The Hummingbird, whose medicine is JOY, represents your inner royalty; JOY is at the heart of ruling your kingdom, of rising above any situation, of overcoming challenges with ease. JOY fuels the ability to be emotionally agile; to hover, move forward, backward, up, down or sideways. When we have JOY in our lives, we can live with EASE.
In this exercise, you will spend 3.5 minutes a day for 6 days writing to the Hummingbird within – that tiny space with the capacity to hold something magnanimous; your inner JOY as it relates to the ways Hummingbird moves in the world and where you are in life (hovering), where you have been (backwards, sideways, up and down) and where you are going (forwards).
To assist you in accessing the joy-filled Hummingbird space, consider getting in touch with your younger, well-prepared self – the self that enthusiastically throws herself into experiences and is not afraid to express the full spectrum of her emotions.
JOY can be found anywhere, experienced at any time. Often our JOY can appear to be unmoving as if in a state of torpor to survive the winter of our chilled hearts.
Hummingbirds can rest and perch and even withstand the cold temperatures but they cannot be confined; trapped JOY perishes as quickly as a hummingbird trapped in a cage.
1)Set a timer for 3 ½ minutes
2)Write freely in your magical diary
3)Consider structuring the entries in the form of a short letter addressed directly to Hummingbird
4)Use the below prompts (one per day) to assist if you feel stuck
Our emotions, and how we respond to them, can be as nimble as Hummingbird when JOY is fully honored, ignited and expressed:
Hover – take a pause and feel nourished by where you are right here, right now. Where is your JOY? What brings it to you?
Backwards – employing hindsight we can honor a time in the past when we felt joyful. Write to hummingbird about how you hold those images and moments dear to your heart. Express gratitude.
Up – a chance to look down from a perspective of above; what JOY does Hummingbird see from this vantage point? What opportunities are there?
Down – write to Hummingbird about a time you doused your JOY for what you thought was the benefit of someone else.
Sideways – was there a time your JOY was expressed in a way that made you or others uncomfortable? Was it misplaced because it wasn’t fully expressed?
Forward – commit to Hummingbird your intention to spread JOY within yourself and share it with others
On the 7th day, after you have spent time addressing and uncovering the JOY inside, take what has been stirred up and turn the energy towards your closet, where clothes offer an immediate channel for expression.
Spend just 3 ½ minutes looking at or even just thinking about your current closet.
Ask yourself: what clothing inspires JOY in you? Is there something you don’t typically get to wear that you wish you could? A Sequin romper? A silk robe? A pair of panties you think are only for “special occasions”?
Build your outfit for the day around this item and commit to embodying JOY in your fullest expression, even without speaking, and experience how your heart sings a new tune.
Or perhaps you recognize it as a melody your heart sang before you grew accustomed to denying yourself access to the JOY, the Hummingbird, within.
Once these exercises are complete, notice how Hummingbird begins to again make the joyful sounds in your life – a buzzing feeling in your heart like wings beating 50 times per second.
A personal note:
This practice is adapted from a dream I had the night before I would be officially saying good-bye to my father’s house. For months I had put every ounce of me into spending his final moments with him, to planning his service, delivering the eulogy and then moving out of our home of 20 years. My entire being was exhausted, my business was on hold and I hadn’t seen my daughter in weeks. This dream reminded me that whether we are in the rut of our mundane lives or even in the depths of grief, JOY remains and begs to be set free.
Helena Grant is a Life Stylist on a mission to help women live the lives they desire and deserve by exploring channels of creativity, wellness, spirituality and material abundance. She works 1:1 with clients to find profound, lasting and fully-embodied happiness. CLICK HERE to discover ways to work directly with Helena.
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I created you in my image as the source of everything beautiful.
You are the embodiment of my light.
I know, perhaps, you do not always feel this way.
You are perfect because of your imperfections – though often you doubt me and your lofty position as my greatest work.
When I created you I left a void, a space that would be the home of all life on earth. It is here that I live in you and all women. It is here that earth inhabits your physical body and where my holy spirit can reside.
Many voices tell you that this void makes you weak, that its workings are somehow a punishment for going against my will. I do not condemn you for being willful. In fact, I require it from you – it is an exhibit of the strength and courage synonymous with your beautiful being.
Please trust in me, in your cycles and rhythms. My world was incomplete until I created you – I had created something with such force and until you, there was no one, nothing to enjoy it.
When it was just us, I was able to fully inhabit you. I watched you frolic in my garden. I saw the beauty of my work through your eyes – every plant I created, all the animals I made – you tended to everything with such care, nurturing every aspect of life.
I called you Eve because of that beautiful time of day after enjoying daylight together and co-creating, there was a time when we were suspended in our efforts and when we would commend one another and express our gratitude.
I call this time “eve” and so that is what I call you.
I wanted to keep you all to myself. It was perfect harmony but I knew that in order to fill the earth with your love and beauty, I needed more of you in different forms.
One night, I gave you a dream of replication. You saw yourself, in double, perfectly formed. As you absorbed the image, the double began to morph. The transition intrigued you and you felt both the joy, exhilaration, and pain the other body experienced. You provided comfort to it and promised all would be well because you trusted in me and my process.
You watched as your double grew taller, lankier and more muscular than you. A hard jawline appeared, hips narrowed and the void at the center of your double’s being began to contract. The ovaries shriveled, the uterus shrank and it all came to the surface in a perfect form to fit your void and fill you with the possibility of life. This compliment is my gift to you and with it you honor our beautiful, perfect relationship every time you experience ecstasy and bliss.
When we created your counterpart, we took all that made you extraordinary and gave it a foil, a physical companion, an extra set of hands so that you would not need to toil as you had in the beginning, when it was just us.
I wanted to give you more and even with me filling your every cell, I knew you needed a companion. Someone of your likeness who could provide in another way.
To compensate this form for its service to you, and to me, we called him Adam and we allowed him to believe he came first, that I created you from his rib.
This version of the beginning is widely accepted. But you and I know the TRUTH.
There are many times, in fact ALL THE TIME, that you know the truth because that is what I am and you are me in physical form.
I am with you throughout each day and night sending you messages from your intuition to help you see the light of every situation in hopes you will spread the message of love and light not just to those like you but to your counterparts as well.
I built your body as a temple, a representation of all my power, my ability to create.
You are my masterpiece.
I sculpted everything for you.
But, you have forgotten.
It is not your fault. Sometimes we must forget in order to remember again, to remember in a new way.
But please do not let so much time pass.
It is time.
Time to remember, to retain the memory and transfer it to others.
Deliver this message to yourself each day, all day, in those quiet moments when self-doubt sneaks in and you want to sabotage yourself.
Before you go to sleep remember what a gift each breath is and when you wake, celebrate the light that shines within and all around you.
Express yourself. This is the greatest gift you can give me in return for all that I have given you – for the life we co-create.
Sing. Dance. Love.
Release restraint. You need no longer to live in fear.
The power to be free is within you.
You’ve been told, taught that this freedom is threatened and that it is best to stay safe and small. But that is contrary to our design, the contract we signed upon your physical manifestation. You are meant to expand exponentially, constantly. And without edit.
Now I want you to return to that place inside you.
The space deep within, to the void that exists in the darkest reaches of your soul and spirit – it is there that the light resides, the light I first created in you, the light meant to warm all of our creations.
That is where I am. This place is where you and I have the most perfect and pure relationship.
I know that you often question our relationship. You wonder why you experience any trials at all. But I assure you, misery and pain are unintentional byproducts of the supreme happiness and pure joy I created especially for you.
These experiences, though they pain me to see you go through them, only deepen your ability to feel, to live a joyful life.
Without them you would not know joy at all.
Whenever you need or want something, all you have to do is ask. I create for you and delight in your nourishment.
Pay attention to the moon, the tides, the storms, the seasons – all the rhythms of the Earth. They are all examples of the Divine Order we put in place together.
Remind yourself of this every instant you can. Celebrate our love that began with the dawn of time by celebrating yourself. Share your beauty, and this message, with the world.
When you thrive, I come alive.
We created this world together and together we can return triumphant to the place where every living thing and inanimate object was honored for its role of being imperfectly perfect – for if everything we created was perfect, we would have no need of each other.
It is said that I am perfect but until I created you, Eve, perfection was so very lonely.
I am with you always.
Helena Grant is a Certified Transformational Life Coach, Yoga Teacher, Dream Oracle, Channel of The Kite, Intuitive Healer, and mother who helps women build beautiful lives from the inside out so they can stop standing in their own way of creative activation, spiritual awakening, and sublime bliss. To join her mailing list and receive a free guided Moon Rhythm Meditation, please CLICK HERE.
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It’s a new world now and with all the upheaval, the drastic changes and the pall of uncertainty, nothing will ever be the same.
And yet, there is still truth and JOY to be found, even if in some ways we are being held captive in our homes in order to stay safe and healthy.
Well, we also need to stay SANE and that’s not always easy, especially considering the global crisis around us.
In some ways, I have quite a bit of expertise when it comes to mental health, and I come by it honestly through the best possible school in the Universe: experience.
As a highly sensitive person who learned early on how to hide and disassociate from intense emotion, I needed to unravel ineffective coping mechanisms that throughout adulthood started causing more issues than they were solving (because really, drinking red wine and smoking pot will only get you so far in life…).
Luckily, I have acquired an incredible toolbox and as I develop my Life Coaching practice, I am eager to share what I have learned, and what works well for me.
And so I present to you a snippet of my favorite tools right now – some are obvious but great reminders. Others are more novel and might make you go “WTF?”
Regardless of your response, I hope that what I share here is helpful and maybe even beneficial in these moments of social distancing and beyond. Especially #7 which is rife with methods that will serve for all your emotional triggers – now and in the future, whatever that looks like.
In my opinion, we create our own realities and with this global pause button, we have a perfect opportunity to reassess and recalibrate how we are showing up for ourselves (most importantly!), our families, our communities, and our businesses.
So here they are, in list form:
7 Tips for Staying SANE
Stick a pen in your mouth
Listen to nature sounds
Drink more water and BREATHE
Emotional Freedom Technique
The other day my daughter was helping me tidy up the house. The sun was shining, igniting the fragrance of the bright green grass outside. The windows and doors open, we watched and listened as birds flitted and chirped around the feeders.
While my husband and I tried to stay on task with the organizing, she threw her arms out and twirled around stating, in a sing-songy voice:
It feels like we are cleaning up Winter and welcoming Spring!
Adorable and insightful, that one.
And it’s true. Though we are all hunkered down right now, exploring what it feels like to bake bread with our own hands and have a government-induced reason to binge-watch Netflix, there is something in the air that hits this time of year.
And it ignites a desire to sweep away the old and welcome the new.
And with it comes the benefits of not only controlling what you can (the environment of your home) but it also feeds the relationship between our internal and external landscapes.
As without, so within.
And if you know me, and my work, you know that I’m all about cleaning up the closet!
Going through your clothes can be an exercise in reviewing who you have been, and with my methods, can help put you in touch with who you are becoming.
Because we are all going to be showing up differently so now is a great time to shift.
And since you might be looking at your closet facing another form of OVERWHELM, take a look at my self-study Capsule Creation Course. Creating a capsule wardrobe within your current wardrobe is an amazing way to get in touch with what you love to wear and what you want to wear more of – it becomes the backbone of a more in-depth editing process and it’s gentle and accessible. Both welcome feelings right now, as always.
Stick a pen in your mouth
This relates to what I mention above about the internal and external landscapes.
And I don’t mean eat the pen.
Rather, in a horizontal orientation, place it between your teeth. Doing so literally forces you to “smile” rather than have that RBF (resting bitch face) all the time that contributes to droopy jowls down the line.
We want to come out the other side of this pandemic better than when we went in, mmmmkay?
Leave the pen in until you start to drool.
That should be just enough time to lighten your mood.
Listen to nature sounds
One of the delightful results of what we are going through right now is fewer cars on the road, quieter streets and thus more opportunity for nature to infiltrate our lives.
In the past century there has been a global and systemic disconnection from nature – as if we have been in denial of what is truly within and around us for the sake of “progress”.
But now, all the factors we thought indicated our superiority over nature are shuttered and unavailable for the health and safety of our human race.
We have to stop racing, at least for the near future, and how wonderful we can relish in evidence of something much larger, older, and wiser than we are.
The cycles of nature continue despite our own shutdown.
Blossoms bely the unemployment rate and the warm sun can still fill isolated hearts with optimism.
Where I live in Connecticut the road in front of our house typically sees over 200,000 cars a day. But now that number has dwindled and at night, for the first time since moving here five years ago, I can hear the peeper frogs sing a nightly symphony from the banks of the river across the street.
If you don’t have access to any sort of nature, here is LINK to some relaxing river sounds.
Listen and see what happens for you. Yes, for you.
All of this is for us. It’s not happening to us it’s happening for us though being in full acceptance of that might take some time. (Scroll to tip #7 for more on expediting that process).
Drink more water + BREATHE
Back in my days as a wilderness leader for children, I was known as “The Water Dictator.” At the start of every trip, before we left basecamp, I would insist everyone drink a certain amount of water and then refill their bottles before setting out. And then I would monitor how much everyone was getting throughout the day, or days.
Many rolled their eyes but I knew well the effects of dehydration: lethargy, crankiness, hunger, inability to think straight.
Not ideal when you are on the trail. Or anywhere, really.
And I find that now, without the typical zeitgeist of yoga classes and errand-running, I’m forgetting about how much water I really need.
The trickiest aspect of mild dehydration is the hunger – a lot of times we think we are hungry but really we are thirsty.
So take a few nice big gulps of water the next time you reach for another #coronatinesnack and then wait a beat – you might find you don’t actually need the whole bag of chips to feel satisfied.
Oh yeah, and BREATHE.
Personally I forget this one. I get tense and I hold my breath. But that’s even worse than being dehydrated.
Doubly worse when you are not breathing and not drinking enough water.
Basic self-care, people. We can’t get our nails done right now but we can hydrate and breathe and keep our bodies functioning at an optimal level.
I admit it. When I first learned about this approach to “moving energy through the system”, I thought it was huey.
And there are plenty of people who refer to EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) as pseudo-science.
Which is understandable because of all the scientists who have studied it, no one can prove why it works.
Which doesn’t matter. Because sometimes we don’t have to know why something works, just that it does.
Once I got over how cooky and New Age (though it is based on ancient Chinese practices of chi and the presence of subtle anatomy energy meridians) it seemed to tap on various points on my head and torso while repeating affirmation-like phrases, I found exactly what the name implies: freedom.
For most of my life, I normalized anxiety to the point that I didn’t know what anxiety was, just that it was the way things were for me.
Once I eliminated my coping mechanisms (see reference above to wine and marijuana) I had to face a whole lotta EMOTION.
I felt anything but free.
And this practice has been a cornerstone coping mechanism for me anytime I feel that familiar sensation of tightness in my chest that has been known to cause the intermittent panic attack.
I promise, you won’t think it’s weird once you experience how well it works. It’s simple, accessible, and free.
Free freedom? Yes, please.
Here is a quick VIDEO I made walking through an anxiety release with a short introduction to what EFT is.
I am currently enrolled in a 200-hour yoga teacher training that, of course, is now online.
This past weekend one of my peers asked the question: why do we do yoga?
My initial what-a-stupid-question response surprised me but then I quickly checked myself (I am becoming a yoga teacher, after all) and realized that not only was it a valid question, it was a great one!
Yoga is an ancient practice that was created in order to better attain a deep state of meditation. By synchronizing breath and movement, all kinds of beneficial things happen for the body, mind and spirit which yoga (derived from the word yolk meaning union) works to bring all together.
Stretching relaxes us and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which supports the sympathetic nervous system which, working together, is what keeps us healthy and vibrant.
Which is exactly what we are looking for here, as always.
Strong, healthy and vibrant beings. YES!
So if you haven’t tried yoga, it is now even more accessible than ever with many studios offering online classes. I particularly like “live” classes where the teacher interacts with you directly so search your local studio )or beyond) for their mixed level classes.
Okay, so I saved the best, and my favorite, for last. Thank you for sticking with me (or scrolling down here from the top because you wanted the goods first).
Either way, I would like to introduce you to a concept that has turned me from one of those people who has a beautiful life but is deeply miserable into someone who can take leaden emotions and turn them into gold.
This is what I mean by Emotional Alchemy.
I truly wish I had discovered this process decades ago but alas, when we are really ready to learn, the teacher appears.
The premise of the process is rooted in the approach that as humans, we are responsible for our “ride” and our experience on earth. As such, we exist in a non-dual paradox that offers us the opportunity to experience a full spectrum of emotion.
So while there might be some boredom in your life right now, maybe you are feeling trapped and isolated?
Well, there’s literal GOLD in that situation and in some ways, a part of you, and all of us, wanted to know what that felt like both individually and collectively.
Kinda trippy, huh?
And it really, really works.
As an empath I have always experienced emotion viscerally.
Say something terse to me and it shoots through my veins like a bullet.
Give me a compliment and I have to grip onto the nearest piece of furniture.
Tell me something sad and I crumple to the ground.
But, when I learned how to alchemize my feelings rather than repress or deny them (what we are taught and often forced to do), the world around me changed because I began to interact with my experience in a new and rather exciting way.
Now life is more of a game.
Sure there are some D-I-F-F-I-C-U-L-T moments (because they are actually part of the fun) but they don’t have the same devastating effect on me they once did.
I have more energy. I get sick less. I’m able to show up for myself, my family and my business in a new, purpose-driven way.
And let me tell you, that is the ultimate goal of gold.
So, as you play the game of life, I offer to be your cheerleader as you navigate these remarkable times, while we set new precedents on a global level.
In any of the moments of questioning who you are or what it looks like for you on the other side of this, who you will be and how you will show up in the world – start to ask: who am I being right now?
It might be a question you ask more than once and when you do start exploring what that is, a whole lotta emotion can come to the surface.
That, too, is a game and I can be the one on the sidelines cheering you to the ultimate victory: self-knowing and living an embodied and fully expressed human existence.