Lately i have been spending time in daily meditation, raising my energy and feeling truly grateful for being alive. Often, our busy day to day "go-mode" leaves little time for slowing down, reflecting and really being present in the moment. We have to create space for quiet time, to allow our minds to acquiesce and enter our inner world.
When we are in "go-mode", we are purely focused on our outer reality. We aren't checked in. Busy periods in our lives can "whoosh" by, leaving us feeling burnt out and disconnected. We are not designed to live this way. In Chinese Medicine we appreciate the body-minds fundamental need for balance (harmony). This means balancing "go-mode" with "still-mode". Without adequate "still-mode", we become out of touch with ourselves, our feelings, our emotions and our physical body. Illness strikes when we have exhausted our reserves, we are forced to slow down and re-direct.
For me, having a daily ritual (practice) for slowing down and re-centering is a vital aspect of my self-care. It helps me to ground back into my body, feel safe and connect to the true nature of who i am. This involves unplugging my energy from everything external (outside of me) and re-investing my energy back into the present moment. I practice meditation to achieve this, but there are many ways to slow down and re-connect. You may find that writing in a journal brings you back to your centre, or practicing some gentle yoga. Some form of creative art such as drawing or painting may centre you.
When we unplug and immerse oursleves in the present moment, it gives our analytical mind (responsible for "go-mode") a chance to rest. It helps our physical body to let go of built up tension. We become less focused on time. We move out of survival based emotions and re-connect with the pure joy and aliveness of right here, right now. The sympathetic nervous system (responsible for keeping us safe) switches off, and the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for regulating the bodies innate self-healing capacity) switches back on. By balancing periods of activity with periods of rest (stillness) we enhance our bodies ability to repair itself.
An integral part of my daily centering practice is to shift my energy into a state of gratefulness and appreciation. Some days this is easy, i may have had a great day and have lots of positive things happening in my life. But what i have noticed is just how important it is to practice gratitude and appreciation when i am going through a more challenging time. When we are feeling stressed or over-whelmed in life, gratitude does not come as easily. Our outer reality may be triggering all sorts of negative emotions. It takes much more effort to change our inner state during these times. No matter what is happening in our outer reality, we can still choose to feel gratitude and appreciation for life. We can feel grateful to be alive in this moment, to have a body, to be taking this breath. We can choose to feel grateful for the simple things. The sensation of sunlight on our skin, noticing the beauty of mother nature, a simple interaction with a stranger. When we choose to focus our attention on noticing positive things, and appreciating them (no matter how small) we are lifting our energy frequency.
By taking the time to go inward, re-centre and feel deep appreciation for life, we are investing our energy back into ourselves and back into the present moment. This is the most basic form of self-care. By changing our inner state, we learn to master our body, our feelings and our emotions. We RE-CONNECT to the true nature of WHO WE REALLY ARE, and we radiate this joy and aliveness back into the world.
Wishing You Many Miracles on your Path!.
Rachel Berners, (Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner & Cat Lover).