I was thinking of this today when I got up. The kids are savoring the last free days of summer vacation and John (my husband) and I decided to sleep late (past 6AM) because we have been doing a lot to support our eldest as he wraps up his eagle project. So, it was nice to go to bed early last night and sleep until my body got up on its own today.
In fact, it felt wonderful.
I don't know about you, but I crave simplicity and comfort in my life right now. I don't want to complicate things or be offended. I just appreciate going with the flow and understand that many things in my life can be more simple and sweet when I focus on the here and now of my basic needs. This desire has brought me full circle in many areas. I am able to let go of things from my parents and grandparents and be rooted more in the memories and lessons that they taught me throughout my life, instead.
It is not always easy, but my awareness of the opportunity to soften and expand is coming more readily as I strengthen this practice of paying attention, and then releasing.
For example, with all the lawn maintenance work I have assumed over the summer months and the anniversary of my dad's death coming up quickly, I could easily become frustrated or sad. Instead, I have been dreaming and thinking about him a LOT, and translating memories into wisdom. As I ride around our lawn and cut the paths over at The Soul Source, I remember how meticulous he was about the rows and the schedule for cutting the grass every week. "You have to stay on top of it, or it is more work."
Now that I spend hours trimming and circling trees and picking up stones and figuring the fastest way to create a semi-manicured look to our unruly land, it makes MORE sense to me. This wisdom, that I attributed more to landscaping than living, is so much wider and deeper. There are lots of things in life you need to do consistently so time and opportunities aren't squandered, and the little things are not forgotten.
Little things do matter...like how I take my coffee, where my friend likes to go for breakfast to avoid a gluten contamination, what books my daughter is reading right now, what type of music my son plays when he is feeling frustrated, and how quiet or withdrawn family members are for periods of time. These likes, dislikes, experiences and reactions are all clues to deciphering our people and, more importantly, the riddle of living deeply and richly in the moment.
Yes, the big things, like choosing a spouse, finding a home, birth and death in our circles of family, friends or pets, definitely matter. However, I would purport that these important moments would not have as much meaning if we had not noticed or cherished or stayed on top of all the little things along the way.
For instance, my husband doesn't drink coffee--it is too bitter for him--but Dad and I always did throughout the day. It is one of the things I miss about him at home. I would wake up or be working on the computer late at night and he would have already made the coffee or bring in a steaming cup with just the right amount of cream. He thought about me and knew how I took my coffee, and he cared enough to take the time out of his life to do something which bonded and connected both of our lives.
Sometimes, when he brought the coffee in or poured it for me on the kitchen counter, my father would walk off and do something for himself. However, many times, he would linger or sit and we would talk about dreams from the previous night, what we were going to do during the day, worries that we had ruminated on for days or insight into some situation with someone in the family and how there really were bigger patterns to consider.
These moments in time are what I remember and miss most because they are how I found space to go deeper into myself. I think these day to day touch-points are how we build a firm foundation of caring, awareness and values in an often detached and very slippery world of distraction and hurry.
So, now I am intentionally making more room to appreciate the small things in my life and with my "people." When my son wants to toss the football or my daughter wants to show me her latest crocheted creation or my husband needs help with a project or errands, I usually stop or set aside time from my daily to-do list (things I do to stay on top of the material mess in our world) to pause and play, be present or assist where I can.
I do this because I know how much this means when others are present and extend love and attention to me, and I want to live in reciprocity and harmony with my people and the world around me...AND, I know from experience and loss, that these small moments are what matter most.
These moments and all our efforts to connect and be present are what helps our loved ones transition in peace at the end of their time and us move forward, when they are gone, without regret.
Say, "Thank you." Say, "No." Say, "Yes." Say, "I am sorry." Do whatever you need to do to identify your real priorities, simplify your life, live more fully in the moment and realize that, "Staying on top of these things and people that matter, reduces the work you have to do later." It also make your life less chaotic and dramatic and more sweet and simple.
I send you blessings and appreciation.
I often hear clients talk about self love as if it is a selfish choice. How, is that possible? In my opinion, it’s one of the most important, loving and nurturing things you can do for yourself.
Self love is much more than treating yourself to pizza after a tough day, it’s a deep and personal process of getting to know yourself which requires our conscious attention, discernment, new choices, and action.
Dictionary.com defines self love as, " The instinct by which one’s actions are directed to the promotion of one’s own welfare or well-being." However, so many of us have been socially programmed from a very young age to believe untrue judgments, to agree with unfounded shaming, and to accept the blame that others project upon us.
We have unknowingly agreed to believe that these beliefs are true without ever stopping to ask, “Who says or does this make sense for me?”
Naturally, as children we trust our families, churches, community groups, and government to tell us how to see things and what we should believe to be true. These “truths” are taught to us consciously and subconsciously in an effort for us to easily adjust and fit in to our society and families.
It is our job, at some point, to start fostering our own inner happiness and to ask if we truly believe what is being given to us as the “correct” answers or ways to behave. Asking do I agree with these statements, view points, or judgments and to no longer go on mindlessly agreeing with anything that isn’t in alignment with our own soul’s innate wisdom and knowing.
This is where diligent work comes in and everything you think you know to be true needs to be examined. I liken it to building a new foundation for yourself. Often times when I first started rebuilding my foundation, I would ask “Who says… I can’t, I shouldn’t, or I have to?” and my mother’s face would flash in my mind or the Catholic church, since that is what my childhood was steeped in. Then I would sit with that belief and decide if that’s what I truly believed or not.
It became very freeing once I gave myself permission to start examining all my beliefs and making my own decisions, taking the time to look at all the areas of my life. Anything that resonated with my core belief system was kept and anything that made me contract, feel limited, or didn’t feel in alignment with my spirit was tossed aside and replaced. The new beliefs I chose for myself became the cornerstones for MY foundation, allowing me to fully embrace who I knew myself to be.
Of course, this is a life long process, but it does become easier once the huge boulders of untruth are removed and compassion and understanding is allowed to wash over them.
So many of us are unknowingly defined by what others have told us we are, never questioning further. We have accepted how others see us and turn away from doing the deep inner work because once the door is opened it is very hard to go back to who we were before. Because it is scary, we sometimes put off starting the process or never start at all.
However, if you begin this journey of self-exploration and firming up the foundation of who YOU ARE, eventually you will arrive at the ultimate question of, "If I am not this (who I believed I was based upon misconceptions and stories from the past), then who am I?"
This is where the true journey of self love begins!
It can be a pretty bumpy road of changes, unrest, and new awareness’s but gradually it opens us to a new way of being which allows us to know ourselves, love ourselves, and give more of ourselves on the deepest levels.
My heart beams with joy for all the truth warriors who are on the path of unbecoming who they once thought they were. I celebrate those who have the courage to look in dark corners within and decided to create a new way of being for themselves, step by step and little by little.
Self love is only perceived as selfish by those who don’t want you to change and aren’t ready to change themselves. It takes courage to love yourself this much and there is nothing selfish about being your true authentic self.
So, I ask, "What are you waiting for?" Your heart deserves a home where it feels unconditionally loved and the world is waiting for YOU!
Written By: Catherine Jimenez,
Certified Life Coach and Shamanic Energy Practitioner
My name is Beth Busse, and I am a licensed acupuncturist at The Soul Source, LLC. This month, our collective of independent contractors are promoting the benefits of creating and maintaining BALANCE in our bodies, minds and spirits, so I wanted to share with you some information about how YOU can use acupuncture to do this. I offer individual treatments and provide Community Acupuncture (an affordable and effective option where 4 or 5 individuals receive personalized treatment in a open but quiet space so their common goal of healing can be amplified and shared) at The Soul Source, LLC every Tuesday and Thursday between the hours of 4-6PM. We use a sliding scale contribution of $40.00-$25.00 per person, per treatment so it is affordable for people to come often, if they want.
To create and maintain BALANCE in our lives and bodies, we need to remind ourselves and others that we ALL have ups and downs, and in living a healthy and balanced life, we generally benefit from having both extremes in our experience, because it assists us in discerning what BALANCE is. As the old adage states, "Without the bad, we wouldn’t appreciate the good in our lives."
What does that have to do with Chinese Medicine and acupuncture? Creating Balance and homeostasis is the objective behind acupuncture. Finding the middle ground between Yin and Yang, Heat and Cold, Internal and External, and Excess and Deficiency is important. By nourishing both Qi (our internal energy source) and Blood we can create Balance if our life and be more aware of it in our world.
Our bodies were created with an inner wisdom to be able to naturally heal. Acupuncture uses these instincts to unblock stasis and find what areas of the body need to be harmonized. All acupuncture points increase circulation, but some run deeper and wider and can influence larger areas of the body.
Our goal this month is to focus on a point that does just that. ST (Stomach) 36 is a major acupuncture point that fits the bill. It’s located one hand-width below the knee and one finger-breadth lateral to the anterior crest of the tibia. This can sound rather confusing, so feel free to refer to the picture provided.
Its Chinese name is Zúsānlĭ, which translates to "Leg Three Mile." Thousands of years ago, when Chinese Medicine was developed, people walked everywhere. It was said that if a person had walked so much that they felt physically drained and depleted, they simply needed to needle ST36. By doing this, the ancient wisdom claimed the body would restore enough energy to the legs to get in at least three more miles.
ST36 is the Command Point for disorders of the abdomen. It is a Sea of Nourishment point which shows its supportive quality. It’s also categorized as a Heavenly Star point, which makes it one of the most vital acupuncture points.
There are numerous actions this point promotes. Obviously, ST36 harmonizes the Stomach. The Stomach works very closely with the Spleen, thus fortifying the Spleen and resolving Dampness. It supports Correct and Original Qi that promotes healing. Both Blood and Yin are tonified and nourished. Fire is cleared and the spirit is calmed. Yang is revived and has the ability to restore consciousness. The Stomach Channel runs from your head all the way down to your feet, therefore it can activate and alleviate pain along the entire channel, not just in the abdomen.
Clearing Fire, tonifying Blood and Yin, and reviving Yang aren’t exactly what we’re used to hearing in Western Medicine. So, what kind of indications are actually being seen? The applications for ST36 are practically countless, therefore I’ll touch on some of the main ones.
These are just some of the most common ailments and conditions ST36 can treat. It is INCREDIBLE! When combined with other acupuncture points, it seems that ST36 could probably help with just about any ailment, because its range of actions and indications are extremely broad. It barely seems an exaggeration that Chinese medicinal lore claims, "All diseases can be treated with this point!"
If Balance is what we’re trying to achieve this month, ST36 is the perfect point.
If you have any questions about this information, feel welcome to post something in the comment section here or send us a personal message on FB.
Jen Martin is a Mom, Medium and Movement Person. She uses her intuitive abilities and training in yoga, prenatal yoga, meditation, and business to help others appreciate and help themselves. If you have kids, like hearing from loved ones in spirit or enjoy taking heart-centered yoga and meditation classes, check out Jen's blogs.