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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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

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

12 Ways to cope when you’re not coping

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lemons 2Do you have those days when you feel like you are not coping with your life?  Your shoulders and neck feel tense?  You find yourself getting more tummy aches than usual?

When it feels like you are not coping maybe it’s because you are focusing on the stress.  Your body goes into fight or flight (keep thinking you need a holiday right now! Or sit there procrastinating?)

When you are in the thick of things you may forget that there are ways to bring joy into your life.  Here are 12 suggestions to help you do just that:

Have a cup of tea
But make its special. Use a teapot or your favourite mug.  Remind yourself that you also deserve some peace and quiet and that you are important too.

Commune with nature
Sit on the grass.  Walk barefoot.  Lie under or hug a tree (you have no idea how comforting that can be if you’ve never tried it).  Feed the birds.  Work in the garden.

Look up
Spend time looking at the clouds, the shapes, shades, contrast of colours. Watch a sunset or a sunrise for some peace and pleasure.

Do some exercise
Get those endorphins going.  Often we don’t do anything when we are feeling low but that is the time to work it because you will feel so much better.  What I do is jump on my mini trampoline while watching reruns of my favourite comedies. And talking about that…..

Do funny
Watch a funny movie or read a funny book.  Laughter changes the chemicals in your body so make it happen.  Children laugh 200 to 300 x a day and adults laugh about 15 x a day.  That’s just sad.  Don’t be a statistic.  Even forcing a smile onto your face changes what happens in your brain.

Throw a tantrum
Not in front of everybody else, just by yourself.  You didn’t want things to be happening this way did you?  So say so and stomp it out.  Try not to scare anybody while doing it though, it doesn’t have to be loud.  And then accept that this is part of life and you actually can cope if push comes to shove.

lemons 1That’s what Friends are for
Contact a friend. You’ll be amazed at how many people are going through or have gone through something similar.  If there’s no-one you can think of then contact a coach, a psychologist, a social worker or go and have your hair done and chat to your hairdresser.

Meditate or Pray
I find that when I meditate before I pray I’m much more focused and connected.  These two activities alone have volumes of positives written about them – just ask google.   Slow conscious breathing also works to calm a person down especially when you feel as though you are panicking.

Find a hug
Often a few moments of loving touch will do wonders when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Dance or sing it out
Listen to your favourite music, it will get those dance moves happening.  Even if you don’t feel like it just dance anyway for one song.  Or Sing.  Sing out loud.  Who cares what you sound like?  If your voice is really bad then close the door.

Pets
I can’t stress the value of a pet.  I don’t know what I would do without my dog and cat.  They are an endless source of healing.

Be grateful
Be grateful for what’s right in your life.  Not every single thing is going wrong.

Turn your life around.

With love
Eve

Rummaging through the Jumble

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clutter minimalismDo you ever feel like you have nothing to wear yet you have plenty of clothes?  It’s probably because you have too many clothes and a lot of them you don’t really like or don’t wear for various reasons.  Why keep these things?

Have you noticed that when your home is cluttered, your world feels a bit overwhelming too?  I think it’s because our home, cupboards, car, handbags etc. often mirror part of our lives.

It’s no surprise then that when we declutter we feel lighter.

Have you heard yourself saying “I will need it someday” – but do you ever get to use it?  I’ve found that when I need that “thing” I’ve been saving for all these years, I can’t find where I put it anyway and then land up buying a new one.

How does clutter make you feel?  When I look at my clutter I feel uncomfortable and restless.

When you introduce new items into your life, you immediately associate value with these items, making it harder for you to give them up in the future. This psychological connection to things is what leads to the accumulation of stuff.*

When you see various parts of your home that are cluttered, ask yourself why you are keeping these things.  What are you holding on to?  It can be very difficult to let go of our possessions.  There’s apparently a place in our brain that lights up when we experience the pain of letting go of the things we own.*

Give the clutter a name.  When you look at the pile of stuff or the wardrobe that is too congested, give a name to it.  e.g. Chaotic, busy, overloaded, stuck, ugly, messy etc.  Do those words conjure up parallels in your own life?

What am I getting to here?  Perhaps just to be aware that our clutter is more than just a pile of stuff, it has emotional connections too.  You may even be holding on to old emotional baggage.  An idea would be to look at what you can let go of and see if you feel lighter and more free when you do.

With love
Eve

*Mikael Cho, How clutter affects your brain and what you can do about it.