Secrets behind the Mask

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mask

Do you pretend that all is well?  How many times does someone ask you how you are and you just say “Fine thanks”.  It becomes habitual and half the time the other person doesn’t listen to your response anyway and vice versa.  A wise person I know suggested that if you aren’t prepared to engage in conversation don’t ask how the other person is, if you do ask, then listen to their answer and respond.

Most of us pretend – to some degree – about how we are doing.  We would rather everything looks hunkie dorie to the outside world because then we are “okay”.  If people know that we are struggling then maybe it means we have failed in some way.  Well it doesn’t mean that but we think it does.

I don’t believe in spilling our guts to anyone who has ears.  Rather we should choose someone who will want to listen or who will be a non-judgemental support.  Not everybody is the right person to speak to.

Remember that everyone goes through things.  Nobody gets through life unscathed.  Yet so many people look fine…. right?  That’s because people put on a brave face.  If you think that couple a few houses down has a perfect marriage or a member in your community doesn’t have financial worries, you may be surprised to find that they are struggling too and are also putting on a mask, just like you.  Even if their financial worries are non existent, they might have other problems they are trying to deal with.

Everyone suffers in some way, people hide the truth from others as a form of protection.  Put yourself in their shoes, be kind, you never know what someone else is going through.  And for you…. Let yourself be vulnerable by talking to someone you trust so that you can also get the support you need.

With love

Eve

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Building yourself Up

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self esteem - gold stuffWithout realizing it people often buy things to boost their self esteem.  A new outfit, a new car, a bigger home….

They may feel better about themselves for a short period of time but the feeling goes away and all they are left with is an expensive debt.

When people need an external item to build themselves up then it’s time to ask why they need it in the first place.  Here are two questions they could ask:

  • Why do I need this?
  • What does it say about me if I have this?

The answers to the second question can be eye opening and can often come down to core beliefs we hold about ourselves.  Often we let these core beliefs hold us back in life, if we are embarrassed about our furniture or our home we may resist inviting people over.

An example using the above questions would be:  You feel embarrassed about your lounge suite as it is old and grubby and discoloured.  So you avoid people coming to the lounge if you can.  Ask yourself why you feel embarrassed.  Then ask yourself what feeling embarrassed about your lounge says about you.   Some answers could be: If my lounge suite looks like this, people will think badly of me, people will think I don’t take care of my things, people will think I don’t have money, people will look down on me.  If people think these things about me then I am a failure, I don’t deserve to have visitors over, I’m not good enough, I’m not worthy.

This above scenario might sound extreme but when a person has feelings of inferiority around their stuff, its usually based on these self doubting thoughts they are having.  If you have never done this type of work before you would be surprised about what your thoughts are.

Do you recognize any of those statements when it comes to your inner dialogue?  Are any of those thoughts actually true?  Do people really think those things?  Well you don’t know unless you ask them because you can’t read someone else’s mind.  Even if people did think those thoughts about you…. does it really matter?  So what if they do.  It doesn’t make you any less of a person.

Once you are aware of your why’s, you may relook at things and work on feeling good from the inside.

I can help you work with that.

With love
Eve

Constantly Craving

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Food spagettiWhen it comes to food, cravings can be your body telling you what you really need.  So why does my body keep craving chocolate you may ask?

Is it that I’m craving the deeply nutritious cocoa bean?  Maybe and maybe not.  There are also psychological cravings associated with food (and any other thing we crave).

Perhaps ask yourself “What is it I really want (or need) right now?”.  You may find when you are walking around like a zombie looking for chocolate that what you are really looking for is a hug or maybe you are exhausted and looking for some quick energy.  Take notice of what is happening in your life at that moment and with practise you will be able to gauge what it is you are really looking for.  Then try and satisfy the real need.

If you are looking for energy, water or a nap usually helps with that.  If you are looking for a hug, get one or phone someone who will lift your spirits.  If you have just had an argument you may crave the crunchiness of chips to assuage your anger but what you really need is some resolution of the issue or someone to talk to.

By the way I’m not telling you not to eat chocolate or whatever it is you are wanting to eat, that’s not my job and anyway I don’t believe in forbidden foods.  What I am saying is look at what the emotional trigger is behind your cravings and work with that.  If you have many unresolved issues and food is your vice you will most likely find yourself running towards the fridge or corner café several times a day even if you are not hungry.

Another reason why cravings can be so hard to deal with is that they are also aggravated by the chemical response.  For example:  carbohydrates and cheese together reacts with the pleasure centre of the brain.  Therefore if you don’t enjoy your job or school, you will find yourself craving toasted cheese sandwiches, pizza or pasta every afternoon when you get home*.   This becomes something that your body starts to crave whenever you need a boost of pleasure.  There are other ways to get a similar boost for example exercise or a warm bath also reacts with pleasure chemicals in the brain.

Whatever your craving is, it’s never a simple thing to just ignore it.  After all we are designed that way.  I think cravings aren’t meant to be ignored but addressed instead.  If you work at resolving the underlying issue, maybe you’ll only crave the particular food now and then instead of every day.

With love
Eve

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*Doreen Virtue wrote a book called Constant Cravings which gives more details about this if you are interested.

Note: I have only discussed food cravings here but all cravings such as smoking or alcohol can be addressed.  Obviously the chemical hold of nicotine, alcohol and other drugs are very strong and need a lot of intervention.

Valentines Perspective – Love or Chocolates

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Valentines day background with champagne and roses

Once a year Valentine’s day comes around and there’s huge pressure for those who celebrate it.  Singles feel sad or desperate, boyfriends and husbands are expected to make sure that they remember their significant other with expensive gifts and large gestures, flowers cost the earth, even children at school who don’t receive a valentine’s card feel lost and alone.  People have expectations about how romantic the day is going to be and then are often disappointed by the displays received and are sometimes even devastated when their partner forgets.  Fights ensue.

Yes of course people should celebrate the love they have for each other and if you love Valentine’s day you are going to hate this article.  Historically it doesn’t have very savoury or romantic beginnings (google it) but has been marketed to become a money making bonanza.

One of my pet peeves is the way Valentine’s Day is marketed.  Everything is Red and Black.  I mean what is that?  If you walk past any shop there is bound to be a display of red or black lingerie or red chocolates or red mugs with “be my Valentine” printed on them.  Yes, red is traditionally the colour of love or hearts but is it not possible to have cutsie pajamas with a lovey-dovey message in a pretty blue?  It’s not advertised as love, it’s actually advertised as sex.

If you love your significant other then neither of you should be waiting for the 14th of February to display your love for one another.  Relationships need to be constantly nurtured.  Almost every day couples need to respect each other, think of how the other one feels before they speak or act, give their partner a treat (like rub their shoulders or bring them a cup of coffee), say words of love, give positive touch, appreciate one another, look into each other’s eyes, talk.

People get caught up in the busyness of every day life and these days technology adds to the problem.  People are on their phones a lot and so extra effort needs to be made to bring each other together, to put those phones down, to switch off the tv or close the laptop and talk to each other.

Valentine’s day is just a day on a calendar.  Buy your partner some chocolates or flowers this week.  Shake it up a little.  Both men and women need to be treated and feel appreciated.  Try and have a date every week – it doesn’t have to be expensive and can even be at home.  If you are single do something fabulous for yourself… often, not just once a year.

You are worthy of receiving (and giving) love the whole year round.

With love
Eve