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  • Writer's pictureBecs Mansfield

How can we find balance in a world in constant change?

Updated: Nov 18, 2022

Today is Mental Health Awareness Day - and I am feeling it...


I'm Becs and I'm a certified Modern Meditation teacher. Here to share meditation and wellbeing guidance with individuals and organisations.


We've now moved into Autumn. The Autumn Equinox is when the day and night are of equal length, before we move into the darker half of the year. We can use the theme to pause, reflect and find balance. In the summer months we can use the sun's warm and lively energy to create more outward focussed action. As we move towards the winter months we can find rest, just like the retreating of the sun. The Autumn Equinox (and Spring Equinox) call for balance. Introducing a self care routine during this time will help you find balance between focussing your energy outwards, and turning your attention inwards...

This paragraph above I began writing last weekend and it's as far as I got. Today is now Mental Health Awareness Day. To be honest today I don't feel very well. We haven’t always given the same importance to mental health as to physical health. We all have mental health. Just like our physical health, our mental health is on a continuum. Sometimes we may experience maximum mental wellbeing, but then sometimes we may also experience minimum mental wellbeing. In the last week I have felt to some extent both (that is relative to me).


I had lots of ideas for creating a positive blog about finding balance coming into the new season and embracing this time of change. But now as I sit in bed on a Monday morning unwell, I'm being more gentle. I really feel like I can go from being incredibly positive to deeply emotional, depending on what is happening. Up until a few years ago I treated my self a bit like a machine. High functioning no matter how I was feeling or what I was experiencing. No acceptance and very little care for ebbs and flows. I was a human doing and needed to reconnect with my human being.


We need to open up the conversation, it’s okay to not be okay. One in four people in the UK experience mental health issues each year. Even as a meditation teacher I'm not okay today. I wish I could be leading meditations today and spreading positive vibes - I don't think that makes me an imposter. It can be helpful to ask our self do we feel mentally unwell due to a mental health problem or due to a situation that is causing upset or stress. I'm not an expert. But I'm sharing this post today, to share my experience and offer guidance to others. Whether you are experiencing symptoms of stress, burnout or overwhelm - whatever word relates to you - we can make small changes to improve our resilience. We can learn to practice self care to improve our mental health. Taking space for ourself will allow us to feel relaxed, re-set, and energised ~ and bring us back to balance.


As with the change in the season, the change in our energy, the change in our mood - we can become aware....


"Change is the only constant in life."

~ Heraclitus (Greek philosopher)

As the leaves change colour and start to fall, as we watch the moon wax and wane... we can work with natural rhythms, embrace the moods and be in a steady flow of what is. We can set intentions based on how we really feel in this moment. Honouring the you you are today. You are not the same you as yesterday, or the same you as you will be tomorrow. Being true to what feels right for you right now - what will bring more joy and aliveness to your day?


Here are some practices to relieve stress and find balance... It's useful to have a few 'tools' in our 'toolbox' for whenever we need.


Breathe!

The quickest way to activate the parasympathetic nervous system - our rest and digest state – is by conscious breathing. If you're stressed you will have activated your sympathetic nervous system - your fight flight reaction. Focus your attention on how it feels to inhale fully and release the breath fully. Take a deep inhale, deep into your belly. Notice your belly rise. And then slowly exhale and notice the belly fall.


You can try inhale for 4 seconds, breath out for 5 seconds.

Then inhale for 5 seconds, breath out for 6 seconds.

Then inhale for 6, breath out for 7. And so on.


The trick here is lengthening the exhale.


Be present

Focus on wherever you are and whatever you're doing. We can fully bring our attention to the present moment, rather than being distracted by our thoughts. I like to do this whilst drinking a cup of tea. Really noticing how it feels to hold the warm cup and paying attention to the action of it. Starting with the attention on the cup and then opening up to the world around. (Not scrolling on your phone at any given moment!)


Connect to nature

Nature helps us to connect to what is real. Rather than be stuck in our heads worrying. When we think of nature we may be critical of our surroundings (trust me I live in Stockport!). But go for a walk wherever you are and notice nature. Bring your attention to any trees, plants, flowers, puddles, birds, the sky, dog poo... There will always be nature for you to connect to.

Meditation

Set the intention to have a daily meditation practice. They say the best way to form a new habit is to attach it to something you already do – so when you turn on the kettle in the morning? When we bring our attention to the present moment - such as bringing our attention to the body - our attention is not ruminating over thoughts making us feel overwhelmed, anxious or stressed. Our body and mind will start to relax. Here is the mantra I like to start with...


"I am exactly where I planned to be.

I am doing exactly what I planned to do.

There is no where else to be. There is nothing else to do."


Journaling

Take the time to reflect on how you feel and what thoughts are happening in the mind. You can ask yourself each day “how do I feel physically?” and “how do I feel emotionally”. I could go on with other journaling ideas, so here's a few for now...


~ What is my daily intention?

~ How can I practice self care?

~ What activity will I practice being present today?

~ Thoughts and feelings?

~ Gratitude

~ Reflection


As I sit here and write this I do not look smiley and well dressed out for a walk like in my photo above. But I have created space for my self, spending time journalling in my notebooks. Letting go of expectation and just being with how I am feeling today. Taking the time to slow down, relax and turn my intention inwards. Finding space for stillness, quietness and self awareness. Whether you practice meditation or not, we can bring our attention to the change happening around us. Through a shift of perspective we can notice we are the centre, the still point in the middle ~ and we can change how we respond. Allow yourself to find some stillness and clarity ~ and then when you are ready set your intentions to help find balance in a world in constant change.


“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

~ Rumi (poet)



I am here to share my experience and offer meditation and wellbeing guidance with others. I want to empower people to know they can change, from the inside out. If you found this stuff interesting please subscribe, comment and share with your family and friends. Each month I'll explore a different theme on meditation and wellbeing topics. Get in touch if you have any questions or if you would like us to work together.




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1 commentaire


cpeden20
10 oct. 2022

Love this! Really appreciate your honesty and openness, it’s so important to make clear that just because you practice self care or are helping others to, it’s totally natural to sometimes feel low and maybe lost in it all. Thank you x

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