A new relaxation technique…

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Miriam speaks of a new relaxation technique.  It can be used at home or in a park when you are feeling stressed.  I also include a couple of variations to it.  (Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash)

Lately I have been feeling stressed.  Doing a lot of things with appointments, sometimes more than one per day and two days in a row.  This causes anxiety for me.

The relaxation technique is as follows.  Sit in a comfortable position on something comfortable and think of a river in the forest.  Now find a rock beside the river and sit down.  As you are sitting there you notice leaves floating on the river.  Many leaves.  Pick one up and put a worry onto it.  Now place it back in the stream and watch it float away with your worry.  Pick up another leaf and place a different worry on the leaf.  Place it back in the stream and watch it float away.  Keep doing this with your worries.  Sometimes you may see a group of leaves stuck together.  Pick one up and look at the worry.  As you do this watch all the other worries wash away.  Place your leaf in the stream and watch it wash away all the way down the stream.  Be still.  Think of the stream and all your worries are gone!

A variation to this relaxation technique is to fill balloons with your worry and then release them all into the air.  And your worries are gone.  Or fill train box cars with your worries and then watch the train leave and all your worries go with it.

I have decided to incorporate a twenty minute mindfulness session into my day twice a week.  Then I may do it three times a week.  But at first I want to get a routine going.  At the same time I can watch my thoughts and see what my mind is worried about.  Watch my thoughts and figure out what is bothering me.

Until next time…enjoy your evening!

My healing journey…

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Miriam now speaks of her day today.  It’s not going well.  I tried to concentrate and read at least one of the three books that I want to read to heal.  It didn’t happen.  I own the day as one to just be and to be sad.  Accept it.  Own it.

I tried to read more about negative self talk.  The problem is that my negative self talk is internal and so well hidden that I don’t realize that I am doing it.  I had a feeling of impending doom.  It is tax time in Canada and I don’t know how I will pay my taxes.  I get disability but my tax bill is so high that I can’t ask them to deduct taxes before they pay me.  I am debt poor as many are of my age.  I am barely surviving on what I get.  So the impending doom is real.  Luckily my children will probably help me out!

I tried to remember more of the bad experience I had as a child.  My counselor told me that no I didn’t have to remember, that I didn’t have to relive it.  I went through it once so it’s not necessary that I relive it.  That is a tremendous relief.  Writing the angry letter last week did not help.  But the numbness has slowly dislodged and I have a feeling of sadness now.  Sadness for an innocence lost, a childhood lost and for my mental state.  So much so that my art reflects my sadness.  Before I would paint and not put much feeling into the painting … that is in the expression.  Now I am more aware and the leopard that I drew was sad.  It had sad eyes.  I was sad.  I am mourning my childhood.

Another book I could read is Your Erroneous Zones by W. Dyer.  This too is about negative self-talk.  But this would be too heavy to read today.  So I put it away and watched television.  Some of my favorite shows.  I could read a book for pleasure.  My counselor recommended that.  I am reading Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon, the Outlander novels.  But even that is too much work.

I even tried to meditate.  It worked for about ten minutes.  I couldn’t concentrate.  I tried to ground myself with the Sunshine relaxation technique.  That helped a bit.  It calmed me.

So today I own the day as another where I just watch television and slowly unthaw the numbness around my soul.  A day to sit and be.  I had my cup of tea.  I feel better.  And now I write about it in the hopes that it may help someone some day.  Writing soothes my soul as well.  So today is a day for sadness.  I lit my candle earlier and mourned that time in my childhood.  But now I feel better.

I talked to my mother.  I talked more openly about my illness and she is struggling but trying to understand.  She encourages me to exercise.  Which I am slowly trying to do.  I get bored on the elliptical.  Even the television doesn’t help.  I have just discovered audio books thanks to Stephen King and they seem to be helping.  I know exercise will help.  Now I only have to make it routine.  Mother’s day is coming.  My mother misses me but I don’t travel much these days.  I have already ordered flowers to be delivered.  I will call her on Mother’s Day…

It was recommended to me to accept the days when one can’t do much.  To own it.  Embrace it.  And pamper yourself.  My pampering consists of a cup of tea.  Maybe two.  And nutella on white bread.  Tomorrow will be a better day.  I am sure.  Mother told me not to give up hope…I still have hope!  Until next time…

Relaxation Technique: Sunshine

Miriam shares with you a new relaxation technique she learned today.  It’s called “Sunshine”.

Sit comfortably in a chair and close your eyes.  Now imagine yourself sitting on a bench in the sun.  Lean back and sit comfortably.

Imagine the sun on your right hand and it warming your right hand.  Let the heat spread in your hand then work itself up to your lower arm.  Relaxing as you imagine your right lower arm warming by the sun.  Then let it radiate to your right upper arm.  Relaxing yourself as you feel the sun warm your upper arm.

Then imagine that sun warming your left hand.  The warmth radiates out to your left lower arm.  Relax and think of the warmth of that sun.  Then think of the warmth and let it move up to your upper arm.  Relax thinking of the sun’s warmth.

Then imagine the sun warming your right foot.  Relax as you feel the sun heat up your right foot.  Then relax and let the sun radiate to your lower calf.  Let the sun warm up your lower right calf.  Relax as the heat moves up to your right thigh.  Relax as the sum warms your right thigh.

Then imagine the sun warming your left foot.  Relax as your left foot warms up.  Imagine the warmth travelling to your left calf.  Relax as you feel your left calf warm up.  Relax as you feel the heat travel to your left thigh.  Relax as your whole left leg is warming up.

Imagine the sun’s heat now in your stomach.  Relax as you feel the warmth of the sun heat up your stomach.

Imagine the sun in your chest.  Relax as you feel the sun warm up your chest.

Imagine the sun warming up the top of your head.  Relax as you feel the warmth travel to your nose and down to your chin.  Imagine your whole head warm and relax.

Now your whole body is relaxed.  Sit and breathe.  Think of nothing.  Watch as your thought comes in, think of what you are thinking, and then watch it float away.  At one with your breath.  Hear your breath go in and out.  And relax.

Namaste!