May…..A Time to Revitalize!!!!

by Wendy Midgley, MEd, RD, LDN, CDE & Deb Brothers-Klezmer, BSN, RN-BC, CRRN, NCTMB

“The best six doctors anywhere and no one can deny it, are: Sunshine, Water, Rest and Air, Exercise and Diet. These six will gladly you attend, if only you are willing. Your mind will ease, your will—they’ll mend, and charge not a shilling.” –Wayne Fields–

In the month of May, trees and flowers are budding and blossoming. A feeling of heightened energy, new beginnings, movement and flow is in the air. People change what’s in their closet; brighter colors emerge in choices of clothing. Playgrounds are full and outdoor activities abound. Deck furniture is back outside for another Season. Let the celebrations begin!

The purpose of this month’s BLOG is to help you: ACTIVATE new goals and FUEL your VITALITY. 

Claim the opportunity this May to EXPAND the landscape of your life and ENERGIZE new possibilities. Allow yourself to SHIFT into a greater and more complete version of YOU!

Ask yourself: What would I like to focus my attention on? What do I value putting my energy into? What changes do I want to see in my life? Perhaps it’s time to “down-load’ a new personal program.

***There is always ENERGY available in the Universe to create something new.***

The following topics offer ideas for both RAISING your ENERGY, as well as clearing out patterns that drain you. May these suggestions propel you forward in accomplishing your goals:

  • POSTURE

Your best posture is the First Step towards greater vitality, increased mobility, decreased pain, improved mental disposition, poise, dignity, self-confidence, and eagerness to achieve. Good posture not only sends external messages to the world; but also internal messages to oneself.

Good Posture Suggestions:
STANDING:
–Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
–Shoulders back vs slouched forward. Shoulders aligned with your ears.
–Chest held moderately elevated with your upper back erect.
–Abdominal muscles as flat as possible
–Lower back should have a very slight forward curve.
–Head is held erect, chin parallel to the floor
–Ankles should be straight, knee caps facing front.
SITTING:
–Sit in a straight back armless chair with both feet flat on the floor, and back resting against the chair.
–Place arms at your side, palms forward
–Straighten the upper back, lifting the chest
–Bring shoulders back against the chair.
–Hold head erect.
–Pull up and in with the muscles of the lower abdomen, trying to flatten the abdomen.
–Keep legs uncrossed for better energy flow, feet flat on the floor.

***Throughout the day, be mindful of your posture whether standing, sitting or driving.***

***Regardless of your ailments or structural impairments—your posture can always be improved.***

  •  NUTRITION and “the 4 R’s”

Nutritional status is a very important aspect of optimum health, as well as overall energy flow and vitality.

May is a good time to clean up your diet and repair your body’s cells and systems! It starts with healthy eating and a smooth functioning gastrointestinal tract.

Choose to eat a healthy, whole foods-based diet of: vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes, whole grains*, healthy fats including avocado, olives; organic dairy, eggs from local, free-range chickens, lean animal proteins from wild caught fish, free range chicken and turkey, and grass-fed beef and bison. Keep to a minimum: processed, packaged and boxed foods. Avoid sugars.

*If you are gluten-intolerant: AVOID wheat, barley, rye, spelt, bulgur, kamut, semolina flour, malt, and any foods containing added gluten. Instead, CHOOSE: brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, teff, buckwheat (not a wheat).*

It is VITAL to have a well-functioning gastrointestinal (GI) tract. If the GI tract is out of balance, one experiences LOW ENERGY and a greater potential for chronic diseases.

The focus of the 4R’s is: repairing damage and enhancing functioning of the gastrointestinal tract—so that your body is serves you at a higher level.

The 4 R’s are: Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, and Repair.
1) Remove:
Remove common allergy foods such as gluten and dairy products, artificial colors, chemicals. Follow a low-allergen diet utilizing gluten-free products, legumes, some nuts and seeds, fruits, vegetables, fish and free-range poultry. If chronic infections and toxicity exist (e.g, parasites, bacterial overgrowth, mercury), these should be eliminated.

2) Replace:
Replacement enzymes may be helpful in aiding digestion.

3) Reinoculate:
Probiotics (‘friendly bacteria’) and  “probiotic foods  (like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha tea, kimchi, tempeh, pickles, miso) can be of benefit in bringing one’s intestinal tract back to balance.

4) Repair:
Appropriate nutrient supplements can help repair the intestinal tract. (e.g. L-glutamine, pantothenic acid, zinc, and omega 3 EPA/fish oil).

For more on the 4 R’s, go to: The Textbook of Functional Medicine–from the Institute for Functional Medicine @ www.functionalmedicine.org;  
See article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-bland/chronic-illness-what-work_b_281228.html “Chronic Illness: What Works? Part One: The Four ‘R’ Program”

  • FLUIDS and HYDRATION

Staying well hydrated can make a great difference in your level of Energy. Sometimes people eat extra food–thinking they are empty and hungry—when what their body really wants is a drink of water!
Recommended daily fluids: ~8 cups per day average for adults.  More or less fluids are needed–depending on one’s size and the amount of fluids lost in physical activity and sweat.
Water is the ideal fluid; but fluids also come from teas, some coffee, juices, soups, yogurt, and watery vegetables like cucumbers and leafy greens.

  • UN-PLUG consciously from the High Tech World.

It is very easy to live “in trance”—sitting all day in front of computers: Emailing, Tweeting, Facebooking, LinkedIn-ing, Googling, with IPHONEs attached at our belts–even accompanying us into the bathroom. Talking or texting for hours on cell phones, being glued at night to high definition TVs—with constant movies streaming into our homes.

High tech is important for work, communication and emergencies. But there can also be an overuse and dependency on it, DRAINING our vital energy. We become caught up in addictive brain wave states, not free to pursue higher levels of Energy and ways of being.

Find ways to consciously UN-PLUG each day!!!
Suggestions:
–Walk in Nature (no earphones), meditate, practice yoga or Tai Chi, pray, relax and “do nothing” for at least 10 minutes!
–Listen to music with sounds of Nature embedded into it.
–Take a shower, sit in a hot tub in total silence.

  • POSITIVE SELF-TALK

It is empowering to engage the positive inner voice that offers encouragement and raises one’s self worth.
–Do you have ‘a negative inner critic’ as well as ‘the positive cheer-leader,’ and “wise one” inside of you?
–Do you test positive for being negative?
–To which inner voice will you pay heed?
Listen not to what the external world says we are “supposed” to say to ourselves. Rather–hear the WISDOM in what our heart and gut whisper to us.

***WHEN WE ARE IN TOUCH WITH OUR TRUE SELVES, OUR ENERGY FLOWS.***

***“Attention shrinking violets!!!!: You’re more powerful than you know.”*** –Siri Carpenter, OPRAH MAGAZINE

  • PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Physical activity and movement of all kinds gets our energy flowing and “unstuck.”

Exercise releases “feel good” and health-promoting brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
Physical activity has a measurable effect on protecting the brain from shrinkage, atrophy, and lesions.
People who exercise have greater mental clarity and less “brain fog.” They get things accomplished more quickly, and with greater ease, because they are less derailed by “stress.”

“ENERGY is the POWER that drives every human being. It is not lost by exertion, but maintained by it, for it is a faculty of the psyche.”
                                                   –Germaine Greer–

  • MEDITATION, PRAYER and RELAXATION

Meditation, Prayer, Relaxation and Quiet Time calm our nerves and bring peace to chaotic energy flows, and to feelings of overwhelm.
–Spending just 10-20 minutes each day in conscious relaxation or meditation can bring great benefits.

NOTE: Feelings of overwhelm interrupt the natural flow of energy.  Make a commitment to yourself to create a state of inner peace, so that overwhelm can be re-framed as ‘challenge”; and right action can be taken.

  • PRACTICE AWARENESS and LIVE in the PRESENT MOMENT

Living in the Present Moment–with Awareness-is very related to the previous bullet on Meditation.
BEING in the Present Moment helps us be in touch with our own SOUL.

***”Remembering that we are energy beings designed to perceive and translate energy into neural code may help you become more aware of your energy dynamic and intuition.”*** –Jill Bolte Taylor, MD –Chapter 19, Paragraph 261, 2009–book, My Stroke of Insight)

We are encouraged to: “BE here NOW”–fully immersed in whatever we are doing or experiencing in our normal daily routines.

Replaying old emotional tapes–or constantly living in the future–keeps our energy either stuck, or unavailable, for what needs attention NOW.

Author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle explains that there is POWER in the NOW. When we are PRESENT in the NOW, we have the possibility of “unstucking” our old ENERGY BLOCKS, and living at a higher level of potentiality. (See his book: The Power of Now.)

  • NURTURE POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS.

Positive relationships and connectivity help to restore energy.
Surround yourself with positive people–and be a positive force in their lives as well.
Treat each other with kindness and speak well of each other. Let go of grudges and forgive.
LISTEN attentively and respectively to others. Active listening helps us learn from others, as well as provides the talkers a chance to express and be heard and validated.
The act of listening also serves as a “PRESENT MOMENT PRACTICE” for ourselves—a chance to center our own energy.

Know when to say NO. A “right No” is a YES towards preserving your own identity and boundaries within relationships.
Spend less time, if possible, with folks who are chronic ‘energy drains.”

***One of our greatest strengths lies in having the association of each other, together with learning to accept the power of our Source–which is a vast source of Power beyond the personal.***

  • ENJOY the CREATIVE ARTS

Music, theatre, art, dance, writing and reading keep the creative juices fresh and flowing.

These activities engage the right hemisphere of the brain–which is important for honing one’s intuitive skills, living “outside of the box,” and opening to new ways of being.

  • LOVE, GRATITUDE, JOY

Love, Gratitude, and Joy are considered “high energy” and “high vibrational” states of being. They help to decrease stress, increase overall well-being, fuel creative fires, and promote the flow of Energy.

Choose to LOVE more: people, pets, Nature and sacred spaces, as well as social causes dear to your heart. Acknowledge the LOVE you feel.

Find something to be GRATEFUL for each day and record it in a journal. Cherish what is already working or going well. Express appreciation to the positive people in your life.

***The expression of Gratitude has a healing power which can move energies that are stuck.*** —Kenji Kumara, spiritual healer–

Remember times when you felt JOY or JOY-full. Be open to experiencing JOY—even in the smallest things, at the most unexpected times. JOY may appear suddenly when looking at an adorable baby with shining eyes, cuddling a sweet puppy, or in simply watching a hummingbird land at your bird feeder.

  • SLEEP

The average adult needs 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night. A good night’s sleep re-charges our batteries and makes it easier to handle the challenges of the day ahead.
                        We also have more fun when we are well rested!!

NOTE: The body does its deepest gall bladder and liver clearing/detoxification work 11 PM-3 AM. Get to bed early enough to reap this full benefit, and you will wake up with increased energy and better well-being the next morning.
http://www.healthreviser.com/content/body-clock-and-health  (article on ‘The Healthy Body Clock’)

***Getting up early each AM is a habit of many successful people. “Morning people” say that productive energy is more available in the early morning hours—before the world is up and noisy!***

***If your energy is drained by chronic sleep issues, consult with medical Sleep Disorder specialists, as well as therapists and lifestyle coaches with expertise in this area. 

  • AVOID PROCRASTINATION !!!!

Procrastinating or putting off what needs to be done (and what we often know needs to get done!!) is a big ENERGY DRAIN.
Ask yourself: What obstacles are in the road? Which ones can I remove right now?
Do I need a tooth fixed? Is it time to see an allergist about these draining seasonal allergies and hay fever?
Make a list of categories of what needs doing WHEN, and an order of priorities.
Commit to establishing new habits and routines that can help you accomplish tasks and projects with more ease and focus.  Then GET GOING!!!!
If necessary,  hire a COACH who can help you organize the steps you need to take!!!

  • LET GO of OLD BELIEF SYSTEMS that no longer serve you and ACCEPT WHAT CANNOT be CHANGED.

“Old tapes,” old belief systems and old emotional reactionary patterns can keep our energy stuck, drain us,  and therefore keep our lives stuck!
We know very well what some of these beliefs are. Other beliefs seem elusive–as they are present on a subconscious level.

***If we notice repeating negative patterns or chronically emotionally charged reactions—we can know there is a pattern presenting itself that needs a release.***

Programs like The Sedona Method, Tapping, NLP, and Access Consciousness can help us release old patterns, allowing us to open to new energy and new possibilities.

Sometimes we all have to deal with difficult life situations that we can’t control. However, we can learn to shift our reactions and find new ways to cope. Accepting uncomfortable situations does not mean we are “giving in” to them. Rather–

ACCEPTANCE is Step One in allowing Energy to continue to flow—despite the difficult situation.

“Let go of what you can’t control.  Change all that Energy into living fully in the NOW”.  –Karen Salmansohn–

  • HONOR and EMBRACE SMALL SHIFTS

All small positive changes—and all baby steps in a positive direction– COUNT!!!!
Each small step we take keeps the Energy Flowing.

Honor each step and honor yourself.   They all add up to BIG changes!

  • SPEND TIME in NATURE.
    –Walk in the woods, or by a stream, or on an ocean beach with bare feet.
    –Breathe in the fresh air. Enjoy the sunlight. (also observe safe sun habits.)

A 30 minute walk in Nature can totally clear out a feeling of “dull energy” and shift your perspective on what might be bothering you.

  • DE-CLUTTER.

How cluttered is your house, car, office? Are you a pack-rat, or a beginning hoarder?

We all thrive in different levels of order and organization. But all can benefit from periodic de-cluttering, as well as tossing out–or recycling of, for example: old clothes, books, papers, knickknacks, 10-year-old bank statements, 3-year-old herbs and spices, or questionable food items in the refrigerator!!!

–Take one room or closet or car at a time, and start to de-clutter.
–Check out de-cluttering suggestions using the Asian/Japanese Feng Shui philosophy at:
http://fengshui.about.com/od/clearyourcluttertips/tp/Feng-Shui-Tips-Clearing-Clutter-Declutter-Home-With-Feng-Shui.htm

BREATHING TIPS

Breathing provides 99% of our energy. Without energy, nothing works. Clinical studies prove that oxygen, wellness, and life-span are totally dependent on proper breathing.

Sneaking in mindful breathing in the most mundane everyday routines or encounters is simple. Examples include: washing hands, waiting in line, waiting for someone to answer the phone, between emails, washing the dishes. For a twist: Try yoga mouth-breathing while smiling.

For a simple conscious breathing practice as part of relaxation, try the following:
–Breathe in deeply to the count of 4.
–Hold to the count of 7.
–Breathe out to the count of 8.

  • ENJOY QUALITY ALONE TIME.

Purposeful solitude can have many benefits. These include: enhanced creativity and concentration, a time to reflect on any changes you might want to make, a time to get back in touch with oneself and build a better relationship with yourself.

  • Be REALISTIC.

It is important to BE REALISTIC as we go about making choices and changes in our lives. (Consider the common comment: “I don’t want to waste my energy on that.”)

Reach for your dreams, but keep yourself grounded on Mother Earth at the same time.

Realistic optimism includes “hoping, aspiring and searching for positive experiences– while acknowledging what we do not know, and accepting what we cannot know.” (Sandra L. Schneider–“In Search of Realistic Optimism.”

  • BUDGET your MONEY and TIME.

Being in debt is a definite energy drain in more ways than one.

Research has shown that money and time management are among the most common issues one thinks about.  Money triggers emotions that often drive our behaviors to triumph or conflict.

Self-worth is often tied to attitudes, beliefs, and resulting behaviors around money and time issues.
Ease with money and positive time management can play the role of a “medicator” which works well.

Focus on what is strong and going well in these departments, and not on what is “shrinking” and feeling overwhelming.   Fix what needs to be fixed, so that these areas don’t drain your energy.

  • LAUGH and SMILE on a DAILY BASIS

People with a sense of humor tend to be more creative, less rigid, and more willing to consider and embrace new ideas and methods.   

It is a gift to be able to laugh at yourself!!!   And to smile at mixed emotions that may range from the deepest humility to one of over self-confidence.

Laughing increases ‘feel good hormones’: serotonin, endorphins, dopamine, and phenylethamine (which is also in cocoa beans.)

***We can feel a shift in our energy to the positive—when a good laugh breaks up a stuck or dull energy we may be experiencing.***

Share your smile with others. You never know how uplifting your smile may be to someone who needs a boost.

Actively receive smiles that others offer you. 

***Even a smile from a stranger can transform a ‘down mood’ into positive, joyful energy in an instant.***

HONOR the MAGNIFICENT/MULTIDIMENSIONAL IDENTITY THAT YOU ARE!                                     

                                              LET YOUR ENERGY FLOW!

“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second. Give your dreams all you’ve got and you’ll be amazed at the Energy that comes out of you.” —William James—

Our wish for you: that your human vital energy is always linked with the endless supply of positive Universal Energy.

Happy, glorious Spring!

The Wellness Shifter Ladies!!!

Deb and Wendy

REFERENCES:
• Sharon Giammatteo, PhD. Body Wisdom.
• Eckhart Tolle. The Power of Now (book)
• Mary Bond. The New Rules of Posture (book)
• Lynn McTaggart. The Intention Experiment. (book)
• Herbert Benson and William Proctor. Relaxation Revolution (book)
• Eva Selhub, MD and Alan Logan. Your Brain on Nature. (book)
• Deepak Chopra, MD and Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD. Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being
• Donna Gates, The Body Ecology Diet. (book)
• Dr. Richard Bartlett. Matrix Energetics Book: The Science and Art of Transformation (on energy healing)

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