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Palma Michel - Mindfulness  Conscious living - sharing my work & practice to inspire yours 🧘‍♀️ 💌DM for mindfulness, life+exec coaching, corporate sessions & speaking enquiries

✨BUSY✨
Are you busy? This is a question I get asked several times a day.
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Sometimes people still ask me “how are you” first and almost without a pause immediately link it with “are you busy”, but mostly I get asked if “I am busy”. _
It is as if being busy = being well = being successful.
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What does being busy even mean?
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On the one hand it can give some validation on how much we are in demand.
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On the other hand it can just mean that we cramp our days full of activities without having any time and space to think, feel or be.
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It could even mean poor prioritisation or just spinning our wheels.
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Being a mindfulness teacher this is always a question that makes me smile (and giggle internally) as I mostly try not to be busy, by just doing the things that are meaningful for me and others while prioritising my own practice and wellbeing above all.
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Otherwise how could I teach others to slow down, be present, prioritise, meditate, if I am not walking the talk first?
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Today I invite you to pause for a moment and ask yourself “How am I really right now?”
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To reflect on what comes up when you think about being busy. What value judgments come with it.
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To ask yourself if you are just busy or if you are doing the things that matter to you/to your work/family.
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To ask yourself when was the last time, that you just took out time for yourself.
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Then see if what you are about to do right now is what is really meaningful to you or if it is just doing something for the sake of keeping busy and avoiding being alone with your thoughts.
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As always, I would love to hear about your experiences with “busy”. 🙏

✨AWARENESS✨
Have you ever wondered who or what you really truly are?
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Who or what you really are beyond your roles, name, age, possessions and experiences?
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Music does not exist without silence.
Clouds do not exist without the Skye.

Waves do not exist without the ocean.
Written words do not exist without the page they are written on.
A room does not exist without space.
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In a similar way nothing in our world exists without our awareness. Yet awareness is so elusive that it is so often overlooked.
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Today I invite you to sit in a comfortable cosy place and to start an intimate dialogue with yourself:
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Place one hand on your heart and start a dialogue of inquiry asking “who or what am I really”

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At first what might come up is your name, female/male, nationality, profession, your roles, a body, your story, thoughts, and so on.
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How do you know that you are here? How does that feel?
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What has always been there and is not changing? What aha always been you even when you were not yet able to speak?
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Maybe concepts come up like I am a soul, I am awareness, I am consciousness.
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Don’t stop there but continue asking the question “who or what am I really” over and over again and just notice what you feel.
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This is not an intellectual process but an intimate exploration of connecting with and sensing who or what you truly are.
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Curious to hear your experiences or questions about this practice. 🙏

✨CAVE✨
You don’t have to escape to a cave or renounce the world to experience deep mystical experiences, awakening or a fundamental sense of wholeness and inner peace.
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Meditation can be practiced anywhere and any time. All you need is your breath and attention.
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In Zen, mindfulness and Kashmir Shaivism, life itself is your practice.
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The trick is to bring alertness and attention to all of your experiences.
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When you drink tea, just drink tea.
When you eat, just eat.
When you walk just walk.
When you wash the dishes, just wash the dishes.
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We can use all of our experiences as it is the messiness of our daily lives where our practice is really tested.
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Life itself is the best spiritual teacher, showing us in each moment, where we are still grasping, contracting, closing down or fighting what is.
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The moment we see it, we have an opportunity to let go, to step out of it and start our practice again and again.
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There is no goal, no holy grail to reach, but the practice itself, the journey, is the goal. 🙏

✨MENTAL HEALTH✨
Earlier this week I attended an evening to talk about Mental Health at Shoreditch House hosted by @mindcharity for which I have been volunteering for 4 years.
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It was worrying and fantastic at the same time that the room was packed with 60 people between the ages of 20 and 40.
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Fantastic because we are living in a time where there is less stigma around mental health and we are able to have these important conversations.
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Worrying because we live in a time that is such a pressure cooker (uncertainty, financial & job pressure, change), that so many people suffer from anxiety and depression, are suicidal or have lost someone because of suicide.
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The hardest thing is often that people who suffer from depression isolate themselves and feel they can’t talk about it (often particularly true for men).
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Family members and friends on the other hand often feel helpless as they can’t get through and don’t know what to do.
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If you are suffering from depression or anxiety please know that you are not alone and reach out to @mindcharity or similar organisations in your country.
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If a loved one is suffering from depression, don’t try to fix them or offer advice or solutions but simply be there, listen and ask them what they need. 🙏

#mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealth

✨LAUGHTER✨
When was the last time that you laughed wholeheartedly?
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Laughter is the best medicine. This Monday at the mental health charity one lady laughed out loud during one exercise and it spread like a wild fire - the whole group was laughing and everyone felt so much better.
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Sometimes we are so much under pressure and life can look grim and it is hard to feel joy or experience laughter.
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During these times I recommend to to try a laughter meditation on YouTube (there are tons).
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When I did my first laughter meditation at the Osho International Meditation Resort in 2012 I felt totally silly and it was even a bit awkward; but shortly after it changed and I was laughing tears.
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✨Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand. ~ Mark Twain.✨
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I would love to hear your experiences with trying out laughter meditation. 🙏
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📸 at Li Galli #latergram wish I was still there on this grey London day.

✨FREEDOM✨
When I looked up into the sky and watched these birds flying, I felt their freedom and ease.
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Not knowing is the ultimate freedom.
Not knowing what happens next.
Not knowing how things are supposed to be.
Not knowing all the answers.
Not knowing how long we will live.
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Have you ever traveled to a country with a culture foreign to yours where most things were different to your country and you maybe even did not speak the language?
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How did you feel? Many people feel free to be whoever they chose to be, free to experiment and with an invigorated sense of aliveness that is never present in the realm of the known.
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✨You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.~ Tony Morrison✨
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Jus for today I invite you to experiment with not knowing.🙏

✨GENEROSITY✨
Are you generous?
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On my flight back from the Amalfi coast I reflected on how touched I was by the generosity I received and would like to invite you to a generosity challenge.
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Just pause for a moment and reflect on moments where you received generosity and how it made you feel.
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Then reflect on moments where you were generous and how it made you feel.
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Just for today I invite you to approach all human interaction from a mindset of “what can I give” instead of “what can I get”
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Notice how this might change your interactions. If you are up for it, continue with this for a week and see what happens.
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From my experience, the more I give wholeheartedly without agenda, the more I receive. 🙏
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✨No one has ever become poor by giving. ~ Anne Frank✨

✨CONTENTMENT✨
Do you remember when you wanted to have what you are having right now?
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Our minds have this remarkable unfortunate ability to get used to whatever we have very quickly.
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The moment we have achieved something the mind says next, next, next and we experience this constant background anxiety of not being fully at ease.
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Or we look at Instagram and fall into the comparison trap wanting what someone else has (without knowing the hardships or pain they might be facing behind the surface).
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The good news is contentment is a skill we can learn. The more we flex the contentment muscle, the more it grows.
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Just take a moment right now and acknowledge all you have and all you have achieved this far (no matter how insignificant you think this might be).
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Then think of three things you appreciate in the day ahead and tonight think of three things that you appreciated in the day that just passed.
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✨Be thankful for what you have; you will end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough. ~Oprah Winfrey✨

✨SHELL✨
What makes you withdraw into your shell?
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Just for today, I invite you to observe these moments where you withdraw into your shell.
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To observe and create awareness around the triggers that cause you to withdraw and close down.
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Is it... a belief
a thought pattern
a particular person
certain comments
a particular feeling
a group of people
certain places
particular tasks at work
a family member
or something else?
_ ✨Your pain is the breaking of the shell that enclosed your understanding ~Khalil Gibran✨
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The more we become aware of the moments where we close down and withdraw into our shell, the easier it will be to break out of our shell and step into our fullest expression of being. 🙏

✨THE POWER OF SOUND✨
Today I invite you to take a moment to tune into sound as described so wonderfully by Maya Angelou:
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✨When I was 8, I became a mute, and was a mute until I turned 13, and I thought of my body as an ear, so I can go into a crowd and sit still and absorb all sound. That talent or ability has lasted and served me until today.✨ #crystalbowls #soundhealing #alchemycrystalsingingbowls

✨CENTRE✨
What keeps yo centred?
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✨At the centre of your being, you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.✨ ~ Lao Tzu
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Sitting in meditation keeps me centred. It is sitting in silence and meeting whatever arises with acceptance, that the innermost truth is revealed. 🙏

#vietriceramics

✨Dance✨
When was the last time that you danced as if there was no tomorrow?
_ ✨And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music✨ Friedrich Nietzsche
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This perfectly captures what has happened last week @secret.sunrise.london 🙏

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