Wow I have put the pressure on myself. For each day of this challenge, I have blurted out and tried to make sense of lessons as they have arisen (yes there have been many!!!) over the past month six weeks and they have come effortlessly. They just flowed for 39 days but I reach day 40 and I feel I have to have something poignant and life changing as the final reflection. I have sat on it for a few days now waiting for it to come!!! With the patience of a typical type A personality this has been tortuous! Ironically I haven't let it be, I have a huge attachment to the outcome of how it is received, many expectations placed on myself, I've ignored intuition and failed to follow the signs! I have allowed a need for perfection to subconsciously rule; unless it is perfect, it will not be published. So my huge revelation hit me this morning in the shower..... this is all ok! There doesn't have to always be a topic, there doesn't always have to be a problem or an answer. It is perfect to not know!
I felt the need to have the ending so perfect that I would sacrifice publishing the final day for fear of it not being enough. Translate this; if my work is not good enough, I am not enough.
It is ok to say I don't know. We don't have to always know what to do, what to say, what to think, what to "be". It's perfect to say right now I don't know and hand over the reigns and trust that the answer to whatever we are seeking is to be revealed.
* Do you have unfinished business that you can't seem to push through?
* What is stopping you?
* How will you feel when it is complete?
* How will you feel if you don't complete it?
What is the difference between someone who keeps reaching for the stars and someone who is stuck in a rut? There is very little difference between emotions perceived or their fears they face; they often so similar. But the way the fear or emotion is dealt with is often the big difference. Often the person who keeps striving for more faces the fears head on, asks questions about it, looks at how they have struggled with it before and then chosen a different approach and pushed through it.
When we ignore the fear though, often in sits in the back of our mind playing over and over again on loop. We may not have the tools to face it so we instead cover it up by drinking, overeating, negative self talk, becoming ill until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; "see I knew I couldn't do that".
But what is on the other side of the fear? What if we push through the discomfort? So many times we are held back by the what if's which love to keep us small and in a place of fear:
* what if it didn't work?
* what if I couldn't do it?
* what if I ran out of money?
* what if no-one agreed with what I had to say?
* what if I got hurt?
* what if I fail?
* what if I succeed.............?
So many what if's! What if we could face a whole day making choices we want to make not making them from a place of fear? Pick a fear and face it head on. It could be facing a fear of an animal, reptile or insect. How would you feel if you held a snake after fearing them your whole life? It could be fear of saying yes to something you deep down want to do but are afraid to face because of all the what if's for example a new career path. Ask the question, what if I didn't do it.....?
We don't want to be at the end of our life asking "what if".......... wouldn't it be better to be saying remember when....?!
* Think of a fear that you want to conquer.
* Imagine how you feel when you have done it.
* Ask some questions about why it scares you so much.
* What is the worst case scenario.
* What is the BEST case scenario.
* What is to be gained by overcoming this fear?
* How could my life be different if I did this?
First batch of lollies for Miss 7's party this week. 3 ingredients and super quick to make.
We used blood orange, orange and grapefruit. Mandarin is still cooling.
Mix juice with a little bit of honey and sprinkle gelatin and heat for a few mins.
Pour into moulds and freeze for 20 mins.
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.