Today’s post is a particularly “real” one for me. My husband and I, as well as our extended family have been in the midst of a particularly rough time. Between my aunt passing away a little over 2 weeks ago (while I was in the midst of taking my latest BodyTalk class) to my mother-in-law falling and breaking her leg last week, to some other situations that need our time and attention, I have had significant moments of overwhelm in the past month.
This post is not about the “story” of what is going on in my life, however. It is about reflecting on how we get through tough times like this.
One of the key things that I am getting a reminder of during this past month is the importance of making time for my own self-care, even in the midst of chaos and overwhelm.
As my stress level has been higher than it usually is, I have tried to carve out more time to do things like slow down and focus on my breathing. I’m also tapping Cortices (a simple technique that you can learn how to do through this link) even more than I usually do. I’ve also sought support from others- both family and friends, as well as getting support from different healing practitioners. I’m upping the number of BodyTalk sessions I’m receiving right now to help me process my grief, stress, and overwhelm. I’m tending to my body with massage and other forms of healing touch. While it can feel hard to make time for those things when I have more on my plate than I usually do, I know that without those supports, my bodymind will take too much of a beating. And just because I’m a wellness practitioner doesn’t mean that I don’t need support too!
Another big resource during times like this is to make sure to get a bit of time out in nature. Connection with the energies of the earth and breathing fresh air in beautiful settings is a key way to help stay grounded. I’m hoping to get a nice walk in outside today, rather than going to the gym and walking on the treadmill.
If you are currently going through a tough time, please know that you are not alone. And please remember to take care of yourself. Find simple strategies to help your body release stress, tension, and built up emotions. When we don’t allow the energy to have time to release, it can build up like a pent up volcano and cause all sorts of problems! Seek support (professional and social) when you need it. We all need a little help sometimes.
Also, feel free to share what strategies work best for you in the comments below this blog; I’d love to hear your strategies too!
I’m starting to do a bit of video blogging and I wanted to share with you about how one of my toughest life experiences actually led me to where I am today. I hope it inspires you to know that even in challenges, there are positive outcomes.
Feel free to comment below on what inspired you!
Last weekend I spent 4 days in beautiful Victoria, Canada at a Mindscape Course.
What is Mindscape, you ask?
Mindscape is a BodyTalk class (open to everyone!) that is all about using the power of your whole brain and your intuition to do things like work through limiting beliefs and fears that are holding you back, gain new insights into your career or your business, tap into your creativity, and for me, I am using it to deepen my BodyTalk sessions.
Mindscape is actually based on the same way of working that brilliant individuals like Einstein and Tesla used to test their ideas– through creating a “workshop” in their minds where they could problem solve, develop prototypes, and so much more!
Why is this so powerful?
When we are in the beta brain wave state, for most of us, our left brain dominates. This is the part of us that is focused on logic, reason, linear thinking. The left brain often doesn’t really value the creativity and the non-linear thinking of the right brain and it often doesn’t trust our intuition. You probably have experienced this when you feel something intuitively but your left brain talks you out of following your intuition- and often you regret that in the end.
When we work in our Mindscape workshops, we are going into the alpha brain wave state where we can fully access both right and left brain. The left brain is kept happy because there is a “structure” to the process and the amazing right brain can bring out all sorts of amazing creative ideas, insights, and tap more fully into our intuitive nature!
When I work this way with BodyTalk sessions, I’m able to gain information more quickly and also gain a new depth to it. My clients say they are loving it because they are tapping more into their own intuition as well and having deeper insights in their sessions.
If you are curious about this powerful 2 day class, I’m hoping to bring the amazing instructor in the picture, Andy, here next year to teach it. And unlike a lot of classes that I go to, you don’t have to be a BodyTalk practitioner to attend- this one is open to everyone! If you want to be kept in the loop, email me at [email protected]
If you’ve studied remember anything about biology and genetics from your school days, you probably remember hearing that we are a mix of nature and nurture.
While it was originally believed that the nature part was just the DNA and RNA that we inherited from our parents, modern research is now showing us that we can actually inherit the impact of our ancestors experiences (unresolved traumas and old belief systems) and that those influences leave markers on our DNA. This new field of scientific study is called epigenetics.
This new field of science is called epigenetics. What epigenetics means is that when our grandparents or great grandparents (or ancestors even further back in our family line) experienced a trauma, if they didn’t fully process and resolve/release that experience, it created what we call epigenetic markers on the DNA. These markers are like little padlocks on our DNA. The padlock holds something into a configuration where something that is needed (like a gene or a protein) isn’t available, or it IS available when it should not be.
While this padlock had a purpose for the ancestor (for example, if they experienced a major food shortage, this epigenetic marker could have helped them to survive by altering their metabolism), for those who have simply inherited the marker, it can cause health problems.
One example of this is the impact of the Dutch famine in 1944-1945 creating very limited food supplies for pregnant women at that time. There was a change an epigenetic change in the fetuses DNA (the IGF2 gene) which know makes those individuals prone to obesity and cardiovascular disease. Although it hasn’t been included in the research (that I know of), it is also likely that many of the children of these individuals also have inherited this epigenetic marker.
Current scientific understanding is that 70-95% of disease is epigenetic.
These epigenetic markers can increase the likelihood that at some point we will develop diseases like cancer, immune disease, diabetes, or mental illnesses like Schizophrenia, PTSD, or late onset Alzheimer’s.
While initially this sounds like BAD news because it is something that happened before we were born, the great news is that by using BodyTalk, these epigenetic markers, these “padlocks,” can be cleared from our DNA and so that wiring for disease can be cleared away. When these markers are highlighted to the brain during a session, they can simply be cleared away. The process can work for disease that a person is already experiencing OR for diseases that haven’t made their appearance on the scene yet!
Are you curious about how your ancestors lives are impacting your health? Sign up for a BodyTalk session today!
We are approaching the summer solstice (June 21) and entering the Fire Element Season according to the system of Chinese 5 Elements. For me, the summer heat can be difficult to deal with (summer is actually my least favorite season) so I thought I would share some thoughts about how to approach managing from this 5 Elements perspective.
Before we dive into ways of dealing with the Fire Element, I want to just share briefly what this element represents.
The Fire Element energy is connected to the organ of the heart (hence the name of my business is Heart Fire Healing!). It is associated with the emotion of joy, which comes from having a good sense of who you are and your connection to something beyond yourself (whether for you that is God, Spirit, the Universe or something else). Joy comes from knowing who you really are on a deep level and loving yourself.
Fire Element time is about nurturing our creative energies and connecting to the abundance around us.
The Fire Element and the heart are also connected to ALL of our emotions and it is important for our health and well-being to connect to all of our emotions, whether “positive” or “negative.” The Fire Element is also connected to love and romance.
So now that we’ve taken just a little bit of an overview of what the Fire Element represents, let’s dive into some simple strategies for keeping it from going into excess, especially during the summer heat.
- Bitter foods are good for the heart and the Fire Element. Try to include bitter greens like escarole, endive, spinach, kale, and Swiss chard in your diet. In addition, eating foods rich in carotenoids (red, yellow, and orange pigment) are great for the heart and the immune system.
- Work to reduce inflammation. Strategies to do this include avoiding inflammatory foods like sugar, fried foods, processed foods, and certain types of grains. Adding Omega-3s in your diet can also be helpful. Regular exercise and stress relieving activities (yoga, meditation, etc) are also beneficial. Making sure you are getting enough Vitamin D also helps to manage inflammation.
- Make sure to stay hydrated! You’ve probably heard this repeatedly but it is essential. Foods like watermelon can be both cooling and hydrating for the body and can be a great way to get in hydration if you don’t love drinking water.
I hope you found this post helpful to understand summer time from a 5 Elements perspective and that you have some simple strategies to help you keep in balancing during Fire Element time.
I’m just back from an amazing honeymoon in Europe and am getting back into the swing of things. I wanted to share with you all a short video I made while there about what things about the European lifestyle inspire me (the key thing is slowing down!) and I hope will inspire you too!
Today, we conclude our journey through the Chinese Clock with bedtime, which corresponds to Wood Element Time and the Gall Bladder and Liver Meridians.
At 11PM, the energy begins to peak in the Gall Bladder Meridian. The Chinese view the Gall Bladder as responsible for decision making and courage. If you are still awake by 11PM, this decisive energy might continue to keep you awake, giving you a second wind that takes you into the wee hours. While some people thrive on this energy, our Gall Bladder functions best if we are asleep during this time.
Before going to bed, it can be helpful to set priorities for a new day and review the accomplishments, satisfactions, obstacles, and unfinished business of the day just past. Step back and look at the big picture. An emotional disturbance at this time can set off insomnia, indecision, feelings of loneliness, separation, anger or irritability directed at self or others.
Once we are asleep, we often have greater access to the world of the unconscious since the mind and senses are less engaged.
At 1AM, the energy enters the Liver Meridian and it is a good idea to be sound asleep by this time, at the latest because this is when the liver is going to sort out the priorities of the next day through the blood. If we are awake and not horizontal, the liver has a difficult time doing this. Think of the liver like a sponge which soaks up the body’s fluids. If we are quiet and horizontal, the liver can easily regather all the blood from the periphery.
As the liver absorbs the blood, it communicates directly with the blood and controls the volume circulating throughout the body. The liver is called the “General” and it sends messages to the rest of the body through the blood.
People with liver issues can often have their sleep be impacted. In addition, the emotion of anger, which is governed by the liver, can often disrupt sleep, particularly at 2AM when the spotlight is on the liver. If you tend to wake up at this time, you need to figure out what is going on (Is it physical, mental, or emotional? Did you drink too much alcohol before bed?) and then resolve the issue.
I hope you’ve found the journey through the Chinese Clock helpful to learning more about how to harmonize your daily cycle with your body’s energy cycle. Feel free to post questions or comments below!
Our journey through the Chinese Clock is now coming to evening, a time known as Ministerial Fire Time, when the energies peak in the Pericardium and Triple Heater Meridians.
Pericardium Time is often referred to as “Happy Hour,” the most social time of the day. This is a second Fire Element Time of our day (the only element that has 2 slots on the Chinese Clock) and it has the qualities of conviviality and good cheer.
Pericardium Time is one for candlelight, intimacy, and socializing and it is the best time of the day to make love. After our kidneys have rejuvenated themselves through resting and hydration, it is a fine time to enjoy ourselves and one another. We can often feel expansive, a free-flowingness of energy.
On a physical health level, Pericardium Time is a great time to address issues to do with the blood, like heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, chest tightness, and dizziness caused by blood or nutrient deficiency.
Then, at 9PM, the energy transitions into the Triple Heater Meridian. This meridian needs a little explanation for those not familiar with Chinese Medicine. In Chinese theory, we have 3 non-physical “burners” within us. The lower burner is in charge of kidney energy, the middle burner is in charge of the digestive system, and the upper burner is focused on the lung and heart. These 3 burners heat up the water in our bodies, steaming it and distributing it throughout. Energetically, this system is closely connected with our endocrine system.
During this Ministerial Fire Time, we should not be eating a big meal, as is often common in our culture.
Emotionally, this time of day is all about laughter, humor, engagement, creativity, full experience and expression of our emotions, emotional healing, and sharp intellect. Imbalance during this time can show up as feelings of depression.
Next week, we will conclude our journey through the Chinese Clock with Wood Time, which corresponds to bedtime.
Last week I went to a special celebration in honor of the retirement of my college mentor, advisor, and friend. I made a short video sharing with you about the experience and how it inspired me to think about what I want my legacy to be.
After you watch the video, I’d love for you to share in the comments a little bit about what you want your legacy to be!
We are now halfway through our journey through the Chinese Clock and today we will dive into Water Element Time, which begins at 3PM when energy peaks in the Bladder Meridian.
Most people experience this shift into Water Element Time as a drop in energy and a time when we often crave a cup of coffee or an energy drink. This is because this is Kidney recovery time, when the kidneys go through their daily renewal. Although we may crave caffeine at this time, it is a very bad time to consume it. Our Kidneys represent our storehouse of energy and we do not want to exhaust that energy or we lose our vitality.
The best thing to do during this time is to rest and to hydrate. Drink lots of pure, clean water with a focus on the water entering into the cells of your body. This will help your kidneys stay happy and you will sleep better at night because much of the cause of insomnia is actually dehydration. A power nap during this time will also help to replenish your Jing, or life force. This is why many cultures take an afternoon siesta.
The psychological and emotional tone of this time of day is prudence and retraction. We will feel a sense of purpose and willpower during this time of day and enjoy satisfaction in being alive and acceptance of things as they are. If our Water Element isn’t balanced, we will often feel fear, terror, irritation, or timidity during this time of day.
During Water Element Time, we also have a fluidity in response to circumstances and others. Taking our midday rest/quiet time can be used to focus our intent.
Stay tuned for next week’s post on Ministerial Fire Time and the Pericardium and Triple Heater Meridians!