Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
I'm not a lover of routine and would argue perhaps I need to trick myself into consistency. I felt OK with a 'bedtime pattern' for my daughter, but a 'bedtime routine'? That felt to suck the joy out of things for me, cage me, trap me and contain us in a way that I battled against. Quite probably says more about me, and for any homeopaths reading this, re-reading it is probably no shock that an 'animal' remedy is suiting me well.
But rituals? Possibly the witchy feel to the title, possibly just quite how damn helpful they are, rituals I am on board with and I like. Not just like, feel convinced they are helping me improve many areas. Helping me find consistency.
I'm currently taking part in Paul Mort's Unstoppable 28, 28 days, with 4 coaching calls, and daily rituals to do, well, daily. Simple, yet really effective.
Sharing my The Compassion Sessions with a group of brilliant people (week 1 started yesterday), I've a couple of things we're doing for the week - I'll share those in a moment.
For Paul's course, daily I'm writing one word that describes how I want to feel that day, a reason why, what I'll do to ensure I achieve it, one thing I'm excited about that day and who needs me to show up and be epic that day. I paraphrase slightly - he says unstoppable. He also swears a lot. I like him.
Week 3, Unstoppable 28, we added in some extras - ensuring 2l of water was drunk before 12, some form of energising (cold shower, exercise, breathwork... or many others), hug (which could be a compliment, act of kindness to other as well as an actual hug) and meditate for 15 minutes a day. Ideally all of them before 12, to make sure they got done.
All the way through, there's been the writing of 3 things that we were grateful for each day. Imagine at the end of 28 days, that's 84 things to be grateful for that month. Things that could easily have passed by unnoticed but have been marked down and we've made ourselves aware of them.
Our brains are amazing, incredible things and I'm so grateful to have studied them - I'm still in absolute wonder of this phenomenal creation. That said, sometimes they're not our best friends, sometimes, and perhaps especially, when we need them to be.
Our brains are hard wired with a bias towards the negative. Towards keeping us safe and out of danger. Dangers that may have happened in our ancestral past, or in our own past, but sometimes are no longer present.
Our Pug X is a wee reactive dog and whilst we are having training sessions with her, in hindsight, we should have done so quite a bit earlier. We had some emergency intervention when things got really tough, but in general we've done our best with the awareness we have. Which perhaps may not have been enough. Still, after all, it's the second time in two days for me to mention it; the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, and the second best time is now...
Our brains can respond a bit like a reactive dog, spotting danger everywhere that we need to be kept safe from, and with her we're doing training to hopefully get less reactive, and we're soon starting to add in some alternative behaviours - not just adapting and perhaps even coping much better with the challenges, but giving her something to do. Having an action to concentrate on.
I do like the idea of a reactive dog and the analogy of that and our brains - we can be swept all over by our very persuasive thoughts and in reality this quote from Michael Neill in his TED talk Why We Aren't Awesomer rings true...
Back to the idea of taking action. It's easy not to. I'm a master at it. If there was a Degree in saying I'd do something before recognising I'm delightfully inconsistent, I could have a First. But I am seriously loving the small changes that I'm seeing through creating some important rituals that serve me.
From being calmer in arguments (a real bonus living with a teen and my partner) to looking forward to my daily meditations. From seeing my strength improve at the gym to reading regularly (2 pages a day minimum), having rituals is helping me stay on track.
Habit formation takes differing amounts of time, dependent perhaps on who you ask, but realistically 21 days minimum of doing something, and possibly far more. Research I've read suggests it's over the 21 days by and large, but if we don't start we'll never find out.
I'm loving the meditation app Balance and have been using it regularly since May of this year. Gratitude journalling I manage to fall in and out of doing, but it's been a good Paul Mort wake up and reminder to crack on with it. Imagine in 3 months, seeing 270 things to be grateful for (based on 3/day x 90 days).
Simple rituals, but a reminder of care and nurture for ourselves, which it's easy to forget to do.
My home-play for The Compassion Sessions week 1 is
- Find a song which resonates and feels good and play it once a day for a week
- Write something on a post it that you like about yourself daily for a week and stick it somewhere you can see it
- Write a word that describes how you want to feel that day and a reason why
I'd love to know if you have daily rituals and if so what works for you?
Or if you'd like to do any of them listed above and how they work for you.
Also, whilst I'm here, I really like the idea of asking ourselves "What's the kindest thing I can do for myself right now?"
Mine is go for a matcha latte just now...
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.