Archive for the ‘Stress’ Category

posted by on Balance, Elements, Energy, Heart, Mental Clarity, Seasons, Stress

Over the past couple of weeks, you may have felt the weather shift. We’ve come into the time of late summer—after the peak of summer, but before the leaves of autumn fall.

According to Angela and John Hicks, co-founders of the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine, this is a time of remarkable balance: “What is most striking about this season is the sense of time standing still. The peak of yang is over and the days are getting shorter but the leaves are still on the trees and the weather can still be warm. The melancholia of autumn is yet to begin. It is a time when yin and yang are finely balanced.”

In the natural cycle of the five elements, Earth acts as our provider, our mother. It’s the soil that nourishes the plants, which in turn nourish us. Earth is our center, the root, which supports all of the other elements. Now is the time of harvest, the act of giving and receiving—reciprocity in the truest sense.“The fields are filled with nourishment representing the fruits of our labors. … it yields an abundant harvest to those who adequately cultivate and care for it.”Lonny S. Jarrett We should take a few moments every day to give thanks for an abundant harvest.

In our lives, a balanced presentation of the Earth element is someone who is not only able to work hard, but also able to reap the benefits of his or her efforts. It’s being able to feel satisfied and “nourished” by our accomplishments and relationships. Can you support others without being smothering or feeling resentful? Are you able to ask for help when you need it? If someone offers you help, do you accept it or push them away? Most importantly though, the Earth element is about being centered, stable, and “home.” Earth has the comfort and security you feel when you go home. On the contrary, if the Earth element is out of balance, we may feel mentally foggy or distracted, ungrounded, unsupported, lethargic, “heavy,” or worried (the kind of worrying or ruminating that’s super unproductive—like a hamster wheel spinning the same thought over and over).

“Madness is to think of too many things too fast, or of one thing exclusively.” – Voltaire

In accordance with the season of late summer, ask yourself:

Are you satisfied with what you have cultivated and ‘harvested’ in your life, or are you always hungry for more?

Where do you get your emotional support? Do you have someone you can turn to if you need help?  Do you feel like your relationships have a reciprocal nature of giving and receiving?

What nourishes you? Where is “home?” Where have you put down roots? How would you describe the feeling of “going home?”

What grounds you when you feel uncentered? What motivates you when you feel stuck?

Remember, now is the season to give thanks for all that you receive. Take a moment to reflect on what nourishes you on a day-to-day basis—physically, emotionally and spiritually.

 

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posted by on Balance, Heart, Mental Clarity, Qi Gong, Stress

Acupuncture Atlanta

Stress can be a very sneaky, insidious thing. It waits silently in the background, showing no signs of the destruction it carries with it, while we work, pushing to get everything done in our daily lives. Even when we don’t think we’re letting stress affect us, it can accumulate in our muscles, energy and mind. Before you know it, you’re battling a migraine, backache, chronically troubling thoughts, etc.

It’s impossible to avoid stress in life, but it is possible to live with more peace, less pain and more balance by tuning in and staying in touch with the signals being sent all the time between the body, mind and heart.

One of our friends and partners, India Powell of Lightswitch Communications, has put together an online workshop designed to help you take better care of yourself and be more in tune with your own stress signals. Through the workshop, called Burnout to Balance, you can explore at your own pace seven steps for moving away from stress and toward more bliss in everyday life, and you’ll build your own a complete action plan for better self-care. It’s also full of local resources, recommended reading and other tools to help you on your journey.

Make sure you find time to do something today—however small—to care for yourself.

 

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posted by on Balance, Energy, Mental Clarity, Stress

When I was growing up, I remember my mom saying to me, quite often, “Jenny, I need some peace and quiet.” At the time, I probably responded by amping things up a few more notches, making things anything but peaceful! Now, though, the idea of craving a little peace and quiet resonates with me on a deep level, and there’s a good reason why.

As a culture, we hardly ever grant ourselves any time for plain, pure peace and quiet. I’m talking about the old-fashioned kind that doesn’t involve TV, internet or cell phones. We rarely enjoy the simple wireless, cordless and noiseless variety of checking out. This inability to truly unwind is costing us our balance and healthy energy flow.

The yin and yang symbol of Chinese philosophy represents half that is external and half that is internal. We’re supposed to have an equal balance between the two. In a 24-hour day, that means about 12 hours of putting ourselves out there and no less than 12 hours of recuperating, rejuvenating, rebuilding, going internal, taking in. Assuming you sleep for 6 to 8 of those hours, that still leaves at least 4 hours of your waking time in which you need to reflect and go inside in some way.

What could you do today to get a bit of peace and quiet? Adding even a few more minutes of downtime to your day will cause a noticeable shift. Give it a try.

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posted by on Balance, Energy, Featured, Healing, Heart, Mental Clarity, Qi Gong, Stress

Acupuncture Atlanta

As I learned from my Qi Gong teacher, Paul Fraser, MAc, LicAc, the heart is our ultimate healer. It holds the key to realizing our destiny and manifesting our potential. As Paul Fraser explains on his website, “In Taoism, the belief is that the heart is a microcosm of the body, mind, soul and all of creation. Unhealthy patterns in another person can be balanced through a practitioner’s own heart. These patterns can range from the dense (the physical body) to the subtle (emotions) to the more esoteric (the soul).”

Acupuncture, Qi Gong and other opening and Qi-balancing practices enable us to look more easily and readily to our hearts for guidance and live more harmonious, connected lives.

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