On Breathing

by Kristine Enger

Most of us take our breath for granted. In fact, we don’t pay too much attention to our breathing at all. Our breath is of no real concern, we breathe and that’s it.

As children, we played games trying to hold our breaths to see what would happen next, before the life force energy, seemingly all by itself, would draw the next breath on our behalf, overriding our best efforts.

Or as we explore, for a minute or two, a different universe underwater, before we rise to the surface and triumphantly, with what seems like a roar, fill our lungs with life again. How sweet the breath feels in that moment!

As humans, we endlessly search. We even travel to faraway lands, seek out gurus and teachers; for meaning, for answers, for our purpose, for the Divine.

As we breathe, could what we seek be hidden within the energy of the breath of life? The breath is, after all, how our human life began and how it eventually one day will end.

To connect to our breathing through focused attention can come off to a shaky start. Staccato at best, making strange sounds, feeling stuck in places. Alien and bizarre. We can even get panicky with such attention to our breath. Why is it that what gives us life feels so strange and unfamiliar?

Through practice, as our breath begins to soften, becoming clearer and less restricted, we can become aware that we are breathing in not just life, but also inspiration, ideas, forming insights about our burning questions. Connecting to our innermost wisdom, as our breath flows evermore sweetly, peaceful and loving. It can even feel as if we are drawing in creation itself, as it moves through us.  In and out, in and out.

We breathe creation, creation breathes us, as the breath intelligently, safely takes us from moment to moment, creating each moment anew. Becoming one with the breath, we have a say in how the next moment unfolds. What our response will be. We can connect, direct and create life in this way. Moment by moment. Breath by breath.

 

What is Codependency?

by Helen Williams

Understanding codependence is another part of the search for ourselves, the discovery of why and how we are lost and about to journey back home to a full and rich inner life.

Codependence is fundamentally about disordered and chaotic relationships.  We become codependent when we turn our responsibility for our life and happiness over to other people – to our partners, our family or our friends.

Codependence is often seen as learned behaviour which is expressed by dependencies on people and things outside ourselves which neglect and diminish our sense of self.

We become codependent when we focus so much outside ourselves that we lose touch with what is inside us – our beliefs, our thoughts, our feelings, choices, experiences, decisions, our wants, needs, our intuitions.  These all form our inner life, the major part of our consciousness.  When we believe that someone or something outside of ourselves can give us fulfillment and happiness, then we look for people, places, things, behaviour or experiences for this fulfillment and neglect ourselves.

If you are interested in learning more about codependency come and join us for a discussion on Sunday 10 December where we will explore together what being codependent means to each of us and why it is such a common human condition. Contact us to book. 

On Anxiety

by Kristine Enger

Do you remember that naughty cousin you had growing up, who came to stay for the summer holidays and who teased and tormented you endlessly? Who did his very best to trip you up and scare the living daylights out of you, and when he eventually left you breathed a sigh of relief? Let us for now call him Anxiety. He randomly and unannounced turns up in our lives by breaking down the front door to our carefully arranged lives, upsetting us, and leaving us with a dry mouth, thundering heart, shaky legs or worse. Desperate for relief, we long for normalcy. Will the naughty cousin slip away if we refuse to feed him and give him shelter? Plainly ignore him?

We then start looking for ways to get rid of Anxiety. Then a thought comes to mind; isn’t anxiety really ‘just life’ as our grandmothers told us? A circumstance to be endured? We hope (bank on even) that her ‘this too shall pass’ magic formula will work this time, as we somehow scramble on in mental and physical anguish, our central nervous system in over-drive.

Another thought: is anxiety really such a bad thing?  Doesn’t it sharpen our senses, we reason, keeping us on high alert as we pull off that presentation flawlessly, nail the interview, or give a performance of a lifetime?

Someone might tell us that we bring ourselves into this state of fragility because we need to literally shake things up in our life. That it is an opportunity to choose a different path, to stop and pause to figure out what it is that is lurking away just under the surface. Could it be that the avoidance tactics will keep us in a state of anxiety until we stop to have a look?

Perhaps it is a calling from our soul to stop resisting, to stop judging and accept life as it presents in this moment? Didn’t some wise person tell us that this is where we will find peace?

Could a state of anxiety be the moment before, between the old and the new?That excited nervous anticipation of ‘maybe this time’?

Could it be all of the above?

As we grow and become more aware, we may start to realise that it is not something outside of ourselves, for instance, a family member, a partner, a circumstance or life itself that makes us feel a certain way, but in fact, our thinking about the person or event. Some would go as far as to say that we are indeed living in the feeling of our own thinking. Anxious feelings equal anxious thoughts and anxious thoughts equal anxious feelings.

There is a saying: “it’s all in your head”, or “you live in your head”. Are we the ones scaring the living daylights out of ourselves through our thinking? Can the anxious turmoil simply be attributed to habitual thinking that appears real to us in its manifestation?

Could it be us – and not the world?

 

If you would like to book a private session to speak with Kristine about anxiety or to learn about mindfulness contact us here.

On Time

In preparation for our next Mindful Living workshop on the topic “Our Relationship with Time”, I’ve been fascinated by the replies I’ve received when asking people what the word ‘time’ brings up for them. Here are some of their statements:

  • There’s never enough time 
  • Too much time to think scares me
  • It’s really wrong to be late
  • Killing time is a problem for me
  • Time heals, doesn’t it?
  • Time flies too fast
  • Wasting time is my biggest anxiety
  • Time passes more quickly as I get older

I’m greatly looking forward to our conversations during the workshop and would encourage you to ponder for yourself what your perceptions and beliefs about time are, where in your conditioning they have come from, and how your perception of time impacts your daily life? Come and share in this ‘time’ with us and bring your sentences with you!

Contact us to book your space at this workshop as numbers are limited. info@mindfulme.me or whatsapp on +971 54 466 8400
Sunday 12 November from 7pm – 9pm
Hosted venue in TECOM, Dubai

Mindful Photography

by Cindy Stocken

When I think back to how I learned Mindfulness it takes me back to a time of carrying heavy camera bags and spending days shut in the darkroom. It takes me back to the smell of developer and fixer and to the alert awareness of witnessing the world through a lens of my choosing. Studying photojournalism helped me begin to witness myself as I observed what was happening around me, and made me aware of the frame that I was choosing to make sense of it. Now days my camera comes with me on walks of awareness – a mindful practice in itself. The act of photography can teach us core mindfulness principles and understandings through a creative medium. As we hold a physical camera (or phone) we acknowledge ourselves witnesses – separate and at the same time absolutely connected to the world around us. We choose what to photograph and how to do it. We choose the stories that we tell and frame. Most of all we connect with a vibrant awareness of the world in the way we compassionately observe patterns, light, people, animals, colour, stories, whatever is happening right now. We are alert and alive to the moment because we are aware of it’s shifting nature and don’t want to miss a great photograph.

Bring your camera or phone and join us on the 11th June to explore what lessons are held in the witnessing, clarity, framing, vibrant awareness, connection, editing and sharing.