your negativity that do not impact others. You can do this in the privacy of your own home, your car, with a trusted friend who recognizes that you are just venting steam or out on a walk in nature where you can be nurtured by the beauty around you.  What I have found is after I give myself full permission to feel all that I need to feel – “warts and all”, I find myself at one with the world and feel like I can do anything. The negativity has disappeared and I reclaim my perspective that all is right with the world.  From that place I can move mountains.

    I welcome your thoughts and feedback on giving yourself permission to be negative.  What do you notice works for you? Does the thought of letting yourself be negative scare you?  Is this a new concept for you or is this something that you allow yourself to do regularly.

    Let me know, I would love to hear from you.

    Gerrianne

    Shining Light on the Shadow

    July 3, 2009

    Many of us live in fear of something. Fear that we will be rejected, fear of what people will think or feel about us, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of being alone, fear of being in relationship etc.   This fear sits like a shadow or cloud over our heads that we know and  feel is there but we are too often scared to look at.

    Did you ever have problems going to bed as a child because you were scared that there was something living in the closet or under the bed?  Monsters living in the shadows.  Then your mom or dad would come in and turn on the light and you could see there was nothing to fear.

    For those of us who are living in fear, to truly let go of our fears we need to shine light onto the shadow i.e. that which truly scares us.

    So what does this look like? As I wrote in my blog “Giving yourself permission to be negative”, we need to get into it.  Last week, we had a family situation that came up  and it conjured up a tremendous amount of fear in me.  I kept on getting into the worried state and then telling myself to “not worry”, then it was like telling me not to think of a “black horse” all I could do was concentrate on the worry.  I realized I did not want to look at what was really scaring me.  When I gave myself permission to be really scared and to get into the “worst case scenarios” of what could happen, things changed.

    For me, when I did this I got quite emotional.  The fear became very real and I cried and cried.   I let myself feel it and did not try and stop it.  This process lasted only about 3-5 minutes.  Then, I felt a shift.  The fear was  less intense and I felt a physical release in my body.  Then I imagined the word peace and allowed the feeling of peace to fill my body.

    If you want to shine the light on the shadows of your fear, try the following:

    Go into “Cross body posture” (hands and feet crossed)

    Close your eyes

    Take a deep breath

    Allow yourself to feel the fear of the situation

    Really get into it

    This will often get worse before it gets better

    Notice when you feel a shift away from the intensity of the fear

    Fill the space with a positive new feeling e.g. peace, freedom, love

    This exercise helped me cast light on the shadow. I saw what was truly scaring me, not from a place of needless worry (repetitive thoughts that rehash the same thing over and over) but from a place of genuine exploration into the fear.   What I found since I did this exercise, is that I am not worried about the situation.  I am in a place of power where I can make rational decisions based on what is in front of me Now.

    Let me know if you give this a try.  When I do this with clients, they often say that  “I was scared that I would go into the darkness and never get out but I was was amazed at how quickly the fear released and I was able to move onto what I wanted i.e. peace, freedom”.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Blog with you later.

    Gerrianne

    Giving yourself permission to be negative!!

    June 30, 2009

    I have written before about giving yourself permission and even outlined 24 things I would do if I gave myself permission to.  Yet in the last couple of weeks, I have seen more evidence of how many ways we hold ourselves back in life because we do not give ourselves permission.

    When was the last time you gave yourself permission to be negative? I love all of the work that has surfaced on “The Secret” and the “Law of Attraction“.  I believe it has given people an opportunity to look at their mindset and how their thoughts and actions create an attraction to what shows up in their lives.  What I have noticed however, is that many people are petrified to feel anything but positive and optimistic about their lives.  They do not give themselves permission to be negative, think negatively or anything of the sort.  Sometimes, feeling worried and negative is our reality and we just need to give ourselves permission to feel it because withholding it and pretending it does not exist keeps it fired up within your system.  What I suggest for my clients (and I do regularly for myself) is to give themselves full permission to feel the negativity .

    Find a safe place for you to be alone and with your emotion

    Outline everything about the situation that makes you scared, angry and negative,

    Don’t hold back

    Really get into it

    Outline the worst scenario that could possibly happen.

    Write it out

    Give it a voice

    When you feel you are at the end of this release, take a deep breath

    Let it go

    By allowing yourself to fully express the worry, fear and negativity you help to release it out of your system.  It no longer has any power over you.  Many people spend so much time worrying about being negative that they can’t move on from that place.  By naming it and giving it a voice, the emotion no longer has a hold over you allowing you to release it and let it go.

    Let me know what you think.

    Blog with you soon.

    Gerrianne