The Power of Sensitivity

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Many people may view sensitivity as a negative…you might feel overwhelmed by other people, emotion, energy. You might feel scattered, out-of-sorts, and unsure of what you are really feeling. For many sensitive souls, when you were little, you may have heard others say things like…

“Toughen up.”

“You are too sensitive.”

“You need to calm down.”

I am here to tell you, as a fellow sensitive soul wandering this earth, that being sensitive is a gift! It is something you should value and explore as part of the fabric of what makes you, YOU! That being said, when we are more sensitive, it can be tougher to negotiate energy and emotion. You might feel like you are absorbing other people’s “stuff” and that being in certain situations is just too much. There are ways to manage your sensitivity…ways to ensure your energy and emotional fields stay clear so you can tap into your truth and the power of your own emotions. Here are some of my go-tos for “clearing out” and staying centred:

1. I wash my hands or take a shower. The act of cleansing with water can be powerful! When I am either washing my hands or taking a shower, I say a little mantra to myself – “Only good energy is welcome here.” This act of washing with water is a little ritual that enables me to take some time for myself, nature myself, and the mantra helps me to focus on what is happening in my system…as opposed to fixating on what is happening around.

2. Holding or gazing into a clear quartz stone. I have a small one that I will sometimes carry with me. They carry a high vibrational energy and I will simply hold it in my hands or gaze into it. These crystals are typically associated with healing and the higher chakra systems in the body including throat, third eye, and crown chakras.

3. Lighting candles, smudging with sage, or clapping/drumming. We can clear the energy of our space and body using different tools. Lighting clear-burning candles can immediately bring a cleansing energy to a space. Fire is associated with “burning out” of the old and negative energies that no longer serve us. We can offer up what we no longer want into the flame either verbally, or by burning words that we’ve written on paper. Smudging a space with sage can be helpful in cleaning out toxic energy from the space and inviting in good energy. You can also smudge yourself! When I go to a hotel room or enter a new space, I can sometimes feel residual energy from whoever was there before me. If I don’t have candles or sage, I will go around the room clapping or reciting mantras. Drumming can be a powerful way to clear out energy as well.

4. Mantras. One way to remove blockages or obstacles is to recite mantras. You can come up with a saying that is all yours, or use one created by someone else. The mantra for Ganesha, “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha” is a particularly useful one when removing barriers. Another is a mantra for Kali, which can be used for awakening and purification. The mantra is “Krim” [“kreem”]. As with any mantra, use these with care as they are incredibly powerful. I recommend repeating them 108 times and then sitting in stillness, allowing the vibration of the mantra to reverberate through your body and the space.

5. I meditate or just sit quietly without distraction. One of the easiest ways to centre and ground, especially when we are feeling overwhelmed, is to simply sit in silence. Allow yourself to become fully present with yourself. These meditation moments can be simple – even meditating for one minute can have a profound impact on your nervous system!

Embrace your sensitivity…know you can manage it. Remember that this enhanced awareness is a gift that allows you to tune into others, but even more importantly, allows you to tune into yourself!

Be brave, beautiful souls!

Seasonal Shift – Body | Soul | Mind

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No matter what side of the hemisphere you find yourself on, the seasons are changing!  Even in climates where seasonal shifts are subtle, our bodies need time to slow and adjust to changing weather, natural light, and nature’s rhythms.  Whether we are moving into a period of cooler temperatures and less daylight or warmer days and longer nights, this is a perfect time to tune into what your body – and nature – is asking from you!

Each of the seasons can be related to an element in Chinese medicine:

  • Fire = Summer
  • Metal = Autumn
  • Water = Winter
  • Wood = Spring
  • Earth = Late Summer and the transitional time occurring between the seasons

As we are in a period of transition from one season into another, the Earth element is at its most prominent.  With this, nature, and our bodies, ask us to pay special attention to our stomach and digestive issues.  We may crave different foods as we move from winter into spring and/or summer into autumn.  For those of us looking at warmer days, we may begin to crave fresh fruits and vegetables while those entering into the colder months may crave things like stews and roasted root vegetables.

Our bodies may need either more activity or more rest depending on where we are in nature’s cycle.  As spring kicks into gear, those of us who have been hibernating throughout the winter months may find ourselves with a surge of energy and a need to get outside to shed layers – literally and figuratively.  For those coming off the hot, sultry days of summer, there may be a need for the body to rest, cool down, and restore in order to prepare for the long restful period ahead.

As we meditate and move through our asana practice, we may choose to focus on the Manipura, or Solar Plexus, chakra – a place of guidance and powerful transformation.  As the changing seasons can be disruptive to our systems, focusing on Manipura chakra can give us a sense of  stability and power that we might feel is lacking.  As you meditate, you can breathe into this area of your body (located just above the naval and in toward your spine) and envision bright yellow light filling that space.  Select postures that enable you to open and tap into this area with core work (for generating heat) and subtle backbends (to open up that space in the body).

It is also time for us to listen…really listen to what is happening around us.  We may feel inclined to hold onto the last days of summer and still tapping into the fire that dominated for the last few months or we may resist the idea of a longer winter with water dominating our ways…but, if we are patient, and we hear what Mother Nature is telling us, we will have the ability to nourish our body, soul, and mind in the way it desires.

What is your body craving during this time of transition?  How can you best feed your body, soul, and mind during this time?

Namaste, Heather

Candle Meditation

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One of my favourite ways to meditate involves a candle.  I find it helps to centre my mind – which can tend to wander off in many directions during some meditation sessions!  Many of you may be familiar with this technique, but if not, here are some tips to get you started!

1.  Prepare the space by ensuring it is dark enough that you won’t be distracted by other light sources.  This may involve turning off other lights in your meditation space or drawing the blinds.  You can also prepare the space by ensuring you have a comfortable place to sit and that any unnecessary background noises are kept to a minimum.

2.  Light a candle and place it at or just below eye level.  You don’t want to be looking down on the flame as this can cause neck and upper back strain.

3.  Begin your meditation by taking a moment to settle into your comfortable seat and set an intention for your meditation practice.

4.  Look into the flame and allow your mind to focus.  Slowly breathe in and out, even giving a count to your inhales and exhales.  Note that your eyes may water a little and that is okay!  It just takes some practice.  Over time, you may notice that you see only the flame and all other things in the room disappear.

5.  You can use visualization techniques to imagine breathing in the light and warmth of this flame and then sending it out into the world.  You can send that light and warmth to others in your life incorporating some elements of the Metta meditation practice as well.

6.  When you have completed your meditation, take a few minutes to allow your eyes to rest by closing your eyes and sitting in stillness.

This powerful meditation practice, when done regularly, can be a wonderful addition to your overall practice of yoga!

Do you practice the candle meditation?  If so, any thoughts, tips or tricks you would add here?

Peace to all.

Namaste, Heather

Picture sourced here.

Friday Finds!

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Image found here.

I’m gearing up for some riding and running in the rain this weekend…along with some soul-quenching time on the mat.  It’s going to be an awesome weekend!  Here are your Friday Finds for this week!

This cover of Stay.

I want to watch this and this and this and this.

Making this recipe this weekend…thanks Green Kitchen Stories!

Looking forward to this festival in September!

Come join me on Facebook here and Pinterest here!

Have a wonderful Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

Namaste, Heather