Do you try to control the waves of life or are you happy to surf their crests?
No two seconds are the same. Life is in constant flow, constant change. From the instant we are conceived in the womb, our world is continuously changing.
In our material existence, body consciousness, we are consciously aware of the world within us and around us. We observe life is flow, life is change. When flow stops, life stops.
Just like a stream, if the water is unable to flow, it becomes stagnant and dies.
With the thought that change is part and parcel of life. There are also periods of time in our lives where we observe our surroundings and activities may flow to a certain rhythm. This rhythm becomes familiar and we find comfort in the familiar, however life’s rhythm changes as do the seasons around us. When there is change to the rhythm in which our life is flowing, we may not want it to change or we may be very happy for a change.
When there is a noticeable change in our lives, by which we may feel challenged, such as starting a new school, parents divorcing etc.
If we are able to accept change is part of life’s flow and acknowledge evolution and growth only comes through change. We become more open to change. We do not try to grasp and control the flow.
We allow the waters to run their course, we learn to go with the flow, and we trust in the flow of life. We trust our life’s journey.
There is a lovely song in ‘Magnificent Me Magnificent You – The Grand Canyon” children story and yoga activity book which shares this thought titled “The River of Life”
However, if you do struggle with change, mindfulness practice provides present moment awareness. Mastering present moment awareness allows you to engage fully with what is happening in the now and not be distracted by past or future thoughts.
If you are wondering how I personally manage change. I choose to enjoy life in the now, the past has gone and can not be changed and is all part of the present moment. The future, that yet to experience, I have dreams and hopes for new experiences and act in the now to bring these into my life. My focus is on what I am doing in the present moment, as I feel everything emanates in the now, the past, the present and the future.
I would love to hear your thoughts on change, please do share in our comments section below.
Leader from the Heart
Only from the heart can we touch the sky – Rumi
We are each natural born leaders of our lives and whether we choose to solely be a leader of our own life or be a group leader the same skill sets are applicable.
As Mahatma Gandhi famously said everything begins with me.
And there could never be a truer statement, we must first master leadership of our own lives.
We must stand in our own truth’s, know that We Are Enough and Lead from the Heart.
Compassion is key. We each have a moral compass and when we lead with compassion we are following our moral compass.
Compassion is listening and expressing our authentic self with kindness, love and humility to ourselves and others, making choices that serve the greater good of all.
Embracing our common humanity, treating others as we would want to be treated, taking time to time to put ourselves in the shoes of others and understanding their truths.
Compassion gives rise to hope, courage, determination and inner strength all essential qualities for good leadership.
As a young person do you make choices from a position of fear or love. Choosing to be a leader of your life from a place of love, firstly of yourself, will be the most empowering choice to make.
Blog post by Dawattie Basdeo
“You can search through the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere, than you yourself. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection. – Buddha on self love
What does love mean to you?
A popular saying is “Love makes the world go around” and for sure it is the most powerful force in the universe that I know of.
The bible verse Corinthians 13:4-8a describes love as;
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Today is Valentine’s Day, a day of celebrating love. At Magnificent Me Magnificent You we believe the most important love is self love.
Mahatma Gandhi famously reminded the world that everything begins with the self. A statement we strongly concur with as one can only give to others that which they have within.
Before we can truly love another, we must first truly love ourselves. We must first fill up our cup that it overflows with love.
Therefore, how can we foster self love within. Most people find it very easy to exhibit positive behaviour to friends, offering words of comfort, support and uplift when needed.
Ways to foster self love
In Buddhism a primary meaning of love is friendship. From this thought a wonderful way to foster self love is to act towards your self as you would a dear friend: –
- Accept yourself whole heartedly
- Be kind to yourself
- Acknowledge your gifts, start making a list of the things that you love about yourself.
- Ask friends and family what they love about you.
- Let go of comparison
- Know you are enough
- Prioritize your dreams, do things that inspire and light you up.
- Say no to things that aren’t good for you.
- Spend time with people who support, encourage, motivate you to be the best version of you.
- Own your thoughts and opinions
- Talk gently and kindly with yourself
- Try new things
- Nourish your mind, body and soul
- Trust your intuition
- Pamper yourself each day with an activity you love
- Practice self love meditations
- Validate yourself
- Maintain your values, lower your standards for no one.
- Forgive yourself when required.
- Acknowledge the amazing miracle that you are.
With self love, kindness, compassion, joy and freedom naturally flow. We trust our inner voice and feelings. Overcoming limiting beliefs become more creative and dream bigger, our cup overflows for all living beings. Easily fulfilling the statement “Love thy neighbour as thyself”.
We hope you agree with us self love is key and choose to love the self, first.
“Stop breathe look around, and embrace the miracle of each day, the miracle of life.” – Jeffrey A White
Everything begins with the breath and ends with the breath.
In yoga we refer to the breath as prana, a Sanskrit word for life force or life energy and the art of consciously affecting or controlling our breath is known as pranayama.
Prana enters the body through breathing and is sent to every cell through the circulatory system.
As can be clearly seen the breath is critical for the sustenance of life. Flowing from this the quality of our breathing also effects the functioning of our brain and our emotions.
Once you are conscious of the important role the breath plays in our physical and mental wellbeing it makes sense to take time to do some conscious breathing exercises to give our system an extra boost and allow our minds to relax and support the creative flow of thoughts and expressions.
Here is a fun breathing exercise that engages the thoughts with the breath.
Breath of Love
Sit in a comfortable seated position on the floor with your hands gently resting on your knees, palms facing upwards or in a mudra position. A popular mudra is the ‘chin’ mudra, where the first finger and thumb are touching and the palms gently opening upwards. A mudra is a hand position in yoga which means “lock” or “seal”. In yogic science, each area of the hand relates to a certain area of the brain. In applying pressure to the fingers and hands, the related brain areas are stimulated. The chin mudra corresponds to the area that activates wisdom and knowledge.
Gently breathing in and out, take a moment to settle your mind and body.
You may sit with your eyes open or close, which ever feels the most comfortable. Many like to close their eyes, as it reduces distractions on the mind from one’s surrounding.
Now begin the breathing exercise.
Take a deep breath in all the way down to your stomach for a count of 3. As you are breathing in think of something or someone that you feel great love towards. Allow this feeling of love to flow through your entire body.
Hold this image in your mind’s eye for a count of 2 or 4 which ever feels comfortable.
Then gently breathe out for a count of 6 and as you breathe out imagine you are a big bright shinny beacon of love radiating love out into the world.
Repeat this breathing exercise for three to five minutes and observe how your body feels. You may feel warm energised light bright afterwards.
As can be seen from the above breathing exercise our breath plays a key role in how we feel and the health of our body, therefor as you go through your day, observe your breath and practise breathing more deeply.
Especially at times when you may be feeling anxious or nervous, taking a few deep breaths all the way down to your stomach and breath out slowly. This will help to calm your mind, body and nerves and support the creative flow of new ideas.
Children and young adults are faced with many expectations and constant stimulation through the internet, media and other communication technologies.
To maintain a healthy balance, it is important that adults support the wellbeing of young people by encouraging them to incorporate a variety of activities which will help counterbalance this hyperactivity of mental stimulation on personal psychology and physical wellbeing.
Yoga is an activity that provides training of mind and body to bring emotional and physical balance. It provides a tool for children and young adults to listen inwards to their bodies feeling and ideas.
It facilitates space for the body to rest and relax the nerve on a cellular level. Through a range of breathing and physical asana’s (postures) exercises it shifts the body biochemically from a state of excitement and tension to a state of calm, deep rest and relaxation.
Yoga strengthens and elongates muscles, tone up glands, internal organs and spine nerves. Also increased blood flow aids the digestive system and the lymphatic system to eliminates toxins from the body.
Yoga is also suitable for treating trauma, as regulated breathing calms your parasympathetic nervous system and the mindfulness required helps counteract dissociative effects of trauma.
In studies with teenager’s yoga has been found to strengthen emotional resilience. Some studies suggest yoga can have an effect similar to that of anti-depressants.
The simple practice of mindful breathing is one of the most effective ways to lower stress levels. Breath changes in response to emotions. Actively changing the breath rate can change autonomic function (fight or flight) and mood states.
Yoga supports the flow of energy within the body, thus releasing any tension which may have been created because of trauma and stress.
It also provides space for a young person to go within and connect with their selves on a deeper level, which in turn supports creativity, concentration, self-esteem, self-love, compassion etc.
In conclusion yoga provides many benefits to support both physical and mental health of kids and young adults.
Once again, this week, it has been reported that the statistics are increasing for our young suffering from self-harm, depression, anxiety, suicide to name a few.
And the question that keeps popping into my head is “Why is this happening?”
We are currently the most advanced we have been, why is this happening to our children, surely if anything our young should be experiencing a rise in health and well-being.
I have posed the question to several people, and the consensus has been, too much technology, media influence and breakdown of the family unit to name a few.
The next question that naturally flows and pops into my head is how can we stop these growing statistics and reverse them?
What solutions and help are we currently providing for young people who currently feel challenged in their lives.
One of the tools which I think the current education system needs to facilitate more is yoga and meditation.
The reason why I think this is a resource that will support young minds, is the fact that yoga and meditation creates a space where a young person can connect with their core, recognise and acknowledge the beauty of their soul, their spirit.
Tune into the source of their anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts and learn to dissipate them.
Once a young person masters the art of connecting with their diamond within, know they are part of a Universe that loves them unconditionally, this will provide the guiding light to illuminate those moments of darkness that may surface.
These are a few of my thoughts on the subject, please do share your thoughts on why and suggestions on how we can stop and reverse the current growing statistics below.