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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Summer Blossoms

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Summer makes me smile! Mother Nature showers us with her abundance — bouquets of flowers with a kaleidoscope of vibrant hues; hot days and cool nights filled with star-studded skies; morning bird calls to awaken us; mouth-watering summer fruits; abundant fresh vegetables and herbs from the garden; morning dew, summer showers, ocean waves, and sprinklers.  How fortunate we are to be living amidst nature’s bounty.

Time in nature provides opportunities to connect with our human nature and our hearts, so beneficial to health and well-being. This summer you can learn to empower yourself and maximize your well-being in as little as 15-20 minutes a day, using a simple acupressure program for Self-care. You can also learn to use this program with others.

Here’s the details:

Seva Stress Release Workshops

Hope Lutheran Church, 211 Elton-Adelphia Road, Freehold, New Jersey 07728

Part One: Acupressure for Self-Care — Sunday, July 21, 2013: 1 – 4 PM

Part Two: Using Seva With Others — Saturday, August 10, 2013: 2 – 5 PM

Part One: Seva Acupressure for Self-Care: “Seva” is a Sanskrit word that means selfless, compassionate service. The Seva acupressure approach is simple to learn, easy to perform, and supports physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. This 3 hour workshop teaches you how to use the Seva acupressure program for Self-care, addressing needs from general relaxation and well-being to shock and stress. You will experience the healing and transformative power of acupressure; learn use of an Awareness Journal; learn a unique method of touch through demonstration and hands-on practice; and learn Chakra Tai Chi, a movement practice for Self-care. No prior bodywork experience needed. Fee: $60

Part Two: Using Seva With Others: This 3 hour workshop builds upon skills learned in Seva Part One and adds additional elements to expand and deepen your understanding. We will review and practice the Seva protocol, Awareness Journal, and Chakra Tai Chi. You will then learn how to use Seva acupressure with others, and have several opportunities to deepen and enhance your skills during demonstrations and through giving and receiving Seva sessions in class.   Fee: $60

Continuing Education: 3 CEUs available for each class for massage therapists & social workers

For Registration and Information: Regina Rosenthal 908-902-0770       www.reginarosenthal.com                                                                                                                                                        
(Attendance limited. Registration by phone required before workshop.)                                                                                                                                                                        

 
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NJ and Acupressure for Self-Care Workshop

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Come join us at Wellness Rocks, Clinton, New Jersey, this Saturday, June 1, and learn the 15 point Seva Acupressure for Self-Care program. Seva, a Sanskrit word, means compassionate, selfless service. This workshop will teach you how to manage stress and will promote general relaxation, well-being, and Self-healing. You will learn through demonstration and hands-on practice, and take home SIX valuable and practical Self-care tools: acupressure, meditation, breath practices, mindfulness, journaling, and body-mind movement (Chakra Tai Chi).

Registration begins at 8:30 AM. Class begins promptly and runs 9 AM - 12 Noon. Payment can be made by cash, check, or credit card. Wear comfortable clothing. Light snacks provided.

For information contact Regina Rosenthal, 908-902-0770, www.reginarosenthal.com

SEVA ACUPRESSURE FOR SELF-CARE
WELLNESS ROCKS, 33 Rupell Road, Clinton, NJ

Saturday, June 1:  9AM – 12 Noon.

Fee: $60

CEUs available for: massage therapists (NCBTMB), nurses (AHNA), social workers (NASW)

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Three Keys to Promoting Healing, Resilience, and Transformation

website image and butterflyWe live in challenging times. Through personal and professional experiences I have come to appreciate three keys to remaining healthy and resilient amidst constant stress and change:

1.  Increase Self-awareness

2. Use Self-care practices

3. Reconnect with your heart and authentic Self

To increase Self-awareness we need to ask: Who am I? What do I want and/or need? Where am I going? What are the unique gifts and talents I possess, my “original medicine,” which will nourish and support well-being for myself, my family, and others?

Many options are available for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual Self-care practices.  Self-awareness will promote discernment regarding which practice(s) serve us at specific times, along with when, where, why, and how to use these tools to promote healing, resilience, and transformation.

Physical Self-care practices may include: walking, dancing, yoga, tai chi, qigong, exercise, movement, nutrition, bodywork, spending time in nature, and getting sufficient sleep and rest. Mental Self-care practices may include: learning to manage stress; discovering work, vocations, and callings that promote self-esteem and well-being for ourselves, others, and our world; balancing and promoting financial well-being. Emotional Self-care practices may include: relationships and social connections; laughter and play; developing listening and communication skills. Spiritual or life force Self-care practices may include: reconnecting with our hearts and why we are here — our life meaning and purpose; experiencing gratitude, joy, beauty, and  creativity; giving and receiving love; partaking in spiritual connections that ground, align, and support us as bridges between heaven and earth that is described in Chinese medicine. There are many other Self-care practices that could be added: music, art, gardening, pets, crafts, hobbies, sports, etc. Add your own flair and preferences to whatever you choose.

Reconnecting with our hearts and authentic Self occurs through Self-awareness and Self-care practices. These tools and strategies shed Light on our path and bring new insights and learning. Each deepens our connection to inner wisdom and guidance. Each promotes soul actualization.

Healing is a lifelong process of growth, development, and transformation, a journey that is enriched as we invite and encourage Self-compassion, Self-trust, Self-respect, and Self-love with ourselves and companions we meet along the way.

Who are you? What do you want and/or need for your life journey? Where are you going and with whom? What unique gifts and talents do you possess that can promote peace and healing one minute and/or one person at a time?

What specific physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual Self-care practices will best serve you this week? When, where, and how will you use them?

Witness how it feels to connect with your heart and authentic Self or true nature. What do you notice physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually during each reconnection?

Namaste…….Gina

 

 

 

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Happy Mother’s Day

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Several years ago I watched in awe as a family of doves created the nest pictured above near our garage. The doves patiently sat upon the eggs, which would soon break open and bring forth new life that spring. I was reminded of this event and the birthing process as Mother’s Day approached this year. Clearing out boxes of photos and memories last month, I unexpectedly came upon a Mother’s Day card I had made for my mother when I was six years old. This precious memory was with other memorabilia I had saved since Mom’s passing in 1992. The drawings I sketched on her card, the love I so freely expressed, and my handwritten note took me back to childhood — a time of innocence and magical beliefs.

On Mother’s Day I still miss buying a card for my Mom and my other mother, Aunt Lilly, who is no longer in physical form. They each walked with me, held me in their hearts, and shaped my childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Today I felt a strong sense of their presence surrounding me, an unbreakable connection that is alive and runs like a thread through time. As I sensed the magnitude of this poignant connection I began to consider what they each birthed in their lives, and what they helped me birth in my own through their presence, modeling, and love.

My mother’s example taught me about unconditional love. She continuously demonstrated the joy of giving from a full, strong, clear, and open heart. Her love of family and cooking attracted many to our ever expanding family circle. Mom’s best friend, Aunt Lilly, was the one who recognized and nurtured the real me that was hidden behind defensive walls in childhood. She demonstrated the power in speaking her truth without blame or judgment. Her feisty spirit showed me that this was not only possible, but beneficial to myself and others. Her knitting needles were magic wands, from which she created heartfelt gifts that surrounded others with her love. Aunt Lilly was a character, whose strength, determination, and tough exterior were balanced out by a great sense of humor and deep love for her family and friends. She helped me give birth to the strong, heart-centered woman I am today.

There are many other women who continue to act as midwives in my life. They support each new birth and help me manifest the ever-evolving being I am. Counselors and therapists help me recognize my strengths and growing edges – places of new growth and development. Bodyworkers engage my whole being with their presence and hands, which serve as reflecting mirrors, revealing and connecting me with body wisdom within. “Giggle friends” continuously remind me to bring joy, play, creativity, and laughter into each day. And soul friends grace my life, as we share beauty, honesty, gratitude, compassion, and love.

Who and what are you grateful for this Mother’s Day? Who have been the midwives in your life, and what have you birthed that has affected your life and our world?

Happy Mother’s Day! May your day and hearts be filled with love and joy,

Gina

 


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