Practices Galore

I can sleep like a baby and for hours on end. On the peak of the filming schedule I used to sleep an average of 6 hours, work for 12 and commute for 1.5. That left 4.5 hours for eating, going to the gym, cooking, showering, maybe a family phone call and watching a film. Alas, I felt I didn’t have the luxury of time.

If time flies when you are having fun, then why did I feel time was slipping through my fingers. Always. There is time. Actually there’s 24 hours of it a day, I just needed to manage it better by saying no to some things, say yes to others, and plan my day.

If you don’t have 10 minutes, you don’t have a life. So, do you have 10 minutes? Do you have a life? If the answer is yes to these tricky questions then, read on. I gift myself 20 minutes a day.

·         Practice 1: this bento box I fill it with a #headspace meditation of 15 minutes or any other practice of visualisation. I know what some will say about meditation: I don’t know how/ I tried once and didn’t work/ I am not the mediation kind of person because I can’t stop thinking/ There are too many distractions/ I can’t stay still let alone sit cross-legged... and my favourite: that’s just your juju and I don’t do spiritual stuff. Meditation, from my point of view, is a time I take to be present and practice calmness. The monkey mind is a human condition, having difficulties concentrating is natural, not moving is also a challenge, and there’s no such as thing as the meditation type of person, feel free to try it for 10 days in a row and send me some feedback.

·         Practice 2: for the remaining 5 minutes I write on my gratitude journal 3 things I’m grateful for, both big and small: smell of cinnamon, a fun chat, a moment that brought a smile to my face. I also write two intensions for the day: smile more and finish 2 paragraphs on my next post. And finally, one lesson learnt from the prior day.

·         Practice 2.1: If I’m feeling somehow miserable and “not enough” I add a line onto my log of my achievements, again, big and small. Everything goes.

A dear friend said to me once: “why shall I be grateful? All I am and have it’s because I made it happen”. True, but let’s not confuse feeling thankful to somebody for doing us a favour with showing gratitude towards those things, situations and moments we experience and can appreciate are outside of ourselves.

I didn’t make cinnamon happen, but I am grateful I can dust it in my morning smoothie.

On a previous entry The fight against terrorism - my 3 second rule (3SR) and my dance off with the small things, I explained how this practice works and how it is call for kindness and a way that I found to fight against emotional terrorism. I sweat the small things, as a recovering perfectionist and control freak tend to be on edge. If you are a parent or a manager or a high achiever, I am guessing you know full well what I am referring to. The 3SR is very useful when queuing or when we feel most tired, ie. when we are most likely so send someone to a smelly and dark place.

Admittedly not getting sh@tfaced every weekend has helped a great deal. We are no strangers to the effects booze causes on our sleeping patterns, ability to concentrate, social skills and more over our emotional behaviour. Sobriety is another practice I encourage.

After a pretty long day at work you run from the door, pass your children, leg it to the kitchen and erratically open all the cupboards seeking for that lost bottle of wine you left half drank last Friday. At that point pal, I would strongly suggest: leave it. If you are that keen to numb, better have a long shower, let the water run, breath, and say out loud: “It is all well, it is all well, it is all well”.

So in brief: Have you ever excelled on a task, sport or skill? What are the things you are really good at? Think of something you do well and enjoy it. Now, how long did it take you to master that skill? Oh yes, practice and doing it over and over again for a while. There is no shortcuts in life improvement. None at all.

Some of these can radically change your life, some of these practices may not be for you, you can only find out what works for you by doing a few at the time.

Love & Light