HOW TO HAVE A SUNNIER DISPOSITION

HOW TO HAVE A SUNNIER DISPOSITION

Hello, you warm, gorgeous summer. According to our intuitive self-help expert, Austin-based Resonance Repatterning Practitioner, Mary Schneider, the summer season is ripe for opportunity, change, and a continued recalibration of what’s important.

GOLDEN GLOW

Thankfully, it looks as though our summer might be different from last year’s with the revision of the mask mandate and pandemic protocol. Trying to imagine all the events and activities set in motion with this pronouncement truly astonishes the mind after the last year we all endured. What a lovely time of year to have all this transpire. Summer is the season of fun and relaxation, especially in the south. More importantly, summer’s most distinguishing characteristic is its power to heal, nourish and nurture. Of course, these are also all the attributes of the sun.

 

Had I lived with the Incas, Aztecs, or the Mayans, I would have been a committed sun worshipper like their cultures. With the advent of summer, people today join the ranks of celebrants answering the call of long-forgotten compulsion. Or, maybe not. There are continents of believers working long hours in stressful jobs to be able to get to the water to enjoy its restorative qualities. Beaches are covered in every color of the rainbow where not one more towel will fit. Today, we venerate the sun as much if not more than these three Indigenous Peoples combined.

 

Let’s face it. Healing properties are the sun’s stock and trade. This sounds rather masculine, yet it should be mentioned the sun is considered predominantly masculine. Breathing mountain air while drinking in the light of the sun allowed centuries of ailing patients to restore their health. In the U.S. alone, 127 million people live in coastal counties. Admittedly, the water is a big draw…and so is the sun.

 

THEN & NOW

Even ancient healing modalities recognized the curative properties of the sun. In Chinese Five Element acupuncture, the “stomach meridian” is associated with nurturance, nourishment, and caretaking (of others and the self). The color that heals this meridian is yellow, and one of its modalities is being in the sun. Stomach Meridian issues develop by the caretaking of others to the detriment of oneself, which refers to the maternal instinct when the mother’s needs are not fully met while she supports those around her.

 

In the Ayurvedic chakra system, the fire chakra is located in the solar plexus. Even the name of this chakra refers to the sun. It is masculine and relates to paternal energy and power, and not surprisingly, anger and abuse contribute to this chakra imbalance. A modality we frequently employ for an imbalanced fire chakra is to sit under a tree and let the light filter over your body. Keep your eyes open and allow the direct sun to enter your eyes and continue through your brain. Stay there for about five minutes to begin to feel nourished. The sun also supplies amounts of Vitamin D that we all need to stay healthy. 

The sun’s most significant contribution is as a purveyor of light, and this is why it deserves to be respected. In fact, all the faiths in the world speak and pray about the light. Christianity speaks of being the way and the light. The Hindus have Diwali, their Festival of Lights. Vesak, Buddha’s birthday, is one of Buddhism’s most important holidays. Festival of Lightsin Judaism is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem. These all flow to seeking enlightenment. And there is much, much more to know. So, what are you waiting for this summer? Enjoy the light responsibly and the many ways it can enhance your well-being.

ASCEND INTO WELLNESS

ASCEND INTO WELLNESS

With summer here, there’s an anticipation of what is ahead, according to our intuitive self-help expert, Austin-based Resonance Repatterning Practitioner, Mary Schneider, who explains the importance of anticipating and planning for the future.

A SUMMER PLACE

Summer is most definitely here, yet four days ago, I told an out-of-town friend how gloomy and grey it had been. I fully expected our infamous spate of winter weather to have killed all the local plant life, yet today verdant summer green is everywhere.

 

It is safe to say Mother Nature probably handles change better than the rest of us. And despite her constant changes, we are also still pretty resilient. As we move into the season most beloved by a large segment of the population, we are offered tremendous hope. Nature is a most important aspect of healing in Chinese 5 Element Acupuncture.

Hope is what has carried us through when we were hit this last year with the pandemic and severe weather. The most interesting aspect of hope is it’s the only virtue that shows up in bad times. Hope inspires us to stay focused and strong. It ushers in creativity, enabling us to find new solutions to the problems that confront us. Just like the summer green we see everywhere right now.

Hope sees us beyond to the promise of change, bringing  us to where we are today. This summer heralds much more than its typical pledge of potential growth. Gazing at the foliage and blooms on the trees, we are reminded of our imminent foray into society again. So, there is much transformation ahead.

Of course, we want to remember all of those who have passed and those who have been left behind. Our hearts go out to all of you experiencing grief, which is immense. The changes you encounter at the precipice of this summer are of another kind, like no other in recent memory. The growth potential is also of another nature.

When reflecting on nature, try to focus on change or transition and how we can best help this process along. In the Ayurvedic chakra tradition, change is associated with the Earth or Root chakra. Home, family, tribe, security, and mother are the main issues with this chakra. This past year, much of these influential aspects have been upended in one form or another. We all know that the usual outlets people engage in, such as sports and dining out, have been sidelined. All of this has created the feeling of continuous adaptation. This may be seizing upon the obvious with a sense of discovery, but it has also created layers of stress and a ton of grief.

COPING CAPABILITY

We have lots of coping mechanisms to deal with stress such as exercise, which improves our focus, while drinking alcohol numbs us, or taking drugs to help us sleep–just to name a few. This stress is hard on the body and does not do any better with the psyche. There is nothing wrong with these activities…but the stress still multiplies.

What would be something we all could do to beat the stress? Taking care of ourselves will help the most during these times and we now have an opportunity to learn more about this important lesson. Learning to take care of oneself is somewhat of an art. It is like taking dance lessons. At first, you are a little self-conscious, and then you start to feel how much fun it is.

It is the same with self-care. It may seem aa bit wonky in the beginning, but when you have that moment of realization about how important your well-being is, you wonder why you did not commit to this a long time ago.

A helpful way to start the process is to make a list of all the things you have wanted to do for a long time. Cull out what is reasonable for your lifestyle and put them in your calendar. It might be something as simple as giving yourself a facial. Or calling a loved one or perhaps, cooking yourself a lovely dinner. Do one a day and see what starts to happen. And, then for the pièce de résistance, do one for another person in your life who might appreciate the gesture. 

It is a powerful thing to take care of oneself. We as a culture are not oriented in this direction, and so much has changed. In the middle of this pandemic, we have had the time to learn this expression of self-love better than usual, so today’s a great day to anticipate the future.

BE YOUR OWN RENEWABLE ENERGY

BE YOUR OWN RENEWABLE ENERGY

With spring here, a true sense of renewal has arrived in many forms. Our intuitive self-help expert, Austin-based Resonance Repatterning Practitioner, Mary Schneider, explains the importance of creating the new, while acknowledging the past.

THERE, NOW HERE

Suddenly the promise of this spring brings a feeling of renewal. Difficult, dark days of the pandemic break into a shower of bright blooms. With proper governance and administration, the potential vaccine has given us the signature emotion of spring…hope. As we move into these hopeful days, we see through that long tunnel toward the light. Might the light herald a return to some semblance of normalcy?

 

So much today seems to be springing into freshness–so many new beginnings. The younger generation will be returning to school en masse. There is a new government in Washington. Others are returning to their offices, while some never will again, and people are further re-examining their careers. In the wake of this novelty, much of what we have known simply slips away. The pandemic foisted change upon us, and we wisely responded by letting go. In many cases, we let go of much that we would not have otherwise.

 

In the Ayurvedic chakra system, the throat chakra oversees new beginnings. Interestingly, it also rules letting go. As we are all a part of nature, we are at the same time nature itself. In fact, we are subject to much of that which occurs in it. The trees and plants let go of their bark and leaves so that they will return anew in spring. Humans let go to make way for the new. This throat chakra is also about truth and speaking your truth with courage. Communicating in this way makes people listen so that you can be authentically heard. People are drawn to the truth like moths to a flame. A deep resonance is felt, and no amount of logic or statistic can alter the listener’s belief in that truth. This connection is a profound experience.

 

VENTURE FORWARD

As we venture from learning to let go in service to the pandemic’s demands, then with what are we left? If you’ve ever lost or given something away, you know letting go is a process. Some processes are much easier than others. The more challenging the letting go, the greater the potential for growth. The adage, the harder you work, the greater the return, is very true. Considering the amount of letting go required of us in 2020, we certainly experienced tremendous growth.

 

With growth, often the most fertile soil of the human experience is the family. Our family systems are profound settings of both challenge and resolution. Family members can trigger our emotions, both negative and positive. If we look at these situations as opportunities for growth, then we are using them for our highest good–and also for the benefit of our family members. We all realize that it’s often easier said than done.

 

Don Miguel Ruiz, who authored The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, offers these tips that outline his four agreements:

  • Be impeccable with your word.
  • Don’t take anything personally.
  • Don’t make assumptions.
  • Always do your best.

 

The second agreement, Don’t take anything personally, is one answer to family challenges and communication. It is rich with potential and interpretation. As the basis of that agreement, Ruiz helps us to stay out of anybody else’s business. He also wants us to be supportive and keep positive boundaries and limits. When we do not take anything personally, unkind words do not phase us. We feel no compulsion to respond, and that conflict has nowhere to go. It can just fizzle out. Ruiz’s other agreements are also worthy and thought-provoking.

 

With new beginnings, it is beneficial to look at the newness around us. Perhaps we might commit to finding one thing to let go of…and one new thing to bring into our life. Maybe you have already had enough to let go of and enough of the new. This is also perfect for you to have a safe, healthy, and hopeful spring.

HOW OPTIMISM ALWAYS WINS

HOW OPTIMISM ALWAYS WINS

With 2020 now behind us, it’s time to move forward into a new realm of our lives, according to our intuitive self-help expert, Austin-based Resonance Repatterning Practitioner, Mary Schneider, who clarifies the importance of resonating with new opportunities ahead.

RE-EXAMINATION TIME

As I looked at my correspondence from 2020, I realized that spellcheck could not figure out how to spell COVID-19. A year ago, I had no idea what Coronavirus was, let alone COVID-19. Since that time, we have been through so many ups and downs and twists and turns–truly a testament to our resilience as a global community. We are the most adaptable species on the planet, and we have all witnessed the reality of our adaptability in the last year. And adapt, we have. Despite the quixotic lifestyle changes and constant potential for loss of life, we are moving forward…progressing in a herky-jerky, zig-zag trajectory triggering us to stop, look and listen in new ways.

This pandemic compels us to stop and look at our lives–to examine and re-evaluate what is important. Even though it continues to be a huge imposition, the pandemic has enriched us in some interesting ways. Those who are sick or have lost loved ones are probably not having this experience. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you and the heroic healthcare workers taking care of you. 

We who have re-examined our lives are fortunate enough to have stayed safe and healthy are reconsidering what might be loosely considered as the pandemic’s benefits. One of these might be a resurgence of the idea of simplicity. What does this mean, and how does it fit into our lives now? The dictionary defines simplicity as the quality or condition of being plain or natural. Feeling unencumbered comes along with it. The Feng Shui philosophy of spatial organization recommends we keep clutter to a minimum. Simply put, clutter can block the flow of energy in our homes, and therefore, into our lives. 

ARTFUL SIMPLICITY 

In the end, simplicity is an art. It is an act of letting go. When we let go, we make room for fresh experiences. We re-examine what we find valuable and release what is not. Simplicity generally precedes some form of healing. Healing is essential now within our global community, on all levels: physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. 

Another value gleaned from the pandemic looks like something akin to unity. For one thing, it has united us around a common adversary. Although split into two main camps, the unity, even in its present form, demonstrates re-evaluation and learning. Unity follows a certain level of unrest. Among other examples, it may be similar to the upheaval occurring in psychotherapy, which can be followed by systemic healing. 

Healing is most definitely on the mind of the collective consciousness. As we ring in this new year, we are anxiously awaiting the manufacture and distribution of viable vaccines. Gratefully contemplating the prospect of gravitating back to our original lifestyle, a watery impression seems to portend, “It’s probably not going to happen the way you think it is.” Yet, part of what is happening looks like the cultivation of a new optimism–tinged with hope.

Pandemics create a great deal of stress on all levels. This, we now know. As we begin to envision a healed world and examine lessons learned, we may find there remains a real possibility for continued transformation–from a personal perspective and a global one. Awareness of this possibility for ourselves and our loved ones could potentially make this transition smoother and perhaps even a source of joy in this brand new year.

HEIGHTEN YOUR AWARENESS

HEIGHTEN YOUR AWARENESS

The holidays are often filled with both joy and anxiety. Our intuitive self-help expert, Austin-based Resonance Repatterning Practitioner, Mary Schneider, shares ideas to help us enjoy the season and the new year as well.

 

Around the holiday season, positive family dynamics are even more important than ever. We must be aware that they are influenced by our actions and the world around us.

 

The combination of lots of food, a bit less sleep, perhaps more alcohol, and particularly, this year’s over-the-top heightened social and political awareness, can cause tension and produce a high-stress quotient. Family members get triggered,  and most of us will have a button or two pushed during this merry season.

 

One of the benefits of the pandemic is we have gotten better at being together. We have been forced to,  due to the mandated quarantine. Yes, the situation has required us all to grow in one way or another. Almost everyone I know has a story or two about their growth experiences–what can happen without our usual distractions and commitments. Do you suppose there might be a way to channel all this hard-won esprit de corps? Maybe by kickstarting the holidays with a new spark?

 

What would that look like? One of the first challenges is exploring our relationship to the past and the future; the former is exhausting, and the latter is fantasy. We might commit to letting the weary past go. In truth, it is gone, and we have no way to retrieve it again and create a do-over. Unless, of course, you make a go of it by attempting to resurrect old wounds–then we are off to the races. This behavior frequently occurs, making it difficult to enjoy the holidays, as one is not living in the moment, but immersed in the past.

 

We could probably say the same for the future. We humans frequently throw ourselves out there,  imagining events and their outcomes in which we are mysteriously participating. We consider it much safer in this activity because at least we can tell ourselves we have every conceivable eventuality covered. What happens instead is that we are simply not present, as we have unwittingly thrown ourselves into a place that does not yet exist. And when immersed in this fantasy world, how can we be present to enjoy the holidays?

 

People are often the least present during the holiday season because it is difficult to find any downtime. Gatherings, however small, begin after Thanksgiving and can run until after New Year’s. It is not unusual to feel overwhelmed, making it a challenge to stay present. And there are instances when we have to push through. If this happens, here are a few quick tools to support us through the season:

 

  1. Meditation. This is the most beneficial, but it may be difficult to find the time, so try to fit in at least five minutes once or twice a day.
  2. Earthiness. Get your feet on the ground, literally. Go outside, take your shoes and socks off, and stand on the ground or sit against a tree, if you prefer.
  3. Essential Oils. Neroli and/or any type of Fir tree oil can heighten your senses to the present.
  4. Dietary. Eat more root vegetables, to again connect with the earth.

 

Charles Dickens had it right when he wrote A Christmas Carol. Not only was he helping Scrooge evaluate his greediness, but also he was giving him the gift of presence. If we want to kickstart the holidays, we might commit to staying out of the past and the future and being present this season. It might just help us set the tone for the exciting 2021 ahead.

THE ABUNDANCE OF HOPE

THE ABUNDANCE OF HOPE

The greater the hope, the greater the outcome, a wise philosopher once said. Our intuitive self-help expert, Austin-based Resonance Repatterning Practitioner, Mary Schneider, shares ideas that can help us thrive and move forward.

What do you think it will be like post-COVID-19? Of course, everyone will initially give a huge sigh of relief, assuming the virus will disappear and go back where it came from. It may not. There are tons of possibilities and the only common thread among them is we just do not know. The scientists do not know yet, and the clergy, academicians, and politicians do not know yet. A large segment of the population still questions the very existence of the virus. It is a classic case of we do not know what we do not know.

For many of us, the presence of the virus has caused terror, grief and pain. Our hearts go out to all of those who have suffered in this situation. It is necessary, now more, than ever to have compassion for everyone.  The world at large has been touched by it in some way. And, yet, as in all difficult times, we human beings still have hope. Hope in a cure, hope in a vaccine, and hope for better days ahead. What is this strangely human state of mind that appears in the worst of times? It is a feeling of expectation and a desire for a certain thing to happen. Barbara Fredrickson, professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says, “Hope is not your typical form of positivity. Most positive emotions arise when we feel safe and satiated. Hope is the exception. It comes into play when our circumstances are dire.”

Despite prevailing pessimism, there are signs we could be cautiously optimistic. Having had time to evaluate what is important in life, people are making different choices. They are spending more quality time with their families and pets (it is reported that dogs are having the best time ever). Over the years in my practice, I have seen many families who lack real intimacy. Lives are filled with activities that appear to portray happy family systems. Busy-ness isn’t intimacy. Studies show when people experience more intimacy they become happier. Happy people are kinder people. This might just lead to a kinder world for us all.

Businesses are making different choices, too. It has become relatively easy to work at home over the past decade or so. Many people already do. But the necessity of having most employees work from home has made companies take a good look at how much money they are spending on expensive office space. A widely held myth claimed employees are not as productive working from the home as in the office. Recent research shows just the opposite. Now, management has proof  they can downsize. So, the work environment, as we know it, will be different in the future.

In addition, the concept of intimacy comes up again. Connections that are made working in teams and with colleagues in the office may become more appreciated and valued. There is no way to predict what this unique and untried work arrangement will do for a company’s culture. It will likely be extremely beneficial to families, especially children. In my experience, what most children want more than anything is to spend quality time with their parents. Again, what this can do for the world at large could be transformative.

What is even more hopeful is seeing young Americans involved and engaged in what is currently happening in this country. This movement is spread so much wider than any other. It goes far beyond just those who have been affected by any type of discrimination. These transformations are the benefit of having hope. Barbara Fredrickson says that, “Hope comes into its own when crisis looms, opening us to new creative possibilities.” I hope this is what is happening now. How will you progress in your life moving forward?