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Spring Break For The Liver

Updated: May 10




Because we cannot scrub our inner body we need to learn a few skills to help cleanse our tissues, organs and mind. This is the art of Ayurveda. Sebastian Pole


Black woman presenting to a group


It was my first big presentation in my new role as the Marketing Manager for Calculus, Post-Calculus and Statistics. I wanted to take on the upper level math booklist because it helped me to shift the narrative for Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant employees. After 18 months of market research, focus groups and strategy sessions, I was ready for my part of the presentation of our teams' upper-level math list to our three national and two international cohorts during our National Sales Meeting. Our team went through a rigorous series of rehearsals, and I felt prepared. But, in the back of my mind was the lingering concern about ... let's just call him Mr. P. He was the "big cheese" of the organization and had a reputation for heckling presenters by publicly humiliating them during their sessions. I was a new manager and had heard that Mr. P. had an illness, so I believed I would be safe. He probably didn't even know who I was.



Black woman presenting and white man yelling


As over 200 colleagues poured into my first session, I scanned the room. No sign of Mr. P. As I mentioned in my Cross-Cultural Healing Haven blog, I include people of all nationalities in my PowerPoint slides. I wondered if I had gone too far in my new role because I had also produced a promotional video that included a hip-hop song to celebrate the reboot/new edition of our Calculus textbook. I knew that my presentation might surprise my white colleagues, but I believed strongly that they needed the exposure as much as my Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant colleagues needed the representation. Even if I had gone "too far," I couldn't imagine a white colleague coming up to me and saying, "Great session, but could you just put White people in your slides next time?" It was showtime, so I pushed play on the video. My colleagues seemed to enjoy it, but during the last minute of the video the back door opened and in walked Mr. P. I assured myself that he would behave because of his illness.


I enthusiastically began my presentation and jumped into the new features of our calculus book. About seven minutes into my presentation, Mr. P. stands up and yells from the back of the room, "You better know what the hell you're talking about ... " I didn't hear the rest of what he said because I could feel two sensations going on within me at the same time. The first sensation was ominous - a combination of a pure "Oh no you didn't just yell at a sistah!" righteous indignation, anger and that moment that occurs just before the neck jerking and finger snapping sassiness.



The second sensation was curious and gave me pause. It was a still quiet voice inside me that said, 'Listen. Pay attention to what he is saying.'


My body whisperer took over, and I felt my feet sink into the ground, I pulled my shoulders up, back and down and started taking slow deep breaths while pushing through my annoyance to listen to this rude, arrogant, insensitive bully of a man. As I began to listen, I realized that the content of my presentation would respond to and crush every objection that he raised. All I had to do was stay calm and resist being baited into the knee-jerk reaction. It would have been impossible for me to maintain my composure without deep breathing exercises. So, I stood still while he yelled and listened intently. When he finished, I enthusiastically said, "Thank you Mr. P. for sharing your concerns. Well, everyone, Mr. P. wants proof, so let's get to the proof."


Audience clapping


What followed was pure alchemy. I sailed through my presentation with confidence, making sure to place special emphasis on all areas of proof that was questioned. When I finished my presentation, I was completely stunned as the entire room stood up and gave me a standing ovation. My colleagues' applause was more of a nonverbal objection to Mr. P.'s behavior. During this meeting, I was overwhelmed with sales reps and even executives of all nationalities who said "OMG, talk about grace under pressure/OMG, I can't believe you shut Mr. P. down/OMG, I can't believe you put Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People ☥ hip-hop music into your presentation/Wow!" The Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant sales reps made a special effort to thank me in private. They didn't feel safe thanking me in front of their peers which speaks to the social toxins (Ginwright/Cammarota, p.85) that existed within our company culture.


I'm in awe of the fact that, at the time, I had heard of but never practiced Qigong. I begin my standing Qigong lessons by instructing participants to "root," which means to allow our feet to sink into the ground, pull our shoulders up, back and down and tuck our tailbone under. How did I know to do that under duress?



Understand yourself based on the wisdom you have inside and not the programming you have received … When you were born, you knew everything there is to know about everything there is to know ... rediscover your Godself and the unlimited powers that flow from the depths of your being ... ☥ Dr. Paul Goss ☥ Naturopathic Doctor


Somehow, I managed to transcend my emotions, excel in the midst of a hostile environment and position myself as a person whose voice will not be suppressed within that organization. Though anger and frustration were arising in me, they did not control my actions. I believe that Auset ☥ Goddess Of Alchemy was using my intuition to demonstrate right action for me to follow. I share this story as we approach the Spring Equinox because our liver is deeply affected by anger and frustration, two emotions that can sabotage our personal and professional efforts.


Flower budding in spring with snow


The Spring Equinox usually occurs on March 20th, 21st or sometimes the 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere and September 20th, 21st or 22nd in the Southern Hemisphere. When the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing the Spring Equinox, the Southern Hemisphere is experiencing the Fall Equinox. Springtime is when we notice the weather shifting from cold and dry to warmer and wet. The word "Equinox" comes from aequus, the Latin word for "equal," and nox, the Latin word for "night." It is the time of the year when we experience nearly equal periods of day and night.


It is the optimal time of year to gently cleanse our liver and to make sure old habits that no longer serve us are not brought into the new season. If we imagine our lives to be like a garden, now is the time to pull weeds that may have surfaced and nurture the new growth that is occurring. If we do not take the time to rejuvenate our liver and reduce inflammation from winter, allergies will rise up and make our lives miserable.



Trees blooming in the spring


Our liver is the CEO of our body, with over 600 functions (that we know of). Our liver “reacts to the intense anguish, cyclic rage, strong fears and unbearable difficulties” (Barral Institute). According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, continually waking up between 1am and 3am is an indication that the liver or gallbladder is out of balance. From a broader perspective, our liver rules our ability to plan our lives. Our liver is our largest internal organ. During the Spring Equinox, I offer love and gratitude to my liver by giving it a spring break. During the traditional spring break, we might leave our place of school or work and go to the beach, relax, party and have fun. The equivalent of those behaviors for our liver would be to cultivate harmony and balance through physicalmentalemotional ☥ spiritual self-care. Let's explore a few ways to cultivate emotional harmony and balance to our internal CEO:


☥ Take some time to reflect on the past three months. What accomplishments can we celebrate? Are there any unresolved issues? Challenges that need a fresh

perspective? Self-care commitments that have been put on the back burner?

☥ Forgive ourselves. All forgiveness is self-forgiveness. The past is dead. The future is

unknown. The actions we take today to make things right is what truly matters.

Unforgiveness attaches us to the person or situation like a puppet on a string and

places us inside the “analysis paralysis” prison. Forgiveness sets us free so that we

can heal and move forward. Forgive and follow through with integrity and action.



Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ☥ Marianne Williamson ☥



Black man asking a Black woman for forgiveness


☥ Honestly and humbly say what we need to say to the person who needs to hear it. If

harm has occurred, say, "I apologize" instead of "I'm sorry" because "I apologize"

focuses on positive healing and active responsibility. "I'm sorry" is a faulty

identification with a negative affirmation. Honest self-expression relieves the body of

emotional inflammation which can be more harmful to the body than toxic food.

☥ Release people who do not belong in our lives. People come into our lives for a reason,

season or lifetime. Take the lesson and move forward. If they heal, they may cycle

back into our lives transformed.

☥ Live in the present moment and in an attitude of gratitude. We may find ourselves

overwhelmed with joy if we took the time to appreciate what we have and take actions

that serve the highest good of all. Instead of ruminating over what we wish we had,

enable us to manifest the desires of our heart.





Healing Among Genders

I've been thinking a lot about the balancing and collective healing of masculine and feminine energies. Of interest to me is the masculine habit of using "pussy" and "douchebag" to insult each other and to coerce each other into acquiescence to peer pressure. The use of "douchebag" is particularly curious to me (and women who I have interviewed) because it reflects an attempt to prove the understanding of something of which the person is actually ignorant. It's like calling a person a "waterpik." However, it's assumed meaning, unconscious and pervasive use is a tell-tale sign of unresolved trauma. I've also recognized that these terms are modeled for the masculine energy ad nauseam in the media, particularly in TV shows such as "Supernatural" in which those terms are consistently repeated throughout each episode. During a social programming research assignment from SPIRIT, I was determined to watch this show until the characters evolved, but gave up after 8 seasons because I couldn't take it anymore (Supernatural ran for 15 seasons).


I began to become more aware of the patterns of social conditioning after reading books like "The Marketing Power of Emotion." The patterns that I saw in "Supernatural" and many other popular shows, movies, other forms of media, etc. seemed to be training the general public to bait people into knee-jerk reactions through the normalization of speaking and acting without conscious awareness. What I hadn't considered is something that one of my beloved and wise LGBTQIA colleagues Kenneth Winfrey (Psychotherapist and Kemetic Yoga Instructor) mentioned which is that the majority of terms that the masculine use to insult each other are connected to their parents and tend to be ultra-focused on the feminine (i.e. motherfucker, which is a deeply violent term, pussy, douchebag, son of a bitch, etc.). I cannot recall any masculine terms that the feminine uses to insult or bait the feminine. I invite anyone reading this blog to please share their insights.





So, what is going on between the masculine and the feminine energies that remains unspoken and unaddressed? What do we need to heal? How can we do a better job of supporting and uplifting each other? Are these passive-aggressive behaviors a product of socializing men to "man up" in unhealthy ways (i.e. suppressing their emotions)? Are there subconscious resentments that men hold that we need to call out and heal? The Spring Equinox (and also the Winter Solstice) is a great time to begin to think deeply about and change these behaviors.


I believe in the great brotherhood/sisterhood bond of love between the masculine and the feminine. These bonds assist us in the co-creation of healthy relationships. As our gender non-conforming family and friends would assert, it is even more important for us to co-create a higher bond of love between us that transcends gender. That said, because this method of peer pressure is so prevalent in our culture, I'm questioning if men carry any deep wounds that have gone unaddressed thus far and bringing attention to it so that healing can begin. Words have tremendous power, and it is vitally important that we endeavor to choose the words that we speak wisely.


Asking introspective questions help us to look deeply inside ourselves and begin the healing process.


Multicultural people spending time in contemplation


Let's take a look at a few more pragmatic radiant health strategies to help us move through the Spring Equinox.


Spring Break Prep

☥ REFRAME CHALLENGES as an opportunity to connect with our divine nature so

that we can allow in the greater thing that is endeavoring to reveal itself

☥ HEIGHTEN AWARENESS by spending time in silence, contemplation and meditation

☥ CONSIDER if our current thoughts ☥ behaviors serve our highest good and course

☥ JOURNAL PROMPTS:

Did I do what I said I would do? If so, how do I level up? If not, why not? What actions

do I need to take to honor my word ☥ commitment to my highest good?

How have I been nourishing my bodymindemotions ☥ spirit?

What hourly ☥ daily ☥ weekly ☥ monthly self-care strategies (breathing exercises,

stretch breaks, therapeutic movement, vacations, etc.) do I need?

☥ RESTRUCTURE BUSINESS ☥ VIDEO CONFERENCING MEETINGS by pausing to stretch

do a brief breathing exercise ☥ take a restroom break every 40 minutes. Taking wellness

breaks increase self-awareness ☥ mental focus ☥ dexterity ☥ concentration and

improves overall health.


Spring Break Cleansing Strategies

While cleansing is important (we don’t want old toxins moving into the new season) it is equally important to be gentle with our cleansing processes. As a general rule, attempt to go without meat four days before and two days after the equinox if possible – or limit to lunchtime only. Keep your cleansing process simple and intuitive as you learn new strategies. My instructions are comprehensive. An easy way to get started is to eat in-season fruits and veggies, order vegan soups from healthy restaurants, put curry powder on your foods and spend the majority of your time in silence, meditation, contemplation and journaling.



Vegan soups


Suggested Spring Break Morning Rejuvenators

☥ Spend time in silence, contemplation and meditation. Practice breathing exercises to

☥ Eat one cup of cantaloupe + cayenne pepper (as hot as you can stand it, but don’t

suffer) and wait 20 minutes before eating anything else.

☥ Drink a cup of cleansing “orange juice” 18 limes (or lemons) + nine dates + one fresh

turmeric root + one inch piece of ginger (more if you can take it). Fill blender with

distilled water and blend to a juice. Pour into a pitcher and drink a cup each morning

and evening (skip the cayenne and go light/skip herbs if nursing/pregnant).

☥ Eat fruits that are in season before meals or at least two hours after meals.

☥ Have a small serving of kichadi if you need a hearty breakfast.

☥ Do some fun activity that makes you sweat.



Healing herbs


Suggested Spring Break Afternoon Rejuvenators

☥ Make a large kichadi stew. You can eat as much kichadi as you'd like.

☥ If you only eat three times per day, make lunch your heaviest meal of the day. I

recommend several small servings throughout your day (listen to your body and have a

small serving whenever you feel hungry).

☥ Include a salad of dark greens such as chicory, endive, dandelion greens, raw onions (if

you can digest them - white or red) finely chopped, garlic (skip or add a pinch of

asafoetida, which is superior to garlic, if you cannot digest garlic), radishes, avocados,

fresh cayenne peppers (use sparingly if suffering from hemorrhoids), watercress,

shredded beets – with a dressing of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar + unrefined

hemp oil or olive oil + pinch of sea or Celtic salt (blend with basil, parsley, rosemary or

other fresh herbs for flavor).

☥ Add a delicious mound of Kamitic Kultured Kraut to your salad for added flavor and

to promote a healthy microbiome.

☥ If you don't like to cook, order vegan takeout from Asian ☥ Indian restaurants.

☥ Take a short walk after lunch to stimulate digestion.





Suggested Spring Break Evening Rejuvenators

☥ Have another serving of kichadi. Add a generous serving of Kamitic Kultured Kraut to

your kichadi for added flavor and to promote a healthy microbiome. Refrain from

eating after 7pm.

☥ After 7pm, drink delicious herbal teas such as chamomile, peppermint, red clover, rose

hips, ginger and/or turmeric. Eat fruit or drink a cup of "orange juice" if you feel hungry.

Experiment often and enjoy learning more about herbs, the medicine in your pantry.

☥ Be silent for an hour before bedtime. Spend as much time as possible in silence and contemplation. Journal your thoughts and emotions. Honor your truth and face your

fears. Often times, journaling or saying your fears out loud (while breathing slowly and

deeply through the discomfort) empowers you and provides you with the opportunity

to create solutions instead of being immobilized by fear. If you struggle with monkey

mind (inability to transcend your thoughts), practice focusing on the space between

your thoughts with exercises such as the sky meditation and Qigong.


Spring Break Party For Your Liver

Your liver loves joy. Click on the image below for 10 additional strategies and a few good laughs.



Black family eating fruit and vegetables



Black woman holding a basket of cabbage








Mother and daughter with map


Epilogue ☥ Your Treasure Map For Self-Care 

Thank you for taking the time to actively engage in your own self-care. If you have ever spent time at a hammam ☥ steam room ☥ sauna, you will notice that it is a comfortable space because you are wearing minimal or no clothing and you can just be yourself. However, after a short time, it starts to get hot, and you begin to sweat. This is a good thing because you are helping your body to eliminate toxins. If you want to detoxify your body correctly you will:

☥ Breathe slowly and deeply to help your body adjust to the intensity of the heat.

☥ Sip water every 15 minutes to stay hydrated.

☥ Have a piece of fruit ☥ pumpkin seeds ☥ favorite healthy snack available.

☥ Take a shower after excessive sweating.

☥ Go into a cold room/take a cold plunge/cold water rinse off to cool down before doing

another sweat and to stimulate your lymphatic system.

☥ Go for a walk in nature, spend time in meditation ☥ contemplation, have a healthy meal

and give your body some time to complete the healing process (which could include

sending you messages through your intuition about your next steps).


As you journey through ☥ interact with the blogs ☥ other content on phyllishubbard.com, you might have an insight that causes you to suddenly feel mentally ☥ emotionallyhot” -- which could show up as:

☥ “Ah-ha” moments

☥ A hop-in-the-bed-and-cry-yourself-to-sleep or fetal position crying time of intensive

self-care

☥ Intense feelings of anger/regret about something in your past

☥ Disorientation caused by the realization of truth

Strong reactions such as heightened senses, vomiting; an urge to release emotions

as yelling/screaming, going outside for fresh air/to take a walk, punching a boxing

bag/pillow; a feeling of tightness in the chest, etc.


Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations


If you find yourself having a strong reaction, I encourage you to flow with it while helping your body to release mental ☥ emotional toxins by using the same five self-care strategies listed above for releasing physical toxins. Your body talks to you all the time, but unconscious adherence to social conditioning can mute its messages.


Strong reactions are your body’s way of letting you know that there is a deeper issue requiring your attention.

Keep revisiting the content ☥ utilizing the five self-care strategies until you no longer experience the strong reaction, release fears and have identified ☥ transformed ☥ removed the root cause of the issue. You will find additional strategies throughout this website that you can add to your mental health self-care toolkit.


Self-Care Sustainability Suggestions




A Cross-Cultural Healing Haven – read this blog to understand the purpose of

phyllishubbard.com and the meaning behind its organization ☥ symbols.

☥ Revisit the content periodically and make a note of if/how your perceptions have

evolved.

☥ Check out the other pages on phyllishubbard.com:

Home - Watch the videos. Click on the images in the Spiritual Guidance section.

Each image has a story that might assist your self-care journey. Learn about

other spiritual practices.

About - Learn about my background ☥ reasons for co-creating

phyllishubbard.com

with Spirit. Explore healing through the image carousel and videos.

Shop Kamitology - Purchase and download vital tools for your personal growth

☥ development.

Reclaiming Our Humanity - Help us develop and disseminate video courses.

Rise TV - Practice breathing and movement exercises and deepen your

understanding of healing through the experiences of community members.

Check back periodically to discover new/re-experience the content.

Journey - This is your invitation to own the journey to radiance. Experience the

journey and download healing resources to share with your friends, family and

community.


When you share healing, healing comes back to and flows through you.

About Sharing ...

During my first presentation to an all-Black audience, I introduced 20-year-old research on the hazards of sitting. I presented the research because I noticed that people sat for way too long at convenings and realized that the information was not disseminated to Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant communities. I was determined to intentionally include this research, often surprising participants by getting people up to stretch. After more than 13 years of intentional work, Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People are just barely beginning to normalize conscious movement. We still have a long way to go, and it is important that we share what we know as much as we can to prevent the disenfranchisement of wellness information to Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant communities.





Please do not keep phyllishubbard.com to yourself. We will not co-create a better world until we heal our current, past/childhood traumas. We will not love others until we learn to love ourselves.




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https://bit.ly/SeeMeRise


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How to use the gua sha


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Multicultural group practicing yoga





About Dr. Phyllis SHU Hubbard's work as a Health Warrior


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