WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

Mindfulness & Meditation

Why You Need to Visit Mumbai During Monsoon Season ~ For Ecoage

Around the World, Commisions, Lifestyle, Mindfulness & Meditation, Natural Living, Review, Rituals, Summer, Travel, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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Last month I had the last minute pleasure of visiting India, somewhere I had always dreamed of visiting but just never quite gotten around to planning. It always seemed a bit daunting and something that would require a lot of meticulous organization and prior preparations. So, when I was invited to visit one of India’s “most magical wellness destinations” Shillim Estate Retreat and Spa, I jumped at the chance of experiencing India by following someone else’s lead and itinerary. 

Tucked almost untouchably high up in the serene mountains of the Western Ghats, Shillim Retreat Estate and Spa is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is recognised as one of the world’s top biological diversity hotspots. Just a few hours from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai, arriving the other side of the hectic traffic and manic energy of the city, Shillim is a majestic paradise that feels like another world. Surrounded by forests, valleys, rice fields, bamboo plantations and nature like you’ve never seen before (especially during monsoon season), I felt immediately grounded and centred by the surroundings even before exploring the resorts amenities or wellness packages.

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Pre-arrival

Ahead of my visit, I was asked to fill out an in-depth questionnaire by the team behind the resort’s life science wellness program, known as Dharana. The questionnaire explored a range of physical, mental and emotional topics, and I felt instantly more connected to myself and aware of how I was feeling and what I wanted to get out of my visit. Aside from that, the questionnaire is a chance for the Dharana team to decipher each guest’s unique current state of wellbeing ahead of their arrival, ensuring they can put together an appropriate and entirely personalised programme tailored to each guest.

Upon arrival

Upon arrival I was greeted by the entire Dharana team and introduced to everyone who would be taking care of me throughout the week, from my dieticians and doctors to the chefs and therapists. Our arrival ceremony then commenced, with a selection of welcome rituals, starting with energy clearing (using burning sage and a Tibetan singing bowl), followed by a detoxifying footbath of lemongrass, ginger and Himalayan pink salt. The entire experience was incredibly grounding and really helped me to ‘arrive’ and feel settled and present after the long journey, transitioning into a much slower and calmer state of mind and pace of living. 

During my stay

Visiting Shillim, guests have the chance to decide exactly what kind of experience they want, or need. The resort is separated, with the Dharana wellness program and accommodation sitting slightly apart from the main resort where the majority of the apartments, spas and restaurants are located for guests not enrolled in Dharana programs. This gives a sense of ease to the resort, in a way that health and wellness is not imposed upon anyone. But for those who are keen to heal, cleanse and detox, to work on self-development or to achieve weightloss goals, there are plenty of options for everyone. The main pillars of their programmes are preventative medicine, exercise physiology, nutrition and dietetics, conflict resolution and spiritual wellbeing. 

I was on a more wellness-oriented journey which started with some incredibly interesting and insightful tests and assessments looking at my physical and mental health, including traditional Ayurvedic and naturopathic analysis combined with advanced diagnostics technology, such as gene testing and Oligo scanning which help to establish what’s going on internally on a physiological level (for example, revealing nutrient, mineral and vitamin levels, as well as levels of metals and plastics found in the body). After these tests, the team curated a more detailed program specific to my needs and requirements, and the week's activities were focused around getting me physically and mentally back into balance with my natural state, whilst using preventative medicine and other natural remedies to cleanse and detoxify.

After our morning movement, we sat down to personalised breakfasts, created with our individual Ayurvedic types and dietary requirements in mind. Each morning began with a juice and the food was often a mixture of sweet and savoury dishes, all relatively small portions but with a lot of variety. It felt satisfying and filling but was at the same time light and incredibly nourishing.  

Throughout the day, myself and the other guests went about our own schedules, which involved a combination of movement classes, pranayama sessions, meditation sessions, hikes, nature workshops, foraging, crafts, pottery and clay therapy, sound therapy, local village tours, volunteering on local plantations and more - all accompanied by an abundance of on-site spa treatments and therapies everyday. We enjoyed a combination of treatments, from deep tissue massage, Ayurvedic herbal oil massages, synchronised abhyanga massage, Indian third-eye head massage and much more, all carried out using seeds, flowers, roots and oils grown and produced locally. The benefits of each treatment vary, and a combination of several treatments was key to overall wellbeing, to bring the body and mind back into balance.

Lunch and dinner each day was similar to breakfast; a combination of small portions of different dishes with mostly curries, dhals, grains and vegetables. All of the food is made on site using local ingredients, such as rice from neighbouring plantations, to vegetables grown on-site and fish from the forest streams. Everything was incredibly fresh and pure, but without feeling restrictive or too healthy. You wont find juice cleansing, raw foods or other fad’s at Shillim, but instead warming, nourishing and grounding foods based on the five elements of Ayurveda (water, air, fire, ether and wind), aimed at bringing the body back into balance. Each menu outlines the nutritional values of each meal, which is helpful and useful to know, but not something they are too fixated on. It is all about the ritual of eating and fuelling the body with functional foods to help it thrive and function fully. 

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Development and transformation

During my visit, I must say I felt several small transformations, some physically but mostly mentally. During several treatments, for example, I would find deep relaxation and many inspirational ideas began to flood to me. Other times, I felt moments of enlightenment - or realisation – and felt clarity in certain aspects of my life.

Physically, I felt lighter, more energised and deeply cleansed from the food we were eating. My digestion was smoother, and despite early wake up calls, I had consistent energy throughout the day. 

Being in nature, especially with non-stop monsoon downpours, was deeply grounding and cleansing. The staff mentioned how monsoon season is one of the most detoxifying times to visit India and I really felt the benefits of this, as if the rain was washing away mental and physical blockages and encouraging flow. The energy and the nutrients of the rainfall also felt incredibly nourishing and powerful, and I believe it helped with things like water retention and dehydration.Leaving ceremony and departure

On our last day, the team carried out a Shanti Homa and Dhyani ritual ceremony to mark the attainment of mastering the lessons of Dharana and adopting them as a way of life. It was amazing to bring our time to an end, celebrating the week with the staff and other locals. The ceremony is intended to cleanse negative energy and to attract peace and positive energy into ones life, helping to move things along when they seem difficult or stagnant.

Post-visit

For our arrival back home, we were given detailed prescriptions of Ayurvedic tonics and herbal remedies, aimed to pacify our needs and help us reach our goals. We were given a structured daily plan, outlining what to take and when, as well as dietary guidance for life, outlining what we should eat in line with our Ayurvedic types to enhance digestion, energy and overall wellbeing, and to prevent discomfort and disease. Having these remedies and this advice, alongside the daily rituals I had learned throughout my stay, I felt fully equipped to keep the regime up when I arrived home.

The traditional Dharana teachings are not inaccessible, intimidating or unrealistic. The rituals we picked up were simple and short to practice, and the foods and meal plans are focused around everyday essentials and mostly fruits and vegetables that are accessible almost anywhere, and which require minimal cooking and uncomplicated preparation. This kind of retreat is key to overall wellbeing, as you adopt tools and genuinely become educated about yourself and life in general, meaning you leave feeling empowered and inspired to take control of your life and live more fully, using natural resources and remedies and becoming more mindful about yourself and your surroundings in the process. It really is a way of life we should be exploring more and taking inspiration from in order to slowly and consciously adapt our own daily lives.

Wake Up Well Rituals ~ For ES Magazine

Beauty, Commisions, Lifestyle, Mindfulness & Meditation, Movement, Pranayama, Rituals, Seasonal, Wake Up Well, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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This time of year, whilst full of hope, anticipation and new beginnings, can also feel miserable, especially as the weather gets colder and the days shorter and darker. 

For me, autumn is a time for slowing down and turning inward; think of it as hibernation for the modern human. I like to use the end of summer to regain focus and take stock of where I am and what I hope to achieve.

As with any seasonal shift, changes in the weather will affect us mentally and physically. It's common to feel low, suffer with skin problems and have depleted energy levels at this time of year. That’s why I find it useful to have a bank of reliable rituals on hand to help me feel supported and prepared for anything.

Below are my top tips for keeping skin vibrant and hydrated, for enhancing energy levels (especially as the mornings get darker) and for that all-important immunity boost.

Beauty & Skincare

Massage 

Massage is a really powerful and incredibly underrated ritual for all kinds of things, but particularly for boosting circulation (which will enhance your glow), reducing tension and encouraging cell renewal. I like to mix it up between using tools (like a jade crystal roller or gua sha) and just my hands. It’s super simple and you can work it into your current beauty regime, by simple spending around 2-5 minutes massaging the muscles in your face – focusing around the eye, cheek and jaw areas. 

Neti pot

A neti pot is a traditional cleansing method originating from the East. It is a way of cleaning the nasal passages (known as nasal irrigation), and is a ritual used to clear the debri and mucus from the nose and sinuses. It looks a bit like a mini teapot and you fill it with filtered water. It helps to clear the nostrils, helping breathing and oxygen intake, reduce dryness, ease sinus-related headaches, relieve allergy symptoms and prevent viruses and infections. As the seasons change, we are often at risk of seasonal viruses or just feeling a little rundown and out of sorts, so this can definitely help. I also find it makes my head feel clearer too.

Tongue scraper

Scraping the surface of the tongue is known to remove a build up of toxins which accumulates overnight, preventing us from swallowing and ingesting them. It's a really simple, energising and powerful ritual to add to your morning routine.

To Energise 

Tapping

Tapping is a simple technique known to promotes blood circulation and energy flow. It involves tapping and massaging parts of the body, using a combination of fists and fingertips to activate them and to release any tension, emotion or energy blockages held within. This is one of my favourite rituals and can be an energising practice to include in your morning routine if you want to raise your vibrational energy and feel balanced, lighter and physically less stiff. 

Yoga

Yoga doesn’t have to be an hour-long class or strict sequence, but can be as simple as a few stretches here and there, without any kind of ‘flow’. Downward Dog is one of my favourite yoga postures to stretch out the body and to encourage circulation around the body, whilst also reducing muscular tension.

Revolved Twisted Lunge is a warming pose that energises the legs and stimulates the internal organs to promote detoxification and digestion. This is also a great one to practice in the mornings as the temperatures get cooler.

Breathwork 

Pranayama, also known as breathwork, is one of my favourite tools for supporting internal cleansing and to enhance focus, concentration and energy levels. Ideal to practice in the mornings.

Breath-counting meditation is a powerful exercise for the mind which tidies away distracting thoughts, enhancing concentration, stamina and endurance. Try this to refresh your thoughts or stay on task at work or to feel more present.

1. Sit comfortably either on the floor with crossed legs or on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Close your eyes, bring your awareness to your breath and notice any natural patterns or rhythms. 

2. On an exhale, start counting silently from one. Then inhale, pause briefly once your lungs have reached full capacity, and exhale, silently counting two. 

3. Keep counting like this at the end of every exhalation until you reach ten, and then starting counting backwards, from ten to one. If thoughts intrude, you get interrupted or you become distracted and forget which number you’re at, simply accept it and start again from one. 

4. Once you are back to ‘one’, repeat the sequence, counting up to 20 or 30 or however far feels natural, and bring the practice to a close when you are ready to. 

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Nourishment

Herbal tonics 

As the weather gets cooler, our bodies begin to crave different things. Grounding ingredients and warm foods are often desired to bring our bodies into balance, and making infusions to drink is one of my favourite ways to gain warmth and nourishment, anytime of day.

Not quite as potent as ingesting the ingredients whole, infusions and teas still draw nutrients from the plants you are using, which are then quickly and easily absorbed by the body. They also help bring variety to the daily-recommended amount of water we should be consuming.

There are several methods for infusing, and the ratio of plants to water really depends on personal taste. For hot options, simply use hot water or hot milk to brew your choice of herbs, spices, flowers, fruits, vegetables or other plant-based ingredients (such as fresh basil, thyme, mint, cinnamon, chamomile,  fresh fruits or fresh vegetables (such as cucumber, carrot, beetroot). Brew them in a large jug, heat-proof bottle or even a large bowl to then decant into smaller bottles. 

Store in the fridge but serve warm. 

Seasonal ingredients

As the seasons change - despite the fact that most ingredients are available all year around these days – it is incredibly beneficial for us to incorporate seasonal ingredients into our diets. Autumn brings with it an abundance of earth and root vegetables, such as turnips, cauliflower, butternut squash, cabbage, carrots, kale, parsnips, potato, and so on.

Vegetables grown in the earth are incredibly grounding, and cooking them and enjoying them warm is even more nourishing, providing our bodies with easily digestible meals to warm from within. Do a little further research on seasonal ingredients as we shift from autumn into winter and opt to swap salads and cold dishes for more curries, soups and stews. 

Five Wellness Techniques to Keep You Zen Whilst Travelling ~ For Evening Standard

Anytime, Lifestyle, Mindfulness & Meditation, Movement, Natural Living, Rituals, Travel, Wellbeing, Commisionsdanielle coppermanComment

Regular travel can start to take a toll on both your physical and mental health.

To help reduce the side effects of long journeys and constant travelling, I’ve shared my favourite rituals that can be done anytime and anywhere to decrease stress, improve sleep, increase energy and keep you balanced while on the move.

While you can’t be expected to do yoga in the airport or start chanting on a plane, you can always find a corner to close your eyes and turn inward for a moment, requiring nothing but the power of your mind and breath.

It really is as easy as that.

Sensory meditation - to ground and arrive

A simple meditative technique to reduce stress, align concentration and balance emotions is to use your senses to redirect your attention.

This is a versatile practice, and will be different almost every time you practise it, because it is likely that scents, sights and noises will change from one day to the next. Use this technique when you find it particularly hard to focus, or feel overwhelmed with challenging thoughts, either first thing in the morning or just before starting work, to shift and reset your focus.

Sensory awareness meditation may be more powerful in an unfamiliar setting, so if you can, try to change your place of practice from time to time. It is best to practise with your eyes closed, as your senses may be influenced by things you see or you may find it hard to focus on senses other than sight if there are many visual distractions.

Method

1. Find a comfortable seated position and rest your hands on your knees, in your lap or by your side.

2. With eyes closed, bring your awareness to the rhythm of your breath. Notice how each inhalation and exhalation feels and notice where in the body you can feel the breath most. Breathe naturally with your attention on your breath until you come to a steady and comfortable breath.

3. Begin to bring your awareness to each of your five senses. Focus on one sense at a time, noticing how it feels and how it is stimulated in the present moment. Start with whichever sense naturally grabs your attention.

Hearing will likely catch your attention first. Notice the sounds within or around you, without judgement or hostility. They may be the sounds of your own breathing or internal movements. They may be sounds made by others close by or far way, by people you know or don’t know. They may be familiar or unfamiliar sounds. They may be clear or indistinguishable. Sit for a few minutes, acknowledging and accepting the sounds around you, and if any thoughts arise, simply use the sounds around you to refocus the breath.

If you find your attention drifting persistently, turn your focus to another sensation. Notice any smells around you, near or far, faint or pungent. Maybe you’ve lit a candle or applied some fragrance to yourself or the space around you. Maybe you smell food or plants, fresh washing or smoke. If a smell brings negative thoughts, turn your attention to more positive smells around you.

Perhaps the taste in your mouth becomes noticeable, next. Maybe there is a sight aftertaste from your last meal, or from smoking or brushing your teeth. If you don’t smoke and/or haven’t yet eaten, notice the inside of your mouth and how your tongue feels. Is it heavy or light? Is it soft or rough? How does it feel to move it slowly around the mouth? This may bring your attention to touch. How do things feel? How do your hands feel where they are resting, and what are they resting on? If rested on your body, do they feel warm or can you feel the warmth of your body beneath them? If on the floor or furniture, how does it feel? Is it cold? Is it soft or rigid? Are you comfortable? Notice the connection between your sitting bones and where you are sat. Do you feel rooted and supported by the earth beneath? Is the rest of your body comfortable in this pose? How do your clothes feel against your skin? If you want, you can even feel around you, resting your hands on any objects they fall upon and considering what they might be.

Maybe this will bring your attention to your sight. Blink your eyes open gently, take in your surroundings, noticing objects, shapes, colours, materials and light. Gradually trace the room, resting on things that catch your attention, and then pause, noticing how you feel after the exercise. Close your eyes again and close the practice with a few deep breaths.

Body scan - to calm and relax

Body scanning is an easy mindfulness exercise to relax the body, calm the mind and shift attention away from overpowering thoughts. It involves relaxing each part of the body by focusing on it for a few moments. Practising this meditation in the evening is ideal as it is best performed lying down, encouraging the body and mind to transition from “doing” to “being”.

Method

1. Lie on your back on a comfortable surface with your legs slightly apart and your arms by your sides. If you are not in bed, place a blanket over your body if you tend to get cold easily.

2. Focus on the breath and notice any thoughts or feelings that arise. When they do, try to turn your attention back to your breath and how it feels moving through the body.

3. Start by focusing your attention on the toes on your right foot. Be aware of how they feel and gradually move your attention up the right side of your body right up to your head, before continuing down the other side.

4. Settle here and notice how your body feels, both part by part and as a whole, and notice how your mind now feels.

Breath of Fire breathing exercise - to energise

This exercise is used for internal purification. It tones and cleanses the respiratory system by encouraging the release of toxins, and is intended to make you feel lighter in your body and mind. It involves short, sharp exhalations and passive inhalations, or vice versa. This is quite an advanced practice so familiarise yourself with other techniques before this one.

Method

1. Inhale deeply and then forcefully exhale to drive all the air out of the lungs and stomach.

2. Take another full inhale, and then begin to exhale forcefully through the nose. Try to start with 6–10 short, sharp exhalations, without taking an inhale (slight inhalation will occur passively). With each short exhale, draw the belly inwards, engaging and tucking the abdomen in and up towards your ribs.

3. After you’ve completed a full cycle, inhale and exhale fully for a few breaths, before repeating a few more rounds. I like to do around 3–5 rounds.

4. To close the practice, settle in your seated position and return to a natural, effortless breath.

Self massage for neck and shoulders - to improve circulation and reduce tension

This simple massage sequence is so simple yet so powerful. I do this anytime I travel, to reduce tension in my neck and shoulders, especially after long flights.

Method

1. Stand tall and relax your shoulders down your back, elongating the neck.

2. Support your forehead by resting it in the palm of your left hand and then let the head tip slightly forwards. Using the edge of your right hand (along your little finger to where your hand joins the wrist), use a gentle chopping motion to lightly tap up the base of the skull. Stay in this vicinity, working around the base of the skull and top of the neck. If tapping is too much, use sawing motions to release tension at the base of the skull and in the neck. Do this for about 1–2 minutes.

3. Return to standing and slightly tip your head back. Take your hands to your head with thumbs just under the ears, palms on the side of your cheeks and fingers along the sides of your face, fingertips on the temples (as if you were going to lean on a table with your head supported in your hands).

4. Then, use the pads of your thumbs to work around the base of the skull, pressing and massaging the area with however much pressure feels right (you will just know). Move your hands passively, however feels comfortable, and work inwardly with the thumbs from behind the ears towards the spine. Work for about 2 minutes, and feel free to use the thumbs at other points in the skull that feel tight, such as above the ears or the temples.

Journaling - to unwind and focus

Journaling is something I love to do anytime, but whilst travelling, especially travelling alone, I love to make time for it to jot down thoughts that come up. Usually, when I'm abroad or travelling alone, I am in a really calm state and love exploring new places which helps to switch off my mind. I find some of my more inspiring thoughts and ideas come to me in this state, and so spending a little time journaling is really useful. It can also be used if you are feeling stuck, lost or a little lonely, to let go of thoughts and any negativity and try to understand it more.

Another option is to practice stream of consciousness in your journal, as another meditation option, which involves simply writing as soon as you wake up, with no agenda or really topic in mind. this helps to clear the mind and enhances energy and concentration for the rest of the day.

Simple Sensory Meditation ~ From Well Being Book

Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Mindfulness & Meditation, Well Being Book, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment

A simple meditative technique to reduce stress, align concentration and balance emotions is to use your senses to redirect your attention. This is a versatile practice, and will be different almost every time you practise it, because it is likely that scents, sights and noises will change from one day to the next. Use this technique on mornings when you find it particularly hard to focus, or feel overwhelmed with challenging thoughts, either first thing in the morning or just before starting work, to shift and reset your focus.

* Sensory awareness meditation may be more powerful in an unfamiliar setting, so if you can,
try to change your place of practice from time to time. (It is best to practise with your eyes closed, as your senses may be influenced by things you see or you may find it hard to focus on senses other than sight if there are many visual distractions).


Find a comfortable seated position and rest your hands on your knees, in your lap or by your side.

With eyes closed, bring your awareness to the rhythm of your breath. Notice how each inhalation and exhalation feels and notice where in the body you can feel the breath most. Breathe naturally with your attention on your breath until you come to a steady and comfortable breath.

Begin to bring your awareness to each of your five senses. Focus on one sense at a time, noticing how it feels and how it is stimulated in the present moment. Start with whichever sense naturally grabs your attention.

Hearing will likely catch your attention first. Notice the sounds within or around you, without judgement or hostility. They may be the sounds of your own breathing or internal movements. They may be sounds made by others close by or far way, by people you know or don’t know. They may be familiar or unfamiliar sounds. They may be clear or indistinguishable. Sit for a few minutes, acknowledging and accepting the sounds around you, and if any thoughts arise, simply use the sounds around you to refocus the breath.

If you find your attention drifting persistently, turn your focus to another sensation. Notice any smells around you, near or far, faint or pungent. Maybe you’ve lit a candle or applied some fragrance to yourself or the space around you. Maybe you smell food or plants, fresh washing or smoke. If a smell brings negative thoughts, turn your attention to more positive smells around you.

Perhaps the taste in your mouth becomes noticeable. Maybe there is a sight aftertaste from your last meal, or from smoking or brushing your teeth. If you don’t smoke and/or haven’t yet eaten, notice the inside of your mouth and how your tongue feels. Is it heavy or light? Is it soft or rough? How does it feel to move it slowly around the mouth?

This may bring your attention to touch. How do things feel? How do your hands feel where they are resting, and what are they resting on? If rested on your body, do they feel warm or can you feel the warmth of your body beneath them? If on the floor or furniture, how does it feel? Is it cold? Is it soft or rigid? Are you comfortable? Notice the connection between your sitting bones and where you are sat. Do you feel rooted and supported by the earth beneath? Is the rest of your body comfortable in this pose? How do your clothes feel against your skin? If you want, you can even feel around you, resting your hands on any objects they fall upon and considering what they might be.

Maybe this will bring your attention to your sight. Blink your eyes open gently, take in your surroundings, noticing objects, shapes, colours, materials and light. Gradually trace the room, resting on things that catch your attention, and then pause, noticing how you feel after the exercise.

Close your eyes again and close the practice with a few deep breaths.

How To Stop Procrastinating

Inspiration, Lifestyle, Mindfulness & Meditation, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment

How to Stop Procrastination Forever

This blog post on how to stop procrastinating comes at the end of an unproductive day for me. I mean, in reality, I think my unproductive days are equal to many peoples idea of a productive day, but in comparison to my own productive days, unproductive days suck, and leave me feeling super flat and frustrated.

I’ve done all I urgently needed to do today, but I think that’s half of the struggle. Being your own boss and running your own projects can often mean you have to create more work for yourself. So, when you have slightly quieter periods, its crucial that you motivate yourself to go out and find future work or at least plan for it. I had the good intentions to focus on so many things today, and whilst I had the time to make space for them, I found myself procrastinating with unimportant emails, faffing with new software for my website (which took time and resolved nothing), posting a little on Instagram and generally just hanging out on my laptop but with not much to show for it.

It’s days like these - or should I say Monday’s like these, mostly - that really drain me and zap my energy. I always know the minute I wake up that it’s going to be one of those slow-burning days, lacking inspiration or enthusiasm, and where lots happens and I do lots of little bits, but I don’t actually feel like I’ve gotten anything profound or productive done at all.

Today, a lot of positive things happened and lot of important things on my to-do list actually did get done. But, I think, because none of them were incredibly engaging, I didn’t feel as excited as I should have done. I received some exciting emails, I arrived on my new modelling agency’s website, I sent some emails I’d been avoiding for some time, I planned some new projects for Qnola, amongst other things, yet none of these things made me feel like I’d done enough by the end of the day.

One thing in my way was severe whiplash from my recent ski trip to Austria, making my neck excruciatingly tight, my head painfully heavy and my mind dizzy and distracted by a dull and constant headache and a lack of appetite and, subsequently, energy. I also had a little jet lag and was probably overtired, but we never make excuses for ourselves when we’re busy being hard on ourselves, do we? If it was anyone else, I would have told them to take a break or take the day off, but because it was myself, I forced myself to power through and well, yep, it didn’t get me much further than having a day off would have done; may as well be honest with you.

It has however, inspired this late night blog post which I hope in turn inspires you next time you hit a productivity block.

Causes of procrastination and why we experience productivity blocks

A number of things can affect our concentration, motivation and productivity, from one day to the next.

  1. Your job and / or the task at hand. If you hate your job or if whatever you need to do makes you miserable, your motivation is going to be low. Passion is the secret to guaranteed productivity, motivation and drive. Don’t freak out if you hate your job, just don’t blame yourself for lack of drive if that is the case. It’s the jobs fault, not yours. You’ll see when you eventually find what truly lights you up (disclaimer: It’s a forever-project).

  2. Your energy levels. Have you slept well? Have you slept long enough? Are you generally well rested? Have you eaten? Have you eaten too many sugar or caffeinated foods? Have you exercised? All of these things will affect your physical and mental output.

  3. Distractions. These come in all shapes and sizes, from things like matters in your own private life, new stories and office conflicts, to constant texts or emails, external noise from colleagues or things like the radio, or internally muttering coming from your own thoughts.

  4. Time constraints. Sometimes, deadlines can be more overwhelming than good, and can restrict you from doing your best. Other times, they can be too lenient or long, allowing more room for procrastination. Try to find a schedule structure that works for you.

  5. Misc. There are plenty of other things that can induce productivity blocks. I touched on internal muttering of the mind, but more specifically, things like comparison, self-doubt, self-worth, confidence and fear can powerfully affect and dictate how productive your are, or you allow yourself to be, I should say. All of these things have a way of mentally holding you back, by making you feel either incapable, unworthy, undeserving, or all of the above. These kinds of things often arise to challenge you, and in moderation, they’re good traits to carry, but when they become too much and stop you from doing things, they become detrimental to your life and mental health, and prohibit you from living life authentically. Tiredness, lack of sleep, lack of nutrients, external or societal expectations are amongst some of the reasons these thoughts and feelings surface now and again. Meditation and mind-mapping can help silence these self-limiting beliefs and help you regain control.

How to approach procrastination and productivity blocks

What to do when you feel a wave of low-productivity approaching (or when you wake up feeling a lack of inspiration or motivation) and how to avoid it.

  1. Understand that it’s just one of those things / one of those days; notice it, allow it, and whatever you do, don’t judge it or try to change it. It will just. make. things. worse.

  2. Once you’ve noticed you’re having one of those days, start a fresh to-do list. Sometimes, on days like these, you have to break things down really basically. It may seem condescending but making things a simple as possible will really help you to concentrate. Make things easy, digestible, plain and simple. It’s important to be gentler, more patient and more understanding with yourself, as the more pressure you put on yourself, the more overwhelmed and anxious you’ll become. Go slow and try to do one thing at a time. And if this means cutting down your to-do list for the day, so be it.

  3. Drink plenty of water. Down 1-2 glasses of water as soon as you feel this dip in productivity. Follow that with a herbal tea, and even better, bring in a fruit and vegetable based juice or smoothie, for extra and instant nutrients.

  4. Prioritise natural, whole foods. You need your nutrients, and your brain needs as much fuel as it can get. I’d suggest raw or cooked vegetables, foods high in omega 3 fatty acids (like avocado, nuts and seeds), and if you don’t have much of an appetite, incorporate adaptogen powders, tonic herbs or other superfood powders, or take multivitamins and other supplements to support cognitive function.

  5. Take time to breathe deeply. On days when either you just don’t feel productive, or when you feel overwhelmed and unfocussed, stopping to concentrate on your breath can be powerful. Close your eyes and take 3, 6 or 12 long deep breaths, taking full inhalations and forceful exhalations. This should help to reset a few things mentally, and will instil inner calm and peace, if only for a moment.

  6. Try to have just one to-do list. I am guilty of having to-do lists on my laptop, in my digital calendar, in several places on my phone, and then still go about making a handwritten to-do list. It’s never a good idea but I also can’t seem to stop myself. Learn from my experiences, and try to just organise your to-do lists for the present day in one place. Try to keep it neat, and prioritise things in order of urgency.

  7. Don’t

  8. Go

  9. On

  10. Instagram. Honestly, I have now sincerely warned you. There is nothing for you there, and certainly nothing that will help you on a day like today. Perhaps the odd inspirational quote, but you’ll likely pass hundreds of other overwhelming / soul-destroying / envy-inducing snippets whilst your there, that with either make you feel down, jealous, frustrated, unworthy, incapable, negative, depressed and, oh, unproductive once more. Just, don’t do it.

  11. Don’t be so hard on yourself, and don’t worry if you don’t feel like you’ve done ‘enough’. Sometimes, in a days work, you merely plant seeds. You send emails and might not hear back straight away'; you plan projects but have no completed work or outcome to show for it (yet). Try to think of some days as planting seeds, and cultivating. It is all part of the process and things can’t always happen instantly. Imagine the seeds becoming whatever you desire or whatever they are destined to become, and then wait patiently for them to evolve. But know that results don’t always come instantly. Trust the process and do what you can, with what you’ve got. Remember there is no rush, and whatever will be will be.

  12. Get some fresh air. Take a walk in nature or just somewhere local you can go that’s outside. Even just a change of scenery. A trip to a coffee shop or another public place during your lunch break. Any of these things can contribute to lifting your mood and encouraging a new wave of motivation or inspiration.

  13. Indulge in time for yourself, particularly at the end of a day that you feel has been a bit of a flop. Take a bath, read a book, watch something on television, hang out with friends. Do something thoroughly relaxing, and enjoy thinking about how much better the following day will be. Get some rest and know that you will wake feeling more refreshed than ever. And if you don’t, know that that’s ok. Sometimes these things come in waves. I’ve had weeks and even months of low productivity, low moods, low motivation and lack of inspiration and enthusiasm, and it isn’t easy. But trust that it is all part of the process, and that when the time is right, things will become easier and a little more effortless. It depends on a lot of things, but it will come.

How to stop procrastination now

As with anything, I believe there can be important groundwork to be done and foundations to be laid before productivity blocks arise, in order to actually avoid them, more or less completely. Take into account the topics from above, but in general, to avoid the approach of productivity blocks in the first place, try the following 10 steps to stop procrastinating.

  1. Eat well

  2. Stay hydrated

  3. Move. Exercise daily, even if it’s just walking or stretching

  4. Breathe

  5. Talk to others. Also, ask for help if and when you need it. Asking for help regularly or delegating tasks to others around where you can you will help take relieve some of the pressure you’re under, and should help you to feel generally less over-worked and overwhelmed

  6. Read positive quotes or inspirational memes. Or, write some of your own. Write a positive affirmation or thought as a way to pivot any negative thoughts you might be having. For example, if you think something like ‘I hate my job, I will never get a job in fashion like I want to’, write down an opposite thought like ‘I look forward to finding my dream job, and I already love working in fashion’. Thinking more positively and acting as if you are already in the situation you want to be in has profoundly powerful effects on the outcome of your situations

  7. Practice non-attachment. Simply work as much as you can, and get stuff done, but don’t put pressure on the outcome or the reason behind doing something. For example, don’t write an article just so it will be published. Write the article because you want to, and in practicing non-attachment, the outcome and result of you doing so will come willingly, and when it is destined too. And in the meantime, you won’t be putting pressure on yourself or the situation for it to be anything other than what it is

  8. Get outside in nature, often

  9. Give yourself permission to have regular breaks. Even if its just 10 minutes per day. Schedule a time to just be. To welcome silence or stillness. This should keep your productivity nicely topped up

  10. Get enough sleep

These Rituals will Help You to Realign with Your Intuition & Awareness

Anytime, Lifestyle, Mindfulness & Meditation, Natural Living, Ritualsdanielle coppermanComment

Last week, I co-hosted a Rituals & Spiritual Awareness workshop with my good friend Tamara Driessen (aka Wolfsister). We held the event at recently opened Glow Bar in central London and enjoyed pumpkin dahl, adaptogenic chocolate mousse and calming and grounding chamomile moon milk from my book. With the topic of rituals and spiritual awareness in mind, we focussed on talking about our personal journeys in spiritual awareness and in finding our own alignment and authenticity. It is a forever project, and it takes constant effort and constant reminders to stay connected and conscious, but read on to find out how it’s done.

* If you missed the event, join us for our next Full Moon workshop on 25th Nov.

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Intuition and Awareness

These terms are often loosely tossed about, and whilst you might be familiar with them, do you really understand them?

Intuition is basically instinct. In a nutshell, it is the ability to understand something based on instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning or actual fact. It is within our innate nature to ‘just know’ or ‘have a feeling’ sometimes, that you just might not be able to explain.

Awareness is slightly different, but the two go hand in hand as, to hear or notice your intuition, you must be aware. Awareness, in this sense, is being in a state that is alert, open and conscious of things around you. It is possessing knowledge, perception or an opinion on any thing or situation that is outside of your own mind and body. Self-awareness is another story, but it all plays a part in contributing to your overall awareness of life and of others, and the awareness that everything seems to exist and occur inter-connectedly.

Both intuition and awareness require presence before anything else in order to be fully operational and authentically accurate. We have lost touch with our intuition for a number of reasons and in a number of ways, and we have reduced awareness in many aspects of life. A lack of being truly present is a huge contributing factor. We are more connected with each other than ever, thanks to technology, but we are literally wired and are connected to other people or other things so often that we rarely have the time or space to feel connected to ourselves and to the present moment. There is always someone or something else that requires our attention, and most often these relentlessly demanding situations exist in the past or future. Our minds are often stuck overthinking something that has happened, or planning and prepping (and worrying - let’s be honest) about things to come; things in the near or distant future that have not happened yet and may not ever happen. Sound familiar?

In order to be able to connect to your intuition and in order to be more aware, it is crucial that you find ways to be present, if not constantly, at least more frequently than you do currently. Having rituals that can help you to feel grounded and really ‘in the moment’, is essential for you to be able to reap the rewards and make the most of all the wisdom you’re intuition is trying to share with you. No one knows you like your intuition, let’s be real.

You’re intuition is magically capable of bringing forth ideas, thoughts, emotions and actions that truly align with your authentic sole purpose. Thats why it feels so good! You know those moments when something just clicks? Something just comes to you? Something just feels right and makes immeasurable and indescribable sense? Most moments like these often occur to me whilst I’m either in the shower, chopping or preparing food, during yoga or meditation, or in bed whilst I’m trying to sleep. It is in these moments, amongst others, that we are forced to be and naturally drift into a completely present place. These are all examples of when you are at your most present, and it is in these moments that your intuition can really speak to you. You are suddenly more open and aware enough to allow and to hear your intuition guiding you, and it is these thoughts, or epiphanies, that are most aligned with the true you, and, thus, make the most sense. They are reflections of a deeper part of us; one which is usually suppressed or unnoticed as we go about our busy, modern lives. I have some of my best ideas just before bed or in the shower, and this is because our minds are focussed either on just one thing or on nothing in particular at all; certainly not all the thoughts or worries of the day that usually arise as soon as we wake. When you are present, the daily noise and the messy thoughts are temporarily silenced and, feeling clearer and more organised, your intuition actually has a chance to give its input. It is truly powerful and we don’t reach or remain in this state for very long at all, which is how we end up feeling so overwhelmed, lost, unsure, fearful, low, depressed, confused and miserable; all at once. You know the deal.

So how do you know become fully present and how can you enhance your awareness on a daily basis in order to ensure you are on the right track, aligned with your sole purpose and functioning on a more spiritually-aware level? It takes time and constant reminders, and it takes consciousness, understanding and the responsibility to take control of your life in a way that allows you to live in the present moment as much as you possibly can. Not all of these rituals may be suitable for you. I believe the teacher appears when the student is ready, meaning when you are in the right place for them to resonate with you (if they don’t right now), they will be here whenever you are ready.

Rituals

Make Time & Space; Reduce the Speed at Which You Function

The key to becoming more present is actually as simple as just making more time. We all complain there are not enough hours in the day and we are, in many ways, more stressed than ever (although the things we are stressed about are not stressful at all in comparison to what generations before us or less fortunate communities are faced with - but thats another story, for another post). For many of us, if we’re not doing several things at once, we’re thinking of several things at once, and our minds are moving at a million miles an hour, hardly connected to our bodies and focussed on so many things that they’re barely focussed at all. So slowing down the pace, taking more time and care over things, and just making a window of time to let yourself fully focus on each task or thought you are faced with, is a simple change you can make today.

Pause

Similarly to making more time, pausing is a powerful concept to become familiar with. As well as making more time wherever possible, consciously scheduling time or setting reminders to just pause at intervals throughout the day can actual mean you end up more productive because of it. Taking a break, removing yourself from a situation, or just changing surroundings and finding a few moments to be away from others can be so nourishing for the mind and soul and allow for less rational and rapid thoughts to subside, giving way to more meaningful and natural ones. Try to pause several times throughout the day, and especially at moments if and when you find yourself dealing with particularly challenging or stressful situations. It always helps to take a step back, process and observe the situation and come back to it again with a clearer (and more intuitive) mindset.

Journaling, Brainstorming and Stream of Consciousness

Writing your thoughts out on paper in physical form is a powerful ritual to get familiar with. I don’t journal everyday, and if you feel the pressure of having to, you haven’t fully understood the concept of journaling. It isn’t supposed to add to your workload, and there is no right or wrong or set way of doing it. But however it comes to you, writing or brainstorming can help to process and organise your thoughts, and analyse them almost as an outsider, as if they are separate from you. By doing this, you clear space internally for more truthful and authentic thoughts to present themselves, and you can really put things into context and let go of things that perhaps make absolutely not sense or are simply not worth worrying about. Stream of Consciousness is something I have been practicing for a few months, which involves simply starting to write whatever comes to you the moment you wake up. The content will be completely improvised and unplanned, with no real direction or meaning, but that is what makes it so powerful. It is freeing, it is creative, and it helps you to connect to your subconscious layers as you transition from being asleep to being awake; before you start concerning yourself with the day ahead. You may be surprised what comes up.

Yoga & Other Movement

Yoga is a must for me, but it took plenty of time for me to get used to it and to enjoy it. I still don’t always enjoy it, but I enjoy the way it makes me feel and the constant reminders if brings for self-awareness and self-development. I find it really helps to ground the egotistic mind and really puts things into perspective. Meditation is also a ritual I regard highly and, although my practice is often inconsistent, I know I can turn to it in particular moments. Use a meditation app, the rituals from my book, Well Being, or find some classes to attend and learn how to meditate yourself from a teacher. And if you don’t like yoga or meditation, simply go for a walk or find some outside space to just sit and be still. These too are forms of meditation; meditation does not have to be a structured practice or follow a specific routine. Almost any kind of exercise is meditative to me as it has the same affect as meditation; forcing the mind to focus solely on one thing. Any thing, whether it’s exercise or not, that forces you to focus and centre the mind, counts as a form of meditation.

Breathe Better

With stress levels higher than ever, and a significant symptom of stress and anxiety being shortness or incompleteness of breath, we could all get a little better at this thing that fuels our existence. Breathing is not just something we do for the sake of it, taking in oxygen is crucial for all the vital processes of the body to function. If you’re not breathing fully, you’re restricting the life flow going into and out of the body, and not just your body but your cells, organs and so on. Try to be aware of your breathing, especially in stressful situations, and either practice taking a few deep breaths (maybe during one of your daily pauses, as discussed above), or find a Pranayama ritual that works for you (you can also find some of those in my book).

Be Creative

Whether or not you are what you perceive to be skilful or not, being creative is one incredibly way to really tune in and become present. If you can be creative (be that drawing, painting, making a collage, taking photographs, writing or whatever), you’ll find yourself in that place where your mind sort of wonders from the things it’s been getting worked up over, to a much stiller place of pure peacefulness. Focusing on something like this for which you have no expectations or desired results in mind is incredibly freeing and will help you to feel more present immediately. Don’t be judgmental, self-conscious or embarrassed - just try it.

Human Connection

There is nothing, nothing, like the power of human contact and connection for soothing the soul and calming the mind. Whenever I feel stuck, lost, worried or just generally low, I speak to friends or family, or whenever possible, see them. Speaking to others helps to rationalise your thoughts and provides alternative input and analysis to your own internalised worry. And, there’s nothing like a good hug from someone you know and love and who knows you and loves you back. Sometimes, there are no words, but time just spent together, and just the fact that someone cares, is unbeatable. Your mind will settle and you’ll find your energy begins to match that of the person you are communicating with, making you - you guessed it - more present.

3 Breathing Rituals That Will Calm You The F Down ~ for Byrdie

Commisions, Mindfulness & Meditation, Natural Living, Pranayama, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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I don't know about you but I can get stressed out. Modern life isn't exactly a walk in the park. But thankfully, you don't need to spend loads of money or time ridding yourself of worry. Apparently, breathwork is the secret to a calmer day, according to wellness guru Danielle Copperman, who practices breathing exercises on the daily.

We've talked about the importance of breathing before and how it can be a simple, quick and free way to de-stress when life throws you a curveball. But, Copperman doesn't just wait use breathwork as a cure. She uses it as a preventative, too. There is one breathwork sequence she uses on the regular and two that are cooling, great for hot, humid summer days.

So what are you waiting for? Breathe your way into a better day.

Breath Retention Pranayama

The morning is an ideal time to practise pranayama (prana meaning life force and ayana meaning to extend or draw out) before your mind has the chance to start worrying too much about the day ahead. When you wake up with morning anxiety, focused breathing is a simple technique to help stop any kind of irrational thoughts and negative feelings in their tracks, preventing them from developing into a full-blown bout of stress that’ll stay with you throughout the day. Meditating in the morning instils not only a sense of calm but also an established sense of awareness and consciousness, which in many ways will help you experience more deeply, and feel more present in each moment.

1. Stand, sit or lie in a comfortable position, preferably in a quiet and undisturbed environment. Rest your hands on your knees if sitting on the floor, or by your side if standing, sitting on a chair or lying down. Notice any internal or external sensations such as thoughts and feelings or outside noise and distractions, and without trying to change anything, focus on nothing but settling.

2. With eyes open or closed and breathing in and out through your nose, become aware of the rhythm of your breath, relaxing your shoulders, your neck and your head. Begin to deepen the breath, taking a long inhale through the nose and exhaling fully to expel every last inch of the breath from your lungs. Observe how the breath feels entering and exiting the nose and the way the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.

3. On an inhale, notice when your lungs reach full capacity, and pause for a moment before exhaling fully. As you take your next inhalation, count the length of your breath, in seconds, pause at the top of your inhale for the same number of seconds you inhaled for, and exhale for the same number of seconds. Repeat this cycle a couple of times, and if the breath allows, gradually increase the length of each inhalation, breath retention and exhalation, keeping the ratio 1:1:1.

Allow a few weeks of practising daily before extending the length of retention. Over time, increase to 8 seconds, but beginners are advised to work at 4 to 6 seconds. The practice should feel natural, effortless and entirely free from strain. As you retain the breath, feel as if the oxygen is sinking in and distributing itself, filling the tissues of your body.

4. You can either repeat the same counts in one practice (for example, working to a count of three for your entire practice) or you can increase the number of counts within one practice (for example, working to a count of three, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing to a count of four, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing again to five and maybe six, to however many seconds you can breathe comfortably).

5. Practise for up to 5 minutes, and sit in stillness for a few moments to readjust, before continuing your day. Once you are familiar with this practice and feel comfortable to develop further, work to a ratio of 1:2:3, for example, if you inhale for the count of 2, hold the breath for 4 and exhale for 6.

I don't know about you but I can get stressed out. Modern life isn't exactly a walk in the park. But thankfully, you don't need to spend loads of money or time ridding yourself of worry. Apparently, breathwork is the secret to a calmer day, according to wellness guru Danielle Copperman, who practices breathing exercises on the daily.

We've talked about the importance of breathing before and how it can be a simple, quick and free way to de-stress when life throws you a curveball. But, Copperman doesn't just wait use breathwork as a cure. She uses it as a preventative, too. There is one breathwork sequence she uses on the regular and two that are cooling, great for hot, humid summer days.

So what are you waiting for? Breathe your way into a better day.

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PHOTO: COURTESY OF DANIELLE COPPERMAN

Breath Retention Pranayama

The morning is an ideal time to practise pranayama (prana meaning life force and ayana meaning to extend or draw out) before your mind has the chance to start worrying too much about the day ahead. When you wake up with morning anxiety, focused breathing is a simple technique to help stop any kind of irrational thoughts and negative feelings in their tracks, preventing them from developing into a full-blown bout of stress that’ll stay with you throughout the day. Meditating in the morning instils not only a sense of calm but also an established sense of awareness and consciousness, which in many ways will help you experience more deeply, and feel more present in each moment.

1. Stand, sit or lie in a comfortable position, preferably in a quiet and undisturbed environment. Rest your hands on your knees if sitting on the floor, or by your side if standing, sitting on a chair or lying down. Notice any internal or external sensations such as thoughts and feelings or outside noise and distractions, and without trying to change anything, focus on nothing but settling.

2. With eyes open or closed and breathing in and out through your nose, become aware of the rhythm of your breath, relaxing your shoulders, your neck and your head. Begin to deepen the breath, taking a long inhale through the nose and exhaling fully to expel every last inch of the breath from your lungs. Observe how the breath feels entering and exiting the nose and the way the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.

3. On an inhale, notice when your lungs reach full capacity, and pause for a moment before exhaling fully. As you take your next inhalation, count the length of your breath, in seconds, pause at the top of your inhale for the same number of seconds you inhaled for, and exhale for the same number of seconds. Repeat this cycle a couple of times, and if the breath allows, gradually increase the length of each inhalation, breath retention and exhalation, keeping the ratio 1:1:1.

Allow a few weeks of practising daily before extending the length of retention. Over time, increase to 8 seconds, but beginners are advised to work at 4 to 6 seconds. The practice should feel natural, effortless and entirely free from strain. As you retain the breath, feel as if the oxygen is sinking in and distributing itself, filling the tissues of your body.

4. You can either repeat the same counts in one practice (for example, working to a count of three for your entire practice) or you can increase the number of counts within one practice (for example, working to a count of three, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing to a count of four, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing again to five and maybe six, to however many seconds you can breathe comfortably).

5. Practise for up to 5 minutes, and sit in stillness for a few moments to readjust, before continuing your day. Once you are familiar with this practice and feel comfortable to develop further, work to a ratio of 1:2:3, for example, if you inhale for the count of 2, hold the breath for 4 and exhale for 6.

Cooling Breath

These two cooling techniques are ideal for regulating body temperature. The sitali involves creating a straw-like shape with the tongue and inhaling through it; as the air passes through the tongue, it collects moisture. If you can't roll your tongue, use the sitkari method. This technique is also thought to reduce anxiety, regulate the natural appetite and hydrate the system.

Sitali

1. Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor with crossed legs on the floor or on a chair with your feet flat, however is comfortable, ensuring the head, neck and spine are aligned.

2. Close your eyes and breathe naturally for a few moments. Relax the mouth and then drop the jaw open, as if you were about to make a low ah sound.

3. Curl the sides of your tongue inwards to form a tube-like shape, and then poke it out of your mouth slightly, but with little effort.

4. Inhale deeply through the tongue, as if drinking the air in through a straw. Focus your attention on the cooling sensation of the breath and the rise of your abdomen, rib cage and chest. Retain the breath here for 5 to 10 counts, or release it instantly as directed in step 5.

5. Draw the tongue back inside your mouth, bring your lips together comfortably and exhale slowly through the nostrils.

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 10 to 20 times, or however many times feels comfortable, and bring the practice to a close when you feel cooled and content.

Sitkari

1. Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor with crossed legs on the floor or on a chair with your feet fat, however is comfortable, ensuring the head, neck and spine are aligned.

2. Close your eyes and breathe naturally for a few moments, then gently bring your lower and upper teeth together. Part your lips as much as you can to expose your teeth.

3. Inhale slowly through the teeth, letting the air flow through the gaps between each tooth, and focus on the feeling of the air against your teeth, entering the mouth, filling your abdomen, lungs and ribcage, and on the hissing sound of the breath.

4. Close your mouth, relax the jaw and the teeth and exhale slowly through the nose.

5. Repeat steps 4 and 5 10 to 20 times, or however many times feels comfortable, and bring the practice to a close when you feel cooled and content.


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New Moon Rituals with Myself + Wolfsister

Mindfulness & Meditation, Moon Time, Rituals, Eventsdanielle coppermanComment

Sunday, September 9, 2018
4:00 PM  7:00 PM

At She's Lost Control Store
42 Valentine Road London, England, E9 7AD, United Kingdom

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Your Instagram feed is is glittered with people posting about new moon rituals and setting intentions. 

What's an intention? You might be wondering.

Some of your favourite instagrammers have dropped some hints but you don't know where to begin. You're curious about trying to make your own magic with your own power, but don't want to get it wrong. And no one wants to be the last one to the new moon party! Especially if it means that you can find some inner zen and learn how to ride some of the waves of life. 

You're oh-so-ready for a fresh start and to ensure you're on track and open to attracting new opportunities. You want to let go of old baggage and make space for the new! Some tips to help you stay grounded and in your power when life gets a little crazy would be useful too, right?

Up for dipping your toe into some new moon magic but don't want to get too woo-woo? Join Wolf Sister (author of The Crystal Code) and Danielle Copperman (author of Well Being) for a New Moon workshop where you'll be guided through a series of new moon rituals and practices that will help you align with the moon cycles. 

If you're curious, imagine this: 

You arrive at She's Lost Control; you almost walked past it because it's tucked away from the hustle of Hackney. It's a new moon and you're excited to do something different with your Sunday afternoon. As soon as you walk through the door; you're mesmerised by all of the mystical wares and crystals on the shelves. All of the things that you need to do in the week ahead fade away, in that moment. You don't want to be anywhere else but here.

Wolf Sister and Danielle welcome you and you're shown where to put your belongings. Without hesitation your phone's set to flight-mode and it's buried in your bag. This is your time; you do not want to be disturbed. The room is set in a circle with comfy cushions and blankets; you're already thinking of how you can bring some of these mystical vibes into your home. 

Once you're seated and the rest of the group have arrived, your hostesses introduce themselves and explain how the moon affects us. Maybe you have been picking up on some of the clues from the moon throughout the month? They invite the rest of the group to introduce themselves; it's totally informal and relaxed. There's zero pressure to share too much and you feel a sense of relief once you've had your turn. It actually felt good to speak; nothing like the cringey introductions you've had to do in team trainings at work. 

Wow, your intuition was aligned when it nudged you to book your ticket.

Over the course of the session, Danielle teaches you some simple breathwork and tapping techniques to help clear your energy and help you feel more grounded; you could easily weave this into your daily routine. You notice that your head feels clearer already. 

Wolf Sister explains how to set intentions to align with the new moon and guides you through a crystal healing meditation so that you can clear any energetic blockages that have been holding you back from making some of your dreams come true.

After the meditation, you spend some time journalling about the insights that have been flowing throughout the session. You want to hold onto these feelings for as long as possible. As the words flow through pen to paper, some truth bombs are affirmed and you've got some clear clues about how you can move forward.

Amongst it all there's a delicious Hot Milk Tonic and light snacks made from Danielle's book Well Being; you've promised yourself to try the recipes at home. 

Before the session closes, you're invited to pull an oracle card; you smile to yourself because it's as if the card has just read your mind. 

There's magic in the air. You can feel it. 

By 7pm you can't believe the session's gone so quickly. You'd forgotten that it was possible to feel this relaxed and reinvigorated. You float home and treat yourself to something nice for dinner on the way. It's been a new moon to remember; your creativity is flowing, your worries have dispersed and it's hard to feel anything but blissful. You can't wait to use the tools from the session to return to this state again, and again, and again.

See you there?  

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The Power of Timing and Letting Things Come to You

Rituals, Mindfulness & Meditationdanielle copperman3 Comments

I've been sitting on this post (along with many, many others that remain in my mind as I haven't had time to transfer them into a proper post yet) for a while now, and it's something that's a big part of the way I currently live my life. Throughout the past year or so, I've been doing a lot of work on myself, researching and experimenting with all kinds of intriguing theories and teachings, and two things that have been particularly inspiring are The Law of Attraction and manifestation. I will go into more detail of both in future posts, but their relevance in this post is that they shone light on such a simple, age-old proverb that I think a lot of us in our fast-paced lives have come to forget.

I'm sure you're familiar with at least one of the following sayings: 'Good things come to those who wait', 'Good things take time', 'All in good time' and 'Time heals all wounds'. These little nuggets of advice I'm sure most of us have received from others in moments of despair, but they are easier to give than to actually apply. However, if you can understand the power of timing and how to have faith in it, you'll find you'll begin to live with much more ease and openness, and far less worry.

"There is never a right time. The right time is now"

Since I can remember, I've always noticed how the more that you really try to achieve something, the less likely it is to happen. Now, I'm not entirely sure of the science behind it, but speaking for myself, this has always, always rung true. I meet people whose energy is so negative or who want, want, want and it is fascinating to see what they attract into their lives, and this is something I've been observing long before I discovered The Law of Attraction. I've met people who have been trying hard to achieve something or impress someone and it has always backfired, and I've met people who are desperate to do things or for things to happen to them, and these things have never come. On the other hand, I've met people who are so chilled and relaxed, who hardly even know what they want or barely think about the future, and they seem to live in abundance - fully and happily. This is an example of someone who is in 'total alignment'.

"When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you"

When you are in alignment, you are in what's known as 'your flow' and you are moving through life in connection with your source - your inner being - your subconscious - and many other deeper layers of your self. But, it's incredibly difficult to get to this point, especially when there are so many distractions and so much stimulation in the modern world, confusing our thoughts and blocking our flow. When we are born, unsurprisingly, we are most in alignment with our true self, but as we grow up and move through life, things get warped and we often lose our way.

"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear"

A simplified way to look at realigning yourself, so to speak, is to come back to your true self, to check in and to really tune in to your needs, your desires, your goals and your purpose. Beneath any kind of facade you may develop in social situations, behind any desires to may have to live up to expectations and beyond anything you do in aid of some kind of external validation lies your true, authentic self which actually doesn't care much for any of those things, and is waiting to exist unconcerned by them and entirely detached from them. When you are in alignment with your subconscious, your magnetic energy is powerful and is able to work to its full potential. 

There are times in life where things you really want may not happen, and this has, of course, happened to me many a time. There are things that you think are right for you and you are convinced that no matter what, you will put all your time and energy into making a particular thing happen, yet it still does not come. But it's important to remember, if something doesn't happen when you want it too, it doesn't mean it never will. For example, with my book, I was approached almost 4 years ago to write it, yet as much as I wanted to, I just couldn't sacrifice my Qnola business to make enough time to focus on it. At the time, I felt frustrated and all I wanted was to write the book, yet, 4 years on, the book has evolved to something I couldn't have even imagined back then. If I had written it then, it wouldn't have been right; it would have been such a different book and it wouldn't be half the book it is today. Whenever things like this happen, I try to see them either as a lesson or as a chance to recalibrate and reassess, accepting that if it's meant to be it will be, but that now is the time for something else.

"Life passes people by when they focus on their grans plans"

To round up, the moral of this post is to stop wanting and chasing and forcing things, but instead to tap into your true self and your honest desires, and find a place within yourself that you have so much trust and faith that you can be open and attract what you want, all in good time. What's meant to be will be if you only stop focussing on and trying to control things like the unknown and the unwanted. When you stop focussing on these factors, you'll create space and energy to pull in what your true self really wants and needs. The Universe has its ways, and most of the time, all that we plan for and all that we think we want gets overridden by something we didn't even know we wanted, and could never have had the imagination to plan for. It's all about allowing and accepting, and letting go and trusting - because controlled thoughts and overcomplicated agendas just end up blocking what is meant to happen from happening.

Moon Time 🌕 November Full Moon in Taurus

Moon Time, Wind Down Well, Mindfulness & Meditationdanielle coppermanComment
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The full moon is a powerful time to take stock and reflect on the past and manifest things in the future. The number 11 is considered sacred and representative of divinity, rebirth and higher consciousness and as the 11th month of the year, November is an energetically and vibrationally positive, prosperous time. Starting November with a full moon is the perfect opportunity to recalibrate; to bring to fruition the seeds you've been planting since the last New Moon and to allow them to unfold and realise. It is a harmonious time and one of abundance and openness, As well as a time of preparation, support and protection. As Winter draws in, we begin to tie up loose ends and shut things down, taking it easy as we approach the end of another year. So as well as surrendering to the Moon's transformational energy, it is also important to consider anything that may need releasing, to clear space for things to come. It is important to let go of any stagnant patterns, energy blocks and preventative, self-limiting thoughts. The full moon is as good a time as any to tune in to where you are right now, what you might want to let go of and what you might want to start planning for.