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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Human beings or human doings?

Dear fellow human beings..

We all recognize that we are humans.. but can we say the same for being?

I think the correct term nowadays would be that we are humans doing. We have forgotten what it is to just BE.

This may be quite confusing so I’ll back up. We have evolved into a productive society, we are highly intelligent there is no doubt about that but it seems that we have forgotten the intelligence of BEing – that is to listen to our inner selves (intuition, gut feelings etc)

Why is this? Because we are so  busy DOING.

It’s like we are on a non-stop tredmill completely unaware because we think it’s normal. We live as slaves to times, schedules, meetings, routine.

I am saying this from experience – I know that when I’m in tredmill mode and I sit down, I get really agitated and can’t relax for more than 5 minutes, I have to get up to make a tea or read a book or DO something!

Our being is our true essence. If we don’t make time to connect and listen to ourselves and be with ourselves then we are usually very unaware of how we think, feel and act towards ourselves and others. If we are not listening to our inner being, we are neglecting ourselves.

It is so important and fundamental for all aspects of health to switch off from the crazy world we live in and connect to our inner being. How else can you connect with other beings?

Next time you decide to check in on facebook to just pass time. Next time you switch on the telly just to pass time. Why not check in with being? Passing time by is wasting your life away doing pointless things. Being with yourself allows you to begin a journey to your true self, to love, light, peace and truth. It allows you to find connection with yourself, others and the world with depth and meaning.

To go beyond the surface of yourself and tap into your inner being, is to discover your infinite depth as a human being. Instead of existing in a life of constant movement and only experiencing what’s on the surface.

Make time for yourself, lie under the stars, sit with your eyes closed in the sunshine with nowhere to go and no one to see, sit and watch yourself breathe.

Balance is the key to life. Balance your time between doing and Being.. see what difference it brings to you 🙂

 

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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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Louise.L.Hay

‘We are Light. We are Spirit. We are wonderful, capable beings, all of us. And it is time for us to acknowledge that we create our own reality. We create our reality with our minds. If we want to change our reality, then it’s time for us to change our minds. We do this by choosing to think and speak in new and positive ways. I learned a long time ago that if I would change my thinking, I could change my life. Changing our thinking is really dropping our limitations. As we drop our limitations, we begin to be aware of the Infinity of life all around us. We begin to understand that we are already perfect, whole, and complete. Each day gets easier.’

Words by Louise.L.Hay (check her out, she’s amazeballs)

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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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Taking responsibility instead of blaming others

We have control over ourselves, we have the power.

By blaming someone, we give that power away, we give it to them. We are saying, it is your fault that I feel like this – which is essentially saying, you have control over me and my feelings.

Saying someone else creates your suffering is not taking responsibility for yourself. You are in control of your own life.

I used to really struggle with this. I would get so frustrated and upset because other people would do things that annoyed me. I blamed other people for my unhappiness. But it was my perception. I let myself get annoyed at external things beyond my control, until I learned that I control how I  view things.

Last week I began to get stressed and frustrated looking after a child who is pretty demanding and craves attention. My mind was on auto-pilot thinking, ‘ she’s so demanding, ungrateful, needy and controlling. it’s her way or no way.’ This kind of thinking just led me to feel more and more annoyed every time she’d have a new injury or be demanding my attention without any patience.

When I became aware of my thoughts I realized the effect they where having on my body (stress,anxiety,muscle tension) and how I was acting colder, blunter with the child. Both things I didn’t want.

So as I stepped out of auto-pilot, I took responsibility because I know that it was only my perception at fault. The way I was viewing the situation was as if my thoughts and assumptions where the truth. Thoughts and assumptions are not truth.

Instead I decided to be curious, this child would never choose to be this unhappy with herself, she doesn’t choose to get stressed out,cry at little things, she doesn’t choose to be so needy and demanding of her mum. There must be more depth to it than I am currently viewing. I understood she has insecurities, she needs attention because she is missing something. With understanding, I began to grow compassion and empathy and realised theres a lot more depth to this little person than I know.

There’s a lot more depth to each and every person, more than we will ever know.

So I had that transformation with our relationship, by taking responsibility and deciding to change my views instead of just blaming her for my anxious state.

When we take responsibility for ourselves, we recognize our power and control. We recognize the freedom of choice.

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Freedom of thought, freedom from thought

You are not your thoughts. How many times have we heard this? But do we really understand it, most importantly do we understand the message it gives us.

That is that we have freedom from thought, if we are not our minds then we are free from it’s negative thinking.

My intention for this blog has always been to bring awareness to people, in hope that you become aware of your thoughts and how they create your reality.

We don’t choose what thoughts pop into our minds most of the time, but we do have a choice on how to perceive those thoughts. That choice only comes once you know and you are aware that you can differentiate yourself from the minds thinking.

For example –

Let’s say Lucy who struggles with self-esteem, wants to try for the dance team but doesn’t feel she can because her mind is in a negative spiral, it says things like ‘I’ll let the team-down, I’m not good enough, what if the others just laugh at me..I am a failure.’

Without awareness, Lucy accepts this as the truth. She thinks she is her mind, therefore her thoughts are facts.

If Lucy was to bring her awareness to this negative thinking by pausing the auto-pilot mode that she lives in, she would be able to challenge that thought and realize, its just a negative thought, it’s not the truth.

This is not true. We are not our thoughts, we do not choose them and they’re not the truth. Something negative happens in the past, we take it personally and hold on to that hurt instead of letting it go, then our minds remember and project it into the future and create our new thoughts based on the past experiences, creating more negativity in our lives.

Try body scanning, or a stillness meditation, observe what thoughts come up or what feelings and sensations that you experience in your body.. then recognize that you are the observer. You are not the thought, you are the one watching it.

‘What a liberation to realize that “the voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.’  – Eckhart.Tolle

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Accepting when negativity arises within us

Complete acceptance for that of which we are.

Wouldn’t that be incredible?

I used to think after all the self-study, observation and reflecting I do, surely I accept myself for who I am now? And yes in a sense I do, I honour my thoughts and feelings and make time to really listen to myself and try putting myself first.

Boy, it takes up a lot of time and energy to do so much self work but ITS WORTH IT. I have never felt so at peace with myself and content with life, even when I have the not so good days. I have discovered who I am (Yes I know it sounds cheesy, but im sorry, its true. People feel lost and its all about going on a journey to find yourself.)

So.. I’ve discovered and continue to learn about who I am but do I have complete acceptance? The answer I discovered this week.. not quite

Through mindfulness practise I discovered feelings of stress and anxiety, aka negative feelings. My mind got annoyed that I was experiencing this negativity so I ended up fighting it, resisting that it was happening and trying to shove it back to wherever it came from. Complete non-acceptance of what I was experiencing in the present moment, not accepting that negative emotions do arise within me once in a while! So basically beating myself up in a way, saying ‘this negativity is not acceptable so get out, i don’t accept you, why are you feeling like this.’

Acceptance is about embracing yourself as a whole, all aspects of yourself, without rejecting the uncomfortable and shameful parts.

I could pretend that I am positive all the time and a negative thought never crosses my mind, but would that be me? Nope, it’d just be pretense, a false self.

We are perfectly imperfect. We have positive and negative thoughts, resistance only makes them grow, acceptance is showing yourself love and kindness. Don’t beat yourself up over a negative emotion, be aware of it and be curious as to why it has arisen and then smile and accept. Accept yourself exactly as you are.

Affirmation of the upcoming week –

* I accept myself and all which arises within me, completely in this present moment *

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Finding Balance in your life

Finding balance can be difficult, especially as we have so many different areas of our lives to balance.

Creating this equal balance in our lives takes time and effort to tune in with ourselves, to listen to gut feeling and intuition, to know if we are doing too much or could push ourselves to do more.

Its about experimenting and learning about yourself. Learning to trust your body, it takes great care of you and will always let you know if something is wrong and therefore out of balance. This is why it’s so important to be present and take time daily to tune-in with yourself.

People often run around all day, busy or stressed, rushing from one place to another. They probably get symptoms of illness way before they stop and realize, by this time the body is screaming. Where as if you take time daily to listen you will notice even minor symptoms and therefore be able to prevent it getting worse.

If you find yourself constantly tired or ill with lethargic symptoms, cold, flu’s, sickness bugs or digestive problems.. consider why that is.

A few years ago I had a cold every other week. I kept complaining but once i’d get better I went back to normal and the next week I’d be sick again. I never thought about getting to the root of the problem and trying to prevent illness. It turned out I was supressing emotions, living with a unhealthy diet, not enough sleep or too much, drinking a lot of alcohol and spending no time alone. I had completely lost balance of many areas in life, this resulted in feeling lost and constantly run down and lethargic.

Balance is they key to a healthy life. Make time for yourself, only you can figure out a balance for your mind, body and soul. You have to truly listen to you as all our bodies are unique to us

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