A Recipe That Will Make You Say MMM

By: Jen Champion 

Are you looking for a gift for yourself or someone you care for? One that is free and accessible to everyone? A gift that keeps giving through a lifetime.

I have a recipe to help manage your mind, mood, and manners. It may be the gift we all need to help ease our way through the holiday season and year.

We are gifts of nature. We are born gifted. We have a brilliant body to work with, infused with love, light, and unlimited potential.

As we maintain our brilliance, we can shine our light, reflect on others, and mirror others for personal and all of humanity’s upliftment.

Let’s visit my pantry and gather ingredients to replenish ourselves with a sweet and savory recipe.

Ingredient 1 Breath Awareness to help manage your mind

For the best results, learn and practice the technique when you are not stressed. Be patient without judgment. Enjoy those bonus gifts.

The Practice

Go to a location where you will not be disturbed. Settle into a comfortable position.

Pretend your mind has a radio dial, and you tune it to a quiet frequency. It will be out of tune and fuzzy now and again, so you will have to adjust it as often as needed. Once you have dialed in, invite your mind’s awareness to focus on the opening of your nostrils. Feel the air moving in and out.

Without forcing, encourage your inhale and exhale to lengthen to help bring more awareness to your body. Feel your body respond to your breathing. Place one hand over your heart and one on your belly. Feel your body respond to your breathing and touch.

Find comfort in the sensations of your breath. Without forcing, invite the following qualities of breath into your awareness. Smooth, Deep, Even, Continuous, Quiet. Rest and Receive as long as you are able. Carry the practice and effects/effects as you move through your day.

Ingredient 2 Movement to help manage your mood

Movement is a natural mood medicine. Movement, especially in a community, helps create a sense of belonging and trust.

For thousands of years, brilliant bodies have been moving. Often in communities due to nomadic lifestyles and foraging for food.

Ceremonies and celebrations include movement in every culture across the world. I enjoy reading, referencing, and listening to the Joy of Movement by Kelly McGonigal.

She shares history, culture, and compelling stories on the magnificence of movement.

Many of us do twisting and forward folding multiple times during our day. When done with awareness and intention, as in a yoga practice, twists can restore balance in the nervous system. Spinal rotations also reduce physical, mental, and emotional tensions and provide flexibility in the spine and hips. They strengthen the body’s core, stabilization, and energetic center.

Forward folds flavor a practice by tuning out the chatter and static of the mind and deepening presence in the moment. 

Move in ways that feel comfortable and stable. If unsure, consult someone to determine if these shapes are for you.

The Practice – Seated and Knee Down Twist with Bolster

The Bolster Belly Hug is a restorative version that you can do on your bed or floor.
Use a yoga bolster or firm pillows/folded blankets.
Sit alongside the bolster with your thigh and hip in contact with it.
Turn your torso toward the bolster with one hand on each side.
Focus on your breathing and lower your torso onto the bolster.
Turn your head in the direction of your knees.
Focus on breathing, relax, and rest for 2-5 minutes.
Repeat this on your other side.

Forward Folds can be practiced with the support of a chair. The seated version offers a broadening and lengthening to the back. The standing versions include stretching and release from the heels to the crown of the head. The middle picture demonstrates knees bent for a safer entry point.

Legs up the Wall
supports fresh, oxygenated blood to flow to the upper extremities and stimulates the flow of lymphatic fluid.

The lymphatic filter and breaks down bacteria and other potentially harmful cells. It helps reduce aching muscles, swelling in feet, ankles, and legs.

One can settle more easily in the rest and digest parasympathetic nervous system.

Place a folded blanket beside the wall for your back and a rolled towel near where your neck will land.
Sit with your right hip next to the wall.

Tune your mind to breathing and body awareness.

Activate your core muscles and adjust your body to ease your roll onto your right side. Continue until you are on your back. Get comfortable and rest with your knees bent and feet on the wall in front of you.

If all is well, begin to straighten your legs up the wall.

Tune your mind to breathing and body awareness.

You may have to adjust the distance between you and the wall to help you feel at ease in the pose.

Leg shapes are optional. Relax and rest for 5-10 minutes.

Ingredient 3 Kindness to manage your manners

Once we have found the proper measurements for our breathing and movements, we sprinkle in kindness.

The sweet act of kindness comes from pure joy.
Be kind to yourself and notice how your acts of kindness grow towards others.

Being an example is the best way to encourage others to feel good. We can all offer positive and uplifting experiences that contribute to a world with gratitude. 

The Practice – Circle of Joy Hug with Smile

Stand or sit in a stable and comfortable position. Bring awareness to your breath and body.
Smile. Inhale, and bring your palms together towards your sternum.
Exhale, interlace your fingers and stretch through the finger webs and wrists as you press down and forward.
Lift your arms to where you are comfortable and release the interlace of the fingers if needed.
Exhale, and release your arms out and down to your sides.
Inhale and wingspan arms.
Exhale and fold your arms in a Hug of Appreciation.
Keep smiling.
Inhale and wingspan arms.
Exhale and fold your arms in a Hug of Appreciation with the other arm on top.
Inhale and wingspan arms.
Close with palms together and a smile.

Now you have ingredients for managing your mind, mood, and manners. Blend well and enjoy. Your recipe is fresh, rich, and nourishing every time you indulge.

Savor the layers of experiences that arise. May you find calm and peace with mindful breathing. Elevate your mood with breath awareness, movements, smiles, and hugs. May your manners reflect your inner peace and joy from kindness. It is best when enjoyed with others.

MMM Good!

May this season of sharing and giving include self-care and appreciation for the gifts from within. Thank you for being a brilliant gift of nature.