Friday, February 21, 2020

Kindness





Kindness or the lack of it has been very prominent in the media this week and it saddens me to say that it seems that some of us have lost our way a little as far as kindness is concerned.

People sit behind their keyboards and fire off unkind comments about the judgement that springs from their minds with no regard for the damage they may cause, absolving themselves from responsibility citing the right to free speech.
Some no longer sensor the rush of thoughts in their heads as they leave their mouths with frightening speed causing untold damage that can never be undone to those they care about, work with or mix with during the day.


Collectively we berate the press and social media for irresponsible reporting and cruelty but still buy into their services. If we stopped supporting them feeding on the misery of others to make their living, they would have to stop.

It's good to see that some salons and spas are no longer serving the glossy magazines responsible for persuing celebrity misery but the tabloids and trolls have far more power than glossy magazines and are more difficult to take to task.

The issue is of course that we never know what another person is feeling or how they may interpret the comment that we let forth because we were offended or outraged or just having a bad day and wanted to lash out.
The consequences of these comments can unfortunately be seen in the rise in mental health issues and suicides. Sadly it is only the celebrity ones that are drawn to our attention but have no doubt, the ones we hear about are only the tip of a monstrous and heartbreaking iceberg.


Being kind is such an easy thing to do and brings huge benefits to ourselves and the community around us. Showing loving compassion for other sentient beings and our environment activates happy chemicals in our brains which raises our vibration and helps us to see things in a more positive light.


Being mindful of our thoughts, our speech, our actions and our intentions can help us to bring kindness into our lives and those around us.

Through meditation and present moment awareness we can check in with the quality of thoughts that we are having and challenge our thought patterns, behaviours and motives. We can then choose to change them for more positive and nurturing ones by losing our attachment to ego.

This will then enable us to view the actions of ourselves and others in a non judgemental way and if we are asked for an opinion or choose to comment, we can make our best effort to ensure that it comes from a place of compassion and a wish to help boost others or nurture ourselves.


Right action encourages us to think about the choices that we make and the impact that they will have not only on us but also on others. We can then do our best to act in a way that supports and helps others and benefits the wider community and environment.

Right intention helps us to protect our karma. Not all things go to plan and with the best will in the world a comment or action make still cause distress to others but as long as the intention behind our endeavour was just and well intentioned, we can accept it as a learning process and seek to make amends to those we caused pain to.

None of us are perfect but all of us have absolute control over how we choose to behave. It is easy to behave mindlessly when we become focused on ourselves or are surrounded by others doing the same but we cannot allow this to excuse unkindness.

For those wishing to encourage a kinder disposition and create a more compassionate life, the following strategies may help you on your way:


Manners - "Politeness is the art of choosing among one's real thoughts."~Abel Stevens.  Manners cost us nothing but can demonstrate our respect for others and make an encounter pleasant and successful. We respond much better to polite enquiry than rude demands.

Smile - Smiling instantly lifts our mood so go on, smile at someone, brighten their day. We are a human community and we love connection with others so spread a little joy and SMILE.

Make contact - Pick up the phone, send a text, write a letter or use social media as a wonderful tool for connection and send an emoji, a video or a gif to brighten someone's day and show them that we are thinking of them. That can be a real game changer for someone struggling or feeling low.

Be generous - Buy a coffee, bring in cakes, give the things that you have a surplus of away, give compliments to your friends, family, colleagues and strangers. Be genuine and be generous. You'll feel better and so will everyone else.

Volunteer - Offer to do something for someone else with no obvious reward for yourself. Give your time or skills to help someone else do well. Your brain will love you for it and flood you with happy hormones and who knows where this opportunity may take you?

Be kind to yourself - always. You are amazing and as none of us are perfect, stop judging yourself so harshly. Nurture your soul with a good book, a spa day or a walk in nature. Whatever it is that makes you feel special, do it and do it regularly as a happy you will make others happy too.


Forgive- Holding on to a grudge serves no purpose. Show yourself and the other person compassion and step back from the emotions of the situation and ask yourself the following questions:
Was I kind? Could I have handled that better? Could I have misinterpreted that situation? Did I ask them how they were feeling? Could they be hurting?
We always put ourselves at the centre of every encounter but it may not always be about us, we may have just been the catalyst or safe person to let rip at.
You don't have to forget but forgiving is the healthier option.

Take responsibility - As adults, no one can make us do anything, we always have a choice so don't look to blame others when you are unhappy or have made a mistake.
Take responsibility and seek to make amends. That way you are being kind to yourself as you will learn from this encounter and grow. You are also being kind to someone else by absolving them of blame or responsibility for your wellbeing.

Recycle -  Stop throwing things away. Can it be re-purposed? Could someone else make use of it? Can it be disposed of safely and responsibly? Did you need to buy it in the first place??? We have finite resources that we need to preserve. Upcycle, Recycle, Downcycle.
Be kind to the planet!!!

Listen - Stopping what we are doing and giving someone the gift of our full attention is the best type of kindness. Showing that person that you value what they are saying to you and that you are interested in what they want you to know is priceless.
We all so often listen to reply or to disagree but to simply listen attentively and really hear what is being communicated to you is the most wonderful act of kindness. Try it and see how much more you take in and how the person talking seems to blossom under your attention.

To quote Jennifer Dukes Lee and more recently the vivacious Caroline Flack,

Image result for in a world where you can be anything be kind. jennifer dukes lee

Namaste.
Mindfulness Manna

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Dry January and Mindful drinking



I had never considered Dry January before. I'm married to a European and daily sensible drinking has always been a part of our life. A glass of wine with a meal or an aperitif after dinner, mindfully enjoyed as a luxury (going out would almost always include social drinking). But lately, I have been feeling a little bored with alcohol.



We live in a village in Essex with a pretty restricted public transport system which requires us to drive every time we want to go somewhere. This meant that we had to work out who was driving that evening before we could plan anything. We had come back off  holiday and our daily drink with dinner had become a drink after work to "unwind" and signify the start of our free time meaning that an unexpected invitation out had to be refused as neither of us will ever drink and drive.

As Christmas approached the glass of something after work rolled into a glass with dinner and then a glass or two in the evening and before I knew it, I'm drinking 3 or 4 glasses of wine most days. But it's Christmas so I just kept ploughing on with the socialising and the drinking until the 3 glasses are now being followed by a pretty looking glass of gin or a shot of vodka. What's more, I'm not even getting a buzz as this has become a regular occurrence and my body has increased it's tolerance in this short time. 

I know it's the festive season and a lot of us drink more at this time of year. I'm also aware that this is a choice and not an addiction. It's a habit, a subconscious action, a learned behaviour, but maybe I should be more mindful of the health implications and question why I am choosing to drink alcohol and not swap it out for a soft drink. The honest answer is because when alcohol is involved, we become less present moment aware and tend to just go with it. 




A very enjoyable Christmas passes and the new year looms. As usual, I like to take this time to reflect on the past year, my achievements, the things that I would like to change about myself and the plans that I have for the coming year. When it suddenly dawns on me that I am no longer mindfully drinking, it's just become something that we do. Dry January seems like a great idea and an opportunity for personal reflection.

As life would have it, the Norovirus joined my for New Year so alcohol was out of the question for the first few days anyway. As January rolled on, I realised that not drinking didn't actually make any difference to my life. I honestly didn't feel any different. I didn't feel any healthier, my thought processes were no different and my day to day living was jogging along as normal. Weekends didn't lose their shine because I wasn't drinking and not having a drink when we went out really didn't make any difference. 

What I did notice was that I was better off financially and that's pretty much the only difference. So if that's the only difference between drinking and not drinking why would I go back to daily drinking when January finished?

It's not that I won't ever drink again and I'm not now anti alcohol but what I am mindfully aware of is how easy it was to let habit dictate my lifestyle regardless of how mindfully I try to live. 

Because alcohol is socially acceptable and freely available I had forgotten to question how it was adding to my experience of life. 

It turns out that it wasn't really, so when the opportunity to drink arose over the month, I would check in with myself and ask "do I need a drink to improve this situation or experience?" the answer was always no as I am aware that it doesn't relax me - meditation or yoga and mindful awareness does that. 

The question that I am now mindfully asking is "how will having a drink alter my experience and is that something I am happy to allow in this present moment? 

If I do decide to have a drink, I want to take the time to savour the taste, and be completely aware of the changes that it makes to my perception of the moment. To make sure that it is the drinking of alcohol that is the focus and enjoyment of the present moment rather than drinking being an accessory to another activity.




If you would like to drink less or think that your relationship with alcohol has become unhealthy, advice and support can be found here:













Friday, January 10, 2020

10 Mindful ways to live better in 2020



10 Mindful ways to live better in 2020




January is often full of promise and New Years resolutions which start to wain right about now. Here are some ideas to help you make long term changes to your life.


Mindfulness is more than just the term present moment awareness, it's about taking responsibility for our thoughts and actions and the impact we have on those around us.
We are human beings not human doings and by paying attention to our behaviours and actions by improving our lives we can make a positive contribution to the community around us.


Here are ten ways in which you can easily incorporate Mindfulness into your life in 2020 and really make a difference to the life that you choose to live.



1) Gratitude

Be grateful!!
Each morning when you wake up, say "Thank You" and mean it, thank you for waking up in a warm bed, thank you for having somewhere safe to live, food to eat, people with you, electricity....the list goes on.
It's so easy to become distracted with the pursuit of the things that we don't have that we forget how blessed we are. Stopping regularly during the day and finding something to be thankful for can really help change your perception of what's important to you right now. It brings our awareness to the present moment and being grateful is the jackpot of feel good vibes and raising energy. Not only that, it's free.



2) Shopping

Most of us love to buy something new, but take a moment before you splash the cash and ask yourself do I really need this? Will it have a long term impact on my life? Is it well made? Has it been made from sustainable resources?
Asking yourself these questions and reflecting on their answers can have a far reaching impact on your finances, the environment and product design of the future, can reduce the clutter your living space and  not end up in landfill.



3) Eating
We love to eat and we need to eat but STOP!!!
What are you putting into your body?  Consider whether you are genuinely hungry or bored, thirsty or just fancy it. A little of what you fancy does you good and life is all about balance but we know that eating too much isn't good for us, we know that eating food that has incurred many food miles is bad for the environment, we know that food covered with pesticides is slowly poisoning us and we know that some of the stuff that we consume can barely be called food no matter how fabulous it tastes.
Every time you eat something, you have the opportunity to mindfully choose whether you nourish your body or poison it.  Take a moment and make the right choice for you and when you do eat something, make a celebration of it. Eat mindfully and savour the sight, smell and taste of it. Concentrate on your food, the textures and tastes and chew slowly and thoroughly. Apparently it takes 20 minutes for our bodies to work out that we're full, most of us have polished off our food long before then. Imagine how much less we might eat if we just slowed it all down a little.



4) Exercise

A lot of us start the year with good intentions, buy a gym pass and then hope that just by owning it while sitting in the chair we will miraculously loose that weight and end up looking like...insert hot bod here. Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that.
We know that regular exercise helps lower cholesterol and improves our heart health but it does so much more than that. Exercise improves our wellbeing, resilience and mental health by reducing the production of the stress hormone cortisol and activating the production of endorphins or happy hormones. It doesn't have to be stressful or time consuming. Just taking a 10 minute gentle stroll and mindfully paying attention to the things that you can see, the smells around you, how your body feels as you walk and whether you can feel the wind on your face can all contribute to slowing down our heart rate, reducing our blood pressure and invoking the parasympathetic nervous system which helps us to heal and promote mental and physical wellbeing. It's most beneficial done outside and in nature but walking of any kind can be a fantastic stress buster.



5) Nature

Get out there!
Spending time in nature has so many benefits.
A walk in nature can be wonderfully restorative as can relaxing while lying on a beach listening to the sound of the sea, swimming in the sea supported by the water or even flying a kite in the wind. Getting out in the elements helps us to reconnect with our environment in a way that calls to our very core.
Being among tress enables us to breath in the healing phytoncides and reduces the production of the stress hormones. It makes us feel happy and can clear creative blocks. It has also been proven to lower the heart rate and reduce blood pressure, boost the immune system and promote healing.
Our bodies need to be in nature regularly and being mindfully aware of how much time we have spent inside or in front of a screen can ensure that we reconnect regularly with nature.



6) Meditation
My favourite. ❤️

It's free, can be done anywhere and completely changes your life.
It's well documented that Meditation can improve your health by lowering blood pressure, improving sleep patterns, reducing stress, improving fertility and reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Advanced meditators can even use it for pain relief, grief support and substance abuse.
But the benefits don't stop there, oh no..meditation provides an opportunity for much needed "me time". It facilitates the process of helping us to understand our innermost desires and habits, enables us to examine them and free ourselves from the limiting beliefs and behaviours that we have accrued through the years. This in turn allows us to chose to respond rather than to react to events and consequently make better choices and improve life outcomes.




7) Family and friends

Cherish those that make a positive contribution to your life and ditch those that don't.
If you can't ditch them then minimise the time that you spend with them or find a way to reduce their impact on your wellbeing.
If it's a particularly toxic close relationship, then you may need to seek advice on strategies that can help you to diffuse their toxicity and/ or the way in which you view your relationship and the power that you are giving them over your life. Being mindfully aware of those relationships that you feel are an equal investment and those that drain you  can greatly improve your ability to remain focused and positive about yourself.




8) Recycle, upcycle, or give away.

Be mindful of your impact on the planet.
Are you wasteful? Do you find yourself buying things on the spur of the moment only for them to sit in a cupboard until you get fed up of looking at them and throw them away? Are you guilty of  replacing things before they break because you "need" to have the latest version? STOP! Before you throw something away be mindfully aware of the motivation behind your actions so that you have a better understanding of your habits and then look at ways that you can minimise the waste that you are causing.
Could you upcycle it into something else? Could it be recycled?  Could you sell it on a selling site such as ebay? or or give it away via a scheme like freecycle or a charity shop.
When you need something new, why not buy second hand? charity shops and jumble sales are great ways to find cool clothes at bargain prices. Oxfam even have a second hand website for party frocks and wedding dresses. That way, you're not only saving the planet but helping charities to help others with your cash too.You could even set up a swapshop and help other people to clear the clutter responsibly.



9) Environment

Be mindfully aware of the rubbish that you put out each week and look at ways in which you can reduce it.
It's getting easier to ditch the plastic. Shampoo and soap bars help as does refilling cleaning product bottles and using weigh and save type shops. Keep a reusable water container on you. There are filling stations springing up all over the place and lots of places are happy to provide free tap water.
But you could  do more. Look at where your food is coming from, do you really need strawberries from Spain in January or could you buy a locally grown seasonal fruit instead?
When buying meat, why not go to your butcher and support local farmers raising ethically kept animals instead of cheap, factory farmed meat from abroad?
Need to buy household items and white goods? Go for the ones with the best energy ratings. They may cost a little more to purchase but will save you money over the life of the item and help to reduce your carbon footprint.
Get involved! There are so many charities and campaigns to help you to reduce your environmental footprint, you might even make a whole new set of friends. It's impossible to ignore our planet crying for help now so whatever you can do will help.





10) Conversation

Last but not least, speak mindfully.
Be aware of the impact that your words can have. A harsh sentence spoken in haste can never be taken back and we can never really know the impact that our word have on another person.
You have the power to support or destroy a person with your words so above all else, choose to be kind.
If an issue needs to be resolved, take a moment to gather yourself so that you can speak mindfully and not from a perspective of anger or selfishness. Work with the other party to come to an amicable compromise. You'll soon notice how improved your relationships are and how much happier you feel without the regret of unkind words spoken in pain.
Words carry their own energy vibration and that reflects on the live that you are trying to create for yourself. If you are always talking in a negative manner then negative things are likely to be attracted to you. If you are constantly putting yourself down, others will begin to believe it.
Speak kindly, speak positively, speak with purpose.



There are so many ways in which being mindfully aware can help to improve the quality of your life, work and relationships.
I hope you find these suggestions thought provoking and choose some of them to incorporate into your busy life. 
I offer groups, classes, workshops and retreats to help you on your mindful journey and these can be found on my event pages.



If you can't find what you're looking for or think that you need, just ask. 

Namaste.
Mindfulness Manna 🙏


Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A round up of my Mindful year





New Year's Eve....

It's the time of the year where inevitably I look back at what I have achieved during the year, the things that I am grateful for and the things that I intend to change in the coming year.



I set the intention last year to leave my job in education and take a part time job in a mindful based capacity that would give me the freedom to focus more time and energy on Simply be retreats and therapies, and also mean that all of my working life was in harmony with my beliefs. This I realised in April and love both my job and the freedom it has given me. I work with a lovely team and can honestly say that I have "right work" and have a real impact on helping people change their lives. For this I am very grateful.


This year has seen me run retreats, workshops and set up meditation groups. I LOVE teaching meditation and am so excited everytime I have the opportunity to do so. At every event, group or workshop I can hand on heart say that I have met wonderful people who have taught me something in return and for that I am so grateful. It is so nurturing to spend time with like minded people who are generous in spirit. After a trying year emotionally and politically - not even going to go there - it is amazing to have the wonder of humanity restored through a word or gesture. I have taught my first yoga classes and while this is a skill I will spend a lifetime developing, I love watching people realise how accessible yoga is for everyone and how it can improve their wellbeing beyond their imagination. I am so incredibly grateful to spend my time doing something that I truly love. I do realise how privileged I am to be doing this. If you'd like to join me, you can check out my events here:
 http://simplybe.org.uk/Events.html

https://www.facebook.com/simplyberetreatsandtherapies/events

I had a list of countries and events that I wanted to visit this year and somehow, I have managed to get to everyone. That's not to say that I have had these trips dropped in my lap but through visualisation and living mindfully, I have been aware when opportunities have presented themselves and have been able to capitalise on those opportunities. Some have been achieved through what would appear to others as blind luck but I know to be the use of the natural laws including the law of attraction and belief in my ability to create the life that I want to live.
http://simplybe.org.uk/vision.html
https://www.facebook.com/events/1031264480548591

I love travelling and learn so much from seeing how other people live and the architecture that shapes the energy of their country. I also love people watching and can spend hours indulging in my favourite pastime. You can learn so much from stepping back and being completely aware of what is going on around you. #presentmomentawareness.

I've been lucky enough to spend quality time with the people I hold most dear in my life and have met some wonderful new people who I'm sure will go onto be included in this group. I have the best memories of sitting around a fire talking about everything and nothing but most importantly enjoying the feeling of belonging and acceptance that being outside staring into a flame surrounded by those we have an affinity with brings. Each and every one of these people enriches my life and in turn has been teacher, confessor and enlightened being when I have needed them. I only hope that I have contributed to their lives similarly and am grateful every day that I share this experience with them.





So 2020...what will it bring? what do I want from it and how do I want to develop myself?  I intend to develop Simply be further and would like to start running European retreats this year, build on the meditation groups and continue teaching the benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation.

For me personally, I intend to continue with the changes that I have began to make in my lifestyle, reducing the waste that I create, improving on the locality and quality of the food that I consume and continuing to develop my mindful living sills and meditation practice. I want to downsize our living space to reduce our carbon footprint and free us up financially to explore the areas of life that fill us with passion. I have countries that I want to visit and a list of sacred sites that I would like to experience. I want to continue to focus on spending time on activities and people that fill me with joy. I intend to continue evolving through understanding which tasks are mine to achieve and those which others must experience for themselves. By not sweating the small stuff and by focusing on enjoying every moment of this adventure. Like everyone else, I have no idea when it will end but when it does, I want to know that I gave it my all while enriching the wider community.

I wish each and every one of you the happiest of New Years and as we move into a new decade I encourage you to look within and do what truly brings you joy because when you are truly happy so are those around you.




Happy 2020 and Namaste from me to you. xx


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Thrifty Wellbeing Activities




Take care of yourselves over the festive season with these thrifty wellbeing activities.....


Many of us are rushing around all the time leading busy lives that the idea of "me time" seems beyond our reach. Here are some ideas that can easily be worked into our daily routines that won't cost you the earth.




What is wellbeing? 

Wellbeing is the state of being happy, healthy and at peace with ourselves. People who have a high level of wellbeing are generally calmer, healthier and have a high level of life satisfaction and purpose.

Why is it important?

A state of wellbeing helps us to deal more effectively with stress and uncomfortable situations while promoting physical and mental wellness. It prevents us from becoming exhausted and feeling overwhelmed

There are five areas of wellbeing that should be addressed and they are:

1)Physical
2) Emotional
3) Spiritual
4) Social
5) Intellectual

Things such as happy relationships, good social networks, getting enough sleep and having fun things to do all have a positive effect on our wellbeing.

There are many names across the globe for wellbeing such as the Danish word hygge but they all mean the same thing...taking care of you.

Does it cost a lot?

It doesn't have to, simple mindful activities can be found all around us for very little cost or even free.

Here are just a few:

Walking - Walking is completely free and benefits our physical health by reducing blood pressure and strengthening bones. It also improves our mental health as it provides us with an escape from the hustle and bustle and is proven to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. If you really enjoy it, you can even join a group. https://www.ramblers.org.uk/advice/facts-and-stats-about-walking/health-benefits-of-walking.aspx

Spending time with people- Loneliness can be very damaging to our mental and physical health so joining a group with like minded people can help boost our feelings of community and being connected. Sharing a quick coffee or a leisurely meal with friends can raise our mood and improve our overall sense of wellbeing.



Taking a bath - Sinking into a fabulously warm bath full of beautiful smelling oils or bubbles can do wonders for our wellbeing. Our natural affinity with water soothes our very core. Bathing has been shown to balance hormones, reduce stress and benefit bones, joints and muscles.
https://www.lifehack.org/381960/10-scientifically-proven-health-benefits-taking-bath Lighting candles and playing some calming music can make the experience even more restorative.

Colouring - Colouring ignites our creativity and allows our brain and body to rest while we are mindfully absorbed in an activity. It improves our motor skills and can also improve our focus and sleeping patterns. Colouring books are readily available and are reasonably priced or you can download colouring sheets for free from here. https://www.justcolor.net/

Reading- Immersing ourselves in a good book gives us the opportunity to escape from reality for a while and lose ourselves in the story. Books can be borrowed for free from the local library or you could support local business by buying from a local book shop. Chatting to the library staff or to the book shop team also provides an opportunity for company and helps us to feel involved in our local community. As well as reducing stress, reading regularly can aid memory function and social capital. https://readingagency.org.uk/news/media/reading-for-pleasure-builds-empathy-and-improves-wellbeing-research-from-the-reading-agency-finds.html


Spending time in nature - Time spent in nature can improve our wellbeing. Many plants and trees give off chemicals called phytoncides which help promote health in humans. Being outside reduces feelings of stress and depression, boosts our creativity, enables us to connect with Mother earth and can even help to manage pain. Best of all, it's free!!

Gratitude - Taking a few moments each day to think of the things that we are grateful for can actually help to rewire the brain. When we think of what we don't have and can't do our energy drops and we tend to live with the lower emotions such as sadness, anger and fear. Adopting an "attitude of gratitude" enables us to raise our energy so that we experience love, happiness and a sense of calm more often. It also helps us to put things in perspective when we feel that things aren't going well or that life is unfair.

Meditating-  Focusing on one thing to the exclusion of all else enables our brains and bodies to heal. Our heart health improves as does our ability to concentrate, sleep and cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life. Any activity can be used as a meditation. You can attend groups or workshops http://simplybe.org.uk/Events.html or find guided relaxations to download.


Eating well - Every mouthful that we consume provides us with an opportunity to nurture our bodies or to poison them. I'm a great believer in a little of what you fancy does you good but balance is the key here. Our physical and mental health is greatly affected by the food and drink that we consume,so making the right choices can have a massive impact on our wellbeing.

Let it go - If it no longer serves us, no longer makes us happy or pleases our eyes then we should remove it from our life. Putting up with things, people or thoughts that do not improve our experience of life can only lower our energy, self esteem and wellbeing so feel free to ditch them!

Taking care of ourselves is the best gift that we can give those around us as a healthy me makes for a healthy you.


What are your favourite wellbeing activities? Please share the in the comments below.

However  you intend to spend the festive season, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
                                            Mindfulness Manna.



Friday, December 13, 2019

Compassion in the face of politics



Arghhh! has been my primary thought this morning.

Not because of the result of the election although I can't pretend to be pleased about that but because of the vitriol on social media.

We all have a right to an opinion and rational discourse provides an excellent way to express views and  learn about other perspectives but when we resort to name calling and personal comments, we begin to lose a little of our humanity.

Regardless of geography, religion and politics we are the human race and as such an interconnected community. What impacts one of us impacts us all as it effects how we relate to those around us which in turn has a knock on effect on our environment and fellow sentient beings.
.
It's a sad truth that in times of adversity people chose to join together with people they feel to be the same  as them or at least hold the same values and that's ok to a point as long as our foremost thoughts when responding to adversity are compassionate.

When we dominate another human being or animal,we are setting ourselves up for more suffering as what we think about the most is what we attract. So if we find ourselves steeped in anger and hatred, we are likely to attract other situations that will bring us opportunities to hate and feel angry about.

If we can instead endeavour to step back from the emotional reaction to a situation and through compassion and rational thinking look for possible solutions that enable all involved to be valued and heard, we have a better opportunity of reducing conflict and dissension.We can agree common goals and work together while recognising that we all have different views, cultural expectations and religious and social needs.

Compassion enables us to see our adversaries as fellow human beings with needs and dreams of their own and can help us to keep all that makes being human fantastic at the forefront as we help to educate each other and grow as communities. Hatred, oppression and anger only serve to impact our karma and future life events and in very drastic situations radicalise those we seek to help.

Whether we agree with the current leadership or not, we have the choice to live our lives with good intentions, love for our fellow beings and kindness and compassion towards one and all. Don't let the media distract you from realising your full potential,choosing the life that you want to live and creating that reality through positivity, gratitude and kindness.

The next few years will bring much uncertainty and financial change to this country, lets aim to support each other with compassion and tolerance while accepting that our differing views can bring about better solutions if we open channels for respectful discourse.

Love thy neighbour is not a trite sentiment trotted out in various religious and spiritual ideologies, it is a skill for living that raises our vibration, sets us on the path to enlightenment and truly helps us to evolve and grow into an inclusive and responsible human race.

Be many things, but always be kind <3 xx

Friday, November 29, 2019

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude - the jackpot of good vibes!



With Thanksgiving taking place in America this week it's been a good opportunity both personally and through my role professionally to reflect on what we are grateful for.

This was an emotional experience at Meditation group this week as it's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday living that we forget how very blessed we all are - even with Brexit and another election in the offing!!  ;-) Reflecting on our blessings put what is really important to us at the forefront of our minds again and meditating on this provided an opportunity to appreciate what we have.

Why does everyone involved with meditation, mindfulness and Buddhism keep banging on about being grateful??

Because it is the jackpot way to become more compassionate and raise your vibration.

Why do we want to raise our vibration ?

Because according to the law of attraction - a natural law just like the law of gravity or the law of relativity - what we send out we receive.
 For example - if we are generally stressed and worried, then we attract more situations to us that are likely to make us stressed and worried. If we are happy and positive, then we are more likely to attract events in to our lives that will enable us to feel happy and positive.
It doesn't matter whether you believe it or whether you are conscious of it, it's working all day and night every day and night. By acknowledging this law and cultivating an attitude of gratitude we can then actively attract the things we want into our life and minimise the impact of negative events in our lives.

How do we cultivate an attitude of gratitude?

A simple way to achieve this is to say "thank you" upon waking and then list something that you are grateful for...the warm bed, a safe house, someone to hold etc. Beginning the day like this sets you up with a positive mindset.

Another way is to keep a gratitude journal. This is a book of some description in which you list or write about the things that you are grateful for. This should ideally be done daily and can take as little as five minutes or can become a meditative practice and take as long as you would like. In listing what we are grateful for, we are focusing our attention on it and by default also determining which areas we might like to see change occur.This then helps us create a plan for creating our future.

A third way is to non-judgementally look at the situations occurring in our lives and instead of thinking "why is this happening to me?"  asking  "what can I learn from this experience?"
This doesn't prevent unfortunate things from happening to us but it does change the way we view them and can therefore lessen the impact of them. It also gives us the insight to see what action we can take to prevent it happening again and we can be grateful for the opportunity for growth and change that has been presented to us.

Ultimately through practise we can change the neuro-plasticity of our brains to see the positive in situations and therefore respond rather than react to difficulties. This gives us control over the decisions we make and what future events we are likely to attract into our life.

For me, I am grateful for so many things and constantly count my blessings as each day we have is a precious opportunity to live life to the full surrounded by love, friendship, beauty and wonder. (I accidentally typed wine there - Freudian slip perhaps :-)  )

If you would like to know more about gratitude, affirmations, the law of attraction and the use of vision boards to change your life, then you may be interested in this event.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/vision-board-and-affirmations-tickets-84049940635?fbclid=IwAR2Isiaz4Ckyzrw14neMpCIE_7HlHBpSekQxkZ8yieYSSmsCevLLMkbx-Xk

If not, just try looking for the positive in a situation or listing what you are grateful for and see how it improves your life.

Namaste.