I believe that the Universe sends us absolutely everything we need and Its timing is perfect. Listening to Ira Glass on Storytelling (which I believe has fantastic messages for anyone trying to create anything in their lives) was very reassuring and calming, and not to mention, perfect timing! It reminded me to “trust in life” and that everything was happening in perfect time. Immediately I felt relief as well as a desire to keep going, to keep creating.
On the whole, I embrace the changing landscape of my existence – I love that I am always learning, always being challenged and always embracing guidance for living consciously and creating my intentional life. But just sometimes things get a bit gritty, they can feel a little bit too hard or my mind gets in the way just that little bit too much. It happens.
After watching Ira’s take on creating things, I felt a great respect for how much I had changed as well as a re-ignited desire to be the very best that I can be. But key to all this is acknowledging the gratitude for how I am now feeling, rather than getting caught up in life’s stories that are set to teach us one thing or another.
One thing I know for sure is that self-love is critical for life transformation. Feeding ourselves a diet of love and care has the power to utterly and positively change our life, our family’s lives and indeed our world.
How powerful it would be if we all knew that our joy would change the world?
Nourishing your self love is your secret weapon to vitality and transformation.
Do you have a suite of self-care rituals?
These are my favourite ideas that always help to centre me when I am off-balance:
Sleep changes everything. It is one of the most important factors in your health and quality of life.The body is designed for certain sleep patterns (eg. to sleep when it’s dark and be awake when it’s daylight) and disturbing those patterns can seriously alter the balance of hormones in your body.
Studies have shown that a lack of sleep increases the production of stress hormones and what’s more, if our sleep is interrupted by light (ie. even the light emitted by electrical gadgets) then our production of the hormone melatonin (which has the antioxidant properties that help to protect our DNA) is inhibited.
A study of over 82,000 nurses participating in The Nurses’ Health Study found that getting less than 6 hours sleep per night increases the risk of premature death. And links have also been made between getting too little sleep and diabetes, obesity, heart disease and high cholesterol.
I aim to be in bed by 10pm in a dark and quiet room to enjoy a good 8 hours of sleep.
2. Dry skin brushing
I have spoken about dry skin brushing in more detail here however, I wanted to add it to my list of favourite self-care ideas because it is so simple, quick and effective.
Meditation has been used for thousands of years as a means of relaxing as well as enjoying quiet contemplation. For years I have wished I could embrace meditation and I have tried it out many times, I’ve even taken a course in it, but I hadn’t managed to make it a strong pattern in my life. This year however, I have compiled myself a number of guided meditations and I absolutely credit meditation for quietening my mind as well as getting to know my inner self on a much deeper level.
If you are looking for guided meditations to start or add to your practice, you might enjoy these from the Chopra Centre.
4. Conscious breath work
The human body needs a bloodstream loaded with oxygen. Almost every disease known to mankind is worsened or improved by the quality of our breathing and quantity of our breaths. Studies show that deep breathing may improve clarity of mind and cognitive functioning, reduce stress and stress-related health problems, raise wellbeing levels and lessen inflammation in the body. Spending two minutes consciously breathing regularly can help to reset the nervous system.
The 4-7-8 Deep Breathing Exercise is easy to do. For maximum benefits repeat this exercise twice per day:
- Place the tip of the tongue against the ridge behind your upper teeth and exhale completely through your mouth, so that you make a “whoosh” sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale deeply through your nose for a count of 4. Hold your breath for 7 counts and then exhale through your mouth for a count of 8.
- Repeat for two minutes.
5. The beach
It doesn’t have to be swimming in the ocean or power-walking in the sand, just being at the beach is thoroughly re-energizing to me. There is something about the feeling of the sand and the barraging of the wind, the smell of the air, the sound of the water and waves and the vast expanse and powerhouse of this great natural body that has the ability to alter my perception of reality. I just love to breath-in the experience of the beach.
Consciously or subconsciously I am sure that we all have practices that we return to in order to keep things in check, to give us strength and to keep going. I think it is handy to acknowledge how powerful and important these rituals are and model this belief to our family and community.
What practices are you drawn to that help to re-centre yourself?
When you go through a hard period,
When everything seems to oppose you,
When you feel you can’t bear even one minute,
never give up
Because it is the time and place that the course will divert.