• Alexa de los Reyes

Nolite te Bastardes Carborundorum!*

What a year these past two weeks have been! From what I am seeing and sensing and going through myself, I think some deep self-soothing practices are in order. If you're feeling clear and balanced and energized, that is fantastic! Feel free to skip the rest of this post. If you're feeling cranky, overwhelmed, frustrated, fearful, furious, or despairing, you are not the only one.

To be candid, this past week was a tough one for me. I was getting progressively disruptive headaches over the course of each day and feeling lethargic, distracted, and tetchy. While there was a lot going on in the world that warranted an intense emotional response, I could tell that some deeper personal things were being stirred up. The worst part was that I was aware of what I could be doing to improve my mood and well-being -- I knew what I would tell others to do, I knew what wise mentors would advise, and yet I felt a deep resistance and reluctance to do any of those things.

Was I eating well and getting exercise? No. Taking breaks from news and social media? No. Meditating or communing with the natural world? Also no. Checking in with loved ones and asking for support? Not once.

It finally struck me -- if someone described these symptoms to me, I would tell them to try energy healing. So, I made an appointment with a talented and trusted energy healer. We did some intensive healing work around old, deep and unconscious patterns that were being activated. Afterwards I felt clear, light, and completely relieved of that foggy malaise.

Why am I sharing this? It was an important reminder for me that we can all get to a point where it's tough to do the necessary deep work alone. If you can relate to this struggle, I am available to talk about my energy healing work and how it might help.

And below are some simple tried and trusty tools that really can help shift your mind, body, and spirit into ease and alignment -- give them a try!

Soothe Your Body

The first step in feeling better is activating your parasympathetic nervous system, and these exercises trigger all sorts of lovely supportive chemicals in the body. They can be done standing or sitting.

Swaying: Begin swaying your upper body slowly back and forth, gently shifting your weight from one hip to the other, like you're in a concert listening to your favorite slow jam. You can close your eyes if that feels good. Keep at it for at least a minute, breathing naturally. It might seem silly, but rocking can activate a deep sense of calm and security.

Heart Hug: Cross your arms across your chest and tuck your hands under your armpits. Take a few deep breaths and every now and again give yourself a gentle squeeze. Try doing the Heart Hug while Swaying! Head Cradle: Place one palm across the top of your forehead, covering the two bumps, and the other palm across the back of your head. With eyes closed, breath deeply for at least a minute. Body Sweeps: With firm, gentle pressure, sweep your palms down your body--down your arms, chest, abdomen, hips, back, legs, feet. Do it as many times as feels good.

Soothe Your Mind

Man, we can be hard on ourselves! Sometimes when we're feeling bad, we feel bad about feeling bad, which is doubly bad. Here is a great practice from self-compassion expert Kristin Neff for using the three components of self-compassion -- mindfulness, common humanity, and kindness -- to get yourself back onto your own support team.

Think of a situation in your life that is difficult, that is causing you stress. Call the situation to mind, and see if you can actually feel the stress and emotional discomfort in your body. Now say to yourself:

1. This is a moment of suffering. That’s mindfulness.

Other options include: • This hurts. • Ouch. • This is stress.

2. Suffering is a part of life. That’s common humanity.

Other options include: • Other people feel this way. • I’m not alone. • We all struggle in our lives.

3. May I be kind to myself? You can also ask yourself, “What do I need to hear right now to express kindness to myself?” Put your hands over your heart, feel the warmth of your hands and the gentle touch of your hands on your chest. Or adopt a soothing touch that feels right for you.

Maybe there is a phrase that speaks to you in your particular situation, such as:

• May I give myself the compassion that I need. • May I accept myself as I am. • May I forgive myself. • May I be strong. • May I be patient.

Soothe Your Spirit

I've written a lot in the past about accessing a state of gratitude, and I still recommend it as a profound and transformational practice. I also shared a simple practice to tap into and expand your inner light. And for deeper more personalized approaches, I am happy to discuss working together.

* This Latin phrase was made up by Margaret Atwood in The Handmaid's Tale and means "Don't Let the Bastards Get You Down."

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