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Archive for August 2017

Strengthen Your Inner Core with Spiritual Pilates

When I first took a physical pilates class I discovered muscles I didn’t know I had.  As I continued practicing the exercises regularly, I strengthened my newly found muscles and they quit complaining so loudly. As I have learned and practiced Spiritual Pilates, I have strengthened my inner wisdom muscles. My little ego self still complains, but not as loudly or as often as it did years ago.

I practiced Spiritual Pilates the other morning when I woke up with my thoughts spinning in an anxious jumble. At first, I lay in bed sorting my thoughts and working through all the stories. Then, as I shifted my focus from my head to my heart, my thoughts quieted and I could get some distance from the swirling circle of doom. My wisdom kicked in and got me back to center.

When I focused on the place of calm behind my heart, I realized that all the anxious thoughts were not all my thoughts. Have you had that experience?

It’s weird. You step into a cloud of thoughts that suddenly overpower your own thoughts. It’s kind of like when you turn a corner in the grocery store isle and are suddenly overpowered by a cloud of someone’s stinky fart. Most people have a sense of smell and notice the sudden difference in air quality. With thoughts it’s a little different because our culture doesn’t generally teach the discernment skill of noticing thoughts.

I had a weird thought experience while on a walk one day. I was walking along thinking about whatever random stuff came through my mind. Suddenly, I had a creepy feeling of fear and looked around me. Nothing suspicious to be seen.  No one in sight. I continued to the end of my route and returned the same way I had come. When I crossed the same spot where I had felt a wave of fear before, I suddenly felt fearful again. It felt as if I were walking through a cloud of fearful thoughts. I wondered whether someone else had been attacked on that spot or had had a frightening incident there and they had left a thought imprint. I’ve never heard anyone talk about that possibility, but that is what it felt like to me. I said a prayer of protection for myself and anyone who walked on the path. Since my prayer of protection, any time I have walked the same route, I have not felt fear anywhere on the path. The incident felt so odd that I have remembered it.

Everyone has the ability to pick up on other people’s thoughts. Some of us are empaths who pick up on thoughts and feelings more quickly. Some of us develop those skills over time. I admit that I did get a head start as a kid. One blessing I got from growing up in an alcoholic and dysfunctional family was to sharpen my intuitive abilities. I would walk into a room and put my antennae up to sort of sniff out the vibes in the room.  I would intuitively notice what was really going on under the surface that was not being discussed. I was not aware at the time that I was picking up on other peoples’ thoughts, but in hindsight, I understand that’s how my intuitive abilities were honed. Have you learned that discernment skill over time also? Do you pick up on other peoples’ thoughts and feelings?

When I woke up with anxious thoughts the other morning, it took me a few minutes to notice that I had woken up in a cloud of thoughts and feelings that were not all my own. There is a lot of crazy stuff going on in the world right now. A lot of people are thinking fearful thoughts and feeling afraid of all the craziness out there. If you are stuck in a cloud of fear, Hey, wake up! It’s not all yours! We empaths get a double whammy because we feel other people’s feelings and we don’t know they are not ours. That lesson took me awhile to learn and still bites me in the butt sometimes.

Having practiced Spiritual Pilates for a while, I can get back to a place of centeredness and calm more naturally.  I can quit spinning around with anxious thoughts and feelings more quickly.

If you would like a few tools to regain your center when you get off track, check out my book Seeking Serenity: How to Manage Anxiety and Love Your Life. The ebook is available to download from Amazon. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/Seeking-Serenity-Manage-Anxiety-Love-ebook/dp/B072C6FVVF/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503890103&sr=1-1&keywords=seeking+serenity

It’s one thing to read about something and another thing to do it. It’s one thing to read a steamy romance novel and another thing to have a steamy romance. It’s one thing to read a book about dancing and another thing to dance. You have to actually do the activity and not just read about it. I’ve noticed in my life that I can get to a certain level of a skill by practicing on my own. When I am ready to go to my next level of that skill, I want to work with someone who has more experience.

If you are ready to go to your next level of mindfulness and wellbeing and would like a guide on the path, you’re ready for my course in Spiritual Pilates: Aligning Body, Emotions, Mind and Spirit for Optimal Wellbeing. Click on this link: http://masteryintheartofliving.com/classes-and-workshops/

Let’s set up a time to talk about your journey.

Amused Not Stressed

If you can laugh at yourself, you’ll always be amused, right? I do amuse myself at times – which is a good thing. So, the furnace started making a noise ­– one that I interpreted as a “scary noise.” We had just paid out a chunk of change in car repairs. As I listened to the scary furnace noise, I started to feel anxious at the thought of replacing the furnace too.

“Maybe it’s something simple,” I hoped. Maybe the furnace just needed a new air filter. I checked the date, and yes, it did need a new filter so I replaced the furnace filter.

Suddenly, the furnace stopped making any sound at all. No scary noise. No fan. No motor hum. OH NO!  I started to feel a little panicky and began searching for the name of the great HVAC guy who helped us out with a furnace issue in the past.

I checked my files, then checked my phone contacts. I couldn’t find the furnace repair guy’s name and I started to get frustrated. After repeating the same steps and still not finding the contact information, I felt more frustrated.

Then, I had that moment of awareness! Just breathe! I stopped and took a breath.  I got my focus out of my head and into my heart. I felt an urge to go back to the furnace again and followed my intuition. As I stood in front of the furnace, my eye fell on a switch. I flipped the switch and the furnace kicked on again – this time without the scary noise.

When I replaced the furnace air filter, I had accidently bumped the motor switch to Off. Hahaha! It’s good I can laugh at myself because it does keep me amused quite regularly.

Luckily, I only spun in crazy panic circles for a couple minutes before my wisdom tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear, “hey, try the easy path over here.” I am sure glad I listened because it saved me the cost (and embarrassment) of having the furnace guy come out and flip the switch for me.

I call this skill of toggling out of fear and into wisdom, Spiritual Pilates. This skill strengthens your inner spiritual core so you can shift more gracefully away from anxiety and into peace. When you access your inner peace and innate well-being, you can hear your own wisdom within and recharge your batteries when you feel depleted.

Want to learn more? I offer a course in Spiritual Pilates: Aligning Body, Emotions, Mind and Spirit. Message me to set up a phone call and see whether the course might be a next right step for you. serenityebook@gmail.com

Try compassion

Today it felt good to play the hero for a newborn baby. Everyone in the store could hear the baby squalling. On and on and on and on. I said under my breath, “pick up the baby.” I saw a young mother wheeling a shopping cart with the crying baby strapped into a car seat.

Another woman angrily approached the young mother and said, “that is abusive!” The woman held her phone as if she were threatening to call an authority to report the mother for child abuse.

I remembered how, as a new mother, I had felt overwhelmed and clueless about how to get the baby to stop crying. I mosied on over to the young mother.

I heard the mama say something about how the baby hated the car seat but she wanted him to be safe. “My babies hated the car seat too,” I empathized. “I just picked them up and held them.” She took the baby out of the car seat and as she held him to her chest he stopped crying. I think everyone in the store breathed a sigh of relief.

“Babies like to feel mama’s heartbeat and feel loved,” I said compassionately. She murmured something about him always wanting to be held. “Yes,” I assured her, “babies do like feeling mama close. That’s why I carried mine in a baby sling all the time.” The mama said she had tried a wrap that didn’t work but she had a baby front pack that she hoped would work. She set Baby back into the car seat without strapping him and he remained calm. I wished her well as she wheeled away.

The situation de-escalated easily through simple and compassionate communication. The angry woman did not help the baby because the mother became defensive and self-conscious. Who knows what was going on with the mama. Maybe she had depression. Maybe she was so sleep deprived she felt numb. I remember those days of no sleep.

I am telling this story because many miscommunications contribute to stress and anxiety. Next time you see a stressed-out mom in a store, empathize with her. Murmur some soothing words to her: “it is hard when Baby is colicky.” “Newborns are a lot of work but they are so precious.” “I remember when my baby cried a lot.”

As I returned to shopping, a different woman thanked me for intervening and helping the new mom. Having determined that I was a compassionate person, the woman then proceeded to show me the clothes she was choosing to get my opinion on what to purchase. I murmured something that sounded compassionate and moved away. I am not that compassionate.