Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A tired mind.

I received an email for a one day retreat in December; yoga, meditation and didgeridoo healing. Each one equally delicious, together they presented a buffet of delights for me to enjoy. I had one issue; my commitment to completing the first draft of my manuscript. How could I retreat while I was supposed to be writing? I made myself a deal - if I completed the manuscript, I could attend the retreat.

I booked my space and put my writer's cap on. 11:15pm, the night before the retreat, sitting cross-legged atop my kitchen island, I typed the words The End.

The next morning I sank into the warmth of the retreat space as the small group prepared their places with yoga mats, cushions and blankets, and Edysha Ee prepared to guide us through morning meditation.

Eyes closed, I was led through a deep swan dive into a depth of rest I had yet to experience. Edysha's soft voice offered intentional cues which coaxed my mind and body into a complete state of ease.

Within the first few moments I acknowledged an awareness of just how tired my mind was from the years of my regular meditation practice. A lover of kriya, mantra, visualization and chant, I often employed one or more in my daily practice. In the space of rest, as my mind came to not only settle, but cease, I knew my regular meditation practice as yet a further extension of seeking, an attempt to gain something through meditation.

What my regular practice lacked was the space to allow complete surrender with no agenda and no attachment to outcome. A letting-go more complete than any I had known until that morning with Edysha.

In a state of deep rest, of no-thing, I handed myself over to an innate higher wisdom, my own inner guru, higher self, inner pharmacy, ultimate intelligence. I let go of control, of conditioning, of the reigns and expected nothing.

Quite a process; releasing myself to myself.  Surrendering my mind and body to inner wisdom. Trusting my higher wisdom to restore balance, health and optimal functioning, my natural state once I got out of the way.

Deep rest must happen in order to hand the reigns over to higher self. All the times I believed I surrendered in meditation, in yoga, in sacred practice, I saw the flaw once I felt the deep state of rest. I made an effort to surrender, and in that effort I continued to control and to drive. With Edysha's words natural surrender simply happened. It was a stopping but not stopping, as that, too, would be driving.

I realized how tired I was from focusing diligently and intently for so long. Many years of disciplined practice now required rest to further the meditative and manifestive process.

All the work over the past few years; planting seeds, nourishing and cultivating new crops, needed space and time for the soil to rest, to recuperate and restore, replenishing the rich nutrients to further the growth of new seeds, new plants, ideas, intentions, creativity.

Winter is the time for a deep resting of body and mind. Allowing a deepening of the connection with source self. Allowing a new to emerge, a crop, perhaps not yet conceived or imagined.

During the meditation, I received expansion of the concept of rest, that when struggle comes in a day, in life, to rest and trust a higher wisdom that resides within, the natural order of the rhythms of life, to attend to the details and restore balance.

It is similar to remembering a name or detail. Sometimes it seems on the tip of your tongue but you can't retrieve it no matter how hard you try. In fact, the harder you try, the more elusive it becomes. Yet once you move on and forget about it, allowing the mind to rest and do what it does naturally, the name suddenly appears moments later.

Or how an hour in the gym, walking outside or spent in yoga, allows creative solutions to emerge and feeds new ideas. Edysha continued the practice of rest as she guided us in yoga asanas, reminding us to drop out of mind. As my mind rested, my body came to life, not from a place of increased effort but from a natural spring that seemed to feed it.

The 16 hours I spend awake in a typical day is filled with mind and intent and details and planning. If I remember even 30 second periods of deep rest during times of struggle or strain in my day, added to my daily meditation practice, the mind still winds nearly 15 hours each day. No wonder I savoured the morning of rest with Edysha. Her 1 hour meditation felt like 15 minutes to me.

Allowing the mind to settle, in meditation or any time during the day, particularly when struggle or strain emerges, with no expectations of outcome, restores natural balance. Simply allow the mind to rest and the body to follow. And in that space you lean on your higher self, allowing nutrient-rich soil to replenish. Truly getting out of your own way and restoring balance, naturally.

Edysha Ee lives and shares her gifts in Vancouver, BC.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Detox recap; body, mind and spirit.

If you missed the 12 days of detox before Christmas and feel the need for a little post-holiday purification or simply wish to create a nourishing daily routine for the new year, here is a summary just for you. Start at 1 and add a step each day to gradually enjoy all 12 or choose several that appeal to you and build your own custom daily wellness ritual. Click on each day for the full detoxing details.

On the 1st day of detox, atONE gave to me...

It's important to know where you are heading before you can get there. Meeting yourself face-to-face is an excellent and accessible method of detoxification. Find out how to begin the nourishing process of purification and discover the most vibrant you!

Every breath provides a channel for detoxification through the exhalation of waste and the inhalation of oxygen. Most of the day, however, our breath is shallow. As our shoulders slowly creep up to meet our ears throughout the stresses of our day, our breath also becomes more shallow and often quicker, limiting the supply of oxygen to our lungs and blood. Dedicating time each day to sit and breathe deeply or reminding yourself throughout your day to do so, infuses the body with fresh air and releases the stale air pooled deep in the lungs. Practice simple breathing techniques in Two cleansing breaths.

Remove any mental ama with a daily mind detox. Committing to a daily morning practice sets the tone for your day, integrating any dreamwork and clearing the mind for the day ahead. An evening practice surrenders all thoughts, stress and worry of the day as you slip into deep relaxation before sleep. Learn a simple daily meditation practice in Three meditations.

Food as medicine and medicine as food. That's how ayurveda views eating. At least three times a day we have an opportunity to create vibrant health through our food choices. Foods that burn cleanly and completely, nourishing our bodies and assisting with the removal of ama, serve us well during detox. Simple whole food choices sustain us while cleaning out the pipes. Find out foods that support vibrant health and detox in Four foods that heal.

Adding 30-60 minutes of yoga to your daily routine aids digestion, elimination and detoxification through postures, breath and sweat. Even 10 minutes of yoga every day allows you to feel the benefits of a regular practice. You may choose to seek out a convenient class near you or pick up a DVD to assist you with a home practice or simply enjoy a few poses each day. Committing to sun salutations every morning is a simple start. Practice before eating, particularly detoxing poses such as twists, forward bends and inversions, to aid in the process of cleansing. Discover daily detoxing poses in Five yoga poses.

A little-known detox gem, Dr. F. Karach presented oil pulling in the early 90s. The practice dated back considerably further, however. In ayurveda it is called kavala graha, a medicine for the oral cavity, and has been used for centuries to detoxify the body and improve health. Learn a few ways to spice up your swishing in Six spicy swishes.

Use self-massage in the morning before you shower to wake up the body and promote detoxification, or at night before bath to relieve stress and ama from your day, preparing you for a restful sleep. Discover ways to enjoy a daily massage in Seven layer massages.

Himalayan salt contains the same 84 essential minerals found in our bodies. It is praised for relieving a variety of conditions from acne to halitosis, eczema and psoriasis, and for drawing toxins from the body. The salts can be purchased in large crystals or more finely ground. Read the full post on Eight salt baths for natural additions to enhance your bath.

There are many herbal detox programs available. Purchasing a reputable herbal cleanse provides a prepared, easy to follow plan you can fit into your daily routine. If you choose to buy or follow an herbal program, do your research and make sure the product is top quality. Consult a herbalist or naturopath for professional recommendations. Read the full post of Nine cleansing herbs for some of the most popular herbal cleansing choices.

"Sweat and laugh every day" said Yogi Bhajan, and turning up the music to groove and move with yourself, your kids, family, friends or a community is an invigorating and uplifting way to detox body, mind and spirit. A daily ritual of dance, whether 10 minutes in your living room or a 1 hour class at a local gym or dance studio, lubricates the joints and sheds excess baggage from the body and the mind and lightens the spirit.

Empty that melon and make room for new thoughts while taking inventory of all the old ones running through your mind and all the old story running through your life. Your experiences to date, your ideas and stories laid out on a page, whether in prose, webs, design or image, allow you to review where you've been, gain new insight and acceptance and even spark new inspiration. 

You don't need to be a yogi to use mantra and affirmation. Employ this powerful ancient tool to assist you with continued success with your detox, commitments and all you wish to be and create in the new year. Choose or create your own affirmation in the full post.

Here's to a clearer, calmer, simpler and nourishing new year, naturally!

The information presented is intended to inform, not diagnose or treat health conditions.