Of the nine ego types in the Enneagram, I am type three, the Achiever, and perfectionism is the hallmark of Achievers. Understanding this has released me from the need to be perfect.
Discover your ego type and find your freedom here: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-descriptions/
-Most people take energy on from others on their left side, but if you work in an environment where the same part of your body is facing the people you're interacting with, you may end up with physical symptoms there.
-For example, let's say you have an office, cubicle, etc, and you sit in the same position, with your back facing the opening to the door/cubicle. There's a good chance you'll end up with back pain. Why? Because you're taking on the energy of everyone you interact with. We all do this, but when you sit in the same position, it concentrates the energy in one particular place.
-To balance this, try shifting your position throughout the day or rotate your desk and/or seating position a few times a year.
Wellness tip: Learn about your chakras and how to balance them.
Pay attention to the colors you're drawn to, as we are often drawn to the color of the chakra that most needs attention. If you find yourself wearing the same color often, you need to pay attention to that chakra.
In the case of the heart chakra, those drawn to green are exhausted from over-nurturing and are trying to "refill their well." Those who wear pink have been hurt and are trying to reopen their heart.
To balance the chakras:
-apply essential oils and crystals that correspond with the chakra (see front and back of chart).
-Eat foods in that correspond to the color of that chakra.
-Self-Reiki to the chakra
-Work on the "theme" of the chakra:
-solar plexus: self-confidence/worth
-heart chakra: giving and receiving love (including self-love)
-throat chakra: speaking your truth
-3rd eye: your intuition & imagination
-crown chakra: connection to spirit & your higher self (to include life purpose)
Wellness tip: The importance of GROUNDING. Being grounded means that you feel centered, balanced, and present in your body. When you are grounded, you are able to resist being affected by others' emotions.
Symptoms of being ungrounded:
-lack of focus/"head in the clouds"
-forgetful, losing things
-sensitivity to light and noise
-suddenly being clumsy
-getting lost while driving
-losing track of what you were saying
-You find yourself wearing black and gray all of the time
-You take on the emotions of others
How to get grounded:
-spend time in nature (around trees if you can)
-eat vegetables that grow in the earth
-wear grounding crystals in your pockets
-apply a tree essential oil to your root chakra
-grounding yoga poses
-self-Reiki to your root chakra
Five steps to take on the path to wellness:
Those interested in the pursuit of a holistic state of health will find no shortage of options to choose from. Faced with these seemingly limitless options, the task of creating a personal plan for wellness can be daunting. However, it is in identifying what all of these avenues have in common that one may find their personal path to holistic health and wellbeing.
1) Eat Food in its Most Natural State:
Grass-fed, no antibiotics, no hormones, organic, non-GMO. All of these labels are attempting to assure you that what you are about to consume is in its natural state. Instead of worrying about following a particular fad, just try to consume food is as natural a state as possible. Water is the most natural beverage on the planet, so drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water every day will help “maintain one’s balance of body fluids, reduce consumption of calories, energize muscles, keep skin rejuvenated, make kidneys more proficient, and maintain normal bowel function” (Zelman).
Also try to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts/nut butter, probiotics, and prebiotics. The idea is to have a variety of phytonutrients, which “help prevent disease and keep your body working properly” (Stokes). Finally, it’s a good idea to avoid excessive amounts of alcohol, caffeine, red meat, processed foods, shellfish, white flour, and white sugar. As Socrates said 2500 years ago, "Everything in moderation. Nothing in excess."
2) Return to Nature:
Studies now show that spending time in nature “improves short-term memory, restores mental energy, relieves stress, reduces inflammation, decreases the risk of developing poor vision, improves concentration and focus, helps one think more sharply and creatively, boosts the immune system, improves mental health, reduces the risk of early death, and can possibly stimulate anti-cancer proteins” (Friedman and Loria).
Research also shows that almost 42% of Americans are deficient in Vitamin D, a condition that has been linked to “several chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer” (Forrest). Studies also show that 10-20 minutes of sun/day can greatly increase vitamin D levels (Kotz). Given all of those benefits, why wouldn’t you want to commune with nature?
3) Get Physical:
Speaking of natural states and nature, our bodies are designed to be in physical motion, preferably outside. We were not designed to sit at a desk all day, and we most certainly weren’t designed to travel in cars. Whether it is walking, running, swimming, biking, or more organized individual or team activities, just find something that you can do at least a few times a week. The time and distance don’t matter as much as the consistency.
4) Practice Daily Energy Hygiene.
Over 800 hospitals in the U.S. now have integrative medicine programs that feature Reiki. Why has Reiki made it into mainstream medicine? Because it works to produce “deep relaxation, speed healing, and reduce pain” (Hill). Like most forms of energy healing, Reiki works to restore the flow of energy. Everything is energy. When one’s energy flow is diminished, it’s like a garden hose with a kink. Some water may come out, but it won’t be enough to replenish the plants in the garden. When the flow of energy is strong, one is mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually vibrant. In this way, energy healing is not only an optimal tool for use in integrative care but also for maintaining a state of wellness.
Meditation is probably the most easily accessible form of energy healing, making it a popular choice amongst seekers. A recent avalanche of research studies has revealed conclusive evidence that meditation actually changes the brain for the better. Meditation reduces “mind-wandering” or “monkey-mind,” which is associated with “being less happy.” It also “preserves the aging brain,” adds volume in “key areas of the brain, improves concentration and attention, reduces anxiety and social anxiety, and helps individuals overcome addictions.” Meditation isn’t just beneficial for adults, but children too. There has been a recent surge in meditation and yoga programs in schools across the country. “One district in San Francisco started a twice-daily meditation program in some of its high-risk schools – and saw suspensions decrease, and GPAs and attendance increase” (Walton). In addition, “A growing body of research supports the immediate benefits of meditation, such as reduced stress and anxiety levels, lower blood pressure, and enhanced happiness.” Finally, “meditation’s positive impact appears to be even more far-reaching, potentially adding years to our lives and improving cognitive function well into old age” (Deshpande). So meditation can not only make one happier, but also more present, focused, confident, successful, healthier, and younger.
With all of these amazing benefits, it’s easy to get excited about creating a personal path to wellness, but the question that my students and clients most frequently ask is “How do I fit all of this into my already packed schedule? My answer is twofold: chunk and trim. “Chunking” is an educational term that refers to teaching students “chunks” of information a little bit at a time so that they truly absorb the information and don’t become overwhelmed by the material. It’s highly effective, and it works in this case too.
Don’t try to do everything at once. Pick one of these strategies and work to build it into your routine. Want to meditate? Don’t start off with a goal of meditating for 30 min. twice/day. Start with 5 min. In the morning and before bed, then build from there. The same goes for any type of energy healing. The key is consistency and quality, not quantity. Want to make changes in your diet? Start with making a smoothie on the weekends, when you have more time, then build from there. Want to spend more time in nature? Especially in the winter months, aim for walking a trail/the beach once every weekend, and make it a short walk at first. Want to start exercising? Same idea, and guess what? If you walk a trail, you’re exercising, so check both of those off of your list. Oh, and you’ll be getting vitamin D too. :)
Trimming is a term I have used to refer to taking out those incredibly time-wasting activities that either does nothing to promote health and happiness and/or actually detract from your ability to achieve wellness. In short: time spent on technology. I know. Technology is everywhere, and it is unavoidable. We need technology in our modern lifestyle. I am typing on a computer right now and will be posting this to the internet. I get it. However, smartphones and computers actually suck energy from your bioenergetic field, leaving you scattered, ungrounded, and uncentered. Not a good combination. In addition, “Psychological research confirms that smartphones are indeed creating a new kind of stress for people at home, at work, and in social settings. The advent of these devices is allowing scientists to identify the line between the handiness and the torment of modern consumer technology.” Among the most damaging effects, smartphones pose to our health and happiness are the interruption of sleep and an inability to detach from one’s job at “the cost of mental health,” (Sleek). Perhaps the most damaging effect of technology that I’ve seen personally is an inability to be present with others. Using a smartphone when you are with another person is like putting up a wall that says “you are not my priority and are not worthy of my undivided attention.” Ouch. So chunk and trim, and be happy and healthy. In short, be WELL.
Deshpande, Rina. "The Science of Meditation's Effects on Aging." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 8 Dec. 2016. Web. 02 Jan. 2017.
Forrest, Kimberly, and WL Stuhldreher. "Prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults." Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.). U.S. National Library of Medicine, 31 Jan. 2011. Web. 01 Jan. 2017.
Hill, Michael. "What is Reiki?" What is Reiki? John's Hopkins Integrative Medicine and Digestive Center, n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2017.
Kotz, Deborah. "Time in the Sun: How Much Is Needed for Vitamin D?" U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report, 23 June 2008. Web. 01 Jan. 2017.
Lauren F Friedman and Kevin Loria. "11 Scientifically Proven Reasons You Should Be Spending Less Time in the Office." Business Insider. Business Insider, 30 June 2015. Web. 01 Jan. 2017.
Rogers, Katie. "Life Expectancy in U.S. Declines Slightly, and Researchers Are Puzzled." The New York Times. The New York Times, 08 Dec. 2016. Web. 01 Jan. 2017.
Sleek, Scott. "The Psychological Toll of the Smartphone." Association for Psychological Science. N.p., May & june 2014. Web. 02 Jan. 2017.
Stokes, Ellen, LD. "What Are Phytonutrients? Types and Food Sources." WebMD. WebMD, 28 Oct. 2016. Web. 01 Jan. 2017.
Walton, Alice G. "7 Ways Meditation Can Actually Change The Brain." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 09 Feb. 2015. Web. 02 Jan. 2017.
Zelman, Kathleen, LD. "Why Drink More Water? See 6 Health Benefits of Water." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2017.