Sit Happens!

Daily, I carve out time to sit like a bump on a log, or in my case, a meditation bench which I lovingly refer to as a “Buddha butt.” As a high energy, fast-paced, go get ‘em kind of person, sitting still doesn’t come easy for me.

The slight elevation of a meditation bench affords me the opportunity to stay in a seated position—spine upright—for an extended period of time. And because my rear-end isn’t resting right on top of my calves, ankles, or feet, my legs don’t go to sleep from cutoff circulation. I enter this still and quiet space with one objective — no expectations.

In my experience, the busier I am the more important the practice of stillness becomes. And the benefits of sitting quietly are tremendous:

  • Puts me smack dab in the middle of now
  • Cultivates internal quietness
  • Recharges my personal battery
  • Makes way for clarity and problem solving
  • Accesses my creative voice
  • Accentuates the positive
  • Diminishes energy that’s not serving me well

When was the last time you sat still?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The Goldilocks Factor

You remember the story of Goldilocks and the three bears, that sassy little miss who made herself at home in the three bears house and:

  • Sampled porridge—too hot, too cold, just right—and gobbled it all up.
  • Tested chairs—too big, too small, just right—and ends up breaking it.

Tired after leaving a wave a destruction in her wake, she heads upstairs and tries the beds—too hard, too soft, just right—and falls asleep.

What I want to know is what really happens between Point A (falls asleep) and Point B when baby bear exclaims, “Someone’s been sleeping in my bed and she’s still there!” Not with Goldilocks, but with all the rest of us during slumber…

There’s a wide brushstroke of speculation regarding what actually takes place when we sleep:

  • Some people feel that dreams are just that—dreams, and sleep is just that—sleep.
  • Others feel that we leave our body when we sleep; that we experience tests, receive instruction, and interact with other people in previous, current, and future time periods.

Where do you go and what do you do when you’re sound asleep?

Interesting Side Note: A survey conducted by the American Cancer Society concluded that people who sleep 6 hours or less per night, or who sleep 9 hours or more, had a death rate 30 percent higher than those who regularly slept 7 to 8 hours. Even those who slept 6 hours or less who otherwise had no health problems had death rates 1.8 times higher than those who slept “normal” hours.

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence
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Yoga – Gone to the Dogs!

Yoga invites us to drop beneath the surface of life into quieter, more introspective realms; at our house it’s a family affair.

First and foremost, it’s important to pay close attention — especially to one’s breathing.

Next, sink into stillness and get comfortable…

…really comfortable.

Our online instructor says, “Yoga straps help us stretch to the limit, increasing flexibility and muscular strength.” Willa’s look says, “You have GOT to be kidding!”

“Happy Baby” pose gently brings a greater awareness to the hip joints.

The “Butterfly” pose (also known as “Cobbler’s” pose) provides relief to muscle tension around the inner thigh area.

We use several props in our practice. Lexi will be the equivalent of 77 human years this August. She appreciates the comfortable support of an extra blanket throughout the session.

Legs-up-the-wall (or simply balanced in the air) is a posture that gets blood flowing to parts of the body that need it.

Willa is doing an exaggerated “Downward Facing Dog” pose. This posture feels especially good after resting because it elongates and lengthens the back. And as a mild inversion, it’s great for increasing blood flow to the brain and eyes.

Certain yoga postures can strengthen the cervical curve in the back of the neck.

Commonly referred to as “Corpse” pose, we simply call it “Dead Dog” at our house.

After a balanced practice, the muscles in the entire body will have been stretched. “Shavasana” provides the body with a chance to regroup and reset itself.

Namaste

Namaste — hands held in prayer-like fashion in front of the heart, accompanied by a slight bow — represents the belief that there’s a divine spark within each of us. This gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one, by the soul in another.

nam means bow
as means I
te means you

Therefore, namaste literally means “bow I you” or “I bow to you.”

If you have animal companions at home, what do they enjoy doing with you?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

Discovering the Seven Selves     Life Harmony

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Wait Loss

Different from weight loss (the shedding of pounds), wait loss (the shedding of patience) is less attractive on any figure.

I try not to do battle with time; clearly, it’s a losing proposition. Yet recently I found myself sitting in a waiting room swarming with other people who—like me—were becoming impatient. Fast!

Breathe yourself through this Laurie

  • Inhale to the count of four.
  • Hold to the count of seven.
  • Exhale to the count of eight.
  • Repeat until your name is called.
  • You can do this.

Time—yours, mine, and ours—is irreplaceable. None of us knows how much of it we have left. Not to be squandered, every moment of this precious commodity should be enjoyed to the fullest.

Are you gaining or losing wait?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

Discovering the Seven Selves     Life Harmony     Facebook

© 2012 Laurie Buchanan– All Rights Reserved

Jumping through Mental Hoops – Swoosh!

Our brains—like muscles—become stronger with use. Excuses be gone! There are oh-so-many ways to exercise our brains:

  • The ever popular, jumping to conclusions.
  • Who among us hasn’t tried pushing their luck?
  • Dodging deadlines is always good for an extra shot of adrenaline!
  • There’s the time-tested jogging our memory.
  • Raising the bar of unrealistic expectations.
  • The tried-and-true limiting oneself by running out of options.
  • Stretching the truth forces us to keep double mental books—an especially vigorous workout for the brain!

When was the last time you exercised benefit of the doubt?

Post Script
Nan Palmer, I snuck into your gear…
A special thank you to my friend, Jill Witty, for taking the photograph.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

Discovering the Seven Selves     Life Harmony     Facebook

© 2012 Laurie Buchanan– All Rights Reserved

The Up Side of Down

Recently I started the early-morning practice of standing on my head. And it’s great (except for the top of my head was getting really sore, not to mention flat)… 

think, Think, THINK

Do you wanna hang around?

Do you wanna hang around?

Of course, an inversion table!

Many people who use an inversion table do so to relieve back and neck pain. But there’s a much wider brushstroke of benefits:

     Stimulates circulation
     Develops balance awareness (great for skydivers, gymnasts, and scuba divers)
     Rejuvenating effects (helps to age gracefully)
     Decongests internal organs
     Increases oxygen to the brain
     Relieves varicose veins
     Promotes an overall sense of wellbeing

Don’t be fooled. Now you’ll know what I really mean if you receive a call from me and I ask, “Do you wanna hang around?”

When was the last time you changed your point of view?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               — Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

Aromatherapy for the Health of It

Aromatherapy Diffuser by Laurie  Buchanan

Aromatherapy Diffuser by Laurie Buchanan

Responding to stress is natural, but staying in a constant state of stress eventually produces negative health effects. Cortisol—also  known as the death or stress hormone—is part of our body’s natural response to stress. Yet when it’s released at high levels and/or not allowed to ease up, it decreases immunity, bone density, and the overall quality of life.

Because aromatherapy triggers the relaxation response, it’s an effective self-health method that can diminish, if not eliminate, stress from taking root in the body. This response can balance cortisol levels, decrease heart rate and blood pressure, improve digestion, and normalize blood sugar levels.

Totally portable, essential oils are easy to use. You can inhale a single essential oil, or create a synergy—a blend of oils.

At HolEssence we use diffusers that waft our Signature Scent—a proprietary blend of lavender, ylang ylang, and rosemary—throughout the yoga studio, office, and treatment room. Inhaling the aroma is immediately calming, yet uplifting. Many people who walk in say, “Ahhhhhh, it smells like heaven in here.”

Most people tolerate essential oils well, but care must be taken that the fragrance isn’t overpowering. Essential oils you may want to consider in your self-health program include:

Chamomile is calming, soothing, and relaxing. It has a sweet, herbal, and fruity aroma.

Ylang Ylang is anti-depressive and relaxing. This evergreen tree has intensely fragrant flowers, followed by green fruits—a little goes a long way.

Eucalyptus is balancing and stimulating. Its aroma is a mix of camphor and the forest.

Geranium is comforting and healing. It has a sweet, floral, and earthy aroma.

Lavender is well known for its calming and therapeutic effects. It’s floral, sweet, woodsy, and herbal smelling.

Rose is warm and deeply floral—a little goes a long way.

Rosemary is refreshing and stimulating. Its fragrance is refreshing, woodsy, and herbal.

Sandalwood is very relaxing. It has a woodsy, sweet, and exotic scent.

Marjoram is used to deal with anxiety and insomnia. Its fragrance is warm and spicy.

Jasmine is soothing and relaxing. It has a warm, floral scent.

Neroli is relaxing—it has sedative properties. Its fragrance is floral and refreshing—a little goes a long way.

Note: as with anything used for medicinal purposes, check to insure that the essential oils you use don’t have any negative interactions with current health issues and/or medication. The purpose of this post is not to for you to stop your current healthcare regimen. Rather, to bring awareness that Aromatherapy is a wonderful complementary self-health treatment that can help to create a healthier you.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”|
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved