Finding balance and ease


I have had such an interesting few week’s learning from others. I have always said that the book I would like to write one day is ‘Everyone has something to teach you.’ And one day I really WILL write that book.

However, in the meantime, I am happy to document all my learnings as I go along, and I would like to share with you the brilliant lessons I learnt last week at the Bean Coffee Club in Leamington. I love the Bean because it is such a friendly welcoming group of like- minded women. I always go to the group with a curious mind, wondering who it I am meant to meet there that day. I have met and made many friends there, so I always look forward to it each month.

Anyway, last week, I walked in with the same curious approach. I was feeling a little depleted, so it was wonderful timing that they had a guest speaker that day, who was the lovely and inspiring Maria from Joiey Yoga Studio talking about Burn- out. Having experienced Burn-out twice herself, she is keen to share her learnings and help others to avoid it!

Having just spent a weekend with my dear friend and yoga teacher Lisa Valentine, Maria’s messages were both familiar and poignant, and came at the perfect time. Despite being a Heart Math coach and knowing the benefits of consistent breath work practice and emotional regulation, I had simply not created enough space to lean into my own Heart Math practice the previous week, and most importantly not leaned on it when I needed it most. when I had niggling anxiety…

The fact is, despite loving cooking at Lisa’s retreats when I am there, the build-up has always been extremely anxiety provoking. Yet despite knowing this, and despite having all the tools in my toolbox to help me manage it, I chose instead to ignore the niggling anxiety and to focus on action. After all the ‘best way out of anxiety is action’ I had heard someone say once.

Of course, action is important. However, so is self-compassion and living with intention. If I had instead created the space to stare my anxiety in the face, offer myself some self-compassion and practice some heart focused breathing, I might have been able to shift that unhelpful negative emotion from spiralling into overwhelm!

In her talk, Maria explained it beautifully: if we are depleted or burnt-out it doesn’t mean we are broken, it means we just need to manage things better and that starts with self- enquiry. She explained how we ‘need to listen to the whispers in the body before they become screams!’ I smiled as I became aware of the muscles in my back that had tightened over the past week….

Anxiety is worrying about some future imagined scenario that hasn’t happened yet. It is simply a story we have created in our own head, but if we let it run away with itself it can very quickly end up in overwhelm…

Thankfully. I had a wonderful weekend at the yoga retreat and plenty of opportunity to recover afterwards.

However, we don’t have to live out this pattern of ‘boom and bust’ as one of my lovely group members describes it. It can take a long time to refill our energy tank if we drain it to the very bottom… There is a better way to manage our energy so that we find more balance and ease. We can do this in many ways, but Heart Math is a beautiful way to both manage our energy and to practice self-regulation, and has made me want to both commit to practice it more and to share it with as many people as I can…

In this busy fast paced world we are all living in, full of endless responsibilities, it is critical more than ever for everyone to learn how to manage overwhelm. However, overwhelm can also be generated through our emotional reactions. My husband in the past has often expressed concern as to how I would cope if something ‘really terrible happened’. It is true that I am emotionally sensitive, which can quickly lead to overwhelm, and this is perhaps why the emotional regulation aspect of Heart Math appealed so much to me. I am now beginning to realise that it is perhaps the root cause of my career challenges over the years. As Daniel Goleman, author of ‘Emotional Intelligence’ explains, ‘Our success in life is based as much or more on our ability to manage our emotions than on our intellectual or analytical capabilities.’

Thankfully, every challenge is also an opportunity to learn and grow, and life presented me with a perfect opportunity, with Lexi away, and a Supper Club to cook for the following week!

So, armed with a new intention to be more compassionate with myself, I created the space to plan and prepare for the event properly so I had controlled everything I could control. I said ‘no’ to other commitments so I could focus on what was most important in that moment, rather than exhausting myself by multi- tasking, and simply trying to do too much!

Most crucially, I carved out time in my days to pause and commit to my breathwork practice and to ‘check in’ with myself more often. I chose to breathe in an attitude of gratitude and lean into those feelings often, which is easy when you recall all the wonderful people who are part of the Supper Club community, many of whom had kindly offered to help with Lexi being away.

When we create more ease and balance in our lives, everything just flows, we are poised to adapt to any circumstance life throws at us. Our breath is the simplest route to more balance and calm. Our breath is information to the brain. When we consciously slow down and deepen our breath, we are signalling to the brain that we are safe, and everything is OK. The more we practice it the more automatic it becomes and the easier it is to access it when we need it most.

In the same way, when we consciously generate regenerative heart felt feelings often such as care, appreciation, and love, this can have a powerful and effective physiological effect. It creates coherence between the heart and brain and enables us to access our hearts intuition and to access clear thinking. We are also able to communicate better with others and to live with calm and ease.

I am delighted to report that Supper Club flowed with ease. I was able to relax and enjoy it, and crucially to fully connect with all the beautiful who came to join us, and to listen with ease to all that our fabulous speaker shared.

So that elusive ‘balance’ and ‘ease’ really is available to us all if we create the space to practice these powerful techniques. If we make intentional choices to create more space in our lives, to pause and prioritise ‘what’s important in that moment, everything is easier! If we practice heart focused breathing, tune into how we are feeling and what we need we will be able to listen to the whispers in the body, before they become screams… ‘

Like Maria said, it you are feeling burn-out, or depleted,’ it doesn’t mean you are broken, you just need to learn to manage things better!’ and you can, you really can!!

Thank you Maria for the nudge you gave me that day, and also for the hope I really needed to move forward and re-write that self- generated emotionally depleting story I had created for myself!






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