Meditation – It’s so hard, but I may have found the solution!

I’ve always thought of myself as being quite connected with the world, on some spiritual level, and I know to some of you that sounds silly, but I really do feel a sense that there is something out there, listening to my thoughts and dreams, who that is I don’t know…I often think that it my late father, or prior to him, my grandparents, but its nice to think these thoughts.Β I’m not at all religious, however I wouldn’t call myself an atheist, but more of an agnostic.

How can I be so naive to think that any belief of anyones is wrong, when I don’t have anything to prove it isnt? I’ve always felt like this, and at the end of the day whatever you believe in, as long as it makes you happy and gives you hope, then why should I doubt it?!

Anyway, I’ve gone off track a bit, but I suppose to some, spirituality, meditation and wellness in general, is put into this stereotypical religious, hippy people, and so the rest of us, can’t possibly want to incorporate that into our lives!

So I’m on my path to finding the best version of myself, and I have wanted to incorporate meditation into my life for quite some time now, and I have tried over the years, to sit in silence, clear my thoughts and whiten out my mind…but IT’S SO HARD!!

Have you ever tried to sit there are completely clear your mind, it’s just impossible! I’d have thoughts of food, what I’ve been doing that day, any stresses of work and then I find something in my head that I want to clear out, and then I can’t stop thinking about it…then the whole process of meditation seems to be more stressful than if I hadn’t tried meditating in the first place!

So this time around I thought I should do my research, speak to people through social media and find out more about what they do to meditate, and after following this amazing woman on Instagram called Hollie Azzopardi, I found the answer from her.

She’s an amazing health and wellness coach and is truly inspirational. She’s been on an incredible journey and has made her life into something that she loves, and earns a living from what she truly believes in…she’s amazing, and I want to be her!

She did a podcast interview this week and she talks about meditation a lot and how its become part of her day…I’ve been thinking for ages ‘How is she getting over the obstacles I’ve been facing?’ and then she said it….She uses an app called Insight Timer. It gives you thousands of free meditations, for every part of your day…This is pretty great, but the best part about this app, is that if you connect through Facebook, which I highly recommend, It shows you how many others are meditating with you at that exact moment. Also if there are any people close to you that are also meditating…YES! I no longer feel alone, and struggling to clear my head…In fact many of the meditations tell you that its absolutely normal, not to be able to clear your mind, and thats its fine to have these thoughts running through your brain whilst meditating! Hoorah!

Plus the great thing about the Insight Timer App, is that it gives you the opportunity to rate the mediations, and you can read what everyone else thought about them too, and they range from just a few minutes to half an hour, so you can always find a meditation to fit into your routine.

So, guided meditations are definitely the way forward, and I highly recommend this app, if like me, you want to build meditation into your daily routine.

Ashley x

Making time for myself

Lately I’ve been feeling like theres not enough hours in the day, and instead of taking responsibility for that, I’ve been blaming other commitments in my life.

I’ve come to realise that this is such a selfish way of looking at things…Of course I need to work for a living, of course I need to do a weekly shop, of course I need to sit down in front of the couch and catch up on Eastenders…I’ve come to realise that only some of this is true!

Yes, my job does take up most of my time in the week, but I enjoy it, and it earns my family and I a living. Do I wish I worked less? Yes of course, we’d all love to find that job where we can hang out all day, take leisurely walks, treat ourselves to coffee mornings and spa days (I still live in hope) but at the end of the day, I work hard and I live a good life.

The one thing I have learnt over the past few weeks is that I need to manage my free time more effectively, prioritise time for myself and my family, and plan what time I do have left to see my friends, clean the house, wander around town shopping for cute stuff, etc

So here’s my top tips to finding more time in your day for the more important things in life…

  • Give up that screen time. If you watch a lot of TV, make a strong decision and give up some of your programmes. Most programmes are at least 30 minutes long, over a week that’s already 2 and a half hours, just for one programme…if you work over 45 hours a week, thats some serious time for yourself.
  • Wake up an hour earlier (or more) each day . I know this may sound simple, and wouldn’t we all want an extra hour in bed?! But since I’ve started waking up almost 2 hours earlier each day, I’ve been able to take up some new hobbies and start the day right and un-rushed and centre myself ready to attack the day!
  • Shop Online.Β My fiance works nights, and so the only time we get to see each other is the weekend, and when I already have to work for part of the day on Saturday, I really hated the though of us having to spend our quality time at the supermarket! Most supermarkets offer a delivery service and some even let you use your points to spend on delivery, so it won’t cost you loads more, and will save you time and petrol money!
  • Plan, plan, plan.Β I’ve always loved stationary to organise with, however have never been great at using it! So theres now a His and Hers calendar on the back of the cereal cupboard door in the kitchen, so its the first thing I look at each day. I’ve written down as much as I can, including my working hours, our times when we’re each taking part in our hobbies, and also friends plans, so I can work my time to fit everything in.

I’m sure there are many more things that can help save you time, but these are a few things that I’ve done just in the past few weeks and I’m feeling better for it already!

Photo; By myself, a gorgeous diamond encrusted Piaget watch I came across at one of my favourite jewellery stores in Nassau, Bahamas…Only $90,000…bargain!Β 

The Reason

So this is my first post for this blog, and its pretty hard to know where to start, however I guess that sharing with you the reason that I’ve started this blog is a good place…

I’ve always thought of myself as being a pretty positive person. If anything is ever overly challenging or I find myself going through tough times in work or in life, I always manage to centre myself, think things through logically, focus on the future and remind myself the everything happens for a reason, and that I will always learn from the tough times, and it’ll make me a better person in the long run.

This method has always worked wonders for me, and I’ve been so lucky with my life. I have everything I could’ve ever wanted and yet at this moment in time I feel like theres something missing.

So now I’m on the search to find the thing that I need to enrich my life. I need to find that part of myself that I can improve on, learn and grow into, and this blog will be not only part of this process, but also as a way for me to feel gratitude and value for my life, and I look forward to sharing this with you

Ashley x

Photo; My own photo of Saunton Sands, North Devon. A favourite place of mine, close to where I grew up, and a beautiful spot for my late fathers ashes.