November has been an inward-looking month for me. This time of year, my mood and energy levels can drop, and I can feel more frazzled and scattered.
Perhaps a little more so this year, as it's fair to say that this year has felt like one that's come with some intensity and heavy collective energy; for example - recently, I definitely got drawn into the US election, and so that alone will have caused a build-up of "stuff" within me.
This month, the UK moved back into a month-long 2nd national lockdown. We start emerging from this on Wednesday (2nd December 2020), but I would still like to continue with this grounding momentum I've been stepping into recently.
Here are some of the things I've been doing, which might inspire you as we move into December, and to also remind myself to keep this momentum going. None of the below is rocket-science, and these are all things I've mentioned before - in this blog and other articles I've written. That's the beauty of it. These are all simple things, always there for us to access if we choose to.
My family & I have been living in a suburb in southwest London for around 10 years now, and it's only this year that I've gotten to know the park that's just a 10-minute walk away from us, Bushy Park. I enjoy being outside, whatever the time of year. Perhaps just alone with my thoughts, with some music, with a friend, or with my family (we've been trying to do a walk together on either Saturday or Sunday).
I've been enjoying a couple of 1:1 walks each week with a friend (my friend Mark and I have had a regular weekly walk in the park - and we've both vowed to continue to spend time outside, even with our local gym re-opening along with our "second home", the gym cafe - which is actually where Mark & I met), and I've also been doing meet-ups a little further afield on a couple of weekends. (Some context: 1:1 outdoor walks have been allowed here during the lockdown). In fact, I've probably been more 'social' during this lockdown that I otherwise would be! Being at home - and with these re-grounding practices - I've benefited from managing my energy better, too. I have certainly realised just how important this treasured, physical 1:1 connection time is to me, and how important it is to be outside.
Yoga with Lucy, and Adriene
Seeing as I knew I couldn't go to the gym for a month, I purchased a pack of 5 online yoga classes through a local yoga studio I used to be a member at. Yin & restorative yoga with Lucy is one of my favourite things (she happens to be an INFP); experiencing these classes after so long, and from the comfort of my home, has been a joy, whether at lunchtime or in the early evening.
These live classes are at least an hour long; I've also been doing some of Adriene's classes on her YouTube channel - there are so many to choose from, from 10/15/20-minute classes, through to 45/60-minute ones. There are also different themes, from morning rise, to evening wind-down, through to specific classes for back/shoulders, legs, flexibility, the list goes on.
It's amazing just how beneficial 15 minutes can be - so easy to start or end the day with, or fit into your lunch-break. There are videos for newbies/beginners too. Her vibe is great, and you'll find her adorable dog Benji in her videos, too :)
Journalling continues to be a way in which I love tuning in and seeing what emerges. I feel like journalling, or any creative expression (drawing, music...) is a magical way of drawing out the threads inside of us. The benefits are innumerable and immeasurable, but you'll notice them more so - like any practice - as you continue to engage with it.
I've been leaning even more into my journalling this month, and also just writing for writing's sake; in a recent Let's Write Together! session I hosted with my friend and fellow INF writer Anja (see below), I turned up now knowing what would emerge... I ended up writing some poetry.
When you take the pressure off of 'creating something good' or 'creating something to release into the world' (these two pressures often come intertwined as one), and instead just let yourself see what comes up... it's a more fruitful and rewarding experience, I've found.
Spirituality is, to me, a way of connecting with my innermost self, discovering my true essence and relating it to who I am, why I am here, and how I want to live in the world.
I continue to lean into the Sikh scriptures and teachings, through a YouTube channel called Basics of Sikhi.
Thanks to Jen sharing it in the members' forum, I recently came across the Michael Teachings' 'Seven Roles' (spiritual archetypes), and I've recently started reading The Michael Handbook which I'm finding fascinating.
I also recently finished reading The Wisdom of the Shamans, which provides a gentle introduction into Toltec shamanism.
I certainly identify as being 'spiritual', and I find this reading, reflection and prayer very nourishing and an integral part of my inner-most self-care.
I attended a friend's online meditation session, and took the opportunity to buy a (Black Friday) discounted year-long Calm membership; in my opinion, well worth the usual annual price of £28.99.
Like yoga, meditation is accessible in as little as 5- and 10-minute doses. As Adriene says: "A little goes a long way".
I've been taking short baths and long baths, finding the warmth on my body nourishing. A friend also mentioned that the water can help to release energy from our bodies. Either way, I love a warming bath in the evening, and at some point I'll have to take up yoga teacher Lucy's suggestion of using Epsom salts.
Some final thoughts
I have realised most of all that just taking a few minutes out to do these things can bring bountiful benefits. Just 5, 15 or 30 minutes... this is all it takes.
So often we can be hard on ourselves and adopt this counter-intuitive 'all or nothing' approach. Perhaps you want to choose one of these things and try it daily for a few consecutive days, or perhaps you'd like to alternate between a couple of them. Maybe you'd like to return to something you've done before, or perhaps you'd like to try something new. Find your own way to incorporate some of this inner self-care into your daily or weekly life (and don't give yourself a hard time if you miss a day, two, or even three... just keep leaning in).
As intuitives, if we're not taking these moments to tune in, we're missing out. That's certainly been my experience. I hope to take these practices into December and the new year, as they continue to serve me when I choose to take the time to lean into them. I am also aware that 'tuning in' could help me as we approach the end of the year and I have started to ponder how I want 2021 to look and what intentions I might set for myself.
Listen or watch
PS. A couple more things...
✏️ It's really interesting to note that I was also doing some similar things this time last year. One of the joys of journalling is the opportunity to look back and reflect on the past.
▶️ This month - November - I experimented with two live sessions, one called Let's Write Together!, which I ran with my friend from the INF Club community - Anja, and the other called Meditation & Journalling. You can find the replays on YouTube.
Coaching for INFPs
👥 In November, I have also launched my coaching practice. And I still have a couple of spaces left for coaching, if you are an INFP who feels that you might benefit from some collaborative support and reflection, one-on-one, to help you move forward. You can find out more, at: INFclub.net/coaching.
You might also enjoy...
✏️ How to stay calm and feel grounded (INF Club)
✏️ Why I started prioritising my self-care (INF Club)
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