Face your fear and welcome a new way of life

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][vc_column_text]I’ve been talking a lot about fear lately. Right now, fear is at the forefront for everyone and in order for us to come back to ourselves after all of this and feel truly self-empowered, we should be doing certain practices to make sure we are dealing with how the world is changing around us. Naturally, people are trying to drown this fear, whether that’s by binge-watching Netflix or baking another batch of chocolate chip cookies. Instead of avoiding these anxious feelings, we can face them and try to welcome the new way of life that is arising from this darkness.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][vc_column_text]Fear is something that needs to exist in us because it needs to warn us. It’s something that connects us all, now especially, and leads us into a deeper understanding of ourselves. Taking on healing practices at this time is not so we can escape feeling anything. It’s so we understand what needs to be realised. When we avoid our fears and disregard our emotions, they are just going to dig deeper. And the more we push them aside, the more they will come back to haunt us.

In my own personal experience, I’ve learned that everything expresses itself very quickly through my body. And so for me, during this time, I would feel lost without self-massage.

Hands-on healing

Self massage is a way of giving love to ourselves. Physical touch is important and can bring us calm and restoration. At a time like this, we can’t as easily feel physical touch from others – whether it’s just a hug we’re missing from our friends. Self massage is a way we can address this underestimated lack of self-care.

Are you breathing?

It might sound glaringly obvious, but making sure you are breathing properly is a calming practice to master. In Ayurveda the oxygen in our blood is called “jivana”, which means “life-giving”. It’s the fuel behind our goals and intentions. Making sure that you begin the day breathing correctly is the best way to start. 

The practice of opening your breath body every morning before eating, and allowing your breath to be the first meal of the day, can have such a profound effect. Make sure you are taking a few conscious deep breaths in the morning. Maybe as you go for a walk outside, or when you are stepping onto your yoga map, or sitting down for a cup of tea. Use your morning routine as a cue to starting moving and breathing intentionally.

Sitting in silence

For some people, the habit of sitting down to meditate is one of the most difficult habits to maintain. It’s hard for us to stay put, let alone in silence and a clear mind. The best thing is to stop thinking and start doing, with some tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose a time every day for your meditation.
  • Set a timer for your practice.
  • Get an accountability partner, to sit at the same time as you sit in silence.

Meditating with others online or seeking out guided meditations will help you to maintain this habit. If you feel like you need help staying on track, then join the 12 day meditation challenge, and find your peace of mind with the support of a global community.

So think about what you can do to face the fear that’s happening right now in the present. Don’t avoid these feelings or get trapped thinking about the future or the past, because both will remove you from the present. In that notion, we will start fearing the new world instead of embracing it.

In the same way that we discover Spring again every year, this comes with letting go of the past – or the Winter darkness. We forget how the trees can blossom so beautifully or how the sun beams from the sky. When life is changing, everything feels new, but we know deep down somewhere that the change is coming. We just have to take the step to remember and embrace the darkness.

If you want to learn more about the sweet and reassuring method of self massage, while connecting with yourself (and others online), take a look at Isolation? Connection. Self massage!


Homeoffice conundrums – are you feeling overworked?

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][vc_column_text]Quarantine, day number… it doesn’t even matter now. But what matters is that we’re learning to adjust to this new way of living, and hopefully finding ways to make it a calm and positive time in isolation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][vc_column_text]Something that I’m sure we’re all experiencing, is the pull of the computer, tablet or phone screen. We’re finding ourselves increasingly sitting in front of a screen, and although this is important to work and connect with people, it is draining something from us. 

Don’t play with fire

For those who are not familiar with Ayurveda, anything that is bright or shining is related to the element of fire – or as we call it, Pitta. As my teacher Dr Robert Svoboda says, we use fire as a form of transformation, and fire has always played an important role in our society. So now, we are finding new ways to connect to some sort of fire. 

When you see your screen on in a dark room, the room is lit up, which tells us that there is fire in the room. But this digital fire, as Robert explains, is a fire that is not alive. It’s a fire that is very much only two dimensional to us, while a real fire is alive and responsive and will react to whatever is put into it or how it is tended to.

Screen time is all the time

If you look at a flame, it starts from a base that is broad and then tapers up into a peak. In the same way, when we come together for some screen time (I’m sure you’re quite familiar now with Zoom, Google Hangouts or one of the many daily flames), we are going from the broad base of who we are into a quick transformation at the peak.

Everyone I have been speaking to over the last few weeks has noticed that when they’ve had to shift their ‘work time’ to ‘screen time’, instead of physically being in a room with people, they’ve come out of a full working day more exhausted than usual. 

If you’re feeling like this too, you’re not alone, and there’s a reason for it. This is due to our concentration and focus on staring into the ‘fire’, instead of what we would usually have around us – like the space of an homeoffice, the openness, the clarity of air around us. We are instead fixating our eyes onto this ‘fireplace’, which means our transformation moves much quicker.


The space that we would otherwise have around us, the space we use to let our attention slip or let our mind wander in a meeting, is now being reduced and we are in a deep focus. So a lot of people who are now having to work online, are finding that they are able to create themselves and their objectives in shorter amounts of time, due to this focus. 


Burning the candle at both ends

We are suddenly going from an eight hour wide focus to an eight hour narrow focus, and what we are producing is much faster. This new movement of going online is essentially showing us how we can create a better work-life balance, by doing work in a short focus time. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 

This shift in focus is helping people to work more efficiently. We are learning to get more done in a shorter amount of time, because we have less distractions around us. And we can use this transformation to be wiser. I’m not the first to say it, but maybe what used to take between one to two hours for a meeting, can actually be done in just 20 minutes?


The problem with this narrow focus, is that it can be exhausting. We no longer have these organic distractions around us, that we would usually encounter in an homeoffice, university or even a cafe. Instead of continuing to fill the day with focused screen time, we should use this time to find a better balance. Now, we need to find ways to create these breaks and distractions. Look outside the window, get out of your seat and stretch, make a cup of tea, water your plants, and all the while, keep your screens away. If we don’t choose to create these ‘good distractions’, then we will become distracted in other ways, which won’t be as constructive.

Right now, we are getting to know fire in a completely different manner. But remember that fire is consuming and it needs to be tamed. So if you feel like you’re already burning out and your digital fire is taking over, you need to find ways to tame it in order to keep going.


Why not…

  • Read up about different working patterns. Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek explores a work life centered around happiness in the here and now, while learning how to be more productive. 
  • Learn some basic self massage to get your internal water going.
  • Take short breaks for different types of workouts – have you tried Shaking?
  • Make sure you are hydrating by having a water bottle next to you – fire loves water as a balancer.
  • Take a break with us everyday at 5:00pm to #washyourhandsandmeditate


Self-isolation : Tips for a calm time

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][vc_column_text]As I write this, I know that things around us are constantly changing. And by the time that I finish, things will be different again. It’s been a crazy week with the unraveling of Covid-19, and what is still to come over the next few weeks, and months, is unknown. But one thing is certain, we’re going to be spending a lot more time at home. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][vc_column_text]Whether you’re starting to work from home or taking some time off to quarantine or isolate, we’re all having to adapt to a new routine and a new type of lifestyle. Just as viruses are passed from person to person, so do emotional states, like fear. It’s important to not let negative emotions, like fear or anger, dictate how we spend our self-isolation. We can use this time well and not treat it like suffering. Come on, let’s make the most of this. 

Maintaining a structure throughout your day is essential for keeping up energy and momentum – and will keep getting you out of bed every morning! 


Start with a good morning ritual

Wake up, get out of bed, and make use of your newly acquired extra morning time! Now that you don’t need to travel to the office, you have an extra hour or two to spend on meditation, self massage or yoga practice, first thing before breakfast. 

Enjoy your breakfast without distraction. Don’t look at your phone or the news – I mean, haven’t you already seen enough? Listen to some pleasant music or an engaging podcast (have you had a listen to mine yet?), something that gives you a sense of calm or joy. 

Set yourself a work timer

It’s a good idea to plan out your work day at home in modules of time, otherwise you can easily blur the lines, and delay your start time or work into overtime. Decide on a structure and then set yourself to work for 2 or 3 hours at a time. Allocate some space in between these work modules to prepare a healthy and supportive lunch, then continue with your structure and get back to work!

Allow more time for cooking meals

Whether it’s your morning fuel or your lunchtime intermission, there’s no reason now why you can’t spend some more time thinking about and preparing your meals. Putting in some extra effort to really listen to what your body wants and needs, will keep you feeling better in the long run. 

Stop and slow down

Spending so much time at home, and maybe even in the same room, can confuse your work-time with your down-time. It’s important to remember to still stop each day and slow down. If you’re not meditating in the morning, take some time later in the day. It will help to increase your energy and bring more positive structure into your day. Meditate with your friends online or seek out guided meditations. Join our community #washyourhandsandmeditate everyday at 5pm. Meditating with others is a nice way to stay supported and connected, especially at a time like this, and to give back more positive energy into the world. 

Connect with people

So far, in this strange long trip, we have already witnessed a big move in how humans are connecting with each other. People are coming together on social media, chatting through video calls or, as we’ve seen in Italy, singing with each other from their balconies. Take time in your afternoon or evening to connect with your friends and family. Chat, video call, play games, send virtual hugs. It’s important to stay in touch and not become completely ‘isolated’. 

Limit news

Only give yourself a handful of allocated time to read the news and find out any updates you need to know about the Coronavirus in your area. In times of crises, our vata is aggravated, so make sure you don’t exhaust yourself with too much worry and stress. It’s possible to still stay informed but calm. This also goes for your body, and avoiding cold, heavy foods that might stress your body. Instead, go for simple and light meals. And come back to your hot water bottle when you need it, for that extra shot of comfort.

So how is it all going so far? Can you identify any of these rituals in your current routine? There are plenty more support groups and materials for creating a Conscious Home Office, or as Tara Brach calls it, a Home Retreat

If you think your routine needs a bit of work, I can help, beyond these tips and suggestions.

Book in with me for a free online coffee chat  and we can talk about setting up the right routine for you.

Take care and hope to see you around.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]