OMTimes Post–April 12th, 2013


MP900431776Nearly all of us have been sent to our room at least once in our lives – likely followed by the dreaded words “you’re grounded!” The idea behind the punishment was theoretically intended to teach us a lesson about whatever infraction we committed, and perhaps provide us the opportunity to think about the mistakes we made and how we might behave differently in the future…

Read more about “getting grounded” on my OMTimes Blog!

Do Unto Yourself As You Would Do Unto Others.


Hands Holding a Small Globe --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisI know, I know, that’s not the way that saying technically goes, but for today’s purpose, it does. Are you a healer, teacher, counselor, social worker, or any of the myriad of jobs or personal lifestyles that fit into those categories?

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you work as a nurse or a counselor (though many do), but perhaps you constantly find yourself in that role with family and friends. Maybe you are the only person you feel has the ability to hold your family together, keep your friends sane. You might simply love doing all that you can to help others. (You know who you are!)

MP900216112While it would be nice if there were even more of it the world, there still are a lot of people who feel this way; feel compelled to help, nurture and heal. You might do so to the point where you drop into bed exhausted, sometimes late at night, only to get a few hours of sleep and start again in the morning. You might wear yourself out physically, mentally and emotionally.

Now, if you think of yourself as an engine – not very romantic or spiritual sounding, I know, but hey, whatever works! If you’re a lovely, shining engine of healing, helping and nurturing, but you don’t take the time to make sure this engine has fuel, is properly oiled and maintained, and isn’t constantly running day in and day out without stopping, there comes a time when that engine burns out.

MP900407087If you allow yourself to burn out, run yourself ragged, and don’t take care of your own needs, there comes a point where you are no good to anyone. If you are exhausted and emotionally frayed, the quality of what you can give to others deteriorates. The more frayed you get, the more you tend to take on and feel personally the struggles of those you are helping, and then cycle of wearing yourself down continues.

There is probably no type of person more needed, yet more underappreciated in the world, and that includes underappreciating themselves. If your engine is only running at half power, you’re only giving about half the quality and care to others, your light dims. Take the time to take care of yourself; if not for your own sake, then for the sake of those you take care of.

The back view of a man wearing a straw hat while relaxing in a beach chair, facing the Indian Ocean near the coastline in the Maldives. 2000 MaldivesTreat yourself to a little pampering and relaxation. Get a massage, take a trip to the hair salon, or get a mani-pedi. Spend a day at the beach. Soak in a hot bath. Take yourself on a date (alone) to your favorite café, library or bookstore. Go for a walk in the forest. Go to bed early once in a while. Take some “Me Time”; perhaps even turn off that cell phone for 20 minutes while you read, walk or have a nice cup of coffee.

Don’t forget, if you need your own physical, mental or emotional help or healing, allow yourself that. Ask for help. You can only give what you allow yourself to take.

 

MP900316548The quality of time and care that you give yourself will only improve that which you give to those you care for. Taking care of your own physical, mental and spiritual well being, or “engine” will help you keep your light burning brightly for years to come.

The Positive Benefits of Color: Orange


This is a part two of a series of posts looking at the different ways we can use color to positively benefit our lives.

Framed Daisies (detail) - Tricia GriffithOrange is another warm, energizing color. It is thought to combine the stimulating qualities of red with the more cheerful energy of yellow, which we’ll discuss next time. It is linked to the sacral chakra, another of what is believed to be the centers of vital energy in our body. This chakra is located in the lower abdomen, and is related to the organs in that area, including the uterus, ovaries, prostate and testes.

Physically, the color orange stimulates and energizes us. It is believed to stimulate the lungs, respiration and digestion, as well as increase the activity of the thyroid. Like red, many restaurants use orange, or more subtle shades of orange, such as peach, to stimulate the appetite. Orange colored foods provide beta carotene, vitamins and nutrients which help improve the immune system, protect heart and vision, and may play an important role in preventing certain cancers.

Staring into the Sun - Tricia GriffithEmotionally and mentally, orange projects warmth and happiness, it is associated with fun and sociability, and inspires creativity. It is believed to release constrictions of both the mind and body, open your mind to new ideas and boost enthusiasm. It’s related to gut instinct, as opposed to mental or physical reaction. It’s association with the sacral chakra may also make it helpful in dealing with sexual expression.

Many people are averse to the color orange, it’s often considered one of the least popular colors. If you’re not a fan of orange, ask yourself what aspects of orange do you perhaps have a personal struggle with, and apply orange in some form to that part of your life.

Like red, you can incorporate orange into your life as simply as eating or drinking things that are orange. In fact, so many orange foods are so good for us, like carrots and oranges. You can use orange to decorate a room like studio or craft room to inspire creativity, but you want to avoid using it in rooms where there is possible stress.

Monarch Butterfly - Tricia GriffithVisualize orange light when meditating or healing, on the areas of your body or your life where you think they most need it. Keep an orange light or light filter so that you can sit directly in the light if you feel you need it. Find a cheery orange blanket to wrap yourself in on days when you need that boost of cheerfulness or creativity.

It takes a certain personality type to wear a lot of orange, but adding orange accessories may help boost your mood. Jewelry or gemstones such as citrine, coral, amber, sunstone, carnelian, topaz, and certain agates and opals worn or carried in your pocket and bring a little of that orange energy into your life.

As with anything like this, it’s not just what people and books or websites tell you to believe, it’s what you believe. What feelings or thoughts does the color orange invoke for you? Does it bring up a particular memory? How does it affect you? You should always trust your own intuition about what’s best for you.

Sunflower - Tricia GriffithJust I mentioned with red, there’s nothing that says you have to work with orange if you can’t stand it. The added benefit of orange being a secondary color is that you could possibly achieve the same effects by using a bit of red and yellow if you like those colors better. These pages are certainly not everyone’s truth, just a bit of guidance to get you going in the direction you need to go.

And please, as always, if you have serious physical or mental health problems, talk to a professional. Take care of yourself.

Resources:

The Positive Benefits of Color: Red


This is a part of a series of posts looking at the different ways we can use color to positively benefit our lives.

Daisies - Tricia GriffithRed is a warm, bright, energizing color, often associated with love, warmth and comfort. It is linked to the root chakra, which is believed to be one of the centers of life force, or vital energy, in the body. This chakra is located at the base of the spine.

Physically, the color red is believed to increase energy and revitalize you when you are feeling run down. It has been shown to increase blood pressure and is generally believed to have positive healing effects on blood related health issues. It stimulates appetite and has been used by many chain restaurants in its advertising (think McDonalds, Pizza Hut, KFC and Wendy’s).

Emotionally and mentally, red gives courage and strength. It can improve your assertiveness and confidence, build strength and courage, increase passion and sexuality. It evokes strong emotions, and when over-exposed to red, it is possible to become over stimulated and even agitated, irritable.

Filigree Heart - Tricia GriffithHow can you use red in your day to day life? Any way, really. You can wear it, eat it, drink it, paint with it, just about any way you can think to incorporate the color into your life. Visualize what you expect to achieve as you use the color.

In a situation where you need to boost your confidence and courage, you might want to consider wearing something red, even if it’s a red tie or scarf. You can add something discreet underneath, if you need to wear darker clothing.

You can carry red items with you for their effect and comforting presence. Jewelry or gemstones such as ruby, garnet, beryl, red jasper, red tourmaline or red sapphires used in a jewelry setting or rough cut stones can add a little bit of red to your life.

Molten - Tricia GriffithIf you need a more enveloping effect of red, you can wrap yourself in a red blanket or bask in a red light for its healing effect. Using red in the dining area can help stimulate appetite, which might help if you’ve got a picky eater in your home. Adding red to a work space or creative space can help keep you energize and creative.

Additionally you can simply use visualization to work with the color. Close your eyes and picture yourself surrounded in red light, direct it to any problem areas, or imagine it filtering into areas of your life where it is needed most.

Along with everything listed here and all the other things about the color red you might read elsewhere, one of the most important things to consider is how the color affects you, personally. What feelings, emotions or ideas does it represent to you? Trust your own intuition about the use of color in your life.

Beaver Lake Sunset - Tricia GriffithThere is nothing that says if you can’t stand the color, you need to use it. You can likely find the same type of energy, influence and inspiration from another color, or even a favorite piece of music. These are just some ideas to get you started, and of course if you have serious health issues, you should always consult your doctor.