Make your pillars your own!

Lucy Parker

Lucy Parker of FLOW Tunbridge Wells reviews the pillars of wellbeing she has outlined over the past five weeks and suggests how you can put them into practice…

There we have it, five pillars for your ultimate health and happiness, laid out for you week by week with some top tips on how to explore your association with exercise, breathing, thinking, nutrition and relaxation. I truly hope you’ve enjoyed this exploration and feel you’ve learned something along the way. The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed a theme arising in my suggestions and focus. That theme being that awareness is key and curiosity king.  When we’re aware and curious about ourselves we open up to all sorts of options and have choices revealed that we may not have seen before. When we’re aware of our current circumstances we can choose to change things to our advantage and reap the rewards, consciously changing our attitudes, habits or beliefs. As the saying goes, ‘When you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got’. Change is good and often a vital step in our self-development and evolution.

This leads me to the value of customising your pillars. What for you provides the means for you to boost your own wellbeing and allow for more contentment and joy to enter your daily life? Perhaps the five pillars suggested above are missing something for you and that can be added in as an extra, or sixth pillar to make this practice more personal to you. So many of us struggle with our mental as well as physical health and this structure may be helpful to give you the stepping stones you need to navigate your best path through some tricky waters. Consider when you were last most happy. What were you doing and with whom? Were you alone in the forest, chatting and laughing with friends or getting creative in the kitchen? We all are truly unique and individual and our pathway to optimal health is equally personal. I urge you here, in my last article on this subject, to consider your targets and non-negotiable habits that you can build into your life to ensure you feel good about yourself every day.

Build your rituals and behaviours that follow your personal best practices for the 5 pillars listed. Then see what additional pillars you need to add to support your metaphorical house. Do you need social or alone time? Do you need time in nature, in the woods or by open water? Do you feel happier when you get out into the fresh air for a walk each day or when you nourish yourself with good home-cooked food? What about seeking out a creative outlet, art, poetry, writing or cooking that inspires some flare and fun? Whatever you do allow yourself to adopt attitudes that can be described by one of these eight Cs from the Internal Family System (IFS) of psychotherapy. The eight Cs are as follows and when we’re leading a life full of these C’s we’re being led by our sense of inner self, to be self-led as they say in IFS. Here are the eight Cs for you to consider:

Finally, the practice of yoga embodies many of the principles of the five pillars, as well as adopting all of the eight Cs for inner contentment and wisdom. If you’ve not yet begun a yoga practice, then I recommend you investigate it. There are lots of different styles of yoga to choose from and many teachers to try, all different and unique. Before choosing a teacher, be sure to check their qualifications and experience. Be courageous, ask questions, and try a few classes out before you settle on your favourites. We have lots of classes at FLOW and many excellent teachers. I’ll be ever so happy to guide you towards the most suitable class for you if you need a little advice or encouragement. I’m here to help and so happy to support you on your way. You can purchase our introductory offer and get four one-hour classes for just £40.

I truly hope you’ve enjoyed building your own pillars for health and happiness and that you’ll come and visit us at Flow for regular movement, breathwork, meditation and general good health!

Lucy Parker
Flow Tunbridge Wells
Senior Yoga Teacher
Integrative Counsellor & Coach

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