Friday, November 23, 2018
Holy moly winter arrived early and intensely this year here in MN!
I’ve heard similar reports from my friends and family around the country. For those of us with a tendency toward winter depression (aka Seasonal Affective Disorder), we need to start taking action NOW to keep ourselves healthy and well throughout the long winter.
Here is your 6 Step Anti-SAD Action Plan:
1. Acknowledge that Seasonal Affective Disorder is Real
You aren’t making it up, even if family or associates tease you about it or try to say you are exaggerating.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, SAD is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons and is diagnosed 4 times more often in women than in men.
Theories as to why some people develop SAD include overproduction of melatonin, vitamin D insufficiency, and too much serotonin transporter protein, which reduces the amount of the neurotransmitter available at the synapses.
2. Stay Active and Get Outside When You Can
To counteract the sluggish desire to hibernate, do things to make yourself stay active: join yoga classes, partner up with an exercise buddy, or try something new and fun like Nia dance exercise classes.
Being cooped up indoors for months leads to a feeling of being ungrounded and eventually overwhelmed with EMF. For that reason, it’s very important to connect with nature throughout the winter, so get outside and walk whenever possible.
There are several kinds of therapeutic lights, from full spectrum white lights to blue or green lights. With so many choices, it can be confusing to figure out what may work best for you. I suggest asking your friends, checking out Amazon reviews, and searching on ebay if you want to spend less on a used one to test at first. Here is an article from Mayo Clinic about choosing light therapy: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/in-depth/seasonal-affective-disorder-treatment/art-20048298
The Finns knew exactly what they were doing with their ancient tradition of sauna. Regular use of a sauna enhances the cardiovascular system and reduces muscle tightness.
There are two types of saunas: conventional dry saunas that warm the air and infrared saunas that warm objects. Both have very beneficial effects.
There are probably more infrared saunas available than you realize in your local area at gyms, salons, and wellness centers. Try a Google search and see what you find.
5. Vitamin D Supplementation
According to findings in Archives of Internal Medicine, the prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in the U.S. has increased dramatically. Vitamin D plays a huge role in our overall health that is yet to be fully understood, although it is well established that the major source of Vitamin D is skin exposure to sunlight.
You can have your Vitamin D level checked by a simple blood test at your doctor’s office. Then you will know if a Vitamin D capsule will be sufficient or if you have a deficiency and need a higher dosage.
6. Flower Essence Therapy
Those of you familiar with my book The Strength of Sensitivity already know that flower essences are energetic remedies made from the flowers of various plants and trees. (And is NOT the same as aromatherapy).
Flower essences help with all sorts of emotional and energetic issues and are incredibly helpful to ease winter depression. Just a few remedies to consider are Rosemary for enhancing blood flow and internal warmth, Saint John’s Wort for counteracting reduced natural light, and Zinna to remind you to keep having fun.
This is my favorite wintertime remedy. A flower essence holds the energy of a summer flower in bloom. What a unique, healing gift to give yourself throughout the winter!
For more information about flower essence therapy, refer to my article, Flower EssenceTherapy for the Treatment of SAD, http://www.edgemagazine.net/2015/03/flower-essence-therapy-sad/
Thursday, October 18, 2018
How Saying Yes to Your Biggest Fears will Improve Your Life
by Dr Kyra Mesich, www.drkyra.com
Are you familiar with the book, Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes? The author was a successful tv producer and writer, yet she struggled with social anxiety. She was a powerhouse at work, but fell short in matters of her own health and wellness. Long story short, she decided to spend a year saying “yes,” to every opportunity that she would have normally declined – to everything that scared her – to everything she told herself she did not have time for (such as playing with her kids) – and to the things she needed to do for her own health.
Spoiler alert: The experiment turned out well! Shonda’s anxieties lessened when she simply said “yes” and did things that had previously scared her. She lost weight, strengthened her relationship with her kids, and renewed her interest in work and life…all by saying yes.
Now, some of you may be familiar with my previous blog posts about saying “No.” There is a time and place for no and a time and place for yes.
“No” is for the things that drag you down, that deplete you, that you do on autopilot because it’s always the way you’ve done it.
“Yes” is for the experiences that feel expansive, are energy-giving, and support your health and wellness.
It’s my 49th birthday today. I decided that 49 will be my Year of Yes, and I’ve already started! An opportunity presented itself recently to do something that sounded exciting but intimidating. It fit right in with my goals and desires, but held the possibility of abject failure and embarrassment. And it is…drum roll please…being a vocalist in a band!
As a youth and throughout many years of my adult life, it was clear that I was pretty tone deaf and couldn’t sing all that well…not horrible, but by no means great. (This was verified by others.)
In college, I had a couple experiences of finding myself involved in musical groups that were out of my league. I had to bow out. I could play the piano okay, but again, by no means all that well. I didn’t seem to have that natural, musical gift.
In recent years though, I noticed my voice changed. When I sang along to songs in the car, I was hitting notes I never could before. My voice just sounded…better. I have no explanation as to why. It just happened, and it led me to start exploring my voice in new ways. I felt a very strong desire to sing and started going out frequently to sing at karaoke. And you know what? I could sing! And doing it felt like a definite “Yes,” an activity that gave me energy, felt expansive, and overall just made me feel better to do it.
Then came the time for more. I needed to find the next step to further explore my voice and my relationship to music. Shortly thereafter, I received an email from one of my favorite non-profit organizations, She Rock She Rock. My daughter has participated in three Girls' Rock n Roll Retreat summer camps with She Rock She Rock. I was always so impressed with the tone She Rock sets for anyone to explore and experience music – completely nonjudgmental, completely supportive, and completely just jump in and do it no matter what! So unique in this criticism-filled world.
I had mildly considered registering for one of She Rock’s Women’s Rock n Roll retreats – similar to the ones for youth, but for adults - but wasn’t quite ready. Then the email arrived. Create a band and perform to fundraise for She Rock She Rock! So I pulled the trigger. I signed up as a vocalist as the first leap into my Year of Yes.
And what a thing to choose to get started, as there was so much more than just the singing to fear:
1. Joining together with complete strangers to form a short-term band. What about personality conflicts? What about scheduling? What about musical taste disagreements?
2. Holding my own as the vocalist on 3 songs with stage presence. A bit different from standing in front of a karaoke screen and making it through a song (And believe me, I’ve experienced disasters on karaoke songs. I know how it can go badly sometimes.)
3. Songwriting. She Rock’s programs include song writing as well as performing. My band will do one cover song and write two original songs. Something else I have never, ever done before.
4. Fundraising. Asking people for money for a fantastic nonprofit shouldn’t feel so hard, but it sure does.
Am I glad I took the leap? Yes!
Am I still in the middle of scariness? Yes!
Here are the stages I’ve been through so far…
Day 1: What have I gotten myself into? Why did I think this was a good idea? I should have started my Year of Yes a little later.
Day 2: She Rock She Rock assigns me to a band with three other women. I know none of them.
Day 2 Later: The first signs of potential personality conflict – someone else had signed up for vocalist in our band but was assigned to guitar instead. She wasn’t pleased. I took a breath, and decided to go into this with clear intentions for peace and fun. Despite some disagreements at our initial meeting, all went well!
Day 3: I have to play tambourine on our cover song. Why not throw in another thing I’ve never done while we’re at it? (PS. I’m figuring it out!)
Day 4: My reaction to impending songwriting: Oh no. I have no idea how to do this. How will I contribute? Did I get in over my head again?
Day 5: A bandmate supplies a guitar rhythm. The band says as the vocalist, I’m tasked with coming up with a melody. I pretend I’m okay with that.
Day 6: I listen to the guitar rhythm repeatedly. No melodies come to me. I listen to music in styles that I like, and listen to songs I’ve never heard before so I can more easily pick out the melody vs. the instruments. I think I can do this.
Day 6 Later: A melody for the chorus occurs to me while I’m cleaning after lunch. Yay!
And that’s where I am at this point…so glad I said “Yes!” I hope I’ve inspired you to say yes to something you want to do as well.
My band, "Unattached"
Our show with the other fundraising bands will be Nov 11th at 7th St Entry in Minneapolis. Exciting and scary!
She Rock She Rock is an amazing nonprofit organization that gives female and female-identifying youth and adults an opportunity to experience music in an empowering way I’ve never seen anywhere else. Participants are encouraged to never apologize for making a mistake when practicing or performing, but instead to say, “I rock!”
I witnessed this happen on stage during one of the youth summer camps, and it was powerful! The girl transformed from “OMG, I goofed in front of an audience. I should be mortified” to remembering, “No wait, I rock for doing this at all!” Her energy completely changed and her performance was killer.
Your donation to She Rock She Rock will go directly to making scholarships available so there are no barriers due to income for participants, plus help She Rock purchase musical equipment and cover operating costs.
Even $10 will help me reach my goal of fundraising $300 for She Rock She Rock! So please consider giving to this uniquely cool organization. They need to be able to continue their work which provides a positive, empowering musical experience for hundreds of girls and women throughout the Twin Cities. (If you’ve ever dreamed of playing an instrument or singing in a band, I encourage you to try out a Women’s Rock n Roll Retreat. Learn more at www.sherocksherock.org.)
Please donate now at my fundraising page.
Dr Kyra Mesich is author of The Strength of Sensitivity. She empowers sensitive souls to create lives of balance, peace of mind & lighthearted fun. Learn more at www.drkyra.com
Thursday, August 23, 2018
The Cure for Procrastination!
by Kyra Mesich, PsyD, www.drkyra.com
Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? I have an intimate, long-term relationship with procrastination. I've honed the skill my entire life. Yet, somehow, I've still managed to get stuff done. Following is my favorite and most effective holistic technique to change the energy around my tendency to procrastinate.
Tansy Flower Essence
Yes, there is even a flower essence* to help us overcome procrastination! You'd think I would be using this stuff by the barrel, but sometimes I procrastinate opening up a new bottle of tansy flower essence. I'm telling you, I have expert status on the topic of procrastination.
What is the root cause of procrastination anyway? Is it about willpower? Lack of motivation? Poor time management? For many of us sensitive souls, it isn't about any of those things. Tansy addresses a deep-seated habit many of us sensitive souls adopted very early in life: Withdrawing under stress.
Here is a quote from the FES Flower Essence Repertory's definition of Tansy flower essence: "Healing insight comes through understanding why [we] hold back the real expression of ourselves. This soul type responds to intense overwhelm or any feeling of pressure or tension by withdrawing and restricting physical energy."
This can be an ingrained pattern associated with childhood trauma. But I have found it to be a tendency for nearly all of my sensitive clients, those who do and those who do not have a significant history of abuse or trauma. Many of us sensitive souls became experts in "downshifting" our energy to keep the peace and to avoid further emotional overwhelm.
By the time we are adults, it can be second nature to withdraw and become invisible when we want. This tendency comes back to bite us when we need to expand our energy outward to accomplish a task or break through any stress-inducing situation.
Tansy has been my friend since I first learned about FES flower essences. I never would have completed my first book in 2000 without it.
*For those of you who may be new to flower essences, please note that flower essences are unique herbal remedies that are made from the vibrational, energetic resonance of flowering plants. There is no botanical matter in a flower essence. Tansy is used herbally as well (dried and in tinctures) and it is an incredibly strong herb that has a pungent, unpleasant odor. The tansy plant is used as a natural insect repellent and is considered somewhat toxic to ingest.
I love to look at a plant's physical qualities when considering it's energetic gifts. I put a photo of tansy above so you can see its straightforward form. The flowers are small and similar to the center of a daisy, without the petals. It's a "getting down to business" type of plant with strong, long-lasting flowers. It is a vibrant yellow, can grow huge and fast, and is considered an invasive species in many areas of the Midwest.
Tansy flower essence stimulates our energy just enough to pull us out of the hiding places we energetically withdraw. Tansy encourages us to be vibrant and strong, here and now, and accomplish what we want to do.
You can obtain Tansy flower essence from FES (Flower Essence Services) www.fesflowers.com, or book a flower essence session with me during which we'll choose the best flower essences to help you heal and move forward in your life. More at www.drkyra.com/sessions-programs.
Monday, July 16, 2018
30 Seconds to Happier Digestion by Dr Kyra Mesich, www.drkyra.com
-With no costly supplements
-No matter what you're eating
-With a simple, thorough food blessing you can say to yourself or out loud
About 90% of the sensitive clients I see have digestive issues, sometimes quite severe. I certainly haven't escaped frustrating digestive problems in my life. I’ve had times in the past when I could barely tolerate eating anything without pain, gas, bloating, fatigue, brain fog - Most of you know the drill.
Digestive issues can feel so disempowering. “What? I don’t even have control over my own body?” That’s how it feels sometimes. Despair can set in when we feel like we are doing everything possible to make the situation better, such as avoiding certain foods, taking probiotics, etc, with little improvement. So my method below counters that frustration and instead empowers you to reset your focus toward positive intention and an energy of more comfortable digestion.
Here's an easy method that I have consistently found makes a positive difference. Take the time, just 30 seconds, to say a blessing before eating. Before putting the food in your mouth, create positive energy, and set an intention of appreciation and acceptance. Here is the blessing I've created over the years:
I bless and purify this food.
I give thanks to the animal and plants that gave of themselves, and to every single person who played a role in making this food available to me.
My body accepts this food with appreciation and excitement. It easily digests and processes it, extracting all the nutrients and energy available for my body's benefit.
I experience this meal (or snack) with love and gratitude.
And so it is!
As you can tell, I've made this blessing neutral. Feel free to change it based on your food choices and beliefs.
I know this blessing may seem long, but it only takes 30 seconds to say it slowly, with intention. 30 seconds is sufficient time to positively shift the energy you had, no matter your worries about the food you'll be eating or how your body may react.
Yes, sometimes when I'm in a hurry, I forget or don't want to take the time for the blessing. But whenever my digestion starts to go off again, I'm reminded how easy it is to empower myself to create positive intention around the food I take into my body. Consistent attention to creating positive energy around food and digestion - It really does make all the difference.
Copyright Dr Kyra Mesich, author of The Strength of Sensitivity, www.drkyra.com
Monday, January 15, 2018
Many of us creative, intuitive beings are walking around thinking poorly of ourselves. We still buy into the idea that sensitivity is a weakness. Time to knock it off!
Here's a throwback to my old-fashioned style quiz which will help you understand how your sensitivity can actually be a strength in your day to day life.
The Strength of Sensitivity Quiz
Take the quiz below from Dr Kyra Mesich to discover the greatest Strengths of Your Sensitivity!
Write down the numbers of all the statements are generally true for you.
- Your sense of smell is very acute, such that odors bother you even when other people don’t notice them.
- Other people always seem to come to you for support and someone to talk to.
- You startle easily from unexpected stimuli like loud noises.
- You have learned that it is usually best to trust your gut feelings when making decisions rather than over-thinking it.
- You have a special connection with animals and easily understand their nonverbal communication.
- You often see the obvious solution to a problem despite others trying the same old approaches over and over.
- You avoid watching the news or certain shows and movies because there is too much negativity or violence.
- You hear sounds that others don’t seem to notice such as the buzzing of fluorescent lights, or the high-pitched sound from some electronics.
- You have had an experience of feeling strongly that you would be doing something (moving into a blue house, starting a new job) had no idea how that could happen, but it eventually did.
- You are a musician, artist, writer, or crafty person who loves to design or make things.
- You have uncomfortable reactions around certain scented products, such as perfume, cleaners, scented candles, etc.
- You have good instincts. As long as you follow them, things tend to turn out well.
- You revel in sensory experiences, such as touching a soft blanket, looking at a beautiful flower, or sipping a warm cup of tea.
- You wish that organizations like schools and corporations would experiment with new approaches to be more effective.
- You are often able to notice what other people (adults and children) need or want without them verbally telling you.
Interpreting your results: If you noted two or three of the statements in the following categories, then that quality is one of your greatest strengths of sensitivity.
Perceptive: Numbers 1, 8 and 15. You are very perceptive, which means you have keen, responsive senses and the ability to notice things quickly. This is a strength because you are very aware of your surroundings. You are the detective who hones in on the clues that everyone else misses.
Creative: Numbers 6, 10 and 14. You have the soul of an artist and the ability to think outside the box. This is a great strength because you bring beauty and new possibilities to people’s lives. You are the creative spark in an otherwise dull world.
Responsive: Numbers 3, 11 and 13. Your body is a precision instrument, and you experience clear responses. This might not always feel like a strength, but there are benefits. Your body is constantly communicating with you about what is healthy and balanced for you and what is not. You also are able to delight in the simple pleasures in life. You are the harmonizer who strives to bring peaceful comfort into the world.
Intuitive: Numbers 4, 9 and 12. You naturally have the gift of intuition, or a still small voice within that guides you. Intuition is a tremendous bonus that makes life easier, as long as we learn to listen and trust it. There’s more to life than meets the eye, and you are the embodiment of that.
Empathic: Numbers 2, 5 and 7. This is the most misunderstood strength of sensitivity. As an empathic person, you naturally sense and feel emotional energy from people, animals, and places. When this strength is balanced, your empathy can be used like intuition to give you useful information. In other words, you can sense the emotional truth of a situation, despite what others may try to hide or not be able to clearly communicate. You understand others on a deep level and are the compassionate warmth in a sometimes cold world.
As you can see, our collective sensitive strengths make the world a better place. We bring qualities of awareness, creativity, harmony, intuition, and compassion to life. Our traits are important, and we have every right to fully express who we are as sensitive people. We also have the right to feel peaceful, comfortable & confident in life!
Dr Kyra is author of The Strength of Sensitivity. Learn more at www.drkyra.com
Monday, January 8, 2018
Do you feel overcommitted? Are you overextended, dealing with other people’s requests, meeting their needs? Are you frequently saying yes to this or that invitation or offer, sometimes leaving only the dregs of your time left for what you want and need? If yes, then please read on.
|New Yorker cartoon by Emily Flake
This tendency affects sensitive souls of all ages and walks of life, and if you are an entrepreneur or business owner, then you may be struggling with this in spades. Does any of this sound familiar?
A client asks you for an extra, super early appointment. You say yes, even though you really don’t want to drive across town in the wee dark hours of the morning.
A business associate you met at a networking event asks you for coffee, but at her office on the far side of the city. You say yes, afterward wishing you had asked to at least meet half-way in between because you wind up losing way over an hour just in travel time driving there and back.
Friends ask you to please be on their committee. They’re planning a fundraising event for a really important cause - one that you certainly care about. You say yes, even though your schedule is tight with extra work deadlines this next couple months. Now you’re feeling overwhelmed.
An acquaintance who is going through a break up and a chaotic time lately asks you to meet him for dinner. You say yes, even though you know it’s going to drain you.
If these scenarios have a twinge of familiarity to you, then may I present to you your new mantra:
I’ll have to get back to you on that…
If your response to someone's ask is instead more along the lines of, “I think maybe I’m free, but I’m not sure,” or “Okay, I’ll let you know,” guess what you have just said – YES. The requester is going to hear what he or she wants to hear. So if your response can in any way be construed as an agreement, then you have firmly landed in YES TOWN.
But I'm really not sure...
That's okay. For some requests, you really don’t know your answer at first do you? Maybe you will say yes, but you need to contemplate it. And you have that right. You do not owe anyone an immediate response. We live in a super fast-paced world, but that doesn’t mean you have to give an instant yes or no.
Unless the offer in question is something you have wanted to do, or you can immediately feel a YES response in you body, then your best course of action is I’ll have to get back to you.
But don’t stop with giving yourself some time. The next step is to clear your head, connect within, and feel your body’s inner wisdom about the offer.
If you need centering first, remember that you can go to the audio meditations on my website at drkyra.com and listen to one of my guided meditations, such as the grounding tree, to get into a receptive mode first. Then:
1. Breathe and focus inward.
2. Think about or visualize the events related to the invitation.
3. Then notice a feeling or sensation of a yes (pleasant, open or energized feeling) or no (tightness, sinking feeling, or even pain) in your body.
A non-feeling or middle of the road feeling means just that. The commitment wouldn't be horrible, but not all that rewarding for you either, so consider whether it would drain your time.
If you know that you’re the kind of person who might fold and still say yes when it comes back around, then scroll down on this blog and read Say No & Feel Good About It from July 2017.
I guarantee you if there are times when you undercommit, then there will be times you feel overjoyed in the freedom of it all.
It’s more important than ever to make taking care of YOU your number one priority. No one else needs to understand why. We can just keep that a secret between you & me.
So one more time, let's practice saying it, I’ll have to get back to you on that.
-Dr Kyra Mesich, www.drkyra.com
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