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Boost Your Bliss

Two Minute Guided Relaxation Meditation [video]

The weather this week in Ireland has been unusually sunny so I’ve been making the most of our Indian summer and shot a few guided meditations outdoors. Here’s one you can try, it’s short and sweet. What might a two minute meditation do for you? Well if you sit or lie down, switch off everything else, and listen …. you are likely to experience a range of immediate benefits including a boost of bliss, relished relaxation and an elevation of energy. Those are the things people often tell me they feel straight away. There’s other more long term things going on too like blood pressure normalising, hormones balancing (including stress hormones reducing and happy hormones increasing), deeper more refreshing sleep, less physical pain and an increase in compassion for yourself and others. That’s an pretty incredible list isn’t it!

After just a 3 minute meditation that I shared a women told me that her asthma improved beyond belief, another lady slept deeply for the first time in months since she lost a loved one and a Mum told me the next day that she didn’t shout at her kids getting ready for the school run. These results that are real and make not only a different to you but all of those around you.

Let me know how you get on with this meditation. What benefits are you feeling and noticing? If there’s a particular challenge in life, physical or emotional, that you are facing, get in touch and I’ll tailor a 2 minute meditation or holistic health video for you to post here.

Boost Your Bliss

Boost Your Bliss

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwXEAM5rsBk

Liked this? Come and join our community of supportive women learning to meditate and embed other stress and anxiety reduction techniques into their daily lives over in my Facebook Group Meditation For Women.

 

Garden & Lawn Flower Mandala

Flower Mandalas, A Creative Way To Destress

Garden & Lawn Flower Mandala

Garden & Lawn Flower Mandala

Today I want to share with you a simple and enjoyable way to meditate outside. It was the lovely Fiona at Nourish & Flourish who first tweaked my interest in flower mandalas when she posted her own beautiful creations.

I found that creating a flower mandala was a lovely gentle way to bring myself into the present moment, tune into nature, switch a busy mind off and connect with my creative and spiritual side. I was surprised that the process of making a mandala was in itself a meditative practice. Read more

Meditate Anywhere

Free 7 Day Destress Guided Meditation ECourse For Beginners

IMG_6094I’m really excited to launch my first e-course … and it’s free. Check it out, share far and wide with anyone you think might benefit …

Would you like to have some me time, clear your head, quiet your mind and destress? All in the comfort of your own home? Join my new FREE Learn To Meditate 7 day ecourse delivered daily to your inbox. You’ll receive a 2 to 5 minute guided video meditation every day and there’s a ‘Learn to Meditate’ Facebook support group where you can share your journey and ask questions. Read more

Preparing the She Shed Venue

The She Shed Self Care Retreat For Women

she shed event page banner june 2015This Friday 12th June is the first She Shed event, running from 10.30am to 2.30pm, to facilitate busy Mums, so they can come when kids are in school. This workshop is booked out but we are definitely going to run it again in July or September. Please get in touch if you’d like to be added to the workshop mailing list and you’ll be one of the first to hear about the next one. Read more

she shed event page banner june 2015

Womens Self Care Retreat

The She Shed is a womens self care retreat, a concept that myself and my holistic health colleague Angela Chilton came up with over a cup of tea recently. Through my work as a yoga teacher and shiatsu massage therapist, and hers as a homeopath, we both acknowledged the need for busy women to carve out time for themselves for some self care.  As mothers, carers and business women we often neglect our own needs, putting others first.

she shed event page banner june 2015

The She Shed is a day set aside just for you. From 10.30am – 2.30pm we will immerse ourselves in a range of activities to check in with ourselves, recharge our batteries and define our boundaries … so you can clearly define your own self care needs. We will eat excellent food, we will gently move our bodies with yoga, switch off our busy minds during meditation and tap into our inner oasis of peace, calm and clarity. We’ll find out how homeopathy can help women, we’ll break bread together and laugh at lunch. Last but not least we’ll sit together and sew something very simple but easy. A memento of the day to remind ourselves to take a few minutes each day to ourselves, longer when we need it.

Come and join us. No previous experience of yoga, sewing or meditation necessary.

To book your place call, message or text 086 8789546. €50 includes food and materials.

Find out more at The She Shed on Facebook.

Meditation

Meditation, My Life Jacket

MeditationI’m a meditation fan. I first came across meditation by chance at the age of eleven or twelve. I am spiritual but not religious however like many of us in Ireland I was brought up a Catholic. I say this because the first time I ever heard about meditation was in a little booklet that I found in my local Church bookshop. I was completely fascinated by the cover, which I now know was a mandala. On this occasion I judged the book by its enticing cover and so I was led into the pages to discover a description of how to meditate. I tried it, I liked it, I grew to love it. It helped me map my way through the fall out of my parents break up.

Just knowing that I have meditation at my side feels like an anchor and strength whenever I find myself facing into turmoil. I throw on my meditative ‘life jacket’, buckle up, take hold of the oars and guide my boat through the storm, riding the waves and I keep on going. I can even enjoy the storm, the view can be quite spectacular, there are always things to make me laugh and smile, stormy skies are beautiful.

I have found that I need to practice meditation regularly for it to maintain effectiveness. Roughly fifteen minutes a day of meditation seems to do the trick, though of course I miss a day here and there, sometimes a week or two. It’s a bit like keeping fit, if you don’t exercise you begin to loose condition. It’s also like riding a bike and once you get back into practice its easy to find where you left off.

My advice would be, if you think meditation is worth a go, do it every day for at least three weeks. If possible start now, don’t wait for a crisis to arise before learning to do it. Have your meditation foundations set and your practice embedded in your life as a habit. That way you are fully equipped to stay calm and clear when a crisis, or as I prefer to call it, ‘a challenge’, arrives with your next set of life lessons.

They say the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. Similarly, the best time to learn to meditate is before a crisis hits. Have your lifejacket stowed under your seat before the storm hits and you’ll have a great chance of sailing through it.

Try out my two minute guided meditation. Sit comfortably cross legged on the floor or on a seat upright and feet flat on the floor. Let me know how you get on with this in the comments below.

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Understanding The Nature Of Stress, It’s Effect & How To Counteract It

Effects Of Stress On The BodyStress is a natural process that happens to all of us.  Stress evolved as a way to keep us safe from perceived danger in our primitive environment. Today those complex responses still exist and indeed sometimes we need them even in modern times in  order to help avert us from a dangerous situation or even fight for our lives.  In reality our stress response is not triggered  by life threatening situations but instead by perhaps an overwhelming workload, financial strain, an unhappy relationship or an unfulfilling job.

Long term exposure to stress in your life can have a deleterious effect on your health and manifest in a whole range of symptoms. Why? As your body thinks it is in danger the ‘fight or flight’ mechanisms are prioritised while other bodily functions are switched to a minimal gear, including your immune and natural repair systems.  Why would your body waste energy fighting off a virus or healing an injury if your hormones are telling you that you may need to invest all your energies at any moment into running like hell from a hairy mammoth or fighting for your life? We have evolved to deal with the immediated danger to ensure survival but living a modern life tricks our bodies into thinking our stresses are more important than eradicating cancer cells, repairing injuries or fighting infection.

But don’t stress about being stressed! There are a whole range of ways to tip the balance back in favour of a balanced mind and body. If we can’t remove the stress (some we can, some we cant and some we aren’t yet ready to) then we can develop habits that will give our body a chance to balance. Once we understand this we can take steps to nurture our mind and body. Taking time out to ‘relax’ brings our nervous system back into what is called a parasympathetic stat. It is the opposite of being stressed out. The opposite of ‘fight or flight’. Your body releases hormones of relaxation and happiness. Your body brings its attention back into investing nutrients and energy to your immune and natural repair systems.  There are many easy and accessible ways to take time out for relaxation which will begin to address and balance the stresses you experience.

Shiatsu therapy is certainly a great way to sink into the parasympathetic state and counteract stress. Of course, it’s my personal favourite, which is why I eventually trained to become a therapist too. During Shiatsu the bodymind connection is invited to restablish itself. Where we are holding physical or emotional pain becomes apparrent to the receiver and relaxation follows. I also like to include  one to one guided meditation towards the end of a Shiatsu session if the client is open to this. The practice of meditation can provide a very comforting and effective haven in times of stress and is another powerful tool to aid deep relaxation. Once you have learned the art of meditation, it is a simple but powerful tool you can call on during any time of stress or personal challenge.  Meditation is something that you can do daily at home and is extremely effective in reducing stress and anxiety levels. Why not try some of the recorded meditations on my YouTube channel?

I also offer advice about which acupressure points can effectively  be used at home to reduce stress between treatments .  Shiatsu restores peace of mind, clarity and calmness.  As well as finding a therapy that helps you to relax there are physical activities that will maintain and amplify these benefits when practiced regularly, alongside with the benefits of becoming part of a group, which in itself has positive health benefits. These specific body mind focused activities include yoga, tai chi and chi gong.

What do you find most effective to reduce and balance your stress?