“Mindfulness” and “inner peace” are buzz words and phrases gaining more and more popularity. Everyone wants to find their zen but where the hell do we start looking for it?
Many people will have added “Find more zen” to their New Year’s resolutions list on January 1. It’s an end result of our hectic 21st Century, digitally-connected world. We’re always plugged in, always on the go, always caught up in other people’s business via social media. We use busy-ness as a mark of success. But is it really? Taking time for yourself and your thoughts is a great way to find more zen in your life. And, according to Bubbles Organic chief alchemist, aromatherapist and Gold Coast yogi Kate Willmann, it’s all about setting yourself up for the zen to find you. Here are Kate’s tips on how to do just that:
1. Create your own sacred space
This a place where you can sit and be alone even for 5 minutes each day and regroup. “Stop over thinking it, if you are already doing that,” Kate laughs. “You do not need to go and buy a new chair, rug or cushions – but totally do that if you want too! My own space has my yoga mat, a pillow and a book shelf where I have a candle and a few books I’m reading right now. The action of lighting a candle is a great little way for your brain to go ‘OK, it’s slow-down time. I got it’.”
Kate says all you need to start with is a minimum of five minutes daily in your sacred space. When you are there just do whatever you like. It might be as simple as sitting and breathing and nothing else. You might read. You might stretch and if you are really lucky you might even lie down in Savasana (on your back with your palms facing upwards).
2. Ground yourself
According to Kate, grounding yourself neutralises free radicals, it improves sleep, pain management and stress and it can even improve inflammation and immunity. So how do you ground? “Easy. Take off your shoes and stand on the grass or sand or dirt and just breathe,” Kate says. “You can just stand there if you like but doing it consciously or mindfully will improve how effective it is. I always feel especially zen after a good grounding session at the beach.”
3. Random acts of kindness
“Let’s all commit to at least one random act of kindness every single day. It could be as simple as smiling at a stranger, helping someone who looks like they need some help, not engaging in road rage or shopping centre carpark rage even if someone does something super annoying, or even paying for someone’s coffee. I love to leave my coin change in the self-serve machines at the shops – just little things like that. These things will make you feel giddy with happiness and happiness is the best way to avoid getting stressed,” Kate says.
4. Hang with those who light you up
Arrange a catch up with the people who you love most, even if time is running out (actually, especially if time is running out). It doesn’t have to be an extravaganza or hours and hours of time. Kate says that being around the people that make us feel shiny and happy is important for our energy levels and our sanity. “It’s so easy to say we are busy or can’t fit it in, but we should be treating those people with the same importance as eating well or brushing our teeth, because doing things that replenish our energy is what keeps us living rather than simply existing,” she says.