Let`s talk Self -Care

Insight into Self-Care

What does this mean – it is our ability to show unconditional compassion and kindness towards ourselves- during the times we need it. It is that willingness to allocate time and connect to the core of who we are – with our strengths, weaknesses – capabilities and failings. It involves using precious time for self-inquiry- healing and growth

Why is this  important

It is an essential responsibility for each of us to allocate time for self-care; this is challenging for some of us as we have children in tow and / or work pressures mounting. It almost feels impossible amidst the ever growing chores / duties within each of our setting- whether we live with families or co-habitat as couples or strive through flat mate challenges or brave our way through singledom.

“See If You Can Give Yourself Gifts That May Be True Blessings, Such As Self-Acceptance” – Jon Kabat Zinn

Self-care-allows for insight into self-respect

By allocating time for ourselves – we have a better sense of understanding who we really are

What inspires or motivates

What feels comforting

What makes us shy away or

What makes us uncomfortable

It makes us more aware of our sensory needs

Colours that delight us

Tastes and smells that take us by surprise

Seasons that bring us calm and sights that make us grateful

There is also a wisdom that comes with self- care

It makes us mindful of values we cherish

Inspires us to live by principles we wish to emanate

Goals  we intend to achieve

And pathways that work best for each of us

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wellness – Finding our own truths

Clouds come floating into my life no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky”- Rabindranath Tagore

My Dear Readers ,

The intention of today`s writing is to share insights from my morning`s 10k walk with a much cherished human friend.

Today as I meandered through Auckland suburbia, I happened to look at homes – all kinds of homes – the ordinary ones, and of course some extra ordinary – the simple ones, the ones with blue grey tones, and the ones with buxom hedges, white roses, broken gates, unkempt lawns – green door steps, white verandahs and steep drives.

What fascinated and took over my thoughts – was each of them have a history that is unique…. They are not just homes but spaces that have a solemn presence – that contain both moments and memorabilia – some happy, precious, cherished – the homes have also witnessed moments sad, painful and perhaps even tragic. But what I saw in that stillness – is that each of the homes have withstood the trials and tribulations that comes with the history of time.

No matter how ordinary or extra ordinary they looked -they also had witnessed moments that they have lived through and had-their own individual story that to tell.

My role here I recognized was only to admire and be fascinated as an observer and participant of the undulating changes that caught my eye.

Each of us are a product– of our lineage, our belief systems and our individual experiences. Some experiences make us thrive and some make us almost cringe for cover. We can acknowledge the truths – however there is no need to feel bad of experiences that make us cringe –

We do not have to be caught forever in the throes of our lineage – stepping out of our history is a powerful way to claim our rights to craft our own unique experiences – that are rich– nurturing and gratifying.

The journey of  a thousand miles begins with one step- Lao Tzu

Here are ways to craft our own nurturing stories and experiences

  • Surround yourselves with people who care – who make you smile and laugh with ease
  • Begin taking notice of what you/ we really like
  • Develop a habit to serve those in need – it does not have to be through money it can be through sharing of your time – your skills or just being there for someone
  • Cultivate a reading habit – the more you read – the richer you become emotionally and intellectually and then your world becomes that much bigger and better
  • Take up a hobby that keeps you engaged
  • Engage in creative pursuits
  • Go on a walk and take in sights that delight you
  • Have a focus or intention for each day
  • Talk to someone who can help – there are heaps of wellbeing agencies
  • Be unafraid -ask for help x 3 or as many times you need it – there are always good people and systems that serve
  • Create a writing habit
  • Begin to write notes to yourself
  • Start with reminder notes and then progress to making affirmations that make you smile
  • Be fiercely kind and compassionate to yourself – this can be hard 😊 and
  • Be fiercely disciplined when talking about someone else (whether family or not family _ or of someone that bothers you – this is usually extremely extremely  difficult 😊 – but when we work toward this, we can literally measure our growth in leaps and bounds
  • Be generous about the mistakes of the past generation – our mums – dads- grandparents- they did what they knew best
  • Te tiro atu to kanohi ki tairawhiti ana tera whiti te ra kite ataata ka hinga ki muri kia koe.”
  • “Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.”- Maori whakatauki
  • For NOW
  • No matter what our experiences or history has been – each of us are unique individuals and we have in us the means to put our best foot forward
  • Looking forward –
  •  It is our turn to live our lives
  • Each day with sincerity – with
  • Sense of purpose and as best as we can – and
  • Believe that this can be done

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams – live the life you`ve imagined”- henry David Thoreau

Sending warm wishes for crafting  unique scripts to choose routines with care – live each day with meaning and purpose-   that open the doorways to  plentiful joy ,lots of love and endless tunes of harmony.

Happiness as an everyday emotion

The intention for today`s writing is about choosing to be happy no matter what??? – What????

Yesss “Come from a place of peace and you`ll find that you can deal with anything”- Micheal Singer.

COVID TIMES:  is our new reality – Currently we have limited social engagement, we have made significant changes to the way we live, some of us have lost our jobs and some of us can no; longer take holidays or visit family. This has now become a new reality. I have experienced some of the aforesaid limitations first hand, personally. I also work with people whose lives have changed dramatically in the current times.

Pre-COVID:  However, we humans have also been through passages of time – when COVID was unknown –We still had challenges -some of us lost jobs, some families separated and some of us lost loved ones and the list can go on……

  • How we choose to respond to those challenges is an indicator of our social and emotional intelligence.
  • How we maintain our state of mind – our emotions through our challenges – also is a measure of our physical and emotional health .  
  • Wellness comes when we choose happiness as an everyday emotion – to live mindfully – breath after breath – moment to moment

Insight for all times:   

Challenges are an inherent aspect of human experience. There`s always going to be something that niggles at us – it could be about not having enough, or wanting to go somewhere or needing to be with family who live far far far away or wishing that our aches and pains would go away or …….

Wellness comes when we choose to make conscious choices – moment to moment; careful choices of the emotions that we choose to keep and the emotions that we choose to let go. Choosing to be happy is achievable – happiness is an emotion that fills us up and keep us calm. Happiness is an emotion that paves the way for better health…

The choice is ours to be happy in any given moment – no matter what

This does not come easily – nevertheless it can be achieved when we

Spend time in breathwork

Use time to exercise

Find meaningful moments in creative pursuits

Seek solace in the midst of mature

Grow our knowledge through the wisdom of books

Delight in the senses – the tastes, the sounds and the textures that life has to offer

Choose kindness on ourselves; Use trust and patience Practice gratitude – day after day 😊

Live in the now – The perfect moment is this one – Jon Kabat Zinn

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