I was recently asking during a podcast interview with Travis Barton what was in my wellbeing toolkit so it got me thinking. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few years immersed (read completely down the rabbit hole and not coming out anytime soon) in learning about different wellbeing practices, techniques and working with a wide spectrum of practitioners. And much like anything, there’s been a huge amount of trial and error within that exploration. Some experiences have been wonderful, even life changing, and others, what have felt like a total waste of time and money. Whilst in reality, there’s no such thing, simply lessons learnt and experiences had, which had not met my own personal expectations of what that wellness modality or practitioner could or should have offered me. What is should anyway? A conversation for another time perhaps. Back to our wellbeing toolkits…
We live in a time where society in many ways, has lost its own alignment to the natural rhythms of life. We defy nature on a daily basis, no longer honouring the natural ebb and flow of each day, sunrise and sunset are swapped for long working hours, and commutes. Seasons are something we can skip altogether with the click of a button and an airfare ticket in hand. We’re contactable and ‘on’ around the clock, never really sure if we’re switched off, relaxing or exhibiting some kind of permanently exhausted pigeon vibes. Our consumerist culture continually reinforces the narrative to look outside of ourselves for answers and happiness.
Aside from our collective fragmentation to the natural rhythms of life, how can we tell if on an individual level we’re out of alignment?
New Year is a time for many to refresh, start over or begin something new. A chance for us to put into action and implement the many things that we want to do, see and achieve in our lives. It can also be an incredibly testing and tough time for many, as we transition out of holiday mode, Christmas and New year celebrations, the post festive splurge and often, lots of alcohol and sugary foods which can leave us feeling less than our best. Holiday celebrations and the start of a New Year can leave us feeling depleted, down and even questioning our life choices.
For some, it’s a winter in a literal sense, and for others, it’s merely a winter of mind.
We often associate boundaries with being guarded or unapproachable, it feels like a negative and heavy word, but through boundaries, we can lovingly show people how we are showing up in the world and the best part; we allow them the space to do the same.
When we have poor boundaries, we can feel overwhelmed, exhausted, overcommitted, we overextend ourselves and even start to feel resentful. From this place, it’s easy to enter a victim state of mind.
Learning how to set the foundation of loving boundaries takes time, kindness and patience to self - if it’s not something you’ve ever practiced, how can you even know what your boundaries are? It simply takes time and creating space to listen to yourself and what feels expansive or contractive and moving from that place.
Have you ever heard of the term sacred space?
It’s incredibly important to create and celebrate sacred space within our lives. I’m not just talking about a nicely decked out living room or boudoir (although those are lovely of course)
Creating sacred space is a beautiful way in which to honour yourself, ask for guidance, connect more deeply to yourself, have somewhere for 5 minutes of quiet and introspection, a chance to step out of the fight or flight response, a space to do yoga, somewhere to practice meditation, relax, to set intentions for the day or week, listen to music, and purposefully create a positive vision for your life.
Simply put, your sacred space is your temple. A place or space reserved purely for your highest good. As you refocus on your inner life, you’ll find yourself calmer, clearer, happier and more inspired to follow your heart.
It can be a tough one for us as women to get our heads around, but with burnout, overwhelm, anxiety and depression a very real and common place scenario in our day to day lives and is only set to increase within modern society, it's time look at how we can balance our nurturing, creative and innovative nature within the structures of organisation, self discipline, and setting clear boundaries.
That sounds like an oxymoron doesn't it?! It's possible, trust!
Our minds and bodies are interconnected. The condition of one invariably affects the condition of the other. Just as we store and hold onto emotions in the mind, we do too, in the body.
When our mind is clear we give clear signals to the body, but when our minds are heavy and unfocused, that ripples throughout the body. We create confusion, shallow breathing and tension in the body which can leave us feeling disconnected, often without knowing why.
You know that feeling after you’ve been somewhere new and you feel slightly uneasy but you can’t quite put your finger on why? It’s the feeling you get when you’re talking to someone and you feel like you’ve somehow overshared, and now you’re left out there in the cold, all vulnerable and the other person is just left there looking at you with blank eyes, like, “did she just say that?” It’s the feeling of adjusting to change, a curve ball or something that sits outside of your comfort zone, and boy can that feeling leave you feeling vulnerable, exposed and raw!
Perhaps you've heard of the not so new buzz word, 'feminine leadership' being thrown around the online and offline sphere? If I asked you, what does feminine leadership mean to you?
To me, it's about openness, impact, vulnerability, giving back, empathy, consciousness, experience, and emotion. This new wave of feminine leadership isn't specific just to women, regardless of sex, every human has masculine and feminine energy innately within.
Human form, the house in which we walk this plane. Our life’s journey is context for understanding our relationship with nutrition, fitness, movement, thoughts, and our wellbeing as a whole. The body whispers messages to us each and every day. Slow down. Don't rush. There's no need to push. Don't hold onto this. Let go of that. There are subtle cues and prompts taking place within and around you all the time.
But what exactly does that mean? Everything in life is intricately pieced together to weave a web of narrative unfolding a story; your story. And the most important thing in your life, is your life story.
Today I'm feeling curious about the 500 year old art of kintsugi, or “golden joinery" a philosophy not of replacement, but in awe, reverence, and restoration. The emphasis in kintsugi is not actually on physical appearance, it is…the beauty and the importance that stays in the one who is left looking. Cryptic message I hear you cry?
Well, let's take a look at general Western consensus on broken objects, things and to an extent in our culture, 'people' (think a never ending conveyor belt of swipe left, swipe right dating apps), how these objects and people might have lost their value, tossed aside and paved way for the new but there's something quite charming and refreshing about the concept of kintsugi and believing that never ending consumerism is not actually a spiritually rewarding experience. Karmically speaking, we stink.
That user manual you mentioned...
Just imagine, how much easier our lives would be if we were born with a 'user manual' or 'owner's guide' where we could unlock the key that tells each of us what we need to eat and how to live a healthy lifestyle.
But you see, each person has their own unique story with food which makes there billions of different complexities that can factor into how we choose to eat and live our lives that go way beyond calories.
So where do we start?