We all know it is not possible to roll back time or undo bad decisions we've made in the past. However, using a presence practice like meditation can start to change the way we feel about the decisions we made so that they will stop tormenting us here in the present. We all carry baggage from the past; things like broken hearts, hurt feelings, events that may have brought us pain, or we may torment ourselves over missed opportunities or guilt from wrong choices we've made.
We must find a way to allow ourselves to let things in the past go that we cannot change or else they can take over our present lives. This take-over shows up in ways that we typically can't see for ourselves. Our past shows up in behaviors patterns, projections of feelings, distractions and reactions. Meditation is simply focusing our mind and observing our thoughts in a way that allows them to be there without interaction. When you learn to start being present with the present, you start healing and forgiving your past. This can shift the way you look at past situations you cannot change, in a brighter light, with a new understanding on the events that have hurt you.
The following exercise is to see how a specific situation from the past is still affecting you today. You can do this exercise with any event from your past, not just an early childhood event.
- Start by finding a comfortable place to sit.
- Set a timer for 3 minutes.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Count to 4 for your inhale and 4 for your exhale.
- Any time your mind wanders, thank yourself for being aware that your mind is wandering and come back to counting your breath.
- Once the timer is up, open your eyes and reflect on the following 6 questions:
1. What is the earliest memory that you can remember from your childhood? (Try to recall a specific event or experience, not just a feeling or impression)
2. What are the impressions you have of yourself in this memory?
3. What are the impressions that you have of each of the people who are associated with your memory?
4. How has this memory changed your choices and past behaviors or actions?
5. How might this experience have impacted the way you relate to yourself today?
6. How might this experience have impacted the way you relate to other people today?
- Take another few minutes to sit in quiet reflection with your breath again, repeating to yourself a mantra such as "I am loved, I am held, I am safe," or "I find compassion and forgiveness for my past experiences and all who were involved."
As we bring awareness and compassion to our past, in the present moment, our perspectives can shift, leading us to a different choice in how we interact with our patterns, behaviors and projections. With awareness and perspective, we gain choice in how we live.
Wellness encompasses our state of being, mind, and health. It is a condition of the whole. Wellness to us means finding balance between all the aspects of our lives and if any of them are off, actively pursuing ways to bring harmony back. The following are some ways to keep the mind in proper balance.
Meditation is preventive maintenance for the mind, and it gives us the opportunity to reflect on our inner self - to listen to that small inner voice that is supposed to help guide and direct our mental processes, but in modern day existence, it is often drowned out due to excessive noise and distraction from all directions. Simple meditation practices are tools we have available to keep our mind in balance and flow with the rest of our systems.
The mind is a complicated and versatile machine, but it can become overwhelmed and unable to function correctly if we don’t take the time to keep it well.. Our mind has varying levels of operation, known as brainwaves. As we pass through the different stages of our day, we enter various stages of brain wave activity. The brain uses mediation as one way to allow us time to rest our busy mind, and cope with all the pieces of information we’ve received, a way to kind of “mind file” for the day. When we don’t give adequate time for these processes, or we simply don’t get enough rest, our mind cannot maintain its state of wellness, just like our bodies aren’t capable of wellness if there is no chance to rest and replenish. Modern alternative medicine and holistic healers believe in the power of the energy that flows through our bodies; this energy radiates from our mind as well. It is believed to be the chief from of transportation for our body nervous system to carry out communication.
Breathing techniques, music and aroma therapy are all ways we can find space to reflect on our day, allow our mind to rest and replenish itself for further use. We must remember over the course of our daily routine, to make time to maintain mental wellness as we strive to maintain physical wellness. The nice thing about the whole process is that as we go about accomplishing these tasks, quite often the opportunities for preservation and care are interchangeable. We can help to quiet our mind as we take a twenty minute walk.
Often just the opportunity to listen to music will allow our mind the chance it needs to relax and regroup. It’s not always the most formal of occasions that we find an available chance to reflect and listen to that inner voice. It can be in the middle of the day, with the wind blowing through your hair, and the radio turned up!
How will you find those moments of peace in your day to quiet your mind and keep it in balance?
Massage therapy has been used for centuries. Most massage modalities have the purpose of encouraging healing by promoting blood flow, relieving tension, stimulating nerves as well as stretching and loosening muscles and connective tissue to keep them elastic.
Massage therapy is beneficial because it reduces waste products such as lactic and carbonic acid that builds up after an activity which causes cramping, discomfort and irritability that can happen after working out at the gym. By working with a therapist, he or she will be able to enhance your immune system and aid in the recovery of the tissues by increasing blood circulation in the affected areas. If you are ill, massage therapy dilates and opens up blood vessels, improves circulation and relieves congestion. It also increases the number of red blood cells for those who are anemic.
Massage therapy also acts as a mechanical cleanser pushing along the lymph and hastening the elimination of wastes and toxic debris. It also helps to eliminate edema or dropsy of the extremities. In addition, it increases blood supply and nutrition to the muscles without adding to the load of toxic acid produced by muscle contraction. This helps you overcome harmful fatigue resulting from strenuous exercise or injury. This will improve muscle tone and prevent or delay muscular atrophy resulting from forced inactivity. It can also relax muscle spasms and relieve tension.
Massage, to some extent, compensates for lack of exercise or muscular contraction; especially for those who are recovering from an injury by returning venous blood to the heart, and at the same time, eases the strain on this vital organ. Massage therapy increases the excretion of fluids via the kidney, nitrogen, inorganic phosphorous and salt in normal individuals. But for those who are injured, it does the exact opposite because these are needed for tissue repair.
Depending on the type of massage therapy given, some people may feel sleepy, stimulated or exhausted. Some forms of massage therapy are able to separate muscle fibers and undo or prevent the formation of adhesions. It also stretches the connective tissue which all helps reduce the danger of fibroids.
Studies have shown that massage therapy improves the general circulation and nutrition of joints and hastens the elimination of harmful particles in the synovial fluid. It helps lessen inflammation and swelling of the joints thereby alleviating pain. It also disperses the edema following injury to ligaments and tendons, lessening pain and facilitates movement.
Massage therapy improves the general circulation and nutrition of tissues often accompanied by an increase interchange of substances between the blood and tissue cells thus heightening tissue metabolism. This type of therapy empties the larger ducts and channels of the body thereby decreasing the auto intoxication resulting from re-absorption of toxic materials in these channels due to constipation or inflammation.
There are so many benefits with regards to massage therapy which is why almost everyone needs it. If you haven’t found a favorite yet, you can try one style this week and then another next week to how different they are from the other.