From Panic to Peace…Your Guide to Meditation.

As the yoga class begins, I hit play on the Native American flute music and it wraps around my soul like a healing balm.  I literally shiver and feel myself becoming more still.  More “clicked” in to this present moment.  I breathe deeply and scan the energies.  What do we need today?

There are so many threads to smooth down at the beginning of a yoga class.  So we always begin with a centering exercise that calms the panic and soothes the soul.  But what if you have never meditated a day in your life?  What if the thought of being still, quiet and centered just seems out of reach?

The truth is, misconceptions to meditation lead to you not wanting to try it.  Most people envision a monk in robes at the top of a mountain sitting in stillness for days.  In reality, we can calm ourselves and really click in to our bodies in as little as 5 minutes.

How can we add this practice to our day?

  1. Clear a space on your calendar for “you” time.  Literally write it in if you have to.  I suggest the first thing in the morning, but if you feel stressed at any point in the day, you repeat your morning practice.
  2. You do not have to sit on the floor, but you do need to straighten your spine, relax your shoulders.  Put your feet flat on the floor if you are in a chair and sit up nice and tall.  The eyes drift closed and focus on the point between your eyebrows.
  3. Start by taking 3 deep cleansing breaths.  You can even repeat this mantra:  I am breathing in (inhale).  I am breathing out (exhale).
  4. As you breathe, focus on how your body feels.  Lift your toes and place them flat on the floor.  Put your hand on your belly and feel it expand like a balloon.  Just breathe.  If thoughts come into your mind, use my leaf imagery.  Place these unwanted thoughts on the leaf and watch it float away from you.  Peacefully down the stream.
  5. Allow your body to sit like this until you feel the tension release and a natural rhythm starts to take over.
  6. If thoughts have come in that you feel are really disturbing your peace, jot them down on a piece of paper after, and if you would like, you can use toilet paper to literally “flush” them away from you.  Ahh.  Release the you-know-what.

This practice can be done at any time, any place.  If you are having a particularly stressful time right now, use the shower meditation as well.  Each time you get in the shower, imagine the water washing off all thoughts of pain, anger, anxiety and only positive thoughts filling you up.  Continue to filter any and all thoughts that do serve you including panic, worry, thoughts of the past or thoughts of the future.  Keep focusing on the word contentment as you wash away worries.

Affirmations to use:

  1. All I need to do right now is breathe.
  2. I am safe and protected.
  3. A warm peaceful energy surrounds me and those I love.
  4. All is well.
  5. With every breath, I become more peaceful.

Interested in a meditative type of journaling practice to increase abundance and gratitude?  Feel free to check out my e-book here. <<< There are over 30 focused prompts to lead your mind to a better focus as well as exercises for the mind, and additional affirmations to use daily.

Which one? Anxiety or depression…

I am not a doctor.  I am writing as a friend who has suffered from one or both of the above, so let me make that clear.  After the diagnosis of my last disease, Hashimoto’s, I was fine.  I knew I could be put on thyroid medicine and everything would be magically “solved”.  It wasn’t that easy…not by a long shot.  I started having severe food allergies and was in pain.  The link above shows you some of the symptoms of my newest disorder, but what I did not realize was that food allergies can also cause some of the same symptoms.

I had my first panic attack.  I thought perhaps I was having a heart attack…really.  After months of living with anxiety, I saw my first ever therapist.  She told me to read a book.  It was nice, it was, and it taught me about the value of “now” and how to practice breathing techniques.  I breathed.  I am still using those techniques and told my friend about them as she also suffers from anxiety.  We breathed together.  I looked up natural ways to help and finally, one night, my husband realized a medicine I was on for acid reflux was probably blocking my magnesium.  Here is another article about dealing with panic attacks.  It suggests using magnesium, vitamin B12, vitamin B1, and vitamin D.  I already knew my D was low from a few years prior.  I had never even thought about magnesium.

The therapist was asking me if I was depressed, and while I felt that way at times, I wasn’t sure that was the underlying problem.  I realized I wanted another explanation because I really felt like she wasn’t connecting the dots.  I began researching what happens when I ate certain foods, or when I didn’t eat on time because I was avoiding food.  I found this article here on 11 Natural Treatments for Depression.

I called my cousin.  We are very close, and I knew she went through this.  I wondered if there was something in our family that caused this kind of thing to come out, and then I remembered she had thyroid problems at one time too.  She was really sick as a child…maybe illness was the connection.  Around January of this year, I finally made a connection to improperly balanced hormones as well.  I have too much estrogen.  Definitely needed balancing.  I read about maca powder, and I’ll never forget the first time I bought it at a local health food store.  The woman said “What do you THINK that will do for you?”  It was not said nicely.  I told her exactly what it would do and how it would give me energy, balance my hormones (hopefully), and contained calcium, iron, magnesium and selenium as well as essential fatty acids and 19 amino acids.  Take that snooty lady.  I now order it online:)

So, I can’t be sure exactly what was going on I just knew I had to cover ALL my bases.  I knew over the course of 4 years, my body was trying to tell me what I needed, but at the time, I had no idea how to balance it out.  Do NOT lose hope.  Talk about it, and seek medical help if it is really bad.  My family probably wouldn’t want me sharing this, but meh.  I have lost distant cousins due to depression, and a great-grandfather.  I do not take it lightly.  I do not think I can handle it without help.  Bravo for stepping up and admitting you need help.  Please reach out.

Patience

 

 

Panic attack…

Ha.  Ha ha ha ha.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  I was minding my own business this morning, literally as all I was doing was thinking about something, and boom.  I started feeling weird.  Like I needed to take deep breaths and relax.  Seriously?  What in the world.  Just the thought of needing to make more money brought this on.  Granted, we all need money to live, so perhaps it isn’t that odd that I would worry about income.  I followed these simple steps and started to relax.  I told myself to snap out of it.  Yes, I like to use that line.  I focused on the positives, not the negatives.  Again, easier SAID than done.  I know this.  You know this.  We all know this.  I focused on my feelings and realized that this was perfectly normal.

So, is it time to clue you in yet?  Almost, almost.  Last week, some individual somehow got my credit card number, that is associated with my BANK ACCOUNT.  The fraud department immediately called my husband and he contacted me.  No, I had not just made this huge purchase of groceries while I was at work.  Working, to pay the bills.  Working to pay Mr. or Mrs. Crook’s grocery bill.  I mean, it was so much they probably ate steaks, shrimp, and had some wine, several bottles, to go with their meal on my dime (Why don’t I buy steaks?).   Then I start thinking about all the people who get away with things like this.  Then I open up my iGoogle page, which has the news on it, and I see a lucky Powerball winner has won almost $600 million.  Ha.  Ha ha ha ha.  That’s when it happened.

I need to get back to hot yoga.  I need to write.  I need to relax.  I need to actually journal.  Not necessarily all in this order, but you get the picture.  And maybe I need to play the Powerball too.  Control the chaos people.

“The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos.  The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and the enemies.”  ~Napoleon Bonaparte