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

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3 Important Things

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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 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

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.

 

My Perfect Partner

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perfect-partner-statueAt some stage of your life you have probably looked at other peoples’ relationships and thought “Wow, they look so happy all the time / respectful of each other / in love / thoughtful / romantic”.

That’s the part of their relationship that they show to the world.  The rest is hidden.

Most peoples’ ideal partner is based on unrealistic expectations which come from stories, movies, songs and books.

So, is there a perfect partner?

Yes.  In front of you.

Look at the person you are with because that is most likely your perfect partner, the one that’s right for you to help you grow and become a better human**.

The way to realise the perfection of your partner is to firstly love and accept yourself as you are and then do the same for your partner.  Love and accept them as they are.  If you make this choice to work on your relationship you will notice how gratifying it is when things work out well.

Relationships never happen in a straight line.
Sometimes they are easy and sometimes they are hard.  Every relationship requires effort and self growth.

Think about what you want in this relationship and then make it happen.  If you want flowers but your partner is not that way inclined there is no point in getting upset about it because that won’t change things at all.  Ask for the flowers so that you get them.  If you want more talk time together, initiate it. Let your partner know how important they are to you and how when you spend time with them you feel loved.  If you want to be more appreciated, show appreciation for him/her.  Take a look at yourself and be honest.  How often do you really show appreciation for your partner?

The perfect partner is most likely the one you’ve got.  The perfect person however, does not exist.

I wish you a week of growth and love, accepting your partner for who he or she is, noticing the beauty in their eyes and realising how lucky you really are.

With love
Eve

**I’m not referring to abusive relationships

If you are not currently in a romantic relationship this can also apply to any type of relationship in your life.

Feeding the Baboons

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fears-feed-the-fearsWhen holidaying near wild life you will see many signs saying “please do not feed the monkeys / baboons” and you still see people doing it.  There are notices saying that if the baboons get used to human food they become dangerous as they will do anything to get that food when they want it, yet people still feed them.  The notice says that when the baboons get dangerous they will be shot and yet people still feed them.  It’s very upsetting.

Feeding your fears is something like feeding the monkeys.  The more you feed your fears the more fearful you get and the less you are able to cope in various situations.  Your fears start to take over and before you know it you are living according to your fears.  Rational thought goes out the window and anxiety is the order of the day.

The acronym for F.E.A.R is False Evidence Appearing Real.

baboonWhat this means is that what you think is going to happen seems as though it is really going to happen and therefore you believe it to be real.  The mind doesn’t know whether it is real or not so it starts to send off hormones to alert the body of danger.  However, if you think about it carefully you will notice that most of our fears are unfounded.  Most worries never happen.

If we focus all our energy on what we fear, it could eventually come true because what we focus on expands and if we are living our fear then it can start to become real for us.

If you think you are broke (even if you have enough money to survive), you will always feel broke.  I met a woman once who was complaining about her lack of money and material wealth.  When I was invited to her house for a party I couldn’t believe the size of the house!  Seriously, it was one of the biggest houses that I had seen in the area.  However, in her mind she didn’t have enough and she feared that she would never have enough and so even though she was living a life of abundance she didn’t see it for herself and always felt “poor”.

People have fears about all sorts of things and it is actually like living in a prison.  They can’t move forward or even sideways.  They just stay in one place, afraid of what the future will bring (and the future could be tomorrow or in an hour’s time).

At one stage I was really petrified of the security situation in our country.  I had been the victim of crime previously and I couldn’t sleep at night.  I spent each night fearing the worst.  A good friend of mine suggested that I look at the facts.  The facts were we had various security measures in place so I wrote down a list of all these security measures and after that I felt a lot better.  I use that tool now and again when I need it.

Fear can appear real but it’s nearly always about the future and we can’t know what the future will bring.

So instead of feeding your fears, look at the facts and focus on that instead.

With love

Eve