Drop anchor into the sea of now through mindfulness and the senses.
Busy mind. Tired body. Feeling unfocused and sometimes overwhelmed. Sound familiar?
Our busy lifestyles and overstimulating environment mean that we’re always on the go and there’s always something to do – there’s precious little time just to slow down and be.
There’s a saying oft used in yoga: Where your attention goes your energy flows.
If your attention is flitting around all over the place between past, present & future; getting lost in the past; fretting about the future; or judging and wanting to change what’s going on now, then your energy is going to feel diffuse and scattered – no wonder you’re tired and feeling confused!
But you don’t have to feel lost and out of control.
I’d like to remind you that we all have five things which are always available to us to bring us home; to drop anchor into the sea of now.
Rested? Pondered over a cup of tea? Stared out of the window to watch the clouds? Stood and listened to birdsong? Went for a walk with no aim in particular – just for the love of it? Sat and let your feelings come and go with no judgement?
Recently? Not in ages? Never?!
If this isn’t something you regularly do, I’m not judging you! I know how difficult it can feel to pack into your days all the activities you need and want to do – let alone finding time to do nothing!
But … this do-nothing-in-particular time is actually really important.
And the fact it is usually overlooked and not allowed in our lives is contributing to the high levels of stress and anxiety as well as fatigue and niggly illnesses in modern life.
Why? Because rest is essential to bring our bodies and minds back into balance.
It brings our bodies out of the stress response which modern-day life puts us into, and into the relaxation response where our body can rest, digest and heal. Rest balances the nervous system and soothes the mind. Read more…
How do you find the festive season? It can be enchanting. But it can also feel overwhelming.
If you tend to experience anxiety anyway, then you’ll know that there’s something about Christmas-time which can really aggravate and intensify the symptoms.
There’s nothing like an impending, immoveable deadline and yet-to-be-done Christmas shopping to get the stress hormones flooding your system!
And if (like me) you have a nervous system which is highly sensitive to external stimuli you’re more likely to experience the symptoms of anxiety.
And this time of year there are so many stimuli bombarding us: bright lights; crazy-busy towns, cities and shopping centres; parties and “dos” to go to; sugary & fatty foods; alcohol; Christmas shopping; the pressure to visit as many family members as possible; and jingly-jangly Christmas music everywhere!!!Read more…
Busy, busy, busy. Are you addicted to busy? Out here, there and everywhere? Do you ever allow yourself time to rest?
Or, maybe it’s an internalised feeling of busy that you can’t stop, you can’t slow down. A feeling of over-stimulation from all the thoughts and feelings and images and memories and plans.
That’s the busy that gets me. Take my sensitive easily aroused nervous system taking everything in from my environment and processing it all, and add to it all the thinking and feeling and, blimey, do I need some quiet-time!
Trouble is that quiet-time can become another opportunity for your mind to work on the to-do list can’t it?
But it does love to flit around and judge. Wanting this, not wanting that. Pulling and pushing. Attachment and aversion.
All too often never quite satisfied with what we have here and now.
It’s all rather tiring isn’t it?
The mind pulls us out of this moment and stops us enjoying the people we are with, or the quiet-time we’re allowing ourselves, or the simple pleasures of sights and sounds around us which can bring us joy and enrich our lives. Read more…
I can’t relax. I can’t switch off. My mind is constantly racing. I can’t concentrate on anything. I can’t sleep.
These are some of the common phrases I hear from my (new) yoga clients, as well as friends and family.
A feeling of being out of control. Feeling edgy. A feeling of foreboding. Mind skittery. Body tense and achey.
I know how it feels. I’ve been there. I remember many a night when I lay awake with that feeling of not being about to shut up my mind. Of it being in control of me. Of not knowing how to even start to make it quiet.
Take back control through your breath
But I want you to know that it IS possible to take back control of your mind. To find peace with your mind. To be able to release the thoughts and find ease.
Finally. You have 30 minutes with nothing scheduled. Some precious me-time alone. Time where you can just do what YOU like. Ah lovely…
But then, you remember the bins need putting out. Ah, you forgot to answer that email. Hmm, you haven’t spoken to such-and-such for a while may you should give them a ring.
And you start to feel guilty for not getting on with stuff which “needs” doing.
Feeling guilty. It usually comes with an unhelpful dose of “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”. That nagging feeling you should be doing something else instead. The knot in the stomach. The tension in the head and shoulders. The chattering thoughts.
The guilt comes with an extra whack when we’re doing something just for ourselves. Some aspect of self care that we know we desperately need but we somehow find difficult to allow ourselves to have. Quite time away from the kids and family. Time to go for a walk and get some fresh air at lunchtime to get out of the office and away from the ever-refilling email inbox. Saying a gentle but firm “no” to looking after the grandkids at short notice when you had some me-time planned.
And we either cave into the guilt and prioritise others’ needs or the guilt consumes us and we don’t enjoy what we’re doing.