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6 Essentials for Self Care During The Holidays

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6 Essentials for Self Care During The Holidays

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6 Essentials for Self Care During The Holidays

Holiday shopping, gift wrapping, decking the halls, food with all of the trimmings, family, multiple parties, TV specials, holiday music and for some, Elf on the Shelf and Santa Claus. Oh, and creating, addressing and mailing holiday cards!

Does this bring you joy or do you feel stress, obligation or overwhelm? While I do enjoy the spirit and magic of the holiday season,  I can also feel exhausted about maintaining a high or even steady energy in the midst of the extra busy-ness and experiences; all in the span of a four week period. Whew!

In these times of life, I’m grateful to know how to monitor and maintain the Six Essentials of life for my daily self care. My clients learn about these from the beginning of our relationship and we continue to review and adjust them in every Bioenergetic Synchronization Technique session.

What we eat and drink, how we breathe, exercise, rest and most importantly, the magnitude of what and how often we allow the mind to race and chase, are a foundation for caring for ourselves. Maintaining these individual areas of our life may seem simple. Collectively, they  deserve our attention equally and perhaps even some careful planning until it becomes our daily practice and eventually, integrated effortlessly.

Here are a few key factors for maintaining these Six Essentials during the holidays and any day:

1. What We Eat

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Eating a plant based diet of approximately 75% fruits and vegetables will help to keep the body alkaline as they are the easiest for the body to digest. Where as too much “party food” creates more acid in the body which can cause fatigue, or inflammation and lead to pain throughout the body. 

2. What We Drink

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Drink plenty of water throughout the day, room temperature is preferred, to flush out toxins and allow the body to absorb the water. Keep the alcohol, caffeinated drinks and soda to a minimum. These drinks  dehydrate the system and can also cause fatigue, dizziness or headaches.

3. How We Breathe

Breathing in a clean environment is clearly important. Conscious breathing is beneficial in times of stress  and overwhelm. Dropping your attention into the belly and breathing from the core takes our attention out of the monkey mind and sends a signal to the brain that all is well. This both calms the mind so that we can make clear choices and oxygenates systems in the body.

4. How We Exercise

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Exercise is a key component in feeling well and mandatory when we’re eating both more food than usual and rich foods that our body may not be used to. Getting your heart rate up will boost your metabolism, where strength training will maintain muscle tone. If you’re not an athlete or a gym rat, walk! It’s convenient and the contralateral movement keeps the left brain and right brain communicating, which is once again important to keep the mind clear for healthy, conscious choices.

5. When We Rest

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Rest is not just a good nights sleep. I have clients that literally fall asleep on my table because most people don’t take a moment, let alone 10-20 minutes  to simply “be” at some point throughout their day. Sitting mindlessly on a park bench or a silent place in your home, or perhaps in the sand at the beach if it is available, can be very calming. Try this, without a laptop computer a cell phone or even a book. Comfortably sit or lie down and quietly rest both the body and the mind. 

6. What and How We Think

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Thinking is the clincher here. Overthinking and negative thinking are big culprits of taking us out of the game completely. During the holiday season with all that there is to do and who we share our time with, can send the mind spinning. Be aware of what’s running through the brain and possibly causing more angst than you need. If you don’t already have a meditation practice or prior to a meditation practice, set the intention to pause in the moments of crazy, consciously release the over or negative thought of the hour and clear away what isn’t serving you in that moment. Using the breath, as stated above is wonderful way to support this process.

How do I do this during the holidays you may ask? By making mindful conscious choices that also feel good in your body. Putting your needs at the top of the list is most beneficial. Maybe you don’t say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. In fact, there may be times when you need to course correct during this time and graciously bow out of seeming obligations. Discern what truly matters to you. This can absolutely be tricky with family and, this is an opportunity for you to step into living intentionally without being reactive.

Put your attention on your heart and ask what truly matters to me? Perhaps it’s being with friends or family, serving your community or cultivating magic in your day. This may be an inquiry first thing in the morning, or even a moment to moment question. Allow your heart, mind and body to melt together and choose from an integrated place of spaciousness. Breathe into the answer and honor it. Ah, now that that feels wonderful.

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Exploring the Witchy of Samhain, AKA Halloween

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Exploring the Witchy of Samhain, AKA Halloween

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Exploring the Witchy of Samhain, AKA Halloween

When I was a young girl, my mom created the most magnificent jet black witch costume  complete with a pom-pom trimmed cape for me with her Singer sewing machine. This of course was to accompany my black pointy hat that we purchased for me to wear on Halloween. Apparently I felt so comfortable in that costume and loved it so much, that I put it back on a few short days later and was heading out the door, when my mom stopped me in my tracks. After some matter of fact, non dramatic negotiating, I was on my way to school in that spook-tacular dress and cape, sans the pointy hat.

Later in life, after variations of the mystical witch, the cackling witch, and the sexy witch, I was enjoying dinner with friends while sharing notions that I felt had been with me for lifetimes, and their significance to me during this dark season. These magical themes included working with oils and candles for both light and scent, affirmative prayer, moon cycles, the change of seasons, dancing and singing. I could feel how all of these could heal people both individually and even collectively; especially if shared in a group environment. One of my friends responded without skipping a beat, “You’re a witch!”  I cocked my head sideways, paused for a moment, took a deep breath and exhaled. All of the emotions and memories of lives past and present came flooding through my field, gently and graciously landing into my conscious awareness.

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Knowing in my heart that the lore around the witch being wicked felt unsettling, yet without a complete understanding of it all, I obtained the first Wiccan book I could find and began my investigation with both curiosity and certainty.  About seven books later, I had a clear image of the origin of Samhain (pronounced Sow-wen), the ancient Celtic New Year, that celebrated loved ones and ancestors that have crossed over, as the veil between the living and the dead was believed to be at its thinnest. What ultimately evolved into Halloween was complete with beautiful rituals and practical traditions symbolizing ghosts, skeletons, devils, cauldrons, pumpkins and very appropriately so, the witch.

The witch was actually the crone being celebrated at this auspicious time of the year. She was magickal simply because she was an elder and a master of herbs and tinctures; the seer and the healer in the villages. Previously this belief that some seers possessed mystical qualities which were used to protect and heal the people, transitioned into a false connection between these seers and the devil.

The witch trials and executions began in Europe during the 15th and early 16th centuries, peaking in the 17th century’s Thirty Years War. To justify the killings, Protestant Christianity and its lay folks representing the establishment, deemed witchcraft as being associated with wild Satanic rituals. Hence, these magickal healers were now deemed old hags and forced outside of the villages with their brooms, initially used to sweep their sacred space clear of unwanted evil, and their crystals (ball), used for glimpses of truth and visions that originally served the village people.

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What I have learned about this Samhain season and my feeling within it is this. Some of us feel the wisdom of the ages at the core of our being. Others can cultivate this. Today I choose to listen and pay attention to what what my body is remembering or saying to me. I can learn and benefit from this when making choices. Does that mean that I am a modern day Priestess? Not officially. But I’d like to say that I hold that energy. Affirmative prayer, which I am officially trained in, is certainly similar to spell casting, and I love to receive and share the benefits of oils and crystals, as well as the knowledge of the constellations and the moon cycles. And, all of this is definitely more fun and powerful in a coven, tribe or loving community.

Perhaps this Samhain you’ll choose to celebrate your loved ones past and present and enjoy nature’s bounty like pumpkins and pomegranates that coincide with the dark season. Light a candle with a warm and yummy scent and turn within. Feel what your body is saying to you; especially your heart and solar plexus, where your true power lives. Maybe you research or explore your soul while sitting relaxed with steady breathing and then journal about what you’ve received. This Samhain, live your truth and do you; maybe even in a witchy costume (wink, wink).  

You can begin to channel your inner witchy energies with the assistance of our collective set of gemstones and energy cleansing we like to call, “The Witchy Kit”. It is designed for one to work with energies of this mystical season and for self work and inner reflection. This deeply transmutative, intuitive and healing set of empowerment tools includes sage and tea light for clearing and cleansing energy and space, with a gorgeous abalone shell to divinate from that’s available for you to tune into all year long. You can purchase your Witchy Kit here.

Samhain Blessings 🔮

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