Self-care and what a tennis ball has got to do with it?

Meet my friend, Mr Tennis Ball.

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Now you may be wondering, what in the world is she on about? Or you may exclaim “Ahaaa, I know this one!”

The connection is very simple – self-massage.

You may already be doing this, have heard about this (so take this as your reminder) or have been recommended to do this by a friend, osteopath, doctor, colleague etc. or you may be new to this idea.

So what is the fuss about?

Well I appreciate that not all of us have the means or time to attend regular massage sessions, buy expensive massage chairs/rollers/cushions or have the strength or patience to massage themselves with their hands/fingers as they soon get tired. So here is where my friend Mr Tennis Ball comes in.

Rolling a tennis ball on sore muscles by applying just as much pressure as you need is a simple and quick way to lightly loosen up stiff muscles…and it only costs you less than a pound/dollar/euro.

To get to pesky areas like the back – put the ball between you and the wall/floor and do a little awkward massage dance – looks funny, but gets the job done 😉

Of course you can do this on your loved ones too….

So go on, give yourself a light massage today, you are worth it!

Have you tried this or heard about this before? Got any tips on how to best do the massage? Is it easier for you to just use your hands or ask someone else to do it?

Survival congratulations to all exam takers.

I have been quiet for a few weeks now courtesy of the exam season and the ensuing post-exam season aftermath 😀

I am sure if you are studying or even juggling work and studies, you will know that all else becomes insignificant in the light of the looming exam paper.

So what kind of learner are you?

I gradually study though all the allotted period before the exam…but a few weeks before the exam panic sets in…and I try to cram in more knowledge 😀 Sometimes it works…others I am just running in my little hamster wheel of stress 😀 But it gets things done so it cannot be all that bad, right?

No amount of meditation, grounding or deep breaths can help you if your least favourite subject gets presented to you in your exam paper… although I truly wish I could OM myself to a correct answer if I had forgotten it 😀

So well done to everyone who was working hard (or even just a little bit) to achieve another milestone or goal in their lives and fingers crossed it was all worth it!

 

Panic & Anxiety – what do you do?

So the other day I suddenly felt really anxious and felt panic coming on – thank you exam season, I guess 😀

Normally deep breathing unfortunately does not do as much for me as I would like it to, but if it works for you – I envy you.

Talking to a close person helps a lot for me, just to air out any bottled up fears and worries, however, we may not always have access to a close person at all times.

So what did I do?

Something I would not normally think of when panic and anxiety sets in – simple yoga.

In this glorious day and age of the internet I have grown fond of a particular yoga teacher, courtesy of youtube and the Yoga TX channel – Jen Hillman.

Why this particular person?

I find her instructions clear and easy to follow and most exercises are doable by the non-sporty and non-bendy mortal people, however, even though the stretches are simple, they are always very deep and effective when done properly, that is, to the best of your current abilities.

Lo` and behold – after trying out 20 minutes of a yoga sequence for “Stress relief and anxiety management” my mild panic attack actually calmed down.

I think I shall be returning to yoga next time when panic sets in, if the setting is appropriate.

So what do you do when anxiety and panic sets in? Have any good tips you could share? Have you tried yoga before and have you tried looking for yoga on youtube? Any recommendations?

Kaizen – the miracle cure for all us over-achievers and procrastinators?

Raise your hand if you are a perfectionist, pedantic about your work or just love to “do things right”.

Now raise your hand if you spend quite some time procrastinating, putting things off or calling yourself “too lazy to do something”.

I`m sure most of us raised our hand to at least one of those – I know I did 😀

Upon my daily travels in the land of the internet I stumbled upon various videos and articles on the subject of the art of Kaizen.

Kaizen? I that some sort of cake?

Nop, apparently it is the Japanese technique of creating new habits and overcoming procrastination.

The theory is that in the west we strive to achieve, then achieve some more…and then achieve some more. And if we do not succeed in our achievement sprees, we soon get discouraged and just drop the activity. And that goes for my horrible habit of reading 5 books at the same time until half way 😀

So this nifty little Kaizen thing states that you should do whichever thing you need to do for:

  • 1 Minute
  • Every Day
  • At the same time

In that way it becomes a habit and you gradually start enjoying because you see that you clearly have done something good for that 1 minute.

Some say it is very effective – and we all have a minute? Right?

I am yet to try it, but there is a lot of good feedback on it that it does work for people…so why not give yourself a minute of pure achievement every day?

Go on, pat yourself on the back for once for a job well done (for just a minute), I know I should do that more often 😀

So what are your thoughts on this? Have you tried it? Do you know someone who has tried it? Does it work? Is it too simple?

Mirror Work – why should you tell yourself how great you are today?

You know when you keep seeing the same thing over and over again until you decide to have a proper look at it?

Yep, this has been happening to me lately in respect of so called “Mirror Work”.

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“A mirror what? Is that a cleaning company?”, some may ask.

No, it is something I get sent straight to my mailbox as a part of another spiritual website I seem to have signed up for a decade ago, this time courtesy of Hay House (and you would think they were paying me for the number of times I end up mentioning them :D) and Robert Holden.

After much resistance I sat down to actually check out a simple 15 minute video by Robert Holden. The big happiness trick he offers? You guessed it – mirror work!

The theory (and recommendation) is that you get yourself a mirror (hand-held, wall hanging, small, big – it does not matter) and just for a minute a day, five times a day (that is 5 minutes of your time) just look into the mirror and really tell yourself “I love you!”

As simple as that…you may even want to add other positive things about yourself while you are there talking to yourself (even if you do this quietly/mentally) as long as you do it.

If I love you is too far fetched, try “I am willing to start to like myself”, for example.

As simple as that sounds, give it a try – see what kinds of uncomfortable feelings the exercise and having to say something nice to yourself brings up. I know I had a blast – Jim Carey had nothing on the faces I suddenly started inevitably making at myself when I first tried telling myself how much I like myself in the mirror 😀

Day one down, I guess, only upwards from here….and it does get easier! I promise 😀

So is this something you may want to try? Have you tried it and did it change anything in your life? What are your thoughts on this simple technique?

 

How do you refer to your body?

Some of you may be aware that Hayhouse World Summit 2017 is currently in motion, which means you get free access to hours of free material from inspiration, motivation and otherwise interesting speakers that in theory will help you improve your life if only you work on it … how ever so lovely 😀

Like most people, I do not have countless hours to enjoy all the free material and to sponge up all the knowledge they have put out there, so today I thought I`d give one of the audios a go – “How to listen to and connect to your body`s messages” by Ahlea Khadro.

I am not familiar with her work, but two things stuck with me from the hour long lecture (that was vaguely playing in the background as I was multi-tasking as a modern adult :D):

One was that she refers to the body as she/he (depending on your gender)…now think about that one. Do you refer to your body in your mind as “it”? I sure do, which makes it so much more impersonal.

Do you reckon referring to your body as she/her (for females) or he/him (for males) would not make it more personal?…thus making it easier to care for ourselves? This is the thought I came away with…

And secondly, the good old message that the body sends us signals, but we cannot/do not/will not hear them…because we expect the body to speak in the minds language of words, which it clearly does not.

Kind of obvious, but it rung a bell with me…we sure do have a lot of trouble of just ~feeling~ a feeling and giving ourselves the space, the break and the time to acknowledge how we really feel in this constant flurry of modern must do/should do/real life is calling….

So have you tuned into the Hayhouse World summit? Which audios did you enjoy?

What are your thoughts on the above? Are you familiar with Ahlea Khadro`s work?

How much do planets influence our lives? Mercury in retrograde, oh no!

Throughout the last few weeks I have consistently seen various news and articles pop up on my news feed (which simply tells you a bit about the kind of people I follow :D) about Mercury in retrograde and how it is this big deal…if you believe that the planets affect the things happening around us.

I choose to lean towards the team that says that yes, they do have an influence, but I have not researched it enough (yet) to see to what extent and if it seems to work..for me.

May I say that you can breathe easily (until August 13 when it is back :D), apparently the latest period was April 9th until 3rd May – so we are safe now, Mercury is no longer in retrograde 😀

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So what was it all about?

Well, we got a whole list of things that are not recommended to be done during this period like starting a new job, making any kind of contracts, buying expensive things, anything involving communication as things may not be understood correctly, may be misunderstood or turn out to be completely different than expected…misunderstandings and trouble all around it would appear!

So what are the good bits? As everything slows down and is a lot less fast-paced than normal, you get a chance to re-think, re-do and re-evaluate things more…to sort out old things you have been postponing for ages.

And here is a lovely sample list I got on the internet 😉

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So did you notice any difference during this period? Has it been just as “off” for you as it has been for me? 😀 Or have you experienced something unusually wonderful during this time? Let me know your thoughts or any tips on the subject 😉

Clearing and Balancing your Chakras – Pendulum Work

So this morning I woke up feeling not so positive, but I had a streak of inspiration to pick up my pendulum and do a bit of clearing of that negativity.

Please note that if you do not own a pendulum, you can easily use a needle hanging in a thread or a ring with no stones hanging in a chain etc. as a substitute as long as the intention is there. For those of you who may not be familiar with the chakras, here is a guide image (from the internet).

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Normally I would work with a pendulum sitting down, but today I felt like pacing around the room as I worked. Why? I find this quiets my mind, but try what works best for you.

I held the pendulum opposite each of my 7 chakras starting from the bottom up and asked that any guilt, fear, anger, shame (and whatever might be relevant to you) that might be stuck in this chakra be cleared.

I personally imagine the negativity being sucked out of me and expanding into the universe or being taken away by angels for the greater good (whatever is your preferred method of “giving up negativity”).

As long as the pendulum swings or rotates, the clearing continues (and, yes, it does stop even if you are walking about). Once it stops rotating, you move on to the next chakra.

Once you have been through all the chakras, simply ask the universe/angels/whatever you believe in to save these positive changes you have made today and to let them manifest in your physical reality and, again, let the pendulum swing until it stops.

As simple as that.

I found it a good active meditation, a good visualisation exercise as well as a calming one – I certainly felt a bit more positive at the end of that 🙂

Do you think it is something simple enough that you may want to try? Does working with a pendulum work for you? What are your thoughts on this “active meditation”? Is there something similar you would like to recommend?

Positive role models for young girls – gender equality from a young age.

Raise your hands if you have kids. Now raise them if you have a daughter(s).

I did not raise mine to any of that, but being a kid at heart and still remembering my childhood well, I thought I would share my find of the day.

Someone shared a video on my facebook – it featured a little cartoon showing the story of Cinderella but with reversed genders…he was Cindefella, which I thought was rather clever 😀 And the short video ended with “You would not read this to your son…so why do we read it to our daughters?”

So they created an alternative. The book is called Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo. It features various stories of inspiration women..for kids.

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The idea they address is the image that gets thrown at young girls constantly in stories is that they need to wait around to be saved by something or someone.

To be fair…I never actually liked Cinderella as even as a kid I thought that she doesn`t really do much besides sit around waiting to be saved, but then again, I was a fussy kid that liked Belle and her reading habits (other flaws of that story aside) and Jasmine who just told everyone to stuff it, basically 😀

Granted, we are seeing some improvement with girls-stories when it comes to Disney with characters like Tiana and Moana, for example.

I, as of yet, have not read this book, but I thought the idea was so amazing, I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of this for both myself and any future kids I might have.

So what do you think about this idea? Do you agree that classic stories feature way too many damsels in distress and not enough heroines for young girls (and boys) to look up to?

Would you read it to your kid(s) and why/why not?

Let me know your thoughts, especially if you are an actual parent..or just a kid at heart like me 😉

Does our body give us signals to protect us?

Some of us are very sensitive to how their body feels and others a bit less so. Either way is fine as we all have our own ways of processing things, but I would like to focus today on the people that are or are trying to be a bit more in tune with themselves.

For some it comes naturally…others might be wondering how.

So have you ever noticed a certain feeling intensifies when you go to a certain place?

This can be anything from a sudden coughing fit, a feeling of an upset stomach or a very strong headache etc. Whatever you may be more sensitive towards.

For me it is sensations and intensified feelings in the back – being with certain people can totally put my back at ease whereas even the thought of hanging out with others brings on discomfort. Odd?

To be fair I only recently started noticing this connection as I never looked at it this way and never thought about investigating my surroundings or thoughts at the given time when I felt a certain type of physical nudge or discomfort.

So maybe this blog post can serve as that little nudge for you to take a careful look around when you feel a certain way to see if it is your body reacting to something and just trying to protect you in a way?

Maybe you are already one step ahead and know exactly what I mean and have been doing it for years 😉 😀

So what is your “usual signal” that tells you that you should be aware of your surroundings or maybe even leave a certain place? Let me know your thoughts and comments on the above 😉