Learning to Feel for Myself

Even with an intent for health in all things, there can be difficult encounters.  Let me tell you about a couple of events from the last few days.  What surprised me about each of them was my inability  to respond, even though I knew I wanted to and needed to respond.

First, there was my avoidance of a major task – moving my studio to the main floor of the house – where it needs to be.  Why would I avoid making changes to accommodate the work that I love to do?  Then, I met with a friend and expected to have a bodywork treatment.  Instead of getting what I expected, my friend gushed forth for most of an hour with her own issues.  I was silenced by her story and her obvious need for support.  I left the meeting feeling resentful.

In each of these situations, it felt like there was a vise tightening onto my mind.  No solutions presented themselves.

I am generally known as a resourceful person but here is the thing: while I am quite capable of offering help to others, when it comes to my own needs and desires, I fall apart.  I put myself in the back seat.  How’s that for an insight?

Yesterday, I had my second HeartMath session on the phone with Sheva.  HeartMath is a system that offers tools and assistance for building heart intelligence, reducing stress, increasing mind/body coherence. We began to talk about dealing with difficulty – feeling unsettled – and I offered my studio situation as an example of a block that I am facing.

Heart intelligence, my own insights given from a place of coherence, offered a way to ease the block and move forward.  I realized that the office (my future studio) is still a chaotic place that  makes me feel unsettled.  I identify the records, resources and comfy layer of dust with my past, not my future.

Sheva explained that approaching a problem with heart intelligence helps to access more of the brain.  Instead of moving automatically to a place of fear, in this case avoidance, I learned to be open to possibility for a creative solution that would support my needs.

My plan shifted from a doing focus to a being focus.  Instead of “planning to buy book storage”, I understood that actually getting a big bookcase is a priority that will help to organize the whole space.  Continuing to plan is actually part of the problem!  Rather than thinking about the studio from another room, I now know that I need to be in the studio and to be creative about space from this perspective.  These may seem like small shifts but they help a lot.

Today I am enjoying small shifts in awareness that support and empower my own being.  I can enhance my ability to help others by learning to appreciate and make space for myself.

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Getting Off the Illness Seesaw

Today, I am reflecting on what it means to be in a family characterized by so much illness.  What does it mean to me?  What does it do to my health?

I guess that’s what I hope to do with this blog.  I’d like to initiate a conversation with others who are living with family illness and death from degenerative illness (cancer, heart disease, etc.).

My brother passed away at the end of May.  Craig was a delightful curmudgeon.  He loved to laugh about crazy things and he had a strong streak of disliking many people and things.  I miss him a lot.  When he died, I felt a lot of different feelings.  I was relieved that he was no longer suffering but I missed him (and I still miss him) tremendously.  I wished he could have had better health and that made me think about my own health.  I needed to reassure myself that my health is OK.  I am not about to descend into illness and death – at least not right now.

Right there.  Can you see it?  That going back and forth from the uncertain mind to the feeling body?  That’s what I need to deal with.  I have lots of knowledge about health and how to develop it.  I take my Vitamin D (and other supplements) and I exercise and try to eat well.  It’s that second guessing myself that eats away at peace of mind.  And I really want peace of mind on this score.

So my reflection leads me to say this:  I love my family and they are part of me – whether they are living or not.  I will learn more about the family dynamics of illness but I don’t have to be controlled by them.  I can learn.  I am healthy and I can improve my health, day by day.

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I Am Celebrating Health in My Life

Good health may be a gift for some.  Most people have to work for it.  I’m writing this blog because I have now lost my mother, my father and my brother to different types of cancer.  Coincidence?  I think not. In my family there are intergenerational issues that impact health.  Of course, nutrition, exercise and genetics are factors as well.  The fact remains, however,  health in my family has not been as good as it might be.

So how can cancer be transmitted across generations?  A major dynamic is the socialized effect of negative stress, communicated unconsciously by parents to their children.  It is about how children feel accepted, how they feel respected and loved, how free they feel to explore the world and be regarded as full participants.

In this space, I will be sharing thoughts, helpful information and recipes in support of wellness.  I look forward to your comments and ideas as well!

I'm on the Case

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