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Finding your calm - Supporting your emotional health

Tired? Feeling the burn? Life feel like a never ending circus?!

The frantic pace our lives have adopted seems to be ever increasing, COVID helped slow things down for a while, one of the silver linings, but I don't think Im the only one feeling like it sped up and life is demanding more - faster - sooner!?

We are human beings, not human doings - we rarely give ourselves permission to stop and just be, when was the last time you allowed yourself time out from your hectic schedule of doing and planning more doing!?

But this level only happens on holidays
Time in nature is food for the soul

Finding calm amongst the chaos is where its at, waiting for a gap between things certainly hasn't worked for me, otherwise I'd be waiting a long time! Instead what I've tried to do is two fold:

a) prioritise time in my daily life, my morning meditation, making my one delicious coffee for the day, daily walk with the dog, breathing with some beautiful oil blends - by being motivated and committed to coming back to these practices each day, they have now become habits of letting my mind be still. Start with one daily habit that works for you, and be kind to yourself if it doesn't look the way you imagine it to be - its ok if its sitting at the lights and a 30 second breathing practice, every single little bit of this will help.

Walking my dog on the Diamond Creek Trail
This daily trip with Arlo helps!

b) learn how to ride the waves of the chaos, finding grace and presence while the circus is unfolding around me. My daily habits of being still are great, but I have always been curious in how I can be more mindful beyond the still moments, which is all about living a mindful life. My intention is to find my calm in whatever small way of grace and loving presence I can, and thanks to my mindful still moments, I have a muscle memory to draw on and bring into life, which is where we all need it most.

This is tough, and takes lots of continuous practice, something I understand I need to commit to myself. But I need it, to help bring me out of the onslaught of thoughts of what if scenarios or dwelling on things that have passed. This is what causes the most suffering, according to Buddha, not accepting the way it was, the way things are or how they will be - wishing and hoping it was a different experience, different outcome, different reality, so much time wasted on this!

Brene Brown defines calm as "creating perspective and mindfulness while managing emotional reactivity" in her book Atlas of the Heart, which strongly resonates for me, when life is happening we are processing, thoughts ruminate and our feelings about it all kick in, and sometimes those feelings turn into reactive emotions through our words and actions. With the mindful intention of calm presence, we can expand our capacity to allow our feelings to be felt, and give us some space and time to think rationally rather than emotionally before we choose our next move. This is something I have been working on since I can remember, I have firery Sicilian blood that loves wearing my heart on my sleeve.

Brene offers two quick questions she asks herself when life starts to get scary or anxious:

Do I have enough information to freak out? (Answer is normally no)

Will freaking out help? (Answer is always no)

The chaos never stops so it requires a life time commitment to practice, trying to bring that still place within ourselves, remember to come back to human "being" amongst the doing, being ok to pause regularly, each day. Let the balls drop, (it feels like Im a juggler somedays) and know they will be waiting for you to pick them back up when you are ready.

This might help: "I give myself permission to stop the doing and just be."

Oils to help you feel cool calm and collected

Essential Oils are one super efficient way to help clear the mind and sooth the amygdala.

Here are some of my favourite oils and blends:

  • Lemon, Bergamot and Frankincense

  • Roman Chamomile with Juniper Berry - my absolute favourite

  • Cedarwood, Lavender and Ylang ylang

  • Lavender peace - Doterras blend before bed - I spray this on my pillow each night

  • Stress Away - the name basically says it all, Young Living's blend of vanilla, lime, cedarwood, lavender, copaiba & ocotea. My new favourite to diffuse at the witching hour in our house or when I'm taking some mindful moments on my mat.

Whatever it looks like for you, make a commitment to yourself and your wellbeing - take 5 minutes to step away from stressors, focus on your breathing, get creative and get in touch with your artistic side, listen to your favourite song, spend time in nature – take a walk in a green space, or doing an outdoor activity.

May you find peace, calm and contentment each and every day.

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