Front Porch Therapy

Gail Trauco

Gail Trauco

Grief Mediator & Life Cycle Coach

Grief Mediator and Life Cycle Coach

Rocking Chairs: The Best Prescription Out There

April 1, 2014
Rocking chairs on a front porch

My idea of heaven: multiple rocking chairs with a view!

If it were up to me, everyone would own a rocking chair. Heck, if I were POTUS, I’d make it part of the Healthcare Reform Act that everyone own one. I guarantee you’d see the number of psychological issues in this nation plummet.

There’s a reason I chose a rocking chair as the logo for Front Porch Therapy. Yes, rocking chairs are quaint and picturesque and remind you of your Nana, but they’re therapeutic, too. In fact, when I learn that a client doesn’t have a rocking chair, one of the first things I do (after clutching the pearls) is tell them to go out and get one. It’s the best prescription I can give them.

When I need to unwind and de-stress, I tell people I’m going to sit on my front porch. The concept behind it is simple, and many other people do something similar without a rocking chair. I’ve heard various terms for it: sitting in your power, meditating, chilling out, clearing the mind, listening to your inner self, the daily cleansing of the soul, opening the doorway to the angels. Whatever you want to call it, it’s the same journey. I just prefer to get there via rocking chair.

Now, simply owning the rocking chair isn’t going to help with your issues. The magic behind a rocking chair doesn’t have squat to do with feng shui. You gotta use that puppy. Sit your tush down on a regular basis and rock.

Let’s Rock!

First, find a quiet place where you can spend 15-30 minutes uninterrupted. It can be the bathroom, the bedroom, or your kid’s tree house. Lock the door, put the dog away, and tell the kids to leave you the hell alone. Turn the cell phone off. It’s all about you for the next half hour.

If you like, put on some music, whatever makes you calm. It could be Neil Diamond or it could be Def Leppard, whatever floats your boat. Just make sure that it’s not something you like so much that you’re going to begin humming along and get distracted from the exercise. You want something that chills you out, not makes you want to boogie.

Make sure you’re wearing something comfortable. Jammies are great, but if your porch is in view of the neighbors, you might want to opt for something more modest. Unless it’s winter, I’m usually out there in my yoga pants and bare feet. Feeling the wood against my skin helps ground me even more.

Now, let’s sit in our power. Here’s what that’s going to look like.

You’re going to allow a sense of calm to overtake you from head to toe. All that stress? Let it melt away. Feel it emptying out of you, cascading out of your fingertips and toes.

Now allow your mind to take over. Just hand over the wheel and let your mind drive. Don’t play backseat driver and tell it where to go. Let it take you on a tour and just enjoy the scenery. This feeling should be completely comfortable, like being wrapped in a warm blanket of comfort. Acknowledge that this simple exercise is you tapping your inner power, that you are taking a huge step and should be applauded for your effort. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but, man, if you lay just one brick every time you sit in your power, pretty soon you’ll find yourself inside a mansion.

When you recognize a familiar location, jot it down, as well as any emotion associated with it. Whether the memory is a happy or sad one, write down the people, place, and any details associated with that memory, such as clothing, time of day, time of year, who else is present, etc. To jog your memory, ask yourself each of the five journalism Ws: who, what, where, when, and why. Later, when you begin to examine these details, they may become relevant, even if they seem insignificant now. Try to recall the emotions associated with the memory, and allow yourself to truly feel those emotions. If you feel hunger, chances are you might have or have had an eating disorder. (Unless of course you just skipped lunch. Then you’re just hungry.)

You only need to devote 15-30 minutes of your time to this exercise. If you’d like to go longer, be a rock star and do so. But don’t feel you need to, because there’s no one to impress, and unlike in other areas of life, longevity for sitting in your power doesn’t earn your points.

 

Try it out. You don’t have to go out and break the bank on some fancy, pimped-out rocker. Check thrift stores and the local Salvation Army for used models. As long as it rocks, so will you. Just give yourself the

Categories: DIY Self-Improvement, Southern Living
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Written by Gail Trauco

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