Let the water settle; you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your being. Rumi
Well 2016 has definitely been a turbulent year. I am sitting contemplating how so few words can have so much energy behind them! This global uncertainty is affecting us in many ways; every single client I have seen this past week has held shock in their bodies and have taken more time to settle into stillness.
Yes, there is a storm raging out there. Yes, it more than likely will get worse. No, we do not have to always be at the effect of it. We have a choice as to how we react to things. The question is what informs this choice? Primarily, it is our upbringing and the stories we hear and become attached to. What we often forget is that the filters we view the world through are not necessarily real and that it is very possible to change how we perceive, and thus react to, something.
Making space between an event and our reaction gives us time to really be with our authentic response, not our automatic response. This is where breathe comes in. This is where presence comes in. This is what stillness offers us. It resonates with the deepest parts of us. It allows us to see the bigger picture, to feel the connectedness of all things and to pause and reflect.
Most of us feel we don't have the luxury of time to access stillness. There's a huge list of jobs to do and we rush from one thing to the next. The only stillness we generally know is the unconscious type (generally called sleep!). Most of us do not realise the importance of stillness. When we come back from holiday, we usually feel revitalised and think it's purely because we haven't had to work. But the primary reason is that we've experienced stillness and been with the elements of nature - the ocean, the mountains, the forests- which nourish us at a core level.
What I know now and wish I knew when I was rushing around in the corporate world in my 20s and 30s is that time is not the enemy. Just 10 minutes of stillness and presence a day frees up more time than it takes! Ironic, really. But knowing stillness does not seem to come naturally anymore to us as a race; it is like we have become so disassociated from our bodies we've forgotten some fundamentals.
So what can you do if you are feeling called to stillness but cannot access it? Mindfulness training is becoming trendy, which is great, so you could join a class. You could also try a craniosacral therapy session as stillness is at the heart of that. Or you could simply sit in a quiet place and simply be with your breath, noticing how your body expands with each in breath and how it changes with each exhalation. Keeping your awareness within your body and noticing how different parts of you feel is key to accessing stillness.
I urge you to give it a go and notice what changes happen - both emotionally and physiologically.
I’m intrigued by the meaning of Harmony right now. If you look at its definitions it is about being in agreement/accord or its about congruity/ being in a pleasing arrangement or its about musical tones..... What is intriguing me is that these are three separate definitions of harmony that my mental capacity can relate to yet if I relate from my body-sense harmony feels to be all three at the same time. If I sit with that – how three separates are one whole – this shows how harmony is the opposite of putting things in boxes – how it is all encompassing and how it is relational.
I get the sense of songlines carrying harmonics, changing the energy of everything they touch through frequency, through contact, through resonance, the songlines of the Earth, the songlines of the Stars, the songlines of our own bodies; a galactic orchestra cascading sound and light across the cosmos. There feels to be a window right now to feel, to hear, to sense, to see what harmony is and how we can be a part of that orchestra.
Whilst you breathe in that potential, and open to that, I want to share an Apache blessing with you:
May the sun
Bring you new energy by day.
May the moon
Softly restore you by night.
May the rain
Wash away your worries.
May the breeze
Blow new strength into your being.
May you walk
Gently through the world and know
Its beauty all the days of your life.
I find myself spending way too much time on the computer these days is the conclusion I came too whilst walking my dog yesterday.
What made me come to this realisation? Well, it was the messages that my body gave me whilst I was walking through the rainy woods. I felt my shoulders shake off tension, my lungs really needed to take deep breaths and my whole system sighed with relief at being surrounded by nature.
With all the juggling that we do in our lives between work, emails, family, home, hobbies, social media (the list seems endless sometimes), we can forget the basic and simple needs of our bodies. We need space to breath. We need space to just be.
I am incredibly blessed, as I live in the middle of the country, and I know how to listen to my body. It is very easy however for us to get caught up in the latest project/drama/urgent task and forget to check in with ourselves. Too easy, in fact!
It is ironic too as even just taking 10 minutes per day to meditate, breath, just be with how we are with no distractions, will make us more focussed and productive. I imagine if there were research studies conducted, they would probably show that a 10 minute investment would give us 30 minutes back! At least!
So, on this autumnal Wednesday, I urge you to take 10 minutes for yourself today. Maybe you can go and walk in the trees and make a conscious effort to empty your mind and breath in the beauty around you. Maybe you can sit somewhere quietly and close your eyes, taking time to listen to the stories of your body (not your mind - that usually has way too much head space!) and just being with the simple inhalation and exhalation of yourself. It sounds simple, yet has a profound impact.
Sometimes, you need to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and who you want to be.....
Life is fast and the pace is getting faster - just watch a youngster on a computer and you'll start to see how much things have changed even in the last decade.
One of the downsides of the 24/7 availability of work emails and pressures is that most of us never fully relax and charge our batteries - or as we say in the craniosacral world, resource ourselves. The value of resourcing is so very important to our wellbeing, physically, mentally and emotionally. For when we are in a deeply relaxed state, the body has its best opportunity to repair itself and to let go of tension and stress.
The abundance of road rage, short tempers and increased time off work due to stress all point to the fact that many people do not reach this deeply relaxed state. This is where craniosacral therapy can help.
Here other Craniosacral Therapists give their own views of CST and its possible outcomes:
'It is a gentle but effective way of dealing successfully with many ailments, by overhauling the Nervous System and ensuring that the fractional motions of bones, body tissues, fluids and fascia are healthy and enjoying interior freedom of movement.'
'Craniosacral Therapy helps people to feel calm in a similar way to what may be experienced during some forms of meditation.'
'Think about the therapist as a facilitator who, by placing his/her hands on the head or sacrum or feet is listening to the rhythm within the body and through this contact enables the body to release tensions, calm its chaos and finally to reach a point of absolute silence where both client and therapist are in unison. It is in this silence that the body “does its work”. In this gentle space where mind and body are “held” safely by the therapist who is also focusing on the movement apparent inside the body, a deep sense of relief is often experienced.'
'In our understanding as Craniosacral Therapists there is an “Inherent Treatment Plan”. This is an inherent capacity to return toward health or at least the optimum level of health that is available at the time. Whatever the condition there is the possibility of transformation where there is support and understanding coupled with this empathic and compassionate contact. '