SelfCare is not always candles, music and meditation! It can be but it will be different for all of us and different for each one of us, depending on what is going on in our lives at the time.
I may live on my own but my life is full of connections and commitments. Some I find easier to honour than others. When I find myself reacting to particu;ar situations (OK usually after I have reacted, if I'm honest!!), I usually recognise another part of me needs more healing.. Once we have opened the can of worms that is our past, it takes a lifetime of awareness, blood, sweat and tears to find that inner peace and tranquility we search for.!
The tools I share with others are always there for my personal use but there are times when I am so caught up in the 'stuff' that's going on, I need a reminder to practise what I preach! This beautiful picture of a spiral resonates very strongly with me during the times when I have been 'hijacked' by my old stuff. Every time it happens and I use the many tools I have in my 'toolkit' I feel a little lighter. I hope it helps you too.
Today was one of those days. It was going to be a slighty unexpected SelfCare day. The work planned had been postponed due to the teachers' strikes and I saw a beautiful oasis of time stretching in front of me. It started well with a slower start, followed by my physio exercises and yoga practice. but a phone call broke the tranquility and the rest of the day changed. I felt a huge surge of resentment and frustration and shared that, unfiltered, with the person at the other end of the phone! It's ok, I knew it was ok to share in that way with that person.
I had planned to get back on my bike for the first time since before winter and had thought I would surprise a friend by arriving for lunch. Cycling is something I love and something I want to be including in my weekly routine more regularly again. That was not going to happen now. When I got off the phone, I took those three mindful breaths I encourage everyone to take and felt my body calming. Why didn't I manage to do that earlier?!
As my mind and body settled, I began to find solutions:
1. I could still go for a bike ride, just not as long as I had planned. To be fair, that was probably a good idea, as it was my first bike ride in a while and it wasn't the best day weatherwise.
2. I could find out if what I was going to have to do could be delayed until slightly later in the day. The reply was yes, that was possible.
3. In tricky times I always go to the 16 Guidelines cards. I laughed out loud when the random card popped out and revealed 'Forgiveness'!!! When I turned to the 16G handbook, the first thing I read about 'Forgivness' was "Forgiveness is the capacity to reclaim our peace of mind when somehing has happened to disturb us." As always, the 'right' card had appeared. I will allow 'Forgiveness' to filter through the rest of my day and notice what solutions or answers it brings.
I am full of gratitude for the support I receive from all my tools. What are your favourite tools when something has happened to disturb you?
"Success doesn't come from what you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently."
As some of you will know, I competed in my first triathlon for eight years in September 2022. This was a massive step for me, after a long road back from Sepsis in 2015. I had thought my triathlon adventures over, but not only did I compete, I was second in my age group! I decided to enter a couple more triathlons in 2023 and started to check out dates and races. However, towards the end of the year, I began to experience severe pain in the middle of my heel, so I went to a physiotherapist who told me it was plantar fasciitis. From there, we found a few more imbalances in my body which in turn would have put some strain on other parts of my body, possibly leading to the pain I was now in. A huge kick in the rear end to return to a more consistent approach to yoga, pilates and other core exercise.. Youth is no longer on my side and I can't leave anything to chance any more! Suffice to say, I am back to regular yoga practice and I have been consistent in carrying out the physio exercises I have been given. Little by little, the pain has been lessening and I am very close to trying out the running shoes again!
The importance of this consistent approach got me thinking. There is no way I could have gone for one physio appointment and expected to have a pain free foot. Equally, I couldn't have expected to improve if I hadn't been consistent in carrying out the exercises I had been given. I have chosen to continue with the physio in order to find out how I can improve some of the other issues we found, so that my longterm physical health is more secure.
Consistency is also key in the work I do with humans and animals, as they work through either mentally or physically challenging times. It is very rare that one appointment or session will completely solve whatever issue has been presented. We are complex creatures! Equally, if the tools and exercises I have shared aren't consistently integrated into the lives of the animals and humans I work with, how can we expect longterm positive results?
Mindfulness is being present and noticing where we are right now. If we can keep focused on the present and not worry about the things we can't change, we will bring down our stress levels considerably. This practise is not easy to adopt, but with consistency, it is possible and will lead to a clearer mind, more focus and energy, and a more positive attitude.
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) aka Tapping is a wonderful tool to use in our daily lives. In between session with a practitioner, it is a good way to de-stress and work through all sorts of issues that have followed us through our lives. Again, consistent practise is the key.
Reiki is such a special selfcare treat but that is just scraping the surface of the true value of integrating Reiki into your life. Regular Reiki treatments, can be life transforming, as can completing Reiki Level One, which enables you to share Reiki with yourself, as well as your family.
EMMETT 4 Horses is a fantastic tool for physical and emotional ailments, but again, a one off session is not necessarily going to be the answer. Regular treatments are extremely beneficial for both your horse AND you. The horse and the human become more and more receptive to the EMMETT every time it is experienced.
DoTERRA essential oils have also made a big impact in my life, and again, I couldn't expect to use a few drops for a short period of time and expect everything to change. It has been integrating the oils into my daily life that has made the greatest impact. Due to the purity of the DoTERRA oils, I can also use them with animals and am currently enjoying learning more, so that I can share more with my animal clients.
Life is not a set of clear choices and decisions. It can be messy and muddy along the way, but if we can find tools to consistently use, we stand a better chance of leading a healthy life, both mentally and physically.
Thank you for reading this far! AndBreathe... is a very exciting venture and I am glad you have joined me on the journey!