This morning, as I prepared breakfast at lightning speed, I grabbed a knife from the kitchen and promptly dropped it in the sink, as any sleep-deprived person might do, but instead of it being a simple mistake, I heard my inner voice say ‘you fecking ejjit’. Clang!
This time of year, people abound with resolutions to create changes in their lives. A new year, a new leaf! What many people find is that by February the initial energy that gets people started dissipates and they go back to their ingrained ways of behaving. The gyms that were full the first weeks in January begin to empty out, commitments to write or meditate daily fade as life gets ‘too busy’ to keep to the new goals.
I'm sitting here with my almost 1-year-old daughter on my knees while her twin sister sleeps. Again on the radio, there is talk about how we have a mere 12 years to create sufficient change to ensure the planet doesn't heat up more than the recommended 1.5 degrees. In a short 12 years, my daughter will be just about to start secondary school.
The decision to have a naming ceremony for your child, outside of traditional church baptisms is difficult. Where to start, what to include, how will older members of your family feel? So much to consider.
We’ve all had good days and we’ve all put down hard days in life and in sport. The interesting thing about the mind is that unless we look after it by weeding out the negative and cultivate the positive, much like a garden that is untended, eventually weeds cover real potential. Life and sport challenge us to grow or envelop us in weeds. The path is not always clear and sometimes we need to push back the weeds and cultivate something special, deliberately.
Another year, brings with it a fresh new page, a new chapter with so much potential. What will this year bring, more stresses or a deeper understanding of yourself? What we focus on becomes our reality, so how can we break free of habits that are not working for us? Maybe you have been holding on to resentments or experience stress infuse your life or perhaps just being so busy that you don’t have time for family, friends or even yourself.
Let's start with a gentle invitation to first slow down.
Become aware of the breath. Notice it in the body. Bring your attention and focus into this moment. Connect with the body sensations. What do you notice?
How are you today?
Can you bring some compassion to your experience whatever it is?
Gently offer some tenderness and kindness to whatever thoughts or feelings you might be having right now.
Take a moment, just for you!
Today I sat coaching a client, and it always strikes me how powerful it is to really listen to someone. To be really, totally there. Nowhere else, listening with your heart. Helping them to gain a deeper picture of their reality. There is so much that is hidden to us. How can we change what we are not even aware of? Often we believe one thing about ourselves, like this, is the absolute truth. However, frequently we are only seeing one piece of the pie, our perspective. If someone else was to view our situation or behaviour they may think something entirely different.
By some, it is considered a 2000 year project, the benefits that Buddhist meditators have experienced has brought mindfulness meditation into the mainstream. Organisations and households are becoming aware that there is something of immense value in taking time to stop, training the mind to be in the present, and cultivating compassion for our fellow humans.
Do you spend most of your time feeling hurried, rushed or stressed?
All too many of us are familiar with a feeling of working with a sense of urgency and sometimes panic that is akin to being in a building that is burning. Many people because of their commitment and dedication to their work or the pressure within work can get overwhelmed, feel burnt out, suffer from work-related stress and anxiety when emails mount up or simply find it hard to say ‘no’.
So you like to work out, you are part of a team or into individual sports. Either way there is a lot you can do to improve your performance by applying some useful mental strategies. Mindfulness for athletes helps you to hone your focus, attention and ability to be in the present. It is in the present that your ability to modify behaviour comes.
We all have been hurt at some point over our lifetime, whether that is by others or by ourselves with our thoughts or actions. Whether we like it or not we all hurt others too - intentionally or unintentionally. Some of us are quick to forgive, others hold onto these hurts letting them eat away at them for a lifetime. One of the best gifts you can give yourself is the gift of forgiving and letting go of previous hurts that others have inflicted.
Recently I had the privilege of working with some teenagers, who incidentally also have autism. Something really interesting struck me about my work with them, which I think applies to all children and teenagers. Children with ASD tend to get very focused particularly in their special interest areas. Sometimes as adults, it isn’t particularly convenient when they do get fixated and sometimes it can be inappropriate too. At these times, we tend to try to pull them away from their desired interest and coax them to what we want them to do.
Our worlds are busy, we face many challenges every day. It may start with simply getting out the door to work, battling through traffic, or facing into the mountain of work on your desk. Demands, both internal and external, face us every day. How we are, is how we deal with them. How we are, affects those around us.