Welcome to the “I can’t believe it’s March already” newsletter. I hope it finds you all doing well.
March, synonymous with Spring, the month of the Vernal Equinox, one of two times a year when day and night are equal in length. A time of renewal, both in nature and in the home as we now look forward to our days becoming longer, the air warmer and, once again, life begins to return to the land.
This time of equality between day and night has been, and continues to be, a timekeeper, marking our passage from darkness and cold into warmth and light.
In many traditions, this is the start of the New Year. The Roman year began on the ides of March (15th). The astrological year begins on the Equinox when the Sun moves into the first sign of the Zodiac, Aries, the Ram. In the agricultural cycle, it is the time for planting. We are assured that life will continue and we see its evidence in the new buds on trees, the green bursting through the earth and all the baby animals and birds where ever we look.
It is a time for "spring cleaning" and removing any negative energy, junk or baggage that may have accumulated over the dark Winter months. Removing it and clearing some space in preparation for the positive growing energy of Spring and Summer becomes crucial. It is traditionally a time for new beginnings everywhere and in particular, a good time for your very own and very personal New Beginnings.
In the following months I will be discussing and advising you of specific and concrete ways in which each of you can do your own “spring cleaning” making room for the flood of positive energy that is yours for the taking.
And so first I want you to consider this: What we think, the thoughts that we allow to run through our consciousness are each actually considered by the subconscious. These thoughts are processed by the subconscious no matter how ridiculous, silly or stupid they may be. If I were to say to you I don’t want to you to think about a pink elephant. No matter what you do, do not think about a pink elephant. What is the first image that pops into your mind? Yep, that’s right, a great big pink elephant!
This is why it is so crucial to say and to think about the things that you want in your life rather than those things that you do not want.
What you focus on, what you think about and what you see is what you get. As an example, if you think about the color blue for whatever reason, maybe you are thinking about purchasing a blue car or a blue rug for your home and are not sure it is the right shade of blue, you will start to notice, to see the color blue all the time. Every place you go you will notice the color blue before any others. This same principal can be applied to your emotions, thoughts, ideas, beliefs. If you think about anger, that is what you will see in your world. You will see the anger in all the people around you, you will feel it. After a very short period of time you will start to feel as if your world is filled with anger, and this same process occurs for hate, hurt, depression, anxiety, fear, and sadness. However it also applies for the positive and good things in life, for fun, joy, happiness, fulfillment, love and excitement.
What you see in your world is what you project and if you are projecting it then it must be within you or you wouldn’t be able to see it in the first place. So it becomes important to pay attention to what you are thinking of. When you find there is negative thinking, take the time to reflect on the contrary. Reflect on the positive, 100 times more. Take control and responsibility for what happens in your thoughts and in your life and watch as it improves.
Remember, you don't have to become a mechanic before you can drive a car. You certainly don't need to be an electronics expert before you can turn on a light or operate a computer. It isn’t necessary to be a great philosopher in order to understand what life is all about, nor a great theologian to recognize the spark of divine inspiration that lies at the heart of all nature. There's a lot that none of us really need to think about; but if you make your heart happy, your head will soon follow and I hope to help each of you a little bit along the way.
As I was going through my education and training to become a hypnotherapist, I had the very great pleasure of learning from and studying with an amazing woman. I’d like to introduce each of you to Ida Kendall and I hope you enjoy her article on transformational breathing.
Transformational Breath – Breath of Life, Breath of Joy
Do you think you breathe as well as you could? Do you know the consequences of NOT breathing well? Depressed immune system, chronic fatigue, poor circulation, physical weakness, toxicity build-up, depression, stress, sleeplessness, lymphatic dysfunction and worst of all…. Availability for the top 32 anaerobic diseases to inhabit your body – things like cancer and fibromyalgia that just can’t live in a properly oxygenated body!
The consequences are so serious that you will now find oxygen bars and hyperbaric chambers dotted across the country to redress this poor state of affairs. It is estimated that we now use somewhere near only 20% of our breath capacity on a regular basis, and yet a whopping 70% of our daily detox is done through respiration – WOW! (You thought it was that other system lower down that did all the detox work, didn’t you?)
As little as 20 years ago, the oxygen content of our air supply was as much as 28%; it has now dropped to 16 – 18% in cities like Los Angeles. Are you worried? You should be! This statistic has tremendous impact on our health, vitality and wellbeing, and on our ability to resist disease and combat stress. Add that to our sedentary lifestyles, and we’re in big trouble.
What are you going to do? We can’t all move to a rainforest now, can we? Fortunately there is an economical solution at hand, a technique that after just 5 short sessions you can do for yourself at home.
It’s called Transformational Breathing (www.breath2000.com)
Transformational Breathing is a diaphragmatic, circular breathing technique that works simultaneously on 3 important levels:
- Clearing physical restrictions to open, relaxed breathing;
- Releasing negative mental patterns and emotional suppressions
- Providing a clear channel to spiritual awareness and connection
What happens in a TB session? In a reclined position, you are guided to relax and breathe gently and rhythmically without pausing, like a wave, coming in and going out without stopping. A breath session will last for about 60 minutes, with the last 15 minutes being a period of gentle meditation and “re-grounding”.
Won’t I hyperventilate if I breathe like that? No, the facilitator will guide you to relax your exhale and this type of exhale is what prevents hyperventilation.
Sounds kinda boring – is that it? Actually, there is more to it! Dynamic music will guide you through the various stages of breath work. Your facilitator will gently guide your breath to rebalance using positive affirmations and trigger points that will release trapped energy. If the energy gets intense, your facilitator will coach you to “tone” or make long clear sounds. This moves the energy through your system so you can be free of restrictions both physically and emotionally. Movements may be added for greater effect, and you may move your arms, legs, hips, feet and shoulders as directed by your facilitator while you breathe.
What’s in it for me? Feelings of greater peace and relaxation; permanent resolution of emotional restrictions because these restrictions are addressed on all levels simultaneously – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Greater health (such as improved lymphatic and bowel function) and vitality and ongoing feelings of wellbeing and peacefulness will be yours.
Ida Kendall was originally educated in Great Britain and is a Certified Hypnotherapist specializing in integration modalities that include hypnosis, NLP and Transformational Breathing. In a thriving private practice for 15 years, Ida has dedicated herself to helping people of all ages to help themselves by applying holistic methods for resolution and self-empowerment at every level - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Ida uses her many modalities to provide an unwinding effect that works directly on the layered patterns of behavior and reaction.
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.
It seems to me that with the prospect of longer, warmer days and shedding some of those heavy concealing clothes, we all take a closer look at our bodies in preparation for Summer. So, here are a few tips that you might find useful.
Grabbing a set of light weights could help improve your range of motion.
Stretching is a great way to improve your range of motion, flexibility, and balance. Research suggests that stretching with a set of light weights in hand may bring even better results. Stick to very light weights -- a half pound or less -- until you become accustomed to the added load.
Help keep your muscles strong by getting an adequate supply of antioxidant vitamins.
Exercising regularly is an important part of preserving strength. However, in people over 65, high blood levels of antioxidant vitamins also were associated with musculoskeletal strength. Get your fair share of antioxidant vitamin C with citrus fruits, bell peppers, and strawberries. Most people need a supplement to meet their antioxidant vitamin E needs.
If you've added stomach crunches to your exercise routine, don't hold your breath.
Holding your breath when you perform stomach crunches may cause your blood pressure to spike higher than it normally would during resistance training. In a study, people who voluntarily held their breath during abdominal exercises had higher peak blood pressure elevations compared to when they breathed during the exercises.
Stretches aren't for warm-ups only. They can bring benefits at the end of your workout, too.
Stretching at the start of a workout can help prevent pulls and strains. However, to increase your range of motion, stretch at the end of your workout, too. Research shows that stretching after exercise, when muscles are warm, can enhance flexibility more effectively than stretches at the start of a workout.
Think it's too late to add years to your life through exercise? Studies say it isn't.
You can still reap the health rewards of exercise even if you get started late in life. In recent research, study participants who were over the age of 65 and had always been sedentary reduced their risk of heart disease by 36 percent and their risk of cancer by 51 percent when they adopted an active lifestyle during the study.
No time to work out? A time-saving change to your exercise routine may still net you health benefits.
Short, frequent mini-workouts throughout the day may lower your triglycerides as well as one long exercise session, results from a study concluded. Exercise reduces the spike in blood fats that occurs after consuming a high-fat meal. Try taking three 10-minute walks throughout the day when you can't make it to the gym.
Declining lung function is a normal part of the aging process, but exercising regularly can help keep your lungs youthful for longer.
Many changes occur as the lungs age. Respiratory muscles weaken, the chest wall stiffens, airway size decreases, and the diaphragm may weaken. However, exercise can minimize these changes. In a recent study, men who had the highest activity levels experienced the least decline in pulmonary function over a 25-year period.
- Make your energy last longer by lifting weights.
Studies of people over the age of 60 revealed that strength training three times per week helped increase the amount of time the study participants were able to spend walking on a treadmill. Both high-intensity and low-intensity strength-training programs did the trick.
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.