Shift Your Focus

#contentology #shiftyourfocus #mindfulness

Shifting focus can be a useful skill to help with your mindfulness
practice.

I sometimes practice this in the way I notice my thoughts.
Mindfulness does not have to be trying to get the absence of
thoughts, but it can pay attention to them in a curious way. I
sometimes try to make a shift in my focus from having all these
strong feelings, to shift into noticing and labelling these feelings.
Once I move into becoming an observer of these feelings, a new
perspective often comes into focus. And often what happens is that
those feelings lose some of their intensity. It is a subtle shift that
allows a gap to develop between what we experience and how we
respond to what we are experiencing.

Another way I shift my focus when I’m doing Shavasana* after my
yoga session. This shift involves me trying to shift my focus from my busy thoughts, to the pattern of my breath moving in and out of
my body. If I get distracted, I just return to noticing or counting my
breaths. This shift in my focus, helps to bring a quiet calm to my
mind. It also brings a clarity and allows me to get focused on me
and my goals and my positive mindset.

And funnily enough, whilst these activities of shifting focus during
mindfulness are quite an internal focus, it actually allows me more
room to have compassion, time and patience when I’m interacting
with others. So being able to use this skill of shifting my focus,
paying attention for me, is a great skill for social connection as well.
I’d love to know if you have tried to shift your focus in your
mindfulness practice or if you are keen to try these next time you
want to get some calm in your mind.

And just in case you wanted to know a bit about what Shavasana
is!….

*To perform Shavasana, lie on the back with the legs spread as
wide as the yoga mat and arms relaxed to the side, and the eyes
closed. The whole body is relaxed on the floor with an awareness of
the chest and abdomen rising and falling with each breath. During
Shavasana, all parts of the body are scanned for muscular tension
of any kind. Any muscular tension the body finds is consciously
released as it is found. All control of the breath, the mind, and the
body is then released for the duration of the asana. Shavasana is
typically practiced for 5–10 minutes at the end of an asana practice
(Wikipedia).


Have a great day,

Kate

Big Dreams

#contentology #dreamginer #magicwand #bigdreams #smallsteps

Dreams are wonderful, dreams get us feeling alive and they can
ignite an enthusiasm and magical feelings in us. Children are
amazing at allowing their imaginations run wild and can much more
easily slip into this way of thinking because fantasy and reality are
still being worked out and understood.

Adults however can get very stuck in the reality of day to day life,
and generally find, have a harder time slipping into imagination and
thoughts of no limits (which is totally understandable as we are
responsible for all the challenges of day to day life, which can make
it harder to find thoughts of freedom and open possibilities).

To try and get children and adults to step into focusing on their
dreams and goals, there is a technique called the Magic Wand
question. And it goes something like this-If I had a magic wand and
was able to wave it around for your, send a bust of glitter and
sparkles into the air and also in that moment, solve all the
problems and bring all the things you wanted into existence, what
would it look like for you? What would be different in your life, what
would you be doing and how would you be feeling?

This question helps us to shift our focus on the problems and
challenges and all the reasons why we may feel stuck and get us to
totally focus on that life that we want.

Once we allow our imaginations to dream this future that we, the
next question is to then focus on what is one small thing we can do
to help being that dream into a reality?

Because having that big picture dream is the first part of having it
come true. Then it becomes easier to think about the smaller steps
that needs to happen for you to have this dream come true and
begin to take action on them.

But first, let yourself dream, open your mind up to magical thinking
every now, because many dreams we can make come true.

So let me know if you can try this exercise-I know it’s something
that has taken practice for myself to do-and if you want, let me
know what was revealed to you!

Kate

Magic Wand Question

Think Big

#contentology #thinkbig

Thinking big is like being asked to dream and voice those dreams
out loud. It can sometimes feel opulent and excessive. Especially
if you have been trained to think small and to expect little (so we
don’t get disappointed when it does not work out)… so it can feel
strange to give ourselves permission to change this way of thinking.
I know that ‘thinking big’ can be challenging because it’s something
that I’ve struggled with at times. But I’ve seen the benefit of doing it
personally and for the families I work with too many times to ignore
its benefits.

And because of its importance in moving people forwards, it’s a
great honour to be part of encouraging others to think big for and
develop a picture in their mind of their ideal day, or ideal outcome
for themselves and their family.

And whilst I know that can seem scary, because it might be far from
where they currently are, but daring to imagine an optimistic future
is actually the first step in having that become a reality.

So have a think about when you last gave yourself permission to
think big about your dreams, wishes and wants. Encourage
yourself to let your imagination run, and get involved with painting
the picture of it so it is vivid and clear.

Imagine yourself and how you will feel in this future place or
situation and carry this emotion with you. When we allow ourselves
to think big, it inspires us to develop our skills in optimistic thinking,
which is a great mindset to have along life’s journey.

Think Big

Mission

#Contentology #Mission #light #pathway

Having a mission seems like a serious heavy word to describe what
you are going to do-it’s strongly associated with war and space and
religion. However it also means being involved in work that you feel
is your life’s calling.

It’s also a way to describe the feeling that you’ve found a definite
purpose or true calling. It’s a feeling that helps you get very
focused and determined, and in my mind it feels like a guiding light
that shines a path ahead. So even though I don’t know where I’m
going exactly, I know enough to feel confident in moving forwards.
That for me is how I prefer to see my mission, that it’s not a job, it’s
not hard work, but it’s something that aligns with my values and it’s
something that lights me up.

And fortunately, when I’m on my mission, I’m able to light the way
for others. My mission to educate, support and empathise, is like
watching more light bulbs beginning to flicker on, so that others can
too begin to spread their own shine.

I can’t wait to see your light spark too!

Mission

Your Voice

#contentology #yourvoice

Having people find their voice is an important part of my goals for
many people I work with, even if it’s not a conscious goal for them.
Although they may list activities and actions they need support with,
I’m looking deeper and wondering about mindset and confidence
and assertiveness skills. I have the urge to help with their
confidence to be who they are, to have the courage to ask for help if
they need it and assertive skills to be able to advocate strongly for
themselves or their loved ones.

Being a minority group comes with all kinds of challenges, so it’s
part of my role and my privilege to help you find your voice. And
when that voice is found, to encourage it to speak and if need be, to
amplify the sound so that your message can be heard clearly.

And I know that this is not always easy to do. I know myself who
generally feels fairly confident in using my voice, when I have to use
my voice in a way that will invite more attention, scrutiny or possibly
criticism, that it’s hard not to listen to unhelpful thinking that tells us
to ‘shoosh’ and quieten down.

But I’m reminded of a lovely quote ‘speak even if your voice shakes’
from the anti-bullying campaign, that confidence comes from doing.
It’s also a great reminder that speaking up can have impact near
and far and that the positive ripple effect is something we can’t
ignore.

Speaking up and using our voice, which can then be a collective
voice, can then give others the courage to do the same.


Kate

Find Your Voice

Structure

#contentology #structure

Structure is required for planning my thoughts, my time and my
energy. Structure helps me to provide my energy out in a more
even manner, otherwise I feel stretched, under-resourced and
overwhelmed.

Structure helps me to break large tasks and goals down into
achievable ones. Structure provides and framework so that you
can have freedom within that. Structure helps us to make sense of
our world and with that comes reduced anxiety. Structure aids
control and accountability. Structure takes discipline and
commitment- but the payoffs can be great. I probably thought less
about it in my life except when I was studying, until I had my own
children. Now having structure and routine is essential for all the
organisation I need to accomplish.

I’m always curious about the role structure plays in people’s lives,
as it can seem that some people are living with such ease and
freedom and it can appear that they don’t have any structure at all.
But I think that is the illusion, that those that do have a good amount
structure, actually a life that has pockets of freedom and an overall
ease.

How does your family respond to structure? Does it reduce anxiety
or does it feel too confining? I know a common topic is how to
ensure enough structure in the routine of the day to reduce anxiety
for children who are seeking of structure, versus allowing flexibility
and change that happens within family life, to occur naturally.

So do a quick scan of the structure you have in your life and that of
your family and see if you are happy with the amount of structure,
or are there small changes that could shift it towards the right
amount for you.

Finding Your Flow

#contentology #flow

Being in flow is when I’m so totally in the moment, and time is not
registering and I’m feeling joy and connection. And it’s found doing
lots of my recreation actives such as yoga, painting and listening to
favourite music and meditation.

However, I’m really fortunate that it’s also found when I’m in session
with a family and I can feel that I am on the same wavelength as
they are, what I’m sharing is resonating with them and it feels as if I
am doing what is my purpose-supporting, guiding and validating
their experiences. I’m so fortunate that my ‘day job’ is also
something that allows me to truly be in my flow state.

Finding Your Flow

Two Steps

#Contentology #twosteps

Today I wanted to give you a very quick summary of just TWO steps
that will help you with a common problem or challenge I frequently
hear. And that is-“how do I help my child with their emotions?”
So whilst is a very big, broad and individual question, but I thought I
would give you two things that will help you along with this.
1)The first step is understanding WHAT emotions are and HOW
these are experienced and COMMUNICATED for your child.
Remember that emotions are experienced as PHYSICAL
sensations in the body, but that they are also a THOUGHT process
that occurs in our minds, which is further articulated through our use
of language.
So particularly for younger children and children with autism, there
can be a couple of additional challenges with emotions because of
they way they may be perceiving their emotions physically (due to a
different sensory profile) and differently to how we would expect.
And in addition to this, they may not have the skills or knowledge on
how they can give this feeling a label and then express it verbally
-and this could be further hampered due to challenges finding
words for feelings and or expressive language delays).
The second step is to then help them with linking these emotions
onto the correct facial expression or word for what it is they are
feeling. You can do this via the use of visuals, prompts and
supportive parenting to assist them make the link between their
feelings and a label for these feelings. This process of naming and
labelling our emotions in turn helps to reduce the intensity and
return to a calmer state more easily.
So I hope that these two steps helps you to understand and help
your child with their emotions.

Kate

How do I help my child with their emotions?

Music

#contentology #music

Music is a powerful creator of emotion, memory and movement. It
has the ability to transpire us to exact moments in time or a period
of time. It also operates on an unconscious level as well, in that we
may be unaware of memories associated with a song until we hear
it.
I have that happen in my yoga infusion class, where if I hear the
tracks that we do our ab workout to, my body remembers
immediately!-not necessarily fondly!
Recently I was asked to pick a song that could be an anthem for
this year. Although I have so many music loves, I picked a song
that had been recently resonating with me, just because it was a
new song I was enjoying. It does not have profound lyrics, it’s not
by one of my favourite music artists, BUT it does remind me of
warm summer evenings of being carefree and unwinding. And now
it is winter and this feeling is needed more than ever! So Harry
Styles ‘Watermelon Sugar’ is playing as I write!
I love how a favourite song has the power to shift your mood,
encourage you to move your body-all the things that creates a
release of that feel good brain chemical dopamine. Getting more of
this is a positive move for our mental health and wellbeing and a
way to prevent and assist with depression.
So what song gets you moving and what song creates a happy
grove for you, or ignites memories that are great to relive?

Make sure you get some music in your day today and sing along if
the mood takes you!

Kate x

Feel Good Music

Family Mental Health

#contentology #motivate #family #mentalhealth #kids

For me, when things get difficult, when I don’t think I have energy
left in me, my children and knowing that I have the power to
improve their life, to influence them in a great way, is what gives the
extra push to keep going, to keep working, to keep expecting more
of myself and to keep learning.

They are our teachers at the same time, they are there to be taught
and guided and supported. Their mental health and wellbeing is
more important than most (if not all) other items that try to take our
attention and time, so let that guide you.

Let your families motivate you to make difficult choices, push
yourself out of your comfort zone and to do what needs to be done.
I know my family is worth it to me and I know yours is worth it to
you.

Keep going, you’ve got this,

Kate

Motivate your family to be healthier