We are currently living through very turbulent times. That may sound like an understatement to some. There is constant breaking news about the latest horrifying event that has come to the attention of the media both right and left leaning. Then there are the untruths, the fake news, the commentary, and comedic takes on what has just happened. We are being barraged with information. Day after day, we are relentlessly pounded with sound wave after sound wave of words, emotions, panic, and rebuttals.
It’s hard to stay balanced and centered when you are in the middle of a storm. It’s very easy to become reactive and ungrounded in any crisis. By reacting without thinking we may feel completely out of control, lash out at others, engage in self-destructive behavior, and spend countless hours worrying that we are powerless. When we feel powerless (read “victimized”), we can often lose motivation and energy to move forward. We are like rudderless ships being tossed in the stormy waves not knowing where to go, floundering endlessly.
How can we regain balance in such emotional upheaval? The first thing to do is to turn off the flood of words. Disengage, at least temporarily or for some part of the day, from the media: TV, Facebook, twitter, social media, and email. Walk outside and take some deep breaths and connect up with the earth. The earth is real – you can smell, touch, walk on, or dig into the earth. Listen to the birds, the breeze in the trees, hear the buzzing of myriad insects. Are there clouds floating by? Is the sun shining? Is it dawn or sunset, day or night?
Just by connecting with the earth, you begin to ground and center into a calmer sense of self. You can increase the grounding effect by taking your shoes off and feeling the grass under your bare feet and toes. Or you can sit with your spine against a tree and close your eyes and sense the energy of the tree’s roots running deep under the surface.
The earth is the source of yin energy. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine yin energy is reflective, internal, deep, solid, and inward directed. Yin energy can counterbalance yang energy which is active, assertive, superficial, hollow, and outward directed. Yang energies are what we receive when we listen to all the words that threaten to engulf us found in the daily barrage of news. By interacting with the earth, you gain perspective and are able to come back to yourself.
Even if you are not able to go outside due to weather conditions or you are stuck in your office, you can look out the window or view a photo of a favorite nature spot. Perhaps you have a plant that needs watering. You can picture in your mind’s eye a lovely picnic spot or favorite beach that you have enjoyed. Spend a few minutes looking at or imagining the view and allow yourself to feel the relaxation that surges through your body.
When you relax by grounding outdoors or in your mind’s eye envisioning a natural landscape, inevitably you will find yourself changing your breathing pattern. Are your breaths becoming longer and deeper? Consciously create even deeper inhalations and longer exhalations, perhaps with a hold at the top of the in-breath and a short hold after the out-breath. We often take shallow quick breaths when we are stressed, thereby robbing our blood and body of the nourishment of oxygen. We know that when the brain gets starved of oxygen, it panics, believing that death or destruction is possible. By giving the brain the oxygen it needs, panic can dissipate, and clear thinking can return.
In my Energy Medicine practice, most of my current clients are exhibiting increased signs of stress due to the turbulence we are living in. Western Medicine general practitioners are also speaking out about the amount of anxiety they are observing in their patients. The simple steps outlined above can have a positive effect on curbing stress levels. In addition, there are many other simple exercises that can help to increase balance and well-being.
One exercise that is easy to do no matter where you are is the Triple Warmer/Spleen Hug. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBnkg5uLr20. In this video, Prune Harris demonstrates, in a calming and bucolic setting, how to do this simple but effective exercise. Donna Eden, popular Energy Medicine pioneer, has taught this method of stress relief to thousands of people across the globe. Essentially this hug helps to re-balance the fight, flight, or freeze reaction of the Triple Warmer meridian to overwhelming stress with the nurturing rest and relaxation response of the Spleen meridian.
In another video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KycV6jXo3k0, Prune Harris shows how to hold the Main Neurovascular Points. We often automatically respond to shocking news by slapping a hand on our forehead as if to say “Oh my God!” This video explains how this instinctive action can help relieve stress and reprogram neurological pathways, providing multiple variations on how to accomplish this.
In this final video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZiVtQ3QGWA, Prune Harris shows how to do another Donna Eden exercise called Bringing Down the Flame. Engaging the Chakras and aspects of the Five Rhythms of Traditional Chinese Medicine, this exercise helps to release anxiety and angst and return the body and emotions to peace and calm.
We can help ourselves regain equilibrium during these challenging times. By doing so, we are able to provide a counterbalance to the overwrought and overwhelming general sense of chaos that surrounds us. By taking the time to feel grounded and centered, we are able to think more clearly and build the reserves of energy that will help propel us forward into more positive action. By giving ourselves simple tools and methods to disconnect from the tumult, we are giving ourselves a chance to refresh and reboot our perspectives, thereby finding more effective ways to ultimately change the world.
© 2017 by Sheila Peters. All rights reserved.
Sheila Peters is a certified Eden Energy Medicine Practitioner, Reiki Practitioner, and wingWave©Coach. She also teaches Stretch/Energy Body Tune-up and Jazz Dance classes and workshops. For more information email Sheila at: firstname.lastname@example.org, call 781-354-0725, or visit Sheila’s website at: www.energymedicineanddance.com.