A bunch of meditatey things that aren’t colouring in or sitting in battle with your thoughts.

My name is Jodie and I meditate daily and I love a good OM. I have always felt a bit irky telling people about it though, because it felt woo woo or overly spiritual to chat about.

The time has come though for me to share with you lovely friends some meditatey goodness.
Why? Because it’s actually fucking amazing and everyone needs to know about it.

AND 

Because traditional meditation doesn’t work for everyone and you need to know that that’s ok.


 

I meditate because I have an anxious, overactive and over excitable mind. My thoughts come and go faster than Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory as the Flash and are usually just as odd. It’s not just me though is it? So often I hear people say they can’t meditate or they suck at it because they think too much. Not being able to switch off your thoughts is probably the number one reason people give up on meditation. Because they can’t, right?

Meditating is not always easy. We are conditioned to be ‘on’ all the freakin time! Constantly thinking about 10 things at once, the groceries, the washing, the huge work thing and a bajillion other things flowing through on high rotation. With all the exciting technologies at our fingertips its common (especially at my house) to have the laptop in front of me with 20 tabs open, while the telly runs in the back ground and I check snap chat and Instagram on my phone. It’s not surprising that many of us have turned into anxiety riddled stress pots!

We need to switch off sometimes. We need to reboot. We need to rest!!! However for many of us, sitting for 20 minutes in meditation just isn’t accessible and quite frankly is not always necessary.


 

Unless you have been living under a rock the last few months then I am sure you would have come across the latest trend in mindfulness – adult colouring books. Not for me thanks… I see the appeal however my Fashion degree background makes me highly strung when it comes to colouring… if it’s not perfect I will crack it and I am fairly certain that defeats the purpose.

So sitting in traditional meditation isn’t working and colouring stresses you out? Well you are doomed to be highly strung and miss out on all the calm feels then.

Kidding! There’s a buttload of meditatey things you can do that don’t involve colouring or battling with your thoughts to chill the F*** out.

  1. Sit down and have a cup of tea. That’s all. No telly, or phone or computer to play with. Just a cup of tea and maybe a blanky.
  2. Extra long showers – the kind where you run out of things to think about except the smell of body scrub and the feel the toasty warm water washing away all the gunk… both physical gunk and mind gunk. Extra points if you use some essential oils or light candles.
  3. Look for the moon. It’s fucking stunning. Every. Single. Night. It’s not hard to spend a few moments checking out its magnificence. Same goes for sunrise and sun set – fucking magical.
  4. Take a freakin breath every now and then! Seriously! Take 10 seconds where all you think about is taking a deep breath in and a relaxing breath out. It’s like hitting refresh on the mind chatter and its lovely.
  5. Get a journal and write stuff. Write whatever you feel like, you never have to show anyone. Write all the mind jumbles, nonsense and even things to do later if it helps.
  6. Running… so I’m told… people who run tell me that it’s meditative. I do not run so I make no comment.
  7. Water the plants. Pull some weeds. Listen to the birds. Just go outside once in a while.
  8. Bake with love (ideally for no reason. Don’t be using your Sister’s wedding cake as the opportunity to bake meditate, I just don’t see it ending well). Whisking can be incredibly therapeutic.
  9. Sun sals baby!! Get some slow movement happening with one breath for each movement. Might I suggest some cat cows and forward folds? Perfect meditatey dreamy yoga. Ooh and child’s pose – that’s a good’n!
  10. Whatever the fuck makes you happy. As long as you happy enjoying the moment (not thinking about 20 other things at the time) then you are good as gold!

Do you have a fave meditatey thing to bring you back down to earth? Let me know so I can give it a go! Unless its running… 😉

3 Words I am squeezing out of my default vocab

I went to see my Naturopath the other week and when he said “How are you?” I said “Oh I’m so tired!” He smirked at me and then told me an obscure story about how our thoughts become our reality which ironically at the time, I was too tired to give a shit about…

He did get me thinking though about the language I use and how often I speak without consciously considering my choice of words.

The other day I watched this youtube clip of Tim Ferriss and Chase Jarvis talking creativity. Among other things they talked about creative parameters and how even setting simple rules for yourself can challenge your default setting and bring fresh perspective to creative projects.

Lately I have been making an effort to say and do things more consciously so I took this as an opportunity to set some vocab rules for myself.


3 Words I am aiming to squeeze out of my default vocabulary.

Tired

I can’t even count how often I say the words “I’m tired”. Am I actually that tired all the time? Because if I am then something needs to change. Realistically though, I am probably not… I have gotten myself into the habit of saying that I am, and so am probably making myself feel more tired than my body really is. You know, what you think you become. I had been thinking myself tired.

I tested this out for myself by consciously not using the word ‘tired’ to describe myself. It was interesting to see how often I wanted to throw it out there just as a conversation filler if I didn’t have anything else to talk about and I noticed how often I used it as an excuse. I also became aware that I used it if I thought I should be tired, rather than checking in with how I actually felt – like the time my cat woke me up by stepping on my throat in the middle of the night. It seemed logical to me that my sleep had been ruined by my murderous cat and I should be exhausted. So I carried on as though I had been awake all night when really it was probably only a few minutes before I was snuggled back into my pillow fast asleep.

Although I can’t prove it, getting rid of ‘tired’ has given me more energy and more motivation. I feel as though I have less dragging me down and I have more time and energy to enjoy my day.

Just

As in “Just do this and this and this”. I don’t like it. I feels like it’s designed make things seem less daunting, which is fine if you are setting step by step goals, however I also think that it discounts what actually has been done and devalues achievements. Check this out “I just created this blog” vs “I created this blog”. “I just cooked a three course meal” vs “I cooked a three course meal”.

Somehow removing the ‘just’ makes the statement so much more powerful. Don’t you think? I don’t know about you but I don’t want watered down achievements.

Unless I literally just did something, in a time sense (e.g. “I just arrived”) then I plan on rethinking my use of the word.

But

But is a fluff word. It seems like something we use to cover up for what we actually mean and perhaps soften a blow. “I like you BUT…”

I think we all need to man up a little bit, think about it carefully, consider the consequences and then say what we really mean. I’m not suggesting we all go gun-hoe and tell everyone what we think of them. I am suggesting that we need to be more mindful of how often we use filler words like ‘but’ instead of actually thinking of a response.


 

What about you loves? Do you have any default words you’d like to cut from your daily life?

Jodie xx  

 

 

Check yo’ Vata for Winter

I fucking hate winter. Wind makes me angry and my hands and feet are almost always cold. I get chilblains on my fingers and toes and have to wear ridiculous amounts of layers to leave my house. Although I do love Wintery fashion – boots and scarves and fingerless gloves oh my!

I live in Canberra which seems like a crazy thing to do given how strongly I dislike the cold. For those who don’t know, it gets super cold here but not cold enough for snow… we just get the freezing cold air off the snow capped mountains and frosty iced over cars.

As it write this, it’s 11 degrees and has been raining for 3 whole days, the sky is grey and bleak and I am cold.

Although it may seem like it right now, this post is not just a big rant about me being cold and wanting to move somewhere warmer… It actually is meant to be helpful to those out there who also hate the cold with enough fiery passion that they should be warm forever and ever, but sadly are not.


 

Here’s something you might not know – I’m a little bit into Ayurveda.

I’m not going to go into too much detail of what Ayurveda is as I am not an expert, but basically it is a holistic system for health and well being that is focuses on prevention of illness and disease by maintaining balance in the body. It can be traced back over 5000 years and is traditionally practiced in India, although is now becoming more and more common in western society.

Doshas.
These guys are Ayurvedic categories used to help us understand the ingredients that make up each of us as individuals. Our physical body, mind, beliefs, tendencies and behaviours are all considered to give an indication of our Dosha or ‘type’. Most of us fall into one or two Doshas but usually have a dominant one. Again, I am not going to give you a huge Dosha lesson here but in a nut shell:

  • Vata = Air and ether (wind)
  • Pitta = Fire and water
  • Kapha = water and earth

Vata are flighty, cold, restless and spontaneous, fidgety and introverted (like me). If you are a Pitta you might have a fiery personality, a warm body, you might be determined, motivated, focused and intense (like my sister Anna). Kapha are very grounded, steady, strong, calm and slow to anger. They are social and generous and likely to be cuddly (like my Mum!).

So Vata has a great idea to have a big party and then gets distracted by something else, Pitta takes charge and organises everything and Kapha stays till the end and then helps clean up.

Keeping all of the elements that make up the Doshas in balance has a flow on effect to how we feel, think behave etc. I hope that makes enough sense that it’s not too woo-woo for you! Sarah Wilson is actually pretty ace at explaining it and has some great insight into why this stuff is important for all of us, not just Vatas. If you want to learn more without getting overwhelmed I suggest you try reading this..

If you want to learn your type google “Ayurveda dosha” and take a little quiz – it can be a fun to read through the characteristics and see where you sit.


 

I am Vata, massively Vata and surprise surprise – Vata’s HATE the cold.

Anyway, this whole Ayurveda lesson was a round-a-bout way of me getting to some simple Ayurvedic tips to help keep my fellow Vata peeps from turning into hibernating bears over winter.

  1. Routine. Too much Vata energy can be reeled in by simple routines. So for me, I start my day with a little yoga (usually 15-20 mins) and then sit down for 5 minutes of breathing. Usually I finish this up with a quick prayer or intention or whatever I feel like on the day. Then, I make myself a cup of tea and climb back into bed with my husband and the cat.
    I love having this time to myself each day and honestly can’t say how helpful it is for setting me up for a good day.
  1. Build Heat. Vata as a ‘type’ lacks in heat which is why we are often cold. Building heat in the body in the wintery cold weather is super helpful for not only balancing an out of whack Vata, but to warm you up… der. 
    So I aim to build heat and increase circulation each morning with a short morning yoga practice. Go easy on your bod if it’s feeling a bit stiff early in the morning. I recommend some slow and steady sun salutations to get everything flowing. Sun sals for the win!
  1. Warm foods. It’s pretty unlikely you will find me sipping on a green juice or crunching on a salad in winter. It simply makes me too cold. Instead I enjoy copious amounts of herbal tea and warm water with lemon. I try to eat most of my food heated and cooked (nothing raw and nothing straight out of the fridge) to a) warm me up from the inside and b) take some pressure off my digestive system (it gives you more energy to actually keep warm if your body doesn’t have to put all its focus into digesting your raw dessert addictions). I also add warming spices to my cooking: Cinnamon, chilly, ginger etc. You know the drill.
  1. Meditation. Vata can easily become anxious and feel like the mind is swirling with thoughts. It’s not a fun headspace to be in and can cause stress and overwhelm. Adding more meditation to my day helps to reduce some of the noise in my head and really does keep my moods feeling more balanced. I know that it can be hard to sit yourself down in the quiet ready to find your zen only to be overrun with thoughts, and thoughts about the thoughts you are having. The trick for me, is to do it routinely. Because I’m a Vata and I need routine… and to come back to the breath. When my head gets too spinny I just focus on breathing in and breathing out until I feel settled and nice again.
  1. Moisturise. I shrivel up pretty quickly in these Wintery months. My skin dries right out faster than you can say “crazy Vata lady”! So I make sure I eat lots of good fats and oils to work healthy skin magic from the inside and I put in extra effort to moisturise my skin with good quality oils (at the moment I am using a Grown Alchemist face oil with an extra drop of lavender). Take it as an opportunity to be nice to yourself rather than it being a chore. If meditation really doesn’t work for you then perhaps this is another option – try taking 5 minutes before bed to sit down and focus on gently massaging your bod with some yummy oils.

Do you know your Dosha? Holla at me with any tips you have to keep your Dosha in check. 

Much love

Jodie xx