Tuesday, August 16, 2016

DECISION FATIGUE

Recently, I have been experiencing decision fatigue though I did not realize that this was a "recognized" issue in the population until I used trusty old Google. I have been living with my husband for 21 years and, during that time, he has essentially had me make just about every decision for the household. Many may think this to be the ideal situation as you always get to choose whatever.....dinner, socialization, bill-paying, etc. The truth is that this is exhausting.

According to an article about decision fatigue in the New York Times, "Decision fatigue helps explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket and can’t resist the dealer’s offer to rustproof their new car. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price. It’s different from ordinary physical fatigue — you’re not consciously aware of being tired — but you’re low on mental energy. The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways. One shortcut is to become reckless: to act impulsively instead of expending the energy to first think through the consequences. (Sure, tweet that photo! What could go wrong?) The other shortcut is the ultimate energy saver: do nothing. Instead of agonizing over decisions, avoid any choice. Ducking a decision often creates bigger problems in the long run, but for the moment, it eases the mental strain."

I often find myself in either one of these positions. First, I tend to make poor choices as the day and week progress (most alert and refreshed on Monday morning). Second, I will often be so exhausted by Sunday that I can do nothing but eat and watch TV so that I can rest up for Monday and a new week of endless decisions.

Even if you do not have a spouse who "allows" you to make all of the decisions, we are bombarded with so many decisions on a daily basis. There are hundreds of choices of cereal, milk, clothes, schools, routes to work, etc. Have you ever renovated a home? Numerous choices about every aspect - trim, cabinets, colors? 

As an attorney, it is my job to help people make decisions regarding their legal issue. As a healthcare provider, I have to present choices to my clients about the path they would like to take regarding their health. I have to choose what options to present to them so that they can make a choice.

We do not have children but, I recently spent five days with my nieces who are 10 and 9. As is natural, they are curious and have lots and lots of questions. I don't see them often so, I kinda started off the week with a no boundaries, it is all about them kind of attitude. I was exhausted within two days. Parents are constantly having to make decisions and, I see the exhaustion on the faces of many parents. It is important for parents and, everyone to carve out some time where you are not making any decisions. Maybe an hour before bed or first thing in the morning.

We often beat ourselves up when we do not make the correct decisions. Especially if that decision is to have that piece of cake that you swore you would resist. Beating ourselves up often wears us down even more. Instead, be kind to yourself, practice self-love and, know that your lack of "willpower" could just be exhaustion from making decisions all day long

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What Is Energy Medicine?

"Energy Medicine, at its foundation, focuses on the energy fields of the body that organize and control the growth and repair of cells, tissue, and organs. Changing impaired energy patterns may be the most efficient, least invasive way to improve the vitality of organs, cells, and psyche." - David Feinstein

I first became acquainted with Energy Medicine in 1997 when I was in college. I signed on to the One Spirit Book Club where you get a certain number of books for, like, ten bucks and then you have to buy a book every month or so. I bought Donna Eden's Energy Medicine Book and Barbara Brennan's Hands of Light.

I read the books and was fascinated by the material but, I was on a path for my law degree and,  I never imagined Energy Healing as a career path.

Fast forward 8 years to 2005 and, I am a practicing lawyer and super stressed out. I was dealing with a lot of "energy vampires" in my life (energy vampires can be people, habits, a job you don't like,etc.). My health deteriorated and, I was unaware (at the time) why I was experiencing digestive problems, eczema, chronic fatigue and depression. 

My acupuncturist would ask about my stress level on every visit and, it took me two years to admit that I was stressed out. Once  I became aware of the sources of my stress, I changed my behavior and my life to reduce the stress as much as possible. 

I then began to take note that I was deeply affected by other people's emotions and energy. Couples who would bicker would cause me digestive problems for days after the encounter. If someone was abusive or tried to take advantage of me (happens a lot in my line of work), it would cause severe distress to me emotionally and physically - I could barely eat a thing and, I was unable to sleep.

I decided I was going to take control, set some boundaries and get well. I started meditating and practicing energy medicine.
I decided to immerse myself in the Eden Energy Medicine program. I completed the first two classes and, then had to take a year off due to physical exhaustion after dealing with high levels of stress for so long. 

During these years, I was getting sick five to six times a year when I used to not get sick at all. I was sad to stop and was afraid that I might not complete the training. I finally felt like I had found a tribe.

I returned to the training after a year break and, am proud to say that I graduated this past January as a Certified Eden Energy Medicine Practitioner.  

Soon, I was able to protect myself by strengthening my aura, "zipping up," doing my Daily Energy Routine and, when needed, avoiding certain situations to protect myself from the negative energy that I was encountering as well as meditating daily. Looking back, I believe that I was in the midst of adrenal fatigue and living in a constant state of fight or flight.

I am grateful for the ability to maintain my health and, I am happy to say that my energy levels have improved dramatically, I sleep better and, I have not been sick in two years. 

Please contact me if you would like to learn more about energy medicine including rates for healing sessions and information about the daily energy routine to maintain your body's energies to promote health and vitality. 

santoshambw@gmail.com

Meditation and the Mastery of Attention

I have several daily practices that I attend to in order to keep myself physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally healthy. One of those daily practices is meditation. Dhyana or deep meditation is the seventh limb of yoga. What we call yoga here in America is actually ASANAS - the third limb of yoga.

While I practice all of the limbs of yoga, Meditation is the subject for today.  Meditation typically requires a focus for your attention. Your focus may be, amongst others, your breath, a sound such as a mantra, or a candle flame.

Mastery of attention, or Dharana, is the sixth limb of yoga. Dharana translates as immovable concentration of the mind and it involves training the mind to focus on one point or image. This one-pointedness is essential to meditation. Dharana should be effortless and not forced.

When I tell people that I teach meditation, many people say that they can't meditate because they can't stop thinking. It is the nature of the brain to think therefore, it is impossible to stop thinking. We actually average about 12,000 thought per day. Most of our thoughts are on the past or the future.

In meditation, we use our focus to "re-direct" the mind to be present with our focus. In my daily morning meditation, I use my breath and a mantra as a focus for my attention. When I find my mind wandering, I bring my attention back to the mantra.  

The mastery of attention takes practice and is rarely "perfected" as it is a practice. However, with the practice of Dharana, the mastery of attention, we will begin to experience Dhyana, deep meditation and the development of witnessing awareness wherein we forget the body and the world.

The results are reduced stress and improved physical and mental health. I am a certified S.E.E.D. (Simple Easy Every Day) meditation instructor and would love to teach you how to meditate. My teacher is Sarah McLean. Check out her website here: www.sedonameditation.com.

 Namaste.