Six ways to harness the energy of the winter soltice in your mind, body, + business

I tend to be the person friends call with questions about the moon, astrology, or tarot. Even Sunday night my mother asked me what phase the moon was in while she was on the phone. Because of course I’d know that it was one day before the new moon without even checking my phone. Duh.

I’ve also always been the person that people turn to when they have questions about their health. Whether a friend is wondering which probiotic out on the market is best, or an Instagram connection direct messages me wondering how to cut back on their coffee habit, people reach out because I’ve studied natural health for almost a decade now, and I can safely say that my head is a giant encyclopedia of wellness.

The last few years have also turned me into the person business owners ask for advice when setting up a new endeavor. Nowhere on my website does it offer business consulting services, and yet somehow next month I already have two podcast consulting calls booked.

And I love it.  Each one of those topics is completely fun and fascinating for me. I’ve even built my business around my love of merging those three topics together - healing all parts of ourselves (businesses included!). So today, I’m mixing those three worlds even more and sharing how you can harness the powerful energy of the winter solstice this week to benefit your mind, body, and business.

What’s the deal with the winter solstice anyway?

The winter solstice is literally the shortest day of the year. It’s the day with the least amount of sunlight shining down on earth. From an energetic perspective, this is when the quiet, slow, cold yin energy is at its pinnacle. It’s the long night - and that energy is reflected in everything around us. Whether you’re feeling the urge to hibernate at home with a mug of tea and the remote control, or you’re noticing that things might be slowing down a bit in your inbox (though probably not if you’re a maker of any kind this time of year).

Solstice energy is powerful. It can give us an opportunity to dive deep and look within. For those of you who want to start aligning the health of your mind, bodies, and businesses with the seasons, the winter solstice is a perfect place to start.

Six ways to harness the winter solstice in your mind, body, + business:

MIND:

Journal
This is a perfect day to go with the inward flow of energy and get super introspective. Grab a pen and paper and go to town. For exercises like this, I don’t like to get too directive with specific journaling prompts - I think free-flow writing can be the most honest and interesting. But if you’re someone who works better within structure and rules, you can start by writing this phrase: “In this moment, I feel...because…”

Set a powerful intention
I like to think of the winter solstice like an extra powerful new moon. (And technically, the new moon was only earlier this week, so it’s still a perfect time for intention setting by those standards.) The winter solstice is basically the deepest, darkest, quietest, day of the year - energetically speaking. From this point on, yin energy will start to decrease and yang energy will start to rise. Things will begin to build and build, grow and grow, and intentions we set now will come to fruition on the summer solstice - the highest, brightest, boldest day of the year - energetically speaking. This isn’t a time for a quick manifestation plea - this is the time to pull out the big guns and get super vulnerable and personal with your hopes and dreams.

BODY:

Rest
What better thing can you think of to do on the longest day of the year than sleep? Head to bed earlier and avoid using an alarm in the morning. Trust me, your morning emails can wait. Even though this is the most yin time of the year, our busybody world loves to fill up this time of hibernation with parties and galas and things that are meant to bring light into the darkness but often just leave us feeling rushed and drained. Let’s take a cue from the natural world and let ourselves rest and restore and go full on hibernation. Everything from your nervous system to your immune system will thank you.

Warm up
While most of these suggestions are to help you harness the power of all that yin energy, I think it’s equally as important to bring a little balance into this day with a little heat. While yin energy is known for its subdued, restful spirit - it’s also known as being the coldest energy. Our bodies don’t love being very cold (too much cold can cause issues from catching viruses to painful periods to digestive upset). Try to balance out the strong yin energy with some yang energy. Take a hot bath, sit in a sauna, light a fire - bring a little light and warmth into the darkest day of the year.

BUSINESS:

Purge
Like I said before, the winter solstice has a lot of similarities to new moons. I always get the urge to purge around new moons, and the same is absolutely true around the winter solstice. This is a great day to clean up your inbox, toss old papers from your filing cabinet, organize your desk. It might even be a good time to look through your current offerings and evaluate what still works for your business and what might need changing next year. Feel free to get creative and clear out anything that’s feeling a bit too chaotic and cluttered in this more energetically tidy time of year.

Plan
Astrologically, the sun moves into the sign of Capricorn on the winter solstice this week. Capricorns tend to be a more ambitious and organized bunch (as a Capricorn rising I can absolutely attest to this) and this transit marks a period of future planning. The day of the solstice is a perfect day to sit down and do some long term planning. What do you want to create next year? Where will you be focusing your energy? How will you keep your priorities in order? Feel overwhelmed by the scope of planning for an entire year? I highly recommend carving out some time to sit down with Maggie Gentry’s 2018 Year Ahead Planning Bundle.

How will I be harnessing the winter solstice this week?

I’ll be pulling a thing or two from each of these ideas over the course of this week myself. I’ve already gone through an old filing cabinet and shredded over five pounds of old paperwork. I’ve been skipping my workouts and sleeping in but still going to the gym nearly everyday just to sit in the sauna and sweat. I’ll be gathering with some of my favorite #bosswitches the night of the solstice and setting some powerful intentions. And I’ll be cozying up with a mug of tea and sitting down with Maggie’s planning bundle myself.

However you choose to harness the energy of the winter solstice in your mind, body, and business this week, I hope it fills you up in exactly the way you wish.

*The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
*Heads up! This post may contain some affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links you won't pay a single cent more, but we'll get a small commission that helps keep the content flowing. P.S. We only recommend products we use in our own daily life!

My first Breathwork experience: How it changed my business and my life

BREATHWORK

Around a year ago I had my first Breathwork Healing experience. It was so profound for me that it completely changed the trajectory of my coaching practice - and my life. As a direct result of that session, I ended up beginning my own training to do this work with my clients AND imagining, creating, launching my most ambitious offering to date - resulting in an over eight thousand dollar launch.

Today I want to share that experience with you to give you a better sense of what Breathwork healing is and how it can change your life too.

The story

Breathwork was one of those practices that kept popping into my world all over the place for a few months. Instagram, podcasts, newsletters - I was hearing about it from what seemed like everywhere. I took it as a pretty damn good sign that this was something I needed to check out for myself.

Soon after I decided to try it, a healer I admire (who later became my Breathwork teacher) announced she was hosting an online group healing circle. I knew it was meant to be, so I immediately signed up.

The breath itself it actually quite simple: It’s a three-part breath that’s both inhaled and exhaled through the mouth. I had done a short version on my own before from home, but I found that the breath created such an intense tingling sensation in my body that I almost got a little freaked by the idea of doing a whole 40 minutes of it. However, I knew I felt more comfortable doing a healer-led version and marked the date on my calendar.

The experience

The night of the circle I got my space all ready: smudged my bedroom, laid out a few candles and crystals, grabbed a blanket and eye pillow, and got ready to breathe. As the session started, I noticed that tingling sensation in my body again. This time, instead of freaking out about it and quitting early, I trusted the healing process and surrendered to let the energy move in the way that it wanted to.

As an acupuncturist, I can safely tell you that I’ve felt qi (energy) move in my body in all sorts of ways before. (There’s nothing like the zing! of a qi sensation when you’re getting needled by your newbie classmates at the start of acupuncture school.) But those experiences pale in comparison to what I felt during this first Breathwork session.

My hands were tingling so strongly that I could have sworn they were straight up vibrating - and it wasn’t even over my whole hand! I felt the tingling along the outer edge of my pinky finger, up the outside of my forearm, up along my upper arm and into my armpit. Interestingly enough this is the exact pathway of the heart meridian in Chinese medicine! I was blown away by the coincidental (or not!) nature of the sensation that it almost made it too distracting.

At different times during the session, the healer encouraged us to laugh, yell, or recite certain phrases after her. My mouth was so full of energy and sensation, I could barely speak let alone yell or scream. Later, this came as no surprise to me as I’m constantly working on the stagnation that tends to pile up around my throat chakra - keeping me quiet and subdued when I should be speaking my truth.

The vision

Once the 40 minutes of active breath were over, we were instructed to relax into our natural breathing patterns and continue to lie and rest for several minutes. It was during this time that the session started to get truly wonderful for me. 

I started seeing all sorts of colors and shapes and eventually had a full-on vision. I was in the the Joshua Tree desert, around a bonfire with other female-identified bosses, sitting under the full moon. 

I was at a wellness retreat of my own making! A wellness retreat for mind, body, and business.

In that vision I felt safe, strong, powerful, connected, loved, and at complete peace. I knew in that moment that this wasn’t just a dream - this was reality. I knew that this time the following year I’d be having the same exact vision - except that it would be in the physical realm instead of the energetic realm.

When the session was complete, I grabbed the nearest notebook and wrote pages and pages of notes. I knew that what I had seen was a gift that shouldn’t be overlooked. Now, the question was: How?

The manifestation

Now, you might wonder where this 8K+ manifestation comes into play. Let me tell you this: While my Breathwork experience created a huge shift for me, that doesn’t mean that it happened quickly. I sat with this experience in meditation for many mornings, brainstormed ideas with my business besties over many cups of tea, and asked for more guidance during many more Breathwork sessions to follow.

But six months later I knew the time was ripe. I needed to get this retreat out into the world and turn it from vision to reality. 

So I did. Quickly and easily. I sold out my first wellness retreat in less than a week without any pomp and circumstance. No launch. No sales funnel. No stress. 

I can safely say that even though I was a ball of nerves the week leading up to “selling” this retreat, the actual selling was the easiest I’ve ever done. It was almost like it wasn’t even mine to begin with. The universe wanted it to happen and I was just one cog in a series of universal cogs to help it manifest. 

How I use Breathwork now

Ever since my first Breathwork experience, I’ve begun to turn to breathwork when I need to tap into my own internal guidance in my life or business. And I can safely say that it’s the best decision I’ve made.

When I’m making a decision on the direction to take with my coaching practice? I turn to Breathwork.
When I’m feeling pulled in too many directions and have to take things off my plate? I turn to Breathwork.
When something just isn’t quite right and I can’t put my finger on it? I turn to Breathwork.
When I’m falling back into my habits of pushing people away and not feeling much of anything? I turn to breathwork.
When I’m feeling creatively blocked? I turn to breathwork.

Whether you’re ready to make profound changes in your life and business through Breathwork healing right now or not, take a minute to sit and think about these four questions in reference to your health and business:

  1. What’s feeling stuck? 
  2. How have you tried to move that stagnation in the past? 
  3. What’s worked before and what hasn’t?
  4. What's one (small) step I can take today to start to move through the stagnation?

Ready to take a chance and see what a Breathwork Healing session can do for your life or business? 

*The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
*Heads up! This post may contain some affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links you won't pay a single cent more, but we'll get a small commission that helps keep the content flowing. P.S. We only recommend products we use in our own daily life!

 

S3 Minisode 3 - This Is WHY We Self-Care

this-is-why-we-self-care-health-fuels-hustle

Inspired by a recent experience I had a competitive powerlifting meet a few weeks back, this last minisode of Season 3 shares a story of how my self-care practices helped me turn a bummer situation into something that felt like solid gold. I also break down how you can use the lessons I learned from that experience to change your own thoughts, feelings, actions, and results.

TWEETABLES

Practicing selfcare regularly helps me tap into source energy when I need it most. [click to tweet]

SHOWNOTES

Work with Amy

**The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

***Heads up! This post may contain some affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links you won't pay a single cent more, but I'll get a small commission that helps keep the content flowing. P.S. I only recommend products I use in my own daily life!

S3E12 - Geeking Out About Self-Care with Kathleen Shannon

Photo credit: Sarah Becker Photography

Kathleen Shannon co-owns Braid Creative & Consulting where she does branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs, small businesses, and organizations who are wanting to blend more of who they are into the work they do. You might also know her as the co-host from the Being Boss Podcast where she dishes out advice and insights on mindset, habits, routines, and boundaries for creatives who want to own who they are and make money doing what they love in work and life.

TOPICS:

  • Kathleen’s self-care and healthcare routines (and the difference between the two)
  • Bringing intention into cooking
  • Makeup and beauty as a form of self-care
  • DIY natural facial products
  • Self-care as a mother and integrating your children into your self-care
  • Beating yourself up over self-care you “should” do
  • Giving yourself permission to lean into a passion project or self-care without it being perfect

TWEETABLES:

Not stressing out over every single thing I put into my body is super important. [click to tweet]

I have to shift my self-care and try new things for it to not feel like health care. [click to tweet]

You can’t get too precious with your rituals. [click to tweet]

SHOWNOTES:

MORE FROM KATHLEEN:

**The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

***Heads up! This post may contain some affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links you won't pay a single cent more, but I'll get a small commission that helps keep the content flowing. P.S. I only recommend products I use in my own daily life!