Reflections

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reflections alhambra eveStanding here, reflecting about my year, worrying, was I good enough? Did I do enough? Was I kind? Was I gentle?  Did I reach my expectations of myself?  Did I fail?  Thinking about the times I messed up.

Where to from here?

It’s important to also look at where I did go right.  Where I was kind, where I was gentle, where I helped out, where I reached a goal, where I looked after myself or others, where I gave, where I brought a smile to someone’s face, where I went out of my way.

It helps with self forgiveness and being real about who I am as a human.

Now to grow.

With love
Eve

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Becoming Satisfied

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helpful kids 3One of my most well read blogs was the one called “The Trick to Changing Someone”.  People are often dissatisfield with the people they are with or with what they are doing and are hoping that there is a magic formula to change them.

How can we become more satisfied with the people we are with? 

  • Think about the person that you would like to change.
  • Think of what bugs you about them.
  • Do you feel better now?

I doubt it.

Let’s try again.

  • Think about the person that you would like to change.
  • Think of what you like or love about them (there has to be something…. it could be their left eyebrow).
  • Think of what they do for you.  It’s best to write this down for when you need it again.

This last one is tricky.  Often we are so blinded by how irritated we are with the person that we don’t realise what they do for us.  It could be something small and hardly noticeable for example when there is an office party your colleague always brings you a piece of cake; maybe your partner always takes the spoon out of your coffee cup because he/she knows you don’t like to stab yourself in the eye; maybe you hardly notice that your spouse warms up the baby’s food for you without you asking; maybe your teen fills your hot water bottle for you when you ask him; maybe your Housekeeper prepared the veggies for supper because she knew you would be home late.  I could put a hundred examples here of tiny things people do for us that we usually take for granted.

Yes….  they also take you for granted and if you focus on that then you are not going to improve your relationship.  You could talk to them about that but in the meantime if you have a list of what they do for you and why you like or love them you will be able to have a positive outlook and more loving feeling towards them when you are in their space and this gives you the motivation to work on the relationship.

Why does it have to be me who always makes the changes you may ask?  Relationships weren’t designed to be flawless, perfect things.  They can help us grow into strong, loving, kind human beings or bitter and twisted people who hate.

People (secretly or not secretly) need to be recognised for what they do and if we ignore what they do for us neither of us benefit.  Let’s take notice of what people do for us (no matter how small) and remember to thank them for it.  When you recognise and appreciate someone they are likely to do more.

Thank you for reading my blog, it makes it worth writing.

Wishing you the best

Eve

The Opposite of Love isn’t Hate

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ignored

Elie Wiesel wrote, “The opposite of love isn’t hate. It’s indifference.”

Apparently there are have been scientific studies which prove that the brain registers as physical pain when a person is being ignored.  I have read a couple of articles on it but I don’t have the scientific sources.  If it is true though, why do we feel so much pain at being ignored and what can we do about it?

Silence can feel like a dignified, high road response but the silence is really saying a lot.  It’s also a way to inflict pain without fighting.  It’s a type of passive aggressive behaviour.

When someone ignores you how do you feel?  Angry?  Hurt?  Irritated?  Sad?

When we are ignored we start to think all sorts of things about ourselves such as:

  • They don’t like me
  • I’m unloveable
  • People always ignore me
  • I am invisible
  • Fill your own in here ………………

These type of thoughts and  beliefs we have create the pain we feel.

What can we do?

Ask yourself questions.  For example: 

  • Is it true that I am invisible? (No it’s not because if you turn to someone and ask them they will verify that you are visible to them).
  • Is it true that they don’t like me?  (Well unless you ask them you will never really know).
  • Do I need to care that they don’t like me?  (Well do you?)
  • Can I be myself no matter what? (It may be hard but chances are you can give yourself the permission to be yourself).
  • If someone ignores me am I unloveable?  (No.)

Affirm yourself with words of love:

  • I am a loveable, visible human being.
  • My worth is not measured by these particular people.
  • There are people who take notice of what I say.

The bottom line is that yes, being ignored is hurtful but it doesn’t mean you are not a beautiful, worthy human being.  You just need to remind yourself of that and try not to let others affect your beliefs about yourself and the world.  Keep in mind that we inflict this kind of pain on others too and it is good to be aware of our own behaviour and to rectify it in some way.

Was this article helpful to you?

If you wish to book a consultation to deal with this type of problem in a more in depth and personal way please feel free to contact me by clicking here.

With love
Eve

Valentines Perspective – Love or Chocolates

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Valentines day background with champagne and roses

Once a year Valentine’s day comes around and there’s huge pressure for those who celebrate it.  Singles feel sad or desperate, boyfriends and husbands are expected to make sure that they remember their significant other with expensive gifts and large gestures, flowers cost the earth, even children at school who don’t receive a valentine’s card feel lost and alone.  People have expectations about how romantic the day is going to be and then are often disappointed by the displays received and are sometimes even devastated when their partner forgets.  Fights ensue.

Yes of course people should celebrate the love they have for each other and if you love Valentine’s day you are going to hate this article.  Historically it doesn’t have very savoury or romantic beginnings (google it) but has been marketed to become a money making bonanza.

One of my pet peeves is the way Valentine’s Day is marketed.  Everything is Red and Black.  I mean what is that?  If you walk past any shop there is bound to be a display of red or black lingerie or red chocolates or red mugs with “be my Valentine” printed on them.  Yes, red is traditionally the colour of love or hearts but is it not possible to have cutsie pajamas with a lovey-dovey message in a pretty blue?  It’s not advertised as love, it’s actually advertised as sex.

If you love your significant other then neither of you should be waiting for the 14th of February to display your love for one another.  Relationships need to be constantly nurtured.  Almost every day couples need to respect each other, think of how the other one feels before they speak or act, give their partner a treat (like rub their shoulders or bring them a cup of coffee), say words of love, give positive touch, appreciate one another, look into each other’s eyes, talk.

People get caught up in the busyness of every day life and these days technology adds to the problem.  People are on their phones a lot and so extra effort needs to be made to bring each other together, to put those phones down, to switch off the tv or close the laptop and talk to each other.

Valentine’s day is just a day on a calendar.  Buy your partner some chocolates or flowers this week.  Shake it up a little.  Both men and women need to be treated and feel appreciated.  Try and have a date every week – it doesn’t have to be expensive and can even be at home.  If you are single do something fabulous for yourself… often, not just once a year.

You are worthy of receiving (and giving) love the whole year round.

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).

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

The Power of a Hug

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Hugs are amazing things, really.  They melt away tension and can help heal a person who is ill or depressed.  Hugs release stress which help a person’s heart to beat slower which is good for longevity.

Hugs boost the chemical oxytocin in your brain.  Oxytocin has many functions, one of them being anti anxiety.  Hugs relax your muscles.

Holding a hug for an extended period of time lifts serotonin levels, elevating your mood and even helps your digestive system.  Hugging your older child or teenager for six seconds reminds them of being held as a baby (unless they explicitly say they hate it when you hug them, then don’t force it).

Hugging is one way to strengthen the immune system.  When you are happy your body stays healthier, when you are stressed, angry or depressed your immune system is weakened.  Another way is laughter so if you don’t have anyone to hug find a way to laugh more.

A hug Boosts self esteem – we feel special when receiving a hug which we associate with our early childhood when we were given hugs by our parents.  It also makes us feel safe like it did then.  This has been seen when children hug a teddy or a blanket.  We continue to carry the feeling of being hugged in our cell memory.

Hugs teach us about giving and receiving.  Giving a hug without expecting anything in return is very generous.    It is however important to receive hugs as well, you deserve good stuff too.

Hugs teach us to let go and be in the moment.  When you step into a hug time stands still.  If you are uncomfortable with hugs time might stand too still 😉.   Use your intuition about when to let go. Swaying fast from side to side while hugging can take away from being in the present moment.  Personally I prefer sill hugs.

When we hug the people we love we are investing in the relationship.  If you feel empathy for someone you feel their pain, so you may need a hug just as much as they do.

When hugging, make sure that it is platonic and nurturing.  Just be there for the other person and let them be there for you.  This builds trust and allows the person to just be.

Many people don’t get touched often especially the elderly or those that live alone.  If you know someone like that give them the gift of a hug.

To respect someone’s boundaries I usually ask the person permission.  Not everyone likes hugs or is used to them.  If someone didn’t get much trustworthy touch in childhood they may feel fearful when hugged.

Timing is important.  Hugging someone who is in a bad mood with you may be counterproductive.

Don’t squeeze too tight unless you know for a fact the other person likes that.  A sore hug is not that enjoyable.

At the end of a hug, make eye contact which will make you both smile.

If you are not a natural hugger then practise it slowly with people you love and trust.

I asked my children what it feels like to be hugged and they said: beautiful, safe, warm, cared for and caring for (exchange of care).

I hope you give and get those things this week.

With love
Eve