SELF CARE: SHINE A BIT BRIGHTER EACH DAY
By Caroline Elliott, BScN, RN, HTPA
Healing Touch California’s 7th Annual Regional Symposium in San Diego on April 20th and 21st was all about “Self Care: Mind, Body & Spirit.” Last year was the first HT CA Symposium I attended, and this year I was on the planning committee. It’s been an amazing journey and learning experience with incredible Healing Touch people. The outcome of the conference was grand.The lunch time breakout session, which provided one Continuing Education credit, was my responsibility. Rich learning occurred as we shared our self care practices with colleagues around the table. We learned from the experts: us! We identified the challenge of “I don’t have time” and “I don’t feel like it,” but also the feeling we “missed out” if we don’t practice some self care daily. We also learned it doesn’t have to be difficult. Schedule self care time in your calendar; make it a priority. We all know the saying, “You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.” Own it! Self care is investing in you, and it makes you shine a bit brighter each day.
The following is what Symposium attendees from the Healing Touch community of California and other states shared about their self care practices during the lunch time breakout session. Self care is as easy as breathing. Take three deep slow breaths: in with Spirit, out with everything that doesn't serve your highest good. Before getting out of bed in the morning, do the Self Chakra Connection; then put your feet are on the floor, and do the Hara Alignment. There is a lot of power felt doing Healing Touch self care techniques. Pray and consciously connect with Spirit. Give thanks. Your bed side table may hold inspirational readings, affirmations, angel cards, your gratitude journal, dream analysis book, and essential oils and aromatherapy to boost your spirit and ground.
Have morning coffee or tea in the garden, walk bare foot (earthing), and actually smell the roses. Admire the beauty your gardening has produced and feel the energy of Mother Nature. As you view the carefully placed garden stones with Sanskrit sayings on them and listen to the chimes blowing in the wind, meditation is upon you. Watching the spider weave its web or the hummingbird at the feeder may be exactly what you need to connect.
Establishing a sacred space in your home is a powerful tool for self care. It may include sage for smudging, crystals, a candle to light, and a quiet place to sit. Go within, and ask a question and write it down with your dominant hand…then journal the answer with your non-dominant hand. Many of us meditate and use guided imagery recordings.
Sound and song are powerful for clearing the chakras. Live music offers palpable vibrations, so go see a concert or chant, use Tibetan bowls, drums, crystal bowls, or the didgeridoo to move energy. Singing has become a lost art, and is a great breath exercise. Sing at the beach, and then with the roar of the ocean make loud sounds to clear your throat chakra. Sing while exercising, laugh while exercising.
Incorporate play into your life. Play with the children, the grandchildren. Did you know jumping rope is grounding? Walk on the beach, walk the dog. Do art work, “soul painting,” jewelry making, stitchery, crafts. Do what gives you joy. Exercise 3-4 times a week…ideally daily. Did you just groan? Get an exercise buddy. Some people actually like going to the gym and working out on those machines, others just need to run. Yoga is popular (Bikram, restorative, mindfulness), as is Qi Gong, Tai Chi and Zumba. Add the restorative element of water, and water aerobics and swimming can become meditative.
Many shared the huge benefits felt when trading or exchanging HT treatments. So also are regularly scheduled treatments with other complementary wellness practitioners, such as massages, acupuncture, reflexology, chiropractor and Reiki. Book a monthly massage. At home, bath time or hot tub time can be an important self care practice. Add essential oils and Epsom salts to the bathtub. Some attendees said they create their own Epsom salt mixture. “We are what we eat,” so pray over your food, give it energy, say grace. Read affirmations during breakfast. Eat a nature-centered diet, be conscious of live foods. Of course, hydrating is essential .
As one of the participants said, it’s all about “developing a lifestyle of healing in all that you do, and all that you are.” If you need an attitude adjustment about this, it was suggested you work with a dying person. And another attendee reminded us, “Self care changes all the time as we change and as we get older.” This is all about being good to YOU… i.e., nurturing yourself. Another person reported, “Being part of this group is nurturing.” I couldn’t agree more.
Here are a few more ideas that came out of the lunch time breakout groups:
- Afternoon “rest” period
- Attending HT conference
- Writing a book
- Walking a labyrinth
- Teaching HTSM in church
- Sharing HT with your community for free
- Donna Eden’s “5 Minute Energy Routine”
- Connecting with loved ones
- Eat/drink whole live enzyme foods from Sunrider International
- Singing in a choir
- Biomat or heat mat with amethyst
- Wellness program at work
- Self Realization Fellowship (SRF) Energy Techniques
- Deepak Chopra’s 21-day meditation challenge (free online)
- Oil pulling: rinsing your mouth with high quality sesame oil to pull bacteria and toxins
- Throwing cards
- Playing the piano (it stimulates old muscle memory)
- Kathleen (Kay) Adams: The Center for Journaling Therapy
- “The Untethered Soul: The Journey beyond Yourself” by Michael Singer
- “Esoteric Healing” by Alice Bailey
- “Chakra Suite” CD by Steven Halpern
- Looking through your journal for words to refocus you and for beautiful mantras for your life