At Hudson Healing Arts, we embrace holistic healing...that is, we treat the whole individual, not just individual symptoms. Whether you come for acupuncture, hypnosis, Reiki, a counseling session, or beyond, our services are a wonderful complement to other healing modalities.
Most of us understand on an intuitive level that the mind, body, emotions, and spirit are interconnected. However, this concept can often get lost when issues arise — we may try to “fix” individual body parts or conditions. Our practitioners take a different approach, recognizing that when there’s an imbalance in one area, it can impact the others. We aim to restore a sense of harmony among all aspects of the self...and we have to say, it’s pretty amazing to see how physical symptoms tend to fall in line once the mind, emotions, and spirit receive some much-needed TLC (and vice-versa!).
When these aspects of the self are integrated, it creates the environment for optimal healing to take place. We’d love to welcome you to our sacred space in Hoboken to see for yourself!
Tis the season to...be sucked into a social media spiral of comparison, insecurity, and distraction? We think not!
At Hudson Healing Arts, we believe the greatest gift you can give others is your presence. Not just being physically there, but giving your sincere, genuine attention to the people right in front of you - and we all know the difference!
All too often, however, our loved ones take second place to our oh-so-seductive smartphones. It’s considered acceptable to “like” photos while ignoring how precious our physical company is, or to send a “Happy Holidays” text in the middle of a real-life conversation. We all know the deflated feeling of being barely listened to, and the various detrimental effects that digital overload can take on our wellbeing.
The truth is, it doesn’t have to be this way! The existence of technology needn’t take a toll on our wellbeing; in fact, used wisely and mindfully, it can make the holidays sparkle a little brighter. This holiday season, we’d like to focus on ways to embrace social media as a tool for connection...
What’s Your Intention?
At HHA, we often say, “More doesn’t always mean better. In many cases, it just means more!” This applies to social media, too: Having six different accounts simply means more overload. Choosing one or two forms of social media is a great way to rein it in a bit and get clear about your intentions.
For instance, are you using social media to keep in touch with faraway loved ones...or to show people how much fun you’re having? Are you posting because you want to share a story that made you smile...or because the people right in front of you aren’t providing enough entertainment? We’re definitely not suggesting that every move you make needs to be psychoanalyzed. However, it can be illuminating to bring some awareness to how your tech habits really make you feel! If a certain app or group doesn’t contribute to your life in a positive way, it’s time to re-evaluate.
You may feel totally uplifted and connected by certain forms of social media, and drained by others. For instance, Instagram is a great avenue for self-expression for some; but if seeing a highlight reel of other people’s “perfect” lives makes you feel bad about yourself, the best decision for you is to stop engaging. Show yourself some love by doing what’s best for your wellbeing!
Also, it’s worth a mention that there are various ways social media can actually be used to enhance your holiday season. Just a few ideas...
Real Life First, Tech Later
No matter what forms of social media you choose to engage with, it’s worth a reminder that taking breaks to disengage is key.
If the phone is the first thing you reach for when you wake up, put it in another room or in a drawer. Give yourself time to ease into the day, to savor a morning cup of coffee or tea without multitasking. Enjoy what you're eating. Listen to the sounds of the morning. Breathe! Your digestive system will thank you for it and you'll feel better (ditto with unplugging before bedtime).
Finally, remember the golden rule: Talk first, “tech” later! You can always come back to a text or social media post...but not to the precious person right in front of you. Using technology to connect and gain inspiration is wonderful, so long as you don’t let it fracture the gift of your full-on, one-of-a-kind presence. It’s all a choice, and the great news is when you use social media wisely, you can reap the benefits of stronger relationships, greater joy, and the peace of truly being in the moment.
Happy holidays, everyone—and thank you all for your radiant presence on our blog and in our little nook on Hudson Street! Wishing you a season full of peace, joy, and wonder.
Here at Hudson Healing Arts, we’re thrilled to welcome Noreen Haren as the newest member of our team. Noreen is a Certified Practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education, a powerful yet gentle approach to improving students’ lives through mindful movement.
The Feldenkreis method can help you to increase your ease and range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement. Noreen emphasizes that the Feldenkrais Method isn’t about finding one “perfect” way to move; rather, the goal is to create awareness and options, which can guide you toward positive changes.
What Is The Feldenkrais Method?
Noreen, who was born with mild cerebral palsy, has experienced the transformative effects of the Feldenkrais method firsthand. Minor problems with her gait first led to Feldenkrais, and she found it to be incredibly helpful...so much so that she wanted to share it with others.
The New Jersey native became a Feldenkrais Guild Certified Practitioner in 1994, and had the honor of studying with an experienced group of teachers who were in Moshe Feldenkrais’ original training programs in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Noreen recently retired after 4o years as a registered nurse, allowing her to take on more Feldenkrais students at HHA.
“The premise is that we all have habits of movement that we’re unaware of that can cause us pain and restriction,” she explains. “We work on that through gentle movements and mindfulness, which is essentially directed attention. Feldenkrais helps us become aware of the ways that we move that may not serve us well, and offers up better options.”
Anyone can benefit from the method, which is wonderful for stress relief and simply learning ways to find more pleasure and ease in movement. One example of the way we hold tension in our bodies can be seen in the tendency to hold our shoulders way up by our ears, Noreen shares. Doing an exaggerated movement—lifting your shoulders all the way up to your neck, and then dropping them—directs your awareness and brings them to a more relaxed resting state.
Feldenkrais is especially popular for musicians, athletes, dancers, and older folks, since normal aging is a reason that we all stop moving freely. It’s also particularly helpful for people who have experienced an injury, stroke, or chronic illness. With the exception of children, Noreen works with people of all ages and abilities—including “regular people who just want to feel more comfortable in their movement, or want to shake the effects of stress.”
According to Noreen, movement is more than just the physical act itself; it’s really about how you move through life. “The improvements learned in a session often enhance students’ thinking, emotional regulation, and problem-solving capabilities, too” she says.
What is a Session With Noreen Like?
Noreen emphasizes that Feldenkrais isn’t exercise: it’s education. And it’s also the opposite of a “no pain, no gain” mentality.
“The goal isn’t to work hard, it’s about slow, gentle movements, which allows the brain to pay better attention,” she says. “We’re learning different options in playful, curious atmosphere, not judging anything as right or wrong. It can take a while for us to learn to be gentle and accepting with ourselves, but that’s a wonderful byproduct of the process.”
Before a session, Noreen will have a phone call with you to discuss your goal/s with Feldenkrais, and also for a brief overview of your medical history, if it is relevant. The experience will then be tailored depending on your needs. You may be verbally guided through a series of movement sequences while sitting, standing, or lying down on a comfortable table. These slow, gentle movements are designed to help you become more aware of your habitual movement patterns and learn alternate, easier and more effective ways of moving. Noreen will use gentle touch to guide the movements as needed. At other times, gentle touch will be the primary mode of communication with verbal cues used as needed. All lessons are done with the student fully clothed.
“Feldenkrais has been described as a dance where you instruct students not to resist; together, you explore together how the person wants to move, or moves more easily or habitually, and then try to gently introduce new patterns,” she says. “A big part of Feldenkrais is checking in to see if students feel a difference from their original movement.”
And regardless of the reasons that lead students to Feldenkrais, Noreen says there’s almost always “a relaxation response.”
“Students find that their breathing is fuller, they’re more relaxed, and they often feel more connected to the ground. Some even feel like they could go to sleep,” she says.
When Noreen’s not working with her students, the Hoboken resident can be found taking long walks, reading, cooking, swimming, or enjoying quality time with her family and friends. She wants everyone to know that Feldenkrais is “fun, accepting, positive, and entirely non-judgmental.”
Interested in learning more or booking a session with Noreen? She can be reached at (201) 798-1632 or email@example.com.
October is a month for seasonal pleasures galore, from leaf peeping to pumpkin carving, and, of course, donning our best costumes and masks for Halloween. While we’re very much in favor of enjoying the festivities to the fullest, we also feel it’s important to acknowledge the masks we keep on far beyond the holiday—and the toll it takes on our minds, bodies, and spirits over time.
To some extent, we all struggle with this energy drain. We try to keep up appearances, put on a brave face, and hide our perceived flaws. Expressing our real emotions in our everyday interactions can feel terrifying, if not impossible. It’s no wonder we’re often exhausted at the end of the day, ready to drop the facade and just be with the real, stripped-down version of ourselves.
The truth is, it is possible to take off your mask and move through the world feeling lighter, freer, and more connected to your authentic self. It’s a journey that takes self-care and commitment, but one that we at Hudson Healing Arts regard as invaluable.
We offer a variety of modalities that help to restore your balance; bring you closer to your true self, values, and desires; and let go of stress so that you can feel “at home” in your own skin, no matter where you are. Below, we take a look at the benefits of three services in particular: acupuncture, Reiki, and counseling.
Whether you’re seeking relief for stress, chronic pain, migraines, insomnia, or beyond, acupuncture helps to activate your body’s self-healing mechanisms. Working with Qi (a Chinese word that roughly translates to “energy”) is what makes this healing response possible. Just like a river, Qi flows through the meridian energy channels in the body—by inserting tiny needles into various points in the skin, the healthy movement of Qi is facilitated to help the body function in harmony.
Simply put, Qi doesn’t lie. Our practitioners use a series of diagnostic tests to determine which points should be stimulated for maximum healing, from checking your pulse to the other vital signs. As a practice that’s been around for over 6,000 years, acupuncture has developed some pretty effective methods to detect where your energy is out of balance, and it treats the whole person, not just the symptom. So whether or not you’re consciously aware of where blockages have taken hold, acupuncture helps you get to the root of it. Acupuncture is also profoundly soothing to your nervous system, creating a space for deep relaxation—which makes it that much easier to “let go” of your public mask and feel at ease.
The principle behind Reiki is that there is an animating energy inside us and around us that can’t be seen, but is felt. The best part is, everyone has the ability to connect with this healing energy to help themselves and others. In a Reiki session, this flow of energy is transmitted or activated through a gentle “laying-on” of hands on a series of body points, which activates your body’s natural healing process and restores emotional wellbeing.
Again, energy doesn’t lie; in a Reiki session our practitioners will assess your chakras and pinpoint where your energy is blocked or weak. Reiki’s effect is always beneficial, and energy naturally knows where to go to restore free-flowing Ki; you don’t have to say a word. Part of what makes Reiki so deeply relaxing is you’re required to do nothing but lie down and receive! It’s common to experience a wonderful feeling of radiance after a session, and in the long-term, Reiki helps to manifest an outward harmony, confidence, and happiness.
People come to counseling for all types of reasons—and regardless of the driving force, it takes great courage and strength to truly look into the mirror at both what you’re doing well and what you’d like to work on. Counseling provides a compassionate space to drop your brave front and express yourself without judgment or restraint.
Getting your worries out in the open, and having a caring professional to help you work through these challenges, can bring about remarkable emotional and mental clarity. And the courageous act of being honest about your real feelings, struggles, and intentions in a safe place can help you bring about that same vulnerability in the real world.
At Hudson Healing Arts, we also offer a variety of other services that rebalance your energy and help you shine your authentic light with confidence. You can also check out our full list of services here. And if you have any questions or are interested in scheduling a session here at Hudson Healing Arts, we’d love to hear from you. Wishing everyone a safe and happy Halloween!
We’re thrilled to welcome Dr. Anthony Orlando as the newest addition to our team. He brings over 17 years of experience as an orthopedic, sports medicine, and pediatric trained therapist to Hudson Healing Arts, in addition to a firm belief in the power of treating each client as an individual.
Read on to learn more about Dr. Orlando’s physical therapy services and healing philosophy!
Dr. Orlando’s Services
Dr. Orlando’s ultimate goal is to help people live their life with less stress and more balance, which captures the art of true relaxation...a pursuit we wholeheartedly endorse at Hudson Healing Arts!
He provides a number of offerings under the physical therapy umbrella to help clients restore balance, strength, flexibility, and mobility, including:
“My belief is that like the body, your mind goes through a series of changes, some good, some bad. How we respond to these changes determines our well-being,” says Dr. Orlando. “Physical impairments take a spiritual and psychological toll, because they jeopardize your independence. That’s why I treat the whole person, rather than just the symptoms.”
Dr. Orlando also strives to promote and facilitate strategies that help people respond more skillfully to life’s stressors, helping them to shift from a state of doing to a state of being. Creating a relaxing atmosphere is just one of the ways he does so. He prioritizes small touches that allow you to fully unplug, such as aromatherapy, dim lighting, and music. Those thoughtful measures don’t disappear when you leave: Dr. Orlando also sends narrated home exercise videos to his clients’ phones, empowering you to help yourself in your own time.
Cutting-Edge Care Meets Compassion
While Dr. Orlando offers the latest in innovative techniques, there’s one facet of his care that’s decidedly old-fashioned.
“In the past, clinicians spent time with their patients and truly listened. I take pride in carrying on that tradition. You don’t meet someone at their MRI report or X-ray; you actually sit and listen to them. That’s when you connect with the human spirit. Often, I find that the solution lies in their story,” says Dr. Orlando.
Interested in booking an appointment with Dr. Orlando? Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation!
Our own Kristen Brennan has just been featured in a great new article about birth doulas at sheknows.com, called "The biggest Birth Doula Myths, Busted". Click here for the link.
We seem to believe that more is better– more projects, more commitments, more
activities...the list goes on and on. The truth? More is usually just more, and even if we’ve become so used to the stresses of daily life that we don’t notice the strain, our nervous system does. Living in “fight or flight” mode takes a toll on your mind, body, and spirit.
The good news is, your nervous system knows how to reset itself–often, we just get in our own way! At Hudson Healing Arts, we offer a number of services to help you regain a state of balance and navigate the ups and downs of the day with a sense of calm, ease, and wellbeing. As HHA founder Beth O’Boyle says, “Think of it as riding the waves, rather than being overwhelmed by them.”
Read on to learn more about how our wellness services give the nervous system some much-needed TLC...
For those seeking insight or a deeper understanding of what may be causing frazzled feelings, hypnosis counseling is a great option. Often, when the nervous system is in need of a reset, there’s a feeling of unease, agitation, sadness, or a profound sense of tiredness.
Through hypnosis, you’ll be gently guided to explore what’s present that’s seeking attention, but from a more neutral and curious perspective. Often the information arises in the form of images and metaphors – the language of the subconscious mind. We all have our own symbolic language and it can offer tremendous insight into restoration. Learn more about hypnosis here.
Acupuncture is so effective at calming the nervous system that it’s common for people to fall asleep during sessions. Carla San Diego, one of our resident acupuncturists, explains that this kind of TLC is essential, because like any other system, the nervous system must maintain balance to work. She shares that the nervous system is “the original smart device, designed to protect you even when you don’t want to be protected.”
“When you experience things such as insomnia, indigestion, or fatigue despite otherwise normal circumstances, your nervous system is essentially speeding up or slowing things down in response to an unbalanced system,” she explains. “An acupuncturist’s role is to interpret such signs and symptoms, use the appropriate meridians and points to connect them with the whole you, and basically give your nervous system a reboot so it can once again maintain balance.” Learn more about acupuncture here.
Reiki is ideal for those who are overwhelmed, depleted, feeling out of sorts, or just don’t know where to begin. During a session, there’s nothing you need to do except rest and receive – the practitioner does all of the work for you. Our systems have an innate wisdom of how to restore and reboot, and Reiki is an immensely restorative treatment that’s well suited to this purpose. You can learn more about Reiki here.
AshWork Energy Clearing is a new paradigm in energy work, one that works on the underpinnings of an issue, gently shifting the pattern to create change. Perhaps the most refreshing part of AshWork is that you don’t need to go into great detail about the issue you’re dealing with, whether it’s a challenging relationship or an inability to let go of a past experience. Sessions are usually done by phone, offering you the ability to feel better right in the comfort of your own home.
Benefits include feeling more relaxed, having a greater sense of ease in mind and body, being less focused on the issue, or gaining a new sense of perspective about the issue itself– all of which helps to reduce strain on the nervous system. Learn more about AshWork here.
Self-Care Is A Ripple Effect
At the end of the day, your nervous system knows how to take care of itself; your role is to cooperate by prioritizing time for self-care, despite the frantic pace of today’s world. Nurturing your nervous system helps you feel happier, less likely to overreact, more at ease, more comfortable in your own skin and with the world around you, and better able to think clearly.
We’ve all heard the saying, ‘If mama isn’t happy, nobody’s happy!’ Children are uniquely attuned to their parents’ emotional state– especially babies and young kids. They’ll often mirror the tension back to you by becoming agitated or withdrawn, depending on their personality. If your child or children have been irritable or unusually quiet, consider the whole family picture. This same concept applies to all sorts of environments outside of the home, too; we’ve all felt the “contagious” effects of others’ emotions in the workplace, traffic, and even the check-out line!
The services we offer at Hudson Healing Arts can help you find a way back to greater peace and harmony, not only for yourself, but for everyone you encounter. If you’re interested in learning more, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to give us a call at (201) 653-7700 or email admin@HudsonHealingArts.com for more information!
Summer is a season of simpler pleasures and just being, enjoying what’s right in front of us: sunshine, fresh fruit, bare feet in the grass, an ice-cold glass of lemonade. And, of course, the long, lazy days of summer were made for daydreaming.
Guided imagery takes the positive aspects of daydreaming up a notch. At Hudson Healing Arts, we offer this form of deliberate, directed daydreaming to encourage instant stress relief, deep relaxation, and even enhanced physical health. It’s a wonderful complementary treatment for those living with chronic illness or pain. You can think of guided imagery as a mental vacation with healing benefits, one that has as much impact as taking a physical trip!
The best part? This powerful practice is accessible to anyone and everyone, and requires nothing but your own receptivity. And a little imagination, of course (don’t worry if yours is rusty!). A guided imagery session is like stepping into a portal of relaxation, one that already exists within you.
What Are The Benefits Of Guided Imagery?
It’s no secret that your mind has remarkable sway over your body and emotional state. Just briefly thinking about your favorite meal can instantly make your mouth water; the anticipation of an upcoming trip can create immense, very real happiness. The images we concoct in our mind’s eye can feel every bit as emotional and powerful as actual events.
At the same time, this mind-body connection can also work against us. We’ve all felt the physical symptoms of worry and stress, whether it’s nausea, chest pain, or otherwise.
Guided imagery taps into the powerful link between the mind and body to create harmony, with deep relaxation as the result. Because the healing images and messages are received in an altered state, they are able to bypass the “monkey mind” and truly resonate in your subconscious on multiple levels. Just a few potential benefits include:
What Is A Session Like?
Guided imagery harnesses the unique power of visualization to improve both physical and emotional health, but no two sessions are alike. Hudson Healing Arts founder and practitioner Beth O’Boyle tailors each session to your specific needs. There’s no need to worry if you don’t consider yourself a “visual” person: Guided imagery is an experience that engages all five senses and is experienced through the body, not just the mind’s eye.
There may be something specific you’d like to focus on, such as overcoming a fear or healing from a broken relationship. For those dealing with health challenges, guided imagery is a powerful, scientifically-backed method of focusing or redirecting the body’s energy to support increased wellbeing. Please note that guided imagery is not a substitute for good medical care. It can however, both complement and enhance the benefits in a safe and gentle way.
It’s not necessary to have a specific “goal” in mind - you may simply be seeking relief from the general stress and anxiety of everyday life. Each session starts with a brief conversation about how you’d like to feel or respond so that it’s optimized for your unique needs and desires.
When it’s time to begin, you’ll relax on a massage table, close your eyes, and the process of gradual relaxation will begin. Part of the reason that guided imagery is so powerful is because it catalyzes an altered state (similar to what is experienced in meditation and hypnosis, though there are a few differences). Beth has extensive experience gently guiding clients into deep relaxation, a rare respite from the normal stress and mind-chatter of our everyday state. This not only gives your nervous system a much-needed break, but creates the space for profound growth and opens the gateway for physical healing too.
Even better, there’s nothing at all you need to do in a guided imagery session! Beth does all the talking, using specific words and thoughts to connect to your subconscious, and no response is needed. All you have to do is lie there comfortably and allow your energy to be directed in a healthier, more supportive way!
Guided Imagery At Hudson Healing Arts
Interested in experiencing the benefits of guided imagery yourself? We’d love to see you. Beth can be reached at (201) 653-7700 ext.1 and is more than happy to answer any questions you may have. And of course, we encourage everyone to have a joyful summer full of daydreaming!
Happy June, everyone! Here at Hudson Healing Arts, we’re excited to kick off the summer with a wonderful new addition to our team. We’d like to extend the warmest of welcomes to Kristen Brennan, a talented energy alchemist, Reiki healer, and birth doula (a first at HHA!).
Kristen’s ultimate goal is to empower clients to start their journey to true healing...and for each human to understand just how “worth it” they truly are.
Kristen’s Approach To Healing
For Kristen, part of the beauty of Reiki is that there’s no limit to the value that you can receive; Reiki is the energy of Universal Divine Love, and thus comes from an unlimited supply.
As a Reiki practitioner, Kristen acts as a compassionate channel of that universal energy, transferring it through a gentle “laying on” of hands to wherever it’s needed most. This beautiful form of energy work has been likened to a soul massage and helps to restore balance in the body, mind, and spirit. By facilitating this equilibrium on all levels, Reiki activates your body’s natural healing properties, clears blockages, and promotes a deep sense of relaxation and well-being.
The benefits that stem from this natural healing process can be reaped on multiple levels and in unforeseen ways. And when it comes to pregnancy, Reiki’s benefits can be all the more profound, offering support for mothers-to-be (and even their unborn baby) during a life-altering and transformative experience. Kristen is passionate about blending Reiki with her work as a birth doula and offers prenatal sessions at no extra charge.
Kristen also offers a variety of additional services under the birth doula umbrella, all intended to create the most supportive birth experience possible. In fact, her mission is for her clients to have a spectacular birth...something that so many women aren’t even aware is possible. Her services as a birth doula include:
Kristen’s priority as a birth doula is to be your biggest cheerleader. Driven by a deep desire to support and empower mothers through this sacred process, Kristen acts as a constant guiding hand and calm, reassuring presence from pregnancy through postpartum. Research confirms the benefits, too, as doulas help to cut back on time spent in labor by up to 25% and lower the rate of medical interventions.
“I work with you to make pregnancy and labor a spiritually enriching experience where you feel like a transformed and empowered woman, rather than traumatized,” she says. “The more relaxed you are, the more you can labor the way you need to. I am here to help you manage pain, ease stress, and support you 100% on your personal path to motherhood.”
While some doulas offer just a few prenatal meetings, Kristen prefers to build a relationship with at least five to six sessions. She encourages communication and support as often as clients desire during pregnancy. When it comes to the day of the birth, she acts as your advocate in the delivery room to ensure that your birth plan is honored. She also adds unique touches to elevate the experience and relax you, such as setting tea lights and bringing a beautiful sarong for you to wear instead of a hospital gown.
Kristen is also passionate about helping her clients harness the power of guided meditation and visualization to ease stress and facilitate a happy, successful birth. Currently, she’s developing an anti-tearing meditation to ease the common fear of tearing that so many expecting mothers have.
“Studies show that having a doula present at your birth to reframe the experience in a positive light can almost completely alleviate postpartum,” Kristen says. “No matter how many times you give birth, it’s always going to be the most amazing thing, and I’m going to be there to remind you of that.”
At the end of the day, Kristen is excited to join the Hudson Healing Arts team and wants clients to know that she is truly there to support them...and we are honored to welcome her to our sacred space! If you’re interested in learning more or scheduling a free consultation, feel free to reach Kristen at (908) 418-2744 or email@example.com. You can also get more information
Last month, we discussed how we can shake off the cobwebs in our minds, bodies, and spirits as we move into spring. As the weather warms up even more, we feel it’s important to discuss the power that nature can play in ushering in new beginnings and enhancing overall wellness, too.
Likely, you’ve realized the healing power of nature intuitively, whether from a soul-stirring walk in the woods or a clear-headed sense of calm just from soaking up the fresh air. At Hudson Healing Arts, nature has a place in each and every one of our wellness offerings. Our team believes that the natural world offers an abundance of healing, which is why we use natural imagery in hypnosis and guided meditations, harness flower power through Bach Flower Remedies, and give a nod to the elements in various shamanic traditions (and that’s just the short list!).
Below, we share a few fun, easy ways to get in touch with nature and nourish your soul at the same time...
Andrea Inauen, our resident social worker/counselor, and all-around infinite source of wellness wisdom, is a big fan of a simple yet powerful sunshine mindfulness exercise.
“As the weather gets warmer and the sunshine is ever-present, shining light on that integral question of what is important to you and how to get there can be a great step to finding greater joy and peace this season,” Andrea says.
She recommends finding a comfortable spot to sit that’s directly in the sunlight. As the brightness shines on you, re-ask yourself the age-old question: What is important to you? Jot down the first few things that come to mind without judging yourself or over-analyzing your answers. Next, ask yourself another important question: What has been occupying most of your time?
“Consider if this answer aligns with those things that are important to you. If yes, fantastic, but if not, what is one action you can do, or one thing can you move out of the way, to allow greater focus on a top priority that has until now been getting less attention?” Andrea says.
Before getting up, set your phone or timer for 60 seconds. Use that time to inhale as deeply as you can, hold the air for another moment, then exhale. As you release the old air, visualize some of the toxins/clutter that have occupied your heart and mind exiting your body. With each inhale, visualize the purity of clean air, the warmth and radiance of the sunlight, enter and fill you anew.
There’s something magical about the simple action of putting one foot in front of the other that stimulates creativity, reflection, and a sense of deeper peace. A walking meditation, also known as “meditation in motion,” is a simple yet profound way to reap these benefits and quite literally “ground” yourself.
It can be helpful to focus on the feeling of your feet contacting the ground with every step. Hone in deliberately on the lifting and moving of your feet, the breath moving through your body, or whatever your eyes are naturally drawn to. Hudson Healing Arts founder Beth O’Boyle says there’s no “right or wrong way” to embark on a walking meditation, but she does have one important recommendation: Leave your phone at home! Doing so gives your psyche a much-needed refresher and allows you to fully take in the beauty that surrounds you.
“It’s not about getting to a particular destination, but rather bringing the mind and body into sync. Just simply breathe, walk, and soak in the fresh air and sunshine,” Beth says. “The more you practice, even if just for a few minutes, the more the practice will grow on you.”
Plenty of Options
Both the sunshine mindfulness exercise and walking meditation are simple and free practices that harness the healing properties of nature. However, there are endless options awaiting you. A few more ideas...
Whatever the focus is, whether decluttering your mind or feeling better emotionally, remember that there are always options, and nature in particular offers an amazing abundance of opportunities for healing. Here’s to a wonderful, nature-filled summer!
Hannah Chenoweth is a Hoboken-based conference producer and freelance writer who enjoys covering all aspects of health and wellness.