Inspiration from our ancestors. When you look at where you come from you’ll discover your self anew (4 min read)

When you look to the past you can learn more about the present. And I don’t mean looking at our own past (although this is a valid place for self understanding). I am talking about our DNA’s past. Our chemical make up, our genetic inheritance. Today is All Hallowseve, Halloween as you probably know it. But in the times before the Christian church today was called Samhain. Samhain was the end of and the beginning of the wheel of the year. And as a time of death, it was at Samhain people honoured and celebrated their ancestors.

So what has that got to do with us modern man?

Hold your horses I’m getting there. We are not simply made up of our experiences, but of our genetics. In fact today we know more about our DNA than ever before. Now I don’t suggest you go out and have your DNA analysed or your family tree researched (Although if you want to it’s an interesting journey.) Samhain is a time where we can be inspired to look back on our ancestors and the gifts they have given us.

I truly believe that if you understand the past, know yourself fully and honestly have a better idea of where you are going to in your life and what skills you have in yourself to get you there.  Our DNA is a overflowing tool kit than can guide us through our lives. So this Samhain start to find out where you come from and the gifts you ancestors gave you.

Ancestors conjures up the idea of ancient people, but I don’t mean them. I am talking about the family members that have gone before and that have now passed over. We have all (probably) lost someone in our families that we were close to, also people that we were not so close to. For example some of us will have all heard stories of our great grandparents. These people gave us so much we can appreciate when we take the time to look deeply.

For example My Mum’s mum (Grandma) was wonderfully talented at sewing and knitting,  a little dappy, she had a sweet smile and a huge capacity to love her grandchildren. My Mum’s Dad (Grandpa) was friendly, could get on with anyone, make people smile and love structure order and was a talented draftsman. My Dad’s mum (Grannie) travelled the world, stood up for herself and others, loved food and learning as well as telling stories. My Dad’s dad (Grandfather) who died before I was born was a great business man, loved to live abroad and loved sports.

I am not the same as my grandparents. Not by a long shot. They were from a much older generation (at one point our living family covered a hundred years!) I am much more relaxed, hippyish and unconventional, although I am still slitghty dappy. However each of these wonderful people gave me gifts. From my grandma and grandpa came my creativity, ability to meet new people and a fantastic belly jiggle when I laugh! From My Grannie and Grandfather I love travel telling stories, can sell almost anything and a  love of learning ,  great food and to be active only in my case it’s dance not sports.

Of course these are just some of the gifts they gave me. There are many, many others.  Everyday I can feel their influence. From knowing their gifts, I have a deeper understanding of who I am. Of what I can do. From expressing these gifts I have a clearer insight into where I want to go in life. And from honouring them and understanding them I have a firmer root and foundation in myself.

Looking at our genetic inheritance is an incredibly powerful and enlightening experience.When you start to discover these gifts you will begin to see you actually have everything inside you to do and be whatever you want to.  

So this Samhain why not start to look at where you have come from. Who in your family do you most take after? What were their strengths? Find out what you have inherited from them. Find the gifts your ancestors have given you and start the Celtic New Year with a deeper understanding of who you are and where you come from.

Happy Samhain!

(P.s For those of you that maybe don’t know who your family is, this exercise can also be done with people you are not genetically related to. The results are slightly different but still incredibly powerful.)

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#lifelessons101 – Do you dare take the 7 day laughter challenge? (4 min read)

People say that laughter is the best medicine and last night I got a double dose of it. In our kitchen, totally exhausted and Mr T said something funny (and no I now have no idea what it was) and I cracked up. Seriously I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard. I fell on the floor snorting giggling and yes even dribbling. Not entirely my best look. However once I started I couldn’t stop, it was infectious and suddenly there’s the two of us on the floor laughing with our entire bodies. And this went on for half an hour!

Afterwards I was totally drained in a good way. It was an amazing feeling with the bonus of being a fantastic workout for my abs. It got me thinking about laughter. Laughing does things to our body that nothing else does. It is one of the healthiest releases of emotions. Have you any idea how healthy laughing is?

  • Laughter  oxygenates your blood.
  • Laughter decreases stress hormones in the body such as cortisol and adrenaline.
  • Laughter strengthens the immune system.
  • When we laugh our bodies release endorphins, the feel-good hormone.
  • One minute of laughing burns the same number of calories as 6 to 10 minutes on a treadmill.
  • Laughing raises your mood; joyfulness through laughter is the fastest way to create a positive state of mind.
  • Laughing is good for the heart and improves blood circulation.
  • Laughter can reduce pain and aid the healing process.
  • Laughter creates and strengthens human connections.

And if you don’t believe me look up Dr Patch Adams he knows what I mean.

 

It’s amazing that we don’t take the time to laugh more when it is so good for us.

So I am setting us a laughter challenge. For seven days I want you to try some of the following activities and invite laughter into your life. After the seven days write in the comments what difference it makes in your life. (I will also be with you every step of the way.)

Decide to laugh

First you have to decide that you want to laugh more in your life. Set an intention or set it as a goal that you want to laugh more in your life. Remind yourself by pinning laughter quotes around your home and your workplace, on your phone or in your wallet.

Laugh every morning

Choose to laugh every morning. Nothing starts the day better than a hearty laugh and a boost of endorphins. If you are not sure how, choose a technique from below and find what works for you.

Read something funny

It doesn’t matter what and it needs to be short. Check out imgur or the daily cartoons in the paper.

Of course if you want to read a funny book aswell, books are great as it’s an experience thats just for you.

Watch a funny video, series or film

Find something on Youtube that amuses you, watch a funny series or watch a funny film. Pick a comedian and watch them for five minutes every day. Take the time be it 5 mins, 30 mins and hour or two. Whether it’s funny cat videos or Full house whatever works for you to get you giggling and jiggling.

Be silly…I dare you

Do something silly. Put loud music on and dance around the kitchen. Run out and play on a play park. Even jumping in puddles. There are loads of things you did as a child that made you laugh, being silly is fun, so let your imagine carry you away and be silly as you can.

Laughing Yoga

Laughing yoga is a great way to get the chuckles muscles going.  Laughter yoga is based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides the same physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter. Laughter yoga is done in groups, with eye contact and playfulness between participants. Forced laughter soon turns into real and contagious laughter. There are many, many videos online so find one and give it a go. (Although I would advise keeping tissues handy and don’t eat before you start).

Surround yourselves with people that make you laugh

Surround yourself with funny friends. I am so lucky as Mr T is one of the funniest people I know, he even laughs in his sleep! Honestly every though the constant humor is sometime so irritating, I spend alot of my days laughing because of him. So find someone who makes you laugh and cackle the night away.

Watch your pet or people

Have you ever spent time watching your pets or other people? Both are hilarious. We do the stupidest things when we think noone is watching.

And if in doubt smile. A smile is infectious, it makes you feel better and makes the world a nicer place.

Take up the laughter 7 day challenge, flex those giggle sinews and grin your way into November!!

Remember to share your funny moments in the comments below

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If at first you don’t succeed…………..inspirational people when you need them the most. Walt Disney’s failure to success story. (4 min read)

 

“If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again” Although I am not comfortable with the word try, this little rhyme has stayed with me all my life. I have a feeling I heard it first when starting to tie my shoelaces, but I digress. It can be challenging to pick yourself up and try again when something you really want or have worked for, doesn’t go your way. When in this situation I know one thing. Whatever we were doing was not the way we should have been doing it. The universe is giving us a sign. However it’s not giving us a sign to give up, just to change tactics.

It’s a times like this when we need inspiration to go on. And who better to inspire us than successful people that have been in the same situation. This article is part of a series about people who inspire me, and I hope will inspire you during the times when you most need it.

Today’s inspiring person is Walt Disney. I recently watched the film Walt before Disney. I can highly recommend it. Before watching it I honestly had no idea how Disney struggled to create the magical empire the Disney family owns today. Here is the Disney story as I understand it. One of  serious dedication and hard work to create a dream and it all eventually paid off….

Walt was actually fired from his first illustration work for “not being creative enough”. Despite this Walt went on and first set up his own animation company in 1921 Laugh-O-Grams the company lasted for 3 years and then went bankrupt at one point Walt couldn’t pay rent and ate dog food to survive. Even with this failure he pooled all the money he had with his brother and they moved to Florida starting the Disney Brother Company. Walt created a character called Oswald the Rabbit and for a short period experienced success until Charles Minz stole not only the rights to Oswald but also Walt’s animators.

Not deterred Walt immediately produced 3 short films. These were the first of the Mickey Mouse animations. But when approaching MGM he was told the idea wouldn’t work as giant mouse on screen would scare women! Somewhere around this point in his life  Walt actually suffered a major breakdown. However he persevered and Steamboat Willie the first of the Mickey’s with a voice (actually Walt’s voice) became huge success.

People often think this was the start of Walt’s success however Disney’s road to success was never a smooth as that. His well known 3 Little Pigs was rejected by distributors because it only had 4 characters. Walt lost a million dollars on Pinocchio. Pollyanna failed at the box office. After WW2 Disney was in debt by $4 million.

Walt still had a dream and that was Disneyland. In order to finance it Walt took Disney to television. Even when Disneyland opened he faced challenges, forged tickets were bringing thousands of people into the park without his knowledge. The newly poured asphalt melted the heels of women, and a plumber’s strike kept drinking fountains from being installed in time.  Walt insisted on creating a high level of customer service despite the costs and eventually he succeeded creating theme parks all over America.  And still holds the record for the most oscars won by one person.

So beyond all that disappointment and learning came fantastic success. Walt would say, “Get a good idea, and stay with it. Dog it, and work at it until it’s done, and done right.” In picking himself up and in learning from his mistakes and moved on. He said: “To some people, I am kind of a Merlin who takes lots of crazy chances, but rarely makes mistakes. I’ve made some bad ones, but, fortunately, the successes have come along fast enough to cover up the mistakes. When you go to bat as many times as I do. you’re bound to get a good average.”

So what can we learn from Walt Disney?

  • Do you allow failure to stop you?
  • Do you learn from your mistakes?
  • When you get knocked down do you get up again?

Walt Disney was just a normal man who had a dream and preserved against all of the odds to make that dream a reality. And so can we if we keep moving forwards, learning and trying and trying until we succeed. After all as Walt himself said “If you can dream it you can do it.”

 

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#lifelessons101 –  Life without play is just existing (And why I like to play with wands… Expelliarmus!!) (2 min read)

This weekend I will be donning my purple wig, grabbing my leather jacket, putting on my battered old army boots and heading on the yearly Odense Harry Potter Festival. That’s right I am going to be playing Tonks and Mr T will be Lupin, complete with scar on face and a stick on moustache ( which I know he will be complaining that it itches within 30 seconds of the glue being dry! That’s just his way of having fun).

So why, I hear you ask, is  38 year old women going to spend her entire weekend roleplaying in a fantasy world? The simple answer is because I can! And why not? As kids we have our fantasy button turned on constantly. A stick becomes a wand, a laser gun or lightsaber- do you remember that feeling of it being so real to you? I do. And I am so glad I do. So what happened to us  between then and now? Who turned off that switch? Well I am sorry to say you did. Society judges adults that like to play. Less and less I am happy to say, but unfortunately there is still judging dogma around it. Apparently it’s not mature to play lightsabers, it is not socially acceptable for adults to play. (Unless its Bridge playing Bridge is socially acceptable). The big problem is you believed them. And the more you believed them, the more difficult it was to turn on that fantasy switch until one day you couldn’t  find it again. And even worse because you believed them, you even begin to judge the adults that happily still play on the swings.

If you have found yourself in this situation it is the universe trying to poke  you with a giant stick. At this point my friends, you need the lesson from one of life’s wisest creatures. The baby.  Babies are humans in their most raw form. Happiness in a baby is a beautiful thing. Life to a baby is a beautiful thing. Babies are great they eat, poop, cry and sleep when and where they want to. And when they are not doing the above they are observing and laughing. Babies aren’t afraid to try something new. “Hey who knows what will happen if I put my foot in my mouth, it might taste good.” They don’t care if someone tells them a game is stupid. If it is fun they are going to do it anyway.

And so should we. We have, as far as we know, one life on this planet. One beautiful life to live to the fullest. And you are going to stop doing something you love just because you are apparently too mature. Surely this is the definition of insanity! Get out there! Go play, laugh , dance and feel joy! To forget to play is to forget to live, without it we just exist. Play makes the memories more beautiful and laughter come right up from the belly.

So go out this weekend and find your inner you and do something fun. Something your younger self would have enjoyed. No one knows when the day might be your last, wouldn’t you rather that in that day you had laughed, danced and had moments of pure joy. I know I would. So have a blast this weekend doing exactly what it is that makes you happy. For me that is going to be running around with wand in hand all weekend challenging other equally happy folks to a magical duel.

Have a wonderful playful weekend!

Expelliarmus!!

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(P.s Please note this article is written to those who have forgotten to play. I know there of many of you still out there that love childish play and to you I hope one day I mee you on the swings, *cos I know I can swing higher than you can 😛 !!)

Do you have life work balance? Time for a life MOT – 9 things you can do to rebalance your life (5 min read)

I love my life, I really do. It feels near perfect,  except for one thing. I don’t always have time to do some of the things I want to do. And I don’t think I am alone in this. Infact when I come to think of it many of my friends feel the same. Actually I don’t think I have ever met anyone who does actually feel that they have enough time in their lives. There’s not enough hours in the day has become an everyday phrase in modern life. The feeling creates frustration. Frustration can cause stress. And at that point you know absolutely that your work and life is not in balance.

However it doesn’t have to be this way,  it really doesn’t. If you want to create a better work life balance,iI you feel that your life is out of sync al it takes is a little work. (I know ironic but true). In order to balance your life it’s time to take charge and give yourself an overhaul. A life M.O.T.

What does work life balance mean to you?

Well what does it mean. The phrase conjours up a picture of bliss for us all. However my bliss is not the same as your bliss. Life work balance means differnet things to different people. Which means you have to define it for you. So get back to the drawing board. In the center of a piece of paper draw you. (Yes a stick figure is perfectly ok). Around you write all of the things you have in your life. Not just the big things like my job, my family, but the smaller things like walking the dog, doing the washing up, cleaning the house. Next to each word or phrase in brackets write how often you do this thing.

The wish list

Often when we do finally get the time to do those things we want to our mind draws a blank on what to do. So you need to know what is it actually you want to do that you are not doing right now? If you had all the time in the world what would you do? Make a wish list. Things you are doing in your life right now can also be included.  And prioritise them with A (I really want to do this or enjoy doing this) to D (it would be nice sometimes)

Compare the two

So how do your wishes relate to your current life? Look at the A wishes. Are they even in your life right now? From these two exercises you now will have a clear idea of how your lifw is and how you want it to be.

Time efficiency.

Part of having more time means using our time efficiently. And no I am not talking about time management in its traditional sense (even though it’s a valid option and really does help). I am talking about using your energy at the right time. It might be that you are trying to do things at a time of day that just doesn’t work for you. For example after breakfast is not the time for me to try and write. I need 30 mins at least for my insulin to kick in. So instead of writing I can clean. Make an energy diary for a week and see where you struggle with tasks, where you don’t.  After week you will already see some patterns of behaviour. You will notice where you have energy, where you don’t and what you can do best at these times.

Begin to change your habits to fit your energy instead of forcing yourself to do things for you when you can’t.  So for example if you find it easier to answer work emails after lunch do that, reschedule your work day, if cleaning during the week is taking energy rather than giving do it on the weekend. It’s your life you control it. (And don’t worry about your boss questioning your actions. When you explain this will make you more efficient, Boss’s love efficiency 😉  )

Cut down on time wasters

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters on the planet. No I am not against it. I love Facebook. I can keep in touch with my friends from home. And I used to use hours and hours on it. It’s one of the best ever procrastination allies. So now I keep my facebook usage down to a minimum and at points in the day where I have to wait (for example at the train station). Now I suddenly have more time and less of a headache from looking at a screen! So cut down on the small things you do that waste your time. It can be easier to change your habits than you think so next time you reach for the phone ask yourself if you have checked your facebook in the last hour. Unless you are waiting for an important message put that phone back in your pocket for another hour.

Can you make your life easier?

Have a look at your energy levels and the things you do every week. Can you make this easier on yourself? For example do you need to wash up every day or can you do it every other day? Can you make larger portions of a meal and the reheat it on days where you will be busier or just days when you want to rest? When you look at it a lot of the things we think we need to do all the time are not actually necessary all of the time. And sometimes we use these things as an excuse as they are actually easier to do than the thing we say we want to do. If that’s the case then investigate the blockage. 

Make time for the things that are important

I know, I know this is tough – but do you want to whine about not having time or do you want to have a better quality of life? I recommend starting small. At first I gave my self the deadline of being finished with work be it house, school or writing by giving myself the 8pm deadline ( iget up stupidly early so bedtime is usually 9:30pm, gods that makes me feel old!) After 8pm it’s me time. Once I had been doing this for a while I asked Mr T if we could make a date night once a week. Now every friday is date night. We actually rarely go out on date night, its just time for us to be together no distractions.

Give yourself a break

I have a friend who showed me her month calendar and each weekend is booked up for the next month. Full time study, one small child and no breaks, sounds like a recipe to a melt down to me. I suggested trying the weekend on, weekend off system. One weekend be social. One weekend stay home. Personally more and more I enjoy the weekends at home (well at least once the house cleaning is done!) Weekend on weekend off gives you a chance to recharge the batteries. Try it for a month and see how rested you begin to feel.

Learn to say No

It’s ok to say no. Trust me it is. When you take on things you don’t have the energy for you wear yourself down. Before you say yes, consider your energy levels, your upcoming week. There is no point in saying yes if you can’t actually give a full energetic commitment.

It has been said (repeatedly) that in order to have a perfect work life balance you need to love your work and therefore your life will be balanced. (And at some point in the future there will be an article about creating the work you love).  Of course this is  partly true. However as I have found when you love what you do it can still take a lot of your time from your personal life, if you don’t keep an eye on it.  So put a little time to good use this week. Give yourself an MOT and you’ll see that by using this time to investigate your life it will give you a lot more time in the future.

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#lifelesson101 – Facing fear after a failure (2 min read)

It’s hard to face a fear. Especially a fear that comes from a failure. And this week I have had my fair share of that. A project I have worked on for a year looks like its not going to happen. A big blow, to both my dreams and my confidence. It happens to the best of us. But when it happens there is only one way to go, forward. But how? When we fail along comes fear and it tells us that we can’t do whatever it is we are trying to do. However really  fear is just our bodies way of telling us we are crossing a comfort zone. Fears arising mean we are challenging ourselves and challenge means growth. But how to overcome those fears?

I know it seems daunting. However it is not impossible. No matter how difficult it is to fail there is always a way back up again. And that way up will make you stronger. No matter how big the fear you can overcome it.

This week I have (and still am) being tested hard. And I have two choices. Listen to my fear and give up. Or carry on in spite of the fears I have. Of course I am going to carry on. And this is how I am doing it.

Release and reach out

At first when a failure or disappointment hits it feels like crap. At this moment it’s ok not to fight. It’s okay to be upset, so be upset. I cried for a whole night. I reached out to the two people in the world I knew could help me Mr T and another man that I truly admire. Between them they comforted me and made me remember that I can create my dreams, even when it feels like I can’t. So call on the people you need to help you when you hit your low. Cry it out and release your frustrations (ofc not on others, that never helps anything). Believe me afterwards you will feel better.

Look for the teaching

Accept the failure and look for the teaching. Everything in life teaches us something, whether we want to learn it or not. Be conscious of this and look at the situation objectively. Why did this happen? Why did you create it? And what is the teaching that life is sending you?

How can you move forward?

Once you have identified the teaching how can you move forward? This failure has opened up other opportunities for you. What are they and how can you embrace them?  Allow what you have learnt to guide you. Once you calm down and move out of the drama of your failure the way forward will become clear.

Identify the fears

Unfortunately (unless you are some kind of superhero or guru) when you have worked out how to move forward the fears will come. Recognise them. Fears are just an idea. They are not real. Unless you make them real by believing in them. Identify what is it you are really afraid of. When you rationalise a fear it is less scary. It becomes tangible and more importantly it becomes something that it is possible to overcome.

Face the fear

When we face our fears they do become less scary. It just takes that first step. Whether it’s a conversation you need to have, or a resignation you have to hand in, the first step will be the hardest. However with every step you take it will get easier. The double bonus with this is that when you have faced your fear you get not only a sense of pride, you  also get a sense of freedom.

Remind yourself it’s ok to struggle

As I sat crying on our porch under the stars earlier this week, I began to talk to me 6 months from now. I asked myself to remember that moment. To remember it so that I will be able to celebrate the journey I will have taken and enjoy my success even more, because I survived what I was feeling then. Even though at that precise moment I wasn’t sure I will succeed it reminded me and reassured me that things will get better. So remind yourself that it’s ok to struggle. Struggle just makes success sweeter.

Trust

Ok this is challenging. And sometimes you have to just trust. The universe knows what it’s doing much better than you do. Remind yourself that the universe is conspiring to lead you along the right path. Be grateful for that.  Tell yourself that this will work out somehow. You might not be able to see it, however it will work out. No matter how bad things seem they will eventually get better. Trust in that. Summon every bit of strength you have and keep moving forward.

Fear is not real, it is not an expert and it is not a truth. The absence of fear is not what bravery is. Bravery is having a fear and doing it anyway. When my Mum got divorced, it was scary for her, a whole new life. The day it came through I sent her a bouquet with the note

“The only way is up and left a bit”

And it is.

Move forward.

Hold yourself tall and move with the flow of events life sends at you.

Failure is just a block in one direction. You can take so many other paths. Fear is just a brainfog trying to stop you from trying something new and expanding your comfort zone. It’s not real so don’t let it become real.
Surf the waves, learn the lessons and see the new possibilities and everything will be alright in the end, because you are brave enough and strong enought to face whatever it is that life sends you ❤

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Visualising …. visualising….oh look squirrel!

Visualisation. We have all heard that this is one of the main things to do if you want to achieve a goal. Hands up those of us that find visualisation really easy. Congratulations! If you want to put your tips in the comments that would great. So hands up those of us that find this seriously difficult. Yep that’s me. I am an ‘oh look squirrel’ type. As soon as I sit down with my goal in mind, some calming music in the background I can hold the vision for 0.4 seconds and then my mind starts to wander, everything and anything will distract me, know the feeling?

Well that’s who I was until I had a goal I was really burning for. I wanted to go back to study. (And for those of you who read this blog, you will know I am there now.) I found the school, applied and heard nothing. I was panicking. Every morning I would try and visualise my goal as part of my miracle morning routine (Look up Hal Elrod – you will not regret it) and …nada. I could not hold it. Until I had a brainwave (well a few actually.)

These steps helped me and I hope they will help you.

Get clear

Know what you want exactly. Easy to write, challenging to do, well no. I used a gratitude letter. Basically write yourself a letter thanking the universe for the things you have as though you already have them. Dear universe, I am so happy and grateful that I have completed my education, got the promotion, whatever it is you want. Make the letter detailed. Write every detail of how your life is now you have the life you want. The more you write the vision will get clearer.

Get a picture and concentrate

So now you know what you want find a picture of it. For example I found a picture of the outside of my uni college. Every morning for five minutes I would sit in front of this picture and see myself there. Walking down the stairs I could see on the picture. I still had my quiet space, with the calming music but with the picture physically in front of me I could hold the vision. If you can’t find the picture then make it. Draw it. Copy paste some pictures into a word doc. Just concentrate on this picture for five minutes every day. Don’t get angry with yourself if your attention wanders just bring it back to your picture again. 

Trust

This isone of the more challenging parts, however you can do it. Once you have done your visualisation you have to trust the universe. Trust it will happen. Every time a fear or doubt pops up squash it. “My book won’t get published” says Mr Negative shout back “Bollocks! My book will be published”. Then do something else. Don’t get into dialogue with Mr Negative, he is not worth it. Shrug him off and distract him with something else. The universe is conspiring to bring you your dream.

Do something

As much as you can trust the universe to work with the vibration you send out, you also have to help. Have you ever heard the phrase “the gods help those who help themselves”? Well it’s true. Make sure each day you do something no matter how small to work towards you goal.

Visualisation + trust + action = results

Try these steps this week and see on Sunday how much closer you are to being where you want to be.

Have an amazing, powerfull week. Whatever your dream is, I know you will get there if you truly throw yourself into creating it ❤

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#Lifelesson101 – Surrender to your body’s needs

This week has been a surreal one. For the first part of the week I was feeling on top of the world, I could achieve anything. But in truth that was just camouflage. In my buoyancy, I was not truthfully listening to my body and brain’s signals. Overly multitasking, suppressing the fear of my coming exam (on a subject I started last week and in foreign no less). The signals were there. Not wanting to see people, snappy and reacting not responding  and then a night’s sleep where I kept waking up and thinking about the essay I needed to write for the exam. Needless to say my body had to go to the extreme and last night I totally broke down.

Pounding headache, crying and feeling very small. I decided to drop my training and go home. Even then I was thinking “I can use this evening to write the essay”. No. Luckily my body won and I spent the evening under a duvet watching a feel good film, eating comforting food and falling to sleep straight away. Now 9 and half hours sleep later I feel somewhat better.

The pressure is still there but less overwhelming and daunting.

So what happened? I simply forgot to check in internally. Checking in with our body is really important. We  either need to listen to it’s signals before it goes into crisis or allow ourselves to surrender when we go into crisis. I know that sounds strange however crisis can often be the bodies way of physically releasing stress, so let it do that, you will feel better.

Surrendering is not easy. I know. I am a constantly on the go person. I use every minute of my day as effectively as possibly . (Even now I am on my way to uni and I am writing this.) But when you need to slow down there are a few things you can do to make it feel better and get yourself and your energy levels back up again.

Cut out anything that doesn’t relate to your survival needs.

In Maslow’s triangle of need the bottom rung of our basic needs (our lizard needs if you like) are  food, sleep, toilet, homeostasis, water and sex. If it doesn’t fall into this category then don’t do it.

Check in with your body

In order to listen to your body you need to check in first. A great way of doing this is to put three fingers on your breast bone, press down slightly and breath deeply into your finger. Feel the bits of your body in discord and ask yourself what is blocking my happiness right now? What does my body need. If you know the cause it’s easier to find the answer.

Listen to what your body wants to do

If your body wants to sleep, sleep. Whatever it wants to eat, eat. When we check in with our bodies it tells us what it needs. Mine needed fat, protein and salt so that’s what it got. Not the usual healthy advice but it works. For a short time.

Avoid stimulants

Coffee, wine (insert alcohol of choice and tea are out the window. Drink water (or squash). Keep hydrated so your brain so it stays fresher and is able to work at it’s optimal level.

Rest

However you can rest. To quote desiderata “ many fears are born of fatigue” Give your body and soul a chance to recover.

No guilt

Okay so you may have deadlines, people to keep in contact with but if this is taking energy from you when you are already stretched to the max, then it’s a no go. You might feel guilty about taking this time for you. Don’t. You need it and will be able to give your best if you take time out. It’s okay to surrender.

Ask for help

Tell people close to you what is going on and ask for help, physical or advice. It might be can you take cooking the dinner for the next few days or what do you think is stressing me. People who love us like to help and we know we will also do the same for them if they need it.

Come out of surrender slowly

Don’t expect to rest one day and then be 100% optimal the next. Surrendering to your needs, your stress factors and recovering takes time. At the same time don’t wallow. Staying bed for a week sounds great sometimes but it can be your brain taking over rather than your body. Check in with your body each day and work out what you can do, what is important to do and slowly recover to your normal state. It’s better to take it slow than to create an even bigger issue.

Surrendering when we need to and checking in brings us closer to understanding our mechanical body needs. Surrendering is actually making a conscious choice and living life mindfully.

Have a lovely weekend and please rest if you need to ❤

 

P. If you need me this weekend I’ll be  in a pillow fort, eating pancakes covered in duvets, watching films with Mr T!  

 

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The Gift- How to not allow anyone to bring negativity into your life (3 min read)

In a september #lifelessons101 – We have all we need inside to create a beautiful life for ourselves and make the world a better place I mention how my A-level English teacher had introduced me to a Buddah story about how not to accept negativity in your life. (He also introduced me to Chaucher and Freud, I prefered the former.)  This story has guided me through my life so far, so much that I have written my own version which will be published as a children’s book.

However as I am in a sharing mood here is the story, I hope you enjoy  and value the teaching as much as I do. When faced with negativity just remember the fat happy man!

The gift

Along time ago on opposite sides of a hill there were two villages.

The villages were almost the same. Each had farms a well , cows,  ducks sheep and chickens.

On the village on the right side of the hill under a tree lived the world’s happiest man.

He was round and fat and jolly.

People from the far corners of the earth would visit him just to learn the secret of his happiness.

On the village on the left side of the hill on a farm lived the world’s grumpiest farmer.

He was skinny, lean and mean.

No-one came to visit him.

The grumpy farmer heard stories about the happy man but he didn’t believe them.

“No-one can be happy all the time” he told the villagers “ I bet I could make him unhappy in no longer than 3 days!”

So the grumpy farmer travelled over the hill to visit the happiest man just because  he wanted to prove that no-one can be happy all the time.

The farmer found the happiest man sitting under his tree smiling to himself.

For one day and one night the grumpy farmer shouted at the happiest man.

“You’re stupid!” “You’re dumb!” “You’re ugly!” “You’re stupid!” “You’re smelly!” “Nobody likes you!” “Everybody hates you!”

But the world’s happiest man just kept smiling and smiling. 

This made the grumpy farmer angry.

For the second  day and the second night the grumpy farmer shouted at the happiest man.

“Your family is stupid!” “Your children are  dumb!” “Your wife is  ugly!” “Your parents are stupid!” “Your baby is smelly!” “Nobody likes your children!” “Everybody hates your family!”

But the world’s happiest man just kept smiling and smiling

This made the grumpy farmer furious.

For the third day and the third night the grumpy farmer shouted at the happiest man.

“Your village is stupid!” “Your gods are dumb!” “Your neighbours are ugly!” “Your religion is stupid!” “Your animals are smelly!” “Nobody likes this village!” “Everybody hates your gods!”

But the world’s happiest man just kept smiling and smiling. He began humming a tune.

The farmer was mad

“ For three nights and 3 days I have insulted you, I have insulted your family I have insulted your home and your gods.” He shouted at the happiest man “How have you remained happy?”

“Well” said the happiest man “ If you gave me a present and I didn’t want it who would the present belong to? “

“I guess it would belong to me” Said the farmer.

 

“Exactly” nodded the happiest man “ You have been trying to give me the presents of anger, sadness and hate. I do not want these presents, so I refuse to accept them from you. So now you are the one who is angry, sad and full of hate and I remain happy.”

The grumpy farmer went home to his village but he was no longer grumpy. When life got him down he chose to be happy and eventually the villages on both sides of the hill became exactly the same. Each had farms a well , cows,  ducks sheep and chickens. And in each village under a tree lived the world’s happiest men.

 

So the next time someone or something is trying to make you angry you have a choice.  You can choose to be like the farmer or you can be like the happy man.

Which gift do your choose happy or angry?

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