Sunday, August 12, 2007

Another past article ... "The Soul Box"

The 'Soul' Box

How often have you heard people say think outside of the box? Well, I've a new idea for you - relax outside of the box. So many times individuals get stuck in a 'relaxation' rut. After awhile what once worked for them no longer does. It is almost has if they have built up a tolerance to their relaxation exercises.
When I facilitate workshops I ask people to look within, to become aware of their physiological
responses to the stressors outside of them. How do you know when you're experiencing distress or eustress? Eustress being the positive, motivating stress and distress being the stress that lingers on and we just can't seem to shake it without a good massage or getting rid of the stressor. More often then not, you will feel the stress in the same part of your body. Example: When I am in a situation where I may be about to encounter conflict or I'm experiencing stress, the muscles in my shoulder below my neck begin to tense and my breathing becomes deeper. What happens in your body?
In order to relax, you must first understand the importance and health benefits of relaxation. The benefits include, but are not limited to, healthier relationships, healthy levels of blood pressure, improved sexual relationships and less cardiovascular problems. It has been proved that stress is a major cause of cancer.
Did you know you could relax in a crowded elevator? Or, while individuals are arguing? Relaxation is an incredible skill, once you figure out what works for you. I am not promising anything here, but I would be willing to bet that if you practiced relaxing each day for about for about 15 minutes at a time, after three weeks your relaxation technique (which will be one of
many to come) will be almost second nature to you ... an unconscious habit.
One idea is to create a 'soul' box. To do this you will need: A container that is special to you. I
bought a blank cardboard one at a craft shop and decorated it myself. In this box you will need to put the following things (these are suggestions only):
~A scented candle that the aroma will speak 'relax' to you (lavender is known as the relaxation scent); A CD that invokes 'quiet' thoughts for you; A memory that is written, maybe a letter from someone special, a poem, or words that for you are very comforting; A picture of a serene place, maybe one that you've visited or a place you'd like to go; And anything else that is special to you.
Now, I want you to get your 'Soul' box out. Find a space of your own. Get comfortable. When relaxing for the soul it is essential that you set aside quiet time. If you are in your home or office, turn off all technological communication devices and put up 'Do Not Disturb' signs or whatever will work. Put your CD on or if you have a water fountain, have that on. Anything that assists in creating the atmosphere for you -- the atmosphere that you need to create the 'relaxation' that you will be doing. Once you are in your space -- be quiet. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes and continue breathing slowly. Clear your mind. At this point you can look at the things in your box, read the writings, look at the pictures or keep your eyes closed and look within your soul. Notice the physiological responses in your body. Is your heart rate slowing? Is the tension in your body dissolving? Remember this is your relaxation time. You are maintaining peace of mind and soul. When you begin to practice this relaxation technique you will notice that some of it will become automatic, especially since you won't always have your 'soul' box with you. You will notice that physiologically you feel better. You will notice less tension in your body.
As women we are continuing evolving, our roles in life are continually evolving -- we cannot stop
growing. We must think outside of the box and do what works for us. This is not being selfish --this is called 'self-care'. Today I challenge you to think outside of the box, create your own 'soul'
box and let your self-care journey begin.
Suzy Kingsly is a Life Coach, Motivational Speaker
and Training Consultant who lives in Colfax,
Washington. She has designed and facilitates the "Soulful
Self Seminar for Women" and created "Soul Parties" for


Jayne said...

Another great post...I will be making a "soul box" soon!
Thanks for posting it.

Sharon said...

Soul Box, I like that. This is a wonderful article. Thanks for sharing with us.