February 2009

The Sixth Way to Self Soothe

by Leonie Dawson on February 23, 2009

Hola gorgeous Goddesses!

This is evidence of my own Self Soothing.
So is my not-as-frequent-as-always posting.

This last week we’ve been talking about Self Soothing (Parts One & Two here).

The Sixth Way, and the most important way to self-soothe is… I am slowly discovering…

6. Give yourself what you need.

During my life-year I get a couple of special weeks that I call “Big Medicine Week.”
Hellllooooo buttons getting pressed on every single level! Oh hai exhaustion and needing to retreat! Hi hi waves of emotion! Hola huge big painful sore lessons emerging! Welcome back every fear, inadequacy or pain I haven’t fully healed!

It’s been a time that I’ve definitely needed to self-soothe.

And I’ve needed to do that one thing that I forget to do:

Give myself what I need.

And when I asked myself at first what I needed, I didn’t hear anything.
And then I heard:

You need to feel this.

So I sat with all those feelings. I didn’t try to make them feel better. I didn’t squash them down. I didn’t resist them. What a change that was – I’m the self-apointed Queen of Having All My Stuff Together.

This week, I needed to not have it all together.

This week, I needed to not do so much.

This week, I needed picnics and tears and bed and snotty tissues. This week I needed to be vulnerable and tell my love, family and friends how I was feeling. This week, I needed to feel it all, and give myself what I need.

Today is one of my usual work days – usually filled with To Do lists and hyper-business. I spoke with my business accountability partner this morning, and in her usual, beautiful, centred way, she asked me what I needed today. And the answer was this:

Today, I need to lie down in front of the tv, and read, and do a little bit of painting.

And so I am.

Right here, right now,

what is it that you need to give yourself?

I just wanted you to know…
from my little blanket and book nest, my space of self soothing…
that you are so loved,
so needed,
so perfect just as you are.

Love,

_____
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10 Ways to Self-Soothe (Part Two)

by Leonie Dawson on February 18, 2009

Hola gorgeous Goddesses!

It’s part two of our series in Self-Soothing. Hurrah!

Part of the reason I’m hurrah-ing that is that I’m in desparate need of it myself. This week I’m feeling a bit rubbed raw – vulnerable, buttons pressed and a bit saddle sore. Most of the year I feel like I’m floating along in my boat happily, going with the flow. And then there’s just those dastardly few times in the year that I feel like my boat gets a bit shaken. I take a couple of hits, my buttons activate and get pressed over and over again, and I start finding myself wanting to either stay in bed for a very long time, build my home in a closet or run far, far away. And it probably hasn’t helped that I’ve been working non stop for about – oh – three months.

So I’ve been reaching into my medicine bag for tools to soothe my frazzled little self.

I’m writing this today because I totally need to remember myself.

4. Calling all angels

Last night I was feeling really anxious and vulnerable. I found myself wanting to cloak myself with a Cloak of Invisibility. As a passionate, intense lil Scorpio, I’ve learned the art of making myself invisible when I don’t want to be seen. I don’t think I manage to do it in an insipid-fade-into-the-background kind of way. It’s more of an intense kind of energetic-walling. (If you ever want an energetic bridge burned, hire a Scorpio.)

So I’ve noticed that this is my habit, my pattern, my way of doing life. And last night, I felt that the same desire came up for me again last night. And I felt a pain in my heart and tears in my eyes – I don’t want to keep running from my own vulnerability. I don’t want to live my life cloaked.

So I really felt this. And I also felt like I still needed some kind of protection. So I wondered what I could use instead of a cloak – and I got the image of big, bright, white angel wings coming from behind me and folding around me, encasing me in its circle of unconditional love. As I went to sleep, I asked for all my angels to be with me, and for one of them to hold me in the safe compass of their wings.

So today, as I went about, I walked knowing I was safe inside the embrace of an angel’s wings. It was so deeply comforting, and instead of feeling vulnerable, in pain and energetically lashing out, I felt a soft light of love around me.

And it actually showed. At my office job, a new guy at work stopped me in the kitchen and said “You know you’re the light of the floor, right?” It kind of took my breath away – that I was so seen in light when I had been wanting to hide in my shadows.

So call on your angels. Ask them to do what you need in order to feel safe, comforted and soothed. Let them hold you.

5. Making Fun

I’m a big proponent of that most sacred of activities – FUN.
There’s nothing that makes me feel calmer and more joyful than making some silly fun.

Fun is often the stuff that kids do. Fun is playing. It’s being creative. It’s canoe-ing. Horse-riding. Picnicking. Having everyday adventures. Doing stuff that you normally don’t do.

Today, we made a new Fun Game. Me & my cubicle wonder-friend Artemis (who’s got a blog now! Weee! Yay! I already heart Something Beautiful Happened) decided to do fashion photo-shoots at lunch. In the office. There was crawling under desks. And standing on chairs. And avant-garde urban corporate shots. And then ridunkulous amounts of photo-geeking out.

It was silly, and it was sustenance to my soul.

Fun is vital. I need fun like I need sunshine and water.
So it’s my number five way of self-soothing.

As my amazing healer friend Donna says “Laughter and tears are both equally healing.”

For Today.

So that’s the next two self-soothers on the list. I wonder just how parts this series will end up being?

Maybe I should also add to the list:

Blog about self-soothing.

Because I started writing this feeling like an anxious cranky-pants, and finish it feeling like a little glowing fairy.

Thank you for being on this miracle journey with me. And, as always, you can share your own self-soothing tips in the Comments Circle. I’d love to add some more to my own medicine bag!

Love to you, and to me, and to all our parts that need soothing…

_____
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10 Ways to Self-Soothe (Part One)

by Leonie Dawson on February 16, 2009


Mermaid sister Kaylia. Huddled up in a blanket. On the farm. On a rainy day.
This photo means comfort to me.


Hola gorgeous Goddesses!

Today’s blog post is brought to you by my attempts at getting to sleep last night. I was feeling unsettled both physically and emotionally – a touch of heartburn, a little bit of monkey brain and a splash of not-feeling-good-enough. Those sneaky little emotions that can creep up on you when you’re tired, and then make it hard to actually get the thing you need – some soul-replenishing sleep.

Anyway, so I dug through my medicine bag to find what tools might work to self-soothe. And I thought I’d share a list of tools here which you can use in as stand-alones or combinations to find your way home to self-soothed again.

1. Crystals

I keep a bowl of tumbled crystals on my bedside table and use them in some way most nights. Usually I choose one to go beneath my pillow or hold in my hand. Last night when I needed some extra crystal loving, I found three that felt right. I put a rose quartz on my head to help find loving thoughts again. I put an amethyst and a smoky quartz on my neck where it felt like my emotions were stuck. Within a couple of moments, I felt my body start relaxing and began to feel better.

My tips for using crystals: Use your intuition. Select ones that seem to be the right ones. Don’t worry too much about book definitions of them. Place them wherever it seems to need it. Keep moving them until it feels right for you, and you feel the energy begin to un-stuck and flow. Crystal energy is powerful and healing and beautiful. They can be an amazing self-soothing companion. See what works for you, and trust your intuition. It will lead you home.

2. Affirmations

Last night, I used the combo of crystals & affirmations to self soothe. After placing the crystals on my head and throat, I made the mental choice to start affirming. I started using affirmations that worked with me: I am loved. All is well. I am surrounded by love. Today is a wonderful day. I am so blessed. All is working with the divine.

Once I’d stabilised my inside-views, I turned my attention to my outside-views. Particularly, people who I was worrying about or felt hurt by. On my wall I have a hanging called the Native American Commandments. It’s a little tacky, but I bought it for one of the commandments. It says:

Speak the truth, but only of the good in others.

That to me feels like a whole lot of freedom. It can be so easy to put our judgement hats on and make divides between us and other souls. What if we had the freedom to speak our truth, but only of the good in others? We would really need to peer into them to see their beauty, and the real truth of them.

So I shifted my thinking. And my little feelings of worry or fear or pain about people turned to love and accepting as I started numbering the ways they were beautiful. It felt like I was awash with love instead of division.

As always, use affirmations that resonate with you, and that you can believe in. Check out Affirmations in your own language for more affirmation goodness.

3. Check your sensitivity levels

At night time, our sensitivities can come out, and show us what we might be consuming that doesn’t work for us. This might be movies, books, food or connections that don’t help us feel good.

What I noticed when I became vegetarian three years ago was that in the two weeks of detox-ing from meat that I did, I had violent, fear-filled nightmares. Nightmares that I’d always had throughout my life came up, in vivid colour and emotion. It felt like all the pain of meat was leaving my system. After those two weeks, I felt more peaceful and calm than I’d ever before. The nightmares disappeared – where once I had them once a week, I’ve had them less than a handful of times in the last three years.

In the past couple of months, I started eating little bits of meat. At first it was to boost my iron levels, and then I just kept doing it. I wouldn’t call myself full blown carnivorous, but I’m definitely more omnivoric than herbivoric right now. What I’ve noticed is that I’ve got that stuck feeling of anxiety, fear and tension again. Not all the time, but it’s there. It’s the feeling I get from meat.

So right now – I’m noticing that, and seeing what I might to do with that. I don’t need to push myself to make a decision – the right one will come when the time is right.

So the meat thing probably contributed to last night. As did the fact that I did something I normally don’t do, and watched a movie that was above kids rating. I know that my energy is sensitive, and that action-filled, suspense, horror or any kind of violence REALLY doesn’t make me feel happy, safe, calm or blissed out. I think we are all way more sensitive than we give ourselves credit for or take seriously. Anyway, yesterday I watched Grosse Point Blank again. Which is a John Cusack movie (who I think is lovely) and it’s basically a romantic comedy, but is about a hitman. Wayyyy more guns and blood and stuff than I ever usually put myself through. And as much as I love the JC, I felt unsettled after watching it. Like “Uck, did I really need to put myself through that again?”

People always say: it’s only a movie. Yes, but the idea of a movie is to create a sensory space for you to experience something. And seriously, if we were actually to LIVE the stuff that happens in action-y movies, it would be a huge emotional and physical and psychological tragedy that we’d have to heal. So why would I put myself through the sensory experience of that?

I choose movies and TV and books that makes me feel good. That reminds me of the highest truth: that anything is possible. That I am loved. That the world is a beautiful, magical place. (Thus my predeliction for kid’s movies. Kids have got it so right!) I’m really choosy about what I consume. Our spirits are gentle and want to be nurtured.

So watching a shoot-em-up movie that made me feel really unsettled probably didn’t help last night.

And then I read a crappy novel before I went to bed. Again with the choosiness. It didn’t contribute to my happy inner or outer-view. I felt as confused and anxious as the characters did. So I’ll put that one aside to either not finish reading or not read before sleep – we are at our most sensitive to outside energy then.

So a combination of sensitivities from consumption of books, movies and food didn’t help me to feel calm and soothed last night. Which is a beautiful thing, because it reminds me what I need to do to restore calm again. And it reminds me that I’m a sensitive little soul, as we all are on different levels, and I need to be careful of what I show to myself.

So, crystals, affirmations and checking your sensitivities are just some of the tools to self-soothe. I’ll be adding to this series over the next few days and weeks.

In the meantime, I’d like to pass the talking stick to you. What tools do you use to self soothe? What helps you return home to your inner calm?

You are so loved.

To your soothing, and to mine,

love,

_____

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