Welcome to Mindful Music Monday Mug. We are informal here. No perfect presentation of ourselves but loving the way we are with all the frizzy hair, laughing lines around our eyes and the messy home too!
Welcome back self-care ninjas! How has your week been? Have you been caring enough with yourself to take out time for self-care? Did you try out Rachel Kelly’s exercises?
I have to admit that I have procrastinated about the exercises a lot. In fact, I haven’t done them until just before I wrote this post. Last week I concentrated a lot on my other blog. My plan is to have many posts scheduled so that I can concentrate on our vegetable garden in summer. There is also “Love Is In Da Blog” every February. It's a blog share event about love which has a musical theme this year and many have taken part.
So I often thought: “Ah, Music Monday has time for later…” and well, suddenly it was Monday and I hadn’t done anything. Never mind. It did not stop me from doing it anyway.
The tasks were to bring ourselves into the centre of our lives with a wheel like this:
To remind ourselves of our strengths with these three boxes:
And to create our coat of arms of compliments we have received.
I preferred doing them with pen and paper and not in the book. I grew up in a time when writing in a book was frowned upon and even nowadays when there are so-called “workbooks” where you are supposed to write into I feel it is wrong. But it also gave me the feeling I actually created my “coat of arms” my defence against dark thoughts and the like.
And how did you deal with the exercises? Did you get the book and used it? Did you just do it yourself? How did they make you feel? Let’s talk about it in the comments!
What’s in our mug this week?
This week I introduce you to one of my favourite teas and not to a recipe. It is Pukka’s Love tea a blend of rose, camomille and lavender which is such a lovely taste. I currently drink it daily as it calms my stomach and my mind and while I am not affiliated with Pukka and don’t earn anything with this I still share where you can get it (here) and their video which explains how it came about:
Singing in the Rain ~ Week 2 ~ Belly Breathing
This week’s exercise in “Singing in the Rain” by Rachel Kelly is one that you might already know: It is "belly breathing" and I have been introduced to this in many different environments. The first was a retreat about 20 years ago in which we practised many relaxation techniques and most of them were introduced with belly breathing to get ourselves into the moment.
I was taught this exercise later in therapy when dealing with my anxiety and just yesterday read about it again in Jack Angelo’s book “Your Healing Power” in which he explains that our breath helps to regulate many of our bodily functions. So breathing properly has not only mental health benefits but also physical benefits.
Rachel describes in her book how this technique helps her to deal with daily stresses and what I love about the book is her showing us that even a successful journalist and mental health campaigner has fears like “Oh, my co-worker doesn’t like me” because the co-worker mentions how hard she finds it to work with Rachel. Fear of not being liked or not being able to work effectively is a fear I know very well and so I often feel there is no way out. It won’t stop. Rachel's way though is not to stop it from happening (which doesn’t work anyway) but to stopping it from escalating when our ancient fear-based brain kicks in.
Belly breathing brings us into the moment, relaxes us and gives us the chance to find solutions instead of wandering off into dramas and catastrophe’s created in our minds. Here is a short clip where Rachel explains belly breathing
video credit: Rachel Kelly via YouTube
So, lay down, put a book on your belly if you want to and breathe into your belly to a count of 7. Feel your belly and diaphragm go out and then breathe out to a count of 11. Breathing out more than in helps you relax. I could never managed that and also this sort of count doesn’t work for me. So practise and find out which count works for you but make sure to have an uneven count because it helps you to stay focused.
I also encourage you again to check out her book and if you like it buy it!
Singing in the Rain ~ An Inspirational Workbook by Rachel Kelly on Amazon
(I am not affiliated with Rachel Kelly and get no rewards for this suggestion)
Mindfulness in February
In this week's mindfulness we go a little back to basics and listen to an introduction to it by mindfulness pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn at a talk in Oslo.
"This is a public talk that the mindfulness pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn gave at Oslo University, Norway, in April 2011. Jon talks about the challenges and benefits with mindfulness practice, about research and how mindfulness can transform and heal both us as individuals and the society as a whole.
"Mindfulness - An introduction with Jon Kabat-Zinn" runs 1:34, and is produced by Johan Bergstad, Mindfulness Academy Scandinavia: http://mindfulnessacademy.com
Jon Kabat-Zinn's Series 1-3 are now available as apps: http://mindfulnessapps.com
Video and explanation taken from Mindfulness Academy Scandinavia via YouTube
This weeks music
I always find the belly breathing exercise much more effective if I connect it with some calming music and in fact, I have started to have either chakra healing music or any sort of instrumental music on in the morning when I write.
So I encourage you to try out some instrumental relaxing music this week. This one is one of my favourites:
video credit: Nature Healing Society via YouTube
Mindful Music Monday Mug Chat
Self-care is especially important when times are rough and too much is going on everywhere. So I believe it is good to meet up and have a cuppa together and share your story. However, we cannot always do that physically and so I have started the "Mindful Music Monday Mug Chat". You can join in with this link every Tuesday unless differently stated at 1 pm GMT (that is London time ~ please find your time here)
The link will ask you if you want to open it in the Skype app but you can open it online too. You can either join as a guest or sign in with your Microsoft account. For now, we are going to have a written conversation but we’ll keep an open mind and see where it will lead us.
What else do you need? A cup of tea, coffee or any other of your favourite beverage, a song to share and a polite manner. If you join in on the web you can only share files from your laptop or computer but if you join with an account you can also share YouTube videos, searches and other files to make our conversation more interesting.
I am looking forward to meeting you there!
And to remind ourselves how to take part:
SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO TAKE PART IN THE MINDFUL MUSIC MONDAY MUG
~ I invite you to appreciate yourself with a cup of your favourite beverage or the recipe I introduce in this post
~Additionally I offer you questions, exercises and ideas to explore self-care, self-love and self-improvement.
~ I invite you to share your ideas and experiences in the comments or write a blog post about it and leave the link in the comments.
~ Also feel free to visit the blogs of our fellow self-care explorer ninjas.
Now dear self-care explorer ninja’s
Come, chat about self-care
Share some great music
And have lots of fun!
photo credit: Mindfulness.Exercises.Com
I am not a health professional. My posts describe my thoughts, my experiences and my conclusions about life, mental health and self-improvement. My described actions always go alongside therapy and do not substitute professional advice by a health professional be it a doctor, therapist or counsellor.
I invite you to try out self-care tools, however, if any of these make you feel uncomfortable please stop and do not go further ahead. Also, if any of the tools suggested bring up issues that need dealing with do not hesitate to reach out for professional help. To recognise when you need to stop and when to reach out for professional or any other help is one important part to learn when it comes to self-care.
Please look here if you need further guidance:
Government of Canada
Please stay a little longer and discover music and good news on The Bee Writes... at Wordpress. You are more into photography? Please find my photo posts for Wordless Wednesday on Bee Wordless... on Blogger. Thanks!
Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me for cancer is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.
Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.
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