Simple Rituals for Letting Go

Simple Rituals for Letting Go

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Are you ready to let go of something that is no longer serving you?

Ritual can be a  powerful way to do this.

I like letting go rituals that are simple.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Write down what you would like to release (a list, a story, a letter, a poem, a drawing or a photograph) and burn it to ashes. As you do so, you might like to say to yourself “with love, compassion and gratitude for myself and all beings, I let go, I let go, I let go.”
  2. There are other ways to let go of what you’ve written. Try putting it through the shredder or ripping it up and throwing it in the compost (so it can act as a fertiliser for your growth).
  3. Release it to the wind. You might release the burnt ashes, or symbolically let go of a feather, a dandelion or allow the sand to flow through your fingers at the beach on a windy day.
  4. Try a breathing practice. Inhale and imagine yourself breathing in love, or whatever you wish for yourself. Then exhale, visualising what you’d like to let go, and say silently to yourself “I release, I release, I release.” Perhaps notice how the visualisation fades as you repeat this, and you’re left with the exhalation and the silent statement of letting go.
  5. At the beach, write what you would like to let go of in the sand, near the shore when the tide is coming in. Watch as the waves wash it away.
  6. Write in your journal what you’d like to let go of. You might like to start with ‘with love, compassion and gratitude for myself and all beings, I let go of ……….”
  7. Wash your hands or have a shower, and as you do so imagine what it is your letting go of washing away down the sink.
  8. Practice the ease of letting go by cradling a soft cushion or toy in your hands, then gently moving your hands apart and allowing it to slide through your fingers and drop to the floor.

Try including gratitude in your letting go ritual.  Say thank you for the lessons you’ve learnt.  You may be ready to let something go, but before you do, acknowledge the blessings that it brought, however small.

What letting go rituals have you tried, or would like to try?  Let me know in the comments below.

With love and gratitude,

If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello”
Paulo Coelho

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Simple Rituals for Letting Go

Are you ready to let go of something that is no longer serving you? Ritual can be a  powerful way to do this. I like letting go rituals that are simple. Here are some ideas: Write down what you would like to release (a list, a story, a letter, a poem, a drawing or a...

read more

What Do You Desire?

I’ve been consciously creating a life of meaning and purpose for myself and supporting others on their paths for many years. However it wasn’t until I met Dr Richard Miller and began the journey into iRest Yoga Nidra that I heard the term Heartfelt Desires, and fully...

read more

The Science of Willpower

If you’ve ever tried to let go of an old habit, or create a new one, you’ve no doubt found how challenging it can be.   I’ve previously written about the six steps to changing a habit - they include clarity, noticing, self compassion, acting consciously,...

read more

 

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What Do You Desire?

What Do You Desire?

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I’ve been consciously creating a life of meaning and purpose for myself and supporting others on their paths for many years. However it wasn’t until I met Dr Richard Miller and began the journey into iRest Yoga Nidra that I heard the term Heartfelt Desires, and fully realised the potency and importance of living a life fully and unashamedly aligned with our Heartfelt Desires.

Heartfelt Desires are your dharma.

They are your soul’s innate desire or purpose in life.

They are your personal calling, your values or your philosophy on life.

It is life living its highest purpose through you, as its unique and personal expression.

When we live a life in accordance with our heartfelt desires, we are living a life that is in accordance with the natural flow of the universe, and it results in happiness and harmony for ourselves and the entire universe.

Heartfelt Desires are not goals.  Goals are things you can do, then you tick them off your list and your done.

Heartfelt Desires are more like values.  They’re ways of being.  You can never tick them off your list and be done with them.  You live them on a moment-by-moment basis.

What are you Heartfelt Desires?

What do you truly desire more than anything else in life?

My Heartfelt Desires are love, truth, grace and ease.

I’d love to hear what your deepest Heartfelt Desires are.  Leave me a comment below with yours.

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Simple Rituals for Letting Go

Are you ready to let go of something that is no longer serving you? Ritual can be a  powerful way to do this. I like letting go rituals that are simple. Here are some ideas: Write down what you would like to release (a list, a story, a letter, a poem, a drawing or a...

read more

What Do You Desire?

I’ve been consciously creating a life of meaning and purpose for myself and supporting others on their paths for many years. However it wasn’t until I met Dr Richard Miller and began the journey into iRest Yoga Nidra that I heard the term Heartfelt Desires, and fully...

read more

The Science of Willpower

If you’ve ever tried to let go of an old habit, or create a new one, you’ve no doubt found how challenging it can be.   I’ve previously written about the six steps to changing a habit - they include clarity, noticing, self compassion, acting consciously,...

read more

 

Sign up to stay in touch +
access the Inner Wisdom Library

 free meditations, eBooks + more for wholehearted living

 

The Science of Willpower

The Science of Willpower

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If you’ve ever tried to let go of an old habit, or create a new one, you’ve no doubt found how challenging it can be.   I’ve previously written about the six steps to changing a habit – they include clarity, noticing, self compassion, acting consciously, acknowledgement and repetition.

Dr Kelly McGonigal is a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University, and in her book The Willpower Instinct, she shares some brilliant insights on how to increase your willpower.  These tips below from Kelly’s book will help you to strengthen your capacity to change any unhelpful habits.

1. Get enough sleep

Sleep deprivation results in an energy crisis for our mind and body.  When we’re tired our cells have trouble absorbing glucose from the blood stream, which leaves us exhausted and our cells under performing.  This explains why we often crave chocolate or coffee when we’re tired, but even if we indulge in sweets, our body and brain doesn’t get the energy it really needs because it can’t use it effectively.

Our prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain responsible for complex cognitive functioning and for quieting the alarm system of the brain.  This helps us to manage stress and cravings.  But when we’re sleep deprived, the prefrontal cortex looses control over the alarm system and we over react to ordinary every day stress.  And high stress results in less will power.

Interestingly, the effects of sleep deprivation on the brain are similar to being mildly intoxicated, and we all know how little self control most of us have when drunk!

2. Reduce stress

The physiology of stress is not conducive to willpower.  When we’re stressed, we go into a fight-or-flight response, and the body gears up to deal with an immediate threat.  This includes redirecting energy from the part of the brain that makes wise decisions, to the part of the brain that responds instinctively and in a very short sighted way.

Willpower requires us to see things from a bigger picture.  We might feel that a coffee would give us the energy we need in this moment, but is it really going to help us feel vibrant and healthy in the long term?

To make wise decisions that are in accordance with our heartfelt desires, we need to be a state of relaxation, or the rest-and-digest response.  This response sends energy to the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for self control.  So living a chronically stressful life and putting stress and guilt on ourselves to change a habit, is only going to make the habit more entrenched and harder to change.

Thankfully, we can reduce stress and engage the relaxation response through practices like mindful breathing and deep relaxation meditations.

3. Willpower workout

Willpower is like a muscle; you can strengthen it through training.  Starting small, and exercising your willpower muscle each day will strengthen it.

Interestingly, researchers have found strengthening willpower on a seemingly inconsequential task, like improving your posture or squeezing a hand grip every day, appears to improve willpower on more consequential tasks, like taking care of your health and feeling more control over your emotions.

The flip side is that willpower, like a muscle, can get tired.  So we need to choose our willpower challenges carefully and not bombard ourselves with too many willpower challenges all at once.

The time of day is important too.  Most of us have increased willpower in the morning, so making our willpower decisions in the morning, rather than in the afternoon can be more effective.  So if you’re planning on going for a walk or practicing yoga, you’re most likely to follow through if you do this in the morning, rather than waiting until the evening when you’re willpower muscle is tired from the day.

4. Willpower is contagious

We’re hard wired to connect with others, and our brains are designed to feel what other people are feeling.  If I see someone reach for a knife, the mirror neurons in my brain will automatically encode that movement.  Fascinating, isn’t it?

So if we’re hanging out with other people who are doing what we’re trying to stop, it can be very hard to change that behaviour.  If someone around us is smoking while we’re trying to quit, it makes it pretty difficult to resist the temptation to smoke.

But the converse is also true.  If we’re hanging out with people who are doing what we would like to be doing, we’re more likely to mirror that behaviour.  If our friend orders a cup of tea at a café instead of coffee and cake, we’re more like to ‘catch’ that behaviour and order a cup of tea ourselves, and say no to the high sugar and high caffeine alternatives.

5. The 10 minute rule

If you’re tempted to fall back into an old habit, try waiting ten minutes. Tell yourself that after the 10 minutes is up, you can have whatever it is you want.

It might not sound like much, but neuroscientists have discovered that waiting ten minutes makes a big difference in how the brain processes rewards.  Waiting ten minutes takes away the powerful impulse to choose instant gratification over longer term goals and desires, so you can make a more mindful and wise choice.

Time for action

Are you trying to change a habit?  Pick one one of Dr Kelly McGonigal’s suggestions and add it to your toolkit.  Trying to do them all at once might add stress to you life, which we know is the enemy of willpower.  So I suggest choosing the suggestion that feels the easiest to you and experiment with bringing it into your life. Over time, add another, and then another, and see the effect it has on your willpower ability.

I’d love to hear which willpower suggestion you’d like to bring into your life.  Sharing our intentions with others helps us to stay accountable, so leave a comment below about which one you’ll be bringing into your life.

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Simple Rituals for Letting Go

Are you ready to let go of something that is no longer serving you? Ritual can be a  powerful way to do this. I like letting go rituals that are simple. Here are some ideas: Write down what you would like to release (a list, a story, a letter, a poem, a drawing or a...

read more

What Do You Desire?

I’ve been consciously creating a life of meaning and purpose for myself and supporting others on their paths for many years. However it wasn’t until I met Dr Richard Miller and began the journey into iRest Yoga Nidra that I heard the term Heartfelt Desires, and fully...

read more

The Science of Willpower

If you’ve ever tried to let go of an old habit, or create a new one, you’ve no doubt found how challenging it can be.   I’ve previously written about the six steps to changing a habit - they include clarity, noticing, self compassion, acting consciously,...

read more

 

Sign up to stay in touch +
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 free meditations, eBooks + more for wholehearted living

 

Feeling What You’re Feeling

Feeling What You’re Feeling

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Escaping our emotional experience is a full time job for many of us.  It’s not uncommon to spend a vast majority of our lives trying to stop ourselves from feeling what we’re feeling.

It’s exhausting!

But when we can let ourselves feel our emotions, we can cope with just about anything that life throws at us.

I sat down with the team from Uplift Connect recently to talk about the importance of feeling our emotions, and shared a simple way to feel your feelings.  Take a look.

I believe that feeling what you’re feeling is an essential skill for all human beings.  So if it feels right, I encourage you to try my suggestion from the interview.  It’s not enough to just think about it, you actually have to do it!

And if you’re like some more guidance, or would like to explore this further I recommend iRest Yoga Nidra, or getting in touch for counselling or coaching.

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Simple Rituals for Letting Go

Are you ready to let go of something that is no longer serving you? Ritual can be a  powerful way to do this. I like letting go rituals that are simple. Here are some ideas: Write down what you would like to release (a list, a story, a letter, a poem, a drawing or a...

read more

What Do You Desire?

I’ve been consciously creating a life of meaning and purpose for myself and supporting others on their paths for many years. However it wasn’t until I met Dr Richard Miller and began the journey into iRest Yoga Nidra that I heard the term Heartfelt Desires, and fully...

read more

The Science of Willpower

If you’ve ever tried to let go of an old habit, or create a new one, you’ve no doubt found how challenging it can be.   I’ve previously written about the six steps to changing a habit - they include clarity, noticing, self compassion, acting consciously,...

read more

 

Sign up to stay in touch +
access the Inner Wisdom Library

 free meditations, eBooks + more for wholehearted living

 

Happiness is an Inside Job

Happiness is an Inside Job

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It seems to me that we spend a vast majority of our lives chasing after happiness in external places.

When we’re at school, we say to ourselves “when I graduate…… then I’ll be happy.”

And then when we graduate, we say to ourselves “when I get my dream job……. then I’ll be happy”.

And then when we get our dream job, we say “when I get a promotion….  then I’ll be happy”.

And then we turn to our relationships and we say, “when I meet my soul mate….. then I’ll be happy”.

And then when we’ve met and maybe married our soul mate, we say “when he stops snoring and waking me up in the night…. then I’ll be happy”.

And so you sort the snoring thing out, and you say “when I have kids….. then I’ll be happy.

And then you have kids, and you think “when my kids go to school and I finally have time to myself….. then I’ll be happy.

0r perhaps “when I walk the Camino, or go on a retreat to Bali, or be able to do fourth series Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, or put my foot behind my head….. then I’ll be happy.”

We can keep going on like this for a lifetime, chasing our happiness in external places forever.

It sounds crazy, right?

But it does makes sense to me why we do this. When we get something we want, something that we believe will make us happy, more often than not we feel an immediate hit of happiness. We get a buzz from it. But like all drugs, the hit soon wears off and we’re left wondering where we can get the next hit from.

So basically we become like happiness junkies, chasing the buzz from one hit to the next. And it’s exhausting. And kind of bewildering.

How is it that we can have achieved and acquired so much, but still feel miserable?

The reason is that our happiness is not in these external things. It’s not in the career, or the partner or the great house. If it were, as long as you stayed working, married, or living in your beautiful house, you’d be happy.  All of the time.

But it doesn’t work like that, does it?

Pretty soon we habituate to this kind of happiness, and it’s gone. Or the thing that we’re happy about disappears, and our happiness disappears with it.

I like to think of this kind of happiness as CAUSED happiness. It’s caused by an external event.

The good news is that there’s another kind of happiness. A kind of happiness that resides within us all. A happiness that needs no external event and it cannot be taken from us. This is UNCAUSED happiness.

This kind of happiness is our birth right, and it’s our true nature. It’s within us all, whether or not we feel open to it and connected with it in any particular moment.

You’ve probably heard of this concept before, right? Anyone with a facebook account has probably seen an inspirational quote like ‘happiness is an inside job’. And if you’ve ever been in a yoga class or been in any kind of spiritual setting, you’ve probably heard something like this before.

It’s not a new idea.

But so many of us know this intellectually, but still we go about our lives as it it isn’t true. We know that happiness is within, yet we keep making the same mistake over and over again, but seeking our happiness in people, achievements and the latest gadgets.

We’re like Dorothy walking the yellow brick road, not realising that we have the power within us to return home at any time. In fact, home was with us all along.

To come home to our uncaused happiness, all we need to do is remember that it’s there. We knew this as children, but somewhere along the way, we forgot.

Life became busy, our parents and teachers had already forgotten so they were no help in reminding us, and we were saturated with advertising trying to convince us that our happiness was really in the product they were trying to sell.

And so slowly….. over time… we bought into the myth that happiness only arises as a result of external circumstances.

It’s time to take back our happiness. To reclaim what is truly ours.

A great job, a loving relationship, and the latest gadget can be wonderful things to have. But they don’t make us happy. Not the true, uncaused, deeply nourishing, unshakeable kind of happy.

In iRest we discover an inner joy that exists independently of external circumstances.  This joy is always present, although it is sometimes hidden behind a veil of feelings, emotions, thoughts and beliefs (including the belief that our happiness is found externally).  Through the practice of iRest we welcome and witness this veil, enabling us to access this inner joy more readily.

As these veils drop away, we find a deep and abiding happiness or joy. A kind of gentle contentment that feels pervasive and unshakeable. Then we nourish by allowing it to blossom into being, and by cultivating gratitude, imagining our entire being smiling and full of joy.

And when we open our eyes and step back into our everyday life, we bring the perfume of this experience with us, and a growing embodied understanding of happiness as our true nature.

ACCESS THE INNER WISDOM LIBRARY

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Simple Rituals for Letting Go

Are you ready to let go of something that is no longer serving you? Ritual can be a  powerful way to do this. I like letting go rituals that are simple. Here are some ideas: Write down what you would like to release (a list, a story, a letter, a poem, a drawing or a...

read more

What Do You Desire?

I’ve been consciously creating a life of meaning and purpose for myself and supporting others on their paths for many years. However it wasn’t until I met Dr Richard Miller and began the journey into iRest Yoga Nidra that I heard the term Heartfelt Desires, and fully...

read more

The Science of Willpower

If you’ve ever tried to let go of an old habit, or create a new one, you’ve no doubt found how challenging it can be.   I’ve previously written about the six steps to changing a habit - they include clarity, noticing, self compassion, acting consciously,...

read more

 

Sign up to stay in touch +
access the Inner Wisdom Library

 free meditations, eBooks + more for wholehearted living

 

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