The Holidays are here! And so the gatherings and social engagements. Whether you have a Martha Stuart or a Grinch approach to the Holidays (or anything in between), this season can take over our calendars, our routines, our finances and our communication. As we are running around wrapping the end of the year at our jobs, schools, finalizing reports and looking into inflexible deadlines while holding into the busiest social time of the year, it can feel like holding with one arm into a door of the Polar Express train- WILD and unpredictable; also our families and friends require more of our attention. We worry about gifts, lists, fixing and rearranging the house, family unresolved issues/stories, dreaded encounters with “that person”, travels, the unexpected cold or flu visiting, keeping up with all the media demonstrations of cuteness of our people and all the other events popping up as you read this, that we want to show up for(half the time, at least), etc.… All these things to-do brings a lot of mind talk, we start being guided by our planning and thinking areas of the brain, more and more through the day so we get in a fight or flight state. Meaning we are less able to listen, be present, be engaged fully with those around us and be heart driven. Yes, you are not alone experiencing the more frequent confrontations and misunderstandings at home. When we fall into a stressful state we experience changes in our body chemistry, things start getting less clear and more foggy. Often we find ourselves falling more into higher doses of caffeine, sugary foods, alcohol, t.v. watching, comfort food, medications, social media time and anything else that give us a “break” and amplify the numbing. Instead we get exactly what we are trying to avoid…more disconnection.
Is easy to only focus in the pain we are able to feel or perceive when in stress and miss the pain across the other person's eyes(if we are even taking time for the eye-to-eye); when we feel hurt or wounded we close our hearts and a communication line is closed outside but also inside our body. Not only is it harder to see and communicate; it is also hard to see the love we are seeking and the love that is already present in our lives. This impairment in our communication has the biggest effect on the communication within ourselves. We become so busy from the outside that we can no longer hear our subtle cues, inner rhythms and heart. We blocked, hold tension and disconnect parts in our bodies without noticing. And we crave even more external comfort!!! It is a cycle that requires close attention and intention. Our nervous system is so overwhelmed that it can’t process the information effectively, release tension and make healthy choices. If you are familiar with the effects of a less than optimal function of your communication system then you are aware of the detrimental effects and how it manifests in our physiology and our lives. Under this stress physiology we experience more dependency on external comforts. There is an increased need of instant gratification, more irritability, insomnia, anxiousness, inadequacy feeling, disengagement, stomach problems, blaming others or situations, skin disorders, low immunity, high muscle tension, high blood pressure, headaches and the list keeps going. If we can’t hear and feel our subtle cues and rhythms, how well can we hear others around??? So how do we get more connected with ourselves and those around us? Here are a few suggestions:
1.) Awareness- each day take time to slow down your mind and allow yourself a pause before an action or words come out of your mouth. Ask yourself, is this coming out with kindness? Am I being driven by an agenda or a picture in my mind of how things need to be? Am I honoring the other person’s imperfections and gifts alike? Are there needs of sleep, hunger, exhaustion or over-stimulation that are guiding my behavior or the person I am talking to? How can I give them the most grace or compassion in this moment? Do I need to ask for some reflection time before engaging in an argument? How can I support them to be the best version of themselves without throwing my expectations of an ideal I made up? All of this we must apply in how we talk to ourselves as well. Our cells do “listen”.
2.) Schedule a time for you- this is different for each person, find what fills your cup and honor this time as sacred. (*Hint: this is often different than the needs of your significant other or family). Time to nurture yourself is not a luxury, but a healthy practice. Maybe getting together with a friend, going to a yoga class, a walk in nature, a massage, journaling, keeping your chiropractic or acupuncture session, sitting down by yourself and drinking a cup of your favorite beverage mindfully or eating a nourishing meal slowly, listening to your favorite music, finding a class or a group to join in a hobby, do something adventurous that reminds you of your wilderness; whatever it is make it as important as you would an important meeting with someone else. Remember to reciprocate and honor the needs (that are often different than yours) of those around you.
3.) Indulge in knowing yourself: Through Movement, Breath, Focus/Presence, Touch. We can fool ourselves through thinking, but there is an innate truth to tapping into our bodies and being present. Breathing, meditation practices and experiences that involve moving our body consciously helps us connect to our bodies, bringing the necessary integration of wisdom. At Waves Chiropractic we combine Somato-respiratory integration exercises with Network Spinal care to potentiate transformation in your nervous system/spine and help you create a sustainable and congruent experience unique to you.
4.) Align yourself and family to the intention of the season and to the family values you treasure and want to see grow for future generations. Find traditions that bring strength to what is congruent with your family, and let go of those that bring more stress than joy to your heart. Also be mindful, if you have a partner, each of you will have different traditions and a clear conversation must happen to honor both families heritages.
5.) Practice gratitude, not only for presents but for presence. No matter your circumstances, there is always more to be grateful for, stay open to be thanked and be thankful. Give with the same intensity you are willing to receive. Presence, a heart-felt letter or kind actions can be the greatest way to gift.
Let’s make the memories of the Holidays be about that feeling/experience rather than the material gain of it. Connection, communication and shared love are in season and available to all of us if we let our hearts be Open.
P.S. If you want the gift a more efficient nervous system through Network Spinal care this year for yourself and those you love, send us message and let’s work together! Dare to experience the difference of a healthy spine today.
Love, Joy & Peace,