Mindful Reminders

Weekly Mindful Reminder – Simple Pleasures

Hi Everyone,

A friend of mine told me that when it was raining non-stop the other day, she went out to fetch her son from school and on her way home, she smiled and jumped straight into a puddle! My friend and her son thought it hilarious!

I saw her that evening and asked if she’d had a good day and the first thing she told me was this story.
This is what she had remembered and why? – because although such a simple act, she felt present, alive, happy and silly in a lovely way and of course her son felt the same too.

I’m not suggesting that we all need to go and jump in puddles to be happy, although it is fun!
Just see if you can allow yourself to experience a few simple pleasures today and really notice how the pleasant feeling actually feels in your body.
This noticing can help to inform the mind in a positive way and also settle the mind if it’s feeling very busy.
We can only notice simple pleasures if we are present which means we are no longer engaging in and entertaining all of those thoughts.

For example, noticing how green and nourished the trees look because its rained, really taste the next drink or food you have, notice pleasant sounds, notice an act of kindness from someone or your own act of kindness which could be a simple smile and saying good morning to someone, or simply the fact that your amazing body is breathing.

Warmest wishes,

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Weekly Mindful Reminder – Simple pleasures

Hi Everyone,

It seems that for some of us who are lucky enough to go away on holiday, we tend to relax a little and our “hard edges” start to soften.

We might also slow down and start to notice our surroundings more – perhaps even opening our minds and spending less time stuck in our often very small, constrained world of frequently unhelpful stories and thoughts in our heads.

It’s a nice feeling to wake up and be present for a while.

I noticed that when I was away in Cornwall recently that I’d find myself playing simple games, just because…..not with any goal or need for reward or being judged.
I spent ages with my son trying to knock sandcastles down with a ball, that we’d built on some rocks.
It was fun and we didn’t have any other cares or worries in the world – apart from perhaps the tide coming in!!!

I wonder if we can introduce and be present with some simple pleasures in our everyday life.
Perhaps just notice the taste of a cup of tea or how our bodies carry us around from a to b, or the sound of some music, the feel of a breeze on the skin, or a smile from a friend or colleague – the list is endless.

The simple pleasures in life are all around us and provide us with many opportunities to just pause and be present – allowing the chattering mind to calm for a moment.

Warmest wishes,
Roz
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Weekly Mindful Reminder – Be kind to the monkey mind

Isn’t it amazing how quickly our minds can “kick-off” and the monkey mind is there in all it’s glory creating emotional havoc for us, racing around in our heads with little control, unable to settle and feel calm. We then SUFFER.

I picked my son up from school the other day, all excited because it was the last day of term, the sun was shining and he would go and play in the park with his lovely friends whilst I chatted to their lovely parents – ahhh what a great plan….BUT

….all I heard from the other children was “Barny has just thrown up in the cloakroom” over and over again.

Without hesitation, my mind “kicked off” and those monkeys started to rampage as the thoughts appeared “oh no, Barny won’t be able to play, I won’t be able to chat, we’ll have to go home, I hate sick, do I have to clean it up?, but the suns out, I want to stay outside, what if Barny’s really ill?…..” The thoughts appeared as if by magic.

Thankfully, I noticed those monkeys and that my mind had “kicked off” and I just paused, noticed tension in my body and took a few deep breaths softening the tension.  I smiled at those cheeky monkeys and without force or feeling annoyed, I noticed them and let them go.

My attention them moved to compassion and instead of engaging in my own ego driven thoughts, I shifted my focus to my poor son and went to look after him.
The monkey mind settled and I felt calm and fully present with my son, which felt so much better.

So, when your mind “kicks off”, try to be kind to those monkeys and allow your mind to settle, notice the breath and the body and gradually you will be able to tame the monkey mind more quickly and feel calm and peaceful again, no matter what situation you find yourself in.

Remember too that taming the monkey mind takes practice, so please do try to practice formally and informally as best you can.

Warmest wishes,
Roz

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Weekly Mindful Reminder – Worry!

I met someone recently who is distracted in his mind, worrying about the possibility of
being asked to move to a new location for his job.

The reality is that he hasn’t been moved and may not even be moved but as he engages in and believes the “what if…” thoughts
he is creating agitation in his body and worry in his mind.

He told me that his sleep is affected, he’s distracted at home and at work and he’s eating more than usual.
All of this is impacting on his behaviour too – less present, less tolerant and agitated.

It’s so easy for us to fall into the habit of worrying and actually all we are doing is engaging in and believing
the stories and thoughts that arrive in our minds about the future – IT’S ALL MADE UP!!!

So, when you notice that your mind has wondered off into worry, see if you can gently and without judgement guide your attention back into the present moment of what
is REAL – such as sensing into the body, noticing any tension and softening it, noticing the breath, hearing sounds, feeling the body move.

As Mark Twain said:

“I AM AN OLD MAN
I HAVE HAD MANY WORRIES IN MY LIFE
MOST OF THEM NEVER ACTUALLY HAPPENED”

Warmest wishes,
Roz

 

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Weekly Mindful Reminder – Is it really a problem?

Hi Everyone,

Isn’t technology a wonderful thing?

Well, maybe it is if we don’t allow it to control us with feeling addicted to using it.
In contrast, it’s also amazing when it’s working properly!!!

My internet connection failed recently and two weeks later after numerous calls to BT and several engineers visiting, it’s still not resolved.
I realised just how much I depend on the internet and after all of this time, my mind eventually started to “kick off” big time.

– I noticed just how busy my mind became, going over and over how much I can’t do, mostly relating to work and how inconvenient this is.  Oh and of course thoughts like, “what will people think….?”
– I noticed the impact that engaging in and believing the thoughts had on me physically.  Tension in my jaw and head, tight tummy and breath became fast and shallow.
– I noticed how this impacted on my behaviour.  I was less tolerant generally and a bit clumsy, dropping things and losing random things too like items of clothing etc.
I also found it harder to make decisions, so taking longer to complete tasks, which fuelled the agitation. I couldn’t think straight.

…And so, here is a perfect example of how we can allow one of life’s little challenges to consume and trap us.
We easily turn this into a significant problem and lose perspective on life generally.

Thankfully because I practice mindfulness, this “problem” quickly turned back into just one of life’s challenges as I gained perspective by practicing the following:

PAUSING

Labelling the thoughts as “just thinking” – letting them go
Bringing my attention back into the present moment by noticing sensations in the body such as the feet on the floor and tension in the jaw. Also feeling the breath.
Taking a few deep breaths to calm the nervous system.
Listening to sounds
Asking myself “what do I need right now?”, so being kind to myself and all I needed was to soften the body, have a cup of tea and smile.

So, next time this happens to you – probably today at some stage or even right now, see if you can manage the situation mindfully and help yourself to gain some perspective.

Life then becomes so much easier and calmer.

Warmest wishes,
Roz
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