The Magic of Beginnings

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change - butterflies“And suddenly you know…. it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings”

Today I realised something about myself that I hadn’t realised before.  I’ve been acting in a certain way that bothers me if others do it.  A remarkable woman I know revealed this to me and with an uncomfortable giggle I admitted she was right.

I’m grateful she showed me where I’m going wrong because it’s not how I want to be.  I could continue in my old ways of course (which is the easier option) and enable others to do the same or I could leap into the unknown which is a bit scary but has exciting possibilities and that’s the route I’d rather take.

I’m trusting the magic of beginnings, I’m trusting that the path I’m taking will lead me closer to where I want to be as a person.  It most likely won’t be all clear sailing because when I change myself there are adjustments to be made by everyone involved and people – generally speaking – don’t like change.

It’s hard to look at ourselves sometimes but if we take the challenge there’s so much to look forward to.

I’m excited about this!

With love
Eve

But on all the other days…

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perception - charlie brown and snoopy

People spend a lot of time worrying about things that they can’t control.  They also perceive things in a way that often makes their lives harder (as in the above cartoon).  Both Charlie Brown and Snoopy are telling the truth but which one of them lives a happier life?

I’m not saying that stress doesn’t exist (far from it) or that if we deny our difficulties our lives will be better….. no, what I’m suggesting is that we acknowledge our problems, feel the feelings, if necessary cry, journal, punch a pillow (or whatever safely works best) and then either find some sort of solution or look for the positive or blessings in the situation and focus on those.

There are always positives in a situation even though it may not seem like it at the time.  If you can’t find any, ask a friend, family member or coach that you trust to point them out to you.

What you think about is where you are.  Choose where you want to be and be there.  It requires you to change your thinking though which may take time.  Be gentle on yourself.

You’ve got this

Eve

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p.s. I also send this blog out weekly by email which includes a quick health tip and some good news (as opposed to bad news).  If you would like to subscribe please email info@evemarks.co.za

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One Small One

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habits-pebblesI decided I was going to work on my self discipline.  Where should I start? – I asked myself.  There are many areas in my life where I want to be more disciplined.

So in October last year I decided to do one thing every day.  I stopped using my phone while getting ready in the morning.  I put it far out of my sight and didn’t get involved in checking my emails, facebook, instagram or watzapp while getting ready.

Doing this one thing every day since October (and I’m still doing it) has helped me to get ready faster in the mornings, be on time for appointments, get more work done and even have a chance to eat breakfast before starting my day.  The amazing thing is that this one aspect of self discipline has spread into other areas of my life for example saying no to the chocolate bar next to the till (just because it’s there doesn’t mean I have to have it).
change-daily-routine
It’s all about creating habits to move forward.

What one small thing can you do every day that will help you in your quest for self enrichment?

I wish you much success.

One small step or one giant leap

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purpose-one-small-stepYou can spend all your time wishing for something but unless you actually put a step into motion nothing will happen.

It all starts with imagination which is the beginning of something possible happening. After the idea you will need to have the intention of making it happen.

Intention though is not enough on it’s own because an intention without action is just a daydream.

Whatever your goals are, let them be realistic.  It’s better to set a goal to exercise once a week than in your excitement saying you will exercise every day because small movements forward are much more likely to be followed through.

Know yourself when you set your goals.

In the Power of Purpose course (starting next Tuesday in Johannesburg) we go into depth with goals, dreams, intentions, action, what’s stopping us and how to change that.  We also look at deeper intentions and purpose for our lives.  I highly recommend it.

Wishing you a week of taking small steps in a positive direction.  I would love to hear from you so let me know how it goes.

 

Decisions Decisions!

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decision-signsFor some of us making decisions is extremely difficult and can paralyse us into doing nothing or lie down staring at the ceiling and talking in tongues ;).  From something important like choosing a career to something small and innocuous like choosing what to cook for your guests for dinner.  How do we decide what to do?

I was listening to Rabbi Tatz’s lecture on decision making and here are some ideas he shared.  I thought they were on point and useful.

When you have to choose between two things for example two job opportunities (we should all be so lucky) but can obviously only take one, which one will you take?

Divide your page into two columns.  In one column write JOB 1 and in the second column write JOB 2.  Under each column write the pros and cons of each job.  (Yes this sounds basic but wait……).

Now, next to each pro and con, put a score out of 10 (see my example below).  10 means it appeals to you and will make a positive difference to your life, 1 means it does not appeal to you and will make a negative difference to your life.

JOB 1 JOB 2
PROS CONS PROS CONS
Tea lady brings drinks throughout the day
4/10
1 hour drive in peak hour traffic
2/10
Fancy coffee machine in a sociable area
6/10 (love fancy coffee)
45 minutes drive in peak hour traffic
4/10
The staff seem quite nice
7/10
The office I will get has no window
4/10
The staff seem motivated and professional
7/10
The office I will get I have to share with someone who has strong political ideas 2/10
Good salary
8/10
Not much responsibility
5/10
Excellent salary
10/10
There’s a lot of badmouthing among co-workers
3/10
The hours are 9 – 5

7/10

High turnover of staff
2/10
I would be responsible for 5 people which would be good for my growth and CV
8/10
The hours are 9 – 5 but it’s expected for you to work overtime without extra payment
4/10
26 13 31 13
Total 39 Total 44

decision-scalesAfter this evaluation, according to Rabbi Tatz, you would choose the highest total which is JOB 2.  Obviously you would go into more depth with the pros and cons – I have only typed up a few examples.

Now here comes something interesting that he says…. If both of them add up to an equal number i.e. 50/50, you just choose any one.  You can even flip a coin because in reality they are both equally good for you.  That one was a “wow” to me.

Did you find this helpful?

Wishing you a good decision making week.

Eve

Instant Disease

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illness-spots-on-pillow

I heard a true story a couple of years ago about a man and his son who had inhaled dry pool chemicals when servicing their pool.  The chemicals damaged their lungs and they spent months in rehabilitation trying to recover from this disaster.

So…. Yesterday I was living* for a swim and spent the entire day looking forward to it only to find that when I finally had the opportunity there were piles of chemicals on the steps.  So being a person who tends to look for solutions I asked some advice and then went to scoop the chemicals into a bucket of water for later use.

While scooping the chemicals up I had a fleeting thought that maybe standing in a cloud of chemicals was probably not that healthy and then I smelled some chlorine fumes off the top of the water.  Of course having suddenly remembered the story of the man and his son I immediately started to worry that I had damaged myself.

My mind started working overtime and I created an “instant disease”.  I started coughing intermittently and I even felt a bit tender in my lungs when I breathed.

This is the power of the mind!

Fear can bring on symptoms even when there’s nothing wrong!  It reminds me of one of my favourite sayings:  What we focus on expands.  The more we think of something the bigger it gets.

So how did I change my mind?

I checked in with myself to see if I had really been injured and tried to think about it logically.  All I had smelled was the chlorine that was in the water but because I was standing so close it smelled quite strong.  Then I asked my most logical friend (my husband) for his take on it – I can actually laugh now thinking of the look on his face – he assured me I hadn’t done anything to endanger myself.  After that I did the most important thing which is to make a choice to believe that I am safe.   Once I did that and repeated the words to myself a few times, I went on to do something else and forgot about my “symptoms” which of course disappeared.

I am so in awe of the power of the mind and how it can take us either way depending on what we choose.

By the way I decided not to swim until the chemicals had dissipated so I had a cool shower instead.  I could have just done that in the first place but then maybe I wouldn’t have had anything to write about 😉

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Eve

*I always say I’m living for something instead of dying for something because quite honestly I wouldn’t want to die for a swim 😉

The thorns

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complaining-roses-have-thornsThe other day I found myself complaining to someone about how much I had to do… all the cooking, cleaning and clearing up, setting up, shopping etc.  I stopped myself in mid sentence when I realised what I was doing and looked at things differently – I had money to shop for food, I had guests to cook for, I have a home to invite people to, I have a family to share it with and I’m really grateful for all of that.

What are our reasons for complaining?
Here are a few:

  • Finding it hard to cope with what is happening
  • Getting sympathy
  • Making conversation
  • Feeling like a victim
  • Feeling jealous
  • Being a martyr
  • Habit
  • Other (add your own)

What is the problem with complaining?
Here are a few:

  • If we complain a lot, we create that which we don’t want in our lives.
  • We become stuck in that reality and find it hard to see the good right in front of us or a way out of our current situation.
  • We avoid responsibility.  If we keep arriving late and complain about the traffic or the queue – i.e. blaming –  we are avoiding making a change to our behaviour.

What can we do?
Some ideas:

  • Being grateful for what we have.  Counting our blessings.
  • Changing our perspective – this would help to find a solution.
  • Changing our habits one step at a time by catching ourselves and making a positive change.
  • Think about what you DO want in your life and talk more about that.
  • Finding a way to solve the problem.

roses-5So, start to look at what is right with your world i.e. admire the roses even though there are thorns.

With love
Eve

I found an interesting TED talk about the science of happiness.  It’s 20 minutes long so if you are interested.  Just click to watch.