Good Life or Good Lie

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good lifeWe deceive ourselves by making up stories in our heads.  Here are two examples.

  • Peggy was concerned because a good friend of hers seemed to be ignoring her text messages and not replying to any of them.  She started getting anxious thinking something was wrong.  When we analysed it together we noticed that the thoughts that had been going on Peggy’s mind were along the lines of: she’s purposefully ignoring me; I must have upset her; she doesn’t like me anymore, I’m not loveable. The truth is we don’t know any of those to be true, we make stories up and believe them as though they are real. How can we know if she’s purposefully ignoring her or if she’s upset or doesn’t like her anymore, maybe she’s just busy.
  • Lulu saw someone at the shop and the person looked her up and down in what seemed to be a disapproving manner.  Lulu had already been feeling self conscious that morning having eaten a half a slab of chocolate the night before.The thoughts that she had unconsciously been thinking were: I look terrible today; I’ve put on 3 kilos from the chocolate I ate;this woman knows and she’s thinking that I have no self discipline; I’m a terrible person.  Now all of these thoughts that Lulu thought are unverified and therefore the answer to them is unknown.  How on earth could she know what this random stranger was thinking?  For all she knows the woman saw the colour she was wearing and was thinking of her ex-husband whose current girlfriend had a dress in that colour.We never know what other people are thinking.

I do not mean to undermine Peggy’s or Lulu’s experiences here.  I am trying to demonstrate how we subconsciously think thoughts that seem real to us and we get freaked out.  These thoughts however, are just thoughts.   Often though they relate to experiences we have had previously in our lives which trigger us (almost like flicking a light switch on) and it’s as if we are reliving that same moment from many many years ago.  These experiences can be unravelled and put into perspective with someone who has experience in this area.

We continue to deceive ourselves and make our lives a misery by thinking thoughts and believing everything we think to be true.

If you want help to unpack your thoughts and work through them, to see what is plaguing you, please contact me by clicking here.

All the best
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).

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.

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.