Today I’m feeling sad, disappointed, worried and, yes, scared.
The tone of the debate in the UK’s EU Referendum is nasty. It’s ugly. Both sides are scare-mongering.
Those with the highest profile on the leave side (the Brexiteers) are encouraging fear and hatred and scape-goating of immigrants – of fellow human beings who’s only “crime” is to have been born outside the UK.
It seems hatred, scape-goating and small-minded nationalism is on the rise across the UK. History shows us what that can lead to. Read more…
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.
Maybe you love the chocolates and roses and romantic meals. Maybe you’re single and find this time of year poignant or painful and wish it would go away. Or maybe you prefer to ignore it completely whether you’re single or in a relationship (I fall into this camp for the record, rather viewing it as yet another cynical exercise in manipulating human emotion to make money… so there!).
But whatever you feel about Valentine’s Day, there’s no escaping the messages telling us to express our love for another by buying things of a rosy-shaded hue…
Which leaves me pondering; why are we so rarely encouraged to express love for ourselves? Can we truly love another if we don’t love ourselves first?
And if we’re not used to, or even comfortable with, loving ourselves, how do we even begin to go about doing it?
Phew, that’s a big topic!
So, I’ll approach it from a yogic point of view (naturally!)… Read more…
At the final day of my yoga teacher training earlier this year, I looked around at the happy, beautiful, joyous faces of my fellow yogis and felt such love between us all.
There was such an amazing and loving energy in the room.
And the thought just popped into my mind: love first, ask questions later.
If we could all learn to live with this in mind it would transform our lives personally and our relationships and interactions with others – ultimately making the world a more harmonious place. Read more…