Time to Roar

I always feel that new moons are a great time for stating afresh, setting some new intentions.  Yesterday saw the new moon in Leo which is said to be a very fiery time – “stoking the flames of our potential …..Courage to be our true selves, To find strength in our vulnerabilities , our truth and our rawness and to live from the inside out……….ultimately it is up to us to tend to our own heart flame by kindling it with what will bring it expansion and illumination” (Mysticmamma.com)

i am certainly feeling that this is a week for getting stuff done.  i woke up this morning with more energy than i’ve had in ages and even after a productive day i’m writing this blog at 10pm.  It could also be that it has been a scorcher of a day – Glasgow seems to have found the memo that it is summer!  Hurrah!  Whatever the reason, when these waves of productivity arise they have to be put to good use and not wasted.  SO….. more productivity for the rest of the week to bring some exciting new projects to life.

I’ve been manifesting these projects for a while now, they just started with a little seed of intention and have been growing slowly with a lot of nurturing and care.  I love this process of setting intentions, developing them and seeing them grow.  Taking my life in the new direction that i have planned.

What will you be doing over this new moon cycle?  It’s time to roar!!

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There’s also spaces still available on my Arran retreat 21st & 22nd August – treat yourself to some time dedicated to you.

Although we don’t want to think about summer coming to an end I’ll be back at Prana Yoga in Hamilton on 2nd September for a Later Summer Mini Retreat.  Late Summer is a time of returning to the earth, harvesting all the good things we  planted earlier in the year. Reflecting on what we have achieved & building up our sense of self worth.  It is a time to nourish yourself both physically & mentally so give yourself this time to slow down, go inwards & rediscover your self.

Self-Esteem

Today I’m talking about self-esteem………

Self Esteem is defined as confidence in our own worth or abilities.  Like many things though it’s not something we have or don’t have but something that fluctuates throughout our life and on a daily basis.  We might remember periods of our life when our self-esteem was particularly high or low but also within those periods our level of self-esteem could vary.  I’m sure we’ve all had times when we’ve been feeling great and then someone makes a comment.  Suddenly our self-esteem plummets through the floor and we need the help of a JCB to unearth it.  Other times we feel invincible and can just brush off comments – water off a duck’s back.  Why is this?

Usually when we feel good about ourselves we are more likely to be able to brush off comments easily. Positivity breeds positivity and our brain ignores the negative.  The conscious mind can only process a limited amount of information and yet it is bombarded with millions of pieces of information from all five senses – sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.  The conscious mind has to decide what information to take in and will use past experience to help decide what is important and what is not so important at that moment.  If we are in a positive mood the mind will pay more attention to positive things around us and so we can see when things have been said in jest or just let something wash over us.

If we are already feeling low, however, already telling ourselves negative things the mind will pay more attention to the pieces of information that reinforce this negative state.  The more we do this the more evidence and experience the mind builds to seek out negativity.  Our mind is clever and trying to protect us and keep us safe but it is doing so in a not particularly helpful way.

So how can we build and maintain our self-esteem?

We can use Positive Affirmations. Short positive sentences or mantras repeated a number of times to build or reinforce a positive state.  The mind has to buy into the affirmation though and believe it.  It’s no use repeatedly saying “I am amazing, I can do anything” when the first thought that pops into your head after saying it is “No you’re not, you completely messed up that exam last week”!  In those instances adjust the message slightly to get the buy in from your mind. If you are in a low state of self-esteem it might simply need to be “I am doing the best I can”.

Accept Compliments.  Don’t brush compliments off.  The people around you want to be around you and so if they pay you a compliment accept it, they mean it! This might feel a bit difficult and strange at first so just start with saying “thank you”.  When we accept the positive compliments the conscious mind is actively taking in that positive information.  When we hear negative comments the mind will consider these against our past experience – if that experience is hearing compliments and positive comments it will be able to dismiss negative comments more easily as they don’t fit with our experience.

Drop Negative Self Talk.  If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.  This goes for speaking to yourself as well as speaking to others.  We all bombard ourselves with negative self-talk, about our bodies, our abilities and a whole myriad of subjects.  That drip, drip, drip into the mind provides a reference point which the mind will go to when evaluating the information coming in from external sources.  If the external information aligns to the internal representation it reinforces that message.  Look out for when you are utilising negative self-talk and flip it into something positive.  A bit like the positive affirmations, make sure it is something that you can believe.  It might take a bit of practice.

Surround yourself with people who raise you up.  Make sure you have plenty of people around you that make you feel good about yourself.  As with the positive affirmations and accepting compliments the more your mind has positive reference points to compare external information to the more it can ignore negative comments and more easily put negative experiences behind it.  It would be great to live in a bubble of positivity but there will always be challenging situations and people that we do not to interact with that don’t bring out the best in us.  But by taking steps to build and maintain our self-esteem these situations will not affect us so deeply.

Don’t keep these tips to yourself – remember Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe.  Help to lift up others, pay them compliments and help build their self-esteem.  Use your positivity to breed more positivity around you.

 

Having Fun with Aerial Yoga

This week I’m talking about “Having Fun”

I was going to dive a little bit deeper into meditation and its wonderful benefits in this weeks blog but after a fun  aerial yoga class this week I changed my mind – let’s talk about having fun instead!  I’m not suggesting that meditation isn’t fun, it’s all about having the right tools in your toolbox for every situation and this week we are putting fun and laughter in the toolbox.

Aerial yoga utilises suspended hammocks to support the body during the practice.  I’ve been to a few aerial yoga classes before and know the benefits – the effects of gravity and the support of the hammock allow you to get deeper into postures providing a great stretch and challenge to the body.  I’d forgotten though just how much fun it is and therefore the psychological and physiological benefits that come from simply having fun and letting go.  It all ties in neatly to my previous blog where I was talking about relaxation and how we’ve forgotten how to relax.  Similarly, as adults, we forget to have fun – everything is so serious. It’s good to have some childish silly fun every now and again!

In the aerial yoga class we were sitting in our hammocks as if on a swing in the park, utilising our core abdominals gently to get us moving but once we got going we were all aiming our toes up towards the ceiling, leaning back, remembering how it was to swing in the park, going higher and higher.  Feeling a breeze across our faces as we reached higher and higher, willing our toes to touch the ceiling (I’ll just add that no ceilings were harmed during this practice!).  We laughed at how if we’d been in the park the children would be giving us a stare to get off their swings!

We worked our abdominal muscles through the postures as well as through laughing.  Releasing endorphins, the happy hormones that bring about the feel good factor and which counteract the stress hormones.  And in aerial yoga you don’t just get to swing back and forth – there’s also the opportunity to hang upside down, lengthening & decompressing the spine, a wonderful feeling if you spend a significant proportion of your day standing or sitting.  Utilising gravity you can find yourself in postures you didn’t think were possible.  A session generally works into all of the major muscles – as well as some muscles that you might forget you have on a day to day basis!

You don’t need to practice aerial yoga to release the endorphins but find something you enjoy which brings about a sense of fun and laughter.  But I can strongly recommend an aerial yoga class to connect to your inner child! It’s great not to take ourselves too seriously from time to time.

If you are interested to find out more about aerial yoga check out these wonderful teachers who run aerial yoga classes, workshops (and some also do aerial yoga teacher training) in and around Glasgow:

Some of them will also be teaching taster aerial yoga sessions at the Om Yoga Show Glasgow (25th/26th March)  so pop along and find out more http://www.omyogashow.com/glasgow/