Voices echo, reverberating off wooden floors and tall ceilings. Thundering youth spill into the dining hall, arriving at their seats they stand and wait. Each child places their hands in front, to establish focus, silence, a collective chorus resinates through the dining hall: Om Mani Padme Hun (conscious connection, Jewel enlightenment purity of the lotus indivisible unity) – one of the many Buddhist mantras’ the children connect to throughout their day. The children sit and the principal leads the meal inviting all to serve their neighbour then enjoy their fruit in silence. A contemplative hush vibrates throughout the room. A practice in mindful eating creates a sense of reflection, a deep connection and awareness of the food presented, calmness of the mind and an activate connection to the digestive system for these Melbourne primary school students.
There isn’t one way to embark on mindful eating, but many, just like approaching anything new, take a malleable approach to make it your own. A couple of things that ensure a more mindful meal include disconnection from the technology network, creating an environment that is relaxing, taking the time to breath in the aroma of your meal so your focus is brought into the presence of the task; the stimulation of your digestion, the nurturing of your being. If you are alone don’t let your mind wander, find that space where calm and clarity exists, devour your meal with your eyes and connect with your body. As engaging with mindful eating moves to the top of your menu the foods you seek will morph into healthier and easily digestible alternatives, portion size self-regulates and a deeper understanding of your inner food desires can be expressed.
The most engaging thing we can do, is to listen to our body. Some bodies are loud and some are quiet, what does your body say? Are you sensitive to certain foods? Coeliac? Fructose or Lactose Intolerant? Sensitive to chemicals? Allergic to bad taste and poor grammar? Where does the mind set begin to effect the bodies function? The mind and the body are one, they are not a separate entity. The sooner we raise our level of awareness and consciousness, the quicker we eradicate digestive and emotional dis-ease.
Mindful eating isn’t just a solo performance, nor does it need to be practiced alone at home, on a vapassana retreat or at a philosophical primary school. Mindful eating isn’t just a fad, mindful eating is a mindset that can be absorbed into the fabric of your life. Choose to establish a deep inner connection and create a conscious awareness of the food you consume to achieve balance, vitality and energetic harmony within.
By Jemima Rose
Spiritual Philosopher, Professional Health food Guru & Chinese Medicine Doctor.
Jemima Rose is founder and owner of ‘Medicinal’ and RISE Wellness in East St Kilda.
RISE Wellness and Big Hearted Birth have teamed up to educate & inspire women and men on their journey from Pre-conception to Birth and Beyond. These FREE talk will be filled with positive, useful and practical tools for your journey ahead. To tantalise your intellect Cindy from Big Hearted Birth has put fingers to keys to produce her tips for an empowering birthing experience.
Who are these women who keep on having these amazing, positive , empowered birth experiences ?
You know the women I am talking about …
During pregnancy they are so positively anticipating their birthing day, they trust their bodies, think birth is normal, manage the course of their births, they smile lots, they look relaxed and they almost cannot wait to birth and when they do their experience is so positive they want to SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS. Gosh, some lucky ones even report orgasms.
So how do these women do it ? How do they birth so stunningly?
Can daily doses of positivity during pregnancy actually improve our emotions which increases our chances of flourishing in birth?
Ina May Gaskin has been quoted as saying “Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend [during pregnancy] that you learn to think positively about your body.”
Ina knows it … thoughts work. They just need to be the optimum!
Nourish your mind with the following 6 mindset strategies during pregnancy and you will be on your way to the zone for satisfying and remarkable birth.
1.Build positive habits of mind about birth using AFFIRMATIONS
Affirmations are statements that reinforce a desired way of thinking for birth eg:
My body is designed to give birth.
I birth calmly and easily.
I look forward to my baby’s birthing day.
Affirmations are displayed prominently, read, listened to and spoken daily and eventually, through repetition these new thoughts become ingrained in your being. They keep new thoughts about pregnancy and birth, in the forefront of the mind.
2. Imagine (like really imagine) yourself having an amazing labour and birth!!!
The unconscious mind cannot distinguish between what is real and what is imagined. I will repeat this so it really sinks in.
Your mind cannot work out if you are actually in labour or you are just IMAGINING being in labour.
So spend lots of time visualizing your “best case” birth.
Find a birth you love on the Hypnobirthing Australia You Tube channel and put yourself in the picture. Add your birth partner, your pet dog (?), your birthing space, all the things that you are planning to do…then visualize yourself breathing effectively, relaxing your facial muscles, drinking water, moving around, smiling, being in water, changing positions, being supported and YOU basically rocking your birth !!!
3. Use self hypnosis tracks during pregnancy for labour and birth
Self hypnosis is a completely natural state in which we go into many times a day – when you fall asleep, wake up, read a book, cry at a movie, lose track of time and distance when driving, and even when you get those “stare bears”. It’s a super relaxed state of mind. Basically during pregnancy, you can condition your mind to get very good at getting very relaxed, very quickly so that your body can birth your baby calmly and gently.
Self hypnosis can also release any limiting thoughts or feelings that will get in the way of a positive and fulfilling birth experience.
Sticks and stones may break your bones and in birth your words may hurt you. What!?
Close your eyes and think of the word pain? What does it feel like? What does your body do when in pain? What has been your experience of pain thus far? I don’t know about you but my body tends to tense up. I want to brace myself against the feeling and strong pain will often penetrate my mind in an all encompassing way.
Tensing up and consuming negativity isn’t helpful in labour or birth. It can pop you in a spiral down to depths you may not want to go.
Pain is indeed having your hand chopped off but you are birthing a baby- it’s different- it’s functional intensity.
So think carefully about how you phrase the sensations your body will feel during your labour.
Will you call them Tightenings? Drawing up? Pressure? Intensity? Discomfort?
If you choose to think pain that is what you will get …trust me !!!
5. Get a good nights sleep
Sleep and mood are interlinked – good sleep affects a more positive mindset and interestingly mood also affects the amount and quality of sleep too. It is during sleep when we rest, learning transfers to long term memory, our bodies restore and repairs.
A good night sleep raises spirits, energy levels and the world always looks a little brighter and the benefits cannot be more important than during pregnancy.
6. Book into a hypnobirthing course.
Hypnobirthing is a “game changer” when it comes to altering mindset for positive birth.
In hypnobirthing, positive mindset for birth is created with effective and proven techniques taught to maintain that mindset for a satisfying and empowered birth experience.
You will learn how to apply visualization, affirmation, self hypnosis and guided relaxation skills. It’s clearly a comprehensive package designed to help you feel confident in your ability to birth.
So if I can conclude please let me, let you in on a little wisdom about birth.
It’s all in the preparation and you have probably worked out by now that I’m not talking preparation of our bodies…
It is preparation of the mind.
When women prepare the mind in pregnancy, in the absence of a special circumstance, the body follows suit.
That’s it –
“She believed she could. So she did …”(unknown)
AND YOU CAN TOO!
Cindy Fenn is the face behind Big Hearted Birth which teaches woman how to achieve a positive and calm birth experience through hypnobirthing skills and techniques.
Big Hearted Birth teaches Hypnobirthing Australia courses in Caulfield, Melbourne, Australia
Hypnobirthing Australia is Australia’s fastest growing hypnobirthing program .
I’m always allowing and seeking growth. Just because I have woke up to my spirituality and have taken responsibility of my life and direction doesn’t mean that I have stopped pursing the avenue of self and spiritual development, as there is always another exciting and soul nurturing journey to undertake.
Just the other week my friend Luke let me know that One Tribe had packed up their kit bags, left the WA wilderness and were hopping a plane to Melbourne to hold a couple of sound healing sessions and a workshop. I was iffy on the workshop but keen for the sound healing, as I have sound healing sessions on at my clinic I thought why not combine a healing session with a little reconnaissance.
Upon entering the Fitzroy George St, yoga space I was impressed by the 50 or so yoga mats neatly lined up (our space only holds 11), then excited by inevitable expansion, contraction and melding of energy that would be filling the space, serenaded by the spiritual sound journey we had all committed to.
Once we had settled, the soulful vibration of the bass drum woke up and activated my feet sending impulses up towards my base chakra, immediately igniting and awakening, opening and clearing. Once the didgeridoo’s started I lost track completely, my whole body was uplifted with vibration and surrounded by sound allowing my mind to be silenced and at peace.
That was Friday night, the next morning I woke up early and re-arranged my entire day to attend the workshop that very afternoon. The one tribe workshop ticked all my high spiritual expectation circles (I don’t like to say boxes). When I met another practicing spiritual individual I like to spend some time looking, listening and absorbing the light and natural attuned to their guides, absorbing spiritual connections in order to further my understanding, really a great way to oil my spiritual wheels.
Mark, who lead the workshop was surrounded by a couple of guides throughout. First was an aboriginal elder and his grandson, I could see the elder almost become one with Mark as he opened the circle by calling to the directions, north, south, east & west. His link to the elder was a magical moment for me. Also to be acknowledged by the elder, he gave me a slight wave of his hand as he left, his contribution to opening the circle complete, this was a true honour. Mark had other guides that stepped up to assist him through the workshop all were native tribal elders, but the aboriginal elder held the most reverence and relevance for me on that day.
Katherine sat opposite me in the circle and upon sitting down I could see she was surrounded by etherial angles, with sweet, clear soulful voices. I was able to sit with this for a while, then Mark introduce Katherine and mentioned that she was very linked to the Angels, great confirmation (we all love a little confirmation sometimes). Katherine contributes a soul healing melody that cascades out of her, adding an even fuller sound to the tribal beats that her group emits.
Gareth was called upon to individually cleanse everyones Chakra’s with his didgeridoo. His didgeridoo, I noticed had a different shape to ones I have previously seen, it was slightly shorter and wider at the end, like a trumpet. I have never previously in my life felt such a forceful shift of energy through the use of sound. It really was incredible and addictive, if only I could call up Gareth every morning to have a didg sound cleanse, I think my morning yoga practice would improve, as well as clarity of my mind throughout the day. It was not only clearing and cleansing but also the high notes when he travelled up to my crown chakra clarified my spiritual connections and lower notes from the base chakra down to my feet firmly grounded my being on the earth providing a crystal transparency of energetic movement between all Chakra’s.
I found Gareth the most intriguing of the trio, he was bold in stance, energetically one of the most grounded people I have met. His spiritual connection was so intertwined with the elementals it was almost hard to distinguish the difference between the man and the spirits. Usually I would think this to be a dichotomy, elemental spirits are flighty and shy where as grounded people are solid and even, though with him it seemed natural and necessary. His character mimic the nature of elemental spirits, he was curious, seemed very shy preferring to rest outside of the lime light but his grounded nature and wise acceptance of self allowed him to fill and be settle in space.
The insights offered by the One Tribe trio suited the group who spanned all levels of learning. The great treasure of spiritual and self development is that it is aimed at the self, so no matter if you are at the beginning or have a worn established pathway all learning is knowledge, growth, inspiration and an insight for the self. All in all a great weekend with a cleansed, clear forward motion for me.
Thanks again to the One Tribe Trio Mark, Katherine and Gareth, hope to see you soon.