The shortest day of the year, the first day of winter, or Winter Solstice celebrates the power of faith. The faith we must have that the light will return. The faith we most hold that, like the sleeping seeds beneath the earth, our own seeds of creativity will once again sprout, grow, and bear fruit. This is the season to reach out to those we love and spend time in laughter, stillness, and communion. This is not the season of bustle, but the season of hibernation and rest. As the earth gently sleeps, so must we. All is in suspended animation. (more…)
As we begin the new year, it is a perfect time to release “Mind Clutter,” or limiting beliefs and behaviors that are no longer serving us in order to make room for new empowering beliefs and goals that will help us live a more joyful life in 2019. Isn’t it time for more simplicity and ease?
Deepak Chopra suggests that each day we ask ourselves these three questions about how we are living our lives:
- Is if fun?
- Is it easy?
- Am I getting results
Often, when we are experiencing a lot of pain and challenges, it’s the Universe’s way of getting our attention. The Law of Intention states that we are actually creating our experiences and manifesting our reality through our thoughts and of course, our actions.
The challenges and chaos of daily life can sometime make us forget about the powerful spiritual Laws of the Universe that provide us the keys to creating a life we truly want. Daily practices, or special rituals that give us time to clear our head and our energy can be very powerful in helping us access these spiritual forces that are available to each of us.
I begin each year with a simple, yet powerful fire ritual that I’d like to share with you. You can do it alone, but it is even better as a group activity.
Please make some time for this simple Releasing and Receiving Exercise to clear any mind clutter by creating space for what you really want. Follow these steps, and you will notice a shift in your energy, joy, and ease.
- Go to a quiet place where you can focus. Take 3 deep breaths and slowly tune out everything that is going on around you.
- Take out a piece of paper and at the top of the paper write, “I AM RELEASING.”
- Create a handwritten list of what you want to release in your life. These are beliefs, experiences, or behaviors that are no longer serving you. You can include any negative thoughts like fear, doubt, worry, scarcity, or relationships. Close your eyes and allow experiences or actions that still haunt you with feelings of resentment, embarrassment, or regret. Since you cannot change the past, you must simply let them go once and for all. Write them all down.
- Put the energy of these experiences or beliefs into this piece of paper. Take your time.
- When you are finished, you will need to destroy the list. I suggest that you actually burn the paper in a fire ceremony, but of course, please be careful. If burning the paper is not an option, you can also shred it, but the paper must be destroyed. Do not keep the list.
- As you do this, take a deep breath and release the energy that was associated with these beliefs.
- Next, I want you to create a new handwritten list of the things that you want to bring into your life.
- At the top of this paper write, I AM RECEIVING.
- Write each of these new statements as “I am.” For example: “I am bringing more joy, love, and ease into my life.” Write as if these things are already happening.
- Think about who you want to be in this new year. How you want to feel, how you want to respond to the moment, and what you want more of.
- Put this new list where you can see it. Then take a moment every day to focus on this list. Really feel the intention you are sending out to the Universe.
- Write about the miracles and new positive experiences in your Gratitude Journal. Focus on the new joy and abundance that is flowing into your life with each day. Notice what is truly important.
This exercise is so simple, yet it is also so powerful.
If you do this exercise, please let me know about your experience. You can post your experience below or email me at email@example.com I look forward to hearing from you!
Katana Abbott, CFP® practitioner, is a Wealth Coach™, host of the Smart Women Talk Radio™, founder of the Smart Women Companies with over 1 million subscribers globally, inspirational speaker and author of several books. She began her financial planning career in 1987 and became a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. In 2003, Katana created Smart Women’s Coaching® to offer financial coaching and educational workshops for women in transition who are dealing with caregiving, death of a loved one, divorce, retirement or looking to create or grow a business. She founded Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2008 to bring free financial empowerment resources and programs to women around the world through her team of Contributing Experts. To learn more about Katana Abbott visit www.katanaabbott.com.
I have come to think of all of the challenges life brings as opportunities for growth. We don’t always love our “opportunities,” nor do we always love our teachers. However, if we think of life as what I call a “spiritual gymnasium,” we know that our challenges are the resistance training program we bought a membership for when we came to life here on planet earth. When these challenges involve emotional hurts, betrayals, trauma, and abuse, I call them “sacred wounds.” And if you feel like you are a lightning rod for these sacred wounds, I want to say congratulations! This means you are in the “high intensity” workout portion of the gym. You are on an accelerated track for growth. (more…)
The holidays are often a time of great pain for people.
I see it in my clinic every year. There is the stress of trying to put together the perfect event, to look perfect, to be perfect. There is the stress of seeing family members that might be toxic. There is the stress of being surrounded by food and alcohol that will leave you overweight, inflamed, and exhausted if you imbibe in it. There is financial stress, schedule stress, work stress, and on and on and on. I have patients staggering into my clinic in January looking like they have been run over by a truck rather than uplifted with the joy of the season. (more…)
The average time allotted by insurance companies for a medical office visit is 6 minutes. Hardly enough time to meet, greet, and write a prescription for a pill to help the current ill (or what is called “chief complaint”). Health professionals have to find ways to help their clients get the most benefit in the shortest amount of time. One of the easiest and most effective interventions I use with my patients is the practice of gratitude, or what I call adopting a “gratitude attitude.”
Science tells us that the best intervention in our age of high productivity and time efficiency is one that takes the least amount of time and yields the biggest reward. I have found this to be true in my own practice too. In my book, Solving the Autoimmune Puzzle: The Woman’s Guide to Reclaiming Emotional Freedom and Vibrant Health, I talk about a common human trait I have observed in the last 30+ years of my health care career: The Misery to Motivation Ratio. In other words, the more miserable a person is, the more motivated they will be to make the changes required to transform their illness to wellness. Believe it or not, that’s a huge advantage of feeling miserable! You are ripe for constructive change! You can turn your life around in ways that people in less pain simply don’t feel the need to.
Again, I have found that one of the most effective interventions is the practice of gratitude. Gratitude heals. And those who are feeling pain and misery will notice the benefits immediately.
Over the past decade, there have been many studies that indicate gratitude helps people who are ill move from a depressed outlook on life to a more helpful and vital one. It turns out that a person who is struggling with health issues, depression, and anxiety will gain even more benefit if they practice a gratitude attitude along with mental health counseling.
What does science say are the benefits of practicing an intentional gratitude practice?
- Gratitude is a great emotional detoxification method.
The ancient science of Ayurveda, the 10,000-year old sister science of yoga, teaches that we must digest our emotions just as we digest our foods. Ayurveda also says that what is in the mind crystallizes in the body. You can almost see what negative emotion would look like in the body if you think about it in that way. It would feel heavy and dark. In contrast, the feeling of gratitude will feel light, resilient, and flexible…exactly what we would all like to feel in our body. Don’t think for a second that how we feel doesn’t register in the body. Science has already demonstrated that, and that is exactly why it is no exaggeration to say that gratitude heals.
- Gratitude doesn’t even need to be shared to work its magic in the body.
It turns out that writing a letter of gratitude to someone who has contributed to you in your life is going to bring about changes in your immune system, brain chemicals, and brain state. These changes occur whether you send the letter or not. However, if the person you wrote the letter of appreciation to is alive, why not send it and see what happens to their brain state and immune system?
- The benefits of a gratitude practice don’t occur overnight.
The longer the practice, the bigger the benefit. The more days spent gratitude journaling, expressing gratitude, and feeling appreciation, the more health benefits are accrued. Be patient if you don’t feel fantastic after writing one letter or expressing gratitude to one person.
- Gratitude re-wires the brain for good.
fMRI scans were done on the brains of people who received psychotherapy (trauma release) andpracticed a gratitude writing activity. These were compared to fMRI scans of people who did only psychotherapy. The study participants who were grateful lit up in the prefrontal cortex of the brain- the part of the brain that is required for adult decision making- like what to put on the end of your fork, what to drink, who to get into relationship with, how to manage conflict, how to spend and save money, and so on. The more grateful you are, the better you are at “adulting” and the healthier your choices will be.
Generous Are Those Who Are Grateful
It turns out that the more grateful you are, the more generous you are too. All of these acts of positive emotion lead to an immune system that feels positively toward you. In other words, it helps to reverse autoimmune disease. Gratitude heals.
If you want to learn more about reversing autoimmune disease and other chronic illnesses, you can work with Dr. Keesha 1:1, participate in her autoimmune deep immersion retreats, take a DIY approach with her online programs, or train with Dr. Keesha through the Academy for Integrative Medicine health coach certification program and learn how to not only work with functional medicine labs/nutrition, Ayurvedic medicine, but also how to help others heal their emotional root causes for illness. You can find information at www.DrKeesha.com .
Article originally posted on www.DrKeesha.com
Dr. Keesha Ewers is a board certified Functional and Ayurvedic medical practitioner, as well as Doctor of Sexology, host and founder of The Woman’s Vitality Summit, and founder of a new branch of medicine called Functional Sexology. Click here to learn more about her Integrative Medicine Health Coach Certification Program.