There is a genuine need for heartfelt apologies. We need them to dissipate the energy around hostility and negative emotion. But this reflection is looking at the overuse of the words "I'm sorry"; the diarrhoea of apologies!
There is only so much that we can truly apologise for; that is really ours to own. But really do we need to apologise for the weather or if someone bumps into us or for wearing paint stained runners to an exercise class or speaking too long?! Then we find ourselves saying sorry for saying sorry!!!!
Often we can perceive situations as offensive to others that other people don't actually find offensive and we apologise unnecessarily. Maybe this could this boil down to not wanting to do wrong and a fear of upsetting others. Over-apologisers may not be aware of what they are doing but at a subconscious thought level they may be trying to seek or hold the approval of others. It can also become a filler word; especially in an anxious moment where silence is uncomfortable.
It can reach a point where it becomes a subconscious addiction. A need to apologise for every little thing. Each sentence can contain an apology! Just have a listen to where and when you apologise and see if there may be a little overuse issue there. Overuse can lead us to being just like the little boy who cried wolf so when we really need to make an apology the power of it's meaning can be lost.
* Listen to your words and see how many apologies you make.
* What are the expectations that you place on yourself and situations that leads you to apologise?
* When you apologise, have you actually done something wrong or is this a habit?
Each day we are presented with mirrors. The more annoying we find someone or we criticize them (internally or vocally), the more we need to have a little look inside to see what it is that is coming up for us! It is called the mirror theory and when we are observing and analysing the behaviour of others, we are actually discovering ourselves in them.
If we view someone as unkind, look at an area of our lives that we may be unkind either to others or ourselves and find ways to increase compassion and kindness. If it is judgement of others that is irritating us, then have a look to see if there is a way in which we are being judgmental and perhaps there is a need to think about a new way to view people.
Others provide us with the greatest opportunity to work on ourselves. The issues we perceive to belong to someone else are not theirs but our own. When we look at others positively and in light, we are also doing and thinking the same of ourselves. We can hold gratitude to those who we may have perceived previously to be difficult for allowing us to go in and "tidy up"!
* Can you think of someone who makes you prickle?! What is it about them that you are struggling with? Say out loud exactly what your issue with them is. Now replace their name with I. Where is your life is this emotion or feeling going on for you or how could you being doing this to someone else?
* Think of people you admire. The singers and stars you follow and the people you are inspired by. Write down what it is in them that you love. Now remove their name and insert the word I!! This a reflection of the traits that are in you that you are seeing in others.
Our gut feeling... you know that feeling when there is something you need to do but can't quite place your finger on it! Or you get a funny feeling when you meet someone; in a good or not so good way. We must learn to trust these feelings.
This is a gift we all have; some are more tuned in than others. Sadly I think our modern lifestyle blankets a fog over our intuition with the inflammatory foods we consume, toxins in our environment, changes to our sleep patterns and the fast pace we are living. It is very hard to listen out for the signs when our body is in damage control.
Our intuition can guide us to the nutrition our body needs (listening to the messages our body is telling us is so important in leading us to information about our health), it can lead us to the people we need to meet, the places we need to go to bring us the lessons we need at the time. When someone tells me they have been under a lot of stress, the first question I ask is if they have been craving plain salted chips!! Sounds like a ridiculous question doesn't it, but our body intuitively needs additional salt (especially a good quality natural salt) when under stress as aldosterone (a hormone produced by the adrenal glands) production is often altered and the body needs salt to maintain homeostasis and ensure we don't drop from dizziness.
How can you test your intuition? Think of a question. Shut your eyes and answer with the first thought or word that comes to mind. As soon as you pause to think, the intuition is gone and the brain takes control trying to provide a logical answer!
If you get a funny feeling around someone; trust it. If you get a sense of knowing that you need to go somewhere; go there. There is always a reason and often lesson behind the intuition.
* Think of ways your intuition has helped you in your past. Has there been somewhere you knew you just had to go and it turns out to have been such an important decision?
* Is there a feeling that keeps popping up for you? Any burning desires?
What would happen if you woke up tomorrow and instead of trying to make everything happen as you feel it needs to you just let go and follow the crumbs? I don't mean you quit your job and run to the hills (unless you really really want to!!!).
But just for tomorrow maybe take notice of who calls you, or who you "coincidentally" bump into! What would happen if you called that person someone recommended you contact or follow a lead you have been given but would normally scribble down for "later"?
Maybe you see a word repeatedly or you keep hearing a song. You were thinking about doing a course and you open your email and there is an email from the institute! What would happen if you took action on the hints?
We become so comfortable in our comfort zone. So comfortable that we find ourselves going to work begrudgingly or doing things we don't want because they are familiar and just routine and it too scary or inconvenient to change. But what if things could be different? What could be the worst thing that could happen if you did something different? Just one thing!
Warning: every time the comfort zone is starting to expand that little bit, it can feel really uncomfortable. Often fear steps in as it's main purpose is to keep us safe and small. We worry about finances, time demands, what will people think, question whether we can really do it and procrastinate!
Questions to ponder"
* Has there been a recurrent theme coming up for you?
* Is there something you would really love to do but find that fear is stopping you?
* Do you repeatedly hear someones name?
* How many times will you listen to little signs to do something before taking a step?
* Just for a day, listen to your intuition. It could be as simple of a weekend jumping in the car just for fun and at every intersection asking yourself left or right and taking your first answer! See where it takes you!!! It can be a bit of fun too!
What is the toolbox you ask? Life seems to come along in waves; we ride the highs with great pleasure, enjoyment and happiness and then the troughs depending on their depths can be debilitating. As much as it would be great to try to level out this ride as much as we can, there are still times despite all the positivity and thought choice in the world, we may find ourselves in the trough. If we are in there, we may want to climb out quickly rather than wallow!
This is where the toolbox comes in. I feel this is one of the most important assets we can build. The toolbox contains a range of places to go, people to turn to and activities all to try and break the negativity cycle. No two toolboxes are the same and this is often where having a mind open to everything and attached to nothing can come in handy!!!
What can you do if you find yourself in a rut? Perhaps trying to tidy up some foods and bring in a quick hit of nutrients could help, or going for a reiki session. It could be trying kinesiology or getting up each morning to see the sunrise. A big walk along the beach or maybe an essential oil that you have anchored a happy calm feeling into; anchoring is a very powerful way of remembering and feeling an emotion using an object or an action. To anchor, when in a state of peace and happiness, dab a drop of an essential oil on a tissue and keep it with you, or squeeze your earlobe, or wear a bracelet, a piece of string or a ring that reminds you of how you feel in that moment. If you find yourself in a downward spiral, bring out the anchor!
The toolbox could contain a variety of activities to try such as a guided meditation, yoga, journalling or sitting in quiet.
What works one time may not be the first option another time but this is why continually working on the contents of toolbox is so important.
We cannot experience happiness when this word makes it into our vocabulary. Until this week I had no idea how frequently I used it and how good I was at self-degradation when I placed it strategically into so many sentences!!!
Why must we downplay our magnificence using the word only? The moment only is used we are defining ourselves, our actions and our lives as not good enough. It makes us believe that we are "not there yet" or "not as socially accepted".
So I decided to sift back through some conversations lately both with others and with myself. I was quite surprised how frequently I how I use the word only. Here are some examples:
* we are "only" renting
* I am "only" a nutritionist
* I "only" ran 5km
* I am "only" halfway
* I have "only" finished writing one book
* We "only" have 4 chickens (!!)
* I "only" work during school hours
* An oldie..... I am "only" a mum (when asked what I did when I had young kids - ouch...... on so many levels)
* I have "only" read one book in 4 months
* I have "only" completed 3 out of 6 modules of a course I am doing
* We are "only" going to x for our holidays
Wow wow wow this has been the most powerful exercise I have done in a while!!! Each time without consciously realising I am doing it, I am comparing myself to the expectation of society, to the lives of others and to my own expectations. I am sabotaging any chance of experiencing happiness, gratitude and joy in each moment when living with an "only" mindset.
It is near impossible to be happy with our achievements when we throw the word only in to a sentence. By simply removing the word only, each statement here becomes a beautiful achievement; all things to be so proud of.
* Think about times where you may use the word "only".
* Repeat the sentence without it!
Day 31: "Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work." (Dr J. Trainer)
Guilty as charged. More than once I have become easily frustrated by "interruptions" and "distractions" from my children while I have been working on "important" business. I caught myself the other night thinking and speaking negatively about a commitment I had made with my children which would be putting me behind with my work. What a realisation.
I am known to get lost in my work; I love my work and often boundaries become blurred between work time and family time. But when I return to my original "why" behind doing what I do; empowering women to find their sparkle and be the best version of themselves through nutritional and lifestyle education, I am going against what I am standing for! I want my girls to find what they love and do more of it but I also want them to spend as much time as possible in the present. When I focus on an endpoint in work and asking them to wait until I have finished, I am telling them that work, fear of not completing a task and future outcomes are more important than being present in the moment and also that my desire to help other people is greater than my desire to help them and be there for them.
So what can be done? Set distinct child-free working hours which are strictly designated to completing tasks. During this time all technological distractions need turning off and ensure that work can be completed without interruption by others. It's not the quantity of time spent on getting tasks completed but the quality and productiveness of the time spent. Home and play time is exactly that. 100% in the moment.
Our children are the best constant walking and talking reminders of the beauty of the present moment. The present moment is all we have! Being present in the present moment stops overthinking, resentment, anxiety, fear, disappointment and we cannot be distracted or interrupted as when in the moment everything is what it is.
* Go and give your kids a big hug and thank them for bringing you into the present moment.
* Thank the children in your life for showing how it can be possible to live in the present
* Think about ways to plan your time to ensure work and play are separate.
Have you noticed your mood change or certain feelings develop when you log in to social media or when you open the newspaper or watch the television?
Every account and event we read about in newspapers, watch on television or see on social media is the opinion of someone else. Pre-conceived filters would have been applied which are individual to us all. The words used to describe events and the emotion attached is that of the witness. But we often pick this up and take it on as our own (especially as sensitive empaths).
If this is true, why do we often base our own opinions, judgement and perceptions on the word of others? Why can we invest so much of our energy and thoughts into hearsay without experiencing the event ourselves or without a true understanding of the circumstance which unless it affects our life directly is more than not, none of our business? Frequently our opinion of others is formed by the judgement of others.
We expend so much energy worrying about the what-if's and the what-not's. Is this even real? What is real? Right here right now what is happening that can impact your life (for better or worse)?
Questions to ponder:
* Can you think of a time where you have pre-conceived or mis-judged someone based on the opinion of others, or the media?
* Do you have thoughts about certain groups, events, people which have been formed by other influences? How can you work towards forming your own opinion?
* Perhaps sit through a session of the news and continually ask - is this story coming from a place of love or fear (or someone else's perceptions)?
* Is this real?
* What is real?!
I trust that what I have to share with others is what is needed and what is done with the information after it leaves my mouth is none of my business.
The "fixing" need within often means that I want to not only share advice but then follow people into their lives and offer support or suggestion at any given moment. I choose to separate and trust that the information they need at this given moment has been received and the choice to act then lies in the receivers hands.
All I desired as a health practitioner was to help and "fix" others; friends, family, strangers on the street! Very quickly I learnt that the only person I can truly help is myself. I can offer support, guide, advise and I can be an example of what I want to share but I cannot attach or place expectation on the outcomes of others.
We can love and respect all around us wherever they are at on their path without judgement or expectation. Of course when we are coming from a place of love we only ever want the best outcome for all around us. But we cannot hook our energy cords into their outcomes or we can miss out on giving true support and love in the moment as we instead are focused on an outcome.
The same love and respect should be given to ourselves.
No one is responsible for the outcome of anyone but themselves.
Questions to ponder:
* Is there anyone in your life right now who you are focusing more on the future for them then the right here and now?
* Have you hooked your energy cords into the outcomes of others?
* How would you feel focusing on your own energy and outcomes rather than those of others?
We don't have to do everything! Phew that is written in black and white.....
"To carry each other is not a burden at all, but a kind of privilege." Bono
Why do so many believe we must do absolutely everything? As mums this is often heightened as so many of us step into the role of a martyr where everything is done for everyone else to the detriment of our own health. Perhaps when going from a position of independence to a mum role, some of our self worth can be measured by what we have done especially those things that can be visually measured such as the ironing, washing, cooking etc.. The reward system is set up which continues to fuel the need to do everything; the superwoman scenario.
This is all well and good until we reach burnout, or resentment, or depression.
Our identity is lost not in the fun of doing what we enjoy but doing everything that we possibly can because we can.
But what if we could be more productive, self-loving and more loving to those around us if we started delegating tasks to others or reaching out and asking for help? There is no shame in asking. The worst thing that can happen is someone can say no to which you ask someone else. Often fear blocks us from asking; fear of being unable to financially fund the support, or a sense of guilt that perhaps we feel we need to be doing it ourselves. Like decluttering of material objects, delegating tasks is a mental decluttering of tasks which allows the new to flow in!
It is safe to invest in myself and by investing in myself I am asking for help.
Questions to ponder:
* Are there any areas of your life that you currently feel you could ask for help?
* Do you feel like you are spinning your tyres in the one spot over and over. What is something different that could be done to get out of the boggy marsh? Is there anyone you can think to ask for help?
* Are there other people who have gone through similar experiences to you that you have seen come through who you could ask advice?
* Investment in ourselves is never a waste of time or money.