New Class starting May 16th ….. Living with the Virus: Self Care to Change your Life
Accept the challenge and get back in the driver’s seat of life!
(Click for a short video intro to May 16 class: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-j9l61nGGY04VP6npTaIJw9jCrJZL_2I/view?usp=sharing)
Are you biding time and hoping life will hurry up and get back to ‘normal’…the way it was before? What if it doesn’t…or how long will it take? What if we can’t ‘go back’? The current global pandemic with deaths in the millions around the world, brought on by a contagious, invisible enemy hovering to attack, is unfortunately not predicted to vanish and disappear. It would be nice, but from all accounts, unlikely….
- What to do?
Upping hygiene washing our hands many times a day and/or using sanitizing gels, is important. Respecting social distancing and wearing face masks can help with possible contagion, but also contributes to a rampant ‘fear of other,’ turning neighbors, friends, and loved ones into potential enemies who could make us sick….. That doesn’t contribute to a feeling of safety, well-being and inner peace, vital to maintaining a strong immune system capable of rebuffing viral attack.
- Keep your immune system strong
Media and traditional medicine don’t focus much on the body’s natural ability to ward off infection and maintain health. Integrative medicine embraces a mind-body approach, and research shows that stress (including anxiety and worry)weakens our immune system, making us easier prey to viruses and other diseases.
Meditation has been shown to be a great antitode to stress, helping people re-centre and anchor in a grounded state of being that allows us to better care for self and others. In fact the word meditation has the Greek prefix ‘med’, like the word ‘medicine’, meaning care or ‘bring attention to’. Meta or loving kindness meditation is a gentle way to take care of ourselves, and develop our caring, compassion muscle to make us better equipped to respond instead of shut down in this time of need.
As well as helping us lower stress, meditation also contributes to lessening inflammation in the body Many people are unaware of the effects of stress on inflammation and that “much of the damage done by an infectious disease is the result of a person’s own immune or inflammatory response “over-reacting” to the infecting organism”, says MIT-affiliated biophysical anthropologist William C. Bushell (*). This causes what scientists call a “cytokine storm”, leading to severe symptoms and respiratory damage (even death), something occurring in the corona virus pandemic. Pneumonia accompanying COVID-19 is not directly caused by the virus, but rather through fibrosis originated by runaway cytokine storms within the respiratory system.
- Effects of Meditation and Yoga
Both meditation and yoga have anti-stress, anti-inflammation and anti-infection benefits. With zero side effects, backed by decades of research concerning their benefits, meditation and yoga provide a strong edge for people interested in stacking the cards in their favor to beat the Covid 19 virus. Developing a meditation and/or yoga practice could save your life these days, and at the very least will improve overall well-being. Self care can also return a feeling of control over your life, while providing tools for improved overall health.
- Invitation: Without further ado….My invitation is to take advantage of this global period of uncertainty and fear to acquire long-term mind-body self care practices to promote well-being and health. The future is uncertain, but challenges often have a way of becoming periods of great learning, if we are willing to accept the challenge. Think about it in your own life…periods of destabilizing change and loss often became your greatest teachers!
- Meditation practices are open to anyone at any age, with no negative side effects.
- You don’t need flexibility or the ability to sit cross-legged to participate.
- Meditation breathing and visualization techniques can be practised sitting or lying down, even in a hospital bed .
- Meditation is easily conveyed and learned online (and you won’t need a face mask or risk contagion by being in a group).
- Meditation’s potential and ability to help us live fulfilling, meaningful lives is without limit, but you have to experience it to know what that means.
New Series starts May 16th! Meditation for Self Care & Compassionate Living
In this series we’ll be focusing on what is called loving kindness or meta meditation practices, using visualizations and centering breath to anchor us in a place of safety and inner peace, then learning to embrace anxiety and fear and lessen their negative impact on our outlook, experience, and health.
Meta or Loving Kindness Meditation Series-8 Classes-open to all. Eight (40 minute) online classes over 8 weeks with instruction and experiential practice.
Classes are group–based, on line, and last 40 minutes. They include lecture, practice techniques with explanations, and online experiential practice, + Q+A and short personal sharing. Each class is recorded and available 24 hrs after the online class.
*To fully benefit and acquire meditation individual practice is important between lessons. It is up to each individual to develop a personal practice of a minimum of 3-15 minutes each day. Having a community to start with and regular classes will help to ground your practice..
- START DATE: May 16th, 2020 on Saturdays at 12:30 pm EST/9:30 am PST for 2 months. (NB: if you are unable to attend a class you will have the recorded session soon after the live session).
- PRICE (per person): $129 for 8 live online classes with recordings of each session. These are not pre-recorded sessions but actual online interactive classes with a teacher.
*Sign up with a partner/friend by May 9th and both people receive 10% off!
Listen to a short video introduction to the new May 16th series, Meditation for Self Care & Compassionate Living Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-j9l61nGGY04VP6npTaIJw9jCrJZL_2I/view?usp=sharing
- Contact me with questions and reserve your place ASAP in the May 16th course at: http://www.abigaildesoto.com/contact-me
Abigail De Soto is a psychosynthesis-informed transformational coach, certified yoga instructor and mindfulness meditation practitioner/teacher with 35 years experience coaching, teaching and facilitating groups globally, in person and online. For more information on her background, values, and work, visit: S.E.L.F._System for Embodied Living and Freedom at www.abigaildesoto.com
NB: This is no time to play the ostrich and put your head in the sand, waiting for life to return to ‘normal’… Seize this opportunity and accept the challenge to grow, feel stronger, healthier, and more in touch with your own life and your ability to care for yourself and others! I look forward to meeting and working with you soon. Blessings, Abigail
Covid 19 Worrying You?? …Understandable, but don’t let it take over…. Lower Stress Response and Fear! Boost Your Immune System!
New month-long online class:
“Mindfulness and Meditation to Combat Adversity”
Starts April 3rd 2020…
Navigate the global Covid 19 pandemic with practices of mindfulness and meditation to remain healthy and calm, while strengthening your immune system. Don’t let this unsure, fear-inducing period bring you down or let worry take over your thoughts. You can do something to put the winds in your favor and naturally ride the difficult storm.
Neuroscience shows fear and anxiety weaken our immune system. When we feel fearful or stressed, our body activates the fight-flight-freeze response to help us respond to threat, but also creates stress hormones that compromise our immune system over time. Fight-flight mode accelerates heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing, while releasing stress chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream, and increasing muscle tension to prepare for the fight-flight response. While this stress response reallocates energy to allow us to survive a threatening situation, energy is also pulled away from the immune system…. opening the door to a mix of bacteria, toxins, and viruses.
Though life currently seems filled with multiple unknowns linked to this global scare, the good news is we can do something to lower our stress and boost our immune system. An excellent practice available to all at any age, is what Dr Herbert Benson coined in the 1970’s as the “relaxation response,” or what today is referred to as the “restful awareness response,” cultivated through mindfulness and meditation. Neuroscience shows that these ancient practices of mindfulness and meditation help us maintain health and well-being by lessening emotional reactivity, contributing to clearer decision-making, and maintaining calm in the body and autonomic nervous system to naturally combat disease. Becoming a beacon of calm in a time of fearfulness and uncertainty can help you and those you care for. Learn simple practices that can help you stay healthy and sane, and more relaxed in the face of adversity. My invitation is to take advantage of confinement, shut-downs, and decelerated ‘business as usual’ to learn ‘take-anywhere’ techniques to calm mind-body stress responses, and remain safely anchored in peace instead of tortured by uncontrollable thoughts of what if’s….?.Like a boat safely anchored in a protected harbor, you will weather the global health challenge with lesser toll on body and mind.
Meditation activates your body’s innate healing system. The opposite of the fight-flight-freeze response is the ‘rest-and-digest’ mode in which your system activates its own inner resources to heal, restore, and return to balance. When it’s not bogged down in the fog of potential attack, your mind-body system can access its own self-correcting, healing mechanisms. But to remain calm in the face of society’s fear-generating information overload, you will need to master the undisciplined mind and its unrelenting, ‘castastrophizing’, inner commentator.
There is nothing to lose except stress and fear. Learn mindful meditation practices you can use in daily life to relieve stress, fear, and boost natural immunity to illness! (I promise you don’t have to sit cross-legged to meditate and practice mindful living…).
Classes start April 3rd!
WHAT: “Mindfulness and Meditation to Combat Adversity” On line Class; Eight (40 minute) classes over 4 weeks with instruction and experiential practice. For more info, listen: Intro to Mindfulness and Meditation Class_Covid 19 Challenge
Classes are group–based, on line, and last 40 minutes. They include lecture, practice techniques with explanations, and online experiential practice, with time for questions and short personal sharing. Each class is recorded and available 24 hrs after the online class for additional support and in the event you are unable to attend ‘live’.
*To fully benefit and acquire the techniques, individual practice is necessary between lessons for a minimum of 3-15 minutes per day. Up to you to practice!
Objectives/what you will learn:
How the body responds to fearful situations, and why that response is suited to short-lived experiences of danger, not chronic stress and uncertainty like the Covid 19 pandemic..
To recognize signs of your personal stress response and flight into fear…and how to respond to return to a restful awareness response..
To use the breath to anchor and calm yourself, to take the charge out of fearful thoughts and emotions that loop and spiral around to control you.
To help your body re-center and connect with a calming state to assure daily health maintenance and well-being, instead of draining energy and life force.
WHEN: April 3-April 28, 2020 Fridays and Tuesdays at 12:30 pm EST/9:30 am PST ( NB: if you are unable to attend a class you will have the recorded session soon after the live session).
Listen to my short introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation Practices to Combat Adversity Link: Introduction to April Covid 19 Challenge _Meditation Class.
Contact me with any questions, and reserve your place in the April 3rd course. Don’t play the ostrich and put your head in the sand hoping everything will go back to ‘normal’. It may take some time….in the meantime be proactive. I look forward to working with you soon!
Carpe diem, Abigail
Mindfulness and Psychosynthesis to Navigate Turbulent Times*
*2 day immersion in the Harmonics of Psychosynthesis & Mindfulness as anchors and conscious responses to today’s personal and global challenges.
September 28-29th in the Perigord, SW France (1 and 1/2 hr train trip fromToulouse)
*designed and offered by Abigail De Soto and Keith Hackwood
This 2-day mindfulness and psychosynthesis workshop explores the challenges of navigating rapidly changing, turbulent times (at a macro and micro level) in a conscious, compassionate, present manner. Not only is our planet in distress and peril, but more and more people feel the stress and anxiety of accelerated change and uncertainty in their day to day lives.
How do we open our eyes to what is happening around us everywhere, and how might we respond with wisdom and compassion?
These are the questions and aims of this 2 day exploration with an optional 3 hour online follow-up 1 month later for participants willing/ eager to ground and realize their personal project/plan.
The workshop’s overall theme concerns awakening from the unconscious trance we all live under. Emerging from beneath the robotic, virtual reality, dominated by incessant thinking, analyzing, planning, worrying with its attempt to control everything and everyone in our lives. We’ll explore our grasping, our turning away and our habits of distraction, in favour of conscious, mindful embodied presence and awareness of life, in the here and now.
- We will use the breath and rootedness in the body as anchors, introducing or re-visiting mindfulness and psychosynthesis practices to bring us ‘home’ to our experience.
- We will practice developing courageand strength (“coeur” or heart, as it is in French) using heart-based approaches instead of traditional thinking practices.
- We will learn and practice facingfears and suffering with strength and compassion instead of default fight-flight-flee responses.
- The ‘harmonics’ of psychosynthesis. and mindfulness offer us avenues to compassionate awareness and willing spirit.
*Compassionate Awareness and Will: Assagioli’s ‘mother’-‘father’ dance: compassionate loving observer and wilful, directing/orchestrating energy of being; understanding and practice to identify and connect with both aspects of being.
Compassionate Awareness: Importance of compassion, not just awareness for self and others. Dealing with difficult situations and emotions (anger, anxiety, fear) and suffering.
- Exploring default reactions, particularly around anxiety, fear and other ‘difficult’ emotions.
- Disconnecting from reacting to develop freedom of response: mindfulness, dis-identification in action, and R.A.I.N.
- Creativity as antidote…means to move, grow, and flow. Awareness of how each person is already creative-bringing embodied awareness to open up more ways of creatively being present and responsive.
Willing: Where do I want to go with this? What is important to me? What do I want to do and be?
- How to I grow and use will in a compassionate and strong embodied way in my life?
- My personal plan/project/objectives. Grounded and realized over following 30 days with optional online feedback session one month later.
When: Saturday & Sunday September 28-29th 2019 (10 am-6 pm Sat; 9:30-4:30 pm Sunday)
Where: Beautiful private venue in quiet, natural environment in SW France in the historic Perigord, 1h 15 min drive from Bergerac airport, 2 hrs from Toulouse, 3 hrs from Bordeaux. Or 15 min from Gourdon train station (Paris-Toulouse line). Train station pick-up in Gourdon can be organized in advance for a small fee, or done by taxi.
Conducive to a return to nature and mindful meditation, walking, and group exploration, exchange, and practice.
New dates to be announced. For more information please contact me.
CONTACT- Questions and Registration: Contact Me