I couldn’t do without THIS daily practice

I didn’t realise that my Sacred Seven practice was how I manage stress and keep my mind clear.  

It evolved organically. I just started doing what felt good first thing in the morning and after a few weeks, it had become a habit.

My mornings are now a far calmer start to the day, quite the contrast to the usual mind scramble I’d usually experience where stumbling out of bed and immediately looking at my phone would trigger a sense of rising panic and discomfort.

Before my Sacred Seven practice, I had little grasp of my essential health needs nor did I realise that the first few minutes of my day impact how my entire day unfolds.

Your fundamental requirements

As I adjust to the thin air here in Ladakh which leaves me puffed out after just a short walk, I’ve been thinking about what else besides oxygen are fundamental to my health. What do we need to not just survive, but to thrive?

It can be tricky to figure out particularly because air needs change depending on so many factors e.g. our surroundings, diet, season, the company we keep, amount of time we have to relax.

Various experts have attempted to summarise the essentials of human need. The most famous model is probably Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

But what I want to draw attention to are the things that are specific to your own health and well-being – the things I often explain to my clients as your “non-negotiables”.

This might look like a walk first thing in the morning, eating a solid breakfast beteen 7-9am (in line with the Chinese Medicine clock), a weekly session with a therapist, or at least eight hours of sleep every night.

If you’ve already figured out your fundamental needs – hit REPLY and let me me know what they are! (If you’re not getting this from my Go Slow Friday Letter, you can sign up here.)

If you are unsure, let me suggest a starting point.

Creating your Sacred Seven

Establish a daily practice that helps you nurture a baseline connection to self. It is from this place that you will discover your fundamental needs.

I figured out that in as little as seven minutes (about the time it takes to have a shower, or prepare breakfast) you can find the space in which to re-connect to yourself, and hear your inner guidance system. This is what my Sacred Seven currently looks like.

  1. Ideally I am outdoors in Nature but indoors is ok too (and allows for lighting a candle)
  2. I prefer to practice before 8am and before breakfast
  3. I like a mix of movement (embodied) meditation and stillness  
  4. I begin with Do-In practice – lightly tapping all over starting at the head and working down to the feet (read about Do-In here)
  5. I need peace so listen to music if there is man-made noise (usually this)
  6. I practice Qigong and for as long as feels good, continually watching my breathing
  7. I hold a space of nun-judgement – whatever arises is ok including difficult emotions
  8. I finish with a Reiki cleanse called Hatsurei Ho – cleansing the energy field of anything I’ve picked up

Your Sacred Seven may look completely different – the important thing is that it is sustainable and realistic for you. 

If I don’t practice in the morning, then the evening is ok. If I don’t practice at all some days, that’s ok too. 

Just ‘knowing’ that I have a practice to call on particularly when I feel ungrounded, anxious or restless (which is a lot over these last 18 months) brings relief. 

After a few weeks of figuring out what works , the practice becomes a pleasure, something to look forward to and therein lies peace and the profoundness of ‘discovering’ ourselves and regularly tuning in to our needs.

‘’This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” – Dalai Lama

The Sacred Seven helps me see and hear my true needs rather than the false desires of the senses – like cake and chocolate!   

For example, if my lower back (Kidney energy) is cold to touch, I know I am running on empty and need to replenish (food, Nature time, rest). If I am tired, I lie down and get as comfortable as I possibly can for a timeout. (This was a tough one but burn-out is a harsh teacher).

If I feel low mood and weak, I am likely eating too much sugar. Alcohol is perhaps my biggest enemy, disrupting my sleep and thwarting my joy. (A wise soul once told me: drinking steals tomorrow’s happiness.)

Connecting to your inner world

The Sacred Seven helps me establish a connection to ‘inner me’ – the real me, rather than the me that is often hijacked by my senses. The real me is the one who exists as the observer, the watcher of the chaotic monkey.

It is during these minutes of calm and connection to my inner self that I get the clarity that directs me to what I need for positive health eg. food, rest, time alone or exercise. Creative ideas often come to me too (like the theme for this post!) 

“I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence, and the truth comes to me.” – Albert Einstein

I also like the Sacred Seven because it reminds me of my agency in my own healing process, rather than looking externally to ‘experts’. It embraces the wisdom of healing proposed by Benedictine nun, poet and musician Hildegard von Bingen, writing in the twelfth century, as “a natural, slow, human process, driven by the patient herself”.

In my daily practice, I finally hear the wisdom that is always flowing from the soul (also known as spirit or intuition). It’s always whispering support and guidance – you just have to get quiet enough to hear it.

This guidance is your compass – what is yours pointing you to? Give it a try and let me know!

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To discover more about creating your Sacred Seven BOOK a Guided Self-Shiatsu session. We will explore your current health picture, your goals and examine the most appropriate practices from Eastern Medicine to support your health and happiness.

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About Me

I founded SJA Holistics to help people get well, feel great, and stay well using the power of practices derived from Eastern Medicine including Shiatsu, Reiki, Acupressure and Qi Gong.

For over a decade I’ve worked with Ki and have first-hand experience of how energy- and body-work can lead to positive health. Working with the energy body as well as the physical can bring profound changes to mental, emotional and physical issues.

After completing three years of study for the Professional Shiatsu Diploma, I honed my experience working voluntarily for six months in a national UK charity giving Shiatsu to people recovering from substance misuse.

It is my mission to help you recognise your own self-healing ability and to empower you with the skills and knowledge you need to dramatically improve your self-care.

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My Approach

We create your current health picture. Then we get clear on your goals so that we are aligned from the outset. This makes it easier to monitor progress.

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Intelligent Energy

Every one of us has a universal energy, also known as lifeforce, chi, prana and Ki, that underpins our whole existence, and within that, our health. Stimulating the flow of Ki is how you can get well, feel great and stay well.

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