Holistic Goal Setting

January 10, 2012

For many of us, a new year brings new resolutions and, while ambitious or admirable, they usually succumb to a lack of time, energy and other valuable resources.  Tim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, coauthors of The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal, examine four main areas that when managed equally and effectively, bring more balance and productivity than the “marathon mentality”, which leaves most of us burned out and unfulfilled.  Establishing goals in each of these four areas can contribute to a life of balance.

These four areas and their subsequent values according to the authors listed above include: Physical or amount of energy, Emotional or quality of energy, Mental or focus of energy, and Spiritual or purpose of energy.  Physical goals may include the usual – decrease weight or cholesterol, manage stress, run a marathon, floss.  Emotional goals may include some kind of artistic or other self-expression like writing in a journal or taking up a musical instrument as well as investing in personal relationships (e.g. more time with friends or date night with one’s spouse).  Mental goals are those that improve the mind, for example, learning a new language, improving a skill, reading more, or staying on top of one’s professional industry, etc.  Spiritual goals may range from the obvious – going to church, meditation, reading scriptures from one’s personal spiritual practice – to contributing one’s resources to a greater good.

Setting goals that feed each of these areas creates more energy than it drains.  Priority determines capacity.  For more information on these concepts and to take a personal inventory, go to www.theenergyproject.com co-founded by Tony Schwartz.

https://i0.wp.com/www.indianeye.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/yin_yang.pngIn a time where technology and science are second nature (pun very much intended), we often forget our connection to the natural world.  In our efforts for fortune or fame, we can ignore our bodies’ cries for rest or exercise, proper nutrition, creative expression, relationships, or spiritual growth and pay the price with chronic illnesses, imbalances and general dissatisfaction.  We can also utilize the wisdom found in nature where balance and proper timing produce success, abundant health, quality of life and experience, longevity and satisfaction.

Nature provides everything we need right when we need it.  It reminds us when to rest and when to be active, when to eat and when to cleanse, when to build and when to tear down. The greatest challenge comes with the choice to go with the proverbial flow or resist it at every turn because we think somehow we know better than nature does.   Its energy is constant, but constantly evolving inside/out, expanding/contracting, living/dying and so on.

Energy can only be changed, but never destroyed.  Jacob Atabet states, “Unused evolutionary energy is the matrix of pain.”  Put another way, what we nourish and nurture yields growth.  What we neglect and ignore yields growth also, but often in undesirable form (e.g. cancer, etc.).   Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and more specifically the application of its Five Phase Theory is a wonderful embodiment of this principle as it reveals through observation of nature and seasons information about what to do and when to do it.  We will look more closely in upcoming articles at seasons as they come, what energy they hold, herbs, foods and activities necessary to achieve balance and health.

For now, as we say goodbye to Winter and pry Spring from its cold dead fingers, we must give thanks for the time of necessary rest and stillness our bodies and earth have needed in preparation for the seeds of change and newness to come.

Holistic Goal Setting

February 9, 2011

For many of us, a new year brings new resolutions and, while ambitious or admirable, they usually succumb to a lack of time, energy and other valuable resources.  Tim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, coauthors of The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal, examine four main areas that when managed equally and effectively, bring more balance and productivity than the “marathon mentality”, which leaves most of us burned out and unfulfilled.  Establishing goals in each of these four areas can contribute to a life of balance.

These four areas and their subsequent values according to the authors listed above include: Physical or amount of energy, Emotional or quality of energy, Mental or focus of energy, and Spiritual or purpose of energy.  Physical goals may include the usual – decrease weight or cholesterol, manage stress, run a marathon, floss.  Emotional goals may include some kind of artistic or other self-expression like writing in a journal or taking up a musical instrument as well as investing in personal relationships (e.g. more time with friends or date night with one’s spouse).  Mental goals are those that improve the mind, for example, learning a new language, improving a skill, reading more, or staying on top of one’s professional industry, etc.  Spiritual goals may range from the obvious – going to church, meditation, reading scriptures from one’s personal spiritual practice – to contributing one’s resources to a greater good.

Setting goals that feed each of these areas creates more energy than it drains.  Priority determines capacity.  For more information on these concepts and to take a personal inventory, go to www.theenergyproject.com co-founded by Tony Schwartz.

Reflexology

January 17, 2011

Reflexology is a holistic science based on the premise that there are reflexes on the feet, hands, and even ears, which correspond to each organ and system of the body.  Each area or body system can be stimulated and/or relaxed using a type of compression massage using thumb, finger and hand techniques that act upon the central nervous system.  (There are approximately 7,200 nerve endings on the bottom of each foot).  By working specific areas, Reflexology promotes balance and normalization of the body, increases circulation and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to cells supporting energy flow and stimulating the body’s nerve supply.  Reflexology promotes deeper relaxation, which has a positive effect on the body’s ability to create balance in spite of any kind of stress it may be experiencing.  Reflexologists are natural health practitioners, not medical doctors, and are not able to prescribe or diagnose, but are able to assist the body in accessing its own natural ability to heal.  Reflexology is an excellent compliment to other medical treatment.

Reflexology works on the following body systems and conditions:

  • Central nervous system including brain and spinal cord as well as vertebrae.  Acts directly on the nervous system and nervous conditions caused by stress or illness.
  • Endocrine system including all glands and reproductive organs.  Balances hormones, stimulates under active glands and relaxes over active glands.  Examples may include hypo- or hyperthyroidism, adrenal exhaustion, menstrual difficulties, enlargement of the prostate, maintenance of general reproductive health.
  • Joints and muscles where one may experience tightness, chronic tension or arthritic conditions.  Stimulates the nervous system to enhance healing needed from trauma or injury from sports or accidents.
  • Cardio-respiratory system includes heart, lungs, diaphragm, and sinuses.  Alleviates allergy symptoms, assists recovery from cardiac events and supports lungs for optimal respiration.
  • Digestive system includes all major organs of the alimentary canal as well as accessory organs including liver, gallbladder, and pancreas to support proper healthy digestion, assimilation, and elimination.
  • Urinary system includes kidneys, bladder and ureter.  Alleviates symptoms of chronic bladder or kidney infections, etc.
  • Lymphatic system includes lymph nodes and vessels.  Allows efficient movement of lymphatic fluid to aid the body in more effectively eliminating waste and toxins.

A typical Reflexology session may last from 30 minutes to one hour and includes general treatment to each body system on the feet and/or hands and ears.  Reflexology is an excellent addition to massage or bodywork. Reflexology does not require the removal of clothing with the exception of socks, shoes and jewelry.

A “mini” session includes simply a general overview of each body system on the feet while a “full” session includes additional treatment on trouble areas and may include work on hands and/or ears as well as the use of essential oils for enhanced healing.

For acute symptoms, like sinuses or bronchial congestion, for example, one may experience improvements in symptoms with only a few sessions and improvement can be seen in only one session though results vary from person to person.  For chronic conditions, more sessions may be needed.  See your natural health practitioner for more details.

Happy New Year

January 2, 2011

Upon looking out at the horizon that is 2011, I am so excited to be returning to blogging activity.  Took a necessary hiatus, but will return in the new year with so much to share.  May 2011 bring you all balance, peace, health, happiness, joy, and abundance in all good things.  I leave you with my favorite blessing:

“The Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and grant you peace…” (Num 6:24)

Happy New Year

Essential Oil Therapy

August 22, 2010

Essential oil therapy is the use of highly concentrated plant extracts to facilitate balance and healing.  Essential oils are highly aromatic and are most commonly obtained through a process of steam distillation.  Essential oils are applied in a variety of ways including but not limited to:

Skin Application – Because essential oils are highly concentrated and can burn if applied undiluted to the skin, they are blended with a carrier oil like almond, grape seed, jojoba, etc., and massaged directly into the skin.  Oils can be applied directly over an area (sore muscles) or can be applied to the feet, hands, or pulse points, where they are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and can affect appropriate areas (e.g. chamomile to calm the nerves).   Reflexologists commonly utilize essential oils by applying them to the feet or hands to enhance healing of specific body systems.
Inhalation – Inhaling aromatic oils directly or in a diffuser affects brain chemistry through the olfactory nerve and can positively affect mood and emotional health.
Bathing – Essential oils can be added in very small quantities to bath water, bath salts, or foot baths where one can enjoy the fragrance of the oils while the body takes advantage of their healing properties.

Essential oils can be used to benefit every body system as well as mental, emotional and even spiritual wellbeing.  Below is a brief list of a just a few common uses:

•    Headaches
•    Sinuses and allergies
•    Mental fatigue
•    Dental discomfort
•    Chest congestion/bronchitis
•    Depression/grief
•    Muscle aches/soreness
•    Adrenal exhaustion
•    Digestive upsets, gas, bloating, etc.
•    Menstrual pain and discomfort
•    Aphrodisiac
•    Mental clarity and concentration
•    General relaxation

•    Meditation/prayer


Essential oil therapy is also known as aromatherapy.  This term is misleading, however, as it has been frequently overused in the advertisement and marketing of many common household products, and the actual use of concentrated plant extracts is replaced by synthetic and sometimes toxic ingredients.  Furthermore, it is not required to smell the oils to receive their healing benefits in most cases.
Individuals trained in the use of essential oils are commonly called aromatherapists and must go through extensive training on oils and their uses as many oils are highly potent and can cause adverse reactions when used without caution and experience.

The Present of Your Presence

December 14, 2009

It is the most profound human need to be known and to be loved and it has commonly been said that the greatest gift we can offer another is that of our presence – our full, undivided attention.

Susan Scott writes in her book Fierce Conversations of a tribe in South Africa and their common greeting.  We say “hello.”  They say, “Sawu bona,” which translates, “I see you.”  The response: “Sikhona” translated, “I am here.”  We do not truly exist to and cannot be truly experienced by another until we are fully enveloped in the scope of their awareness.  Take time to be present with all whom you come in contact this season and always.

Blessings.