As we come to the end of the year I am as usual caught up in the energy of busyness as we work to meet deadlines, and complete commitments before the Christmas break. I always have more than the usual number of bookings for retreats, workshops, wellbeing trainings at this time, and I notice as I delivered three events this week and prepare more, that there is a real distillation of my teaching and thought work this year. I’m always telling participants on my events that ‘there is nothing new under the sun’, and more and more I think this is true. We all have what we need in terms of our own inner wisdom with us all of the time so the Dee Hennessy’s of this world in a way only remind us of what we already know.
So you will have seen or heard all of the below before but I really wanted to share it with you at this years end. Especially if you are not joining us for next weeks Advent Retreat. Today’s note might give you what you need to create your own pause, take some time for yourself, and answer for yourself how it is you are living your life in a mindful way – present, calm, connected and happy, no matter what external circumstances we live through
My Favourite quotes – The Why of Mindful Living
‘ Between stimulus and response there is space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.’
‘ We cannot stop the waves but we can learn to surf ’
Jon Kabat Zinn
Equanimity – The fruit of mindful Living
Equanimity – calmness and peace especially in a difficult situation (the secret ingredient in Mindful Leadership)
This Buddhist quality of being calm is the ground for wisdom and freedom, and the protector of compassion and love.
Managing Stress ( noticing and moving away from our disconnection from our own inner wisdom as we live in the over busy 21st century)
The Six Golden Threads
Beginners Mind –
replacing our impatient jaded stressed energy with a childlike curiosity – this takes some intentionality
The Art and Skill of Pausing–
knowing how to spend time in the parasympathetic nervous (rest and digest) system
– being as kind to ourselves as we more usually are to others
new small steps (too small to fail) which I will habit stack (eg while I am brushing me teeth…I will..)
even a few minutes outside in the green or blue, or even looking at nature through a window
three things I’m grateful for every day
Tip: Choose just one of the six golden threads and play with that for a while.
Remember there are as many ways of doing thought work/ mindfulness/ coming come to calm, as there are people on the planet.
All you need is something to anchor your attention on while you do your one, three, five or more minutes of practise. This anchor can be your breath, as it is in many of the formal practises. But if focussing on the breath is not comfortable for you, no worries, you just choose another anchor – your feet on the floor, the view out the window, stroking your beloved fur baby, watching the kettle boil, slicing a carrot, stretching your body,…..you get the idea?
Anything can be the anchor. Then each time you notice your mind wandering to physical or emotional pain, to stress, and worrying about past or future, simply and kindly invite the mind back to your anchor.
Simple but not easy. Take your time. Do it your way. Commit to one tiny practise. Do it regularly.
Box Breathing (for stressful moments): https://youtu.be/wXbVk–8sb0
Three Mindful Breaths (for stressful moments): https://youtu.be/m4mvoPSFixQ
Mountain Meditation: https://youtu.be/QO1lhKeiU2s
Two Short Self Compassion Practises: https://youtu.be/s5Ei7hi5PGE
Mountain Meditation audio: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tBMpsGlyFxNAr2mmGREJZhDlNOoZvKXG/view?usp=sharing
Three Step Breathing Pause audio: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bge2oH3RlUDpt917ph_gOKHirtC-hWQ-/view?usp=sharing
Bodyscan for Sleep audio: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Wryqz_LAs00nLmJN2SZwuo5flxA49oq1/view?usp=sharing
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