There are times in our lives when things come together and what seemed like such a difficult time begins to evolve into something better than before!
These past few months particularly have been tough. That’s why there was no blog in May. I have been ‘skiting’ (good Doric word for skating) along, ‘just’ managing (barely) to keep all the balls up in the air. Like so many, I have several titles in my life - mother, daughter, granny, friend, auntie, flute teacher, musician, sole trader, EFT practitioner, wellbeing facilitator. Juggling all these roles can be tricky. Each of them needs more attention from time to time, but over the past few months it seemed like they all needed their turn at being my ‘Number One Priority’!
I reached a dark place, and it has taken everything I have in my toolkit to climb back out. I have taken time to note what was happening before, during and after the crash, learning even more about myself along the way. We are complex creatures! The one thing that reassured me was that so many colleagues were also commenting that they had been feeling ‘out of sorts’. We all have different language and ways of expressing those dark times. Some make light of it, some go quiet and others spell it out loudly and clearly! The effect of the pandemic on all of us is not to be taken lightly and not ignored. It’s going to take time for all of us to feel completely ‘safe’ again. Even the people who say ‘I’m fine’ have been impacted more than they realise. Our amygdalas have been on overdrive.
I have noticed recently that quite a few people I know had come off social media for a period of time, in order to ‘look after their mental health’ and that is one of the first things I decided to look at. I took all social media, email and bank apps off my phone. That has cut down my screen time considerably! I do monitor how I use my laptop but have to acknowledge that I do need to be on it a lot for work. The mindless browsing during breaks is being gradually cut out completely. Some habits take time to sort?!
I have recognised for a long time that my eating habits become erratic when I go through tricky times, so I am back planning my meals better and making sure I have a good variety of food in the house. I have also signed up to an EFT programme with Peta Stapleton and Carol Look (both are worth Googling!), looking at issues around food and how it relates to so many other areas of our lives. I am looking at this programme for professional development but, honestly, it’s for me too. I’ll let you know how it goes! I’ve watched one video so far and can already look in the mirror more comfortably. Mirrors (and getting my photo taken!) are something I have avoided studiously most of my life!
Yet again, I have looked at my calendar and diary and blocked time that is ‘selfcare’ time. I am back swimming, which is something I LOVE. Sandy and I have signed up to older puppy classes, something else I have also wanted to do. I have also made sure that I have a gentle start in the morning, as often as possible. That is something that I need to keep my life balanced.
A genuine concern that ran through all of the dark time was the worry about the impact of lockdown on AndBreathe123 and the huge dent that had been made to my financial situation. I know I am not the only one. It’s been scary, hasn’t it?!
But that brings me to the turnaround!
16Guidelines permeates my life, both personally and professionally. At the beginning of every month, I randomly choose a guidelines that will permeate through everything I do for that month. For June, I picked Kindness (Kindness: To be friendly, caring and considerate). Immediately, I could feel my body relax and a feeling that ‘all would be well’ began to spread throughout my body.
We all have a slightly different understanding about what Kindness means but the 16 Guidelines handbook describes it beautifully. I invite you to read more: https://16guidelines.org/explore/browse-the-guidelines/how-we-act/kindness
The same day, a colleague recommended Katy Lesson’s podcast ‘I shouldn’t say this but… my brain crashed’ with Dr T, throughout her social media. I don’t often take time to listen to podcasts (something else I plan to change) but I did listen to this one. I recognised so much of what was discussed and would encourage you to check it out. It is powerful.
“In this episode I talk to High Performance Expert & Psychiatrist, Dr T. We start this amazing conversation with WHY - why we’re both invested in preventing burnout and helping deal with crisis’. We also talk about how we both deal with being people pleasers but the positives this has brought to both our lives. Finally, we look at how restriction, change, uncertainty and threat can impact our emotions and the profound effect the past year has had on all of us. If you want some tips about how to move on from the past year, this is the episode for you.” Katy Leeson
Over the past few days, a number of new clients have booked appointments, new contacts have been made and plans are beginning for other longterm opportunities. The sun is shining and the future is looking bright!
I cannot say just how much I appreciate being able to work face to face again. Online EFT works very well and it’s good for clients who live too far away, but I do like being in the same space. In addition to my studio in Insch, I have started back at the Urban Wellness Hub, Bridge of Don. This is such a lovely place to work, as well as a perfect place to treat myself to good quality selfcare! Urban Wellness Hub has the only float room in Scotland and I am currently counting my sleeps before my next float! If you don’t know what I’m speaking about, please click on this link: https://www.urbanwellnessfloat.co.uk/
If you are struggling right now, you are not alone.
This week, two 16 Guidelines cards dropped out when I was choosing one with a client. They were ‘Honesty’ and ‘Humility’. I chose to be honest and write with humility, as I shared my experiences over the past couple of months. If you are struggling, please reach out to someone. I am fortunate to have the AndBreathe123 tools, in addition to good friends and family members who have been there to listen and give me space to reflect. Their kindness has been appreciated. I am here to share the AndBreathe123 tools, so that you can create your own toolkit. The tools are for every day, not just when the going gets tough.
If you would like to learn more about 16 Guidelines, please sign up for the Building Inner Srength: 16 Guidelines for Life, Level One course at Haddo House & Country Park on 19th & 20th June. It is a unique opportunity! If you are unable to join us, I invite you to read more about humility and honesty by clicking on the following links:
Humility – To be willing and able to learn from others.
Honesty – To act with transparency and fairness
I look forward to seeing some of you very soon!
Thank you for reading this far! AndBreathe... is a very exciting venture and I am glad you have joined me on the journey!