Mantra Meditation With Calodagh McCumiskey – Episode 11

Calodagh McCumiskey is an accredited thought leader in wellbeing, a life coach and meditation teacher. She’s the founder and director of Spiritual Earth, and their well being programs help people to find balance, peace, happiness and success Calodagh’s work is driven by her belief that when people are well, they do well. She also writes a weekly column on wellbeing for the Wexford people and other regional publications around Ireland, and has been featured on RTE’s Nationwide.

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Welcome everyone to the podcast today, my guest is Calodagh McCumiskey. You’re very welcome Calodagh. Thank you for joining us.

Delighted to be here, Aideen. Thank you.

Let me introduce my audience to what you do and let them know what your speciality is. So Calodagh Well, first of all Calodagh is dear friend of mine, and has been a mentor and teacher of mine for many years. And I believe that my success in within confidence in singing and my personal growth has been hugely supported by you, Calodagh, so I’m delighted to have you here. You’re not a singer. So maybe I should say that out straight so that people don’t get the the idea because this, today’s podcast is really going to be addressing about the voice more in general and about sound and vibration, it’s going to be really interesting. And we’re going to find out a little bit about Calodagh and her story around her own voice. So let me just tell you a little bit about it first, before we get carried away. So Calodagh McCumiskey is an accredited thought leader in wellbeing, a life coach and meditation teacher. She’s the founder and director of Spiritual Earth, and their well being programs help people to find balance, peace, happiness and success Calodagh’s work is driven by her belief that when people are well, they do well. She also writes a weekly column on wellbeing for the Wexford people and other regional publications around Ireland, and has been featured in RTE’s Nationwide. That’s the TV, the main TV station in Ireland here. And she’s also a Vedic astrologer. So tell us a little bit about your, your journey to finding your voice Calodagh? Where did it all start? I mean, when it comes to sound and thinking, I know that you did have that around you a little bit when you were younger in school, I remember you telling me that you had a lot of, you went to an Irish school, right?

That’s right. And I would have had a lot of friends. And my dad was also a good singer. He didn’t sing often. But he had an excellent voice. And he was the one person in the family that I suppose we had the view that he could sing and the rest of us couldn’t. Yeah, okay. People have that limiting perception of themselves. So I would have had that. And there were some amazing singers around me in school people singing different traditional Irish styles of music of Sean Nos, I’m sure you’re familiar with them, right. But really, really beautiful voices, a lot of traditional Irish music, and just a lot of music. I loved music. And so, but I always felt that I wasn’t able to sing. I had that perception of myself. But I played the piano. I had a short time of playing the piano, I think from seven to eight years of age. And then I also play the guitar as well. Right? Ah, but I suppose they weren’t fully my thing either. Although I did I did enjoy them. did enjoy.

Yeah, it’s it’s interesting how, in families, one person can be kind of elevated as the singer and everyone else feels oh, I better not, then, because I’m not as good or something. But what would you, what do you feel has helped you to find your voice in general, then so you don’t consider yourself a singer even though but I know you use your voice a lot for your work.

Though I yeah, I do a lot of training or teaching or speaking. And I also teach mantra meditation. And I suppose for me, it’s through mantra meditation that I found my own voice. So I met somebody in Ireland 12 years ago. And he introduced me at the time, I was just early days in meditating. And I was just doing silent meditation and little bit of guided meditation. And I had just come out of a very stressful period of my life. And I was very stressed within myself, and I just, you know, I kind of was going around the place, and I had this idea that meditation would help me so I sought out a few different teachers and places where I could learn different styles of meditation. And then I met somebody who introduced me to the mantra. And you know, from the first time I walked into a class, and I just felt this, I felt it was strange but I felt a sense of belonging, and a sense of longing, when I started hearing those and, and making and chanting those sacred sounds, so when I started off, I was a little bit shy. I was living with my mother in Ireland at the time, I had lived overseas, but I was just helping her out at home, she’d become sick, and I’d taken a little bit of a career break to help her out. And, you know, I’d be afraid to chant in the shower with, you know, lots of noise between me and her in several rooms. Whereas now obviously, I do it for a living and I do it a lot online and in all sorts of forums, you know, and but I was shy around my voice, and even in public speaking, I would have been shy. Yeah. I Wouldn’t be well able to ask a question in a smaller group. But if it came to a bigger group, I would get very nervous, very anxious. But somehow, the mantra just connects you to your inner voice. Yeah. And then you get comfortable with that sound. And it just helps you access deeper parts of yourself. Somehow. So for

people who don’t understand what mantras are, what, how would you explain them to someone who’s never done a mantra before?

Okay, so it’s just a sacred sound, it’s a mystical energy in the form of a sound, to chant these different Sanskrit syllables and what they do is they connect with your chakras, if you know about the energy body, and I suppose what happens is the different sounds they they clean your chakra system, so they help you just lighten your load, help you let go stress, trauma, baggage, all types of anxiety, and a different, it sounds extraordinary. And if I believe if I heard what I was saying, you know, 13 years ago, before I chanted myself, I would be a bit skeptical. But I’ve been practicing it on a daily basis since I started, and I’ve seen a lot of magic happen in my own and in other people’s lives. But so it’s an ancient practice, from 1000s of years ago. And there’s different mantra meditations in many spiritual traditions like in Christianity, you have mantras in Islam, you have mantras, and I’m sure in many, many other traditions in Buddhism, Hinduism, there’s different different sacred sounds. And what they do is they work on the level of your chakras. Yeah. And I suppose also just the voice, there’s so many studies, there’s so many scientific studies on voice on and showing and proving, you know, what, what, how how singing just makes you feel good.

Absolutely. And breathing i think is a part of that isn’t as

breathing would be a part of the mantra, because actually, it’s almost a workout for your breathing system, I’ve had people come to my classes who are quite fitness conscious, and who would compete in different races. And they would say that they would actually improve their fitness, just by chanting. Because what happens is, you know, you’re, you’re trying to catch your breath, or you’re trying to get enough oxygen between the mantras. So it’s a workout for your breathing system. And when you’re chanting quite quickly, you can almost feel like, you know, it’s very energizing, and it’s like a mini workout.

Yeah, it’s amazing, I’ve experienced that myself. It’s an area of interest for me with my singers is how to, to relax, how to have a relaxed, have relaxed breathing, because when we’re performing, and when we sing, often, what we do is we take this big gasp of breath before we start, and when you’re doing the mantras, it’s up because nobody else is really involved and it’s not a performance, you can get into a rhythm with your breathing, that I think is a great training for someone who wants to sing.

And you have to get into a rhythm. Because very often, when you’re chanting, and you’re trying to achieve a certain number of mantras, yeah, so you want to you start getting quite good at chanting them quite quickly, if you want to do 1000 of something or whatever. It’s amazing how we work. And, you know, you say, you can get it down, you can fine tune it, that you’ll do. And your body will just naturally adapt to that. And you’ll do every eight mantras or 10 mantras or three mantras, depending on the length of it, you’re kind of just catch a small breath, and and bring it deeply within and it’s almost imperceptible, because you don’t want to break the rhythm of your chanting. So you, you you learn how to just take short breaths, and to catch the breath and in between, so that there isn’t a break. So there’s a continuous flow in your in your chanting,

it’s actually a really interesting thing to try and I know from, you know, when I work because I teach mantras now a little myself, and I find sometimes, you know, it catches people out when you go that little bit faster, because it isn’t just the breath that has to speed up. It’s the speed of the words and the articulation. And we’ll talk a bit about this in my singing classes about you know, your tongue being relaxed in your jaw and things like that. So it’s going to actually have an effect on all of that over, you know, the more you’re doing it, the more your body’s going to adjust to the speeds that you’re going and to the to find some ease within that.

And yeah, all of those things happen. So the chanting affects you at the level of the mind, the body and the soul. So it calms the mind. And I would say that for myself. It’s through, it seems like a contradiction, but it’s through chanting the sound that I found silence within. And you can see that also with singers. Sometimes you see somebody singing and they’re so their mind is one pointed. They’re so connected to just one feeling or one emotion as they sing, that the voice just has a way of connecting us deeply within, but it also connects us with the world around us, because we’re touched by other people’s voices. Sometimes we hear somebody else chanting, I feel so touched or singing. Yeah, it’s such an incredible connector on all levels, inwards and outwards.

Absolutely. And sometimes at the end of a song, you’ll have that moment where you feel a vibration or the, the energy of that song is still lingering within the silence. And there’s a there can be a lot of beauty in that. But everybody’s voice is very different. And Calodagh. I know, a lot of people who listen to the program to the show, they actually maybe don’t have much faith in their own voice, or they feel that their voice isn’t good enough to whether it’s at home on their own, or in front of other people, maybe they’d never consider singing for other people or anything like that. What would you say to someone at that stage?

Well, I would just say is to get comfortable with your own voice. Yeah, even whether you’re sitting in your bedroom by yourself, practice and just, you know, practice makes progress, and to just really get comfortable with your own voice, pronouncing loudly, quietly, in different different ways. So that you can fully express yourself in all situations. And it’s not about having the perfect voice, it’s about having the best voice that suits you. And I know myself, I’m attracted by lots of different types of voices. But what attracts me most is when somebody is really singing from the heart, it doesn’t, it’s not about a perfect pitch or anything like that, it’s it’s that they’re really into it, you know, they’re they’re bringing themselves are showing up in it. And I think that’s the most important thing is to show up for yourself. And if you keep doing that, you’ll get better at it. And then obviously, it’s really good to have support of people like you as well, you know, somebody that can help guide you, and help you hit the right notes and give you another perspective, and help you overcome the, you know, the things that you’d like to improve on, you know, in an independent way, and give you some quick techniques, right. But so I think from the self, it’s, it’s the starting point is to just sing your heart out, you know, and, and practice that and get comfortable with that. And then also, sometimes I think, when you’re starting something like singing, and if you have a lot of limiting beliefs around your singing, it’ll take a while for you to access that good voice. It’s like when you’re drilling for water or for oil, initially, you come to the dirty water, the dirty oil. And it’s the same with finding that voice inside of you. It takes it takes a bit of drilling, it takes a bit of practice for you to find what sound maybe what even what songs, what genre, everything that suits you. But a lot of it is just about getting rid of the fog, getting rid of the confusion, getting rid of the, you know, the criticism of yourself, and then just just being yourself. And as I said, the outside help is really invaluable.

Absolutely. And I like what you said about you know, finding yourself and being yourself I think, I’d love to hear a little bit more about from your perspective and from your training, you know, as a you know, in the the Vedic you know, astrology or even the, the, you know, the, the yoga side of things, because I know, you’ve, you’ve studied that as well, about, you know, how to connect with that deeper part of ourselves, you know, where your heart is the part that singing, and that that is the thing that carries you through, and that you can deliver a message maybe of something that you care about, and whether it’s something that you need to talk about within a work environment or anything, or if you’re applying it to singing as well. But what what process do you think is what people need to to to go on in order to find that truth within them that authentic self?

I suppose it’s the journey of the lifetime, isn’t it for all of us on some level, right. But I think that modern life poses a lot of challenges for connecting from the heart because of all these technology and devices and phones and all of that, computers, a lot of that brings us into our head. Yeah, texting, busyness, weapons of mass distraction, there’s so many of them. So we all need a counterbalance. So, I would say first and foremost, it’s so important to just be able to switch off on a daily basis. Yeah. to, to really to disconnect from everything and to just connect within. Yeah. And, and, and to not be focused on anything outside, to clear your mind. I think meditation is a great tool to clear your mind to have your mind not not necessarily empty, but that there’s no burdens, you’re not trying to fix anything, you’re not trying to sort anything, you’re not trying to solve anything. And I think a lot of us, we’ve lost that. You know, a lot of people don’t actually relax in modern life, they engage in different types of distractions, but they don’t actually relax or slow down. And I think if we slow down regularly, not just, you know, once a week, or whatever, but find ways of slowing down and closing, I call it closing the files, when I’m doing kind of corporate wellbeing programs to finding a way of closing the files, not just at the end of the day, but even throughout the day for one or two minutes. I’m a big advocate of that. Because then what happens is, is that you, you’re always connected to yourself. Yeah. And you have an early warning system, you know, when you’re in situations that are working for you, you know, if something is bothering you, yeah, because sometimes, you know, years ago before I meditated, and I wasn’t even aware if I was unsettled, yeah. At the end of the day, or at the end of the week, I’d be might be saying to myself, why did I say that or do that. But I didn’t have that wherewithal to actually know at the time, there might be an instinct, but I wasn’t fully connected. So I think we have to know what’s going on inside and not have so much outer focus. And there’s lots of so things like spending time in nature is invaluable. Things like yogic exercises, because what happens when we practice yoga, we coordinate the movement of the body and the breath. And what happens is the mind, the body and the breath, when they’re in the one place. In yoga, we say when the mind and the body are in the workplace, the breath is the bridge to the soul, to the heart, to what’s happening deepest inside of you. Can you say that,

again, I just feel like there’s, there’s a big gem in what you just said, could you say that bit again.

So when the mind and the body are in the one place, the breath is the bridge to the soul. Right? So the breath

is the bridge to the soul is that you mean to… that people should actually think about their breath.

You’ll think about your breath, but it will actually just take you there as a vehicle, when your mind and your body are together. So if I’m doing a yoga movement, or even just a breathing, and just if I’m so my mind and my body are together, so I’m lifting my arms up in the air, and there’s a full coordination. That way, there’s no room for other thoughts, I have to be I’m fully present in what I’m doing. Now, the power of now, right. So when I’m fully present in what I’m doing, what will happen is your breath will take you more deeply within, it will connect you to your soul to your heart to what’s deepest inside of you. And that will also enable you to access higher realms within your meditation, blissful places, etc, etc, depending on your belief system, and the type of practice that you’re doing. But it connects you to this place of inner silence. And it connects you to that place where you can more easily access your gifts, your talents, where you know what’s good for you, and you have the access to that place. And what you said earlier was very interesting around the singing, that it’s often through the pauses, yeah the pause, a well timed pause is as powerful as a sound. Yeah, yes, at all of that. And, and that’s also through the breath as well, that that people are taking us to, to these incredible places of feeling and connection.

Yeah, I think that everyone’s in action mode. And they, we are afraid to let to stop to stop for a moment. Do we think everything could fall apart sometimes, if we stop, certainly, if you’re singing and you’re singing for other people, the more you get into that moment, the better that that communication will happen. The more I the more I’m here, and the more I actually really focus on the message in the song or the visuals of the song and really meaning each words that I say. Then it’s like there’s a power in that. And I am less self conscious when I’m thinking about the message of a song, or what I’m saying, you know, rather than the person saying it so there’s definitely a perspective shift there to it’s almost like dragging yourself into the moment like, like gathering up your your the things that are dragging you away, and some of those things are those limiting beliefs like, oh, no, I don’t deserve to be here. Or sometimes we can get distracted by stupid things like I mean, my, my, my heels are too high, and I’ve got no I’m not gonna I’m not, you know, if you don’t feel comfortable in what I’m wearing or, you know, to be able to really perform for those of you who want to do that, you have to become so it’s almost like, you have to embody the song and embody what you’re saying.

But if you look at, you know, people who are very impactful when they’re interviewed really, really strong speakers, they’re fully present. They’re charismatic, because they show up. Yeah, yes, they’re there. They’re, they’re in their bodies, their their mind, body heart, soul. They’re, they’re fully present in everything they do. And I think and there’s a Harvard study, and it says, the average person is present only 50% of the time 52% of the time. So that’s mentally present also, that doesn’t account for, you know, how much time people are engaged, or heartfully or emotionally there. Yeah. And so, you know, there’s huge scope for all of us to be to be more present, when we sing or in any of the activities that we participate on a daily basis. And when you’re connected, that’s when you touch people. And it’s about being connected and in the moment, but not in a burdensome way, not feeling there’s no pressure, you’re just, you’re just in it, you know that there’s a book, or, you know, they talk about being in flow? Yeah, yes, the, that’s the kind of state we’re trying to achieve in anything, because when you’re in flow, it almost feels effortless. But a lot of work in singing, I would imagine has to happen before you can get fully into flow, to do it to a high quality

completely, it’s like learning to drive a car, you know, like so many of us, now we drive our cars, and we can enjoy driving many of us. But when you’re learning, so for the beginner singer for someone who’s not really doesn’t consider themselves a singer, that process of, you know, learning to coordinate, your voice and the words and listening to someone else play or a backing track can be very, you know, can take an awful lot of concentration initially. And by doing it regularly, then it becomes something that becomes more unconscious or automatic, the same way as, after four or five months of driving, that you very rarely need to think about using the clutch or whether to look at the mirror or not, you’re kind of doing all those things, without thinking. So it does take time. So to find a flow state in a skill is going to take longer than to say find the flow state maybe in something like sitting in the back garden listening to the birds. So there’s the access point, I think for that presence might be you might find that easier to access in a simpler task.

Absolutely, absolutely. But that flow happens only when we’re just in it. And there’s no other perception of Oh, there’s no questioning of being in it or judging yourself, etc, etc, that you’re just in it. And your mind and your heart are fully engaged in what you’re actually doing.

Lovely. Now, I know for myself, there was a bit of a kind of a healing journey to being fully to finding peace with myself. Because that’s when when you’re being present, then it’s just you, you’re you’re there, and you’ve got this situation, or whatever a nice place that you’re in, that you’re trying to experience. But it really is a journey, and was for me anyway, of self acceptance to be in a moment and not have a million other things that I should be doing or, you know, what would you say to people around that side of, you know, kind of the self acceptance part.

It’s the hardest thing for any of us to do. You know, in meditation, we have this word being grounded, and supposed to be grounded means that you fully accept yourself and your life. Yeah, when you’re fully grounded, or I suppose that’s in a state where you because we can be temporarily grounded, I can be sitting in the backyard and life is good and I’m present. Yeah, but what happens when a problem comes. Am I at peace with that? Or am I at ease with that or on my unsettled by that? But I would say I often joke with my students and I say it took me about three years of meditating to actually really understand what the word grounded meant. But what it simply means is when we just accept ourselves, and everything that’s happened in our life to date, we don’t necessarily have to agree with it, but we’re not fighting with it anymore. We’re just we’re here and we’re interested in moving forward and being present and we’re not pulled by the past. We’re not pulled by situations or people that we met, we met we might encounter. So you could walk down the street of Wexford, or, you know, New York or Dublin, and meet anybody from your past and present and feel okay about it, you know that

you won’t be crossing the streets to get away from anyone. Yeah, that you might

be touched by meeting people, but you’re not going to be pulled out of your socket as it were, right? So it’s a huge journey, it’s a huge journey to get to that point of full acceptance, you know, we can be in the next state of acceptance but if you can be pulled out of it, it’s only temporary. Yeah. So, I suppose it’s a daily, what I feel about acceptance is that it’s a daily work on yourself. It’s like, you know, sometimes people come to me because they, they want to learn meditation, and you say why, and they say, we just want to be peaceful. But to be peaceful is takes a lot of work. Because it makes, you have to kind of take action around certain things, you have to have conversations about other things. And you have to let other things go. You have to accept other people. And, but it’s a critical thing, because until we get to the point of acceptance there will always be a war going on in your head. So it’s really, really vital. And if I’m not accepting something, what’s happening is I’m bringing conflict into my mind body complex. So it’s so crucial. It’s so crucial for our peace, for our growth, for our development, that we can work on ourselves. And it just takes time. You know, it takes time. And sometimes, new challenges come, you know, there’s different chapters in our life, there’s different phases in our life. And life can be good. And then you know, a new dimension comes and then that up ends things. And then you have to work, work through those things with yourself. But I suppose that’s part of, that’s why we’re here. And that’s part of the fun of the journey.

Absolutely. And I always feel like getting being grounded is probably one of the biggest things that I’ve had to work on. I was always a bit of a Whoo, scatty all over the place, very fun to be around. But I never really achieved a lot, because I was very quick to change course, I would change my mind about things, and I would get frustrated easily. And definitely meditation has helped me with that. And for me, for self acceptance, I had a big portion of that was, was self forgiveness. And it was, when I went to India, through the meditation group I was in and I met the teacher there, you were allowed to ask for something. And I, the thing I asked for was to be able for that, almost like the grace to be able to forgive myself, because I had done the craziest things. I had a lot of fairweather friends, I had wasted time made wasted money, I had wasted my talents in the wrong work, and wrong relationships. You know, when when you look back, especially, you know, as we get a little bit older, we we start to realize that was, I could have done a lot better, but you can’t, you can’t hold yourself to ransom for those things. You have to be able to accept them and kind of go Okay, well, whatever it was, I had to learn from now I’m moving forward. And and when we’re when we’re learning a new skill, there’s definitely a phase as well, where we need to forgive the mistakes we make along the way. Because that’s where you, that’s where you figure it out, you know.

And yet, I fully agree with what you’re saying, and maybe to pick two different ways of saying the same thing is that when when we feel guilt and shame, the parts of the brain that are responsible for growth and learning shut down. Yeah. So it’s totally counterproductive, you know, to hold things against yourself. Yeah. Because what happens is, is we actually, were less likely to change behavior, we’re less likely to learn the lesson, we block ourselves from from doing that when we’re hard on ourselves. unnecessarily. Yeah. So it’s, and this was one of the benefits, one of the biggest benefits of meditation for me is that I am, if I’m going down a wrong road, I’m able to get out of the cul de sac quicker, right? And part of that is just a wrong choice, or, yeah, I thought it might work like this. But part of that is the baggage, the guilt, that you bring around stuff, you know, and the questioning and the anxiety that you’ll make up around something. And, but I’m just much quicker to not engage in that. Once I noticed that I just I don’t want to This isn’t where I need to go. I’m just at the door, and then I’m moving forward. And, you know, as children they take, they say it takes the child 4000 attempts to sit up straight. 4000 attempts. But as adults, you know, one of the things that is so ridiculous is that we often expect ourselves to do something perfectly first shot, you know, and when we don’t we give up when we think I’m not good at this, you know, and, but nobody’s born a great singer, nobody’s born a great anything, you know, people, it’s practice. Yes, and definitely, one of the things that astrology has really taught me, actually, is that there’s different seasons in our life, there’s different phases, and which talents or areas of our life get activated, or where the spotlight goes, Yeah, so some people are born to shine, you know, earlier, and some people are born to shine later. It’s just, that’s just how it is, some of us have a longer journey to get to a place, and some of us have a shorter journey, or it looks like that. Yeah. And, but it’s not about, it’s about just being on your journey, and being on the journey about where you want to go. And moving forward. It’s not about how fast you’re getting there. You know, it’s the journey, not the destination, that that’s really most important in life.

And to avoid that comparative thinking, where you’re, you’re imagining that if you’ve done things differently, where would you be now? Or, you know, if you were like so and so, or they are doing something and how come you haven’t been able to do that,

then no, I fully agree and my teacher, and one of the things that I often hear him saying, you know, the way when you have somebody like that they they’re your hear their voice in your head. And one of the things that he shared with me, and that really struck me around comparison is that there’s actually no benefit to comparison. The only benefit to comparison is, if you like the way somebody makes cakes, or something like that, or things that you might say, I really like the way they move their voice or the way they access that and or the way they design that cake, and that you take things and you improve yourself. But the only real comparison and in yoga, we also learn this, the only real comparison that is me yesterday. It’s not. It’s not me. It’s not anybody else. It’s Can I be better than who I was yesterday. Can I do more practice? Can I push myself a little bit harder than I did yesterday? Obviously, based on whether your well, sometimes people can also be really hard on themselves when their energy levels are low. That’s not reasonable. Yeah. You know, if you’re sick or you’re not well,

absolutely. There’s an analogy that you’ve said in the classes a number of times before that, I think really struck me, which is sometimes you in you know, when the weather is good, you can it’s almost like making hay, but when the weather is good, and things are going well, you can make progress. But sometimes success is standing strong in the middle of a storm.

Yeah, sometimes. Exactly. So like, if you have the wind behind you pushing you forward, and the weather’s fine, it’s easy to move forward. But sometimes, yeah, if the wind is against you, by even standing still, that you’re actually making more progress. Yeah, yes. And, and in life, it’s never really about the efforts. This is also something I’ve learned from astrology, because you can see when people are in times of adversity, or when they’re in times where it’s fine weather and life is favoring them or life is easier. Life is more charming and kind. But at the end of the day, it’s about the efforts that we make. Yeah, you know, and I met a very brilliant mentor, a number of years back, and one of the questions he used to ask of himself, and anybody he worked with was, How hard did I, did I try today? And that’s a really powerful question. And he would raise himself out of 10 and a few different areas. Because very often we’re we’re often thinking about how hard I tried last week or last month. But how hard did I try today? Yeah. And

it’s almost like having a standard for yourself, or you have to be careful of being too hard on yourself as well, isn’t it? there’s a there’s a balance there to be had.

Absolutely. But it’s just about showing up for whatever it is you want on a daily basis and none of that negative giving out to yourself. Yeah, and the past is over, right. And, yeah, that… when we’re so hard on ourselves, like for many years of my life, I couldn’t actually assess myself or see myself properly, because I would either be too hard on myself or too easy on myself. I didn’t actually see myself as I was, you know, so I would kind of gloss over my lack of whatever or I would be really, really hard on myself. And neither of those dispositions are helpful. It’s just about, you know, doing, showing up. Really, I think it’s about showing up and moving forward. Yeah, whatever pace, you’re ready to do that day. And sometimes, as you say, even standing still in adverse times is, is is is huge progress.

Yeah. Wonderful. I’d love to hear if you’ve any practical advice, you know, for someone who’s listening, that maybe wants to connect more deeply with that deeper side of themselves or practice being in the moment, do you have anything that you say to your students, that people can use on a daily basis.

What we could do is we could do a short one minute breathing practice, if you’d like, Aideen, yes, that would be fantastic. Okay, so I do this with lots of people. Okay. So what I would just say, close your eyes, put one hand on your stomach, and one on your chest. And I want you to just focus on the feeling of your tummy rising and falling as you breathe in and out. And this is the close the file’s relaxation, breathing practice, just focusing on the feeling of your tummy, rising and falling as you breathe in and out. And if your mind is still busy trying to solve this or that or on autopilot, doing what it always does, give the job. And the job that you’re going to give your mind is to say in your mind, as you breathe in, I am breathing in. And as you breathe out, I am breathing it out. I am breathing in. I am breathing. All the time breathing in and out according to the natural rhythm of your breath. And if your mind wanders, as soon as you notice, it’s going somewhere else, just bring it back

to the feeling of the tummy rising and falling. And again, giving it that job I am breathing in.

I am breathing out. Just notice if your mind slowed down, or maybe you even fully focused to be less busy than it normally is. Okay, so whenever you feel ready, just come back to your room, come back to the room and open your eyes.

I feel really good after that.

So I call it the close files breathing practice. And I’ve had really good results or I’ve seen amazing results works for me, but I’ve seen and many people just be able to sleep better, be a lot more productive, and be more creative. Because you bring a fresh perspective to whatever it is you’re doing. You know, it’s so many cases, what we do is when the mind is always busy, we bring yesterday’s problems, we bring last week’s problems, last month’s problems into today. And we never clear our head. Imagine if you had a desk and you’re 20 files open. And if you want like if somebody is going on stage, or somebody singing or practicing singing, if you can, you know, disengage from whatever’s happened earlier that day, and just show up there for the song and your voice be so it could it could really help it be more powerful. So you’re not affected by limiting beliefs, or what happened earlier.

Oh, that’s absolutely beautiful. And thank you so much Calodagh for that breathing exercise. So we’re trying to remember this one, everyone to put your hand on your tummy and on your chest and just focusing on the rising and falling of breath. And then to give your mind that job I am breathing in, I am breathing out and just sit with that for about a minute. And I certainly felt a shift in physically I felt more more relaxed as well.

And what I would say what I often say to people is the minute or two minutes, but it just do it for whatever number of breaths it takes for you to disengage. So that could be 10 breaths, 12 breaths for you to close your file so that you’re fully in it that’s the practice.

That’s wonderful Calodagh. Thank you so much for joining me for this podcast. I would love to let people know how they can connect with you, and what ways are you available for people to connect with on the internet? Or what what would you suggest to people listening?

Okay, well, I love hearing from different people from all over the world. I’ve lived in lots of different countries. So I love interacting with different people. So I have two websites. One is spiritual And the other one is Calodagh And I have newsletters, and I have emails on both of those websites. So I’d be delighted to hear from anybody who want to get in touch and ask questions or, or share and compare stories.

Absolutely. And I can attest to Calodagh’s skill as a mentor and life coach. So if that’s something that any of our listeners are interested in or need on their journey to finding the voice, I would highly recommend highly recommend it. And take that next step. Everybody, you know, sometimes we know a next step that that you need to take. And that may be completely unrelated to, to either of us, and and start, start, start today. Thank you so much Calodagh.

Can I just say a big thank you to you for inviting me. It’s been a big honor to be on the podcast today and keep up the amazing work that you’re doing and keep shining your light and thank you.

Thank you Calodagh. Okay, take care everyone. Bye bye.

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