How lack of self care can perpetuate vices

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self care - nurtureI find myself often advising my clients to write a list of things that they could do to nurture themselves and then do at least one a day.  Many of us have been brought up by society to believe that being selfless is the way to go and you should always give to others and put yourself last.  Well it’s true to some degree, giving of yourself is an important and essential part of having a meaningful life.  If you only think of yourself your life can become empty and lonely.  If however, you never address your own needs, you can burn out, give with a heart full of resentment and suffer from physical ailments and an unsatisfying and unfulfilled life.

Any extreme is not great.  If you are too giving you end up becoming weak (within yourself).  If you are too self absorbed you end up alienating people.  The key is to find a middle ground.

So how does it perpetuate my vices?

When people feel overwhelmed and are not coping they tend to reach out for some sort of comfort whether it’s food, sleeping, being on their phone, watching TV, biting nails, etc.*** If used as comfort often enough they can become habits.  What I have found with myself and with my clients and friends is that when we take some time to do something nurturing for ourselves, it feels as though our needs are being met and we don’t need our vices as much.

self care - chillHow do I know if I need to nurture myself?

When you find yourself being irritable or restless, tired, satisfying your habits ask yourself a question:  What do I really need right now? When you acknowledge what it is you want then you can put some nurturing in place.  For example if you are looking for every sugary snack you can find in the house and then drinking coffee and then pacing around and procrastinating – when you ask yourself what you need it might be a nap or to hydrate yourself.  Once you have done one of those things you will most likely feel so much better and be able to carry on with your day with a smile on your face.

How to pre-empt the need for nurture

Eat when you are hungry, drink water, take some food in the car when you know you won’t be home for hours, have a nap when you are tired, say no (or not today) when you’ve been doing too much, go to bed at a reasonable hour.  Look after yourself.  A person who feels well taken care of can do much more in the world.

Taking care of yourself is not being selfish or egotistical or arrogant, it is an essential part of living.

With love
Eve

*** Certain vices are addictions and may need help from a professional.  I have not addressed these here.

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The Lady at the Gate

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kindness - never wastedA friend of mine (let’s call her Samantha) told me a beautiful story that happened to her last week.

She was letting her daughter out the gate when a lady who she didn’t recognise smiled at her from ear to ear and said “Hello! Do you remember me?”  She looked at the lady blankly and said that unfortunately she didn’t remember her and asked who she was and where she knew her from.

The lady (let’s call her Mindy) told her that in 2013 she had been at her lowest of lows.  Without a job, without food and feeling very hopeless, she was going from house to house buzzing on the intercoms, hoping someone would answer her call for help.  She was asking for food.  Mindy said that Samantha had opened her heart to her and given her food.

Mindy now has a job and has been trained in her field.  She has lovely employers and is happy.  She walks past Samantha’s house on route between work and home almost every day and each time she sees the house she says “my angel lives here”.

Samantha was so moved by this story and realised that she did remember the incident.  When Mindy has passed her home all those years ago, she had looked different – downtrodden, sad, worried, scared.  Now she was empowered, happy, lit up and that’s why she wasn’t immediately recognisable.  Samantha gave her a hug and thanked her for stopping to tell her the story, she hadn’t realised how her seemingly insignificant act had made such an impact.

kindness - giving shoesIn South Africa we are faced daily with people like Mindy and we don’t realise the effect we are having when we are loving, kind and helpful; opening our hearts and giving a listening ear.  Sometimes we may even feel burdened by the endless stream of people who need help.  I am hoping this story will help you recognise how a little act can mean so much to someone.

With love
Eve

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The words that create you

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i am - creating your lifeAs the late Wayne Dyer said “Anytime you start a sentence with I am you are creating what you are and what you want to be”.  You see the mind doesn’t know the difference between fact and fiction.  Whatever you tell your mind is the truth, it will believe.  If you are feeding it with negative thoughts about yourself, you will believe that those thoughts are true.

Whatever you say after “I AM” is what you believe about yourself in that given moment.  If you constantly repeat the same phrases such as “I am stupid”, you will always believe it and live your life accordingly.  For example, you won’t take risks; you will usually say “I can’t do it”; you will often find yourself making mistakes but you won’t be surprised about that because you knew you would make those mistakes; you will often second guess yourself or check your work over and over again even though you just checked it; you don’t try anything new like studying something you’ve always been interested in; you make excuses.  Think about it.  Think of a word that you often say after “I AM” and then think about how saying that (even if it’s quietly to yourself) affects your life.

happy swinging upside downIt’s time to start looking at a different way of addressing yourself.  One way you could do this is to write down what it is that is positive about you and then use words like that instead.  When you find yourself saying (for example) “I am stupid”, stop yourself in your tracks and ask if that is really true.  No it’s not.  If you think it is then please contact me and I can help you see what you are missing.  Then decide to change what you say about yourself.  “I am capable” perhaps.  Look at where you are capable in your life….. maybe you can drive, you can work, you can make a sandwhich, you can hold a conversation, you have some talent in something.  Just keep repeating “I am capable” and see how different it feels to do so.  The more you practise it the less mistakes you will make, the less scared you will be to try out new things, the more you will add to conversations, the more satisfied you will be.

So next time you find yourself holding back, remind yourself that you ARE capable and take a step forward into the adventure of life.

You are a precious person in this world, make it happen for yourself and the others around you.

With love
Eve

How to find some Joy

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It’s much easier to see the gloomy or negative in the world but if you constantly think about the things that are wrong that will become your experience.

Train your mind to see the good in everything.  The way to do this is by being grateful.  If you hear a crime report, thank G-d that nobody got hurt or that your family is okay.   If you are unwell, look at the parts of you that ARE well.  If you are reading this it means you can see.  What a blessing that is.  If you are broke and can’t buy what you would like to buy, look at the food on your table and realise that your family is being fed and you have a roof over your head.

If you train your mind to see the good, you will live more joyfully.  Nobody’s life is perfect, everyone has their ups and downs and terrible experiences, the way to living joyfully though is to see what IS good and what IS working and focus on that.

I found these amazing photos of South Africa which show some real beauty and loves about this country.  We really do have a lot to be grateful for here.  These are only 5 of the 100’s that I found, it was hard to choose.

If you want to share some gratitude then follow me on Facebook where I will be posting about this subject and you can join in and share your own.

May you find plenty reasons to be joyful.

With love
Eve

p.s. if you go through a trauma (G-d forbid) you should work through it as well.