Mother Nature and Healing Gifts of Springtime

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Spring has arrived and is bursting forth here in the northeast — a welcome respite from the long, cold winter season. Daffodils, symbols of rebirth and new beginnings, are such a welcome site! Spring draws our attention outward, to the beauty Mother Nature brings us, as we go from inward times of stillness and hibernation to outward times of flowering and activity. 

The natural world provides captivating and enchanting passageways for healing, nourishment, and coming home to our hearts and true nature, beyond the stress and busyness of the everyday world. Nature provides a menu for our senses to take in, digest, and feast upon — glorious colors and hues; fragrant aromas; sounds of wind, birds, bees, and flowing waters; tastes of fresh fruits and vegetables; going barefoot again and walking gently upon Mother Earth; feeling the sun’s warmth as it shines down upon us.  

During the still, silent moments when we touch upon the beauty and mystery in Mother Nature, we can also remember the beauty and mystery within our human nature. At these times we can reconnect with what is blossoming and coming alive within us — dreams, creative projects, relationships — new beginnings. We can reflect upon what seeds we want to plant in our life garden, when, and how to tend them for the most abundant, robust blossoming.

Self-care practices will provide ways and means to fertilize the soil in your garden. Meditation, mindfulness, movement, and breath practices will furnish you with your own “Miracle Gro,” which will enhance your garden’s blossoms. 

  • What do you want to grow in your life garden this spring?
  • When and how will you plant the seeds or seedlings?
  • Who and what will you include to nourish new growth in your life garden?
      

I wish you an abundantly beautiful, nourishing, and healing springtime…….

Namaste,

Gina  

What Self-care practices will best nourish you and your life garden? 

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Happy Spring!

DSCN3937March 20th is one of my favorite days. It’s not only the beginning of spring, but it is also my daughter’s birthday. Today she celebrates four decades of being here on Earth, an almost surreal passing of time. Each year on her birthday I am reminded of the sweetness of spring blossoms, the feelings of expanded freedom to be alive, the unfolding of new life all around, and the welcome joy and sunshine in each day. The flowering cherry trees that grow in Holmdel Park, near my home in New Jersey, are harbingers that remind me of the beauty and expansive gifts Mother Nature presents us with each spring.

Spring takes us from the stillness and hibernation of winter into brighter and longer days, more hours of warmth and sunshine, and a time of new growth and blossoming. In spring we begin to consider what we want to plant in our gardens. Our lives are like a garden. We need to consider what, when, where, and how we will plant. What part(s) of your life are calling for new growth and blossoming? What seeds will you plant this spring? When and how will you plant them, and how will you nourish them? Like a garden, your life needs water, Light, and tending. How will you nourish yourself and the soil in your life garden? What do you need to add so that your blossoms contain abundant beauty, color, and fragrance?  Don’t forget to add the magical elixir within your heart to your gardens….your personal ”Miracle Gro.”

Self-care practices will bring you home, and cultivate increased awareness about new growth pushing forth from within. There are many practices to choose from: meditation, mindfulness, yoga, Qigong, Tai Chi, dance, music, art, pets, gardening, sports, etc. Each will nurture you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Become aware of how practices change with each season, especially as spring brings you once again into the warm outdoors.

Take time to consider what you will plant and grow in your life garden as spring begins. How will new growth add meaning and purpose to your life? Cultivate your garden with Self-care practices, clear out the weeds, enjoy watching each new blossom burst forth, and witness what grows when your heart becomes the master gardener.

 

 

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Book Release: “The Heart of Healing”

THOH CoverIt is with great joy that I welcome a new “baby” into the world…a book that has been incubating and developing over the past ten to fifteen years. The Heart of Healing: Discovering the Secrets of Self-Care is here and available at Create Space, www.createspace.com/3970183, and at Amazon.com.

Throughout life we witness births and new beginnings in our families, our jobs, our relationships, our careers, etc. Can you remember the ones that stand out for you?

I still remember watching my father breed and raise canaries when my siblings and I were small. I was filled with awe as each baby canary broke through their shell at birth. Their mother patiently stood by, trusting their ability to do this. I loved being present when my father’s stern exterior softened, as he fed each newborn canary with a small eye dropper, until they could eat on their own. His gentleness revealed the very sensitive heart that existed beneath the surface. Births and new beginnings have a way of opening our hearts and enabling them to blossom.

My children, too, had many pets as they grew up…hamsters, gerbils, goldfish, parakeets, the snake my son brought home during summer break from college, and our dog Max. Each pet needed tending and care, as did my father’s canaries. On most days, this occurred without complaints. Looking back I can see how each pet provided companionship and taught us about showing up and being present from our hearts. The greatest lesson our dog Max gave us, over 14 years, was how to give and receive unconditional love. I find it interesting that we often take better care of our pets and cars than we do of ourselves. This has been true during many times in my life, when I was challenged to learn and practically apply Self-care as a way to regain health and balance.

A significant problem we face today is how to live and be healthy in a world filled with constant stress. During the thirty years I have worked with clients in physical therapy, three solutions to this problem continuously became apparent:

  1. increase Self-awareness
  2. use Self-care practices
  3. return home to the heart and authentic Self

It was these experiences with clients that pushed me to write this book about the themes we encounter during healing, and how to maximize well-being through Self-care. The healing journey is challenging, and often brings us into the dark, muddy waters of life….like the waters in which the lotus grows. Healing tools and strategies help us to become empowered and grow through these times. As we come out the other side of healing journeys, we frequently discover what remains beautiful in ourselves and our life. We, too blossom, like the lotus, as we reach up and out of darkness into the Light.

The Heart of Healing will be a valuable resource guide for each reader, one which reminds us of the vast widom that exists in the last place we often look, within ourselves.

Namaste….Gina

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Events: Seva Acupressure for Self-Care

DSCN4266Acupressure for Self Care: Seva Stress Release: Part 1 (3 hours)

Many cultures around the world practice giving service from the heart. Giving to another person with no expectation of personal gain (Seva) benefits the giver as well as the receiver. The Seva Stress Release program helps manage stress and promotes general relaxation, well-being, and Self-healing.

In this interactive three-hour workshop you will learn Seva through demonstration and hands-on practice, and take home six valuable and practical Self-care tools: acupressure, meditation and breath practices, mindfulness, journaling, and body-mind movement (Chakra Tai Chi).

Fee: $60 (Seva Part One is a pre-requisite for Seva Part Two)

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Seva Stress Release: Part Two (3 hours)

In this dynamic three-hour workshop you will learn how to use the Seva Acupressure protocol with others. You will learn through review, demonstration, and practicing the Seva protocol with other class participants, seated in chairs and lying fully clothed on massage tables. You will also deepen Self-awareness through practicing Chakra Tai Chi, meditation and breath practices, mindfulness, and use of an Awareness Journal.

Fee: $60

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Holmdel, New Jersey Class Schedule: (pre-registration required for Introductions and classes; Introductions not required for Seva Class)*

*Questions/Registration: Regina Rosenthal — 732-706-5216

May, 2013

Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 7-8:30 PM: Free Introduction to Seva & Self-Care

Saturday, May 4, 2013: Seva Acupressure for Self-Care Part 1 AND Seva Acupressure with Others Part 2

Seva Part 1: 9 AM – 12 Noon. Seva Part 2: 1 – 4 PM
(Part 1 & Part 2 can be taken on the same day or on separate days)

June, 2013:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 7-8:30 PM: Free Introduction to Seva and Self-Care

Saturday, June 15, 2013: Seva Acupressure for Self-Care Part 1 AND Seva Acupressure with Others Part 2

Seva Part 1: 9 AM – Noon. Seva Part 2: 1 – 4 PM
(Part 1 & Part 2 can be taken on the same day or on separate days)


                                                                                          

 

 

 

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Healing: Self-awareness, Self-Care, & Returning to the Authentic Self

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The healing journey takes us along many different pathways. As we travel, healing challenges us to remember and reestablish our internal and external connections within the Great Mystery that surrounds and enfolds us. It is this grand design that comes alive within us each time we reconnect with our heart and authentic Self.

Healing asks us to show up and be present. This is a huge challenge in today’s world, where we encounter constant stress and change. During three decades of practice as a physical therapist, clients continuously demonstrated how three strategies enabled them to live and maximize daily health and well-being:

  1. increase Self-awareness
  2. use Self-care practices
  3. reconnect with the heart and authentic Self

These strategies and practices enhance our ability to respond and create a greater sense of wholeness throughout our being — body, mind, emotions, and soul or life force.  Learning and applying these practices is key to developing strength, flexibility, resilience, and a sense of personal empowerment during life and healing.

All healing involves Self-healing. This heart-and-soul journey and evolutionary process leads us “home” and endows us with the ability to engage and grow through the paradoxes of life — the sorrows and the joys, the efforting and the effortless, the doing and the being. Each of us who participates in any healing process, our own or others, are like stars that inhabit the realm, shedding light amidst the darkness, in service to everyone and everything.

What Self-care strategies and practices have you explored to increase Self-awareness? Many are available: meditation, mindfulness, yoga, journaling, movement/exercise, time in nature, music, dance, art, hobbies, etc. Any and all of these bring reflection on three questions:

  1. Who am I?
  2. What do I want and/or need now?
  3. Where am I going?

The answers will not be revealed through logical reasoning and everyday mind. The answers will be found within, as you listen to and become present with the wisdom in your heart and authentic Self. This is your inner GPS system that will always guide you toward what has heart and meaning and your own North Star.

Take time in stillness to become present with your heart and authentic Self or true nature. Hold your hand(s) over your heart. Start with a simple breath practice, inhaling and filling your lungs with new, clear energy. Release what no longer serves you with each exhalation — stress, tension, confusion, anxiety, etc . Count or focus on each inhale and exhale, noticing how your body, mind, emotions, and life force respond. After 5 - 10 minutes reflect and journal about Self-awareness that arose through this breath practice. Then reflect and write your responses to the above three questions. What did you witness and learn?  

 

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