No Coffee, No Inspiration

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Oprah

Yesterday there was no electricity, no coffee and at the same time no inspiration with a bit of irritability thrown in for good measure.

After a couple of failed attempts at writing my blog I had two choices, either I could be irritable or I could make the most of this time by using it to relax.

I decided to take a break, sit on my bed with a few blocks of chocolate, a snuggly blanket and an enjoyable book.

Weirdly enough as soon as I started to relax I had a title for my blog and was then able to start writing (good old pen and paper).

Sometimes all we need is a change of scenery, a few deep breaths and some self love to get the creative juices flowing again.

After writing and sitting quietly in a comfy place (besides my neighbour’s generator which sounds like a truck), with my pets lying near me and my fluffy blanket around my feet I felt at peace and happier.

Look after yourself, you deserve a break.

With love
Eve

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What to do in December

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relax mountainsCan you believe it’s that time of year again when we have an opportunity to slow down.  This year seems to have come and gone and I hope that I can drag out the holidays for as long as possible.

Some tips for making the most of your holidays whether you are going away or not:

Do nothing
Make sure you spend some time each day doing absolutely nothing.  Nothing important.  Nothing technological.  Nothing that HAS to be done.

Do nature
Spend some time in nature.  There are beautiful parks just around the corner or a short drive away.  The other day my mom and I spent an hour in a park in our neighbourhood and I’m telling you it was relaxing and uplifting.  I noticed the details, colours and smells of trees I usually just drive by.

Do noticing
When you are out and about take special notice of how beautiful the world is that we live in.  Notice the trees, the flowers, the beaches, the mountains, the sky, the people, your family.  Be present in the moment.

Do spending
Spend quality time with your partner, children or pets, spend more time with people you love, make special dates like movie night picnic in your garden.  Spend time cooking together, going for walks, holding hands and hugging.  Spend less on material goods and shopping malls.

Do sharing
Share chores with those in your family, don’t do it all yourself.  Find a way to inspire the others to help you.  Get the family involved when deciding what fun things to do.  Share with people less privileged, take a sandwhich in the car on trips to give to the hungry man or woman begging at the traffic light.  Everyone needs a break.

Do decluttering
Getting rid of stuff while you have a bit of extra time on your hands is liberating.  It opens up the energy in your home which will be a great start to next year.

Do time out
Make sure you do things just for yourself.  This is your holiday too.  Put a “do not disturb” sign on your door while you read your book for an hour and drink a cup of hot milo or cold iced tea (the weather is so weird it could be either one).  Find someone to babysit now and then if you have small kids.

Do tolerance
Everyone being home at the same time for a month or more can sometimes get overwhelming.  Look at your home mates from a soul level and open your heart with compassion.  Let this be a month of peace, understanding and love.  That sounds cliched but I’m serious.

Do laughing
On a serious note, stop being so serious.  Have some fun and enjoy yourself.  Put music on while doing chores, dress up as a prince or princess and prance around the house letting everyone think you are a bit crazy.  Laughter spreads and makes us happy (watch this hilarious clip).  Be happy.  Do funny.

I will be taking a break from writing until the middle of January but will still consult a couple of times a week so don’t be a stranger.  Have a wonderful holiday.  I’ll miss you.

With love
Eve

#stressmustfall

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burnout-you-can-do-anything-but-not-everythingYou don’t have to do everything yourself.  There may be tons to done but you don’t have to be a martyr or a hero and do it all.  Ask for the support you need.

At work delegate a task to someone else.  At home ask your family to get involved.  It’s excellent to teach your children these skills anyway.  You may have to let go of the need to control the situation because it might not turn out exactly as you had anticipated but you could find a lot of satisfaction, camaraderie and connection by letting others get involved.

Why do you choose to take on most (if not all) of the work?  Could you be trying to please people?  Do you think you are the only one who can do a proper job?  Do you want to receive all the praise?  Do you get too many arguments when you ask for help and so it’s just easier to get it done yourself?  Is there more mess afterwards if others do it?

If you take on too much it becomes exhausting and stressful.  Let go of high expectations, give good instructions and check how they are managing from time to time.  The letting go will involve some trust.  They may not do it exactly your way but it might come out perfectly well.  In fact you could be pleasantly surprised.

helpful-kids-2If others don’t want to co-operate (for example your children) you may need to make it more fun.  Turn the task into a game or a race.

If you do everything by yourself, you become depleted, tired and moody.  It’s not pleasant for you or anyone around you.  Do yourself a favour and give some of it up to someone else.  Put your feet up a bit and relax (and don’t feel guilty about it) or just slow down somewhat.

Remember to say thank you (even if the job turns out less than perfect).

Warmest regards

Eve

Closing the Gap

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What is the word that actually describes your life?  What is the word you wish described your life?  How are you going to get closer to the life you wish for?

In order to write this for you I had to make it personal so that you would glean from my example.  So  here goes….

The word that describes my life right now is swamped.  How would I like it to be?  Flowing.

Funny that both those words have reference to water.  Swamped feels exactly as it sounds, bogged down, difficult to get out of, overwhelming, too much to do.  Flowing is peaceful, things going according to plan, doing what feels right, not taking on too much, dancing movements, glittering beauty (okay, I’m getting carried away because I really want to be on holiday right now).

Firstly it’s important to note that the words that I have used to describe my current state are all beliefs.   Are they true?  Well not really.   They are just thoughts, a state of mind.  If I believe my life is overwhelming then it really seems overwhelming and then that’s what it is.  Overwhelming.  Too much to do?  How do I know how much is too much to do?  This may be hard to comprehend right now but believe me, it is very freeing when you are able to differentiate between the truth and what you think is the truth.  I had a look at some pictures of swamps and believe me that is not what my life looks like (thank G-d) – but I have been thinking it is!

How am I going to close the gap?

I will look in my diary when something comes up and  I will ask myself if it is necessary, if it is doable, if it is something I really want or if I am doing it for other reasons such as people pleasing or fame and fortune.

I will make extra time for traveling in my diary.  Sometimes I forget to do this and then find myself rushing from place to place because I haven’t added the traveling time into my day.  It is so much more peaceful when I can drive to place and sing at the same time instead of sweating from the stress of trying not to be too late.

I will forgive myself for being human.  If I set a certain amount of goals and can only reach a few of them, I will remind myself that I am human and can only do so much.  If I overburden myself with negative criticism it’s no wonder I believe I’m overwhelmed because not only am I rushing and not managing to fulfill my expectations of myself but I am also adding harsh words to the mix.

I will make time for the things that are a priority in my life.  Sometimes we forget what we are aiming for.  We lose sight of our purpose.  If I refocus I will be able to say no to invitations that come up and only choose the ones that talk to my higher purposes.

I will make time for myself to relax.  How can I even do any of the above if I don’t make time to relax and nurture myself?  That means making proper food and not eating on the run, spending time lying or walking on the grass, having naps, going out on a date with myself (now and then), treating myself like I would treat anybody else, with courtesy and kindness.

Wishing you a beautiful week of seeing what’s really happening in your life and making steps to close the gap.

I would love to hear the words you chose and some of your ideas on how you are going to close your gap.

With love
Eve

 

 

Please Like my Facebook page @evemarkshealing

 

Only 90 times!

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purpose - 90 years and call it life When I saw this quote I had a moment of shock.  If we have the opportunity to live to 90 or above, let’s use 90 as an example… then we only have 90 times to do a year.  It may seem obvious to you but to me it was one of those aha moments that Oprah talks about.  Only 90 times to try it over.  Only 90 times to do whatever it is I’m trying to do. That’s so little!  If I only have 90 times I want to make those times count.  Keeping in mind we don’t all get 90 times.

This post is not meant to be morbid, it’s meant to wake us.

What do I want to be doing?

Some people have a bucket list, I prefer to call mine “exciting things to do in my life at some stage” list but those things might take years to achieve.  So I have a “meaningful priority list” which is for everyday use (it’s not necessarily written down).  I feel frustrated with myself if a day ends and I haven’t done at least one thing in my “meaningful priority” list.

What have I done today to be proud of?

I think the key for me is to look at what is important in my life and to make sure I do one or some of those. I learned some skills on the Power of Purpose in this regard (click for more info).

Yes, our days are often filled with seemingly meaningless or routine tasks like sitting in traffic, cleaning up, standing in queues.  That’s the way it is.  However, if we see them as meaningless they will be.  But if we can somehow figure how to put them into our “meaningful priorities” list we can change them and the way we feel about them.

purpose - elderly couple eating ice creamHow can we do this?

We can gripe and groan about standing in the queue or we can make conversation with a fellow queue member or use the time to text a friend who is in need of some love.  We can hate the traffic or we can use it as a time to listen to a really good podcast or some favourite music or greet the people along the way with a smile making their days – and by the way, making someone else’s day often makes yours.

We can sit watching movies or series to switch off from our restlessness (which is really our soul saying “hey, let’s do something”) or we can make watching a movie a real treat now and then.  We can include our children while cooking even though the cleaning up afterwards will take much longer.

Let’s make the most of each year we have because it’s not just a year, it’s an opportunity, a chance.

Let’s start with today…. We don’t have to wait until the 1st of January.

With love
Eve

Babe, you got this xx

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When you are trying to do something challenging in your life for example sticking to an exercise routine or a new way of eating (or any other habit) and you keep slipping back into old habits then this one is for you.

One of the crucial elements of sticking to any sort of new habit is support.  You’ve probably tried this before and yet you find yourself sleeping in instead of going for a walk or hitting the gym.

I remember when I was on an intensive art course for a few years (a while back) and we had to hand in hundreds of sketches, numerous completed drawings and a fair amount of large drawings with board frames.  I was working full day and studying part time and it was quite difficult to come home after work, cook, clean and complete my art work and still find time to relax.  What helped me get through at the time was having support partners.  My husband and my close friend.  My husband would help me keep accountable by sometimes watching tv or reading where I was drawing or he would remind me about my goal to finish what I had started.  My friend supported me by loving my art and encouraging me even if I didn’t love it.  We would sometimes lug my art equipment to her house and I would draw while we all spent time together.  Good times.

Does it make sense to you that sometimes we just need someone who will be on our side, someone who will remind us about why we started, someone we can phone or text when we “just don’t feel like it” and want to give up?

When choosing a support partner, let it be someone who would be kind yet firm.  Discuss what  you want from them beforehand.  If you want them to push you, explain how you would like it to be done.  For me a Seargent Major type would push me into rebellion rather than motivate me.  Set boundaries from the beginning.  For both of you – maybe your support partner doesn’t want to be woken at 3 a.m. because you are dying for ice cream in the fridge and don’t want to ruin your hard work.

Don’t think you have to do it all yourself.  We are social creatures.  Sometimes the person who is always there for someone else needs someone to be there for them.  Are you feeling guilty for receiving support?  Your support partner may need your help one day too.  You are worthy of support.

Choose someone who gets you.  There’s no point choosing support that doesn’t agree with what you are doing and will constantly criticise you along the way.

Hang in there.  Goals take perseverance to achieve – ask anyone who reached theirs.

I wish you the best with your goal.  Let us know how this advice helped you reach it.

Eve
 


If you live in Johannesburg, don’t forget to register for the Power of Purpose which starts on the 16th of August

Build a life you don’t need a vacation from

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happy children horsing aroundIn the frenetic times we live in we tend to keep filling up our days with more and more busyness.  We tend to be so on the go that we are often exhausted.  Stress fills our lives as we try and keep up with all the activities and time deadlines and on Sunday night we wonder where the weekend disappeared to.

If you write a list of what you had hoped to do and then find you didn’t do much of that but spent a lot of time on Social Media or watching TV and have an empty or restless feeling somewhere in your body, you probably are not balancing your life well.

If you scrutinise your week you will most likely notice a lot of wasted time.  I’m not saying you mustn’t relax – on the contrary – but if you add up all the time you spend on unimportant activities, you will probably be shocked.  Social Media and TV are recreational activities but can land up taking over the day without you noticing and they aren’t as relaxing as you think.

In November last year I made a decision to cut down on my Facebook usage.  I would wake up in the morning, browse Facebook while still in my bed and then realise two hours later that I was really hungry and still in my bed in my pajamas!  I hadn’t started work and I had a huge to-do list.  It was a really horrible feeling!  I had to spend the rest of the day rushing.

I made a decision to take Facebook off my phone.  No more reading about everyone else’s’ lives while procrastinating in bed, having breakfast, lunch or lying in bed at night.  I only check my Facebook on my computer now and it’s not as comfortable at the desk so I don’t spend that much time.  I have a good book downloaded on my phone and a journal in my handbag for when I’m in a queue or waiting in the car for my kids.

It was Facebook for me, it could be something else for you.  If you find that you are not fulfilled at the end of the week, then chances are you are not using your time well.  Take notice of signals in your body of restlessness, boredom, cravings for refined carbs or other stimulants, irritation for no real reason (or whatever yours are – you will know when you take notice).

What are the things you love to do but never do?

For me, spending time in nature is one of those things.  This past Sunday, I lay on the grass at Emmarentia dam looking at the birds, the sky and the trees, had a picnic by myself (because I love picnics more than the rest of my family does) and enjoyed the down time.  When I got home, I had energy to do the other things that needed to get done.

Relaxation time is important.  You are not really relaxing though when you are busy with technological devices all the time.  Every time you hear a beep coming from your phone, you check your phone.  That is not relaxing.  Is it?

So think about something you would like to do and make a point of doing it.  Take a paintbrush and paint, lie under a tree and read, do some gardening, choreograph your own dance, write some poetry, pray, visit someone lonely, window-shop (if that’s your thing).

We all need time to do what we love, it’s not fulfilling to run on the treadmill of life all the time.  Add fun, pleasure and maybe even a bit of silliness to your week and see things happen differently.

Of course, there’s more to balancing your life than relaxation but that’s for another day….