HOLISTIC WELLNESS BLOG
TRANSFORMING YOUR LIFE. LITTLE CHANGES MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
TRANSFORMING YOUR LIFE. LITTLE CHANGES MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
Beautiful Relaxing Music for Stress Relief ~ Meditation ~ Spa ~ Calming Music For Sleep, Spa, Relax. A YouTube Companion Post!
What do you do when you've made positive changes in your life but people don't or won't support you? No one can hold you prisoner for the mistakes of your past without guarding the gate and keeping track of the key. The inmate and the warden are trapped in the jail together. If there are people in your life that refuse to support or recognize your growth, it may be time to let them go, or at least keep them at arm’s length. Their inability to move on isn’t about you it’s about them. They cannot recognize in others what they are unable to accomplish themselves. If they are determined to try and shame you, it is due to their own shame. If they keep bringing up your past, it is because that is where they live. People who feel good about themselves don’t try to make others feel bad. The trap, however, only exists in their mind. Wish them well and leave them to it. To free yourself, you only need to walk away.
This weeks blog is a deeply relaxing 15-minute guided meditation!
Let the hypnotic rhythm of the lapping waves transport you to a private, misty cove in this deeply relaxing, multi-sensory guided meditation like nothing you've ever experienced! Allow yourself to be supported by positive affirmations as you drift away to your own cozy seaside sanctuary... and breathe...
Music & meditation written by Amie Gabriel. Images by Canva Pro
Post 10 - Move a Muscle Change a Thought
Going on a personal, long term self-retreat requires commitment and discipline. You need time and quite to focus inward and to practice self-care. The goal is to develop a true sense of self and figure out who you are as an individual. To get to know yourself and to be autonomous. Who are you when you have the freedom to act independently… without the input, judgement or opinions of others whispering in your ear?
As we first discussed in part 3, you must learn be kind to yourself, practice self-respect, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and there is to be no negative self-talk. No putting yourself down or calling yourself bad names. Like the saying goes, if you don’t have anything nice to say, we should say nothing at all. If you are going to change the way you feel about yourself, you need to treat yourself like you are important and worthy, and you must to rewrite your internal dialogue.
Once you cut out the clutter and the noise, you’ll be amazed at how much time you discover. Go for walks but go in silence. No music in your headphones. Listen to the birds singing, look at the sky and the trees. If you find it impossible to turn off the negative chatter in your head then it’s ok to listen to meditations with positive affirmations, light classical or meditation music especially those with sounds of nature in the background, but keep the volume low and relaxing. But use this only as a bridge. Your goal is to be able to spend quiet time with yourself without noise and distractions. I suggest that you use the same refocusing technique for walking as you do for meditation. When your thoughts begin to wander bring the focus back to the breath. There’s no hurry to this goal it’s a marathon not a sprint.
Also, the ultimate goal here is not to walk without thought, it’s to walk without “noise” and/or negative thought. Moving the body is one of the best ways to clear your head and consider where you’d like your life to go and come up with plans on how best to get there. I’ve had some of my best ideas and greatest epiphanies while hiking and walking!
Here’s an exercise.
I suggest that when you walk, you take your cell phone for safety but turn it to silent, turn off vibrate, and refrain from checking it for the duration of your walk.
practice yoga and meditation.
Conversely, I offer the same advice for meditation as I do for walking. If you’re unable to “clear your head” as it were while meditating start with short, guided meditations.
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PART 9 - FEED YOUR SOUL
What would you do if you could do whatever you wanted and had all day to do it?
When you get rid of the time vampires in your life you gain an enormous amount of time and when you’re on a quest to get to know yourself it is your divine right to find the answer to that question.
Every so often, take a day to feed your soul and do whatever makes you happy. Every Sunday morning during my self-retreat – and for many years after - I went to “church”. For me, nature is my church so I went on a long hike in the woods. I had a book called “50 Hikes in Connecticut” by Mary Anne Hardy and each week – weather permitting - I’d pick a different hike and study up on it as Sunday approached. Armed with the book, maps I’d printed at the library, my hiking pack, snacks, lunch and water, I’d let someone know where I was planning to go (for safety) and head out early in the morning. It was my bliss. I’d disappear onto a trail, hiking along immersed in the sounds and scents of the woods. I’d picnic on rock with an overlook or picking table provided by the state parks, and I have myself a fine time!
Question: What will you do to feed your soul?
Answer: Anything you damn well please!
What will you do to feed your soul? Let me know in the comments below! xoAmie
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Watch the companion Video!
POST 10 - TAKING BACK YOUR POWER
We’ve spoken in terms of what you’d have to give up by letting go of some of the modern conveniences rather than what you will gain. It’s time to flip that conversation. Those of us old enough to remember the time before computers and cell phones… and even a time before email and answering machines may have an easier time of this.
The news was on in the evening. If you needed more you could read the paper but there wasn’t a constant assault of noise and information. If something really big happened, news wise, they’d break into programming to deliver it. Often someone would call to ask if you’d heard it. If you missed that, the news would get to you one way or another and not having instant knowledge didn’t change what happened. News has a way of traveling with or without an app notification. Speaking of notifications I have all of mine turned off. I check them they don’t check me.
When I was younger we had a natural way of prioritizing and focusing on what was right in front of us. If you were out playing and the phone rang you simply missed the call never even knowing that it came. If it was important they’d call back. We did things without interruption. If we were out having a meal with a friend the words “sorry, I have to take this” never crossed our lips. We just did the one thing. What a concept!
Believe it or not, we can return to this singleness of focus. The cell phone, tv, and radio all have off buttons. If we’re having a meal with a friend, going out for a walk, watching a movie or otherwise occupied, why not switch off your phone? If this thought makes you uneasy ask yourself one question; Who’s in charge around here? You or the phone. The answer is YOU. Turn the thing off. You decide when you’ll receive information and when you won’t. Take back your power!
What you will gain by disconnecting:
Absorption in a person, pet, project, task, activity
Increased attention span
What you’ll actually be giving up:
Cortisol, the stress hormone
Addiction/dependence on an appliance
The need for instant gratification
Being at servitude of a device
This is not deprivation it’s possession! Empowerment!
Are YOU ready to take back you power?
What negative things will you be letting go of by unplugging? Please let me know in the comments below!
PART 6 - HOW FAR ARE YOU WILLING TO GO TO HEAL?
You will get out of it what you put into it. The deeper your commitment to this process the more profound the change will be.
Full Self-Retreat - The Minimalist Detox
You will fully detach and unplug
This is great for
Changing Your Subconscious.
What is the subconscious mind? It’s the the mother board of the brain. In some ways it’s like the default settings on your phone or computer. It’s why we don’t have to think about breathing because it’s programmed into our brains. However, you can also breathe consciously like when you’re meditating. Your subconscious brain is your default program. The part of your brain that takes over and drives you home when you’re lost in thought or busy performing your favorite song. The very first time you drive someplace you need to focus, to concentrate, but the more often you go there the less you have to think about it. Soon you can get there on autopilot. Why? Because a conscious thought performed over and over became part of the subconscious. It’s your auto pilot. It’s also where we store all our beliefs.
Think of it like this. If a wagon travels up and down the same dirt road over and over, eventually it’s wheels will create a rut in the road. However, once that rut is created the same wheels that created it will fall into it, unable to break free from that path without great effort. The wheel creates the rut, then the rut controls the wheel. The mind is like that with thoughts. For this purpose the thoughts you have are the wheel and the subconscious mind is the road. If you think the same thing over and over again it will become part of the subconscious brain and that thought process will take on a life of its own. The though becomes the default program, the auto pilot. That’s why it’s so hard to change. But you can change it. You just have to shift where the wheels of that wagon travel. Or drive it down a different road, altogether. By doing so, again and again, over time you can create a new healthy track for the wheels to travel. How do I know? Because I’ve done it.
So that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to break free of those ruts and drive your wagon down a different road. But it’s going to take thought, concentration, effort, commitment and time. And it will need to be repeated over and over again.
For the Full Program:
Turn off the internet and cable for one year.
You can go to the library for anything you need.
What you will do in your massive amounts of free time?
Practice self-care. Exercise in the way that best suits you and makes you happiest. This time is all about getting to know yourself
What you are trying to accomplish with this?
Changing your levels of dopamine and what makes you happy!
If this sounds impractical for you we'll do the next best thing.
No More WiFi.
You go where the computer is, it doesn’t go where you are. You will move your computer into a separate room and you must sit in front of it to be online. This time should be scheduled and limited. Just as if you had turned off your internet and had to go to the library. If you use your phone to go online you will also have to do this only in a designated area for a very limited amount of time.
You are on retreat. Your days will no longer be frittered away online.
Does this sound like something YOU are willing to do? Will you give it a try? Please let me know in the comments below the video! Thank you! xoAmie
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HEALING YOUR KINTSUKUROI HEART; Part 5. How To Get To Know Yourself And Reveal The Source Of Your Issues
HOW TO GET TO KNOW YOURSELF AND REVEAL THE SOURCE OF YOUR ISSUES – Turning your life into a full-time retreat.
This is part 5 in a series. Click here or "Healing Your Kintsukuroi Heart" in the categories menu to go to the full series
If doing what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working, you’ll have to do something else. Once again simple but not easy. In order to find out who you really are – to really get to know yourself – you will have to create space in your life. A lot of it.
The Wisdom of Minimalism (Where Terrifying Meets Extraordinary)
Turn off the noise. It is a distraction and a huge time vampire. I went all the way with this one because, well, I was really ready. I was sick to death of living the way I was living and feeling the way I was feeling so I made a drastic change. It also dovetailed perfectly with one of my “symptoms” which was my financial problems. Even if you don’t have financial issues, there is still great beauty in living with less.
I turned off my internet (breathe), my cable and my landline telephone. It was a terrifying step to take – and let me tell you, my internet/cable provider did not make it easy. They made offer upon offer to keep from losing me as a customer but I stood firm. Once I did it, it was like the scene from The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy’s house got spit out of the twister. She landed with a thud and everything went silent. Being left alone with yourself without TV or internet is terrifying and liberating in equal measure although the liberating part is a little harder to absorb.
So there is was alone I my quiet little house. Now what? What the hell am I supposed to DO? What will you do? And the answer is… anything you want!
Here’s the list of what I stopped doing:
Watching the news.
Watching tv or movies with no redeeming qualities.
Socializing and/or having relationships with toxic people.
Eating unhealthy food.
Wasting time on things that don’t matter.
Here’s a list of some the things I did with my new free time:
What I accomplished in doing all this was discovering who I was and what I most liked to do. I created a schedule that was all mine filled with things I never even knew I liked or never had the time to do. I became so much calmer and more relaxed and without the barrage of negativity from the news and social media I was happier, more centered and grounded.
The better care I took of myself the better I felt about myself. The better I felt about myself the better choices I made. The better choices I made the more I earned self-respect. The more self-respect I had, the better care I took of myself, an so on…
In doing this for an extended period of time, I found clarity. I found my identity. I found my strength and power. I began to feel really sure of myself and confident in who I am. I became far less mailable to the opinions of others. I rewrote my internal dialogue.
I discovered I was passionate about going to bed and getting up early, going for a run at first light and then making myself a big healthy breakfast. I remember how much I adored hiking in the woods and loved my artwork. I even had my first real art show! I was an artist! Who the heck knew? I found that I couldn’t wait to make myself dinner and watch a dvd about an empowered woman or how someone overcame the odds and found true happiness. I enjoyed it so much that I’d actually get excited about it! I did these things daily – even on days I had to work I could still get up early and do what I wanted. The same at the end of the day. By doing exactly what I wanted – good healthy habits - for an extended period of time I found I very much preferred my own company doing what I enjoyed over many other things. I certainly wasn’t going to spend my time with people who weren’t positive and really enjoyable to be around or doing something that was unhealthy for myself. I got to the point where it simply was no longer an option.
Here’s something else I found - The brain is the original search engine; it remembers what you’re looking for and seeks it out, putting it in your path over and over. When I stopped making unhealthy choices those choices, over time, fell away and no longer presented themselves in my life. It’s not that they no longer existed they just became so uninteresting to me, they fell of my radar. Remember the Jersey Barriers? (Click here to read my Jersey Barrier reference!)
I learned that it becomes second nature to make healthy choices for yourself when you like yourself and know exactly who you are. And it becomes second nature to do so with a quiet grace.
“Holding on is believing that there’s only a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future.”
– Daphne Rose Kingma
Read Amie's Book:
KINTSUKUROI HEART; More Beautiful for Having Been Broken
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WHERE TO BEGIN
This is part 3 in a series. Click here or "Healing Your Kintsukuroi Heart" in the categories menu to go to the full series
Click here for Part 1
Click here for Part 2
I started by looking at what wasn’t working in my life – aka – the symptoms – and working backward to find the underlying cause. Here’s what I mean. For me, the two biggest “problems” were my lack of money/resulting debt, and making poor relationship choices. Then I asked myself why it was happening? Why was I broke? Why did I invite chaos and negativity into my life in the form of unhealthy relationships?
Because of the deep seated beliefs I held about myself. If I really, deep down, thought I deserved better I would have required it. This concept was easier to understand when it came to relationships but not so easy when it came to money. On the surface I thought it was the economy or just my crappy luck. Perhaps it was to a degree, but honestly, it was just more chaos and a manifestation – or symptom, if you prefer - of how I saw myself… as in “not enough”. If I doubted my own worth how could I claim it?
Ok, so I discovered and named the source. I did that piece of the work for you and I’m happy to pass it along to give you the starting point. Now, your job is to accept this truth, fine tune it to fit your specific situation(s), and make the commitment to put the plan into action and heal yourself. It’s a large undertaking but entirely doable!
It bears repeating - How or why we originally acquired these feelings of low self-worth is irrelevant for now. Because regardless of how they got there, here we are. And now it’s up to us to fix it.
SO, IT REALLY IS ALL ABOUT US!
And admitting that we are at the center of our issues.
Doing this – acknowledging that how we view ourselves is the root of our issues - rather than blaming outward circumstances, or someone else – gives us the power to change. If someone or something else is the cause of our issues than there’s nothing we can do to change anything. Taking ownership means taking back our power. This part is crucial. You must own it.
So now what? Now we fix it.
THE FOUR-PRONGED PLAN OF INTENTION.
Moving forward, as the healing takes hold, good choices and positive movement will become more and more intuitive and a self-perpetuating upward spiral takes hold. Your thoughts, words and actions will be in service of your very best self and fulfilling your dreams. It will become second-nature.
THE FOUR-PRONGED PLAN OF ACTION.
Note: I strongly suggest writing this out with physical pen and paper. It connects you more deeply to the work.
Make a list of what isn’t working in your life. Start with the big things. What are you doing that you need to stop doing? Write it down. Now, what aren’t you doing that you need to start? Write it down. You’ll apply these things to your personalized Four-Pronged Plan! They will become the promise you make to yourself. Your mission statement. You can use pen and paper or purchase the workbook here.
Rule Number One:
No relationships of any kind with men for one year. None. No dates, no flirting, no phone calls, not even hanging out platonically with male friends (because they also offered attention and externally fed my damaged ego). It was absolute. No relationships. No men. Period. They were part of the problem and also a distraction and I could afford neither, so they were the first thing to go. I was officially and completely off the market.
What will you let go of that isn’t serving your higher purpose? What needs to go? Are you over spending? Talking smack about yourself and/or others? People pleasing or tolerating unkindness? Smoking, overeating, or another self-destructive behavior? Get very specific. Break it down into segments. Use my example above as a template. If it’s more than one thing, fill this part in more than once.
Your Rule Number One Template:
No (fill in the blank) of any kind for one year. None. No (fill in the blank), no (fill in the blank), no (fill in the blank), not even (fill in the blank) because (state your deep truth). It is absolute. No (fill in the blank). No (fill in the blank). Period. This is part of the problem and also a distraction and I can afford neither, so they are/it is the first thing to go. I am officially and completely (fill in the blank).
Rule Number Two:
Focus inward and practice self-care. I’d never really developed a true sense of self or figured out who I was as an individual. You need to get to know yourself and to be autonomous. You will also be kind to yourself, practice self-respect, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and there will be no more negative self-talk. You will stop putting yourself down or calling yourself names. Not even in jest. Like the saying goes, if you don’t have anything nice to say, you will say nothing at all. If you are going to change the way you feel about yourself, you must to treat yourself like you are important and worthy, and you must rewrite your internal dialogue. We will have an upcoming, detailed posts specifically on self-care and discovering yourself as an individual!
Note: If you let something slip out, if you refer to yourself in a derogatory fashion, stop as soon as you realize it. Look in the mirror if you can, but breathe and tell yourself this.: “I’m sorry. That was unkind. It’s simply not true. I deserve much better. Please forgive the mistake. I will do better next time. I am amazing.” Forgive yourself and breathe…
Rule Number Three:
Career. Many years ago, in 1998 to be exact, I’d chosen a career in holistic wellness. A field that I loved but, in practice, had never really enjoyed. I would now allow myself to be fully focused on developing and nurturing my career, to let go of the parts I didn’t love and pursue and expand the parts I was passionate about, to continue my education and become an expert in my field, to know my own worth and to claim it. Taking control of my debt also came under this heading. It’s up to you to decide if cleaning up any messes you’ve made becomes part of rule number 1 or rule number 2. We’ll address this further in upcoming posts/videos.
YOURS; Here's your template:
What will you begin to create? What steps will you take to live your dream, achieve your higher purpose. What will you do every day to live in service of making it happen? If it’s more than one thing, fill this part in more than once.
I will now allow myself to be fully focused on developing and nurturing my (fill in the blank), to create time and space to (state you deep desire) to (state your commitment to the process and how you will go about it and your ultimate goal), to own my right to pursue my dreams, know my own worth and to claim it.
RULE NUMBER FOUR:
This will come a bit later.
That's it, simple but not necessarily easy. If you are choosing to do the full program, the entire year will be devoted to helping yourself heal; mind, body, spirit and craft. Yes, one year! We are talking about very deep healing! You can also choose to try it for as little as a weekend - or one month - thee months or six. Or, you read the blog, watch the videos and put them into practice where, when and how you see fit. But again, very deep, long lasting, life changing healing takes a long time. I did it and it changed my life in ways I never dreamed of!
Take some time with this part – the next two weeks if you need it. Get quiet, sit with yourself. Do some real soul-searching. These are true commitments you’re making to yourself. You owe it to yourself. It’s time.
Quote of the Day
"Acknowledging that how we view ourselves is the root of our issues - rather than blaming outward circumstances, or someone else – gives us the power to change. Taking ownership means taking back our power."
If you can relate to any, or all of these statements to any degree, I’ll see you here in the next installment. Thursday, January 28th at 1 pm Pacific time.
Can you relate? Are you considering participating in this program? Please let us know what you think! Comment below... I's love to hear your thoughts! xoAmie
Read Amie's Book:
KINTSUKUROI HEART; More Beautiful for Having Been Broken
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