Category Archives: better sleep

Feel Better Friday video: What’s your ‘happy place’?

I realise that not everyone would be delighted to be on a pretty cold beach with choppy seas and bracing winds but imagine your OWN happy places…

Where have you felt completely yourself, at ease, peaceful, happy and joyful?

Maybe you remember specific moments (use all your senses to make it as vivid as possible) or maybe you need to – for now – imagine such a moment. When I started doing this, it was floating face down in the sea, far away from any land.

I still love a few Disturbing Position face down floats after my swims but I need to be careful to move into underwater handstand to avoid alarming other swimmers. In that out in the middle of the ocean version (I rarely sea swim too far out of my depth in real life in case I get swept away), I could float face down for as long as I wanted to hold my breath, totally at peace.

Some people like to imagine a hammock on a sandy beach with the sun warming them. Others, a hot mug of tea on a favourite sofa…

The world is your lobster and you don’t have to just pick one.

What is your ‘happy place’? How do you feel after spending just a few moments imagining yourself there?

How can you anchor it in the present? Maybe you have photos or other reminders you can use to help yourself make it feel as real as possible?

Feel free to share below.

love,

Eve

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Join my free #30dayeftchallenge and boost your self-care

I had the plague (‘flu) over Christmas and New Year and lost the will to take even the most basic self-care steps for days as I wasn’t up to it.

Have been well again for nearly a week and am doing regular Happy Dances at having energy and being able to do things. This renewed appreciation of life has also coincided with my effort to tap daily – I’ve meditated and done (at least a little) yoga daily since 2013 but would normally only tap on myself when feeling pretty dire.

And every time, I’d be amazed at how quickly it helps! There’s something so powerful about VOICING our upsets, even just to ourselves. Then, the concentration of tapping specific points helps stop rumination, getting us back into our bodies and the present moment. And, of course, the fact that we’re working with meridians, tapping acupressure points, means we’re releasing blocked energy.

It might take a minute or two or, if something’s especially upsetting, much longer. But by doing it daily, I’m noticing how much happier I am feeling in general. It’s helping me get out of my own way and be more open to opportunities.

By creating this simple challenge, we’ll tap daily and share #day1 (or whatever day it is for you) and #30dayeftchallenge and, if you want #pain #niggles #anger #grudges #stress #anxiety #worry #block #cranky #gratitudes #sleep #whateveritisyouvetappedonwithoutsharingmorethanfeelsgoodforyou

To give you an example of how I’ll be sharing, today’s tweet will be as simple as:

#30dayeftchallenge #eft #day1 I launched this challenge today and hope you’ll join me – today, I tapped around #health What did you tap on?

I’ll be sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and hope this will grow so please share with anyone you think might benefit.

EFT is a transformative (and simple, and free) tool. I qualified in 2006 and became an advanced practitioner a few years ago. I included some tips around it in my book, 365 Ways to Feel Better and you can access a free video below if you don’t already know how to tap or want a reminder.

I’ll also be answering questions on my social media pages so please connect with me there as anything you’re unsure about is likely to help others, too.

For facebook, my book group (with extra support for people reading the book) is accessible HERE

You can also like my page HERE if you’d like regular updates

I’m on Twitter @wellbeingeve

Instagram @evemenezescunningham

You can find out more about some of the research around EFT, my approach and access a couple of interviews I did about EFT in general and for trauma for BACP’s trauma conference a few years ago HERE

Hope you find tapping as helpful as I have!

It can be as simple or complex as you want to make it – I’ve shared instructions to the Short Cut for simplicity but a quick Google will bring up loads of resources.  I include EFT as part of some of my coaching if that’s of interest – I’ll also be tagging other EFT practitioners in case they’re more local to you and you want to work face to face.

It’s also worth checking out the Tapping World Summit (HERE) and registering for this free event with loads of big names (created by Nick and Jess Ortner). The world can be your lobster!

Feel share to comment below as well as on social media. I’ll be answering as many questions as possible.

love,

Eve

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New Sleep Yoga class in Colchester – book now

Sleep Yoga

Really looking forward to starting a new class in January. There are only a few places so please book early if you’d like to join us.

Click HERE for more information and to book.

Are you happy with the sleep you’re getting? Learn side-effect free tools.

love,

Eve

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What to dooooooo? Working with our shadows

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What can we do to avoid historian’s predictions of Holocaust-like-history repeating itself? As individuals? How can we tap into the loving, expansive, inclusive, generous parts of ourselves and humanity instead of giving into fear and loathing?

Yes, there are petitions and demonstrations.

But what about the rest of our lives? The gazillions of thoughts and beliefs we rarely even notice but which contribute to our experience and the way we relate to others?

Apart from sending Metta to places we feel helpless around, we can take a look at our own shadow stuff.

I read an interesting piece by Deepak Chopra today on Donald Trump being a manifestation of America’s shadow.

We all have our shadow aspects and they’re not easy to recognise when we’re caught up in them.

Just as we all have the potential to do amazing things with our one, precious life, we could find ourselves in unimaginable circumstances and be capable of the worst, least imaginable acts.

When we notice them, we can integrate them by owning what we’ve been repressing in ourselves and projecting onto the other.

Something we can all do is pause before posting or speaking or lashing out in any way.

Notice where our shadow might be in that moment.

Who are we most angry with right now?

What does he or she represent to us?

What hidden aspects of ourselves resonates with what they’re doing?

How does it feel to own that feeling? To acknowledge that at some point, we’ve all felt homicidal?

Again, I’m not at all advocating acting on such feelings. Oddly, making this more conscious means we’re less likely to act out aggressively. 

It can be scary.

I’m a pacifist by nature. I wish we could all just get along. We’re all the same. Where we were born had nothing to do with us. Hippie, peace, love, blah…

Years ago, I learned that trying to send peace and love to people who were annoying me was, frankly, beyond me. I think Metta’s wonderful but even that varies day to day. This was years ago and I eventually realised that owning the fury, the rage, the anger and the despair was freeing.

Obviously, I’m not talking about acting on any of this. But recognising however we’re feeling and letting that be OK actually enables the feelings to move through us more quickly than when we try to deny them.

So writing this, thinking about certain politicians and their seemingly bullyish ways, I can either judge them and pretend it’s all about them or be open to acknowledging that bully part of myself.

The part that I don’t want to acknowledge I have yet that I realise of course I do, otherwise it wouldn’t upset me so much to see it in others.

Once I’ve done this, I can better see how I am connected to, for example, a politician. Or someone who votes differently to me. Or a terrorist. Or a serial killer. Or someone who puts his or her feet on the seats on public transport. Or child or animal abuser. Or any number of people I don’t want to think I have anything in common with.

As with everything, it’s a practice. But the more I do this, the less likely I am to add fuel to the emotional fires of the world right now with mean, small minded, unpleasant posts (I’m deleting A Lot).

Embracing our shadows not only helps us integrate and be more whole ourselves but we’re better able to reach out to others with compassion and kindness.

And this depends on us embracing our shadows (rather than beating ourselves up for not being saints, having said shadows).

Who are you most angry with right now? Who do you hate?

How does it feel to own that hatred and fury in yourself? (If a lot is coming up, you might want to work with a therapist – use all available support.)

Personally speaking, just through drafting this post, I’m feeling something closer to empathy for certain politicians than I’ve previously been able to feel.

How about you?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve x

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If I talked to myself the way I talked to my cat, I’d probably be invincible

 

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Some have suggested I adore Rainbow MagnifiCat too much (impossible).

When I stand up to open the door for her, I say, ‘Just opening the door for you. No pressure. You can go out or stay in. If you go out, stay safe, have fun, come when I call you and back before ___*’

Sometimes, the above scenario plays out several times within a few minutes. Cats change their minds. And I have all the time in the world for her even though patience isn’t one of my biggest strengths.

Catching myself talking patiently and sensitively to her several times recently, I wondered how much easier challenging** tasks might be for me if my own default self-talk was as soothing.

Sometimes, I think Rainbow assumes her name is really ‘Divine wondercat’, ‘Most magnificent creature to have ever walked the planet’ or similar.

I wouldn’t want to go overboard with myself (I’m only human) and yet, on days I smile at my reflection (after years of therapy) rather than think, ‘Urgh, I look like Jack Nicholson***’ I realise that my self-talk has improved.

These days, if I break something or similar, I often hear myself calling myself ‘Kitten’. I’m dealing with the breakage (or whatever flaw) but in a much gentler way than I used to where I’d have been mentally bludgeoning myself over being clumsy.

I feel a little embarrassed writing this. Not because of the cat worship but because after 15+ years of this kind of work and so many improvements in my own self-care, it’s taken the last few years of cat care to embed this particular shift.

How might your self-talk improve if you spoke to yourself as you would to a beloved dog / dragon / child etc?

Notice how you feel when you express patience and compassion for yourself rather than criticism and judgment.

As with everything, it’s a practice. But the kinder and more accepting we can be to ourselves, the easier it becomes to make any change and improvement.

Cultivating a more caring voice for our self-talk is worth doing.

Feel free to share below.

love,

Eve

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* curfew works 95% of the time but she IS a cat

** not that coming in and going out is challenging for her

*** no offence to Jack Nicholson intended. He is a beautiful man but I don’t want to look like him

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My last yoga classes in 2015

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While I can’t believe it’s nearly 2016, it IS. So I thought I’d flag the remaining classes I’m teaching in case you’d like to bring some extra peace into your festive period by joining one of my small, friendly yoga classes.

Or maybe you’d like to book yourself in for the New Year.

 

Focusing on emotional health and wellbeing as well as strength, stamina and flexibility, they’re ideal for beginners (all levels welcome). You can find out more about my teaching style here.

I currently have two more spaces for my Yule classes on Monday 21st and Tuesday 21st December.

And I’ll be teaching on the Monday and Tuesday between Christmas and New Year – a great time to think about what you’re ready to release as well as what you want to invite into your lives and practices for 2016 and beyond.

You can view the current class schedule here.

Also, after more than a year teaching a weekly yoga class on Wednesdays at 5.30pm at DS Fitness, this Wednesday (23rd) will be my last (unless I cover).

Big thanks to Mark, David and the rest of the staff and all my students there – you’ll be in very good hands with Mina who’ll be taking over in the New Year. And if you want to take some much needed time for yourself before Christmas Eve, hope to see you there this Wednesday (this can be booked via Reception at DS Fitness).

Any questions, do let me know.

love,

Eve x

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Silent Minute for peace – 9pm every evening (from the comfort of wherever you want to be)

 

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If you’d like to join the movement, all you have to do is pause for a minute at 9pm (when possible) and envision a world of peace and returning light. You can click here to read more about it if you’d like.

I’ve been stopping whatever I’ve been doing when my phone alarm reminds me of this these past few days – had become a bit lax about it but it’s a great antidote to those times the world feels that bit too scary.

I have absolutely no idea how many people around the globe are doing the same (or if it’s just me!) but it’s something that helps me focus on ways to bring more peace into my own world. So that’s helpful anyway. But when I imagine countless other people, in their own homes / time zones etc, it definitely boosts that feeling of connection and peace on earth.

Have you tried it?

What helps you?

Feel free to comment below.

love (and peace),

Eve

 

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Don’t have the energy to relax properly? Order your free yoga nidra mp3

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Have you ever been so tired that you haven’t had the energy to do something that will truly relax your body and mind (like sleeping, meditating or doing something creative?)

Vegging in front of the TV can be great but it’s not relaxing in terms of helping your system enter that state which allows healing, regeneration and true rest.

Lots of relaxation techniques can feel a bit arduous if we wait until we’re overtired before deciding to take extra special care of ourselves.

Yoga nidra, on the other hand, is easy to do. And you just need to lie down or sit down comfortably.

We benefit most when able to gently relax into the instructions, staying aware and keeping still but we’re human and yoga is all about learning to be kinder to ourselves, supporting ourselves by making tweaks on the yoga mat which then helps us spot potential tweaks to make our day to day lives more beneficial for us. Just as sometimes, we’re able to do a strong physical practice and other days we need to take it easier, sometimes, it’s easy to follow the instructions and be still. Other times, our concentration feels shot or we may fall asleep.

This is perfectly fine. It’s relaxation, not endurance. If you fall asleep, your body is telling you you need sleep! Another day, you may feel better able to stay aware throughout. Be kind to yourself.

Similarly, sometimes, you may notice physical sensations and let them go. Other times, you may need to move or itch or whatever. Relaxation not endurance – do what’s right for YOU.

Benefits include boosting dopamine by up to 70% (so not only does it feel good but it helps us with motivation), changing brain waves so that an hour’s yoga nidra is equal to 4 hour’s sleep (although taking good care of yourself means doing all you can to ensure you get adequate regular sleep, too), boosting immune function, decreasing inflammation and reducing pain.

It also helps – alongside medical care – with symptoms for migraines, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and asthma.

I’ve created a free MP3 for you, partially inspired by Shaura Hall at YogaLove.co.uk.

While some are long (experiment with those too – there are plenty on YouTube and similar), this is under 14 minutes so is very easy to fit into your day. For those times when you haven’t the energy (or schedule won’t allow) class attendance, you can simply hit Play and benefit in the comfort of your own home.

To access it, click here and follow the instructions.

Enjoy!

love,

Eve x

 

 

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Fridge Magnet Therapy with Chris Milbank

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(This magnet image is showing up fine in draft but once published, goes horizontal – spooky)

I’ve long loved energy therapies. Woo woo as many sound, I’m trained and experienced in a fair few. Crystal therapy was the first (crystals helped me where hospital prescribed painkillers didn’t so, having been interested since my teens, I became open to learning more and ended up training over three years. I still use them daily).

NLP has its energetic elements and Art Giser’s gorgeous Energetic NLP (ENLP) has been so powerful (and speedy), with great results in so many areas of my life, as well as being a tool I sometimes share with clients and students, I incorporate some into my daily meditation each morning.

And EFT works with meridians (something I first learned about during my crystal therapy training although I feel more comfortable with the chakras).

Even the kind of counselling I do, psychosynthesis, has its energetic elements. It’s creator, Roberto Assagioli, had worked with Freud but was also very interested in potential as much as wounding. Eastern philosophy as well as Western science. I’ve done some training with Energetic Psychotherapy pioneer, Phil Mollon.

And, of course, yoga works with energy. So it’s a big part of what I do, both for my own self-care and when working with clients and students.

Still, when I was invited to an evening of Fridge Magnet Therapy, I definitely laughed at the idea. One friend rolled her eyes and said, ‘Only you, Eve’ (although the evening was FILLED with similarly curious souls so I wasn’t the only one by a long shot!).

I’d not heard of Chris Milbank but the other Solar Events trainings I’d attended (Art Giser‘s ENLP and Joanna Martin‘s Presentation Secrets) had far exceeded my expectations so I was open to it.

And it rocked. Jemma had included some black cat fridge magnets in the selection she’d bought so I chose one in honour of Rainbow (see above. Of COURSE I chose a black cat over unicorns, mermaids, witches and other magical creatures).

Chris seemed smiley and down to earth. He was also laughing at his creation of Fridge Magnet Therapy but as he spoke about more traditional magnet therapy and the meridians, it made sense. (Again, I know that much of what makes sense to me sounds nuts to my loved ones, let alone strangers.)

He pointed out that apart from us knowing that meridians exist because we feel energy work WORKING, Pierre de Vernejoul demonstrated these electrical pathways’ existence by injecting dye and showing visibly how it moved around this energy system.

I volunteered to be first guinea pig as while not phobic, I had a fair bit of dread about my upcoming dental surgery. As with EFT and NLP, he tested as he went along, I’d be feeling much better about it and he’d throw in something about my not just needing the one implant to replace my poor broken tooth but that I’d need 6. A week. On my toes.

Of course, this made me laugh as well as cringe and I continued following his instructions using the magnet along a meridien (this can be done via Skype as the person uses the magnet on him or herself). At one point (I was also a little self conscious being in front of a fairly large group), I joked about throwing myself out of the window.

I had no idea where that had come from but after the demonstration, when I sat back in my seat and made notes,

The upcoming dental treatment felt much less daunting and as I wrote, I remembered being a young teenager, having four teeth removed in order to have a fixed brace fitted (someone used to call me Sharky as my teeth were growing over each other). Before going under, I remembered having a real sense of dread. The dentist (not my usual lovely soul) was clearly in a bad mood and I had a strong sense of him meaning me harm. I remember actively wanting to leap out of the window to get away from him.

I know from the yoga therapy and other trauma work just how adept the body is at storing memories but the gums? Teeth? This astonished me as I made the connection last night. When I think back, I’m not sure if that was the last thing I remembered before waking up with four fewer teeth or if I had the teeth removed by someone less sadistic another time but I remember that feeling.

So I was lucky enough to experienced Fridge Magnet Therapy’s benefits direct from its inventor.

Throughout the rest of the evening, as well as some other demonstrations, we worked on some of our own beliefs and issues. And as with other intense energy work experiences, I slept really well afterwards.

Its something I’m delighted to have come across and I know I’ll offer it as an option, when it feels appropriate, as part of sessions, workshops and classes.

As with EFT and crystals and yogic breaths and so on, while I believe they have energetic benefits, you really don’t have to for it to work.

Even the act of thinking to yourself, ‘Hmmm, _____ is holding me back/bugging me/causing upset/whatever… I know, I’ll play with that Fridge Magnet Therapy’ (or EFT or whatever feels good to you) offers a way of remembering you’re more than your ruminating mind.

That issue you want support with (or to help yourself with) is intense enough to be bothering you. By actively moving your hand and the magnet along the meridian (or tapping or whatever you choose), you’re changing your posture, you’re probably calming your breath, you’re almost certainly laughing. You’re helping your body’s natural healing capabilities to kick in. And there are no side effects (apart from, maybe, a little embarrassment).

If you’d like to find out more, Chris is running a weekend training course in February (again, through the ever fab Solar Events) so, if you’re interested in learning how to elevate this humble fridge decoration to a therapeutic tool, I recommend it!

What’s the most ‘woo woo’ therapy you’ve tried?

How did it help?

What would you LIKE to try?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve x

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