For so many of us, this time of year bring its own peculiar mix of stresses, strains and opportunities. I was talking to a friend the other day about this and she said she felt that she was stumbling towards the end of the year. She had been working hard all year, juggling demands of her boss and also her family. She always felt she needed to be in three places at once and that somehow she wasn’t giving anyone, particularly the people she cared about the most, any quality time. She was finding the idea of the Christmas and New Year break scary and welcome in equal measure. She was looking forward to the break but she was worried about all the running about she would be doing to keep children fed, parents happy and her partner loved. When I asked where there was time for her in all this she just sighed and said, ‘I wish’.
It can be easy telling other people to look after themselves, but often very hard to do it oneself. So how do you find time for yourself when so much is going on around you? I found that when I was living in London, I would seek out Nature as a touchstone, a pathway back to myself. It took my mind out of the pressures of urban living and let me take a moment out to focus on where I was at. As I walked along a London street I would take notice of any plants or trees growing there and literally breathe them in. A plant could be something as seemingly insignificant as a buddleia shoot reaching out through a crack in a wall, but suddenly that plant would show me that even in the most difficult of circumstances there is a vital life force expressing itself, reaching out and upwards, life defiant in the face of so much concrete. Suddenly that small little plant became a strong and courageous ally.
The nature in you and the Nature around you
I still use plants and breath as a tool for a quick bit of ‘me’ time. Recharge time. Peaceful time. It can as simple as just taking a few seconds or a minute or two to just really observe a plant near me. I breathe it in slowly and as I breathe out, I imagine releasing my stress. I find it amazing that something so simple, so quick can help so much. It anchors me, makes me smile and helps me keep going.
We all have our own way of doing things and so for you it could be a walk in nature; in the garden, on the farm, in a park, by the sea, or in the bush. You could focus on a houseplant or admire flowers in a vase. You can do this without anyone else even noticing. You are just pausing for a moment and boy, there can be power in the pause! The simple art of stopping. Observing. Breathing in the shape, form and scent of that plant. Letting it help ground you and connect you to the living world around you. Magic.
If I am feeling a little overwhelmed by daily pressures I also try to use moments like waking up, or having a shower to create a picture in my mind of plants I love and breathe them in that way. It's quick and effective and is usually a time when you do have a moment to yourself.
Part of my desire in creating Archeus was also to create products that people can use that also help connect them to nature. I made the Archeus Aura sprays to help with creating these moments. I have made them from pure floral waters and essential oils, and to these I have also added Bach Flower Remedies. These remedies are extremely gentle and loved by many as they are said to help one deal with negative states of mind like stress, anxiety, fear of failure, worry, exhaustion and anger. Giving a quick spray of these around me and breathing them in is a lovely ‘ahhhh yes’ moment in a busy day.
So here's to your very own 'ahhh yes' moments.
I really hope that my friend does manage to take a moment with nature to help recharge herself. I know that I will be trying to do the same. And who knows, maybe this could help you as well. I do hope you enjoy the holiday season, make a few moments to breathe in nature around you, and I wish you all the very best for 2016.