Mindfulness

Connect to your inner self

As varying versions of the COVID-19 lockdown continue across the world, fear remains around how we can safely reconnect with those we love. Many are isolating alone, and for lots of us, isolation is far from over. In such times, the solution focused approach of connecting to our inner strength can be a balm, helping us to build our resilience, so that loneliness doesn’t become overwhelming. You can take the words below as a moment for you to stop, switch off the news, focus on the present, and feel a sense of connection.

Take long deep breath, and release. You’ve got this.

Stay safe.

Connection

From the moment we are born,
We have a primitive need to be held. Soothed.
To feel the warmth of touch.
To feel connected to something bigger than ourselves.
So, in a time when connection is tainted with fear,
And touch, with frightening consequences,
We can feel lost.
Helpless to meet our deep desire to connect.

But something magical happens,
When we start to connect with our inner self.
To nurse our fear with our own inner strength.

So take a moment to close your eyes,
And feel your breath.
See light in the centre of your chest,
Beating with your heartbeat.
Let that light fill your chest cavity.
Let it drop down your torso,
Down through the water table, the rock and magma.
Connecting you right down to the centre of the earth.

Allow yourself to bathe in the warmth,
Of that grounding cord of light.
Feel its strength,
Beaming out to every living thing.
You are a part of that beautiful firework.
Connected to everything.

Mindfulness

Running for my lockdown life

In the UK, during the COVID-19 lockdown, 1 hour of exercise per person is the daily allowance, stipulated by the government and enforced by the police, with increasingly hefty fines per offence. The focus of many a critic has been on how little time we have to escape our four walls every 24 hours, and go out into the ghostly world beyond.

And yet, spoilt as I am with a yard and two frequently empty communal gardens, I hadn’t quite realised the importance of this restriction. Until today. When I saw it as a prescription (with the help of my husband who described it as such and all but pushed me out of the house).

Just as your GP will prescribe antibiotics to help you shake that lingering chest infection or paracetamol to ease a tiresome headache, the government has prescribed us an hour of daily exercise to fight that creeping darkness that threatens to swallow us while and spit out a mumbling, distracted, irritable gremlin in our place, who puts their phone in the fridge, shouts at everyone about pretty much everything and weeps over broken biscuits and lost socks.

I thought I was going outside enough. I went out in the garden to play with the kids, put the recycling out, brought parcels inside. OK, perhaps part of me was aware that I needed to break out and go further afield for an hour, pound the pavements and be alone, but I kept finding reasons not to. A thesis to write, a child to soothe, a dinner to make, a wash to put on. The list was endless and grew longer and more confused as my mind became jumbled, squeezed and suffocated by the four walls of our home.

Until today, when my husband braved the gigantic atmosphere I had taken to carrying around the house with me for the last few days, like a rock-filled rucksack that I couldn’t remember how to take off. ‘I prescribe a walk out around the river’ he said, and realisation dawned. That was exactly what I needed. I had spent the morning incredibly frustrated by the feeling that I couldn’t find something but couldn’t figure out what that something was, and that was it. I needed to get out. I felt like crying with relief, that someone had realised.

The walk was beautiful. I looked at clouds and the boats and smiled at others who were out exercising. I even ran a bit and felt the wind and my lungs burn. And I banked a whole heap of what we call in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy the three P’s: positive actions, positive interactions and positive thoughts. These three elements work together to produce patterns in the brain that give us a steady flow of happy hormones such as serotonin, which we need to feel good in both mind and body.

So listen to the government guidance through the lens of what it is telling you to do, rather than what it is telling you not to do. It’s telling you, if you can, for one hour a day, to get out. Go. Experience. Drink in the confidence that comes with being proactive, drink in the hope that comes from positive interactions with the nods from passing strangers, drink in the positivity that fills your mind when you treat your body to sunlight, movement and connection.