Tag Archives: contentment

Tough love on self-care

Relaxation time - cute dog
Sit and stare and just rest

When was the last time you did nothing? 

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…

Soul food: Be content

Soul food:Be content with what you have

Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you ~ Lao Tzu

Swim against the tide of our culture which every day tries to tell us we’re lacking and not good enough.

Practise the yoga principle of Santosha – the art of contentment.

Be grateful for who you are and what you have NOW.

Breathe and revel in this moment, for in this moment all is well.

And know that you have all the strength and courage and love and wisdom inside you that you need to realize your dreams.

You ARE enough.

Losing the comparison game? Let yoga & mindfulness help you

Scales of justice
Do you compare yourself and find yourself wanting?

The comparison game. Do you play it?

The constant comparing yourself to others? Not feeling good enough? Feeling frustrated, ashamed, or angry that your life, achievements, appearance don’t match up?

Don’t feel bad – we all do it and get that sinking feeling of being not-good-enough-in-comparison to someone else.

There’s something about our culture which promotes comparison.

The glossy magazines, the adverts showing unattainable lifestyles, the side bars of shame. The carefully curated social media streams designed to illustrate how perfect that person’s life is.

Every day we see images and message which press our “not good enough” button which leaves us feeling anxious and stressed and disappointed.

But it’s not good for us to think and feel this way. It erodes our self-esteem. Read more…

Calm contentment: a manifesto!

Sweet Pea: smell the flowers for some calm contentment
Slow down and smell the flowers

Why oh why does our culture glorify busy-ness so much? We’re supposed to struggle, to push through our comfort zones, to do, to achieve, to climb the ladder. Blah, blah, blimmin’ blah. Whatevs. We’re not meant to want to relax in calm contentment.

Well do you know what? I can’t be bothered. It all sounds way too overwhelming and tiring for me, sensitive soul that I am.

I’m not lazy. I work hard – and yes, I find myself pushing too (and wind up exhausted when I do).

So I’m standing up for slowness. For gentleness. For kindness. For sensitivity. For time to relax and notice the simple pleasures in life. Read more…

Do YOU have time to stand and stare?

Flowers, trees and sky - some of my favourite things
Some of my favourite things – pics I recently took at Mottisfont

Do you remember when you were little and you’d spend, what felt like hours, lying on the grass and staring at the sky?

Watching the clouds form and change and pass? Watching, with fascination, the colours behind your closed eye lids as the sun shone on your face?

Ah, those innocent pleasures of childhood.  And the time to enjoy them without question or guilt.

How often do you allow yourself time just to stand and stare now? Read more…

Switch off autopilot with mindfulness

Mind full or mindful? Experience mindfulness with yoga in Southampton and Eastleigh with Stella
How mind-full are you?

Are you living your life on autopilot?

Here are a few signs you might be.  You find yourself waking up and worrying about your to-do list straight away. You reach for your phone as soon as you step out of the shower.

You’re constantly multi-tasking and never quite getting anything finished.

You find yourself rushing through the day from one appointment to another, from one project to the next, ticking off items on our to-do lists. And all too often, putting others’ needs first.

Wake up, rush around, fall asleep exhausted (or sleep fitfully because your mind won’t stop ticking over). Wake up and repeat and repeat and repeat…

I know it can be all too easy to let each day slide past like this! I’ve been there myself (and if I’m not careful still find myself slipping into this habit).

Which is why I love the practise of mindfulness. It helps us to switch off autopilot and switch into now.

Mindfulness enables us to rest in the present moment. To experience life as it unfolds.

Mindfulness is paying attention, without  judgement. When we can learn to do this mindfulness helps us to find refuge from stress and anxiety.

But how do we do this in our over-stimulated lives?

This Zen saying sums it up beautifully: “When you drink, just drink. When you walk, just walk.” Read more…

31 Days of Joy

0 January JoyAt the beginning of this year I decided to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and consciously notice what I have in my life to be grateful for.

So throughout January I’ve been choosing joy and gratitude and daily posted pics and words on my Facebook page to show what I’m grateful for in my life, about others, the world… and myself.

I decided to count my blessings and not my woes and I have really noticed a shift in my feelings and thoughts throughout this month. Read more…

Do you get relaxation guilt? (And how to let it go)

Relaxing cat
Relax … Be more cat ;-)

Someone recently asked me, “how do you shake off the guilt when you stop and relax”?

A very good question that got me thinking…

I’d posted a message on my Facebook page from Action for Happiness “Stop the Glorification of Busy” with the advice “It’s OK to give yourself permission to stop and do nothing. In fact it’s ESSENTIAL for your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. So go on … be a radical and give yourself time just to be…”

But yes, it’s one thing having time to relax, it’s quite another allowing yourself to relax isn’t it? Read more…

Have a joyful Christmas

Feel Joy - with calming, nurturing Dru Yoga classes in Southampton and Eastleigh
Look for joy!

“Joy to the world!” So exclaims the Christmas carol. Are you feeling joyful at the moment?

So many people I speak to at the moment are feeling tired, full of cold, wishing the days away until their Christmas break – as well as slightly (or openly!) dreading the amount of work Christmas entails.

…The shopping, the wrapping, the presents, the keeping-everyone-happy-but-forgetting-about-yourself push, push, push of the festive season.

I’ve found myself grumbling about Christmas too – I don’t feel Christmassy, I wish the weather was more seasonal, I’m fed up of Christmas already because it’s been around in the shops since the start of November… Bah humbug! Read more…

Why you need to stand up for serenity and leave struggle behind

Uphill struggle
Does life feel like an uphill struggle?

Life can seem like such an uphill struggle sometimes.

Too much to do, not enough time.

Arguments with the family, friction at work.

Worries about your or your family’s health.

The media telling you should eat this and not that, that you should exercise like this and not like that. That you’re drinking too little, not enough. That you should be doing such-and-such for a happy life, live somewhere else, feel different, be different.  Argh!!!

You crave a way to find a moment’s peace; to drop the angst and self-judgement and find some serenity. Read more…