Meditative Movements: Mind Body Exercise Program

Enough Hands: Simple Self-care Exercises For Busy Moms & Dads

Baby and adult holding hands

Feeling agitated, angry, and frustrated are normal human emotions. Healthy individuals feel difficult emotions when they occur. Their body and mind awareness then enables them to consciously choose how to respond to life's events instead of reacting and most importantly overreacting.

Meet Judy, a young woman who derives her sense of self by being a super powered mom. As she frantically gets dinner ready, the green kitchen walls seem to close in on her. Katie is whining and pulling Cassandra's hair while the newborn infant cries and wants to be held. Looking at her own hands, she wonders how many she needs to properly take care of everyone else. Easy answer. More hands than she's got.

Because her husband arrives home late, they have started eating. As he brushes the smashed, errant cheerios off of his chair, Judy places a hot baked potato on his plate. He casually states, "No potato for me tonight." Her mind explodes. Her mouth follows. With no warning, she unleashes her pent up, charged frustrations. Yelling at him uncontrollably, her tears stain her worn out t-shirt.

What happened? Simply put Judy's inability to release her emotions as she experiences them is the cause of her outburst. When we are unaware of our feelings and thoughts, they actually get stored in our physical bodies. The energy then builds up to the point that it has to come out. Just like a tea kettle. When the pressure inside gets hot enough, the steamy air whistles indicating it's ready. Well, we can get too hot when anger, frustration, and disappointments are kept inside. Unfortunately we don't whistle. We blow up and hurt ourselves and the ones we love.

The solution. Judy needs to start taking care of her own needs. Understandably, it is difficult for a young mother of three to take time for herself on a regular basis. Yet it is crucial for Judy's health and her family's well-being.

Caring for ourselves means nurturing our mind, body, and being. Mental Health America offers ten proven tools for maintaining your mental health. Meditative Movements, a new exercise technique, incorporates three of them. Stay positive, get physically active and take care of your spirit. Healthy living means you are able to cope with everyday stressors and hassles with a calm confidence. By practicing Meditative Movements, Judy became aware of her physical body and her mental/emotional messages. Once she was in touch and aware of herself, she was able to consciously move through her life making healthier choices. Her family was grateful.

Most of us have learned to deny and perhaps even fear our emotions instead of embracing them. If this sounds like you, take the time to learn about yourself and your abilities. You have the capability to let any emotion flow through your mind/body without reacting to it. This is not the same as being unaware of what you're experiencing or burying feelings because they are painful. It is consciously making a decision to refrain from action until the strong emotion passes. The idea is that you will be better equipped to communicate what's going on when the intense emotion passes. If you deny that you're feeling a certain way, you will suffer. Being willing to accept what you are feeling is an important first step.

It's easier to be in tune with our behavior than our emotions because we can see our actions. Then consciously or unconsciously we judge and blame ourselves, someone or something outside ourselves to feel better. We need to start exploring ourselves in loving, nonjudgmental ways. Then our ingrained, self-defeating habits can change.

Releasing your thoughts and feelings while moving your body frees you up. You can begin to accept yourself in the moment. Unfortunately, many people are in the habit of numbing their feelings and thoughts by drinking too much, overeating, smoking and staying eternally busy.

Here are three ways to integrate the "I Choose" Meditative Movements into your busy, daily self-care routine. This movement which was part of our Loving Yourself 21 Day Challenge affirms that you do have the power of choice. You need to exercise it in healthy ways. If you don't have alone time to practice, include your children in the movements. Yes any age can perform them. See how they respond to the affirming exercises.

  1. After getting out of bed, do the movement three times.
  2. As the coffee or tea is brewing, practice the movement.
  3. Before you connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, practice the movement.

As you move throughout your day, take notice of the choices you make. Are you living on automatic and having habitual thoughts run your life?

Recently I took care of my three grandchildren for two days when their parents attended a wedding. Yes it requires a lot of energy to care for them.

It is staggering to think of all the things parents do for their children every day. If you are caring for children, thank you for all you do. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I applaud you for all of the effort and love you give to the child. Know that you are appreciated for loving and caring for them.

It is also important that you realize that you do have the perfect number of hands. Perhaps you need to raise yours and ask for help as you embrace your own self-care routines.

3 Proven Ways to Enhance Your Mental Health: May Mental Health Month

Mental Health America offers ten proven tools for maintaining your mental health. Meditative Movements, a new exercise technique, incorporates three of them. Stay positive, get physically active and take care of your spirit. Healthy living means you are able to cope with everyday stressors and hassles with a calm confidence. By practicing this program, you can learn how to exercise your own personal power in a new way so you can be in control of your own health and well-being.

10 Tools for Mental Health

1. Stay positive by changing any unhealthy self-talk. My life started changing when I became aware of the impact that my thoughts were having on my current life situation. Over time, I came to understand that my repeated, destructive self-talk was causing an overall unhealthy state of being in me. Because I internally repeated, accepted, and identified with toxic thoughts like "I am useless, I am not good enough, and I am a failure", I was essentially destroying myself.

That is why each Meditative Movement uses a positive affirmation as a way to easily change any unhealthy self-talk. The affirmations begin with the word "I" so that you take ownership of the thoughts you think. Based on what you need for that day, a centering or energizing affirmation follows. As a twenty-three-year-old divorced mother of three small children, the "I Can Meditative Movement" helped me get through the day. It was a simple way for me to redirect my negative, harmful thinking.

To be mentally healthy you need to feel all of your emotions including anger, fear and frustration. There are releasing Meditative Movements to give you the inner space to process them. For example, the "I Release Frustration Meditative Movement" allows you to release that energy in a positive way.

2. Get physically active is easy because Meditative Movements can be performed during your normal daily routines or you can practice during a dedicated workout time. Yes there are Office Meditative Movements that you can do in your work area, on your lunch break, and even in between meetings. Physical exercise improves your mood naturally. Your body inherently wants to move. It feels good to exercise, especially when you focus on your own physical needs. To be in optimal health, you need to include cardio, flexibility, balance, and strengthening movements. When you combine the spoken affirmations with the physical exercises, you relieve negativity while building up your own inner emotional and mental wealth. In this way, your body becomes free from stress and your happiness level increases. Your mind and body become more at ease.

3. Take care of your spirit occurs as a normal result of practicing. I define your spirit as the energy that gives you life. At birth, the breath enters a new born baby. This technique connects with that life-giving miracle. After ensuring that your physical movements are safe, you focus your attention on your breath. You inhale and exhale. Once your breathing rhythm has been established, you replace the exhalation with the spoken core value affirmations.

Your spiritual being becomes free. This is the part of you that knows why you are here on this earth. To experience this oneness of your body, mind and being goes beyond words. You are in total alignment with life's perfection. You feel a deep inner peace and calm that brings physical, mental and spiritual health.

After being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Nicole found herself on prescription medications that caused weight gain. "Since integrating Ellie's workout DVD and changing my diet, I have lost a total of 20 pounds (and counting) in a relatively short period of time," says Nicole. "Best of all this technique helps to regulate my mood."

Good mental health is possible when you take time to care for yourself. Since May is Mental Health month, this is an opportune time to assess how you are staying mentally and emotionally healthy. If you need support in staying positive, being physically active or caring for your spirit, Meditative Movements is a great option. It can give you more enjoyment in your life now so you can look forward to a brighter future.

Recovery & Healing from Addiction

Addiction Recovery Road

September is Recovery Month. Minnesota Recovery Connection (MRC) states, "Recovery is a life-long journey. " Can you join MRC vision of a world where recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs is understood, promoted, embraced, and enjoyed and where all who seek it have access to the support, care, and resources they need to achieve long-term recovery?

Let's all say yes. Whatever role you are playing relative to the world of afflicted addiction: the addicted one, parent, sibling, co-worker, friend, child of the addict, you can bring healing to everyone impacted.

May you dedicate this month to expanding your awareness of recovery. Remember, healing starts with yourself. As you explore, ah, ha moments show up so be ready to take more responsibility for your own health and well-being. This healing requires education, practice and patience. As you grow, you can learn how to let go of blame, resentments, anger and fears which are the obstacles to your own happiness and wholeness.

The Twelve Step Programs are an awesome resource to help people recover from alcohol and other addictions. Personally, I was introduced to Al-Anon after my first husband entered a treatment program. As a co-dependent, I learned how to implement the 12 Steps and they were the bedrock for my own recovery.

Since that time I have discovered other healing resources. The book, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, made a big impact on my life. It helped me understand that while hurtful things occurred in my childhood, I could move past them. This was my first introduction to affirmations which I used to help me quit smoking but then started gaining weight. Instead of using food or returning to smoking to avoid my own pain, I combined core value affirmations with physical movements as a way to heal and align my body and mind with my spiritual being.

Meditative Movements is the result. Research shows that any past trauma that is not dealt with still resides within a person's mind and body. Because our unfelt past steals today's happiness, the movements give you the opportunity to release difficult emotions like anxiety and unworthiness. More importantly, you need to learn how you want to be in the world. For example, once you release the anxiety within you, what do you want to experience? Worthiness, safety, and love. By exercising your own personal power in nurturing ways, you can live in harmony instead of struggling and fighting with life.

The "I Am Good Enough Meditative Movement" is one of my favorites. By practicing the movement consistently, I remember the defining moment when my own unworthiness weight was released. Tears flowed freely as my entire body, mind and heart felt connected and aligned to this truth.

In honor of September Recovery Month, we are providing you with three complimentary Meditative Movements that coincide with the first three steps of the 12 Step Program.

Step 1: "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol that our lives had become unmanageable. "

"I Admit Meditative Movement "

For me this step requires utmost honesty. Not only am I powerless over alcohol, I am powerless over people, world events, and just about everything else. When I admit this, somewhere within me I feel hopeful. Finishing this step with the acknowledgement that life itself is unmanageable, I open myself up to the other steps.

Step 2: "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

"I Believe Meditative Movement "

Sanity. I wonder did I ever have it? Since I know that I can't make the sun come up, the flowers grow, the rain fall, I know there is a power greater than myself. Because I was seeing others recover and hearing their stories, I became hopeful that my life could be happy and peaceful too.

Step 3: "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him."

"I Decide Meditative Movement"

The God of my upbringing was petty, angry and eager to find fault with me. He didn't have the qualities that made me feel whole and loved, yet I didn't know where to turn. My first task was to decide that my God was good and did not have a gender. With that I changed the word God to Being. The Being that makes the beautiful flowers grow, the insects, the water, was the life giving source that I entrusted with my life.

As you experience freedom from your addiction, we hope you find Meditative Movements a resource that supports your health and well-being

Affirm Yourself, Move Your Body, Enjoy Your Life

Contact Ellie | 612-710-3415 | Email Ellie | PO Box 580561, Minneapolis MN 55458