There definitely has been a lot of shift happening lately. Nope, that’s not a typo. Shift is one of those subtle, or not so subtle, events that happen as part of daily living.
We have seasonal shifts that affect how we dress, eat and engage with the world. We have life shifts based on life events like turning 18, getting married or having a child. We have mood shifts and appetite shifts daily. We have societal shifts such as the Civil Rights Movement and the rise in the use of technology. The list goes on, and most shifts are pretty easy to identify.
Then there are those “other” shifts. Shifts in “energy.” Shifts on a cosmic or universal level. Many of us, especially those of us who are more highly tuned into shifts of any kind, were feeling lots of energetic turmoil months before the COVID took center stage. We could “feel” a shift in ‘something’. Some of us may have understood it, while others of us could just sense the unrest, the change, the shift coming on. These subtle or not so subtle changes can increase stress if we do not know how to flow with it.
I’m going to share some of my tips for dealing with shifts from the perspective of a holistic and integrative nutrition health coach.
Seasonal perspective: Learning to tune into shifts can really help you understand how to make lifestyle choices to heal and nurture your health. It’s a powerful tool. During the past couple of months we made the seasonal shift from winter to spring. Winter has the energetics of nesting, slowing down, resting more deeply, and turning inward. The winter foods are the root vegetables that create the warming soups and stews — our winter diet. Spring brings forth the fresh greens and berries, especially the bitter greens. If we pay attention to the energetic shift of spring, we realize we need to move more, our creative energies flow outward and our diet becomes lighter. We need less of the heavier warming foods. The bitter greens help us to detox and cleanse our systems from winter sluggishness. Because it’s currently possible to have any type of food at any time of the year, this seasonal shift in eating is often lost. However, if you intentionally reclaim this natural flow into your life and begin to “tune into” this practice of eating seasonally and eating locally, you can truly nurture your body. Soon we will be shifting again from Spring to Summer. That pending shift can affect diet in a positive and healing way.
Individual Perspective: But we are multidimensional beings and while the seasons are shifting, our stages in life are shifting too. We may be shifting from child to teenager or teenager to adult or young adult to mid-life or old age. Sometimes, we try to battle a life shift rather than flow with it. If you find yourself pulling back from a life shift, I recommend that you give yourself some self-care — meditate, practice relaxation breathing, do morning journaling. Acknowledge the fear or sadness regarding the shift in life seasons, without passing judgement, and then let it go. Take the time to give gratitude for the stage you are leaving and fully embrace the possibilities of the new stage you are entering.
Societal Perspective: And of course while those shifts are happening for us on a personal level, we’re also being influenced by the greater shifts in society. Do we embrace the societal shift? Do we rebel against it? Is it a shift that resonates with us? Is it one that we feel contributes to the greater good? When those larger societal shifts happen we often find ourselves “taking sides” based on our personal belief systems. Do we use our voice or hide our opinions? I find that our reactions to the larger societal shifts will often be influenced by how solid we feel in our personal circles of energy. Societal shifts can make us nervous or make us feel like we are on the outside looking in. Again take time to notice your feelings without passing judgement. What is a comfortable role for you in the greater societal shift?
Universal Perspective: And then there is the type of shift that happens, like COVID, that seems to come from an energy beyond any of us. It is a universal shift, a shaking out of sorts. This kind of shift in some ways forces us to come to terms with patterns in our lives and asks us to reprioritize and restructure how we live. I am personally not sure where this particular universal COVID is taking us, but I do know it is causing quite a bit of stress, anxiety, confusion, conflict and disconnection from flow.
So how do we flow with shifts of any kind? How do we get through with grace and ease? How do we keep our stress levels down so that we can stay physically healthy, since we know that stress can increase our chances of becoming physically ill? How do we nurture a mindset of being comfortable with shift and change?
I always recommend that my clients start with these 4 simple strategies:
Re-learn how to breathe. Deep, slow inhalations. Slow, complete exhalations. Reconnect with “belly” breath. Create space inside with each inhalation and release what no longer serves you with each exhalation. Bring oxygen into your cells. Feel your brain calm down.
Eat whole, clean, unprocessed foods. Eliminate added sugars and highly processed anything. Nourish your cells on the deepest level with the most nutritious foods. Feel your body gain strength and your mind gain clarity.
Cultivate being comfortable in silence though meditation. Wayne Dyer called the space between words, “The Gap”. Spend time in that gap and begin to reconnect with the quiet voice of your intuitive self. Listen deeply.
Each day make the choice to move — walk, run, bike, exercise, garden, dance. Know that you were designed to move and lovingly embrace movement and sweat. Allow those endorphins to reduce your stress, relax your mind and fill you with joy and gratitude for the moment of NOW, for the gift of your life and for your amazing body.
Shifts happen — breath by breath, minute by minute, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year. It’s what we do with shift that matters most.
In Health and Balance,
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