When I think about doing and being I feel the chasm between the two. That makes sense when one heavily outweighs the other. I’m currently resting on my bed with two furry felines, magazines (New Dawn and Natural Medicine if you were wondering), journals and my laptop. I’m on a self-dictated Rest Alone Day.
I love to work – my work is so interesting, rewarding and fun! Yet I can also easily do too much of it, along with over-doing general busyness. When that occurs at the same time as back to travel, unravelling new layers of old trauma, some banging into my dear partner (for even more self-discovery of course!), parenting a teen, renegade chickens and coming down with an intense virus it’s time to put the brakes on. And here’s a thing – when I was getting a service on my car about a month ago my mechanic shared that my brakes wouldn’t last the week – they were down to the metal. There was my message.
At some faraway point in my younger years I became a ‘doer’. I thrived on the recognition (energy) that came my way when I was noticed for my writing, accuracy or being ‘good’. Teachers and bosses rewarding me gave me the pseudo-power I craved. That was short-lived, so I had to keep doing and doing. And doing. I knew no other way to feel ok about myself. Well, that’s not true actually – I knew how to be the perfect girlfriend, yet it was all externally focused. I stayed in my head or with the job or the ‘other’, avoiding myself as much as I was unconsciously capable of. My ‘being’ time happened quickly and easily with drugs, sex, food and alcohol. No more work, no more thinking – a relaxing presence, or so I thought. They work until they don’t and their accompanying side issues became a more obvious problem.
Being is a skill I have been quietly relearning over the years thanks to yogic breathing, journaling, nature, parenting and restorative yoga. I still notice the habit of keeping an outwardly focused pace up, disconnecting me from my sense of grounding. I then miss my quiet inner voice telling me what will bring harmony. That's when the louder signs kick in, like my virus letting me know I'd passed my internal stop sign.
Rest, self-parenting and being while I am doing like the yogis do – that’s what I will be practicing on the extended summer break I am gifting myself in one weeks’ time.
Here are some tips you might find helpful:
Regularly check in to see what your physical body is needing before pain or illness demands a more permanent full stop. Is it rest, sleep, water, particular food, vitamins, touch, exercise, fresh air, sunshine, or something else?
Give yourself time to feel your emotions rather than doing to avoid them. That release of pent up energy brings lightness of being.
Witness the quality of your thinking. Scattered, busy minds need soothing. Breathe, become present, slow down. This will bring more being to your doing.
Care for your spirit. Nature, sunshine, beauty, prayer, meditation and gratitude can all help you remember the authentic you that too easily gets forgotten.
Wishing you balance in your being and doing.
Photo by Lenin Estrada on Unsplash
Settling down into lockdown has been quite a process. In New Zealand we are close to 2 weeks in. It’s taken that long for me to finally slow down. The early drama of it all had me watching mainstream news with a glass of anxiety-settling wine, talking covid19 semi-fulltime, juggling space so our family could all do online calls at once, cooking amazing meals (who else has had their grocery bill sky-rocket?!), cleaning random things, navigating Zoom group events as well as my one on one client sessions, baking and excessive social media. I extended my yoga practise and started walking around my block every morning. Phew. After a week of that I was exhausted!
Finding ourselves in an unusual new normal takes some adjustment. I’m reminded of a meme I related to about it being ok to not be productive during a global pandemic. What does it take for us to slow down and be present? If we can’t do it at this time we certainly will struggle in ‘normal’ (?) life post lockdown.
When we slow right down and ignore the ego-should-voice we are taking our power back from habitual belief patterns and fears that keep us away from our true nature. Keeping busy and productive can come from an aligned place if you have the energy, passion and intuitive-calling. To know if you do you must check in with your body, emotions, thoughts and maybe even your spirit, and that requires presence. Our habits can rule us if we are not self-aware.
We have been given a great opportunity to create a new routine that aligns with our personal needs in current time. I’m still cooking, but it’s only when I’m creatively compelled – my family all got their own dinner last night which was a relief. Binge cleaning has stopped. Extra yoga is staying. I’ve spaced my work out to accommodate the loud calling for rest I was hearing. Walking every morning is staying too. I am not picking up my phone all.the.time anymore. My new normal now includes daily self-kindness check-ins, more alone time and dancing.
What needs adjustment in your lockdown life for your physical body to feel happier? Is it movement or stillness?
Ideas: walking, dancing, yoga, rest, naps, being curled up with blankets, self-massage, baths, vitamins, less alcohol, lying on the earth, deep breathing, bouncing, body-honouring sex, more water, less food, different food.
What does your emotional self need?
Ideas: Hugs (self-hugs too!), video calls with friends or family, breathing, journaling how you feel, being heard (who can hold space to listen to you?) being outside with the trees and flowers, connecting with your animals, to just let feelings flow, essential oils.
What does your mental self need?
Ideas: Less social media, less research/more research, more fiction/more non-fiction, meditation (rest those thoughts!) journaling to unload all that stuff out of your head, lists/less lists, games, intelligent movies/shows or calming/easy tv, new projects/no projects, people on the same wave-length as you to talk to, boundaries with those who are not.
What does your spiritual self need?
Ideas: Nature, spiritual retreat time, cards, candles, prayer, meditation, channeling, journaling, time alone.
I’d love to hear your ideas too.
Wishing you a time of self-connection
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
Here’s a sex reminder – it’s good for you.
I’m sure you have your own list of why that is – or even a list of why it isn’t, which I would totally empathise with – sex wasn’t always good for me either.
I’ll tell you why it wasn’t, then I’ll tell why it is.
I’ve had a colourful sex life that began way too young. I might share more about that another time – for the purpose of healing, as always. And in this case, I’m imagining, some bonus entertainment.
Sex wasn’t always good for me in the past for these reasons:
Now that I am decades older with years of therapeutic and self-healing under my belt (yep, extensive healing in those lower 3 chakras) as well as being in a long-term committed partnership I am pleased to say I have come a very long way from those days that began in my teens and waned through my thirties.
Here’s why sex (the conscious kind) is good for you:
I know in a busy life there doesn’t always seem to be the time for all sorts of things that are good for us. I think we must prioritise sex. It’s a human need that is good for us in so many wonderful ways. Go forth and have fun! Or lots of tears, or something else that feels just right in a sexual kind of way.
Ps. You don’t even need a partner to receive a lot of these benefits. Just be loving, kind and connected to yourself and stay with any psychological issues that come forward for healing (it’s common to have wounds around self-pleasure.)
Wishing you luscious love
Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash
You know you’re a multidimensional being but I just wanted to bring it the foreground. What this means is that you have interconnected bodies that vibrate at different frequencies and coexist within your energy field or aura.
There is your physical self, which is obvious, although we are not as connected to this body as we like to think – a topic for another time. We also have an emotional body, a mental body and varying layers of spiritual bodies.
I have found it helpful to check in with all of these ‘bodies’ – to get a ‘Personal Weather Report’ as my yoga teacher calls it. It’s a simple and important practice that I personally find fascinating.
Our busy mind can have us detached from what is happening with our body, emotions and spirit. When we ignore these levels of our being we are ignoring our Self. It can also mean dis-ease is going unnoticed until it is loud.
See what you notice as you try this now –
Take your breath and awareness to your physical body.
Notice how your body is feeling.
Now take your breath and awareness to your emotional body.
How are you feeling emotionally?
This is a little more elusive yet with focus and practise you will get to know your emotions.
Now take your attention to the quality of your thinking – to your mental body.
You might also like to breathe your focus to your spiritual self. What do you notice on that more refined level?
You are checking in with your whole self, in this moment. When you are aware of this information you can make choices to accommodate what you have discovered, or to simply be aware of how you are, holistically, in this moment.
Maybe your body feels tired and needs rest, or maybe it feels out of alignment and needs some postural adjustments. It might feel vibrant and want movement.
Emotionally you might discover anger, peace, guilt or something else. You might choose to explore that more and care for yourself appropriately.
Mentally you may notice that you’re obsessing on one theme, lingering in the past or jumping to the future. It’s all helpful information to know yourself better and be accepting of who you are, right now.
Wishing you multidimensional wellness!
Image by Pexels on Pixabay
Knowing what we are feeling has the power to change our lives in wonderful ways. When we can stay present with an emotion by breathing into it a number of things can occur:
1. It has an opportunity to move. Emotion is energy that is too often trapped in our bodies because of our lack of experience in knowing and trusting that expressing emotion in a safe way is healing. When it is stuck in our body it creates density where life-force energy doesn’t flow. Over time this creates minor and major physical issues within our body. It can also bring about depression (an over-thinking dis-ease) blame, being addictive, judging others, self-harm and anxiety.
2. We may get images or impressions of a past event where that emotion originated. This shows us what we have not yet made peace with. I see this as precious information that allows us to know more about ourselves, as well as human nature. It can be an in road into a healing journey.
3. The emotion we are feeling may dissolve as it moves, allowing us to access a ‘hidden’ emotion – that which is underneath the surface feeling. For instance – I know that when I sit with my anger it can quickly shift as I access the more vulnerable feeling of sadness.
4. The emotion will often dissolve completely as we stay with it.
5. We connect with our authentic self.
It sounds simple to stay still and breathe into an emotion yet it’s not what the majority of people are doing. It’s much more common to stay with our thoughts rather than feel our feelings. Generally speaking, this is what we were taught to do. Our intellect was praised and our emotions were frowned upon. When I ask someone how they’re feeling I usually hear what they’re thinking – even with supposed self-aware people. I too can struggle to know what I’m feeling.
Even without taking the time to be present and breathe into our emotions we can be with simply knowing what we feel. This, in itself, can often settle us down into our body – away from our busy mind. From a place of knowing what we are feeling we can then make choices about how we care for ourselves. When we access our internal mother, we are practising self-love – a highly healing act.
Take the time to stop thinking so much and breathe into where you notice uncomfortable feelings – they are often your emotions wanting to be released. See if you cane name them. Be present and notice what happens.
Wishing you emotional intelligence.
Image by Sharon McCutcheon
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