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.
How blessed are we to have a daily physical predictable reminder that we can start fresh? Each sunrise brings new hope and promise of a day that can be different if we choose it to be. We have the opportunity to accept a beautiful clean slate to create the day every 24 hours.
If we are to focus on the events of yesterday and awaken with them in the front of our mind, then our thinking for today will be tainted by them. How can today be the best day of our life when we weren't happy with the events of yesterday? If we do this day in and day out then we will never have a "best day of our life"!
But what if every day is the best day of our life? We only have the moment we are in right here and now. What if this is as good as it gets? It is only as good as the thoughts we choose. The best day of our life is a perception that we have chosen!
We get the opportunity every second of the day to choose our thoughts. But if we do fall into the negative thought patterns which as humans it is near impossible to avoid, remember that we have an external reminder each and every day that the canvas is blank.
* Commit to watching the sunrise each morning for a week.
* Imagine with each new sunrise we clean the slate with the opportunity to choose a fresh new day with a fresh way of thinking.
* How do you want today to be different?
No moment will ever be the same as this moment right here right now. There is no such thing as permanency. We have no guarantees, no fixed terms, positions or situations. Focusing on "keeping" for our own gain possessions, people in our life and events means we are coming from a place of fear, insecurity and ego. The contrast to this is living compassionately and mindfully and sending nothing but happiness and love for others whether they are actively in our lives or not.
Some may find the concept of impermanence rather unsettling and likely to create anxiety but when you think about it, no-one on this planet can predict exactly what will happen in the next 5 minutes, 5 months or 5 years. All we have is right here, right now. That is it. In this place of right here, right now, we can't be thinking about how much longer we may have in work, or fearful of things that may or may not happen to ourselves and our family in coming times.
Impermanence can also be rather invigorating. This is the place where dreams become reality. Where you wake up and find yourself living in a different location or working out what it REALLY is that you would love to do and for the time being do it! It also means that if we are experiencing a difficult period, this won't last forever.
Sadly since nothing is forever, we can also farewell loved ones or separate from those we have loved; these are the big reminders that we really do only have this moment to choose what we believe is best for us right here right now in this moment.
With no expectation of the future, no reflection of the past and leaving fear and insecurity behind, what would you choose to do in this moment?
Questions to ponder:
* What do you have on your dream board? When can these dreams become reality?
* What thoughts, beliefs or fixations are currently keeping you small? How are they affecting you?
* Who have you parted ways with (this includes farewelled loved ones) that you can send nothing but happiness and love to? As soon as we forgive those in our lives that may have caused harm, we are forgiving and freeing ourselves.
" When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." Wayne Dyer.
Have a look around you. Take in everything that is green. When you think you can remember them all then shut your eyes. With your eyes shut, try to recall everything that is red! It's very difficult especially when we have had our green filter on.
Now imagine that you had a collection of sunglasses with different coloured lenses. Each time you sit down with someone for a conversation you select your coloured glasses. The other person selects others. It means the filter you have applied is different to that of the person you are engaging with. What does this mean? We select our lenses often based on our history, our beliefs, our work, our education and our upbringing.. Of course our lenses differ to those of others. If we translate this to a conversation that you walk away drained or negative, think about what filter you had applied. Imagine this conversation now through a different lens.
So if you are sitting in a group environment with for example 7 other people and each were interviewed about the event that just occurred, there would most likely be 8 different accounts. All would be biased to the lenses worn.
Today I choose to select a different filter and approach each situation with an open mind
(as though I had just dropped down from outer space and had no history or beliefs)!
* Recall an event where you felt angry, disappointed etc with someone.
* Imagine what their past could have been like for them to respond as they did.
* If you had a different past, could you imagine wearing different coloured lenses?
The life of the modern day woman can some days (or most days) be described as similar to that of a circus performer. How many balls did you have in the air today?!!
I'm not sure if I will ever understand "balance". But increasingly I am coming to terms with the fact that I have many labels and I do have many balls in my juggling act. I am a mum, a wife, a passionate educator, mumpreneur (although that is still a word I am coming to terms with...), a taxi-driver and these are just some of the labels I can define!! But I am who I am performing each task when I can.
Frustration, resentment, anger and sometimes envy of others who seem to have "balance" creep in when I am not present in the moment at hand. I confess that one part of me could live in a bubble surrounded by the "work" I love to do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But if I am also wanting to do what the other part of me wants to do which is be a present mum to my kids, then the work has to stay at work so I can actually be present with my family. When I cross these over and I am not present fully in either, this is where trouble for me brews and negativity takes hold!
I accept that I may not ever work out balance! That's ok. I also let go of expectations that I hold of ideals of balance.
I accept that I can only do what I can do when I can do it!!! That's ok!
* Designate times that are specific to certain tasks (family vs work) and write notes (r to-do lists) of the important things to get done so they don't cross over into other designated times.
* Notice if you feel anxious or negative when trying to multi-task
* Don't make the to-do list too long. Perhaps have 3 non-negotiable things each day to get done and anything else is a bonus!
You know that feeling when you really want to make something work. You work really hard at it and sacrifice time, effort and energy to the point of almost obsessing over it. But everything along the way seems to be going against you. Perhaps it is not meant to be...
This doesn't mean we have to give up on projects.... what it does mean is that we have to sit in silence and get clear on where we truly would like to be headed.
When we are in alignment with ourselves, pursuing hobbies and other activities that bring us joy, tasks can often feel effortless.
* What is something you are pushing your hardest to make possible?
* When working on this task, how is you energy?
* If time/money/workload were not a consideration, what would choose to do?
When did we stop listening to our body? Our body has so much to tell us. It presents pain, disease, imbalance and exhaustion as a physical representation of what is going on for us emotionally and spiritually.
Our body can't tell the difference between different stress stimuli; regardless of whether we are running from a tiger or if we have opened a huge bill we can't pay, our body physiologically reacts the same. We can visualise the exhaustion we would experience if we were in a chronic state of stress running from a predator however we often don't associate the strain on our body from constant negative thoughts.
Those little niggles are telling us something. Each and every one of them. The cramps that make us jump out of bed and dance around the room at night are telling us our magnesium levels are deplete and often as a result of great stress.
What will it take for us to start listening? Would you listen to a headache?
Would you listen to a chronic pain? Or would it take a "big sign" to make you ask the big questions about how you are doing life?
Nothing brings us into the present quite like illness. Illness that causes total reassessment of life's big plans. Illness that makes us ask some pretty deep questions about what really matters. So easy it is to disassociate and treat the body for it's symptoms but are we really looking at the big picture? Are we saying yes to everything and everyone to the detriment of our health? Do we find joy in our daily life? Or are we merely surviving day to day? Are we chronically exhausted because we are doing what we think we "should" be doing rather that what we would love to do?
What is your body trying to tell you?
Making changes to our diet and eliminating toxins is a great way to support our body physically. It is almost the first essential change, however if we are to look at truly healing, we have to ask the bigger questions.
* After different experiences and activities, listen to how your body is reacting. Is it energised or is it exhausted?
* Notice how your body feels when you are acting from the heart or from a place of alignment with what you love to do.
* Notice how your body feels when you have walked away from a person or experience that feels "icky".
Think of a time recently when you have said you should so something. How would that same statement sound if should was replaced by could? By shifting this single word, we can shift a barrage of emotion attached to the thought.
Should has a connotation of expectation and can imply the perspective of others; we can be doing things because we think this would meet societal norms. When we don't follow through with a should task we can find ourselves berating ourselves.
By making a single change of one letter we can completely change the meaning of our thoughts. Substituting could for should turns our thoughts into choices. We can choose what we REALLY want to do rather than what we think we should be doing.
Example: I should wake up and go for a run in the morning.
Instead: I could wake up in the morning and go for a run. Let's see where the morning takes me as it could end up with a beach walk instead.
With the should go for a run scenario, it's highly likely I will feel guilt, frustration and cascade into plenty of negative self talk if I have placed the emphasis on should.
It's a simple change but one that we can catch ourselves in our self-talk and try using the could word instead!
* Over the course of the day, listen to any should statements and try replacing them with could.