wherethesunisalwayshining

sprinkling positivity

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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Feeling lonely? Perhaps the universe is teaching you to enjoy being alone

I’m sure most of us have had difficult times where we have felt isolated, alone, lonely..

We have craved company, socialising or perhaps the opposite but not bearing to be with ourselves.

Why is it that we have all this time alone.. why not look at it with curiosity.. I believe everything is exactly as its supposed to be.

I remember for the best part of last year I felt lonely. I couldn’t quite understand it because all my friends seemed to have their lives set out, and I seemed like the odd one out, the failure. The only one back at home, not knowing what step was next.

After months of this, I began journalling.. I cant remember what got me started but It helped.

It made me put things out of my mind, just getting it out on paper was a de-stress, less confusion of it all buzzing up there.

The big shift came a year ago when I was casually writing my thoughts and I realized I didnt do anything i did as a child.. reading, dancing, painting.. So i joined the library.. and then I started reading many books about the mind, life, spirituality.

As you can see, it was a bit like a domino effect, it all just began coming together. I learnt to let go of fears and anxiety and replace it with trust, faith.. and it all began to make sense to me.

I was alone, still. But instead of resisting it, I let it strengthen me. I began by taking myself out of the house on walks in nature, I went to my favourite coffee shop and read of wrote or people watched, I made the most of being able to relax, I found things to be grateful for. I began by being the person I wanted to be, I remember saying hello to people, smiling and wishing them a good day.. the difference that made me feel and the response I got was incredible. It set my day up, just those small little things.

I still feel lonely sometimes.. there’s definitely been plenty of those times whilst travelling too, noit necesserily when I havent had company, but felt alone as not to be myself and connect with others. They’re all places for growth, strength, practise.

Life is a continious cycle of surrendering, letting go, trusting in the divine.

Have faith in what’s to come. Let go and let be.

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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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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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Our thoughts – Foreground and Background

This week I began a mindfulness training and something the teacher said really stuck with me.

My last post was about accepting ourselves on a whole, without rejecting the uncomfortable or shameful parts. Accepting ourselves for all that arises within us, that including the negative.

Resisting or fighting negativity only focuses on it and creates more – as we know what we focus on grows.

And so, my teacher said whilst we began a meditation – notice you will have background noise, but bring your attention to whatever you want to focus on, let that be in the foreground.

So for example, we had bin lorries beeping in the background of our minds but our attention was to focus on the leg (in a body scan mediation). Therefore the leg being in the foreground of the mind.

Occasionally during meditation, our attention will wonder and the main focus will drift into the background and something else will replace in the foreground (focus).. until we become aware that we have drifted and we pull it back.

This is what struck me. Isn’t it the same with everything in life? Sometimes we are focused on the positive but the negative is just in the background and sometimes negativity will arise and become the focus, yet positivty remains in the background, it’s just waiting for us to pull it back to the foreground again to be our main focus.

Also about accepting it as a whole, accepting that our mind’s do drift from thought to thought instead of being constantly focused on the meditation.. and that’s perfectly ok.

Let’s be kind to ourselves and smile whenever the background shifts to the foreground or we lose focus. Let’s smile and accept that it happens. Lets remind ourselves, We are human and doing our best 🙂

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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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MINDFULNESS & ITS BENEFITS

mindfulness

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