My last blog post this year is to encourage you to spend some time reflecting on the past year and decade that's been, and to set come clear goals and intentions for the year and decade to come.
We are all so busy moving forward that if we never pause to look back and be proud of what we are doing or let go of the emotional stress that we all experience, then we carry the heavy stuff with us and miss the magic of who and what we truly are.
And if we dont take a moment to re-assess what we are spending our precious time doing or the direction in which we are going, we may wake up one day to find ourselves in a very different place than we perhaps want to be. Only when we have a clear intention or goal for what we really want can we take the small but necessary daily actions to create the exact life we want.
Make the effort to take some time before new year to ask yourself these questions; (I would recommend writing the answers down twice- one for the past year and once again to cover the past decade).
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and remember to take som time to care for yourself.
As the holidays approach its easy to get wrapped up in long to do lists, purchases and catering to other peoples needs, wants and wishes. But this is an important time to also rest and care for yourself, and to allow time to relax and be present with those you love and with yourself.
A lovely way to make sure you're taking some time for self-care is to enjoy a relaxing bath (of foot bath if you don't have a bathtub).
Try this cleansing and relaxing bath ritual recipe by adding these ingredients to the bathwater;
If you have sage or palo Santo, I would also recommend cleansing the room before getting in.
Soak in the relaxing bath you have created and think loving thoughts about yourself for all the wonderful things that you are and do.
As the holidays approach and never ending to do lists can take up quite a bit of brain energy, its easy to find yourself feeling overwhelmed...
Sometimes we may not even realise that we are overwhelmed so symptoms to look for are; being unable to make a descision, doing a million things at once but not actually finishing anything, feeling frazzled, rapid mood swings and snapping at those around you.
We all feel it sometimes so today I want to share the 3 things I do whenever I find myself feeling stressed or overwhelmed...
As busy mamas, it isn't always easy to find the time for self-care. But in this video I demonstrate my own version of the best selling author Stephen Covey's "Big Rocks First" Method. We all have the same amount of hours in a day, but how we utilise those hours can be very different... The big rocks method (in this case smoothie ingredients) shows how when you prioritise the time you have in the right way, no matter how busy you are, you will always have time for self-care...
Click play and enjoy, Love
I watched a ted talk this morning by Susan Cain, author of the best selling book Quiet; The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking.
She was talking about how our society today, our school systems, the way many work places are run, are all designed to make us more outgoing, more collaborative, more extroverted because we learn as we grow up that taking action, being outgoing, loud and busy is the way to succeed in life. And so people who are naturally more introverted or highly sensitive may feel pushed to be and do more more than what feels natural to them, because if not we somehow believe that we are "failing" or not being or doing enough...
So if you're an extrovert, fantastic. Be an extrovert and to be honest (although I think everyone needs more Yin in their life to tune-in, relax, nurture and care for themselves), my blog may not quite resonate with you because you may not have the same need for calm in your life. But if you're an introvert or ambivert like me (someone who is social and enjoys being an extrovert but needs a lot of me-time to re-charge), then I want to encourage you to allow yourself the time and space that you need to be you.
It also go me thinking about how I can better support my son because he is an introvert who enjoys time to just sit and play or read quietly beside us after a long day playing at nursery. Sometimes I feel we "should" be doing this or that because it's expected or what the neighbours or our friends are doing. But he is happy so why would I push him to do something that isn't him? I think that if we can learn to respect our own needs as an individual and as a family, we create much less stress in our lives and we are naturally supporting the truth of who we really are. And as Susan says in her talk, often the greatest insights, ideas and solutions come when we tune in to ourselves, sit with our own thoughts and calm the noise around us...
So what are you doing today (this could be your job, your hobbies, social settings) that you do because somehow along the way you believed that this is what you "should" be doing? What do you want to do more or less of in your life to support who you really are?
Love & Light
P.S. Here is a link to the Ted Talk if you want to watch something very inspiring;
Today I want to give you a quick tip to help you boost your energy levels! Stomach 36 is THE point to use whenever you're feeling run down, tired and in need of a gentle pick me up. It works by boosting your digestive system which is in charge of transforming your food into energy.
This point is quick and easy to find and great to use when moisturising your legs after your bath or shower.
Run your forefinger on the outside of your tibia bone (see photo above). When your finger naturally stops (a little below the knee), the point is just a finger width from your tibia bone. Gently massage or press (holding and releasing every few seconds) to activate the point. Relax and breathe as you do it for a few minutes or for as ever long feels comfortable.
Happy pressuring mama,
As the leaves are turning orange and the temperature is dropping, fall has arrived. Every season has an energetic quality to it and Fall is Yin. This is a time when our energy levels are naturally lower and our need for rest and retreating inward is greater.
Every season is magical in its own way and today I want to share with you my top tips for embracing fall:
1. Fall is a great time to release what is no longer serving you. This could be decluttering your home, letting go of any emotional baggage you may be holding on too, resolving any tension in your relationships and simply practicing letting go of trying to control everything and just being in the present moment.
2. Your energy levels are naturally lower so balance out moving your body with enough rest and sleep. If you don't feel like being overly social, don't. If you need a full day or weekend to decompress and hibernate, it's ok. Make some arrangements, get a babysitter, ditch the guilt and do whatever you need to do to re-charge.
3.Give yourself some time in the mornings to wake up slowly and connect with how you're feeling.
4. Go through your closet and put away your summer clothes for next year. Donate or sell any clothes you don't absolutely love or use regularly so that your closet is only full of clothes that make you feel relaxed, happy and beautiful (and warm!).
5. Make your home a little sanctuary for the whole family by separating areas for play and areas for relaxing. (Perhaps filling the relaxing area with some dried flowers, candles and soft cushions and throws, perfect for snuggling and sipping cocoa together).
6. Spend time in nature. Dress up warm and head outdoors to enjoy the crisp cool air. When you get back home, dim the lights, light some candles and embrace the yin energy of fall.
So happy to be sharing this guided meditation with you. Perfect for relaxation and sleep.
I hope you enjoy it, love,
UNDERSTANDING & GOING WITH THE NATURAL FLOW OF YOUR CYCLE
In our society which is so dominated by yang - the masculine, we often push and go and do. Forgetting to also nourish the yin - the feminine, to rest and take a little break from all the hustle and bustle. We forget that we are cyclical beings where our hormones go up and down like a rollercoaster, and often treat our bodies the same regardless of which time of month we are in. Our periods are seen as annoying and inconvenient as we push on through the mind numbing cramps and desire to stay under the covers to be and do some more because that is what is expected and the norm in our society.
Today I want to give you a fresh perspective on your natural cycle that I hope will give you some clarity on why and how we can go with the natural flow of our body, instead of against it. When we treat our bodies with kindness and understanding, I believe we can experience much less stress and frustration, and much more energy and calm.
I want you to look at your cycle like the 4 seasons. Each phase is equally beautiful in its own way and has an energetic quality to it.
Day 1-7 of your cycle (when you bleed) is winter and Yin in quality.
This is a time of rest and we will naturally want to snuggle up to tune our attention inwards. Your bodies energy is at its lowest and so this is a time to respect that you need more rest and sleep. As mamas we cant just hibernate for a week as we have little ones who depend on us or ditch work, but we can choose to limit how much we do. This is a time to say no to harsh workouts (stick to walking and gentle yoga), limit social engagements unless you feel like it, and keep the to do list to a bare minimum. Knowing that your energy level is low and respecting that your body needs rest, I find really helps with ditching any feelings of being lazy or guilty for needing some down time.
Day 7-14 (pre-ovulation) is spring and Yang in quality.
This is a time when you will often feel lighter, happier and more energised (especially is you have given yourself time to rest during "winter"). This is a time to get back into your exercise regime, start new projects, try something new or spring clean the house towards the end of this phase. You may feel yourself wanting to be more social so this is a great time to meet new people and catch up with friends.
Day 14-21 (Ovulation phase) is Summer and Yang in quality.
This is a time to go and do as your energy is at its highest! You may naturally feel more outgoing, confident, playful and attractive;)
Day 21-28 (pre-menstrual phase) is Autumn and Yin in quality.
As the leaves start to fall, so do our hormones and energy levels. You may feel yourself become less extroverted and wanting to say no thank you to things. Its a great time to finish things as you "prepare for winter", reflect on the past month and let go of things that aren't serving you. As it is yin we often want to do gentler forms of exercise, but keep moving as movement can help with the free flow of energy necessary when we menstruate.
Side note; If you don't resonate with any of the above because you're feeling tired all the time, it could be a sign your body is out of balance. When we push ourselves too hard for too long, we can get symptoms of burn out and if so its time to slow down. Our body is always speaking to us, we just need to tune in to listen, so if its telling you to slow down and rest (wherever you are in your cycle), please do.
I hope this helps and that you have a wonderful week, wherever you are in your cycle.
This is me and my family, and what YinMama is all about :)
Love & Light,