“…In the dark
the seed of light
a path to follow out….”
From “Stronger than You Think,” in my book, Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope, and Healing. Listen here: https://youtu.be/riXeccP3MMA
For today’s video I am doing an experiment: Before my poetry readings and healing workshops I used to do some easy exercises levels with the group to reduce stress, including for me. Why not try it here?
Begin with three deep “letting go” breaths—in through the nose, out through the mouth, noticing how we felt before and after. Such a simple thing, easy to forget: conscious breathing.
Then let’s do one of the exercises from the sheet, Energetic Life Balancing Waker’s Dozen. These are 13 gentle movements to balance energy levels as a daily practice. They were devised in 1989 (drawn from many disciplines) by Robert Waldon, Ph.D., N.D. and Betty Lou Lieber, Ph.D., M.F.C.C. and used with their permission.
On the video I demonstrate #7, called “Emotional Stress Release.” (My family calls it the “head hug.”) It’s the first one I learned and I’ve been doing it twice a day for 20 years. At that time I still had multiple sclerosis and I was working with several complementary medical practitioners to cope better. Doing this was a homework assignment to do for 15 minutes twice a day. MS is a very stressful disease and episodes can also be triggered by stress, so this was a good skill to focus on.
Lay one hand gently on the forehead and one on the back of the neck (in contact with the skin). You can do this standing, sitting, or lying down. You can visualize it. You can switch hands. You can do it for someone else (ask first, please). (Mothers intuitively know that it is calming for stressed out children to put your hand on their forehead.) You can do it for however long you have—less than a minute or 15 minutes or more. You can add some affirmations to say while you do the “head hug,” or hum a single tone (not singing). I do it in the morning before getting out of bed and last thing at night. If needed I also do it in the middle of the day as a recharge or power nap (even without sleeping). If I forget, I can feel the difference.
When we are less stressed we have more energy to do what we need to do. And that is very important in these chaotic times. We also have more functional immune systems and are nicer to be around, which benefits everyone.
And that brings us full circle back to our poem: “You Are Stronger than You Think.” Listen here: https://youtu.be/riXeccP3MMA