Peace Boom Will Transform US

Low Impact Exercise for Peace – 1 hour training.

..I’m still feeling the energies … an hour later… all my arthritis pain is gone! Amazing!” – J. Madu, Dallas, Texas

“I just did the movement meditation and it’s lovely. I love it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. ” – I. Connor, Brick, New Jersey.

“The movements are comforting for my back pain, and it’s better I exercise. We love these moves!” -T.Nokwe, Johannesburg, South Africa.

PEACE Boom, Join us to amplify your authentic luminosity and presence with a simple, easy, zoom-friendly movement practice to transform Us, the community, and the planet.

With the Peace Boom, you physically make a stand for peace-building, personally, spiritually, for yourself and others. You gently move beyond pain, stiffness, and self-consciousness, to greater luminosity, clarity, and creativity, while helping to focus your energy, generate energy, and calm fear and anxiety.

You won’t need to kneel or overly stretch, it’s as easy as Tai Chi, but is also a meaningful sentence and a deep communication to the body.

Lack of empathy can be a defense from overwhelming grief and loss. A cut off that will have physical ramifications in the body, which always, in its wisdom, drives us to seek healing. You can potentially heal these blocked neurological pathways, gently without needing to re-experience the trauma, though emotional release will be a natural consequence, and a path of the body healing.

The practice I teach creates a model of empathy, which at first is self nurturing, and just “making the motions” of empathy to others. As you repeat making the motions, the neurological pathways of empathy for others, get formed and reinforced, and including connection to nature, oxygen, trees, and the earth.

Then softly, unobtrusively, that empathy for others becomes a natural relaxation response. Mentally, in Empatharian Circles, we teach a communication, which starts with empathy for self, then uses empathy for others to solve conflicts and problems with others… that too is unnatural at first, but as it transforms all your relationships, it becomes reinforced as a successful strategy in the nervous system.

Pausing and noticing this journey for each person individually, is what we do in Empatharian Circles. While verbal sharing is optional, emotional expression in improvisational art and movement is structured for safe participation and feedback in pairs. It’s a world community based on commitment and caring, and all are welcome.

In our current paradigm of living, there’s way too much hate for comfort. Hate is an addictive tribal ritual that comes into being because the tribe is weak, sad, and in mourning. Without the hatred, all that pain would be exposed and Ouch! We do not want to feel pain. But hate cannot survive without the fear, and the fear cannot survive without alienation. So, Empatharian Movement for Peace works at the grassroots, using skills of empathy and peace-building to combat alienation.

Where there are human beings, there may always be conflict- conflict is a natural result of community, and can be necessary for growth and transformation. Through conflict resolution, non-violent communication, and models of indiginous ceremonial change processes, we build a peace which is alive and growing.

“When you carry around extra pounds, you can have trouble staying active, low energy, and difficulty sleeping,” says Dr. Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“(Empatharian is) a language that allows for individual expression within a broader narrative … with a component of rhythm and ritual to affirm us…to feel comfort in, (while you) bring your own voice, and I don’t mean spoken voice: I mean the voice of your being.

“Somatic and kinesthetic learning is very important. Empatharian can be a breakthrough to go beyond competition, to a new world learning community. It has this possibility of a combination Hogwarts Academy-Jedi Training-Castalia and Ashram – all in one!” -Alexander Lazlo, educator, futurist and author.

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#3 Top Secret for Ending Addiction For Good: Purpose and Passion

Having purpose and passion in your life transforms you psychologically and emotionally- but it needs to be Your purpose, Your passion. Not someone else’s hand me down purpose, that like a first child who gets all the attention when you get none, is a distraction from being in the moment. So for a person with a substance use disorder, whose purpose in life has been getting the next fix or the next joint, bottle or pill, it may feel empty to be without that driven passion.

That’s why it’s important to create space for insight and delight, for pure enjoyment and creativity, for exploration of that primal urge from the mind of a five year old: what do you want to do when you grow up? In Empatharian Circles, space and time is alloted in the group for exploration, using methods to access the subconscious and unconscious mind. Done safely, with a journal and coloring pencils, no one needs to share, but feedback from others can sometimes spark a flame of recognition, something we hadn’t seen until someone saw it with kindness and empathy, without judgement, just seeking.

And we are seeking that inner joy, wisdom and heart connection that puts us in the Zone. The Zone where we are perfectly in sync with ourselves, body, mind and spirit expressed jubilantly! We are connected to ourselves and all of life, and allow wellness to be our realization of this purpose.

And the results with having a true authentic purpose are more than emotional and psychological. Yes, there are real physical benefits as well, that have been corroborated with research studies done all over the world. Having a strong sense of purpose you will:

  • Live longer. A 2009 study of over 73,000 Japanese men and women found that those who had a strong connection to their sense of purpose (which they call ikigai) tended to live longer than those who didn’t. Additionally, in his study of “Blue Zones” (communities in the world in which people are more likely to live past 100), Dan Buettner identified the factors that most centenarians share, one of them being a strong sense of purpose. In 2014, researchers used data that tracked adults over 14 years and found that “having a purpose in life appears to widely buffer against mortality risk across the adult years.
  • Protect against heart disease. Another study in 2008 found that a lower level of purpose in Japanese men was associated with earlier death and cardiovascular disease. More research in this area showed that “purpose is a possible protective factor against near-future myocardial infarction among those with coronary heart disease.”
  • Prevent Alzheimer’s disease. In studies of thousands of elderly subjects, Dr. Patricia Boyle, a neuropsychologist at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, found that people with a low sense of life purpose were 2.4 times more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease than those with a strong purpose. Further, people with purpose were less likely to develop impairments in daily living and mobility disabilities.
  • Handle pain better. Purpose can also positively affect pain management—a study in The Journal of Pain found that women with a stronger sense of purpose were better able to withstand heat and cold stimuli applied to their skin. – https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/why-life-purpose-important, B.Meltzer, Ph.D., R.N., M.J. Skinner, Ph.D., R.N.
  • In Short, having a strong sense of purpose is an innoculation against life’s ups and downs, and for a person with substance use disorder, this is major. With time and practice, when you’ve developed and honed in on that strong passion- a new resilience emerges which becomes a support for the community around you, as well as you.

Empatharian Movement for Peace has a purpose in its title: Peace. It’s about peace-building personally and worldwide universally, inner and outer. Through empathy and empathic connections with people around the world, our purpose is to create a world community of Empatharians, doing the practice, participating in circles, no one lonely or left out. Can you dig it? In your heart of hearts what is your purpose!?

 

 

The First Step to Ending Addictions: Talk to Plants!

Talking to plants is a great way to contact spirit.” – Rosemary Gladstar

When you want to stop doing something that you really love to do, it’s not easy.

I don’t want to trivialize or make fun of the difficulty of ending an addiction to something. It’s really hard to just stop being addicted; every cell of the body screams out in resistance. It doesn’t happen overnight, or trivially. Attacking an addiction head on brings up huge resistance, and because what you resist persists, it’s never going to work to try to stop cold turkey or to shame yourself into it, or to do it for someone else. Unfortunately.

Can Logic, Persuasion, or even Love Stop An Addiction?

No

    • Logic pales when confronted with physical chemistry of craving. Logic will sabotage you, until you have a new value for the self you are working to change behaviors for. The pleasure self of the addict is delighted with proving its value by defying logic.
    • Persuasion and bargaining, manipulating with bribes: these may work for a moment, but they will also fall by the wayside when a new clandestine using opportunity arises. And it will.
    • Love does not disappear for the addict- the addict loves! You care so much for the others in your life that sometimes it really does hurt to see them suffering from your failures. Unfortunately, the pain of failure and disappointing a loved one makes it inevitable that the pain will need numbing, and even more because you feel so worthless that you can’t live up to their expectations and hopes. That’s why it’s so dangerous for a loved one to get invested in the addict’s recovery. It has to be the addict’s recovery because of himself.

Valuing the Self of the Addict

Instead, a first step which is not too hard, is not attacking the addiction, but rather is opening up to the world of nature, the natural world, and through that to the spirit and the Self. As suggested by famed senior herbalist and author, Rosemary Gladstar, “Talking to plants is a great way to contact spirit.”

Wild plants are preferred, so take yourself outside and find a country walk somewhere. But one of my very best conversations was with a weed poking through a crack in a sidewalk in downtown LA- so don’t be fussy. All plants are great conversationalists! You do have to listen real hard; real hard. But in the end, listening is great to practice, yes?

Maybe you’re listening to your self. The aliveness that’s thriving and growing somehow, despite it all. When you get home you can grab a pen and paper and just write what comes into your head. A poem, or a song? A word? A picture?

Ah, the moment is gone. After this first foray, however, you will be better and better at hearing spirit, so keep it up. After all, we in western civilization all have nature deficit disorder, and the addictions that are so rampant are a sign of that. And yet most people spend more time on Facebook than out in nature.

Connecting to The Earth With Empatharian

When we do the Empatharian practice: The Empath Stretch movement meditation, we are connecting through our feet to the earth and beyond, anchoring ourselves to the center of the earth as we move, slowly and with mindfulness.  The preferred practice location is outside in nature, though sometimes this isn’t possible and we just have to feel ourselves extending past the floors and walls.

All the elements, and all the directions are included in our practice, as we turn and honor each.  There are 12 positions in the initial practice, each a symbol for a word/meaning, and a cycling through of the elements:  1-4 are tje Setup for Peace, 5-8 are Activating Peace, and 9-12 are Results of Peace, which with repetition and more practice, becomes an embodied wisdom:

  1. Making a Stand – fire
  2. for peace-building – water
  3. everyone – wind
  4. wins -earth
  5. inspire – fire
  6. respectful – water
  7. energy – wind
  8. seeking – earth
  9. inner joy – fire
  10. wisdom – water
  11. heart – wind
  12. connection – earth.

These are the elements and practices that cultivate that vitality and aliveness that will help you to flourish to your highest and best growth: your beautiful growing plant self.  Listen to that little plant as well!

 

Top 5 Ways to End Addictions Once and For All

In the next five days you will be getting the lowdown on how to end addictions once and for all. The mainstream drug and healthcare establishments and their backers will not want you to hear this. They have been making millions turning normal law abiding Americans into addicts: their multi-billion dollar industry.  The marketing research says that Drug and alcohol addiction rehab in the United States is big business — worth $42 billion in 2020.   

What’s the statistics on this?

According to United Press International (UPI), drug abuse and suicide rates increased 170% between 2009 and 2018; however the spread of COVID-19 has caused sharp increases in such findings. As a result, studies noticed a 59% increase in alcohol use, increases in Opioid overdoses and rises in suicidal thoughts. Additional statistics include 81,000 reported drug overdoses in a 12-month period during 2020, becoming the highest ever recorded in a year.

In 2016, 48.5 million Americans used illicit drugs or misused prescription drugs [PDF-6.2MB]. And more than 63,000 drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved a prescription or illicit opioid, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control). Imagine what the statistic for illicit drug use and overdose is in 2021. One in ten people? One in 100? Well, we know things are exploding with the stress of this pandemic, and it might take decades to undo the harm done.

The awareness is causing media outlets to spread the word in order to educate people. And the rehab clinics are having a field day. Unfortunately, rehab clinics are not going to end the addictions once and for all. They will get your drug-dependent person off the drug for a period of time, but statistics on rehab are pretty grim. The recidivism rate back to addiction is almost 90%. And sadly, many come out of rehab just to overdose and suicide.

Why is this so?

The Addiction Culture of our western civilization starts with babyhood, with insecure attachments to caregivers, training to extinguish crying by ignoring it, and food used as a substitute for physical closeness. A hole in the psyche is exploited and exploded with media messages that offer redemption through buying things. The natural opiods created by the human body through hormones and neurological stimulation, go to sleep, muted and deadened by the stress hormones that are the natural reaction to a hostile environment.

The human subconsciously perceives a hostile environment which he must survive by fighting, escaping, or disappearing: the fight/flight/freeze response that the flood of cortisol and the stress response provoke. And all of that is without the additional overload of traumatic and abusive violent experiences, which unfortunately are the inheritance through generations of too many families, as well as the actual post traumatic stress experienced by so many survivors of war, conflict and violence.

That inheritance compounds everything, and the human physiology which has absorbed all this, expresses it in anxiety, depression, disease and chronic pain. Those who are more sensitive, whose subconscious buries things less completely perhaps, find their panaceas in addictions.

Addictions to opiods, alcohol, foods, unhealthy relationships, gambling, power- these are the most common that we know about, that cause problems that force us to deal with the underlying issues, the subconscious and unconscious needs that have not been voiced or heard.

A Solution In Plain Sight

Oh Yes. If the body has gone through all this to try to respond to survival, then the body is a miracle machine! We just need to know how to activate it.

New research into the plasticity (means changeability, or ability to change!) of the brain, shows that at ANY age, the brain can change and so change the responses in the body. Not that it’s easy. No. The reset button is a bit hard to find, but it’s in the body, believe me.

No drug or substance, no food or vitamin, no magic crystal or serum of herbs can do this trick of setting our body’s healing into motion. But once we set it into motion, with the 5 special steps which I’m going to reveal, it is done. Once the door has been opened, it doesn’t easily shut.

The human body is a self-healing mechanism, more than the sum of its parts, beyond mere matter or mere suggestions, it is electric.

We can learn how to activate this electricity ourselves in 5 easy steps!

How to Help Back Pain with the 9th Movement

But let me touch your soul of understanding, to move and tell you thus and thus.                                                                                                  Affirmation for INNER JOY by Tammy Narena, c. 1978

“Inner Joy”, The 9th Movement of Empath Stretch.

This bend down to the earth and scooping up to the sky is the massage of our spine, neck, and pituitary gland, stimulating and stretching, and helping your body produce loads of amazing hormones. We call this gesture “inner joy-aliveness” because it is key to so much.

The pituitary gland produces 9 different hormones that stimulate different areas of the body: the adrenals, the thyroid, the ovaries/testes, breasts, kidneys, uterus, and growth hormone for all the cells in the body. The pituitary gland also produces endorphins, your body’s natural pain-killers, as well as oxytocin, which is the “love hormone”.

Here in this simple movement, you are helping your body to deal with pain, to flush with the joy of love, and so much more. Located in the middle of the head, well sheltered at the base of the brain, the pituitary gland actually produces your inner joy and aliveness.

 

Why Are Back Problems So Prevalent Today?

We sit on chairs with backs, in cars with seats, and hardly carry anything anymore. Is it surprising that our backs get weak and vulnerable to injury?

In addition, there’s a few modern comestibles that are probably weakening or making brittle our bones, robbing the strength from them: flouride in toothpaste has been thought a culprit. And the lack of leafy greens and proliferation of sugars in our diets fills us without the necessary absorption of magnesium and iron.

Also, many people are deficient in Vitamin D, which has been shown to be causative of back pain (and supplementation to help!). But let’s get clear: lack of vitamin D is because we don’t get enough sunlight to be manufacturing our own within the body. How sad is that?

Empatharian Helps Five Ways

1. The stretch of the Inner Joy movement is particularly beneficial for strengthening the muscles of the spine, with a slow rolling movement that allows as deep a bend as is comfortable, and encourages relaxation with it’s wonderful affirmation.

2. The relaxation of the muscles allows them to lengthen and stretch more, brilliantly bringing life-giving circulation to all the cells up and down the spine.

3. As the arms raise to the top of the movement, and dip, you are generating seratonin, the body’s pain killing hormone.

4. Flushed with the enthusiasm of the thought, inner joy pervades your being. This creates an environment for wellness and cellular regeneration, re-building connections between tendon and bone, between bone and nerve, nerve and brain.

5. The diving and raising movement of the arms has the spine doing a full realignment, helping straighten the vertebrae, one on top of the other, helping prevent compressed discs.

The Ideal Movement for a Short Pause

While the whole 12 movement amalgamation is most ideal, if you just stand up and do the Inner Joy movement every hour or so, you will effectively prevent most back pain from occurring. If you have a desk job, this can be a life-saver. Literally.

Thinking Joy

Mentally, this movement affirms a beautiful result in your life. It’s about life being a process of up and down, and somehow the momentum of touching down, drives you up higher. This is your secret sauce, your J spot, and the momentum beautifully brings you to Wisdom, and being in touch with your own higher power, however you conceive of it.

 

Making Your Voice Heard: Be Seen and Understood

For truth is truth in different ways. A question that be softly told.” -Affirmation for SEEKING, Tammy Narena, c. 1978

8. Seeking

One hand at a time rises to the eyebrow, shading our eyes to see, as the eyes scan the horizon, as we turn at the hips and waist to see around the back, twisting as far as we can comfortably, and then holding it, to see the full 360 degrees, then turning to go the other way. Feet are hip width apart, and one hand touches the hip, to help us twist away from it.

This spinal twist is excellent for straightening the spine and preventing a humpback from developing as we age, as well as stimulating kidneys and adrenals at the same time.

The kidneys are the root of life in many traditional healing philosophies, and we honor our kidneys as we Seek. The adrenal function is key to stress resiliency, and reviving the adrenals is necessary when we are stressed.

An alternative movement (more dancing, great for kids!) is just walking the seeking with your feet stepping in a circle, clockwise, until you arrive at the beginning of the circle.

A very important part of this exercise is the eyes: keep your eyes on the horizon as you do the twisting or turning, around 360 degrees, either way, or both ways. This is an eye exercise, you guessed it. Done daily you will improve your vision, not just stop it from macularly degenerating more! Of course, we may wear glasses for reading, right!

 

Seeing and Being Seen

As elders it’s not unusual to feel like you are disappeared from the vision of those out in the world. At the grocery store, the clerk overlooks you completely in paying attention to the young man in line behind you. As you walk in the street, it feels like no one even sees you there walking; it’s not even purposely ignoring, it’s just a kind of blindness to old age, and a lack of desire to engage with us.

Well, they snooze, they lose! We are important and valuable components of the world, and our presence is what anchors the ability to see for everyone. The future is bleak without our vision to help see the many truths in the world. Our vision to understand that there are different ways of looking at the same thing.

That gift of wisdom is certainly not our private domain; young people today come into the world sometimes with the most beautiful clear wisdom! But it gets forgotten quite often in the rush of the world, and the clamor of media: You are not enough”.

The ads tell us over and over again that we need this and we need that to be cool, happy, or gorgeous. It’s a “seeking” culture – seeking for the panacea to our troubles, seeking for the magic bullet of our dreams… And we know the truth: the treasure lies within. Within ourselves is the power and the kingdom,

As we are staying open, looking, seeking, we still know ourselves to be fine, good enough, and intrinsicly worthy of respect, kindness and love. We keep our centered energy, and magnetize others towards us.

Being Heard

Sometimes the best way to be heard is to whisper. And sometimes you need to speak up. No, the world is not okay the way it is. No, we will not tolerate being treated unfairly, or seeing others treated unfairly. But how can our voices best be heard?

Listening to others is part of this Koan of “seeking”. Listening and seeing their points of view, their feelings and emotions. We empathize with those feelings. And we understand how those feelings are often based on faulty out there assumptions.

The good news is: people love to be seen, and when they feel seen, suddenly they see you, they hear you and your voice. Raising your voice will scare them, and they shut you out, but that kind whisper: “I see you!” – that is an open door. An open door to be heard, seen, and understood yourself.

Seeing Beyond Appearances

The younger generation is sometimes pretty afraid of others, and oh, they can really dress to scare others away, to keep a safe distance. The worse the nose rings and black mascara and filthy looking hair, sometimes the softest and sweetest the hidden heart underneath. It takes a skilled eye to see beyond appearances.

So many people are hurt and traumatized these days, children not cared for, and youth abandoned by everyone. Even their actions will reveal the survival tactics they’ve had to learn to survive: stay away from me, their appearance says, but underneath they need so much.

Those kids are not easy to love, that’s for sure, and they have that story about themselves, often too: I am unlovable. Of course we know that is not true: every human deserves to be loved, no matter what they say or do to try to prove their parents or some perpetrator right. Their parents were victims too. Too many families just perpetuate a cycle of violence without knowing how to break the cycle.

Seeking is Being Open

Doing the “Seeking” movements help our bodies learn to see all angles, to stretch ourselves around and see the beautiful detail in the horizon that we might have missed before. Allowing our eyes to focus far away, to see farther than we may normally.

When you’re older you’re often far-sighted. I always think that’s a good metaphor for being an elder: we see farther, we see what’s coming, our attention is focussed more on the future than on the present or the past. Of course, there’s a balance that we need, or we trip over the steps in front of us! But sometimes that vision is worth the small details being fuzzy!

I love to read, so my glasses are invaluable, and I make special allowances to get lenses that graduate, so I’m good with near and far.

In our lives, it takes graduated ears as well sometimes to hear the truth beyond the words, the yearning beyond the denial. As you expand that sense, you become truly empathic and empathetiic, sensing and knowing beyond your own physical limitations as well.

 

Healing Trauma with Movement Meditation –

Empatharian Movement for Peace begins with each person doing a healing practice: a movement meditation that we call The Empath Stretch.

It has many active ingredients that make it medicinal to the body, mind, and spirit.  The slow stretching movements, using the upper body and legs, in mindful conscious specific gestures: 12 different movements.

The 12 movements are gestures with meaning: words that go together to make a sentence.  It’s a sentence about peace-building, both personally and globally.  And so the movements are a meditation and an affirmation that is sealed into the body, helping the participant to embody their own purposes and intentions.

This becomes a powerful healing practice when doing it daily for 8-20 minutes a day.  Trauma from past abuse and violence gets sealed into the body as the body produces cortisol, numbing the emotional pain, and dissociating the person’s consciousness from the body.  The long term effects of this process do not eliminate the pain, they simply make it go underground, to the sub-conscious and the unconscious, where it runs your life in ways that are out of your control.

You may hold your trauma in your shoulders or the muscles of your pelvis, predisposing you to neck and back injuries, fat accumulation and poor digestion.  The cortisol continues to flood your nervous system on a regular basis, making an exaggerated startle response, overly vigilant behaviours, and flight/fight/freeze on your relationships:  you are unable to rest or relax, focus or listen, most of the time.

The Empath Stretch is made up of 12 movements divided into 3 sections:

  1. Setup for Win/Win
  2. Actions for peace-building
  3. Results in the world, and yourself.

In the first section of the Empath Stretch, the 4 movements of the Setup for Win/Win are

  1. Making a Stand
  2. For Peace-building
  3. Everyone
  4. Wins

In the second section- Actions the movements are

  1. Inspiring
  2. Respectful/Dignified
  3. Energy
  4. Seeking

In the third section- Results, the movements are:

  1. Inner Joy
  2. Wisdom
  3. Heart/Love
  4. Connection

Each of the movements has particular medicinal qualities for the organs and the nervous system/brain.  Essentially, you are consciously re-parenting yourself with movement, nurturing your own positive emotions, and replacing cortisol with the love hormones, and reward hormones that make life worthwhile, and generate human happiness.

Even better, your practice generates seratonin, which is the body’s natural pain killer, so that even in the short term, you feel more wellness and less pain.   On a cellular level, special breathing practices bathe the cells in oxygen, improve the circulation, and improve the synapses between nerve cells:  you’re faster, more clear and insightful, and healthier all together.

And that’s just the movement portion of the practice!  There’s so much more… Trauma can be inherited and passed on to your children and your children’s children, as can positive ways of coping.  Healing your trauma now will not only help you feel better in your life, it will improve your participation in every aspect of family, relationships, and community.

You owe it to yourself and future generations to make a stand – join an Empatharian Circle online or in your neighborhood, starting soon.

If You Have Balance Issues? Prevent Falls and Re-balance!

Affirmation: “If I could speak and gather you I would, and full of heart embrace you.” – Affirmation for Everyone, Tammy Narena, c. 1978

Have you been losing your balance lately? Feeling a little less steady on your feet, or actual dizziness?  Well, it’s a pretty common complaint these days, for whatever reason.  You are not alone.

Several medical explanations might explain it:  inner ear disturbances, infections, or just vertigo.  But chances are it’s a more fundamental disturbance: lack of grounding.  This pandemic has knocked the ground of ordinary living out from under many people’s feet.  That lack of grounding, or re-adjusting your grounding, leaves space for tipping over, for uncertainty, for losing track of where your feet are situated at the moment, as you paddle in place.

If you actually lose your balance completely and experience a fall, that can be hazardous.  Many people these days have brittle bones that break or crack more easily.  As you grow older, falls are one of the most common hazards. And a fall can land you in the hospital.  One in three elders fall, and one in five will die from the falls. Let’s nip this balance issue in the bud! No falling down thank you!

 

A Daily Wellness Practice

Doing the Empatharian movement meditation practice can help prevent falls, and improve your balance, both mentally and physically, with simple slow movements in about 15 minutes a day.  The Empath Stretch is an affirmation for peace-building in your life and in the world, and it’s a movement meditation that helps ground you.

Slow deliberate, mindful movements, done in a regular routine daily or even just 3 times a week, have been shown in research to reduce the risk of falling by about 30%.  There’s simple science in the reason for that effect:  Awareness, attention, and cognition are all improved with doing the routine of slow movements.  With more awareness and attention, more mindful living results in better balance, and sureness of step.  Pro-actively exercising the mind and body muscles in unison, helps synchronize and ground the person, creating a structural integration that stops toppling over in its tracks.

Also, physically the Empath Stretch increases muscle strength, joint flexibility, and ease of movement, the more you do it.   Moving is more smooth and graceful, over a period of time.  Such simple movements and yet the upper body strength, the lower extremity stability and elasticity, are improved.  We call it the Empath Stretch, because we expect a bit of stretch, both with the body and the mind.  That means that you go just beyond your comfort zone sometimes, to gently stretch the muscle, and then hold the position for one second longer.  Of course, it is imperative that you listen to your body as you move, and do not push yourself too much.  Gentle is the watchword here.

The third movement of the Empath Stretch is “everyone, everywhere”, and it’s a movement of balance with an affirmation that helps us remember our connection to everyone, everywhere: “If I could speak and gather you I would, and full of heart embrace you!”. This is the affirmation to say to yourself when you are doing this movement:

 

3. Everyone

Stepping to the side, the feet land shoulder width apart, arms and hands stretch out straight even with the shoulders, to either side. Shoulders drop, head leans back stretching the neck, and putting gentle pressure on the back of the skull. This massage of the cerebellar vermis, which is there just above the brain stem, helps to stimulate it and promote its development, while promoting calming effects.

With early trauma in a child, the cerebellar vermis develops abnormalities, attention and emotional regulation as well as motor coordination are affected. So this exercise may contribute to bettering all those things at once over time, as well as helping balance itself. Are you an early trauma survivor? Chances are pretty high that you are, even if you have no memory of any incidents.

Mental and physical balance depend on parts of the brain and inner ear, which sometimes get disconnected- but such good news! The brain’s plasticity does not disappear with age, according to the latest research on the neurology of the brain. At any time in the lifecycle, the brain has the ability to re-grow neural pathways, heal broken connections and achieve an unknown greater potential.

The Empath Stretch, along with the words and affirmations of the practice, the spiritual intention for peace, all adds power to the brain’s cellular neural networks. The movement feels good, and it is good for you. You feel more grounded and embodied in your intentions, your life. You are nurturing the body and the source energy core of love that is your birthright.

Making A Stand for Peace-building Everyone Everywhere- is Balanced!

 

If You Have Difficulty Walking: Peace-Building Exercise

I have some gifts to give, in return for kindness and the love of me.” – Peace-building affirmation by Tammy Narena, c.1976.

Honor One Another” – 2nd Chakra affirmation by Carolyn Myss. 
Every relationship you develop, from casual to intimate, helps you become more conscious. No union is without spiritual virtue.

Growing older we sometimes have painful joints, painful muscles, and our back is sore. All these things combine to make it difficult to walk. Unfortunately, if this is arthritis in particular, it’s a vicious cycle: the more you avoid walking, the more painful it is to walk, and the more you avoid walking.

To escape this vicious cycle, one thing you can do is clean up your diet: there are foods that will set off arthritis and add uric acid and toxins to the muscles and joints. Give it a try and see if it makes a difference. Just so you know, very often the foods we are reacting to are some of our favorites, so hold your breath: tomatoes, bell peppers, and other nightshades (eggplant, etc.), sugar (this includes fruit juice and fruit very often!), flour and wheat products (bread, pasta, most sauces, pizza, cake etc.), monosodium glutamate (MSG), transfats (fried foods, donuts, etc.), and refined carbohydrates: chips! I know: not easy. But you’ll find it’s oh so worthwhile not to be in pain!

Another great thing to do is the Empath Stretch movement meditation practice. This slow movement works through your body and your joints, slowly and gently loosening stiffness and allowing life-giving circulation and oxygen to feed the muscles and joints. So on a movement level alone, it’s going to do a world of good.

Before doing any of the following movements, consult your health care professional and listen to any special directions they may have for your special body. Each person is different, and not only your health professional safe-guards your safety: you do. Make sure and listen to your body, notice where it’s pushing into a stretch, and be very very gentle.

You will discover you own limits in doing a movement. It’s great and healing to ride that edge, pushing into the stiffness a little bit. But do not overdo it. Extra stretching and self-massage is often recommended after an exercise.

Continuing the Stretch

The second movement of the Empath Stretch amalgamation is called “Peace-building”: leaning forward into Harmony/Peace, arms are outstretched parallel to the ground and on a diagonal 45 degree angle to the left, with hands in line straight, and curling upwards, twice. This activates the wrists as we raise and lower the hands, keeping the arms placed  parallel.

The position requires you balance as you lean in to it, keeping the body weight over your center of gravity, and finding that spot where you are stretching out and activating each arm’s strength to be horizontal to the ground.  This is balancing the right brain and the left brain, helping the hemisphere’s to work together, building the neurological connection that creates brain comprehension and verbal expression.

When you raise the wrists and hand in the pushing motion, you are activating the joints and muscles in your arm and hand, lubricating the wrist joint, and bringing energy and mindfulness to the fingers and hands. Keep the attention on your hands as you gently bend that forward knee with the leaning forward into the position, all the while being centered over your two feet stretched diagonally.

 

Shifting To Go Sideways- Peace-building exercise:

This is an additional exercise to work through these areas, if you feel you are stiff and need some more stretching. Just to be clear, this is not part of the Empath Stretch: it’s additional improvisation, great for building strength in this area. So here’s how it goes-

Shift your feet to be facing front, with feet about hip width apart. Bend knees as you swing your arms up to the left together, then let the arms drop down as you bend slightly and swing the arms up to the other side.

You are raising the arms up now, first to one side, then the other, practicing “peace-building” to new heights! Enjoy and savor the stretch, only as far as is comfortable, and holding it for a couple of seconds in the top position, each side.

 

Getting Out of Bed in the Morning – The Empath Stretch

 

On these cold winter mornings, it’s such a temptation to just crawl back into that warm bed for a few minutes more! Especially if you’re feeling some stiffness, lethargy, and fatigue on waking, which just plain makes it hard to get out of bed. You have this thought that you just need a few more hours of sleep! But experience tells you, that just doesn’t work.

So how can you get through those morning moments and make an energized, positive day?

Empatharian Movement Practice is a great way to energize your day, starting with the very beginning: getting up with Empatharian.

What does that look like?

Pain and stiffness on waking are not unusual, especially if you’re a senior like me, and especially if you’ve had some injuries in the past that may have left a bit of arthritis in your joints. Or a lot of arthritis!

Here’s a few ideas for Before you Get Up

If you don’t feel like getting up, spend a little time in bed doing some stretches and contractions-

  • Knee Hugs – Lying on your back, hug one leg at a time bending the knee up to the chest, and hold for a count of 5.  Then hugging both legs to the chest, hold for the count of 5 and then release.
  • Take 4 deep cleansing breaths from the belly, and expell with a noise through pursed lips of the mouth. This will clean out some of the cobwebs in your head, oxygenate the blood, and wake you up gently.
  • Spinal twist: Lying on your back with arms stretched out to each side of you, lift one knee towards your chest, stretch out the other leg, and bend that raised knee over towards the opposite side. Feel your spine twist nice and slow and let yourself sink in, keeping the shoulders fairly flat on the bed, which accentuates the twist. If you can touch you knee to the bed, great! Or just reach over towards that direction and hold it. Then I do the other leg/knee going the other side. Repeat twice to each side.
  • Lower Back Lift: Lying on you back, with knees bent, feet flat on the bed, use your arms down next to your body to leverage a lift from the hips up into the air. Your shoulders stay on the bed, and you lift the pelvis and hips as far up as you can, holding for the count of 5. Then lower the hips slowly, starting at the neck, vertebrae by vertebrae, stretching the spine as it comes down to the bed. Do this lift 5 times, resting between repetitions for a nice cleansing breath. This is great for neck stiffness, shoulder stiffness, and builds resilience for avoiding lower back pain.

Getting Up Peacefully and Gently

You’ve now warmed up your body a little, ready for rising and shining! So slowly stretch a leg and then an arm out to bring your weight up and just sit with two feet on the ground, on the side of the bed for a minute. Now, let’s do some Empath Stretch:

    • Stretch your left arm up slowly, with a soft fist, palm aimed up to the sky. When your arm is fully extended, open the fingers and stretch each one out as you bring you head up to an aligned position straight with the spine, chin slightly tucked under. Now, relax and lower the shoulders.
    • Do the same to the right arm, slowly extending with your hand in a soft fist, palm facing up to the sky. As the arm is extended fully, open the fingers widely and hold the position for the count of 3. Making A Stand

Opening To The Day

Oh, that stretch feels good! Now one more stretch and you’ll be up on your feet ready for the rest of the Empath Stretch, which we’ll show you on tomorrow’s blog article.