Simple Self Care

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Meet Brook: Shamanic Reiki Master

I am excited to bring you the first post in an ongoing series from Brook Albrigo, a Shamanic Reiki Master and very dear friend of mine. You have heard me speak previously about the very important roles that reiki and the subtle body have played in my healing journey, I have also shared very specific details of healing sessions with Brook. Brook will be joining us here monthly to share more about reiki and the strong influence in which energetics can play in healing, including simple tips to restore balance and promote vitality and wellness.

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Meet Brook: Shamanic Reiki Master

When will the rollercoaster of emotions from the past few weeks stop?  The severe divisions, the resulting solidarity being shown in protests and by people vowing to stand up for one another, the complete shock of realizing how profoundly the beliefs of others can potentially affect us. If the current events have left you raw, breaking down crying at the grocery store, or fumbling for control of your anger or incredulousness perhaps what I have to share can help you get your bearings amidst absorbing other peoples’ emotions and amplifying this difficult time. The beauty of this is that we are all waking up to just how deeply connected we are to one another.

In hindsight, as I was in Yosemite national park a week before election day, the powerful flow of the storm fed waterfalls and rivers were a premonition. I gathered strength from the waters, mountains and trees not knowing I was being prepared for the events that were to follow. As a shamanic healer I use a technique known as Nature divination- the practice of connecting to elements in nature to receive guidance. Messages come from particular nature spirits -like trees, plants, mountains or waterfalls.  We believe in shamanism that everything has a spirit living inside of it that we can communicate with if we learn how to listen. On my solo adventures on hiking trails, I gave attention to each rock, tree and animal; tuned to receive messages. Lucky for me, I was alone and spared the curiosity of fellow hikers wondering why I was talking to a tree!

Simple Self Care

I was intensely concerned with the violence and conflict at Standing Rock in North Dakota and while the guidance I sought was regarding that situation, I found it to be relevant to what we are experiencing today as a human collective and have felt comforted by receiving this knowledge. When we feel helpless, sometimes that is a sign that we need to re-center and remember that we are part of a higher calling, a bigger picture, and we should listen to our guides that are right in front of us everyday. This is how I was able to maintain the past week and be of assistance to others.
I realized the tools and techniques needed to ground and care for ourselves may get lost in the daily shuffle of life but they are always there and I have created a simple list of self-care rituals to help us all through. We just need to decide our well being is worth making the time for and be willing to get a little bit out of our comfort zones.

Simple Self Care

Simple Self Care

Get Out Into Nature!

You don’t need to go all the way to Yosemite to enjoy the benefits of healing through nature.  Experts in natural science and psychotherapy agree that the effects nature have on our health and state of mind are extremely positive. It reduces stress, quiets the mind, promotes physical relaxation and soothes the nervous system. Just a 10 minute walk through a park or sitting on the beach will shift your energy and engage your senses which keeps you more present in the moment and less likely to feel stressed or anxious. If you live in a city, find a tree and lean against it, just get outside! Breathe the fresh air, feel the earth beneath your feet supporting you and if you feel called – practice your own nature divination. Approach a tree or plant that you feel drawn to and just sit with and see what comes to you! I have gotten some profound teachings from a blade of grass with an ant crawling on it or from a bird gathering twigs for her nest. Be open to letting nature heal you. Let it remind you that we all share this planet together and we are all intricately woven together with everything on it.

Simple Self Care

Diaphragmatic Breathing  

Also known as “belly breathing” or “calm breathing”, this simple act can shift your energy and lower stress and anxiety within minutes.  Newborn babies naturally breathe this way! When we are anxious or scared we tend to take short, quick and shallow breaths or even hyperventilate. Diaphragmatic breathing maximizes the amount of oxygen we receive that goes into the bloodstream. It interrupts the fight or flight mode and triggers the bodies natural relaxation response. Belly breathing is exactly how it sounds! Place your hand on your belly and by bringing your attention to your diaphragm you will notice your breath naturally goes there. Let the belly fully expand and as you exhale take care to take it as slowly as you inhaled. Do not force or rush the breath. Think of it as a wave coming in and out with the tide, close your eyes and utilize the visual the water. After a few breaths you should already begin to feel more calm or centered. If you are feeling light headed, you could be inhaling too quickly, so make sure to slow the breath and let the belly slowly rise and fall.

Simple Self Care

Limit Your Time Online or Watching the News

This is a huge one right now! It is of course important to be informed, but it is all too easy to get caught up in the chaos storm the media can create. The mainstream media in general benefits when you are scared so they like to feed into it to keep you watching, clicking and reading. We rely so heavily on social media for our news and community discussion but social media sites can quickly turn into dumping grounds for negativity. Do not subject yourself to any more negativity then you have to! We cannot avoid all of it, but we can limit it by checking in with ourselves frequently and sensing when we are getting pulled into it beyond what is healthy. Designate certain times of the day where instead of engaging online or watching the news, you read a book, listen to relaxing music, go for a walk – do something that nourishes you and makes you feel more balanced. Find a supportive friend or family member that is a good listener and is on the same page as far as avoiding negativity and instead, call them for support.

Simple Self Care

Healing Bath Ritual

Anyone who has worked with me before knows that I am a huge advocate for healing baths! I do a healing bath ritual for myself at least once a week. Feel free to customize it to what materials you have at home.  Draw a hot bath and mix in 2 cups of Epsom salt (or sea salt), add in a few drops of lavender oil and fresh rosemary sprigs. Bring into the bath any healing stones you are drawn to, I recommend rose quartz for the energy right now. Create a relaxing atmosphere by lighting some candles and putting on soft music or a guided meditation. Smudge yourself before entering the tub and soak as long as you want practicing the belly breathing that I mentioned above. Before exiting the bath, give gratitude to the water for cleansing and healing you. This is best to do right before bed!

 When practicing self care the most important thing to do is listen to yourself! Check in everyday and ask yourself – “How do I feel?”

If you are in the Southern California, contact Brook to schedule a Shamanic Reiki Session, Sound Healing Sessions and more. If you are not local, Brook also offers Distance Healing Sessions, as Reiki energy transcends time and space.

{above artwork via Djene Toure Lerma}

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