Category Archives: Mindfullness

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  

 

 

Exploring Ahimsa – Cultivating all the good thoughts.

Lately it feels to me like this world is beginning to crumble a little. Fear, lack, stress, ego and terror have intertwined into our everyday lives and created a messy tangle between our love, desire and our fear.

It’s hard to know where to start in trying to unravel the nasty mess, especially when so much of it is blasted at us through news updates, headlines and viral social media posts, illness, work pressures and stressful relationships. When we are rarely able disconnect with the bad news stories it can become challenging to see the positive in life and our fear is allowed to snowball and cloud our vision of the world.

So I have a question for you, how do you want to feel each day? 

Fearful, lacking and insecure? no, me either… Light, joyful, happy, peaceful, vibrant and alive? HELL YEAH!!

The thing about fear is, it blocks us from feeling the good and keeps us stuck in a gloomy mindset. That shit can be heavy! It can be near impossible to feel light and alive our minds are filled with fear, insecurity and lack.  We we focus on, we attract. So we need to focus on the good stuff and let go of the bad.


What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create. – Buddha


After exploring the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, I became inspired to look for a personal solution to the doomy gloomy outlook that I sometimes have of the world. When you consider that our thoughts become our reality, it becomes pretty important to clean up our mind chatter and become more mindful of the things we think and say.

Ahimsa, known as non-harming or non-violence relates to not only physical violence but also violence in our words and thoughts. What we think about ourselves and others can be just as powerful as our actions. What we think are harmless thoughts can so easily spill out as hurtful words and actions which can be devastating to those involved.  

The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali Chapter 2: 30-34 – Translation by Chip Hartranft.

The five external disciplines are not harming, truthfulness, not stealing, celibacy, and to being acquisitive.

These universals, transcending birth, place, era or circumstance, constitute the great vow of yoga.

The five internal disciplines are bodily purification, contentment, intense discipline, self-study, and dedication to the ideal of yoga

Unwholesome thoughts can be neutralized by cultivating wholesome ones.

We ourselves may act upon unwholesome thoughts, such as wanting to harm someone, or we may cause or condone them in others; unwholesome thoughts may arise from greed, anger, or delusion; they may be mild, moderate, or extreme; but they never cease to ripen into ignorance and suffering. This is why one must cultivate wholesome thoughts.


This section of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali teaches us about cultivating wholesome thoughts, so that we may not bring about suffering to ourselves or others.

Take responsibility for your own words and thoughts, for what you think, you attract. Cultivating unwholesome thoughts can only attract suffering and amplify fear. Focusing on the good things will attract more of them into your life.

In practicing Ahimsa we must practice being more mindful of our thoughts and words. It is possible to change our default setting with daily (constant) practice.

I am not saying that you can just switch off that part of your nature that enjoys a bit of gossip or leans towards grumpiness, frustration and irritation and magically see sunshine and flowers all the time. In fact since I began writing this post I have begun to realise just how often I do slip into unwholesome thoughts about myself and others. I also pull faces and roll my eyes allot… but I’m working on it, that’s why it’s called practice – because you need to keep doing it to for it to become easier.


All Minds are joined. 
Whatever thoughts we hold towards others, we are holding about ourselves as well – Marianne Williamson


Another question for you…

Have you ever sent a nasty text or an email about someone, to them by mistake? Or perhaps been caught out or overheard gossiping? How shitty did that make you feel? How shitty do you think it made that person feel? Was it worth it?

Gossip is addictive. I know for me, it used to make me feel included if I could share in a gossip session about someone else. I used to be the gossip queen! I loved how it made me feel included and sometimes superior, like it created a commonality between myself and the other gossipers that let my ego believe I was cool and fun. It was a way of building my self-esteem – by pulling others down and casting judgement. It was easier to throw shadows on other people than to shine my own light. Focusing on the negative plants seeds of negativity within us. So by engaging in this gossip I was actually fueling my own insecurities and it felt really sucky.


All communication begins with intention. Be intentional. Better yet, be intentionally kind. Or just be quiet – Danielle LaPorte


I want to encourage you to take note of your thoughts, about yourself and about others. Take note of the things you say about others and why you feel the need to say (or think) them.

Be mindful of your thoughts but, here’s the tricky part – if and when you think a bitchy thought, don’t judge yourself for it. There is zero value in scolding yourself – hellooo, non-violence is the aim here! Calling yourself a bitch for thinking someone else is a bitch seems kind of silly now doesn’t it… Instead, see if you can take note of the thought and consider what the root of that is for you.

Perhaps your mind is screaming that someone is a fat bitch. Get curious – ask yourself why that person has become the target of your minds wrath. I’m willing to bet that the “offender’s” weight has nothing to do with why you are targeting them… more likely your attack has to do with your own issues and frustrations and our human nature to lash out.

Now see if you can find a different perspective, something with a little more love. Can you see the situation in a different light? Look for a way to respond with love and compassion – you know, the kind of response that helps you feel joyful, alive and vibrant!


If the above doesn’t do it for you, don’t freak out! I have a couple of quick tricks for you to help reboot your mood and help you think more loving thoughts:

  1. List 5 things you are grateful for. This will instantly shift you into a mindset of abundance and will help you experience more of the good stuff!
  2. Look up at the sky. Not only is it fucking magical, its perfect for helping you to become present and for taking your mind off whatever was making you think crappy thoughts.
  3. Yoga! Movement, breath and focus will help put things in perspective and get you out of your head
  4. Meditate. Stop. Re-calibrate. I am a huge fan of a quick toilet meditation or sneaky breathing practice to help slow down the swirl of mind chatter.

I am making a commitment to myself to practice Ahimsa in my thoughts, perhaps you would like to as well? As a little reminder to myself I am setting an intention with a blessing:  

“May I show loving kindness towards myself and others”

I hope this helps you too to bring a bit more light, joy, peace and balance into your day.

Id absolutely love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Love yas!

Jodie xx