Personal Power Resides in the Solar Plexus

Hello again,

I hope you are all enjoying the ups and downs of winter.  It is easy to feel the low ebb of winter months with fewer sunlight hours, cold weather and more limitations on our time outdoors.  However, there are still ample opportunities to find joy in what surrounds us. Looking out the window at the beauty of nature in winter is one thing I delight in.  Some people have bird feeders close to a window and enjoy watching the dynamics of the different types of birds as they arrive for their food.

Nature is a wonderful way of lifting up our spirits.  Respecting and honouring nature is really honouring and respecting ourselves.  We have such a close connection.

We have been reflecting on the third chakra, the solar plexus. This chakra is vital to our being able to move forward in the world, to being leaders and to being able to love unconditionally.  When our third chakra is functioning well, we know our personal power comes from within.

Truly knowing it is evident when we are not always asking for validation from those around us.  When we do not give away our power to others by blaming them for our misfortunes or our successes.  We all do this at some point and in some situations.  It is in our best interest to pay attention to that. In Cognitive Behavioural Work,  we can change those core beliefs to not assume it is another person who is in charge of our lives.  At the same time, it is an opportunity to reflect on times when we can choose to give another person responsibility for an aspect of our life we need help with.  In this sense, the issues of the third chakra are connected with the strength of the second chakra and our ability to trust others.

The third chakra is where we can connect with our true self.  “Our true self is that part of us that is always whole and intact.  It is where truth, beauty, and freedom abide.  It is not affected by pain, loss or trauma.  Though life appears difficult at times, we are made whole when we connect to the self.  It is an awareness of invaluable worth, esteem, and true power.  The self is more radiant than the sun.”

How beautiful we are when we ponder and acknowledge the above quote from Wauters’ book The Book of Chakras.  Many people diminish the value of the ego as if we could manage even greater things without it, yet it is only those who have developed the ego that have the inner strength to be resilient under life’s challenges.  It is the developed ego and solar plexus that enables us to make wise choices with respect and integrity.

Sometimes we describe a person as egotistical.  Perhaps that is why the term ego has been given a bad rap. When the self of the solar plexus extends into the heart, our confidence and inner strength is neither manipulative, nor exploitive.  Being strong is not being egotistical.  While many object to the word power, it is when we develop our inner strength and feel empowered and connect to our heart centre that we have the ability to heal ourselves and to heal others. This gives us the incentive to allow ourselves to be all we can be.

It is a pleasure to be with people who know who they are.  These beautiful people generate peace and harmony.  They know their boundaries and do not tolerate being used or abused.  Knowing this we can focus our personal healing and growth on knowing our worth, on making positive choices for our lives and on developing a resilient ego.

May you take some time to be connected with who you are, to respect and love what you find, accepting the strengths and the less strong parts of yourself.   May you feel your inner strength while at the same time being aware of and respecting the inner strength of others.  May your heart be open and acknowledging of your own self-worth.

Namaste,

Till next time,

Marie

I need your response, please

Hi folks,

I have had a few quiet moments over the last week.  Hiking in the woods, and kayaking on Georgian Bay give me stillness to tap into my creative spirit.  I would really like to hear your input on my thoughts for future blogs.  Your response to the following is going to be very helpful to me in making the blogs I write most meaningful to you.

Chakras: a framework for self discovery and self care

There is value in learning more about the Chakras.  I see them as a possible framework for looking at different aspects of all that we are.   I believe that this perspective serves not only those who work with energy, and believe in the concepts of the energy field and universal energy, but also those who can approach the concept of the chakras as a metaphor, and thus a framework for learning more about ourselves in a holistic way.

So my proposal is to begin with an overview of the chakras.  I could follow this with writing about each chakra individually beginning with the root chakra.  I expect that I could write 3 or 4 blogs on each.  They could include the different aspects of each chakra, the possible shadow side of each, and in some cases relationships with the other chakras.  I would include practical examples that would draw your attention to their effect on daily life and for self-care.  I would like to make it usable and not simply theoretical.  You could send me personal emails about each one if you wish, or ask questions that could be answered either personally and confidentially or anonymously in the next blog.

I am feeling excited about this approach.   It offers many opportunities to bring in a variety of different authors too.  What are your thoughts?  Would this appeal to you?

You can reply below or send me a personal email at marieknapp@rogers.com

I look forward to hearing from you soon.  Short or long replies are welcome.

Other suggestions are welcome also.

Till next time,

Marie

Workshop: Staying On Track. Date changed to July 5th

This is just a quick message to say that I have changed the date of the workshop to July 5th.   Same topic and same cost.  Click here to review the details

It seems that people are really busy while at the same time are very interested in the topic for this workshop.  Consider taking a morning for yourself .. a morning that will help you stay on track in the direction of your choice, whether it be health related (like weight management or exercise plans) or more of a sense of direction in getting something you really want to be or do actually moving forward in your life.

This workshop is really about changing habits.  It is about becoming aware of the habits we hold and learning some practical steps to manage them.  It is not easy and there is no quick fix, but this workshop can help you recommit to the things you are aiming to do.

The setting is lovely and during break time you can walk around inside or out and enjoy the space.  To go to the website for the Williamsford Mill Click here.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Happy Summer

Marie

Your energy field

Our energy field is certainly an area of study that intrigues me and inspires me to learn more.  If the term energy is confusing to you, think of it in terms of the presence you bring to a situation, or perhaps the mood that surrounds you or the difficult to describe awareness you have of sometimes feeling uplifted and sometimes feeling low in spirits.

Having studied about the subtle energies through the Canadian Holistic Nurses Association (CHNA), I have become aware of the work of Martha Rogers who was a PhD Nurse decades ahead of her time and now deceased.  Rogers had a view of our energy fields that the CHNA uses as the underpinnings of the courses taught and the Standards of Holistic Nursing Practice visible on the CHNA web site (www.chna.ca).

Martha Rogers was brilliant, well-educated and came from a family of educated people.  While her theory is not scientifically based (no theories are) her strong academic background lends credibility to her writing.  She was born in 1914 in Texas and graduated from the Knoxville General Hospital School of Nursing in 1936.  She went on to graduate in Public Health Nursing in 1937 and Teachers College at Columbia University in 1945.  She attained a Masters in Public health from Johns Hopkins University in 1952 and a Doctorate from the same place in 1954.  Rogers died in 1994.

Rogers describes energy fields as the fundamental unit of everything. To me this means that even though we are unique in our energy fields, we can’t really be separated from the energy in the environment around us.  It explains the power of the culture on our personal growth and learning.

Rogers sees our personal energy field is constantly exchanging energy with the environmental field.  Since this is happening with everyone in the area, then we can see how our personal energy can be affected by the energy of those in our presence.  We know that we can help a person who is feeling stressed and scattered but deliberately centering our own personal energy and offering a connection with the other to help them settle their own energy field.

At the same time, a scattered or overly exuberant person can disrupt the energy of people in the room if the others do not consciously “hold their ground” (Interesting expressions we use)

Energy fields are vibrations.  There are patterns in the energy fields.  Some people suggest that this is how music and the vibrations within it affect our moods.  Vibration is an energy too.  Could this be why some vibrations such as that coming from wind turbines, can negatively impact the energy field of some people making them feel sick?  I don’t know the answer to this.

Working with energy is timeless and spaceless.  Can we even begin to grasp what this means?  Those who work with guided imagery, visualization, hypnosis, prayer, meditation, may have some concept of how these things are difficult to describe in words but definitely exist as a sense of awareness in some way.

According to Rogers, we are really at one with our environment.  We evolve together in a process that is somehow mutually connected.  We are not as disconnected from what is around us as some people would like to think.  we are individuals but not totally separate.  Compassion could be an example of interconnectedness.

It is interesting how we seem to always want to move toward a state of wholeness and harmony.  Our energy patterns do get disrupted and disorganized but we are inclined to make that better.  We choose different ways to make that happen.  For some it is activity and physical movement.  For others it is through music and art, or writing or walking in nature.

It also seems that we are continually learning new things, having new experiences and integrating them into our energy fields, rebalancing and reharmonizing our fields till we find a place of comfort.  We sometimes need help with the rebalancing.  Sometimes the external factors would be perceived as negative events, illness, conflict and such.  Stuckness with the field can lead to physical illness but getting help with rebalancing can help the body reach a place of energy flow that brings more peace, and an openness to new perspectives and healing.

As I continue to learn more about this, I will write more about it.  I want mostly to share my enthusiasm for this field of study and encourage anyone who wishes to learn more to continue reading.

Till next time,

Marie

 

Getting out of a slump.

Some days it seems that being in a slump doesn’t make sense but it happens anyways. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, flowers starting to show off their blossoms and trees are budding. Basically life is good. So why the slump?

Finding a reason for feeling low is often not the best approach. It may only lead to rehashing conversations or situations which only tend to ice the slope rather than give you some grip to hang on to.  This morning was one of those days. The slump didn’t feel good. But that didn’t help me squelch the negative mind chatter. So what did help?

I spent time outside. It was a beautiful day. I worked in the garden uncovering the plants that were protected by leaves.

In my head I shouted STOP to the non-constructive chatter that kept returning even though it was neither helpful nor pleasant.

To replace the unwanted chatter, I identified those things for which I was truly grateful. I love that I was able to go for lunch with my 92 year old mother who was able to walk, to talk intelligently and coherently, and who had interesting things to tell me. I love that we live in such a beautiful part of the province. The Niagara Escarpment is in our back yard and our pond is hatching life minute by minute. I love that I have a healthy body and have been able to stay quite mobile, enjoying hiking and other outdoor activities. I love that we are fortunate enough to have good food and water, that neither are scarce here and that we can afford to be nourished well. I love that we live in a peaceful place with little violence and lots of friendly people.

The more I focused on these wonderful things, the more I began to shed the slump, to enjoy nature outside and to feel more comfortable with who I am and what I believe to be true at the moment.  The process was slow, but it helped.

I wish you many blessings and may you find this helpful when you feel you are in a slump.

Till next time,

Marie

Intentions for 2013

The new year is almost here.  Or it is already here depending on when you read this and/or where you live.  At this time of year we often feel prompted to review the past in an effort to consider a direction for the future.  Some call it “making resolutions”.  I prefer to use words like direction and intention because it moves me to a place within where I consider how I want to be over the next year.

Sometimes my cynical side kicks in when I hear the term resolution.  Why bother when resolutions seem to fall away sometime between mid January and late February.  I think a resolution is often filled with “shoulds”.  Something that comes from without in an effort to please or impress others … or the mirror image of myself.

There are some very serious things to consider as I examine the direction for 2013.

  1. Unless you are uniquely blessed with a strange genetic aberration, you are likely getting older. Me too.  As we all get older, I find that health becomes a bigger factor in one’s life.  I hear people say things like “I want to be able to enjoy and play with my grandchildren” or “I want to have quality of life as I age.”  Health seems to be high on the list of directions for the coming year.
  2. At the same time, we realize our mortality and this is another factor that kicks in sometime after age 50.  It nudges one to notice the decreasing number of years left and the importance of leaving a legacy.  Depending on how close retirement is, a person begins to think about what next.  While on the surface people mention travel as something they want to do in the next phase of their lives, I have a hunch there is something underlying that response.  People talk about freedom 55 and I ask “Freedom to do what?”  So looking at what is next, how do I want to be in the year ahead?
  3. The last month or two has presented us with some horrendous and basically very challenging events worldwide.  Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, Connecticut, Fiscal Cliff, Idle No More, Family conflicts, Poverty, and more.  Our world is in need of positive influences from someone somewhere …  from people living ordinary lives just caring and giving attention to what is needed.  One person cannot do everything but when each of us considers one or two things we can do and ways we can be in a loving and caring way in situations in our lives, we become part of the movement to make the world a better place.  So how can I be different in the year ahead in an effort to help move us all to a better world?

I don’t have my intentions clearly defined for 2013 yet but I know they will include

      • something related to my continuing health,
      • something to focus my direction on the legacy I want to leave behind, and
      • a way of being that will make a difference in how I relate to those around me.

Want to share some of your intentions with me?  I would be happy to read them.  I am sure they will be heartfelt and honest.  I wish you well.

You may be interested in working more on this concept in the workshop I plan to offer on Friday January 18th.  This will be a facilitated workshop where you will be working on those things you wish to set as your direction and intentions for the year ahead.  I will also offer you guidance on working toward the direction of your choice.  Click here for more details about the workshop.

Happy New Year,

I wish everyone everywhere a year ahead filled with love and peace and joy.

Till next time,

Marie

How mindful breathing helps stress management

The countdown is on and the big celebrations are only days away.  I would like to share with you a Youtube video by Richard Moss.  He reminds us of how our mindful breathing, in bringing us to the present moment, can help us relieve our stress and move to a pleasant way of being.  He points our the way our family can push our buttons as the tension of busyness increases.  Have a look at this.  It is good!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxMXiV1GIW8&feature=youtu.be

It only takes five minutes.

Happy Holidays!

How Activity scheduling works

I remember back in the days when I was working full-time.  Having a day planner was an essential part of making my day work.  Scheduled meetings, classes I might be teaching, work related phone calls, all made it to my day planner.  I couldn’t manage a work day without something like that.

Rarely did I think of putting things like declutter your desk, plan for next month’s event, or especially, walk outside for 15 minutes, or meditate, or eat a healthy snack, or leave work now.  Perhaps we only see the value of these things as we get older and look back at opportunities we missed.

Activity scheduling can be as simple or as complex as you make it.  It can serve you well when you want to begin a new habit.  Perhaps it is a morning walk.  Then put it in your day planner.

Suppose you want to start the day with a specific set of personal incentives.   How do you want to be today.  Put it in your day planner.

Activity scheduling can be used in all extremes of busyness from those who live a high-profile, complex life to those who are in a slump and to those who are quite depressed.  Activity scheduling is a strategy therapists can use when counselling people who are clinically depressed.  For example they may negotiate with the client to schedule things like getting dressed and eating breakfast.  They will make a chart together and put in the time and what the client plans to do.  Little by little they add to the list.  It works.

Take a moment to think about a new habit you want to establish for next week and add it to your activity schedule.  It could be in a planner or it may be on your calendar.  Something you already look at daily.  I would love to hear about your successes.

Till next time,

Marie

What glasses are you wearing?

Before leaving for an outing, I was in front of the mirror putting on makeup.  “Not bad”, I thought as I looked at myself and reached for my glasses.  “I really don’t have many wrinkles”.

I put on the glasses and took another look.  Things changed.

Whatever we look at changes depending on which glasses we choose to wear.  Or even if we choose to wear glasses at all.  Our perspective on any event or relationship changes with a different view and we are free to change the view as we wish.

And what an empowering choice it is!

Future event: Retreat: Moving Through Change weekend of Oct 20-21.  Check it out. Earlybird rate extended to Oct 7th

Till next time,

Marie

 

Wise and Healthy Choices

We are fortunate to live in a place with many opportunities. Choices can be  one of two or numerous possibilities. Life can be like a “choose your own adventure” novel.

Try making small healthy choices today. Perhaps you will choose to eat more fruit.  Another choice may be to write out intentions each day for a week and notice changes. A bigger choice may be to return to  school to learn a new course of study.

Does a larger choice give you worry tingles because it is a big decision?  Practise with smaller ones to build your confidence if needed. You learn as you go.  One step at a time.

It’s okay to make mistakes.  You can change your mind. It’s just a way of experiencing life that you can co-create with that wise part of you.  Your inner wisdom may love to have a chance to do something different.   Not random silliness … well…maybe in some ways it could seem that way.  It is a way to explore all parts of who you are.  When ready, experiment with opportunities that come your way. The more wise choices you recognize and act upon, the more freedom you have and the more empowered you can feel.

Enjoy life.  Each moment is an opportunity for new beginnings.

Future event: Retreat: Moving Through Change weekend of Oct 20-21.  Check it out

Till next time,

Marie