Creating a Gratitude Practice

Creating a gratitude practice is simple. You don’t have to find a special place to practice being grateful, it can be done anywhere and at anytime. It can be especially potent if we set aside 5 minutes of quiet time to settle down, but it’s not required. You can choose to use a journal to write down what you are grateful for and keep a log that you can review at a later date.

My preferred method is to hold hands in front of my heart and say what I am grateful for out loud.

This gives me the bodily felt sense of gratitude, which in my experience, activates the energy of gratitude more strongly. I like to speak directly to our Creator and All That Is when I express my gratitude. I also express my gratitude to the Holy Mother. But you don’t have to do it like that. Do it in a way that feels real for you and produces the feeling of gratitude to your heart and throat. If you can, do this every day before you start your day, and during your day. Make a point of being grateful for all that comes your way, positive or negative. I’m grateful for the challenges I face because they help me grow and learn and become a better person.

I am grateful for…..

News From the Front Line of Education

I’m writing to share some new insights and give you an update on where I am in my work through using life as my teacher. In January, I was given the gift of a 6-month interim position as a school counselor at a PK- 6 school here in MD. It had been roughly three years since I had been full time in a school setting and my eyes were opened wide to the increasing challenges that children, parents, and educators are facing today. In my work I was met with a pervasive level of anxiety permeating the school environment. The children were expressing a host of symptoms and sensitivities that presented with sensory integration challenges, ADHD, Autism, anxiety, fear, suicidal ideation, language disorders, poor executive function, social anxiety, and a general acting out in concerning ways. Anxiety was a common conversation among staff members and students. This of course was not the entire population and out of the 180 students in the school these symptoms were spread out in about 25% of the student population.

To say the least, I was concerned, and also glad that I was there to help and in a different kind of way as my background was unique from the type of counselors, and therapists the school had worked with prior. My role, along with comforting the children, was to observe, ask questions and listen. Then, with that information help parents and teachers figure out the best course of action, albeit a first step in a long process of healing.

“Although I was familiar with, and had worked with many of the symptoms and presenting disorders, and therapies for them, my intuition was saying, “there is something new to learn Lourdes, open to it!”

So I did, I used my intellect and did research, I used my body and felt things, I opened my heart of compassion to hold the suffering and questions, and engaged 100% in the environment and relationships so I could freshly understand and see with my heart what new guidance was available to help.

After setting this intention, a few things happened, all of which I trusted were part of the answer to my question, and there to lead me along the path of my intended discovery.

Within a month, I started to see my own anxiety that I thought was in “check” start to surface more readily and with greater intensity. I began to feel all the old fears, first in my solar plexus, then my stomach, and eventually in my heart center and lungs. There was a churning and twisting feeling inside that required a significant amount of calm breathing and pacing to help subside. This was accompanied with a challenge in concentration, and I started noticing that my memory recall began to decrease, I noticed that I started feeling foggy, and on some days I would vacillate from ungrounded hyperactivity to lethargy. I began to worry unrealistically about little things and I had this feeling that something was wrong and what ever it was would be happening soon and to me. None of this matched the external reality, as I loved being there, was well liked, regarded and appreciated. In fact everyone loved the calm I brought to the school. But there I was in a heightened state of anxiety and fear, somewhat immobilized and unable to fully be present without concerted effort and inner coaching.

“I was resonating with all that I was experiencing, and old and familiar patterns were coming to the surface.”

I had caught the anxiety influenza, and I was experiencing my version of symptoms like so many. It was interesting to watch the inner changes of anxiety and doubt that took place over a period of six months. I am very grateful for my training as a counselor, educator and healer, as I understood what was happening and knew how to work with the sympathetic response I was having to my environment. I would practice my techniques of awareness, breathing and grounding and aligning during the day, and go home every night and do what I was trained to do to clear myself and restore balance. Despite applying my years of study and practice, something wasn’t right and I realized that I was in the same place as the children, using coping methods that were only partially successful.

“Even though I knew what was happening and what to do to reset myself, the symptoms kept returning. The question was why and what am I missing here? “

For me as a practitioner of healing, my body, inner self, and life experiences are my laboratory for developing the wisdom of understanding, healing, and transformation. Despite my realization that the tools in my tool bag were only taking me so far, I understood that I was being led to deeper understanding and healing. This experience was the beginning of an answer on how to help these beautiful children and ultimately myself, and perhaps you. The answers came and I want to share them with you. It’s a longer story about our nervous system, unresolved trauma, and how to heal it. And I invite you to hear the rest of it.

I’m offering a free informational talk to share what I have learned…….

I will pick up the story from my studies at the PK-6 school, weave it into what occurred during a four day Self Realization Retreat in West. Va, then follow us along the path with a few stops, and eventually to the steps of Capitol Hill…

We will touch on :

  • The new science of our nervous system, and how it relates to the quality of our life experience.
  • How unresolved trauma and long term stress coupled in the nervous system keeps us from deeper healing.
  • I will show you a powerful technique I have learned to calm your nervous system, increase social engagement and deepen your connection with your body.
  • Talk about how I am integrating new body centered techniques for deeper healing in my work.

Click Below to RSVP….

Join me

Monday, July 29th

7:30-8:45 pm

The Healing Studio,

Clarksville, MD

or online in my meeting room.

With Love,

Lourdes

Some Words on Compassion

The most important thing I have learned about compassion is that it’s a vibration. A force that we can call upon, if we choose, to help us.  Compassion is free, has no intermediary, and is available to every human being on earth no matter their state, status, or condition. Compassion is neutral, and anyone can meet its vibration as you would a potential friend or ally and be in relationship with it. As you practice calling on compassion you develop a relationship that over time will increase your ability to utilize its benefits and bring ease and comfort to your life experience on all levels.

For a long time on my path I viewed compassion as something “I” did.  I saw it as a place I had to reach, like I interpreted the Dali Lama and Mother Theresa having reached. Being a well-intentioned person, I would try and “be” compassionate and “do” compassionate things and “have” compassionate thoughts.  This reaching for compassion never manifested true compassion. I noticed that I was still impatient, judgmental, and often in situations that needed compassion, acting out of fear instead. I felt that real compassion, in the way I intuitively knew was possible, was out of reach for me. Like many of the teachings I have received on my spiritual path, I didn’t quite get it, my behaviors showed it, and I was embarrassed to say that I didn’t know how it worked. By moving from the concept of compassion to a relationship with compassion as my teacher, I discovered that compassion is a living vibration that heals. It is a guiding force that can transform us and a nourishing spiritual food that carries us in difficult times. The process of facing our weaknesses as we journey through life is made easier with compassion as our ally.  And we don’t have to look far for it’s accessible right inside of us.

The key to compassion, and other energies available to us for our healing, (such as humility, gratitude, forgiveness, love, and faith,) is that you can learn to consciously call upon them and when you do, they arrive. We don’t create compassion by using our will in the traditional sense of the word. Compassion already exists, waiting for us to step into its place in our hearts, and then we only need to open ourselves to receive it, first for ourselves, and then for others. Once the energy of compassion awakens and is vibrating in our hearts, then do we know what action to take with our suffering. It may be that we do nothing but sit and wait, or perhaps listen and hold space for someone’s suffering, or even our own. It may be that we are called to take some greater action, we never know until we get there.

 

Prayer of St. Francis

In this prayer we are asking to be a vessel for divine goodness.

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.