Friday, December 26, 2014

Reflections for the New Year

It's hard to believe that 2014 is nearly over. One of the things I have really struggled with this year was finding peace in the midst of stress and difficult moments. It is through my relaxation and yoga practice that I am learning to really cultivate a sense of "calm amidst the storm".

My desire for 2015 is that I will continue to develop the ability to find peace when things are chaotic around me. I know that this year is going to bring some very difficult and challenging moments with facing another time of separation from my husband, starting a new placement within my job, starting post graduate study which I have to travel long distances for, and then eventually organising our big move at the end of the year. This year is going to bring a lot of challenges (and those are just the ones that I already know about and can mentally prepare for!) Knowing in advance that there will be many challenges to face gives me the advantage of being able to set some healthy coping mechanisms in place....Of which my best means of coping is going to be establishing a really strong pattern for my yoga practice - even if that means only 15 minutes a day. Getting into the routine of daily practice means that I will take at least 15 minutes a day solely to focus on relaxation and grounding.

So that is my first New Year's Resolution - to devote a few minutes every day to yoga

Secondly, as my mantra for the year - I Am Here - I want to ensure that during my yoga practice I am really focusing my energy on grounding. On remembering that even if all else around me feels chaotic and difficult in that moment, I am still here...I am still me....I am still alive and well, and present in this moment. 

The third focus for me this coming year is continuing on my journey towards healthier eating habits. I have started seeing tremendous improvements with my health and my thyroid levels are starting to improve, so it is definitely worth the effort. I struggled this Christmas with making poor food choices and too much sugar over the past week, but I am determined to get back on track and really focus my energy on foods that actually improve my health. 

My biggest fitness goal this year is to keep working towards increasing my running fitness level. I would ideally love to be back running comfortably where it's really enjoyable. Long-term goals for that would be to be running about a 10K by this time next year. 

Those are just some of my goals for the coming year, what are yours? Have you taken the time to reflect on what you would like to achieve for 2015? Have a think about how you will cope with the challenges you might face BEFORE you face them.....Think about what lifestyle changes you might need to make in order to support healthy coping. Think about ways you can increase your fitness and improve your health. 

"If I only get today, I want to make today count. If I only get today, I want those around me to know that I loved them and for those who cross my path to know that they matter. If I only get today, I want to finish it well" ~ Namaste

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Living in the present moment

For many years I have been enthralled by the concept of living in the present moment. I attempt, as best I can, to embrace the here an now....To let go of all that no longer serves me, and to focus my attention on the blessings that are right in front of me.

This is, of course, all very well and good on paper - but it's surprisingly challenging to live it out in your daily life. That is, I guess, why I practice yoga. Because it allows me to focus my mind on the present moment (even if it is but for a moment in my day). I acknowledge my humanness, that I cannot seem to quiet my mind when the stresses of my day surround me.....but at least for a short time in my day I mindfully focus my energy on this moment.

I encourage you, even if it's just for ten minutes of your day, to just stop what you are doing and focus on this moment in time. Focus on the many blessings in which you have (the very breath of life that you breathe) and offer up some gratitude for those gifts. Acknowledge those around you whom you have come in contact with today, and offer loving-kindness towards them and thoughts of wellbeing for their lives.

I do not pretend to walk around in a state of euphoria, being grateful for everything and never stressing over the little things in life....No, this is not me. I acknowledge that I get overburdened, stressed, tired, grouchy - just like everyone else. But what I am saying, is that with the effort that I have, I will attempt every day to strive closer and closer to the place where my mind can come to peace and serenity.....where my mind can rest, and can appreciate all that God has done for me.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Becoming a caring culture

If I know one truth about life, it is that no matter who you are, you will face hardships and trials at some point along the way. No matter how old or how young you may be. It's simply part of life.

Walking through the valley's allows us to enjoy the mountain-top view all the more when we reach the top.

My curiosity lies in wondering why we cannot seam to recognise this truth in one another. We don't seam to be able to relate to the shared human experience that we all have. When someone is hurting or experiencing a stressful life-event, it absolutely amazes me at the amount of people who turn the other way and shield their eyes from this reality. Not to mention the amount of people who feel the need to HIDE the truth of their struggles from the world, for fear that they will not be accepted or acknowledged.

So, what would happen if we changed these mindsets? What would happen if we created a caring culture in which each of us recognised the shared humanness we each possess? What if we saw in each other our own pain and struggles? I wonder what that world would look like?

This week, I encourage you when you look in the face of those who cross your path, look a bit deeper.....imagine what it must be like to walk in their shoes.....Offer them a word of kindness or encouragement and show them that they are NOT alone!!