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I wanted to write this post because it’s something that Im passionate about, and it really does make a difference to my whole being. I used to stress and worry about things that took my energy, but that worrying was of no benefit at all. Now I dont! I still obviously have stress and worries, but I process and deal with them in a different way now. Life is busy. Whether you work full/part time, have kids, run a home, or whatever your lifestyle is, I bet you that it always feels busy. Always manic. The craziness of our lives means we can often forget to just Be. We forget to connect with ourselves and our loved ones. We all see people walking around on their phones, oblivious to whats going on around them. Think of how many times you have been in a restaurant and half the people at the table are heads down, checking/on their phones, only half there mentally. We can be too distracted and miss the joy of what goes on around us. If you have ever had a “moment of mindfulness”, (when the whole of your surroundings come sharply into focus, and you actually SEE what is around you, the beauty of your surroundings, everything seems clearer, you can smell and hear everything better), then you will understand what Im talking about and how amazing that is. Mindfulness in simple terms is paying full attention.
Mindfulness – it isnt a trick or a gimmick. Its being present in the moment. When Im with you, Im with you. Right now. Thats all. No more. No less.
A previous post I wrote on 12 things you may like to know, told you that I meditate, and no, I am not a throw back from the hippy-tree-hugging days of the 70’s. (although I would have probably loved that time) For some, you say the word meditation and they think a bunch of tie-dye clad, unwashed people sitting around chanting in an incense induced haze. People don’t get it, and I can understand that. I probably didn’t until I discovered its benefits.
I was introduced to meditation about 12 years ago on a course that I attended for my work. It was a course on exploring holistic health and beauty, which basically meant treating the client as a whole, rather than just focusing on their skin complaint/bad back/relaxation need etc. I found it so interesting, and started reading up and looking into it. It made perfect sense to me that a persons wellbeing could affect how they thought, slept, relaxed etc, therefore sometimes throwing up side effects such as aches and pains, skin problems, and the inability to relax.
Meditation has now become a normal part of my day. I usually try to start my day with about 15-30 minutes. When I had my salon, I would usually get to work, set everything up for the day, then take myself off into one of the treatment rooms and do my meditation. I loved that quiet time in the morning before my staff arrived and the hustle and bustle of the day started. Now I don’t have my salon, I currently use my bedroom or lounge, but am hoping to create a little dedicated space, perhaps within my new office.
If you fancy looking into meditation and mindfulness a bit more, I have put some links to three of my favourite books below, that I think are great at helping get a better understanding. I would also recommend trying guided meditation if you just don’t know how to start. There are loads of fantastic apps available on your phone that could be a good starting block. “Headspace” is a great one to try.
The New Meditation Handbook – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
The Mindfulness Revolution – Various authors
Mindfulness For Life – Oli Doyle
In basic terms, meditation is just being connected with you, and working towards inner peace (ok, I admit that sounds hippy). When our mind is peaceful, worries ease and you feel happier. It is listening to and being aware of your breathing, trying to quiet your mind, and being totally in tune with what you are thinking and feeling. It dosent mean you have to have no thoughts, (I would find that impossible), but you let those thoughts come and go, without letting them take up residence in your mind. While meditating, I tend to think of my thoughts as flowing in and out like a wave. Gently rolling in, then flowing out. If I find my mind wandering, I just concentrate on the rhythm of my breathing. It is a powerful practise. It has honestly changed how I think, and how I deal with crappy situations. It has helped me keep calm in the toughest, most stressful times, it has helped me find some peace when I’m struggling or conflicted, it has even helped cure my chronic travel sickness! (I literally meditate the shit out of take off and landing)!
Even if meditation isn’t your thing, I promise you, with every ounce of my being, that trying to be more mindful will be a good thing. Just try it, even for half an hour a day. Put the phone down. Go for a walk and just take in your surroundings. Recognise the beauty around you that nature has given us (Autumn walks being my absolute favourite) Don’t worry about trying to get an Instagram story, perfect picture, facebook check in. Don’t talk on the phone as you walk. Just. Be. Present.
I hope I have explained a little about mindfulness and meditation. I promise that Im not sitting here “smudging” the room with sage, chanting. (Im actually sitting here with a lovely Hendricks Gin and Tonic, yum)
If you feel inspired to try it out, fab! Id love to hear if you try!
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