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Betty came to me for consultation to find peace in her life. She described several situations of chaos and disruption. She has two daughters who had difficult relationships and a father who was very ill.
Stress at work was a constant threat of cutbacks. Her workload had increased because of the last cutback, which left her department understaffed. She was working longer hours with higher quotas.
She was worried about the erratic weather and growing violence around the world.
Basically, Betty lived in a situation of impending doom. She said inner peace seemed impossible in the midst of all this pressure.
I reminded Betty that each person has an inner environment, as well as the external conditions that go on around us. When we use our thoughts to control our reactions to things we cannot control, we stabilize ourselves within. We are no longer a ship lost at sea, tossed around by the waves of our everyday experiences
Just to accept this concept is a first step toward inner peace. I taught her a breathing technique to alter the physical stress-related changes in her body, such as rapid heartbeat and muscle and nerve tension.
I suggested that she find a place by herself while at work to practice this process a few minutes a day.
In addition to controlled breathing, this process involves affirmation and visualization.
Affirm to yourself: “I choose peace. I am breathing in stabilizing fresh air to increase my energy and relax my body and mind.”
Inhale slowly to the count of five, visualizing the color of sky-blue filling your cells with peace. Tell yourself this breath represents changing you from being “outer directed” to being “inner directed.”
As you exhale to the count of five, let go of all the accumulated tension from events you feel you have no control over. Repeat this five times, each time letting go of deeper layers of stress.
Betty used this technique for two weeks. She said it made a difference in how she looks at her personal environment and world conditions of danger and uncertainty. I suggested that Betty avoid caffeine when under pressure, because it accelerates nervous responses and overstimulats the heart. The herb Lobelia can help normalize emotional balance, strengthen the glandular system and build immunity and stamina. Drinking chamomile tea also is helpful for relaxation.
With some difficulty, Betty made changes in her diet and lifestyle. She replaced caffeine with fresh fruits, fish and organic vegetables. Improved nutrition provided the vitamins and minerals needed to better deal with stress and be more centered.
Over the next few months, Betty began to understand what she could change and what was out of her control. She realized she could not live her daughters’ lives for them, but she could offer love to help them make choices that supported their well being. She could not save her father’s life. She could make it easier by letting him feel her love and visiting him regularly. These changes helped Betty find the peace she was seeking.
Patrice Joy Masterson lives in Bedford and is a certified holistic stress-management instructor and holds degrees in health and wellness. She is a reiki master, Shaklee distributor and master herbalist working with pure herbs. For more information, call her at (937) 631-5581 or visit Harmonizing-Health.info.