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FEATURE - December 2017
Focus on the Foundation for Whole Healing
by Codie Lea
When thinking about our life we often separate things into categories. We have romance, work, family, friendships, and maybe if we get to it, ourselves. Even with ourselves we separate our physical health, our mental health, and our spiritual health. So often these separations leave us feeling disconnected, like we are playing roles in our lives or putting on masks. Everything we do though, crosses over and effects each other. And there are three things that infuse it all, our breath, our thoughts and our Life Force. Like one giant house our lives have separate rooms and access points, but it is all built on the same foundation, that foundation is the basis of the body, mind, and spirit connection. So when building anything, or fixing anything, it is necessary to start with the foundation.
The Physical - Our Breath
Breath work is a powerful tool to aid the body in all ways. Most people only use a portion of their lung capacity, taking shallow breaths. Breathing shallow can cause anxiety, worry, fear and stress. Calming the breath, bringing your attention to the present moment and redirecting focus can aid the emotions to calm, quiet the mind chatter, and relax the body. A great exercise to try is to sit comfortably on a chair or on the floor. Place your hand on your knee or thigh, palm facing down in a relaxed position. As you breathe in lift your hand in sync with your breath. As you exhale lower your hand in sync with your breath. As you match the rise and fall of your hand with your breath, consciously slow the movement of your hand slowing the inhale and exhale. As you do this you will be able to deepen the breath, while consciously slowing the breath down. Continue this exercise for a full 2-5 minutes and feel how you are calmer and more at ease. Use this daily at work, when you are highly stressed, or when you just need to unwind.
The Mental - Our Thoughts
Our minds are always on the run. Often we have no idea what our thoughts are. Our focus is split between the past and the future; the To-Do list, future projects or plans, past conversations or arguments, things we should have done or should do. Rarely is the mind still or focused on the present. But it is our thoughts that often navigate our life. There is an old saying that says, “Where the mind goes, energy flows, reality grows.” Too often our thoughts can be full of worry, doubt, and fear, directing us in ways that are not helpful, creating in our lives emotions and experiences we truly do not want. Gratitude and Affirmations are perfect mental exercises, helping us to refocus on both the present, and what we want to experience in the present. A simple daily exercise for gratitude is to choose three things you are grateful for in your life. Really visualize them, experience them, and honor them. Maybe it is a loved one, or a positive promotion, or a delicious lunch you just had. Close your eyes, picture it in your mind, use your senses to re-imagine it, and give thanks. This practice should take 5-10 minutes. Once completed you will feel refreshed, full of joy and gratitude, more clear-minded, and re-engaged. Another exercise for the mind are Affirmations or positive statements of something that you wish to create in your life or within your Self. An easy affirmation is, “I am full of Joy and Light easily attracting more Joy and Light into my life”. You will then want to repeat this affirmation at least 10 times out loud. This way you are focused on this thought above all others, and easily able to direct your mind to this thought as you go through the day. You will often begin to attract experiences that mirror your thinking.
The Spiritual - Our Life Force
Life Force, also referred to as Qi, Ki, or Spirit, is the energy that animates our body. We can feed a body, water a body, and move a body, but without Life Force we would just be an inanimate object. The Life force that runs through our body helps balance, heal and vitalize us. It also connect us the Divine or the higher Self. Life force can also be directed through breath, visualization, and tensing and relaxing of the body. This can help awaken the body and keep the energy moving throughout the body with ease. The easiest Life Force exercise begins by sitting or lying down. As you breathe in, tense the right side of the body from the head to toes, while at the same time imaging a white light coming into the head and moving to the tensed sided of the body. Then as you exhale, release the tension and relax the body. On the next inhale, tense the left side of the body while imaging the same white light coming in through the head and being directed to the left side of the body. On the exhale, relax the body completely. Repeat 3-5 times, tensing only to the point of vibration, not straining, and then relaxing completely. If you are siting, when you relax your body allow your head and neck to drop forward to fully release the tension from the neck. This exercise can be helpful to relax mental emotional stress and re-energize the body when tired or physically overworked.
Once you have strengthened the foundation of your Self, life begins to transform. So often we look for a quick fix, but when it comes to true permanent health and lasting happiness, it is a daily practice. Those daily practices create a resilience within that cannot be taken away and cannot be easily shaken. They help us to respond to our life rather than react, create the life of our dreams, and truly help us to be whole.
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Codie Lea is a teacher and student at The School of Metaphysics. She is very passionate and dedicated to aiding others and the world toward wholeness. One of her great joys is seeing others light up and grow. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org