Guest post by Brian Matzke, world-renowned teacher and public speaker, a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Mindfulness and Meditation teacher.
Louise Hay author of ‘Heal Your Body’ and ‘You Can Heal Your Life,’ has become widely accepted as a powerful reference to the mental patterns behind dis-ease. This concept is not new, as the quote “Physician, heal thyself” has been credited to both Hippocrates and Christ.
This concept is very powerful for me as a practitioner of wellness, holistic healing, mind power science and energy medicine. The reason this touches so close to home is it seems to be a common thread in my life.
At a very tender age of three, I lost my father and with this trauma at such a young age, I took on the belief that I had to be the man or the one who looked out for my mother and sisters. How could this be? I was three years old.
Well as humans, we take on beliefs through multiple avenues. These routes are through trauma or high emotion, authority figures, peers, repetition or a trance-like state as in meditation or hypnosis. I had two of those as a young child – the trauma of my father’s death and my mother stating “You are the man of the house now.” Through my own healing and therapeutic process, I have learned those two factors quite possibly had a huge impact on how I lived my life.
Fast forward to 30 years later, I found a career that I got to play Savior to others – still living out my childhood programming and trying to be the man of the house. I was a firefighter and this thoroughly fed my need to save others.
What I didn’t realize was that my cup was becoming empty with no reserves for myself. On top of my nervous system taking a beating for many years, my emotional and physical body has been absorbing trauma after trauma. This all finally led me to a ‘Breaking Point’ – mentally and physically. It wasn’t until my body finally screamed at me to stop by emitting full-on post-traumatic stress symptoms that I was forced to listen.
Along with a lifetime of wanting to save and help others, I finally was presented the opportunity to listen to my heart and soul. It took my body and mind breaking down for me to hear the message. Once I was finally forced to stop, I was able to realize how much I had been burning the candle at both ends. I thought I could continue this way for a long time. Not only did this healing crisis help me to reevaluate my career choice, this gave me a beautiful opportunity to continually practice healing myself first – before I give to others.
As a therapeutic guide for others, I have the opportunity to practice regularly stopping and checking in with my body, mind and soul to make sure I am aligned with my own well-being first. This is my daily practice.
One daily practice that has been very powerful for me is Yoga Nidra. This technique can be done in 10 minutes anywhere. It brings the body into a deep space of mindfulness and healing. When the body and mind are in this deep relaxed state the body can heal and rest in a accelerated time frame.
Two other powerful practices that have been cornerstones of my healing are alternate nostril breathing – known as Nadi Shodhana pranayama – and Abhyanga self-massage.
Alternate nostril breathing for 5 minutes twice a day can help shift your hormones into a balanced state.
Posture: Sit with a straight spine. You may be seated on a cushion or on a chair, wherever you can keep your spine straight and feel comfortable.
Mudra and Breath: Using the thumb and index fingers of the right hand, make a “U” of the two fingers, using the thumb to close off the right nostril and the index finger to close off the left nostril.
Close the left nostril, inhale deeply through the right nostril. At the end of the inhale, close the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril.
Now inhale through the left nostril fully and deeply, then close the left nostril and exhale through the right one.
Again, inhale through the right nostril and continue alternate nostril breathing. The breath must be complete and full on both the inhalation and exhalation cycles.
Time: Continue for 5 minutes.
To End: Inhale deeply, hold the breath a few seconds, lower the hand, and exhale.
Abhyanga, which is a self-massage technique, helps to calm the nervous system, especially done before sleep, and it is also beneficial for detoxing the body and nourishing the skin.
Here is a great how-to video from Banyan Botanicals.
We can decide to keep on going on our paths of self-sabotage until we break down fully, or we can begin to make a choice now to choose our healing and wellness as first priority in our lives.
It is when our cup is truly overflowing that we have more than enough to give to others. We must take the time to fill ourselves so that we can be present in the magic of this world and share of that magic with others.
Brian Matzke is a world-renowned teacher and public speaker, a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Mindfulness and Meditation teacher. He specializes in Somatic therapies focusing on reversing negative stress, anxiety, and post traumatic injuries.
Images courtesy of Louise Hay