It's a new year, and whilst many have been away for a break or a holiday, others of us haven't been, and it hasn't felt quite the restful period we hoped for! For all kinds of reasons, including the obvious ones of rushing home and ending holidays through border closures, and so many personal challenges in peoples lives right now too. There's a feeling of continued uncertainty, wondering how things are unraveling, here and around the world, and the start of this year hasn't had the uplifting feel we hoped for, and for some, it's been and felt really sad. Perhaps you've been feeling a little flat, worried or even anxious about things. Finding it difficult to stay calm within so much that seems unknown and changing in your own life perhaps, and with everything around us.
There are a few things I do and ways I lean into, to find ease and calm, in small ways, throughout my day. However things are, whatever is happening, whatever I'm personally feeling - I have a few things I like to practice, things I go to, or remind myself to do, that help me to feel centered, connected to myself, and to a sense of inner calm that resides within. Perhaps these might feel supportive for you.
Creating my own inner landscape of calm.
It didn't used to be, but this has become such a natural way for me, through meditation. I practice Vedic meditation, which is an effortless technique, that simply requires me sitting in a chair, using my mantra, and allowing gentle breaths to guide me. There's no effort, no force, no resistance -I gently allow my breath to redirect any thoughts that come and go, and bring myself back to my mantra, and to my breath, and allow myself to simply be. Sitting in a chair, for 20 minutes, twice a day. It's a practice that has deepened my self awareness, a deeper connection within myself, and a deeper way to be with more ease and calm, through everything. External things around me. And ways I feel within myself. Especially on days, where living with chronic pain, it can feel easy for the pain to be too much and to take over, but instead, with gentle awareness, I create my own inner landscape of calm, and when I feel attuned to this ease and peace within, I can transcend the pain, and just simply be with what is. And the pain may lessen, or dissipate. It's the same with all 'pain' in our lives - pain holds many meanings and comes in many shapes and forms for us all. Calm and ease helps. Meditation helps. I'd love to guide you and support you with learning meditation - and it's just one of many things I support my clients with, when we work together. I also have many guided meditations that I find so very supportive and ways to embody calm, in every way.
Simple practices of calm throughout the day.
There are so many little, small things that might support you. For me, it's tiny things, but they all make a big difference to shifting myself from any space of tension or uncertainty, to more ease and calm.
The simple practice of doings things slowly - Not rushing. Not doing many things at once. Not planning too many things. Bringing it back to just one thing, at a time. Just like you would with your breath - one breathe at a time - it's the same with everything during our day. Taking our time with things. Being present with just one thing. Not worrying about the next, or what's to come. Just one thing at time, focussing on finishing and completing that, and then slowly moving on to the next. Each thing at at time, in a slow and natural way.
Simple things like brewing a pot of coffee, or a pot of tea - The simple and beautiful ritual of this. It just helps as way to focus and bring attention to something that's simple and easy to do, and doesn't require thought or worry or working anything out - it only requires presence and tending to this practice with loving kindness and care. It's all a small but beautiful practice, from boiling the kettle or a pot on the stove, to letting the coffee or tea brew, and taking those minutes to just stop, to be in those moments, to pouring it, watching it slowly flow into your cup, and that beautiful calming feeling of holding it in your hands, the warmth, and the comfort this brings. And that first delicious sip. Linger in the delight and joy of this. Let these simple and small rituals become spaces in your day, to fill yourself with calm and ease.
Finding spaces for quiet - for some of us, this may be difficult if we are surrounded by sounds and noise from others we live with, or perhaps we live somewhere that's noisy and if our nervous systems are heightened or sensitive, any extra noise may only add to that. Find the tiniest and smallest ways for quiet - pockets and moments of quiet. That might be just going into another room for a few minutes, and doing this throughout the day. It might be standing outside, and just taking breaths of fresh air. It might placing your headphones on, and just allowing yourself times to listen to something soothing and calming, to find quietness in this. It might be switching off your phone, or your computer and finding space for quiet away from technology and screen time. It may be simply stopping and taking, what I love to call, momentary pauses - whatever you're doing, wherever you are - just stopping, closing your eyes, and taking a few gentle breaths in and out and allowing these to bring you ease and calm, and feel the small shifts and difference this makes, as you allow yourself to soften into each breath, and feel the space within yourself that deepens with connection and with calm. There are lots of little things we can do, to find spaces for quiet. It might feel simple and easy to do where you are, right now. A walk in nature, or time by yourself, if you're on holidays or away somewhere that feels restful. But for others of us, it may feel more difficult. Bring your gentle awareness to all the small and simple things and ways you can find your own spaces of quiet. Become curious and creative with this, for your own space of quiet. And when you find it, sink into the hush, and soften into the ease of this.
Embrace acceptance - we cannot always change things around us. But we can change how we choose to be within the experience. When we resist what is, when we struggle and fight against what might be our current reality, right now - this may only create more feelings of anxiety, sadness and pain (all contexts of pain). Acceptance allows ease and calm. Feel whatever and however you need to, and express this in healthy ways - talking, crying, whatever feels right for you - but don't dwell there, and instead of letting your mind and thoughts go to those places, bring yourself this moment, just now. Remind yourself that you can do hard things, you have moved through hard times before, and as with so many feelings and emotions and times of uncertainty and transition - this too shall pass. Coming to an acceptance of simply what is, allows us to feel a little more ease and calm. Sometimes a reminder of this, throughout the day, shifts us from 'pain', to feeling in a more settled and ease-filled way. I always believe and say often, that acceptance is the most beautiful opening for change. When we can embrace acceptance, and choose ways to lean into this - we find natural ease and calm - and so much changes, and through anything and everything, I find this to be true.
Ask yourself lovingly and honestly - What supports me to choose and lean into an acceptance of simply being here now, with what is? And what doesn't support me to feel this way? And really be honest about this, for yourself. Find ways to become so attuned and connected to a place of inner calm within, that you don't question, or get caught up in what others may or may not be doing - you just choose what supports you and feels true and right, for you. And you say no to the things that don't.
It's about acceptance, it's about choosing ways to feel calm, and it's about truly embracing self care as your way of being. To support you in every way. I love to support my clients to find and know ways to do this, within all our personal situations and experiences in life. It can feel challenging, sometimes confronting, to be so honest about things for ourselves- sometimes it means choosing things, making decisions, and changing things in our lives in ways we haven't thought about before, or even allowed ourselves to. But I know so much, just how deeply our thoughts, feelings and emotions, can manifest as tension, stress, anxiety and physical symptoms and illness too. Being honest with ourselves, can be such an empowering and powerful act of self care, and shift our whole wellbeing. I know people who have completely shifted things in their lives, who now have ways to tune into a deep connection within themselves, that allows them to feel so much ease and calm, through everything and anything that may arise. It takes practice, but the rewards are beautiful and only benefit us, in everyway.
I wonder if some of these things feel true for you, or resonate in some way.
I wonder how you feel at the start of this new year, and if you truly know ways for yourself, to feel calm ease? Or if you desire and long to know how to feel this way?
I wonder, if you might take some time , right now, to reflect on how you really do feel, in this moment, in your body, in your heart?
And what things that come up for you, or ways of being that you would love to choose for yourself, to feel more at ease and calm, through uncertainty and change, or whatever time of transition this may be for you.
However you feel, whatever is happening within and around you - know that it's possible to feel ease and calm, and to know ways to tune into a space of inner calm that resides within you. And if you know you'd love guidance with this, now and into this new year, I am here for you, and would love to support you -
Sending you ease and calm,
With love x
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Katie Jane is a Life Coach, Health Coach, Counsellor, Nutritionist, Naturopath, Holistic Psychologist, Mentor, Writer, Meditation teacher. She has been working in the wellness industry for over 15 years and brings all of these qualifications and skills, along with her own lived experiences through challenges, changes and transitions. Katie works with clients in private practice in Melbourne, as well as online and over skype to other parts of the globe. Her approach to life and wellbeing is truly holistic and unique for each individual. She supports and coaches clients to make powerful changes in their hearts and in their lives.