How To End Your Bad Habits In 4 Easy Steps.

What would it look like to stop analysing what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong?

How would it feel to not have a list at the end of each day assessing our successes and failures?

To close our eyes each night with the joy of moments in our lives instead of regret and think with disgust that once again we didn’t do what we were going to do and not have that second helping, second glass, fourth cup……

I stumbled across a paragraph in a book on yogic wisdom (The Wisdome of Yoga by Stephen Cope) and it said this,

(I am paraphrasing to keep it short)

“A chain of events described by the Yogis: Appraisal. Impulse. Action. An object came into contact with my senses – a smell of a muffin. I recognise the smell. A pleasurable sensation enters my consciousness and on the heels of sensation I have a reaction to it – I like it! The appraisal turns into impulse I want the muffin and then action – I am eating the muffin.

It’s almost unconscious. The yogis found that we make poor choices when caught up in the action of it all, or rather we make no choices at all.

The yogis then studied the chain and wondered if it were de-linked, could we end our suffering? They found that impulse is highly influenced by our habits and patterns and conditioned by our experience so therefore can be de-conditioned.

If we become aware of the link, through observation of self and being in the present moment, then we can break the chain and overcome our bad habits, therefore ending suffering.”

Because you would have noticed that eating that chocolate, drinking that third glass of wine or having that fourth cup of coffee has not satisfied you. It has not ended the suffering which is why we inevitably want it the first place. To end the suffering of wanting. After we have experienced the item/thing we then experience a loss of the item/thing. More suffering. Then the guilt of actually actioning the want. More suffering.

But even more than a want, its a habitual patterning. We do not want to yell at our kids and yet, when triggered, we yell, we scream, we say things that we did not know was inside us.

We cannot be with the pain of everyday life, we cannot be with the pain of the constant whining, we cannot be with the pain of boredom, with endless options, with craving and not receiving, so we impulsively act and the actions cause us suffering.

You can have pain without suffering, if you do not act. 

  1. Use your awareness to observe your patterns, triggers, suffering – the internal chain of events
  2. Let your awareness penetrate – be here now.
  3. You will find that in light of your awareness the experience that you are feeling a loss of control over is not a foregone conclusion. Its feelings are fleeting, impermanent. The cravings go, the impulse leaves you.
  4. Finally, exposed to the light of your awareness, the craving and aversion evaporate.

Can you imagine this to be true? If you are about to yell at your child, but hold yourself back, take a few deep breaths, become aware of what you are doing – do you continue to yell?

I bet you don’t. I know I don’t. The anger subsides right? The feelings that well up in you dissipate and you are free to have a normal, much more productive conversation. The pain is there for seconds. The disappointment, the disbelief, the disapproval and then the love floods in.

Sometimes I pour myself a glass of wine in the afternoon. Because a thought has been following me around saying wine, wine, wine.  I finally pour it, the voice subsides but I am doing something else and that wine can sit there, un-sipped, for an hour.

These unconscious patterns are running our lives and we are not even aware that we have the power to stop them.

We assume that we need willpower right? But have you ever noticed that the more you think about not doing something…the more you want to do it?

So how do we take actions steps? How do stop this unconscious patterning? In real terms, not in yogi jargon like awareness and conditioning?

I think the number one point is – do not judge yourself. Just by having the intent to be better, you are on the path to something more. Do not judge yourself for something that is essentially so deeply ingrained you barely know you are doing it.

Can you forgive yourself?

Can you go to bed every night, knowing that you did your best? Knowing that what you have done today is all you could have done? And knowing that the moment has passed. That we leave the past behind, no matter how much we try to make it real, it’s gone.

  1.   Watch yourself and learn your triggers. Can you side step the pattern? Can you get the kids moving half an hour before you usually do so they are ready on time and your not late? Can you skip the TV show or the instagram feed that shows EVERYBODY drinking wine? Can you swap a coffee for a tea and see how that feels?
  2. Your going to have to learn that the present moment is all we have. The best way to enter the present is to follow your breath. You’re triggered, now just breathe. Think conscious thoughts. Breathe.
  3. Can you change anything? Do something differently. Hug your child instead of yelling, even if you still feel like it. Busy yourself with the laundry instead of social media. Make dinner, even if it is early, just so you don’t eat the whole pack of chips?
  4. Celebrate the little changes and forgive yourself for staying enslaved to the patterns that linger. Just know that you have power over your life and that willpower does not have staying power. You need to shine light into your darkness not hold it under water, it will just resurface when you have run out of energy.

 

Do you have any tips for breaking habits? Have you had any experiences that you could share and help others? I’d love to hear them. Leave a note in the comments or on social media.

Blame The Parents

What are we doing wrong?

Children raping unconscious girls. Taping it. Thinking its ok. Funny. Social media worthy.

We like to blame “this generation”. This computer grabbing, technology zombied, privileged youth.

But we need to look further than that. Because this entire generation was created out of the feeling that we are not enough.

That we need to be successful to be worthy.

Be accepted by our peers to be seen.

Have accomplishments to turn up to events.

We could blame the lack of fear. The lack of conscription, the lack of real, threats. Maybe we were bred to be fearful and logic cannot work out why we are fearful, so we just fear we are not enough.

We know there must be something to be feared so this is what it must be.

We have great anxiety and an incredible amount of depression, despite all we have, despite the material goods and accomplishments we thought would save us from it.

Our children sense this. Through their parents making them spend endless amounts of time at activities and none helping around the house. Through them giving them every gadget known to man then calling them spoiled. Through parents false confidence in them that they are going to “make the team” “win the race” “get the girl”.

They feel like they are not enough. They flail. They know nothing but the need for approval. The need to take action. The need to take control. The need to shine. Otherwise – are they even here at all?

Our girls are showing more and more skin asking themselves is this ok? Am I liked if I do this? Don’t do this?

Our boys are bewildered. Society have such big expectations of teenagers and sex. Are they getting enough? Too old not to get any? Doing it right.

It is a society set up, only to reward those who get themselves “seen”. It is a society filled with “I’s” instead of “we’s”.

We are desperate for our children to find their gifts to achieve, to accomplish, to be seen.

In yogic wisdom this means we are missing two of the most important steps that come after finding our gifts and using them, they are:

3. Disregard the fruits of action.

4. Surrender to God.

So in modern day terms we can see step three as giving our gifts to the world and not worrying about the status/ money/ financial reward we get. Worrying less about what we get and worrying more about how we are contributing to the world and whether that is making us happy/making a difference/giving us purpose.

Surrender to God can mean surrendering to something bigger than yourself. The creative power that gave you the gifts in the first place. The creative power that dictates that you can make a difference in this way.

So what to do?

Despite all of our anxiety and control around the issue of parenting – our worst nightmare has come true – we are parenting wrong. 

We are creating a society of individuals all trying to climb over each other to be seen as special. Instead of people looking at their own gifts and what makes them special they are looking to those that are given special status and trying to emulate. Originality is dissipating and uniqueness is being quashed.

We aren’t asking our children how they have been helping others, we are asking them, very clearly, how they are helping themselves.

Instead of asking them how kind they have been today and placing value on it,  we are asking them how  many friends they have, concerned more about the possibility of lack than our children making a difference.

We ask them about their grades, their scores, but not what they have learned.

We ask them about what they want to be when they grow up,  instead of how they are going to make a difference in the world.

We are taking natural problem solvers and making them the problem to be solved.

We tell them to hit back if they get hit. Which is essentially telling them to hurt if they get hurt. Like if a girl rejects them – hurt back right?

We blame others instead of ourselves. Our boss, the drivers on the road, politicians and we do not take responsibility for our actions. How do we tell them to do something we are not doing?

We talk and gossip about others. Name call. I hear it in adult conversation every single day. Then we are surprised when our children do the same. Surprised when our children bully.

We are taking their fresh eyes and telling them that the world is this way and they have to look at it only like this.

We avoid talking to them about awkward things like sex, consent, porn, about the feelings they will have and how to know right from wrong, kindness from pressure. Avoidance seems like the better option.

They hear the under-current of sexist jokes and jokes about sex from the adults around them but are too young too understand the difference between jokes and action. But young enough to understand that these “jokes” are our societies way of consenting despicable behaviour towards women.

This is what we are doing wrong.

How do we fix what is broken?

It starts with us. Having honest conversations with our partner about how to raise children. Talking about boundaries, discipline, how to breech awkward topics, how to encourage our children to think about others.

Then we need to take inspired action:

More time spent talking with our kids and less ferrying them to activities

Exemplifying values such as giving, loving, kindness in our own houses

Asking them questions that encourage discussion on the value of learning, not just the accomplishments. 

Encouraging our children to think about bigger things than just what they are going to gain from a situation. 

Taking our learned behaviours and changing them. 

But the first step is to talk about this. Discuss with others.

Am I right?

Completely wrong?

Can you do something to improve the situation right now? Rectify wrongs? Move forward.

We need to educate ourselves and learn to be better ourselves and then we can pass it down to our kids and not only ensure they are better people, but guarantee their happiness in a way that status and material goods never will.

We can’t blame parents. We can’t blame ourselves. We can’t know what we didn’t know. Blame is an out, blame is a band-aid that we can put on a wound to pretend it is fixed.

What we do is we take responsibility. We show up in the world this way. Everyday.

And tomorrow we will be better.

15844083_1006574506115423_2334705678246109207_o

 

Feeling The Love

I woke up last night in fear of death. That death would take this man from me.

IMG_5969

I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t get peace.

A voice said to me, “ You will not lose him, for he is not lost. He is going home.” and so I cried.

I understood what it meant but when I think of my childhood, his home was my home. We went everyday after school and played at their place, on the roads and in the vacant block next door. We had a street gang, we rode our bikes, started a babysitting club and played road cricket. I remember him dancing and being so loud and betting on the horses. I remember him winning at cards at Christmas. I remember feeling special as he twirled me around, knowing that I was his granddaughter and he was proud of me.

Just recently he told me about his time fighting a war in Korea. How he hates war. How he spent three months in Japan because he was taken as a soldier but was too young too fight. How it was the best time of his life.

I didn’t receive a phone call last night. I got up after a couple of hours of sleep and walked on the beach with my best friend. I waited for the call but it didn’t come.

I went to see him as soon as I dropped the kids at school. He was small and shrunken and unhappy. He was awake and not in pain but weak and sick and tired of it all. I held back tears as I held his hand. I didn’t ask him the questions that I had thought I needed to ask him. The questions that kept me up during the night.

Like –  What is the meaning of life? and  Do you think Australia was a good decision? How do you think your life would have played out if you stayed in Scotland? Did you get enough joy from your life? Did you get enough love? Did we show you how much you mean to us? Did you feel valued?

Instead, what I did was I held onto him.

And he held on to me.

When I left, I said, “See you tomorrow!”, he said, “I’ll be in another place.”

And so I cried.

I hope he meant that he was moving hospital wards, which he was, but I didn’t know. I just felt his emptiness. The life being drained from him.

I went to yoga and when I checked my phone afterwards I feared the worst.

But it was good news. The Doctors have found a bug in his blood and are giving him treatment. The chemo is working and is shrinking his tumour. He lives to fight another day.

My husband took this shot tonight and I cried again. With relief. With happiness. With joy.

IMG_5996

It’s so often we do things that are meaningless. We tick off our to do lists and clean our houses and get angry about silly things but life shows up when you least expect it, to show you that what you actually need to do is give out more love.

You can even throw the list of questions and things you think you should ask out the window. You will never know all there is to know. But you can feel all there is to feel.

And make sure others know you are there.

You showing up is what matters.

Holding the hand.

Being there.

For the moment.

For the breath.

Feeling the love.

The Number 1 Thing De-Cluttering Experts Forget To Tell You

The reason we have so many things is not just because we have kids and toys and other things but because we do not throw away as much as we should.

We have to deal with these items in a mature way. It is is logical that if you are not using these things, or if you have outgrown them, or if they no longer suit you or your lifestyle then we should be getting rid of them.

No one enjoys a cluttered space so when you are reading the articles, or the books, or friends are telling you about their de-cluttering efforts you feel inspired.

Then you go home, have a look at your mess or try to pick something up but you just couldn’t possibly let it leave your possession. You might need it. Your kids may want it someday. Someone might find out that something they bought you – you threw away.

Or…… you do a little bit and it feels like a lot. Until within weeks it all snowballs again. Then you feel like you are ALWAYS de-cluttering.

You know that there are serious road blocks in your de-cluttering but you can’t figure out what they are.

I mean why do you want to hold onto that handbag you never use?

  1. You feel guilty that you/ someone else spent money on it.
  2. It’s useful…but you don’t use it.
  3. You could get it fixed/cleaned up/might come into fashion again
  4. You have made it yours. Like a kid, when you go to give it away you sub-consciously think “No, mine!” even though you don’t really want it.
  5. It’s become part of your identity. Or it was part of your identity and who you were at the time.
  6. It’s a memory. You went here/were with that person then etc

It’s essentially a piece of leather/plastic/canvas that has no identity, feelings etc but you have projected onto it something it’s not. It’s no longer money. You will not get that money back if you don’t hold onto it. You will never revisit that time in your life again.

We need to understand that objects don’t change who we are and we will never feel “good enough” just by getting a something new. We all know how good it feels to wear something brand new right? Isn’t that joy? No. Joy is an ongoing feeling you feel about your life. New clothes are new for a minute and then they are not. They didn’t change you or the way you feel they just gave you a burst of feeling or euphoria which then leads to suffering when it is no longer new/ needs to be thrown out. We think it made us happy but it didn’t. It was a vehicle that may have given us more confidence or made us feel better than we did at the time. In fact, it can cause a lot more problems because we hold such an unrealistic projected image of it. We need to work on our self, not our clothes, otherwise we will always need to buy more clothes to get that feeling back.

We also think that if we buy something it’s going to make us a certain way. Like if you get a new couch and you imagine all your family snuggled on it, how good it will look in the house, how people will admire it, how it will allow you to feel luxurious and content. But then you get it and you are terrified of the kids spilling something on it. So much so that you become an absolute tyrant and you start projecting this “hitler” vibe instead of “cool lady with cool couch” vibe that you thought you were buying. We didn’t buy the couch we thought we were buying a feeling.

The couch hasn’t changed us. We changed us.

We need to stop projecting “Who We Are” onto objects.

We can’t throw things away because we become attached to them and make them “mine”.

We also buy way too many things and feel guilty about that too. We think that if we hold onto things it might stop us buying more things. But it never does. So we accumulate.

We essentially need to break away and break up with objects before we can move on.

We can’t let go of that part of ourselves. You see. It’s hard.

Is there something wrong with this?

Yes.

They are objects and not people. We are spending more time tinkering, storing, re-organising and thinking about our things than we are having experiences with those we love and enjoying the moment, in the present.

You will not lose those precious moments you had with your baby by getting rid of the baby things. What you will get is more time to spend with your toddler/big kid/ adolescent and they will appreciate that a hell of a lot more than you hanging onto their booties and spending hours re-organising things to keep it all.

When we get rid of things we start gaining perspective about the present moment. Be here now. Stop being in the past – yes those memories are beautiful and you can conjure them anytime you need – but the present is what is important.

By keeping these outdated things we are keeping ourselves outdated and not living fully in the present moment, embracing who we are now and who are family members are now.

Your things are not you and you are not losing any part of yourself by throwing these things out. You are not losing any part of your memory with precious people. 

So you can see why some people have serious addictions and hoard things. It’s a psychological minefield.

These things that were supposed to make us happy are making us miserable and over-whelmed.

So the problem I am finding with all the de-cluttering articles I am reading is that they are dealing with the consequences of the problem and not the problem. Then when we try and follow their easy steps to throwing things out and we feel like we are throwing out part of ourselves. We think we will be “less than” and “have less” if we throw things out.

We build up these grand fantasies of who we are and then we need all of our possessions to prove that this is us, this is who we are. When our possessions don’t live up to the reality and don’t make us who we thought they would, we are disappointed

I love this quote from a book I’ve just read, Yoga And The Quest For The True Self, “Oh my dear students, you build such big mansions of the self. But its fine, really. Because when you clean them out of all your many belongings, you’re going to find that they are just great big spaces in which God can live.”

img_5847

 

So we need to remember:

He who dies with the most toys does not win. 

No matter what the advertisers tell us this stuff will not change who we are – we are beautiful just as we are. 

By keeping this stuff we are avoiding the present moment. Reality as it is now. 

We need to work on the way we need to feel, not buy our way into it because it doesn’t work. 

So my 5 step process to de-cluttering is as follows: 

  1. Realise that you are keeping these things because of your obsession with “me” and mine” and drop it. Let it go. In yoga, the sanskrit word for this is Asmita or I-ness. Which is one of the Kleshas, or afflictions. These afflictions are what is causing us to be estranged from our True Self.  (The others are ignorance, attraction, aversion and clinging to fear of life and death) There is nothing wrong with the things themselves, it’s the attachment to things that is out of proportion. Things do not change who we are, we do.
  2. Imagine yourself as a toddler and you are trying to keep a toy everyone is telling you to share. You didn’t want it, in fact you haven’t played with it for years. You can see from the outside how irrational it is to keep something that you don’t want anymore.  Keep that feeling as you fill up the trash bags and pass on to charity.
  3. Remember that the reason you are here, cleaning out things and spending precious time on it, is because having too much stuff is making you suffer. We need to let go of our attachment to that feeling of suffering – leave the guilt behind and get rid of it. What if you only had things you loved in your house and the things you loved had prominence, instead of being shoved in to a cupboard you can barely close?
  4. Clinging, craving, greed these are feelings that could describe an inability to giving up your stuff. Then if you give it away you feel guilt, sorrow, panic, anxiety. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I try and focus on the people who may receive my things as I pass them on. I imagine their faces lighting up. I imagine that it brings them some joy, or comfort or relief that they have found what they are looking for. I try and focus on the good and being of service to others through giving.
  5. Go through each room and leave only things you love in the room. Bless yourself and your space and be grateful for what you can give others and how well you can treat yourself. Take these gifts immediately to the charity/ donation place and be done with it. Focus on the present now. Focus on your life as it is now.

 

 

 

 

How To Sneak Meditation Into Your Children’s Routine So They Calm Down

We know the benefits of a regular meditation practice right?

(If you don’t you can go here and here to check them out.)

So why wouldn’t we get our children to do it too?

Maybe you’ve asked them to and they have jokingly sat in lotus position OM-ing and then taken off?

That’s often what happens at my house but there are ways in which you can trick them into practicing and just the fact that you are exposing them to meditation is one step in the right direction.

Schools are beginning to use meditation instead of detention with incredible results. It helps children calm down, re-focus and lose those feelings of pent up frustration and anger through deep breathing and concentration.

So why wouldn’t we want some of that at home?

It definitely is easier said than done but here are some of the ways to sneak meditation into your children’s routine:

Do It Yourself 

They are not going to do it if you are not doing it. You are their role model and they won’t do something that they deem as different and not fun if you are not a good example.

I meditate each morning and without fail my boys will jump onto my lap at some point whilst I’m meditating and get a cuddle, or put their heads in my lap or sit there and hold my hand. It may be one minute or five but they are getting quiet time and being exposed to meditation at the same time.

Take Them To Yoga

This is an easy one – you don’t have to teach them yourself if you send them to class. Yoga is beneficial for kids of all ages and it’s fun too. There is usually a little breathing exercise in the beginning and always Savasana at the end where they have to lie and be still whilst focusing on their breathing.

Join them for an evening meditation in their bed. 

My boys like nothing more than me lying with them. Sometimes they will wriggle and complain if I try to put on a meditation with them whilst they are just getting into bed but they are incredibly attentive if I pop in after lights out and they can snuggle with me and listen to a guided meditation on my phone. I usually just put on one of my own, a sleep focused one, and my oldest will sometimes get out of bed and ask me to put it on for him. It’s their way of thinking they are tricking us into getting more time awake and spending more time with us.

This morning my five year old was a bit upset that he fell asleep quickly and missed the meditation I did with my seven year old last  night. They really love that one on one time.

Night Time CD’s

I have a few, especially for kids, meditation cd’s that I put on for them some nights. They are usually magical sleep time stories of heroes and dragons that ask them to focus on their breathing and imagine taking a journey.

At Home Yoga

I have a couple of yoga games that I pull out every now and then for the kids to play. They are cards with poses on it or we play What’s The Pose Mr Wolf. We always start off though focusing on our breathes and end with a short meditation.

Calming Them Down When They Are Upset

Whether they are yelling, crying or screaming, as long as they are safe and not really hurt then you can just give them a cuddle and ask them to focus on their breathing. This is a beautiful tool that they can use for the rest of their life. Ask them to make their tummy big like a balloon and blow out all the air. Or feel their breath at their nostrils – is it cool? hot? fast? slow? They might refuse to do it, but remind them each time. They won’t forget it and may eventually use these tools you are giving them when they need them.

Related:

How To Deepen Your Meditation

How To Boost Your Kids Self Esteem

 

6 Meditation Techniques That Save My Sanity

The first couple of times I tried to meditate I felt silly and a bit embarrassed (even though no one was around) and I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it for absolute ages.

I downloaded a few different apps on my phone and I tried them to see what they were like. I lay there, closed my eyes and listened. It was soo hard. I couldn’t concentrate on the voices for very long without drifting into my own stories, problems, things to do.

What I did find however, is after the set period of time (10-20 minutes), I did feel refreshed, more focused and like my thoughts had been downloaded. Like they had been stuck and now were accessible and available. They were put into an orderly fashion as well. So whatever I was doing, even though it didn’t feel like meditation, was working.

Some days I couldn’t wait for the meditation to finish and other days I fell asleep. At no time did I really think I was “meditating”. I had this idea that meditating meant having absolutely no thoughts and going to another place entirely. For the entire time that I was doing it.

Its absolutely not true. It would be great if it happened but for me at least it doesn’t happen for any great length of time.

So why do it?

God I feel great after I meditate. I may wriggle and fidget and think of a million different things but the very act of sitting still helps my overloaded mind chill out.

There are so many benefits to meditating but to name just a few:

Reduces stress

Increases well-being by boosting immunity

Increases focus and concentration

Improves mood

Increases learning capacity

Helps you set a clearer intention for your life

Improves self-awareness

Say what? Just by sitting there you get all that?

Ok, so how do you do it?

There are so many ways that you can meditate – I like to mix it up. I will go through my favourite six ways and key you decide which ones you want to try.

1.Mantra Meditation

My absolute favourite for this is Oprah and Deepak’s 21  Day Meditation Challenge. You can buy them here or subscribe to their email list and wait for notification of the free ones. They have been hosting them every three months or so for the last couple of years.

They start with a topic or theme – like Manifesting True Success and then explore that theme each day for 21 days, delving further into the topic. The chatting lasts for about five minutes and then you are given a mantra to think about for 10-15 minutes whilst you meditate.

2. Meditones

My second favourite is to listen to some beautiful meditones through ear phones like Sonescence  I think of my own mantra for the day whether that is just something simple like, “I have inner-peace” or “I am surrounded by abundance” or I use a Sanskrit Mantra that I have learned either through Deepak Chopra or my beautiful teachers at Tamara yoga, like So Hum – meaning  I am.

3. Kriyas

In my yoga classes and through my yoga teacher training at Tamara Yoga I have been learning more about Kriya yoga.

An example of a Kriya is the Hum- Sa Kriya. I use these when I am feeling anxious and need to calm down or when I want to rid myself of some negative feelings.

Whenever you breathe in, silently visualize and hear the sound “Hum” going up the spine from the base of your tail bone to the space between your eyebrows. And whenever you breathe out, use the sound “Sa” down the spine and try to feel the energy move from the mid-brain down to the base of the spine.
Very important: Do not force the breathing.
On your inhalation, visualize a white ball of light lifting up your spine and into the middle of your brain, and on your exhalation, visualize the ball of light slowly floating down your spine back to the base.

4. Transcendental 

I paid for an online meditation course from Tom Cronin a couple of years ago. He gave me my own, private ancient sound to repeat and the course ran over what I already knew about meditation. I still use the sound occasionally but I find now that I am in the groove of meditation any word will do.

5. Guided Meditation

Some of these meditations can be simply divine. I had a meditation during a retreat that was run by a psychic once and it was a beautiful story where she guided us into a forest and by a stream and we met the person we most wanted to meet there. I met the little girl I lost during pregnancy and she was three years old with blonde hair. It was very emotional and I felt very peaceful afterwards. These kind of meditations can really give you deep insight into yourself.

6. Third Eye Chakra Meditation

The first time I ever went to Tamara Yoga I went to attend a meditation workshop there with my Mum. Tamara taught us to sit upright, spine straight, lick our thumb and press it to our third eye chakra. Just above the eyebrows and in between the eyes. We were then given breathing techniques and asked to focus on that spot. She gave us a mantra to repeat. This really helps if you are new to meditation as there is something about focusing on that spot from the inside that can really provide a feeling of going deep inside yourself.

13108659_1173579062705787_103902723_n

There are of course classes on meditation you can attend, workshops, retreats to learn different techniques and there is a beautiful feeling that you get when you meditate as a group. The most beneficial practice however is your own, private practice that you can do daily. Creating the habit is the important part, the meditation is the easy, blissful reward. It is called a practice for a reason – it needs to be ongoing and regularly and you will find that the benefits only increase with time.

I always find it special to light candles, have that meditation or meditone music on,  but often it’s me on the couch in the morning with three boys racing round me begging for peanut butter sandwiches.

Meditation is an amazing, free thing that you can do anywhere, anytime and improve  your health, happiness and sanity.

Enjoy the practice and let me know which one you like best x

 

Related articles

How To Deepen Your Meditation

Teaching Meditation and Mindfulness To Children

Why It Is Necessary To Relax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Ways To Stay Zen Instead of Yelling

If you lose it occasionally, find yourself yelling at a loved one, the kids or strangers who have cut you off in traffic – that’s pretty normal.

But if you find yourself yelling daily, feeling totally exasperated and worked up on numerous occasions throughout the day, then there is a lot you can do about that.

That pent up, anxious, angry feeling – that stressed, can’t quite catch your breathe state is caused by many things, from a refusal to slow down, to grief, to feeling stuck in your own life.

There are many times that life can get on top of you but you don’t have to let it turn you into a person that you don’t recognize. You don’t have to be that person that everyone steps on eggshells around and you don’t have to be that Mama that is always yelling and achieving nothing.

Here are just some of the things that you can do:

Time-Out

Yep, you send your kids there, but you totally need it too if you are going to lose it. Sometimes I just have to excuse myself and head to my room. I meditate, I put on a guided meditation that I have as an app on my phone, and I just listen and sit. It lowers my heart rate and improves my mood. I lock the door and make sure I’ve told my husband to keep the kids away. You may not want to meditate but if you are feeling on edge then take the time-out and do whatever you like to do that is quiet, alone time. Whether its surfing the net on your phone, reading the paper, a good book or chilling out listening to music – you need to do it.

Regularly Do Some Form Of Movement

Emotions don’t go anywhere if you don’t exercise. You need to literally shake them off. Get moving – go to the beach for a swim, play tennis, run, do handstands on the grass – make them move through you. In yoga we believe that there are energy systems in the body,72,000 little lines that can get blocked at anytime and if most of them are not loose and free then you get that feeling that you are absolutely going to burst. Yoga is designed to free that energy and let it run through your body. Yoga practices like Yin are specifically designed to remove those emotions that are stuck in your body, in your hips, the backs of your shoulders, your neck, your abdomen. When you have a tight body you are always wound up. So move. You know it makes you feel better.

Believe That You Too Deserve Free Time

Whether that is a class on the weekend, a night out with friends, a trip away with the girls – you actually do deserve it. You actually owe it to your family make that extra effort. Sometimes my husband actually says to me when I am in a bad mood, “Do you need to go to yoga or something?”. Everyone likes to be around someone who is happy, who has good energy, who is not going to go nuts over the slightest little thing. Free time, for just you, will help you get there.

Do A Clear Out

A cluttered house, a messy kitchen, bad vibes, bad moods can all be sorted out. This may actually be the source of all that pent up frustration. If you can’t look around your home space and be happy then you need to change it. Throw things out so you don’t have to clean them up all the time. Reduce your possessions. Change your artwork. Change your furniture around. Do a sage smudge (clears out bad vibes in the house). Stick on some upbeat music to dance around to. Change your state by changing the state of your dwelling. Sometimes on the weekend I literally clean to feel better – I know that I won’t feel relaxed until the clutter is gone, the benches are wiped down and the house is filled with music,  and happy hearts.

I will walk around the house with a sage stick, candles burning, Fleetwood Mac on in the background and a fresh coffee brewed. Then I will go from room to room making sure it’s the way I want it to look. It does absolute wonders for my perception of life and I feel much more loving towards my family – especially if they pitch in and help.

Treat Yourself Better

Without a good night’s sleep I am not someone you want to be around. If I have had too much nutrient deficient food, I can feel it. If I haven’t had enough playtime with my friends then  you will know it. If I haven’t meditated or been to yoga in a while then the baseline of my mood changes from permanently chilled to slightly hysterical.

There is an immense need to look after yourself until they become non-negotiables. You should be able to notice when you are not doing the right things for your body. If you don’t notice then you are in a permanent state of abuse of your body. You need to start treating yourself better simply because you are a beautiful human being and your body is a vehicle in which you will need for the rest of your life. You know what to do – eat more greens, drink more water, exercise daily, get in nature, go to sleep earlier, go out and catch a movie.

You treat your body right and it makes it so much easier to change your attitude and love your life. img_5697