Well, we’ve reached the “dog days” of August. And, it’s hot in the Berkshires. I’ve been spending every possible moment outside to take advantage of summer this year. My vegetable garden is doing well, but the flower garden has been taken over by weeds. Every year I find it difficult to keep on top of everything, and every year I vow to make a smaller garden next year. But, when spring arrives, I can’t resist planting several new items in my garden. This year I tried sage. So far, the sage is not very impressive…
How are you feeling this week? Are you enjoying the lovely summer weather? Are you tired of physical distancing? Are you anxious about kids going back to school in a few weeks, and the numbers of COVID cases on the rise?
Here in Massachusetts, our governor has done a great job of slowly opening businesses in our state, yet, the number of cases have begun to rise again, so he has had to step us back to a previous phase. He has also instituted increased support for monitoring and fining businesses not in compliance with the state COVID guidelines. Part of me is glad that he’s doing everything possible to protect us all, the other part of me is angry that so many people are still not wearing masks, and not taking 162,000 U.S. deaths seriously. Perhaps we would all have our businesses open, with reduced seating, etc., if more people had done what was asked. Yes, I am angry.
I went into a local market last week and none of the three people in the deli section were wearing masks. They also did not have gloves on when they handled the steak the person in front of me purchased, nor with the chicken I purchased. This is unacceptable to me. It means that these people AND the owners of the store do not care about my health or the health of any other customers. Yes, I am angry!
COVID cases are on the rise again in many parts of our country, and that means more people will die. Some of those people will be nurses and doctors who were wearing masks and taking all precautions! I pray for all those families affected, and when I meditate, I send healing light and love to all those in need. That’s all I can do in addition to wearing my mask, and following the guidelines set by those in the medical community who are studying the path of this virus. I just want everyone else to do the same.
If you are feeling angry, or sad, please join my Facebook live free meditation group on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 pm. We fill ourselves first, and then send love and light to others in need. It’s calming and relaxing and helps to reduce the stress hormones running through our bodies. Self-care is the most important thing we can do for ourselves and our families right now.
If you have some anxiety about the state of things where you live, I have also included a gentle yoga pose today that opens the chest and upper back and helps regulate breathing. You don’t even need to get up from your chair to do this!
- Bring your palms together in front of your chest.
- As you inhale slowly, separate the hands and draw your elbows back as if could touch them together behind your back.
- Raise your chin slightly. When you reach the top of this stretch for you, notice how much easier it is to breathe deeply. Hold the pose and breathe deeply for two breaths, feeling this lovely stretch open your chest and upper back.
- On an exhalation bring the hands forward until the palms are together in front of the chest again.
Repeat a few more times, moving slowly, and breathing deeply. Keep your mind focused on the sensation of your breath, and the movement of the stretch. Make sure to stretch and breathe in an easy, relaxed way, to avoid strain or pain. That way you’ll be comfortable, and you’ll enjoy the exercise.
Chronic anxiety/worry creates a habit of restricting our breath to the upper chest and, most of the time, we don’t even notice. This leads to muscle tension in the chest, achy shoulders, stiff neck, back pain and headaches. That’s why It’s so important to take regular breaks to breathe and stretch your back, neck, chest and shoulders.
I recommend setting an alarm and stopping once an hour to complete this exercise. It takes only a few minutes out of your day, but the benefits are substantial.
Best of Health,