WHEN THE YEAR STARTS TO DRAW TO A CLOSE & THE NEW ONE IS ON THE HORIZON it’s time to start looking forward.
When the hurly burly of Christmas & the Holiday Season ramps up it’s easy to get caught up in the distraction as you swing from crazy to chaotic – end of year targets, an endless round of socialising, holidays, Christmas lunch & dinner to think about, as well as co-ordinating visits to the rellies – family. In all of this, there’s one simple question to answer, “are you happy?”.
You might answer sometimes, generally, usually, not always – we all have things in our life that make us feel happy, but deep down are you happy?
If you find yourself saying “I’ll be happy when...”, it’s time to clear the clutter to uncover what truly makes you happy. Finding happy isn’t a chase or a goal to go after, it’s finding where your happy place is within you & the rest follows.
How about making 2022 your year of personal growth, change and development – free from being weighed down by past baggage…
Unfortunately there’s still a lot of stigma about Counselling but Counselling is really all about Personal Development – working one-on-one with someone to help you get where you want to go, to stop doing the things that prevent you from being happy and start doing more of the things that do. It’s that simple.
📅 A Year of Personal Change – what you can do:
1. Let go of expectations of yourself, others and how you think things should be
2. Stop trying to please everyone – it takes you away from your true self
3. Repair resentment, guilt and shame – find its root cause and heal it. Remember we all makes mistakes – it’s how we learn
4. Find forgiveness and you’ll find authentic connections with yourself and others
5. Say goodbye to draining, de-energising relationships – it’s tough but you’ve got to know when it’s not for you
6. Release all the busyness – have you confused it with status and achievement? Or avoidance? It doesn’t give you more of anything except stress and (often) lower self-esteem
7. Money doesn’t buy happiness – of course you need it but what have you traded-off for material gain & earning more & more? And how much do you really need anyway?
8. Let go of fear of abandonment – it leads to poor decision making
9. And let go of fear too – that’s one thing the Kūpuna/Elders always advise. Fear is the distortion of the Ego which is designed to help you in this school of life.
A list is just a list without action and action is hard to take on your own – that’s why you need a Wise Guide to help you access the places you would not be able to go by yourself and cheer you on through the tough stuff…they also make sure you’re holding yourself in love and not judgement
☝ If this strikes a chord and you want 2022 to be a milestone year, then make a time with Mark or one of the other Wise Guides and get set for 2022…
The Slow Movement: slow down you move too fast, you’ve got to make these moments last…
For years we’ve been vocal advocates for the Slow Movement Movement! In our Healing Studio with Clients, in workshops, courses, Wise Guide Sessions – we love the slow!
Slow movement is all about slowing things down but it’s more than just taking time to stop and smell the roses. In fact, it’s not about stopping at all, which eases the horror when I tell someone it’s time to wind it back a bit…
Now, I never advocate what I haven’t tried myself, so for most of the last few years, I’ve really gotten into the movement of doing things real slow. And what’s the easiest way to try it out – through excercise.
Put your hand up if you rush through your stretching to get to the main event? Every time I’ve asked someone about stretching they all say the same thing “I rush through it to get it over and done with...” Well, that’s where just about everyone gets it wrong.
But stretching isn’t only about getting ready to do your exercises – strip back the traditional stretching activities like Yoga and you’ll remember that it’s all about the PROCESS of opening, exploring, being curious, interested and aware. So slow stretch before Yoga is necessary to get more out of it…
In the battle for the bikini body, it seems the message of Yoga (and all stretching actually) is getting lost.
Your spirit, mind & body love the process of “interested curiosity” and you’ll find that the effects of your stretching and follow-on exercises will actually last longer. The slower you go the longer the benefits stick around. I’d love to say slow movement is mindfulness, but I get stuck there as well because the word MINDFULNESS is so exploited its real meaning is getting lost somewhere too.
But I guess Mindfulness, the real kind, is probably the best description of the tool needed for slow movement effectiveness. After 5 years at Buddhist School, which seems a lifetime ago (or many lifetimes from the Buddhist perspective!) what I learned was the purpose of mindfulness was to end suffering by developing insight and the ability to be fully aware in the moment.
So whether it’s Mindfulness or interested curiousity, when it comes to a healthy Spirit, Mind and Body, the point is to take things slowly so you become aware of what’s actually stuck in there and put an end to it by releasing it…
…S L O W – GIVE YOUR BODY A CHANCE AND IT WILL SHOW YOU WHY IT LIKES TO GO SLOW RATHER THAN PUMPING THE PERSPERATION
☝ Let me explain how it works.
I’ve been rehabing a mysterious hip injury for at least 2 years and against my better judgement I took advice to stop doing Yoga. At the time I wasn’t so sure it was a good thing to do and now I wished I’d listened to my own inner knowing of what’s good for me.
Anyway, the good thing about not listening to myself was I returned to the roots of yogic practice. Even though parts of my job is physical, Lomiomi moves you in a different way. And when I wasn’t offsetting this because of my injury, my own muscle tone fell away.
At the same time, I’m thinking about why my original injury’s taking it’s time to heal. You know, what else is stuck in there? Cue SHAZAAM MOMENT! 🤸♀️ Of course, body wisdom. Your body always knows the answer to what’s needed if you give it (and yourself) time to team up and you do the listening rather than the doing. Bodies speak slowly…
All kinds of stagnant, stalled energy gets stuck in there. Some of it is years old that’s gotten stuffed in there. But it can’t get out if you keep stuffing more on top of it. And that’s where the slow movement – literally, slow movement, comes in.
When you go slow, you also have to start engaging with your breath differently, you don’t have any other choice. So your breath becomes your super-charged power weapon. Think Tai Chi, Qi Gong and all those other slow moving activities (watch a video if it seems so out of your stratosphere that you couldn’t possibly imagine moving so slowly) – and what do they have in common? Go to the top of the class!
👉 Slow movement allied by the slow movement of the breath kills the lower order thinking mind’s (the Ego) need for distraction and aversion – especially to those things that are actually good for it. The Ego acts this way because it never lives in the present – which is part of mindfulness training and also the tool need to go slow.
Let’s not get lost here – we’re discussing the benefits of going slow and using your body wisdom to do it. The Ego won’t want you to go slow – as soon as you do its going to fill your mind with chatter about what you “should” be doing so you better hurry up.
But you will have better health and wellbeing for longer, if you just go slower. For example, when you go slow, you can hear how your body talks to you; you can feel how your breath moves through your body and actually points to where things are stiff or stuck. You become aware that if you direct your breath into your joints, for example, it will curl its way through and around the ends of your bones always looking for the space between them to clear and open them up – which is why over time you’ll notice that you’re less stiff and more flexible. And really that’s the aim of all Yoga and excercise.
So take it really slow and make the stretching part of the excerise not the entree.
But it’s more than the just the physical effects, it’s the emotional and mental impact too. When you let your breath be the Explorer it will take you deeper into your body wisdom and you become aware of the emotion that’s stuck in your joints, bones and muscles.
How many times during the day do you find yourself choking back emotion to keep the peace or save embarrassment? It all has to go somewhere and it goes deep into your body…
When you go slow, you easily and naturally contact it and it releases. You’ll know because you’ll feel much freer when you move. And that’s why stretching is really the main event. So take it slow, breath slow, move slow and your thinking will be sharper too.
If you’re finding yourself lying awake for hours on end, then learning how to activate your breath can send you off to La La Land in no time at all.
Working on the quality of your breathing has many health benefits. Getting top quality “healthy breath” may take you a few months of practice – but you sure will notice the difference in youthfulness, energy, vitality, weight management, muscle tone and of course, sleep quality.
That’s why when you’re in a healing session or training session, we always start with awareness of the breath. The breath tells you a lot about what’s going on at the day-to-day level, as well as the deeper levels where we usually need a scuba tank to visit.
Most people are terrible breathers – and it really sells out your body, not too mention escalating your stress levels. Learning how to breath not only helps manage things like blood pressure but can also alleviate aches and pains due to poor posture.
Bad breathing can trigger other bad habits and leaves you susceptible to lower back pain. Worst of all, if you’re surrounded by other bad breathers, you’ll tend to pick up their shallow breathing habits as well!
Good breathing means going deep into the lower abdomen where oxygen rich blood is in ready supply. Good deep breathing also needs to be easy and effortless – over time this will become second nature and you’ll eventually be able to breathe in through your feet, sending the breath around your body before eventually breathing out through your feet again.
Correct breathing utilises and helps tone the core muscles, so there’s another reason to do it right. Kumu Julia, our Chief Guide says “I love Yogic Pranayama but I still use the Alexander Technique I trained in years ago at Drama School too. You can easily find them on the internet. The important thing is to choose a method you can maintain and get a better night’s sleep”.