By Ishita B Saha: I have managed to convince myself that mindfulness and meditation aren’t my kind of stuff. And what’s the need for them anyway? I can twist my mind the way I want to think… only I had been failing quite a few times lately. Sugar is bad for health – yes, I know but I am not being able to do without it. Sleeping late or less isn’t good either (here’s our Sleep article) – I know but there seems so much to do, and always! A day and a night spent in the lap of the sand and desert landscape in an incredible surrounding ~ with heavy clouds descending upon the sand dunes as we prepared ourselves for a yoga session, this was Alma Retreat in Ras al Khaimah. Wrapped in simplicity, the retreat has various programmes like colour and art session, mindfulness, yoga, meditation etc. I created my vision board (right) on canvas following an amazing art session on colours and chakras by Sarah Abdelal from Soul Art Center at the retreat. The colours I had chosen were blue, indigo, orange, yellow and purple ~ all reflecting the areas that I wanted to work on… the third eye and intuition, creativity and emotion, health and spirituality. Art gives me solace, happiness and helps me to #bringbackbalance and visiting art exhibitions used to be my hobby once upon a time. A lot of emotions gushed through my mind as I picked up the brush and colours after such a long time! Guided meditation and mindfulness sessions have helped me to chalk down a few things that I want to incorporate in my daily life so that I can be grateful for each and every moment that I get to experience in my life.
The power of words
I have been reading various books lately which talk about self development and harness more positivity in one’s life. I jot down points that resonates with me and make it a point to ‘remember’ to apply a few of them in my daily life. I practically chase after words, for example, magic or miracles, which I think would change my life and try to seek them in my daily life – as I go out for my daily walk with the dogs, browsing through social media, reading the morning newspaper. And believe me, they seem to appear more frequently from nowhere – in roadside posters or in a restaurant name!
It’s all there in nature and around you
Breathing in a sunrise, or the filtering rays of the early morning sun and letting a fluttering butterfly guide your way – nature has all the magical powers that you need. I try to make a creative fun project focusing on one element from nature. I deliberately joined Instastory late, but I use it as my daily dose of creative fun. For example, the other day I clicked pictures of objects that were heart-shaped ~ some I found in nature and some in our home. I sew together a story and dedicated it to the Mental Health Awareness Month – the month of May. The message being ~ before harnessing thoughts of self harm or self negation, if you look around you will find so many love symbols surrounding us, be it through gifts from a loved one or a souvenir from a place that holds affectionate memories, that you will be filled with positivity. From love shaped trinkets to wind chimes, I found them all!
Pick up the pen
No, not your touch pad or the word document in your digital device but pick up the pen and a notebook for traditional note taking of your mind – heard the saying ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’? Well, it’s apparently true. As I learnt from Sarah Abdelal from Soul Art Center, writing down your wishes and goals daily in a journal can help to manifest them into reality.
Keep your tasks and goals simple
My daily tasks are simple nowadays – my two daughters (aged 13 and aged 8) have chalked down a few tasks on pretty pebbles we collected on our walks (featured image). I pick up one task each day and concentrate on that throughout the day. I was thrilled to find at my last stocktaking(!), that I have danced, laughed, dreamt, walked, sang, read, wrote, loved much more since I have started following this idea, than I have done in the last few months!
For our #BringBackBalance events, we created gifts like simple affirmation cards consulting with our guest speaker Tanuka Gupta, a Clinical Psychologist and Wellness coach. Succulents that you can keep on your work table or any neglected but visible space like the window sill or a counter, coasters with simple messages and tasks that one can share over social media etc. These appear simple, but they are very powerful reminders that can tune the mind into being happy and encouraging mental productivity every single day.
Practice mindfulness wherever you are
Meditation needn’t be the oft photographed visions with perfect postures of silhouettes against a backdrop of calmness and solitude. If you ask me, my home is far from being zen. My Buddha sits in a wild garden with two barking dogs and two opinionated girls who are growing up with fiercely independent minds. I learnt that meditation is when your mind doesn’t think of anything at all and is at peace, and mindfulness is all about being in the present moment. Tanuka breaks it down very easily for this scattered ‘creative’ brain and assures that one could mediate anywhere and be mindful at anytime. We did a session of mindfulness and meditation with her in the coach while going to our event at Al Maha. Today, when I cook for my family or friends, that is mediation for me. Or when I switch off the lights at night in each room and shut the doors behind me, that is mindfulness for me as I am reminded of what I have been surrounded with ~ a beautiful family, loving friends and a job that is of my choosing and I love!
Ishita quips in:
- start again from today… that’s my mantra
- seek out simple words like magic and miracles in daily life
- have fun… ask kids around you for tips
Leaving my soul in Alma Retreat ~ well, kind of!
Jumping out of the comfort zone
Everything is in the mind, I am told and all you need to do is to tune your mind to it. So, I tuned my mind into doing something out my comfort zone and dipped into a pool with 350kgs of ice in the name of a therapy! Cryotherapy is considered very good for muscle relaxation and this was just one of the coolest activities in my weekend wellness retreat at Alma ~ literally, for rejuvenation of mind and body! Have you done something similar this year which has shaken you out of the comfort zone or chilled you to the bone?
Alma Retreat will be closed during summer and will reopen once the weather cools down. For more info on the various weekend packages and programs or memberships, visit: www.iamalma.com.
Our #BringBackBalance Event’s guest speaker Tanuka Gupta, is a Clinical psychologist and Wellness Coach of repute. For more info on psychological counseling and angelic healing, visit her website: www.soullighttanuka.com
[Exclusive images by Ishita B Saha]