The process of sitting still and being with your emotions can be extremely uncomfortable. Many of us choose to either avoid our feelings or instantly react to them without thinking, so it can be quite overwhelming in our meditation practice when we’re put in a position to just observe them as they are.
One of my favourite teachers, Tara Brach, recommends using the RAIN of Self- Compassion practice for mindfully approaching emotions. This is a practice I’ve continued to use myself time and time again as it's not only helped me to be more accepting of my emotions but has also taught me how to be less reactive to them. This practice can be used as a meditation, or you can move through the four steps as a brief exercise to help you whenever challenging feelings arise.
When a child is trying to learn something new, we offer them a huge amount of patience, compassion and kindness. Yet when we find ourselves in the position of the beginner, it's very easy to be self-critical.
Gentleness and compassion in meditation are about how you treat yourself. Many meditators start their meditation practice by diving right into doing the instructions they have been taught. They don't just bring their attention to the breath, a mantra, or visualisation, but rather force it. Behind that force is aggression, pressure, driven-ness, or just plain tension. And when things don't go well, they tend to chastise themselves with thoughts of failure and self- doubt.
Here are 5 ways to be a little more gentle and compassionate with yourself during your practice…
People often tell me that they can’t meditate because their minds are too busy. Each time they close their eyes and guide their awareness to their senses, a myriad of random, often mundane thoughts come flooding in, such as “what am I going to cook for dinner?”, “I need to send that email off”, “why did so-and-so look at me like that today?” and so forth. This comment always makes me laugh as it’s the main reason people give me as to why they don’t practice.
I know this might come as a shock, but thinking is actually a natural and unavoidable part of meditation. So, whatever happens in your mind throughout your meditation, please do not thinking be a deterrent!
Ultimately, meditation is a three-step practice...
According to interruption science, it takes 25-minutes to recover from the disruption of a phone call. But these days we’re getting interrupted every 11 minutes. So, every 11 minutes we’re hit with a new email, text message, phone call or conversation. This means that we’re never able to catch up. It’s no wonder that we feel a sense of imbalance and stress in our lives as we rarely have the opportunity to catch up and collect ourselves. Here are a few simple ways for you to do so.
We’ve all been told plenty of times that “communication is key.” In any relationship, be it personal or professional, good communication sets the foundations for getting along harmoniously. The challenge in our modern-day society is that we’re all incredibly busy and are constantly being bombarded by a range of different distractions and notifications, which in turn hinders our ability to really be present to the people around us.
So, how can we go about improving our communication skills? Here are 8 simple tips to help you cultivate deep listening and mindful speech.
Our minds often fall into habitual styles of thinking such as “I’m not good enough”, “I can’t do it” and “I’m a failure” unconsciously, and as a result, we start to believe that these thoughts are true. Our thoughts then fuel our feelings of stress, anxiety and overwhelm, which triggers even more negative thought patterns to be produced. And unless we start to shine a light on our unhealthy thought patterns, the cycle will continue. So, how can we go about doing this? Here are three simple questions to ask yourself whenever you’re caught up in a cycle of negativity.
It’s no secret that the final months of the year are stressful. Our calendars are often filled with social events, our bank accounts take a serious hit from an abundance of gift-giving, our workload often increases as we try to wrap things up before the year’s end, and it can be tempting to lose patience with meddling relatives and loved ones. Rather than finishing up the year feeling stressed, tired, burnt out and irritated, here are 5 Tips to Cultivate Calm in the Midst of Chaos.
Often when we're stressed and anxious, we tend to gravitate towards self-destructive ways of decompressing, such as drinking too many glasses of Pinot Noir, indulging in one of our favourite comfort foods and binge watching mindless TV. Rather than leaving you feeling nourished and energised, these activities can actually be rather depleting. So what are some healthy stress-management strategies that will actually leave you feeling soothed and revitalised?
Did you know that mindfulness comes in all different shapes and sizes, not just the clichéd image of a monk sitting under a tree like this chanting “om”? My mindfulness practice comes in the form of meditation and yoga, however, your mindfulness practice could be completely something different. Perhaps it's the simple act of going for a surf or a swim, painting, taking photos, dancing, singing, playing catch with your dog; whatever activity brings you into the present moment. Continue reading to learn about 6 different ways you can cultivate mindfulness in your daily life.
A student recently told me that she felt like she was on a perpetual rollercoaster. That she felt like she was constantly going around and around in circles and could never keep up. The constant demands of everyday life were leaving her feeling completely exhausted. And I've got absolutely no doubt that many more of my students would say the same. Continue reading to understand how we can all benefit from meditation and mindfulness.
I used to be one of those people who could find a million reasons not to meditate. My excuses ranged from “I don’t know where to start”, to “I can’t stop thinking”, and my favourite (most commonly used) obstacle of all, “I don’t have time”. While most of us are aware of the myriad of health benefits of meditation, it’s fair to admit that a regular practice can be a hard habit to establish. Let’s take a look at the 5 most common obstacles getting in the way, and how to overcome them...
As someone who was first taught to meditate at the age of four, and has practiced regularly since the age of sixteen, I'm a huge believer in the powers of this transformative practice. Meditation has helped me to deal with my anxiety, become more confident, and has guided me through all of the ups and downs of life as a young adult. I'll always recommend to my coaching clients that they adopt a regular meditation practice too, however many of them often don't know where to start, so I thought I would share some beginner's tips with you! Here are my 5 tips to cultivate your own daily meditation practice...