It’s a new month, admittedly, we are five days in but we are still at the start. So, I’ve decided – just this very second, actually, that I am going to set myself a little challenge.
April was a tough month for reasons I don’t want to go into. I feel like the last few post’s we’ve written have been quite heavy, and although there are many things going on at the moment – for all three of us – dwelling on them isn’t going to make the anxious tightening of the solar plexus go away. I figured a change of tact was needed. And by doing so we are not living in denial or ignoring the feelings, instead we will attempt to work through them. To work through that horrible nervous feeling that sits right in the centre of the body, that dull throb at the top of the rib cage! An attack on the hearts centre.
Perhaps, you have felt this way; like someone is sitting on your chest, constricting you and your breathing. I’ve not experienced anxiety like this… ever, I don’t think. I don’t know whether it’s about getting older, the work that we do, or indeed the world we live in. Interestingly, I have noticed that my voice is trapped, too. I’m not using my full vocal range. In the real world, I currently feel like I am being silenced – people who have a different opinion to you feel like they can shout you into oblivion, gaslight you, and make up lies about you to smear your reputation – and perhaps that is why my actual, literal voice is feeling trapped, feeling small. The tool that helps me make a difference in the world is being silenced – not good for an actor!!
In order to combat the suffocation, I have found myself trying to breathe deeply to release the body, but that works for all of 2 minutes, my mind kicks in and again, I am imagining all sorts of troubling scenarios. This horrible restriction of my whole being led me to seek out well being podcasts. I needed something stronger, you could say – a life coach to thrash out these demons that I “know” live only in my head.
And… I came across On Purpose with Jay Shetty!
On Purpose with Jay Shetty is an extraordinary podcast and well worth listening to. Jay Shetty is a former Monk, life coach, motivational speaker of well being, and his podcast is the number one podcast “in the world” to go to for self help, wellbeing and healing. I’ve listened to three episodes so far;
8 Ways to Improve Your Circle & Accelerate Your Impact in the World in which Steven Bartlett (Dragons Den and Diary of a CEO).
I’m currently listening to a fourth ep: Ryan Holiday ON: Eliminating Fear From Your Life and Pushing Past Them This Year.
So far so absolutely captivating, and much of what is spoken about resonates on many levels, for me. I understand it, feel it, and now I need to push past the anxiety and put it all in to practice.
Jay shares some vital information about how important it is to remain connected to your truth, the world, and its people. Small simple acts like saying “hello” to the taxi driver when you get into the taxi as a mark of acknowledgment, making sure that you are scheduling ‘Me Time’ at least once a month, dealing with fear; visualisations and manifestations. And… breathing properly. How many of us actually breathe properly? Deeper longer breaths to calm the body and tame anxiety, and short sharp inhales with longer exhales to energise the body? Did you know that?
In his interview with Andrew Huberman (American Neuroscientist) the two discuss the importance of signs especially when talking about wellbeing. As humans, it is said that we actually interpret the world through signs and images. Signs or images (and sounds) are the first things we see upon waking and the last thing, before we sleep; clouds through the window, the painting on the wall, the little candle holder in the shape of a heart. So it is very important to have good positive images or signs around you or certainly ones that make you feel good about yourself and the world.
I love Banksy and everything he stands for. I bought a Banksy calendar this year and put it up on the wall opposite my bed. It is the first thing I see when I wake up. However… the political messaging is bleak, especially first thing in the morning. The colours are grey, brown and black with the odd flash of yellow or red. It’s very dystopian nature is a reminder that we do indeed live in a dark corrupt world. I know this already – do I need to wake up with that, too? I took it down today – I couldn’t shake the sadness or anxiety.
What messages are we starting our days with and what burdens are we taking with us to bed? An obvious action for cutting out the noise and overloading of messages/signs is to reduce the use of technology an hour before sleeping, and not looking at your phone for at least an hour after you have woken up. Huberman explains this is not because our brains can’t handle it, but instead because our brains can handle it and it will take what ever we feed it. But how does what we are feeding our brains make us feel? The brain deciphers all those signs and interprets all of that activity, all of the time. Even during sleep the brain works to declutter and make sense of the day.
Depending on what we do for the first hour of the day, can set the tone for the rest of the day. We can either feel negative and exhausted even before we have started, or energised and ready to take it all on. Huberman also talks about the need to see and spend time outdoors in natural light, particularly when we first wake up. The sun, the outdoors, and nature are said to release endorphins – the chemical responsible for feeling happy thus inducing feelings of well being. Our body produces this hormone naturally when we laugh, fall in love, have sex, and even eat a delicious meal. Exercise, playing music and meditation are all forms of healing through the release of endorphins.
Witches Book of Self Care
Not only am I listening to On Purpose with Jay Shetty, I am also reading the Witches Book of Self Care; Magical Ways to Pamper, Soothe, and Care for Your Body and Spirit by Arin Murphy-Hiscock. Self Care through magic – I like that idea. It makes me feel special and worthy. I am worthy of self care. The ideas shared are not necessarily new or original – just looking at them through a different lens, and what I am finding incredibly helpful is journaling the process. Writing down how it feels to cast a circle, to be mindful or to spend some time in meditation and writing Affirmations… with purpose. There are simple tasks to help you start your day and between Jay Shetty and the Witches Book of Self Care I have come to create the following self care routine for myself.
Self Care Routine
~ Wake up. Lay in bed for at least 20 minutes taking in the sights and sounds. Make sure I look up at the sky – it is expansive and will broaden my mind, as opposed to reaching for my phone and having to read on a small screen, straining my eyes and brain to take in what instagram or twitter is saying about me, the world or each other. I don’t need the noise.
~ Stretch. Either lying in bed or when I get up. Full body stretch.
~ To meditate for at least 7 minutes and meditate in my favourite chair, facing the window. Letting the light in to my room and my life. Meditate; not to shut the mind up, instead to just watch the images that pop up and have no judgement on them what so ever. Like watching tv – sooner or later intuition will speak. Jay Shetty has a whole program with calm which you can tap into. Try the free trial here.
~ Take a walk in the garden before my morning coffee, bare foot. Stand on the grass and feel the earth beneath me and know that I am connected to nature. That I can draw inspiration and power from her. You just have to watch the way intelligence is prevalent through out nature. It’s actually magic just standing and observing, the colours and patterns in all of creation. Today I did the Star, Jesus or Superman pose. I stood facing the sun, eyes closed, arms stretched out to the side, feet planted firmly on the ground and my heart – open – drawing energy from the sun. It felt amazing, Even as I write I can feel the cold dewy grass beneath my feet and the heat on my face. That is life force. That is power.
~ To write in my journal all the things I wish to accomplish for the day. When we feel overwhelmed (as I am feeling of late) it is best to think about life in terms of days. What small changes can you make to get through the day. My tasks have been to carry out my self care routine. Set time aside to learn lines. To read at least a chapter of the book I am reading. And, to document how my Witching Self Care routine is going. Bigger projects can also be a part of your journaling routine and as you journal more you will notice that you will start writing practical ways of achieving all the things you wish to accomplish.
There are many more things to learn about self care, it is a life long ritual. I will write again about my progress, it may inspire you to perhaps take a deeper exploration of the self. After all there is nothing wrong with becoming the best version of yourself. Bold. Confident… Authentically You!
I would also like to take the time to say Thanks to Monty Vern. I have kept off social media for a little while. I made my decisions to create and stick to this self care routine and then I jumped on word press. The first post I read was this from Monty, and I just knew the stars had aligned and everything was going to be alright. The Signs were all there – loud and clear.
As well as purposefully looking after ourselves, we also have to look out for others and put into the world good energies. Another one of T.B.C’s purposes, therefore, is to support those less fortunate than ourselves, and those peoples who are oppressed and live under oppressive colonial regime’s. Western news outlets are right in speaking out about and sharing information on what is happening in Ukraine, and we support the people of Ukraine. However, war is waging all over the globe and it breaks our hearts that places like Palestine, Yemen, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Kashmir, some parts of China hardly ever, if ever make the news. A friend of ours is raising money through Medical Aid Palestine to help rebuild after the latest round of military aggression by the occupying forces. If you feel you can, then please do donate to the Palestinian cause. Here is the link. Thank you greatly, in advance.
With Love, always