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Work out what is really important to you

In the second of our Balancer pieces in association with Grace Belgravia, Eminé Ali Rushton learns to open up and finds the answers she was looking for

by Psychologies

what's important to me?

Padma Coram is naturally warm, smiley, reassuring. She wraps my legs in a blanket and pats them at regular intervals, rubs my shoulder, even gives me a cuddle.

We’re talking about my ‘roles’ – wife, mother, daughter, breadwinner, friend, editor, sister… the list goes on, as it does with us all, of course. It’s easy to talk to her – she has a natural talent for intuiting your need, given that she is an expert in everything from Emotional Freedom Technique to meditation.

She sits with a large pad of paper on her lap, and sketches freely as I talk – filling pages with spider graphs, key words, pointers that will then help me remember the things we’ve discussed and the steps I need to take. I’m lucky, I’m blessed, I say a lot, and she calls me out on it. ‘You can still be tired, worried and unable to cope, it doesn’t mean you are failing – that’s just life sometimes!’ I smile, because I am also all of the above.

She skips from one therapeutic skillset to the next, seamlessly, and it’s word-association that’s particularly enlightening for me, being a writer. She asks me to fire off three words without thinking in response to her words… fame, wealth, love, husband, mother. As I answer without thinking, I’m not able to see a pattern emerge.

This is what she does brilliantly – points out the wood to you, until you see the expanse, clear as day, no longer muddled by all the trees. She’s a deft, gifted guide on this journey, and after two hours that began with me saying, ‘I’m not really sure where I’m headed,’ she proves that I know exactly what I want, and what I need to do to get there.

She also makes me see, via guided meditation that takes me back to childhood, that I’ve always been this way – that I’m always, fixed on the future – on what I want next, where I’d like to be.

But, my uncertainty now comes from having mellowed a great deal – and essentially, wanting nothing more extravagant than a balanced work and family life. Happiness, she says. I say, family, love, peace.

And there is the answer I knew all along.

Follow Eminé on Instagram and Twitter @eminealirushton. Follow Grace Belgravia on Instagram and Twitter @gracebelgravia

Meditation teacher Burgs offers some advice on how to give yourself a break

  • Allocate time to respond to email instead of filling the gaps of a day with constant interruptions.
  • Notice how sleep and mental energy improve when you don’t stay up watching TV, awake first thing to emails, or fritter your free time surfing the net unnecessarily.
  • Reduce the level of stimulus you are exposed to – give your nervous system time to relax each day.
  • To reduce the need for ‘instant reward’ that we’re becoming used to, do things that take time to complete: read a book, cook, or learn to play a musical instrument. l Spend half an hour outdoors; sit quietly in a garden or park after a long day and delight in letting yourself slow down and decompress.

For more information, visit theartofmeditation.org

Photograph: iStock

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