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Solar Plexus Bowl Damaris Jarboux (founder and owner of Body Energy Center) taught all of her students this practice. I find it very useful and an effective way of cultivating awareness of my energy field, especially my solar plexus area. It can be done in any position, but it is a good practice to do in bed before getting up in the morning or  going to sleep at night. It takes about 10 minutes. Resting your mind in center, become aware of your solar plexus - as if you were witnessing it from center. As you exhale, imagine sending your breath there. Feel the area and notice the quality, sensation or image that is present. Lightly place your hands on your solar plexus with your fingertips in a straight line from your navel to the xyphoid (at the bottom of your breast bone), right hand on top. Your thumbs are not used except as a vent. Your fingertips are just lightly touching your body (wearing clothes is fine). Imagine a bowl inside your solar plexus area facing up; the surface of your skin is the top of the bowl. Let the energy of your fingertips sink down into the area like they were sinking into the bottom of the bowl. Watch and feel your willingness to allow this area of your body to soften, relax and begin to open like the eye of a camera. Feel your willingness to let go of the habit of over-protecting and unnecessary guarding and shielding. You are filtering your own light out by doing that. Pushing your fingers hard won't help, it will only close tighter. You will start to feel a physical response as your body begins to let go and your unconscious stress response will release and sink slowly into relaxation response. Walk your hands around the bowl's edge, pausing to let them sink to the bottom in each place, then return to the midline. Imagine an egg of light all around you like a permeable shell, this is your true filter. When you're ready, take a deep breath in and as you exhale let your mind lead your breath down and out through your solar plexus. Keep doing this as you draw your hands off your body - drawing this old pattern of energy out. Be glad to let it go. Each time you exhale, fill your solar plexus with breath and light, and keep drawing your hands from your solar plexus bowl out. You can even circle your hands out clockwise. There is nothing "bad" leaving during this practice, just an old habit of protection that has been subconsciously keeping your body in stress response and weakening your constitution to some degree, because it was filtering your own light from full descent into your physical body. Once you have developed this process, it is faster and you can do it with your mind - the mind leads the chi. If you do this daily (for 10 minutes) or twice daily, it will entrain your energy body to respond quicker and deeper each time. This energy center will get stronger and your constitution (elements, organs, meridians) will strengthen. Gradually, your "Solar Plexus Eye" will be more and more open until it functions at 80-100% all the time instead of 0-30% like most people. Your whole life will feel and be different! It will be an invaluable tool for life. I am happy to guide your through this practice so come in for a session! I love Damaris' solar plexus bowl practice! Check out Damaris Jarboux TheCenterPlace.com      ...

Ever wonder if setting an intention might change the quality of any given day? In the morning, take a moment to think about what is your main intention for that day. I like to think of something I might want to bring my attention to during that day rather than just try to get through it. It is an opportunity to practice with my mind. When the day is over, come back around to the intention you set in the morning and see if this practice made a difference. Begin by appreciating what connected you to your heart. Reflect on the times when you lost that connection and ask yourself how it changed your behavior. Don’t beat yourself up by judging the experience and rating it. Just take note how your intention shifted (or didn’t!) your awareness. This practice is a life-long journey, and doesn’t happen quickly. No need to worry about the past or speculate about the future but look at each day as another opportunity to explore. Every day is a fresh start and every evening a chance to cultivate more awareness by reflecting on how you acknowledged your experience. It is so easy to get caught up with our lives when we don’t view it within a larger context. Try this. Take time. Step back and see if you can make a difference when you commit to an intention....

Digestive Distress Trauma (also known as overwhelm and stress) can cause a slew of symptoms including anxiety, panic, distress, sleeping disorders, and many other symptoms. Did you know it could cause Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS)? Maybe you thought trauma only caused psychological repercussions but recent studies say no, that is not the case. IBS is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that is characterized by stomach pains, bloating, diarrhea, and other intestinal problems. And, although it has all the characteristics of a purely physical ailment, there is currently no medically agreed upon cause for IBS. One result that was most interesting to me was that childhood trauma was twice as likely to have occurred in the lives of people with IBS than others! This is intriguing don’t you think? Maybe trauma leads to more than just psychological symptoms but psychosomatic ones. I think it actually points to the fact that the body uses the body to hold or heal trauma! Those of us interested in the mind-body connection have believed for years that many medically unexplainable conditions, like IBS, can have their roots in both somatic and psychological issues. Knowing that trauma could be the real culprit behind IBS helps sheds a whole new light on this condition that may affect as many as 10-15% of all Americans. When we have the opportunity to work with IBS through somatic experiencing we know there is hope. We experience it almost immediately. This type of treatment  can provide effective healing through guidance from a skilled practitioner. Our "held" trauma or stress can be released with some simple yet effective guidance I have had very direct and, believe it or not, quick results using Somatic Experiencing tools working with IBS. Give me a call and I can explain how my work can benefit you or someone you know who suffers from IBS.    ...

How To Slow Down: An Initial Approach to Meditation What happens when we slow down and things begin to settle? Thoughts begin to sink like mud to the bottom of a lake. When this type of settling occurs, a clearer and more precise experience takes place in our minds and bodies. We witness our reactions and responses slower and maybe we better understand the way we feel. This understanding is prajna, profound cognition that occurs through the practice of meditation. It serves as a tool to cultivate deeper awareness of our experiences. We think we are so special and unique, but when we surrender to this exploration, we discover we are a composite of form, sense perceptions, consciousness, etc., and merely a sum of these parts. This realization allows us space to release our ideas about how things are and become curious about how they feel. There is a change in attitude toward our personal experience and thoughts that fuel our underlying sense of angst. Our experience may unfold into the ability to rest our mind and somatically experience our body. But, we have to slow down before we begin to meditate in this way. Wondering how to slow down? The best way to practice this is to let go of thinking there is any right way to do it. Start with where you are. Start with your body. I think sitting is the best posture to begin. With your eyes open or closed, find yourself in the space you are in. If you are on a chair or on the floor, notice where the chair or floor is in the room. Notice your posture and how you feel. Feel the contact and slowly look around. What do you see? What don’t you see? What do you notice? What don’t you notice? Feel the space you are in. Become aware of what day it is, what time of day it is, what the weather is, what you have done before you decided to do this exercise, what you are going to do after this exercise and how long will you do it. Be, breathe and notice the quality and pace of your breath. Just notice it. Don’t change it. You may begin to think about your experience. Just think your thoughts. Don’t follow them or believe them, just see them. Breathe, feel and notice. If you start with this simple approach, you will find there is space in your mind for curiosity to explore your body and your mind. This is the beginning of a type of meditation practice. Be in the present moment through your body and mind. That is all you have to do right now. Slow down and settle into it.      ...