Why we find it so very hard to choose…

Hello lovely humans

It has been a little while since I posted on the blog. Life has been good to me, I have been going through a period of huge reflection and change and it can take time, I find, for things to recalibrate and for the all to come back into a natural order.

It’s Halloween, today, I am dressing up as Jeff Bezos strapped to his penis rocket. I’ll share photos next week.

It’s an interesting choice of costume, perhaps.

I have been thinking a lot about choosing.

How are you with choosing? Do you find it a simple thing? Second nature? If someone asks what it is that you want are you able to answer without a necessity to frantically filer what comes to you through a ‘what will they think?’ machine inside? To throw it back to the asker? To always say ‘I don’t mind’ ‘whatever you think’ ‘I’m easy’…

I hope so. That choosing is easy for you.

I have been working with choosing for a year, almost exactly. ‘Working with choosing?’ Perhaps that sounds weird. But it has been fascinating, enlightening and pretty cool, for me. Let me explain.

I realised I was not comfortable, often, with choosing. That things that had happened meant that I didn’t feel I deserved the choice or that if I was brave enough to choose what I wanted that I would be punished in some way. The things we do with what happens to us can manifest in all kinds of curious ways. This just happened to be one of mine. And if I was to be the teacher, the human, I wanted to be, knew I could be, I needed to begin to choose.

I started small. Choosing what I would eat for my breakfast, early in the morning, before the rest of my family woke up. I had this hilarious few months where I found the easiest thing for me to choose was what fruit I would like… so through this period I steamed and stewed a lot of fruits for breakfast time. I tried all kinds of fruits I’d never come across before and ate them in a variety of ways that made me happy. Choosing what I wanted, needed, each day instead of quickly grabbing a piece of toast in the chaos of the school run was a daily treat that it was quite easy to turn into a habit. I also chose to take time to eat and to make it a mindful practise.

It is one of those things that I didn’t really notice the impact of for a long time, but like building muscle, this small practise of choosing began slowly to unfold in other areas of my life. I notice, now, how much easier it is to choose ‘on to spot’, so-to-speak, to be more decisive and more able to recognise my own needs in day-to-day life and interactions.

As a yoga teacher, offering choice is something I believe to be extremely important in creating safety in classes. Why? Because many of us have had experiences where choice was, at least in our perception, taken away.

The births of my children are an example of this for me. Trauma has been described as “an experience of having no choice,” and to me it is key that in opposition to that, my yoga classes always invite all to have different physical experiences, where eveeyone can make a variety of choices about what to do with the body.

Offering choice feels kind and inclusive, To offer options (variations, for example, on a posture, not with one posture as the ‘ideal’ and the others as poor cousins, but as equal variations) whilst eliminating judgment, “If you’d like to try something different, do this…” is so kind and invites those in classes to begin working on choosing too.

When I go to classes, I find that It’s incredibly powerful to be handed permission to rest or modify postures because so many of us struggle to give that permission to ourselves. Over time, when we’re offered the permission to choose ourselves, we may just find that this begins to change. We work toward ‘I give myself permission to choose.’

So, how do you feel about choosing? I really would love to know.

Sending you all heaps of love



Affirmations For Moving Through Anxiety

When I taught last weekend at This Life Divine we worked with a list of affirmations from my own little library that I have been building and several people have been in touch to ask if I could share, so today I thought I would.

Affirmation is fast becoming one of the tools I turn to first when I need to adult myself, soothe myself, and when I work with intention. I plan to run a series of workshops this year exploring different aspects of taking ourselves on, each using affirmation in our practise in a number of different ways. The first is coming up next month, where we will be exploring safety. You can find out more about that here:

Affirmations for moving through anxiety:

I Am Safe
I Am Calm
I Am Peaceful
I Am Gentle
I Can Choose
I Have Time
I Have Space
I Am Patient
I Am Present To My Life
I Belong
I Love My Body
I Am Safe In My Body
I Am Kind
I Am Kind to Myself
I Give Myself Permission
I Can Make Decisions With Conviction
I Love My Mind
I Deserve
I Am Creative
I Am Brave
I Am Strong
I Am Proud Of Me
I Feel Connection
I Love
I Am Loved
My Nature Is Divine
I Have No Fear
I Have No Pain
I Am
I Can
I Love My Life
My Life Loves Me

How to use affirmation?

Some like to affirm looking in a mirror. Some like to quietly recite one affirmation whilst breathing gently. I like to keep a list, a long list, that I add too and then to reflect in my daily practise on affirmations to work with on any given day. I then use them with my breath practise and sometimes with posture.

There is no right or wrong way. But the repitition of an affirmation practise is what begins to create transformation. It aids in neural plasticity. In changing the avenues that your mind has been programmed to meander down (or shoot down) most regularly.

I wrote recently about my own use of affirmation and how it helps me and it is something I very much intend to continue exploring over this year.

A Week of Reflections, Part 3: You Are More Powerful Than You Can Imagine

Hello lovely humans,

As I close my week of posts in which I reflect on some of the many lessons I have learned through 2020, through the journey to becoming a Kundalini Global yoga teacher and all that the experience of that began to shift in all other aspects of my life, I wanted to talk a little (again, such huge topics, I so wish I could write all day!) about something I have completely fallen in love with: affirmation. Why? Because beginning a daily affirmation practise has shown me, in a HUGE way, the power of the quantum field.

To put it simply, what we affirm, what we say to the universe, really does have an impact on our reality as it appears to us. If we constantly say that everything in our lives is stressful and shitty and depressing or dull, if we call ourselves stupid or unworthy or say ‘I hate my life’ (or, constantly use the hashtag #fml on social media!) then guess what? That is what the universe will show you. Again and again. You can think of it in terms of confirmation bias or you can think of it in terms of neural plasticity and how our minds create new pathways based off of new and repeated thoughts/habits etc. You can think of it in terms of quantum physics. Or magic. Or connection. Divine intervention. It doesn’t matter how you frame it. What matters is that, in my experience, changing how you talk about yourself and your reality, beginning to step away from negative self-talk, playing with affirming what it is that you want from life… it works. It creates transformation.

We can create our own change. We have inherent power that we have been programmed not to tap in to. All of us. No exclusions.

The patriarchy, social media, the media… huge companies and entrenched systems that it’s so easy to become bound by… they want to make us small. They want to keep us fearful… to rely on going back to buy, to like, to comment, to be offended… they know that we will keep going back if we are scared as a way to try and soothe ourselves. As a way to feel we’re a part of something. As a way to try and feel we have some control, some autonomy, in how we feel.

But we do have agency. We do have a means to take the reins of our reality. And it can, in part, come from what and how we affirm.

I’m utterly fascinated by how impactful introducing affirmation in to my day has become. I have a list, I add to it and edit it regularly. In it I focus on what it is that is tripping me up at that time. Perhaps I am feeling lacking academically, I may affirm ‘I love my mind’ ‘I am intelligent.’ I affirm what I want or what I need to hear. I believed for a long time I could only be reassured by the ‘other’ – from outside of me. I am coming to realise that what I always wanted, the reassurance that never quite came, I can give that to myself… and from there I can step out to help others do the same.

Today I worked with 5 affirmations in my own private daily practise. They were:

I can choose.
I give myself permission.
I love my mind.
I love my body.
I am safe.

The affirmation I use the most often is that final one – I am safe. It’s a good place to start. Always. To be, to feel, to believe you are safe enough. It isn’t possible to always be totally safe. But safe enough is an amazing place to be. From safety can come transformation.

We have to feel safe enough to change. We have to recognise we do not like how we feel, that our internal and eternal relationship to ourselves and the universe isn’t cutting it for us. In short, that we’re suffering.

From there we can make ourselves, in a variety of ways, safe enough. Safe enough to try something new. Safe enough to play with the power we hold.

Until that time all of the very many safety mechanisms we have built up around our lives that cause us suffering, safety mechanisms that we often can’t even recognise – in how we interact with others, in our relationship to food, in our anxiety, in how we use alcohol or sex or whatever it may be – things that we use to give ourselves an illusion of safety – it is too hard to put those safety mechanisms down.

I am safe. To affirm that. It’s one aspect in creating that. It may not be that simple for everyone. Believe me, my safety states are deeply deeply entrenched and I am still working on them tirelessly. But I am safe enough to wake up to new possibilities. In a big way this comes from my recognition that my safety states exist. And from there that I can, with the right tools, begin to put them down.

That’s why I write about affirmation today. For me it has been one of the most powerful tools of all.

I believe, wholeheartedly, that to affirm as part of a daily ritual is one of the most powerful tools we have in changing how we feel… In changing our minds! And yes, in creating safety.

I wholeheartedly recommend starting your own list of affirmations – you can do it on your notes app on your phone. Keep adding to it, edit it. Then read it aloud to yourself each day. Every day. I do it. It’s so so powerful…

And yet. 

I still do that thing… I go to put the cornflakes in the fridge and the milk in the cupboard, notice my error, bash myself on the forehead and proclaim out loud ‘ugh, I’m such an idiot’. I mean, that’s a fairy innocuous example, I know, but, like many people, I have a propensity for saying pretty horrible things about myself on the daily. I’m working on that. 

The reason that affirmation can work is because, especially when repeated day after day, it opens up the possibility of programming your mind into believing the stated concept. This is because the magical mind, whilst very clever and interesting, doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is a glorious and gorgeous fantasy (or a hellish one, of course, too!) 

If I tell the world i’m an idiot, not only will I more deeply engrain the statement in my own mind but, beyond, the universe will likely keep showing me all the ways I am. If I tell the world I am safe. I am creative. I am. I can. Things change. They really do.

I’ve written before about the very wonderful equation we work with in Kundalini Global: 

Breath x Posture x Intention = Transformation 

I went out for a long walk in the snow yesterday and my mind went to this equation, to how extremely powerful it is. How this little sum has completely changed my reality.

A little filmic scene came to my mind. I saw my 2020 as if I had been some kind of nerdy, dedicated maths professor coming to my desk each morning to work on solving the same simple sum. Baffled and in awe of how each time I come up with a different answer. 

But the desk was my mat. And rather than a numerical answer the outcome was laughter or tears, reluctance, strength, hundreds of different results over a year that’s led me through SO much change. 

It would be easy to glance at this magical equation and consider it small. It is truly enormous. Why? It can connect you to how powerful you truly are. As you work with it, as you begin to notice the small changes that come from working with the quantum field in this way, you begin to realise a truth: you can create your own change. Always. 

A teacher or a guru or a book or a video you watch on here or on YouTube – they can guide you toward that change. But it is you who holds the power. Always. 

In my free class tomorrow we are adding affirmation to the mix. Coming under the umbrella of our intention, we can affirm as we work with posture and breath. If we are doing a dynamic Cobra, we may usually imbue the posture with intention around releasing us from the stress system, or around opening the heart. To add affirmation changes the experience further, ‘I am open hearted’ we may affirm as we inhale up, ‘I am calm’ as we lower ourselves down. It’s so fascinating to become aware of our responses to affirmation as we begin to affirm positively. 

I hope to see lots of you in class, 2pm tomorrow. Until then, stay magical, stay powerful.

Sending all my love