Barefoot for Anxiety

Earthing

On a recent trip to the beach I was reminded again why I am such an advocate for the practice of earthing. Earthing is the act of coming into contact with the earth without wearing shoes in order to release negative energy. With the advent of rubber or plastic soled shoes many of us have lost the benefit of being “grounded.”  Within a half an hour of being barefoot on the shore I felt like a new person.

There are studies that report the neuromodulative health benefits of earthing, from positive effects on blood viscosity and oxygenation to lowering of cortisol levels. In our world of stress and anxiety, we have lost touch with many practices that could help our bodies organically self correct, and I believe earthing is one of those.
When a client comes into my practice complaining of symptoms of anxiety, I take a thorough history, paying special attention to what that client does to “recharge their batteries.” One of the first recommendations I make is to get out in the sunlight for twenty minutes a day (for the benefits of vitamin D and the effects on neurotransmitters and hormones such as melatonin). This practice alone can cause wonderful benefits on mood regulation and sleep. The addition of being barefoot during this process seems to really augment the benefits for anxiety. I direct them to visualize the anxious feelings being absorbed by the earth and dissipating from their bodies. I have had clients report a dramatic reduction in anxiety just from this simple intervention.
Anxiety can be seen as anxious energy flowing through our bodies, and it is insidious in its effects on our health, our relationships, our productivity and our spirits. The long term effects of unaddressed anxiety can be debilitating. Anxiety is considered a problem when symptoms interfere with a person’s ability to sleep or otherwise function. Men and women can manifest the symptoms differently. Teenagers are particularly susceptible to symptoms of irritability produced by anxiety. Physical symptoms are usually related to the heart, lungs, nervous and gastrointestinal systems. Left untreated anxiety can take its toll on our bodies, and our quality of life.
In our rat race culture we must take the time to care for our bodies, our minds and our spirits if we are to experience life in a meaningful manner. Running on empty trying to function is no way to live. If we want to have the levels of productivity that our lifestyles demand we must invest time in maintaining our mental and physical health. If you are unable to address your anxiety symptoms alone, there is nothing wrong with reaching out for help. Consider it an investment in obtaining the level of functionality you desire. More than that, consider that you function in this busy lifestyle in an attempt to create a rich life in which you can thrive. If you are not thriving, something is not working. Please take steps today to achieve a life that works. Everything that you do depends on it!
Please see my website for resources on dealing with anxiety and obtaining support from me if you need it. Also see the website of my practice, TRU Integrative Health and Wellness for massage, meditation groups, yoga, and other opportunities to care for yourself. You are worth it!
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What am I going to do?

What are you afraid of? What is causing you to feel anxious and stressed? Many times when I ask clients what is causing them to feel anxious they are unable to identify the source of the feeling. I have heard it described as a rushing feeling of “what am I going to do?” but when asked “about what?” they can’t pinpoint anything that is wrong. This is called generalized anxiety.
In my observation, there are a few things that seem to occur along with generalized anxiety. Being very busy seems to accompany it on many occasions. I have found that busy people can lose touch with a few basic needs. I believe that if we stop and examine these few things we can begin to calm the anxiety that seems pervasive in our society.
When focused on everything that “needs to be done”, and over-extending ourselves, it is easy for us to forget to breathe. Really? Too busy to breathe? Absolutely! Take a slow, deep breath. Really focus on drawing oxygen deep into your lungs. Feel the gift of the nourishment it brings to your body. When is the last time you really noticed how wonderful it feels to really BREATHE? A few sessions a day of being really present with the breath can make a world of difference in how you feel.
Another thing that I notice is that people who report generalized anxiety don’t seem to be able to identify the things they do that nurture their spirit. They lose sight of what brings them joy. Is it taking a bubble bath and lighting a candle? A walk in the woods? A few minutes spent playing with a pet? Pinpointing and actually doing these things can cause anxiety levels to lower naturally.
The last thing that I see in people with generalized anxiety is a burdensome sense of responsibility. I am not suggesting that you abandon your obligations, however when I sit down with clients to distinguish the “musts” from the “shoulds” it is very enlightening. People with generalized anxiety seem to have a sense of having to take care of everyone and everything. I propose that there are things that you have to do and things that you may chose to do. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that it is always in your best interest to do it. Mindfully choosing things to commit to above and beyond your obligations is a way to significantly reduce your overall anxiety level.

Anxiety does not have to rule your life. Begin examining how you are living to see if there are things you are doing or not doing that are contributing to your uncomfortable feelings. Take back your power by implementing a few simple steps that can increase your quality of life immediately!

About Carolyn Tucker LPC

As a person-centered psychotherapist, my goal is to help you uncover your true potential and lead a life that is worth celebrating. While we can’t change difficult situations of the past, we can work together to better understand and resolve challenges in your life. By applying my extensive training and accessing your natural intuition, we will unearth long-standing behavior patterns or negative perceptions that may be holding you back from experiencing a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

Are you ready to be in control of your life? Are you ready to move past just existing and begin flourishing? Are you ready to get past that baggage that has been holding you back from all you deserve? I can help you access your strengths and to defeat what is holding you back!

It is my honor to support and encourage you while using my wide array of training to identify and eliminate the thoughts and behavior patterns that are robbing your joy. Together we will work to help you develop strength, vitality and emotional wholeness, to help you THRIVE!

My practice is unique in that I am well trained in several areas including distance therapy, and am currently a research assistant at Harvard University. I offer distance therapy via SKYPE. I have interest in providing services to military and their families and addiction services.

Please visit my website at www.carolyntuckertherapist.com

Love <3

It’s that time again. Time when everyone is focused on love and romance. It’s Valentine’s Day. Again. So,what if you are not in a romantic relationship, or if the one you are in is less than satisfactory? This can be a time where you feel alone and “less than”. Many of my clients have reported increased symptoms of depression and feelings of isolation during this season due to being alone, or to not having relationships that live up to the commercials on television.
A friend shared an idea with me recently that has changed my life and the lives of many of my clients. She said to me one day, “I am going to treat myself like I would a man I was in love with.” So simple. So profound. I began to toy with the idea of what would happen if we turned that tender, loving energy that we would give a lover inward, on ourselves.
What if we began to notice the little things that bring ourselves joy, and to do them as a gift to our lover-self? What if we made time to do the things that nurture our spirit as an act of pouring love on ourselves? How about speaking those little words of affirmation and support in an intimate whisper when we need to hear them most? Or looking deep into our own eyes and forgiving ourselves for not being perfect, embracing the broken pieces,  just like we would the “other” in a relationship? Even the way we relate to our own bodies could change if we learned to accept and embrace them lovingly.
I began sharing this philosophy with my clients and they reported back with tears of fragile hope that poured down their faces when they looked themselves tenderly in the mirror and said “I love you.”  One client stated that he realized that he would never use the kind of talk or tone with a lover that he used with himself on a daily basis, and he began to change that negative internal dialogue. Another reported that her relationship was improving because she was displaying better boundaries with her spouse, spurred by her newly cultivated loving relationship with herself. Yet another reported that during his daily meditation time he focused that loving energy inward, and that it was a sacred experience for him to sit daily in the presence of that unconditional love.
This Valentine’s day I would encourage all of us, not just those who are single, or whose relationships are less than fulfilling, to tap into that flow of love that we long to send to others, and to visualize turning it inward. I wonder what change we could make in the world if we loved ourselves this way. I wonder how much more effective all our lives would be if we first focused on filling our own “love tanks”.
Donna Terrazas and I will be conducting a meditation and manifestation workshop at TRU Integrative Health and Wellness Sunday February 26.we will focus on manifesting love in our lives, both with ourselves and in relationships with others, and we will be exploring this topic of self love in depth. We urge you to join us! Check out www.carolyntuckertherapist.com. Let’s begin a movement today of falling in love with ourselves, and see where it takes us!

Vision Board Workshop

“The beautiful thing about having and intention is that it gives all the energy in your life a point of focus to gather around. Energy is free flowing until it is given a focus. 
It is well know that where attention goes, energy flows. Think of intention as a constant rallying point and place of focus.”


– Mastin Kipp

Last Friday evening, TRU Integrative Health and Wellness hosted our first Vision Board Workshop. The workshop was attended by five women of varying ages and backgrounds, and was designed to be a way to support these women in creating a new vision for their lives in 2012 and beyond, free from limiting beliefs, destructive thoughts, and other intrapersonal insecurities.

Vision boards have been a powerful tool the practitioners here at TRU have used successfully personally as well as in various other facets of our lives.  Understanding that our own inner thoughts and feelings determine our experiences we wanted to share our passion for vision boards with our community as well, and help workshop participants set their own intentions and begin manifesting their heart’s desires.
 A vision board is like a visual affirmation. Something that has excited you in a past moment can bring that same exciting energy back every time you meditate on it; that energy is then launched into the future to manifest the thing that has excited you or a desired goal. Anything from a larger practice to financial prosperity can be displayed on a vision board to be meditated upon. By placing the items we desire to attract into our lives on a vision board, we set our intentions toward that thing. Our intentions then become like ripples in the pond, reaching out to attract back to you what you desire.
The following are some tips you can use to create your own vision board. When creating, it is important to be in an excited yet relaxed state of mind. Get  into a “good feeling” place. We use neuro-linguistic  programming incorporated into a guided meditation in our practice. This is done because the mind responds powerfully to metaphor and images. At home, you can choose from a variety of mediums including guided meditations, personal meditation, prayer, or inspiring music to help you achieve this state. A vision board possesses its greatest potential to manifest when it is energized by good feelings and happy emotions.Begin by choosing words, phrases and pictures to represent the life you desire. Decorate your boards with pictures from magazines, clip art, and words and phrases that inspire and motivate you. The images on a vision board will constantly connect to your inborn desires for a better and happy life. The actual images and pictures on the vision board will then help to change old limiting mental images and beliefs. The process of creating the board will help you get really clear and focused on what you want.

Once you complete your board, share it with others and ask them to get excited with you to amplify your personal energies towards creating your goals. Every thought, feeling, word, and action we express carries a vibration, and every vibration attracts to it things of “like” energy. In every moment we are attracting to us based on the vibrations we are radiating. Group sharing evokes strong positive vibrations of empathy and excitement, creating a surge of energy towards manifesting your goals.
Keep your board in a highly visible spot so that you see it frequently. Be sure to meditate on it daily, focusing again on the feelings you will feel when you have created the practice you want. “Try on” the feelings of success, excitement and gratitude. The more you experience these desired feelings, the more vibrational pull you will create.
As you reach your goals, you can allow your vision board to morph, placing new pictures on it as your goals are reached and you continue to grow. It can be a work in progress that grows with you. You can also create mini vision boards in a notebook on more specific topics (monthly mini boards for example) to allow you to be even more specific about the things that you would like to create in your life on a smaller scale.
A vision board is a powerful tool. When we allow it to, it will remove feelings of frustration and powerlessness in our lives, and remind us that we are truly infinitely powerful in creating our own reality. Your Vision Board can serve as a constant reminder of your ability to co-create with the universe whatever you desire!

Daddy’s Girl

I am a daddy’s girl and I am unashamed to admit it. My earliest memories consist of him coming in to tuck me in at night. His final words to me were always “You’re a sweet girl”, to which I always replied, “You are a good daddy.” I always drifted off to sleep knowing that I was cherished by a man who would give his life to know that I was safe and loved.

     My school had a father/daughter dance when I was little where we would dance the box-step and the two-step with our dads to show off the skills we had learned in our dance class. I was always so proud to be dancing with my handsome daddy. My grandmother would buy me a new Ruth Original dress, and my mother would put sausage curls in my hair and carefully turn down my lace trimmed socks. I cannot remember ever feeling more beautiful than I did on the dance floor, my white gloved hand held gently in my daddy’s.
     My daddy modeled responsibility and hard work in his orthodontic practice. I have never met a patient of his that didn’t have fond memories of going to his office and who didn’t still feel self confidence in the beautiful smile my father’s perfectionism in his craft help them achieve. I try to give the same attention and positive regard to my psychotherapy clients as I saw my daddy give to his patients.
     I have never met anyone who can compare to my daddy in his love of playing. I used to be convinced that he was part Santa Claus part Peter Pan. He would have truckloads of pinestraw brought in to cover the hill in our back yard so we could sled down the hill in our plastic sleds, rig up zip lines from trees at our lake house so we could fly out over the water, and run the sprinkler at night when the temperature was to go below freezing so that we could wake to trees covered with ice in our very own “winter wonderland.”
     His generosity surpasses anything I have ever witnessed. Everyone knows that you never express a desire for something that he owns or that you saw in a store or on television without expecting the UPS man to bring you one as soon as he can manage.
     His sense of humor and his trickery are legend. I was with him when he met a plane carrying his friend at the airport dressed in full Raggedy Andy regalia, and have been present when his alarm clock to wake a friend was a handfull of firecrackers in a five gallon bucket!
     When he became a grandfather he took things to a whole new level. My children experienced having Santa Claus show up at their Chirstmas parties, and trips to Disney World that most kids only dream of. Do not even let me get started telling you about the size and quantity of the stuffed animals he bought them!
     As the stay at home mother of four small children I was overwhelmed when he sent my mother and I on a luxurious cruise while he stayed home and took care of my babies. I will never forget having such a precious, wonderful time with my mother, and my children report having breakfasts that consisted of cereal and milk poured in a HUGE Tupperware salad bowl that they all ate out of with my daddy for breakfast.
     It was the perfect combination of security and excitement growing up with my daddy. My three siblings and myself have always been able to depend on wise advice and support from our daddy no matter what we are going through.
     He provided us with summer filled with frogs and trampolines and flashlights and adventures. He pulled us skiing for what seemed like days on end. I know that all four of us siblings try to bring some of the enchantment and love into our own children’s lives that he brought into ours.
     His love has known no boundaries for me my entire life, I am so blessed to call him my daddy, and my best friend. He truly is magical. All I have to do is close my eyes to hear him say “You’re a sweet girl”, and I whisper back, “You’re a good daddy.”

One Mom’s Journey to Health and Wellness

I am happy to share with you that I completed the Standard Process 21-Day Purification Program yesterday. I ended up losing 17 pounds, which was amazing, but I learned and gained a lot more than I lost. These few short weeks have taught me good habits that I hope will last the rest of my life. I am so thrilled with the mostly whole food plant based diet I am eating. I am looking and feeling better every day, but most of all my mind is sharp, clear and peaceful.

    I have discovered so much about my life and my home through this process. I have cut out many foods that were cluttering up my body and my life, but more importantly I have gotten rid of many habits that were as unhealthy as what I was eating. Really taking a look at what had happened in my life and home while I was enslaved to the tyranny of the urgent was difficult but enlightening.
    Taking time to really focus on my children has been such a blessing. I really am able to see and appreciate them for the wonderful people they are, and not miss a moment being distracted by the unimportant. I am taking better care of myself now also, really taking the time to do things that bring me joy and help me appreciate my environment. A little exercise is going a long way towards my overall sense of well-being. I am slowly purging my home of things that are distracting and that block the flow of chi. It may take awhile to get completely organized, but I am committed to it.
    I wonder where I would be if I had never done the cleanse? I can only imagine that I would have continued on the same path of busyness and continued to miss all the wonder that I have recently tapped into. I knew there had to be more to life than running to work, going full steam all day, and then running home and collapsing, and I was right.
    Starting in private practice at TRU Integrative Health and Wellness has enabled me to develop a schedule that allows me to slow down and live in awe at all of my blessings. It is a wonderfully supportive place to work. I am surrounded by encouraging colleagues who are concerned about my well-being. We are slowly building a community of clients and friends of the practice that are concerned about things like living our healthiest and most authentic lives. We have workshops on everything from meditation, to relationships, to eating seasonal foods, and we do fun things like screen movies, and group yoga.It is truly an amazing feeling to be traveling the same path as the people around me. If you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive updates on things that are going on in our practice community please email me at Carolyn@growhealchange.com!
    I think many people embark on a health and wellness program only to go back to their old habits when it is completed. I think I will continue to blog here to keep myself accountable for the changes I have made in my life. I hope that you will make a commitment to whatever it is that you need to be living a more authentic and fulfilled life. Maybe we can make this journey together!
    Oh, and please check out my friend and fellow psychotherapist Ruth Cochran’s blog to follow her experience of our purification program! http://www.growhealchange.blogspot.com/