Meditation—Just Do It

Do you know what I believe to be the best meditation practice? The one that works for you.

That’s it.

As I go deeper into my personal meditation practices I have been reflecting on my own meditation journey. I know with certainty that I had to start small and start easy. That’s what worked for me.

Perhaps, another method will work for you. That’s awesome. Embrace whatever works.

If however, you are like me and think small and easy is the answer I invite you to try meditating for just one minute a day. Give this a try for a day, or a week, or a month. Then reassess and see. Are you content staying at one minute? Or would you like to try a little longer?

I started my meditation journey with just one minute a day. It wasn’t long before I tried 2 minutes, then 5….

Over the years I have experimented with various types of meditation from guided to breath work, body scans, mantras, and recently have even been exploring death meditations.

In the beginning guided meditation is what worked for me.

I am a huge fan of the free app Insight Timer. You can easily use filters to find meditations based on length of time. You can also narrow searches to specific themes.

One of my favourite teachers is Robin Rice. She currently has 14 one-minute meditations to get you started.

https://insighttimer.com/robinrice/guided-meditations/1-minute-meditation-indulge-in-self-care

Another early option I tried was short mantra meditations. It can be a challenge for me to get out of my head. Focusing on the words of a mantra has been a great tool for me.

This is one of my favourites and just six minutes long

https://insighttimer.com/gordonburnham/guided-meditations/om-mani-padme-hum-buddhist-mantra-slash-kirtan

If you prefer silence, simply setting a timer and focusing on your inhales and exhales is a fabulous option.

Next week I will share some of the benefits of meditation, but this week if you are willing, I invite you to just be curious and explore some meditation. Embark on a little experiment and see what feels right for you.

Namaste

How Well-Resourced Are You?(and how we can work on that this weekend)

How well-resourced are you? I love this question. This is a question I first heard while working through a course led by Mark Walsh.

Often our society celebrates the ‘work hard, play hard’, ‘go big or go home’, ‘all or nothing’ type attitude. But does that ethos help or hurt?

By Mark asking participants in his courses how well-resourced they are, it allows people to really stop and think. Some days on a scale of 1-10 you might be an 8, while other days you might be a 3.

Neither answer is right or wrong. It just is what it is. Any place you fall on the scale is part of our human experience.

Things that might contribute to us not feeling well-resourced could be—not getting enough sleep, working overtime, feeling ill, relationship stress, or financial worries.

Sometimes the things that keep us from feeling well-resourced can be big, such as trauma. Some of the things can be out of our control, such as a loved one facing a serious health issue.

When we look at how well-resourced we are and apply it to fitness expectations (or even life expectations), is it reasonable to always expect 100%?

If you are feeling a 2 on the well-resourced scale, is a power yoga class really the answer? Maybe for you yes it is, but maybe not. Maybe a gentle practice will actually be of more benefit. Maybe skipping a class and getting some sleep would be even better.

The good news is that by starting to think in terms of how well-resourced we are we bring self-awareness to our ever-changing situation. We can also start to collect information on the things that help us feel more well-resourced and try to incorporate them into our days.

For me, it is the simple things that help me feel well-resourced including

-getting outside in nature

-tuning off the TV earlier and getting more sleep

-eating more fruit

-staying hydrated

-putting on some music and dancing

-making time for meditation

When I take the time to make these things part of my day I feel better, no matter what else might be going on in my life.

I have found that thinking about how well-resourced I am also helps to foster self-compassion. If I am a 3, I can lower the expectations I have for myself, be kinder and gentler with myself, and spend some time on activities that nurture and nourish me.

This weekend I encourage you to think about how well-resourced you are. Then, make a list of the things that contribute to you feeling well-resourced. Finally, see if you can add one or two of these soul nurturing things into your days.

Make a great weekend

Namaste

Learning & Sharing

Recently, I have found some inspiring mentors and embarked on a six month course to help me in my own movement practices as well as bring new tools and ideas to you.

I am of the belief there is no one perfect way to move the body and no perfect movement practice. During different times in our lives we may need different practices. It seems to me the important thing is to be in touch with our bodies so we can learn to know and honour what our bodies need.

The first three and a half months of this course is a lot of internal work where the work is focused on the self. During this time I am very excited to be exploring a variety of movement practices. Some are ones I have always wanted to try, while others are ones I have never heard of. Some are ones that might become part of my routine, while others I might try once then never again.

Last week I did my first class in Feldenkrais. I am still reflecting on what I thought of the practice. I have decided to try the practice one more time, then I will share some thoughts on it.

As I go through different practices and find interesting instructors from around the world I will share my discoveries with you. Maybe one of these practices is exactly what your body needs.

Letting Go of Regrets (and starting to trust the timing of your life)

A week ago I saw tweet from a woman in her 30s who despite having a good education had found herself back in her hometown living with her parents and working a job that barely paid for life’s necessities. She expressed concern that she was not meeting the milestones in life like she had thought she would. She said she felt like a failure as an adult.

Like many others who saw her tweet I assured that she was not a failure and that there are no ‘right’ timeline for people. We all have our own journey and that may not look like the journey of our friends, family members and neighbours.

I shared with her how when I was in my 30s I was insecure about my lack of education and that I was fortunate to be able to finally pursue one. I shared how it wasn’t until my 40s that I started my own small business.

It could be so easy to get locked into inner dialogues about the what-ifs of doing things differently. However, that would serve no purpose.

Last weekend a memory came up on my Instagram (photo above). It was when I graduated from my yoga teacher training three years ago. I have been practicing yoga for decades and had often thought about, and even looked into becoming a yoga teacher. Yet, I didn’t.

This is another thing where I could chastise myself about for not doing it sooner. However, when I look at the photo I am reminded of the wonderful, kind instructors I had, the other inspiring students I met, and my frame of mind at the time of that training.

If I had done it years ago I wouldn’t have had the experience I did. Connections I made in that training have led me to other things that I may never have heard. I was meant to connect with the people I did. It was the right time for me.

If you have come across this and have sometimes felt like the woman who wrote the tweet, may I also assure you. There is no perfect timeline for a life. You are not a failure. You are good enough – just the way you are.

#RealLife

In the March newsletter I said I was going to launch some yoga courses the first day of spring.

I didn’t forget. As the first day of spring was approaching I knew I wasn’t going to do it yet. The yoga part of these courses is so much fun for me. However, the technology part of setting everything up stresses me out.

I imagine most of us have things that cause a bit of anxiety. Playing with new technology is one of my things. However, when I take a deep breath, sit down and just do it, I often find it’s not half as bad as what I envisioned. Once I get to it, I even find myself having fun. I love learning new things.

Maybe yoga is something you would like to learn more about. Perhaps, the idea of learning yoga even stresses you out a bit. That is actually part of my inspiration for these courses. I believe everyone deserves to have their own personal yoga journey. I want to share some tools to empower you for that journey.

Whether you are brand new to yoga, or want to deepen your knowledge in the practice, I invite you to check out the three courses I am currently offering, Foundations in Yoga Level 1, Foundations in Yoga Level 2, and Yoga with the Chair.  
https://livingskyyogafitness.ca/online-courses/

Registration is now open until April 4. Courses begin April  7.
In these courses you work through them at your own pace. They are yours to use again and again.

I invite you to join me
Warm Wishes
Denise