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Resilience and SoulAlchemy

1 May

We are all trained to have our eyes on the ups of life and orient ourselves toward them: We want the perfect partner. We would like to be successful. We like wealth. We want to be healthy. We want it all — and there is nothing wrong with wanting. But here is an issue: you may have a fairytale script for your life. And just as in a fairytale you may expect the happy ever after. Forever.

But then life throws you a curve ball……..

How do you react? Shocked. Shaken. Unprepared.

Here’s a truth: Life is cyclical. It is a sequence of ups and downs, of good experiences and painful experiences. Unless you die very young, chances are that you’ll encounter disappointments and losses—no matter how beautiful or intelligent or wealthy you are. No insurance can guarantee that you’ll go through life without losses.

How do we deal with the downs of life?

The common ways of coping are: shop more, eat more, self-medicate via drinking, or go on anti-depressants. In the long run, these all are self-defeating and tend to leave you feeling hollow, or fat, or more vulnerable. Eventually, you get used to shutting down, and you create more reasons to be depressed. Soon, you are caught in a downward spiral. You become less open to yourself and the world around you and you become more and more separated from joy.

So, how do you deal with the uncertainties of life, with defeat and loss? How can you emerge from one of life’s downs without being broken and shut off?

The key is resilience. Resilience is the capacity to experience the full spectrum of life. Resilience is when we learn to ride the waves of life and begin to accept the downs along with the ups. When we are resilient we can bounce back more quickly after a downward stretch and start to find joy again.

How can we nurture resilience?

SoulAlchemy® is a path to resilience. It teaches us to embrace life in its fullness.

In SoulAlchemy® you learn to connect with your inner truth. You learn to accept that the ups of your life will be accompanied by downs. By looking at all of your life courageously, you learn to authentically embrace your feelings. As a result you feel stronger and become more resilient.

SoulAlchemy® is a journey through memories and associations. It is also a journey into your potential and into your core. SoulAlchemy will bring you closer to feel the fullness of life—your life—and leave you encouraged, empowered, and resiilient.

Learn more about SoulAlchemy® at evaruland.com/alchemy.

© Eva Ruland, May 2018

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SelfCare strategies for challenging times

3 Dec

The last weeks have been a major challenge for all progressives in this country. The normal reaction to a challenge that we can’t easily solve and that might have major consequences for our future and the future of the planet is to experience fear and feel stressed. Both the body and the mind shut down and lock into emergency mode. Over time this wears us down physically and emotionally. Mentally, it leads to revisiting the same loop of being caught in inescapable doom. We cannot think clearly and we cannot find a way out. We become the deer in the headlight with no way to go, or the hamster that runs and runs but never gets anywhere.

In times of crisis we need to take extra care of ourselves, especially when the crisis threatens our reality or we feel  our life as we know it crumbling away. In those times we need a refuge. We need to know where we can go to feel safe and find respite. For babies, that place is the mother’s bosom. As adults, we don’t necessarily have a bosom to rush to. We need to create our own refuge to survive the challenge or crisis. Where do you find refuge? How can you tune into serenity when the country (and perhaps you too) is unsettled after the elections? How can you enjoy the season and take care of yourself?

The greatest place of refuge for me is nature. It has tremendous nurturing energies and restorative qualities. For me, nature has the power to transform stress into inner peace, whether i hike the ridge of the hills here in the San Francisco East Bay, walk through redwood forest, or enjoy a long stroll on the beach. Even a short walk can be magical, as i was reminded last Sunday. We were heading to San Francisco to check on a friend’s cats and decided to go to Fort Funston for a walk, but because we were busy until mid-afternoon, and because i needed a moment to gather myself, it was 4pm by the time we left Berkeley. We reached the bleach just before sunset which was regrettable, but we were in for a treat. It was one of the most magnificent sunsets i have experienced. The photo  above was taken that evening and i share it here to give you a glimpse of the colors that evoked the supernatural even though the photo does not give full justice to the magic of the moment. We did not get to walk far because the tide came in fast but we enjoyed every moment of our 30 minutes on the beach and left with our spirits soaring.

In a way, winter is the season for refuge. When the days grow short it’s the time to lean more inwardly and give refuge to body, mind, and soul. It’s the season for quiet time and for creative expression. Winter is the perfect time to grab a hot chocolate and a book and find a comfy couch or chair, or a hot tea and some art supplies. Another refuge is sharing time with friends. In Germany we have a tradition of coming together on December Sunday afternoons when it’s cold and grey outside, light candles, tell old stories, eat cookies and other treats, and perhaps engage in an art or craft project. As you know, i love SoulCollage and this time of the year i feel particularly drawn to it. It’s creative, it’s introspective, and it furthers deeply nurturing community. It’s perfect as it invites you to delve into yourself, then emerge with the images you found as we share our collage cards in the group. The depth of the sharing is often awe-inspiring.

What is your refuge? How can you give yourself more of it? How can you give yourself quality (soul)time?

Need help finding your refuge? I have a Holiday Special that might be just right for you. The BreakThrough Package includes a private visioning session plus one month of coaching for only $450—you save $150. It might also be just the right meaningful gift for a dear one. http://evaruland.com/gifts.html

Wishing you sweetness and peace,

Eva

Happy Solstice!

21 Jun

I spent the solstice with a small group of friends in my friend’s garden. We honored nature’s beauty and her creations and basked in the afternoon sun. And we playfully used the garden as a place to find pointers for our next personal growth steps. ….. Two of my friends picked carnations, one white and two pink. I was attracted to a deep red nicotine flower. My friend’s husband chose a tiny yellow wildflower. We all collected gorgeous leaves of different sizes, shapes, and textures. I found a heart-shaped stone, a velvety carmine red 5-petaled flower, a sage leaf, and a wooden lizard. These items gave me useful hints and encouragement. The stone pointed me to  the importance of living from my heart. The flower illustrated the miracle of witnessing the unfolding of myself and the people around me—i am thinking particularly of the amazing transformation i see in my clients. The velvety softness of the flower and of the sage leaf reminded me to be gentle with myself and others. And the lizard told me that i have great resilience. Like the lizard i would rather shed my tail than be caught or stepped upon. It’s that resilience that helped me reinvent myself and move to a different continent. The lizard also teaches me patience—it takes time to regrow a tail.  

Stone walkway

lush garden with wooden lizard.

 
I encourage you to take a moment and use the longest days of the year for reflection. Spend some time to reflect on the first half of the year. Appreciate what has unfolded and note the progress you have made on projects that are important to you. Contemplate what nurturing input might help your projects grow to fruition. And what would fertilize and nurture your growth? Be playful. Bask in the warmth of the sun to recharge. Spend some time near the water to refresh and cleanse. Enjoy the company of people you love.
© Eva Ruland, 2016