Your inner strength is rubbing off

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I see youCompassionate people ask for what they need.  They say no when they need to and when the say yes, they mean it.  They’re compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment  – Brene Brown

 I volunteered to be on the team for the More to Life Weekend.  I can’t emphasise enough how life changing that weekend workshop can be.  It was amazing to be a part of it.  Not only did the participants grow exponentially and have huge transformation in their lives – walking in at the beginning of the weekend heads down, shoulders slouched, faces stretched taut – walking out at the end eyes shining, bodies standing tall, faces emanating joy….. but those on team also grew in leaps and bounds.  It was a privilege to behold.

Each person on team works on something in their own lives where they are wanting to grow and I chose boundaries because that is an area of challenge in my life.

The more to life community is unique in that it encourages each person to stick to their growth edge (mine being boundaries) so if I choose to say no to something, I am encouraged by them.  

Brene Brown describes boundaries as “what’s ok and what’s not ok”.  Since the weekend there have been many moments where I have been challenged by life to stick to my boundaries.  Since being back at home I am a much more peaceful, loving and accepting individual where little issues were just that …. little.  Instead of getting upset I used my new found growth to discuss them in a loving, firm, connecting way to inspire the kind of behaviour I want towards me and others. 

This last Friday night instead of quietly complimenting my family in whispers, I said out loud (just this once) what I loved about each person.  Then they in turn responded with what they have noticed or love about me.  One of my children looked at me and said “Mom what I have noticed about you this week is that you have an inner strength and it is rubbing off on all of us”.  Tears to my eyes.

When we let people get away with behaviours that are not okay we can become resentful and hateful.  I am choosing not to allow that to happen anymore.  I want to be peaceful, loving and connecting and I am important enough not to accept certain things that are not okay for me.  Boundaries are not walls or rifts they are respect.  

There may be brief sweating when setting boundaries because doing so could bring on other people’s disappointments and could make them angry.  Once they understand that this is not a once-off, things will change.  I used to think that setting boundaries was too strict and I should be doing things for everybody (or else maybe they won’t like me or our relationship will end).  What I have realised though is that setting boundaries is kind.  Not just to me but to them.  Lying about your true feelings and then holding resentment is not loving and caring and doesn’t keep relationships healthy.

I am deeply grateful for having experienced the More to Life weekend once again and I encourage you to look out for it next time (November).

Sending you much love, my precious reader.

Eve

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If only I had done it differently

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Let go that things could have been differentEvery now and then I get upset with myself for not doing something I should have or for doing something I shouldn’t have.  For me it’s often about how I’ve been as a parent.  I feel guilt and regret and think, if only I had done it differently.

Think about the person or situation that applies to you in this case.

Is it a given that things would have turned out well if you had done things in another way?

Well maybe you could have done things differently (there’s always scope for growth) and there is a possibility that the situation could have turned out better but how do you know that things would have turned out the way you think they should have?

Maybe not much would have changed or maybe the scenario would have gone in a completely different direction (good or bad).  Maybe you worry a lot about things you can’t control.  After all you can’t change what has already happened.  At the most you can apologise and make amends and work at changing the way you behave now.

We have expectations about how life should be but life doesn’t happen in neat little packages.  It happens the way it happens and we often have very little control of the outcome.

Instead of holding on to guilt of the past, rather spend your energy being the best you can be now.  Beating yourself up is going to do nothing except give you bruises.

With love
Eve

Real Life

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real life vs instagram

Remember people only post what they want you to see on their instagram or facebook pages.

Somebody’s amazing marriage or perfect children, fabulous home, high powered job in real life is also filled with angst just like your life is.  What you see (on facebook and instagram) is not what you get.  Nobody’s life is picture perfect.  Nobody smiles all the time.

Be thankful for the life you have and love it for what it is.

With love
Eve

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p.s. So excited that my products are finally here!  For South Africans only at the moment.

Good Moodles

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

3 Important Things

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communication-phones.jpg

I sat working at the coffee shop and watched a father and two boys who I assumed were his sons walk in.  They sat together at a table, the father hunched over his phone, not looking up.  The two young boys had a phone between them and were playing a game on it.  Neither the boys nor the father acknowledged each other.  The manager came over to greet them.  The child holding the phone didn’t even look up.  They were there for about 15 or 20 minutes, collecting takeaways and then they left.  In all that time they didn’t interact.

Most of us are guilty of this to some extent.

If we keep in mind the things that are important to us, we will put our phones down, close our laptops early and switch off the tv.

What 3 things are most important to you?

When you identify what they are remember them when living your day to day life.  There’s a good chance it will feel satisfying and connecting.

With love

Eve

The Kite on my Roof

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busy 2The word “busy” has powerful connotations.  When we keep saying we are busy it means we have no space left for anything or anyone else.

We fill our lives with so many activities and there’s no time to just chill.

There are things we want to be doing but we are just too busy.  Usually those things are the most meaningful ones.  Like going to see a play, getting some fresh air at the botanical gardens, doing a good deed, taking the family on a really nice outing or having a long relaxing bath.

When we leave out the things which mean something to us It’s because we haven’t really thought too deeply about it and therefore don’t have proper direction.  When we have direction and intention and know why things are important to us we make place for them in our lives.  Filling our time up with rushing leaves a certain emptiness or frustration within us at the end of the day.*

It’s the same for our children.  I hear some of my children’s friends say that they don’t have time for social arrangements because they are too busy.  How can a child be so busy that they don’t have time to play?  If that’s what is happening to the children then certainly for us as adults it must be worse.  These children are also perpetuating a “busy” value system into their lives and when they are adults they will do the same thing and won’t have time for what is important to them.

The consequence is burnout, depression or physical ailments.

What really fulfills us is meaning, fun, laughter, love, giving, sharing, connection.  We won’t find those things in filling up our days to the brim.  Look at your schedule and see if you can take something out.  Leave time to lie on the grass and look at the birds flitting around in the trees.  The other day I had the amazing opportunity of seeing a bird of prey on my roof (I think it was a kite – click here to see what a kite is).  If I had been on my phone or rushing around doing lots and lots of stuff I would have missed it.

Yes of course there is a lot to do but try and take out something and put yourself and the things which mean something to you into your calendar.  If necessary physically write them into your diary and make them as important as any appointment would be.

There’s freedom to be found here……

With love
Eve

*I will be running the Power of Purpose on Sunday mornings in July and August.  Early bird special ends on 30 June.  Book now.

The Puppy and the Plans

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Puppy - LizzyI stayed up on Sunday night carefully planning my week so that I could be very productive and get a lot done.

At about 4:30 on Monday morning I woke up to the puppy crying and scratching on her box to be let out.  This was the second time during the night that she had woken up, the previous time was before midnight when I had been asleep for an hour or so.  She has been with us for only a few days and we are all trying to adjust to having a baby (albeit a dog) in the house.  She went out into the dark and cold to go and do her business all by herself and came straight back. She’s only 8 weeks old!  I put a warm water bottle into her bed and comforted her a bit until she went back to sleep.  My older dog is a late sleeper and doesn’t take too well to being woken up before dawn but he comes to check on her anyway with a soft growl telling her to go back to sleep.  It’s honestly adorable watching these two (although not so much at that time of the morning while trying not to wake up the entire household with the commotion).

I went back to sleep at about 5:15 and my alarm woke me at 6:30 only to find that I had a headache which would last me until the next day.  I walked into the kitchen feeling a bit like a zombie and realised that I had a lot of washing up to do after my children’s party on Sunday and didn’t feel like it at all and hadn’t added it into my diary.

I could see my plans for the day beginning to evaporate like steam off the road after a summer rain.

keep calm and carry onSo what I decided to do was take it one step at a time.  Take pain killers, lie down, do a few dishes, work a bit, and then repeat most of the above steps.

Basically I took it slowly and went according to what the reality was and not what I had hoped it would be.  We can plan to our heart’s content but when things don’t work out we have an opportunity to practise being flexible and letting go of our expectations.

By the end of the day although I hadn’t done everything I had wanted to do my day was still good and I did manage to fit in a few of my diary entries.  I scheduled the rest into other time slots for the week.  Even though I had a headache, I actually landed up having a chilled, enjoyable day.

Wishing you a satisfying week.

With love
Eve