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Wage Peace not war

How do we wage peace when we have spent centuries becoming experts at waging war?
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Recovery is not a place you land and unpack


“Peace is not a place you land and unpack.”
Petrea King, Quest for Life 2016.
… and neither is Recovery.
In stages, the impossible becomes possible.” T.V.K. Desikachar
Recovery from any adversity, whether illness, drug addiction, trauma, mental health disturbance, grief, disaster or major life change, is a process that is ongoing. We don't wake up one day cured rather we continually make progress along the path of recovery.
In my own recovery process, I have often felt like I have been ascending a spiral, often returning to the similar issues but at a higher or deeper level of resolution. This appears across all the layers of my experiences and I often don't notice until I am moving out of an experience and may need to reflect back on the last rung on the spiral to get perspective and prevent being disheartened.

Yet over and over again, my students and clients ask why it is taking them so long, wondering if there is something wrong with them or they are doing something wrong. Our society seems to think that recovery from trauma, illness, grief or any kind of life-change happens in distinct stages within a distinct time-frame (usually within 12months), and then we move on.

There have been many occasions when people, having read my book, heard my story or even been taught by me during a particularly well phase, will have expected me to be cured and if I fall off this perch they will be distressed and disappointed on my behalf…and perhaps theirs.

I am always moved by people’s concern for my wellbeing and reassure people that I have chronic illnesses that I manage not cure. I manage with the tools I teach and that even if I don't come out of this particular exacerbation, I will continue to live in peace which for me is what it’s all about and if I do come out, it will be at a higher place than I was before.

You see, this the reality for those of us who have suffered some form of trauma or major life change is that recovery is ongoing and comes in waves. For many of us the greatest recovery comes from the inner peace gained from the acceptance of our present situation and this too is ongoing.

So, if we accept this to be true, if we accept that recovery is ongoing, how do we support ourselves and each other through this process?

Firstly, find a practice that improves your wellness and maintain a regular practice, even after the initial flush of recovery. It seems to be fairly common nature for us to find a practice that makes us feel better only to let it go when we start to feel better. The best way to stay out of the hole is to keep doing whatever it was that got you out of the hole.

And if you fall off the wagon and find yourself in a hole again, Give yourself a break releasing as much guilt as you can because you're human. go back to the Same ladder and start climbing again.   

Find a support team and give them permission to keep you accountable. This might be a coach or a counsellor, a yoga teacher, therapist or trusted friend. Choose wisely, not because they will take you out and get you pissed but because you know they will respectfully keep you honest.

It is a friend, colleague, partner or family member the first step is to listen. Stop what you're doing, make a cup of tea and listen. Ask questions – what has helped before, how would like me to support you, would you like me to come with you? Questions that invite the person to consider and find their own wisdom and path. Set an example in your own behaviour. Things not to do: nag and remind them they've been here before - They know, already!!!

The most important things I have learned about recovery is that it is not a place you land and unpack. It happens in stages and requires resilience, acceptance and forgiveness. Whether it is yourself in recovery or someone you care for, it takes time, is ongoing and is often more more about finding peace where you are right now than finding a cure.

Lynnette Dickinson is the author of A Journey to Peace through Yoga, and teaches yoga, relaxation and meditation in Canberra and via Skype or phone. Classes, personalised programs and yoga therapy. Visit www.splendouryoga.com. Listen to Lynnette telling her story Part 1 and Part 2, and be inspired.

 

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Burn-out and the art of having it all … or not

To paraphrase Ghandi, if I wake up to a busy day, I don’t meditate for one hour … I meditate for three hours.

What happens when we place ourselves, bodies and minds, under too much pressure for too long without taking a break? We burn out. And what does burn out look like? Fatigue, anxiety, depression, injury, chronic or acute illness and/relationship breakdown, and at the extreme end full breakdown possibly tipping into violence.

In our society it seems that maximising stress and busy-ness is every man, woman and child’s extreme sport of choice. We work longer hours, play competitive sport from increasingly young ages, party into the small hours, combine parenthood and career, while striving for the success and/or income, body weight, car, house, the number of zeros on our income that will make us feel like we’ve made it.

So how do we do it? How do we have it all and not burn-out? Is one holiday a year enough? Maybe an 8-week course in mindfulness will solve all the stress we carry around in our body/mind complex. Maybe a weekly yoga class or a round of golf or a dance class. Maybe we could cycle to work, or walk on a treadmill while on a conference call or reading our emails?

Isn’t that enough?

Well, maybe all of those things are great places to start, improving your state of mind and body but are they really where the daily stresses of life occur?

Stress, anxiety and fatigue occur in the moment life is being lived and ignoring the levels of mental, emotional and physical exertion we are experiencing puts us at great risk of tipping us and our loved ones over the brink. And sometimes the aforementioned tools can deceive us into ignoring our signs because we can feel so much better when we come out of the activity and convince ourselves that once class a week is enough.

I have seen yoga teachers who teach encourage students to relax or meditate while ignoring their own practice because they are too busy and consequently suffer burn-out; or cyclists/sports enthusiasts who become so competitive that it creates as much road-rage and stress as sitting in a traffic jam.

And then what’s the first thing to go when we get busy? I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, “I can’t come to class, I’m too busy”. When coming to class would be the best thing to do for their own wellbeing and productivity.

So, how do we do it? How do we reduce the stress we experience in everyday life and prevent our systems giving up and going for a long lie down?

One possibility is to practice mindfulness, relaxation and meditation in your everyday life – in the car, while you eat, before a meeting, after a meeting (sometimes even during a meeting – toilets), every hour (set an alarm), stretch at your desk, wriggle your fingers and toes at traffic lights, take some to breathe at the end of a task, break between projects and slow your breath which will slow your heart-beat and enable you to increase your productivity.

Let me give you an example. Recently I moved house. No biggie you might think, except that I have recently started postgraduate studies in yoga therapy, continued teaching my full class and therapy schedule, participated in a leadership program, had a two-week gap between moving out and moving in during which we had nowhere to stay, and with my partner made the somewhat questionable decision of doing all the cleaning and moving out of the ‘old house’ with a difficult landlord. Oh, and did I mention I have Multiple Sclerosis?

How did I do it and maintain my sanity, health and good humour? I meditated, yoga-ed and breathed, not just in the morning or night, but all through the day. Every time I finished packing a box I took a few moments to breathe, each time I carried something heavy I took the time to breathe and contract my pelvic floor. I stretched my body at every opportunity. Nearly a week of 13 hour days of hard, dirty work interspersed with yoga, enabled by yoga.

My partner and I kept talking and laughing, we looked for creative solutions, like camping and AirBnB for accommodation options. Eventually, I let go of thinking I had to continue studying and writing and being superwoman, and simply focussed on what was in front of me.

The result was that even when we found ourselves in a camping ground on the south coast in the rain without tent poles or gas bottle or light, I didn’t stress or shout. We innovated – camping gazebo with tent lining tied to the frame of the gazebo, firewood had made it into the car so that took care of cooking and, well, who needs light when you have stars?

My mind was spacious and relaxed, and I had looked after my body by my practice in the moment, and my meditation had allowed me to let go of what couldn’t do and focus on what I could. I had survived more physical work than I had done for nearly ten years and thrived.

Two months after moving in and we are happily settling in. I have expanded my idea of what’s possible by increasing my personal practice, a potentially very stressful few months has had no impact on my MS condition and reduced my need to be superwoman, while reminding me of the importance of living my practice.

You can do this too, with the smallest of adjustments and the simplest practices. Eventually you will look at your lifestyle choices and become more discriminating – you might be able to have it all but do you really need to?

 

Lynnette Dickinson is the author of A Journey to Peace through Yoga, and teaches yoga, relaxation and meditation in Canberra and via Skype or phone. Classes, personalised programs and yoga therapy. Visit www.splendouryoga.com. Listen to Lynnette telling her story click on www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8pNE2Qpul0 for Part 1 and www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SatGo9hV6I for Part 2, and be inspired.

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Meditations in Life – the Third Space

At a recent leadership course I attended (GLAM – fully recommend), the facilitator, Avril Henry, referred to the concept of the importance of creating a ‘Third Space’ as a tool to enhance life work harmony in the lives of busy people.

So, what is a ‘Third Space’ and why would you bother? 

Well, the concept of The Third Space can out of research carried out by Dr Adam Fraser in partnership with Deakin University. The research concludes that the way we transition from one role or task to the next can determine our performance, balance and overall happiness; and that carrying over emotional baggage from one situation to the next can have disastrous effects on relationships and outcomes.

The Third Space is that moment of transition and if we create that space intentionally we can avoid taking our crappy experiences into the following situation, our role at work into our role as parent, partner or friend and complete as much as we can as we go.

In essence, if we imagine the different tasks or role that we engage in during our day as coats we put on, The Third Space is consciously taking a moment to take off one coat before putting on the next. This means we are always only wearing one coat.

I have come across this concept before in regard to finishing projects – take a break, reflect, evaluate and let go before taking up the next project but not in relation to everyday life. It is a very useful tool to stay present to the task or situation at hand.

When the the Third Space was introduced at GLAM, all of the participants found it easy to identify activities to create the space between work and home and some were already employing some very effective strategies to avoid bringing work into their home lives. Where it became more difficult was to find this space within their work day – between meetings, transitioning between tasks, calls and conversations.   

So how do you find The Third Space in midst of a busy and demanding work life or disengage from work before your entering your home life?

Here are a few ideas.

5 ways to create The Third space between work and home

  1. Do some physical activity on the way home from work, with the intention of letting go of work ‘stuff’ eg go or a walk or run, go to the gym or play some sport.
  2. Take an uninterrupted shower before engaging its family members (emphasis on uninterrupted – this will need an agreement with family members, “only if there's blood or threat to human life”).
  3. Stop at a café for a beverage on the way home to let go of your day – perhaps take a few moments to journal reflections on your day eg what went well, what didn’t, what you can do better, how.
  4. Do some yoga and/or meditation.
  5. Let go of each incident in your day with your breath – breathe in and remember the incident, breathe out and let it go.

5 ways to create The Third Space through your day

  1. After a difficult meeting sit quietly and become aware of your breath, breathe in and remember an aspect of the meeting, breathe out and release the emotion. Continue until the emotion has been released, then record the actions and reflections of the meeting.
  2. In between tasks, consciously stop and close off a task in your mind before beginning another and make an agreement with yourself to make sure this is complete before moving on.
  3. Break up your work time in to thirty minute ‘sessions’ and work solidly on a single project for the whole thirty minutes then stop, record any unfinished bits or bits that need to be attended, then get up and stretch.
  4. Only receive phone calls between tasks and record any details from the call immediately so you are not interrupting your focus or carrying your whole work life with you in your head.
  5. Breathe – breathe in, pause, breathe out pause, rinse and repeat focussing on allowing the out breath to get longer, until you are ready to climb the next mountain.

Remember toilets are great Third Spaces if you have difficulty getting space at work or home – generally people don't interrupt you in the toilet and there is usually a lock (and if there isn't, get one).

I hope you enjoy finding your Third Spaces and you want to share your experiences or Third Spaces I haven't mentioned, please comment below or send me an email.

Thank you,
Lynnette.

 Remember: when you are transitioning between roles and tasks, sit in The Third Space until you have changed your coat.

If you want to know more about The Third Space with Dr Adam Fraser, go to www.thethirdspace.com.au.

If you would know more about Avril Henry and GLAM, go to www.avrilhenry.com.

Lynnette Dickinson is the author of A Journey to Peace through Yoga, and teaches yoga, relaxation and meditation in Canberra and via Skype or phone. Classes, personalised programs and yoga therapy. Visit www.splendouryoga.com. Listen to Lynnette telling her story click on www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8pNE2Qpul0 for Part 1 and www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SatGo9hV6I for Part 2, and be inspired.

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Meditations in life – Hand Massage Meditation

Last year I taught an eight week Relax & Restore course for staff in the community Services industry in Canberra. Six people working long hours in very demanding positions, with equally demanding home lives to maintain.My plans were to deliver a course with nurturing tools, restorative yoga postures and deep relaxation. I wrote a manual with each week’s practices photographed and described, a guide to developing a home practice and a Splendour Relaxation CD.

 

I was idealistic that my new students would go home after the first night and start practicing their newfound self-management tools. So when the students returned for week 2, I was looking forward to hearing how they had fared with their new practices.

You can imagine my surprise when the most common practice (in some cases the only practice), that the students were practicing on a daily practice was self massage of their hands, most frequently following my suggestion that they practice in the car at traffic lights!

 They reported that hand massage bought them back into the present, which stopped the endless chatter of their monkey mind. The result was an oasis of calm in the midst of the busyness and anxiety of their lives. One participant said “it was like pressing the ‘Reset’ button on her mind”.

The added bonus was that the act of massaging their own hands made them feel nurtured. A very real benefit in careers and home lives that involved nurturing others, with little time and energy left to nurture themselves.

 So, here is the Hand Massage Meditation.

 Hand Massage Meditation

  • Sit quietly and take a three long, slow breaths.
  • Rest your dominant hand in the palm of your other hand, palm facing up.
  • Begin massaging along the base of your hand (at the border between the hand and the wrist), small circles with the thumb of the other hand.
  • Then move into pad, continuing the gentle circles up to the base of your thumb.
  • Move into the centre of the palm of your hand for a few moments.
  • The, beginning from the heel of your hand, massage along the outside edge of your hand.
  • Then across the pads along the base of your fingers toward your ‘pointer’ finger and back along the pads toward your ‘pinky’.
  • Gently stroke along each finger and thumb, applying gentle pressure at the top of each finger and in the space between each finger.
  • Turn the hand over and find the space just above where the thumb bone and the pointer bone join into the wrist. Apply gentle pressure for a few seconds then stroke up toward the digits.
  • Repeat for each finger then gentle stroke across the top of the joints at the base of the fingers.
  • If you have extra time you can gently massage each joint.
  • Then repeat with the other hand.
  • Take a moment to notice and appreciate the calm in your mind.

 Now, if you are doing this at traffic lights you probably won't be able to do both hands in one sitting (unless of course you are in busy traffic, in which case you really need something to keep the road anxiety at bay), which is why we begin with the dominant hand or the hand that does the most work. In fact, you may not even finish a whole hand – it doesn’t matter!

 The aim is to provide a focus for your mind that is not the constant to and fro between the past and the future, while giving yourself a bit of nurturing. Even just a few moments can reset your brain. And you can always pick up where you left off, at the next traffic light or the next few minutes of space (I know a particularly busy woman who goes in to the toilet at her office and massages her hands).

 And the best thing is there is no limit to the number of times you can engage with self massage and your hands are always with you.

 I love hearing about people’s experiences with these practices so please comment below or email me at lynnette@splendouryoga.com.

 Thank you,
Lynnette

 Remember: if you need to press the ‘Reset’ button on your busy brain, take a few moments and massage your own hands.

Lynnette Dickinson is the author of A Journey to Peace through Yoga, and teaches yoga, relaxation and meditation in Canberra and via Skype or phone. Classes, personalised programs and yoga therapy. Visit www.splendouryoga.com. Listen to Lynnette telling her story click on www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8pNE2Qpul0 for Part 1 and www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SatGo9hV6I for Part 2, and be inspired.

 

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Attitude of Gratitude - a 21-Day Experiment

Join me on my 21-day experiment to road-test a felt experience of gratitude.

Gratitude has been attributed with some pretty powerful guns in the world of personal and professional transformation, and once again I find myself curious about the veracity of these claims. Is it really the magic bullet of happiness?

The underlying philosophy of Gratitude’s power is that when we focus on our lack, that’s what we notice and hence that’s what we attract, consequently we are always left wanting which leads to consuming more to fill up the perceived deficit. Conversely, when we feel grateful for what we have our focus becomes one of abundance and that’s what we attract, and because we are already abundant we consume less because there is no deficit.

So, that’s the theory but does it really work? Can practicing gratitude really reduce our consumption of stuff, food, spirituality and religion, and relationships? Can gratitude increase our contentment with our life? Perhaps even with ourselves? Can it really attract success? And if gratitude is a powerful tool for happiness, can it be learnt and practiced.

These are the sorts of questions I started to ask when I finished my experiment with love. I felt incredibly grateful for the lessons I had learnt and the practice I had established, while becoming acutely aware of the times I didn’t respond with love and I the times I didn’t feel content. Simultaneously I started to see “gratitude” everywhere. I couldn’t open my Facebook feed without one modern day guru or another blogging the importance of gratitude, my own yoga tradition sprewking gratitude and a recurring memory of an NLP teacher selling fridge magnets that said “attitude of gratitude”.

It was Christmas – a time of the year when consumerism and gluttony spreads their wings and go wild in a duet of massive proportions. At the same time I was preparing the second edition of my book for publishing as an eBook.

21-Days of Love had created an incredible level of resilience and tolerance to the vagaries of life and Christmas, and my usual Christmas depression was surprisingly somnolent. A good time to put the book out into the world again. A fevered weekend before Christmas with my partner putting the final pieces together and finally pressing “Publish” late on Sunday afternoon. Waves of relief, gratitude, happiness, jubilation and more than slight disbelief flowed with the bubbles of a bottle of Moet we had been saving for a special occasion.

What followed was an even more fevered three days of Facebooking, emailing and texting everyone I knew, had ever known, might one day know or have not yet heard of to invite them to download a free copy of my eBook to register it as a thing on Amazon. Initially it was so exciting and fun, as I started to watch the figures rise and moved to the top of my free categories in the US, UK and Australia.

And then it shifted. All the focus on figures and subscription rates etc. changed my attitude from a game to comparison, competition and stress and anxiety. Abundance and celebration became lack, and I began to think about the people who didn’t download or unsubscribed to my newsletter.

Fortunately I had my 21-Days of Love behind me and I noticed the difference. Fortunately I looked around my life and ‘saw’ it all again, with the sensation of love.

I made a decision to stop watching the figures, stop sending emails and texts and Facebook posts, and feel thankful for each copy downloaded and each message of encouragement.

Do you know what happened? My mind instantly relaxed, it felt like a physical opening in the cortex of my brain – literally. My breathing slowed and deepened, a smile slowly spread across my face and I enjoyed a beautiful Christmas with my family, once again feeling grateful for the abundance of love in my life.

Since then I have ‘played’ with gratitude and noticed that even random acts of gratitude have an impact on my life. So, let’s have a more rigorous test of the power of an Attitude of Gratitude.

The Practice

Stage 1 Daily Random Acts of Gratitude.

  • Get comfortable in your favourite place (you might like to light a candle but this is optional).
  • Do some movement to open your chest (even rolling your shoulders is enough, first one at a time, then both together, slowly and mindfully).
  • Take a few moments to become aware of your breath, allow the breath in and allow it to leave.
  • Invite the out breath to lengthen.
  • So, what does gratitude feel like? Take a moment to remember something for which you already feel gratitude then let the sensation of gratitude flow through your mind and body.
  • When you are ready, create the intention to feel gratitude for at least one thing in your day.
  • Allow the events of your day to play across the screen of your mind with this intention of gratitude in your awareness. Remember that is what you here for, not mulling over particular events or interactions, you are here to find something to thank.
  • If you have had a particularly stressful day or you are dealing with difficult life circumstances it might initially be difficult to find something but stick with the intention and something will arise, even if it is as mundane as having clothes on your body.
  • You may find you start a flood of gratitude or you may find that a drop is all you can manage – whatever you manage is enough.
  • Gratitude practice is great to do every night before going to bed because it puts your mind into a more positive space before sleep and is very relaxing, even after a stressful day.

Stage 2 Attitude of Gratitude practice.

Another gratitude practice that I have yet to road-test consistently is to appreciate what is working in the different aspects of my life, so once I have established my Daily Random Acts of Gratitude practice, I will start a more systematic approach to gratitude. I will find something in every aspect of my life that is working.

  • Gratitude for existing – each day I continue to breathe brings more opportunity live and love (“I breathe in and feel life, I breathe out and feel grateful”).
  • Gratitude for the food I have eaten today – even if it wasn’t the healthiest or the most delicious or even not enough, it was food that sustained me through the day.
  • Gratitude for your shelter – whatever shelter I have is still shelter.
  • Gratitude for my friends and family – every interaction with another person is an opportunity for me to feel connection.
  • Gratitude for my financials – this is a tricky one for me and I will focus on gratitude for the tasks that are compensated for with money and every cent that comes through my hands.
  • Gratitude for my jobs – I feel grateful that each job I do is an opportunity to express my purpose and contribute to my financials.
  • Gratitude for my purpose – this is another tricky one for me because sometimes my ego feels a little embarrassed by my purpose and sometimes hide from it, so I will practice feeling grateful for my purpose.
  • Gratitude for the resources to fulfil my purpose – again tricky because I have a background of scarcity so I will consciously look for the moments I have expressed my purpose in my day and let flow the golden bubbles of gratitude (which me luck here, folks).
  • Gratitude for success – the hardest one of all for me as biggest cloud over my parade is the belief in my own failure, so I will root through each day and find my successes! (I will, I promise).

21-Days

Once again I will carry out my practice every day for 21 days, an attempt to embed the habit of a felt experience of gratitude.

Blog

Following on from the personal success of writing everyday during my 21 Days of Love, I am committing to writing every day and publishing on my website, then sharing on Facebook.

Today is Day 1, I will write tomorrow.

Thank you with love,

Lynnette

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Why we need to learn how to relax

Are you feeling tired and stressed but don’t have enough time to relax? Are you a stress athlete? Are your students or clients exhibiting characteristics of being anxious and/or tired?

When we are stressed or anxious our autonomic nervous system is activated into fight, flight or freeze, triggering the sympathetic nervous system and a cascade of chemical reactions through our bodies. This chemical cascade features adrenaline and cortisol and impacts on our whole system, including our breathing, heartrate, digestion, reproductive system and thinking capacity. 

This is fine if the trigger passes and we give ourselves a chance to relax. The cascade subsides and our autonomic nervous system switches to parasympathetic – relax and repair.

But what if you don’t relax? What if your body gets stuck in the sympathetic nervous system, with little or no time to relax? Many of us experience chronic stress and it is effecting more and more of our youth.

What happens is chronic stress, often associated with chronic anxiety, and this has some pretty dire effects on our minds and bodies:

  • Our sleep is affected which reduces our bodies capacity to restore and repair itself
  • Our digested may become interrupted, often we are not chewing properly, eating on the run and not relaxing properly in the evening
  • We become fearful and anxious
  • We may experience back problems or other skeletal-muscular problems due to the tension we are holding in our bodies
  • We may experience unexplainable anger
  • Reduced immunity and increased inflammation
  • Concentration and focus become difficult
  • And we get very tired.

Even worse than impacting on our daily lives, chronic stress can be a causal factor and/or exacerbate many chronic illnesses. These are some pretty persuasive reasons to learn how to relax – chronic stress just doesn’t give your body or mind a chance to heal itself.

However, there is something you can do about it. Regular relaxation reduces the effects of stress on your life, leaves you alert with a greater capacity to concentrate and able to make better decisions; you can be more effective in relationships; increase your resilience; and, well, it feels really, really amazing.

And the good news is that relaxation can be achieved easily in just a few minutes – all you need is yourself!

Some tips for helping you to relax

  • Each time you get in to your car or arrive at your desk, give yourself a few moments to notice your breathing, notice your body and notice your environment. This takes less than a minute and may make the difference to your whole day.
  • When you start to feel anxious, encourage your breath to slow down and even try a bit of belly breathing if it feels comfortable for you. This will slow your heart rate and switch your nervous system to parasympathetic.
  • Stop regularly and stretch through your torso, opening your whole chest.
  • Go for a walk outside and take the time look out and up, noticing the sky and your surroundings, consciously being aware of each step.
  • And as often as you can do a whole body relaxation. The technique below will only take you ten minutes and leave you feeling completely rejuvenated.

10 minute relaxation

You will feel relaxed and rejuvenated, and ready for anything – in just 10 minutes!

So find a comfortable sitting position and get ready to relax.

  • Once you are in a comfortable position with feet supported and a straight back, make sure you are warm, close your eyes and begin to become aware of your breath.
  • Allow your breath to deepen and slow.
  • Take your attention to your feet and tense them on an in-breath, then relax on the out breath.
  • Repeat this tense and relax with the breath systematically through the body: legs, lower abdomen, chest, back, hands, arms, shoulders, neck, scalp and finally face.
  • Once your body is relaxed, take your attention back down to your feet and breathe relaxing warmth, a warm tone or a soft light into your feet. Let it dissolve away any stress or tightness as you breathe out.
  • Bring the warmth up into your legs with your breath, allowing it to dissolve any tiredness or tension.
  • Continue to breathe this relaxing warmth through your body as tension and tiredness are dissolved through every joint and muscle.
  • When you reach your brow, sit in the silence that exists in this place and invite the stillness to move through your body with each breath.
  • After a few minutes imagine a vibrant golden light above the top of your head; with each breath becomes brighter, tingling with life.
  • Imagine the light cascading down over your shoulders, down through your arms, into your torso and through your spinal column.  Effervescent with energy, the light brings life into every tissue it passes through.
  • The golden light moves through your body from your crown to your feet, as you rejuvenate every cell in your body with your breath; reinvigorating your body with your own relaxed awareness.
  • When you have filled your body with sparkling life, deepen your breath and bring your attention back to clothes touching your skin and the sounds in the room. Begin to think about moving your body as you savour the perfection of this moment.
  • Think about wriggling your toes and fingers, then wriggle them. Stretch your legs and arms, with your eyes still closed; rub your hands together, cover your eyes and open them into warm, darkness of your palms.
  • Give your face and scalp a gentle massage as you gently allow the light in.
  • Be gentle with yourself and give yourself a few minutes to come back into your physical surroundings.

That’s how easy it is!

NB: This article appeared in the Generation Next Newsletter, 20th October 2015.Generation Next Newsletter - 20 October 2015

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