Life, yoga and other adventures

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Monday, 12 October 2015

Cultivating self-compassion

I'm studying an online course with FutureLearn called 'Mindfulness for wellbeing and peak performance', which is fascinating stuff. I've studied mindfulness before, but never with this particular focus.

We have reached the part where we try to cultivate self-compassion. Why is it so much more difficult to be kind to ourselves than to other people? I shall be dripping this bit of philosophy into the classes I teach over the next little while and including the following affirmation:

May I be happy;
May I be well;
May I be peaceful;
May I be safe.

Try it. What's the worst that could happen?

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Reasons to be cheerful

Fashions come and go in the world of wellbeing as quickly as anywhere else. Nevertheless, I was surprised to read in the Sunday paper recently that mindfulness is on the way out. Well, that's news to me, but then: what do I know? Apparently, the new kid on the block for those who like to follow the latest trends (laser lift for your lady bits, anyone? Check it out here!) is gratitude. I can't see why these two should be mutually exclusive, but again: what do I know?

This prompted me to recall a writing job I did years ago, where I was commissioned to come up with 100 reasons to be each of generous, confident, positive and thankful. It was a lovely job and I was glad to look back at it. Here are a few of the reasons to be thankful that were included:
  • You are who you are There is no one else like you, you are unique. Celebrate this and live life to the full.
  • The past is behind you If you have done wrong, apologise and be grateful for forgiveness.
  • Every day you move closer to your goal It might be something small: putting up a bookshelf, tidying the storeroom, catching up on the filing. Congratulate yourself on all these little victories.
  • The constantly changing seasons As well as revealing the power of nature, this gives us the opportunity for regular renewal in all aspects of our lives.
  • The comfort of realism As you grow older, you come to realise that you are not going to 'have it all'. Focus on the realistic and the possible.