Have you ever had one of those days where life just feels heavy? There's certain energy that seems to be weighing you down, circling around, pulling your mood and energy level down. What about those moments where you feel as high as can be? When you feel light, joyful and full of bright energy.
As we all know, energy is a constant and therefore it will shift up, down, in and out, and all around all the time. It's natural to have an ebb and flow with energy. Different energy levels key us into to what is happening internally and externally in our worlds.
There's this funny thing that can happen to us when we are in a low energetic space. We feel the need to "fix it". We want to escape from this low energetic feeling. We may quickly reach outward for something to shift this energy. However, I have found it's important to reach inward and move into this energy. Allow yourself to completely embrace and step into this energy without the need to change it.
What we resist, persists. When we try to escape the energy, it will continue to grow bigger and stronger. Things are perfect just as they are all the time. The low or heavy energetic feelings are there for a specific purpose. It's important to become a silent observer, to listen to it and to invite the feelings to flow out with this energy. It's not always easy to sit with this energy but if you can just hold on and listen, it can be a great teacher.
Allow yourself time to sit and listen with the understanding that all energy is constant, yet forever morphing and changing. Being able to embrace the lows, will allow you to deepen your ability to live in the NOW. Being able to sit with the lows will allow you to also sink deeper into the middles and highs. Each energetic level is a teacher and ride to go with and flow with.
I understand this can be a challenge due to the fast paced nature of society. We are expected to do more and to do it with a smile. However, you can pay attention to your own pace and energetic levels and honor them. Being able to embrace all energetic levels will lead you to a place of acceptance with each moment. It will lead you to a place of better coping skills for when times feel rough.
You can cultivate this deeper awareness with the understanding that each moment is a teacher you can simply be witness to while knowing it's all temporary.
~ Liz Myers, M.A. Rooted Living Wellness Coach.
It’s been said that the key to your health starts with a healthy gut. What you consume on a daily basis makes a significant difference with your overall health and well-being. Let’s take a look at a key ingredient your body may be craving!
Ginger is known for its powerful compound called, “gingerols”. These compounds have extremely effective anti-inflammatory properties. If you find yourself struggling with joint pain, arthritis and other painful inflammatory related ailments, consuming ginger on a regular basis may give you the relief you are looking for.
In addition to its amazing anti-inflammatory effects, ginger can aid with gastrointestinal issues, stomach aches, nausea and motion sickness. It is also considered a warming herb and thus it can help with detoxifying the body due to its natural ability to promote sweating. This is especially helpful if you are fighting a cold or the flu.
To get the most out of your ginger, go for the fresh ginger root. You can find this in the grocery store amongst the fruits and veggies. When purchasing fresh ginger, look for a firm smooth one. You will want to store this fresh ginger root in your refrigerator, lasting you about 3 weeks or so.
Looking for a quick easy way to get ginger into your life?
Simply put it in your drinking water! Cut off a small slice so the inner ginger is exposed from the covering. Grab a grater and simply grate some ginger into your water. It tastes great and it can add a little flavor to your daily water intake. I love it!
~Liz Myers, MA, Rooted Living Wellness Coach
Meditation is a practice you can begin at any time in your life. I was called to meditation almost 2 years ago. This happened around the time I was diagnosed with cancer. It was a time of overwhelm and swirling thoughts of shock, fear, uncertainty and vulnerability.
Meditation helped me to slow down and observe the madness. It supported my ability to take control of the mind and to let go of the unknown. It supported me to take an objective look at my current state of being so I could make more clear choices that served my highest good at a time of immense stress.
Meditation can be described in many different ways. I like to think of it as the time you take to cultivate the presence of the NOW. It's a time to take a pause between thoughts. It's a time to be a silent observer and to allow the thoughts that arise to float on by like painted clouds in the sky. Just like we have new unique clouds each day, we can rest assured that each thought and moment is temporary. Each breath we take in brings us new air and rejuvenation. We do not hold onto this breath. We invite it in and allow it to nourish us. We then breath out and let it go.
Meditation can also be used as an effective tool to cultivate a specific focus, concept or energy. This can be done by using mantras or chanting. Using a single word or phrase and repeating it over and over in your mind can help to edge out other thoughts. This method can assist with practicing mind control by providing a single focus. It's important to remember, what we think about expands. The more you think about it, the larger it will appear to you in your inner and outer worlds.
So, how do you meditate? The simple answer, place your awareness on your breath and let go! If that's not enough direction for you, try out some of these basic tips:
1) Prep your body for rest: We are quite a busy bunch of human beings and it can be a challenge to sit still. Before you meditate, take a few moments to stretch out your body, shake out some stress, circle your neck, let out some sounds, breathe deeply in and out. Did you know that yoga is a movement-based practice, which was originally designed to stretch and calm the body for meditation? Prepping the body is an important practice!
2) Find a quiet uninterrupted space: Seek out a space in nature or in your home that is most likely to support your cultivation of quiet and stillness. If you don't feel you have a good space to go to, you can always plug in some soft relaxing music with headphones as an alternative.
3) Find a comfortable place to rest your body: It's often recommended to find a comfortable seated position with a straight back. Keep your hands and arms uncrossed. It you need to lay down instead, please do! Being comfortable is more important so your mind will able to relax and let go. If you are focused on your leg falling asleep because of your seated position, it will create a pain distraction.
4) Close Your Eyes: Closing your eyes allows you to naturally turn inward towards your own inner wisdom. Meditation serves your ability to close out all the external focuses of the world.
5) Observe and Slow Your Breath: Once you are in your comfortable space, comfortable position, and you have closed your eyes, then you can begin to observe your breath. Just notice how you are breathing without judgment. Notice if you are breathing fast, slow, shallow, deep. Take a moment to focus on slowly deepening your breathe in and out. Take a pause at the top of your breath (after you have taken a breath in) and take a moment to pause at the bottom (after you have breathed it all out).
That's it! You are meditating. As thoughts enter and arise, let them pass by like those painted clouds in the sky. Remembering it's all temporary. The thoughts can dissolve and transform if you want them too. You can let them float on by without attachment. Don't worry if you attach to thoughts and your mind wanders, just return to a focus on your breath. Simply breathing slower and deeper will improve your overall health and well-being. The breath is the key to our life force. It adds nourishment to our cells, slows your heart rate, and it helps to calm the mind and body.
You can also try out this Guided Joy Cultivation Meditation to get you started:
This can guided meditation can be as short or as long as you would like. Begin with a few minutes if that feels right. Meditation works because you give it a try!
Begin by settling into your comfortable space. Invite a slow deep breath in and send it to any unsettled parts in your body. Let out a deep slow breath, envisioning it carrying away any pain or tension. Continue to breathe in deeply for 2-3 more breaths. Feel this fresh renewing air fill your body, mind and soul with healing light. Continue to breathe out slowly and deeply for 2-3 more breaths. Allow these breathes out to carry away and dissolve any worry or pain. Let it all simply melt away as you let your breath go. Continue to breathe in deeply, letting it fuel your healing light. Continue to breath out, letting go of any impurities still present within your body temple.
NOW, focus on the word JOY. Repeat this world several times over in your mind. See the word in your mind; send it to any place in your body, mind, soul and heart that needs this JOY. Transform this word JOY into the most healthiest cell you could ever imagine floating in your body. Instill this JOY cell with a bright healing light. Let it be any color you wish. Allow its shape and size to come to you naturally. Allow this nourishing bright healing JOY cell to grow stronger and brighter with each breath in. With each deep breath in, you provide it with the nourishment it needs to grow strong and heal within your body. Allow yourself to feel this JOY all throughout your body. Continue to let it grow bigger, stronger and brighter. Sending it to the places it is needed most. When you are ready, bring this bright beautiful healing JOY cell to your heart. Allow it to rest there and fill your heart completely. Spend time here with your heart and this JOY, breathing and receiving anything and all that arises without judgment. Stay here as long as you like. Breathe in and cultivate and care for this healing joy. Breath out and let go. Feel the JOY fill you up completely.
When you are ready to let go of the meditation, simply invite small movements in with your body. Wiggle your toes or fingers, circle your neck. Before you get up, make sure to thank yourself for taking this time to go inward and to cultivate your joy and light. Remember this bright beautiful healing JOY is always floating within you. You can call upon it at any time.
~ Liz Myers, MA, Wellness Coach
My workshops on Implementing Health Change will focus on many components of this well researched psychological theory of change. Here is the basic breakdown of how Prochaska and Diclemente revolutionized change for many.
As you know, change does not always come with ease. We may have an awareness that a certain habit is not serving us well, however we may not be in a space to do anything about it. Understanding these stages can help you to assess your current readiness for change and how you can begin the process.
1) Precontemplation: This stage means you are simply not considering a change. Your thought process may involve something like, "I've already got enough to deal with. I cannot consider this now. I enjoy this behavior and habit too much".
2) Comtemplation: This stage means you have an awareness that something might need to change but you are not sure about whether you want to do something about it or not. This often involves thoughts of bouncing back and forth between knowing you need to quit vs. holding on tight to the behavior as a positive thing.
3) Preparation: This stage means you have shifted to a place where you would like to embrace the opportunity to make a change. You have decided to learn about resources that may support the behavior change you are seeking. You begin to take some steps towards preparing yourself and others for the change. You may let others know you will need support when you begin this change. This is the stage where you will begin to assess obstacles that may arise in the change process and who/what will help you to overcome these with the most successful outcomes.
4) Action: This stage means you have taken action to stop the behavior (unhealthy habits) and/or you have taken action to start the behavior (healthy habits). This is where you put your ideas and preparations into action. You are following through with your intentions and taking action on the item (s).
5) Maintenance: This stage means you continue to maintain the change (s) you recently implemented. This stage requires much support and discipline to stay on track. It focuses on the "one day at a time" approach until it becomes a natural way of being.
6) Relapse: This means you had an "oops" moment. You may have slipped backwards and fallen into the old habit or way of being. Or, if you were implementing something new and healthy, this is where you notice you may have stopped doing that behavior. Please know that relapse is a COMMON and NATURAL part of the process. For example, on average, it takes a person 7-10 attempts before they successfully quit smoking. The important thing to note is that they keep going back for that next attempt! If you find you have relapsed, take a moment to see what set off the relapse. Ask yourself: "Was there a person or situation that triggered you"? Ask yourself, "Where do I need more support"? Relapse moments are some of the most important teachers in the process. So take a moment to assess, learn, FORGIVE YOURSELF and move forward with a deeper understanding of yourself. If you don't let go of the guilt, it will way you down and prevent you from moving forward with success.
7) Maintenance: This means you are back on track. Many will vacillate between maintenance and relapse for a bit until it can be a solid fluid commitment.
~ Liz Myers, MA
To learn more and to get support with the change process, visit my events page for the: Implementing Health Change Workshops happening next on Sept 26 7-9pm at Casa De Luz in North park. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP for the event.
When a major health challenge is revealed, it can certainly shock your system, emotions and overall way of being. Over the past couple of years, I’ve faced many personal health challenges, which have shaped the way I live, and how I understand the support systems that be.
So many levels of your life are affected when faced with a series illness. Many questions arise and the life lessons come quickly and often with a heavier weight. If you want to be able to work through these lessons with more ease, try on these tips and strategies:
1. Medical Bills:
a) Create a filing system for your medical bills. You might be surprised at the different bills you will receive for one medical procedure. For example, surgery will include the actual surgical procedure, anesthesia, testing, etc. These may come in separate bills from separate providers.
b) Do not assume the medical bill is correct: Unfortunately, most health insurance carriers will try not to cover components of the procedure and/or they may calculate the bill incorrectly. Take the time to review the bills, contact your health insurance carrier and follow appeal procedures. Always put these in writing! The power of the written word equates to legal protection and it creates a track record.
c) Require receipts for all medical visits and expenses: You can right off your medical expenses on your taxes. Learn more here: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505146_162-57530512/how-medical-expenses-can-cut-your-tax-bill/
d) Ask a trustworthy, organized and assertive person to assist with these bills (be it a friend, significant other, family member or health advocate): Dealing with the stress of the illness is enough without having to battle insurance companies and medical expenses. Friends and family want to offer their help. Let go of some of this burden so you can save your energy for addressing the health concern instead.
e) Kiss your check before sending: Sometimes we can get caught up in the drudgery of the expenses incurred from this situation. However, fueling the financial drain with anger, resentment or other negative feelings will delay your healing. When making a payment on your medical bill, you are saying thank you to the doctors that provided the healing service to you. Focus on gratitude when making these payments and focus on the doctors and other medical staff that treated you :-).
2. Doctors Visits:
a) Do not attend appointments alone: It’s great that you happen to be a strong assertive independent person, however this is the time to receive support from others! It can be overwhelming to take in and thoroughly understand the information the doctors are sharing. You may be in shock with what they are saying or you may simply not understand what they are saying and you also may not be in a place to ask clarifying questions. Having 4 ears listening to results and treatment options is a much better bet than just 2. Having a second mouth to express concerns and ask questions is essential too! Try to have the same person go with you to your appointments as much as possible. This provides consistency with understanding the situation.
b) Bring a Notebook and write down questions before you go in: You may want to have a binder, which includes your medical bills/receipts, paper for appointments, and information pamphlets and test results all in one. You may have to meet with several different doctors. Sometimes offices are organized and communicate results to each other with ease, however some are not so organized and efficient. Having everything together will certainly help you out and them too! It can save you additional appointments and dollars!
c) Seek multiple opinions and treatment options: When faced with a health challenge, it can make us want to act quickly due to the fear of what is happening within our body. Take some time to realize you had this before the appointment and you will have it afterwards. You have time to carefully consider your treatment options. Do not let doctors scare you into getting treatment immediately. However, it is a delicate balance to ensure you do not ignore the issue and let it fester. You need to be proactive, review testing results thoroughly, listen to your gut and do your research before saying yes to treatment suggestions.
d) Take Your Time: Have you ever been in an appointment with a doctor and as you are about to ask a question, they are reaching out for the door handle to end your appointment?! Remember this is your time and they need to respect all questions and concerns you have. This is much easier to address when someone attends the appointment with you.
e) Trust Your Doctor or Find a New One: You can switch doctors at any time. You are not locked into one doctor just because that was the one you were sent to. It’s important to have a trusting relationship with your doctor. Remember this is the only body you get in this time around and you need to feel comfortable with who is treating you.
3. Emotional Support:
a) Ask for support and help: There are many reasons why an illness arises, however one of the biggest lessons tends to reside in our ability to be vulnerable enough to let go and ask for support. Going it alone may make you feel more empowered initially but it can lead to feelings of isolation and confusion. I know many strong independent women and men who are used to taking life by the horns and do not dare ask for help. I believe its one of the greatest tests of strengths to let go of your grip and allow others to step in.
b) Accept the illness: Being able to accept the condition as it is will allow you to accept yourself when you are well again. Acceptance what is what allows for you to let go and take steps towards addressing the issue. However, it's important to know that it is common to go through the steps of grief when you are first diagnosed with a series illness. Allow yourself to go through these steps if it feels right. The basic steps are 1- Denial and Isolation, 2- Anger, 3- Bargaining, 4- Depression, 5- Acceptance (I know I had to go through all of these steps)!
c) Get Pampered: Your body is speaking to your with an extreme voice. It is telling you to slow down, nourish yourself and to enter into a time of repair. Take time away from work, stress, unsupportive relationships, and unhealthy situations. Seek out places of healing, serenity, nature, nurturance, fun, love, and support.
d) Breath Deep: It's been said that we are given a certain number of breaths to breathe when we are born into this world. The slower you breathe, the more time you have on this earth.
Please email me for additional questions and support at email@example.com
~ By Wellness Coach Liz Myers, MA, PCCI
So often the focus turns towards mending the ills that have been bestowed to us. I would like to take a close look on how living a healthy “rooted life” can offer a greater sense of well-being and prevention of disease.
The stats on cancer are as follows: according to the American Cancer society, 50% of men and 33% of women will get some form of cancer in their lifetime.
What can you do about these staggering statistics? Know the facts and take action with your personal choices. The causes of cancer vary greatly and the research continues to provide great insight into this powerful disease.
Here are the basics on how cancer is fueled physically, emotionally and spiritually. Cancer thrives on sugar, toxins, heavy metals, nutrient-deficient processed foods, depression, stress, genetic predisposition and an acidic environment in the body.
What you can choose to do about it:
1) Eat live food! Avoid eating packaged, processed and frozen foods as much as possible. Your body operates on a cellular level. You must feed these cells with live nourishing enzymes in order to keep them happy and well fed. One easy way to get in these foods is to shop on the outer perimeter of the store. Avoid the center of the store as much as possible. See if you can get all or most of your goods on the perimeter.
2) Consume Super Foods: Some examples include: blueberries, kale, walnuts, apples, strawberries, broccoli, spinach, wild caught salmon, and green tea.
3) Exercise Regularly: 30-45 minutes each day gets your endorphins going which has an effect on your happiness and your ability to let go of negative emotions and body toxins
4) Take a daily multivitamin: Get one, which is a “plant-based whole food multivitamin”. A couple of recommends: “MegaFood Women’s Daily” or "New Chapter".
5) Detox your mind, body and spirit:
~Give your body a break from caffeine, alcohol, sugary treats and other items that may disrupt the natural flow of your system. Just one less sip or bite will help! Further, you can give your digestive system a rest by having an all-liquid day. It takes a lot of energy and effort for your body to continuously digest solid food.
~Give you mind a rest: Try meditating for a few minutes. Find a quiet space to rest and let your tasks go. At any point in the day, you can stop, take a deep breath and imagine space between your thoughts.
~Give your spirit a boost: Connect with your spirit, soul, and life force! Feed your soul by doing those things that make you feel absolutely joyful and alive. Try out Tai Chi or Qigong to get your life force moving!
6) Heal old wounds: Each emotional trauma causes damage to our bodies on a cellular body. Take time to repair these old wounds. Do some journaling, call a friend, get support and see a therapist or wellness coach.
7) Relax and Rejuvenate: Take some time to relax each day, even for a few minutes. Enjoy a good book, bath, massage, connect with nature, lay in the grass, play in the water, listen to some soothing music, etc. Help your body to feel calm for a bit. Take a load off!
8) Ask for Help: Let others step in and support you! Remember that you do not have to be superman or superwoman. Let others have a chance to give a helping hand. Reaching out is just as important as reaching in.
9) Sleep More: 7-8 hours a night is recommended
10) Avoid Parabens and phthalates in your products: Be careful what you put on your skin and your scalp. Check your products to ensure they are “paraben and phthalates free”. Keep in mind your skin is the largest organ you have!
11) Know Your Family Medical History & Get Tested Early: Knowing your family history can aide in taking preventive testing measures. It can help yourself, your doctors and other medical staff to get a fuller understanding of your prognosis and risk factors.
12) Keep your inner environment Alkaline: Keeping your body PH towards the alkaline side will aide your system greatly in being able to fight off infection and disease. Check out this great alkaline food chart resource: http://www.alkalinesisters.com/alkaline-food-chart/
13) Think Positive: Negative emotions and feelings add an extra layer of stress. Sometimes life can throw you around and get you down. When this happens, take some time to reach out for support. Write down at least 10 things you can be grateful for today. Being "in gratitude" can give your mind and body a much needed happy energy shift!
Do you remember the first time you felt a soft breeze brush across your skin? The first moment you felt the warmth of sunlight?
I don't believe I can remember those exact moments myself! However, walking on the beach this am, I took a moment to feel the breeze as if it was flowing over and through me for the first time. It felt unbelievably invigorating!
I invite you today to imagine the things you do and receive as if you were experiencing them for the very first time. Imagine each taste of food and sip of your drink as if you were blessed with these gifts of nourishment for the first time. Embrace laughter as if you have never had the chance to feel this way before.
Each moment is different from the last. Each breath is a gift to be given and received. When we take a fresh perspective on each moment, we return to the ways of an adventurous child exploring all that surrounds us. It can be an uplifting experience which can slow time, calm the soul, brighten your spirits, remove expectations and take away predictions for the future. Take a moment today to experience each moment without memory and expectation. Invite gratitude and let the moments and beauty of life flow.
This little hot treat can do wonders for your health!
Capsaicin is the phytochemical responsible for adding the "hot" to hot peppers such as jalapeno, cayenne, chipotle, ancho, habaneros and serrano. Adding this spice into your life can provide a powerful boost to your health. It has the potential to increase your happy meter, reduce pain, and stave off cancer.
That blissfully painful (or sometimes just painful!) response you get when you bite into a fiery chili pepper releases endorphins into your system. These endorphins are what mediate your pleasure response. In other words, eating hot peppers can make you happy!
Capsaicin also reduces the ouch factor in your body by blocking Substance P, a neuropeptide responsible for transmitting pain signals to the brain and causing swelling of the nerve fibers. It can be a mighty soldier in your fight to reduce muscle pain, nerve pain, and joint pain both internally and topically.
It can also potentially have an effect on the cells ability to develop cancer. It works byaffecting the activity of a protein complex called NF-kappa Beta. This makes it more difficult for cancer to dodge programmed cell death (apoptosis).
You can jump in on these benefits by eating these peppers raw or cooked. Be sure to include some of the seeds and ribs of the hot peppers when eating them as they contain 80% of the capsaicin in the pepper. Chili peppers are also high in Vitamin C (twice the amount as citrus!) and good sources of Vitamins A & B. Whether sautéed or diced up in salsa, enjoy the benefits of a deliciously hot and healthy dose of capsaicin-rich peppers.
I write monthly for Brian's Farmers' Market newsletter as well. Initial publication of this article can be found in Brian's Farmers' Market newsletter for July. You can sign up for his newsletter here: http://www.sdmarketmanager.com/wb/
Your physical body speaks to you often. Your body is the vessel, which carries your soul. When this body is with dis-ease, pain, injury, etc., it is communicating a very important message to you. It is asking you for more EASE in your life. It is asking you to slow down, to nurture and repair.
Ask yourself where you can lighten up in your life.
Where can you lighten the load?
How can you slow down?
With whom can you be vulnerable enough to ask for support, assistance and nurturance?
Your physical pains are asking you to let go of your grip. Let go of the need to control the outcome. Let go of the need to be in denial of the injury. Ask for strength for acceptance of what is happening now.
Be open to being vulnerable to needing others assistance and gifts. Just as you give your gifts and nurture others, it’s only natural to accept gifts and nurturance from others. It feels good to give and you must balance this with being open to receive.
Take this injury or illness as a way of entering a winter of your life. We all need time to rest, rejuvenate and relax. Enjoy some down time and allow others to step in. It feels good for them to be there for you too.
Love yourself and give little hugs and forgiveness towards this injury or illness.
Breathing is the foundation of our existence and well-being. My advice to you today is to pay more attention to your breath. Are you holding your breathe? Breathing deep or short? How we breathe determines how we feel and how fully we are able to be present and well. When we are stressed, we tend to hold our breath. When we are relaxed, we tend to breath in much deeper and let go much easier.
Take a moment now to try on this simply breathing exercise. It's important to understand there are four parts to the breathe. 1- breathing in, 2- holding your breath at the top, 3- breathing out, 4- holding your breathe at the bottom.
1) Breathe in deep for a count of 4 if you can (go at your own comfort level). This breath-in invites rejuvenation, renewal, opportunity.
2) Hold this breath at the top for a count of 2.
3) Breathe out fully for a count of 4 or whatever is most comfortable. This letting out is important for letting go of stagnancy, staleness, negativity, etc.
4) Hold this breath at the bottom for a count of 2.
5) Repeat until you feel more relaxed and more at ease.
Meditate, simply pause between thoughts, hold space, breathe deep , meditate, be the observer, a present witness.
Liz Myers, MA, RYT200
Spiritual Life Coach, Yoga and Meditation Teacher.
Click on each month for a full listing of wellness articles