Feeling Your Way from Stress into ‘Flow’ – part 2 of 5

Unfortunately we have become conditioned to a culture where things are expected to be instant: access to information, or entertainment, and even fast food.  This means that we often look for a ‘magic wand’ – a pill or procedure that will make us well – but in doing this we are relying on external things to heal us, when the only real and lasting healing comes from within.  We can end up giving our power away to doctors, ‘gurus’, or usually associate with this term, but also shopping, exercise and even apparently ‘healthy’ diets) trying to find a way to feel better.

But in fact we are our own expert!  When we tune in to how we’re feeling, and observe and listen to our bodies, we can detect the early signs of possible issues and also begin to get a good idea of what kinds of solutions might work for us.  Of course there is still a place for doctors and medicine and asking for help, but when we do this from a place of knowledge and understanding of ourselves, it is so much more empowering and effective.  It means that we will have a better sense of what we are aiming for, and what questions to ask in order to achieve this.

As I mentioned above, emotions are just there to give us information.  They show us whether something is serving us, or not.  It is when we don’t listen to them, or bottle them up that we can experience problems.  After all, e-motions are just Energy in Motion.  We need to allow them to flow and to listen to the insight they bring in order to maintain our balance and wellbeing.  For example if you’re feeling an emotion that makes you uncomfortable in some way, explore where this discomfort is coming from and how you could turn this around and ‘lean into’ something that feels better to you, something that makes your heart feel lighter and gives you a sense of greater space and freedom.

“The body doesn’t make mistakes, it makes the adaptations it believes it needs to make in order to feel ‘safe'”

So what’s happening when we feel overwhelmed?  Basically it’s when we feel that the demands placed on us outweigh the control we have in that situation:

Those demands can be external, such as workload placed on us by our boss, or internal, such as the high expectations that we place on ourselves.  When we feel that we have ‘no choice’ or that we have no control in a situation, meaning that our needs go unmet, then we can tip into overwhelm.  For example if a mother is taking care of a new baby she can feel under pressure to be a ‘good mother’ and have her child clean and neat at all times.  She might be tired due to interrupted sleep but not be able to take a break because her baby needs attention.  If she doesn’t feel that she can ask for help, or she has no-one to delegate to, this could easily lead to her becoming overwhelmed.

If, however, she has someone who could watch the baby for a while so that she can take a nap, this will help.  Or if she knows that exercise and a change of scene helps her to feel better, and she’s able to take the baby out for a walk to the park, it can help her to regain a sense of perspective and balance.

In Part 3 I’ll explore stress and things we can do to help us deal with it constructively.

 

(You can read the full article here)

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Feeling Your Way from Stress into ‘Flow’ – part 1 of 5

“Only by being in harmony with our inner nature,

 and the Nature all around us, 

can we truly experience wellbeing and flow”

Robyn Harris

It almost seems that ‘busy’ is the new black!  In our culture it appears that this is the way we measure success, or value, but when we put pressure on ourselves to maintain an unnatural level of busy-ness it can lead to overwhelm, burnout and dis-ease.  So what can we do to look after ourselves and keep ourselves healthy, happy and productive?

The first step, I believe, is awareness.  Often we are so focused on just getting through our busy days that we don’t take the time to tune in to how we’re feeling and what’s really going on in our bodies.  We’ve become used to ignoring the little niggles in order to keep going and get through our list of daily tasks.  Unfortunately this will probably only be a temporary solution, because these gentle alerts from your body that something isn’t working could just increase in volume until you have no choice but to listen.  This is when we find ourselves suffering from conditions such as adrenal burnout, fibromyalgia or chronic back pain.  If, however, we could pay attention to the earlier signals, then we could take action before things reach a crisis point.

One way to develop this awareness is to do a regular body scan.  You can do this while standing, sitting or lying down.  Close your eyes and take a deep breath, in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Take a few moments to fully tune in to your body.  Feel the parts of you that are in contact with the floor, chair or bed and imagine roots growing from here into the earth, grounding you.

Gently feel your attention sinking down, from your headspace, into your body.  And just check in with how you’re feeling.  What emotions are you experiencing?  They generally fall under one of six broad categories as shown in the centre of this diagram:

Try not to judge the feelings, but just to notice them.  They are not right or wrong, good or bad.  They just are.  They are there to give you information which can then help you to find ways to move closer to how you want to feel.

You might also notice that your emotions can be multi-layered and even, apparently, contradictory, in that it is possible to feel both happy and sad, or angry at someone, and yet at the same time be proud of them.   Emotions can be complex and this can mean that, if we’re not aware of how we’re feeling, we can tend to react to situations rather than taking the time to choose how to respond.  This is why ‘Emotional Intelligence’ is such an important tool in helping us to keep balanced and conscious in our actions.

Now, slowly working down from the top of your head to the tips of your toes notice the physical sensations that you can feel in your body.

Doing this exercise helps you to become more aware of what being stressed feels like for you.  For example you might feel tense, closed, anxious, uptight, overwhelmed, unable to cope, drained, or on edge.  You might also experience pain somewhere in your body.  When you check in regularly and notice these sensations, you can become aware of what makes you feel this way.  If you do this several times throughout the day, you will be able to catch these signs at an early stage so that you can then take steps before the stress builds any further.

Scanning can also help you to identify what being relaxed feels like for you.  For example you might feel open, chilled, happy, content, expansive, empowered, in the zone, or in control.  In contrast to stress, you might also notice a lightness or a lessening of pain.  Again by increasing your awareness you can notice what helps you to feel this way, so that you can then find ways to bring more of this into your life in order to reduce stress.

Next week I’ll look at emotions and what is happening when we feel pushed into overwhelm.

 

(You can read the full article here)

Could your horse benefit from some energy healing? Part 4

Frosty – a case study
Frosty is a 12 year old Exmoor X mare.  She looks like a typical Exmoor pony: brown coat and darker points with a pale muzzle.  When I first met her she was living at HorseWorld in Bristol, a centre for Rescue, Rehabilitation and Rehoming of equines. Prior to this she had been living semi-wild and unfortunately the herd had been through some traumatic experiences which left Frosty very wary and nervous around people.

Straight away I could see that I would need to take things very slowly and gently with her, respecting her needs and allowing her to set the pace.  On my first couple of visits she would be brought in to the stall for me to offer her healing and I would stand a couple of feet from her and just send healing from a distance, keeping my energy low and allowing her the space and time to process.  Each time she showed signs of accepting and responding to the healing – licking and chewing and her eyes becoming softer and sleepy.

After my first visit I received an email saying that there had been a visible difference in Frosty.  She had seemed less anxious and had initiated contact when out in the field, something that she would not previously have done.

On my fourth visit Frosty came to greet me at the stable door, something she had not done previously.  This time, when I went in, she was loose in the stall and she didn’t move away or show any signs of being nervous.  As I started to offer healing she sniffed at my hands.  She still reacted a little anxiously to noises outside of the stable and I sensed that it was still difficult for her to relax completely, however the healing energy fascinated and enthralled her, pulling her in with its quiet, loving reassurance.  I felt that she wanted to release to it but that she still wasn’t ready to do this 100%.

She began to mouth and chew and then she let out 2 massive yawns which was the first time I had seen her release in this way.

As I continued standing quietly, offering healing she took a step closer to me and began to snuffle at me – my hands, my clothes and my ears – and then stood quietly with her head in front of my chest.  She appeared to be much more comfortable with me and to be enjoying the healing energy.

On one of my last visits to see Frosty, she allowed me, for the first time, to move down one side of her body and to give healing there.  This felt like a big step with her.  She was not comfortable with me working on her off side, however, and apparently she is generally more sensitive there.

I recently heard that Frosty has moved to a new home and is settling in well.

Sometimes animals, like us, require time to process and let go of the past and their fears but it has been wonderful to watch this little pony as she slowly becomes less anxious and more settled.

If this blog has struck a chord with you, you might also be interested in my workshop entitled “If horses could talk... looking at providing a more natural environment for the equines in our care in order to support their wellbeing.  It covers topics such as diet, lifestyle, body language and interaction with the guardian / rider.  If you would like to find out more about how this course could help you to develop a deeper understanding of your horse’s needs, helping him to be happy and healthy and strengthening the bond between you, just give me a call.

For further information or to contact me with any questions, please see my website: https://www.equenergy.com/

 

* Healing is a very good complementary therapy and is beneficial in any situation, however you should always seek veterinary advice if your animal is unwell in any way.

  

(You can read this article in full here)

 

Could your horse benefit from some energy healing? Part 3

So what can you expect from a typical healing session?

When working with a horse, it is helpful for me to begin by getting some information about the them and the environment in which they live.  It can be helpful to see them in their stable, or in the yard, and for you to put a headcollar on them  and to loosely hold the rope while I work.  It is best for them not to be eating during the session, however it is good to have some fresh water within reach.  Healing works best when the body’s cells are well hydrated as this allows the energy to flow most effectively.  Animals are in tune with this need and will often drink during a session.

I spend a few moments being quiet before putting my hands on or near the horse to begin healing.

This therapy works holistically, treating the whole animal rather than focusing on any particular symptom.  It is completely natural and non-invasive, offering a sense of calm and deep relaxation.

 

(I also have a powerpoint presentation explaining more about how energy healing works.)

 

After the session
After having healing it is advisable, where possible, for the horse to take it easy for the rest of the day – no long hacks or strenuous work schedule.

It can take up to 48 hours for the effects to fully work through their system.

The cleansing process
After having a treatment the horse may go through a cleansing and rebalancing process.  This can result in them feeling a little ‘under the weather’.  This is due to previously stored toxins and tensions being released and eliminated as the body adjusts to the new energy.

Senior / ill horses

One area in which healing is especially helpful is when an animal is getting older, or has become terminally ill.  Healing can support you and your animal through this time, helping you to share a special closeness and to make the most of the time you have together; through this challenging period, and beyond.  Please feel free to download my brochure on bereavement and loss.

Next week I’ll share a case study of a lovely little mare that I worked with.

 

(You can read this article in full here)

 

For further information or to contact me with any questions, please see my website: https://www.equenergy.com/

 

* Healing is a very good complementary therapy and is beneficial in any situation, however you should always seek veterinary advice if your animal is unwell in any way.

 

Could your horse benefit from some energy healing? Part 2

Animals are particularly receptive to energy healing as they are generally very open and accepting, without the conditioned concerns that we humans often experience.

Energy Healing:

  • involves the transfer of natural energy
  • relaxes and re-energises
  • stimulates self-healing ability
  • is non-invasive — there is no physical manipulation or massage involved.
    Only a light touch is used

It can be used to support many issues including:

  • the immune system
  • cell repair
  • detoxification
  • enzyme function
  • oxygen uptake
  • absorption of nutrients
  • wound repair
  • pain relief
  • balancing
  • release of endorphins
  • a sense of wellbeing and calm

Horses are a little different from most of the other animals that share our lives, for several reasons:

  • their size – most horses are much bigger than the average ‘pet’
  • their nature as a herd animal
  • the nature of our interaction with them, particularly riding

When we domesticate an animal and keep it in a human-controlled environment we can find that the animal begins to exhibit unwanted behaviours.  I believe that these behaviours can be viewed in a similar way to dis-ease, in that there is a trigger which we can discover and so learn how to improve the experience of the animal in question.

Research has shown that “horses are sentient beings…reflecting various emotional states when stressed or happy” – Ellen Kaye Gehrke, Ph.D.  They also act as mirrors for us, helping to reveal stresses and discomforts in our lives.

Gehrke and her team studied Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and discovered that:

During the experience of negative emotions such as anger, frustration, anxiety, sadness or depression, heart rhythms become more erratic or disordered (or incoherent). Conversely, sustained positive emotions such as appreciation, love, or compassion are associated with a highly ordered, or coherent, pattern in the heart rhythms, and can be regarded as an indication of physical and mental health states.”

When they put a horse together with a human, and measured their respective HRV they found that:

The horses perceived, in the moment, coherent or incoherent human HRV and began reflecting that human HRV in their own behavior. It became apparent that the horse’s heart rate would synchronize with the human’s, although it did not appear that the human would reflect the horse’s emotional state.”

This has profound implications for the horse-human bond.  Horses pick up on what we are feeling and their behaviour mirrors those feelings back to us.  For this reason it can be very beneficial to share an energy healing session with your horse.  Not only will it help you both to feel relaxed and promote wellbeing, it will also enhance the bond of love and trust between you.  When I offer healing I am working at a level that impacts on these heart rhythms.  I become still and ‘present’ and invite you both to share in that feeling of peace and inner harmony.

Next week I’ll look at what to expect from a typical healing session.

 

(You can read this article in full here)

 

For further information or to contact me with any questions, please see my website: https://www.equenergy.com/

 

* Healing is a very good complementary therapy and is beneficial in any situation, however you should always seek veterinary advice if your animal is unwell in any way.