rekindling the light
This resource synthesizes traditional healing practices as well as techniques from neuroscience, mind-body medicine and mindfulness to support you to reset habits and attitudes, build resilience, and revive your capacity for compassion without self-depletion. Developed specifically for sensitive and empathic people, this resource offers support with boundaries, clearing and grounding.
© 2018 Diana Quinn ND all rights reserved
the power of intention & belief
Fields of study from biology to psychology to neuroscience have explored the power of intention and belief in shaping our health and informing our experiences. In his book, The Biology of Belief, cell biologist Bruce Lipton writes that the power of intention and belief shape who we become at the cellular level by influencing cell signaling and biochemistry. But, this is not purely just a matter of positive thinking - everything is not just 'love and light!' Lipton writes,
You need more than just 'positive thinking' to harness control of your body and your life. It is important for our health and well-being to shift our mind's energy toward positive, life-generating thoughts and eliminate ever-present, energy-draining, and debilitating negative thoughts. But, and I mean that in the biggest sense of 'BUT,' the mere thinking of positive thoughts will not necessarily have any impact on our lives at all! In fact, sometimes people who 'flunk' positive thinking become more debilitated because now they think their situation is hopeless - they believe they have exhausted all mind and body remedies.
The beliefs that we hold subconsciously affect us deeply, impacting our choices at every level. Like a computer, our subconscious minds run on programs - some of these outdated and disempowering. Neuroscience has revealed that the programs running the subconscious mind shape 95% or more of our experiences. To truly go deep in setting intentions, it is very powerful to examine what beliefs we hold that may (or may not) support us in manifesting what we want. Once we identify what beliefs need updating, we CAN re-write the software, using techniques we'll explore in this program including affirmations, energy psychology and neural retraining methods like Emotional Freedom Technique.
Affirmations are a powerful tool for hitting the reset button on our subconscious programs. The words that we choose exert a profound impact on our health! In her research on the 'Psychology of Possibility,' Ellen Langer found that by using different language one could significantly increase wellbeing - even small changes can make big differences in one's health and vitality. This effect has been documented beautifully by the late Masuru Emoto with his microscopic photography of water crystals, which he found respond to beautiful music and loving words. Since our bodies are composed primarily of water, being mindful of our thoughts and words is a practice with the power to shift our experience profoundly. We can use our thoughts and words as a blessing on ourselves, others and the planet.
Below you'll find lots of resources to get you started in exploring belief, setting intentions, and writing affirmations for the new year. You'll also find a short guided meditation on the light within - for those new to meditation this is a very short (2.5 minutes)!
In order to embody and live into our intentions, we need to clear out the stuff that gets in the way. This can include our own internal resistance to change, outdated beliefs, cultural or family programming, other people's beliefs or expectations, etc. Sometimes it's helpful to identify and name what it is that we need to release, but with some of the clearing techniques introduced this week, that is not even necessary.
Clearing your physical and energetic space provides immediate relief, and is essential for maintaining wellness, especially during challenging circumstances. Clearing is an ongoing process of self-care, so these are tools that you can work with regularly. Below are two of the clearing techniques, and an audio recording of a shamanic clearing session.
shamanic clearing session
Use this 10 minute clearing session as often as needed to assist with your clearing work. In this shamanic clearing session, a rattle is used to break up and release old energies, and bells, chimes and crystal bowls bring in light and healing. You can also visualize bringing in specific intentions that you're working with.
What does it mean to be grounded? Is this some new agey woo thing, or what? Actually no - it is actually a very OLD agey thing, going back to a time when our ancestors lived more closely to the Earth. You see, the Earth is like an enormous battery that carries subtle electrical charge. Most everything in the electrical world is connected to it for safety. Think of the electronics in your home, which connect to a ground wire going into the Earth. The same goes for human beings, which are bioelectrical beings. Being isolated from the Earth by the non-conductive materials in our shoes and flooring, and not living close to and sleeping on the Earth, we’ve become disconnected.
There is a growing body of data demonstrating the benefits of 'earthing' to reduce inflammation, normalize cortisol and the stress response, regulate mood and energy, and improve sleep. I highly recommend trying the following earthing practices whenever and wherever possible:
- Spending time in nature
- Forest bathing
- Walking barefoot
- Sleeping on the ground (ie camping)
- Avoiding ambient light at night/total darkness
Indigenous wisdom and folk traditions from ALL of our ancestral lineages draw us back to a deep connection with the Earth, natural rhythms and cycles, and our ancestors. Spending time in nature is essential for restoring this connection. Even when you can't physically be outside, research has shown that houseplants, windows with outdoor views, and even pictures of nature indoors have beneficial physiologic effects.
As well, our energy bodies respond to psychospiritual connection to the Earth, which we can restore at ANY TIME through grounding visualization practices. Grounding is fundamentally a choice: a choice to be in the present moment, in your body and in the current environment you are inhabiting. It is a choice to be awake and alert. Practice being grounded in relaxed circumstances is helpful for remaining grounded in more difficult situations.
Though the concept of 'boundaries' may sound abstract, they are tangible things that exist on every plane - the physical, mental, and energetic/spiritual. Simply put, boundaries determine 'what is me, and what is not me'. Boundaries are also our personal code of 'what is ok and what is not ok'. On the physical level, there are numerous examples in our bodies of boundaries: cell membrane, the tight junctions between cells that form the gut barrier, the gap junctions between cells in nerves and muscle, the blood-brain barrier - and the immune activity taking place at all of these boundaries. Imbalance here can lead to chronic immune issues. Boundaries are also energetic, since our bodies are electromagnetic fields. In Chinese Medicine, the energetic boundary is called Wei Qi.
QUALITIES OF HEALTHY BOUNDARIES
Flexible, fluid and situational - boundaries should respond to the needs of the moment. They can be moved in very close to your body in tense situations and be more expansive in others.
Provide information - boundaries give you information about the environment; trust your intuition or ‘gut sense.’
Semi-permeable - boundaries allow you to receive what you wish to take in, and share what you wish to share. Like a cell membrane they draw in nourishment, and expel or repel what is harmful or unneeded.
Boundaries surround your entire body and energy field
Boundaries respond to your needs rather than the needs of others. They take the shape and properties that best support you in living your purpose and using your power effectively through your day. Negotiating boundaries is a normal and healthy part of any relationship; boundaries by default take the form that best supports you in any situation, and then take into account others’ needs secondarily.
There are many ways to practice mindfulness. Far from being strictly a form of meditation, mindfulness is a way of being that can be incorporated into all of life's activities. Psychologist Ellen Langer, author of the book Mindfulness, discovered in her research that subjects experienced the same benefits from mindfulness practices of daily living as they received from meditation. She writes that mindfulness is achievable without a practice of yoga or meditation, and mindfulness is “the simple act of actively noticing things.” Experiment with a variety of mindfulness practices - including the mindfulness meditation offered below - and experience the benefits of active noticing.
The body is the Self, as it is the architecture of sensations in the body and how these sensations create a narrative and story. Over time narratives become belief, and then belief is solidified into character and temperament. Character lives in the body as behaviors, moods and emotions. As the late Dr. Candace Pert wrote, the Body is the Subconscious Mind.
The historical patterns that reside in the musculature and energetic framework of our physical bodies are comprised of the influences of individual and family networks, as well as other domains, cultural and societal. These are less obvious because they are the air we breathe, but they too are embodied within us and become part of our conditioned behaviors. Becoming aware of the shape that we embody and its historical roots allows us to choose new ways of being, to design a new way of being.
New habits, behaviors and actions are needed to bring a new shape into being. Embodying this new shape requires insight, awareness and action. On the journey to embodiment it is crucial not to skip from awareness to action without experiencing the fullness of emotions that arise. Relinquishing the historical shape that is based in conditioned tendencies is a vulnerable process and can’t be rushed. Allow and be with any experience that arises.