What happens when you practice gratitude?

One pivotal element to Project Phoenix is the practice of gratitude, creating a “glass half full” outlook and looking for what is right in your life instead of what’s wrong.  Gratitude focuses your attention on things that you may not have noticed, or innocently have taken for granted.

When you reflect on the simple things in your life: people, objects, the things which make a difference, the things which are present in your life, you experience less pessimism, fear and anxiety. Anthony Robbins, motivational speaker said “when you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears”. I believe  this to be true.

“Since beginning ‘the testing’ of project phoenix, I have adopted powerful daily exercises which create the attitude of gratitude throughout my whole life.  I am decidedly more aware of simple blessings in my life. I am able to be thankful for the ‘little things’ which bring me joy and peace on a daily basis, whether that’s the bed that kept me comfortable whilst I slept, the mirror which reflects my true self and enables deep healing, the cup which holds my tea, the soup bubbling in the pan as well as the ‘important stuff’ like my dearest friends, loved ones and family members (I name each of them all individually) the sun for rising giving us all another days life etc.

By instigating my daily gratitude exercise I have been able to live in the present moment for longer periods of time. I notice that my emotion set-point is more positive than negative which is crucial when recovering from extreme stress, burnout and M.E. This has helped me dwell less on the mistakes, upset and pains from the past or ruminate on the “what ifs” of the future.”

If you are looking to becoming less stressed or to live in the present moment I wholeheartedly advise that you start a daily practise of gratitude. It truly creates a significant improvement. I strongly suggest that you keep a daily gratitude and success journal until your mood has improved significantly, it really helps you to live more in the moment and focus more on the good things in life as opposed to the challenges.

Attitude

Closely related to gratitude is attitude.  Adopting a positive attitude to life can help you navigate your way through the many challenges with ease.

“In the past I was a pessimist – always waiting for the next disaster- and of course one always came along, my life was like a soap-opera!  I expected the worst and I was never disappointed.  I failed to recognise two things: firstly, that when your mood is low your perception  of everything about your life is low-grade; including other people, situations and circumstances. The other point I had not considered was how the human brain works – always trying ‘fix’.

I now see how my brain was suggesting everything that could go wrong and I was considering/ planning exactly what to do should the events occur. Often ‘those things’ did go wrong, and I lurched from one disaster to another. I created such sadness, stress and negativity in my life. I wasted so much time and energy needlessly worrying about catastrophes which never happened. Instead, I could have invested my mental and emotional energy in reaching my goals and fulfilling my dreams. Thank goodness I figured out how it works!

Since then, I have become keenly attuned to my thoughts and the impact that they have on my health and well-being, as well as my whole life experience.

My increased awareness has allowed me to question my thoughts and assess how they are serving me, I frequently remind myself of  Mike Dooley’s famous catchphrase  ‘thoughts create’ coupling this understanding. I have learned to shift my thinking to a more positive state as soon as I realise that I am engaging in ‘sinking thinking’ simply by using my body, my feelings, as a barometer. Thankfully, these days I spend less time each day in a negative space.”

Two of the steepest learning curves I have ever made about creating long term change are: how thought works and how to raise you emotional vibration from negative to positive through the practice of gratitude.

Learn more about Project Phoenix coaching here.

 

Have you experienced Reiki? It may well seem to be ‘mumbo jumbo’, but read what Ralph who has a been a scientist for his entire working life had to say in May 2011.

This is the exact email I received from Ralph, following a Reiki session with me.

A year or so ago I was having back and neck pain and was recommended to Dawn.  Expecting treatment to those parts of my body where the pain was, I was surprised when Dawn started work on my leg which was apparently the source of the problem.

After a period of massage I relaxed whilst Dawn very gently held my foot as I lay on the massage bench. This was when I experienced two very strange feelings.  First my knee cap felt as if it was moving up and down despite the fact that there was no apparent reason for it to be doing so. Dawn continued to gently hold my foot but did not move her hand in any way – I was watching  totally intrigued.. There was then the extremely strange feeling of something moving up and down my leg from my foot to my groin and back again.  It felt as if there were bubbles of something moving inside the leg up and  down for three or four minutes – a weird feeling unlike anything I had ever experienced before.  The movements then stopped and I have had no repeat of the pain or of the strange movements.

Wow!! I wanted to probe a little deeper here. This is the email I sent Ralph:

Thank you very much…..  I wonder can you give me an additional  line or two, from a perspective of logic and your deep understanding of science,  and consider that I believe (and you experienced) that it is somehow possible, using your hands whether on the client or off, (although I find it much ‘stonger’ if I am working hands on!) you can move ‘energy’ around the body to re-balance (the pain), and you can feel it and you know its happening you can’t see it even though you should be able to because it obvious!! And afterwards it feels much better, and that relief lasts…

I strongly believe there is something there and its just not been figured out yet. When someone experiences it it is quite incredible, it helps an individual in a very unique and beneficial way. I’m sure somehow it kick starts a ‘circuit’ somewhere that needs a tweak, that that little boost gets it up and running again and it puts ‘it’ right, whatever ‘it’ might be…. that’s the only scientific’ish’ way I can describe it, and if I write that people may well think I’m bonkers (!!) so Ralph, what do think, how would you possibly describe Reiki?  Dawn

This was his reply:

Amongst other topics I have worked on during my half century as a scientist is energy in its many forms. I fully comprehend the concepts of energy conservation, the different forms in which energy can manifest itself and the ways in which energy can flow from one point in space to another.

I am certain that there was some flow of something in my leg whilst Dawn was holding it and this something had an effect.  I think I must have experieced a flow of energy  in some form which I am unable to identify. What it was, how it started to flow and how it affected my body are all facts that are incomprehensible to me

Maybe somebody sometime will have an explanation that either fits conventional science thinking or does not.  – Ralph.

A question I have often been asked is how does Maga Therapy relieve the symptons of stress?

Long term stress can affect you in many ways as I previously noted (Read more…) With symptoms including headaches, migraines, asthma, skin conditions e.g. eczema, heart-burn, IBS, tension, aches and pains you can very easily feel anxious or depressed (also classic symptoms of stress) and wonder if there is anything that will actually help.
 
I have to explain the just how Maga Therapy can help you, and HAS to be my number one on the stress busting list!
 
It’s not just a case that someone does something ‘nice’ to you for an hour or so, nor that you were able to schedule an hour into your busy routine, there are more powerful ‘forces’ at work which actually decrease the stress levels and (albeit temporarily) will neutralise the effects (obviously, the more regularly you have one the better your body will respond and ‘learn’ to relax.
Basically (as jargon free as I can make it) the stopping what you are doing and doing nothing allows your body to produce less stress hormones (you will remember the fight or flight ones from your adrenal system from school I am sure).

Excessive amounts of stress hormones cause of the problems we suffer physically.Stress hormones are produced in the Adrenal Galnds (Read more here) and are in a ‘normal’ day to day situation useful, making us more alert or having better memory etc, however, prolonged pumping the hormones will actually prove harmful long term.

For example, indigestion and stomach ulcers can be directly linked to the over production of stress hormones because the hormones affect the digestive system, it becomes sluggish and we break food down much slower than we should, as well as having excess acids produced which in time can affect the lining and cause it to ulcerate. Of course, for all of us who have had stressful periods of life, how easy is it to skip meals and survive on coffee and cigarettes (most of us have done it!!)
 
The muscles are helped greatly by the release of tension and tightness. Fatigue in muscle tissue is reduced by removing lactic acid, this helps prevent the formation of fibrositis (inflammation within the muscle fibres), thus, muscles work at maximum efficiency!

Our skeleton is affected by Maga Therapy (MT) too! Massage warms joints, reduces pain and increases production of synovial fluid which protects bone ends.

Our heart receives the very positive assistance from MT too! It increases blood circulation bringing oxygen to muscles and removing waste products such as lactic acid, helps heat up cold extremities, e.g. hands and feet, generally increases heart function.

Our lymphatic system (this is where many waste products are removed)is enhanced by MT resulting in reduction of excess fluid in tissues (oedema) and toxins.

Our breathing becomes slower and deeper. Lung efficiency is increased so more oxygen taken in and more carbon dioxide expelled, our body relaxes when our breather becomes deeper, slower and more efficient.

Our urinary system is kick started and there is an increase of the production of urine, removal of waste products and toxins.

Our digestive system starts to work more effective thus helps prevent constipation (or if IBS an issue, it balances it and slows gut action down)

The action on the endocrine system itself is very important, MT aids circulation of hormones around the body, it can assist depression by helping the uptake of the hormone Serotonin, and relieves stress by decreasing the levels of Adrenaline.
 
So you see, Maga Therapy HAS to be the best (and immediately effective) thing you can do.  But, that’s only a small wedge of the pie.  What else?? So this time I am thinking for most of us stopping and doing nothing for 10-15 mins is an impossible task, but consider how mad that actually sound 10-15 mins THAT’S ALL!

How to prolong or ‘learn’ to relax?
 
You will notice I burn either oil or incense when treating. There are many reasons for this but the main one is that  you can recreate a relaxing ambience at home,light a candle, burn some relaxing oil, put a relaxing CD to play and your body will respond and ‘release’ your tension.

So, you have the MT treatment rationale, now you know about the music, next the lovely odours. A  few drops of your favourite essential oil in water on the burner  will create a relaxing ambiance and help you chill out, dim the lights if you can and just stop……………turn off the phone (or put it on silent with no vibrate,),  it won’t matter for a few mins to not be ready to take a call!

Do nothing at all for 10 mins. Breathe deeply (many believe breathing is the key to success when it comes to stress busting!) Breathe deeply creating a Buddha belly, this will ensure you use all of your lung as opposed to a half or so of it!

Personal Note From Dawn Symons:

One CD which is widely available is’ Sleep’ by a company called Solitudes- this CD has been designed with the alpha waves wound throughout which actually causes you to relax and sends you to sleep!

Read more stress busting tips here

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