“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.