PLDN Talks – Carly Wilford – ‘Mind: body: soul: the secret to gentle living’


This is an article taken from A:live by Carly Wilford.

From jumping out of bed, on to the tube (or into your car), to your desk, straight in to back to back meetings, calls, emails, lunch on the go, juggling deadlines and remembering to check your WhatsApp & Instagram notifications in the process. It’s safe to say, before lockdown, we had become masters of multitasking. Managing technology platforms like spinning plates and still trying to remember to live a little outside of that.

March 2020. So much changed and almost over night. Many of us are currently working from home and while your laptop may follow you around the house like a new partner, life has transformed dramatically. There are still emails and calls but board room meetings have been replaced by Zoom hang outs and drinking after work by playing games with your closest mates on House Party. Things are different and many of us didn’t see it coming.

When I decided to launch this platform, it was because I had hit a difficult patch in my life and didn’t know where to turn. Before working in music, I was a Personal Trainer and Dance Teacher. During that time I realised that a lot of the people that I was working with didn’t always need someone to push them physically, they needed someone to talk to. Much of my job was listening and offering advice so I decided to go away and train to be a healer. I focused on how our thoughts and our body were connected. Learning NLP, EFT, Reiki and Crystal Healing as well as Sports Therapy and Massage.

When things got tough for me, I felt terribly low and struggled to rationalise my emotions. After spending days in tears and not wanting to see the people that I loved, I decided that something needed to be done. I cancelled my gigs and commitments for two weeks and created a new structure in a hope to rebuild myself. I went back to the basics and remembered the skills that I learnt when I was training. Every day I decided to do something for my mind, my body and my soul. Something that was easy to follow and ensured that I got back to focusing on the things that really mattered. After two weeks, I felt stronger, happier and less sad. I felt like I could face the world again and felt excited about waking up each day.

Right now, many of us have lost our daily routine. Our friends, families and face to face human connections are mainly online and we are having to dig deep within ourselves to overcome our doubts and fears about not only tomorrow but about the future. Since being in isolation all of my gigs have been postponed, festivals cancelled and events rearranged for later in the year. Yes, there are moments when it has felt upsetting but much of this situation is completely out of our hands. What we can work on is the way that we choose to look at it. Whilst we have this time, we have the opportunity to create a new normal. We have a chance to look at the way we live our lives, make some bold decisions and change anything that doesn’t feel right anymore.

Mind. Body. Soul. Three essential elements that when we are busy we can easily forget about or knock out of balance. With time on our side, we have the possibility to create a more gentle way of living. A new foundation.

There are twenty four hours in a day, if we sleep for eight of those, we have another sixteen remaining. If we were to dedicate an hour to our wellbeing and divide them in to three twenty minute time slots throughout the day, it would give us a new and easily achievable, flexible routine.

Mind: Twenty Minutes

We’re not talking about sitting in front of your laptop if that’s what you’re doing every day currently. It’s about using your mind to learn, to grow, to read, to educate yourself on something that you’re fascinated by. Here are some ideas to start you off:

  • Learn something new, an instrument, a language
  • Start an online course in a subject you have always wanted to know more about
  • Brainstorm your ideas, build a new business, restructure your current one
  • Create a vision board, make a new life plan, decide how to roll it out
  • Set new goals, lay down a strategy, share it with the people closest to you
  • Read, paint, draw, write, sew, build

Body: Twenty Minutes

When things get busy it can be easy to skip this part and crack open a bottle of wine instead but keeping your body moving every day is where it’s at. Whether you’re a hardcore gym bunny or someone that prefers to chill out in a Yoga class, twenty minutes dedicated to your body every day will help you to feel strong and balanced:

  • Head outside, go for a run across the fields or discover new areas where you live
  • Take a long walk listening to your favourite podcast or making a call to your best mate
  • Learn Yoga for the first time, or pilates or pole dancing
  • Teach yourself headstands, or handstands or cartwheels
  • Buy a skipping rope and create mini circuits in your garden or front room
  • Order a Kettlebell, work on your pull ups or start weight training

Soul: Twenty Minutes

Meditation, prayer and any moment of stillness is an amazing way to reconnect with yourself each day. Whether it’s first thing in the morning, during your lunch break or just before you go to sleep, quietening your mind and giving yourself space is so important:

  • Learn to meditate, listen to a guided meditation, run a bath, light candles, be still
  • Follow a breathing exercise, go inwards, connect with your body
  • Start to work through some of your ‘stuff’, speak to a therapist, open up to the people closest to you
  • Listen to music, dance, sing, read about something you know nothing about
  • Do something selfless, be there for others, volunteer
  • Spend time in nature, eat alive foods, learn how to cook something new from scratch
  • Write down your thoughts, your worries, your dreams, start a gratitude diary

Now, it’s over to you. When you wake up tomorrow you have a new world at your feet. You write the rules and can decide what it is that makes you happy. Do more of the stuff that reminds you why you are here and cast off the stuff that is taking up your time pointlessly. It’s time for a reset. A refocus. Your life is in your hands. It starts from now. It starts from within. You’ve got this.

Original blog:

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