Lately, patients have been asking about conditions that are commonly considered natural consequences of aging. They are interested in synthesizing information from other doctors, friends or the media, to explore how to really support health and vitality. They have a wish to experience for themselves what can best support their body, not just rely on someone else’s advice. Through this process, they hope to develop an active relationship with their body, mind, and feelings. Continue reading “Entering Into Health by Alexandra Johnson”
A client came to see me for a consultation last week. She was frightened about the condition of her body, and had researched her concerns and options thoroughly. The more she spoke, the more tense she became. As I listened to her, I experienced the tension in my own body. I saw that I was identifying with her suffering as if it was my own.
I recognized that instead of feeling bad for her situation, I could offer support by fully listening to her, without commentary. I connected to my breath and the weight of my body on the ground. I put my medical mind on hold, not trying to ‘fix’, or ‘change’ the state of her mind, body, or feelings. Continue reading “Body-Mind Connection Anchors You by Alexandra Johnson”
At a recent gathering, two guests began a conversation that created a palpable tension in the room. I was asked what I thought, and saw the pull to present my opinion to the group. Then I remembered the principle of Firmness and Gentleness. If I spoke without forethought, there was the possibility of erring on the side of too much Firmness, increasing the polarization. If I stayed passive, the dialogue could likewise continue to be increasingly reactive. I placed my hand on the shoulder of one of my kids, who was standing next to me. I wished to have Firmness and Gentleness in my touch. Continue reading “Supporting Harmony in Relationships by Alexandra Johnson”
My son came into my room the other night in a panic, after watching a movie about the state of the world. He asked me what he could do to help. I wished to answer him in a way that could support him to find strength and confidence within himself.
I realized that to help him develop his own sense of direction, and not just give him my agenda, I have to look at how and where I find guidance. I know that when I try to tackle the world all at once, I find myself exhausted and frustrated. But if I can remember the principle of Single Moment/Single Activity, then I have a chance to approach each activity with Full Participation. Instead of a looming forest of responsibility, I have the potential to prioritize and bring my full attention to each event of my life. Continue reading “A Practical Approach to Advice in Parenting by Alexandra Johnson”
The practice of Breema offers support for intentional parenting by providing practical tools for being present in everyday activities and interactions by unifying body, mind, and feelings. This article provides background and examples for how using simple principles such as No Judgment, Firmness, and Gentleness, and No Hurry/No Pause in daily life offers a means for self-care in the midst of a hectic day. This can provide an invaluable tool for modeling positive behaviors for children and offers the potential to be nourished, rather than drained, by the events of daily life. Continue reading “Breema: Parenting with the Nine Principles of Harmony by Eileen Sendrey and Alexandra Johnson”
I was walking with my daughter. She asked me a question, and I realized that instead of listening to her, I had been lost in thought. As support for being available, I registered my breath and my footsteps as we walked. When I saw the mind drifting, I came back to the body, in order to participate more fully in this moment. Continue reading “Experiencing Body Comfortable in the Moment by Alexandra Johnson”
Today I was with a client. He came for Breema bodywork, but also had a question and needed a medical consultation. I wanted to answer his question accurately, but in a way that would actually support his healing, and not deepen identification with his body’s condition.
I offered him medical advice, and we agreed on a treatment plan. After he received Breema bodywork, he mentioned how much the session had helped him to release tension, quiet the mind, and harmonize his emotions. He also said that his attitude about his health was improved. He felt like it was finally ‘in perspective.’ He was still experiencing physical symptoms, but he was no longer draining his emotional energy. Continue reading “Bringing Health Into Perspective by Alexandra Johnson”
Each morning I awake with a wish to use my energy wisely. I often lose sight of this goal as I enter into the day’s obligations. I pick up my phone to do something, only to find myself distracted and forgetful of what I needed to do in the first place. I bounce from one event to the next. Continue reading “Benefitting from Daily Distractions by Alexandra Johnson”
This afternoon I was watching a mother and child walking down the street. The baby was just learning to walk, and her mother was alert, leaning over her with each step. The look on the toddler’s face was of excitement and anticipation. Something in this scene stirred my emotions—I realized I was walking, completely unconsciously, taking the activity for granted. Continue reading “Approaching Life as a Beginner by Alexandra Johnson”
Learning to listen to yourself is an essential tool for parenting. This dimension of self-care is not often highlighted in parenting education. Considerations often focus on attending to kids, partners, and helping everyone function as a team. To truly be able to listen to others, however, and to create a cohesive family unit, you need to know where to begin. If you have the ability to start with yourself, then everything else has the potential to naturally fall into place.
As a parent, I see that if I am scattered and tense, odds are the rest of my household is also. When I see my surroundings have degenerated into chaos, it is a reminder for me to look at my own state. I can take a step back and remember the Breema Principle of No Force. I consider the irony—I am moments away from shouting at my children in order to get them to stop screaming. Continue reading “Self-Care in Parenting By Alexandra Johnson”