wherethesunisalwayshining

sprinkling positivity

Schedule in some ‘Me Time’

Scheduling in some ‘Me Time’ is vital for health and wellbeing, overall happiness and joy.

We seem to have jam-packed schedules these days in our busy society. Busy people, busy minds, busy busy busy.

You might always say you’d love to do something but never have enough time. Yup, I’ve been there and still find myself sometimes coming out with those words. The truth is, we have to MAKE time.

There is enough time, we just have to understand that we are responsible for how we use it. We have to take responsibility for ourselves, our life and how we spend it.

Scheduling in some time to spend alone, with no plans, is really important. It gives you this freedom and space to just be. You can actually tune-in with yourself and wonder what you feel like. Instead of going from one plan to the other, living a life of routine, it gives you a gap to just be.

Within this gap is where creativity and imagination arises. How often can we say we have the time to day dream, draw, paint, bake or read. Whatever our hobbies are!

We spend most of our lives working and then very little time expressing our passions, how does that lead us to a fulfilling life?

So I encourage you to carry on with your routine but schedule in some time to yourself with no plans of things to do.

There is much joy felt in actually pausing with nothing to do, nowhere to go and no one to see. A slot of freedom to actually honour yourself in that moment.

Whether it’s half an hour, an evening, a day off or a weekend retreat!

Step away from the smart phones, emails, communication and distractions!

I usually try dedicating half a day or a full one depending on how I feel, to myself. To just spend time alone with no plans set in stone. It gives me a sense of freedom to explore how I feel, to really tune-in and listen to myself and see what I feel like doing. Then honouring that. Sometimes I feel like walking, exploring, some times I feel like staying in and baking! It really differs but it’s so nice to not feel like ‘Oh I really don’t feel like doing that but I have to because I planned it’.

Today I began my morning off with really simple little things that brought feelings of great joy. I got up slowly with no rush, meditated for 15 minutes or so, paused as I was grabbing for my usual breakfast of muesli and thought.. hang on, I don’t feel like that today. I have time, and I feel like being creative.. the end product was banana oat pancakes galore!

The simplicity but the beauty in pausing and creating that time and space for yourself. A gap in the busy life and daily routine.. it really is an act of love and kindness, it is a space to honour yourself in the present moment and allow creativity, spontaneity and imagination to flow through.

So if you are like me and find there isn’t enough time for the day to pamper yourself, look after your mental or physical health, nourish yourself in any way that resonates with you. Schedule it in, without feeling guilty or judgemental. It is not selfish to have time doing nothing, this is just an illusion within our society, which is why we have so many people feeling drained, exhausted and sick. In fact you will discover that once you have dedicated the time and space for yourself, you will be much happier and joyful with others.

I always find whenever I’m reaching for that extra coffee, that’s the sign of my body telling me to slow down and make some ‘me time’. Our bodies are magnificent creations that give us signs of all that we need every moment, all we have to do is listen 🙂

With love

Sian

 

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How yoga can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves

‘Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.’

A great quote. Yet for beginners, this may seem a bit confusing and mind boggling..

How on earth are you supposed to find out more about yourself through practising some postures and breathing?

Ever been to a yoga class determined to quieten the mind and be in a peaceful space.. then find the person practising next to you has really loud distracting breathing? You can’t really ask them to stop breathing so you have the choice of being agitated and annoyed for the next hour or to change your perspective and just accept it and let it be.

Similarly in life.. we may expect things to go in a certain way but then outside circumstances change it, we either accept them and adjust or we end up suffering and hurting because we resist and let our emotions get the better of us.

Being on the mat allows us to be. A time to come to the present moment, bring awareness to ourselves, watch the mind and listen to the body.

Attempting to be present in the now is something we all manage to do for only a short period of time before we get distracted.. let alone a 90minute class! By watching how present or how easily distracted we are on the mat, we can then see that this may reflect how present we are in the rest of our lives, spending time with loved ones but thinking of work? Spending time in work but thinking about what to cook for dinner? If this is the case then you may be present physically but not as you, this is how you let life slip by because you’re never really there if you’re not really present.

Being on the mat brings this new found awareness into your life.

Watching the mind can prove interesting in yoga, especially when you come to postures that appear difficult. The mind might say ‘I can’t do that’ before even trying. How many times does this then also reflect in your normal life? The mind might be too busy concentrating on how much more flexible your neighbours are compared to you leaving you feeling inferior ; could this also be true that you then spend a lot of time comparing your life with other peoples?

One of my favourite reasons I enjoy practising yoga or meditating is so I can see where my mind is at. Everyone’s state of mind changes from moment to moment depending on what’s happening. I can wake some mornings and be fully present and peaceful, other times my mind will be thinking of past, future, day dreaming and distracted and that then tells me that I need to put some extra work into achieving peace for myself and doing less.

It let’s you come to know yourself in a new way, listening and allowing you to help yourself.

How much do you listen to your body? Do you find that you will attempt the full posture instead of a variation because everyone else is doing that, even though your hamstrings might be yelling for you to stop pushing yourself. Or do you find that you could push yourself further into a posture but you like to relax and play it comfortable? Again, these things can all reflect in how you go about your daily life.

So.. Let the yoga mat be your place of learning, enter with an open-mind and child like curiosity. There is no need to judge any of these things that you may discover about yourself. Observation is simply watching, don’t take it too seriously and put a judgement of it being bad or good. See it as a game and say ‘thank you for that lesson, I can now be aware if I do something similar in daily life.’

‘Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are’

Namaste!

 

 

 

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The Many Benefits of Yoga

Why do I and many others try to  practise Yoga daily?

What is the purpose of it?

Yoga has many benefits in a variety of sectors; physical, mental, energetic & spiritual.

Physical Benefits – So practising yoga asanas (postures) with moving our physical bodies, helps stretch the muscles, create more flexibility and strength, improves blood circulation and is well known for easing back pain. Practising yoga daily therefore allows you to observe how you improve in different postures, push beyond previous limits and allow you to do things you never thought possible – giving a great self-esteem boost. It also allows you to practise acceptance for your body, we are all built differently and sometimes we physically cannot do something because our bones compress etc; that is ok. It also helps you keep a healthy and fit body to live a good life!

‘Look after your body or you won’t have anywhere to live’

Mental Benefits – Practising yoga can helps ease the mind as we use the tools of concentration. Focusing on being in the correct alignment/posture, focusing on a specific spot or concentrating on your breathing – these are all techniques to help still the mind as all the focus flows in one direction. This calm & stillness then allows you to think with clarity and make better choices in life. Also being aware of what you think about on the mat is a benefit – If you find yourself thinking about the past or future; realize you probably want to work on being in the present moment if you want a quieter mind. If you’re worrying about things you have to do; realize it’s better to get them out the way first! These are only examples, the yoga mat is a place of self-exploration and discovery.

‘Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are’

Energetic Benefits – This can be seen in various ways: please go by whatever resonates with you. Practising any physical activity creates a difference in our energetic system and usually a form of physical exercise as some people view yoga as; can produce happy hormones. We can also feel much more relaxed from slow breathing, slow movement..just in general slowing down from our regular day life! It can also go the opposite way (depending on your class) and you may leave feeling full of energy and life, rearing to go.

Another aspect of energetic benefits is the sublimation of energy within the Chakras. The Chakras are Energetic centres corresponding with specific glands, organs and facets of your being. There are 7 main  energy centres running from the bottom of the spine, along to the crown of the head. Usually we have imbalances or blockages from things we supress, general phenomenon’s in life and emotional blockages of  experiences that we have held on to. Imbalances in our chakras have a huge impact on our overall energetic system as energy cannot flow from one chakra to the other.. this can affect us through physical disease, behaviour, overall energy and health. Practising yoga postures often can help to balance these through the working on specific postures known to help grounding, opening the heart etc.

‘Energy flows where attention goes’

Spiritual Benefits – I put this last for a reason, because many of us begin yoga for a physical or mental benefit. We get told we’ll become flexy and strong, be able to do cool postures and it will make us calm and relaxed – Perfect activity or what?

I say this  from experience.. perhaps not for everyone, but yoga is so much more than that. If you decide to explore the traditional Indian philosophy behind it and practise what ancient yogis wrote down in texts, you will find a lot of wisdom. Yoga is traditionally seen as a spiritual practise (I had no idea until I got interested in researching), although I was never religious or had faith in anything in particular, my heart just found resonance in the yogic teachings. There is no right and wrong, there is only guidance. Practising things such as truthfulness, non-harming to yourself and others, self-discipline, contentment.. try it for a week and see the difference it makes. Living a life through guidance of enlightened sages that share their wisdom and knowledge to be free from the mind and its limitations. To control the mind instead of having it control us. It helped me realize that I am so much more than my physical body, that everyone is, to have kindness and compassion for myself and others. So practising yoga also gives you the opportunity to explore bringing spirituality into your life through following guidance of spiritual texts, following daily self enquiry to reconnect with your soul and your true self, beyond the mind.

These are brief examples on the benefits of yoga and I hope you will have a further insight to what yoga can bring to your life. Go to a class with an open mind, with curiosity and see what feels right for you 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sometimes I am afraid to be myself.

Sometimes, I am afraid to be myself.

I am afraid to say what I really feel, to disagree with someone’s opinion, to stand up for what I believe in and to share my passion.

I feel a deep fire burning inside me that is almost like an itch.

It wants to dance but I allow it to dim from the shadows of a mask

I try to hide parts of myself that I am scared people won’t accept. Where does that unacceptance come from? I don’t accept it myself or I make assumptions about other people.

No matter how many times I cast a grey smog of smoke over my fire.. it stays lit, changing in different intensities at different moments.

Moments of intense pure joy come from sharing all of me with others, allowing my fire to dance as flames do.

Awareness brings a new moment, to constantly remind myself to be true. To me and to you.

Sharing is such a big part of my life now, sharing the journey of life with one another. connecting. learning. discovering.

So I finish with an intention to – accept me for me, and you for you.

 

 

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What do you really want?

What do I want?

How often do we truly ask ourselves that question, or how honestly do we really answer it?

It may appear to be a simple question but actually a lot of us know what we don’t want, or we will answer the basics of health, happiness, family and friends etc.

When it comes down to it we all want the same fundamental things.

But going beyond the mind, beyond the limitations and boundaries..

If I change the question to.. If anything and everything was possible, what would you want?

So often we don’t even allow ourselves to ask what we really want, we are a society that fear their dreams, because we are afraid to even acknowledge them.

In reality, beyond the minds limitations and boundaries that are only illusions, everything and anything is possible.

You see, unless we think or even acknowledge something in our minds then it’s not possible to manifest it. We have to ask ourselves these fundamental questions so that actually yes we can work towards our dreams, we can put energy into making the thoughts a reality.

So be courageous, take time to yourself. Ask yourself ‘What do I really want?’

If you find that to be too difficult – ‘If everything and anything was possible, what would I want?’.. you can ask yourself out loud, in your mind, through meditation, write it on paper. You are free to do anything.

Step outside of the walls your mind has built up, discover the secret garden of infinite possibilities within you.

Once you acknowledge what you want, work towards making it happen. Do you think Obama was a 18 year old guy thinking he was going to become the president? I’m guessing not but he obviously was working towards big things and had the thought in his mind at some point. Patience and small steps. Believe in yourself, we are all made of the same stuff, no one is superior or inferior to another.

If you answer your question, be careful to observe your mind. It may say you’re not good enough in some way,’ it’s not possible, don’t be silly.’ Just be aware of these thoughts and know they’re just thoughts, illusions, not reality unless you let them be.

Thoughts are very important, they play a huge role in our lives and most people have no idea what an impact they have. Thoughts really do create your reality so it’s important that you listen to them, observe. Let go of any negative thoughts that hold you back, just don’t attach.

There’s a saying ‘Where the mind goes, energy flows’ – be careful what you put your energy into. Positive outcomes or negative? You really are powerful beyond measure, you have the choice to choose.

So.. What do you really want?

 

 

 

 

 

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New Year rituals that benefit us

Happy New Year to each and every one of you beautiful souls.

I haven’t written a blog post in months… and yup I feel it. It feels great to be starting the New Year with a post!

I love writing and sharing with the world, if my post helps, inspires or plants a seed in one persons life.. that’s what makes me feel fulfilled.

So beginning the New Year in 2016, let’s take a look at how we can make sure we create a beneficial year for ourselves.

I watched a video the other day and It really hit home with me, a ring of truth. In the past I always assumed that rituals where a religious act and performed only by religious people etc.

In the video it exclaimed how actually, every single one of us have rituals, we just either aren’t aware of them or we brush them off as a habit (good or bad). We have rituals of the order we get up, read the newspaper in the morning, check Facebook first thing when we wake up, have a morning coffee and biscuit, have a cigarette break.. and so on.

As humans we are known to be creatures of habit.. its natural. But do we ever question our habits? These habits are our rituals. Yet what does smoking, scrolling on Facebook, watching the news; what does any of that really benefit us? The truth is our rituals in modern society don’t benefit us, the news only highlights negativity, smoking kills us and social media amplifies the ego and has us wishing we lived someone else’s life.

I used to read Facebook any time I was bored, needed time to pass.. sometimes i still fall into that trap. It’s addictive. The same as we can fall into the trap of eating at a certain time because its a ritual. The thing is we don’t connect with ourselves with our modern day rituals, we actually do the opposite. We don’t question if we are hungry, we just look at the time and say it’s time to eat, we don’t listen to our bodies. We don’t question if we really need that coffee today because its a ritual.

So here I am sharing with you small quick rituals for you to do, that will benefit your life instead of wasting time and spending it doing something unworthy or damaging for your health

1.Wake up and instead of going on your phone, actually make an effort to stay off it for the first hour. Technology takes up energy from you (not what you want waking up). Instead, think of 5 things you are grateful for. You can think in your head or say out loud.

2. Dedicate 10-15 minutes of your morning to meditating. Once you begin a practise and stick to the same time it gets easier, like every habit. It’s a great way to begin the day in peace, tuning in to how you feel. For example some days you may find it difficult to focus on meditating, this tells you that you’re mind is busy and agitated so you may need to have more time to calm. Other days you may fall asleep, this tells you you are to go to bed early. The body will always give us signs to show us what to do, but we have to make the effort to listen.

3. Go for a walk on your lunch break. Go experience the outdoors, use your sense of smell, touch, hearing and be grateful that you have those senses.

4. Stop for a minute or when you’re on the toilet each time take 3 deep breaths and concentrate simple on your breath.

5. Write in a journal about your day. This gives you a time to reflect on what happened, what made you feel happy, angry, sad, emotional. It gives you and idea of the things that trigger these feelings and perhaps how you can deal with them. Also it’s always good to know what makes you laugh. diaries can hold great memories too.

And there you go.. 5 rituals that benefit you. Rituals need some self-discipline to begin with, especially to replace old rituals. Habits/rituals are forms of addictions but once we replace them, we soon forget about the old ones. You will slowly see your life start to transform for the better.

We are responsible for the lives we create, if we put in the effort we can manifest our dreams into realities.

Lots of love

Sian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Recognizing the power behind your thoughts

Recognizing how your thoughts create an impact on your life is essential for everyone, especially if you find yourself suffering from unhappiness, discontentment, depression, anxiety and stress.

All of which are the outcome of negative thought patterns.

The good news.. we can change our thought patterns into positive ones, creating a positive life!

Our thoughts create our reality..

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN, you may well ask.

THOUGHTS  =  EMOTION  =  SENSATION  =  ACTION/ IMPULSE/ BEHAVIOUR.

Let’s say for example,

The kid’s are fighting (scenario)

‘These kids never listen to me, I can’t cope with this right now’ (thought)

Overwhelming feeling of stress and anxiety. (emotion)

tightness in the chest, shorter breath and muscle tension. (sensations)

shouting at the children, crying and perhaps smack them. (Action/Impulse/Behaviour)

Another example,

You’re with your partner and he’s talking to his really kind and beautiful friend. (scenario)

‘Why is he with me when he could do so much better, what if he leaves me because i’m not good enough.’ (thought)

Overwhelming feeling of panic, jealousy, anxiety. (emotion)

Heavy feeling in the stomach, adrenaline, fast heart beat (sensations)

Act needy and insecure with the partner, controlling and demand the partner not to see her again. (action/impulse/behaviour)

So, you see how easy it is for our thoughts to affect our reality? Creating and shaping our lives and the situations that arise.

Bring awareness to your thoughts and recognize the power behind them, this way you are taking control of your life and choosing what you bring into your reality and what you attract.

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Tuning in with your thoughts

Thoughts.. We have so many running in and out of our minds on auto-pilot that we aren’t even aware of most of them..

We have variations of thoughts, some pop up completely random, some we think regularly (like lists of things to do), some are memories from the past and some are illusions of the future.

Most of the time we don’t even know because we aren’t even aware of our thoughts, they’re running in and out without a pause to observe or contemplation.

With awareness and observation of your thoughts you get to know yourself better and can make significant changes to improve your life..

  • Taking notice of the voice/tone you speak to yourself in.

We all have a critique up there in the mind, bringing awareness to how we speak to ourselves can be shocking for some people. Also bringing awareness to the tone.Let’s say you’re answering a question in front of a class and getting the answer wrong, the critique within might pipe up and say ‘ well done stupid, you just made yourself look like a right idiot.’ Noticing how you speak to yourself is crucial as it can be really damaging for your self-esteem and confidence.

  • Noticing if you honour yourself and listen to yourself,

Bringing awareness to your thoughts can help you tune in and listen to yourself. Let’s say you’re really tired and run down, all you want is an early night in, then work calls and asks you to work a shift and before you even know it you’ve said yes. Inside you’re screaming no and can’t think of anything worse, but you felt compelled to say yes to please others, to make others happy even if that means you suffer. That is not giving yourself the love and care you deserve.

  • Noticing how you interact with others, are you judgemental/critical?

We all fear judgement from others, that is why we do what others expect from us. We care about what others think of us, whether they know us or not. Bring awareness to your thoughts and you will notice the judgements and labels you put on people just from their appearance or actions. You may decide you don’t like your mum’s new boyfriend because the first time you meet him he is very quiet and appears rude by not making an effort. This would be your judgement, probably without considering how he would be feeling, perhaps scared,nervous or overwhelmed. Usually through judging others we make assumptions which aren’t accurate and lose the chance of connection and new relationships.

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Are you creating happiness or suffering for yourself?

Most of us hate the thought that we suffer because of our own thoughts or that we create unhappiness for ourselves. We want to blame someone else or other people’s actions or life situations for causing these negative emotions within us. But does that change or transform them? No, it’s just not accepting responsibility.

Im writing this post because I want us all to understand we are responsible for our happiness and for our suffering, when you understand that then you understand you have control over your thoughts and emotions and they don’t control you. Therefore you have the power and control over your happiness and suffering. You choose how to look at things and that’s what decides whether you are sad or happy.

And you may ask how? Whenever you’re sad or suffering in any form whether it’s anger, frustration, depression – question yourself -‘what thoughts am I thinking about myself and others?’ Because everything comes from thought. Thoughts manifest our reality and create our lives because a thought comes through in our words, actions and feelings.

Feelings of anger or resistance may arise within you from what I have just said, that’s not you that’s just the ego that’s inside each and every one of us. Put your ego aside and try it. Go through that feeling of resistance..

For example let’s say you are suffering because you’re feeling like the odd one out in your group of friends, perhaps you feel like you’re not as attractive, you don’t enjoy the same hobbies as them and you feel like they all know what they want in life because they’re smart and you have no idea and feel dumb. Think how those thoughts may be affecting your life. They are full of negativity, putting yourself down, comparing yourself to others and putting pressure on you.

So now you have awareness you would be able to identify these negative thoughts about the situation that makes you unhappy – great! Now you can change that because you have control over your thoughts. To turn it into a positive perspective, recognize that comparison is the thief of joy, there is no point comparing your beauty to another as we are all unique, there’s no one else on the planet like you and that is beautiful in itself. Focusing on what we do like about ourselves creates happy thoughts , whilst for example – perhaps wishing you had darker skin or bigger hips When in reality you are pale and slim, will only cause suffering because that’s not your body, it’s resisting what you are. show love for what you are and embrace it instead of trying to be something you’re not. Embracing our natural beauty is much easier than resisting and trying to change it!

we all have unique paths and different journeys, there is no smart and dumb because we all excel at different things and we’re all lacking in other things, sometimes it takes longer to find out what we excel in but isn’t that exciting, knowing there’s something out there to discover and be great at, you just have to experiment and try new things which is wonderful anyway.

You see everything changes when you change your perspective on things.

you decide whether you bring yourself suffering or joy.

i understand sometimes it’s difficult to see the other way of thinking if you’re too caught up in it, so perhaps ask a friend or write it down. Ask me and il happily try to find a positive outlook on a situation for you.

remember to take time out to think to yourself -what thoughts am I thinking that is creating this suffering or this happiness? Either is good to observe!

the sun is always shining 🙂

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My Daily Affirmation

I thought it would be nice for me to share my daily affirmation with you guys, it’s simple, meaningful and takes 2 minutes if you’re short on time.

I usually like to practise yoga or sun salutations to begin with to focus my energy inwards and quieten the mind (this is optional and not necessary when short on time)

I then bring my hands in prayer position to my forehead with the mantra

– ‘I bring kind thoughts to myself, and others.’

Secondly I move my hands to my lips, still in prayer position

– ‘I bring kind words to myself, and others.’

I then move my arms to the middle of my chest, near the heart

– ‘I bring kind actions to myself and to others.’

Finally finishing with a bow and namaste.

This mini affirmation is great to start the day, it sets intention to be kind to yourself and everyone else through how you think, speak and act. Making sure we are not harshly commenting or judging ourselves, dont call ourselves names and don’t abuse ourselves. The same towards others. I find It stays in my mind all day then too 🙂

I also usually add on a little thought for what I am grateful for, what I would like to achieve from my day or life in general. This is great for focusing your thoughts on positive outcomes and being clear about what you want. Its also great for making you feel great, focusing on what you do have and what you’re grateful for instead of focusing on what you don’t have.

Let me know if you decide to practise it also, and if you feel a difference! Remember, it only takes 2 minutes but it could transform your day, your relationship with yourself and everyone else you encounter.

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