Tag Archives: self-acceptance

I’ve finally done it!

“Most [wo]men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with their song still in them” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Here's my excited face
Excited to finally be walking on MY path

I don’t want to be one of those people.

So, I’ve taken the leap. I’ve done what I’ve long been dreaming of. I’m taking control of my life and my destiny.

I’m going to sing MY song.

I’ve handed in my notice at work to leave my part-time job in one month’s time.

I’m devoting my life to play my small part in helping to relieve the suffering of stress and anxiety through calming yoga, relaxation and meditation.

I have a calling. It’s always been there. To do something useful. To make a difference. To help others. To empower others that there is a different way in life. To write. To create. To get up on stage somehow. To inspire.

To let as many people know as possible that life doesn’t have to be struggle and difficulty and stress and self-loathing and quiet desperation. That we are free despite the mass manipulation by of our governments and media and culture with their twisted messages of fear and self-loathing and hatred of others.

But first I had to make my own journey from that dark place to a different one.

To a place of joy and self-acceptance and permission to do what lights me up. Of lightness. Of simplicity. To a place of self-belief. Read more…

Four steps to let go of guilt and let yourself relax

guiltyFinally. 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.

Guilt strikes

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.

Sound familiar? 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…

Yoga Antidotes to Anxiety

Tree hugging in Bath
Trees calm me down!

Anxiety. Those worried thoughts; the general feeling of unease; the feeling that your nerves are on edge. Apprehension. Agitation.

Do you feel it? I know I am prone to it.

Now, I have a hunch that those of us who tend to experience anxiety are highly sensitive.

Anxiety is our nervous system’s response to the excess of external stimuli in our environment: our fight / flight / freeze response keeps getting revved by the information overload of our busy lives and pushy culture and we wind up feeling anxious.

So the good news is, there’s nothing wrong with you. I am PASSIONATE about this. If you experience anxiety you don’t need to be medicated. You don’t have to beat yourself up. You don’t have to tell yourself – or listen to others telling you – there’s something wrong with you.

Explore the fact that you might simply be sensitive. 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…

Choose gratitude and joy this January

Fireworks
Happy 2016!

Happy New Year! The year has turned again and here you are at the start of 2016.

Are you feeling the calling to turn a new leaf? To make resolutions? To stop doing this; to change that; to be more this; to do less of the other?

It’s natural to feel this at the start of a year.

However, most New Year’s resolutions tend to be based on a feeling that we’re not good enough, that we need to stop making bad choices and that if only we could be thinner, or drink less, or break the social media addiction then our life would be perfect and we would be happy. Read more…

12 things I’ve learned in 2015

Stella at Christmas (Dru Yoga Teacher in Southampton)
Feeling reflective at Yuletide

So 2015 is almost at an end. A good time for reflection.

2015 is the year I turned 40, discovered the trait of high sensitivity, meditated daily and learned to ground.

An eventful year. Here’s what I’ve learned.  I hope these lessons inform, amuse and inspire you.

1. There’s nothing to fear in turning 40 (or 50 or 60 or 70…)
On February 2nd this year I turned 40. And (somewhat surprisingly I admit) I suddenly felt freer, unleashed, happy in my skin. I love being 40. I love being me. 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…

Overcome Christmas Overwhelm

Christmas time - keep calm with relaxing yoga in Southampton and Eastleigh
Keep calm and carry on with Christmas

It’s Christmas!!! Yay? Or …Nay?

Ah, Christmas, lovely Christmas. Full of joy, full of sparkle, full of giving.

Full of panicked shoppers, full of to-do lists a mile long, full of demands on your time, full of making polite conversation at parties and socials with colleagues and semi-acquaintances and relatives you haven’t seen all year… Read more…

Yoga: what’s the point?

The Yoga Path: Mindful yoga in Southampton and Eastleigh
The yoga path: often challenging but always rewarding

So, I’ve been rather confused about yoga and my place in the world as a yoga teacher of late.

Increasingly, yoga seems to be about challenging poses, contortions, arm balances, headstands and pushing through your fears – at least that’s how it’s represented and how many teachers teach it.

But to me, practising yoga has always been about “stilling the thought waves of the mind”  (as Patanjali, the sage behind the ancient Yoga Sutras states).  A practice of becoming aware and alive to the subtleties of my body, emotions and mind and to connect to my inner self and inner peace. Read more…