Tuning in to our environment…

willy wagtail
Many indigenous cultures claim that it is important to listen to what the wildlife have to say to us… Since working in Central Australia – I’ve always felt an affinity with Willy Wagtails – yesterday as I was the sole person walking on the cold beach a Willy Wagtail came down to feed at the high tide waterline….I’d never seen one that close to the water before….and he wasn’t shy…he would flutter away just a few metres ahead of me and wait as if I was to follow him?
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My mind was filled with work as I walked but seeing this Willy Wagtail made me pause – and then I remembered to ask ‘Do you have a message for me?” and I listened…and deep within my heart was the message: let go of work, pay attention to these beautiful surroundings and live a little, dance a little, just as this willy wagtail was keen for me to do!
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It was a beautiful wake up call, and got me out of my headspace and into my heartspace – and I left the beach feeling really grateful to this cheeky bird for the interruption to my thoughts, for the bringing me back to the present moment, for the gratitude that welled up in my heart.
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So I’m wondering, what is in your environment right now? What can you tune into? And what inner words of wisdom can you hear when you pause?
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Cheers, Sara ๐Ÿ™‚

Mindful Memories

bonnie baby 2
We are often told that mindfulness is about not dwelling on or ruminating in the past and about being present. Yet at times it is healthy to remember the past or plan for the future – as my mindfulness teacher would say ‘just do it mindfully!’

Today is my daughter’s 14th birthday and it has just been fantastic to revisit photos and memories, it helps to bring an enormous attitude of gratitude. Mindfully revisiting memories can also be very healing and it can help to develop perspective.

If you have a relationship that you are finding difficult or awkward it can be good to go back to remembering when you first met or when the relationship was strong. So often we can get really caught up in where that person/relationship is at right now….forgetting that within the other personย is a vulnerable self just like we have a vulnerable self too. Revisiting positive memories can help us to relate to that person from a positive, caring mindset rather than the tight, irritated or defensive mindset we can find ourselves in.

In MindUP, a program in US and UK that is introducing mindfulness to kids in schools, they teach optimism and how to actively cultivate wellbeing.ย  One way they do that is to create a ‘Happy’ wall – where photos, and pictures of happy memories are hung, so that whenever you are not feeling so good you can remember that there have been many great times in your past.

In Steve Biddulphs book on relationships he talks about each memory in your relationships being a souvenier…a building block on which it was built. How lovely to go back and revisit some of those souveniers mindfully – being very aware of the emotions they bring up and even the lessons and the new perspective with which we can view that person / relationship.

Often when we change our mindset towards a relationship – the relationship changes – have you ever noticed that? Just switching my anxious thoughts of someone and what they may or may not say, to sending them loving kindness can help to change the interaction…

A beautiful meditation to free up our judgement of another is from Tara Brach:

https://www.tarabrach.com/heart-meditation-letting-go-of-judgment/

I love how she talks about seeing that our defensiveness comes from our own vulnerability and by bringing kindness to the vulnerable parts of yourself you can then be open and give kindness to another….

Enjoy revisiting some happy memories mindfully ๐Ÿ™‚ Sara

Mindful Perspective…

We can take Mindful Seeing a little further when we use it to change our perspective mindfully – here are a couple of extra things to do….that only take a minute or 2! ๐Ÿ™‚
Peripheral Vision – focus on a spot in front of you and then as you stay focussed on that spot also take in all that you can see in your peripheral vision – it is possible to be aware of 2 things – the focus in front and the peripheral vision – yet often we are not consciously aware of this ๐Ÿ™‚
Laser Beam Focus & Broad Focus – experiment with bringing all of your attention to one part of your body in laser beam focus and then broaden your focus to be aware of that body part AND the rest of your body and your surroundings. We can do this with our thoughts / feelings too.
Shift Your Perspective – if you find you are ruminating / worrying at something – get up and go somewhere new, physically shift your perspective, travel away from the problem, climb a mountain to look at it differently etc. Another way of doing this is to sit in the chair that person might normally sit in – and imagine what the world looks like from their perspective. Or you can take up their body posture or pretend to be them and check in with their perspective!
Or viewing your family/lovd ones from a distance or from outside the house can help you to see things differently! When my kids were small I always felt so warm towards them when I could look in a window and see them inside – or when I could swim out in the ocean and look at them playing on the beach! ๐Ÿ™‚
You can do also this Shift Your Perspective with an overwhelming feeling, breathe into it – and then in your minds eye pictur yourself takin 3 steps back from it – to see it from a different perspecive….to make room for it….I do alot of this in ACT Mindfully Coaching and in my own life.
So which one are you going to try today? ๐Ÿ™‚