1. Don’t bother doing it if you’re not going to do it properly.
2. If you’re not working hard, you’re not working at all.
1. Don’t bother doing it if you’re not going to do it properly.
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.
Usually 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.
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.
I can’t wait to see how we bloom and grow this year!
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.Read More...
We hear the words terms and conditions all the time.
Most of the time we tick the terms and conditions box on an application form or contract without even reading it. Nearly if not every App on our phone has terms and conditions that we must accept before downloading it onto our phone.
Do you always read through the terms and conditions with a fine-tooth comb?
I must admit that I don’t always read these fully, I usually just click accept mindlessly.
We accept these both consciously and unconsciously but why do we just accept these rules and conditions without a second thought? We throw them on top of a mountain of rules and conditions we “must” adhere to each day but never really stop to think why?
Many of these rules are conditions we live by are there purely because of the country we were born in, the colour of our skin, the religion we grew up with, our gender, what our parents told us. These conditions were created long before we were even born and are mainly influenced by geography or cultural norms. Our parents and the generations before them, created and maintained these conditions, albeit well intended, to help, to enable and to ensure we fit the social norms of whatever culture we arrived in. God forbid we would do, say or act in a way that went against the grain and rock the boat. Some of us may have never questioned these rules and if we did we would be certain of repercussions of some sort from our family or friends. Generation to generation pass down these conditions that we become attached to and live our lives by with great detriment to us as individuals and our lives.
These conditions become the limiting beliefs that stop is from living the authentic, creative, exciting and passionate lives we were born to live.
They take away our power.
They limit our happiness, joy, imagination and sparkle.
As adults, we create our own terms and conditions that determine our beliefs, actions and how we live. We flood our vocabulary with these conditional words; should/shouldn’t, could/couldn’t, would/ wouldn’t, if, can’t, if only to name but a few. We have conversations with ourselves and others and weave a bigger web of endless conditions.
- When I lose a x amount of weight, I will happier.
- If I had more money, I could….
- If I was smarter, thinner, taller, I could…
- I can’t do ___, what if ___ happens?
- If only I could….
- I should do more of …
Inevitably all the terms and conditions we place on ourselves, consciously or unconsciously inhibit us from being real to ourselves and others. They limit our ability to be present and happy in this moment because we are always waiting for this perfect moment, meanwhile life is passing us by.
Our relationships are placed in a maze of conditions too.
- If my boss acknowledged all the hard work I do I would enjoy my job more.
- He/she should never have said that.
- He/she should apologise for treating me that way and making me feel like this.
- They wouldn’t treat me this way if they really loved me.
- What would my mother/father say if…?
We could spend our whole lives living by these conditions that others have created and we reinforce with our thoughts, words and actions.
If we really look at them, do they have any foundation or truth?
Have you ever challenged these terms and conditions with a simple, why?
Are they just an opinion or an idea someone had a long time ago, who is probably long since dead?
Would you allow someone to order your food in a restaurant? Probably not. Then why would you give someone the power or authority to dictate the way you feel or live your life?
How freeing would it be if we were to omit these conditional words from our everyday vocabularies?
What conditions that you place on others or that others place on you would you bin, delete, get rid of it you could wave the proverbial magic wand?
How would your life look if you could eliminate the negative self talk that goes hand in hand with these terms and conditions you are living your life by?
If you could write a new contract for your life, what would the terms and conditions be?
What non-negotiables would you put in this new contract?
What new rules would you ensure were set in stone to allow you to love yourself unconditionally?
Why not move away from conditional living and thinking and try some of the following;
TAKE BACK YOUR POWER
💙 Be open to new ideas, to explore and create new things.
💙 Try not to judge others, remember everyone is on their own path, just as you are.
💙 Be aware of the words you are using in every conversation. Try and catch yourself using these conditional words and flip them to a more positive statement. Remember our thoughts become our words, our words become out actions and our actions become our reality.
💙 Write your own contract for your life. Write down what your terms and conditions are for you and those in your life. Write down what you will and will not tolerate from yourself and others from now on.
💙 Last but definitely not least, spend time with those who love you unconditionally and treat you without conditions, not those whom only show up when the conditions favour themselves.