Love, Loss & Resurgence

Over the years of dating and relationships, I’ve wrestled with the ideas around two concepts that seem to conflict and interact at the same time in reference to the topic of love and loss. The question of which one makes more sense after parting from your partner has crossed my mind many times. Often feeling like an exercise in quantum mechanics thought processing – two things can be true.

– Distance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

– Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Sometimes truth and relative facts fall into place long after conversations have ceased and fires have long since cooled. The ashes remind me of what once was but also what could have been…and with hope of what will be. To ignore them, helps no one move forward. They must be processed and cleared away before the next fire can be built. With time and quiet contemplation, I’ve found that in fact both ideas are true. Or can be. Depending on what we choose.

Out of sight isn’t exactly out of mind unless a choice is made to ignore or suppress. Denying oneself true feelings is often a faulty fix. Potentially unsustainable.

Distance may make the heart grow fonder but hopefully full with appreciation for self and lessons from loss of love rather than a longing leading to suffering.

After more time spent on this work, I like to think that distance makes the heart and mind grow clearer. The idea of a next step will need a fresh foundation on which to build the next sustainable fire. Whether it be a reconciliation or a new flower to bloom.

About the image: the image for this post was taken of a frozen lake in Norway via National Geographic. A symbolic representation of love for me. Something that may seem to have split but in the thaw of Spring, the water will flow without any evidence of the once rigid surface. Love is like water. Necessary, fluid and forgiving.

Thank you for reading my philosophically inclined noodlings. A true romantic heart can guide interesting ramblings of the cerebral mind. And like the photo, this is just the surface. There are so many interpretations and ideas possible.

 

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Art of the Left & Right Brain

When I first began to explore the concepts of right brain and left brain thinking, each hemisphere seemed so confusing. I had been attempting to separate their functions and features…hearing reference to being a left brain or right brain thinker – creative minds and analytical minds – it seemed so black and white like you had to to pick one or the other.

What I hadn’t discovered was the balance of the brain is anything but separate. This mirrored my own path for growth. We each draw from both hemispheres no matter our areas of personal interest or perceived strengths – be it strategy you find in a game of chess or painting an interpretive landscape. Our concentration and focus grows one set of skills or another from natural given areas of strength that each and every one of us have. Sometimes these natural gifts take time to be discovered.

Our free-flowing ideas for a painting from the right brain needs the structural parameters of the canvas from the left. Our game strategy from the left greatly benefits from awareness of the opponents emotional state from the right. They are absolutely interwoven to create a beautiful tapestry of life.

Each hemisphere provides an amazing service to us as human beings. We have the ability to retrain our brains causing wires to fire together and develop new or different thought patterns and skills through our conscious choices of what we choose to focus our thoughts and energy on. Neurons that fire together, wire together. Thus a pattern is carved, like rain water rushing through the dirt and earth on a slope.

Art is a broad word. Anything can be an art form if it has our attention and patience. Creativity is an outlet of self-expression as well as a seat of self-education. When we look at an artist’s painting or play a game of chess, we feel something, those neurons firing together are the lasting impressions from the experience – how we choose to process that experience shapes our future encounters of similar situations or visual stimulations. Giving us grounding and context as a starting point to navigate the world and assist in finding our natural inclinations. From those preferences, we can choose what we want to expose ourselves to, what parts of ourselves to nurture and what to let go that doesn’t feed our higher good – curating our inner and outer worlds.

Art is a teacher. Art guides us to understand different perspectives and how others experience the world. Looking at our own lives and everything that surrounds us through an open but grounded mind allows us to become gentler and kinder – to ourselves and all others.

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Popular culture utilizes art to shape our thought patterns. Below is a beautifully illustrated advertisement series – educational psychology of why this ad is so powerful aside, it shows the beauty and highlights the strengths within ourselves. Enjoy. MB Ad MB Ad 2 MB Ad 3Neurological Reference: Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson.

Total Eclipse of the Heart Chakra

We’re in the midst of a powerful spiritual week. Passover began at sundown Friday evening, we experienced a total lunar eclipse following a blood moon in our solar system early today and Easter is this Sunday. Whether you follow the traditions and rituals of  any of these observances or of another faith, commonalities can be found. Each pull strongly on your heart, guiding together along our earthly and spiritual path. Where spirit meets body.

It’s a time to be gentle, kind and to move slow and with intention.

Instead of focusing on the differences between us this time of year, I tried to look to this universal truth and see us as one. Faith, spirituality and the heart are intertwined. The heart is the root of compassion. Compassion is the doorway to understanding – ourselves and others.

One Love. May all beings everywhere be happy and be free.

Anxiety? There’s an App for That.

When it comes to technology, I’m a strong believer that less is more. It is so easy with the current highly evolved technologies widely available as well as living in a Western society to become engulfed in screen-time. Once in a lunar eclipsed moon, I find an app or a piece of technology that helps to connect back with the self versus focusing energy outside of the body.

Pacifica is a free app designed to assist with lessening the physical causes of stress and anxiety through mindfulness. It utilizes five categories rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation and key wellness factors.

1. Mood – A thermometer for your feelings and general mood throughout the day. You can track improvements and take note of triggers over time like water intake or number of hours of sleep.

2. Relax – When you feel stressed, Pacifica offers three relaxation exercises: deep belly breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and positive visualization. You can even pick your soundscape like summer nights or rooftop rain.

3. Thoughts – When you feel overwhelmed and your mind is racing, this app can assist with bringing negative thought patterns into the forefront to develop more positive perspectives over time.

4. Experiments – If you’re feeling up for a challenge, this section provides ways to explore your health and get some forward-motion traction.

5. Health – A section to track your daily wellness factors like hours of sleep, time spent outdoors, minutes exercising and caffeine intake.

Why the awesome folks at Pacifica created the App:
“While there will always be a place for traditional therapy, barriers such as stigma, cost, and logistical considerations often get in the way of individuals getting the treatment they need”. Get the whole story from their about page.

True That.

Awareness and support for folks who wrestle with anxiety and stress is important work. Together, we move forward.

In a fast-paced world of conflicting values, I really like how Pacifica highlights that change happens over time. Depending on how much consciousness we have towards our health factors, we can expedite real change and balance in a lasting way. It allows you to be a detective for your own emotional and physical wellbeing on a non-judging and gentle path. As we stay strongly rooted in the present, we can look to the future.

>>Get the App

>>Visit thinkpacifica.com/blog for more on startups & anxiety

Sleep Better – Winter Remedies.

Sleep can be hard in winter. So many factors – lack of vitamin D and sunlight, harsh temperatures with wind, stress from cabin fever and prepping for taxes to name a few. Depending on where you live, access to outdoor farmer’s markets and many trails or outdoor destinations to nourish our minds and bodies may be limited.

The math here looks to have a pattern…more discomfort means less quality sleep. Less quality sleep leads to more discomfort.

A few holistic home remedies have truly helped with calming the nervous system to get better rest have become a nightly ritual for me.

  • Soak – find a restorative bath salt mix with balsam fir or ho wood. These earthy aromatics will ground you from a busy day. Nell’s remedies Champion Soak is a gem.
  • Self Massage – gently rub the bottoms of the feet before bedtime. There are so many nerve ending in the feet, this activates the parasympathetic nervous system to provide a calming feeling all over the body.
  • Soothing Tea – brew a chamomile or lemon balm mix to sip while you read or unwind.
  • Lavender Oil – rub a few drops in the palms then fluff your pillows for soothing aromatherapy.

There is nothing like a nurturing evening and good night’s rest to break out of the winter blues. The common theme seems to be ground, ground, ground before turning in for the night. Bringing airy Vata energy back to earth to recycle after thinking and planning and performing tasks all day. Get ready to  take on a new day in the morning with a perspective that feels solid in your shoes.

Transformation…

It can be hard not to focus on the outcome. The destination. Hard to find the balance between where I am in the multi-faceted external world and where I am within the layers of myself. There is a wave of relief in the surrender to self, the true self that is a guide, brings moments of stillness and peace.

T.S. Eliot

Holy Moly, Mercury Retrograde…

I woke up this morning at 5:00am from a few incredibly vivid dreams. The imprint when I woke was the type of one that lets you know your entire entity was working through many dimensions of thought and being. And then I cried…a lot. It felt like a pressure valve release to whatever my body was healing while I slept. It can be easy to feel completely alone in these moments, but then I remember that there actually is an entire Universe out there playing a roll. We are never alone.

Knowing that we all experience things differently, when retrograde Mercury comes about, it is an amazing reminder to slow down and take stalk. Be patient and honor what comes up. This is when I like to remind myself to acknowledge and respect whats happening around me but to try to keep grounded on my own path. Lessons will be brought up which ignites a natural push-or-pull but all for reasons of urging personal growth. As empathetic beings, we can easily get wrapped up with what comes along in our daily encounters with the tremendous energy during these planetary shifts. We’re all on this green planet together – the gentler we are on ourselves, the gentler we will be with others.

If you have time, flip thru Instagram for the beautiful photos of the blood moon from this morning and the full moon heading into lunar eclipse from last night. It’s a collage-type of reminder that we are all here together, seeing and experiencing the same things from different vantage points. Enjoy the show and the time to meditate, reflect and go with the flow.

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Point of View x Beth Hoeckel

Self-Care. It’s a Real Thing.

For months I had been dreading to get back into shape. My entire life my weight and health has fluctuated often while staying within a recoverable spectrum. Blame it on my love for all food – including a reasoning that greasy food should still grace the dinner plate every now and again. But as much as I love pizza (I mean LOVE the damn thing), I also really love when I get into a routine of healthy salads, sautés, green juice and anything that can come from my Vitamix. More importantly, I love the way it makes me feel. A glow from within.

Just this past week, I set aside the fact that this frozen tundra known as winter in Minnesota (currently the harshest on record) has consumed the landscape and with it, a good amount of motivation, to make the leap. I went to a local holistic urban wellness spa, where I also happen to work as a coordinator two days a week, and set myself up for a 90 minute therapeutic massage. Something I used to do for myself on a monthly basis for stress management when I worked in the Corporate world. This body work, however, was different. I was able to let go and set into a meditation that I had not been able to do for the last year. It was amazing.

Simply creating the space for this release to take place opened up so much more than I had realized it would. Sometimes it is best to wait to open up/let go when we are still processing to protect ourselves and our progress (it took me a year!). And I still have so much to work through but this initial self-care step truly was ready and needed. I began attending yoga classes again…which is hard. Yoga is phenomenal..but it will take a while to work towards the place I was in my practice. That’s ok. We’re exactly where we are supposed to be..right? Or at least that is what so many teachers have said, it can be hard to encompass but also can lift a monkey off of your back to let yourself be where you are.

I’m beginning to actively move back into a healthy eating regime including a ton of salmon, avocado and berries with Omega-3s and Antioxidants, saving pizza for special occasions…maybe. All of these changes from just simply taking time to prioritize my health (mental and physical) and get some body work. A positive domino effect that I want to keep moving forward. Off we go!

Love and light,
Rachel

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