I’m not talking about power in the sense of others or the power of leaders, but more about the power and capabilities that you have.
What is it that you can do?
If you feel that you are lacking in power, then it is possible to build up and improve your skills by focusing firstly on your strengths and then on areas of vulnerability.
Personal power can be eroded by poor boundaries and a lack of confidence in your skill set or abilities. To build this up, a simple exercise is to draw up a list of the things that you are good at and identify what emotions you feel when you do these things. When you are being your best at what you do, then positive neural pathways are formed.
Now let yourself dream a little…. and envisage yourself being the very best you can be as you do that…..
Echidna crossed my path – actually the road on the way to the retreat on Saturday after a challenging Friday evening that saw me getting home around 3am. We stopped to take a photo, but after scurrying into the scrub on the side of the road the Echidna did what it does best….. it curled up into a rather large and spiky ball. I took a photo, jumped back into the car and we continued on.
Thoughts of the Echidna stayed throughout the afternoon and I decided to research more about it. I found that it is closely related to the platypus and lays an egg in its pouch. After hatching, the young one stays in the pouch for some time. I love to discover the metaphysical or spiritual messages that come from random encounters like this one.
Scott Alexander King says Echidna is a symbol for Rebirth and Personal Protection. He goes on to say that Echidna warns us not to be overprotective to the extent that you shut everyone out. Be aware if you are closed to the possibility of change and the distinction between denial and determination.
Ann Williams-Fitzgerald and Karen Osborn in Wisdom of the Australian Animals entry for Echidna gives the following information. Echidna is about Personal Boundaries and Comfort Zone with Echidna urging us not to be like him. The shadow side is suggesting that we have become unapproachable and do not welcome change into our lives. Time to move out of the comfort zone perhaps to learn something new, join a new group and become more involved in life. Tear down the brick walls that keep people out, but use the boundaries for your own protection.
I also spent some time looking up Dreamtime stories for how Echidna got his spikes which you can also do if you are so inclined. The stories are quite varied and different regions of Australia have different stories. All of them are worth a read!
Summer is just a few weeks away and the festive season is getting closer. Whether you look forward to it or dread it, the holiday season can be stressful for many reasons but it is possible to get through this time by following these steps.
- Remember to breathe…… establishing a routine for deep breathing prior to the holidays will result in this becoming second nature to you when you are in a stressful situation. A simple and effective breathing technique, done first thing in the morning and last thing at night, is to lie on your back with your hands over your belly and the fingers just touching each other. Take a deep breath into your belly area and your fingers should separate slightly and then exhale slowly allowing your belly to go flat. Do this ten times. If you find you lose count, then exert a slight pressure on each finger after every exhalation. Do it often enough and it will become a habit, then when there is a stressful situation you can trigger the relaxation by placing a hand on your abdomen and gently counting the breaths and exerting a slight pressure on the fingers.
- Stay in the moment…cultivate mindfulness as a strategy. When you are eating…..eat. Avoid distractions such as eating in front of the TV or whilst reading a newspaper. Be aware of the flavour, texture, smell, feel of the food and be especially aware of when you feel full. It’s OK to say “No” to second helpings or to leave some food on the plate. If there is a vast array of food, see this as an opportunity to create a small “tasting plate” and again be aware of the presentation, texture, flavours, smell of the food and whether it is a “friend or foe” to your body. Be curious about the preparation, the combination of flavours or where the food originated from. Listen to a hypnosis CD so that your subconscious mind can help you to make the right decisions about food choices when in social situations.
- Give within your means….. this applies not only to presents, but to your time and also what you are giving to yourself in the way of “treats”. If you love to bake, then do so and give away your creations to family and friends. If you are giving your time, make sure that you leave enough for yourself to enjoy the occasion and remember that it is OK to say “No” to demands on your time and energy. Visualize a bubble around you that allows loving thoughts in and blocks any negative vibrations. If you are intending on giving yourself a “treat”, make it a massage instead of a meringue or a pedicure instead of a pie….
- Stick to routines and structure as much as possible…. Have a plan. Most holiday stress comes about from that last minute rush to make everything perfect. Set goals that are realistic. Map out whether there are any obstacles to achieving the goals and work out the best way forward.
- Acknowledge your emotions….. the holiday season can be difficult if you have had a bereavement or change in family structure. Spend time reflecting on what traditions you would like to keep and what you would like to change. Have a plan, this may be that you decide to keep the celebrations the way they have always been. Plan B is always a good backup to default to if you realize as you head to a social situation that you need some time alone. It’s quite alright to plan to leave a celebration a little early if you feel overwhelmed. Rescue Remedy is a great help at times like this and if you see a homeopath, ask for some specific grief remedies to help you get by. Another useful therapy is Hypnotherapy, where you can bypass your conscious mind and use a variety of techniques to help you deal with either difficult people or situations. Smile….. even if you don’t feel like it…. the muscles in your face will send messages to your brain and release endorphins to reduce stress…. Laugh…. a good laugh is contagious and also reduces stress. ….. but above all – be authentic and acknowledge how you are feeling and share how you are feeling.
*article shared with Healthy Energy Summer 2015 Newsletter.