Tag Archives: teen health

Power Animals – Accessing the Power within by Katie Blackwell Guest Blog

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Photo credit: gingiber / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
This weekend Katie is giving a workshop here in the Ananda Centre this Sunday 28th, 10am – 4pm. Here she explains what it all entails…

Power Animals or Animal Guides are an ancient concept stemming back throughout history to a time when people understood and appreciated the great strengths and qualities of the animal kingdom and sought out certain animals in order to take on and access these characteristics for various reasons.

In our modern day this concept is used in many Shamanic and Spiritual traditions to help us align with an energy that is personified by a certain animal who becomes a teacher and guide for us.
They help protect, educate, heal and empower us on our journey in this life.
There are so many different animals in our world and each one has its different persona and energy to share with us. The well known image of the deer can represent strength and sensitivity combined with gentleness and intuition. The salmon is famous for its wisdom and knowledge but is also known to help with emotional understanding, overcoming obstacles and achieving great feats after much struggle. The hare assists with fertility, creativity, abundance and adaptability. The eagle helps with vision, swiftness, freedom and spiritual insight into what is hidden.
Whatever challenge you are facing in your life, the right animal guide will aid you in your journey and can help you take on the different characteristics and strengths that you need to access at this time.
If you feel drawn to a certain animal, look at the animal and its qualities and strengths. What is this animal trying to teach you? When you are in need of guidance the right animal will appear with the right energy and lesson for you. Asking an animal to work with you as a guide is a great way of aligning your energy to that animal and accessing its strength and power. This can be done in your daily life whether through meditation, shamanic journeying or simply by setting an intention of your wish to work with the animal. The more you work with your animal guide the stronger the connection will become and the easier it will be to bring this energy into your life.
A very special and enlightening day.

Meet and work with your animal and spirit guides and gain the skills to promote your inner development.

Journeying, Empowerment, Protection, Healing and Guidance

Call Katie to book your space now or for more info on 087 768 2738

How’s your Mental Fitness?

brain fitnessYesterday was World Suicide Prevention Day 2014. Ireland has a very high rate of suicide and we have all been touched by it in some way. The stigma of mental illness is finally eroding and the fact that we have a day that allows talk and discussion is great.

Doctors tell us that our mental health is very important. Anyone of us can be affected by a knock that life throws at us. Having the tools in your mental fitness belt can help. The little things you do all add up.

1. Be mindful of negative thoughts and learn how to cope with them. They cannot be blocked but distracting yourself from them or giving yourself a break (be kind!) may help. If they get too much there are lots of people out there qualified to help you. And they want to help.

2. Tap into your ‘inner resource’. Clinical psychologist Richard Miller, Ph.D has recognised the importance of this and has been working a lot with trauma survivors including returning soldiers from war. Think of your happy place…be it a place, sound, smell etc. Tap into this and think of it a few times in the day – every day – until it becomes a part of you. So when a negative experience happens you can go to this ‘inner resource’ and maybe deal with what is happening in a calm, controlled way. See www.irest.us for more details.

3. Try become more mindful of where you are, who you are with, what you are doing. It may mean turning off the phone. Do one thing at a time. Become focused on what you are doing.

4. Exercise – the importance of this cannot be emphasised enough. There is so much information and studies on how exercise benefits one’s mental fitness. Join a walking group, join a gym, take up yoga!

5. Hobbies are a great way to switch the chattering mind off too. Doing something you enjoy not only occupies the brain but will release endorphins and make you feel good.

6. Set a personal goal, maybe give yourself a month to do it and then reward yourself with something on completion. Keep it simple but of course the reward can be big!

7. Express yourself! Tap into your creative side and help release some emotions …writing in a journal, art, singing (even in the shower). Anything that gets your tapping into the creative, left side of the brain.

8. One of the simplest ways of keeping mentally fit is to laugh. However there will be times when this is probably one of the hardest things to do. In this age of easy access to everything there is so much comedy out there. Have a go-to show on stand by that you know will give you a giggle…for me its ‘Saturday Night Live’ and there are plenty of old sketches on YouTube.

9. Have you ever thought of volunteering? It’s one of those win-win activities. As humans there is an inherent want to help others and the reason is that it in turn makes us feel good. The other side is the receiver of your help benefits too.

10. Self care – think of the flight attendant telling you that ‘when the mask comes down in the event of loss of cabin pressure, place on your own mask first before attending to those with you’. How important it is to look after yourself or you are no good to those around you…in a nutshell! Any of the above can be considered self care. Even 2 minutes of self care everyday is a good place to start. An hour massage once a month is a necessity not as luxury. Make  a point to make time for yourself. It’s an investment for your mental fitness.

What will you do to kick start your mental fitness regime?

Sites you might find it helpful to visit:

 

Did you know today is World Population Day?

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Today July 11th marks World Population Day. What dos this mean?

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

This year they are raising awareness on the issue of Adolescent Pregnancy.

UNFPA advocates for the welfare of young people by:

• Promoting the human rights of adolescents
• Preventing HIV infection
• Engaging young people in decisions that affect them
• Supporting age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education
• Creating safe spaces for adolescent girls
• Encouraging abandonment of harmful practices
• Encouraging leadership

UNFPA supports healthy families by:

• Training health workers to deliver quality family planning services
• Supplying contraceptives in emergency situations
• Ensuring youth-friendly reproductive health care
• Providing counselling and choices to women who want to avoid or delay pregnancy
• Educating men on the benefits of birth spacing

UNFPA supports maternal health by:

• Training midwives and health workers
• Preventing and treating obstetric fistula
• Supplying clean birthing kits following disasters
• Strengthening emergency obstetric care
• Ensuring reliable supplies of essential medicines and equipment
• Enabling birth spacing

Join the discussion on Twitterand Facebook  #worldpopday

http://www.unfpa.org/public/world-population-day

 

1 Really Big Reason Why My Job Rocks!

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I recently had the magnificent honour of giving a young adult their first massage therapy treatment. I do not say this lighty! I always get a buzz when I am give someone their first ever massage treatment…I know their lives will never be the same again!  And it has nothing to do with me, it’s all to do with them and how great massage therapy is. Their experience of relaxation, resting, being pain free, being stress free is all theirs and helped by massage therapy. Look at it like “life before massage and life after”.

To allow a young person experience massage therapy is truly great. Life at this age has many challenges, some more serious than others. Competitiveness, heavy workloads, and excessive involvement in activities are among the factors stressing out our young people.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a report emphasizing that it is crucial for students, parents, and schools to understand the role of stress in young people’s lives. Teens and parents can visit www.aap.org/stress to download a personalized stress management plan.

This is a good blog piece on why teens need massage too… http://invigoratemassageandwellness.com/2013/08/21/3-ways-teenagers-can-benefit-from-massage/