Too often, our culture assigns self-worth with productivity. We feel that time could be spent on something more worthwhile. When we are not working, we fill our time catching up on "life", doing that load of laundry, cleaning piled dishes, catching up on personal paperwork, checking emails and generally thinking about the gazillion errands that need to be run!
Conversations I have had in the past about the difference between relaxation, self-hypnosis and meditation have always been slightly perplexing. As the universal benefits of all three: reduction in stress, anxiety and low blood pressure were all cited as the reasons pregnant women should choose one discipline over another.
Living as I do at the side of a river and with many beautiful lakes in the area I have no shortage of inspiration. Painting in oils is my preferred medium although I must admit oil painting can get a bit messy at times! I often work as a motivational speaker aboard cruise ships enabling me to travel the world, but always carry a sketchpad and paints in my luggage.
The oft-repeated saying that we spend a third of our lives asleep is largely true. Sleep helps us recover our energy; it regulates our hormones, allows our body to grow and repair, strengthens our immune system, improves our mental health and, perhaps most ironically for those struggling to sleep, reduces our anxiety.
Stress is not a new concept, but we live in an age which is constantly creating fresh varieties of angst to add to our mental in-tray. Caring doesn't sound like it should be one of those in-tray items. But when we become 'carers' and the demands are persistent, even relentless, then the challenges mount.
Meditation is one of my favourite things. For a long time I felt I were doing a necessary service. But now it has me in it's gentle grip and I cannot get enough! Meditation can be taken as a small soulful snack or if you love it, then it can be an everyday pursuit. Meditation is about striving to find a still tranquil point inside your own mind and soul.