It’s a beautiful day today!
Stop for a moment and just breathe. Be aware of the breathe the whole time and expect nothing. Just breathe. Without altering your breath.
Even if you are not feeling your best, breathe and observe anyway.
I am grateful for today.
I say thank you for the beautiful day.
From Plum Village:
“No coming, no going, no after, no before.
I hold you close to me, I release you to be so free.
Because I am in you, and you are in me.
Because I am in you, and you are in me.”
I weeped the first time I heard this song. The message of interconnectedness and unity is so strong in this song.
Sometimes it’s so hard to embrace our oneness in a world that so wrapped around individuality and separateness. All I want to do most of the time is to survive and not drown. But the realisation is that noone can force me to drown. One can only cause a turbulent sea in my life but I get the power to decide to either swim or drown. At times, I would have to swim hard over extended periods of time, and at other times, I can gracefully float. I have the power to choose. And I choose to stay afloat. Always.
This song also reminds me of my dad. Even though he has left his physical body, he is still energetically very much present in my life. He has immersed fully into oneness as he left his vessel and the more I connect to the stillness within, the closer I get to him too. He and I are no different. You and I are no different. We are all of the same essence.
I have experienced that conscious breathing is the best way to reduce or disempower anxiety. In meditation terms, they say that we have to stay with the entire breath and observe the air as it goes in all the way and comes back out. Be present with the breath.
Another important way is to watch our thoughts as they come up and create positive and empowering thoughts instead. Anxiety is caused by unnecessary worries or fears about the future and our deep, innate feeling of never being good enough.
We need to trust ourselves.
I have learnt that writing my own list of positive statements is much more effective in creating a sense of peace, calm and positivity in me than in reading out or affirming someone else’s list.
Go ahead, read some of the examples below and start writing or typing out your own list. You can call it a prayer, affirmation, writing meditation or whatever you want. Let’s go beyond labels here.
I trust myself.
All the answers are within me.
I can handle anything and everything that life throws at me with positivity and grace.
I trust that any mistakes are learning lessons.
I am imperfect and thus I will make mistakes along the way.
I will be kind and gentle with myself when I do act unconsciously.
There is no right or wrong.
I am perfectly ok the way I am.
What other people think of me no longer matters to me.
I am love.
Dark days, negative people and difficult circumstances do nothing to the truth that my entire being is made up of love and kindness.
I will be kind and loving with myself all the time.
“We get caught between this hugeness where we feel maybe we will be swallowed and this smallest where we just can’t force our way in anymore because we have outgrown it.” – Gangaji
This video transformed me from being anxious to being peaceful, calm and at ease with myself. What a gem of a teacher she is!
Live in the moment. Open to the vastness. Surrender to not knowing. ❤
Colouring books for adults have recently become quite popular, with book and lifestyle stores offering many different types of themes for us to choose from.
Whilst at a bookstore, I came across a colouring book that was titled, “The Little Book of Calm Colouring” by David Sinden and Victoria Kay. I am not much of an art enthusiast, however, I have tried painting random things in order to alleviate my anxiety in the past and it worked. I felt calm and the whole process was very therapeutic. I decided to go back to that safe place again.
The one lesson that I learnt while using this colouring book is that true focus can overcome the distractions of the external environment. Usually, I would sit in the silence of my room in order to feel calm and re-energised. However, I sat with my sister and we both coloured our books while the television was still on. This is a huge step for me in learning to sustain my inner calm and peace despite the external environment.
Watching television overwhelms me sometimes and I run to the quiet shelter of my room to take cover. The negative side of this escapism is that I lose valuable time to hold conversations with my family, which usually happens in front of the TV. Some things are beyond our control and learning to work around them is always the golden lesson.
Coming back to the colouring book, the moment I opened it up, I observed the need for myself to do a “good” job with the colouring. My mind wanted the colouring to be neat and flawless. I told myself to just colour, without having any plans or a certain approach in mind. I need to let go of the need for perfection.
Half way through the colouring, I felt relaxed, calm and incredibly sleepy. It was my body’s way of telling me that sleep is what I needed at that point in time so I fell asleep on the sofa for an hour! It felt good!
Colouring (and art in general) can be very therapeutic though we need to approach it from an angle that benefits us the most. I told myself to colour without any restrictions and whenever I wanted instead of making it a routine and pressuring myself.
I did finish a page of colouring and wrote what I felt and learnt during the process. Though the reflections are personal, I will share with you my colouring which brought me so much peace and joy. So many of us have learnt to associate art with talent but I do believe that we need to learn to associate art with its inherent ability to bring peace into our lives instead.
Your artwork doesn’t have to take anyone else’s breath away, it just needs to give you the space to focus on yours. 🙂 Allow yourself to be imperfect and messy. It’s ok. Noone is judging you. Just make sure you are being kind with yourself during the entire process. ❤