Happy New Year

Vrksasana pose

Tree posture helps us stay in balance

Happy New Year! Hope you all stayed healthy and relaxed by following my last blog post!

For my first post of 2013 I’m going to share with you one of my new year resolutions, to be more mindful and the reason I’ve chosen it.

One day over the Christmas holiday, I spent some time (I’m not saying how much!) laid on the sofa, flicking through magazines and watching old films. As I am normally a very active person I am quite happy to give myself time to do this and rest, and feel down time like this is important to my overall wellbeing. What was not quite so important for my wellbeing was the amount of sweets I ate whilst laid on the sofa! I have to confess that they just went in, one after another, until at the end of my sofa sit in, I was mortified to see the pile of sweet wrappers and the, now, empty boxes of confectionery…and then I started to feel sick…and the following day I felt sluggish and irritable. So not a very positive experience at all!

As I sat (on the naughty step) afterwards, feeling sorry for myself, I thought about what I had done and had a lightbulb moment!

I had sat mindlessly just eating the sweets, out of habit. I wasn’t thinking about what I was doing and I don’t believe that I was really tasting or enjoying the sweets. It wasn’t until I looked at all the wrappers that it even registered how many I had consumed.

This led me on to think about how often I actually am present, fully focussed on the now – not too much if I’m honest. It reminded me of a book I read a long time ago “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. Tolle suggests that if we do not stay in the moment the mind is free wander off and cause distress. In my case I was not focussed on what I was eating, so I  ate (a lot!) of the wrong thing until it made me feel ill and caused me (minor) distress. Had I been totally in the present I would have stopped after a couple of chocolates (as opposed to a couple of boxes!), enjoyed the taste of them, then put them away.

My intention for 2013 is to be fully focussed and mindful of the job in hand, the activity I’m enjoying or the person in front of me. Reading whilst eating, checking my phone whilst dog walking or trying to complete several jobs at once, are my big watch points.

On the plus side, I did realise that one of the things that really keeps me “mindful” is my yoga and meditation practise. I find that when I am practising my postures I am totally focussed on what my mind and body are doing and how I am feeling. Balancing postures are particularly helpful for this, you have to focus to stay upright, let the mind wander and you fall. Whilst meditation is all about being present. So, I now know that I have the ability to be mindful, I just need to practise it more!


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  1. Alan Inglis, 7 years ago

    Same here.. Just pile em in without thinking. Feel sick, feel sorry for myself and did it all again the next day. A few days of not concentrating and my body knows it. But I’m back to being fairly sensible. I’ve been able to practice mainly pranayama & meditation which has & is helping me to focus on ‘now’. More time spent on/in prayer has helped me focus more. I suppose we all have little lapses, now and again. Just accept it & move on is the way forward for me. Will be glad when I can resume getting to a yoga class, to be taught by someone else, other than working through my own programme is a delightful boost.

  2. Jamie Dobson, 7 years ago

    An inspirational post Isabel. Many unconscious activities (like stuffing your face with sweets whilst reading mags/watching tele etc as you describe) are habits more than anything else. Being mindful – as you suggest, is surely a good step towards breaking these habits.

    • Isabel, 7 years ago

      I think this blog resonated with a lot of people. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback and comments but all emailed to me – I don’t think people want to publicly admit to how many sweets they’ve eaten!