Filling the well….and wishing you all a merry Christmas

 I know you were expecting a blog on yoga’s answer to anti-wrinkle cream, which, I

Just being

Practising meditation – stillness and silence

promise will be the next one, but I really felt I wanted to blog today about staying healthy at this busy time, and there seems to be a lot of winter bugs to fight off at the moment.

Winter is naturally time for stillness. A time to hibernate. Autumn was a time for shedding what no longer serves us, so that we can move into this new season of quiet regeneration, open and ready to receive whatever healing, wisdom or energy we need for growth in the spring and summer. As always yoga for winter takes it’s cue from nature, which is now resting, calm and silent.

Sadly we don’t seem to get so much rest at this time of year. Generally we are working longer and longer hours. Socially we might be busier with festive engagements. We may well have much to do in preparing for Christmas itself. We have endless opportunities and reasons to be on our electronic devices. Now add in to the mix late nights, possibly sleepless nights, worries and anxieties (which always seem to be worse when it’s cold and dark) and a diet that maybe richer, sweeter or involve more alcohol than we are used to, and then we wonder why we get sick!

You cannot keep emptying a well and expect it to keep on giving, if you don’t take the time to fill it up again.

Whenever I bring this subject up, I generally get some feedback that you don’t have any time to make space for yourself, and I do understand this point. As a self-employed person I find it very difficult to plan and stick to “me time”, but I have come to realize how important it is and I am slowly becoming more confident and disciplined at valuing my time.

I have learned, the hard way (!), that it is not selfish or lazy to take time out and fill my well, here are some of the conclusions I have reached :

  • If I think I don’t have time to take any time out for myself, I certainly don’t have any spare time to be ill! So taking a couple of hours out is infinitely better than being laid up in bed with flu or worse. I’m self employed, if I’m not working I’m not getting paid. It makes good business sense to keep my well full to the brim.
  • When I’m tired I make mistakes and waste more time. If I’m refreshed I come at my tasks with clarity, focus and efficiency.
  • I generally have my best ideas during or just after “me time”. All work and no play certainly makes Isabel a dull….and unimaginative, and not to mention irritable….. lady 🙂
  • Far from being a selfish thing to do, taking time out means I can actually give more to others, if I choose to, and I’m certainly a nicer person to be around.
  • When I look after my physical body, for me this is about eating well, getting out in the fresh air, early nights and plenty of yoga and exercise, I have so much more energy.
  • When I look after my mind and soul, I feel creative, light and at peace.

Could you spend some time over Christmas and the new year thinking about what changes you could make, what would you really like to do if you had some space, how would this make you feel? It always helps me if I write down a list of the benefits of committing to a lifestyle change, then if I’m slipping I can remind myself why it is so important to me.

Relaxation, meditation, yoga, journalling and creative work are all great ways of tapping into to your inner self to find out what you really want. Here is one of my favourite meditation techniques to help me settle and feel connected.

  • Sit in a comfortable position.
  • Become aware of the base of your spine, inhale imagining / feeling / visualising the breath moving from the base of your spine up the back of the body to the crown of your head.
  • Exhale as the breath moves down the front of the body from the crown to the base of the spine.
  • Continue this relaxed rhythm and awareness of the breath moving in a circle around the body. Is the circle complete or do you skip areas?
  • When you are ready stop the circle awareness and just “be”, not doing, not thinking, just observing the natural flow of your breath and the emotions and thoughts that come up, without giving them any energy or following them.
  • Come out of the silence whenever you are ready, taking a deeper breath in and out, and gently easing out of the sitting position.

When you’ve come out of this meditation take a moment to write down any thoughts, ideas or feelings that came up, there might be something insightful.

Give yourself the greatest gift this year – take some time out to fill your well. Look after yourself physically, mentally and spiritually, and I promise, you will be rewarded ten fold.

Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and an inspiring New Year. Isabel x

 

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