I just interviewed to work with an 83 year old woman. I left contemplating finding meaning in life. We were both in the process of finding meaning, but at very different life stages.
Overall, she is very healthy, and until recently, was able to walk quickly with no problems. She lives in a wonderful independent living facility in Boulder, Colorado. Why then does she need a team of people around her?
Her three sons all live in Boulder and brought her here because her husband died a few years ago. So, she lives far from everything she knew, lost her husband and is very afraid of being alone. She calls her children frequently for visits. So, they are looking for people to help her, basically help her find meaning in her life, outside being a wife and mother.
As a woman I so completely relate to this. It seems to be in every cell of our body to care and nurture on some level. We have the very new ability to do much more than care and nuture and some women have no desire to have children, which is wonderful we can now choose!! But, most every woman I have met has an incredible ability to care and nuture. Birthing, feeding, clothing, and caring for others has been most of the scope of womenhood since we crawled out of the sea or were dropped down from heaven or goodness knows what. It’s what we do and how we find meaning.
I just spent the last year and a half with a goal of building some websites and selling our home, then moving into a new home. I worked many long hours at all of the above, but since creating new work for myself and moving homes is very unsettling, I continually thought about what meaning there was in my life. I was in the process of creating new work and a new home. What did I want this to look like? What had meaning for me and how did I want to incorporate this into my life? Really, what was the meaning of life, now, for me?
I really wanted to learn to enjoy my life and be a mother. I didn’t really know how to enjoy life while being unsettled around work and family. Work had always given me meaning. I started working at the age of 9 babysitting four days a week, graduated high school just a few days after turning 17 and college when I was 20. After getting a business degree, I knew I wanted to do something meaningful with it, but ended up working with children and adolescents who had very difficult lives, instead of working in business. This seemed very meaningful, but also very taxing to my being. At any given time I was around many children at one time, all needing attention and help, and I felt lost in their ocean of troubles. How exactly could I help? Being one kind person in their day or week was nice, but didn’t feel like the amount it taxed in the negative me was really creating an equally positive impact on their lives.
My Master’s Degree from Naropa University was very helpful in making meaning of working with them. My job was to focus on finding their brilliant sanity- the beauty of spirit unique to that child. I think I did a great job. Life took me in the direction of being an Event Coordinator for Naropa University for four years instead of a therapist. I loved the work. I helped put on amazing classes that many people benefited from and that helped them touch their heart in many instances.
The department closed and I was left feeling pretty certain I wanted to start my own business and the best idea I had was to start a website for family services for Boulder County. That started a snowball of learning about all things internet. A fascinating world, but not very relational and hard to make meaning of the work. My focus was on working hard now to set up a somewhat passive revenue stream for the future. I worked on another website for many, many months about product reviews on the hopes of making a healthy amount of passive income. Almost one year into it, I make very little. I tried to make the site helpful for consumers, but the passion for it came from one day being able to have my monetary dreams come true, not from the day to day building of the website.
My hope was with the amount of money I hoped to make from the website, I could have the time to do things I loved. Paint, garden, play with my 3 dogs, have fun getaways with my husband, meditate and go on retreats, and above all, earn enough money to have children and have everything our family needed including time, material resources and paid help. I worked everyday hoping it would pay off so I could be a happy, well resourced mother. As time went on and the websites didn’t turn very profitable (it’s only been a year and a half since the first went live, so I still have lots of hope for them) and babies didn’t show up, I was left with much uncertainty as to where to go, which brought up the search for meaning again. I wanted to be a successful entrepreneur and I really wanted to be a mother. With neither on the horizon, what meaning did my life have or could it ever have?
I am very lucky to have spent much of my adult years developing a spiritual life. The most brilliant teachers I have connected with, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Trungpa Rinpoche and Pema Chodron say very similar things. Meaning comes from being of benefit to others and to the world. While my websites were of benefit to people, I wasn’t benefitting from them. I rarely got any appreciation from those that used them and got very little monetary return for my work. So, that equation didn’t hold much meaning for me.
I sunk into a dark place where I couldn’t see how my life had been of much meaning to anyone. I felt like a big failure at businesses and at becoming a mother. I was pretty sure until I was successful at business, we probably couldn’t conceive a baby because I would feel too stressed on how we’d afford the expensive little bundle of joy. I was a nanny for much of the last ten years to supplement my income and was certain I wanted to be a stay at home mother. This seemed to be the best scenario for the children. No one who cared for them could love them like their parents. So, every minute with other caregivers was time around people doing a job instead of time around the people who loved them more than they could believe.
I worked my entire adult life, except for the time working at Naropa, caring for children because I wanted to have all the wisdom I could as a mother. From these experiences I developed a strong vision for a well resourced, supportive, joyful family life, but it had neither a successful business or family in it. Yes, this made it pretty empty and depressing!
The one thing I loved at this point was my psyhic clairvoyant classes. I loved my teachers, my fellow students and loved developing my psychic intuitive abilities. It was my favorite thing since my studies at Naropa. This had meaning for me. When I did my psychic readings for those who came to the center to be read, I could tell the readings were very helpful and cleared some blocks for them. Well, I still needed to make money and being a psychic wasn’t going to pay the mortgage yet since I was still an undergradute psychic student and wanted to wait until I graduated to make the leap to doing this on my own.
Weeks turned into months where I was in an increasing state of depression. Numb to the joys of life and very aware of the pain. The only future I could see was one without anything that held meaning. I loved my husband and doggies and new home very much and felt rediculous for being so sad, but I didn’t want to work as a 40 hr per week slave just to pay the mortgage on a home that we spent a lot of money on because it would be a great family home, way too much for two people, even with three dogs.
I couldn’t imagine a full time job that would have a lot of meaning and at this point I couldn’t really fathom what could possibly have meaning that I could do well. I have more skills with children than almost anyone I know, but no longer had the energy or desire to make that a full time thing outside of being a mother. It was really just devastating not to have a child yet. I felt I’d spent more than a decade preparing for a job in a field that was not hiring at this time. I imagined I felt very similar to the mother whos children just left home. The meaning to her life and what she was the very best at in the world no longer needed her on a daily basis, maybe only for a few hours monthly.
I felt like without being a mother, I just saw a future that was shallow and the only meaning it might hold would be to search for others to help to try to ease my pain of longing. I didn’t see much joy in helping these people since it was only in lieu of doing what I really want to do, but it might give me meaning and hopefully a renewed reason to keep on with the insanity of life. How could I suffer less was what I focused upon. Yeah, feeling the depths of my sadness and suffering I felt was important, but a few months of that had to give way to something else because sinking into it more seemed like it would only leave me a pile of rubble on the floor and of benefit to no one!
In my search for work, I found a job posting for a caregiver for Belle, the 83 year old woman. I felt drawn to this posting though not sure why. As I listened to her children tell me her story, I realized that we both are searching for meaning and feel a little lost in the process. I have known for years that even when I did have children I would have to find meaning outside of them to not smother them and put the pressure of being my reason to live upon them. I have not yet found a strong passion, except for being a psychic healer eventually and knew that if I did end up working with Belle, I would be able to help her create meaning of her life and find a light for herself to continue on, as well as work with my past life karma of having no meaning outside of being a mother and falling apart once that meaning was gone. As I might help her search for a new meaning to her life, I might also discover one for myself, both of us as women without any children to give us meaning, finding one for ourselves.
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Once I was talking to a friend about the benefits of meditation and her response was a bit surprising. When I started talking about how much I got from my meditation habits, she said, “I just don’t want to do something that is going to be a waste of my time.”
The truth is, none of us want to waste our time. That is why it’s a good idea to decide in advance what you want to get from meditation and design your program, working with your meditation teacher, so you can get the most benefits of meditation possible. And to be sure, it’s entirely possible to have a meditation program that is not doing a good job for you. So how to gain the greatest benefits of meditation is a good topic to consider both before and as you move forward with your meditation regimen.
What Are the Benefits of Meditation?
The benefits of meditation can be classified into our three general areas of well being which are mental, physical and spiritual. The physical benefits of meditation are realized from greater relaxation. It is well known that stress is a major health risk and meditation can go a long way to reduce stress resulting in better sleep, better digestion and an overall better outlook on life.
The mental benefits as well come from the promotion of the use of alpha rays in the brain. That means in regular language, you are more positive, more at ease, more creative and frankly, more fun when you have had a chance to “go to your happy place” during meditation.
Spiritually meditation forces you to take time in a contemplative state. That is the perfect spiritual and mental condition to reflect on spiritual values and to enter into a stronger communication with the spiritual side of your personality. As your soul gets some attention, your approach to spirituality flourishes.
Is it possible to do meditation wrong? Of course it is. Like anything else, achieving the great benefits of meditation are most likely if you work with an expert in the practice who can guide you in designing and sticking with your meditation program. So seeking out good meditation instruction is the first “how to” to help you achieve all of the benefits of meditation that you are looking for.
Meditation resembles the physical discipline an athlete goes through. The difference is you are training your mind and your spirit for prolonged meditative contemplation. That ability to focus your attention and stay at peace in a contemplative state is a major benefit of meditation. But like a good athlete, you have to be prepared to stick with your meditation program to see the benefits of meditation begin to materialize.
Don’t loose heart if at first, the benefits of meditation are coming slowly. A good athlete knows to stick with it because the benefits of your program will kick in. So be patient, stay focused and don’t give up and before long the benefits of meditation will begin to grow and flower in your life.
Our comparison of your meditation routines to an athletic program of exercise is on target with our goal to gain the greatest benefits of meditation possible. You will find your “system” begin anticipating and actually needing it’s time in the meditation process as you move forward with a meditation regimen. That is why it is important to be consistent on both the regularity and the time and place of when you go about putting your meditation program into effect.
You will not be able to get the maximum benefits of meditation if you meditate once or twice one week, not at all the next and then sporadically thereafter. Meditation is a discipline. So make it a point to design your meditation program so you can mediate regularly and routinely to reap the greatest benefits of meditation that you can get.
We join the sentiments of our friend that we talked about earlier that we don’t want to enter into a meditation program and “waste our time.” But by being consistent, being patient and taking advantage of great training from your meditation professionals, you will see the benefits of meditation begin to make significant changes in your life, your health and your state of mind. That that is above all not a waste of time.
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This meditation is great to practice any time of day, but especially good in the morning, after you’ve woken up. It helps to awaken and enliven the energy centers or chakras in the body. So let’s begin now.
Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in. Hold it for the count of three, two, one. And let go. Just letting go of all cares, all thoughts, all concerns of the day. Just allowing all the stress, all the tension to begin now to fade away.
I want you to begin to pay attention to the breathing, following the breath in and following the breath out. And if your mind begins to wander, all you need to do is gently bring your attention back to the breath. Continue this now for a few moments.
Now I want you to imagine that there is a powerful, white, healing light flowing from the top of your head, getting brighter with every in-breath, filling the top of your head, with that golden white light. Allowing that white light to wake up the feeling in the top of your head. And just allowing all muscles, all the skin, all the sensation from the top of your head to relax completely now.
Your forehead, feeling that white, golden energy in the forehead. Just allowing everything there to relax, feeling that relaxation and that golden energy as you breathe.
Just allowing that energy now to begin to sink and drop into the neck and the throat. Any saliva in the mouth can be swallowed. The feeling of that golden, white light. Now allow everything in your neck and throat to relax completely now.
And again, moving down to the chest, the upper chest, and the heart, allowing that golden, white energy to begin to collect in the chest, filling your entire body with that warmth. Just allowing everything to relax. Your arms can relax. Your fingers can relax. And any other tension that may be there you can allow to relax. Feeling that energy in the chest.
And now allowing that golden energy to sink into the upper part of the stomach, feeling that golden, white energy collecting there as another wave of relaxation, spreads through your entire body. You can feel that energy radiating, warming your body.
Below the stomach, feeling the energy collecting there like a balloon.
All your body now relaxed. All the muscles loose, all the muscles soft… as that golden light energy now sinks to the base of your spine. Your upper legs, knees, all relaxed. All go soft. Feeling that energy warming, radiating, renewing. With each breath you take, you can feel that sense of relaxation deepening. Down to the feet, your toes, all relaxed. All soft.
Feeling your connection to the earth, the ground. And making sure your posture is straight, your spine is straight, your head in alignment. You can now become aware of your whole body.
And the energy moving through you, feeling that warmth through your entire body, the top of your head, the forehead, your throat, your neck, your chest, your heart, your solar plexus, and your stomach, lower stomach, base of spine, feeling the energy there, connecting to your entire body, legs, knees, and your feet.
Now feeling that golden, white energy moving through your entire body. Energizing every cell. Working its way through every part, every atom, every molecule. Bringing a sense of energy, a sense of peace, and a sense of renewal.
As I leave you now to enjoy this feeling for a moment.
And now you may continue this meditation for as long as you wish, but if you wish to end the meditation now, you may do so by opening your eyes and taking a deep breath.
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The choice between going it alone or using guided meditation is sometimes a difficult one to make. On surface, it seems that when you are thinking about starting a meditation program, it should be easy enough to do at home without much help. I mean what’s the problem? You find a quiet time and place, you sit down, you meditate. No problem right?
Well the reasons to use guided meditation versus this kind of “lone wolf” attitude are grounded in the real world experiences of most people who have tried meditation before including…
* If you go it alone, it’s easy to let yourself compromise the discipline. A guided program, even if it is recorded gives you something to live up to. If you are just working from a book or a web page with some general guidelines, it’s too easy to “customize” the program to suit your comfort. And there is some real value to the disciplines of meditation, even the uncomfortable ones.
* One word – distractions. The image of sitting in a quiet room meditating for hours is a tranquil one but the truth is, we are easily distracted. You can get pulled away from the focus of meditation by sounds in the house, outside, your own thoughts or even by sleepiness. Having an external guided meditation resource, that is much less of a problem.
* Guided meditation gives you something to focus on. Much of meditation is learning to focus your mind and your consciousness on a mantra, an object or on breathing. But if you have a guided method to give you the focus point along with instructions and encouragement, you are much more likely to be successful with each meditation session and, as a result, more successful in your long range program.
* Guided meditation is much less lonely. The draw back of meditation is you often go through your routines alone. You have to in order to reduce the distractions that can keep you from a successful session. But if you have family in the next room or people out there enjoying each others fellowship, you may be tempted to hurry your program to join the fun. A guided meditation regimen gives you some social contact even while meditating.
These are just a few of the reasons that guided meditation will do more to assure that you will have a program you stick with and you don’t have that frustration of having tried something and gave up on it. So let’s get some basic ideas how to use guided meditation for greater results in your meditation program.
The term “guided meditation” gives the image of sitting in a classroom with an instructor quietly speaking to you as you focus on his or her voice and learn to reach that level of contemplation that you a want. And to be sure, direct classroom meditation is one of the best forms of guided meditation. Very often you can find a guided meditation class or instructor using a local free school directory. Or there may be a number of fine institutions in town that you can use. Just ask friends and make sure they are reputable before signing up.
But direct participation in classes is not the only form of guided meditation you can use. Others include…
* A book on Tape. We discourage using a book for your guided meditation even though there are some very good books on the market about the subject. But the act of having to reach over and pick up a book for the next step in your meditation session can be a huge distraction from your meditative state. The book on tape approach takes away the page and replaces it with a voice.
* Television. Just as there are ample exercise programs on yoga, you can often find fine guided meditation programs on your cable TV stations. Check with your meditation teacher to see if he or she or the organization they work with either has a program on or knows of one they might recommend.
* A CD or record that is a guided meditation course. A good record store will have dozens of good programs you can use that will guide you from the beginner stage to an advanced level using guided meditation techniques. And if you need more time at one step, you can repeat that lesson as often as you need to for no additional cost. If you don’t have a large book or record store to shop for a meditation course in, you can always use Amazon or one of the other online services to find what you need.
* The Internet. A simple “Google” of guided meditation will return a wealth of sites that offer services to help you out. Shop wisely and make sure that if you must subscribe to the service, they are reputable and will deliver as promised. But it’s a viable option because you can use your computer room for your meditation retreat and work through the guided meditation with the aid of the online instructor.
The Value of a Plan.
These are all fine resources for you to use to get a guided meditation program moving. The important thing to use as a guideline is that you will do best when you have a plan. Look at the index or curriculum of a guided meditation course however you access it to see that there is a path to greater and greater success that you can look forward to by enrolling yourself in a guided meditation program.
Then once you commit to the program, commit to it with all you have. Don’t miss a session and be fully committed to what you are trying to do while you are in your guided meditation session. That level of engagement is probably the number one reason why you can look forward to being successful in your guided meditation approach and that you can look for all the great rewards from meditation that you want and that you deserve for your dedication and hard work.
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There is an ancient instruction from a Hebrew holy text that says “Get Thee a Teacher”. And whether you are religious or not, this is great advice. Meditation itself is an ancient art so it makes sense that we need to seek out the perfect meditation instruction to be sure we are guided to greater and greater success with our meditation exercises.
Meditation instruction to be sure is a discipline where, to say it kindly, some are better than others. So when you are looking for the kind of meditation instruction that will benefit you most, it is important that you have a way of measuring whether the teacher offering his or her services to you is competent.
But on top of that, meditation instruction can be very different depending on what discipline the teacher is coming from and what the focus of the instruction is on. Some meditation instruction will be focused on the benefit you are seeking. Another might place a high priority on the rituals and historical practices themselves whereas another may emphasize the spiritual side of things. All of these meditation instruction approaches have their own value. But which one is right for you?
Finding a Good One.
Just like in any field of expertise, you will find practitioners of meditation instruction who know what they are doing and others who clearly do not. Moreover, there will be a percentage, hopefully a small one, who are “quacks” and all show with no results. So you need some criteria for evaluation the meditation instruction service you are thinking about using. Some great ways to check out whether this meditation instruction service is on track are…
How long have they been in business? If the meditation instruction service has a history of success, they will proud of that and brag on it. They have to be good at what they do to stay in business so you have a right to check them out.
What is their training? Meditation grew out of a number of ancient religious rites and disciplines. For each meditation instruction technique, they should know their history and be familiar with the body of work, from the ancient texts to modern teachings on meditation instruction. Have them “show off” their library and their certificates of accomplishment. Again, they should be proud of these and be happy you asked to know that they are well trained in meditation instruction.
Check out their facility. If the meditation instruction company is professional and well trained on how to help you learn, they will have rooms prepared with the right tools, furniture and atmosphere that is most conducive to meditation. They will also have a library of good meditation instruction books that they can use for reference when they providing you with meditation instruction.
References. This is bar far the most powerful key for knowing that the people you are going to rely on to teach you meditation techniques are experts. By asking people who have used them for their own meditation instruction, you can get first had knowledge on how well they do.
The Variety of Meditation Instruction.
It seems the variety of types of meditation are as diverse as the people who take advantage of the discipline. Therefore, part of finding how what the perfect meditation instruction you might seek out is to come to an understanding of the different types of meditation that are commonly used.
Two things will drive the focus on a meditation instruction technique. The first is the history of the discipline. If the meditation they wish to teach you grew up out of an ancient culture or the discipline of a profession that has long benefited from meditation, then that will make a big difference as to the content and the goals of the meditation instruction you get. The second factor is the goals of the program. For example, a program focused on meditation instruction for women may have an orientation that is significantly different than one that is focused on habit management or on the physical discipline of meditation. Some of the many varieties of meditation include…
Finally, the most important factor in the perfect meditation instruction for you is your goals in using meditation to improve your life. Perhaps you wish to explore the spiritual blessings that a regimen of daily meditation might bring you. In that case, calling upon a meditation instruction program that is grounded in the religious or spiritual community where you are at ease will be the right choice for you.
However, if you are not primarily interested in the benefits of meditation for spiritual uses but you know and desire the positive health benefits that a strong program of meditation instruction can bring to you, you will use that guideline to construct your minimum requirements for the system of learning meditation that you will select and take advantage of.
The time you put into selecting just the right meditation instruction for you is crucial to seeing the kinds of results and realizing success in the practice of meditation that will lead to a life long commitment to the discipline of meditation. So give yourself permission to take your time, do your reading, and get a good understanding of the different kinds of meditation instruction there are and who the quality teachers of meditation are in your community. You will be glad you did.
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Ten years ago it was almost unheard of …Now it’s looking like it could even overtake Yoga as the new in-vogue mind-body practice of the day. Any guesses what I’m talking about? You got it if you said “Qigong” and “Qigong Meditation“. (It’s pronounced chee gong).
In fact, today is “World Tai Chi & Qigong Day”, and to celebrate, I thought I’d share the story of how this remarkable practice is taking off in the West.
So What Exactly Is Qigong and Qigong Meditation
Qigong, translated into English means “energy exercise”. The practice utilizes relaxed movement and special breathing exercises to normalize energy flow in the body. Many claim it helps to develop a relaxed meditative awareness, alleviates sickness and increases energy. I’ve found this to be very true in my own experience.
My first introduction to Qigong happened in my second year at Manchester University. I had suffered pretty severe emotional and physical trauma as a teenager.
When I started practicing Qigong and meditation I noticed an immediate shift in my energy level. Then, much of my old “stuff” came up and started to drop away. My story is pretty typical.
In the late 1990s, the Communist Party made many forms of Qigong illegal and so any masters left China and began to teach openly in the West. That was the catalyst for the huge shift that’s going on right now in the world of exercise and fitness …
“Qigong is growing like crazy in the United States in the past few years,” said Master Chunyi Lin in the April 5th issue of the New York Times. “People want to be more proactive with their health care.”
Whereas in the past, exercise was all about increasing stamina, endurance and the having the perfect abs. Now, more and more, practitioners are focusing on stress reduction, relaxation and developing spiritual awareness.
People are beginning to understand that “fit” does not necessarily mean “healthy”. An effective exercise program supports the internal as well as the external. That’s the beauty of Qigong and Qigong Meditation.
To this day I thank the Universe I stumbled onto these skills. They were the beginning of my healing. There have been several times since then when I was able to overcome serious illness with the help of Qigong and meditation.
In my experience, Qigong is amazing for your health and it’s a truly wonderful way to approach meditation and spiritual practice.
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An aromatherapy diffuser allows you to benefit from aromatherapy by getting the oils into the air. You can use many devices as an aromatherapy diffuser including a vaporizer, humidifier, and nebulizer. An aromatherapy diffuser allows you to inhale the oils to relieve respiratory infections, colds, and asthma.
There are also several types of actual aromatherapy diffusers if you don’t want to use another device you already have in your home for one.
An electric fan aromatherapy diffuser doesn’t use heat. It operates on batteries. It blows cold air through a pad that has been saturated with aromatherapy oils.
A steam aromatherapy diffuser works in a very similar way except it plugs into the wall and hot water creates steam. Aromatherapy oil is added to the water before it begins to boil.
Have you ever wanted to use an aromatherapy diffuser to help you sleep better or maybe get over an illness? While it is tempting, most of us are too afraid of the fire risk to sleep with it on. There is an aromatherapy nebulizer than has a timer on it. This is perfect for getting the scents you need to feel better and rest better without the risk of causing an out of control fire.
Ever wish you had an aromatherapy diffuser to use in your vehicle? Your wish has been granted. The vehicle diffuser comes with small pads that you place drops of oil on. It plugs into your cigarette lighter to fill your car with great smells. Make sure you use a scent that won’t make you sleepy!
A candle can be used as a diffuser as well. Light the candle and allow it to burn for about 15 minutes. Put it out and pour some aromatherapy oil on the melted wax then relight the candle.
A very popular aromatherapy diffuser is the oil burner. It is very inexpensive and it is decorative as well. It comes with a ceramic bowl. You pour water and aromatherapy oil into the bowl. A burner sits under the bowl heating it.
To get the most out of your aromatherapy diffuser, make sure you only use oils that are made from natural products. You should also know what the different plants and herbs can do. For example if you are trying to get a good night of sleep don’t choose one that energizes you. If you have a long evening planned then use the one for energy not to help you sleep! An aromatherapy quick reference guide can help you with this information. The internet is a great place to find it as well. For best results when you want it, keep a supply of various aromatherapy oils available.
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Aromatherapy is the practice of using the extracted aromatic essences of specific plants, seeds, flowers, bark etc for healing purposes, or to promote well-being and health. It is widely perceived as being relaxing and non-invasive, and can be of help to some people when not used in place of conventional medicine.
Proponents of aromatherapy say it works because it has a profound effect on the central nervous system, and can help the immune system function better and trigger general healing. They say its benefits are manifold: that it can help relieve anxiety and depression, reduce feelings of stress and promote an overall feeling of vitality and well-being.
The actual term “aromatherapy” came about purely by chance, when French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé burned his hand during an experiment in the 1920′s. He then accidentally plunged his hand into a vat of lavender oil and within a few days it had healed completely, without leaving a scar, any blistering etc. The experience prompted René-Maurice to investigate the use of other essential oils.
Essential oils are volatile liquids, or those which tend to vaporize and evaporate, which are extracted in сеrtаin ways from plants. Proponents of aromatherapy believe they have сеrtаin properties. Anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-infectious and anti-bacterial are just some of the qualities believed to be inherent in these special elixirs. Beware of synthetically derived oils, which may smell nice but lack any real content whatsoever.
Unlike many other types of massage, aromatherapy massage relies on essential oils blended together to create a relaxing and therapeutic treatment. They are added to the carrier oil or massage lotion, where they are thought to be both breathed in as well as soaked into the skin for beneficial effect.
People have aromatherapy massages for a variety of reasons. As the essential oils used are all thought to have different healing properties, one will be selected especially for you after a brief consultation with the massage therapist.
Some popular essential oils used in aromatherapy massage, and their purported healing properties, are:
-Lavender oil: to calm, aid in sleep, balance and relax
-Sweet marjoram oil: Often combined with lavender to relieve pain associated with muscular strains and menstrual cycles
-Eucalyptus oil: Powerful antiseptic thought to be effective against сеrtаin airborne viruses
-Grapefruit oil: This lovely citrus scent uplifts and refreshes
-Clary sage oil: Soothes, relaxes and can help re-balance the hormones
-Lemongrass oil: Not just a staple of Thai soup, this oil also calms, relaxes and can be helpful as an astringent – and an insect repellent!
-Ylang-ylang oil: Mainly used to relieve stress but can also be used to help treat sexual dysfunction when mixed with other oils, such as rose and jasmine.
Does Aromatherapy Really Work?
Aromatherapy seemingly works because it is a holistic therapy, which means that a practitioner takes into account not only a person’s medical history but also their emotional feelings, lifestyle and health background overall. They listen to their patients, and make them feel both cared for and as if they have a say in what the treatment will be.
As many ailments aromatherapy seeks to treat are stress-related – backache, depression, anxiety, mild muscular pain – it’s no surprise that people can genuinely notice a positive outcome after experiencing an aromatherapy massage, or relaxing in a bath scented with essential oils. And in some clinical trials, specific essential oils were shown to have effects on health: jasmine, for example, was found to be a powerful aide to sleep. However, always check with a medical professional first as not all oils are suitable for everyone, i.e., pregnant women.
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MEMORIES hold the key to identity. What we cannot forget seems tied to how we see ourselves. Then, there is acceptance; healing wounds and thankfulness for joys of past.
I cannot explain it (though I would like to) but when I look at photographs of past I cannot help wanting to go back there. The past is a gift. I recognise the past was pivotal in making me the person I am today.
I think of the town I was brought up in; the same town my eldest two children began life from. Locals who were there then tell me so much has changed, and in some ways that’s a pity, but the ground does not change.
Standing upon ground of our formation is sacred. One day I will return to walk the areas of my formative years. And I will want a week or two to really reflect and pray.
I’m so fond of those memories of old that seem to swell when we revisit old friends and their memories join with ours, as we all remember different details. Memories of old make for reminiscences of a full life.
Isn’t it glorious that God gives us each the opportunity to revisit the past? Some parts of our pasts, of course, could be horrendous. I’m personally unaware of anything I could not return to, but I know others can be affected. If it’s at all possible, we can return to those times of past that were pivotal in making us or revealing us as the people we are today.
I’m wondering whether it’s possible to move forward freely into a hope-filled future without having first reconciled aspects of our past that might continue to goad us. And how do we actually reconcile them?
We bear them, consciously. With help if necessary. We bear our memories and build them based in the truth of what we can remember. We learn to accept them. We accept those past versions of ourselves, for better, for worse. We accept others, for better, for worse. We reach acceptance, which is peace, for now. We conjoin peace with thankfulness.
I’ve discovered the past is pregnant with opportunity for healing, which birthed me into new life for the present.
First, I move forward into my past. I reconcile it. I take the journey forward into it. Leaving no stone unturned. Accepting difficult reminiscences. Knowing God holds me safely whilst there. Before returning to the present.
Moving forward into the past is pivotal if we’re to look back positively from the future.
When we’ve dealt with our past – neither denying it nor angry or depressed about it – hope, peace and joy fills our lives.
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Psychiatrist Carl Jung claimed the addiction to alcohol to be “the equivalent, on a low level, of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness, expressed in medieval language: the union with God.”
He noted that alcohol in Latin is “spiritus” and said the same word is used for “the highest religious experience as well as the most depraving poison.” “Spiritus Contra Spiritum” was his way of saying ‘fight fire with fire.’
If addiction is finally confirmed to be a chemical imbalance in the brain, shouldn’t treatment include new methods, medications and strategies to slow or end this national epidemic? Other parts of the world are getting 50%+ success rates and most of ours offer 15%. Even AA, in some studies, shows a success rate of 5-10%. The other 90% end up in jails, hospitals and cemeteries. That’s not success.
This disease of addiction has diagnosable symptoms that can be measured and treated. It also comes with a spiritual facet. It breaks the user down on a ‘soul level’ to the point that the person disconnects, or tries to, from the Source. Break that merger and the battle for the soul becomes easy.
Our spiritual first step is to stop bashing addicts unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. I am thoroughly convinced that only an addict can understand another addict. It will be a united effort between clean and sober people who have fought and gotten a reprieve from the chemical, emotional and mental hooks of active addiction and the medical community to solve it.
I believe MAT-medically assisted treatment-will be key in releasing heroin and opiod addicts from the unrelenting grip of constant usage. It has worked in other countries, mostly Europe.
One country, Portugal, decriminalized drug use and cut its national addiction rates by half! In addition, related diseases and disorders were drastically reduced. Prison populations lessened and those funds were used to offer nationally funded detox, rehabilitation and job opportunities by subsidizing recovering addicts with 50% of the peoples’ salary for an initial period of time.
America is the strongest and most wonderful country. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. But, we need to lead the world in addiction research and programs that offer hope to both the addict and the people connected.
Knowledge is power but self-knowledge is empowerment. It is time for everyone of faith to step fully into the roles that were set for us long ago. To carry the message, it is critical that we establish a powerful spiritual matrix by sending all of our prayers up continually to save us from ourselves.
Addictions, advancing mental illness and mind-boggling experiences to live through have been the result of the wearing down of the faithful. There are too few of us fully living our faith to carry us all home. We all are needed.
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Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.