Archives for the month of: March, 2013

“Care of the Caregiver… YOU!” ~Shane B. Kulman

I remember the first time I heard this. How clear and “right” it sounded.  As the phrase unfolded in my head, I realized that I was a caregiver, and that working in a classroom 5 days a week, 8-3:30 and then coming home to eat a slice of pizza and collapse was not going to work for me anymore. That was NOT caring about the caregiver, and I was caregiving for 25 students and a wacky assistant that year.  No more…

I’ve graduated and will occasionally take a several week or month vacation during the school year, is this extreme caregiving for myself?  I think, no.  Some say extreme, I bet some say spoiled…  I now understand the importance of bookends. When I set out to work, I am aware that before and after I must include time where I do something for myself.  It may be a simple cup of tea, or a massage/spa visit.

I believe everyone is a caregiver in some aspect. Parents, Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles, babysitters, teachers, therapists, Nurses, Doctors, dog owners… you get the idea.

The parents I work with that have children with special needs, are constantly caregiving. There have been very few who make the time to withdraw from caring about others and take care of their Self.  So many parents pick food from their children’s plates, or eat standing up, don’t get dressed or spend every last penny on their child. After a while the caregiving well, goes dry. Parents often feel drained, wasted of energy and limited in   options. When I suggest a yoga class, a writing class, or to join in to any group activity that does not revolve around parenting, they look at me like I’m a dreamer, like I’m out of touch with reality, and then I see the guilt forming, “WHAT!?!? spend time on myself?!!?!? When my child is so far behind?”  I even suggested to a Mom to go out to dinner with Dad with a dress on, and I would stay with the children, she laughed at me and said we talk and eat when the kids go to school. Hmmmm, is this the same as wearing a dress at a restaurant?  I think not.

Children learn from watching, this has been researched and proven.  If all the young girls are watching their Mothers caregive and serve constantly, how will they learn to be independent and self expansive?  Special needs children, including non-verbal children see and feel what is going on around them. I see the neediest children become ultra demanding when they are in need of something. What happens after their demand, that may result in a temper tantrum/meltdown?  A Parent is running to serve them. What is the valuable lesson here? Yup, the bigger the meltdown and demand, the faster a parent runs.

Children with or without special needs, even pets, learn how to rule through behavior and reactions. I believe there is always time to be made for caring for the caregiver. Even if its a bath, or journaling time. I would say shopping, but you know who gets shopped for… everyone else.

Dearest friends – No matter who you are caring for. You can serve them on a higher level, if you take time to serve yourself. Your health and those you love will love you for it.

Namaste and love yourself,

Shane

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The Throat Chakra – The key to expressing your truth

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou

Throat singing by Bill

We are verbal beings. We currently live in a mass culture dominated by the word, and our current popular culture seems to thrive on gossip, actively encouraging its citizens to talk about other people. Our word is powerful, and the way in which we speak our words has great influence and real impact in our lives.

Who has not experienced the feeling of choking up, of being unable to speak? We struggle at times to ‘find the right words’. We may feel we say the ‘wrong’ thing, and experience harmful words flying from our mouths before we can stop them. At other times, we may force ourselves to stay quiet, to avoid trouble, when we truly have something we want to say.

All of these situations may indicate an imbalance in the throat chakra. This chakra is the home and source of truthful and meaningful communication. The Sanskrit name for the throat chakra Vissudha, means purification. When we team this concept of purification with the purpose of this chakra, we begin to understand that truthful communication which is clean and wise, impeccable and full of integrity is not only desirable – it is good for us. When we have a healthy throat chakra, we are mindful of what we say, and why we are saying it.

Another important function of the throat chakra is the act of listening. This includes listening to the outer world with our physical ears, as well as listening to our internal world. When we focus attention internally and listen to what our bodies are telling us, we begin to hear the truth of our own inner story. Thoughts and fears are trying to communicate. Body sensations carry meaning and a yearning to be heard. As we begin to hear our inner story, we experience a deeper resonance with our true self.

The throat chakra is also the gateway to our unique creative expression. Creativity, be it through dance, art, language or music, gives expression to our inner discoveries. We can develop our creative self through awakening the throat chakra.

As we open and heal the throat chakra, we actively begin to speak in a way that creates a more harmonious life. We open up to authentic self-expression and we become more attentive to our own truths, as well as the truths of others.

The throat chakra, more than any other, governs our relationship with vibrations and resonance. We can resonate with the vibrations of music, people, ideas, environments or even the universe. When we find this resonance, a sense of harmony and rhythm is experienced. When not in resonance, we sense a feeling of discord. We may feel that we do not fit in or belong.

Although the energy of the throat chakra is more subtle than the lower chakra energies, it’s still incredibly powerful. Just think of how a singer can break glass with her voice – the vibrations from this chakra can and do affect matter and therefore us. We all tune into vibes all the time. Working with the throat chakra increases our awareness of this energy and its impact.

There are a variety of techniques to aid purification including what the Buddhists call ‘wise speech’, periods of verbal silence and the practice of chanting. When the throat chakra becomes purified, we awaken to the more subtle communication abilities of telepathy.

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Evaluating your throat chakra:

Simply answer YES or NO to each of the statements below. The more YES answers you can honestly give yourself, the better you are balanced in the throat centre.

∆ I am a good listener.

∆ I do not gossip about others behind their backs.

∆ I have a good sense of rhythm.

∆ I have a strong clear voice.

∆ My creative life is important to me.

∆ I am able to express myself clearly and effectively.

∆ I pick up on ‘vibes’ easily.

Balancing your throat chakra:

Chakradance – The dance of Expression

Blending free-flowing movements with particular frequencies of sound, Chakradance is a dynamic dance journey through the 7 chakras. The movements of the throat chakra have been inspired by many ancient dances. So many cultures all over the planet interweave the voice and dance to increase the awareness of spirit. The Greek word horus refers to both dance and song, and is the origin of the word chorus. In Ancient Egypt, performers often danced while reciting poetry, while in Hawaii, chant and dance are blended to communicate the story. In Tibetan culture, mystical rituals performed by monks interweave chanting and sound (gyaling horns, cymbals and bells), with delicate movements of the body. In Chakradance, we weave sound and movement in a ‘mantra-dance’ to intensify our self- expression and creativity.

In our classes, we complete the dance of expression with the creation of a personal “mandala” artwork, which we find helps to integrate and contain the energy that has come up during the dance.

For more information on Chakradance classes and music specifically to dance the throat chakra go towww.chakradance.com/

Throat chakra crystals:
Turquoise, aquamarine, sodalite

These crystals may be placed on the location of the throat chakra (throat cavity) for clearing, revitalising and healing. You may even choose to carry one of these crystals with you throughout your day.

Throat chakra oils:
Eucalyptus, lavender, chamomile, frankincense

These oils can be used in massage treatments, burned in an oil burner or you may even add a few drops in to your bath.

Affirmations:

“I allow the truth to speak through me.”

“I am heard.”

“Creativity flows through me.”

“It is my essence to create.”

“When I listen I hear the truth.”

“I am able to speak to others clearly and eloquently.”

“It is good, right, and safe for me to express my true essence.”

“My truth is necessary.”

“I allow my essence to express itself in my life.”

Affirmations are a powerful way of communicating with your inner self. Use these positive messages (or find your own) as part of your healing process for your throat chakra.

5 Top Tips for balancing your throat chakra:

1. Have the intention of always being open and honest with your communication. Try to keep communication meaningful, not indulging in gossip, lies and pointless chit-chat.

2. Be mindful of the Buddhist precept of wise speech: “Is it true, is it kind, is it necessary, is it the right time?”

3. Acknowledge that ‘listening’ is as much a part of communication as talking, and practice active listening.

4. Be open to higher levels of communication (telepathy, clairaudience, channelling).

5. Explore ways of connecting with your innate authentic creativity eg. dance, painting, the way you dress, cooking etc.

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The Humming Breath:

Practice this simple breathing technique regularly to activate your throat chakra…

Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine. Begin by exhaling as much air as possible from your lungs before taking in a deep, slow breath through your nose, refilling your lungs. On your next exhalation, make a soft humming sound like a bee. When you run out of breath, take another deep inhalation, continuing the humming sound as you exhale. Begin with a few minutes practice, working up to 10-15 minutes at a time. When you have finished your humming breath practice, lie down and relax for a few minutes.

Everyday ways to balance your throat chakra:

Experiment with wearing the colour sky-blue or bring this colour more into your life. Open yourself to some new creative projects – it may be as simple as getting creative with your wardrobe or experimenting with an unexplored medium like sculpting! Spend a few minutes each day chanting the seed sound of the throat chakra which is “hum” or find a mantra that works for you. Be sensitive to your environment and the people around you and try and tune into the “vibes” – what resonates for you and what doesn’t? Listen to your own inner voice!

I’ll be talking about the third eye chakra, and how to balance it, next week.

Namaste,

Screen Shot 2013-02-06 at 2.35.12 PMNatalie Southgate – Founder of Chakradance.
Website – www.chakradance.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Chakradance

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