Renewal of Vows

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Planning to Renew your Wedding Vows?

 

Renewing wedding vows has become popular in recent years. If approached with care and thoughtfulness, a renewal of vows or celebration of your relationship ceremony can help to cement the bond of love which already exists between you.

 

You may choose to renew your vows for a number of reasons:

  • You were married in a different country and now wish to celebrate with family and friends who were not able to attend the first time around
  • You want to celebrate a special anniversary by re-affirming your love for one another
  • You have been through some difficulties together and want to declare your continued commitment to each other
  • Your wedding was not how you wanted it to be and you want to do it right this time
  • You just want to tell the world how much you love each other!

Perhaps you are not married and don’t want to be wed, but you do want to celebrate your relationship and mark it in a significant way.


Whatever the reasundefinedon, renewing of wedding vows or celebration of a relationship can be deeply meaningful and personal, and doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg.

Because there is no legal status to such an event, pretty much anything is possible.

You may choose to invite your friends and family to a grand and formal event. Or you may prefer to find a quiet location, by yourselves or with a few chosen people, and make your commitment or re-commitment to one another using words and symbols that are meaningful to you.

 

 When planning your event, I would encourage you to consider the following:

  • Why are we doing this at this time in our relationship?
  • What message do we want to give to one another?
  • What message do we want to give to our family and friends?
  • Do we want to use our original vows or are a different set of words more appropriate now?
  • Are we going to exchange new rings or have our original rings blessed?
  • What type of music, language, symbolism etc do we want to draw on?
  • Was there anything missing from the wedding that we want to include this time around?
  • Where and when do we want to do this ceremony?
  • Who do we want to celebrate with us?

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When I am conducting a ceremony, whatever the occasion, my aim is to make it as personal and special as possible.

As an Independent Celebrant I am not restricted to any particular actions or set of words and can include music, poetry, symbolism and liturgy from anywhere of your choosing. It can be religious, spiritual or non-religious. We can draw on your culture, background and heritage, we can include aspects of your original wedding or do something totally “off the wall.” The choices are endless.

The important thing is to create a ceremony that enables you to mark your special event in the way that is most appropriate to you.

 

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One final point, why not treat yourselves to some relationship coaching prior to your special event. Whether you are doing this following difficulties in your relationship or not, working through some of the more sticky and challenging issues between you will help to ensure that this event is not just a show of words, but the start of something so much better and more beautiful than you could have imagined.

To discuss how I can help you to renew your vows or celebrate your relationship in a way that is just perfect for you, or to arrange some relationship coaching, please get in touch.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Contact me at:

Carol Page
Tel: (00357) 9907 8545
E-mail: carolpage@newpagelc.co.uk
Facebook page: Personalised Ceremonies Cyprus

 

Mindfulness

What is Mindfulness?

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“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

 

 

 

Breaking that sentence down, the three main concepts of Mindfulness are: awareness, being non-judgmental and learning to live in the present. Let's look at these concepts in some detail.


undefined1.  Awareness


The aim is to increase awareness of what is going on both internally (our thoughts and emotions), and externally (the world around us). We are then better able to control how we respond and even how we feel in any given moment.

What generally happens is that we attach drama to situations and tell ourselves, and others, stories around what has actually taken place. This can lead us into a downward spiral of negative thinking. If we allow negative thoughts to become habitual, they generate negative feelings within the body and emotions.

By becoming more aware, we are trying to avoid doing this and observe only what has actually occurred.

So if something happens and you find yourself getting upset, by observing the situation and your own feelings in a detached way, you can bring your feelings back under control.


undefined2.  Non-judgement

Here the aim is to refrain from judging ourselves or anyone else. We learn to be judgmental (young children don’t judge), so we can unlearn it.

Very often, the reason we judge others so harshly is because internally we are judging ourselves. The hardest thing about this is learning to stop judging ourselves.

In a mindful approach we let go of the negative internal dialogue and come back to the emotion only - ‘How am I feeling?’ – without any judgement. 

 

undefined3.  Living in the present

Learning to bring our thoughts and feelings into the present moment is one of the key principles of Mindfulness. The concept was first described by Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now. It can be summed us as ‘Being in the present, in any given moment, as much as possible.’

The problem is that we have butterfly minds. Our minds flutter all over the place, especially when we are trying to be quiet. The challenge is to control this butterfly mind, bringing it back to what is happening in the present moment only.

By learning to control this butterfly mind and live in the present, we can become more focused and aware, and less anxious, fearful and judgmental.


undefinedHow does Mindfulness help?

  • Improves both emotional and physical health
  • Makes it easier to enjoy each moment of every day
  • Helps you to become more focused on your activities with fewer distractions
  • Better able to deal positively with distractions when they do occur, or to let them go
  • Less fearful for the future or regretting the past
  • Better able to form deep connections with others.

Scientists have also discovered that mindfulness techniques can:

  • help relieve stress
  • treat heart disease
  • lower blood pressure
  • reduce chronic pain
  • improve sleep
  • alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.


Psychotherapists have discovered the benefits of mindfulness in treating problems such as:

  • depression
  • substance abuse
  • eating disorders
  • couples’ conflicts
  • anxiety disorders
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder.

 

undefinedA Basic Mindfulness Meditation

Sit comfortably and focus on your breathing. As thoughts come along, allow them to disappear, like clouds, without judging or creating story. Each time the mind wanders, come back again to focusing on the breath.

Now bring your focus to each part of the body in turn, starting with the feet and working your way up the body to the head. As you focus on each body part, notice, without judgment, if there is any body sensation such as discomfort, tingling or itching, and then move the awareness away from that part of the body to the next.

Notice sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches. Name them as such and without judgment, let them go.

As emotions appear or are noticed, allow them to be present, without judgement. Name the emotions: ‘anger’, ‘joy’ ‘frustration’. Accept their presence and let them go.

If cravings appear (for addictive substances or behaviours), notice how the body feels and allow them to pass, again without judgement. Replace the craving with the knowledge that it will pass.

When the mind becomes still, stay with that stillness for a few moments.

Make a note of how this was for you, before getting up and on with your day.

If you want to know more about this, please get in touch, or join me for my meditation class where we practice mindfulness, along with other meditation techniques.

undefinedI look forward to hearing from you.

 

Carol

Surviving Valentine’s Day if you are Single

undefinedValentine's Day can be a difficult time of the year if you are single. However, I am a strong believer that every situation can be an opportunity for growth and personal development if we recognise it as such.

Perhaps now is a good time for you to focus on who you are, what you are looking for and most importantly, loving yourself. Yes I know that probably sounds a rubbish suggestion when what you really want is a hot date, or better still, someone to love you. But bear with me.... Learning to really love you is a vital step towards being able to unconditionally love someone else.

The more you can enjoy your own company, look in the mirror and like what you see, and feel really good about yourself, the better place you will be in to attract someone who is also comfortable in his or her own skin. When we don’t really love ourselves, not only do we tend to attract needy people, which is not a good basis for a long-standing relationship, by we also tend to come into relationships with needs that we want the other person to meet. That is never going to fully happen and is an unfair and unreasonable expectation.

So the more we can feel good about ourselves and take care of our own needs, the more we can relax and allow relationships to develop naturally and easily.

Here are some suggestions for surviving the day itself:

1. Plan a meal with a group of friends.
2. Look to see if there are any events in your area for singles on Valentine’s Day
3. Do something you really enjoy, for example a hobby, activity or even a weekend break
4. Treat it like any other normal day. After all, the hype around Valentine’s Day is really for businesses to make money out of people
5. Spent the day with the people you love.
6. Buy yourself something nice.

So make this Valentine’s Day the year when you focus on yourself, your needs and making yourself feel special. You really are worth it!

Living in the Now: Creating a Beautiful Life

undefinedThe one constant in life, is change. Whether that is to do with the climate, economic instability, relationships, getting older, changing jobs, moving home, beliefs, education, illness, bereavement…. I could go on. Sometimes that change can be challenging and unwelcome, and at other times we long for it.

But how do we react positively to change, rather than allowing it to overwhelm us? The key is recognising that you have choices. Even if you didn’t choose the event or circumstances that are bringing the change, you can choose how you respond.

Your life is made up of millions and millions of ‘now’ moments. From the moment you came into this world until right now, there have been opportunities, choices and actions that you took, or didn’t take, that have affected your life in small or not so small ways. Some of those actions and choices have been taken on your behalf, and others, as you have grown older, you have made yourself.

But quite probably – and this is the significant bit – many of your past ‘now’ moments have come about without any conscious awareness on your part. We all just allow things to happen, and then look back sometimes with regret.

The point is, regardless of everything that has taken place up until this point, you are where you are today, and you cannot change that. But you can change your future ‘now’s. You can become more consciously aware of the choices you make and become clear about how you would like your life to be in one year, five years, 10 years from today.

Becoming more consciously aware involves thinking about the words we say, changing our thought patterns and our behaviours , which will in turn change our attitude to life and consequently, the circumstances of our life.


It begins with a conscious decision to be the person you want to be – right now. And once you learn to consciously live in the ‘now’, you can make conscious decisions about the future, based on what you know you can achieve, rather than being tossed about like a small boat in a gale force wind.

So regardless of your past, I invite you to make a conscious decision to do the following:

Accept what has gone before without blame, guilt or criticism

Consider how you would like your life to be – say five years from now.

Keep a note of your thought patterns, words and actions, turning negative behaviours into positive ones.

Ask yourself:

  • “What can I learn from my past?”
  • “What can I learn from what is happening to me right now?”

Make decisions based on what you want, not based on what you don’t want.

With every crossroads you come to in life, consider, which course of action will get you to where you want to be?

Find someone who will support you in your decision to create a beautiful life for yourself.

By doing each of these things in a conscious way, being fully aware of your choices and decisions, you will be well on your way to living in the now and creating a beautiful life for yourself. You can adapt well to change and turn your life around in exciting and positive ways.

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