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.

 

 

Seeing yourself with Loving Eyes

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self-love-what-you-see“They” say – Love is in the eyes of the beholder.  To me this means it doesn’t matter what you are like because if somebody loves you they will not notice your flaws or at the very least they will ignore them because they love you so much it won’t matter.

What about you?  Can you look at yourself and see someone beautiful?  Someone kind, loving, loveable, capable, strong, courageous?

It’s easier to love someone else and ignore their flaws than your own.

However, don’t despair, loving yourself is a skill that can be developed and it’s to your advantage to work at it.

When you live each day like the one before and don’t grow yourself you will most likely notice that you are unhappy or uneasy.  Those uncomfortable feelings are a sign to you that it’s time to do some inner work.

How to start

Look at yourself and what you say and do with loving eyes – the way you would do if you were looking at someone else that you love.  If you are able to do this, you will start to be less hard on yourself, be more forgiving towards yourself, get up after you fall down, not worry about others’ opinions, be more free.

eyes-grapefruitsMay you have a week where you remember how amazing you really are.

Eve

The Peach and the Pear

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peachYesterday I was sitting eating a bowl of fruit for breakfast.

The first bite of the pear was lovely.  I tasted that real pear flavour and felt the grainy pear texture.  After that bite I was staring into space thinking about everything that I could think of, things that I had to be doing, things that I had to say to people and it was filling my mind.

Before I knew it, the pear was finished and I hadn’t even noticed eating it which was quite disappointing because it was really a beautiful pear!

I sliced into my cling peach next. I noticed the colour – at least two different shades of orange.  At that moment I decided to eat the peach consciously.

Sonotice-dr-seuss I stopped thinking about everything that has to be done and I ate my peach with concentration.  It was sweet and juicy, delicious, the colours so bright.  I was suddenly struck by the miracle of it.  This peach is amazing!  It has been plucked off a tree!

I marveled at how the world and everything in it has been created with such beauty and functionality.  Wow.

All that for a peach that I took the time to notice.  I encourage you to try this sometimes and don’t stop at fruit, take notice of people too.

I wish you a beautiful day.

Eve

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.