It must be around five years ago when I tried to have a bath. I had the set-up nailed down. Fragrant candles lit, soothing products laid out, book to one side, little hand towel to wipe my hands so as not to wet the pages of my carefully selected reading material. I’d been in the bath for a few minutes when my dear friend and roomie, Roxy, came to witness this landmark achievement. She was greeted by me, sat bolt upright in the bath, surrounded by bathing paraphernalia and doing my very best to relax. Doing my very best to get it right. Just like everything else in my life. Desperately wanting to get it right. We laughed at this sorry state of affairs, as she held up her Roxstar-shaped mirror and taught me something new about myself.
Back in those days my resources were coffee, cigarettes, pretty good vegetarian food, great friends, eternal parties, sweet Mary Jane and a lot of wine. And beer. Lots of beer. Oh and tequila. We had a good time too. And Prince. Maybe there was some other stuff, but you get the picture. I used to work 7 days in 5, getting up at dawn to fit in a half day before 9am, driving to London and Edinburgh to generate as much business as possible, desperately trying to pay the taxman and hit outlandish targets I’d invented for myself. Trying to be all things to all men, women and children in a bid to prove my worth. To prove that I could earn lots of money, run a house, be ‘responsible’, be a grown up. All of which is utterly ridiculous for a girl who believes in unicorns and fairies.
To fuel my high-flying lifestyle, I used these tools to switch off, fire up, go the distance, numb out, cope, survive. And, don’t get me wrong, these were solid resources for me. They served me in pursuing my design. They got me jacked up on hyperlife and I could get all kinds of shit done. But then my vision started to change and I recognized that those everyday acts of disembodiment were putting my systems through all kinds of hell. All so I could earn more, do more, feel less, go harder, faster, longer. Man, I used to think I was invincible. I never got hangovers. I was strong and lean and still able to run half marathons with patella tendonitis and a packet of Marlboro lights in my back pocket. I probably still could but i’ve since found some alternative forms of magic and medicine that mean I can not only resource myself in ways that are actually in service of my wellbeing, but I can heal at the same time. And the best part is that they go against the grain of Western consumerism, are utterly radical in their rejection of our societal norms, don’t cost me loads of money, allow me to work less, make me feel freaking awesome and lead me to my own conclusion that I’m a bad ass ninja with secret super yogi powers.
Before I go into a list of said super powers, it’s good to know that’s it’s taken a number of years to make them part of my daily life. It started with yoga asana and nutrition. That led me to breath and meditation. Which led to mantra. Which led to space. And in that space, I started to understand the value of boundaries. I learnt to say no. I discovered that taking a bath and having a nap was really an ok thing to do – that I couldn’t be doing something ‘better’ with that time. I was empowering myself, caring for myself and acknowledging my own worth. I was listening to my body and supercharging my cells so I could do more and be more, but in a conscious and connected way. In a way that was on my own terms. In a way that didn’t lead to burnout and came from a place of deep intention and self-realisation.
I also didn’t switch from one set of tools to another on my own. I’m a big believer in building a team of experts around you, so I have my yoga teachers and scholars. I have meditation teachers, healers, massage therapists, psychotherapists, nutritionists. Sure, I have friends and family but these aren’t my ‘resources’ and I think it’s important to make that distinction. Sometimes we can place too much expectation on what our loved ones should do for us and it’s not always their job to help us solve our problems. Allowing someone to hold space for you, like a healer or a therapist, can lead to all kinds of remarkable transformations in your relationship to self and others.
One of the many things I do get from my friends and family is cuddles. This is a top resource for me. I need to hold and be held. Some of my other resources are lying in bed all day on a Saturday, organic dark chocolate, cooking really amazing food. In fact, here’s a list of my top resources, what they cost and why I use them. Yours will be different, maybe you want to bring more of these guys into play, maybe you’re really feeling like you need some extra support right now. Try these out and see what works for you. Any questions you can get in touch any time. Either through facebook or instagram or here.
It’s free. Like, totally doesn’t cost you anything and you can do 5 minutes or 5 hours. It can be shrouded in ancient mystery but it’s really very simple. Sit with yourself in silence each day and see what rises up. Don’t try and control your thoughts. Just watch your breath and be present to the sounds, sensations, thoughts, memories, feelings. The more you sit, the clearer you will become. And maybe journal your experience afterwards, if you have time. Guided meditation is a great way to start and we have a couple here for you to try.
This can be a challenge. Chanting might make you feel like you’ve gone full-hippy but drop the judgements, expectations and societal norms and go with the experience. Trust me, you will not look back. The healing sound of your own voice vibrating through your body can have all kinds of magical effects. Depending on the mantra, or vibration, you might feel calm, dreamy, regal, high. It’s all for the taking and definitely up there on the secret super powers list. Try it. What have you got to lose?
Dancing, yoga, mindful movement. A form of physical expression that allows you to connect with your body and get out of your head. Your body wants to move and asana helps us to get deeper and deeper into the experience of being embodied. If you want to develop a home practice then I offer up some ideas here or you can practice with me online ❤
Afternoon napping is something I actually do now. If I’m tired. I rest. And my schedule is pretty busy and often means I’ve worked over the weekend or I’ve been up at 5am so I make the time to catch up. I don’t just drink more coffee and push through, which was how I would usually operate. I stop. That’s free too.
Conscious cooking and eating
I love an abundance of vegetables and grains and seeds and all the fruits of this fair planet but I can be completely absent when I eat. It’s such a shame to forget about where the food has come from, what each mouthful feels and tastes like. To notice the colours, smells, tastes and sensations and how my body responds. I suffer from bad digestion, and have done for years, so need to really chew and start the breaking down process in my mouth. When I’m in the UK, I spend around £140 on store cupboard items at the start of the year (grains, flour, legumes, oils, lotions, potions and powders) and I around £20 per week on my fruit and veg and top the store cupboard up by about £30 per month. Pete is much better at the shopping and cooking than me though and we find that dal and rice is the cheapest, tastiest and most soothing nourishment you can find and Pete is always posting new recipes here. He’s really good at eating well for not much money.
It’s free. And it’s essential. Cuddles from friends and family, cuddles at conscious events, cuddles from people you trust and feel safe with. Real cuddles to get the cuddle hormones all alive and activated. Massage. Conscious sex. It’s all good.
This is a non-negotiable for me. I see someone every week for some kind of healing therapy and this is where I’m willing to spend money. It’s anything from £30 for a sports massage to £50 for psychotherapy to £80 for a good two hour Thai massage. If you’re not buying lots of booze, smoking fags or ordering takeaways then you’ll find you have plenty of money for this kind of work.
I can sometimes have too much of this but I stick to dark, organic and, if I can get it, raw. The better it is, the less of it I want but that sugar still calls to me so this is a resource I have to be mindful of.
Boundaries. What are they then? I didn’t know till a few years ago. Seriously. I was always open to all things from all people and would often find myself in situations where I was overstretched or asking too much of myself. Learning how to create healthy boundaries and communicate them from a position of clarity, strength and truth has been an invaluable resource. And it can be cheaper than going to all the parties and doing all the things all of the time. If you want to learn more about boundaries then I really recommend Boundaries and Protection by Pixie Lighthorse. It’s an incredible book and a short guide that you can keep close to you and read again and again to support you in making better choices that serve you.