Zen Body Yoga + Wellness

Spreading the Zen to Tulsa!


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Finding Your Life’s Purpose

Diagram

Written By: Amy Miller

I’ve seen this diagram in the past, but it’s making its way around social media again and it still resonates with me.  Part of what I do as a Life Coach is to help people find their “Purpose.”

Spiritual Wellness is one of the 8 dimensions of well that I cover in 21 Days to Well and as a Life Coach.  Spiritual Wellness involves having meaning and purpose and a sense of balance and peace and may or may not include Religion.

Some elements of Spiritual Wellness include prayer, meditation, or personal reflection as well as understanding other’s beliefs and values. There should be a direct relationship between your personal values and your daily actions. Ultimately, we are talking about the self-awareness and understanding of your place in the universe, your purpose in life, your true passion.

Often, we are not immediately aware of our “purpose in life”.  Maybe you even think there is no such thing as a “purpose,” but it is here, in your purpose, that you will find true fulfillment.  Your purpose in life may not be something profound like “to heal others” or “to teach the next generation” or “end war.”

One purpose may be “to love” or “to be happy” or “to take care of my pets” or “to find and share my gift.” We may get so caught up searching for our Life’s Purpose, that we forget we may have many purposes.  But how do we find them?

We find our purposes by following our hearts and intuition and trusting ourselves to make the right choices. Listen to the thoughts that occur to you during or after meditation.  During meditation, we open the channels of communication between our mind and our unlimited awareness.  Listen carefully, as it will often be as quiet as a whisper and it might be overshadowed by the voice of the world – what you have been nurtured and enculturated to believe.

Try this exercise.

  1. Keep a notebook and pen just for writing down your plans for your future.  I like to have a pretty notebook and a special pen that I don’t use for anything else.  I keep mine in my bedroom because it is a calm space where I feel safe.  You might have a special meditation room or an office that makes you feel at your most comfortable.  Keep your notebook and pen in the place where you most often meditate.
  1. Practice meditation daily, even if only for 5 or 10 minutes.
  1. Once your meditation has become easier and you are able to let the mind and body relax for 5 minutes or more at a time, begin occasionally saying to yourself “reveal to me my highest calling” just before you begin to relax.  Then forget about it; don’t start thinking about what your calling is or should be.  It will only be revealed to you when you stop thinking and listen.
  1. During your meditation, if a thought pops into your mind, quickly write it down and then go back to meditating.  Don’t explore the thought now; that will close off your connection to your all-knowing spirit and set the human mind to work.  You can take care of that later.
  1. Remember that not every thought that comes into your head during this time will be an answer to your question, but it is usually placed in your mind for a reason.  Listen!

Don’t get discouraged when life doesn’t seem to be moving in the direction you want.  Sometimes, when things don’t happen in our lives exactly the way we planned or on the time frame we imagined, we think all is lost.  However, we ultimately have the knowledge of the way life is meant to unfold and while it doesn’t always meet our conscious expectations, if you listen to your heart and soul, the path you are on will not fail you.

Set-backs on your path are there to teach you something.  The sooner you learn from these trials the sooner you can get back on track to fulfilling your purpose.  As you explore your purpose, don’t be afraid to let it evolve and change.

Within each of us is a deep understanding of our values and through allowing our conscious minds to uncover these values, we can apply our personal strengths and abilities to create our purpose, our goals, our legacy.  Through this process we become the author of our destiny.  Every choice you make is a part of your life story but your story progresses in any way you choose.  Whatever you want with all of your heart, you can make happen.


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Toxin Elimination Bath

bath

Written By: Amy Miller

Place 2 cups of Epsom salts and one cup of baking soda into a tub, run the hottest water you can stand and add 8 drops of lavender oil. Soak for 20 minutes and allow yourself to sweat. When you are finished bathing, wrap yourself up in towels and go under the covers and sweat some more. You should feel very relaxed and sleep soundly.

There are thousands of different dietary recommendations and philosophies, and new ones come up every day. The very best way to figure out your personalized diet is to begin to pay attention to how you feel as you explore different ways of eating and being. In the process of cleansing, you will begin to recognize which foods may not be serving you, despite what you have read or been told.


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The Importance of Sleep

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Written By: Amy Miller

Sleep plays a vital role in your health and well-being throughout your life.  This is the time when we regenerate physically and mentally.

Most of us know that not getting enough sleep wreaks havoc on our emotions, reaction to change, and mental acuity.  But sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

Everyone’s individual sleep needs vary. In general, most healthy adults need an average of 8 hours of sleep a night. However, some individuals are able to function without sleepiness or drowsiness after as little as 6 hours of sleep. Others can’t perform at their peak unless they’ve slept ten hours. And, contrary to common myth, the need for sleep doesn’t decline with age but the ability to sleep for 6 to 8 hours at one time may be reduced, resulting in an increased need for daytime naps.

As many illnesses (anxiety, asthma) and lifestyle choices (drinking alcohol or caffeine) can cause sleep disturbance; if you suffer chronic disturbance, you should consult your doctor.

A night’s sleep is divided into five continually shifting stages, defined by types of brain waves that reflect either lighter or deeper sleep. Toward morning, there is an increase in rapid eye movement (REM), when the body is relaxed and dreaming occurs, and when, researchers have discovered, recent memories may be consolidated in the brain, allowing for maximum brain functioning during waking hours.

Stress is the number 1 cause of short term sleep difficulties.  This can be work or school-related stress, family issues, stress caused by illness or any other mental and emotional stress that impacts your ability to fall asleep easily.  Working or doing other mentally intense activities close to bedtime and make sleep even more elusive.

However, there is a way to break this stress-related insomnia cycle.  Studies have shown that stress management therapies have a greater effect on sleep difficulties than popular sleeping pills.

Think about how easy it is for a baby to fall asleep. We’re born with the instinct to relax and sleep when our bodies or minds need a break. We have evolved to control and suppress these natural urges as we age, since we must remain alert as we attend school, go to work, or care for a family. Mothers are especially familiar with the change in sleep patterns while the children are young; they can awaken with the slightest sigh or whimper from their babies.

The problem is, after so many years of necessarily suppressing our tiredness, we have impaired our ability to actually “let go” and relax when we do find the time.

Here are my top 5 tips to getting a good night’s rest.

  1. First, you must five yourself permission to sleep. Remember that your ability to function at your best tomorrow is directly related to the quality of your sleep tonight.
  2. Stop ruminating about work or personal problems or tasks. If it helps, make a physical list of issues and projects, so you won’t worry about forgetting or neglecting any responsibilities the next day.  Keep a pen and pad of paper by your bedside to write things down if you wake up in the middle of the night with anything you need to remember to do.
  3. Practice meditation and yoga. Many people find they learn helpful relaxation techniques in addition to the numerous other benefits.
  4. Try visualizing a beautiful or peaceful setting in as much detail as you can.  Perhaps you are lying on the beach with your eyes closed, the warm sun on your skin and the sound of the ocean waves crashing nearby.  This type of imagery technique can help reduce the tendency to dwell on stressful thoughts.
  5. Practice breathing exercises.  Try this one: lie flat on your back (or on your side if you are pregnant or are uncomfortable on your back.  Place one or both hands on your belly and feel in expand as you inhale.  Breathe normally for 7 breaths with an enhanced focus on the movement of the breath through the body. Next, begin to deepen the inhalation, counting to 3 slowly and exhale, counting to 3 again.  Repeat this for 7 breaths.  For the next 7 breaths, inhale for 3, pause for 3 and exhale for 3, pause for 3.  And finally, inhale for 3, pause for 3 and exhale for 6, pause for 3.  Repeat this last exercise until you feel deeply relaxed.

I hope you will find that one or more of these tips will work for you.  Share them with a loved one and help them sleep better too!

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What is Wellness Coaching?

instructors at zen-99Written By: Amy Miller

As a Certified Wellness Coach I offer an Authentic Wellness Plan specially designed for each individual client. Authentic Wellness utilizes Positive Psychology principles and the StrengthsFinder method to empower you to draw upon your own abilities and strengths to achieve lasting lifestyle changes.

Coaching helps you take action in your life; so after each coaching session you will apply what you have learned and the plan you have developed to create positive change. I will help you focus on the goals you want to achieve and develop strategies to be sure you reach them. Authentic Wellness Coaching helps you gain clarity, focus and support build a life that best matches who you really are.

Your Authentic Wellness Plan encompasses the 8 dimensions of wellness: Physical, Environmental, Financial, Emotional, Social, Intellectual, Behavioral and Spiritual.

Physical wellness involves the condition of a healthy body, good physical health habits, good nutrition and exercise, and obtaining appropriate health care. Some elements of physical wellness include exercising regularly, eating fruits and vegetables, and even wearing a seat belt.

Environmental wellness involves being and feeling physically safe in your surroundings. This includes the places where we live, work, and learn as well as our communities, country, and the entire planet. Some elements of environmental wellness include keeping your home and work space free from clutter, avoiding unnecessary and overwhelming noise, and surrounding yourself with things that you love.

Financial wellness involves the ability to have financial resources, meet practical needs, as well as control and knowledge about your personal finances. Some elements of financial wellness include paying your bills on time, having a handle on financial status, and having available credit for unexpected life occurrences.

Social wellness involves having healthy relationships with friends, family, the community, and having an interest in the needs of others around you. Some elements of social wellness include having a network of close friends and family, communicating with a variety of people, and showing compassion or empathy when possible.

Emotional wellness involves the ability to express feelings, enjoy life, adjust to challenges, and deal with the stress that occurs in life. Some elements of emotional wellness include accepting responsibility for your actions, having the ability to laugh at life and yourself, and learning from your mistakes.

Intellectual wellness involves lifelong learning. This includes an application of the knowledge you gain as well as sharing that knowledge with others. Some elements of intellectual wellness include having an interest in learning new things, participating in creative and stimulating activities, and engaging in intellectual discussions.

Behavioral wellness involves participating in activities that provide meaning and purpose in your everyday life. Some elements of behavioral wellness include being happy in your career path, balancing work and leisure time, and participating in activities that are in line with your personal values.

Spiritual wellness involves having meaning and purpose and a sense of balance and peace. Some elements of spiritual wellness include prayer, meditation, or personal reflection as well as understanding other’s beliefs and values. There should be a direct relationship between your personal values and your daily actions.

As your coach, I will work with you to develop a lifestyle plan that includes a balance of health habits: adequate sleep, rest, and good nutrition; productivity and exercise; participation in meaningful activity; and connections with people and communities that are supportive.

Authenticity as a quality of being genuine and worthy of belief. You know whether you are behaving in a manner in line with your values and inner being; you cannot hide a disbelief of your own actions and words from others. They will sense your dishonesty and instinctively become distrustful and will pull away from you. Being who you really are is always admirable, even to people who don’t share your values.

When you are true to yourself, you harness the power that lies dormant in the unauthentic being: the power to achieve any dream, to live your highest purpose. When you are not true to yourself, you hide the power and your dreams are inaccessible.

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