Stepping Stones for Release

As humans, we hold onto things.  We love our routines.  We watch the same TV show every Wednesday night.  We order the same cup of coffee every morning.  Great.  But there are other things we may hold onto as well…  That mean voice in our head every time we look in the mirror.  A relationship that makes us feel worthless.  We have a tendency to hold onto the bad as well as the good.  But no more!  Wellness junkies, let me introduce you to the power of RELEASE.

Releasing something into the universe that is no longer beneficial to you is a very empowering moment.  A thought.  A relationship.  A food.  An emotion.  A routine.  A job.  A feeling.  All of these things can be so beautiful in our lives, but can also be so very toxic.

Our Full Moon Circle

This past Friday night, a group of women came over to my place to have our first (of many) full moon circles.  The full moon is a time for releasing and letting go, shedding light on the things that we no longer need to hold on to.  What better time to get together, celebrate our femininity, and let go of the things that are no longer serving our growth and well-being.  And that, my friends, is exactly what we did.

Yes, there were candles and sage, but the main point of the evening was to find something specific within each of us, something that was no longer contributing to our happiness, and let it go.  Whoa.  It felt good, which is why I had to share it with you.

The beautiful thing about this process is that you don’t need a full moon circle or a ritual to let go (although you are always welcome to ours).  A simple breathing exercise can be perfect.  Sit in a quite space, get grounded, take a few deep breaths, and focus in on something specific that is no longer benefitting you, something that you are ready to let go of.  Then, on your exhales, breathe it right out of your body.  Let it go.  Feel it leaving.  Release it to the universe. Ahhhh…  I feel relived just talking about it 🙂

You can also have a ritual of your own.  Light some candles.  Give thanks for all that surrounds you.  Write down whatever it is you want to release on a piece of paper.  Then crumple it up and throw it away.  Rip it into shreds.  Light it on fire.  It’s up to you.  The physical act of destroying that piece of paper can help with the release.  This way, if you begin to have any feelings resurface, you can come back to this moment and remind yourself “No, I destroyed that, it no longer exists”.

With all of this said, I know that not everything is easy to let go of.  We have conditioned ourselves over our years of living, and change can be a scary thing.  Remember to start small.  Begin with a resentment that you have against a family member or with a daily thought that is not benefitting your happiness.  Over time, the power of release can be more easily incorporated into the larger things in your life.

Do you have something that you are holding onto that is no longer serving your well-being?  Are you ready to let go of it?  I know that you are.

with love and happy living,

Amanda

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Your Breath

ALisa Starkweather

No, this isn’t a blog about all natural mints or mouthwash. 🙂
At the Herbal Conference we were lucky enough to have taken ALisa Starkweather’s workshop, Optimizing Our Health in the Time of Toxicity. When we read the title we were a bit nervous it might be a little depressing, talking about the toxic exposure we’re subject to daily, but to our delight this was not the case…we were in for a real treat. ALisa was one of the most inspiring speakers we’ve ever seen. She said a lot of amazing things but one of my favorite things she said was “The depth of your breath reflects the depth of your life.” So, what does this mean? It means that when our breath is short and shallow, we’re not living life to the fullest, we’re holding back; we’re not taking a lot in and we’re not letting a lot go. When our breath is deep, we’re taking life in at it’s fullest, and we’re letting go of things fully as well. A deep breath is a healthy breath.

Observe your breath, take note of when it’s shallow or deep. Notice what’s going on in the moments of short breaths vs. long breaths. Most likely the short breaths come during times of tension and stress while the longer breaths arrive during times of relaxation and relief.

Find time in your day to make sure to take a few long, deep, luxurious breaths. Before bed is a great time to do this, it will help you ease into a restful night of sleep. Like everything, cultivating a deep breath takes work. Here’s a technique called the 478 breath that we learned at Integrative Nutrition from Dr. Andrew Weil:

  1. Breathe in through your nose for 4 count
  2. Hold the breath in for 7 count
  3. Let go of the breath through the mouth for 8 count

He suggests doing this 2 times a day, once in the morning and once at night. He also recommends only doing 4 breath cycles at a time to start. What’s great is that this can be done anywhere, anytime.

As they say in Yoga, Breath is Life. What type of life would you like your breath to reflect?

with love and deep breaths,

Jackie