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Rising Like the Phoenix

Does time seem to get away from you in the blink of an eye? If you noticed the time between blog posts, it's clear that it did with me. The two years in between my blog posts were filled with both challenging times and good ones.

Challenging times are had by all. Sometimes they call to us to take a step back. That certainly happened with me. A really wonderful event (my daughter's graduation from college) was accompanied by a truly sad one (my mom's medical crisis and her subsequent death).

If you've ever lost someone really close to you - and my mom was my champion - you know that it can throw you for a loop. Couple that with a surviving parent who was/is quite dependent and running your own business, and your resources might be drained. That happened.

Like the Phoenix, however, I rise. While tending to my dad, my business, and my home, I took time to focus on my own self-care because if I didn't, for whom would I be any good? Self-care included crying when the tears wanted to come, setting boundaries by saying no to people and activities that I didn't have the energy for, advocating for myself, meditating, finding a new church home, taking courses the fed my being, enjoying a regular sauna, exercising nearly daily, eating well, and taking care of my skin and body.

All along the way, I listened to myself. If you cannot hear what your mind, your body, and your spirit are trying to get you to hear, you suffer needlessly. We all know people who ignore promptings. Maybe they do it on purpose out of stubbornness or perhaps they don't know how to read their own signals or they might hear them and don't know what to do. If you'll allow me, I'd like to share seven things that might help you to recognize your own MBS (mind, body, spirit) signals so that you can rise.

1. Fatigue

2. Eating/drinking for comfort

3. Withdrawing from your support system

4. Lashing out at others

5. Cluttered (maybe hoarded) environment

6. Filling time to avoid feeling

7. Ignoring common and important tasks (paying bills, for instance)

There are certainly more than seven indicators that alert you to something being amiss. These are some of the most obvious. The subtle signals are ones that people attuned to themselves already pay attention to, so I'll save those advanced cues for another time.

Today I'll leave you with one thing that can start you on the path of rising. First you have to subsist. To do that, the most important skill (kind of natural but not) is to breathe. Effectively breathing means to take that breath out of your neck and chest and take it down. My first suggestion is to let your exhalation be one or two seconds longer than your inhalation. That's a signal to your brain to move from flight/fright/freeze. Once you get that, try to belly breathe. Place one hand on your tummy and try to get that hand to rise and fall as the breath seems to be in the abdomen. You'll notice that your upper torso can then start to relax. When you feel good with that, try to expand the breath into your back ribs because that will mean more fullness of breath.

Breath is vital. Yeah, I hear you. Let it be your first step to helping you to rise.

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