When the stress releaser, becomes the stress increaser

women and stress
women and stress

I can’t begin to count how many times I have heard “I should meditate at least 20 minutes a day” or “ I have to do yoga in the morning or it won’t work” or “ I just failed at it this week”.

We embark on these journeys with great intentions, we know it feels good when we slow down and tune in, or we hope it will - the article said so.

Then we roll up our sleeves and get to it the practice. The first week was great. You felt the benefits, it was nice to take the time for yourself, your family were good with it (maybe to your surprise). 

Then week two, "shit, the meeting was moved" and you didn’t keep the momentum going that day, your kid got sick and you feel asleep on the only night that you really could have worked some practice in. 

Oh no, now a little stress sets in, now it won’t work, you failed and it was just too hard to fit in. You feel that you should be doing and that the commitment you made just is more stress, then actually benefits of meditating, doing yoga, going for walks in nature etc. This was not the point AT ALL.

Do you recognize the essence of this? 

First thing: you can't be meditate wrong!

Second, there are a few things in play here; life, impatience, maybe the stretch from 0 to 45 minutes of meditation every day was too big. Shoulding which almost never motivated pleasurable and simple action.

I really want to help you create a sustainable practice, to expand presence in your life, without creating more stress in the process.

Join me for this free tele class

Mindful Woman
Mindful Woman

I will share 3 tips to support you to begin and create a sustainable meditation practice in your life, without increasing stress in your life. If you can't join live, no worries, a recording will be sent within 24 hours, to everyone who signs up.

You can do this. You aren’t doing it wrong. We will look at how to simplify to create a sustainable path for you.

Sign up here

Email Address

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a tribute to: sleeping children

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote:

"I have arrived, I am home" is the shortest Dharma Talk I have ever given. "I have arrived, I am home" means "I don't want to run anymore." You need that insight in order to be truly established in the here and now, and to embrace life with all its wonders.

mindfulness in eberyday life
mindfulness in eberyday life

What a powerful sentence. For me it has always been a balance. I like running... well I like being driven, I like the passionate and excited side of me. I like the part of me that creates ideas for every step I take. What I have learned through the years of practice and training is to notice when that isn't serving me, when I no longer fills me up, but is draining me instead. And also learned to see that all that running robs me of the things that really creates a deep connection in my life.

It is so valuable to check and see in the moment what life is. In everyday life what gives me joy, happiness, a sense of belonging and depth aren't things like winning the lottery or running fast - it is the simple things.

Like last night, my oldest was asleep and I went in to tuck her in again. I stopped and looked at her, and she looked so big, yet still with her little baby face. She was so peaceful and cute. I was filled with love and gratitude. It brought me home. I didn't need to run to feel love, I didn't need to run to feel purpose, it was right there in that moment.

Moments like those pop up every day. They're not big sensational moments that will be written down in history. But shit they're valuable. It can be a good laugh, a moment when everyone at the table just shuts up and we are there together no strings attached. It can be that brief touch that let's you know you have been seen. The smell of the crisp Fall air. It is random smiles on the street. It's sitting on a chair by your house enjoying the sunset or dinner with close friends.

We don't need to run.

Connect In Thursday: B R E A T H E

Self-compassion breathe
Self-compassion breathe

We are moves, doers and driven women. We want to do things right. Often with meditation or yoga that "doing it right" enters how our practice, it could be we feel the longer the better, sitting right, getting the poses 100% like our teacher. The sense of what works for us, can fade a little.

Longer can be good, but it isn’t the only way to be mindful, to connect in. During a busy day, serving others less can still be so much.

[Tweet "During a busy day serving others, connecting inward can do so much. Take 3 deep breaths. #mindful #connectinthursday #breath""]

Take 3 deep breathes. Bring more attention to the out-breath. Letting go of the air. This is an invitation to let be. Allowing for these 3 breaths, the thoughts, sounds, feelings, to dos take care of themselves. Connecting to where you are, the body, to right here rather than there (the future, the other person, the past, the to dos yet to come).

What happens during those 3 breaths?

Connect in Thursday: Look up and around

Look up - the self-compassion
Look up - the self-compassion

On this fine Thursday I would like you to look up. We can get so focused on where we are going, what we need to get done, that we miss little moments of beauty right in the middle of the familiar and ordinary. Curiosity is such a catalyst for adventure and that muscle may need some exercise, flexing and stretching. A simple practice like this can be a good way to start.

Today's practice: Look up and around you right now. What beauty is there to enjoy, take in, appreciate, where you are?

Beginning to open up with curiosity, with presence where you are, to experience in a more intimate way is more simple than you may think. Even if looking up takes you to the grey ceiling in the office. What you do you notice?

Share it with your friends.

[Tweet "Look up and around you right now. What beauty is there to enjoy, take in, appreciate, where you are? #connectinthursday @carinalyall"]

Thursday is connect in day on the blog. I offer a short, free practice or reflection to support you to connect to yourself and others with more presence, self-compassion and care. This is a little nugget of inspiration for you. Allow it move through you, and be open to what it may bring. Stay tuned here on the blog every Thursday.

xo Carina

[Day 14] What have you learned so far?

Blog challengeCongratulations you have completed 2 weeks of challenges, writing and reflecting - great work. Today is all about going back and looking at what you have learned so far - if anything.

This is also a chance to do some of the challenges you haven't had time to do, or have been putting off for other reasons.

Here's a list of what we have looked at up until now: 

[Day 1] Welcome to the Challenge

[Day 2] B R E A T H E

[Day 3] Sit

[Day 4] How do you treat your body?

[Day 5] with Belinda Pate-Macdonald

[Day 6] What are you grateful for?

[Day 7] Enjoy a cup

[Day 8] Look up!

[Day 9] with Michael Haupt

[Day 10] Unplug

[Day 11] Do you get enough sleep?

[Day 12] Are you impatient?

[Day 13] with Stephanie Lin

Look up mindfully

What have learned so far? About yourself, being mindful, blogging? 

Now write a post or grab your journal and write about what you have learned up until now.

1. Add the URL  http://www.mindfulground.com/day-14-what-have-you-learned-so-far/ as a TrackBack link

2. Add a comment below with a few words about your post with a link to the blogpost

[Day 7] Enjoy a cup


Mindful Tea drinking

There is no doubt that being TOO busy is an issue in a lot of people's lives - including my own. As for finding time to meditate, well probably you won't the find time, you'll need to take it. Letting mindful living into others parts in important.

For me bringing awareness and mindfulness practice into my daily activities is just as big for me as my formal practice (meditation). If being mindful left me when I leave the cushion, then maybe there wouldn't be that much of a point.

Something I really enjoy doing is setting aside time to drink a cup of tea or coffee and allowing that to be part of my practice that day. Most of us drink tea or coffee (or water etc.) and if you're like me, you "down it" while sitting at the computer, Tv, chatting on the phone or reading.

This is an excellent chance to show up where you are, practice being mindful and enjoying what you are doing - while you are doing it.

Mindful Ground tea meditation

Now write a post or grab your journal and write about your reflections, experience and share your story.

1. Add the URL http://www.mindfulground.com/day-7-tea-meditation as a TrackBack link

2. Add a comment below with a few words about your post with a link to the blogpost

Share the love

Click to tweet: Tea meditation today via @mindfulground Bringing mindfulness into daily activities #tea #mindful http://tinyurl.com/npdbx2q

Recommended reading

Mindful Living - Mindful Ground

Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world

By Mark Williams


[Day 4] How do you treat your body?


"Your body is your home"

Rich Hanson

Mindful Ground - Mindful Living

For years I neglected to listen and respond to the signals my body was sending. Headaches, pain in my back, insomnia, nausea, panic attacks just to name a few of the signals.

The body was just sort of in the way, and at times I felt that it was robbing me of the chance to really get to a place of success and freedom - "if I can just do a little more, THEN I can relax" I would think to myself. The thing is you can ALWAYS do a little more, and more and more.

I was stressed and although It didn't come from bad intentions, I had never learned how to slow down enough to really respect my limits. A lot of us aren't friends with our body, it becomes our enemy at times.

By beginning to listen to the body's signals with gentleness and curiosity you can create enormous shifts. They may seem small, but just knowing where you are in this moment can help you respond more skillfully and in tune with what you need. The first step is always awareness with what is.

So, what is your body telling you? Get more sleep, eat less, eat more, less sugar, stretch, exercise, release tension, drop your shoulders a bit, relax your jaw, feeling strong, healthy, light, big or small, what signals is your body sending?

As Rick Hanson puts it "Your body is your home" and how does living there feel? Maybe you treat your body really well, how does that feel? How can you begin to treat your body like a good friend?

Remember this isn't about judging yourself, but observing with compassion (we will be diving into that some more later on ).

Living Mindfully - Mindful Ground


Now write a post or grab your journal and write about your reflections, experience and share your story.

I am LOVING your posts! 

1. Add the URL http://www.mindfulground.com/day4-how-do-you-treat-your-body/ as a TrackBack link


2. Add a comment below with a few words about your post with a link to the blogpost

Recommended reading

Mindfulness rachel Neumann mindful groundNot Quite Nirvana: A Skeptic's Journey to Mindfulness

by Rachel Neumann




[Day 3] - Sit

Mindful Ground Mindfulness challenge

We are starting off slowly in this challenge. And one good point in all of this is, that this isn't about rushing to become more mindful... :)

We have covered what being Mindful means to you. Important to define for yourself so you know what your starting point actually is. It helps you know what you expect from the challenge and yourself. Yesterday we connected to the breath. An amazing place to begin to stop and bring your awareness back to the present moment.

Today is about the formal practice - meditation, and in this case the sitting meditation.

Day 3 mindfulness sitting meditation


Do a 10 minute sitting meditation (if you are experienced or feel you have more time, then sit for longer). 

You can use the following instruction, an app or sign up of the mini mag on the front page and you will receive a free audio you can download. You can also youtube "Mindfulness sitting meditation" and use one of those.

  • Sit on a chair or cushion, you can also lay down on the floor if that is more comfortable for you. The back should be straight and let the shoulders drop slightly towards the floor. Close your eyes or let them stay open, and find a focus point in front of you.
  • Let your attention rest on your breathing. Follow your in-breath from the nose and its movement through the body to the stomach. Follow the out-breath up through the body and out through your nose. How deep in the body does the breath go?
  • Let the focus be on the breath. Every time you discover that your attention has shifted away from breathing, observe what the mind is occupied with, and gentle bring your attention back to the breath. As best you can. not judging yourself, because your attention has shifted. It happens again and again and is completely natural.
  • Next time your mind has wanderd off, pay attention to whether it is thoughts, feelings, or body sensations that has filled your awareness.
  • At times your legs might begin to feel restless, or your nose starts to itch, there can be an unsetteled feeling in the body, you start to worry about what you need to do when you're done? It can be anything. Is it possible to observe what it is?
  • Before the meditation ends bring your attention back to your breathing allow your attention to rest here before opening your eyes and gently take in the room.


Now write a post or grab your journal and write about your reflections, experience and share your story. If you already have a solid practice maybe reflect on what that practice means in your daily life. If you are a beginner what comes up for you when meditating?

1. Add the URL http://www.mindfulground.com/day-3-sitting-meditation/ as a TrackBack link

2. Add a comment below with a few words about your post with a link to the blogpost

Share the love

Click to tweet: Day 3 - Sitting meditation today with @mindfulground ’s 30 Day Living Mindfully Challenge. http://tinyurl.com/p9mr8sy #ease #meditation


[Day 2] B R E A T H E


“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Breathe - Mindful ground

We are often told (in the world of meditation) things such as "remember to breathe", "It starts with learning how to breathe" etc. I get what they are aiming for - I think. But as I see it, we are lucky beings because breathing happens whether you are intending to or not.

At last something in our lives we don't "have" to control... blink wink blink...

The breath is a very supportive way to anchor our awareness and can be used as a resource to come back to the present moment. It can be a way in to what is happening right now.

Anytime we want to, we can bring our attention to the breath and notice how it moves in the body.

For just a moment we can allow thoughts, feelings, sounds take care of themselves and just sit, stand, lay down with the movement of the chest and stomach. Giving ourselves the chance to show up - right where we are.

Simple - Yes. Easy - No not all the time. Available - anytime you want.

For me in my daily life it is my way of stopping, observing, letting be and connecting to what is important in that moment.

Mindful Ground Living mindfully

Now write a post or grab your journal and write about your reflections, experience and share your story.

1. Add the URL http://www. mindfulground.com/30-day-living-mindfully-blog-challenge-day-2 as a TrackBack

2. Add a comment with a few words about your post below with a link to the blogpost

Share the love

Click to tweet: Connecting to my breath with @mindfulground ’s 30 Day Living Mindfully Challenge. Come join me http://tinyurl.com/p9mr8sy #LMBC13

Recommend reading

Mindful Living - Mindful Ground

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness meditation for everyday life

By, Jon Kabat-Zinn


A few posts from Day 1

Habits, Bringing larger awareness to life...

Krista, being mindful and floating happily through the day...

Charlotte, Denmark - om bevidst nærvær og børn..

Anxiety got me started!


Ahh Day 7 - This blog challenge really doesn't feel like a challenge. Which is awesome - big thanks to Ms. Sisson. Today's question is great - just up my alley.

Which key tools will you turn to regularly to maintain your mindset and how will you use them effectively?

For years I delt with anxiety. Panic attacks, a constant sense of nervousness in my body, scared of being scared ruled my life. I isolated myself more and more, just from feeling so tired and not knowing how to face people anymore.

Carina Lyall MeditationMy way through those years became my meditation practice. I wasn't enlightened or fell in love with a guru. I just sensed tiny shifts for every time a sat and closed my eyes and let go of control. It wasn't always peace and ease - but more about handling what arose.

I became less scared and reactive, but learned to respond with more clarity. I began to see I had a choice. No matter how I felt, I was in control of the next step.

As for my mindset anxiety has become my "warning signal". I haven't had a full blown attack in years, but when a certain feeling creeps up I know it well, I know that this is when to slow down, take better care of my self, and allow myself to be vulnerable.

Easy - no, necessary - Yes.

Meditation and presence isn't only what happens on a cushion somewhere quiet. I bring it with me. It is how I move through life. It is compassion, care, curiosity, it is being connected to how I feel.

I am still me, I still have triggers and less flattering sides at times, but I am so much more aware of how they effect me, and stop a lot sooner then I did before. It is just so much easier to deal with when I am not on never ending auto-pilot.

So what supports me in business and life (and hey isn't it all just life??) is my meditation practice.