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SELF CARE, PART 3: SIMPLE TOOLS TO SUPPORT THE HEALING ENERGY WORK

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To resume where I left off in the previous post, I will now proceed to share more easy tools and techniques to support the healing energy work.
These techniques are simple and can be practiced easily. Yet they are also powerful, and they support us as we look within ourselves, let go of what is not ours and what no longer supports us. They help and feed our self-reliance, our discernment and our ability to trust ourselves and find our own answers.

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BUT FIRST:

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or phycologist. What follows is the result of my own personal experience. It is not intended to be medical or psychological advice. I am just sharing honestly and in all humility what has helped me in the hope that it might help even just one of you, if only a little. Please take what resonates, and let go of the rest.

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SELF-ACTIONED TOOLS THAT SUPPORT OUR EXPANSION

I will begin with the most essential:

EARTH, WIND AND FIRE… AND THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE:  WATER

NATURE and her expression through the four elements is among the first prescription, or should be, from doctors and therapists, especially those of old. Fresh air, some sunlight, a walk in the garden or woods and some pure drinking water are the main necessities for the bodies, minds, emotions and spirits of us humans.
So many of us do not get out there enough, including myself. I used to spend time in nature daily, especially when I lived in Hawai’i, where access to a glorious beach or beautiful hikes was just a matter of a short drive. I am now making a point of returning to this healthy habit, even if the beach now is hours-drive away. But forests and water streams are not.
So, shall we?

  • EARTH
    Take a walk in nature as often as you can. A wild or semi-wild environment is best, but even a garden will do. Do it daily, if you can. Start with just ten minutes if that is all you feel you can do, even though you will crave more and more time the more you spend connecting to nature. At least, that is what happens with me.

    The best practice is that of the now blessedly popular Shinrin-Yoku or Forest Bathing, because it teaches you to slow down and truly connect with the trees, animals, birds, critters, grass, air, clouds, all of it. When I feel lost and no longer know what is real and true and what isn’t, I know that I can count on the one undeniably true thing: nature.

    You probably have heard of earthing and grounding. Working in the garden with your hands in the dirt is one of the ways of doing both; but also walking barefoot on the beach, or on grass, or even on moss if soil is not your thing. Lying on the grass and looking up at the trees above you, or the cloud beings floating by in the sky. We all have done this as children, have we not?
  • AIR
    Breathe deeply. I catch myself holding my breath or breathing shallow so many times a day! Remind yourself to breathe deeply. If you have to, set aside 2-3 minutes a few times a day, to just pause and take a few deep, long breaths. I had to teach this to my mum as well, and in order to make sure she would do it, I gave her an easy and specific structure (story at this link). And spend as much time out in the fresh air as you can. If you live in a city, find a nearby park where the trees contribute to keep the air cleaner.
    Wind brings change, as well as messages, and often the birds who ride the air are the messengers.

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  • SUN
    Daily exposure to sunlight, especially in the morning, is extremely beneficial. Among other things, it helps regulate our circadian rhythm, our hormones and our bodily functions.
    In harmony with the Earth, the sun supports all life on the planet. It is a source of nourishment – not just for plants, but for us, as well. Our bodies have their own particular kind of photosynthesis.
    The sun also carries light codes that assist our healing and our evolution, especially at this time in planetary history. Fifteen to twenty minutes a day, when the sun is at a slant in summer (so not crazy hot) and anytime you can get it in winter, is all it takes. Expose as much of the skin as you can, and squint a little if you must, but don’t wear sunglasses. You need those reflected rays. Do not stare directly into the sun. This should go without saying, but I had better say it just in case.

    Albinos excepted, even people with sensitive skin and low in melatonin can handle 10-15 minutes of sun exposure without sun screen. Using sunscreen would beat the purpose. But if you feel you have to, please research thoroughly and find ones that are not toxic, because pretty much all the mainstream ones are.
    We Italians tend to be “lizards”. For as pale as we can be in winter, getting a nice sun tan is something my brothers and me grew up with, competing with each other to see which of us was more tanned. Hawai’i suited me on that aspect as well. Alas, since leaving the islands, my exposure to the sun has not been as regular as it used to be and I have suffered from it.
    I am now making a conscious effort of exposing myself to sunlight again almost every day, and I have noticed the difference.
  • WATER
    I cannot say enough about water. Someone recently wrote that they felt water was God/Source. It resonated so much that I am considering this on all levels.
    I drink lots of water, and I could probably use more. And so could most people, especially during strongly emotional times, and during and after energy healing sessions. Water is tied to emotions, and also helps soothe our nervous system. I am sure that by now you all know that we are made of 70/80% water.

    These days, the best drinking water you can easily find is bottled (in glass, or BPA-free plastic) spring water.
    Here in the United States though, even spring water is purified – understandably so – which means that hardly any electrolytes are left in her. So I add a little baking soda, or a wedge of lemon, or a tiny bit of sea salt – sometimes all three – to revitalize it.
    Unless, of course, you are up high in the mountains and have access to that most wonderful and pure, truly thirst-quenching spring water coming down in the creeks.
    Coconut water (pure, organic, not from concentrate, and without any added flavorings) is also very good as it contains those essential electrolytes most of us tend to be low on, like potassium and magnesium.

    And how glorious does it feel to immerse ourselves in water, especially the salty ocean or sea? I miss that so much, as even in summer the ocean currents here in California are really cold. I have taken salt water baths in the tub: they don’t compare, of course, but are still beneficial. Water in all her forms is powerfully healing, especially salt water.

    For more information on water, I would like to refer you to the research and work of the late Masaru Emoto, who published several books on the subject, starting with this one.
    A quick research on YouTube will also yield several very interesting videos.

    I have recently also started following the instagram account of a woman in New Zealand who is a water researcher, author, artist and photographer. She uses a unique technique to photograph (frozen) water that is yielding some interesting results. She is the one I have heard state that “Water is not a resource, it is Source.” You can find her on IG at @vedaaustin_water – or via her website.

    And all of this about water barely scratches the surface. I might go much deeper – pun intended – another time.

Essentially, if you are lucky enough to live near the sea or ocean and can take a walk on the beach, maybe have a little swim on a sunny day, just relaxing while drinking some water, you have accomplished it all in one go. That’s why we all love going to the beach so much.

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And now let’s continue with the rest.

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HAWAIIAN HO’OPONOPONO

This is a simple enough technique to use in multiple situations and that you can practice by yourself. I have found myself using it many times in a variety of mental, emotional, physical and energetic situations, and it has helped a lot. 

Example on a physical level: I have always had very painful menstrual periods that would mess with my body. A few years into peri-menopause, one morning I woke up feeling like my lower belly was about to explode. And who knows, maybe something did. 
I was lying in bed, unable to do even the minimum tasks necessary to take care of my two dogs, who were blessedly still sleeping. The pain was more intense than I had ever experienced before. Helpless as I was, I laid there curled up in fetal pose, not knowing what to do. I started repeating the Ho’oponopono statement over and over. Within about ten minutes, I began feeling some easing and by and by I was able to fall asleep. I woke up half an hour later feeling more like myself and able to get up and take care of very patient pups. 

I have done the same with a knee and a shoulder, but also with people – and situations of tension and discord between us that needed resolving. Sometimes Ho’oponopono was not enough, but it would at least ease things and begin the healing process.

I know it is widely known in the shamanic/healing circles, but for those who do not know it, the statement to repeat is: 

I am sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.
If English is not your first language, go ahead and translate the statement into yours. It is short and to the point, so it can be easily translated literally. The important thing is that we feel it when we say it. Not always, but usually our own mother tongue is the most powerful for these things.

I have never worked with any practitioner on Ho’oponopono, nor read any specific books about it; I therefore cannot personally recommend any, though I know both are out there. It was just part of my shamanic training and learning while living in Hawai’i. You don’t need to have all that training to practice it. Just breathe, focus on the issue and repeat the phrase. 

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MEDITATION

It helps us to slow down, clear the mind and bring us back to the present moment.

There are many types of meditation. We are not all expected to sit cross-legged on the floor, with our hands on our knees, smiling blissfully and chanting Om. If that suits you, by all means go ahead. That does not work for me at all. And I can’t lie down either, as I fall asleep. Though a nap is always helpful and restorative, it beats the purpose. Find what works for you. 

Here is what works for me:

  • Soft music and visualizing an imaginary place where I feel completely safe and no-one can ever intrude. In my case it’s a lush tropical island with a lagoon, dolphins, a crystal cave and waterfalls with lovely ponds. You can make it a real place you love, or an imaginary one, or even another planet, and you can create it any way you like. Whatever works for you.
  • Guided meditations – which I tend to prefer as they tell me what to visualize and my mind is less likely to wander. I pick whatever one suits me best in the moment, depending what I am trying to accomplish.
  • Solo and quiet walks in nature are for me the most relaxing. Even photo walks with my camera, just getting into the zone and taking photos of what calls to me, observing the light and going with the flow, with no specific purpose in mind, just for the joy of it.
  • Painting; though this is also part of my work/business, it is the part of it that still gets me in the zone. For you it could be paper crafts, knitting, assembling a puzzle, fixing the engine on a car, baking…
  • Dance or free flow movement with soft music.

I have several guided meditations, and there are many out there. Some last just 15 minutes, some are longer, even up to an hour. Recently, my favorite ones are by Joe Dispenza, Daniel Scranton, Denise Linn, but I have several others.

All of the above techniques help me switch off the noise and the outside world and go in the zone, occasionally even to the so called “zero point”. They help me become more present, and quite often, afterwards, the answers or the information I had been looking for comes spontaneously. Sometimes I receive signs, sometimes I just feel lighter and better, the worry dissolves, or at least becomes much smaller.

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ACCESS CONSCIOUSNESS & ACCESS BARS

Developed by Gary Douglas and Dr. Dain Here (a former chiropractor), these are easy and transformative techniques that I have been using every day since discovering them four years ago through my friend Consolata. There are classes and retreats offered, as well as books which are very helpful. But there is also a lot available for free on their website and through their social media. 

DR. JOE DISPENZA

This is not a technique, but a person who has developed a very profound system of transformation which is both spiritual and scientific. From what I have seen and read and heard, his week-long retreats are deeply transformative, and the stories of miraculous transformations and healing (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) are many and well documented. 

I have personally not been able to attend one of Dr. Joe’s  retreats, not due lack of desire, but lack of funds. At this point I do not know that I will ever need to. I have read a few of his books and have downloaded some of his mediations, both of which I have found very helpful.

Dr. Joe also often holds podcasts and interviews which are usually available for free. His website also features an on-line shop with a collection of classes and meditations which are powerful and definitely more accessible. His YouTube channel also holds much information. I really like his work and what he is doing and feel safe in saying: look into it and see if this speaks to you.

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I have found that the Access Consciousness techniques and the Joe Dispenza meditations – as well as the other techniques listed here – have made it easier to support and continue the work done through the energy healing sessions. A lot of stuff gets released and cleared during each session, and the healing does occur. But our post-session attention on ourselves, the self observation and the self-work both support that process and speed things up. Kind of like getting surgery, yes, but then also cleaning the wound and caring for it until it is healed to avoid the issue returning. 

Because some issues/traumas are stubborn; usually because they are old and run very deep, and we are so used to thinking and believing in a certain way. But sometimes they hang on by any thread just because we don’t make a bit more conscious effort. A little goes a long way.

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DREAMWORK

Dreamwork is another tool for self-observation and transformation that is easy to use and that we can practice on our own. It is a very powerful tool, actually. A lot of the healing/release work I do happens in my dreamtime. What we call nightmares are often lighter revisitations of traumatic events from other lives (or even this one) that are brought up for review and release. For as awful as a nightmare can feel, doing that in dreamtime is much more desirable than having the same rehash show up in our daytime life as hard reality. 

Over the years, the nightmares have dissipated as I have cleared the traumas. These days, all that is left of those in my dreamtime are mildly unpleasant scenarios, and they just don’t compare.  

And I can also tell you that my own mother has had horrible nightmares all her life, usually with the same recurring theme and scenario. In recent years she has finally started having less of these. They are also less intense, of shorter duration and easier to dissipate in the morning when she wakes up. Though she has me to guide her, she does not usually do this work consciously. So if she can tackle it in dream time, so can you.

Setting intentions at night before sleep, asking your guides and angels for support, guidance and protection in the dream space: these are all good places to start. Ask for what you are ready to look at or know at this time. They will never give you something you are not ready to handle. 

Keeping a dream journal, writing down all you can remember immediately upon waking from “one of those dreams”: you know, the ones that feel important and interesting; the ones that are not just dreams. I have been doing this for years, and there are dreams that I still remember vividly as if they happened last night, though they occurred 10-20 years ago. 

Those are usually more than dream scenarios crated (by my higher self and my team) to help resolve and release some issue or trauma. Those are actual situations and encounters we have in the so called astral plane. 

I have read several books about dreamwork over the years, but in the end I have found that, though occasionally I run things past Michelle, the best interpreter of my own dreams is me. So trust that the more you practice, the better you will get at it. 

Even books with dream symbols and archetypes… yes they can be a little helpful for a while, and your higher Self and your team (guides, angels, soul family etc.) are there to help you. As they are fine tuned to you, if they know that you use a specific book or deck of cards to help interpret your dreams, they will include symbols and signs in the dream that they know you will look up in said book or cards. It has happened to me many times in the past. That’s generally how the universe works.

I have stopped using those reference books a long time ago, as dreams are often too complex to just see if there is a reference symbol. If the theme is not clear upon waking, the next thing to focus on is “What was I feeling in that scenario? How was I feeling?” and that will help find your answer as to what it was about. And if not, you can always ask for clarification on the following night(s).

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YOGA & GENTLE MOVEMENT

Yoga is a gentle movement that combines breath work and stretching. Each pose is intended to achieve something on all levels. I myself don’t do it as often as I think would be good for me. If I can manage it 2-3 times a week it’s a win. 

Know that the back and the hips is where a lot of the trauma and stuck energies are stored. Moving, stretching, and especially opening the hips, releases a lot, like a chiropractic adjustment does as well.

If you are a beginner, a class at the appropriate level with a teacher to guide you is a good way to go. Yoga, in all its various methods, is now very popular so you should easily be able to find a class that suits you near you.

Dance is also wonderful and I am returning to that as well. Besides, wiggling about to our favorite tunes releases endorphins, and don’t we all love those. 

And of course, there is always that nice walk on the beach we talked about, or a hike in nature. You can always do some swaying dance movements while you walk, too, so the people that see you will think you are cuckoo. Or maybe they will join you.

Clearly, if you are already an athlete, carry on, by all means. As long as you don’t use sports in extreme as band aids and distractions from what is really hurting you inside. I am saying this because I personally know someone who does just that, has been doing it for years, and has resolved nothing of what torments her.

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Daffodil-Hill-Volcano-Amador-County-California-photography-by-Monica-Schwartz

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Once again I think it is time to leave things here for today, as that quite a lot already.
I would like to add a reminder to not to let yourself become overwhelmed by all these tools I am offering. Even though i am listing all of them in a few posts, I have come to them gradually over time in the course of twenty-five plus years. And yes, there is more to come in one, or maybe two more posts.
Start with what calls to you, and grow from there. Remember to be gentle with yourself.

One more thing: it is true that it has taken me such a long time to get to where I am today, and I am still going, as there is always a next level no matter how far we get. If you are deep in the muck, you are probably thinking: “OMD! Is it going to take me that long?”
The answer I can offer to that is: maybe, but probably not. I feel that for those who start on this journey now, things can go much faster, as the energies on the planet support this.
When I, and many others before me, started out, it was more of an uphill battle.
Of course, it will also depend on how big or small your load is. Even so, though there is no cheating, it is really much quicker and easier now.

I cannot repeat this enough: be kind and patient with yourself. You are doing the best you can under the (usually difficult) circumstances. Have for yourself the same compassion and kindness you would have for your best friend. This is something that took me a while to learn, and I have only truly turned the corner on this in recent months. 

Respect your boundaries and honor your needs, whether mental emotional, spiritual or physical. 
Love yourself and your body and accept all of you just as you are. And yes, this all sounds easy and good in theory, like those pretty quotes and memes we see all over social media. But it is true. Think you are going to achieve anything without love? Think again. 

I have had to teach this to myself over and over and over again. I am not 100% there yet, but I am way further along than I was. 

I have learned to watch what I say to myself automatically that is really destructive and critical. I have done well with pretty much every level, except the physical. But when we realize and acknowledge how amazing our body truly is, what it does, and how hard it works to keep us healthy and alive so we can do all that we wish to do… how can we not love it? Or at least love it more. 

I leave you here for now, wrapping you in a blanket of love, blessings and everything bright.

What else is possible? How does it get better than this?

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Previous articles in this series:
Self Care for the Rough Times, Part 1: Tips to Get Over a Panic Attack
Self Care, Part 2: Techniques that Help Heal the Deep Stuff
Self Care, Part 4: Observation, Softening, Integration & Release

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