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Tom Eddins, L.Ac.
11:19 pm

3 Questions Posed by Sunday's Solar Eclipse

Astrology is not meant to provide answers, it’s meant to raise questions! Here are 3 for each of us to answer for the next 6 months:

            Sun/Moon (in Pisces) conjunction with Neptune (in Pisces)

1) Are you making space in your life for spiritual guidance? If not you risk being lost on the sea of distraction. This aspect asks you if you are willing to take 10-20 minutes out of your day to tune out and tap in. It asks you if you are ready to let go of your nostalgic longing for belonging and take hold of your true constant connection. If you’re not making even a little time to clear your mind then you’re gonna flounder, like a fish flopping on the sand. If you’re not sure where to start you could try a yoga or qigong class. You might even tryout the Headspace App, it’s got about 1000 5-star reviews. Check it out here

            Saturn (in Saggitarius) square to Chiron (in Pisces)

2) There is divine grace and there is self-responsibility. Both elements are a part of healing whatever emotional wounds you have... and we all have them. Are you ready to take some tangible steps toward living your truth? At some point our past wounds become points of empathy and compassion... if we accept them and work to gain higher perspective. So are you willing to do some of that work? … If not then you may be blindsided by the limitations of the blinders you wouldn’t take off. Should you rise to the challenge though, you may become a force of resource for others going through trials of their own.

            Mars/Uranus (in Aries) opposing Jupiter (in Libra) with Pluto T-squaring (in Capricorn)

3) Are you ready to let go of an outmoded system in your life? Are you ready to take big, bold action to lay down some new tracks? We have been dancing with this dynamic of unrest since Nov. 2016 but now the introduction of Mars turns up the heat! With a new level of intensity it poses the question, “What will you do?” Your forthcoming actions over the next 6 months will answer for you. Act with discernment and control and a foundation for something great in your life will be laid… act rashly and there may be a lot of fires to put out in your future. Fail to act and you could be bowled over by chaos and the unexpected.

Yes, there’s a fire lit under us right now! May skillful questions help us find useful answers in the deep water that is the source of life within us all.

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eli@massageforpeople.com
10:47 am

Grief


My Grandmother, “Mamima” passed away two weeks ago just short of her 90th birthday. Over the past 10 years our relationship had changed due to distance, her condition and many other factors. Visiting her at the nursing home was not a pleasant experience and our visits became shorter. When her health deteriorated over the years, deep down I knew she was READY to die and meet “El Senor.” Mamima was a devout Christian who prayed daily, both morning and night. Nothing to her was more important than her relationship with God, her children, Grandchildren and Great-grandchildren.

Knowing of her willingness to leave her body behind and meet God, I felt prepared that when she did pass away I would have some sadness but mostly celebrate her death as her being “in a better place” and “not suffering.”  I was dead (no pun intended) wrong.

My first recognition of the reality of grief happened as soon as the nurse told me to get down to Florida as soon as possible. I couldn’t speak. I choked up with tears. My nose became runny. As a friend noted to me later, this would be the “ugly cry” where snot reigns supreme and there’s no end in sight. When I finally got down to Florida, she had passed. I chanted “Om Namah Shivaya” and couldn’t make it through. She was gone. The woman who told me that she prayed for me every day and asked for God to take care of me was dead.  Mamima loved me as a son. She raised me, along with my mother and Grandfather. She was a deep part of my life for the first 16 years, and still a big part for the next 12. She cooked special food for me when I visited, and reminded me of how important a love of God and family were. I had forgotten. She took care of people in her corner apartment in the Bronx with food, an ear, healing hands and prayer.

The grieving took many turns. “Sweet” cries came with a sound, or a thought of something connected with her, a few tears down the face. The ugly cries came in waves, often out of nowhere. I grieve as I write this Blog.

I will never try and make someone feel better when they’re grieving. A simple hand hold, hug, or hand on the back in silence is plenty. Please stop saying things like “they’re in a better place” (Yes, they are) or “it happens for a reason” (never understood that) or my personal favorite “time heals all pain.” It doesn’t.  Instead of trying to make me feel better, help me to feel. Grief has no agenda, you shouldn’t either.  It is uncomfortable for me to be honest when I know that your discomfort with pain and discomfort is going to lead you to try and fix it. Just stop. Hold the space. It does pass. I am grateful every time I cry, but not while I am crying. Everyone has their method. This is mine.

Grief is not rational. It’s not convenient. It has no boundaries. It comes, it goes. It is deep and it hurts. Let it, even if it has been days, months or years. It is a wonderful teacher, and transformational.   



A client gave me this beautiful poem:

To Sandshadow, 

A Native American Poem


Don’t stand by my grave and weep,

for I am not there

I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow

I’m the diamond’s glint on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn’s rain.

Don’t stand by my grave and cry.

I am not there.

I did not die.



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Tom Eddins, L.Ac.
2:12 pm

5 Time Tested Ways to Dissolve Stress

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Most of us can attest to the fact that stress is reaching epidemic proportions in modern society. Balancing work, family, health, money, etc. is a challenge that many of us feel ill equipped to face. Eighty percent of the doctor visits in our country are stress related. Our quality of life and health is largely determined by how we adapt and relate to daily stressors. Excessive stress not only takes its toll on our bodies, but strips the joy out of life and suppresses our creative instincts. Without physical health, joy, and creativity, life is scarcely worth living. Dissolving stress is certainly possible, but takes a commitment to making lifestyle choices that create balance throughout our lives. Here are a few ancient techniques for eliminating stress, increasing energy, and creating emotional balance. These are some of the most powerful tools we have for achieving optimal health and preventing future disease.

1) Meditation: Practiced for thousands of years in many Asian cultures, meditation has long been recognized as one of the most powerful tools we have for cultivating peace of mind and balance. Numerous studies have proven the incredibly positive effect that meditation has on stress reduction. There are literally hundreds of meditation techniques taught around the world. For beginners, the most helpful approach is to start with basic mindfulness techniques that develop both relaxation and alertness. Once a basic ground of awareness has been stabilized, then more advanced meditation practices can be undertaken. Meditation is a practice that helps us identify with stillness and silence. It cultivates intuition and surrender. It can deeply help just about anybody, but is truly a miraculous practice for reducing stress and anxiety.

2) Yoga: This ancient practice has also been utilized by millions of people throughout history. Yoga is typically considered a form of meditation that involves putting the body into a variety of poses in combination with deep breathing to induce mental clarity, increased energy, and physical strength and flexibility. The healing benefits of yoga have been repeatedly documented by a variety of clinical studies. There are many forms of yoga and it is best to experiment to determine which form feels the most helpful for your needs. I highly recommend combining yoga with sitting meditation, as they work synergistically to induce deep states of relaxation.

3) Qigong: One of the pillars of traditional Chinese medicine, Mindful Movement Exercise (qigong) involves learning to feel the harmony and continuity of various movements as they are coordinated with the breath. Qigong involves gathering the mind to focus on the body in its relationship to gravity and motion. Using the breath as a tool for feeling expansion and contraction throughout the whole body as you engage in simple movements allows you to release stress and clear the mind. This also has profound calming and energizing benefits and, like yoga, is a form of moving meditation. Qigong practice is often focused around benefiting the different organs and their functions in the body such as digestion, respiration and circulating and cleansing the blood. Like yoga, there are many forms of qigong, some which have general benefits to well-being and some which are better prescribed and taught by a qualified practitioner to benefit specific health problems. Tai Chi is another popular exercise with similarities to qigong in practice and benefits.

4) Deep Breathing: This is a simple tool that can have immediate stress reducing benefits. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Then, simply lie down flat and place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Take a deep breath in through the nose, ensuring the diaphragm inflates and the hand on your belly rises. Aim for 6 to 10 deep, slow breathes per minute for 10 minutes. This should immediately reduce your heart rate and even lower your blood pressure. If you can make it a daily practice for 6 – 8 weeks it may have more long term benefits on reducing the physiologic effects of stress in the body.

5) Nutrition: Eating a diet high in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and low glycemic carbohydrates can go a long way toward healing stress. The standard American diet (high in processed foods, saturated fat, sugar, and transfats) has been linked to anxiety, depression, and increased stress in numerous studies. Change your diet to an organic, whole foods approach and both your body and mind will reward you beyond measure. Poor adaptability to stress is often a sign that our brains are starving for nutrients that we aren’t getting from our standard American diets.

Making these lifestyle changes may not be easy in the initial phases. It is often helpful to seek out the support of a health care practitioner to guide you through these transitions. Once you start feeling the enormous payoff of making such changes, there truly is no turning back. Your stress will dissolve, your weight will decrease, and your energy will skyrocket, not to mention the preventative measures you are taking for heart health. Isn’t that enough to warrant making a few changes?

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