Tag Archives: Energy

What type of Echo are you? Positive or Negative?

??????????Just another Monday. As for the past few months, I was at London’s Heathrow airport, bright and early at the yucky time of 5:30 am, to catch my weekly commuter flight to Copenhagen, Denmark. Those of you who know me, will know, I am not (and I repeat), most definitely NOT, a morning person. Having armed myself with enough tea to wake up an elephant, I settled down at the gate to await my flight’s boarding call.

Suddenly, I noticed the rather penetrating echo of a newscaster’s voice. Every few yards, along the gate side of Terminal 5, there is a large, free-standing Samsung TV set. The sets were a few seconds out of sync, from one side of the building to the other. At first, I was a little irritated, however, then I started to notice the quality of this echo. The ‘outofsyncness’ now became a work of art, and turned out to be in sync in a miraculously Mexican wave like echo – quite astonishing, even at 5:30 am in the morning.

That got me thinking.

We are Echoes

We do this all the time, just like these misaligned TV consoles, we also broadcast our thoughts, our feelings, our body language, our words, our actions into the world, to others and, critically, into ourselves. Our bodies receive and resonate with these constantly echoing messages. Most of our messages are repeating day in, day out, and often are unconscious. According to research, we think over 50,000 thoughts day and most of these are not even positive.

Positive Echoes

“It only takes a split second to smile and forget, yet to someone that needed it, it can last a lifetime. We should all smile more often. – Steve Maraboli”

During the boarding process, one of the flight attendants gave me such a lovely and genuine smile and chirpily wished me a great day. I smiled in return and was still smiling as I entered the plane, highly unusual for me at 6 am in the morning. The smile and her tone of voice vibrated right through my body. I had a deeply felt sense of that smile. Interestingly, me smiling at one of the other passengers caused this man to also smile – a regular on this flight, who I suspect hates early mornings as much as I do. Previously, I had never seen him smile before now. The felt sense of the smile stayed with me for most of the day, making my day more enjoyable.

Anything we do, say or feel causes some sort of resonance in others whether we intend it or not. And it causes resonance within our bodies and energy fields. As my whole mood shifted because of that gift of a smile, me echoing the smile, my fellow passenger’s mood also shifted, and he started being a positive echo.

Negative Echoes

We can also be negative echoes. Most of us, at some point during our day, experience some negative thoughts about ourselves, consciously and often unconsciously. We put ourselves down, feel guilty, blame ourselves, and compare ourselves to other or to impossible personal standards, to name but a few examples. Each negative thought and word, reverberates through our bodies as feelings, sensations and emotions, echoing in every cell of our bodies and our energy field. Our body language, demeanour and even our tone of voice demonstrates this to the outside world.

Some ‘negative’ echoes move through the body quickly before they dissolve into thin air. These are the ones we learn from and then move on. Others get stuck and keep echoing on and on and on, in our body, mind and energy field – stuck echoes can lead to health issues. In coaching we often call them limiting beliefs, false identities, stress or low self-esteem. These are echoes that have become chronic.

Changing our echo

If we wish to be positive echoes, the first step is to notice what we are echoing at any given time:

1.       What are we actually broadcasting?

  • Do we know and/or notice it?
  • What emotions, feelings and sensations is my body giving me?
  • It is positive or negative?
  • Does it stay with us or move right through us?

The second step is to observe what impact our current echo has on our bodies and our environment.

2.       What is the impact this echo has on our body, others, the world around us?

The third step is to make an active change. When we notice what we are echoing ,and it might only be a feeling or an emotion rather something we can put direct words to, we can change it to something we want to echo.

3.       Every time you notice that you are echoing something you don’t want to give out, connect to the emotions, feelings and sensations you want to give out.

Some options for doing this are:

  • Connect to a memory of an experience that contained the emotions, feelings and sensations you wish to echo
  • Laugh or smile at and into your current state – that helps to turn it
  • Consider possibilities of action – often when we echo negatively we feel stuck or without options. Opening up to other ways of being or acting, helps to unstick the state.

Enjoy being a positive echo.

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Super busy? No time to relax? Give yourself the gift of symbolic mindfulness today

Had a busy week? Are you feeling a little overwhelmed with all the things that you need to do before going back to work on Monday? Or even planning to work this week-end to catch up? When you stop and take a deep belly breath, do you feel tension or constriction? Maybe even anxiety, hypervigilance or nervousness?

Slowing down and doing less does not seem a viable option

Most of us find it a really challenge, if not impossible, to deeply enjoy our week-ends after a busy and potentially stressful week at work. Slowing down is something that a lot of women especially are finding not an easy thing to achieve….there is always too much to do, too many expectations and not enough time.

Yet, to be healthy and to be successful at home and at work, we need to allow our body, mind and spirit to rest and replenish.  Instead of doing more, we ideally need to do less. Given the amount of tasks that most women have to on their daily to do list this seems like a joke or an impossible thing to ask.

Meditation is a proven stress reliever, yet not the answer for everyone

Doing  a short 5-10 minute meditation or any kind of physical exercise with deep belly breathing every morning really helps to focus the day, and reenergise our hyperactive minds and emotions. Also meditating in the evenings increases the stress relief.

However, I am finding with a number of my clients, especially when they are not regular meditators, that it takes a long time, time they do not feel they have, to achieve any measure of calmness, relaxation and clarity.

If you fall into this group of people, you might like to give the following approach a go. I found this mindfulness practice works really well whilst it does not require taking blocks of time out of your day. It can also be used as a precursor to easing into a more regular meditation practice.

Using an element theme for the day (or the week-end)

I tend to work with the five elements (Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal) in my Movement and Meditation practice. These elements are around almost anywhere and it is easy and effortless to notice their qualities, their properties and their presence in your life all throughout the day.

Pick an element or a symbol that has qualities that you wish to have more of in yourself and your life. Just by making sure you notice this element all throughout the day when you can, will help to boost the element’s qualities in you.

The power of symbols

Focussing on one element for a day or several days, is a beautiful practice that will help ground and focus your mind, both the conscious and unconscious mind.

Research, and my experience, have shown that the unconscious mind which operates our body, our habits and our emotions, responds better to symbols¹ and simple/short instructions than literal and complex language.

Given that most people who are stressed and overwhelmed, and who find it a challenge to switch off are also often dehydrated, my suggestion is to pick Water as your theme for the day. Water is a wonderful element with many facets and qualities, and we are made up of more than 80% of water ourselves.

Working with the element of WATER 

Water1

1. Take a notepad the evening before and write down the key qualities of your symbol e.g. for water they might be  flow, detox, clarity, stillness and force at the same time, flexibility, life, and a whole host of other qualities I will leave to your own creativity.

2. Read what you have written as soon as you get up in the morning

3. Then throughout the day … starting with your shower, your first cup of tea or even when you look out of the window and see the rain or the snow or dew on surfaces/plants ….notice WATER and its many qualities….

Here are some questions you can quickly run through your mind when you notice WATER

  • drinkingHow does this WATER feel? On your skin, on your tongue when you are drinking it, when you touch it?
  • What is its texture?
  • What does it look like? What is its colour?
  • What does it sound like?
  • What is its taste and smell?
  • Which  qualities  does this WATER have? What do these qualities feel like in you?

No need to put your observations into words, just notice and let that flow through you.

water 24.When you spot WATER in one of  its many forms … rain drops, tap or shower flow, snow or frozen, puddles, beverages, food, moisture in the air, in colours e.g. blue… take at least 3 deep belly breaths notice the qualities of this WATER.

You might want to put a hand on your naval area to feel the breath going into your belly.

5. At the end of the day, notice how you feel, what you have accomplished, and what has changed for you ….

Feel free to comment how this practice has worked for you.

Wishing you a joyful week-end, and relaxed next week!

¹ can be pictures, physical objects, simple words that stand for something, sounds, physical sensations (touch or feelings), tastes or smells

What’s your self-care strategy?

Or do you even have a self-care strategy? If you don’t, you are not alone. Most women I know, don’t have a self-care strategy!

What I mean by self-care strategy is not your morning shower, your face care and make-up routine. Self-care is spending real and energising time with and on yourself; time that is totally and utterly yours to increase and maintain your physical, mental and spiritual health.

As women we have been conditioned by society that spending  time on ourselves is selfish, frivolous or unnecessary. Women are expected and expect of themselves to look after the needs of others first and then, if there is time, consider our own needs. Studies have shown that there are many more
women than men who are stressed, run down or on medication for stress related
illnesses.

Therefore, I would like to you to consider the following: It  is selfish not to spend time on your self-care. Because if you don’t spend that time on yourself and your own wellbeing (physical, mental, spiritual), how on earth can you keep up your energy looking after and satisfying the needs of others?  I am sure you will have noticed that you can get much more done and to a higher quality, when your energy is a at a peak and you feel great compared to times when you are stressed, run down or have low energy.

Before we look at your current or future self-care strategy, let’s have a look at your beliefs on self-care. So ask yourself, now:

When you think of self-care, what do you associate with this concept?

What did you feel the last time you took time out for yourself? A lot of women feel guilty when they take out time for self-care. Therefore they cannot enjoy their time away from their responsibilities to the full and do not achieve the desired de-stressing or energising effect.

What else comes to mind when you think of self-care? Are your beliefs around self-care even your own? Or are they your parents’, work colleagues’ or even friends’ beliefs? It is useful to write down your beliefs, and for each belief I invite you to leave some space underneath or beside the statement. And when you have listed all your beliefs, pick the ones that are not serving you. For each disempowering belief, write down what you want it to be instead and why the new belief would serve you better from now on. Once you have done that, make sure to cross out (if you like, use a red pen) the old belief.

Do you know what to say ‘no’ to and how to say ‘no’?

“I have no time for self-care activities”, is something I often hear from my female clients. One of the reasons for this situation is, that lots of women find it hard to say ‘no’ to requests from colleagues, bosses, family members and/or friends even if the activities mean that she would have to, yet again, cancel her personal self-care time.

Over the next week, start to notice what your automatic response is when someone asks you to do something for them. Are you an automatic sponge, i.e. ‘no’ is not part of your vocabulary, or are you someone who is comfortable with saying ‘no’ to tasks that do not fit into your already planned day/week or with your goals? Or do you find that you will always say yes to some people, but not to others?

Once you are aware of your automatic responses, I invite you to review those situations and consider whether your responses serve(d) you. For undesired automatic ‘yes’ responses, decide what it is that you want to happen instead. Do prepare your desired response in advance so that you are ready next time you receive a similar request. You will find that cutting down on tasks that do not serve you, will not only make you feel better about yourself but will also free up time for self-care.

Now that you have reviewed your beliefs on self-care and have freed up time for your self-care activities, it is time to review your self-care strategy:

  • What self-care activities do you currently do and are those sufficient or working for you?
  • What energising self-care activities did you do in the past that could you pick up again?
  • What is the one self-care activity that if you did it every day (or once a week) would give you the most energy?

Ideally, take some self-care time every day. Some women enjoy massages, reading a book, listening to their favourite music, going out with girl-friends, taking a walk outside, taking part in a fitness class or meditating. These are just some examples, and you need to find the activities that are right for you.

Key things to watch out for when choosing self-care activities are:

  • Are you energised (or de-stressed) by the activity?
  • Can you fully enjoy it without complaining or judging yourself?
  • Are your self-care activities (as a whole) satisfying your physical, mental and spiritual needs?

If the answer is no to any of these questions, it may not right activity for you and it might be better for you to choose another activity that is right for you. Enjoy creating your self-care schedule.

Check out Cheryl Richardson’s book Extreme Self-Care for further ideas. Another great resource for inspiration on self-care is Jane Scrivner’s book Detox your Mind.

Have fun and enjoy your self-care time!