Body Awareness

Body Awareness Audio

Click on the link below to listen to my Body Awareness audio, where I guide you through a quick body scan to help you connect to your body and experience peace and oneness in the present moment. A HUGE pain and stress reliever!

This is a great intro to creating mind-body awareness!

Click this link: Body Awareness

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Doing It Quick and Dirty

Mind-body healing is amazing. Mind-body healing has no boundaries. With the selection of skills at your fingertips, you are equipped for anything and everything. You feel as if you could fight crime with these skills.

But…are there so many skills that you don’t even know where to start, and you feel overwhelmed because you want to use all of them every day and then you end up using, well, none of them?

Rest assured, I have been there. People who end up getting a mind-body syndrome tend to share some similar qualities, one of them being perfectionism. How am I going to find time to consistently use all of these mind-body skills, while making sure to still find time to feed myself and show up at work on time? I’ve often found myself putting pressure on myself to approach mind-body healing with this one principle: all or nothing. (I tend to gravitate towards the all or nothing approach with things like exercise and eating healthy, too.) But the truth is the only thing the all or nothing approach will do is stall your entire healing process. If you are putting pressure on yourself to do it perfectly, like using the skills every hour on the hour, using a minimum of five skills per day, trying to use these skills around the clock, etc., you are missing the whole point.

And yes, I have missed the whole point more than a few hundred times. I have put pressure on myself to do it all, and if I don’t do it all, then I am just not doing enough to get to where I want to get in my mind-body journey. But when we are putting pressure on ourselves to be in mind-body healing mode 24/7, that is really what will hold us back from getting to where we want to get, whether it’s pain relief, weight loss, or building a successful business. When we are forcing ourselves to do it all, we are not being kind to ourselves. And being kind to ourselves IS the whole point.

So how can we be kind to ourselves and take all that heavy, uncomfortable pressure off while still ensuring that we are making some time to play with the mind-body tools? Well, you can get still and ask your inner guidance this question and I’m confident it will give you a brilliant answer, or you can learn what I’ve adopted, and if your body feels like the shackles that you have put on yourself have been loosened or released from your wrists, then I think we are on to something. And it is easy peasy.

So what have I done to make mind-body healing feel less overwhelming? I simply use one tool over and over and over and over and…well, you get the point. I ask myself, “what am I feeling emotionally right NOW?” and wait for the answer, and repeat it as much or as little as I want throughout the day. It literally takes five seconds, maybe ten to twenty seconds when you’re first starting. It’s quick and dirty, as Abigail Steidley likes to put it, but it creates loads of awareness on your body and emotions, which is the key to mind-body healing.

I will give you an example of how I use this quick and dirty method. While walking down the stairs one morning to get a cup of tea I asked myself what I was feeling emotionally. I took a full breath, released it, and waited to see what came up. Not even five seconds later I noticed my body felt heavy. I prodded a bit more, and asked if this heavy feeling was because I felt somewhat mad, sad, glad, or scared. Out of the four options, I felt more mad than anything. Ok, cool, I thought, as I poured tea into my mug. Now I knew that I had some anger to feel and get more information about. I stopped there for the time being. Yep, quick and dirty, but it got me to check in with my body, check in with my emotions, and get some valuable information: I had some anger in my body to feel. I told myself I would feel the anger later on in the day when I had some time to do so. Easy peasy. You’re on your way to becoming a mind-body rock star.

If you wanted to take it one step further in that moment, you could have carried on with another mind-body skill. What I love about asking myself what am I feeling emotionally, is that uncovering the emotion generally takes the guessing out of which tool to use. In the moment I felt anger, I could have simply felt the emotion. This could mean getting descriptive with how it feels, where it is, how big it is, and asking it what it would want to say if it could talk. You could stop there, or you could continue on once you uncover what it has to say. Maybe doing some thought-work would apply here, or some mind whispering, or whatever seems perfect in that moment. Letting your emotions lead your mind-body healing process tends to guide you towards the perfect skills in that moment.

The beauty of adopting a quick and dirty What Am I Feeling Emotionally Right Now method is that it is so flexible. You could ask yourself, get an answer and stop there, or you could continue on and use another tool that feels perfect in that situation and then stop there, or you could continue on from there. But it helps knowing where to start. And even if you stop early in this process (which I so often do!), like after you ask yourself what you’re feeling, it doesn’t mean you can’t pick up where you left off later in the day, or even the next day. I love this no-pressure approach because it feels more fun when I decide to go in full throttle with the mind-body skills! And being kind to yourself and having some fun while you carry on with your journey with the mind-body skills will get you to where you want to go, and that’s truly what it’s all about. 🙂

Why You Should NOT Try To Be Perfect

As a recovering perfectionist who still has perfectionist tendencies I noticed myself putting pressure on myself to be, well, perfect (*gasp*) – hah. What a surprise! Not. I once would have never known the destruction that striving to be perfect can do to your body, as I was much more disconnected from my body back in the day. Now, with years of harnessing a better mind-body connection, I can feel things in my body, like little whispers and louder alarm bells, that I would never have felt before. Hearing little whispers and alarm bells are so valuable as they are much less damaging to your body than waiting for Niagra to crash down (chronic pain!!!!). Practice to hear for these quieter signals and you won’t need chronic pain to pop up and tell you what’s up. 🙂

Watch my video below to see how I deal with perfection popping up in my life!

The Power of Paper

I have so much to do I don’t even know where to start. I need to work out more. I need to eat healthier. I need to clean my bedroom. I need to re-do my website. I need to record my videos! I need to do my interviews. I need to make my bracelets. Omg, my laundry hamper is full! I need to do my laundry! I’m hungry. I don’t feel like cooking. But in order to eat healthy I need to cook something. I should be journaling more. I haven’t been to yoga in so long. I have no time for yoga! I need to make more money…ugh I just want to lay down and go to sleep.

Those thoughts have all crossed my mind in the last hour. And they probably crossed my mind thousands of times before that, too. And they will continue to cross my mind if I don’t transfer them on to paper and take a good look at each one individually. When we depend on our mind to hold our thoughts for us, we are asking it to continue to think the same thing over and over. It’s just doing its job! When you write down your thoughts and your to-dos, you are giving your mind the go-ahead to think about something else, or better yet, to be silent for a little while!

Yes, we have tasks we want to get done. We have goals we want to accomplish. We have dreams we want to make real! But it ain’t gonna work if we don’t separate out our thoughts, pen them to paper, and break them down into workable steps!

When I think of ALL THE THINGS I want to get done all at the same time, I feel as if I’m a balloon that’s been overfilled with air and is close to popping. When we overload our minds like this, we are launching ourselves straight into fight or flight where our bodies start to break down and function less than optimally. You may feel it or you may not, depending on how connected or disconnected you are to your body, but either way, it’s happening. Five years ago I wouldn’t have felt a thing, even though my pelvic floor muscles were probably convulsing in sheer terror of all the pressure I was putting on myself trying to get everything done at once. I remember Abigail Steidley asking me what was on my to-do list during one of our first sessions together. It was 9pm at night and I still had about 5 hours of to-do’s left on my list. She told me I may as well add “cure cancer” to my list.

It’s awesome if there’s a lot you want to accomplish. But take the pressure off of yourself. Write it all down so you can clear that mind of yours, and know that it doesn’t all need to get done today, this week, or this year. Can you feel your body lightening up now?

Try this: Write down all the things you want to accomplish. I have called this list: My Bucket List, implying that I have until I die to get it all done. (Side note: How boring would it be if all of your goals were so easy and attainable that you could cross everything off your list in 1 week, or even 1 year? Think of the satisfaction you will get with a bit more effort.) Then write down what you would love to get started on first. Then break that down into thousands of steps. Yes, thousands of steps. How could you start with that one thing?

I will use myself as an example. I really want to learn how to sew. I would love to be able to design and create my own clothes one day, so what have I done in order to get this goal underway? First, I researched a couple places that offered sewing lessons. That was it for that day! The next day I chose where I wanted to take them. The next week I put myself on a waiting list for July… (Seriously, these are even big baby steps. You could literally just open your internet browser and type in sewing lessons and you’d still be closer to reaching your goal than if you were to simply keep thinking about it.)

When we write things down and take things one baby step at a time, suddenly our big goals and aspirations seem less daunting and more doable, because we are in fact doing them instead of just thinking about them.

And what happens to our bodies when we do this? Our muscles relax. Our bodies feel less tense. We go from fight or flight back into rest and digest (where our bodies function the best). Our minds are less busy. We don’t feel as stressed. We feel more in control of our lives. We are able to laugh and smile easier. We end up getting things done. We have more fun doing it.

We end up attaining our goals and living out our dreams.