Blog

Lots of news!

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve shared with you –

  • the impact that long-term stress can have on your body, both physiologically and psychologically
  • the long-term benefits of a regular meditation practice, and
  • four meditation techniques and practices that can be incorporated into your day – a Zen meditation, mindfulness meditation, movement meditation, and the mantra meditation.

Doing a little practice every day helps your meditation “muscle” get stronger – hopefully to the point of where you miss your practice if you don’t include it in your day.

If, at this point, you’ve given meditation a go – either in the past two weeks or at any point in the past – and it hasn’t “worked” for you, or you “don’t have time”, or you just know that you need more support and guidance, you now have the opportunity to complete my signature ten-week stress management and meditation course, C.A.L.M. 

Over ten weeks, I will work with you, one-on-one, to clarify what’s going on for you, assess why stress is a an issue for you and what you can actually do to manage your stress response, launch a plan of action, and provide you with the tools you need to incorporate a regular relaxation and meditation practice.

You don’t need to be in Canberra to complete the C.A.L.M. program; you can complete the program in-person or via video messaging.

You also shouldn’t be spending another moment worrying, stressing, being anxious, feeling hopeless, or stuck, about anything – relationships (personal or professional), your health, fitness, finances, or career. Not when there is a practical, simple solution: C.A.L.M.

To enrol in this life-changing program, you do need to apply; I need to know we’re the right fit for each other. Please contact me here and let’s see if we can bring more C.A.L.M. in to your life!

In other news

My Circle of Nourishment and Circle of Nourishment Mastermind programs are also ready to launch.

The Circle of Nourishment is a completely informal, online and in-person group meet-up for women looking to find their tribe and have a yarn with like-minded souls. It’s free to join, and you can get in on the action by joining the Circle of Nourishment Facebook page or contact me directly here and I will keep you in the loop on upcoming events.

The Circle of Nourishment Mastermind is a six-month one-on-one and small-group clarity coaching program for women looking to go a little deeper – you want to reconnect and align with your truth – be it personally and-or professionally; and-or you want to build your resilience; and-or you’re ready to take that next bold step; and, you want to be kept on track and accountable.

Over six months, you will have three one-on-one targeted coaching sessions with me – in person or via video messaging – and six, once-a-month small group (maximum of six participants) coaching workshops.

Entry in to the Mastermind program is also via application. Registration opens on February 1, and the program kicks off in March.

There is also an early-bird offer available from February 1 -14, 2019.

The Circle of Nourishment Mastermind program is definitely an investment in your future, and will only be offered once this year. If you are ready to step it up, or need a little assistance to step it up! – don’t miss out on this empowering and inspiring women-supporting-women opportunity.

Save the dates!..

I am so excited to be facilitating a number of retreat experiences this year. Co-hosting with the lovely Deb Fowler, at her gorgeous venue, Torquay’s Summer House, the following retreats are currently scheduled:
Autumn Reflections – March 7-10, 2019. Two tickets remaining.
Winter Rest and Rejuvenation – June 6-9, 2019. Three tickets remaining.
Spring Awakenings – September 13-16, 2019. Five tickets remaining.

Naturopath and gut-health expert, Janella Purcell will be a guest presenter at each retreat. Your retreat will be fully-catered by the in-house chef, and a team talented holistic practitioners and service providers will ensure you return home with greater self-awareness, acceptance, and a sense of gratitude for your life, fully relaxed, refreshed, and reconnected.

To enquire or book for any of these events, please contact me here as soon as possible.

In addition, my “Byron Bliss Yoga and Meditation Retreat” will run between August 5-9, 2019. Details are still being finalised, but this will be a “do as much or as little as you like” experience – other than daily yoga and meditation! – in the nurturing surrounds of Byron Bay. Again, your retreat will be fully-catered, and my lovely Byron team will be on hand to ensure your experience is second-to-none.

To register your interest for this retreat, please contact me here as soon as possible, as a payment plan will be available and I would like to have that organised by early-mid February.

So, that’s the round up for the year – so far ;-). I really hope I get to see you participating in one or more of these exciting opportunities! If you have any questions about anything mentioned above, please get in touch!

Peace x

The magic of the Mantra…

A mantra is a meditation technique using a syllable, word, or phrase that is repeated – silently, whispered, chanted, or spoken aloud. The most important point is that the chosen option feels right for the meditator.

Some examples of a mantra include “Om”, “peace”, “love”, “serenity”, “happiness”, “All is well”, and “I am happy, healthy, and relaxed”.

Try this short mantra meditation – again, aim for around five minutes…

Find a comfortable position in a room where you won’t be disturbed…
Let your eyes close, your eyelids resting gently on your eyes…
Bring your awareness to your breath…
Breathe a little deeper, a little more slowly than normal, and follow the sensations of each breath…
Continue to breathe slowly and peacefully as you allow the tension to start to leave your body…

From the following, choose the word that resonates with you the most –

  • Peace
  • Love
  • Serenity
  • Happiness

The idea of repeating this word, or mantra, is to focus your mind on that one single idea…
You are instructed to have a passive, accepting attitude while you repeat your mantra…
Inhale…and “say” your chosen word on the exhale…
If thoughts intrude and distract you, you are simply to observe them, accept them, and gently return your focus to repeating your mantra…
If you are having trouble doing this, refocus on your breathing…and come back to your mantra when ready…

Ahhhhhh…


Get your groove on!

Want to try a really fun meditation? Clear the lounge room – or any space that’s available – crank up your favourite tunes…and boogie!!! Just move, people! Remember what meditation is – any moment in time where your mind is either completely focused or completely quiet. Let loose and have some fun!

Need some inspiration? Check out the sheer joy that is Tommy Franklin – guaranteed to get you smiling and groovin’! Enjoy!

Mind how you go…

People mostly think that meditation is about completely emptying our mind of all thoughts. If you can do this, that’s amazing – and, for seasoned meditators, it’s the ultimate goal; it is an incredible experience when you “get” there. Mindfulness meditation, however, is the practice of actually focusing our attention on our thoughts, actions, present moments – where we are and what we are doing. Non-judgementally. Just observing our experience, focusing inward and relaxing the mind…I can hear a lot of you saying, “Well, that’s easier said than done!”

Try this simple mindfulness practice. You can give it a go any time during the day, as many times as you like.

  • Set aside some time – start with just a few minutes at a time – aim for five minutes…
  • Observe the present moment, just as it is – remember, this practice is not about emptying or quietening your mind. You actually want to pay attention – without judging your experience or yourself.
  • If you do realise you are judging your thoughts, take a deep breath and sigh “ohhhh well” and gently return to being the observer.

Every time you return to the focus of your Meditation – in this instance, your observations – your meditation “muscle” gets a little bit stronger.

Be kind to yourself. We were all beginners at some stage!

Let’s get our ZEN on…

ZEN is the art of being in the now.

Try this five minute Zen Meditation.

Sit or lay in a comfortable position with your spine straight. Close your eyes. Focus on your breath. Notice the air entering & leaving your body. Then allow your mind to focus only on what is happening right now…notice the sounds you can hear…the smells…the way your body feels. If thoughts about anything else enter your mind just gently refocus on the present moment…think about your breathing & the sensations you are experiencing right in the present moment. See how long you can do this – aim for five minutes.

Be gentle on yourself. It can take a while to learn how to keep your mind in the present moment…Practice Zen Meditation as often as you like to develop a greater sense of inner peace.

So…where to from here?

Extended periods of time spent in “flight, flight, or freeze” mode (or stress response) are clearly not good for us, being a major contributor to significant physical and mental health issues in the modern day.

If we do not manage to return to a relaxation response, our ability to embrace a state of well-being is compromised, and a level of dis-ease will ensue.

Meditation allows us to return to the relaxation response, and, essentially, results in the opposite of every effect of the stress response.

Regular meditation practice can –

  • elicit relaxation
  • calm the mind
  • strengthen the body’s immune system
  • slow biological aging
  • reduce stress
  • improve your power of concentration
  • allow more rational thinking
  • encourage better sleep
  • help with self-confidence and self-esteem
  • give you a sense of physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing
  • assist in the treatment of illness and dis-ease
  • lead to more physical energy and motivation…

…and so on…the benefits are illuminating and life-changing.

Food for thought…

In a state of extended stress response, as a result of the 24/7 “on” experience we now endure because “it’s just how it is”, our bodies are suffering significant long-term negative physiological and psychological problems.

The following conditions are just some of the issues recognised by conventional medicine as being caused, or worsened, by stress:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cancer
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Drug dependencies
  • Weakened immune response capabilities
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle stiffness, neck pain backache
  • Sleep disorders, and
  • Digestive issues

Food for thought?

Are you already meditating? This might surprise you!

At any point in time when your mind is either completely focused or completely quiet, you are meditating. If you think about it, life itself is one giant meditation exercise – if you are completely focused on what you are doing – reading, in deep conversation with someone, constructing a blog post, scrolling through your Facebook feed, deciding what you are going to have for dinner… – or if you are sitting quietly, not engaging with any particular thought, you are meditating.

So, innately, you have the ability. The secret, however, is to realise when your focused mind is actually causing you some level of dis-ease, and no matter what you do, slipping in to the “sitting quietly, not engaging with any particular thought” version of meditation feels pretty much impossible.

How do you know if you’ve reached that point of no return? In simple terms, you are ready to “fight, take flight, or freeze”.

To keep you safe, your brain has already bolted and left the building, and sent your body out of what should be it’s normal, homeostatic state (that is, a constant, balanced internal environment). Now, the additional issue with this is that, in this day and age, with our senses being overloaded 24/7, via whatever mobile device is your choice of weapon, the driver that cut you off in the merging space, the colleague who just gets up your nose simply because they’re breathing, ridiculous and unrealistic deadlines at work (etc. you get the idea), what’s considered “normal” is not what it used to be. Back in the day, if you were being pursued by a saber-toothed tiger and managed to escape, and the threat passed, your body was able to recalibrate and return to homeostasis pretty quickly. That doesn’t happen anymore, and we are more dis-eased than ever before.

Our longevity is on shaky ground…

 

Om…

With another year under way, how are you feeling about your “new year’s” resolutions”? Did you have the opportunity to reflect on your last year, and resolve to do things differently this year – take better care of yourself, have a better work-life balance, exercise more, eat more healthily? The usual suspects 😉 We barely have time to recover from the busy-ness of the festive season and, before you know it, it’s back to work and life once again starts to get hectic. Most people I talk to are already feeling like those resolutions seemed like a good idea at the time, and, for some, are already a distant memory, with life already back in top gear.

My resolutions for 2019 are about continuing to live simply – and eating nutritious, organic food, getting out in nature as much as possible, and meditation. I really want to deepen my meditation practice, and, because this is important to me, I have already begun researching and incorporating ways in which to make this happen. Actually, I guess they are more like intentions...

I was a bit of a late-comer to meditation, especially considering a number of family members have been practicing bringing peace and sanity into their lives for many years, and have often espoused the benefits they experience with regular practice. I guess I was more of a “I don’t have the time” and “It’ll be okay, I’ll sort it out” kind of person, “flapping” and muddling my way through life.

And then, just over five years ago, cancer came knocking. Thankfully, I didn’t need much convincing that I needed to start doing things – well, life, actually – quite differently.

Enter meditation…

Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to post a short piece each day about meditation, that will hopefully help to explain a topic that can seem quite massive and complex, leaving people thinking “it’s all a bit too hard”. If you ever get the sense that you’re barely keeping your head above water, “flapping” against the riptide, and you’d like life to just slow the heck down a little, these posts are for you.

It’s time to start waving, not drowning.