4 March 2015

A moment of Mindfulness

Welcome back to my journey of improving the mind, body and soul. Let’s recap; my first week consisted of realising that it was time for change. Second week was about starting to note down and reflect on what I was consuming in order to improve and this week was all about stopping and taking the time to appreciate what I do have.

Too often I forget to be grateful for the little things as well as the big things in my life and a youth retreat I went on this week, was able to remind me of this. There, our days were centred around growing spiritually and this included giving thanks before diving in to our meals each day. The food became so much more fulfilling after giving a simply thanks and I hope I will continue implementing this daily.

Two other ways I found helpful in reminding myself to be more grateful every day were:
1. reflecting when going for walks and,
2. saying a few words of gratitude each morning

The idea of going for a walk does not always appeal to me; I am tired, it's late, I'm not up for it, i don't feel like it. Yet every time I go chuck on some shoes and get outside, I feel a whole lot better! Taking the time to stop and get some fresh air benefits you in so many ways. If it isn't possible to go out because perhaps it is too late in the evening, why not try see if a sibling or a friend would want to join you! If not, simply slide a chair over to your window and enjoy the fresh breeze this way.

When I go on the walks I naturally tend to start relaxing and actually take deep breaths. I get so caught up in my days rushing around form place to place that simple things like a long breath gets away from me. By walking, it gives me that time to simply think and reflect on everything. Next time you go for a walk or sit in front of a window with the breeze, time yourself;

see what is in front of you
hear what surrounds you
feel the moment you are in

Through this I always find myself being able to get back into the present moment instead of trying to figure out what is next on my to-do list.

Usually after that I do feel like reading a paragraph from a self development book or saying a prayer! This really helps to encourage me as well as keep me grounded. Is there something you do to help elevate yourself and become more knowledgeable? This leads me into the second part I mentioned that has helped to improve myself; practicing gratitude in the mornings.

I have started waking up to a few positive words;

Thank you that this morning I have woken up
Thank you that my family is also waking up in the room beside me
Thank you for a good day

What a difference it can make when you wake up to the realisation of how much beauty there is in your life.

I have also recently began a prayer wall. On little pieces of paper I write down what I, my friends and family are looking forward to, as well what we are struggling with. It doesn't matter if you practice religion or have different beliefs, being able to project dreams and hopes as well as doing it for someone else can really encourage you. I really liked a powerful line I heard this week and it was:

Lose yourself in someone else's service

I try this every morning and then get into some morning exercises to wake myself up the right way each day!

I have noticed that little steps here and there like these are really helping! Writing everything down and reflecting also has been one of the best ways for me to keep improving each week.

A few of my meals during the week:

My Blueberry Breakfast Pancakes with a Chocolate Chai Latte

Roasted Chicken with Eggplant, Red Beans and Alfalfa Sprouts

Ricke Crackers with Avocado

Roasted Eggplant with Kale, Fish and Alfalfa Sprouts

Homemade Pumpkin Soup

Till next time,