MINDFUL MAY

A month of mindfulness - May 2020

Originally posted on my Facebook page, easily find all the information here. 

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INTRODUCTION

Did you know being more mindful can be helpful with anxiety, depression, burn out, overwhelm, PTSD, stress, moodiness... It can help cultivate resilience and feelings of happiness and gratitude.

Lets restart 2020 with a month where we wipe the slate clean, move forward with clarity and awareness, with tools to support our mental and emotional health, so we can get on with life - despite any obstacles that are thrown our way.

We're in this together!

I hope you'll join me here as often as you want or need to during the month of May and beyond. 

Join me for a month of mindfulness right here (originally on my Facebook page).

 

Mindfulness is

"the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis"

Merriam Webster definition

Day 1 - Meditation by Numbers
 

Good morning & welcome to day 1 of Mindful May 🌞

Today: an easy meditation technique called "meditation by numbers" 🙏

I found this technique in a book called The Quiet by Paul Wilson (I highly recommend the audio version) - it was available at the GC library last I saw 📖

Day 2 - Daily Gratitude
 

Day 2 of Mindful May 👍

Today: daily gratitude

I challenge you to find 3 things each day that you're grateful for.

The more specific you are, the more you feel that gratitude and the more you ultimately feel grateful for.

 

That's it. Easy peasy. 

Day 3 - The Power of Intention
 

Day 3 of Mindful May 💫

Today: the power of intention

Something to think about and feel into... what if you decided wholeheartedly and with your entire being, to go for something you truly desired? How would your life be different?

We also do an activity to set a few intentions together.

I hope you get 100% benefit from this ☺

Day 4 - Energy Clearing & 'Downloads'
 

Day 4 of Mindful May - may the force be with you

Today: the force + intention = energy clearing & downloads

In this session I use an energy healing technique to help clear thought patterns that keep us stuck and download the way we want to feel.

All with ease and grace for our highest and best.

Just say yes to receive.

Make note of any thoughts during this - tomorrow I will teach you how to do your own clearings and downloads 🙏

Day 5 - DIY Energy Clearings
 

Day 5 of Mindful May 🍂

Today: DIY energy clearings

In this session I explain how to use a simple light bubble technique to release thoughts and emotions that are not serving - using visualisation and intention.

I hope this is helpful

Mindful May Day 6

If suffering is unavoidable, is it possible to find some meaning for it?

I'm currently reading A Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl.

It is about his inner experience of surviving the holocaust in concentration camps and drawing on his knowledge as a psychiatrist.

 

An interesting and inspiring read. The suffering he went through and his ability to find meaning in such dire circumstances, got me thinking about new perspectives and ways this could be applied in everyday life.

What kinds of meaning might suffering have?
 

Opportunity to learn and grow mentally and spiritually, to be the hero, to find meaning in your life, to find your values, to discover what's really important, to find a new skill/talent/strength/courage you weren't aware of before, to make changes in your life... what else?

Day 6 - Suffering & Meaning
 
Day 7 - This Too Shall Pass
 

Mindful May Day 7

This too shall pass ⏳

When it feels like the clouds are rolling in this simple phrase can bring some relief...

Nothing lasts forever, even our tough times.

Do you remember what you were worried or stressed about 6 months ago? 2 years ago? 5 years ago?

Sometimes it seems like our troubles last a long time because they use a lot of our mental and emotional energy.

Can you imagine life past your current stress, where you've come out the other side calmer, stronger and wiser?


Ask your future self for some advice - the answer might surprise you 😉

Day 8 - Real Talk
 

Mindful May Day 8

Real Talk

How are we?

Today I had planned to do another video but not feeling it... my whole philosophy is about helping you find your own truth. While I can get passionate about what I'm saying at times, if I was to do a video right now it could come across as an unhelpful opinionated rant... which is the last thing I want.

I acknowledge this and I will find another way to channel this energy using mindful tools and exercise.

I want to leave you with some of my thoughts today - even if they seem random:

  • There's a lot of information and misinformation going on at the moment... my advice would be to question all of it no matter who it is... including me.

  • Get quiet and ask yourself what feels right for you. Never underestimate what you already know - even if you don't know how you know it.

  • If something doesn't look, feel or sound right... it probably isn't.

You matter.

Your opinion matters.

You vote with your wallet.

There's always another option/choice.

We are stronger together.

Day 9 - Know Yourself Be Yourself
 

Mindful May Day 9

Know Yourself
Be Yourself

Easier said than done - right?

In order to know ourselves we sometimes need to have a hard look at

ourselves in the mirror. I would add the best mirror is actually nature.

"Human beings, however, seem to continuously work against their true

nature, creating values and laws that have little to do with our

innate condition.

 

We inherently feel the discrepancy.

We feel that something is wrong.

 

Hence, we live in a state of disturbance, scattered rather than knowing

where to go, insecure and confused.

 

Eventually we decide that to feel satisfied with our lives, we must be different.

 

We develop unrealistic expectations.


When people have unrealistic expectations, a vicious cycle controls their lives."
(From Laws of the Jungle by Yossi Ghinsberg)

This vicious cycle can include thoughts like "something must be wrong with me", then searching outside of ourselves for answers that tell us to buy this or that, to blindly follow people who seem to have all the answers... yet under the surface we still feel empty and unsatisfied... we go through feelings of blame, guilt, fear, confusion, desperation and back to our original thought "something must be wrong with me".

We all do this...

It's time to really look at this for what it is.

What we've been told and our parents and grandparents before us have all been taught what society expects of us... maybe it's time to decide what we expect of society... but to do this, we first need to get quiet and ask ourselves really what truly matters, ask ourselves what we are willing to work toward for our highest good.

Start here and consider...
We don't need those things we've been told we need as women to feel worthy... To look younger than we are, to look slimmer or wealthier than we are...
To be attractive...
To be loved, have love and give love.

If you could see yourself through the eyes of those who love you, you'd know those things don't matter.

☝️ take what you need and leave the rest... there's a few messages in this post today.

Start questioning everything and asking why... then ask yourself if you believe the answer.

This is one way if the many ways to know yourself.

Day 10 - Take a Break & Happy Mother's Day
 

Mindful May Day 10

Take a break

Yesterday was Mother's Day and our 5th wedding anniversary weekend so I decided to take the day off 😊

To all the mothers past, present and future - you're doing a magnificent job. It is not always an easy job but it is extremely important!

 

You are worth your weight in gold 💖

Day 11 - Benefits of Meditation
 

Mindful May Day 11

The benefits of meditation

These are some benefits that most of the research papers agree upon.

  • One paper found that only 4 sessions of meditation over 4 days improved fatigue, attention, stress and cognitive (thinking) abilities.

  • Another paper found improvements in back pain and quality of life when combining meditation with pain medication.

 

It's amazing how such a simple practice can deliver these results.

For a simple meditation technique - go back to the video on Day 1 of Mindful May.

Day 12 - Centre Widen Listen
 

Mindful May Day 12

Centre - widen - listen 🙏

A technique to get you in the zone before meditation and to bring some beneficial feelings of calm to everyday life.

 

This is from the book "The Quiet" by Paul Wilson, that I've adapted.

I also introduce you to "the underlying quiet"

 

Enjoy 

Day 13 - Reality vs Imagination
 

Mindful May Day 13

Reality vs Imagination

Did you know that the mind cannot tell the difference between real and imagined?

This is why we have the same stress response to things we think about as we do to a real life threat.

The cool thing is, this also works in the opposite and more positive way too.

This is why visualising and imaging what we want can have a calming effect... our body is actually responding to these thoughts as if they're real and therefore releasing feel-good molecules to create a physiological change.

Need a hug? Imagine it in as much detail as possible. Imagine the warmth, the sensations, the smell of that persons clothes or perfume... use as many senses as possible.

Will it release oxytocin, the love/bonding hormone? Maybe.

Will it help you feel better and closer to that person? I think so.

Only way to know is to give it a go for yourself!

Day 14 - Human Emotional Needs
 

Mindful May Day 14

Human Emotional Needs

We all know about our physical needs for clean air, food and

water. But we also have real inbuilt emotional needs.

"When our needs are not well met, we struggle with emotional

difficulties and can suffer mental and physical illness"

However,

 

"if our needs are being met well and in balance, we will be

thriving and in good emotional health: we cannot be mentally

unhealthy"
Quoted from the Human Givens website (www.humangivens.com)

 

The focus is on health vs dis-ease

These needs are:

  • Security - feeling safe in your environment

  • Attention - being able to give and receive

  • Autonomy - making your own choices

  • Community - feeling part of a wider community

  • Intimacy - feeling emotionally loved/accepted unconditionally by at least one other person

  • Privacy - time and space to reflect

  • Status - knowing where you fit within social groups and community

  • Achievement - a sense of accomplishment

  • Purpose - meaning in your life and growing your comfort zone by stepping outside of it occasionally

 

I find this stuff fascinating so I hope you get something from it as well!

 

Can you get creative about meeting some of these needs during the social restrictions?

PS. Here's a good article from the Human Givens website that might be helpful: 

https://www.humangivens.com/human-givens/meeting-emotional-needs-while-combating-coronavirus/

Day 15 - Laughter
 

Mindful May Day 15

Laughter brings us into the moment

It's a form of mindfulness

There's lots of benefits too, including

stress reduction,

immune strengthening,

pain reducing,

mood improving etc.

On that note, I think I'll go watch some Carl Barron and have a laugh.

Have a great weekend!

Day 16 - Loving Kindness Meditation
 

Mindful May Day 16

Loving kindness meditation 💕

This is one version of this meditation.

Please try to ignore the child noises coming from the next room... he's supposed to be sleeping 🙉

It's not perfect but you get the general idea of how to do this.

I feel super warm in my heart after just making this video even.

Give it a go and let me know your thoughts 💖

Day 17 - Stop and Smell the Flowers

Mindful May Day 17

Stop and smell the flowers

Take time to appreciate the little things in the moment.

Use your senses:
See
Hear
Touch
Smell

Nature offers lots of opportunities... at the beach see the water glistening, hear the waves crashing, touch the sand and feel it shifting under your feet, smell (and taste) the salt in the air... how do you feel during a beach visit?

This process is all part of being mindful and present.

Do you appreciate the experience more by exploring your senses?

 
Day 18 - You're Not Your Stuff
 

Mindful May Day 18

You're not your stuff

Physically, mentally and emotionally

I left my home in New Zealand in 2007 with just a suitcase.

I sold my car, my clothes, my stuff. I'd always wanted to know who I'd be if I stripped everything back to bare basics.

 

Was I the same person without my friends and family?

Was I being authentically me in their presence or was I acting from expectations?

It was a hard thing to do but I was being driven by an unseen force that would lead me down the rabbit hole to answer the question "who am I?"

 

The short answer: I am not my stuff

What are your thoughts?

Day 19 - Drop Excess Baggage Meditation
 

Mindful May Day 19

Drop excess baggage meditation 🙏

This is your stuff...

the stuff that no longer serves you and is holding you back.

It's time to let it go and open space for the real you to step forward.

The part of you that is intuitive, confident and wise.

That only wants what's best for you.

 

The part of you that's hidden under all your stuff.

If this resonates, read on for the meditation:

You can be seated or lying down.
Close your eyes.
Take a few breaths into your belly.

Imagine, sense or feel yourself in a beautiful forest.

 

Take a few moments to experience this place... the smell, the sound of birds, the temperature of air on your skin, the light finding it's way through the canopy of trees... however you want your forest to look and feel.

Now become aware that you're carrying a bag (or a few). Notice where you're carrying it on your body and that it is quite safe, but heavy. Just notice that sensation of weight.

This bag(s) represents everything you're holding onto that is not in your best interests.
You may be aware of what these things are, or you might not... they're both valid.

Like a heavy bowling ball, you can simply let it all go. Feel your bag drop to the ground.

You might hear it clatter or thump.

Know that you will not let go of anything you're not ready to, and the space created allows the true lightness of you to fill that space.

Feel, see, sense (or just know) your bag is welcomed by the forest. The heavy energy is transformed into lifeforce used by the trees to grow.

Feel how light you are now without that bag, and how connected to nature after sharing that energy with the forest.

Allow yourself to bask in this lightness and beautiful forest energy for a moment. Feel yourself expanding into your true self.

When you're ready, take a deep breath and open your eyes.

If you had unexpected messages or images pop up, you might like write them down or reflect on them.

 

That's it. I hope you like this one. Let me know how you go and if you'd like me to record this one on video. 😊

Day 20 - Internal Rules for Living
 

Mindful May Day 20

Internal rules for living

On our mindfulness journey we're bound to come across weird and wonderful internal rules we've made for ourselves.

These were made at some stage in life to keep us safe and secure within society, our families, our friendships, our environment.

The good thing is, if these are no longer serving us, we can change these with awareness.

I came across a new one yesterday while reminiscing about an embarrassing moment in primary school...

I innocently told the teacher something I thought would be helpful, but it went horribly wrong and it got someone else in trouble. I felt so terrible and blamed myself for the whole thing... until yesterday when I viewed the situation from an adult perspective and could see that I was not responsible for the actions of others.

Who knows how many rules I made for myself from this situation with my child mind...

one comes to mind "don't speak up because someone will get hurt"

When we can view these rules for what they are and forgive ourselves for making them, we can decide they're no longer needed and flip them.

Have you experienced this before?

Day 21 - Take a Breather

Mindful May Day 21

Take a breather today

Mindfulness can look however you want!

March to your own drum
There are no rules
Take a break from time to time
Go at your own pace

You get the idea... don't ever feel guilty for not following a practice

to the letter.

Mindfulness is simply being aware and making choices that are right

for you. If you're connected to your inner wisdom you really can't go

wrong.

On another note, I'm looking ahead to June and would love your help deciding on the theme...
Immune
Burn out
Fatigue
Gut health
Sleep
Skin
Hormones

Any ideas?
What do you think would be most helpful and relevant right now?

Let me know via my contact form here 

 
Day 22 - Emotions of Others
 

Mindful May Day 22

Emotions of others

A lot of us are empathic


We care and therefore we feel someone elses pain (and calmness, excitement etc).

So how do you know the emotions you're feeling right now are yours?

The first step is awareness - that you could be carrying stuff that's not yours and has nothing to do with you.

Is it easier to let it go knowing that?

Let me ask you this - do you feel strange in public places or with certain people? Do you feel drained afterward?

If you answered yes, it is very likely that you are absorbing emotions of others.

Rescue remedy is helpful
So is awareness, getting still and searching for what is truly yours... the answer might surprise you

Day 23 - Intuition
 

Mindful May Day 23

Intuition

"Practice listening to your intuition, your inner voice;

ask questions;
be curious;
see what you see;
hear what you hear;
and then act upon what you know to be true.

These intuitive powers were given to your soul at birth."
Quoted from the book: Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

 

After a while, you'll trust it and it won't let you down.

 

Start with this... what does truth feel like? How about untruth?

Day 24 - The Collective
 

Mindful May Day 24

The Collective

I've been warming up to this one.

The whole world is having a collective experience.

Is it far-fetched to suggest that those of us who are empathic are being influenced by the common collective thoughts and emotions?

This is the collective consciousness.

If we can be affected by the fear and worry of the world, then couldn't the opposite also be true?

Could those of us who are not caught in the pain, radiate out feelings of peace and hope for those who need it?

At the very least, can we use the quiet we create during meditation to be one less person adding to the collective fear and actually cultivating more peace and gratitude for all?

Something to consider...

Day 25 - Simple Breathing Exercise
 

Mindful May Day 25

Simple Breathing Exercise

Breathe out longer than you breathe in...
It's that simple.

This signals to your body it's time to relax.

Breathe into your belly for the count of 3
Breathe out for 5

Repeat as many times as you like ☺

Day 26 - Fear & Processing Emotions
 

Mindful May Day 26

Fear and processing emotions

The below post explains it so well...

For the link to original Facebook post by Viveka Yoga click here (this will open Facebook in a new window)

Viveka Yoga FB post.jpg
Day 27 - Meditation in Motion
 

Mindful May Day 27

Meditation in Motion

Yoga and Tai chi are forms of moving meditation.

There are lots of ways to bring moving meditation into everyday life.

At a silent retreat I did a walking meditation where we would literally

focus our attention on walking in time with our breath. As we walked

slowly, we would be thinking "lifting lifting lifting" our foot, "lowering

lowering lowering" our foot, and "shifting shifting shifting" our weight

to the other foot.

I must admit, I was not very good at this practice, it actually brought

up feelings of frustration in me and I couldn't wait for it to be over...

but that's just me 😂

I found I could decide to be present during everyday life... when

showering, actually just shower. Don't think about what you're going

to do afterward. Feel the sensation of the water, smell the soap, enjoy it!

You can do this with so many things you do everyday where you switch off... actually switch on to sensation and your senses. Suddenly it's meditation and far more enjoyable.

Worth a mention here are your hobbies and things you enjoy that make time disappear.

These are forms of meditation... I love jigsaw puzzles... meditation.

Colouring, drawing, gardening, running, hanging out the washing... whatever it is you do that allows you to 'zone out' is a form of meditation

Day 28 - Music
 

Mindful May Day 28

Music

Find music that speaks to your soul
That transports you to other worlds
And allows you to find peace for a moment

That is the power of music.

It can take you out of a busy mind instantly.

Try some different music, different genre's and listen with an open mind. See what happens.

Have you found music that uplifts and relaxes you at the same time?

Day 29 - Hope
 

Mindful May Day 29

Hope

"Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all"
Emily Dickinson

Hold fast to your dreams and hopes
Anything is possible

This photo is of a yellow and black lady bug in my garden today.

Hope everyone has a great weekend ☺

Day 30 - When Mindfulness is Hard
 

Mindful May Day 30

When mindfulness is hard!

Your mind has a mind of its own...

 

Sometimes it won't settle
Sometimes it will ramp up the moment you want to meditate
Sometimes it will be hard to stay awake
Sometimes you'll get an itch that irritates like mad

You might even think "nothing is working for me"

Don't give up!
This is not failure!


These times are just as important as the peace and calm...

When we learn anything new there are frustrating moments, especially when the results are not as you pictured them.

Be persistent and be compassionate towards yourself.

You are learning "your mind has a mind of its own" and therefore "your thoughts are not you - you do not have to take them so personally"

Your mind can be bringing up all sorts of random thoughts, while you are observing it... its a very interesting concept.

The more you do this, the better you get at it. That's why we call it practice.

I hope this helps you in times of frustrating meditation attempts... you are not alone!
We all have them ☺

Credit: quotes and some paraphrasing from the book 'Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World' by Mark Williams.

Day 31 - Reflection
 

Mindful May Day 31

Reflection

This is the last post for Mindful May.
Thank you for joining me and I sincerely hope you got something

from the posts.

I have enjoyed doing this and although this topic is not formally

my expertise... I know a lot about it because I live it everyday.

 

The techniques, questioning and reflection help me to feel at

ease in my troubled mind.

With all the events of the world streaming through our minds

right now, we need some mental rest time and I personally think

this is found with mindfulness.

I invite you to reflect on your day and this month.

During our reflection we might notice something different than

what we experienced in the moment.

I will leave you with a passage from the book 'Laws of the Jungle' by Yossi Ghinsberg:

"We have been trained all our lives to react to circumstances, because people believe life happens to us, not for us.

If life happens to you, you must react to it, constantly on the defensive.

If life happens for you, you need only observe, contemplate, and align yourself with it.

From observation and contemplation, understanding is born.
From understanding comes clarity.
From clarity grows right and purposeful action.

 

We cannot be taught understanding.
It is unique to all of us.

But we can be taught observation and contemplation"

Other Helpful Links & Resources

Extra readings, books and videos that could be helpful on your mindfulness journey.

None of these are affiliate links.

6 Phase Meditation - Vishen Lakhiani

This is a guided meditation that takes you through 6 different meditations in one. 

It goes for 21 minutes and is great for mindfulness and manifesting.

The 6 phases:

Connection

Gratitude

Freedom from negative charges

Creative visualisation

Intentions for the day

Blessing (similar to the loving kindness meditation we did on day 16)

Mindfulness Sound Frequencies - Sapien Medicine

This is a great track to listen to while meditating.

It goes for 5 and a half minutes.

It's not really the music but the frequencies attached to the music that help. They are not subliminal messaging or binaural beats, they are called morphogenic fields. Check out the Sapien Medicine and Dreamseeds channels - there are lots of great videos if you're interested.

Here's what the description says about this mindfulness video:

"The energetic programming embedded in this audio will increase your awareness of yourself and the present moment. It will also increase your awareness of your thoughts helping you stray away from negative thought patterns and to make better choices in life.

 

Mindfulness is key to gaining more control and balance with your mind. Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

 

It is about being mindful of everything, especially your thoughts and words, taking time to pay attention to what you are going to say and how can it impact the other person. Is it an ego based response?

This level of awareness will help you be mindful of it all.

 

Remember we do not live in caves to find enlightenment anymore, so our every day interactions must help develop and grow our spirituality. Daily interactions can either be helpful on our path or just carry us down darker paths.

 

Mindfulness is an essential step to enlightenment. The greater awareness you have of yourself, the more conscious and at peace you will be.

 

Our Self Realization videos can all be listened to daily in a different order or focused on individually in any way you would prefer. They are meant to prepare you for enlightenment."

EFT for Meditation & Mindfulness - Brad Yates

The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or Tapping to help with doubts about meditation and mindfulness.

Brad Yates has lots of videos and I like that it's a simple follow/copy along process.

The actual tapping goes for just under 6 minutes.

Just copy his tapping and what he says.

Book: The Quiet by Paul Wilson

I've mentioned this book several times during Mindful May. 

Here is the link to the book and audio version. These are not affiliate links (I do not receive money if you click these)

Amazon (AU):  Kindle edition click here

Audible (AU) : Audiobook click here

Here is the blurb: 

"Four simple steps to peace and contentment - without having to spend the rest of your life on a mountaintop. 

Imagine there is a place where you can't be touched by the noise and tensions of the modern world. Where, no matter what's going on around you, you can find time and space and room to breathe. This place exists. It's called The Quiet.

 

Some people spend a lifetime of meditation practice and spiritual studies trying to find it.

You can be on your way there in as little as 13 minutes.

The Quiet practices are centred around four simple steps (three physical, one mental) that transform your mental state and the way you feel. They're more streamlined than traditional meditation methods, but every bit as deep.

 

In fact, the major difference is their simplicity, and the way they dovetail into a busy, dynamic life.

 

There's never been a more pressing need for the peace of mind, clarity of thought, emotional stability, and physical wellbeing that flow from these practices.

 

There's never been a more pressing need for The Quiet."

 
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Australia

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