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.

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What to do in December

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relax mountainsCan you believe it’s that time of year again when we have an opportunity to slow down.  This year seems to have come and gone and I hope that I can drag out the holidays for as long as possible.

Some tips for making the most of your holidays whether you are going away or not:

Do nothing
Make sure you spend some time each day doing absolutely nothing.  Nothing important.  Nothing technological.  Nothing that HAS to be done.

Do nature
Spend some time in nature.  There are beautiful parks just around the corner or a short drive away.  The other day my mom and I spent an hour in a park in our neighbourhood and I’m telling you it was relaxing and uplifting.  I noticed the details, colours and smells of trees I usually just drive by.

Do noticing
When you are out and about take special notice of how beautiful the world is that we live in.  Notice the trees, the flowers, the beaches, the mountains, the sky, the people, your family.  Be present in the moment.

Do spending
Spend quality time with your partner, children or pets, spend more time with people you love, make special dates like movie night picnic in your garden.  Spend time cooking together, going for walks, holding hands and hugging.  Spend less on material goods and shopping malls.

Do sharing
Share chores with those in your family, don’t do it all yourself.  Find a way to inspire the others to help you.  Get the family involved when deciding what fun things to do.  Share with people less privileged, take a sandwhich in the car on trips to give to the hungry man or woman begging at the traffic light.  Everyone needs a break.

Do decluttering
Getting rid of stuff while you have a bit of extra time on your hands is liberating.  It opens up the energy in your home which will be a great start to next year.

Do time out
Make sure you do things just for yourself.  This is your holiday too.  Put a “do not disturb” sign on your door while you read your book for an hour and drink a cup of hot milo or cold iced tea (the weather is so weird it could be either one).  Find someone to babysit now and then if you have small kids.

Do tolerance
Everyone being home at the same time for a month or more can sometimes get overwhelming.  Look at your home mates from a soul level and open your heart with compassion.  Let this be a month of peace, understanding and love.  That sounds cliched but I’m serious.

Do laughing
On a serious note, stop being so serious.  Have some fun and enjoy yourself.  Put music on while doing chores, dress up as a prince or princess and prance around the house letting everyone think you are a bit crazy.  Laughter spreads and makes us happy (watch this hilarious clip).  Be happy.  Do funny.

I will be taking a break from writing until the middle of January but will still consult a couple of times a week so don’t be a stranger.  Have a wonderful holiday.  I’ll miss you.

With love
Eve

Adventuring

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coffee yuck girl faceOnce a week (more or less) I take my son to Sandton for one of his Krav Maga classes.  He teaches.  Although he is a qualified instructor he hasn’t got his drivers’ license yet as he’s 17.

It feels like a bind to take him because there’s no parking where he goes and I have to mill around for an hour in an area I know very little about.  Also I don’t want to venture too far as I have to be back in an hour to fetch him.  So today I drove around a bit and excitedly found a coffee shop.  They made me a gross takeaway coffee.  I paid a lot for gross coffee but oh well.

Nevertheless, I got to sit at a comfortable table and write while listening to Simon and Garfunkel playing in the background and enjoying a cool fan blowing on me.

Sometimes the adventure you go on doesn’t turn out to be perfect but there is something in it to be happy about.  Trying something new can take you to different places and spaces.

I’m really hoping that next time I find a funky shop to browze through.  I want to try something new each time until I find a treasure.  I’ll let you know if I do find it.  If you know any places in Parkmore or near there I would love to know.

I have a few spaces left for coaching next week.  Are you keen?  If  yes, contact me to book a space either by clicking here or by replying to this email.  It’s nice to go on holiday having sorted out a few things in your head first.

With love
Eve

 

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Worthy of Receiving

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receiving sarkGiving is super important and gives purpose to one’s life.  However, some people perceive that to receive from others is wrong or they don’t like it.  Have you heard people saying “I would rather give than receive”?

There’s a balance to giving and receiving.  If you constantly give and never allow yourself to receive you are creating an unbalanced relationship with whoever is trying to give to you.  Everyone needs to give in order to feel that they are contributing to society, to friends, relatives and to their intimate relationships and you are giving someone an opportunity to be generous when you are able to accept from others.

Receiving can be scary but hear this….. accepting a gift, a compliment or help, doesn’t mean you are weak or useless, helpless or incapable.  It means you are in a relationship.  You can be strong and still accept from others. Receiving might also bring up feelings of obligation and owing.  i.e. I have to be grateful to this person and now I am indebted or owe them something.  Yes you probably should be grateful, so what?  Someone out there is grateful for what you have done for them too.

You know who else you need to receive from?  Yourself.

The other day I proved it to myself after hearing a talk on this.  After the talk, I gave myself three gifts, one was tasty, one was about cooling down in the boiling heat and the other was taking a few minutes just to enjoy these two things.  When my husband and kids got home later I had so much more energy and willingness to do things for them rather than feeling depleted and put upon with all their needs because I had already given to myself.  I had shown myself that I am worthy of receiving.  It’s weird but I actually wanted to give more because my needs had already been met.  The people around me were naturally happy too.

Did you know you are worthy of love just as you already are with no improvements?  That means that right now you are worthy of love just because you are.

Remember that.

receiving sark 2Next time somebody gives you a compliment, say thank you (instead of not believing them or making excuses or brushing them off).  If somebody offers you help, don’t think “I can do this all on my own”.  Even if you can do it all on your own, it’s okay to share your burdens and your chores.  If somebody gives you a gift, don’t think “oh no, now I have to give them a gift back” just accept it and appreciate that someone cared about you.

Thank you for reading my blog – that is a gift to me.

With love
Eve

Raw South Africa – Joburgers Conversations

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judgement skin tonesLast week, a guy who calls himself Joburger on Facebook started a magnificent thread which brought light and laughter to many people in South Africa.  He asked black people to ask white people any question they have ever wanted to know and then he did the same with white people asking black people and everyone asking Indian people, Coloured and Asian people.  The thread went on for a few days and it was both hilarious and eye opening.  I really learned a lot and have already started to change my behaviour in certain ways.

Then on Sunday Joburger asked people of different races to say what they loved about a particular race.  I tell you it was addictive sitting there looking at the love pouring out.  People had to put their differences aside and look with eyes of love and focus on what is special about each particular race in our beautiful country.  It was heartwarming, educational and love building.  Just seeing what other people love about us is eye opening in itself, we often take those things for granted and don’t even realise that people notice it as a positive thing.

What I have to say about it is this…. As South Africans, we have so much potential for a cohesive society.  There are always hitches and difficulties in every relationship and the relationship we have now is the New South Africa.  Things haven’t turned out as planned for many and our government has disappointed most of us. However, I think that we as South Africans with all our diversity can become united.

I wish that there was no violence in this country, no crime, no poverty.  I wish that we could all live together in harmony and be happy.  I wish that for the entire world actually.  My wishes aren’t going to make it happen though.

judgingLet’s start off small by just loving and accepting the person you see.  What I realised from reading the posts is that we have so many misunderstandings between each other.  We judge indiscriminately and have tons of stereotypes.  I recommend having a look at the thread by Joburger if you have access to Facebook because it is honestly heartwarming.  It doesn’t take away the real problems that people are facing in their every day lives but it’s a start to see how much we actually do appreciate each other and how much we are all living together under the same roof.

With love
Eve

(p.s. I warn you in advance, if you have a look at Joburger, there is swearing etc. which might offend sensitive readers but the overall thread is one of love and unity).

Self Care Box

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self care boxLife seems so busy lately.  I typed this around midnight last night because I didn’t have a chance to do it earlier in the day.  I even fell asleep while typing.

After working on my website, helping out a friend, shopping and lift schemes, I put supper on the stove and felt exhausted.  I knew that what I needed most was to lie down but did I have the time?  It was 7:30 p.m.

I realised that what I needed most at that moment was self care.  This is something I am learning to do for myself more and more.  Putting others first is my default.

So I switched off the lights (and weirdly enough the dogs stopped wrestling), lay down, closed my eyes and just breathed for 10 minutes.

Afterwards I showered and felt so much better. By the time I went to check on the food it was ready.

What I see from the women in my life is that they are always doing for others and hardly ever take time to do for themselves**.  I know that I can still be up late at night, letting the pets out and waiting for them to come back inside, locking up, checking on the kids, making sure all the lights are off etc. while everyone else has been sleeping for over an hour already.

I don’t know what you are like when you don’t give yourself enough self care but I can get irritable, resentful, hungry for junk food, tired, fed up.

So here’s a cool and ready-to-use idea to remind you about self care when you find you need it.

Create a Self Care Box which is  box of things which make you feel loved and nurtured.

grunge texture, distressed funky backgroundThese are some things that I would put in my box.  Personalise your own.

  • A list of all the things you can do for yourself when you feel tired or crabby (e.g. have a bath, lie down, go for a walk, play with the pets, dance to your favourite song, lie under a tree, walk on the grass, etc.).
  • A favourite book that you like dipping into
  • Aromatherapy oil
  • A soft piece of fabric or a plush toy that you like to touch
  • Hand cream
  • A small chocolate
  • Bath salts
  • Face mask
  • A journal with perhaps some writing prompts
  • A pen and drawing equipment
  • Some favourite photos
  • Positive affirmations
  • A USB drive with photos and videos and/or music
  • An inspirational coffee mug
  • A hot water bottle
  • Cotton socks
  • Headphones
  • A tea bag
  • A crystal
  • Tissues
  • A phone number of someone you can call for support

Keep the box somewhere where you can see it.  Open it whenever you feel a bit down or irritable or out-of-kilter or once a day!  Most of the time you will find that just doing something caring for yourself even if it’s for 15 minutes will go a long way to changing your mood and your energy.

You are valuable and worthy of self care and time for yourself.
With love
Eve

**To my male readers, let me know if this is different for you. 

p.s. I’ve updated my website, I would love it if you would have a look.

Who to thank?

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sunflowrThere are people who do things for us all the time but do we always notice it?

I wrote a letter to my coach this morning, she is an amazing woman who has helped me grow tremendously this year.  Yes, even a coach needs a coach. I am so grateful to her for all she has done, her generous spirit, her love, humour and acceptance.  I am also grateful to G-d for the syncronisity in putting us together.  It has really been a wonderful (and sometimes daunting) experience and so worthwhile.   My coach is taking an extended break and so our time together is over for now and I wanted her to know how valuable she has been to me.

There is someone in your life who you may want to express your thanks to.  It may be someone who quietly changes your life for the better.  It may be someone who makes you happy just by being in their presence.  It may be someone who loves you exactly as you are.  It may be someone who brightens up your day.  It may be someone who you can confide in, someone who you feel safe with.  It may be someone who does the same thing every day without you asking.

Let them know.

With love
Eve