Guest post by Lizette Ayala, energy healing and holistic fitness coaching; bodyrules.com
Living in a small apartment by myself gave me enough time to dwell. That’s what happens when you’re alone – you remember, reflect, brood – you dwell. Well, at least I did. Believe me, there was a lot to dwell about. Mostly, it was about stuff that happened to me in the last 20 years. Never mind that I was barely 30 years old at the time. Never mind that the eating disorder I suffered from during that time reinforced my need to hide from the world. It was, after all, the only coping mechanism I had. The only way I knew how to deal with the anxieties of my health, jobs, relationships, life.
Alone in your own head is a dangerous place to hang out for a long period of time. It gives you the illusion that you are alone in the world, even though you see other people every day and may, on occasion spend time with “friends.” If you’ve ever felt misunderstood or unable to transfer your thoughts to a meaningful outlet, you know what it feels like to be alone in your head. For some, this is an every day, 24/7 experience and a progressively frightening one.
If you can’t release all the stuff that makes you, well, you, how are you to feel safe in this world? How can you feel like you belong? We have our own grace that we come into this world with, but if we’re not safe in the expression of them, life may seem to be slowly suffocating us. So, our craving for self-expression leaves us vulnerable, reaching for something, anything to help rip the straightjacket of emotions off.
Some run to cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, or anything that has the potential to love and punish simultaneously. My outlet was food.
When and how it started doesn’t matter as much as why. That was simple – because it was there. Fast, cheap, easy and always surrounded by lots of seemingly positive energy, I learned how to use it to stuff what I didn’t want and (many times) wasn’t allowed to express.
Thank goodness that’s all in the past. I’m better now, no thanks to the numerous diets, short stints at a (few different) therapist’s office, or countless psychotropic drugs. No, it wasn’t a magic potion either. What saved me was energy healing, that ancient technique of moving energy through and around the body to help it accomplish what it does best, heal itself. The premise is simple; our bodies communicate clearly all that it needs for optimal health and well-being. Of course, we must be willing to understand its language, and that’s exactly what you get with energy healing, including how to stay present (instead of dwelling about the past), what to eat (more like, how to listen to your body when it’s hungry and know the difference between real hunger and emotional hunger) and how to heal yourself and your loved ones from stressors that can potentially lead to unhealthy outlets.
It is no wonder that I chose Energy Healing and Holistic Fitness Coaching as a career to help others out of their straightjackets. It works. Many times, it just slips off as they learn to feel present and at ease in this world. Feeling is believing.
1. Make yourself feel with music.
I love music. It has the potential to change my mood, take me back to a place I want to be, or help me think about the future I would like to create for myself. It is easy to get stuck listening to the same songs all the time and get in a funk. For this reason, whenever I hear a song I like on the radio, I write it down and would encourage other people to do so too. Later, I listen to this song again, and I am surprised by how inspired it makes me feel to write, move my body, or just meditate and feel.
2. Warm your heart with an animal.
I am very fortunate to have a sweet dog named Rocky. He is incredibly cute and looking at him always brings my attention to my heart. I love walking Rocky and feeding him, yes, but best of all are the times I spend with Rocky that do not involve chores. Doing so challenges me to put my work away and come back into the beauty and peacefulness of the present moment.
Do you have an animal you like spending time with at home? Next time, pay attention to the sensations in your body spending time around an animal brings up for you.
3. Play…in the water!
I do not often go to the pool, but I love taking baths. I add salts with aromatherapy oils and do gentle swimming motions in the water. Usually, I follow up by doing some self-massage. If you are more curious about self-massage, I learned the idea from an Ayurvedic practitioner, who introduced to me the concept of “Abhyanga.” Later, I did a school project in which I talked about self-massage and the role touch played in helping me heal from an eating disorder.
4. Spend time by yourself.
Sometimes relationships with other people can be draining. In order to realize which relationships in your life are more draining to you than uplifting, spend some time alone and assess. Do the people you spend time around value you for who you are? To what extent do you feel the need to uphold an image in order to be wanted?
5. Experiment with movement.
Movement can be a wonderful tool to come in touch with yourself and feel all different kinds of emotions. That said, exercise can be detrimental and dangerous—especially depending on the individual situation—when it becomes overly routine and encourages a self-defeating mentality.
My advice: Step out of your comfort zone if you want, but I prefer to shift the focus to getting comfortable moving whenever/wherever…no matter the zone! One of my favorite things to do is dance in my room to music when nobody is looking. I prefer to move throughout the day rather than pressure myself to “get it all in” in a short period of time.