Dear Fear,

Dear Fear,
How are you, my old friend?
You certainly seem to be thriving at the moment.
You’ve had a busy year casting more of your darkness into the heart of humankind.
Your resolve seems stronger than ever to keep us in our limitations.
Watching you at work got me thinking 🤔

When did we first meet?
I can’t remember a time when you haven’t been in my life in one form or another.

In fact, some of my earliest memories are of you.
Holding me captive as a child under the duvet, you had me terrified of the shadows.
Terrified of even my own shadow!
You tied my stomach up in knots before school every morning.
I can see now that the bullies were not the problem.
It was you, Fear.
They responded to you by taking it out on me and I took refuge in making myself ill to avoid having to deal with them and to deal with you.

You did a good number on me. You and your mates, shame and humiliation.
It was so satisfying when I finally had the strength to tell you all to go fuck yourselves.

And for a while, I managed to loosen your grip but then you came back with a vengeance..
As a fear of being unlovable, of being alone.

Oh the degrading things you had me do, the heartache you caused, the lies about myself that you had me believe.

But again, I eventually saw through you with thanks to my dear friends, love, faith and trust.
They brought me back to my senses time and time again and revealed the truth to me.

The power that you have is just an illusion. A very clever one, but still an illusion no less.

As real as you feel, you are just an idea, a story that the mind has invested in.

Such a convincing story that we give our power away to you.
People fear change, death, loss and sickness. All inevitable parts of the humble yet beautiful experience of being human.
You cripple many into frozen beings who then deny themselves the opportunity to grow and evolve because you’ve convinced them that these rites of human passage are somehow terrible and destructive.

Yet there is so much healing, love, compassion, understanding, forgiveness and growth that these hardest aspects of life can bring.

Without them, we would not really be having the full human experience, which is only temporary after all.

So Fear, with deep gratitude for all that you have taught me, I am letting you know that we must part ways once more.

I’ve made friends with death, grief, pain, sorrow and uncertainty.
They have been remarkable teachers, bringing such wisdom into my life that unfortunately for you- I do not fear them anymore.

Will you try and sneak back into my life in another disguise?
I don’t doubt it for a second!
If you succeed and I eventually spot you, I will open my arms and I will embrace you.
I will love you, Fear and I will thank you for teaching me more about myself again.

Until then if you could just turn your intensity levels on the collective down a notch? 🙏🏻🤞🏻

Take it easy ♥️

Your friend
Bodhini x

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I am not really sure what to ask for this Christmas. I am still processing the gifts that the Universe sprinkled generously and unexpectedly throughout 2020.
Although initially some appeared to feel more like a curse!

So, I’d like to take this moment and thank the Universe for the following gifts;

the opportunity to face fear, to embrace it, to understand it and make peace with it.

Time to slow down, to be outdoors, to connect more deeply with the natural world.

Extensive quality time with my daughter in her last months before flying the nest.

Inviting me to step out of my comfort zone, to get creative and get online to save my business and support my family, friends and clients.

To reach more people than ever before, bringing connection and community when many of us felt desperately challenged.

To appreciate and respect the differences between us, our beliefs, our views and our coping mechanisms.

To develop further compassion including towards myself.

The opportunity to investigate my own beliefs and conditioning and understanding towards others and theirs.
To go deeper within myself, my studies, my development and practices.

I am so grateful for these unexpected blessings and I give thanks every day.

I do not know what I can ask for this year.
I am not one for wish lists or manifesting. I have no expectations for 2021.

What I do know is that we can trust that we will always get what we need……even if it is not what we might want.

Thank you Santa for listening.

Your friend
Bodhini x

I had to trust that it was going to happen


About four years ago, chanting had become a precious and deeply valued part of my daily meditation practice. 📿

My heart was yearning to learn more about devotional singing and related practices within the yoga tradition.

So I was thrilled to be invited to apply for a place on a 200 hour training to study and explore this particular path of yoga (known as Bhakti yoga) further.

I was sooo excited at the prospect of this new adventure! I had a strong feeling that it was important for me to go for it. Even though at the time I wasn’t entirely sure that I was ready for it. (or a fear that I wasn’t worthy of it was another story that I used to like to tell myself).

There was one problem however… how to pay for the course?🤷🏼‍♀️

As a single parent on a low income and just a few hundred pounds in a savings account, how would I afford to pay over £2000 for something that as much as I wanted to with all my heart… seemed a bit self-indulgent for a parent on a tight budget?

I was disheartened for a moment but was still overcome by this strong sense that I was destined to be there on that course and that it WOULD HAPPEN.
I simply had to trust and wait for the way to be shown.🙏🏻

I immediately sent off my application before I could talk myself out of applying.

THEN less than two weeks later a letter arrived from my bank….. I could not believe what I was reading. 😳My heart raced as I read it several times to make sure that I had not misunderstood what it was saying!

My bank was informing me that they had overcharged me interest on a loan that I had repaid over a year earlier . They were not only paying back the interest but also compensation…which in total amounted to the amount that I needed to pay for the course. WOW!

I could not believe it. It felt like a miracle!
I was so delighted that I jumped up and down for ages and even cried a few happy tears!

That was an extremely unexpected outcome.

Trusting in my intuition and having faith in unknown possibilities was something that I had struggled with before this experience.

I would always doubt myself and want to know exactly how plans would proceed so that I could feel safe and in control but actually I was limiting my true potential in life by living in that way.

I had no idea what I was letting myself in for by taking part in the course. I had no expectations but I trusted that I would get what I needed from it and my heart knew that it was the right thing to do.

It was by no means easy and I had to overcome many challenges to get myself through it but I am glad that I went for it and that I saw it through. It turned out to be the beginning of many more adventures.
My trust and faith continued to lead me to unexpected places and experiences(including five weeks in India) and I now never doubt it for a second.

Self-doubt and a lack of faith can limit our potential and possible joy and happiness.

I have learnt that when I release doubt and fear, I make space in my life to enjoy something much more fulfilling!

We are able to access that state of peace, clarity and trust when our hearts are open to listening and receiving without expectation or agenda.
The heart practice in particular has really helped me with this.
Do you trust your intuition? When has following your intuition helped you?

I would love for you to tell me about it in the comment
With love

trustyourpath #trustyourintuition #listentoyourheart #faith #devotion #expecttheunexpected #selfbelief

I never liked this about myself…

I never liked this about myself…

That when I was a child (and even on occasion now), if I was the focus of attention my mouth would clamp shut, all words would leave me, my heart would race and my face would go the brightest shade of red….🥵

Kids especially, would laugh at my embarrassment. I would just wish for the ground to open up and swallow me whole.😢

Communication and the ability to express my thoughts, feelings and knowledge is not something that comes naturally to me.

It has taken a lot of inner work and forcing myself out of my comfort zone MANY TIMES OVER to become a fairly confident adult that will speak in public so that I can share what I love and feel so passionately about. ☺️

I was born with a quiet nature and was a very shy, sensitive child.

My school years were very challenging.
Criticism from teachers and being bullied by other kids made my life miserable.

I was keen to just fade into the background of everything, desperate to avoid further humiliation.

I decided that life was safer when you couldn’t be seen or heard.

Safe as it may have seemed, it didn’t really make life enjoyable!

I got fired from my first job in a hairdressers for being TOO SHY! 😳

Relationships were disastrous as I couldn’t express my feelings and thoughts which would lead to misunderstandings and resentment.

I couldn’t express myself creatively as I was fearful of my writing/ art/ singing being judged.

Life was not really that much fun this way. So I knew I had to change.

That change is a work in progress but I’ve definitely become more confident and live a much happier life as a result.

I worked with a variety of professionals who helped in various ways over the years- counsellor, vocal coaches and spiritual facilitators.

It’s an on-going self care practice!

I believe it is so important to be able to express ourselves in a way that is loving and kind to ourselves and those around us.

It just doesn’t necessarily come as easily as we think it should.

Does this resonate with you?

I share this now from my heart to yours.♥️

Bodhini x 🙏

Are you feeling WEARY? (When Everything Appears Really Yucky)

OK, Yucky may not (or actually it may) be the best word to describe 2020 and how we may be feeling about life right now, but I couldn’t find an alternative word beginning with Y.

However you choose to describe it, 2020 has created many opportunities for positive change but alongside it, also illness, grief, insecurity, doubt, tension and anxiety.

Events have left many of us feeling overwhelmed, emotionally and /or physically drained and even despondent. Totally weary!

Even just watching the news or flicking through social media feeds for five minutes can leave you feeling jaded and fatigued.

We try to make sense of it all. We do our best in what can feel like scrambling around in the dark and just as brighter times seem to be upon us, another problematic situation appears. Like 2020 has some kind of morbidly, weird conveyor belt of crap to throw at us.

So yes, we are weary.

We are extremely tired.

This is when really caring for ourselves is more important than ever.

When it is simply just our bodies that feel tired, we know what to do to remedy it. We can take a day off, put our feet up, have a nice bath and get more sleep.

What do we do when we feel weary to the bones of our entire being? When our minds are exhausted and our spirits low?

It is vital that we can find time and space to rest away from the challenges but also integrate any lessons that we have learnt from these recent experiences. Reflect on the goodness that can be found in hard times and allow that to inspire you.

Being able to gain a fresh perspective and return to life feeling stable and at ease, we can spark a new burst of energy and strength to keep us moving forward.

We need to make a commitment to our self-care, to carve out time in a space of serenity. Give ourselves the opportunity to replenish our body and find peace of mind.

However we choose to spend this time of self nourishment, it is important to be kind and compassionate towards ourselves. It is often easy when we feel down to berate ourselves for the way we have handled difficulties. We put pressure on ourselves to do better. Maybe we can do better next time, but we are only human after all. Being hard on yourself does not do much for self-improvement. It can actually only make you feel worse.

Everyone makes mistakes. We can’t expect to sail through this unprecedented time perfectly. See if you can smile through your mistake and make the lesson a blessing that will help you make wiser choices in the future.

The whole world is in need of healing and peace but it starts with each of us as individuals. We can’t give that which we don’t have.

So allow yourself to simply retreat and recover. Even just a small amount of time spent in a way that connects you to peace and joy can uplift you. What to you like to do that makes you really smile?

Be it meditation, movement, music, art or nature. Reading beautiful poems and inspiring stories, or even writing your own and expressing your thoughts and feelings in a journal.

It also important to remember if everything has just become too much to sit with on your own, then to please connect with others. You can be sure that many people are feeling this way too. Solace can often be found in walking and talking with a good friend. It could prove to be helpful to both of you!

This unique and surreal time that we find ourselves in will likely continue for a while. So look after yourself and it may inspire others to do the same.

Lets surf the waves of change and turbulence without allowing weariness to weigh us down. Then life may not appear so yucky after all 😉

A life changing moment

😭I could not believe that this was happening AGAIN…
Out of the blue. Unexpected.
Everything was going so well wasn’t it? We were so happy…weren’t we?
Obviously he wasn’t 🤷🏼‍♀️
I was heartbroken….again 💔
and it REALLY hit me this time, like a punch to the stomach
BUT…in that same moment as his words were sinking in- telling me that it was over..
I could hear my little internal voice finally shouting “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!! “
I could not keep doing the same thing in relationships but expecting a different, happier outcome.
I was always looking for love OUTSIDE of myself 🧐
Hoping that I’d finally kissed enough frogs and found my Prince Charming 🐸 🤴
In that moment, I called out to the Great Spirit, the Divine Beloved and said “ that’s it! I’m done! I am all yours now and I need your help. Show me how to find peace and love within myself, so that I do not need to keep seeking it from another. I don’t know how to do this. Please guide me!”
I finally understood that seeking love outside of ourselves does not work (at least not for long).
That day changed my life forever. In ways that I could never have imagined as I sat there full of anguish and despair.
It was actually the best thing that could have happened for me as love now flows through me and my life abundantly.
Sometimes your greatest gifts can be magnificently disguised as your worst nightmares.
Miracles can manifest and healing can happen when we just let go and let life guide the way.🙏
Just trust in the highest power that you believe in and allow love and life to happen.

Meditation in isolation!

How is your meditation practice working for you now?🧘🏼‍♀️
Just last month, we were discussing here, what we find challenging about practicing meditation. For some, it was maintaining motivation, others it was frustration with a busy mind.

I wrote a couple of posts to help with these challenges which people said were helpful. Yay! 🥳

But then came Covid-19….all of our sudden, we were overwhelmed with all kinds of issues that certainly this generation has never had to comprehend before. Worldwide pandemic, isolation, loss of jobs and businesses, home schooling…if our minds wouldn’t be quiet before…well, they are certainly going to have a lot to say now!😫

So I am curious to know, how is your meditation practice now? Are you still practicing? Maybe you are meditating even more!
How has it changed (if it has)? Please let me know in the comments.🙏

Personally, I am doing more. I have added an additional practice to my routine and it is keeping me sane (although whether the rest of the household agrees may remain debatable).🤔 I’m not saying I find it flawlessly easy but it’s definitely helping me cope!

My additional practice which I decided to start on Spring Equinox and continue until Beltane (May Day) is the chanting of the Gayatri mantra 108 times. (More about this mantra further down).

Mantra meditation helps to keep me focused and I feel a strong connection to source through the vibration of a mantra whether it is recited silently, whispered or chanted aloud.
Mantra meditation doesn’t appeal to everyone but it works for me.
So I have my morning practice of pranayama and heart practice and then enjoying the Gayatri mantra at sunset.

What is the Gayatri mantra?
The Gayatri mantra has been recorded in the Rig Veda (an ancient collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns), which was written more than 2500 years ago. It had possibly been chanted for many centuries before it was written down.
This mantra is often referred to as the Mother of the Vedas and is now chanted throughout the world with love.

There are many translations of the mantra. One that I like in particular is:
“We meditate on the glory of sacred light illuminating the three worlds (physical, mental, spiritual). May that divine light inspire our thoughts”

Chanting the mantra 108 times takes approximately 45 minutes and I am keeping a journal of my experience of it.

So, that is where I am at with my practice. I knew I needed to do more and I had faith that it would help because it always has.

So do let me know how things are going for you with your meditation. Let me know if I can help.

Thanks to Akasha of Lumiere Photography. This photo was taken during our yoga training in Rishikesh, India last year at the Sivanada Ghat.
Here we were inspired daily by the devotional chanting, rituals and meditation practices of ancient Yogi’s passed down through the millenia. They have lasted this long because they truly work.

With love to you and yours always

The importance of grounding


What does it mean to be grounded?
To be grounded is to be well balanced, stable, present and able to remain calm in a crisis.

When we are not grounded, we can be distracted easily, become spaced out, prone to panic and even forgetful.

Sometimes grounding can first become an issue for people when they begin meditation or spiritual practice, or even after attending a sound bath.
On occasion, people report feeling light headed or spaced out afterwards. Sometimes this may last for just a few minutes but can last for a day or so, if someone is particularly sensitive.
This can be just because your mind and body are experiencing something new.

This is when it is good to spend some time grounding.
Even those with an established meditation/ spiritual practice need to up their grounding game over time as they go deeper and become more open. ( I can’t emphasise the importance of this enough!)

So how do we ground ourselves?

There are so many ways, see what works for you.
Here is a list of things that I have found helpful personally, but you may find something different works for you.

🏃‍♀️ Exercise!!! My least favourite way to ground but actually seems to be the most effective…annoyingly! 🤣 Yoga, Tai Chi, walking, running, the gym , whatever floats your boat but gets your body moving!

🌳 Being in the great outdoors amongst nature and wildlife. If it’s barefoot even better!

🌬Breathwork. In particular I find Kapalabhati (a pranayama technique in Yoga) very grounding and energising. Some people may prefer to practice belly breathing though.

🥗Eating and drinking mindfully. Taking your time to eat and drink slowly, savouring the experience of each mouthful, tastes and sensations. Reduce stimulants and avoid alcohol (sorry!) Fruit, nuts and root vegetables are particularly good when you need grounding assistance!

👀 Be aware of your senses and the present moment. List the things that you can touch, see, hear, smell and taste from where you are.

🥁 Drumming. Probably my favourite but my neighbour’s least favourite way for me to ground myself. 🙈

I hope that you have found this useful 🙏 I would love to hear from you in the comments section below if you have any further grounding questions or suggestions.

With love
Bodhini x

An introduction to mantra meditation


Mantra was the first practice of meditation that I was introduced to when I first began meditating in 1996. Whilst I have had periods of practicing other types of meditation over the years, I always found myself gravitating back to mantra and it has now been present again in my daily practice for the last few years.

What is Mantra?

A mantra is a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation.
In the many traditions of India, the Sanskrit mantras are said to be word formulas that were discovered by ancient sages as being a particular combination of sound vibrations that when chanted or meditated upon had a specific result on the mind, body and spirit.
The word “Sanskrit” translates to “refined speech”. Sanskrit is believed to be the oldest language in the world.
It is also considered to be the greatest spiritual language of the world as it is made of primordial sounds, and is developed to include the natural progressions of the sound created in the human mouth.
You can practice silent repetition of mantra but the benefits of speaking or singing ancient mantras is said to be balancing and stimulating for different parts of the body and brain as their vibrations touch on meridian points around the mouth (when pronounced correctly).

Which Mantra do we use?
I always believe that like the saying says about the teacher appearing when the student is ready, a mantra will also find you when you are ready.
There are some which many of us use, for example in yoga classes, you may have encountered the mantra OM.
OM is said to be the first sound and the birth of all other sounds. It is often said that all mantras are contained within the sound of OM. OM is the sound of the infinite, representing all that was, is and shall be.
So OM is a rather wonderful way to start if you are not sure which mantra to begin with. To sit in the vibration of OM is truly magical. I will post a link in the comments with a great recording of OM for you to experience this.
There are many mantras that are said to bring gifts in to our lives, mantras for abundance, happiness and healing. It may be tempting to google a mantra that you think will bring you that which you would like the most BUT a mantra really needs to be alive for you to work. There needs to be a deep heart felt connection. Like I said, often the mantra meant for you will come to you when the time is right. This could happen in a number of different ways and it will often happen when you least expect it.

How do we use it?
Some people prefer a silent or soft repetition (Japa) in which they just sit and repeat the mantra to themselves until eventually over time, they become one with the mantra and can just be in its vibration. Some people also use a mala with 108 beads for Japa meditation. Repeating the mantra 108 times as they travel around the mala with their thumb.
When chanting or singing the mantra, you release the sound on the exhale and inhale before repeating again.
There are actually many ways or practicing with mantras including with mudras and visualisations. Far too many to mention here (I could go on all day!)

For thousands of years, throughout the planet, mantras in many languages have been used to quiet the mind, experience inner stillness and experience oneness. You may also find that chanting mantras can strengthen your connection with the Divine and bring about feelings of love, joy and bliss.

Do you practice mantra already?
Do you have a practice from your own tradition/ faith/ culture that you use?
Let me know! I would love to hear from you.

With love
Bodhini 🕉

Meditation and the busy mind

Today, we are going to look at how we deal with the busy mind or emotions that can arise during meditation.

I have always really appreciated the following quote by Dean Ornish M.D Physician and director of Preventative Medicine Research Institute.
“Meditation is simple in concept but difficult to master. Fortunately, you don’t have to master meditation to benefit from it. You just have to practice it. No one ever really masters it completely, but even a few steps down that road can make a meaningful difference. It is the process of meditation that makes it so beneficial, not how well you perform.”

I really feel that this is true. We seem to be under the impression that successful meditation equals a totally blank mind. Actually, this is just wishful thinking. I mean, we would all love for our minds to give it a rest and just be quiet sometimes BUT this is not that realistic. The mind is designed to think! It is how we respond to the thoughts that makes the world of difference and eventually, over time you may just find that not so many thoughts form.

Often people speak of their busy mind with frustration and irritation but actually I have found that the mind responds better to patience, compassion and acceptance. The mind can be stubborn. The more you tell it to be quiet, the noisier it gets!
Sometimes it can be helpful to give it opportunity to say what it’s got to say before you start to meditate.
A great idea that I heard once, was to sit down with a paper and pen and tell the mind it has got 5 minutes to say what it needs to and then it must rest. Set a timer for 5 minutes and write down everything that pops into your head. Whatever the mind throws at you. Nonsense, random stuff, shopping lists, whatever. Let it run free and have fun. Then when the timer stops, put the pen down and then settle into your meditation practice.
If thoughts come in and out, just remember that it is totally normal. You are not meditating incorrectly. Just notice the thought or distraction and maybe imagine it drifting back out as you exhale. Even if for a while it feels like you are just exhaling out thoughts, so what? You are human and we think! Just lovingly accept that. Turn the compassion that you extend to friends when they are being hard on themselves back to yourself. Take the pressure off. It really does make such a difference. Meditation isn’t meant to be torture.
Having a guided meditation or app to listen to can be helpful in the beginning if you are really struggling as the voice guiding you can help you maintain focus but eventually it is more ideal to be able to meditate without the need of a guide.
Personally, I have found mantra meditation the most effective point of focus in a meditation practice, but everyone is different.
If you would like me to post about different types of meditation (please comment in the comments section).

Enjoying a regular, slightly distracted meditation is better than never doing it at all.

With regards to challenging emotions or feelings that may arise, this can be common too. Especially if we have difficulty expressing our feelings, have been going through an extremely stressful time or just not had space or time to rest and be with whatever is going on. Sometimes just sitting with a difficult emotion and just letting it have time to come and release (maybe with a good cry) is no bad thing.
However, if it is on-going and you feel that you may be in need of additional support, don’t be afraid to ask for it.
A trouble shared is a trouble halved.
For people suffering with severe anxiety or depression, I would recommend meditation only with an experienced facilitator alongside therapy or counselling. Practicing meditation without the support you need in these cases can actually be detrimental. If the meditation brings up memories that you have suppressed in the past, that can lead to a deluge of negative feelings which may be too hard for some one already suffering from severe anxiety or depression to handle.
So please be gentle and kind to yourselves.

I would love to hear from you if this post has been helpful or if you have any questions or tips to share.

Remember you can also come and try meditation in the many group sessions with me as well as individually.

Wishing you peace always