Have you ever received a note of encouragement in the mail at the exact moment you needed to hear good news? What better way to honor Effective Communications Month than to communicate with someone we are extremely close to, yet seldom acknowledge her strengths, talents, and passions. Who am I talking about? You, of course. Today take out a pen and some pretty paper, a note card, a post card, (an index card in an envelope will do) and write a sentence or two in praise of YOU! Not sure what you want to say? OK, write down a favorite quote, or a line of poetry. Something that will inspire you, give you pause, or evoke a sigh of delight. I can’t wait to see what my mailbox will bring…
I am a farmer’s daughter. My thoughts today are layered with this fact and the way my life has always been impacted by Nature. The nurturance has taken place whether I accepted it, expected it, or tried to negate it. Yesterday was Memorial Day and I’m dedicating this post to all those brave men and women remembered with ceremonies and salutes as well as those who have been uncelebrated. Everyday heroes like my father, George H. Prescott, who left their farms to serve in WWII. He was part of the 4th Cavalry Division. You can see from his picture that the “horse” he rode had horsepower, but no hooves. He was ruggedly handsome reminiscent of Humphrey Bogart’s good looks. He seldom talked about his Army life and settled back into small town life, raising a family. I’m the oldest of the four girls, born between the boys. Although I do not have a green thumb and routinely recycle my houseplants back into the earth, I think I appreciate the sweet beauty of Nature because of the spaciousness I experienced growing up on the farm. May you allow yourself the opportunity to be caressed by a breeze or seduced by a flower’s fragrance today and let nature nurture.
A massage is a wonderful way to observe May as National Women’s Health Care Month and access the wealth of creativity that lies below your conscious awareness. In our stressed culture, where stress-related disorders make up between 80-and-90 percent of the ailments that bring people to family-practice physicians, massage can help you both physically and mentally. Of course, stress is a part of the daily routine whether you are trying to hurry a dawdling toddler along in the morning rush, receiving a positive performance review, or dodging another speeding car while changing lanes on the freeway, our body reacts with a “fight or flight” mode. As a result, all our attention is focused on the incident at hand, and your body often needs help refocusing. Various hormones that get amped up during the “fight or flight” response works to shut down the communication between different parts of our brains. When stressed, your brain shuts down and tunnel thinking occurs. To be creative, you need to be relaxed. Fortunately, once you turn off the stress hormones, your body recovers quickly.
The healing touch of massage allows us to tap into our creativity by helping us temporarily turn off our conscious brains allowing information just below our awareness to come into focus. While we are in a relaxed state, we are able to let our thoughts drift in random patterns and suddenly answers to nagging questions will appear. It’s almost as if the answers were waiting for you to open a drawer, or find a hidden key. You never know what’s trying to get through until you nurture yourself with a massage and watch what appears.
Is it Spring Cleaning or Clearing time?
Many of us grew up with the annual ritual of scrubbing down walls, opening windows to air out the house after a long winter of closed up rooms, and removing winter’s remnants to make way for a fresh start. It wasn’t uncommon for us to leave for school in the morning with the boring tan front hall walls being “prepped” for painting and come home to a brand entryway of sunny yellow. Wallpaper was very big then and my mother asked a team of local ladies to help her with updating our living room. I was amazed at their agility climbing up and down the short ladders, it was almost like a dance the way one woman would lavish paste on the subdued floral panels and pass it to her co-worker perched on the ladder. Finally, another member of the team would smooth out the air bubbles with a dry brush. A few rolls of wallpaper and a couple of coats of paint made the whole house feel brand new.
In observance of May as Women’s Health Care Month, I’d like to talk about how we could approach this season as a time of renewal for ourselves. We’re at the mid-point of 2010. How are you doing on your goals for this year? I know I’ve been pretty good about working on my business, and not so good about overcoming habits in the “personal growth” area. There was a time when I was really established with an exercise routine, however, I have not been in that groove for some time. I had a Yoga teacher I loved and very proud of the fact I could keep up with the step class choreography. Life intervened…my 80-year-old Yoga teacher moved away to live closer to her daughter, and the step class was cancelled. Although I felt terrific when I was exercising on a regular basis, I haven’t gotten back into that routine again. Does this story sound familiar? Whether you made January resolutions or not, let’s start right now with a clean slate. Take inventory of where you’d like to air out old ideas, rearrange sluggish attitudes, reclaim enthusiasm for a prior activity, or adjust a timeline to allow for a more flexible learning curve. Want to start a journal? Establish a yoga practice? Learn to meditate? Become a brilliant cook? Progress from a gentle jog to running a marathon? Speak French? Sail? Fly Fish? Or, just spend 15 minutes watching the tide?
Taking care of ourselves in body-mind-and-spirit by tapping into our creativity gives us a whole new perspective on being in the present moment. Each season has unique gifts to offer us. I can’t wait to see what this season brings.
Once upon a time – every fairy tale seems to begin with, those words, but we’re not talking about fiction here – we’re talking about your story, your health story. May is Personal History Month. Do you know the connection between Grandpa’s heart trouble and why you need to be aware of eating healthy to avoid clogged arteries? Do you know Aunt Gertie’s hump back was really osteoporosis and something as simple as starting a low impact exercise routine now (walking around the block a couple of times) could go a long way to prevent that fate? Knowing our history can help us cope more easily, perhaps even avoid health challenges. Or, maybe we’ll discover creative ways to live with them. It’s wonderful when we share stories about how little Sally gets her red hair from her father’s side of the family. Unfortunately, red hair and stubbornness seem to go together, and knowing how to de-stress by getting lost in a sewing project has helped the young lady tremendously. Tapping into our creativity in a variety of ways can do a great deal to write a wonderful story for ourselves and live happily ever after.