December Offerings, Healthful Holidays and Items at the SHOPPE
Hello there and happy December,
Since I last wrote to you I am officially one month settled into a new and slower paced professional rhythm and I am discovering a little bit more about myself each day as I move through daily life with more spaciousness, rest and time. I must admit that I miss each one of you with whom I have sat across from over the last decade. This mindful observation period of time is fortified by my choice to eliminate alcohol from my life now over 1 year ago. This means that I have gone through times of joy, hardship and celebration fully feeling the range of emotions and without numbing my senses. I am truly happy to choose health over habit and hope that my sharing with you serves as loving support and encouragement if there is an area in your life that could use a little (or a lot) of loving awareness.
This is the topic I would like to share with you this month as we enter a time of parties and holiday socializing which often includes alcohol. Alcohol has different meanings to each of us, even those of us who have never had a drink for religious, health or other reasons.
Just like anything, when we choose to drink alcohol we are establishing a perceivably intimate experience with a substance while sometimes foregoing an important dialogue with ourselves. As my chiropractor once shared with me his belief about why people drink he said: “People drink because they want to be closer to god.” He meant that when we are anxious, depressed or stressed we are trying to distance ourselves from that difficult experience and we are trying to align ourselves with the light, with ease, with god, with the universe, with a higher power, with our deepest and truest self.
Do we really get closer to truth through alcohol, substances or other unhealthy habits? No, not at all. So, what is your longing? Do you long for connection, peace, a sense of wholeness, or a sense of purpose? These may be the underlying quality for habits such as gossiping to feel connected to another, drinking to take the edge off, over indulging with food to feel full, over working to feel useful or valued in the world, etc. There are so many types of habitual behaviors that I bet you can bring one to mind and hold this inquiry in a loving and curious way.
What is your one thing and why do you do it?
What quality are you really longing for underneath the behavior? Is there another way to meet this underlying need that comes from deep self-respect?
Once you identify your “why” then it is much easier to nourish yourself with healthy choices and connections that will actually leave you feeling much closer to your own version of god or LOVE as a sustainable lifestyle rather than a fleeting moment of numbing out.
If you understand and remember that your habits are often formed as an intended way of protecting yourself against threat, stress, danger or hardship then you may be more likely to honor your habit for what it is, a practiced behavior over and over again for a perceived benefit, and really consider if it’s time to free yourself of limiting ways of thinking and living. If you find the answer is yes but you do not know where to begin I believe a good place to begin loving yourself is on the meditation cushion. When we step into the practice of seeing ourselves compassionately and clearly we are invited to love and accept ourselves, flaws and all, which completely opens us to feeling deep care for all of humanity. We realize that we are not separate but rather inextricably connected. For example, if I have practiced and learned how to respond with deep care to my own suffering then I have a full well of compassion to draw from when I am responding to your own pain because as a practitioner of compassion, I wish for you too to be free from suffering and I am eager to help.
you have been
is your own courage
to know and love
poem by yung pueblo (he likes things in lower case)
A dear client recently shared a video with me of Jolene Park talking about “gray area” drinking and I love the acronym she created to help remind us that we can indeed re-wire our central nervous system to create new pathways for healing to return home to our bodies and our wisdom. Often times we believe our thoughts, or live on automatic pilot and it leaves us abandoning the intelligence of our physical body. We must include the powerful messaging from our body in order to heal deeply. As cliché as it may sound, try stopping what you are doing right now and check in with your body. How are you feeling? Are you tired, hungry, energized or in pain? Whatever you notice in this body scan is an invitation to meet your needs to the best of your ability. Often times, simply acknowledging what you are feeling is enough to soften the edges of the experience.
Jolene offers these steps to NOURISH ourselves:
N = Notice Nature (20 minutes of time with trees or water)
O = Observe your Breath (boosts the calm response)
U = Unite with Others (social connections, human touch, massage, hug your pets)
R = Replenish with Food (protein, leafy green vegetables + healthy fats)
I = Initiate movement (start with 20 minutes, just move, stretch, Jolene suggests 60 minutes)
S = Sit in Stillness (meditation or prayer in stillness)
H = Harness your creativity (boosts your dopamine)
View her TED Talk here.
As we wrap up 2017 and move into a fresh New Year in the coming weeks let’s pause and take time to reflect upon how we can best honor all that we have lived this year and to make room for growth, nourishment and loving connection with ourselves and others now and into the New Year.
And, if you are curious, notice habits that are no longer supporting your growth, health or emotional wellness. It is never too late and there is so much beauty within your reach. I am right here with you.
What am I reading right now?
What’s new at the center?
December 9th, Beautiful Holiday Shopping Event 9 am to 2 pm at Metta Mindfuless + Meditation. Kim Sevy of AlKimme will be giving facial peels, Nikki Breedlove will be applying holiday look cosmetics, complimentary scalp massages and hair styles and the SHOPPE will feature sustainable and lovely gift items curated by Becca. Stilo Stream Boutique will be parked just outside with more clothing, accessories and amazing items. Please join us! You can find more information and sign up for a face peel here...
January 2018, Stanford's Compassion Cultivation Training, an 8-week course designed to develop the qualities of compassion, empathy, and kindness for oneself and others. Click here for details and to register. (Please note that there must be a minimum of 10 registrants for the class to be held.)
Nikki Breedlove will be teaching yoga at Metta on Thursday mornings and evenings beginning January 14th, 2018. Please see Nikki’s website for registration.
Here are a few of my favorite wellness gifts available at the SHOPPE: