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Creating a new ritual.

Creating a new ritual.

Many of you may not know this, but several years ago I had a series of Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs), otherwise referred to as "mini strokes". I was blind in my right eye for a few days, but a series of very expensive MRI's didn't show any clot or brain or serious nerve damage, so I came out of the event fairly unscathed...and very lucky. I was physically in good health at the time, at least when looking from the outside. I exercised, did yoga, ran, walked the dog, ate well, meditated, and wasn't in a situation where I was treating my body poorly with drugs or alcohol. Or so I thought. Stress is not just "the mind killer"- stress is the body killer. The negative impacts of stress on physical and energetic health cannot be overstated, and at the time of the TIAs I was housing so much accumulated stress, anxiety, exhaustion, and insomnia it was a wonder I was standing upright. Having learned that lesson first-hand the hard way, I set out to seek out new solutions and solve this new enigma. During this odyssey, I discovered Restorative Yoga. After just a few months of restorative yoga- going just 1 or 2 times a week- I literally lost two inches from around my waist. I was astonished- how could laying on the ground all snuggled up with blankets, bolsters and pillows, chilling the eff out, make me more fit than running around and sweating like a maniac? The answer, I found during a frenzied online search, was adrenal fatigue. While I was working on TOTEM, meeting with clients for 1:1 sessions and facilitating meditation workshops, I also had a very unpleasant, aggressive, corporate job. And though I worked from home, the "toxic environment" of this profession reached its tentacles well into my energetic and physical bodies on a nearly continual basis. In this profession, everything was an emergency and everyone was constantly in fight or flight. There were no "working hours"- these were global roles for a global company, so you were essentially "on call" throughout your day and night, without the ability to push back or assert personal boundaries for fear of losing your job. Sound familiar? This paradigm seems to be the working model across industry, geography and job type, and many of you can probably relate to the stress and strain of these dynamics. This situation had, in turn, caused me to enter a state known as "adrenal fatigue": an inadequate production of one or more hormones as a result of chronic stress, resulting in fatigue, body aches, unexplained weight gain and insomnia. It is believed that adrenal fatigue contributes to all kinds of more serious health issues like stroke, embolism, heart attack and even death. Ongoing fight or flight responses had taxed my system to the point where it could no longer repair or reset itself; restorative yoga immediately helped, offering an opportunity for my system to recover. Restorative yoga was everything I loved: an efficient life hack that enabled weight loss, fitness, and optimal internal health without having to sweat or be miserable stretching and straining and exposing myself to potential pain or injury. In other words: I'm lazy, and if there's an easier or more pleasurable way to get the same result, I'm going to take it. Also, restorative yoga became a weekly ritual that I gave to myself- an opportunity to take a time out, meditate, and chill out in the eye of the storm. "Who wouldn't want to do this?", I remembered thinking, "It's all the upside and none of the work." So, naturally, when the pandemic and quarantine came around, I took it as an opportunity to get certified to teach Restorative Yoga. If this practice could do so much for me- the most hopeless of all stress cases and overfunctioners- it can do WONDERS for you. Please join me Fridays for Candlelit Restorative Yoga with gentle energy work at the Oak Park space starting on August 28th. This is an opportunity for you to create a new ritual- one that doesn't give in to the manic pace of modern life and instead empowers you to take charge of your energy, mind, and overall health. Given social distancing and related capacity limits, this class will require online registration here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/106971526716 As an added perk, I will be providing hands-off energy work for attendees, further working to remove stress or toxicity and enable the free movement of healthy, life-giving energy. Go into your weekends free from the bondage of your job. Stop letting your workplace live rent free in your mind and energy body when you're supposed to be resting, engaging and living your life. And if you're not working, there are other stressors that will creep and crawl their way into your mind, taxing your system with the fear and anxiety of an uncertain future. Either way, the results will come fast and steady, and you'll be so grateful you set the time aside for your new ritual. Got questions? Reach out to me via email anytime: rachel@totemreadings.com -Rachel


West Loop: 1313 West Randolph Chicago IL 60607

Oak Park: 715 Lake Street Suite 200 Oak Park, IL 60301



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(872) 888-6928