Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Spring Retreat for Women



Treat yourself to a restful mini-retreat

Nurture your Self through visualization, relaxation techniques and
creative exercises (journaling, collage) plus:

Gentle yoga with Debra Leibovitch

Sunday, April 26 12:30 pm – 4:00 pm
H-OM yoga center in Hudson, 3187 Harwood
Directions: Take the 40 west; Exit #26, go right, first building on your right in a small mall

Cost: $50.00

First 4 people to register will receive a Zena Moon candle!

email to reserve

Facilitator Jennifer Boire has lead workshops and retreats at the West Island Women’s Centre

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Imagine a Woman

by Patricia Lynn Reilly
Imagine a woman who believes it is right and good she is a woman.
A woman who honours her experiences and tells her stories.
Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life.

Imagine a woman who believes she is good.
A woman who trusts and respects herself.
Who listens to her needs and desires, and meets them with tenderness and grace.

Imagine a woman who has acknowledged the past's influence on the present.
A woman who has walked through the past.
Who has healed into the present.

Imagine a woman who authors her own life.
A woman who exerts, initiates and moves on her own behalf.
Who refuses to surrender except to her truest self and her wisest voice.

Imagine a woman who names her own gods.
A woman who imagines the divine in her own image and likeness.
Who designs her own spirituality and allows it to inform her daily life.

Imagine a woman in love with her own body.
A woman who believes her body is enough, just as it is.
Who celebrates her body and its rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource.

Imagine a woman who honours the face of the goddess in her changing face.
A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom.
Who refuses to use precious energy disguising the changes in her body and life.

Imagine a woman who values the women in her life.
A woman who sits in circles of women.
Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets.

Imagine yourself as this woman.

Happy belated women's day,

Friday, March 13, 2009

light a candle for spring returning

How might your life have been different, if, through the years, there had been a place where you could go?...a place of women, away from the ordinary busy-ness of life...a place of women who knew the cycles of life, the ebb and flow of nature, who knew of times of work and times of quiet...who understood your tiredness and need for rest.

A place of women who could help you to accept your fatigue and trust your limitations, and to know, in the dark of winter, that your energy would return, as surely as the spring.

Women who could help you learn to light a candle and to wait...

How might your life be different?

Judith Duerk, Circle of Stones

Monday, March 09, 2009

Running on Empty, Kicking the Adrenaline habit

Recently while researching relaxation exercises for my class, I came across The Art of Extreme Self-Care, by Cheryl Richardson. I had not read her before, and found the book extremely beneficial. Here are a few tips excerpted from it, adapted by me:

Let go of being General Manager of the Universe – or the Overarching Boss of Everything. Be open to receiving help, and to asking for help when you need it. This models good behaviour for your children, releases resentment at having to ‘do it all’, and lifts the weight of the world off your shoulders. (I had to break my leg before I accepted that I couldn’t do it all alone, and asked my husband for help. Don’t wait for that to happen!)

Make a list of What You Can Do to support me, and decide together where you will leave it for family members or spouse to find it. You will have to let go of controlling how and when it is done, and be ready to accept their way of doing things. Folding laundry, emptying the dishwasher, chopping veggies for supper, feeding the cats - start with the small things.

Make an Absolute No List: for instance, I no longer rush,. I no longer start the day without meditation or yoga; I no longer keep anything in my home that I don’t need or want.

Turn down the Noise in Your Life: protect your sensitivity with silence; limit your exposure to bad news on TV, in newspapers, on the radio.

Alongside the tips for Self-care on the bookshelf was Take Time for Your Life, also by the same author. In it is an exercise or little quiz to find out if you are an adrenaline junkie, plus some tips for kicking the adrenaline habit:

Kicking the Adrenaline Habit: (fight or flight syndrome)

Living on the next adrenaline rush creates a constant hum of anxiety in the body and ultimately exhausts you. Check the following statements to find out if this applies to you:

- Do you repeatedly check your email or voice mail throughout the day?
- Do you put things off to the last minute, use tight deadlines to get things done?
- Do you frequently speed when driving?
- Do you always feel pressed for time?
- Do you juggle several projects at once?
- Do you wake in the middle of the night, with thoughts racing, unable to sleep?
- Do you often forget to follow through on commitments?
- Do you double-book social engagements or appointments?
- Are you usually late for appointments?

Helpful pointers: (and note that it’s a hard habit to break)

Arrive 15 minutes early for every appointment. Write it in your agenda for earlier, and block out more time between appointments.

Stop trying to cram several things into one small space of time. This causes stress and is inefficient.

Adopt a regular Relaxation Practice on a daily basis, i.e. take a long bath with candles and music; Hang a Do Not Disturb sign on the door; Listen to guided relaxation tape before bed;

Eliminate interruptions and distractions by turning ringer off the phone, turning off the TV, putting your number on the Do Not Call list (telemarketers won’t call), clear up junk and visual clutter from your relaxation space.

Do Not Spread yourself too thin. Learn to say No and disappoint people, gently.

Be prepared for feeling antsy or bored as you shift to a calm, peaceful energy from rushing all the time. If you feel uncomfortable, you’re on the right track. Adrenaline keeps you disconnected from your feelings, the thing that makes life rich.

Most importantly, get support from a coach, friends, or group (ie women’s circle or class).

have a peaceful day,