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Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

Yoga for the Blues

In a relatively recent post, I wrote about the signs and symptoms of two common depression diagnoses.  So now I’d like to approach the treatment of depression from a yoga and mental health perspective.  In Ayurveda (the sister science of yoga), we would most likely describe depression symptoms as excess kapha, the energy of earth and water that gets stuck and stagnant when out of balance.  Depending on the situation, I could also foresee a depressed individual being someone with an imbalance in another dosha (DOE-shuh) or sub-dosha, but whose primary guna (GOO-nuh) is tamasic (tah-MAH-sick):  slow, lethargic, inactive, stagnant, heavy, and dark.  I know, I know, I’m throwing a lot of Sanskrit words at you today, but stay with me  ;-)   Think about that last one for a bit…  Slow, lethargic, inactive, stagnant, heavy, and dark.  If you or anyone you love has ever been depressed, I’m sure those words ring true for you.

Ayurveda is a complex and detailed approach to health and wellness.  As such, it is far too intricate for me to go into detail here (naturally, if you’d like to learn more about your dosha, or constitution, contact me to schedule your Professional Yoga TherapyTM evaluation today).  I will say that the Ayurvedic yoga approach to depression, or any mental health imbalance, is one that is very individualized.  It is worlds apart from the “take two pills and call me in the morning” approach to health that Western medicine often takes.  That said, a variety of Western research studies have shown that yoga-based interventions are effective in reducing depressive symptoms (Wolf, 2000; Lavey, et al., 2005; Zerka Yoo, 2008).  I enjoy reading yoga therapy research, as I’m hopeful that this adds credibility to yoga therapy and reduces some of the “airy fairy” concerns that people have about using yoga in the health and mental health care fields.  Credibility is also one reason I like referring to the Sanskrit terms behind these concepts.  This isn’t a bunch of gibberish I just made up (I swear!), but a systematic and individualized approach to wellness that’s been around far longer than our current medical systems.  Consequently, taking an Ayurvedic yoga approach to address depressive symptoms could look something like this:

  1. Energetic and cleansing breathwork – In yoga, we call breathwork “pranayama” (prahn-uh-YAHM).  For a depressed individual, I would recommend breathing strategies that energize, cleanse, or even bring balance to a person’s energy (again, depending on a variety of specific factors).  These could include Victorious Breath (aka “Ujjayi”, oo-JAI-ee), Sun Breath, and Alternate Nostril Breathing.  There is also the use of Bee Breath (a sighing exhalation) for the clearing out of physical and emotional pain brought on by depression.
  2. Mudra (MOO-drah) – These are hand positions intended to focus or channel the flow of energy within the body.  Abhaya (ahb-HA-ya) Mudra builds inner strength and create a protective barrier against negative energy.  Jnana (ny-AH-nah) Mudra reminds us of our unity with all things (depression can make you feel alone and isolated, after all) and helps to focus the mind.  This is great for addressing the lack of concentration that is often present with depression.  Two more favorite mudras for depression include Pushpaputa Mudra, used to recognize the abundance that awaits us, and Rudra (ROO-druh) Mudra, which decreases heaviness and lethargy, increasing energy flow to the entire body.
  3. Asana (AH-suhn) – This is the Sanskrit term for yoga’s physical postures.  To address depressive symptoms, I would focus my client on utilizing the energizing and balancing poses.  Again, specific recommendations must always take into consideration the severity and type of symptoms present, as well as the client’s physical abilities.  There are a wide range of energizing and balancing poses that can be used here.  These include everything from gentle, supported backbends on the floor to powerful standing poses and challenging one-legged balance poses.  Even if yoga isn’t quite your style, Zerka Yoo (2008) found that both hapkido and yoga were effective in reducing depressive symptoms.  So increasing your physical activity in general could be helpful.
    Walk around the house/yard and slowly graduate to walking to the corner and back, if you’re thinking a whole exercise plan is too much.

As I said in my last post on this topic:  Please consult with a qualified mental health professional, if you think you or a loved one are experiencing depressive symptoms.  You can also take this online Depression Screening Test to help you determine whether your feelings & behaviors match up with depressive symptoms.  Psych Central hosts this screening test and has an amazing collection of resources on the depression and its treatment.  If you do seek out yoga and Ayurveda to help treat what you think are depressive symptoms, please choose your practitioner wisely.  Professional Yoga Therapists are the most highly qualified yoga practitioners trained in the use of medical, research-based yoga therapy to treat health and mental health diagnoses within their specialties.  To find an Ayurvedic medical practitioner near you, visit the National Ayurvedic Medical Association or the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine.

As always, thanks for reading and take good care of your Self!
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References

Lavey, R.; Sherman, T., Mueser, K.T.; Osborne, D.D.; Currier, M., and Wolfe, R. (2005). The effects of yoga on mood in psychiatric inpatients. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 28, 399–402.

Wolf, D.B. (2000).  Effects of the hare krsna maha mantra on stress, depression, and the three gunas.  Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 60(7-B), 3584.

Zerka Yoo, Christine (2008).  Hapkido vs. yoga: Analysis of choice, persistence and psychological benefits.  Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 68(12-B), 8441.

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Exploring the Inner Darkness

I have found myself having a lot of conversations about depression lately.  From clients to friends to colleagues, sadness and disappointment have many people in their grasp these days.  I imagine that local, national, and global events are major contributing factors.  Whether you call recent U.S. economic challenges the Great Recession or the 2nd Great Depression (hmmm, there’s that word again), unemployment & stagnant wages & cuts to services to our most vulnerable are crippling the nation.  Then there’s the Haiti earthquake, the BP Oil Spill, the Japan earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis, and the various wars the U.S. is participating in.  Lots of reasons to be bummed, especially if you watch mainstream news on a regular basis.

Sadness is a normal human emotion and while it may not be pleasant to feel, it is an essential part of our experience.  I think it is important to be sad about the above laundry list of alarming events…  Sadness — like all our other emotions — can be a messenger, if we let it.  Sadness alerts us that something important, significant, meaningful is happening.  Whether sad at the end of a fun experience or about living far from family or about the loss of a job or loved one, sadness is part of our collective story.  In addition, one cannot be happy all the time.  In fact, we call it mania when someone’s mood is excessively positive for too long.  Think about the cycles of nature…  There is birth, growth, death.  Plants require both sunshine and rain to grow, so how can we expect only sunshine in our own lives?  As the book of Ecclesiastes notes, “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.”

While personal challenges and socio-political factors have a huge impact on a person’s mood, there is a significant difference between general sadness and clinical depression.  True clinical depression is deeply painful (both emotionally & physically) and makes it difficult for a person to function normally.  The disorder takes over a person’s thoughts, turning them almost exclusively to the negative (or at least making it really hard to think anything positive).  There is huge body of research on what is happening in the brain on a neurochemical level in a depressed person, but that’s beyond my purpose here in this article.  I’ll focus instead of the different types of depression, their symptoms, and some resources for more information. 

There are different types of depression, but when most people use the word they are probably referring to Major Depressive Disorder.  From the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder include:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feeling sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful).  Children and adolescents may present with irritable mood.
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite.
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
  • Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide

As you read through this list, you may have found yourself thinking, “I’ve felt that way before!”  It’s true, many of us have had these signs or symptoms at one point or another for a short time.  It is important to note that a person with true major depression will have at least five of these symptoms and experience them nearly every day for at least two weeks.   In addition, the above symptoms must be significantly impairing a person’s daily functioning.  This means that the person’s behaviors are causing them to have significant difficulties at work (e.g., can’t complete important tasks), school (e.g., sudden drop in grades), or in personal relationships (e.g., emotional withdrawal from or frequent arguments with one’s partner).

Another form of depression is called Dysthymic Disorder (from Greek, quite literally “bad mood”).  This is more of a low-grade depression that lasts for an extended period of time.  Two or more of the following symptoms must be present for at least two years in adults and one year in children (with no more than two months being symptom-free).

  • Poor appetite or overeating
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Low energy or fatigue
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor concentration or difficulty making decisions
  • Feelings of hopelessness

Due to the training & experience required to properly diagnose a depressive disorder, I encourage you to refrain from diagnosing yourself based on the information presented here.  If you suspect that you or a loved one are experiencing depressive symptoms, please consult with a qualified mental health professional.  You can also take this online Depression Screening Test to help you determine whether your feelings & behaviors match up with depressive symptoms.  Psych Central hosts this screening test and has an amazing collection of resources on depression and its treatment.

In my next post, I’ll be exploring various treatments for depression, with an emphasis on how mindfulness, meditation, and movement can be used in depression recovery.  Be well and stay tuned!

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Back to Basics

I was reminded recently of the importance of stepping back and doing a little self-reflection.  Having reaped many physical and emotional benefits from the practice of yoga, I was feeling stuck in regard to one particular challenge I’ve experienced for years:  chronic tension/pain in my right shoulder.  Fluctuating from mildly bothersome to headache-inducing, this shoulder pain situation has  frustrated me for probably the past decade.  In one of my early yoga therapy courses, I was excited to learn about various ways we can use a combination of movement and stillness to help the body heal itself.  Armed with my enthusiasm for studying anatomy and biomechanics, I started trying to figure out ways to make my shoulder feel better.  Over the next few years, I found that proper posture was generally helpful to my entire upper body and I started trying all kinds of different stretches to release the tension in the complex network of muscles inside the shoulder joint.  I would find relief anywhere from a few hours to a few days, but it would never leave completely.  I was in so much pain at one point a little over a year ago,  that one of my physical therapist friends gave me an excruciating massage to help liberate the bad juju hiding under my shoulder blade.  I won’t lie, there were tears!  Despite attempts to keep my shoulder at ease, the pain still came back.  Stress made it worse and the pain led to more stress, so it was a vicious downward cycle. 

At any rate, I really was perplexed as to why whatever I was doing was NOT working.  Over the holidays, I took a complete vacation from my asana practice.   This wasn’t specifically because of the shoulder, but because I’d had a pretty stressful year and figured that some complete relaxation was in order.  Between resting, meditating, and occasionally using the back of a chair to massage under my shoulder blade, my right shoulder started to feel better.  Then I returned to regular life and wouldn’t you know it…  There was my old friend the shoulder pain :)  So I decided to take a restorative yoga class at a local studio as a means of re-starting my asana practice.  It was wonderful and gentle and got me thinking that maybe what was unhelpful about all the stuff I had tried before was the way I had approached my yoga.  I have a rather driven personality and enjoy being active.  Being still isn’t easy for me!  But that’s why I’ve loved yoga…  I can move, move, move, and then enjoy the peaceful inner and outer stillness that comes from that.

My experience in that restorative class prompted me to get back to basics.  I figured if what I had been doing wasn’t working, I needed to start over again.  I needed to stop pushing myself so hard and getting frustrated over my own limitations.  In other words, I needed to take the recommendations I regularly give my clients and apply them to myself.  That whole thing about walking your talk isn’t always easy!  So I pulled out my yoga therapy books and created a basic series that addresses shoulder pain.  Then I actually practiced it.  And let me tell you…  My shoulder has never felt better!  For two weeks now, I’ve been focusing on a few specific movements for shoulder issues, focusing on strengthening & lengthening the right combo of muscles to create a healthier me.  I notice how my right shoulder is very reactive to stress; it tries to jump into my ear at the slightest hint of stress!  But what’s different now is that I can breathe and move and keep the tight ball of badness from coming back.

If you’re feeling stuck, take a step back.  Do a little self-inventory and see what you find.  What are you doing that isn’t working or isn’t helpful?  What are you doing that is helpful?  How can you decrease the unhelpful and increase the helpful?  Find your way back to your Self and let that put you back on your best path.  As one of my favorite authors, Dr. Clarissa P. Estes writes in her book Women Who Run With the Wolves, ‎”If you feel you have lost your mission, your oomph, if you feel confused, slightly off, then look for … the ambusher of the soul in your own psyche.”  Mine was an imbalanced approach to my life and yoga practice.  What’s yours?

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Body Meets Soul, Part Four

This week, we continue with the Body Meets Soul series.  This is an ongoing discussion about the koshas, or different layers of human experience.  So far, I’ve written about the physical body, energetic body, and emotional body as unique aspects of our awareness.  This week, I’ll turn to the intellectual body.

Vijnyanamayakosha

Pronounced vig-nee-AWN-uh-mai-uh-KOH-shuh, this layer of human experience is governed by the intellect or wisdom.  This is not to be confused with knowledge, ego, or cleverness.  This layer is concerned with intelligence, conscience, and wisdom.  This kind of intelligence is that of wise discernment, not an inflated sense of self-importance.  The goal of wisdom is to unify our individual consciousness with our cosmic consciousness.  When first learning about these concepts of individual and cosmic consciousness, it was described to me as the difference between the small “s” self and the big “S” Self.  You might think about it this way…  There is a you that, when left to its own devices, may do whatever it takes to uphold the status quo, maintain inertia, make decisions that benefit only you.  We might call this the ego or the small “s” self.  Then there is the You that is your Higher Self, the one that perhaps believes in compassion, loving-kindness, and caring for the world around you.  These aspects of the self can often be found arguing with another…  Do I do what my ego wants to do right now  (“Food, drink, sex, pleasure, distraction… NOW!”)?  Or do I follow the path to which my Soul is calling me (faith, patience, perseverance, stillness, quiet)?  Remember that food, drink, sex, pleasure, and distraction are not problematic in and of themselves and can indeed be full of soul…   And that is the key question:  How can you make this next action one that connects you to your Soul?

In her book The Places That Scare You, Pema Chödrön writes, “It’s hard to know whether to laugh or to cry at the human predicament.  Here we are with so much wisdom and tenderness, and – without even knowing it – we cover it over to protect ourselves from insecurity.  Although we have the potential to experience the freedom of a butterfly, we mysteriously prefer the small and fearful cocoon of ego.”  Insecurity and fear are emotions that can prevent us from connecting to our inner wisdom, our God-consciousness.  We experience these emotions and tense up, gripping, grasping, holding on for dear life.  Yet when we are able to soften our outer defenses, turn our attention inward, our wisdom can point us to our truth.  Try this as an example…  Tighten up your fists, really squeeze, feel the discomfort and watch your knuckles whiten.  Nothing can flow through when your hands are clenched this way.  Now open your hands, allow the discomfort to pass, feel the softness of hands willing to accept whatever they find.  Here we connect to the flow of life force and energy that is always moving around and through us.

My earlier statement that intellect and wisdom should not be confused with knowledge is not to say that knowledge is a bad thing.  In fact, self study and spiritual study are great ways to exercise our wisdom.  It is just that our educational achievements can puff up the ego, getting in the way of truth.  You are not your education.  You are not your job or career or lack thereof.  You are not the clothes you wear or the car you drive or the stuff you collect.  I know…  Our society says that you are and measures your worth based on these things.  But when you connect to your Higher Self, you know better than all that.  You know that health, family, and friends are all far more important than how many square feet your house is.  And if these first three are hard to come by in your life, then contentment in the struggle is something to strive for.  Radical acceptance of the present moment.  Seeking wisdom may involve asking yourself, “What is this moment trying to teach me right now?” particularly if the moment is something you want to run from.  Another question is, “How can I share what I have learned with others?”  This kind of sharing may be in a formal classroom or it may be in the simple act of a smile or hug or laugh or nod of understanding.  When connecting to your wisdom and sharing this with others, what you do does not matter as much as how you do it…  Approach the next moment, person, place, thing with loving-kindness and see what your own wisdom has to teach you today.  Have a wisdom-filled week, my friends!

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The Mindful Way to Fidget

Do you ever notice yourself mindlessly fidgeting with things during the day?  Maybe twirling your hair, running a finger along an object, tapping a pencil?  These are perfect opportunities to add some mindfulness to your day.  Here’s how to take advantage of the random fidgeting:

1)  First, notice that you are fidgeting with something.  Simply note this without judgment (if judgment arises, “Sheesh, there I go again…” work on releasing that thought)
2)  Exhale fully and inhale deeply, noticing the thoughts, feelings, and sensations accompanying your behavior and current situation
3)  Continue the whatever movement you just noticed yourself engaging in, but with your full attention and awareness.  If you are running your thumb on a shirt button, for example, describe to yourself everything you can notice about the button.  Is it hot or cold?  Does it have a texture?  Are there threads running through it? 
4)  Enjoy your now mindful moment!

Of course, this exercise is not beneficial in all situations.  I might not recommend this in the middle of an important meeting or while driving on the highway, as your attention will be on your pencil/button/necklace and not on the tasks at hand.  However, if you find a moment where it makes sense to practice this, feel free!  Thanks for reading and be well!

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How Self-Reflection Improves Your Well-Being, Part 1

I’m not talking about the kind of self-reflection you see in the mirror every morning ;)     Self-reflection is really just about taking the time to reflect on you…  your actions, your thoughts, your feelings, your experiences.  Our minds are always working as we sort through all the things we experience each day.  We tend to focus most on our interactions with others; thinking, feeling, and doing in reaction to something someone else has said or done.  It is equally, if not more, important to spend time reflecting on our interactions with our Self.  Here is my first entry in a three-part series on why self-reflecting is good for the soul and how to achieve the most from whatever self-reflective practice you choose.

Why Reflect?
I like to think of self-reflection as an exercise in “taking inventory” on oneself.   If we don’t examine our own thoughts, feelings, motivations, and subsequent actions, how do we really know what’s true and what isn’t?  We encounter so many people, events, tasks, noises, demands, and stuff in every moment that if we are not careful, we start to think we are defined by all that extraneous “junk”.  Reflecting on these things helps us to:

1)  Remember who we really are
2) Figure out our priorities
3) Determine next steps to take or actions to stop taking
4) Identify our feelings to figure out which ones have important information for us and which are just reactions to old baggage
5)  Sort through our thoughts to determine which ones are helpful to our greater purpose and which ones aren’t
6)  Clear our minds for another day full of “stuff”

These six benefits of self-reflection are important to us in that they allow us to re-connect  to our deepest sense of well-being.  We can be reminded that we are not defined by the stressors and obligations and worries and overwhelming tasks that fill our days.  I’m not saying it’s easy to remember our bright shiny undamaged soul in the midst of a stress storm, but self-reflection can make it a little easier on you the next time a storm like that hits.

Stay tuned next week for strategies for self-reflection, in Part 2 of this series.  Thanks for reading and, as always, be well!

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Emotional Balance

For this week’s blog entry, I invite you to view my guest post on yoga and emotional balance at the Breathing in This Life blog by Ginger Garner.   She is the founder of Professional Yoga Therapy™, which is the oldest program for medical yoga therapy in the U.S. and the program with which I’m studying.  Enjoy!!

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Mantras for Mental Health

Mantras are a wonderful way to keep your mind focused on your goals, whether they be short-term or long-term in nature.  They can take the form of a sound, word, or phrase.   They can be repeated to yourself as thoughts, spoken, written down, or even expressed as a song.  This can be a word or phrase in one’s own language, something that speaks especially to you and your needs, or it could be drawn from the numerous languages & traditions from which the use of mantras originated.   Spiritually speaking, mantras are thought to bring the practitioner a greater connection to Soul/Self/Spirit/God/Truth.  Emotionally speaking, mantras are also a great way to keep your thoughts & feelings organized, as well as focus on what you want from a particular experience.

The field of Western mental health has long used mantras.  Just to give you an example, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy* uses an intervention called thought replacement:  Identifying unhelpful thoughts and replacing them with helpful ones.  A mantra can help you do just that, take an ineffective thought pattern and replace it with something more effective.  Our minds are filled with so much chatter!  Identifying some of our most unhelpful thoughts and replacing those with a mantra can be soothing and uplifting.  Left to its own devices, the mind can race out of control…  To-do lists, rehearsing conversations that may never happen, replaying conversations of little import, thinking about what you’ll eat for lunch, remembering fun things, remembering painful things, gab, gab, gab.  Any of that sound familiar?!  I thought so.

When we use a mantra, we pull the mind back from its wandering and give it something useful to chew on.  It’s a reminder, “This is what I’d like to focus on right now.”  It’s kind of like correcting a wayward puppy…  “No no, don’t chew on that!  Have this fun squeaky toy instead!”  But in this case, the mantra (aka “fun squeaky toy”) is more than your garden variety distraction.  Things like TV, food, alcohol, gossip, and other forms of entertainment just cover over the mind-chatter.  A mantra replaces the chatter with something empowering.  Plus, chattering to yourself all day really takes a lot of energy.  Every time you try to focus on something, the mind sets in with the chatter and there goes another 15 minutes when you could have been checking an item off that to-do list.

At this point, you may be interested in identifying a mantra for yourself.  As I noted above, mantras come in many forms.  Prayer, poem, song, affirmation, intention, goal.  Is there a particular goal you have for yourself?  A poem that speaks to you?  Song lyrics that inspire you?  A verse from a spiritual book that brings you peace?  Comforting words you would like to tell yourself?  There are many ways to create your own personal mantra!  Create something simple for yourself, that you can either memorize or keep in written form in your home or workplace as a gentle reminder.  Then, the next time your mind wanders off into chatter mode, you can coax it back to your higher goals with your new mantra.  Enjoy!

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* This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any mental health condition.  Please contact a qualified mental health professional before starting, stopping, or changing any mental health treatment.

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Time Out

We often hear the phrase “time out” in reference to the well-known parenting technique.  But here, I’d like to explore the use of time out for ourselves.  In the midst of our busy lives, we go from task to thought to conversation to activity…  lather, rinse, repeat.  This leaves us with little time to reflect on our experiences.  And aren’t we grateful for that much of the time?  Keeping ourselves busy can in fact serve some short-term purposes, such as avoiding attending to the  constant chatter in our minds, dealing with unpleasant feelings, or even simply staying entertained.  Yet we humans are not the best judges of what will make us feel truly better in the long term (I confess that I had the TV on when I first started to write this, but had to turn it off because it was distracting me!).  Our first instinct is often to cover over the challenging stuff, hoping that it will go away if we ignore it long enough.  Not so.

We are so used to perpetual distraction that when we sit down and get quiet, the noise inside the mind is deafening and completely overwhelming.  It’s enough to scare you right back into the land of incessant movement!!  I often hear people say, “But I can’t sit still/meditate/do yoga because it makes me feel more anxious.”  That statement resonates with many people’s experiences in beginning a contemplative practice, including my own.  Taking time out for yourself can be challenging at first, especially if you are accustomed to the constant twirling & spinning of modern life.  Our culture says more is better and we often unwittingly buy in to that notion.  But as you gain skill and experience in tolerating, accepting, and letting go of your bustling and buzzing, it does get easier.  And at some point in that journey, you find the calm, quiet center of your Soul.  Like any skill, it takes time to develop.

Let me be clear, I am not recommending that you leave your life and responsibilities to go live in a hillside monastery (oh, but that idea is tempting sometimes, right?!).  Quite the opposite in fact, I believe there is so much for all of us to gain by taking some time out and then continuing with our daily tasks more in touch with our bright, shiny Soul.   This could be five minutes of stillness in the middle of a busy day, writing your intentions for the day or week in a journal, taking time to pray, or observing and mentally describing your thoughts and sensations during a typical daily task.  Anything that prompts you to reflect on your Self and your surroundings can be considered a contemplative practice and will guide you in knowing your Self more deeply.  Years ago, I participated in AmeriCorps and from that I have my first conscious memory of being taught how reflection is key to learning & growing.  When we do not take time to reflect, we risk doing things the way we’ve always done them, effective or not.

If you are just beginning your journey into self-contemplation and have been discouraged by the crushing chatter of your own mind, fear not.  Stick with it, as the only way to grow is to keep at it.  Our children are not the only ones that benefit from a time out now and then!  Give yourself a chance to turn your attention inside for a moment and reflect on what you find there.  You will no doubt wade into all kinds of wild and interesting things inside that mind of yours.  Shine a loving light among the darkness and the cobwebs.  You just might stumble upon a real treasure.

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Welcome to Soulful Healing

Welcome to Soulful Healing, the website and blog of Amber Keating, LCSW & PYT-C.  My goal in creating this blog and website is to share with you my passion for helping people heal themselves.  I’ll be posting regularly here on topics relevant to emotional health, spiritual growth, and having healthy relationships (with yourself and others!).  Feel free to browse through this site, leave a comment, or contact me.  Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful day!

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