Living with Intention

Have you ever had the intention of starting something new or doing something differently to make your life more harmonious or balanced? Perhaps your intention for the week was to be less agitated, more active, more mindful, healthier, fitter, grateful or more fulfilled. But when you arrived at the end of your week you feel anything but because life got in the way?

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Healing, Forgiving and letting Go.

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We go through many experiences and situations in life that cause us pain, hurt, anguish and heartache. Somethings hurt more than others. Sometimes we know exactly where the pain originated from and other times we just feel it and try and work through it.

Often, we push it down, suppress it and pretend it’s not there. We push it into the shadows in the hope that it will stay there quietly and let you get on with your life. We forget that the shadows are very much part of ourselves as a whole and that we can always light a candle in a dark room.

Emotions and thoughts are strongly held and felt within the body whether they are positive or negative in nature. They affect us on a mental, physical, emotional and indeed spiritual level. We are often so unaware of our patterns and mental chatter that we do not see the toxic effect it is having on our physical, emotional and mental bodies. When we are not aware of our thoughts and emotions and when we don’t give them the time and space to heal, they are stored in the body, stored until we are ready to deal with them.

We create ways of dealing with these emotions as we encounter them in different situations. Every habit or condition we have in our lives serves a purpose in the initial instance but after a while we no longer need it. We developed that habit or way of thinking as a means of protecting us at that time, as a way to cope with the situation. Like biting your nails, as a child you may have done it as a source of comfort or to ease your worrying thoughts. As an adult you may want to stop the habit and realise that although 5-year-old you had a good way to ease the worry when you were 5, adult you has a better way of dealing with it.

When we choose to ignore the thoughts and emotions a couple of things may happen. Similar things will continue to happen in our lives, repeating the pattern until we are ready to deal with the lesson that life is giving us. We may be blocked from moving on in our lives and remain stuck in a life that we are not happy with as we continue to believe ‘This is just who I am’, ‘that’s just the way it is’.  Sometimes pain stored in the body or a long time can manifest as disease or illness within the body. A lot of people see disease as dis-ease within the body, the symptoms are telling us that something is imbalanced, blocked or damaged. This is happening because we are holding on to something that is not serving us anymore, something we need to let go of, something that we are still in pain over and needs healing.

Have you ever suffered with back pain?

Have a look at this chart and see if the area of pain for you would reflect some of the possible reasons cited below.

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Our beliefs are shaped by our thoughts and emotions. Our beliefs are just thoughts we think over and over again. However we came to that belief isn’t as important as the knowledge that we can always change our beliefs. It takes time and consistent effort, but we CAN change our thought patterns and our beliefs to help us to live a happier and healthier life.

Your story to date is important but you don’t want to stay in the past chapters of your life. Your story is an important tool for you to use to see the things you want in your life and the things you don’t want in your life. However, you cannot affect change in your life if you keep thinking the same thoughts, none of your power is from where you are backward. ALL of your power is from where you are now, moving forward. The more you focus on the unwanted, on your story, on your past experiences the deeper you dig into a hole you are trying to get out of.

We know that the plant cannot survive without the root, so to change the thought pattern, you have to go back to the root cause. Again, you don’t want to get stuck at the root cause or caught up in the backstory because then you can’t move forward from there. Many of us know someone, ourselves included, who have got stuck in a backstory and tell it over and over again. They wear the badge of that situation and refer to it whenever something goes wrong in their lives or when anyone will listen. Essentially, they are just using it as an excuse and getting in their own way of moving on and moving forward. Every moment is a fresh start of where you are and where you want to be instead of where you were and where you got to be.

 Louise Hay, author of Heal Your Life, is famous all over the world for creating a reference of the most common illness, diseases and health issues, their probable causes and life changing thought patterns to help us rewire our way of thinking.  She speaks of the four main thought patterns that cause the most dis-ease within the body as criticism, anger, resentment and guilt.

If we think of all the situations and experiences we have been through in our lives then it is very probable that we are holding onto criticism, anger, resentment and guilt from ourselves or others, maybe even from our childhood or past lives. The more we are aware of these thought patterns, the more we can clear, heal and live a happier and healthier life.

When we are aware of the thought process and the probable cause we can then start to work on changing that thought process. Sometimes awareness in itself can be curative and alongside the new thought pattern change can come very quickly. Other times we need to practice the new thought pattern every day, consistently until they become natural to us. Rewiring the brain to change the thought processes is not easy work, we literally are breaking apart neurons that may be wired together for years. And often we need help from a practitioner, to help us to heal and let go.

When the physical symptoms occur again we are aware of what is coming up for us and we can quickly adapt in whatever we need to so ease that pain. However, I believe the most important tool to healing and pain is forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the most powerful tool you can give yourself. If you can’t learn to forgive, you can forget about achieving true success in your life – Wayne Dyer.

Forgiveness is not only a powerful emotion it is a powerful and empowering choice to make for ourselves.  Forgiveness is a huge component in our overall happiness and healing from past situations and experiences. When we choose to forgive we are not saying that we condone the behaviour of the person who caused us pain and hurt. We are not saying that we will reconcile, become their best friend and pretend like it never happened. It also doesn’t mean that we have to publicly ‘show’ our forgiveness, there is as much power in silently working on it ourselves. When we choose to forgive we choose to let go of that anger, hurt, regret, blame, resentment, the story. We choose to remember that no one is perfect and that we have the courage, guts and strength of purpose to practice forgiveness and let go, especially when there is anger and resentment within us. We take responsibility for our part in it, our reaction and our holding onto it and instead decide to make the change and reap the benefits.

When we are angry, bitter, resentful, hateful towards a person or situations (ourselves included) we are the only ones feeling that negative and destructive emotion. The other person does not feel or is not ‘punished’ because we are feeling this way toward them. In fact, when we feel this way towards someone it is like making a poison of hate for someone and their behaviour towards us and drinking it ourselves. Forgiveness is a gift of peace of mind and heart you give to yourself. It is a gift of health and happiness instead of a life of resentment, anger and hate.  It is not easy, but it can be achieved with intention and practice.

Wherever you are on your path please know that there are tools and therapies that can assist you in letting go and healing from whatever past trauma or pain you experienced. In seeking help and healing you are essentially taking back your power, your inner peace to live a happier, healthier life instead of a life of pain and resentment.

Please share this article on to someone who you think may benefit from it and subscribe to my mailing list for articles about becoming a healthier, happier version of you.

Mel x

10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace

As most of you know the late, great Dr Wayne Dyer is one of  my favourite teachers. His shining light, humour, wisdom and joy of learning and service drew me into the world of motivation and personal growth nearly 10 years ago and has taught me so much about myself and life. His teachings continue to teach me each day and when I look back through his books with many underlined quotes and hearts beside important things to remember I smile and I am so, so grateful. Below, is my interpretation of some important life lessons he shared with the masses that I find invaluable. 

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1. Have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing.

“No one ever knows enough to be a pessimist”. Open yourself up the to idea that in this infinite universe you are open to the abundance within it. When you open your mind to seeing things differently and experiencing new things you are opening yourself up to all of that abundance because you are attached to nothing. If you feel yourself attaching to an idea, thought, word, phrase within your own mind or someone else’s, think ‘That’s interesting’ or ‘That’s one way of looking at it’. Attachment feeds off the fear and disillusion that without x, y or z you cannot be happy. Attachment only feeds the ego. The ego’s need to look a certain way, act a certain way, have certain things, personify a certain image. Ask yourself the question; Who am I?  To know ourselves on the deepest level means detaching from materials things, labels, body shapes, expectations or careers or relationships – all these man-made conditions that we strive to achieve and or judge ourselves when we don’t reach them. You are not your name, your physical body, you’re not your nationality or race or religion, you’re not your emotions or thoughts, you’re not your personal history or financial status, you’re not your job or political view. YOU ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT!!! When we are attached to these ideas we are committing to the fear, saying that I cannot be happy if I don’t have x, y and z or I cannot be happy if you don’t do or say a, b or c. Happiness, peace, success, love, manifestation comes only when we choose to be open to everything and attached to nothing.

 

2. “You can’t give away what you don’t have”

You can only attract what you are not what you want. If you want love, peace, happiness, joy, abundance etc. you must share it and be it and the you can receive it. The Law of attraction is a big magnet – so when you are resentful, hateful, stressed, frustrated, feeling broke, unloved that is what are attracting back into your life. Why? How? The more and more you’re in your head about the things you want and need because at that moment you are ‘lacking’ those from your life and therefore ‘unhappy’ or ‘unfulfilled’ the more you’re attracting that ’lack’ into your life. If you are trying to resist thinking of if ‘it’ you are still in the vibration of that which you don’t want in your life. You will always be in the mode of constantly striving and never arriving at what you want. You can go to the ocean of abundance with a truck or an eyedropper, you choose!! Practice being in the receiving mode through gratitude and meditation. Practice feeling that feeling as if you have already received the things you want. When you give help, give guidance, give kindness, give gratitude to others it comes right back to. The universe is saying back to you – what can I now give you? So ask yourself and the universe, what can I give today?

3. There are no justified resentments.

This is one of the hardest things for people to overcome but one of the most powerful for our healing and peace in life. When we carry resentment or blame for anything or anyone (even those who really wronged and hurt us) we are the only ones who suffer. When a snake bites someone it is not the snakebite that kills the person. We cannot be unbitten, we cannot ever change the fact that we have been bitten. It is the venom that travels through the body in the blood and does the damage and destroys us. When we carry resentment, anger, rage and blame around within us we carry the venom, the very poison we want to direct at the person who hurt us and drink it ourselves. We control the venom, we control the poison. How do we choose to not drink it?

  • Send blame away – don’t step into the victim role and give more of your power away to that person. When we wait for someone else to change or apologise we are stuck waiting for something that might never happen. Instead, send the blame away and take your power back and make the choice to move on and change your life for the better.
  • Practice sending love instead of fear, resentment, anger, blame out into the world. Remember you attract what you are not what you want so practice sending love instead of resentment and it will come back to in many shapes and forms. The vibration of love is stronger than that of anger and resentment so find ways to cultivate more of it in your daily life. Love is the message of all the great spiritual teachers, it is the common denominator in all teachings.

4. Don’t die with your music still in you.

Follow your purpose, follow your true path, follow the path that lights up from the inside out and makes you feel alive inside. We all show up with a purpose – maybe it is as a mammy, a teacher, a musician, an author, a healer, a business woman, world traveller, an artist, an athlete whatever it may be. It doesn’t need to be your ‘job’ or something you make money from. It is that one thing that gets you into your own unique groove like when ‘your’ song comes on and you can feel every beat in your bones as if it was written by you, for you and is now playing through you. So many people have been asked on their deathbed, what do you regret, and the majority say their biggest regret is not living their life doing the things they love with the people they cherish. Find your groove and dance passed the fear and doubt forgetting about those looking on, they are probably too afraid to join in.

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5. Embrace the silence.

You can’t heart the answers if you are busy, busy, busy and rushing, rushing, rushing. You can only hear the answers when you slow down, calm down and connect with your soul. In doing so you connect with your source/ universe/God, it doesn’t matter what you call it, just plug in and connect. There is a famous saying that ‘You cannot get wet from saying the word wet’. It doesn’t matter if you call the connection God, soul, consciousness, the universe, Allah.  It is not what we call something that gives it it’s substance. Call it what you may, just connect. Our world now is made on divisions between one and another – black and white, up and down, right and wrong. However, silence is silence no matter how many times it is divided, reminding us that when we plug in, there is no division between us and our source – We are one!!

When you connect you are tapping into an infinite well of well-being, healing, love, light, peace, joy. Take the time each day to get quiet, get peaceful and meditate.

 

6. Give up your personal history.

If you don’t have a personal history to carry around anymore you also don’t have the expectation and judgements that go along with it. If I said give me the bag right now, you would probably throw it at me in delight and cartwheel out of this room. We drag around these personal histories for two reasons I believe. The first because we attach to it and play the role of the martyr thinking I have to carry this cross out of shame and or guilt (Deeply ingrained Irish fears and ideas). Or the second reason is because we are afraid to give it up for when we do we might not know who we are or what is next. When we give up our personal history, our old sorry story we have to make up a new one and often that is scarier than ditching the old one. Wayne likens the bag to a bag of manure that we carry around and every now and then we take out a handful of manure and spread it all over ourselves and wonder why there is a smell or s@*t. Now, you cannot just dump the bag and say job done! First, we embrace the bag, your personal history. You acknowledge and accept that you had to go through all of that to get to where you are now, and the evidence is that you are here, you got through it. Once you have embraced it, accepted it, understood it (maybe with the help of a professional) then you toss it and merge into the here and now and start living your life – your new story.

 

7.You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it – Einstein.

Our thoughts are all imagined illusions in our mind – sorry but this is true. Our map of the world is based on how we perceive a situation in that very moment with all the other factors of our memories, passed experiences, upbringing, schooling, class etc. It is a thought, a picture that we have created and believe to be true. To change our problems, we must change our mind because it is our mind where these problems live, where they were created, where we experience them.  First step is to admit when we are wrong. Not necessarily wrong in comparison to another person or in a judgemental way. Wrong in the sense that we have been making choices that no longer serve us, now or anymore and choose to change it up. There is no need for guilt or shame, just an honest admission to yourself that it didn’t work for you so now you are going to try something else. And for the people or situations that were at the root of these ‘problems’ send only love and light to them and keep them there.

 

8.Acting as if.

Treat yourself as if you have already created what you wold like to become, as if you already are that. This is using the Law of Attraction again, visualise and FEEL yourself as if you already have the thing that you most desire. This also works in day to day life when we are scared to be or do something. Be it our job, standing up and staying true to what we believe in or in doing what lights us up. See yourself as already ‘being’ what you want to be and act as if. Then, after a while, you will realise you are no longer ‘acting’ and that you just are.

9.Treasure your divinity

Trust your divinity, now that you are a divine creation and that there are no accidents. Treasure your uniqueness, your creativity, passion and flair for certain things. Don’t reject any of your ideas and creations. Trust that there is no separation between any of us and the source. Everyone is as equally connected as the next person and just as able to create, grow and shine bright in their own light.

10. Wisdom is avoiding all thoughts that weaken you.

Where thoughts go, energy flows. Every negative thought you think has the energy behind it to weaken you, your heart, your mind, your soul. Think about the negative things you think and say to yourself. Would you say them to 5-year-old you or ten-year-old you? These negative thoughts that come to us in times of stress, frustration, anger are all coming from a place of fear and only serve to dis-empower us. When we feel them bubbling, flip, it, shift it, re-frame it to a thought that is empowering. If you are saying ‘I can’t’, flip it to ‘I can’t yet’ or re-frame it to I am ~insert positive, loving affirmation here~. Change your thoughts and you can change your life.  Remember what Henry Ford once said, whether you can, or you can’t – you’re right. Choose positive, affirming, empowering and loving thoughts.

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September Book Club

I still love to get lost in books as an adult and I also love to learn more about life through reading.  I have read so many books that have brought so much meaning to experiences and situations in my life and others that have helped me understand myself and gain insight deep within my being. Other books were like reading about truths that I had long forgotten and as I turned each page, little by little,  I remembered the biggest truths of all.

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Rewriting Your Story

Your life story is important and can have profound effects on others when shared to help or inspire. However, often we get fixated on ‘our stories’ or lack thereof. We forget our stories are not who we are but what we have lived through and lived by up to this point. Our stories tell of the lessons, blessings, tragedies and miracles that have happened to date. They teach us, help us to grow and develop on our journey but they should not define us.

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6 Ways to Change Your Lifestyle Habits

Happy New Year everyone!!

acj-2410-happy-new-year-2018We are now nearly a week into the New Year and over this weekend the last of the Christmas trees and decorations will be taken down, reluctantly by some and with relish for others.

New Years resolutions that were so confidently and adamantly set earlier in the week are either propelling us forward with abundant positivity into 2018 or hanging over us judgingly as we tuck into the last of the selection boxes or skip the gym session to binge watch a whole series on Netflix.

After the overindulgence of Christmas and the irregularity to our routines, starting fresh on New Year’s Day with a list of positive resolutions as we detox from all the festive food, alcohol and cheer (or stress) can seem like the best plan. However more often than not, we set big tasks to achieve, without really thinking through what we want or how we will do it. Meaning by the 3rd of 4th week in January we are frustrated and irritated and call off the whole resolution thing as a load of B.S.

2018-01-05 12.19.46We are creatures of habit and we operate consciously and unconsciously from this primal place within our brains all day, every day. We think, act and behave like this for years and it becomes our ‘normal’. To override these habits, we cannot rely on will power or a New Year resolution alone to change these deeply ingrained behaviours. These habits and behaviours have their own neurological pathways, some of which were created many years ago and they cannot be simply flipped overnight.

Instead we need to create new pathways, new habits and rituals but it will take time. When we repeat the same behaviour over and over we are tapping into our unconscious mind where those neurological pathways reside. We create new roads for us to travel and retrain our thinking and behaviour. Just like any skill or muscle, it takes time and consistency to see the change. If you do one cooking lesson or gym session you won’t be a top chef or Popeye.

intersectionThink about it this way, all your habits and behaviours are so deeply ingrained that they look something like a motorway, with roads leading on and off. Well maintained roads, no bumps or potholes as they are in constant use. Alongside this motorway is a forest and on New Years Day you decide to take a new route through the forest to a new destination. For the first few days, it is hard, you have to cut down all the trees and bushes in your way, to create your new path. It takes time and effort but your energy and determination are strong and you persevere. On your return each morning you see that some of the branches and bushes have fallen back to where they were originally and as you make your way along this new path you continue to clear them, so you can reach your destination. overgrown pathThis goes on for a couple of weeks and one morning, you wake up late and believe you don’t have the time to clear the path that day and instead take the motorway, the easier option. You go home on the motorway too because you are tired and what’s the harm, you already took the route this morning. For some this is the turning point in their new path, they either reset and get back to their new path with renewed motivation and enthusiasm or they call it a lost cause and get back onto the motorway where it is the same old story but at least it’s easy and immediate.

Our habits and behaviours all serve a purpose at some point and are not all negative or in drastic need of transformation. We just need to bring more awareness to the habits that we no longer need and override them to make room for new ones. When we take the time to see what is working for us and what is working against us, we can see more clearly what we need to work on, to move forward and grow.

Motivation is important too, but it has to be a REAL motivating factor that comes from deep within, at our core values and beliefs. Saying you want to get fit for the New Year because you have been sitting and relaxing for the last 2 weeks won’t serve as a motivator in a few weeks’ time. Sitting down to really think about why you want to get fit and realising you want to be able to run and play with your kids and not huff and puff as they run ahead of you, is a much stronger rooted reason that will give you that motivation you need on the day you are tired and don’t want to exercise.

Then we establish the way we can do it, the professionals we might need to call in and the support we will need along the way.

The key to starting new habits is to only take on one or two at a time. Trying to change your exercise, diet, personal development, relationship, world peace etc all on New Year’s Day is a little over ambitious. I have changed many habits and routines over the years but only by taking it 1 or 2 at a time, building up my good/new habits and behaviours until they become my ‘new normal’ and then I look for another new something to work on.

Here is how I suggest getting started…

  • Properly think about what you want to change and WHY (Tip – keep asking why and why again to each response until you run out of answers, there is always another reason behind the surface reason and this will help you to get down to the core reason.) Your why will be the driving force on days when you are tired or unmotivated. For example if you are trying to get fitter to be able to run around with your children, remembering that reason ,that ‘why’, will get you out the door and to the gym.
  • Write down what the overall goal is, be specific e.g. do you want to be able to run a 5/10 km race or lose X lbs?
  • Write down the steps you will need to get there e.g. do you have to research an exercise class or find a professional to work with? These steps will be like the directions you need to reach the destination, start at the start and keep going until you get there. If you take a wrong turn, no worries, just use your map to get back on track again.
  • Think about who is going to support you. This is a massive factor in your achievement of your goal(s). If you are cooking healthy meals every night and your family are turning their nose up at them it will get very disheartening and discouraging. Talk with your friends and family, ask them to give you the support and praise you need to keep going. Get them to join in or simply just ask (without judgement) how you are getting on.
  • Think about what problems or setbacks might arise in your master plan (because they will). Do you have a heavy workload in work approaching or a holiday away? Think about ways you can get around these setbacks or acknowledge that for that week you might be very busy in work, but you will still commit to at least 20-minute walk to clear your head and be active.
  • Most importantly be gentle on yourself. You will have days that are not as good as others but the important thing is that you don’t dwell in self judgement or criticism. If you revert back to the motorway for a few days just wake up fresh the next morning and get back onto your own path (Don’t wait until Monday).

dont-call-it-a-dream-call-it-a-plan-quote-1Instead of changing everything on New Year’s Day or in the first week of January, why not give yourself a couple of weeks to get going. I feel we are still in hibernation mode as the evenings are short and dark and January always seems a little low and flat after the high of Christmas without sprinkling self-judgement and criticism all over it too.

Why not give yourself a few weeks to really think about what you want to change and what the destination will be. Create the map and the directions to get there, then set the wheels in motion and enjoy the journey and be proud of your growth.

 

 

Best of luck,

Mel x