The Upside of Down Dog

In these uncertain times, it’s important that we stay strong in our spirituality. “We will get through this” is a wonderful mantra practiced by many to maintain a healthy emotional attitude. But let’s not ignore our physical health, either.

    A recent poll found that 41% of people reported that they experience anxiety daily, and healthcare professionals fear that mental unease may be long-lasting. And it’s easy to see why: Our comfortable, reliable lives have been upset. The new normal is not normal. Pandemic paranoia may be with us for awhile.
    The real danger here is the anxiety and stress we feel finds a home inside our body. Louise Hay, in her monumental book You Can Heal Your Life, and Brian Luke Seaward, in his thoughtful tome Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like River, agree – stress weakens our immune system. And when that happens, it can lead to a whole host of other problems.
    I’m reminded of the words Viktor Frankl wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning: “When we are faced with a challenge we cannot change, then we are challenged to change ourselves to fit that new situation.”
    Remember how things were last March when everything shut down? Suddenly, there were long lines at grocery stores, banks and gas stations. Everyone went into panic mode. On the evening news, we saw grim pictures from New York about mounting deaths in the state. the local hospital built a special add-on facility to treat the tsunami of cases we thought we’d see in Canada. (Thank God, that didn’t happen.) Day after day, our anxiety levels increased.
    Let me ask: How do you feel when anxiety hits you in the solar plexus? You tense up, and adrenalin shoots into your bloodstream. Adrenalin is good in the moment, because it provides a boost of energy in an emergency, but when it is a constant flow it builds up in your body and acts like an acid that eats into the immune system. And as I already said, that’s not good.
    So, here’s your challenge: How do you get all this anxiety and stress out of your body?
    The answer is simple. Exercise and meditate.
    Think of meditation as exercise for your mind. I know, for people who don’t practice it, meditation conjures pictures of monks sitting in a lotus position for hours with their eyes closed. And some people do take their meditation as seriously as their university exams. But meditation is just relaxation. That’s it. It helps destress your body. So you don’t need to find a rigid practice, you don’t need special prayer shawls, a buddha statue on the shelf and all the other bells and whistles.
    To meditate, just sit quietly for a few minutes in a comfy chair (or lie on your bed) and close your eyes. Breathe easily. And if you want, tell yourself, “I am at peace. I am at peace.” (Find my free meditations design because of the pandemic at the bottom of this page:  https://www.carolynmolnar.com/cds-books)
    And if you fall asleep in the chair, all the better! You needed the rest.
    When it comes to exercise, after some days of doing readings, I’m ready to run a kilometer or two. Working with spirit generates a lot of energy in me and when I’m through for the day, I’ve got to let it out. So I ride my stationary bike for half an hour while watching TV.  And later, I’ll do some yoga on ONE, a station my husband luckily found when the pandemic hit and my gym closed. ONE costs a couple bucks a month, but if you don’t want to pay for a cable channel, there are dozens of online exercise and yoga classes for FREE! If you have mobility issues, Google “chair aerobics” for those classes.
    And if you can't do that, you can do the best, least expensive exercise: Get out and walk. Explore your neighbourhood, see flowers on people’s lawns. I found so many wonderful new nooks and crannies in my area to explore. (See my Instagram page: @carolynmolnar) Things I wouldn’t have seen before.     There’s a whole new world out there!
    Do what you can. Just do it, as the saying goes.
    Remember that old saw? “We’re spiritual beings having a human experience.” So, if you believe we’re spirit having a human experience, then challenge yourself with meditation and exercise to make sure you have best human experience possible.
    If you have any questions or comments on this subject or on any other spiritual matter, feel free to write me at mail@carolynmolnar.com. And please visit me again!