Yoga teacher Laura shares her top tips for how to live with more connection and with a greater sense of calm.Read More
I am always heartened when February finally comes around, one because this is my birthday month and two because it indicates that Winter is drawing to a close. As much as I love Winter, particularly walking in crisp crunchy snow bathed in warm sunlight, by this point in the year I am looking forward to the returning light in the mornings.
It is also a good time to reflect on how we are feeling about ourselves and where we are at in our lives. Many of us have set New Year resolutions and this is a good time to check in and see how we are getting on with these, review how realistic these were and maybe even to throw them out and start afresh.
This is the first year I didn't set any New Year resolutions rather I am building on what I started to focus on last year. This is not just a New Year new start, this is about a fundamental shift in how I view myself.
Last year I started my Apprenticeship with the School of Movement Medicine and my project for this apprenticeship is "To learn how to really take care of myself"
Now I know some of you may be wondering, as a counsellor and coach,surely I already know how to do this, and yes to a degree I do know how to take care of myself and engage in various self care activities. I understand the importance of a good nights sleep, eating healthy foods, exercising, taking time to have fun, meditating and maintaining good work life balance. Much of the time I do these things
But I realised to really take care of myself I would really need to dive much deeper into what this really means for me.
It's amazing when you open yourself up and say to the universe "I want this" watch out, as life presents us with the lessons we need to learn, not always what we think we want. I was provided with some very challenging and beautiful lessons last year and it was at the end of 2017 that I finally realised I had not been listening to my inner voice in certain areas of my life.
Yes, of course, in many aspects of my life I had been and this shows in my work life, being a mother and looking after my home, and although like everything these had their ups and downs, they were growing successfully - I had been nurturing these areas of my life.
But when I started to get honest with myself, really honest I could see that I had not been listening to my inner guidance. It's not that I hadn't heard, it was that I hadn't listened, I had been avoiding what was true , not because I was lazy but because the truth was painful
As a counsellor and coach , I am in a privileged position to facilitate other peoples personal development journeys. I am honoured to be able to support people to overcome their traumas, develop more compassion, reconnect with their true selves and live the life they truly want.
It is a vital part of this therapeutic work that I too am working on my own journey with the support of others not only so I am effective at what I do but that I also deeply understand what it takes to do the work - to take the steps to heal all aspects of myself and fully live the truth.
I am incredibly grateful to where I am at in my life. My work at Pure Potential is blossoming, I have a happy home life with my 16 year old son, some deep friendships and a deepening relationship with my parents. All this shows that when you are patient and nurture something, it will grow.
But at the end of last year, after finally listening to that voice, I realised that I still had a lot to learn about taking deep care of myself.
And this is what 2018 for me is about. Getting really honest with myself and becoming willing to give all of myself the patience and nurturing I need and deserve. So welcome February 2018!
Feeling you want to dive deeper into taking care of yourself?
Would you like to start or continue the process of letting go of the past?
Do you know inside that there is a more fulfilling life waiting for you to grab it?
If you are answering yes to any of these, contact me for a free telephone consultation to talk through how you can best get started. I offer Counselling, Creative Therapy and Empowerment Coaching- find out what supports you best to achieve what you want
Carolyn 07904 758 180 or firstname.lastname@example.org
representing one's nature or beliefs; true to oneself or the person identified
I've had in my mind for more than a year to write a post about authenticity/ being authentic. I started writing several times and stopped when I saw another article on the theme. I guess I didn't want to feel I was following a trend, I wanted to be all authentic about it!
Having recently returned from a trip to India, visiting the home of my YTT (yoga teacher training) that I experienced 12 years ago I've felt inspired to return to this topic. India can be such an assault on the senses, taking in the extremes laid bare before you; poverty and wealth, smog and clarity, compassion and harshness, clean and dirty, beauty and dingyness. And then there is yoga that originates from this land - a beautiful and often intangible thing, a way of life without guiding principles, a physical practice and so much more. It got me thinking; is yoga so popular because it's one way to help guide us in how we can live more authentically in an ever confusing, more extremist world?
I asked over twenty people that enjoy the varying practices of yoga what they perceive 'authentic' to be. The following five common threads came through. I am being authentic when:
- I'm doing my best and accept that's good enough
- accepting without judgement, expectations and practicing ahimsa (non harming)
- doing what feels right for me
- paying attention to what I need
- not comparing myself to others
So if you care about living in a more authentic way whether you are on or off the mat, try using this simple checklist in your everyday decision making processes. It could help you make the best choices from the possibilities available.
As a teacher of my discipline of yoga, here are the three things that help keep me grounded and authentic in class
1) Asking where is my ego in this day? It can be natural to steer away from postures or aspects that you find challenging or less enjoyable. I remind myself that I am keeping my practice real by allowing others to see things I am working on, struggling with and breathing through. Also, when you have invested time planning out a session, it can be hard to let go when your heart/intuition taking in the energy of the room is telling you to lead the practice down an alternative path. A good sense check question is: am I delivering this session from the right place?
2.)Exploration. There is such a vast array of yoga practices out there, traditional and evolving. I challenge myself to introduce from time to time changes to the sessions. They can be very big or very small. For example, bringing in a stone for everyone with an encouraging word written on it or sharing a new yogic chant I've discovered.
3.)Feedback. Connecting with yogi's about their experiences, their feelings. Finding out what people think and taking that to help shape future sessions and practices. Also, being grounded enough to accept you may not please everyone all the time and that's okay too (and that includes your own perception of how you did in any practice)
Would you like to share what your perception is on living authentically or being authentic? Is this is the same or different for you when you are on or off your yoga mat? Lets get some authentic sharing going.....
Lindsey is an accomplished Financial Services Project Manager now following her passion for sharing the benefits yoga can bring to all minds and bodies. As well as offering Akhanda Hatha, Chair and Curvy Yoga classes, workshops and wellbeing retreats across Scotland, she enjoys writing and has been published internationally in YOGA and OM Yoga magazines and the Huffington Post. She co-produces and hosts YEDTalks, a yoga inspired podcast series that is listened to in more than 60 countries. She is and experienced NLP Practitioner, Reiki Master, Holistic Therapist and active fundraiser for SAMH ( Scottish Association For Mental Health) Find her online at yoganuu.com, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, YEDTalks are available for free on Soundcloud and ITunes.
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