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  1. I’ve reached a point where I question…everything.

    Every belief

    Every limiting thought.

    Every time I hold back.

    Every time I feel uncomfortable.

    None of the above is at all overwhelming. Quite the opposite, the questioning is very liberating.  It’s like seeing things with shiny new eyes (even though mine in reality actually need more help than ever).

     

    Here is an example and believe me, in the grand picture, it’s nothing.

    But…these “nothings” that we have, these break through moments allow us to stand taller, understand ourselves without the veils of illusions (maya) obscuring what has been there all along. Truth. Ourselves.

    A very close friend once suggested the following,

    “ You should change your Instagram name to DeborahGreenYogaQueen, it sounds great & is so catchy”.

    My head said,  “Firstly, who am I to assume that I’m good enough to even think about giving myself such a title (I know – like it’s an actual title that exists) no, I’m not good enough + what would people think + I’d encourage all of those weirdos on social media that love to argue + what would people think + I’m not that kind of teacher + it would give off a false impression of me that I think I’m better + would people believe that actually thought I was the Queen of yoga +  I have worked hard on not being a showy instagramy knob-head + also…what would people think, will they think I have a massive ego??

    Exhausting eh?

     

    So… roll on a few years & I’m working with a friend as a case study for her coaching program & I had to look at archetypes and answer lots of questions etc etc.

    (*there are some amazing articles of archetypes out there so I shall list them at the end as I cannot begin explain them as well as people who specialize in this arena or delve into the different types & details but if you are unsure & less familiar then please enjoy a rabbit-hole of exploring archetypes as it is fascinating)

    In our coaching session, my friend begins to explain my results & we discuss my highest scores but also my least expressed score within the archetypes.

    Yup – my least expressed archetype is the QUEEN.

    As we delved deeper & explored why I tend to actively avoid that role, I knew it had kinda been driven by the shitty statements I’d carried with me since I was an early teen & from an ex-boyfriend who genuinely delighted in telling me that I couldn’t teach yoga as I couldn’t sit in the lotus position.

    Do you know what? I still can’t sit in the lotus position but I’ve been teaching for 18 years this year. 

    You may recognise some of these statements from your formative years sadly.

    She thinks she’s IT

    (Let me clarify, not IT like the creepy clown but IT as in , very special…maybe like a queen???)

    She’s such a show off

    She loves herself

    She such a bighead

     Growing up,  I heard that directed at me (a lot) but also at any girl that dared walk taller & show signs of inner/outer confidence. Yes I’m guilty of thinking this about others too.

    So, to be accepted, you have to mould yourself in a very particular way. Hide who you are, play small. And I did.

    Then I went to college to study dance & choreography & found a whole bunch of amazing souls around me that wanted to express themselves fully, that wanted to pretend that they were like the “Kids from Fame”, that danced around the cafeteria (we actually did), that acted, sang & danced with complete & utter freedom. I thought this was normal behaviour. To have fun. It felt normal, I felt like I'd found my people.

    Then… I hit my early 20’s and thought I should do something a little more serious & I convinced myself that a degree in Psychology was the way.

    Part of me died it was so dull, but the people? My people? Where were they?

    Suddenly I was with very serious people who sucked the soul right of me. I hated it. I got my degree but I hated it & felt so penned in & small.

    Then in my mid to late 40’s something bloody magical happened to me.

    Perimenopause, life, reading, silence, meditation, wisdom.

    Perimenopause gets such a bad rap but it is also very liberating.

    Your tolerance for bullshit drops.

    Your energy becomes SO precious that I believe you start to shed a lot of stuff that never belonged to you in the first place because you simply cannot continue holding on to all of the crap. It's too exhausting. 

    ( I need to add in here that after my shitty, controlling ex , I met my husband & we have a daughter & he is absolutely amazing, supportive & importantly we let each other “be” – keeping that very short & sweet)

    So back to it….

    How long do we carry the stories we’ve told ourselves, or been told or unfortunately believed? Sometimes we never drop them but… if you can at least start to question, the truth starts trying to peek out.

    The truth is so powerful and always wants to be free.

    The stories & crap we believe about ourselves has a different energy, it feels heavy, like holding heavy bags of rocks.

    Put them down. See how it feels? I love the feeling. Everything feels lighter.

    Although this is a blog on something quite small, just by questioning my limiting thoughts, led to big answers.

    Questioning all of that lead me to a truth in relation to why I played small & why I couldn’t playfully call myself that daft name on insta.

    Just by questioning. 

    So...with a smile I changed my Instagram name to;

    DebGreenMeditationQueen

    https://www.instagram.com/debgreenmeditationqueen/

     

    Below are some links to archetypes articles  - enjoy.

    https://www.themoonschool.org/

    https://sheroserevolution.com/shanijay/divine-feminine-archetypes/

    https://oneofmany.co.uk/blog/how-the-womens-powertypes-can-be-useful-in-daily-life/

     

     

     

     

  2. My top tips for a developing a deeper sleep.

    I'm not going to discuss sleep & how important it is as we all know this. Instead lets getting straight to it. 

    Also, know that I feel your pain... many years ago I had bouts of insomnia & even now I need things to be a "certain way" for me to drift off & I've had countless of those  "3/4am wide awake" nights. It's horrible.

    So let's get to the good stuff...  

    Firstly, try to ensure that you begin winding down before your head touches the pillow.

    Try not to drink anything late into the evening - we all know that alcohol initially relaxes you yet is actually a stimulant but aside from this, your bladder will very happily wake you up at 3/4 am ruining what could have been a great sleep.

    Make sure your phone is on silent during the evening & try not to use it an hour before bedtime & avoid bringing into the bedroom if you can & if you have to place it far away from your bed.

    Be mindful of the TV you watch before you go to sleep,  I avoid watching anything heavy or disturbing late evening & prefer light hearted comedy.

    Find a lovely podcast or audio books & play at a low volume to help you to drift & to distract you from busy thoughts.

    Use a bedtime sleep mist.

    Try keeping a notebook/journal close at hand & if you sense that your head is buzzing allow it to flow out onto the pages, this form of expression allows you to release & can be as therapeutic (if not more) as a talking to a good friend.

    Recapitulate your day. Simply take yourself back to the start of your day and find 15/20 points during your day that take you back to where you are now. Recapitulate, without any judgement, just observe yourself like you are watching a character in a film.

    Now go to your face… start around your eyebrows and feel them drop, go down to your eyes, allow the muscles behind them to fully release & (this is the important bit) let your eyes roll towards your cheeks. Finish with dropping tension from your jaw, allowing the mouth to open slightly…

    Notice your breath & for a few minutes start to slow it down, counting it silently

    Inhale 1..2..3 & exhale 1..2..3..4..5..

    Then… add in a gentle pause after the inhale & begin to feel as though your exhales are taking you into a beautiful, restful state, deeper & deeper....

    Don’t overthink it, you will find that as you begin to drift off, your breathing will drop into its natural rhythm again.

     

    Let me know if any of the above help.

    Night night xx

     

     

  3. Home is a place where we (should) feel safe & protected. These are our basic needs. But what if your home doesn’t have a space for your soul to sit?

    Your home, that you have furnished & decorated & that you love dearly may not offer you a place for the spiritual side you may wish to explore.

    For me, I adore bathrooms & I am a total “bath-lover” but I associate my bathroom with creams & potions, a place where I can ease my muscles in a deep bath but I know that the bath will cool off & I need get out to dry-off etc & I am without a doubt relaxing but my mind is still active.

    Creating a special place in a quiet room will transform your yoga/meditation practice & ultimately offer you a place for stillness, for you to come home to you. Stillness is essential & silence…

    silence is essential. We need silence, just as much as we need air, just as much as plants need light. If our minds are crowded with words & thoughts, there is no space for us”

    THICH NHAT HANH

     

    Unless you live off-grid & are really limiting screen-time, we are bombarded with more information in ONE DAY that our parents & grandparents were in their entire lifetimes (I have no statistics to actually prove this but we know it’s true!!). We, more than ever, need a place within our homes to retreat to.

    So.. where should you create your space?

    There are a few helpful rules or guidelines..

    For example, try a find a quiet room & if you can only spare a small amount of space within the quiet room then that’s perfect. I have included a wonderful little door banner inside the www.kulakarmabox.com , that sits on the door handle with a “Ssssh it’s yoga time” – a great little solution to ensure some peace & quiet.

    Organise the space – if you are staring at clutter it will only feel like another distraction & another job. Remove as much clutter as possible.

    Think about your comfort – it really matters – if you don’t like sitting on the floor then find a chair – cover it in a throw if you want it to have a different look & keep cushions close by for back support. It is worth having a light blanket nearby that will keep you warm if needed so you don’t have to disturb yourself by going off looking for these things.

    You could create a special shelf/alter or a box covered in a beautiful piece of material.

    You can place crystals, beach shells, affirmation cards that resonate with you, fresh flowers or a house plant, pictures of places or people/gods/angels that are special or inspiring to you & beautiful candles.

    The flickering flame whether it is from a fire, camp fire or a candle stirs something inside us. We light candles to celebrate life & birthdays, to remember loved ones, to create a relaxing or romantic vibe. Lighting a beautiful candle can signify the start of your meditation or yoga practice & become a beautiful symbol of light. You can silently whisper an affirmation as you light your candle & this is said to strengthen the intention, it can be something as simple but as deeply worthwhile as a few words of gratitude.

    Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle & the life of the candle is not shortened.

    Happiness never decreases by being shared

    Buddha

    Have you tried using a candle to decrease your stress-levels? Here is a lovely meditation, https://www.yogajournal.com/meditation/candle-ritual-for-stress

    Returning to your meditation space daily or when you have set some time aside, will begin to create a positive energetic vibe which will grow into beautiful sacred energy. Your mind will subconsciously “know” when you enter your space that it will find some relief. Your mind will instinctively associate your space with stillness, with calm & peace & those connections will help reconnect you back to your true self.

    Having a place for you just “be” is a gift  - the ultimate act of selfcare.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  4. This is me: I teach & practice yoga every day, I meditate every day. I was having a drink every day.

    Now…that wasn’t supposed to sound so dramatic & the actual amount I drink is genuinely not that much but we all have different constitutions/doshas & for me it was just something that had to give.

    A major factor in making this decision is my age & my hormones, whilst I love the majority of things about where I am in life & the wisdom that comes with life-experience  - there is no sugar coating this – hormones are the game changer. I was feeling so so low, my mojo only appeared after teaching a yoga class & my brain fog was frustrating as my words felt muddled.

     

    I have always become very tiddly very easily –  2 1/2 glasses of wine = room spin & bed & then in my 40’s losing the entire next day. A day?!

    At the time of writing this, we are in the midst of the Covid pandemic & during the early weeks I was “treating” myself to a tipple most nights & feeling very proud of myself if I had an evening without. I didn’t depend on my tipple but it was deeply imbedded in my 9pm wind-down.

    Pure habit. I considered my evening tipple as my “adult treat”.

    So, going back to perimenopausal hormones, I knew, intuitively that most of the symptoms I was experiencing were enhanced by alcohol as I was so sensitive to it. I had reached that point when that 9pm drink was affecting my moods & my wellbeing & energy the following day.

    So as 9pm drew closer I would start reminding myself of those small things that in fact, really affect you day:

    Lack of energy, headaches, irritability, low patience, dark circles around my eyes.

    So, I switched to a drink I really enjoyed – a lemon or a lemon & mint Sanpeligrino, with heaps of fresh lime (almost a mojito, right?)

    Almost immediately I felt awake & less groggy in the morning. The “meh” feeling lifted, depression felt less intense, dark circles were improving, the tetchiness went & my patience levels increased.

    I felt so damn good I do not plan on returning to that nightly habit.

    Here are some tips that helped me.

    • Find an alternative that you really enjoy
    • Add fruit/ice & use a beautiful glass, the above both help with that crazy feeling of missing out
    • Remind yourself of your reasons, especially in the evening when you get closer to your weak point, write them down.
    • Recognise if it’s work-related stress you are trying to numb out & try 5/10 minutes of alternate nostril breathing (read my “work-related anxiety” blog for ways to help yourself in the day & at work)
    • Notice the little stuff – make a note in a beautiful journal of the subtle but positive changes you’re experiencing.
    • Reward yourself – with a kinder self-care ritual. Come in from work & run yourself an indulgent over-the-top-insta-worthy bath as soon as you can.
    • Have a huge glass of water as very often we drink the first glass of alcohol so fast as we are thirsty.
    • Treat yourself with flowers, book a facial, a yoga session with meeee

    www.deborahgreenyoga.co.uk

     

    To tell or not to tell?

    I’m all for being truthful & hopefully you have supportive family & friends that will respect your decision (believe me, when I told my husband I would be far less tetchy without drink he became VERY supportive )

  5.   Calm is infectious & empowering, Anxiety is infectious & destructiv

    Our energy, your energy, my energy impacts & affects others. When we watch people laugh, we laugh with them. I have cried & cried with laughter watching the famous clip from the legendary duo, Laurel & Hardy, when Stan cannot speak or sit up for laughing, it is totally infectious & such a fine example of another person’s energy affecting our energy. The other side of this is the “energy vampires”, when people have the ability to suck our enthusiasm, hope & happiness right out of us.

    Energy is felt, we are energy.

    We are 6/7 months into the Covid 19 global pandemic & the uncertainty lingers. Rules & guidance is constantly changing & this pro-longed exposure to feeling unsafe can take its toll on our emotional & mental health. I often feel overwhelmed.

    Our freedom has been really impacted, to meet family & friends, to talk (without a mask), to watch films, go to theatres, listen to bands, go to festivals & watch musicians play. To listen to music live, to be with like-mined people in these creative gatherings feeds our soul.

    We can accept that for now, there is a new version of our life?

    And, can we manage the fear differently?

    Can we find any calm in the midst of this & allow that to spread instead of fear?

    So, what is this calm thing? Can we help each other if we all feel calmer?

    I feel I could include a Brene Brown quote into everything I write or talk about & to quote her here, from her podcast Unlocking Us,

    https://brenebrown.com/unlockingus/

    Brene researches “calm” and describes a calm person as someone who “brings perspective into a complicated situations” & has “the ability to manage complex emotions”

    She always nails it.

    So how can we find our way to calm?

    Limit the News Feed

    I do this & have done for a few years now & it helps as I used to go to bed crying (seriously) as I struggled to remove distressing images from my head.

    Maybe scan the headlines online & only once a day? I believe that we cannot process the volume & distressing news content that we are presented with multiple times as day.

    Once you have limited your exposure…the next step is to….

    Meditate.

    I don’t think I will ever not urge you to start meditating.

    Let’s dispel some myths & stereotypes about meditation as it only adds a block between you & calm I hope you will find it to be such a powerful tool in your life.

    Ok, so your mind will wander – this is normal & this is why I recommend a Mantra – a tool for your mind to attach to instead of your thoughts.

    I meditate every day & do so in a chair, not on the floor, not crossed legged & only slightly levitating..

    I use a simple silent mantra & the majority of the time I dance from “thought to manta, mantra to thought” but…..& this is so important, the benefits are found outside of meditation.

    When you start to practice, try to cultivate a softer approach to meditating, by that I mean, avoid any expectations of the time you spend meditating.

    I often say the phrase “it is what it is” & it helps me to drop expectations or to look for an experience while meditating as these are all actions of our mind.

    We need to meditate now more than ever. And it is this that will be your ticket to calm-city.

    I use & the app, https://insighttimer.com/

    It has a time setting so you can do a 5 minute or 20/30 minute meditation without having to check your watch or phone for the time and I have mine set with a lovely chime to end the meditation & there are lots of beautiful free guided ones too.

     

    Breathing…

    Get into the habit of taking 1 slow breath into the belly before you respond in a stressful situation or if the person you are talking to is unloading a lot of fear. This 1 slow breath will allow you to respond & not react. This will give you a sense of control & interrupts the usual constriction & tightening of your muscles when facing anxious situations or people.

    This 1 breath is your gap. Your window of perspective.

    Now you have a precious moment, a precious moment to process & consider your response.

    Fear breeds fear, as we know. What is powerful here is that the fear could stop with you.

    You have to opportunity to bring perspective & respond. Your calm energy will be felt & apart from it helping you through your day, it may end up helping someone who could be emotionally on their edge.

    In yoga philosophy, it is said, we are here to serve. Your calm could be of service to anyone you meet throughout your day.

    If you feel your place of work or work colleagues perpetuate feelings of fear & anxiety, take a look at my other blog about Anxiety at Work.  

     So there are just 3 steps to helping you work towards calm.

    Limit the news, Meditate & Breath

     

    With love