Heading Deeper Into The Darkness

IMG_6153I believe the TOP reason women have such a frustrating time getting physical results from any health, fitness, or exercise plan is that there is such heavy weigh of stress and negative emotions buried in their bodies.

 

Now, this is not to say it doesn’t matter what you eat or how you move, it does.

AND, it matters how you FEEL.

 

 

Let’s focus on that, the emotional layer of your physical fitness.

Here in the Northern Hemisphere we are approaching the darkest day of the year.

Honestly, it’s my favorite day.  I’m more of a spring time, warm breeze, light lover…BUT there is something SO potent and powerful that sparkles in the dark.  It takes a certain steadiness to dive deep and harvest the pearls of wisdom that only exist there.

Steadiness.  Ahhh.  Doesn’t that feel good in your bones?

 

What if your body felt steady? What if you had the strength and resiliency to weather the darkest storms, without taking such a toll on your health and wellbeing?

It’s possible…stick with me here.

It’s possible when you DECIDE to go to these depths, and fortify yourself.

This isn’t a tough armoring.

In fact, the tough armoring is what is creating the block, the layer of tension (or extra weight!) keeping you from experiencing your vibrant health.

It is a humble broken openness.

A flexible, yet grounded mental state.

A capacity to read your sensations, the language of your body, and follow the lead of your body’s wisdom WITHOUT A DOUBT.

But our minds like to doubt. History, and all the cruddy things that have happened to us have taught us to doubt.

Your body has sent you down some pretty precarious paths.

How do you decidedly go into this darkness with an open heart and come out alive on the other side?

The truth is there are necessary lessons here, healing lessons, lessons of release that yield relief.

You can’t NOT go there.  Well, the other option is to spend the rest of your life resisting and fighting and putting up as many barriers as possible.  And…you guessed it…these barriers show right up in your body as degenerating health, pain, dis-ease.

Meditation, a conscious body practice of mindful movement, and self-care are my 3 favorite tools to take on this deep dark dive. 

There are many ways to meditate.  One of my favorite meditation teachers, Thich Nhat Hanh says this:

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. 

Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.

I have 2 main ways that I meditate….

I use a basic Buddhist style seated meditation, where you just sit with as comfortable, and aligned a posture as you can, lower your gaze, consciously turn your attention to your breath, and then just…sit.  If thoughts come up, I put them in a cloud and let them float away, without judgement, without following the story, just float away.  Sometimes, I get moments where the thought clouds slow down, and the space between them grows.  This is so nice.  I tell my clients though, that the space isn’t the meditating, it’s the process of returning anytime you notice your attention has wandered.

The other kind of mediation I do is “in the moment meditation”.  Just noticing the moments.  And in any given moment deciding to slow down my mental space, take some deep breaths, widen my perspective, take in the world through my heart, my belly, and a sense of connectedness.  You can do this doing the dishes, at stop lights, in the shower…this is my hit, my dose, the thing that reminds me we are up to something BIG here as humans on this planet, and there’s a lot of love around.  That undeniable love (and yes, it is perceptible even in the darkness!) is fuel.

This practice gives you a mental stability.  The kind you need to dive into the darkness.

A conscious body practice of mindful movement applies that open perspective and mental focus to physical movement.

It can be any kind of movement.  Yoga, running, kitchen dancing, being deliberate in how you get out of bed in the morning.

Notice the sensations you feel.  Tune into what muscles you’re using.  Feel how you are breathing. Play and experiment with your alignment and posture.  Take it all in, be in the moment.  Again, see if you can experience this without judgement or following stories, just BE MOVED.

Self-care.

I just participated in a wonderful summit all about self care, what we uncovered is that you have to take this practice below the surface.  It’s not just about baths, and tea, and essential oils.  It’s about how you want to feel, and what you can give yourself to provide that.  Allowing yourself to be nurtured and truly cared for by your own decision.

This is highly individual.  Take a moment to break it down for yourself.

What are you really craving?
What would really nurture you and give you want you need right now?

As we are heading towards the solstice, I am preparing for some of my favorite solstice rituals.  (More on that in an upcoming newsletter!) I am seeing women start to step forward and DECIDE that it is time to go heart first into this darkness, release what is weighing them down, and come out the other side lighter and more vibrant than before.

 

 

 

 

Craving a community where movement is medicine,

where body practices are nourishment, not punishment?

Join the discussion in my private Facebook Group e-motion HERE!

 

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