My Seven ‘make it through the day' foundations
7 is the seeker, the thinker, the searcher of truth. 7 knows that nothing is exactly as it seems, and that reality is often hidden behind illusions.
I love the New Year and the fresh start. The reset and releasing of the old and making space for the new. It was well over 18 months ago now that I was seeking truths, resetting and finding my way. I talk often, post or hashtag about my daily practices, those foundations that get me through my day something that has taken some time to practice, and hopefully, in time I will master but now I want to take the time to share.
When the shit hit the fan for me, and I was in a dead set meltdown mode I felt the scramble and seeking whatever would help me from the suffering. What could I do or use that was going to get me out of this pain as fast as possible? Purchasing and attending anything that I could get my hands on that was able to assist with the pain. Honestly, if someone told me during this time that they had a jar of air and if I breathed it in daily, I would not have any anxiety I would have probably purchased it. During these real hardships, it is hard to think clearly or even see clearly on what sense is and what is not. I learnt this last year that I did not need to do that. I actually needed to learn and get curious about what was happening to me so I could take important information away from these lessons and move forward with ease. I am not saying those lessons didn't hurt and were not uncomfortable, god they really were but I needed to go through them. Once I was ok with that and truly believed I was enough, only then could I pull tools from my own toolbox and actually feel like I was living instead of the dreadful fear that had me scrambling for any cure, something that could ease my pain instantly or at least numb it. I was always looking for the easy way out.
So, I want to share my foundations and some lessons. I have spent a good 18 months probably wasting a lot of money scrambling, gripping and seeking for those quick fix answers. In between all of that I was lucky enough to forge some truly great practices that have now cemented as my foundations and part of my daily practice.
I do know that they are not for everyone and I believe we create our own toolbox to navigate and deal with our own situations. After many years of military and only being able to look at situations in a singular way, trying to see something from a new light was like trying on a different pair of shades and seeing the world very differently.
These tools worked for me and the amazing people that have shown me these along the way have been a complete utter standout. I felt that they have ripped the rug from under me shook it off, cleaned it up and placed it neatly back down for me to continue. So, for me I did choose Seven wonderful practices, stepping out of a dark phase where choosing Seven deadly sins might have been easier. Please enjoy my Seven loves, my Seven foundations, my Seven joys that are now part of my day today.
My first foundation:
Meditation with Mala beads
When someone would mention meditation to me, I think of people sitting cross-legged and saying the word ‘om' those truly disciplined souls who could sit still for long periods of time. In my mind, they were so Gandhi, so friggin Zen! How the hell could they keep their mind so damn clear and have this amazing experience which I believed how meditation was. I did think that it truly is not for all of us and I was not born to do this, my mind is messy as hell and I can truly say that sitting still is not my forte. There was not a chance in hell that this practice could be for me, no way this was going to become enjoyable.
Every time I would read an article, or a self-help book it would always mention meditation. Every damn article talked about the benefits and how it is the stepping zone to that inner peace and calmness that I was desperately seeking. I knew I had to try this, attempt it, damn practice it.
I have had a love/hate relationship with meditation as for me I lacked the consistency and discipline, so it always felt like I was starting over. I truly was embarrassed if a family member would walk past me whilst attempting this and would always stop immediately if they did. If I did not get up before everyone else, then I would write it off for my day as I couldn't be seen whilst attempting this. Ahhhhh the old perfection card was in play, did not like doing something unless I was perfect at it.
I have attempted many guided meditations which some were ok and some have helped. Honestly, they are so easy to find on the internet but because I knew nothing about meditation finding someone, I connected with was hard and a lot of times I did not make it through the whole session. It was also extremely hard to find guided meditations that were about 5 minutes because I still had it set in my head that I didn't have time and I was such a beginner that was all the time I was going to give this practice. The other thing I found is that I would get halfway through meditation and they had said something that annoyed me in some small tiny insignificant way, and I was turning it off (probably just trying to justify an out).
I think the love came all over a mentor's bracelet, it was wooden beads, bit cool like and I really loved it. I found out they were mala beads; they are a meditation tool and you roll the beads between your finger and thumb and can count mantras. Who knew there was a tool for meditation? Something that was tactile and would help me sit still for some time so I could learn and possibly enjoy meditation.
So, I needed a mantra, I knew nothing about them and was unsure of how it all worked anyway. Got to love Google and in the end, I connected to the mantra 'kleem' for me it was attracting love into my every day. Love for myself, love for others, acting with love, speaking with love and so forth.
My meditation practice then became a ritual of sitting with some mala beads and either chanting in my head, saying out loud or listening to the YouTube clip of 108 chants of ‘kleem'. This really felt like a success, I think for me to do this I was sitting for the 6 minutes meditating away with my mala beads. It then became the first thing in the morning sitting on my deck looking out to my backyard and now it is before I hop in the car and hit the office. I started to love this and really needed it before I was heading out anywhere. I combined this mediation with one of my other foundations and honestly today I might do it a couple of times during the day (especially on holidays) I don't care if the family walk past me and I even manage to focus on a lot fewer noises.
I really feel disciplined doing this and I ensure I make time to meditate even if I am running late. I can tell you I do feel out of whack now when I don't get the chance to meditate. For me, I cannot believe that I would get this far with this practice.
I now focus on 108 breaths (picturing a small light rising and sinking within me whilst I breathe) and sometimes that is not enough, and I flip my beads around and do another 108 if I really feel unstuck and need to get that grounding feeling a bit more. I am proud of me, but it took a cute looking bracelet to get me there. I am enjoying it immensely.
I still love the guided meditation but realised that the chances of finding a great one on google were going to take time to sift through them. I am lucky enough to be in an area that Lead Love Leap with Kylie Bartlett facilitates group guided meditation. Another love for me as it is a power circle and it has grown so much. The women I have also connected with and the love of tea to end an evening! I love that it is run on Monday nights, another great reason I no longer hate Mondays! Who knew this was going to have so many benefits?
I also managed to purchase mala beads in my hometown but found an abundance of them online. I love the really large wooden beads, I am very tactile and love the feel of them between my fingers. I have found a true love for this foundation and for anyone saying they could not possibly do it, I would say to you if I can then you totally can.
I want you to be happy in your career; with my workshops we can tackle any issues that stop you from reaching that. You won't need a sea change but love who you are and what you do.