Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thinking it out? Forget it!


Walking Cannon Beach, originally uploaded by ColbyOtero.com.

I was talking to my sister the other night. I mentioned I was busily thinking and planning about next year ... in fact, I was saying that I probably should be thinking about it a whole lot more. That would be the sensible thing to do.

My sister is doing a yoga teaching course at the moment.

She said in a recent class they did a walking meditation on the beach, with the objective being to focus on the walking and just 'be'.

She mentioned to the teacher that she likes walking because it helps her think and the teacher said ... we believe we are solving things by thinking them through ... in reality, whether we spend a lot of time and energy thinking about an issue or not ... life tends to sort itself out ... so we might as well let go of the need to intensely obsess and worry (oops, I mean think!) about things.

We confuse thinking with wisdom, 'working things out' with trusting, worrying with connecting to our inner knowing.

This is coming up for some of my clients at the moment too ... Sweet Chestnut is a Bach Flower remedy that helps dissolve highly strung mental processes. If you're a worrier/thinker, why not try reading the affirmation:

I make the commitment to kindly, gently, lovingly, and supportively trust in a higher power, accept greater capacity and grow in consciousness, beyond self made definitions and boundaries.

Ask yourself:

How might trusting in a higher power feel for me?
What self made boundaries and limitations am I placing on myself?
How might it feel to grow in consciousness and accept greater capacity?

But don't think it through ... just allow these questions to settle and take a moment to notice where it is in your body that you feel your sense of inner knowing. Feel don't think. Ohhh.

It can sometimes feel a bit, I don't know, annoying to come back to similar issues, things you think you should know ... whatever they might be for you. Nadine writes about this beautifully on her blog. The truth is ... we all have stuff, we're all working on our stuff, and really ... it's totally fine :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

What's all the fuss about stress?


Peace, originally uploaded by kudumomo.

We are all aware of the toll stress can take on our lives. Stress can lead to serious illness. Our bodies are designed to deal effectively with stress - you've probably heard of the fight flight response.

The fight flight (or stress) response is a feedback loop between the hypothalamus and anterior pituitary in the brain and the adrenals (above the kidneys). This is called the HPA axis. When stress is perceived the adrenals are quickly prompted to release hormones including adrenaline and cortisol to enable the body to quickly respond to the stress. Digestion and immune function are immediately reduced so the body can take action. That’s why digestive problems and regular illness are common in highly stressed people.

The fight flight response is essential if you are in immediate danger. However in today's fast paced society, many of us activate this response constantly – even if we’re not in real danger. Work pressures, traffic, deadlines, money problems, relationship stress, the list is endless ... and the fight flight response is not designed to work continuously.

The hypothalamus, which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis (balance) in the body becomes fatigued and stops functioning efficiently. You literally become ‘out of balance’. This has a snow ball effect affecting more and more aspects of your being.

Stress is sometimes called the ‘silent killer’. You can continue to live in a stressed state quite well for some time with few health issues. Living on adrenaline becomes normal. The inevitable exhaustion is addressed with short term fixes such as more coffee, sugar hits or a glass of wine. If stress continues finally everything can seem to fall apart at once.

The many negative effects can include:
• Anxiety or panic attacks
• Mood swings
• Insomnia
• Problems with concentration and focus
• Digestion issues
• Constant colds or illnesses, or difficulty recovering from illness
• Inability to relax or enjoy life even when nothing is ‘wrong’
• Memory problems
• Ongoing overuse of the fight flight (stress) response is now recognised as a leading cause of depression

Kinesiology reduces stress and helps your body to restore homeostasis or balance.

Kinesiology helps to dissolve the stress in your system by finding the source of the stress and helping your body return to a healthy balanced state. It can also help you become more aware of the underlying factors causing your stress and help you to take positive actions to reduce the stress in your life.

Regular Kinesiology sessions are an excellent way to ensure you manage your stress levels. It is not necessary to live your life in a state of high stress and anxiety. You deserve to be happy!

On a personal note

Totally taking longer to restore balance than I expected. Still pretty tired.

On my holiday to Darwin I had a little tarot reading at the market: 'lots of good is coming but for the rest of this year ... you have to rest. You've pushed yourself too hard, you'll become unwell if you don't.' Um, hello? Boring! Wasn't that what I was doing on holiday? Wasn't that enough? I'm rested! Where's the action? I'm ready for the next thing!

Apparently not.

I've come to my senses and slowed right down. This month I stopped drinking alcohol and last week I even went off coffee (harder! I usually only have one a day but how I love that one.) Predictably, I became unwell. Two other friends who have also been through busy times and are now slowing down have had similar experiences.

My body wants rest. A lot of rest. I've tried to just go with it, cutting back where I can, getting used to the space in my life. And waiting. Just in the past couple of days a lightness is returning and with it new inspiration, new energy. But with awareness too.

I needed drive to accomplish 1400 hours of study on weekends over three years whilst working full time ... and then starting my business as soon as I had my certificate ... to get where I am. Without drive and determination I wouldn't have achieved what I have.

But I can make different choices moving forwards.

So yes, I'm continuing learning my own lessons about stress and finding balance and I am making different decisions about how much capacity I actually have. However I try to practice what I preach and I can't wait for my next Kinesiology session ... tomorrow!