I’ve been doing a lot of energetic bodywork with my oldest daughter, Marleigh, to address recent difficulties focusing and concentrating, falling grades at school, and general sadness. This normally straight A, sunny spirited, well-adjusted, strong gal was struggling. We did a lot of energy clearing and balancing work. At first we worked two or three times a day, then once daily, now a few times a week, though we both agree daily is great. Midterm exams were last week and we felt the tests would be a decent measurable gauge of progress. She did really well on all exams and we were both pleased, and proud. Of course this grade improvement is due to her return to good study habits, inviting friends to study together, getting tutoring help from her aunt the Math Wizard (thank you Janet!), etc. She really applied herself and put in time and effort. And it paid off. Did the bodywork get her good grades? Of course not. She did all that. But the bodywork did help her to ground herself, focus her attention, absorb, and retain what she was studying. Success. She feels good. I feel good, particularly as her mom of course, but also as her massage therapist. The teen years are, among so many things, a bombardment of challenges. I witness Marleigh handle these challenges, and all aspects of her life, with grace, humor, compassion, and pizazz. And that feels great too.
So I’ve been clearing the energy at home, and practicing energetic bodywork with Marleigh at least once a day for the better part of a week. But an important part of healing is having some techniques that you can practice yourself, without the aid or necessity of someone else’s presence. I taught her a couple simple new tools to help rein herself in when her mind starts darting about in class or anywhere else.
1. The most simple thing to do is focus on your feet. It may sound odd to read that, but after a few energetic bodywork sessions, it made sense to Marleigh. Bring your attention to your feet, put the palms of your hands right on the soles of your feet if you can. But that’s certainly not always appropriate or possible in school. So:
2. Breathe. Breathe deeply. Focus on pulling the breath deeply into your stomach. Then push it all out as far as you can. Do that for a few cycles. Now pull the breath down in to your feet. All the way down to your toes. And then exhale as though you’re pushing the air out the soles of your feet into the ground. Repeat. Again. Again. This is a great technique for general calming, but it’s also good to rein in a chattering, scattered mind.
Over the weekend, I was driving Marleigh to a friend’s house. They were going to study for midterm exams which are later this month. It had been a busy morning and in the car I realized we hadn’t done any energy work. I was disappointed because I knew it would have been helpful prep for studying. We talked about that and I said maybe she could practice one of the new self-help techniques. “I know, Mom,” she said. “Breathe through my feet. I did it the other day in Social Studies and it really helped.” Enough said.