Savoring the Moments of Joy and Wonder

As we hurry during this season of holidays, gatherings, and family commitments, it is easy to get caught up in an endless bustle of expectations to fill – people to please; gifts, meals, and visits to make. We stop living in the moment and truly experiencing what we are doing or feeling. I’ve been making it a practice to spend some part of each day this season to relish what is right in front of me and fully immerse myself in that moment. It might be a short blip or a longer period of time but I want to savor that moment and embed its meaning into my heart.

I am sharing a few of these experiences with you in the hopes of encouraging you to also find daily ways to bring meaning into your heart during the holiday season.

Ladybugs

Yesterday I spent 30 minutes looking at the ladybugs that appear on my windows when the sun is just right. In the winter, there are only a few. Yesterday my 2 ½ year old grandson was with me. This was the first time he had examined these harbingers of good luck. We watched them crawl along; move towards and away from each other; and then hide in the sides of the window frame. They love finding warm cozy spaces to hibernate over the winter. My grandson and I had a joyous half an hour focusing on these spotted red bugs. We coaxed a few to come crawl on our bare feet and rejoiced when they spread their wings and flew onto our legs or arms. We admired their unique spots, each different but still entrancing. By the end of this shared interlude, “lady bug” had become a favorite word for my grandson.

Birch Stand

I love walking outside in the colder weather. Over the years I have collected the perfect combination of pants, sweaters, jackets, headbands, and gloves so I can stay warm enough. I love seeing the bare branches of the trees as much as I love the seasonal changes of the leaves. What gives me a sense of wonder during winter forest walks is being able to clearly observe the structure of the trunks and branches of the trees.

My particular favorite is a stand of birches. They are so sturdy looking, but also flexible and able to flow with the shifting winds. Their bark shimmers in the sunlight in places, yet holds sections of darker shadows so that the trunk surfaces appear deeply textured. I notice how they group together and I imagine their intermingled roots communicating underground. Then I envision all that is surrounding the roots – the mycelium that spreads out even farther than the birch roots, connecting up disparate parts of the forest to each other. It makes me reflect on the networks that abound throughout nature. I remember that I am part of that networking of nature and also in my human relationships.

Eyes

Gazing into the eyes of a new born, I am prone to becoming hypnotized. I remember that my own newly born children seemed to be emanating such wisdom when they stared at my own eyes or just beyond the edge of my face. What were they thinking? They seemed unshielded, allowing me to truly see who they were. They had yet to learn to hide part of themselves and I was given an honest and deep glimpse into their souls.

Nowadays we are wearing masks and can’t see half of our faces when we meet out in public. The eyes must take the place of our facial expressions in order to communicate basic emotional responses. Because of this, are we learning to disarm the barriers we have erected? So that we can communicate more clearly with our eyes? Are we being forced to really look into the eyes of others in a way that we have habitually not as we became socialized? I’m enjoying observing the eyes of others more deeply these days. They have so much to say.

The Fleece

As I put on my claret-colored fleece and zip it up, I instantly feel warm and comforted. I appreciate this article of clothing for its beauty, durability, and symbolism. I have no other clothing quite the color of it, so it feels unique. I bought it many years ago when it felt like an extremely extravagant purchase. I was in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho on a hiking trip with my best friend. I saw it in a small coffee shop with a sideline of hiking apparel and instantly wanted it. But I didn’t think I could spare the money nor did I think I deserved it. I was a single mom with little extra cash and the hiking trip was already a stretch for my budget.

How dare I buy this beautiful fleece for myself? My friend, who understand my predicament and knew how hard it was for me to do so, urged me, in the most loving way, to consider making this a gift for myself. Thankfully I was convinced and this fleece has accompanied me on many other adventures through the years. There is still a moment when I remember the loving kindness from my friend, each time I slip it on.

Wishing you the very best holiday season!

Sheila Peters helps clients and students regain their natural flow of energy and increase wellness through techniques from Traditional Chinese Medicine, shamanic practices, reiki, Jin Shin Jyutsu, intuition/channeling and movement. For more information, email Sheila at: sheilapetersdance@gmail.com, call 781-354-0725, or visit Sheila’s website at: www.energymedicineanddance.com.

© 2021 by Sheila Peters. All rights reserved.

Networking at the Physical Level

We all understand what a social network is–an  interlacing of the people and groups we personally know. Through active or passive outreach to other people and groups, we can extend our network. Eventually through this web of interlacing, we can be in touch with someone from another culture or country that we’ve never even dreamed of visiting. And yet, somehow, we have created a connection with this new person, and they have become part of our larger worldwide network.

In the same way, our bodies network. One part of our physical body doesn’t need to reside directly next to another part to have a relationship. Although the lungs don’t sit next to the brain, through breath they obviously relate. The brain needs oxygen which the lungs supply and conversely the lungs won’t work if the brain doesn’t function. Therefore the functions of the lungs and the brain are interlaced, and they are networking.

We have a better understanding of the web that the flow of blood creates as it moves through the body. If we cut ourselves anywhere, blood will begin to seep through the cut. So it seems clear that the circulation of blood is system wide, and we understand that blood communicates with all parts of the body.

But do we fully comprehend that the rest of the body is constantly interacting, constantly networking, constantly communicating at every level: organs, bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, fluids, nerves, other connective tissues, and the outer covering that binds it all together – the skin?

Most of the time, we are not conscious of the communications that are taking place within our physical vehicle. Perhaps in a yoga or stretch class we suddenly are aware of blood flow or that a muscle has released some stiffness or blockage. Or we stub a toe and the nerves send us a clear and conscious message that pain is present. That message reverberates up the leg. However, the millions of messages that occur within our bodies are not consciously felt nor recognized. In fact, the body is in a constant state of riotous networking, picking up minute and sometimes lifesaving information, as our conscious life goes blithely on.

Our conscious thoughts and emotions also have an effect on the physical functioning of our bodies. We have all experienced pain in our hearts when someone we love has passed. Or the pounding of the blood in our heads when we are outraged or angered. Or the need to curve over and hold our stomachs when something shocking and sad has occurred. Our emotions and thoughts are networking directly with the rest of our bodies. Whether we are conscious of it or not, each part of our body, down to the cells, hears the message of pain, shock, sorrow, or anger.

Of course, messages of joy, love, happiness, and excitement also communicate throughout the body as well. At those times we feel expansive, glowing, energized, a sense of vitality.

Dr. Bruce Lipton, a renowned cell biologist, has discovered through his extensive research that our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions can have a profound effect on the functioning of each of our individual cells. Over the years, Dr. Lipton’s research has enhanced the field of Epigenetics. How we think about ourselves influences the environment in which cells evolve, grow, die, or thrive. According to Dr. Lipton’s theories, we are constantly networking with our bodies through conscious or subconscious thoughts and feelings.

If we are feeling badly about ourselves, for example, we are creating a different milieu for our bodies than if we are feeling positively about ourselves. Self talk, whether critical or encouraging, has a direct impact on how we function throughout our bodies. If we tell ourselves that we are stupid, that same message passes through the physical network and changes the environment that the cells are operating in. If the communication that we are stupid becomes chronic, then the habitual growth pattern of the cells will be effected by this message. Our self talk directly networks through the cells with every part of the body: organs, bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, fluids, nerves, other connective tissues, and the skin.

We can affect specific parts of our bodies, in the same way, when we talk critically about that area. For example, many women are displeased with the size of their hips and verbally chastise themselves. Each time they look in the mirror, they send negative thoughts, emotions, and words to that part of the body. When I have asked these same women to do a body outline scan in classes, they are unable to feel the area around their hips in the same way that they can feel other areas. They have become numb through constant self-criticism. It is almost as if the cells that make up the hip area have become deadened through this barrage of self-hate. Because the body is a mesh of interlacing networks, the numbness in the hips is going to affect other parts of the web.

All of us occasionally speak disparagingly of ourselves. Often we may recognize a phrase that we hear others regularly repeat about themselves. For some of us, this negative self-talk can become an entrenched habit of speech. Consciously or subconsciously, this repetition creates the environment in which our bodies perform their functions. The interlacing becomes polluted with self-denigration. The atmosphere becomes tainted and the cellular network takes on a dourness that imbues all of its cellular participants.

This is why I urge students and clients to tackle the habit of negative self-talk. Our bodies, our very cells, are listening to what we are saying, thinking, and feeling about ourselves. Of course, we can and should observe things we might wish to change or improve (e.g., behavior or habits), but we do not have to constantly berate ourselves and put ourselves down. It is abundantly clear that a child hearing relentless disapproval and condemnation eventually internalizes the message and begins to act accordingly. The same action-reaction happens to us as adults if we unremittingly reprimand ourselves.

It may help to visualize a large red stop sign whenever you catch yourself beginning to insult or harangue yourself. Or perhaps the thought of a warm hug can restore your composure. Or remembering the latest accomplishment or time you felt positively about yourself. No part of your body benefits from constant negative self-talk. The point is to restore peace in the network thereby allowing a return to harmonious communication and healthful interaction.

 

 

 

Sheila Peters is a certified Eden Energy Medicine Practitioner, Reiki Practitioner, and wingWave©Coach. She also teaches classes and workshops in Stretch/Energy Body Tune-up and Jazz Dance. For more information, email Sheila at: sheilapetersdance@gmail.com, call 781-354-0725, or visit Sheila’s website at: www.energymedicineanddance.com.

 

© 2017 by Sheila Peters. All rights reserved.