#wiggleyourtoes - - A Gratitude Qi & Breathwork Mindfulness Meditation / Modality
My "pigeon pair" fraternal twins - Alexandra & Matthew were born in 1996, when I was 24 years old. I raised them on a farm in Magaliesberg, in The Cradle of Humankind, with almost no support, so full of fear. I had to dig deep. I began doing playful activities to keep the kids motivated and happy. After some time these activities & anecdotes became habits & rituals and have stuck. These become traditions, which are our foundation & connection to love and a sense of belonging. Initially they were a playful #mindfulnessforchildren modality and have helped many adults too! Each version is unique as you make it up as you go, setting intentions in the now, connecting the heart, the mind & the soul.
The day these incredible children came into my existence, an innate instinct to fiercely protect and equip them for life, to be mindful, compassionate, kind and full of love always. This became my purpose!
When they were still little, it began as an early morning playful prayer / meditation for gratitude. We called it Wiggle Your Toes. It began as a fun morning kriya and a beautiful way to connect, to start a day of mindfulness for their general wellbeing. It often changed, went slower some days, and faster depending if we overslept or not. But it has stuck!
💙 When you wake up, keep your eyes closed and lie on your back and begin by doing a little breathwork exercise called PranaYama*.
💙Breath in through your nose to your chest for 8, hold for 8, breath out your mouth for 8, repeat 3 x.
💙Then breath into your diaphragm for 8 through your nose, hold for 8, breath out your mouth for 8. Repeat 3 x.
💙Then breath into your tummy as above.
💙Then you wiggle your toes and say thank you to God for giving me toes, toes give you the ability to balance, dip your toes into streams and all the good reasons to have toes.
💙Then wiggle your ankles and feet and say thank you with all the good reasons why you have ankles and feet.
💙Then you moved up to every part of the body that you can move, feel, tense or wiggle... all the way to the top of your head with all the reasons of gratitude for each body part.
💙Then you stand up and stretch your arms raised up and with a big smil, you say thank you to God, for the gift of another day and all the joyful and meaningful experiences you must expect💙
Wiggling your toes was the beginning of our mindfulness, prayer & meditation journey. The are times there are deeper reasons to just kneel next to your bed and pray in thanks or ask God for guidance & healing. By asking & thanking God for specific things you are setting intentions and goals. God and the universe only understand the word or feeling of YES. Therefore it is imperative that you are very specific as to what you are setting your intentions for because you will get a definite YES response.
By practicing meditation & prayer you will see the benefits in the following areas of your life:
1. Increases immune function
2. Decreases pain
3. Decreases inflammation at the cellular level
4. It boosts your happiness & gratitude - it increases positive emotion
5. Decreases depression
6. Decreases anxiety
7. Decreases stress
8. It boosts your social life. It is also not solitary activity as we can pray and meditate in a group, which many do. It actually increases your sense of connection to others
9. Increases social connection and emotional intelligence
10. Makes you more compassionate
11. Makes you feel less lonely
12. It boosts your self-control
13. Improves your ability to regulate your emotions. (Ever flown off the handle or not been able to quiet your mind? Here's the key.)
14. Improves your ability to introspect. It changes your brain (for the better).
15. Increases grey matter, literally
16. Increases volume in areas related to emotion regulation, positive emotions, and self-control
17. Increases cortical thickness in areas related to paying attention
18. It improves your productivity
19. Increases your focus and attention
20. Improves your ability to multitask
21. Improves your memory
22. Improves your ability to be creative and think outside the box
23. It makes you wise(r) and it gives you perspective.
"By observing your mind, you realize you don't have to be a slave to it. You realize it throws tantrums, gets grumpy, jealous, happy, and sad, but that it doesn't have to run you. Meditation is quite simply mental hygiene: Clear out the junk, tune your talents, and get in touch with yourself, with God".
"Expressing genuine gratitude is another way to balance giving and taking for those who must take more than they can give.
With our gratitude we affirm not only what we can give to one another, but also what we are for one another. We tend to experience unearned good fortune as threatening, something that creates anxiety, secretly believing that our happiness will arouse the envy of others.
We tend to think that happiness will put us in danger. Genuine gratitude reduces this anxiety. Nevertheless affirming good fortune in face of another’s misfortune requires humility as well as courage"
I remain in a state of gratitude for ALL my experiences. Knowing that even during times of strife, pain & trauma, CONTINUOUSLY opting for a humble mindset, operating only from heartspace, will bring about quicker recovery loop of healing & recovery, with the natural delivery of blessings no matter how big or small.
Yin & Yang is a concept of dualism, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. We are grateful for both and express it daily
Here below is a pic of Zjayden (pronounced like Jacques in French) when he was only 2. My last lammetjie & third child born, in 2008. He loved meditation and prayer from a young age.
When he was about 9 years old, he came home with a friend after a hectic day at school. He asked the friend if they could just lay down and meditate for a while because they had a yucky day at school. After about 10 minutes the mood changed and the two boys were calmer and happier.
Meditation is also a way to stop overthinking, take your thoughts to another place, away from the negative & repetitive thought processes that often hold you back.
Meditation can take many forms with repetitive movements with breath, like walking, running, cycling, painting, gardening or doing something mindful that suits you and your lifestyle personally💙
As long as you are #wigglingyourtoes #breathing & counting your blessings, know that meditation also has amazing age reversal benefits which should make you smile.
*Pranayama - the regulation of the breath through certain techniques and exercises.
**Kriya /sare a by-product of greater activity of pranic (vital life force) flow, through the subtler pathways of energy ushered by the activation of Life Force or Chi / Qi. When your body is not digesting food, this Life Force Energy is maintaining the integrity of the whole organism; regulating its physiologic and biochemical responses; and is integral to development, healing, and regeneration.
It is the sacred energy of Grace, bestowed through the power of transmission, which conducts the process of awakening within each of us.
***Qi is the force that makes up and binds together all things in the universe. It is paradoxically, both everything and nothing.