Wellness- on this day for peace 🍀

To my dear readers ,

It is the 21st of September – and today is the Spring Equinox for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere in Aotearoa -and today’s is also celebrated as the International Day of Peace.

So today I choose to write on the topic of anxiety- The experience of anxiety can be unsafe. The intention is to support adults and whanau/ parents of tamariki / children who experience anxiety from a very young age. It is about making a shift towards acceptance of this feeling called anxiety and allowing space for safety , peace and calm.

Dan Siegel – “When we begin to know ourselves in an open and self-supportive way, we take the first step t encourage our children to know themselves”

The topic of anxiety is close to my heart–as a child I vividly remember feeling anxious – I sensed a certain discomfort – it was about things going beyond my control or a funny feeling in my stomach along with a raised heartbeat. I felt it more at school than at home – and in the mahi /work that I do today -I come across similar stories where children/ tamariki feel unsure – helpless – scared –  these feelings manifest as avoidance or non-compliance or varying levels of desperation.

I was a bright student and also had a loving family. Despite all of this – I experienced this uncomfortable feeling –and what helped me through my pathway was my training in my chosen field , the books that I have read and the affirming messages that I got from myriads of warm caring and kind hearted humans.

Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love” Bruce D Perry

Truth: Anxiety is a universal human emotion – it is about feeling unsure -the feeling of anxiety stems from the brainstem the lowest part of our brain or the primitive brain. We experience anxiety when the stem of the brain

  • Recognises an element of the unknown or the unpredictable or
  • The memory of an event that has caused discomfort

Educating our children about feelings is an inherent part of emotional literacy. There maybe heaps of variables that impacts on anxiety- it can be genetics or environmental or even chemical imbalance or something else  ; however there is no one fit rule as to who experiences anxiety and who does not…

Things that help on the way…..  teach children from a young change that anxiety is a certain feeling.

What is important is – sit with them and talk to them using a kind voicewhen they are in the best of spiritsso when they are not feeling anxious.

  • Teach them young that it is okay to feel that way
  • Encourage children to name the feelings- giving the feeling a name – labelling it allows for some control.
  • Brainstorm ideas – what makes us feel safe. Brain helps us to think – feel and act- but the core purpose of the brain is relational – so we thrive when we feel valued -connected and safe.
  • Educate children about the brain – there are plenty of story books and picture books that talk about the brain (also refer to my writing on brain works too 😊
  • Tell them that the brain stem needs to feel safe and breathing helps us the brainstem to feel safe.
  • Talk to them that the brain has four layers – and each layer has its own function
  • Convey – when we feel sad or angry or scared the brain stem picks up signals and gives out clouds – angry clouds or sad clouds or fearful clouds. All of the clouds go up and sit on the thinking spot and does not allow us to think.
  • Discuss learning to breathe helps with sending the clouds away so we can think bright and right and also feel safe.
  • Affirm that the bottom part of the brain is the primitive braindoes all the feeling and the top part of the brain does all the thinking –The thinking brain flourishes and we can do wonders when our primitive brain feels safe and well
  • Chat about engaging in an activity that we enjoy – enriches & replenishes brain growth – it helps with feeling calm and centred. Repetitive work or play that is calming and settling – allows for brain health and brain growth – it can be music or drawing or any creative play
  • Discuss – belonging and feeling connected allows for safety
  • Enrich children with a list of comforting ideas – it can be
  • Holding on to something that feels comforting (a teddy or a familiar book/ object)
  • Encouraging them to use breathing
  • Counting to ten
  • Listening to a story or a song that makes them calm
  • Moving to a beat – learning a dance or engaging in exercise brings calm
  • Incorporating structure and routine
  • Giving plenty of positive feedback
  • Using gentle kind and affirming words
  • Inculcating love for nature
  • Allowing them to talk about their own strengths
  • Having Pets – especially dogs have a transformative effect on those experiencing any level of discomfort
  • Facilitating repetitive nurturing experiences that are calming and enriching
  • All of the aforesaid invites peace , calm – betterment and resilience.
  • What the child is able to do in collaboration today , he will be able to do independently tomorrow – Lev Vygotsky

With much aroha ,

Wellness -of memories & history

Kia Ora my dear readers ,

Hope you are keeping in good spirits – as we each live our pathways through the pandemic era. I am mindful that for those in the Northern Hemisphere , life is beginning to get back to where it once was ….I hear that from my cousins and some of my friends in far off places. For those of us in NZ , we are in “vigilance” mode against the virus…. and for some , this is manageable and for some others this is not easy. I send my aroha – my love  and heaps of kind thoughts for all those who are finding this present phase challenging.

Today my writing is about history – the impact of history on each of our wellness. What brought this …..well in a conversation with one of my cherished human connections; we went over the term history …. And here my intent is  about sharing  the perspectives that came from that dialogue …

Maoridom has the wisest adage on human connections –he tangata he tangata he tangata – the people, the people , the people

We all have a history – behind the numerous human connections that we make. That history involves the memories that we keep and make.It is that history, which influences the durability of the human connections. What we appreciate tends to stay on as cherished memories ;  memories that hurts or what gives us an unpleasant taste are those that we can thankfully let go but not without a struggle. Because memories are deep seated and it is not so easy to bid adieu to memories that cause pain.  One way of learning to let go of what hurts is to find

New things that interest us,

New human connections that bring warmth and

New lessons and experiences that create new learning and funfilled pathways.

The trick is to this repeatedly with

Intention in our thoughts, Joy in our hearts and Purpose in our actions

Science has found that when we do this repeatedly ,we   create a change in the way how our brain looks and works – this is how we make new memories that help us get past those that cause pain- and this is how ,we become courageous creators of  our individual history .

John Medina writes in his book Brain rules “ What you do and learn in life physically changes what your brain looks like – it literally rewires it”

  • Have a fun week making some new memories ……
  •  “Just one small thought in the morning can change your whole day”- Dalai Lama
  • Learning a fun song that you enjoy
  • Writing a note to yourself on your own strengths
  • Taking time in making a hot cup of tea – to watch the rain from a window….
  • It is raining here in Tāmaki Makaurau,Auckland – we here remain in Level 4 lockdown
  • The COVID pandemic era has been challenging – tough and almost relentless – it is also serving us lessons in patience  – kindness and love-  all of this will  forever be in the annals of time – in the making of this pandemic history.

Ma te wa on my next note

Finding the calm…

Let your capital be simplicity and contentment- Henry David Thoreau

Greetings to you all on the advent of Spring ……The intention for today`s writing is about finding ” our calm “when the complexities of the pandemic era take over…… hmmmm much of the world has either learnt or learning to live with all of this …the lockdowns , the isolation , and the growing rate of people being infected …. or the threat of picking up the virus…… that lingers on…….

” Cultivate the habit of being grateful, for every good thing that comes to you , and give thanks continually- Ralph Waldo Emerson

On a positive note, the pandemic has also helped us all to be more kind- to look out for one another and in my perception the best learning that it has offered us is about accepting the now – what is – and learning to live with the conditions that the pandemic has cast on us all.

NZ has been the place that I have chosen to live for the past 24 years and I am incredibly grateful and proud to call this beautiful country my home. I miss the travel and the connection with my family and friends in India and some other parts of the Northern Hemisphere that I so frequently enjoyed – I am grateful for technology that allows me to Skype as often as I wish with my family in India and my adult children here. I cherish the chats with my multi-cultural friends and whanau here in NZ and I am blessed to have the company of a cherished bubble – buddy and then my most loving endearing fur bubs, However despite being a professional and an agent of change working towards betterment in human wellness- I am humbled when I catch myself between sighs pondering when will this be over or I also find myself feeling just a little listless. I hear the same sense of unrest from my friends and family here and across the world ……I also hear the notes of uncertainty from the conversations that I have through the work that I do everyday…..

So I felt the need to write on this as it is essential to bring ourselves to think better , feel better and do better…Finding our calm amidst the uncertainties of the present era can happen when we teach ourselves to identify the little things -sights- the words – the sounds -that engage and delight us –

I certainly felt a shift – a sense of awe for true spirit of humanity and pride- -when I chanced upon Jacinda Arden our kind and able NZ Prime Minister`s words on Sir Michael Cullen an eminent New Zealander who recently passed away….. “fiercely intelligent , hugely funny and incredibly kind”– speaks volumes of his emotional wisdom and intellect. Children and adults should read and know more on people who have achieved greatness not just through their intellect but through their emotional and social wisdom ; the legacy of connectedness that they leave behind.

Write a note and make a list of things that make you smile or calms your senses….. it can be simple things as the sound of the kettle , smell of coffee, or the smell of lavender .

Learn a song – or find a new song a note that is relaxing

Make a mini plan for the day -example – tell yourself how you wish to spend the morning , what you would like to do during the afternoon and then for the rest of the day. Include little details – so this is also about making the day filled with intention and purpose ….

Plan what you wish to wear for the day ….. track pants works – clean and tidy yessss.. … but there is a wellness that takes over when we work on indulging in the simple joys and sheer fun of being well presented

Find a book or an article to read – I recommend reading about kind people- this is transformative in individual wellness….

Write a note to yourself on keeping calm…..

Have an intention for each day– it always works … Write it down and keep the note where you can see it …. for example. The intention for today is to feel kindness towards myself/ yourself – this can be done by saying out aloud what you do really well with a smile or getting a special treat or by showing patience and allocating time just to sit down and do nothing – if that is the need …..also with a smile or make a small donation to a charity that you support ( SPCA or HOSPICE or CITY MISSION or your CHURCH ) or to clean my closet or to engage in some big time baking or cleaning – and when the task is finished give kudos to your efforts on what little or much has been accomplished.

On that note I wish you calm in all that you do today and for the rest of the week of September….. pics to follow later 🙂

Being joyous playful & wondrous …

To my dear readers , the intention of today’s post is to advocate the benefits of using a light and loving playful approach – in a good portion of all that we do .

☀️The funniest of cakes that flew …. to Chch ✈️

Life brings us situations – sometimes joyous – or not so joyous and sometimes we are faced with moments that can torment us and bring a sense of unease . No matter what the context is when we look at situations lightly , we are more likely to use a gentle and kinder approach – this brings a lot of goodness and calm to our own sense of peace ; it adds more value in the way we connect and form relationships ; playful and joyous are qualities that enriches our lives at a personal social and emotional level .

Kind and gentle – literal & figurative 🌟

Daniel Goleman – “when we focus on others our world expands.” 🌟🍀🎸☀️🎹🌟

When we use a playful and kind approach , we are more likely to draw others toward us – we are also more likely to appear personable – kind and gentle. Using a playful approach therefore is a clever tool towards

1. Creating an inner world that feels safe –

2. Facilitating for co constructive interactions

3. Paving the way towards outcomes that are constructive .

The aforesaid approach comes handy when we have difficult conversations – within our family or with those outside of the family .This manner of engaging in a kind gentle non judgemental approach applies to both children and adults

Playful Leprechaun ❤️

Being mum to two adult sons I have learnt that conversations can be both extremely rewarding and twice as challenging too . Using the playful approach has definitely given me many a win- win moment …. within my personal and professional world.

I have found readings on Dan Hughes”s extensive work on using the PACE approach (Playfulness- Acceptance – Curiosity – Empathy very beneficial in the work that I do …. Using PACE teaches children to relax – engage and enables adults insights to the strengths that lie beneath all that seems and is challenging .

Making music 🎶🎼🎵🎸🥁🎹

Hope you find use in some of today’s insights … have a light and easy week….

“ Be kind whenever possible it is always possible”- Dalai Lama

Wellness ….feel, think and act into your everyday wellness

Kia Ora dear all …. it`s been a rainy day here in Tāmaki Makaurau- Auckland and there is a distinct chill in the winds….I have had a relaxing day and the general tone of today reminded me that I wish to write about the flow between feelings, thinking and actions. In the work that I do , I advocate for people to always identify their feelings- be it happy or not happy. As humans we are constantly feeling varying emotions throughout the day…

That’s my Fern happy light and easy ❤️

Feelings are not a side component of a life well lived – they are essential ways we live as a whole embodied being– Dan Seigel

Learning to identify feelings gives us scope to manage those feelings well. When we are happy we are led into doing things that make us happy .

However when we feel sadness or anger or fear….. there is a tendency to say “I am feeling rather low….. giving the feeling a name allows one to take ownership of the feelings.

Expressions of interest 😎

FEEL: When feeling low – It is essential to give the FEELING a name ….. and acknowledge that FEELING.

Kindness to ourselves ☀️

THINK :take time to accept that feeling and then pace yourself – by taking time to think , engage in BRIEF self talk -as to what is making you feel this way- ask yourself what can be done to make you feel better- When we have “FEELINGS” that trouble us … it is good practice to be mindful and not to be consumed by feelings that sometimes trouble us – at varying times.

Example – I am feeling irritable and wary as I was not able to do all that I wanted to accomplish today . It will be okay – I can make a better plan – “tomorrow is another day”- Always remember to be kind to yourself – and use gentle and kind words when addressing yourself – 🙂

Also check in with your support person , a person you trust and it is always ok to connect to those who bring you to a better place 🙂

Do what makes you kinder happier …. 🌟

The healthy move to adulthood is towards interdependence – not complete “do it yourself” isolation – Dan Seigel

ACT : Be brave and let that feeling GO -it is about being aware of your feelings, naming your feelings- acknowledging this and then letting it go.

🌟Embrace the sparkle of fitness each day 🚲

Treat yourself to engage in an activity that is constructive – kind and engaging.

The framework for my writing today is from Dan Seigel , Bruce Perry and Dr.Bessel – am so grateful for the works of these great minds -High recommend to check in with their work when you do have some time 🙂

The fine balance 😊

Keep well – Be safe – Take care

August Wellness

Greetings to you all – I love the month of August as it kind of paves the way for the beginning of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. I also love the meaning of the word August – which is – respected and impressive and then there`s a subtle ring to it toooo.

So today my fellow readers,I intend to write about the values that come with the concept of mindfulness .As humans vulnerability touches all of us….. we all go through times that are challenging. The values of mindfulness feels like an anchor and keeps us connected to ourselves and takes us through the varying passages of time.

What are the Values- Acceptance , Letting it be / go – leave judgement out of it , Not striving to fix it ,Patience, Trust, Generosity of spirit and Gratitude

How do we put this into practice -lets think of a problem –

Example – I am about to have a meeting or discussion ( it can be with whanau or work related ) that has potential to be tricky – I am worried -or scenario 2- I have a medical appointment – that is likely to be tricky ……or scenario 3- I am in the process of negotiating with someone …… ( that is likely to go any whichway)

Some Wise Options of Practising Values of Mindfulness

Acceptance : Accept the context -the situation -engage in the process

My pic called Grace

Letting it be / go: With conscious acceptance , we begin to let things be / go without the need to be defensive

Flowers in bloom – letting it be resonates so with nature….

Not striving : This is a value that allows us to relax rather than engaging in the need to re- negotiate or be desperate

Wisdom happens in moments of stillness

Patience : Allow things to unfold – its about being relaxed , being observant and being gentle about everything about the situation / context

Lessons in Patience

Trust: Believe that with the right mindset -( fueled by purpose and intention) everything will eventuate towards the best outcome – BELIEVE 🙂

Trust in steadfast goodness for now and forever

Generosity : Practice generosity of spirit in all possible ways when walking through tough times- reminding ourselves to be kind to ourselves and to those around – and showing that kindness through gentle thoughts , warm feelings, and using kind words and actions –

Snapshot of Compassion

Gratitude: Find a positive thought – even in a challenging context – and put that into words – and use it and see how the magic unfolds

Huge shout out to Jon Kabat Zinn-founder of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programme

Hope this reading has been useful and that it brings more positivity in each of your kind thoughts feelings and actions. Have a wonderful week …. will connect again hopefully soon 😊 ❤️

Winter Wellness- wholistic

Greetings to you all ….. my dear readers,

I have been meaning to check in with you all much earlier , however – work and general pace of my life in the recent few weeks has been full on …. until I decided to make use of my time – here and just now to connect with you all.

The intention of today`s blog is to share insights on wholistic wellness . Wholistic wellness is about checking into the way we live our lives. It is about checking in with ourselves and making an analysis of our day to day living . It is about allocating time for personal growth , physical wellness , professional progression ,taking a note of things that matter and light us up – which may of course be different for each of us

Personal Growth can relate to any of the following -Books we read , friends we keep , the goals we make , the milestones we reach- and milestones does not always have to be lofty -it can be something simple – like engaging in an activity that we have not tried before or creating an experience that is kind , gentle and nurturing and being able to hold your peace for a longer time frame each day !!

Professional Progression is about being committed to the work that we do – it is about actively engaging in learning , sharing and caring for how we offer our services to the community. It is also about remembering to smile and being kind – and this can happen when we do what we love and love what we do 🙂

Physical Wellness is about making time for movement and excercise – why??? Just because movement is uplifting for our energy – our emotions and excercise does wonders for the bodies and does oodles of goodness to the way we think, feel and act …… so on that note let`s get moving each day 🙂

Time for the things that brings us more energy – for some of us it could be music , for some it is our canine friends , for some – its time in the mountains and by the sea and for others it is in about being in the midst of like minded people , connecting , giving and engaging in some form of service.

So wholistic wellness is about being committed to crafting an individual framework – each of us can aspire to be the better version of ourselves each day – paving the way for individual wellness and thereafter collective wellness

Much love

Wellness – One degree maneuvers

To my dear readers ,

We here in NZ are celebrating Matariki or Maori New Year ( 24 June – 11 July ). Matariki is the Maori name for a cluster of stars that herald in the new year 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

❤️❤️❤️Be/Deeee -Light -Full ☀️☀️☀️

Hope all those in the Southern Henisphere have had a warm gentle start to this cold winter week.

The intention of today’s writing is about teaching ourselves to let go of thoughts that bring emotions of sadness , anger or fear …. this is by no means easy- yet this can be achieved my making one degree maneuvers/ changes through life in the way we process things

Play with words – light moments

1. To begin let’s be clear with who we are and what is important – list all the things that are important for you – routines , habits and your likes and dislikes .

2. Make a note of what brings you joy and what does not – it always helps when we are sure of what we do not want in our lives

3. Include in this list the people who make you smile and who bring joy and comfort when you are in their presence

🌟Connections ❤️

4. List also the activities that bring your calm and a sense of peace and contentment

5. Write down a mini wellness self care plan of what can be done when things get rough …,

🐠An all timer 🎶

Example when things tend to get challenging I allow myself plenty of time and space to process things . I also make a promise to treat myself to something that is special ( within affordable means of course 🙄😀) . Or I might reach out to some of my friends or family or favourites who can lift up my spirits … and for those of us who have pets … the low feelings soon move up . Being with nature and excercise brings immediate reprieve

🪴Cherished ❤️

5. Make a short term plan -2 years to 5 years as to how you want to live – write down the experiences that you aspire for – in the short term

6,Use intention ☀️- direction🍀 – clarity 🌟- Be clear in choosing the right words so your plan is simple and clear –

7.Take time to read all that you have written – about yourself – what or who matters . -what and who gives you joy – sense of calm and light heartedness

8. Now begin taking action on each of the steps and be guided towards a new sense of empowerment .

Remind yourself – one degree maneuvers – one step at a time – Here’s to

Light and joyful thoughts – Warm and happy feelings and Kind and constructive actions

Meanwhile let’s keep breathing , keep moving ( excercise ) and keep at being extra kind to yourself and to those around us

Hurihia to aroaro ki te ra tukuna to atarangi kia taka ki muri i a koe – a Maori proverb which translates as

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you

Wellness today…. our thoughts, feelings and actions…

Kia Ora dear all ,

In the work that I do everyday, I work with a number of adults and children who are caught in the grips of sadness , anger or fear and who struggle in making safe choices that bring out the best for themselves .

The intention for today`s writing is to highlight “the inherent connect” between what we think -what we feel and what we do…..

The thoughts we choose to filter into our headspace – influences our feelings and then our actions…..There are times when everything happens to be in zen mode …… and we think happy – we feel happy – during those times our actions always demonstrate our inner state of mind.

However there are lots of other moments when we are quick to feel unhappy – the triggers for those feelings could range from myriad reasons- someone not letting us pass on the road , -a message that has upset us – or not being able to pay the bills or someone being unwell or not being able to buy what we want or perhaps need. So what happens when we feel sad. angry or fearful;-we lose our capacity to think and to rationalise – and then sadly that impacts on our actions …..

So what can we do to make the shift towards an improvement in our feelings of sadness, anger or fear ….

We can always change the thought – by asking ourselves -what about this is making me sad or angry or fearful

What can I do about this ???

What is the purpose here for these feelings and what can I do about this?

When feeling displaced…. Name your feeling – sad or angry or fearful or any other feeling that relates to these tricky feelings-

Take ownership of that feeling

Make a plan to bring yourself to a better place

Write it down – have a focused intention on what you are going to do – how and why

I have always been in situations that get me easily feeling displaced- and when I begin to make a plan – I notice a shift in the quality of my feelings . Instead of being caught in a tricky feeling I find myself being engaged in thinking constructively and my actions resonate with all that is light – positive and happy . Yayyyy what a relief …… !!!

Lets start with replacing a low mood thought with a light hearted one – do it with intention .

“Things change when you change the way you look at things”….. Dyer

This comes with practice – yet it can be mastered over time and can be done in various ways . Here are some strategies for replacing sad or angry or fearful thoughts …- with light – safe and happy thoughts

Think of something that lights you up

Choose your words carefully when you are feeling displaced – harsh words make us feel more angry and disconnected so replace a harsh word with a gentler or kind one – this is tricky – but it can be achieved with perseverance

Focus on writing a thank you note to someone – a friend or a family member

Watch a movie that makes you laugh or makes you feel safe

Take yourself for a walk- move – movement brings flow and balance to our thinking – movement is healthy for our body and also for our brain – which means we gain more focus and we can become more productive

Sit down and allocate time for breathwork – 10 min of breathwork each day makes our brain incredibly healthy and tunes us to becoming adaptable better version of ourselves

Read for 10 minutes atleast each day – read aloud if that helps – but please do read

As you think so you become …….Wayne Dyer again 🙂

Finishing todays post with inspiration from Don Miguel Ruiz`s The Four Agreements:

1.Be impeccable with your word

2. Don`t take anything personally

3. Don`t make assumptions

4. Always do your best

With much love and wishes for a safe week,

R

P.S I will illustrate the connect between- thoughts – feelings and actions – in a later blog

Wellness and pain…

Greetings to you all

Hope you are taking note of the colours of autumn- this is for those living in the Southern Hemisphere…. for those in the Northern Hemisphere – sending you my kind thoughts for a safe summer .

A catch up …… So let’s talk about pain ….

The intention for today`s writing is elaborating on pain – both emotional and physical pain. Knowing about pain – a little insight into the science of pain….. the pathways of pain keeps us better equipped with the challenges and barriers that present with pain.

A pic called Faith 🍀

Here are some key points:

The person experiencing pain – be it physical or emotional is the best judge of the extent of the pain .

The impact of the pain -depends on each person`s threshold to withstand pain. What might not seem challenging for some may be the "last straw on the camel`s back for others.”

Validation – being seen and heard …. key to wellbeing

Validating the individual`s experience of pain – is key to wellness – Endurance to pain comes whenever challenging experiences are validated

What happens when we feel pain – the neurons carry messages to the brain and the brain in response recognises the message – and then sends it back to where the pain was felt first….

Acceptance of the pain increases our resilience against feeling the intensity of the pain. Research suggests that acceptance allows us to engage through the challenge with better composure.

Too different 🦊😎

Acceptance allows for state of calm/ composure ; Composure sets the way for readiness to self- manage …. with improved receptivity to build on skills that help with management of pain

Emotional wellness

Here are some ways that might help with pain

  • Make time to practise timed breathing every day
  • Find time to enjoy nature
  • Read literature on pain – knowledge informs
  • Have intention for each of the tasks that you engage with each day
  • Intention can be transformative – when we engage in each task with intention – we develop a sense of connectedness to who we are – what we do -and what really matters…challenges then become easier … barriers seem less daunting
  • Take mini breaks to do things that make you smile
  • Make time to move ( those with emotional pain) – and for those with physical pain-move in consultation with specialists who help with your localised pain 🙂
  • Write / share your experience on pain – feel empowered – support those experiencing varying levels of pain
  • Practice compassion towards yourself and others
  • Be in the midst of experiences and people who bring kindness , joy and warmth….

Kindness Joy and Warmth 🌟