Someone or Something Frustrating You?
Repeat this 5 times –
Repeat this 5 times –
Are you interested in meditation? Do you have a regular practice? Would you like to give it a go but are not sure how to? I’ve heard friends say they just can’t do it, it’s impossible not to think and it’s boring!
I’ve written this as another one of my ‘How I‘ blogs and and not a ‘How To‘, with the intention that it might just give you the nudge to get started. At times, yes meditation can be boring so you explore ways to sit with the boredom, in the same way you’ll discover ays to ‘be’ with the upsets, the joy, the anger, the frustrations etc
Yes. Some days I meditate for just 20 minutes and when I do my day flows well, I am more present with the ups and downs, I’m calmer with my kids and the ones I teach, and I notice I manifest more positivity. Stuff still goes on and things piss me off but for some reason it never matters so much and I’m less likely to get caught up in the drama in a negative way. I’m more neutral and sure of who I am and how I am being around it.
I wake up early anyway, so often go downstairs to the sofa cross my legs, close my eyes and just breathe and ‘be’. It is an effort because I want to do lots of other things at the same time, plus it’s cold, dark and boring to sit on the sofa on my own, yet I have so learned to love and cherish this peace and quiet and the benefits it brings. If I lay in bed it’s not quite the same as sitting up awake and present to what’s going on.
I have practiced yoga for 25 years and always enjoyed the corpse relaxation pose at the end, but never quite unerstood ‘meditation’ until about 4 years ago and now life wouldn’t ‘be’ the same.
When I was teaching out in Tanzania the school paid for me to go on a course to learn how to teach mindfulness. This week I was reading through some of the notes I took from my mentor Adam from Mindspace, and they served as a good re-MIND-er for me –
If you’d like to learn How To there’s many apps out there to get you going, courses, lots of great books which I can also recommend, and I can also guide you.
However, if this all sounds like a lot to do why not do what I do and just sit now and close your eyes and breathe and notice. And when you notice what you notice, notice a bit more and just be with what you notice. After a while you may like to just be with your breathing – in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, and the rise and fall of your chest, the weight of your body on the chair, the touch of your skin on your clothes.
If you notice other things too like being bored, that’s OK, just notice when you do and then notice your breath again.
Try this for a while and notice whether you’d like to do it again another time and read this again as a re-MIND-er.
I slipped into a How To but it’s also How I.
You may like to come along to my talk here.
Your children can learn simple ways to be calm, connected and emotionally balanced. It is very easy to do.
Recently I visited a school and Brownie Pack. I shared ideas with the children of ways to create changes of ‘state’ in our minds and bodies and how we get in a state in the first place!
I taught them how to create more energy and enthusiasm when they feel tired and ways to be calmer when they feel wired.
I was able to demonstrate how self-talk influenced their results. Words they say to themselves influence how they feel and how their body also has it’s own language which influences them both negatively and positively.
These are some of the techniques I shared with the teachers and children in school today which you might also enjoy at home. It takes just 5 minutes here and there…
Just Listen – Sitting with legs crossed, Close your eyes or gaze at a spot on the floor and just listen to the sounds in our bodies then take this listening to sounds which are nearby and outside.
Some of the children sat quietly and others found it hard to be still and quiet, with regular practice children notice more sounds and sit listening for longer periods of time. It’s also good to write down the sounds and see over time how many more can be added to the list.
Walking Tall –walk tall with smiles on your face. When we meet each other, stop, breath and smile.
This activity was fun for the children and helped them to enjoy and notice each other more and gain awareness of what was going on around them in the present moment. They got ‘present’.
Body Tapping – tap your bodies from head to toe and then use an imaginary sponge to rub your arms, backs, tummies, legs and feet and noticed how your bodies tingle afterwards. Notice how this improves your circulation, raises your energy levels and wakes you up.
This is a great exercise to do in the mornings.
Movement – I weaved in a yoga story too with 5 simple moves, I’ve written about ways to implement yoga into family life before here
Square breathing – I drew a square on the board, at home I draw a pretend square on my children’s backs, and then I traced along the square with my finger and as I did this we breathed in slowly for 4 and out for 4, this can be repeated for as long as you like, there are no rules.
After each exercise I asked the children and teachers to notice how they feel. Some said they felt calmer, relaxed and sleepy whilst some said they didn’t feel any different. There are no wrong or right answers, it was for them simply to bring awareness to the experiences.
So you probably now realise how simple it is for your children to learn how to be calm, connected and emotionally balanced and just how easy it is to do. And when we do these activities alongside them we create this in ourselves too.
I support schools, businesses, families, children, groups and individuals who are feeling frustrated. I am presenting a talk entitled ‘How I Help Adults and Children Relax’ on the 6th June in Guildford details here, a Contented Parenting workshop for frustrated parents in September details here a Mindfulness For All session here and co presenting with AyPee a Social Media support session for people frustrated with Social Media in September.
Yesterday my son was talking to me (well at me), we were on our way to karate and he was really excited about moving up a level to ‘spar‘ and spent a looooong time telling me all about it. I was distracted, my mind was elsewhere on work and actually hands up, I was a little bored of listening!
I took a breath and acknowledged to myself that I wasn’t with him and set an intention to BE present and enjoy his company, despite the uninsparring conversation.
I parked the car, looked at him and checked in to where we both were, I breathed with him and tilted my head to match his tilt, I listened to his words and brought myself to the present moment and engaged more with his excitement and enthusiasm, I noticed my 12 year old boy-man. I became present to BEing with him, I sensed his energy and he bought me home again, we relaxed together, his conversation slowed and he noticed me too.
Tonight he has been teaching me how to play a PS4 game called OverWatch and again I was rather distracted and keen to get on with making tea! I once again connected with him and enjoyed his joy at spending time with me, and just how excited he was to teach me how to be in his virtual world and once more guide me out of mine.
Come learn how we use our BE SAY DO HAVE Ⓒ model and join in the conversation –
Let’s face it, every family needs and wants calm, joy and emotional balance. We hear it all the time.
Most family members have something to say and they don’t feel they can or they don’t feel that they are being heard.
It’s part of the family dynamic – ‘The family Upset’.
How about having a strategy to fix that? Simple, effective, easy to do and leaving your family members surprised by how powerful and relaxed you have become?
Join us on Thursday 15th June for an interactive and fun workshop, with people who would like to share intelligent and unusual conversations around parenting.
You will be surprised.
Probably the family connection and communication model you have been looking for.
#parentingrascal #contentedparenting #RandDialEvent #LWWDEvent
Many of us will be moving into Spring expecting to be full of energy and enthusiasm, however the reality is we are still often dragging along Winter baggage, such as coughs, colds and a few extra body pounds, just in time for the allergy season to begin too!
🌟Warm Lemon Water
Upon waking and before eating sip warm water with a the juice of 1/2 a and a little honey – this has lots of benefits including encouraging your skin to glow, a shot of Vitamin C, a digestive aid, good source of potassium and it keeps us hydrated.
🌟Keep hydrated all day
Filter water into jugs at the start of the day so you can see how much you are drinking. Pour this into bottles and carry them around with you, have one in the car one in your bag, don’t leave in the sun though. Don’t like water? – try adding adding a squeeze of lemon, orange or cucumber slices. Alternatively drink herbal teas.
🌟Body Brushing for a Spring Glow
Give your skin a gentle body brush starting from the knees up, brush upwards towards the heart and if you don’t have a special brush use a dry flannel to kick start this morning habit. Body brushing helps to improve circulation and cell renewal, shed dead skin, adds a healthy glow and stimulates lymph drainage and the removal of toxins. Ideally do this for 5 to 10 minutes a couple of times a day.
Gentle self massage is also great, you can do this with or without oils. If you do use oil use a light one such as almond mixed with grapefruit oil for improved circulation. Massage as many bits as you can reach – gently knead, twist, pat, stroke and brush. Remember your hands, feet and face too. Even better if you have a little helper, my daughter and I really love to massage each other’s feet at bedtime.
🌟Move your body
Get out and walk and notice the Spring as it moves forward. Observe the blossom leaving, the leaves appearing, new flowers blooming and the light changing. Maybe take a sketch book and draw 5 new things you notice, they can be rough sketches nobody will mark you. Or simply pause, breathe and and just spend some time in nature, your garden may even suffice.
Particularly sun salutations and detoxifying twists.
I’ve written a post about yoga simple ways to weave it into homelife and family too – here. I’m an Iambe practitioner and this can include teaching kids and their parents simple fun family yoga poses, so let me know if you’d like me to come over to share some Spring Asanas with you!
🌟 Explore QiGong
It’s pretty simple to learn, excellent for developing concentration, physical strength and energy, perhaps try the 8 Brocades for starters. I love QiGong outdoors and in, you’ll find plenty of videos on YouTube to practice and again it’s something you can fit in around children if you are a busy parent. I try to learn a sequence then have a go at it on my own at home or even when I’m out walking in nature, just short simple sequences here and there.
Cross your legs or sit upright in a chair. Either gaze at something on the floor or close your eyes. Have a little check in with your body and where you are in the space in the room, allow yourself to settle a bit. Now, notice the Spring air breath as it comes in through your nostrils and out again. Each time your mind wanders away, which it will do, just gently and kindly bring it back again to the breathe. Sit like this for a while, I like to set a timer for 20 to 30 minutes and do this first thing in the morning before everyone is awake. You may like to try it out on a walk, find a place to sit and be still and quiet. When you have finished notice how you feel. Create a daily habit. If you need any guidance let me know as I’m trained to teach mindfulness and happy to share it with you for free. You may also enjoy this post.
🌟Reduce oily foods
Look for fresh seasonal foods – my kids are enjoying radishes at the moment in salads and with humus, a good Ayervedic Spring recommendation along with garlic, chillies and spring greens – which they aren’t so keen on! Minimise sweet, salty foods, caffeine and dairy, not so easy over Easter but that’s OK you can allow yourself to indulge it’s about finding balance. I did once pick nettles at the allotment and created a Spring nettle soup from a Hugh Fernley recipe, it was much tastier than expected, the kids surprisingly enjoyed it too!
Take 3 long slow continuous deep belly breaths now – out with the old and inhale the new. Right nostril breathing is also warming – I’ll share a video about this soon on my Facebook page
🌟Air your mattress
Turn it over and even treat yourself to some new bed linen. According to Feng Shui principles, making our beds each day is important as it’s a way to declutter and put a positive Spring spin into our day.
🌟A Spring Declutter
Tidy one drawer for starters – get rid of what doesn’t serve you, or bag it up and put it in the loft if you can’t bear to loose it. Now clear another drawer … This is a great way to mentally declutter too.
🌟Dust if You Must – Clear away the cobwebs physically and metaphorically. Some people like to burn sage around the nooks and crannies of their homes.
I’d love to hear what you like to do to help keep you mentally, physically and spiritually energised and on top Spring form. Please do comment below.
#yogarascal #iambe #parentingrascal