Create a glimpse of mindfulness

Life can be stressful and hectic and we easily lose track of time and what does us good! Add to that the pressure of “you should” – exercise, meditate, be mindful, relax, sleep, read, educate further –  “at least every day for an x-amount” of time to succeed.

Don`t we all already have enough pressure and “to-do`s” in the day to day life? Why not simply embrace that we do something regularly but no matter for how long?

I often speak to others about relaxation, meditation, mindfulness or to simply be. But a lot are put off by the minimum time they “have to” dedicate every day to make it beneficial. I include myself here. I simply can`t dedicate 30-45 min daily. Already thinking that I “have to” makes me edgy – already working against the whole purpose of doing it. So in the past it ended for me in barely doing anything. Yet knowing that it does me good and I should do something. Leaving me frustrated. And so the dilemma begins. Can you resonate?

So instead of a time pressure I change my mindset and decided that: Doing something is better than nothing.

Until today I barely manage the 30-45 min recommendations but I benefit throughout the day from several “glimpses of mindfulness” as I call them. Just to simply become more aware in normal day-to-day situations and to take a moment to simply be, to notice small things like:

  • listening to the raindrops falling on the umbrella
  • watching the clouds go by and “name” their shapes
  • the smell and feeling of soap on my hands
  • be fully present when brushing my teeth
  • the way the water feels when having a shower
  • feeling my feet strong, firm and grounded on the floor
  • feeling the movement of my feet when I walk (and how it changes on different grounds, in different shoes)
  • simply gazing away into the nothing-ness
  • noticing the trees, the shape and colour of the leaves or the flowers when I walk
  • being really there while preparing a meal, while I cut the vegetables, stir the pot,
  • closing the eyes and really focusing on the sip of the coffee, tea, wine or water
  • experiencing the feeling, sensation and taste of the chocolate piece melting in my mouth
  • feeling the ice-cold drink and its condensation on the outside of the glass on a hot summers day
  • closing the eyes and feel the body sensation while going through the sun salutation sequence
  • or if I can do it I will spend 5, 10, 15 minutes to really meditate!
  • the list of small glimpses could go on…

It is not always easy, especially when one is out and about and busy. But I have a little rattle, a kind of bell in my bag and often when I walk I hear the little sound and it reminds me to slow down, to breathe, to be aware even if just for a short moment – for a little “glimpse”.

And it calms me down, no matter how hectic it is around me.  A moment of full awareness, giving me some great benefit without the time comittment, yet putting me at ease.

Of course a dedicated meditation or mindfulness practice is fantastic and super beneficial, there is no doubt about that. But striving for it during times when we may not be able to dedicate the recommended timeframe to it is wrong, too, I think.

To me, relaxation, meditation, mindfulness or how ever you may want to call it is not only about a certain time frame! It is not only about sitting upright, being still or lying down in a quite room. I won`t argue, that is often the ideal situation. But our situation is often not that ideal. And for me it is therefore so much more important to adapt and to become aware within my day to day life.

To be able to halt, stop, breathe, and to really be present in that moment, in the strangest situation and location! 

So stop looking for the perfect situation. Do not let the lack of a perfect scenario take away from the beneficial experience of becoming fully aware and “mindful” through your normal day. Rather learn to create your daily “glimpses of mindfulness”! No matter where or for how long!
Try it and you will hopefully see how even the smallest moments can put you at ease. 

Have a lovely day,

AK

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Parmesan Crackers

My kids love crackers and when we noticed we had no more, what better way than making your own?!

All done in less than 20min. We may just stop buying them as the options for flavours seem endless and they are so quick and easily done!

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Below please find a recipe I found in a magazine sometime ago. While the dough itself is nice we tend to add a bit more salt, springle sea salt on top. And next time I will try to add chili! Also, playing around with the herbs will give various possibilities! Or try a different flour?!

But here the base recipe that works for us.

Parmesan Crackers

225gr plain flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dried thyme

25gr parmesan cheese

125ml water

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

– preheat oven 230 deg C

– combine flour, salt, thyme and parmesan

– add water and olive oil and bring together into a dough. I find this easiest by hand.

– roll out 3mm or thinner if you like onto baking paper

– cut dough into squares, prick each square with a fork

– bake for 10min or until golden

Enjoy plain, with cheese, salami, ham, olives, salad, dips and whatever else may come to mind!

Have a lovely day

AK

 

 

 

 

Summer time – Salad time

I got fed up by what we were eating,  focusing too much on what the kids like, losing the balance in my meals and what I like. On top of that it got hot and nobody seems to be really hungry these days. So I took action and served hearty salad for dinner. Normal green salads do not go down too well with the kids and are less filling, so I tried to come up with something we can all enjoy and “experience” with!

The good thing about that kind of salad is that it can be easily adjusted to what individuals (meaning the kids)  like. The base is the same for all, and then we can all mix and match, kind of like emptying the fridge! A win-win on all sides!

 

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salad orzo

My base today was Orzo, after all I need to slowly ease the kids into all this! The next part of the base was whatever my daughter decided on, after all she was the one helping me today! She started to grate carrots, cucumber, red and orange pepper to give a lovely summer colour! Being in summer mood we added some olive oil, fresh lemon juice, parsley, lemon zest and salt and pepper.

For myself, I then spiced it up with Feta cheese, olives, avocado, finely chopped green salad leaves, grilled spicy peppers, chili – and then decided to stop!

But further ideas came to my mind, like bacon, eggs, peas, zucchini, chilli – the variations are endless! Oh the joy of just being able to add whatever you feel like!

After the kids saw my mixture they got a bit jealous and wanted to add more, too. They then decided spice it up some fresh parmesan cheese.

And just like that within a super short time we all had a healthy, filling summer dinner to each of our liking in front of us.

Don’t let salad be boring, embrace its endless possibilities!

Do you have a nice hearty salad idea you want to share with me?

Have a lovely day,

AK

Have fun and stay fit with a short beep test

Summer holidays started or are about to start. And if you have younger kids you know that means (very) limited time for yourself, let alone sports. Whether with kids, your partner, friends or alone a fun way to keep active and to increase endurance and speed for everybody is the “beep test”.

In short a beep test is a timed interval run of 20m within the beeps and your speed will have to increase by level.

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All you need are a 20m stretch to run, running shoes and a beep test, eg this one on youtube (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=L9OTnZI9gYo)

Try it, it is a great way for a short fitness outing with everybody!
“The great thing about the beep test is it won’t take you long at all. The vast majority of people will be done before they reach level 13, which takes less than 14 minutes. If you made it to this stage you’d have run just over 2.5 km, which is equivalent to 1.6 mile.”

More detailed information about the beep test can be found here:
http://www.5-a-side.com/fitness/the-beep-test-a-comprehensive-guide/

Why not use the holiday to track your improvements?

Happy “beeping” summer,

Have a lovely day
AK

Dear You – a poem

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I am not really a poem person but during the Mindfulness Course and as I continue with it I do come across some that speak to me. Below I like to share another one as a reminder to slow down now and then!
Take your cup of tea, coffee or you glass of wine or bubbly and sit back and take this moment to simply be!

Hope you enjoy,

Have a lovely day

AK

Dear You

Dear you,
You who always have
so many things to do
so many places to be
your mind spinning like
fan blades at high speed
each moment always a blur
because you’re never still.

I know you’re tired.
I also know it’s not your fault.
The constant brain-buzz is like
a swarm of bees threatening
to sting if you close your eyes.
You’ve forgotten something again.
You need to prepare for that or else.
You should have done that differently.

What if you closed your eyes?
Would the world fall
apart without you?
Or would your mind
become the open sky
flock of thoughts
flying across the sunrise
as you just watched and smiled.

~ By Kaveri Patel ~