Maintain your boundary- a visualization

Today I am keenly aware that the holidays are coming!!

I am immune to most holiday stress because years ago I made a pact with myself to make my holidays my own.

No more loosing sight of what I want in order to fulfill other people’s expectations.

Of course life includes compromise and  holidays bring to light many competing priorities. Seeing family I love includes seeing family that triggers negative emotion. I want to stay committed to my healthy eating and crunch down some Chex mix and cookies. I want to celebrate my own traditions, while respecting invitations to join others.

With compromise and competing priorities comes the potential for stress.

Today’s visualization is a boundary exercise. Creating and maintaining appropriate energetic boundaries is essential for navigating ever changing emotional territory. Practice this in advance of a stressful situation so it’s easily evoked when needed.

I’d like to give credit to John Chitty of Colorado School of Energy Studies for introducing me to this exercise.

  1. Get comfy.
  2. Settle into yourself with a few breaths- close your eyes.
  3. Begin to visual a boundary surrounding you.
  4. If there is a clear vision of what this is- take note. Maybe it’s an energetic aura of color and vibration. Maybe you are surrounded by a rigid box or there is a fluid, flexible container holding you. If you are not perceiving anything at all and that’s fine too. Just notice if anything comes to mind.
  5. The purpose here is two fold. The first is to inventory the boundary around you. The second is to create or modify the boundary to best suit your needs. If you have no boundary at all- consider making one. If you feel vulnerable to stress, fortify the space around you. If you feel more openminded consider creating a boundary that allows a bit of a breeze to blow through. The boundary is there to meet your needs for energetic protection or connection.
  6. Now visualize a collection of boundary building resources and begin work on your boundary. Be systemic as you visualize the repair, modification, or creation of your own forcefield. If you need protection from stress, create something that brings a feeling of safety. If the intention is to remain open, it would probably make sense to shift the quality of your boundary to allow more exchange between yourself and the external environment. Allow all ideas to come to mind including material supplies, colors, textures, vibrations, shapes, emotions, memories and fantasies. Perhaps you need an exterior repellant to ensure pests cannot get through, or you need a magnetic surface that attracts positivity. Bring the spirit of a loved one in to keep you company, and be sure to consider the internal furnishing. It’s completely up to your imagination to create what you need. Experiment and see what sticks.
  7. Once you have a clear intention (protection or connection) and can visualize your boundary, reinforce your creation for a few minutes with the breath.

Now get out there and enjoy those holidays!

Self awareness through accupuncture

Today I had the most lovely of unexpected experiences.

I was invited by Julie Hackmann, L.Ac. founder and acupuncturist of Oceana Accupuncture to visit her newly opened Wilmington, NC practice. Julie specializes in women’s reproductive issues and is certified to provide fertility and prenatal treatments. Her boutique office near Wrightsville Beach is absolutely gorgeous, second only to her warm and inviting manner.

Julie provided a general wellness treatment which included the needle work as well as tuning forks. I am sensitive to the needles and let her know I was a bit needle phobic as she prepared to treat me. It is therapeutic for me to express my fears while with my providers, and Julie was very receptive, providing immediate education on both the needles and her approach to placement. I continued to provide feedback as she helped me settle in to rest on the table, which allows the treatment to unfold.

As I relaxed on the table I was checking in with my body. I tracked the present sensations occurring in relationship to the needles, the tuning forks, the bodywork table, and my thoughts. While I was lying there I thought what a unique gift it was to check in with myself in such a therapeutic environment. The experience left me feeling grounded, with a heightened sense of awareness.

I highly recommend checking out acupuncture whether for the first time, after a long time, or if you’re a regular, just to experience new providers . A well rounded healthcare team is essential to maintaining balance.  Taking care of your health is the gift that keeps on giving. The biggest reward for me is my personal evolution, which is deepened through complementary and alternative therapies.

Is there any gift greater than self awareness? 

Be the change- a meditation on positivity

Today is the day after a historic presidential election. Never have I witnessed greater disparity between parties. Friendships are breaking up over politics and even I (one committed to remaining neutral in an effort to best support the growth of others) am taking some time to process how I feel. Nobody knows yet what this may mean for our country. Rather than stewing over what is right or wrong I am offering a meditation for reducing negative, fear based thinking.

I can almost guarantee

that after giving yourself a few minutes of intentional positive thinking,

you will feel “better”. 

  1. Get as comfortable as possible, making adjustments for yourself as you gain awareness about ways you could feel better in your body.
  2. Allow the time to pass without adherence to a clock. Be it one minute or 30, duration is not what matters here- what is important is intention. This is a meditation you can take with you throughout the coming days as we adjust to a continued season of heightened emotionality. Once you get the gist of this meditation, practice it often, wherever you are throughout the day.
  3. Close your eyes and bring awareness to the way your breath feels in your body. Do not change your breathing, just notice it.
  4. Identify a positive feeling, emotion or quality you would like manifested.
  5. Create a self directed, active statement with this positive outcome and say it to yourself with every inhale. Create the statement as if the outcome has already occurred or is presently happening. For example, instead of “I wish for peace”, make it active “I offer myself peace” or “I am at peace.”
  6. The second part of the process is to extend this statement towards others with every exhale. This allows the statement of positivity to be felt within yourself with every inhale and is extended outward with every exhale. Inhale, “I offer myself peace”, exhale, “I offer peace to those around me.”
  7. As you settle in more deeply to the experience of intentionally bringing positivity to yourself while extending the same to others, your statements will likely shift. Change it up based on what you need most in the moment. Here are some other examples:

Inhaling patience, exhaling patience towards others.

I am choosing calm and grounding, I extend calm and grounding to others.

I am at ease, you are at ease.

I am loved, you are loved.

I find happiness within each day, you find happiness within each day.

Have fun with this experience and don’t worry if it’s “working”. With practice over time simply using positive language with intention can shift a bad mood, negative outlook, and defensive stance towards self and others. Remember the words of Mahatma Gandhi,

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”