Over the next few days I will be sharing a few of my personal daily truths and life ‘tools’ that keep me grounded, grateful and from going back on the daily gin!  I am sure most of us by now are starting to feel the effects of our usual distractions being stripped away, such as over work, shopping (ok, we can still hit the online shops!), socialising, holidays, simply going out for a coffee, plus the fact we are in such close confinement with our families, we are now being forced to get real, to look deeply into ourselves and ‘real-eyes’ how we want to live, what is truly important to us and who we are underneath all the programming & systems we have lived through from childhood. Is the inner critic really ‘our’ voice or could it belong to someone else from the distant past, a traumatic event or system that has dictated who we should be and what we are doing with our lives? These are testing times but times for growth and change, as the saying goes ‘No Mud, No Lotus’. We are all unique, beautiful beings with a birth right to live in peace and harmony with ourselves and with the earth. 
Breathing – Whenever I catch myself breathing (yes isn’t it pretty bloody fantastic that we take about 25,000 breaths per day without having to think about it consciously) but when I do notice  my breathing I bring my full attention to the ‘in and out’ breath, which is filling my entire body with life force. By dropping my awareness into my rising and falling belly I immediately stop the run away train of fearful & anxious thoughts or the never ending guilt ridden ‘to do’ list right in its tracks, I come back to the stillness that resides in us all, even if fleetingly it is just enough to remind me that my brain, in basic terms the in built ‘processor’ is just doing its job in this over stressed and over stimulated world, simply processing information past, present & projected future in a hot messy soup, but through shining a light on my thoughts its as though they cannot exist, they loose their grip which gives space to be discerning. Have a think about this one – if you can notice your thoughts then you can’t actually be your thoughts! 
By becoming aware of my body I have started to nurture a relationship with it that hasn’t always been the case, gratitude and love have started to grow in place of use & abuse, treating it like a machine and somehow separate from me.  By spending a few moments focusing on our breath we can bring a new and loving appreciation for the wonderful ‘house’ we live, this complex bundle of elements and cells, continuously working in the background, giving life and enabling us to carry out our daily lives day after day, year after year without much thanks, you could say with unconditional love.   Through this new view point we can start to act with our best interests at heart sending ripples through the everyday as if caring for a dear old friend. So instead of grabbing a snack on the run with an ingredients list that you wouldn’t feed your dog, we may start to take an interest in what we are eating, sitting down to appreciate each mouthful as nourishment and fuel for our bodies or to look at the media, tv & internet which we consume through our sense of sight, noticing that the new ‘fantastic’ thriller leaves us feeling jangled, on alert and scared to be alone in the dark or as we flick through the pages of a magazine, are we browsing over some harmless pages in our coffee break or are we left feeling inadequate and deflated as we gaze at the distorted and airbrushed images & media stories. 
My daughter Ella has just come to realised that sitting with her ‘actual Mum’ for a few moments to breath together isn’t too embarrassing or hilarious, she wouldn’t admit it fully but I know she enjoys it. It has only taken 10 years for this time to come, so be patient and don’t expect everyone to be on board immediately! 
Be kind to yourselves people, it’s about time……
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