Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Was your Holiday Happy? By Delia Nessim

Holiday time can be fun and exciting.  For many people, it’s one of the few occasions for friends and family to gather, share a nice meal and reconnect.  Some families have a lot in common.  They have plenty of fond memories to recall and new stories to tell.  For other families, time spent together can mean anxiety, anger and a struggle to get through the day without someone losing their cool.  There is no shame in feeling this way.  Relationships are meant to be challenging.  If they were all easy, life would be pretty boring.  The good news is there are ways to improve a relationship if you really want to.  It’s not enough to want the other person to change.  The hard part is making a decision to change your own role in the relationship and sticking with those changes.  Harriet G. Lerner, Ph.D. is the author of an insightful book on this subject called “The Dance of Anger" (A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships).   This book has many examples of troubled relationships and clear, logical ways to effectively deal with them.

A good indicator that change is in order is to recognize recurring patterns that cause you to feel angry.  Anger in and of itself is not a bad thing; it serves an important purpose just like any other emotion.  Anger gets a bad rap because many people don’t know what to do with it.  It’s not a pleasant emotion so some people try to avoid anger by pushing it down.  Sometimes, they withdraw and ignore the anger until they feel depressed and frustrated and often don’t even understand why they feel the way they do.  Other times, they explode, rant and rave about everything and nothing. As a result, they are not taken seriously.  Anger management is an important skill that is not effectively taught in our society.  Children pick up cues from adults so when adults don’t know how to cope with anger, we can hardly expect children to learn how to deal with it.

Let’s look at anger from a child’s perspective.  Imagine a three year old child who was so excited because she had a quarter and she was finally at the front of the line of a giant gumball machine.  The gumball spins around a circular ramp several times before coming to a stop in the child’s hand.  She couldn’t wait to get to the machine and turn the crank.  She used all the strength she could muster and turned it twice but she needed to give it one more little turn to get the ball in motion.  Just as she was about to turn it, her mother grabbed the crank and gave it the final turn.  The girl was crushed.  She cried loudly as she threw down a lollipop that was in her other hand and it shattered to bits. The mother scolded her for causing such a scene.  The mother then looked for support from bystanders because she has to tolerate this seemingly erratic and bratty behavior.  The child was furious that her thunder was stolen with the gumball machine, she lost her lollipop, and to top it off, she is being scolded and humiliated in public.  Perhaps the mother thought the child couldn’t turn the crank any more and she was just trying to help.  The next thing she knew, her daughter was having a meltdown.  Who is at fault in this scenario?  Both people felt justified in reacting the way they did.  In many cases, anger and arguments stem from a series of events that start out innocently and soon get blown out of proportion.  It becomes a cycle which means there is no beginning or end.  People get stuck when they become too vested in determining who started it, who is right, and who should apologize, when in fact, it doesn’t really matter.  The only way to get past the conflict is for one party to step up and take responsibility for their role in the cycle. 

When young children get mad, they may yell, cry, throw things or even hit others.  Our advice to these children is to use their words.  We say, “Calm down and tell me what you want.”  This same advice applies to adults.  The best way to get past the anger is to calm down, get clear about where the anger is coming from and decide how to do things differently.  Next, it takes courage to verbally express one's true feelings.  It’s never too late to build a better relationship with friends and family.  There is nothing more rewarding than mending a damaged relationship or building close personal ties.  Nothing is better for kids then being surrounded by emotionally healthy, honest and loving adults.

The practitioners at the Resiliency Center sincerely hope that you are enjoying the holiday season with friends and family. If you need help to improve family relationships there are several practitioners that are here to support you, including me, Delia Nessim.

Fill Up This Winter with Positive Change Practicing QiGong

As the ground hardens and the air chills, we are drawn to go ‘inside.’
In Taoist traditions, winter is the season when you are called to explore what lives below the surface, to pay attention to the internal workings of your intuition.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), winter is the time to focus upon the Kidneys, Yin, and the Bladder, Yang, as well as the adrenals.
This is a crucial time to nourish, warm and fuel your physical, mental and spiritual energy.  These winter practices have a cumulative effect upon your physical health, mental clarity, and innovative spirit.

Infuse yourself with positive change by practicing and dancing Qigong!
Qigong is an invaluable tool to unite and align your thoughts, heart and physical body.  One of the best ways to infuse your being is with your intention, to bring in and initiate positive change.

May this Winter Solstice and all holy days that celebrate the light in one way or another feed your soul, your heart, your being.  May our Qigong practice help us call this light, this Qi into a joyful dance around us, our world, your world.
May we see the light in one another and joyfully acknowledge it with a smile or a hug.

Winter in TCM, celebrates the Water Element.  The waters of the earth and the waters of your body are one. As we dance & practice Qigong together we are one in dynamic flow and movement.  Let us fuse with the Universe this New Year with Peace and Love and Light, bringing in positive change.  Feel yourself as you dance Qigong, grounded and home in flowing change.

Abundant Blessings to all of you with
Gratitude and Peace and Love.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Choice Illuminated: The Gift of Winter Solstice

Karen Steinbrecher would like to share  "Choice Illuminated: The Gift of Winter Solstice"
from Way of Joy Qigong. To link to the original and see the video go to:  
The turning point of Winter Solstice — where the nights stretch long and daylight shrinks — is an optimal time to reflect on what you are choosing to carry forward into the next cycle and what needs to drop away. In this way, your “garbage”—that is old choices, patterns of behaviors you are sick of—can simply be “composted” into neutral energy.

One way to do this is to ask yourself, “What is going on in my life right now that I don’t want?”  Listen for the answer and jot it down in your journal or on a piece of paper.  Rather than reject or become impatient with whatever the answer might be, use it as a guiding light to ask yourself “So what do I want?” Notice what you feel in your body as you bring your focused attention to the answer.

Making the choice to break non-resourceful habits grounds you in healthy ways to express your truth, experience your own power, and bring your distinctive gifts to the world around you. This is most effective when you infuse your body with that choice. Here is a short qigong practice to keep your inner flame burning.