Tuesday, 17 June 2014

And the walls came down

We have this habit of protecting ourselves using boundaries to keep us safe. We place blocks at our castle gates and stick firmly to our plan. We think that the barriers prevent negativity or hurt from creeping into our lives, which is absolutely true! However, is there ever opportunity to bend your boundaries to suit a new situation? Maybe you have a needy friend who you have cut off but they really need an ear. Do you stick to your original plan or do you bend and see where it leads? You might save another person from pain, or you could keep your walls up. It's a choice. The only person who sets our boundaries is us, we decide. Evaluate a number of your boundaries. Are they serving you well or do they need a slight adjustment? I have a number of boundaries from being hurt in the past. But I know sometimes the best way to protect a wound is to gently care for it. Give it air, massage the edges and see if healing manifests itself from your willingness to address the issue at hand. Do you set strict boundaries with family or friends? If you do, that's completely ok. This task is an evaluation of boundaries, no need to tear the walls down just yet.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Hold please

People come into our life to serve a specific purpose. Perhaps they teach us something about ourselves, about our world or about others. Perhaps they allow us to help someone or be helped in return. They may make us laugh, cry, scream, or all of the above. When it feels like a friendship is no longer serving a purpose, just know that it is perfectly fine to put the relationship on hold for a day, a week or a month. Think of it like a battery that needs charging. Set your friendship on the relationship charger and spend time with others who may not be causing you as much worry, anger or loss. During this time it is ok to grieve the former soul of your relationship. Recall the good times, reflect on where things may have gone wrong and give thanks that they walked into your life, no matter the reason. Friends bring us joy, happiness and connection. If your friendship has lost this sparkle, maybe it needs a quick breather. Inhale. Exhale. And return to your buddy when your heart feels ready. Have you experienced a friendship burnout? What did you do to heal yourself and the relationship?

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Find a sacred space

Many of us feel that quieting and focusing the mind is an impossible task. Trust me, it can be done with practice and patience. Find a spot near your work, school or home with water, trees , flowers or birds. Seat yourself using a blanket, bench or rock to quiet the body. Bring a special item to focus your thoughts on, perhaps a stone or a photograph with meaning for you. Inhale your gratitudes towards the sky. Exhale your stresses into the Earth to be composted for future growth.

Everything old is new again

We often turn to retail therapy to help us cope. Consuming is something natural that we do to feel better. But, as an alternative to shopping, try to put love into the items you already have. This practice will help you give back to the planet and build pride while also saving you money and guilt. You could make cleaning or beauty products from ingredients in the kitchen like vinegar and baking soda or lemons and yogurt. Fix your old purse strap or use veggies from your garden for the ultimate feeling of satisfaction.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Choose tranquility

Ever wonder why many animal species rest so much? Lions take a break from roaring, elephants stand still, even groundhogs stop to take a look around before scurrying off to another hole in the ground. We can learn a lot from these fellow Earthlings. Take time out for a siestas and do not, do not feel guilty for recharging your batteries. Today I invite you to do a small meditation or guided imagery in a quiet, comfortable place. This could be sitting on a park bench, resting on the subway or curled up on your couch. Imagine a fish in a mountain river. Choose any fish you want but pay attention to its colours, its eyes, the way it moves. Watch this fish swim and swim, seeking food or a mate, but always on the go. Feel the energy your fish gives off, determined, skilled. Kind of like you near the end of the workday, trying to tie up loose ends. Now imagine this fish entering an eddy, a deep quiet pool off the side of the main flow of the river where the swimming comes to a halt and the fish rests its muscles and stop to experience the inflow of oxygen from the water into its gills. Imagine slowing down just like this fish. Does the fish think "oh I should really be swimming more, why am I so lazy?" No. Once you feel your friendly fish has had enough rest, imagine him swimming off again and slowly bring yourself back to your day as it is. If you try this, I'd love to hear your experience!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Just say no

There are only 24 hours in a day and only seven days in a week. While most species have a routine of finding shelter, food and a mate, we add in a plethora of extra expectations that threaten to distract us and drain our precious energy. When someone requests action from you that is not connected directly to your priorities, think twice before accepting the mission. Other people are attempting to further their own agenda and everyone wants a hand in getting there. Find people that share your same goals and values so you can move forward on your path together helping one another over the obstacles that may unbalance your stride. When I was separated from my husband years ago I became closely connected with another separated friend. This friend was self-medicating with alcohol and sexual partners while I was attempting yoga, river valley runs and journalling. I had to let go and it was one of the hardest and best things I have done to move myself forward and cut ties that were holding me back from true ecstasy. When have you had to say no? Was it hard and did it help you?

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Fun with food

Like all nature's creatures we need to consume food to keep our energy up, balance our system and regulate our mood. Many of us create so many tasks in one day that food becomes almost an annoyance. It is this act we have to partake in so that we can complete all the other things we want to achieve in our day. So we eat on the run. We grab easy meals so we can focus on other activities. But then do you notice how your emotions and comfort level become affected? You are slower, more frustrated and often more tired than you need to be. Try to add colour to your meals this week. Rather than meats and starches, focus on vegetables, grains and fruits. Find a healthy meal recipe that you think could be delicious and achievable, preferably one with a photo so you can dream about your creation. Make a special stop to the grocery store, specifically for your ingrediants, and maybe a small dessert - of course! When you arrive home, set aside a half hour or so to chop, peel and slice. Use those spices that you often forget you have in the cupboard. The beauty of making your own meals is that you feel pride, you choose how healthy you want your meal and you know what is in it so your body can be confident it is receiving sustinance that might imporve your mood. What is your favourite meal to make? Do you have a favourite cookbook?