Quotes & Thoughts

Sunshine Breaks

Posted by on Dec 28, 2012 in Featured, Quotes & Thoughts, Short Entries | Comments Off on Sunshine Breaks

Sunshine Breaks

Winter is upon us and as the evening dusk descends earlier, it is imperative that we take what I like to call ‘sunshine breaks.’  On the smallest scale, my daily sunshine break is taking a midday walk outside, enjoying a warm dose of afternoon sun as it warms the earth.  It is very important to have exposure to sunlight as it affects the production of vitamin D and its role of helping to absorb calcium in the body.  The combination of fresh air, break from work, and daylight sun (even if it’s just for ten to fifteen minutes) can help provide our bodies with a subtle boost!    Mid-winter mini sunshine breaks are good too, especially post-holiday season.  Going away for a weekend and getting a hit of sun can be very refreshing and good for the soul.  Of course if you can take a fuller, longer vacation away, that’s even better!  Being immersed in sunshine can lift spirits, cause feelings of rejuvenation and allow us to get away from the everyday routine.  It can provide us with a sunny escape to feel like we’ve been gone away for a long time, only to be welcomed back happily to our daily lives.   So go ahead, take your Sunshine Break!   [Image...

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When It Rains It Pours

Posted by on Dec 10, 2012 in Featured, Health, How-To's, Quotes & Thoughts | Comments Off on When It Rains It Pours

When It Rains It Pours

I have personally been dealing with a lot of potentially stressful challenges  lately.  Now, the reason I say “potentially” is because nothing is actually stressful until it is perceived by the nervous system as stress.  That said, I have also noticed that many of my clients and friends have been experiencing an abundance of potential stressors recently.    The expression “when it rains it pours” comes to mind in these situations.  It is interesting how this can often be the case in our lives where challenges are concerned.  They can often pile up leaving us feeling overwhelmed, helpless, anxious or drained of energy.  The cumulative effect of compounding experiences can have a significant impact on our health and wellbeing and on our ability to manage our stress  When I have a lot to deal with, I am especially grateful to be able to call upon the strategies I have learned in my body and life through my process of healing.     What I know about stress in the body is that if we want to be able to handle stress and actually process and learn from our experience of it, we need to create an environment of peace within the body.  When the body is at ease then it has the chance to be able to process stress.  If the body is in a state of overwhelm, this capacity is significantly diminished.  It is also very difficult to process things with only the mind.  When we can use the whole bodymind to process we have much more capacity.  This is why choosing actions to help us move into our bodies at times like these are especially valuable.   When I am faced with a lot of potential stress, it is vital for me to choose actions that will help me stay present and connected to myself and my body, which takes me out of thinking and worrying and into feeling and processing.  Here are some strategies I use for connecting with my body and processing potential stressors:    Increase my frequency of Network Chiropractic Entrainments Increase my frequency of Somato Respiratory Integration Exercises Doing whatever actions are necessary to deal with the practicality of my situation(s) Practice other body centered techniques I have learned (i.e. meditation, focusing, body scan, pelvic awareness, grounding) Practicing faith, trust and surrender Exercise Yoga, especially restorative yoga Journaling Spending time in nature Connecting with family and friends and sharing my situation and feelings with them Dancing Playing guitar Doing anything creative Getting good rest Eating clean and healthy food   Certainly, there can be times when I am so overwhelmed that I feel like I don’t have access to any strategies.  This is when it is the most difficult to take actions like I am suggesting above because when we are in overwhelm, or fight or flight, we do not think clearly.  However, when I choose to utilize my strategies I am more able to harness the pouring rain and use it to nourish my healing process to allow myself to...

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On Loving the Cold!

Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 in Featured, How-To's, Quotes & Thoughts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on On Loving the Cold!

On Loving the Cold!

(Image: “winter landscape” by dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) As the temperature begins to drop and the days get darker, I begin to hear a lot of complaints about the cold weather and impending winter. Granted, it’s often coming out of my mouth, however certainly not exclusively so. ..( You know who you are. And what are we doing living in Canada anyway if we have a problem with winter ;)) In the spirit of gratitude that we aim to cultivate and grow every day, here are some things that I enjoy about these cooler seasons that I like to remember, and would like to share (so you can remind me when I go off again!): *Persimmons are back, cheap and delicious. If you missed it last year, here is my ode to this delicious fruit. *Now is truly the best time to eat spicy foods. I take this time to enjoy hot spiciness on most everything. Warms you up right from the inside and keeps your nasal passages clear. *Drinking tea especially brewing homemade chai tea right on the stovetop. The intoxicating scent of ginger, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom wafting through the house is heavenly. Apple cider and mulled wine is nice too! And what about soup and freshly baked bread? There’s nothing like making your own food and feeling the heat and enjoying the anticipation of a hot, delicious, nourishing meal. Mmmmm mmmmm mmmmm! Lest you think all that I enjoy about fall and winter is food, let me tell you about: *Bundling up in the long, precious scarf my mom lovingly knit me, knowing that she spent many hours and put so much care into it to keep me warm. *Snowy nights and the crisp air. How beautiful and peaceful! Consider a winter morning after a snowfall and the beauty of the snow draped branches. *How about slip-sliding on the sidewalk? Snowball fights with friends? One is never too old to toboggan and just get totally dunked and covered in snow, not caring about being dry or dignified.  What of the beauty of rosy cheeks? *How about curling around a fireplace and feeling its light and warmth? How about holidays and parties and red wine and cheese trays (oh, guilty pleasures!)? *Cuddling under warm covers and watching a movie or reading a great book.   I feel the winter is a great time to commit to a lengthy classic. This is how I finally read War and Peace (particularly recommended for those who complain about winter and the cold – get a taste of Russian winter as experienced by the unknowing  troops of Napoleon! BRRRRRR!!!). *How about skiing and snowboarding and skating and hot chocolate?   *How about trying something new? A friend of mine was just talking about her plans to go dog-sledding in Algonquin Park this winter for the second time. She said it was such a rush… You in? How are you making this fall/winter...

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There is Enough

Posted by on Nov 20, 2012 in Featured, Quotes & Thoughts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on There is Enough

There is Enough

Recently, I joined the online traveler’s network, CouchSurfing.com. I was preparing for a trip to London, U.K, a location I had never traveled to, and was therefore lacking contacts in. While browsing the network for available hosts (an activity that felt eerily like creeping an online dating website) I came upon a review for a potential candidate. I was so taken by the reviewer’s warm words, and, upon visiting his page, his fascinating views and interests, that I decided to contact him. Since then, we have become good penpals. I look forward to receiving his emails (he is currently away from his hometown of Seattle, travelling through Europe and full of touching and exciting stories of his travels), and I am moved by how sincerely open we both are, as relative strangers. Now, being hundreds of thousands of miles apart may be just the buffer to enable real openness in a culture that often feels estranged. Indeed, at our nearest in daily life here in Toronto, it seems we are the most alienated (think of a packed subway car at rush hour, and the multitude of averting eyes). And yet, the longing for intimacy is palpable. I am frequently endeared to strangers, but I don’t always reach out to them with a smile or acknowledgement. I often puzzle over this hesitation about the innate desire to connect. It seems that protection is the action fear advises when confronted with intimacy. It is easy to feel safe when distant enough from others to be less than visible. However, the impulses of protection or defensiveness are rooted in the belief that there is not enough within us or for us to be truly seen and received as such. At the heart of the Shambhala tradition, a secular revisioning of the core Tibetan Buddhist teachings evolved by Choygam Trungpa Rinpoche, is the idea of basic goodness; it states that the foundation of everything is a goodness without foil, without opposite. In my experience, committing to this truth is like tapping into a limitless spring; it is about a deep and inalienable knowing that there is enough. If there is anything my own journey has taught me it’s that perspective is key; if we hold to the belief that there is not enough then we will invite and act out that reality. It is truly up to us what kind of world we wish to live in. And we have the power to choose. So, why not choose abundance? Why not choose basic goodness? What if, even in our day-to-day encounters, we could approach each other, and perhaps most importantly ourselves, holding that longing for connection, buoyed by our sense of these innate truths? If I ever meet my penpal face-to-face, I will choose to hold this abundance in my heart. Perhaps the next time you get on the subway, you will choose to share a smile or kind word with a...

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Unleash Your Creative Potential!

Posted by on Nov 9, 2012 in Featured, Health, Quotes & Thoughts | Comments Off on Unleash Your Creative Potential!

Unleash Your Creative Potential!

Remember back in grade school when there was such a mix of activity and exposure to many forms of art?  What a fun time of play and creativity! Slowly as we progress through the stages of school or work, we become more static and routine with what we do.  It’s time to allow that inner artist to break free (and if you have already done so~~BRAVO!). For even just a short amount of time, make an effort every single day to dance to some fun music, letting your body move and shimmy to a favourite playlist/CD or some tunes on the radio. Take a weekend afternoon to recreate art class~~paint, draw, sculpt, CREATE! Get your hands dirty and enjoy the essence of your imagination.  Don’t worry if there is no exact result in mind or perfect outcome, just let your artistic self express freely! An art form that I take great indulgence in is writing.  I love how the words play on paper.  The feeling of script caressing the pages of a beautiful notebook and my thoughts running wild to eventually land safely on a page, this for me is truly therapeutic. Expressing yourself through art is one of the most truly liberating feelings.  It’s like allowing your heart to play on the swings, exhilarating yet secure.  I encourage you to incorporate some form of expressive art everyday or at least once a week take some time out for yourself.   Have fun again! Let the kid in you emerge and experience the wonderful realm of art as a method of healing and a meditative experience. Some suggestions to help you express and unleash your creative potential: Painting Sculpting/Playing with Clay Drawing Writing Dancing Singing Acting Sewing Quilting Scrapbooking Photography Enjoy! [Image...

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In Good Company

Posted by on Oct 2, 2012 in Featured, Quotes & Thoughts | Comments Off on In Good Company

In Good Company

As the summertime fades into fall, the leaves turn a glorious array of colours and the wind begins to fill the air. During this time of transition our bodies go into cozy mode, yearning for comfort foods, warm blankets and nights snuggling up on the couch with those close to us, especially our friends. With the change of season, we acknowledge and give thanks for our abundant harvest and everyday blessings.  What comes to my mind again and again are my friends.  I just want to take a moment to appreciate the value of friends.  I  am so grateful to have the company of some truly amazing friends.  They are genuinely kind, caring and loving people that grace my life and fill my little heart with so much happiness....

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