10 tips for official Wipe Out Days

There are some days that, no matter what I do to get off to a good start, motivate and empower myself, I am just wiped out. Does this happen to you? I find my mind is dull, my body heavy, and my heart lacking enthusiasm. My to-do list is usually overflowing and I have deadlines looming, but I eventually realise that none of it can be done in this state and I must succumb to the wipe out.

I officially declare a WOD – Wipe Out Day! 

I give Wipe Out Days full reverence and space. Meaning that when this happens, it’s my body calling out for rest and I really need to listen. I make it a sacred practice! It usually means I’ve been pushing too hard for too long.

Letting go to be held. www.georginapeard.com

Letting go to be held. Georgina Peard© http://www.georginapeard.com

So, rather than push myself even more, this is what I do:

1. Do the absolute Must-Do-Today things.
I check on what really has to be done today or the world will end, and I do that. If necessary, I make the phone calls to cancel appointments and delay some things or reduce what can be done. Sometimes this requires courage to request the space and put myself first. Nearly always it works out that the other people involved appreciate the space too! Then I totally let go of everything else that I had thought was essential.

2. Turn everything off
Computers, phones, music – all off. I close curtains and any windows to outside noise. I tune out of the world to tune in to myself. Instant relief and spaciousness arises.

3. Give myself full permission for a WOD
I make sure every thought is positive, spacious and self-loving. There is no guilt or self-doubt. My rest is 100% priority and only this will allow me to get back in full power and motivation mode, and to be useful to anyone else.

A Wipe Out Day is an official self-empowered declaration of self-love.

4. Practice Yoga Nidra
I get myself super comfortable, warm and cosy, with my eyes covered, and I press play on a guided Yoga Nidra recording. On WODs I usually pass out, totally asleep, for most of the recording!! And that is totally ok! This is the quickest way to letting go of the mind and tension, and dropping into deep deep rest. Find my free Yoga Nidra recordings here.

5. Don’t move until I’m ready
I don’t rush the transition out of Nidra at all. I might be dozing in and out of sleep for another hour even, if necessary. I allow myself to be cradled in the comfort of this state of deep rest and ease, still giving myself full permission to be there. I let myself lie there until there is something in me that makes me want to get up. Nothing is more important.

6. Let the mind wander
This is the most important time – the dozing after yoga nidra, in a deep state of rest – as various thoughts and awarenesses come to mind, like a processing of all the mumble jumble of the mind and emotions, in order to make space for clarity. There’s no intention to solve any problems, but often things come clear and creativity arises. I make sure not to allow any self-doubt or depressing thoughts, and keep myself in a space of loving support.

7. Drink lots of water – I usually find I’m dehydrated when I am so tired, and I feel the need to guzzle loads of fresh, clear water.

8. Get into nature
When ready, I go out for an easy stroll in nature. Again no focus on exercise or any particular objective – just wandering and enjoying the sights and sounds and smells. Ideally in a really natural place and barefoot, to reconnect to the earth’s energy. Taking time to just be and receive her loving guidance.

9. Eat really healthy
I make sure I feed myself fresh vegetables and perhaps I make some yummy green juice. My body needs nourishment but not too much food. I keep it light so that digestion is easy. I go for healthy comfort food so that it feels good in every way.

10. Do a happy thing
I offer myself the tender loving care I really need. I do something that nourishes my soul and lifts my spirit. So I might take a bath or call a friend, or read a great book or watch an uplifting film, or lie back with my hips on a cushion and my legs up on a couch, anything that makes me happy and that I might not always take the time for.

11. Set an intention for tomorrow
Finally, I get myself tucked up in bed for a super early night. Before sleeping I focus on my gratitude for this awesome WOD. I then formulate an intention to wake up the next day fully energised and motivated and ready to be super effective.

I find that my WODs give me such a boost and are the most self-empowered and uplifting response possible to my in-the-moment need for rest, love and care. They help me listen deeply to my needs, call back my power, get clear on what is essential, and allow my natural creativity, life force and joy bubble up once again.

Everyone needs a WOD every so often.
So please don’t be afraid to declare a WOD next time you really need it. Consider what you need to do to have an official WOD. Let the family know. Sort out the kids and pets. Do what you need to do and make it happen. Maybe it is just for a few hours but no matter how long it is, give yourself total permission and make it priority. You won’t regret it.

When you let go of what you think is critically important you might just discover what is really essential.

Remember to:
Listen Deeply

Live Courageously
Love Fiercely
with love, Georgina 

 

Sunrise meditation (Navigating the Shadow – part 2)

In my last post I wrote about navigating the shadow, and this beautiful playful dance between light and dark in ourselves. In this post I want to share a nice simple practice to relax and to let go in those moments that feel sticky or heavy, and to allow yourself fill up with the light again.

Talking to a very special mentor of mine this week, she described so eloquently the ebb and flow between our light and shadow parts, just like day and night. They are such integral parts of who we are. They come and go with the natural flow of life. There are times when we are consumed in the dark night of the shadow and other times filled with bright light. Just like day and night, we cannot and do not need to control them. Every day the sun rises to flood the landscape with its rays of light. Every night the sun sets and the darkness falls. Nothing can hold back this natural cycle.

So it is ok and totally normal to find ourselves going through times where we are in deeper conversation with our shadow, just as it is to sit wide awake on a dark night. In fact, these can be very profound, revealing and intimate moments with ourselves, when we are not in resistance to them and we can trust that the light will naturally reappear again, just as the sun is sure to rise the next morning.

sunrise meditation

Sunrise meditation
You might like to try this simple exercise when you have a moment to just close your eyes, even for just one minute. Ideally you can practice it for real outside in nature at sunrise, but you can do it by just closing your eyes and using your imagination, perhaps in the morning before you start the day, or at any moment that it feels right to allow more light in to your being.

  • Imagine yourself sitting, standing or lying outside, perhaps in nature where you feel safe and comfortable. It is early morning before sunrise. You are turned to face East, with a clear view in front of you of the horizon. Maybe it’s a lake and mountain tops, trees and grassy fields, the open sea, the desert or the rooftops of the city.
  • You settle in your body and get still. Tune-in to your body sensations as you relax more and more. Feel yourself letting go of all holding and tension. Notice the free-flowing rhythm of your breath.
  • Gradually the sun starts to rise over the horizon. Imagine the light starting to flood over the landscape. The sky, your body and all that is around you is gradually being lit up. Imagine the colours emerging. Nothing can stop it or slow it down – that light is coming no matter what. It is like a warm glow. Relax as you feel the warmth touch different parts of your body and notice the changing light and colours in your eyes.
  • Feel the light of the sun filling you up, healing, awakening and re-energising every cell in your body. Fully surrender your mind and body to this flood of light and feel your own light starting to react and radiate outward in reflection. How does it feel?
  • As you let go completely, acknowledge that you do not have to do or be or achieve anything more to receive this light or to be a source of radiant light. This is what you already are.
  • When you feel complete, give gratitude to this amazing sun, source of life and light.  As you move out of this practice into the rest of your day, let the light glow out through you all of your being, through your eyes, your smile, your heart and your whole body, so that simply being in your presence can light up all those around you.

I hope you enjoy this practice. Please let me know how it feels? I feel so radiant just writing it out here!

I'll just be happy

 

Don’t give up. Create space and rest.

When you are feeling tired and lethargic, overwhelmed and anxious, grumpy and hopeless, it is your body’s call for rest. It is your heart’s call to be heard. It is your soul’s call to reconnect.

Create space. Rest. Listen.

Don’t give up. The song by Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel came on the radio in the car this week and has been repeating in my head for days (along with the image of their very 80s music video!).

A poignant message of love, empathy and hope, this song has such depth and significance, for our relationships with ourselves, with our partners, with each other.

As I prepare for my upcoming Rest to Rise programme of retreats, restshops and heart circles, the song made me reflect on our cultural trends and norms, and the epidemics of stress-related malaise, burn-out, depression and anxiety. So many people feeling disconnected and tired. So many people becoming more sensitive to a way of life that isn’t working for them.

These words started to flow and I wrote them down:

Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t give up on your heart’s passion for life, on your dreams. Don’t believe those negative, self-depreciating, hopeless or angry thoughts.

You are tired and weary, that’s all.

You have been pushing for too long. You have been trying so hard. You have been caught up in cultural trends and illusions, making you think you need to do more, have more, be more.

In your heart you are just seeking love, belonging and connection. You are passionate at heart, longing to live and love fully. You are doing the best you can.

Don’t give up. The pain that you are feeling is the pain of disconnection. It is the pain of holding on and holding back, of suppressing for too long the full expression of life and of humanness as it seeks to flow through you.

To be human is to be wounded. Loss and pain are inevitable. Your pains are those of all humanity.

Don’t give up. Don’t give up on your joy.

Your body is calling you home, like a wise old friend. Come home to the fireside, be comfortable, be quiet, be still. Rest. Let go. Let yourself be comforted and held. There is nothing to do, no place to go, nothing to know, no-one to respond to. Relax.

Be quiet. Be still. Rest.

Soften and let go. Let go. Let go.

Rest deeply. Rest completely.

In this place you will remember. Remember. Remember.

Grace and ease abide in this place.

Stay here for as long as you need. Come back as often as you can.

when-did-you-stop-dancing

Every week in my work I meet people whose bodies are struggling to keep up with the pace, chronic stress, being connected all the time to screens and technology, and the lack of down-time or space for rest. The result is a loss of creativity, vitality and passion.

I know this feeling in myself all too well. This is why I created Rest to Rise.

Rest to Rise is a customised programme that supports you to rest deeply. It empowers you to restore your health, energy, clarity and compassion.

Too many people are pushing through, using pharmaceuticals and other strategies like alcohol, work, shopping or food, or dropping into depression, to numb out the discomfort.

We all have times in our lives when we just feel exhausted, overwhelmed, hopeless and out of control. We may experience sadness, anger, guilt and despair. Whether it is parenting, or looking after ageing parents, the loss of a loved one, a health issue, work deadlines, financial pressure, or the growing pressure we put ourselves under to achieve and succeed some sort of status, it is only human to have periods in our life that are particularly taxing. It is only logical then that our bodies and minds need regular time off to rest and recuperate.

The source of the discomfort is disconnection. The remedy connection.

The remedy starts with creating space and resting, deeply.

If it is not comfortable or possible to do this alone, reach out. Support, love, belonging and connection is all available in abundance when we dare to ask. And oh yeh, it’s so enjoyable to just let go and have someone take good care of you!

So, please, don’t give up. Create some space for yourself and rest.

Everything feels different when we are well rested!

For more information on upcoming Retreats, Restshops, Massages and Heart Circles, check out my websites: www.resttorise.com   and  www.georginapeard.com   and join me on Facebook.

Remembering “I AM” through Yoga Nidra

I start to move and stretch and yawn, returning from a deep state of Yoga Nidra. No need to rush this delicious moment of transition. My body is relaxed, comfortable and warm. I savour my every breath. I hear cowbells outside the chalet. I sense the profound stillness of the mountains rising up all around. I feel safe, grounded and expansive. It is for these moments of “remembering” that I offer myself a long weekend retreat once a month.

As I sit up the morning sun appears over the mountain ridge directly in front. It warms and illuminates my face and closed eyes. I smile with delight and enjoy how that smile feels in my heart.

As I open my eyes, the hillside opposite is ablaze with yellow, gold, green and amber colours, topped off by the snow-capped peaks above and a bright blue sky. I smile with even more delight. Here I AM.

Here and Now. I AM.

It seems as though my inner reality is reflecting all around me. It seems as though the outer reality is reflecting within me. We are one. The beauty. The vibrancy. The stillness. The peace. The grandeur. The humility. The presence. This I AM.

I sit a while, acknowledging the felt sense of I AM in my body. Time stands still.

i-am enoughAs I begin to move into the rest of my day, I am awake, open and happily inviting in the next Here and Now moment, yet with the remembered knowing that I AM, and that in every new moment I can access this deep well of resourcefulness and truth.

This is the one of the powerful benefits of Yoga Nidra.

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra literally means ‘yogic sleep’ or ‘awakened sleep’. It is a process of awakening to an embodied knowing of your true nature. It describes a state of being or awareness that is completely effortless.

As you let go of conditioning, attachment and resistance, you induce deep physical, emotional and mental rest, thus allowing your body to regenerate. By cultivating an embodied sense of safety and effortlessness, you tune in to your innate wisdom, your heart’s desire and your interconnectedness with all life – the I AM.

The practice of Yoga Nidra is accessible to everyone, anywhere. Lying or sitting comfortably you simply follow the voice of a facilitator guiding you into this deep state of relaxed being. Maybe you sleep a moment. That’s ok.

I recommend practicing Yoga Nidra on a regular, ideally daily or weekly basis, taking 15 to 30 minutes with a facilitator or using pre-recorded practices to drop into your heart and a deep state of rest and effortlessness. This regular practice of letting go helps you to remember and feel throughout your being, that all is well.

I facilitate Yoga Nidra sessions during weekly classes, workshops and retreats, as well as one-to-one sessions with your own personal recording for home use. Check out upcoming dates for events at www.resttorise.com.

Join me for Yoga Nidra and Restorative Yoga every Wednesday from 19h30-21h00 at Elaneha in Rolle

For more information and free recordings of Yoga Nidra check out this fantastic resource website: www.yoganidranetwork.org 

I am that I am

 

Allow the universe to hold you

Image

16.03.15 Allow the universe rise up to hold you

 

Give yourself the space to rest regularly. Try out this deep healing supported child’s pose when life feels too much. It is a true blessing and practice of self-love when are feeling distracted, dispersed, anxious, fearful, exhausted or like you just need to come home to you. Its also great for stomach cramps or PMS.

Let go and allow the universe lift up to support you. Allow yourself to be held like a child in the arms of Mother Earth.

Want to learn Restorative Yoga?
Join me for a Rest to Rise Retreat – a deep healing retreat. Next retreat is this Easter, from 7 – 11 April 2015.
Or why not come along for weekly Restorative Yoga classes on Wednesdays, 19h30-21h00, at Elaneha, Rolle, Switzerland.

Feeling under the weather? 4 steps toward your Joy

It’s the end of May and the topic of conversation here in Switzerland reminds me of every day conversation back home in Ireland. Everyone is complaining about the weather! It’s not what we expected and hoped for in Spring but its what we are being given. So how about taking the weather as an opportunity to practice letting go?

rain on window

I like to compare it to any situation or circumstance in life that is uncomfortable, not what you expected and hoped for, or downright annoying. How do you react to such circumstances in life? Perhaps observing how you are experiencing this ‘extended winter’ can give you some clues.

Attachment to expectations

Our attachment to expectations of what Spring should be like are a big contributing factor to how we cope with this unexpected weather. In the same way, our attachment to expectations of the way other people should act, how we ourselves should be or how our experience of life should be, are key reasons for suffering.

Yoga teaches us that we cannot control the changing circumstances in life nor the actions of other people. We do, however, have a choice in every moment about how we act and react to these circumstances and other people.

I know that in situations in which I am not comfortable I have a tendency to tense up my muscles in resistance. I close in on myself, closing the front of my body in a form of protection and taking more ‘weight’ on my back and shoulders. No wonder then that my body starts to feel tired, tight and achy. As I physically close, I start to see the impact on my mood. Life seems more difficult. I feel more reclusive, less trusting and less open to others. I get more negative, anxious and depressed thoughts, and I might start to blame someone else for all of this. How unfair? Why me? Or more likely, I might blame myself. What’s wrong with me?

Any of that sound familiar to you? Any of this creeping in to your body and mind these days with the rainy, cold weather?

Letting go of control

Underneath the surface is a strong desire to control the circumstances unfolding rather than focus on your experience of them. The great thing is that when we choose to become conscious we have an opportunity to step out of the drama for a moment and observe the story we are creating. At this point then, with a higher view point and greater awareness, we can choose the way in which the rest of the script might evolve! Do I choose to close up, to fight or flea the situation and to adhere to fear-based thinking? Or do I choose to let-go of my fear and my desire to control the situation, to surrender to a universal force that is greater than me and open up to what I might learn from the experience? When we are fully present we will also know what to do or say in order to be true to ourselves.

4 steps toward your Joy

  1. Be willing to witness and acknowledge what is going on for you.
  2. Be willing to let go of what doesn’t feel good, to surrender (even into the unknown). The surrender may not come instantly, but be willing, have the intention to let go.
  3. Consider what you want to feel instead and create a clear vision of this. Close your eyes and feel it.
  4. Consider what you can do in this moment to embody this desired feeling further and take one (maybe tiny) step toward what you want to feel….toward your heart’s joy.

Choose self-love

When in challenging circumstances the most important principle I believe is self-love. So that step toward your joy might be simply taking a few deep breaths to centre yourself, or lying down and doing nothing for 10 minutes. It might be going for a walk in nature. It might be turning off all computers and phones and spending quality time with a loved one, or taking a candle lit bath in silence. It might be gathering up all your courage and speaking out your truth or expressing it through art or movement. It might be going out dancing with your friends. You will know when you pause to check-in on what you need.

Lie back and relax

Here is a restorative yoga pose that I find really helpful at the moment, allowing me to practice letting go and opening up as I let my body relax. It feels great! If you don’t have bolsters and blocks, just use firm cushions or stacked blankets. You need to make sure that every part of your body feels supported, especially all the joints like the knees and ankles, lower back, elbows, wrists and neck. Get comfortable, make sure you are warm so cover yourself with a blanket, take a few deep breaths and then just let go and enjoy the journey. I like to practice this pose for at least 15 minutes.

Reclining King Pose (c) Georgina Peard

Reclining King Pose (c) Georgina Peard