Feeling Stressed Out in Lockdown? Are your Anxiety Levels Rising? Here are My Free Relaxation Clips for Stress Reduction

As a massive thank you to all who join me over on facebook for the Mind Medicine sessions, I’m giving you access to all my Meditation & Relaxation clips for FREE.

Its been almost a year now since the Mind Medicine sessions started, and your feedback has been amazing. Recently Fear, Uncertainty and Apprehension are governing lives. I’ve been thinking about how I can play my small part in bringing comfort & reducing stress. These are difficult times due to COVID19 & lockdowns. Many of us have lost loved ones too, leaving so many different emotions to deal with.

Below this post, is the link to my You Tube Channel & a range of guided meditations and relaxation sessions to help reduce stress & anxiety

All I’m asking is that you Like & Subscribe to the channel to get first access to new clips as they upload and perhaps share it around if you have time. It’s all about change and we can all play our part ‘ When you change your mind – you change your life.’

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiXinc-vYWldUMNRhM-TZ_A?view_as=subscriber

Thank you so much.

Julie

KILLING ME SOFTLY: A 70yr Old’s perspective on COVID19 – By Julie Kelly

Some time ago, I was contacted by a woman in her 70’s whom I’ll call Hilda . It seems she had tried a few times to contact me, but since lock downs etc I’ve had something of a backlog and really hadn’t realised the urgency of her issues.

After reading her notes on the booking form, I was shocked at the opening sentence ~ “Can you help me please? COVID19 is killing me”.
Not wasting any time, I contacted this lady and could sense her relief at finally hearing my voice. She told me how 5yrs ago she’d lost her voluntary role as the ‘tea maker’ at a Mental Health Support Unit. With both sadness & pride, she told me how it had been her life for the past 12 years since her husband died and she’d loved every minute.
Sadly the unit has closed now but I somehow got the feeling, when her position went, so did her feelings of being useful in society……..

KILLING ME SOFTLY: A 70yr Old’s perspective on COVID19 – By Julie Kelly

Some time ago, I was contacted by a woman in her 70’s whom I’ll call Hilda . It seems she had tried a few times to contact me, but since lock downs etc I’ve had something of a backlog and really hadn’t realised the urgency of her issues.

After reading her notes on the booking form, I was shocked at the opening sentence ~ “Can you help me please? COVID19 is killing me”.
Not wasting any time, I contacted this lady and could sense her relief at finally hearing my voice. She told me how 5yrs ago she’d lost her voluntary role as the ‘tea maker’ at a Mental Health Support Unit. With both sadness & pride, she told me how it had been her life for the past 12 years since her husband died and she’d loved every minute.
Sadly the unit has closed now but I somehow got the feeling, when her position went, so did her feelings of being useful in society.

My curiosity brimmed over, about when she’d tested Positive for the virus , so I was shocked when she told me she didn’t actually have it.
As soon as those words left her lips, she tried to explain matters and tearfully jumped in with ” But I didn’t contact you on false information either”

Through the tears & despair, Hilda told me how she’d become a prisoner in her home during lockdown. The thought of even contemplating leaving her front door terrified her, alongside the prospect of going into the open space. Here she was, an elderly lady with 3 grown sons, filled with absolute terror and extreme stress, and driven to become almost a recluse.

When asked, Hilda confided having contact with all 3 sons but that none of them knew

LOCKDOWN Prison or Paradise? – A Buddhist Viewpoint By Julie Kelly

One thing we all have in common, is lockdown.  It’s no secret for some, this has been a terrible time. The fit and active being confined to their homes, & mental health problems slowly starting to rise.  Others however, have described the lockdown period as something quite different. A time of tranquility, peace & creativity – away from the fast pace of everyday life. 

 Impermanence impermanent short lived COVID19 worry stress change creativity prison paradise lockdown
Whatever viewpoint we share, and however this lockdown has affected us,  the whole thing seems in many ways quite uncertain and an emotional roller coaster.  Buddhism however offers a more simplistic view of the whole situation, and why wasting energy on it is completely pointless.
 
Before moving on however, its useful to understand one key thing – the ‘Nature of Impermanence.’  That absolutely nothing stays the same, i.e. in its permanent state, and that everything whether Matter, Sentience or Phenomenon is changing millisecond by millisecond to eventually expire.
 
Once we can grasp this perspective, we become less inclined to cling and grasp on to things as if they were forever.  For example, our job, our material things, our goals and dreams for the future – and most importantly our lives.
 
Please don’t misunderstand my meaning here – I’m not saying we shouldn’t  have lovely expensive things or well paid jobs. Neither do I mean we shouldn’t value our lives.  My meaning here is not to cling onto them as if they were permanent, so much that we become obsessed and suffocated in the fear of losing them.
 
So this is a basic overview of the ‘Nature of Impermanence’  but how does it relate to the way we deal with situations like lockdown & the fear of COVID19?
Well, if we accept things as being in a constant state of change,  we must also relate this to our personal experiences and situations including what’s happening with this unpredictable virus.
 
Over the past 6 or so weeks, it’s been apparent that however we’ve faced this situation i.e. whether we’ve sunk into a dark state of depression, pining for loved ones and focusing on loss of our freedoms. Or whether we’ve taken it as an opportunity, to tune into to our creative side, to embrace the slow pace of life and bring our focus on the beauty of life – COVID19 remains a threat and lockdown  is still here. 
 
In a nutshell, the way we’ve approached lockdown, may very well have changed our ‘present moment’ positively or negatively. But as we grasp onto the very notion of survival, we must realise the root cause of the situation COVID19 remains pretty much as it was before we started trying to change it . This is because based on the law of impermanence, situations will inevitably change themselves in their own natural way and not at the pace we want them to.
 

So.. Taking into account the knowledge that nothing is permanent & all things are subject to change:

Has your lockdown been a Prison or a Paradise?

 
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A RIGHT BUDDHIST BIRTHDAY – The Strangest Party Ever By Julie Kelly

Well it’s almost that time again! Another year older and hopefully wiser. Not sure why, but I had to share a funny story about how I spent my 45th birthday ten years ago – let me set the scene…

Mcleodganj is a small town in Dharamsala India and this is where I spent my 45th Birthday. For the past 6 months, Loseling Monastery Guest House had been my home which as a Buddhist, studying Tibetan Buddhism & tradition seemed the perfect place. The tiny but comfortable guest house is completely maintained by Buddhist Monks who go out of their way to make you feel welcome.

In Mcleodganj, everyone knows each other – it’s also the home of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Despite it’s cramped habitats etc, the eating places are exquisite and there’s no shortage of mouthwatering Tibetan, Indian, Korean & Chinese foods to sample. In fact (and I won’t draw this out) I’ve eaten Pizza in an Italian resturant called Jimmy’s, drinking Indian beer and watching England play a major match – that’s how diverse Mcleodganj is. Party Birthday celebration celebrate Joy peaceful silence pizzas cake monks Tibetan funny

Anyway, at the top of the Main Street, is a shop specialising in cakes of all descriptions – including birthday cakes. So I though how nice it would be to invite a few select people I’d met there, to my room for cake and a couple of take away Pizzas from Jimmy’s, to celebrate my 45th birthday. 

Since being in this great little town, I’d met an Aussie lady Marie – bags of fun, with a voice not dissimilar to Dame Edna. A wonderful Tibetan Monk Kelsang & another – Tsewang. Also a Tibetan nun Ani Sherab.

Being at the guest house, it seemed only right I invite some of the staff as they’d made it so comfy for me over the past 6 months – and this is where it begins.

Rather than be confined to my room, a couple of monks kindly suggested I use the back room of the guest house, where I’d be most comfortable – which I did. 

So 6pm came and the pizzas arrived as did the spectacular cream sculpture that was the birthday cake – plus apbottles of cola. Such a lovely evening, with beautiful gifts too. 

But then something unexpected happened – as it often does in this quirky little place…….

Lots of Tibetan monks started turning up who I’d never met. Old, young and middle aged – each bearing traditional white Tibetan scarves and placing them around my neck. They’d already got their bowls ready for the cake so I started doing the honours dishing it out and trying not to laugh. 

Such a spiritual thing was happening right under my nose but all I could do was try so hard to contain myself from laughing – especially as they were wolfing it down in complete silence which compelled us to do the same. After they’d left (which wasn’t long after eating the cake) I was nearly cooked alive. You see the traditional Tibetan scarves are often made of nylon, cotton or silk and I had about 40 of them round my neck in a temperature of around 28c 82.4F.

Seriously! If I could go back and relive this experience – I’d do it in a heartbeat although I have to say it’s the strangest birthday I’ve ever spent. 

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A MINDFUL BREAKFAST & The messages of food – By Julie Kelly



Breakfast -Whether it’s a healthy fruit option or a proper Northern fry up, we all eat it. But what’s the relevance & indeed the importance of this ‘first meal’ of the day?


Well it’s not something most of us will have considered until now, but let’s look at the actual word (Break-fast)  In Old English terms, the word breakfast refers to breaking the fasting period of the previous night. Obviously we aren’t eating during the sleeping hours so that first meal is the very thing to give nourishment and nurturing to the mind & physical body.

Despite this interesting fact however, it seems many of us still skip breakfast for a number of reasons – the most common one I’ve come across being lack of self worth. 

Confused? Think about it….Even though this really important event (Breaking of the fast) is paramount to the workings of Mind Body & Spirit, many of us still put work, emails, employers, social networking and pretty much everything else first -settling for a good cup of caffeine instead to provide a quick fix but why? 

It seems really absurd to think a simple thing like breakfast can have such a huge impact on spiritual health. Here I’m not talking about our choice of breakfast ie what we actually eat, although this can have a relevance on the way we think or perceive the world.  Here I’m talking about self perception – what many of us believe we deserve and how we put everything else before our own needs. For some, this may seem like a selfless gesture, almost always a positive act, as long as it doesn’t cause imbalance or suffering that is. But here, this may not be the case.

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Dr Nerina Ramlakhan B.Sc.Ph.D. a physiologist and sleep therapist – King’s College London suggests we may even disconnect subconsciously from our mind & body & its needs.

 So looking at things from this perspective, we could say that eating breakfast as part of our mindfulness practice in the morning  is a wonderfully creative way of bringing the mind and body into balance whilst paying full attention to our physical, spiritual and emotional needs – something we in the West are not very good at.

So here we’ve looked at why it’s important to eat breakfast, but now let’s have a look at the emotional and spiritual messages of foods, and why we might find ourselves craving certain tastes in the morning. 

Crunchy foods: Breakfast cereal with very little milk, crackers with cheese, well done toasts, muesli or biscuits. When we crave crunchy foods it’s often a sign of internal stress and anger. How many times have you been angry at someone and crunched your way through a packet of crisps like hungry tiger? Anger. Crunchy foods help us act out our anger in a safe way, providing us an outlet so we don’t have to deal with the people or circumstances causing us to be angry.

 

 
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COVID19 – Keeping it Stress Free & Simple – By Julie Kelly

Coping Mind Love Beliefs Faith Panic COVID19 Embrace Embracing Mindfulness Tribe Community Contact Human Belonging

Around 3 weeks ago, the world changed in unimaginable ways for millions of people. We were all affected and thrown into a state of chaos. Supermarkets filled with people panic buying – terrified by the potential threat of death either from starvation, or COVID19 itself.  

This situation was cast upon us pretty much overnight – so it’s little wonder we were all thrown into a state of confused desperation. But how do we manage emotionally, physically and spiritually in situations like this?

The answer in my professional experience, often lies in faith. Some pray to God, others to Allah and some send prayers for protection out to the universe. Faith is often at the forefront in times of uncertainty and chaos. Buddhism however holds slightly different views, mainly because in Buddhism it’s accepted that nothing is permanent, whether it’s matter, sentient or phenomena. Because we accept impermanence, we also acknowledge experiences like this will come to pass.

Like most of you however, this lockdown has for me created many limitations – particularly in the way I can be of service to others on a face to face level. This being said, the wonders of modern technology & social networking are proving to be a spiritual & emotional lifeline for many of us out there, so it’s really important we reach out and use it as much as possible. These are very strange times we are living in, and times when we realise just how much we’ve taken for granted. A simple hug, a coffee with friends, going shopping without too much thought about what to buy but more importantly, the beauty and healing potential of everything surrounding us. Never before has there been such a need to move into the present moment, to nurture & clear our minds by taking advantage of the peace and tranquillity we’ve been forced into. But where do we start? How do we begin to change ‘the habits of a lifetime’ and learn to just slow down – when for years we’ve been running at 100 mph? 

As someone whose work is pretty much always mind focussed, it’s my professional view, the most important thing right now is connection. As humans we’re social animals who need acceptance within our tribe. We need to feel loved & a sense of belonging. For this reason, a valued colleague decided to set up a group named CONNECTED on a social networking site. A place where people can come together, share their fears, anxieties, joys and creativity with like-minded people but most importantly, move the focus away from media hype & negativity.

So much panic about death & dying has occupied our minds recently, when it’s always been there.  Ever since the day we were born we’ve been dying second by second, minute by minute in many different ways – so why all the panic now? 

Well before coronavirus, we believed death only happened to others – right? We’ve always feared it, mainly because of the sinister way its presented in Western culture but this is different. Many of us feel cornered like we’ve come up against a brick wall. The question is though,  do we keep running at that brick wall until we knock ourselves unconscious? Or do we simply embrace and accept this change, and wait for it to pass as it inevitably will?

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend  ~.Bruce Lee

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2 QUESTIONS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE – PT 1 By Julie Kelly

We all have times when we think “Why Me?” To be honest, for some of us it sounds like a pretty reasonable question. 

We’ve got all kinds of bills dropping through the letterbox, partners who don’t respect us and to top it all, poor health.  Not all of us have religion to turn to or even a faith to trust but even for those who do, it still begs the question “Why Me?”

Why? Questions life asking wondering deserving image perspective karma

 

Why have I had such a hard life?

How come everyone in my family did well except me?

What have I done to deserve this kind of life?

Why do I have all these health problems?

Why does it feel like the world’s against me?

The following two questions if answered honestly & frankly, can be completely life changing. They’re life changing because once you grasp the reasoning behind them, it’ll change your whole thought process. Remember! You must be absolutely honest with yourself.

 

Question 1) Do I see myself as a decent kind of person?

Question 2) Can I think of anything I’ve done, that would make me deserve the awful things that happen to me?

 

 

 Here I’ll leave you to ponder these questions and tomorrow I’ll try to change your whole perspective on life.

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BEING A DANGEROUS WOMAN By Julie Kelly

It never used to be the case, but these days when I’m asked about my greatest strengths, I reply “Being a Dangerous Woman”

Dangerous confidence confident bold committed colour conviction faith voice empowerment empowered women standing subservience courage experience life choice age belief faith

This usually takes people by suprise but it’s true for many reasons and there are a lot of us around too. You see, over the years I’ve been preparing for this without even realising it – but now I know for sure how dangerous I truly am. 

So why do I class myself as a dangerous woman? Well when I hit my 50s, something happened to me pretty much overnight. Maybe the menopause had something to do with it but I became fearless. My mind opened up a new sense of clarity and awareness of why I exist today right here right now.

It became clear to me, that every experience I’ve had in life, every struggle & hardship (and believe me there have been many) has brought me to this place where I now deserve at the very least – respect for surviving. 

This realisation is what also made me fearless. Fearless of losing material things, Fearless of voicing my opinions, Fearless of having a voice and being heard, Fearless of being ridiculed, Fearless of getting old, Fearless of being alone with my thoughts and Fearless of having those thoughts, Fearless of standing in queues for longer than needed, just until I get eye contact from rude shop assistants who hand me my change without acknowledging me. When I do get eye contact, I simply smile and thank them but it gives me a sense of purpose to know I didn’t disrespect myself enough to accept the rudeness. Fearless of using colour on my clothes and hair whenever I want to and feeling comfortable in my own skin.

But how does this make me a dangerous woman you might ask? 

Well in a nutshell people don’t always like it. You see, we live in a society where we’re supposed to conform and obey and it’s true, in many cases we don’t have too much choice. But governments and stressed out bosses don’t want people like me who challenge 

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