The Fast and the Slow

The Fast and the Slow

Sometimes it feels like the more I try to do “quickly” “out of the way” and then I can go do my morning routine the less I get done or at least not without a great deal of struggle. Face palms away!

If I just say you know, I’m going to go do my morning routine first and then everything else I feel much better, things get done very smoothly and well indeed and I don’t find myself wondering where did all the day gone and how did nothing get done at all?

Some snippets from the past few days and this morning.

How was your morning so far?

Mornings for Practice, No Thinking – Qigong 气功

Mornings for Practice, No Thinking – Qigong 气功

In my last two posts (here, here) I have been writing about my recent adoption of 气功 practice and I mentioned a video which was available, and then unavailable, now it is available again. Below is the updated link for the video.

No more talking, time to practice!

Update to Qi Gong Daily Routine – A Quiet Place on the Inside 八段锦

Update to Qi Gong Daily Routine – A Quiet Place on the Inside 八段锦

I have been doing Qi Gong everyday following the videos uploaded on the channel I mentioned in the last post, by Master Shi Heng Yi. I noticed that the video I linked in my last post is not available now, hopefully not gone forever. In the meantime here is an alternative one you can use. I do this when I am very short on time many things to do, at least 20 minutes were for my practice, then I go take care of my tasks, practice some more later in the day and evening. There are many minutes in 24 hours!

Please try and let me know what you think. How wonderful if we are all practising qigong, yoga and meditation around the world.

Setting the Heart into a Quiet Place with Shaolin Arts

Setting the Heart into a Quiet Place with Shaolin Arts

The teacher appears when the student is ready. Or when the algorithm does a thingy. 

I came across a video of a Shaolin master teaching qigong, 释恒義 (Shi HengYi). Hmm, I thought, always wanted to get into qigong but never really did fully. I do a bit here and there from time to time but not regularly. Then I came across a talk the Master gave. Some wheels turned and I went back to the qigong video. 

The teaching was very clear, straightforward and simple to follow. It was a big yes for me. 

I had been experiencing a great deal of anxiety and negative thought patterns but after this I felt calmer. In Chinese there is an expression “定心丸 (tranquil pill)” – it is not an actual tablet but just something that helps a person to feel settled. The words 定心 literally means to set (put into order) the heart. This practice seems to work like that for me. It has provided me so much relief.

I also felt my energy levels were replenished and my body more healthful. I don’t know that I looked any different but I felt like I should be practically glowing and shooting sparks afterwards (in a good way – I feel like I need to add this).  

Over this weekend there were live sessions and the time difference was alright. The morning session worked out to be noon for me and the afternoon session was 9pm. I slept SOOOOOOO deeply and peacefully. After the morning/noon session I was tranquil and balanced. Hopefully there will be more live sessions to join, in the meantime I will practice from what is already available (there is plenty). 

If you are worried about your fitness levels, the sessions from this weekend can even be done seated. In my experience, the energy cost was much lower than the benefit afterwards. A very fair exchange!

It is my goal to improve the atmosphere (vibe if you want to use that word) around my person so when you come near me or know me you can feel better. Obviously we are all responsible for our own selves so how much a person can benefit another in that way is ??? But I would like to try to improve myself in this manner, in the end it will only help even if it is just myself who gets the benefit.

All this is not to say oh, definitely, yes, you should or you must try this out or even try the teachings from this Master. There are other teachers who provide this teaching. I’ll just add that 释恒義 is the Headmaster of the Shaolin Temple in Europe. Just because someone is a Headmaster does not always mean they are a good teacher but in this instance, he is a great teacher. The main thing (for me) is the skill at transmitting the lesson.

In the end the aim is to take this practice and make it your own to continue. All I can say is, this is what I’m doing. I have been practising for a brief period and I will continue doing this practise as it has already been very beneficial to me. If you already practise a form of breath based movement like yoga or Pilates this may be of interest to you to include in your life. 

This is not intended to be a long thing, I just wanted to share what I have been studying, this is available to everyone, this is free and here it is. 

By the way, you will need to move the start time a bit further along until the session actually starts, around 20-30 minutes or so.

I wish you balance and harmony. Have a great day! 

EDIT:

I have been doing Qi Gong everyday following the videos uploaded on the channel I mentioned in the last post, by Master Shi Heng Yi. I noticed that the video I linked in my last post is not available now, hopefully not gone forever. In the meantime here is an alternative one you can use. I do this when I am very short on time many things to do, at least 20 minutes were for my practice, then I go take care of my tasks, practice some more later in the day and evening. There are many minutes in 24 hours!

Jingle jingle – Christmas Cray

Jingle jingle – Christmas Cray

christmas tree love ballon

as usual I have left gift wrapping to the last minute. and this year I had the gall to pick up a few bits and bobs for the stocking for the child. Fun! I thought. Sure it is, until it comes time to wrap them. Do we wrap stocking fillers? I scratched my head trying to remember as I wrestled with the scotch tape dispenser. I’m telling myself that tomorrow morning we shall have tea, eggnog (vegan!), meditate and then open presents. Unless my terribly wrapped presents unwrapped themselves in the night, oops.

Happy Holidays!

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Book Club: In search of my Zen (mother) nature. Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali

Book Club: In search of my Zen (mother) nature. Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali

I know I am not the only mother who tussles with the notion that she is not as calm as she would like to be. Frustrations arise and sleep is hard to come by. So are a few minutes alone to shower let alone meditate on our mental state. Meditate?! When? When there is laundry to put away or when our children need to be fed or when when when. Meanwhile it feels like the world keeps spinning for everyone else, off they go to the gym or to the shops or for a poo. Lucky.

Envy. Worry. Anger. It’s a yuck feeling to have come over you. And it hurts if you have always felt you are a naturally positive and strong person. Suddenly you feel weak and quite low. A few months ago I bought a book called Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali. I don’t have a lot of time to read it in one sitting but I keep it nearby and when The Child is happy to we dip into it and have a ponder together. I read a little more when TC sleeps.

(by the way I am not sponsored and anyway I bought my copy off Booktopia for the Qantas FF points)

More than anything I am searching for a way to navigate evolving into a Mother whilst still maintaining everything else that I am and can be. At the same time I want to be PRESENT, and here for my child. I discover every night how important it is to be present with my child. We have a more loving, peaceful and happy evening if the day was spent in a calm manner than not. Duh. On days I look at a page or two I seem to be able to maintain a sense of insight over my feelings and practice some semblance of mindfulness.

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Chakra Can! Creating Opportunities to Realign

Chakra Can! Creating Opportunities to Realign

chakras crystals and legs

I felt the surge of jealousy the other day. It’s not a feeling I experience very often anymore but this time, oooooooh, I was so envious. I was jealous of a woman walking down the street hugging a yoga mat because she was off to a yoga class, I’m guessing. I managed to add a “Enjoy!” to the “Ahhhhh so lucky!” but there is no getting away from the fact I was jealous.

I haven’t been to a class since having my baby. I’ve done some home practice and teaching but I haven’t been to a class and felt that sensation of being surrounded with other people breathing, moving, sun saluting, chanting and so on in such a long time. The excitement of clutching your mat and padding over to the studio, flip flops slapping at the ground as you walked. Being tapped on the shoulder to be stronger in a posture. Being adjusted. I miss it a lot. Especially an adjustment. That would be so nice!

I’ve been teaching yoga for a few years but I still love going to class as a student. I think it’s really important.

I’m sure I am not the only parent who has missed something from before life changed for a long time. For the most part, I am fine with keeping up my yoga studies on my own but once in a while I feel off. Full moon, new moon, teething (the baby, not me), mercury retrograde, sleep schedule changes (everyone), jet-lag, any of the above could come into play and suddenly I find myself feeling out of sorts.

I think The Child sensed this because whenever we have been playing with our crystals I keep winding up with them being planted all over me hahaha.

Mama, check yo chakras.

Yoga, Pilates and meditation are what I always rely on to maintain myself and I loved attending a class when I needed an extra boost of encouragement so it’s tricky when I haven’t got the chance to go to a class. Most of the year we live overseas and there isn’t any kind of creche at the gym. Unless the gym has changed, I don’t know, I haven’t seen the inside of that place since having my baby hahaha.

BUT. This week I’m back in Sydney and my mum sweetly said she would take the baby whilst I ducked into class, tomorrow. I am SO EXCITED. And nervous. ???? Hahaha. Does it count as an opportunity I created? Well, I thought so hard about wanting to go experience being in a class that mum heard my brain. She’s a huge mind reader and the creator this time around. But I think the next opportunity will be created by my ASKING FOR HELP.  I know I am not the only parent who has to practice that move more. Not everyone is a mind reader like my mum. We need to speak up!

I hope you give yourself the opportunity to realign when you need to. xx

creating opportunities to realign crystals chakras

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Are you a good meditator? One tip to become a good, even great meditator.

Are you a good meditator? One tip to become a good, even great meditator.

So what is a good meditator? The one who meditates.” – Allan Lokos

Just start! Even one minute of meditation is better than nothing. If even one minute seems like forever start slow, try counting to ten, next time to twenty, slowly increasing the time you spend in meditation. You are a good meditator the moment you start to meditate!

img_3883

 

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Sharing the Inspiration – Maroon 5 by Nevrmind

Sharing the Inspiration – Maroon 5 by Nevrmind

The Child and I are both really digging this song at the moment. I was even more into this song after seeing all these wonderful women featured in the video. I like the original (do you?) but THIS VERSION IS SOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD. Definitely on repeat.

I think it even makes a good accompaniment to some of my Pilates videos. (Do you?)

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How to Look Put Together QUICKLY in One Move – Style Files

How to Look Put Together QUICKLY in One Move – Style Files

Cue the Smudgy Mirror Series!

Mango Jumpsuit mustard textureMango Jumpsuit mustard texture closeup

Wearing Mango Polka Dot Jumpsuit

My original title for this article was going to be, “How to Quickly Look Put Together, Even Expensive, but Without Feeling Really Awkward and Uncomfortable“.

Words of wisdom I told myself and my mother whilst shopping one day, “If you got a pair of pants in a print or colour in a particular fabric and there is a matching top GET IT.” Straight up this could sound like a recipe for basically buying ridiculous head to toe outfits that one will never wear because one looks like one is in one’s pyjamas but not the fabulous striking pyjama look a la Gucci or Pucci or Celine but more like I haven’t got my crap together today and just left my house in my pyjamas because I am telling myself they totally look like a throwback to when velour tracksuits were so IN. No, not what I mean. Also, someone please bring back velour tracksuits. Sometimes, you get a pair of pants and they are FABULOUS and you just cannot wait to wear them, until, oh no, the heck do I wear with them up top. Get the set. When you wear head to toe of one print, fabric, colour, it is nearly always flattering. But sometimes sets can end up looking bulky because there is just too much fabric or they break the body up. When you get a jumpsuit that is all one colour, fabric, print the eye travels easily down the line and you end up looking elongated and better yet, you look put together.

I haven’t always worn jumpsuits, they can look quite overally and also depending on how they’re made, SUCH A PAIN to go to the loo. And then I remember I found this really slinky jersey jumpsuit in a deep dark navy. Two years ago (?) I wore that to a friend’s wedding with a pale blush blazer, 5 months pregnant. Soooooo comfortable and I peed twice easily, nobody guessed I was pregnant, it was THAT FLATTERING. I think depending on how it is cut and put together, the fabric finds your natural waist and then falls gently over your curves, swishing over everything. Last month I was in Singapore and I saw a girl wearing a crisp white jumpsuit that had embroidery all over the torso, it looked AMAZING on her. So crisp, breezy and fresh! The legs were almost like culottes. After that is when I turned to my mum and said, “I think jumpsuits are the way to go.” Hours after that we came across this Mango jumpsuit and it was love at first sight.

Mango Jumpsuit mustard texture closeup

I was in desperate need for some quality sleep when I took this photo (I’ll get it when the baby goes to college, I know, it’s fine, momlife blah blah, I get it!) and I hadn’t done my hair or makeup but I felt sooooooooo comfy and happy. If only cameras could capture FEELINGS. We were rushing out to dinner in 15 minutes and I knew exactly what I would wear. If I really wanted to I could slick on some red lipstick. But I was pretty much DONE. For less than $100 I’m really happy with my Mango jumpsuit. The buttons don’t button anything but the fabric has a beautiful crepe like texture that is super comfortable and has enough give to make it breastfeeding friendly. I’m having a really silly issue at the moment though because it is over in Sydney and I’m in Jakarta. I have lost count the number of times I’ve considered getting another one so I can wear it NOW. Hahaha ugh. Is that stupid? Yes, ok, I know.

I have a lot of love to give when it comes to finding an easy to wear outfit so I found a few more options to love but they had to meet my list of requirements.

These are my requirements:

  1. they need to be a comfortable fabric that is low maintenance (no steam cleaning or ironing)
  2. they need to be good quality but reasonably priced (I went with nothing over $200 – there is a splurgey one but it’s SO AUDREY, but we will tell each other it is only to look at. I’m over buying something cheap that looks cheap after one wash cycle. It’s got to have staying power.)
  3. wide straps and a clean neckline (you can wear a normal bra for better support if you want, but my main reason is this gives a cleaner look, easy to style and is universally flattering)
  4. comfortable (NO CATSUITS! I basically want to be able to go to lunch and not feel like a button is going to pop . They also need to be easy to put on and off, you know, to pee or to breastfeed, hopefully not at the same time!)
  5. easy style that won’t date (I do not want to come back to it next season and think “yikes, no thank youuuuuu!“. I’m after classic, everlasting, wardrobe staple type stuff which is why it can be a print but not a really crazy print.)

jumpsuits my pick

Clockwise from top left:

By Free People in black or purple also comes in red

Some reviewers said that the strap came off really suddenly but the majority said nope nothing like that happened. I wonder if it might just be a matter of how you put it on? 

By Eileen Fisher 

This is EXPENSIVEEEEEE. Very Audrey Hepburn though! I think if you were doing a total overhaul of your closet and sticking to a very modest number of outfits only (for the rest of your life haha) then this is one to consider. If it’s good quality and you’ll wear it often for a long time, then I think it’s alright. (Do not quote me) A good quality bag, shoes, maybe a scarf and that’s it. Oh and the big black sunglasses, of course. Not convenient for breastfeeding but not everyone has that as a consideration! I’ve worn something similar recently but it was a two piece. I felt comfortable and elegant, really! I’m including this jumpsuit but we’ll probably just leave it as a look not buy for now. 

By Eileen Fisher, a little more casual

You could still find ways to dress it up for evenings. A blazer or a jacket and smarter shoes would do the trick.

By Free People, this comes in a few colours

I like this creamy sand colour best.

What do you think of jumpsuits? Do you dig them?

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