It’s not bad, it’s just different.

It’s not bad, it’s just different.

A few days ago, a friend messaged me saying she needed some yoga encouragement after what she described as a “bad class”. One that had left her feeling demotivated, disappointed and just a bit downtrodden.

My heart wept for her immediately. Not only because I hated the thought of my beautiful friend feeling so low, but because that is the exact opposite of how a yoga class should make you feel.

I probed a little further.

“What did you think was so bad about it?”

She told me that the class (which had been advertised as beginner) was only directed at the most advanced in the class, with headstands and inversions making her feel totally out of her depth.

I could go on here about how wrong it is for a teacher to make a student feel so isolated and how yoga shouldn’t be about whether or not you can hang around in the perfect headstand (a blog for another day!)… but the thing is, there’s something far deeper going on here. Something we (me, you, my friend) need to master first of all.

It’s that notion of what is a good vs bad practice.

And it’s something that has taken me a while to understand. Something that developed as my understanding of what yoga truly is grew. The idea that it is something far beyond the asana. An opportunity to use the practice to understand and connect with your body and mind.

Is it a bad practice just because you can’t get into crow pose? Is it a bad practice because your forward fold isn’t sinking in the way it used to? Is it a bad practice because monkey brain is getting in the way of your savasana?

Or is it a sign to check in and recognise the areas of your body that need nourishment? The areas you might not have noticed? Or the ones that you just took for granted, accepted, brushed under the carpet?

Because it isn’t bad, is it? It’s just different. The same as every day is different… from morning to night, no two moments will ever be the same. So why should your practice be any different?

There are so many reasons we might come into barriers during a practice. Stress, tiredness, diet, fear, aches, pains, ailments. All problems that in our fast-paced, constantly moving life we tend to “make do” with. We take for granted that we’re never going to feel “quite right”. We get used to feeling exhausted. We tend not to question the bubbling feelings of anxiety because “everyone feels like that.”

But what if we used our time on the mat to identify these issues? To press in on them and start paying attention? Took that attention off the mat to make subtle changes in our day to eradicate them?

And what if that awareness became a daily “checking in” morning routine? If it could be used to start your day in the best possible way?

Man. That would be pretty great, wouldn’t it?

ab

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The Book

The Book

It had been so long since I’d had that feeling. You know the one. Where the whisper of new words curve your spine, tapping each vertebrae like melodies on a piano. When each breath pours out a new sentence, effortlessly etched across the page. Your skin tingles with the electricity of the hidden creature, just waiting to charge out into the world.

It had been so very, very long.

Based on my poor rejection of this blog in recent weeks, that might come as a surprise to you. It comes as a surprise to me. When I first moved to Australia, I was determined to treat the blog as less of an after thought, and more of a priority. Where it sat proudly at the top of the list (and hell, there are a ton of lists), rather than meekly fighting for my attention amongst the piles of other responsibilities.

Continue reading “The Book”

Taking a step back.

Taking a step back.

Readers of this blog will notice i’ve been a bit absent the past week – well, since Christmas in fact.  As much as I have wanted to commit the time to turn this blog into the writing outlet I know it can be, I just haven’t been able to.  I want it to grow, I want it to reach more people, yet day after day I find it near enough impossible to just sit down and write.

It’s not for lack of inspiration.  I have a list as long as my arm of different ideas; I just do not have the time.  I do not have the energy.

Since I’ve returned to Italy, things have just sped up so so much.  Mornings slip into nights, weekdays fall into weekends and for the life of me I can barely grip on to take in the ride.

I don’t want to sit here and complain about it; the things that are happening, they’re good.  I’m already crossing off most of the things I’ve set myself to do this year. But (in typical Amber fashion) it’s all happening at the same time.

I’m out of the house 8:30am – 10:00pm with work and then Italian lessons.  I’m trying to squeeze in writing time for the Huffington Post, other publishers and my book when I get home.  I’m pushing myself to cook rather than just feast on a family pack of biscuits for my dinner.  I’m trying to socialise, meet new people.

But come on guys.  There are so many hours in a day.

So what’s the point in this post?  I guess I’m trying to reassure myself that it’s okay – some things are going to slip.  We can’t juggle the whole world and still come out bright eyed and bushy tailed.

The whole idea of this – of how we need to be a little kinder to ourselves – was actually the main theme behind my latest Huffington Post piece.  It was a piece I was proud of; really proud of in fact.  And this.  This is what I need to focus on.

I am achieving a lot over here… more so than I ever would back home.  I’m inspired every single day.  I’m at peace.  I’m really, really f**king happy.  And I truly believe it is shining through in the things I am doing.

So (after the rant) what I’m saying is… I will be back (said in an ominous voice obvs).  This blog is so important to me; it helped me through an incredibly difficult period of my life, and it continues to add a bit of clarity to all the madness.

And in summary, I thought I would post a few of the main points from the HP piece.  If you want to read the full article, you can find it here.

“Most of us can probably pinpoint the moment we stepped out of the blissfully unaware bubble to the self deprecating one. When nothing we do is quite good enough; when we struggle to celebrate our successes, constantly craving more.

For me, it really hit its dizzying heights when I started University. I’d always been harsh on myself, but this is when I started to put myself in unattainable situations. Because I was suddenly in a situation where my mind alone was never going to be good enough (and even that felt feeble compared to the public school educated kids around me); in a split second it was who you know, not what you know.”


“We are only human. We cannot function on a few hours sleep just so we can squeeze in that extra assignment, or that work proposal, or that research for the boss. We cannot live effectively on a diet of seeds and water and we certainly cannot live happily when we can’t appreciate our self-worth.”


Can we not just stop for a moment? Can we not try to realise that life is too short for this? Can we not accept that we are great at what we do and what we do is often too much?”


“If you want to go to bed at 10pm rather than wining with your friends, that’s totally okay. If you want to eat that extra slice of pizza, that’s even better. Too exhausted to write up that article because your day has been so damn long? That’s fine, grab a glass of vino and put on your pyjamas. You’ve earnt it.”


“Listen to your mind and listen to your body. If it’s telling you to stop, then stop. If it’s telling you to eat more sugar, eat it.

We live in a fast paced world full of deadlines, ridiculous body images and financial woes. For once, let’s just take a deep breath and clear our mind of it all. Make yourself the priority.”

Ciao!

BB x

The next chapter.

The next chapter.

It’s safe to say I’ve been a bit lacking recently in the blogging department.  Not to turn this into a diary entry, but a few things have happened recently in my life that have pretty much thrown everything into disarray.  In the space of a month everything in my life has changed.

And that’s pretty scary.  I’ve always been someone that likes to grip on to life with an iron fist.  I’m a planner; I like lists, I count my money to the penny and I’m always on time.  Suddenly, I no longer have control of… well, anything!

Ever since I can remember I’ve always known exactly where I was going in life.  School, college, university, PR job, arts job.  Bing bang bong, my life has rolled out to a perfect schedule with minimal hiccups along the way.  And I’ve always loved that.  Or rather, I’ve always thought that I’ve loved it.

And now I feel as if I’ve come to a cross roads.  For the first time in my life, it’s as if I’m in the drivers seat and I can go wherever the hell I want.  I can finally focus on just being me and finding out what I truly need and want in life.

Call it an epiphany, call it a cliché… call it whatever.  Whatever it is, it’s filled me with this overwhelming sense of excitement and purpose.

Sometimes life throws shit at you.  When those moments happen, you have to make the decision.  Are you going to wallow and wait for everyone to shower you in pity?  Or are you going to turn it into something f**king awesome?

I have chosen the latter.

Here’s to the next chapter.

Big love,

BB x

5 reasons why hibernation is a great idea.

5 reasons why hibernation is a great idea.

Living in Wales you grow accustomed to ‘end of the world’ style weather.  I’ve battled across many a flooded path, pushed my way through countless hurricanes (well, pretty much) and rocked myself to sleep during endless thunder storms.  I get it.  Mankind’s talent for f***ing up the environment coupled with a notoriously wet country means the glorious days of summer are but a distant memory.

Therefore I have decided the only way to really get around this is by hibernating until at least July.  There really is no other choice.  And here are my five STERLING reasons why:

1) Winter skin is offensive – As a naturally olive skinned person (in an acceptable climate), I find myself transformed into a less glamorous Snow White without the aid of the glorious sun.  Patchy, pale and pathetic, it is a wonder that people can see me at all: I’m pretty much transparent.  For the good of the world, it is only sensible that I hide my disgusting skin until the sun puts his hat back on (hip hip hip hooray!)

2) Everyone’s happier in summer – This is a fact.  Seasonal affective disorder proves that the Winter Blues are a real thing.  Opening the curtains to see another dank and disgusting day immediately puts me in the stormiest mood imaginable.  Fast forward to a day of sunshine and frolics and I’m on cloud 9.

3) Winter blubber – I swear I need an extra layer of fat to keep me warm in these freezing cold days.  Therefore I find it totally acceptable to eat twice my body weight and consequently grow twice in size.  As that classic song goes, when the weather outside is frightful, a greasy fry up is so delightful (NP – poetic license alert).

4) Bad weather is a health hazard – The amount of times I have fallen head over hills on a bit of sneaky ice or been blown full on off the path by gale force winds if laughable (I lie, it brings me to tears).  Let alone my make up being smudged across my whole face or my hair turning into a mane, BAD WEATHER IS A DEATH SENTENCE.  I long for the gentle caress of the summer sun as I waltz my way around; not the evil whipping of the satanic wind.

5) Cider on a hot summer’s day – Say no more.  Total bliss and worth sleeping 100 years for.

So please – can this unreliable, relentless, soul-destroying Welsh weather do one.  I’m ready for some sunny joy.

Big love,

BB x

Why it’s so easy to fall off the wagon.

Why it’s so easy to fall off the wagon.

Since signing myself up to the Cardiff Half I’ve been such a good lady.  Gym / jog / netball every day of the week, careful diet plan to cut out all the junk, bottle of water constantly at the ready.

I am totally, well and truly, full on all over it.

Well, kind of.

The thing is, I can’t help but have these “off days”.  You know the sort.  That day when the delicious aroma of a bacon sarnie finds its way under your eager nostrils, or the day that exquisite chocolate muffin is sat temptingly on the snacks desk at work (snacks desk – aka my nemesis).  And no matter how hard I try, now and again I might slip (ever so slightly!) off the wagon.

bruce Okay, maybe ever so slightly isn’t 100% honest.  Put it this way, today I made my  way through a yum yum, a chocolate muffin AND an iced ring donut whilst sat at my  desk. Yup.  I am a disgusting human being.  There is absolutely no excuse.

But excluding my over the top, vom inducing gorge, I think it’s time to take a big  breath and accept that it really is that easy to fall of the wagon.  It doesn’t make you  a bad person.  WE ARE ALL HUMAN.  You just have to pick yourself up, dust  yourself off (quite literally – I was totally covered in evidence) and move on.  Get  back into the gym, get out the blueberries and take a step forwards.

Life really is too short to never enjoy the fatty things in life.  A cheat day is  TOTALLY deserved after a week of sweat and blood.  Just maybe try to avoid the  triple carb whammy and limit yourself to one delectable treat.  One day (one day far  far away) I will be able to look at a cheese toastie and say, No, never again.

Today is not that day.

Big love,

BB x