My latest article on Mindfulness for Young Children can be found in this month’s Care for Kids Educator Newsletter…
I hope you enjoy the read and get some practical tips on how to bring more mindfulness into your home and family life
Lately I’ve had a lot of past memories coming up into my awareness, triggering strong emotions and a feeling of being ‘lost in time’ and not being able to really come into the present. At these times it feels really scary to be with my feelings, as I’m scared i’ll get too strongly pulled into the past and not be able to return to the present. It’s then when I really have to trust in the spiritual tool-kit I’ve been working on for so long- my perseverance, strength, trust, patience and acceptance.
When old memories come back to us, accompanied by intense feelings, we often either try to deny them – shutting them out or pushing them back down out of awareness- or we dwell on them, losing all touch with the present moment we are now in, becoming completely absorbed in the past and running the risk of being pulled back into past patterns and habits.
So, what can we do when a person, situation, place, photo, song or anything triggers us into a past emotional state?
Is there something we can do instead of running away from it (not facing it) or becoming completely absorbed by it (becoming overpowered by it)?
Is there another solution?
What if we find the courage, the patience, the trust, the strength, to just BE WITH it. Not BE IT. But be WITH it.
What if we can pause, create some sacred time and space for ourselves, and invite our larger presence- even if that’s just your breathe- to observe what’s going on.
Not a cold, unfeeling observation devoid of humanness. But a soft yet strong, gentle yet firm, neutral yet accepting unconditional acceptance of ALL feelings that are surfacing for us in that moment.
What happens then depends on our own process, our own journey, but ultimately as we invite in a non-judgemental, unconditional acceptance into our current emotional experience, we create a kind of energetic solution (just like the other meaning for solution as an aqueous substance) in which our emotional experience can dismantle into the larger ‘solution’ of our neutral presence, and then slowly reassemble into a more coherent state, one more closely aligned with our larger, peaceful presence.
You don’t need to engage in a highly complicated spiritual ritual to do this, and it doesn’t require any special objects, person or place. All that’s needed to achieve the energetic alchemy of your emotional experience of fear, confusion, frustration, anger or any other dis-comfort or feeling of dis-connection, is YOU.
You ARE the solution- your focused attention, your choice to turn to you- right now, as you are.
And not only that.
But your current shit/stuff/baggage/problems- internal (feelings or sensations) or external (people or situations) – is WHERE to start. In fact, it’s the ONLY place to look. Because in this pile of mess is where you will find emotional liberation. And once you find that, all else follows.
So when discomfort strikes, don’t run from, it, push it away, push it down, and don’t become engulfed by it either.
Just stay with it.
Invite in your larger presence and be WITH it. Use your breath to observe it, explore it, feel your feelings and allow them to shift- in their own time, in their own way.
Imagine you are a mother to your feelings- meet them with support, calmness, encouragement and unconditional acceptance, with a strong firm knowing that after the tantrum, the release, the expression, they will settle and find the re-connection they are seeking.
It may take some patience, some perseverance, some trust and some mental strength- but you’ve got this. And you’ve got enough to start exactly where you are and as you practice being with your feelings, initing in your calm neutrality you’ll grow these importance skills that will serve you for life- trust, patience, acceptance and perseverance.
You can use anything annoying or uncomfortable in this way, as an invitation to return to the present moment, because the very fact that you are experiencing anything other than joy and peace is a sign that there is some part of your attention not in the now moment…so when viewed in this way, every annoyance- tiny or huge- can become like a homing signal to use your breath and turn on your presence to BE WITH the part/aspect of you that is being pulled away from the present moment, so that when it is ready (after you’ve sat with, listened to and acknowledged it) it can once again re-memeber, re-intergeate and re-turn to the whole of you, in the present moment.
Let’s embrace our selves- our light, our dark, our everything. We are worthy. Worthy of our own time, patience, acceptance, trust, perseverance and love.
Let’s re-member ourselves, slowly, in our own perfect time, in our own perfect sequence. Let’s place value on this, and invest in ourselves.
Let’s re-member that we are the solution we seek- when we feel that longing, anger, regret, loneliness, pain, confusion…let’s take ourselves seriously- let’s pause, listen, be with, validate all and everything about us- and observe how slowly, but surely these dis-membered parts of ourselves find expression and naturally shift, returning to where they belong- in the present moment, in joy.
And then the relief- that we never needed to fix anything or solve all the problems out there… all we needed was our own loving time and attention….simple but not easy. But definitely do-able- right now, and always just a breathe away.
THIS is our real work- mindfulness of our own experience- and mindful that it IS OUR own experience…and that we can use our mind and our choice to turn inward to BE THERE for ourselves- fully, with everything we have, even if we think it’s not enough, especially when we think it’s not enough.
Life presents us every day with ample opportunities to do this inner work. It requires a slowing down and a conscious decision to take life around us less seriously, and ourselves more seriously- and by seriously I mean validating our feelings (but not projecting them), listening to our bodies’ stories (but not buying into them) and accepting ourselves as we are, right now (buy not wanting to feel anything other than what we are right now- showing unconditional love and deep trust in our own process).
If you are requiring support, inspiration or motivation to re-connect more deeply with yourself, and build your own spiritual tool-kit, contact me for a session. Supporting others in building their spiritual confidence, experiencing emotional liberation and enjoying the abundance of precious moments in every day is what I love to do.
There was so much fun, enthusiasm and excitement today at Magical Mindful Me: Mindfulness & Wellbeing for 7-11yr olds!
With the gorgeous backdrop of the sand and surf of Killcare Beach, the kids & I explored how mindfulness is a really useful tool to use when we want to become aware of our feels and experiences in order to be in a position to select more pleasing ones.
We worked out that we have something called an ‘iBRAIN’.
Much like their iPads, their ibrain is a computer- some pretty sweet machinery but essentially useless until there’s someone using it.
The kids clued on pretty quickly that THEY are the programmer in charge of what thoughts (codes) they use to create their apps (beliefs).
These apps, when installed (focused upon), tell their body how to feel, and influence the experiences they have (just like the game experience!)
So, as a team, we worked out that the best way to change the game they are playing or app they are using – a situation, feeling, relationship dynamic (maybe a sibling is annoying them or a friend is being unkind) is to go back to the programming!
…and here comes the ‘coding for wellbeing’…
We worked out, together, that MINDFULNESS could be a pretty useful tool to help us become aware of what apps we’ve got installed in our brains!
Once we know what’s there, we can then decide what stays, what goes, and what requires an upgrade.
We explored how we can create our own upgrades- one way is to add a few more codes (positive thoughts) or for a whole new app we can flip the belief over like a coin…’I’m bad at maths’ becomes ‘Maths is ok and I can do it!’
From here, we work backward to figure out what coding we’d require to build the software we want to end up with…smaller thoughts (coding language) like ‘maths is useful’, ‘I can make it fun’, ‘theres pretty patterns in maths’, ‘my teacher is kind’, ‘when I’m feeling good I understand better’, ‘theres no rush’ and ‘I’m doing great at maths’.
Now we’re ready to spend some time building this app so that it’s ready for installation (no rush with this, it’s best to get our app just how we want it;-).
So, we get creative!
Out come our journals and we write our our coding, cut out pictures from magazines that represent our new belief (app) visually, use stickers, crayons, texts…anything to really bring our new app to life for us (we just check with mum & dad that they’ve finished reading that magazine before we cut it up ;-). In short- we make it really MAGICAL….using our image-in-aCtion!
Once that’s done (our ‘homework’ for the week until next lesson), we’ll select our self-created awesome app. How? With our intention & focus…enter in mindfulness (present-moment awareness) + heartfulness (generating positive emotional states).
Finally, we INSTALL it via taking action, action in our outside world that SHOWS us it IS installed in our ibrain- like showing up more positive to maths, enjoying the patterns in numbers, tutoring a younger child (to build our own confidence & emphasis what we DO know).
But, as we all know, our iPads, iPhones, and in the case of ourselves, our ibrains, can become too full- that’s where we can use mindfulness once again to create space for upgrades & new apps…this mindfulness thing is suddenly becoming MUCH more appealing to these wellbeing-coders in the making!
Daily Mindfulness Practice is a daily cleaning software for our ibrains, ensuring that there’s always plenty of available memory for any new app we’d like to install.
So, we do have a brain (or now it’s an ibrain!), but it’s not the boss- WE are. Our ibrain RESPONDS to our direction (or app selection), giving instructions to the body to feel, move and interact in certain ways (behaviours) which have certain outcomes (situations).
The REAL boss is our larger ‘mind’
And what exactly is this ‘mind’?
It’s a creative space, (consciousness) of awareness, neutrality, acceptance, non-judgement, curiosity.
And it’s very, very cool…as these kids are learning.
We can use Mindfulness to both foster states of calm, peace and self-acceptance (noticing what’s been installed with our focus in the present moment, de-installing some apps with our breath- the breath is very magical like that…we delve more into ‘the breath that dissolves all faulty apps’ next week ;-).
We can also use mindfulness as a way to create more space in our brains for funner apps! (this is the incentive that this age group needs to really invest their time into mindfulness.
In Magical Mindful Me classes the children and I combine Mindfulness (becoming aware of their current thoughts/apps AND making space for new ones) with Heartfulness-generating intentional states likes gratitude and kindness (the codes behind their new beliefs (apps). I totally join in with the kids for the 30min activity part of the class because it’s important we are ‘learning about this together’, rather than me teaching them- children learn from what we do (95%), not from what we say (a measly 5%). I participate in the coding process because it’s so ridiculously fun! (as you can see I want more time for guitar practice).
Pretty complex and beautiful stuff made simple, understandable and relevant with a really cool metaphor that’s also gender neutral.
Lots of fun art supplies and some time and space to practice the process together, and the magical mindful 7-11’s are already discovering- or rather un-covering, their magical mindful coding abilities.
There’s room for a few more children next week at the 4:30pm class at Community Connect Killcare SLSC, but do let me know if they’re coming along so I can have their journal ready for them.
I’ve recently replaced my morning coffee with Chai, and I have to say that I’m feeling deep reserves of energy and stamina coming into play that I haven’t felt for a while now..well, since before kids!
I love my morning coffee- it’s not just the pick-me-up and strong grounding aroma that does it for me and has done for so long, but the ritual around it.
Whether I brew it up at home or visit my local cafe, there’s a sacredness to that morning cup of magic that slowly wakes me up, warms me up, and moves you me the day ahead in that predictable, comforting and delicious way.
For me, that beverage of choice has been coffee. And although I will still enjoy an occasional cup of it on the weekend or when the desire takes hold, as an integral part of my day- coffee no longer makes the cut.
Although has it’s own health benefits, like all things, sometimes, at some points in our lives, the cons can outweigh the pros. It’s always about finding and honouring the balance and what’s working, or not working, for you. And then, taking inspired action.
For me, the cons of coffee far outweighed the benefits (benefits I’m now getting from my chai without any cons in sight). Coffee can deplete vitamins (especially the B vitamins essential for energy), can cause big highs and lows in energy, and it leeches calcium from our bones (an important factor to consider if you’re wanting to age well).
So after sitting with all this, and feeling the effects of not enough physical self-care in my body, I started dreaming of another way….another warm, delicious suitor to start my day with.
Then, along came Chai.
Chai, meaning ‘tea’, or Masala Chai ‘Spiced tea’ has been around for centuries and has been drunk with reverence for its health benefits to body & mind.
Here’s some of them:
-Decreases inflammation (illness)
-Boosts antioxidant status (anti-acing)
So never fear, Chai is no fad doing the rounds- it’s the real deal and it’s been around for a long time, just waiting to love you!
I didn’t replace my coffee right away with this divinely-inspired delicious blend of herbs and spices, I wasn’t ready to choose for a little while so I went right ahead and drank chai & coffee right along side each other (yes they both knew about each other and were somehow ok with it!). I allowed my body and mind to let me know when it was time to either choose one over the other once and for all, or find a better balance for myself.
Turns out I didn’t have to make that choice, chai chose me.
And we start every day together now.
Coffee seems very content with being drunk only occasionally, and we’re all very happy with the new arrangement.
A sip of chai turned into 2 days of chai, which rolled into a week, which poured into a month, and now chai & I are going strong heading into christmas, cup in hand each morning like two young lovers- guilt-free and in love, but also open to enjoying other beverages on occasion.
I’ve worked out what nourishes me on a deep level, allowing me to grow my wellbeing slowly, steadily and sustainably…and I’m choosing that, every day.
Don’t get me wrong, I will still enjoy an occasional cup of coffee- and intend to- but it will be a conscious happy choice, rather than an habitual need for the caffeine pick-me-up dictating to me how it is.
So now, after a month of chai, and a break from coffee, my nervous system is soothed (a clearer, calmer mind), my liver has gently detoxed (sounder, deeper sleep) and my digestion is really strong. I also find myself gravitating to even brighter, ‘happier’ foods as a result of my natural increase in energy levels, and my soul feels brighter and happier too.
I drink my own chai blend- one I’ve created slowly and lovingly, over the winter just gone…and I want to share it with you because I know a great love like this should not be kept all to myself.
My chai has a little twist to it- some honeybush to enhance the antioxidant effects of the base blend and a dash of star anise for it’s amazing ability to support digestion…because as as all naturopaths know- good health starts in the gut.
If you’d like to enjoy my blend of Masala Chai, names ‘Bouddi Bliss’ because it’s made in Bouddi & there’s no better word than bliss to describe the taste, aroma and feeling this blend brings, please head over to the shop and have a browse. You can place your order by calling or texting it through to me on 0410 412 396 or emailing me at email@example.com.
I’m packaging the chai for chrissy- so do let me know if you don’t want your pot or canister christmas wrapped. And I’m also delivering on the first 3 mondays in December to lighten your festive load, so let me know if you’d like this option and which delivery dates suits.
Well, the sun has risen, I’m bright-eyed and bushy-tailed my morning beach walk with my beloved canine companion ( oh if only he could enjoy my chai!) and I just had to write this piece before I glide into another beautiful day. My chai has brewed and is waiting for me, patiently, lovingly, just oozing ‘drink me!’…and so I must.
I’ll take that first sip, and share sacred time together as I ground into my day, visualise what I’d like to create in it and affirm to myself how worthy I am of good things and good times- including my morning cup of chai.
And if I’m really honest, I’m going to go for a second in the evening…Yes, I’ll brew up a big pot on the stove and let my dreams be chai-inspired.
And I hope yours are too.
Ps. My son Indiana, who has just woken and joined me here wants to add something crucial. ‘Mum, I don’t just like my chai, I love it…now, were is my chai?’
I had better go pour his now too!
The lead up to christmas is the perfect opportunity to begin or strengthen your mindfulness practice.
And your mindfulness practice doesn’t have to be anything formal- it can be a few mindful moments when you wake, during the day, and when you wind down for the evening.
Mindfulness is simply paying attention to the present moment, without judgement and with an attitude of curiosity. Bringing compassion into mindfulness adds an element called ‘heartfulness’- that spirit of gratitude, appreciation and compassion for self and others.
Mindfulness + heartfulness taken in regular doses every day = better focus and concentration, increased self-worth, improved emotional regulation and a stronger feeling of connection to yourself and the world around you. All this leads to sustainable happiness…the kind of happy that is generated from within.
In my naturopathic and wellbeing practice working with both children and adults, I’ve found that mindfulness, along with the ‘magical’ element of heartfulness (hence my ‘magical mindful me’ classes for young people), is the best medicine around…second only to laughter of course! Even where herbal, homeopathic and nutritional medicine is needed to return balance to the body, mindfulness greatly enhances these things by decreasing stress in the body, and allowing physical medicines to work more quickly and effectively.
Prevention really is the best medicine, and the #1 tool I use with now with myself, my family, my clients and class participants is mindfulness & heartfulness.
I’ve created a series of classes starting term 1 2018, along with holiday workshops in January, to introduce your child (adults are always welcome to come along) to mindfulness, and through fun, creative and engaging activities, empower them to create their own daily wellbeing practice centred on Mindfulness & Hurtfulness…so that they can connect with with ‘Magical Mindful Me’ inside, and from this place, more consciously choose their thoughts, words and actions…selecting those that truly reflect who they are what they desire and the kind of world they wish to live and play in.
For adults, I run weekly mindfulness classes in the Bouddi area of the Central Coast- at Bells Resort, Killcare SLSC and in the Bouddi National Park. I’d love to see you there and support you along your own mindful journey into more wellbeing.
In the meantime, why not use the build-up to christmas and it’s hustle and bustle as an invitation to dive into a deeper stillness in your body and mind. You can do this simply by, whenever you think of it, taking one mindful breath and infusing it with gratitude by bringing to mind one thing you are grateful for in your life.
A few moments like this…and magic can happen.
Magically, Mindfully Yours,
I just LOVE my chai.
Apart from the gazillion health benefits including digestive, immune & mood support, a simmering pot of chai on the stove warms up the heart and home like nothing else.
Masala (spice) Chai (tea) is commonplace at cafes now, and it’s no wonder…with it’s delicious balance of sweet & spicy this magical blend served with milk and honey is not only good for you, it tastes divine.
The Bouddi Bliss Masala Chai blend contains star anise and honey bush to provide extra age-defying anti-oxidants and add an extra kick of amazingness- making it the perfect Christmas gift for the chai-loving tribe.
Bouddi Bliss Masala Chai is 100% Organic, 100% Locally-blended (by mwah!) and 100% inspired by everything we all love about chai- health benefits, delicious taste and intoxicating aromas that warm the mind, body and soul.
To order some Chai now for Chrissy gifts click on the button below and it’ll take you straight to the shop…and be sure to grab one for your beautiful self to sip on whilst you wrap your pressies and soak up the festive vibes.
Welcoming back the Bouddi Boosts!…everyday totally- do-able tips from a naturopath for a Happy Healthy BOD.
BOUDDI BOOST #1:
FRESHLY SQUEEZED FRUIT & VEGETABLE JUICE!
Drinking a couple of glasses of freshly squeezed juice is OUT-OF-THIS WORLD for your health…It will hydrate, remove toxins, decrease inflammation and deliver nutrients to your beautiful body in their natural and most bioavailable (your cells can suck them up more easily!) form.
I HIGHLY recommend investing in a juicer (hot tip: check out your local vinnies, salvos or other pre-loved goods store as they usually have loads of pre-loved juicers …we got ours for $15 and it works wonderfully!)
Spend that cash you saved on your pre-loved juicer on local and organic produce to increase the healing-power of your liquid lush-ish-ness (is that a word?- unsure, but I like it!)
Parents- make freshly squeezed juices a non-negotiable in the house- serve up a freshly squeezed juice to your kiddies first thing on rising in a jar or cup they have pimped up to their personal taste! Then, wait for 30-60 minutess before serving up the main meal -‘breakfast like a king’ remember- breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day as it’s the most important.
In our household, the after-school snack-a-thon is heralded in by a 2nd freshly squeezed juice…they are usually famished, thirsty and quite frankly HANGING for a real re-charge.
Get juicing this spring and really FEEL the gentle and gradual improvements in your vitality.
Make juicing a habit, and your body will thank you
It’s the buzz word right now.
And for good reason…it offers a plethora of proven benefits for our minds and bodies.
And as a Mindfulness educator myself I am all for it.
When it comes to releasing trauma (stored emotion/energy in our bodies and minds), another ingredient is often required.
And we all have some degree of trauma…even the smallest upsets as child get lodged in our body tissue and psyches…and they stay there buried down deep in the dark where they can’t be touched until they have a chance for liberation…and mindfulness often IS that very invitation for liberation!
The very nature of being mindful means our awareness of our current experience increases. The issue is, if there’s stuff we haven’t processed fully, our ‘current’ experience isn’t always the ‘here and now moment’.
Instead, it’s an individual reality composed of ‘past’ stories, patterns and ways of perceiving the world that may not be so helpful for us. Or our ‘current experience’ may also be a blend of ‘future’ worries, anxieties or concerns based on an effort to avoid repeating past experiences. In either case (and usefully it’s a lovely blend of both- yippee!-), Mindfulness can then become not only difficult and uncomfortable- but Just. Not. Doable! for a lot of us, at least some of the time.
I was reminded of this problem (…and it’s inevitable solution!) by a recent article I read by Anna O’kaolin entitled, ‘Mindfulness: When Not to Use It’, read it here
It spoke to me on every level. Not least of all on a practical, everyday commonsense level.
Like when I work with people in Wellbeing Sessions, most often the most effective emotional releases and perspective shifts happen in outdoor sessions- when we are on the move, allowing the body to move when it needs to and how it needs to. I’ve always intuitively known this is the way to go as our bodies aren’t meant to remain stationary, especially when we’re releasing lots of emotion- which wellbeing sessions of any kind can initiate.
It’s why we often move through more ground and come up with more creative solutions when we ‘walk and talk’, rather than sit down and try to solve a problem.
Often, the practice of Mindfulness is presented as, or practiced in, a way that does not allow for the release of emotional energy that naturally arises when we bring our awareness to our thoughts. Sure, if we are Zaen master for Buddhist Monks we may be able to remain still and stationary amidst a torrent of emotional turmoil and old memories bursting up out of our subconscious into our conscious mind, but, if you’re anything like me- a ordinary human who’s constantly discovering deeper layers of my life experience calling for release in the form of habitual emotional responses, strong body sensations or unexplainably strong reactions to people, places or events, then when another page of your story of life comes up for review (and hopefully release!) then you’re natural (and GOOD) reaction is to run!
So, if we acknowledge this reaction to physically move in reaction to emotions bubbling up, especially in our mindfulness practice, then we can begin to work WITH it, rather than AGAINST it.
What if we didn’t sit still?
What is we didn’t run away from the sensation, or feeling, or memory or image….but ran WITH it instead.
Move with it.
Crawl, collapse, stretch, curl up and really viscerally FEEL the feeling that’s arising, as we listen to, trust, allow for and follow our body as it naturally un-winds old ‘stories’ of experience from deep within it’s tissues and re-tells them in a more coherent, real way, allowing us to now respond to life consciously, rather than continue to react from unconsciousness.
I find that when I infuse Mindfulness with ‘ME’…Ie. my truth in any moment- whether that’s the need to move in weird ways mindfully, eat mindfully, cry mindfully, laugh mindfully, make love mindfully, say no mindfully, say yes mindfully, not know mindfully, run as fast as I can mindfully and then stop suddenly in my tracks not knowing why mindfully- I’m fully EMBODYING mindfulness.
It’s then that my practice becomes PLAY.
And it is actually EASIER, more ENJOYABLE and deeply LIBERATING. It’s like I know what I’m doing is right, even though I don’t really know what I’m doing. How? By how I feel in my body- spacious, peaceful, alive, connected….ME again.
Mindfulness Practice evolves into Mindful Living.
And a mindful life isn’t always one that’s sitting silently serene with legs crossed, eyes closed and a look of calm serenity.
It’s whatever it is, wherever you are, however you’re feeling…just as long as YOU are there with your expierence- YOU the human- the one who listens to your body, trusts it, follows it…without the conditioned patriarchal need to understand or fix things…but instead the red hot and holy feminine desire to fully embody and experience whatever is coming up for you RIGHT NOW- because nothing is to much for your deep and brave listening.
And true listening, a pre-requisite for a fully embodied mindful life- is about being silent in your mind– not your body.
So I invite you to, next time you sit for your mindfulness practice, stand instead.
Swim, ride, speak with it instead. Share mindfulness in your own unique way, silencing your thinking mind but not turning down and definitely not turning off your instrument of expression- your body.
Bring YOU back into the heart of your Mindfulness practice.
Do it YOUR way. Make it beaUtiFULL again, and move firmly onto the fast-track lane to delicious wholeness, in the way that only you know how to.
Practice may not make perfect, but you are, so bring yourself into your practice and watch it bloom in fulfilling and creative ways that allow you to be mindful WHILE releasing the layers underneath that hold the solutions that you seek.
Oh, and don’t forget to breeeeeeeaaaaathh-).
I was at the beach this morning with my youngest son taking our border collier x kelpie (aka THE most active canine EVER) for his morning walk (aka wild crazy gallop).
As our animal ran free along the sand with 4-6 ft waves rolling in, we sat and waited for the sun to rise up from behind Mt Bouddi, to herald in another new day.
As I sat on a washed up log, marvelling at how we will never be able too train the ‘wild’ out of our domesticated animal, I didn’t miss the message behind it that I will never be able to train the wild out of myself or my children- as much as I try to domesticate all the untamed parts of myself and my kids. And, for once, I felt ok with that, as I watched our dog, whom my eldest named ‘Ranger’- range his shoreline, free and unashamed, in full acceptance of his wild nature.
Then, as I sank into this lovely new acceptance of my own and my children’s ‘animal’ natures, along with all the other parts of ourselves, Indiana asked me a question,
‘Mum, why are all those lights on?’, as he pointed to the glistening house windows on the headlands jutting out near Sydney heads.
I explained that the lights weren’t on, but that the windows were reflecting the light from the sun that was rising opposite them from behind the head land to our left. I explained that we couldn’t see the sun yet, but that the windows, from their higher vantage point, could, and that they were showing us a little preview of what was to come…if we just wait a little longer for the sun to rise for us.
He asked me why all the windows weren’t reflecting the light, and I fell in love with his question – as I do often when he hits me with these golden opportunities to share what I’ve learnt through experience- because he always throws them out to me in at just the right time and in just the right way- for us both.
“Well”, I explained, “not all the windows are clean. Some are dirty, and the sun’s light can’t reach to the glass to reflect itself off of, but others are clean and it’s easy for the light to reach through to those.
It’s kind of like our minds, I guess. Like, when we have unhappy or worried or angry thoughts in our minds, we can’t receive answers, or happy thoughts, or inspiration we need to feel happy and warm. But, if we take a little time each day to keep our minds clear from thoughts that clog up our view of the sunrise, then it’s easier for the happy thoughts and the sunrise to reach our minds. And then they do, we can then enjoy receiving them and let them warm us up. And we can also reflect them to others or anywhere we like- through our thoughts, words or actions.”
“Oh yeah, he said, that makes sense. Let’s clean our windows soon Mum, they are getting dirty”.
As this beautiful metaphor slowly marinates and sinks into his consciousness, we will indeed go home and clean the windows in our house. And I’ll continue to talk to him about how having a clear mind allows us to receive and reflect light, inspiration and creative solutions- he’s just started taking a mindfulKIDS course with his friends so I’m loving the timing of this new enquiry of his.
Meanwhile, conversations like this one act as a beautiful wake up call to me to keep my mind clear- on a daily basis, because it’s well worth it- charity of thought, emotional balance and physical lightness and ease are the pay-off.
Mindfulness forms an integral part of all my Wellbeing Sessions, because it truly is the most effective way I know to real, sustainable wellbeing- which is a totally natural thing once we re-learn the knack of how to allow it it flow into our daily lives.
In regards to animal natures and letting our wild selves run free, Mindfulness actually creates a space for us to come into more acceptance of the untamed, unruly, undomesticated parts of ourselves.
Because Mindfulness encourages us to release judgement, let go of black or white thinking, and move into a natural curiosity, an engaged neutrality and an empowered wholeness that allows us to feel both balanced and peaceful, yet totally accepting and OK with every part of ourself.
To book in for a session or to come along to a mindfulness class to develop your own daily practice and move into a more fluid and connected state of being, send me an email and we’ll find you a time.
In the meantime, have a little think about how often you’re ‘cleaning the windows’ of your own mind, and whether a little time daily spent washing the grime away may just allow you to receive a little more light and a lot more wellbeing.
Sunshine, light, wellbeing- it’s always there- it’s just about whether you’re receiving it or not.
THIS memory from my second son’s first hours- brings up so much happiness and raw emotion for me, totally blissful and a mother a second time round.
Also had just discovered my baby girl was a baby boy, ‘she’s got balls!’ I laughed out loud through my tears of joy, as did everyone else…but his name stuck- my gorgeous Indiana, my beautiful mystery.
I’m once again about to go on call as doula for 2 women both heavily pregnant and waiting.
Being on-call for birth always reminds me of waiting for my own two births. Waiting, waiting, waiting, and then boom- amazing miracle right there in my own to hands…familiar yet totally taking me by surprise.
Photos and memories like this one remind me that life is never ordinary, sometimes we’re just waiting on another miracle.
I’m mindful of my clients, my friends and my family- one especially…you know who you are ;-), who are waiting, waiting, waiting- sometimes patiently, sometimes restlessly, sometimes with a breaking heart.
But, I invite you to enjoy the wait…the outcome is assured, it’s just not visible yet.
In my own life, I only have to wait 2 more days until both my babies are home with me again, having been away for the holidays.
In the last 2 weeks I’ve moved house, settled our new canine, worked hard and taken some time for me as well, but nothing can now hide the fact that I am definitely waiting for my own tribe to return home. But there’s no resistance anymore, no doubt, no friction. I enjoy my waiting now, because I realise that I GET to wait for someone, something- what a gift.
Waiting, Waiting, Waiting.
Patiently, Knowingly, Gratefully.
Being present at birth- as a new mother myself, and as a doula and support for other women, reminds me that each time I encounter those that I’ve missed and that I love it is always an opportunity to receive that person a little more deeply, a little more fully, as I bring myself more fully, and more deeply, into the present moment too.
The feeling of ‘connection’, which many are craving through many different substances and experiences, is HERE and AVAILABLE in the present moment- it’s just that WE aren’t always HERE and AVAILABLE.
Breathe through whatever moment or phase you’re at, whatever stage or ‘process’ you find yourself in, deeply, mindfully and with acceptance.
See if you can allow this moment, and the next, and the next, to be new. See what changes.
See what doesn’t.
Be mindful. Be present. Bring your full energy into your current experience- without judgement, just with calm curiosity and a little gratitude.
Wait calmly, breathe deeply, and you may discover you are no longer ‘waiting’ for anything or anyone else…it’s a deeper connection with yourself that is the deeper desire.
If we aren’t feeling ‘connected’, then we are always ‘waiting’ to be seen and received. And the ironic thing is that once we are seen and received by others around us, and by ourselves- regardless of our changing emotional expressions, aspects and moods- we became free to discover that familiar, eternal, unchanging element of ourselves which is our anchor -our calm, steady centre- sitting calmly and happily under the the ocean of life’s changing weather and currents, and remaining blissfully unaware of the vessel on the surface (our personality) and it’s response to those.
We are both the anchor (unchanging being-ness) AND the vessel (our personality) on the ‘ocean’ of life. But for that sense of deeper connection, which brings with it greater wellbeing, we need to make contact with our anchor, and that core part of us that is unchanging. This ENHANCES the ride, and makes the ocean much more easy to navigate- we have our bearings once more.
Try a little more presence today, a deeper breath, a little more willingness, and see what changes in how you respond to your day ahead.
Turn Waiting into a practice in Mindfulness, and see if you can feel into a calm, peacefulness inside regardless of the external happenings around you. And let me know how you go!
For more support in developing a Mindfulness Practice to bring greater physical, emotional and mental wellbeing into your daily life, contact me for a session time either in your home or outdoors in the Bouddi National Park.