The people who change the world around them – for themselves, their companies, communities, and families – rarely act from a sense of obligation. In fact, the people who act as leaders almost always act from a sense of incredible opportunity. They don’t interact with the world around them because they have to. They do so because they want to.Mark Sanborn: You don’t need a title to be a leader
Once upon a time, there was nothing.
Then came covid..
Then, 2020 became the year about a pandemic. 2021 became the year about living with a pandemic. 2022 became the year about getting out of a pandemic. What if 2023 does not become part of this sequence? What if, in your own little world, 2023 does not become another year about a worldly intense event? What if, in your own little world, you allow 2023 to become the year about you? About your own internal process, about your own internal growth, about your own internal healing? Just in your own little world, regardless of any event happening in the universe?
Would you allow 2023 to become the year about you?
It is so easy to get distracted with a worldly disaster and become engaged with matters which are not really yours, staying away from your own internal heavier issues which await to be tended by you. Easy, but not very effective, as these issues will never disappear, and as they linger, they might create bigger problems. And yet, why would you bother with something that is not causing you too much trouble at this moment? Why would you get out of your comfort zone when you are not facing anything that is life threatening yet? Why would you tend to your own little world when so many other important things are happening in the universe?
The simple, but not always popular answer would be, because you have the choice to do so. You can choose to do what works for you. You can choose to allow or not to allow anything to enter or not to enter your life. But how can you know what is the thing that would promote your highest good? How can you know that what you’re doing now is or is not the best choice for you at this moment?
To gain this knowledge you might need to slow down and maybe take a little break…
Slowing down and taking a brake can provide an opportunity to allow yourself to make observations about how your life evolves. When observations are not accompanied by judgment, they become assessments.
What can you assess? Here are some examples as a starter:
Starting with the Physical aspect. Is everything ok here?
- Do I have the energy for all the activities I want to do?
- Do I feel any discomfort anywhere in my body?
- Do I find time to move through the day?
- Do I find time to relax through the day?
- Do I feel nourished?
Continue with the Mental aspect. Is everything ok here?
- Do I know why I am doing every activity I do?
- Do I want to do all the activities I do?
- Am I running in circles? Do I feel that everything will always be the same and nothing will ever change?
- Do I feel that I am being heard? Do I want to be heard?
- Do I listen to my own advice? Do I follow it?
- Do I feel more committed to others than I am to myself?
- Do I feel the need to be in control all the time?
Then, checking in with the Emotional aspect. Is everything ok here?
- Do I like all the activities I do? How do I feel about them?
- Do I make my decisions out of obligation to others, feeling that I might hurt others if I say no?
- Do I feel that I am being led into a place that I don’t necessary want to be in?
- Do I wake up in the morning eager to start my day?
- Do I feel appreciated (by me, spouse, siblings, parents, friends…)?
- Do I feel cared for (by me, spouse, siblings, parents, friends…)?
- Do I feel fear or anxiety of what is beyond my control?
What if you discover that one or more of the issues you have assessed are not exactly to your liking? Would you be willing to do something to make the issue/s be different? If you would, then no major acts are needed. Starting with a minor shift in your thinking – appreciating the opportunity to set an intention to create a change. Then everything opens up – you will become aware that you have the choice to do whatever serves you best.
Now, where can you start this shift?
Starting with the most basic action – Breathing. There is no doubt in my mind that you are constantly breathing. However, is your breathing slow and deep, feeding your relaxed state of your central nervous system, or is it fast and shallow, feeding your survival mode? If you are not sure, you can take a glance at your lung reflex in your feet. The lung reflex is located on the balls of your feet and can be a great indicator to the state of your lungs:
- Is the reflex small?
Your breathing might be shallow.
- Is the reflex high – hogging the base of your toes?
Your lungs might be hogging your throat to a point you feel suffocating most of the time.
- Is the reflex swollen?
Your lungs might be filled with unprocessed events which patiently wait for an opportunity to be processed.
- Is the reflex tender?
Your lungs might be calling out for help.
So much information can be gathered from one little spot in your feet. If your lung reflex shows one or more of the above, you might want to check for tightness in your diaphragm, which is a primary muscle in your breathing. Put your fingers beneath your last rib, just above your belly, and feel what is happening there.
Is your diaphragm muscle tight? Is it tender?
Why would your diaphragm tighten?
Maybe as a result of a long habit of shallow breathing which leads to a minimal use of the muscle? Or maybe as a result of constant stress which keeps the muscle tight? Whatever the reason is, when your diaphragm is tight, your lungs may feel “caged” and may have a hard time expanding to their fullest capacity. Releasing the diaphragm will accommodate space for your lungs to expand, allowing your breathing to deepen and slow down.
How can you release your diaphragm?
Surprisingly enough, a Castor pack can do wonders. Applying the castor pack on your abdomen (see instructions here), conveniently touching your diaphragm (just below your ribs), the heat and the oil will soften the tissue. In addition, castor packs have the amazing power to bring your central nervous system to its relaxed state. This is explained in my article: “The real reason I love castor oil packs“.
Yes, a castor pack might be messy. Yes, it might be another chore in your busy day. And yes, it is probably outdated and not very popular. But IT WORKS!!!
My adventures with castor packs began in 2011, when we were forced by a school assignment at the naturopathic school to do them at home. No matter how much we read about the benefits of the castor packs or how many testimonials we heard, none of us was willing to try them! Who is crazy enough to go to sleep with a sticky oil on their belly, messing up all the sheets/cloths/floors? And thus, it turned into a graded assignment, to propel us to try the packs.
Feeling obligated, I reluctantly went to sleep with a castor pack. To my astonishment, the next morning I woke up feeling rested, happy, and ready to start the day!! Then I saw Amit slowly dragging himself down the stairs looking as if he did not sleep for a whole week. I asked him what happened, and he could not believe that I didn’t hear anything from the busy commotion of the kids through the night. We have 3 kids, and sure enough they were very young back then, but by his description, it sounded like we had 100 of them that night!!!
At that moment, my school assignment turned from an obligation into an incredible opportunity! The only thing I could think of was that I have to remember to put another castor oil pack that night!!!! Because this was the most accurate reflection of how we both looked and felt like every morning heading down the stairs. Grabbing this opportunity to witness the difference between a restful night sleep and a hectic one, I immediately ordered hot water bottles and oil for all of us, and peace came to our nights. Or so I think… As I keep doing the packs almost daily since, and do not hear a thing;)
Back to your breathing – When you slow and deepen your breath, your brain understands that “war is over” and that there is time now to breath. Then, your nervous system can shift to its parasympathetic state, where it can allocate resources to detect and correct what needs some adjustment in your body. Would a simple routine as a castor oil pack worth a try to enhance your breathing? It’s only for you to decide.
Now that you can breathe, you might want to assess how well-nourished you are. Nourishment means that every cell in your body gets the materials it needs for its most efficient function. Nourishment is not about a certain trendy diet. It is about eating real food, at least in one of your daily meals. Real food has not been processed or changed by human hand. Real food has been around for thousands of years and is not new. This type of food is familiar to your cells, and they know how to process and use it. Some examples of real food could be Fruits (preferably organic), vegetables (preferably organic), grass-fed / organic meats, Free range chicken /eggs, chicken soup/bone broth, pickles, sauerkraut, avocado, full fat grass-fed dairy / butter….
If you feel that today your plate does not include real foods – DO NOT ELIMINATE A THING! If you’d like, you can start ADDING nourishing foods – maybe a bone broth or a root vegetable soup – and eat it before you eat what you regularly eat. Allow your body to get accustomed again to the tastes of real foods, and soon enough, your body will not carve what you were used to eat.
When your body is nourished, it can release the need to be in survival mode. You will then feel relaxed and secured. You will not feel hungry, and cravings will lessen.
Once you can breathe and nourish your cells, you might want to take a walk outside. Walking in nature has a meditative effect on your brain. Studies show that walking in the nature can boost your immune system and lessen your anxieties and stress. As a physical activity it improves circulation and lymphatic functions. Being surrounded by nature activates all your senses and revives your creativity.
Maybe you can take another assessment while you walk. Maybe now you are able to contemplate the assessment questions with deeper answers. Maybe now you are able to remove yourself a bit further from your situation and get a wider view of what is happening in your own little world. Again, allow yourself to be just an observer. If you encounter the need for judgment – slow down again and check if there is a way you can turn any unliked event into an opportunity. Maybe now, that you have more insight into your internal world, you can set your intention to elevate this found opportunity for your own growth and healing.
If you cannot do it at this moment – it’s OK! The understanding that any obligation or unliked event has the potential to turn into an opportunity can create a major shift by itself. And this shift might inspire you to allow 2023 to be the year about you.
And if you need any help in your process, you are always invited for a session with me. In my Initial session you will receive a wide understanding about what is happening in your body – physically, emotionally and mentally – and most important, we will discuss what you can do at home to promote your own health and healing. Because it does not matter how big is the miracle that can be created in a one-hour session, as it is just a fraction of the miracles you can create in the rest of the twenty-three!
To a Happy, Healthy, Full of Opportunities New Year,
and Cheers to Allowing This New Year To Be All About You!!!