Amethyst Lotus recently hosted a book signing with author Amy Williams where she talked about a heart-centered way of living as seen in her books.
Williams is an author, speaker, and the founder of Parenting Through Prana which is an online resource for heart-centered learning for parents, but also for reparenting ourselves.
“I believe that a huge part of parenting is not just how we form and mold our children but how we learn to heal the things within us so we can be more of who we are and create a safe space for our children to be who they are” Williams said.
In her three books, “Peacefully Parenting Through Prana,” “Peacefully Living Through Prana,” and “The Unicorn’s Light,” Williams assembles the basis of what she teaches and makes it easy to apply to one’s life.
Her work is a combination of all the influences in her life including anthropology, energy medicine, child-rearing, her spiritual practices, and her interest in neuroscience. She believes the heart is our greatest tool in life and by learning to work with it we can live a life we love.
In addition to the signing, Amethyst Lotus is hosting a four-week emersion starting July 9 and meeting every Saturday. It costs $40 for all four weeks. Williams will go through the book in pieces while adding additional information not in the books and give exercises to work through during the week. Visit the Amethyst Lotus Facebook page for more information.
During the book signing, Williams talked about what she teaches in the books and demonstrated a few of many exercises we can use in our daily life to re-center ourselves.
The signing opened with an invocation. “We can all use more peace and relaxation and a big part of what I teach people is to not to come to me to tell them what to do but to help you learn how to listen within so that you know what to do in each situation” Williams said.
“I believe the more you open up and connect within the more we can connect with our intuition so that we feel and know what the right things are for us even when they don’t logically make sense or other people aren’t supporting them. The more we do that even in the tiniest of ways the more confidence and courage we have to keep doing that and to follow through and have a deep trust that that’s going to work out.”
She continued with the topic of love and how love is not just a feeling we can get from other people or things we enjoy, but love is also the energy that comes from our hearts when we open them up and the love that pours out from us.
The first exercise of the evening was shown as everyone sat, eyes closed and imagined what makes them happiest.
“It doesn’t have to be big. It can be that first bite of a chocolate chip cookie warm out of the oven,” Williams explained. “Take a moment that really made you happy, re-experience how that feels, hear all the sounds, smell all the smells, and re-experience that completely. And feel how that feels in your chest. Let yourself completely go and be in that moment.”
From there, participants imagined what was stressing them out the most in the same way.
“Most people when they think about that happy moment their chest is expanded, while when they think of the thing that stresses them outfit feels tight and heavy,” Williams said.
“I teach that when you’re in that joyful happy moment, this is expansion. And when we feel that stress that’s the contraction of our heart. Our optimal state is expansion. When we are in that expansion we think better, we feel better, and we can make better decisions.”
When they re-experienced that moment of happiness nothing around us changed. They did not physically go to those places, but still felt less stress. Vice versa, when they thought of the stressful moment or thing, nothing around changed physically but the tension was there.
“How we feel is not necessarily dependent on what’s going on around us. It’s something that we can control and change within ourselves at any moment,” Williams said.
“When we are going through those stressful states, we can start to develop an awareness of what makes us feel expansion and what makes us feel contraction and when we feel that contraction, judgment free we can realize the thing we need is to shift into that expansion.
“I believe that in every moment that each one of us always deserves to feel that instead of contraction.”
One can see this easier with children. It is so easy for them to feel a whole spectrum of emotions so quickly. But as one gets older, one tends to not allow oneself to fluctuate, instead staying contracted unless making a conscious choice or something happens to makes one expand.
There are millions of exercises, including the earlier exercise of re-experiencing something, that allow people to reprogram their brain.
“When you are learning something new or deciding on something, it’s easier to do if you’re happy. If you’re having to learn new things and you’re frustrated it can take you 100 times, but when you’re happy you can do it in a lot less, like a dozen. It changes the way our brains work. And when you change the way, the brain works you change the way your bodies react too,” said Williams.
She continues explaining how many people try to control things around them because they do not feel peace within, and it is not until they learn to come into their own hearts that they become empowered.
“When we connect without heart centers, we learn how to choose that expansion. It’s not going to happen overnight and it’s not perfect. Making connecting with our hearts the first step, is the only practice I’ve ever done that always goes deeper. It takes the focus off of everything outside, the people pleasing and trying to control that, and it makes it so you feel okay on the inside,” Williams said.
“I cannot promise anyone to have less stress in their life, I can only help people learn how to connect in their heart so that they can handle that stress.”
The first step in this process is to develop a recognition of when the contraction or expansion feeling occurs. Once one can recognize each emotion and how it affects them, then they know when to shift into expansion.
“That’s the beauty of our humanity. Is that we aren’t stuck in one stagnant state, but that we’re always fluctuating and learning and that we learn how to embrace that,” Williams said.
“If we can be radically honest about what we’re feeling and really embrace that, then it starts to heal. Then it’s not something we’re carrying with us and suppressing all the time, then it’s something we can learn from. ‘This is what its teaching me’ and then we can move forward with that lesson. When we don’t learn anything from the way we feel we just have to keep repeating it.”
The second exercise of the evening was then taught. After a few deep breaths, holding at the height of the inhale and the bottom of the exhale, then Williams walked us though the exercise. “With your attention on your heart I just want you to say I love you. If it feels uncomfortable it’s just letting us know how much more, we needed that. We’re so used to giving love outside of ourselves to others, and it’s time we turn that love inwards.”
“The more specific you get, the deeper the healing goes. So, if you have a specific thing that you are emotionally uncomfortable about. Whatever that thing is, say I love the one who and fill in the blank. It doesn’t matter what we choose to love, all were doing is activating that heart. And when we activate that heart, we naturally start to embody a different energy that’s calming and peaceful. When we come into our heart first, it changes the energy pouring out of us and make it, so our brain functions better.”
The third exercise of the evening used the reverse of the previous exercises. Rather than starting in the heart and seeing it go full circle to the nervous system, this one starts with the nervous system.
Participants stood up and tilted their head to the right. Then, placing their right hand on their heads, participants looked up. While still looking up they placed their left hand around their waist and tilted their entire body to the right until they felt like yawning.
Then they did the same on the opposite side. This exercise resets the vagus nerve. All these exercises and many more will help relax the body physically and expand the heart.
“The thing we need the most is to care and love for ourselves. Nobody is with us as much as we are and no matter how in tune or wonderful another person is, they don’t know what you need, the way you need it, the exact words tone of voice. They don’t know every time, but you always know. And if you don’t know and that’s a sign we really need to come into our hearts because how can we expect someone else to give us what we aren’t giving ourselves. The more we do that, the less we need other people to, and then it just becomes the icing on the cake,” Williams explained.
“Being loving doesn’t mean being a doormat or not standing up for yourself. It’s quite the opposite, the more you genuinely experience that loving energy within yourself, the more you’re fulfilled the less you need the things outside of you to line up a certain way. So that means not staying in that bad relationship because you don’t need it. You’re full. Being able to see more clearly and evaluate things because you’re in a safe place and your nervous system isn’t freaking out. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to stop giving people the opportunity to hurt us.”
The final exercise of the evening focused on dealing with meltdowns or powerful emotions. Williams demonstrated how “when we have big emotions, say ‘I’m safe’ to feel better. You say what it is, name it. Be radically honest about whatever it is because any part that you won’t name within yourself and be honest about is still something that you’re pushing away.”
Through all these exercises, Williams says “The more you know in yourself the more you can perceive it in other people. We can adjust our expectations; you can’t expect someone in contraction to have a heart centered approach.”
The book signing closed with the topic of forgiveness and boundaries.
Williams said, “I teach forgiveness as being two-fold. There’s inner forgiveness and outer forgiveness. Inner forgiveness says, ‘this will no longer be my burden to carry I let it go, I forgive you’ Outer forgiveness says ‘hey, come to the barbeque.’ You do not have to do both. You should do the inner forgiveness for you, so what passes through you is that peace.”
Going hand in hand with forgiveness is setting boundaries for yourself. Williams said, “I think the one most important boundary to make is within myself ‘I choose expansion.’ If a situation is not leading to that it is not the right situation. Maybe that means, it’s not the right situation for five minutes while I go calm down, it’s not a forever thing.
The way one can check in and get their yes or no answer on what they’re feeling is is there a feeling of expansion or contraction? If unsure, it’s a no until it’s a yes. The moment you’re angry, sad; contraction. That doesn’t mean that its bad. It just means its informing you it’s time to heal that and by choosing expansion that’s how you will.”
Visit parentingthroughprana.com to learn about Williams, her books, and teachings.