Saturday, August 22, 2015

David Jean-Baptiste at Pizza Express Jazz Club,London

Friday, June 21, 2013

Energy!


Hi The Wellness Clarinet has recently partnered with LifeWave, here is a link so you can watch our Energy YouTube playList

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

The One Question That Could Change Your Life


“Am I doing the right thing?
“Can I pull off quitting my job and starting my own project?”
“Should I be doing more?”
Let’s face it: we constantly ask our ourselves questions that make us doubt our ability to improve.
It’s part of our human nature to try as hard as possible to stay within the status quo. Evolution tells us that generations of humans got through arduous living conditions by seeking shelter and safety above all else. Now that we very rarely struggle to find that kind of physical safety, our brains haven’t changed all that much. We’re hardwired to seek the status quo, and our minds do an efficient job of holding us back even when we strive for something new.
I’ve seen many of the people around me suffer from this kind of self-doubt:
My best friend spent over two decades being unlucky in love, accepting sub-par treatment from her dates.
Daniel, a friend I met at a conference last month, spent years putting on weight mindlessly and carelessly.
I followed society’s advice all the way to grad school and a high-paying job, building a business for someone else instead of myself.
Has something like this happened to you? We do this when we’re afraid we can’t create a better situation for ourselves, when we believe this is as good as it’s going to get for us, when we can’t fathom of anything better coming our way.
If our brains are hardwired to stay within the status quo, creating doubt and fear of change, how can we change that hard-wiring? How can we flip the switch on our minds so that the questions we ask ourselves become *helpful* instead of *hurtful*?

Ask yourself a new question — a better question.

I strongly believe in the power of questions. Asking yourself a thought-provoking question can change your life more than any simple answer can. That’s why I created an entire mobile app based on asking interesting questions to elicit lots of thinking and deep-felt answers.
But there is one question above all that I encourage everyone to ask themselves. At most, it takes a few moments to ponder. If you aren’t ready to answer it, come back to it later. If you are ready to answer it, your life may change forever.
The question is:
Do I deserve better?
At some point, we’ve all been guilty of accepting less than we deserve.
I shared some examples with you of how doubt and fear of change can keep us locked inside our current situations, even if they’re not good for us. Now, allow me to share how these situations changed once the question of what each person deserves came into the picture:
My best friend’s father said to her one day: “I raised you to expect the best from your life.” That changed her mindset and her love life took a turn for the better.
My friend Daniel hit a low-point when he couldn’t run a 5k and struggled to build his business. Knowing he deserved better, he invested in a coach to help him drop 70 pounds thus far.
I quit my job (and then restructured my business a few months later) when I realized I wasn’t as free as I wanted to be.
If you asked yourself what you deserve out of your life — in your career, your relationships, your health, your everything — does it match up with your current situation?
Asking yourself what you deserve gives you a clearer roadmap of where you want to go — your destination. Once you can see your destination, it’s much easier to identify what you need to do get there — your path.
I hope this very simple question opens your eyes and your life to all the awesomeness you’ve always wished for.
I’d love to hear from you — could the concept of what you deserve change some part of your life?
BY MARCELLA CHAMORRO

15 Highly Effective Ways To Relax in 5 Minutes


15 Claritique Ways To Relax In 5 Minutes


These 15 techniques are for you, so that you can gradually learn how to improve the quality of your life, through relaxing when time is at a premium. Most have been devised by me, others have derived from elsewhere. Feel free to choose the exercises you like and practice them regularly. Practicing how to relax is better than money in the bank; you can take £2000 and travel somewhere fabulous but if you still can’t relax there, your time and money would have been better spent learning how to relax. With a little bit of practice on a day-to-day basis you will become good at it.

                                                

1.Sixty to Zero

Close your eyes, take deep breaths in and out, breathe slowly. Say to yourself I will count from 60 to zero, when I reach zero I will have a refreshed yet relaxed state of mind. Slowly count backwards from 60 to 0. Try to count more and more slowly the closer you get to zero.

2. Laugh and Smile

It is amazing how relaxing a good old laugh and a smile can be. Try for 5 minutes at different points in the day having a good laugh about something positive with friends and colleagues, maybe tell a joke or two. It is proven that a simple smile releases feel good chemicals, endorphins and serotonin from the brain.

3. Your Happiest Times

Take a deep breath, slowly inhale and exhale saying to yourself: “With each breathe I take I become increasingly relaxed.” Allow your mind to recall 3 situations that were the most relaxing and happiest times in your life so far. Intensify the feelings you felt, the sounds that you heard, the various colours, shapes, pictures and sensations that you experienced. Step into each mental picture and clench your fists as the feelings intensify. With practice each time you clench your fist it will trigger these memories of happiness and relaxation.

4. Six Points of Attention

Place your attention on 6 parts of your body; for example, the warmth, shape and weight of your feet on the ground. Place your attention on The Hara which is the point in the centre of your body between your belly button and pelvic region. Place your attention on your Solar Plexus. Place your attention on your heart. Place your attention on your Brain Stem at the base of your skull. Place your attention on the area between your eyes at the base of your forehead. Place your attention on the crown of your head. Eventually you will have a point of attention on all 5 places at once. Tell yourself: “As I focus my mind in this way, my body becomes more relaxed, at peace and I move into a space of deep happiness.

5. Your Very Special Place

Create a place of peace you can go to at your will. It might be a spot under your favourite tree where you go to relax in the cool shade or a secluded beach on a paradise island, where you walk on warm sand, as the sea laps gently to and fro on the shore. You may wish to share this space with your most favourite person in the world. And the really good thing is, you can visit and explore this place as often as you like.

6. Healing Light

Take a few deep breaths and relax. Tell yourself, “With each breath I take my relaxation deepens.” Imagine a warm healing light about 20 centimetres above your head just in front of you. This light embodies all the positive, healing and harmonious feelings that you would like to experience. It slowly descends through you, totally immersing your body and mind with powerful healing energies, filling every cell in your body, relaxing every pore of your skin. You become refreshed, renewed and revitalized completely, overwhelming negative forces, and anxiety, pushing them out, leaving you feeling relaxed and invigorated.

7. Sohum Meditation

Sit in a quiet place take a deep breath and relax. Use the primordial Sanskrit sound Sohum. Inhale silently with Soooo… and exhale silently with Hummm… do this for a minimum of 5 minutes at a time. The Sohum meditation is a simple but powerful technique that uses breath and repetition of a mantra to quiet the mind and relax the body. The Sohum sound increases the effect of relaxation by releasing the autonomic nervous system.

8. Outward Attention

Sit in a quiet place and bring your attention outwards to the room you are sitting in. Hear what you hear, see what you see, feel what you feel. Attempt to do this for 5 minutes at a time.

9. Let It All Out

Visualize a person you are upset with. In your mind’s eye meet with them, and let that person know how you feel about them. Feel free to shout and scream at them in your mind, or (which is even better!!!) out aloud if you can. Go on let it all out, say whatever it is you want to say to that person. Now notice how much better you feel.

10. Hit the Pillow 

Beat a pillow or another object that is not going to hit back or hurt you as hard as possible for five minutes.

11. Walk of Awareness Take a 5 minute walk with open awareness in consciousness. As you walk feel the contact your feet make with the ground, and the weight of your body on the earth. Feel the gentle weight of your clothes on your skin. Feel the soft caress of the wind and air on your face. Listen to the sound of your footsteps. Listen to the sounds and voices around you. Listen to distant sounds. Notice the quality of light you are walking in. Notice the various colours and shapes of the landscape, buildings around you. Become aware of a movement of people, animals or things around you.

12. Simple Qigong

Learn a simple exercise from Qigong…Qigong is a Chinese philosophy and practice of aligning breath, physical activity and awareness for mental, spiritual and bodily health as well as the development of human potential.

13. Holding a Positive Thought

Practice holding a positive thought for 15 seconds at a time. According to mind set expert Andy Shaw with practice you become the master of your thoughts.

14. Smash the Mirror

In your mind’s eye see a reflection of yourself on a life size mirror in the state of mind you desire to move away from. See the picture life size in front of you. Notice how bringing the mirror closer towards you makes these sad feelings stronger. Now smash the sad mirror to pieces and notice how good it feels as the sadness leaves. The really good thing is, you can do it as often as you like. Each time your mental connection to this sorry state of mind releases.

15. The Leaf

Imagine you are walking in a forest, and as you walk you find a small creek. You stop to pick up a leaf from the ground. You hold up this leaf, gently place a problem or a negative thought onto it, and then let it float away down the creek. Then you take another leaf and put another problem / thought onto it. You continue doing this for some minutes and watch your problems disappear

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© The Wellness Clarinet Ltd 2013

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Hidden Art of Achieving Creative Flow

The Hidden Art of Achieving Creative Flow

Have you ever had a creative evening when time suddenly flew by? A day when you executed a difficult project at work flawlessly? A brief moment in time when your challenging exercise routine felt effortless?
All of these times you were in a state of flow.
Flow is a concept developed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi of the University of Chicago, who has studied the phenomena his whole career. Daniel Pink reintroduces the concept in his new book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.
Many people flow through their lives in an effortless fashion, while countless others have a difficult time achieving a flow state.
Why flow is hard to achieve
Flow is a moment in time when you’re both challenged at the activity that you’re doing, and when you also have complete autonomy in the task you’re conducting.
We engage in flow under your own volition, with a skill which we’ve had some amount of experience.
If you’re not flowing, it’s probably because you aren’t allowing yourself to be challenged, you’re completely overwhelmed, or someone else is holding you back.
The majority of my experience with flow has been with dance and writing. I’ve studied dance for many years, and one of the technical skills that dancers work on is called improvisation. Improv is very tricky in dance. You have to turn off your mind and simply dance with your instincts.
When you’ve mastered improv dance, you’ve reached the sweet spot between your brain transferring commands to your nervous system. There is no longer any thinking involved, as thinking in improv dance will make everything stop. There just isn’t any time for brainwork when you are constantly moving.
Csikszentmihalyi hypothesizes that these moments of flow occur because we’re simply activating too many neurological functions. Because of this we no longer have capacity to be aware of what functions we’re engaging in. So the ‘conscious of me’ part of the mind switches off, your awareness of yourself slips away, and you just do.
You’re simply flowing in the the present moment
I have also experienced flow in writing. I think it’s very important for writers to engage in flow. A lot of writers stop and meticulously edit their work after every sentence, but writing this way (for most people) is counterproductive.
Why? I believe it’s because of the same reason that dancers can’t stop dancing in improvisation. If you just keep writing for 30 minutes without stopping, you give your mind a chance to turn off the ‘conscious of me’ brain functions. This in turn grants more brain power to challenging the boundaries of your writing ability.
You cannot edit while you’re producing work. If you do, you’ll be constantly switching between your right brain and your left brain. Your creative center will be switching off and on and it will be harder to produce anything meaningful.
A classic example of real world flow
Ray Bradbury was a freelance writer who was trying to support his family. However, he was working at home with his cute little children. This proved to be incredibly distracting, so he had to find somewhere else to write. So, he headed over to UCLA’s Lawrence Clark Powell Library.
In the basement of the library there was a number of typewriters that gave 30 minutes of writing time for a dime.
Ray was very poor at the time, and needed all the money he could to support his family. Whenever he popped in the dime, he wanted to get his month’s worth. This forced him to write at a frantic pace until his time was up. The most frustrating element of writing the novel was when the typewriter keys tangled, because it meant that he was wasting valuable time.
In between these 30 minute typewriter banging sessions, he would wander the halls of the library studying books and contemplating what he would write for the next 30 minutes.
The novel Ray finished was classic sci-fi novel Fahrenheit 451. He created this novel in record amount of time, and recalled feeling as if the flow of time had accelerated. The novel wrote itself, effortlessly.
Think about how important it is to flow
I really believe many people miss this aspect of engaging in their work. If you aren’t flowing, you’re not reaching the peak of your ability. There is so much untapped hidden potential in flow, just waiting to be retrieved.
People who have learned flow are challenging themselves and creating work at their best.
We no longer have dime typewriters at the library, but there are a number of ways to practice flow without them.
9 simple ways you can bring yourself into flow
  1. Pick a enjoyable, challenging activity. The easiest way to enter flow is by doing something you love. The activity also needs to challenge you, one you are extremely passionate about, that you enjoy doing, and that causes you to grow. If the activity is boring to tedious you won’t enjoy it, and so there is no way you can engage in flow.
  2. Eliminate distractions. Turn off your phone, log out of twitter, switch off gmail. If you’re constantly flipping back and forth between different tasks you’ll never be able to achieve flow. A foreign distraction will quickly bring you out of the flow mindset.
  3. Think before you do. Do any research or preparation before you engage in the activity you wish to flow in. If you stop and do research while writing, or have to grab a bite to eat in the middle of a run, you’ll throw yourself out of the grove. Preparation is the only way to avoid that.
  4. Isolate yourself. The best way to achieve flow is alone. If you’re in a room full of people, your mind will constantly be drawn away from what you’re doing. Shut the door, put on headphones, or find another way to isolate yourself.
  5. Let go. Give up any expectations that you have for yourself. If you enter a flow situation with preconceptions about the results that you’ll get from the practice, you’ll inevitably disappoint yourself. You also run the risk of narrowing your focus to a point where you can’t change coarse naturally if your flow takes you down a road less traveled.
  6. Give yourself a time limit. Like Bradbury, set a timer on your activity. Give yourself 30 minutes of uninterrupted flow time and just go at it with everything you’ve got. Forget about how much time you’ve been doing the activity, and how much time you have left, just flow. You may just find that you lose track of time completely.
  7. Keep moving. Continuous motion is key to flow, don’t give your mind a chance to start second guessing what you’re doing. Keep moving with the activity you’re flowing in. Go at a pace that’s challenging for you, but not overwhelming. You want to be calm and collected, but also have forward momentum.
  8. Don’t think. Switch off the part of your brain that observes what you’re doing. This is your self-consciousness, your ego, your sabotage. Why flow is so important is that it circumvents the necessity to constantly critique yourself. This can be hard, if you’re used to constantly second-guessing everything you do, but it is so important to successfully entering flow.
  9. Practice. Like any useful skill, flow takes time to master. Don’t stress if you can’t do it right away. If you’re interested in achieving a state of flow, you need to practice regularly. Set a time every day that will be dedicated flow time. Eventually you’ll start to recognize when you’re flowing, and when you’re not. After many hours of practice, you’ll eventually become a flow master.
Everett Bogue is the author of The Art of Being Minimalist, and writes about living a simple minimalist life at Far Beyond The Stars.