Celebrating the Autumn Equinox

The Autumn Equinox this year happened on Sunday 23rd September at 2.54am (BST). This is of course in the Northern hemisphere. In the Southern hemisphere it was the Spring (or vernal) equinox. So it means that it’s officially Autumn now. Autumn is a time of transition, where the leaves change colour and fall. The days become equal with the night and the temperature starts to drop. It is a good time of year to see if you need to make any changes in your life too.

Autumn Retreat

Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year and I was due to attend a Woodland Mindfulness retreat, but thanks to the storm it got cancelled. I was very disappointed as I had been looking forward to it for ages. However, I glad I wasn’t in a tent when the rain and wind were lashing against my windows over the weekend! I did some tapping to help myself deal with the disappointment and decided I didn’t just want it to be an ‘ordinary’ weekend, so I had a home retreat instead.

Autumn colours
Autumn colours

I went for a long walk on the Friday and was mindful of the gorgeous Autumn colours. I listened to the wind, the birds and insects as they went about their business. As I walked, I also tuned in to the felt senses of my body. Feeling my feet hitting the ground, the muscles of my legs moving and the beating of my heart. I brought mindful awareness to my thoughts and emotions as they arose. When I got home I spent time writing in my journal and doing some mindful colouring in. I did several meditations throughout the day and pampered myself a bit.

Yoga Nidra Day

On the Saturday I went to a Yoga day celebrating the Autumn equinox. We did some gentle yoga and a couple of yoga nidra sessions. Yoga nidra means sleep – a very relaxing type of meditation. We laid on our mats, with blankets under our heads, bolsters under our knees and wrapped ourselves in several warm blankets. Once we were warm and snuggly our lovely teacher Fiona led us on a journey through our body and into a deep state of relaxation. We dined on delicious vegan food and in the afternoon we braved the wind and rain and foraged for leaves, berries and plants to make a beautiful Mandala. I loved doing that and the finished Mandala looked gorgeous.

Autumn Equinox Mandala
Autumn Equinox Mandala

Autumn Self-care

The day was very nurturing and insightful – just what I needed. It reminded me of the importance of self-care. This is a topic very dear to my heart and one I talk about a lot to my clients.

We cannot keep on keeping on without taking care of ourselves. Nature is starting to slow down, so I encourage you to take some time out and look after you this Autumn. Spend some time thinking about what changes you need to make in your life:

  • Do you need to slow down too?
  • Do you need to take care of yourself more?
  • Do you need to let go of something?

I would be happy to help you on your self-care journey. Do get in touch if you would like some help.

Louise

Eating Mindfully – Eating Healthily

Eating mindfully is a great way to eat more healthily. Think about it. If you eat on the go, grabbing what is convenient and quick, you will often be eating unhealthily. If you eat quickly at your desk whilst working, you will definitely be eating non-mindfully. You will be more likely to overeat or eat unhealthy snacks when you’re not paying attention. You may even reach the end of the packet of crisps and realise you haven’t even tasted them!

Eating mindfully is an easy way to eat more healthily. Make some time to make yourself a healthy, nutritious lunch. Or if you are really pressed for time, grab yourself a ready made salad or sandwich. Spend some time choosing a healthier option.

 

Eating Mindfully - Eating Healthily
Eating Mindfully

If you can, get away from your desk (even if it’s just for 10 minutes). Take a deep breath before you begin. Open your lunch and just look at it. Notice all the different colours, shapes and textures. Breathe in again and notice the smells. You may now start to salivate. Notice how you feel about your lunch. Notice what is happening in your body. Is your stomach now anticipating your food?

Slowly bring your first bite/forkful towards your mouth. Take another breath before you place it in your mouth. Notice the sensations on your tongue and the sensations as you start to chew slowly. Chew for longer than you normally would and notice how your body feels as you swallow. Don’t start getting your next forkful ready until you have swallowed the first one. See if you can eat the whole of your lunch like this.

Be mindful of each forkful/bite if you can. Any time you notice that your mind has wandered, gently bring it back to your lunch. Notice the colours, shapes and textures again. Notice the taste and smell. Become aware of how your body is feeling. Notice how you feel emotionally.

If you can, wash up your dishes mindfully and try to bring your mindful awareness with you when you return back to your desk.

Try to practice eating this way at least once a week. If you can, be very mindful of the first bite or sip of each meal or drink that you have.

You may find that you start to make healthier choices when you are choosing/making your food.

Wishing you a mindful day.
Louise

 

Reiki Awareness Week – Spreading the Word

This week has been Reiki Awareness Week. I have been posting every day on Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word about this fabulous technique.

I first came across Reiki over 15 years ago. I went to a spa for a bit of relaxation and pampering and thought I would just have massage and facial. However, one of the ladies there was offering Reiki (which I had never heard of). I decided to give it a go and loved it so much that I later trained to be a practitioner. The rest as they say is history!

I had the pleasure of attending a Reiki share on Tuesday to celebrate Reiki Awareness Week. This is where Reiki practitioners get together and swap sessions. There were 12 of us in the group and the energy in the room was amazing. We had 4 couches set up, which meant 4 groups of 3 people sharing Reiki at the same time. One person laid on the couch to receive, whilst the other 2 shared Reiki and then we swapped.

As a practitioner, I regularly give myself Reiki and practice the precepts etc. However, it was wonderful to just lie back and receive Reiki from other people. We also spent time sending out Reiki to people in need.

Reiki is very relaxing to receive and my clients often fall asleep during the session.

Reiki Awareness Week
Relaxing Reiki

Reiki works on all levels, not just the physical and can help us emotionally, mentally and spiritually too. It can help our bodies to heal, boost our energy levels and increase our feeling of wellbeing. It is very helpful following an illness or operation. Regular Reiki helps boost our immune system, helping us stay healthy. It can also help us make better health choices too, by becoming more mindful and tuning in to what our body needs.

If you would like to learn more, checkout my Reiki page or get in touch to book your session now.

With Reiki blessings,
Louise

Just Say No – Self Care Tips

We all struggle to say no sometimes. We can feel obliged to attend parties, meetings or visit our family. Maintaining healthy boundaries is essential for our health and well-being. Yet, so many of struggle with it. Self care certainly isn’t easy when we are busy!

We may also suffer from “FOMO” or Fear Of Missing Out. I can definitely relate to that one when I was younger. I hated having to go to bed at a certain time and can remember sneaking out of bed during parties to try to see what was happening from the top of the stairs! At work FOMO can be especially tricky. We fear if we say no to overtime or extra work that we won’t be valued or that we’ll miss out on opportunities like promotion.

I talk a lot about self care with my clients because it is very important. Especially when they come to me with severe stress or anxiety and are burnt out. We aren’t taught how to look after ourselves, so it is something you have to experiment with. As the saying goes, you can’t fill from an empty cup!

Self care – empty cup

As an introvert I know I need quiet, alone time after being with people – even people I love! So I plan for that.

How Tapping Can Help

Tapping can help us maintain our boundaries and learn to say “no” more often (without feeling guilty!).

I recommend tapping on whatever the trigger is and the associated feelings e.g. guilt.

For example:

  • Even though I feel I should do X, I choose to look after my needs
  • Even though I feel obliged to attend every X meeting, maybe I can miss it now and then
  • Even though I always put everyone else first, maybe I can learn to take care of my needs too
  • Even though I feel it’s my duty to visit my Gran every week, what if it’s ok to miss it when I’m really busy

Then tap on the feelings that come up because you are choosing to do something different for a change, e.g.

  • Even though I feel guilty for having some me time, I know I need to look after me
  • Even though I feel guilty and ashamed for not visiting my Gran this week, I need some self care
  • Even though I feel so bad about not looking after X’s dog, I need to rest and recover my energy

It’s no good trying to enjoy a lovely soak in the bath with candles and soft music if your mind is churning with guilt! Tap on all the feelings associated with saying no or putting your needs first for a change.

Self Care List

I recommend to my clients that they come up with a list of self care things so that they can easily pick one when they really need it. I also recommend daily and weekly self care things so that they maintain their health and well being.

E.g.

  • Long soak in the bath
  • Reading a book
  • Watching your favourite TV show/film
  • Going for a massage or treatment
  • Eating a delicious meal
  • Yoga session
  • Doing something creative e.g. painting or crafting

Put your list somewhere you will see it on a daily basis and enjoy some self care.

Self care
Self care – soak in the bath

Let me know if you’d like some help with saying no or your self care 🙂

Louise