Let it go

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting - over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

WILD GEESE - Mary Oliver.

Many of us mums carry guilt. As if the pressure wasn’t enough, let’s add more and we’ll take it.

I’m just like you with the guilt.

Last week I went on a spa day and didn’t come home until really late that evening. Throughout the day I was worrying that I was going to be late home and hoped the kids were fed and watered! I felt guilty because I wasn’t there when they got back from school (my husband was there, by the way). Spending all day worrying and feeling guilty, fearing of being judged because I was away for the day really did not do anyone any good. The kids did not bat an eyelid. No big deal for them or my husband. Does it resonate with you?

So why do we worry? Is it a sign that we care? Is it a sign that we are a good mother and wife? Is it a sign that we are not selfish? That is another big thing that I hear many times that taking care of ourselves, our needs - yes I agree that a spa day is a luxury (hence the last time I went on one was probably about 12-13 years ago), and I am not just referring to spa day here - that it means we are selfish.

But really it is not selfish. Self-care is not a selfish act.

It dawned on me that a selfish act is when we shout at our kids, argue with our partner, talk down at ourselves, berate ourselves. Why? Because we project our unmet needs on to them. Do you often find that children play up when you are tired and whatever your partner does annoys and irritates the hell out of you? If your cup was full, you would not be short and snappy!

When your cup is full, you feel calmer, more in control, have more patience, kinder toward others, and your self, because you have enough, more than enough to give.

And the guilt, if we can pile guilt on ourselves, we can remove it too, do you agree? What can you do to stop feeling guilty? Because feeling guilty does not serve anybody, most of all you.

So beautiful, thinking about needs, what is it that you need today for you to be OK? What can you let go of? How can you release yourself from this guilt? Let it go.

There is no need for perfection because it does not exist. Just being you is enough. Just being good enough is enough. You are enough.

Tell me, what will you let go off today? Feel free to share with me as I’d love to know what you’re going to do.

Los of love

Claryn x

“Your heart knows the way.

Run in that direction”

- Rumi

And breathe - 5 simple ways for busy working mums to practice spirituality

And breathe…

I’m sure you’ll have heard this phrase many times. It really means just that ‘breathe’, slow deep breath.

What I wanted to explore here is conscious breathing. But before we explore breathing just a little bit more, I want to just briefly explain what spirituality and spiritual practice is - which I’m sure you know anyway, but it will be a good reminder in this context.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, spirituality is the quality that involves deep feelings and beliefs and beliefs of a religious nature rather than the physical parts of life. It is a huge subject and I’m not even going to attempt to explore them all here.

Others say that ‘spirituality is the measure of how willing we are to allow Grace—some power greater than ourselves—to enter our lives and guide us along our way’.

What does practising spirituality mean and what does it look like?

Before starting to practice spirituality, it’s worth getting clarity as to why you want to gain from it. Set an intention (and you can always change your intention as you ago along). By doing this it helps to measure your success and keep you motivated.

For example, you want to build connection with your spirit guide, develop stronger intuition, increase productivity, reduce stress and anxiety or find inner peace and calm.

You can always change your intention as you go along, but having one is a great way to measure your success and to keep you motivated.

‘A spiritual practice or spiritual discipline (often including spiritual exercises) is the regular or full-time performance of actions and activities undertaken for the purpose of inducing spiritual experiences and cultivating spiritual development’ - Wikipedia.

What it looks like in real life is how we treat ourselves with loving kindness, for example and, love and accept ourselves and others unconditionally. Spiritual practice is a living practice. For me, practising my spirituality gives me deeper connection with my inner being and connects me to my higher consciousness and the Universe, the cosmic power and energy out there that is far greater than me, us.

In the world of parenthood, practising spirituality on a regular and daily basis can be a huge challenge for many, especially if you’re a working parent too. However, I can assure it can be done. But it takes commitment and discipline. And it is worth the time and energy because the benefit is immense. I cannot do without mine now.

Here I’m sharing with you 5 simple ways to start practising spirituality, just pick one that suits your situation at the moment:

  1. Conscious breath.

    You can do this anywhere literally. But preferably in a quiet environment so that you can feel that you’re not being watched. Close your eyes, breath in and breath out through your nose and bring your focus on each inhalation and exhalation. Feel the the cool air your breath in and warm air your breath out. Start with 5 breaths. Then breath deeper all the way to your belly that your belly rises when your breathe in and falls when you breathe out. Again, do 5 breaths. Be with your breaths, really focus on the air that your breathe in and out. The breath connects the body and the mind. It brings you to that present moment. It calms your mind.

  2. Expressing gratitude.

    Every morning or every night, list 3 things that you are grateful for e.g. ‘Today, I’m grateful for…Maybe get yourself a lovely notebook and put it by the bedside. Being grateful has been said to be the equivalent to feeling the presence of the Divine in our lives and being in a state of bliss. It is also associated with greater happiness, contentment and connection.

  3. Morning Pages/journaling.

    Buy yourself a beautiful journal/notebook for this exercise.

    “Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing,
    done first thing in the morning.
    There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages
    they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about
    anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritise and
    synchronise the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put
    three pages of anything on the page...and then do three more pages tomorrow”.

    But, if you don’t manage 3 pages, no problem, don’t overthink, don’t beat yourself up about it. If you don’t manage it first thing in the morning, same, don’t overthink, don’t get annoyed or beat yourself up about it. Just start writing. I’d really recommend to find a time that suits you during the day so you can more or less do it at the same time everyday. It then becomes a habit.

    If writing in sentences doesn’t appeal to you, see is a brain dump, just write single words.

  4. Meditation.

    Meditation helps calms the mind and brings you back to the present moment. It helps you to become aware of what’s happening in your life. It’s like you’re observing your life (and your thoughts) as an outsider.

    Start with finding a quiet space where you can sit on the floor or on the chair comfortably and your feet touching the floor. Place each hand on each thigh. Close your eyes and bring your mind to focus on your breath. If your mind wanders, bring your attention back tho the breath and keep doing it. The fact that you’re aware that your mind wanders is part of the meditation. It brings awareness to the present moment. Start with 2 minutes every morning. If you cannot do silence, use an app. Apps such as insighttimer or Headspace is free to download. **

  5. Connecting with nature.

    This is something that I find really helps me. Everyday I go for a walk, more often than not, I take my dogs for a walk. I don’t just walk and continue my mind chatter though, I look around, at my dogs what they’re doing, I am really being mindful and conscious being in the moment absorbing nature with all my senses, expressing my gratitude at same time and feeling in awe of the vastness and magic of this earth.

It takes practice, so strive for practice and not perfection because there’s no perfection in practising spirituality.

All you need is bit of time, it doesn’t require much energy. Let your partner and/or kids know (if they’re old enough to understand) that you need such and such time to start meditation/writing journal. Let them support you. Make time for you if this is what you want. How I started my practice was setting my alarm 10 mins earlier each morning to meditate and I told my husband not to disturb me!

I’ll be sharing more of this inside my membership programme which is launching on 1st November 2019. Not only there’ll be more resources and options, you’ll also get more support to get your practice starting and more importantly continuing for you to benefit long term.

Sign up to the waitlist to receive the updates.

But more importantly for now, just start. I’m here to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you for reading and let me know how you’re getting on. Breathe.

Lots of love

Claryn xx

**

Insight Timer: insighttimer.com/
Headspace: www.headspace.com/

CALM: www.calm.com/
Deepak Chopra: chopracentermeditation.com/
10% Happier: www.tenpercent.com/

David Ji: davidji.com/

Protect your energy - Decline for secret reasons

Do you often say “I haven’t even got the energy for ‘X’ let alone ‘Y’, but I’ve still got to do ‘X’!

Imagine Y is the thing that you really would love to have time and energy to do, from going to the gym, going for a run or a yoga class to reading a book in bed. X could be visiting your parents, relatives, to baking for a school fete. In fact you really haven’t got the energy to do anything other than getting up, doing a bit of chores in the morning, getting the kids ready for school, going to work, coming home, sorting out the kids, dinner, clearing up and putting the kids to bed and then it’s time for bed again. But you don’t go to bed of course, not until at least 11pm. You’re constantly exhausted and depleted.

It looks like you really don’t have any space in between those times to do anything for yourself. I get it as I’d been there.

So let’s try to work out your energy is spent here, as it seems like it’s seeping through somehow. And if you’re not careful, it will continue to seep through and you’ll run on empty, again and again.

How will you stop your energy seeping and start protecting it? I have a few useful tips here that you can try:

  • Do daily, weekly and monthly review and list what your responsibilities and to-do list are. Really be honest with yourself. For the things that you’re not sure, ask yourself ‘is this really my responsibility? Can I delegate this job? Can I drop it?’ Be really honest and clear.

  • Say No. To any extra work, or even to an invitation for coffee or dinner. Ask yourself ‘can I really afford to do this (energy and time), what would be the consequences if I said yes? Quite possibly another late night because you still have to catch up with housework or go food shopping, and so on which then delays everything and you’ll end up going to bed late and waking up tired. Politely decline for secret reasons - honestly (I came across this from Dr Libby’s Instagram post the other day and I thought I’d share this with you).

  • Say Yes to yourself to doing nothing, doing less, doing just enough and even picking up that ONE thing (the Y) that you’ve been wanting to do for a long time because doing this will not only inject some zing back into your life, but also will make you feel uplifted and happier. In turn, you’ll have happier and better behaved children children because they experience more positive interactions with their mummy, much less strained relationship with your partner and so on.

Some tips to replenish and recharge your energy:

  • Move your body. This might sound strange that if you want to protect energy, why do you want move? I’m referring to mindful movements here, walking, stretching, even dancing. Moving the body gets the stagnant energy moving and leaving your system.

  • Take a break regularly during the day, stretch, go outside, walk. It might even be possible to take a short nap! Rest on your days off.

  • Drink lots of water. Cut down or even avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks. Sometimes having caffeine or sugary drinks disguises your energy levels. Consider your blood sugar levels and adrenaline, just to mention a few!

  • Eat nutritious foods.

  • Go to bed early and maybe get up earlier so you have time to get yourself sorted before the rest of the household wakes up. Spend alone time with yourself.

  • Build routines for morning and bedtime. This will form good habits and have ripple effects to your day.

  • Last but not least, take conscious and slow breaths.

In summary, when we say ‘no’ to others, we say ‘yes’ to ourselves, we protect our energy, feed our own needs, tend to our health and respect our values.

Hope this has been useful to you. Let me know if any of this resonates and if you need any help from me. I’ll be delighted to have a chat with you and find out more about you.

And if you like this blogpost and want to receive it on a regular basis, please sign up to my mailing list here.

Love

Claryn x

5 Ways To Stop The Wandering Mind

Do you sometimes think that how on earth some people seem to have it all together and yet you're struggling to string a sentence together?

I get it because I've been there. And this made me feel even more overwhelmed and inadequate! Does it make you feel like that too?

You're not alone. On a bad day when we're tired due to lack of or no sleep (hence the cause of bad day), the things we can usually respond well, tolerate and accept suddenly become intolerable and unacceptable and we respond in a way that perhaps slightly out of character. Everything seems to go wrong and we get even more worked up about it and then your thought process spirals out of control and you start believing that you’re useless, not good enough and so on.

Do you see how sometimes with one thought that is not even true can have the potential to mess up your day? When we’re feeling a little fragile and full self doubt, it’s so easy to get into comparison and feel inadequate. Our mind goes wandering and sometimes before we know it we get anxious. That is what mind does - wanders. We need to control what we think because it affects how we feel and do. Thoughts are simply thoughts and they are not real.

What can you do to stop the wandering thoughts? Here are some tips that you might find helpful:

  1. Switch you attention to your breath then take slow and gentle breath to calm yourself. Start with 5 breaths - in a safe environment, you might like to close your eyes when you do this breathing technique. You can do more if you can. Maybe 2-5 minutes. Your mind might wander and you might feel irritable and uncomfortable because maybe you’re not used to this. But give it a go anyway. Keep focusing on the breath. When you stop and take conscious breaths, your body knows you’re safe and hence your heart rate will return to normal and you can feel calm again.

  2. Bring your attention to the place you’re in, find the things you can touch, see, hear, smell. Then say to yourself ‘I am here’. ‘I am OK’. ‘Everything is OK’.

  3. Take a simple action - a practical action. It distracts you from what you were thinking and gets you to physically change something. Maybe walking, talking, cooking, making a cuppa, anything that will take your mind off what you were thinking.

  4. Make a short list (3-5) of the people and things that you have and are grateful for.

  5. Self-compassion: acknowledge yourself for the things that you have done and achieved and forgive yourself for the things that you have not done. It doesn’t change who you are. Love yourself and all that you are.

So back to you gorgeous one to remember that you are doing your best and you are enough.

By the way, no one has got it together so please go easy on yourself.

Love Claryn x

Tell me what is it that you plan to do....

The social conditioning of women’s role as care givers and nurturers is so well-embedded, it is hardly surprising that the need to meet our own needs goes out of the window because many of us feel that it will clash with fulfilling our ‘duties and expectations’ which are to meet the needs of others first.

This may result in us neglecting our needs, conflicts and resentment, which consequently affect others too, especially our nearest and dearest. Recently I conducted a research call with Carla. She is a business woman running 3 businesses, a parent of one child and also a carer for her parent. She told me that it was down to her to make sure that every single thing is running smoothly. Therefore taking time for herself was non-existence. And she said she would feel guilty if she did take time for herself. She took on every job there was in the business and family, including waiting for an engineer to come and read the electric meter in her parent’s house. She felt exhausted, frustrated and resentful. She longed for the simple things in life such as talking to her partner about life and having coffee with a friend and chatting about nothing and anything.

Listening to her saddened me. Just because she, you, me, we can do anything it does not mean that we have to do everything. We absolutely do not need to say YES to everything and fulfil all these duties that have been placed upon us. Is it really our role and responsibilities anyway? Are we really the only persons to do them?The answer is no, it is not. We need to stop trying to do everything just because we can. Carla, you, I and we need to build strong boundaries.

Establishing my own boundaries took a long time. Often the biggest challenge for strong boundaries is family. Having strong boundaries with your family does not mean you no longer prioritise theirs but it means you include yourself in the equation too. So you allocate and protect your time to meet your needs.

Boundaries are signs of self-respect. When you treat yourself with respect yourself i.e. not allowing people to take advantage of you, drain your energy, exhaust your time, you teach others to do the same too. It feels empowering, although it can be so uncomfortable in the beginning. It takes practice and consistency is key.

When you feel empowered, you start to feel confident again. You become a role model to those around you. It’s a win-win outcome. It can prevent conflict, frustration and resentment because everyone knows where they stand.

Do you know what your needs are?

Needs need to be met in order for you to be in the state of OK. I categorise my needs into five sections - food, water, sleep, mindful movements and spiritual practice. This is the chart for it if you’d like to download it for your own use.

Fulfilling everyone’s needs is not your responsibility but fulfilling yours IS.

Give yourself an acknowledgment that you’re doing your best as a working mum and forgive yourself for not doing everything.

Do give a form a go and if fulfilling your needs is/will be a challenge then let me help you overcome this.

I’m always here to help. And don’t wait too long when you can change something that will make your happier.

So are you ready and willing to rise above this social conditioning and start living a fulfilling life?

Love

Claryn x

When juggling too many balls.....

Almost all of us working mums do not escape juggling jobs, home and kids. A social life becomes a non-existence for many. My social life involves a sofa and a book or binge-watching something on TV whatever-is-on-at-the-time sort of watching. We are BUSY, ladies, and it is often hard-going as we struggle to juggle all of those balls up in the air and at the same time feeling content and fulfilled with it all.

The good news is that I’m pretty adept at self-care. But the not so good news is that sometimes I don’t do what I preach. Without making excuses, I’m human and I’m not perfect. However, the better news is that I recognise the signs when I need to jump back on the self-care wagon. That is by reviewing my basic needs – whether they are met or not and my boundaries. For me they are my most vital ingredients to feeling vibrant. Because I never want to revert to how I was before – feeling unhealthy and not so good about myself and how this impacted on my family, relationships and work.

A recent vitality retreat ran by One of many highlighted an area that needed an immediate action – that was to address my on-going skin and gut issues which were closely linked. I have since taken a couple of tests and am now awaiting results. This retreat has been a great reminder that when you address something, it has a ripple effect. Using this example, whilst awaiting for the test results, I have started looking into my diets again and different ways of changing things that I can weave into my already busy schedule. This has also required me to look into everything that’s happening in and around me.  Mindfulness and consciousness come to mind. To cut a long story short, even with little changes, the effect is already positive for me, my family and my work.

This has been a powerful reminder that I needed to review my commitment and always keep a close eye on how my body feels and give myself permission to switch off, rest and relax. There needs to be a balance in everything, without balance things can go wrong, our health suffers for example.

As always, the intention for my posts is always to help, guide and remind you to prioritise yourself and your needs. Take control before control controls you. Slowing down, taking a break, and resting isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength. Asking for help is a strength.

Self-care is always an on-going process, it’s a great habit to get into, like brushing your teeth. I’m sharing what’s working for me at the moment. The emphasis is the ‘process’ and not a destination. It’s a process that supports you to get to your destination, wherever it may be. It becomes an anchor. The ebb and flow of life requires more of us sometimes and we can only give our best when we are at our best.

So let me invite you now to review your commitment and self-care schedule. If you have any problems around this, feel free to reach out and I’ll be more than happy to chat with you.

Is it time to say No?

Saying No when you need to is self-care. It is a huge part of boundaries. Saying No is hard. Building and maintaining boundaries that are healthy is hard. What is healthy and what is not is pretty much subjective, do you agree? Think about what you’re willing to accept and not willing to accept.

I’m naturally a people’s pleaser and I believe most women are too. We learn the hard way to stop people-pleasing; it costs us our happiness and joy sometimes. I used to have a hard time with boundaries especially when it comes to family and work. For many reasons, it was often hard for me to ask for what I need and to say no to requests/demands. In one way it felt good being needed but in another way I also felt resentful toward myself for saying too many yeses. I used to feel torn between letting people down and letting me down and was always thinking of other people’s priorities and needs first before my own. I still do now but I get over it pretty quickly once I decide that ‘no’ is the answer.

Without boundaries, conflict and misunderstanding can arise. This often leads to resentment and frustration. And if not dealt with or addressed sooner it could lead to bigger things such as relationship strains.

In a physical world, boundaries are easier to identify, for example the boundaries of your property; you know what belongs to you and what doesn’t. It’s much more difficult, of course in a non-physical world where it can’t be seen but it can be heard, thought of and felt. But it is just as real as the physical ones. According to Cloud and Townsend, boundaries define us - they define ‘what is me and what is not me’. A boundary shows where my part ends and someone else’s part begins. It defines ownership, responsibility and accountability. It defines self-care and self-love for sure.

The simplest form of boundary setting is the word NO. And this needs to communicated clearly and simply. And you don’t necessarily need to apologise for saying no. Yes it may be uncomfortable but this will be nothing compared to if you didn’t say no and defend your boundaries. So have the courage to say no sooner than later because sooner or later, it will catch up with you and you’re the one that is left burning with resentment.

Next time you have trouble saying No, remind yourself that you’re protecting your property, and that property is YOU. You’re not only supporting yourself, you’re supporting others too. Because by saying no to them, you’re empowering them to make other decisions and seek other help for themselves. You also become a role model for your children, friends, family and others around you.

What can you say No to? Let me know in the comment. And if you need some support to set your boundaries, please drop me a line, I’ll only be too happy to help.

Love

Claryn x

What are you afraid of?

In the past couple of weeks, I felt like fate slapped me in the cheeks quite a few times! I was guessing that it’s been poking so many times but I refused to take notice. Because I didn’t want to deal with whatever it was; I was too busy and didn’t have time. So it poked me harder. This time I took notice. I stopped and listened.

You see, sometimes, many times, a lot of the times we’re so engulfed and wrapped up in this so called life that we forget to live. To live does not mean always doing. It can become meaning less doing, doing things with less meaning. So many of us too busy doing and we forget being. Being still. Living. To feel the joy, the peace, the being. That’s just not possible I hear myself say sometimes. Can you relate?

When we’re busy doing, we’re not listening let alone being mindful. We may be doing without thinking because we know what we’re doing. Do we really though? Too much doing we end up pushing and keep pushing through. To get done. And then what? We’re missing the whole point of living because we become disconnected. We become the slaves of time, we become disempowered because we’re being dictated by tasks, by doing tasks. We become slaves to our external environment.

We forget we have the heart and the body that have been trying to tell us something. We become disintegrated, disconnected. Because when we stop doing, we don’t know what to do. We still don’t make connection with the heart and the body because the mind races to get things done whether the heart and body say wait, not now.

We’re then missing a huge whole point. We don’t allow our heart to lead and show us the way. We don’t hear our body crying because it’s too exhausted. The mind just doesn’t rest. We become disillusioned, disgruntled, dissatisfied, unhappy and unfulfilled. We become further away from ourselves.

And yet we still resist to come back. To ourselves, our home, our body, our heart and the connection. Because of the emotions and stuff that we might have to deal with. We are afraid of what we might find. What could it be? Do I dare go there? And if i don’t, it might just go away. It won’t go away.

The discovery can be painful and powerful in equal measure. But it changes you. I have been living with deep rooted shame and guilt and telling myself the same stories over and over again. They’re no true. I’ve started making my way home quite sometime ago and learning to be comfortable at home. It is a journey of discovery and it’s exciting. I see light and I feel lighter. I’ve started telling myself that these stories are neither true or real.

Can I invite you, and only when you feel ready, to write down the stories you have been telling yourself that are not true and have stopped you from taking action or moving forward?

Be bold. Be brave. Just be you.

Be bold. Be brave. Just be you.

Fill up your cup first

There’s nothing wrong with me or YOU.

But there's something not right about the things that we think we need to do to be accepted, fit in, belong and feel worthy. To conform to the norms that do not serve us. Such as the beliefs that we have to be able to do everything and that we cannot stop or perhaps in many cases we do not allow ourselves to stop and take a break, because hey there's so much to do and not enough time in a day right? One example, who's in this day of age can luxuriate themselves in 30 mins lunch break? We have to sit at our desk to eat our lunch, right? We just work our butts off, including through our lunch, because if we don't and we take a lunch break, oh God forbid what our colleagues or bosses are going to say about us? And of course, we cannot possibly ask for help when we're up to here in the neck with mountains of work to do. I mean that's still not enough because when we get home, there are endless jobs still to do - cooking, cleaning, tidying up and before we know it's time for bloody bed!

There are few things here that I'd like to address. And I'd like to address boundaries; how we treat ourselves is how we show, allow and accept how people treat us. 
You set the tone.

You do not need to be a martyr or superwoman where you say yes to everything and you do not need to do everything yourself. Be realistic about your own expectations. Know what you need - to eat, drink, take a break, walk, sleep, sit and do nothing; these are just some examples of your basic needs. Tend to these basic needs first. Fulfilling these needs isn't a luxury, it's a necessity because without which you're not OK. So you decide what your needs are and then make sure you do them. Say yes to your needs first, then you'll feel more ready to say yes to other things (within reason).

For those who don't know what I did before, I used to work in a multi-role profession, say yes to many things - because it was my job and I wanted to do my job well. I wanted to fit in, be accepted and feel my worth. I was running around like a headless chicken agreeing to do too many things and lost sight of the things that were happening right under my nose. Because this is what happens when you're too busy running around after jobs and people, you lose sight and become disconnected from yourself.

I feel you, your pain, your frustration and I want to help to find ways to come back to you again.

It's OK to say no. It's OK to say you're tired. It's OK to say that you have already got too much on. It's OK to ask for help. It's absolutely bloody OK to say no to others but it NOT OK for you not to be OK.

Fill up your cup first. You’ve got this!

What are you going to say NO to today so that you can have a breather and tend to your needs?

Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading and I hope it resonates with you.

Claryn xx

Take care of you first.

Take care of you first.

Everyday is a fresh new start

Happy New Year!

The first Saturday of the new year saw me and my daughter did our first Park Run. Having not run properly for about 18 months I was excited and hopeful that it would bring my mojo back for running and my fitness back on track. Doing more physical activities is one of my new intentions this year having lost motivation to do anything ‘hardcore’ or ‘yang’ in the last 2 months since I terminated my gym membership. I really felt something else was missing despite continuing my yoga practice.

Connection came to mind as I was running. Connection with nature, water, farm animals, other people, my daughter and myself. I’d forgotten how good it felt running outside again! Being able to zone in and connecting the mind, the body and the breath - either focusing on my strides or my breaths or sometimes looking up and absorbing the nature’s beauty has lifted something inside me. I felt increased connectedness and understanding with my daughter and myself. Although I didn’t talk to many people, I still felt some sort of connection through sharing mutual interest and goal - running and completing the course. There was a huge sense of community spirit and solidarity. It was heart-warming. And to do it in a such beautiful setting surrounded by nature, water and sheeps, I couldn’t have asked for more! I had way more than what I bargained for!

It made me realise that it wasn’t just about the running. The running was a vehicle to achieve this unexpected realisation. It gave me an opportunity and space to zone-in. I felt like my mind was being wrapped in soft smooth bubbles of quietness and stillness that it was hard not to go inward and become reconnected with myself. On a physical level, my body felt light, alive and energised, and on a spiritual level, I felt high-spirited and elated with joy. I felt I have become more open and expansive. I felt like everything had been reset.

Completing a 5k run felt like a challenge, and doing it without stopping having not run for so long and overcoming that, was an accomplishment for me. It really reminds me that when there’s a will, there’s a way and this applies to anything we want to do in order to improve our lives. Starting can be hard, but once you’ve started it becomes easier. Taking small steps, one step at a time is a great way to achieve your goals. Consistency, dedication and commitment are all part of the recipe for accomplishment. And to accomplish something, whatever it may be, we must remember to give ourselves time, love and patience.

Giving ourselves time, being kind and patient with yourself, honouring, protecting and appreciating yourself, as well as nourishing and nurturing your mind, body and spirit. Remember to always go back to yourself.

To sum up, there are 2 things I take away from this experience (you may have guessed it) - overcoming challenges and making connection. My message to you is that challenges are usually personal and something that we have to do ourselves, but always know that there are other people who can and will support us (family, friends, community). We need to get better at asking and receiving help. Choose people who nourish and enrich your souls, people who lift you up and are there to cheer you on and celebrate you, as well as those who catch you where you’re down and stay by your side. Remember also that when there’s a will, there’s a way - if you want to change something, do it now. Start where you are, don’t wait. Everyday gives you a chance for a fresh start.

I’d be interested to know any recent challenges you’ve overcome or anything that you want to change but don’t know where to begin and feel stuck. Leave me a comment or drop me an email. Hope you’ve found this blogpost useful.

Thank you for reading.

Sending peace and love

Claryn xx

It’s never too late to start again.

It’s never too late to start again.