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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Reflection and Realignment rather than Resolutions.

Now that January is upon us, we will have countless images shoved under our nose to change our physical body and whole life (in about 30 days, so no pressure!!). We will be encouraged with ‘New Year, New You’ bullshit and led down a path of guilt and shame as we sign up for new gym membership or take the first step on the weighing scales. The weight loss/ diet industry makes BILLIONS each year (64 billion in the US alone in 2018) by marketing and selling products that we are led to believe we need to be happy, healthy and fulfilled. Advertisements and whole magazines will be dedicated to making you feel like you couldn’t possibly be happy, fulfilled or healthy if you’re not the size of the airbrushed models shown.

We know all about Photoshop and filters, but these headlines still trigger our insecurities and draw us in because that is what they are intending to do. Millions are spent creating campaigns and researching the psychology behind it all so don’t feel bad if you feel like you are being sucked back into a 30-day detox after the Christmas holidays. Our worth is not measured by the number on the scales or the measurement of our hips. Our health is not defined by what size our clothes are, I can range between 2-3 sizes in different shops. We are all made up of different shapes and sizes and often we strive for a body shape/ weight that is so far out of reach that we could spend a lifetime eating ‘clean’ and working out and still not achieve it. But rest assured there will be a continuous stream of new diets or exercises regimes to try. Diets don’t work, they are restrictive and obsessive and short lived. They only prove to cause fear, anxiety and control around our eating habits and reward this behaviour with cheat meals and binge eating.

That is not to say that you shouldn’t eat healthier or set an intention to get fitter or stronger. Making positive changes to our lives is a good thing. Growth should always be encouraged and supported in all areas of our lives. We are constantly changing, learning, growing, letting go and blooming once again. We live our lives in cycles as does nature and so as the winter cycle comes to an end, it makes sense that we would want to prepare for the spring. However, it is still winter, a time to nourish and heal, a time of introspection and reflection. A time where we can look back on the past year, take the lessons and blessings and carry them with us into the new year as we realign with our values, with what lights us up and fulfils us and with the desires for the next cycle to come.

Screenshot_20181231_142902Usually at New Year people make grand plans and resolutions because they feel they are lacking in some area of their life. They feel as if they ‘should’ be doing better. They feel as if they have failed to succeed or achieve something. They feel as if they need to reach a certain destination or goal to be happy, fulfilled, healthy or successful. They are told again and again by advertisements and media that who they are is not good enough. This conditional thinking and living encouraged by those who profit from our insecurities will actually be the rope that binds us to this way of living rather than set us free. When we make a call to action from a place of guilt, shame, lack we are acting because we think we ‘should’ and therefore we will spend our time constantly striving and never arriving at the place we so desperately seek.

This January instead of making a list of resolutions that evoke guilt, shame and resentment and low self-worth, I suggest taking a few weeks to reflect and realign with what you truly want to bring into this coming year. Let’s get the garden ready, clear the soil, get rid of the weeds and dead leaves, chose the seeds you want to grow, nourish, nurture them and tend to them daily and watch as they grow and bloom as the year unfolds. Remember the grass is greener, where you water it. We know when we tend to the garden that the seeds are growing, in the time they should, we don’t keep digging back up the soil to see if the seed is still there. Know that you are changing and growing in your own time too, trust and enjoy the process.

happiness blooms

Here are some journal prompts to reflect and realign on in January, to help clear the garden and decide what flowers to plant. Writing this stuff down can bring huge insights and healing, give yourself the time to write it down.

  • What are your proud moments/ achievements of the past year?
  • What did you learn this year? What lessons learned were necessary for your growth?
  • What lessons were particularly hard? Are they healed/healing/ in need of external support and if so, where can you get it?
  • What are the highlights of the past year?
  • What are you most grateful for this year? (read more on gratitude here)
  • Who was your greatest support this year? Do you need more support going forward? What or who might that look like?
  • What are you leaving behind and not bringing into the next year? What no longer serves you, your growth or your happiness? What do you want to let go of?
  • Write a list of all that things that light you up, that make you deliriously happy, peaceful or content. Think about when you were younger and what you loved to do. Write everything down from the simple to the grand e.g. fresh bed sheets to travelling to faraway countries. Make time and space in your life for these this year.
  • What feeling/ emotional state do you want to feel more of this coming year? Why? Sit with this for a few moments and really feel it in within your whole being. We want things and set goals because we think that once we achieve them, we will be happier, fulfilled. We forget that we can evoke these feelings and emotional states every day by being present and by doing more of the things that light us up. Instead of getting stuck in a cycle of set a goal, be unfulfilled and lacking in an area of our life until/ if/ when we achieve it, we can realign with the emotional state/feeling /value that is at the core of our action.
  • What is your heart and soul calling out for? More….? If you weren’t afraid of anything, what would you love to do/see/feel/ be? If failing wasn’t an option, what would you love to do/see/feel /be? Sit with this one also and see what comes up for you, you may be surprised at what shows up, the most important thing is to listen and trust what you hear.
  • Write down the baby steps you can take over the coming weeks/months/ year. This is a guide and may (most likely will) change as you move through the year. Don’t try to micromanage every step, stay aligned with what your heart and soul is truly calling out for and make small steps towards it.

Each year in our lives is like a snapshot of laughter and pain, growth and release, achievement and defeat. Some years are lighter than others, some we wish we could live again and again while others we can’t wait to say goodbye to. Whatever your past year felt like, know that a new year, with a whole set of chapters is awaiting you and you get to write and direct each one. You don’t need to achieve it all in the first month and you don’t need to spend lots of money to achieve it. You are perfectly worthy and whole as you are. All the answers you seek are within you and the guidance and support of friends, loved ones or professionals can be found. When we reconnect and realign with our heart and soul, the right people will suddenly appear to guide and support us on the next section of our journey.

2017-04-30 12.02.13

I can’t wait to see how we bloom and grow this year!

Mel x

 

October Book Club

When you need that little bit of extra mentoring, I believe we can find that learning and a lot more within the covers of a book. More often than not we do not listen to the advice of our loved ones and so these big life truths that we unearth in a book or story can have a bigger impact on us when we read them to ourselves, by ourselves. The words run deep as we remember and recall our own similar experiences and journeys. Through books we can understand our life and all that happens within it with greater awareness and clarity.

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Healing, Forgiving and letting Go.

healing 2

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.

BackPainImage

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

How to Live a Happy Life of Meaning & Purpose

There is so much to gain from writing out your thoughts about anything and everything or about something more specific. The words flow, the mind, heart and soul release simultaneously and together in some beautifully intertwined dance. The mind understands more, the heart heals deeply, and the soul gently says, ‘you have all the answers, you know the way’.

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