Reflection and Realignment rather than Resolutions.

Now that January is upon us, we will have countless images shoved under our nose to change our physical body and whole life (in about 30 days, so no pressure!!). We will be encouraged with ‘New Year, New You’ bullshit and led down a path of guilt and shame as we sign up for new gym membership or take the first step on the weighing scales. The weight loss/ diet industry makes BILLIONS each year (64 billion in the US alone in 2018) by marketing and selling products that we are led to believe we need to be happy, healthy and fulfilled. Advertisements and whole magazines will be dedicated to making you feel like you couldn’t possibly be happy, fulfilled or healthy if you’re not the size of the airbrushed models shown.

We know all about Photoshop and filters, but these headlines still trigger our insecurities and draw us in because that is what they are intending to do. Millions are spent creating campaigns and researching the psychology behind it all so don’t feel bad if you feel like you are being sucked back into a 30-day detox after the Christmas holidays. Our worth is not measured by the number on the scales or the measurement of our hips. Our health is not defined by what size our clothes are, I can range between 2-3 sizes in different shops. We are all made up of different shapes and sizes and often we strive for a body shape/ weight that is so far out of reach that we could spend a lifetime eating ‘clean’ and working out and still not achieve it. But rest assured there will be a continuous stream of new diets or exercises regimes to try. Diets don’t work, they are restrictive and obsessive and short lived. They only prove to cause fear, anxiety and control around our eating habits and reward this behaviour with cheat meals and binge eating.

That is not to say that you shouldn’t eat healthier or set an intention to get fitter or stronger. Making positive changes to our lives is a good thing. Growth should always be encouraged and supported in all areas of our lives. We are constantly changing, learning, growing, letting go and blooming once again. We live our lives in cycles as does nature and so as the winter cycle comes to an end, it makes sense that we would want to prepare for the spring. However, it is still winter, a time to nourish and heal, a time of introspection and reflection. A time where we can look back on the past year, take the lessons and blessings and carry them with us into the new year as we realign with our values, with what lights us up and fulfils us and with the desires for the next cycle to come.

Screenshot_20181231_142902Usually at New Year people make grand plans and resolutions because they feel they are lacking in some area of their life. They feel as if they ‘should’ be doing better. They feel as if they have failed to succeed or achieve something. They feel as if they need to reach a certain destination or goal to be happy, fulfilled, healthy or successful. They are told again and again by advertisements and media that who they are is not good enough. This conditional thinking and living encouraged by those who profit from our insecurities will actually be the rope that binds us to this way of living rather than set us free. When we make a call to action from a place of guilt, shame, lack we are acting because we think we ‘should’ and therefore we will spend our time constantly striving and never arriving at the place we so desperately seek.

This January instead of making a list of resolutions that evoke guilt, shame and resentment and low self-worth, I suggest taking a few weeks to reflect and realign with what you truly want to bring into this coming year. Let’s get the garden ready, clear the soil, get rid of the weeds and dead leaves, chose the seeds you want to grow, nourish, nurture them and tend to them daily and watch as they grow and bloom as the year unfolds. Remember the grass is greener, where you water it. We know when we tend to the garden that the seeds are growing, in the time they should, we don’t keep digging back up the soil to see if the seed is still there. Know that you are changing and growing in your own time too, trust and enjoy the process.

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Here are some journal prompts to reflect and realign on in January, to help clear the garden and decide what flowers to plant. Writing this stuff down can bring huge insights and healing, give yourself the time to write it down.

  • What are your proud moments/ achievements of the past year?
  • What did you learn this year? What lessons learned were necessary for your growth?
  • What lessons were particularly hard? Are they healed/healing/ in need of external support and if so, where can you get it?
  • What are the highlights of the past year?
  • What are you most grateful for this year? (read more on gratitude here)
  • Who was your greatest support this year? Do you need more support going forward? What or who might that look like?
  • What are you leaving behind and not bringing into the next year? What no longer serves you, your growth or your happiness? What do you want to let go of?
  • Write a list of all that things that light you up, that make you deliriously happy, peaceful or content. Think about when you were younger and what you loved to do. Write everything down from the simple to the grand e.g. fresh bed sheets to travelling to faraway countries. Make time and space in your life for these this year.
  • What feeling/ emotional state do you want to feel more of this coming year? Why? Sit with this for a few moments and really feel it in within your whole being. We want things and set goals because we think that once we achieve them, we will be happier, fulfilled. We forget that we can evoke these feelings and emotional states every day by being present and by doing more of the things that light us up. Instead of getting stuck in a cycle of set a goal, be unfulfilled and lacking in an area of our life until/ if/ when we achieve it, we can realign with the emotional state/feeling /value that is at the core of our action.
  • What is your heart and soul calling out for? More….? If you weren’t afraid of anything, what would you love to do/see/feel/ be? If failing wasn’t an option, what would you love to do/see/feel /be? Sit with this one also and see what comes up for you, you may be surprised at what shows up, the most important thing is to listen and trust what you hear.
  • Write down the baby steps you can take over the coming weeks/months/ year. This is a guide and may (most likely will) change as you move through the year. Don’t try to micromanage every step, stay aligned with what your heart and soul is truly calling out for and make small steps towards it.

Each year in our lives is like a snapshot of laughter and pain, growth and release, achievement and defeat. Some years are lighter than others, some we wish we could live again and again while others we can’t wait to say goodbye to. Whatever your past year felt like, know that a new year, with a whole set of chapters is awaiting you and you get to write and direct each one. You don’t need to achieve it all in the first month and you don’t need to spend lots of money to achieve it. You are perfectly worthy and whole as you are. All the answers you seek are within you and the guidance and support of friends, loved ones or professionals can be found. When we reconnect and realign with our heart and soul, the right people will suddenly appear to guide and support us on the next section of our journey.

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I can’t wait to see how we bloom and grow this year!

Mel x

 

How Do You Deal with Stress?

Stress, we all feel it and in today’s society it is sometimes a badge of honour to be worn proudly on your chest. Never mind that your mental, physical and emotional health will suffer greatly from prolonged stress. Never mind that your relationships will suffer. If you are stressed and running yourself into the ground, then you are working hard and eventually all of this grinding will pay off.

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My Top 10 Walks in or near Dublin

Last week I spoke about the healing power of nature and how beneficial grounding and being out in nature can be for our health on a deep level. This week I wanted to share with you some of my favourite spots to get out in nature in or around Dublin. I really feel we are truly blessed to live in this beautiful island and having travelled all over the world, very few places have held such a place in my heart as Ireland does. It is the perfect time of the year to get out, explore and be in nature.

My top 10 favourite Spots in or near Dublin

Portmarnock and Malahide coastal walk

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Many of you know about how much I love Portmarnock beach and how often I am down there. The Velvet Strand is a gorgeous beach with beautiful views and a great stretch for walking or running. There is lots of parking along the road or public parking beside Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links or Portmarnock Golf club. It is close to Dublin City Centre and served by bus, train and dart. You can start your coastal walk from Portmarnock and continue towards Malahide (approx. 4km) for more sea air and gorgeous views.

 

Glendalough – The Spinc Trail and the Derrybawn Woodlawn Trail

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Glendalough is a natural and historical haven for me and has almost a mystical energy to it. There are plenty of tracks and trails (Downloadable PDF) around Glendalough, where you can enjoy views of both the upper and lower lakes, St Kevin’s Church and round tower, Poulanass waterfall and much, much more. A favourite trail of mine is The Spinc which has a lot of uphill and steps but rewards you with magnificent views. If you prefer a flatter terrain Derrybawn Woodlawn trail is another favourite trail of mine.**

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St Catherine’s Park

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St Catherine’s park is a little gem nestled in between Westmanstown and Lucan village consisting of 200 acres of woodland and grassland with the River Liffey running through it. It also has playgrounds, skate parks, football pitches and fairy trails. Whether it is a family day out or a walk with your dog (it also has a dog run). You will love the space and tranquillity of this park.

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St Catherine’s is Rosie’s favourite.

Howth Cliff Walk

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Howth Cliff Walk at sunset is quite magical.

Howth cliff walk is a great trail for all levels of fitness and has so many places of interest and beauty along the trail that you will be spoiled for choice. It is also close to the city centre and easily reached by bus, train or dart. Howth is situated on a peninsula northeast of Dublin City and is a gorgeous fishing town with plenty of places to eat and drink. Along the trail you will have great views of Howth harbour, Ireland’s Eye, Lambay Island, Howth Castle, Howth lighthouse and so much more. I love this trail any time of the year on a clear day as the views are so beautiful.**

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The Phoenix Park  

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The Phoenix Park is notably Dublin’s most famous park and is actually the biggest enclosed park in Europe. Not only is it home to the Irish president and American Ambassador but it is also home to Dublin City Zoo and to a host of wildlife including the famous herd of fallow deer. The park is twice the size of Central Park in New York and is easily accessible from all over Dublin City. Go explore and enjoy all of the trails and activities within.

Bray to Greystones

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Another wonderful coastal walk from one bustling seaside town to another, a little over 6km each way. Both Bray and Greystones are on the dart line and so are easily reached from Dublin City Centre. With beautiful views the whole way around this walk is very popular on any day of the year. Probably more so in recent years as the Happy Pear have really put Greystones on the map. I love to start in Bray, head to the The Happy Pear in Greystones for some delicious food and then make my walk back to Bray.

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St Anne’s Park

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Another great park very close to the city centre and a relatively new favourite of mine having moved to the Northside. It is a big park of about 240 acres nestled in between Raheny and Clontarf and is steeped in nature, history and beauty in equal measure. There is lots to do and see in St Anne’s and plenty of places to wander and explore. My favourite spot to sit and soak it all in is the rose garden. There is always something on in St Anne’s from the weekly fun runs and yoga to the markets and festivals you have no excuse not to visit and enjoy it all.

Hill of Tara

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The Hill of Tara is a little further outside the city, about a 45 minute drive but I promise you it is worth it.  The Hill of Tara is one of the most important and ancient sites in Ireland and can be found with in the mystical Boyne Valley along with Newgrange, Nowth, Dowth, Lough Crew and Slane. There is lots to explore at the Hill of Tara or you can just stroll around and soak in the abundant ancient energy and peace found there. There is a lovely Cafe there also to warm up on a cold day.

Clontarf / Bull Island

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Bull Island is a UNESCO Biosphere reserve and so if you are a nature lover this is the place to go. The special flora and fauna of the reserve attract plenty of wildlife. It is a great place to be within nature and go for a dip while still seeing the famous landmarks of Dublin City – Poolbeg towers, North & South Bull Walls and Howth Head. Right beside  busy Clontarf and newly refurbished Clontarf Baths there is any number of places to eat or grab a coffee after a nice walk. My favourites are Bay, FishboneKennedys  and Happy Out

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A gorgeous shot of the famous wooden bridge to Bull Island by Philip Mulhall

 

Lough Dan, Lough Tay and Knocknacloghoge

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Photo from mountaiviews.ie

Another stunning area right beside Dublin in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains. We really are spoiled for tracks, trails and stunning scenery in this part of Ireland. This area is a place I love to get lost in for a few hours and breathe in the breathtaking views and at this time of the year I think it is at it’s most beautiful.  Here is a guided walk around the area, this is definitely one not to be missed. Check out Video showing the stunning views.of the area by a wonderful photographer Ciarán Cassidy. **

**Always be careful when venturing out in nature, make sure you have the right equipment and tools to stay on track and are safe on your trail. There are lots of guides and groups that you can join and learn from. Don’t be silly and put yourself in danger.**

The Importance of Grounding

Have you ever sat in nature and felt your whole body untangle? Felt the tensions, stress and knots in your muscles just melt? Felt happy and content?

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National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin in Autumn

That is the healing power of nature. I simply love the outdoors, walking, hiking, strolling, swimming or just sitting and taking it all in. This is my favourite time of the year. It really feels like there is magic in the air. The extra crisp mornings and evenings showcasing the most beautiful and multicoloured skies at dawn and dusk. In this autumnal air it is like Mother Nature is putting on one last show of beauty and magnificence before the short evenings set in and we nestle down to hibernate for the winter.

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Portmarnock Beach at dawn 2018

It is often with a change in season that people are inspired to get out in nature. If we think back to spring when we were falling over our own feet to get out after a long, cold winter. Then again when the warm summer days graced us for longer than we are used to here in Ireland. Amazing shots from all over our stunning little country flooded our social media pages and everyone was grateful and proud to call it home.

Many people can think of a time, when their emotional state and mood shifted significantly just from being in nature. For me this happens every time. It’s the peace and quiet, the birds chirping, the hills and trees and the ebb and flow of the tide that syncs and reconnects me to Mother Nature and to the present moment also.  I feel the rhythm of nature has the familiarity and peace of our own heartbeat and it brings us back to a place within ourselves that we can be content and truly connected.  We forget how connected we are with nature and the cycles held within. We see ourselves as above or better than nature because of our advanced technology and evolution. We ignore that nature has had it all figured out long before us. In truth, we are one in the same, nourished by earth, facing the sun and living in cycles and seasons.

It is not just a better feeling we get from being in nature, continued research has proven the positive impact nature has on our whole body. Being in nature can reduce stress, improve fitness, increase connection and happiness, quiet the mental chatter, bring more mindfulness and clarity to us while encouraging us to take time away from technology. It can also benefit our sleep, a day’s hiking or breathing in the fresh sea air is a sure way to sleep well that night.

2018-05-04 16.58.51Grounding and earthing literally is reconnecting with the ground beneath us and drawing energy from the natural and physical world we live in. The simple act of walking barefoot at the beach or through the grass can have huge benefits to our health.

Grounding helps us to slow the monkey chatter in our brain and to let go of some or all of the stresses of modern-day life.  In a world that encourages us to stay in our head 24/7, stay switched on to work, to emails, TV, Social Media and a litany of other demands, we need grounding more than ever.

 

 

Significant research has been carried out on the more intricate health benefits of grounding and earthing. Connecting with the earth can have profound impacts on a deeper energetic and cellular level. Our bodies use energy in different ways for different functions.

“In the body, thermal energy helps us to maintain a constant body temperature, mechanical energy helps us to move, and electrical energy sends nerve impulses and fires signals to and from our brains. Energy is stored in foods and in the body as chemical energy”. Ms. Ashley Koff, RD, Nutrition & Dietetics

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Wicklow Mountains

Grounding and earthing can help us to neutralise the free radicals (unstable molecules that cause damage and inflammation) in our body and has been proven to reduce inflammation which is the cause of most disease within the body. It can also improve and enhance blood circulation, giving us more energy, more access to nutrients and greater efficiency at eliminating waste from the body. If you think of the electrical wiring in a plug, there is a grounding wire that protects the appliance from surges in electricity that might otherwise be dangerous. In grounding our own electrical circuits, within our bodies, we can prevent inflammation and damage from occurring.

To learn more about the benefits of earthing and grounding watch this trailer from the documentary The Grounded , the full version is also available on You tube.

 

Here are some ideas to get more grounded;

  1. Go for a walk in nature – the woods, mountains, in a local park.**
  2. Stand in your bare feet in the grass/ soil/sand for 5-10 minutes per day. Be present and soak in the whole experience.
  3. Stand with your feet in the sand and allow the water to lap around your feet. Go for a swim in the sea if you are brave enough…I promise it is worth it.
  4. Hiking – Ireland is known for its beauty and although the mountains are not high on a global scale there is no denying that the views are epic. **
  5. Find a spot you LOVE surrounded in nature and preferably close to your home/ work. Go there as often as you can and simply be one with nature and your breath.
  6. Grounding Meditation  -Try this 10 minute Grounding Meditation.

 

**Always be careful when venturing out in nature, make sure you have the right equipment and tools to stay on track and are safe on your trail. There are lots of guides and groups that you can join and learn from. Don’t be silly and put yourself in danger.**

 

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Spinc Trail, Glendalough

Healing, Forgiving and letting Go.

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We go through many experiences and situations in life that cause us pain, hurt, anguish and heartache. Somethings hurt more than others. Sometimes we know exactly where the pain originated from and other times we just feel it and try and work through it.

Often, we push it down, suppress it and pretend it’s not there. We push it into the shadows in the hope that it will stay there quietly and let you get on with your life. We forget that the shadows are very much part of ourselves as a whole and that we can always light a candle in a dark room.

Emotions and thoughts are strongly held and felt within the body whether they are positive or negative in nature. They affect us on a mental, physical, emotional and indeed spiritual level. We are often so unaware of our patterns and mental chatter that we do not see the toxic effect it is having on our physical, emotional and mental bodies. When we are not aware of our thoughts and emotions and when we don’t give them the time and space to heal, they are stored in the body, stored until we are ready to deal with them.

We create ways of dealing with these emotions as we encounter them in different situations. Every habit or condition we have in our lives serves a purpose in the initial instance but after a while we no longer need it. We developed that habit or way of thinking as a means of protecting us at that time, as a way to cope with the situation. Like biting your nails, as a child you may have done it as a source of comfort or to ease your worrying thoughts. As an adult you may want to stop the habit and realise that although 5-year-old you had a good way to ease the worry when you were 5, adult you has a better way of dealing with it.

When we choose to ignore the thoughts and emotions a couple of things may happen. Similar things will continue to happen in our lives, repeating the pattern until we are ready to deal with the lesson that life is giving us. We may be blocked from moving on in our lives and remain stuck in a life that we are not happy with as we continue to believe ‘This is just who I am’, ‘that’s just the way it is’.  Sometimes pain stored in the body or a long time can manifest as disease or illness within the body. A lot of people see disease as dis-ease within the body, the symptoms are telling us that something is imbalanced, blocked or damaged. This is happening because we are holding on to something that is not serving us anymore, something we need to let go of, something that we are still in pain over and needs healing.

Have you ever suffered with back pain?

Have a look at this chart and see if the area of pain for you would reflect some of the possible reasons cited below.

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Our beliefs are shaped by our thoughts and emotions. Our beliefs are just thoughts we think over and over again. However we came to that belief isn’t as important as the knowledge that we can always change our beliefs. It takes time and consistent effort, but we CAN change our thought patterns and our beliefs to help us to live a happier and healthier life.

Your story to date is important but you don’t want to stay in the past chapters of your life. Your story is an important tool for you to use to see the things you want in your life and the things you don’t want in your life. However, you cannot affect change in your life if you keep thinking the same thoughts, none of your power is from where you are backward. ALL of your power is from where you are now, moving forward. The more you focus on the unwanted, on your story, on your past experiences the deeper you dig into a hole you are trying to get out of.

We know that the plant cannot survive without the root, so to change the thought pattern, you have to go back to the root cause. Again, you don’t want to get stuck at the root cause or caught up in the backstory because then you can’t move forward from there. Many of us know someone, ourselves included, who have got stuck in a backstory and tell it over and over again. They wear the badge of that situation and refer to it whenever something goes wrong in their lives or when anyone will listen. Essentially, they are just using it as an excuse and getting in their own way of moving on and moving forward. Every moment is a fresh start of where you are and where you want to be instead of where you were and where you got to be.

 Louise Hay, author of Heal Your Life, is famous all over the world for creating a reference of the most common illness, diseases and health issues, their probable causes and life changing thought patterns to help us rewire our way of thinking.  She speaks of the four main thought patterns that cause the most dis-ease within the body as criticism, anger, resentment and guilt.

If we think of all the situations and experiences we have been through in our lives then it is very probable that we are holding onto criticism, anger, resentment and guilt from ourselves or others, maybe even from our childhood or past lives. The more we are aware of these thought patterns, the more we can clear, heal and live a happier and healthier life.

When we are aware of the thought process and the probable cause we can then start to work on changing that thought process. Sometimes awareness in itself can be curative and alongside the new thought pattern change can come very quickly. Other times we need to practice the new thought pattern every day, consistently until they become natural to us. Rewiring the brain to change the thought processes is not easy work, we literally are breaking apart neurons that may be wired together for years. And often we need help from a practitioner, to help us to heal and let go.

When the physical symptoms occur again we are aware of what is coming up for us and we can quickly adapt in whatever we need to so ease that pain. However, I believe the most important tool to healing and pain is forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the most powerful tool you can give yourself. If you can’t learn to forgive, you can forget about achieving true success in your life – Wayne Dyer.

Forgiveness is not only a powerful emotion it is a powerful and empowering choice to make for ourselves.  Forgiveness is a huge component in our overall happiness and healing from past situations and experiences. When we choose to forgive we are not saying that we condone the behaviour of the person who caused us pain and hurt. We are not saying that we will reconcile, become their best friend and pretend like it never happened. It also doesn’t mean that we have to publicly ‘show’ our forgiveness, there is as much power in silently working on it ourselves. When we choose to forgive we choose to let go of that anger, hurt, regret, blame, resentment, the story. We choose to remember that no one is perfect and that we have the courage, guts and strength of purpose to practice forgiveness and let go, especially when there is anger and resentment within us. We take responsibility for our part in it, our reaction and our holding onto it and instead decide to make the change and reap the benefits.

When we are angry, bitter, resentful, hateful towards a person or situations (ourselves included) we are the only ones feeling that negative and destructive emotion. The other person does not feel or is not ‘punished’ because we are feeling this way toward them. In fact, when we feel this way towards someone it is like making a poison of hate for someone and their behaviour towards us and drinking it ourselves. Forgiveness is a gift of peace of mind and heart you give to yourself. It is a gift of health and happiness instead of a life of resentment, anger and hate.  It is not easy, but it can be achieved with intention and practice.

Wherever you are on your path please know that there are tools and therapies that can assist you in letting go and healing from whatever past trauma or pain you experienced. In seeking help and healing you are essentially taking back your power, your inner peace to live a happier, healthier life instead of a life of pain and resentment.

Please share this article on to someone who you think may benefit from it and subscribe to my mailing list for articles about becoming a healthier, happier version of you.

Mel x

Mindfulness for Children

Children, you would probably agree, are for the most part happy and carefree, living in the present and enjoying every little minute in life. They are our biggest teachers, reminding us to live in the moment, finding wonder and joy in a puddle of water or a rainbow while the rest of us keep rushing to our next item on our to-do list.

Working with children you realise how the seemingly little things can be massively important in their little world. They may not have scary things like mortgages or high-powered jobs but trying to figure out this mad world when you are still in primary school is no mean feat. Often, they do not understand the emotional, physical and mental processes going on within them let alone have the ability or skill-set to express themselves to a parent or guardian. In fact, most adults find this extremely difficult but have learned to park these feelings or suppress these challenging emotions in some way instead of dealing with them.

I have been teaching children for nearly 10 years now (How the hell did that happen??) and I have seen children from all walks of life come up against challenges which they didn’t have the skills to deal with.

I see them growing out of their childlike wonder and amazement earlier and earlier and start using words like stress, worry and frustrated more often. They are growing up in a world where stress is a common place word in most households as parents and families in all their shapes and sizes try to hold on to and better themselves in their careers, keep a roof over their heads while paying for all the wants and needs of a family. While they struggle and strive to meet the materialistic needs of their family they try to ensure everyone is fit and healthy, cared for emotionally and mentally and at the same time share and elicit morals and values. This is a huge undertaking in and of itself and then you add in the day to day scheduling and organising and melt downs of everyday life, it is no wonder most people are dealing with stress on a daily basis.

As adults we are looking for more and more ways to deal with the stresses and strains of modern day living and we are learning these skills and trying to implement them in an already busy schedule. If we don’t see instant positive results a new habit, it usually gets thrown by the wayside. That is why I think it is so important that children learn these skills from a young age and have the ability to utilise them whenever they are faced with a challenging encounter or situation.

Mindfulness-1024x659Meditation and mindfulness has huge physical, emotional and mental benefits. Research and studies continue to prove the positive effects that meditation and mindfulness can have on the body and as adults, more and more of us are drawn to these practices.

So, what are the benefits of meditation and mindfulness on the body?

  • Less stress and anxiety. Felt not only on a mental and emotional level but felt on a physiological level from the nervous system first and then the other organs.
  • Improved focus and concentration
  • Makes us feel better, happier
  • Increased patience and compassion
  • Lowers blood pressure and regulates our heart rate
  • It calms and balances us in mind, heart and body
  • Increases our energy levels
  • Increases the strength of our immune systems

One of my students in my mindfulness class was sitting at the kitchen table after school one day doing her homework with her mum and brother. As often is the case, the battle for completing homework commenced and tempers started to wear thin. This little girl instructed them to calm down, take a breath and be mindful of how they were acting. She was FIVE at the time!! She shared her awareness an instantly diffused the whole situation and brought some light and laughter to a day that could have ended in tears and frustration for everyone.

2017-11-19 20.56.24Mindfulness and meditation also helps children (and adults) become more emotionally resilient. Emotional resilience means not getting overly angry, worried, frustrated or stressed over something and if you do having the tools and techniques at hand to help you to calm down instead of reacting in a way that won’t help the situation and or make it worse. Mindfulness and meditation can help children to relax and calm down and keeps things in perspective while encouraging positive self-talk and action.

Whether your child is dealing with anxiety, emotional challenges or is happy and carefree, practising meditation and mindfulness can have many positive benefits and rewards.

Top tips for mindful practices with children

  • Chill Out Zone

cosy cornerCreate a cosy corner where they can relax, chill out, reflect and calm down if feel the need to. Help them arrange, set it up and it will really feel like their own and they will want to use it then. Have a calm down teddy, worry teddy also works really well for the little ones. This will be a great tool to help them calm down independently and be more aware and mindful of how they are feeling.

  • Take 5

Using the sense is a quick and easy way to help calm and relax your child. Take 5 – Sit down, be still, take a big deep breath and uses your senses. What can you feel right now? What can you hear right now? What can you see? (images can be inside their head or in their environment) Can you smell anything? Can you taste anything?

This is a lovely one to do when you are out and about, at the playground, at the park etc.

  • Just Breathe…

Breathing techniques are one of the best tools to use as often it is useful to have something to focus on. I use these breathing techniques in  my class all the time, they directly engage our nervous system to help calm down the whole body.

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  • Attitude of Gratitude

Helping children to practice gratitude everyday can help them to have a more positive outlook but also move away from frustrating or worrying thoughts. It can be easily incorporated into the bedtime routine – what 3 things are you grateful for today?

  • Quiet mindful time

Most adults are too busy to slow down and be creative or sit with their thoughts. For many it is their worst nightmare. But it is in these moments of quiet and clarity that we have our light bulb moments, our creative thoughts or emotional awareness.

Children are constantly on the go or engaged in a game, toys, TV and when they are not they have the complaint that they are bored. Encourage and enable your child to take some quiet time for themselves, to be creative. Ensure them that you are still there if they need any help while allowing them to be more aware of their responsibility in their happiness. They could do things like draw, colour, doodle, write, journal, jigsaw, cook, bake, play instruments, crafts, knitting – anything really that is quiet and calming and not on a screen.

 

HAPPYdef

Light & Love,

Mel

 

From Holy Grail to Wholly Grail ….

The holy grail, a cup or a chalice of magic and miraculous qualities and power that can provide anything from eternal happiness or youth to infinite abundance of wealth and riches. This much sought after chalice took starring role in many a tale and quest for centuries across Europe…

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