The Angels remind us to shore up our defenses, for they will be needed one day. Eat good foods, focus on healthy and regular self care, exercise, let loved ones know they’re important, do creative work, be lazy sometimes, so that when the time comes that our reserves are rocked to the core, a foundation of love and support is already in place.
The Angels remind us that leadership is not about being “in charge”. It’s taking charge of ourselves–our emotions, actions, and healing and growth needs–and holding authentic space for others to do the same. We have opportunties to be an example of this every day, if we’re willing to take the leap.
For more info and inspiration to Awaken, Heal, and Lead, visit www.aspiritledlife.org.
As you know, I started off this year with the inspiration to Love Full Out. In doing so, I’m keeping my focus on three main practices in my daily life:
- Be present
- Be curious
- Be open to receiving
Last week, I got my first big opportunity to practice being present. You may have noticed I didn’t post an article last week. All week long, I had a sinus headache, an earache, and felt all-around lousy. I thought it was allergies or the changing weather, but apparently, it was a cold.
As per my usual, I don’t have time to be sick. It’s the first of the year, after all, and there is planning to be done. After a break from work and school, we were all trying to get into a normal routine. I needed – wanted – to write, to work, to get back into my groove.
So I tried to rally. I didn’t miss any work, but by the time I got home each day, I was exhausted. Early bedtimes, Echinacea tea, and even hot toddies didn’t give me the energy I sought. I finally acquiesced. The cold simply had to run its course.
Such is the way of being present. My reality was having a cold. Period. No matter how much I wanted to pretend or ignore or fight, my body needed rest. It needed nurturing. And it needed me to be present to its needs.
How often when we consider being present, do we forget out about our most important instrument, our bodies?
How often do we run ourselves ragged, while our bodies faithfully preserve to keep us moving?
How often do we ignore the aches and pains and cries from our bodies to slow down and pay attention?
BEING PRESENT – LOVING FULL OUT – INCLUDES KNOWING AND RESPECTING THE VOICE OF OUR UNIQUE BODIES
Yes, our bodies talk to us. They tell us what they need and want to stay healthy and functioning, but we’re usually too busy to really listen. Or we don’t believe they actually have this capacity.
So how do we stay present?
We get in touch with our unique bodies. We sit in quiet contemplation daily and slowly scan our bodies from head to toe. We notice how each part feels in that moment. We ask our bodies what they need from us. Then we stay quiet and listen for what comes up. Really, truly listen.
We tell our bodies how much we love them and we thank them for being the vehicles that ensure we move forward.
We apologize for any harsh words we’ve said. For the moments of disdain and disgust. For the times we wished for a different shape or size or color.
We touch our bodies gently and tenderly, like we would any other love in our lives. For this love keeps us alive.
We trust that when our bodies tell us they’re sick or sad or tired, they are. And we take care of them. In return, they will trust us back.
For many of us, it will be the first time we’ve given our bodies this kind of attention and compassion. It may feel awkward and uncomfortable and we may not even fully believe what we’re saying and doing just yet. Presence is a practice.
Make a daily commitment. Pick just one of these and repeat it until you really feel it in your heart and soul as truth. Then add to it. Make it your own.
Above all, commit to being present with your body. It’s the first step to being present in all other areas of your life, and to Loving Full Out.
Love & light,
It’s that time of year again. The holidays. It’s one of my favorite times of year, yet it also can bring with it a great deal of stress.
I love the decorations and music, time off with my children, and visiting family. I love the sights and sounds that accompany Christmas, and especially the traditions. We pick out a live tree, the kids trim the house in a nauseating array of snowmen, glass figurines, poinsettias, and lights. We bake sugar cookies and the kids take great pride in creatively decorating each individual one with homemade icing and sprinkles.
At the same time, I have so much internal pressure to accomplish my to-do list that I tend to overbook myself, both physically and energetically. I stress about finding the most perfect, thoughtful present for each person. I spread myself too thin with arbitrary activities and deadlines. I try to fit everything into a short span of time, while neglecting my self-care for fear of neglecting something else that’s just as important. In no time, I feel overwhelmed, irritable, and exhausted. I start canceling plans, shuffling commitments around, and feeling like a human game of Tetris.
Do you do that too? Or do you have holiday stress conquered? Let’s share our best tips and tools for staying grounded and peaceful this holiday season!
This week, our focus is on how to make ourselves a priority in spite of all we have to accomplish. Below are eight tips to remind you to take care of your whole self: body, mind, and spirit!
- Take time for you. Spend 5 minutes (or more) just for you every day –you deserve it!
- Breathe. When you feel stressed, take a few deep breaths. This too shall pass.
- Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep causes stress & irritability. Make it a priority to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep every night (7-8 is even better!). Take power naps when you can. Find time for a 15-minute snooze, even if you have to forfeit something else. Your body & mind will thank you!
- Watch your sugar intake. Too much sugar can make stress worse. For a sweet fix, grab some fruit instead! Eat your greens! Counter the rich holiday foods with healthy, nourishing green vegetables. A nourished body is less stressed!
- Don’t over commit. There are so many opportunities & expectations. Prioritize your activities against your values—what really means the most to you—and stick to it.
- Exercise. Don’t use the busyness of the holidays as an excuse not to work in some movement. Just 15 minutes a day for a brisk walk, yoga, or even stretching will help reduce any stress you’re feeling!
- Be present. Don’t worry about the future or the past. Simply show up for the people around you, and especially for yourself. It will all get done, or it won’t and then it will be in the past and you’ll be on to something new anyway.
- Mind your energy. When we get frazzled, it’s likely because energy is going out in all directions and not coming back in to us. Sit quietly, visualizing yourself surrounded by white, healing light, and allow yourself to simply receive.
What tips do you have to share that keep your stress levels in check over the holidays? What one item from this list will you commit to do for yourself to ensure more peaceful holidays this year?