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.
How frequently do we successfully complete one task only to immediately look towards the next event or challenge?
Today it's time to celebrate halfway! We have made it through 20 days of consciously exploring behaviours, thoughts and patterns. This is a huge achievement!!! Even if just the thought of a negativity fast has helped you to think more about your thoughts, this is worth celebrating!
Sit for a moment and reflect over the past 6 months. We are halfway through the year and instead of thinking about the things we wish we were doing better, have a think about your wins. They are always in there! Some days we need to dig a little deeper to reveal them but bring them to the surface. Even write them down.
Congratulations on choosing to take your thoughts into your own hands!
Loneliness provides us with the perfect opportunity to discover who we are. Often we seek happiness, love and joy in other people but how can we find these if we can't find love, happiness and joy in ourselves?
It can be exhausting searching hard to find that person or those people who will love us but maybe the search needs to stop. Sometimes being alone can trigger a feeling of a huge void or an emptiness which can often be filled by surrounding oneself with family, friends, a career, computer games or if the pain of being alone is severe enough it can even be filled or blocked out with excessive alcohol, drugs, obsessive work, obsessive exercise, shopping and all manner of time filling exercises. Loneliness can in this mindset feel like a huge burden.
Given the opportunity to be present in loneliness, it is this void or emptiness that can bring contentment and all the things we have been seeking in others. When we are at peace with our loneliness, we are not actually ever lonely.
Questions to ponder:
* What is it you are searching for in other people? The answer to that is what we need to look to nurture in ourselves.
* Be an impartial observer of your actions. Are there times you are avoiding loneliness by filling your time with other activities, interactions, obsessions?
We only have two human emotions. This goes against so much of our thinking doesn't it!!! But think about every human emotion we experience that is not love..... anger, frustration, jealousy, resentment, hatred, anxiety, guilt just to name a few. Every single one of them stems from fear.
Every thought we have comes from a either place of love or a place of fear. Love is what we are born with and fear is what we learn as soon as we start attaching meaning to events. We cannot experience both at the same time as they are opposing and contrasting.
From love, we appear to conjure happiness, joy, contentment and a feeling of peace and often time feels to stand still. We don't feel the need to look forward or relive the past; we are happily present.
Acting from a place of fear, we can't be in a place of love... coming from a place of fear is highly constricting. It feels safer to stay small and we can feel as though everything is "working against us". "Identify with fear and you will be a stranger to yourself." (A Course in Miracles).
Some times we may unknowingly employ fear to keep us small, or use it to replay stories that keep us a victim because bursting through the comfort zone bubble can be incredibly uncomfortable and often requires hard work. But it is these times when not in alignment with our true self and place of love that we can feel "off". We can be presenting with all the fear symptoms of frustration, anger, anxiety and we may not know why.
When feeling any emotions that aren't love, ask yourself the question "what am I afraid of?"
Activities and questions to ponder:
* Think of someone who you have in the past or now compared yourself to. What brings up emotion in you? What emotion comes up for you and how does this stem from fear? What are you afraid of that this person is bringing to light for you?
* There are so many examples of local and world events at the moment that are sparking fear. For example think about racism. What emotions does racism bring up? What ultimately are the underlying fears?
* Think about how you feel when you do something in alignment with what you love. How do you feel? Connect into that feeling and energy. We want to try and come into this space as frequently as we can as it is impossible to feel fear when in a place of love.