Feel Confident and Connected

Want to feel more confident and connected?

Our bodies are an amazing reflection of how we feel in any given moment. Chances are that when you feel unsure, awkward or uncomfortable in a situation your body will let you know. If you notice your shoulders, your may find they are hunching slightly forward or moving up towards your ears. Your teeth may be clenched, or your jaw may feel tight or determined. Eyes can be tense as they look for information or cues about what to do next. Your breath may be shallow or your chest tight and drawing slightly inward or pushing a little outward. Perhaps you are just tired, and your torso is slumping a little in your chair, or as you stand in line.

By changing one aspect of a habitual pattern, it is no longer the same pattern. Your brain and feeling state will respond differently. Try this simple exercise.

Calm Your Nervous System

Our bodies are also resources for transforming our state in an instant. Try making a few simple adjustments and notice how it changes your inner environment. First, take a slow and deeper breath and tell yourself that you are okay, and you belong right where you are. This accomplishes two things. One is you connect with yourself in a conscious way which starts to gather your resources. The second is you calm the mounting stress response with a little reassurance and a slow and deeper breath which calms your nervous system.

Change Your Posture Mindfully

Next adjust your upper body slightly by moving your shoulders in the opposite direction. If they are rounding forward, try raising your breastbone in the front up towards your chin and dropping your shoulder blades in back.  Do that slowly and consciously and see what happens. Just that little adjustment can help your confidence level a lot. You are starting to summon your “upright qi”, and your heart center is looking up. You probably feel lighter and even from the outside you look more resourceful. Turn the corners of your mouth upwards into the hint of a smile to add icing to the cake.

If your shoulders are moving up towards your ears, drop them down a bit and squeeze your shoulder blades together in the back. This will also help your heart center wake up in a positive way. Take a few moments now to close and relax your eyes and very slowly go back and forth between your original, habitual posture and the new one. By slowing the process down and noticing the change in your experience you will reinforce the effects of this simple exercise in your brain, body and mind.

Practice

If you like how you feel, consider joining one of our qigong classes to learn how to train your mind and body to access your inner confidence when you need it the most. The next class begins February 18, 2019. We will use body, breath and mind to boost trust in our inner selves and to flow with change by attuning to the inherent cycles of nature. 

Contact Kamala: kquale at moonandlotus dot com

Alone or Lonely?

For an extrovert, and someone who grew up around a lot of family members, being alone can be confused with being lonely. When the house is quiet, and the weather is cloudy it’s a paradise when you want to be alone, and an empty room when you feel lonely. All kinds of thoughts can intrude into an empty room. Like thoughts about those who are missing, or restless wanderings about what tasks are incomplete or what activities, like cooking or TV, can fill in the void. The judging mind likes to add to the party with comparisons about what kind of life would be better, or how to be a better person by doing this or that. It taunts about how the grass is greener on the other side, and longs to be with others to distract from feeling lonely.

Maybe today all of that is just a cover for grief. Grief about the loss of someone dear. Grief about the passing of an era and the passing of a life. I don’t like to admit that I am worried about the future, about my health, and about getting older. Someday I will have to say goodbye too. I’ll have to leave everyone I know and begin something new.

Continue reading “Alone or Lonely?”

Quiet and Receptive in November

Several questions come to mind as I attempt to embody the inner environment suggested by hexagram 2, The Receptive, which is the symbol for the energy of November.  The six broken, or yin lines mean that this is the quietest time of the year and a time to be receptive to inner guidance, like the moon is receptive to the light of the sun. Hexagram 2, K’un, characterizes the virtues of the Earth, which is mother to all of us without discrimination or need for acknowledgement.

This is a month to let go of self interest, to listen more than talk, to be receptive and supportive, and to look for inner truth vs respond habitually from our conditioned minds or hidden agendas. Continue reading “Quiet and Receptive in November”

From One Heart to Another

Our Heart Protector meridian energy encompasses our capacity to be open, vulnerable and intimate with another human being, and to our own feelings, passions and inner spirit. It is also our ability to set a boundary in relationship and protect ourselves from hurt. We need both authentic openness as well as self-protection to have a heart protector gate that swings open and closes easily and appropriately.

In relationship to this, I was pleased to hear an interview on NPR’s show All things Considered, with Joel and Benji Madden, twins who started the band Good Charlotte.  https://www.npr.org/search?query=good%20charlott&page=1

This interview is a great example of opening to inner passions and spirit, as well as other Heart Protector qualities like loyalty, talking about authentic feelings, and reaching out in the spirit of compassion and warmth. Joel and Benji are talking about the music on their new album called Generation RX which came out of their desire to write music that is authentic and vulnerable and speaks to the pain they see manifesting in friends and young people in our culture. Their observations and advice extend to all of us because young people grow into young and older adults. Continue reading “From One Heart to Another”

Vulnerability with Safety

In October, temperatures get cooler and leaves fall from the trees. Nature is shedding her lush summer display and is looking more vulnerable on the outside. Vital essence is moving internally now and will store in roots through winter, so the display can sprout externally again in the spring.

October is also the month of the Heart Protector meridian, also called the Pericardium. Key words for the Pericardium are vulnerability with safety, intimacy, authenticity, and staying in contact with our inner light and passion. We use our heart protector energy to show our naked vulnerability with our intimate other and turn on the hormones that give us the feeling of being in love. Like the trees, we must shed some layers to open in this way.

Opening to our heartfelt realities is a special space and deserves protection. Just like the weather outside, the heart protector wants to be a little cool on the outside yet warm and passionate on the inside. This coolness on the outside is accomplished with health boundaries and discernment. We want the heart protector to say no to people or energies that take us away from what feels right for our inner brightness, well-being and peace of mind. That is often hard to do given the cultural influences and peer pressure we experience every day. Continue reading “Vulnerability with Safety”

Fear and Bowing

Today fall is in the crisp morning air. The temperature was a cool 51 degrees. It’s a reminder that the seasons are always changing and its time to start loosening any attachment to summer. We can say that in summer Mother Nature’s ego is in full beauty. Now the fruit trees and garden vines are bowing towards the earth with their mature bounty. We must pick the fruits, eat them and store them to preserve their nutritional value. Preserving and storing essence is a theme for this time of year.  Just as winter follows fall, if we don’t preserve the foods they will go back into the ground, decay, germinate and reemerge in the spring. Its all part of the process. Continue reading “Fear and Bowing”

Feel With Your Soul

They call Rome the eternal city and I can see why. Life is flourishing here and has been for centuries.  Streets are filled with cars, buses, taxis and mopeds. Skillful taxi drivers maneuver in and out of tight spaces like water flowing around rocks. Crowds of people are out at night walking through the streets, enjoying the evening, the sites, the wine bars and restaurants. Street artists and musicians entertain eyes and ears in the open piazzas. Groups of people gather at key public places with flags and signs listening to impassioned speakers trying to persuade them about politics. It’s colorful, noisy and chaotic to the everyday eye, but when I check inside myself I feel joyful and alive. There is a smile on my lips. I’m happy to be here although the noise on the street woke me.  It’s 4am and this flow of creativity started coming through, begging me to get up and write it down to share with you. Continue reading “Feel With Your Soul”

Live in a Connected Universe

Grace: an elegance, body movements that are flowing and flexible, a shower of blessing, a giving of blessing, appearing radiant. Longevity: living a long life, perseverance, in touch with the infinite. In my mind, grace and longevity are concepts that belong together. It seems to me that the more I know about grace, the happier and more flowing my life will be no matter how many physical years it lasts. Grace and the infinite are connected. Continue reading “Live in a Connected Universe”