Living In Tune With Mother Nature: The importance of Self-Care

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Happy new year!

The year 2014 has begun and we’ve been experiencing the winter season in the northeast. Winter is a time of long nights and reduced daylight. It is a time when I’m reminded of the quiet beauty revealed by Mother Nature in the stillness that follows new fallen snow. Yesterday’s snow storm blanketed us with 12″ of snow, which slowed everyone’s pace. “Home” took on special meaning for everyone trying to get home yesterday.

According to Chinese medicine, winter is a time to stay warm, eat warm nourishing foods, rest, and retreat within to restore and renew our life force, or “chi,” stored in our kidneys. Animals know to go within in winter…..they hibernate. We, too, would be wise to make time to slow down and go “home,” within ourselves during winter. This will ensure that we have sufficient energy reserves to meet the new growth and activities that burst forth in Spring.

Self-care practices and bodywork take us within — i.e. meditation, yoga, tai chi, qigong, Seva Acupressure for Self-Care*, Process Acupressure*, and Eden Energy Medicine to mention a few. By slowing our hurried pace, these activities guide us home to our authentic Self. They promote balance throughout our being and reveal the value of aligning our human nature with the seasonal rhythms of Mother Nature. When I am in tune with the deepest parts of my authentic Self after bodywork and Self-care practices, I feel a renewed sense of peace, aliveness, and connection with all of life. I am less fearful and anxious, and I notice a renewed sense of trust in myself and the bigger picture. I have a clearer sense of what matters, and I am excited and curious about the next steps on my soul journey. The best part of all is that I feel more compassion, joy, and love in and around me. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I discover that “there’s no place like home.”

My challenge in winter is to slow down and listen to my heart and authentic Self versus my everyday mind and ego. This helps me recognize and take in the blessings I receive when I live in tune with Mother Nature.

What wisdom / insights does Mother Nature reveal to you in winter? Who and what replenishes your life force in winter? What challenges arise for you during winter? What gifts are you discovering as you use Self-care practices?

Wishing you sweet dreams and warmth this season,

Regina

*See Upcoming Events Blog

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Healing Passages That Guide Us Home

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After journeying through writing and publishing passages that birthed The Heart of Healing last March, it is a joy to return to private practice and teaching. I feel blessed witnessing individuals awaken and come alive as they learn about and experience Self-care practices that support their life and healing. I also feel grateful to be teaching what I need to learn personally as part of my soul journey on Earth — the importance of Self-care.

Self-care practices are becoming a part of my daily routine. I find that I need them now more than ever. Self-care practices raise my Self-awareness and nourish me. They serve as CPR for my heart and soul. Self-care practices help me monitor my ego’s conditioned ways of being “in charge,” ways that at times no longer serve who I am in my authentic Self. I love and respect the part of me that is passionate about making a difference. However, I’m also aware that the pace and wisdom of my heart and soul, which guides my authentic Self, can vary from the pace of my ego. I’m learning that there is a difference between service and sacrifice.

Self-care practices take me from outer space to inner space, where I connect with the Great Mystery within that I/we are an integral part of. While I believe it is true that we are all made from stardust, we don’t often touch upon our magnificent design. Self-care practices remind me of who and what I am, and why I am here. They help me realign with my path and purpose, and bring clarity, focus, creativity, joy, laughter, and play into the process of being alive each day. When I lose sight of Self-care, I lose the connection to my heart and soul. I become a human doing versus a human being, ungrounded and unplugged from that which sustains me and guides me home to my authentic Self. With each healing passage I arrive at through Self-care, I am guided home to my true nature. With each new arrival I feel blessed to be alive and “at home” within the Great Mystery, which still brings wonder, awe, and “coming home” tears of gratitude.

Wishing you blessings as you encounter healing passages that guide you home,

Regina

 

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Upcoming Events: Workshops, Author Talks, Library Presentations

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WORKSHOPS:

SEVA ACUPRESSURE FOR SELF-CARE: Seva Stress Release Part 1 (3 hours)  Saturday, October 12, 2013, 9 AM – 12 Noon, Holmdel, NJ

Fee: $60            Registration Required: 908-902-0770

This workshop will help you to manage stress and promote general relaxation, well-being, and Self-healing. You will learn the Seva program through demonstration and hands-on practice, and take home six valuable Self-care tools: use of an awareness journal, acupressure, meditation, breath practices, mindfulness, and body-mind movement (Chakra Tai Chi). This class is a pre-requisite for Seva Part 2 below. Wear comfortable clothing.

3 CEUs: massage therapists, social workers, nurses


SEVA ACUPRESSURE WITH OTHERS:
 Part 2 (3 hours) Saturday, October 12, 2013,  1-4 PM, Holmdel NJ

Fee: $60            Registration Required: 908-902-0770 

In this workshop you will learn how to use the Seva program with others through review, demonstration, and practicing the Seva program with class participants, seated in chairs and lying fully clothed on massage tables. You will also deepen Self-awareness through meditation, breath practices, journaling, acupressure, and Chakra Tai Chi. Wear comfortable clothing.

3 CEUs: massage therapists, social workers, nurses

 

SEVA ACUPRESSURE FOR SELF-CARE, Part 1: Saturday, November 23, 2013, 9 AM – 12 Noon, Holmdel, NJ (See above)

SEVA ACUPRESSURE FOR SELF-CARE, Part 2: Saturday, November 23, 2013, 1-4 PM, Holmdel, NJ (See above)


AUTHOR TALKS:

  • Barnes & Noble, Holmdel, NJ: September 21, 2013, 4-8 PM
  • Barnes & Noble, Freehold, NJ: September 26, 2013, 7-9 PM
  • Barnes & Noble, Cherry Hill, NJ: October 8, 2013, 7-8 PM

LIBRARY PRESENTATIONS:

  • Little Silver Public Library, September 16 2013, 7-8 PM
  • Tinton Falls Public Library, September 20, 2013, 10:30-11:30 AM
  • Red Bank Public Library, September 25, 2013, 7-8:30 PM
  • Matawan-Aberdeen Public Library, October 2, 2013, 7-8 PM
  • Atlantic Highlands Public Library, October 3 2013, 7-8:30 PM
  • Middletown Township Public Library, October 9, 2013, 7-8:30 PM
  • Ocean Township Library, October 21, 2013, 6:30-7:30 PM
  • Monmouth County Library, Eastern Branch, December 9, 2013, 7-8:30 PM
  • Monmouth County Library, Hazlet Township Branch, January 25, 2014, 2-3 PM                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

 

 

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Summer Lessons, Gifts, and Blessings

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I am lucky to live in Monmouth County, New Jersey, where parks and nature are abundant, reminding me of the lessons, gifts, and sacred blessings Mother Earth brings us each day. In Chinese medicine we are considered the bridge between heaven and earth. Trees that inhabit the environment around me demonstrate this — they are deeply rooted in earth while they reach up through their long, tall bodies for light from the sun above. My lesson this summer is a recurrent theme: make time to go outside and “be” in nature, reconnecting with my heart and my human nature.

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The other day I passed a farm where sunflowers were growing. I stopped and remembered my intention to “be” in nature and receive her gifts. The sunflowers, like the tall trees, were rooted and reaching toward the sun, their height, strong stems, and beauty a true feat of nature. These tall blossoming wonders reflected Mother Nature’s harvest. Their bright yellow blossoms and seed-studded centers give us delicious sunflower seeds, rich in selenium, magnesium, and vitamin E, and provide food for the huge variety of birds that inhabit our environment.

The sunflowers’ strong stems reminded me of what keeps me spiritually strong, grounded, and connected — meditation, mindfulness, movement and dance, music, nourishing whole foods, drinking lots of water, family, heart-and-soul friends, play, laughter, and giving and receiving love, service, kindness, and compassionate presence. Self-care practices are the sunshine, water, and tending that keep me strong, nourished, and in alignment between heaven and Earth. They help me to consciously walk the mystical path with practical feet. My lesson and challenge is to use and “be” with these practices to remember, when I forget, who and what I really am.

What lessons and insights have you become aware of this summer? What Self-care practices do you use to nourish and tend your heart and soul?

 

 

 

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Top 10 Self-Care Practices for Health and Well-being

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A friend asked me what I thought were the “top 10″ Self-care practices. His question created valuable insights, but only after I spent some time pondering his request from within.

Self-care practices we use can change and evolve throughout the years, change of seasons, time of life, and our stage of awareness, growth, and development. I’m grateful to all the mentors, teachers, and practitioners that have guided me to the Self-care practices that served my highest good, and the highest good of others, on life’s journey. Each of them emphasized that the insights and guidance I sought would be found within, and that these could then be combined with external resources. One teacher even reminded me that the word GURU stood for: g… u… r… u… (gee, you are you)!

What still promotes awe for me is the synchronicity that occurs in connection with who and what shows up as we seek guidance, healing, and insight — when we remember to ASK and be present in each NOW moment. Unfortunately, in our fast-paced society we look for instant answers to our questions and seek them through everyday mind versus our heart and higher ways of knowing. In Chinese medicine the latter is called “HeartMind,” and is described in Roger Jahnke’s book, “The Healing Promise of Qi.”

Self-care practices will be different for each of us, and different throughout the year. Only YOU know which Self-care practice(s) will serve YOU at any point in life. Here’s what bubbled up from within as I sought answers, through my HeartMind, to “What are the top 10 Self-Care practices?”:

  1. Pay Attention, Be Here Now: consider meditation and mindfulness practices and spending time in nature with your human nature.
  2. Hydrate: our body and mind require water for all cellular activities and functioning; drink at least 64 ounces of water daily.
  3. Practice balanced nutrition and moderation, and eat according to the seasons; if possible consume foods and honey grown locally.
  4. Get sufficient sleep and rest.
  5. Participate in some form of movement and/or exercise daily for flexibility, balance, strengthening, vitality and to support immune and nervous system function — and in the outdoors whenever possible.
  6. Receive body-mind hands-on therapies (i.e. energy medicine, craniosacral therapy, acupressure, massage, etc.) and participate in counseling with experienced practitioners to reconnect with the guidance and wisdom within your heart and authentic Self.
  7. Establish social connections, giving and receiving in ways that open, nourish, and strengthen your heart and the hearts of others.
  8. Give and receive love, laughter, and joy daily, over and over again.
  9. Practice gratitude and observe what is good, true, and beautiful in life every day.
  10. Creative Self-expression: bring your unique gifts and talents into the world — no act is too small. The world needs your “original medicine.”

And by the way…..I am still learning and practicing as I don’t have this “down pat” yet on my human journey.

What are your top 10 Self-care practices? Please share them so we can all benefit from your insights.

Namaste,

Gina

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