I’ve said this to my patients. I’ve said this to my clients. I’ve said this to my loved ones. If it helps, then that’s what matters.
What am I talking about? I am talking about the care and services that people seek out when they are not well, struggling with an illness, or managing a chronic condition. The help may come from the mainstream medical field by way of working with a physician or nurse practitioner…it may be a medication, a therapy, a surgery. Or the help may come from outside of the mainstream medical field such as massage therapy, yoga, acupuncture, chiropractic, etcetera. In this message that I convey – I want these people to understand that we as human beings have the right to heal and that the avenues of healing are many. There is no right or wrong way. There is only the way that serves the person best, to be determined by the person who is struggling and the health providers they choose to work with.
I feel strongly that we are interconnected, physical, emotional, energetic, spiritual beings. Those components are not separate, but deeply integrated and tangled to the point where healing cannot take place in one component alone. Therefore, it is fair to say that I believe that healing happens when the these interconnected components are balanced, in harmony, and served equally.
Unfortunately, there seems to be this battle between the mainstream medical field and the complementary/alternative/integrative/functional health fields. I have been a holistic health practitioner for nearly 18 years and I thought that the two sides of the healthcare field were endeavoring to build a bridge. And I am not sure why we’re here. Why this battle seems to be ramping up. So I wanted to explore this notion a bit today. I’m not going too deep, but I’ve got to explore to get this little gnawing sensation out of my brain.
In my opinion, there was never meant to be one or two designations leading the charge for the field of medicine. There are many walks of life, there are many types of medicine. But the American Medical Association does a good job of stamping out any health practice that hasn’t completed the rigors of medical school, residency, and beyond. The AMA’s main mode of action is to call any practice that veers from the medical field quackery. Which is significantly confusing for patients, especially if the quackery in question is THE THING that is helping them feel better!
I get it…there are questionable practices out there. In great numbers. In BOTH the mainstream medical field and the complementary/alternative/integrative/functional health fields. My confusion comes from this lack of a bridge between the two sides. Why haven’t we evolved and adapted? Most of us entered into the health fields because we wanted to help people. So if we really are motivated to improve the health of our communities and actually help people, then we should really stop opposing each other and be willing to learn from each other.
Again, my opinion…The monopoly on healthcare is a failure. Our medical system is horrifically broken. We the People have never been so sick. So in my mind, it’s all hands on deck. And perhaps it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to shift the mindset away from the battle toward a more accepted view that holds space for these two sides of the health field to work in harmony? Would it be so hard to agree that if it helps, then that’s what matters? I really don’t think so. But that’s me.
I sat in a loving-kindness meditation this morning. Also known as metta meditation, loving kindness meditation is a devotional practice that involves sending all beings positive thoughts, warmth, healing energy (I always include a little healing when I’m sending my meditative care packages) and you guessed it – kindness. Since I can’t be with all of my loved ones this holiday, much of my sit was spent thoughtfully and lovingly sending each person, or group, their own meditative care package.
It feels good to practice gratitude and to send kindness out into the world. It was a good sit. I came out of meditation feeling calm and at peace. And the remarkable thing was that those feelings continued to flow even though I walked into my cluttered kitchen and living room. Any anxious feelings that I had when I awoke were gone, and my cluttered home required no reaction. Meditation. It works. It’s a miracle. And it’s free.
If you’d like to learn more about loving kindness meditation, there are a lot of great resources of information available. The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society provides easy to follow loving-kindness practice instructions at ContemplativeMind.org. This non-profit organization is based in Northhampton, Massachusetts. Their mission statement – “The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society transforms higher education by supporting and encouraging the use of contemplative/introspective practices and perspectives to create active learning and research environments that look deeply into experience and meaning for all in service of a more just and compassionate society.”
I’ll definitely be spending some time learning about the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. You just never know what amazing things are happening in your community, especially when you’re manifesting positive intention. I found them by searching for loving-kindness meditation. So thanks Google and Universe!
In closing my dear readers – Please know that I sent you a meditative care package with loads of good things – positive thoughts, healing energy, kindness, love. Thank you for being here. I am grateful for you. May you and yours be happy, be calm, be well, and be free from all suffering.
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving! Much love, many hugs. Namaste ❤
Okay folks…I have fallen off of my routine and meditation has happened, but not consistently. I have meditated for the last couple of mornings and I do note a difference in the volume of noise that circulates my brain. My mental house is still too loud though, so I gotta really tune inward and make meditation a daily priority. Otherwise, anxiety and depression will show up soon. No thank you!
In the coming days, I will be getting ready to start my own 10 Day Meditation Challenge. I’ve decided to use a meditation app to help me center myself and get back on track. I think I could benefit from some guided meditations at this time. Headspace is an app (free to download and free to try!) that provides guided meditations. Headspace helps so many people start and maintain a meditation practice. Check out the video below to see if Headspace intrigues you. If such a challenge interests you, we can do it together! Stay tuned dear readers.
As always, much love and many hugs. Namaste ❤
Toddlers range from just over a year old to the age of three. They are newbies to this whole life thing. They are learning how to communicate, how to walk, how to do just about everything. However, give them just a little time to hone some of these skills and boom! You’ve got a very small child with a strong little mind of their own who wants to explore everything within their reach, and view, and beyond. And by the way — they have absolutely no ability to communicate how they feel as it relates to their explorations or the consequences of their little adventures. They just haven’t gotten there developmentally in the language and self-awareness departments. As a result, toddlers tend to have highly labile moods. They’re prone to meltdowns when they disagree with the grownups who love them, or if they’re tired. And they are sometimes easily overwhelmed by this great big world that they’ve started exploring.
Thankfully, Toddler & Me Yoga is a thing. Because these tiny humans need it! (The grownups who love them do too!) So here are some of the benefits of a yoga practice for the toddler population and the grownups who love them:
- Teaching toddlers yoga poses empowers them to do something fun with their bodies that is rewarding. These kiddos love compliments, stickers, and attention! They thrive on positive energy! Yoga at this age also helps with gross motor development, and helps them learn how to calm themselves.
- Toddlers who feel calm have less incidences of meltdowns and tantrums which is good for the whole family. They may even choose to take a yoga pose if given the choice. (It beats a couple minutes in time-out any day!)
- Grownups who practice yoga benefit from the calming, strengthening, and lengthening effects of the practice. They are also more able to weather the storm that could be a few very long minutes of toddler tantrum.
- Related to number 3, modeling a yoga practice for this developmental age bracket of copy cats instills a notion that self-care is important. And that Downward Facing Dog is super fun and helps them feel better!
- Toddlers & Grownups who practice yoga together have loads of fun during this bonding experience that centers on learning how to move, breathe, and be calm.
- Practicing yoga in general illuminates the concept of union and togetherness. Both of which provide security and support in a challenging environment — aka Life.
- Families that practice yoga together bolster a very good foundation for a calm, mindful, happy, functional life.
So perhaps that’s the takeaway — Toddler & Me Yoga is a thing because it helps the tiniest humans have a good, positive start. And it helps the grownups who love them be present, be calm, and be ready for anything. Because when you got one of these small, determined little individuals running around, you need to be ready for anything and everything!
As always dear readers, hope you had a wonderful day! Much love, many hugs. Namaste ❤