Few years ago, my youngest asked me what would I wish for if I could be granted only one thing? I answered that I would wish to have a peace of mind. Then he gave me a very astonished look and said: “Only one piece of your mind??? So you will be dumber than you already are??????” and could not stop laughing the whole day….
Yes, he definitely has 100% of my genes… to his may or his dismay…….;)
With everything happening in the world right now, peace of mind is becoming more and more an “endangered species”. Some of us may even find it hard to believe that peace of mind actually exists, as it may have been shredded into pieces for many. Would it be even possible to grant ourselves a peace of mind in times like these, while going through issues like Covid-19, elections, future uncertainties, environmental changes, income instability……?
Maybe we can start with the exploration of our expectations, in order to understand how will we know that we are experiencing a peace of mind. How or what do we expect to feel? How long do we expect it to last? What do we do then???
Or maybe starting with the exploration of our feelings. Checking in with our own feelings is never a simple mission, especially in times of world’s chaos. It is always a challenge to separate between the feelings that rise up due to our anxieties and the feelings that are genuine ours and represent our deep aspirations. Can we make this separation?
Or maybe starting with the understanding that our peace of mind cannot depend on the events around us. When we think that our peace of mind will come when something will end/begin, then we really turn our peace into pieces (which will prove that my son may have had a very valid point in his statement..). How can we create an independent sense of peace?
In April 2020, while we were quarantined in our homes, I accepted a very generous offer from Lou Weir, to participate in a free retreat of The Diamond Approach, which he organized together with Sue Moen. This retreat was a whole-weekend zoom event and had been a very new and refreshing experience for me. Since my understanding of the theory behind The Diamond approach is less than minimal, I will share here only my experience with the practical side of this approach in the retreat and afterwards, as Lou Weir generously extended his offer to weekly meetings through the quarantine era. These classes have helped me stay on the ground and understand what are real matters and what are just noises in my life.
The retreat and weekly classes contained, among many other things, a repeating question (an inquiry), which means that someone is asking you the same question for 5-7 minutes, again and again and you need to come up with an answer. The question is never an easy one. It could be for example: “What is right about not feeling your feelings?”. In the beginning, your answers are more superficial. But as you are asked again and again, you start to dig inside, and many time touch issues that are not inviting. Or as Lou Weir put it in his beautiful words: “Starting from a place of not knowing and allowing ourselves to be touched by the question. When we start to feel the impact of the truth, we are taken to a much more fundamental place. This is a live realization, not only spiritual”
Experiencing this “live realization” brought on some deeper questions: How often do we allow ourselves to feel these uncomfortable feelings? How often do we attend feelings that we don’t like? Probably never for most of us…. We would likely go and check a physical discomfort, but many times we would just hope for an uncomfortable feeling to simply disappear. Unfortunately, these feelings do not just disappear. And ignoring them would not make the issue resolved. They will keep lingering and go somewhere deeper in our body, where it is easy for us to un-feel them. But they will always be there to “blackmail” us into spending our energy to hide them. Acknowledging these feelings, and allowing ourselves to sit within the sensations they surf, can make them harmless. Allowing ourselves to go through any emotion that arises, regardless to the way our emotions are perceived by society, will liberate us from this grand liability that we often carry without even paying attention.
Would that be a step towards achieving peace of mind? Of course!!
Would that be a fast and easy process? Probably not.
In our fast moving era, we got used to seeking fast superficial solutions, without exploring deeper causes. We may have forgotten that when something is easy or fast to achieve, we tend to appreciate it less. Peace of mind is an expensive asset. We have to appreciate and put some work in the process of achieving it, in order to realize its value. The question now is – Are we willing to invest in our own peace of mind? Moreover, would we be able to do so when the whole world is on fire?
I believe that we can do everything we set our intention to. In a fast pacing era, we might move through life so rapidly that we tend to miss the opportunity to set an intention. In order to be able to set any kind of intention, we have to shift our body and mind’s state to a different mode – allowing them to slow down and deeply relax. We have to remove our mind and body from the state of perceived war. We have to find a way to convince our body and mind that the war is over and peace has arrived. There are so many ways to do so, but as you already know me, I remain loyal to the one that has shown and keeps showing amazing shifts in our nervous system state: Castor oil packs – Applied daily on abdomen, and now through the Covid-19 era, also applied on chest. I have written about the wonders of castor in my blog, the real reason I love castor oil packs, but would like to add here another benefit which may not be emphasized enough: Touch. When we apply the castor oil (or any other oil, salve or cream), we have to use touch. The Covid-19 pandemic has stripped us from touching, which is a very important component in maintaining our health. We have to bring touch back into our lives. Thinking about touch, we tend to associate it with an action done by another person. However, we cannot forget the power that resides in touching our own tissue. The most beneficial touch would be a nourishing touch – a gentle unconditional loving touch, resembling a parental touch. Our tissue might have been compromised or even insulted by an injury, any type of condition/disease, or even a medical intervention. When we learn to create this contact between us and our tissue, we are starting to communicate with our body. Cells feel that they are being heard. Imagine how you feel when you are in distress and someone hugs you. Same is true for our cells, except the fact that they cannot express what they feel in words. The cells express it by loosening up and releasing anything that don’t serve them (or us) anymore. How awesome would this be to give ourselves the permission to let go with a “petting” support and no judging? In time, we might even realize that the kinder we are to ourselves, the kinder we become to others. We might even learn to listen to our inner world, and maybe stop for a moment to check why a certain feeling have arise. And it would be perfectly okay just to make the observation. We don’t need to have the answer. All we need is to allow the thought and the feeling to be out in the air. Spending our energy in hiding or disregarding them is preventing us from allocating these sources to being in peace. Peace of mind can come out of kindness to our own selves. Peace of mind can come when we allow our tissue to be open and relaxed regardless of any perceptions others may have.
Only when we are being kind and true to our own nature, to our own feelings, to our own wishes and hopes, we can grant ourselves the luxury of having a peace of mind.
Would it be easy? Of course not!! Would it be fast? Of course not!!
Whole healing has become a term that involves all aspects of life: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Meaning that, when all of these aspects are balanced we should be experiencing a complete healing. But is this actually happening?
Or are we missing a very basic component to bring ourselves to a real whole healed state????
Many times, we fear to touch or attend areas that may be too painful or may have been through some type of medical intervention, as we feel that we may cause harm. Then, we become disconnected from these parts of our body, compromising their efficient function. Disconnecting may seem the easiest way to deal with pain or discomfort. Erasing what we don’t want to remember – and it’s gone. What we cannot see – does not exist. Right? But if something finds a way to leak and come out, we fight it with much resentment, as we are ready to eliminate it upon earth.
Disconnecting eventually leads to anger and hatred that are directed to our own body and do not serve us. Healing cannot come out of hatred. And the most malicious of all is self-hatred. We all have it to some degree – some of us feel it only rarely, and some of us feel it every moment. The only way to lower our engagement with self-hatred is to learn, practice and increase our self-love.
When I talk about self-love, I do not mean the superficial stuff that we do and mistake it for self-love, like taking time to do our nails, sit in a coffee shop with a friend, go to the gym or go for a massage. All of these are great, but they are above ground. I am talking about much deeper levels. About falling in-love with each and every one of our own cells. I am talking about the deep love and appreciation we feel when we look in the mirror and all we see is this wonderful, beautiful person looking back.
Falling in-love with my own body has a different energy than loving my body. When I fall in-love with my body, I do not critique it as much. When I fall in-love with my own body, I do not talk as many harsh words. When I fall in-love with my body, I accept, I forgive, I have compassion to my own body. This does not happen with just love. We have to be In-Love.
When my body feels my compassion, my acceptance, my soft words, it starts blooming. My body will want to exist because now it feels “home”. My body feels supported and appreciated. Every memory and information that closed up and tightened in my cells, due to my unreasonable expectations to be like someone else, will start surfing up.
Yes, it may require a process of dealing and accepting memories that we preferred they will disappear, but once we learn to compassionately accept them, they will make space for healing information to come up. Our cells contain much information and wisdom, coming down from generation to generation for thousands of years. And this knowledge has the power to heal and restore almost every issue in the body. But we have to allow access to this information.
Falling in-love with our body will open everything up. I believe that healing comes from within, and that we are our own healers. This work cannot be outsourced. We consult with experts about our condition, but they cannot heal us. If we are not willing to create this environment for our body to start healing itself, no one can do this for us. And the best way to create this environment is by falling in-love with our own body.
As I am witnessing, again and again, the understanding of the damage we cause to ourselves with our own self-hatred, I am amazed, again and again, how powerful this realization is. And this understanding is immediate. It takes only one second of experiencing this in-love energy to understand the distance between love and hate. And this second has the power to change lives. This is why teaching how to fall in-love with our body became one of my goals through my sessions.
Falling in-love with our own body is not a chore. It is a privilege to be a companion to such a hard-working and caring entity. And, as we discover all these little actions (which we never took the time to notice being busy scolding ourselves for other actions), we slowly fall more and more in-love, understanding that without these actions, we may not be still alive.
So, how can we fall in-love with our own body?
Simply by doing everything as if we really mean to be kind to our own body. These are some examples, but never limited only to them:
Eating, as if we really mean to nourish our body.
Exercising, as if we really mean to heal and not to injure.
Talking, as if our words actually come from our hearts.
Touching, as if we really mean to care for our body.
Committing, as if we whole heartily want to do what we commit to.
Friending people, who we whole heartily want to be around.
Showing gratitude and appreciation to our body, instead of showing constant disappointment.
and yes, castor oils packs, as they can bridge the physical and emotional gap. Being mindful to apply the packs as if we really mean to heal our body.
Our body strives to keep us alive with everything we bring on it. When our joints suffer, it may be a sign from our body that we may have exceeded its abilities and it is time to slow down. Taking medication or herbs can help with the pain or joint function, but should we just remain at the support level or should we check deeper for what really goes on?
When we gain weight, it may be a sign that there is a dissonance between our actions and our real will, which is causing our body to add more and more layers to hide our deep wishes. Losing weight, without understanding the reason for gaining it, cannot be a long term solution. Weight will come back at the moment of uncovering what we want to hide.
Whole healing comes out of very deep sense of love and appreciation to our own body. Our body will never turn against us. Everything it does comes from hard work to incorporate what we give it and trying to make the best to keep us breathing. When we learn to be thankful and appreciative to our body’s work, we actually fall in-love and become our greatest fans of our own selves. And then our body can smile. Not the superficial smile on our face, but the smile that comes from its deepest cells and spreads naturally all over our body.
And when our whole body smiles, we are truly experiencing whole healing.
At one or more points in our lives, we may have wished or have been wished: “may all your dreams come true“. Meaning it from our hearts, and yet, this sentence sounds very general.
What does it mean to make our dreams come true? What does it take to make it happen?
First and for most, it takes the courage to dream!
We live in an era that we need everything to happen in the moment and, when it takes longer to achieve something, we become frustrated. This creates a very fast and superficial pace of life. We tend to care for what we can do now, and do not invest energy in a venue that may take longer to achieve visible results.
This fast pace has a toll: We become exhausted and can get stuck in the hardship of the daily life, which may be filled with worries, fears, disappointments, and we may have a hard time to lift our heads up to see the light. This toll prevents us from finding time or space to dream or to create a vision for how we would like our lives to be.
Moreover, since we are surrounded by people, who conduct very similar way of life, it would sound weird to share with them a vision or a dream. We would probably be dismissed with a note like: “Stop dreaming and come back to reality. Those things can happen only in fairy tales and not in our world. Stop wasting your time on nonsense”. And we get discouraged and maybe even afraid to dream or talk about our dreams in public.
How can we make a shift? How can we create a dream or a vision without being afraid of dismissal or mockery?
In his inspiring books “Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind” and “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself”, Dr. Joe Dispenza explains the power of our thoughts to create a different physical state. He shows how thoughts can create chemical reactions that keep us addicted to patterns and feelings, including ones that make us unhappy. Dr. Bruce Lipton, in his groundbreaking book, “Biology of belief”, also talks about the powerful effect of environment on our cells, and how our believes and thoughts affect every cell.
We have an enormous power to change our lives and to fulfill our deepest wishes. Understanding our roll in this process will bring us to a state of action, a state of desire to look into and then shift our deepest believes. Those believes that we “inherited” from our surroundings and may not necessary reflect our individual thinking.
Taking the time to touch these believes and look into them, discovering our own exclusive path and finding the courage to move away from those believes if they do not support our own, will initiate the process of fulfilling our dreams.
As 2019 is slowly moving towards its closure, many of us are probably engaged with thinking about their New Year’s Resolutions. New Year’s resolutions became very popular in the past years, and it represents actions, which are believed to bring us to the ultimate great state of health once we commit to follow up with them. Many times, New Year’s resolutions will include activities, that we do not usually engaged with, in our current daily life. But, because these actions had a fast influence on others around us, we believe they will promote us to a better health state.
Resolutions carry a statement that we are about to make a very big change to our lives. Our society values power, strength and fast shifts. Anything that would not be perceived as that would be regarded as weakness. Committing to make very big changes, or actually to becoming a different person than we really are is much valued.
But… Is this really what we want to accomplish?
Have we stopped for a moment to understand what we deeply want to achieve?
Have we dared dreaming?
Have we dared to verbalize our dreams within our family or friendship circle?
Or have our dreams still stay hidden in our hearts since they do not match society’s expectations from us?????
In 2010, we started a new tradition in our house. Sitting together on the last day of the year, each one of us would write down their personal resolutions for the new year to come. Then, we would hang the family’s resolutions on the wall to follow through the year. By the end of the year, we would sit again, reading through the year’s resolutions, viewing what we succeeded to do, and writing down new resolutions for the following year.
Few years later, we realized that “Resolutions” is too external of a word for us. We do not wish to announce any major transformation to the world, but we wish to talk and uncover our dreams and visions, and bring them to the surface. No matter how small or different they are. So we started seeking a softer, more internal word.
We came up with the word “Intentions”. Our intentions come from our hearts and remain within us. We are the ones responsible to do whatever we wish with our intentions. They are personal, internal and definitely belong only to us. Our intentions are not limited to actions. Our intentions can represent thoughts, hopes, dreams, wishes that cannot always be quantified, and might not even be realistic at that moment. But once we verbalize them, they get a chance to come true.
The beauty with the word “Intentions” is that we do not need to wait for the end of the year to set them. Intentions can be set whenever we feel that we are ready to commit to move another step up on our own journey. They don’t have to be a big extravagant action. They don’t have to be announced to everyone we know. One fitted step – as big or as small as needed – will be perfect.
Shifting internally, while taking the time to learn and appreciate our unique thoughts, ambitions and aspirations, will pave our trail to start dreaming. Dreaming will then direct our journey to shift our lives in the direction our heart really desires. And when we follow our heart’s desires, we can truly make our dreams come true.
On every flight, to anywhere in the world, we are reminded that in case the oxygen masks drop down while traveling with a dependent, we should put our mask first and then attend to help those who need our assistance. Why do we need these reminders? why isn’t it clear to us, that we need to attend our needs first in order to help others? How can we see so clearly that someone else has a problem but are blind to our own? And even when we do see that we have an issue, why are we automatically available to help others but hardly available to take care of ourselves?
Perhaps it’s because we are too busy engaging in this major project called Life which leaves us less available to notice some minor details in it..
Life may become hectic, often due to our perception that, we are expected to follow some basic social customs, which may not always be the same as our deep personal believes. And we do so simply because we are too busy for taking a moment to find out what our deep personal believes are. It seems as there is never time for us to take a break. Breaks seem less socially acceptable, while work usually seems to be more appreciated.
This is why it was a bit of a revolutionary act for me, when I decided to start taking one-hour Epsom salts baths every morning. This decision probably has been influenced by my teacher’s remark in the iridology class back at the Naturopathic school, when she looked into my eyes for few good minutes, and finally said: “OOOOHHHHH MMMYYYYYY!!!!!”. She moved on to the eyes of the 26-years-old kid sitting next to me and tells him that if he continues what he is doing, he would be dead by 30. Then, she returned and asked me if I want to hear what she has to say. Engaging all my courage (as I was still in the learning process of saying no…), I politely said: “No, thank you! I am all set!!!!!”.
And set I was! Realizing that something must be changed and starting with the simplest things I could think of – Epsom salt baths in the morning and castor oil packs at night: The night treatment was easy – I did not need to change anything besides applying the packs when I go to sleep. But the morning new routine was a complete different story.
Growing up with amazing parents who do not regard any work as hard, I have been taught to be productive and proactive: there is always something to do or someone to help, and it is never too hard to do everything.
So after all these years of productiveness, I now plan to take a whole hour and do NOTHING! Completely disregarding the fact that there is so much I could do – clean, cook, read, listen to something, learn etc…… and yet, I choose to start my day doing NOTHING.
First time sitting in the Epsom bath, I felt very guilty – doing nothing is neither productive nor proactive. This is the complete opposite of how I was raised. Ant yet, I chose to do it. I chose to start changing the believes I grew up on, hoping to reach and follow my own deepest ones, because I had this huge desire to live.
I have no idea what my teacher saw in my eyes that day, but it does not matter. I knew exactly how I felt then and in the months prior to class. And I also knew that I never took a moment to ponder about it. I did not need a verbal report (or even a diagnosis) to assure me something is off – just needed to stop and figure out what is going on.
As I started to do NOTHING for a whole hour every morning, It was astonishing to notice how, by the end of the day, I managed to finish all my planned tasks much faster and much more efficient than I did before.
I became more focused. I started to understand priorities. I understood what really requires my attention and what is just noise. I also realized that only when I learned the art of doing NOTHING I discovered that I exist. And that I may have some issues that require my attention.
I became very appreciative for the gift I was giving my kids – teaching them that self care is not a synonym to laziness or neglecting chores, but a priority item on our to-do list. Kids learn from our actions and not from our words. When we act from our deepest personal believes – they learn to do so as well. And when they grow up, they will have a good chance to possess this remarkable tool to help them navigate life.
My feelings of guilt slowly faded, as I worked to ease them away. For many of us, guilt may be a major block in our journeys. According to Anodea Judith, in her book, Chakra Balancing Workbook, Guilt is the demon of unbalanced second chakra (second of seven major energy centers in our body), which is located in our lower belly. She continues to mention that, “the basic right of the second chakra is the right to feel. We may have this right compromised by being told ‘you shouldn’t feel that way’ or that our feelings were wrong or bad, or there is something wrong with you because you were upset, scared or angry.” We may feel that something is wrong when we need a break, since we are taught to keep doing and never taught to stop.
Caroline Myss PhD, in her book, Anatomy of the spirit, mentions that the second chakra possesses the power of Choice. “Managing the power of choice, with all its creative and spiritual implications, is the essence of human experience.” We have the choice to evolve beyond the collective energy and create what is working for us.
We have the right to take a break, and this becomes very clear as a choice we can make, when we balance our second chakra. The second chakra is associated with water, with flexibility (in movement and in life), with enjoyment of beauty (in sight, sound or touch..). Creating a connection with our second chakra is essential to our healing. Understanding the emotions which we are holding there and hopefully allowing the space to release them, can help up let go of this guilt that we carry.
There are many activities that can be great as second chakra openers. Here are few suggestions to begin with. Feel free to research and create your own healing tools to bring balance to second chakra.
Stretches like the butterfly movement – when you lay on your back and bring the soles of your feet together while opening and closing your knees (or any other simple yoga pose)
Water – Drinking / Dipping / … – correlating with the water element of the chakra
Moving – dancing / hiking / biking / … – correlating to fluidity and flexibility
Looking at or listening to anything that is perceived beautiful – affecting joy
When balancing and opening the second chakra, many of our hidden feelings and emotions will probably flood us. By then, our body already smiles and is more forgiving and accepting whatever surfs up. Allowing free flowing of these emotions and feelings releases energy that we used for covering them up. We will find that we have more strength and will power to do whatever we wish. And probably will have more courage to open our eyes to see our own selves before others.
Sometimes we need a wake-up call to take us out of our automatic pilot who is always available for others, but almost always too busy for self issues. It is important to remember that any shift or transformation takes time, no matter how loud or quiet is our wake up call. It is a journey where we learn that we have to be in our best condition – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually – in order to be in service for others.
Only when we stop and find a time to do NOTHING, we can discover that we exist. And when we discover that we exist, we can learn that we have to address our issues before addressing other’s.
Then, we will be able to take flight. to anywhere in the world and maybe even beyond.
and no reminders will be needed….