Sunday, November 18, 2012

One more on ESSENCE....

I’ve heard that we teach that which we need to learn.  That is certainly true for me with both the Fall Food Demo classes and Let Your Yoga Dance.  Last night, I couldn’t sleep.  I woke up again to pain in my neck and instead of berating myself for not knowing why I can’t “just fix this” with the right yoga stretch and massage, the thought occurred to me, “What is my body trying to tell me?”  Perhaps, I need to practice more of what I preach….

So I came downstairs to meditate on this question, to surrender to my need to “fix it” to let go of the need to control it and to just feel the pain and it occurred to me to practice the ESSENCE meditation that I had written about earlier this summer in my newsletter and then again in a blog (that I had written but just now posted).  I write a lot, but for one reason or another have not posted all of my blogs.  Why? Perhaps it is due to my own censorship, fear of inadequacy, lack of social media skills or the belief that I don't have enough time.  Deepak Chopra says, “If we think we don’t have enough time we won’t”…

So if my body is trying to tell me something, do I believe that my body is punitive or loving?  I choose to believe that my body loves me; and that our God (or higher power) also loves me, like a parent.  What are these loving thoughts then?  Is my pain telling me that I am weak or not good enough? That I'm innately bad? Is it telling me that it is my fault that I am ill?  Is it judgmental?  Is it shameful?

OR is my body merely just trying to get my attention?  Does it have to scream louder because I refuse to slow down… to stop, look and listen?  Or is it because I refuse to take time to meditate; to believe in myself, and the wisdom that lies innately within.  Is this really the essence of healing?

Which thought is more conducive to health?  Which thought would you choose today?  One that you are broken and need to be fixed; or one that is about taking back your health and of self-empowerment?  This is the paradigm shift in thinking that has to happen to heal healthcare.  This is the essence of what we do together in a coaching session.  This type of breakthrough thinking is what leads to self-love and self care.  We learn to choose to silence the ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) and to create a new more loving script to live by.

I then Googled “yoga poses for insomnia” and reviewed exactly what it is I need to teach in this afternoon’s yoga class.  The workshop series I am doing at Beloved Yoga Studio offers food and a discussion after each Let Your Yoga Dance Class, and today our topic is staying “Healthy through the Holidays”.

I then slept for 5 ½ hours straight; which is exactly what my body needed!   Namaste & Carpe Diem!

More on Essence

I’ve had several opportunities that remind me of the challenge to face our own fears and the power of a meditation and spiritual practice.  Whether we are struggling from chronic pain, a life threatening illness, or simply the courage to change, we all experience fear.  Unchecked fear is self-sabotaging at best, and worse case, can be incapacitating.

This weekend I felt a sadness that I had difficulty putting my finger on or explaining why.  This morning I allowed myself time and introspection to explore this.  I recently attended my daughters best friends wedding, a wedding celebration that was so beautifully and generously given by a large extended catholic family who like many families appear to be filled with good fortune, good looks, good incomes and close family relations.  Knowing something of this family for the past 22 years, I know that they are like every other family or individual, not without their many trials and tests, not without times of sadness, doubt and fear.  But this weekend was a celebration of hope, love and joy, the essence of what sustains us during our times of doubt and fear.

So today I have given myself the time and the gift to continue to read Healing Essence, The Proven Path to Wellness by Mitchell Gaynor, M.D. and Medical Director, Cornell Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine.  I was also gifted by two phone calls that came out of the blue at the exact right time.  First from one of my coaches, a peer coach from Institute of Integrative Nutrition who encouraged me not to give up on my chosen path and journey or which I have had many doubts and fears this summer (ever since Dana’s Oncologist gave us his statistics on her prognosis, statistics that breed doubt and fear and despair).

The second call was from another coach and sponsor in my own recovery program who happened to call after about an hour of my own ESSENCE meditation.  I was able to share with her some of my sadness and tears that I felt and to talk about where they are coming from.  How my doubts and fears keep me paralyzed from moving forward.  How sitting with and accepting and acknowledging the sadness has opened up the opportunity for conversation, for productive learning.  I am recognizing how my own fears of not being good enough keep me frantically looking outside of myself for the answers.  I so intuitively titled my blog Healing from Within and yet I continue to look outside of my mind, body and house for the solutions.  For instance, this past week I met with two different compounding pharmacies, read another book on amino supplementation and spoke with a Medical Doctor about my clients and my daughter and what supplements and cellular renewal products I should be recommending.  I spend hours researching to discover the “right recommendations” that I might give, as if it is my responsibility alone to “fix, heal and cure”.  I needed this reminder that I am a coach, I am human and I do not, nor never will, have all of the answers.  But most importantly, the answers to our own self-healing and health are inside of us each moment of each day.  

To quote Dr. Gaynor, “Doubt has become a habit for most of us.  Bad habits, like cancers, can multiply out of control if not checked. This is why meditation is so important.  When you can make a habit of trusting your essence, even when doubt is present, an inner peace can be maintained throughout adversity.  It is all a matter of living in the moment and being conscious of what is internal and what is external.  Then you may choose to trust what is inside rather than doubt what is outside.  You can doubt only when your awareness is in the past or the future.  When your awareness is in the moment, no matter what you are doing becomes a meditation in itself.”  Remember in the Karate Kid movie, “Wax on, Wipe off”?

“That is why now-this very moment-is synonymous with eternity.  When you are aware of your essence, you can always only be in the moment….” 

“By maintaining the intention to experience your essence and its truth, you bring forth your ability to experience healing, abundance, and a deep sense of your own worth in all situations.”  When you begin to see your obstacles and misconceptions as opportunities for growth, you begin to understand the Buddhist saying, “The greater the hindrance, the greater the enlightenment.” The depression that can arise from adversity, illness, and loss can thus be seen as stepping-stones along your own path for healing.”

In that case I should be quite enlightened by now!!

As I was working through the meditation to releasing sadness and melancholy I realized that first I need to release the fear (and the self-doubt that perpetuates the fear).  I realized that I am asking others to believe as I do in the idea of healing from within, but that I have not practiced this myself to overcome my own limitations that are keeping me stuck.

Here is the exercise that Dr. Gaynor outlines:

Begin with the breathing exercise.
1.    EXPERIENCE: Experience exactly where in your body you feel your fear (or pain).  Feel its exact location, size, shape, color and temperature.  Visualize this as energy.  Pick only one area of your body at a time.
2.    SEE:  Visualize the light of your essence located above the top of your head.
3.    SURRENDER: Surrender your fear to the higher power of your essence by visualizing its energy being released upwards into the light of your essence.
4.    EMPOWER: Empower and strengthen this healing by recalling your essence. Feel this as warm, healing light, which you can direct with each in-breath, into the area you are working on.
5.    NURTURE:  Nurture the idea of a life free of fear.
6.    CREATE: Create a space for your higher power to continue to guide you by visualizing a channel through which the light of your essence can continue to flow in and the negativity you are working with can flow out.
7.    EMBODY: Embody and externalize this healing by visualizing the light of your essence flowing into each cell of your body.

Carpe Diem, Seize the Day, and this moment.  Lisa

Summer Reading

Wellness is not just about nutrition, supplements and exercise. Wellness includes the mind, body and spirit.   So as we sit on the beach this summer with our sizzling read, I’d like to share with you some of my summer reading and why I find it particularly “hot” these days.   To quote one of my reads:  “Understanding on a scientific level how cells respond to your thoughts and perceptions illuminates the path to personal empowerment” Dr. Bruce Lipton  We are not victims to our genes.  This is a limiting, antiquated and disempowering belief, similar to the antiquated belief that the world was flat.  Science has known this for over a decade but this has not trickled down to us layman.   The science of epigenetics is proving this.   I am reading about the “new biology”  the science that tells us that our fully conscious mind can be more powerful than the “nature versus nurture” argument. Unfortunately the conventional medical establishment has not yet integrated this knowledge of cellular biology, quantum physics or nutrition into medical schools.  But several Drs are leading the pack. I am also reading Love & Survival by Dr. Neal Barnard who cites years of medical research proving that love, laughter and connection are far more powerful than any modern drugs alone.  But my favorite summer read is “Healing Essence” by Mitchell Gaynor, MD Medical Director, Cornell Center for Complementary & Integrative Medicine.  As an Oncologist he has learned first hand the power of healing from within.  He writes, “Modern medicine tends to regard healing as coming only from outside of us, overlooking the fact that we all have innate healing mechanisms, giving us the capability to be more than bystanders waiting for drugs and surgery to cure us.  Adversity usually forces people to confront reality-and to do so without pretenses and other creations of the ego.  Someone with serious illness usually has little concern for money, prestige, or position.  And healing begins with the realization that with vulnerability comes a freedom from many of the illusions to which most of us are so attached. Many of my patients have used their own experiences with pain and vulnerability to make enormous leaps in their spiritual and psychological growth, and this relates closely to the entire healing process.” ESSENCE is a guide for healing fear and includes diet, yoga and meditation.