I recently heard a beautiful statement…Your body is a connection between heaven and earth.
I LOVE that!! It hit me soo hard the importance of finding gratitude and strength in this human experience. These bodies that move, think, learn, play…We sometimes easily forget the gift of strength, movement, simple actions that get lost in forgotten corners of our busy lives. We easily take for granted being able to take walks, to play with our children, to breathe in the fresh air, to learn something new, to exercise and push our bodies to a higher degree. We often get lazy and don’t utilize time to challenge our lungs or help our hearts be healthier. We all have human tendencies to sideline our health in one way or another.
What if we look at that great line above and continue to seek ways to truly connect with our bodies, our spirits and connect them in various ways. How intimately beautiful would that be. Like, a beautiful promise to ourselves. Take care of YOU.
Here are some ideas…
FOR YOUR BODY:
Move. Don’t limit your life to a couch potato, a Facebook surfer, a time stealer of any sort. Life is too short and there are plenty of things to take up and waste your life. According to Heart.org & The MayoClinic Get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week. To provide even greater health benefit and to assist with weight loss or maintaining weight loss, at least 300 minutes a week is recommended.
Movement is Medicine. What is the best medicine for YOU?? Whatever it is you enJOY doing. The type of exercise you choose isn’t important. What’s important is working all your body parts with rigor — meaning to the point of breathing rapidly or sweating — for five to ten hours a week -bluezones
Nutrition. Eat from the earth. Eat organic whenever possible to avoid those foods that have been nutritionally depleted in the farming process. According to Chopra A simple way to make sure that you are getting a balanced diet is to include the six tastes (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent) in each meal. The pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes, on the other hand, are anti-inflammatory and increase metabolism. These tastes are found in food such as radishes, ginger, mustard, peppers, spinach, mushrooms, tea, lentils lettuce, and so on. In addition to including the six tastes in each meal, focus on eating a variety of fresh and freshly prepared foods, while eliminating or at least limiting items that are canned, frozen, microwaved, or highly processed. These are “dead” foods that weaken health and accelerate aging.
Breathe. Breathing is energy. Breath brings oxygen into the cells, which ignites us with energy. Think about this—we can live without food, water, exercise…..but we need oxygen. We need the breath to cleanse, to move, to remove and all of it is done on varying levels of conscousness. We get busy, we dont take the time to breathe correctly and our shallow breaths don’t allow our bodies to function at its best.
Take a moment and learn to breathe to your best. Here is one example. There are many great exercises and resources to learn how to properly breathe and the exercises that will allow you to breathe fully.
*Here is a simple one that you can try at home:
- Take a seat on a chair adopting the 90 degree rule (chin at 90° to floor, hips at 90°, knees at 90° and ankles at 90°).
- Breath in through your nose for a count of four seconds, hold for two seconds and breathe out through the nose for a count of four.
- Really focus your energy and thoughts on your breathing with your hand on your stomach (notice that your stomach is moving rather than your chest, indicative that you are breathing deeply). Repeat several times.
Breathing brings our body and mind together and for both to function well, they need oxygen. By learning how to breathe well:
- You become healthier and stronger
- More endorphins are released which improves feelings of natural wellbeing
- Your muscles relax
- Heart rate and blood pressure decrease
- You can help control your emotions and fears
- Natural cleansing will take place allowing energy to be directed more productively
- Feelings of stress, anxiety and depression can reduce
- You will have a clearer and sharper mind
- You will feel more ‘present’ and more alive. *healing-feeling.com
Sleep. Here is a list of 50 different things to help you achieve the sleep you need. https://novoslabs.com/tips-to-sleep-well-sleep-better-fall-asleep-faster/?gclid=CjwKCAjwx7GYBhB7EiwA0d8oe-VS0LvUcaeUtBcdnZqSFe8OMYxLygHk-2yGCri4dx91T3BDryJJIRoCQUcQAvD_BwE
A couple of my personal favorites: if you are struggling to sleep, imagine yourself floating down a river and the river is taking you away from your stresses. You are drifting further and further into a deep sleep. Breathing and couting your breaths will also help you relax and drift off.
FOR YOUR MIND:
Quiet your mind. Be still. We have an abundance of noise pollution in our daily lives, so the small amounts of time you can just take in silence, quiet your mind and be still, the better. We take this quiet time so for granted and probably don’t even realize it. We are bombarded by television ads, people talking, the hum of electronics, the vibrations of cars we move in, children fighting, alarms going off….just sit and listen to the amount of noise you take in at particular times of the day and begin to see the various pollution points of your mind. Take note. Begin to lessen the noise, let go of our learned behavior of having noise in the background to feel less lonely, to feel productive, etc. Get comfortable being still.
Naturally light it up. This is for varying degrees of the body and mind. Natural is always better with pretty much anything, but especially light. Just watch the plants in your home and see where they are drawn. Natural light is the way. Open the windows, breathe in the air, let in the light. Turn off your led’s and lights that dim out our life giving essence. We need natural light, almost like we need air. Get outside whenever possibe and just bathe in the natural light. Soak it up whenever possible. The benefits of natural light: gives your body the “sunshine vitamin” D that helps your body with depression, sleep balance, helps prevent bone loss, and reduces your bodies risk of many other health risks like heart disease and many cancers. Natural light is also better than flourescents with eye stress and strain.
Light tips: Please make sure you are wearing blue light glasses, avoiding screens before bed and doing all you can to wake up to beautiful, natural sunlight. Ditch the curtains & allow sunlight in. Hang mirrors to bounce sunlight to various parts of your home. The natural sun will be the best way to start your day.
Reading & Learning. Challenges different parts of your brain that enhances comprehension, language, and makes you an overall better writer and speaker. As individuals we can never learn enough, so reading, learning and challenging our various skill levels & finding ways to enhance who we are is an overall great gift to our lives. When we become better–life gets better. We also challenge those around us by the example we set– to grow, to be challenged and to create those good habits that will lead to better skills for our lives.
Relaxation. You may just need a good rest. Nourish your mind and body by just taking a needed break. Relaxation is a personal preference of what you feel you need. You may consider a nap, a walk outside, playing with your pet, reading a poem, writing in your journal, meditation, mindfulness…anything you feel calms and relaxes you.
FOR YOUR SPIRIT:
Laughter is the best medicine. Laughter helps relieve stress, eleviate tension in the body, reduces pain by creating your own feel good endorphins (happy chemicals), brings about connections with people, makes you happy. My own personal stress-filled situations, like my husband losing his job, we always resort to watching a string of comedies to help keep the blues at bay. Here is an article on the additional benefits https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456
Let go of negative emotions. release anything that brings about a draining energy, whether it is people, stressful situations, extra work that weighs on the emotions, etc. Find ways to productively eliminate added negativity in your world.
Have boundaries. Be aware of your personal needs and be able to say “no” Remember invitations are not obligations. Choose those people, activities, invitations, situations that you feel good and comfortable with and let go of feeling guilty for those that are not ideal for you or your life.
Be aware of energy you carry and the energies you surround yourself with.
Beautiful connections. Research shows that a good social support network has numerous physical and mental health benefits. It can keep you from feeling lonely, isolated or inadequate and if you feel good about yourself, you can deal with stress better. -Chopra
You do need to evaluate and ask yourself a very simple, but very important question about every person you surround yourself with. Does this person recharge or drain me? Do you enjoy them or feel drained by having them around or merely thinking about spending time with them? Energy of others is very vital to your own well-being. Take this very seriously.
Time alone. Take time to be still with yourself and evaluate your personal needs. Sometimes we just need to be alone and take moments with our own thoughts, the stillness of our own breath, a quiet minute to just be.
I smile as one of my little dogs seems to be very comfortable having some alone time. Periodically throughout the day, she meanders up our stairs to the loft to be alone. I often find her just lying in a sun spot taking a moment alone. Dogs always do seem to have some things figured out. smile.
Service. Doing something for another. Getting outside of yourself makes everything better and balanced. It is very easy for every single one of us to get lost in the busyness of our lives and to easily justify that we don’t have time to get involved in this or that cause. Change your thinking to…BE the CAUSE…BECAUSE Service is something that changes everything and everyone involved. Create something you get excited about and bring about your own cause that helps someone in some way. Whether you get lit up about making a book library to share with your neighborhood, you teach a free class in your community about growing dahlias, you start leaving kind messages for neighbors, sharing great quotes with complete strangers, start a food or clothing drive for refugees near you, help with shelter dogs, etc…the ideas are endless and especially if you take on your own ideas and BE the CAUSE in your community.
Pray. It does not matter if you have a religious affiliation or not, but to me prayer is seeking something greater beyond yourself and being humble enough to go to that place beyond. It could be going within to a deeper part and finding that humility to ask for those things you need for your life. It could be going to a church or temple and finding a type of peace there. It could be climbing to the top of a hill and crying out to the heavens for an answer you need. Whatever prayer is to you, there is power in humbling crying out, letting go, seeking answers, asking questions, knowing there is something greater for you to understand and being open to the prayers within your heart. I have had many times and various places that I will go and open my heart and soul to understand life a little deeper, ask for prayers to be answered. It is a personal place—that only you can go, but go. There is power in the depths beyond yourself and prayer can take you there. I promise.
Music. Music has a greater power than we have any idea. Music can transport you to specific memories, times in your life, meaningful moments, people, places, etc. It has the power to calm, the power to excite, the power to ignite your brain, to ease, to make you move. It has so many incredible qualities and you need to use music to your best life. Utilize its power when you need to move or when you need to be still, when you need motivation or need to remember something.
I was just driving with my daughter and she began playing a montage of a variety of different songs that took us back to specific years of her life, places we lived, moments we shared. It was such a sweet walk down memory lane through the soundtrack of our lives. It was wonderful to connect with the lyrics of songs that held such meaning. It was incredible. It was cherished.
Find something that brings you to the present moment. A little something I have come to love—I gather a rock or two every time I walk to the beach. When I get home I continue to create a rock cairn somewhere in my yard. I have varying sizes all over & it reminds me of being in the moment, stacking a rock, remembering the walk I just had and just being with myself for a small while. Whether you collect rocks at the beach and build small towers of cairns or you watch the birds come and go, watering your garden, or watching the waves crash on an ocean shore…whatever you can find that helps you to be present—do more of that.
There are so many other things you can do for the various parts of your mind. body and spirit connection, but I just wanted to touch on some of the key points that are vital to making your life a little more balanced. Do those things that make your soul sing, follow your heart on your health journey, listen within for answers, seek nature, do what you FEEL you need.
Peace. Love and Light in all you do. -H